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Ash writes: "It's a stark image: A supporter of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy lies prone behind a concrete retaining wall on a freeway overpass, training a rifle on federal agents. He walked away a free man. When does that happen?"

A protester aims his weapon from a bridge next to the Bureau of Land Management's base camp. (photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
A protester aims his weapon from a bridge next to the Bureau of Land Management's base camp. (photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Cliven Bundy and Homeland Security

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

21 April 14

 

t’s a stark image: A supporter of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy lies prone behind a concrete retaining wall on a freeway overpass, training a rifle on federal agents.

He walked away a free man. When does that happen?

This episode, this time, involved a private rancher's self-proclaimed right to graze his commercial herd of cattle on public lands. The most coherent argument he makes is that his family has owned the adjacent ranch since the 1870s. The other arguments are more conceptual, focusing on issues like "natural law,” the “sovereign citizen movement,” and various other quasi-legal invocations based loosely and vaguely on the US Constitution and white-militia psycho-babble.

At stake clearly is the rule of law. “Terrorism” after 9/11, certainly in light the Patriot Act, is defined so broadly that any material act of opposition to the US Government can be prosecuted as an act terrorism and a matter of homeland security.

The images of fully militarized police beating unarmed Occupy protesters for nothing more than assembling in public places stands in vivid contrast to agents of Bureau of Land Management releasing back to Bundy and his heavily armed supporters 400 confiscated head of cattle.

Ultimately federal and state law enforcement officials would say they intended to handle it in court. But since the BLM operation was carried out pursuant to a federal court order, a subsequent court order is likely to carry the weight of a paper airplane. Make no mistake about it, this was a heavily armed standoff and the US Federal Government backed down.

Mostly white, middle aged, male, fiercely opposed to what they see as an oppressive government and just as fiercely loyal to the NRA, they took militarily-inspired positions in opposition to federal rangers with sights trained and fingers on triggers.

Civil War on the Table

“We’re about ready to take the country over with force!” Bundy bellowed to his supporters. There is no doubt that many of them wish they could.

While this case of federal agents acquiescing to the demands of an angry mob with guns may be unsettling, the reality is that it might have been the right decision. Had the situation escalated, what followed might have ignited an American insurgency. Bundy’s supporters, it should be noted, had a vast tactical advantage. The BLM personnel and lightly armed park rangers were totally outgunned and would have stood little chance against the militias assembled.

Yes, additional federal firepower could have been called in, in theory as much as needed, but had such an action resulted in significant loss of life the result could easily have been nationwide conflict.

White, NRA-inspired militias are as strong as ever in the US. It is their common belief that their guns stand between their way of life and a federal government intent on intruding. More than a few would welcome armed conflict. The NRA skillfully plays on and amplifies their fears, cashing in on wave after wave of arms and ammunition sales.

Further complicating matters is the validation and legitimacy these groups receive from a Congress and Supreme Court all too eager appease the NRA with laws and opinions more rooted in political convenience and ideology than in a realistic reading of the Second Amendment.

Enforcing the law in the face of such well armed and organized individuals may seem a daunting task, but the need to do so isn’t going away.


Marc Ash was formerly the founder and Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+114 # indian weaver 2014-04-21 10:01
Frankly, I find this episode unnerving. First, the federal government now allows domestic terrorism as long as you are white, male and well armed. These doodes actually faced down the armed federal government! The USA surrendered to domestic terrorism (again, by white males well-armed and in number)! Secondly, the government is not responding "appropriately" to blatant lawlessness. So, that enables and encourages more of it. This is the beginning of the end of national peace and quiet and the Rule of Law, if those elements of living here even exists anymore. Obviously the federal government no longer observes any rules of laws anywhere on the entire planet. SO, makes sense to us to follow their example. Get armed, get organized, and take down this fascist government, and replace it with armed white male goons? Great news. I'm outta here (actually we live and work in the Four Corners, sort of a foreign landscape and country already). This country - and government and white male supremacists - is totally nuts, unpredictable, rascist and fascist, at federal and local levels.
 
 
+59 # hwmcadoo 2014-04-21 12:44
Clearly our laws are based on who you are rather than the law itself. In any places even if white, but make a small move, you are dead. Dogs are shot as a matter of course if even a growl is detected and on its own [property.

If you are non-white the risk is a hundred fold Our President kills unarmed women and children with drones, latinos are deported destroying families for minor infractions.

We have prisons filled with kids for use of a small amount of marijuana and many unjustly in prison from prosecutorial misconduct and error.

But a group of men who have scoffed at the law for years, failed to pay legal bills for grazing and point loaded rifles at authorized federal agents is allowed to get away with just a promise ol continued talk while the scofflaws continue to graze, continue the non-payment. They are given a license to steal. and with this the problem will just get worse.

Where are those drones when you need them? Oh, yes, they are in Yemen killing children.
 
 
-28 # BKnowswhitt 2014-04-21 15:56
"If you are non-white the risk is a hundred fold Our President kills unarmed women and children with drones, latinos are deported destroying families for minor infractions." Please enlighten us. Our President has killed how many here at home? Come on!
 
 
+6 # Malcolm 2014-04-21 17:44
I DO hope that you're not implying it's ok for Obombya to kill women and children-and men-with drones, AS LONG AS IT DOESNT HAPPEN ON US SOIL!

Are you?
 
 
+8 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2014-04-21 18:40
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Since the beginning of time and since its human recording- all heads of state have the power to control populations for better or worse. Unless you sit next to them as their confidante, no citizen can speak about what they do with certainty. You can have your opinions, but you cannot have your own facts.
 
 
+1 # rhgreen 2014-04-23 12:16
BKnowswhitt, why don't you answer Malcolm's question? It's a straightforward one (not a "have you stopped beating your wife" one) with a yes-or-no answer. And it's an important relevant question.
 
 
+1 # Caliban 2014-04-23 20:40
Malcolm is not asking a serious question about policy and action, so BK has no need to respond to its literal foolishness.

But Malcolm (and hwmcadoo) do imply the President targets innocent women and children, and I take that to be a vicious lie for which they have plenty of prejudice but no evidence.
 
 
+25 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2014-04-21 13:32
Teajahdists. I read an article on Daily Kos about this guy today & the writer referred to these rifle-waving, Bible-thumping, domestic terrorists as such. Fits like finger-to-trigg er. They want another Waco & they want Obama's face to represent that "his" government started it; and it's now at a stand-off to see who blinks first... very dangerous and perhaps why the Feds backed off- for now.

