Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ 3)

In the article, which in my view is not terribly well written, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ 3) speaks to "Right wing extremists” (who he remarkably compares to the Orlando Pulse shooter) and the clear and present danger (my words) to public lands, pointing to the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon at the beginning of this year.  Mr. Grijalva is the US House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member. 

“The growing threat of violence and terrorism by anti-government groups is a threat that demands timely congressional attention and action, yet the Republican leadership has willfully ignored that threat in the wake of a deadly attack this weekend in Orlando,” he said. “Americans are against demanding action from Congress to prevent dangerous people from accessing deadly weapons to kill innocent Americans.” 

And he conflates firearms ownership with public land use and feckless Republicans and “Right wing extremists” a.k.a. terrorists.  That is an awfully large brush he tars many, many people with, especially in the West.  

Also, I suspect perhaps Mr. Grijalva may be wanting to hitch a ride on the Orlando shooting; in the words of Rahm Emanuel, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” 

The feds own 30% of the land in the US, most of it out west.  The article also does not mention changes that have occurred in public land use policy in the last 30 years, and how that may be factoring into lives of private citizens who had prior land use agreements with the government either unilaterally rescinded or modified class-action. 

Also, brutish administrative rule making by the EPA, effective August 28, 2015, is suddenly vastly redefining what landowners can do on their own property.  This is evidenced by the illegal (my opinion) rule making from the Obama EPA creatively “reinterpreting” the Clean Water Act away from statutory language of “navigable waterways” to the new “WOTUS” or Waters of the US, where ponds, lakes, wadis, depressions or ravines where water may temporary collect or flow, temporary wetlands and any stream, culvert natural or manmade, that the EPA deems would have an effect on downstream navigable waters (on both public land and private property).   

This reinterpretation morphing the Clean Water Act into WOTUS pretty much encompasses the whole country in what amounts to a large land grab from landowners and the States who thought they were in charge of managing their lands (why, yes, you my buy your ‘own' property, but you first must solicit from Glorious Bureaucracy permission to, you know, do anything with it - and the State DNR’s, well, you report now to us).  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on June 1st that private landowners have standing and can join the lawsuit by the States to challenge the legality of this particular expansion of Federal oversight.  

And notably nowhere in the article was any mention of the public land adjoining Mexico, where ,for one example, the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is posted as off limits to US Citizens, as control has effectively been ceded to the Mexican Drug Cartels.  Other areas include Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest.  

Where is Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva’s commentary on this public land use issue?  Where is the Department of Interior?  

If Mr. Grijalva wants to explore the origins of the problem with “Right wing extremists,” I suggest he and his power hungry colleagues (in both parties) take a long, sober look in the mirror.  

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