Dear President Donald J Trump

To: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Dear, President Donald J. Trump,

Facebook has taken down Joey Gibson’s personal account and that of the loosely organized group he leads, Patriot Prayer.

Gibson said at least five Patriot Prayer supporters also had their accounts taken down.

He said the accounts were closed Friday morning.

Patriot Prayer, One of its supporters, Aaron “Jay” Danielson, was fatally shot last weekend. His suspected killer, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers in Washington on Thursday night.

It is essential that the federal government Intervene immediately on behalf of all Americans fighting for our constitution and country as we know it.

patriots, alternative conservative news and their followers are being removed by the 1000’s.  Now FaceBook has announced policy change effective 10-1-20 that will allow them to mute us without deleting our content or accounts.

We are praying that this type of illegal manipulation of our voices will effect our ability to communicate with the public about our issues and support for your presidency.   

Please, there must be something that you, AG Bar or the FCC can do to get our access back and voice rights protected, or at the very least shut them down altogether.

Thank you for all that you do for our country

Doug Knowles

Treasurer,

Nye County Republican Central Committee

Member,

Nevada Republican Central Committee

All-mail balloting rife with problems

by Thomas Mitchell

What could possibly go wrong?

Just put more than 1.6 million ballots — and that was the number of active registered Nevada voters back in January, before the push to register voters prior to the November General Election — in largely unsecured mailboxes. No one would ever think to follow the mail carrier around and pluck said ballots from said boxes. Why that would be a crime.

But with the passage of Assembly Bill 4 on a party-line vote in a special session of the Nevada Legislature, already signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak, the governor can use the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic to order November ballots be mailed to all active registered voters. It’s not as if they are being dropped out of airplanes. And hopefully no county will do like Clark County did in the primary and demand that ballots be mailed to inactive voters who have mostly already moved from the addresses on file with the registrar of voters. That resulted in many blank ballots piling up in trash cans.

Surely there’ll be no problem with the part of AB4 that says that the validity of a ballot signature may only be challenged if “at least two employees in the office of the clerk believe there is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the signature used for the mail ballot matches the signature of the voter …” What is reasonable? “There is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the signature used for the mail ballot matches the signature of the voter if the signature used for the mail ballot differs in multiple, significant and obvious respects from the signatures of the voter available in the records of the clerk,” AB4 spells out.

Under previous law, it was illegal to “harvest” ballots. Only a family member or certain other persons were allowed to return a mailed ballot for a voter. AB4 allows the voter to designate anyone, though the law prohibits that person from failing to return the ballot or altering, changing, defacing, damaging or destroying the mail ballot. Who would ever do such a thing.

No one would ever be intimidated by their union shop boss, for example, into just turning over their blank but signed mail ballot. Nor would anyone, say at a nursing home, dare to collect such ballots. Turn in your ballot in exchange for a free beer at the neighborhood bar?

The law firm of Campbell & Williams has already filed suit on behalf of the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party. The suit notes the new law authorizes ballot harvesting and that, along with other provisions, dilutes “Nevadans’ honest votes. Dilution of honest votes, to any degree, by the casting of fraudulent or illegitimate votes violates the right to vote.”

What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong? Just put more than 1.6 million ballots — and that was the number of active registered Nevada voters back in January, before the push to register voters prior to the No…

Source: All-mail balloting rife with problems

Nevada churches denied the same capacity allowances given to casinos

Let’s get this straight, according to a 5-4 one-sentence U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday, if a Nevada church were to hold a bingo night in its 500-seat auditorium, under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s diktat, 250 people could attend, since the governor’s orders allow 50 percent capacity for casinos, but, if someone were to say a prayer, 200 would have to leave, since the governor says only 50 people may attend church services.

Four justices thought that a little bit duplicitous.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in his dissent:

This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers — no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.

Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, was equally incensed at the disparate treatment, writing:

The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities. Claiming virtually unbounded power to restrict constitutional rights during the COVID–19 pandemic, he has issued a directive that severely limits attendance at religious services. A church, synagogue, or mosque, regardless of its size, may not admit more than 50 persons, but casinos and certain other favored facilities may admit 50% of their maximum occupancy — and in the case of gigantic Las Vegas casinos, this means that thousands of patrons are allowed.

