Virgin Valley Water District requests Gold Butte reduction

In the desert, water is the paramount resource.

That’s why a large portion of the debate surrounding Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s review of two Nevada national monuments — Gold Butte and Basin and Range — involves access to water rights that exist within the boundaries of both designations.

For the Virgin Valley Water District, five of its six springs are located within the boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument, prompting VVWD General Manager Kevin Brown to formally request that Zinke either remove the springs from the designation, or strengthen the language of the proclamation to allow “unfettered access” to developing the district’s water resources.

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Travis Cox called his refuge occupation ‘hasty decision by an arrogant and ignorant young man’

The youngest Oregon refuge occupier to face indictment acknowledged Monday that he was an “arrogant, ignorant young man” who made an impulsive mistake in going to the bird sanctuary last year and doing guard duty during the armed takeover.

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t do it again,” Travis Cox said, standing beside his lawyer during his sentencing hearing.

He was ordered to serve two years of probation, including two months on home detention, for conspiring to impede federal workers through intimidation, threat or force during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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Runaway Jury in Bunkerville Retrial?

AUSA Myhre took him through extremely tedious testimony while the spectators and jury made every attempt to stay focused. Myhre does seem to have perfected the soporific art of direct examination.

Cross examination began late this afternoon with Rich Tanasi, attorney for Steven Stewart, walking the witness through to admission that the only time Stewart was seen holding his firearm above the concrete jersey barrier was after the BLM had left the area.

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Secretary Zinke: Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument will stay

CEDAR CITY – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday he is not recommending changes to Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.

The Arizona reserve, located west of the Grand Canyon, has some of the most pristine geological formations in North America, Zinke said. The formations “show the scientific history of our Earth while containing thousands of years of human relics and fossils,” he said.

Zinke’s decision comes just three months after he was tasked with reviewing a list of 27 national monuments for possible elimination or reduction.

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Militias, Martyrs and McVeigh, Oh My!

This has been a very eventful week in the Bunkerville Retrial of four defendants. The prosecution has demonized these good men at every turn. They have portrayed them as lawless militia, anti-government radicals, and immoral propagandists.

“I Guess I Was Wrong”

The week began with more government agents taking the witness stand to tell how afraid they were of these gun-totin’ cowboys. BLM Special Agent Robert Shilaikis took some video of the events on April 12, 2014, because he was expecting a gunfight and wanted documentation. He was afraid that memories would fade over time.

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Antifa, Patriot movement protesters return to Portland waterfront with new tactics

Joey Gibson said at the beginning of the summer protest season that he had turned over a new leaf. The alt-right leader known for bombastic Facebook posts and pugilistic pronouncements advocated a new tactic. He doesn’t want to pick physical fights. He wants conversation.

Gibson used to hurl his conservative message mixed with insults at people on the streets of Portland, but now he hopes to convert the city’s overwhelmingly liberal residents to his Patriot Prayer movement with peace and inclusion. At the same time, he has hosted controversial white supremacist speakers and drawn loud counter-protests.

Gibson, a self-employed Vancouver, Washington, activist, will be back again Sunday on the Portland waterfront with plans to march.

And so will the anti-fascist activists known as antifa who wear black and mask their faces.

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Editorial: Western congressmen seek monument size reductions

Recently the 17 members of the Congressional Western Caucus — which includes Nevada’s Rep. Mark Amodei — took Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke up on his request for feedback on what to do about all the national monuments created in the past two decades, sending him a letter with specific recommendations about 27 of those monuments.

These recommendations called for vastly scaling back the size of two monuments created by President Obama in his last year in office at the urging of then-Sen. Harry Reid — the 300,000-acre Gold Butte in Clark County and the 700,000-acre Basin and Range in Nye and Lincoln counties.

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Is Judge Navarro Afraid of the Defendants?

Judge Gloria Navarro is presiding over the Bunkerville retrial in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has continued to show her bias against the defense in her rulings and her reactions in the courtroom.

She has insisted that they not look around, at all, while in the courtroom, even during breaks and sidebars. Navarro was so concerned, one day this week, that she had Eric Parker removed from the courtroom for an entire segment of the trial because he turned to look at the overheard viewscreen.

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LaVoy Finicum shooting: Prosecutors seeking missing shell casings, metal fragment from Ryan Bundy’s shoulder

The case against an FBI agent charged with lying about firing two shots at Oregon standoff spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum most likely will turn on expert testimony about the validity of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office investigation, a defense lawyer said Thursday.

