August 19, 2017

Members Discuss Bill to Bring Much Needed Reforms to the Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2017 –

Today, the Full Committee held a legislative hearing on five bills, most of which have advanced with bipartisan support, to reform and improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bills work to empower states, ensure data transparency, improve listing and delisting processes, and discourage costly litigation that diverts critical resources away from species recovery.

It is my hope that, in coordination with our colleagues in the Senate and this Administration, we can lay the foundation for ESA reform that creates better outcomes for both species and communities,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “We can improve ESA if we build consensus to address existing failures and pursue targeted, common sense reforms.”

Signed into law in 1973, over 1,564 species have been listed under the ESA, but only 23 recovered species have been delisted, amounting to a one percent success rate.

H.R. 1274 (Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-WA), the “State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency Act,” fosters greater federal and state cooperation and data transparency in species designations. It also ensures on-the-ground data is factored into listing decisions.

These agencies too often overlook local conservation plans that are developed to ensure the protection of native species and habitat. These local efforts should not be disregarded,” Newhouse stated. “By providing states, tribes, and localities the data used to promulgate these proposed listings, an opportunity arises for local stakeholders to get involved and have their voices heard.”

H.R. 424 (Rep. Collin Peterson, D-MN), the bipartisan “Gray Wolf State Management Act,” delists gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes and returns them to State management. The bill also maintains state management of Wyoming’s wolves and relieves both regions of the possibility of further litigation.

A single judge, sitting in Washington D.C., that I would say had no clue about what’s going on in our part of the world, created a mess by somehow deciding that the wolf had not reestablished themselves in the entire range,” Peterson said. “This was all done in spite of scientific evidence by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that gray wolf populations recovered and thrived.

H.R. 717 (Rep. Pete Olson, R-TX), the “Listing Reform Act,” allows for the consideration of economic factors in listing decisions for threatened species and also provides more agency flexibility in the petition process to discourage excessive ESA litigation.

We need to protect our endangered species, but we need to do it in a smart way. Arbitrary deadlines do not help. Neither do sweeping listings that threaten the communities and landowners who have been on that land since before the time states like mine were created.” Olson stated. “We can update the law without endangering our legacy for the next generation.”

“The ESA is a powerful law that can be inflexible and costly, with far-reaching effects on local economies,” Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar said.

H.R. 2603 (Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX), the bipartisan “Saving America’s Endangered Species Act” or “SAVES Act,” removes duplicative permitting requirements for nonnative endangered species.

The inclusion of non-native species is out dated, overly burdensome, and in fact, works against the very intent of the ESA. Instead of promoting conservation of these international species, the redundant regulation hampers significant non-governmental resources in our country genuinely seeking to enhance conservation of non-native endangered species through captive breeding programs,” Vice Chairman Gohmert said. “Time and time again, in the modern world, we see well-intentioned legislation pit the federal government against the very private citizens who have a vested interest in the preservation of endangered species.”

H.R. 3131 (Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-MI), the “Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act,” caps attorneys’ fees in ESA cases and ensures that the fees are only awarded to prevailing parties. This measure would bring lawsuits under ESA in line with other types of citizen lawsuits against the government.

For too long litigating attorneys representing non-governmental entities have taken advantage of the Endangered Species Act raking in millions of dollars of taxpayer funded money. In many cases, attorney billing rates have climbed as high as 400, 500 even 750 dollars an hour with hardworking American taxpayers left footing the bill,” Rep. Huizenga stated. “These exorbitant payouts funded by the American taxpayer only impede efforts to achieve the common goal of protecting species and habitats.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

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Maine Legislature Increases Ban on Feeding Deer

With discussion surrounding a bill that would allow baiting of deer, a really dumb idea for Maine, not only did the Maine legislative process nix the idea of baiting for deer, they extended the length of time when feeding deer is banned. At this rate, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will get their wish and will eventually get their all out ban on deer feeding pushed through.

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Maine Passes Bill That Unconstitutionally Targets Hunters and Fishermen

This is a tough one to address because I do not, in any way, shape or form, condone the destruction of anybody’s property, including “Posted” or “No Trespassing” signs.