That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility.

The suit was brought by Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a church in Lyon County east of Reno. It wanted to conduct services for 90 congregants, about 50 percent of its fire-code capacity. According to Alito, it planned to ask attendees to adhere to proper social distancing of six feet separation, would cut the length of services in half, prohibit items being passed among the congregation, guide congregants to designated doorways along one-way paths, and to leave time between services so the church could be sanitized.

Do casinos require as much?

Justice Kavanaugh wrote in a separate dissent:

But COVID–19 is not a blank check for a State to discriminate against religious people, religious organizations, and religious services. There are certain constitutional red lines that a State may not cross even in a crisis. Those red lines include racial discrimination, religious discrimination, and content-based suppression of speech. This Court’s history is littered with unfortunate examples of overly broad judicial deference to the government when the government has invoked emergency powers and asserted crisis circumstances to override equal-treatment and free-speech principles. The court of history has rejected those jurisprudential mistakes and cautions us against an unduly deferential judicial approach, especially when questions of racial discrimination, religious discrimination, or free speech are at stake.

But Chief Justice John Roberts — joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — denied the church’s appeal without deigning to comment on such a significant constitutional matter.

Dayton Courier file photo

Source: Nevada churches denied the same capacity allowances given to casinos

Ranchers and stockmen alarmed by implications of the Great American Outdoors Act

UPDATE: The Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law by President Trump on July 23, 2020

July 23, 2020

For Immediate Release

Ranchers and stockmen alarmed by implications of the Great American Outdoors Act

Maintenance backlogs, decayed infrastructure and environmental destruction in America’s national parks, monuments, and other federal land designations inspired the creation of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). S. 3422 passed the U.S. Senate on June 17 with overwhelmingly bipartisan support. The bill promises to improve maintenance at federally controlled visitor attractions, recreation areas and wilderness areas, and bring infrastructure up to date.

The GAOA has received praise and support from diverse groups, including hunters’ and sportsmen’s groups, conservation organizations, and many local governments. But despite its vaunted title and ideals, the GAOA is not without complications, especially for some private property owners, western ranchers and other enterprises which depend on access to public lands.

The GAOA permanently encodes yearly spending for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at nearly a billion dollars. This fund is used primarily to purchase private lands and transfer them into government control in the form of conservation easements or land trusts.

On June 23, the National Association of Counties (NACo) reported in a blog post:

“Additionally, S. 3422 will make the LWCF program a mandatory spending program at approximately $900 million annually. Established in 1964, the LWCF is funded by royalty payments from offshore oil and gas development in federal waters. Last year, Congress permanently reauthorized LWCF but the program is still subject to the annual congressional appropriations cycle, where it is rarely fully funded. Additionally, at least 40 percent of LWCF funds are directed to state and local governments for local parks and other conservation projects.”

The fact that LWCF spending would become “mandatory” has troubling implications since congressional oversight would no longer be required for the fund to be reauthorized in perpetuity. Unfortunately, this exposes LWCF funds to the kind of fraud and abuse the Trump administration has been tackling with its “Drain the Swamp” agenda.

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) sounded the alarm about the processes under which the GAOA was written and passed through Congress. In a fiery speech on June 11, prior to the act’s passage, he says:

“It is telling that the bill we’re considering this week, called the Great American Outdoors Act, was written behind closed doors and is now being hermetically sealed, walled off from amendments by the American people’s elected representatives.

“Forget the theatrics in Seattle—this bill is the real ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.’

“In its current form, it enables the federal government to purchase new lands in perpetuity – without accountability, oversight, or any measures to make sure it can actually care for the land that it owns…perpetuating, and worsening, our already problematic federal lands policy.

“This policy will have one overarching impact: to make life easier for politicians and bureaucrats, and harder for the Americans they ostensibly serve….

