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Cody Whitney 
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Re: “Moocher Bundy, poster boy for the paranoid

In the interest of not sounding ignorant, even if oppositional, the author ought to take note of a few facts regarding public land law and the Bundy case:

1. The Bundy's do not own the land, but they do own "rights" to land use in the form of grazing rights. A "right" (as in grazing rights, water righst, forage rights, mineral rights etc) is a commodity. It is bought, sold, & handed down over generations- it has money value. . The BLM can legally buy the rights from the Bundy's but they cannot ignore them.

2.The grazing "fees," so much talked about, exist beyond the "rights." So, even though the Bundy's own "rights" to graze on that land, the BLM began requiring a
payment of fees to actually use these "rights" several decades ago. Although good arguments can be made with regard to the fairness of imposing fees on top of "rights," the Bundy's have not been resisting fee payment out of being misers or hard-headed libertarians, etc. .....

3. What most people do not understand is that to pay the required fees, the ranchers must sign a contract (no signed contract, no fees accepted). The contracts designed by the BLM since the early 1990s have used the so-called "endangered" tortoise to impose restrictions (such as the number of cattle that can be grazed) which grossly undercut the rancher's livelihood (never mind that tortoises actually eat cattle dung and thrive in coexistence with cattle) . So, the ranchers own the "rights" to graze, but in order to graze legally the rancher is required to pay fees...but to pay the fees the rancher must sign a contract so restrictive that he kills his own livelihood through compliance (or becomes a criminal through noncompliance). This is how the BLM has forced all ranchers but Bundy and maybe one other family out of business. Bundy is willing to pay the fees, and has tried to pay the fees locally and to the state, but is determined not to pay the feds, which would set in motion the process of breaking him.

4. I have heard many people remark- "well, the courts decided against him." What these people do not seem to understand is that these are federal courts, and the feds almost never decide against themselves. In essence, the federal government via the BLM bundles regulation (law), policing and punishment (fines), and the courts (no trial by peers) in itself. If the American people, in general, lived under this structure, we would call it tyranny.

5. Therefore.... this is far from being a case of an unreasonable rancher. His act of civil disobedience spans 1. nonpayment of fees to a federal bureaucracy that is trying to break him as it has done to over 50 other local ranchers, 2. an unjust system that ties a rancher's livelihood to regulations, fines, and courts that exist outside the public sphere, elected lawmakers, and trial by peers 3. public lands that ought not belong to the federal government, in the first place... at least, there are constitutional arguments to be made in this direction. Yet, had Federal Government not abused their power, Bundy likely would have never made a ripple...

So, this brings us to the more important issues that the public ought to be concerned about- what does the government want with these lands? Should politicians such as Harry Reid get to use federal agencies like the BLM as tools for their own economic interests and to bully private citizens? When is enough enough in terms of government overreach, especially via executive branch agencies? And,... the obscene military force, abuse of people and animals, all of which also defy the Constitution (no standing armies)?... Don't you think the public ought to be a little more concerned with these types of questions rather than making petty, and unfounded, accusations that Bundy is some sort of freeloader? (it really sounds like a bunch of children screaming "its not fair!")

And, I will add one more thing to consider: for all of the media's militant rhetoric and imagery of rural gun-nuts, the feds via the BLM brought weapons to the situation first and actually used them against American people; the feds via the BLM carried, drove
and flew the vast majority of weapons into the standoff, 98-99% of all weapons upholstered and aimed during the standoff were in the hands of the feds via the BLM. Now.... who is the true irrational gun-nut, and who was merely using their 2nd Amendment right for self defense and in a reasonable determination to liberate cattle that were dehydrated, stressed, and injured (yes, as in broken legs and bleeding wounds that needed to be doctored ASAP....PETA, anyone? )

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Cody Whitney on 05/01/2014 at 2:27 AM

 

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