Friday, January 20, 2012

When citizens are denied!

The Bill of Rights states in Article I "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  and in Isaiah 10:1,2 "Woe to those who decree unjust statutes and to those who continually record unjust decisions, ...."

I am but a humble donkey, who is heart broken because I know my cousins are dying unjustly, and I know my human friends are hurting so.  It is my nature to worry about my human companions, (link) and I know my friends are mourning deeply the loss of so many innocent wild hearts, gunned down and left to rot in their desert home.  I have seen them cry, as they cried with me.

Home!  It is a place of safety for most.  But, my burro cousins who live in Big Bend Ranch State Park do not feel that safety, as helicopters fly over-head killing all the wildlife around them.  They are forced to watch as their family members are gunned down at their feet.  They watch as the aoudad, elk, and hogs are riddled with bullets coming from the helicopter.  They know, the predators whom they keep an eye on for the safety of all who share the desert with them, are being slaughtered too.  They must witness the snaring of these great cats of the desert as they struggle in the snares only to have their lives ended by a bullet when the Texas Parks and Wildlife killing personnel arrive.  It is pure carnage.  The desert is awash in the blood of the innocent who have lived peacefully together for millions of years. We evolved together here on this continent, (link) and we need each other.  Sure, the aoudad are exotic, but they are globally critically endangered unlike the bighorn the TPWD is trying to introduce to the park.  And, if one wants to be really picky, the bighorn originated in Siberia.  But, being the wise donkey that I am, I also know they have been here long enough to have a place in our ecosystem too.  It is not their fault that humans want to kill them for their beautiful crown of curly horns.  They too are victims, in the end.  And, no trophy hunter wants to blemish their trophy with a head shot, so they do suffer greatly from the body wounds that drop their regal lives to the ground.

I am a simple domestic donkey, but burned into my memory which goes back thousands of years was the time we were in our glory.  Jesus loved us.  He loved us so much that we were ordained to be with him from birth to death.  We represent peace, humility, loyalty, courage and sacrifice and we are mentioned in the Bible 444 times.  In fact, the donkey is the only animal who speaks in the Bible!(link)  We witnessed the King of Kings as he rode a white donkey foal into Jerusalem the week before he was crucified, (link) and we would have gladly given our lives in His stead, but He would not allow it.  His shadow of the cross on which He died is burned forever in our backs.  I, Miss Abby, proudly wear mine.  I thought that Governor Perry, who professes to follow the Lord, would have wanted to touch my lovely cross to be close to Christ.  I was wrong.  Instead, his office required that we send a fax requesting authorization to deliver the petition signed lovingly by over 100,000 caring souls.  He then did not reply.  This essentially denied our delivery access.

Instead of being welcome, we discovered that there is an agency in Austin that has so much power it can revoke the rights of citizens to ask for a redress of their grievances.  That agency is the State Preservation Board, (link) whose Executive Director John Sneed (1 512-463-5495) scared me so badly, I tried to run away, because I could see he scared Marjorie too.  She backed up a step because his face was contorted and his body language was very aggressive.  He was a really rude, and scary man.  More on that in a minute.  The State Preservation Board has been the topic of controversy  over numerous complaints about ethics.  They have the power to override previously authorized events, which they did to our League as we attempted to deliver the Wild Burro Protection League Ride For Life signatures which were provided by concerned citizens all over the world. People love us, and I am overjoyed with learning how much.  But, these wonderful people have been ignored.(link)  The State Preservation Board got Marjorie very upset when on the morning we were to deliver our petition as promised from a wagon pulled by Miss Abby, to the Governor's office, our approved parking was denied.  The director of the State owned parking lot, said she received a phone call that morning saying our authorization was revoked.  I watched Marjorie calling, and running around to try to straighten this out, which she did, but it took its toll on her.  Thank goodness Red Horse Nation (link) came all the way from Alpine to support us.  Rachael Waller Rondeaux (link) and her family Rod, (link) and Chey (link) were there to comfort and take on duties Marjorie was now unable to handle.  They did it without question, for we stood in solidarity with our wild hearts, all of them, together.  I am really good friends with Chey's donkey Penelope too.

