Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tangible v. Intangible

Tangible v. Intangible: Knowledge July 30, 2014 By Julie Kay Smithson Some things are tangible, and the advertising industry knows only too well that visual and audio stimulation entices people to buy billions of dollars' worth of tangibles each year. Other things are intangible, and as such, require much more creativity to market. Knowledge, for example, is often something you can acquire, but cannot actually wrap your fingers around, like a ripe peach or juicy burger. Knowledge is what guides you in life. It is at your beck and call, in your brain, there to assist you in countless ways. Once upon a time, my workdays were spent doing something tangible: I was holding a steering wheel and piloting a semi-truck, pulling two trailers down the road behind me, on my way from origin to destination. The intangible part was the knowledge that enabled me to do that safely for twenty-seven years and 3.1 million miles. Now I pilot a computer keyboard and a plethora of printed books, tangibly researching property rights and natural resources issues for an average of seventy hours a week, every week. The intangible part is the knowledge my work shares with subscribers to my efforts. This knowledge is sent via email, and is like a mixed box of chocolates in its subject matter: water, farming/ranching, property rights, conservation easements, litigation, access, roadless, innovations, and much more. The fruits of my labors are shared with people that not only appreciate my efforts, but are also keenly aware of their worth when transferred into their own brains. Hosea 4:6 clearly states: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Living requires enough tangibles to keep us healthy, hydrated and happy. Being knowledgeable requires enough intangibles to make a well-rounded life possible. Donating to my efforts is a tangible that helps you maintain the life you enjoy. Its your brain and your life. Both need tangible and intangible food. Thank you for considering the possibilities that will be opened to you by subscribing! A dollar a day can help you live so much better! Julie Kay Smithson, property rights and natural resources subscriber 213 Thorn Locust Lane London, Ohio (OH) 43140

Tuesday, July 30, 2013



July 30, 2013

By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights / natural resources researcher

Poster Species. Most of us have heard of one or more of them at some time in the past decade or two. From the "northern spotted owl" to the "Arkansas River Shiner" -- and from the "Preble's Meadow jumping mouse" to the "Indiana bat -- private property owners nationwide have been blitzed by a bewildering array of "endangered," "threatened," "candidate," "keystone," and a plethora of other descriptions employed to make us feel as though, in some mysterious way, we 'humans' have been responsible for the 'precipitous decline' of a vast array of 'species' of plants and animals. The operative word is 'feel' -- the actual facts almost always differ almost 180 degrees from the publicized 'need' to 'save' whatever, wherever, whenever -- and our intellect has been largely paralyzed by mere words, shuffled into what often amounts to total deception, until we come to 'feel' that we are somehow guilty of 'snuffing out' thousands of 'species' of flora and fauna.

Guess what? Most of the 'facts' being trotted out like a Trojan Horse with newly forged shoes, are far from the bedrock basic truth. The truth is that species -- like trees, people and other things -- have a life expectancy.

In order to have "evolution," one must accept the theory that things do not remain static, but rather, that they continue to change, morph, evolve. In other words, there is no frozen moment in time, as we are told to believe -- such as "pre-European settlement" -- when all was nirvana, with no species going extinct for other reasons than at the hand of 'humans.'

People have evolved, too -- look no further than the size of shoes or clothing from a hundred years ago. People were smaller. A better diet, better work environment, and a host of other improvements have yielded quite a bounty. We live longer. Our overall health -- sans our own poor food/drink choices -- has significantly improved. While the mayor of New York City seeks to ban a particular food or drink size, most of us have flourished without his restrictions!

Language deception has long been used to get people to buy things that may be displayed in an eyecatching manner or location, but are not really 'on sale'. "Buy one, get one free" is fifty percent off ... the retail price. Are humans really so bad for 'species' that we must continue to restrict our living/working/traveling until we are free no more?

