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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Police State: Government Destroys Couple's Rights Over Rainwater & Legally Can Access Your Facebook

Police State: Government Destroys Couple's Rights Over Rainwater & Legally Can Access Your Facebook


Government Destroys Couple's Rights Over Rainwater: "If You're Honest, They Take Everything Away"
With each passing year, SHTFPlan.com's Mac Slavo notes there are more and more challenges to personal property and individual sovereignty.

Despite the resilience it lends to our national security, the government has proven again and again that it wishes to clamp down on the ability to prep, survive and self-sustain off grid, and without the need for the system’s supply chain.


You can hardly build your own place, grow your own food, collect your own water or take care of yourself without the intervention of those in authority. There is need to push back against this continued intrusion of our lives.
Couple Forced to Destroy 40-Year-Old Pond On Their Own Property Because Govt Owns The Rainwater
Authored by Claire Bernish via The Free Thought Project,

An Oregon couple has been told they must destroy a 2-acre pond on their land — the property’s most attractive feature — because the government said so.

Although Jon and Sabrina Carey purchased the 10-acre property near Butte Falls two and a half years ago, the pond has been in place for 40 years — but that fact doesn’t matter to the Jackson County Watermaster’s Office.

“I basically bought a lemon,” said Jon, who became teary-eyed at the edge of the partially ice-covered body of water being targeted by government, in an interview with the Mail Tribune. “That’s how they explained it to me.”

But the couple desperately wants to keep the stunning longstanding feature in tact, so, as the Mail Tribune reports, the Careys have “pleaded with the Medford Water Commission to adopt the pond and treat it as a municipal water source, something Jackson County Watermaster Larry Menteer has opposed because of the precedent it would set.

“The Water Commission has rights to the watershed around the Careys’ property, where dozens, if not hundreds, of ponds are located, as well as Medford’s primary source of water, Big Butte Springs.”

And the Careys aren’t the only people in the watershed who’ve had difficulties with, well, ‘the government’s’ water.

Eagle Point resident Gary Harrington spent 90 days in jail for illegally harboring some 13 million gallons of illicit rainwater — that’s enough rain to fill around 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Harrington masterfully crafted several ponds on his property — even building docks for one, and stocking it with largemouth bass — but his insistence the water would assist in fire control and prevention didn’t satisfy the government, since a “1925 state law dictates that the water belongs to the Medford Water Commission.”

As Mother Nature Network’s Matt Hickman reported in 2012,

The bigger story here is that rainwater collection is indeed kosher in Oregon, provided that you’re capturing it from an artificial, impervious surface such as a rooftop with the assistance of rainwater barrels. But an extensive reservoir set-up complete with 10- and 20-foot-tall dams is verboten without the proper, state-issued water-right permits — after all, Oregon law dictates that water is a publicly owned resource — and Harrington did not possess said permits.
Harrington and the Oregon Water Resources Department waged an extended battle over the ponds, and at one point, it was ruled he would be allowed to keep everything in place — but that decision was backtracked in less than one year.

Ultimately, “Rain Man,” as he came to be called, found himself charged with nine misdemeanors, spent three months behind bars, and had to shell out $1,500 in fines — and was ordered to destroy the dams and drain all the ponds.

Harrington’s case might have been infinitely more complex than the Careys’ — considering the large volume of water and infrastructure he’d put in place — but they share the same theme of overbearing government and arguably wholly unnecessary law versus the right of people to do as they please with their property.

“When you’re honest, they take everything away from you,” said Sabrina Carey, who inspected country records — which plainly showed the pond — before they purchased the property.

Going by the book might have been the ‘fatal’ error for the couple, however, since the county didn’t take issue with the pond until Jon sought to grow legal medical cannabis on the land and had to prove there was a viable source of water for the grow operation.

According to the Watermaster’s Office, the previous owners had not received a permit for the pond, so the Careys were now in violation of Oregon regulations — and they would have to shoulder the cost of draining the water.

In an effort to prove the pond is legitimate and persuade county government to allow it to remain on the property, the couple stopped using it — even though the well on their land had run dry — and began shipping in the water for daily living and gardening from nearly Butte Falls.

They’ve also had no choice but to hire attorney Sarah Liljefelt, who filed a request with Jackson County to provide a permit for them to store water, stating, “The reservoir on Ms. Carey’s property, though small, is one of the largest in the area.”