The next thing that happened was that the police were ordered to tell us (they were wonderful to us, and did Austin proud with their respectful, and kind treatment ) (link) that we could not enter the State Capitol grounds with our wagon, because it would not fit through the bollards.  HOWEVER, the bollard was down on the right as attested to by the posted photograph.  They blocked it with a car, keeping us out with the wagon.  It is interesting to note that horses, donkeys and mules are frequent visitors to the Capitol.  Check out last years' photo of a Christmas tree delivery!!!

Melinda Eppler, who is with the State Preservation Board, had stated in her e-mail, that they could not lower the bollards to accommodate the wagon.  However, the bollard was down, so we should have been allowed to enter.  Here is the correspondence from Melinda Eppler of the State Preservation Board:
From: Melinda Eppler 
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:46 AM
To: ''
Subject: January 18 Capitol Visit

Good morning,

We spoke last Friday about your January 18 visit to the Capitol. I was looking over your website and after seeing the photos, I have a few concerns.

The primary concern, is that the donkey/wagon will not fit through our security bollards and therefore, it will not be able to come onto the Capitol grounds. 

I would suggest you consider pulling the wagon up to Brazos - outside the Capitol's east gate, in the bus unloading area. 

Here is a map indicating the location of the bus unloading area:

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thank you!
Mindy Eppler
State Preservation Board

Miss Abby
Jan 17 (3 days ago)

to Stephanie, Karen, Melinda 
It will fit, it is very narrow, and much smaller than appears in the photo. What is the distance between the bollards? This is a wagon reduced in scale to replicate a buckboard. It is miniture. I fit through a 4' wide opening at the Artwalk in Alpine. 

Marjorie Farabee

Miss Abby
Jan 17 (3 days ago)

to Johnny, Melinda, Karen, Stephanie 
I just went to the ranch and measured. It is exactly 4' 1" between the wheels.

Melinda Eppler
Jan 17 (2 days ago)

to me 
Good afternoon,

Thanks for the information on the measurement. If it will not fit through the bollards, please keep in mind that we cannot lower them to accommodate access. 

Also, as we discussed, please be sure the animals stay on the asphalt and do not venture on to the grass or limestone walkways.

Thank you!
Mindy Eppler
State Preservation Board

As you can see, the bollard WAS down, and did not have to be lowered. They blocked my access with the police car.

Marjorie had to make a choice then.  She asked volunteers who were unprepared to make a statement to Dewhurst or Perry to take the petition to his (Dewhurst's) office.  Amazingly, Gayle-Suzanne Barron and Tammie Hillis winged it well!  Way to go League!  (link)

Marjorie and I had to drive our wagon back 3 blocks, unhitch, and return which kept us from the media and making our prepared statement to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.  I, Miss Abby, helped her with this delivery statement that we unfortunately were kept from making, but we learned for our up coming protest, that we cannot trust Austin.  We wanted to tell him that we have a dream.  We have a dream that wildlife will be protected and that burros will be respected and left un-harassed in Big Bend Ranch State Park.  We have a dream that studies will be conducted, and the people who live in the area will be able to at last promote their wild burros. We dream that the local people's wishes will be respected.  People love them, and if they are allowed to promote the wild burro the people will come.  We have a dream that if Texas Parks and Wildlife will accept that the burros belong, and they start to practice holistic range practices,(link) the ecosystem will flourish.  We will all benefit from the health established by using science.  We dream of the day when observation stations are constructed, and the people's wishes to see these remarkable animals living wild were they have always lived, will be respected.  We are not giving up on that dream.  Donkeys can do.