The "Endangered Species Act" never mentions that people are a species, too, and that we are being removed from "all or part of" our historic range. What to do about all this? Pay attention! Look beyond the touchy-feely words that paralyze our intellect and twang our emotions. What can "The Nature Conservancy" do for land/water that we can't? It can receive gazillions of taxpayer dollars to do what it wants with land and water, including the very things it insists are not being done on private property that it doesn't own or control. It cannot give the personal touch to land/water that a farmer, rancher, homeowner, etc., can and does give.

P.S. - Beware "poster species" that are used to remove private property from people. People are, in fact, good for 'the environment' and all the species within!

Monday, September 10, 2012

IMSATO - In My Studied And Thoughtful Opinion

IMSATO - In My Studied And Thoughtful Opinion

September 10, 2012

By Julie Kay Smithson, researcher

I don't use drugs (including alcohol or tobacco), but recognize that a "War on Drugs" or a "War on Terra" (the way G.W. Bush pronounces "Terror") is profit motivated, with no intention of "winning" an actual war.

There must also have been a "War on Education" and a "War on Common Sense" -- because both were surely lost while shoving gazillions of greenbacks at "studies" to figure out what was wrong, thereby creating vast wealth and power, both of which were unearned.

For those who have tasted Liberty, Freedom has a Flavor that the Protected will never know -- and that's the truth. It means using one's backbone for something functional, not decorative.

In my studied and thoughtful opinion, what is wrong lies in the mistaken belief that "both" political parties sleep in different beds in D.C.

Cher's song, "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves" perfectly described the hooligans that profess to "lead" while selling out the very tenets under which our beloved country was forged.

I am neither conservative nor liberal; I am independent, with a free-thinking mind that is not paralyzed by emotion.

Language deception is the stalking horse of liberty, the kiss of death of our Republic, and a way to bring a country and her people to their knees 'without firing a shot.' For those who have tasted Liberty, Freedom has a Flavor that the Protected will never know -- and that's the truth.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Neighbors, no matter what

Neighbors, no matter what

August 17, 2012

Thanks to the blessing of Facebook, a dear Oregon friend shared one of Stephanie Falck's photos of the 500-ton, 17-semi truck hay donation.

Here in Ohio, thirty years ago, a dear Amish friend -- himself a farmer with Limousin beef cattle -- had a bumper crop of top-notch alfalfa hay. That same summer, farmers in the Carolinas experienced a terrible drought. Jonas shipped a railcar load of hay to those farmers, with the stipulation that the recipients only know it came from "a friend."

This is how neighbors are. It does not matter the distance from their driveway to yours. It might be a half-hour from your kitchen table to theirs, or it could take two or three days' travel to put your feet under their table -- you're still neighbors.

During this summer of drought, wildfires and other trials & tribulations, please know that people all over our great country (and beyond) hold you close in prayer. We are grateful beyond words for the kindness that is inherent in good people to simply do good things. Recognition is not sought. Heroes don't view themselves thusly. Anyone would do it, they say.

God is alive and well in the hearts of such people -- the donors, transporters and recipients of such kindnesses. Let's let that take center stage in our lives and push the 'gristle' to the back of our plates. Good still prevails in the face of adversity!


Julie Kay Smithson is a property rights / natural resources researcher in west-central Ohio's Amish and Mennonite farming country. She lives with Good Boy, a blue heeler who depends on her to be his 'seeing eye person' -- and the sweetest memories of Wiggles Blue Heeler, who was at her side for more than a dozen years of rural living.

Friday, July 6, 2012



July 6, 2012

By Julie Kay Smithson, west-central Ohio

Firefighter or arsonist

It's much more difficult, at first blush, to be a firefighter. After all, these poor souls lug heavy survival packs, work in the front lines of heat that melts plastic and cooks lungs, and fight fires -- even when their own homes, left behind to fight for those homes and businesses of others, burn to the ground. Not so hard to be an arsonist? All that's needed is the siren sound of a fire crackling, the mesmerizing attraction of returning to the fire and watching others put their lives in danger -- or even lose their lives. How easy is that? This is an addiction with no cure. It is something that steals the soul from what appears to be a person. If there's a choice, pick firefighter!

