EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Cancels Trip to Israel as Furor Over His First-Class Travel Habits Grows

…Pruitt claimed that the “very toxic environment politically, particularly around issues of the environment” necessitated the pricey flights. He also claimed security staff, not him, had made those travel arrangements in the interests of his own safety.

It seems obvious to me that the head climate change denier would be a target for the Enviro-Wackos. But, of course, it is no skin off of Tom McKay’s ass.

I’ve been discussing some of this with my friends in the Texas, New Mexico and Arizona Cattle Raisers Associations. There are at least two groups of people out there that would like to see us all dead. 1) the animal rights people who believe we are cruel to our animals and 2) the Radical Environmentalists who believe we are destroying the environment in the process.

To me, that, plus the generally low level of security provided by the venues, makes our annual meetings a place for an “active shooter” situation.–jtl, 419

Photo: APEnvironmental Protection Agency chief and climate change denier Scott Pruitt, who has drawn increasing amounts of ire this month over stretches of extremely expensive, often first-class travel that he’s justified on dubious security grounds, will no longer go on a five-day trip to Israel.

Per the Washington Post, which originally broke the news of Pruitt’s minimum of $90,000 in taxpayer-funded upscale travel, EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman told the paper on Sunday via email that “We decided to postpone; the administrator looks forward to going in the future.”

The paper reported Pruitt and support staff from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv were originally scheduled to stay at the Jerusalem-based King David Hotel for the duration of the trip, which would involve tours of a water recycling facility and a toxic waste site, as well as meetings with Israeli public and private sector officials:

Israeli officials confirmed that Pruitt’s trip was official state business but could not say if the usual visits had been scheduled. He had been slated to meet with Israel’s Environment Minister Ze’ev Elkin, but the office of the Israeli minister, a senior member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, confirmed that the meeting had been canceled.

Neither the U.S. embassy in Israel nor the Israeli Foreign Ministry would comment on Pruitt’s change in plans.

In a prior interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Pruitt claimed that the “very toxic environment politically, particularly around issues of the environment” necessitated the pricey flights. He also claimed security staff, not him, had made those travel arrangements in the interests of his own safety.

But prior EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman and members of Congress have repeatedly questioned Pruitt’s security measures, which included hiring a dozen new guards at a reported cost of $103,000-$162,000 salary apiece and biometric locks for his office. According to a recent report in Politico, EPA Office of Criminal Enforcement director Henry Barnet explained the motivating factor may not have been death threats, but people who had been approaching Pruitt in airports “being extremely rude, using profanities and potential for altercations and so forth.” Barnet added one incident included a man who yelled “Scott Pruitt, you’re f—ing up the environment,’ those sort of terms.”

Whether the cancellation of the trip signals larger problems ahead for Pruitt than getting yelled at by angry people in the airport remains to be seen. Health and Human Services chief Tom Price resigned in 2017 after running up over $400,000 in flight costs. But EPA officials have changed their explanations of how the expenditures were justified under federal law, and the EPA’s inspector general’s office wrote an ongoing investigation into the matter would only examine charges racked up in 2017, per Politico.

[Washington Post]

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What follows is a business model we have been following that has worked very well for us and for our clientele.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualWe are seeking individual ranchers to sponsor/host workshops . The sponsor/host (and spouse or key employee) get the training at his/her ranch for no charge. This is an extra special benefit to the host as his/her land will be used for the “lab” work and hands on demonstrations. This provides a great start in the implementation of his/her program.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewIn return, he/she takes care of the logistics involved in putting on the event. This includes arranging for the venue, booking a block of rooms for lodging, arranging for meals (if any), putting out the advertising, setting and collecting the fees and so forth.

We are then responsible for putting on the workshop.

During the interim we will each keep track of our out of pocket costs (from our end, that will be mostly travel and lodging). Then, when it is all over, we both are reimbursed our out of pocket costs and split any funds remaining 50:50.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, click here and let us know. If the link won’t work for you, copy and paste info@landandlivestockinternational.com into your browser.

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She was fined $5,600 for a few chickens. Now she is suing to end ‘prosecution fees’ in Indio and Coachella.

Ramona Morales, 79, filed a class-action lawsuit attacking privatized prosecutions in the eastern Coachella Valley.
A Handbook for Ranch Managers Ah yes, Agenda 21 at its best. — jtl, 419
 

Ramona Morales, 79, had no idea a few chickens could be so expensive. She also didn’t know that prosecutions could be so profitable.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Three years ago, on a neighborhood street in central Indio, a city code enforcement officer spotted a few clucking birds inside a coop in the backyard of a small house. The chickens were a violation of a city ordinance, so the officer sent a written warning to Morales, who owned the house and rented it out.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View  At the time, Morales thought the warning was just a slap on the wrist for a small problem. This kind of minor headache is commonplace in the unpredictable life of a landlord.She told her tenant to get rid of the chickens. She thought that was the end of it. It wasn’t.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute“She didn’t know this little dispute about a couple of chickens would turn into nearly a $6,000 bill,” said Jeffrey Redfern, Morales attorney. “But it’s because these guys are making money off of her and everybody else.”

On Tuesday, Morales filed a class-action lawsuit against Indio and Coachella, two cities that have made a practice of taking residents to criminal court for exceptionally minor crimes, then charging them thousands to pay for the cost of their own prosecution. The lawsuit is a direct response to a Desert Sun investigation, published in November, which revealed that the cities had billed residents like Morales more than $122,000 in “prosecution fees” and threatened to take their homes if they didn’t pay.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits If successful, the class-action lawsuit will reverse convictions of anyone who was prosecuted by Indio and Coachella’s privatized prosecutors, the law firm Silver & Wright, and lead to the return of prosecution fees paid by those residents. The suit also might affect other Riverside County cities that also have hired Silver & Wright.

MORE: She was 91 and dying of dementia. City Hall fined her $39K. Now it says her family must pay.

 

Combat Shooter's HandbookMorales is represented by the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit, libertarian public interest law firm that combats government overreach, particularly what the firm calls “policing for profit.” The law firm is similar to the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU.

READ THIS: Gunman dead after attempted armored car robbery results in police chase

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Redfern, an Institute attorney, said the Morales lawsuit argues that Silver & Wright had a “personal, financial stake” in every prosecution; if they got a conviction, they got paid. This profitability colored every case filed by Silver & Wright, Redfern said, making prosecutions less about fixing problem properties and more about cashing in on convictions.

“There are enough laws on the books that you can prosecute basically anyone you want to if you are motivated enough, and the housing code is really ripe for abuse,” Redfern said. “But, if you combine capacious and vague code, where almost anything can be a violation, and you let the person who is going to enforce the code make money off of it, then the potential for abuse is just tremendous.”

The following video was produced by The Institute For Justice to explain the class action lawsuit filed against Indio and Coachella.

MORE: Palm Springs backs off hiring Silver & Wright, law firm behind ‘prosecution fees’ in Indio and Coachella

Coachella City Hall declined to comment, saying it does not discuss litigation. An Indio official said city staff were unprepared to comment because they had not yet reviewed the lawsuit, which was filed shortly before courts closed on Tuesday. Curtis Wright, one of the partners at Silver & Wright, also said he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit because he hadn’t read it yet.

Silver & Wright refused to comment for the initial Desert Sun investigation, but later released a statement insisting that all of their prosecutions were “meritorious” and that all the fees charged by the firm – including prosecution fees – reimbursed the taxpayers of Indio and Coachella.

“We go out of our way to be as fair as possible in the criminal process,” Silver & Wright said in its statement, adding later “The intent is not to convict, but to achieve code compliance.”

MORE: ‘Death threats’ follow report into Indio and Coachella prosecutors, who billed residents high ‘prosecution fees’

Indio officials have publicly stood by the Silver & Wright strategy, saying it had been effective at erasing blight where other tactics had failed. Coachella officials said in November that they would rethink the practice of filing criminal charges against nuisance property owners, but the Institute for Justice characterized this response as too little too late.

“It’s good news obviously,” Redfern said, “but that doesn’t help the people who’ve already been prosecuted.”

Prosecution fees began in both cities about two or three years ago, after the city councils hired Silver & Wright, which sells itself as an expert on code enforcement and cost recovery. The firm then helped both cities create new ordinances that would allow them to send a bill to anyone who is convicted of a nuisance property crime, then began taking property owners to criminal court.

READ THIS: Missing for eight months, couple’s disappearance not voluntary, investigators say

Although The Desert Sun investigation identified 18 cases in which residents or business were charged prosecution fees, Morales is currently the only plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit. Her attorneys said they are likely to add others in the near future.

