Socialism breaks everything it touches–especially people

Posted by in Big Government, Dictators, Socialism

July 7, 2015

“You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat.”

by Derek Monson

as published by Sutherland Institute

First, the common-sense explanation, in the words of the great Vin Scully (via the Power Line blog):


Vin Scully retires at the end of this season, his sixty-seventh year doing what nobody has ever done better. Among other things, he has made some classic calls in the course of a glorious broadcasting career. He may not have ever made a better one than he did during Friday night’s Dodgers-Brewers game (video below): “Socialism, failing to work as it always does. This time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello.”

As usual, Mr. Scully goes to the heart of the matter with perfect concision. “Only Vin Scully can take down an entire political system between pitches.”

Scully quote via David Hookstead/Daily Caller.

Second, the intellectual explanation, in the words of the great Milton Friedman:

So as this election year marches on, when you hear a progressive politician telling you how their government programs will reduce income inequality, build up the middle class and remove power from greedy corporations, remember that their ideas will really just put more power in the hands of bureaucracies whose self-interest is no more noble or beneficial for your community than that of the corporations they vilify.

Reposted by  7/7/16

Not content with abortion as a means of killing, Colorado Democrats get ‘right to kill old, sick people’ on November ballot

Posted by in Colorado Politics, Culture of Death, liberalism

by John Stonestreet as published by Lifesite News

My home state of Colorado is asking these questions right now. A bill before the legislature would make us the fifth state to legalize assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California. Sponsors of the bill are proposing it under the commonly used name “Death with Dignity.”

That’s a euphemism for killing elderly and terminally-ill patients by giving them a cocktail of toxic drugs. And unlike abortion, which has become less and less justifiable with the availability of ultrasound and neonatal care, it’s easy to make physician-assisted suicide sound compassionate.

“I feel that it’s a basic human right to be in charge of your own destiny,” says assisted suicide proponent Lance Wright. “The situation now is that you and I are not in control of what happens at the end of our lives.”

Wright thinks that we should be in control, and that assisted suicide is the means. Many agree with him, and it’s not hard to see why. Writing at Linkedin, emergency physician Louis Profeta describes the grisly details of what it looks like when doctors keep dying patients alive at all costs:

“Nearly 50 percent of the elderly US population,” he writes, “now die in nursing homes or hospitals…surrounded by teams of us doctors and nurses, medical students, respiratory therapists and countless other health care providers pounding on their chests, breaking their ribs, burrowing large IV lines into burned-out veins and plunging tubes into swollen and bleeding airways,” all to delay the inevitable.

Profeta contrasts this with a time when the terminally ill and elderly slipped away quietly at home, surrounded by loved ones who offered comfort. He admits to fearing a day when physicians like him who’ve given aggressive end-of-life treatment will face God, Who’ll ask them, “What  . . .  were you thinking?”

All right. Let’s begin by clearly stating that valuing life does not mean staving off death at all costs. We who believe in the resurrection of the body should be the first to reject this notion. But we’ve got to reject speeding up death through so-called “death with dignity” as the answer as well.

As hospice volunteer Krista Kafer explains at The Federalist, when we elevate suicide as a solution, it exerts a “poisonous effect on the practice of medicine,” directly contradicting the Hippocratic Oath, which binds physicians never to “give a deadly drug to anybody who asks for it.”

Offering a poison pill to patients in pain distorts the motives of all involved. Insurance companies, hospital staff, government agencies, and even family members suddenly have an increased financial stake in a speedy death. And as we’ve seen in other countries, lines of “consent” and “futility” can blur, and even patients with psychological issues, like depression and schizophrenia, often become targets.

What’s more, the emotional appeal of assisted suicide depends on a false dilemma. Weeks of agonizing, futile treatment, or death-by-doctor are not the only choices. Kafer suggests that hospice and palliative care are viable, humane, life-affirming options for the dying.

In the meantime, we have our work cut out for us. With a cascade of states turning caregivers into potential executioners, we’ve got to help our neighbors understand that although assisted-suicide may sound compassionate and dignified, it’s neither. It just dehumanizes patients and physicians.

You can always rely on the Left to devise new ways of killing the innocent while protecting, shielding, enabling, and justifying evil.

Posted by  7/5/16

Why did the Cherokee fight with the Confederacy in the Civil War?

