The Attempted Self-Martyrdom of A Welfare Rancher

In the Guardian‘s scrupulously fairminded reporting:

Cliven Bundy, the last remaining cattleman in southern Nevada, mobilized hundreds of sympathizers on Saturday to his “range war” in Bunkerville, Nevada, after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rounded-up nearly 400 of his cows which were grazing on protected land.

For 20 years Bundy, the 68-year-old patriarch of a family of 14, has defied federal regulators by refusing to pay grazing fees and ignoring court orders to relocate his herd, insisting he has a “preemptive” right because his Mormon ancestors worked the land decades before the BLM was established…

The heavily armed crowd rallied under a banner that read “Liberty Freedom For God We Stand”. Camouflaged militiamen stood at attention, communicating with earpieces. Most had signs, many of which chided “government thugs”…

Moments later, Deputy Chief Tom Roberts, of Las Vegas Metro, diffused the situation by delivering the announcement that Cliven Bundy’s cattle would be returned within 30 minutes. Responding to the Ammon Bundy’s demand that the BLM stand down, Roberts said: “I’m getting them out of here. That’s why I’m here.”…

David Damore, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas political science professor, told the Guardian: “This goes back to the days of the Sagebrush Rebellion, where essentially the idea is that ‘this is our land, not the federal government’s land.’”

“The federal government owns 85% of Nevada,” Damore added. “It’s an ongoing fight. The related issue is that you have a great ability on the part of these folks to overlook the reality of how much the federal government subsidized Nevada in terms of big projects – the Hoover Dam, the mining subsidies. It’s a welfare cowboy mindset.”…

If you prefer your craziness curated at a safe remove, Roy Edroso at the Village Voice has done his usual excellent job rounding up the details and the usual suspects:

This weekend a scofflaw gathered some gunmen and drove off some federal agents who were trying to confiscate his property.

Rightbloggers approved for several reasons. For one, the scofflaw is a rancher, just like Ronald Reagan; for another, there is an environmental angle, which always makes them mad, and a Harry Reid angle, which makes them apoplectic; and perhaps most importantly, the scofflaw refuses to acknowledge the authority of the federal government, which puts him right in the emerging mainstream of conservative doctrine…

It seems unlikely that the feds will just let this go, but until the (hopefully less dramatic) resolution of the case, many rightbloggers are celebrating the capitulation as a blow against their new idea of an Evil Empire, namely their own country…

I’m guessing the government chose to let the bold patriots run their muck, this time, because it’s the season when tax resistance talk is the loudest, the Minutemen are invoked by people who’d been staunch Tories back in the day, and the smoke from the Waco siege hangs in the rightwing zeitgeist. (Also, a certain birthday, cue Frazier Glenn Cross Miller.) Clive Bundy (father of 14) is not used to hearing the word ‘no’, but if the Wikipedia entry is any guide, even his fellow Mormons are somewhat embarrassed to be associate with what passes him for legal reasoning. The danger, as always, is not one stubborn old man who thinks he’s entitled to do as he damned well chooses, it’s the Wingnut Wurlitzer that uses his parasitic actions as an attention-grabber. To quote Mr. Charles P. Pierce:

Not to put too fine a point on it but, one day, Sean Hannity, or someone very much like him, is going to help get somebody killed. Back in 2005, Hannity, and a lot of someones very much like him, ginned up a mob during the Terri Schiavo situation in Florida… Over the weekend, Hannity, and a lot of someones just like him, were at it again

In the states, the Republican party has embraced the traditional historical basis for this movement, having actively discussed — and, in some cases, tried to implement — the doctrine of nullification. This, of course, was the fundamental theoretical basis for the greatest act of sedition of all time, and one for which too many people seem overly nostalgic these days… [T]here is a powerful and loud right-wing media infrastructure at the disposal of the people peddling this constitutional poison. Americans For Prosperity jumped right on the Bundy case. Of course, AFP — and the Koch brothers who fund it — isn’t in this for airy philosophical debates on the role of government. They’re in it to break the control of the federal government over the lands that they want to exploit for their own profit, and they are willing to help engage the single most destructive political theory in the country’s history to help them do it. It is reckless and dangerous, and anybody who gets used by these people is a sap. And useful idiots, like Sean Hannity and all the someones like him, are going to get somebody killed behind this stuff.

