Cliven Bundy: canary in the mine

The Constitution, which sets forth the principle of rule of law, defines what is unconstitutional, and guarantees freedom of speech and other liberties of a Constitutional republic, and also describes the impeachment power. (How many know of the Jewish roots of this document?) Hypocrisy threatens Constitutional government. Could Israel use a constitution like this? More to the point: would a Convention of States save it, or destroy it? (Example: civil asset forfeiture violates the Constitution.) Quick fixes like Regulation Freedom Amendments weaken it. Furthermore: the Constitution provides for removing, and punishing, a judge who commits treason in his rulings. Furthermore, opponents who engage in lawfare against an elected President risk breaking the Constitution.
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Cliven Bundy cannot rest easy. The Bureau of Land Management withdrew its 200 armed agents (including war dogs!) – for now. But they’ll be back. Because a rich and powerful Senator will send them back. More than that: Cliven Bundy is the canary in the mine. The poison gas of tyranny and official corruption will choke him. Unless freedom-loving people everywhere offer their help.

Latest on the Cliven Bundy story

A television station local to Bunkerville, Nevada, suggested the Bureau of Land Management withdrew its forces “for reasons of public safety.” In fact, the BLM agents and their police allies threatened to shoot the man or woman who approached. Demonstrators approached anyway. And the BLM had a choice: fire on peaceful civilians, or withdraw. The first embedded video shows how the scene played out.

Here is the video you WILL NOT SEE on the mainstream media. The BLM did NOT simply “leave” and return the Bundy cattle. They were going to KEEP the cattle — until a group of brave patriots and cowboys from 7 Western states stood up to sniper guns and FORCED the release themselves.

Notice the calves among the cows. The round-up of Cliven Bundy’s cattle happened during calving season. About fourteen calves were orphaned; at least one died.

Nor does the story end. The FAA keeps a no-fly zone over the Cliven Bundy land, effective at least until May 11, 2014. The only pilots who may fly in the area, are BLM pilots.

Furthermore, Senator Harry W. Reid (D-Nev.), Cliven Bundy’s senior senator, snarled, “It’s not over.” He went on:

We can’t have, in America, people that violate the law and just walk away from it.

Can’t have that? Reid could have fooled CNAV. He once cleared $1.1 miillion in a Las Vegas land deal, though he hadn’t owned the land involved in three years. (Yahoo!News seems to have sanitized their own archive of this story. But the Sweetness and Light blog still carried the original text. CNAV would dearly love to see the AP sue S&L for copy-vio. They then would have to admit the story was genuine, wouldn’t they?)

And on the same evening the BLM “stood down,” investigator Doug Hagmann tells us (see here and here) the BLM did not withdraw their forces permanently.

To put it bluntly, the people are being hoodwinked into believing that the situation is being resolved. It is not. It is a strategic de-escalation to fool the public.

Hagmann said further: the BLM knew armed militiamen and other  patriots would resist them. Even they didn’t know how strongly they would resist. They tried to manage the news, too. “in some cases threatening to cut off White House access to anyone covering the event.”

That might explain why Fox News Channel have lately not given Cliven Bundy his due. To be sure, some Fox News personalities have. Sean Hannity, for one. And Judge Andrew P. Napolitano. But Bret Baier and his reporter-on-the-scene seemed to think Cliven Bundy was wrong not to pay the grazing fees at the heart of the public dispute. “Judge Nap,” as one might expect, points out the BLM has a far more civilized way to collect a money judgment against any landowner without bringing guns.

Whenever the government suspects anyone of breaking the law, two questions arise:

  1. Has the one the government accuses, actually broken any laws?
  2. Does the government act as it should, showing the proper respect for the rights that person still has?

Recall what Thomas Jefferson said:

  1. All people are created equal.
  2. God endows people with certain inalienable rights.
  3. They include life, liberty and property.
  4. To “secure these rights,” people form governments. Those governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
  5. When a government violates those rights, the people have the right to change it.

That aside: Harry Reid likely has a motive far beyond ensuring respect for the law.

