An update on Nevada scofflaw Cliven Bundy

The rancher still has influence in some circles, and has seen zero repercussions for trespass cattle and unpaid fees.

 

It’s been almost a year since the standoff between Bureau of Land Management officials and rancher scofflaw Cliven Bundy. In that time, Bundy has gone from being just a rancher who wouldn’t pay his fees, to a lasting political figure that the far-right anti-federal government set continues to coalesce around.    

Last April, BLM rounded up 300 of Bundy’s cattle in southern Nevada’s Clark County, because the livestock were trespassing on public land and had been doing so, on and off, for decades. Bundy owed taxpayers some $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and fines, which to this day he has not settled. In response to the impoundment, anti-federal ideologues and members of militia groups from surrounding states gathered near the Bundy ranch to support his protest of the cattle seizure and his beliefs that the BLM had no authority over where he could graze his cattle. An estimated 300 people congregated at the side of the road near the Bunkerville grazing allotment and at least one militia group member aimed a rifle at the federal agents below. Fearing an escalation to violence, the government officials aborted their mission—they released the cattle and left.

Cliven Bundy speaking at a July 2014 forum hosted by the American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE) at the Burke Basic School in Mesa, Arizona. Photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore.
Much ink has been spilled over whether the BLM should have waited for a better time for the impoundment or simply put its foot down years ago; and whether the sheriff’s department promised to help with security during the impoundment, but failed to show up, as BLM officials have said. It’s clear that Bundy was, and still is, breaking federal law, which states that BLM controls where ranchers can and cannot graze on public land it manages.

By all accounts, Bundy still has not been charged for the trespassing cattle or the unpaid fines. Bundy told me in an email that his cattle have “all returned back to their normal grazing habitat”—i.e., where the BLM restricts grazing in part because it’s sensitive desert tortoise habitat. The BLM would not confirm or deny that, nor would the agency comment on whether security has been increased or procedures have changed in Nevada, or agency-wide as a result of the standoff, except to say that they “implement routine security measures at many public meetings.”

Environmental groups are urging the feds not to let Bundy off the hook. On Feb. 26, the Center for Biological Diversity wrote a public letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder imploring them to act on the Bundy case and report progress toward resolving it. In a budget hearing last week, Jewell said that “any kind of investigation of federal crimes that have been committed” are in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice. (The FBI reportedly opened an investigation last year over possible threats to law enforcement officers and illegal weapons, but the agency declined to comment for this story.) The nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), says that the DOJ is likely sitting on the case. But Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney in Nevada, said that she cannot confirm or deny whether the Department of Justice has an open case on Bundy, and the BLM has remained mum as well.

But since the standoff last April, the Clark County rancher hasn’t just hunkered down to wait and see what the feds will do. He described to HCN over e-mail that the standoff has given him “a wider opportunity to speak and more influence.” He and his close supporters have continued to voice their political views about the federal government, which have bled into the local process to update a BLM resource management plan for southern Nevada.

In December, Bundy declared at a Nye County Commissioners meeting (which borders his home county) that the federal government has no authority and urged locals to cease engagement with the BLM altogether. Commissioner Dan Schinhofen recalls that Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven, said at the meeting that if commissioners even communicated with the federal agency, they should be thrown out of office. According to the Pahrump Valley Times, Cliven Bundy helped spur the passage of an anti-BLM resolution in Nye County. Commissioner Donna Cox, who shares some similar views with the Bundys, proposed the resolution to categorically say "no” to the BLM.

“I think she envisioned that (we would) not further work on the resource management plan and (the BLM) would just run away and go hide,” Schinhofen told me. “But (the BLM’s) going to do their RMP process no matter what. Their bosses are telling them to do it.”

Despite the lingering support for Bundy in some corners, for Schinhofen and at least one other commissioner, the Bundys lean too far right. “Supposedly I'm now the BLM apologist,” Schinhofen says. But in Nye County, that isn’t saying much. He and other commissioners are part of an effort to transfer federal public lands to state control—a local manifestation of a larger movement afoot, currently centered in Utah. They don’t want BLM controlling their recreation areas and grazing allotments, but at least they’re trying to make change through laws that already exist, he sayswriting a proposal to reverse them, and working with the agency on things like resource management plans in the meantime.

Bundy's anti-federal influence continues to be inspiring to at least a few hundred people in Schinhofen’s area and likely many more beyond. A November 2014 BLM public meeting in Pahrump, Nevada, to discuss the proposed management plan (the same one that prompted some commissioners to resolve to say "no" to the BLM) was canceled after a hundred or so people showed up to protest—too many to fit into the community hall the meeting was scheduled for. According to commissioner Lorinda Wichman, Bundy supporters had sent an email blast to locals, encouraging them to show up to “help save our right to use our public lands,” to protest any potential BLM “retaliation of the Bundy family,” (which some Bundyites have claimed is one of the goals of the resource management plan) and calling the BLM the “Bureau of Land Grabbing Maggots.”

And every day that passes without a federal government move to prosecute Bundy is a day that he and his followers are emboldened. “We have not been bothered by nor have we even seen a US government licensed vehicle of any kind on the Bundy Ranch or the northeast portion of Clark County,” Bundy said in his email, referring to the last 11 months. “Cattle prices are good and green grass is growing!”

Tay Wiles is the online editor of High Country News. 

