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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, March 22nd, 2012.

Intelligence agencies: Water could be cause of global conflict in coming decades

Agenda 21 & Sustainable, Federal gov & land grabs, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Why are we not surprised at this one? — Editor Liz Bowen

Published March 22, 2012

| Associated Press

WASHINGTON –  Drought, floods and a lack of fresh water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades as developing countries scramble to meet demand from exploding populations while dealing with climate change, U.S. intelligence agencies said in a report released Thursday.

The assessment says the risk of water issues causing wars in the next 10 years is minimal even as they create tensions within and between states and threaten to disrupt national and global food markets. But beyond 2022, it says the use of water as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism will become more likely, particularly in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

The report is based on a classified National Intelligence Estimate on water security, which was requested by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and completed last fall. It says floods, scarce and poor quality water, combined with poverty, social tension, poor leadership and weak governments will contribute to instability that could lead the failure of numerous states.

Those elements “will likely increase the risk of instability and state failure, exacerbate regional tensions, and distract countries from working with the United States on important policy objectives,” said the report, to be released at a State Department event commemorating World Water Day. At the event Thursday, Clinton is to unveil a new U.S. Water Partnership that aims to share American water management expertise with the rest of the world.

“We assess that a water-related state-on-state conflict is unlikely during the next 10 years,” the report said, noting that in the past countries have tried to resolve water issues through negotiation. “However, we judge that as water shortages become more acute beyond the next 10 years, water in shared basins will increasingly be used as leverage; the use of water as a weapon or to further terrorist objectives, also will become more likely beyond 10 years.”

The report predicts that upstream nations — more powerful than their downstream neighbors due to geography — will limit access to water for political reasons and that countries will regulate internal supplies to suppress separatist movements and dissident populations.

At the same time, terrorists and rogue states may target or threaten to target water-related infrastructure like dams and reservoirs more frequently. Even if attacks do not occur or are only partially successful, the report said “the fear of massive floods or loss of water resources would alarm the public and cause governments to take costly measures to protect the water infrastructure.”

The unclassified summary of the intelligence estimate does not identify the specific countries most at risk. But it notes that the study focused on several specific rivers and water basins. Those included the Nile in Egypt, Sudan and nations further south, the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq and the greater Middle East, the Mekong in China and Southeast Asia, the Jordan that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories, the Indus and the Brahmaputra in India and South Asia as well as the Amu Darya in Central Asia.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/22/intelligence-agencies-water-could-be-cause-global-conflict-in-coming-decades/#ixzz1puqXDdZM

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Check out Klamath Basin Crisis.org for the page on Dr. Paul Houser, the DOI whistleblower

Federal gov & land grabs, Good websites, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath Basin Crisis.org, Whistleblowers

 Dr. Paul R. Houser
* Scientist and whistleblower
* expert on ‘Scientific Integrity’
* highest level scientist in the Bureau of Reclamation
* only scientist in the D.C. office
FIRED for exposing scientific fraud by Interior

Houser PicDr. Paul R. Houser biography



Klamath KBRA scientist, Dr. Paul Houser, whistleblower letter to Siskiyou County Supervisors, posted to KBC 2/27/12

 

 

 

Allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct and reprisal for a disclosure concerning the biased summarization of key scientific conclusions for the Klamath River dam removal Secretarial determination process, from Dr. Paul R. Houser, Science Advisor and Scientific Integrity Officer, Bureau of Reclamation, Washington D.C., to Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs, Department of the Interior, posted to KBC 2/27/12.

 

Dr. Houser attachments to letter to Siskiyou Supervisors, posted to KBC 3/2/12

or click here:   http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/settlement/science/klamathhouserwhistleblowertoSiskSups022412.htm

 

KBC NEWS 3/19/12 – Dr. Paul R. Houser, hydrometeorologist, and expert scientist on “Scientific Integrity,” was the highest level scientist in the Bureau of Reclamation, and the only scientist in the D.C. office. Houser, whistleblower, was fired for exposing the Secretary of Interior’s “intentional falsification,” “bias,” and  “predetermined intention” to destroy the Klamath dams. 


HERE for Dr. Houser’s biography


Here for Dr. Houser’s KBC webpage.


KBC News asked Dr. Houser his opinion of Interior’s  peer review report  also of the peer reviewers?”


HERE is Dr. Houser’s review.

