This is something to watch.
See Fox News’ video with Larry Prat
This is something to watch.
See Fox News’ video with Larry Prat
August 30, 2011
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God; and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” —John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. July 16, 1814
Last week I wrote about the stories of two Oklahoma residents, David McLain and Margaret Snow, and their respective experiences with FEMA and the map modernization program (Map Mod) Margaret had no idea her property had been re-designated at all and David caught the FEMA/Oklahoma Water Resources Board in the act and challenged them. His property remains safely listed as high and dry. Margaret’s property (located no where near water and previously was classified as “up land”) remains in the newly designated flood zone and has subsequently lost about half of its value.
Map Mod have transitioned into what FEMA calls Risk Map. The Risk Map program provides tools and incentives for communities to focus more on reducing risk which you can bet translates into more areas being required to pay for flood insurance and more areas where development is off limits or severely restricted. You can check and see if your area has been remapped (DFIRM Digital Flood Insurance Map) by zip code at FEMA’s website
Why is this happening? In a nutshell-the National Flood Insurance Program NFIP (administered by FEMA) is in debt to the tune of about 20 billion dollars due to Hurricane Katrina, Rita and other storms and FEMA is including property in flood zones that have no reason being there in order to gain funds in order to pay this debt. Property owners in certain flood zones are practically required to buy flood insurance. If you have or want a loan backed by the federal government and your property is in a flood zone- you must buy flood insurance from FEMA. Otherwise, many are being pressured to buy it.
FEMA was in trouble before Katrina and Rita though.
After Katrina and Rita struck in 2005, the NFIP was more or less insolvent, without the capacity to pay the huge volume of claims those hurricanes created. Congress reacted by increasing the NFIP’s borrowing ability from the U.S. Treasury more than 13-fold, to a level of nearly $21 billion. link
FEMA Map Modernization Status OKLAHOMA
Here is a story published today about the National Flood Insurance Program’s insolvency;
Congress authorized FEMA to update the nation’s flood maps making them digital and other improvements however in 2006 FEMA issued a “mid course adjustment” which means FEMA basically said ‘Hey. We are going to do this Map Modernization thing a little differently’ What they have done differently is causing lots of problems for property owners.
“In August and September 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused unprecedented destruction to property along the Gulf Coast, resulting in billions of dollars of damage claims to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” GAO 2006
The FEMA flood maps determine who must buy insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. The money collected from the NFIP goes to paying off the FEMA administered NFIP’s debt. You do the math.
It’s no secret anyways, FEMA freely admits that part of this new approach is prompted by the burden of debt carried from other disasters.
“The escalating cost of emergency relief aid has prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to focus its priorities toward mitigation. This is a dramatic shift from FEMA’s traditional charter of responding to disasters and being prepared to respond.” The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan
We are essentially being taxed to pay for other people’s losses. The reason that this is considered necessary now is because “climate change” is a certainty and the federal government expects the unprecedented disasters of recent years to continue. Redistribution of wealth is the accepted manner in which to deal with these certainties reminiscent of the thinking behind nationalized health care. This is also known as “legalized plunder“.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) administers the NFIP in cooperation with FEMA and acts as the State Floodplain Board. The Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act requires the OWRB to establish regulations to assist floodplain boards in mapping floodplains and 100-year flood elevations in Oklahoma. link
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is in charge of all Flood Plain Management as authorized by the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act.(Title 82, O. S. 2001, §1601-1618)
All NFIP participating communities must have a floodplain management plan which follows the dictates of FEMA.
“The Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act, effective May 13, 1980, and revised and updated in 2001, 2002, and 2004, enables Oklahoma communities to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” link
This means that if your community is participating in the NFIP, then your communities development must conform to FEMA’s regulations and land use policies
The federal government has no authority to control local land use policy but with the lure of federal funds and the threat of withholding federal funds in the event of a true disaster, FEMA wahoo’s your local government to do their bidding.
“Since the Federal Government does not have land use authority, the NFIP is based on the Federal government’s power to spend under the Constitution rather than any Federal authority to regulate land use.”
“Under the NFIP regulations, participating NFIP communities are required to regulate all development in SFHAs. [Special Flood Hazard Areas]”
Similarly, the state passes the buck to it’s agencies to implement unpopular growth limitations on local development plans. Water management agencies are empowered by the state to regulate population growth and development.