LD 557, with amendments, has passed the Maine Legislature that, in summary, states: “The hunting and fishing
licenses of a person convicted of destroying, tearing down, defacing or otherwise damaging a property posting sign in violation of section 10652, subsection 1, paragraph B must be revoked, and that person is ineligible to obtain a hunting or fishing license for a period of one year from the date of conviction.”

There should be laws that protect a landowner from such destruction, and there probably are. Piling on to prove a point, while it might be a bit understandable, particularly to a frustrated land owner, cannot be justified by targeting a specific sector of the general public to punish that group for a law violation more than any other member of the public that is not part of the hunting and fishing community.

Even in testimony given in support of the law, a landowner states that he believes the majority of sign destruction comes from “hunters” shooting up his signs, but also admits destruction of his property, other than just signs, is being carried out by many different individuals and groups of individuals. Is it then constitutional to increase punishment on one group over others? I think not!

I’m not a lawyer but you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that this law is not right. I am surprised that the Maine Legislature, the Governor, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and others supported this law and could not see that it violates the constitutional rights of licensed hunters and licensed fishermen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a dismissal of lawful punishment for the willful act of property destruction, protected by Maine law. However, in order to be justified in taking away the licences of hunters and fishermen for one year, then one must ask what is the punishment for the same kind of destruction that might be carried out by a snowmobiler, an ATVer, a hiker, a berry picker, etc.?

I believe the term that might apply to such an egregious violation of due process, can be found in Supreme Court cases that involve “unconstitutional animus.” If you Google that term, you can spend hours reading about what this term is and how it affects all of us. In brief, unconstitutional animus is a violation of equal protection under the law. In this case a hunter or fisherman, is not afforded the same due process and equal protection as someone else who might commit the same crime.

As a society we have been programmed to believe that the more draconian our laws are the more of a deterrent it is to prevent the crime in the first place. Whether that is true or not, I do not have the data to show one way or another. All drivers of automobiles that violate the law by speeding, are subject to the same set of laws and punishments. Would it be considered the right thing if hunters and fishermen were targeted for greater punishment because somebody believes them to speed more than other groups or individuals? This is what this new law allows.

This bill needs to be repealed and a different, constitutional approach taken in order to protect the rights of all people to ensure equal protection under the law, due process and to stop the obvious discrimination this law allows.

 

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SAM Claims High Road to Protect Second Amendment

They might claim that high road, but do they actually do what they say they are doing. According to SAM’s Facebook Page, “Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine-Leading through Action!”

On their list of achievements is the passage of LD 9 – “to Ban State of Government Agencies from Creating Gun Owner Registry.”

“An Act to Prohibit the Creation of a Firearm Owner Registry”, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Corey is now law. This quote from the last SAM News accurately sums up this important SAM bill, “The creation of a gun owner registry is the Holy Grail for gun control advocates, because all extreme gun control measures like semi-automatic bans, high capacity magazine bans, and other firearm confiscation schemes, require a database of firearm owners to enforce. Without the government knowing who owns what types of guns and where they are, there is no way to reduce the number of guns in private ownership.” (emphasis added)

Below is the text of LD 9 (also from SAM Facebook page)

Sec. 1. 25 MRSA §2014 is enacted to read:
§2014. Government firearm or firearm owner registry prohibited Notwithstanding and other provision of law to the contrary, a government agency of this State or a political subdivision of this State may not keep or cause to be kept a comprehensive registry of privately owned firearms and the owners of those firearms within its jurisdiction. (emphasis added)

SUMMARY

This amendment, which is the majority report of the committee, replaces the bill and provides that a government agency of the State or a political subdivision of the State may not keep or cause to be kept a comprehensive registry of privately owned firearms and the owners of those firearms within its jurisdiction.” (emphasis added)

We are programmed to automatically accept any effort by those claiming to be in support of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, passage of any law that claims to protect gun owners or ease the restrictions on gun ownership, we blindly accept as a good thing. It might be better…or the equivalent of being hung with a new rope, than continued chopping to bits our Second Amendment rights, but even if you keep cutting off pieces of a plank, a little here and a little there, eventually there’s no more plank and you free fall.