Rich & Terry Fairbanks
Rich & Terry Fairbanks
Mar 10, 2015 02:43 PM
This is the kind of political cowardice that gives government a bad name. Jewell is proving to be a really bad Interior Secretary. If Bundy gets his grazing for free, do I get to cut my BLM firewood for free? Geez, maybe I should grab some BLM saw logs while I am out there.
Marion Dickinson
Marion Dickinson
Mar 10, 2015 03:09 PM
What Bundy should do is create a tax free organization for utilizing grazing animals to fertilize and aerate the soil. Then he could collect millions in tax payer dollars like the environmentalist groups do.
Walter Brown
Walter Brown Subscriber
Mar 10, 2015 03:14 PM
These lands belong to me and the rest of the American people. Mr. Bundy's cattle are trespassing on my land. I want the DOJ to protect my property rights. The law is the law. Are we going to have to sue the BLM to make them enforce it?
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 10, 2015 06:10 PM
That corporate-banker Interior chief is as useless as Holder is at Justice. Send in the military and roust those scum, especially the punk who was one the overpass aiming his pop-gun AR. Get the welfare cowboys completely off public lands.
Richard Meyer
Richard Meyer
Mar 10, 2015 10:26 PM
That's it. I'm done. Your political slant has finally run me off. I gave your site the benefit of the doubt for a long time, but no more. Adios.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 05:33 AM
"That's it. I'm done. Your political slant has finally run me off. I gave your site the benefit of the doubt for a long time, but no more. Adios"

I hear that Richard--straight out of Carl Marx text. However, I plan on staying--call it "intelligence gathering" (keeping up with what the enemy is up to.

Reviewing the comments, I have to sadly conclude that there are so very few people left that know and understand the origins of property rights as promulgated by John Locke--the foundation of the founding of America.

It is simply NOT ethically possible for government to "own" anything because everything government possesses was taken from someone else at the point of a gun. There "possession" of things is only because their guns are bigger than ours.
Craig Bowman
Craig Bowman
Mar 11, 2015 10:48 AM
I still wonder how ranchers & cowboy-types can continue to wield such influence on both state & federal government, in spite of their minority status. A lot more residents of AZ are NOT cattlemen than are, but they still throw their weight around ! I'm sick of them.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 11:12 AM
Holy molly, we have a commentor who is smarter than John Locke! LOL

So Greg and Craig, you are telling me that you are OK with people having a gun put to their head and being forced (force is the threat of violence) to comply with your world view?

The "greater good" (in the contemporary use of the word) is a Marxist idea. Adam Smith had a better idea--we each operate in our own best-interest and, in so doing, we operate in the best interest of society as a whole.

Keep in mind that government bureaucrats are just like the rest of us--the operate in their own best interest. The best interest of a government bureaucrat is NEVER the best interest of society. No government bureaucrat can or will husband any resource better than the man who owns a capital interest in that resource.

Rich Fairbanks
Rich Fairbanks
Mar 11, 2015 01:09 PM
This is the west. We like our public lands. If you really think John Locke and private property rights should govern land use, move to New Jersey.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 01:11 PM
Sounds like nonsense? Or capitalism? Are you saying capitalism is nonsense. If you are, you were seriously betrayed by the mandatory government propaganda camp (some still call them "public schools" you escaped from.

Hey, if it was not for the White Western European (or his methods) the rest of the world would still be digging tubers out of the ground with a pointed stick and they need to get over it.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 01:17 PM
"We like 'our' public lands." I live in the west--Trans-Pecos Texas. I can take you to Brewster County and show you more road killed deer than there is in all of Coronado National Forest (which, by the vegetation, should be lousy with deer). Why? Simple, open access.

And if you want to know what the boys back east have figured out (because they are the ones that are picking up the tab for your follies. “We in the East are tired of paying billions of dollars for the federal government to mismanage federally controlled lands in the West,” says South Carolina State Representative Alan Clemmons.

The word is out. Your days of frolic on "your" "public" lands are numbered.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 01:22 PM
"Typical republican I guess."

You really know how to insult a guy. I am not a republican much less a typical one.

I am a hard core radical libertarian or what is better known as an Anarcho-Capitalist. We do not believe that there is anything (ANYTHING) that ANY government does (up to and including the provision of protective and adjudicative services) that a private property-natural law based, for profit society can not do better.

Every form of government known to mankind has been tried and they have all failed. Our very own noble experiment with constitutionally limited government has been a catastrophic failure. It is time we gave liberty a chance.

jtl, 419
Richard Crow
Richard Crow Subscriber
Mar 11, 2015 01:52 PM
The public lands in the west are, in a sense, a case of the tragedy of the commons.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 01:58 PM
No it is you that is wrong. There is a little book called The Not So Wild Wild West that I highly recommend for those who have an IQ anywhere close to a rock and wish to learn true history and not the government's version. It is scholarly and well documented.

You will find that, contrary to Hollywood and the government's version, the Western Frontier was a relatively peaceful place--that is until "law and order showed up."

There were no "Indian Wars" (to speak of) until the goddamned Yankee occupation army showed up. As soon as Dishonest Abe's henchmen (Sherman in particular) got through perfecting their "total warfare" (kill 'em all 'n let God sort 'em out) on us Southerners they turned it on the plains Indian.

And it was NOT to protect the settlers. It was to protect the railroads. Lincoln was not a "humble rail splitter from Illinois. He was a corporate lawyer who lusted after continental empire.

And please do not confuse (a symptom of a "public" indoctrination--err education) Capitalism with what we have today--Fascism. Benito Mussolini himself said that, Fascism should be called "corporatism" because it is the marriage of big business, with big government and big military. That is NOT what we mean by "capitalism" and you would already have known that had you not been shorted down there at the propaganda camp.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 02:02 PM
PS. Here is the link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/[…]/0804748543
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 02:03 PM
Greg - what do you have against white people man? You ought to focus your energy against aggression in all its forms from all different people. Aggression is what you despise, not white people. Aggression is just as wrong when it is from a white, black asian or hispanic person. Think about what the root problem is rather than attributing the problem, falsely, to a race.
Rich Fairbanks
Rich Fairbanks
Mar 11, 2015 02:32 PM
Jimmy La Baume writes that
"We do not believe that there is anything (ANYTHING) that ANY government does (up to and including the provision of protective and adjudicative services) that a private property-natural law based, for profit society can not do better. "
So the government workers have to live up to your utopian fantasy of a society that has never existed? The only society that comes close to your "private property-natural law based society" is Somalia.
You must realize, Mr. LaBaume, you sound crazy. I don't just disagree with you, I suspect you are not in touch with reality. Abraham Lincoln was a corporate lawyer? The word is out about public lands? There were no Indian wars? So many of you righties have created your own reality. OK with me, but when you attack our land, the public land, you don't get to have your own set of facts.
John McReynolds
John McReynolds
Mar 11, 2015 02:36 PM
....all of these wronged people of the past (Indians, tribes, settlers of all color..etc..) were wronged (killed, extermimated, raped, torchered, enslaved..etc) by who or what?.....Government!!!...no matter what point in history or the future you care to discuss....the presence of government has and will ALWAYS result in death and destruction to humans!
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 11, 2015 02:43 PM
"So the government workers have to live up to your utopian fantasy of a society that has never existed?"

