Quite a few friends and acquaintances have been asking for my take on the Bundy Ranch controversy in Nevada. I have reserved much response until I felt I could express an honest and educated opinion. I’ve read a lot of reports, watched a few video reports, and since I don’t get Fox News I haven’t seen much reporting on television that I can depend on to give any kind of honest critique that isn’t skewed by a pro-Obama, pro-Progressive ideology. Today an article came across my screen that helped clarify the situation for me. Even though I am “Johnny Come Lately” to the discussion, here goes!
As you know, the BLM backed down from a 2 week long standoff with the Bundy Family and a crowd of protesting supporters, some armed, some unarmed. I was
personally relieved to hear this news. I really did not expect the Feds to de-escalate the situation. Here we are burgeoning on the anniversary dates of Waco, Columbine, and the Oklahoma City bombing. The recent KKK lunatic who attacked the Jewish Center’s in Kansas City, attempting to kill Jews and killing 3 Christians instead, has now added to the “weirdness” of April, not to mention Adolph Hitler’s birthday and Earth Day. It would have been true to form had a backfiring truck engine, or an accidental weapon discharge initiated a massacre, similar to Wounded Knee. Of course, as Senator Harry Reid cautioned, This ain’t over. He is right about that. But thankfully, a potential powder keg was diffused.
Speaking of Harry Reid, there are all kinds of strange ties and accusations flying about concerning his interests in the Bundy case. Most of those ties lead to Chinese interests. The Communist China energy giants China Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Sinopec have already bought large interests in almost 28 million acres of US petroleum development, all since Obama took office, reversing a Bush administration policy blocking China based on national security concerns. (For reference that is half the size of the state of Iowa!) Chinese corporation ENN Energy Group, an alternative energy giant, is connected to a solar panel farm in Clark County Nevada, the same county as the Bundy Ranch, but not the same property. Harry Reid’s son happens to work for ENN Energy. (More on the Reid/China connection here at WND and this YouTube video)
Then there’s Reid’s connection to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Former staffer for Harry Reid is Neil Kornze, now the head of BLM. At the ripe age of 35, he has spent his career in government since college, probably never getting any dirt on his shoes. None of this really bodes well for Harry.
My real concern is that the BLM, supposedly an environmental impact and administrative management office, is hiring contractors to confiscate private property (cattle) when they are not trained or equipped to manage or provide for the health and welfare of those cattle causing many of them to die (reportedly young calves were separated from their mothers during the gathering, mostly by helicopters), and shooting others outright. Add to that the deployment of paramilitary spec-ops type “Rangers” who are directly employed by BLM, for the purpose of enforcement against private citizens. (The Rangers were deployed before the militia or the crowd of protesting supporters arrived).
In a recent letter, dated April 15, and addressed to the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Director of the BLM, Texas Congressman Steve Stockman challenged the Administration, citing US Code that the BLM has no authority “to assume peremptory police powers, that role being reserved to the States” and that the federal government must “seek assistance from local law enforcement whenever the use of force may become necessary.” Rep. Stockman goes further pointing out that it appears the the Secretary of the Interior has violated federal law by by-passing the local law enforcement offices. Read Stockman’s letter here.
Whether Bundy is guilty of trespass, failure to pay fees, or whatever, this obvious over-reach by a federal administrative office seeking to enforce law by use of deadly force, or “peremptory police powers”, is very, very, dangerous. The BLM spent over $3 million on the Bundy standoff. According to documentary film-maker Dennis M. Lynch, he has not seen this much firepower deployed on the Southern border where drugs and people are routinely smuggled across. “I never see the M-16′s down on the border stopping the drugs, and the terrorists, and the day laborers coming through on BLM property,” he says in this video. Please watch it. The BLM spent over $3 million on air and ground resources to lock down a piece of ground the size of Delaware. This to confiscate 400 cattle with a current estimated value of about $350K which they then released.
Commentator Dana Loesch had this to say (via Human Events story “Cowmaggeddon“):
Dana Loesch also says mainstream media reporting about the immediate cause of the government’s futile cattle roundup is incorrect, as Cliven Bundy has not categorically refused to pay grazing fees:
“Those who say Bundy is a “deadbeat” are making inaccurate claims. Bundy has in fact paid fees to Clark County, Nevada in an arrangement pre-dating the BLM. The BLM arrived much later, changed the details of the setup without consulting with Bundy — or any other rancher — and then began systematically driving out cattle and ranchers. Bundy refused to pay BLM, especially after they demanded he reduce his [herd]’s head count down to a level that would not sustain his ranch.
Bundy OWNS the water and forage rights to this land. He paid for these rights. He built fences, established water ways, and constructed roads with his own money, with the approval of Nevada and BLM. When BLM started using his fees to run him off the land and harassing him, he ceased paying. So should BLM reimburse him for managing the land and for the confiscation of his water and forage rights?”
Then you can throw in a term called “prescriptive rights” and it is possible that Bundy may have a legal position that BLM is afraid of, according to this story on Benswaan.com. According to Todd Devlin, a Montana rancher, and county commissioner with real working contacts in the Dept of Interior having taught workshops for the agency in the past, prescriptive right is similar to an easement across another property owner in order to access yours. I’ll let you read Ben Swaan’s story for yourself to understand it better. Devlin also said the amount owed by Bundy is probably closer to $200K than the $1.1 million that BLM wants, which most likely is comprised of penalties and fines for trespass cattle. Devlin went to BLM to find out why they weren’t using other channels to work with Bundy. He said the logical and conventional means of collecting such debt is to place a lien on the cattle. This will prohibit the sanctioned owner from selling the cattle. It’s kind of like the IRS garnishing your paycheck, or the bank imposing a lien on your car. When asked why the BLM hadn’t placed a lien on the cattle in question, they responded, “We hadn’t thought of that…” But they are considering it now.
I won’t even go into the “Free Speech Zones” that were cordoned off by BLM for the express purpose and intent of containing the citizens who were exercising their right of grievance against the government in a peaceful protest. Silly me. I thought America was a “free speech zone”…