Ranchers Bundy

We live in interesting times: the federal government must be dragged tooth and nail to do what is necessary to protect that nation’s sovereignty along the southern border, but it will deploy attack dogs and snipers against Nevada ranchers who have worked the same land for over 100 years.

If you didn’t follow the Cliven Bundy story over the past week, here it is in a nutshell: Mr. Bundy’s family has raised cattle on the same land for over a century. How long? They’ve been there since before the Bureau of Land Management was even created. Somewhere along the line, the federal government came in and told Mr. Bundy’s family they needed to “manage” his land. Mr. Bundy has argued that they federal government has been trying to “manage” him out of business. And so, he’s refused to pay the federal government to ruin his livelihood. The BLM asserts that his family has over $1 million in unpaid management fees to the federal government.

Last week, in an effort to “protect” a species of desert tortoise, agents moved in and confiscated the herd. Ranchers from all over the region got word of what was going on, and joined with him in his stand against the federal government. A pregnant woman was knocked to the ground and a stun gun was used on Mr. Bundy’s son, but the standoff ended with the federal government retreating and all of Mr. Bundy’s cattle returned — for now.

The Las Vegas Journal review reported:

BUNKERVILLE — More than 100 head of Cliven Bundy’s confiscated cattle were released from a corral outside of Mesquite after a 20-minute standoff between angry and armed ranchers and law enforcement officers Saturday.

With rifles pointing toward each side and tensions reaching a critical level, federal land officials backed off and agreed to give up the cattle to Bundy’s family and supporters. …

Locals who make a living on the range and own horses showed up on horseback.

Nearly all of them defended Bundy’s actions and spoke about how tired they were of the federal government micromanaging Americans, including passing too many regulations, not just in Nevada but across the country; not just in cattle ranching, but in all facets of life, from Obamacare to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Brent Mackelprang, 58, a cattle rancher from Arizona, said the government’s decision to seize Bundy’s cattle in the name of protecting “the supposedly endangered” desert tortoise was a mere excuse “to go in and grab land from the people,” including Bundy, who has long claimed that the land belongs to his family and the state of Nevada — “certainly not to the federal government.”

Since Sen. Harry Reid has been M.I.A. during this whole debate, I’ll turn to a quote from Frederick Douglass to explain what went on in Nevada:

“Find out just what the people will submit to and you will have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” — Frederick Douglass

The people finally — thank God — stood up to the power-mad federal government, and they got results.


Krissy Thornton, right, looks at blood from a taser wound on Ammon Bundy near Bunkerville, Nev. Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Bundy was tasered by Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officers while protesting the roundup of what the BLM calls "trespass cattle" that rancher Cliven Bundy grazes in the Gold Butte area 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher)
Krissy Thornton, right, looks at blood from a taser wound on Ammon Bundy near Bunkerville, Nev. Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Bundy was tasered by Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officers while protesting the roundup of what the BLM calls “trespass cattle” that rancher Cliven Bundy grazes in the Gold Butte area 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher)

And why is it that Sen. Reid has been so quiet?

The Washington Times reported:

The Bureau of Land Management is headed by former longtime Reid aide Neil Kornze, who was confirmed by the Senate as BLM director on Tuesday, just as federal authorities descended on the cattle ranch outside Mesquite, Nev.

Mr. Kornze issued a statement Saturday saying that the bureau would return the cattle and withdraw its agents from the ranch as a result of safety concerns after clashes between law enforcement and the Bundy family’s growing legion of supporters.

“It was likely pressure from upstairs, rather than weapons from the field, that changed his mind on the matter,” the liberal group Americans Against the Tea Party said in an online post. “Fact is, Harry Reid probably didn’t want his name attached to the biggest civilian massacre in U.S. history right before election season.”

Behind the scenes, you know that men like Sen. Reid are furious. It wasn’t supposed to play out the way it did. Mr. Bundy was supposed to fold. He was supposed to just accept the slow and steady infringements on our rights to life, liberty and property like so many other Americans — but he didn’t. That act of defiance stirred something inside the stomachs of locals and patriots from other states that they knew to be just and right, and so they came to his aid.

Bundy Ranch

Hopefully, what happened at the Bundy Ranch will inspire more Americans to push back against the injustices imposed upon them by an out-of-control federal government.

Related: If you want to read stories about the federal government’s overreach, check out Cheryl K. Chumley’s ‘Police State U.S.A.’ I’ll be reviewing the book when it comes out in May.


  1. The BLM acted like total thugs here and I’m glad that the ranchers pushed back and won. I really hope it inspires people to push back against the ever-expanding federal government. I’d push back if they tried to steal my property, too.