LD 9 is being hailed as a victory for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and gun owners because they say, as I highlighted above, The creation of a gun owner registry is the Holy Grail for gun control advocates, because all extreme gun control measures like semi-automatic bans, high capacity magazine bans, and other firearm confiscation schemes, require a database of firearm owners to enforce. Without the government knowing who owns what types of guns and where they are, there is no way to reduce the number of guns in private ownership.”

This Bill, LD 9, is being flaunted as a bill that will prohibit the “comprehensive registry” of all firearms, and that without such a registry, governments and non governmental agencies cannot confiscate guns because they won’t know where to find them.

The first question I might ask is this: What will be the state of things in this country WHEN the U.S. Government goes about confiscating our firearms? Will following the rule of law any longer exist?

I thought so.

A federal firearms dealer is required to “register” every gun he sells and keep a record. As I understand LD 9, now a licensed firearms dealer will have to make a second copy of that registration, mark it “State Copy” and make it available to any government, law enforcement or prosecuting attorney upon demand. That’s some protection of a gun owner from that registry created at the point of sale. (Note: It was brought to my attention, and correctly so, that current law requires the “State Copy” to be kept on file. LD 9 eliminates the “State Copy” and thus the only “registration” of the purchase of your gun is the one created by the federally licensed gun dealer. Also understand that this registration is still a registration and can and will be accessed when the governments so desire.)

LD 9 prohibits the creation of a “comprehensive registry” (whatever lawyer wants to define that one for us). Comprehensive, in the context used (I’m guessing), means complete. Please define “complete.” Who gets to decide? We are not told that and this is the kind of crap sandwich we are fed by lawyers. They craft laws for themselves not for you and I.

So, if it is now unlawful for the Government to “keep or cause to be kept” a “comprehensive” gun registry, does that mean if they leave off the registration, say your sexual preference, does that now make the registry “uncomprehensive” and thus can be used by governments and law enforcement when it comes time to confiscate your REGISTERED guns that you REGISTERED when you purchased your guns from a licensed dealer.

Stop kidding yourselves! The Second Amendment is the only item in the Bill of Rights that we, not only give away, but do so gladly and all the while believing we are doing the “reasonable” thing.

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“Religious” Tolerance? Nah, Normalizing Lunacy

Recently the Maine Legislature passed a bill that would permit a small cult that calls themselves Quakers to NOT wear the blaze orange that hunters have worn for years that has proven to save lives. According to the Quaker cult, their “religion” disallows them to wear “bright clothing.”  Therefore the Legislature, in their infinite wisdom, and God knows they are amply endowed, passed a bill that exempts them from wearing the orange in exchange for wearing “bright” red. This, of course, is insanity at its finest, but then again aren’t we now living in a post normal society where we have normalized lunacy? The reality is nobody recognizes the lunacy….because it is all “normal.”

Here’s further proof. A man in Arizona has been allowed to have his drivers license photo taken of him wearing a metal colander on his head. “This subjugated monotheistic religious minority believe a giant, omniscient spaghetti monster that lives in the sky created the universe and has complete control of its fate.”

Perhaps out of “respect” for these lunatics – and I’m also referring to the lunatics who pass bills and allow such nonsense – this “free” country should mandate that at least one day out of the year everyone wear “bright” red and a metal colander on their head.

I have two words for all of them…..but I won’t print it.

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Maine Legislature Axes Many Deer Hunting Bills

George Smith’s website lists all the deer hunting proposed pieces of legislation that got shot down. Thanks to the Legislature for addressing this list of useless bills in the fashion they did. It appears that many think “Any-Deer” permits are something to be used for special interest groups only.

In the meantime, those of us who care, are still waiting for the Department of Inland Fisheries and wildlife to release the harvest data for the 2016 deer hunt. So far, this is the third slowest in getting the report out.