Volunteer or looter

As this is being written, we are in the middle day of the three hottest days of this historic heat wave. Yesterday's record high broke the old record set in 1911. Today and tomorrow will break records. The weather outside is dangerous for me -- I've had four heat strokes in my almost sixty years of life -- so my efforts must needs protect self from illness or worse. However, there is still much that can be done for others! A few phone calls to check on friends ...

Bring relief or undermine hope

Virtually all of us have more in our pantries than we need. Even one can of soup, box of pasta, jar of peanut butter, or jug of water, can mean the difference between a place I've never been -- being hungry or thirsty, with no way to find food or drink -- and hope restored to someone in need of having his/her/their soul healed. What a choice: to be able to make a difference on the positive side by donating something -- your time, extra food, even writing a check to help!

Real patriot or armchair politician

Each morning, each of us awakens. We have a day spread out before us that we can make beautiful with our commitment to making our country stronger with one or more simple actions. Call someone and check on his or her health and well-being. Take a friend without transportation, to an appointment, or buy them a meal. While doing things for others, consider how much our founding fathers -- and their faithful wives -- did for others when they forged this still-great Christian Nation of America: for all of us that followed! Christian or not, it is imperative that all those living in America, respect the Christian Nation that America was founded as and still is, in spite of the actions of some to derail our heritage. Each step we take can be a way to thank God or shun Him -- a choice that's most clear, because not thanking Him, not honoring Him, is shunning Him. Being a real patriot is defending our heritage with our lives -- every day of our lives!

Copyright 2012, PropertyRightsResearch. May be shared only if in its entirety, with no changes made or information removed.Websites: & Also:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Having Quite A Day!

Having Quite A Day!

March 30, 2012

By Julie Kay Smithson

I'm having quite a day today, dealing with acronyms and abbreviations, as well as upper- and lower-case word spellings -- all in one article, or in this case, two, articles!

One, from an Arizona newspaper, referenced SARA Park, which I researched in order to learn that "SARA" means "Special Activity and Recreation Area" and is land owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), but managed by Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Wait until the BLM's "Travel Management Plan" comes to town!!!

I phoned the editor of the Arizona paper for clarification of the meaning, and even she didn't know! Thirty minutes later, I phoned her back and explained that I'd found the meaning. Imagine how readers of this article must feel -- especially those that may vacation in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, or other nearby places -- when they read something that looks like someone's name in "ALL CAPS"!

The other article, from North Dakota, refers to SAM (South America), HRS (Hard Red Spring - wheat) and HRW (Hard Red Winter - wheat), as well as "hedges" and "stocks," which -- in the case of this particular article, are stock market trading terms. Also used without explanation -- or being first spelled out -- were "ND," "TX" and "NOT." In the first two, what was meant was North Dakota and Texas; in the third, the word was "not" and had been capitalized for emphasis rather than italicizing.

The reason given by someone in the North Dakota publication's office was: "We only have so many words available for each article, so we shorten things up as much as possible." That's great -- if readers know what is meant by such acronyms, abbreviations and words emphasized by "ALL CAPS," but sure thwarts a fully-understood article to many others.

There is a handy website for deciphering some of these buggers: -- but even that website does not offer a comprehensive list, especially when some acronyms and abbreviations are created and used only by locals, but are not in the national vernacular.

Please, if you desire to have your writing understood, and not have readers scratching their heads like they're making a commercial for a dandruff shampoo, always spell things out the first time you use them, spell check and check for correct grammar (to, too, two; your vs. you're; lose vs. loose, etc.). After all, you not only want others to read what you've written -- you also want them to understand!

Monday, March 5, 2012

That's the sound of the men, women and children working on the chain gang ...

