Clive Bundy has become the rallying call for just about every fringe, anti government group there is in the United States. #EpicFail is what I call it. Now, before those of you out there begin your rants about how my rhetoric isn’t exactly pro Obama, let me finish my thoughts here. Bundy’s situation and the US Government’s response were both out of whack. Let’s look at Bundy, first.
For more than 20 years, Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over what he owes in grazing fees which he hasn’t paid since 1993. A federal judge first ordered him to remove his cattle from the land in 1998. Bundy says he owes around $300,000 and the US Government states that figure is a bit north of One Million Dollars.
Regardless of whether or not the BLM gives two shits about the Desert Tortoise; regardless of whether or not the BLM owns 81% of all Nevada land, the reality is that Bundy owes money for that which his cattle have eaten. I mean it wasn’t like Clive donated all the beef to refugees in Somalia. So, let’s start there and move forward.
Ronald Reagan declared himself a sagebrush rebel in an August 1980 campaign speech in Salt Lake City, telling the crowd, “I happen to be one who cheers and supports the Sagebrush Rebellion. Count me in as a rebel.” The Sagebrush Rebellion is basically a States Rights vs Federal Rights battle. I highly doubt, though, that Neil Kornze whom is an Elko, NV, native woke up and said, “Gee, I think I want to start a war in a tumbleweed town in the Southwest.” Kornze is the Director of the BLM, for those of you living under a rock or down in Blanding, UT.
What Kornze did that was improper was send in a well armed Gestapo against Bundy in an attempt to show a sign of force on behalf of Emperor Obama. The reality is that the Judiciary was well empowered to issue documents which the normal world uses each and every day to enforce the laws, rules and regulations of a civil society. Jack Booted Stormtroopers are not how a Civil Society responds to collect upon debt. If this was how we were all to behave then the recent Bundy Standoff would become the norm.
Bundy is not relieved of his guilt. The transients whom made pilgrimage to Blanding, UT, even less so. Savory or not, the actions of the US Government were legal; bad PR, most assuredly, but legal actions nonetheless. This was no Civil Rights demonstration nor was it some Last Stand of the Sagebrush Rebellion. What occurred in Blanding was a photo op for law enforcement. Blanding was a proverbial Line in the Sand drawn by incompetent and inept US Citizens whom falsely believed that they were the Last Line of Defense between the nefarious forces of the US Government and the innocent.
Bundy has accomplished one thing and one thing only. Bundy has guaranteed that federal law enforcement will review all of the material which was produced and arrest, sentence and imprison people whom broke the law. Drawing a weapon on a federal officer is a crime. End of the story. Do I think it is right that this kind of power and control lies at the feet of the US Government? No; however, the people of the United States have not found it fit to legislatively change this. You see, that is the point. We are a Nation of Laws. We have a Constitution for a reason. If people have problems with the US Constitution; if people have problems with the current laws or an out-of-control federal bureaucracy, then they have legal avenues upon which they may pursue.
If any of these people, Bundy included, really believe that they are going to change anything they are sadly mistaken. Bundy owed money and that is where it begins and ends. Oh, we can all debate the Tree Hugging Debate about the tortoise or even the California Drought being bullshit vis-a-vis the Delta Smelt; hell, we can go all Conspiracy and argue Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux hijacking water and say that America is a Corporation — it is actually — what we are not able to do is justify Bundy nor his follower’s actions nor are we able to justify the US Government’s response initially. The withdrawl of BLM, et al., is probably the only sane move, to date.
We have a lot of issues in the United States today which became focused under the guise of BLM rounding up some cattle. We have the One Percenters living off the charts as a direct result of screwing the Ninety Nine Percent; we have out of control bureaucracies allowing US Veterans to die in order to get bonuses; we have Banks and Investors committing wholesale crimes without being charged … we have a Perfect Storm. The problem with a Perfect Storm is that you must have a Perfect Response or you end up with a Disaster. Cliven Bundy was the worst case ever for Patriots to rally behind. All that happened was that the US Government now has firepower to increase crackdowns on folks whom have valid points.
San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman has also entered the fray. I suppose it was inevitable. The US Government has gone rather ape shit with respect to its belief that it owns everything and is far better at determining land use than the People. While I do not support dumping radioactive waste into streams, the reality is that BLM is on steroids in Nevada. The fundamental question, though, is do we lock and load or do we utilize the Power of the Purse and legislation to reign in the federal bureaucracy?
Cliven Bundy is an old man whom has lived his life. For twenty of those years he was subsidized, in part, by me as a tax payer. Nineteen years ago the US Government should have set him straight, but chose not to. His followers, as well, are all living on borrowed time. Oh, they might get off a round or two if push came to shove. The reality is that had one of those militia assholes patrolling the roads for Bundy stopped me — like they were stopping locals — and demanded ID I would have put a round into their brain. The belief that these militia types are empowered to come down and set up a vigilante operation goes beyond the pale of anything that even remotely represents Patriotism. I have ZERO RESPECT for they or their posse. I do believe, though, that there were a few folks whom had legitimate grievances and it will be worth following to see whether or not they legally follow up upon them. At the end of the day, the Bundy Incident will be a footnote; the posse will be rounded up and incarcerated and Bundy will die of natural causes as an old man whom history will have forgotten about.