Briefing in Pahrump water order appeal filings complete

The briefing in the appeal case regarding Nevada State Engineer Order #1293(A) has reached its conclusion.

The documents for all parties involved are now undergoing the process of screening by the Nevada Supreme Court, which will decide whether or not to move the case forward and hold a hearing to allow for oral arguments.

In addition to the Nevada State Engineer’s Office, which is the appellant, and Pahrump Fair Water, the respondent, a third party has joined the battle as well. The Nevada Groundwater Association requested leave to file an amicus brief, taking the side of Pahrump Fair Water in the argument, and the Nevada Supreme Court has granted that request.

The water order has been the source of much contention since it was originally issued in December 2017.

The order restricts the drilling of new domestic wells in the Pahrump Valley unless two acre-feet of water rights have been relinquished in support of the well. For some Pahrump property owners, water rights were already relinquished when their parcels were initially created. However, for many others, this is not the case and the order requires these property owners to first purchase water rights and relinquish them back to the state before they can drill a domestic well on their land.

Pahrump Fair Water, an organization composed of local property owners, well drillers and real estate agents, filed suit to put a stop to the water order. After several months of legal maneuvering, a judge with the Fifth Judicial District Court rendered a ruling in November 2018 in favor of Pahrump Fair Water and overturned the water order.

That was far from the end of the matter, however, as the Nevada State Engineer’s Office took its opportunity to file an appeal, which is the case now before the Nevada Supreme Court. While the case is being considered, the Supreme Court has issued a stay on the ruling that overturned the water order, meaning at the moment, the order is still in effect.

The basic argument between the engineer’s office and Pahrump Fair Water stems from the question of just how far the state engineer’s authority extends when it comes to domestic wells.

Pahrump Fair Water asserts that the engineer does not have the power to regulate domestic wells except in very specific circumstances, which the organization argues do not exist in the given situation. The state engineer, conversely, proclaims that the engineer’s office can, in fact, restrict domestic wells and withdrawals from such if the engineer finds that it would be in the best interest of the health of the overall water basin to do so.

There are several other points argued by both sides in the briefs filed in the case, including those regarding due process requirements and whether potential new domestic wells constitute a vested property right or protectable interest.

Now the case has reached a “wait and see” point, as there is no definite schedule for when the Nevada Supreme Court might decide to hold a hearing in the matter.

“There is really no way to tell,” David Rigdon of Taggart and Taggart, LTD, the law firm representing Pahrump Fair Water, stated when asked about a possible time line for the case. “I’ve seen the screening process take as few as 45 days and as long as seven to eight months. It all depends on their workload. In the order approving the stay, the court stated that they wanted expedited briefing… However it’s not clear whether the court will expedite its screening and review.”

The appeal is filed under Case No. 77722. All associated documents can be reviewed online at www.nvcourts.gov

 

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

Call to action on AB 95

The Nevada Legislative Session is has just three weeks remaining until it comes to a close and the fate of hundreds of bills depends upon the decisions made in these final days.

In a email sent out May 14 to area residents with a deep interest in local water resources, Nevada Assemblyman Greg Hafen II urged the community to reach out to Nevada Senators and ask them to vote “no” on one particular bill, Assembly Bill 95.

The bill calls for changes to Nevada water law that many have been pushing back against. It would require the Nevada State Engineer, “…to continue to allow withdrawals of groundwater from domestic wells under certain circumstances in groundwater basins where withdrawals have been restricted to conform to priority rights,” according to the bill language.

The bill dictates that domestic wells would be allowed to continue pumping half an acre foot of water it times of curtailment but only if the owner installs a water meter. The idea of water meters is something Pahrump residents have been extremely resistant to for years. Many have also argued that the state engineer does not have the authority to curtail domestic wells at all, a belief that is current under debate in a lawsuit between the engineer’s office and Pahrump Fair Water.

A bill very similar to Assembly Bill 95 was before the Nevada Legislature in 2017 and after the public outcry, it ultimately failed to pass.

“I rise today in opposition to Assembly Bill 95. Assembly Bill 95 tramples over 100 years of Nevada water laws to the detriment of all water users,” Hafen stated from the Assembly Floor on May 14. “We heard from many Nevadans during the bill’s hearing about the negative effects of the bill. There was not one person or organization in support.”

“Currently, domestic wells in my district are already only using an average of half an acre foot per year,” Hafen continued. “Conservation is the key to solving Nevada’s water issues and this bill does nothing to promote conservation, but does have a financial burden to well owners by requiring them install a meter. I urge my colleagues to vote ‘no’ on Assembly Bill 95.”

Details on the bill and a list of all Nevada Legislators along with their contact information can be found online at www.leg.state.nv.us

— Robin Hebrock, Pahrump Valley Times

Source: Briefing in Pahrump water order appeal complete


VICTOR JOECKS: Controversial gun control measure could pass without a hearing

The Legislature could pass a controversial gun control measure without ever holding a public hearing.

At issue is a red flag law, which allows courts to order the confiscation of weapons from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

Narrowly tailored, these laws can be beneficial. For instance, the Parkland, Florida, school shooter had a history of disturbing and dangerous behavior. Police went to his house 39 times in seven years. It could have prevented a mass murder had a court taken away his weapons.

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, some prominent conservatives, such as David French with National Review, came out in support of red flag laws. But getting the details wrong can turn a good idea into a bad law. It’s a tough balancing act to design a statute that allows government to seize someone’s weapons while respecting an individual’s right to due process.

Finding that balance requires discussion and compromise. That could have happened. Early in the session, state Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, proposed a very broad red flag bill, Senate Bill 120. For instance, included in the definition of high-risk behavior was the act of acquiring a firearm within six months of displaying a firearm.

A judge who determined someone engaged in those behaviors and posed a risk could order that individual to turn over his or her firearms to law enforcement. The bill also required only “clear and convincing” evidence, a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. Under the proposal, a judge could have ordered an individual’s firearms be confiscated without the subject knowing he’d been accused of threatening behavior.

If the court issued such an order — potentially without the person’s knowledge — the information would have been sent to the Nevada Records of Criminal History. Subjects would thus be prevented from passing a background check if they tried to legally buy a firearm. That makes sense. No point in taking someone’s firearms away if they’re allowed to just buy another one. What doesn’t make sense is that if the information doesn’t get removed automatically from the database if the court removes the protection order. The individual must petition a court to remove it.

This means the government could take your guns without you even knowing you’d been accused. And if you cleared your name, you’d have to return to court to restore your ability to purchase firearms. So much for innocent until proven guilty and due process.

Public and behind-the-scenes input would have improved this bill. But SB120 died in mid-April without a hearing.

That should have been the end of it. But Democrats are now considering amending a red flag law into Assembly Bill 291, which bans bump stocks.

If that happens, there won’t be a public hearing and gun owners may not even find out what’s in the bill until after it has passed.

That would be a mistake. A conversation about a red flag law is worth having, but getting the details right won’t happen if Democrats rush it through.

VICTOR JOECKS: Controversial gun control measure could pass without a hearing

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 10 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

Source: VICTOR JOECKS: Controversial gun control measure could pass without a hearing


Interior secretary releases disputed Nevada public land funds

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reversed Trump administration efforts to slash a Nevada public lands program Wednesday and released nearly $106 million for recreation and wildfire programs in the state.

Forty-seven new projects will be funded as a result through the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, established by former Sens. Richard Bryan and Harry Reid, both Nevada Democrats, and then-Rep. John Ensign, R-Nev., in 1998.

The funding comes from the sale of public lands in the Las Vegas Valley, with the proceeds earmarked for improvement and conservation programs in the state and in the Lake Tahoe Basin of California.

“This program is a concrete example of the department’s continued commitment to being a good neighbor through increased recreation opportunities and access,” Bernhardt said in a statement.

Program targeted for years

The Trump administration and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tried to slash the program in past years.

Trump’s first two budget blueprints called for cuts to the program. The administration then sought to take the funds, but that move was blocked by Congress.

Bernhardt’s announcement that funds would be released to Nevada entities or U.S. agencies to spend on projects in the state marks a significant turnabout for the administration, said Rep. Dina Titus, the dean of the state’s congressional delegation.

Titus had demanded that Zinke and Bernhardt release the funds collected under the program, which is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

She called Bernhardt’s announcement “good news.”

“I fought the Trump administration for two years to give us this money that is rightfully ours,” Titus said.

Titus said she would continue to defend the program for Southern Nevada “residents and visitors who chose to hike, swim and play in our parks and open spaces.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., hailed the decision. “I’m glad these long-overdue funds are finally being returned to the state and invested in projects that will make Nevada healthier and more sustainable,” she said.

Bernhardt called the announcement an example of the Interior Department “creating a legacy of conservation stewardship.”

The funds from land sales in the Las Vegas Valley will be used for a variety of programs and projects that include trail and habitat restoration, conservation, capital improvements and the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands.

Where the money will go

Entities that will receive money for projects include Clark County, the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas; Lincoln County, White Pine County, the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

The Interior Department noted that BLM will use $4.45 million of the funds to buy 419 acres of agriculture conservation easement on the historic Van Sickle Station Ranch near Genoa in Douglas County.

The purchase will protect local wildlife, migratory bird habitat, groundwater recharge and open space. In addition, the owner will donate two multi-use trail easements to provide the public with additional recreation opportunities, according to the Interior Department.

The BLM also will use $1.45 million in program funds to build between 40 and 65 miles of multi-use trails, trail heads, parking and campgrounds and camping areas in the Highland Range area of Lincoln County.

Lincoln County, the city of Caliente, the Nevada Division of State Parks, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Back Country Horsemen of America and the Wilderness Society and regional and local proprietors are part of the collaborative project.

Since the Act passed in 1998, the program has generated $3.6 billion for projects in the state that include the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area visitor center, renovation of Lorenzi Park in Las Vegas, public areas at Lake Mead National Recreation Area and landscape restoration in Eastern Nevada.

By law, the state of Nevada General Education Fund gets 5 percent of proceeds and the Southern Nevada Water Authority receives 10 percent, according to BLM.

Breakdown of the funding
The Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act has provided $3.6 billion in project funds in the state of Nevada since 1998, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced and additional $106 million in projects.
• Parks, trails, and natural areas, $26.7 million.
• Capital improvements, $27.7 million.
• Conservation initiatives, $13.2 million.
• Environmentally sensitive land acquisitions, $21.6 million.
• Hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention, $5 million.
• Eastern Nevada landscape restoration project, $6. 1 million.
• Special account reserve, $5 million.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Land Management

 

Source: Interior secretary releases disputed Nevada public land funds


Week in Political Cartoons ~ W/E May 24, 2019

Week in Political Cartoons ~ W/E May 10, 2019

WESTERN WATER: Judge on landowners’ plight: ‘I won’t say the word “screwed”‘

Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News reporter

There, government lawyers urged the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to toss a lawsuit from Nevada landowners who say a federal restoration project stole their water and flooded their land.

At issue is Patch of Heaven, a Christian camp on private land nestled within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

The Nevada church Ministerio Roca Solida bought the 40-acre site in 2006 for $500,000. At the time, a stream called the Carson Slough flowed across the property, feeding plants and a small pond and sometimes serving as a site for baptisms.

In 2010, the Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages all of the surrounding land, rerouted the channel in a restoration project to help the Ash Meadows speckled dace, an endangered fish that lives in the area’s warm springs.

Annette and Victor Fuentes, who own Ministerio Roca Solida, say the government owes them compensation for eliminating the stream from their property — except for a trickle of water the site claimed through a state permit — and rerouting it in a way that causes repeated flooding on another part of the parcel.

The couple teamed up with the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation and attracted the support of Westerners opposed to federal land management, including the Bundy ranching family infamous for its conflicts with government agencies.

Speaking at a boisterous rally at Patch of Heaven last year, Ryan Bundy offered to demolish the FWS project himself (Greenwire, April 23, 2018).

The mood was decidedly tamer during yesterday’s hearing, where just five spectators — including one reporter and one court employee — listened to more than two hours of technical arguments involving property rights, water law and hydrology.

Judge Elaine Kaplan must decide whether to grant the government’s motion for summary judgment rather than allowing the case to proceed to trial.

The church’s claims are twofold: that the government’s elimination of streamflow on the land without payment amounted to an unconstitutional taking of vested water rights, and that the diversion project’s contribution to flooding was also a taking.

Justice Department lawyers yesterday disputed both claims. The government contends the landowners are not entitled to the water rights they claim, and, in any case, that issue should be adjudicated by the state of Nevada, not the Federal Claims court.

The two lawyers from DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division also attempted to poke holes in the Fuenteses’ flooding claims, dismissing the plaintiffs’ expert testimony as unsubstantiated and noting that the broader area is prone to flooding.

“Plaintiffs would like this court to believe … that there was never flooding on that part of the property,” DOJ attorney Davené Walker said, adding that the area is part of a flood zone and has a well-documented history of such events.

Walker explained that to win a takings claim against the government for flooding, the plaintiff must show that FWS caused the flooding and intended or expected it to happen. Ministerio Roca Solida has offered no evidence to support either prong, she said.

Mountain States Legal Foundation lawyer Zhonette Brown, in turn, questioned the evidence presented by the government.

Kaplan, an Obama appointee, agreed with the government that Ministerio Roca Solida’s expert testimony appeared “a little thin,” but she questioned whether it would be appropriate to resolve the case in favor of the United States at this stage, without allowing the church to make its case at trial.

She also empathized with the Fuenteses on their loss of the stream, regardless of whether FWS’s project was lawful.

“I won’t say the word ‘screwed,'” she said of the landowners, eventually landing on the word “injured.”

The judge added that she’s never heard a water rights case or a flooding case before and will need some time to consider the competing evidence.

“Your Honor’s more than welcome to come out to the property,” Brown said, “so you can make your own conclusion.”

Dried-up baptimisal pool. Photo credit: Jennifer Yachnin/E&E News
The former baptismal pool at the Patch of Heaven camp in Amargosa Valley, Nev. A “legal evidence” sign refers to the camp’s owners’ lawsuit with the Fish and Wildlife Service over diverted streams and flooding. Jennifer Yachnin/E&E News

Source


Household hazardous waste disposal event set for May 18 in Pahrump

May 8, 2019 - 7:00 am ~ Pahrump Valley Times

Nye County and U.S. Ecology are teaming up for the county’s very first Household Hazardous Waste Collection event, and residents will want to mark May 18 on their calendars.

Members of the Pahrump community and the surrounding area will be able to pack up all of the household waste that they cannot dispose of for curbside trash pickup and haul it to the Pahrump landfill to have it properly disposed of by U.S. Ecology.

Old paint is just one of the many items that will be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection event set for May 18.

“The Hazardous Household Waste Collection event is something that has been talked about for years but never executed,” Nye County Public Information Officer Arnold Knightly said of the effort.

“U.S. Ecology does these events with its community partners around the country. This event came out of a site tour of their facility last year. Nye County Manager Tim Sutton placed the event as a priority, and Nye County Public Works Director Tim Dahl has been in close contact with U.S. Ecology representatives, who live here in Pahrump, in organizing the event.”

Knightly said events of this type are important to communities as they provide a safe, proper method of disposal for all sorts of products used in the home, ensuring they do not harm the environment.

Electronics, including computers and cell phones, can be taken to Nye County's upcoming household hazardous waste event so it can be properly disposed of by U.S. Ecology.

“There is always a concern that hazardous household waste will end up in our beautiful desert through illegal dumping and will damage the ecosystem. Whether it is animals digesting items, killing or slowing the growth of plants, or waste that ends up in the groundwater, this event is to give an outlet to people to get rid of those items in their garage they don’t know how to get rid of,” Knightly detailed.

U.S. Ecology will have large trucks on site which will run continually throughout the day, with all hazardous waste bound for disposal at the U.S. Ecology site just south of Beatty.

Acceptable waste

Many of the items commonly found stockpiled around homes, awaiting disposal, will be collected as part of the household hazardous waste event.

One of the most common household products and something that generally should not be thrown in the regular trash is batteries. Those made from lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, lithium metal, lithium ions, mercury, and alkaline will be gathered and disposed of properly.

Hazardous liquids will be taken as part of the event as well, including used oil, antifreeze and paint-related materials, such as latex or water-based paints, oil-based paints, lacquers and thinners, and lead-based paints.

Pool chemicals can also be disposed of, so long as they are in their manufacturer’s original packaging and contain a legible label.

Aerosols, both flammable and non-flammable, will be taken, along with electronic waste such as televisions, computers, printers and cell phones.

Mercury and sodium bulbs will also be accepted, as will equipment containing mercury, such as thermometers and thermostats.

Unacceptable waste

There are a variety of items that cannot be accepted at the upcoming disposal event.

