Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, April 25, 2014

Amurrikn Maverick

"Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public."
"This is a matter of fairness and equity, and we remain disappointed that Cliven Bundy continues to not comply with the same laws that 16,000 public-lands ranchers do every year. After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1-million. The BLM [Bureau of Land Management] will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially."
Neil Kornze, agency chief, federal Bureau of Land Management, United States of America
Something about the name Bundy that inspires sociopathy?
Supporters of Cliven Bundy rally against the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada. Photograph: Daniel Hernandez
"The safety of all individuals involved in this matter has been my highest priority. Given the circumstances, today's outcome is the best we could have hoped for."
Republican Nevada governor Brian Sandoval
Or is it just that good old Umarikan spirit of self-sufficiency and animus toward government interference?
Cliven Bundy
Chris Shelton of Las Vegas with his one-week-old son as his mother Shelley Shelton holds his rifle during Bundy family 'Patriot Party'. Photo: Steve Marcus /Reuters
"Escalating tensions", between government authority and a southern Nevada rancher who refuses to recognize the legitimacy of a contract between cattle owners and the Bureau of Land Management in its management of public lands, permitting ranchers to graze their cattle and to be taxed for the privilege resulted in a tense showdown between the local supporters of maverick Cliven Bundy and said authorities the past Saturday.

Some of those supporting the 'rights' of Cliven Bundy to flout the law to suit his individual purpose represented right-wing militia types armed with handguns and rifles outside Mesquite in southern Nevada. They were furious in their insistence that the 400 head of cattle rounded up by federal BLM authorities to emphasize their illegal grazing on public land, be returned to their owner.

Mr. Bundy, the rancher with attitude, doesn't approve of nor give credence to federal authority on public land that he claims belongs to his state of Nevada, not the federal government. It's taken him quite a few years to fully develop his theory, and at 67 years of age he believes he speaks with the authority vested in him as a rancher whose family operated his parcel of land near the town of Bunkerville since the 1870s.

At that time slavery was no longer legal in the United States. And Mr. Bundy regrets the passing of the wretchedness of the slave trade in his country. Had the American Civil War not disrupted the natural social order of men of substance who happen to be white, using the labour of people who were enslaved who happened to be black, his glorious country would not now be languishing under the absurd direction of a black man.

Federal agencies manage or control over 80% of the land in Nevada; a point of irritable contention between the feds and the state since the 1980s, when Nevada rangeland ranchers claimed the land was theirs by right of possession. Mr. Bundy's grazing rights were lifted after he refused to continue paying grazing fees, then ignored federal court orders to remove his cattle from public lands administered by the BLM.

He vowed he would not hesitate to "do whatever it takes" in protection of his property, and during the weekend accusations and demands, resistance and threats between the Bundy family and their supporters and federal agents brought national attention to the operation to confiscate his cattle. Since the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and assembly, the BLM authority was accused of creating "an atmosphere of intimidation", according to Governor Sandoval.

In 1998 a federal judge in Las Vegas had ordered the rancher to remove his trespassing cattle. The Land Management Bureau was in the process of implementing two federal court orders of the year before to remove the cattle when repeated efforts to resolve the issue outside court had failed. Mr. Bundy had not paid grazing fees in the last two decades.

Supporters of Rancher Bundy
Entitled civil libertarianism, or just the wild, wild west re-visited? Revolting, is it not?

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