“Hand over your little daughters or kill them” 7

Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a fellow atheist – is fast becoming a figurehead, as well as an active leader, of all Western opposition (such as there is) to …

… this sort of Islamic practice. We have taken the report, raw, from halalporkshop.com, which quotes from a local news source in Daharki, Pakistan, without correcting errors of expression:

A local panchayat- unofficial jury, headed by an influential landlord, ordered killing of a woman in the name of ‘honour’ on Wednesday.

The panchayat also ordered to give two minor daughters of a man, charged for having illicit relations with the woman, as vani to the other party. Vani is traditional custom in rural areas of the country wherein girl, from a family of male accused of crimes, are forcibly married to a man of the rival group.

The landlord also imprisoned the accused in his private jail. The panchayat also ruled to kill minor girls, 10-year-old Zubaida and seven-over-old Abida, if they were not handed over to the landlord in three days.

While it is true that the law of the land in Pakistan does not permit this, it is also true that many a local panchayat can and does get away with ordering such atrocious cruelties, and that they are carried out.

Could anything make it plainer that women, from their infancy, are slaves in Islam?

If the professors of Women’s Studies at Brandeis University ( see our post below, Brandeis University shames itself, April 10, 2014) do not know this, they should have it knocked into their thick heads. And if they do know it and believe it does not matter, they should be fired and their department closed.

Actually, all departments of Women’s Studies should be closed. They are departments of Navel-Gazing, nothing more – like departments of Black Studies, Transgender Studies, and Whatever Other Studies that study nothing worth studying. They are the most conspicuous institutional evidence of Western decadence, planted and cultivated to be arrogant nuisances in the ideological hothouse of Leftism.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, Muslims, Pakistan, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 18, 2014

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How goes the jihad? 2

The important website that ironically names itself The Religion of Peace, today records 22793 deadly terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11/2001.

Here is today’s list of recent attacks:

Islam’s Latest Contributions to Peace: “Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are harsh

to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” Quran 48:29

2014.04.16 (Ramadi, Iraq) – Eight people are ripped apart when two Shahid suicide bombers plow into a crowd.

2014.04.16 (Wala, Nigeria) – Eighteen people are slaughtered by militants fighting for Islamic law.

2014.04.15 (Nwokyo, Nigeria) – Women and children are among at least nine who die when Muslim militants torch a Christian worship center and hospital.

2014.04.15 (Baiji, Iraq) – Two brothers bleed to death following a Mujahideen bombing.

2014.04.14 (Abuja, Nigeria) – Activists for an Islamic state slaughter over eighty innocents at a bus stop with a massive bomb blast.

2014.04.14 (Maaloula, Syria) – Three Shia journalists are picked off by Sunni gunmen.

Note that in just three days, in one country alone – Nigeria – at least 97 people, including children, were murdered by Muslims. 

Posted under Commentary, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Nigeria, Syria, Terrorism, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, April 17, 2014

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US government promotes Islam in Europe 1

This is from Gatestone, by Soeren Kern:

The project — Muslims in the Eyes of Czech Schoolchildren — is being spearheaded by a Muslim advocacy group and is being financed by American taxpayers through a grant from the US Embassy in Prague. (The US State Department is also promoting Islam in other European countries.)

The group says the Czech Ministry of Education has authorized it to organize lectures and seminars aimed at “teaching Czech schoolchildren about Islamic beliefs and practices” and at “fighting stereotypes and prejudices about Muslims”.

But critics — there are many — say the project’s underlying objective is to convert non-Muslim children to Islam by bringing proselytizing messages into public schools under the guise of promoting multiculturalism and fighting “Islamophobia”.

The group’s website says the first phase of the project involves “analyzing the accuracy of the information about Islam in Czech textbooks on history, geography and social sciences, and mapping the level of teaching about Islam in Czech grammar schools and other secondary schools”.

The second phase of the project involves the implementation of a three-level program that will “acquaint both pupils and teachers with Islam and Muslims” and help them to develop better “critical reception skills” when analyzing supposedly Islamophobic information.