Morales, who has lived and worked in the Coachella Valley for decades, owns six small Indio rental properties that she bought with savings from a long career of cleaning houses and selling Avon makeup, according to the lawsuit. The properties were in dilapidated conditions when Morales bought them, Redfern said, then Morales and her family members renovated the homes “largely with their own hands,” creating an investment that she could leave to her children and grandchildren.

 

Trouble with one of the properties began in 2015 when an Indio code enforcement officers spotted the chicken in the backyard. Morales says she told her tenant to get rid of the chickens, but when the chickens weren’t removed, Indio forwarded the case to Silver & Wright, who filed criminal charges against Morales and sought a warrant for her arrest.

Morales then went to court and pleaded guilty to two infractions – one for the chickens and one for renting properties without a business license, which she did not know was required. An infraction is a violation of law no more serious than a speeding ticket. Morales was fined $75 for each infraction by the court and the criminal case was closed.

Nearly a year later, Indio City Hall sent Morales a bill saying she now owed the city $3,000 – including $2,400 in “prosecution fees” – which must be paid to Silver & Wright in 45 days. Morales appealed the debt to an administrative hearing officer (contracted by the city) who upheld the bill. Silver & Wright then added another $2,600 for the cost of defending the appeal, bringing Morales total bill to $5,659.

If Morales did not pay, the law firm would put a lien on her property, which meant her land could be seized to pay off the debt. Morales paid because she was afraid of losing her investment, but she said she was still utterly confused as to why she owed anything.

About a year after that, the Desert Sun investigation into prosecution fees was published.

That day, according to her lawsuit, was when it finally made sense.

“After reading the story, Mrs. Morales finally understood the reason she had been subjected to criminal prosecution and billed almost $6,000 was that the city prosecutor – Silver & Wright – was trying to make money off of her,” the lawsuit states.

Similar sentiments have come from other property owners who are not plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit but would still benefit if the suit erases their convictions. In some of those cases, the disparity between the severity of the crime and the cost of the bill is even more staggering than what happened to Morales.

INVESTIGATION: They confessed to minor crimes. Then City Hall billed them $122K in ‘prosecution fees’

 

For example, one Coachella resident with a busted garage door and an overgrown yard filled with trash and junk was billed $25,200. And an Indio businessman, Joseph Ramani, was billed $25,000 because a shopping center he owned had overgrown weeds, unsecured dumpsters, two broken windows and a “sun-damaged address number.”

“It’s absolutely a scam – you can quote me on that,” said Ramani’s attorney, Leonard Cravens, in a prior interview. “They pick the most expensive way to get the job done, in criminal court, because it’s all about the money.”

One other Coachella resident, Cesar Garcia, has also challenged prosecution fees in county court, although his lawsuit is separate from the class-action lawsuit announced Tuesday.

Garcia was prosecuted by Silver & Wright for expanding his house to make room for a small daycare business without the proper building permit from City Hall. After he pleaded guilty, Silver & Wright sent him a bill for $26,000 – including $21,000 in prosecution fees. After he appealed, the bill rose to $31,000.

“Fixing his house was just a side effect. Collecting this money was always their goal,” said Shaun Sullivan, Garcia’s attorney, in a prior interview. “When it’s this easy, and this lucrative, they are going to look for ways and opportunities to do this as often as possible.”

Reporter Brett Kelman can be reached by phone at (760) 778-4642, by email at brett.kelman@desertsun.com, or on Twitter @TDSbrettkelman

INVESTIGATION:Twenty-five cops caught cheating on promotion exam. Nobody fired. Some still got promoted.

 

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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Move the headquarters of federal land agencies West

When your own ox is being gored it gets your attention.
Thomas Mitchell
Head ’em up, move ’em out.
There has been a lot of talk since the Trump administration has taken over about where to locate the national headquarters of some of the nation’s federal land agencies. One land agency, the Bureau of Land Management, controls 11 percent of the nation’s lands, but 99 percent of that land is in the West.
Fully 85 percent of the land in Nevada is controlled by those federal land agencies, the highest percentage of any state, with 66 percent of the state lying under the purview of the BLM, while the rest of the public land is controlled by agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Reclamation.
A Handbook for Ranch ManagersAccording to several news accounts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a native of Montana, is open to moving the headquarters of some of the agencies under his command out of the District of Colombia and into the West, specifically the BLM, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation.
 Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner has a bill pending in Congress that would require moving the BLM HQ to Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming.
The bill states: “Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a strategy for relocating the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management from Washington, DC, to a western State in a manner that will save the maximum amount of taxpayer money practicable.”
Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View“You’re dealing with an agency that basically has no business in Washington, D.C.,” Gardner was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.
The same story quoted northern Nevada’s Republican Rep. Mark Amodei as saying, “I’m excited about the fact that they’re looking at it,” though he stopped short of endorsing the bill at this time. The AP story went on to note that Amodei said he had spoken with bureau officials in Washington who know so little about Nevada they thought the land under a highway interchange was wildlife habitat.
The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsA similar bill to Gardner’s has been introduced in the House by Colorado Republican Rep. Scott Tipton.
“Moving BLM’s headquarters West is a commonsense solution that Coloradans from across the political spectrum support,” Sen. Gardner said in a statement. “Ninety-nine percent of the nearly 250 million acres of land managed by BLM is West of the Mississippi River, and having the decision-makers present in the communities they impact will lead to better policy. Coloradans want more Colorado common sense from Washington and this proposal accomplishes that goal.”
Combat Shooter's Handbook  Federal bureaucrats sheltered inside the Beltway have little appreciation of what lies in the vast open spaces of the West besides the beasts, bugs, birds and weeds that self-styled environmentalist claim need protection from devastation by ranchers, farmers, miners, lumberjacks and oil and gas explorers, who depend for their livelihoods on access to the land.
Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteAccording to employee notes of a meeting between Zinke and executives of the U.S. Geological Survey this past summer in Denver that were leaked to Energy & Environment News, the Interior secretary reportedly said Denver “will probably” become headquarters to some of his land agencies by as early as 2019.
The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Another advantage of moving federal land bureaucrats out West is that it would require them to live in states and communities unable to assess property taxes on those federal lands in order to build schools, roads and hospitals and pay for police and fire protection.
Perhaps they would come to realize how paltry those Payment in Lieu of Taxes checks really are. Perhaps their neighbors can tell them how those PILT checks amount to only 5 percent of the $8.8 billion the Interior Department collects each year from commercial activities, such as oil and gas leases, livestock grazing and timber harvesting on federal lands that is sent to Washington.
When your own ox is being gored it gets your attention.
Head ’em up, move ’em out.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Get Ready for the War on Meat

Mark Thornton accurately depicts the results of prohibitive taxation or outright bans of certain goods or substances:…The major takeaway from Thornton’s analysis is that when the government puts the clamps on goods and services, it creates incentives for black market actors to offer more dangerous, lower quality alternatives.

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersJust think, it won’t be long before meat will rate right up there alongside alcohol and drugs. (That was sarcasm in case you didn’t notice. Once you think you have seen or heard it all, they outdo themselves. Sigh…)

 

by via Mises Wire

  Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlant-based diets, especially vegan diets, seem to be all the rage these days.

Based on the practice of eschewing animal products, veganism has attracted a broad coalition of interest groups — ranging from animal rights to environmental activists — who believe that veganism is the most ethical and sustainable way of promoting human health and animal welfare.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewAt first, these appear to be reasonable premises for an alternative lifestyle that challenges the dietary status quo.

But when placed under the microscope, the modern vegan movement has shown signs of increased politicization and a tendency to mesh with socialist causes.

Veganism as a Vessel for Interventionism

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits Combat Shooter's HandbookRecent developments have demonstrated that veganism is making headway not only in the cultural realm, but also in the political sphere.

It is no secret that many elites at international organizations have an aversion toward meat. In fact, institutions like the United Nations have called for the reduction of meat consumption on the grounds of environmental sustainability and health concerns.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)  And like any good globalist institution, they believe in using government force, in this case, taxation, to curb meat consumption.

But bureaucrats and their vegan foot soldiers are not alone. Groups like the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR), an investment initiative network that monitors factory farms, has thrown its hat into the ring by pushing for meat taxation. This group is no roughshod, grassroots operation; it’s backed by investors that preside over roughly $4 trillion in assets.

The recent meat tax discussions show a paradigm shift in the issue where politicians, bureaucrats, nutritionists, and even powerful financial interests are actively flirting with the idea of using state power to discourage meat consumption.