As the Mail Tribune notes, “Liljefelt said the pond is an important source of water for beavers, otters, elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, bobcat, bald eagle osprey, great blue heron, snowy egret, Canada geese and the western pond turtle.”

By all appearances, the large pool of water does more good for the environment than if it weren’t there at all — during their fight with the State, the Careys even suggested it be used for fire control and prevention, like Harrington did, as the pond is easily accessible by fire crews.

But the county has displayed only nonsensical obstinance on the issue.

“This pond seems to be doing way more public good than not being here. Why, now, is it so important to be removed?” Jon lamented.

Indeed, the 40-year-old man doesn’t even profit from the medical cannabis grown on the land he and his wife own, as he literally gives the crop — free of charge — to friends.

“I don’t make anything out of this,” he said.

Members of the Water Commission disagree on whether this is an issue worth fighting over at all, but as the Mail Tribune reports,

Water Commission staff found several problems with the Careys’ request, including setting a precedent that could prompt similar requests and weaken state statutes while not meeting the definition of ‘municipal water source.’ The staff found it would be very difficult to access the water stored in the pond for municipal reasons, and further monitoring and following up on compliance issues would be difficult and costly for the commission.
However, the commission also failed to state why this should be a matter for the government in the first place — why punitive bureaucracy needs to meddle with a pond on private property, serving as a valuable ecosystem, that poses no threat to anyone or anything, and isn’t even an eyesore, must be destroyed.

Besides a trailer home and dilapidated house, the pond is the only thing of value on their acreage, and, obviously, as Sabrina said, “We didn’t buy it for the double-wide.”

She told the Mail Tribune the pond should have been registered with the Oregon Water Resources Department nine years ago, but the owners at that time did not reside on the property and didn’t do so.

They have even offered to reduce the pond’s size, allow officials to inspect it when necessary, and have provided a draft easement to the commission in hopes of allowing the prized water feature to remain intact — thus far to no avail.

“We’re just trying to do it by the rules,” Sabrina explained. “I’m trying to cooperate.”

In 2012, Gary Harrington had already been through years of conflict with government officials over illicit water — and provided CNSNews with stronger sentiment on the topic:

When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, ‘This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.’
That government feels entitled to not only something located on private property, but that people should not be allowed to collect rain, is everything wrong with excessive government — and the overregulation of daily life.


US Government Can Legally Access Your Facebook Data (And Now We Know How)
Submitted by Alice Salles via TheAntiMedia.org,

The end of the year is approaching, and data concerning government abuses of power has begun pouring in.

According to Facebook’s Global Government Requests Report, government’s requests for Facebook account data rose 27 percent in the first half of 2016.

Facebook’s official announcement explained that requests for user data went from 46,710 in the last half of 2015 to 59,229 in the first half of 2016. At least 56 percent of these requests, Facebook added, “contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited us from notifying the user.”

Law enforcement agencies from across the globe, Facebook continued, often send restriction requests demanding Facebook remove content from its forums. Fortunately, these requests dropped substantially this year, from 55,827 in the last half of 2015 to 9,663 in 2016 — an 87 percent drop. Most of the 2015 requests revolved around “French content restrictions of a single image from the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks.”

Additionally, Facebook used its report to disclose for the first time what the company does when law enforcement agencies request “snapshots” of a user account that might be relevant to law enforcement for undisclosed reasons.

These “preservation requests,” as they are known, are requests to “preserve data pending receipt of formal legal process.” They are often processed by the social media website as snapshots, which are preserved temporarily. According to Facebook, the company does not “disclose any of the preserved records unless and until we receive formal and valid legal process.” In the first half of 2016, Facebook received 38,675 preservation requests regarding 67,129 accounts, a staggering number of requests.

Further, Facebook insisted it does not give law enforcement any “back doors” to user information. Adding that requests are only fulfilled if they meet legal requirements or “legal sufficiency,” as Facebook puts it, they claim to “apply a rigorous approach to every government request [they] receive to protect the information of the people who use [their] services,” the company added. But this rigorous approach is not rigorous enough if “reforms” designed to avoid privacy overreach in America simply don’t go far enough.

Take the USA Freedom Act, for instance. The 2015 law was once supported by libertarian-leaning congressmen like Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). Later, however, Amash criticized the bill after changes giving government more power were adopted.