89 replies
  1. 1
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Mr. Pierce is wrong. Sean Hannity and, even more, Bill O’Reilly have already gotten someone killed: George Tiller.

  2. 2
    Keith G says:

    … Cliven Bundy, the last remaining cattleman in southern Nevada, mobilized hundreds of sympathizers on Saturday to his “range war” in Bunkerville, Nevada

    Surely in some arms depot somewhere, there are one or two napalm bombs that were not destroyed. I couldn’t think of many better uses than to apply a bit of heat to a militia encampment.

    “I love the smell of crispy patriots in the morning.”

  3. 3
    Walker says:

    insisting he has a “preemptive” right because his Mormon ancestors worked the land decades before the BLM was established

    And the Native Americans were working it before that. Property rights don’t work that way. This moocher needs a good case of asset seizure.

  4. 4
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Walker:

    This moocher needs a good case of asset seizure.

    They tried.

    And they’re such a brave lot.

    “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front,” Mack said in a Fox News clip pulled by The Blaze. “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

    I’m telling you. These gun nuts are the biggest fucking cowards in this country.

  5. 5
    beth says:

    I heard this guy on Glenn Beck’s radio show today. Maybe it’s just been a long tiring weekend but he sounded old, confused and senile. Beck and his buddies were actually pushing back on his bullshit. When you’re too crazy for Glenn Beck, maybe it’s time to rethink your position.

  6. 6
    RepubAnon says:

    Given the drought conditions, I’d guess the feds will wait until the water’s gone. Alternatively, why not start placing liens on the cattle, the ranch, and this guy’s other assets? If he can’t sell the cattle, he’ll go away eventually.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    Thanks for link to The Guardian, which had much better explanation of history of the situation than any story I’ve seen from the U.S. press. Apparently the land has been in the family for generations, but he suddenly realized that he didn’t have to pay fees to a bureau of the federal government that owned and administered the land as a territory long before his precious state and county existed. OK doky, sure, fella. Then said deadbeat decides he can send his deadbeat cows any damn place he pleases.

    I assume that some day soon, this deadbeat and criminal will be rounded up, jailed nice a cozy, and put on trial, when likelihood of some one getting hurt is much lower.

    I noticed this item at TPM today.

    Bundy Ranch ‘Militia’ Considered Using Women As Human Shield
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....man-shield

  8. 8
    RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual says:

    @Keith G:
    This. All of this.

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    String this wingnut up by his balls and call in a drone strike on his militia/KKK followers.

  10. 10
    some guy says:

    Cliven Bundy is a thief who steals from all of us. and the armed rightwing nuts are cheering him on. thievery, the new Obamacare

  11. 11
    jl says:

    Hey wait a minute. I read someplace that this guy’s family owned the farm since the 1870s. But Nevada was admitted as a state in 1864,

    By that standard, some of the farms in my extended family should be all sovereign citizen bullcrap. Hope my teabagger contingent doesn’t get any ideas from this story.

    And in Wikipedia article on Bureau of Land Management, I see this:

    ” As additional lands were acquired by the United States from Spain, France and other countries, the United States Congress directed that they be explored, surveyed, and made available for settlement. In 1812, Congress established the General Land Office in the Department of the Treasury to oversee the disposition of these federal lands.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.....Management

    The Current BLM is the result of the merger of the General Land Office with other agencies.

    I don’t think this guy’s ownership goes back to 1812,

    Edit: I suspect the news item where this deadbeat and scofflaw is taken into custody while tooling around some NV cow town in his truck will be very obscure.

  12. 12
    Mike G says:

    In summary, a guy on welfare demands more free stuff from the government.
    But he reminds right-wing rageaholic simpletons of John Wayne, so it’s cool to them.

  13. 13
    some guy says:

    why are so many of the heroes of the Right white male deadbeats?

