Bryan Hyde: My Visit to the Bundy Ranch

Cliven Bundy

By Bryan Hyde

I’ve been a longtime friend of Cliven Bundy’s son Ryan and I took the opportunity to visit him yesterday. I’ll admit that my heart rate picked up as I was headed toward the Bundy Ranch yesterday afternoon. I had seen the photos of the federal sharpshooters and Bureau of Land Management agents as they threatened and intimidated unarmed members of the Bundy family earlier this week . . .

I watched the video of David Bundy following his release from custody after being arrested for taking video outside of a ‘First Amendment Zone’ set up by the BLM. The Tuesday clash between rowdy protestors and other BLM rangers was still fresh in my mind as we crossed the Nevada state line.

Driving South towards Bunkerville, it was impossible to miss the BLM’s large temporary operations compound set up just off I-15. Dozens of federal law enforcement vehicles were sitting in and around the compound and observers were parked atop nearby mesas.

The BLM operation to impound and sell Bundy’s cattle has had a distinct military feel to it. The contracted cowboys tasked with gathering the cows travel in convoys protected by at least 20 escort vehicles providing armed security. It looks mighty official and is intended to be intimidating.

Road Closure

As we neared the Bundy ranch, we began to see official road closure signs posted at every dirt road or trail along the state highway.

There was no visible BLM presence near the massive twin flagpoles beneath which Bundy family supporters and media were gathered. Roughly 200 people were on hand when we arrived. We were told that the numbers had dropped considerably from earlier this week but that supporters were en route from across the country.

Brightly colored hand-lettered signs covered the nearby fence and some supporters held signs urging passing vehicles to honk to show their support. The mix of protestors ran the gamut from the elderly to babes in arms. Besides every able-bodied male in attendance, there were no obvious militia members in camouflage standing around.

The mood was one of determination more so than anger.

Ryan Bundy informed us that earlier that day, he and group of supporters had ventured up into one of the closed areas and retrieved roughly 20 head of cattle which they brought back to their 160 acre property for safekeeping. The BLM made no attempt to stop them.

At Bundy Ranch

There were plans to go back that evening and retrieve another 15 head that had been left in a corral in the foothills. That retrieval did not take place due to another more pressing matter.

During our visit, a number of local and state political candidates stepped forward and introduced themselves to the Bundys. In rural areas, support for the Bundy family is very high—in the urban centers not so much.

Two state legislators were also in attendance including Representative Crescent Hardy and Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore. This situation has caught the attention of leaders in several western states where federal authority over public lands has been problematic at best.

Both elected officials reminded the crowd that peaceful assembly would sway the court of public opinion more than rowdy or antagonistic behavior. This came on the heels of a highly publicized tussle that saw several individuals roughed up or tazed after confronting and shoving BLM personnel.

As the lawmakers were finishing their remarks, word came that three more Bundy family members had just been arrested 40 miles away at Moapa Beach. With that news, the majority of the crowd jumped into their vehicles and headed out.

It may not be an actual standoff yet, but the tensions between embattled Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal Bureau of Land Management are making waves well beyond Clark County. This is much more than a pissing contest between a dissident rancher and a dogmatic federal bureaucracy. It has far-reaching implications for every one of us regarding whether government is our servant or our master. If it goes sideways, it’s likely that all of us will pay a significant price in terms of our personal freedoms.

The frustration of the Bundy family is beginning to show. After decades of being relentlessly hounded by a bureaucracy that has sought to regulate away their livelihood, the urge to push back is building. They are confronting a hyper-aggressive government that has no compunction about using overwhelming force to impose its will. It’s a battle that the Bundys cannot win physically in a head-on confrontation.

The feds are better armed, better trained, and far better organized in every way. They’re also operating under the color of law, which lends legitimacy to injustice, particularly when it’s done on a large scale. This means the Bundys must consider approaching this conflict from the viewpoint of fourth generation warfare. 4GW is won at the moral level, not by physically annihilating ones enemy. But to do this requires the courage to allow your enemy to reveal his true character without responding in kind.

This is what happened with the sharpshooters incident earlier this week. But the sympathy and support generated by that event quickly dissipates when protestors become antagonistic.

The Bundys need to have a clear message that spells out their stance from a moral, rather than a legalistic, standpoint. They need to stay on that message and do whatever it takes to preserve the essential mantle of innocence by not becoming the aggressors. Resorting to force too soon will bring repercussions for more than just the Bundys.

Those who would support them should also follow this advice. The mask slipped earlier this week and many of us got a peek at the naked aggression that hides behind our benevolent bureaucracies. Our challenge is to make sure others can see what’s behind that mask. That won’t happen if we are the initiators of violence.

131 Responses to Bryan Hyde: My Visit to the Bundy Ranch

  1. avatarSammy says:

    Re Bundy’s arrest for free speech area violation.

    Who is BLM to regulate the First Amendment?

    • avatarMrbadnews says:

      They aren’t regulating the 1st amendment, they are providing a safe place for demonstrators to say what they have to say. The BLM can’t stop people from protesting outside of that zone. The BLM is providing a place to “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

      Who is Bundy to think he can take for free what others have to pay for? Just because something was free in the 200 years ago doesn’t make it free today. Like extra BBQ sauce at Mikey D’s, if you want more, you gotta pay to play even though they used to give it to you for nothing. I’ll bet that there are a lot of ranchers local to Bundy who aren’t on his side.

      I don’t see this as a 2A or gun issue. I hate that TTAG is associating themselves with this.

