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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  • Jillian Becker

    About that story of Harry Reid being involved …

    We have just posted this on our Facebook page. The article we summarize offers some confirmation that it may be true:

    As the nation began to become familiar with the plight of the family of Cliven Bundy, many of us harkened back to another standoff in which the Federal government attempted to bully it’s outcome: Waco,Texas and the Branch Davidian massacre. It is telling that in the Nevada case the feds pulled out so quickly, given all they had indicated they were willing to do to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. They had set up a perimeter around the Bundy’s family land, ranch, and home. They had brought in extra artillery, dogs, and snipers. They were beginning the process of stealing more than 300 head of cattle that did not belong to them. They did so for the reason of “protecting the desert tortoise”. But then it was revealed that the Bureau of Land Management had shot far more desert tortoises than the Bundy cattle had even possibly destroyed. We were told they did it because the Bundys had broken federal laws by not paying what amounted to retroactive grazing fees to the federal government. But the Governor of the state of Nevada told us that Bundy had paid every ounce off state tax, met the state requirements, and their family had been improving the property more than 100 years previous. Finally we were allowed to know the connection between a communist Chinese wind/solar power plant and its connection to that senator named Harry Reid. Evidently a plan had been hatched to use the Bundy property for a solar farm and instead of paying the Bundys, someone, somewhere in the administration believed it was easier to just take what they wanted. That approach is at least consistent with the readily documented abuse of imminent domain where the government for any number of reasons – few of them valid -have taken to taking what doesn’t belong to them. Americans then watch as it gets handed over to some multi-national corporation for the “cause” of the “greater good”. Though there must have
    been pressure from Senator Reid’s office, the administration via the Bureau of Land Management, and local officials who were bought and sold like the Clark County Commissioner who told those coming to support the Bundys to have “funeral plans in place”. The majority of Americans saw through the efforts to spin the story in Nevada. Couple that with the leadership failures that the American people view the administration responsible for, from Benghazi to the Affordable Care Act, all it took was the unedited video of federal agents tazing Bundy’s son, followed by his continuing to stand his ground, for there to be comparisons made to the American revolution. It’s also important to note that merely pulling back from the Bundy property hasn’t settled the matter for the American people either. The feds have stolen 352 head of cattle, and will not confirm or deny if they euthanized some or all of them. Recompense must be made. Fortunately for the American people, the feds were not able to ultimately bully a simple rancher, not for a tortoise, a solar power plant, or a dirty Senator and his administration. We owe the Bundy family a great deal of thanks for standing tall. For if the federal government is allowed to do it with one, then there will be nothing stopping them from doing it again.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2014/04/13/why-the-feds-chickened-out-on-a-nevada-ranch-n1823838/page/full

  • Don L

    “But this is OUR land…” ‘We’ are the government, ‘our’ land…these are delusionary notions. I don’t own, nor does Richard, I suspect, any ‘government land. I don’t vote raises for the SOBs in DC. Those SOBs are the government and they haven’t represented me for any part of my life…they’ve been screwing me and I don’t like it. The government shouldn’t own any land. Those SOBs should have sold the land to Bundy…or anyone else.

    How’d the government get this land anyway? The government should be selling off land and sections of ocean (to the 12 or 200 mile limit?), lakes, whatever to PRIVATE owners and get out of the government property businerss. They destroy all assets with the practice of “management of the commons”…a collectivist notion where nobody gives a damn…it’s not mine.

    In Real Estate law, in most states, there is the notion of aquistion by prescription – occupation of a piece of propertyy that is open (they know you’re there), hostile (they’ve told you to get off and you don’t) and uniterrupted (they haven’t removed you during the prescription term) for a specified period (10 years is typical). I would suggest, Bundy owns the land already.

    Here’s what troubles me the most about the whole mess. Those deputies, state cops and other law enforcement folk were more than ready…WILLING, ITCHING…to open fire. Not because of any lawlessness… I doubt they gave a damn…becuse they wanted to (see our power…don’t disobey ME [this is government])…its the attribute of being hired…obey the orders – fire if told to…screw that it’s a fellow citizen. Kill to enforce the law…drool, drool…so pretty in their starched uniforms and nice hats. Oh, those SWAT guys…skinheads with clean clothes and thin wrap-around sunglasses.

    • liz

      Good points. Another thing the Federal government owning the land has led to is that now they are giving it away to the UN! Going from bad to worse – from a controlling centralized govt to a controlling global tyranny. Try getting it back from THAT bunch.

    • Richard

      The law in all states and under federal law does not allow anyone to acquire title to, or any easement over, any government owned land by prescription or adverse possession. No matter how long or continuously or adversley the private party may occupy the land. Period. That is a universal and absolute rule, passed down by the common law we got from England and enshrined in our passed statutes and case law law in the US since our founding. This rule applies to land owned by any governmental entity, whether Federal, State, County, or City.

