Archive for March, 2014

This is an excellent little article on property rights. The link is in the bold title below.

Is Your Property Safe From the EPA?

There was a recent story about a family in Wyoming that is experiencing the ruthlessness of government bureaucrats the hard way. The family built a pond on “their property” in 2012 and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is telling them it violates the Clean Water Act.

The government is claiming that the family is in violation of building a dam or creek without a permit, as well as claiming that contents from the family-built pond are running into other waterways.

The EPA is now threatening fines of up to $75,000 per day for the supposed violation. That is not a misprint. It isn’t $75 per day, which would seem harsh enough. It is $75,000 per day, which is a completely ridiculous figure. The family is refusing to pay.

Property Rights

There are so many questions that can be asked here, but the obvious one is in regards to property rights. Why is the government allowed to tell others what they can and can’t do with their own property?

If government has any role to play (in a free and just society), it is only to protect property rights and enforce contracts. In this case, not only is the government not protecting property rights, the government itself is violating the property rights.

Although this can be said about most things that government is involved in, this is a particularly egregious example, particularly when it comes down as so totalitarian.

If the property owners were polluting or infringing on other people’s property, then there would be a legitimate dispute. But there would also be an actual victim, which would be the owner or owners of the property being infringed upon. In this particular case in Wyoming, the EPA claims seem to be non-specific.

The next question is why the EPA has the power to simply dictate orders and fines people on demand. Shouldn’t the Wyoming family at least have their day in court to show that their pond is on their property and not violating anyone else’s rights?

Government-Owned Land

A third question, that is perhaps related to this case, is why the government owns so much land. Why are there vast areas, particularly in the west, that are fully owned and controlled by the government, particularly the federal government?

I suppose the answer to this question is because not many people strongly oppose it. But this should really become more of an issue for liberty advocates. When the government owns so much land, then it gives these bureaucrats more power and more excuses to control others.

There is no valid reason for the government to own vast amounts of land. Even parks and forests can be owned by private individuals. We have been trained to think that if it weren’t for the government, then there would be no beautiful parks or forests to visit.

In reality, land would be much better cared for in the hands of private owners. It would be in their own interest to take care of the land. That is why, when you see forest fires raging, it is usually on government-owned land that was not being take care of or watched over properly.

When property is taken out of the hands of government, then disputes are actually less likely to happen. In this case of the Wyoming pond, another property owner could dispute an encroachment through the courts. There would have to be an actual victim for there to be any dispute.

Property rights should be sacred in a free society. The government should sell its vast amounts of land and the EPA should be shut down.

EPA Closes Down USA Brass

Posted: March 30, 2014 in Fire Arms

EPA agents raid ammunition company on alleged ‘environmental violations’
By Michael Bastasch Published: March 28, 2014
Environmental Protection Agency and FBI agents raided the ammunition company USA Brass over alleged “environmental violations” early Thursday morning.

NBC Montana was tipped off by witnesses that federal investigators were there until at least 4 a.m. on Thursday. Federal agents could be seen going through the company’s building and taking items to a truck parked outside. EPA lead criminal investigator Bert Marsden said that the agency was looking into alleged “environmental violations” by USA Brass.

“We are investigating alleged violations of environmental law,” Marsden said on Thursday. “An investigation takes as long as it takes, and I can’t provide any details as it relates to that.”

“I can make a statement that there is no immediate threat to the public or the community at this time,” said Marsden.

It’s unclear exactly what the environmental violations were, but USA Brass has come under fire from federal agencies before for lead exposure. USA Brass cleans and resells used ammunition casings, and NBC Montana reports that local health officials found elevated levels of lead in the blood of 22 current and former employees.

Last September, the company was fined more than $45,000 by the U.S. Labor Department for 10 serious violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also found that USA Brass has overexposed workers to lead and failed to “provide basic safeguards to reduce lead exposure, including breathing protection and protective clothing,” reports NBC Montana.

“The toxic effects of occupational exposure to lead have been well known for a long time, but this employer did not have basic safeguards to protect workers against this hazard,” Jeff Funke, OSHA’s area director in Billings, said last September.

It’s still unclear whether or not EPA and FBI agents were also looking into lead exposure issues. An OSHA inspection in March actually found that the company complied with federal requirements for several months, apparently learning from its mistake last year.

The company said it would reopen on Friday morning.