Develop “critical reception skills”? What is a “reception skill”? The ability to swallow any tosh that’s shoved down your throat? As for critical skill, that’s exactly what Muslims don’t want to have brought to bear on their holy texts.

This is a farce, a ruse, a sly cover for proselytizing. “Dawa” they call it. The wonder is that the Czech Ministry of Education cannot see that that’s the case – or doesn’t care that it is.

According to the group’s website:

“The first level acquaints the reader with the history of Islam, the basic religious concepts of tradition and contemporary issues such as family [Sharia] law, the veiling of women and Islamophobia.”

Notice how  (unfortunately non-existent) “Islamophobia” is added on to the fact of “the veiling of women”, so that it seems to be equally factual.

“The second level offers a deeper look at the issues and puts more emphasis on the involvement of the pupils.… Pupils will be divided into three groups within which they will study any of the following topics: the veiling of women, media coverage of Islam, and Muslims in the Czech Republic.

The veiling of women, we have little doubt, will be explained to seem a Very Good Thing; and “media coverage of Islam and Muslims” will be objected to wherever it says anything that Muslims don’t like to have said, regardless of whether it is true or not. Any media discussion of Islam which is not obsequious will be condemned as “Islamophobic”.

Each group will be led by an experienced tutor, who will acquaint students with the problems by means of prepared materials and subsequent debate.

The experienced “tutor” will be a trained indoctrinator. The debate on his side will amount to “‘Shut-up,’ he explained.”

“The third level provides schools with artistically oriented projects or discussions with Muslims and professionals dealing with Islam. Artistic activities would involve making a film or taking photographs focused on a day in the life of a Muslim or art workshops and competitions focused on the possibility of integrating Muslims into Czech society.”

But not making cartoons of Muhammad, or there will be Muslim riots from Britain to Bangladesh.

A thought in passing: it seems that Muslims really believe that Islam is attractive; that once infidels know about it, they will be irresistibly drawn to it. Women to subjugation. Men to putting their foreheads on the ground five times a day. And perhaps even more amazing – there are apparently thousands  of men and women who are drawn to it. Is it possible, we wonder, that the constant condemnation of our civilization by a dominant left-intelligentsia, our failure to teach the virtues of individual freedom, capitalism, and reason, is leaving our children easy prey to any confidence trickster with a mission, any ideological mountebank who comes along and offers them his certainties?

But to return to the text:

Do the Czech Muslims want to integrate? There’s yet more sly wording to confuse the easily gulled Ministry of Education. When they get down to the nitty-gritty in those classrooms, the “tutor’ will demonstrate that, as Sharia law cannot be reconciled with Czech law, it would be best to have just Sharia. “After all,” he will say, smiling all the while, “it is the word of Allah.”

The group also organizes thematic lectures, workshops and debates for schools or groups of students, many of which are held at the Municipal Library in Prague — and which are more openly geared toward converting Czech youth to Islam.

One such lecture entitled “Paths of Young Czech Women to Islam” answers questions such as: What makes a young Czech woman want to become a Muslim? It is the main motive always falling in love with a Muslim man or are there other reasons? How does one convert to Islam? How can new Muslims cope with non-Muslim relatives?

Another lecture entitled “Koran, Sunna and the Internet: Where to Do Muslims Get Their Information?” answers questions such as: Where can one get information about the Muslim faith? Is the Koran the only source of information about Islam or are there other sources? Where can one find information that is not mentioned directly in the Koran? The lecture is supplemented by providing students with hands-on opportunities to work with various Islamic texts, including the Koran and the Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet Mohammed].

Students wanting to participate in the lectures but lacking previous knowledge of Islam are advised to attend a 15-minute introductory course that “represents the characteristics of Islam and advocates it in the context of Christianity and Judaism.” The lectures are “suitable for children from about the age of 15, although it is possible to customize the program for younger pupils.”

