Glenn McCoy cartoon via Western Rifle Shooters Assoc.
Many on the “law and order” right have been struggling to make sense of the Cliven Bundy ranch stand-off. After all, Bundy stopped paying the BLM in 1993 for grazing rights on federal land near his ranch, and the courts have sided with the government in the decades long dispute. At some point, you would think some sort of action would be waranted.. Yet the natural instinct of most conservatives is to side with the individual against the federal leviathan. John Hinderaker notes at Powerline, that although Bundy doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, fellow citizens should feel sympathetic to his plight.
Over the last two or three decades, the Bureau has squeezed the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the acres on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle that can be on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the ever-diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business. Formerly, there were dozens of ranches in the area where Bundy operates. Now, his ranch is the only one. When Bundy refused to pay grazing fees beginning in around 1993, he said something to the effect of, they are supposed to be charging me a fee for managing the land and all they are doing is trying to manage me out of business. Why should I pay them for that..?
On his show, Tuesday night, Mark Levin pointed out that by the way – the stupid tortoise out there is no longer endangered, so what’s this thing really all about? “It’s not just about land use – it’s about human use. It’s not just about control of development – it’s about control of you. They chased out every single rancher. Of those hundreds of thousands of conservation lands – based on the tortoise -which is no longer threatened – –They tried to bankrupt him [Bundy], they tried to run up his legal bills. They run up his fines, they calculated his grazing fees, they’ve got one court order after another.” He noted that people say, ‘well it’s the law – he needs to abide by the law’ but made the point that “the federal government needs to abide by its limitations!” He exclaimed, “why the hell does the federal government control 87% of Nevada?! Why the hell does the federal government control 25-30% of the continental United States?!” He continued, Wwhen I was the Deputy Solicitor of the Interior for a short period under President Reagan, the general rule was don’t harass these people, they’re trying to eke out a living – they’ve been there forever. Don’t crush them…Treat them as neighbors, treat with them respect. Don’t look for excuses to put them out of business.” Levin marveled at the grim double standard that “we have anarchy on the border” where the government has complete control if it wants it, and where people want law enforcement to stop what’s going on, but the feds say, ‘no, we’re going to Nevada and we’re going to surround this guy’s ranch.’” “Forget about him!” Levin exclaimed, “take care of the border!” But where the government has unequivocal power to protect our Southern border, they refuse to do for political purposes. “And when it comes to the tortoise, when it comes to the bald eagle, when it comes to any quote-unquote endangered species, the solar panels come first, the wind turbines come first. In other words, the radical left Marxist ideology comes first.” He said it pains him to see the patriotic men and women in law enforcement have to carry out the will of the hardcore left.
Stetsy Bundy Cox, Cliven Bundy’s daughter, told the Washington Free Beacon that some of the rangers at the confrontation with the ranchers, last week, had Oregon and California license plates.
“You know, some of these guys don’t even know why they’re here,” she said. “A few people have talked to them and they got called in here on an emergency feed and they didn’t know what it was for, it just said they had to be here.”
“They’re almost like a hired gun,” Cox said. “Because what they’re supposed to do is they each have a road, and are told to stay on that road, and they’re supposed to keep people off that road, whatever means possible. That’s their job. They don’t even know how many cows have been gathered.”
The BLM did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Cox said she spoke with an out-of-state Ranger who was ashamed of his job.
“I actually went and talked to one, he was in the back, nobody was even talking to him. He didn’t say much,” she said. “He had a huge big gun on him, but he didn’t really even touch his gun.”
“I asked him, ‘What are you doing? Do you know what you’re doing? You’re stealing an old man’s cattle, his livelihood. He’s a poor man that doesn’t have anything,’” she said. “And I said, ‘You’re pushing baby cows’—I watched a baby cow not want to move and a helicopter swoop down and honk at him till he had to move.”
Cox said the Ranger said, “No, no, we don’t want that.”
“But I saw it,” she said.
“‘Well, well,’ and he goes, ‘I don’t even want to be here. Do you think my grandfather’s proud of me? You think I like this? You think this is fun for me?’”
“Then what are you doing here?” Cox asked him.
“He said, ‘It’s my job.’”