      • avatarKris says:

        I could not agree more, associating themselves with these willful criminals is ridiculous and i hope the fed throws the book at the Bundys!

        • avatarJohn J. says:

          Get paid to troll the gun blogs much?

        • avatarDunkirk says:

          If you think that this whole mess doesn’t have ramifications for ALL of your constitutional rights you are burying your head in the sand.

        • avatarSHIVANK MEHRA says:

          According to the homestead principle the land belongs to Bundy. Just because you have might and can put a fence around the whole world doesn’t mean you legitimately own the world.

      • avatarDev says:

        The BLM closed off “public” areas, completely restricting access. They originally put thoe free speech areas far away from the access point and the staging area, a place where the protesters will actually be heard. This is the same BLM that prevented access to our supposed public areas, like the national parks and other places that we, the American people, supposedly own when out incoming HHS secretary sent out the order to shut everything down last year. If you don’t see the correlation between any and all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, I don’t even know what to say anymore.

      • avatarDebbie Myers says:

        Who is the government to “regulate” our liberties? Are you kidding me? Our rights are NOT theirs to take away or regulate! This is not about grazing cattle…this is about denying access to public lands and yes, Bundy paid the price for that, get your facts straight. HE quit paying the fees when terms were violated. And that “turtle” they claim they are saving – try looking up how BLM killed many just last year when the budget ran dry for their refuge. BLM is currently trying to seize over 90,000 acres in Texas, are locking off access to public lands in Oregon….you think that this terrorism is only at the Bundy Ranch? This is no longer the USA I knew. And FYI, even Nevada governor told them to remove their “free speech zone” because it was offensive.

      • avatarSammy says:

        “They aren’t regulating the 1st amendment, they are providing a safe place for demonstrators to say what they have to say.”

        Yea, I’m sure they are only interested in the people’s safety.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          Besides, that riff-raff doesn’t have PERMITS for free speech.

        • avatarB says:

          Yeah, who the heck are they? The Bundy’s? Never heard of em. See, I’ve got my name on my shiny placard here clipped to my pocket. That makes me somebody.

      • avatarWyatt says:

        You’d prefer TTAG pretend this didn’t exist? This interests readers and drives the business.

        I’ll argue there’s more going on than whether the rancher was in the right or wrong (FWIW, probably wrong). Yet it’s grown to something a bit bigger, with people supporting the lone citizen against the might of the USG and their perceived thuggery. if the USG is going to crack down hard on this rancher, it’s going to be caught on a lot of video.

        It’s anyone’s guess what the endgame is going to be. The USG can bide its time and wait for the last camera to go home, and the people there can hope to get the USG to actually back down for fear for political backlash.

        That’s worth following, in any case.

      • avatarJim Jones says:

        Listen, you do understand that the Bundys did not just stop paying for the grazing rights, correct? The BLM wants the ranchers gone so they can sell the rights to frack. The Bundys are the last ranching family left. First, the BLM told them to remove a few hundred or so heads. After tussling with them to no avail, Bundy starting giving his grazing rights money to the state of Nevada. Nevada didn’t know what to do with it so they returned the money to him. This is NOT the case of a free-loading rancher. Stop parroting the MSM’s bullet points and do some research. This is the case of a government who has decided to sell the land to the highest bidder. This would be fine if private parties were involved, but the Feds are involved here. The feds are theoretically supposed to represent the people. It is crystal clear to anyone with a couple of brain cells left that this is no longer the case.

        And since when are “free-speech zones” acceptable under any constitutional interpretation? You either have the right to free speech or you don’t. It is not contained in little orange plastic pens, miles away from the actual event of interest.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          In this case, not fracking, but a Chinese-owned solar power plant:

          http://www.prisonplanet.com/breaking-sen-harry-reid-behind-blm-land-grab-of-bundy-ranch.html

        • avatarJim Jones says:

          Thanks for the clarification. I read somewhere else that they planned on selling the fracking rights. It’s even worse if it goes to the Chinese. Sounds to me like they need to make good on those treasuries.

        • avatarJohn says:

          “And since when are “free-speech zones” acceptable under any constitutional interpretation?”

          Since they were used against Vietnam War protesters, Iraq War protesters, WTO protesters, Occupy Protesters, and ACORN protesters, by the government, without a peep of complaint from you and people like you. They held up in court cases because people like you didn’t like the protesters then and so didn’t care what happened to them. “Protest zones” have been around for decades, but *now* is when you choose to start caring? Too late buddy, the ship has sailed right off the edge of the map.

        • avatarLarry says:

          My understanding (not an expert) is that the BLM only got involved with the area due to this “endangered” turtle, which suggests the question why “grazing FEES” are involved at all.

          If you have something I want, do I have the right to make up an excuse, move into your area with a team of snipers and 200 armed thugs and force you to leave, steal your livestock and appropriate your land? Of course not. How about if I have 500 friends authorize that theft by forming a county government or something and passing a law? Of course not. How about if I have 535 drinking buddies in Washington, DC, and we’re all divvying up the ownership of the country as we see fit? Are we good, now? OF COURSE NOT!!!

      • avatarBDub says:

        See here’s the thing about free speech zones – by default a free speech zone is anywhere I am legally entitled to to be and speak, therefore you shouldn’t be able to dictate where free speech can happen, only where it cannot, and then ONLY with very narrow limits. Not the other way around. This “zone” nonsense is morally and legally bankrupt and should be done away with.

      • avatarArt G says:

        It’s not BLM land, it is our land. In all reality, this property belongs to the Bundy’s through homesteading.

