Governments Must Never Perform Services That Free Markets Can Do

It was never my intention to be a land developer. I thought people could buy farmland and move onto it. Utah County has so many utility requirements that I had to develop and sell off lots to pay for them. For example, I could have used geothermal, solar and/or wind energy instead of having more than a half mile of trench dug and cable installed for Rocky Mountain Power.

Most people can only imagine there’s a lot of hoops to jump through.

The difficulty is fighting tyrannical governments and their hundreds of pages of stale, corrupted, inflexible laws, and dealing with their employee’s unrighteous dominion and animosity towards We the People.

If you’ve ever had to buy a service from the government or get their permission to do something, you know that they are usually awful to deal with. No service that private markets can render should be monopolized by governments.

I’ve attended dozens of county and planning meetings and have never heard the word liberty used outside of the Pledge of Allegiance. Some employees feel it is the proper role of government to provide for the safety, welfare and health of the people; they forget that Founding Fathers knew the property role of government was to protect liberty–your right to do whatever you please without government intervention as long as you don’t hurt your neighbors. There is a huge difference.

— Robert John Stevens, February 6, 2018

Should Governments Seize Property and Ruin The Lives of Citizens Who Fail to Pay Their Property Taxes?

by Robert John Stevens, December 22, 2017

If you fail to pay your property taxes, should the government seize your property?

I’ve sat in several Utah County Commissioners’ Meetings where citizen appeals are reviewed. Each time county employees testify to the county commissioners that they sent property tax notices and still the taxes weren’t paid. Each time the commissioners unanimously deny the appeal and ruin lives.

This scene always reminds me of French revolution movie scenes where tyrants send innocent citizens to the guillotine.

Google, “What percentage of mail gets lost by USPS yearly?” How many times have you received someone else’s postal mail? Did you always promptly forward it? What if you are experiencing financial distress and cannot pay your property taxes?

There are approximately 600,000 citizens in Utah County. Guestimating 20% own property, that’s 120,000 property tax notices per year. If 1% of those are lost or stolen, then 12,000 landowners face property seizure.

Shockingly, the citizens who filed for appeals were not at the meetings. Why not? Probably because they felt they submitted valid reasons and expected mercy, forgiveness and civility.

Commissioner Bill Lee told me on Wednesday that it is the duty of every citizen to pay his or her property taxes and the tax notices are just courtesies. I have a great deal of respect for Bill Lee. He’s a fine person who has acquired a great deal of wisdom. At first, Bill’s argument sounded reasonable to me and then I remembered that most citizens in Utah County are Mormon, Catholic or Protestant and expect the county commissioners to Follow the Golden Rule as commanded by Jesus Christ and reiterated by modern apostles.

“Followers of Christ should be examples of civility…We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence…We encourage all of us to practice the Savior’s Golden Rule: ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them’ (Matthew 7:12).”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—Follow the Golden Rule.

If I were a commissioner I would never vote to seize the property of citizens who failed to pay their taxes. To exercise equal justice, I would approve appeals contingent upon reasonable accrued interest, not to exceed what local banks impose. There is no reason found in Christianity for governments to seize property and ruin the lives of citizens who are late paying their property taxes.

Private Property Rights are Rights, Not Privileges

by Robert John Stevens, September 26, 2017

Utah County Commissioner Greg Graves at today’s Utah County Commissioner Meeting in Provo, Utah from his chair and on television made the comment. “Private property rights are privileges, not rights.” I later went to the podium and corrected him. I don’t have a transcript of what I said but this is what I know:

Private property rights existed before governments were formed. Governments were formed to protect private property rights.1

Although in the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson didn’t specifically mention private property rights, and his famous statement did not say, “Life, liberty, private property rights, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, he knew private property rights are inalienable rights, required for human happiness, and it is the proper role of government to defend them.

How do we know this?

1. Because private property rights were already stated and accepted in founding documents, even those in Virginia.

2. The phrase “among these”:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thomas Jefferson and the signers of the Declaration of Independence knew there were other unalienable rights.

