Skip to comments.The Ranch Davidians: Grazing controversy shines floodlight on growing distrust of government
Posted on 04/20/2014 12:54:47 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
We dont know whos right in the case of the Nevada rancher vs. the federal government. But we do know that the government is losing the public relations battle, and for good reason.
When the government moved to seize Cliven Bundys cattle for his failure to pay grazing fees on public land, a growing group of supporters came to his defense literally. On April 12, after a tense and heated standoff with them, heavily armed federal agents released the cattle back and retreated.
The situation was eerily reminiscent of past ill-fated federal standoffs, such as Ruby Ridge and Waco, where federal agents raided the Branch Davidian compound and 76 people died.
This situation is different, though.
Whether right or wrong in their actions, the Bundy family cant be caricatured as a cult or a danger to anyone. And the familys predicament has ignited a firestorm of anti-government fervor, particularly in the West. Bundy backers traveled miles to show their support and face down the feds. Conservative locales in cyberspace and on the radio dial crackled with anti-government rhetoric.
The thing is, we suspect the government and media elites, if theyre paying any attention to this powder keg at all, likely dont get it.
The West, thanks to geographic and ideological distances, has always had an arms length relationship with both government and media. But the flashpoint in Nevada cant be dismissed as cowboy rebelliousness. Theres plenty of sympathy for their position around the country.
The Eastern elites probably have no clue why, either.
They doubtless have no idea how poorly the federal government is viewed today despite all the evidence in polls and surveys. After being spied on by the NSA and targeted by the IRS and having jackbooted federal agents show up to tell them how its going to be, folks good, hardworking, taxpaying, God-fearing people are tired of being abused.
As a practical matter, whether the Bundy family is in the right has ceased to matter. Like any other civil rights hotspot, all it needed was a spark.
Nor does it help that the Obama administration is so loath to deal with illegal immigrants in such a manner as it has the Bundy family. The government cant secure the border and is even insisting on amnesty for the illegals already here. But they send armed officers to crack down on American ranchers? Outrageous.
And the manner in which theyve done it is just as galling. As The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted in a recent editorial, to tamp down protests, government officials closed off hundreds of square miles of public land. Theyve closed roads. And they prohibited protected assembly and expression across huge areas of Clark County. They even took the step of creating First Amendment areas where no federal official or contractor directly involved in the roundup would ever have to see protesters.
You see, even peaceful protests can be intimidating to government types. If government types feel slightly threatened, they arm themselves to the teeth. When they arm themselves to the teeth, theyre far more likely to view a peaceful protest as cover for an attack on the government. And if they believe someone holding a sign or a camera might also have a gun, agents are more likely to hurt someone. Thus, the government suspends the First Amendment as a public safety measure: Citizens are denied their rights to peacefully assemble and engage in political speech because the content of that expression might be intimidating enough to make government agents overreact and hurt them.
The problem is, inside the government it is impossible to consider the possibility that the government can ever do any wrong.
We dont know if the Bundy family is the best rallying point. But the support theyve gotten from angry citizens is evidence that the government has a much bigger problem on its hands than a few head of hungry cattle.
Glen Beck is troubled.
from Augusta, Georgia
My wonderful state of Georgia, where even liberal editorialists are more conservative than most East Coast ‘conservatives’.
They could get away with it on the Branch Davidians because there was a veneer of religous fanaticism surrounding them.
But calling Bundy the Ranch Davidian while cute is inappropriate - how can he be smeared with a fanatic label?
Being stubborn about your rights is a virtue in America.
And Rights are clearly something the current government pays only lip service to.
I don’t think they were calling Bundy a fanatic. If you read the article, you will see that they said precisely that he did not fall into any of those groups, and that the government was risking setting off a serious conflagration among already PO’ed groups by attacking him. Very true, IMHO, which is obviously what the government realized and why it backed off. For now.
John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court just told G. Stephanopolous on TV that he wants to change the 2nd Amendment to:
“....the right to keep and bear arms WHEN SERVING IN THE MILITIA shall not be infringed...”
Yep, someone, or some group is about to git David Koresh’d!!!