      • avatarRichieJ says:

        Your attitude is exactly why the situation is what it is. It’s okay for the government to steal land over the last 100 years or so and sell it to the highest (Energy) Bidder. but it’s not okay for a family who has been using that land for that long to protest? This is not about grazing rights. Do a little research or Go back to the FED hole you crawled out from under. I’m done with people like you. Soon enough it will be about gun rights and then it will affect all of us.

      • avatarMark says:

        You guys have it all backward.

      • avatarEric Rasmusen says:

        I agree. This is an issue of property rights. The Bundy’s are acting like commmunists–literally. They don’t want to pay rent. It’s not their land. If they want to buy some land, fine. If they want to use other people’s land to graze thei cattle, then they need the permission of the owners. The government has been extraordinarily lenient with them for years. They’re spoiled from living off government land for free, no better than welfare cheats.

        • avatarJim says:

          He is a member of the public, he is using public land for the public good, raising healthy food. He is a value producer, these thugs are no better than a glorified mafia.

      • avatarDogman says:

        Mrbadnews must be one of those from an “urban” area.

        • avatarMrbadnews says:

          No, I’m an American from The United States who believes that if one citizen has to pay for something, then so do the others. I’m extremely 1A and 2A. I also believe that Free Speech zone is kind of like the Chicken Wire the the Blues Bros movie. It seemed a bit extreme at the time, but it turned out to be a good idea when the bottles started flying. Also, I grew up in a farming family. Much of the land we farmed was leased from the state. We paid our bills and the never had any issues. Bundy quit paying his bills and increased his herd since 1993. (from about 50 head to about 900) Sure is easy to make money in the cattle business if you don’t have to pay for feed.

          Some citizens are good folks, some are scumbags. Just because the Gov’t is involved doesn’t automatically make the citizen a hero. Bundy is just capitalizing on the fact that everybody hates government. I think Bundy might be on the scummy side of this thing.

          You need to do a little research and think for your fuckin’ self.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          I seem to have missed the part where you shared your “research” with us.

      • avatarBarbara says:

        You’re a fool if you really believe everything you wrote.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          And I’m sure he’s fine with Second Amendment Zones. In a small clearing, in the middle of Montana someplace.

    • avatarWyatt says:

      They’re not regulating, they’re using the bullshit “free speech zones”, which unfortunately have some amount of court support and precedent when deployed by various US governments over the last 40 years.

      It’s a way to whitelist areas for protestors to stand, conveniently in an area that prevents them from affecting anything.

      • avatarJohn says:

        As someone who has been impacted by free speech zones restricting protests for years now, I can’t tell you how mad it makes me to see people suddenly deciding to care *now*, now when it impacts a rancher who wants to get to feed his herd for free on our land.

        • avatarB says:

          I suppose thats how all those truly sincere people who screamed about the patriot act feel now that “their” party is in power and its gotten worse. Take what you can get, if people are more awake now is the time to act on the wave, not to pout on the internet cause it isn’t “your” team making the argument.

          I was wrong about Bush after 2001. I was wrong about the patriot act. I was wrong about the war on terror. I saw it, but then found out I was wrong about Obama in 2009 too. I was young and thought I was jumping on the “right” team. I don’t think I was alone in my beliefs, and I don’t think I’m alone in my feelings of betrayal. Young people don’t stay young as long as they’d like, heck maybe we’ll learn it this time.

  2. avatarSouthernPatriot says:

    How to get this message to all in support of the Bundy’s and us all? Are we allowed to copy this message and send it out to others? Post it on boards, etc?

  3. avatarHere's the real story says:

    BLM is actually in the business of raking in millions of dollars by leasing Nevada lands to energy companies that engage in fracking operations.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/044670_BLM_lies_fracking_leases_Bundy_ranch.html

  4. avatarFoRealz? says:

    So, what exactly are you advocating with this statement?

    “Resorting to force too soon will bring repercussions for more than just the Bundys.”

  5. avatarSkyler says:

    I didn’t have much sympathy, but when you start with that buffoon William Lind’s ridiculous “fourth generation of warfare” nonsense, you lose all credibility.

    If you use someone else’s land, then you follow their rules. Whining about it is not argument. Someone needs to express some coherent argument as to why we should care, why the government is wrong, and why the ranchers are right. Until then, it just comes off as cranky.

    • avatarFoRealz? says:

      Yeah. Pretty much.

      Now, if the BLM had rolled up to the Bundy ranch and said, “Hey you F’ers, we got a court order to seize all your family land that you have a DEED to, on account of these here tortoises…” Well, now that’s a lot more sympathetic situation.

      But that’s not the situation.

    • avatarDev says:

      There are tons of news reports as to what is going on and why it is going on. You can determine for yourself who is right in this case. The issue that a lot of people are having is the way the BLM is going about this and most particularly the designated “free speech areas” they had put up, something the federal government has done before. Which is obviously a violation of our First Amendment right to free assembly. Here’s what a simple Google search can provide: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/04/03/mgk-range-war-blm-v-bundy/

      • avatarLarry says:

        Precisely. I’d like an answer as to why BLM has a freakin’ army in the first place? That is ridiculous. I think all soldiers of assorted agencies should be fired (not just disarmed) and the FBI put in charge of ALL Federal activities which require the deployment of armed men. And I think that immediately thereafter, the FBI budget should be cut in half. We’re headed for a police state.

    • avatarRalph says:

      If you use someone else’s land, then you follow their rules.

