A land dispute between local rancher Cliven Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), dating back to 1993, has been intensifying over the past few days, possibly turning into what some are saying will be the next Waco.
According to reports, swarms of BLM and other federal agents have descended upon the ranch in recent days after Bundy’s livestock were declared “trespass cattle” by a court order. However, infuriated family members and proponents of the Bundy Ranch, including members of the militia, are not taking the BLM’s occupation of the ranch lightly and have even warded off the federal agents in at least one circumstance. (Source: Intellihub)
This doesn’t look like this will end well. A press release by the group Oath Keepers, a group that advocates that its members (current and former U.S. military and law enforcement) disobey any orders that they are given if they believe they violate the Constitution of the United States, explains:
Coalition of Western State Legislators, Sheriffs, and Veterans Stand Vigil in Support of Embattled Nevada Rancher, Cliven Bundy ‘To Prevent Another Ruby Ridge or Waco”
A Delegation of state legislators, lead by Washington State Representative Matt Shea, along with a delegation of current serving Sheriffs, lead by Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and military and police members of Oath Keepers, are converging on the site of a stand-off between federal law enforcement and Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy, to prevent bloodshed and to stand in defense of hardworking rural Americans who are under assault by a runaway federal government.
LAS VEGAS, NV, April 10, 2014
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA.org), led by retired Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, and the Oath Keepers organization (oathkeepers.org) are assisting Washington State Representative Matt Shea in organizing a delegation of current serving Western state legislators and Sheriffs to travel to the site of a tense stand-off between Bunkerville, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The delegation is traveling to Nevada to support a coalition of current serving Nevada legislators being organized by Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, of Las Vegas, to stand vigil at the Bundy ranch to prevent Federal Government provocation of violence resulting in another Ruby Ridge or Waco type incident. They also hope that their example of oath-sworn public servants defending the rights of the people will prompt Clark County, Nevada Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to honor their oaths of office by taking real action to defend the rights of the Bundy family, the rights of all Nevadans, and the sovereignty of the State of Nevada.
Yesterday, April 9, 2014, Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore served the first watch in this vigil shortly after Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, was tazered by BLM “Rangers” during a heated confrontation. The video of that confrontation can be seen here:
The courage and resolve displayed by Ammon Bundy and his relatives is inspiring, and may well go down in history as a watershed moment – a turning of the tide. But the above video also amply demonstrates the heavy-handed behavior of the BLM that risks escalating an already volatile situation into open bloodshed, that, once begun, may spiral out of anyone’s control.
It is necessary that current serving public servants step in-between the protesters and the BLM, to protect the rights of the people and to prevent violence against them by the militarized federal law enforcement that are massing near the ranch to continue the forced confiscation (theft) of Bundy’s cattle, while they also restrict all access to huge tracts of public land, and attempt to restrict the free speech of protesters with their absurd “First Amendment Area” (which the protesters are ignoring, to their honor).
The Oath Keepers organization, comprised of 40,000 current serving and former military, police, and first responders, is also calling on its members and all other patriotic Americans to join the vigil at the Bundy ranch under the leadership of the current serving legislators and sheriffs. The goal is to have at least one current serving state legislator and at least one sheriff on the ground at all times until this is over. And they will be backed by a large number of military and police veterans, as well as dedicated patriotic Americans from all walks of life, to interpose and defend the rights of the protesters and to keep an eye on the actions of the BLM and any other federal law enforcement present, to prevent a recurrence of the horrid abuses seen at Ruby Ridge and Waco, and to hopefully pressure the Clark County Sheriff and the Nevada Governor to step up and do their constitutional duty.
Regardless, please tell everyone you know to be praying for a peaceful resolution to this situation and for the safety of the brave patriots headed there and on the ground there right now.
As Assemblywoman Fiore said yesterday during the launch of her vigil, “we are here because the Governor is not.” And she will remain there until Governor Sandoval steps up to do his job, by defending the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Nevada, as he swore to do when he took office. And Assemblywoman Fiore will not stand alone. Other brave public servants will honor their oaths by standing with her, and there are thousands of Americans now on their way to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. Governor Sandoval did at least, finally, state the following:
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution. To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately. No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”
But the Governor needs to take the next step and go there in person, as is his duty, and order the Nevada Highway Patrol to actively interpose and stand between the people and an out of control BLM, to make sure the BLM actually reconsiders its approach to this matter and acts accordingly. And he needs to speak out directly on the issue of federal subversion of what were supposed to be state lands, and the intentional destruction of rural America. Silence in the face of tyranny implies consent. Governor Sandoval needs to be sure he is not silent.
This is not about cattle. This is about power, and the trampling of rights. It’s about a systemic power grab and abuse of power by the federal government as it runs roughshod over the rights of honest, hard-working rural Americans and over the rights of all the Western states. This is not an isolated incident. It is but the latest in a long train of abuses aimed at subjecting rural Americans to absolute despotism while destroying the property rights, economy, and independence of the rural West, in particular, and eventually wiping out all of rural America. This is an attack on all of the West, which is why patriotic legislators and lawmen from all over the West are answering the call to defend it.