A statement on the group’s website justifies the project this way:

The Muslim community in the Czech Republic is small, but it raises strong emotions. Issues relating to Muslims or Islam appear almost daily in television news, newspapers and Internet debates. But the topic is discussed only marginally in regular school lessons. This condition leads to acceptance and subsequent consolidation of prejudices and stereotypes that are supported by latent Islamophobia. We would like this project to contribute to improving the situation. We provide information about Islam that is factually accurate. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with Muslims and get to know them before forming an opinion of them.

We would laugh at the idea that Islam is dead keen on factual accuracy, if we were not depressed over this whole enterprise, and the degree of pusillanimity among Western governments that it so maddeningly illustrates.

One of the co-founders of the project, a Czech-Palestinian named Sadi Shanaah, was quoted by the Prague Post as saying, “School lessons do not pay sufficient attention to Islam. Pupils want to learn more about it.”

Czech school-children are clamoring to learn about Islam? A lie that is instantly contradicted by the group itself:

But the group recently ran an advertisement promising to pay 250 Czech korunas ($13 dollars) to any student aged 15 to 18 years who would agree to attend a two-hour presentation about Islam.

The ad — which indicates that the American embassy in Prague was financing the April 2 event — states:

Event will take place at a school in New Butovice (7 minutes’ walk from the metro station). You get a brief introduction to Islam through which you can learn more about the veiling of Muslim women, media coverage and Muslims in the Czech Republic. Then you will have the opportunity to meet with Amirah, a Malaysian Muslim who is studying medicine in Prague, and to ask her everything you want about Islam or Muslim life in the Czech Republic.

… Most Muslims in the Czech Republic are immigrants from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and Turkey. But a study produced for the Czech Interior Ministry in 2007 … found … a large number of Czech converts to Islam. It is estimated that at least 2,000 Czechs have converted to Islam since the end of Communist rule in 1989.

They got to like being oppressed? Couldn’t bear being unyoked?

Many are women who have married Muslims, but just as many are young males who are “looking to Islam in their search for spirituality,” according to Radio Free Europe. …

As the Muslim population grows, so do tensions with the population at large.

In November 2013, two Muslim women threatened to file an anti-discrimination lawsuit against a nursing school in Prague after they were asked to remove their hijab head covering in class.

“The principal summoned me and told me: ‘If you want to be in the school, you must not wear the scarf.’ I said this was against my religion as I am a Muslim,” Nasra, one of the women, told Czech Television.

The school defended itself, saying that although Czech law does not regulate the wearing of headgear, the school’s dress code bans the practice. The school also said the women, one from Somalia aged 23, and another from Afghanistan aged 25, disagreed with the compulsory physical education and the conditions of compulsory practice.

More recently, Muslims in the Czech Republic have tried to ban a book about Islam they say is Islamophobic.

The book, Islam and Islamism, was written by Lukas Lhot’an, a former Muslim who is now an apostate from Islam. Released in 2011, the book describes how some Muslims are abusing the ideology of multiculturalism to infiltrate Czech schools.

Lhot’an … says Muslim institutions in the country are now headed by Islamists who dominate the entire Islamic community. He accuses Muslim extremists of giving lectures aimed at recruiting converts and new jihad fighters, and alleges that Czech mosques are being controlled by Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic Center of Prague has filed a ten-page criminal complaint against Lhot’an, accusing him of promoting hatred, while the head of the Muslim community in Brno, Muneeb Hassan Alrawi has this to say about Lhot’an: “He is a hyperactive idiot, but also an unhappy man. He makes his living from doing harm. The police investigation will only provide publicity to him. He desires nothing but this.”

But others say the objective of the criminal complaint is obvious: Its aim to prevent Lhot’an from disseminating his view of Islam. … [His]  book describes extremist tendencies inside the Czech Muslim community and tries to highlight their contempt for democracy and women’s rights and their justification of suicide bombers.

And the Obama administration, through the State Department, is providing them with your money to help them.

Laugh them to scorn 6

From Front Page:

Al-Jazeera America, which launched less than a year ago, is slashing expenses and laying off staff as it struggles to gain a foothold in the US.

