Land And Water U.S.A.




Sunday, September 30, 2012

ABSTRACT/SYNOPSIS  AGENDA GAMES

How Today's High-Stakes Political Combat Works

©2012 Beverly K. Eakman

The thesis of the book is that Americans are being “played” in a high-stakes game to destabilize the nation. What foreign policy experts like to call “regime change” is coming to America, and the average constituent is caught up in a game of political maneuvers.  The author details techniques that are highly reminiscent of “superbly Stalinesque” schemes perfected in the old Soviet Union to extinguish “old loyalties” and replace them with “new thinking.” A tried and true formula of diversion, distraction and disinformation has been refined by a new breed called “Perception Managers” using 21st-century technological capabilities to mold public opinion.  Their employers and enablers include well-connected cabal of now-entrenched, if not exactly concealed, old Marxists, behavioral experts, world-government advocates (anti-nationalists), statists and global financiers, both inside and outside the United States. Among them are a plethora of “do-good” foundations, associations, institutes and centers-for-this-and-that. Most troubling is the United Nations—because America can no longer extricate herself from its tentacles. The goal, or overarching Agenda, is a redistributive, regimented and regulated U.S. The end-game is passed off as altruistic, but places a dictatorial elite at the apex of local, national and world affairs.  The end-game is a U-turn from the nation’s founding ideals, especially values such as self-reliance, self-determination, and rugged individualism—which already are characterized as “antisocial” and “dangerous.” Only sporadic infighting among the elite occasionally results in ejection from the inner circle—and vaunted status.  Lip-service is paid to “popular consensus,” but even that is being slowly eroded via campaigns of grueling harassment, bankrupting fines, unapproved regulatory demands and career-ending marginalization. 

The book encompasses nine forums—Health Care, Budget, National Security, Criminal Justice, Education, Political Campaigns, “Green” Energy, and Family Values.  In each forum, specific strategies—“games” or mini-agendas—are replicated under the noses of focus groups and committees tasked with assuring and protecting community input individual prerogatives. These “agenda games” are carefully scripted so as to play out advantageously for the political elite—both legislatively and in the media.  But they are recognizable if one knows what to look for.

Regardless of political party, every contender for public office or political appointment is being held hostage to a set of pre-determined outcomes.  The author provides an insider’s view as to why millions of citizens are frustrated in their attempts to engage in significant dialogue with their elected representatives. Little-understood terms like “compelling state interest” and “immunity of public officials” are defined and exposed as ruses to protect the elite from a backlash—both in the court of justice and in the court of public opinion. Specialized concepts—especially those associated with finance (“The Budget Game”) and surveillance (“The National Security Game”)—are clarified to accommodate both the professional and lay reader.

