Friday, 11 April 2014 20:15

Last Man Standing: Nevada Ranch Family in Fedgov Face-off

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Tensions are rising and the potential for violence is escalating in Nevada’s Mohave Desert. Last week more than 200 armed federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other agencies, many decked out in camouflage uniforms, descended on the area around Bunkerville, a small town 70 miles northeast of Las Vegas, near Nevada’s borders with Arizona and Utah. According to coverage one is likely to see from the Establishment media, the show of force is necessary to remove Cliven Bundy’s cattle from “public lands” where they are, allegedly, damaging the “fragile” habitat of the protected desert tortoise. That is the story that is being dispensed by the BLM and retailed in most media accounts.

Cliven Bundy (shown) and his family, friends and neighbors, as well as some legal scholars, tell a different story. According to Bundy, whose family has been ranching in the area since the 1800s, the BLM’s armed invasion and occupation of Nevada has nothing to do with protecting the tortoise and everything to do with running him off the land, as it has already done to all of the other ranchers in Clark County. He notes that more than 50 other ranchers have been bankrupted, intimidated, and forced to give up their land and legal property rights. He is, he points out, “the last man standing”; and now that generations of ranching families have been driven out, federal officials have dropped the pretense that it is all about saving the “endangered” tortoise and have actually been killing the reptiles by the hundreds.

Yes, that is true; as reported by the liberal Huffington Post and other media outlets last year, the BLM began “euthanizing” the tortoises, claiming the agency did not have sufficient funds in its budget to manage the habitat. How then, critics point out, can the BLM justify the $1 million or more that it will spend rounding up the Bundy family’s cattle. And if the tortoise habitat is so precious and sensitive that the sparse cattle population — which had co-existed with the turtles for generations — had to be removed, why has the BLM been selling the former ranch land to developers?

The World is Watching

On a closer examination, the case against Cliven Bundy is not the open-and-shut case the federal government, the media, and the environmental activist groups, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, make it out to be. As California State University criminology professor Jason Kissner pointed out in a column for American Thinker yesterday, it is the Obama administration’s BLM and Attorney General Eric Holder that are engaged in “brazen lawlessness.” Federal officials are exploiting the fact that few Americans understand the legal complexities of the “split estate,” “prior appropriation doctrine,” and other principles governing water rights, grazing rights, and other land use/property rights on “public” and private lands, that are different in the arid West than in other parts of the country.

The current battle between the Bundys and the Feds is a replay of the decades-long confrontation between various federal agencies and the late Wayne Hage, the Nevada rancher/liberty activist/scholar who won multiple court victories and landmark decisions against federal overreach. In an interview with The New American in 2002, Hage explained the important legal distinctions that govern property rights in the West, particularly as they apply to so-called public lands.

For years, the Hage family had been subjected to threats, intimidation, and fines, and — like the Bundys — had their cattle illegally confiscated by federal agents. And, as with the Bundys, the Hages were portrayed by the Feds and their compliant media shills as scofflaws and environmental criminals who deserved to be thrown into the slammer. Last year, as we reported, a federal court once again vindicated the Hages, although by that time Wayne Hage and his wife, former Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage, had both passed away six years earlier.

Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada issued a blistering decision that charged officials of the BLM and other agencies with malicious and criminal conduct, and actually engaging in a decades-long “conspiracy” against the Hages.

Judge Jones said he found that “the government and the agents of the government in that locale, sometime in the ’70s and ’80s, entered into a conspiracy, a literal, intentional conspiracy, to deprive the Hages of not only their permit grazing rights, for whatever reason, but also to deprive them of their vested property rights under the takings clause, and I find that that’s a sufficient basis to hold that there is irreparable harm if I don’t ... restrain the government from continuing in that conduct.”

"In the present case,” declared Judge Jones, “the Government's actions over the past two decades shock the conscience of the Court."

The findings of Judge Jones in the Hage case should be borne in mind as tensions mount in Clark County, where the actions of the BLM are shocking the conscience of the entire nation. Thanks to hundreds of the Bundy family’s friends, neighbors, and relatives who are posting videos of the federal “occupation” on social media, as well as the widespread attention being focused on this case by independent media, the actions of the BLM and the Obama administration cannot remain hidden behind the barricades, road blocks, and armed agents.

The angry face-offs between the federal agents and outraged residents and supporters evoke images of the deadly confrontations at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and Waco, Texas in 1993.