  14. 14
    Kyle says:

    @beth:

    I heard this guy on Glenn Beck’s radio show today. Maybe it’s just been a long tiring weekend but he sounded old, confused and senile.

    Beck, or the rancher?
    Either way, that’s Beck’s core audience.

  15. 15
    Hill Dweller says:

    All the wingnuts/Republicans have been pursuing nullification to some degree since January 2009.

    Somewhat related, here is an article about Sally Jewell’s(Interior Secretary) inability to get her team confirmed in the Senate. The Republicans have used every damn trick they know to prevent Obama’s nominees from being confirmed. This level of obstructionism has never happened in the Senate, but you won’t hear a damn thing about it in the MSM.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    Methinks this sets a bad, BAD precedent. The RWNJs now just mobile an armed posse to intimidate the locals into overlooking their malfeasance? This cannot end well.

  17. 17
    Linnaeus says:

    “Welfare cowboy”. I like that.

  18. 18
    🌷 Martin says:

    @jl:

    I read someplace that this guy’s family owned the farm since the 1870s. But Nevada was admitted as a state in 1864,

    He doesn’t own the land and never owned the land. His family used the land since the 1880s, but BLM never charged grazing fees until that fucking socialist Reagan instituted them in 1986. He paid the fees until 1993, at which point he stopped, because gibberish. 1993 was Waco, which I think is a remarkable coincidence.

  19. 19
    Jane2 says:

    I can’t wait to see all the wingers out in force on behalf of Nebraska farmers when the feds move in to take land for the XL pipeline.

  20. 20
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Punchy: It’s fine. A shootout on I-15 would have been worse. The Feds are not going to drop this, they’re just going to act when things are less likely to involve innocent people getting shot.

  21. 21
    Honus says:

    @jl: doesn’t matter if his ownership does go back to 1812. The constitution these nitwits are so fond of invoking says this:

    “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”

    This thing is over but not the way the wingnuts think. They will go home to go back to work in a couple days. Bundy is pretty well screwed. Now he has possession of the cows, but not title. He can not sell the calves, as he usually would this time of year, because we own them. He can not borrow against the herd (at a Federally Chartered Bank.) His bank accounts have been seized, as have any other portable assets, to satisfy the judgment against him. He has no assets and no income.

    That many cows require cowboys. Other than family members, the rest were probably Mexicans. They would not stay around once the cameras showed up.

    What we are seeing is yet another collapse of an American agricultural enterprise. The BLM does not need to do anything but stand by and watch. This guy was not able to manage the substantial Federal subsidy that was given him. He is generating political noise because he has failed, and will not accept it. It had to be someone else’s fault.

  22. 22
    amk says:

    @Punchy: Me too. Wish the feds had let this play out without using overt force. I bet these thugs wouldn’t have lasted a day.

  23. 23
    GregB says:

    The wingnuts have changed since Bush the Junior was in office.

    Back then it was Support our troops, now it is support our troops so you can get a better shot at them.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    Last remaining cattleman? Let’s hear it for extinction of the breed. Also may explain why certain Mormon patriarchs are really into multiple wives. They’re essentially cannon fodder and bullet absorbers that do laundry in the interim.

  25. 25
    Tim C. says:

    1993 was also when the clenis started some very modest reforms at BLM that among other things raised fees to something slightly closer to what it cost the Feds to care for the land. Care for being a very loose notion. If you want the whole sorry saga just google “sacred cows at the public trough”

  26. 26
    Scamp Dog says:

    I decided to get off the boat and head over to National Review Online. The main page seems to be studiously avoiding the story, but it did show up on The Corner. The NRO-staffer written blurb was fairly straightforward about the events, noting that the BLM had backed off on seizing the rancher’s cattle, but not drawing any conclusions on the justice or injustice of the situation.

    The comments, though, were a combination of cluelessness, obtuseness and bizarre speculation. Some of them seem to be convinced that this is about Harry Reid getting the rancher’s land for his “Chinese friends” to use for some nefarious solar energy generation plot. Hmm, I thought it was about some bozo not paying grazing fees on Federally-owned land.