It’s only a matter of time before governments around the world start implementing meat taxes, adding to the ever-growing list of taxes that citizens must endure.

But is meat taxation a viable way to reduce consumption?

The Problems with Sin Taxes

Sin taxes are nothing new in US history. Busybody politicians have targeted all sorts of activities — alcohol consumption and smoking — that they deem to be destructive and try to use the heavy-hand of the state to curtail these so-called vices.

In the majority of the aforementioned cases, sin taxes failed to reduce consumption of said activities. And in the few instances that sin taxes did succeed in curbing consumption, the problems of prohibition and black markets would come into the equation.

Mark Thornton accurately depicts the results of prohibitive taxation or outright bans of certain goods or substances:

The scourge of crystal meth is another example of the “potency effect” or what has been called the “iron law of prohibition.” When government enacts a prohibition, increases enforcement, or increases penalties on a good such as alcohol or drugs, it inevitably results in substitution to more adulterated, more potent, and more dangerous drugs.

The major takeaway from Thornton’s analysis is that when the government puts the clamps on goods and services, it creates incentives for black market actors to offer more dangerous, lower quality alternatives.

If the anti-meat crowd had their way, proposed meat taxes would have a similar effect, as shady suppliers will look to profit off lower-quality meat products that turn out to be harmful for consumers.

As these alternatives start to bring about negative effects, politicians will naturally respond with even more intervention. Unless cooler heads prevail, more destructive interventions and unintended consequences will follow.

Moreover, just as meat providers are being driven by consumer demand toward more organic, cage-free and “certified humane” meats, additional government interventions will only work in the opposite direction, placing these products out of reach of more consumers.

It’s about Control

Health arguments aside, the real issue at hand in these discussions is control. Taking a page from their environmentalist ilk, vegans constantly rely on alarmist tactics to advance their cause. And this agenda consists of more than just educational campaigns — it involves using a strong centralized state to carry out their dietary vision.

To achieve this zealous plant-based vision, these actors will ultimately have to control and regulate the means of production of meat. The US government already wields tremendous power over food through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). These agencies, with pressure from anti-meat activists, can be used as vehicles to implement one-size-fits-all policies.

Central planning of this sort forms the bedrock of socialism and the latest anti-meat crusades represent another ambit that socialists will exploit in order to gain more traction. At its core, political veganism is the same fundamental philosophy but with different cosmetic features.

It Boils down to Freedom

Individuals should be free to choose whatever diet they desire. The best diet is the one an individual can consistently stick to long enough to achieve their body composition and health goals.

Unfortunately, veganism has taken a page out of the global warming playbook by lending itself as a vehicle for increased state centralization and control over the private affairs of peaceful citizens. The recent meat tax propositions serve as a firm reminder of why there must be a complete separation of Food and State.

Just like the state should stay out of our wallets, the state should stay out of our grocery stores and kitchens.

 

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

Posted in Food and Fiber Issues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Hard Truth About the West’s Wild Horse Problem

The federal government’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is broken, leaving thousands of animals to starve.
A Handbook for Ranch Managers One of the toughest old geezers I have ever known was an old “Mustanger” that hung out at the same Jackpot Bull Riding Arena that I did out in Spring Valley just east of San Diego in the mid 1960s. His only livelihood, that I ever knew of, consisted of chasing down wild and feral mustangs and horses out in Death Valley and hauling them to market.

The operative word there is “market.” Those were better days. — jtl, 419

by Chris Stewart, the Republican congressman from Utah via the NYTimes.com
wild_horses_argentina

We have a wild horse problem — and it’s having a devastating impact on these majestic animals that so many of us love.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual  I grew up on a farm in Idaho. No one has to show me how to put a saddle on a horse. I respect these powerful animals and consider them emblems of the West. But though we may envision bands of mustangs sprinting through lush fields of tall grasses, we have to realize that the truth is much bleaker.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThe federal government’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is broken, leaving thousands of animals to starve. The Bureau of Land Management says that the nearly 27 million acres it manages for wild horses and burros can sustain only about 27,000 animals. This year, the bureau estimates that there were more than 72,000 wild horses on the land, almost 50,000 too many and all fighting to survive.

 Combat Shooter's HandbookMaking matters worse, wild horses are very fertile; their population increases 20 percent a year, meaning the number of wild horses will double in the next four years. Overgrazing by these horses has also hurt local deer and elk populations. The range could take a generation to recover.

This isn’t just a horse management disaster, it’s a financial disaster too. In addition to the 72,000 horses it oversees on the range, the B.L.M. keeps about 45,000 horses that it has removed from the wild in corrals, off-range pastures and in sanctuaries. Over their lifetime, these horses will cost taxpayers roughly $1 billion overall, according to the B.L.M. That’s $1 billion we could otherwise spend on defense, education, job training or any other worthy cause.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteBut the alternative for these horses is starving in the wild. For example, in 2015, the B.L.M. employees were dispatched to a desert in Nevada outside of Las Vegas to round up about 200 wild horses that were reported to be starving to death. Federal land managers had determined that the 100,000-acre expanse where these horses were grazing produced only enough grasses and water to sustain 70 horses.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsBureau employees discovered nearly 500 horses. They had pounded their range to powder; the desert grasses that remained had been eaten to the nubs. Nearly 30 were in such poor condition they had to be euthanized, and many others were on the brink of death.

How can anyone consider this acceptable?

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Although the finger is routinely pointed at the B.L.M. for mismanagement, the bulk of the blame lies with shortsighted decision-making by misinformed but well-meaning members of Congress.

Congress had once supported laws that allowed for proper management of these animals. Horses in excess of what the land could sustain were to be captured, put up for adoption, sold without restriction — including to slaughterhouses, which the B.L.M. does not do as a matter of policy — and as a last resort, humanely euthanized. The program wasn’t perfect, but the B.L.M. was able to keep the herds’ numbers in check while ensuring that the ranges were viable and healthy year after year.

But since 2010, Congress has used annual appropriations acts to significantly restrict the ability of the B.L.M. to sell or euthanize horses. And while in the early 2000s people were willing to adopt 8,000 horses a year, more recently that number has dropped to 2,500, possibly because of the economy.

Some horse advocates urge expanded use of birth control to keep horse populations in check. Birth control is part of the solution, but it’s not a panacea. The most humane methods require mares to be treated once a year. That’s feasible in herds that roam small areas, such as those on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but herds in the West are scattered over thousands of acres that equal the land mass of Mississippi.

What’s more, a mare can’t already be pregnant at the time of treatment. That’s a tall order given that pregnancy rates tend to be high at any given point in the year. Is it any wonder why the B.L.M. is able to treat a mere 1,000 mares each year in the West?

I love horses and view them the way most people view their pet dogs. But witnessing our nation’s wild horses and burros starve to death and overrun the range must compel us to act. This year, the House Appropriations Committee approved my proposal to remove language from the Interior Department’s budget that bars the B.L.M. from euthanizing captured healthy horses it is holding. The House should ratify this action when it votes on the budget in January.

I understand that some will recoil from this approach. But anyone who really cares about these majestic animals must understand that other efforts have failed to curb their exploding population and that culling these herds to numbers the land can sustain is the best way to prevent further suffering and death.

Chris Stewart is a Republican congressman from Utah.

 

At Circle Ranch, the single favorite species are their wild “rescue” burros.

 

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Domestic Terrorism Bill Targets Patriot Groups and Citizen Militias

The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”…It sounds like they are saying speaking out is a precursor to terrorism. Exercising rights is suspicious.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Read up on what has came to be known as “Open Source Warfare.” It is the strategy (along with its accompanying tactics) that has kicked (and continues to kick) the royal ass of what is believed to be the worlds most powerful military force–aka the Yankee Occupation Government’s Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. — jtl, 419

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualSTAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS from The Daily Bell
By Joe Jarvis
To authorize dedicated domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to analyze and monitor domestic terrorist activity and require the Federal Government to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism.

That’s the text of a bill introduced in Congress on February 2nd called the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018.

The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsBut what is an extremist ideology? It’s easy to see on one end of the spectrum, once violence happens. But the FBI sees the progression as “crossing the line from First Amendment protected rights to committing crimes to further their political agenda.”

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View  It sounds like they are saying speaking out is a precursor to terrorism. Exercising rights is suspicious.

The bill makes repeated reference to “patriot” groups as well as “anti-government militias.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 2015, for the first time in 5 years, the number of hate groups in the United States rose by 14 percent. The increase included a more than twofold rise in the number of Ku Klux Klan chapters. The number of anti-government militias and “patriot” groups also grew by 14 percent in 2015.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The problem is that one government agency already targeted innocent people based on their affiliation to the word “patriot.” The IRS targeted Tea Party Patriots for scrutiny and intimidation by asking intrusive questions far out of the purview of tax collectors.

