The Great Power of Ignorance

The Great Power of Ignorance

Some claim amazement that any lawyer could achieve national prominence after spending his first seventeen years of practice in the sticks of Wyoming – indeed, in Riverton, Wyoming, population something like five or six thousand people.  But the key to whatever success I now enjoy after nearly sixty years of practice is ignorance.

Ah, the power of ignorance!

I remember believing that if I could start a practice on my own and handle enough divorces at $150 and farm leases at $5.00 that someday I could own a small piece of land, build a modest home, and maybe even be elected to the legislature of Wyoming.

No one told me how powerless a young, inexperienced lawyer was supposed to be.  I didn’t know that big corporations, especially insurance companies, were supposed to be unbeatable.  I thought I could accomplish any goal.  My ambitions, as provincial as they were, were thankfully protected by ignorance.

I didn’t know you had to be a graduate of Yale or Harvard or Michigan or some other great university to have a shot at becoming a successful lawyer.  I didn’t even know where Yale or Harvard was.  Princeton was back East somewhere.  But where I couldn’t say.

I took on cases and attacked my opponents in court like a wild Comanche armed with only a bow and arrow.  I didn’t know you had to belong to certain clubs and golf with the bankers to get cases and to amount to something.  No one told me who to be like, because there were no great role models in Wyoming.  I thought lawyers were supposed to fight for their clients.  I thought judges were fair and honest.  I believed in the system – that there was justice for all out there if you wanted it bad enough and went after it.

I never had to make deals with the power structure because I didn’t understand their power.  They were afraid of me, because I was ignorant of their power, and powered with an innocent appreciation of my own.  No one is more powerful than the kid in the trenches who has no understanding of pain or death.  That’s why we send young men to war.

I remember the old boy from our largest city, the preeminent insurance lawyer in Wyoming, and, of course, Wyoming’s representative to the American Bar Association.  He wanted us to give twenty-five dollars each to help the national bar establish an advertising program for lawyers – to give us a better image he said.  That was nearly sixty years ago.  I got up in the county meeting of about five lawyers and ignorantly asked, “If we want to be seen better, why don’t we do better?”  That was real ignorance.

My opponents always thought I was brave.  But I was ignorant of the consequences of losing.  I won because I was innocent – a better word.  But if one is ignorant of what They can do to one, one has an indomitable power over them.  Their greatest power against the people, yes, against those who fight for the people, is Fear.  Fear is the controlling power of every society.  It is the foundation of religion.  You had better conform, you had better give away whatever power you have, or bad things will happen to you.   But I didn’t understand that rule.

I am put in mind of my nephew when he was about twelve and playing Little League baseball.  It was the last inning in the championship game – his team was two down, the other team was ahead by three, and when my nephew stepped up to bat the bases were loaded.  He hit a homer and won the game.  I said, “I bet you were afraid, weren’t you?  The whole game rested in your hands.”

“No,” he said.  “They were in trouble.”

The power of ignorance frees one of fear, frees one to rely on one’s native talents undiluted by the message of the power structure that one is a meaningless digit who can become successful only if one submits and follows the dictates of power.

I like to tell lawyers, and any others who will listen, that they are perfect – and their perfection is powerful.  We are each unique.  No one lives or has ever lived or will live in the future who is exactly like me, or like you.  This means one cannot be compared, because there is no one to compare one to.

But we have been educated otherwise.  We have been convinced from an early age that we are lacking in some way.  We are not as bright as our brother, or sister.  We are told by our teachers that we are not as talented as the others in the class so we are given lower marks.  But always, the greats of the species have somehow been ultimately saved from the debilitating judgments of others.

The lawyer I fear most is the young advocate, man or woman, who does not know that I am a more accomplished lawyer.  I fear an opponent who is protected by ignorance and who, therefore, is free to beat me.  I am afraid of those kind because of the great power of their ignorance that protects them and unleashes their own indomitable power.

Ah, the power of ignorance!


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61 responses to “The Great Power of Ignorance

  1. My mom, in her wisdom, used to say ignorance is bliss.

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only “ignorant” lawyer trying to help injured people. Gerry, as I mentioned in my letter to you last year, you have been and continue to be a wonderful inspiration to all of us. The exciting part about life is teaching our children these important lessons. Have a fantastic day! Mitch

  3. Thank you, Gerry, just for being you. I cling onto every word you say -
    your wisdom is beyond comprehension. May God Bless You Always!!

  4. Dear Mr. Spence,

    I need Joshua Karton’s help. He knows me as “Pepper” from UC Berkeley in 1968-73. Do you have his contact information, or perhaps you could forward this missive to Josh? katesmith2@earthlink.net

    I am an Education Reform Activist, affiliated with the International Center for Educational Leadership and Social Change, exposing deep-seated and wide-spread school and government corruption in Santa Barbara County.