“The point of this body is to take imperfect bills to the floor, and come together so that we can hone and fine-tune them. The Senate is supposed to have an open debate and amendment process, precisely so that we can raise concerns, find solutions, and arrive at compromise and consensus.” (emphasis added)

Sen. Mike Lee represents one of the few states, Utah, that has made serious efforts to transfer control of its federally controlled public lands into the hands of state land-use agencies. This is reflected in the amendments—which were ultimately rejected—offered by Sen. Lee. His speech continues:

“One of my amendments would require state legislative approval for any land acquisition proposed in that state, so that land acquisition would be something Washington does with the states rather than to the states.

“Another of my amendments would require the federal government to dispose of current federal lands before acquiring any new ones— forcing land agencies to exercise fiscal responsibility and prioritize which lands they keep under their control.


“I’ve also got a number of amendments that would reform the NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act]  process to help address the maintenance backlog on neglected land Washington already owns.

“And, finally, I have an amendment to support Utah’s interests under the Antiquities Act. Right now, other states are protected from unilateral land grabs by the federal government for designation of national monuments, and because 28 percent of the national monument acreage designated in the 50 states over the last 25 years has been in Utah, my state is due the same kind of protections that Wyoming and Alaska already enjoy. (emphasis added)

Calling the act a “shortsighted mistake,” Sen. Lee exposed another problematic element of the GAOA in the fact that it has been pushed through Congress largely as a “feel-good” bill, without proper scrutiny from the public and lawmakers, or discussion and debate about its provisions, some of which appear to be hidden from the very senators who voted on the bill.

Alarmed by its hasty passage and lack of public input, on June 8, a group of 48 cattle and stockmen’s organizations penned a letter to the Senate condemning the Great American Outdoors Act’s spending provisions, lack of representative oversight, and potential for creating vast new regions of poorly maintained federal lands. The letter states, in part:

“Federal agencies currently have more assets than they can afford to maintain. The GAO Act simultaneously recognizes and attempts to address this while also providing hundreds of millions of dollars each year for the government to buy more land through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This approach is counterproductive and will result in a larger federal estate that will require increasing maintenance over time. It’s also worth noting that the bill does nothing to change the way federal agencies prioritize maintenance of assets so that history does not repeat itself.Simply providing funding without action to prevent future maintenance backlogs will only result in compounding maintenance challenges.

“Section 2 of the bill provides funding for maintenance on the assets the government already owns and cannot afford to fund, while immediately allowing for hundreds of millions of dollars allotted to new acquisitions in Section 3. When Congress permanently authorized LWCF in 2019, there was the recognition that Congress still had a responsibility to safeguard the American landscape and the American taxpayer against irresponsible spending. This responsibility was to be carried out through the annual appropriations process, during which Congress would evaluate proposed land acquisitions and determine the appropriate level of funding. Now, the Senate is poised to willingly abdicate [its] oversight of federal land acquisition, while providing the maximum amount of funding allowable into perpetuity.

“The GAO Act provides for $900 million in mandatory funding for LWCF as a whole, meaning that at least 40 percent, or $360 million, each year will be eligible to buy land resources across the country. The federal government already owns more than 640 million acres, controlling a vast majority of the American West. More federal ownership is irresponsible, and in some places it will soon be impossible. In Nevada, federal agencies currently own more than 85 percent of the landscape, leaving precious little to support private enterprise.

“To be clear, this bill radically increases the burden on the American taxpayer for years to come. Congress will still be required to confront federal maintenance needs, including mounting deferred maintenance costs, through the annual appropriations process. There will be fewer maintenance dollars to go around, meaning fewer dollars will be directed to parks in Maine, refuges in Wisconsin, and forests in Florida. If passed, the GAO Act sentences hundreds of millions of acres of American land and water to a poorly managed future. We understand some of the historic benefits that have resulted from LWCF funding in local communities through the use of stateside funding. We also acknowledge that sometimes acquisition can provide continuity for discrete landscape. We do not, however, believe that acquisition on this scale would be anything but an utter failure by Congress to perform its oversight role.” (emphasis added)

