Federal Cattle Rustlers in Nevada?

By Al Benson Jr.
When is private property not really private property? When the federal government says it isn’t. When is public land not really public land? When the federal government says it isn’t and when they try to run you off for using it. Who does Clark County, Nevada really belong to? Well, that depends on who you ask. With the situation in Clark County right now the federal government seems to think it owns most of the county and that it can tell natives of the area what to do or not do on “their” land.

Back in September, 2006, I did an article for the old Sierra Times website (now defunct) called ‘There Is No Private Property in the American Empire.” I think there are one or two sites out there that might still have it up, but the current situation in Nevada strongly reminded me of that article.
A rancher in Clark County, Nevada (the only rancher left in the county) has had a run-in the the Bureau of Land Management. Ask most folks in the rural West about the BLM and you get answers that run the gamut from flat-out cusswords to worse. Ive talked to folks in Colorado when we’ve been out there on more than one occasion and let’s just say the BLM is not held in especially high esteem. They’ve been accused of land grabbing and other offenses, and in the situation in Clark County they have been accused of being cattle rustlers. Doesn’t surprise me in the least. The BLM thinks they are God out in the sagebrush and they pretty much do what they want.

The one remaining Clark County rancher, Cliven Bundy, has roots on the land he grazes his cattle on that go back to before the turn of the 20th century, back to the days when people actually owned their property and federal thugs like the BLM were only a fond dream in the mind of some corrupt bureaucrat. Much of the land Mr. Bundy grazes his cattle on is public land, which he contends should belong to the state of Nevada rather than the federal government. He is correct. The statistics I saw noted that the feds own over 70% of the land in Nevada. Why? Either it’s part of the state of Nevada and should be state land or when the State of Nevada became a state only around 30% of it really became Nevada.

At any rate, after Mr. Bundy’s family has used this public range for well over 100 years, along comes the BLM and assesses him for grazing fees and whatnot—and now they are telling him his cattle can’t graze there anymore because they are disturbing the habitat of the Desert Tortoise. Really? Cattle grazing in that area for the last century don’t seem to have bothered the tortoises all that much. Mr. Bundy refused to stop using the land and ignored the feds financial levies on his use of the land. Mr. Bundy has a “unique concept” in regard to public land. He actually believes it is for the public to use, not to be cordoned off into some sort of turtle paradise. Needless to say, he ideas are at variance with those of the federal bureaucrats who, in their heart of hearts, really believe it all belongs to the government. The bureaucrats have the mindset of a dictator. Mr. Bundy has the mindset of a free man. Never the twain shall meet!

Since Mr. Bundy ignored the BLM entreaties for plunder (grazing fees) they have decided to round up his cattle, (those they can’t kill) and “sell” them off. Wonder who gets to keep the money. Mr. Bundy stated: “Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights. Who is the trespasser here?…Is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? The Bureau of Land Management has ‘overstepped its boundaries by not letting me access my rights, not recognizing the state’s sovereignty, and having over 200 armed officers watching our every move and stealing our cattle.”

The situation got worse last Sunday after Bundy’s son, Dave, was arrested for filming federal agents while he was not within the “designated” area for “First Amendment” activity. So now the feds can restrict First Amendment activity to certain areas and only in those areas can you exercise your First Amendment rights. Anywhere else you don’t have them. Is this a first step to removing them altogether? You be the judge.

Even Nevada’s governor has criticized the high-handed way the BLM is doing this, though he hasn’t done much else and the county sheriff, who is the county’s highest elected official, seem to have “gone fishin” rather than to exercise the authority he has to eject the feds from his county. Good luck in your next election, buddy, because most of the folks in Clark County seem to be in support of what Mr. Bundy is doing.

Now we have folks from other states coming in to stand with him in support, including, according to http://patdollard.com some militia groups.
The Pat Dollard article noted that: “On Tuesday, armed Bureau of Land Management agents stormed Mr. Bundy’s property,…Mr. Bundy’s view is that he owns his property—that it’s been in his families hands for centuries…” However the BLM view is that the land belongs to them, I guess not only the “public” land, but all of it. After all, when you are the jack-booted thug in charge you can pretty much do what you want. And the BLM knows it will get the backing of the Marxist regime in Washington—compliments of Comrades Obama and Holder.