Propane cylinders, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors will not be collected, and residents may not dispose of fireworks, flares or flammable liquids. Household cleaners are also on the unacceptable list, along with acids, bases, oxidizers, pesticides or herbicides.

Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, are unacceptable waste products, as are illicit drugs. Epoxies and resins, appliances, home furnishings, and explosives will not be accepted either.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection event will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the Nye County Landfill, 1631 E. Mesquite Ave. in Pahrump.

Source: Household hazardous waste disposal event set for May 18 in Pahrump


Nevada officials work to fight sovereign citizens movement

Editors Comment:  Identity Politics?  Because of a group of people being involved or participating in an event does not make the event about that group.
This article misrepresents many constitutionalist and every day, people as members of a Sovereign Movement. The particular type of activities that this bill is trying to make criminal are related to the Common Law movement and involves self-proclaimed Common Law Grand Jurys and Judges.  It also addresses documents created and used from or by these entities.
Most self-identifying Sovereign Citizens, are not about creating, filing or using common law legal documents as if they are real. They are about just being a free person and believing that the Federal Government has abandoned the constitution and its original intent.   
Because many people who also have similar feelings that do not self proclaim this and comply with laws and government regulations are being identified as something they are not.
Identity Politics are the new civil rights issue of this century. It promotes prejudice and discrimination by grouping people as if they are members of Identity-based groups that they are not, based only on the fact that they have participated in political or social events where there were people that are also participating.
This is and will continue to be the number one cause of division and decent in the next decade unless we as a society can stand up unnormalize this attitude and behavior.
It is my personal belief that the issue of the creation and use of documents as if they mean the same thing as one produced and filed via a legally recognized court of law is wrong and should have legal consequences for those trying to use them.
I believe that if we are to restore our constitution to our republic we must do it within the system that is currently in place.  It will be hard but it can be done with appropriate persistence.
 

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

CARSON CITY — The loosely affiliated anti-government extremists known commonly as sovereign citizens are the “largest terroristic threat” facing Nevada, according to Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford.

From the Bundy standoff to a plot to kidnap and execute a police officer, law enforcement in Southern Nevada is no stranger to dealing with those who follow the sovereign citizens’ ideology: They don’t believe in federal or state laws, paying taxes, often espouse hatred of police and elected officials — all factors that have led the FBI to deem those in the movement domestic terrorists.

In Clark County alone, there are roughly 500 people who the Metropolitan Police Department says are affiliated with the movement, Detective Ken Mead said Thursday while presenting a bill under consideration by the Legislature that would give law enforcement more tools to prosecute sovereign citizens.

Aaron Ford speaks to the Review-Journal's reader panel about his platform going into the 2018 midterm elections in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal @carolinebrehman

And interactions between police and those within the movement are becoming increasingly contentious, Mead said.

“I can confidently say that we have seen an increase in this in the last eight years with their level of activity, their level of aggressiveness,” said Mead, who has spent the last eight years working on domestic terrorism matters for the department while assigned to the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center.

Mead has seen those increases from both a professional level and a personal one.

During an investigation into a scam targeting the elderly in Nevada, Mead became the target himself of a common tactic used by sovereign citizens. They began filing fake court documents in the case from a nonexistent court, claiming that the police officers who made the arrest were in contempt of the court they created, and ordered them to pay $500.

Those filings got more threatening over time. The $500 demand became $1,000. The group started issuing fake indictments and arrest warrants against the officers and prosecutors in the case. Eventually those documents claimed that Mead and his peers were engaged in treasonous activity and “the penalty for treason was death,” Mead said.

The documents could seem real to the untrained eye, Mead said, with official-looking stamps and raised seals.

Then those documents started showing up at his house, and he soon realized that those same people were watching his home, which caused him to have to take “alternative measures” to protect himself and his family, Mead said.

That’s where the bill up for discussion Thursday, Assembly Bill 15 — proposed by the attorney general’s office — comes in.

AB15_R1

The seriousness of the threat posed by sovereign citizens came to Ford’s attention last spring while attending a law enforcement summit in Mesquite hosted by then-Attorney General Adam Laxalt. It was there that Ford was told by local and federal law enforcement that “the largest terroristic threat here in our state is sovereign citizens.”

AB15 goes after one of sovereign citizens’ key tactics by making it illegal to create fake judgments, summons, complaints or most other court documents. Under the proposal, doing so would be a class D felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.

The Senate committee took no action on the bill Thursday. It was previously approved by the full Assembly on a 36-4 vote, with four rural Republican assemblymen voting against it.

Source: Nevada officials work to fight sovereign citizens movement

Week in Political Cartoons ~ W/E May 3, 2019

The Real Reason for AB291 and removing State Gun Law Preemption Laws?

Clark County commissioners open to gun restrictions on Strip

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Some Clark County commissioners have voiced general support for considering firearm restrictions on the Las Vegas Strip if Nevada lawmakers give them the power to create stricter gun laws.

The county would be given such power under the omnibus AB291 gun bill moving through the Democrat-controlled Legislature despite widespread opposition from Republicans and gun rights groups.

Some commissioners say state law prevented the body from enacting gun regulations following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The gunman attacked a 2017 Las Vegas music festival and used bump stocks to mimic the firing rate of an automatic firearm.

AB291 - Revises provisions relating to public safety. (BDR 15-759)
Captured from nellis - 4-29-2019 6:35 pm
Reprint Total Opinions Opinions in Favor Opinions Against View Comments
Original Bill Version 1913 208 1705
April 22, 2019 41 1 40
Bill Totals 1954 209 1745 View Comments

Share Your Opinion with Your Legislators
80th (2019) Session - While you still can!

"As a large metropolitan area, we simply face different law enforcement challenges than other places in the state," said Commissioner Justin Jones at a bill hearing, mentioning the millions of tourists who visit Las Vegas each year. He also said declaring the Las Vegas Strip a gun-free zone on major holidays would be a common-sense gun measure.

Jones said in an interview that he expects there to be interest on firearm restrictions for the Las Vegas Strip, if the Nevada bill passes.

Commissioner Tick Segerblom says he would go further.

Segerblom said he's not only in support of those restrictions, but wants a discussion over adding an assault weapons ban, handgun registrations and ammunition limitations.

Giving counties the ability to dictate gun laws allows the conversation over firearm issues to extend past the state's biennial legislative session, he said.

Nevada is one of the few states in which the Legislature meets every other year.

Jones and Segerblom are former state lawmakers who have backed gun bills in the past.

Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick expressed support for considering gun regulations for the Strip corridor, but cautioned that the commission would have to consider the impact on large hunting shows.

The amended Nevada bill handily passed the Assembly with no Republican support. The Nevada bill would also ban bump stocks and lower the alcohol limit for legally possessing a firearm outside a person's home.

Unlike the original bill, the amended legislation would not allow cities and towns to enact stricter firearm laws. Yet the changes to the bill have not blunted criticism.

Don Turner, president of the Nevada Firearms Coalition, said the group remains in strong opposition to the amended bill and is most concerned with provisions giving counties the ability to create stricter firearm laws, arguing that it's easier to pass a local ordinance than a state law.

Assemblyman Tom Roberts, a Republican who voted against the amended bill, said he is in support of the bump stock ban, but disagreed with giving counties the power to create more stringent firearm laws. He argued it would create a patchwork of laws.

"It's not something I believe that we should be giving up to the county commissions, when we have such a large and diverse state with huge differences of opinion on this issue," he said.

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Source: Clark County commissioners open to gun restrictions on Strip


You can buy tickets for big-name concerts for $20 in Las Vegas

Availible to be purchased 9am to Midnight on  May 7th 2019 - NCW.LiveNation.com.

How far can $20 take you in Las Vegas? Concert-booking behemoth Live Nation is about to find out.

How far can $20 take you in VegasVille? Concert-booking behemoth Live Nation is about to find out.

From Wednesday through May 7, fans can snap up tickets for $20 — including fees — to dozens of Live Nation concerts and events in Las Vegas. The widespread discount is part of the company’s fifth annual National Concert Week campaign. Tickets at the $20 price are available from 9 a.m. Wednesday through 11:59 p.m. May 7 at NCW.LiveNation.com.

The deal covers a wide swath of events, including Lady Antebellum at Pearl Concert Theater, Janet Jackson at Park Theater, Juanes at Mandalay Bay Beach, Judas Priest at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Pitbull at Zappos Theater and Trevor Noah at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Even the Bill & Hill show — President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at Park Theater — is on this list.

The full NCW lineup, as provided by Live Nation:

May 5 – An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (Park Theater at Park MGM)

May 10, 11, 15, 17 & 18; Aug. 23, 24, 28, 30 & 31 – Lady Antebellum OUR KIND OF VEGAS (Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms)

May 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24 & 25 – Pitbull “Time of Our Lives” (Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort)

May 17 – Florence + The Machine (T-Mobile Arena)

May 17, 18, 21, 22, 25 & 26; July 24, 26, 27 & 31; Aug. 2, 3, 7, 9 & 10 – Janet Jackson Metamorphosis (Park Theater at Park MGM)

May 25 – New Kids on the Block (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

May 26 – Juanes (Mandalay Bay Beach)

May 31; June 1, 5, 7, 8, 13, 15 & 16; Sept. 20, 21, 24, 27 & 28; Oct. 2, 4 & 5 – Christina Aguilera: The Xperience (Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort)

June 7 – Enanitos Verdes & Hombres G (The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel)

June 15 – Jennifer Lopez (T-Mobile Arena)

June 21 – Rob Thomas (Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort)

June 22 – Hootie & The Blowfish (T-Mobile Arena)

June 28 – Coheed and Cambria (The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel)

June 29 – Judas Priest (The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel)

June 30 – Trevor Noah (The Colosseum at Caesars Palace)

July 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24 & 26; Oct. 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26 & 30: Nov. 1 & 2 – “Gwen Stefani – Just A Girl” (Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood)

July 6 – Pentatonix (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

July 12 – Hammer’s House Party (Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms)

July 13 – Gary Owen (Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms)

July 19 – Beck and Cage the Elephant (Park Theater at Park MGM)

July 20 – Why Don’t We (Park Theater at Park MGM)

Aug. 2 – Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World (Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms)

Aug. 11 – Prettymuch (Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms)

Aug. 16 – Young the Giant & Fitz and the Tantrums (Downtown Las Vegas Events Center)

Aug. 16 – Lynyrd Skynyrd (T-Mobile Arena)

Aug. 17 – Chris Young (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

Aug.t 24 – Iration (Mandalay Bay Beach)

Sept. 1 – Papa Roach (Downtown Las Vegas Events Center)

Sept. 14 – Gloria Trevi (Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort)

Oct.r 4, 5, 9, 11 & 12 – Billy Idol (Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms)

Nov. 6, 8, 9 & 12 – Florida Georgia Line (Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort)

Nov. 12 – Sara Bareilles (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

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The full list of Live Nation shows can be found at livenation.com.

Source: You can see big-name concerts for $20 in Las Vegas


Editorial: Minimum wage hike will increase prices and crime

by Thomas Mitchell

Despite all the evidence that it will do more harm than good, a bill to raise the minimum wage in Nevada is still wending its way through the halls of the Legislature in Carson City.

Assembly Bill 456 would raise the minimum wage 75 cents per hour each year as it climbs from the current $7.25 per hour for those receiving company health insurance and $8.25 for those not insured until it reaches $11 or $12 per hour.

In his State of the State speech, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak called for raising the minimum wage and declared, “It’s impossible for an individual, let alone a family, to live on $7.25 an hour,” ignoring the fact almost no one “lives” on minimum wage. Fewer than 3 percent of workers are paid the minimum wage and most of them are under age 25 and working part-time. Most are supplementing family income rather than being self-supporting.

In fact, raising the minimum wage often results in jobs being cut and/or working hours reduced. One study found the average low-wage worker in Seattle lost $125 a month because the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour.

Now, a recent study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that raising the minimum wage can harm even those who are not being paid the minimum wage.

Using national crime data from 1998 to 2016, the study found “robust evidence that minimum wage hikes increase property crime arrests among teenagers and young adults ages 16- to-24, a population for whom minimum wages are likely to bind.”

The study projects that raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour nationally would result in approximately 231,000 additional property crimes, costing the nation $1.3 billion. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would generate over 410,000 additional property crimes and $2.4 billion per year in additional crime costs.

“We conclude that increasing the minimum wage will at best be ineffective at deterring crime and at worst will have unintended consequences that increase property crime among young adults,” the study authors concluded. They said that previous studies that projected a decrease in crime due to raising the minimum wage ignored the possibility of hours being cut and jobs being lost.

Don’t ignore the costs imposed on everyone when the minimum wage is hiked. A Cato Institute analysis in 2012 found that a “comprehensive review of more than 20 minimum wage studies looking at price effects found that a 10 percent increase in the U.S. minimum wage raises food prices by up to 4 percent and overall prices by up to 0.4 percent.”

The Congressional Budget Office in 2014 estimated that if the federal minimum wage were increased to $10.10 an hour — as proposed by President Obama and others — up to a million workers would lose their jobs.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, when the minimum wage rose 41 percent between 2007 and 2009, the jobless rate for 16- to 19-year-olds increased by 10 percentage points, from about 16 percent in 2007 to more than 26 percent in 2009 — even higher for minorities.

Without those entry level jobs younger Americans cannot build the skills needed to earn higher pay for a lifetime.

Still another Heritage study reported that every dollar increase in minimum wage really only raises take-home pay by 20 cents once welfare benefits are reduced and taxes are increased.

It’s the immutable law of unintended consequences. Lawmakers should abandon their support for this bill, which would cause more harm than good.

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: Minimum wage hike will increase prices and crime


Newspaper column: National Popular Vote would make Nevada voters “irrelevant”

by Thomas Mitchell

The Nevada Assembly voted 23-17 this past week to cut the impact of your presidential vote by at least a third.

Assembly Bill 186 would have Nevada join something called the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.” Instead of awarding Nevada’s six electoral votes — one for each representative and senator in Congress — according to how Nevadans vote, those six electoral votes would be awarded to the president and vice president team that wins the popular vote nationally.

One could say this cuts the value of Nevada’s votes from six to four, since the votes nationwide would be proportional to population. Or one could say it negates our votes entirely since it matters not how we vote.

Not a single Assembly Republican voted for the bill and five Democrats had the good sense to reject this attempt to emasculate the federalist system on which this country was founded.

If only three state Senate Democrats have the temerity to buck their party leadership and reject AB186 it would fail.

An email to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office asking whether he would sign or veto the bill should it pass did not garner a response.

Backers say the compact would become a reality if it is adopted by states possessing a combined 270 electoral votes, or a majority of the 538 electoral votes. A similar bill passed in Colorado earlier this year, giving the proposal 181 electoral votes, just 89 votes short of becoming binding.

A similar measure passed the Nevada Assembly in 2009 on a party-line vote but failed to come up for a vote in the state Senate.

The instigation for the current push is the fact that in 2016 Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote by 304 to 227, though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million.

If the National Popular Vote had been in force in 2000 Nevada’s then four electoral votes would have been enough to flip the election to Al Gore, even though George W. Bush won the popular vote in Nevada by 49.5 percent to 46 percent, winning every county except Clark. Bush won the electoral vote 271 to 266, but lost the popular vote by 540,000.

Janine Hansen, state president of the Nevada Families for Freedom, mentioned just such a scenario in testimony opposing AB186.

“There are three dangers I’d like to mention with the National Popular Vote,” Hansen testified. “One is the National Popular Vote will potentially betray the voters of our own state. If our state voted for candidate A and the National Popular Vote winner was candidate B, our votes would be stolen from our desire and given to the National Popular Vote winner, betraying the voters in this state. I think there would be a lot of angry voters if they found out that that’s what happened.”

Hansen also noted there is no national authority for determining the accuracy of the National Popular Vote.

In his testimony, Jim DeGraffenreid, vice chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, pointed out Nevada is currently a battleground state, getting significant attention from national candidates. He said the state’s first-in-the-West caucuses provide opportunities for all Nevadans to participate.

“The Electoral College exists because the Framers of the Constitution believed that each state should matter in selecting the president,” DeGraffenreid testified. “It is designed to protect the smaller states like Nevada. To suggest that a state should disregard its own voters and instead follow the will of voters in some other state is the exact opposite of what the Framers intended.”

He said the bill could make Nevada voters irrelevant.

The Founders created the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate to assure the smaller populated states were not relegated to powerlessness in a one person-one vote system. The states were meant to be sovereign and to hold the powers not specifically delegated to the federal government.

The National Review pointed out in a recent article that using 2016’s turnout stats a candidate could have won 54 percent of the vote in 48 states, losing only California, New York and D.C., but if an opponent won 75 percent of the vote in just those three locales, a 451 to 87 electoral vote landslide would have turned into a popular-vote defeat to 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent — even though the voters in 48 states rejected that candidate.