We were required by Perry's office to provide a fax of our request to deliver the petitions to his office, which we did.  His office ignored the request, thereby denying our ability to deliver to his office.  This letter asked for mercy for our burros.  We asked him to work with us, and we got no response.  The State Preservation Board who is directly in touch with the Governor stood in opposition to our efforts to save this magnificent, rare herd of wild burros for future generations.  The governor continues to defer to the "wisdom" of TPWD to make the "right" decisions, when we have demonstrated that they are making a mockery of land stewardship. No scientist worth his salt would approve the removal of any species, much less half a dozen, without conducting comprehensive studies.  Yet, TPWD is doing exactly that which means they are playing Russian roulette with our lives.  This is too important to ignore, and the good people of Texas, our Country and around the world are asking you to put a stop to it.  Governor Perry, it is a coward who leaves controversial decisions to be made by others.  The buck stops with you, sir.  We are not going away, because our planet is ultimately at risk by the loss of this ecosystem that encompasses 5 million acres.  The burros are complementing these lands on which they have traveled for millions of years.  They belong, they are needed for the health of these precious lands.  It is time to take selfish out of government, and start looking at governance for the people, not for the few.

Our treatment by your government appointed personnel was appalling, and culminated when John Sneed who heads the State Preservation Board, came out of the building and verbally attacked my friend Marjorie.  He frightened me, and I wanted to flee.  But, he told Marjorie that if she could not control her animal she would have to leave.  He was so mean, but when he said that, I knew I had to be brave and stand by her side.  She was so scared she backed up a step from him.  His face was contorted, and his body language was aggressive, as he told us to clean up the poop.  He, he, he, he I had to laugh when Marjorie said "Well, sir, the poop bucket was on the wagon you would not let in!  Ha!  He got more ugly, and Marjorie then said, "Hey, this man is harassing me, is anyone getting this on film?"  When the cameras turned on him, he turned and left, what a coward.  But, of course, cowards attack women and donkeys, don't they?
Showdown at the Capitol~NPR
(When you listen to this clip you will hear a remark about Nancy, who they stated was "being stubborn".  The fact was, that she was waiting for Marjorie, and when we both returned she moved right along, after remaining stuck in place for 30 minutes.  Loyalty is often overlooked when people discuss our marvelous traits.)


GSB said...