3. The Founders’ subsequent writings and contributions.

Private property rights were enshrined in every or almost every state constitution after the American Revolutionary War, including Article 1, Section 1 of the Utah Constitution which reads, ” All men have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and protect property; to worship according to the dictates of their consciences; to assemble peaceably, protest against wrongs, and petition for redress of grievances; to communicate freely their thoughts and opinions, being responsible for the abuse of that right.”

Many of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence played a major role in creating and ratifying state constitutions.

If private property rights are privileges and not rights, then as Commissioner Bill Lee so wisely asked Commissioner Graves, “Then what is their source?” If the government is the source of private property rights then the government also has the right to take them away.

Private property rights are rights, not just privileges as socialists would have us all believe. I corrected Commissioner Graves and pointed out that inalienable rights are not taught in public schools and few citizens understand their meaning or importance.

1 The United States government was formed to protect inalienable rights, including private property rights, and to defend liberty.

Trump: Since Signing the Declaration of Independence, ‘America Always Affirmed that Liberty Comes from Our Creator’

by Robert John Stevens, July 2, 2017

“Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago, America always affirmed that liberty comes from our creator,” Trump declared. “Our rights are given to us by God and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is returning that power back to where it belongs — to the people.” — President Donald Trump

Most Americans do not understand the concept although once they do they know it is true. The concept is the American Creed—it is what sets us apart from previous governments in history.

May President Trump say this repeatedly at every opportunity he can.

Defending a Mink Farm at the Expense of Citizen’s Rights

by Robert John Stevens, April 13, 2017

Suppose you buy land in the country to enjoy more space and fresh air but years later a farmer buys 40 acres next to you and builds a mink farm. Countless flys fill your home and barn, the air both inside and outside stinks of mink feces, you see dead minks lying in feces piles, and minks literally terrorize and attack you or your spouse.

You’re not alone—Your neighbors all experience the same horrors.

This is exactly the situation in Payson, Utah where dozens of neighbors rallied and testified at the April 11, 2017 Utah County Commissioners Hearing to consider farmer Beckstead’s petition for agricultural protection.

Farmer Beckstead knows his minks are damaging the property values of his neighbors and making their lives miserable so he applied for agricultural protection to use the force of government to protect his interests from nuisance laws.

Whose rights are violated? Clearly the neighbors were there first. If farmer Beckstead loved his neighbor as Jesus taught, would he pollute their air with the smell of mink feces?

Farmer Beckstead lives in Lehi about twenty miles to the north—Unless his families’ noses lost their ability to smell, he knows better than to live at his mink farm and suffer like his neighbors.

Minks aren’t just pets that have learned to happily co-exhist with humans—they are vicious, angry aggressors who sometimes carry rabies and other diseases. Children won’t know that so when they see one on a nearby school playground, they’ll gather around and try and touch it and pick it up.

Will agricultural protection protect Farmer Beckstead from lawsuits?

Neighbors report seeing minks all over their lands. Even if Farmer Beckstead could contain his minks, he can’t contain the smell that lures incoming minks looking for their own species and mates.

One man explained how he lost a fortune developing nearby one-acre parcels because after the mink farm was created, buyers lost their appetite.

Farmer Beckstead has the right to farm as long as he doesn’t violate the rights of his neighbors but since he obviously had and plans to continue to do so, he sought for agricultural protection. Rather than repeatedly break the Golden Rule, he could sell his mink farm today for a profit into Utah County’s strong real estate market and buy land far away from others.

The Utah County Commissioners heard but ignored the neighbors’ highly emotional complaints and ruled in favor of farmer Beckstead. After repeated, unsuccessful appeals to Payson and Utah County government, will the neighbors persist, give up and play dead or will they eventually defend their liberties and inalienable rights with violence as the Declaration of Independence authorizes?

My family and I lived in Highland Utah, about a mile from a mink farm. Driving by the farm we always noticed the putrid smell. As more residents moved in, opposition grew. Because of the united angry citizenry, the farmer was finally asked to leave.