    I am a Whistleblower; retaliation is severe and rampant. SB COE Bill Cirone and His Cronies and the “Good Ole Boys’” Education-Politico-Industrial Complex (EPIC) created the nation’s School-to-Prison Pipeline (googleable) with the help of DA Tom Sneddon, (Michael Jackson’s persecutor).

    I am Speaking Truth to Power at the Public Podium (Board of Supervisors, City Council, Board of Education) and need help defending myself against the EPIC.

    I have a sequentially-designed series of Small Claims Court proceedings and need help of all kinds big time.

    Sincerely,

    Kate Smith, aka k8longstory

    http://www.sbschooltalk.ning.com

  5. Gerry,

    I hope you are telling me to be a “Donna” Quixote and go tilt at the windmill called the Great American Life Insurance Company. If I am ignorant enough, then I should have no fear of these people, and no knowledge of failure. At the end of my journey, I have every expectation that I will have achieved my goal and gotten my elderly cousin’s insurance reinstated. I also have a fantastic imagination. I can imagine that you wrote this blog just for me.

    Since I really am ignorant, should I let it bother me that she signed an arbitration clause?

    Mary

    P.S. I don’t agree with that Horse Whisperer fellow that you are beginning to sound like an old fool. I adore you!

  6. Thank you for another great and inspiring post!

  7. This is why the world will always be changed by the young’uns. Thank God for that.

  8. Oh how right you are.

    I’m glad you wrote about this (I was just thinking about fear the other day), because it’s one thing to already know it, but its another to actually hear it from someone you admire.

    Yes, I do know the limiting affects of FEAR – all too well. It apprehends my soul. It limits my capabilities and accomplishments, when I let it.

    Yet, ignorance can be a curse as well – that is, if one is not only ignorant but incapable as well. To go through life thinking you can accomplish anything but realize you aren’t really that special. Unique? Yes, as you say, but when everyone is unique, how unique is one really? Ah…well, you know where I’m going with this.

    But, enough of the pessimism from this young man.

    Ignorance has at times been a blessing in my life. I just need to harness more of its power, more often.

    And if I fail, hopefully I shall remain ignorant.

  9. Mr. Spence, I have been following your blog for a while now and what great timing to come across this entry today. I just took the Bar exam this past summer and tomorrow will be the first day of work for me. I was feeling very anxious, but reading this entry made me feel empowered. Thanks for being such an inspiration and paving the way.

    • Good luck Jennie. Speaking of ignorance, your advocates will likely always be ignorant of the power of the honesty of a beginning lawyer who loves her client. Credibility is the most insurmountable power in the courtroom. Hope you are fighting for the rights of people against the monsters — big corporations — big money and government.

      Wish you the best.
      Gerry

    • Good luck on your bar exam.
      I wish I had the mind of a lawyer,
      unfortunely I am too ignorant.
      Vince

  10. The Making of a Country Lawyer is one of my favorites among your books. I’ve lived in Wyoming all my life, except for going “back east” to school a couple of years. There is no place like it on earth. For me it is the center of the earth. All things must pass, but the earth and sky are forever. Long may we run with the wind in our hair.

  11. “…meaningless digit ” I love it! Up till now, I usually referred to myself as a “mindless cog” in an evil machine, powered by profit and endlessly grinding away the human soul, but I think I like “meaningless digit ” even more!

    Before, I had always thought that I needed more knowledge and education, especially when I failed (Daily) – when what I really needed was to be more ignorant! This blog post does explain much, especially how the beautiful, bubble headed women I used to date could skate through life carefree without a single problem, setback or disaster. Meanwhile, I muddled, stumbled, contemplated and life went downhill like an out of control boulder shoved off a cliff anyway. I was too smart for my own good. Now I just wish I could have been ignorant.

  12. As we begin to prepare for the New Year (5771 on the Jewish Calendar), what wonderful words and encouragement to embrace and walk one’s own path! This year we will pray for “ignorance” and celebrate “innocence” l’kovid Gerry Spence.

    Wishing you abundant health and an easy winter, Mr. Spence.

    Yosif and Tovli

  13. Put another way from another time: “When a little learning is dangerous, ignorance is bliss”

  14. Yes, Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Fear always springs from ignorance” – but that simply backs up Gerry’s common sense rationale re: religions, etc.
    Right?

  15. So very well written! I am of the same camp. Grew up in the country, as ignorant as I could be about many of the things you address in your piece. Still fighting the battle too. Thank God I grew up poor, in the country, with similar aspirations as you. You say it so well. Ah, ingorance is agreat thing.