A "utopia" is something that is impossible to achieve. Freedom is not impossible to achieve. All we have to do is decided to be free and remove our consent.

Check this out if you care to see how wrong you are about there never having been such a society. First is a general FAQ page: https://flyoverpress.wordpress.com/anarcho-capitalist-faq/

Then one of the sub-pages offers historical examples of such societies. Notice that the Western Frontier in America (before law and order and the Yankee occupation army showed up) is one of them http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/anarchism/faq.html#part18
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 02:51 PM
Rich - the true utopian is you who thinks putting power into the hands of a few will lead to anything improved over what we can do for ourselves.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 02:53 PM
Greg - "the white man" does not exist. There are many men of many different colors. I've never seen "THE white man" have you?

This is not a logical way of viewing the world. It is collectivist and dangerous. In the world there are individuals each with a mind of his or her own.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 02:55 PM
John, "The only society that comes close to your "private property-natural law based society" is Somalia. "

You are incorrect. Somalia is a country with multiple governments competing for power.
Damon White
Damon White
Mar 11, 2015 02:56 PM
Rich, you placed a question mark after "Abraham Lincoln was a corporate lawyer." That punctuation mark indicates , after Jimmy stated he WAS, that you question the fact he was a corporate lawyer. Should it be a typo then, ok, honest mistake.

However, should it not be a typo, how can anyone take what you are saying seriously considering you don't know that Lincoln was one of the greatest corporate lawyers of his day?

The man practiced law for 23 years of his life. The vast majority of his practice was representing Illinois Central, Wabash, and Rock Island railroad corporations.

He was a "corporate lawyer" through and through.

Anyway, this is not on topic of the above article, but how do expect to be taken seriously while displaying that much lack of knowledge?
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 02:56 PM
Meant to address Rich, not John in my last comment. Sorry.
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 11, 2015 04:39 PM
Last time I checked, Locke, along with Adam Smith (another favorite of the right) were long dead, along with the world, and the economic system, they described. I got news for one of you: the PUBLIC will retain those lands. There are more of us than there are of you.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 05:31 PM
Harvey your collectivism is showing. Who is "us" and are you making the argument that right and wrong is determined by popularity? Or are you arguing that might makes right? You are exposing yourself as lacking principles with these types of comments. Speaking of which, if you don't mind sharing what guiding principles you live by I'd appreciate that. Something tells me you won't because you can't. Your comments suggest you lack roots and simply are afraid of what would happen without your masters boot on your throat. Could be stockholme sybdrome.
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 11, 2015 05:38 PM
Could be you're full of hot air. Public lands are something I'd be willing to die for, one of the few things. I have listened to your type bellow on for most of my life, and am sick of it.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 05:40 PM
Harvey, I pity you.
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 11, 2015 05:47 PM
I've heard that one before, from right-wingers pretending to know something of psychology. Always full of pity ... just before they stab you in the back or rob you blind. In fact, I got exactly your response a short time back, from a propagandist local TV nooze director when I pointed out the falsehoods propagated by his newsreaders. You people can't even be creative and simply read from your scripts, prepared by others.
Tom Darnell
Tom Darnell Subscriber
Mar 11, 2015 08:35 PM
Bottom line, Bundy should be tried for breaking various laws and if he is found guilty then he should man-up and take the punishment.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 10:34 PM
Really Greg?

Here are actual quotes from you:

"I am half white, (and part native american). And yes, the white man F'd over many Indian cultures, and they still are."

"every form of government known to mankind? wrong again - remember all those cultures that white people wiped out?"

"And Nathan, I never said anything about 'the white man'."

Hmm....
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 10:37 PM
Sorry Greg but I cannot support your infantile mindset of racism, or let you get away with denying something that can be easily confirmed by scrolling up and reading your recent comments.

If you can't understand the basic concept that there is no such thing as "the white man" and should not hold an entire group of people responsible for the acts of a few you are the naive one here.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 10:40 PM
Tom, don't be ridiculous what if I want to hold you responsible for arbitrary rules I wrote down on a piece of paper, regardless of right or wrong? Would man up and take responsibility for breaking my rules? Tell me when Bundy agreed to these rules or who he victimized by not following them.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 11, 2015 10:44 PM
"I'd fight to the death for private lands"

This is no different than saying you would fight to the death for STOLEN lands. Anything "public" was stolen. To belligerently claim you would fight to the death for theft and/or thieves says a lot about you doesn't it.
Tom Darnell
Tom Darnell Subscriber
Mar 12, 2015 06:38 AM
Nathan, Bundy signed a legally binding grazing lease with the BLM. He cannot arbitrarily decide not to honor that lease.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 07:01 AM
Dang, you guys had some great fun while I was sleeping.

Nathan, you are awesome! That becomes obvious when they tell you "I'm not going to read any more of your posts." Maybe they want to close their ears and minds to liberty but at least you have planted the seed.