RANGE magazine holds with the principle that the best stewardship of lands and natural resources is performed by those whose lives and livelihoods depend directly upon those lands and natural resources. The hastily passed and perhaps ironically named Great American Outdoors Act is popular with politicians in D.C. and groups which benefit from federal acquisition of lands for purposes of protection and conservation, but ranchers and other agricultural operators, especially those in the West where more than two-thirds of lands are already under federal control, vehemently oppose it. Decades of federal control have not improved our nation’s historic landmarks and natural wonders, but have instead led to their destruction through overuse, misappropriation of funds, and neglect. Written “behind closed doors,” the GAOA in its current form will likely lead to a perpetuation of the degraded environmental conditions and crumbling infrastructure now burdening the National Park System. The last thing America needs are more poorly managed federal lands.

Today the GAOA awaits only the president’s signature to become law. You can read the act by going to https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3422. To submit comments to President Trump regarding the act, please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

# # #

For more info, check these GAO stories by Dave Skinner—“Wrong, Wrong Ago” and “Where Did the Wild Lands Go?”—at http://rangemagazine.com/features/spring-12/range-sp12-wrong_ago.pdf.

Source: Ranchers and stockmen alarmed by implications of the Great American Outdoors Act

Consistency sacrificed for the sake of kowtowing

Consistency sacrificed for the sake of kowtowing

That’s Discriminatory — with a capital D.

A month ago The Associated Press edited its Stylebook to declare that the word black, “when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context,” should be capitalized in news stories. The Stylebook is almost universally followed in newsrooms. It is gospel.

John Daniszewski, AP’s vice president of standards, said at the time that this change conveys “an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa. The lowercase black is a color, not a person.”

The AP said it would decide within a month whether to also capitalize white when referring to people.

On Monday, the AP announced it would not capitalize white when referring to people.

Daniszewski’s rationale was contorted.

“We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore these problems,” he wrote in a memo to staff Monday. “But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.”

Legitimacy to white supremacists? What about consistency? What about equal treatment?

The dithering and navel gazing began shortly after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while being arrested by police. This resulted in protests and riots and the tearing down of statues and the near universal presumption of systemic racism, though evidence of this was entirely lacking.

What’s fair is fair. This decision by AP is kowtowing to the blindly stampeding herd and distorting the language in an Orwellian manner, conveying editorialization instead of fair and objective reporting.

The definition of racism is: “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.”

Marginalized?

Source: Consistency sacrificed for the sake of kowtowing

Editorial: Keep a close eye on enforcement of virus regulations

 by Thomas Mitchell

Shortly after state health officials confirmed the first presumptive case of the coronavirus — dubbed COVID-19 — in Nevada this past week, Gov. Steve Sisolak issued an emergency regulation regarding insurance coverage for testing and treatment of the rapidly spreading virus.

State law gives the governor the power in emergency situations to make, amend and rescind regulations in response to the emergency. Customarily one thinks of such things as calling out the National Guard to prevent looting or other problems after a national disaster.

In this case the Commissioner of Insurance Barbara Richardson made a finding that an emergency affecting the health and safety of the public exists and that adoption of an emergency regulation was appropriate.

What Sisolak did was attempt to avert potential adverse financial impact for those who carry health insurance.

We highly recommend the governor keep a close eye on the effects of his order lest it have unintentional adverse affects on the availability of testing and potential vaccines or treatments for the disease. Dictating the price of things in the marketplace has been known to deter availability of goods and services when adequate compensation is not forthcoming.

There has been plenty of anecdotal evidence over the years that so-called anti-price-gouging laws merely limit the supply of necessary goods and services in a crisis.

For example, according to the American Institute for Economic Research, in 2005 a Kentucky man took time off from his job, bought 19 power generators, rented a truck and drove to hurricane-ravaged Mississippi intending to sell the generators at twice the price he paid to cover his costs and make a profit. Police confiscated his generators for price gouging, held him for four days and kept the generators in police custody. Those who urgently needed them and would have gladly paid the asking price suffered in the dark instead.