    There was also some discussion about how it’s not really Federal land unless the Feds bought it from the state of Nevada. I don’t seem to recall Nevada being one of the original 13 colonies, but my thoughts about the Feds creating Nevada the state from some territories must be some confused, liberal, unconstitutional nonsense.

  27. 27
    efgoldman says:

    The BLM agents that impounded the cattle weren’t armed (with firearms.) It made the retreat sensible. But next time I expect they’ll send the Marshall’s service and/or the FBI along. Those guys carry real guns.
    They’re also very patient. Look how long they waited for these clowns, who are going to be in the slammer for a good long time…

    Edward Lewis Brown (born 1942) and his wife, Elaine Alice Brown (born c. 1940), residents of the state of New Hampshire, gained national news media attention in early 2007 for not paying the U.S. federal income tax and for refusing to surrender to federal government agents after having been convicted of tax crimes.[1] After the conviction and sentencing, a long, armed standoff with federal law enforcement authorities at their New Hampshire residence ended with the arrest of Edward and Elaine Brown on October 4, 2007.[2][3][4] In July 2009, while serving their sentences for the tax crimes, the Browns were found guilty by a federal district court jury of additional criminal charges arising from their conduct during the standoff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....aine_Brown

  28. 28
    elmo says:

    @Honus:

    Have his bank accounts been seized? Because I hadn’t read that, but to me that’s the way to go. Get a court order against his bank. Get a court order attaching his cattle, so if he does try to sell them, the money goes to the feds. Direct physical confrontation is so 19th century.

  29. 29
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Honus: Well, I’m somewhat sympathetic to the small farmer/rancher. It’s damn hard to succeed against large corporate farms/ranches (the largest cattle ranch in the US is owned by the LDS Church, so, that also hurts) and I don’t blame them for being bitter about that, but such is the cost of devout worship of the church of capitalism.

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @scav:

    “Last remaining cattleman?”

    IIRC from Guardian story, last remaining cattleman in that part of NV. Plenty of cattle ranches in northern and central NV, which are not as dry as southern part..

    And, thanks to commenters above for clarifying the ownership issue.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    David Damore, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas political science professor, told the Guardian: “This goes back to the days of the Sagebrush Rebellion, where essentially the idea is that ‘this is our land, not the federal government’s land.’”

    You know, fuck you guys. You didn’t kill, drive off or beat down the Indians and Mexicans who lived there before, the U.S. Cavalry did. By rights the entire Far West should be federal government territory (insofar as an act of ethnic cleansing can lead to a discussion of “rights”).

    ETA: okay, Texas and California technically “freed” themselves, but the rest of the territory? Over to the feds!

  32. 32
    jl says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    ” but my thoughts about the Feds creating Nevada the state from some territories must be some confused, liberal, unconstitutional nonsense. ”

    The Northwest Ordinances were commie infiltration unconstitutional by Obama in his time machine. Everyone knows that.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    I’m guessing the government chose to let the bold patriots run their muck, this time, because it’s the season when tax resistance talk is the loudest, the Minutemen are invoked by people who’d been staunch Tories back in the day, and the smoke from the Waco siege hangs in the rightwing zeitgeist.

    Well, that and etiquette states that white conservative protesters will be afforded every courtesy regardless of how much they may misbehave (see also assault weapons at town hall rallies and/or disrupting said rallies by gathering at the front and chanting anti-Obamacare slogans over and over while other people actually want to ask questions).

  34. 34
    some guy says:

    he is stealing from us. all of us. we the people. these are our lands, and for 20 years this welfare cowboy has been stealing from us by not paying the fees to graze his cattle on our land. what part of ‘he is stealing from you and me” is unclear to the wingnuts?

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @efgoldman: As I said, I suspect this clown will be picked up one day while swanking his sovereign citizen ass out of a hardware store, or something similar.

    Edit: or out of fertilizer store, would be more fitting. Hope they nab him then.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    He paid the fees until 1993, at which point he stopped, because gibberish. 1993 was Waco the year Clinton came into office, which I think is a remarkable coincidence.

    FTFY.