Now government policing agencies want to associate “patriots” and militias with the KKK and other racist groups. This bill throws out a large net, and innocent people are going to get caught up in it.

“Anti-government militias” and white supremacists should absolutely not be under the same label. They have entirely different motivations. The militias are defensive, seeking to protect themselves from government abuse. History has proven the need for a robust check on government military and policing power.

In fact without militia-like entities, Cliven Bundy and his family may be in prison or dead right now.

Yet Bundy was recently cleared after extensive corruption of the FBI and Bureau of Land Management was revealed in their attempts to prosecute Cliven Bundy. We know these agencies are politically motivated. We know they often have ulterior motives for targeting people.

The government pushes this bill as a response to 77 deaths by domestic extremists in the USA since September 11, 2001, and 255 deaths from right-wing extremists since 1993.

In 1993 alone the government killed 77 people in one incident during the Waco siege! Without Bundy’s “militia” they may have done the same to him and his family.

So-called “anti-government militias” seem like a better way to keep people safe than new powers for the Department of Homeland Security.

Antifa vs. White Supremacists

It shouldn’t be a problem that the bill targets white supremacists. They are after all responsible for violence, including the tragic killing spree carried out by Dyan Roof on a church congregation.

But “Trump supporter” is now synonymous with “white supremacist” to the mainstream media. How often do you hear people throw out the charge of “racism!” when something has nothing to do with race?

Antifa is a far-left group of fascists that call themselves anti-fascists. They ironically claim to be against fascism while destroying property and violently attacking anyone who disagrees with them. But all too often protesters are grouped in with these rioters.

The bill cites these two extremist caricatures. But they apply these monikers to much broader segments of the population than they actually encompass.

For example, a protest–protected free speech–may quickly be labeled an Antifa riot or a white supremacist rally because of the affiliation of 1% of the protesters.

These relatively tiny groups are being magnified by the media.

And it is difficult to get exact numbers on the movements.

But the Antifa facebook page has a worldwide following of under 282,000. With 2.2 billion active users, that is less than one-tenth of one percent of Facebook users that show support for Antifa.

As for white supremacists, according to ADL:

During the recent surge of right-wing extremist activity in the United States that began in 2009, white supremacists did not grow appreciably in numbers, as anti-government extremists did, but existing white supremacists did become more angry and agitated, with a consequent rise of serious white supremacist violence.

See what they did there?

While admitting that the white supremacist numbers haven’t grown, they associate “anti-government extremists” with racist hate groups. Given that they claim this right-wing extremism grew in 2009, they are likely referring to Tea Party groups. To them, being pro-limited government, and anti-government oppression equals “anti-government extremist.”

Government Incitement

Skeptics think the government actually created or radicalized Antifa and white supremacist groups. This allows them to associate peaceful protesters on the left and the right with actual violent extremists. By radicalizing tiny elements of groups who have good reason to protest the government, they create strawmen to argue against and use to justify bills like the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act.

They can’t outlaw peaceful protests. But they can insert violent extremists–or agent provocateurs–into every rally, and use that as an excuse to shoot tear gas and call in the riot police.

A 2014 report from Human Rights Watch found government agents are directly involved in most high profile US terror plots.

The FBI often targeted particularly vulnerable people, including those with intellectual and mental disabilities and the indigent. The government, often acting through informants, then actively developed the plot, persuading and sometimes pressuring the targets to participate, and provided the resources to carry it out…

The US has also made overly broad use of material support charges, punishing behavior that did not demonstrate an intent to support terrorism. The courts have accepted prosecutorial tactics that may violate fair trial rights, such as introducing evidence obtained by coercion, classified evidence that cannot be fairly contested, and inflammatory evidence about terrorism in which defendants played no part – and asserting government secrecy claims to limit challenges to surveillance warrants.

In one case, they charged a man with material support for providing military gear to terrorists because he had waterproof socks in his luggage.

Domestic Terrorism

A Huffington Post article draws concern about the increase in white supremacist domestic terrorism. In 2017 white supremacists murdered 18 people, while in 2016 white supremacists killed only 7.

Every one of those deaths is a tragedy. But with such small numbers, the statistics tell us nothing. Any given American has an effective 0.000006% chance of becoming the murder victim of a white supremacist.

Two victims in those statistics were the parents of the killer’s ex-girlfriend, who had convinced their daughter to break up with her racist boyfriend. Again, I am not minimizing the horror white supremacists inflict on those around them.

But it is misleading to classify that as a domestic terrorist attack. And it seems unlikely that a dedicated domestic terrorism office within the Department of Homeland security would have prevented it.

To be clear, I am not concerned about the government targeting white supremacists. The problem is labeling people white supremacists in order to monitor them. For instance, the bill uses right-wing extremist and white supremacist almost interchangeably. And then it throws in some “anti-government”.

Well, they might very well consider being against the government’s violence “anti-government.”

Comparatively, it is amazing that they are concerned about 387 people killed by domestic terrorists over the last decade (Note: this Huffington Post number is higher than government figures because it includes domestic attacks attributed to foreign movements like ISIS).

They left out the biggest domestic terrorist organization of all. Conveniently, no government organization tracks the number of people killed by the police. But the Washington Post has tracked American police killings since 2015.

In 2015-2017 American police killed a total of 2,945 people. It took only three years for police to kill more than seven times the number of people killed in all domestic terrorist attacks in the last ten years.

All Boiled Down:

The actual threat of domestic terrorism is greatly exaggerated. Federal law enforcement already engages in entrapment tactics, which would likely expand under the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act. The government’s propensity towards violence is actually a larger threat to Americans than domestic terrorism. Their targetting blurs the lines between peaceful activists/ concerned citizens and Antifa/ white supremacists.

To protect innocent people exercising free speech and freedom of expression from intrusive surveillance and targetting by dangerous government organizations, this bill should be rejected.

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Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an  ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

 

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Federal prosecutors urge judge to reconsider dismissal of case against Cliven Bundy

 With prejudice means prosecutors can’t seek a new trial.

If there is such a thing as a frying pan hell, there is a very large auditorium on reserve for this bunch of bastards. — jtl, 419

Federal prosecutors in Nevada are asking a federal judge to reconsider her dismissal of charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy and supporter Ryan Payne in their 2014 armed standoff over cattle grazing, arguing that her ruling was erroneous, ”unwarranted and unjust.”

They said U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro failed to consider a less drastic remedy for the evidence violations she found.

In a motion filed Wednesday, the prosecutors also reiterated their unsuccessful argument that the evidence they failed to share until too late wouldn’t have been admissible anyway because they didn’t believe the defendants could argue that they acted in self-defense, were provoked or intimidated.

They urged the judge to consider the fallout from her Jan. 8 dismissal, suggesting it will endanger other federal officers who typically patrol remote public lands alone.

“This case has major ramifications for all public lands law enforcement officers,” Elizabeth White, the Nevada U.S. attorney’s appellate chief, wrote in a 29-page motion.

“Dismissing this entire case with prejudice, based on the government’s non-disclosure of mostly duplicative evidence of law enforcement’s pre-impoundment surveillance and preparation, would encourage the defendants, their supporters and the public to disrespect the law and the lawful orders of the courts.”

With prejudice means prosecutors can’t seek a new trial.

The judge found that prosecutors didn’t turn over evidence to defense attorneys that dealt with an FBI surveillance camera, federal snipers and other officers positioned outside the Bundy ranch in April 2014.

The senior Bundy, 71, Ammon Bundy, 45, and Ryan Bundy, 42, and Payne, 34, were indicted on conspiracy and other allegations, accused of rallying militia members and armed supporters to stop federal officers from impounding Bundy cattle near Bunkerville. Government authorities were acting on a court order filed after Cliven Bundy failed to pay grazing fees and fines for two decades. The outnumbered federal contingent retreated and halted the cattle roundup on April 12, 2014.

Navarro last month dismissed the Bundy prosecution, citing “flagrant misconduct” by prosecutors and the FBI in not disclosing evidence before and during trial. The judge listed six separate types of evidence withheld and ruled that each violation was willful.

She found the government misconduct was “outrageous” and “egregious” because the prosecution team and the FBI didn’t give defense lawyers information that they had specifically requested.