Harry Reid really is after Bundy’s land.

Screencap of smoking-gun evidence the BLM were after Cliven Bundy for his land.

Screen cap of Google cache of BLM site. They really said Clive Bundy’s cattle get in the way of a solar collecting farm! Source: Storm Clouds Gathering

Recall that Kit Daniels at Infowars.com broke the story of Harry Reid going after Cliven Bundy’s land. Wynton Hall at Breitbart.com said a year ago that Rory Reid, Harry’s son, represented a Chinese engineering firm. That firm wants to build a $5 million, 5,000-acre solar power collecting farm in Nevada. And Cliven Bundy’s cattle are in the way.

All Daniels had was this link to a page at Free Republic. A regular reader copied text from a page that, according to both people, the BLM sanitized from their site.

But yesterday the folks at Storm Clouds Gathering published much more. They have a screen cap of the old Google cache of the BLM site. View it for yourselves, at the right. Or follow one of these two links. And watch the third embedded video, in which SCG’s head narrates how he found the cache. (By the way: he debunks the earlier theory the BLM were after the land for fracking royalties. The natural gas is well away from Clark County. So that is a red herring.)

Cliven Bundy now openly calls for his fellow Nevadans to remove Senator Reid from office, somehow, some way. But ex-Sheriff Richard Mack warns the BLM is preparing a strategy for a full-scale raid on the Cliven Bundy ranch. They will lay on that raid as soon as any militia groups go home.

Sheriff Mack’s Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association will have details of anything further that happens on the Cliven Bundy ranch. Sheriff Mack was at the ranch on April 12, and even had the support of the President of the Arizona Senate and the Speaker of Arizona’s House of Representatives.

Earlier Cliven Bundy stories:

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

21 Responses to Cliven Bundy: canary in the mine

  1. […] Cliven Bundy: canary in the mine […]

  2. Will Bundy be paying back the years and years of unpaid grazing fees that he owes, or will American conservatives help him sneak out of that debt and not pay his bills? We may never know. All we do know is that hard working American tax payers will be footing the 20 year bill for this man to walk away Scott free of his debt to American citizens. This story breaks my heart to see so many people who claim to be conservatives refusing to pay what they owe and using brute force with guns to get out of debts owed to the American public.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Your argument assumes that the case against him is correct. For your information, it is on appeal.

      Your argument also seems to assume, equally without warrant, that the BLM had the authority to do what they did, and that their action was entirely appropriate under the circumstances.

      We deal here with corruption at the highest levels of our government, and a deliberate fraud perpetrated on a trial court. That’s at a minimum.

      If you want to take the side of a corrupt Senator, feel free. It will not redound to your credit.

      • “Your argument assumes that the case against him is correct.” – All of the OTHER ranchers are paying their grazing fees. He has ran away from his obligations to the tune of over one million dollars. – You assume I support some kind of Senator in this. ALL politicians are corrupt. This however does not distract from the fact that all of the other Ranchers have paid their grazing fees as responsible citizens, where Bundy preferred to take what was not his and then threatened violence when called on it. He knew that land wasnt his and he knew he had to pay grazing fees.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          What other ranchers? As I understand it, the BLM forced them all to sell their land at less than fire-sale prices. Your argument now assumes the BLM are acting in good faith. They’re not.

  3. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    “Cliven Bundy is the canary in the mine. The poison gas of tyranny and official corruption will choke him. Unless freedom-loving people everywhere offer their help.”

    I take it from this and other comments that you don’t think Bundy did anything wrong and that tyranny and corruption will impact the outcome. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    “Notice the calves among the cows. The round-up of Cliven Bundy’s cattle happened during calving season. About fourteen calves were orphaned; at least one died.”