      But it’s not someone else’s land. It’s only “government land” because of an ancient English legal principal that everything belonged to the King. Guess what? We don’t have a King. Just an emperor.

      What this situation really illustrates is that all power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Which is why the G is so desperate to take away ours and to arm every cop shop from NYC to Podunk with state of the art military firepower.

      • avatarSkyler says:

        Ralph, you know that most of our laws come from ancient legal principles. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the government’s land or yours. These ranchers don’t own it and have made no attempt to own it or pay property taxes on it.

        • avatarDev says:

          They can’t own that land because our federal government does in the name of “the people”. They have been paying taxes on that land, as have we all when we pay our dues to the government. Yes, the guy stopped paying grazing fees to the federal government 20 years ago, but I’m sure he still paid his taxes every year.

        • avatarHannibal says:

          Well I pay my taxes, can I walk my dog on the white house lawn?

        • avatarRalph says:

          can I walk my dog on the white house lawn?

          As long as the present WH occupant is sh1tting on the whole country, I don’t see the harm in your dog doing the same to the WH lawn. Besides, Bo and Sunny can use the company.

        • avatarRalph says:

          @Skyler, I know where most of our laws originated. Most of America does not. For example, eminent domain comes from the old English rule — long discarded in England — that everything belongs to the King. It has nothing to do with a public purpose (remember the Kelo case). Sovereign immunity comes from the quaint English notion that the King could do no wrong.

          If you asked any American if he or she believed that the G owns everything and should be immune from suit because it can do no wrong, he or she would laugh out loud. But there it is.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          Discarded by England, but alive and well in the doggone US of A.

      • avatarJohn says:

        It’s government land because the government bought it from Mexico in 1848. And because the Bundys never bought it from the government.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          Yet another person who doesn’t understand ranching!

          Can we get some ranching post-its here?

        • avatarLarry says:

          Bundy claims the state owns it, not the Feds. Is that not correct? Or are you making up this “bought from Mexico” stuff?

    • avatarJim Jones says:

      The BLM has systematically and deliberately made it impossible for Ranchers to use the public lands for grazing because they want to sell the fracking rights to the land. If a private party wanted to stop leasing his land for grazing rights because he wants to sell it to a buyer, I would be okay with that. But the Feds own this land, and therefore, by proxy, we the people own that land. What the hell do you think the Feds are going to do with the money from the fracking rights? Send us a refund check? Pay interest on the debt? Build bridges to nowhere for politically connected friends? Lose the money (the Pentagon did a good job on that)? The Feds are kicking out Ranchers who used the land for its best purpose to line their pockets. That’s the problem.

      • avatarArt G says:

        Jim, you hit the nail on the head!

      • avatarEric Rasmusen says:

        Ranchers have been getting a sweet deal for years off of federal lands. Farmers have to buy the land they use, or pay market rent. Ranchers have to realize: it’s not their land. They never bought it. They don’t pay taxes on it. When they pay below-market rents for using it to graze, that subsidy is coming out of the pockets of the rest of us taxpayers.

      • avatarTT says:

        What’s the functional difference between the government letting a rancher use public land for his own, private financial gain and letting an oil company do the do same thing? Does ranching benefit the public interest more than oil production? If so, why?

  6. avatarWade says:

    While the points of taking the moral high ground are indeed valid,there is a point they cease to further one`s cause. The 4th gen warfare one would be valid if we have a population that still had a strong sense of morality. You can have the moral high ground right into our graves,or at the very least into irrelevance. If you want to always have the moral *high ground* in the sense of showing how much better and reasonable you are,just snap that slave collar on tight and get to work for your masters.
    Personally, I feel so long as we are abiding by the Bible, and the Constitution,we have that ground. I truly don`t care what the mass of sheep believe. They want to be good little puppets, rock on.But leave me Alone. It will be your peril to do otherwise. No matter the cost. As soon as Any type of weapon was pointed at a group of people, it should have been game on. This stuff will never stop untill it’s met with the same and worse. But it should be brought against those passing the laws/orders. The brainless grunt on the ground is the target only when he`s in the way. Granted, you will need to be willing to live outside the law if you have the conviction to stand up for your beliefs and rights until such a time as the political field is changed. IF it ever gets changed. There are just not enough people that will stand up for their convictions/beliefs. If I lived on that side of the country, I would be there,and most likely out hunting. It really is put up or shut up time in so many places in this nation. Look at the trends politically. I can`t see how you can make a case the govermental pressure on us as a nation is getting better in any aspect.

    • avatarJohn says:

      The Constitution gives Congress the authority to pass laws regulating land owned by the government. Congress passed a law creating the Bureau of Land Management and giving it its constitutional authority. The Bundys are acting in contravention of the Constitution.

      • avatarLarry says:

        Time out. I don’t seem to recall that Congress has the designated power to form groups of unelected bureaucrats to do their jobs for them, raping and stealing under the color of authority. CONGRESS can make such rules, yes, but BLM has no such authority, and neither does ATF or IRS, but they do it anyway. If Congress does not have the stones to actually pass a law, chances are that it should not be passed. Having a bunch of your pals and “business” partners do the “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” operation to sneak criminal theft past the populace should get you prosecuted, possibly for treason.

  7. avatarMack Bolan says:

    People will see only what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe. You cant win hearts and minds when the propaganda machine forbids it.

    The people who believe the Bundy’s to be in the right will continue to do so, same with those who believe they are in the wrong, regardless of what transpires. The people in the middle are too apathetic to care and would only chose to get involved if the events were dramatic enough… but most likely not.