  2. Something is very wrong with this system.
    Government passes some pseudo laws then hands them over to some individuals to write the laws (regulations) to suck the live from its citizens? What a tyrannical, Neanderthal approach to subjugate the population. To top it all government pretends to be adhering to the rule of law by selectively enforce those laws they like only and deploying military type interventions for laws they hold dear and were devised to enrich parasitic politicians.

    What else is one to do to voice grievances than oppose government’s lawlessness and military force with civilian forces that match or exceed theirs? That is were we are now after we have learned to respect the law and the justice department just as much as the government does. It is liberating to see how effective the implementation of the government’s play book of lawlessness can be.

    1. The Declaration of Independence comes to mind in times like these…

      “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  3. Hmmm….I really want to enthusiastically pull for rancher here, but something tells me there is more to this story than meets the eye. Just a gut feeling. Anyways, one theme that never goes away is Reid’s incompetence; since this is an issue he may have to think about; of course he’s silent. You’d think a long term senator would protect his constituents, or at least explain if there is a back story…..or at least say something!

    1. I haven’t had time to dig into this, but it looks as if the money trail explains why Sen. Reid has been silent.

      One of the companies interested in building a solar plant on BLM-controlled land is the Chinese firm ENN Energy Group, which wants to build a $5 billion solar facility in the Nevada desert near Laughlin. ENN is represented by lawyer Rory Reid, Sen. Harry Reid’s son. The Chinese firm also wants to build on a 9,000-acre plot in Clark County, where rancher Cliven Bundy is holding off the BLM, and where Rory Reid used to be the chairman of the County Commission.

      According to Reuters, the County Commission voted to sell ENN the public plot of land for $4.5 million, a fraction of its appraised value of $38.6 million.

      Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid has been one of ENN’s most prominent supporters. According to Reuters, he recruited the company for the project during a trip to China in 2011. Reuters also reports that Reid has tried to pressure the state’s largest power company, NV Energy, to become ENN’s first customer.

      Besides that, I think people are just sick and tired of the administrative state. When the federal government can’t get a law it wants passed, it just gives power to an agency from the executive branch to come up with a regulation, and presto-change-o you’ve essentially created the law. So we’ve come to the point where people in numerous states have to jump through regulatory hoops to build sheds in their own pack yard, they’re not allowed to create man-made ponds, etc. And if they don’t cooperate, the federal government tries to destroy their lives. The guy who built a bond in Wyoming (after getting a permit from the state), gets threatened with 75K fines per day, the Bundy’s get federal agents coming in and taking their cattle and the rest of us are just told to shut up and take it.

    2. Should have known the part that doesn’t meet the eye is Reid lining his pockets! I’m sure the rare species of desert tortoise would much rather hang out with bulldozers building an energy farm than cattle they’ve apparently coexisted with for nearly a century. Sad

    3. Haha! I was thinking the same thing, especially after I researched the federal government’s own findings on solar farms. It turns out, they’re “mega traps” for killing birds and disrupting entire eco-systems.

      My buddy told me Mark Levin said my name today and talked about the story on his radio show. I’ll try and get the audio and send it to you off the grid.

    4. Bad enough citizens get trampled, but the hypocrisy is so annoying. They can’t even try and tout the energy farm will create jobs and that is the plans for the land; they tell the rancher that they are protecting animals that said farm will almost certainly disturb. Unreal.

      Sounds good, looking forward to audio!

    5. I know I’m tired of the police state and the government trying to tell people what to do, yet most Americans go about their daily business and are okay with it. They’re okay with the gradual loss of liberties, because they think the government knows best. If they tried to seize my property, I’d fight them tooth and nail. From a personal standpoint, we can’t even build a pole barn in our own yard without applying for a government permit first (or something like that, I can’t remember exactly what my dad said; our neighbors recently built a pole barn and they had to go through several hoops with the local county government before being allowed to build it). It’s ridiculous.

      I’m not surprised that Reid is in bed with a solar energy company (from China, no less) and would stand to profit immensely from the land being sold to ENN. The dude is corrupt. And yet the MSM will likely bury the story because Reid is a Democrat and try to make the Bundy family out to be “deadbeat simpletons,” to quote our “friend” Ron Marz: http://colossus.mu.nu/archives/348522.php

      And Patrick is right; the hypocrisy is annoying. Somehow a farmer whose family has owned that land for over a century is going to “harm” an “endangered” tortoise species (which isn’t even endangered) but a solar farm isn’t? Yeah, right.

      “Haha! I was thinking the same thing, especially after I researched the federal government’s own findings on solar farms. It turns out, they’re “mega traps” for killing birds and disrupting entire eco-systems.”

      As do wind farms. Quite a few have been in the news for all the birds they’ve killed, but nary a word from progressives.

