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DougMacG
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« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2017, 09:24:10 AM »

Draining the DC swamp is a process underway that can't ever be fully achieved but we should celebrate every move in the right direction.  Two points here,

1) All the ruckus over state department departures underway is a big sign of progress:  http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/30/with-departure-of-top-lawyer-state-department-exodus-continues/  The career state department people especially toward the top are the ones who acquiesced to HRC's private server scandal and helped her to hide her emails and cover up the scandal.  They all tend to be liberals and globalists in the negative sense of those terms and they have been putting their agenda ahead of our security.

2) Breaking the Senate Blue Slip Rule:  The timing was amazing here.  Sen Franken was holding up hearing on Minnesota's Justice David Stras just for swamp-like political reasons, because he could and because he wanted to extract something political in return for supporting a home state nominee who is abundantly qualified.  I attribute this to Trump and Trump's watch because he made this great appointment that divided Minnesota's two Dem Senators and because Trump derangement syndrome is what was empowering Franken to be derelict in his duties as Senator to return his 'blue slip' for a perfectly qualified nominee.

It was one day before the Franken scandal broke that the Senate Judiciary committee decided to step over swamp creature Franken and hold hearings on Justice Stras.  Observers are comparing Stras in his confirmation hearing to Gorsuch.  Good thing because he might soon move from the 8th Circuit appellate court to sitting next to Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.  Scott Johnson of Powerline (who brought down Dan Rather) was the light behind the force that made this happen.  He wrote a long series of articles challenging the Minneapolis Startribune and other media to expose the travesty that this excellent Trump nomination was being held up by a Senator refusing to faithfully do his job. This week they held hearings; video at this link: 
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/12/the-new-al-franken-part-three.php

Stras, with great support from both sides of the aisle, is not the liberal activist judge that HRC would have appointed.  His nomination and certain confirmation to follow is a tremendous, nation-saving Trump accomplishment, IMHO.  Trump killed more than one bird with this stone.
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ccp
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« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2017, 06:56:47 PM »


http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/04/donald-trump-shrinks-federal-monuments-in-utah-you-know-best-how-to-take-care-of-your-land/

the greens have turned 1/3 of the west in public ownership


view the amount of land out west designated as government land:

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://assets3.bigthink.com/system/tinymce_assets/944/original/federal_lands.jpg?1422311293&imgrefurl=http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/291-federal-lands-in-the-us&h=1592&w=1938&tbnid=UJH8dOdplzrdtM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=195&usg=__Yc2FvMvJH4mS_pqktTiJLWaw24A%3D&vet=10ahUKEwjw-7a91vHXAhUG6RQKHcErC5oQ9QEILjAA..i&docid=Lljtit2IFUsKEM&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjw-7a91vHXAhUG6RQKHcErC5oQ9QEILjAA
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 07:34:31 PM by ccp » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2017, 09:47:57 PM »

In that we are using this thread as a "for the record resource" it would be far preferable to use a source more reputable than Breitbart.
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G M
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« Reply #53 on: December 05, 2017, 10:43:10 AM »


http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/291-federal-lands-in-the-us

Just How Much Land Does the Federal Government Own — and Why?
Over a year ago  by FRANK JACOBS
Article Image
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada.

This map, depicting the distribution and share of federal land per state, was first published on this blog way back in 2008. Nevertheless, it keeps accumulating comments and hits at a steady pace, and is still frequently shared around. Unlike hundreds of other random maps, this one has become a perennial. That raises an interesting question for map geeks like yours truly: Which nerve, exactly, does this map strike with the Great Online Public?




Let's start with the most obvious answer: the map is stunningly effective at bringing home its message. And that message is: Federal land ownership out west is huge.

Few minds will stir when they learn that the US federal government owns a grand total of 640 million acres of land: that figure is so vast that it becomes meaningless [1]. The sum of all that acreage adds up to about 28% of the nation's total surface, 2.27 billion acres. That sounds like a lot, but since it is an average, and because we have nothing to compare it to, that percentage is, to use one of my favorite quotes, “the kind of information they conceal in books” [2].

Both issues – the blandness of averages, the lack of comparison – are eliminated by the map, which presents an immediate, jaw-droppingly clear frame of reference. In the blink of an eye, the contrast between the west and the rest becomes clear.