“The State of Oklahoma does not have adopted ordinances regulating areas of population growth or future development per se. Oklahoma agencies representing the state under authority granted to them by the legislation adopt rules/regulations regarding Storm Water Management or Stream Water Management”
The first thing you ought to know is that floodplain management is more about protecting the environment from you, than protecting you from the environment. (More about Sustainable Development here) As we know, Oklahoma’s high percentage of private property ownership is considered to be contrary to sustainable development. (Private Property Ownership in Oklahoma Barrier to Sustainable Development)
It has been this way for some time. As far back as 1996, floodplain management has incorporated conservation into its management duties.
OKLAHOMA’S COMPREHENSIVE WETLANDS CONSERVATION PLAN
“To integrate wetlands conservation with Oklahoma’s flood plain management program and create more wetland greenbelt/riparian areas.”
Oklahoma has a “net gain” policy for state owned wetlands and a “no net loss” policy for “wetlands”on state funded projects.
“To establish a net gain wetlands policy for state-owned lands and a no net loss policy on state funded projects to encourage the restoration, enhancement, and creation of wetlands.”
Incorporating wetlands construction or enhancement in urban/suburban areas as part of greenbelts, riparian zones, parks, and stormwater management systems is encouraged.
Certified Floodplain Managers
Members of Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association have the acronym CFM by their names. That means Certified Floodplain Manager.
So when you see CFM by your floodplain managers’ name…
Members of Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association:
Bill Smith, PE, CFM, Team Leader; Amy Brandley, CFM, Volunteers Coordinator. Team Captains: Phillip Beauchamp, CFM, Gavin Brady, CFM, Dan Carey, CFM, Jessica Yeager, CFM, Leslie Lewis,
CFM, Barend Meiling, PE, CFM, Omeed Mollaian, PE, CFM, Ken Morris, CFM, Bill Robison, PE, CFM, Carolyn Schultz, CFM, Ellen Stevens, PhD, PE, CFM, Ana Stagg, CFM, Laura Story, Anna Waggoner, CFM, Ruth Walters, CFM, Clark Williams, CFM link
. . .understand that CFM (Certified Floodplain Manager) means ASFPM certified floodplain manager. And if your floodplain manager is ASFPM certified, you need to be checking your city ordinances for “No Adverse Impact” floodplain management techniques.
**Here is a list of all state Floodplain Managers. Look for your county and see if they have a “CFM” by their name.**
If you want to know more about the role and duties of an Oklahoma Floodplain Manager-click the pic.
“The ASFPM CFM Program recognizes individuals who become certified, who pass the ASFPM exam, or an exam prepared ASFPM chapters that certify floodplain managers.” link
The National Association of Flood Plain Managers or ASFPM is a non-governmental organization (meaning unelected and not officially a part of government). As with many non-government agencies, ASFPM seeks to be extremely influential in policy making. It seems that they have met their goal.
ASFPM is part of a 6 NGO partnership that includes
•The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
•The Coastal States Organization (CSO), The National Association of Counties (NACo),
•the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and
•The American Planning Association (APA).)
As I mentioned in my previous post—–The ASFPM has some very interesting new management techniques that really got my attention while researching water management issues a few months ago. This new water management technique is called No Adverse Impact or NAI.
ASFPM says that NO ADVERSE IMPACT is “A New Direction in Floodplain Management Consistent with the Concept of Sustainable Development”
A new direction?
It is only as new as the 1987 Brundtland Report which is the basis for No Adverse Impact. (More about Sustainable Development here)
We all understand that we cannot do anything on or with our property (or our rights) that will harm the rights of another.
The No Adverse Impact approach begins with a solid and lawful premise, that our right to swing our fists stops where the nose of our neighbor begins, but then twists that premise by the manner in which what constitutes an adverse impact in determined.
“The No Adverse impact philosophy can shape the default management criteria: a community develops and adopts a comprehensive plan to manage development that identifies acceptable levels of impact, specifies appropriate measures to mitigate those adverse impacts, and establishes a plan for implementation.” link
So the community defines what constitutes an adverse impact and as we have seen time and again, the “community” is a group of people who are usually manipulated into “consensus” by community organizers to meet sustainable development goals. But don’t be distracted from the truth. No one, no group can define and thus take away your God given rights. This is a dangerous road to travel and one that the Founders of this country explicitly avoided. We are NOT a democracy.