Should Nevada surrender its presidential votes to California and New York?

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

Source: Newspaper column: National Popular Vote would make Nevada voters irrelevant


Nevada DMV offers gender-neutral driver’s licenses, ID cards

April 22, 2019 - 1:38 pm

Nevada residents who don’t identify with a specific gender now have the option to remain gender-neutral on state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles announced Monday that residents can choose gender “X” on their IDs, marking the final step in a year’s long effort to update policies toward transgender residents and those who don’t identify as either male or female sexes.

“The DMV is committed to being inclusive and realizes some people don’t want to be forced to identify as either male or female,” said Julie Butler, DMV director in a statement. “We would like to thank the Nevada community groups who brought these issues to our attention and worked with us to bring about the changes.”

A gender change to a license or ID must be completed in person at a DMV office. Applicants can also identify male by choosing “M” and female my picking “F,” according to the DMV.

Last year, the department changed its regulations to allow applicants to self-certify the gender on their ID with no further documentation required. The DMV completed the computer programming required to enable the “X” designation to be printed on the license and shared to outside agencies such as law enforcement and courts.

The DMV has worked to be in line with other agencies, including the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, which changed its rules in 2016, allowing people to change the gender on their birth certificate.

In 2011 the Legislature added gender identity as a protected category in employment discrimination.

Nevada is the 10th U.S. jurisdiction to offer a gender-neutral designation on IDs, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. Arkansas, California, the District of Columbia, Minnesota and Oregon allow self-certification, like Nevada. Colorado, Indiana, Maine and Vermont require documentation.

Maryland is slated to begin offering Gender X later this year.

Source: Nevada DMV offers gender-neutral driver’s licenses, ID cards


Editorial: An aspect of the Equality Act would erase social norms

by Thomas Mitchell

The Equality Act admirably sets out to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected from discrimination in public accommodations and employment.

It is sponsored in the House by all but one Democrat — including Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Steven Horsford and Susie Lee. A companion bill in the Senate is sponsored by all but one Democrat — including Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jackie Rosen.

Unfortunately, the bill would curtail free speech rights, religious freedoms and gender privacy for the vast majority of Americans.

As the Heritage Foundation points out the Equality Act would force schools, churches, hospitals, businesses and others to accommodate anyone’s “chosen gender” instead of their actual “biological sex.” This would mean that females would be forced to share bathrooms, locker rooms and dormitories with males who “identify” as women.

It also would mean such males who “identify” as females would be allowed to compete in athletics against biological females, even though biological males tend to be faster and stronger than biological females.

There are already a number of cases across the nation in which males have won championships in various sports at the expense of actual women and girls. Might males snatch athletic scholarships from females? Is that equality?

Heritage further notes, “Medical professionals would be pressured to provide gender-affirming treatments like puberty blockers and hormones — these are irreversible decisions that have not been shown to help mental health while creating a litany of permanent physical health problems. Subjecting children to such radical procedures is even more dubious when one considers that 80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria no longer feel distressed by their bodies after puberty.”

Julia Beck of the liberal Women’s Liberation Front has declared that as written the Equality Act is a violation of basic human rights. “Every person in the country will lose our right to single sex sports, shelters, grants and loans. … We will no longer be able to distinguish between women and men,” she argues.

Beck testified before a House committee that the Equality Act would require admitting male rapists into female prisons, males would have to be allowed into shelters for abused women, men could dominate women’s sports and much more.

Beck told the committee she had no problem with protecting against discrimination due to sexual orientation, but asked that the gender identity portion be struck.

Gender is immutable. It is fundamental down to the chromosomes. To declare otherwise is delusional. To force the vast majority to surrender modesty and safety for the sake of accommodating a tiny deluded minority is just wrong. Separate accommodations for those with gender dysphoria, perhaps, but not access to properly gender segregated facilities and activities.

Our representatives in the House and Senate should rethink this drastic reshaping of social norms.

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: An aspect of the Equality Act would erase social norms


Supreme Court Moves to Overturn Conviction of Joe Robertson, Fined and Jailed for Digging Ponds on his Rural Montana Property

 

SCOTUS overturned decision upholding Robertson’s conviction and remanded the case so that the indictment could be dismissed and the lien cancelled

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Supreme Court of the United States has overturned a lower court decision affirming the conviction of Joseph Robertson, a 78-year-old veteran now deceased who was sentenced to prison for digging ditches on his rural Montana property to protect the area surrounding his home from wildfires. Judicial Watch had filed an amicus curiae brief jointly with the Allied Educational Foundation supporting Robertson and urging Supreme Court review and reversal of the lower court decision. Robertson served 18 months in prison and died while serving probation. He was also fined $130,000, a liability inherited by his estate.

The Supreme Court also remanded Robertson’s conviction to the lower court so the indictment can be dismissed and the lien can be cancelled.

Judicial Watch and the AEF had asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that upheld Robertson’s conviction, because that decision “affirmed illegal agency actions in prosecuting Joseph Robertson based on a misreading of federal law. The Court should take this opportunity to correct the confusion in overbroad interpretations of the Clear Water Act, which have led to unjust prosecutions and federal intrusions into both state authority and individual liberty.”

The brief was filed in the case of Robertson v. United States, Case No. 18-609, 587 U.S. __ (2019). This was an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision in United States v. Robertson, 875 F.3d 1281, 1285 (9th Cir. 2017).

Judicial Watch asserted in its filing that the ditches Robertson dug “sat on what a federal agency defines as wetlands and were situated on or near a small downhill water flow of about three garden hoses in volume.  Mr. Robertson was not engaged in manufacturing or any other industrial activity which would release chemicals or waste into the water, but under the federal Clean Water Act even turning the soil with a shovel can be considered to be releasing a ‘pollutant’ into water.”

In their brief, JW and the AEF suggest that the issue is larger than Robertson’s personal plight, that it also involves the separation of powers among Congress, the Executive Branch and the Supreme Court.

Judicial Watch and AEF also note that the Supreme Court itself has introduced confusion into the issue of “adjacent wetlands,” “point source,” and “navigable waters.

Also, matters like those involving Robertson properly belong with the state, not the federal government.

The brief argues that the Congress has been all too willing to forego its Constitutional duty and defer to federal agencies.

[It was not foreseen that] the judiciary could eventually aid and abet the complete sacrificing of power by one of those two branches, effectively leaving a one-branch government where the founders intended three. When the Court goes too far in reading statutes as broadly assigning sweeping interpretative power to agencies, this allows Congress to give up power altogether and to stop the necessary work of revising and repealing statutes. Congress has proven itself either willing to give up those powers or unable to stop itself from doing so, preferring to ask the executive branch to reinterpret or reimagine statutes in ever more creative ways while sparing members of Congress the pain of accountability for national policy. The Court should not countenance this upending of the constitutional order.

“The Supreme Court has granted a victory against an overreaching government bureaucracy,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The government should not be allowed to regulate every drop of water in America, and the Supreme Court was right to brush back the radical bureaucrats. Mr. Robertson, a veteran, died before he was vindicated but his fight has protected the constitutional freedoms of other Americans.”

The Allied Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education.  In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation has engaged in a number of projects, which include, but are not limited to, educational and health conferences domestically and abroad. AEF has partnered frequently with Judicial Watch to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life.

Source: Supreme Court Moves to Overturn Conviction of Joe Robertson, Fined and Jailed for Digging Ponds on his Rural Montana Property


Clark County pushes for off-highway vehicle recreation areas

The move to request that federal lawmakers establish three OHV recreation areas drew fierce criticism from an environmental nonprofit due to potential implications for the threatened desert tortoise.

The Clark County Commission recommended on Tuesday that federal lawmakers designate more than 100,000 acres for off-highway vehicle recreation south of the Las Vegas Valley in a future public lands bill.

Elected officials are urging Congress to consider three specific areas: More than 42,000 acres near Nelson Hills, nearly 40,000 acres by Sandy Valley and more than 18,000 acres close to Laughlin.

Both the Nelson Hills area, near the town of Nelson, and the Laughlin area, northwest of that city, are already being used for OHV events and recreation, county officials said. The Sandy Valley area, along the state’s southern boundary between that community and Primm, would be new for prioritizing OHV recreation.

They said the recommendation is meant to strike the delicate balance between keeping environmental protections and affording OHV enthusiasts with defined locations to ride. Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said the plan is broad and does not restrict officials from pulling back if necessary.

The unanimous decision was preceded by monthly open meetings held since August by the OHV advisory committee — 10 members of the public representing OHV interests. They sought equality in land use after designations in recent years had gone toward environmental protections, the solar industry and others, according to a presentation by Kimberly Jenkins, a principal environmental specialist for the county’s Department of Air Quality Management.

The plan was delayed in February after criticism from off-roaders and environmentalists. Certain environmental concerns were incorporated as changes in Tuesday’s resolution.

Lands designated as areas of critical environmental concern or with wilderness characteristics were removed from OHV recreation boundaries, and the Sandy Valley area boundary was moved further away from the tiny unincorporated community of Goodsprings after residents complained about the proximity.

But the move to request that federal lawmakers establish three OHV recreation areas drew fierce criticism from an environmental nonprofit due to potential implications for the threatened desert tortoise.

About 27,000 acres of the desert tortoise’s habitat would be included in the Nelson Hills OHV area, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

“This is an outrageous attack on Nevada’s state reptile,” Patrick Donnelly, the center’s state director, said in a statement. “The commission wants to permanently designate protected areas as off-highway vehicle sacrifice zones. These elegant tortoises really have no defense against a swarm of vehicles racing through the desert.”

The Nelson Hills area was designated a desert tortoise critical habitat in 1994 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to the county’s presentation. But four years later, the Bureau of Land Management deemed the area appropriate for competitive off-road events “in accordance with applicable FWS Biological Opinions to protect” the habitat.

Still, Donnelly suggested the three-area plan was part of a larger effort by the county to convince Congress “to dramatically expand the urban growth boundary around Las Vegas” as he called for lawmakers to reject it.

Commissioners greenlighted a resolution in June that included 45,000 acres of public land for commercial and residential development between Sloan and Jean as part of a host of public lands issues they sought to have addressed through federal legislation.

There is no timetable for when Congress would consider rolling the three OHV areas into future federal legislation. But the resolution Tuesday called for the BLM to complete travel, transportation and recreation management plans for the areas within two years after a bill is signed into law.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Source: Clark County pushes for off-highway vehicle recreation areas




Legal complaint: lobbyist submitted false testimony to aid in bill’s passage – Nevada Policy Research Institute

Legal complaint: lobbyist submitted false testimony to aid in bill’s passage

The Legislature cannot effectively serve the public if policy is being shaped based on outright falsehoods and misinformation, which is why it is illegal to knowingly submit false testimony before a legislative committee.

Nevada Policy has alerted Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs and the attorney general’s office to what appears to be a clear violation of NRS 218E.085(2) — the state law that makes it a crime to knowingly misrepresent any fact when testifying before a legislative committee.

The false statements were made by lobbyist Marlene Lockard during the March 1, 2019 Senate Government Affairs Committee hearing on SB224 — the PERS secrecy bill.

Ms. Lockard appeared on behalf of the Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN), and was featured as part of Senator Julia Ratti’s formal presentation for Senate Bill 224.

As part of this formal presentation, Ms. Lockard relied almost entirely on known falsehoods when explaining why the secrecy proposed by SB224 is ostensibly necessary.

Specifically, Lockard told the committee that passing SB224 was necessary because of a recent court order that allegedly requires PERS to disclose its members’ passports, addresses of ex-spouses, birth certificates and other similarly invasive information. In reality, no such court order exists and none of that information is, nor has it ever been, public under Nevada law.

Given the status bestowed upon her by Senator Ratti, Ms. Lockard’s demonstrably false comments were accorded extra weight. Indeed, the first time a member of the committee had a question about SB224, that question was posed to, and answered by, Ms. Lockard rather than the bill’s sponsor, Senator Ratti.

More information about that hearing can be found here.

Because the knowingly false statements were made specifically to justify the secrecy proposed by SB224, and were made by a paid lobbyist invited by the bill’s sponsor to help present the bill, they represent precisely the type of deception NRS 218E.085(2) was designed to prevent, according to NPRI Policy Director Robert Fellner.

“It is fine to have different policy views and argue those differences vigorously,” Fellner said. “But I think we all would agree that enacting law based on falsehoods and misinformation is wrong, and erodes confidence in our public institutions.”

“It is hard enough for ordinary Nevadans to be engaged with the legislative process thanks to the proliferation of tax-funded government lobbyists and other special-interest groups,” Fellner continued. “Requiring that citizens fact-check all of the claims made by those who help introduce bills is an impossible task, which is precisely why Nevada state law prohibits the making of knowingly false testimony before the Legislature.”

“NPRI has long fought for transparency in government,” Fellner added. “Nowhere is transparency more important than in the legislative process. We hope that legislators remember their duty to serve the public and ensure any bills brought on behalf of lobbyists are done so in an open and honest manner.”

A copy of the complaint can be viewed by clicking here.

Source: Legal complaint: lobbyist submitted false testimony to aid in bill's passage - Nevada Policy Research Institute




Five Years Later, The Protest that redefined the West.

5 Years after the final day of the what would come to be known as the “Bundy Ranch Standoff”, the federal government still has not given up.  However, neither has the “Bundy Ranch” and all of those that support them.

After the unprecedented dismissal of the charges in the case for all of the remaining defendants, citing gross “prosecutorial malfeasance”, the federal government’s prosecution is still attempting to reopen the case by appealing the dismissal to the 9th circuit court of appeals.

Least not be forgotten, the remaining folks from the first and second trials that are still incarcerated with appeals pending based on the dismissal and realization of the defense that they were not allowed to present in those trials.

Todd Engel, Greg Burleson, and Jerry DeLemus were all sentenced and incarcerated based on either charges that were thrown out or dismissed in the third trial mentioned above.  All three innocent men have now been incarcerated for over 3 years.

Todd Engel 18427-023
USP Lompoc - U.S. Penitentary
3901 Klien Blvd
Lompoc, Ca  93436-2706

Donations to Tood's Defense
may be made at:
Paypal.me/freedom4todd
Gregory P. Burleson #56875408
USP Coleman I
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 1033
Coleman, Florida 33521

Donation and support: 
paypal.me/gregburleson
Gerald DeLemus 15263-049
FMC Devens 
Federal Medical Center 
P.O. Box 879
Ayer, MA 01432

Donation and support:
Freejerrydelemus.com

The Center For Self Governance has created this one-hour documentary as part one of a series documenting the “Bundy Ranch Standoff” and the Murder of Lavoy Finicum during the Refuge Occupation in Oregon.

This documentary series showcases the epic 4 year battle 
for control between the Bundy & Finicum family and Local,
State, and Federal Governing. The Center for Self 
Governance is an educational 501©(3) organization. 

https://www.centerforselfgovernance.com 
Copyright © 2014 Center For Self Governance. 
All Rights Reserved. 

More information: 

Center for Self Governance 
PO Box 102 
Republic, WA 99166 
(615) 669-8274 
info@tncsg.org




VEA Board Calls Special Membership Meeting

Valley Electric Association’s board of directors has called a special member meeting to address concerns over the board’s fiduciary responsibilities and the process of recalling members of Valley’s board, according to a news release from Valley.

The special meeting, pegged to occur following Valley’s annual meeting on April 27, is set to answer questions that have arisen on these topics, following the announcement by a members’ group on its intentions to recall Valley’s current board of directors in February, said Ken Derschan, president of Valley’s board of directors, in the news release.

“We have heard member concerns, and we are listening to what members say,” said Derschan in the news release. “Questions and comments revolving around the board’s fiduciary responsibilities and how a recall can occur have come up. Members have a right to elect board members, and they have the right to recall them. That process is spelled out in the bylaws. We want our members to hear firsthand about what being a fiduciary means and how a recall needs to be conducted in accordance with the bylaws and the articles of incorporation.”

The special meeting is set to occur at approximately 2 p.m. on April 27, following Valley’s annual meeting, at the high school. Registration for the annual meeting begins at 11 a.m. with that event getting underway at 1 p.m., also at the high school, according to Valley’s news release.

According to Valley’s release, it takes three board members to call for a special meeting, though all six of the current directors signed a notice to call for a special meeting at the end of April, following the annual meeting.

On another front, hundreds of area member-owners have signed a petition being circulated by organizers of VEA Members for Change, a members’ group that is working to remove several of Valley’s board of directors.

That action could occur at a special meeting that the group is working on calling via a petition of Valley’s members.

According to organizers for the group, new directors can be voted in by Valley’s members at the special meeting if any of the current directors are voted out at that meeting.