They're domestic terrorists because they hold us hostage; we're either with them, or against them. I myself had to hold back when talking to a woman the other day; someone I was acquainted with only to find out she's "one of them." This is how she started her defense of Cliven: "My sister and I are both elders in our church..." There you have it. By first proclaiming that she's religious, she's showing her "get out of jail free card" to "prove" she's right, because of her chosen religion. ARRGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

Turns out the "Constitution" Cliven adheres to is rooted in the RE-history of W. Cleon Skousen (note the CL in the names... weird), who preached from his "Freedom Institute"- a group of radical Mormons who are the lungs from which demagogues, like Glen Beck, breathe. Yeah. To read this, please go to: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/20/1293342/-EXPOSED-The-Source-Of-Cliven-Bundy-s-Crackpot-Constitutionalism?

If this link doesn't work, probably Daily Kos.com should work. I hope this does to teajahdists like what happened when a Beetle claimed he was "Greater than God."
 
 
+11 # Malcolm 2014-04-21 17:48
Beetles are probably not greater than god. Beatles, on the other hand, certainly are.
 
 
+2 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2014-04-21 18:33
I thought I misspelled their name. I was in the crib when they invaded America, but I should've checked first; thanks much!

But... I don't think either one would sell out more tickets to a greater show :))
 
 
0 # Radscal 2014-04-23 13:33
BEATles from BEAT as in, rhythm.

Got a good BEAT; easy to dance to. I'll give it a 72.
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2014-04-24 11:20
The first time I heard the Beatles is one of my all time best memories. And the whole sixties scene that followed-inspir ed music, inspired sexual revolution, heaven on earth!
 
 
+21 # jcdav 2014-04-22 04:02
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Sinclair Lewis in "It Can't Happen Here”

Guess it becomes a question which religion gets the upper hand...our gvt serves the corporations (fascism) this is very like a religion...or the self righteous bible or koran interpreters.
 
 
+8 # RaW 2014-04-22 04:13
I think the actual quote was that they were "more popular than Jesus." At the time it was said, with screaming girls filling huge stadiums and three hit movies and the most consecutive #1 songs and most total #1 songs and most #1 songs in a single year according to Billboard, that was simply a statement of fact. Popularity shifts. And I agree, I do hope that's what will happen to the militias and Tea Party.
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2014-04-22 04:56
We could also call them,

THE TEA-LIBAN.
 
 
-1 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2014-04-22 09:47
Either one just needs to be repeated- like FAUX news does in daily diatribes.

I'm getting a bumper sticker made: "The difference between a real patriot and a hypocrite- is a Teabag."

I was going to say "teajhadists" but first I want to amplify the hypocrisy.
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 08:01
WallSt........W henever someone tells me to have a blessed day or I find out how "involved" they are with any given church/religion ....I RUN the other way. I have found ALL of them to be the biggest cowards and hypocrites. And I know that they would slash my throat without thinking twice if that is what their "church" told them to do.
 
 
+3 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2014-04-22 09:38
bmiluski, the sheer hypocrisy!!!

Jon Stewart- my hero! In his coverage last night of ole Cliven, showed him ridding his horse, waving an American flag the size of a house, asked: "If these people insist in not recognizing American government- shouldn't they get their own flag?" Then popped-up a Confederate flag, saying "At least they did." Brilliant.

Just waiting for the revelation that ole Cliven is receiving Social Security. Ah... another day in Hypocrisyville.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 12:46
I wonder if there is someone out there that could find out if he's on SS or Medicare.
 
 
+2 # michelle 2014-04-22 13:32
I can't find any solid biographical evidence for his age but I did find this in the Washington Times:

"Bundy’s parents bought the 160-acre ranch where he still lives in 1948, two years after he was born in Bundyville, Ariz."

That makes him about 68 and certainly eligible for both SS and Medicare.
 
 
0 # michelle 2014-04-22 13:36
I did find a Cliven D Bundy born April 29, 1946 in Bunkerville, Nevada on ancestry.com. I don't know if it the same Cliven Bundy and the Washington Times got it wrong. There are other Cliven Bundy's listed in other states. I guess the name is more common than I thought so my ancestry info could also be wrong.
 
 
+2 # Anarchist 23 2014-04-22 19:20
John Lennon never said he was greater than god..he commented that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, which was probably true at the time. Looking at the mass of the 'Jesus' folks now, I don't think it has been an improvement.
 
 
0 # JJS 2014-04-24 15:46
"Bigger than ...", "More popular than ..." but not "Greater than God" is what John Lennon was trying to say about the Beatles. He also explained it was in the context of his own colloquialism that he used the terms "bigger" and "popular" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNT4HnXlhI8
But I do think you are correct that Cliven is of the "old school" Mormonism of polygamy and "blacks" as inferior.
 
 
+15 # tclose 2014-04-21 19:51
indian weaver, although you make an excellent point about the government surrendering to domestic armed terrorism, I disagree wholeheartedly with your proposed solution: lets all get armed and take down the government. That is us being as nutty as they are.

No, what has to happen is for the government to take its time and apply the rule of law to these bastards, but in a way that does not cause another Ruby Ridge or Waco. Careful application of the law in all its manifestations, as has been done recently to Warren Jeffs, the Texas polygamist, and his tribe. But it also has to be done with some dispatch!

Remember the adage: "the long arm of the law". Cliven Bundy will eventually have to pay the piper.
 
 
+10 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 08:03
tclose....I absolutely agree with you. I would rather see these terrorists bankrupt and homeless rather than shot and made into a martyrs.
 
 
+1 # jsluka 2014-04-22 14:34
Thanks Tclose, I agree. I read years ago that all or at least most of the militia groups have already been heavily infiltrated by the FBI and other police agencies. In fact, there was a joke going around that if you attended a militia meeting more of the people there were undercover agents than actual militia supporters. If this is true, then the "long arm of the law" is likely to gradually assert itself, without a battle or bloodbath. At least, we should all hope so.
 
 
+2 # indian weaver 2014-04-23 13:07
You misinterpreted my blog.
 
 
-1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-04-23 12:57
I do not all of the facts in this case as I'm not an attorney. And I have tried to gather as many facts as I can. It would seem to me that as much as I am in "apparent" sympathy for the Bundy's, the government doesn't just walk away from an armed confrontation like this. Not for very long. Should the government "stay away?" Each of us has to decide based on the facts.
 
 
+72 # Barbara K 2014-04-21 11:14
This white trash is nothing but a Terrorist, as are his idiots coming to "defend" him with guns? Anyone who points a gun at a government agent should be shot on the spot. We cannot allow these American Terrorists get away with what they are doing. This joker is no better than the rest of us. He can pay up just like we do, he already owes the citizens of this country (that is us) over a Million Dollars. I don't know who this jerk thinks he is, but Gitmo would be a good place to put him and his followers. The rest of us have the right to feel safe from these freaks.

..
 