Follow Michael on Twitter and Facebook

There is a bill coming up for a vote on the federal level in the House of Representatives that would restrict the executive power to establish National Parks. I’ve read the bill,(HR 1459) and it looks like a good idea to me. Considering that the Federal government is over 17 trillion dollars in debt (meaning you and I owe it) it doesn’t seem illogical that some constraints on how much is spent be applied before taking over other areas.

I spent all morning looking at articles about this bill, and the vast majority are hyper critical of it. The opinion seems to be that it is a Tea Party retaliation against Obama to put a few restraints on establishing more National Parks and Monuments. They say it will greatly encumber the process and make it very expensive  and time consuming to establish  national parks or monuments. Some say it will make it impossible to establish any more National Parks.

Just a guess here, but I bet none of the people railing against the bill live in an area largely controlled by the NPS and I deeply doubt that any one of them has ever even tried to make a living off of working the land. Maybe if they had these kinds of experiences, they would be a little more open to elected representative oversight.

One thing that I find highly likable about this bill is that it is only four pages long. You won’t need to pass it to find out what’s in it. (Sorry, Nancy Pelosi!)

Here are the main points of the bill:

1) it will require informed consent by private property owners affected

2) NEPA will be required to be followed (National Environmental Policy Act of 1969-in a nut shell, local customs and culture must be considered and agreement must be attained)

3) any designation to last longer than 3 years must be approved by Congress

4) a feasibility study must be done

I put a link to the bill on the bill number in the opening paragraph, and here is the copied text of HR1459 for you to read if you don’t want to download the bill:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1459/text

IB

Union Calendar No. 161

113TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION H. R. 1459

[Report No. 113–221]

To ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to

the declaration of national monuments, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

APRIL 10, 2013

Mr. BISHOP of Utah (for himself, Mr. GOSAR, Mr. CHAFFETZ, Mr. WALDEN,

Mr. PEARCE, Mrs. LUMMIS, Mr. AMODEI, and Mr. STEWART) introduced

the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union

and ordered to be printed.

2

  • HR 1459 RH

A BILL

To ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act of

1969 applies to the declaration of national monuments,

and for other purposes.

 

3

  • HR 1459 RH

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Ensuring Public In5

volvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act’’.

6 SEC. 2. NEPA APPLICABILITY TO NATIONAL MONUMENT

7 DECLARATIONS.

8 Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431;

9 commonly known as the ‘‘Antiquities Act of 1906’’) is

10 amended—

11 (1) by striking ‘‘That the President’’ and in12

serting the following:

13 ‘‘(a) That the President’’;

14 (2) by striking ‘‘discretion, to declare’’ and in15

serting ‘‘discretion, subject to the National Environ16

mental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.),

17 to declare’’;

18 (3) by inserting before the final period the fol19

lowing ‘‘. No more than one declaration shall be

20 made in a State during any presidential four-year

21 term of office without an express Act of Congress’’;

22 and

23 (4) by adding at the end the following:

24 ‘‘(b) A declaration under this section shall—

VerDate Mar 15 2010 21:20 Sep 20, 2013 Jkt 029200 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 E:\BILLS\H1459.RH H1459 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with BILLS

4

  • HR 1459 RH

1 ‘‘(1) not include private property without the

2 informed written consent of the owner of the private

3 property affected by the declaration;

4 ‘‘(2) be considered a major Federal action

5 under the National Environmental Policy Act of

6 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), if it affects more

7 than 5,000 acres;

8 ‘‘(3) be categorically excluded under the Na9

tional Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C.

10 4321 et seq.) and expire three years after the date

11 of the declaration (unless specifically designated as

12 a monument by Federal law), if it affects 5,000

13 acres or less; and

14 ‘‘(4) be followed by a feasibility study that in15

cludes an estimate of the costs associated with man16

aging the monument in perpetuity, including any

17 loss of Federal and State revenue, which shall be

18 submitted to the Committee on Natural Resources of

19 the House of Representatives and the Committee on

20 Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and

21 made available on the website of the Department of

22 the Interior not later than one year after the date

23 of the declaration.’’.

Union Calendar No. 161

113TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION H. R. 1459

[Report No. 113–221]

A BILL

To ensure that the National Environmental Policy

Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of national

monuments, and for other purposes.