And it is not just ranching that is under attack. It is also mining, farming, logging, fishing, oil and gas, and any other industry that uses natural resources or the land. This is a full spectrum, frontal assault on the rural West. Ultimately, it is about bankrupting and impoverishing independent rural Americans to bring on a planned depopulation of the West.
This is truly a range war, and it is being waged by all three branches of the federal government, including complicit federal judges who “make it legal” through their willful rulings that strip away any meaningful redress or shelter for ranchers and farmers who have worked the land for generations only to now be told that they can no longer do so because of one endangered species or another. Entire regions of the West are being shut down and impoverished using this tactic.
In this case, the Bundy family has run cattle on that same range since 1877 and they used to have fifty-two neighboring ranchers who did the same. Now, using the Desert Tortoise as the weapon of choice, the federal government has run all the other ranchers in Clark County, Nevada out of business, and Cliven Bundy truly is the last man standing. And it is also about all Nevadans being “prohibited” from using their own “Public Land” and the fact that the Feds were imposing their will over the state and it’s people at gun-point.
Unless We the People begin to take a meaningful stand now, in full support of our patriotic state public servants who are willing to lead us, the domestic enemies of the Constitution will not stop until the West is a land of ghost towns, devoid of people, and we are all crammed into city slums, totally dependent and weak, with no protection of our rights, like third-world urbanized peons under the arbitrary and capricious control of corrupt dictators. Remember the immortal words of Frederick Douglass:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Under the Founders design, the states were to control their own land, unless, and until, the federal government purchased a particular piece of land, with the consent of the state legislature, for a fort, magazine, arsenal, dock-yard, etc.
As Article One, Section 8, Clause 17 states, Congress has the power:
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings.
When did the Federal government purchase the millions of acres in Nevada it claims to own? When did the legislature of Nevada ever consent to it? Where are the forts, magazine, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings on that land? Where in the Constitution does it say the federal government can keep 80% of a state when it is admitted into the Union? Nowhere. And yet the federal government totally ignores the limited powers of Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, doctrine of equal footing, whereby new states admitted to the Union were to enter it on an equal footing with the original states. Why doesn’t Virginia have 80% of its land claimed by the federal government? Why doesn’t Ohio? It is only in the West that this absurdity exists (and it is not just in Nevada. Similar abuses are seen in the rest of the West).
And now, the federal government is not even content with that. It wants to control all of the land, and stop all beneficial use, by having complicit federal judges use the catch-all “commerce clause” to turn the Constitution on its head, inventing a general police power of Congress to regulate anything and everything, which is the basis for the entire modern regulatory leviathan that is now strangling and stomping rural America into the dust in the name of the Desert Tortoise, the Spotted Owl, the Delta Smelt (used to deny water to California farmers) and even prairie dogs (with Utah farmers who have farmed for generations told by the EPA that they could no longer till their land because it is now “prairie dog habitat”).
We must stand now, or see our children impoverished and enslaved in their own country.
As Thomas Paine said:
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” That is a timeless truth that we must accept and embrace, lest we be cursed by future generations as cowards who sold them into slavery for the sake of our own fleeting comfort. As Paine also said, “those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
It is vital that the Western States stand up now for the rights of their people and in defense of their state sovereignty. As Thomas Jefferson and James Madison taught us in 1798, in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, when the federal government violates the Constitution by claiming powers never granted, it is the duty of the states – all three branches of the state, and at every level, from the Governor down to the local dog catcher – to nullify and interpose to protect the rights of the people and to defend the dual-sovereignty design of this Republic.
In contrast to Sheriff Gillespie, who is truly AWOL in his failure to defend the people of his county, there have been Nevada Sheriffs who take their oaths seriously, such as the legendary Sheriff Jones of Eureka County, Nevada and Nye County Sheriff Tony De Meo, who successfully defended rancher Wayne Hage against BLM abuse.
We wouldn’t even be in this confrontation at the Bundy Ranch if Gillespie took his oath seriously, but even without him, it is time to get it done, and with Nevada State Assemblywoman Fiore and her brave coalition of Nevada legislators leading the way, and joined by a growing coalition of staunch constitutionalist public servants from many states, we will defend the West.
We therefore call on all liberty-loving Americans who can possibly make it to Bunkerville, Nevada to join us in this vigil, NOW, in direct support of oath-keeping Western lawmakers and lawmen as they stand guard over the rights of the people and begin to push back against federal abuse. Come take a meaningful stand, in a real fight where it counts the most – in our states. This is far, far more important than any trip to Washington D.C. to wave signs and yell at a deaf and blind Congress, White House, or Supreme Court. This is where the real battle is, and where you belong. This is where you can make a real difference, and begin the restoration of the Republic, from the bottom up.
And we call on all who cannot be there in person to be there in spirit, and to hold a prayer vigil for the duration of this struggle, asking that the Lord grant us wisdom, courage, humility, and His protection while we take this stand for our children’s future. Truly, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
We humbly endeavor, to the utmost extent of our power, to follow in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers when, in their time of great trial, they proclaimed “and for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Michele Fiore, Nevada State Assemblywoman, District 4, on behalf of a growing coalition of Nevada State legislators
Matt Shea, Washington State 4th District State Representative, on behalf of a growing delegation of Western state legislators.