Posted by in Civil War History, Native American Interests

July 4, 2016

Why the Cherokee Nation Allied Themselves With the Confederate States of America in 1861

Many have no doubt heard of the valor of the Cherokee warriors under the command of Brigadier General Stand Watie in the West and of Thomas’ famous North Carolina Legion in the East during the War for Southern Independence from 1861 to 1865. But why did the Cherokees and their brethren, the Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws, and Chickasaws determine to make common cause with the Confederate South against the Northern Union? To know their reasons is very instructive as to the issues underlying that tragic war. Most Americans have been propagandized rather than educated in the causes of the war, all this to justify the perpetrators and victors. Considering the Cherokee view uncovers much truth buried by decades of politically correct propaganda and allows a broader and truer perspective.

On August 21, 1861, the Cherokee Nation by a General Convention at Tahlequah (in Oklahoma) declared its common cause with the Confederate States against the Northern Union. A treaty was concluded on October 7th between the Confederate States and the Cherokee Nation, and on October 9th, John Ross, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation called into session the Cherokee National Committee and National Council to approve and implement that treaty and a future course of action.

The Cherokees had at first considerable consternation over the growing conflict and desired to remain neutral. They had much common economy and contact with their Confederate neighbors, but their treaties were with the government of the United States.

The Northern conduct of the war against their neighbors, strong repression of Northern political dissent, and the roughshod trampling of the U. S Constitution under the new regimeand political powers in Washington soon changed their thinking.

The Cherokee were perhaps the best educated and literate of the American Indian Tribes. They were also among the most Christian. Learning and wisdom were highly esteemed. They revered the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution as particularly importantguarantors of their rights and freedoms. It is not surprising then that on October 28, 1861, the National Council issued a Declaration by the People of the Cherokee Nation of the Causes Which Have Impelled them to Unite Their Fortunes With Those of the Confederate States of America.

The introductory words of this declaration strongly resembled the 1776 Declaration of Independence:

“When circumstances beyond their control compel one people to sever the ties which have long existed between them and another state or confederacy, and to contract new alliances and establish new relations for the security of their rights and liberties, it is fit that they should publicly declare the reasons by which their action is justified.”

In the next paragraphs of their declaration the Cherokee Council noted their faithful adherence to their treaties with the United States in the past and how they had faithfully attempted neutrality until the present. But the seventh paragraph begins to delineate theiralarm with Northern aggression and sympathy with the South:

“But Providence rules the destinies of nations, and events, by inexorable necessity, overrule human resolutions.”

Comparing the relatively limited objectives and defensive nature of the Southern cause in contrast to the aggressive actions of the North they remarked of the Confederate States:

“Disclaiming any intention to invade the Northern States, they sought only to repel the invaders from their own soil and to secure the right of governing themselves. They claimed only the privilege asserted in the Declaration of American Independence, and on which theright of Northern States themselves to self-government is formed, and altering their form of government when it became no longer tolerable and establishing new forms for the security of their liberties.”

The next paragraph noted the orderly and democratic process by which each of the Confederate States seceded. This was without violence or coercion and nowhere were liberties abridged or civilian courts and authorities made subordinate to the military. Also noted wasthe growing unity and success of the South against Northern aggression. The following or ninth paragraph contrasts this with ruthless and totalitarian trends in the North:

“But in the Northern States the Cherokee people saw with alarm a violated constitution, all civil liberty put in peril, and all rules of civilized warfare and the dictates of common humanity and decency unhesitatingly disregarded. In the states which still adhered to the Union a military despotism had displaced civilian power and the laws became silent with arms. Free speech and almost free thought became a crime. The right of habeas corpus, guaranteed by the constitution, disappeared at the nod of a Secretary of State or a general of the lowest grade. The mandate of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was at naught by the military power and this outrage on common right approved by a President sworn to support the constitution. War on the largest scale was waged, and the immense bodies of troops called into the field in the absence of any warranting it under the pretense of suppressing unlawful combination of men.”

The tenth paragraph continues the indictment of the Northern political party in power and the conduct of the Union Armies:

“The humanities of war, which even barbarians respect, were no longer thought worthy to be observed. Foreign mercenaries and the scum of the cities and the inmates of prisons were enlisted and organized into brigades and sent into Southern States to aid in subjugating a people struggling for freedom, to burn, to plunder, and to commit the basest of outrages on the women; while the heels of armed tyranny trod upon the necks of Maryland and Missouri, and men of the highest character and position were incarcerated upon suspicion without process of law, in jails, forts, and prison ships, and even women were imprisoned by the arbitrary order of a President and Cabinet Ministers; while the press ceased to be free, andthe publication of newspapers was suspended and their issues seized and destroyed; the officers and men taken prisoners in the battles were allowed to remain in captivity by the refusal of the Government to consent to an exchange of prisoners; as they had left their dead on more than one field of battle that had witnessed their defeat, to be buried and their wounded to be cared for by southern hands.”