  16. This fellow had quite a sense of humor, too………….

    “If I cannot brag of knowing something, then I brag of not knowing it, at any rate, brag.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  17. Jerry, I love your words and your wisdom! I’m a middle aged (50) lawyer who is young in experience (15 Years), so I have the white hair and ignorance!

  18. FACT OR FICTION
    I love the simplicity of the process you bring to mind. The singularity of knowledge. It is either fact or fiction. It is or it is not. Knowing is the most valuable asset an individual without an organization shall keep in mind in the turmoil of misunderstanding in a crowded gathering.
    Fear creates a loss of natural power.
    A Texas State Bar licensed attorney has the convenience of the group.
    I, speaking from a great deal of expeience, have no such support.

    But, when I speak for myself, the sitting justice(s) seem to comprehend the *lack of fear.

    David Getman d/b/a Structural Concrete Limited
    God d/b/a Adam and Eve
    City of Houston, (coventure)
    Harris County, Texas (coventure)
    * at ease: 5 feet and 8 inches (tall) with sport shoes

  19. Gerry,
    You may have felt you were ignorant to the powerful, but you have taught us innumerable lessons which we will use for many, many years to come to defeat them.

    Scott

  20. Ignorant Lawyer sounds a heck of a lot better than Ignorant Politician. Ironic is it that many a politician’s roots are in the legal profession. There’s still time to run for office Gerry!

    • Skeeter:

      I told my son today that I might run for the US Senate on the platform that since we can’t pass term limits, Mother Nature will take care of that for an 80-year-old plus senator. But I would hate to die in Washington D.C. Seems like that might be an introduction to hell, and I may have already earned one.

      Gerry

  21. Well THAT finally explains it for me! I always wondered why other attorneys worried so much about who came from where and had done what. Now I know I am simply ignorant… and damn proud of it!!

  22. A woman who was a baby sitter for me when I was very young came to visit me in Jackson Hole one summer. I asked , “Was I obnoxious as a child?” She looked at me thoughtfully and said, “No, you were a very determined child.”
    I believe determination is power.
    I am doing a pro-se lawsuit to protect my constitutional property rights. I am doing this for myself but also for others who come after me who may be hurt by the arragant malice of weak men who hide under the skirts of their mother state. The rights contained in the US Constitution shortens the skirts of all states and provides individuals with basic rights and protection. Sometimes you have to search diligently for this protection but what I have found to be most important is to” NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP,
    NEVER GIVE UP.”

  23. But what good would your ignorance have been without all those endless nights worrying and pacing the floor in preparation?

    Ignorance by itself is not bliss.

  24. Gerry, You’d have my vote if I lived in Wyoming. And while Washington D.C. is a long way from the hills of Wyoming, it sure beats being shackled to a waterboard in Guantanamo Bay.

  25. My husband Richard was a MOST credible lawyer, as ofcourse we BOTH have that attribute.

  26. To John Gouldman: Yes, there has to be something to ignore. I suppose it depends on what one is ignoring. Ignore-ance of a chattering mind seems voluptuously blissful.

    • To Nancy: What can I say? I’m young and ignorant. ;) But , I could probably rephrase my previous comment………ignorance is all dandy as long as you aren’t ignorant of effort and hard work that life sometimes requires…..which surely the author of this blog is not….he said it so himself in one of his books..paraphrasing…”the key to my success has been in my long nights preparing while the other guy was sleeping”

      And not to get off topic but I like how someone mentioned Emerson earlier…..because I like to think of my growing ignorance as relying less and less on other peoples influence and more so on my own…..ignorance is self-reliance. Reliance on our own capable minds while forgetting the restraints of the world….it can be a beautiful thing.

  27. A very inspiring post.

  28. Gerry, I spent a lovely afternoon at your house interviewing you and your wife for a Santa Barbara Magazine article. I thought of you this morning as details of the gas explosion in San Bruno started emerging. I so wish you could fly out there and defend the victims from the obscene power of the oil and gas industry. By the way, I live in New Orleans now. I hope you’ve trained a whole gaggle of lawyers who can follow in your footsteps! We need that.