    The government wont back down. they don’t know how. So either this ends once all the cattle are stolen and the BLM departs, or there will be bloodshed.

    • avatarSkyler says:

      Or maybe they actually go to a court with their grievances instead of grandstanding.

      An old lawyer saying is, if the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law doesn’t support you, argue the facts. If neither support you, then pound on the table. These ranchers are pounding the table.

      • avatarHannibal says:

        While waving the flag, don’t forget.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Going to a federal court to settle a dispute with the feds is an exercise in futility. If not stupidity.

      • avatarropingdown says:

        I was taught a different version: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, attack your opponent’s character.” That seems like what is going on here.

      • avatarJohn says:

        “Or maybe they actually go to a court with their grievances”

        They did, they lost, because they don’t have a case. I’ve read their legal briefs. They do not have even the shadow of a case.

  8. avatarAdam says:

    I for one am a regular TTAG reader and I am interested in their perspective of this issue. 2A supporters tend to desire a federal government that is limited in its ability to force citizens to do its bidding, and while this isn’t a firearms issue, I do see the relevance in limiting the federal government’s ability to dictate use of public lands. The feds seem to have entered an era where they believe they can compel people to do anything they want, and only afterwards do they form a legal rationale by twisting the clear language of the constitution in ways that only lawyers can understand. It’s not just guns, land or health care: it’s everything; and this Bundy case is nice proxy to help the feds realize that without the consent of the governed, they are powerless.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Very nicely said, Adam.

    • avatarBdk NH says:

      Well done @ Adam.

      If you believe this is about the enforcement of unpaid grazing fees or about a desert tortoise, then you probably believe the following:
      1. Benghazi was not a terrorist attack, it was a spontaneous violent protest due to an anti-muslim movie trailer.
      2.The ACA will lower health care premiums for the average insurance subscribing family by over $2500 per year. And the best part…you can keep your current doctor!
      3. Fast and furious was designed to target and arrest Mexican cartel leadership by tracing illegally purchased guns in TX.

      These are 3 things that I can think of off hand that prove the powers that be think that you are stupid and have the attention span of a hammer. In most cases these days, the powers that be are right. The average person today couldn’t pick a single major political figure out of a line up (except for the President) or name one of their own state’s Senators (or how many Senators they have in their state). I have family members, sadly, that could name every contestant on American Idol from last season but can’t say even one word about what the 1st, 2nd, 4th or 19th Amendments means to them.

      Bottom line….always follow the money. The current Bundy Ranch situation and the 52 other local ranchers that were driven out of business is because of water, energy and commercial development of the land. Mr. Bundy knew this and took a principled stance against the BLM. He is fighting a just fight and I hope that it ends peacefully.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        The average American can’t even find his own state on a U.S. map.

      • avatarScott says:

        you hit the “hammer” on the head with this statement. They want his land.. but they can’t just come out and say that.. the whole thing with the tortoise was the perfect side reason.

      • avatarLarry says:

        Nicely said, and let me add that, while many here point out he has essentially no chance of success, the militia fruitcakes are counterproductive, and on and on…. We owe the man a debt, because he is making a noisy exit, not slinking out like a sheep. The MSM know who he is and have questions about what is happening and why. And a few years from now, if we discover that Harry Reid’s son has made a fortune from Chinese companies building a solar plant on top of Bundy’s place, there will be references to look back on, and just MAYBE the people will finally get pissed.

  9. avatarPahtun6 says:

    I’m genuinely surprised that the bundys house hasn’t been raided yet. I see this happening in the near future.

    • avatarSixpack70 says:

      No, they will probably get an IRS audit very soon.

    • avatarjwm says:

      The Bundy house and property isn’t the issue here. BLM took Bundy to court over the issue of his use of public lands. Bundy lost the court case. It’s my understanding that Bundy has title to 160 acres. I have no idea how many cattle 160 acres in Nevada will support, but I’m guessing it’s a lot less than what Bundy has been profiting on with his use of public lands.

      I think both sides have their heads up their ass’s here.

    • avatarHannibal says:

      I think that the government is playing it as smart as they can. They don’t want to be seen as starting a violent confrontation by going onto the man’s property. This way, if there’s a conflict, it’s because he took it to them.

  10. avatarMecha75 says:

    WTF is this on TTAG? Because it’s a rights issue. This didn’t just spring up over night. This dispute has been going on since the 1990′s. It just culminated in a US Citizen being surrounded by an overly militarized federal bureaucracy that wants to use the land to make a solar power station. (Per BLM documents found and republished on Free Republic). As for the bundys using the land for free. They paid for the land use and stopped due to on going court battles between them and the BLM.

    Remember. If the government takes one right, what makes you think they will stop at the 2nd Amendment.

    • avatarKevin says:

      I didn’t see it that way at first. That’s why I asked the question. Gives me something to think about….thank you.

      Looks like my original post was removed. Stopped the impending flame war.

  11. avatar9271977 says:

    Truth or conspiracy, Its been reported that cell towers have been shut down in the Bundy Ranch protest region. Anyone with rooted ANON and OCCUPY connections. These people need sovereign help in all realms. Its about solidarity.

    The occupy movement really needs to show solidarity and sovereign support for the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. We are all active for the same reasons. Cell towers been shut down in protest region

    Finding vulnerabilities for the betterment of tomorrow.

    Its all about moral high ground and resistance against contemporary colonization, being operated on may fronts.

    http://actipedia.org/project/spring-has-sprung-one-one-lets-have-some-fun

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      I have been hearing live reports via cell phone from the Bundy Ranch, so I don’t think that is true. Yet.