We are due for that somewhere, sometime soon...
*ping* for later...
“Nor does it help that the Obama administration is so loath to deal with illegal immigrants in such a manner as it has the Bundy family. The government cant secure the border and is even insisting on amnesty for the illegals already here. But they send armed officers to crack down on American ranchers? Outrageous.”
Best point ever being brought up about this issue!!!
I would stress we NEVER let up about this irony!!!
The BLM kept jacking up grazing fees to drive the local ranchers off “their” BLM Federal land. The Bundys are the last left of 21 ranchers. The others quit due to BLM pressure via higher grazing fees.
The distrust comes from being ripped off by greedy robotic Federales. Many of whom don’t give a rip about Bundy or anyone just so long as they are getting paychecks
“we do know that the government is losing the public relations battle,”
WE need to seize the occasion.
Ok, sure, sounds reasonable...
We are all in the militia anyway...So that sets up a necessary provision that would force even the anti-gunners (anti-Second Amendment forces) to posess and carry firearms for duty in the militia...
It would be an irrefutable Constitutional necessity, one not open for any obfuscation or legality to oppose...It would be against the law, like not paying your taxes...
See, you can twist it anyway you want to then, according to the numbnut Justice Stevens...
Wow, I kinda like stretching this all out like a big piece of taffy!!! Even if I might be a “little” wrong...The concept suits my knee-jerk thoughts on the matter...
And even if you did that - I serve in the Militia every day I draw a breath - as do we all!
The Militia is everyone, everywhere, all the time.
Yes. There shouldn’t be any association or comparisons to Branch Davidians.
This shameful episode in U.S. history is a result of the Obama Regime’s contempt for free enterprising Americans. It is these Americans that keep too many individuals off the Big Government Feed Trough. The use of he Desert Tortoise is an effort to destroy the Bundy Ranch and the open range cattle raising concept. This is about is more than just preserving a species. It is Big Government being used to make or break the free enterprise of Americans with a whim unconnected to common sense. It is about Big Government doing whatever it wants, when it wants. It is the sacrifice of Liberty and the Constitution and the ends justifies the means. We were warned about this uncontainable government by our Forefathers. It is in their writings that our government schools have removed from our children’s view. It is the cheapening of the state of the individual.
In my opinion, it is also about destroying the means of cheaply delivering beef to the consumer. Is this a quiet effort to remove beef from the diet of Americans? Is this the next tobacco to be demonized? At a time when beef prices have doubled in a year, what next? We have watched the the use of corn for ethanol drive up the cost of beef. Big Government knew exactly what it was doing. It is an effort, by stealth, to remove something it deems as unhealthy as determined by the anti-meat special interest groups. Now the removing of grazing lands from federal lands will be another in the effort to drive up beef prices so that only the elite can afford it. For the ordinary citizen, the effort to make synthetic beef will bring a protein product, at a lower cost, to replace the enjoyment of a beef brisket, slow cooked in a mesquite cooker.
Yeah, some of dem Crackers be gittin’ a mite uppity.
There should be instituted the Politician Surveillance Program (PSP). The moment an individual runs for elected office their lives should be documented 24 hours a day. Every word they speak, every email they write, their location recorded moment by moment, every meeting they have, their cellphone conversations recorded and all of the metadata included, etc., etc.
We know they’re are going to abuse their office so let’s get it documented!
This article is poorly written. The editor should be ashamed he approved it.
Stephens, like any other American, is free to believe in and work for any changes to the Constitution he believes are appropriate.
It would be nice, though, if he’d use the actual amendment process built into the Constitution, like the rest of us have to.
Do you know the timespan for this reduction?
Cause there's been massive reduction in number of ranching and farming families on private land, too. Tough way to make a living anywhere.
....well, as this old liberal Marxist geezer also knows that is why the forefathers enshrined this “right” into our “Bill of Rights”...........
the BOB (Battle of Bunkerville) did more to make clear WHY our forefathers made the 2nd Ammendment the 2nd Ammendment more than all the words us meer freepers and others could possibly write.