It Is My Honor And Pleasure To Be A Part Of This Life Saving And History Making Fight For The Survival Of ALL Wild Burros! :-)
I Am So Grateful To You, Miss Marjorie, As My Heroine And Our Mentor In This Important Endeavor To Save And Protect The Precious Last Remaining Wild Burros In Texas!
You And Miss Abby Looked SO BEAUTIFUL! ;-)
The Burros And Donkeys Are Extremely Fortunate To Have You On Their Side Of The Fence And In Their Lives! ;-)
It Is My Sincere Pleasure And Great Honor To Have Had As My Guests Miss Marjorie, Miss Rachael, Sir Rod And Miss Cheyenne, Miss Tammie And Sir Brian At The Rocking ‘R’ Ranch, Home Of “Twiggy’s Auntie ALL Animal Rescue, Sanctuary And Petting Zoo”! ;-)
It Was Wonderful To Finally Meet You All In Person And To Have My First Animal Sleep Over At The Ranch! ;-)
TEE HEE! ;-)
I Adore You ALL! ;-)
Included In The Slumber Party Were Miss Abby, Miss Wendy The Mustang (Representing ALL The Wild Mustangs In America Under Siege Being Stampeded Into Extinction In The Wild By OUR Federal Government), All The Remarkable Precious Donkeys Who Came To Stand Proudly For Their Kindred Wild Burros In Big Bend State Park! ;-)
I Welcome You Any Time To My Home, My Dear Friends, Kindred Spirits And Freedom Warriors For ALL Equines! ;-)
It Was Tragic, Shocking And Completely Unfair, As Well As Against OUR Bill Of Rights And OUR Constitutional Rights In The Way Governor Perry Refused Miss Abby And Miss Marjorie, Already Permitted Entrance With Their Wagon, In His Efforts To Circumvent Our Delivery Of The Petition By Miss Marjorie And Her Attendance At The Media Event Directly Following The Delivery! ;-(
The Show Must Go On, As They Say In Show Business.
Miss Marjorie Asked For A Volunteer, So I Stood Up Accounted To Take On The Task With My Deepest Heartfelt Passion For The Wild Burros!
What Saved Me, And It Is Fortunate, That I Have Had Experience In Public Speaking, Television (Both Sides Of The Camera) And As A Spokesperson For “Twiggy The Water Skiing Squirrel,” Or I Would Have Been Beside Myself Like A Deer In Headlights In Front Of The Media While Waiting For Miss Marjorie (Like: Ummm.. My Name Is… My Name Is… Isn’t It On My Drivers License?).
TEE HEE! ;-)
Everyone Kept Deferring To Me; I Had To Keep Answering Questions, Although I Kept Asking Where Was Miss Marjorie, Since She Is The Expert, Organizer Of The Political Event And Founder Of The Wild Burro Protection League.
I Kept Saying To Myself, “What Would Miss Marjorie Say”!
I Pray I Did Not Give Any False Information.
Miss Tammie Was Right On The Money Telling Them About The Donkey In The Bible And Its Relationship To Jesus! ;-)
I Was SO Proud Of Her And Her Delivery Of Her Sincere Heartfelt Follower Of Christ Knowledge!
When Miss Nancy (The White Donkey Carrying The “Peace On Earth” Banner Became Frightened And Would Not Go Any Further, Miss Tammie Told Her, “Walk For Jesus”!
And SHE DID! ;-)
I Thought It Was So Cute That, Sir Banjo, Would Not Leave Her, So He Stayed Behind, Too, Until She Was Ready To Go! ;-)
Miss Rachael And Miss Cheyenne Were Wonderful As Spokeswomen For The Burros And Their Cause!
Little, Miss Cheyenne, And Miss Hanna (A Big Beautiful And Rare Breed Of Donkey) Were Perfect For Each Other And Quite Popular With The School Children That Arrived! ;-)
Miss Wendy The Mustang Stood Proud, Brave And Well Behaved As Handsome, Sir Rod, Rode Her Like The Great Indian Warrior For ALL Equines He Is As They Represented Wild Mustangs, Wild Burros, ALL Equines, OUR Indian Nations And Heritage! ;-)
As Miss Marjorie Said, “If The American Indians Still Ran This Nation, We Would ALL Be Better Off Today!” ;-)
Amen To That!!!

GSB said...

I Have Spent Quite A Bit Of Time At The Capitol In The Past As Administrative Assistant For Retired Senator Parker Who Is An Attorney And A Lobbyist Representing The Department Of Public Safety, Compact Computers, Southwestern Bell, And Others.
I Learned The Lobby/Political Arena Game Very Well, To My Chagrin, And Walked Away.
I Also Lobbied With Texas Humane Legislation At The Capitol Recently In Our Efforts To Stop All Cock Fighting Venues; Register, As Well As Regulate Dog Breeders To Prevent And Stop Puppy Mills, Plus To Prevent Governor Perry From Defrauding The Public By Illegally Trying To Balance The State’s Budget Using Funds Allocated For Spay And Neuter Clinics By The Purchase Of “Animal Friendly’ License Plates.
We Had 1.6 Million Dollars In The Fund For This Very Specific And Much Needed Agenda, But He “Graciously Offered” Us Only $450,000 Of OUR Money.
Thank You Governor Perry For “Your” Generosity! :-(
We Won On Every Issue Except The Funds.
I Have No Respect For Perry As A Governor And Especially Not As A President! :-(
I Went To The Capitol The Friday Before To Assess The Grounds, Talk With The Daycare Assistant Director, Capitol Police And To Speak With The Staff At Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s Office (He Has Been Out Of Town), Since Gov. Perry Was Having None Of This, Especially Interfering With HIS Agenda.
Everyone With Whom I Came In Contact, In Person Or On The Phone, Was Extremely Gracious, Helpful And Kind, Often Even Supportive (Especially At The Event)!
The Way Miss Marjorie Was Treated By Some Of Gov. Perry’s Staff, Especially At The Event, Was Less Than Friendly And Was Absolutely Incorrigible By John Snead The Head Of The Preservation Board!
I Was Not Able, Not That I Was Denied, To Have Any Contact With Gov. Perry’s Staff.
Miss Tammie Offered Her Assistance At The Event In The Delivery Of The Petition (As My Partner In Crime, TEE HEE)! ;-)
What An Honor, Privilege And Quite A Pleasant Surprise It Was For Me To Make The Delivery Myself Of The Petitions To Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst’s Office On Behalf Of My/Our Beloved Wild Burros.
My Miniature Donkey, Sir Buckaroo Bonzai Banjo, Was Quite The Sensation (He Was The Only Miniature There), Even With A Charming And Most Helpful DPS Officer And Capitol Police, Along With Everyone He Encountered, Especially ALL The School Children On A Field Day At The Capitol! ;-)
I Am SO Proud Of My Little Boy! ;-)
He Behaved Himself Like A True GentleMan Donkey And Set A Fine Figure For Promoting His Kindred Wild Burros! ;-)

