In Bundy Ranch's War Against the U.S., Rightbloggers Pick Guess Which Side

tomt200.jpgThis weekend a scofflaw gathered some gunmen and drove off some federal agents who were trying to confiscate his property.

Rightbloggers approved for several reasons. For one, the scofflaw is a rancher, just like Ronald Reagan; for another, there is an environmental angle, which always makes them mad, and a Harry Reid angle, which makes them apoplectic; and perhaps most importantly, the scofflaw refuses to acknowledge the authority of the federal government, which puts him right in the emerging mainstream of conservative doctrine.

Cliven Bundy has a cattle ranch in Nevada, which has been in his family since the 19th Century. His cattle graze on government land, for which ranchers traditionally pay government fees. But Bundy hasn't paid his fees since 1993, after the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) took over collection from Clark County, with Bundy "arguing in court," per the Los Angeles Times, "that his Mormon ancestors worked the land long before the BLM was formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement." (Supporters argue in a widely-circulated pic that "Bundy doesn't object to the fees, but does object to giving it to the Federal Government... he, therefore, has offered to pay the state, but they have continuously refused to take his money.")

The situation escalated in recent days when the feds, armed with a court order, took a more aggressive approach to collecting. In one incident Bundy's son was tasered, and the government set up "First Amendment Areas" to pen off protesters. (This elicited much complaint from the brethren, whose civil liberties concerns back in the days of "Don't Tase Me Bro" jokes and the free speech zones of the 2004 Democratic and Republican Conventions we somehow missed.)

Occupynewpic.jpg
Occupy? Get out of here with that shit! The Bundy Ranch ain't no Occupy -- we have guns! (Via.)
Bundy then gathered a posse of supporters, including armed members of militia groups, to prevent agents from seizing his cattle. On Saturday the BLM agents left the area, pleading public safety. So Bundy, who had compared the standoff to Waco and Ruby Ridge, lives to wage war on the United States Government another day.

It seems unlikely that the feds will just let this go, but until the (hopefully less dramatic) resolution of the case, many rightbloggers are celebrating the capitulation as a blow against their new idea of an Evil Empire, namely their own country.

Some explained that Bundy's cause was just because the government was doing the bidding of corrupt actors such as Harry Reid and environmentalists.

The environmentalists came in for abuse because BLM curtailed Bundy's grazing rights in 1993 to protect the desert tortoise. After 20 years you'd think the statute of outrage limitations would have run out on this, but if you've ever heard a rightblogger grumble about snail darters, you can imagine what they made of it.

"Why is the government trying to get him to quit the land?" cried Warner Todd Huston at Wizbang. "Because the government claims that with his cattle Bundy is harming the environment for the purportedly 'endangered' desert tortoise." "Who in the world threatens people with violence and takes their property for a tortoise? Liberals," riddled Prairie Pundit. "Using Snipers To Protect A Tortoise," sneered David Blackmon at Forbes. "...the obvious conclusion is that BLM rendered its absurd decision with the clear expectation of running the Bundys off the land entirely."

"For those who want to stop by and tell me that it's not about the desert tortoise, it's about unpaid fees by the Bundy's, I will respond that Nevada land is considered government land because the desert tortoise resides there," said Maggie's Notebook. Now, who can argue with that?

Worse than the tortoises was Harry Reid. In 2012, the Nevada Senator's influence apparently helped his son Rory, who was doing business with a Chinese solar energy company, score Nevada land at rock-bottom prices. That land happens to be in Clark County, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones found a document allegedly "pulled by the feds from BLM.gov" that listed, among the "examples of restoration funding and visibility impacted" by Bundy's cattle, the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, a government project which would presumably be helpful to any solar energy developer in the region, including Reid.

That's all the brethren needed. "ALLEGATIONS SURFACE THAT SENATOR HARRY REID (D-NV) IS BEHIND THE BLM LAND GRAB OF BUNDY RANCH TO HELP CHINESE COMPANY," cried Kit Daniels at Liberty News Online. "Shocking Allegations," clarified B. Christopher Agee of Western Journalism, "Show Harry Reid, Chinese Company Behind Nevada Ranch Standoff." "Reid smelling anything but rosy in ranch fight," headlined R. Jerome Corsi at WorldNetDaily. "Desert showdown blows lid off long-standing plans with the Chinese."