Members for Change was launched amid increased rates announced by Valley earlier in 2019 for its broadband customers and on energy rates for residential customers. The members’ group saw an influx in people signing the petition in light of allegations of a financial cover-up of sexual harassment at Valley and embezzlement.

Ken Johnson, an organizer for Members for Change and a former executive of Valley, said in prior interviews with a reporter from the Pahrump Valley Times that the group has put efforts into finding replacements for the current board should they be voted out during a special meeting.

Members for Change has not publicly named any potential replacements of Valley’s board of directors should the group be successful.

Organizers of VEA Members for Change have commented that Valley is not following the bylaws by not calling a special meeting of the membership following the group’s obtainment of a signature requirement under the bylaws.

The group surpassed what it said is a required number of signatures equating to 5 percent of Valley’s members and has asked Valley to schedule a special meeting, according to Johnson.

To start the process on removing any of the directors, VEA Members for Change has to obtain enough signatures equating to 10 percent of the membership; the 5 percent marker is to call the special meeting, according to organizers of Members for Change.

According to the Members for Change’s Facebook page, the effort has amassed just under 1,600 signatures. The group needs to collect enough signatures to match 10 percent of the membership. According to Members for Change’s social media page, that number is approximately 18,750.

Kathleen Keyes, who ran unopposed in Valley’s District 4 (Fish Lake Valley), for a seat on the board, is not listed on Members for Change’s petition.

A reporter from the Pahrump Valley Times reached out to Michael Hengel, vice president of corporate communications for Valley, on the upcoming special meeting, not connected to any action by Members for Change, that was recently called by Valley’s board and on other topics.

Hengel said Dick Peck, Valley’s interim chief executive, “has gone on record as saying that we have one interpretation of the bylaws. You’d have to ask them (VEA Members for Change) about their interpretation. According to our interpretation of it, there’s still some work to do.”

In Valley’s news release, Derschan was noted stating that Valley’s independent auditor, Lubbock, Texas-based Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert &Moss LLP will make a presentation on Valley’s 2018 audit. Representatives for the firm will also discuss the board’s fiduciary responsibility, according to Derschan.

Valley’s corporate counsel, Tammy Peterson of Peterson Baker PLLC, also plans to make a presentation on Valley’s bylaws and the “intricacies of a recall election,” Valley’s release stated.

“The bylaws and articles of incorporation are there to protect the cooperative and the members,” said Peck in Valley’s release. “If members wish to go down that road, that is their right. Everyone needs to follow the bylaws, however, or little will be accomplished.”

Lunch is set to be served prior to the annual meeting at the high school starting at 11:30 a.m. until the annual meeting begins at 1 p.m.

Several vehicles and items currently held by Valley will be auctioned off following the conclusion of the special meeting, according to the news release.

Vehicle auction

Valley Electric Association is planning to auction off 13 vehicles and two trailers following a special meeting at the end of April.

The auction will occur following the conclusion of Valley’s annual meeting and a subsequent special meeting at Pahrump Valley High School at 501 E. Calvada Blvd. on April 27.

“We have too many vehicles in our fleet, so it’s time to move them out,” said Valley’s Interim Chief Executive Dick Peck. “If a member needs a vehicle like one of the ones we have, this will be a good opportunity to get one at a good price.”

Valley is scheduled to start its annual meeting at 1 p.m. at the high school with a special meeting pegged to begin at 2 p.m. Following those meetings, the auction will get underway.

The auction includes late models cargo vans, along with vehicles from the mid-2000s and prior: trucks, SUVs and other “articles from Valley’s warehouse” will be included in the list of auction items, according to a press release from Valley.

Source: VEA board calls a special meeting


“One Nevada lawmaker’s journey from silence to action” does not mean it’s Good Law.

An April Fools day article by Colton Lochhead in the Las Vegas Review-Journal perhaps, by many, could be considered an Aprill Fools Prank if it were not so serious to everyone attending the joint Assembly-Senate hearing in Carson city on AB291, introduced this session by Nevada Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui.

The article, chronicles, Nevada Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui’s journey from Route 91 as a participant in the most horrific mass shooting in our countries history.  It was a horrific and tragic night for those that died, those that were injured, everyone who was there, their friends, their families and everyone else that learned of/or watched any of the media and images about the incident.

“Vegas Strong” became the mantra of everyone everywhere as victims, friends, families, neighbors, emergency personnel and everyone else that was touched by the incident, whether they were there or not.

Las Vegas Metro is still slowly releasing documentation from the incident over a year later.

I do not know anyone that was Not horribly impacted as a result of that event. However, what we do with those feelings and emotions is important too.

Writing and passing a law, that nowhere within its text, purpose or understanding, does one additional thing that could prevent such a horrific event from happening again in the future, is not productive use for all of our emotions of this incident.

Please don’t let all of these very real legitimate emotions cause us to do things that won’t help our community and in fact actually will complicate our lives.

“BumpStock”,  a legally acquired accessory for sport shooting, was part of what was used by the shooter that night.  Basically, a tool that lets the forces of the firing of the gun continue the firing via the shooter’s finger without the shooter squeezing the trigger over and over again.  Many believed that automatic weapon/s were being fired that night.

The device is scary to many people both as an observer and many as actual shooters also.  AB291 starts as a state law making “BumpStock” accessories illegal without clearly defining what they are and how they do it.

In spite of the fact that the Federal Government has already made these devices illegal through regulation that became effective just two weeks ago, there is no amendment to take this language out of the bill. This language is unnecessary and redundant in intention as the current federal law.  The vague and dangerous method of defining what was used has great potential to impact good honest citizens unintentionally.  This part of the bill has absolutely no additional benefit to the people of Nevada and their safety.

The next issue with the bill is not clear to anyone without a bit of knowledge about Nevada state gun law history.  Current Nevada laws referred to as preemptive are on the books that have removed the power of local government, cities, and counties, to make gun-related law or ordinances that are not codified in state law.

The reasons and intentions of the Nevada Legislature were very practical and important then as they are today. They made it so that the very mobile population and tourists could move about through the whole state and know that they are not accidentally violating gun laws when they move from city to city or county to county or between a city and unincorporated county.

The language above and beyond the unnecessary “BumpStock” related restrictions discussed above are intent on one purpose and one purpose only, to add more confusion and bureaucracy to the daily lives and gun laws of our state by removing the current preemptions.

I urge our state legislators to amend, removing such language before any consideration of the bill ab291.

Last but not least. a third aspect of the new law being put forth here is changing the Blood Alcohol Level restriction to be the same as they are in motor vehicle DUI laws, 0.08. The only aspect of this bill ab291 that has any practical credibility or value to the population of Nevada.

Selling this legislation to the people of Nevada as an effective hinderance above and beyond any of the currently enacted Federal Regulations on “BumpStocks”, is not only unjust, deceiving and purely unethical, but dishonors everyone that was killed, injured or impacted by the events of 1 October.


NRA WIN: Federal Court Strikes Down California’s Gun Magazine Ban

Posted on March 29, 2019 ~ by Ammoland

California – -(AmmoLand.com)- Today, a federal district court issued a decision permanently enjoining California from enforcing its restrictions on standard capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

This monumental victory comes in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit titled Duncan v. Becerra, which challenges all of California’s laws banning so-called “large-capacity” magazines.

In issuing its decision, the court notes that “[c]onstitutional rights stand through time holding fast through the ebb and flow of current controversy,” and that governments cannot turn “millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals” for simply exercising their Second Amendment rights.

California will no doubt appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit. Given that Duncan is not yet final, California gun owners should still exercise caution when interacting with law enforcement. NRA and CRPA attorneys will soon update members on what exactly this ruling means for California gun owners.

More details and guidance will be provided in future NRA and CRPA information bulletins. To stay up-to-date on the Duncan case and other important Second Amendment issues affecting California gun owners, visit www.nraila.org/campaigns/california/stand-and-fight-california/. And be sure to subscribe to NRA-ILA and CRPA email alerts by visiting www.nraila.org/sign-up and www.crpa.org.

Source: NRA WIN: Federal Court Strikes Down California’s Gun Magazine Ban


Autopsy Results – Dennis Hof, Nevada brothel owner, died of heart attack

Brothel owner Dennis Hof, who won a Nevada Assembly seat after his October death, died of a heart attack, according to his autopsy.

Hof, 72, suffered a heart attack due to atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease, the Clark County coroner’s office report said. Other significant conditions in his death included diabetes and obesity.

Hof also had marijuana chemical compound THC and sildenafil, which can treat erectile dysfunction, in his system at the time of his death, the report said.

The autopsy was released by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday afternoon, several months after his Oct. 16 death.

In November, Hof won a seat representing District 36 in the Nevada Assembly.

Source: Dennis Hof, Nevada brothel owner, died of heart attack


Rick Perry agrees to provide timeline on removing plutonium from Nevada

By Colton Lochhead ~ Special to the Pahrump Valley Times ~ March 27, 2019 – 7:00 am

Earlier this month, Cortez Masto pledged to hold up nominees for the U.S. Department of Energy until she received a commitment from Perry that no more plutonium would be shipped into the state and a time frame for when the half-metric ton that the Energy Department already shipped to a federal site roughly 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas last fall would be removed.

Rick Perry, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

Cortez Masto, speaking to reporters in Carson City after addressing a joint session of the Nevada Legislature, said Perry called her earlier this month to voice his concerns with her hold on his department’s nominees. She said she wanted his commitment in writing before she would lift her hold.

“We had a very good, cordial conversation. He said he would give me that commitment, so we left that conversation with both of us agreeing to have designated staff to work on the written letter, and we’ll go from there,” Cortez Masto said March 20.

The state’s senior senator said they discussed a three- to five-year time frame, but she added she’s “waiting to see what I have in writing.”

In August, the Energy Department sent a letter to Nevada officials, notifying them of plans to ship half a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site in Nye County.

The state filed an injunction in late November asking a federal court to block the Trump administration from shipping the radioactive material.

But weeks after the case was argued in federal court, the Energy Department disclosed that it already had shipped the plutonium into the state sometime before November, which drew rebukes from Gov. Steve Sisolak, Cortez Masto and Nevada’s other federal delegates.

U.S. Sen. Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, was one of 10 Democrats to support Rick Perry’s nomination as energy secretary in 2017.

Cortez Masto was one of 10 Democrats to support Perry’s nomination as energy secretary in 2017.

Last week, she said she regrets that vote because of the way he and the Energy Department handled the plutonium shipment and Perry’s push to revive Yucca Mountain.

“The conversations we had in private in my office at the time there in the Senate turned out to be very different than what his commitment is now,” Cortez Masto said. “What I was looking for was somebody who was willing to work with me and with the state of Nevada and be candid. What I saw here, just shipping this plutonium here, they weren’t even candid with the federal court.”

“I think it was outrageous and unconscionable that not only would the Energy Department disregard the governor and governor’s staff, but then lie to a federal court about it,” she said.

Source: Rick Perry agrees to provide timeline on removing plutonium from Nevada


Memorial Diamonds make Lasting Memories When they are Created With The Cremated Remains of a Loved One

When a person dies, cremation is an increasingly popular option. The practice eclipsed burials in the US in 2015 and is expected to make up more than half of all body disposals by 2020, according to the Cremation Association of North America.

But instead of storing a loved one’s cremains in an urn or sprinkling them outside, a growing number of bereaved consumers are doing something more adventurous: forging the ashes into diamonds.

This is possible because carbon is the second-most-abundant atomic element in the human body, and diamonds are made of crystallized carbon. Researchers have also improved ways to grow diamonds in the lab in recent years.

While at least five companies offer a “memorial diamond” service, Algordanza in Switzerland is one of the industry leaders — its services are available in 33 countries, and the company told Business Insider it sold nearly 1,000 corporeal gems in 2016. Algordanza also claims to be the only company of its kind that operates its own diamond-growing lab for cremains — one of two in the world. (The other is in Russia.)

“It allows someone to keep their loved one with them forever,” Christina Martoia, a spokeswoman for Algordanza US, told Business Insider. “We’re bringing joy out of something that is, for a lot of people, a lot of pain.”

Here’s how the company uses extreme heat and pressure to turn dead people — and sometimes animals — into sparkling gems of all sizes, cuts, and colors.

Making a diamond from a dead person begins with cremation. The process typically leaves behind about 5 to 10 pounds of ashes, a small portion of which is carbon.

Making a diamond from a dead person begins with cremation. The process typically leaves behind about 5 to 10 pounds of ashes, a small portion of which is carbon.

A crematorium oven in Budapest, Hungary.

Styles of cremation differ from culture to culture. Some use hotter temperatures for longer, which allows most carbon to escape into the air as carbon dioxide (which may mean a large amount of ashes are needed to form a diamond). Low-temperature cremation is better in that it ensures a larger amount of a person’s carbon remains to create a diamond.

Martoia said Algordanza required a minimum of 1 pound of cremains. “That’s kind of the magic number, where our engineers can guarantee there will be enough carbon to make a memorial diamond,” she said.

When the company receives ashes from a customer, a technician puts a sample into a special oven to see whether there’s enough carbon to grow a diamond. If there’s not enough, the amount of carbon in a lock of hair can make up the difference.

Once there’s enough carbon, the element is extracted and purified of contaminants like salts. “We use an acidic chemical to get rid of impurities,” Martoia said.

This bumps the carbon purity of the processed ashes to about 99% or greater.

The other 1% contains impurities like boron — an element and micronutrient that helps humans (and other animals) grow bone, heal wounds, and regulate the immune system.

Boron is the impurity that colors the rare blue diamonds found in nature — and is why many “memorial diamonds” come out blue, too.

A round Algordanza memorial diamond made from animal cremains.

“The diamonds can range from clear to very deep blue,” Martoia said. “The more boron, the deeper the blue.”

Round Algordanza memorial diamonds made from animal cremains

 

She added that it’s impossible to predict the exact color a memorial diamond will take on.

“But an interesting thing to note is that our technicians are seeing a correlation in people who have had chemotherapy. Their diamonds tend to come out much lighter,” Martoia said. This may be because chemotherapy leaches away the body’s boron and other important micronutrients.

When Algordanza processes ashes, Martoia says, “it’s nearly impossible to separate out the boron from the carbon.” This is because the two elements share similar weights and properties.

Boron and carbon are similar in size and other atomic properties.

To further purify the carbon to 99.9% or more, technicians pack it into a growing cell that contains iron and cobalt — additives that help remove contaminants.

The cell also contains a tiny diamond to help the carbon crystallize into a rough shape, since carbon crystallizes best when it touches an existing diamond.

The diamond provides a “blueprint” for the carbon to work from, which means the new diamond that eventually forms will require less cutting and polishing.

The final purification step converts the carbon into slippery sheets of graphite — the same type of carbon in pencils. Graphite’s microscopic flat sheets of carbon are an ideal starter material for synthesizing diamonds.

Natural diamonds form out of carbon that gets stuck in lava tubes about a mile deep in the Earth’s crust.

To emulate that environment, Algordanza inserts the cell (now packed with graphite) into a platter and slides it into a high-temperature high-pressure growing machine.

That machine can heat a growth cell to nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. It also squeezes the cell under 870,000 pounds per square inch of pressure.

That’s like the entire mass of the International Space Station bearing down on the face of a wristwatch — then heating it up to a temperature exceeding that of lava.

The International Space Station.NASA

Depending on how big a customer wants his or her diamond to be, it can take six to eight weeks in an HPHT machine to coax graphite to crystallize into a gem. “The larger the diamond, the longer it takes to grow,” Martoia said.

A round Algordanza memorial diamond made from animal cremains.

When enough time has passed, technicians remove the puck of graphite and crack it open.

Inside awaits a rough, uncut, and unpolished diamond.

An Algordanza memorial diamond made from animal cremains.

Some customers take the rough gem, but many opt to have their memorial diamonds cut, faceted, and polished by a jeweler in Switzerland.

A diamond is polished on a rotating automatic cast-iron lap.

Algordanza’s prices start at $3,000 for a 0.3 carat diamond. Martoia said the average order was about 0.4 to 0.5 carat, though US customers usually request bigger, 0.8-carat diamonds.

A rough Algordanza memorial diamond made from animal cremains

But Algordanza can make them much larger: The company recently took a $48,000 order for 2-carat diamond. After 10 months of growth, the resulting gem actually wound up being 1.76-carats — but it’s still the largest memorial diamond ever made by the company.

Orders for diamonds made from human cremains aren’t the only type that Algordanza receives. “First we had the cremains of a German Shepard and now we have cremains of a cat,” Martoia said.