The eleventh paragraph of the Cherokee declaration is a fairly concise summary of their grievances against the political powers now presiding over a new U. S. Government:

“Whatever causes the Cherokee people may have had in the past to complain of some of the southern states, they cannot but feel that their interests and destiny are inseparably connected to those of the south. The war now waging is a war of Northern cupidity and fanaticism against the institution of African servitude; against the commercial freedom of the south, and against the political freedom of the states, and its objects are to annihilate the sovereignty of those states and utterly change the nature of the general government.”

The Cherokees felt they had been faithful and loyal to their treaties with the United States, but now perceived that the relationship was not reciprocal and that their very existence as a people was threatened. They had also witnessed the recent exploitation of the properties and rights of Indian tribes in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oregon, and feared that they, too, might soon become victims of Northern rapacity. Therefore, they were compelled to abrogate thosetreaties in defense of their people, lands, and rights. They felt the Union had already made war on them by their actions.

Finally, appealing to their inalienable right to self-defense and self-determination as a free people, they concluded their declaration with the following words:

“Obeying the dictates of prudence and providing for the general safety and welfare, confident of the rectitude of their intentions and true to their obligations to duty and honor, they accept the issue thus forced upon them, unite their fortunes now and forever with the Confederate States, and take up arms for the common cause, and with entire confidence of the justice of that cause and with a firm reliance upon Divine Providence, will resolutely abide the consequences.

The Cherokees were true to their words. The last shot fired in the war east of the Mississippi was May 6, 1865. This was in an engagement at White Sulphur Springs, near Waynesville, North Carolina, of part of Thomas’ Legion against Kirk’s infamous Union raiders that hadwreaked a murderous terrorism and destruction on the civilian population of Western North Carolina. Col. William H. Thomas’ Legion was originally predominantly Cherokee, but had also accrued a large number of North Carolina mountain men. On June 23, 1865, in what was the last land battle of the war, Confederate Brigadier General and Cherokee Chief, Stand Watie, finally surrendered his predominantly Cherokee, Oklahoma Indian force to the Union.


The issues as the Cherokees saw them were 1) self-defense against Northern aggression, both for themselves and their fellow Confederates, 2) the right of self-determination by a free people, 3) protection of their heritage, 4) preservation of their political rights under a constitutional government of law 5) a strong desire to retain the principles of limited government and decentralized power guaranteed by the Constitution, 6) protection of their economic rights and welfare, 7) dismay at the despotism of the party and leaders now in command of the U. S. Government, 8) dismay at the ruthless disregard of commonly accepted rules of warfare by the Union, especially their treatment of civilians and non-combatants, 9) a fear of economic exploitation by corrupt politicians and their supporters based on observed past experience, and 10) alarm at the self-righteous and extreme, punitive, and vengeful pronouncements on the slavery issue voiced by the radical abolitionists and supported by many Northern politicians, journalists, social, and religious (mostly Unitarian)leaders. It should be noted here that some of the Cherokees owned slaves, but the practice was not extensive.

The Cherokee Declaration of October 1861 uncovers a far more complex set of “Civil War” issues than most Americans have been taught. Rediscovered truth is not always welcome. Indeed some of the issues here are so distressing that the general academic, media, and public reaction is to rebury them or shout them down as politically incorrect.

The notion that slavery was the only real or even principal cause of the war is very politically correct and widely held, but historically ignorant. It has served, however, as a convenient ex post facto justification for the war and its conduct. Slavery was an issue, and it was related to many other issues, but it was by no means the only issue, or even the most important underlying issue. It was not even an issue in the way most people think of it. Only about 25% of Southern households owned slaves. For most people, North and South, the slavery issue was not so much whether to keep it or not, but how to phase it out without causing economic and social disruption and disaster. Unfortunately the Southern and Cherokee fear of the radical abolitionists turned out to be well founded.

After the Reconstruction Act was passed in 1867 the radical abolitionists and radical Republicans were able to issue in a shameful era of politically punitive and economically exploitive oppression in the South, the results of which lasted many years, and even today arenot yet completely erased.

The Cherokee were and are a remarkable people who have impacted the American heritage far beyond their numbers. We can be especially grateful that they made a well thought out and articulate declaration for supporting and joining the Confederate cause in 1861.






January 7, 2004

Leonard M. Scruggs [send him mail] is a former Republican county chairman.

Reposted by 7/4/16

Colorado ‘Counter-terrorism Learning Lab’ omits mention of Islamic militants in ‘signs of terrorism’ video

Posted by in Islamic Terrorism, Muslim immigrants, Political Correctness

June 30, 2016

Is CELL more interested in pandering to Denver’s business establishment by whitewashing the true nature of most terrorism on American soil, than it is in protecting Americans?