    As someone who grew up on a ranch in South Texas, I understand quite well the perils of moving animals. In 1998 or 1999 (I forget exactly when the storm got terrible), we had to move hundreds of head from our ranch in Gonzales County, Texas to our ranch near Luling, Texas because nearly all of the Gonzales property was flooded. When rounding up animals from a very large area, you’re bound to separate cow/calf pairs, with sad consequences. It’s something we must accept when moving the animals is a necessity. In any event, I find it hyperbolic that Mr. Hurlbut is seriously suggesting that the death of a calf ought to have any impact on what he intends to make a political argument.

    “Can’t have that? …” I know the author wishes to draw the senator into this, but whatever his weird personal issues are, they have nothing to do with whether Mr. Bundy broke the law and whether the BLM acted appropriately.

    “Hagmann said further: the BLM knew armed militiamen and other patriots would resist them. Even they didn’t know how strongly they would resist.”

    I think they probably knew this because they said they would. They also knew things were probably going to get worse, and even dangerous, when angry men with guns actually showed up. That kind of situation requires careful attention, wouldn’t you agree? I think you would since you’re criticizing how armed personnel on the other side of the dispute behaved, in that you are implicitly agreeing that *guns are dangerous and should be taken seriously*.

    “They tried to manage the news, too. “in some cases threatening to cut off White House access to anyone covering the event.””

    This is absolutely awful if it’s true. I’d be surprised to learn that career government employees could pull this off, but they might truly be a lot more powerful than any of us know.

    “Has the one the government accuses, actually broken any laws” In this case, the answer is an unequivocal yes, and I’m interested in seeing your analysis of why the following ought not settle the matter conclusively:

    (a) the Taylor Grazing act, which permits and regulates public use of federal lands for grazing livestock. The act permits the government to charge a reasonable fee for such grazing, which a rancher would also have to pay to lease property for grazing rights. We’ve had to lease up to 80 acres to cover our over-winter and spring calves. Needs for more land rack up quite a bit more when you’re talking about poor ranch land on which you might only be able to run a few head per acre rather than the 15+ on black earth with improved grass.

    (b) years of litigation in which federal courts rejected Bundy’s arguments that he somehow owns the property because his ancestors allegedly settled it (this claim is objectively frivolous — inexplicably bizarre), that the state owned it rather than the federal government, that he wasn’t subject to federal jurisdiction, etc. If you respect the rule of law, you respect judgments of courts. I do see that you reject them when you disagree, and I frankly don’t understand how you can do that so I’m asking for an explanation in this instance. There is a judgment against Bundy and numerous injunctions and orders requiring him to pay back fees and stop using public lands while he’s delinquent. So do you agree that this answers everything one needs to know about the situation? If not, why not?

    Again, writing from a phone while I’m on the train so please pardon typos and weird auto-co-wrecktions. Thanks.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      You may take it that Cliven Bundy’s “trespasses” are in dispute and are debatable.

      In the meantime, I take it you accept the government’s word on everything. Classic argumentum ab auctoritate, in this case taking the special form of argumentum a gubernatore. A logical fallacy by any other name is still a logical fallacy.

  4. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    “Does that give the BLM any authority to arrest anyone in Nevada?”

    Yes, and ironically so. The Nevada Constitution is one of a number from various states that has a provision similar to the following:

    “The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.”

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      But the United States Constitution does not confer that authority on the BLM. There’s no authority to recognize.

  5. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    “… deliberate fraud perpetrated on a trial court.”

    I haven’t seen you say what this fraud is. Would you mind clarifying that? If you’re referring to the litigation starting in 1998, that’s quite a lot for someone, even a lawyer, to go over to try spotting what one might conceivably call bunk.

    “That’s at a minimum.”

    I think you’re being hyperbolic. The outcome of this litigation ought to answer whatever question’s you’ve got.

    “If you want to take the side of a corrupt Senator, feel free. It will not redound to your credit.”

    Eh, I don’t think anyone asking you questions or commenting here really cares what Reid says. The law is what it is regardless of what he says. Do you agree?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I will leave that to Cliven Bundy and his lawyers.

      The fact of the matter is: Harry Reid has a conflict of interest in this matter. He put his crony in as head of the BLM. Even old hands at BLM thought it odd that they now take orders from a total tyro. Reid has managed to shut down every ranch of any size in Nevada except the Bundy ranch. Now he is using any excuse.