Monday, July 2, 2012

SOLUTIONS TO NON-HISTORIC FLOODING AND DRYING

Solutions to Non-Historic Flooding and Drying.......Along Colorado’s South Platte River Basin Provided by Land and Water USA (LAW USA) July 2, 2012 We propose two solutions to the non-historic flooding and drying along Colorado’s South Platte River Basin. First, our solution to non-historic drying acreage is to re-capture and apply approximate 40,000 acre feet water. Secondly, our solution to non-historic floods is to pump senior wells. To provide a perspective to these solutions, we offer a brief on Colorado water. Use of water in Colorado (The Colorado Doctrine) is governed by the “Prior Appropriation System”, i.e. first in time, first in right. “Prior Appropriation” is established when a person is the first to physically divert (also known as take) water from a stream (Surface Water) or underground aquifer (Ground Water), puts that water to beneficial use, then receives a court decree which verifies them as having priority (prior) status. As Decree Owner, they become the senior water right property holder with the right to use water within a defined "watershed". That water right, which consists of Surface and Ground, must be satisfied before any other water right established after that date in time - known as the "adjudication date". Surface and Ground Waters are decreed inseparable. Decree owners may (must) use both Surface and Ground water in combo, in balance, and for beneficial purpose. Decree owners may be a company (such as a Ditch Company) or an individual. An individual may be a stock holder to a company through ownership of Shares. The South Platte River is a “gaining stream” because of developed irrigation upstream. The first developments of South Platte Valley irrigation began south and west of Greeley, through the Larimer & Weld, Greeley # 2, Greeley # 3, Platte Valley, Farmers High Line, O’Brian, and High Line canals. Around 1879, this area became fully appropriated and “Senior.” Senior development of irrigation, through the inseparable Surface/Ground water combo, developed the river’s flow making it a “gaining” river. Without irrigation, the river’s seasonal snow melt would naturally runoff or flow intermittently, not unnaturally continuous. It would dry up past Greeley. Having the river go dry past Greeley is, however, normal. This is why Canals east of Greeley, beginning with the Bijou and Riverside, are “Junior” appropriations. Solution to alleviate non-historic drying: Colorado committed approximately 40,000 acre feet water to the South Platte River Implementation Recovery Program. Colorado’s withdrawal from this Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming agreement would return, again, approximately 40,000 acre feet to Colorado. We recommend that Colorado withdraw from this agreement, since it violates our Colorado Constitution. Initiated by Governor Romer and signed by Governor Owens in June 2006, both governors committed state assets (water) and indebted (financial commitment) Colorado without a vote of its citizenry. Federal government does not own water. States own water. The only way our federal government can obtain water is by purchase from Decree Owners. Thus, we must ask the questions. Whose water, also considered owner property, did the State appropriate to sell to the federal government? What water rights do “Junior” appropriations have when there’s no water in the river? Is our state denying “Senior” access to property to fulfill agreement commitments? If yes, does the state of Colorado intend to compensate “Senior’s” losses in investment, property, business, taxes and income accrued from 2006 forward? Without “Senior” irrigation development, the river would not cross Colorado’s border. The transporting of water takes river from historic intrastate into non-historic interstate status. This puts the agreement into a peculiar interpretation of the commerce clause. Where are the diversion points and transfers from one basin to another? Where is the volume of water measured? Is it measured as it crosses the state line? Is it measured from a point of diversion? And, finally, are catch drain return volumes included in the acre feet measurement? What does the “Memorandum of Understanding” say about Colorado giving water for allegedly Endangered Species? Solution to alleviate non-historic drying of acreage: The Sylvester farm, for example, has a seep ditch that has not quit flowing in over 140 years. The seep ditch was dug by a team of oxen to drain and to make swamp land productive before irrigation wells. This ever flowing seep ditch demonstrates, therefore, that the underground aquifer is as full as it was in the early 1800's. We recommend the pumping of all wells in the described “fully appropriated” part of the South Platte Valley. The water level in a well can be lowered when nearby wells withdraw too much water. The opposite occurs, i.e. water level rises when wells are shut off. In 2006, well pumping was curtailed, some wells were shut off and augmentation was set at 100%. This combination caused an over-saturation of the soil to the extent the aquifer water table raised to non-historic levels. Ground and Surface Water rights are inseparable and must be managed in balance. By ordering wells to stop pumping, judgment was made to separate Ground Water from Surface Water, and threw the South Platte Valley into the present non-historic imbalance. There’s a significant delayed response between pumping and stream flow down river. Therefore, pumping wells will not cause harm to lower end users during this or the following growing season. After implementing the withdrawal from the South Platte River Implementation Recovery and the pumping of the wells, we recommend Colorado revisit the South Platte River Compact Statute. Mutual consent of the signatory states of Colorado and Nebraska requires Colorado to “meet deliveries that would have been available at the time of Nebraska’s claim, June 14, 1897.” The compact recognizes that “variable climatic conditions, the regulation and administration of the stream in Colorado, and other causes, will produce diurnal and other unavoidable variations and fluctuations in the flow of the river at the Interstate Station, and it is agreed that, in the performance of the provisions of said paragraph two (2), minor or compensating irregularities and fluctuations in the flow at the Interstate Station shall be permitted.” Nowhere does the compact demand an exact predetermined acre feet delivery of Colorado’s water that could be construed as basis for a lawsuit by Nebraska. Finally, we feel confident that when activated, these solutions can resolve the non-historic flooding and drying along Colorado’s South Platte River Basin. www.LandAndWaterUSA.com Contact: (970) 284-6874 Chuck Sylvester C# (970) 430-0110 Roni Bell Sylvester C# (970) 430-0222

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

IMMIGRATION REFORM

1) Set up satellite offices to expedite the process of transitioning illegals into legal citizenship, with all the responsibilities and liabilities of being such. 2) Uphold and enforce existing laws. 3) Close and protect all U.S. borders from any illegal entry. The U.S. should NEVER engage in granting amnesty for the approximate 12 million (Mostly from Mexico) illegals residing here. Instead, the U.S. should give Illegal immigrants the opportunity to: a) Step forward and be identified without risk of arrest. Employers should assist them. b) Have a sponsor party such as their employer, consulate from their mother country, or a union that would agree to co-sign and thereon be held accountable for payment of services rendered – including medical and educational – for that person and person’s family. Cannot be a State or Federal Government agency. c) Learn conversational English within one year. d) File tax report and begin fulfilling tax obligations such as a payment plan for back taxes that may have accrued. e) Regardless of age, each illegal immigrant must show proof of application for Citizenship, and then get in line. f) Verify length of time in U.S. illegally. Anyone who cannot show proof of coming to America before June 2012 will be deported (forced to leave). Upon completion of requirements, each applicant would be issued a “Citizen Transition” card. A reasonable amount of time would be allowed to assure processing illegal immigrants, after which any person found without a Citizen Transition card would be deported (forced to leave). For illegal immigrants, education and learning how to do things lawfully, is the only real hope for a healthy future for them – and America. For this to fully work there must be participation expectation from their mother country until they become an American Citizen. Because the majority of illegal immigrants come from Mexico, the expectation from Mexico (as an example) would go as follows: For each illegal immigrant educated and provided medical care, the U.S. deserves compensation…whether barter for goods or real dollars. Mexico is short on money, but has an ample supply of oil. Therefore, the U.S. should barter an exchange of one (1) barrel of oil per each day an illegal receives education or medical. Provided by LAW USA www.LandandWaterUSA.com

