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Cliven Bundy got one thing right: His claim is absurd, but challenging property law is not
Salon ^ | April 21, 2014 | Matt Bruenig

Posted on 04/21/2014 12:06:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

He may be a clown, but his actions raise a question: Who is the state to determine who gets to use what resources?

Clive Bundy’s property rights dispute with the federal government appears now to be over. For those unaware, basically this rancher wanted to graze cattle on federally owned land without paying the grazing fee, due to some strange legal theory that the land was really his. The spectacle generated an obscene amount of commentary to which I am guiltily adding here. I wouldn’t be adding any commentary to it except that all of the analysis I read on it seems to have missed the mark.

More than anything else to have gotten this much attention in a long time, what the Bundy saga shows us is that property ownership is a purely governmental construct. The allocation of resources in this country is done by government-imposed institutions, most especially through the biggest government programs in history: property and contract law. At its root, the Bundy dispute is not about who owns the land. We already know who owns it because the law is pretty clear. It is about who gets to decide the question in the first place.

In essence, Bundy’s actions challenge everyone to ask themselves: Who is the state to determine who gets to use what resources? Or, alternatively, why should we think that the way the state has currently determined that question is the correct one?

Bundy is a clown whose particular pleas are totally unsympathetic, though his identity presentation triggers the right tribal signals, causing political blocs to churn in predictable ways. But the basic idea of challenging property laws in this way is not a new one and the question of how to create our scarcity allocation institutions is a perpetual one.

Before Bundy, for instance, we had the civil rights movement and its famed sit-ins. Among other things, those sit-ins were straightforwardly challenging the state’s construction of property law in such a way that empowers certain people to exclude others from places based upon their racist whims (whims that the state enforces with its police, as the sit-in participants experienced quite directly). More recently, efforts to prohibit anti-gay discrimination in public accommodations present a similar protest, arguing that our statist property law institutions should not operate so as to keep people out of certain places because of their sexual orientation.

These kinds of property law challenges even pop up in very mundane places. The New York Times reported in January of this year about a property law dispute between a McDonald’s in Queens and a group of elderly people. The elderly people believed that they should be allowed to sit in the McDonald’s for as long as they want, while the McDonald’s proprietor thought they should be limited. The violent state made the property law decision that the elderly must go and have started to kick them out for staying too long. But, like Cliven Bundy, they are reported to be bucking the state’s property law institutions as best they can by leaving when the police force them to, circling the block, and then buying something else and sitting back down.

From Bundy, to sit-ins, to anti-discrimination battles, to elderly patrons who really want to hang out in McDonald’s, these are all the same kind of dispute. The state creates laws that determine who can use what, when, where and how. And sometimes people disagree with those statist property laws and think they should be reconfigured along other lines.

The biggest mistake we can make when talking about these kinds of things is to act like the question of how to construct our scarcity allocation institutions is one of fact. It’s not. It’s not truly the case that Bundy is in the right or that the federal government is in the right, as if there is some kind of objective determination to be made on the matter. Who gets to use that land is totally made up and we can make it up however we want. The same is true over who gets to use any other piece of the world that resides within the borders of this nation.

Ultimately, I find Bundy’s claim wrong, not because it is against the law, but because I’d much rather he pay rent on the land (which, by the way, nobody makes) than have him capture the unearned windfall of land rents at the expense of everyone else. But I applaud the basic idea that we should be rethinking our economic institutions and whether they are actually serving us the way they ought to. When 75 percent of the things in this country are controlled by 10 percent of the people, I’d say they aren’t serving us well. And like Bundy, I’d be up for some civil disobedience against the statist property institutions that create and enforce that disparity as well.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: blm; bundy; bunkerville; demagogicparty; mattbruenig; memebuilding; nevada; partisanmediashill; partisanmediashills; property; propertyrights; salon
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Sounds like the "smarter" people on the Left are starting to worry about this and want to tamp it down or re-route/re-direct the passions stirred up somehow.
1 posted on 04/21/2014 12:06:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My take on the Bundy deal is that I don’t care if he was right or wrong,

the fedgov reaction was absolutely wrong, so he and the Patriots were right to stand up to them.