  12. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I have no opinion as to who is right or wrong, but I do wish that however this resolves out, it is without bloodshed. It’s one thing to work with politicians, and agency reps and courts to resolve this, it gets real sad real quick when the shooting starts, because then no one comes out a winner in a situation like this one.

    • avatarDev says:

      There’s a lot of Nevada and Utah politicians who have not only expressed their displeasure with the way the BLM has handled this, but they have been to the site and have engaged both the BLM and the protestors. I’m also hopeful there won’t be any violence, and from everything I’ve been reading people are trying to keep it that way. BLM detained two Utah men for violating a restricted area and one of them even became a bit violent with the officers, but both were not arrested and only given citations. There’s always a chance that some nut shows up and starts something, though.

  13. avatarBrian S says:

    Seizing the cattle to pay for a fine they pulled out of their ass because of lines they drew on a map… and you’re just now wondering if government is our servant or master? A moment’s thought will reveal that they’ve already spent tax payer money in many orders of magnitude higher than the “damage” they are claiming against the Bundy’s.

    This is a show of force, plain and simple. How ever it turns out, we’ve already lost. Bow down and lick their boots.

    • avatarJohn says:

      All private property is lines on a map. If you want to abolish the concept of real estate, welcome to the communist revolution, comrade.

  14. avatarZM 1306 says:

    No Victum, No Crime…. It is public land, the fed has no athority to carge for the use of.

    The “damages” to the land injure whom? Uncle Sam? There is no owner of the property to contest the use of the land, so there is no victum, so there is no crime.

    • avatarDev says:

      The fed not having any authority didn’t work when all of our national parks and land areas were closed last year.

      • avatarLarry says:

        While that’s true, it was really wonderful to see the wavering of the MSM as they discovered that all the personnel were still there, just making sure nobody got in, now. Suddenly you could see that the crisis was simply made up by the administration, including closing STATE highways by brute armed force. I think the Dems are going to pay for that in Nov, despite attempting to blame it on everybody else.

  15. avatarJoshuaS says:

    We know how this will end. The Bundy’s lose. This it was in every stance against burgeoning governmental bureaucracy in this country, from the Federal governments jack-booted crushing of the very people who fought for the Independence of this country in Whiskey rebellion [sic] under George Washington, who with his equivalent of 2.5 million dollar salary, demanded absolute obedience to a government that only a majority of 1 in 30 Americans set up, while reacing into the very home and livelihood of ordinary folk, to pay back bonds that had belonged to those poorer folk, but whom had been relieved of them for pennies on the dollar by rich interests.

    There is a good saying. The Feds are just doing what they have always done. Nothing new here.

  16. avatarDelbert Grady says:

    Obama should send in his NOAA shock troops and get rid of those protestors. If Putin isnt scared of him you damn bastards will be. Theyve got MRAPS and millions of rds of shiney new ammo to try out.

    Obey your lawful masters, and remember, voting got you in this situation.

  17. avatarRightWingRider says:

    The Bundy family OWNS the grazing rights to this land. They have since the late 1800′s. The fees that are mentioned are BLM operating fees to fund their activities. Bundy quit paying those fees directly to BLM when it became obvious they were being used against him.

    • avatarBrian Zerba says:

      “Sorry this is long but applicable here. By SHIREE BUNDY COX:

      I have had people ask me to explain my dad’s stance on this BLM fight.

      Here it is in as simple of terms as I can explain it. There is so much to it, but here it is in a nut shell.

      My great grandpa bought the rights to the Bunkerville allotment back in 1887 around there. Then he sold them to my grandpa who then turned them over to my dad in 1972.

      These men bought and paid for their rights to the range and also built waters, fences and roads to assure the survival of their cattle, all with their own money, not with tax dollars.

      These rights to the land use is called preemptive rights.

      Some where down the line, to keep the cows from over grazing, came the bureau of land management. They were supposed to assist the ranchers in the management of their ranges while the ranchers paid a yearly allotment which was to be use to pay the BLM wages and to help with repairs and improvements of the ranches.

      My dad did pay his grazing fees for years to the BLM until they were no longer using his fees to help him and to improve.

      Instead they began using these money’s against the ranchers.

      They bought all the rest of the ranchers in the area out with their own grazing fees.

      When they offered to buy my dad out for a penence he said no thanks and then fired them because they weren’t doing their job.

      He quit paying the BLM but, tried giving his grazing fees to the county, which they turned down.

      So my dad just went on running his ranch and making his own improvements with his own equipment and his own money, not taxes.

      In essence the BLM was managing my dad out of business.

      Well when buying him out didn’t work, they used the indangered species card.

      You’ve already heard about the desert tortis.

      Well that didn’t work either, so then began the threats and the court orders, which my dad has proven to be unlawful for all these years.

      Now they’re desperate.

      It’s come down to buying the brand inspector off and threatening the County Sheriff.

      Everything they’re doing at this point is illegal and totally against the constitution of the United States of America.

      Now you may be saying,” how sad, but what does this have to do with me?” Well, I’ll tell you.

      They will get rid of Cliven Bundy, the last man standing on the Bunkerville allotment and then they will close all the roads so no one can ever go on it again.

      Next, it’s Utah’s turn. Mark my words, Utah is next.

      Then there’s the issue of the cattle that are at this moment being stolen. See even if dad hasn’t paid them, those cattle do belong to him.