An emerald-cut Algordanza memorial diamond made from animal cremains

Source: Memorial Diamonds make Lasting Memories When they are Created With the Cremated Remains of a Loved Ones

Editorial: Same-day voter registration invites fraud

 

Progressives are always clamoring to make it easier to vote. To that end Democratic state Sen. James Ohrenschall of Las Vegas has introduced Senate Bill 123 that, among other things, would allow people to register to vote on Election Day.

“The purpose of SB123 is to make it more feasible for people to be part of the government of ourselves, by making it easier to register to vote, and offer a few more options to vote during the early voting period,” Ohrenschall said during a recent hearing on his bill, according to The Nevada Independent.

Election officials testified that the bill will cost millions of dollars to implement and take years to adequately change the system to comply.

Additionally, Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria warned, “If same-day registration process is handled with a paper form, other than signing an affidavit affirming that the voter has not already voted in the election, there can be no guarantee that the voter has not registered to vote at another location on Election Day. Not until after the election will clerks have the ability to identify that the voter has not voted at another site, which is problematic.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, calls same-day voter registration a prescription for fraud and says it does almost nothing to increase voter participation.

“Allowing a voter to both register and vote on Election Day makes it nearly impossible to prevent duplicate votes in different areas or to verify the accuracy of any information provided by a voter,” von Spakovsky writes. “Election officials are unable to check the authenticity of a registration or the eligibility and qualifications of a registrant by comparing the registration information to other state and federal databases that provide information not just on identity, but also on citizenship status and whether the individual in question is a felon whose voting rights have been suspended. Since Election Day registrants cast a regular ballot, even if election officials determine that the registration was invalid after the election, they have no means of discounting the ballot.”

He notes that Wisconsin allows same-day registration and after a comprehensive investigation of voter fraud in the 2004 election, the Milwaukee Police Department concluded that the “one thing that could eliminate a large percentage of fraud or the appearance of fraudulent voting in any given Election is the elimination of the On-Site or Same-Day voter registration system.”

Von Spakovsky also points out that Oregon dumped its same-day registration law after a cult tried to take over a county by planning to bring in large numbers of nonresidents, many of them homeless, to flood the polls with ineligible voters.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said at a Heritage Foundation meeting in 2013 that voters can make up names and addresses and go from poll to poll to vote, and there is no automated system that can stop such nefarious deeds.

While Election Day registration invites fraud, it does little to actually increase turnout.

In 2008, according to von Spakovsky, four of the eight states with same-day registration reported lower turnout than in 2004. The state with the largest decrease in turnout in 2008 was Maine, which also has Election Day registration.

“It has always been abundantly clear that, after four decades of making it easier to vote and having turnout decline (among most groups) except for elections driven by fear and anger,” wrote Curtis Gans of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate in 2008, “the central issue governing turnout is not procedure but motivation. These new procedures, except for Election Day registration for some states, don’t help turnout and pose some discrete dangers for American democracy.”

In Nevada one can already register online or at the DMV or any county elections office.

The risks of fraud due to Election Day registration far outweigh any convenience for those too lazy or disinterested to register to vote by the deadline before each election.

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: Same-day voter registration invites fraud


The Cavemen Capitalist: how wealth was created from nothing

By Joe Jarvis – March 14, 2019

The natural state of human existence is abject poverty. That’s the starting point–naked, hungry, and homeless.

Any effort towards survival is the most basic form of wealth creation.

Labor is a key element in creating any wealth. Even cupping your hands together to draw water from a stream is labor. And it is required to survive. That is a rudimentary form of wealth trickling down your throat.

But wealth also requires property. In order to drink that life-sustaining water, you must hold exclusive rights over that water, at that moment.

Your labor turned a previously unclaimed natural resource into your property. And that raised your standard of living… from dehydrating to death, to being quenched.

In a complex economy, you don’t have to do all the labor yourself. You don’t even have to own all the property that you use to create wealth.

But the same basic laws apply:

    • We cannot survive without labor and property (even if you call them something different).
    • Let’s use another primitive example to help us understand how more complex economies develop.

How a Caveman Capitalist Creates Wealth

      1. A stick is a natural resource.
      2. A caveman picks up an unclaimed stick, and it becomes his property.
      3. He uses his time and energy (labor) to sharpen the stick. It becomes more valuable than the stick in its original form (the product of his labor).
      4. And when he impales a rabbit, he has used his wealth (the sharpened stick) plus his labor (the thrust) to produce more wealth (a dead rabbit to eat).
      5. The caveman accumulates more rabbits than he can eat (capital).
      6. So he trades five rabbits for a bow and arrow (the product of someone else’s labor).
      7. Now he can rapidly accumulate even more rabbits (capital).
      8. He trades more rabbits for more bows and arrows. He distributes these bows and arrows to other cavemen under the condition that they give him 1 out of every 3 rabbits they hunt (employment). The entire village is now flush with rabbits.
      9. Rabbit jerky becomes the medium of exchange (money). This means the mushroom gatherer doesn’t have to worry about not having enough protein, and neither does the forager or the fire tender. They can now specialize in what they are good at, and trade their labor for rabbit jerky (which can buy other products and services). The entire village becomes flush with warmth, mushrooms, berries, and greens.
      10. The Caveman Capitalist trades rabbit jerky for materials to build a hut. He trades jerky to workmen to build the hut. He trades jerky for someone to cook for him, and to guard his hut. And all the pretty cavewomen want to get their hands on his jerky.
      11. Now that survival is guaranteed, people can focus on comfort and quality of life. Everyone can afford a hut, someone starts producing medicine, another invents beds, and someone else the wheel. And why forage when you can plant the seed right in your backyard? Now, most village children live past infancy. (The overall standard of living of the village has increased.)
      12. People have so much extra free time without having to constantly fight for survival, some weirdo figures out rabbits will actually keep breeding inside a cage, so you really don’t have to hunt.
      13. Uh oh! How is the Caveman Capitalist going to create wealth now that his industry (hunting rabbits) has been upset? He starts picking the cutest wolves and breeding them (innovation). Turns out, everyone loves the freakish results! And they are actually pretty useful too.
      14. And so on and so forth, until the people with the highest standard of living in human history complain about capitalism on their iPhones.
  • It’s all because this one Caveman Capitalist started accumulating wealth.
  • Discussion Questions:
  • At step 5, does the caveman capitalist become a bad man for accumulating more rabbits than he could eat?
    • Would the village standard of living have increased if he hadn’t?
  • At step 8, should the hunters have been allowed to seize his means of production (the bow and arrow) in order to keep all of the rabbits they hunted?
    • Could they have bought their own bows and arrows if they were able to hunt extra rabbits?
    • What would have happened to the village’s standard of living if they hadtaken his equipment by force?
  • At step 10 should the builders have been able to keep the hut they built for the Caveman Capitalist, even though they agreed to take rabbits in exchange for their labor?
    • How would they have gotten the rabbits they needed without building the hut for him?
    • Do you think they considered building huts more desirable than hunting rabbits themselves?
  • Should the village be able to use their strength in numbers to take all the Caveman Capitalist’s jerky, even without providing him any value in return?
  • Is rabbit jerky the root of all evil?
  1. If you answered Yes to any of these five main questions above, you’re a socialist.
  2. And if you got your way, the entire village would still be in abject poverty.
  3. Nice job commie. (You’re not allowed to be offended by this comment if you are reading this on anything besides scratched tree-bark.)

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

Source: The Cavemen Capitalist: how wealth was created from nothing


Everything You Know About the Civil War is Wrong

RePrint ~ Jonathan Clark   ~

The Civil War is perhaps the most misunderstood event in the history of the United States while ironically, appears to be the single historical event most Americans believe they fully comprehend.

It’s likely difficult for many of us — and nearly impossible for younger generations — to imagine a world without air conditioning, refrigeration, and amply-filled grocery stores. Which is nothing to say of a life without the Internet, smartphones, and Amazon.

Consider for a moment that just over a hundred years ago, many Americans didn’t live to see their fiftieth birthday — and the most common cause of death was dysentery.

Life in 1860 America, the year Abraham Lincoln was elected president, was nothing like it is today.

The Southern states were mostly rural, and agriculture was the primary industry while in the North, the industrial revolution was in its infancy. Few Americans had more than a primary school education, and medicine was one level above medieval.

And yet, too many of us mistakenly believe we can make value judgments about a time of which we know little.

To truly understand any historical event, one must study it within the proper context — what is commonly referred to as “contextualization.” But as generation after generation pass, we internalize notions about why people behaved the way they did in the past.

And often, we interpret stories of events through the lens of popular culture — many of which are not entirely accurate.

The American Civil War is chief among these.

For most of us (including me), we attended public schools where we were provided roughly the same instruction regarding the Civil War: Our country was composed of the North, where people opposed slavery, and the South where slavery was embraced. Abraham Lincoln rose to the presidency and fought against the South to end slavery and saved the Union.

Like most of my high school peers, this story seemed plausible enough to me and after all, it ended happily: Slaves were freed and the Union remained intact.

Plausible enough until I read a couple of books by Charles Adams, a tax historian and author from New England — hardly a Southern extremist with an ax to grind.

In these fascinating books, Adams explores how taxation affected historical events and how the popular interpretation of the Civil War survives in the face of some obvious facts.

I had to revise my thinking.

Consider that throughout the presidential campaign of 1860, then-candidate Abraham Lincoln had all but promised not to interfere with Southern slavery, which he reiterated in his first presidential inaugural address.

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

This seems to run contrary to conventional thinking. Wasn’t he an abolitionist?

Furthermore, Lincoln promised to enforce the fugitive slave laws as president — laws passed by Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who escaped from one state into another state or territory.

Indeed, Southern secession would have made slavery more precarious without the protection of the Constitution and the Supreme Court. From a slave property standpoint, staying in the Union made more sense than leaving.

Adding further confusion are the numerous accounts from contemporary newspapers from the North, South, and Europe — all of which tell the tale of a “tariff war,” not the popularly-held notion that the Civil War was a “war against slavery.”

But if the war wasn’t over slavery, what then?

Like most historical events, this too was complicated.

It’s too easy to assign blame for the Civil War on the South and slavery — and intellectually lazy.

Like many other conflicts, the Civil War was decades in the making and the culmination of unresolved issues between the Northern and Southern states. And it finally came to a head during the 1860 presidential campaign and election.

To fully understand the Civil War, it’s vital to recognize that we are dealing with two separate issues: The cause for secession and the cause of the war.

Let’s begin with secession.

In 1860, nearly all federal tax revenue was generated by tariffs — there were no personal or corporate income taxes. And the Southern states were paying the majority (approximately eighty percent) of the tariffs with an impending new tariff that would nearly triple the rate of taxation.

Adding insult to injury, much of the tax revenues collected from imports in the South went to Northern industrial interests and had been for decades. The 1860 Republican platform promised more of the same, which was further eroding the trust of Southerners.

Remember that slave labor practices of the South contrasted greatly with the industries of the North. Without slave labor, most Southern plantations wouldn’t have survived; there simply weren’t enough workers. Slavery was inextricably linked to the South.

While the issue of slavery was, in fact, a primary concern for the South, the secessionist movement began decades before the Civil War.

In 1828, Congress passed a tariff of sixty-two percent which applied to nearly all imported goods. The purpose of the tariff was to protect Northern industries from low-priced imported goods. But it effectively increased the cost of goods for the South, which sans manufacturing capacity, relied heavily on imported goods.

At the same time, the tariff reduced the amount of British goods sold to the South, effectively making it more difficult for the British to pay for Southern cotton. It’s no wonder the South would refer to the Tariff of 1828 as the “Tariff of Abominations.”

The government of South Carolina declared the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable, creating a precarious situation between the state and the federal government. Of little surprise, President Andrew Jackson refused to accept South Carolina’s defiance. Without the Compromise Tariff of 1833, it’s likely that South Carolina would have moved to secede from the Union.

While the crisis was averted, tensions between the North and the South were just beginning to grow.

More tariffs in 1842 and 1857 along with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision worked to further divide the country. In May of 1860, the House of Representatives passed the Morrill Tariff Bill, the twelfth of seventeen planks in the platform of the incoming Republican Party — and a priority for the soon-to-be-elected new president.

Charles Dickens, from his journal, All the Year Round, observed, “The last grievance of the South was the Morrill tariff, passed as an election bribe to the State of Pennsylvania, imposing, among other things, a duty of no less than fifty per cent on the importation of pig iron, in which that State is especially interested.” (1)

Soon after, America elected its first “sectionalist” president: Abraham Lincoln. And the rupture of the Union was finally at hand.

On December 20th, 1860, South Carolina voted unanimously to secede. Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana soon followed and before Lincoln’s inauguration, Texas and Georgia would be added to the list.

At the outset of the war, Lincoln called on volunteers from all states to “put down the rebellion.” Refusing to bear arms against their Southern brethren, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee seceded.

Of the eleven seceding states, only six cited slavery as the primary cause for leaving the Union. (2)

The war to save the Union.

To understand how the war began, we should begin with the words of Abraham Lincoln.

“I have no purpose, directly or in-directly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them,” Lincoln said in his first inaugural on March 4, 1860. (3)

While promising not “to interfere with the institution of slavery,” Lincoln also argued, “no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union.”

Then he threw down the gauntlet against rebellion.

In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.” (Emphasis mine)

Lincoln argued that secession was legally and constitutionally impossible, a view that stood in stark contrast to his stated beliefs while a member of Congress just twelve years prior.

In a speech in the House of Representatives regarding the war with Mexico, Lincoln argued in favor of secession.

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right — a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.(4)

Perhaps his views changed between his time in Congress and becoming president. But it’s doubtful given his involvement in the creation of the state of West Virginia during the Civil War, which provided his party additional electoral votes and congressional representation — an act Lincoln’s own attorney general believed was unconstitutional.

In a December 1862 written statement, Attorney General Edward Bates declared, “I observe, in the first place, that the Congress can admit new States into this Union, but cannot form States: Congress has no creative power, in that respect; and cannot admit into this Union, any territory, district or other political entity, less than a State. And such State must exist, as a separate independent body politic, before it can be admitted, under that clause of the Constitution — and there is no other clause.” (5)

It seems that Lincoln wasn’t opposed to secession if it served his political purposes. But now as president of a divided country, he was facing a challenge of potentially dire economic consequences: Should the Southern states have been allowed to leave the Union unmolested, they would have taken with them millions in tax revenues.

After the first states seceded, many in the Northern press expressed opposition to war with the South. Writing in the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley declared, “We hope never to live in a republic where one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets.” (6)

The Tribune was among the great newspapers of its time, an influential journal of the Republican party, and Greeley was among the day’s opinion leaders.

Moreover, many of Lincoln’s advisors also recommended against any action that might lead to a war with the South. Even Lincoln’s top Army commander wanted nothing to do with war. “Let the wayward sisters depart in peace,” urged General Winfield Scott.

Secretary of State, William Seward, also advised the new president to let the rebellious states go and avoid actions that could upset the states of the upper-South. He thought that eventually, the aggrieved states would see the error of their ways and campaign for reunification. “I do not think it wise to provoke a Civil War beginning in Charleston and in rescue of an untenable position,’’ Seward insisted.

But it didn’t take long before Northern newspaper editors did the math and realized what secession really meant for Northern enterprises. In addition to the loss of tax revenue, the South’s free trade position would’ve had dire consequences for Northern ports.

In his inaugural speech as Governor of South Carolina, Francis W. Picks pledged the state would “open her ports free to the tonnage and trade of all nations” should secession occur.

The Chicago Times foretold the impending economic disaster.

In one single blow our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all of its immense profits. Our manufactories would be in utter ruins. Let the South adopt the free-trade system, or that of a tariff for revenue, and these results would likely follow.”

Consider this dire warning from the New York Evening Post in March of 1862:

That either the revenue from duties must be collected in the ports of the rebel states, or the port must be closed to importations from abroad, is generally admitted. If neither of these things be done, our revenue laws are substantially repealed; the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe.(7)

In the British journal, All the Year Round,“ Charles Dickens observed, “Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as of many other evils.

Meanwhile, hundreds of commercial importers in New York and Boston refused to pay duties on imported goods unless the same were collected at Southern ports. This was after the state of New York considered leaving the Union and joining “our aggrieved brethren of the Slave States.” (8)

Now, it’s important to understand that Lincoln entered the presidency on shaky political ground.

Even though he was elected president, he had done so with almost no support from the South and less than forty percent of the popular vote. And in a move that many refer to as “political genius,” Lincoln appointed his political rivals to cabinet positions, ostensibly to destroy enemies by making them friends — a move that would lead to disloyalty and backroom drama.