Mentioning the new rule by name, Facebook added that “as a result of transparency reforms introduced this year by the USA Freedom Act, our report also contains additional information concerning National Security Letters (NSLs).” NSLs are “extraordinary search procedures” that give the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the power to “compel the disclosure of customer records held by banks, telephone companies, Internet Service Providers, and others.” They are extraordinary because detailed information can be surrendered without proper oversight, an issue that has led to countless cases of abuse.

While NSLs are still being implemented, the gag order related to the procedure has changed. Now, “the government goes to court to justify the gag order only if an NSL recipient notifies the FBI of its desire for judicial review in the first place.” While the government bears “the burden of immediately going to court and proving its necessity,” NSLs give the FBI the power to bypass this important step.

Explaining that “the government lifted a gag requirement on one NSL issued in the second half of 2015,” the company decided to publish it. It’s unclear sure how many other NSLs Facebook has received.

Facebook may promise to “apply a rigorous approach to every government request” that comes its way, but rigor may only be practiced within the boundaries of U.S. law. If the law fails to protect the user’s privacy by allowing agencies to use “extraordinary” procedures, your data is never protected, no matter how well-meaning companies like Facebook claim to be.

According to Facebook, other government requests concerning “imminent risk of serious injury or death” are also granted on a regular basis. At least 3,016 of these requests were made in the first half of 2016. They targeted 4,192 accounts.

Search warrants were produced in only 13,742 cases of request for data while only 781 others were backed by court orders.


“Financial Lockdown… ATMs Went Dry”: 3 Police States Banning Cash to Control the People


