Howard Buffett (Warren's son) has bought himself a Sherrif's Dept.

With Daddy's money. This is going on, essentially in my back yard. (One of my good friends is a next door neighbor).

Over the past several years, 64-year-old Howard Buffett — using wealth supplied by his father ­— has been waging his own border war in Cochise County. This has included the arming of a private volunteer group, importing privately employed enforcement personnel, and funding the chemical defoliation of a substantial portion of the county’s border with Mexico.

Buffett has also purchased the loyalty of — and influence over ­— the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). He has done this through a steady stream of gifts and grants totaling tens of millions of dollars, used to buy guns, vehicles, surveillance equipment, helicopters, and other toys.

The defoliant is sprayed by helicopter, kills mesquite trees, and yet is "inert" and harmless, once it hits the ground...near the headwaters of the San Pedro River, and the beginning of the 35-mile-long San Pedro Nation Riparian Conservation Area (locally known as "SPRiNCA", in spite of the fact that it jumbles the letters a bit. Go ahead...try to pronounce SPNRCA!)

[... W]e are now implementing a program, which we started last year, where we are going to try to clear a mile deep for about 38 miles of the border of all the invasive species of creosote and other invasive species. This will change the face of how the border looks for these ranchers,” Buffett said. “For one thing, they are concerned about their safety, which is, of course, one issue. The other is that they want to reclaim their lands. So, this is a water and grassland conservation project and it is also a border security project in one.”

Creosote, mesquite, and acacia targeted by the border defoliation program are all endemic to Cochise County, according to local experts, though some ranchers claim the plants have invaded areas that were once grasslands.

The targeted defoliation took place along approximately 75 miles of the county’s 83-mile border with Mexico.

At the time, according to Gonzalez, approximately 4,000 cumulative acres of mesquite trees — not accounting for targeted areas of creosote and other trees/shrubs — would be eradicated along this corridor.

Back when the spraying was first proposed, the chemical was listed as 2,4,5-T. Some of you will recognize that as the (shortened) name of glyphosate's uglier brother, and more lethal component of Agent Orange. Lots more info, in a fairly long article by Phoenix New Times reporter Beau Hodai:

https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/howard-buffetts-warren-buffet-son-b...

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Lookout's picture

the arrogance of the oligarchs. Think themselves above natural law as well as public law. The ecosystem will have the last word.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Bisbonian's picture

@Lookout . If one of them shot a border crosser, what would the Sherrif's department do? Cover it up, if possible, downplay the consequences, if not.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

divineorder's picture

@Lookout

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture

@divineorder

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1 user has voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Azazello's picture

Meanwhile, here in the Old Pueblo, the People's Defense Initiative is launching it's Tucson Families Free and Together petition drive today. Arizona Daily Star
I probably won't go down there. I've got some work to do on the Jeep, it failed emissions again, and there's a 3-Cushion tournament on YouTube, but I'm sure I'll sign the petition.

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Bisbonian's picture

@Azazello . No word yet whether white arm-bands have been issued.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

divineorder's picture

@Azazello

...

What, he planning to run for President next?

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7 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@Azazello I envy your rust free frames, and your rust free everything else. In NE there's plenty of emission passing engines, the frames and bodies rot out around them before they wear out.

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Azazello's picture

@Snode
You can keep 'em on the road as long as you dare around here. The Jeep in question is an '85.

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@Azazello Straight 6, 2 barrel BBD carb with the computer controlled needle valve? That emissions flow chart is a nightmare. Supposedly there's a Motocraft carb swap that is pretty good, but I don't know what they do with emissions side.

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Azazello's picture

@Snode
People have tried to talk me into an aftermarket TBI system but I've got a pretty good carb guy, so I'm OK. What failed this time was the connections on a couple of air lines. A trip to the hardware store, easy-peasy. But yeah, the emissions systems on these things are complete kluges.