"It isn't about grazing fees the BLM says Bundy owes," claimed The Oakdale Leader. "It's about Sen. Harry Reid using the BLM to illegally seize property and destroy a family's business so his son can do a deal with the Chinese... Not only would Reid commit these heinous acts of treason, but he would take jobs from American workers and American companies and give them them to the Communist Chinese," who should instead be making our clothes like the Founders intended.

But, you might respond, actually it is about the fees; even if these complaints are legit, doesn't Bundy still owe the government (that is, us) the money?

Rightbloggers could give you still more explanations, if they were in a patient mood. Radio host Dana Loesch, for example, said it wasn't true that Bundy hadn't been paying, despite what the courts said: "Bundy has in fact paid fees to Clark County, Nevada in an arrangement pre-dating the BLM," she explained. "The BLM arrived much later, changed the details of the setup without consulting with Bundy -- or any other rancher -- and then began systematically driving out cattle and ranchers." Why shouldn't he stop paying when he doesn't like the title holder on his debt? That's what the rest of us do when the banks holding our loans sell them to other banks, right?

Anyway, said Loesch, "Many bad things are done in the name of unjust laws. Just look at Obamacare." And that's really the hook here: If the U.S. Government is doing something you don't like, and you're the right sort of person, you don't have to comply, because freedom.

"Americans have been surrounded, deliberately corralled, by an increasing code of regulations," heart-wrung Monica Morrill at The American Thinker. "Americans have regulations pointed at their health care in the form of ObamaCare, their finances by the mercurial IRS, their communications by the NSA, the future education of young Americans by the newly launched Common Core. When will Americans reach the tipping point? It might all begin in Senator Reid's home state - the Nevadan Wild West."

This barely-concealed insurrectionism was taken up and taken further by other rightbloggers.

"I think the sleeping giant is being awakened," fervored Adrienne's Corner. "The people of this country - well, okay, the half that is sentient, are fed up. I pray for the safety of all involved."

Among the "10 Things We've Learned from the Bundy Ranch Standoff So Far," Survival Joe ("Helping the 'average Joe' prepare for the coming crisis") listed, "The federal government has absolutely no respect for state rights... Force is the only language the BLM knows how to speak. This bureau is just as bad as any other power-tripping government agency, of which there are many: CIA, FBI, NSA, NEA, EPA, ATF, FDA, etc..."

"Is it time to lock and load? YES," hollered Laurie Roth at Renew America. "Obama and his bought-and-paid-for thugs in all branches of government continue to set America on fire. They create false flag events... If the Bundy ranch standoff, set up, and attack by BLM doesn't make you scream with rage and alarm, then you are dead and no American..."

After talking about impeachment awhile, perhaps to shore up her credentials as a moderate, Roth advised her readers to "Buy as many guns as you can and tons of ammo... Obama and his BLM are bringing it, AND AMERICA IS GIVING IT BACK."


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88 comments
shanepeck
shanepeck

Oh, and did anybody know that new director of the BLM, a guy by the name of Kornze, is an old buddy of Sen. Reid??
Well, well, well, what a coincidence.

shanepeck
shanepeck

The Harry Reid connection is that his oldest son, Rory, is the US reprentative for the Chinese Energy company ENN. They wanted,  not the Bundy ranch, but an area adjacent to it for building 5 sq. mile solar panel facility. The bundy ranch and other ranches and properties around the perimeter of the plant was to be used to relocate the tortoises after the solar panels made the current area uninhabitable to the tortoisea and a couple of other species.
Now, the ENN deal fell through sometime around June or July of 2013. However Reid is still trying get the land  sold to a company called Paiute Power or something like that. One of the reasons the original articles on the web were pulled was because every one played up the ENN deal, but wound up looking stupid when it turned out that the ENN deal fell through last year.
The real interesting thing is that the land for the solar panel "farm" is valued at around $38 million, however Collins County Nevada, who are actually are the ones that would  benefit from, and approve the sale, as going to sell it to ENN for just under $5 million.

Hmmmm. Curiouser and curiouser.