Is it any coincidence that the financial crises, and the subsequent restrictions, follow the general chaos and upheaval that surround hotspots and conflict zones?
The European Union has once again been confronted with a major terror attack, and is coming down harsh on cash, gold and other valuables as a response. Due to its supposed connection to financing terrorism, cash and gold are being closely monitored and seized as it flows into the EU.
Meanwhile, economic crisis driving extremely tight cash control measures in Venezuela, India and other parts of the developing world. In the name of combating illicit financial activities, these countries have banned nearly all of the currency, while placing a very short leash around their already impoverished populations.
The United States, too, is under a great deal of economic pressure. Enormous mounts of debt, rising interest rates and a number of massive bursting bubbles, could explode into a major crisis. While there are already fairly tight restrictions on transferring, withdrawing or crossing borders with large amounts of cash, even great restrictions may be coming.
Earlier in 2016, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, an architect of the last banking crisis, penned an op-ed called ” It’s time to kill the $100 bill “
Harvard’s Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government, which I am privileged to direct, has just issued an important paper by senior fellow Peter Sands and a group of student collaborators. The paper makes a compelling case for stopping the issuance of high denomination notes like the 500 euro note and $100 bill or even withdrawing them from circulation.
These are difficult times in Europe with the refugee crisis, economic weakness, security issues and the rise of populist movements… Even better than unilateral measures in Europe would be a global agreement to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100.
It isn’t just summers. Janet Yellen, the IMF, and several leading papers have all advocated these measures. Now, these things are starting to happen around the world.
Investing.com sees a global cash ban accelerating in 2017, and possibly impacting transactions at home in the United States:
The big theme for 2017 will be Cash. Not a pro-deflationary “time to own cash” theme, but a “let’s ban it as quickly as possible” theme […] Which is why 2017 will shape up to be the year of the Global Cash Bans.
Cash is being restricted as a means of maintaining control over the citizenry. Long lines, withdraw limits, capital controls, will all define the use of cash during the crises to come.
Look at what has happened:
screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-3-10-04-pm
Worthless Bolivars, now tightly controlled in Venezuela.
• Venezuela – At least they have a good excuse, as they are in the midst of an exploding hyperinflationary currency crisis. President Maduro has forced everyone to dump their notes in the bank, and wait in even longer lines, and go through even more bureaucracy in order to secure food and other necessities in this failing economy.
Many have been forced to open bank accounts for the first time, or operate in the black market sector. It has been extremely inconvenient for an already burdened people:
It is not the sort of quantitative easing approach you will read about in any economic textbooks, but Venezuelan President Nicol├ís Maduro has apparently found an innovative way to halt his country’s slide into hyperinflation.
Over the weekend, Maduro abruptly outlawed the 100-bolivar bank note, the largest denomination of the country’s currency, giving Venezuelans until Thursday to deposit or exchange the bills before they are rendered worthless. Calling the bills instruments of an “economic coup” to destabilize his government, he said the move would strike a blow at “international mafias” that have been hoarding the cash. (source)
screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-51-29-pm
Long lines in India to deposit outlawed 500- and 1000-rupee notes before the deadline.
• India – With one and quarter billion people, the government is forcing its poor people and backwards economy to conform to banking standards. Individuals have been forced to line up and deposit 500 and 1000 rupee notes, worth something like $7.50 and $14.70 dollars, respectively, as they are no longer legal for market transactions. Most of these people don’t have bank accounts – a crisis is now underway.
The 7th largest country in the world by GDP (India) banned physical cash in denominations that comprise over 80% of all outstanding bills.
The move was a political disaster… temporarily, but no one was forced out of office and the legislation remains in place.
This forceful policy has forced hundreds of millions to find their way into the banking sector, as a full half of the country’s workforce, in the informal market, have been put into a bind. The entire situation has been a nightmare.
Since the ban was announced, not only have people stood in long lines to get money, banks are also not handing out the amount that customers demand as they run out of money faster than it is replaced.
“If I need Rs. 10,000 ($150), I get Rs. 2000 ($30). How can I manage in just this much money? I have faced massive problems,” Lal explained. “How do I buy rations, or pay for medicines or send money home for my children?” (Source)
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, While speaking in Baran district of Rajasthan on Monday, attacked PM Narendra Modi, saying cash Ban is actually a financial lockdown.
With[a] December 30 deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ease money supply, the cash crunch continues with people lining outside banks and ATMs to withdraw their money.
It is a financial lockdown that has seriously impacted the lower and middle classes in the huge expanses of India, where some 98% of all transactions take place in cash.
On Nov. 8, the Indian government announced an immediate ban on two major bills that account for the vast majority of all currency in circulation. …In the two weeks after the measure was announced, millions of Indians stricken with small panic rushed out to banks; A.T.M.s and tellers soon ran dry. Some 98 percent of all transactions in India, measured by volume, are conducted in cash. …So far its effects have been disastrous for the middle- and lower-middle classes, as well as the poor. And the worst may be yet to come. (source)
These are not just third world problems; serious cash restrictions are happening in highly industrialized Western countries as well.
Europe has already shifted largely into the digital sphere, and are now targeting the influence of cash as part of its security strategy.
greek-euro-exit
There have been rumors that the Euro could fall along with the EU superstate. Right now, battle is with terrorism, populism and a migrant crisis, but all things are related to the whole.
• European Union – After the latest round of terror attacks in Berlin and across Europe, the European Commission is instituting unprecedented cash controls, clamping down on the influx of cash and precious metals that they fear could be used in terror financing. This amounts to even more restrictions on everyone else who isn’t a terrorist.
EU to boost border checks on cash, gold to tackle ‘terrorism financing’
via Reuters:
The European Commission proposed tightening controls on cash and precious metals transfers from outside the EU on Wednesday, in a bid to shut down one route for funding of militant attacks on the continent.
Under the new proposals, customs officials in European Union states can step up checks on cash…
[…]
People carrying more than 10,000 euros ($10,400) in cash already have to declare this at customs when entering the EU. The new rules would allow authorities to seize money below that threshold “where there are suspicions of criminal activity,” the EU executive commission said in a note.
The Commission is also considering whether to set up an EU-focussed “terrorist finance tracking program” along the lines of the U.S.-EU TFTP, which has long been opposed by EU lawmakers and privacy campaigners because it allows widespread checks on consumers’ bank transfers.
The Commission is also proposing … confiscating assets even from those thought to be connected to criminals [… and…] holders of prepaid cards would have to show some form of identity when they make payments of 150 euros or more.
And there are, of course, already many restrictions on cash in many countries in Europe, as Investing.com notes:
Numerous developed nations (France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) have already banned cash for certain transactions. Next year (2017) is the year we expect to start seeing policy pushes for complete bans on cash.
There are many pretexts for tightening cash, placing limits on spending, and increasing surveillance on people who use large amounts of it.
All of it will curb freedom, and force digital market transactions, backed by biometric identification, tracking and verification.
And it is coming home to America.