  29. I’ve had a lot of these messages, posted to my email account, I think this is the first one I’ve opened. Didn’t really know what to expect. My initial reasoning for seeing you blog, I guess that’s what this is, I’m not computer literate enough to know all the terms. I’m also not schooled enough to write well so if you want to dispose of this, I get a lot of criticism in talking to people on the internet, against my spelling, punctuation etc. Am 66 years old, and am in awe that you are still around active at 80 years old.
    Read three of your books many years ago, and couldn’t put them down. Bought your “How to Win an Argument Every Time” in hard back several years ago, couldn’t quite get interested, started many times, and almost finished last fall, as I was contemplating a Pro Se law suit against the State of Kansas over Deer. Know you are an animal lover, I can be too, but when I pay taxes, on my land, it’s mine. Now I know there are wild animals, but when the State artificially increases numbers to where they are using taxpayer land to run a business for profit, then they are in conflict with the ’4TH admendment to the constitution, not the testifying against oneself, but the last part i.e. nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
    When they are a business run by the State they become a ward of the State, and the aforemention should apply. Probably one of the reasons I had a hard time with reading you arguments book, was I read a book “Fatal Shores” by Rober Hughes on the founding of Australia, there were a lot of poachers sent there, to serve their time. If you read the book, it is a horror story, have had trouble reading books ever since. But they were already in the process of cuting the numbers, and they took me serious enough I think that all that was left was two small fawns. I had thought of putting anti-freeze down in the corner of my property, I’m a gardener with nothing but disability and a small check for the one 15 year old child I have at home. I went two years with nothing produced, think it was lymes disease or some other deer borne tick affliction. Doctor wouldn’t do anything so finally I went to Tractor Supply got a bottle of Penicillin and one of Aureomycin, big huge bottles, took 4 cc a day of each when they ran out didn’t feel much better, but I kept getting better, and am back to normal, might have been some kind of a depression but don’t think so, Never had anything like it, 24 hours a day, just couldn’t stand to be here, for no good reason, Well garden was in had a few deer around at the beginning, but had already given up the idea of a lawsuit since fence was working with smaller number of deer, and wife was giving me ‘ell. Two oldest son’s bought me a 2008 saab for father’s day. Well they’re well off they can afford it, at least I don’t have to go pick up there brother after practice, with a cheering section car, rattle rattle , boom boom boom 1998 ford taurus(he’s the star of the team don’t look good with the girls) , My son’s said it was for teaching them that they didn’t have to work for anyone else to make a living. I told them, also hope you learned to not to be as poor a business man as I was. Did raise 5 before the roof fell in and working hard with this one left at home. Now I already told about some of my ignorance in business, but when raising my kids, I remember buying a pony called fancy for my oldest, put him on and was going to make a cowboy out of him, well the dang pony took off like a bat out of somewhere, and the saddle turned over(found out the pony blew his belly up when I cinched the saddle) and my son ended up with a cut off branch in a pear tree abrasion. End of fancy hope who bought her was less ignorant, but I was a little more carefull after that. Sorry about the Arguments book, but the other three I couldn’t lay down. Thanks and you are a very interesting man.

  30. youre normal mr spence

    your heart is normal and so is your mind

    if deep down inside these are your true feelings you are one of a kind and thats what made you special to tens of thousands if not millions of people

    Because people felt your truth through your words and body language

    A person born and raised down in the country is different than one born and raised in the city

    On most occasions
    of course theres exceptions to the rule

    But you have no reason to look for explanation, which is what you are looking for

    Just accept things as they were and what they should be

    But we cant win them all
    We cant get them all to accept and understand and take initiative, etc
    We sure as hell can’t get the pig government to change everything to what it should be
    But the thrill of the hunt is so grand
    Especially when you conquered the impossible

    You were a general in a foreign war
    You took a route that was unknown or not common in the environment and you conquered

    Every general of every force did the same thing

    General Schwartzkopf didnt know what the hell he was doing and its stated too
    But he took a chance and snuck behind the enemy and won by element of surprise in the war

    Applause is a receipt, not a bill.
    Dale Carnegie

  31. It’s nice being reminded of those long gone days of ignorant bliss. Having just “celebrated” my 30th year of practice, all as a public defender, I bear the burden of knowing the system in which I toil and the powers that be. (I recalled my dear old dad’s opinion that “A man can get used to hangin’ if he does it long enough!”.) It’s no less fun understanding who and what it is we face and beating them at their own game…

  32. Mr. Spence, my husband, Ron Wingate, attended one of your seminars at your home about three years ago. He went out there a brilliant but jaded lawyer. He came home with a spark in his eyes and a passion for the law that I hadn’t seen in him in quite some time. I thank you for that. He so loved your beautiful state of Wyoming that our family vacationed in Jackson Hole this summer for two weeks. It was amazing. I started reading your blog while we were out there. Your words of inspiration touch not only lawyers, Mr. Spence. They touch those of us who love them. Thank you.