  37. 37
    🌷 Martin says:

    @elmo: If he’s a proper sovereign citizen, he won’t have a bank account. He’ll work in cash, and if memory serves, cattle auctions are usually cash affairs. He’ll probably not need to leave his home for supplies – relying on someone else to do that for him. I imagine many of the militia guys will stay with him, because what the fuck else do they have to do?

    Arresting him likely won’t be easy. They were probably seizing the cattle because it was the only asset they could seize.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    @elmo: There are good cattlemen, but that little bit of guard color amused me. Would gleefully sip a glass of leftist Chablis to the last of his breed. Stuff him and put him in a gallery next to the lamented passenger pigeons and dodos for contrast.

  39. 39
    GregB says:

    By the way, have we ever gotten to the bottom of the New Black Panther scandal when they were horribly intimidating white people with a menacingly wielded nightstick?

    That kind of violent threatening should not be tolerated.

  40. 40
    cbear says:

    Hmm, so does this mean that if we bring a cow and an AR-15 to the next Occupy protest on public property we’ll have the support of the gooper base?

    Hell, throw in a sheep, an intern, a hooker, some diapers, and a couple of Bibles and we’ll have the establishment goopers behind us too.

  41. 41
    some guy says:

    @GregB:

    if only the New Black Panther Party decided that grazing cattle on our lands, free of charge, was a good publicity and promotion tactic. fuck BLM, there is some awesome Forest Service land ready, willing, and able to be Occupied

    never too late

  42. 42
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Punchy: yes and no. It would not be good to give them another ruby ridge martyr on April 15 or thereabouts. Also, it’s not like blm is not exactly armed. I have no need for BLM rangers to lose their lives over this. But I would not be opposed to shooting his cattle.

    But, chinese wind farm debunked, they’ve moved on to Harry Reid’s Chicago style land grab and DOD rare earth mining as the cause. This is not going to go away.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    @cbear: Wall Street was named after a wall to keep the cattle from wandering, no? Any long-term native New Yorkers available to maintain a traditional way of life? Boston Commons seems to have been a pasture too.

  44. 44
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @some guy: The part where everybody knows that g*d fearin’ Christianist white guys who look like them don’t never steal from them and would never ever ever take welfare.

  45. 45
    coin operated says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    But, chinese wind farm debunked, they’ve moved on to Harry Reid’s Chicago style land grab and DOD rare earth mining as the cause. This is not going to go away.

    This.
    Anything to take away from the fact that this man is ignoring a federal judges order. Federal judges do not like to be ignored…

  46. 46
    jl says:

    Then there is the guy who shot up the Jewish community center and rest home. I read someplace the two people he killed in the community center were Methodists.

    Turns out that TPM interviewed the shooter several years ago while investigating another story

    Holy Crap, We Interviewed Frazier Glenn Miller

    ” …we were interested in Miller because he was an associate and supporter of Kevin Harpham, the man behind the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. parade bombing in Spokane, Washington. Miller, on the other hand, was mainly interested in whether our reporter was Jewish (Reilly? really?) and whether he thought Ron Paul was being mistreated by the mainstream media. ”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/e.....enn-miller

    Emphasis added. Edit: the TIM reporter’s last name was Reilly.

  47. 47
    muddy says:

    I was watching some of this BS today. I was a little confused about how they were simultaneously shouting about the Constitution and saying there was no federal government, only county sheriffs. Along the lines of keeping gov’t out of their Medicare I suppose.

    This Sovereign Citizen shit is just silly. If they want to be that then they should be outlaw, and real citizens could legally take potshots at them. Just a flesh wound!

  48. 48
    danielx says:

    Sort of makes me wonder how all those cattlemen in other parts of Nevada survive if those fees are all that onerous. Which in turn makes me think that at least some of those other guys are now thinking “hey, if ol’ Bundy can just say he’s not gonna pay and he gets away with it, why can’t I? Screw the feds, etc…”. This would probably fall under the heading of hoping that armed wingnuts are going to show up at every ranch home every time there’s a dispute with the BLM. And, further, that said feds are going to back off, which may or not be the case. Times past when something like this has come up, the usual federal reaction has been raising the ante to the point of overkill. If there are fifty demonstrators (or co-conspirators as the feds would look at them), bring in a hundred agents; if a hundred demonstrators, double the number of agents and so on. Crank it up a notch or three if demonstrators/wingnuts are armed.