“This pre-emptive emergency regulation should give Nevadans confidence to continue taking preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as seeking necessary medical services and prescriptions without fear of higher than normal costs,” Sisolak was quoted as saying in a press release accompanying the emergency declaration. “Protecting Nevadans is my top priority, and adopting this emergency regulation is a critical piece of our broader plan to anticipate and prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19.”

The press release said the order prohibits a health insurance company from imposing an out-of-pocket charge for an office, urgent care center or emergency room visit for the purpose of testing for the virus. “Additionally, the regulation prohibits insurers from charging Nevadans for the COVID-19 test itself or an immunization as one becomes available and further requires coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if a formulary drug is not available for treatment,” the press release says.

Sounds confiscatory. If companies are prohibited from recouping their expenses for services provided, how readily available will those services be?

The regulation further requires health insurance companies to pro-actively provide information on available benefits, options for medical advice and treatment through telehealth systems and ways to prevent exposure to the virus.

With only a few cases in Nevada so far such measures may be premature. There have been no reports of insurance price gouging due to the virus that we are aware of, which is what the governor’s emergency order appears to be intended to stave off.

We suggested the commissioner of insurance and health officials keep a close watch on events as they develop to assure these shackles on the free market do not interrupt the availability of necessary services and thus create the opposite effect of what the governor intends.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Source: Editorial: Keep a close eye on enforcement of virus regulations

Diverse “transparency” coalition in Nevada holds government accountable

By Robert Fellner, Nevada Policy Research Institute and Tod Story, ACLU of Nevada

Sunshine Week is dedicated to celebrating the principles of a transparent and accountable government, which makes it the perfect time to announce the launch of the Nevada Open Government Coalition.

The ideologically diverse Coalition was created to continue the success of our efforts to update the Nevada Public Records Act (NPRA) in 2019, and ensure that governments are transparent with the public as we seek information in the pursuit of accountability. The law aims to “foster democratic principles” by requiring that “all public books and public records of a government entity” are open to the public.

The latest example of a government agency trying to avoid their statutory obligations was highlighted in a state Supreme Court ruling from last month.

The case centered around efforts to obtain the results of an investigation by the Clark County School District into reports of inappropriate behavior by an elected school trustee.

While it’s hard to imagine an example of a document that more clearly falls within the realm of public records — the report about the conduct of an elected official seeking re-election was created by a public agency with public money — the school district nonetheless refused to disclose the report in response to a public records request submitted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The newspaper was forced to sue and thankfully obtained the report just two weeks before the election, but only because it had the resources necessary to file a lawsuit.

One reason the newspaper was willing to take on the significant cost of litigation, however, was because of a provision within the Public Records Act that requires the government to reimburse the legal costs incurred by the requesting party, if a court finds that the government did, in fact, violate the law by withholding public records.

Absent this provision, the NPRA would be far less effective because government agencies could unlawfully withhold documents knowing that few organizations would be willing to pay the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to force the government to comply.

This was precisely what CCSD argued for in its appeal.

Not content with wasting tax dollars to keep the investigation itself secret, the school district engaged in a lengthy appeal asking the Court to require the newspaper to pay its own legal fees.

The Nevada Supreme Court ultimately rejected the school district’s frivolous and self-serving argument. However, the whole ordeal will still end up consuming more than $125,000 of public money that should have gone instead towards education.

More must be done to ensure compliance with the Public Records Act. The importance of this law and government transparency cannot be overstated.

Using the public records law, the Reno Gazette-Journal recently discovered that Tesla defied a court order and search warrant by refusing to allow federal investigators access to their property. Given the enormous subsidies the state has provided to Tesla, the report is of significant public importance, but would never have seen the light of day if not for the public records law.

The Review-Journal used the law to help uncover numerous scandals and examples of corruption that officials would have preferred remained hidden, including failed oversight by the state Dental Board, improper use of government funds at the Las Vegas Convention Visitors Authority that would ultimately lead to criminal charges, and highly questionable activities at the Nevada DMV, where employees are alleged to have sabotaged a botched $75 million computer upgrade in an attempt to obtain bribes.