  33. Ah that age of innocence, that place where your world was full of wonder and life was just starting and everything good was possible and you had no clue what the world was really like? That ignorance? The one where all you can think of is to learn more and find out why and become experienced and enlightened and no longer be ignorant? I remember it and I was hoping somehow as I age and grow older and somehow wiser that it was just a pessimistic phase I was going through on my was to maturation and that once again I would believe that people are basically good and that justice does prevail eventually. Maybe that is what senility really is…..

  34. I know nothing about lawyers, just you and your books I cherish.Innocent or ignorant? Did David when he threw the rock at the giant know? Your grandson said, “They needed me”, as did the town David protected, as you have done. With grace. Boston Legal rerun mentioned you and how you won your cases by telling stories. I hope the History Channel has those tapes for our future lawyers. Write more when you can. Randa

  35. Wow! This was amazing. I am going to read this tonight to my kids before I tuck them into bed! Keep writing as long as you can Gerry.

  36. Not sure I accept you as ignorant. Amazing, fearless at times and generous to a fault, I see all that. And open to the possibility of ignorance but just do not feel it in you or see it in your eyes.
    I enjoyed the boating you tube above. Glad you let it post. Fun laugh. Was just checking in to see what news you have written about. See you in Oct.

  37. I posted this under the article on the new coporate slaves, but it might not be seen there, as everyone has moved on. This is an S.O.S for Wyoming’s American Mustangs:

    The corporate robber barons are taking our public lands and they are using the Department of the Interior to do it. Our public lands are rich with minerals and natural resources. Wyoming will lose one its most precious natural gifts, the American Mustang, unless the people take a stand–a STRONG STAND to stand up for these federally protected animals. The BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT intends to start the round-up of these magnificent animals tomorrow, October 1, over the protests of the American people. The following is an excerpt and video from Carol Walker’s blog, Wild Hoofbeats:
    On Monday, I had the honor of delivering to the BLM in Rock Springs 3516 comments from people all over the country on the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek roundup.
    This is the herd, Adobe Town, that I have followed for 7 years and wrote about in my book, Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses.
    How did this come about? This is a good question. For the first time, the BLM refused to accept comments from the public on a proposed roundup EXCEPT by mail or hand delivery. No emailed or faxed comments were allowed – the thinking on the part of the BLM was to prevent being “bombarded” by “frivolous” comments. Comments by the way, that are from the public that pays their salaries. The letters were from supporters of the Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and its coalition partner, In Defense of Animals. Both organizations decided that they wanted to do something and allow the public to have their say about the upcoming roundup of 2000 wild horses and the removal of almost 1600 from their 1.5 million acres home in the Red Desert.
    When they contacted me, I told them I would be glad to help, and deliver the letters to the Rock Springs BLM office on the last date comments were to be

    Here is a slideshow set to music of the horses in this area from my book Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses:

  38. THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO WYOMING’S ADOBE TOWN WILD HORSES BECAUSE OF THE BLM/DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR ROUND-UP. IT IS A TRAVESTY AND AN ALL OUT ASSAULT ON OUR WILDLIFE AND OUR PUBLIC LANDS

    Carol Walker About 8 horses ran straight up a very steep cliff on a rock formation. A chestnut stallion fell down then got up legs splayed afraid to move. we all held our breath until they finally ran down the back side. then they went into the trap.c

    Carol Walker Just brought in 21 horses. a white stallion wheeled around at the entrance to the jute run to the trap and escaped over the hill at least for the moment
    Carol Walker Legal action taken to insure public access to roundups:http://www.thedesertinde.com/Articles%202010/Legal-Action-Taken-Ensure-Public–1010.html
    Carol Walker Just witnessed a very touching interaction between a beautiful defiant red roan stallion and his family. His palomino pinto mare and foal had a hard time keeping up and he kept stopping and looking back and waiting despite the terrifying helicopter behind him.
    Carol Walker Adobe Town roundup won’t let us closer than 1 mile to the trap which we cannot see.

    Carol Walker At observation site for Adobe Town roundup 1/2 mile from the trap and cannot even see the trap from here. I have NEVER been placed this far away. we are waiting for the helicopter to start.

  39. To: Gerry Spence – Have you heard about the crazyness that is going on in New Hampshire. The situation there is shaping up to become a major history making case that will affect gun owners and anybody that has any kind of political view that our government officials do not approve of. A young couple in New Hampshire (Johnathon Irish and Stephanie Janvrin) had their newborn baby taken away from them at the hospital because he,Irish,is a gun owner and he sent one e- mail to a political group that the gov’t says is a militia and a terrorist group which is a total lie on the part of the gov’t. For more details go to the website “prisonplante.com” Go to the headline “Up date in New Hampshire.” I have never met you but I read your biography and I would love to see you get interested in this matter. Thank You-Marcus

  40. There does appear to be one HUGE exception to the Great Power of Ignorance – generically speaking.

    Considering that high numbers of EMPLOYERS have recently stated that they CANNOT find employees to hire who have upgraded their skills (the new 1 person-does-2-or-3-jobs-now, as differentiated from the past)………

    yet we have 500 million people wasting their time day and night talking about themselves ad nauseum on Facebook – that HAS to be ignorance that will end in long term unemployment for the masses and therefore NO POWER for themselves.

