Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cliven Bundy is No Hero

The interwebs and cable were thick in the past few weeks with the story of Cliven Bundy and his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management over some $1M in grazing fees he has been assessed over the course of several decades, but has refused to pay.  The link above provides a nice timeline of events, and is worth perusing if only for the sense of just how long this dispute has been ongoing.   A couple of things.

1)  I have no idea why the federal government of the United States needs to own 80+ percent of the State of Nevada.  But it does, and so it (we) has the right to the revenue that comes from public use.  Just like we do from public use for drilling oil (except that we don't do much of that anymore, least not on public lands) and cutting down Christmas trees.
2) The rule of law has to count for something.  Mr. Bundy's case is ridiculously unfounded, as this nice bit of commentary by Charles C.W. Cooke lays out.  Sure, there are echoes of great western disputes and romantic notions of one man standing against the weight of the federal government, but the actions of the federal government here are simply not the kind of tyranny against which we conservatives are supposed to applaud.

3)  I additionally have no idea why the Bureau of Land Management needs its own paramilitary.  Those who would point to the presence of armed militia as rationale need then to explain why the FBI would not suffice.

4)  Harry Reid's designation of Bundy's armed supporters as "domestic terrorists" is overheated and incorrect.  One needs (in my view) to actually have committed and act of terror to be considered a terrorist.  I was unable to find any press reports of Senator Reid having branded Black Panther poll watchers with similar rhetorical excess.

5) That said, the presence of armed "militia" bespeaks a level of lawlessness, threat and intimidation that is incompatible with "a nation of laws".

Bundy strikes me as a man with deep-seated views and the kernel of a beef.  He is not however, someone worthy of adulation or praise.  He is a scofflaw, and a rich one at that.


Anonymous said...

You have missed the part about the desert tortoise. It's classification as "endangered" is what caused the BLM to get rid of all the cattle except Bundy's. The desert tortoise is no longer endangered. So why should Bundy not be allowed to continue to graze his cattle?

Anonymous said...

Is it clear that Cliven Bundy has no viable legal argument?

No. It's clear that the argument Cliven raised all on his own, has no merit.

It's not at all clear that that means there are no viable legal arguments for Cliven.

He does not owe $1MM? The "owe" part is in question. The $1MM part is not correct. Even Rory Reid (Harry Reid's son) admitted as much on recent tv appearance. It's apparently more on the order of a couple hundred thousand dollars, again, allegedly.

Also, you should go look up the case of the Estate of Wayne Hage - an active case against the BLM by a Nevada rancher involving similar issues. Hint: the BLM didn't win in the court of federal claims. $14MM judgment against BLM, with Wayne Hage Jr. representing himself. Read that saga, and you might have some understanding of what's going on "on the ground" in Nevada that would cause what you're seeing.

Tom de Plume said...

Your sainted Mr Jefferson was a slave holder. MLK had a jones for the white poontang. Heroes are not always perfect, they are human.

To quote FDR, "he may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch".

"The Hammer" said...

Clearly CW needs to do a bit more research about this issue, but he is a David Brooks Republican after all.
CW, the federal government does NOT own 80% of Nevada, it owns 84.5% of nevada ( Anon is correct, the fees due (which were greatly expanded under Bill Clinton along with his federal land grab) are more in the area of a couple of hundred grand. Plus this desert tortoise and cattle apparently get along just fine together, so WHERE'S THE BEEF? Furthermore, what the hell is Harry Reid and his AIDS victim (looks like) son doing sticking their nose in if not for some nefarious reason? He puts LBJ to shame in the "let's go to Congress and get rich" sweepstakes.
Lastly, this ain't the way to handle things. So the guy owes some back fees? Here's an idea, TAKE HIM TO COURT! I don't see the US Marshalls showing up on Al Sharpton's doorstep with guns drawn trying to collect the million plus in back taxes that asshole owes. Get a lien, go to court, have the facts heard and then proceed. But since when did every bureaucracy have it's own militarized, armed to the teeth enforcement capability? God damn are we living in the Soviet Union?
CW, you're getting a friggin' slap next time I see you...unless Tubby does it for me.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Anon 1--the point is, he's a deadbeat in arrears to the Federal Government.

Anon 2--sorry--there seems to be a dispute over whether he owes a million or a couple of hundred thousand. My bad. Still a deadbeat.

Tom--He's not a hero, and he's not my son of a bitch

Hammer--"80+" percent is what I typed. 84.5% happens to fall into that band. Again--what's a couple of hundred grand among friends. You raise the Harry Reid issue--but even you can see I'm not defending him. As for the armed bureaucracy, again, read my post.

For all of you--if a group of liberals decided to start a free-love commune on federal land, you'd be first in line to have them forcibly evicted, especially if they had resisted for twenty years and then WERE PROTECTED BY ARMED MILITIA. Be consistent. This guy is a deadbeat and we still have laws in this country, even though our President may not meticulously follow them.

JB said...

For CW:

Your response to Anon #2 appears flippant and doesn't seem to address the main point he was making. At the risk of putting words into his/her mouth, take a look at the following links for (I believe) clarification:

Also, to simply dismiss Mr. Bundy as a "deadbeat" is, I believe, too simplistic,and doesn't adequately address the complexities in this particular case.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Me, flippant.

The Conservative Wahoo said...


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