 

If you haven’t yet become educated on this abomination under the guise of education, please take advantage of the opportunity to learn about it by attending any of the meetings below:

 

March 24, 2014
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS CONFERENCE
6:30 – 9 p.m.
400 Boyd Street
DeSoto, MO.
Designed for:
School Superintendents, School Board Members, Public & Private School Teachers, Concerned Citizens, Parents, Grandparents, and Home-School Families.
The Missouri Board of Education (DESE) adopted the national K-12 Common Core Standards in English and Math in 2010 in order to score points on a federal grant competition (Race to the Top) … a competition we did not win….money we did not get! As a result we now have the common core standards, and they are of poor quality.• They fail to prepare students for studies in science, technology, engineering and math.• They put our students two years behind their peers in high-performing countries by eight grade, and even worse for high school. • In English language arts, the Common Core severely de-emphasizes the study of classic literature in the favor of the drab and simplistic “informational” texts. It does this despite the fact that the overwhelming evidence is that children should be reading more classic literature.• Prominent child psychiatrists and psychologists have heavily criticized the standards as being age-inappropriate for young children.Material to be covered:1. The History of Common Core Standards – The Players, the Money, the Deception2. Missouri Statutes that protect Local Control of Education3. Common Core’s Dangerous Impact on Early Childhood Education4. Student testing that works for no one.5. Tracking Our Children’s Data – The child as Human Capital & Changes to the FERPA Law.6. Missouri Strategy to “Take Back Our Schools”
Speakers: Anne Gassel, Dr. Mary Byrne, Gretchen Logue
Common Core State Standards produces:
Loss of Local Control
Loss of Privacy
Loss of Parental Rights
Bulk of costs (through increased taxes) will fall on state or local school district
oOo
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014
A Message from Missouri Moms Against Common Core

If you want to come and be a part of the voice of those who oppose Common Core, plan to come to Jefferson City on Wednesday. There will be school board candidates, school board members, teachers, parents, concerned citizens, grandparents, and patriotic Americans/Missourians in attendance on Wednesday. Powerful voices from all different walks of life and political persuasion will be there to stand in the gap for our children and the future of our country. If you can come, you should try to attend. Many are already planning to be there, but the more the better. Make it a priority to be there if you can. Looking forward to being part of the solution that day! Hope to see you there.
oOo
MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS CONFERENCE
6:30-8:30 PM
HIGH RIDGE, MO
oOo
April 3, 2014
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS EXPOSED!
6:30-9pm
Columbia, MO ARC
1701 W. Ash, Room B and C
Dr. Mary Byrne, one of the pre-eminent presenters on the Common Core, will expose these standards for what they are. Dr. Byrne is a co-founding member of Missouri Coalition Against Common Core. She has a M.Ed. in instructional design and a doctorate in special education along with her 35 years in education.

Her presentation is A MUST SEE for all school administrators, board members, educators, parents, and grandparents. The WHOLE TRUTH of the Common Core will be EXPOSED!

For those who are interested in having full information on Common Core, I have uploaded our fabulous guest speaker’s power point on the topic. Stacy Shore was kind enough to share this info with us at our last monthly meeting and has allowed us to house this Common Core Power Point for all of you to download.

We thank Stacy for the excellent presentation she gave and for her willingness to share!

Help stop this total destruction of education! From Ron Calzone:

 

There are several bills aimed at stopping Common Core.  It’s important that we demonstrate strong support for all of them.

SB 514 and SB 798 will be heard together this Wednesday, so please fill out the following witness form for them.

Witness Form – We will hand deliver your witness form and also make your testimony available online for the committee to read.

 

Committee: Senate Education Committee
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Senate Lounge

 

Missouri Coalition Against Common Core Website

What you can do:

  1. Right NOW, either plan to attend the hearing for HB 1490 on Thursday, orfill out the online witness form..
  2. Pass on this email or another with the generic witness form link to as many liberty loving people as you can.
  3. Stay tuned and watch for more announcements.

Take These Steps Today To Survive An International Crisis

Thursday, 20 March 2014 08:00 Brandon Smith

With the Crimea referendum passed and Russia ready to annex the region, the United States and the European Union have threatened sanctions. The full extent of these sanctions is not yet known, and announcements are pending for the end of March. If these measures are concrete, they will of course be followed inevitably by economic warfare, including a reduction of natural gas exports to the EU and the eventually full dump of the U.S. dollar by Russia and China. As I have discussed in recent articles, the result of these actions will be disastrous.

For those of us in the liberty movement, it is now impossible to ignore the potential threat to our economy. No longer can people claim that “perhaps” there will be a crisis someday, that perhaps “five or 10 years” down the road we will have to face the music. No, the threat is here now, and it is very real.