Utah County Commissioners should have known better than to favor Farmer Beckstead who clearly violates the rights of his neighbors and grant him special agricultural protection. This issue will not go away; instead, it will just get worse as the population of Payson increases.

Citizens don’t care about Utah County’s hundreds of pages of regulations, especially when they contradict their built-in conscience that tells them to love their neighbor as themselves and to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I think very highly of all three Utah County Commissioners, enjoy watching them grow in their callings, and consider Bill Lee a very good friend so I recommend that we all re-read Ezra Taft Benson’s 32-page masterpiece, The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner.

April 11, 2017 Utah County Commissioners Hearing


John Adams Quote on Property Rights

The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.—John Adams

Utah County Commissioners Vote Against Inalienable Property Rights and Private Party Contracts

by Robert John Stevens, September 7, 2016

No landowners would ever form a government that denies them from building on their own land but Utah County, the home of America’s Freedom Festival, stole that right—not by citizens’ consent but by years of creating 290-pages of behind-closed-doors, tyrannical land-use ordinances.

Buried deep are ordinances that deny landowners the right to build on their own property unless their driveway connects directly to a paved state or Utah County road, or they build, pave and dedicate a county road themselves. For 99% of the citizens who can’t afford the expense of building roads, this denies them of their inalienable right to build on their own property.

Utah County driveways may not connect to or pass thru private roads, especially if they are dirt, gravel, road-base, stone, cement or brick. Utah County does not permit landowners to create dead-end roads, cul-de-sacs or even paved, dedicated road segments.

Exhibit A

Driveways thru undedicated paved roads are not allowed in Utah County

Exhibit B

Utah County Lawful vs Unlawful Driveway Access

So I spent $300 and submitted this wording change proposal:

To uphold private property contracts and inalienable property rights (freedoms this government was established to protect) by approving a recorded private-party contract that describes a private road easement whose dimensions conform to Utah County specifications, and a recorded plat with legal a description for the easement and these words, “We absolve Utah County from any and all liability in regard to this road easement,” signed by all adjoining parcel holders and notarized.

Yesterday a public hearing was held to consider my wording change. The outcome was either very dark for Utah County or the beginnings of a new day for freedom and liberty if they rectify the situation and stop denying citizens the right to build on their own property.

I defended my regulation change request before three Utah County Commissioners Larry Ellertson, Bill Lee and Greg Graves.

Unfortunately all three commissioners, including Commissioner Bill Lee voted against inalienable property rights and private party contracts. How can they hope to get re-elected when citizens thought they voted them into office to protect inalienable rights? Should government be allowed to prohibit private contracts between consenting adults?

Today paved interior roads cost more than $95 a foot with engineering and title work. My 3,714-foot or 3/4-mile road will cost more than $350k. I informed the commissioners I already built and paved 66 feet of interior road in two locations which is more than enough for emergency vehicles.

Rather than grant conditional subdivision approval so properties can sell to provide money for improvements, they decree unconditional denial.

The damage? Only 10k of 517k residents live in unincorporated areas and 290 pages of land-use ordinances restrict their rights. Aren’t there words for that such as theft, slavery and bondage?

Towns and cities occupy only 1% of the land in Utah County. I mentioned in the 1850s when Brigham Young abandoned Salt Lake City before the arrival of Johnston’s Army and moved the Mormons south to Utah County, 30,000 to 50,000 citizens relocated in Utah County. There may have been more citizens then living in unincorporated areas than today.

A billionaire can build a 100-mile road, retain the land on both sides, and then dedicate it to Utah County for taxpayer-supported maintenance. Small, low-traffic paved roads are also maintained by tax-paying citizens.

In my situation, I own both parcels and the road easement between them. How can government justify denying me my right to make a contract between myself and myself?

We talked about the possibility of allowing me to extend my interior roads and then building a temporary 100-foot turnaround. I argued that was costly and ridiculous and the commissioners agreed.