Moreover, those cabinet appointments caused disappointment with allies who had supported Lincoln’s candidacy. Joseph Medill of the Chicago Tribune was especially miffed he didn’t receive anything from the new president saying, “We made Abe and by God — we can unmake him.(9)

Meanwhile, the South was moving forward to organize as a new nation. On February 8, 1861, the Confederate States of America (CSA) was formed and inaugurated Jefferson Davis as its president. There was, it seemed, no way to remedy the secession issue and its associated financial stress on the North — except by forcing the South to rejoin the Union.

But the last thing the Confederacy wanted was a war with Lincoln.

In fact, soon after Jefferson Davis became the first president of the CSA, he dispatched a commission to Washington, DC to negotiate a treaty and an offer to pay for all Federal property in the South. (10) But Lincoln refused to meet with the emissaries, believing acknowledgment would discredit his position that secession was illegal.

And that thinking also thwarted the final attempt to resolve the dilemma through peaceful means.

Lincoln coaxes the South into war.

At the time Southern states began seceding, many of the Union forts within their borders were abandoned, save a few. Consider that the US Military (and government) at the start of the Civil War resembled little like what we have today. The United States had a standing army of about sixteen thousand men in 1861, most of whom served in poorly equipped outposts.

Fort Sumter, a sparsely populated duty collection point in Charleston harbor, was one of the few forts where Union personnel remained. As was evident from Lincoln’s contemporaries, an attempt to send Union troops into any of the Confederate states would provoke a war.

Lincoln knew that if South Carolina and the Confederacy allowed the fort to be provisioned, it would make a mockery of their sovereignty. And if the Confederacy fired on the Union ships, it would have been the Confederacy, not Lincoln who fired the first shots of the war.

“He was a master of the situation,” wrote Lincoln’s private secretaries John G. Nicolay and John Hay. “Master if the rebels hesitated or repented, because they would thereby forfeit their prestige with the South; master if they persisted, for he would then command a united North.” (11)

Lincoln knew what he was doing when he ordered Fort Sumter to be resupplied. He was a cunning politician and Fort Sumter was his opportunity. He seized it believing it would be a short war. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Viewing the Civil War as a crusade to end slavery is simply not correct; abolitionists never accounted for more than a sizeable minority in the North. The cause of war in 1861 wasn’t slavery. It was about the loss of millions in tax revenues.

Nor was it a Civil War. The Confederate states had no aspirations to rule the Union any more than George Washington sought control over Great Britain in 1776. In both the American Revolutionary War and the “Civil War,” independence was the goal.

The original quagmire.

The idea that the Civil War was some sort of a morality play about freeing Southern slaves is an ideological distortion that obfuscates many of the atrocities that occurred during and after the war.

But if we accept the idea that Lincoln was waging war to free the slaves, it helps justify the loss of over 600,000 American lives. Not to mention the financial cost of the war, which many historians believe could have been avoided.

Indeed, this wasn’t the first time a United States president had faced the issue of secession.

From 1800 to 1815, three serious attempts at secession were orchestrated by New England Federalists, who were infuriated by what they believed was unconstitutional acts by President Thomas Jefferson.

Among the voices for secession was Connecticut Senator James Hillhouse who declared, “The Eastern States must and will dissolve the Union and form a separate government. I will rather anticipate a new confederacy, exempt from the corrupt and corrupting influence and oppression of the aristocratic Democrats of the South.”

“There will be — and our children at farthest will see it — a separation. The white and black population will mark the boundary,” wrote Timothy Pickering, the prominent Senator from Massachusetts. (12)

It was the belief of Hillhouse, Pickering, John Quincy Adams, and others that the South was gaining too much power and influence at a cost to the New England states.

What was Jefferson’s response to the threat of secession? It certainly wasn’t war.

“Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part.” (13)

“Events may prove it otherwise; and if they see their interest in separation, why should we take side with our Atlantic rather than our Missipi descendants? It is the elder and the younger son differing. God bless them both, & keep them in union, if it be for their good, but separate them, if it be better.” (14)

From all outward accounts, Lincoln wanted a war with the South — some might say he needed it — and that’s what he got. The loss of tax revenues from the Southern ports would not go unpunished as he promised in his inaugural address.

But after more than a year at war, the Union’s prospects for victory were in doubt.

Losses to the Army in significant battles had the Union mired in a bloody quagmire. Moreover, Britain and France were considering support for the Confederacy by recognizing it as a sovereign country, which could have concretized secession and put Lincoln’s forces at risk of having to fight against Confederate allies from Europe.

It’s important to recognize that up until September 1862, the stated purpose of the war had been to preserve the Union. With the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln sought to change the focus of the war.

But the Emancipation Proclamation freed no one. Not a single slave.

“. . . all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” (15)

Only the Southern states were “in rebellion” and Lincoln had no control over the Confederacy. Nor did he have the power to free the slaves in the South or the Union. That would require a Constitutional Amendment, which wouldn’t occur until after the Civil War. In 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery.

Indeed, this was a last-ditch effort to cripple the Confederate Army. Lincoln hoped that it would entice Southern slaves to leave and join the ranks of the Union Army, depleting the Confederacy’s labor force, which was sorely needed to wage war against the Union.

Woodrow Wilson, writing in History of the American People, proposed that, “It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery.”(16)

Prior to the proclamation, Lincoln confessed to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” (17)

Charles Dickens observed of the proclamation, “The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern states.” (18)

Myths which are widely believed tend to become truth.

It really is remarkable how many of our popularly-held beliefs about the Civil War fail critical scrutiny. Not just the causes of secession and the war, but many other elements of the period.

The most incredible of these myths is that of our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. For all that has been written about Lincoln, so few texts accurately portray his presidency.

One has only to spend a little time on the Internet reading his own words to witness the legend of Lincoln fall apart.

“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” (19)

While denying the charge that he was an abolitionist at a presidential debate, Abraham Lincoln expressed his views about the “black race,” all of whom he thought should be sent back to Africa or to an island in the Caribbean. In his speech on the Dred Scott decision:

“I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation. I have no right to say all the members of the Republican party are in favor of this, nor to say that as a party they are in favor of it. There is nothing in their platform directly on the subject. But I can say a very large proportion of its members are for it, and that the chief plank in their platform-opposition to the spread of slavery-is most favorable to that separation. Such separation, if ever effected at all, must be effected by colonization.” (20)

While any reasonable person today would find these remarks abhorrent and bigoted, it was not outside the popular thinking of the period. In fact, the idea of the colonization of blacks was so popular that Lincoln proposed it as an amendment to the Constitution in his second annual message to Congress in 1862. (21)

Colonization was a staple of Lincoln’s speeches and public comments from 1854 until about 1863. Lincoln’s views on race contrast sharply with his modern era image of the “Great Emancipator.”

Indeed, his public remarks, which are well-documented, indicate he had little regard for blacks.

“I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races.” (22)

And this is where the myth of the sympathetic North begins to unravel as well. While there was a strong abolitionist movement in the North, it was so small that Lincoln and other politicians didn’t associate themselves with it.

Contrary to popular modern-day belief, most white Northerners treated blacks with disdain, discrimination, and violence during the period leading up to the Civil War. Blacks were not allowed to vote, marry, or use the judicial system. In many ways, blacks were treated worse before the Civil War than during the Jim Crow era in the South.

As Alexis de Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America, “the prejudice of the race appears to be stronger in the States which have abolished slavery, than in those where it still exists; and nowhere is it so intolerant as in those States where servitude has never been known.” (23)

While the Emancipation Proclamation gave Lincoln some breathing room, he still had a tough road before him. The Union was having difficulty getting volunteers to fight in the war, so Congress enacted the nation’s first military draft act.

In New York City, a town deeply divided over the war, the new conscription law did not sit well with the general population. Not only were the wealthy allowed to buy their way out of the draft, but it excluded blacks.

The day after the draft lottery got underway, demonstrations broke out across New York City and soon morphed into a violent uprising against the city’s wealthy and black residents. The New York City draft riots lasted four days. Black men were lynched, private property destroyed, and over one hundred people lost their lives. (24)

How did we get here?

Prior to his assassination, Lincoln was often depicted in the contemporary media as cowardly, devious, grotesque, and animal-like. During his presidency and for many years after his death, he was the object of much scorn and derision. (25)

It’s not difficult to understand why.

He started a war without the consent of Congress, had men conscripted into fighting the war, suspended Habeas Corpus, (26) had cities burned, imprisoned political enemies, and had dissenting newspapers shut down and the owners imprisoned. (27)

With so much overwhelming evidence available today, how does the fable of Lincoln and his War continue? I propose it’s partly because the average American is relatively ignorant of history and geography, which survey after survey reveal.

A 2015 survey released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni revealed only half the American public could correctly identify when the Civil War took place. (28)

Moreover, popular culture has played a significant role in shaping perceptions which seems to have begun in 1906, when Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews published The Perfect Tribute.

The story depicted Lincoln writing and delivering the Gettysburg Address but thinking it was an utter failure. Later, he comforts a Confederate Captain as he dies in a prison hospital, and the Captain, who does not recognize him, praises the Address as “one of the great speeches in history”.

The wildly popular story, which was largely responsible for the myth that Lincoln wrote the Address on the train in route to Gettysburg, was assigned reading for many generations of school children in the United States.

Additionally, John Wilkes Booth made a martyr out of Lincoln. From which, his legacy was reconstructed through written accounts (more than 16,000 books have been published), memorialized on Mount Rushmore and in the lavish memorial in Washington, DC, and lionized in movies.

Finally, the Republican Party controlled national politics and set the national tone for almost three-quarters of a century following the Civil War, winning sixteen of eighteen presidential elections.

Most texts about the Civil War and biographies of Abraham Lincoln gloss over his shortcomings with the excuse that the ends somehow justified the means. But as historians continue to excavate Lincoln’s life and times, with each unturned stone, another fable is tarnished, and truth revealed.

Further reading.

I recommend Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: The Tax Revolts that Built America and When in the Course of Human Events by Charles Adams. Also, The Real Lincolnby Thomas J. Dilorenzo.

All three books are well-written and well-cited.

Notes:

(1) All the Year Round: A Weekly Journal, Volume 6: http://bit.ly/2h2K3fh

(2) Ordinance of Secession, Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/2z3TWQH

(3) First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln: http://bit.ly/2z3LrF7

(4) The War With Mexico: Speech in the United States House of Representatives:http://bit.ly/2znmLYJ

(5) West Virginia Archives & History: http://bit.ly/2A6OMB2

(6) Liberty and Union: A Constitutional History of the United States, Volume 1: http://bit.ly/2gRJVvg

(7) New York Evening Post, March 12, 1861: http://bit.ly/2A4O7Ad

(8) HistoryNet: http://bit.ly/2z9HdM2

(9) Lincoln’s Herndon: http://bit.ly/2io3IT8

(10) Causes of the Civil War: The Differences Between the North and South:http://bit.ly/2z4ofnM

(11) Abraham Lincoln, a Man of Faith and Courage: Stories of Our Most Admired: http://bit.ly/2ylDeN9

(12) Bye Bye, Miss American Empire: Neighborhood Patriots, Backcountry Rebels: http://bit.ly/2iSnjiy

(13) The Letters of Thomas Jefferson 1743–1826: http://bit.ly/2ilhTbS

(14) The Letters of Thomas Jefferson 1743–1826: http://bit.ly/2A0fAls

(15) HistoryNet, Emancipation Proclamation Full Text: http://bit.ly/2A7ud7t

(16) A History of the American People: Critical Changes and Civil War:http://bit.ly/2z4NMNK

(17) Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln: http://bit.ly/2gT3L9d

(18) History Today Volume 61 Issue 9 September 2011: http://bit.ly/2gTOQvO

(19) Lincoln–Douglas debates, Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/2hwqEjw

(20) Speech on the Dred Scott Decision, Abraham Lincoln: http://bit.ly/2z4r4Fo

(21) President Lincoln’s Second Annual Message December 1, 1862:http://bit.ly/2z8LTBH

(22) The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 6th Debate Part I: http://bit.ly/2zpcBHa

(23) Democracy in America — Volume 1: http://bit.ly/2zYhhzZ

(24) New York Draft Riots, History.com: http://bit.ly/2zXxl50

(25) The Lehrman Institute, Abraham Lincoln’s Classroom:http://bit.ly/2A6MZvE

(26) President Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War, History.com: http://bit.ly/2z3A8wV

(27) President Abraham Lincoln Executive Order — Arrest and Imprisonment of Irresponsible Newspaper Reporters and Editors: http://bit.ly/2zY2YeP

(28) ACTA Survey, April 14, 2015: http://bit.ly/2A6NKF0

Source: Everything You Know About the Civil War is Wrong


US Rural Sheriffs Defy New Gun Measures

SANTA FE, N.M.—In swaths of rural America, county sheriffs, prosecutors and other local officials are mounting resistance to gun-control measures moving through legislatures in Democratic-led states.

The “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement has taken hold in more than 100 counties in several states, including New Mexico and Illinois, where local law-enforcement and county leaders are saying they won’t enforce new legislation that infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms.

For instance, in New Mexico, 30 of 33 county sheriffs have signed a letter pledging to not help enforce several gun-control measures supported by Democrats in Santa Fe, according to the state’s sheriff association. The sheriffs, who are elected, say they are heeding the wishes of voters in the counties they serve. More than two dozen counties in the state have enacted “sanctuary” resolutions backing the sheriffs and affirming that no tax dollars in their jurisdictions should go to enforcing the proposed laws.

Nationwide, some see their battle as a conservative version of the “sanctuary” resistance to the Trump administration’s illegal-immigration crackdown led by Democratic mayors in major cities like New York and Los Angeles.

“If a state or city can become a sanctuary for illegal immigration, then we can become a sanctuary for Second Amendment rights,” said Russell Shafer, sheriff of Quay County in eastern New Mexico.

Despite the resistance, New Mexico Democrats are forging ahead with their bills: Legislation requiring background checks for most private gun sales was signed into law Friday but still faces a potential roadblock from the Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives, who are trying to put the measure before voters next year.

Democrats are also pushing a mental-health measure that would make it easier to confiscate weapons from people feared to be a safety threat.

The state’s newly elected Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, supports the bills. She said the sheriffs’ resistance undermines public safety, and in recent tweets, mocked the rural revolt as “rogue sheriffs throwing a childish pity party.”

Elsewhere, about 60 counties in Illinois have approved—some by ballot measures—pro-Second Amendment resolutions, according to the Illinois State Rifle Association. Sheriffs have been more muted in Illinois, but at least a half-dozen Republican and Democratic county prosecutors in southern Illinois are objecting to a bill introduced this year that would ban commonly owned semiautomatic weapons.

More than half of Washington State Sheriffs have denounced a gun-control package approved by voters last year as an unconstitutional and unenforceable step toward banning semiautomatic weapons.

The movement has largely underscored the rift between rural and urban areas.

“We’re all part of the same state, but almost all the crime we’re seeing and the weapons we’re seeing are coming out of the city,” said Brandon Zanotti, the Democratic state’s attorney of Williamson County in Illinois located 300 miles south of Chicago.

Mr. Zanotti objects to proposed restrictions on semiautomatic weapons in Illinois because, he says, they would burden law enforcement and turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.

Sheriffs and prosecutors have discretion to decide whether to arrest or charge someone for committing a crime, but that flexibility is case-by-case, says Norman Williams, a Willamette University law professor. He drew a distinction between prosecutorial discretion and a categorical refusal to enforce a law. The latter undermines the rule of law, he said.

In response to the protest, Washington state Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently warned sheriffs that local law enforcement could face liability for not performing background checks for people buying semiautomatic weapons as required under the new law. Some sheriffs, though, have said they aren’t refusing to perform them.

Democratic New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said local officials should comply with state and federal law but declined to say what measures he would take if they don’t.

It isn’t the first time county law enforcement has rebelled against gun-control laws.

In 2013, Colorado sheriffs joined a lawsuit in protest of expanded background checks and restrictions on higher-capacity ammunition magazines that were enacted after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.

While the lawsuit against the 2013 legislation was ultimately dismissed, the protesting Colorado sheriffs have very rarely charged anyone with violations, according to Dave Kopel, an attorney and scholar who represented the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, left, along with other state law-enforcement officers speak against a bill that would require background checks for all gun sales in Santa Fe, N.M., on Jan. 24, 2019. PHOTO: EDDIE MOORE/ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL/ZUMA PRESS

The legislation spurring protests varies from state to state, ranging from stricter regulation of sales between individuals to wider bans on semiautomatic weapons. “Red-flag” legislation has stirred much of the backlash.

A New Mexico bill passed by the state House would allow family members or those close to a gun owner to ask a court to temporarily confiscate the person’s gun if they think the person poses an immediate danger to themselves or others.

New Mexico sheriffs say that they already have legal ways to disarm dangerous people in emergencies and that the bill fails to protect the due-process rights of gun owners subject to seizure orders. If the “red-flag” bill becomes law, the sheriffs say they are prepared to get judges to reconsider seizure orders if they feel the gun owner hasn’t been granted due process, according to Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace.