The loss of the dollar’s world reserve status will destroy the only thread holding up its value, namely, investor faith. There are only two possible outcomes from that point onward:

A) The U.S. will be forced to default because no nation will purchase our Treasury bonds and support our debt spending, causing the dollar’s value to implode.

B) The Fed will choose to restart and expand quantitative easing measures, confiscate pension funds, raid bank accounts or issue new taxes in order to keep the system afloat; this will also end in the eventual collapse of dollar value and hyperinflation.

The consequences will lead to an explosion in prices — first in commodities and necessities like petroleum, imported raw materials, food, electricity, etc. and then in all other goods and services. Austerity measures will be instituted by Federal and State governments. Cuts to social welfare programs, including food stamps, are probable. Civil infrastructure will suffer. The cost effectiveness of maintaining public utilities could become unrealistic. Anyone relying on such services may find themselves cut off for days, weeks or indefinitely. Public suffering will invariably rise, along with public crime.

If events like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are any indication, the Federal government’s response will be inadequate, to say the least. The Federal Emergency Management Agency clearly cannot be relied upon to provide food, shelter, medical care or protection for communities. In fact, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Feds did far more harm than good, corralling people into camps where death was rampant and disarming outlying neighborhoods so that they could not defend themselves. Tens of millions of dollars in donated and Federally purchased necessities were never delivered to aid survivors. Trucks were turned away, and help from civilian sources was denied.

The point is, if you find yourself in the midst of a national or international catastrophe, you should assume that you will be on your own with whatever preparations you made beforehand. To assume otherwise would be foolish, given our government’s track record.

There are some people who will argue that during an international crisis, such as an economic war or a world war, there is no purpose to preparedness. They will argue that there is nothing an individual or family can do to weather the storm or fight back, because the scale of the threat would be “too great.” There is no place for such defeatism in the life of the liberty-minded. The scale of the threat is irrelevant, and only cowards give up a fight before it even begins. Survival and freedom require an unwavering conviction. Nihilists will fulfill their own prophecies, suffering a fate exactly as they imagine for the rest of us; living in fear, slavery, and obscurity.

That said, it is also important to acknowledge the truth that the majority of Americans today are utterly unready for a minor localized disaster, let alone a national or global crisis. This problem, though, could be easily remedied with a few simple beginning steps. I find that most people are not averse to the idea of preparedness, but many have trouble taking the first steps in the right direction. For longtime preparedness champions, the information listed here might seem like old-hat. However, I challenge each liberty movement member to approach at least one friend or family member who could benefit from the steps below. Prepping appears daunting to the uninitiated; show them how simple it can actually be.

Below is a list of goals that every liberty movement member and American can easily achieve starting today and continuing over the course of the next month. If enough citizens were to take the initiative to do these things, all threats — no matter how imposing — could be overcome.

Buy Three Months Of Food Stock

Food supply is the greatest Achilles’ heel of the American populace. Most homes store less than one week’s worth of food items at any given time. The average person needs between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day to maintain sufficient energy for survival. It takes around four to six weeks for a person to die of starvation and malnutrition. In a collapse scenario, most deaths will likely occur within the first few months, either by weakness and illness, or by looting and violence. The idea is to at least get through this first catastrophic phase without becoming a villain, or falling victim to one. One person removed from starvation is one possible threat removed from the equation.

Three months of supply is not ideal by any means, but it will buy you precious time. Start with 2,000 calories per day per person. Bulk foods can be purchased cheaply (for now) and can at the very least provide sustenance during emergencies. A 20-pound bag of rice, for instance, can be had for less than $15 and provides about 30,000 calories, or 2,000 calories per day for 15 days for one person. Supplement with beans, canned vegetables and meats, honey for sugar, or freeze-dried goods, and you will be living more comfortably than 90 percent of the population.

Food stockpiling is one of the easiest and most vital measures a person could take. Yet, sadly, it is one of the last preparations on people’s minds.

Buy A Water Filter

Do not count on city water to remain functional. Even during a drawn-out economic downturn rather than an immediate crisis, there is a good chance that some utilities will be sporadic and unreliable. This means you will have to focus on rainwater collection, as well as water from unclean sources. Boiling the water will kill any bacteria, but it will not kill the taste of sediments and other materials floating around. A high-grade survival filter is the best way to get clean water that tastes good.

The average person needs about a gallon of water per day to remain healthy and hydrated. I highly recommend the Sawyer Mini Water Filter, which is a compact washable filter that can cleanse up to 100,000 gallons of water. It uses no moving parts, making it harder to break; and it costs only $20.