 
+45 # Michaeljohn 2014-04-21 11:20
The Feds should have called in the National Guard and taken these guys down. Any show of force by the Feds after this will just make things worse. The time to nip this insurrection in the bud has now passed.
If there is a belief that a strong show of force by the government to take these yahoos down would have started a general insurrection, then the country is already lost. This wasn't Ruby Ridge.
 
 
+21 # JSRaleigh 2014-04-21 12:59
Quoting Michaeljohn:
The Feds should have called in the National Guard and taken these guys down.


Or better yet, send in the "Black Helicopters" in the middle of the night & have them just haul the offending cattle off to Guantanamo.
 
 
+3 # ericlipps 2014-04-21 16:42
Quoting JSRaleigh:
Quoting Michaeljohn:
The Feds should have called in the National Guard and taken these guys down.


Or better yet, send in the "Black Helicopters" in the middle of the night & have them just haul the offending cattle off to Guantanamo.

Cattle? Mules, perhaps--horses ' asses.
 
 
+1 # ericlipps 2014-04-21 16:44
Quoting ericlipps:
Quoting JSRaleigh:
Quoting Michaeljohn:
The Feds should have called in the National Guard and taken these guys down.


Or better yet, send in the "Black Helicopters" in the middle of the night & have them just haul the offending cattle off to Guantanamo.

Cattle? Mules, perhaps--horses' asses.

Oh, you meant the ACTUAL cattle. Ny error. ;D
 
 
+23 # hwmcadoo 2014-04-21 12:45
What can we take from this? Certain people don't have to pay taxes. Sorry, that happens already.
 
 
+22 # Cassandra2012 2014-04-21 13:47
Domestic terrorism by arrogant bible-thumping trigger-happy white guys is apparently ok with Homeland Security (Homeland = ?Heimat? here?)
 
 
+161 # RCW 2014-04-21 11:23
Listening to rancher Bundy, I would like to know if he would grant Native Americans the same logic for taking back their lands.
 
 
+47 # bmiluski 2014-04-21 11:27
Exactly my thoughts RCW.
 
 
+29 # hoffhort 2014-04-21 11:24
This was unsettling, but these goons were spoiling for a fight. They were probably really disappointed they didn't get one. I myself was relieved. This is not the last word on this--just a tactical move to defuse an explosive situtation. Plus, call me a wuss, but I was worried about those poor cattle. I doubt they were getting enough to eat, penned up as they were.
 
 
+46 # PaineRad 2014-04-21 11:24
Looked a lot like the armed militias in Ukraine.

We did not need a bloodbath there. But at some point, the BLM and federal authorities will have to remove Bundy's cattle from public land and sell them off to pay his grazing fees and penalties. Otherwise, they give him an easement and encourage others to do the same.
 
 
+64 # bmiluski 2014-04-21 11:33
I'd like to see the government squeeze him, his family legally and financially. And that goes for his friends and supporters. I don't want him to go out in a blaze of bullets and glory. I want him squeezed dry without a sound.
 
 
+18 # Doubter 2014-04-21 14:46
Be careful what you wish for.
Today Bundy; tomorrow it could be you or me - whether justified or not.
 
 
+9 # LB49 2014-04-21 12:12
Ash makes a strong point, but after this why even pay taxes if you were part of Bundy's boys? Wonder if they even do. Also wonder if they would have had the courage to actually pull the trigger.
 
 
-45 # tonywicher 2014-04-21 12:17
How about the pictures of BLM agents in full battle gear training their weapons on people, including women and children engaged in peaceful protest? Since when does that happen? When did that become normal? You see those pictures on Alex Jones, but here or on MSNBC you only see the pictures of the armed citizen militia - who, incidentally, were not doing anything illegal. But here in this political venue we can't have sympathy for a multi-millionai re Mormon rancher with a helicopter who probably practices polygamy and his dumb gun-happy redneck dupes who dare to resist Harry Reid and the almighty Bureau of Land Management. For that I have to go to Infowars.
 
 
+46 # stoher9 2014-04-21 13:00
[quote name="tonywiche r"]see the pictures of the armed citizen militia - who, incidentally, were not doing anything illegal.

I beg to differ tonywicher, threatehing a Federal Agent with a weapon is a felony and under some already used provisions of the Patriot Act, all these yahoos could have been charged as enemy combatant terrorists and held indefinitely without charges or trial. In fact they still could be rounded up under that statute using only the pictures of them pointing the guns at Federal Agents or personnel.
 
 
-10 # dlg 2014-04-21 16:05
Why did the government send so many heavily armed men and women to the Bundy ranch ? That is the one question I have not heard an answer to
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 08:09
dlg.......the federal agents that were sent to round up the cattle were out-manned and out gunned by the bundy terrorists. Please stop listening/watch ing that yellow journalistic FOX News. Maybe then you won't sound so ignorant.
Oh wait.....YOU ARE A TROLL. Say hi to your mom for me when she brings you your Hot Pockets.
 
 
-24 # skylinefirepest 2014-04-21 20:36
Tony...you simply cannot state truth to these liberal loonies. Has any one of them bothered to ask why the BLM sent over two hundred well armed ( yes, folks, real fully auto weapons ) agents to supposedly collect a BILL??? And yes, to those of you who commented on the man on the bridge...you point a gun at me and I'll point one right back. And has anyone asked why the fed government owns these millions of acres of lands in the first place?? Not National Parks, or such, just plain old land that should NOT be in the hands of the government. No wonder we are in such trouble now in this country...the stinkin' libs are running it and declaring war on "the rich", "big business", "small business", "any business", "the military", "Christianity", etc. When you read the comments here on this one issue it's amazing that we think we can last another hundred years. Obummacare, welfare, no jobs, a liar in the White House, an administration that is inept in so many facets...
 
 
+7 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 08:12
skyline.....you people absolutely terrify me with your narrow view. It was this sort of mentality that burned and tortured people during the middle and dark ages.
I sometimes think that it is only your vitrol and fear that keep you alive. What a horrible way to live. Unfortunately, your bile affects us all and that's not fair.
 
 
-6 # skylinefirepest 2014-04-24 15:14
BM, I see that, as usual, you do not have a cogent argument against my comments...simp ly hogwash. What is your answer to my questions?? Come on, big boy, put your mouth in gear and see if you can make a decent argument. Your typical liberal horseshit comments still indicate that you have no idea what goes on around you.
 
 
+2 # JJS 2014-04-25 16:21
bmiluski sounds cognizant to me and answers your questions clearly and concisely.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 09:45
What do you call someone who owes the United States government a million dollars and threatens violence against federal officials seeking to collect it? Whatever you may believe, for the Bush administration there was no doubt about the answer. The likes of Cliven Bundy and his gun-toting militia allies would indeed be considered domestic terrorists.That 's the inescapable conclusion from the FBI's report, Terrorism 2002-2005. The document didn't merely define "domestic terrorism" as "the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives."
 
