Monday, April 28, 2014

Cliven Bundy...

Cliven Bundy...  I haven't said anything about this incident because I was completely uncertain what the heck was going on.  Some time has gone by now, and it looks to me like most of the salient facts are public.  They are:
  • Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, ran his cattle on BLM land
  • BLM charges a fee for this privilege, which Bundy didn't pay for 10 years
  • Bundy refuses to recognize federal ownership of that BLM land
  • Bundy claims “ancestral rights” to graze on that land, a privilege non-existent under long-standing U.S. law
  • Bundy made (and continues to make) overtly racist comments in a public setting, instantly causing his (mostly libertarian or conservative) supporters to backpedal like mad
  • the Desert Tortoise, listed as endangered, is native on that land
  • Harry Reid and his relatives have no personal interest in the land Bundy was using, breathless Internet reports and Harry Reid's unsavoriness notwithstanding
  • the BLM decided to take action to evict Bundy from its land; the reasons for its timing are unclear
  • the BLM used massive, near-military force to seize Bundy's cattle
  • the BLM unilaterally suspended ordinary civil rights (such as the freedom of speech) in the process of its eviction
I think the main problem with all this is the last two bullet points and the simple fact that the federal government owns so much land in the west.  The former is simply inexcusable, and the latter is already under pressure through normal legislative and political means.  Dave Carter, writing at Ricochet, says it much better than I can...

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