Colorado’s own COUNTER-TERRORISM EDUCATION LEARNING LAB, with the clever acronym, CELL, may actually be more of a cell for promoting the “terrorism is not an Islamic problem” narrative, than an actual counter-terrorism education institution. Doubt my words? Check out CELL’s videos and website.

Exhibit I

CELL’s Counter-terror “Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism” training video fails to mention, even once, Islamic radicalism, Jihad, Muslim extremists, or any of the other Islamocentric sources of terrorism currently responsible for the vast majority of terror attacks in the United States and across the globe. The training video does, however, feature obviously American, ex-military types, as potential terrorism suspects.

(Colorado loves John Elway, but it looks he’s been sucked into an effort by Denver’s business establishment to whitewash the true nature of terrorism on American soil in order to avoid offending the key perpetrators of terror, radical Islamic militants.)

Exhibit II

The “Partners” listed by CELL include numerous corporations, such as the DENVER POST, and the “Scientific and Cultural Facilities District,” which is partially funded by taxpayer dollars from the Denver Metro counties.

The Denver Post

Scientific Cultural Facilities District

American Red Cross – Mile High Chapter

Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership

Colorado Thirty Group

Colorado Concern

Colorado Department of Public Safety

Colorado Information Analysis Center

 CAP Logistics

Denver Police Department


Denver, and other Front Range communities, such as Fort Collins and Greely, have large–and growing–Muslim populations, with many new refugee migrants. The Front Range business establishment has a financial interest in ‘not offending’ those Muslims, despite the fact that many Muslims reject Islamic terrorism and would appreciate being publicly differentiated from militants and Jihadists.

CELL has the potential to be a valuable asset in confronting imminent threats of Islamic terrorism, yet it seems to be bound by a disabling degree of politically correctness. By creating a training video, exhibits, and a website barely mentioning terrorist acts by radical Islamic militants, CELL is deflecting attention from real threats to our communities, towards the myth of the “angry, male, ex-military, home-grown terrorist.”

Memo to CELL: Radicalized mosques will yield more opportunities for counter-terrorism in Colorado than home-grown, ex-military guys.

As the body count from radical Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. and abroad mounts, it becomes more difficult for organizations such as CELL, business establishments, and political bodies, to pretend Islam is not at the center of modern terror threats. For the time being, though, the potential for Colorado’s CELL to be an effective counter-terrorism education learning lab is shackled by political correctness.

by Marjorie Haun  6/30/16




Bureaucrats in Body Armor: Why are civilian agencies amassing war arsenals?

Posted by in Bureau of Land Management, Federal militarism, Government Run Amok

June 29, 2016

Published by Open the Books, this report details the extent to which civilian administrative and regulatory agencies are gearing up for what appears to be a war on American soil. The questions naturally arising from these documented activities are,  ‘Why?’and ‘To what ends?’

Check out this summary and please share the accompanying graphics. Americans are asking ‘why’ but soon we may be asking, ‘how do we stop it?’

  1. Sixty-seven non-military federal agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment.
  2. Of that total amount, ‘Traditional Law Enforcement’ Agencies spent 77 percent ($1.14 billion) while ‘Administrative’ or ‘General’ Agencies spent 23 percent ($335.1 million).
  3. Non-military federal spending on guns and ammunition jumped 104 percent from $55 million (FY2006) to $112 million (FY2011).
  4. Nearly 6 percent ($42 million) of all federal guns and ammunition purchase transactions were wrongly coded. Some purchases were actually for ping-pong balls, gym equipment, bread, copiers, cotton balls, or cable television including a line item from the Coast Guard entered as “Cable Dude”.
  5. Administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.
  6. Since 2004, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased 1.7 billion bullets including 453 million hollow-point bullets. As of 1/1/2014, DHS estimated its bullet inventory-reserve at 22-months, or 160 million rounds.
  7. Between 1998 and 2008 (the most recent comprehensive data available) the number of law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies increased nearly 50 percent from 83,000 (1998) to 120,000 (2008). However, Department of Justice officer count increased from 40,000 (2008) to 69,000 (2013) and Department of Homeland Security officer count increased from 55,000 (2008) to 70,000 (2013).
  8. The Internal Revenue Service, with its 2,316 special agents, spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.
  9. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA has spent $715 million on its ‘Criminal Enforcement Division’ from FY2005 to present even as the agency has come under fire for failing to perform its basic functions.
  10. Federal agencies spent $313,958 on paintball equipment, along with $14.7 million on Tasers, $1.6 million on unmanned aircraft, $8.2 million on buckshot, $7.44 million on projectiles, and $4 million on grenades/launchers.
  11. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $11.66 million including more than $200,000 on ‘night vision equipment,’ $2.3 million on ‘armor – personal,’ more than $2 million on guns, and $3.6 million on ammunition. Veterans Affairs has 3,700 law enforcement officers guarding and securing VA medical centers.
  12. 12. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent $4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.

OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – The Militarization of America, 
click here to download a PDF copy of our report
Reposted by  6/29/16

NOT FAMILY FRIENDLY: National Parks, Monuments sucked into #LGBT social agenda

Posted by in Federal Abuse, National Parks, Sexual Predators

June 28, 2016

Sure, Theodore Roosevelt was a Progressive, but did he really want National Parks and Monuments to be laboratories for sex-identity social experimentation?

by Fred Lucas

as published by Daily Signal

Visitors to national parks are free to use whichever public restroom they believe matches their gender identity, the Department of Interior says.

“As it relates to recently passed state laws relating to the transgender community, visitors to public lands and water sites are welcome to use restrooms that best align with their gender identity,” an Interior Department spokesperson told The Daily Signal in an email.

But a national policy expert says visitors to national parks should be concerned that others can enter the restroom of their choice regardless of their biological sex.

“It is troubling because national parks have traditionally been family-friendly destinations,” said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Washington-based Family Research Council, which advocates conservative social values. “Now women and girls will have to worry about sharing a restroom with biological males.”

Public restrooms have become a national political issue in recent months after President Barack Obama’s administration took legal action against North Carolina for a state law that requires people to use public restrooms that correspond with their biological gender.

Then, the administration threatened to withhold federal money from schools if students were not allowed to use the restroom they thought matched their gender identity.

No matter which state a national park is in, federal law and regulations govern activity there.

The Interior Department is charged with stewarding the nation’s public lands, waters, parks, and wildlife. The government maintains 58 national parks across the United States, visited by 307.2 million people in 2015.

In an email responding to The Daily Signal’s question about transgender bathroom policy, the department spokesperson also said:

We welcome all visitors regardless of their race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity to visit public lands and waters in their back yard and beyond. … We remain committed to appropriately representing our nation’s diversity on our public lands, and continue to work alongside local communities and leaders to find meaningful ways to preserve and tell the stories that reflect the narrative of all Americans.

National Park Service spokesman Jeremy K. Barnum said this is not a new policy.

“People have always been able to choose the public restroom within the national park system that aligns with their gender identity,” Barnum told The Daily Signal in an email. “The National Park Service has never had a rule that determined nor designated what restroom someone should use according to their gender identity.”

Another department spokesperson also said restroom use by gender identity is not a new policy for national parks, but a continuation of existing nondiscrimination policy.

The Daily Signal sought comment from other federal agencies to determine whether a uniform bathroom policy exists for all federal buildings and federally maintained public restrooms, and whether the administration would hold these federal buildings to the same standard it applies to local schools.

The General Services Administration, responsible for overseeing federal property and procurement; the Justice Department, which enforces civil rights laws; and the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the federal workforce, did not respond to multiple phone and email inquiries from The Daily Signal.

Simply extending the Obama administration’s school bathroom policies to national parks is problematic, the Family Research Council’s Sprigg said.

“This is another illustration of how extreme the Obama administration is in pushing this radical agenda in the last few months in office,” he told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

In the North Carolina case and its transgender policy mandate for schools, Sprigg noted, the administration relied on provisions of U.S. law known as Title VII and Title IX.

Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or religion. Title IX specifically prohibits education institutions from getting federal funding if they discriminate on the basis of sex.

The administration counts gender identity under sexual discrimination, reasoning that many scholars and lawyers reject.

“I’m not sure how either apply to national parks,” Sprigg said. “It would be tragic if we have a sexual assault in a national park public restroom before the administration takes this seriously.”

On Friday, Obama declared federal land at Christopher Park, across the street from where the Stonewall Inn riot in New York took place in 1969, as the Stonewall National Monument in honor of an event that sparked the gay rights movement. Obama said in part, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans:

The Stonewall uprising is considered by many to be the catalyst that launched the modern LGBT civil rights movement. From this place and time, building on the work of many before, the nation started the march—not yet finished—toward securing equality and respect for LGBT people.

National Parks Service staff hanging the temp. banner on the first LGBT National Monument I the US!

Reposted by  6/28/16

What’s really behind the Malheur federal land grab?