 
+50 # curmudgeon 2014-04-21 12:22
For another view that raises even more questions...

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Sword-of-Injustice-A-by-Vincent-Guarisco-Cattle_Cliven-Bundy_Militia_Political-140420-855.html

Remember...this land by treaty belongs to Western Shoshone Tribe...not the US OR the state of Nevada according to Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863
 
 
+8 # Charles3000 2014-04-21 12:35
The government must maintain the monopoly on violence or it will cease to be the government. It is that simple and the folks in Washington know it. If they don't know that then they are too dumb to be there or govern.
 
 
-51 # tonywicher 2014-04-21 13:01
There was no violence at the Bundy ranch except by the BLM against Bundy's son who got tazed.
 
 
+18 # Majikman 2014-04-21 17:01
Tazed for kicking a police dog...which is a crime.
 
 
+8 # tonywicher 2014-04-21 13:20
It isn't that simple. Look at Ukraine. The State Department backs a fascist coup, and now armed resistance by population of Ukraine to their illegitimate government has become understandable and indeed necessary. Hasn't our government that engineered that coup become fascist as well? Does it represent us at all? Has it not been hijacked?
 
 
+9 # MidwesTom 2014-04-21 12:39
I have stated several times on this site that this country is not united. I happen to work and live in a mainly white, with some Latino's, small town environment in the midwest. I attest that most of the men in this town are well armed, and if given the spark would probably form a heavily armed defensive perimeter. Their view is that they are supporting more and more people who are reproducing faster and living off of government handouts that their increased taxes are paying for. One local banker bought 12,000 rounds of ammo two years ago.

From what little I know of Bundy's arguments, he does not make sense to me; but I do not understand western land battles. What I do know in that there is a large segment of the population that claims to be itching for a fight. Bundy may not be the spark, but the outcome to date has probably emboldened the well armed radical white community.
 
 
+45 # stoher9 2014-04-21 13:22
Your right Tom, except those people they are supporting are that bankster, along with all his buddies on Wall Street and the Corporate Welfare world. The view of your white neighbors is mostly warped by a corporate owned media that specializes in pitting the soon to be poor against the poorer. Most of those government handouts you're talking about go to white citizens.
 
 
+27 # mozartssister 2014-04-21 15:18
The irony is that THESE are the exact people who are living off of handouts and other people's hard earned money. Bundy is not only a tax cheat, he's a long-time moocher and thief.
 
 
+28 # JSRaleigh 2014-04-21 12:55
FBI is too busy looking for some stoned hippie environmentalis t they can convince to "attack" a highway overpass with a blow torch.
 
 
+19 # gdaley 2014-04-21 12:56
One need not risk armed confrontation in this manner. Simply file forfeiture paperwork such that, as any of these cattle go to auction, the proceeds are siezed. Siezing the cattle was about the BLM making a show of force that they were wisely unwilling to back up when push came to shove.
 
 
+28 # liteguy 2014-04-21 12:58
I would think that sniper should be arrested..
that can't be legal ????
 
 
+22 # Radscal 2014-04-21 13:28
The Feds' backing down will almost assuredly embolden tax evaders, "sovereign citizens" and militias.

Some 1,000 armed citizens were brought to the daylight, and their images now logged into facial recognition software, along with their license plates and types of firearms they possess. Web sites that support this armed confrontation are now under closer scrutiny.

The concept of "fighting back" against Federal "tyranny" is a dangerous fantasy, but I fear the chances of considerable bloodshed have increased as a result of this event.
 
 
+27 # Agricanto 2014-04-21 13:57
The left gets brutal and violent repression from government. The right gets respect. And the right is armed to the teeth while the left has placards and sleeping bags. The left chooses non-violent resistance, the right threatens to overthrow the government. We have the makings of a fascist society in which the left will be crushed and the playground bullies will rule. Chris Hedges has a good article on truthdig that goes to the heart of this problem. We don't need guns, we need a revolutionary ideology to undo the respect given to the right.
 
 
+6 # MendoChuck 2014-04-21 14:07
Well one thing is certain in this article and also in the comments in general.

There is no room of the other side of the story.
Has anyone here actually looked up and dug into the what, where and why this whole thing started? Especially Mr Marc Ash!
Where is his "complete" research on this so called honest story.

For some reason when the "militaristic police" take on protesters in the park that is very bad. Those same "militaristic police" take on someone that meets them toe to toe that is bad.

Come on folks . . . . You can't have it both ways.
Only the 1% rich folks can afford that luxury.
Do you want to be put into that category?

A real honest and complete news gathering organization would have both points of view, and both sides facts listed and let the readers decide which side will end up being the "Bad Guy".

But then again who really wants to hear the truth today?
Most folks just want their side to be right.
 
 
+43 # mozartssister 2014-04-21 15:38
WRONG. Having lived out west, I've seen "ranchers" (= MOOCHERS) like Bundy who make huge profits off government handouts, i.e. reduced fees for grazing on public lands (LAND THAT BELONGS TO ALL OF US, PAID FOR BY US), reaping the benefits of not having to actually pay market value and pretending they're intrepid capitalists and rugged individualists. Who then turn around and insist that the government "eliminate" other users, e.g. wild horses, because 300 horses are supposedly "destroying" land that thousands of tromping cattle have not impacted. All the while railing at the federal government.

It's a JOKE, a SICK JOKE. People like Bundy have an incredible sense of entitlement, enabled by the very federal government they hate. Ungrateful bastards.

When I think of how they pepper sprayed students and protesters in New York and CA . . . but this crap goes unchallenged . . . Trayvon was killed for WALKING while these people get away with genuine threats of murder. It's not about "my side" being right. It's that we're WAY past common sense, common decency, and the rule of law here.

Take away ALL grazing rights to federal land, if you ask me. Give the land back to hikers and campers and the animals that were there long before us. Give it back, for God's sake, to the Native Americans whose claims to ownership trump all others.

We glorify the people with guns, that's the bottom line.

I guess might does make right.

Disgusting.
 
 
+5 # Lowflyin Lolana 2014-04-21 16:25
Reminds me of the Midnight Oil lyric.

The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back
 
 
+2 # Majikman 2014-04-21 17:00
Well said, sister.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2014-04-21 16:43
Occupy protested income and wealth inequality.

Bundy seems to be refusing to pay fees he personally owes.

What information do you have that makes the Bundy situation more than a selfish "taker" using threat of armed violence to take something that is not his? ie. armed robbery
 
 
+4 # RaW 2014-04-21 14:31
I notice those "patriots" took the high ground on a bridge. (To quote BO, "You didn't build that.) I wouldn't want bloodshed either, but I wondered about the Feds' strategery here: Couldn't they have just set up a roadblock on both ends of the bridge and waited until the Kook Cliven Clan got cold, tired, and thirsty? Just sayin'.
 
