by Thomas Mitchel September 20, 2017 Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s memo to President Trump recommending an unspecified reduction in size of several recently created national monuments — including the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Clark County — has sent the […]
Our country was founded over 200 years ago after enough colonists agreed that the rule by the King of England no longer made sense for the colonies. They did not agree on every aspect of the how and the why, but they all agreed that it must change. The biggest aspect of agreement and disagreement in the birth of our Nation was the right of each human to agree and disagree. There foremost ideal that drove the creation of our constitution, can be said to be creating a government that could stand for and thrive while maintaining this and other freedoms.
This turned out to be a humongous task and goal. First and foremost the procedure and processes for dealing with disagreement had to be agreed upon. There will always be different beliefs and ideals. However, most of all they understood that in order to have peace while preserving everyone’s ability to exercise their Freedoms, they must have a process and rules for dealing with Disagreement or conflicts of personal Freedoms between all people. This is where the concept of Liberty was created and defined. Liberty, for the sake of our constitution, would be the definition of civility and common agreement on how to deal with Freedoms in all situations, including when there is disagreement.
This Sunday, Sept. 17, marks the anniversary of one of the most propitious days in the history of this country. On that day in 1787, the representatives at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution. It was ratified by the states and went into effect on March 4, 1789.
You remember the Constitution don’t you?
That’s the document that says the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed …” Not waive, delay or ignore parts of laws the president doesn’t like, such as immigration laws, which the Constitution says: “The Congress shall have Power To … establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization …”
This paroxysm of efforts to eradicate all monuments and place names that memorialize historic leaders of the Confederacy serves as merely a distraction from real problems, wasting time and money that could be devoted to worthy endeavors.
The latest target of this futile campaign appears to be the name of Jeff Davis Peak in Great Basin National Park.
According to the park’s website, the monicker was first attached to what is now Wheeler Peak, the tallest point in the park and the second tallest in Nevada. It was given that name by Lt. Col. Edward Steptoe of U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1855 while Jefferson Davis served as secretary of the War Department, a half dozen years before the Civil War began.
After the Civil War, during which Davis served as president of the Confederacy, an Army mapping expedition headed by Lt. George Montague Wheeler, named the peak for Wheeler and the Jeff Davis tag was shifted to a shorter nearby peak.
It is not too often a judge’s ruling is greeted by all sides as a victory, but that is what happened after federal Judge Andrew Gordon issued a 39-page opinion in the fight over the Clark County water agency’s bid to tap groundwater beneath White Pine, Lincoln and Nye counties.
Judge Gordon said the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could grant the right-of-way for a 300-mile network of pipelines across public land, but first, it has to address plans to mitigate the potential loss of wildlife habitat due to a draw down of the water table.
The suit was brought by White Pine County, the Great Basin Water Network (GBWN), several Indian tribes and environmental groups against the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and the BLM.
Kevin “KC” Massey filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request back in October 2016. He just received a response (FOIA Response). Though only two and a little bit of a third page, it is rather interesting. You can read the whole Response, though I will give some highlights. “xxx” indicates redactions, mostly names.
It begins with a Summary of Events, “On September 2, 2014, Cameron County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Investigator and Task Force Officer (TFO) for the FBI Brownsville Field Office xxx called ATF SA xxx for assistance on the ‘BP Militia’ case.” So, the government had already set up an investigation on the “BP Militia”. So, well, it wasn’t just a coincidence that the events of August 29, 2014 occurred as they did. (ATF=Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms; SA=Special Agent; BP=Border Patrol; NFA=National Firearms Act)
Whether you think the defendants in the Bunkerville standoff are a bunch of lunatic, dangerous gun-nuts who should be locked up and the key thrown away or upstanding patriots defending property and constitutional rights in the face of belligerent bureaucrats, it matters not what you think.
What matters is what jurors think.
So far jurors seem less than enthusiastic about embracing the pile of charges heaped on the first of the standoff defendants.
On January 26, 2016, several people, in two private vehicles were on their way to a scheduled meeting John Day, Oregon. While in a forested area, with extremely poor, if not non-existent, cell phone coverage, they were set upon by modern day highwaymen (highwaymen were people who stopped travelers and robbed them). The driver and passengers of the second vehicle submitted to the demands of the heavily armed interlopers, at gunpoint, to leave the vehicle and sit on the side of the snow-covered roadway.