2 posted on 04/21/2014 12:08:25 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, this guy started out smart - he really did - then he swerved into a ditch. This is not at all like the issue of discrimminating against blacks or gays on one’s own property. Nope, sorry, that ain’t gonna fly.

But it is about the question of just WTF is the Fed doing owning and ruling one eighth of the country, and allowing Harry Reid to cut deals on that land, in the first place.


3 posted on 04/21/2014 12:10:25 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
4 posted on 04/21/2014 12:12:28 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Mr. Bundy asked the government why he had to pay to graze his cattle if the drug traffickers and human traffickers can use the same federal property with immunity and at no charge. Good question!


5 posted on 04/21/2014 12:14:45 PM PDT by Rapscallion (Obama stands for the corruption of America in all aspects.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Dammit I hate snarky creeps like this guy. On what basis does he think Cliven Bundy is a "clown"? Why does he think that disagreeing with the abrogation of a century-old agreement is a "strange" legal theory?

Even if he's "kinda" agreeing and seeing that there is a valid issue to be debated, I'd still like to correct some of his perceptions with a 2x4.
6 posted on 04/21/2014 12:15:01 PM PDT by BikerJoe
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This was posted elsewhere on FR, it is a good summation of why Bundy is not the clown liberals try to make him out to be. This was posted in the comments section of the link below.

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/apr/20/world-through-militia-eyes/

Anyone confused about the reason the Bundy family and friends are taking the stand they are, below is a letter from Bundy’s neighbor. This should shed light on the CRAP the liberal marxist media is spewing out.

“There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not. What you people probably do not realize is that on every rancher’s grazing permit it says the following: “You are authorized to make grazing use of the lands, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and covered by this grazing permit, upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this grazing permit and payment of grazing fees when due.” The “mandatory” terms and conditions go on to list the allotment, the number and kind of livestock to be grazed, when the permit begins and ends, the number of active or suspended AUMs (animal units per month), etc.

The terms and conditions also list specific requirements such as where salt or mineral supplements can be located, maximum allowable use of forage levels (40% of annual growth), etc., and include a lot more stringent policies that must be adhered to. Every rancher must sign this “contract” agreeing to abide by the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before he or she can make payment. In the early 90s, the BLM went on a frenzy and drastically cut almost every rancher’s permit because of this desert tortoise issue, even though all of us ranchers knew that cow and desert tortoise had co-existed for a hundred+ years. As an example, a family friend had his permit cut by 90%. For those of you who are non-ranchers, that would be equated to getting your paycheck cut 90%. In 1976 there were approximately 52 ranching permittees in this area of Nevada. Presently, there are 3.

Most of these people lost their livelihoods because of the actions of the BLM. Clive Bundy was one of these people who received extremely unfair and unreasonable TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Keep in mind that Mr. Bundy was required to sign this contract before he was allowed to pay. Had Clive signed on the dotted line, he would have, in essence, signed his very livelihood away. And so Mr. Bundy took a stand, not only for himself, but for all of us. He refused to be destroyed by a tyrannical federal entity and to have his American liberties and freedoms taken away.

Also keep in mind that all ranchers financially paid dearly for the forage rights those permits allow – – not rights to the land, but rights to use the forage that grows on that land. Many of these AUMS are water based, meaning that the rancher also has a vested right (state owned, not federal) to the waters that adjoin the lands and allow the livestock to drink. These water rights were also purchased at a great price. If a rancher cannot show beneficial use of the water (he must have the appropriate number of livestock that drinks and uses that water), then he loses that water right. Usually water rights and forage rights go hand in hand.

Contrary to what the BLM is telling you, they NEVER compensate a rancher for the AUMs they take away. Most times, they tell ranchers that their AUMS are “suspended,” but not removed. Unfortunately, my family has thousands of “suspended” AUMs that will probably never be returned. And so, even though these ranchers throughout the course of a hundred years invested thousands(and perhaps millions) of dollars and sacrificed along the way to obtain these rights through purchase from others, at a whim the government can take everything away with the stroke of a pen. This is the very thing that Clive Bundy single handedly took a stand against. Thank you, Clive, from a rancher who considers you a hero”.