      The law allowing one party to acquire the property of another by adverse possession (or prescription, if we are talking about an easement) only applies between two private property owners. Otherwise, we would have chaos and anarchy. Everyone would be out trying to “adversley possess” their own piece of what is now government land.

      Whether the government should sell off all or part of its currently owned BLM or National Park or other land is another question. Maybe so, maybe not, depending on the situation. I myself like the fact that the government owns all this BLM land in the west — I use it as MY property, since I figure it is, by hiking and camping on it. The point is, the governnent has not offered to sell Gold Butte land to Bundy or anyone else ( and I for one would object if they did so), and Bundy has not offered to buy it.

      If, by the way, the Federal Government were to sell Gold Butte property to Bundy, and it became his private property, then it would become subject to state property tax by the State of Nevada. Unlike the rest of us, who pay taxes to the state for any property we own, Bundy claims this land as his own, but apparently also claims a unique right, unavailable to the rest of us, to not pay any state property tax on his property.

      • liz

        Bundy was paying his state property taxes, as noted above.

        • Richard

          No state assesses and charges state taxes on federal land. It is not permitted. The states cannot tax the federal government – that principle might be in the US constitution, or at least implied in it.

          That is one reason states in the west want the Feds to sell all their land to private parties – then the state can assess and collect real property tax on it. Bundy may have been paying property tax on his cattle, or other personal property. But since the state of Nevada did not assess or send him a bill for real property tax on the Gold Butte property (since they agree it is owned by the Federal Government), I don’t think Bundy was paying any real estate tax on the real estate he is claiming belongs to him.

  • Richard

    I don’t really think that Bundy’s position is defensible under conservative or libertarian principles. He is claiming the right to graze his cows on public BLM land without paying any fees (BLM usually charges like $1.25 per head or thereabouts. I guess his reasoning is that his father and grandfather did this, so he is entitled. But this is OUR land, not his private property. It is beautiful public land ( I have hiked out there a lot), though somewhat marred by the presence of all the cattle and destruction they cause.

    Conservatism and Libertarianism stand for the principle of protection of private property. I don’t think they stand for the principle that one man can take over the public property for his own profit. If Bundy can graze his cows on this public land, which belongs to all of us, why can’t I do the same? I see this as a simple case of Bundy trying to steal the use of public land for his own profit making. I have heard that the value of the cows he grazes on our BLM land is around 1 million dollars. If he can do this on BLM land, why can’t Wyoming ranchers graze their cattle in Yellowstone Park? I am puzzled that the conservatives have jumped to his defense here. On this one, I am 100% on the side of the government (with no position implied on their tactics), in principle.

    • liz

      What you think of as “our” land – the BLM – is not ours – it’s the Federal government’s. Just like “our” money isn’t really our money any more – it belongs to the Federal government, and they’re just ALLOWING you to keep some of it when they tax you.
      No ranchers should have to pay the government for the right to graze their cattle, any more than any of us should be paying the government taxes, PERIOD!!!
      The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE OUR BENEVOLENT BENEFACTOR, who graciously “allows” us to do anything!! They have taken over, and everyone in the country, including ranchers, should be refusing to pay them ANYTHING.
      THAT is what makes Bundy’s position defensible.

      • Don L

        I think the Oprah thing is…You Go Girl! LOL

        Here they go again: You didn’t build it! We allowed them to make money…they owe us!

      • Richard

        The public land is ours if you treat it as yours. I do, by hiking and camping on BLM and National Park and Monument land. I don’t object to reasonable regulations, such as no camping in certain sensitive areas, otherwise these areas become totally ruined and polluted.

        It always bothers me when I go down to Mexico and look around at the open land. A lot of it looks like it would be interesting to hike and camp on. But I am reluctant to do so. I am not a Mexican citizen, so it is not “my” land. I would feel like an intruder on someone’s else’s property. Not so in America, where I am a citizen, and feel I have the right to hike over most all the public land there is, unless it is closed off for some particular reason. I don’t go hiking on Area 54, for example, or onto fenced military bases. I figure they are off limits for a good reason. And besides, I don’t want to get shot.

        However, I realize that public porperty is not my private property to do with as I please. I cannot drill an oil well on government land wherever I want, nor build a house, or build a fence or build a road. Nor should anyone be allowed to graze their cattle on public land without permission. I have seen with my own eyes, for over 50 years, the destruction that grazing cattle have on the public lands of the west. Most of this land is not very good land for cattle grazing in the first place. Sometimes you can’t seem to find a blade of grass for miles. It is desert land, and not naturally suited to the grazing of cattle.