Levin also noted Tuesday night that you Can Only Push ‘FREE PEOPLE’ Around So Much:
MORE: IBD: Cliven Bundy’s Cattle Battle: Harry Reid, China and Agenda 21:
Land Management: A Chinese solar farm that fries birds is OK, as is redrawing tortoise habitat boundaries to benefit political donors. But an American rancher grazing his cattle brings feds with sniper rifles. It appears Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has, at least temporarily, wonhis “range war” with the paramilitary wing of the Bureau of Land Management. Fearing another Waco, BLM has announced it will no longer enforce a court order and stop stealing Bundy’s cows, called “trespass cattle” by the feds, accused of grazing free on part of the 84% of Nevada that is federal property. If the forces deployed in and around the Nevadan’s ranch had been deployed to Benghazi, it’s likely Glen Doherty, Ty Woods, Sean Smith and Ambassador Christopher Stevens would be alive today. If illegal aliens were grazing on the disputed property, there would not have been federal snipers perched nearby with American citizens in their sights. The government that has detonated hundreds of nuclear weapons in the Nevada desert claimed a rancher’s meandering cattle threatened a protected species. BLM, one of the myriad federal agencies armed to the teeth these days, would have us believe the 67-year-old rancher is a trespassing bitter clinger who isn’t paying his federal grazing fees as his cattle munch on government-owned vegetation and threaten the endangered desert tortoise.
KLAS TV: Armed guards surround Bundy, supporters fear imminent threat:
LAS VEGAS – Local rancher Cliven Bundy may have his cattle back, but his supporters say they are still preparing for an imminent threat.
Militia groups from all over the country say they are flocking to the Bundy ranch to protect the family from a feared federal government raid.
The Bureau of Land Management allowed Bundy to release his cattle Saturday, after they felt threatened.
Bundy now has a whole contingent of armed guards surrounding him 24 hours a day.
“They’re just there, trying to make sure something crazy doesn’t happen to him,” Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy said.
His security detail and family feel he is someone to be protected because of what the federal government could do.
“There were snipers on the hills and armed guards and you know, military forces with cameras all over.” Ammon Bundy said.
Cliven Bundy fears that the government could gather up again because they never reached a formal deal.
He is also trying to determine whether federal agents damaged any of his cattle before they released them.
Big Government: THE SAGA OF BUNDY RANCH–FEDERAL POWER, RULE OF LAW AND AVERTING POTENTIAL BLOODSHED:
There exist a number of elements to the story that inject shades of grey into the dominant media narrative. Perhaps hundreds of Bundy supporters have already shown up to the ranch area to “protect” the family and their land—which is federal land—but federal land such usage was promised to the family in the government’s efforts to get people to settle the West after Mexico ceded the land to the U.S. Court documents—discussed later in this article—reveal that the Bundy family decided at some point that the federal government was illegitimate and that they no longer had to give heed to the federal courts. The Bundy family patriarch has openly stated his willingness to use force against federal agents if they take his cattle off of the federal lands; the federal agents stand ready to use force against the family or their supporters if they interfere with the cattle removal. Both sides are armed, both sides are frustrated, and the rhetoric and hyperbole surrounding the entire matter has left many onlookers from around the world confused as to what is actually happening.
In the immediate aftermath of the infamous cattle roundup, Cliven Bundy granted a number of high profile media interviews continuing to deny—to the point of absolutely ignoring family history—what the federal courts have twice told him.
“I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada,” Bundy recently told a radio reporter. “…I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But, I don’t recognize the United States Government as even existing.”
Doug Ross: Eyewitness: BLM “Scared Crapless” By Thousands of Armed Americans Supporting Nevada Rancher Bundy
I rolled into Laughlin really early, like 5:30 am. So many people had shown up, that we decided to leave in groups. A second group to leave at 8 AM as scheduled. Ours was a big group too. About two dozen cars, loaded with passengers. The highway was almost empty until near Mesquite. Then it was a traffic jam. Motor homes, campers, ATVs running along side the freeway, motorcyles, vehicles, every thing you could possibly imagine. Everyone on their way to Bunkersville.
Then it [the traffic] about stopped, just inching along.
A great deal of the discussion about the ClivenBundy standoff in Nevada has focused on the legal questions — the litigation between Mr. Bundy and theBLM, his eccentric (i.e., batzoid) legal rationales, etc. But as Rich Lowry and others have argued, this is best understood not as a legal proceeding but as an act of civil disobedience. John Hinderaker and Rich both are correct that as a legal question Mr. Bundy is legless. But that is largely beside the point.
Of course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise? The law was against Mohandas Gandhi, too, when he was tried for sedition; Mr. Gandhi himself habitually was among the first to acknowledge that fact, refusing to offer a defense in his sedition case and arguing that the judge had no choice but to resign, in protest of the perfectly legal injustice unfolding in his courtroom, or to sentence him to the harshest sentence possible, there being no extenuating circumstances for Mr. Gandhi’s intentional violation of the law. Henry David Thoreau was happy to spend his time in jail, knowing that the law was against him, whatever side justice was on.
But not all dissidents are content to submit to what we, in the Age of Obama, still insist on quaintly calling “the rule of law.”