Why the Cowboy Code Is Not Frivolous

A good friend Patrick Dorinson has a blog on FoxNews.com  where he talks about stuff like values. One of his recurring themes is the Code of the West or the Cowboy Code.

A good reminder…please read his article…

Why the Cowboy Code Is Not Frivolous

…Some politicians cheat on their wives. If a man will cheat on his wife what do you think he will do to the folks that elected him? 



Tucson used to be cowboy country. The Code of the West still applies out beyond the subdivisions and shopping malls. A lot of us Boomers grew up wih these from the days when cowboys were still heros, and then forget them.

Here are some versions of the Cowboy Code and the Code of the West. More people, especially our politicians, ought to follow these:    

 Gene Autry’s 10 Commandments:

Gene AutryGene Autry

The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

He must always tell the truth.

He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.

He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.

He must help people in distress.

He must be a good worker.

He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.

He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.

The Cowboy is a patriot

Lone Ranger Code of Conduct.

Lone Raner Lone Ranger

 I believe…..

 That to have a friend, a man must be one.

 That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.

 That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.

 In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.

 That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.

 That ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.

 That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.

 That sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

 That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.

 In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.  

Hopalong Cassidy

 Hoppy and TopperHoppy and Topper

 Hopalong Cassidy’s Creed for American Boys and Girls

  1. The highest badge of honor a person can wear is honesty. Be truthful at all times.

 2. Your parents are the best friends you have. Listen to them and obey their instructions.

 3. If you want to be respected, you must respect others. Show good manners in every way.

 4. Only through hard work and study can you succeed. Don’t be lazy.

 5. Your good deeds always come to light. So don’t boast or be a show-off.

 6. If you waste time or money today, you will regret it tomorrow. Practice thrift in all ways.

 7. Many animals are good and loyal companions. Be friendly and kind to them.

 8. A strong, healthy body is a precious gift. Be neat and clean.

 9. Our country’s laws are made for your protection. Observe them carefully.

 10. Children in many foreign lands are less fortunate than you. Be glad and proud you are an American.

 And you wonder why the Boomer Generation is sort of strange….

And here are some other additions to the Code of the West…

Code of the West (from “Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West” by James P. Owen)1. Live each day with courage.

2. Take pride in your work.

3. Always finish what you start.

4. Do what has to be done.

5. Be tough, but fair.

6. When you make a promise, keep it.

7. Ride for the brand.

8. Talk less and say more.

9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

10. Know where to draw the line.  

Cowboy Cowboy

An Old Cowboy’s Advice

 * Keep your fences horse-high, pig-tight & bull-strong.

* Keep skunks & bankers & lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.

* Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Don’t corner something that would normally run from you.

* It doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about is never gonna happen anyway.

* Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

* Sometimes you get, & sometimes you get got.

* Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, & a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

* If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

The Cowboy Libertarian’s Code  by Patrick Dorinson

• Live by the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

• There are only two things you can count on in this world. The sun coming up in the morning and setting at night. Everything else is a crapshoot.

• Citizenship is not a passive activity. Get informed and stay informed. And if you don’t vote, don’t complain.

• Don’t go looking for trouble. You’ll get your share in life.

• Right is right and wrong is wrong there are no shades of gray.

• Never interfere with something that ain’t bothering you none.

• Never drop your gun to hug a grizzly bear.

• Never forget a kindness and repay it in kind.

• If you don’t believe in something you will fall for anything.

• Face your problems head-on. They won’t look half as bad if you do.

• Wisdom comes from experience, most of it bad.

• Help the less fortunate and defend those who can’t defend themselves. It is not an option but an obligation.

• If you looking for a helping hand, start by looking at the end of your own arm.

• Play the hand you were dealt. In life there is no second draw of the cards.

• A penny saved is a penny earned.

• Life is not fair and it is not the responsibility of the government to make it so.

• We will all fall down at some point in our lives. It’s how you pick yourself up that counts.

• Hollywood should be just as concerned about the “mental pollution” of our children as they are about the environmental pollution of the planet.

• Parents are parents and kids are kids not friends and buddies.

• Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you got.

• When you’re wrong admit it and when you’re right stand by it.

• Courts are not casinos or the lottery.

• Life has risk. We can’t litigate, legislate or regulate our way out of every problem.

• Not every problem is a crisis. But if you watch television you would think so.

• We all have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.

• You can disagree with someone without being disagreeable.

• Nothing is free. Somebody always pays.

• If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.

• Keep a safe distance from skunks, lawyers and politicians.

• The Ten Commandments are not the Ten Suggestions.

• Sorry looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up. 


Another cowboy Another cowboy

The New Cowboy Code

If you give a man a horse, a rope and a tree, and if he’s so inclined, he’ll hang himself.

If God intended us to fly he’d a given us luggage racks.Judge your accomplishments not by the names of your friends, but by the list of your enemies.

Being thrown by a horse is not the worst thing that’s gonna happen to you. Iys when you hit the ground.

There’s always one horse that ain’t never going to be rode. Figure that out before you saddle up.

A gun and three of a kind always beats three of a kind.

The reason God is all powerful is He invented stink bugs, scorpions and mosquitoes. We just created Government.

Always understand the difference between belief in a religion and belief in God. The former will get you killed.

You don’t always have to be first. But being best is a whole lot better.

Hard work makes you live longer.

There’s only a few words you need to know to get along with your wife. They are:  “Yes dear”, “You’re right” and “When do you want it done”.

The Government keeps trying to make us better people. They’re wasting their time and our money.

About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
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