Oh and for the record, 5 square miles of solar panels only provides enough electicity to power 140,000 homes.

Can we all say, "drop in the bucket"?

Oathkeeper
Oathkeeper

Milita response is the new normal. They now intend to enforce federal immigration laws, at the borders, themselves.

BDunaven
BDunaven

Why does the bureau of land management have sniper teams?

BDunaven
BDunaven

This article makes fun of freedom.

cjmcwaffle
cjmcwaffle

So, I don't have much love for the feds, but I'm also not a fan of public property being vacuumed up by private industry.


The big question for me would be why Bundy deserves to let his cattle graze on land he doesn't own. The fact that he doesn't like the owners isn't really a terribly convincing reason to me.


This isn't an example of a guy doing what he wants with his own land; it's a guy doing what he wants with somebody else's property, which he theoretically partly has interest in, but which he has to share with the rest of the public.


I don't really see any broad principles at work here; this seems like a thing you can only understand through specifics.


Or I guess we could all decide based on whether or not Nevada ranchers are part of our tribe or not. That works too, apparently.

skyblueerik
skyblueerik

The problem is you have ranchers who feel ENTITLED to graze on land owned by the federal government, for FREE! They just want freebies from the government (the same government they don't recognize as being legitimate, I might add). There's a word for that...

maxp84z
maxp84z

I know a long time democrat. A Hippy if you will. He owns a small organic market in the l.a. Area. He sells raw milk, free range chicken etc. He voted foe Obama in 2008. He thought he was going to help with the recovery. Yet when democrats were polled on how they felt about the current state of taxation. 60-70 percent of democrats feel that they pay too much in taxes. That's a huge margin. But they have the idea that well it sucks but we gotta pay it anyway. That's not true. We are the people. We decide how much we want to pay in taxes in a democratic republic. The government serves us. Not the other way around. People have.forgotten this. They think the government is the main authority. That is once again incorrect.

Now about this small business owner who runs an organic market. He has converted his.business in.the last 5 years.to dealing with purely cash. No more atm or credit card purchases anymore. Not in his store. He does this so he can save on taxes. He has two books. The real books and the one he sends the Fed's. Now some people evade tax out of greed. But most evade tax out.of survival. His accountant said at the level of rising food costs, inflation, rising costs in refrigeration, taxes etc. He was projected to go out of business in 5 years. No way could he compete with prices like big agriculture stores like Whole foods. He did it out of survival. His business is still thriving and it s been six years since his accountant said he would be out of business. He took a risk. He had too. Bundy is taking a risk. Inside every liberal democrat there is a Bundy. Unless you've completely given in to a collectivism government worship orgy way of thinking. You know what is right and wrong. I hope this.helps.

SavageNation
SavageNation

In Harry Reid's Nevada Land Grab benefitting Lawya Son Rory's Chinese ENN Solar Panel Multinational, the Drug Damaged Dirty Hippies and their DNA Damaged Occupy Anarchist Truther Offspring Pick Guess Which Side...


Horse Slaughtering, Tortoise Euthanizing BLM


there's your sign...

2DancinCowboyBootz
2DancinCowboyBootz

Is "land-grab" the desirable term to build resentment toward the action of what is being done? If Article 6, Section 2 declares the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land", and Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 is the powers Congress has over Federal lands, how is this a land grab? Is the upholding of the Constitution based on law or what the people "think" is right vs wrong?

2DancinCowboyBootz
2DancinCowboyBootz

Is "land-grab" the desirable term to build resentment toward the action of what is being done? If Article 6, Section 2 declares the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land", and Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 is the powers Congress has over Federal lands, how is this a land grab? Is the upholding of the Constitution based on law or what the people "think" is right vs wrong?

2DancinCowboyBootz
2DancinCowboyBootz

Is "land-grab" the desirable term to build resentment toward the action of what is being done? If Article 6, Section 2 declares the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land", and Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 is the powers Congress has over Federal lands, never-mind the enumeration of the Elastic Clause, how is this a land grab? Is the upholding of the Constitution based on law or what the people "think" is right vs wrong?     (Outside of this land issue: more and more posts are showing that true discourse is dead. Such a plethera of put-downs and bias. Heated debate is surely fine, but wow, how far the public (we) have fallen. No wonder Congress doesn't work. They are of us (by our votes, we chose them all), and they reflect our own abilities, or lack there of, in discourse.)