Over the past week, federal agents were filmed using tasers against 39-year-old Ammon Bundy, one of Cliven’s sons, setting their K-9 unit dogs on other supporters, and manhandling others, including tackling one of Cliven Bundy’s sisters. Another of Bundy’s sons, Dave Bundy, was arrested and cited for “failing to disperse” and “resisting arrest.” He was reportedly held overnight and released the next day.

(The article continues after the two videos below.)

Cliven Bundy may be the last rancher standing in Nevada’s Clark County, but he and his family are not standing alone; patriots from across the country are rallying to their support. Many are being spurred to do so by the disturbing videos that have gone viral.

“Watching that video last night created a visceral reaction in me,” Arizona state Representative Kelly Townsend, a tea party Republican, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It sounds dramatic, but it reminded me of Tiananmen Square. I don’t recognize my country at this point.”

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-Las Vegas) called the footage “horrifying.”

“I’m highly offended by the feds coming in as aggressively as they have,” Fiore said in an interview with the Review-Journal.

Sheriff Richard Mack, who heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), along with military and police members of Oath Keepers, as well as elected legislators from the states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Washington, are headed to Clark County to stand with the Bundy family. With the growing presence of supporters and the increasing media attention this is causing, hopefully there will be less chance of federal police agencies escalating this standoff into another deadly “Waco” tragedy.

Photo: Cliven Bundy

Related articles:

Federal Judge Rules for Property Rights, Smacks Down Abusive Feds

Judge Blasts Federal Conspiracy; Ranch Family Vindicated — Again!

Huge Win for Property Owners

Remembering a champion: Helen Chenoweth-Hage

15 comments

  • Comment Link Earl Wallace Sunday, 13 April 2014 08:51 posted by Earl Wallace

    To LB, Please also read/compare Acts 10: 9-15 in the KJV, particularly verse 13.

  • Comment Link MemphisMickey Sunday, 13 April 2014 06:51 posted by MemphisMickey

    ""It is not proper to test a law by disobedience to a law. Respect for law must be cultivated as a virtue in a free society. " - MemphisMickey

    Memphis, we are no longer a free society. I think that is the point. Our federal government is the number 1 enemy of our liberty. Our federal government cannot be trusted. You speak of a nation of law? Why is it that our federal government does not abide?" - Dennis

    Dennis, these are all of the words in that post were from the JBS, and I agree with them.

  • Comment Link Tionico Sunday, 13 April 2014 00:50 posted by Tionico

    I've also read from a few different sources found in the past two days that there is a larger project that Bundy's continued use of that land seems to preclude.... seems Harry Reid and two of his sons are deeply involved in a project, ostensibly by a private Chinese company (which do not exist in that communist/socialist state) to install a multi-billion dollar solar generation project on land nearby.... and the land Bundy is using under lawfully acquired grazing rights contracts extending back over a hundred years, is wanted for a "swap" to "mitigate" the "loss" of turtle habitat. But the whole turtle thing is a fabrication (hmm. condors, pelicans, rats, snail darters, spotted owns.. anything sounding familiar?) because BLM have been maintining a sham "shelter" for these "threatened" critters.... but, now they've driven all the other landowners away, Bundy is the only one.. BUT.. they are closing that shelter because of "funding issues" and KILLING the turtles.. the very ones that are supposedly threatened by Bundy's cattle that have been grazing there just fine along with the turtles for 140 years.....if BLM gave a turtle's behind about the turtles, they'd NOT be killing the ones THEY have and, at the same time, driving Bundy off land where they are doing fine. GOvernment man speak with forked tongue..... as per usual.

    SOMEONE needs to get to the bottom of the Reid dynasty's crooked involvement and misuse of strong arm power in this tangled corrupt mess.... and I hope Bundy is the incident that is the undoing of this "elected" monster. He and his lawyer son need to be disbarred, and at least the Harry one needs to be behind bars. At least then he'd have to be done assaulting the rest of us from his highchair on the Senate Floor.

  • Comment Link Tionico Sunday, 13 April 2014 00:41 posted by Tionico

    Memphis Mickey, you said : "Citizens must obey all civil and proper laws that protect life, ". Dead wrong. Remember what happened on 19th April 1775? King George Three send out a passel of soldiers with orders to DISARM the Colonists at Lexington and Concord. This was unlawful He'd already abolished their court system, their legislature, deposed their lawfully elected (per charters signed by his predecessors and yet binding) governor.. and replaced him with a military general, Thomas Gage. The response of the Colonials to this unlawful order? They refused. As they turned to walk calmly and peacefully away, leaving the situation, with arms at rest, nine of them were shot and killed.. at least five of them IN THE BACK. At least half a dozen more were wounded by fire from the British Regulars sent out on the mission, under Colonel Smith. The Redcoats marched on into Concord to seize the arms of the colonials there. What did they do? They FIRED BACK..... then others joined them, and drove those nice red-coated thugs all the way back to Boston, harrying them with withering and accurate gunfire all the way back. Gage lost over a third of his officers that day. The match had been struck three times, and lit fully on the third. The war was on, and our nation was birthed out of that conflict.