The clever device delivering that instant insight: 50 icons, each shaped like the particular state they are centered on and sized to reflect the percentage of the federal lands in each particular state.

Back east, but even in the Midwest, those icons – colored red for better contrast – barely amount to a distant mirror of the state they're modelled on. In those parts, the federal share of state territory rarely runs into the double digits. It even stays below 2% for the Top 10 states with the lowest percentage of federally owned land:



The largest splotches of red are all in the 11 westernmost states of the Lower 48. The federal government's enormous share of Alaska is only less obvious because as usual the largest state in the Union is shown in an inset map, at a much larger scale [3].

These red icons look like parasites, about to take over the body of the host. Take a look at poor Nevada, where non-public land is pushed out to a narrow band skirting the state's borders – marginalized, in the most literal sense of the word. Even in most other western states, that ledge is not much wider than a toehold.

The Top 10 list of states with the highest percentage of federally owned land on this map looks like this:

Both because of its enormous total size and its huge percentage of federal lands, Alaska alone represents almost half the government-owned area in the 10 most 'federalised' states combined. The only two western states falling out of the Top 10 are Montana (29.9%) and Washington state (30.3%).

What is all that federal land for? And exactly who is in charge? According to the Congressional Research Service [4], a total area of just under 610 million acres – more than twice the size of Namibia – is administered by no more than 4 federal government agencies:

* The United States Forest Service (USFS), which oversees timber harvesting, recreation, wildlife habitat protection and other sustainable uses on a total of 193 million acres – almost the size of Turkey – mainly designated as National Forests.

* The National Park Service (NPS) conserves lands and resources on 80 million acres – a Norway-sized area – in order to preserve them for the public. Any harvesting or resource removal is generally prohibited.

* the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), managing 248 million acres [5] – an area the size of Egypt – has a multiple-use, sustained-yield mandate, supporting energy development, recreation, grazing, conservation, and other uses.

* the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages 89 million acres – an area slightly bigger than Germany – to conserve and protect animal and plant species.

The first agency is part of the Department of Agriculture, the latter three of the Department of the Interior. The Department of Defense manages an additional 20 million acres – a bit larger than the Czech Republic – as military bases, testing and training grounds, etc.

Back to the map – apart from making its point in such an excellent manner, why is it so popular? The aforementioned Congressional Overview of Federal Land Ownership provides a broad outline of the answer:

“47% of the 11 coterminous western states [is federally owned]. By contrast, the federal government owns only 4% in the other states. This western concentration has contributed to a higher degree of controversy over land ownership and use in that part of the country”.

“Throughout America’s history, federal land laws have reflected two visions: keeping some lands in federal ownership while disposing of others. From the earliest days, there has been conflict between these two visions. During the 19th century, many laws encouraged settlement of the West through federal land disposal. Mostly in the 20th century, emphasis shifted to retention of federal lands.”

That conflict came to a head very publicly last year with the case of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher whose conflict with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights led to the federal government impounding his cattle [6].

But the federal government's extra-extra-large involvement in the management of western lands is far more than a conflict about grazing, water, mining, logging and other development. It pits the principle of good stewardship of the land, for the welfare of present and future generations, against one of America's foundational axioms: That government is best which governs least [7].

The former attitude requires a central government to assume authority, restrict access, punish rule-breakers – and increasingly so, since resource depletion is a growing threat.

The latter viewpoint holds government intervention to be the problem, not the solution, and the stated reasons for it – be it conservation or climate change – as convenient cover stories at best.

Two quotes from the story's comments section illustrate the gap between the two extremes:

“It's too late [to take back our country]. Jump ship and buy land in a poor undeveloped country, Start a farm and build a new community.”

“Or we could stop wasting time with this nonsense and get back to the real issues.”

Ultimately, this map reverberates and keeps bouncing around the internet because it touches a divide in American politics and wider society that is about much more than land use. It pits libertarians versus federalists, with the gap between them increasing to such an extent that the former often seem to the latter to be no more than right-wing vigilantes, the latter to the former nothing less than world-government-promoting socialists. Until some middle ground emerges to bridge that divide, this map (and other incendiary devices) will continue to add fuel to the ideological fire.