I would also just say that after 238 years “the right to keep and bear arms is in the American DNA”...........whether the liberals like it or not and any attempt to change it will result in “the shots heard round the world”........ again...............
A Lt. Governor candidate in Texas has openly stated he wanted to expand the “State Guard” (not the National Guard).
That shows that others have discussed this.
“-—remove beef from the diet of Americans”? Yup. You’ve heard about the FDA plan to require the leftovers from brewing beer to be dried, bagged, labelled before it can be used as cattle feed. That would push up the price of decent beef a bunch. Makes you wonder what the Beltway crowd would eat tho? I would propose not shipping beef of any sort inside the Beltway just long enough to make that point. Let ‘ém grow their own. Maybe the cows could eat cherry blossoms?
A couple of points regarding a generally good article:
1) We certainly DO know who is right and who is wrong.
2)If our rights don’t apply to the kooks, the fanatics, the weirdos - then they apply to nobody. If armed citizens had gone to Waco and Ruby Ridge and to Miami on behalf of Elian, Cliven Bundy would probably be whole today, and the BLM would have been “yes sir”ing him for the last everal years, and the Hage family would also be whole - and the federal agencies would be about not bullying the citizens and getting to the work they are supposed to be doing...and hiring the right kind of employees instead of the fanatacal socialists among us.
The feds had no more valid reason to torch the Branch Davidians or to shoot Sammy Weaver and his mother (and the family dog) than they had to kill the Bundy cows. And the feds had a moral obligation to Elian, in which they failed utterly.
The piece of garbage who calls himself John Paul Stevens is, thankfully, no longer on the Supreme Court.
Let him TRY to change the Second Amendment. The coming conflagration will make the first Civil War look like a Sunday picnic in Disneyland by comparison.
You are correct. BLM pressure via raising gazing fees was not the only factor driving ranchers near the Bundys to give up and quit. My opinion.
Many times children do not want to get into farming and ranching
No doubt. Have you done much hiking or other travel on BLM lands? I have. UT, CO, NV and WY.
Any reasonable person will agree there is an appropriate number of cattle any range can support. Land like this, that isn’t a great many. Too many cattle will destroy the range and eventually its ability to support any cattle at all, much less other animal life.
So in 1993, and today, there is legitimate question what an appropriate number of cattle to be allowed is.
Enviros want the number to be zero. Ranchers want the number set high. The “right” number is not a political or cultural issue, or shouldn’t be, it’s a scientific one.
The problem, of course, is that BLM and other agencies are influenced by environmental, political and financial issues even in their supposedly scientific decisions.
My point is that the number of cattle permitted in 1993 might have indeed been too many for the range. It’s a well-known fact in the West that for much of the 20th century the BLM and Forest Service were in bed with local cattlemen and lumber companies, just as it appears they are now in bed with enviros. Neither is appropriate.
“Neither is appropriate”
Agree, but the solution is let the State manage their own land.
It is TIME to DownSize DC! Close entire Rogue/Unconstitutional Departments including their SWAT Teams.
The only way to remove the anti-American Bureaucraps from these agencies, is to Close Them. Eliminate all their jobs and move the function back to the State Level.
Sir, great article. I think your missing the bullseye by about 1” though. Liberals ARE, first and foremost, narcissistic ergo they want what they want. Period! If a few of “the right people” have to be sacrificed to obtain their eutopian albeit flawed dreams of the moment, so be it. Hitler was much the same way.
Now, out here in Nevada, an ornery old white man and his sons and daughters are raising their flatulence producing (climate change, get it!) cows on “the peoples” land and are actually making a little money outside “the collective”.
Well, who are “the people”? To the liberals running this “kick the cows off the range” effort in Nevada (see excellent article posted on FR just 2 days ago about this, sorry, do not have a link), and who have been 98% successful at doing it so far, “the people” sure as hell IS NOT an ornery old white man rancher and his “The Waltons” type, prayers at supper, family.
If one species in this here USA should be “endangered” in a liberals mind, it’s a “conservative old white man rancher”. To the Nazi’s, it was the Jews that should be eliminated, to the American Liberal, its (Liberals hatred of) ornery old cantankerous constitution loving white men that Liberals snidely then label “anti-government” that “should be eliminated”.