I told them on August 9th I emailed Brandon Larson, who works in Planning and Zoning, if he or someone could help me devise wording they may accept. He replied, “Community Development and the Attorney’s Office don’t believe there is a revision that would be acceptable, or that we would support.”

County officials argued that fire trucks must have turn-around access so I emailed Commissioner Lee a link to a YouTube video of a 45-foot Berkeley firetruck doing a three-point turn in under one minute. I explained that firehoses are 1500 ft long which can easily reach any part of these parcels, and in the 21st century firetrucks have a great innovation we call reverse.

Then the snow removal manager testified that he can’t back up. At that point Commissioner Lee asked me if they could deny my ordinance-change request (to uphold inalienable property rights and private party contracts) and asked Utah County Planning and Zoning to find a solution for my case.

If people can afford to buy and build on 5.25-acres, can’t they also afford snow tires? How many neighbors have snow plows? How often does it snow in Utah Valley? And can’t citizens just hire a snow-removal service?

How many citizens would give their consent for government to deny them of their right to build on their own property if government snow plow and emergency vehicle employees complain?

If emergency vehicle access is possible and for two houses that share a dead-end driveway in Utah County, or even one house with a long driveway, how is that any different for two houses that share a dead-end road?

The big disconnect here, as you know, is Natural Law, as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence may have been stamped into our beings at the moment of our creation. We citizens know it is our right to build on our own land. Most are unaware how local government makes that it impossible the majority.

I like Commissioners Bill Lee and Greg Graves. Will they realize the magnitude of the mistake they made yesterday and correct the laws before angry, informed delegates vote them out of office?

Not even the County Commissioners knew how tyrannical their laws had become—even if they read them it is difficult to understand the roadblocks until one tries to get subdivision approval.

Yes citizens are invited to comment during those morning commissioner hearings; however, most are busy at home or work. For the few who attend their input has little bearing on the bureaucrats’ decisions who often rubber-stamp laws created by unelected government employees.

The underlying problem is that Utah County government has long abandoned the rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Utah Constitutions and replaced correct principles with socialism.


See Section-3-11 Exception to required frontage on an approved public street

Ten Essential Items to Mention in Every Gun Discussion

by Robert John Stevens, June 21, 2016

  1. Protection against tyrannical governments—The Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment1 to protect citizens against tyrannical governments because they knew governments eventually transfer and consolidate power to one person who turns against his or her own people. Unfortunately the amendment did not include the word democide.
  2. Democide—Murder by one’s own government2. An estimated 262 million humans were killed by their own governments in the 20th century alone, in most cases after they were disarmed by their own governments.
  3. Natural and inalienable rights—All people have the right to defend themselves, their families, faith and property. The right to defend was given to mankind by his Creator and existed long before earthly governments were formed.
  4. Guns stop individual and mass killings—Killers will always have access to guns and weapons and are often deterred and stopped by armed citizens.3
  5. False flag events—Governments and secret societies create deceptions and mass killings to disarm citizens. Patterns are predictable such as gunmen are killed so they cannot disclose their employers. Proof of bodies are rarely shown to the public. Courts throughout history have required dead bodies as proof.
  6. Amending the U.S. Constitution must require state legislature approval. It must never be changed on a whim by an emotional mob majority in Congress reacting to recent, unfortunate events.
  7. Invasion—Guns and local militia protect citizens from foreign invaders. Even if a nation’s national defenses could be defeated, prevailing over local militia and freedom fighters requires never-ending costs and resources (as the United States proves by their intervention in the Middle East). Well-armed citizens are the second line of national defense and should be welcomed and endorsed by every nation.
  8. Disarming citizens protects the wealthy—Napoleon once said,” Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” Whenever the wealth has been transferred from the lower and middle classes to an elite upper class, the elite resort to control and murder to protect themselves and use media propaganda and false-flag events to convince people they should disarm voluntarily. Guns protect the poor and middle class from being murdered by the rich.
  9. Comparable weapons to oppose force—The Founding Fathers didn’t limit the Second Amendment to handguns and knives. They just fought against the British who possessed the greatest weaponry in the world; therefore, citizens’ guns must be powerful enough to match the firepower of opposing forces.
  10. Media omissions4—These above essential elements are often purposely left out of news and media discussions. It is similar to church missionaries discussing right versus wrong without introducing underlying principles such as heavenly rewards and punishments. The debate purposely moves people towards the wrong conclusions—a strategy that supports conspiring agendas5 to disarm the public.