        Someone has to call the shots on the use of public land. Otherwise, there will be chaos and anarchy. Bundy wants to graze his cattle on Gold Butte. I don’t like cattle trampling all over Gold Butte, where I like to hike. Should I just shoot the cattle I come across? Should Bundy shoot me when he sees me hiking over “his” property?? Should I then shoot back? If it is public land, the government has to have and assert the right to manage the land. They have to have the right to say, yes, cattle can be grazed here, but only so many per square mile. And no, cattle cannot be grazed at all in this area, we designate a National Park. Otherwise Bundy and I will be shooting at each other over who has the “right” to use Gold Butte.

        • liz

          “The government has to have and assert the right to manage the land.”
          Yes, for instance, as dictated by their totalitarian agenda, taxpayers have been forced to spend trillions on re-introducing the Mexican grey wolf into the southwest, which has been a fiasco . The wolves prey on livestock, pets, and humans.
          Or, in another example of their great “management”, Californian farmers are deprived of water for their crops for the sake of an an “endangered” fish.
          The endangered tortoise that they are supposedly protecting from Bundy was no problem for THEM to kill a few years ago. They want the land for a crony solar energy deal a la Harry Reid.
          You’re in la la land if you trust the Federal government to manage ANYTHING.
          Looking forward to government run healthcare?

        • Don L

          “The public land is ours if you treat it as yours.”…HUH?

          Richard, you’re a very confused guy. Neither that mexican land nor this government land you keep mentioning is yours…it shouldn’t make any difference where you hike…you are a trespasser. Do you own title to any of it?

          You haven’t grasped the idea that land owned by government is land owned by 545 folks in D.C…and they do with it what they want…they stopped caring about the governed many, many decades ago. And, government land is always mismanaged as they fallaciously manage by the principle of the “commons”: the asset is destroyed because those using it don’t care about it.

          If the asset is privately owned, it’s taken care of and resources are sustained…an impossibility when the deleterious idea of “public” is in place.

          Incidently, according to interviews given by Bundy, confirmed by county officials, Bundy has paid fees to the county. Then the BLM showed up and seized the land from the county. I’m in AZ and that happens here too. No rationality…just take. Clinton was good at it to appease certain “voter” interests. Our former governor Crappy Nappy Napolitano took unilateral control of county and town property for state/political favor purposes as well. Nobody stands up.

          Again, the Constitution does not empower the Fed Gov’t to own land, run a RR, pay farmers to not grow crops, etceteras. So, the question is whether the gov’t has the right to levy fees at all? Unfortunately, judges are whores to the system too. Doesn’t mean the SOBs and SOBettes shouldn’t be taken out and horesewhipped!!!

    • Don L

      Whoops…meant to post as a reply…my comment/reply to you is above.

  • Don L

    When I first recived an emai about this story, a couple days ago, the copy included comment about a pattern of ranchers being moved off the BLM land. I had visons of old B-grade Black & White movies of the late 30s and 40s where the rich rancher was forcing the small guys off their land…all to be rescued by John Wayne.

    Then I realized it was Nevada, land and powerful ranchers…Harry Reid and his mafia-like (not so much ‘like’ as ‘exact copy’) family came to mind…two sons reportedly off the chart bullies. Lo and behold, today, it is reported there indeed may be a link to the Reids in this…standby for more tomorrow, the announcement teased.

    • Jillian Becker

      Harry Reid and his son, cronyism, solar energy, a Chinese company – and a “feral cow”. I didn’t post it earlier because it comes from Alex Jones and I’ve been warned that the site is not reliable (?).

      Here:

      http://www.prisonplanet.com/br

      (By the way, how feral can a cow possibly get?)

      • liz

        I don’t know about the site, but the story itself sounds totally plausible. I would bet money that things would be different if, as the article notes, Bundy were a big Reid donor.

      • Don L

        Thanks…very interesting and too typical of the ‘private-public sector’ (the PC term for graft & corruption or crony-capitalism) to think it not a valid story.

        Feral cow…it was heard to ‘moogrr, moogrr” as it charged the ranchers. LOL

  • liz

    This all started with Lincoln, who supervised the slaughter of a large portion of the southern population, including civilians, for defying his dictatorial power. The state’s “better not go there, buddy”, to quote Eric @$$Holder.
    It’s encouraging to see militias come to Bundy’s support, but knowing how the federal government operates, it’s scary, too. It could turn into another Waco or Ruby Ridge.

  • Azgael

    Lets hope this leads to a nation wide armed uprising culminating with the execution of most if not all politicians in D.C and with the restoration of the Constitution as envisioned by the founders.