Monday, May 14, 2012

THINKING ON THE FARM BILL

First, before one can even consider what the so-called Farm Bill budget is, one MUST peel off the major % - which goes to food stamps and school lunch programs. This portion should then be moved over into the welfare budget with the header: “Meals Program.” Now with numbers you can really break out and study, you’ll find hidden in the Farm Bill budget things (in addition to food stamps and lunch programs) – that have absolutely nothing to do with farming; things like Conservation Easements, Land Trusts, chronic entertaining of mandates such as NAIS, and regulation making with other agencies including DOI, DOE, NEA, DHHS, NOAA, Trade, FDA, EPA, and government subsidized organizations including the Nature Conservancy. After paring off each dollar that doesn’t go directly to “a farm,” you’ll learn that very little goes directly to “a farm” for boots on the ground Agricultural production. Now, you need to understand why what’s left does go to “a farm;” and that is to somewhat level the playing field between Mother Nature, volatile commodity markets and errant government employees in order that you – the consumer - won’t have to spend more than 8% of your discretionary income on steady, safe supplies of delicious locally grown food. There are many reasons why your food costs are rising, including the errant government employees choosing to subsidize alternative energy like ethanol, unfair trade practices, and the before-mentioned unnecessary, damaging regulations. Having little to do with food safety, these regulations are moreover made to diminish food production on American soil. Why? Government needs America’s land and water to collateralize loans from China (as one example). Some government employees have no compunction about leaving you- the consumer- at the mercy of un-friendly nations for food grown under the most un-sanitary conditions imaginable. With the demand for “Farmers Markets,” one would think government employees would be smart enough to do everything legal to ensure enough Agriculture Production land and water is left intact for the purpose of fulfilling this consumer demand, for it’s a given we cannot produce enough to feed the world from window sill gardens. As a consumer, I personally take every measure physically, financially and mentally possible, to educate people on these matters. It’s important! There’s a situation un-folding in Colorado today that illustrates where government and court decisions contribute towards the ruination of Ag production. You see some smart but evil people figured ways to manipulate water (rivers and aquifers) in order to fill ponds and reservoirs for urban development. They did so without honoring rights of beneficial water users. Now we have non-historic/man-made flooding on the South Platte Basin to such magnitude it’s destroying thousands of production acres, homes and waste treatment plants. And believe it! Government claims it doesn’t have the money to stop the flooding, initiate clean up, and restore the properties. Now if there’s ever a time Ag should be “subsidized,” one would think this is it! We have thousands of ill-informed people who un-wittingly participate in lies and alarmism generated by those engaged in shutting down America’s Ag Production. There’s lots of work to do providing truth and facts that will show the reality consequences of wrongful actions. After all, it’ll be smart consumers who will ultimately protect domestic Ag Production… to the extent Americans will never be vulnerable to un-friendly nations.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON

Lord Christopher Monckton, the man Al Gore is afraid to debate, comes to Denver!
Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/16/monckton-climate-change-video-goes-viral/
Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 14 February 1952) is a British politician, public speaker,[1] hereditary peer, and former newspaper editor. He used to be a member of the Conservative Party, but Monckton has been the Head of the Policy Unit for the UK Independence Party since November 2010. He was Deputy Leader of the Party under Lord Pearson of Rannoch. He served in Conservative Central Office and worked for Margaret Thatcher's Number 10 Policy Unit during the 1980s. He also worked for The Universe, The Sunday Telegraph, Today and Evening Standard newspapers...from Wikipedia

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Please note!
Admittance fee for Lord Christopher Monckton April 10th evening event undergone economy adjustment!
Lord Monckton loves visiting with people one on one. That's why we want to keep the April 10th event limited. But, because we recognize in this tough economy good people would loose the opportunity to enjoy his company, we've lowered the admittance fee to $125 each.
If, when you are at the event you're inclined to contribute more to help defray costs, that'd be wonderful, but isn't necessary.
We sincerely thank Chuck Sylvester and Steve Milloy for making Lord Monckton's appearance in Colorado possible.
Location of April 10th event,and updates on Lord Christopher Monckton's Tour of America will be posted on www.LandAndWaterUSA.com
______________________________________
INFORMATION

Steve Milloy http://junkscience.com/about-steve-milloy/ has arranged for Lord Christopher Monckton (Bio following.) to be one of the guest speakers at a special Agriculture Connection day at the Capital.
Lord Monckton, an internationally renowned climate skeptic, is scheduled to address the Colorado General Assembly on April 11, 2012.
To our knowledge, this will be the first time Lord Monckton has ever visited Colorado...possibly the Rocky Mountain Region.
In a completely separate event,Monckton will join supporters at a Private Gathering the evening of April 10th.
A $125 contribution will secure your one on one with Lord Monckton; and if you'd like, recognition onwww.LandAndWaterUSA.com
There are two ways you may confirm your attendance at the private gathering on April 10th:
Go online www.LandAndWaterUSA.com - or - Make out a check to JunkScience.Com and mail to: Land And Water USA P.O. Box 155
LaSalle, CO 80645
Please show your support for Colorado Agriculture by joining Chuck Sylvester (Retired GM of the National Western Livestock Show and Rodeo), Land and Water USA andJunkScience.com as supporters of this historical event.
For more information, please contact: Roni Bell Sylvester (970) 284-6874 -or- Chuck Sylvester (970) 430-0110

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NO to CONSERVATION EASEMENT INCENTIVE ACT H.R. 1964