 

Many thanks to Jonathan Leblang and Adam Hahn for signaling this map, which appeared as an illustration to ‘Can the West Lead Us To A Better Place?‘, an article in Stanford Magazine, a periodical for and about alumni from that university. Update: the map can be found in higher resolution – and with a long, long comments section – here on Reddit.

Strange Maps #291

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

 

[1] Remember the Joseph Stalin quote: “One death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic”. Not that one acre is a tragedy. But you catch our meaning.

[2] Oliver Platt as Hector Cyr in Lake Placid (1999).

[3] Contrary to intuition, map objects shrunk to fit in with others are shown at a larger, not a smaller scale. See the scales at the bottom: Alaska's 500-mile line is 4 times shorter than the Lower 48's. Meaning (a) that Alaska is shown 4 times smaller than the Lower 48; and (b) that if Alaska's scale would have been as long as the other, it would have measured 2,000 miles – i.e. would measure a larger distance.

[4] Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data

[5] The BLM is also responsible for subsurface mineral resources in areas totaling 700 million acres.

[6] The sentiment is often attributed to Jefferson, but the quote as such is from the opening lines of Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.

[7] Mr. Bundy refused to pay $1.2 million in grazing fees to the BLM, arguing that the land his cattle uses belongs not to the federal, but the state government. In the spring of last year, BLM officials agreed to leave his property and release his cattle after hundreds of armed supporters showed up at the Bundy ranch. As the Washington Post recently reported, the conflict remains unresolved.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2017, 08:12:05 AM »

http://carolineglick.com/trumps-great-gifts-to-israel-and-america/
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G M
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« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2017, 02:41:03 PM »

https://spectator.org/the-middle-east-peace-process-meme-what-peace-process/

Special Report
The Middle East ‘Peace Process’ Meme: WHAT Peace Process?
DOV FISCHER
December 6, 2017, 1:19 pm

Thank you, President Trump, for again keeping your promise.

Now that he formally has announced that the United States of America fully recognizes Jerusalem as the undisputed capital of the country of Israel, President Donald Trump once again has proven that he is the first American President since Ronald Reagan who actually fulfills campaign promises he made to the American people who elected him. He promised to nominate to the United States Supreme Court a brilliant conservative judicial intellect in the tradition of the late Justice Antonin Scalia — and he named Neil Gorsuch to the High Court. He promised to continue naming impeccable conservative judges to the federal courts, and he continually has been doing so. He promised to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. To tighten the southern border and to begin the process of building a wall to choke off the opioids supply while addressing a broken and corrupted immigration policy.

He promised to roll back taxes to make American businesses competitive with those around the world, while ramping up the economy and laying the foundation for the creation of more jobs. He promised to address the regulatory stranglehold that has choked American energy and commerce. He walked away from the European climate conference and the Trans-Pacific boondoggle. He has confronted NAFTA and ended the nonsense of other multi-lateral global trade plans that always leave America subject to being cheated with little recourse. He is attempting to cut federal funds from Secessionist (“Sanctuary”) cities and “Resistance” states that defy the government of the United States. He has taken demonstrable steps to improve medical care for veterans. Hydraulic fracturing, oil exploration, clean coal development, and the entire gamut of all forms of energy harnessing now are back on the table, as he fulfills his promise to make America more energy-independent and thus less hostage to the fickle designs of tyrannical oil sheikdoms and two-bit dictatorships. He does not bow down to sheiks nor salsa with tyrants.

And now he has fulfilled his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the country of Israel.

Bill Clinton made that exact same promise, too. But he lied. Then George W. Bush promised the same — and he lied. Then Obama promised the same — If you like your capital, you can keep your capital — and he lied. Each one looked voters squarely in the faces and made the same bold promise, backed fully by Congressional bipartisan approval in a 1995 law that authorized such recognition, yet each knew he never would do it. And then came Donald Trump, uttering the same pledge — but this time honoring his word in his very first year in office. Thus, the promise to move America’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has become the Political Rosetta Stone of the Modern Age that deciphers whether a President is a bald-faced liar or can be trusted to do his best to honor and execute the promises that brought him into office.

