Per Rep. McKinley request of Roni Sylvester at Colorado Capitol, April 19, 2012
Representative Wes McKinley, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here today, and share some of what I understand about property rights. While I realize most of you here are elected officials, you’re still first and foremost citizens.
In 1896, William Jennings Bryan wrote: “Great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms, and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country."
Someone is destroying our farms…ranches…agriculture. In fact, many fractured entities – all jockeying for power and control - are destroying resource production in America!
Why? To control our land…and more importantly our water. To control a country’s land and water is Country Takeover 101; and they’re doing this without firing a shot!
But - there’s no conspiracy here, it’s just smart evil people playing a big game. Think about it. Most of these evil people are so damn old, there’s really nothing more for them to gain; other than the kicks of moving us around their global play board, trying to win the world’s biggest stakes game. I call them Property Thieves. Property Thieves also include government employees, public servants and their non-government, government subsidized partners.
How many of you own property?
How many of you know the definition of property?
When President Clinton designated “property” that belonged to my Escalante, Utah friends – the Griffin family - the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, I became very interested in “property. “
Clinton promised the Griffin’s the designation would not threaten their property. But he broke his promise and soon BLM agents were seizing and impounding their cattle. BLM’s actions became so ugly they forced Quinn Griffin into a one choice position, and that was to hire a helicopter and a sharp shooter to kill 25 head of his cattle, because they couldn’t get them off the Fifty, and were already financially shattered with impoundment fees.
For 46 years, I have been a stay-at-home Mom –like Ann Romney - to the extent that by 1982 I was so frustrated not having some kind of fancy label to plop on myself, that I had business cards printed up: Professional Mom and Wife.
In addition to raising my four children, my forever passion continues in seeking justice for those who have been wronged.
And the wrongs I saw the Griffin’s subjected to wrenched my stomach, mind and heart.
So I set out finding and vetting the best, brightest, bravest and most honest “policy research analysts, scientists, educators and attorneys in the United States.
Last month, Chuck and I went to Escalante, and it was like a ghost town. Once thriving businesses were boarded up, the saw mill and livestock industry shut down, and
Andulux mine scuttled… to pay back Clinton’s Indonesian contributors.
Does this pattern sound familiar to you?
We asked Quinn, “So where are all these tourists you’re supposed to be catering to?”
He mumbled something like, “They get lost in the desert because they’re ill prepared, and so we have to spend our resources rescuing them. The few that do come out -come out because of the land, not the designation. And, they leave their trash everywhere. “
Property Thieves bankrupted that family. And none were held accountable.
Property Thieves decided the Griffin’s lives should be different than the one they’d held near and dear for over a century. Property Thieves demanded the Griffin’s banish their customs/culture and economic base, and sell goodies to tourists.
Property Thieves painted rosy pictures of great masses of people coming to visit this place they marketed as most precious, last great place, most beautiful place on earth, rare, jewel, pristine, sacred, in need of protection…you know the drill. You hear the same damn description for every stream, river, acre of land, puddle, and insect, phantom mouse, gummer snail, ferret, hen, carnivore, and rock that Property Thieves - - - elected or not - - decide to use for the sole purpose of stealing your property.
Now one could maybe get their arms around the Griffin matter – and affectively help them - if they were the only ones under attack on American Soil. But there are thousands…several hundred in Colorado alone whose properties are under attack.
How do I know this? As volunteer editor of Land and Water USA stories cross my desk that send me into a rage, then tears. For each story shared generally comes from a solid citizen who’s been broad-sided by similar ugly actions.
And if, you should happen to get close to exposing a property thief, they won’t stop at anything to shut you up! Like in the case of Stacy Lynne, a Mother and investigative reporter in Larimer County, who was jockeyed around by officials who were enabling the family court to take her child; even though there wasn’t even one child abuse charge filed against her?
I’m still pondering whether or not to post Stacy Lynne’s entire verified chronology to date. What’s holding me up? Same thing that holds up most people from doing the right thing: Fear. Yes, fear.
When first testifying here in committee back in the early 90’s, my observations of the scenario was to, “Never let them get you in the hallway.” Legislators would get all excited about inserting needed language in a bill, or passing right to work, and then leave the room and come back completely “blank” on the whole enchilada. I figured out quickly that when they got into the hallway, the opposition probably whispered, “So, little Susie gets out of Hardy Elementary at 3:00?” as they brushed past the legislator.
Again, because I’m not an expert who can recite miles of statutes, policies and bills, nor can I keep track of growing number of acronyms for government agencies, sub-agencies and their non-government – government subsidized partners, I rely heavily on – as mentioned earlier – trusted experts who I call “My Guys.” By the way, none of My Guys are paid! ALL volunteer their talents, time and knowledge in effort to right the wrongs. They generously provide research for posting on Land and Water USA.