It is often said that we are a nation of laws, not men. This is what protects us from an arbitrary and capricious government. Laws restrain men but in ASFPM’s view men should have the ability to restrain law.
This is the problem; what constitutes an “adverse impact” under ASFPM’s plan, is defined by the community not the law.
FEMA, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and Oklahoma Floodplain Managers have adopted the ASFPM’s No Adverse Impact management technique and it is being implemented in this state to the detriment of Oklahoma land owners.
ASFPMA and FEMA-working ten regions
The term favored by FEMA is “wise use” but you will also see “no adverse imapct” used as well. Both share the same problem-who defines what “wise use” or “no adverse impact” means?
Now “Hazard Mitigation” for FEMA has broadened considerably and it dovetails nicely with conservation efforts. Now it is all about prevention of future disasters. One great way to prevent property losses is to makes sure there is no property to lose in the first place.
“Property Acquisition –This is the State’s most favored, and usually most cost effective, voluntary option because the people and property are totally and permanently removed from the path of flooding and danger.” (page 39)
Oklahoma’s declares in the state’s 2011 Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan, that FEMA’s mission is our mission.
The FEMA mission is: “Reduce the loss of life and property and protect our institution from all hazards by leading and supporting the nation in a comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.”
The Oklahoma State Hazard Mitigation Plan was written following this same precept. FEMA programs were reviewed and were integrated with the state mitigation planning process. The State of Oklahoma Hazard Mitigation Planning process aligns exactly with FEMA programs (page 33)
This is because in order for Oklahoma to qualify for these federal program, the state must conform.
“This Plan [The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan]is designed to fulfill the requirementsof the following programs available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)”
♦ Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM);
♦ Post-disaster assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP);
♦ Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA),
♦ Community Rating System Floodplain Management Planning (CRS);
♦ Severe Repetitive Loss Program (SRL);
♦ Repetitive Flood Claims Program (RFC).
I wish I had good news for you new floodplain dwellers but I don’t . Although the plan is technically voluntary, there is a catch or two.
“The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Participation in NFIP by municipalities, counties, and tribal organizations is voluntary” (2011 Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan)
If a community does not participate residents cannot get flood insurance and in the event a presidential disaster declaration is made, non participating communities will not be eligible for federal assistance. Source:About the National Flood Insurance Program: Community Participation
What makes it worse is that when a community agrees to participate in the NFIP they have to accept all of the regulations on development that FEMA imposes. Those regulations are detrimental to property values. Often property owners just give up in disgust and leave. It is apparent that FEMA and those at the local level charged with implementing FEMA’s directives have rolled sustainable development principles into hazard mitigation policy.
Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability” (FEMA 364) illustrates how communities, whether planning for hazard mitigation before a disaster or initiating recovery planning after a disaster, can integrate the concepts and principles of sustainable development into each phase of mitigation planning. FEMA 364 also shows how disaster resistance can be a catalyst to help communities incorporate sustainable development practices into their day-to-day planning and development functions.
FEMA and the NFIP creating “Economic Dead Zones”
“The National Flood Insurance Program is, in both its design and execution, the worst federal program that I have encountered in my time in the United States House of Representatives.
Once vibrant neighborhoods…in which flood insurance is mandated are effectively economic dead zones, because this program provides perverse disincentives to home ownership and to home improvement, which, over decades have effectively turned whole swaths of formerly vibrant urban neighborhoods into virtual ghost towns. …communities across America pay this mandatory flood tax and see no benefit… —U.S. Representative Brian Higgins (D) New York, April 20, 2009 at a congressional hearing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood map modernization program
If you want to know more, I recommend scanning over The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan
It is a daunting read but I found the first several pages manages to encapsulate enough information to give a good idea of what is going on. You can also search the document for key words like “FEMA”, “sustainable”, “all-hazards”, “land-use”, “relocation” or any other keyword that strikes your fancy.
For an excellent overview and more information on FEMA’s re-mapping efforts, see OK-SAFE’s recent newsletter
Has Your Non-flooding Property Been Re-Mapped as Flood Zone?
If you have had your non-flooding property (in Oklahoma) designated as flood zone/flood plain by either the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and/or FEMA (or FIMA), the Attorney General of Oklahoma may be interested in your situation.
Two people have agreed to be the contact persons for this effort. Please have your paperwork together and organized, including any notes you may have taken about your conversations with OWRB, FEMA, or city officials. Get names, titles, and contact information from everyone you have spoken with regarding this flood zone designation. Include any before and after property assessments you may have.