GSB said...

For Hundreds Of Years, At Least The 1600’s, There Were Many Generations Of Horses And Donkeys Who Have Lived Here In The Wild Quite Well Without ANY Interference From Humans (Least Of ALL TWPD), As Well As Remaining Healthy, Since Before The United States Was Founded Or Took Over The Portions Of Land That Make Up The Existing U S In North America We Have Today.
Sam Houston, In His Effort To Bring People To This Land, We Now Call Texas, Advertised “There Are Millions Of Wild Mustangs And Wild Burros In Mexican Border Territory, Here For The Taking” (Before It Became A State, According To My Sources)!
They Took Them Alright!
Yet, There Are ZERO Free Roaming Wild Horses In This Same Area Today (And They Did NOT Even Use Birth Control To Control The Population) And Less Than 300 Wild Burros Left Here.
There Are Not Even ANY Wild Mustangs Left In The Big Bend National And State Parks!
What They Are Doing Is NOT MANAGEMENT, It IS Genocide!
My Daddy, Henry ‘Hank’ Barron, Was Involved In Projects With The Dept. Of Interiors, Fish And Game Department In Montana, The Government In Montana (Even Ran For Governor, But Lost To A Homeboy With More Money) And Even The BLM In Montana A Long Time Ago.
Because Of His Experiences As An Outfitter In Montana And His Connections In Government He Was Asked By Our Friends Here In Texas, Who Frequent And Live In Big Bend, If He Would Speak On Behalf Of Horseman Who Wanted To Continue Bringing Their Horses And Riding In Big Bend Parks.
TWPD Said Horses Were Destructive And Wanted To Deny Access Permanently.
Oddly Enough, They Were Allowing ALL Terrain Vehicles, Though, Without An Issue.
Daddy Did Convince Them That Education Of Horseman Is The Key, NOT Denial Of Access.
My Understanding Is That , At The Time, TWPD Backed Down On Their Decisions, But I Am Not Sure If That Has Changed.

GSB said...