As the chicken-hearted, yellow-bellied, lily-livered, gutless and spineless leaders of Western Civilization from Western Europe to New Zealand now shake and tremble in the face of a simple truth that they all know — that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel — we may expect to hear the meme interminably day-and-night, until the next television or movie icon’s pants fall, that “This decision now threatens the Middle East ‘Peace Process.’” For the last fifty years, someone in a European capital and in the U.S. State Department has uttered that sentence at least once weekly. If Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston divorce, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Megyn Kelly ever gets ratings on NBC, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Hillary Clinton admits that she knowingly spoliated those emails and that they had nothing to do with yoga, yogurt, or Chelsea’s wedding, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Netflix raises its prices again, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Eli Manning does not start for the New York Giants, or if Colin Kaepernick does start anywhere, it will endanger the Middle East peace process. If Bill Clinton admits that he raped Juanita Broaddrick, it will endanger the Middle East peace process.

So, while other experts debate the meme, let us share a secret: There is no Middle East “peace process” and there has not been a “Middle East peace process” for decades. It is a sham.

When Bill Clinton was President, only one person got to see him in the White House more often and closer-up than did Monica Lewinsky: Yasser Arafat. Arafat visited the White House more than did any other foreign visitor. With Clinton brutally pressuring Israel’s most ineffective and hapless Prime Minister in its history, Ehud Barak, Arafat was promised virtually everything he always had said he was demanding — but the butcher turned it down anyway and instead launched a civilian war, the so-called “intifada.”

Arafat and his cronies, chief among them Mahmoud Abbas, the current Palestinian Authority dictator who now is entering the thirteenth year of his four-year elected term in office, never wanted a final agreement that would recognize the permanent existence of a non-Muslim, Jewish-majority country in the Middle East. There never was a “Middle East Peace Process.” Rather, it was a “Piece Process”: Fool one American President to get us a piece of the Sinai, the next to get us a piece of the Golan Heights, the next to get a piece of Gaza. There never was a “Peace Process” — and, if one simply pauses to contemplate the reality of the terrain and the demography, the painful conclusion is that a “Two-State Solution” is best when not contemplated. Consider:

Before June 1967, an Arab Muslim polity (Egypt) held Gaza, an Arab Muslim polity (Syria) held the Golan Heights, and an Arab Muslim polity (Jordan) held Judea and Samaria (misnomered the “West Bank”). Yet in 1964, three years before June 1967, the Arab world created the “Palestine Liberation Organization” (PLO). Which “Palestine” did that “organization” set about to “liberate” in 1964? Not Gaza, Golan, and Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). Jordanian Olympic athletes were not attacked for “occupying the West Bank.” Nor were Egyptian school children for “occupying Gaza.” Nor Syrian civilians for “occupying the Golan.” Rather, all PLO terror attacks, from the PLO’s 1964 founding through June 1967, aimed within pre-June 1967 Israel. That is what the PLO was organized to liberate: the “Palestine” that is Israel. Not Gaza, Golan, nor Judea and Samaria.

(By the way, how fascinating is the term “West Bank”! The Arab world could not assert with a straight face that “Judea and Samaria” belong to the PLO. So they gave it a different name. Only… they had no other name for it because Judea and Samaria never were part of their universe. Read the Torah. Read the Christian Gospels. Read the Encyclopedia Britannica before the 1960s. So, since Judea and Samaria lands are west of the Jordan River, they denominated it the “West Bank.” Anyone who has been there, to cities up and down Judea and Samaria, knows that the region is no river “bank,” not remotely close to the Jordan River. The term is a joke — akin to labeling Jersey City, Bayonne, Secaucus, and Hoboken the “West Bank” because of its immensely closer proximity to the Hudson River or calling the states of Arkansas or Iowa the “West Bank” because of proximity to the Mississippi.

(Yet the mainstream leftist media use the term “West Bank” rather than “Judea and Samaria” because they claim to shun the “Bibilical” name. But they call everywhere else in that region by their Biblical names: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee, Jericho, Hebron, Negev, Syria, Damascus, Lebanon, Tyre, Nineveh, Sidon, Jordan, Egypt. And Jerusalem… which brings back the fallacy of the “Mideast Peace Process” meme…)

Today more than 200,000 Jews live in the eastern part of Jerusalem and approximately 420,000 Jews live in approximately 150 cities and other communities throughout the rest of Judea and Samaria. The mainstream left media label these cities and communities “settlements.” The Ma’aleh Adumim “settlement” in Judea has approximately 40,000 residents (comparable to New Hampshire’s third largest city, Concord; Vermont’s largest city, Burlington; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Bozeman, Montana; and other such American “settlements”). The “settlement” of Ariel in Samaria has more than 20,000 residents and a full university. The “settlement” of Modi’in Illit has 70,000 residents. The Beitar Illit “settlement” has 52,000 people. Karnei Shomron in Samaria has close to 10,000 residents. The American “settlement” of Malibu is roughly the same size.