    Next act: wingnuts claiming that the government’s failure to collect its’ claim against Bundy proves – proves conclusively, I tell you! – that this is just one more proof of the Obama/Holder DO(in)J’s persistent reluctance to obey and enforce the law*. Yes. Making a temporary retreat from armed wingnuts in order to avoid a bloodbath, with those same wingnuts defending a nutcase who is in defiance of the law; well, this constitutes a serious violation of something by Obama and his minions, which violation the very same wingnuts should regard as totally criminal. While getting to celebrate having totally dissed the feds – this is a win/win if there ever was one!

    *If you seek intellectual consistency, seek it not in the company of those who wear tricorne hats.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @danielx: Other parts of NV not nearly as dry as southern end. Lots of cattle around Trukee basin, with water from Lake Tahoe (which I learned on a trip some years ago, was raised a few feet long ago to provide irrigation and pasture for areas around Reno and Carson City). A number of little watersheds in northern part of state with usually enough moisture for some meadows, stands of aspen, willow, pine, etc.

    Edit: nice little museum at northeast corner of Lake Tahoe where the dam is, you can see Native American artifacts and some info about the dam. Some kind of underwater viewing thing for fish, etc.

  50. 50
    burnspbesq says:

    Anyone want to bet that this guy ends up doing time for tax evasion?

  51. 51
    Bonnie says:

    As far as I am concerned, his cattle are grazing on Indian land and the fee should be paid to the Indians from whom the land was stolen.

  52. 52
    dww44 says:

    @Scamp Dog: Re this:

    Some of them seem to be convinced that this is about Harry Reid getting the rancher’s land for his “Chinese friends” to use for some nefarious solar energy generation plot. Hmm, I thought it was about some bozo not paying grazing fees on Federally-owned land.

    Clue the Newsmax headline up right: “Harry Reid’s son tied to firm seeking land in Nevada standoff”

  53. 53
    xenos says:

    As someone mentioned above, just shoot the cattle. They are trespassing animals causing property damage, and the owner of the land has the right to destroy them without notice or compensation.

    One cow, one bullet.

  54. 54
    sm*t cl*de says:

    He can not borrow against the herd (at a Federally Chartered Bank.)
    Venison ranchers find themselves in this situation all the time — not having a stag to lend on.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sm*t cl*de: You are a very bad person and will have a great karmic burden to work off.

  56. 56
    Steeplejack says:

    Jesus H. Pulitzer on a stick, copyediting is dead.

    Moments later, Deputy Chief Tom Roberts, of Las Vegas Metro, diffused defused the situation by delivering the announcement that Cliven Bundy’s cattle would be returned within 30 minutes.

  57. 57
    opiejeanne says:

    @scav: the Dutch built the wall to keep the English out, but Native Americans were welcome.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav:

    Boston Commons seems to have been a pasture too.

    That was basically the point of a Commons. Land held in common by the community for grazing.

  59. 59
    Steeplejack says:

    Anecdata from the front:

    For what it’s worth, both my mother and my brother, who live in Las Vegas, think Bundy is a chiseling dickhead, and they are pretty hard-right Fox News types. But they are outdoorsy hikers and campers, and they don’t like how much the cattle damage the land. So it’s mainly that his brand of crazy is not their brand of crazy. But I talked to my mother a few days ago, and she was adamant that by no means are all “conservatives” on Bundy’s side, even in Nevada.

  60. 60
    feebog says:

    @GregB:

    Hmm, so does this mean that if we bring a cow and an AR-15 to the next Occupy protest on public property we’ll have the support of the gooper base?

    Hell, throw in a sheep, an intern, a hooker, some diapers, and a couple of Bibles and we’ll have the establishment goopers behind us too.

    Hell, might as well go the full Monty and throw in two wetsuits and a dildo.