In Our Heart of Hearts We Do Realize That These Are God's Precious Creations, Just As We Are.
In the Bible He Gives Us "Stewardship" (Which Is A Far Cry From "Dominance") Over His Creations.
We Have A Responsibility To Take Proper Care Of Each Other, The Animals (Who Cannot Speak For Themselves) And All Of Our Earth.
It Is To Our Own Advantage, As Well, To Keep Protecting Our Earth And The Animals For The Purpose Of Our Own Existence, For Without THEM, There Will Be No "Us”!
The "Delicate (May I Emphasis "Delicate") Balance Of Nature/Eco-Systems" (Of Which We Are A Major Part) Must Be Dealt With Very Carefully, With A Compassionate Heart, Moral Conviction And Complete Common Sense!
As We Pray About Our Choices, And Then Do With Our God Given Consciences As Our Hearts Guide Us, We CAN Make A Positive Difference In This World.
There Is Way Too Much Heartlessness, Cruelty And Lack Of A Moral Compass In The World As It Is!
Man Is The Ultimate And Most Destructive Predator!
Humans (As Well As TWPD And The BLM) ARE The INVASIVE SPECIES, NOT The Animals!
Here Is Our Chance And Our Obligation, To Make A Positive Difference In Every One's Lives, Especially Our Wonderful And Beautiful Fellow Inhabitants, All The Animals And God’s Precious Wild Burros.
How Can We Face The Future With Animals Becoming Extinct In Rapid Numbers In Our Lifetime Or Animals Being Neglected, Abused, Tortured And Murdered?
This Is Mostly Caused By Many Evil People Who Are Obsessed With Insatiable Greed, Self-Centeredness, Selfish Ambition And Obsessed With Power.
The Reality Is Frightening!
How Are We Going To Be Able To Look Our Children And Grandchildren (Including Future Generations) In The Eyes And Then Explain To Them That It Is OUR Fault, As Humans, Who Allowed This To Happen?
Do You Not Think They Will Fault Us For Being So Selfish And/Or Complacent About The Wellbeing Of God’s Gifts To Us (And This Goes For Humans, As Well) As We ALL Suffer The Negative Consequences Of Our Actions As A Heartless Human Race?
The History Of Mankind (Although Man Has Been Scarcely Kind To Them Throughout History) Has Been Linked Hand And Hoof With Horses, Mules, Burros And Donkeys.
They Have Enhanced Our Lives In So Many Ways That It Is Impossible To Put It All Into Words In This Format.
I Cannot Imagine What Our World Would Be Like Without Them, Especially The Wild Equines.

GSB said...

We OWE IT To ALL Horses, Mules, Burros And Donkeys To Protect Them By ALL Means Possible, At ALL Costs And Nothing Less!
In Addition., The Wild Burro Protection League In This Effort Is Also Making A Statement On Behalf Of ALL The Wild Burros In The United States Who Are Under Siege Being Stampeded Into Extinction In The Wild By OUR Federal Government,.
It Is Not Just The Ones In Texas That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime.
It Is Extremely Important What We Do Here As “We The People” To Assist In Persevering And Protecting Them In The Wild Across OUR Country.
In The Song “America” It Says:
America, America
God Shed His Grace On Thee
And Shine Thy Good
With Brotherhood
From Sea To Shining Sea!
Well, “From Sea To Shining Sea” Would Have Been A Long, Hard, Arduous, Lonely, Impossible Task Without OUR Equines (Horses, Donkeys And Mules)!
The Path To Civilization Throughout History Is Laid On The Backs And Bones Of Horses, Donkeys And Mules!
Humans OWE THEM Allegiance, Love, Honor, Protection And Freedom, Especially Freedom From Oppression!
The Ancient Contract Between Animals And Humans, Especially Those Giving Themselves For Domestication, Is “You Take Care Of Me And I Will Take Care Of You, We Are ALL In This Together In This World!”
Extinction In The Wild Is Extinction Forever!
United We Stand Against Evil And Rogue Government! ;-)
All Of You Are ALL Welcome To Visit “Twiggy’s Auntie ALL Animal Rescue, Sanctuary And Petting Zoo” At Any Time (Even Have Your Picture Taken With A Retired “Twiggy The Water Skiing Squirrel,” Or Two, Plus Play With “Sir Buckaroo Bonzai Banjo”, My “Rock Star, Miniature Donkey” As Rachael Calls Him And Take Home A Peacock Feather As A Souvenir)! ;-)
TEE HEE! ;-)
God Will Bless Us For Being An Angels Of Mercy For His Precious Creations (People, Animals And OUR Earth) And A Blessing To Others So We Will Bless More Abundantly In His Holy Name!
God Bless You ALL!
I Love And Honor Each And Every One Of You (And Your Animal Children, Especially The Mules And Donkeys)! ;-)
With A Humble Heart,
And ALL My Animal Children! ;-)
Hoka Hey! ;-)