Posted by in Land Grabs, Radical Environmentalism, Range Wars

June 27, 2016

Op-ed by Argus Observer

What’s really driving Merkley/Wyden’s 2 million acre Malheur bill?

Wait … what?

That was our reaction upon learning Oregon’s two U.S. senators want to withdraw more than 2 million acres in Malheur County from mineral exploration. Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden say the proposal would protect public lands from threats “including the possibility of foreign companies who want to parachute into the state to explore for minerals such as uranium.”

Wait … what?

First, we’re not sure anyone is out to mine Malheur County’s uranium. On Friday, uranium’s market value was $26.4 per pound, not worth the work it would take to get it out of the ground.

Second, no new leases have been taken out on Bureau of Land Management land for about a decade. Merkley and Wyden are particularly concerned about those public lands. The threat from foreign companies “is deeply troubling because these mining operations are dangerous — to the existing local economies as well as to the overall environment,” Wyden said in a prepared statement.

Third, there’s a temporary moratorium on all new mineral leases for two to 20 years already in much of the land Merkley and Wyden’s bill would cover. That plan, courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, seeks to protect high-risk greater sage grouse habitat. While the bill’s effects would be more widespread — and permanent — we can’t help but question the rush to introduce this new bill.

It’s no coincidence that it comes when environmental groups are pushing to create a national monument in Malheur County. Merkley and Wyden’s bill doesn’t cover exactly the same area — it calls for protection in 2.065 million acres, not the 2.5 million the monument would include — but the areas involved are similar enough to raise eyebrows, especially since this mineral lease proposal seemed to come from out of nowhere.

“It is not based on community input, nor have there been the type of meetings that need to occur if a comprehensive plan is to be developed,” state Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, told the Argus.

That’s especially disheartening considering Merkley was in Ontario for a town hall meeting three weeks before he and Wyden announced their bill. We’d call that a missed opportunity to solicit community input.

That lack of input didn’t stop the senators from using Malheur County to sell their bill on the Senate floor. Wyden described the “hundreds of millions of acres of public lands that have hosted cattle ranching and visitors and locals for generations. These lands are supported by Oregonians who grew up there and who rely on them as a longtime linchpin for their local economies.”

That’s a true statement. But the prevailing sentiment of the people who rely on that economic linchpin is that the proper way to protect our local economy is to stop placing restrictions on the public lands that support it. Without actually talking to the people who live here, we have to ask, who are these senators representing? And what is actually driving this bill?

Reposted by  6/27/16


BLM’s Massive Power Grab 2.0

Posted by in Bureau of Land Management, Federal Land Grabs, Regulations

June 25, 2016

Press Release

as published by Sweetwater Now

Rock Springs Native Testifies on BLM’s Planning 2.0 Initiative

“This change would result in plans that don’t reflect on-the-ground realities and ultimately will disenfranchise knowledgeable local agency employees.”

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) welcomed Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) Jim Magagna before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Senator Barrasso invited Magagna to testify on how the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Planning 2.0 initiative will impact ranchers in Wyoming and across the country. Magagna testified alongside BLM Director Neil Kornze and three others.

Barrasso praised Magagna’s extensive background in agriculture and public land management.

“A native of Rock Springs, Wyoming, Jim has served as the executive director of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association since 1998,” said Barrasso. “He is veteran witness before congressional committees. He provides an invaluable perspective on all things related to agriculture and public land management. So I’m happy, Jim, that you could join us today to share your thoughts with us and with the rest of the panel.”

Barrasso talked about how the BLM’s proposed rule will take authority away from local land managers who have the most knowledge and experience managing the resources in their own districts.

“As written, Planning 2.0 will effectively ignore expert knowledge in both local agency offices – and among local land users – and I believe compromise the ability of state and local governments to represent the people and resources in their own districts. In an effort to make its goal of a transition to what’s called ‘landscape-scale’ planning, BLM proposes to shift authority from local and district offices to Washington, D.C.,” said Barrasso.


“Now I appreciate that the BLM wants to make management plans more cohesive among local offices, but developing sweeping, landscape-scale plans from the director’s office in Washington, D.C., I believe, will result in the failure to use invaluable, localized knowledge of ecosystems and resources,” Barrasso continued. “This change would result in plans that don’t reflect on-the-ground realities and ultimately will disenfranchise knowledgeable local agency employees.”

Magagna echoed Barrasso’s comments about how the BLM’s Planning 2.0 initiative will result in less input from local land managers.

“A central component of Planning 2.0 introduces the concept of landscape level planning. We find several dangers inherent in this approach. Attempts to implement broad management plans will necessarily often result in less attention to the resource management needs of a particular land area,” said Magagna. “Landscape level planning moves the input and decision-making processes further from those agency personnel with a working knowledge of the resource, the resource challenges and the resource dependent community.”