  41. Destruction of Largest Wyoming Wild Horse Herd Underway Despite Public Outcry
    Press Release from The Cloud Foundation
    Wild horse mare dies in costly and unnecessary roundup

    Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Hoofbeats
    Rock Springs, WY (October 12, 2010)—Amid nationwide protests, today 122 more healthy wild horses were rounded up by helicopter in the Adobe Town/Salt Wells Wild Horse Herd Management Area Complex. The current three-day roundup total is 320, not including one mare who died on the run yesterday. The National Academy of Sciences will begin it’s Congressionally-requested investigation of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse and burro program in 2011 but it will too late for the Red Desert herds without an immediate moratorium on roundups.
    This removal is estimated to cost at least $3.5 million in taxpayer dollars and will leave the celebrated Adobe Town/Salt Wells Wild Horse Range—already populated with oil and gas wells—nearly devoid of mustangs. Some 40,000 cattle per year are allocated to graze on the 1.5 million acres Complex as well, leaving little room for wild horses according to BLM’s multiple-use interpretation. The BLM plans to continue their operation for six weeks in order to roundup 1950 horses, removing 1580 of them permanently from the Complex. The majority of horses removed will be shipped to the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City which doubles as a holding facility for thousands of captured mustangs.
    Carol Walker, author/photographer of Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses, has been documenting the mustangs of Wyoming’s Red Desert for seven years. “I am witnessing the end of the wild West here as family after family of wild horses are driven into the trap, the majority of which will never return. These are magnificent animals who deserve to live their lives in freedom with their families. They should not be stockpiled with the more than 40,000 wild horses and burros now in government holding.”
    According to the National Wildlife Federation, Wyoming’s Red Desert is one of the last high-desert ecosystems in North America with varied landscapes, including the sagebrush steppe. In addition to pronghorn, mountain lion, desert elk, pygmy rabbits, greater sage grouse, black-footed ferrets and golden eagles, reside Wyoming’s last great herd of wild horses. These mustangs trace back to the horses of the Spanish conquest and before that to their almost genetically-identical ancestors who died out in North America some 7,000 years ago.
    BLM expects to leave no more than 861 wild horses (3,000 acres per horse) on the range that will include 100 mares treated with an experimental two-year infertility drug, PZP-22. Going against their Environmental Assessment, BLM will manipulate the sex ratios to nearly 67% male: 33% female by releasing 274 stallions and only 100 mares. These numbers exceed the publicized 60% male to 40% female ratio.
    “Skewing the sex ratio to this extent and returning 100 drugged mares who will cycle monthly is a recipe for social disaster” explains Cloud Foundation Director Ginger Kathrens, who has spent more than 16 years observing and documenting wild horse behavior across the West. “BLM is in the business of removal and destruction, not management.”
    BLM has set up an observation site for the public and media on an oil and gas pad more than one mile from the partially visible trap site. The Foundation encourages members of the public to witness this roundups, updates on trap location and observing the roundup can be found on the BLM website.
    Makendra Silverman, on site for The Cloud Foundation reports: “The noise of the chopper fills the air before you see a cloud of dust and running mustangs. I watched some of the last wild horses swept off our public lands with a backdrop of oil and gas wells—this absolutely must stop.”
    Concurrently BLM contractors are rounding up wild horses in Colorado’s North Piceance Herd Area, despite a lawsuit filed by the Habitat for Horses Advisory Council, the ASPCA and The Cloud Foundation last week. Eyewitnesses today say a mare and her baby tried to escape but the mare was roped and dragged into a trailer. The condition of the mare has not yet been disclosed.
    1. One Brave Stallion in the Adobe Town Round up
    http://www.jessleephotos.com/blog/2010/10/12/one-brave-stallion/

  42. Two exceptions it appears.
    The second one is it must be ignorant to say what you really think (credibility?) about ignorance.

    Lesson learned the hard way……..

  43. I is one ignorant, backwoods, rednecked MFer. My ignorance has not prevented me from losing my last three jury trials this year….including a 1983 were the cops tased my client for a minute and a half. They got away with that one, but I am too ignorant to back down from the armed jackbooted gov’t thugs or the insurance corporate zombie droid class. Time to get ready for the next fight! I got 30+ years of fighting left and a few punches to the gut and nose is not going to slow my stupid ass down.