A Democratic-backed “red-flag” bill advancing in Colorado is also facing backlash, with Weld County and several others passing resolutions in opposition in recent days.

Some sheriffs have taken issue with the wider “sanctuary” movement. In a recent Facebook post, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder of Colorado said he would “defend the Second Amendment to the death” but questioned whether sheriffs should be the ones interpreting law. “Do people expect a Sheriff, a Chief of Police, a Mayor or ANY elected person to decide if a law is ‘constitutional’ or not?” he wrote.

Mr. Shafer, the Quay County sheriff in New Mexico, said he is just following the will of the public. “I’m getting my guidance from my constituents who voted me into office,” he said.


Editorial: No need for murky water law changes

 

Two bills proposing to alter water use policy are pending in the Nevada Legislature. They are at best problematic.

Assembly Bill 30 appears to give the state engineer greater leeway in the use of monitoring, management and mitigations — known in the jargon as 3M — to resolve conflicts in water rights. The language is rather vague and subject to interpretation.

Assembly Bill 51 appears to give the state engineer more flexibility in what is called conjunctive management of water. While current law treats surface water and groundwater as interchangeable in a basin in the scheme of allocations, AB51 tells the state engineer to adopt regulations that mitigate conflicts between the two water sources.

Nevada water law is based on the concept of prior authorization, in other words the first one to use a water resource has priority or senior water rights. Those who come later, if there is enough water available, have junior rights that must yield to the senior rights if supply becomes inadequate for any reason.

The Great Basin Water Network, an organization that has been fighting attempts for years by the Las Vegas Valley water provider to tap groundwater in eastern Nevada basins, suspects these two bills are intended to give the state engineer the flexibility needed to allow the project to reach fruition.

GBWN says the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s $15 billion groundwater importation plan would pump 58 billion gallons of groundwater annually in a 300-mile pipeline to Las Vegas. They say the Bureau of Land Management has estimated the project would irreparably harm 305 springs, 112 miles of streams, 8,000 acres of wetlands, and 191,000 acres of shrub land habitat.

A federal judge has so far blocked the water grab from Spring, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys, saying the state engineer failed to establish any objective criteria for when mitigation — such as halting pumping — would have to be initiated. The engineer plans to appeal that ruling, but a change in state law could moot that.

GBWN questions the effectiveness of the two bills’ calls for monetary compensation and water replacement to make whole senior water rights owners.

Abby Johnson, GBWN’s president, says in an op-ed she has penned for area newspapers, “From ranchers to environmentalists, there is a consensus that we don’t need to fix what isn’t broken. Nevada water law has served Nevadans well for more than 100 years and continues to serve the public interest. That success, however, has stymied a select few.”

The select few, Johnson says, include real estate developers and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which has “not had much luck in recent years getting what they want under the current legal and regulatory framework. Why? Because what they want is to facilitate unsustainable over-pumping of the state’s fragile, limited groundwater resources.”

She adds, “ The problem –– for all of us –– is that they want water that either doesn’t exist or already belongs to someone else.”

Johnson further charges that the change in law would grant the state engineer “czar-like powers to unilaterally choose winners and losers without regard to senior water rights holders’ existing property rights … which would mire Nevada water rights owners and the state government in complex and unpredictable litigation for years.”

Assemblyman John Ellison of Elko released a statement saying the bills would constitute an unconstitutional “taking” of water rights and said a recent hearing saw a consensus of opposition from industry, ranchers and farmers and not one person testifying in support of either bill.

“We cannot allow an unelected bureaucrat to wield this much power over one of our state’s most precious resources. I’m reminded of the famous Mark Twain quote, ‘Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.’” Ellison said. “I will never stop fighting for the rights of senior property rights owners in my district and throughout Nevada.”

Though Twain probably never said that, it sounds like something he would say and is apropos to the current situation. AB 30 and AB51 need to be sent down the drain.

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: No need for murky water law changes


Nye County Sheriff says she won’t enforce background checks law on most private gun sales

NYE COUNTY, Nev. – The controversy continues weeks after Governor Steve Sisolak, D-Nev. signed a bill requiring background checks on most private party gun sales.  However, Nye County’s sheriff said Thursday that she will not enforce the Senate Bill 143 when it takes effect in about 10 years.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly sent a letter to Governor Sisolak saying in part:

“As sheriff of Nye County, I agree with Sheriff Watts: I will not participate in the enforcement of this new law…”

One of the supporters who helped with the efforts to pass the measure reacted to the sheriff’s letter during a taping of Politics Now.

Patrick Walker, Politics NOW host: “What do you think?”
Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress: “I think that’s hilarious, and they’re going to enforce it eventually. We’ll take it to the courts, that’s fine, but at the end of the day, it’s going to get enforced, whether they like it or not.”

Wherley’s decision is much like the sheriffs of Pershing, White Pine, and Eureka counties. They say the new law creates a burden on law enforcement officers.  Plus, they feel the citizens don’t want it.

“And vote no on question 1,” said a 2016 NRA political ad featuring Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen.

He like many other rural sheriffs were not on board with Senate Bill 143 also known as Question 1, so it failed in the rural counties. However, the massive amount of support Question 1 received in Clark County allowed the measure to pass by less than a percentage point.

Former Attorney General Adam Laxalt put the bill on hold due to a requirement that the FBI perform the background checks.

Last month, lawmakers re-wrote and passed a revised version of the bill.

“It’s time to get serious about gun violence,” said Anne Germain, 1 October survivor.  “It’s time to enact the measure that Nevadans voted for.”

“Prohibited persons do not subject themselves to background checks,” said Steve Johnston, a licensed firearms dealer. “This law will not change that.”

Both Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford, D-NV responded to Sheriff Wehrly’s letter, saying they look forward to working with the sheriffs to review ways to enforce the law.

“My office and that of the attorney general are aware of the letters from multiple rural Nevada sheriffs regarding SB143,” Gov. Sisolak said. “While the law will not take effect until January 2020, I look forward to working with Attorney General Ford and local law enforcement over the next several months to review ways to enforce this law, as is the case with all other Nevada laws that elected officers are sworn to uphold.”

“As Nevada’s top law enforcement officer, I have a constitutional obligation to uphold the laws of the state,” Ford said. “That includes a law passed in 2015 by then-Senate Majority Leader, Republican Michael Roberson, to prevent counties from passing their own ordinances that conflicted with state gun laws. Republican Governor Sandoval signed this bill into law. In 2016, voters approved a ballot question requiring background checks on most firearm transfers. Just last month, the Nevada Legislature passed a similar law that closed the background check loophole. That law is set to go into effect in January, 2020. Between now and the effective date, I look forward to sitting down with sheriffs and other local law enforcement officials to discuss the best way implement the laws we have sworn to uphold.”

8 News NOW reached out to the Nye County Sheriff’s office for a follow-up interview with Sheriff Wehrly or to ask further questions, but our calls went unreturned.

Source: Nye County Sheriff says she won’t enforce background checks law on most private gun sales

Why Trump must veto the federal land grab bill

The ongoing ‘War on the West’

– – Sunday, March 3, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Trump gave one of his most memorable and impactful speeches two weeks ago when he systematically dismantled the case for socialism. In that speech, he recalled the economic harm and destruction in nations that have adopted socialism, communism or Stalinism. “We will never be a socialist country,” Mr. Trump pledged in his speech in Florida.

Well said. And the first big step that Mr. Trump could take in preventing any slippery slide in that direction would be to veto the Land and Water Conservation Fund bill, which would enable the federal government to spend $9 billion to purchase millions of acres of private lands for “conservation.” What? Uncle Sam is going to take out of private hands millions more acres of America’s valuable land mass? This is the reverse of privatization — it is the nationalizing our nation’s farm land, forests, streams and pastures.

I am told by House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Gary Palmer that this land grab was a high priority of the anti-growth environmental groups that oppose further development in the Western states — where most of this land would be seized. Amazingly, a Republican-controlled Senate approved the federal land grab with little debate and the House under Nancy Pelosi snuck the bill through with virtually no debate at all. It’s a good bet almost none of the House or Senate members read this 700 page bill.

According to an analysis by Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, and an expert on natutral resources issues, the bill “permanently authorizes $9 billion per decade for the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire new federal and state lands.” My Heritage Foundation colleague Nick Loris reports that the Interior Department already has a $16 billion maintenance backlog on the lands the government already owns, but can’t take care of. At its core this legislation violates a central and common-sense principle of the Republican Party and its fight against the Democrats’ ongoing War on the West. That principle dating back to the Newt Gingrich years is simple: Congress shall allow no net loss of private property to the feds. For every acre the government plans to purchase or simple seize, it must sell off at least one acre in return.

The federal land holdings are already gargantuan with almost one-third owned by the government and with half of the land in the Western states owned by Uncle Sam. In Nevada and Utah, the government owns almost two-thirds of the land. President Obama nationalized millions of additional federal lands — and though Republicans whined, they did little to stop him.

How depressing it would be if Donald Trump — who has been rightly critical of the Obama land grabs, launched a new federal land purchasing program on his watch. One common justification for federal land ownership is to preserve these properties with national significance for future generations. But the federal government has proven over the last 30 years that it is an atrocious protector of our forests and wildlife. The feds have let millions of acres of federal lands be destroyed through awful land management and even “let it burn” policies during forest fires.

But there is another even more important reason Mr. Trump should veto this spending bill. It would take royalty payments from valuable leases for drilling for oil and gas and and use those funds for the government’s land purchasing scheme.

This would short-circuit a plan that Rep. Palmer has proposed. He smartly wants to devote potentially trillions of dollars raised from the leases to pay for a massive infrastructure bill. We need more roads, bridges, better ports, new pipelines and an ingenious way to pay for them is through leases. Two new studies from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity estimate that the net value of drilling and mining on federal lands and waters could reach $3 trillion to $5 trillion over the next 30 years. That money could pay for a lot of roads, airports, pipelines, bridges and fiber optic cables to connect America — and without having to charge taxpayers a single penny.

I would wager to bet that President Trump has no idea that this land socialism is tucked inside a bill that he is expected to sign. Don’t do it, Mr. President. Fight against land grab socialism and fund your coveted infrastructure plan by charging fair value leases on drilling and mining. If there were ever a bill that deserves Donald Trump’s first veto, it is this one.

Source: Why Trump must veto the federal land grab bill


Defiant U.S. sheriffs push gun sanctuaries, imitating liberals on immigration

by Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – A rapidly growing number of counties in at least four states are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, refusing to enforce gun-control laws that they consider to be infringements on the U.S. constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Organizers of the pro-gun sanctuaries admit they took the idea from liberals who have created immigration sanctuaries across the United States where local officials defy the Trump administration’s efforts to enforce tougher immigration laws.

Now local conservatives are rebelling against majority Democratic rule in the states. Elected sheriffs and county commissioners say they might allow some people deemed to be threats under “red flag” laws to keep their firearms. In states where the legal age for gun ownership is raised to 21, authorities in some jurisdictions could refuse to confiscate guns from 18- to 20-year-olds.

Democrats took control of state governments or widened leads in legislative chambers last November, then followed through on promises to enact gun control in response to an epidemic of mass shootings in public spaces, religious sites and schools.

Resistance to those laws is complicating Democratic efforts to enact gun control in Washington, Oregon, New Mexico and Illinois, even though the party holds the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature in all four states.

The sanctuary movement is exposing the rift between rural and urban America as much as the one between the Republican and Democratic parties, as small, conservative counties push back against statewide edicts passed by big-city politicians.

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace’s side arm in Grants, New Mexico, U.S., February 28, 2019. Picture taken February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adria Malcolm

“If they want to have their own laws, that’s fine. Don’t shove them on us down here,” said Dave Campbell, a member of the board of Effingham County, Illinois, about 215 miles (350 km) south of Chicago.

Backers of the sanctuary movement say they want to take it nationwide. Leaders in all four states where it has taken hold have formed a loose alliance, sometimes sharing strategies or texts of resolutions. They also say they are talking with like-minded activists in California, New York, Iowa and Idaho.

As it grows, the rebellion is setting up a potential clash between state and local officials.

In Washington, nearly 60 percent of the voters in November approved Initiative 1639, which raises the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle to 21, enhances background checks and increases the waiting period to buy such guns to 10 days.

The law is due to take effect in July, but sheriffs in more than half of Washington’s 39 counties have pledged not to enforce it, pro-gun activists say, and five counties have passed resolutions to the same effect.

Governor Jay Inslee has firmly backed I-1639 and Attorney General Bob Ferguson has advised sheriffs “they could be held liable” if they allow a dangerous person to acquire a firearm later used to do harm.

Sheriff Bob Songer of Klickitat County, population 22,000, called Ferguson’s warning a “bluff” and said he would not enforce I-1639 because he considered it unconstitutional.

“Unfortunately for the governor and the attorney general, they’re not my boss. My only boss is the people that elected me to office,” Songer said.

GAINING MOMENTUM

Support for Second Amendment sanctuaries has gained momentum in recent weeks, especially among county boards in New Mexico and Illinois.

Sixty-three counties or municipalities in Illinois have passed some form of a firearms sanctuary resolution and more are likely to, Campbell said.

Twenty-five of New Mexico’s 33 counties have passed resolutions to support sheriffs who refuse to enforce any firearms laws that they consider unconstitutional, according to the New Mexico Sheriffs Association. In some cases hundreds of pro-gun activists have packed county commissioner meetings.

In Oregon, voters in eight counties approved Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances last November that allow sheriffs to determine which state gun laws to enforce.

Organizers in Oregon plan to put even more defiant “sanctuary ordinance” measures on county ballots in 2020 that will direct their officials to resist state gun laws.

Such sanctuary resolutions could face legal challenges but backers say they have yet to face a lawsuit, in part because the Washington initiative has yet to take effect and the Illinois and New Mexico legislation has yet to pass.

The chief counsel for a leading U.S. gun-control group questioned the legality of the sanctuary movement, saying state legislatures make laws and courts interpret them, not sheriffs.

“It should not be up to individual sheriffs or police officers deciding which laws they personally like,” said Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “This attitude shows a disrespect for the way our system of government is supposed to operate.”

In New Mexico, the legislature is moving forward with a slate of gun-control bills. One would enhance background checks and another would create a red-flag law keeping guns out of the hands of people deemed dangerous by a judge.

The New Mexico Sheriffs Association is leading the resistance, saying the red-flag law would violate due process rights and was unnecessary given current statutes.

Tony Mace, sheriff of Cibola County and chairman of the statewide group, said the background check law would impose regulations on hunting buddies or competitive shooters every time they share guns, and he refuses to spend resources investigating such cases.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham accused the rebellious sheriffs of falsely promoting the idea that “someone is coming for their firearms,” saying none of the proposed laws infringe on Second Amendment rights.”It’s an exhausting charade,” Lujan Grisham said.

Source: Defiant U.S. sheriffs push gun sanctuaries, imitating liberals on immigration

Why a Republic and How do we Keep it?

By Doug Knowles ~ February 28th 2019

Why did our forefathers, give us a republic?

It was not easy for them to agree on the best form of government for the newly liberated nation.  They did much research, analysis, and debate to come to the final definition of our Constitutional Republic.

A large portion of the consideration was to the understanding of the failures of other efforts both currently and in history, and how those failures would be prevented.

The types of governments they had to consider at that time, were vulnerable to and ended in rebellion and chaos.  They looked at the failures of the ability of the ruled to rule themselves.  Their ultimate goal became the concept of Governoring by those that are being Governed.

Chaos, being the absolute enemy of any government, how could they keep chaos in check. Balance the powers of the governing and the governed.

From this, the concept of a Constitutional Republic was born.  A form of government for the people and by the people. Throughout history, the attempts at pure democracy also ultimately failed in chaos — the inability to control the leadership by the governed.

The separation of powers with checks and balances allowing for organized intervention when the balance of power or control becomes detrimental to the republic was what would be attempted.

The branches of Government were organized to define not only responsibility but also accountability.

The legislature would be the body by which laws and fine tuning of the government would take place as well as the control of the spending.

To control chaos, they created a House of Representatives and a Senate. Each state would have two senators elected by the people. Each state would have an equal number of representatives to the population divided into equal districts of the population.

This was done to balance the legislative branch of government, between the two types of representation — equality of the states and the separate equality of the population as a whole. Last but not least, the decisions approved by both bodies have the President as a check and balance to veto.

The executive branch was created to operate the functions of governing based on the rules put in place by the legislature. It includes a President and Vice President elected by the states through a process called the electoral college. The today electoral college consists of 538 electors each having a vote. An absolute majority of 270 electoral votes is required to determine the President and Vice President, team.