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Red Wolf Criminal Enterprise Appears to Remain Unchanged

Man-government is a nonsustaining, useless and corrupt entity that destroys whatever it lays its hands to. Government epitomizes insanity – rinse and repeat. Our insanity comes from thinking we can change it.

But, perhaps it’s partly the blame of a dysfunctional Trump Administration that seems to screw up whatever it lays its hands to, along with the fact that within its dysfunction, Trump’s appointment of Ryan Zinke as head of the Interior Department, can’t seem to get off his lazy backside and announce his pick to head up the Fish and Wildlife Service. After all, it’s been over 4 months and counting. Is it at all possible a real leader at the USFWS wouldn’t even be making such ridiculous proposals at an absurd time like this? Don’t hold your breath.

One thing has become clear to those willing to take off their fake blinders and examine truth, is that Trump cannot and will not keep any of his campaign promises (lies) – but he is no different in that regard than any crooked politician who came before him – that the ALL are crooked. It is a requirement of the position. It has not yet become obvious to his supporters that his works to this point in time are all blather. He talks a big talk and achieves nothing. People don’t even read his Executive Orders and if they do, they can’t understand them. If he’s so mighty, what has changed? I’m thinking nothing has changed and nothing will change, although there was some hope, which is now rapidly waning, soon to be replaced by business as usual and how do we get through 4 or 8 years of thugs and gangsters? Rinse and repeat.

Evidently it is business as usual at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) where babysitters are sucking on their pacifiers and carrying out the corrupt work that preceded them. Talk the talk but then blow it off. An example of such is what to do about the fake Red Wolves?

The USFWS is proposing making some changes to the “10j” rule of the Endangered Species Act in order to do something to change the management strategy of trying to grow a fake red wolf and perpetuate it.

The proposal – or more accurately a request for comments in order to draw up a draft proposal – can be found at this link. Below I have included the portion of the request that contains the USFWS’s options and what they are leaning toward implementing.

In their background information, of course it is fraught with lies. As an example it reads that the USFWS made sure that any “red wolves” that drifted off government land was removed. We know that never happened and as a matter of fact there’s pretty good evidence the criminals at the USFWS knowingly released and/or relocated “red wolves” on private land, which was an illegal act. However, anyone should understand by now that the U.S. Government places themselves above the laws we citizen slaves are expected to follow.

In the proposal it appears the USFWS wants to grow more fake mongrel “red wolves” in “zoos and private” wolf sanctuaries to keep beefing up the population and creating “genetic diversity” among existing fake red wolves. The liars at the USFWS say their management plans will protect further “hybridization” of red wolves and coyotes. They can never do this with the plans they are formulating, and it doesn’t much matter because what they are perpetuating is nothing but semi wild mongrel dogs. Is it that government is that stupid or do they think all of us are stupid enough to think we will never know the difference? I put my money on the latter.

But what’s difficult to understand, but not from a criminal’s mindset, is how the USFWS can, with a straight face, even be considering any proposal for a change of management of red wolves when the U.S. Attorney General’s Office has documentation that proves that the USFWS knew the “red wolves” they were growing and fostering weren’t even red wolves at all? Last I knew, the Attorney General’s office was demanding some answers. (I can’t help but laugh.) This sounds like a corrupt attempt at enhancing the corrupt red wolf program as much as possible before any decisions are made, or that the USFWS, like all government agencies, don’t give a rats ass about laws, rule of law or what, if anything, the U.S. Attorney General’s office will or won’t do. It’s one big fraternity that’s part of the giant rigged system. It will NEVER change.

In addition to all of this, new studies and science – difficult to know if any of it is real – suggest that there never existed any such “subspecies” of red wolf in the first place.

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

For more information on the evidence to suggest the USFWS knew their red wolves were fake and the non existence of red wolves, use this link and this link. For lots of links to information about the history of red wolves in North Carolina, follow this link.