7 posted on 04/21/2014 12:20:07 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: BikerJoe

Matt Bruenig

8 posted on 04/21/2014 12:21:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: BikerJoe

You took the words right out of my mouth, Clown Clown??!!!! Does this amuse this jack off matt??? Missing the big picture jerk wad. It all comes down to more taxes and when do we say enough!!! Clown. This guy is a clown in an asshole suit.


9 posted on 04/21/2014 12:22:44 PM PDT by longfellow (Bill Maher, the 21st hijacker.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wow ... that looks like a mush-faced metro-boy ... I doubt he could lift a 40lb bag of salt.


10 posted on 04/21/2014 12:23:37 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: dirtboy

World through militia eyes: Domestic terrorists? Heroes? Who’re the armed men who invaded Nevada?http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3146716/posts


11 posted on 04/21/2014 12:24:03 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Idiot author assuming an obtuse intellect, to promulgate what?

Moronic and meandering thinking.

Pot holes have more depth....


12 posted on 04/21/2014 12:25:47 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: BikerJoe

I’ll loan you in of my patented “Clue by Four”.

Wack him good...


13 posted on 04/21/2014 12:26:58 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Question Authority

that’s what this is all about!


14 posted on 04/21/2014 12:29:19 PM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This kind of thinking rejects the premise. The BLM is supposed to manage the land, not confiscate it. The land belongs to the people, not the DC bureaucrats. Anything else is over-reach, and it has been going on for decades, in collusion with the courts.

There's nothing complicated about it. The federal gov is out of control, and now that it might be too late to turn things around, people are finally fed up.

15 posted on 04/21/2014 12:30:08 PM PDT by grania
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s Pat!


16 posted on 04/21/2014 12:30:15 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: BikerJoe

In college, the author was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). That should explain a lot.


17 posted on 04/21/2014 12:31:03 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The arrogance is strong with this one.

Makes it hard to turn the other cheek...


18 posted on 04/21/2014 12:31:14 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: dirtboy

If you can, please post this on Salon. I don’t know if you have to create an account or want to. But on the heels of Salon “trying” to be objective or libertarian, it would be good for their audience to see. (Some of them anyway).


19 posted on 04/21/2014 12:32:38 PM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

what’s good for the goose is good for the gander...so lets also supend this person right to use public things..like the internet, roads, water, air.


20 posted on 04/21/2014 12:33:02 PM PDT by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The biggest mistake we can make when talking about these kinds of things is to act like the question of how to construct our scarcity allocation institutions is one of fact. It’s not. It’s not truly the case that Bundy is in the right or that the federal government is in the right, as if there is some kind of objective determination to be made on the matter. Who gets to use that land is totally made up and we can make it up however we want. The same is true over who gets to use any other piece of the world that resides within the borders of this nation.

Nothing is real. It is whatever you want or imagine it to be. You can be a rainbow colored unicorn.

21 posted on 04/21/2014 12:33:11 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Wagglebee please come home we miss you! ~ Þ)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Bundy should sue the shill who wrote this swill.

Thanks 2ndDivisionVet.


22 posted on 04/21/2014 12:33:23 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: dirtboy

If you can, please post this on Salon. I don’t know if you have to create an account or want to. But on the heels of Salon “trying” to be objective or libertarian, it would be good for their audience to see. (Some of them anyway).


23 posted on 04/21/2014 12:33:32 PM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Who is the state to determine who gets to use what resources? Or, alternatively, why should we think that the way the state has currently determined that question is the correct one?

I thought that the states had original jurisdiction. It is the states that delegated powers to the federal government, not the other way around.

If there is a "correct" view, it is the state's view.

-PJ

24 posted on 04/21/2014 12:34:28 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: rolling_stone

Well, yes to a point. Question authority, but by that, I mean question the authority of governmetn bureaucrats…..not question the authority of property owners on their own property. That is the distinction that this author conflates.