Thankfully, many public agencies comply with the law without a court order. But as this latest ruling reminds us, some agencies have no problem squandering significant amounts of tax dollars on frivolous legal efforts in an attempt to keep the public in the dark.

By educating, training, and providing resources on government transparency, the Nevada Open Government Coalition hopes to empower citizens with the knowledge and tools they need to hold public officials accountable.

The Coalition will also advocate for legislative changes designed to discourage the type of noncompliance exemplified in the recent CCSD case, which is sadly far too common.

To that end, the Coalition believes that public officials who violate the NPRA should face a penalty for doing so. This would ensure all Nevadans, taxpayers and public officials alike, are treated fairly under the law, while also providing the accountability needed to ensure Nevadans receive the fully transparent government to which they are entitled.

Robert Fellner is Vice President & Director of Policy of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, an independent organization that promotes free markets and individual freedom in the Silver State. Tod Story is the Executive Director of the ACLU of Nevada, which works to defend and advance the civil liberties and rights of all Nevadans. They are founding board members of the Nevada Open Government Coalition.

Source: Diverse “transparency” coalition in Nevada holds government accountable

Editorial: Courts should overturn ‘Red Flag’ law

A number of Nevada counties have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in response to state lawmakers passing a “Red Flag” law in 2019 that would allow persons accused of being a potential danger to themselves or others to have their firearms confiscated by order of a judge.

But rather than threatening to flout the law, the better route is the one taken by Elko County commissioners recently and that is to challenge the law in the courts. The commissioners voted to join a lawsuit filed in December by attorneys for NevadansCAN (Citizens Action Network) that argues the “Red Flag” section of Assembly Bill 291, which was passed on a near party-line vote with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, is unconstitutional because it violates the right to due process and the right to keep and bear arms — as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Nevada Constitution, which states, “Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense …”

According to the Elko Daily Free Press, at the start of the meeting Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza declared, “On Jan. 7, 2019, I was elected sheriff of Elko County. I took an oath to protect the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Nevada. I’m here to tell the lawmakers to keep your hands off our guns.”

He was quoted as saying, “Let’s enforce the laws that we have which are reasonable instead of enacting more laws which are unconstitutional. … A great president once said this country cannot be defeated in combat, but it can be defeated within. Right now this country is crumbling, slowly, due to weak-minded politicians and lawmakers who push unconstitutional laws for personal gains and to fill their pockets.”

He received several rounds of applause the newspaper reported.

The litigation appears to have sound legal footing due to a recent unanimous Nevada Supreme Court ruling. The court found that gun ownership is such a fundamental right that it cannot be taken away merely by a judge’s ruling, opining that a person charged with misdemeanor domestic battery is entitled to a trial by jury, because the state Legislature in 2017 enacted a law saying someone convicted of such a crime could have their right to keep and bear arms denied.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that only those persons charged with a “serious” crime are entitled to a jury trial. The unanimous Nevada opinion written by Justice Lidia Stiglich states the change in state law to prohibit firearms possession by someone convicted of domestic violence effectively increases the “penalty” and makes the crime “serious” rather than “petty.”

“In our opinion, this new penalty — a prohibition on the right to bear arms as guaranteed by both the United States and Nevada Constitutions — ‘clearly reflect[s] a legislative determination that the offense [of misdemeanor domestic battery] is a serious one,’” Stiglich wrote in a case out of Las Vegas.

The NevadansCAN lawsuit declares, “This (“Red Flag”) law makes mincemeat of the due process of law, will endanger law enforcement and the public, and is a tool for stalkers and abusers to disarm innocent victims. Empirical data is available that nearly a third of such orders are improperly issued against innocent people, in states with experience of the operation of such a law.”

Proponents of such laws often cite the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting that left 58 country music concert goers dead in Law Vegas as justification, but neither this “Red Flag” law nor the recently enacted tougher background check law would have prevented that tragedy.

AB291 defies the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Fourth Amendment right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fifth Amendment right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law and the 14th Amendment prohibition against states abridging the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizens.