 
+1 # ganymede 2014-04-21 14:40
Great piece Marc. I see all the insurrection craziness as being very positive. I see building every day a huge backlash against these people. First, the economy's anemic but slowly improving; thousands of people are going to die, mostly in red states where Obamacare has been rejected by their idiot governors, and now these whacko gun worshippers are going to show all their ugliness to a larger public. I don't hear many people saying this but I see a rout for the Republicans this fall - they're going to lose the House. But this won't happen if left/progressiv e people don't go out and beat the drums for Democrats. Alas, that may not happen because the left feels let down by Obama and the left really doesn't like to win, even when the future of our country is at stake.
 
 
-37 # MarthaA 2014-04-21 14:52
There are militias in that area. Militias are to keep the government in check. I feel grateful there was a militia in the area. I do not see how the US Govt. could have any right to charge a grazing fee. I can't blame Bundy for not choosing to pay a $1,000,000. grazing fee to the U.S. Government. That is an out of control Bureau of Land Management taking the people's money for nothing. There may have been a better outcome in Waco if those people had been able to call up the People's Militia to defend their rights in the USA. In order for the neocons to switch USA government over to private capitalist feudalism, the government has to take the land. To me this is a precursor of a private capitalist Feudalism state being established in the USA, which is something I do not want to see and I am glad there was enough show of power to avoid being tyrannized by the BLM, although if it was the same people that did the Ruby Ridge, ID murders and the Waco, TX murdsers, I don't think they would have stood down.
 
 
+18 # Radscal 2014-04-21 16:58
As I understand it, the land in question was part of that 1/2 of Mexico's total territory annexed to the U.S. at the end of the Mexican American War in 1848.

Some of that ceded territory had been owned by specific Mexican citizens, and a few of their descendants still hold some of that land, though most of it was confiscated by private U.S. citizens, often through court decisions.

Large portions of the formerly Mexican land were given to private U.S. citizens and more was sold off cheaply.

But this land had not been "granted" to any private citizen either by Mexico or after the war, by the U.S. so it is federally owned.

My experience with BLM-controlled, U.S. owned land is that it is leased at dirt cheap rates, which I consider to be subsidizing economic interests. Lumber and Oil industries as well as ranching interests are charged well below market value.

I'm having a hard time seeing subsides paid for by taxpayers as a form of tyranny.
 
 
+10 # mozartssister 2014-04-21 17:17
Except against said taxpayers, who are forced to subsidize this asshole and others like him against their will.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 09:54
Yes, MarthaA....I'd feel grateful if there was a militia especially if I was on their side. However, those of us who view these gun waving blow hards as people who would stop at nothing to get their way, would be the very first ones they'd shoot. Whether we had guns or not.
I suppose in your world the people in the OCCUPY Movement were not legit because they didn't carry guns.
 
 
-2 # skylinefirepest 2014-04-25 07:48
As usual Mr. BM comes up with a bullshit answer. They occupy movement was generally a bunch of college age, jobless, dirty, to some degree lawless liberals. Explain why they didn't have guns? Sure, because liberals are scared shitless of firearms in the hands of the law abiding and would rather die waiting for the police than have the nads to protect themselves and their families.
 
 
+12 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-04-21 14:53
Anyone remember MOVE in Philadelphia? Anyone remember WACO in Texas? Do I need say more? Wake up America.
 
 
-44 # MarthaA 2014-04-21 14:58
A militia member is not a protester but a protector.
 
 
+21 # mozartssister 2014-04-21 15:53
Such bullshit. Protector of thievery, thuggery, and bullying.
 
 
+14 # candida 2014-04-21 16:48
Quoting MarthaA:
A militia member is not a protester but a protector.


A protector of white, esp white male, privilege. And that was no protestor. His actions go far beyond protest. Someone else accurately called him a sniper. Even if you agree with the presumptuous privileges of the white ranchers, how can you countenance violence and the threat of violence, MarthaA? If you approve of it for "your side," then you have no moral ground to oppose it for those who would use it against you.
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2014-04-21 17:13
Of what? Not Americans, he's not.

In this case they are protecting a freeloading moocher who thinks as long as he can take something that doesn't belong to him, he can keep it without paying.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 09:46
MarthaeA....I think that's what the Black Panthers thought of themselves as well.
 
 
+13 # Lowflyin Lolana 2014-04-21 15:30
Thanks Mark Ash for all you do and for bringing this story. Wish there was a date included so I don't have to research further..I missed seeing this one.
It's certainly an interesting one.

Thank you also for reminding people of what happened to the peacefully assembled Occupy camps. What I cannot understand for the life of me, is the silence of so-called Civil Rights activists in the prosecutions of those demonstrators, their jailing, the horrible treatment they suffered. In particular in Los Angeles I just watched in horror. And felt completely baffled at the lack of support and outrage for what happened to these people.
 
 
+9 # BKnowswhitt 2014-04-21 15:58
What's interesting to me is none of this happens when the Repukes are in office. Oklahoma City happened under Clinton and the anti governmentor's and gun owners all rally when a Dem is in office. Maybe related to all the media hype about Obama a Socialist and Big Government in ads and bullshit when they are not in charge ... and it's worth noting mostly disenfranchised white people who are doing it ...
 
 
+10 # Lowflyin Lolana 2014-04-21 16:22
Thanks for pointing that out. All those voices coming out of boxes yell and scream about tyranny when there's a partisan agenda but are silent when their guy is in office.
 
 
0 # candida 2014-04-21 16:52
Quoting BKnowswhitt:
and it's worth noting mostly disenfranchised white people who are doing it ...


Yes, thanks for making this connection. I don't see the whites picking up arms as particularly disenfranchised , however. On the contrary...
 
 
+8 # Texas Aggie 2014-04-21 17:15
Except that they aren't disenfranchised . Every one of them is allowed to vote.
 
 
-9 # DTansy 2014-04-22 12:10
"What's interesting to me is none of this happens when the Repukes are in office."

Jackassocrats have REALLY short attention spans, eh?

Nobody said a WORD about Ruby Ridge", little jackass party member? But even THAT was nothing to the shitbag Rapist-in-Chief allowing 80 American men, women, and children to be GASSED and BURNED ALIVE at Waco. What was your blistering ignorant attempt at a "point" again?
 