This past Sunday I had the honor of visiting with Amanda Teegarden and Don Wyatt on their weekly internet radio program “America in the Balance” about this issue.
My advice; Ask questions, demand answers and know your rights!
May 9, 2011
If you are looking for some clarity regarding the confusing cacophony surrounding “Sustainability” efforts in Oklahoma, you should read this.
In 2004 The Oklahoma Academy set their sights on “Oklahoma’s Environment: Pursuing A Responsible Balance”, a 208 page compilation of essays, opinions and ideas given by experts covering sustainability issues mostly in the context of gaining acceptance for Sustainable Development practices.
The Oklahoma Academy report addresses the definition of sustainability in the second essay, Moving Toward Sustainable Progress by Will Focht
The most commonly cited definition of sustainability was offered in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The Brundtland Commission is the unofficial name of the World Commission on Environment and Development, which was chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland , a former prime minister of Norway. Created as an independent commission in response to a United Nations General Assembly resolution of 1983, the body was given the general mandate of proposing ways in which the international community could achieve sustainable development that would both protect the environment and fulfill the aspirations of the poorer countries for economic development. From Answers.com
For the truth about Sustainable Development, I recommend Understanding Sustainable Development For the People and their Public Officials by Freedoms Advocates
Sustainable Development has become a “buzz” term that refers to a political agenda, rather than an objectively sustainable form of development. Specifically, it refers to an initiative of the United Nations (U.N.) called Sustainable Development Agenda 21. Sustainable Development Agenda 21 is a comprehensive statement of a political ideology that is being progressively infused into every level of government in America.
Further into the Oklahoma Academy report, the problem of private land ownership is addressed. The problem is, according to this report, is that too much of it is privately owned in Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma, which ranked number forty-two in 1995 among the fifty states in percentage of land owned by Federal and State governments (National Wilderness Institute 1995). Only eight states had more land under private ownership than Oklahoma. “
Beth Schaefer Caniglia, Assistant Professor of Environmental Sociology at Oklahoma State University and member of the Board for the Oklahoma Sustainability Network gives her advice to overcoming the “long-standing sentiments regarding private property rights as symbols for democracy and freedom” held by Oklahomans.
“Many landowners resist the perceived slippery slope of conservation mandates and retreat behind constitutional takings provisions, . . .”
The Constitution protects property rights mainly through the Fifth Amendment’s Takings or Just Compensation Clause: ‘‘nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.’’
Drawing upon her experience as a “consultant for the NGO Steering Committee to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development”, Ms. Caniglia offers some suggestions to overcome the problems that arise from the friction between sustainable development goals and the rights of property owners.
“These recommendations flow from my scholarly and professional experience as an environmental sociologist studying sustainable development policy making at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and in various sectors of society. They are also informed by my involvement in Oklahoma sustainability-related organizations and initiatives”
Oklahoma, according to Ms. Caniglia, need some work on its “cultural framework”, noting that
“Recent decades have witnessed increasingly heated debate over efforts designed to harmonize environmental protection mandates with private property rights.”
Ms. Caniglia comforts sustainable development enthusiast by pointing out that,
“Oklahoma is not unique in its need to reconcile sustainable ecological management with private property rights, since Texas, Nebraska and Indiana, among others have even higher percentages of land under private ownership.”
Specifically she recommends work in three areas to aid in adjusting Oklahoma’s faulty cultural framework.
Recommendation #1:Facilitate Place-based Environmental Education for All Citizens in Oklahoma
Recommendation #2: Increase the Scope and Authority of Citizen Engagement in the Creation of Oklahoma Sustainable Land Management Policies
Recommendation #3: Calibrate the Creation of Collaborative Comprehensive Plans and Implementation of Land Use Standards
But education alone is not enough…
“Unfortunately, education alone is not enough to overcome the adversarial character that often pervades discussions of private property rights and sustainable ecosystem management trade-offs, . . .” (See some of Ms. Caniglia’s other work below)
Understand that “citizen engagement” is not for the purpose of giving you a voice-you already have one. It’s called the US Constitution which guarantees your natural right to own your property. This is the law (bastardized though it has been)
Citizen engagement is to give them the chance to change your mind.
