Oyster Farmer Battles Federal Government's Order To Close Down
It's no secret that family farms are under attack in America.
The Obama administration and the Democrat Left continue their assault on American traditions, institutions and values. Nothing is stopping them from doing as they please no matter how many people are put out of work, no matter how many family farms and businesses are lost, no matter who it hurts.
We have already seen the Obama administration attack the coal industry, scuttle the the Keystone XL Pipeline which could have put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work, and their attempt to kill the energy industry as a whole.
They have tried to ruin small businesses through over regulation and higher taxes and penalties via ObamaCare, attack the middle class through their refusal act on unemployment issues and cost of living and tax and regulation burdens.
They have failed to defend normal marriage, and of course the Obama administration has severely harmed the best medical system in the world with its whole "let's throw the baby out with the bathwater" approach to fixing health care expense.
Instead of working for Americans, working for the people as a whole, the very Federal Government which should work on behalf of the people, actually attacks farmers and ranchers, American agriculture, at every opportunity.
Of course, there are the Environmentalist and Animal Rights crazies. In the last 4 years, the Obama White House has bowed down to Environmentalist and Animal Rights crazies and kowtows to them because of their financial contributions.
The Obama administration is the "Stepin Fetchit" lackey of the Environmentalist movement in America today. Environmentalist attack agriculture, manufacturing, and energy, and the lackey that we know of as the Obama administration just goes along with it.
The constant attacks mainly come from the powerful federal government surrogates such as the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the Commerce Department, the Department of Transportation, and the FDA to name a few.
And no, no farm is immune from their attacks.
A California family that has operated an oyster farm on the bucolic Northern California coast is fighting back after the federal government moved to kick it off of the National Park Service property where the shellfish have been legally harvested for nearly 80 years.
The Drakes Bay Oyster Company faces closure and its 30 employees will be out of work if the National Park Service reclaims some 1,100 acres of an estuary as part of a plan to create a larger marine wilderness preserve at Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County. Owner Kevin Lunny said federal officials told him on Thursday — one day before his company's 40-year lease was set to expire — that he had three months to clear out. On Tuesday, he announced he's suing.
"We're not going to walk away," Lunny told reporters during a conference call. "We're fighting for our community."
Lunny said the company currently has roughly 10 million immature oysters worth up to $5 million awaiting harvest.
Lunny has an ally in Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who had tried to get the lease extended for another decade. But even her clout has failed to sway U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
“I am extremely disappointed that Secretary Salazar chose not to renew the operating permit for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company,” Feinstein said in a statement.
“The National Park Service’s review process has been flawed from the beginning with false and misleading science, which was also used in the Environmental Impact Statement. The secretary’s decision effectively puts this historic California oyster farm out of business. As a result, the farm will be forced to cease operations and 30 Californians will lose their jobs.”
The National Park Service bought the land from Lunny's predecessor in 1972, but granted then-owner Johnson Oyster Company a 40-year lease to continue harvesting oysters.
Salazar said in a department memo that it was made clear at the time of the lease's signing that it would not be renewed, and that the information was conveyed to Lunny in 2004 when he bought the business.
Salazar's move will effectively end the company’s operations within the national park estuary, which includes an onshore oyster processing plant and offshore oyster harvesting on more than 1,000 acres of coastal waters.
“Our family business is not going to sit back and let the government steam roll our community, which has been incredibly supportive of us.”
- Statement on DrakesBayOyster.com
“I’ve taken this matter very seriously,” Salazar said in a statement. “We’ve undertaken a robust public process to review the matter from all sides, and I have personally visited the park to meet with the company and members of the community … I believe it is the right decision for Point Reyes National Seashore and for future generations who will enjoy this treasured landscape.”
Amber Abbasi, an attorney for Cause of Action, which is representing Lunney, said the federal government did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and violated the Data Quality Act when determining to deny the renewal. National Park Service employees also provided false and misleading information, she said.
"A permit could have been granted and it was not granted," Abbasi told reporters Tuesday. "And the process by which it was not granted was deficient in many, many respects.”
A motion seeking a preliminary injunction in the case will be filed later this week, she said.
The estuary, according to federal officials, supports one of the largest harbor seal colonies in the state and is within the Point Reyes National Seashore, which attracts more than 2 million visitors annually and provides $85 million in economic activity to the region. Salazar said the displaced workers will get federal job training to find new work.
