Government Bullies Nevada Rancher - will YOU stand with him?
Posted on April 11, 2014
If you haven’t been following the unfolding drama at the Bundy Ranch
about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas you need to start now. The
escalating confrontation between irate local residents and federal
agents of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has the potential to take a
very dangerous turn for the worse at any moment, as hundreds of militia
members from states across the country are expected to descend upon the
area and make a stand with 67-year-old Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
Before I get into any sort of analysis about what this means within
the bigger picture of American politics and society, we need a little
background on the situation. The saga itself has been ongoing for two
decades and the issue at hand is whether or not Mr. Bundy can graze his
900 head of cattle on a particular section of public lands in Clark
County. Cliven Bundy has been ordered to stop on environmental grounds
to protect the desert tortoise, but he has stood his ground time and
time again. As a result, the feds have now entered the area and are
impounding his cattle. According to CNN, Between
Saturday and Wednesday, contracted wranglers impounded a total of 352
cattle. The Bundy family, as well as a variety of local residents have
already had confrontations with the BLM agents. Tasers have been used
and some minor injuries reported. Most significantly, militia members
from across the country have already descended upon the area and it
seems possible that hundreds may ultimately make it down there.
To me, the argument of who is right and who is wrong in this
situation is the least interesting part of the story. I have noted time
and time again that the feds are becoming increasingly out of control
and belligerent to American citizens. We know the stories (think Aaron Swartz)
and we know the overall trend trend. However, the reason the Bundy
Ranch confrontation is so interesting, is that for whatever reason this
particular incident seems to be striking a chord of dissent. It is often
times the most random, unforeseen and innocuous things that spark
social/political movements. This standoff has it all.
From CBS News:
LAS VEGAS (CBS
Las Vegas/AP) — Militia groups are rallying behind a rancher whose
cattle are being seized by the federal government.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that two militia members from Montana and one from Utah have arrived at Cliven Bundy’s ranch.
“We need to be the barrier between the oppressed and the
tyrants,” Ryan Payne of the West Mountain Rangers told the
Review-Journal. “Expect to see a band of soldiers.”
Payne said that militias from New Hampshire, Texas and Florida are likely to join and stand with Bundy and stay at his ranch.
“They all tell me they are in the process of mobilizing as we speak,” Payne told the Review-Journal, adding that hundreds of militia members are expected.
Lawmakers are adding their voices into the fray, criticizing the
federal cattle roundup fought by Cliven Bundy who claims longstanding
grazing rights on remote public rangeland about 80 miles northeast of
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he told new U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze in Washington, D.C., that law-abiding Nevadans shouldn’t be penalized by an “overreaching” agency.
Brian Sandoval pointed earlier to what he called “an atmosphere of
intimidation,” resulting from the roundup and said he believed
constitutional rights were being trampled.
The fact that a U.S. Senator and the Governor are publicly coming out
agains the feds is in my opinion a very big deal and may signal the
beginning of a true fracturing in the social fabric. Something that I
have been expecting for many years.
Heller said he heard from local officials, residents and the
Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and remained “extremely concerned about
the size of this closure and disruptions with access to roads, water and
The federal government has shut down a scenic but windswept area
about half the size of the state of Delaware to round up about 900
cattle it says are trespassing.
Sandoval said he was most offended that armed federal officials have tried to corral people protesting the roundup into a fenced-in “First Amendment area” south of the resort city of Mesquite.
The site “tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution” and should be dismantled, Sandoval said.
People being rounded up like cattle in these bullshit “First Amendment areas” is completely unacceptable.
BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon and Park Service spokeswoman
Christie Vanover have told reporters during daily conference calls that
free-speech areas were established so agents could ensure the safety of
contractors, protesters, the rancher and his supporters.
Meanwhile, federal officials say 277 cows have been collected.
Cannon said state veterinarian and brand identification officials will
determine what becomes of the impounded cattle.
The kindling for social upheaval has been growing in America for quite some time. Disrespectful and ignorant statements
from billionaire oligarchs like Sam Zell only make it worse. The
question in my mind has always been what will the catalyst be to spark
the brushfire? Will it be the Bundy Ranch? We’ll have to wait and see.
Personally, I hope cooler heads prevail and there is no violence,
because once you head down the road of violent confrontation between the
people and the feds you are opening up a can of worms that will not
easily be bottled up again. In such a situation, everybody loses.
However, my long-term fear is that unless the government and its puppet
masters on Wall Street and elsewhere in big business change course,
social upheaval will prove inevitable, whether the Bundy Ranch sparks
it, or some other incident down the road. These are troubled times and
they are likely going to get worse before they get better.
This picture basically says it all:
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