The Watering Hole; Thursday June 26 2014; “The Timeless Moment”

Conservationists and environmentalists everywhere continue to celebrate “The Timeless Moment”!

On May 21, 2014, the Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National Monument  near Las Cruces New Mexico was officially designated and signed into law by President Obama. The Monument embraces nearly 500,000 acres of rugged desert mountain topography, thus protecting the landscape from commercial assault and development, presumably for perpetuity. “President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks . . . The campaign to protect the area, which will include wildlands perfect for hiking, camping and hunting, was driven by local governments, tribal leaders, ranchers, sportsmen and conservation groups.” 

I recently ran across an exquisite description of the magnificence implicit in this “Timeless Moment”, a photo-essay entitled, coincidentally, “The Timeless Moment”. The work is a joint project by world famous nature and landscape photographer David Muench who, along with his wife, accomplished author/essayist Ruth Rudner, visited the Organ Mountains in March, 2014 when the area was still only a ‘proposed’ National Monument. The details of their traverse are beautifully descriptive via select photographs embedded within the narrative, itself a personal account: a melding of Muench’s images with Rudner’s words.

When we finally move on, heading downhill on a trail bound by massive rock forms the whole way, it’s like walking through a sculpture garden of undulating forms and the skeletal arms of winter’s oaks. An occasional cholla reminds me I’m in the desert. 

There’s an excitement about wandering through an area worthy of protection that goes beyond the wonder and delight of entering into its wild magnificence, becoming, instead, a connection with the whole of America’s wildness. 

Rudner also describes the personal nature of the photo-essay’s “The Timeless Moment” title when she writes:

Photography has a singular ability to present both the grandeur and the subtle nuances of nature’s power in a way that transmits this moment for all time. David calls this the “timeless moment,” the moment between past and future stopped—in the moment—by the camera.

Muench has long indeed been the absolute master of capturing that “timeless moment” via his camera, as evidenced here on his website where much of his work is on display, including at the forefront a 1986 photo taken in the Organ Mtns. Wilderness: That Timeless Moment Preserved.

Perhaps we dare hope that now, at least in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (!!) the meaning of “Timeless Moment” may well have been infinitely expanded!




43 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday June 26 2014; “The Timeless Moment”

  1. Muench has long indeed been the absolute master of capturing that “timeless moment”

    Unbelievable beauty captured so perfectly by Muench!

  2. Will the GOP wake up and ask: What if Republicans always hustled this hard (Cochran’s win) to win over African American voters…?

  3. From the Live Blog at Scotusblog:

    The Recess appointments clause empowers the president to fill any existing vacancy during any recess (intra-session or inter-session) of sufficient length.

    This is a narrow ruling. It gives the President substantial recess appointment power. It says the only problem with the appointments was that the President had to respect the Senate’s pro forma recesses.

    The opinion goes on to say that the clause does not say how long the recess must be to fall within the clause, but even the Solicitor General concedes that a 3-day recess would be too short.

    The court says that a recess of more than three days but less than ten days is presumptively too short to fall within the clause.

    The Court specifically holds that the President can fill any existing vacancy during any intra or inter-session recess.

    These recess appointments apparently were not valid because they were made during a three-day recess.

    The court also holds that the recess does not have to occur during the recess. (Sorry for earlier typo – the vacancy does not have to arise during the recess itself. It can be an existing vacancy that gets filled.)

    The decision appears to be unanimous on the judgment, but Scalia files an opinion concurring in the judgment, joined by Roberts, Thomas, and Alito.

    This likely means that the unions are going to lose the Harris v. Quinn public employee union case.

    • “The key to the operation of the recess appointments power will now be who controls the Senate calendar, which is managed by the House of Representatives. They can force the Senate to hold few longer recesses. That will effectively block recess appointments.”

      • The House ‘manages’ the Senate calendar? If so, why? Does the Senate, then, ‘manage’ the House’s calendar? If no, why not? Makes as much sense as having my neighbor manage my calendar. I mean really — how stupid can politic get . . . ah, never mind.

        Maybe the Mississippi runoff will (mercifully) force the teabaggers to leave the Repubs behind and form a third party. I love the sound of that — it worked SO well for the GOP in 1994!

    • Here’s Lyle. We have the second and final decison. McCullen v. Coakley. Per the Chief.

      Decision of the First Circuit is reversed.

      The Court is unanimous; Scalia concurs in judgment, joined by Kennedy and Thomas; Alito concurs in the judgment in his own opinion.

      The Court holds that the Massachusetts law violates the First Amendment. This is a law that imposes a thirty-five-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

      • Wonder what they would say about ‘Free Speech Protest Zones’ now?

        • Depends on whether the Pres is a D or an R. If a D, the ‘Free Speech Protest Zone’ is 12 inches; if the Pres is an R, the FSPZ is 12 miles.