More Articles on Guns


1 The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What is unclear about the phrase “shall not be infringed?”

2 Google define democide:

Democide is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel (1932–2014) as “the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder.

3 In the mid 1990s I programmed for Xantel in Mesa Arizona for short time. Citizens advised me while driving to not cut anyone off because people kept guns in their glove compartments. That deterred me to obey the traffic rules.

4 Omissions of core principles are not discussed in mainstream news. For example, see today’s articles published by Mormon-owned news media KSL an Deseret News A divided Senate answers Orlando with gridlock on gun curbs and Preventing mass shootings? Utah delegation sees no clear solutions.

5 History and religious scriptures are clear that conspiring men form hellish agendas and are responsible for great sufferings to the human race. The Book of Mormon states that “secret combinations are of the devil and result in the destruction of nations—Modern Gentiles are warned against the secret combination that will seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.” — Ether 8:23-25 and its chapter summary.

Mormon Utah County’s Excessive Violations of Inalienable Private Property Rights

by Robert John Stevens, May 5, 2016

During the Brigham Young administration alone, Mormons founded nearly four hundred settlements with three hundred more thereafter.

Surveyors drafted township plats. Pioneers moved onto their land with no regulations other than to follow the golden rule.

Today Utah County’s Land-Use Ordinances are 290 pages. How many violate inalienable private property rights as implied by The Declaration of Independence, stated in Article 1, Section 1 of the Utah Constitution and probably every other state’s constitution?

For example, suppose you are denied subdivision approval because Utah County will not recognize your private road easements even though they are clearly stated as enforceable for perpetuity on your agricultural subdivision plat. Do you want government to tell you that you cannot build on your own property without first building and paving an interior road and turning ownership over to them?

Or suppose the county health department decides they don’t approve of your well water quality and demands you buy expensive filtration equipment. Does government have the right to dictate whether or not you can drink your own water, distill it or import it?

Notice the Utah County Code is also more than 200 pages.

Do these codes and ordinances truly represent the consent of the governed?

If you own property in Utah County, especially outside of the cities, try and develop it and you’ll discover the unconstitutional burdens placed upon you. Remember, every ordinance is backed by the use of force.

Are Mormon Utah County government employees worried about their eternal exaltation regarding how well they defend the U.S. Constitution, uphold free agency, and oppose socialism and the regulatory state that burdens mankind, requires non-limited government, encourages debt, and enslaves citizens via legalized theft (also known as taxation)?

How do Mormons who create and enforce these ordinances interpret versus 7 of D&C 98:5-7? I sincerely want to know.

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.

The only exception I can find in Mormon scriptures is D&C 101:79:

Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

Of all the citizens in the United States, as far as I know, Mormons are the only group whose scriptures specifically affirms and endorses the U.S. Constitution. I’d expect Utah government to lead the nation in their resolve to uphold it, especially in Utah County—home of Brigham Young University and the Mormon Missionary Training Center.

I’d be happy to discuss this anytime in public or private. Please enlighten my understanding.

The Enlightened View of Ownership

by Robert John Stevens, April 17, 2016

The Christian world knows well that John 1:3 states, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Jesus, the God of this world, made all things, and assisted beings under his direction at the dawn of creation and probably ever since.

Mormonism adds an enlightened view of that concept, that Jesus owns everything. Land records may state I own real estate but I really don’t own anything—God owns everything. My stewardship of wealth is temporary and used to bless myself, my family and the entire human race whenever possible.

Socialism and communism are the enemy to God and claims the state, not God and not the people, owns everything. The difference is significant.