December 3, 2023

Battered Communities


Across America, while urban areas enjoy an economic boom, rural communities are suffering unprecedented social and economic losses. Their suffering is directly linked to a bewildering array of government actions allegedly protecting the environment. The federal government is being unduly influenced to perform these actions by an equally bewildering array of agenda-driven employees, environmental organizations, and funders in private foundations. All segments of natural resource goods production – water development, farming, ranching, mining, petroleum, timber, fishing, transportation, and manufacturing projects – are being systematically attacked, thwarted, and eradicated. Natural resource production and related jobs are being forced offshore. Town and county tax revenues fall with natural resource goods production losses, aggravating an urban-rural prosperity gap.

This report focuses on the federal government actions and related federal employees, the grant-driven environmental groups that prompt the actions, and the private foundations that design the attacks. It asks the question, “What are the connections between the visible damage in rural areas and the triangle of government employees – environmental groups – private foundations?”

Simply put, who is organizing the destruction of rural American resource producers?

It is well known that numerous former environmental organization executives occupy positions within the present administration. It is less well known that thousands of activist members of advocacy groups are employed by federal agencies in positions that give them opportunity to exercise agenda-driven undue influence over goods-production decisions applied in rural areas.

It is well known that environmental organizations use lawsuits, lobbying and administrative pressure to destroy economic activities they dislike. It is less well known that large networks of environmental organizations coordinate to systematically target specific rural communities for economic dismantling.

It is understood that private foundations provide substantial support to environmental organizations. It is less understood that a number of private foundations have become prescriptive rather than responsive. They design the programs, select the funding recipients and direct grant-driven projects for a substantial number of environmental organizations.

The activist federal employees, the grant-driven environmental groups and the prescriptive private foundations unduly influence public policy. They were not elected. They are totally unaccountable.

This report examines the largest unacknowledged program of social and economic displacement in American history. It ends with a call for Inspector General investigation of undue influence and Congressional investigation of the causes behind Battered Communities.

This report is co-sponsored by the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, American Land Rights Association, F.I.G.H.T. for Minnesota (Fight Inefficient Government and High Taxes), and the Maine Conservation Rights Institute. Permission to reproduce portions of this report is granted.<<<Read the Full Report>>>


Activists Try to Take the Joy out of Summer for Children and Adults

Warning to Parents: Worrying Too Much About Ideologically-Based “Scares” Can Needlessly Ruin Summer Fun

New York, NY/Washington DC – National Center for Public Policy Research Risk Analysis Director Jeff Stier is responding this week to a range of stories bubbling up in the news and in social media recently that have one common denominator, according to Stier: “ideologically-driven scares.”

Stier warns that as we begin the summer, “we should remember that it is important not only to stay safe while having fun, but to not let agenda-driven scares interfere with how we spend the warmer months.”

Stier believes that “narrow-interest activists are using the onset of summer to make former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg look like a libertarian by comparison.”

A school district in Texas won’t allow children to bring in sunscreen without a doctor’s note. ABC affiliate KSAT in Austin reports this month that North East Independent School District spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said that, “Typically, sunscreen is a toxic substance, and we can’t allow toxic things in to be in our schools.”

The news item continued, “Chancellor said if parents know their child may be outdoors, they should come to school fully covered in sunscreen. At this time, she said, sunscreen can’t be brought by students to school campuses.”

Of course, Stier reminds us, sunscreens should be reapplied at least every two hours, longer than the school day, according to the Food and Drug Administration, so rules of government-run schools are conflicting with the government’s own advice.

As children finish school for the summer, and they may again be allowed to use sunscreen, others warn parents about letting the kids have too much fun, at least in “bounce houses.” Time magazine says the inflatable activity-boosters are causing an “epidemic” of injuries. “‘Epidemics'” almost always precede another phenomenon,” says Stier, “regulations.”

“Activists aren’t only trying to regulate us to protect children,” says Stier. “Adults who consume beer are also the subject of consumer warnings.” Going Viral on Facebook is an article titled “8 Beers That You Should Stop Drinking Immediately.” Stier says, “The Buzzfeed-worthy headline shouldn’t cause you to put down your brew, but rather to raise your level of skepticism.”

“Indeed,” says Stier, “the story is a click-generating piece meant to advance big government agendas including anti- genetically modified food warning label campaigns, chemical bans (BPA), and ingredient restrictions (caramel colorings).

Stier has a warning of his own: “Buy into these warm-weather scares at the risk of helping the left expand the regulatory chokehold on not only businesses, but consumers.”

National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour, a mom, says some warnings do make sense; for example, advice to put purses or briefcases on the backseat with the baby so you don’t accidentally forget to drop the baby off at daycare on your way to work. “But unfortunately,” she said, “there are so many unnecessary warnings out there, the good advice parents can actually use gets drowned out by pointless warnings about everything from feeding kids genetically-modified foods or letting them bounce. Really. Kids are going to bounce.”
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