Buy A Small Solar Kit

Try going a week or two without electricity, and you may find how dismal life can truly be. The very absence of light at night reduces one’s productivity time drastically, and using fuel for lanterns is not practical in the long term. Solar power is truly the way to go for a grid-collapse scenario.

I’ve heard much whining about the cost of solar power, but small systems that will serve most electrical needs can be set up for less than $1,000. Two 100-watt panels, a power inverter, charge controller and four to six 12-volt deep-cycle batteries are enough to deal with most electrical needs in a survival situation; and all these items can be contained in a portable foot locker for minimal cost. New solar panels are much more effective in low-light conditions and winter weather as well, making solar a must-have prep item.

Store A Fuel Source

Twenty gallons of gasoline treated with fuel saver is not expensive to purchase today, but in the midst of hyperinflation, it may be impossible to obtain tomorrow. Kerosene is useful for heating and cooking. Propane can be stored for decades and runs numerous appliances. If you live in a forested area, dried wood can be had for free, and can keep you warm throughout the winter months (keep in mind the your local danger factor when using fire). It is vital to have a means to stay warm and fed during the most difficult seasonal changes, especially during a grid down scenario.

Find Alternative Shelter

There are no guarantees during a full-spectrum disaster. Having all your eggs in one basket is not only stupid, but unnecessary. Always have a plan B. That means scouting an alternative location for you and your family in the event that your current shelter comes under threat. This location should be far enough away from large population centers but still within a practical range for you to reach them. It should also have a nearby water source, and be defensible. Establishing supply caches near this site is imperative. Do not assume that you will be able to take all of your survival supplies with you from your home. Expect that surprises of a frightening variety will arise.

Buy One Semi-Automatic Rifle

At this point I really don’t care what model of rifle people purchase, as long as they have one, preferably in high capacity and semi-automatic. AR-15, AK-47, Saiga, SKS, M1A: just get one! Every American should be armed with a military-grade rifle. If you are not, you are not only negligent in your duty as a free citizen, but you are also at a distinct disadvantage against the kind of opponents you are likely to face in a collapse situation.

Buy 1,000 Rounds Of Ammunition

Again, this is by no means an ideal stockpile, but it is enough to get you through a couple rough patches if you train furiously. Cheap AK-47 ammo can be had for $5 for a box of 20 rounds. Get what you can while you can, because the prices are only going to skyrocket in the near term.

Approach One Friend Or Neighbor

Community is what will make the difference between life and death during a SHTF collapse. I challenge everyone in the liberty movement to find at least ONE other person to work with in the event of disaster. Lone-wolf operations may be strategically practical for short periods of time; but everyone needs rest, and everyone needs someone else to watch his back. Do not fall into the delusion that you will be able to handle everything on your own.

Learn One Barter Skill

Learn how to fix one vital thing or provide one vital service. Try emergency medical training, gunsmithing or metal working, as long as it is an ability that people will value. You have to be able to produce something that people want in order to sustain yourself beyond the point at which your survival stockpile runs out. Be sure that you are seen as indispensable to those around you.

Grow A Garden

Spring is upon us, and now is the perfect opportunity to grow your own food supply. If you have even a small yard, use that space to grow produce. Focus on high-protein and high-vitamin foods. Buy a dehydrator or canning supplies and save everything. Use heirloom seeds so that you can collect new seed from each crop to replant in the future. If every American had a garden in his backyard, I wouldn’t be half as worried about our survival as I am today.

Prepare Your Mind For Calamity

The most valuable resource you will ever have is your own mind. The information held within it and the speed at which you adapt will determine your survival, whether you have massive preparations or minimal preparations. Most people are not trained psychologically to handle severe stress, and this is why they die. Panic equals extinction. Calm readiness equals greater success.

The state of our financial system is one of perpetual tension. The structure is so weak that any catalyst or trigger event could send it tumbling into the abyss. Make no mistake; time is running out. We may witness a terrifying breakdown tomorrow, in a year, or if we are lucky, a little longer. The path, though, has been set and there is no turning back. All of the items above can be undertaken with minimal cash flow. If you receive a regular paycheck, you can establish a survival supply for yourself and your family. There are no excuses.

Take the steps above seriously. Set your goals for the next four weeks and see how many of them you can accomplish. Do what you can today, or curse yourself tomorrow. What’s it going to be?