False Choices, Property Rights and the Bundy Ranch

We’ve been closely following the Bundy Ranch in Nevada and the internet has been buzzing with videos and stories related to what’s happening out there because the mainstream media outlets are once again not doing their job.   The poor and slanted media coverage of this that has been made available will now be hampered even more since the FAA has made the area over the Bundy ranch a no-fly zone effectively ending any aerial footage from news crews. Apparently the Administration wants to completely control this narrative especially since there is every indication that Harry Reid is involved.

We have talked about the far reaching aims of the Federal Government in the expansion of Agenda 21 during our meetings:  Farmers being forced into making concessions to their property granting governmental controls over their land as a result of runaway taxes to their land applied by the same government.   These false choices can place an individual in a precarious situation if the government then determines better use for that land than the actual owner of the property.  As news breaks of a deal struck with a Chinese owned Solar Company to take over the land in question regarding the Bundy farm.

Legislators have hidden behind these Departments, Agencies and Commissions, many of which go far beyond the enumerated powers of the Constitution and it would certainly seem that this is the case with the Bundy Ranch.  In this case we see the Bureau Of Land Management playing a critical role which is being supported by the FAA and other agencies….none of which are managed by elected leadership.  All of us would like to think that when push comes to shove our local enforcement agencies or elected officials would come to the defense of the citizens but when a County Commissioner states that anyone preparing to defend the Bundy Ranch “Better have Funeral Plans” it’s time to rethink that logic.  Not even the sheriff in the area is willing to defend the property rights of the Bundy family.

We have seen similar actions being taken by the government as arrests and raids are made concerning land use all over the country but nothing of this scale.  When groups like ours warned of the dangers of the violations of our rights to property we have often been ridiculed with the claim that the things we warned against would never happen in this county and yet, as this story unfolds, we are finding that the very things we warned would happen are in fact happening.

“In 2012, the BLM and the U.S. Department of Energy published the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States,” the report reads. “The Final Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement assessed the impact of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the six southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.”

“The Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States implemented a comprehensive solar energy program for public lands in those states and incorporated land use allocations and programmatic and SEZ-specific design features into land use plans in the six-state study area.”

Back in 2012, the New American reported that Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, was the chief representative for a Chinese energy firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.

And journalist Marcus Stern with Reuters also reported that Sen. Reid was heavily involved in the deal as well.

“[Reid] and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert,” he wrote.“Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada.”

The BLM’s official reason for encircling the Bundy family with sniper teams and helicopters was to protect the endangered desert tortoise, which the agency has previously been killing in mass due to “budget constraints.”

“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher; they want his land,” journalist Dana Loesch wrote. “The tortoise wasn’t of concern when [U.S. Senator] Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore.”

“Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests,” she added. “BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area.”

The assault on this land includes an estimated 200 armed officials surrounding the ranch and the establishment of Free Speech Zones, as though such a thing is constitutionally allowed in this country. There is no such thing as a Free Speech zone….not in America..

Reps. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.) and Steve Pearce (R., N.M.) sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday expressing their concern about the “escalation of force” used by the federal government.

“This escalation of force reportedly includes the deployment of roughly two hundred heavily armed personnel, including snipers, along with the deployment of Tasers, the use of K-9 units, and brutal physical force against members of the Bundy family and their neighbors who had come to support them,” Salmon and Pearce wrote.

This is the same administration that has refused to secure our borders, refused to send aide into Benghazi while ordering the military to stand down as terrorists killed four Americans then lied to the American people about what happened, sent arms to drug cartels that were used against Americans on American soil,  enabled the Arab Spring with arms and financial aid to terrorists but will now send 200 heavily armed personnel to seize farmland under the ridiculous notion of protecting turtles.

Our economy is in shambles, our individual rights are being violated daily and still the majority of America sits silently as though none of it matters.  It didn’t start with the Bundy’s and it won’t end there.  Will it only matter when it’s your land, your property they seek to violate?

As this story is breaking Marc A Scaringi notified Pennsylvania residents that “We have received a report the ATF has been going house to house in one area in South Central PA checking the serial numbers of fire arms owned by individuals with Concealed Carry permits. Apparently, the ATF has a list of individuals with concealed carry permits. But, apparently the ATF does NOT have search warrants.”

Note:  Portions of the above commentary have been derived from other alternative media reportsThank God for the Internet!!!

A sad day for justice in the 102nd

The recent decisions by the courts to eliminate all but one candidate from the Ballot in the 102nd might seem reasonable to the casual reader who has only been told a part of the story but the devil, as they say, is in the details and those details certainly deserve some exposure.