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@Azazello watch out on the double crimp on the electrical connectors. The wire can break but the 2nd crimp will stay holding on the insulation like it was fine. Found out the hard way, took it to a Jeep dealer as last resort and found 1) there is no one who had worked on the old stuff and 2) after throwing a new carb and computer at it, the jeep dealership doesn't know any more than I do.

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detroitmechworks's picture

His pigs will sue the government for agent Orange Syndrome.

Jeez, might as well just go full fledged Nam at this point.

However, private Mercenary armies are very, very dangerous. Combined with the castles the rich are building, and we really are looking at the rise of Neo-feudalism, IMHO.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Bisbonian's picture

@detroitmechworks . We might as well start getting used to the label.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

divineorder's picture

@detroitmechworks

...

or is this just more propaganda?

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Deja's picture

@divineorder
. . . for over 10 years. I'm pretty sure the plan is to keep delaying and passing them around in the system until they die, because they're a resilient group, not prone to giving up.

Having applicants give up is more suited for SNAP, SSI disability, etc, as they attempt to jump through the various hoops of receiving assistance.

My ex boss shows up unannounced and catches his assigned case worker (idk the actual term for them) in the parking lot and various places around the VA building. He's also a retired undercover cop, so he's a sneaky little bastid. You'd think that might urge the VA guy to hurry this along to get rid of my ex boss, but nope. Pretty sure he's hoping for death.

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Deja's picture

I find that odd.

Sure does give a great flavor to grilled food, not just meat.

I thought Warren made his boys earn their own money. That's what the boys said on 60 Minutes once. Go figure.

The whole wall thing has me wondering how the hell the cattle ranchers are supposed to deal with it along the Rio Grande and other rivers used by ranchers along the border.

The whole place has gone mad!

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Bisbonian's picture

@Deja , say the cattle ranchers.
Most 'public land' here is leased to cattle ranchers, and after a while, they begin to think it is theirs.
Mesquite is an integral part of the Chihuahuan Desert, often called "mesquite/grassland". So is creosote...providing that wonderful desert aroma after a rain.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Deja's picture

@Bisbonian
If they poison all the vegetation, what's left for the cattle to eat? Is the grass gm to be resistant to agent orange or something?

Mesquite is native to where I was born and raised. Well, an hour's drive from there. Once we came "down off the Caprock" as my grandma used to say. Not sure if there was creosote.

Never had the opportunity to smell creosote after a rain that you describe. Was in Phoenix area for four months and never saw a drop of rain. Sure thought it was going to storm a couple of times while in Cave Creek, but the black clouds appeared out of nowhere and left in the same fashion less than 15 minutes later. So disappointing lol.

Saw a curious coyote, lots of javelinas, rabbits and a strange little mouse that had no tail and hopped. My son saw one of those spotted poisonous lizards, but I didn't.

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Bisbonian's picture

@Deja , and grass does pretty well in Roundup...it's just supposed to kill the other stuff. (Try to tell that to our City Works Department, trying to kill the grass in the cracks in the streets!) And really, Buffet couldn't care less about the grass, except that it gets his neighboring ranchers on board. What he really wants is a clear shot at his targets.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Deja's picture

@Bisbonian
Reminds me of a Yahoo group 15 or so years ago. One guy asked who wanted to "go hunting" at the border. No shortage of hell yeahs from others. Made me sick.

And yes, I joined the group to begin with because of a story in Austin of an undocumented immigrant who had been released by APD after being arrested for molesting a 12 yr old little girl. While awaiting trial, he stalked, raped and killed a young college student. I was livid that he had been released considering his immigration status, called APD and told them what I thought of their decision not to notify INS and said they had her blood on their hands for it. Sanctuary City doesn't just mean not reporting them if they are witnesses to crimes, which I see as a good idea, but it also means releasing them on bail for a violent crime (molestation is violent imo, like robbery, but not parking tickets or stealing food). Once I read the hunting comment, I left the group. Two wrongs, as they say.