The driver second vehicle, a white pick-up truck, following the exit of one of the passengers, sped away, seeking the assistance of a peace officer, Sheriff Glenn Palmer, of Grant County, Oregon. However, within a couple of miles they found that the highwaymen had set up a barricade across the road, barring passage. The highwaymen, hidden behind their vehicles, began firing shots at the white truck. This forced the truck off the road, where some rather adept driving may have saved one of the highwaymen’s life, by swerving, at the last moment.
match any donations they decided to make to certain groups that he apparently identified as civil rights organizations. In a letter to employees Murren noted recent violence in Charlottesville and Barcelona and stated, “In the midst of this uncertainty, I want to affirm a clear-eyed, concrete view of the company in which you have chosen to invest your career, because on the question of human rights, MGM Resorts takes and unequivocal position: The protection of human dignity, demonstrated in the form of tolerance and respect for all people, is the core of our identity. We strive to create workplaces and entertainment spaces that are welcoming, open and respectful to all kinds of people, regardless of disability, age, gender, race, ethnicity, religious preference, gender identity or sexual orientation.” (His bold face and italics.)
Editorial : Monument removal is a symptom of the perverse Western desire to blame itself for everything. JONAH GOLDBERG
Indeed, the fight over Confederate statues is just a discrete and more understandable eruption of the larger trend. This stuff has been happening for decades. One of the first outbreaks involved the word “crusader.” The term hurt the feelings of people who didn’t know what they didn’t know. Left-wing historians (and the Islamists who love them) convinced themselves that the Crusades were a trial run of Western imperialism and colonialism. They were, in fact, largely defensive wars intended to beat back the aggression of Muslim colonizers. Even the organization Campus Crusade for Christ changed its name to “Cru” lest people get the wrong impression.
Sports teams — most famously the Washington, D.C., NFL Franchise That Dare Not Speak Its Name — have been under increasing pressure to drop any association with Native Americans. Columbus Day is outré. And statues of Christopher Columbus may be heading to the pyre, if recent developments in New York City are any indication.
Members of the environmental lobby should be ecstatic that the Interior Department’s review of 27 national monuments resulted in minimal changes. But in today’s world of all-or-nothing politics, they’re instead speed-dialing their attorneys and wringing their hands because a handful of these nature reserves may still be partially downsized.
Oh, the horror!
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke completed the review last week. He recommended that no designation be rescinded. But a spokesman said he has also proposed border modifications for a handful of monuments. The department has yet to name those areas, but they could include Nevada’s Gold Butte and Basin and Range.
The prosecutors broke the 17 defendants in the Bunkerville standoff into three groups. Six would be tried in April and the others — including 71-year-old rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons — would be tried shortly thereafter.
But in April the jurors convicted only two of the six of any charges. Jurors told defense lawyers after the trial they never came close to convicting four defendants, voting 10-2 in favor of acquitting two and splitting on the others.
The government decided to retry those four and rejected Cliven Bundy’s bid to move up his trial, saying he would have to wait in jail until after the retrial. That retrial ended this week with two of the four being acquitted and the remaining two acquitted of all but a handful of lesser charges. All have been freed.
OPINION – Our news cycle was dominated this past week by the birth announcement of a destructive, tantrum-prone love child sired by masked socialist activists and their national socialist counterparts.
While the public’s attention is focused on whether this little monster looks more like its mother or its father, a very real injustice is taking place just out of view.
The highly publicized, and sometimes blatantly distorted, narrative of events at Bundy Ranch three years ago made the Bundys a household name. No matter which version you choose to believe, it’s safe to say that what happened at Bunkerville was likely the most significant act of armed civil disobedience in the past 150 years.
The concept of God Given (Natural) Rights and Freedoms is the foundation of our United States Constitution and the ability to exercise them within the concept of Liberty. But whats the difference between Freedom and Liberty?
Freedom is a singular act of any individual to exercise their Natural Rights. Liberty is the pursuit of the conceptional practice of Exercising Freedoms while allowing for and respecting those same rights exercised also by others. It includes providing a method of resolution when those same freedoms may conflict with those of others.
Three years ago several counties and groups filed lawsuits in federal court seeking to block the water grab, claiming the federal land agencies had failed to properly evaluate the environmental damage and follow the law. The lawsuits claimed the Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in approving the groundwater project.
This past week in a Las Vegas courtroom federal Judge Andrew Gordon heard nearly two hours of oral arguments from both sides seeking summary judgment.
Thomas Mitchell : Bunkerville defendant kicked off the witness stand by judge for, well, defending himself
The judge in the trial of four defendants in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff with BLM agents attempting to confiscate rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle has made it clear she will not allow a defense based on First or Second Amendment rights or claims that BLM misbehavior provoked the protest.
On Thursday she cut short the testimony of defendant Eric Parker after he tried to mention in his defense testimony a “First Amendment area” the BLM had set up to isolate protesters — an area that Gov. Brian Sandoval said “tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution” — and attempted to mention where a BLM sniper was positioned.
Prisoners in Pahrump, Nevada’s CoreCivic operated Federal Detention Center, who have been in other facilities previously with remote Video Chat ability, may feel differently in spite of the cost. Not having it, except for locally at the facility, means families must travel to the southern Nevada desert just to see them on Video.