Dr. Paul R. Houser, Hydrometeorologist,

Review of Interior’s Klamath Dam Removal

EIS/EIR Peer-Review and Peer-Reviewers

Dr. Paul R. Houser, hydrometeorologist, and expert scientist on “Scientific Integrity,” was the highest level scientist in the Bureau of Reclamation, and the only scientist in the D.C. office. Houser was fired for exposing “intentional falsification,” “bias,” and Interior’s “predetermined intention” to destroy the Klamath dams.

HERE for Dr. Houser’s biography

Here for Dr. Houser’s KBC webpage.

KBC News posed the following question of Dr. Houser:  What is  your opinion of Interior’s peer review report of Klamath Dam Removal Overview Report pdf, and also of the peer reviewers?”

Following is Dr. Houser’s response:

“Here is my review of the review.

I note that comment 3-5: “The Summary and Findings section does not sufficiently express the uncertainties in the responses to restoration options” is generally consistent with my concerns over the September 21, 2011 “Summary of Key Conclusions” expressed in my September disclosure. Note that the summaries included in the draft EIS/EIR are more detailed than the Summary of Key Conclusions, but still have bias.

Also note Comment 4-2: “Make the process of evaluating the scientific information clearer (e.g., in Section 3) and ensure that the Secretary understands the scientific limitations of the advice provided by its expert panels.” For example, the expert panels conclude that most issues could be answered only qualitatively rather than quantitatively, as would be hoped for from scientific information. As put succinctly by the final Coho/Steelhead panel report: “… a decision to proceed with the [dam removal] projects should be understood as a decision to pursue a hypothesis of increased fish production, for which there is evidentiary support for qualitative responses, but whose quantitative outcome is largely unknown” (p. 71).

Further comments of note:

Comment 5a-1: “The Overview Report does not discuss the range of potential outcomes and associated unknowns to the degree expressed in the original technical reports”.

Comment 5b-1: “The KBRA includes discussions on fish restoration and several other key factors associated with dam removal. The document does, however, acknowledge that specific implementation processes have not been thoroughly developed. Because of this, some uncertainty exists about the overall effectiveness of implementation efforts”.

Comment 7a-1: “The risks and uncertainties of dam removal are not as clear, particularly in the Executive Summary, as they should be. Certain aspects of the system response to restoration are better defined (more certain) than others. Such distinctions are important. Recommendation: Edit the Overview Report to highlight the distinction between what is known with confidence and critical uncertainties”.

The reviews also point out inadequate discussion and accounting for the impact of reservoir sediment transport or contaminants. This is a critical omission that could have devastating effects on the current healthy downstream fisheries.

Finally, I am concerned about a peer-review with pre-determined questions. It is possible that the peer-reviewers may only address the questions they are presented, rather than looking at the broad credibility of the report. Peer reviews of scientific papers usually do not have such specific questions, so the reviewers are more broadly tasked with assessing the technical validity of the science presented. The peer reviewers are certainly impressive scientists. However, I note that they include a history professor, a power regulatory consultant, a senior scientist for the Nature Conservancy, a dam-removal engineer, and a salmon recovery professor. This appears to not be an impartial panel, and one with a number of obvious conflicts of interest.”

Best Regards, Paul

Dr. Paul R. Houser, Hydrometeorologist

Mobile:301-613-3782 | Fax:410-970-6643 | prhouser@gmail.com

====================================================

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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U.S. top court backs landowners, limits power of EPA

Federal gov & land grabs, Over-regulations, Property rights

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/21/us-usa-court-epa-idUSBRE82K0YT20120321

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:11pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that landowners can sue to challenge a federal government compliance order under the clean water law, a decision that sides with corporate groups and puts new limits on a key Environmental Protection Agency power.

The justices unanimously rejected the government’s position that individuals or companies must first fail to comply with an EPA order and face potentially costly enforcement action before a court can review the case.

The opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia was a victory for an Idaho couple who challenged a 2007 EPA order that required them to restore a wetland they had filled with dirt and rock as they began to build a new vacation home near Priest Lake. They were also told to stop construction on the home.

The couple, Chantell and Michael Sackett, denied their property had ever contained a wetland and complained they were being forced to comply with an order without a court hearing.

Their appeal drew support from the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Association of Home Builders and General Electric Co, a company that had made a similar challenge to the EPA compliance orders.