Property Thieves will tell you up front that you either hand over your property or they’ll sue you. Simple as that. Their mode of operation is to beat you down until your physical, mental and financial means are exhausted. Never forget. Coupled with self-wealth, they’re also heavily subsidized with your money (through your taxes). So basically, using your money they waltz in and take your Property.
Why are Property Thieves able to walk off with your property so easily? Well there’s a combo of factors including the fact that few property owners and policy makers really grasp the constitutional guarantees that come with owning property.
Here’s the United States Code definition of Property:
28 USC 3002 (12)
(12) “Property” includes any present or future interest, whether legal or equitable, in real, personal (including choses in action), or mixed property, tangible or intangible, vested or contingent, wherever located and however held (including community property and property held in trust (including spendthrift and pension trusts)), but excludes—
(A) Property held in trust by the United States for the benefit of an Indian tribe or individual Indian; and
(B)Indian lands subject to restrictions against alienation imposed by the United States.
Owning Property is the genesis of our Constitutional guarantees. Owning Property is the genesis of all that has sustained America as the healthy, balanced, tried and true land of opportunity that draws millions to her soils.
Having that guarantee to own property, and reap a return on our investment, is quite simply why, the United States of America has been able to function beautifully while feeding its own – and the world – for centuries.
Early settlers at Plymouth Rock tried the socialist communal way of going and darn near starved out the colony. When they recognized the error of their ways, they initiated the ownership of property and free markets and the colony flourished.
Because resource providers in particular HAVE property, property they use to bring essential products to market, they are the ones most bombarded from every direction, by Property Thieves.
Property Thieves will visit you in many different disguises. Oft times you’ll hear the word “vision,” as in, “We have a vision for how we want your property used.”
Once they’ve targeted your property, all kinds of interesting things begin to evolve. You may or may not be invited to a seemingly innocuous little “Listening Session.”
This session is designed to make you feel all happy and fluffy about the property regulations, Conservation Easements, Super Slab, wetlands, Scenic whatever, monument designation, Premise I.D., Roadless area or Sage Grouse corridor they have a vision of on your property. They feed you cookies and give you lovely four color separations that are as slick and glossy as the fancy shoes these dancers wear.
When you enter the room of such sessions, you’re asked to sign in…and give an email address so they can “help you” answer questions. They’re always, “very helpful.”
What you don’t know, is that they take those signup sheets and transform them into:
“We went to this community and had a listening session; and there was a “consensus” that this community wants to support gummer snails. Yes. They lie. Never is there a counted show of hands vote. It’s always “a consensus.”
Property owners are the recipients of the first round of attack, and the minute a Property Thief plants a seed as to a possible gummer snail habitat, the owner’s property value begins to plummet. Ask Doug Cooper in Wyoming. He can explain all the joys of being cordoned off into the never, never land of Sage Grouse habitat.
If, God forbid, property thieves are successful with one owner’s property, the domino effect begins stripping down the community’s property value, thereby impacting the tax base from which town, county and state revenues are generated; revenues needed to keep our local governments functioning.
Unfortunately, a private business or citizen has little, if any recourse, if a government agency causes injury to them. Government employees know this, and I’d suggest that’s one of the contributing factors towards their increasingly errant behavior.
This is what one of My Guys sent me when I asked for help on explaining this:
“Regulations through the ESA, FDA, EPA (farm & ranch medical & chemical uses), BLM, USFS, USFWS, etc. impact the state's citizens from conducting business and impair economic growth. Many of these agencies do this through regulatory changes without Congressional approval or oversight. Thus, IF the state does not push back against these non-Congressionally approved but agency implemented measures, then the state legislature and governor are complicit with destroying the property values (water is also property separate from land - don't forget to make that point), rural communities, long established cultures/heritage and the resource based economies that support the very legislature that sat silent as the Feds and NGOs destroyed through regulatory takings.”
Water was brought up again, in yesterday’s Greeley Tribune. Something about some Property Thieves who are trying to take water via a ballot initiative. Yes. That’s right. They want your water! So what better way to do that then to paint a picture of a “community Kum bay ya singing splash-in on any water anywhere…maybe even in your bathtub…for the community good”- to entice the multitudes of ill-informed, un-washed, un-informed communal share-your-patchoulis voters to go for. If voters do go for this ill-sought ballot, consider that they’ll be pitching your constitutions right in the gutter!
Property Thieves are smart, smart, smart. If they can get their takings on the ballot, all they have to do is throw carrots at these ill-informed to get “public support,” and walla! they have your home in their pocketbook!
Remember, property takings are just that! Property TAKINGS…also known as stealing. Once the thieves have you in their sights, they can suck you into their undertow where - if you do surface - you’ll be so crippled you’ll most likely not function healthy ever again.