I truly don't know the answer to this issue, but I do know that the seriously "bad guys" have no problem being deported and re-entering time after time after time. (Railroad serial killer Resendez did just that and took jewelry from his victims to his unsuspecting wife in Mexico more than once.) I think maybe cracking down on border patrol and checkpoint personnel who take bribes could help. Refugees and folks looking for work are not the types to be in a position to pay off the crossing guards after paying so much to get here in the first place, but criminals are.

We could quit fucking with their countries and giving them reason to flee in the first place too, but that's a pipe dream.

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Lookout's picture

@Bisbonian

2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a synthetic auxin, is a chlorophenoxy acetic acid herbicide used to defoliate broad-leafed plants. It was developed in the late 1940s and was widely used in the agricultural industry until being phased out, starting in the late 1970s due to toxicity concerns.

Agent orange was a by product in the synthesis. It is no longer available (in the US). I suspect they are spraying 2,4 D http://alligare.com/products/alligare-24-d-amine/

Which is also a broadleaf herbicide (which wouldn't harm grass unless sprayed a very high rates). Both chemicals are a plant hormone derivative. Similar to killing us with an overdose of Adrenalin.

Roundup is an amino acid, glyphosate. It has a different mode of action - disturbing photosynthesis. The health concerns are only recently coming to light. Most GMO crops are engineered to be resistant to roundup so they can spray over the top of crops and kill weeds but not the food plants.

Both chemicals are produced by Monsanto as are most GMO crop seed. What a mess.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Deja's picture

@Lookout
Broad leaf = not grass. If I was a rancher, I'd be concerned letting my livelihood graze on anything with herbicide residue on it. Can't be good for them, just like us not washing our veggies before eating them. But, what do I know?

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Lookout's picture

@Deja

remove their animals for a couple of weeks...

“Do not graze lactating dairy cattle in treated areas for 14 days after application”

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Bisbonian's picture

@Lookout

Who also has a ranch bordering Mexico, had ten head of cattle die one day, for an undetermined reason.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Bisbonian's picture

@Lookout . I don't think 2,4-D has any effect on it. I remember reading an article about this, a couple years ago, and thought it was the other chemical. Or at least something more potent.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Lookout's picture

@Bisbonian @Bisbonian

Took me awhile to find the trade names in the article and then find out what it was...

a combo of Tebuthiuron (a nonselective broad spectrum herbicide of the urea class. It is used in a number of herbicides manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, and is sold under several trade names, depending on the formulation. It is used to control weeds, woody and herbaceous plants, and sugar cane. It is absorbed by the roots and transported to the leaves, where it inhibits photosynthesis) and SENDERO 6% Aminopyralid Potassium and 30% Clopyralid monoethanolamine salt.

2,4 D would have been better. 2,4,5 T is unavailable in the US. I don't use any of them. Vinegar is my preferred vegetation killer.

BTW weed science was one of the most complicated classes I ever took...and I had several chemistry, nutrition, and other challenging science classes.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

dystopian's picture

Mesquite and Creosote are native, but can be invasives into areas where they were not. This is virtually always (as with juniper) in places of severe OVERGRAZING and fire suppression. The overgrazing give them an IN they would not have had and allows foothold. Mesquite and Creosote are integral parts of the Mojave, Colorado, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. I think most of southeast AZ is Sonoran, might turn to Chihuahuan about the state line with New Mexico. Ah the smell of fresh rained-on Creosote... I have camped and birded in all the mountain ranges in SE AZ many many times, the sky islands. They are among the most amazing beautiful places in the country. Cave Creek in the Chiricahuas, and Rustler Pk. up above it, Ramsey and Carr Canyons in the Huachucas, Madera in the Sta. Ritas, Patagonia, all world-class awesome places.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Bisbonian's picture

@dystopian , The easy determining factor is that the saguaros, almost the definition of the Sonoran Desert, quit about 80 miles from here. We're too high, and too cold.