    And guess what? Redress of grievance, freedom of speech, press, association, travel, right to arms, freedom from search and/or seizure except under specified situations, right to trial by jury for any criminal or civil issue...... NOWHERE is the principle of blind mindless obedience to ALL laws enshrined in our Constitution. Rule lf LAW is... and what BLM are doing, even their very existence, is contrary to the written text of that binding law.. the Constitution. Don't believe me? Take out your copy and READ it (you DO have one, don't you? If not.. shame on you. Get one and read it. If so, double shame on you for you have no excuse for your utter ignorance. Read it again, try it about six times. It might take that many times for parts of it to sink into your closed mind. I might point your attention in particular to Article One Section Eight... it lists the "enumerated powers", those matters of concern assigned to FedGov. NOTHING BLM or EPA are doing or ever have done is included on that list. Further, find the bit about the lands and facilities FedGov is lawfully permitted to OWN or CONTROL. Find it and read it. Is open range land within the boundary of a state included on the list of "facilities" that can be under FedGov control? Look for it.... and learn something.

  • Comment Link LB Saturday, 12 April 2014 23:08 posted by LB

    To Earl Wallace:

    Genesis 1:29-30
    King James Version (KJV)
    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    THIS is God's original intention. In God's perfect world, NOTHING has to die for another to live.

    In saying that, The Feds need to back off, the land belongs to Budy

  • Comment Link Nora Saturday, 12 April 2014 21:40 posted by Nora

    It'd be nice if a revolution weren't needed, but this country was founded for the very reasons Cliven Bundy is engaging in "civil disobedience". When an oppressive government (King George III) refuses to allow you to address your grievances, and runs rough shod over you to the extent they have him--stealing not only his cows, but the use rights his family has held for over a century--it's time to take a stand. The truth of the matter is that Bundy has the moral high ground. His grazing and water rights were purchased and passed down through the generations of his family, and the feds can't just waltz in and yank those lawfully obtained rights because Harry Reid wants his Chinese communist buddies to plant a field of solar panels on the land Bundy occupies.
    Anyone who blindly obeys unconstitutional laws is likely going to find themselves locked up in a FEMA camp. There is a time to stand up to tyranny, just like there is a time to hit a bully back rather than being a schmuck who just slinks away in fear after taking an undeserved pounding. If you hit first like the BLM has, you should expect to get a black eye from someone with guts, someone who won't lay down like Bundy.

    From our earliest age we're taught to respect authority and cow tow. This is the indoctrination the founding fathers were against. Government is all about force so there's no rest from our efforts to protect our liberties, our property and our very lives since they are busily trying to poison our food, our water and our bodies. We are in a lot more trouble than most people realize, and it's going to be too late if we don't do alot more "Bundy-ing".

  • Comment Link Frank M. Pelteson Saturday, 12 April 2014 09:30 posted by Frank M. Pelteson

    Doesn't anyone understand that this is a test case by our Federal Government under the United Nations Agenda 21? Please go to http://www.jbs.org/issues-pages/stop-agenda-21 and see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTE-3Fl7wgg to understand this issue and what to do about it, once we understand it.

  • Comment Link Dennis Saturday, 12 April 2014 05:11 posted by Dennis

    "It is not proper to test a law by disobedience to a law. Respect for law must be cultivated as a virtue in a free society. " - MemphisMickey

    Memphis, we are no longer a free society. I think that is the point. Our federal government is the number 1 enemy of our liberty. Our federal government cannot be trusted. You speak of a nation of law? Why is it that our federal government does not abide?

  • Comment Link Earl Wallace Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:43 posted by Earl Wallace

    The fact that about 50 other ranchers in this part of Nevada were driven into bankruptcy by EPA and BLM fallacies that made pretenses of protecting endangered turtles to narrow the territories on which cattle could graze should tell us something.

    Read history to see how Stalin, Lenin and Mao Zeong (AKA Mao Tse-tung) starved millions of their nations' peoples by seizing lands as federal property and then forbidding people to grow food and raise livestock on it. You may not want to control people this way, just like you may not want to rob someone else’s house. But we all should be sophisticated enough to acknowledge that just because we would not do bad things to people does not mean that there are not other people out there, including those who work for and make policies on behalf of government, who would do such things.

