Change ushered in |

Change ushered in

The fairy dust has settled over the coronation of Hussein as I write this. Somewhat to my surprise, the sun went down as usual, in the West. It’ll be interesting to see if it comes up again tomorrow.

If it does, we’ll awaken to the knowledge that CHANGE has been ushered in. Yes, CHANGE, of which the mere mention causes mass hysteria and brings tears to the eyes of millions!

I was raised to believe the proof is in the pudding, and I don’t like the taste of this one. Sample one early harbinger of CHANGE with me, if you will; then pass your own judgment as to how sweet it is.

From Washington, D.C. (Vocus/PRWEB) January 15, 2009, we learn: “The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom said today that Cass Sunstein, the Harvard University Law School professor tapped by President-elect Obama to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has a secret aim to push a radical animal-rights agenda in the White House. Sunstein supports outlawing sport hunting, giving animals the legal right to file lawsuits, and using government regulations to phase out meat consumption.

“In a 2007 speech at Harvard University, Sunstein argued in favor of entirely ‘eliminating current practices such as …meat eating.’ He also proposed: ‘We ought to ban hunting, I suggest, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.’

“Sunstein wrote in his 2004 book ‘Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions’ that ‘animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives… Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian-like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.’

“The Center for Consumer Freedom’s Director of Research, David Martosko, is available to discuss Cass Sunstein’s likely impact on typical elements of American life that involve the use of animals. Sunstein’s work could spell the end of animal agriculture, retail sales of meat and dairy foods, hunting and fishing, biomedical research, pet ownership, zoos and aquariums, traveling circuses, and countless other things Americans take for granted.

“Mr. Martosko said: ‘Cass Sunstein owes Americans an honest appraisal of his animal rights agenda as America’s top regulator. Americans don’t realize that the next four years could be full of bizarre initiatives plucked from the wildest dreams of the animal-rights fringe. Think about every outrageous idea PETA and the Humane Society of the United States have ever had, and imagine them all having the force of federal law. This doesn’t look good for hunters, ranchers, restaurateurs, biomedical researchers, or ordinary pet owners’.”

That press release is being circulated on the Web by the Media Coordinator of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association. Should you wish to share it with your friends, you will find it at

Is Sunstein typical of what we can expect in subsequent appointees by “The Chosen One” to influential and important offices? If so, God help us…

On the brighter side, unless handcuffs and travel restrictions are slapped on those of us who cling to our guns and religion, my cowboy and I plan to be in Billings, MT next Saturday for the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame’s 4th Annual Cowboy and Cowgirl Reunion and Rodeo Scholarship Fundraiser. Touted as “The best Western party of the year,” this invitation-only-event supports the Rodeo Scholarship Program of the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame, a 501(c3) corporation. Montana High School Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls who want to pursue higher education will benefit from proceeds of the evening, which includes a large live and silent auction plus the auction of Quick Draw Artists creations and a Heads or Tails competition for a maquette of the Dan Mortensen Bronze which stands at the Wall of Fame.

Wilford Brimley will be a Special Guest at the Reunion, along with “Duke of the Chutes” Harry Vold, 11-time PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year and ProRodeo Hall of Fame honoree. Other prominent rodeo champs expected to attend include Benny Reynolds, Deb Greenough, C.R. Boucher, Clint Branger, Larry Peabody, Bill Smith, Alvin Nelson and Dan Mortensen. The Class of 2009 will be inducted into the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame, including living honorees Bill Brown, Jr., Glenn A. Fritzler and Henry “Hank” Esp; and deceased honorees Dale Small, Montie Montana, and Aubry and Mabry McDowell.

The moccasin telegraph has it Bill Brown, Jr. (a top notch calf roper who rodeoed with the Northwest Ranch Cowboy’s Association throughout Tri-State Country in the 1950’s and ’60’s and, I believe, went on into prorodeo) recently slipped on the ice and broke his hip. He has just been hospitalized and is still undergoing therapy, but is determined to be on hand for his induction. That’s the cowboy way!

The Reunion, which will be capably emceed by Justin Mills and Brent Jordan, promises a great prime rib buffet, quality Western trade show and great dance to the music of Cooper & The Crowd Thinners. “The Big Visit” among old cowboys and cowgirls is touted as the premiere draw of the day. The committee says, “We’re sure many horses will be bucked, raced, broke, roped, sold and bought, cows calved, wheat planted, calves weighed, big deals, little deals, shopping talked about; BLM leases, drought, holidays, and maybe a few suggestions for what should happen in Washington, DC… a GOOD TIME!”

I like the sound of that… somehow it just appeals to me a whole lot more than “CHANGE.”

Lest I begin to sound like a broken record, we’ll move on to other things… like tippin’ our ol’ Tri-State Stetson to Justin Lawrence of Alzada, MT, for conducting a successful Working Cow Horse clinic at the Craig & Jolene Devereaux ranch arena near Newcastle, WY last weekend. A good crowd of participants and observers turned out both days, and all proceeds went to the South Dakota Reined Cow Horse Association to be used for purses in their early September ’09 Futurity and Derby at Rapid City.

Here’s somethin’ else that sounds real good to me – the Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association (WRRA). Formed a decade ago in Kansas, their mission is “to educate while perpetuating the sport of Women’s Ranch Rodeo… to recognize the lifestyles and skills associated with women in the cattle and ranching industries.” Events at all sanctioned rodeos include Sorting, Trailer Loading, Doctoring, Tie-Down (Mugging) and Branding. Along with Kansas cowgirls, the WRRA has members from Missouri, New Mexico, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Membership continues to grow and for the past four years they’ve held a National Finals at the American Royal in Kansas City.

The WRRA already has seven qualifying rodeos scheduled for 2009, plus the Finals. They would like to expand to other states with qualifying rodeos, and they’re also considering incorporating some women’s rough stock competition into their sanctioned events. I’ve been asked to inquire whether there are women in Tri-State Country who’d be interested in joining WRRA and having events in this area. Check out to learn more, and please inform me of your interest by emailing, or phoning (307) 746-2030. Thanks!

That brings us plumb to the frayed end of our ol’ lariat rope once more… good ol’ rope… unCHANGEing.

© 2009 Rhonda Stearns

Email Rhonda at

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