2DancinCowboyBootz
2DancinCowboyBootz

Is "land-grab" the desirable term to build resentment toward the action of what is being done? If Article 6, Section 2 declares the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land", and Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 is the powers Congress has over Federal lands, how is this a land grab? Is the upholding of the Constitution based on law or what the people "think" is right vs wrong? (Outside of this issue: more and more posts are showing that discourse is dead. Wow, how far the public (we) have fallen.)

BDunaven
BDunaven

This article makes fun of freedom.

BDunaven
BDunaven

This article misstates the fee arrangement between ranchers and the federal government. 

McSalmon
McSalmon

@shanepeck What it ALSO is, is commonplace. Governments, even elected democracies, will tend to hire people who they know to positions of interest, rather than a stranger. It is also common in the fields of academia, business, entertainment and sexual partners. This is a game that is played everywhere, and does not invalidate a choice by it's nature.


If you want to sling some mud, you have to determine whether he's done anything wrong - re: Bundy, it looks like he had the stones to actually go after a crazy cheater after 20 years of litigation wouldn't get him to pay up. That he did not anticipate a few hundred armed paranoiacs to appear to defend a man who has defrauded the government of a cool mill is not surprising, and he can be lauded for backing out rather than escalate the situation. Unfortunately, this seems to have embolded aforementioned paranoiacs, and they are currently doing a war dance in the name of ... fee avoidance. Power to them, and I hope it keeps them all warm at night if a judge decides to throw then in the Striped Sunlight Hotel, courtesy of the county.

McSalmon
McSalmon

@shanepeck May we also say "Not so much."? 

Bundy has been fighting the BLM on this for decades on this issue - he is not that prescient.

 

We return to a central issue: He has been to court, his due process has been heard, he has been ordered to pay the fees. Bundy does not have the right to assume he is not governed by the law because he doesn't like it. His defense is the government is illegitimate and therefore to be ignored. That hundreds of gun toting fools bought this argument does not speak well of any movement that embraces it, and yet the Republicans seem to either be ambivalent, or actually embrace this notion. 

So, I ask: Why should I consider anything the conservative movement does or says on the matters of policy or governance to be anything but madness? Discuss.

GeoX
GeoX topcommenter

@BDunaven  So, what, is this some sort of teabagger tourette's you've got going here?

McSalmon
McSalmon

@cjmcwaffle Exactly - Bundy had 20 years to make a case. He didn't. The feds should have come down on his not paying fees years ago, but that's all prologue. This is a civil case being blown into a hysteria, and who's going to benefit? Not Bundy - he's either going to pay his fees, plus fines for being an obtuse dillweed, or he's not, in which case, what has he won by not having to pay what he hadn't paid already? 


I wouldn't even care about what a bunch of dudes want to do with their free time in the southern NV ranges, up to and including screwing every one of Bundy's herd if that's what really gets em off. What pisses me off is that these are the same dudes that would gladly do this to every single thing the government does, regardless of what it is, or why it might be necessary, or how much it actually cost them, and damn the consequence. 


Whatever - this will fizzle, and these people can go home to their beds and pretend that they were heroes for whatever the hell it is they did.

timeofmind
timeofmind

@skyblueerik  No. The problem is that the federal government thinks they own the land. But they don't. It belongs to the state. And the people in that state are standing up to the feds over this issue of who owns this land.

mysrmoose
mysrmoose

@maxp84z  No matter how you frame it, this guy is nothing but a welfare cheat.  He owes the US Taxpayers 1 million dollars, had his day in court and lost, and has defied at least 3 court order to remove his livestock.

McSalmon
McSalmon

@maxp84z  So, what you are saying is that people should just stop paying taxes if it's inconvenient? Bundy did, your friend did, and for all I know you are too. I hope that's not the takeaway from this, because no one else works that way. 


