The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) did not tell the owners why they confiscated their vehicle. The $60,000 Land Rover was one of 40 vehicles seized that day by DHS.
The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) did not tell the owners why they confiscated their vehicle. The $60,000 Land Rover was one of 40 vehicles seized that day by DHS.
by Paul Joseph Watson
In another example of how the Department of Homeland Security has expanded far outside the purview of its original function, six vehicles full of DHS agents were required to seize a Land Rover from a couple in Statesville, N.C. due to the fact that the vehicle allegedly violates EPA emission standards.
As part of its mission to “protect the Homeland,” the DHS has been busy seizing imported vehicles that don’t comply with safety and CO2 regulations.
Jennifer and Bill Brinkley were satisfied that their $60,000 dollar purchase of a Land Rover Defender on eBay complied with regulations because it fell into the exemption category of a vehicle 25 years or older.
However, when DHS agents turned up at the property, they compared the car’s Vehicle Identification Number to a list and immediately seized the Land Rover. The couple were not given “a chance to debate the issue.”
WBTV’s Steve Ohnesorge said DHS agents conducted “almost like a raid to get the car.”
“it’s just unnerving the way they did it,” said Bill Brinkley.
The feds have given the Brinkley’s 35 days to appeal the seizure but refuse to tell them where the vehicle is located. The DHS has also failed to respond to media requests about the incident.
The Department of Homeland Security, created in the aftermath of 9/11, was tasked with the role of protecting America from terrorists, man-made accidents and natural disasters. However, the DHS has been turned into a national police force with a remit that extends from seizing websites for copyright infringement to confiscating fake NFL merchandise.
As the Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead explained in a widely circulated article last month, the DHS is becoming America’s domestic standing army.
“The menace of a national police force, aka a standing army, vested with so much power cannot be overstated, nor can its danger be ignored,” wrote Whitehead, before listing numerous examples of how the DHS is instrumental in pushing America’s decline into a militarized police state.
One such example occurred earlier this month in Greenville, North Carolina, when teams of armed DHS agents showed up outside a courthouse building. There was no threat to the building – the purpose of the agents’ presence was to “let people know they’re in the area,” while encouraging residents to snitch on their neighbors via the ‘See Something, Say Something’ program.
In another incident, the DHS conducted a military-style invasion of a small town in Illinois complete with armored vehicles, a Black Hawk helicopter and a phalanx of heavy duty equipment and weaponry. It subsequently emerged that the reason behind the show of force – which spooked locals – was to apprehend one man for downloading indecent images on his computer.
Given this history, the Brinkleys should probably count themselves lucky that they didn’t have guns pointed at their head during the seizure of the Land Rover, which the DHS apparently sees as a bigger threat to America than the nation’s porous borders and the fact that the TSA, a subdivision of the DHS, allows illegal aliens to board planes without identification.
ORIGINAL SOURCE WBTV.COM
This month I planned to discuss the professional background of Council member Randy Stagner. I wanted to question why a highly placed retired Colonel who worked in the Pentagon with the State Department would choose to devote all of his time to the Raleigh City Council (RCC). In particular I wanted to ask the retired Colonel if his extensive military experience prepared him to help transform Raleigh into a sub compact city. Council Member Odom, the only alleged Republican on the Council, objected that I address a specific member of the Council during my allotted 3 minutes. (It’s also telling that the RCC routinely permits certain people to go well over 3 minutes but most who object to RCC polices are strictly limited to 3 minutes.) Mayor McFarlane also interrupted me. It seemed absurd that the Council was threatened by my citing what’s included on Stagner’s bio posted on the RCC website.
Councilmember Stagner retired from the US Army in 2008 at the rank of full colonel. After tours of duty in the 25th Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps, he served as a detachment commander, company commander, battalion operations officer, and battalion commander in the US Army Special Operations Command (Airborne), Ft. Bragg, NC. After battalion command, he was assigned to the Pentagon with duty at the Department of State. His major deployments include Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia) and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Councilmember Stagner speaks Russian and holds advanced degrees in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Kansas and in National Security Strategy from the National War College at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC. His last military assignment was as the Washington Office Director for an element of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). After military service, Colonel Stagner served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC before returning to his home in Raleigh.