Hard to imagine why it should be so unpopular.

Posted under Humor, Islam, Muslims, satire, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Law and corruption 2

Some of our greatly valued readers have pointed out to us – in comments on this website and on our Facebook page – that right is not on the side of the Nevada rancher and his allies in their dispute with the Bureau of Land Management (see our post below, It begins?, April 11, 2014).

Cliven Bundy is breaking the law.

We believe in the rule of law. We are not anarchists. So we take their point.

However, it is not a clear-cut issue, as this article from Investor’s Business Daily explains:

It was a tense standoff in rural Nevada with armed protesters closing I-15 for a while and facing off against even more heavily-armed federal agents.

For now, that volatile Bundy Ranch confrontation has been defused. But it’s not over by any means. And we may well experience others that do not pause in non-violence.

These are profound disputes illustrative of abiding suspicions among average Americans and their government headed by a man who promised to bring people together but didn’t. And it comes in an uncertain economic time when so many have given up big dreams to just keep what they have.

The specific Nevada dispute, such as it is, has been simmering for 21 years between a Mormon cattle rancher named Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, better-known in the West as BLMM, the Bureau of Land Mis-Management.

But the far larger issue, most intense in the West, involves a mounting distrust and suspicion of all things federal — Congress, the bureaucracy and especially an aloof president. His perceived interests are inserting an over-reaching government into the lives of every American for their own good from closing coal mines and rewriting restaurant menus to seizing private property and regulating cow farts.

Little known in the urban East, BLM is charged with managing nearly 300 million federal acres mostly across the West. That’s an area equivalent to the second and fourth largest states combined, Texas and Montana.

Nevada is the seventh-largest state with 110,567 square miles. That’s 1,626 times larger than all of Washington, D.C., 84% of it still owned by the federal government.

Anyone here ever rented from a landlord located clear across the continent? You get the set-up for conflicting priorities, miscommunication, misinterpretation, misunderstanding and missteps. Bundy’s family has ranched the area since even before Joe Biden was born, back in the 1880′s when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

Sixty-six years later in 1946 BLM was created, ostensibly to organize a crazy-quilt of laws and regulations governing federal lands. In 1993, BLM notified Bundy that he could not graze his cattle on federal lands anymore because the desert tortoise there was now endangered.

Forget that this same federal government exploded atomic bombs in Nevada for generations with little concern for natural impacts. And it would like to store thousands of tons of nuclear waste there too.

So, for the sake of an endangered wild tortoise the Bundy family ranch became an endangered species. The feds are doing the same to thirsty California farms for the sake of an endangered minnow.

Bundy’s response was very Western. He went ahead anyway. Legally, Bundy hasn’t a leg to stand on. He doesn’t own the land. He hasn’t paid rent. And he’s lost three court battles.

Armed with a court order, BLM decided the time had come for action, eviction of about 1,000 of Bundy’s cattle, even separating newborn calves and mothers.

BLM saw no contradiction sending in dozens of armed federal agents to confront a 67-year-old man behind in his rent while the president of the United States and the nation’s chief law enforcement officer traveled to New York to dine with and speak on behalf of the notorious Al Sharpton, who’s been more than $1 million behind in his income taxes.

That’s the kind of double-standard cronyism and de facto discrimination that gets people’s backs up. …

So, in pickups and on horseback hundreds of angry strangers and militia members, alerted by email and texts, became Bundy supporters. They converged on the ranch. Tensions rose. And the BLM, remembering past deadly government-citizen conflicts named Waco, Ruby Ridge and Wounded Knee, released the seized cattle.

Now, here comes the political part that will seem quite familiar to Chicagoans:

A Chinese company has wanted to build an immense solar-panel farm in Nevada under the name ENN Mojave Energy. It would need additional tortoise habitat to mitigate its complex.

The local lobbyist who’s represented the Chinese-backed firm is a failed Democrat politician named Rory Reid, who got his gully washed in the 2010 race for governor by Republican Brian Sandoval.

