It's showdown at high noon over the Code of the West, Wyoming's official code for living a virtuous life like the ideal cowboy.
The code's 10 aphorisms by themselves are hard to disparage and Gov. Dave Freudenthal recently designated them the official code for Wyoming. Their advice includes "always finish what you start" and "take pride your work." But Wyoming author and historian Samuel Western says the code suggests a sanitized view of Wyoming history, as if all cowboys are virtuous and always have been.
Riding to the code's defense is the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, which invited code author James Owen to speak at its convention in Casper this week. Owen says America needs more role models. He got a standing ovation.