iOS app Android app

Paul Schwennesen
GET UPDATES FROM Paul Schwennesen
Paul Schwennesen is a southern Arizona rancher. He can be reached at Paul holds a Master’s degree in Government from Harvard University and a dual Bachelor’s degree from the Air Force Academy. He appears frequently on FOX Business News, and is a regular contributor to the Property and Environment Research Center. His writing has appeared in The Freeman, American Spectator, The Tucson Citizen, Stockman Grass Farmer, Master Resource, and the Arizona Cattlelog. He and his wife Sarah raise three children in a decidedly centralized, highly regulatory environment…

Entries by Paul Schwennesen

Modified: GMO Labels that Actually Work

(13) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 2:48 PM

When the "in" crowd wrests the levers of power from the "out" crowd, be ready to duck. Trendy slogans may well become administrative fiat. Authoritarian fashion-sense often relies on poor reasoning and an even poorer respect for individual autonomy.

For a case in point, look no further than the...

Read Post

Autonomy: The Self-Driving Car and You

(1) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 5:32 PM

Audi announced last week that it has become the first automaker to receive approval to test its self-driving cars on California's public roads. Autonomy (both technical and political) is about to shift into high gear.

We could be forgiven for thinking this is a vaguely interesting gewgaw in a world...

Read Post

Death of a Civitas

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 1:57 PM

Yes, it's the better part of ghoulish to spend a birthday's morning in a graveyard, but that's where the sidewalk ended and the walk wasn't over...

The Greenwood Cemetery is a drive-by kind of place: perched atop a forested hill with a convenient road-cut on its eastern flank to shelter...

Read Post

On Secession:

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 2:08 PM

As Scotland lurches toward its historic vote for independence this week, it brings to mind a similar moment, seven score and fourteen years ago, when the American South voted, en file, to secede from our Union. While Scotland's proposed break does not thankfully involve the moral plague of slavery, it...

Read Post

Arizona's 'Hate Bill:' A Defense?

(3) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 12:01 AM

Well Arizona, we've dodged a nasty little squabble. Our governor has dealt a blow to SB 1062, what CNN helpfully dubbed the "Anti-Gay" bill and others call a "Hate Bill." This horrid little piece of legislation would have ostensibly given license for business owners to discriminate as long as they...

Read Post

Fast Food Nation: A Citizen's Report

(23) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 1:52 PM

If you were to believe the mythology du jour, McDonald's is nearing the final phase of its diabolical plan to capture the hearts and minds of you and your children. That goofy-looking clown (smiles on the outside, atherosclerosis inside) is throwing a desperate hail-Mary pass to his bulbous purple sidekick,...

Read Post

On School Choice

(4) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 6:54 PM

Something remarkable is occurring in the arena of schools: shopping. Not late summer back-to-school specials or runs on novelty lunch-boxes, but shopping for schools themselves.

As a father of three who are rapidly entering school age, I've been presented with the time-consuming but enviable task of picking where my kids...

Read Post

Keystone XL Pipeline: Why All the Fuss?

(48) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 5:26 PM

As the largest climate rally in history gathered to move "Forward on Climate" by protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, I can't help but wonder what the fuss is about. Robert Kennedy Jr. helpfully tells us that the pipeline is "threatening the future of civilization."

Read Post

Letter to Europe: Concering Toleration

(5) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 8:39 AM

A Letter to Europe: Concerning Toleration

Shortly after a trying visit to the European Parliament in Brussels (picture an entire city under the confused thumb of TSA...) I retreated to higher ground in an intriguing old building on a hill. Not having dusted off my Flemish in some...

Read Post

Scrap Metal and Electric Cars: Test Your Green IQ!

(48) Comments | Posted September 2, 2012 | 10:44 AM

Word problem; answers graded on a curve...

A 1981 Dodge Ram Van (faded brown with those funky round portholes in the back) leaves the town of Winkelman at 45 miles an hour pulling 2,500 pounds in an unregistered trailer. A 2012 Nissan Leaf (silver, with a "Be Kind"...

Read Post

Ethics of Eating Meat

(199) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 5:49 PM

I kill animals for a living.

I do it so others, as well as myself, can eat them. This accident of circumstance probably disqualifies me from any serious ethical discussion of meat eating. After all, I can hardly claim objectivity. Then again, who can? I live very close to...

Read Post

Scourge: Illegal Aliens in our Midst

(11) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 7:35 PM

This may be no surprise to the rest of you, but down here in border country, we are surrounded by immigrants. Aliens at every turn. Invading the places we live and work, they threaten the very stability of our established order. They are particularly hard to police, being resistant to...

Read Post

On Afghanistan: Reflections From the Past

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 12:34 PM

Author's Note: This essay was written in 2005 and recently discovered in a dusty electronic file underneath a pile of virtual packing crates ... It was one of my application essays to a graduate program in government and sheds some interesting light on the doubtfully optimistic mentality pervading the mission...

Read Post

Priceless: The Value of Nothing

(1) Comments | Posted January 17, 2012 | 11:15 AM

Oscar Wilde escaped the indictment of resting on cliché by the happy trick of inventing most of the best of them. Even then, only barely.

One of his most enduring is the definition of a cynic: "A man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing."...

Read Post

Children On Farms: A Conceit Over Fatalities

(50) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 1:43 PM

"We simply cannot -- and this administration will not -- stand by while youngsters working on farms are robbed of their childhood." -- Department of Labor, May 2010

Thus reads the sentiment justifying a sweeping new rule that will revamp existing child labor regulations and, we are led...

Read Post

Too Big Has Failed... Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party Are Similar

(28) Comments | Posted October 20, 2011 | 5:31 PM

The occupation went off without a hitch, apparently.

I'm not entirely sure what "Occupy Tucson" actually looked like, but I'm a good guesser. I'll warrant there was a fair number of Guatemalan handbags, more than a few recycled wardrobes, and in all likelihood a goodly number of early-model Subaru...

Read Post

Eating from the Same Dish: Liberals and Conservatives Should Both Enjoy "Local" Food

(13) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 10:48 AM

I make my living at farmers' markets and know my core clientele well. It generally doesn't sport "Gun Control is Hitting Your Target" t-shirts, so it struck me when one showed up at our stand. In answer to my jests, the wearer asked a telling question: "What could be more...

Read Post