Oh, look! Reid also happens to be the son of Harry Reid, the dottering Democrat Senate majority leader for a few more months, who’s somehow managed to become a millionaire on congressional pay.

Now, perhaps you understand why Bundy Ranch supporters smell a cattle-thieving, land-grabbing Washington political conspiracy where, clearly, none exists.

Oh, one other thing. Last week the Senate confirmed a brand-new director of BLM. He’s Neil Kornze, at 35 an unusually inexperienced youngster to be running such a powerful agency with sprawling powers.

However, Nevada native Kornze had something special going for him in the Senate and Obama White House drive to get him the job. He was a senior policy aide to – Wait for it! – Harry Reid, whose son represented the Chinese solar farm.

Now, go wash your hands.

*

And this is an editorial from the same IBD website: 

Does the government really need to own 30% of the U.S., with the percentage in Western states much higher? The government’s agenda in this and many other land-confiscation activities is motivated by a desire to comply with a UN “rewilding” program that advocates pushing humans out of rural areas and into densely packed urban zones to promote what the UN calls “sustainable development”:

Land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market,” says the U.N.’s Agenda 21 action plan. “Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.

So the UN and its tool, the Obama administration, are mounting a massive attack on private property. 

But our land can be controlled, apparently, by Harry Reid’s donors and relatives and former staffers as well as assorted globalists and Chinese investors. In their view, this land is not your land, it’s their land.

Bundy, who lives in a country founded by armed Americans resisting a tyrannical government, has objected, reviving the long-simmering Sagebrush Rebellion between residents of the West and a land-grabbing federal government.

In the end, Bundy and the people who rallied to his cause, some of whom carried firearms of their own while demonstrating , proved what the Second Amendment is all about.

Posted under Commentary, corruption, liberty, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Down with the Fed! 4

From Mauldin Economics: Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

If you jump to the 27:00 minute mark of this edition of The Charlie Rose Show, you will find an excellent interview with David Stockman about his wonderful recent book, The Great Deformation. Stockman finally gets the platform he deserves with Charlie Rose, and I urge you to watch him explain why the Fed is a perennial “bubble machine”. Stockman’s takedown of Paul Krugman alone is worth the price of admission — though even the normally neutral Rose can’t resist taking a shot at a former establishment insider turned outsider.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Brandeis University true to itself 1

Brandeis University was being true to its despicable self after all when it treated Ayaan Hirsi Ali disgracefully.

It was where Herbert Marcuse, one of the most prominent apologists for the violently destructive New Left, indoctrinated students and wrote his staggeringly idiotic books.

This is from PowerLine, by Paul Mirengoff:

BRANDEIS’S “REPRESSIVE TOLERANCE”

Like me, Michael Leeden finds that “if there’s anything really new about Brandeis’ disinvitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it’s that they invited her at all”.  While many seem surprised that Brandeis, founded by Jews in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, would align itself with Islamists and their apologists, Ledeen finds no underlying inconsistency.

Brandeis was the home of professor Herbert Marcuse, the iconic leftist philosopher of the 1960s. Marcuse dedicated his book Repressive Tolerance to his Brandeis students. He summarized its thesis this way:

The … realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed. In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modern period – a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice. Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression. . . .

The restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions. …

Marcuse gave the student rebels and the terrorists of the West European New Left “a justification for their aggression. He told them that they were quite as subjugated as those who lived in the totalitarian states on the other side of the Berlin Wall – by being forced to endure the tolerable and rewarding and comfortable, to suffer food and clothing and lodging beyond bare necessity, to have many varieties of luxury foisted on them, and to be conned into the illusion that they were free”.  (Quotation from Hitler’s Children by Jillian Becker.)

Paul Mirengoff concludes:

Herbert Marcuse would be proud of his old University.

Yes. Brandeis has been disgraceful for at least fifty years. But its treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali adds cold-blooded viciousness to its record.