Stagner and the RCC are proud of the new UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) which is openly designed to increase population density in Raleigh. At an RCC candidate forum held on September 16 current RCC members as well as least one candidate openly endorsed increasing population density in Raleigh. Increasing population density is sold as a component of “sustainability”. The ordinance to adopt the UDO proudly reads at its inception,
Whereas, the City of Raleigh adopted a new Comprehensive Plan in 2009 calling for more of the City’s growth to be directed away from rural and environmentally sensitive lands, and towards major transit corridors and walkable mixed use settings
Sustainability is a euphemism for Agenda 21 or the United Nations Agenda for the 21st century. Raleigh is deeply committed to Agenda 21 – the city has been a member of ICLEI. ICLEI is a UN front group that was founded in 1990 as the ‘International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives’. ICLEI retained the same acronym but changed their name in 2003 to mean Local Governments for Sustainability. Raleigh also operates an Office of Sustainability.
The Mysterious Office
An email I received from the Raleigh OMB dated 8/6/13 reads, “The FY14 operating budget for Sustainability is $569,351. In the FY14 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Council appropriated an additional $1.5 Million for a sustainability revolving fund. The Sustainability Office is currently designing the program to use those funds.” This “Office” has a full time staff of 5 with combined salaries of $350,544. And we can be certain that some program will be developed to spend the additional $1.5 million. Much money can always be spent by bureaucrats intent on transforming Raleigh into a sub compact city – however it’s never been a priority to sustain the public’s money.
Originally posted Friday, 09 August 2013
Written by William F. Jasper
America is staring at a fast-approaching energy disaster that needn’t happen. The recent discovery and development of vast deposits of oil and natural gas, now recoverable with new technologies, have provided the U.S. economy with a much-needed boost over the past several years. These new energy sources also offer promise of increasing America’s competitive advantage by drastically lowering energy costs and reducing American dependence on foreign oil. This is of critical importance to luring manufacturing and industry back to the United States.
However, coal, one of our most abundant and important sources of energy, will remain a major component of any viable energy scheme for the United States. According to the federal Energy Information Agency (EIA), 45 percent of the country’s annual four trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity are generated from coal. And, says the EIA, we have a Demonstrated Reserve Base of 496 billion short tons of coal, of which 272 billion tons are considered recoverable with current technology. With U.S. usage at 1.1 billion tons per year, we have about 250 years’ supply at the present rate of consumption.
President Obama, however, has taken the path of the most extreme environmental radicals and declared war on coal. Since he has not been able to get Congress to enact legislation to destroy the coal industry, he is unconstitutionally using the EPA to regulate coal into extinction.
On August 2, the Reuters news service provided a list of 207 coal-fired plants that are scheduled to close. A May 2 news release from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) puts the total of coal-fired plant closings even higher, at 285, in 32 states.
If Congress does not restrain the EPA’s regulatory binge, Americans will be hit not only with much higher electricity prices, but also with brownouts and blackouts, especially during the cold winter months and hot summer spells, when heaters and air conditioners put the squeeze on power grids. Warnings of potential brownouts and the need for the public to ease up on air conditioning, as issued recently in Boston and New York, will become commonplace if coal is banished as an energy source.
Barack Obama’s antipathy toward coal is no secret. During his first presidential run, in 2008, candidate Obama let it be known that his plan was to bankrupt the coal industry with huge fees and impossible-to-comply-with regulations, all under the pretext of saving the planet from the discredited threat of global warming. Then-Senator Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
Ed Hiserodt explained in The New American last year in “Coal: The Rock That Burns”:
Despite the increasing cleanliness of the air in the United States, Obama’s EPA is implementing extremely burdensome regulations, purportedly to clean up air pollution. However, the implementation requirements of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule reveal its purpose of punishing coal-fired generation: The modifications required for any power plant are tremendous in terms of engineering man-hours, design of site-specific control devices, and lengthy shutdowns for construction purposes. Years of planning and ordering capital equipment are necessary for even seemingly minor projects.