Please vote NO on The new Conservation Easement Incentive Act (H.R. 1964)
Here's why:
Do Conservation Easement (C.E.) promoters ever address Federal Nexus and the process of registration and regulation of Land Trust (L.T.) agents?
Since most state's constitutions have stipulations against "perpetuities" (and regards C.E.'s North Dakota has 10 year limits, and Wyoming is working on 25 year), why "perpetuity" at all?
Which came first? IRS perpetuity requirement (which, as stated earlier violates most states constitutions) or Conservation Easements? And why?
Invites from C.E. or L.T. groups always claim, "Earn Money by protecting your working lands: How Conservations Easements can save your family's farm or ranch." Having attended some of these presentations, a constant is their painting of rosy pictures only. I've yet to hear a C.E. promoter state - or have available in writing - the reality of a down side.
Having once been in the world of public companies, I'm very cognizant of SEC regs and the integral requirement of keeping investors alerted to "absolute worse case scenarios." If a public company fails to do so, they're in violation. If C.E. and L.T. promoters are exempt from this responsibility, could someone please explain how and why.
Daily I read conversations between land planner attorneys from all over the U.S. - arguing about Conservation Easements and Land Trusts. If they don't understand them, no disrespect here, but then how can you?
And why would any person deliberately engage in an activity that's designed to purposely split their estate, cloud their title, and partner them into perpetuity with government employees?
Eventually, our tax codes will be changed. Then what? Won't that remove "taxes" - the C.E. promoters main persuasion tool?
More importantly and doable at present, is for you to focus on abolishing the Estate/Death Tax. That - would end the onerous problems surrounding C.E.'s and Land Trusts.
I urge you to please study the following - "Are you asking the right questions about C.E.'s" - and - "Taxes and Conservation Easements."
After studying this information, I can assure you you will be moved to vote NO.
Please kill HR 1964 now.
Thank you, Roni
_______________________________
Are You Asking the Right Questions about Conservation Easements or Purchased Development rights?
By Ric Frost - Former Policy Analyst New Mexico State University
Published October 2, 2003