The Supreme Court’s ruling comes at a time when the EPA has faced fierce criticism from many Republicans in Congress who say it has issued the most ambitious clean air regulations in decades and has become heavy-handed in enforcement actions.

Scalia concluded the Sacketts may bring a civil lawsuit under the Administrative Procedures Act to challenge the EPA’s order.

He said that since the EPA’s decision was final and the couple faced potential large fines, they had no other adequate remedy but to bring a civil lawsuit.

Reading his decision from the bench, Scalia said that the Clean Water Act does not prevent judicial review of such orders.

Under the law, violations of the Clean Water Act can result in fines of up to $37,500 per day, plus as much as an additional $37,500 per day for violating the EPA compliance order.

The EPA issues nearly 3,000 compliance orders a year that require accused violators of environmental laws to stop alleged harmful actions and repair any damage that was caused.

The justices overturned a U.S. appeals court ruling that a compliance order was not subject to judicial review until later when the EPA has brought an enforcement action and seeks to have a judge rule in its favor.

‘DAY IN COURT’

The court did not reach the broader question of whether the EPA’s order violated the constitutional right of due process. It only held that the Administrative Procedures Act, which provides certain rules for federal regulatory agencies, applied.

Scalia said that the Sacketts would not get an adequate remedy if they had to apply to the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit and then file suit if that permit was denied.

He said the Clean Water Act was not “uniquely designed to enable the strong-arming of regulated parties into ‘voluntary compliance’ without the opportunity for judicial review.”

Scalia concluded the 10-page opinion by saying the EPA’s orders will remain an effective way to secure prompt, voluntary compliance in the many cases when there was no substantial basis to question their validity.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote a short separate opinion concurring in the outcome. He said allowing property owners to sue was better than nothing, but urged Congress to adopt new legislation clarifying the reach of the Clean Water Act.

Government attorneys had defended the compliance orders as a quick way to stop environmental damage and argued that allowing accused polluters to get a court hearing would tie the EPA up in lengthy litigation.

An attorney for the Sacketts argued that they should not have to wait for years for judicial review until the EPA decides to go to court and said the compliance order was coercive, requiring action to avoid potentially huge fines.

Damien Schiff, the attorney for the couple, hailed the ruling. “EPA is not above the law,” he said.

“That’s the bottom line with today’s ruling. This is a great day for Mike and Chantell Sackett, because it confirms that EPA can’t deny them access to justice. EPA can’t repeal the Sacketts’ fundamental right to their day in court,” he said.

Jon Devine, senior attorney in the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the EPA still can issue compliance orders.

“The Supreme Court did not give anyone a license to pollute. Pure and simple. Those who pollute our waters will still be held accountable,” he said. The ruling “grants recipients of such orders, at a time of their choosing, a day in court to challenge them to promote speedy resolution of pollution problems.”

The Supreme Court case is Sackett v EPA, No. 10-1062.

(Reporting By James Vicini; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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7 Recent Victories for Raw Milk Freedom Advocates

Farmageddon, Federal gov & land grabs

Let’s have a toast to raw milk

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Things can seem really grim in the world of food freedom when farmers and food club members are jailed and squashed for providing fresh milk, while the media continues to spread outright lies about its consumption.

Just when it appears that the force, bans, food destruction, jail time, and deception are too much to handle – the people parry and thrust! In this dark cloud of oppression against health freedom and self-sufficiency, there are indeed some overlooked silver linings. For every bout of extreme force, there is a doubly powerful backlash.

Increasing Rallies To Defend Small Milk Farmers

There have been a handful of impressive rallies to defend raided small farms in the last year including the most recent one supporting Vernon Hershberger. Around 300 people showed up at his Wisconsin court hearing and were jam packed into the courtroom and basement during proceedings.

He refused to have a hearing without his own camera rolling and would not accept offers for settlement, i.e. reduced punishment for accepting guilt for four misdemeanors. The pressure from the crowd, his gentle constancy, and his recordings may have led the judge to rethink the call of prosecutors to punish him for violating bail terms. His trial date has been pushed to September.

The attendees and Hershberger signed a Declaration of Food Independence and went to a workshop to learn about standing up to food and farm tyranny.

The education and action always proves useful. For instance, Jackie Ownes, the DATCP inspector carrying out action against Hershberger calls herself a judge, but has no sworn oath on file and therefore, no real judicial authority. The rally organizers are suing her for fraud and misrepresentation.

