Thursday, April 10, 2014


From the video below: Who has the AR's and the body armor? I think we know the answer to that question. In any case, this is happens when people without tasers stand up to people with tasers.

Is this what Waco would have looked like with protesters? (Note: the video is not work friendly.)

Cliven Bundy is a rancher in Clark County, Nevada. The shortest version of how we got here is that Bundy has allowed his cows to graze on land that the federal Bureau of Land Management (the agency/bureau that the people in the video refer to as "BLM") deemed to be restricted for the sake of reviving the population of an endangered animal (some kind of desert tortoise). Bundy claims—and no one is disputing—that Bundy and his family have been allowing their cattle to graze on the land since well before the restrictions were put in place. As such, both Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management are claiming that Bundy owes "fees" for his use of the land*—Bundy acknowledges owing $300,000, whereas and the Bureau of Land Management indicates that he owes upwards of one million dollars.

Bundy does not appear to have any intention of paying the fees.

So now we will see (if anyone at a mainstream media outlet cares to share it) what happens when someone stands up to the state. What will happen? Cliven Bundy will be dealt with in the only way the government knows how to deal with dissent: if he will not comply voluntarily, he will be compelled to do so with violence. His cattle will be stolen or slaughtered. His property will no longer be his, whether it is stolen outright or he is legislated out of existence. His life will be turned upside down. He or the people around him will be harmed physically. Death is even a possibility—if only one could ask the people who died at the Branch Davidien compound in Waco, Texas how that worked outand for what?

To answer that question, consider the bolded statement above: Bundy and his family have been allowing their cattle to graze on the land since well before the restrictions were in place. Again, no one appears to be disputing that. What Bundy and his family were doing was completely legal. Then it was made illegal. By continuing to do what was once legal, Bundy became a de facto criminal—the "fees" that he owes clearly demonstrate this. As the action in question is how Bundy supports himself and his family, his legitimate way of making a living was made illegitimate by the stroke of someone's pen.

And that is why the men with the guns are showing up to round up Bundy's cattle. Will it end there? For most people, the whole incident never mattered anyway—Bundy broke the law! Why should I care if he suffers? For Bundy, his life will probably change to the point that this may never end. But where does it end for the rest of us—the non-criminals?

It doesn't take much imagination to understand that we no longer live with a government which seeks to protect one group of people from another group of people. We now live with a government which seeks only to protect itself from the same people it claims to protect. When our legal actions are made illegal and the government agencies with the guns show up to round up those who refused to pay their "fees", the guns which are now pointed at men like Cliven Bundy will one day be pointed at the likes of you and me. And at that point, who will care for us?

Prohibition. The ever-changing laws regarding subjects ranging from marijuana to gun ownership. Executive Order 6102, which—at one timeoutlawed the private ownership of gold. In the next few years, we'll see the enforcement of fine payments for those who refuse to purchase health insurance required by the Affordable Care Act. What would you do if your way of living was made illegal tomorrow? It's all fun and games when the government puts the gun to someone else's head, but if no one stands for Cliven Bundy now, then the powers that decimate his life will continue to gain momentum until we all suffer their effects. Once a government can't afford to treat foreigners as terrorists, it won't be fun for those it can afford to prosecute.

* As an side, doesn't the existence of a "fee" seem to imply that the desert tortoise can repopulate as long as Bundy pays to share the area with them? Surely there is more to that, but it does bring to mind the federal governments approach of "if one woman can make one baby in nine months, we'll have nine women make a baby in one month." It doesn't make sense, but it is what it is.