Obama Advisor Admits “War on Coal”
One of President Obama’s top environmental advisers, Prof. Daniel Schrag, who runs Harvard University’s Center for the Environment, publicly let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview with the New York Times. Prof. Schrag told the Times:
Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.
In short, the administration is trying to appear moderate and attempting to portray its anti-coal crusade as a commonsense response to protect public health and safety by regulating coal air emissions and water pollution. But stripped of its camouflage, the Obama EPA is indeed engaged in a war on coal.
Prof. Schrag, a full-blown global-warming alarmist, is less inclined to mince words. He is also less than collegial and tolerant when it comes to debating fellow scientists who do not share his hysterical views on climate change. After testifying before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2006, Schrag took to the pages of the Boston Globe to denounce the distinguished scientists and professors who had provided testimony contradicting his alarmism as “a gathering of liars and charlatans, sponsored by those industries who want to protect their profits.”
Not exactly civil, professional behavior on the part of Prof. Schrag, but it is typical of the zealotry of the Green Lobby that has encamped about Obama and his appointments that populate the regulatory agencies.
Gina McCarthy “Fuel-switching” Tactic: Natural Gas vs. Coal
Leading the FedGov regulatory blitzkrieg on coal is the EPA. Things are not likely to improve there under Gina McCarthy, Obama’s newly appointed EPA administrator, who was confirmed by the Senate in July, on a 59-40 vote. In a June 26 story for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow), Dr. Bonner Cohen reported:
In 2012, the Obama EPA issued its “new source performance standard” that effectively made it impossible to build new coal-fired power plants, because no technology exists that would enable utilities to meet the new standards. At the time, the head of EPA’s air office, Gina McCarthy, assured the public that existing plants would not have to meet the new standard and that EPA was not promoting fuel-switching. Less than a year after McCarthy’s solemn promise, however, the following sentence appears on page 19 of Obama’s Climate Action Plan: “Going forward, we will promote fuel-switching from coal to gas for electricity production and encourage the development for a global market for gas.”
Dr. Cohen points out: “While natural gas extracted from America’s vast shale formations will be able to fill some of the gap, the elimination of coal as a power source will put huge strains on the already weak economy and on household budgets.”
More importantly, as Dr. Cohen warns, the enthusiasm for natural gas expressed by many greenies is a cynical ploy, intended to ease the demise of coal. But once coal is shut down, the greens will turn their sights on gas and oil. Cohen writes:
And what is to keep the war on coal from morphing into a war on gas? While most Americans welcome the jobs and lower power rates the Shale Revolution has made possible, the Obama administration and its allies in the environmental movement remain firm in their hostility to fossil fuels. After coal has been regulated out of existence, green elites will not hesitate to go after natural gas and oil. EPA bureaucrats and Obama administration political appointees are already devising schemes to bring about federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.
Congress Is the Key
As The New American has reported previously (“Obama Eyes ‘Executive Orders’ to Circumvent Congress”), President Obama is pursuing a path of rule by executive fiat, relegating Congress to irrelevancy. He has shown by word and deed that he intends to implement his agenda by executive orders and agency rule-making, disregarding all constitutional constraints.
Between January of this year and the August recess, Congress enacted 22 laws. By contrast, the federal government’s website for information on the non-stop avalanche of federal rules and regulations, informs us that unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats have posted thousands of new rules and regulations — in just the past 90 days! According to http://www.regulations.gov (as posted on August 8), the following onslaught is currently in the pipeline:
Last 3 Days (270)
Last 7 Days (493)
Last 15 Days (1,065)
Last 30 Days (2,155)
Last 90 Days (6,571)
It is worthwhile to pause to reflect on those figures for a moment or two. In a little over seven months, Congress passed 22 pieces of legislation. Meanwhile, federal bureaucrats saddled the country with 6,571 regulations, rules, interpretations, and administrative dicta — in just 90 days! The Obama administration’s war on coal is but one front, albeit a major one, in an all-out revolutionary assault on the rule of law, that is transforming what remains of our constitutional republic into a dictatorship.