 
-2 # Anarchist 23 2014-04-22 19:41
OKC was another 'false flag' Webster Griffin Tarpley writes:'...the official explanation was physically impossible, given what is known about the propagation of a shock wave through the atmosphere. Air, (General) Partin stressed, is a very inefficient coupling mechanism when it comes to directing such a shock wave against heavily reinforced concrete beams and columns. Blast damage potential, according to his analysis, decreases more rapidly tan an inverse function of the cube of the distance, so there was no way that a fertilizer bomb could have accounted for the extensive damage observed.' pg.163-164 '9/11 Synthetic Terror'
We live in a Fascist State runby an Oligarchy of Plutocrats. 'We the People' are merely cord-wood, extras,blood sausage and are all of us are disposable. 'Divide and conquer' still works very well. The way to take over or break a county is to get its citizens to attack each other...it worked in Yugoslavia and Iraq; it could certainly work here.
 
 
0 # Saberoff 2014-04-21 16:20
Should the gods object when civil warring is exactly what our so-called government's been after lo these many years? Police piss everybody off; courts give everybody guns; game on! The authorities don't want to kill the thugs: they're thugs themselves. Their job, is to squash them goddamn liberals!
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2014-04-21 17:10
To coin a phrase, if I may, "What is it about illegal that these people don't understand?" :)
 
 
+8 # Kimberly999 2014-04-21 19:47
Bundy lost his case in a court of law, the BLM acting within the law to impound the cattle until the bill is paid. Bundy paid his grazing bills until Obama became President, then he decided to stop. He is as much of a mooch as any welfare abuser or disability faker. Anyone who steals from the citizenry of this country should pay the price. If the old fool doesn't recognize the US government, he can find another country. Nevada should take him off the grid, freeze his assets and let his new pals cover his debts. The "news" agencies who incited this stand off should be charged with sedition. If you want a "sovereign" country - go build it yourself, pave your own roads and build your own electrical grid & graze your damn cows on your own land.
 
 
-8 # DTansy 2014-04-22 12:06
"Bundy lost his case in a court of law"

Did the cockroach king Obaabaa become resident in 1993, jackass party member?

There isn't a SINGLE source on this story that doesn't tell someone who can read that this has been going on for TWENTY YEARS.

Bundy was WINNING THE CASE, until the BLM went to FEDERAL court, and simply SHUT HIM DOWN, as though he has NO rights whatsoever. You're NOT ignorant, you're purposely LYING. Or just too damn stupid to actually comprehend what you read.
 
 
+3 # Dust 2014-04-22 15:00
If we're discussing lack of reading comprehension, physician, heal thyself.
 
 
-3 # tpmco 2014-04-21 20:41
That picture is a fake. You can't shoot that rifle through those k-rails in that narrow joint--there is no swing. Only a dumbass would put THAT photo up.

Gotta' watch for the left-wing propaganda too.
 
 
-3 # L H 2014-04-22 00:39
You're right, tpmco. He is obviously using the telescopic lens to see what's going on. I don't see a finger on the trigger, either.

It was a long time waiting when the BLM was suppose to release the cows. I cared about what was happening with all the people and watched a lot of videos, one was live-stream, of this event. It was not as represented here. There was great restraint exercised which is how no shots were ever fired. No one wanted harm. But if BLM fired first, they would get an instant response, and the BLM hirees knew it.

All the folks supporting the rancher knew the BLM were hired mercenaries wearing government garb. They were not officers of the government, but hired through BLM for the Chinese corporation or agents thereof with a mandate to get the last rancher standing off this track of land. Didn't anyone read Harry Reid's comment?

No one here noticed that important detail, not even Marc Ash.

Marc, you did not research very well. If you had watched half the videos that I saw, you would have seen local guys telling everyone to get away from that side of the bridge, so that when the cows came toward the bridge, they would not get spooked by seeing something shiny in the hot sun.

Everyone moved to the other side of the bridge where no one could see the BLM guys, not even the live-stream camera I was viewing. When the cows were finally released by the cowboys, everything went smoothly and the cattle were not spooked.

Get the facts.
 
 
+3 # dbohj5l 2014-04-22 02:10
[quote name="L H"]You're right, tpmco. He is obviously using the telescopic lens to see what's going on. I don't see a finger on the trigger, either.

What telescopic lens?! A simple sight, maybe with some magnification, but a pretty short one, appreciate hearing the rest of your commentary. Not saying I believe it,of course, I'll have to look it all up, but I appreciate the leads, hoping You can stand by them. Godspeed
 
 
+1 # tpmco 2014-04-23 01:12
Your observation of the photo is more or less correct. There is no scope mounted on the rifle depicted, however. Nor do many owners even mount one--a scope is pretty much useless on that kind of firearm anyway. You are correct in saying there is no finger on the trigger.

The author of the article, in my opinion, used the photo to incite a reaction which he felt would be predictable. Reading the comments, he was, by and large, successful. His audience is not very detail-oriented.

The article was the essence of propaganda. Mr. Ash, being a founder of this website, has seriously discredited himself and the website. I think the one thing he did learn was that short, hyped-up articles generate a lot of comments.
 
 
0 # Caliban 2014-04-24 12:25
"Get the facts": Good idea, LH. But clearly not from you
 
 
-3 # Dust 2014-04-22 19:47
Or perhaps the gentleman with the weapon is the dumbass...
 
 
0 # tpmco 2014-04-23 01:20
Dumbasses are the ones who never observe. The man in the photo is clearly an observer. Hell, for all I know, you could be the DA.
 
 
-3 # Caliban 2014-04-24 12:30
Amusing--an "observer" who needs a rifle to see. Keep the jokes coming, "tpmco".
 
 
-5 # dbohj5l 2014-04-22 01:25
I have been focused on Easter and have not had time to look up this incident.I found this article to be pronouncing much, with less evidence than I would like.
I have convictions for physical violence. I am not proud of that. I am aware of it, I know myself, I struggle with much. No, I am not stupid. I am insulted by people who claim to be intelligent, yet use their intellectual gifts in their defense by offering excuses for themselves, or to belittle me rather than applying their gifts to serving God and His creation. These hypocrites are self-serving to claim all violence equally bad. I do not believe that because the White people took land from the Indian that was anymore theft than one group of whites displaced another on a different continent. Often, maybe. Automatically, no. The different Indian tribes had wars as well as peace long before Whites came. I will say I regret their treatment. I support a rethink. More than a few were prepared to look at their ways with a respectful or at least more open-minded attitude, those stories are not often recalled. King George the Third once ordered colonists to stay behind a line, to leave the Indians alone, but oh no, a bunch of "rugged individualists" didn't get the point. I mention this episode because it is a favorite of mine, and because it illustrates that we haven't moved that far along when it comes to how to disagree with people respectfully. The colonists had reason to leave,maybe, but then proceeded to overdo it.
 