      Regardless where they are they are my fathers property. His herd has been part of that range for over a hundred years, long before the BLM even existed.

      Now the Feds think they can just come in and remove them and sell them without a legal brand inspection or without my dad’s signature on it.

      They think they can take them over two boarders, which is illegal, ask any trucker. Then they plan to take them to the Richfeild Auction and sell them.

      All with our tax money.

      They have paid off the contract cowboys and the auction owner as well as the Nevada brand inspector with our tax dollars.

      See how slick they are?

      Well, this is it in a nut shell. Thanks. that was from SHIREE BUNDY COX:

      • avatarSouthernPatriot says:

        Thanks for that post. That not only gives the history and detailed background, but the reasons why Bundy quit paying the BLM because they quit managing the property, and then took the fees paid by the ranchers to buy them out. Bundy refused, Since the BLM was not using the fees to help him, he quit paying them, fired them, and used the fees to improve and maintain the property himself.

        Thanks again for the great post.

  18. avatarDaniel says:

    @Chris and others, “associating themselves with these willful criminals is ridiculous and i hope the fed throws the book at the Bundys!” We live in a nation that was founded by “criminals”. People who were brave enough to break laws that were unjust. When a law is unjust we have a moral responsibility to break it.

  19. avatarJAS says:

    Guess who pays the salaries of these people. They are our bosses and we pay them? It’s time to close that spigot.

  20. avatarAndy says:

    My take on it is that there are some in the Senate and House thar have made business deals with others and don’t want the cattle or any people on this land so they sic their lapdogs on this situation , do what they want , and like has been happening over the past few years treat the people like they are the enemy of what government wants , yes they do have the “LAW ” on their side but it was passed by these same type buffoons that are in national office , they make laws that benefit themselves not the “People ” , this is how these corporate government profit makers gain alot of their wealth . I have a question for ya’ll , how do these folks in office make the millions or billions they do while in office when they are only paid 174,000.00 per year ? Well one way is these dealings that they use to let big private business work on federal lands , for whatever it is they want , and get a nice kickback from it , which does not have to be reported because they have already passed laws to benefit themselves due to the fact that they have made it to where they don’t have to disclose the money they have made , along the same route that they don’t have to report the money paid to them by lobbyists , they are just legally made criminals by their own hand . I don’t know where this is headed but I am pissed about it , because one day it might be me they come after and then I will fight however I have to . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  21. avatarformer water walker says:

    I find it hard to believe that anyone is pro government trolling on this one. Stealing his cattle? You better hope the feds aren’t going after you.

    • avatarHannibal says:

      If you leave your stuff somewhere that’s not your property it’s not ‘stolen’ it’s ‘abandoned.’

      • avatarDev says:

        You don’t understand ranching do you? And isn’t that land public land, so as a tax paying citizen he owns it. Additionally, try finding out what happens when you find a wallet full of cash that belongs to someone else on your property. Hint: you can’t just keep the cash if you are found out.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          He doesn’t understand the first thing about ranching. Or about the American West. This isn’t a cattleman-sheepman feud; this is an American citizen vs. UNESCO and its agent, the BLM.

  22. avatarHannibal says:

    Here we have a guy trying to turn his personal business\financial beef into a liberty issue, and plenty are falling for it (hey, page hits!). If he wants to use land however he wants without any fees he should have purchased it; since he didn’t, he should have paid the fees and maybe this could have been worked out. And the whole “my family used to use this land without fees a hundred years ago!” line is ridiculous… he should give his ranch back to the native americans with that logic.

    • avatarJim Jones says:

      He was not trying to use the land for free. The BLM wanted all the ranchers out, and they have been trying to eliminate grazing rights slowly but surely. They first tried to limit the size of his herd. He kept paying the fees. They then tried to remove the herd by saying that the tortoises would be harmed. He started paying the state of NV the fees. NV didn’t know what to do with the money, so they sent it back to him. This is NOT a case of a free-loading rancher. Stop parroting the MSM bullet points. The feds want to eliminate the grazing rights so they can lease the land to the highest bidder (I have seen both fracking and solar panel rights). They sure as hell aren’t going to use the money for our benefit.

      • avatarTT says:

        What’s wrong with leasing the land to the highest bidder? Doesn’t that benefit the public more than letting the low bidder use the public land for his own, private financial gain?

        • avatarSouthernPatriot says:

          Did you hear the report that Rory Reid, son of Harry, has made a huge amount of money from his dealings with a Chinese firm in the area, and is seeking more fortune. Oil and gas have been discovered in land nearby and thought to be under the areas Bundy was grazing cattle.

  23. avatarCol. Angus says:

    Even if Bundy is in the wrong (which I have my doubts about) there is NO justification for the repulsive, atrocious response of the FedGov. This weaponization of every FedGov agency has to be reversed somehow. The government needs to fear the people.

  24. avatarJoe Bob says:

    You sure this isn’t just another example of mormon government persecution complex? Would Bundy have so supporters if Bundys weren’t mormon? I didn’t think so either.

    • avatarLarry says:

      BS! This is the first mention I’ve seen about the man’s religion. So it is you who is making sh.tup.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        I haven’t seen it, either. Nor have I seen any persecution of Mormons in general. Bigamists, yes, but not because they happen to be Mormons.