Salazar also moved to convert the entire area to a federally-protected marine wilderness once the oyster operation has shuttered. The move follows through on a 1976 congressional designation of the expansive estuary locally known as the Estero as a potential marine wilderness area, the only such area on the West Coast of the continental United States.
“Carrying out steps set in motion by the United States Congress over three decades ago, we are taking the final step to recognize this pristine area as wilderness,” said Salazar. “The Estero is one of our nation’s crown jewels, and today we are fulfilling the vision to protect this special place for generations to come.”
What is this catch phrase "pristine area as wilderness" all about? They can apply that catch phrase to just about anywhere that they "feel" should be restricted from humans.
Critics say responsible oyster harvesting poses no threat to the environment, and accuse Salazar of gunning for the commercial fishing industry. Imagine that, people who are calling a spade a spade - and telling people what is really going on.
“At a time when we are struggling to solve our national fiscal problems, throwing 30 more Americans out of work and removing an estimated 40 percent of California's oyster production — which will undoubtedly be replaced by imported oysters — makes no sense,” Rod Moore of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association told Fox News in a statement.
Moore said the National Park Service has a long-standing policy of trying to remove commercial fisheries from within existing or expanded national park boundaries, even while allowing other commercial concessionaires to continue. The service has made similar moves regarding federal parkland in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Everglades National Park in Florida, he said.
Greenpeace Ocean Campaign Director John Hocevar said reclaiming the oyster farm and designating the wider area for federal protection preserves it for both tourism and environmental safety.
But Lunny, whose lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, said people's livelihoods are being thrown away for no good reason.
“It’s actually hard to believe this decision was made," Lunny said. "The Bay Area was ignored in this decision apparently and this is a public resource … Our family is just the current steward of this farm, it has existed for decades.”
So what happens now? Well, basically David fights Goliath!
DrakesBayOyster.com is accepting contributions to help fight Goliath.
Like the bible story, can Drakes Bay Oyster Company beat the Goliath which we call the Federal Government which we know bows down to Environmental extremist?
Can a small family farm beat the odds and win so that their family's 80 year old business will stay alive and 30 people keep their jobs?
Since I don't see the Obama administration's Interior Department changing their mind anytime soon, I really believe that this family farm could become another casualty in agriculture that can be directly attributed to the liberal agenda and the Environmental movement - neither of which cares about people.
Small Business Owner Gives Obama a Piece of His Mind
On November 26th, it was reported that some U.S. business owners got a chance to meet with White House advisors and give their own take on the fiscal cliff, tax hikes and more.
Among the small business owners invited to the discussion was Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel (www.MarlinWire.com ) - a small business in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ahead of the meeting, Greenblatt said he has one thing on his mind.
“We’ve got to increase job creation, fast,” he told FOX Business. “This recession has gone on too long, and now is the time for us to turn it around by creating certainty.”
As for those looming tax increases for those making above $250,000 annually, Greenblatt said he was going to deliver a message that the move would stunt economic growth and hiring.
American factories, he said, are one example of a small business that pays taxes on a personal level of income. Increasing their tax rate will deter potential for economic gains.
“It makes us less competitive against our economic adversaries like Canada and Germany,” Greenblatt said. “Right now, American factories are paying much more in taxes than our German and Canadian rivals. We have to be more competitive - if we are more competitive, we will win more jobs… we will hire more locals.”
And if government spending continues on its current path, he said, it is a road to doom.
“It’s a failed strategy and a failed policy,” he said. “We need to have a very competitive economic environment to have growth surge in our country. Then we will [be able to] pay more money in taxes, because we will all be making more money. If the pie is bigger, it’s easier to grow out of this terrible recession.”
It was unclear at press time if President Obama attended the meeting, but either way I can only hope that President Obama got the message - or that it matters to him.
AARP Lobbies Against Medicare Cuts? Why Now Since They Support ObamaCare?
This is one of those news stories that just reeks of dishonesty.
Dishonesty? Yes, because the AARP who was a huge Obama supporter during the election and through their support behind ObamaCare in 2010 AARP is now putting on a show for its memebers.
The AARP has a potential conflict of interest in its fierce opposition to possible cuts in Medicare, the Washington Post reports.
The influential lobbying group for Americans over 50 has insisted its fighting potential changes for the good of its 38 million members - but the success of its efforts could mean a difference of hundreds of millions of dollars it makes every year in insurance sales.
According to The Washington Post, the AARP gets a 4.95 percent royalty each time one of its members buys Medigap insurance — which supplements Medicare coverage.