The decision to file a motion to reconsider the dismissal instead of filing an immediate appeal is a tactical choice, federal legal experts said. The Nevada prosecutors may believe they can expand on arguments they made earlier and change the judge’s mind, or they may want to include information that they hadn’t presented before but believe they need to now to have in the court record before seeking an appeal.

Document: Transcript of U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro’s dismissal ruling

Document: Federal prosecutors’ motion asking judge to reconsider

Document: Federal prosecutors’ motion to dismiss with prejudice case against 4 other defendants

The Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office noted in its motion, as it previously had in December arguments, that the judge in a separate trial of standoff co-defendants last April rejected a defense request for a self-defense instruction to jurors, finding then that the record “belies the defendants’ contention that the agents used excessive force.”

The prosecutors argued that the information about a surveillance camera, presence of FBI SWAT officers or snipers and officers at listening and observation posts around the Bundy ranch related to preparation between April 5 and April 8, 2014, for the cattle roundup.

That all came before a confrontation with federal officers on either April 9, 2014, when officers stunned Ammon Bundy with a Taser gun and knocked his aunt to the ground as they tried to block a federal convoy, or the April 12, 2014, standoff in the Toquop Wash near Bunkerville.

“To the extent the court’s dismissal with prejudice is predicated on the materiality of the late-disclosed evidence to defendant’s theories of ‘self-defense, provocation and intimidation,” it is in error,” White wrote. “The government’s ‘failure’ to produce information to help the defendants develop a ‘defense’ they had no right to make does not violate Brady.” Brady is the 1963 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that requires prosecutors to share any evidence that may be favorable to the defense.

Navarro, however, specifically addressed those concerns in her dismissal ruling.

She said prosecutors were “well aware” that theories of self-defense, provocation and intimidation might become relevant if the defendants could provide sufficient proof to the court, noting it was part of a prior court order entered in the case.

In their latest motion, prosecutors argued that the dismissal of the case with prejudice was a “drastic measure.” They argued the court could have dismissed one or more charges or dismissed the case without prejudice, allowing a new trial.

They suggested that the court could have ordered that the evidence provided too late wasn’t to be presented at trial or removed the conspiracy charge in the federal indictment, which alleged that defendants used deceit and falsely told supporters that the Bundy ranch was surrounded by snipers. The judge also could have dismissed an extortion charge, which alleged defendants used social media in aid of the allegation, they argued.

“Dismissal of one or more counts would be an extreme sanction, to be sure, but less drastic than dismissing the entire indictment, and more appropriate given the nature of the Brady violations the Court found,” the prosecutors wrote.

Ryan Bundy, reached by phone Wednesday night, said he wasn’t worried.

“Number one, the judge slammed them,” he said. “It’s ridiculous to think anything could come of that.”

Also Wednesday, federal prosecutors asked the judge to cancel the scheduled Feb. 26 trial for remaining defendants Mel Bundy, David Bundy, Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Jason Woods, and dismiss their case with prejudice, in light of the dismissal of the case against the lead defendants and the government’s request that the judge reconsider that ruling.

— Maxine Bernstein

mbernstein@oregonian.com
503-221-8212
@maxoregonian

FBI told state police not to wear body cameras for 2016 stop of refuge occupation leaders

Updated Posted

 

Prosecutors say witness testimony, audio and video evidence, plus bullet trajectory analysis yielded one conclusion:  FBI agent W. Joseph Astarita lied about firing two shots at the truck of refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum in 2016 after he swerved into a snowbank.

The information is detailed in a 32-page government response to Astarita’s motion to dismiss the federal indictment against him. He’s pleaded not guilty to three counts of making false statements and two counts of obstruction of justice. Astarita’s lawyer claimed the indictment was based on “junk science.”

The government response also reveals that Oregon State Police SWAT troopers at the scene, ordinarily required to wear body cameras, didn’t that day at the request of the FBI. The FBI did obtain video from FBI surveillance planes flying above the scene.

State police detectives also normally record interviews of officers who might be involved in a shooting, but they didn’t that night when questioning the FBI Hostage Rescue Team members, again at the FBI’s request. A follow-up interview with the hostage team members also came with unusual conditions, prosecutors note.

Astarita fired after Finicum’s truck swerved into a snowbank at a roadblock and then stepped out of his pickup, investigators said. Astarita’s first rifle shot missed Finicum’s truck entirely and the second entered Finicum’s truck from the roof, “sending sparks into the cabin and blowing out the left rear passenger window next to Ryan Bundy,” according to federal prosecutors. Finicum wasn’t struck.

On cellphone video taken by passenger Shawna Cox, Ryan Bundy, crouched in the back seat, could be heard saying, “I got hit, too,” according to the government filing.

The shooting came as the FBI and state police moved to arrest the leaders of the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as they drove to a meeting in John Day on Jan. 26, 2016.

The bullet that entered the top of the truck came from the right side, slightly to the rear of the truck, and its path could have come only from Astarita or his immediate supervisor, according to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office detectives, who investigated the shooting. The supervisor, identified as B.M., was eliminated as the source, but the government response doesn’t say how.

Finicum, 54, was shot and killed by state police a short time later at the scene after he walked away from the truck and reached into his jacket pocket, where he had a loaded pistol, investigators said. The Malheur County district attorney later ruled that the fatal shooting was justified.

LaVoy Finicum shooting: Defense says case against FBI agent based on 'junk science'

Another FBI supervisor, identified by the initials “I.M.,” responded to the scene to find out if any of the hostage team agents had fired their weapons.

I.M. asked Astarita if he had fired his rifle. Astarita’s response  was “markedly different” than the other team members but he “clearly communicated” that he hadn’t fired his rifle, prosecutors wrote.

Astarita apparently responded with an angry retort, questioning I.M’s authority to ask, and another hostage team member told Astarita that he needed to respond, the court filing says. Astarita’s lawyer has argued that his client’s remark was unresponsive and can’t be construed as a false statement.

Three other members of the FBI hostage rescue team who were at the roadblock on U.S. 395 also said they hadn’t taken any shots, according to prosecutors.

As a result, “evidence that would otherwise have been gathered and preserved was not,” Astarita’s weapon wasn’t seized, examined or secured and an FBI shooting investigation wasn’t initiated, prosecutors wrote.

Astarita’s second response to B.M., his immediate FBI supervisor, was “direct and unequivocal” that he had not fired his rifle, prosecutors noted.

The FBI ceded the shooting investigation to local authorities, thinking none of the federal agents present had fired their weapons.

Astarita told state police investigators that he was among the agents at the roadblock and described how Finicum’s truck approached at about 70 mph. Astarita said he believed Finicum had struck another hostage team agent as he swerved into the snowbank.

“He expressed concern for that operator’s safety,” according to prosecutors. Astarita said he moved into position to help the fallen agent but was unsure of his exact position because he was moving, according to the government’s document.

Since Finicum’s truck was still running and the engine was revving, Astarita told investigators that it was difficult to hear what was going on but heard other gunshots and saw Finicum fall after Finicum had moved away from the truck.

“At no point in the interview did defendant disclose that he had fired, nor did he mention that evidence, such as shell casings, had been removed from the scene,” prosecutors wrote.

A major incident team of local authorities processed the shooting scene and Finicum’s truck. They found no spent rifle casings in the roadway, though witnesses reported seeing them there.

Using a metal detector, investigators did find two spent casings buried in the snow that were matched to a state police SWAT trooper’s rifle.

Deschutes County investigators shared their concerns about missing evidence and unaccounted-for shots with FBI officials in the days after the shooting. I.M., the FBI supervisor who had first questioned Astarita, also expressed frustration to another FBI leader about Astarita’s odd response to his routine question. More FBI supervisory agents spoke with Astarita.

On Feb. 6, 2016, two state police detectives reinterviewed Astarita, but by then the hostage rescue team agents knew there were unaccounted-for gunshots and missing shell casings. The agents set conditions for the interview: They could only be interviewed as a group, the interview couldn’t be recorded and their lawyer could be present on a speakerphone.

The state police detectives found those conditions “particularly an unrecorded group interview – odd and problematic, but reluctantly agreed to them, believing that the alternative would be no interview at all,”  prosecutors wrote.

B.M., the leader of Astarita’s team, served as the “spokesman” for the group and did most of the talking. The hostage rescue team agents conveyed individually and through their spokesman that they didn’t fire any shots.

While Astarita’s lawyer has urged the court, at the least, to dismiss four of the five charges, arguing they are repetitious, prosecutors say each charge is warranted because Astarita made false statements to three different FBI supervisors , who each had a different role to play and each lie “further impaired the FBI’s investigation.”