Though he did start off on the right path….


25 posted on 04/21/2014 12:36:04 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I bet he spends a lot of time in pajamas.
With the back door open.


26 posted on 04/21/2014 12:36:12 PM PDT by freedomlover
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If this were private property, he would have a valid claim to ownership. We all know the courts are open to the claims of a squatter sitting on personal property.


27 posted on 04/21/2014 12:36:50 PM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why would anyone want to read anything posted on Salon?

It’s like trying to find news and insight in the New York Times. Not gonna happen.


28 posted on 04/21/2014 12:38:01 PM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (I don't want to feel "safe." I want to feel FREE!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think a better analogy may be something like this.

You own a property. A farm, for example, surrounded by property that has been acquired by the government.

Your historical access to and from your land and the Highway (about six miles) cuts through this now “Government Property”.

The government says “no problem” we will allow you access since you were here first. Later they say, “no problem” as long as you follow our rules. You comply since the rules don’t seem too unreasonable.

Then they decide that you need to pay for that access and follow their rules. You comply since the rules and fees don’t seem too unreasonable.

Then they change the rules again. Now, in order to get on and off your property, to go to work, you are no longer allowed to drive a motor vehicle and the only transportation allowed is a bicycle or by foot.

You refuse. You refuse to sign a contract and paying the fee is acceptance of the contract and the terms/rules.

They contend that they are not restricting your “Historical access”, never mind that to gain access to and from your property it will take two hours by foot where as driving would take 5 minutes.

What would you do ?

Just a thought.


29 posted on 04/21/2014 12:40:29 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: july4thfreedomfoundation

If we only posted stories from Red State, EIB, the Blaze, National Review and Hot Air it would look like a ghost town here.


30 posted on 04/21/2014 12:42:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He makes it all the way through one sentence before coughing up a furball of ignorance. Bundy does not claim the land as his own; his claim is that it is Nevada’s land and that he has paid Nevada appropriately.

This is at least arguably supported by Article 1, Section 8, which says something along the lines of federal lands should be used for forts, armories, “and the like” — “for grazing” is not “and the like” by no stretch of the imagination.


31 posted on 04/21/2014 12:44:58 PM PDT by jiggyboy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
His logic opens on a patently false narrative. Someone correct me if I'm wrong:

For those unaware, basically this rancher wanted to graze cattle on federally owned land without paying the grazing fee, due to some strange legal theory that the land was really his.

Wrong. I don't recall him ever claiming the lands were 'his', but that the rights to graze were and predated the BLM.

The phrasing also asserts that Bundy refuses to pay the fees, which is a lie, as he offered to pay the fees to the State of Nevada, which refused them, in the wake of his permit getting revoked in 1994 for non-payment.

It's also my understanding that the BLM wanted Bundy to give up rights in signing the new permit, in addition to limiting grazing to 150 head, which is why he offered instead to pay the fees to the State, as this same tactic is what they used to force out the other ranchers. Coupled with others, Breitbart has a decent write up of this

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/12/The-Saga-of-Bundy-Ranch

and I wish I could verify some aspects of this

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/04/19/do-the-feds-really-own-the-land-in-nevada-nope/

The left is alive in repeating lie after lie on the web.

Are they doing this in MSM news, too? I'm disconnected from that...if dingy harry's statements are any clue, I'm betting they probably are.

32 posted on 04/21/2014 12:46:47 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I avoid those lefty sites because my blood pressure is good and I’m trying to keep it that way...LOL

I have to say, 2ndDivisionVet, I appreciate (and read) your many posts here on FR. A++


33 posted on 04/21/2014 12:50:06 PM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (I don't want to feel "safe." I want to feel FREE!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, it’s always nice to see the COMMUNIST perspective where is there no PRIVATE PROPERTY.


34 posted on 04/21/2014 12:59:53 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: BikerJoe

Don’t worry about it, the guy’s just a douchbag punk wannabe lefty “journalist. Don’t waste your time.