Electors are chosen by a method provided in each state’s constitution, and a number of electors equal to the representatives and senators combined representing the state in the legislature.

A national election for the President and Vice President team is held in each state. However, the members representing the state may be chosen by other methods.  It is presumed, that the votes of the electoral college members will represent the results of the state’s election but is not required; it is based upon each state’s constitution.

A third, branch of the government, the Judicial, was created to be an arbiter between not only the Executive and Legislative branches, but between the government and the people as well as between the people.

Power and Control

In our Constitutional Republic, anything not covered in the constitution is left to the states. However, the states must yield to the constitution of the republic in the constitution of the state.

As the States, Counties and Cities were formed; they were encouraged to follow a similar approach for the same reasons that a republic was chosen.

The Model from the republic was separately elected branches and something similar to a legislature or commission or council.  Most states have an Executive Branch; A Governor and a successor, a Judicial Branch; an Attorney General and a Legislature; Assembly and Senate.

At the county levels things change, the legislature is replaced by a council or commission, but in most cases, the judicial, and law enforcement are still elected by the people making them a separate branch elected by the people.

The county, being the closest government to the people, has the ultimate jurisdiction and constitutional protection for the people.

The sheriff has the authority to stand between the people and any of the governments any issue of natural rights protected or not by the constitution of the republic.

Why and How are we the people losing the Power and Control

The only way we as individuals lose Power and Control is either delegating it or allowing to be taken. The constitution protects your ability to vote in or out the folks that you are delegating the power and control to.

Simple process until we allow it to be changed.

So far we have described what is referred to as the Layer Cake Republic. Each layer of government has controls that define them, and each layer has power and controls that are defined by the layers above or below.

Then comes what we call the Marble Cake Republic. This concept describes what we are seeing happen in the structure of government today.

Examples that turn the Layer Cake Republics to Marble Cake Republics

Starting in the legislatures, we find that they are delegating the power and controls we have given them to executive branch bureaucracies. When this happens, we as voters lose our power and control as our elected officials have delegated those powers to non-elected bureaucrats.

Anytime one of our Powers and Controls gets delegated to a non-elected official we lose our power and control of our vote.

Now comes the regional Boards and Commissions.  An example would be a regional water board. The member cities agree to create a board/commission for the purpose of making decisions and rules about water issues. This transfers the power and control of an agency. They appoint representatives to the board from each member city/county.

There go the powers and control of electing those that represent your interests on those matters.

Bad court decisions applied globally are another culprit.

A court decision, Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), forced western states like here in Nevada to change how senators are elected and allocated to the counties.  The legislature in Nevada was originally set up like the federal government, with a senator allocated for each county and the assembly members elected by district based on population. Now the senators are determined by districts created based on population.

This change had the effect of giving a majority of senators and assemblymen to the largest populated county in the state.  My county here in NYE shares both an assemblyman and senator with five other counties districts.  The Rural counties are no longer represented fairly.

As California loses people, a Las Vegas suburb grows

 

HENDERSON, Nev.—For Karina Nasir, leaving California for this booming Las Vegas suburb was the chance to escape commutes up to three hours. For Bill Clune, it is saving nearly $5,000 a year on his water bill. For John Falkenthal, the opportunity to have some money left over every month after paying his mortgage.

“I never even considered leaving Southern California, but it took me every dime I had to buy a home there,” said the 54-year-old Mr. Falkenthal, a software engineer who moved to Henderson from San Diego last October.

California has been losing more residents than it gains from other states for years, even though its population of 40 million keeps growing from births and foreign immigration.

But the outflow has accelerated lately. Net migration to other parts of the U.S. from the nation’s largest state was more than 100,000 in 2015,  2016 and 2017, according to the Census Bureau. Total emigration from California to other states between 2006 and 2017 was 1.24 million, according to the Census Bureau, third highest in the nation behind only New York and Illinois.

For many former Californians, the high cost of living in the Golden State came to outweigh its balmy climate and booming economy. California has some of the highest utility bills and taxes in the country and the median home price soared 83% between 2012 and 2018, according to real-estate listings company Zillow Group Inc. Buying a house is unaffordable to all but 28% of the state’s population, according to an index by the California Association of Realtors that measures the percentage of people in the state who can afford to buy a single-family, median-priced home.

“They’re moving out of the state for less expensive housing,” said Mohamed Hassan, a real-estate broker in Woodland Hills, Calif., who helped three clients sell their homes last year to relocate elsewhere.

Ex-Californians have flocked to neighboring states like Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Arizona, which are among the fastest growing in the country. Few places have been as affected as Henderson, whose population surged 20% in the last decade to more than 300,000, pushing it past Reno to become Nevada’s second most populous city.

Fifty-six percent of new arrivals in Henderson between 2013 and 2017 were from California, according to Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles data. Home sales in many of the city’s master-planned communities have been dominated by migrants from the West.

a house with trees in the background: The MacDonald Highlands community of Henderson, Nev.© Roger Kisby for The Wall Street Journal The MacDonald Highlands community of Henderson, Nev.

At the 1,300-acre MacDonald Highlands in the dusty bluffs overlooking Las Vegas, Californians accounted for about 70% of purchases in 2018, compared with 30% 20 years ago, said Rich MacDonald, the developer. He said he began increasing the share of his marketing targeting Californians over the past three years after seeing the run-up in housing costs there.

“They’re tired of getting their pockets picked,” Mr. MacDonald said.

Mr. Falkenthal initially looked for a house in San Diego after selling his former home following a divorce three years ago. But his half of the proceeds, about $250,000, would have paid for only a small townhouse or condo in the coastal area where he lived, he said.

Instead, he bought a three-bedroom, two-story house in Henderson in October for $416,000.

“My quality of life went up the day I moved here,” said Mr. Falkenthal pointing to his pool table and his musical equipment.

Former Californians are finding plenty of familiar sights and people. The Oakland Raiders in January broke ground on a new headquarters and practice facility in Henderson for the team’s coming move to Las Vegas.

Mr. Clune, 62 years old, and his wife Cindy, 63, both retirees, persuaded their daughter and cousin, along with two other couples, to follow them to Henderson after they moved here three years ago. In addition to saving money, escaping the California traffic was a big draw. Mr. Clune said he used to spend as much as two hours each way commuting from his home in Temecula to his manufacturing business in North Hollywood.

“Here, they complain if you have to spend 30 minutes in traffic,” Mr. Clune said.

There are things he and his wife miss in California, though. “We have four grandkids there, and would love to see them more often,” he said. “And the beach is nice.”

Henderson got its start in World War II as a supplier of magnesium for munitions and airplane parts. As Las Vegas began to sprawl, it became known for master-planned communities such as Lake Las Vegas, where singer Celine Dion and other celebrities live.

Like the rest of Nevada, Henderson suffered as housing prices crashed during the recession a decade ago. But it came back with a vengeance as the Las Vegas metro economy rebounded, thanks in part to a tourism resurgence.

Now Henderson is feeling some growing pains from the California influx. Schools are becoming crowded. Enrollment in the Nevada State High School at Henderson rose to 350 from 200 three years ago and is at its full capacity, school officials say.

Two more campuses of the state charter high school system are in the works in Henderson, said John Hawk, chief operations officer for the school district.

Average housing prices in the Las Vegas metro area rose to $278,000 in 2019 from $120,000 in 2012, according to Zillow. The increase has pressured some locals looking to buy, but 47% of Vegas-area residents can still afford it, said Jeremy Aguero, principal of Nevada consulting firm Applied Analysis. That is down from 88% after the last recession, he said.

Not everyone is enamored of the California migration, though. Melissa Winders, a 48-year-old church ministry assistant, said she and her husband had a difficult time buying a home 12 years ago outside Henderson because of Californians outbidding them with all-cash offers. And she said she sees the same thing happening again.

“It does hurt the locals,” Ms. Winders said, “just because they don’t have the cash like the Californians do.”

Source ~ As California loses people, a Las Vegas suburb grows

9th Circuit gets another Trump-picked judge after White House bypasses consultation with Dems

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Trump’s nominee to be a judge on the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a party-line vote — and, in a historic snub, the White House ignored the input of the judge’s two Democratic home-state senators in the process.

The aggressive and unprecedented move to bypass the traditional “blue slip” consultation process and plow ahead with the confirmation comes as the Trump administration seeks to systematically erode left-wing dominance on the key appellate court, which Trump has called “disgraceful” and politically biased.

With a sprawling purview representing nine Western states, the appellate court has long been a thorn in the side of the Trump White House, with rulings against his travel ban policy and limits on funding to “sanctuary cities.” A lawsuit is currently pending before the 9th Circuit concerning Trump’s emergency declaration over border security — and Trump had sarcastically predicted that Democrats would purposefully file suit in the San Francisco-based appellate court to improve their odds.

The new 9th Circuit judge, Seattle attorney Eric Miller, was confirmed 53-46. Miller was one of the 51 federal judicial nominees left over from the previous Congress whom the White House re-nominated last month.

Miller, currently the appellate chairman of the high-powered law firm Perkins Coie, will replace Judge Richard Tallman, a Bill Clinton appointee who assumed senior status March 2018. Miller is the fifth former clerk to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas to be nominated by Trump to a federal appellate court, including embattled D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao.

Miller represented the government before the Supreme Court when he served from 2007 to 2012 as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. He was also Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with, from left, Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., McConnell, John Thune, R-S.D., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speakING to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with, from left, Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., McConnell, John Thune, R-S.D., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speakING to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Among those objecting to Miller’s nomination were Washington State’s two Democratic senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. Aides say Miller’s confirmation marks the first time the Senate has strayed from tradition and confirmed a judicial nominee over the dissent of both home-state senators.

“This is wrong. It is a dangerous road for the Senate to go down,” Murray said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “Confirming this 9th Circuit court nominee without the consent or true input of both home-state senators, and after a sham hearing, would be a dangerous first for this Senate.”

Miller was nominated last year but faced opposition from Democrats, in part over his views on issues of tribal sovereignty.

The White House has previously signaled it will also plow ahead with other 9th Circuit nominations in other states without using the “blue slip” consultation process. The Sacramento Bee reported last year that White House officials had been negotiating with California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris about 9th Circuit appointments, but the dialogue collapsed, and the White House proceeded to announce three nominees over their objections.

Those nominees — Patrick Bumatay, Daniel Collins and Kenneth Kiyul Lee (all from the Golden State, and reportedly all members of the conservative Federalist Society) — have yet to be confirmed.

GOP critics have branded the court the “Nutty 9th,” in part because many of its rulings have been overturned by the Supreme Court.

Last November, Chief Justice John Roberts openly disputed Trump’s comments that the nation has “Obama judges” and partisan hacks on the courts. The move marked a highly unusual challenge to the White House from a sitting Supreme Court justice, and prompted some observers to accuse Roberts of naivete.

“What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,” Roberts said in the head-turning statement.

But Trump, invoking the 9th Circuit, fired back immediately.

“Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country,” Trump tweeted.

“It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an ‘independent judiciary,’ but if it is why are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned,” Trump continued. “Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security — these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!”

Fox News’ Bill Mears and Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: 9th Circuit gets another Trump-picked judge after White House bypasses consultation with Dems

Federal Lawsuit Aims to Ban Brothels in Nevada

Monday, February 25th 2019, 3:23 PM PST

A lawsuit filed in federal court aims to end the legal brothel industry in the Silver State.

The lawsuit filed by Rebekah Charleston names Nevada and Governor Steve Sisolak as defendants.

It alleges legal brothels violates her constitutional rights and it seeks a federal injunction against brothels in Elko, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey and White Pine counties.

Last November Lyon County defeated a measure that would have banned brothels there by a wide margin.

In a statement Monday the Mustang Ranch called the lawsuit “a desperate act” and said in part “the female entrepreneurs in the industry pay their taxes, support their family, buy their first homes, and pay their way through college or other educational courses. In over 4,000 work card applications filed over the last 20 years by working professionals and employees at the Mustang, not one has turned up to be a victim of trafficking.”

Source: Federal Lawsuit Aims to Ban Brothels in Nevada

Pahrump Valley Electric Association loses Publics Confidence

Members of the Pahrump Valley Electric Association Co-op, have rallied to collect signatures to replace the current board of directors.

A page on Facebook has been created calling themselves  VEA Members for change. Several events to collect signatures from verified members of the Co-op have been scheduled. More information is available on the Facebook page

The effort, triggered by an announcement, that electric rates would be increasing 10%, and other services such as internet, television, and phone services are getting increases as well. In spite of the Co-op promising stable rates.

Early last year VEA completed a campaign to get enough votes from members to allow the sale of high voltage transmission line.  Along with those efforts, a promise to keep rates at the same level for the next ten years was offered in exchange for member votes.

Late last week Nye County Sheriffs Office served a search warrant on the headquarters of VEA. The Facebook video below was shared to explain the search and some of the circumstances behind it.  With a promise of a more detailed announcement later sometime in March.

The second video below from the Las Vegas Review-Journal was published as a rebuttal to the video from the NCSO.

Yesterday, NCSO responded with the third video, containing body camera footage of the event, as a response to VEA staff's accusations about the actual search.

Public Release-VEA Search Warrant Executed

Public Release-Nye County Sheriff's Office Personell executed a search warrant at ValleyElectric Association for administrative and financial records.

Posted by Nye County Sheriff's Office on Friday, February 22, 2019

LVRJ Report on Statement released by VEA Staff

NCSO RESPONDS TO VEA ALLEGATIONS

The Nye County Sheriff is responding to untruths published by Valley Electric Association which includes body camera footage of the warrant execution.

Posted by Nye County Sheriff's Office on Monday, February 25, 2019


Editorial: Give wild horse and burro plan a chance

by Thomas Mitchell

An unprecedented collaboration between various government agencies, animal welfare groups and ranchers has created a plan aimed at finally bringing the wild horse and burro population on the Western range under control.

The disparate groups include the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Farm Bureau, American Mustang Foundation, the Public Lands Council and others.

The plan calls for removing 15,000 to 20,000 wild horses a year from the range in the next three years, drastically increasing the use of temporary and permanent sterilization, moving horses to cheaper cost-effective private grazing land and promoting adoptions. The removal number would drop drastically as fertility control takes effect.

The Path Forward for Management of BLM’s Wild Horses & burros

 

The primary objective of this proposal is to develop an economically and environmentally viable, humane, non-lethal, and feasible long-term management plan for wild horses and burros in the American West. The current program is unsustainable and needs redirection.As of March, the Bureau of Land Management estimated that the population of wild horses and burros on federal lands is more than 81,951 — more than three times 26,690 the agency believes the range can sustain — and that population can grow 18 percent a year, the plan warns. Meanwhile, the BLM maintains 36,906 wild horses and burros in large pasture facilities, and 14,029 horses and burros in corral facilities at a cost of $50 million a year.

The plan calls from increasing the BLM’s total wild horse and burro management budget from the current $80 million a year to $130 million initially, but with cost declining as fertility control cuts population growth and horses and burros are adopted. The goal is to sterilize 90 percent of the animals on the range.

Nancy Perry, ASPCA’s senior vice president, told The Associated Press, “Not every advocate wants to engage with or work with those that they have been in battle with over the years. But BLM’s current polices are ineffective. If they continue on the road they’re on now, it means disaster.”

In fact, the AP reported that the plan has ignited fierce opposition from the American Wild Horse Campaign and Friends of Animals, groups that are already challenging in the courts earlier horse round-ups.

The American Wild Horse Campaign was quoted as saying, “The groups promoting this plan have been co-opted into supporting the livestock industry’s agenda for wild horses by the BLM’s vague promise to utilize undefined ‘population growth suppression’ methods. By mandating the removal of a startling 15,000 to 20,000 wild horses a year, the plan will result in the reduction of America’s wild herds to extinction levels.”

Despite the hysteria from the horse huggers, the plan is at least putting forward a rational effort to control the horse and burro population on the range. The plan estimates it will take 10 years to reach the population that the BLM says is sustainable. Currently the animals in many herd management areas are so overpopulated that they are starving and damaging water resources. Grazing land needed by cattle and other wild animals is depleted.

The plan also addresses the cost of keeping wild horses off the range.

“Every day, the BLM spends $1.82 per horse in long term holding pastures and an average of $4.99 per horse in corral facilities,” the plan notes. “A shortage of pasture facilities has forced the agency to use corral facilities for long term purposes — at more than twice the expense. … The agency estimates that each of those horses costs approximately $46,000 over the course of their lifetime. We propose that the BLM relocate corralled horses and burros, along with any additional removed horses and burros, to more cost-effective private pastures.”

The status quo is not acceptable. Give this plan a chance.

Wild horses being warehoused at Palomino Valley.
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: Give wild horse and burro plan a chance