— Maxine Bernstein

mbernstein@oregonian.com
503-221-8212
@maxoregonian

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Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewIn return, he/she takes care of the logistics involved in putting on the event. This includes arranging for the venue, booking a block of rooms for lodging, arranging for meals (if any), putting out the advertising, setting and collecting the fees and so forth.

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THE BLM’S BUNDY BLUNDER — PATRIOTS VS. FASCISTS

Cliven Bundy and his sons are modern American heroes, who fought against tyranny at the peaceful battle of Bunkerville, in memory of the bloody battle against tyranny at Bunker Hill.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Of all the articles on the FedGov’s attempted land grab at Bunkerville, NV, this is one of the better ones. It clarifies a lot of things and places them within the proper context. It offers a brief history of the evolution of ranching and land ownership in the West. It explains how the Bundys property rights in the land came about and why they stood to defend them.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual  And finally, it makes me nostalgic–having been a young hard charger in the middle of the “Sagebrush Rebellion” (specific to Arizona and New Mexico) of the late 70s-early 80s. I only wish I could have done more. There is still that chance because the battle is far from over. — jtl, 419

By Joel F. Hansen, Chairman, Independent American Party of Nevada via Eagle Forum

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewCliven Bundy’s ancestors on his mother’s side came, as pioneers, to the Gold Butte area of the southern Nevada desert in 1877 and began ranching from scratch. In doing this they established grazing rights and water rights — preemptive legal rights under Nevada law which gave them permanent rights to graze cattle on that land. Those legal rights were passed down through the years to Cliven Bundy and his family.  In 1934, the Taylor The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsGrazing Act was passed by Congress, an act designed to assist ranchers, especially in the arid American West, to raise cattle for the benefit of Americans — by putting delicious and nutritious beef on their tables. The Bundy ranch is located about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, near the town of Bunkerville.

Combat Shooter's Handbook  These pioneers conquered this hostile, arid land and made it into a productive ranch by making water and feed available to their cattle and learning how to manage the cows so that they could survive in such an arid place, an area mostly covered by sagebrush and creosote bushes.  Because of the water and increased food made available by the ranchers’ efforts, wildlife flourished. The most numerous animal wildlife in the area is the Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institutedesert tortoise. The tortoises flourished because the cows eat woody bushes which are above the level the tortoises can reach, and then they leave a delicacy for the tortoises on the ground where they can reach it.  The tortoises’ main course and dessert is cow pies, which contain all of the nutrients and moisture the tortoises need for survival.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) In 1946, the Bureau of Land Management was created by Congress with the mission of helping ranchers to succeed by helping them construct watering facilities, fences, and other things needed by cattle and by ranchers.  The partnership was a good one, and Cliven Bundy paid the grazing fees required by the BLM for many years.  The people who ran the BLM, in the beginning, were rancher friendly, having degrees in solid scientific areas like geology, range management, animal husbandry, and the like.

But beginning in the 1970’s and growing in numbers at an ever-increasing rate each year was a new generation of BLM-ocrats, those with degrees in the “environmental sciences.”  This new generation saw ranchers not as fellow citizens cooperating in the effort to make the land productive, but as enemies who were destroying the environment.  They had signs on their walls — “no more moo by 92” and “cattle free by 93.”

As a result, in an effort to eliminate ranching in Nevada, the BLM began raising the annual fee for each cow on the range (AUM’s) and shortening the grazing season. Thus, out of over 50 ranchers in Clark County, only Cliven Bundy survived, as one by one all of his fellow ranchers gave up and went out of business because they couldn’t make a profit under the BLM’s oppressive rules.

But Cliven knew that the BLM was supposed to be his servant, not his master, and so, since his servant was trying to destroy him, he famously “fired” the BLM and told them he did not need their services anymore and to stay off his ranch.  The BLM didn’t take too kindly to that, and so it obtained two federal court orders that rancher Bundy had to pay the grazing fees or clear out.  Cliven responded that he would do “whatever it takes” to preserve his family’s ancestral rights in the land, rights which had existed for many years before the BLM was created.  He took the position that neither the BLM nor the federal court had any jurisdiction over that land, because it belongs to the State of Nevada.

To understand this claim, one must understand that when the Territory of Nevada came into the Union, all of the unappropriated land in the Territory had belonged to the federal government under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Mexico. Under the Northwest Ordinance, passed before the US Constitution was adopted, and continued by later Congresses, as new states came into the Union, all of the federally owned land in each state was to be turned over to the State, or to the people by sale.

The philosophy was that each state should enter the union on an “equal footing” with all of the older states, none of which had federal land of any appreciable amount within their boundaries.  And so it is that East of the Rocky Mountains there is almost no federally owned land in any of the states.

But the philosophy changed out West.  As the new states of Colorado, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and 8 other western states came into the Union, Congress required the Territorial Legislatures to renounce any claim they had to the unappropriated lands within their borders.  And so it is that on average, 50% of the land in these 13 Western states is claimed by the federal government, Nevada having the greatest percentage of federally claimed land, almost 90%.

But then in the 1970’s and 80’s there arose the “Sagebrush Rebellion” among the western people, vociferously arguing that they wanted no more to be treated as territories of the federal government, but as full-fledged states.  Westerners had long complained that Federal control had weakened these states’ economies and stifled economic growth long enough.  The spark that turned these complaints into a “rebellion” was the enactment in 1976 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) that ended homesteading, which meant that the federal government would forever retain control of western public lands.

Sagebrush Rebels wanted the federal government to give more control of federally “owned” western lands to state and local authorities. This was meant to increase the growth of western economies. Republican Ronald Reagan declared himself a sagebrush rebel in an August 1980 campaign speech in Salt Lake City, telling the crowd, “I happen to be one who cheers and supports the Sagebrush Rebellion. Count me in as a rebel.”  Nevada led the way.  The “Sagebrush Rebellion” burst onto the Western scene in 1979, when the Nevada legislature enacted a law claiming ownership of the “unappropriated” public lands in the state.

And so when Cliven Bundy says he doesn’t recognize federal jurisdiction over his ranch, he points to the State of Nevada laws which say that Nevada owns the land under his ranch and he owns the grazing and water rights.  After he fired the BLM, Cliven paid his next bill for grazing fees to Clark County, which accepted his payment, in fact he paid several times, but then, not knowing what to do with the money, the county refunded it.  And so Cliven began putting these fees into a trust account.

Finally, a federal judge ordered the BLM to impound and remove all of Bundy’s cattle.  When sympathetic ranchers and other patriotic Americans around the country heard of this pending federal invasion of the Bundy ranch, the anger simmering throughout the West against federal bureaucratic high handedness reached a boiling point.  People gathered in large numbers on the ranch to protest the BLM’s threatened invasion.

These patriotic cowboys and “militia” (which is defined in the U.S. code as all able-bodied men between the ages of 17 and 45) were there to exercise their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

But the BLM moved in any way, and committed atrocities in the process.  When Davey Bundy tried to video federal agents preparing the invasion, he was thrown to the ground, his iPad was confiscated, he was stomped on the neck and his face was ground into the rocks and dirt, after which he was transported to Las Vegas, held many hours with his hands handcuffed behind his back, and was later released with no charges filed and the record of his stay in the jail erased.

One of the Bundy women, Aunt Margaret, was violently thrown to the ground, and Ammon Bundy was tazed.  Numerous cattle were shot, and many were secretly buried in a shallow grave.  The Feds set up a couple of “1st amendment zones,” small enclosed areas in which any protestors were supposed to confine their activities.  (The Bundy’s aptly named these “pig pens.”) This anti-Constitutional action brought forth a firestorm of protests from people of all stations, including the governor of Nevada.  The BLM was forced by public opinion to remove these ridiculous “1st amendment zones.”  But worst of all, the BLM brought in professional mercenaries, protected by body armor and armed to the teeth with military style firearms, who had specific assignments to shoot certain people immediately if violence broke out.  They proceeded to round up the Bundy cattle, scaring them half to death with helicopters and hired cowboys, and fenced them in a dry gully located partially under an I-15 bridge.

About 200 cowboys and others dressed in camouflage walked down the dry gulch, some on horses, some with handguns holstered cowboy fashion on their hips.  There is no evidence that any of these people ever pointed a gun at the BLM and their FBI friends who were present, despite mountains of video evidence of every moment of the stand-off.  Although there is one famous photo of one protestor pointing a rifle through a space in the barricades on top of the bridge, there is no evidence that he pointed it at anyone nor that any of the BLM invaders saw the muzzle of his rifle.  In the face of determined patriots and volunteer militia men on the other side of the cattle fence and the Clark County sheriff who pleaded with the BLM to disperse in order to prevent violence, the cowardly feds turned tail and ran.

