I was flipping through an old (June 2005) issue of Architectural Digest today when I came across a fascinating article on a property owned by billionaire Democrat, Ted Turner. Although the writer, Nancy Collins, coos about the “25 properties” billionaire Turner had amassed around the world, this particular piece was about Vermejo Park Ranch, a 591,000-acre “spectacular” spread of land in New Mexico purchased by billionaire Turner.
“As far as I know, Vermejo is the largest contiguous piece of private land in the United States,” boasted billionaire Turner, who was interviewed alongside his ex-wife, the radical leftist, Jane Fonda.
“If it hadn’t been for Ted, the land would’ve been chopped up and sold off,” the leftist Fonda proudly chirped.
As I pondered Fonda’s evident relief that billionaire Turner’s massive acquisition had rescued this great piece of land from the trajedy of being divided into the dirty clutches of less-deserving, non-billionaires, I couldn’t help but wonder how this sniffy celebration of private land ownership squares with the Left’s usual insistence on preserving public lands for the enjoyment of all (though always at the expense of taxpayers or other land owners, naturally). Had billionaire Turner not swooped in and hoarded all this land and beauty for himself, the land might have been divided into smaller parcels for people of lesser means willing to settle for a small slice of heaven as well as to entrepreneurs hoping to share in some of the same economic benefits that billionaire Turner and his pampered ex-wife – the leftist Jane Fonda – enjoy. But no, this mustn’t be allowed. Lowly commoners don’t know how to properly take care of the land. They aren’t capable of appreciating its beauty and its bounty the way elites like billionaire Turner and leftist Fonda do.
“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” – Animal Farm
“Fortunately, America’s most notorious cowboy rode in and saved the day…” drooled Ms. Collins (whether or not Ms. Collins understands the terms “notorious” and “cowboy” is a question yet to be determined)…turning Vermejo into a mecca of ‘recreational opportunities for sportsmen who, though they can’t afford a ranch of their own,’ explains [billionaire] Turner, ‘can afford a week here.’”
Billionaire Turner truly is a saint, isn’t he? You can’t have your own ranch because he’s bought up all the land, but for a small fee you can come for a week and he will allow you to admire all that he possesses. And how affordable is a week at Vermejo Park Ranch? According to its website, “Rates [start] at $1,050 double occupancy, all meals and non-guided activities included.” So a week would cost you a mere $7,350….minimum. That billionaire Turner has a heart of gold, don’t you think?
Now let’s talk about the billionaire, the leftist and the environment. The purchase of Vermejo Park Ranch included a 25,000 square foot main house (Casa Grande), an adjacent lodge and six cottages. Per the article, “Fonda was appalled by what she initially encountered” upon seeing the buildings for the first time. There was wall-to-wall carpeting and blue velvet furniture, for heaven’s sake. Naturally all this had to be ripped out and delivered to the landfill. The restoration/redecoration is admittedly beautiful, but I can’t help but wonder at what cost to the environment. How much pollution was created as crews of workmen travelled back and forth to the ranch with their materials? And, of course, how much pollution was created in the making of these materials? The ornate fireplace pictured in the article featured a lovely, roaring fire. Was this necessary to heat this massive building or was the carbon-emitting fire made solely for the purpose of an aesthetically-pleasing photo?
I’ll cut to the chase. I find the barefaced hypocrisy of billionaire Turner and leftist Fonda to be as stunning as their ranch. These are the very same people who work so hard to elect leftist politicians whose mission is to force ordinary Americans to limit their “carbon footprints” by restricting our access to fuel sources, vehicles, lumber, and anything else that THEY deem off-limits. These are the very same people who whine about the absence of affordable housing, even while they drive up the cost of land by indulging themselves in lavish purchases of hundreds of thousands of acres. Part way into the article Fonda cheerfully notes that Turner owns four ranches in Montana alone.
“We’d eat breakfast and early-morning fish at one, and drive two hours to the next for lunch and more fishing. Then on – an (sic) – another couple of hours to a third for dinner,” laughed the leftist, Jane Fonda.
Isn’t that charming? Presumably all this driving from one ranch to another occurred after the billionaire and the leftist flew in to Montana from one of their many other properties located elsewhere in the country, perhaps on the private jet owned by billionaire Turner. And I think we can assume that some employee(s) had to drive to these ranches to cook for the pampered pair, as it’s hardly likely that they would have stooped to such a lowly chore themselves.
“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
I’m a conservative who believes in free-market capitalism, so I don’t mind if billionaire Turner and leftist Fonda make money and spend it as they please; but I certainly mind when they live like capitalists while influencing our politics like communist dictators. When are we going to have laws that limit people like billionaire Turner and leftist Fonda to the same small carbon footprints that they would like to see the rest of us relegated to? The first time we enact such laws will be the last time billionaire Turner or leftist Fonda supports a Democrat for political office.
This and other posts by CW can also be found at the website The Pesky Truth. Please visit me there to join the conversation.