Let’s hope there can be a peaceful (and just) resolution to all this and that, somehow, Mr. Bundy doesn’t end up being “shot while resisting arrest.”

Private Property in America–that glittering illusion

by Al Benson Jr.

Once upon a time in this country Americans had the right to own their own property, free from government interference at just about any level. A man’s home was, truly, his castle, and in it he and his papers and possessions were secure.

Supposedly, on paper, we still have that right, but in light of history and recent events it has become nothing more than a glittering illusion–sort of like cotton candy–you go to take a big bite and there’s really nothing there.

In the old John Wayne movie “The Alamo” John Wayne had a great bit of dialogue in which he said something like: “Republic, I like the sound of the word. It means a man can live free, come or go, buy or sell…however he chooses.” That was a great sentiment–back in 1836, but it won’t hold water today. Oh, on paper this country is still a republic, but in reality, we have since the time of the War of Northern Aggression, become a centralized, collectivist democracy. The Founders, for all their problems, viewed democracy as one of the worst possible forms of government. They felt it eventually leads to dictatorship. Looking at where we are today, who can honestly doubt that assessment? All the politicians today rant about out “democracy” and yet the more democracy we have the less freedom we seem to have, and no one seems to pick up on this.

The War of Northern Aggression set the tone for the government’s regard for private property and if that property just happened to belong to Southerners then it was fair game for the socialist thugs in many of Lincoln’s armies. “Steal what you want and destroy the rest” was the order of the day,  during the War and in the socialist charade called “reconstruction” that followed it. The concept has now been widened to include all private property, both North and South, just as “reconstruction” has now been expanded to cover the whole country.

If you are still naive enough to think “your” property belongs to you, try not paying your property taxes (your yearly rent) to the government and you will find out who really owns your property. Your John Hancock might be on the deed and you might even have a receipt from the bank saying your note is all paid up, but in the final analysis, all that is meaningless. He who can take it is the real owner, not you.

For decades after the War the facade of private property was maintained, so most folks wouldn’t catch onto the game, and it pretty much worked, thanks to the mis-education of a dutiful public (government) school system that taught its captive audiences much about nothing.

However, the Supreme Court, those nine blind judges and judgettes, have now figured out that we have come far enough down the road to serfdom that they can now remove the velvet glove, stick the mailed fist in our faces and show us the real name of the game, and there just isn’t much we can do about it anymore. And they could be right. Americans in all areas of the country have been allowed just enough material comforts, bass boats, and beer, to keep them mostly obese and happy–and they just might not give a rip anymore, as long as its not their house or bass boat that’s being threatened–yet.

A few years ago we finally had the glittering illusion of property rights shattered. The death knell came, in, of all places, New London, Connecticut, which just proves that “reconstruction” is alive and well in the North as it has been in the South for decades. The Supreme Court ruled that the city has the right to seize people’s homes to make way for a business complex for “public use.”

According to an article at the time in “The Washington Post”: “The city had argued that the project served a public use within the means of the Taking Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution because it would increase the tax revenues, create jobs and improve the local economy,” Isn’t that convenient? Anytime a town or city decides it can get more out of your property by removing you and your neighbors and putting up a business complex there, then you and your neighbors are gone in a New York minute. The bulldozer operators eagerly await the opportunity to knock down your house, whether you desire to move or not, because, you see, what you want doesn’t really matter to the city. If your property is a usable commodity to them you will be removed, one way or the other. End of argument! Maybe we begin to have some idea of how the Indians felt, and maybe what goes around comes around.

If I recall correctly, the Tenth Commandment says something about covetousness, about not coveting your neighbor’s house, (and by implication, his land) or his servants, nor his livestock, nor anything that is his. Of course everyone know that doesn’t apply to cities or towns, right? Isn’t government above all that? Well, no, actually they are not. The Commandment applies to governments as well as to individuals and the government that steals will be judged every bit as much as the individual that steals.

That Commandment was written, as part of God’s Law, for a society that was supposed to value private property. That would, automatically, seem to exclude us anymore.

Welcome to “the land of the freeloader and the home of (thanks to public education) the brain dead.”