No one ever asks this question: Given that every single Arab Muslim polity — ever — has demanded that all Jews be uprooted and removed from East Jerusalem and from the rest of Judea and Samaria as part of any “Middle East Peace Process,” where exactly does that “Peace Process” contemplate re-settling those 620,000 Jews? And how would they do it? Would they refurbish Nazi Germany’s cattle cars, the only previous method used effectively in the last 500-plus years to relocate that many Jews from their homes? And how exactly would they be rounded up — these 620,000 Jews being relocated from the homes they have built and in which they have lived for decades? The Nazis found it effective initially to relocate them into walled ghettoes. But where would the “Middle East Peace Process” have them walled before forcing them onto the cattle cars? Has the “Peace Process” identified suitable ghetto areas for temporarily confining those 620,000 Jews?

And while thinking about it: After these 620,000 Jews are barbed-wired into walled ghettoes, and subsequently prodded onto cattle cars — exactly where will they be transported for a suitable final solution to house them under the “Middle East Peace Process”?

Auschwitz-Birkenau is not available; it currently is in use as a museum and commercial tourist spot. Dachau? Majdanek? Bergen-Belsen? Buchenwald? Treblinka? Sobibor? All fascinating options. Or will Saudi Arabia offer them housing? Presently, Jews and Christians are barred from setting foot in Mecca and Medina, but there is tell that some women now may drive in some places there, often without being stoned. Or Afghanistan? Syria? Iraq?

The earliest “Middle East Peace Process” for twenty years from 1948-1967 included a solution: simply drive the Jews to their deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the solution’s neatness and elegance, the Arab Muslim world changed that meme from “Drive the Jews into the Sea” after the June 1967 war. In time, it became “The Peace Process” — without any thought as to the actual relocation of 620,000 Jews. But, if they are not to be slaughtered — a solution that the intransigent Israeli Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resolutely continues to oppose despite United Nations intractability, as do most other Israeli political parties — what indeed is that part of the “peace process”?

For those who would ask “Well, can’t Israel just absorb 620,000 people into… — it’s tough to finish that sentence. In August 2005, the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon uprooted 8,600 residents living in Gush Katif from the Gaza Strip so that Abbas could have that land as his own — land that rapidly was taken from his corrupt “Palestinian Authority” and that instead became the home base of the Hamas terrorist campaign. More than a decade later, Israel still has been unable to resettle them and get their lives back to normal. They lost their homes, jobs, often families. Thus, relocating and resettling 620,000 Jews is a puzzlement.

One more thing:

Look at the logo of the Hamas terrorists. See that green jagged “dagger” on the center-top? Now look at the logo of the Palestinian Authority’s Al Fatah terrorists. See that same green jagged “dagger” in the middle, partially obstructed by the two superimposed rifles? And now look at the logo of the terrorist Islamic Jihad. See that same jagged “dagger,” only this time in red and in the middle?

One picture is worth a thousand words — yet another meme. That depiction is not a jagged dagger. Rather, it is the map of “Palestine” that Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad all are determined to attain as part of the “Middle East Peace Process.” Thing is, for the uninitiated, that “Palestine” on their mind is not a map of Gaza and the “West Bank.” Rather, that is the exact map of all of Israel, down to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Hadera, Tiberias, Masadah, Eilat, and Ben Gurion Airport. For the Arab Muslim world, “Palestine” is Israel — all of it. Nothing has changed. One need not be fluent in Hebrew nor in Arabic to grasp this, simply capable of looking at four pictures. Want more pictures of more Palestine “Middle East Peace Process” aspirants? Here they are — they all want the same thing as their “Palestine”: all of Israel. That’s all.

The “Middle East Peace Process”? What Peace Process?
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