Proposed changes in Medicare being discussed in Washington could cut into Medicap and reduce AARP’s huge revenue windfall.
But while AARP is fighting the cuts because they want the money, a Kaiser Family Foundation study reveals that Medigap premiums could fall dramatically under some reform plans in the works right now - and that would mean that seniors could potentially save hundreds of dollars per year.
“There is a potential conflict of interest,” Marilyn Moon, a former senior AARP official who runs the nonprofit American Institutes for Research, told the newspaper.
“Any way you look at changes in Medigap that people are talking about, I think it’s good for beneficiaries, and anybody who is opposing that who claims they are looking out for beneficiaries, you have to wonder why.”
AARP officials insist they are only looking out for their members, but many aren't buying it.
Nationally-syndicated columnist Froma Harrop said she’s unsure why AARP is running ads in which a stern female voice warns, “If Washington tries to cram decisions about the future of these programs into a last-minute budget deal, we’ll all pay the price.”
“The AARP ad was a bit unexpected in that the lobbying group for older Americans supported the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) – Medicare savings and all,’’ Harrop writes. “Why it’s running this ad now is unclear."
Unclear to some, but not all. It may also be an effort to calm its membership who have found out that AARP backed Obama who cut $716 Million from Medicare to fund ObamaCare and now wants to cut their benefits even more.
The vast majority of seniors who belong to AARP are Democrats. I can't help but wonder how they feel about being lied to?
U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Defense Spending Bill
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 98-0 to approve a wide-ranging defense bill that authorizes $631.4 billion in funding for the U.S. military, the war in Afghanistan and nuclear weapons.
The bill, passed after five days of debate and consideration of hundreds of amendments, must be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives before it can go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
There are several key differences between the House and Senate bills, including whether to back continued work by the military on developing biofuels for jets and warships.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said the key challenge facing the bill's enactment was the short amount of time available for House and Senate negotiators to come up with a compromise version. He said staff discussions had already begun.
The top Republican on the committee, Senator John McCain, said he was confident that the House and Senate would be able to resolve the differences between the two bills.
Both senators said they were pleased that they had been able to shepherd the bill to Senate passage under an open process that allowed debate on amendments without having to deal with any threatened procedural roadblocks known as filibusters.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has promised to try to change Senate rules when the new congress convenes next month to curb filibusters, which have become commonplace.
The Senate bill includes a new round of Iran sanctions, a permanent ban on transferring detainees from Guantanamo to the United States, and prohibitions on the military detention of U.S. citizens.
A measure included in the bill would require U.S. defense contractors that work on classified programs to notify the government if their computer networks are breached.
The bill also bans funding for a missile defense project funded jointly by the United States, Germany and Italy - the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) that is built by Lockheed Martin Corp and its partners in Italy and Germany.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had urged lawmakers to include $400.9 million as final funding for the program, which is being discontinued after this year.
The White House threatened to veto the bill over the changes to the Pentagon's proposed budget and the restrictions on transfers of Guantanamo detainees.
The bill includes a provision that would lift the ban on women in the military using their health insurance for abortion care in cases of rape or incest, and another that would require creation of a comprehensive suicide prevention program.
It also includes an overhaul of wartime contracting rules after the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan found the United States had squandered up to $60 billion through waste and fraud on contracts in those countries.
Now let's see if Obama will veto it? He just might. There's no telling what he will do.
After all, if Obama has any sort of legacy as president, it may be for saying and doing anything to get elected as well as saying one thing but doing another later when he has nothing at stake politically.
Obama Meets with MSNBC's Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow to Talk Tax Rates
I know it sounds crazy, but believe it or not, on Tuesday, December 4th, President Obama welcomed MSNBC's ultra-leftists Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton to the West Wing to discuss tax rates.
This is according to the Weekly Standard which wrote about it following a Huffington Post reporter's tweets.
The Standard quoted the tweets of Post reporter Jennifer Bendery who was at the White House and apparently saw both Maddow and Sharpton entering.
Maddow reportedly joked with the reporter she was there for a "hippie cabal." Later, she wondered if it was an "MSNBC lovefest."
OK, so we found the two people who Obama feels represents the Liberal faction in America.
Does anyone think that Obama will invite say Herman Cain and Laura Ingraham to represent the Conservative faction and say discuss his domestic policy or the effects of ObamaCare?
No, that ain't about to happen. Obama only knows those on the left. He only recognizes those of his same ilk.