It must be overturned and litigation is the proper route to do so.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Source: Editorial: Courts should overturn ‘Red Flag’ law

Week in Political Cartoons ~ 2 W/E November 30th, 2019

Nevada Supreme Court holds hearing on Pahrump water order appeal | Pahrump Valley Times

A decision on water law and the extent of the Nevada State Engineer’s authority over domestic wells is one step closer to reality, with the Nevada Supreme Court recently holding a hearing to take oral arguments from both parties in the appeal lawsuit filed by the engineer’s office over water Order #1293(A).

A decision on water law and the extent of the Nevada State Engineer’s authority over domestic wells is one step closer to reality, with the Nevada Supreme Court recently holding a hearing to take oral arguments from both parties in the appeal lawsuit filed by the engineer’s office over water Order #1293(A).

The water order was issued in Dec. 2017 as a method of curbing the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump’s Basin #162. The order created a new requirement for property owners to purchase two-acre feet of water rights and relinquish them back to the state prior to drilling a new domestic well, unless water rights had already been relinquished or dedicated to the property for that purpose.

This prompted immediate resistance from local property owners, real estate agents and well-drilling companies. Together, those opposing the order formed Pahrump Fair Water LLC and filed a lawsuit with a Nevada district court to halt the order. That court decision late last year to overturn the water order, leading to the state engineer’s appeal of that decision.

The matter has been with the Nevada Supreme Court since early this year, with a stay on the lower court’s decision issued, keeping the order in effect until such time as the Supreme Court renders a decision. The case, #77722, has now been submitted for a final ruling.

Due to the significance of the subject at hand and the wide-ranging impact a decision on the case could have, the decision has been placed in the hands of the “en banc” court rather than a smaller panel. In typical cases, a panel of only three Nevada Supreme Court justices is used to make rulings but for the appeal on Order #1293(A) the entire court of all seven justices is being utilized.

Attorney David Rigdon of Taggart and Taggart, LTD, the law firm representing Pahrump Fair Water, explained that the hearing held on Nov. 5 focused primarily on two central arguments, whether the state engineer needed to provide notice and hold a hearing before issuing the order, and whether or not the state engineer had the authority to regulate domestic wells in this manner in the first place.

“Both sides had what we call in the business a ‘hot bench’ with judges regularly interrupting the presentation to ask questions,” Rigdon detailed when asked to provide a brief overview of what occurred at the hearing on Nov. 5. “Most of the questions about the notice were directed at the state engineer’s attorney, while most of the questions about legal authority were directed at us.”

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office, which is representing the state engineer’s office, declined to provide an overview of the Nov. 5 hearing.

However, Rigdon said he felt both sides had made good presentations but there was no way of telling which direction the justices would ultimately turn. He, Pahrump Fair Water and the state engineer’s office, as well as the many local property owners and other stakeholders involved, will simply have to wait to see how the Nevada Supreme Court rules.

For those who would like to listen to the oral arguments made during the Nevada Supreme Court hearing visit bit.ly/2QAokKH

Docket Number(s): 77722
Date: 11/05/2019 Time: 10:00 a.m. Location: Carson City
Before the En Banc Court
Appearances:
James N. Bolotin
Paul G. Taggart

Start Time Speaker Notes
10:03:42 AM Chief Justice Gibbons Voluntary Disclosure
10:05:11 AM Chief Justice Gibbons Case Called
10:05:44 AM James N. Bolotin As counsel for the Appellant
10:23:57 AM Paul G. Taggart As counsel for the Respondents
10:43:17 AM James N. Bolotin As counsel for the Appellant
10:48:49 AM Chief Justice Gibbons End Argument, Case Submitted

Source: Nevada Supreme Court holds hearing on Pahrump water order appeal | Pahrump Valley Times

Editorial: Bill language should not allow water grab

by Thomas Mitchell

A growing number of public and private entities are joining a concerted effort to make sure a bill pending before Congress does not inadvertently create a means for Clark County to tap rural groundwater, though Clark County officials protest that is not the intent of the proposal.

According to Great Basin Water Network (GBWN) — a coalition of conservationists, rural officials, tribes and agricultural interests — there are fears that the wording in the proposed Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act, whether intentional or not, could skirt a federal judge’s ruling blocking a proposed 300-mile right-of-way for a network of water pipelines.