    As my man Ice Cube once said:
    “Your scared of the government? They’re scared of me!”

  44. Here is another spectacular video. These precious herds of our American Mustangs will be lost forever if the Department of the Interior is allowed to continue on its current path of decimation and destruction:

    STALLION AND THE FOAL

  45. There was a happy ending for this foal, as it was united with its mother.
    That hasn’t been the case in many of the Bureau of Land Management round-ups in which foals have been injured and killed as they cannot withstand being driven for miles by helicoper. They often are separated from their mothers and the herd as they cannot keep up. They are either left orphaned on the range or are so badly injured that they do not survive.

  46. I hear overwhelm in your voice Gerry.

  47. Missed an book signing event as my best partner and I anticipated coffee. Pinned anote to you and lost it.

    Looking forward to good work, goals that are shared, and a retirement cabin.

    Your friends anticipating the summer of life as the poets call aging

  48. Laura Leigh is a freelance artist, journalist, and videographer. This is the account of one of her experiences as she has followed the BLM round-ups of our Wild Mustangs from our Public Lands and tried to gather documentation:

    I have spent literally thousands of hours on the road trying to document the hands-on care of America’s National Treasure, the wild horse by the agency tasked by Congress to manage these beings “humanely.”
    My travels have included documenting wild horses on the range, at roundups and holding facilities.
    I do this work because I am passionate about the subject. These animals speak to my soul. The convoluted process that has them literally trapped both fascinates and disgusts me.
    When I am at roundups, or facilities that house our horses, I may express my opinions but I am never “out-of-line.” I obey rules, no matter how ridiculous.
    At the Silver King roundup I was “grabbed” hard by a beautiful Albino stallion. His gaze was riveting. When he shipped we followed him from Pioche, Nevada all the way to Gunnison Prison in Utah.
    As I inquired about his adoption, to go to sanctuary with some of the others, I exchanged emails with a woman I met once.
    Dona Bastian runs the BLM facility at Gunnison.
    In the course of her emails to me she told me I had to make sure to tell them when I was coming to pick up the stallion. She informed me that they needed to notify SWAT.
    I’m not kidding.
    Here is the email:
    I need a application for adoption and also payment before the animals are
    picked up. Do you have an approved adoption application? I know you said
    you was working on it with John Neil. Also, the pickup is by appointment
    only. We have to have a clearance, and also SWAT notified in advance.
    Let me know!
    Thanks,
    ~* Dona *~
    Dona A. Bastian
    Wildhorse & Burro Specialist
    Gunnison Prison Facility Manager
    Utah State Office
    To view entire article go to:
    http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/4708

  49. Continued saga of PEOPLE SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER:
    HOUSTON, (Horseback) – When Laura Leigh, an author, artist, journalist, and litigant chased the BLM into the desert to observe wild horse capture after a federal judge told her she could do so, she wasn’t allowed to see horses – but she did see water.
    Judge Larry Hicks lifted his temporary injunction and permitted the federal Bureau of Land Management to capture horses in the fierce July desert heat of Nevada. As in previous death chases, the result was predictable. Horses dropped after being relentlessly stampeded by a roaring helicopter owned by BLM contractor, Cattoor Livestock Roundups out of Nephi, Utah. The federal agency had lied to the judge, telling him that death by thirst was imminent if they weren’t removed.
    Art and Horses (Laura Leigh’s Blog)
    First Episode in “How Many government employees does it take to stop three women in the desert from seeing a single wild horse gathered in Owyhee?

    Second Episode:

  50. I was once on the other side of this and learned a powerful lesson. It was very painful. I was beaten by a man who didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to beat me. His ignorance of the “fact” scared me. I worked harder and he worked harder. He beat me, then I beat him and he beat me. I was crushed. The truth is, many years later, that he simply wouldn’t be beat – he simply did not believe in pedigree, experience, etc. His energy is one I have rarely seen since. It was unstoppable and unrelenting. He simply broke me.

    A person with an unshakeable belief combined with a relentless work ethic cannot be beaten.

  51. Lorraine Joiner

    As a battle-worn, walking wounded elder citizen of the United States, I submit my humble opinion of what I, as a solitary human being plan to achieve in these last days of a life-time of slavery, execpt when I was a
    little kid.

    One thing I will not do is commit Treason. In my humble opinion , Treason is committed when we do not support our country and it’s leaders in time of war. We are not committed to 3 wars. I will pay my fair share of taxes and
    support my country and it’s leaders to the best of my ability. I will also
    protect and defend the constitution to the best of my ability against enemies of our country both foreign and domestic. I do not have an attorney and cannot afford one.