Yes, there has been plenty of overgrazing. That, and cattle feeding on mesquite pods, and then conveniently distributing the seeds, along with fertilizer, everywhere they go, has ensured a greater density of mesquite. The places with the creosote generally have poorer soil, and less grazing because of it (less grass).

We love Cave Creek (just spent Christmas there ... usually go two or three times a year), and the Huachucas, Chiricahua Monument...pretty much the whole county.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Azazello's picture

@Bisbonian
I don't think I've ever been there.
Still looking for an excuse to go back to Bisbee.
Maybe catch the the Whiskey Lickers.

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Bisbonian's picture

@Azazello . Good 'Old Time' music, a little rough around the edges, but with lots of youthful enthusiasm.

We usually stay at Cave Creek Ranch ... a bit on the pricey side, but a really nice location and facilities. We've been there several times, including the couple of days after Christmas, this year. We got snow! There is also a few cabins in Portal, run through the store there. And we have stayed in Paradise, in a local cabin. Got snowed on there, one year, too. Wood stove for heat...kept us occupied Smile

There are also a few campgrounds right in the canyon...Idylwild, Sunny Flats, and another I can't remember the name of.

TO get there from Tucson, you either have to go up and over the mountain (not an option, this time of year), or take I-10 all the way into NM for 6 miles to Road Forks, head south on the NM80 (Old US 80) until you get almost to Rodeo, NM, then head west to Portal and Cave Creek. It's quicker than over the top.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Azazello's picture

@Bisbonian
We'll check that out.

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divineorder's picture

@Azazello

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Azazello's picture

@divineorder
the Oriental Suite at the Bisbee Grand.

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dystopian's picture

@Bisbonian Thanks Bisbo, I couldn't remember where that darn line was... Wink Around the Chiricahuas is Chihuahuan as you say... Rustler Park up at the top of the Cave Creek Rd. is awesome. I saw Mexican Spotted Owl there, Mex. Whip-poor-will used to be numerous. The Mexican Chickadee is only found in the U.S. in the Animas Mtns. of SW New Mexico, and in the Chiricahuas. The Animas area is all private and there is no access. The road to Rustler and around it are the best area to see the species in the U.S. Lots of Blue-throated Hummers in the lower canyon where the campgrounds are.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

and omg wtf? CAPS LOCK

NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety page on 2,4,5-T

Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH) May 1994
...
Drill and Hiratzka [1953] found that there were no deaths among dogs treated with 2, 5, or 10 mg/kg/day of 2,4,5-T (5 days/week for 13 weeks);

thank gawd, poor dawgs

... some deaths occurred at 20 mg/kg/day. There are no reports of illness from occupational exposure.

No working dawg left untested. wah Isn't plutocracy great? I wonder if Buffet's private soldiers are all snipers, with armed drones and stuff. pick a scab

Since Monsanto lost a couple times already in court... RangerPro does cause cancer here in California and so there is an industry: https://www.consumersafety.org/legal/roundup-lawsuit/

This year our city workers blasted the invasive weeds with a giant propane tank towing a row of down-pointing flamethrowers off the back of a four-wheel ATV thingy. Flamethrowers are loud, scary, and effective. They leave behind piles of black smoldering death, not silent spring orange death. Don't think WWI, think progress. lol WE are only human after all. Brawndo! My neighbor and I still gave each other high fives as we walked by the guy on the flame-throwing machine... maybe next year. incremental

peace

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or else they wouldn't be rich. And their kids are smarter because they only had to win the Sperm-n-Egg derby. Don't say they didn't earn it, that was a pretty grueling 6 inch race to the finish. Besides, most of the money prob. came through Buffets non profit. So, we're accessories after the fact since we have to make up the difference for lost tax revenue. Anyway, who needs a wall when you can defoliate a mile deep swath, and then, what? Maybe automatic gun turrets? and armed drones? mines? Besides it's good for the ecology, getting rid of those invasive species, the ones that will come streaming across the border once climate change starts kicking ass real hard. I mean, what's the problem?

SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/ SNARK/

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