  61. 61
    Scott Alloway says:

    @sm*t cl*de: Well done. I love your humor.

  62. 62
    cbear says:

    @feebog: Yeah, I thought about adding the wetsuits and dildo, but I think we can do without Huckabee and his buddies trying to co-opt the movement.

  63. 63
    srv says:

    @feebog: Whenever there was an anti-Putin protest during the ‘elections,’ someone would deploy a flying dildo-copter or dildo-balloon when opposition leaders spoke.

    IDK why someone isn’t using one of those here.

  64. 64
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Cow Based Occupations with references to the tragedy of the commons. mmmm. Should we drag in some Buffalo too? Bovine-based flash-herds is probably a kinder mental vision of justice than the siege-based shunning I was drifting toward: here’s your bootstraps, what’s your hurry? It’s not like they need their waterways or airwaves or interstate commerce or financial infrastructure. . . . Clearly, a bout of Angry Cows would be better for my Dharma.

    Odd too how all my enclosure / loss of commons mental hooks are so England-based. Maybe because I associate it so much with the open-field system?

  65. 65
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Steeplejack:
    That’s one of the few that really makes me crazy.

  66. 66
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Seconded.

  67. 67
    La Gata Gris says:

    Funny thing about these wildeyed armed wingnuts – they’ll come screeching in to defend an arrogant white Mormon rancher, but never said a peep a few years ago when the Dann sisters ran into problems with the BLM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....arrie_Dann

    The difference: The Dann’s are Shoshone. This band of Shoshone only have one ratified treaty with the US – a peace treaty that gave no land cessions. So the BLM doesn’t have legal title really to Shoshone land. But, curiously, the wingnuts were not and are not there to defend the Shoshone. Isn’t that curious?

  68. 68
    Denny says:

    Wasn’t “Welfare Cowboy” a Glen Campbell song?

  69. 69
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    …but BLM never charged grazing fees until that fucking socialist Reagan instituted them in 1986.

    The federal government has been charging grazing fees since 1906. Reagan’s 1986 executive order simply extended the use of the equation which was applied to determine the rates of the fees.

  70. 70
    Tehanu says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Sean Hannity and, even more, Bill O’Reilly have already gotten someone killed: George Tiller.

    Damn straight. These Nevada yahoos deserve whatever the BLM manages to do to them — but Hannity (in particular) deserves much worse than that. There’s no punishment too bad for those who encourage others to commit murder and mayhem while pretending to be “objective.”

  71. 71
    Fred says:

    Hey, if it’s OK to graze cattle for free I should be able to set up a gee-gaw stand on say, the Washington Mall, Statue of Liberty, etc. Why should the Gubmint be able to tell ME where I can make money? Not that I think US printed paper currency is legitimate but still I would like to have some.

    Hey, is it necessary to put a little winky face on here so everybody knows I’m being snarky. It’s hard to keep up with how far it’s all gone to hell anymore.

  72. 72
    Flatlander says:

    @Denny: Yeah. I looked up the lyrics for you.

    “Welfare Cowboy”

    I’ve been walkin’ these streets so long
    Singin’ the same old song
    I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of K Street
    Where hustle’s the name of the game
    And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain
    There’s been a load of compromisin’
    On the road to my horizon
    But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

    Like a welfare cowboy
    Trotting out my bull on a star-spangled Sunday show
    Like a welfare cowboy
    Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know
    And offers comin’ over the phone

    Well, I really don’t mind the rain
    And a smile can hide all the pain
    But you’re down when you’re ridin’ the train
    That’s takin’ the long way
    And I dream of the things I’ll do
    With a check from Fox News and the Heritage Foundation too
    There’ll be a load of compromisin’
    On the road to my horizon
    But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

    Like a welfare cowboy
    Trotting out my bull on a star-spangled Sunday show
    Welfare cowboy
    Gettin’ cards and letters from people I don’t even know
    And offers comin’ over the phone

    Like a welfare cowboy
    Trotting out my bull in a star-spangled Sunday show

    Like a rhinestone cowboy
    Gettin’ card and letters from people I don’t even know….