35 posted on 04/21/2014 1:00:28 PM PDT by slouper (LWRC SPR 223)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
"WTF is the Fed doing owning and ruling one eighth of the country"

It's 28%. And it's 50% of the 13 western states, 84% of Nevada.

36 posted on 04/21/2014 1:01:23 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: slouper

Article 1 Section 8 Paragraph 27 limits the amount of land the Federal Government can own in any one state to 10 square miles.


37 posted on 04/21/2014 1:03:25 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

You can always tell when a lib writes something by their overuse of the word “construct.”

“Construct” this, clown.


38 posted on 04/21/2014 1:04:12 PM PDT by mom.mom
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wow! He get the Alinsky “Isolate and mock” strategy out of the way in the first 5 words of the story! Good for him...


39 posted on 04/21/2014 1:12:05 PM PDT by Captainpaintball (Immigration without assimilation is the death of a nation)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

I think part of the story is that he was paying grazing fees with the basic contract being the Feds would use it for upkeep and whatnot so he could keep grazing. Instead they collaberated with enviros to do the opposite, as well as force him to run fewer and fewer cattle for those same fees, among other things.

At some point I’d stop paying too if there was that kind of breach of contract.

The other things you mentioned are spot on.


40 posted on 04/21/2014 1:12:35 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: massgopguy

“Article 1 Section 8 Paragraph 27 limits the amount of land the Federal Government can own in any one state to 10 square miles.”

Are you talking about this?

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

Ten square miles is not the most land the federal government can own in a state. That has to do with relocating the capital. The federal government is supposed to purchase land with the consent of the state legislature and only for necessary purposes which are specified in the constitution.


41 posted on 04/21/2014 1:24:06 PM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I still believe that Mormon Harry Reid will pull a few Mormon strings and get Mormon Bundy excommunicated. Give it time.


42 posted on 04/21/2014 1:30:16 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 1 Cor. 13:36)
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To: MrB
My take on the Bundy deal is that I don’t care if he was right or wrong,

the fedgov reaction was absolutely wrong, so he and the Patriots were right to stand up to them.

My stance exactly and regardless of what the ignorant libs say, if Bundy were black, it would still be the same.

43 posted on 04/21/2014 1:34:09 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 1 Cor. 13:36)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Just for FYI, I found this while looking for something else:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/conspiracy/nevada.asp

Claim: Senator Harry Reid and a Chinese company building a solar plant are behind a standoff between federal agents and a Nevada rancher.

Snopes has the Solar-Reid connection listed as False.

Might result in some more inflamed opinions from the left in their delusional self-righteousness & ignorance of the full scope of the scenario...


44 posted on 04/21/2014 1:35:46 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: logi_cal869

Snopes is run by a hippie couple from their trailer in California.


45 posted on 04/21/2014 1:37:39 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This kid does not have a clue but he will soon. :-)


46 posted on 04/21/2014 1:47:27 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’d read comments to that effect; is that really true? Figures if it is. It’s just that the left typically cite their ‘facts’ as citations by both Snopes and Media Matters.

Again, just an FYI that Snopes has it listed that way. I fully expect to have that tossed in my face in the coming weeks and now I’ll be ready for it (having come across it)...

...you know the typical lazy argument: “Snopes debunked it so my opinion is right and you are wrong”...or “I saw it on TV”...


47 posted on 04/21/2014 1:48:15 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: logi_cal869

Snopes.com is a Scam
http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/media/internet/news.php?q=1227232155

Snopes’ Liberal Agenda - Not the Ultimate Source of Truth
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2195441/posts


48 posted on 04/21/2014 1:53:20 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

>>For those unaware, basically this rancher wanted to graze cattle on federally owned land without paying the grazing fee, due to some strange legal theory that the land was really his.<<

Stopped reading here, because THE REGIME DOES NOT OWN ANY LAND, WE THE PEOPLE, DO.


49 posted on 04/21/2014 1:55:58 PM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Another uninformed rooty toot chimes in.


50 posted on 04/21/2014 3:51:41 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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