  25. avatarRoyce says:

    You said it Adam! Too many of our Rights are being slowly eroded and taken away right b4 our very eyes. People are too blind or too stupid to notice or care. The latest shooter at Ft Hood had his medical records discussed on camera for the world to hear less than 24 hours after the shooting. HIPAA regulations forbid that yet since the guy killed people we don’t care about his rights being stomped all over and the govt releasing his mental health records in a TV interview the next day! The reporter used that to seguey into “since he had mental issues should he have had the right to own a handgun?” Lost one Right and stepped right into taking away another!

  26. avatarLfshtr says:

    It’s all about jack boots, this is not new with our bully government. If you take a look at the demons they all can be identified, starting with the WH, DOJ, NLB, BLM, BOE and etc. it is not about grazing or cattle, it’s about money and the control of our citizens. All bunk! Beware out there and be safe and watch out for the snakes.

  27. avatarBill says:

    Why can the BLM just go in and take property?

  28. avatarMithras says:

    His family has been grazing those land before the BLM was even started. BLM springs forth from the FedGod and comes to ranchers and says “Hey, you know all that land you have been using for 100′s of years? Well, I want you to pay me for helping you take care of your ranch and the land, which was fine before I got here. You see someone has to pay me to do what no one needs me to do. So pay up or I wont have a job. The best part is that when we jack the fees up to the point you can’t afford it we’ll use the money you paid us to buy your land for pennies on the dollar. Cool huh?”

    • avatarSouthernPatriot says:

      Yep, that is a neat racket. If it was in the private sector, it would be called an extortion. But a government alphabet agency can do it, and we are all supposed to be sheep and follow. This extortion and Godment must stop and be stopped. Here is a good time. If not here, when?

  29. avatarScott says:

    First off I gotta say the truth which it seems most people haven’t heard too much of about this situation. Bundy is the last of the large scale independent ranchers in this country. He refuses to sell his ranch off to corporate interests. This might not be tagged as the main reason why they are coming after him, but if this ranch was a corporate ranch/farm there would be no way the government would try to mess with it. They can push a family around more easily and thats why they are choosing to. They have a lot of money to gain from seizing his property. Thats the bottom line.
    As for the protest I set out to make a documentary about..
    this whole thing turned into something way off from what it should have. Leave it up to a bunch of “militia”, Halloween costume wearing, “just wanna have a showdown” type of derps to not understand what organizing a protest actually means. The second these people grabbed up all their assault rifles and headed to this ranch thinking they were gonna have a wild west showdown, was the second the protest lost all legitimacy. You see, if you want to protest the use of aggression by the state, you yourself cannot become the aggressor, or you become as bad as the people you are protesting. The trouble with these types is that they have been spouting this hyperbole about “we need our guns to fight government tyranny” for so long, that they are just waiting for an incident to justify the lost cause way they think. THIS SITUATION was definitely NOT that incident. We needed a peaceful coming together more than any other protest on this one. But as for a lot of things in life, i.e. driving, television, movies, the school system, politics, social change.. the stupid people ruined it for the intelligent people who were trying to actually have a real effect. The influence of a video camera and a correct perspective are 400 times more powerful than the influence of a gun will ever be. It’s what I set out to use.. but I refuse to side with either of these aggressors. I won’t be part of a fight between one militia and another. This use of physical violence is what we are trying to leave behind in our culture, and I happen to already live in the future. It’s so sad it had to end up this way. My concerns still go out to the Bundy family.

    • avatarLarry says:

      Well, koom-bye-ah to you, too!

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      The militia and Oath Keepers are there to protect the Bundys, should the bullying continue and shooting begin.

      They are merely standing up for those who believe as they do. Who are you to say they have no right to have supporters on their land?

      The very fact that the situation didn’t get out of hand is the supporters. And because it didn’t get out of hand is proof enough to me that the militia was genuine militia (by the Constitutional definition), and not government provocateurs there to provoke trouble.

      jwm, have I posted too much today? Not that should be any concern of yours, or what I choose to do with my time. I’m a bit surprised you it would consider it yours.

  30. avatarStan says:

    I remember when they set up first amendment zones awaiting the George Zimmerman verdict.

    No one said a thing. But now, its a problem?

    Those people didn’t complain. They just followed the law.

  31. avatarStan says:

    Will anyone actually admit these cows are NOT on Bundy’s land? His DEED does not include the land his cows are on.

    We can’t even begin to have a debate unless we acknowledge the basic facts.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Another city slicker who thinks he understands ranching and grazing rights.

      It’s all be amply explained in this thread. If you really wanted to know, you would have read and understood it.

      So how’s about you studying the subject matter before you opine about it?

  32. avatarMark says:

    This is just the start.we need to stand up before they put more business killing fees on us like the methane tax for dairy cattle.

  33. avatarBoulton says:

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    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      “I really do rely on each of the aspects you’ve available as part of your post. There’re extremely begging and may certainly work. Nonetheless, the content are too easy for freshies. May you desire expand these a tad via when? Thanks for the publish.”

      Sorry, I’m a bit perplexed. Can you translate that into English, please? Are you a North Korean computer?

  34. avatarMichael says:

    What some of you people just dont understand is that there is a bigger picture in this standoff, The federal government does not own this land! The People of the United States owns the land. Nuclear bombs have been tested in Nevada and now they are so worried about a tortoise? Lol…How many tortoises were killed in a nuclear test? The government uses ridiculous excuses like this only when it benefits their agenda! It amazes me how there are so many people who cant stand up for what is right and think just because the federal govt is on one side it must be what is right. No handful of beaurocrats should have the authority to say what is done with land paid for by the American people…Period.We the people have elected some bafoons into our Govt and its time to clean house and get some ethical, morally sound people elected!

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