Inherently, all men want to be free and very few of them are thieves. I am constantly amazed at how many people there are out there who would, never in a million years, consider walking into a convenience store, stick a gun in the clerks face and demand the money. Yet, they have no compunction whatsoever about having the government do essentially that exact same thing on their behalf.

The poor sheeple are victims of a lifetime of authoritarian (and collectivist) indoctrination which accounts for their confusion.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 09:07 AM
Thanks Jimmy the feeling is mutual.
I figured Greg would tap out eventually. He went the way of calling me a name and then storming off. He'll be back though, I'm sure because you are right, the seed is planted and its going to itch until he gets his head out of the sand and starts applying grown-man principles like the Non-aggression principles to his views.

What Greg and some of these other statist hooligans here don't understand is legal plunder. Legal plunder is defined as that which is a crime when done by the individual but legal and acceptable when done by “government”. When the individual confiscates the currency of another it is called theft and is prosecuted as a violation of property rights. The amount of theft that is moral is zero in all cases, regardless if those stolen funds will be used towards “legitimate” ends. The government exists by way of legalized plunder.

Aggression ought to be rejected. Anyone who argues for aggression/government/public lands is literally pulling the carpet out from under themselves logically. Even worse is that it comes across like boot-licking and is pitiful.
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 12, 2015 12:32 PM
Oh, Nathan, quit being silly ("awesome", hah). I've listened to your kind most of my life. You were wrong when I was young, and you're still wrong. Welfare cowboys are gonna be a thing of the past, and soon. More go under every day, even with all the government assistance we provide them. And, they provide such a tiny portion of the meat supply that they won't even be missed, all their baloney about "tradition" (actually engrained bad habits of the last 160 or so years) aside. You states righters remind me of the "magic power of the comma" crowd when it comes to interpreting the U.S. Constitution: completely lacking lacking in logic.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 12:58 PM
lotflmao. Hey Nathan, when I see posts like these, I am reminded of something Doc Borrego wrote a while back. It is worth quoting:

Arguing with stupid is a painful and ultimately pointless endeavor.

At least evil and malicious understands the point of view of the moral high ground, non-Aggression principle, private property rights and self ownership. They just chose to ignore it or claim some sort of divine providence that gives them authority over it.

Stupid on the other hand cannot even understand nor comprehend the argument in the first place. Thus they are not only culpable for such "evil and malicious" acts of the "greater good"; but also are the epitome of the "useful idiot."
Henry Fulton
Henry Fulton
Mar 12, 2015 01:01 PM
Jimmy: What is the difference between the texts you've recommended and everyone else's "propaganda"? People can have other ideas about the best way to pursue human well-being without being brainwashed. I agree that what's taught in public schools is often misleading, but that includes the whole capitalism=progress thing. Don't dismiss me as a "Marxist." As you yourself have insinuated, closing one's ears to counterarguments is exactly how one ends up blinded by ideology. (For the record, I don't believe Marx's recommendations will work, but I appreciate his concerns about capitalism.) There are countless cases, observable regardless of which philosophers one's read, where the pursuit of individual interests does not = the best interests of society as a whole. Bundy is a great example. What makes him different from the person robbing the convenience store at gunpoint? It's not like he's giving the proceeds back to the taxpayers. He's just being greedy.

Would Locke condone this? Absolutely not! Yes, he says that people should be able to claim as much (unclaimed) land they are able to use to their advantage. But Harvey is right. Locke's justification for this expansion, at least in his discussion of property, is that 1) labor always improves the land, so the person who puts in the time/energy to make land more productive should get to claim it as their own and 2) there's plenty of land to go around. Today, neither one of these assumptions hold, and Locke, who reviled dogma and ideology, would most certainly revise his position (Recall that he was originally quite authoritarian)

More importantly, Locke was WELL aware of the limitations of #2. Even in the 1600s, the notion of there being enough land for everyone was only possible in his state of nature, where it only makes sense to claim enough land to provide your family with food, etc. Since natural resources don't last very long, taking more land doesn't increase your advantage. But once people start using money, these natural limitations expand indefinitely, because people can sell whatever they can't use, and the money they make lasts forever. So more land = more advantage. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY Locke thought civil society was necessary. To protect property in a society where advantage can be hoarded and stolen, and private interests can quickly spiral out of control.

By letting Bundy do as he pleases, the government is failing to do one of the only things that it is, in Locke's view (which, even Locke would argue, should not be treated as orthodoxy), supposed to be doing. Lockeans should be pissed.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 01:16 PM
Henry, the difference between your views and my conclusions are really very simple. A premise is the point from which reasoning begins. An axiom is a self-evident truth needing no proof. Unless your premise is axiomatic, your conclusion will always be wrong no matter how impeccable the logic applied.

Our underlying axiomatic premise is "self-ownership." We each own ourselves. There are only two other alternatives: 1) someone else owns us (we call that slavery) or 2) we each own a pro-rata share of the other (we call that communism).

So what is the difference in a country where 50% of the population are slaves and a country where all of the population are 50% slaves.

When people talk about taxes, the Feral (not a typo) Income Tax is the first that usually comes to mind. But, it is only one of over 200 taxes. Over your lifetime you will fork over more than 50% of the fruits of your labor to the "greater good."

Your grossly mismanaged "public lands" are a unquestionable burden on a lot of folks who do not live in public land states. They are also substantial drag on the states in which they are located. There is a reason that New Mexico is the poorest state in the union.

Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 01:17 PM
PS. If you are happy, rattle your chains.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 02:05 PM
Harvey: "You states righters"

Sorry, but you mistook me for a statist. I'm a voluntaryist, also known as anarcho-capitalist. Your comments are increasingly less relevant. If you want to get a response from me again, please provide a comment that has an argument or some redeeming value in it. You don't even know what I stand for and pathetically straw-man your way through your arguments. I'm not a "states-righter" I believe all interactions between people should be voluntary to be valid and I reject aggression in all of its forms including the government form which is really the legalized aggression form.