The bulk of the bill, not yet introduced in Congress, proposes freeing up more than 40,000 acres of public land in Clark County for economic development, but two sections at the end of the 21-page bill call for the Interior Department to give the Southern Nevada Water Authority rights-of-way for an electric power line that “shall be subject only to the terms, conditions and stipulations identified in the existing rights-of-way, and shall not be subject to further administrative or judicial review. The right-of-way shall be granted in perpetuity and shall not require the payment of rental fees.” Opponents fear that a right-of-way for a power line could just as easily be used for pipelines.

Two years ago a federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could grant the water agency right-of-way for its network of pipelines to take groundwater beneath White Pine, Lincoln and Nye counties, but first it had to come up with plans to mitigate the potential loss of wildlife habitat due to a draw down of the water table, as is required by the CleanWater Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

That might prove to be impossible, since federal studies show the interconnected aquifers are already at equilibrium — meaning water that is now being drawn from the aquifers is being replaced gallon for gallon annually with no leeway for additional withdrawal. The water agency proposes to withdraw 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year. The project is projected to cost more than $15 billion and could triple water rates in Clark County.

This past week more than a dozen entities joined in opposition to Congress approving the right-of-way proposal. These include several Nevada and Utah counties, three Indian tribes and a number of environmental groups.

Nevada State Sen. Pete Goicoechea and Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, discuss efforts by Clark County to tap rural groundwater. (Pix by Roger Moellendorf)

“What Clark County is proposing is a pro-pipeline bill,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the GBWN. “Elected officials, attorneys, and non-profit organizations that span Nevada, Utah and the region all agree: The SNWA wants the congressional delegation to carry its water by surreptitiously advancing a project that has consistently lost in federal and state courts. The Nevada delegation deserves better than sneaky end-runs masked as technicalities. For now, the name of the bill should be the Great Basin Water Grab Act of 2019.”

A resolution passed by the Duckwater Shosone Tribe warned, “Science has shown that the pipeline would ultimately destroy B

ashsahwahbee, killing off Swamp Cedars and drying up the Sacred Water Valley’s springs and aquifers that plant and wildlife currently depend upon.”

A spokesman for the water authority told the Las Vegas newspapers there is no intention to use the right-of-way for anything other than power lines. Though he thought the language was sufficiently clear, he said it has been modified recently. Another official offered that it might be further altered to allay concerns.

Clark County could use the economic development. Changing the language in the bill should satisfy the opposition.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Source: Editorial: Bill language should not allow water grab

Stick a sock in it!

Stick a sock in it!
Nov3 by Thomas Mitchell

Thank goodness we don’t live in a democracy.

A recent survey by the Campaign for Free Speech found that fully 51 percent of voting-aged Americans agree that the First Amendment goes too far in allowing hate speech and should be updated to reflect the current culture of supercilious sensitivity. Only 42 percent disagreed and only 24 percent strongly disagreed. Sadly, of those aged 18-34 fully 59 percent agreed.

Adding insult to injury, 57 percent agreed that the government should be able to take action against newspapers and TV stations that publish content that is biased, inflammatory, or false. Only 35 percent disagreed. Again, 63 percent of those aged 18-34 agreed.

And a vast majority don’t really understand what the First Amendment really means for free speech. That’s because 79 percent agreed with this statement: “The First Amendment allows anyone to say their opinion no matter what, and they are protected by law from any consequences of saying those thoughts or opinions.” No, government can’t do anything about your free speech, but you can be fired, ostracized, kicked out of clubs, churches and schools. There are consequences.

Further, 48 percent think hate speech should be against the law, compared to only 31 percent who disagree and an amazing 21 percent who don’t know. Of those who agree hate speech should be illegal, 54 percent think the punishment should include possible jail time.

Unfortunately, responses were not broken down by political party.

James Madison on democracies:

A pure Democracy, by which I mean a Society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.

Source: Stick a sock in it!

Week in Political Cartoons ~ 2W/E November 1st, 2019

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