      He would have done better to keep his mouth shut. Especially since you don’t even want to use his arguments.

      And about that law: I refuse to concede that Cliven Bundy has violated any of it. I refuse to concede that said law is constitutional. In short, I refuse to concede anything.

  6. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    “But the United States Constitution does not confer that authority on the BLM. There’s no authority to recognize.”

    Would you mind fleshing this out a little more? It seems to me that if you wish to argue this is true, you must argue that the various statutes that give the BLM authority to do this or that don’t derive from any valid *Constitutional grant of authority to Congress to legislate*. Congress has several well-established bases for legislating beyond what you seem to recognize, so I’d be quite interested in knowing where our understandings depart.

    I’ve also given a number of citations to state and federal law that you haven’t addressed, but I will appreciate you fleshing out any particular claims in any order you wish so I can better understand your position.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Simple: no statue, of which I am aware, authorizes the Bureau of Land Management to recruit, train, and equip a cadre of paramilitary law-enforcement officers, nor to deploy them to take law-enforcement action. Can you point to the specific statute that so empowers it? Can you furnish a link?

      I’ll be sure to tweet it to @JudgeNap. He might find it valuable for his next commentary on this sordid affair.

  7. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    “You may take it that Cliven Bundy’s “trespasses” are in dispute and are debatable.”

    I’ll just wait for you to say why you believe this rather than yammer on repeating what I’ve said.

    “In the meantime, I take it you accept the government’s word on everything. Classic argumentum ab auctoritate, in this case taking the special form of argumentum a gubernatore. A logical fallacy by any other name is still a logical fallacy.”

    Come on, Mr. Hurlbut. You oughtn’t assume that. I’m an attorney. I’ve read the District Court decisions and the various statutes. The basis for my accepting actions and claims the government take and make is me having evaluated them on my own. I guess I’m sort of glad that I can very easily look these things up and read them from a lawyer’s perspective. It’s unfortunate that many statutes and court decisions aren’t really all that easily understandable to people who didn’t go to law school. I regret that. Also, I think my politics are quite a bit different than you’re assuming, but they really have nothing to do with wondering what the basis for your affirmative claims are.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Oh? You are a member of the Bar?

      Then you should have no problem furnishing links to the orders and statutes that, you insist, make Cliven Bundy a criminal and give the BLM the perfect right to do what they did, and tried to do. After all, I would take it you are vastly more familiar with FindLaw and Lexis than I am.

  8. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    Yes certainly.

    43 USC 1773 http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/43/1733 is the enforcement provision of the Federal Land Policy Management Act that I referred to in another post. Section 1733(c)(2) provides that the Secretary of the Interior may authorize federal agents to carry out law enforcement responsibilities with respect to the public lands:

    “their agents are authorized to carry firearms; execute and serve any warrant or other process issued by a court or officer of competent jurisdiction; make arrests without warrant or process for a misdemeanor he has reasonable grounds to believe is being committed in his presence or view, or for a felony if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony; search without warrant or process any person, place, or conveyance according to any Federal law or rule of law; and seize without warrant or process any evidentiary item as provided by Federal law.”

  9. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    Yes I’d be happy to provide any citation to any statute you wish. Cornell is a great resource and I am trying to give links where I remember.

    As for decisions, I have access to something called PACER, which is the online docketing system for the federal District Courts. It is password protected, so any decisions are behind a paywall. However they are certainly pubic domain so I would be happy to go through the docket when I get back to my office and send you a representative decision laying out the Court’s rationale.

  10. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    Also one thing about the research services — FindLaw is mostly free. Lexis is a paid service. I use the equivalent (I think far better) Westlaw. Unfortunately, documents published on Westlaw are claimed to be copyrighted. The headnotes explaining issues in the case definitely are. So I can’t post Westlaw decisions, but I forgot to mention that, rather than emailing anything at all, I can quote sections of decisions here in the comments if you wish.

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