The Cliven Bundy TAkes!
Open range cattle grazing in the west has been an American tradition since before the west was won.
The recent Bundy Ranch debacle is just the latest in a long history of federal over-reach over state’s rights and the rule of law. He has a solid claim to continue to run his cattle since his family has done so continuously since 1877.
At some point you gotta wonder why Washington claims ownership of 86% of Nevada. For some background, 52 ranchers have been driven out of business in Clark County, NV, they sold their water and grazing rights to the Feds. Bundy is the last rancher standing. Clark County is nearly as large as New Jersey, and larger than Delaware, Rhode Island, and Hawaii combined. And it’s not even the largest county in Nevada.
Supposedly this whole thing started over a tortoise which was placed on the endangered species list in ’89? And then taken off the list the very next year. This was just spin in the early days of the story, it was never about a turtle. It happens that the turtle and cows coexist just fine.
Then the story was that Cliven Bundy owed one million in unpaid fines and fees since 1993. Further research reveals that the BLM spent 3 million to remove Bundy’s 900 plus head of cattle from federal public lands. Bundy says that they are state-owned public lands. I have no idea who is correct, but 137 years of continuous use by the Bundy Ranch is good enough for me. As the saying goes, possession is nine tenths of the law. Bundy is not even claiming possession, he only wants his cattle to walk around the same public ground that they have done for hundreds of years.
What disturbs me most is the excessive show of force by the BLM in this case to forcibly remove the cattle, which have certainly done no wrong. Reports vary, but at least fifty, and as many as two hundred heavily armed agents showed up to enforce the removal with rustlers using helicopters to round up the easy pickings cattle. There is evidence that they even shot two prize bulls, to say nothing of destroying fencing and water retention improvements which the ranch had made.
In case you haven’t noticed, this administration has identified Christians, returning vets and other traditional American conservatives as terrorists. Apparently 67 year old Cliven Bundy falls into this group of American citizens considered to be terrorists to the Obama progressive movement.
What disturbs me even more is the tendency for progressive Democrats to use the full force of arms against American citizens on American soil. Clinton did it repeatedly, at Ruby Ridge, the Branch Davidians Waco TX debacle and the following Elian Gonzales affair. All were examples of extreme use of force, especially Waco. Thankfully, Obama showed more restraint at Bunkerville. I can’t help but think that dozens of camera phones taping video may have had something to do with it, along with militia showing up with their own sharp-shooters to the party.
Harry Reid says it isn’t done yet, and I suspect he is correct in that assessment.
Links after the jump:
a good primer
Anonymous has a great summary of events leading up to the stand-off
84-year-old former chief of the Shoshone Indian Tribe in northeastern Nevada
Another 80-something Shoshone rancher in Nevada.
The Bundy affair is just the latest in an on-going conflict between DC and the West
Progressives claim “law and order” while refusing to support law and order concerning defending our border and illegal aliens. “Is government our servant, or is it our master? The Left has long ago answered that question to the satisfaction of its partisans, who are happy to be serfs so long as their birth control is subsidized.”
If Harry Reid has his way, there won’t be any cowboys left in Nevada. I am sure that he’d still want the Feds to subsidize the Cowboy Poetry Festival, so that unemployed cowboys can sit around the campfire writing poetry.