In America, the common saying goes, “We take our freedoms for granted.” Yet too often such a statement is used to bolster our government and when dissent arises, the very same people spit back, “Better here than anywhere else.” These two statements are oxymoronic as the very people protesting are exercising their rights, rather than take them for granted.
However, even here in America, glaring and overt examples of an oppressive and corrupt government arise, demonstrating central government’s destructive nature and ill motives.
Most recently, the incident of Cliven Bundy, Nevada rancher, who has come under fire by the BLM over tax and land disputes resulted in an armed standoff with federal troops. The government’s gross over response is a foreboding omen to all Americans.
Cliven Bundy is the last of several ranchers to work the Southern range of Nevada. The long-going dispute is over certain grazing taxes and regulations that Bundy has refused to pay since the 1990s. Bundy has been taken to court twice since then, losing both times; he has no legal standing whatsoever.
Bundy claims that the federal government, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in particular, has no claim to the land. The BLM currently owns 88% of land in Nevada. Bundy also asserts that his family has worked that land since the 1870s, thusly it is his property. This aligns with a traditional common law where when settling land one claims property of what they homestead.
However, the BLM has simply aggregated all of this property by drawing a line on the map and claiming it as “public” land, without working or doing anything with the land to earn property rights. It would be like someone claiming to own the car that you are currently paying the lease for.
Bundy agrees that he owes Nevada $300,000 in taxes but refuses to pay the $1.2 million when federal taxes are accounted for.
On the side of the BLM, they are enforcing these grazing fees and regulations in order to protect the endangered desert tortoise. How exactly 160 cattle on a plot of land 160,000 miles large will harm a small population of tortoises is beyond me, and the BLM has not been any more explicit.
The government’s alleged motive turns out however to be completely illogical and ironic. During the housing boom, fear of further development endangering the tortoises prompted the formation of a research and preservation facility to bring desert tortoise numbers back up.
However, after the market crash, development ceased and the facility lost its funding. At the end of 2014, the facility plans on release about 700 tortoises back into the wild, while the remaining 800 or more will be euthanized (Infowars). This does not even account for the immeasurable amount of desert tortoises that have been likely vaporized by hundreds of nuclear tests in the area over several decades.
Furthermore, Vernon Bostick, range ecology expert, wrote in 1990 for the journal Rangeland a compelling case for the desert tortoises dependence on livestock cattle. As the tortoises do not have teeth and due to the arid climate, tortoises often subsist merely on dung for sustenance and water. Grazing cattle obviously supply a wealth of dung for the tortoises to feast on.
The government is leaping beyond all boundaries to come to the dire aid of desert tortoises in their supposed time of need, while the political bankster class responsible for the housing crash was payed in bailouts to the tune of $75 billion for decimating the American economy. Cliven Bundy in contrast is a simple rancher trying to make a living for his family, not harming anyone. All the while, they are carrying out the systematic slaughter of these tortoises.
After two extended court battles over past decades that found in favor of the government, Bundy has continued to refuse acknowledgement of the taxes and government claim.
There are no exceptions that exclude Bundy from the fees. Legally speaking he is completely in the wrong and has no case. Yet, that is the whole purpose of Bundy’s story. Bundy is refusing a law that he finds unjust, siding with morality over force, in an effort to defend his life and bring about change.
In response, the recent “resolution” was nothing short of a hostile invasion. Federal agents and troops armed with assault weapons and everything short of tanks descended upon the ranch. Aircraft were even seen flying over head, and snipers repeatedly trained their rifle sights on the Bundy family.
After a video of Bundy’s son being tasered leaked and became viral on the internet, hundreds of protesters and militiamen came to support of the Bundys. Bundy, however, urged avoiding violence at all costs.
Rest assured, these brave advocates of freedom’s First Amendment Rights were dutifully respected by the federal government… so long as they stayed in the FAZs, or First Amendment Zones.
Saturday, April 12, after about a week, the feds finally retreated, opting to return back to the soft coercion of the court system.
This is without a doubt landmark victory and stand by the people against an invasive government directly akin to the romanticized efforts of the revolutionaries. I highly doubt today’s administration will have any venerable words to say about Bundy’s stand.
This incident is the very reason our Constitution is so stalwart in protection of bearing arms — here that right was used effectively to ward off tyranny — for a time. To those who believe that the American people can no longer take a stand in defiance of our government here is an inspiring example of one man doing just that.
This must not be forgotten and serve as a cautionary tale of what are very Founders warned us about: the massive encroach of centralized government. Here, in the great name of the desert tortoise, hundreds of armed troops were sent upon a rancher and his family, people were harmed and the entire time the government was euthanizing the very same tortoises.
Since protection of the tortoises is not their motive, when juxtaposed with the gravity of the response, it seems this was nothing more than an exercise of power by a coercive government.
Political power like all other vices is addictive and inevitably leads to corruption and evil. Clearly as history has progressed and government strengthens these problems are going to become more and more prolific.
Bundy has shown us that we can fight back, and we must before things get far too out of hand. The utter hypocrisy and excessive use of violence is disturbingly evident of a coming America.
Let it truly be said, “Do not take your freedoms for granted, and question whenever force is used.” The fact that it’s better here than many other parts of the world is no justification for evil. If we adopt that philosophy and become subservient, the government’s respect for those rights will quickly dissolve, as it has and continues to do.
Recent news has surfaced revealing Bundy to be an awful racist. However, most of the media portrayal has been based on cherry picked quotes. What Bundy was actually talking about was the, “decline of the black family,” and how he’s saddened by it. No matter how terrible that may sound it is important to realize that facts are not racist, and there is a legitimate and statistically valid discussion to be had here.
Just because it is an unpopular or sensitive opinion of Bundy’s does not mean that you can simply disregard what he says and chalk it all up to “racism” — that’s not a counter argument.
Charlie Delta (alias), a black marine and friend of Bundy, wrote in a letter:
The media distorts information to the point of social division. This is a photo of myself and the resilient, often charismatic, and maybe not so tactful Cliven Bundy. He’s a cowboy and a helluva family man, not an orator.
One thing he definitely isn’t – a racist. I found his comments to not only be NOT racist, but his own view of his experiences. Who the heck are we to determine another man’s perspective on the world around him?! Just because Picasso’s view of the world was abstract, does it negate the fact that his art was genuine?”
I’m not asserting the Bundy is a folk hero, as some have either. Bundy himself is largely irrelevant to me. The ideas and actions at play are truly what matters.
Delta ends his letter with, “Individual liberties are at stake here, yours and mine. THAT is the issue. Don’t let the liberal media and ignoramuses like Glenn Beck and that weasel Harry Reid make you lose sight of the real issue here: The federal government is a burgeoning behemoth and a bully on a once constitutional playground. I sincerely hope you real patriots out there who can see through the smoke.
We must remember what happened here. When Bundy refused to pay the warlords they came with guns, and he defended himself — plain and simple.