We have election laws in Pennsylvania that have been put in place but an appointed board, not through elected representatives as some would have us believe.  Many have questioned the Constitutionality of these laws, including the remaining candidate, but that’s a debate for another day.  I would like to specifically address the laws when it comes to the objectors who filed these challenges.

The law clearly states that the objector must personally serve the candidate with a CD or flash drive that has been formatted to a state approved spreadsheet and that the candidate being challenged was to be personally supplied with this no later than 5:00 pm on March 26, 2014 along with certification of delivery.  In the case of Wanda Bechtold, this never happened.     The rules also state that the Objector shall immediately arrange to meet with the Candidate or Candidate’s representative to review with the candidate each and every challenged line on the  petition.  This also never happened.   Mr. Diamond stated that the rules are available to all and easy to follow.  Why is it then that the objectors didn’t follow those rules?  In my opinion, it’s a sad state of affairs when a candidate who wants to serve the people of their state must hire an election lawyer to run their campaigns….or, for that matter, to use election lawyers to control the campaigns of others.

For these reasons and others a motion was filed to dismiss the challenges to the petition but the court, choosing to ignore the rules concerning the accusers but not the accused, decided to proceed with the hearing.    In my opinion this is a most basic violation of due process and demonstrates one of the flaws of the entire petition challenge process.   Those who follow these matters closely are well aware that there is little consistency in the rulings passed down by the judges appointed to review these charges.    That was certainly true in the matters concerning these challenges.

Following the hearings Mr. Diamond then turned to Facebook to compare elections to a contest, as though electing candidates is some sort of game.  Apparently it’s not about providing the people with a choice so that they can determine for themselves which candidate is best suited to represent them in government.   That choice would be difficult for those who have gone out to hear from all three candidates at the only two public functions held this year since Mr. Diamond was not present at either of them but had sent his surrogates out to speak on his behalf.  During the district committee meetings Mr. Diamond was also not present, with the exception of one district, again sending surrogates out to speak on his behalf and in some questions the surrogates could not answer questions directed to Mr. Diamond.  An upcoming Town Hall to be held by him on April 14 will be by invitation only with BOLD letters stating NO EXCEPTIONS.  Personally I find a Town Hall by INVITATION only something of an oxymoron.

When the Party committee held their meeting for the purpose of determining endorsements it was decided to endorse all candidates who had no challengers on the ballot, all save Mr. Diamond who only received 3 votes for endorsement.  As a result of the petition challenges there will be no other candidates officially on the ballot and voters must write in another candidate if they object to Mr. Diamond.  The Party Committee was fully aware of this and overwhelmingly decided not to endorse Mr. Diamond.

Thomas Jefferson once said that “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”  I would agree with him.  John Adams stated “It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.” James Madison also weighed in on the law stating “It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

Frankly, the elections in the 102nd have left me disgusted.  Beginning with a series of smear attacks against Joe Eisenhauer and Wanda Bechtold for a divorce, supposed financial problems, and a job related incident while ignoring Mr. Diamond’s divorces, bankruptcy, the proceedings of a board who tried to remove Mr. Diamond for ignoring the by-laws of that organization that, coincidentally also was related to Mr. Diamond seeking office, as well as other matters seemed particularly fowl to me.   Apparently the individual/indivuduals responsible once again felt that certain rules apply to Joe and Wanda that do not apply to Mr. Diamond.

I’ve received some emails from individuals who support Mr Diamond thinking that Mr. Diamond is the best candidate because he will go to Harrisburg and create controversy.   Creating controversy is not the same and finding solutions to problems.  While Mr. Diamond claims to support SB 76 and this will apparently be part of his invitation only Town Hall, he has not consulted with any of the major parties involved to see what is happening with the legislation, the amendments to that legislation nor has he been involved in the promotion of this effort for the past two years as have both Wanda Bechtold and John Dissinger in the 101st.  It would be unfortunate indeed if misinformation was given to the people at this town hall from an individual who really doesn’t know what’s going on with the legislation in an effort to promote an alternate plan that Mr. Diamond has suggested in the past that would call for the total elimination of property taxes giving the legislators 5 years to figure out how to determine the replacement revenue.

SB/HB 76 has built in safety measures that control the powers of the legislative body and places more control in the hands of the people.  It was created with the input and work of 83 grassroots organizations across the state and is truly the people’s legislation, written by them and advanced through two years of hard work and determination to get this across the finish line.  It got there, not by creating controversy but by working with citizens and organizations who are heavily impacted by the school property tax.   In my opinion, the Diamond alternative is irresponsible in that the funding would be solely determined by the legislators and not by the people, but then that brings us back to the beginning of this post.  Maybe Mr. Diamond truly does believe that the law is more important than the people.