“There is an oft-heard adage that planning is neither a highly respected nor a politically powerful field in our state. Such an argument deserves consideration, since comprehensive planning is cited by the World Health Organization, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 as central to the achievement of sustainable development, including public health, profitable industrial growth, and ecosystem integrity.”
Ms. Caniglia correctly recognizes that due to the high percentage of private property ownership in the great State of Oklahoma, there is no way around the citizens.
“With the ownership of our lands predominately private, we can best foster sustainable ecosystem management by engaging our landowners in the process.”
Ms. Caniglia proposes to “surmount the radical flanks of private property rights” by educating, visioning, dialoging, and facilitating the people of Oklahoma into a more “balanced” perspective of their natural and legal right to ownership of property which really means behaviorally engineering you into fatally compromising an essential human right that undergirds all others-the right to work, acquire and own and use and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
“Given that citizen landowners continue to be engaged in the comprehensive planning process more than many other citizen engagement opportunities, they should be a focus of our efforts to harmonize private property interests with sustainable land management.”
Here is what the proponents of sustainable development always seem to miss;
“One of the most fundamental requirements of a capitalist economic system—and one of the most misunderstood concepts—is a strong system of property rights. For decades social critics in the United States and throughout the Western world have complained that “property” rights too often take precedence over “human” rights, with the result that people are treated unequally and have unequal opportunities. Inequality exists in any society. But the purported conflict between property rights and human rights is a mirage. Property rights are human rights.”
I encourage everyone to read Ms. Caniglia’s short article. It begins on page 74 of the Oklahoma Academy’s Town Hall publication of 2004.
You may also want to become familiar with the Oklahoma Academy as they are involved in many interesting projects aimed at policy development and have been since the 1980’s.
The Oklahoma Academy’s paper came out in 2004. Overall, I would bet that they are pleased with the progress on “sustainability” since then. The federal government is working hand in glove with non-government organizations all over the state giving the whole movement in Oklahoma a real boost.
Here is just one example;
ACOG Association of Central Oklahoma Governments
ACOG is one of 11 Councils of Governments in the State of Oklahoma, and one of several hundred planning organizations across the country.
Board of Directors
“. . .regional sustainability planning is ACOG’s latest project!”
OKC Downtown Monthly – October 2010
. . It takes brave, fearless leaders to tread into the collaborative world of sustainability planning. One such remarkable group is the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG). ACOG is a voluntary association of city, town and county governments within the central Oklahoma area, including Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian and Logan Counties
. . .This kind of coordination among so many member municipalities is really very cool. Also, ACOG’s structure, functions and level of partner participation make it the perfect mechanism for coordinating regional sustainability efforts. And regional sustainability planning is ACOG’s latest project!
. . .In the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress provided a total of $150 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a Sustainable Communities Initiative.
. . .But how do we get some of that $100 million, you might ask? Well, ACOG is writing a grant application, of course! ACOG’s regional sustainability planning will mean that citizens from ACOG member cities such as Luther, Jones, Nichols Hills, Oklahoma City, Moore, Slaughterville and Newcastle will leave their comfortable city “bubble” to meet and greet citizens from other municipalities to collaborate in developing sustainable plans to benefit us all.
. . .ACOG’s work on these planning efforts folds perfectly into the ongoing efforts of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network and our municipal sustainability commissions.
ACOG is a member of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC)
“The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism.”
WASHINGTON, DC (October 14, 2010) – The National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), Smart Growth America (SGA), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) congratulate the cities, towns, communities and regions which today were awarded Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
One last thought.
“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.
Other works of Ms Caniglia;
Informal Alliances vs. Institutional Ties: The Effect of Elite Alliances on Environmental TSMO Networks http://www.mobilization.sdsu.edu/articleabstracts/061caniglia.html
“Caniglia found that transnational environmental organizations with informal ties to international agencies played more central roles in transnational social movement networks by helping channel information and pressure among disconnected social actors.”
Globalization and Resistance: Transnational Dimensions of Social Movements
(As a contributor)
“HIPAA is often described as a privacy rule. It is not. In fact, HIPAA is a disclosure regulation, and it has effectively dismantled the longstanding moral and legal tradition of patient confidentiality.”
. . .In effect, HIPAA functions as a Trojan horse in breaching the edifice of medical confidentiality: it erodes ethics and lulls doctors and patients into thinking they have privacy protections.”
Dec 19, 2010
The Washington Post reports today;
An environmental group that analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States, including Bethesda and Washington, found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen that was made famous by the film “Erin Brockovich.”