    6. Slightly related: there’s a scene in Captain America: the Winter Soldier (spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it) where this guy who works as a techie for SHIELD is told by HYDRA thug Brock Rumlow (aka Crossbones from the comics) to launch the Project Insight satellites but he actually stands up to him and says no. Same with Agent 13. the point being is that if I were one of the BLM people and I was given orders to harass innocent people, I’d stand up to my bosses and say, no, I’m not going to do it, even if it cost me my job.

    7. Very true Carl, Reid has a bad trend of skirting ethics and legality; I just read an article how he paid his jeweler granddaughter thousands out of his own campaign fund for donor “gifts”. It hits a point where he is embarrassing his own side; you’d think the democrats would want someone a bit more ethnical as their senate leader. I should clarify my earlier comment; I’m not saying the energy farm is good (unless you are Reid’s accountant…or Reid) or bad, because I don’t know the details; I just think its pathetic to hide behind tortoises as a reason to go tasering ranchers trying to earn a living. Heavy handedness, perceived or real, backfired on the dems after Waco, ruby ridge, and Elian Gonzales, we’ll see how this plays out.

    8. I agree, Patrick. Just today Ron Paul (whom I’m not a fan of, because he blames American foreign policy for everything that’s wrong in the world) was saying that the potential for the feds to regroup and for the situation to turn into another Waco or Ruby Ridge is there.

      And I’m sure if Reid was caught, he’d find a way to blame the GOP. The media would find a way to do so as well.

  4. Hello Douglas. I was wondering if I could post now since you said April 14th was when I was allowed to again, and it’s the 15th.

    If I am allowed, I must say that my feelings are mixed and I’m unsure of the precedent and unintended consequences this may cause, which of course, may be negative for folks like them ranchers and us.

    1. Welcome back, Person Who is Person. I’ll respond a bit later, but in short I can understand your mixed feelings. I have them as well. I was thinking of writing a post tonight, since I’ve seen quite a few pundits on the right side of the fence trying to turn Mr. Bundy into Dr. Evil.

    2. Here is my issue with what’s going on — not only in Nevada — but in every state. We’re living in a time where the Interstate Commerce Clause can be used to justify anything. You have Kelo v New London. You have laws that are simultaneously “taxes” and “penalties.” The game has been rigged so a guy like Bundy will ultimately always lose. The house always wins in the end, which is fitting since this high-profile incident happened in Nevada.

      I don’t like that people are saying “it’s the law” when the law is clearly rigged by the federal government to get what it wants from guys like Bundy. The DOJ just decides to enforce laws it likes and ignore laws it doesn’t like, and yet a guy like Bundy is told to just take it. Corrupt politicians make a mockery of the rule of law every single day — often to enrich themselves — and yet when a guy like Bundy tells them to stick it he is demonized…by so-called conservative pundits. Unreal.

      Bundy is a rancher — not a constitutional lawyer. I don’t expect him to articulate what’s happening to him very eloquently, although that would be a bonus. He knows in his heart that what is happening to him is wrong, but unlike Sen. Reid and the thug agencies operating out of Washington Mr. Bundy doesn’t have an army of lawyers at his disposal. If Mr. Bundy could speak with a forked tongue like all the rest of the politicians and pundits on cable news, I suppose it would put the “Morning Joe” crew at ease.

      The laws are worded in ways in which the feds always win, and now guys like Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck and others are saying we have to change things through the ballot box. Now that things are getting hairy because the American people are fed up, these guys are telling everyone to go along to get along.

      At what point is it too much? At what point do the American people put an end to this insanity? You can only push people so far…

      While I do not wish violence upon anyone, at the same time I understand that everyone has their breaking point. When the powder keg explodes, it will be the spineless selfish politicians who should bear the brunt of the blame.

    3. You know Bundy and those who participated are probably not going to walk away from this, right?

  5. It takes great courage to step up against impossible odds. I thought the ranchers on horseback were unarmed, am I mistaken?
    I would also love to hear the audio file if you would not mind sharing.

    1. I was scanning for the latest news about this and predictably I saw a headline from a liberal site (can’t remember which one, and it doesn’t matter because all those liberal sites are interchangeable when you get down to it) calling the Bundys “treasonous” and “seditious.” It’s funny how protesting against the government is considered “treasonous” now that a Democrat is in office but ten years ago when a Republican was in office was dissent was considered patriotic by the left. Now dissent is considered “treasonous” and also “racist.” Any time a liberal refers to “treasonous” speech it means someone doing or saying something that they disagree with.

      I watched an episode of Foyle’s War (an excellent BBC show set on the UK home front during WW2) once where the title character, a detective and WW1 veteran, was falsely accused of sedition by the British government, taken off his murder investigation and placed under house arrest. I couldn’t help but think that’s the type of thing modern progressives would love to do to people who disagree with them. Put them in prison for simply expressing dissenting views.

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