      • “The abortion protests ruling is relatively narrow. The Court makes clear that states can pass laws that specifically ensure access to clinics. It holds that states cannot more broadly prohibit speech on public streets and sidewalks. It also notably rejects the protesters’ broadest arguments that such restrictions require strict constitutional scrutiny and are viewpoint based.”

      • A state can go beyond narrow laws that block obstructions to clinics, and more broadly ban abortion protests, only if it builds a record showing that the narrower measures don’t work.

        The upshot of today’s ruling is that an abortion clinic buffer zone is presumptively unconstitutional. Instead, a state has to more narrowly target clinic obstructions. For example, the police can tell protesters to move aside to let a woman through to the clinic. But it cannot prohibit protesters from being on the sidewalks in the first instance. If in practice protesters still are obstructing the entrance, then it can consider a broader restriction.

        In McCullen, the Court seemingly leaves no room for a law requiring as a general matter buffer zones of any size around the clinics — it lists all manner of alternatives, including court orders tailored to a specific clinic’s problems, that will be a more narrowly tailored way of responding to the State’s legitimate concerns.

        The S. Ct. majority says nothing about its prior buffer zone ruling in Hill, the validity of which now seems in real question.

        Hill allowed Colorado to limit distance of protestor to no more that 8 feet. Sounds like a state may still create a limited buffer?

    • If this ruling invalidates decisions by Obama appointees made during non-qualifying recesses, does that only apply to Obama appointees or does it apply to Bush appointees made during similar non-qualifying recesses? Or any other President?

      • Sure, why not? We gave retroactive immunity to the Telecoms why can’t apply this law backward? Inhaling Inquiring minds want to know!

  4. Kentucky Getting Ready to Ditch Mitch As Democrat Grimes Leads McConnell 48%-46%

    What looked like it could be an anomaly is beginning to look like a real thing in Kentucky. The Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Alison Lundergan Grimes, is leading in a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) by 2 points, on the heels of McConnell’s primary win. That’s right — if this is McConnell’s post-primary bump, he’s in trouble.

    The poll contains a flood of bad news for McConnell. Eighty-nine percent of respondents are more likely to vote for a candidate who will pass legislation to create jobs. By an 80%-14% margin, voters (including 70% of Republicans) want a candidate that will close tax loopholes on millionaires. Seventy-eight percent of voters want a candidate who will end gridlock and partisanship. Seventy-six percent want a candidate that will make sure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and by a margin of 63%-31% voters oppose cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations.

    Mitch McConnell opposes everything that Kentucky voters said they supported in the paragraph above. What’s even worse for McConnell is that voters strongly oppose what he supports. McConnell has been a vocal supporter of tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. McConnell has personally blocked a wide range of job creation bills in the Senate, and he has publicly admitted that he is using gridlock as a strategy to destroy the Obama presidency.

    Kentucky has always been ‘blue’. It’s the color of the Kentucky Wildcats and Kentucky Bluegrass. They have a Dem governor now. A Dem can win a statewide race in Kentucky. The irony of a loss for McConnell is even if the Rs get a majority in the Senate, Mitch won’t be majority leader.

  5. Is the US playing to get a tie? Sure looks like it. Huge game of ‘keepaway’.

    • Well, we lost, but according to the Breaking News on the screen, the USA advances anyway.

      • Yup, they did enough to proceed, almost nicked a goal at the end a couple of times.

        Next game USA v Belgium….. next Tuesday

  6. While the Preident is able to take unilateral action due to the Antiquities Act, EPA protection efforts have been handcuffed by the Supreme Court. In order to re-establish the Clean Water Act, the EPA has developed new rules to protect headwaters, not ‘navigable waters’ as the courts have narrowly viewed the CW Act. New rules are being proposed, of course Republicans in the House and Senate, the minions for the American Petroleum Institute and the National Homebuilders Association want to scuttle the plan to re-establish headwater protection. Leading conservation groups like Trout Unlimited are pushing the fight for sane and reasonable protections. Her is a link to take action and contact your local representative. Even if they are Republican, many constituents of conservative congress folk do hunt and fish and don’t want these places spoiled by gas wells and McMansions. Please consider clicking here:

    • This issue is being misrepresented in the farming community as “Obama is coming to take your pond!”.

      • My guess is that whenever anyone says or hears that “Obama is coming to take your _____” there should be no doubt that Obama is, instead, working to prevent the oligarchy from relieving ‘you’ (and everyone else) of everything each and all might ever have.

        • Not to mention that if you live In Virginia and have not fenced your cattle out of streams and ponds, you suck.

  7. Compassion

    Louie Gohmert demands Obama stop ‘luring’ lice and scabies-ridden immigrant children

    …Gohmert said that he had visited a facility in Texas over the weekend where children were “lying on a concrete floor.”…

    GoofyGohmert – this shows inhumane treatment. That is NOT Obama’s fault, that is TX ‘hospitality’.
    You, GG, are a poor excuse for a human being.

