Natalie Johnson reports: The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that landowners can appeal to a federal court when the government subjects their property to wetlands
regulations requiring additional permits.
“For more than 40 years, millions of landowners nationwide have had no meaningful way to challenge wrongful application of the federal Clean Water Act to their land.”
The unanimous ruling determined that the Clean Water Act “imposes substantial criminal and civil penalties for discharging any pollutant into waters” covered by federal regulations without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“They have been put at the mercy of the government because land covered by the Act is subject to complete federal control. This victory guarantees the rights of millions of property owners.”
— Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper
The decision could weaken the Obama administration’s environmental agenda.
The Corps is in charge of assessing whether a landowner’s property contains “waters of the United States” or “navigable waters,” which are protected under the Clean Water Act. Read the rest of this entry »
Kimberley A. Strassel writes: When a government official (think Hillary Clinton) uses a private email account for government work (think Hillary Clinton) and then doesn’t turn over records (think Hillary Clinton), the public has to wonder why. For an example of that why, consider Thursday’s federal-court subpoena of Phillip North.
“Government workers don’t use private email because it is ‘convenient.’ They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal.”
The North story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it is a useful tale for clarifying exactly why we have federal records and sunshine laws. You see, government workers don’t use private email because it is “convenient.” They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal. Let’s be clear about that.
“Records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to ‘pre-emptively’ veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits.”
Mr. North was, until a few years ago, a biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, based in Alaska. Around 2005 he became enmeshed in reviewing the Pebble Partnership’s proposal to develop a mine there. Mr. North has openly admitted that he was opposed to this idea early on, and he is entitled to his opinion. Still, as a government employee his first duty is to follow the law.
“But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in.”
In the normal course of law, Pebble would file for permits and the Army Corps of Engineers would get the first say over approval. The EPA has a secondary role. But records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to “pre-emptively” veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits. But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in. Read the rest of this entry »
The idiot ideologues who have been dismantling the American identity will be stopped only if we fight back
And not just abolished it neutrally, but replaced it with something intended to be understood as its opposite: an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” (or, in South Dakota, “Native Americans Day”). It amounts to declaring officially — or rather, implying officially, since it would not be safe for politicians to say openly what the theorists of this deconstruction say — that our American society, which Europeans built on the heels of Columbus’s voyage, is fundamentally wrong and needs to be replaced by its “Other.”
“…The political classes in Seattle and Minneapolis evidently are among those who are prone to hate it. They have joined hands with the activists who make it their profession to deconstruct America’s history and identity. They tell us that we should celebrate the Native Americans as co-shapers of our society, in place of celebrating the actual shapers — or more accurately, transmitters — of our society.”
Shame on Seattle. And on Minneapolis. And on South Dakota. Shame on their politicians and elites, who did the deed. Shame on their citizens, who voted for the politicians and who have not stood up to them when they proceeded to thumb their noses at America.
Is there any honor in all this shame? Yes. Honor to the Italian Americans of Seattle! They alone stood up to this travesty.
But, honestly, even they deserve just a half-honor. They did not stand up as Americans; they stood up as another ethnic minority, demanding appreciation for the special Italian contribution to America through their native son Columbus. They tried to be broad-minded about it and agree to have an Indigenous Peoples’ Day too, as long as they kept Columbus Day for themselves. But they asked nothing to honor the roots and identity of America per se. That, apparently, would have required too much courage. Only minority groups are supposed to need recognition nowadays.
It means that no one stood up for what Columbus Day is actually about. No one. Read the rest of this entry »
A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.
“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals.”
– John R. Lott, Crime Prevention Research Center
The study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.
Six states don’t require a permit for legal gun owners to conceal their weapons, and Lott notes those states have some of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.
“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals,” said the center’s president, John R. Lott, a Fox News contributor. “Some criminals stop committing crimes, others move on to crimes in which they don’t come into contact with victims and others actually move to areas where they have less fear of being confronted by armed victims.”
Increasing gun ownership, litigation and new state laws have all contributed to the rise in concealed carry permits. In March, Illinois became the 50th state to begin issuing concealed weapons permits. But the cost and other requirements for obtaining the permits varies greatly, from South Dakota, where a permit requires $10, a background check and no training, to Illinois, where the cost of obtaining a permit comes to more than $600 when the fee and cost of training programs are taken into account. Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Mike Flynn writes: In even a neutral political environment, the 2014 midterms were going to be a challenge for Senate Democrats. They are defending 21 seats to the GOP’s 15, with only two of the Republican seats at any kind of risk of flipping to the Democrats. Moreover, Democrats were defending many freshman Senators who first won office in in Republican states in Obama’s wave election in 2008.
This isn’t a neutral political environment, however. Obama’s low approval ratings, the continued fallout over ObamaCare, current Democrat happy-talk notwithstanding, and the sluggish economy have provided Republicans with an enthusiasm and turnout advantage that could match 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
For NRO, Jillian Kay Melchior reports: The shutdown resulted in 7.88 million fewer visitors at national parks, costing the economy $414 million, according to a news release from the Department of Interior that reads more like an accusation than an apology.
“While the Department of the Interior was eager to broadcast the costs to the economy, it’s been much more sheepish about releasing public records regarding its shutdown behavior…”
Though you wouldn’t know it from the news release, the National Park Service made the shutdown vastly more painful than it needed to be. For example, in South Dakota, the federal government not only blocked the entrance to Mount Rushmore but also cordoned off roadside spots that might have offered tourists a nice view. It closed the World War II memorial to even visiting veterans. And the Park Service demanded state-run sites on federal lands close their doors to the public.
“…it would be extremely embarrassing if the Department of Interior were forced to admit it purposefully made things worse…”
Upstate New York – A 21-year-old driver slammed into a herd of cattle crossing the road near a farm in the town of Wawayanda. Witnesses claimed the female behind the wheel was texting and driving at the time of impact but the she claims she was simply looking down to check an incoming call.
Mike Hosking, owner of the farm, said “If you don’t see 50 cows in the road, you’re doing something (you shouldn’t be doing),” according to the Times Herald-Record.
Cows Against Texting While Driving
When all was said and done, the driver struck about a half dozen cows, one of which was sent five feet in the air. She also nearly hit one of the farm hands who was signaling her to stop. 3 of the cows were seriously injured and required emergency surgery. Only two are expected to survive.
Hosking said he’ll be monitoring the injured cows closely in the days ahead.
In the fall of 2011, National Public Radio (an entity subsidized by American tax dollars) aired a three-part series that accused the state government of South Dakota of kidnapping America Indian children in order to place them in foster care, all in an effort to win federal dollars. Last month, NPR’s ombudsman blistered the network for their phony story. Last weekend, NPR’s own media reporter, Bob Garfield, took the network to task.