Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cliven Bundy, Terrorist or Patriot

In the wake of the as-usual reporting of the standoff in Nevada between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), I thought I would do some research about the issue.  I was hoping to find solid proof to support Mr Bundy's claim that he didn't owe the grazing fees levied against him, solid proof that the BLM had tried multiple times to negotiate with Bundy, and/or some type of factual evidence that would show that Bundy was either a terrorist as stated by Nevada Senator Harry Reid or a patriot as countered by Nevada Senator Dean Heller.




Unfortunately, far too much of the information being pressed on the public about this issue is biased and full of extremism.  Luckily I did find the following article detailing the root of the problem and  facts that demonstrate that the specific issue is as old as the existence of the state of Nevada.  Also, it seems clear that the source philosophical problem is as old as our country and was reflected in our founding fathers' own struggle with states rights versus a strong federal government.   If you wish to review this info, a link is provided below.




http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/




So, onto the topic at hand.  It seems that in this case, Bundy wants to eat his cake and have it too.  He prefers to start history at the time his Mormon ancestors settled in Nevada.  Since that time, any claim to ownership of the land, even of a federal nature, is invalid.  Basically, he does not recognize the government's authority to tell him where he can graze his cattle because his family has been grazing their cattle there since the 1870's.  In fact, he doesn't seem to recognize the existence of the federal government. It does not matter to him that the vast majority of land in Nevada (over 85%) is owned by the federal government, that thousands of other cattle ranchers play by the rules of the BLM and pay a very reasonable grazing fee (far below the market value collected in other states), or that prior to his ancestors' arrival that land was part of Mexico (annexed by the same federal government that he despises so much), and that before that, for thousands of years, the land was used by the Native Americans who were, let us say, not asked nicely to leave or compensated for their ancestral lands.




In the case of Cliven Bundy, he has decided that he us above the laws of the United States of America because they just don't suit him.  While I am sure that he abides by many other laws, it is his belief that any law that interferes with his individual needs indicates a federal power grab of his rights and therefore allows him to ignore them.  While I don't perceive Bundy to be anti-Obama, I think he disregards all Washington based decisions, there are certainly many on his bandwagon who have an agenda to bash the president.  A quick perusal of the history of Bundy's 20 year long war against the BLM will find few republican officials standing side by side with him when Bush was president from 2000-2008.  But boy they sure love him today! 


Clearly, I do not agree with Senator Heller that Cliven Bundy is a patriot.  He is a welfare rancher who, rather than appreciate the sweet deal he has from the federal government, is ungrateful and selfish.  Strange that so many on the right will excoriate the unwed mother on welfare who has child after child, living entirely off the backs of the American taxpayer yet rallies to the side of a wealthy rancher whose herd of cattle has grown over the years from grazing on land he does not own or has paid a fee to use.  He has lost every court case, has been ordered by a handful of court decisions to pay his fair share, has contributed to the national debt, if you want to be explicit, yet he is somehow painted as a hero of the right?


However, unlike Senator Reid, I don't believe he is a terrorist.  Terrorists kill other Americans, plant bombs in public places, openly fight and kill on the side of our enemies.   But, and here is the problem, when you stand beside someone who openly flaunts his disrespect for America's laws, you embolden those who might not stop at merely refusing to pay taxes.  Doesn't it disturb those right wing pundits and republicans when they see pictures of American citizens aiming loaded guns at American law enforcement officials?  Will it only bother them when it is their guy in the white house, or their kid or family member wearing the BLM blazer?


Ultimately, Cliven Bundy is a confused person.  More than once he has indicated that he doesn't even believe in the federal government yet he is frequently seen waving an American flag.  Let's hope that his confusion doesn't cause harm to himself, someone in his family many of whom have been arrested in support of his lunacy, or a BLM or law enforcement officer who is merely doing her job.








3 comments:

  1. How about whacko...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bundy is wrong. Money is owed to the USA weather he agrees or not, so said the courts. He also revealed himself to be a pretty nasty racist, which is besides the point.

    The US will ultimately collect what is owed to them, plus continued accrued interest, by way of the court ordered judgement, either upon the sale of any of his property or upon the settlement of his estate when he dies. Just like any citizen can get a judgement against another for monies owed, that is what the US had.

    So for me, the most troubling aspect of this is why the BLM would bring armored personnel carriers and draw their weapons on an assembly of citizens. Citizens can't just show up and pull guns on people who the courts have said are owed money.

    Haven't we seen enough events like Ruby Ridge, Waco's Branch Dividians and the Kent State sieges?
    Total overreactions by the DOJ.

    ReplyDelete
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