There’s a high probability there are bills being messed with - right here in this capitol today - that are designed to harm you, your constitution, your community, your county and your country. One that I’m aware of is some kind of Conservation Easement bill.
Conservation easements are a curious animal, in that they violate our state constitution right out of the chute. How? Because their foundation is the word “perpetuity;” and perpetuity – along with monopolies – is disallowed.
OK. I could go on and on about the obvious problems. But, there are solutions. Yes. There are ways to pop these Property Thieves right in the nose! And send them scurrying off to their rats holes, or more justly – hauled off to jail.
Here are a few tools that will really diminish stealing by Property Thieves.
1) Study every referencing of property in your State and U.S. Constitutions. Land and Water USA has many statues, case law and articles about property. What you’re going for is that “AH HA!” moment, when you finally get your arms around it and find it actually quite simple to understand. Because it is.
Our forefathers were geniuses in how they structured our Constitutions, for what they state, is what it is. They wrote so that your average layperson like me, can even understand it.
2) Make it your standard requirement that anyone – including government employees – who wants entrance to your property - fill out and sign a Property Admittance Agreement. If that person is a government employee, they must additionally fill out a Public Servants Questionnaire. You can pull those forms off from “Sample Forms” also on Land and Water USA.
"The EPA, DOI, ESA, or any American agency, has to get court permission to enter your property - if you do not allow access when asked. They are no different than any other law agency, and are not above the law. If Congress does not explicitly state in the Act- it supersedes any other existing Act or Law- then the provisions of the Act are to be implemented concurrent with all other Laws. In every act dealing with the environment Congress put the language 'concurrent with all other laws', not 'this act rescinds all other laws;" and this includes trespass!" Ric Frost
3) The minute you learn about something you think may threaten your property’s constitutional guarantees, study it thoroughly. If after a good examination you determine it does in fact show any hint of threat to your property, take your sound argument to your county commissioner. Don’t rant and rave at them, bring a solution along with your argument. Bolster their authority to stop any outlaws activity in your county.
4) By now you’ll know what your property ownership guarantees are, so if anyone (includes government employees) needlessly disturbs (threatens, harasses etc.) these guarantees, document everything impeccably, and then take copies to your county sheriff.
5) Never ever take the law into your own hands!
6) Never ever sign anything you don’t go over with a fine toothed comb; for sure as the sun rises they’ll claim that’s your agreement.
7) When you go to these so-called “listening sessions,” ask for full disclosure of each person involved and demand they provide their money source breakout.
8) Remember, our Constitution gives the county the ultimate authority on legal issues, not federal employees. Federal employees can't do anything inside state borders unless the state legislature gives them permission.
9) Get to know individuals running for public office, and your incumbents. Ask them if they know what Property means. If they define it well, then follow up by asking them to explain exactly how they will protect your Property. There are some really decent, intelligent people in office, and running for office. Get to know them and support them, so together you can throw the crooks out!
10) Help your governor to understand what his or her authority is as Protector in Chief of everything that takes place within the four boundaries of your state. Federal’s authority is clearly defined – again – in our Constitutions.
Your governor has the power to kick any federal action clean out of the state, if that action is not included within our Constitutions. Example: Did you know your governor has the authority to kick the ESA, EPA out of your state?
11) Find out who the individuals are behind “visionary plans” for your property. Maybe they claim you’re near a gummer snail, wildlands, scenic, super highway corridor. Or they want your property tagged/identified (examples, premise I.D. or smart meters). Get their personal names and addresses and send them – as individuals - a Demand to Remove letter. No one has the right to use your tangible or intangible property without your permission; and government may not take your property without “just compensation.”
12) Expect your elected officials to demand the following answers from any presenter of a proposed bill:
1. Does it meet State and U.S. Constitutional defines?
2. Who wants this? All parties should be identified; no anonymous accepted.
3. Who will benefit? Identify the experience, financial or resource gain.
4. Who will be harmed? Identify the property, experience, financial or resource encumbrance.
5. Who’s going to pay for it? Identify individuals, taxpayers, grants etc. No anonymous should be accepted.
6. Is there a pre-existing law that addresses this?
7. Is there a reference to climate change/global warming? Is so, that’s a certain proposal eliminator.
Fully transparent answers should be expected and satisfied to determine whether a “rule making” action should be initiated.
Yes, it’s tough being a property owner in these days of rampant theft. But, you must push back! You have a duty to protect your property! And those dozen steps will truly help!
You look like a good bunch of folks. Not ones who’d stand back idle, and let our farms and ranches be destroyed. And for that I thank you. Your actions show promise towards returning America to full healthy, Democratic Republic.
I welcome any question you have.