In recent decades, Conservation Easements (CEs) and Purchased Development Rights (PDRs) have become a trendy way to acquire tax write-offs on private lands. Reasons as to why varies with each owner, but the common thread has been tax relief and to retain the land in agricultural production. Many of these landowners have placed portions, or all, of their private land holdings
into a split estate situation without fully understanding the impacts to themselves, or their community. This is largely due to not asking enough questions, or the right questions.
To truly understand the problem: land trusts come on to landowners and communities with the claim that they are working to protect rural agriculture from development pressures. Development is not the problem, as rural economic pressures come from:
Government Restrictions and Regulations,
Tax Exempt Non Government Organization Environmental Lawsuits,
Weather Fluctuations, Market Fluctuations,
Operators Being Price Takers Without Control of the Market Pricing
Structure (or the ability to pass on increased business costs, such as fuel
expenses), Subsidized Foreign Market Dumping Without Protection,
Influx of Wealthy Urbanites Competing for Control, Estate Taxes and Compliance Costs.
These cumulative pressures force the economic demise of rural economies, and create compromised-sellers ready for a quick economic fix, not willing sellers desiring to leave their cultural practices or heritage. So the question simply put is, do CEs protect agriculturalists from these real pressures as is claimed? Simply put, NO THEY DO NOT! The secondary question to this is, if land trusts are concerned with protecting agriculture, then what have they done to alleviate these real pressures?
Splitting the title of private land has other consequences as well. Some comments on CE and PDR impacts by financial officers:
"Owners give up management and control of the land" : Jimmy Hall, PCA, NM
"Severely diminished loan value of land" : John Johnson, First Western Bank, SD "CEs eliminate property loan value" : Dee Gidney, Texas Bank Ag Loans, TX
"Fragmentation of land title to deny future generations a full range of productive land use options" : David Guernsey, Alliance for America
Loan Value for Operational and Other Loans is Reduced up to 90 percent with an Easement
Interviews of land owners with CEs and PDRs have revealed some common misunderstandings held when they got involved. Some misconceptions are:
"Perpetual means 99 years." False: perpetual is forever.
"I retain full title to the land." False: title becomes split with easement holder.
"A CE (PDR) is the only way the land is managed to my intent." False: the easement holder and future easement holder can change management practices at any time, including development! Easement management loopholes also allow easement holders to sue the landowner and impose habitat restrictions.
"A CE (PDR) allows me to use the property as I always have." False: you give up management control of all easement property, forever!
"Property with a CE (PDR) will sell easy." False: a CE (PDR) may reduce the property value, and affect the willingness of financial institutions to loan money on a split title.
Economic impacts may also be encountered as the result of CEs and PDRs.
Some of the impacts already experienced by landowners and communities have been:
Reduced management options on taxed lands of landowner and heirs
Restrictions on farm and ranch management practices
Restrictions on chemicals used
Restrictions on seed and plant types
Restrictions on farm and ranch management practices
Reduction of income due to restrictions
Reduction in management options with land and business value decline, forcing owner into a "willing seller" status (actually a compromised seller)
Imposition of Environmental Assessment (EA) and Environmental Impact Study (EIS) expenses on land owner for restriction and management changes, especially if a Federal Nexus exists Legal and penalty expenses for CE and PDR violations (It's built into the fine print) Vulnerability from non-trust third party lawsuit - Litigation Exposure is in the Easement Act Decreased, or eliminated, production, translating into negative economic impacts to agriculture and related industries within community, county, and state. Recent reports indicate a majority of lands with CEs (PDRs) have not remained in agriculture, and are rendered to untaxed "open space" in the hands of the government, or
owned by wealthy non-agriculturalists comfortable with "open space" restricted lands without production.
Reduced Management Options on Taxed Lands of Landowner and Heirs
Reduction of Income due to Restrictions Reduction of Direct, Induced, and
Indirect Economic Benefits to all Related Industries within Community, County and State Reduction of County Tax Base Forcing Tax Increases and Reduction of County Services on Other Property Owners in County to Make Up Loss (a disproportionate burden)
Impacts resulting from violations were studied by the Land Trust Alliance and published in the Winter 2000, Vol. 19 #1 issue of Exchange. It revealed that the landowner always pays legal and penalty expenses for violations, as this condition is built into CE and PDR language. Average cost per case is $35,000 with range of $5,000 to $100,000. Of 498 violations reported, 22 were litigated, only one landowner won in court, but was still made to pay land trust expenses (the $100,000 case).
Another ill-understood impact of CEs and PDRs is that if there are any federal permits or expenditures involved, this creates a Federal Nexus. The landowner must now undergo a Section 7 consultation process for existing and new species, restriction and proposed management changes. The owner with a CE or PDR must also pay for all related expenses for studies.
One question that is typically missed is who is behind the push to get private property into a CE or PDR. One effort where CEs and PDRs are the centerpiece, is known as the Wildlands Project, a plan developed by Michael Soule, Dave Foreman (founder of the Earth First! movement), and Dr. Reed Noss of Idaho. The base concept is that wilderness areas need connecting corridors (without human activity) for the creatures to roam freely and keep the gene pool healthy. The key to establishing these corridors is CEs and PDRs. Dave Foreman, as quoted in Listening to the Land by Derrick Jensen (Sierra Club Books),
considers conservation easements as the keys to the corridors. He had this to say about conservation easements:
If we identify a ranch ... that's between two wilderness reserves, and we feel it will be necessary as a corridor, we can say to the rancher, "We don't want you to give up your ranch now, but let us put a conservation easement onyou can donate it in your will to this reserve system."
It is highly recommended you research the design and implications of the Wildlands Project. It is a plan to render 50 percent of the United States land area as unoccupied, or affected by human activity. Several trusts such as the Nature Conservancy, involved with developing CEs and PDRs
support and promote the Wildlands Project. A description of this plan and partial list of supporting organizations can be accessed at http://www.wildlandsprojectrevealed.org and
http://www.epi.freedom.org.
Questions landowners approached for CEs or PDRs should be asking themselves are:
What are CE (PDR) impacts to private landowners and communities?
Do the "benefits" offset the impacts? (Lost tax revenue and future earnings opportunities).
What are the other impacts and implications from imposing a CE (PDR) on private land?
(Federal Nexus and Section 7)
What is the long-range outcome from imposing a CE (PDR) on private landowners?
According to whom? (A tax-exempt organization?)
Would a limited liability company or incorporation better serve the landowner's tax needs, instead of a CE (PDR) that brings in tax-exempt third party and potential federal management?
Would it not be better to protect agriculture by:
Supporting reduced environmental restrictions on agricultural producers?
Stopping the dumping of foreign commodities on our markets by foreign
subsidized products, at prices lower than what our producers' cost of operation?
Making agriculture attractive as a viable business career and encouraging our youth to remain in agriculture as a productive and fulfilling life?
Questions State and County officials should be considering for CE regulation are:
License and Regulate Land Trust Agents Regulation by State Real Estate Commission (they are acting as land brokers)
Bonding Requirement on Each CE Transaction Equivalent to Value of
Encumbered Property Before Transaction
Renegotiation Language Built into CE Contract that Allows Grantee to
Renegotiate Every 5 Years (North Dakota has 10 year limits - no perpetuity allowed!)
If Renegotiations Cannot be Accomplished to Satisfaction of Landowner, the CE Contract Becomes Null and Void Land Trust pays back-taxes on land if this occurs, not landowner (don't forget that if a CE is ended, under current law the landowner pays the IRS the back-taxes back to the time of the origin of the CE, not the trust)
Land Trust Pays Taxable Value of Severed Development Right to County to Prevent Erosion of Tax Base as Community Infrastructure Demands Increase (check with county appraiser for development right tax values)
No CE Shall be Valid and Enforceable Unless the Limitations or Obligations Created by the Easement are Clearly Presented in Writing on the Face of Any Document Creating the CE Including Information From the UCEA 1981 (Uniform Conservation Easement Act) Water, Grazing, Farming and Mineral Rights Shall Not be Encumbered by Conditions or Restrictions Imposed or Agreed to in the CE Contract. Grantee (landowner) Retains Rights of Transfer on All Rights Not Expressly Identified in CE.
Local and State Legislation Expressly Prohibiting Transfer of CE to Other Parties Without Formal Written Consent of Landowner (a common practice of land trusts is to trade CEs without knowledge or consent of landowner)
Elimination of Third-party Enforcement Clause Language From CE Contracts - Must be State law! (Colorado apparently already has this law, and it has been upheld in one case)
Remember, restricting land through Conservation Easements in the name of "protecting agriculture" simply put, does not protect agriculture!
______________________________________________________________________
Taxes and Conservation Easements
By Jesse J. Richardson - Published January 12, 2011