Oh and guess what, even though you would advocate aggression against me, you yourself would probably never initiate force against me personally because you know better. We probably aren't all that different at the end the day.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 02:05 PM
Jimmy: "If you are happy, rattle your chains"

LOL
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 02:08 PM
Jimmy - "Stupid on the other hand cannot even understand nor comprehend the argument in the first place. Thus they are not only culpable for such "evil and malicious" acts of the "greater good"; but also are the epitome of the "useful idiot."

Indeed.

I would say welcome to my world but you've been dealing with these types longer than I have. :)
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 02:14 PM
In a nutshell my conversation with Harvey has gone like this:

Me: Harvey, I think you should be free and have 100% control over your own domain. I believe in your God-given right to self-ownership. I feel you should not be robbed by another individual or individuals or by so-called representatives (government) of another individual or individuals.

Harvey: "No! I know your type..."

Me: "All I want is for everyone to have liberty. Don't you want to be free and don't you respect the freedom of your neighbors or brothers and sisters?"

Harvey: "No! I know your type..."

And so on. and so forth.
-------

If taking 100% of the production of a person's labor is slavery, at what percent does it stop being slavery? Yes, I am saying that we are all slaves of the state...so STOP LICKING YOUR MASTER'S BOOTS and join me in spreading the message of liberty. Stand up for yourself.


Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 02:17 PM
Actually Nathan, as I said somewhere above, having an axiomatic premise and then proceeding with logic of the kind, if A = B and B = C, then A = C, is what makes arguing with statists of all manner (libtards and neo-cons) a whole lot like clubbing baby seals. It is pretty easy work. lol
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 02:17 PM
Actually Nathan, as I said somewhere above, having an axiomatic premise and then proceeding with logic of the kind, if A = B and B = C, then A = C, is what makes arguing with statists of all manner (libtards and neo-cons) a whole lot like clubbing baby seals. It is pretty easy work. lol
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 02:18 PM
Sorry for the double post. Don't know what happened but will try to figure out how to delete one of them.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 02:32 PM
Jimmy, I hear you. A few years ago I wasn't much different than these chuckle heads. I was a neo-con who lacked principles. I was drifting in the wind, outsourcing my critical thinking to the likes of radio talk show hosts and politicians. I am deeply ashamed of myself for basking in ignorance for so long.

The non-aggression principle/axiom opened my eyes and through it I was able to reevaluate my entire belief structure. Today I am a very grounded Christian anarcho-capitalist with deep deep roots. To do this one must be willing to admit that they might be wrong about many things. Notice how Harvey and others avoid getting into discussions about principles by way of logical fallacies such as straw-man arguments - calling a world without legalized aggression (government) a utopia. They talk out of their asses. I know this because I used to be an ass-talker just like them. The truth is they are acting like children - totally unaware that being a man means admitting you have made mistakes and choosing to follow a better path when one is presented to you.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 12, 2015 02:40 PM
Yep, it took me some 40 years after Vietnam to figure out that I had been a dupe. You got lucky and saw the light a little younger than I did.

Oh, BTW, I see that somehow in the "electronic" turmoil, I failed to complete my last post.

It is pretty easy work because either their premise is not axiomatic or their logic is flawed--usually both.
 
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 12, 2015 03:05 PM
And what, Nathan, will be your next incarnation?
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 04:02 PM
Harvey, if wisdom was a tree the non-aggression axiom is the root of the tree. I have reached the roots. From there, all other things can grow. If there are any other "incarnations" in my life it will be from this root. Why won't you get sanity in your life and take some time to apply the non-aggression principle and all its merits to your rotten ideas? Consider it a personal challenge from me to you; explore the NAP and tell me why you agree or disagree with it.

By the way, discussing things in a non-violent way, like you are doing here (although you are barely coherent) is utilization of the NAP. Communication is choosing reason over force.

Here's a hint for you - you cannot argue against the NAP because you are arguing against the very action you are taking. Arguing, debating, name-calling, begging, reasoning, persuading etc. is all the application of the NAP.
Harvey H Reading
Harvey H Reading Subscriber
Mar 12, 2015 04:11 PM
Your babble reminds me of someone who just completed a 12-step program. They're generally of authoritarian personality, since those programs seem to be most successful for that type, people who are good followers as well as happy to lord it over others, not to mention full of advice on how others should live their lives. The rest of us tough it out by looking inward, toward our own strengths, needing no help from some nonexistent god or other hokum. Anyway, I've seen plenty of that type in my life, and you sure fit the bill. And, for what it's worth, you can stick your advice where the sun don't shine. The idea that a person like you has the gall to suggest that I lack principles and that a guy like you has the answers simply sickens me. Now, I have enough of your bull, so blabber away with your nonsense for the edification of others dumb enough to buy into it.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 12, 2015 04:52 PM
So in other words "No! I know your type..."

LMFAO
Tay Wiles
Tay Wiles Subscriber
Mar 13, 2015 09:11 AM
Hi everyone: Thank you for reading and commenting. HCN would like to remind you that these forums are meant for productive and respectful discussion about the topics presented in the story. We'll close the forum on this story if commenters continue to stray from the topic at hand and are disrespectful to each other.

Thank you.
Tay Wiles
Online Editor, High Country News
Henry Fulton
Henry Fulton
Mar 13, 2015 10:30 AM
Jimmy,

Axioms are dangerous. Interrogating your premises is always important, even if--ESPECIALLY if--you think they are self-evident.

And either way, I began with your assumption of self-ownership. I just didn't accept your premise that the alternatives are slavery or communism. Civil society requires us to give up some freedoms in exchange for others. It's supposed to be voluntary--you can leave any time, so it's not slavery (there's no such thing as being 50% enslaved). I personally don't buy into this notion of rational social contracts--in part because for many people, leaving a society is a luxury they can't afford, and also because self-ownership is a complicated matter. For one, how do we know what our "true" interests are, when our interests/desires/identities are, from birth, shaped not only by public institutions, but by private ones as well? (If you want to talk about brainwashing, what about advertisements, pop culture, data mining? All of those things would still exist without a gov't) Case in point: the premise that our interests are reducible to monetary value.

