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HUMPHRIES: The great Organ Mountains land grab — What’s the 10th Amendment?

- - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Who’s the biggest landowner in the United States? Is it the eeeeeevil Koch brothers? Nope, not even close.

The federal government owns almost 650 million acres of land. That’s almost 30 percent of the entire country! They own almost 90 percent of the land in Nevada.

But that’s still not good enough for President Obama, who’s getting ready to grab another 500,000 acres in the Organ Mountains region of New Mexico. It’s another act of imperial power: His Majesty didn’t want to wait for Congress to debate the creation of this new half-million-acre “national monument.”

This is supposedly being done to protect cultural and scientific resources in the area. I might almost buy that if this land grab weren’t so huge. Republican Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico proposed a monument area about 90 percent smaller than the one President Obama plans to seize with executive orders.

The sheriff of Dona Ana County, Todd Garrison, warned that creating such a huge forbidden zone on the border is a threat to national security, because his deputies frequently encounter drug gangs and illegal aliens in the area. They won’t be able to patrol as effectively if that half-million acres becomes a national monument.

Border violators don’t usually care much about the land they’re stomping across. Sheriff Garrison said the new federal lands would probably “be torn up and misused by people that don’t give a flip about them anyway.”

Ranchers are worried that they won’t be allowed to graze their cattle in the area. They got the distinct impression nobody in the administration was listening to their concerns. After the confrontation with the Bundy family in Nevada, they have a good idea how the Bureau of Land Management likes to deal with uppity ranchers. The feds will probably set up another “free speech zone” surrounded with a fence, where the First Amendment will be grudgingly tolerated.

There is no way to justify the federal government controlling 30 percent of the land in America, with a huge amount of it concentrated in the West. This won’t be President Obama’s first “national monument” land grab. In fact, it’s not even the first one this year. He declared 1,600 acres in California off-limits in March.

This is the problem with having a powerful centralized government based in Washington, D.C. It’s real easy to say, “Let’s just grab 500,000 in New Mexico, those peasants out there don’t know how take care of the earth as good as we do anyway.”

This is why the 10th Amendment was added to the Constitution, so the states had rights to decide what to do with their own land and laws. It’s a shame that today our government believes it can pick and choose which laws they should abide by and which to enforce, depending on the whims of politicians who hold temporary offices, such as the president.

Congress has asked the president to hold off on creating the Organ Mountains monument area until local land-use and law enforcement concerns can be studied more carefully.

Well, President Obama should have no problem waiting to take action until more reports have been compiled. He just gave a press conference Wednesday where he said he wouldn’t do anything about the VA scandal until a new report gets filed next month.

If the outrageous treatment of veterans can wait until more studies are completed, so can the federal takeover of the Organ Mountain region.

Do you think The President is justified and saving the earth by protecting this land or do you believe this is an assault on state’s rights and the 10th Amendment to the Constitution? Comment here and until our next briefing, this is The Rusty Humphries Rebellion.