Sheriff Receives Award For Protecting Small Farm Clubs

Over 200 law enforcement personnel attended the first Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association convention in early February. Sheriff Brad Rogers received an award for “Meritorious Valor” and overwhelming applause for standing up to the feds attacking farmer David Hochstetler.

Rogers of Indiana bravely stood his ground and kept his oath knowing there would be sparks. He promised to protect Hochstetler who was subpoenaed in December for distributing raw milk.

He wrote the Justice Department attorney that if anyone came back to the farm without a signed search warrant, they would be “removed for trespassing.” They puffed back that they have federal jurisdiction via the Supremacy Clause, but he reminded them about the Constitution.

The Department of Justice removed its subpoena. This is what happens when constitutional sheriffs exercise their authority to protect their turf from federal bully overreach.

Harvard Raw Milk Debate

A step in the right direction, Harvard’s Food Law Society invited some of the biggest players in the politically incorrect food freedom movement to speak openly in a debate.

In the February debate below, Sally Fallon of Weston A. Price foundation and author David Gumpert spoke first about raw milk’s benefits, the deceptions, and the extreme government crackdown on farmers. Stark opponents to raw milk, attorney Fred Pritzker and Dr. Heidi Kassenborg spoke after.

This intriguing video is a must-watch to find out what all the fuss is about:

Who do you think made the strongest argument?

Harvard Study Finds Pasteurized Milk Causes Cancer

An old report from a Harvard student makes the connection that the addition of rBGH (hormones) to speed the production of milk from factory farm cows, as well as the practice of milking cows during pregnancy, leads to hormone disruption; and breast, prostate, and testicular cancer.

The resurfacing report from Harvard, lauded by the mainstream, and exposed during the same week as court hearings and CDC warnings (i.e, lies), is quite a punch in the face to the raw milk task force.

The media, including one of the debaters above, like to cite an instance when a raw milk farmer on the news was milking his cow and didn’t realize that some manure had landed on his face — as if that should be the death knell for all unpasteurized products. But, along with the Harvard study, it was also found that pasteurized milk contains, among other things, a speculated 150 times more blood, pus and feces than fresh milk. Does a body good?

The CDC Is Caught Cherry Picking Data – and Lying

In late February, the CDC put out another scary warning espousing the dangers of potential foodborne illness from consuming unpasteurized milk. Conveniently it comes during the midst of farmer court hearings and milk confiscations; also conveniently, it completely skews raw milk data and downplays the dangers of pasteurized milk. They also lied about two deaths from raw milk that were actually tied to eating an illegal cheese.

Just over a hundred people on average become sick from raw milk each year; fewer than sicknesses from pasteurized milk. Milk products in general are low risk; only a few hundred sicknesses out of around 24,000 foodborne illness cases each year. Raw milk sicknesses make up about 0.005 percent of that threat, and the chances of food sickness are 1,300 times higher from eating at a restaurant than from drinking raw milk.

The warning serves as a perfect example of an irrational attack that has nothing to do with food safety — but the wool is lifting from people’s eyes.

The Rest of The World Is Seen Drinking Raw Milk – Always

Other countries and cultures must look upon America’s raging War on Milk with bafflement. For thousands of years and now, people have consumed raw milk without incident.

In Europe, you can grab fresh milk from vending machines – the government often pays the vendors to provide their wares.

Woman Cures Her Lyme With Raw Milk – Uncovers Old Medical Protocols Using Raw Milk

Recently, a woman undertook a rigorous 90-day raw milk fast to rid her body of Lyme disease. She uncovered old Mayo Foundation documents from the early 1900s applying raw milk fasts to serious diseases at the time such as Tuberculosis.

Not as Recent Honorable Mentions:

Don’t mess with the Raw Milk Freedom Riders! In November, strong moms and others joined a caravan of raw milk trucks and defiantly drove it back and forth over state lines in protest of the FDA’s strict interstate bans. President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund FTCLDF, said, “How do you know when we’ve got a bad law? When thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens are breaking it on a weekly basis.”

Last year, a study showed that kids who drink raw milk have 40 percent less asthma and allergies than others. Raw milk has shown curative effects for asthma, a serious condition that kills 5,500 people each year.

In June, a female endurance cycling team powered by raw milk broke speed records records in their bracket, previously held by men. The Raw Milk Cats were in their fifties and sped completely across the country in six days. Body builders are also loving the use of raw milk for better protein assimilation.