Much of the perversity with respect to perpetual conservation easements comes from the tax breaks. The Internal Revenue Code/land use policy is
much more nuanced than democracy/voter fraud. The Internal Revenue Code fails to recognize the nuances of land use planning, and that's one of the
problems in a long list. Donating a conservation easement is much different than donating cash to a church or a painting to a museum.
In general, I think taxes are a horribly ineffective and inefficient way to try to influence policy. The exception would be Pigouvian taxes to internalize externalities (if we could accurately estimate the correct amount of tax to impose).
The home mortgage interest deduction is a horribly distorting tax that increases the cost of housing and exacerbates sprawl so, yes, I oppose it (although I admit that I exploit it as much as possible, just as I purchase state conservation income tax credits in Virginia).
As for the charitable deduction in general, it indeed distorts the market. As with just about everything, direct payments by the government to charitable organizations would be be effective and more efficient. However, I think the deduction for conservation easements (and for donations of land that is then taken off the market for development) is much, much worse than the general charitable deduction for several reasons. First, it's very easy to value a cash contribution, and relatively easy to value most other contributions that have a an easily ascertainable fair market value. Conservation easements are difficult to value.
Secondly, even if we can estimate the fair market value, we desire donations of conservation easements for the conservation valuincorrectly, that prevention of development always (or almost always) yields a net public benefit. In other words, the IRS seems to think that conservation easements make development magically disappear. They don't. The development occurs across the street or down the road, somewhere in the region. The accurately determine the net conservation benefit of the donation, we would have to calculate the conservation benefit of not development the easement parcel, then subtract the conservation detriment of development the alternative site, where the development actually occurs. We would also need to discount many donations, since development would not occur in many years, if at all, on many conservation easement properties.
Like other charitable contributions, the public pays more for the donations of high income earners than of lower income donees. However, this effect is more distorting in the conservation easement context, given the fact that we base the deduction on fair market value for development as opposed to conservation values. We pay high income taxpayers more for conservation easements, even though there is no evidence that the land of high income earners yields more conservation value than the land of low income earners. In fact, high income earners are probably less likely to develop their property than low income earners.
The Internal Revenue Code also requires that the easements be perpetual. Not sure how the IRS has the expertise to determine that perpetual easements are "better" than term easements. I know that most on this listserv adamantly believe that perpetual is better, but land use planning theory and practice says otherwise. Comprehensive plans look 20 years into the future. Land use (and nature) is dynamic, conservation easements are static. Perpetual conservation easements inhibit or prevent adaptive management. Effects of global climate change, as well as other dynamic changes in nature, indicate that perpetuity is probably not a good idea. However, the IRS says that it has to be perpetual.
Unique to charitable contributions, many donations of conservation easements result in net public detriment instead of public good. It just makes no sense to incentivize donations of perpetual conservation easements with income tax deductions or credits.
I could go on, but I'll leave it at this. I am consistent in my opposition to the use of the tax code to effect social policy, but I think that deductions and credits for conservation easements are even worse due to the dynamics of land use. In an ideal world, we would use the tax code to raise revenue only. The tax code at present doesn't even do that very well.
Jesse J. Richardson, Jr.
Associate Professor
Urban Affairs and Planning
Virginia Tech

Friday, January 27, 2012

WHO WOULD DRAW YOU TO ATTEND A GOOD NEIGHBOR FORUM?

Please note to your right, “Who would draw you to attend a Good Neighbor Forum?" In no particular order, here are some individuals who've already been suggested. If you want someone who's not here, please tell us about them in "Comments."


Barry Clausen
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Dr. Richard Lindzen
Steve Milloy
Dr. Willie Soon
Karen Budd Falen
Kevin Kemm
Sen.John Barrasso
Dr. Will Happer
Julie Carter
Gov. Mitt Romney
Dr. Scott Armstrong
Beverly Eakman
Dr. Robert Nagel
Senator Harrison Schmitt
Alan Caruba
Randy Yarbourgh
Mike Rosen
Glenn Beck
Dr. David Legates
Alex Jones
Speaker Newt Gingrich
Matt Briggs
Mychal Massie
Dr. Tim Ball
Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Dr.Stanley Monteith
John Stossel
Paul Driessen
Sen. Rick Santorum
Al Gore
David Mamet
Ron Arnold
Lord Christopher Monckton
Dr. Chris Essex
Dr. James Hansen
Chris Horner
Peter Boyles
Gov. Jan Brewer
Danny Martinez
Muncelle Mitchell
Ric Frost
Dr. Phil Jones
Sheriff Gil Gilbertson
Maureen Bader
Jon Caldera
Rep. Cory Gardner
Juan Ramirez
Benjamin Barr
Sheriff Richard Mack
Leon Coffee
Dr. Michael Mann
Ron Ewart
Harriet Hageman
Dr. Art Robinson
Jim Beers
Lawrence Kogan

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MONEY CORRUPTS

Money corrupts isn't just isolated in the climate arena..Here - - http://blogs.kansas.com/gov/2012/01/23/audit-finds-questionable-dealings-at-bioscience-authority/#disqus_thread - - certain Kansans are getting BIG BUCKS to *"allegedly" move Plumb Island - right into America's heartland, where, with one teensy escape of a little Hoof and Mouth they can eradicate the entire US Cattle Industry. Wonder if Wayne Pacelle, Ingrid Newkirk, Jon Marvel et al are playing behind the scenes in this insidious "alleged" move? This is not a claim, it is instead, a question....
Here's an update from a good friend in Kansas.
Roni
*I say "allegedly" because I've seen many a company stolen for the purpose of the thieves to use the product/perception whatever, to continue running around raising R & D $'s, under the auspices of "some day bringing it to market," while "personally pocketing" the $'s!