And even if you could step outside of all of this, then what? You have two options. You could become a homesteader--no income, living off the grid, entirely self-sufficient. I do wish there was a way for folks of your persuasion to do this. The other option is to stay in the system. Everyone who participates in the economy depends on public resources and protections (take Bundy, who has been benefitting tremendously from the BLM's management of the land he uses and their efforts to protect it from overgrazing) Locke's point is that once property can be amassed as money, larger institutions are needed to keep the powerful from becoming all-powerful by amassing everything. Our gov't is not doing a good job of this (and yes, it often compounds the problem), but it's unclear an unbridled private sector would better serve the "people," especially now that people are often not the customers, but the products.

But let's say we privatized everything. To me, this is a far scarier prospect for innumerable reasons. One example: the elimination of the "public." Bundy's dispute was a public issue, and the only reason the feds didn't proceed as planned was because folks from all over the country found out what was going on and came to support him. To be clear, I'm appalled by the outcome in this case, but I'm glad that people from minority points of view can organize and gain public audience, because there are times when the gov't and/or the majority are flagrantly in the wrong. But what if, in a the society you envision, Bundy was grazing on your land, in subtle violation of your contract. He's rich, and he's pals with your private law enforcement group, so they see things his way. Your attempts to get him off your land are seen as aggression and next thing you know you're in prison, shot, etc. (granted, this is already a reality for many minority groups) And that's the end of it. It's a private issue, not a public one, so there's no oversight, no discussion of rights or laws, nowhere to escalate your case or lack thereof. And again, this is in some ways already happening with the privatization of the US prison system. In short, reducing restrictions doesn't always mean more freedom, and you can't count on the market to protect everyone's rights--just a privileged, powerful subset. If I'm misunderstanding your/Nathan's politics, please let me know.
Walter Brown
Walter Brown Subscriber
Mar 13, 2015 11:11 AM
Well said Mr. Fulton. I think that ideologues of any stripe are often guilty of not projecting their positions far enough into the complexities of the social and financial interactions that exist today, much less those that will exist in the future. It is much easier to imagine the impact of such arguments played out on the landscapes that existed in 1850, or even 1950. By advancing single-minded positions, I think many ideologues are just defiantly resisting the complexities of the world that lots of folks find difficult to cope with. For my part, I prefer to roll up my sleeves and try to deal with complexity, although that's an increasingly difficult task for me as I grow older! My fondest hope is that I never succumb to a desire to "turn back the clock" to "return to a simpler time", because I think it would be the equivalent of throwing in the towel on personal growth. Thanks for your comments.
master nicholas krick
master nicholas krick
Mar 13, 2015 11:53 AM
Trespass cattle?
Grass Valley
Grass Valley
Mar 13, 2015 12:18 PM
For those of you that think Clive stole something from YOU, as YOU purport to own that land; I suggest you send him an invoice for your 1/319,000,000th share of the grazing value of that land. My bet is he will pay you. If YOU own it, stop whining about theft and claim what is yours. Oh, wait. You want somebody else like the government to take care of your business. They're just managing and administrating YOUR land you say? Ok, when is the last time you got a dividend check less administration fees from the BLM? Has anybody pissed off at Bundy ever asked the BLM for factual evidence of where the grazing fees end up? Probably not. Most of us act on assumptions and don't bother to ask real questions.

I am really enjoying the comments from Jimmy and Nathan. There are few people in this world that are interested in real freedom and want to be responsible. Self determination anybody? Too many people are unable to recognize that they are enslaved and will hopelessly scream, expecting somebody else to take care of them.

This Bundy situation has really brought to the public attention more important issues than grazing and I think it is helping to wake some people up. I know that most of you will not comprehend part of my message here, but some will.
Grass Valley
Grass Valley
Mar 13, 2015 01:33 PM
hahah, now that's the spirit Joseph! I wish I had your moral and ethical superiority.

"you don't want the government running your life? you belong behind bars, locked up forever!"

So is the argument about grazing fees or wildlife? I'm not sure I follow your emotion laden argument.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 13, 2015 01:34 PM
Grass- I appreciate your comments! Its great to know there are others out there who love and understand liberty as much as Jimmy and I do.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 13, 2015 02:15 PM
The moderators erase my comment comparing Joseph's comments to what Hitler might say about Jews but leave Joseph's comment up which calls me and others a "gun nut" and "moronic" and "the absolute lowest denominator of life on earth" and "arrogant." What gives?
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 13, 2015 02:53 PM
It is impossible for any government to ethically "own" anything. Every thing that any government has was taken from someone else at the point of a gun.

The government is not "us." "We" are not the government. The government is nothing but a mafia like criminal organization composed of a relatively small group of elite men (and a few mentally retarded women like Nancy Pelosi) who hold a regional monopoly on the use of force and violence. It has one and only one reason for existing--to take wealth from the productive class and give it to their cronies in the military, industrial, congressional, educational complex.

What else but communist can you call any country whose government (not the same thing as the people) claim title to over 60% of the land mass west of the 100th meridian (about Denver)?

Yours for freedom in our lifetimes. jtl
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 13, 2015 02:54 PM
I think the editor has an agenda.
Nathan  Braymen
Nathan Braymen
Mar 13, 2015 02:58 PM
Government (aggression) must be recognized for what it is, rejected on principle, and eliminated. It cannot correct itself. It cannot be limited. Stealing is wrong period. There is no "law" that can be passed to fix this problem.

