No one asked me but… The most important question surrounding the Bundy issue is: What is the obligation of the American people when the government violates the law?
The government would have you believe the Bundy’s are a bunch of wild-eyed radicals who would violently overthrow the government. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The only violence during the standoff at the Bundys was engaged in by BLM officials. A Bundy woman was thrown to the ground by a BLM official. A Bundy boy was tazed numerous times when he stepped between the BLM agent and his aunt. A Bundy boy was thrown to the ground and handcuffed for standing on a state highway outside the area set aside for assembly and free speech. The nearest thing to violence on the part of a Bundy was when a BLM official sic’d his dog on one of the Bundy’s and the dog was kicked.
The government would have you believe the Bundys are such a threat to the American way of life they must be kept in solitary confinement and refused bail. However, it was the BLM who endangered the American way of life by violating the Constitution and breaking numerous laws in dealing with Cliven Bundy and his cattle.
The First Amendment of the Constitution is clear when it states “Congress shall make no laws …abridging the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble …” During the Bundy incident, the BLM hit the trifecta as they violated all three of these First Amendment rights.
A most egregious violation was the establishment of a free speech zone. People have stated that it is unconstitutional to establish a free speech zone; however, a free speech zone has been established by the Constitution, and it is called the United States. The power to restrict is the power to deny.
To deny people the right to peaceable assembly violates the Constitution of the United States. This is what the BLM did when they arrested a member of the Bundy family who was peaceably assembled, outside a designated area. The fact that individuals simultaneously practiced their First and Second Amendment rights does not make the assembly violent.
The BLM demanded the right of censorship over all news reports leaving the area. The BLM required reporters to be escorted at all times and only those reporters approved by BLM were allowed to observe the roundup. The BLM officials indicated that it was for the protection of the reporters. We have reporters embedded with troops in free fire zones all around the world. If you limit which reporters are allowed in and which areas they can report on, and censor what is reported is this not an abridgement on a free press?
If you don’t want to talk in the abstract of the Constitution, let’s look at federal and state laws that were violated by the BLM. In the 1930’s, the federal government turned over to the various western states the responsibility of “protecting, improving, and developing public lands.” The state of Nevada passed The Taylor Grazing Act in 1934. While this act is codified in NRS 568, it is federal law.
NRS 568.355 defines the term “open range” as “all unenclosed land outside of cities and towns upon which cattle, sheep or other domestic animals by custom, license, lease, or permit are grazed or permitted to roam.” NRS 568.230 states: … “It is unlawful … (to) restrict or interfere with the customary use of the land for grazing livestock by any person who, by himself or herself or the person’s grantors or predecessors, has become established, either exclusively or in common with others, in the grazing use of the land by operation of law or under and in accordance with the customs of the graziers of the region involved.”
That brings into question what “customary” means under the law? NRS 568.240 states: “Customary or established use…to include the continuous, open, notorious, peaceable and public use of such range seasonally for a period of 5 years or longer immediately before March 30, 1931, by the person or the person’s grantors or predecessors in interest, …Any change in customary use…must not be made after March 30, 1931, so as to prevent, restrict or interfere with the customary or established… NRS 568.230 to 568.290, “…does not prohibit any such established user from continuing his or her grazing use,…”
Members of the Bundy family have been grazing the land in dispute since the late 1800’s.
The BLM has charged Mr. Bundy’s cattle with trespass. The state trespass law states it is the responsibility of the landowner to fence out cattle. Fencing in the cattle is not the rancher’s responsibility. According to state law, there can be no damages collected for trespass unless the cattle have breached a “legal fence.” A legal fence is defined in NRS 569.431. While private citizens have fenced out Bundy’s cattle, the federal government apparently believes it should not have to obey the law.
No one asked me but… The American political process has gone insane.
The American people have been inundated with the partys’ process for selecting candidates for the Presidency of the United States. If one is not careful, they will believe this circus is the actual Presidential race.
This fiasco is what George Washington warned about in the late 1700’s. President Washington stated [political parties] “…may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.”
How about we stop the primary and convention process right now and let the people select from the five candidates that are left. On the Democrat side, you have two choices: a self-proclaimed socialist and a closet socialist. On the Republican side, you have three choices: a fascist, a conservative Republican, and a liberal Republican. After listening to the debates and speeches of these candidates, one must wonder why anyone would vote for any of them.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were to use this great technology we have developed to allow American people to have a real choice as to who they would have for their president? A series of on line primary elections could narrow the field to three or four candidates and the winner of the final election would be president. It works for Dancing With the Stars.
Thought of the week…It is remarkable how easily children and grown-ups adapt to living in a dictatorship organized by lunatics.
– A. N. Wilson