    • He’s a poor excuse for a cockroach. Not sure he’s human in any case. Would have to see DNA evidence before any conclusion could be drawn.

    • If guests in this country are not having their needs attended to I better never again hear anyone call this a christian nation. No matter how or why they came, or where they will end up, every single citizen should be willing to insist that they be treated with kindness and compassion. There was a plan in southern VA to convert a defunct college into temporary housing for some of these children. Hundreds of people came out to protest against bringing these people here. It makes me sick.

      • If I were to be perfectly frank I would have to state outloud that there isn’t a lot of the current day’s “politic” that does NOT make me sick. And I’m not speaking of those voices of reason, of progressive-minded folks who actually CARE about things, who give a damn about nearly all the issues that cause rage in those of lesser mind. There are still decent people in this country, perhaps even a majority fill that bill when the chips are down. But their (our) voices are largely muted by society’s cockroaches who, for whatever reason, seem to get virtually all of the news coverage. I don’t know, yet, whether hatred and greed are indeed driving the destiny of country, of world even, but with every day that passes I’m seeing less and less evidence that “kindness and compassion” any longer have a place in the emerging society. Makes me damn glad to be an old bugger, sad that I’m not a lot older even. Never thought I’d live long enough to see what I’m seeing, but here I am. 😡

  8. We lived at the foot of the Organ mountains in las cruces about 7 years ago. I have some nicee photos to ppost if i knew how.


    • Hopefully one of the administrators will see your post – they can direct on how to.

  9. In the game today, the U.S. finished with four shots and ZERO SHOTS ON GOAL. But yeah, exciting.

    Can we all go back to work now?

    • I heard a clip of mAnn Coulter saying it “hadn’t written about soccer for 10 years, about as long as it takes to play a game.” Wow, a NFL football games takes over 3 hours to play and fans in the stadium watch the jumbo tron TVs while field action has stopped for commercials to play for their broadcast viewers.

      I know nothing about the rules of soccer, but from the little I’ve seen and heard it appears attempts to score are part of the calculation of where a team stands relative to their league members as well as the number of points scored against you. That’s quite different from the NFL where a long drive can result in no points scored and no team reward for plays that can accumulate points towards individual achievement awards like most receptions, most completed passes, yards gained rushing and yards gained passing.

      Another thing that intrigues me is the amount of money spent on commercials that, when aired, become an opportunities to go to the bathroom or kitchen without missing any game play.

    • One statistic does not decide if a game is exciting or not. It is more complex than that. But well….

  10. Whine On:

    I don’t like to whine about my personal life but I have to say after suffering for one month with excruciating pain in my neck and left shoulder from what I thought was a pinched nerve caused by four bones spurs in my neck.

    To finally finding out I’m not suffering from a pinched nerve or issues with my bone spurs but have cervical stenosis which along with the narrowing of the spinal canal causes glorious arthritic pain, weakened arms, weakened legs, clumsy hands, stumbling feet which screws up your balance.

    To dealing with health insurance changes at exactly the wrong time. To Blowing a head gasket on my truck today. To dealing with right wing idiots on a daily basis. To scraping for and saving every dime. To how I see the world today. Where’s Dr. Kevorkian when you need him?

    I know millions upon millions of other people in this world have it far worse than me, but I must say, as I get older I’m finding I don’t seem to have the patience, energy or drive to deal with life as much anymore. Actually fearing life and future more than death. Weakness in hands? How the hell am I going to load and than light up a bowl or strangle a right wing idiot with clumsy hands?

    Smile, crazy Shelly Bachmann loves you!

    Whine Off.

    • How the hell am I going to load and than light up a bowl..

      Perserverance, or a friend to smoke with. I never used the stuff, couldn’t even stand tobacco, but if it helps the pain become bearable, I see no problem with it. If not for geography, I could help with the head gasket. Maybe. I’d try anyway.

      Hang in there.

      • Hanging in there is about all one can do…the constant battle get’s old. As for the blown head gasket . The twist on that is I just had a coolant leak repaired five weeks ago, things were fine except he forgot to connect the water temperature gauge sensor all the way in so it didn’t work and me only driving 5 minutes a way from work and back and not in any mood to go anywhere do to my neck pain I never really noticed that the temperature gauge wasn’t working until it was too late. Dealing with the auto mechanic tomorrow after work…It’s not going to be pleasant.

        • I never get quality work from others, which is why I had to learn to do my own. That goes for carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and automotive.

          Now if I can just learn to cook…

          Good luck with the auto shop. They should at least work with you on the head repair. I would have.

    • Difficult time – whine and rant all you want – we’re listening/reading!
      Dr. K isn’t really the way.
      Try to find a pain management clinic/physician to prescribe meds that will help alleviate
      the suffering.
      Your ailments are NOT trivial.

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