Magagna also discussed how the BLM’s proposed rule will actually decrease the amount of time the public has to comment on proposed rules.

“A second component of Planning 2.0 addresses so-called improved opportunities for public input. While Planning 2.0 may engage a greater breadth of the public to provide input, it actually significantly lessens the ability of those most directly involved in multiple use of the resource and therefore most significantly impacted to have meaningful substantive impact,” said Magagna.


“One example of this is in the reduction in the minimum formal comment periods from 90 days to 60 days in terms of a draft proposed plan. Even today with 90 days, there are typically requests for extended periods of time – those are often granted. If we reduce this to 60 days, those requests will increase,” said Magagna.

You can listen to Magagna’s entire committee statement here, and Senator Barrasso’s opening statement here.

Reposted by  6/25/16

Obama policies trap Native Americans in Third World conditions

Posted by in Federal Abuse, Native Americans, Obama

June 25, 2016

Freeing Indians From Obama’s Grip


Freeing Indians From Obama’s Grip
Chairman Rob Bishop

“Poor access to health care, drug and alcohol abuse, teen suicide, and a lack of job opportunities plague Indian reservations across the country. With unemployment rates in a number of large Indian communities well over 50%, many tribes live in conditions that resemble Third World countries. The causes of these conditions are complex but generally stem from federal paternalism. And yet, despite centuries of evidence to the contrary, the current administration is unshakable in its belief that government knows what’s best for Indian tribes.”


Poor access to health care, drug and alcohol abuse, teen suicide, and a lack of job opportunities plague Indian reservations across the country. With unemployment rates in a number of large Indian communities well over 50%, many tribes live in conditions that resemble Third World countries. The causes of these conditions are complex but generally stem from federal paternalism. And yet, despite centuries of evidence to the contrary, the current administration is unshakable in its belief that government knows what’s best for Indian tribes.

Take a basic issue for tribes: economic development. Although the Obama administration pays lip service to tribal self-determination, its treatment of tribes belies its rhetoric. There are 56 million acres of land belonging to tribes and individual Indians, but the titles to these lands are held “in trust” by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). This policy was intended to protect Indians from trespass and encroachment by states and non-Indian settlers. Yet recently it has become a way to control what a tribe can do with its own lands.

For example, the Government Accountability Office released a little-publicized report in June, which found that the BIA has hindered energy development on Indian lands. Oil, natural gas and coal—the energy sources that have the greatest economic potential—were especially targeted. According to the report, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe estimated that, due to an eight-year permitting process, it lost “more than $95 million in revenues it could have earned from tribal permitting fees, oil and gas severance taxes, and royalties.”

On Oct. 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Native American Energy Act, which seeks to “facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands.” The bill is supported by a broad cross-section of Indian Country. The Obama administration opposes it.

As long as the federal government owns the title to Indian lands, special interests close to the administration—such as radical environmental organizations—may influence what is permitted on their lands. As a result, tribes, many of them poverty-stricken, have missed the jobs, revenue and economic opportunities of energy production. America’s energy boom has slowed amid a global drop in oil prices, but the cyclical nature of the industry makes it imperative that Indian tribes are able to profit from the next energy upturn.

This administration has also unilaterally made drastic amendments to the tribal recognition process, a move that gets at the foundation of all tribal policy with profound consequences on existing tribes, the federal budget, and state civil, criminal and tax jurisdiction. These changes, finalized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in June, were opposed by many federally recognized tribes. Yes, the application process must be modernized, but Congress should do so, not bureaucrats behind closed doors.

This is why, on Oct. 20, I introduced the Tribal Recognition Act of 2015, which states that “an Indian group may receive Federal acknowledgment as an Indian tribe only by an Act of Congress.” Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution—commonly known as the “Indian Commerce Clause”—clearly gives Congress authority over Indian affairs.

Yet this administration has proven that it will go to great lengths to control Indian affairs. Since the House Committee on Natural Resources began oversight of tribal policy, top BIA officials have made multiple disrespectful comments about the committee, including thinly veiled accusations of racism. In a recent interview, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn even accused the committee of “statements and questioning that harkened back to the termination era.”


No longer can Congress be bullied into standing by as the Obama administration dictates tribal policy. The Native American Energy Act and the Tribal Recognition Acts should come to a vote and be signed into law, if not by this president then the next. The U.S. government’s legacy of subjugation and failure regarding Native Americans is a stain on America’s history. Tribes must be offered the same opportunities as the rest of the country to chart their own destiny.