For liberty and property 7

Victory: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

Cowboys and patriots: Kholten Gleave, right, of Utah, pauses for the National Anthem outside of Bunkerville , Nev. while gathering with other supporters of the Bundy family to challenge the Bureau of Land Management

For a bitter laugh 2

We have lifted this in toto - gratefully –  from PowerLine.

A Short Quiz for Sniveling Cowards

By Ammo Grrrll

Sometimes in the course of soliciting donations, taking meetings, golfing, taking lunch, speaking on the phone, the busy college president must make a controversial decision.

Doncha hate when that happens?? Yikes, how to proceed?

Let’s say you are President of Brandeis University. Some chucklehead decided to acknowledge the unimaginable courage of a woman who, at great peril to her life, fights to shine the light of public opinion on the plight of untold millions of oppressed women.

(No, no, not the women who can miraculously afford another tattoo or hair extensions or weekly nail appointments, or extra cell phone minutes, but need to have somebody else, anybody else, come up with nine dollars a month for free birth control. Clearly, anyone suffering that level of oppression would be too traumatized to speak a word.)

This is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a beautiful Somali woman whose enemies are the people who behead human beings and then upload their feats on YouTube for the viewing pleasure of millions of their fanbois. They throw wheelchair-bound Jews overboard on ships, murder Ms. Ali’s artist friend in the Netherlands and slaughter people in broad daylight in Jolly Olde England where, thank God, at least potential targets are not allowed to carry defensive weapons.

Then let’s say that a jaw-dropping 85 employees at your institution protest honoring this woman and allowing her to address the graduating class. Yikes! What’s a man-shaped substance to do?

A. Fire the 85 employees. It’s a tough economy. Surely you can find 85 professors who understand the concepts of free speech, and actual diversity?

B. Blame the Koch brothers.

C. Crumple like a cheap aluminum walker when hit by a semi.

Congratulations! You correctly chose “C”. Now, in coming up with a reason why you can’t find your balls with a tweezers, you claim:

A. Because War on Women. Oh wait, this IS a woman. Try again.

B. Because Raaaacism. Oh crap, she’s also black. Try again. (Good Lord, she also has high cheekbones. Puh-leeeze don’t let her feel like she’s an Indian, too.)

C. Because we weren’t aware of how much she clashed with our core values. No need to explain what your “core” values are. As Groucho famously said, “These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

Once again, you have chosen C. Good answer! The media won’t touch this with a ten-foot pole, and soon Lindsay will be back in rehab or Miley will twerk, or Kim will be pregnant with little South, and who will care about some African nobody who probably isn’t even gay? Rest assured if you HAD allowed her to speak, The Slavering Mob would have shouted her down, but talk about a buzz kill for a graduation!

Posted under Commentary, Humor, Islam, jihad, Muslims, satire, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 12, 2014

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It begins? 19

Is the citizens’ armed revolt against the tightening tyranny of the Left over all Americans beginning on the banks of the Virgin River?  

We’re slightly surprised but pleased that we found the following at GOPUSA (here). The very fact that it is a GOP report suggests that  a libertarian mood may be spreading among Republicans.

The militiamen rolled in to draw a line in the dirt.

About 70 miles northeast of Las Vegas, they set up camp on a sun-baked patch of land next to a bend in the Virgin River, keeping supplies – like rucksacks and sleeping bags – in neat piles under the roof of an abandoned shack.

Gruff and largely unshaven, dressed in camouflage fatigues and cut-off shirts, the men kept their intentions quiet, telling news reporters the reason they pulled their trucks into this rural desert town – on one of the hottest days of the year – is simple enough: “We’re here to camp,” said one man who would not share his name.

The group even had a sign, posted for arriving members: Militia Sign In.

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But they were really here to protect one of their own from the perceived enemies: a band of federal agents recently dispatched to the scrub desert to seize the cattle of embattled rancher Cliven Bundy.

“They’re here to protect Cliven’s family and home,” said Lynn Brown, one of Bundy’s daughters.