  73. 73
    The Dude says:

    At least they took away this moocher’s t-bones.

  74. 74
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @jl: Huh… I know some people with a farm in the next town over whose family has been running the place since 1642. Time for them to hole up with some AR-15s, I guess!

  75. 75
    AxelFoley says:

    This sumbitch claiming ancestral ownership? The fuckin’ gall.

    How about the Native American tribes who’d been on those lands for centuries before that bastard’s family moved there?

  76. 76
    debbie says:

    @Tehanu:

    Listening to Hannity last night, he was twisting himself into pretzels to support the nonsense being spewed by this ignoramus.

  77. 77
    Paul in KY says:

    @🌷 Martin: Their women are stupid too, if they agreed with that tactic.

  78. 78
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Paul in KY: it’s an awful tactic. If i were the swat team leader, I would be happy the children were separated from the armed bandits. The problem with Waco was that the children were inside the compound.

  79. 79
    JGabriel says:

    @some guy:

    why are so many of the heroes of the Right white male deadbeats?

    Lack of other options.

    @🌷 Martin:

    He paid the fees until 1993, at which point he stopped, because gibberish. 1993 was Waco, which I think is a remarkable coincidence.

    I’m thinking maybe the feds just burned the wrong ranch.

  80. 80
    libarbarian says:

    Should have sent in a drone to incinerate the trash with a Hellfire missile.

  81. 81
    boatboy_srq says:

    This sounds like something straight out of Silverado. Both sides of it. We have McKendrick grazing cattle wherever he pleases, and we have Cleese’s sheriff insisting “Today, my jurisdiction ends here.”

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    As a native american this pisses me off beyond belief. Hell we lost this argument with the feds back in the early 1800’s…and if MY people aint using the land for free aint no goddamned way no fucking stupid mormon fucking cracker going to. I expect a couple busloads of natives from nevada and arizona could bring some needed perspective to this argument.

  83. 83
    Penus says:

    Part of the reason the government agencies back off on stuff like this is because of memories of Waco and Ruby Ridge. But another part of it is that the right-wing victimization machine goes into overdrive if you even hint that such a thing as a right-wing terrorist might exist.

    Remember the Homeland Security report on the rise of right-wing terrorism that Fox News shit its pants about? Thing is, the report was absolutely right. There IS an increased risk from right-wing extremists, and what makes it even more dangerous is that our state of constant war means that a lot of them have military training. Add in the continued loosening of gun laws and you have an extremely dangerous situation.

  84. 84
    Heliopause says:

    the federal government subsidized Nevada in terms of big projects – the Hoover Dam, the mining subsidies. It’s a welfare cowboy mindset

    Which leaves aside the biggest federal government subsidy of them all; the ethnic cleansing of the land.

  85. 85
    Bugboy says:

    “…because his Mormon ancestors worked the land decades before the BLM was established…”

    Fine. If we buy that nonsense, then he owes a few decades in back taxes.

    I bet he would be singing a different tune about that?

  86. 86
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    @Steeplejack: came here to note that.

  87. 87
    moderateindy says:

    So let’s say just for a moment that it isn’t the Feds land, but is owned by the state of Nevada. I imagine that Nevada would probably want the exact same fees that this idiot refuses to pay, if not higher ones. Of course these wingnuts probably don’t recognize the states big gubmint authority either, and think only the county should be in charge. Living in Cook County, I would advise that they be careful what they wish for, as counties have no problem assessing fees for dang near anything.

  88. 88
    BobT says:

    @Steeplejack: Hmmm… I think diffused works too- as in “He diffused the federal agents” or “He diffused the situation into something resembling a fogbank”.

  89. 89
    MissScarlettInTheLibrary says:

    Lets say the guy does owe the money… What about the fifty-something other ranchers that did pay and were kicked out of there? The whole thing is about big political corruption- land grabs, water rights, and minerals. Nothing about turtles. I suggest you look into rare earth minerals, a mining company called molycorp and connection between lobbyists, govt. officials and the Chinese. They might not be planting a solar project directly on Bundy’s property, but they want to have access to the ENTIRE area for development of all these resources.

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