Reposted by  6/25/16

BLM gives okay for globalist mining company to rip into sacred Shoshone sites

Posted by in Bureau of Land Management, Globalism, Native Americans

June 23, 2016

Gods and Monsters: Bulldozer Rips Into Ancient Sacred Site

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone’s request for an emergency injunction to stop the destruction of an ancient trail in the Tosawihi Quarries, a 10,000-year-old sacred site. Though a legal appeal and an over-arching lawsuit concerning the entire project are still pending, an international gold-mining consortium’s bulldozer is already at work constructing a power line along the doctoring trail, said the Band’s attorney, Rollie Wilson, of the law firm Fredericks Peebles & Morgan.

The construction equipment was fired up within days of the court’s June 8 order, according to Wilson. The one-page decision did not detail the court’s reasoning.

Destruction of the doctoring trail, which connects healing places, means irreparable harm to the culture and identity of the Western Shoshone, said Joe Holley, a member of the Band’s council and a former chairman. The Band is now asking for a rehearing by the full court, a legal process that may take several months. Unless the rehearing is granted on an emergency basis, construction is likely to continue, and the trail may well be obliterated, said Wilson.

The entire cultural landscape, including the doctoring trail and additional related places, is revered by numerous Plains tribes in addition to the Western Shoshone. The Tosawihi Quarries currently sit on federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which has declared them eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

“To get a rehearing, you have to cite a clear error of law,” said Wilson. “Once properties are deemed eligible for the Historic Register, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires that you determine whether an undertaking like the power line will have an effect on them and then figure out how to mitigate or avoid the effects. BLM, which issued the permit for the power line, along with other mining activities in the Quarries, did not take that final step. They determined the trail eligible, then let the mining company bulldoze right through it.”

The Bureau of Land Management has allowed a mining company to destroy an ancient doctoring trail in a 10,000-year-old sacred site revered by the Western Shoshone and numerous other Plains tribes. (Courtesy Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone)

The Bureau of Land Management has allowed a mining company to destroy an ancient doctoring trail in a 10,000-year-old sacred site revered by the Western Shoshone and numerous other Plains tribes. (Courtesy Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone)

BLM documents show that the agency appears to keep the mining consortium’s concerns top of mind. In March 2014, BLM approved the current round of gold mining after a telephone call from the company’s legal counsel to a BLM staffer to advise that the consortium needed the Record of Decision (ROD) for Tosawihi mining activities in time for a quarterly report to investors. Emails with the subject line “urgent”—which were part of the court record and shared with ICTMN by the Band’s attorney—began flashing among BLM employees, warning against delay.

“They are requesting that the ROD and approval be signed or dated no later than March 31. March 31 is the end of the first quarter,” emailed one BLM staffer.

Another BLM employee joined in, warning of tribal concerns. Despite the statutory requirement to consider them, the BLM got the ROD signed in time for the quarterly report.

The Band has engaged in a multi-generational fight to protect the Quarries, Holley said. For decades, BLM has tried to limit recognition of sacred sites in the area, Holley charged; earlier mining activities had scarred much of the landscape and depleted its waters, but the Band hoped to prevent further destruction, he said. Ted Howard, cultural resources director and member of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, has called the Quarries “the center of our spiritual being.”

RELATED: Lost Bones, Damage and Harassment at Ancient Sacred Site

“They tell us this power line is only a temporary impact,” Holley said. “But for 20 or 30 years—an entire generation—the line’s presence means we will not be able to practice our culture, religion and spirituality in this important place. We will lose the chance to pass these practices and traditions to the next generation, and that means they will be gone forever. We will lose another piece of our culture, which we are working hard to maintain, and which the United States has a trust responsibility to protect.”

The Bureau of Land Management has allowed a mining company to destroy an ancient doctoring trail in a 10,000-year-old sacred site revered by the Western Shoshone and numerous other Plains tribes. (Courtesy Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone)

The Bureau of Land Management has allowed a mining company to destroy an ancient doctoring trail in a 10,000-year-old sacred site revered by the Western Shoshone and numerous other Plains tribes. (Courtesy Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone)

Matt Spangler, spokesperson for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, described the BLM as the “federal agency lead” on the project and deferred to it for questions about the effects on the trail and the BLM’s relationship with the mining company. Spangler added that questions of broad tribal trust policy were outside ACHP’s purview.

The BLM refused to comment, citing the ongoing lawsuit. At press time, the Nevada-based mining company, Carlin Resources, an arm of Toronto-based Waterton Global Mining Company, which is part of a firm headquartered in the Cayman Islands, had not responded to requests for a comment.

Reposted by  6/23/16

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