Proposed Action and Possible Alternatives

In 2013, acknowledging growing concerns from private landowners regarding management of the NEP, the Service and North Carolina Resources Commission entered into a broad canid management agreement, recognizing steps were needed to improve management of the population. Subsequently, the Service contracted an independent evaluation of the NEP project in 2014 and of the entire red wolf recovery program in 2015. From these evaluations, it became clear that the current direction and management of the NEP project is unacceptable to the Service and all stakeholders.

As a result of the findings from the evaluations, the Service is considering a potential revision of the 1995 NEP final rule. Risks of continued hybridization, human-related mortality, continued loss of habitat due to sea level rise, and continued population decline are high and have led to poor prospects for the NEP. Further, the most recent PVA indicates that the viability of the captive population is below and declining from the original recovery plan diversity threshold of 90 percent and could be enhanced by breeding captive wolves with wolves from the NEP project area. Therefore, the Service is considering whether the NEP should be managed with the captive population as one meta-population, whereby individuals could be moved not only from captivity into the wild but also from the wild into captivity. Incorporating the NEP into a meta-population with the captive population will increase the size of the population and introduce the natural selection occurring in the NEP back into the captive population. Therefore, the Service is proposing to change the goal of the current NEP project from solely that of establishing a self- sustaining wild population to a goal of also supporting viability of the captive wolves of the red wolf breeding program (proposed action). Maintaining a wild population fully integrated with the captive wolves also will: (1) Allow for animals removed from the wild to support the necessary expansion of current and future wild reintroduced populations and to improve the genetic health of the captive-breeding program; (2) preserve red wolf natural instincts and behavior in the captive population gene pool; and (3) provide a population for continued research on wild behavior and management.

The proposed revision would recognize that the size, scope, and management of the NEP will be focused on maintaining a wild population on Federal lands within Dare County, North Carolina and on protecting the species by increasing the number and genetic diversity of wolves in captivity. These revisions will allow removal of isolated packs of animals from non-Federal lands at the landowners’ request, incorporation of these animals into the wild/captive metapopulation, and better management of the remaining wild animals in accessible areas to minimize risks of hybridization. Management of wolves occupying Federal lands in Dare County will include population monitoring, animal husbandry, and control of coyotes and hybrids.

The proposed revision would authorize the movement of animals between the captive and wild populations in order to increase the number of wolves in the captive-breeding program and maintain genetic diversity for both captive and wild wolves. This means the captive wolves and the NEP will be managed as one single meta-population.

The draft environmental review under NEPA will consider consequences of a range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action. We have identified several management alternatives for the NEP:

(1) Maintain the NEP project in its current state. In other words, we would make no revisions to the current 10(j) rule.

(2) Publish a rule eliminating the NEP project. Under this alternative, the red wolves found in the wild would retain their status as a federally listed “endangered” species under the Act.

(3) Revise the existing NEP. We may consider revisions to the current 10(j) rule that vary from the proposed action.

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Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Given Authority Over Turkey Hunting Dates and Bag Limits

An amended bill, LD98, gives the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife authority to set hunting season dates and bag limits on wild turkeys. In addition, the Department can implement special hunts for wild turkeys when it is deemed a necessity.

Each of us will have to decide whether we think granting this authority to the Department is a good thing or a bad thing. But then again, does it really matter if the Department never uses it? For those who are suffering crop damages and/or other livestock or property damage issues, I hope the Commissioner at least opts to implement some special hunts to mitigate the losses.

One report is being spread around the state that an apple orchard company is losing over $1 million a year in crop damage. MDIFW should begin immediately to stop this problem.

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Maine House Fearful of Lawsuits Passes Bill to Allow “Religious” People to Forego Wearing Blaze Orange

The Maine House has passed, 120-27, LD 426 that provides anyone who cannot wear bright colored clothing while firearms hunting for deer, to discard it and instead wear some kind of red clothing – some kind because what that red is has not been determined.

Many other things in the bill, whose sponsor was quoted as saying, “I feel that failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a legal confrontation between the state of Maine and this group of Amish people”…, were not spelled out and leaves wide open many issues, some of which could be potentially serious.