 
+3 # dbohj5l 2014-04-22 02:00
In answer to those who perceive racism in this incident I would state my my belief that both you and it were correct, with of course some serious and inseparable points without which the argument collapses into a mere mirror of dangerous disposition, faithfully reflecting flames of hatred, but failing to provide any soft answer. To wit: the Whites, right or wrong have a minor yet important moral obligation, when all else fails, to stand up to the government they created. To misuse that, of course, for instance, by only standing up for yourself, is a dishonorable thing. If it is true that the Rancher in question ( and there certainly appear to be many questions any reasonable person might wish to ask, ,especially if this is in any sense meant to be about "Commons ") failed to comply with the law when Obama got elected ,then I for One would pause to give space to ponder the nature of self-fulfilling prophecies. As well as bigotry, stubbornness and Praying for better conflict resolution. That it went to an armed stand-off is poor management. Had either side shot anyone, they would have been wrong.The Feds should never threaten to shoot if they are impeded in a duty that was nothing to do with Public Safety. The Ranchers should never have threatened to fire on people who weren't threatening them. Cattle get sold to market where customers demand specifications of quality, the ranchers ARE connected like it or not and should recognize it and promote civility.
 
 
+7 # indian weaver 2014-04-22 04:29
I haven't seen any of this reported in the national corporate fascist news yet. Same with the winners of the Pulitzer Prizes. However, I have seen the corporate fascist news programs promoting war in the Ukraine and blaming Russia, while simultaneously not reporting those millions who advocate no war. None of them have publicized the fact we are setting up the Nazi / Fascist regime in the Ukraine having removed a democratically elected PM. The corporate news is not only exclusionary / censored but also blatantly dishonest.
 
 
+2 # DTansy 2014-04-22 12:01
"I haven't seen any of this reported in the national corporate fascist news yet."

And you WON'T. It isn't in the government's "best interest" to tell the truth. EVER.
 
 
+3 # tpmco 2014-04-23 01:40
No, and most likely you won't see this reported--at least not yet. The mainstream media is probably having a tough time figuring out how to spin the story. Even our beloved "librul" media is having trouble with this story.

The live ones--Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller--and writers like Marc Ash, have not a clue. Sometimes they act like they don't have an ounce of common sense.

I've worked for ranchers in my younger days, running cattle, sheep, and hogs, and all of them, in retrospect have been very sensible people when it comes down to the environment. They are conservative in the sense that they want to preserve the water and the range because they know that without either, they will soon be out of business. And their business is to make and sell food. For you to eat.
 
 
+1 # Willx 2014-04-23 02:14
What these liberals dont realize (or do and simply dont care) is that by supporting the government in this situation, they are actively fighting for the privatization of public, communal lands.

The government wants the ranchers off this land so they can privatize it and sell it to mineral and natural gas companies for land development and industrializati on. Liberals are supporting the Capitalist rape of the natural environment, while the Bundy's are actually standing up for traditionally Marxist and Native American values
 
 
+1 # tpmco 2014-04-23 11:50
Yeah, you're right. The righties don't have a monopoly on hypocrisy.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2014-04-22 04:59
It's interesting how this TEA-LIBAN rancher assumes public land is his, because he "is the public".

What about ME? Isn't that land equally MINE? Doesn't that give me the right to shoot him for encroaching on MY land? In fact, how did he GET the land he calls "his". If borders mean nothing, doesn't that mean his land is ALSO MINE?
 
 
0 # Willx 2014-04-23 02:11
"What about ME? Isn't that land equally MINE?"

Yes.

"Doesn't that give me the right to shoot him for encroaching on MY land?"

No, it means if you also have cows that are hungry, and you are on that land, you can let them eat grass too. If this concept is too complicated and anti-privatizat ion for your Capitalism-pois oned mind to understand, go ask a Native American to explain it to you.
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2014-04-23 18:58
But I don't own cows and I don't want any cows grazing on MY land. I don't want them grazing on MY yard either. If I shoot a guy for encroaching on my land, I'm just following the logical end game of the terrorists threatening the United States of America on PUBLIC land.
 
 
-2 # JJS 2014-04-24 16:28
"...his land is ALSO MINE"
Isn't that a song?:
"This land is your land. This land is my land. From California to the New York eye-land..... This land was made for you and me!"
 
 
+1 # kalpal 2014-04-22 06:42
BTW Bundy lied about his family owning the ranch since the 1870s. Of course that is typical of any RW fool. His parents bought the ranch in 1948 and did not begin grazing on public lands till the mid 1950s when he was in grade school. Lying, its a right wing family value.
 
 
-2 # Willx 2014-04-23 02:09
And standing up for the People's natural right to the free and communal use of public land is a left wing, Marxist family value. Which in this case makes the Bundys on the side of good.

Whereas all over Facebook i see so-called liberals screaming that Obama should send drones to literally EXECUTE every single man, woman, and child at his ranch. Which is a bloodthirsty, totalitarian FASCIST family value. Which in this case makes the Liberals on the side of evil.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2014-04-23 19:01
But, I want to use that land AND the land he calls "his" ranch to raise wolves, and specifically train them to hunt and eat cattle. It's my "natural right" to claim ALL American land in this country as my own, and I don't recognize his right to claim "ownership" of a ranch. It's my "natural right" to raise wolves specifically trained to be unleashed on his cattle. In fact, since those cattle are on MY land, those are MY cattle.
 
 
-12 # Fred Rogers 2014-04-22 07:09
Atttention Generation X,Y and regrettably we have to include you too, millennials - We need to take back America from the "Me Generation" = the acid dropping, granola munching, Birkenstock wearing, Bagwan Shree Rashneesh listening, commune living, Kumbaya singing, Sitar Playing, Commie Loving Pinko BOOMERS?

Have a nice day. LOL
 
 
+5 # Dust 2014-04-22 11:23
The "me" generation = Wall Street and people like Ted Cruz and Renee Ellmers. The country is currently an oligarchy controlled by the merger of business and politics, not by "acid dropping, granola munching, Birkenstock wearing, Bagwan Shree Rashneesh listening, commune living, Kumbaya singing, Sitar Playing, Commie Loving Pinko BOOMERS".

I've never dropped acid, I actually don't like granola, Birkenstocks are comfy tho' I don't own a pair, the Bag-One was insane, the early Church lived in communes ("having all things in common" Acts 2:44), and I've never played a Sitar.

The 60's called - they want their stereotypes back.
 
 
0 # JJS 2014-04-24 16:34
Dear Mr. Rogers,
What's so funny about peace, love and understanding? Ram Dass is "mucho hipper" than than Bagwan, man. Pink's oh kay but I like purple better.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2014-04-22 08:16
I think there should be an OCCUPY MOVEMENT on his land.
 
 
+3 # Working Class 2014-04-22 13:36
Stop with the guns already. Just freeze the freeloader assets, put a lean on all his property, including his cattle, and watch the multi-millionai re rancher fold his hand and stop mooching of the public lands.
 