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Just more of the same ole corruption..
http://blogs.kansas.com/gov/2012/01/23/audit-finds-questionable-dealings-at-bioscience-authority/#disqus_thread

Doesn't surprise me one bit how about you? In the past 15 years I haven't seen much come out of that University that impressed me when it comes to livestock and agriculture leadership. KSU Alumni should be up in arms over the arrogance, ignorance and stupidity of this project in Kansas.

Mike Schultz

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Comment: Ecoterrorism at the highest level, and it's sanctioned by our agencies....RF

Friday, January 13, 2012

"FOIA" IS HOW THE CLIMATEGATE LEAKER...

By Steve Milloy

“FOIA” is how the Climategate leaker is called. The UK police and Justice Department are in a manhunt for “FOIA.” FOIA is the acronym for “Freedom of Information Act,” which allows the public access to government documents upon request. It has been hypothesized that the Climategate controversy was ignited by a FOIA request to the University of East Anglia for data related to the hockey stick.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLWKfU3YQgs&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012: THE MAKE OR BREAK FOR AMERICA

by Beverly Eakman


January 2, 2012

First, the “it” girl. Followed in frenzied succession by a series of “it” hairdos, “it” fashions, songs, foods, even exercise regimens. Now comes the “it” year. The instant when everything changes.
My first up-close-and-personal experience with the “it” phenomenon occurred while sitting with a neighbor in a cafĂ© over lunch the week before Christmas. Though this neighbor was never a close friend, given our wildly divergent political views, in America a long-time acquaintance can still be called a pal, of sorts, if not necessarily a confidante.
Then an odd thing happened—as if 2011 couldn’t get more bizarre than it already was, politically speaking. As the year chugged to a close, the “resident Commie”—that’s what many said behind the woman’s back, inasmuch as she once openly admitted to being a Marxist in those hippie-dippy, protest days of our 1960s youth—confided, to my astonishment, that she was leaving the “happening” lifestyle of our home in the Nation’s Capital for supposedly fairer fields in the Great Southwest.
“But why?” I asked, perplexed.
Because, she said, she “didn’t like the turn the lifestyle has taken here,” and she saw “no change in sight, regardless of who was elected.”
Blissfully unaware, apparently, that the District of Columbia and its surrounding bedroom communities exemplified the very lifestyle for which she had once demonstrated, marched and chanted slogans during our mutual coming- of-age years, which was the only time that really mattered back then, given that ours was on the cusp of becoming the “It Generation,” the Ones Who Changed the World—the disappointed, graying visage looking at me from across the table came as something of a shock. Instead of being a smug representative of the “It” generation, there was only “Me.”
Despite her multiple PhDs in cutting-edge disciplines such as women’s studies, political “science” and environmentalism, in my neighbor’s mind, the “Its” had accomplished next to nothing, leaving the “Me Generation” in charge.
Like most young people our age, I was never part of the “It” crowd, having stupidly declared a major for a financially responsible (and maybe even emotionally satisfying) career, looked around for (and gratefully found) Mr. Right, rewarded my parents with respectable, if not exactly stellar, grades and “ate my peas,” so to speak. Thus, I was mightily disturbed to hear that now, nearing retirement age, anybody at all was actually in charge, much less this “Me Generation.”
“It” was all very confusing… When did “It” turn into “Me”?
Was it merely “all so simple then,” as per the song from the tear-jerker film, The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford? Well, from the way my neighbor was now shaking her graying head, things certainly hadn’t turned out as expected: “Too many rules…,” she complained. “And surveillance cameras—can you believe it, @#$% surveillance EVERYWHERE?
Can’t even take your dog for a romp in the woods without some @#$% know-it-all pig snooping around making sure you have a baggie clipped to your belt! And no trash cans! All these taxes, and not a single @#$% garbage bin to dump your baggie full of droppings! Do they really think people want to walk for an hour in the great, green outdoors with a bag full of p_ _p in their hands? And speaking of TAXES! For what? The lights go out every time we have a little rain! I mean, this isn’t 1940! Aren’t we due a few upgrades for all this money we’re shelling out? And my prescriptions….”
By now neighbor’s voice had reached enough pitch to draw attention: “Do you believe that just two weeks after being hospitalized for a hysterectomy, my pharmacy gets grief from the frigging government over a two-bit bottle of pain medication! I mean, you’d think I was asking for crack, when all I wanted was a refill that my doctor had already approved!”
I smiled. In commiseration…among other things….
Any conservative voter looking around for a pep talk right about now either hasn’t got a clue as to the morass this nation has fallen into or—more likely—simply hasn’t the stomach for a fight and isn’t up to the job.
Deep down, all the “Me’s”out there, kids like me who were never “Its,” already know what needs to be done: that we need to throw a national hissy-fit. So, what’s stopping us?
The answer lies somewhere between what our highly educated betters call “peer conditioning” (a.k.a. “the herd mentality”)—a comfort zone we’ve all grown rather accustomed to, with “a little help from our friends” in the mental-hygiene movement—coupled to just the right combination of fatalism mixed with “Stockholm Syndrome.” That’s all our nation’s therapeutic propagandists, or maybe “minders” is the more appropriate term, need to keep us “in our place.” Your counselor (a.k.a. “therapist”) is your friend…just like the nice policeman of our youth used to be, an amiable being that can be trusted to tell us what to do, what to think, and who our candidates will be.