That's the sound of the men, women and children working on the chain gang ...

March 5, 2012

By Julie Kay Smithson

Begging the late, great Sam Cooke's pardon, the classic song he and Charles Cooke co-wrote may soon be revised to reflect twenty-first century servitude.

With barely a whimper, America -- and many other world nations -- has joined a march that is reminiscent of this great 1960 pop song. Those in charge of "fiscal spending" have been so eager to skim AMAP (as much as possible) under several guises, have created a scenario eerily similar to Great Depression days.

Today's unemployed may not 'ride the rails' -- after all, the heavily subsidized railroads no longer pass through rural neighborhoods where kindhearted folk dare share meals with hobos whose presence may signal something far more ominous than a simple meal in the offing.

As the number of acres planted to food- and fiber-growing crops in America shrinks -- but is expected to grow more per acre to feed/shelter more consumers per acre -- the regulatory burden on America's farmers, ranchers, lumberers, etc., increases exponentially. The average age of resource providers is, itself, aging, as America's youth seeks another means of making a living, one that barely resembles the dreams and goals of just a generation or two ago.

Like the doctor of old, who did not specialize in any one facet of medicine, but who practiced most -- resource providers no longer "just farm" or "just ranch." Instead, many of today's rural families boast several children and grandchildren with a variety of college degrees in many areas of expertise. Just managing the farm finances means having a savvy set of eyes trained on that one area of knowledge. Another might be the health and well-being of the farm's livestock. A third could be the marketing arenas in which the farm competes.

Meanwhile, in distant Washington, D.C., the wheels of government still grind. Unfortunately for many, those wheels seem to be forcing the outsourcing of natural resource utilization to other countries, countries whose bar is not set by federal agencies enforcing legislation like the "Endangered Species Act," "Clean Water Act," "Clean Air Act," etc.

One example is Energy Recovery, Inc., whose March 5, 2012, article, touts two major mining plants in Chile where "The mining industry in Chile is growing. We are pleased that, to date, ERI has been selected for the vast majority of desalination projects in Chile for mining applications."

As the American tax base is further eroded by land leaving the tax rolls -- in the form of more national parks and other non-producing resource areas -- American camels (taxpayers) feel the straw burden steadily increasing, expecting them to 'take up the slack.' There is little wiggle room left.

"The news" reports almost daily of the staggering number of homes in foreclosure, their owners set out like non-paying renters. Where does this leave a growing number of people -- who owe debts, but no longer have homes, jobs, etc., to show for their labors?

Enter the modern-day version of the chain gang -- low-wage, little-or-no benefits jobs that are snapped up by those in dire straits, needing "almost any job" just to keep the wolf pack from the rented door. Plastic -- in the form of credit cards -- has been made so easy to use that record numbers of people are now ball-and-chained to the owners of their cards.

Is there a cure for this situation and the ever-mounting debt burden impinging upon every man, woman and child, and all "future generations"? I believe in miracles, though these hurdles may seem insurmountable. One requirement is to learn how to climb from that hole in which many of us find ourselves. It seems simplistic, but the sage advice: "Stop digging!" is a great start. People do not need government to coddle them and wrap them in unrealistic safety measures. Instead, people need to dust off those overtaxed brains and engage them in optimistic, independent, 'strait and narrow' goal-setting. We do not need a 'nanny state.' We need far less than we've come to think is required in our lives.

One excellent way to show the difference between continuing down the slippery slope to "future third world country" is to make two lists. One list shows the things we actually need. The other -- and the one most painful to face -- itemizes the things we merely want, or thing we must have.

The old Sam Cooke song may be easy to sing along with, but it's not a scenario we'd want to live. In the fifty years since the song, "Chain Gang," first hit the radio airwaves, we've been on a collision course with that chain gang. It's time to decide whether to put our entire families to work on the 'chain gang' -- or to learn to live a different, better way.

795 words.