Over a year later, Cliven was arrested when he got off a plane in Oregon on his way to visit his sons camped on the Malheur wildlife refuge who were defending the rights of some Oregon ranchers who had been unjustly imprisoned on trumped up charges.  That stand-off, in which one of the Bundy supporters, LaVoy Finicum, was killed in cold blood by an FBI agent, went before a jury. All of the defendants were acquitted.

Instead of the government releasing Ammon and Ryan, they were transported to Nevada and kept in federal prison with their father, Cliven.  They were held until trial on the false premise that they were a danger to their community and that they were flight risks, all of which was groundless.  Cliven has never had as much as a traffic ticket.  No criminal record.  The trial was run by Judge Gloria Navarro, (appointed on recommendation of Senator Harry Reid) who made outrageous anti-defense pro-prosecution rulings throughout the trial.  She ruled that the First and Second Amendments could not be used as defenses in the trial (pardon us, but isn’t that why the founders put those amendments into the Constitution?!).  And she even kicked one defendant off the stand when he tried to testify that he had seen federal snipers on the buttes overlooking the ranch.  She said he couldn’t testify to this because there was insufficient evidence of snipers being present. (Pardon us again, but wouldn’t his testimony have supplied that evidence?!)

The prosecution of the case in Las Vegas was headed by US Attorney Steve Myrhe, while the invasion itself had been directed by Dan Love of the BLM.  These two worked together to hide key evidence from the Defense team.  The defense lawyers kept insisting that the government was hiding exculpatory surveillance evidence and other key documents.  Myrhe and Love kept denying that.

Then, in answer to the many prayers of the Bundy family and many others, the prosecution’s case was broken wide open.  Judge Navarro, based upon indisputable evidence presented to her by the defense attorneys, finally ordered the prosecutors to turn over exculpatory documents, the existence of which Steve Myhre had been denying all along.  And then, to make matters worse for the Prosecution, Larry Wooten, a former BLM investigator who worked on the Bundy case, filed a whistleblower complaint with the Justice Department, alleging that he’d been removed from the investigation in February after he’d raised concerns about misconduct by Love. He said that the government had failed to turn over evidence of such misconduct to defense lawyers for the Bundy’s and that BLM officials were biased against the Bundy’s, exposing the facts that during the investigation, “at any given time, you could hear the subjects of this investigation openly referred to as ‘retards,’ ‘red-necks,’ ‘overweight women with the big jowls,’ ‘d*uche bags,’ ‘tractor-face,’ ‘idiots,’ ‘in-bred,’ etc., etc.” Wooten wrote, in a 12 page memo, that during the ranch standoff Love had told agents to “kick Cliven Bundy in the mouth (or teeth) and take his cattle.”

Wooten reported that BLM officers had bragged about using excessive force during the arrest of Dave Bundy in 2014 and “grinding his face into the ground.”  More significant for the prosecution, Wooten wrote that on multiple occasions, Love “specifically and purposely ignored  orders in order to command the most intrusive, oppressive, large-scale, and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible.”  He added, “The investigation indicated that there was little doubt there was an improper cover-up in virtually every matter that [Love] participated in or oversaw, and that [Love] was immune from discipline and the consequences of his actions.”  Wooten also stated that Steve Myhre knew about the cover up and refused to do anything about it, despite Wooten’s requests.  Thankfully, Dan Love has since been fired and Steve Myrhe has been re-assigned.

The government turned over the Wooten memo to the defense in December, and Cliven Bundy’s lawyer, Brett Whipple, who succeeded Joel Hansen as Cliven’s attorney, immediately used it to ask Navarro to dismiss the case. Judge Navarro at first declared a mistrial, and soon after that, dismissed the case.  In the dismissal hearing, Judge Navarro excoriated the prosecution and the BLM for over a half an hour because of their illegal and egregious actions in deliberately hiding evidence, calling their actions “the worst case of prosecutorial misconduct I have ever seen.”  She said federal prosecutors acted recklessly and engaged in a “deliberate attempt to mislead and distort the truth” by failing to turn over evidence that could have helped exonerate the four defendants.

Cliven Bundy, after 700 days of false imprisonment, walked out of the federal courthouse a free man on that very day, asking, “Since when did federal bureaucrats have an army to point their guns down the throats of ‘We the People?’ That’s not what the founding fathers intended.  We’re not done with this. If the BLM tries this again, we’ll tell them the truth.  And that’s all we’ve ever done.”  Unfortunately, the BLM and the federal prosecutors can’t say the same about themselves after their dishonest and even criminal conduct was exposed.  Let’s hope all of this helps bring back some honesty and accountability to the federal agencies.  And let’s also hope that this leads to the liberation of state lands now held by the federal bureaucrats against the will of the people of the western states.

Cliven Bundy and his sons are modern American heroes, who fought against tyranny at the peaceful battle of Bunkerville, in memory of the bloody battle against tyranny at Bunker Hill.

 

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Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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DuBois column

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Flagrant misconduct by prosecutors, Congress to investigate and questions about the DOI reorganization
With Prejudice
Federal Judge Gloria Navarro has dismissed all charges against the Bundys, citing “outrageous” abuses and “flagrant misconduct” by the prosecutors. Judge Navarro was most concerned about the following pieces of evidence withheld from the defense:
° Records about surveillance at the Bundy ranch
° Records about the presence of government snipers
° FBI logs about activity at the ranch in the days leading up to the standoff
° Law enforcement assessments dating to 2012 that found the Bundys posed no threat
° And internal affairs reports about misconduct by BLM agents
Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual  Judge Navarro declared “a universal sense of justice has been violated” and dismissed all charges against the Bundys “with prejudice, meaning those charges cannot be brought again.
Congressional investigation
Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThis case raises many questions, and I’m pleased to see that Congressmen Bishop and Westerman have initiated an inquiry, with the Committees staffs to be briefed by the BLM. Perhaps this is just a first step, but I’m not convinced asking BLM to assess its own actions, identify problems and propose solutions, will provide the public or Congress with sufficient information to fully analyze what happened and why. Until we have a complete picture of who did what and when, any proposed changes in policy or procedure would suffer. Here are some things Congress should be pursuing.
Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits Combat Shooter's Handbook° There should be an inventory of BLM law enforcement assets. First of course, would be the number and type of personnel, and an examination of their authority, including the statutory authority for their classification. Also, an inventory of the number and type of weapons, the number and type of vehicles, the number of aircraft, including drones (owned or leased), the amount and types of ammo, the number of attack dogs or other tools and equipment in BLM’s possession. At some point, this type of inventory should be made of all the land management agencies in the Interior Dept. and the Forest Service
The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)° A complete list of the personnel and their agency which were involved in the Bundy ranch operations (to include NPS, FBI and all federal agencies).
° A complete list of assets that were deployed for the Bundy operation by all agencies.
° A thorough review of all memos, emails, phone logs, notes, etc. to determine what factors and alternatives were considered prior to undertaking the operation
° A thorough review of all memos, emails, phone logs, notes, etc. to determine who made the final decision to undertake the operation as a law enforcement effort and who made the decision to continue the operation by bringing in the FBI after the Clark County Sheriff withdrew his officers
° A thorough review of all memos, emails, phone logs, notes, etc. to determine who, and on what basis, made the decision to stand down.
° A thorough review of all post-operation memos, emails, phone logs, notes, etc. to determine who was responsible for providing agency documents to the U.S. Attorney’s office, and any issues related to the prosecution of the case.
° A complete explanation of the authority and role played by BLM management and line officers and the same for the DOI Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES), and how those dynamics played out prior to and during the operation.
° An explanation and analysis of why BLM refuses to comply with state law on trespass the way other landowners do, so that the confiscation and disposal of trespassing livestock is accomplished by state officials, based on state law and procedures.
Again, for the public to have meaningful input, we must first have a complete understanding of all that occurred during the operation. Only then could we make reasonable recommendations for change.
Zinke reorganization
Secretary Of Interior Zinke has proposed a massive reorganization of the department. He says  Interior will no longer draw its boundaries based on state and regional lines, but will draw them based on “ecosystems, watersheds and science.”  The plan includes dividing management of millions of federal acres into 13 multistate regions, and would in many cases split states in to multiple sections.
At first blush this looks suspiciously similar to the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) launched by the Obama administration. Some will say the Obama LCCs were the first step, and now Zinke proposes to implement the same management scheme in a fashion not even dared by the Obama administration.Indeed, Marcia McNutt, who served as former President Obama’s first USGS director, said the idea was floated during her tenure to better align regional bureaus. “It’s not a new idea, and it’s not a bad idea,” she said.
We will be evaluating all this as more information becomes available. One should not, however, limit their evaluation through the lens of “what is the most scientific way to manage resources.” That has to be overlaid with our form of government. Will this proposed reorganization increase or diminish the role of states in resource management? Will it increase or diminish the role of the feds in resource management? How will this affect the role of Congress in authorizing, oversight and appropriations?