We have rules, after all, and we’re all equal under those rules…some, of course, more so than others (for openers, start with the forthcoming movie of Marion Barry, ruefully known locally and nationally as Washington, DC’s mayor-for-life, a man who still pontificates from his perch on the Washington’s city council, after being caught red-handed in a hotel room high on the most potent of illicit drugs—and with a prostitute, too).
The fact is, if you need to ask how to proceed in Election Year 2012, you don’t really want to know. Whether one wishes to admit it or not, the 60s and 70s-era classmates we knew variously as communists, Marxists, Leninists, Stalinists or just plain agitators and upstarts—were frequently connected in some way, knowingly or unwittingly, to the likes of priggish riffraff such as A. S. Neill (author of one of the first radical-chic texts on schooling); “campus organizers” like Herbert Marcuse (author of the free-love/anti-marriage tome Eros and Civilization); and rabble-rousing entertainers like the open Communist, Pete Seeger, or mega-vocalist Joan Baez; not to mention any one of dozens of professional manipulators posing as researchers, all disciples of old masters like Kurt Lewin, Emma Goldman, and Max Kallmann, now conveniently “lost” to a rewritten history. These pros knew exactly when and how to incite a riot.
In a twist of irony, it occurred to me, listening to my neighbor railing over lunch, that many of the superstars-cum-protestors we once so admired— unlike today’s glitterati (Christine Aguilera and Britney Spears come to mind) really could sing, and in perfect pitch, too—only now they would not be allowed to perform the songs of their heyday. Take one old favorite—“Stewball,” about a racehorse that died on the race track: PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has become so rabid that it would literally get poor Joan Baez booed off the stage before she’d strummed the first chord.
And woe be unto Simon & Garfunkel! Had the duo been starting out in the 21st century, they could kiss “Bridge Over Troubled Water” goodbye, what with its biblical allusions. As for the iconic 60s anthem “Michael”: Ya gotta be kidding, right? With its land of “milk and honey on the other side”? Only its ongoing popularity with die-hard aging Boomers has kept the song from the fate of “Dixie.” Speaking of which: the great Joan Baez, fantastic set of pipes or not, would never have made it past the auditorium door with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The word “Dixie,” in any context, is so politically incorrect today that it cannot be uttered.
The terms “husband,” “wife,” “fiancĂ©,” and “spouse”are next on the chopping block; even TV ads refer to couples only as “partners,” giving the boot to the old Christmas standby, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”
What, then, of the “Me Generation”: those hopelessly nerdy outcasts of the 60s who were never “brave” enough, or “popular” enough, or self-serving enough to qualify for the “It” crowd?
Yet, back in the 60s we still were in the majority—on our way to independence, self-sufficiency, self-reliance—in no way outnumbered by the lefties. Unfortunately, press accounts pretended otherwise, so we didn’t know the truth. "Changes"… "they were a-comin," we were told.
So, we, the true “resisters,” if one could have called us that, threw in the towel instead throwing down the gauntlet.
Fast-forward 45 years: My neighbor and I, far-leftie and right-winger, together bewail a Transportation Security Administration “playing dress-up in uniforms and badges they did not earn,” as noted by Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn on December 15, the same week she introduced the Stop TSA’s Reach In Policy (STRIP) Act. A pretentious “security” force that has yet to catch a single terrorist, as per an editorial in The Washington Times, among other places. A likely precursor to Hitler’s SS, or Stalin’s KGB, or the dreaded Stasi, that our parents, dubbed the “Greatest Generation,” worked so tirelessly to ensure wouldn’t happen here. Now, “traffic”-cum-surveillance cameras are the stuff of my neighbor’s nightmares.
She will not escape them in the Great Southwest—no matter whether Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is elected. The Parties and the Big Media have decided who shall be our candidates— no matter who, technically, sits atop the heap.
Unless.
Unless we do the unexpected. Unless we turn off the TV. Unless we stay focused and on-message, stop relying on the mostly phony polls, and re-acquaint ourselves with constitutional principles instead of feel-good promises.
Because this time the message we send is more important than the man (or woman) we “elect.” The game is this: If a Democrat wins, the nation moves sharply Left, no matter who promises what. If one of the “preferred” Republicans win (Executive or Legislative branch), then things will go along pretty much as they have, ever leftward, but more slowly, until the Democrats prevail again, in due course, at which point another sharp left turn can be expected, on and on, endlessly—until anything remotely patriotic, traditional or “conservative” is kaput.
Men and women of principle have to throw a serious monkey wrench into this little setup, and it has to be NOW.
So, turn off the Tube. Get your act together. Get serious. Just for one year: 2012.
Because this is really “It”!

Beverly K. Eakman began her career as a teacher in 1968. She left to become a scientific writer for a NASA contractor. She went on to serve as a former speechwriter for the Voice of America and for the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger when he chaired the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. She was an editor and writer for the U.S. Dept. of Justice before retiring from federal government. She is now author of six books covering education policy, mental-health issues, data-trafficking and political strategy with dozens of keynote speeches, feature articles and op-eds to her credit. Her most recent works include A Common Sense Platform for the 21st Century and the 2011 Edition of her ever-popular seminar manual, How To Counter Group Manipulation Tactics (Midnight Whistler Publishers, 2010 and 2011, respectively).

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