Your friend took a risk - he started a store, and cheated enough to make it a going concern. If he gets audited, he will get fined, just like Bundy did. He may lose the store. That is unfortunate, but it is risk, and that is, apparently how the system of capital works, for good or ill. I don't like it much either, but this is what he wanted to do. Bundy is a different matter - he hasn't just been not paying fees, he's done it for decades. He did it, not for reasons that are nearly forgivable like keeping a struggling business open, but out of some weird ideological belief that he shouldn't have to pay a fee to the federal government because mumblemumblederp. 

These are not equivalent situations. Bundy should have paid the fees all along, or if he really thought he had a case, he should have tried to make it in court. I have no sympathy for him for thumbing his nose at every other rancher who obeys the law, the BLM and whatever demons reside in his head.

m.bouffant
m.bouffant

@SavageNation  Drug damaged? I don't believe you understand the effects of the drugs you've been huffing.

mysrmoose
mysrmoose

@2DancinCowboyBootz   Correct!  Declaring Federal management of the Public Lands to be "Unconstitutional", these people prove they don't know what they're carping about.  The Property Clause of the Constitution specifically authorized the U.S. Government to hold and manage the Public Lands.


roy84
roy84 topcommenter

@BDunaven  No, this article makes fun of you.

m.bouffant
m.bouffant

@BDunaven  Feel free to clear up anything. If you know it's wrong, tell us what's right. 

McSalmon
McSalmon

( for disclosure - I did edit the ENN deal out. You did mention it fell through - I saw 'ENN' in your post, mutter 'Oh, Christ...' and started typing. Mea culpa. I do note that the Paiute power station is already being built on Moapa land, and not on public grazing land. And, again, Bundy is not even coming close to challenging this aspect of the issue. It's being touted as a conspiracy to create a defense for Bundy, for reasons I'm not quite certain of. The man is not a hero or anything. He owes money. Pay. the. fees. dude.)

BDunaven
BDunaven

@karenj3 Anyone who presents uncomfortable facts or alternate opinions is crazy in your opinion?  That is not very tolerant of you.

BDunaven
BDunaven

@GeoX No, it's not tourettes, but I understand why my concern for freedom seems silly or superficial to you.  Your values are different than mine, and I respect that.  If you want to understand where I am coming from, then read Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion," and Thomas Sowell's "A Conflict of Visions."

mysrmoose
mysrmoose

@timeofmind @skyblueerik  

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the 1864 Nevada State Constitution unmistakably disavows ownership of the public domain within the State.

GeoX
GeoX topcommenter

@timeofmind @skyblueerik  Does it bother you that you have no idea what you're talking about?  Or is it just sort of par for the course?

SavageNation
SavageNation

DRUG DAMAGED San Freakshow Bay Area White Hippie Rad Libs and DNA Damaged and Big Pharma and Self-Medicated Dumpster Burning Occupy Anarchist Truther Raver Crowd, yes. 

BDunaven
BDunaven

You're trying to be clever. I understand your joke, and it isn't funny.

BDunaven
BDunaven

This article states that the fees are traditional. The fees are new compared to the ranch. The ranch is 140 years old. The federal fees are twenty something years old. That's not traditional.

Before the fees there were over fifty ranchers. After the fees we are down to one rancher. The Feds wanted to get rid of the last rancher.

GeoX
GeoX topcommenter

@BDunaven @karenj3  No, I think it's more that YOU'RE just crazy.  If you weren't crazy, you wouldn't be spouting gibberish about "making  fun of freedom."

McSalmon
McSalmon

@redhandnyc @McSalmon@BDunaven@GeoXIs that how much this berk has cost us? I dislike him even more now. 


I hope you're not suggesting that law enforcement can only go after crime if they can recoup the expense of officers, facilities, training and equipment per episode, because it doesn't work like that. (Though RAND has a fascinating Cost of Crime Calculator if you're interested - half the reason I like arguing with conservatives is in looking into matters, you find interesting things like that.) For that matter, I hope you're not suggesting that military expenditures should reflect the benefit of deterrence, because I bet our intervention in Iraq isn't going to net us a profit.