Surely there is a more “scientific” way to pass a budget than what we are currently witnessing, but it is a small price to pay to maintain our representative republic. Our Founding Fathers designed a multitiered system to protect our liberty by restraining government. Their efforts had nothing to do with “scientific” management or efficiency. That is the lens through which we should evaluate this and other proposals.

Until next time, be a nuisance to the devil and don’t forget to check that cinch.
Frank DuBois was the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003, is the author of a blog: The Westerner (www.thewesterner.blogspot.com) and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship and The DuBois Western Heritage Foundation
This column originally appeared in the February issue of the New Mexico Stockman and the February issue of the Livestock Market Digest

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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An Open Letter to the FBI

When Finicum got out of his vehicle with his hands up, within seconds you gathered around him and shot him in the back…You shot him in the back…Who would carry out such a cowardly deed?

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsWith respect to the current FBI flap, it makes me want to puke when the bimbo and bozo “pundits” begin their pontifications by making excuses for all the “decent, honest, hard working Americans” at the FBI. Horse apples!

They are all, to the last man or woman, evil, murdering sons of the Devil himself. Corruption is not unique to the highest levels of management. How Combat Shooter's Handbook  about the trigger pullers that did their dirty deeds at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oregon? The old “I was just following orders” defense was not a viable defense at Nuremberg and it won’t be a viable defense next time neither. — jtl, 419

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteWhen LaVoy Finicum was murdered by the FBI two years ago during the Oregon Malheur protest, all the government abuses I had spoken of on my radio, really hit home.  They lived near me and I had interviewed most of them prior to going to Oregon.

In light of the current headlines exposing the depth of the FBI corruption Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewand collusion, maybe now the nation can finally grasp how this agency really operates.  The FBI corruption also ran deep in the Oregon protest, too. As the media lied and twisted the narrative of what transpired, I felt compelled to shine a light on the truth of what really happened to LaVoy Finicum.
The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) I penned this letter after attending his heartbreaking funeral.
An Open Letter To The FBI
I’ve thought about you. All three of you, with your guns pointed at LaVoy Finicum. The video still haunts me. 

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual I would have been the first one to give you the benefit of the doubt. I was raised around law enforcement. I know good men in law enforcement. But that changed for me, as it did thousands of Americans, with the events that unfurled in Oregon as I felt utterly stunned at what I viewed in that video.

I watched the grainy version of the video that the FBI administration released of LaVoy Finicums death, even though I knew that with our technology today, they have better, more clear footage and footage with audio from this event. But you will not release that, it is too incriminating for the FBI. They did this with purpose to deceive the public and that video would have revealed to the world your actions that day . This footage you did release, left people arguing about what they were seeing in the blurry video rather than to bring their attention to the way that three FBI agents ambushed and murdered an innocent, non-violent rancher with no criminal history. A man with a large family. A good man. A man who never threatened you.

The FBI had clearly set this up in advance with stops prepared and dozens of agents ready to end the protest because four weeks of a land rights issues protest was all the patience they could muster. The protesters had left the ranch many times before and on this day we’re headed for a meeting to inform ranchers of their rights. You knew that. You stopped the two cars and started shooting at LaVoy’s truck full of passengers- unprovoked. They never brandished a weapon against you.

Finicum told you he was driving to the Sheriffs office for protection from you. The only place he felt safe. You fired on his vehicle. You could have just followed him if you had ever intended to have a peaceful outcome. But that was never your intention. Finicum knew why the local law enforcement wasn’t invited to this event- why the local Sheriff was intentionally kept at bay- Finicum feared what you would do to him with no local oversight. The Sheriff of Grant County, just over the county line where you ambushed him, valued Constitutional rights and Finicum knew the Sheriff would never approve of an ambush on the highway and and execution of a protester.

A tax-paying citizen who loved America could not trust you and fled for his life because he knew you could murder him and get away with it. Let that sink in.

When Finicum got out of his vehicle with his hands up, within seconds you gathered around him and shot him in the back.

You shot him in the back.

Who would carry out such a cowardly deed? Who would follow orders to shoot a rancher with his hands up and shoot him in the back seconds after getting out of his vehicle? The three of you would do this. What were you thinking? How do you reconcile this in your head and in your heart?

No talking? Not one attempt at a peaceful negotiation? At the refuge all he did was talk to you, never threatened you. His hands were UP. Did your conscience allow you to shoot him without any reservation? After his lifeless body dropped into the snow, you cared so little for this fellow citizen that you walked around his body and didn’t check for a pulse for 15 minutes? Why? Because of your guilt or because you had such little regard for him or for human life in general? Both of those answers are equally terrifying to me.

Moments later you shot rounds of ammunition into Finicum’s truck with scared women inside screaming for help- trying to surrender. You threw gas cans inside the vehicle. Is this how you do it now? Are you sincerely okay with this? Look at what you have become. By a miracle they survived.

Before you hunted him down and silenced him like wild game, Finicum carried out two heroic acts. As he turned the blind corner on the highway, he almost ran into your barricade head on, as vehicles and men stood standing in the middle of the highway at your “stop”. He veered to the left on the snowbank to avoid hitting you. To preserve your lives. He then got out of the vehicle with his hands up to divert your attention from his truck with passengers inside, so you would stop firing upon them. To preserve their lives. This is the man you surrounded and killed within seconds. You killed a hero.

I wonder what has happened to my America where you could easily tell the good guys from the bad guys. Are you mercenaries now? Carrying out executions on demand? Have you realized yet that you did the bidding of a government that is seeking to violate the property rights and steal the land of your fellow citizens? Do you realize that you are a citizen and that these ranchers were standing up for YOUR rights, too? Or have you not realized this.

Most Americans won’t take the time to do the research to find out that you shot him in the back before he ever reached for his stomach – the area where you shot him. And your bosses instructed the media to tell everyone he reached for a gun to justify this cowardly act of murder on a fellow citizen. What a pathetic cover-up for your actions that day.

I’m asking all three of you who carried out the execution of Finicum, to RESIGN.

Resign, because I have to know that you will never be allowed to act with force again. I have to know that men like you would not be allowed to continue on as FBI agents. If you are rewarded for this dastardly act, I will lose all faith in our justice system.

We need men with a conscience and a soul in law enforcement.

We need good men who are there to protect the citizens rights. Your fellow men.

You took an oath to defend the Constitution. Did you understand this oath when you excitedly repeated its words to get your badge? It wasn’t a promise. It was an oath. An oath to protect and to serve- us. LaVoy was one of US.

Are you going to protect us or are you going to protect orders? Even if those orders compel you to disregard someone’s Constitutional rights in the most brazen and corrupt and evil way? Was this you “just doing your job”, so that you could end their protest?

Millions of people have died as a result of those ” just doing their job”. Under Hitler. Under Stalin. Is this who you have become? Shooting someone with their hands up because you were told to?

You can no longer hide behind the lie that you felt threatened enough to shoot him dead. With a dozen or more of you ready to attack him, the only one that felt threatened was Finicum, I assure you. You murdered an innocent man. The salt of the earth. A man who would have stood up for you and who would have respected you. A man who would have shaken your hand and talked to about his love for America. You killed him.

Let me ask you this. In all of your years in the FBI, how many ranchers have ever threatened you or have drawn weapons on you? I’m guessing the thugs you deal with everyday do not include ranchers and farmers.

How many ranchers over the years have left their working farms, to protest over the stealing of another ranchers land and imprisonment? I’m guessing probably none.

Here’s the difficult question. After decades of government abuse to rancher’s property rights, how many ranchers have YOU defended, or aided, or stood for- because you did take an oath to defend the Constitutional rights of those in your care. I am going to guess that you have never stood for any of these men against the abuse of the government. You have become pawns. You are protecting the governments special interests, not the people’s.

Resign, so I can sleep at night with some of my faith in America restored.

Resign, so I can tell my kids to respect the FBI.

Resign, because I need to know there are no monsters out there with guns and badges that will do anything they are told to do, like killing innocent Americans, because we could be next.

Resign.

You may be a fellow citizen, but you are not my fellow American.

 

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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