For him to invite ultra-left MSNBC types who are Cheer Leaders for all of his policies to talk about tax rates is incredibly silly. It is the equivalent of one KKK member asking another KKK member over for a discussion on race relations. There is no reason for the show. It's all smoke and mirrors.
And yes, I really believe that his actions since the election have shown that he does not recognize the 56 Million Americans who did not vote for him - or what they want.
Clinton-era Tax Team Wants Obama to Increase Taxes on Middle-Class
Some of those who used to be a part of the Clinton administration are now working for Obama.
These bozos believe that Obama should raise taxes on the Middle-Class. They say taxes should be higher and reach deeper into the Middle-Class than the president has proposed to solve a fiscal dilemma.
Taxes should be raised by $1.8 trillion over the next decade and capital gains should be taxed at 28 percent, up from the current 15 percent, according to a report released today by the Center for American Progress, a Washington group with ties to Democrats.
Many deductions would be converted into credits, and taxes would rise by an average of $468 in 2017 for households earning between $100,000 and $250,000 a year, a group that Obama has largely pledged to shield from heavier burdens.
“By reforming our tax system, we do it in a progressive way and we raise the revenue that’s needed to run an effective government,” John Podesta, a co-author who was chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, told reporters on a conference call today.
The plan’s co-authors include Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, who each served as Treasury secretary for Clinton.
Also listed as co-authors are former Clinton administration members William Daley, who was Commerce secretary, and Evercore Partners Inc. Chairman Roger Altman and Leslie Samuels, who were top officials at the Treasury Department. Daley and Summers also worked in the Obama administration, and Podesta is now chairman of the Center for American Progress. Another co-author is Antonio Weiss, global head of investment banking at Lazard, Ltd.
Their plan adds to the debate between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans over how to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January.
Lawmakers are trying to prevent a short-term shock to the economy and reach an agreement on long-term deficit reduction.
The proposal calls for a top income tax rate of 39.6 percent, the same as under Clinton and in Obama’s budget.
It would repeal the alternative minimum tax, set the top estate tax rate at 48 percent, and raise corporate taxes by 4 percent while lowering the statutory rate.
It's obvious Democrats don't think Middle-Class America pays enough. Imagine that!
Oh, and just for you folks who say unemployed, retired, or permanently disabled Americans don't pay taxes, here a list of what Americans pay in taxes. The list shows the "hidden" taxes that Americans pay each year.
Granted some states are more taxed than others, some have more "permit" fees which are taxes. But honestly, even a Democrat has to agree after seeing this list that Americans pay a great deal of taxes.
List of taxes paid by Americans:
Accounts Receivable Tax
Accumulated Earnings Tax
Accumulation Distribution of Trusts
Activity Fee (Dumping Permit Fee)
Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax
Aircraft Excise Tax
Alcohol Fuels Tax
Alcoholic Beverage Tax
Alternative Minimum Tax – Amt
Annual Custodial Fees (Ira Accounts)
Biodiesel Fuel Tax
Blueberry Tax (Maine)
Brothel licensing fees (NV)
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
California Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax
California Redemption Value (Can and Bottle Tax)
CDL License Tax
Charter Boat Captain License
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
Cigarette Tax Stamp (Acts) (Distributors)
Compressed Natural Gas Tax
Commercial Activity Tax (OH – for Service Providers)
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (Indirect Taxes)
County Property Tax
Disposable Diapers Tax (Wisconsin)
Disposal Fee (Any Landfill Dumping)
Dog License Tax
Duck Hunting Tax Stamp (PA, others)
Electronic Waste Recycling Fee (E-Waste)
Emergency Telephone User Surcharge
Environmental Fee (CA – HazMat Fees)
Estate Tax (Death Tax, to be reinstated)
Facility Fee (CA – HazMat Fees)
FDIC tax (insurance premium on bank deposits)
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fiduciary Income Tax (Estates and Trusts)
Fishing License Tax
Flush Tax (MD Tax For Producing Wastewater)