. . .The new study found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 out of 35 cities sampled. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the goal proposed in California.
The highest levels were found in Norman, Okla., where the water contained more than 200 times the California goal. Locally, Bethesda and Washington each had levels of 0.19 parts per billion, more than three times the California goal.
Of course the answer proposed to this frightening problem is….wait for it-
In a written statement, the group’s senior director, Ann Mason, said that “even the most sophisticated analytical methods used by EPA are not able to detect the extremely low levels that California wants to establish.”
The group supports a “uniform, national standard for hexavalent chromium in drinking water, based on sound science,” Mason wrote. “Research is underway to provide EPA with critical data that will allow for a more informed risk assessment of hexavalent chromium. This data will be complete by mid-2011. Given the potential impact on drinking water supplies, EPA should incorporate this data in its assessment.”
Yep. More federal control via the EPA
I live in Norman and even know people in the Water Dept. You can bet I will be talking to them and my representatives and I am quite sure others will be doing the same. We can test our water and clean it up best right here in our state without giving more power to the EPA over issues better solved locally.
The more I study what is going on with the whole sustainability, comprehensive social engineering, save-the-world-through-city-planning nonsense, the madder I get but I don’t think running around hollering “Git Off My Land!” is going to help much.
I doubt that this is an uncommon reaction for those who are still attached to their life, liberty and property and the gut reaction to the efforts of regulatory zealots is entirely a natural one.
“As originally interpreted, the United States Constitution denied government the right to regulate and control the citizen in the use of his property. Over the years the commerce clause and the general welfare clause have been so interpreted as to permit both the state and Federal governments to regiment labor, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, communication, finance and all other forms of economic activity. Today, if there is any limit on the power of government to regulate, no one knows what that limit is.” (H. Verlan Andersen, Many are Called But Few are Chosen)
I have found a wonderful, well researched website that I’d like to share-The Antiplanner.
This site shares the all-American independent and free-enterprising sentiment but carries it a step further by getting down to the facts and figures that illustrate what many already know instinctively to be true-
“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
— Albert Einstein (1950)
Sigh. Another day, another junk science paper from the smart-growth advocates. This time it is a paper titled Walking the Walk, which argues that the fact that housing prices are higher in so-called walkable neighborhoods proves that “consumers and housing markets attach a positive value to living within easy walking distance of shopping, services, schools and parks.”
In fact, all the paper proves is that the person who wrote it doesn’t understand basic economics. The report is junk science because it confuses cost with demand and presumes that correlation equals causation.
The report measured walkability by the number of businesses and other destinations — groceries, restaurants, drug stores, schools, libraries, parks, etc. — located within one mile of of a residence. Scores were highest if destinations were within a quarter mile, and zero of they were more than a mile away. In general, then, the most walkable neighborhoods were the ones with the highest commercial densities.
Police cameras that record motorists’ movements must be more tightly regulated, Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered.
The 4,000-strong automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) network logs more than 10 million vehicles every day.
The government is to look at limiting access to the database of 7.6 billion images, details of number plates and the date, time and place of capture.
Privacy campaigners said restrictions on the ANPR network were long overdue.
The cameras capture the front of cars and photographs can include images of the driver and any passengers.
Ministers will consider how long these records can be held. The current limit is two years.
Mrs May says she wants proper accountability and safeguards in the use of this database.
. . .Campaign director Dylan Sharpe said the review was “long overdue”.
“ANPR gives the state the ability to track every car journey we make. It is about time that some restrictions were placed on the use of this intrusive technology.”
A mess of them. Shows the shifting of attitudes towards gun laws and ownership over the years from a variety of sources.
SACRAMENTO — People buying ammunition in California will soon have to be thumbprinted and dealers will have to keep records of sales, under legislation that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law.
After vetoing similar bills three times since 2004, Schwarzenegger signed AB962 by Assemblyman Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, on Sunday, saying he now believes it will promote public safety.
The measure is California’s first statewide regulation of ammunition sales. It survived close votes in both the Assembly and state Senate and strong opposition from gun-rights organizations, which succeeded in stripping a provision that would have required sellers of more than 50 rounds of ammunition a month to be licensed by the state.
Starting in July, the law will require dealers to keep records of handgun ammunition sales for at least five years, and store the bullets securely out of customers’ reach.