"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." -Lysander Spooner
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 13, 2015 03:13 PM
That is a great quote from Lysander Spooner. For lurkers that may not know, Lysander Spooner was an abolitionist back during the 1960's. However, in spite of that, he still argued for the South's right to secede from the union.

He also argued convincingly that the constitution was not a binding contract on anybody. I never signed it. Did you?

Speaking of "legal" documents, you guys that claim the public domain is THEIRS--where is your deed?

Do you even know how the "public domain" came to be? Remember the old maps of the colonies? The southern colonies extended all the way to the Pacific ocean. Most of the northern colonies did not.

When the time came to compensate the veterans of the Revolution, the southern states said, "Easy day. We'll give them land." As usual, the northern states whined that they didn't have any western lands. They would have to tax their population which they did not want to do because they had just got through fighting a war over taxation.

Eventually, the southern states agreed to the creation of a "public domain" out of their western lands. Boy have we ever came to regret that.

But the FedGov agreed that, when the territories became states, the "public domain" lands would revert to the new states for disposal as they saw fit. And that happened too--but mostly east of the Misssissippi. By the time what we know today as the 11 Western "public lands" states, the FedGov reneged on its promise and essentially stole the promised lands from the states.

Boys and girls, we live in an "occupied territory."

  
Marion Dickinson
Marion Dickinson
Mar 13, 2015 03:54 PM
If the recreationalists who use the land for their own pleasure, providing absolutely nothing for anyone else use the land for free, why are those that use the land to produce food & energy for Americans supposed to pay thru the nose? Without fuel for your vehicle you're not going anywhere and without farmers and ranchers you aren't going to eat. Have any of you noticed that the price of meat has exploded? Cattle numbers are the lowest in many many years.
Rich Fairbanks
Rich Fairbanks
Mar 13, 2015 09:19 PM
The comment thread has wandered far from the original story. The story is that once again, a wealthy white man is not paying his bills. In this case the bill he owes is to the people of the US, who own the land being grazed. A paragon of white privilege (remember his speech that began with the words 'I want to tell you one more thing about the negro....') is taking our property without compensation and once again the Department of Justice is too busy arresting potheads to hold this man accountable. This story exemplifies the end-game for libertarians. Wealthy white men take what they want, point guns at those who might object. No amount of intellectual onanism by these libertarian commenters can contradict this basic truth.
Grass Valley
Grass Valley
Mar 13, 2015 10:42 PM
The record indicates that the "wealthy white man" made attempts to pay Clarke County and residents (the LAWFUL owners of the land in question) and they did not accept payment. Have you tried sending "the wealthy white man" an invoice for your share of that PUBLIC property? Probably not, that would require some logical thinking and would take up too much of your precious time. Best to just complain about things and expect some "authority" to take care of your business.

Has it crossed your mind that the DOJ has NO claim against Bundy and that is the reason they are not pursuing this further? Or is the problem that some people still believe in the 2nd amendment and the right to property (not referencing public land - guns are simply property)? Maybe the basic truth is that some people stand on their beliefs and don't bend over for some clown wearing a suit or a uniform?

Perhaps you should recognize that your government (the authority trying to bring justice to this situation) is the party that brought guns to a peaceful scene and is the entity pointing guns all over the globe in the name of "peace" against all those dang people that just want LIBERTY.

Oh the irony....I don't expect most of the numbskulls to comprehend and I'm wasting my time on this foolish comment board. Most boot-lickers here are beyond conversion to reality.
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 14, 2015 05:52 AM
Grass Valley is spot on.

I am just about to violate my own cardinal rule—never publish long comments because nobody ever reads them (I don’t). But…WTH? Here goes.

The stated policy/philosophy of the Fed's land (mis)management agencies has long been one of "multi-use." Those that know anything about it will tell you; that should be multi-ABUSE. (I was the Range Task Force Leader at the University of Arizona in the early 80s--the height of the Sage Brush Rebellion which is not over. Presently, I am a professional natural resource and economic “hit man” for resource users having problems with Federal Land management agencies.)

And I can tell you that of all the different "users" (recreationists, minerals, timber, etc) the rancher is the best land steward. His livelihood depends on conserving the land.

I can also tell you that, legally, there is such a thing as private property rights in these (so-called) "public" lands. You don't have to take my word. Simply google US vs. Hage.

Wayne Hage fought the battle for some 17 years, died of cancer and his estate continued to persist until it prevailed. The estate was awarded some $17 million--not nearly as much as it should have been.

There is not space here for a complete brief of the suit but it essentially boils down to:

During territorial days (before “law and order” showed up) various resource user groups came to contractual agreements about the use of the resource—miners were the ones to originate such agreements concerning water.

Then, when the territories became states, these private agreements became water law at the STATE level. (Water law in the west is State, not Fed).

With this came the philosophy of “beneficial use.” One could retain a property right in water as long as he was putting that water to “beneficial use.”

So, Hage’s case actually rested on water law—grazing livestock was his “beneficial use” of the water and is what maintained his private property right to the grazing.

And so, grazing fees are nothing but a tax on a private property right. Bundy offered to pay his “tax” but was rejected.

If you (the “public lands are mine” crowd) really want to understand the reality (legality) of this, and become something but a blow-hard when you grow up, then you will close your mouth long enough to read a book or two. You can even use your finger and move your lips if you need to.

For the legal (including the legal history) perspective, I’d recommend: Storm over Rangelands: Private Rights in Federal Lands http://astore.amazon.com/flyove-1-20/detail/0939571153

For the overall historical perspective: The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier http://astore.amazon.com/flyove-1-20/detail/0804748543

For a brief overview article (and there are lots and lots of these—just google it) see: Federal Judge Rules for Property Rights, Smacks Down Abusive Feds http://www.thenewamerican.c[…]ts-smacks-down-abusive-feds

Yours for freedom in our lifetimes.
Henry Fulton
Henry Fulton
Mar 14, 2015 12:22 PM
Rich has said all there is to say. I'm trying my best to understand where Jimmy, Nathan and co. are coming from, but your position is incredibly inconsistent. A few brief points, since you don't read long posts:

1) If it is "impossible for any government to ethically "own" anything," how is it possible to steal land from a state, as Jimmy alleges? How does it make sense at all to say, as Grass does, that Clarke County and its residents are the "LAWFUL owner of the land," if you reject the notion of public land on principle?