Sheriff Richard Mack (Retired), for the CSPOA (as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Oath Keepers), on behalf of a delegation of current serving Sheriffs
Stewart Rhodes, Founder and President of Oath Keepers on behalf of the Board of Directors of Oath Keepers and 40,000 Oath Keepers members
Via – Oath Keepers
An Op-ed By Alan O’Neill in the Las Vegas Sun tells the other side of the Bundy Ranch Story
Rancher in land dispute is a bully, not a hero
I have been following the news on the proposed roundup of Cliven Bundy’s cattle that are grazing illegally on federal lands in Gold Butte managed on behalf of the public by the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service.
I am familiar with the situation, as I served as superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area for the National Park Service from 1987 to 2000. In 1993, we reduced the number of cows that could be grazed on the Bunkerville allotment to 150 because of the emergency listing of the desert tortoise as an endangered species.
Because Bundy refused to remove his cattle to meet the 150 level and ignored repeated requests to do so, his permit was canceled in 1994 and the allotment was closed to grazing.
As the news coverage has reported, Bundy continues to graze his cattle and has refused to pay the BLM a grazing fee. The figure he owes the government exceeds $300,000. The estimate of cattle being grazed illegally since 1994 on the old Bunkerville allotment have ranged from 550 to more than 900.
It is unfathomable to me that 20 years after the Bunkerville allotment was canceled in 1994, we are still wrestling with getting his cattle off the range. And there were issues of overgrazing that allotment before 1994. It is my opinion that the BLM and the Park Service have done everything possible administratively to try to resolve the issue amicably. In addition, there are two federal court rulings upholding the agencies’ position, and the most recent ruling demanded Bundy not physically interfere with any seizure or impoundment operation.
Bundy is a bully who has used his threat of a range war and to do “whatever it takes” to stop the government from impounding his cattle to scare public officials.
The implications are that he would resort to a gunbattle. And who wants to see another Waco? I was one of those public officials who were told to back off at one point because of concern for violence.
What Bundy is doing is a criminal act, and he should be accountable for his actions rather than be held up as a hero fighting the federal government.
Most of the grazing permit holders on public land are good stewards and law-abiding citizens, and Bundy is doing them a disservice with his actions. He is a perfect example of someone who publicly states that he abhors the federal government but who relies on it for his welfare.
He is grazing free on the public’s land to the detriment of the environment and the honest taxpayers who support his welfare lifestyle.
What if other people decide that they are also going to do whatever they want on federal land regardless of the law and stake claims to that right? A civil society has to have some rules and laws or we would have total chaos.
Bundy has no guaranteed rights on federal land. He only has rights to what he owns privately, yet when you hear him talk, he considers that he has some intergenerational rights to use more than 158,000 acres as he sees fit. And this is some of the most beautiful and important public land in America. What a deal. Wouldn’t any of us like to have such rights?
I am hopeful that the BLM and the Park Service stand strong and conduct the roundup as needed and not be bullied by someone who seems inclined to continue to break the law and brag about it as “the last cowboy standing.” What a warped self-perception and view of his contribution to humanity.
Alan O’Neill is a former superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. He lives in Southern Nevada.
Natural News says this is not about a Desert Tortoise at all, Its about Fracking and Oil Drilling leases.
BLM collects $1.27 million in shale fracking leases
The Bureau of Land Management has just cashed in with $1.27 million in oil and gas leases in Nevada. This was just reported two weeks ago in ShaleReporter.com, which states:
U.S. Bureau of Land Management geologist Lorenzo Trimble tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal the Elko County oil and gas leases sold Tuesday for $1.27 million to six different companies. The auction took place in Reno. The leases are near where Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. wants to drill for oil and natural gas on 40,000 acres of public and private land near the town of Wells. The Review-Journal reports the project would be the first in Nevada to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract oil and gas from shale deposits.
The way this works, of course, is that BLM runs land theft operations by claiming they are “managing” the land and thereby kicking everyone else off it. They then invoke a reptile, an owl, a bird, a snake or some other animal which they claim to be “saving,” even while they are stealing and destroying hundreds of cattle belonging to a private rancher trying to make an honest living in a nation where productive Americans are increasingly branded “enemies of the state.”
Once control of the land is established via court order or by bringing armed men with automatic weapons, BLM then turns around and leases the land to fracking companies who proceed to exploit the land using hydraulic fracturing techniques that inject toxic chemicals into groundwater supplies (and have been linked to earthquakes). The money collected by the BLM is then used to increase BLM salaries and bonuses.
In essence, the BLM is a criminal mafia racket, and Cliven Bundy just happened to be in the way of their next target, the Gold Butte area of Nevada. That is why they brought hundreds of heavily armed men to a “save the tortoise” operation.
“Endangered tortoises” is merely the government cover story for confiscating land to turn it over to fracking companies for millions of dollars in energy leases. In truth, the BLM was rapidly euthanizing these very same reptiles en masse last year.(2)
Sara Weaver: Remembering Ruby Ridge
Remembering the Raid on Waco, 20 Years Later