    Genesis 1: 28 - 31 should inform us that the sustainable movement is a myth. God loves us, and would not tell us to be "fruitful and multiply" unless, as stated, He has provided an incredible multiplication factor in seed that reproduces many plants, fruits and vegetables for each one we consume. Just open a grape or tomato and see how many seeds are in one, each of which can become a thriving plant giving us many, many more of the same.

    The same is true of the animal life God gave us for food. Each animal can reproduce so many more that not only replaces themselves, but produces an abundance of others as well.

    If the federal government really is so concerned with "sustainability," then why does its partner Monsanto make "seedless" fruits (grapes etc...)? Why don't they let the natural food multiplication system that God provides prevail? Why create man-made shortages that will result from "seedless" food?

    If Truth Sets Us Free - What Will Lies do?

  • Comment Link Bill Friday, 11 April 2014 22:29 posted by Bill

    The world isn't watching. The world is snoring. Zzzzzz...this guy has ignored federal court orders going back 15-20 years? GMAFB.

  • Comment Link rock Friday, 11 April 2014 21:41 posted by rock

    MM, so kind of like what happened at Waco and Ruby Ridge, right? You might want to talk to Randy Weaver how that went for him!

  • Comment Link Gary G Wold Friday, 11 April 2014 21:32 posted by Gary G Wold

    All governments are more or less combinations against the people. . .and as rulers have no more virtue than the ruled. . . the power of government can only be kept within its constituted bounds by the display of a power equal to itself, the collected sentiment of the people.-- Benjamin Franklin Bache, in a Phildelphia Aurora editorial 1794
    No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, 1787
    So am I suggesting armed conflict? Absolutely not, but to let this injustice continue unabated is to abdicate our personal responsibility for liberty. The Bundys don't have a period of years for the legislative process to right this wrong, or the time it will take to educate the electorate. "The collected sentiment of the people" must rise up against this tyranny.

  • Comment Link MemphisMickey Friday, 11 April 2014 20:42 posted by MemphisMickey

    Don't you remember Oxford MS 1962 (Oxford_USA 16 mm film), The feds can have 10,000's of guards there in 24 hours

  • Comment Link MemphisMickey Friday, 11 April 2014 19:53 posted by MemphisMickey

    If you jump on someone's truck hood, is that assault?

  • Comment Link MemphisMickey Friday, 11 April 2014 19:50 posted by MemphisMickey

    It is not proper to test a law by disobedience to a law. Respect for law must be cultivated as a virtue in a free society. Moreover, civil disobedience has often been employed as a Communist tactic to induce passage of more restrictive laws and to increase the government’s enforcement powers.
    Citizens must obey all civil and proper laws that protect life, liberty, and property. Questionable laws should be obeyed until they can be legally corrected or repealed by an orderly legislative process. Over a period of years, The John Birch Society has legally blocked passage of many unconstitutional and dangerous measures by exposing them to public scrutiny. And the Birch Society is ambitiously engaged in the lawful process of repealing and rescinding other bad laws, as well as blocking proposals for questionable constitutional amendments.

    Movements calling for the forceful or violent overthrow of our government (including those advocating even the slightest semblance of militant revolt) must be vigorously opposed. Actions of this kind are led either by misguided fools or by our mortal enemies. The problems in Washington stem only from the ignorance or neglect of the people. Neither Congress nor the White House is occupied by forces beyond our power to expose by vigilant, peaceful, and honorable means. Every necessary and lawful mechanism is now in place for expelling the politicians who violate their oaths. Additionally, we have the means for exposing the power that props them up.
    The American people do not need a revolution except in their understanding and fortitude. It would be a serious mistake in strategy not to capitalize on the strength of the system we have inherited and which the enemies of freedom are working so hard to destroy. If Americans today understood the principles of good government and the forces of despotism, our problems would be solved readily through the normal political process. Without this understanding, what hope can there possibly be that freedom could come out of insurrection and revolution?
    With widespread understanding, revolution would be unnecessary — the electorate would empower a constitutionalist Congress followed by the restoration of good government. Without that understanding, particularly of who the good guys and bad guys are, any attempt at rebellion would play into the very hands of those seeking total power.
    Make no mistake about it, the power behind the scenes in Washington would be very pleased to see a violent revolution in America. It would bring about the very conditions under which that real enemy could surface and openly take full dictatorial control. As the JBS educational army advances, members and friends must not be tricked into employing methods having even so much as the semblance of anarchy, violence, or force.

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