My article, KBRA – The Trap is Set, caught (pun intended) some heat and lots of comments, too.
Please know that I chose my words carefully and I never accused anyone of being “a rat” but I did set up an illustration to point out that the federal government treats most of us like rats.
Apparently, the big boys in their white, lab-coats like having us run in our cages. They want to control every aspect of our lives:
Last Friday, I was on Bill Meyer’s Radio Show discussing the KBRA/KHSA agreements. Bill asked Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams, former Shasta Nation Vice Chairman Gary Lake, and myself to provide insight to the apparent support for dam removal from Oregon’s only Republican House member Greg Walden.
Unfortunately for Rep. Walden, he can’t have it both ways. He can’t pretend to work for rural American values while flushing our property rights and precious fresh-water resources into the Salty Pacific.
Not only does the KBRA and KHSA take water resources from Klamath and Siskiyou counties and the Rogue Valley, but it sets precedence throughout the United States. These measures, if successful, will instruct others on how to successfully use political power to transfer private wealth into collective interests' pockets. The KBRA/KHSA represents the classic "Divide and Conquer" paradigm: tribes against agriculture, project irrigators against non-project irrigators, wind and solar interests against ratepayers, business cronyism against taxpayers, and finally, the Endangered Species Act against the rest of us.
The KBRA media blitz gets a second wind
Currently, a grossly misguided dam removal agenda is sweeping across the US. In my backyard, Klamath County, Oregon we have a classic example. So-called stakeholders want politicians to give agriculture subsidized energy, give tribal interests 100,000 acres of US forest land while detonating 4 hydroelectric dams and giving the bill to taxpayers and utility rate payers. The dams are located in Southern Oregon and Northern California and the agreements forged by this cabal are known as the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreements (KBRA).
The KBRA proponent’s siren song for “water certainty" has reached a fevered pitch. The legislative clock is running out of time and the special interest stakeholders are desperate to sway public opinion in favor of destroying four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.
The KBRA is really no different than the false promises of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Bernie offers Utopia - free college, food-stamps, housing, even the kitchen-sink. This type of despotic lie has plagued democracies throughout history. It is not new.
The EPA’s recent actions prove beyond any doubt that the organization is a rogue agency operating in a capricious and unlawful manner and it ought to be defunded.
Last month’s 3 million gallon spill of toxic mine waste into the Animas River is a perfect example of the EPA’s gross negligence and derogation of the rule of law. The Aug. 5 mine breach, sent millions of gallons of bright yellow, heavy-metal-contaminated water and sediment gushing into the Animas River.
That waste then flowed into the San Juan River, and eventually flowed into New Mexico and poured into Utah's Lake Powell.
President Obama has both eyes focused on completing his “fundamental transformation” of America. As a statist, he believes in the power and authority of the government to regulate and control every aspect of our lives.
Even Alexander Hamilton, an ardent proponent of federal control, recognized the pitfalls of power concentrated in government.
“The instruments by which it must act are either the authority of the laws or force. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government, there is an end to liberty!
The Federal Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payment schemes are not in the best long-term interests of Oregon's citizens. I have attended countless budget meetings where hard-working folks strive to manage their limited resources. However, the hard-truth is that relying on these monies will only place us on the same street corner next year, with the same cardboard sign, asking once again, “Please, Sir, More…”
All of these federal disbursement models are outdated, whimsically amended, and hobbled by bureaucratic ineptitude. They are built on a mishmash of legislative actions from self-interested parties that are forged deep within the marbled halls of our nation’s distant capital. Worse yet, most federal actions are rank with either executive or legislative over-reach or pregnant with deplorable raids on the US Treasury.
The Consensus Agenda
Today's regulatory enterprise is following the same pattern as Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman during the American Civil War. Sherman’s strategy was to gather livestock and crop production data from the Federal Census of 1860 to effectively lead his troops through areas where his army could do the most damage. Today, the EPA, USFS, USGS, NOAA, BOR, FWS, BLM and IRS are following the same pattern.
They are amassing enormous volumes of data which enables them to push their agenda driven preferences onto the American scene. The problem isn’t the data collection per se. The problem is the agenda driven data interpretation which happens in the secret recesses of their bureaucracies.
The data being stockpiled and the interpretations being propagated are uniquely prejudiced. Isolated results are paired with faulty scientific modeling and rigged with invalid assumptions which has led to the advancement of consensus as truth.
Walk into any Republican meeting and you see it - folks 50 years and older (like Diane and myself) who are primarily concerned with the future for their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, many young people (those same kids and grandkids) are too busy, too apathetic or simply don't see how politics affects them and so they tend not to participate in such events.
I want to challenge young people - even though you may be skiing in Bend or going to college in Ashland, and even if you feel that the issues you hear on the news don't affect you, they do and they will. I wager that most young people saw Bundy Ranch on the news but didn't see how a grandfatherly rancher's fight in Nevada affects them, and so brushed it off.
A few days ago, however, I recorded a podcast in which we discussed the change to the BLM's mission statement that's disturbing and chilling. Right on the heels of that recording, I saw in the Bend Bulletin that the BLM is removing more than 500 geocaches from Bend-area wilderness, and then that the National Park Service is restricting personal recording devices. My kids geocache, and hike and fish and bike and love the wonderful playground that Oregon has to offer. But for how long will they be allowed to enjoy so-called public lands?
A lot of people are asking about my stance on the Bundy Ranch issue in Clark County, Nevada, where the BLM and citizens recently had a stand-off over cattle grazing rights. Many people are pointing out that Cliven Bundy has not paid his fees to the Federal government, and that may be true, although there are several arguments to both sides of the issue. (I'll put some sources at the bottom of this post).
However, what is not contentious is the atrocious treatment of private citizens by the BLM, the bullying of rural Americans by radical environmentalists and the overwhelming injustice that is Federal monopoly of our public lands.
It seems clear that we've reached a point in our history when private citizens and small-business owners are increasingly forced to make public scenes just to survive. Because of the labyrinth of laws, the convoluted nature of crony capitalism and the politically-motivated restrictions on our ways of life, the West in particular is gasping for air and some folks feel, as Mr. Bundy does, that resistance is the only option.
I received a note from a supporter that I would like to share.
This was written by someone who has worked tirelessly for public access to the mountains and forests that our tax dollars pay to keep open. The anger and frustration voiced by this man and others is what keeps me motivated to make change for Oregonians. This individual will not be satisfied with empty rhetoric or false promises. For too long we have shrugged aside do-nothing representation and allowed too many excuses about Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
It's time to start dismantling the Federal tyranny over our open places and lifestyles.