Food License Tax
Fountain Soda Drink Tax (Chicago – 9%)
Fresh Fruit (CA, if Purchased From A Vending Machine)
Fuel Gross Receipts Tax (Retail/Distributor)
Fuel Permit Tax
Fur Clothing Tax (MN)
Gasoline Tax (475 Cents Per Gallon)
Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Generator Fee (Recycled Waste Fee)
Gross Receipts Tax
Habitat Stamp (Hunting/Fishing in some states)
Hazardous Substances Fees: Generator, Facility, Disposal
Highway Access Fee
Household Employment Taxes
Hunting License Tax
Illegal Drug Possession (No Carolina)
Individual Income Tax
Insect Control Hazardous Materials License
Insurance Premium Tax
Intangible Tax (Leases Of Govt. Owned Real Property)
Integrated Waste Management Fee
Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax
IRA Rollover Tax (a transfer of IRA money)
IRA Early Withdrawal Tax
IRS Interest Charges
IRS Penalties (Tax On Top Of Tax)
Jock Tax (income earned by athletes in some states)
Kerosene, Distillate, & Stove Oil Taxes
Kiddie Tax (Child’s Earned Interest Form 8615)
Land Gains and Real Estate Withholding
Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee (Occupational)
Lease Severance Tax
Liquid Natural Gas Tax
Liquid Petroleum Gas Tax
Litigation Tax (TN Imposes Varies With the Offense)
LLC/PLLC Corporate Registration Tax
Local Income Tax
Make-Up Tax (Ohio, applying in a salon is taxable)
Marriage License Tax
Mello-Roos Taxes (Special Taxes and Assessments)
Migratory Waterfowl Stamp (addition to hunting license)
Minnow Dealers License (Retail – For One Shop)
Minnow Dealers License (Distributor – For One+ Shops)
Mobile Home Ad Valorem Taxes
Motor Fuel Tax (For Suppliers)
Motor Vehicle Tax
Music and Dramatic Performing Rights Tax
Nursery Registration (Buying and selling plants)
Occupancy Inspection Fees
Occupation Taxes and Fees (Various Professional Fees)
Oil and Gas Assessment Tax
Oil Spill Response, Prevention, and Administration Fee
Parking Space Taxes
Pay-Phone Calls Tax (Indiana)
Percolation Test Fee
Personal Property Tax
Personal Holding Company (undistributed earnings)
Pest Control License
Petroleum Business Tax
Playing Card Tax (Al)
Profit from Illegal Drug Dealing
Property Transfer Tax (DE, ownership transfer between parties)
Prostitution Tax (NV – Prostitute Work Permits)
Poultry Registered Premises License (Sales License)
Rain Water Tax (Runoff after a Storm)
Rat Control Fee (CA)
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling Fees
Regional Transit Taxing Authority (Trains)
Road Usage Tax
Room Tax (Hotel Rooms)
Sales Tax (State)
Sales Tax (County)
Sales Tax (City)
Sales And Use Tax (Sellers Permit)
Service Charge Tax
Self Employment Tax
Septic And Drain Field Inspection Fees
Sex Sales Tax (UT, when nude people perform services)
Sewer & Water Tax
Social Security Tax
Special Assessment Tax
State Documentary Stamp Tax on Notes (FL RE Tax)
State Franchise Tax
State Income Tax
State Park Fees
State Unemployment Tax
Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) Fuel Tax
Stud Fees (Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Sex Tax)
Tangible Personal Property Tax
Tattoo Tax (AR Tax On Tattoos)
Telephone 911 Service Tax (some states)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal Surcharge Taxes
Telephone State Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring Charges Tax
Telephone Universal Access Tax
Telephone Non-Recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State Usage Charge Tax
Telephone Local Usage Charge Tax
Tire Recycling Fee
Tobacco Tax (Cigar, Pipe, Consumer Tax)
Tobacco Tax (Cigar, Pipe, Dealer Tax)
Toll Road Taxes
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Tourism or Concession License Fee
Traffic Fines (Indirect Taxation)
Transportable Treatment Unit Fee (Small Facility)
Trailer Registration Tax
Trout Stamp (Addendum To Fish License)
Use Taxes (On Out-Of-State Purchases)
Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee
Underpayment of Estimated Tax (Form 2210)
Unreported Tip Income (Social Security and Medicare Tax)
Vehicle Recovery Tax (CO, to find stolen cars)
Vehicle Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Wagering Tax (Tax on Gambling Winnings)
Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) Fuel Tax
Water Rights Fee
Watercraft Registration Tax
Waterfowl Stamp Tax
Well Permit Tax
Wiring Inspection Fees
Workers Compensation Tax
Accounting and Tax Preparation - the cost to taxpayers is $300 Billion a year.
Today, farmers use machines to milk more than 100 cows per hour. Before milking machines were invented in 1894, farmers could only milk about 6 cows per hour.
Story by Tom Correa