So, again like the Nazi’s, it’s a form of racism, this time enviro racism but it is the same thing that’s woven into the liberals walnut brain that are at the front of this anti ranching effort in the west.
Basically, the American Liberal has, led by news behemoth’s like Comcast controlled by Brian Robert’s (a Jew himself), decided it’s just fine and dandy if old white men ranchers in the west JUST DIE and the sooner the better .......to hell with them and their way of life! The liberal wants “the peoples” land for solar............pure and simple, and like Hitler, “their government” has rubber stamped it and certain government liberals (Reid) are gonna get rich! They (the Reids of the world) just didn’t count on a few hundred ARMED cowboys showing up and crashing their party. But, they’ll be ready next time! Just ask Hitler.....er, Reid!
We here at FR need to wise up and start calling out the Brian Robert’s types in the US every damn day! There are about a dozen or so of em out there that CONTROL 90% of the media and thus what tens of millions of Americans hear every day.
And, they are PARTNERS with these Nazi liberals Cliven is up against every day. Don’t believe it, just watch the nightly news of ABC,CBS,NBC,CNN,NPR,LAT,NYT and some others.
That’s an interesting approach.
Is there any particular reason to assume a Nevada state BLM would be any more sensitive to the needs of rural residents than the federal BLM?
Nevada is, after all, highly urbanized. 90% of the population lives in its two cities.
Looked up US census data. NV is considered 94.2% urban. One of the most urban states. National average is about 90%.
About 10 years ago here in FL there was an referendum proposed that put many new restrictions on local commercial fishermen. They protested that it would destroy their way of life.
I was quite amazed at the lack of concern and even hatred and contempt for commercial fishermen on the part of many of those pushing the law. They just didn’t care at all about those who would be driven out of business by the law.
It passed, and most of the fishermen were indeed driven out of business.
BTW, to my mind this indicates the notion that states are inherently less oppressive than the feds is misguided.
It also doesn’t help that the elected senate representative of thier district (Dingy Harry) does not even bother to write call or correspond with the Bundys in any way shape or form. He doesn’t care to discuss their grievances. Instead, he labels them as Domestic Terrorist’s. A label that carries with it, the authority to be eliminated under the Obama
signed NDAA act! At what point does Washington D.C. become an adversarial entity of We The People?
From the article:
Whether right or wrong in their actions, the Bundy family cant be caricatured as a cult or a DANGER to anyone.
Neither was the Branch Davidians or Randy at Ruby Ridge.
Before the cowboys advanced on the feds, who just warned they would be shot if they did advance, they all stopped in a line and said a prayer with many fully believing they were going to die.
Now, what the difference between the fishermen and the cowboys is is hard to say. But, this is where are. Simply put, “some of us are going to die”. I don’t know if I will even live that long. But, in the American Revolutionary War Americans lost 25,000 dead. 8,000 of that were in battle and 17,000 to “other causes”.
I think the Cowboys, probably to a man, believed in this clip from Open Range:
And naturally the SC will determine what is a ‘real’ militia.
The Texas State Guard is a volunteer organization and no member is paid. And they aren’t allowed to carry weapons in an official capacity. I have a feeling that candidate is trying to find something to gin up support with the Tea Party. Is it Dan Patrick?
Ranchers have a vested interest in not destroying the land they graze their cattle on. If it won’t feed any cows next year, they don’t stay in business.
I’d put my trust in a cattle rancher before a militarized bureaucrat in Washington to manage the land well.
Read up on the feral pony population explosion on public lands and tell me again about what an appropriate number of cattle should be on public lands.
“The thing is, we suspect the government and media elites, if theyre paying any attention to this powder keg at all, likely dont get it.”
I believe this is true. The govt does not understand how ticked off people are.
The N GA mountains are also a powder keg right now. Already some face offs with the Feds.
This editorial staff gets it.
Just curious- where? Spent a long weekend in Blue Ridge a few months ago. Same area?
Don’t know about the Blue Ridge area.
Well, where in N GA were you talking about then?