 
+2 # Willx 2014-04-23 02:06
How is letting cows eat grass "mooching"?

If the government needs money, how about they take it out of the budget theyve obviously set aside for sending militarized troops to harass and threaten the lives of ranchers and their families? Gas, bullets, and armored vehicles aint free.
 
 
-1 # JJS 2014-04-24 15:59
Because Bundy then sells the well fed cows for MOO-lah! and doesn't reimburse the "public" for the food they fattened up on.
 
 
+2 # Willx 2014-04-23 02:04
Im sorry but believing that the People are entitled to the free and communal use of public land is NOT "white-militia psycho-babble". Its the way the ORIGINAL AND RIGHTFUL inhabitants of the Americas lived on the land for literally THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

And how can the United States federal government make any legal claim to land that was obviously STOLEN from the Native Americans in the first place? By genociding the Bundy's the same way they genocided the Native Americans the first time??
 
 
+1 # tpmco 2014-04-23 14:42
Glad to see you on this comment board. It really needs a few more with some common sense.
 
 
-1 # Caliban 2014-04-24 12:40
Genocide? Bundy is a rich cheapskate who doesn't want to pay legitimate fees to make money off public land. Why is that impossible to understand?
 
 
-2 # JJS 2014-04-24 16:12
Cliven is not "ORIGINAL AND RIGHTFUL" and this is WAY PAST the time of "free and communal" as "inhabitants of the Americas lived on the land for literally THOUSANDS OF YEARS." Are Bundy and his issue dead? Have you read any American History books lately? What about world history? See how the Palestinians got by with Israelis and their "free and communal". Wouldn't it be (have been) different with REAL ownership and legal DEEDS or regulated common use with fees and public compensation?
 
 
+2 # restore2america 2014-04-23 05:03
"...NRA-inspire d militias are as strong as ever in the US... The NRA skillfully plays on and amplifies their fears, cashing in on wave after wave of arms and ammunition sales... a Congress and Supreme Court all too eager appease the NRA."

Your bias causes you to miss what's happening here. Conspiracy theories that the NRA is behind all of this are as accurate as conspiracy theories ascribing the ruin of America to poor blacks or to gays. It's just people pushing their prejudices in legitimized language.

Government in the US uses far too much confiscation, militarized force, violence and killing. It also violates established laws as standard operating procedure, and its employees and contractors are rarely held accountable for even the most serious wrongdoing.

My question is not "why are these right wing gun carrying white men fighting the government", but why do we expect, for example, blacks who are routinely beaten, imprisoned and murdered by government officials NOT fighting the government?

We need to understand and discuss these events without the right or left language spin. Psychobabble? Listen to how we progressives sound - just like the right wingers we say we oppose. We collectively need to rise above this to have a political dialogue - both left, right and the 90% of us who are somewhere in the middle.
 
 
-2 # MattInPA 2014-04-23 09:41
If I may quote Andrew Napolitano, the government and BLM snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. Their position was upheld in court, it was the way they played their hand afterwards that turned into a potential PR nightmare. Also, where do you get your information about the NRA? Have you ever been to an NRA-sponsored event or convention? It's hardly the "whites only" club you make it out to be in this story. In fact if you take a closer look at the footage from the Bundy ranch standoff you might notice more than a few people of color who identify themselves as militia and/or Bundy supporters. As for your idea of a "realistic reading of the 2nd ammendment", it was written in the manner in which it exists for a reason. That part about the people's right to bear arms as opposed to the govt., state, county, town, neighborhood, etc. is a powerful distinction meant to empower the individual, not promote racial tension or inequality like you suggest. Inalienable rights, like those protected and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights aren't always convenient, yet they are necessary. They keep the playing field between the individual and the government that supposed to represent them on an even playing field. Does that mean that like any other right a knucklehead or two might misuse or abuse that right? Sure it does. We don't curtail the right or punish everyone equally, we're not kindergaertener s who all have to put our heads down on our desk because one or two misbehaved.
 
 
+1 # rhgreen 2014-04-23 13:04
Is there a rule of law? If there isn't, then why should others pretend there is? If these guys can be vigilantes ignoring the law, then what's wrong with creating a counter-vigilan te group to attack them? Re-create the lawless wild west, eh? Why not? Too many Americans romanticize that time, which makes it easier to bring it back, and to romanticize (or TeaParty-ize) its reincarnation. I'm a US citizen who now lives in Canada, so I grew up with that romanticized American wild west history. Canada did it differently and better. From Saskatchewan to the Yukon the Northwest Mounted Police (now the RCMP) went first and established law & order. That made for a more civilized country, both then and now. Canada isn't perfect, for sure, but regarding the settlement + imperialism tradition, including the treatment of natives, it's much more civilized. Here it's "Peace, Order and Good Government" as opposed to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". Having lived in both places, Canada doesn't lag behind the US in any of the US's three, whereas it is well ahead of the US in Canada's three.
 
 
-2 # skylinefirepest 2014-04-24 15:29
While we're at it BM, how about answering one other question...what in God's world gives the BLM the authority to carry weapons in the first place...they are NOT a law enforcement agency!!
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2014-04-24 19:45
Oh, is that how it works? Are law enforcement agencies the only ones who should be allowed to possess guns?

If you believe that, you may have to resign your post as a card-carrying right-wing loon.
 
 
-1 # skylinefirepest 2014-04-25 07:43
BB, in terms of "not private citizens" but government agencies, then hell yes, they are not supposed to be carrying guns...or didn't you know that?? Apparently not! They are NOT a law enforcement agency and therefore as a government agency they should not be carrying guns!
 
 
0 # JJS 2014-04-25 17:06
The origin of the BLM-
http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/04/23/a-history-of-blm-law-enforcement/
The Grazing Service lasted about a decade. In 1946 there was a big dispute between the House and the Senate over grazing fees. The result was no appropriation for the Grazing Service. So it was paralyzed. Finally, in 1946 President Truman used his executive authority to cobble together a new agency, the BLM, to replace the old Grazing Service. The BLM had more authority than the Service because it was the remains of the Grazing Service added to the Department of Interior’s General Land Office, one of the oldest agencies of government. This gave the BLM jurisdiction also over public land minerals (worth far more than the grazing), land transfers and disposals, and other matters. The BLM finally got a rational, comprehensive, mission in 1976 with the passage of the “Federal Land Policy and Management Act” (FLPMA, flip ma). The Homestead Act and other land disposal laws were repealed by FLPMA, and the policy became to keep all the remaining public lands and manage them for “multiple uses” (many uses and users) and “sustained yield” — make sure the grass grows back, etc.

The BLM remained relatively obscure despite its new legal mandate and was not funded very well for management (except for minerals). Nonetheless, they do have law enforcement,
 

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