However, the turtles are a red herring - Bundy isn't arguing about the legitimacy of the BLM's conservancy policy - he's suggesting the government doesn't have the right to impose those limits at all, which is something the courts have determined to be bollocks. Bundy is now resorting to a small army of armed volunteers to defend his privilege in not obeying the law. That is not freedom, or exercise of his rights, or civil disobedience. It's rebellion, and it's based on him saving a buck. But, I suppose money is the greatest purpose for a conservative.

redhandnyc
redhandnyc

@McSalmon @BDunaven @GeoX  but somehow you think the government has the right to spend $3 million of our dollars to collect on a $1 million dollar debt connected to the protection of desert tortoises that were never harmed by the cattle in the first place. 


Got it.


Those tortoises wouldn't have grass to eat were it not for the cattle that enriched the soil in the first place. The cows and tortoises apparently were getting along just fine from 1877 until 1993.

McSalmon
McSalmon

@BDunaven @GeoX If this dilemma actually centered around freedom, you would have a point. It isn't. He's had his day in court, and he lost three times. Bundy is currently arguing that the federal government basically doesn't exist and shouldn't apply to him. That is not an argument from freedom, it is an argument from the position of denial. 


Look - I don't care how many gun toting rootin' tootin' cowpokes he's got; they don't have the right to decide policy by the threat of force. This nation is huge and complex and has to be managed, and the various layers of governance have made regulations. Some are good, some aren't, a lot are sort of meh. Bundy doesn't get to decide to ignore it for 20 years, defy the courts and then enlist an army to protect him from being governed because it would cost him money. That's how Somalia works.


McSalmon
McSalmon

@SavageNation Funny how the lower class conservatives pretended to be love-it-or-leave-it, pro-law and order, anti-welfare cheat, anti-demonstration types, until they really turned out to be the exact opposite when the perp was One Of The Body after all. 


Are they massive liars? Possibly. Are they brain addled? Definitely! Could they be have been subtly brainwashed by years of conservative propaganda peddled to them through multiple media formats for decades? You betcha, boy howdy! But, can't they be all three? Well, it would be irresponsible to speculate... but isn't it irresponsible not to?

SavageNation
SavageNation

For decades, I watched these unfortunate souls in places like the Lower Haight in S.F. and Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, and their antithesis rich lilly white libs with minority servants and groundskeepers in mansions in the Hills with millionaire cocktail parties at night. 

SavageNation
SavageNation

Funny how the low class liberals pretended to be anti-establishment, anti-police state, pro-environment, pro-animal rights, but they really turned out to absolutely love the establishment, the police state, environmental and animal destruction. (as long as the perps have a "D" next to their names)

The only logical explanation is they are either great liars, or their prescription and illicit drug usage really did damage their brains to the point they no longer know what they stand for and are truly easily brainwashed. 

roy84
roy84 topcommenter

The butt of the joke never thinks it's funny. Unless he's got a bit of self-awareness. And, of course, a sense of humor.

roy84
roy84 topcommenter

@BDunaven @roy84 @GeoX  It's not impossible to make a point and have a laugh all at the same time. 



BDunaven
BDunaven

@roy84 @GeoX I guess when your argument is weak, you have to rely on silly and sarcastic comments.

GeoX
GeoX topcommenter

@BDunaven  Oh, no!  How will you survive lunatic wingnuts not thinking you're funny?!?

mysrmoose
mysrmoose

@BDunaven @roy84    Correction, there are more than 16,000 ranchers with Grazing Permits in the West, and the vast majority of them are honest and pay their just fees. The Federal Government isn't trying to eliminate Bundy's 160 acre ranch, just his arrogant claim to own what he doesn't.

GeoX
GeoX topcommenter

@BDunaven @roy84  I would think it would be painful to have to contort yourself like that.  But, I suppose you must be used to it.

BDunaven
BDunaven

@roy84 The Bundys have never paid the fee.  All the other ranchers have stopped ranching or died.  The Bundys are the last ranch.  The federal government is using coercive violence to eliminate the ranch.

roy84
roy84 topcommenter

@BDunaven  "This article states that the fees are traditional. The fees are new compared to the ranch. The ranch is 140 years old. The federal fees are twenty something years old. That's not traditional."


You're really reaching there. If my bank instituted checking fees in 1993, it'd be very weird if in 2014 I went, "Whoa! When'd you spring THAT on us?" 

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