    1. You asked how to lawfully confront and over-come the slave-master which in your opinion is corporations, and to provide liberty and justice for all as promised in our constitution.

    2. Corporations are founded and created by human beings and as a creation by inspired human beings, can be used for good or evil involved in their
    perpetuation.

    3. Corporate lawyers are the only ones that can answer your questions and save the world and human-kind. But then, you already knew that and you
    want to test your students, fans, peers, admirers, and colleagues on their wits and if any remain.

    4.You are also aware that the First Lady, Michelle O’Bama is a corporate lawyer working without pay to her slave-master, the President, just as Hillary Clinton, also a brilliant lawyer worked without pay for her slave-master, President Clinton.

    5. These two examples of slaves and their slave-masters are not recognized nor appreciated for their volunteer work and love for their county and family. If the citizens of this country would read her and other great leaders biographies, shame for attacks on her would be in order. Hillary Clinton, in my humble opinion, deserves to be the first woman to earn the
    Medal of Honor.

    6. So what is the point of wallowing in history repeating itself, and great leaders of our nation using their education, skills, life-force, blood, sweat and tears to slave for a nation of a majority of unworthy and ungrateful citizens who do not appreciate nor recognize their achievements for the betterment and survival of our county and a way of life of unknown comfort and job to the majority of the world?

    7. Without Presidents and their wirves, I would not have my social secutity check to live on each month nor any other benefits I have earned.

    8. Without First Ladies, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush, I would not have had the opportuntity to go to a free library and afford to read about their lives and experiences and that of other great citizens of our nation. By reading
    their biographies, I learned how their minds work and what great sacrifices
    they made to become educated, including yours and your books , nor would I have the opportunity to answer your questions with the free use of a library computer which I am now answering because all of my computers have been illegally seized, stolen, damaged, along with everything else I have worked a lifetime to achieve to add comfort to my old age and retirement.

    9. Without corporations, John McCain’s wife, Cindy could not provide Budweizer Beer to a drunken, foot-ball crazed nation and others. We would not have been able to be educated from Oprah! Nor be aware of her good works and deeds for our country and the world, and the list goes on.

    10. President George W. Bush was educated as an Economist, his wife, Laura, a Librarian. Does anyone underestimate their understanding of an ungrateful nation as we are not witnessing the same modis operendi of President O’Bama —only worse.

    10. So, what is the answer for me? I think War is the answer. War makdes a young man or woman old and an old woman or man young. Give any human being something worthy to fight for and they will.

    Organized religion has been the biggie since the beginning of recorded history, second only to the competition of ancestery of human beings, each thinking they are somehow superior, and in truth, they are depending on
    their survival education.

    Us who will survive, know the truth. History repeats itself over the eons.
    Nothing is new, all is just a repeated performance of each generation of human beings compounding worse behavior until God has had enought and ends the world as we know it to begin anew elsewhere, or where it all started, with a different set of chosen ones to lead who survived the last destruction of the earth’s world. Ususally Native American Indians and Mexicans. They really know how to roll with the punches, wherein, blacks just grit their teeth and stare down their masters. Whites and Yellows go crazy and are easy prey, no gamemanship or blood-sport with them. They are too easy, and thought to be dull and stupid.

    11. Knowing this small bit of wisdom, those who choose death to the end, because we have no choice or options, —-so be it. Those that have nothing left to lose except their limited last breaths plan a going away party with the last rules of their civilized life as their party theme. (and yes, you are invited in case I get arrested again).
    Party Theme:
    1. Rule #1- Hospitality
    2. Rule#2- Shelter or Asylum
    3. Rule #3- Justice and Revenge

    12. Some things never change, they just retreat to a cave of their own making for a long, long time, to think about things and then, with proper timing, resurface to reappear when most inco nvienient, but needed, to lead
    the few believers left, how to really party, and to lead them into hell and back an Audie Murphy movie – and my mother loved Audie Murphy.

    county

    6. S

  52. Elmo is sad that Lorraine thinks “War is the answer” – unless it is the very LAST one ever.

    The people who suffer the most heinously from wars are the youngest and most innocent, babies and children.

  53. What can I say but amen.

    I fight or should I say challenge economists world wide to a fight to stand up and speak the truth for the peoples sake and they all ignore me because I am not one of the insiders.

    Hell, I didn’t even know there was a club and at this stage of the game, I’m not interested in being a member as I’m fighting for my survival via Keep America At Work

    Have to give you credit, a reader sent me a link to one of your articles and your blog is the only one I’ve ever been interested in reading each article.

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