2) It's interesting that the supposed anarcho-capitalists evoke the law when it's convenient and denounce it as tyrannical when it's not. Either way, private property rights on public lands are almost always revokable without compensation. Water does complicate things, but many states are very clear that water rights do not imply property rights, even if losing the latter reduces "beneficial use" (e.g. NM--see Diamond Bar Cattle vs US) But even if Bundy's claim to property rights is legit, he still has to pay his grazing fees: someone else is maintaining the land.

3) The gov't spends my tax dollars on plenty of things that I deeply abhor (e.g., military/police aggression, subsidizing greedy ranchers), so I understand your perspectives to a point. What I don't understand is how Bundy's actions are defensible under ANY political philosophy. How does rule-breaking for personal gain make anyone other than Bundy more free? If you're sympathetic to his cause/type, fine--but there is no way to turn these sympathies into a philosophically coherent political position.

4) Jimmy, your recommendation for a reliable legal history of the issue is by HAGE? Really?
Henry Fulton
Henry Fulton
Mar 14, 2015 12:23 PM
And thanks, Walter--it's refreshing to see a glimmer of reason on this board.

"For my part, I prefer to roll up my sleeves and try to deal with complexity, although that's an increasingly difficult task for me as I grow older! My fondest hope is that I never succumb to a desire to "turn back the clock" to "return to a simpler time", because I think it would be the equivalent of throwing in the towel on personal growth."

I couldn't agree more.
Grass Valley
Grass Valley
Mar 14, 2015 01:03 PM
Excellent post Jimmy. Thanks for the nibbles of info to explore further!
Tom Darnell
Tom Darnell Subscriber
Mar 14, 2015 02:45 PM
Mr. Labaume, you stated, "...the rancher is the best land steward." I'm sure you know why the the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 came about. Contributing factors to the decline of sage grouse is the overgrazing that greatly
reduces cover for sage grouse chicks and makes them more vulnerable to predation. Overgrazing in riparian
 areas reduces the production of forbs needed by the young birds. Now taxpayers are required to spent millions, perhaps billions for the improvement of sage grouse habitat to prevent a listing via the ESA. These expenditures
greatly benefit those grazing private and public lands. It seems appropriate that those receiving the greatest
benefit pay the greater share.
  
Regarding the taxing of Americans, they had no choice during the period 1995-2012 to hand out $292.14 Billion
in subsidies to farmers and ranchers, of which livestock payments for the period were $4.06 Billion.

Would you not agree that these programs should be ended?
Marion Dickinson
Marion Dickinson
Mar 14, 2015 04:10 PM
Actually cattle grazing not only churns up the ground aerating it, but cow pies provide food for the birds, in the seeds in them as well as the little insects that thrive under them. Human feces seldom has grains in it and may have a variety of drugs and medications.
Tom Darnell
Tom Darnell Subscriber
Mar 14, 2015 04:32 PM
I have spent countless hours in grazing county, mostly in drier sagebrush steppe, and have never seen any cow pies that have been exploited by birds as a food source.

If there is adequate grass/ground cover cattle do not churn up the soil, aerating it. Cattle compact the soil, decreasing aeration, especially if the soil is wet. Consider the PSI exerted on the soil by a 1000+ critter.

Also livestock urine and manure can contain antibiotics, potentially contaminating surface and ground water.
Tom Darnell
Tom Darnell Subscriber
Mar 14, 2015 05:20 PM
Mr. Labuame,

I found your open letter to you grandson Garett Ross interesting and enlightening regarding your strongly held beliefs about the role of our government and taxation.

How do you feel about Garett being taxed to provide subsidies to farmers and ranchers?
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 15, 2015 06:22 AM
I don't think I have ever encountered as many slow learners in on place, ever.

Let's back up to the beginning. Abolish the modern nation-State form of government and all the "issues" you guys seem so concerned about would self-solve as if by magic.

I do not support taxation (legalized extortion) for ANY reason. Also, I am the first to say that American agriculture is the biggest welfare recipient on earth.

We ancaps are modern day "abolitionists." We advocate for liberty NOW. But we are also realists. Just as with open "slavery" we realize that the concealed (by propaganda) flavor is not going to go away any day soon.

So, in the meantime, we support ANYTING that reduces the size of government and oppose ANYTHING that increases the size of government.

Also in reviewing the posts about grazing, for a bunch of "enviro-wackos" you demonstrate a remarkable ignorance of basic principles of ecology. Maybe range ecology should be the next direction this very entertaining "discussion" should go?
Marion Dickinson
Marion Dickinson
Mar 15, 2015 07:52 AM
Mr. Darnell, maybe if you just sat and watched for awhile you would see all sorts of things including birds eating from cow pies. As for the subsidies, there is not a single person in this country that doesn't benefit from subsidies in some way, from getting your mail in the morning on down the line. Once they started subsidizing this that or the other, it snowballed and I have no idea how we can eliminate it. Do you worry about the government money going to the non taxed environmental groups who contribute nothing except fund raising lawsuits?
Jimmy T LaBaume
Jimmy T LaBaume
Mar 15, 2015 08:04 AM
Marion understands.

And Maron, the day it will happen will be the day unconstitutional and unjust wars end. It will be the day the uS government (the greatest enemy of life, liberty and property ever devised by mankind) puts their collective pencils down, gets up from their desk and goes home.

Don't say it can't or won't happen. It happened in the old Soviet Union and it can (and eventually will) happen here too and for all the same reasons.