No one reported that they saw or heard agent W. Joseph Astarita fire and no direct evidence exists linking any bullet or shell casing to Astarita’s rifle, one of his lawyers said.

Prosecutors countered that the investigation continues and revealed for the first time that not only are shell casings from Astarita’s alleged shots missing, but so are shell casings from some of the Oregon State Police shots fired at the Jan. 26, 2016, roadblock.

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3 Percenters Demonized in Federal Court

Though the defendants are actually Eric Parker, Scott Drexlar, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelein, the prosecution has made their association the the group “Idaho 3%” a material part of the case against them. It is enough to believe the government is trying to prosecute the group, as well as the individuals.

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Prosecution Links Bunkerville Defendants to Timothy McVeigh

The Bunkerville Retrial in Las Vegas continued today with Judge Navarro’s bias being highlighted for the world to see.

The day was filled mostly with time outside of the jury presence, going over Facebook posts that were offered for evidence. Both sides had their say on why they did/did not want the evidence admitted.

Facebook evidence is highly controversial. There are too many variables within Facebook to guarantee that a post was made by a particular person. The prosecution wants to show that this attitude of “conspiracy’ continued long after the Standoff was over. They want the jury to believe that the dissidents were recruiting based on their belief that they had won against the government.

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Protesters On Trial

It is known that the jury favored acquittal in the previous trial with 2 of the defendants receiving 10-2 votes in their favor.

Additionally, the jury forms showed marks indicating acquittal, which were later scratched out over confusion on legal points.

However, the government has learned a few lessons since then. They have attempted to change their narrative to reconcile with, what they hope will be, a more popular view of their prosecution.

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Gary Hunt: The Bundy Affair #21 Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice

In “Liberty or Laws?  – Justice or Despotism?“, I discussed how the case law method provides the government, through judicial proceedings, to move, a decision at a time, away from the intent of the Constitution.  In recent events in the second Tier 3 trial, only two-thirds of the trial was declared a “mistrial”, while the other third was not declared a mistrial.  I say this because the first trial, by the government’s design, included six defendants, all of whom were accused of wielding firearms on April 12, 2014, when the Bureau of Land Management returned the surviving captured cattle to their rightful owner.  Two defendants were found guilty of some of the charges.  The remaining four were not found guilty of any of the charges, though they were also not found not guilty.  So, there was no mistrial on the two, but there was a mistrial in the same singular trial of the other four.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke caps review of monuments with Bunkerville visit

BUNKERVILLE — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spoke to reporters Sunday evening in Bunkerville as he wrapped up a much-anticipated visit to Southern Nevada that included a hike at Gold Butte National Monument and a stop at Basin and Range National Monument to see American Indian rock art.

The interior secretary traveled to Nevada to visit the two monuments as part of President Donald Trump’s executive order mandating a review of 22 national monuments and five marine national monuments created by presidential decree since Jan. 1, 1996, to determine whether the designations should be scaled back or eliminated.

Zinke is expected to present Trump with his final recommendations by the end of August.

Speaking outside at a ranch not far from Gold Butte, Zinke offered some insights into criteria for downsizing.

Before Zinke arrived in Bunkerville, Russ Graves voiced concern about the size of the Gold Butte monument.

“I’d just like to see the size reduced,” said Graves. 73, who owns an orchard that is part of a 220-acre ranch.

Whitney Pocket, the Devil’s Throat sinkhole and a few other locations on Gold Butte should be part of the monument, but other parts don’t have antiquities value, he said.

Zinke had planned to stay in Mesquite through Monday to meet with U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., and stakeholders there and in Overton on the fringe of Gold Butte on the last leg of a swing through the West. But he canceled those plans to return to Washington, D.C., for the first Cabinet meeting with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

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Minnesota group targeted in FBI counterterrorism probe

To the FBI, they were part of a Minnesota militia group possibly gearing up for a violent showdown with the government.

Members of the group, called United Patriots of Minnesota 3%, say they’re nothing more than patriots defending hard-won liberties secured by a handful of forefathers who stood against tyranny.

No one has been charged in the investigation, which spilled into public view recently when a federal judge unsealed search warrants in the case. But the probe underscores the complexity of balancing protected speech with trying to root out domestic terror.

Soon after agents kicked in the door to his Red Wing home last December, Jason Thomas documented the aftermath of the raid on Facebook: photos of belongings strewn across his kitchen and a copy of the search warrant, signed by a federal judge, alleging that Thomas and his fellow United Patriots members schemed to illegally obtain and use powerful weapons.

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