If the Senate passes and the Governor signs this bill, it appears anyone can hunt deer with firearms and forego wearing blaze orange and replace it with red. If questioned simply tell the warden it’s for religious reasons. Who is going to prove one way or another. Does this bill clearly point out that you have to be an active member of a recognized “religious” order or sect to qualify? And now wouldn’t that open up a can of worms!

And what about liability. Yes, Maine law states that a hunter is responsible to know his target before shooting. But what if there is an accident anyway. Is the shooter exempt from liability because, unlike all other hunters, a “religious” hunter isn’t wearing the required hunter orange?

So, what does this say about the years of process and development of Maine hunter safety rules. Do we toss those out the window because of a “religious” belief? If blaze orange is a public safety issue then it is a public safety issue…period.

If Maine is passing this bill, partly due to the fear of lawsuits brought on by the Amish, then is it that they have no fear of a lawsuit brought on by everyone else who feels reverse discrimination?

But what I find of interest, and I suppose a point that nobody wants to speak of (out of fear of a lawsuit for bigotry and/or religious persecution), is that the Amish state that their religion forbids them to wear bright-colored clothing because it draws attention unto them. Really? So is it the bright clothing that is the issue or the fact that attention is being brought on them somehow?

If it’s about the attention, then one could argue that they certainly draw more attention on themselves simply by living a lifestyle that causes people to stop and stare, and sometimes worse than that. And if that isn’t enough, I know when I am out in the woods hunting, and wearing blaze orange because it is REQUIRED by law (and now I will be treated differently) there’s nobody around in the woods that would give a damn what I’m wearing.

In short, none of this makes much sense at all. It just all sounds like a bunch of crap, rooted in the fear of some sort of lawsuit, to go overboard with “religious” tolerance. Which brings me to another point. If it’s the attention they are trying to avoid, what kind of attention have they already brought on themselves by pushing this law and what more attention, probably national, would they bring on themselves if they filed a lawsuit?

I call BS!

Personally I don’t care. I really don’t. Under certain circumstances I would like to be able to hunt without blaze orange. Now, I guess I can because I just found “religion.”

 

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Reflecting Upon The Ignorance Of A Rockhead

I was just reflecting on some research this morning and I was thinking why is it those who allegedly appreciate freedom, freewill, and liberty
don’t really prove it..They talk but don’t do much else.. Can you imagine if we had several of the Anti federalists here amongst us right now? The guys that allegedly placed the Bill of Rights and its own preamble up against that Cotus..

Can you imagine how much researching those guys were doing? How many books, how many nation/state politically recorded examples they had read searched through in seeking out their positions outside of citizenship for the preferable sovereignty of determining their own destinies? Were they here today they would be outcasts, they would be shunned, ignored, and any number of false claims would be brought against them.. By people saying we’re not interested in that stuff, we don’t care..

By claiming myself and this web site are wandering off into some non reality of non credibility.. Can you imagine what these people would say about Jefferson and Henry were those guys here commenting on this current state of insanity? The Law of Nations guidelines on how to be a sovereign as shown by those federalists is self explanatory, also the rights and duties of the citizens subjugated by the rulings of those sovereigns is also self explanatory.The position of a citizen is clearly explained. Those of us who point it out are slandered..

The citizen has no real choice and the law books vouch for that fact.. yet the citizens continue to read nothing, learn nothing and wail about their plight.. To sovereigns with deaf ears.. None of those wailing about this inequality can stand upon any factual basis for their beliefs.. They can neither prove myself wrong nor can they prove their beliefs to be solid.. Freedom, freewill expression, liberty is something someone else owes them on a silver platter for nothing.. Cold beer included..

If you can’t show me definitive evidence in the Annals and Records of Congress, The Congressional Library, The Supreme Court, The Law Libraries In D.C. and across the country housing all of the political charters connected to the establishment of this Nation/State under that COTUS proving any justification of the so-called “We The People” and Our “Posterity” was intended for all of us.. Or that all citizens own public lands… You might want to wonder why..

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