The Unconstitutional Fourth Branch of Government
As we noted last year in “Danger: Federal ‘Regulatory Cliff’ Ahead”:
The very first sentence of Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” It is difficult to get more plain and definitive than that: “All legislative powers.” Congress is the legislative branch, and it possesses “all legislative powers.” The executive and judicial branches have their own peculiar jurisdictions and purviews, but their powers do not include lawmaking. Nor does the Constitution allow the Congress to sublet or delegate its lawmaking authority to the president, bureaucrats, or judges. Moreover, Congress has only those legislative powers “herein granted,” which means, of course, that Congress may not legislate on whatever its members may wish, but only regarding those particular matters granted by the states in the Constitution.
Nevertheless, Congress (and the American people, whose duty it is to vigilantly monitor Congress) has allowed the executive branch to stealthily, steadily build an enormous fourth branch of government — the federal regulatory leviathan — that has usurped legislative, executive, and judicial powers. According to our Founders, this is “the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison, frequently referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” addressed this issue in essay No. 47 of The Federalist, noting: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Constitutionalists who are determined to stop America’s devolution into administrative tyranny should avail themselves of the opportunity to press members of Congress while they are home on recess to stop the administration’s usurpation of powers through regulation. Ultimately, citizen activists must convince Congress to abolish the unconstitutional agencies that threaten our continued existence as a free people.
House of Reps on 10/2/92. Pelosi openly endorsed radically transforming the US economy based on Agenda 21 sustainable development policies.
(The UN Rio Earth Summit took place on June 3-14, 1992. The REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT was dated 8/12/92.)
Rocco J. Piserchia
The City of Raleigh NC is given over to the United Nations Agenda for the 21st Century, a.k.a. Agenda 21. All one has to do to confirm how entrenched Raleigh is to Agenda 21 is to view Raleigh’s own website for their Office of Sustainability. This site details how Raleigh is being transformed by the collectivist nightmare of Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is driven by false environmentalism – the bogus claim that society needs central economic and social planning under the guise of sustaining the environment. The greatest threat to humanity is carbon dioxide which global warming alarmists erroneously claim is causing the earth’s temperature to increase. Since man made or anthropogenic global warming has been completely discredited Agenda 21 advocates and central planning control freaks more commonly resort to the more ambiguous phrase of “climate change”. Even NASA has recently admitted that carbon dioxide is helping to cool the planet. Of course the climate is always changing since the earth rotates around the sun.
Activist Darin Moser writes, “These sustainability plans would place our communities under a new philosophy of governance called “the triple bottom line” also known as the three pillars of sustainable development (Environment, Economy, & Social Equity.)” As you can see Raleigh’s own website has a logo with these three pillars.
“Raleigh’s commitment to sustainability is central to its vision for the future. This vision focuses on interdependent relationships between Economic Strength, Environmental Stewardship and Social Equity. These three fundamental principles guide decisions the City of Raleigh makes as a 21st Century City of Innovation.”
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the other members of the Raleigh City Council all deny the overt influence of Agenda 21. Raleigh is a member of ICLEI which was original called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and is now Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI began in 1990 before the UN Rio Earth Summit that produced Agenda 21 in 1992. Even more disturbing than membership in the UN front group ICLEI is the influence and budget of Raleigh’s Office of Sustainability. According to the Raleigh Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the Office of Sustainability has a staff of five and an operating budget of over $569,000 in fiscal year 2014. Under the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) the Raleigh City Council appropriated an additional $1.5 million for a “sustainability revolving fund.”
“The Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to provide guidance for policy development and goal setting for the City of Raleigh. Sustainability is a broad term that addresses three fundamental principles: economic strength, environmental stewardship, and social equity. We believe a sustainable community is a thriving community; one that provides opportunity for all residents, cares for the environment, and has a vision for the future. The Office of Sustainability is located in the City Manager’s office and works collaboratively with all City departments to become a leader in sustainability. We also partner with local business community, universities, and civic and nonprofit organizations to build relationships. [source]”
So now you know that the City of Raleigh is controlled by globalist central planning control freaks who intend to transform Raleigh into a subcompact city and continually move toward the elimination of what’s left of our private property rights.
Raleigh highlighted at the 2012 ICLEI World Congress