A 68-year-old Nevada native, Bundy has long been at the center of a battle with the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency controlling the 150 miles of desert where the rancher’s cattle have roamed for decades. A renegade when it comes to any sort of government control, Bundy – the father of 14 children – has refused to pay BLM a dime of required grazing fees for his 900 cattle, a tab that has since reached $300,000. Bundy has fought the fee, he says, because his Mormon ancestors set up shop on the land long before the BLM formed.

We forgive him his Mormonism. The issue here is liberty. And private property, namely cows. (Although some Bundy defenders deny the importance of the cows – read on.)

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The problem? The land where Bundy’s cattle graze is federally owned, and the BLM now says the livestock aren’t supposed to be there. Federal agents this week cordoned off sections of land and sparked a monthlong operation to seize the cattle.

Tensions boiled over this week when a scuffle between the BLM and Bundy’s supporters ended in violence: Agents reportedly used a stun gun to subdue Bundy’s son and knocked his daughter to the ground. Though called “brutal” by some, the brawl did not land anyone in a hospital or jail.

But the incident did prompt Operation Mutual Aid – a national militia with members from California to Missouri – to visit Bundy’s ranch and set up a camp just in case things got out of hand again. Before their arrival …  dozens of Bundy’s friends and relatives gathered at a protest camp in solidarity for the recent woes that have colored his rustic ranch.

Traveling from as close as St. George – and as far as Montana – a mix of characters waved picket signs at an encampment just before a bridge over the Virgin River, protesting the BLM’s campaign.

“This is a better education than being in school! I’m glad I brought you. I’m a good mom,” said Ilona Ence, a 49-year-old mother from St. George and Bundy relative who brought her four teenage kids to the ranch. “They’re learning about the Constitution.”

Ence’s 19-year-old son Kayden and his brothers shared their opinion with a sign of their own: “CONTROL OUR BORDERS! NOT OUR RANCHERS!” …

As the temperature crept into the 90s, supporters drove by – beeping their horns and delivering water drinks so the protesters could keep hydrated.

Jack Faught, Bundy’s first cousin, drove his forest green 1929 Chevy truck from Mesquite loaded with water and Gatorade.

“It’s not about the cows,” he said. “It’s about the freedom to make our own choices close to home.”

Polo Parra, a 27-year-old tattoo artist from Las Vegas, even showed up with two of his friends to support the rancher. Dressed in baggy clothes and covered in tattoos, the group carried signs that read “TYRANNY IS ALIVE” and “WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?” in red spray-painted letters.

One of Parra’s friends, who would not share his name, had a pistol tucked in his waistband.

“I think it’s bull, and it really made me mad,” said Parra, who decided to make the trip when he heard about the violence that broke out on the ranch. “This isn’t about no turtles or cows.”

Turtles?

The land in question — the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area — is a habitat of the endangered and federally protected desert tortoise.

Harry Pappas, a 60-year-old native and “concerned citizen,” grabbed the microphone at a makeshift podium and blasted the BLM.

“It’s all a fraud,” Pappas said, arguing the BLM’s preservation of the desert tortoise was just a way to “get rid of all the ranchers.”

The BLM does not totally oppose freedom: it allows freedom of speech, for instance, in certain defined areas! 

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The BLM drew criticism for creating “First Amendment areas” — patches of land where protests are allowed. …

The First Amendment debacle caught the attention of Gov. Brian Sandoval, who ordered the BLM not to limit the constitutional rights of Nevadans.

But the governor backed off from his statement after violence broke out at Bundy’s ranch:

“The ability to speak out against government actions is one of the freedoms we all cherish as Americans. Today I am asking all individuals who are near the situation to act with restraint,” Sandoval said. “Although tensions remain high, escalation of current events could have negative, long-lasting consequences that can be avoided.”

And here we are hoping that these events will have long-lasting consequences that cannot be avoided.

The ordeal disturbed Jeff Voorhees, a 50-year-old resident of Toquerville, Utah, who called Bundy’s lifestyle “one of the last bastions of American freedom”. 

Well said, Jeff!

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