Ron Paul introduced The Unpasteurized Milk bill to decriminalize raw milk and allow interstate transfer. Watch a great interview on his stance here.

Big Picture Victory: The Forbidden Nature of Raw Milk

What seems like an irrational attempt to stomp out any remnant of the radical 9 million or more raw milk drinkers only serves to make people question – why??

More than likely, all the buzz will intrigue rather than preclude people from trying out America’s most “dangerous” contraband.

Care to rebel? Once you find out how private farm club memberships work, the rest is easy. Visit www.westonaprice.org to find chapter members who will help you locate and join a local club. Now is the time to opt for fresh pasture foods in lieu of slime and dead food.

Supporting local small farms is the best way to lend them strength — and to keep yours!

End The Lie show host Madison Ruppert & Heather Callaghan talk food freedom in a two-hour discussion here: Part 1 & Part 2

You can spread the word of victory by voting on Reddit to support this article:  http://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/r5t84/7_recent_victories_for_raw_milk_freedom_advocates/

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More on Sacketts in Idaho & EPA

Federal gov & land grabs, Politicians & agencies, Property rights

The Supreme Court has just ruled to allow the family in Idaho to proceed in Court regarding the wetlands case.  In the last paragraph of the article, Judge Scalia implores Congress to fix the “notoriously unclear” scope of the Clean Water Act.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/supreme-court-epa-unanimous-decision-clean-water-act_n_1369831.html

Supreme Court

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for a unanimous Supreme Court in an EPA case.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously reversed a lower court opinion that forbade an Idaho couple from challenging an Environmental Protection Agency compliance order that carried with it tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in potential penalties.

A few months after Chantell and Michael Sackett began preparations to build their dream home just north of Idaho’s Priest Lake in 2005, the EPA came calling with an order that they stop and restore their lot to its original condition. The EPA determined that the Sacketts’ property contained “wetlands,” from which the dirt and rock they used to fill their property would flow into Priest Lake in violation of the Clean Water Act’s prohibition on “the discharge of any pollutant by any person” without a permit into “navigable waters,” defined in the law as “the waters of the United States.” The Sacketts did not believe that their property was subject to the Clean Water Act and brought suit, but lower courts refused the Sacketts an opportunity to fight the order — and with it, the civil penalties of up to $75,000 per day of non-compliance that they were potentially accruing — until the EPA itself chose to bring an action.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing on behalf of the entire Court, allowed the Sacketts’ suit to proceed. The government argued that the compliance order was “a step in the [EPA's] deliberative process” over whether to bring an enforcement action against the Sacketts, and therefore not the kind of “final agency action” that would trigger the Sacketts’ ability to sue. Rejecting that argument, Scalia wrote that “[t]here is no reason to think that the Clean Water Act was uniquely designed the enable the strong-arming of regulated parties into ‘voluntary compliance’ without the opportunity for judicial review — even review of the question whether the regulated party is within the EPA’s jurisdiction.”

The decision represents a win not only for the Sacketts but also for the libertarian legal community and property rights advocates, who argued that the EPA’s previously unchallengeable compliance orders represented the administrative state run amok.

Still, the decision does not mean that the Sacketts, or anyone else now able to push back against EPA compliance orders, will ultimately prevail in their lawsuits.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito wrote separate concurring opinions to signal a less-than-unanimous future should the Supreme Court tackle the legality of the EPA’s Clean Water Act compliance orders. The justices deadlocked on ideological lines in a 2005 case challenging the EPA’s broad definition of “navigable waters.”

“Whether the Sacketts could challenge not only the EPA’s authority to regulate their land under the Clean Water Act, but also, at this pre-enforcement stage, the terms and conditions of the compliance order is a question today’s opinion does not reach out to resolve,” Ginsburg wrote. “Not raised by the Sacketts here, the question remains open for another day and case.”

Alito implored Congress to fix the “notoriously unclear” scope of the Clean Water Act. “Any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year is in danger of being classified by EPA employees as wetlands covered by the act, and according to the Federal Government, if property owners begin to construct a home on a lot that the agency thinks possesses the requisite wetness, the property owners are at the agency’s mercy,” Alito wrote. “Allowing aggrieved property owners to sue … is better than nothing, but only clarification of the reach of the Clean Water Act can rectify the underlying problem,” he wrote.

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