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Resisting the urge to fly towards the flame

Resisting the urge to fly towards the flame

Better to miss the show than to get burned.

The urge to fly towards the hot news flame is strong.

We’ve mostly, but not always, avoided being burned.

We took a deep breath when the Bundy Ranch flame flared:

“I don’t think we’ve written here yet about the Bundy Ranch standoff, mostly because we didn’t have enough information about the situation to make a judgment about what really was going on. And I didn’t have enough time to figure it all out…. [So, whether the] Bundy Ranch people deserve our backing… [is] a decision, again, I have not resolved….”

Now the Bundy Ranch boss has made statements that have blown up in the faces of those who jumped to his cause.

In theory, it’s possible to try to distinguish what he thinks from whatever property rights he may have. In reality and in real life it doesn’t work that way.

There’s a lesson there when it comes to falling in line behind someone you don’t know on an issue that is not clear.

It probably was dumb luck that we avoided getting burned. But I’m still learning from it.


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Most all conservatives…I don’t pretend to read all of them…have carefully delineated between condemnation of BLM storm-bureaucrat over-kill and the dubious (or non-existent) merits of Bundy’s position.

I’m not the least abashed over my position on this. I don’t give a flying fluck about this man’s views.

He’s an ordinary citizen, and he was dropped on by Leviathan in a completely inordinate manner. We won’t find many people to defend who are without foibles, and it should not matter.

And THAT is the thrust of all conservative commentary on this matter that I’ve read.

    Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | April 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    As long as we continue to allow the progressives to define the terms of any debate and the facts of every issue, we’ll spend our entire lives running behind them and begging for their approval. This has to STOP.

      Ragspierre in reply to Sanddog. | April 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      I regularly lock horns with a pure troll on another site.

      He refers to Bundy as a “hero” of the “Tealiban”. The same was said of Zimmerman in the day.

      These are, of course, lies of the Collective, and they have to be dealt with on that basis, I think, in Breitbartian fashion.

      We owe it to those we respect to do likewise when they seem to buy in to the lies.

      snopercod in reply to Sanddog. | April 25, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Exactly! This would have been a perfect opportunity for the Republicans (or anybody) to talk about what LBJ’s (not-so) Great Society has done to the black culture in American. But instead they all cower in fear of what the media will say about them.

    Deodorant in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    “dropped on by Leviathan in a completely inordinate manner” Actually he refused to pay fees that were way below market rates for 20 years. He abused the range. He owed over 1 million dollars. A court order was obtained. They went out in force because it has been determined that is is safer. Some people might resist 1 or 2 officers. But they are likely to be safely subued by a significant force. If the offender wants to fight anyway, the force will be less likely to suffer casualties.

    I remember a incident some years ago before LEAs developed these tactics. A game warden attempted to arrest a poacher. The warden was murdered. The poacher, now a murderer, killed others before he was caught.

“In theory, it’s possible to try to distinguish what he thinks from whatever property rights he may have. In reality and in real life it doesn’t work that way.”

Respectfully, I am appalled, Professor.

Isn’t the ENTIRE thrust of the whole “free speech” battle over defending the fundamental right of people to say things that someone finds “hurtful”?

And this is analogous. The support of Bundy was NEVER about his legal claims. It was about government treatment of the man, his family, and his uncontested property.

And that is not “theory” or cagey PR. It is fundamental.

    Deodorant in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    “uncontested property” Sorry the property (cattle) was rightly contested. There was a court order. He was warned multiple times. The cattle was seized because he did not pay 1.35/month/steer to graze on public land. That is cheaper than state land. That is cheaper than private land.

    He also ignored a directive that some land was taken out of use for grazing. I live near a town park. Some of the park became bare from over use. It was reseeded and fenced off in order to repair it. Do I have the right to use that part of the park because it is a public park? Can I decide I don’t recognize the town government and I don’t care if the land is bare?

David R. Graham | April 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

There is a scene in Bhagavatha where Krishna stands between the Kurava and the Pandava brothers, one usurpers and one legitimate and both morally flawed personally. Kuravas tell Krishna, rightly, that Pandavas have lost the bet Kuravas engineered to trap them and so legally Pandavas are no longer entitled to their throne and inheritance. Krishna says, yes, legally, Kuravas win and Pandavas lose, but no, morals is not the issue, the issue is who is right and who is wrong and Kuravas are wrong, because they are usurpers, therefore, war must happen, and it does, and Krishna fights with Pandavas and Kuravas are driven to death or exile in the forest.

The parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids is a parallel illustration:

We stand with those who are oppressed, regardless of their flaws, or we stand for nothing.

I think the “moth to the flame” scenario would apply to people believing the initial media reports of bigotry rather than judging for themselves. Does nobody care what Bundy actually said rather than what the media reported that he said?

“That’s exactly what I said. I said I’m wondering if they’re better off under government subsidy, and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail, and their older women and their children are standing, sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do, you know, I’m wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were slaves, and they was able to have their family structure together, and the chickens and garden, and the people had something to do? And so, in my mind I’m wondering, are they better off being slaves, in that sense, or better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies. I’m wondering. That’s what. And the statement was right. I am wondering.”

Hell, what’s wrong with telling the truth, please?

    Deodorant in reply to snopercod. | April 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    “what’s wrong with telling the truth” Where to begin? Did Bundy do a study? He based his observation on a drive by housing project?

    “their young men are in jail” Yeah, but why? Perhaps the answer is complex and involves the very prejudice that Bundy expresses. Anyway, it is beyond the scope of a comment. People have written whole books on this.

    “when they were slaves, and they was able to have their family structure together” This is total bunk; perhaps based on watching ‘Gone with the Wind’ or 4th grade history taught by a white teacher in an all white classroom. Families were routinely broken up to meet the economic needs of the owner. Women were raped and their progeny was sold down the river.

    What a happy picure he paints. The happy slaves singing and eathing chicken. No whips. No hangings. No runaways. 179,000 didn’t join the Union Army.

    I could go on. But what is the point. The whole quote is delusional. It is a Disney version of slavery.

What Ragspierre and David R. Graham said.

I really don’t care about Bundy one way or another. I’m not interested in his opinions or prejudices. I do care about the gradual takeover of the BLM by envirofascists. I didn’t have to agree with David Koresh or Randy Weaver to recognize the dangers of the heavy boot of the government stomping down on citizens.

Mr. Bundy asked the question “Would slavery be better than the welfare state for blacks?” Did he answer it too? I have not heard so, but perhaps he did.

The answer is NO for chattel slavery was a toxin that poisoned the American soul on all sides. Even the great man, Lincoln was so negatively influenced by the debased view of fellow humans that slavery by race induces over generations, that although he was for equal rights under the law, he was against intermarriage and even pro-segregation. The race relations in America had been improving considerably in the era preceding the Revolution, and then afterwards up until a decade or so after the invention of the cotton gin revitalized the failing economics of chattel slavery. As a nation we were very close to having a color-blind culture, to eliminating chattel slavery.

But the economy of slave-owning scale that the machine introduced to cotton plantations reversed that improvement. Large plantation slavery was debasing to the blacks caught in it, for generations. And it was equally as debasing to the view that whites had of blacks. So debased and poisoned became the views of fellow humans who were black, that one of the greatest legal minds of his time — Roger Taney — could declare blacks of African descent were not even fully human, not included in the “all men” of the Declaration of Independence’s lofty charter of Liberty.

And yet, Mr. Bundy, you ask a legitimate question, and in comparison to the sad state of the black family, black youth raised without Dads, with a morality utterly steeped in a black-as-permanent-victim mentality that excuses the culture and persons in it from any accountability, by so many measures are American blacks descended from slaves much better? The welfare state, the bureaucracy has no heart, it has less of a interest in the health and sanity (moral, mental, intellectual) of its wards, than even the harshest slave owner had in his slaves.

It is that SAME heartless, careless juggernaut of an leviathan bureaucracy that crushed the other cattle ranchers around Mr. Bundy, until only he and his family was left. Mr. Bundy with this provocative and upsetting question is certainly alluding to the state of his fellow ranchers, and himself, being crush by the harshness of the bureaucratic state. Will his family be any better if he gives up the fight? That he accepts for himself, his family and his decedents, in some “better” state of slave-like acquiescence to such a oppressive government bureaucracy and welfare system?

The answer to that is “No!” too.

if you haven’t been following it closely and suddenly take the word that he’s racist with no actual proof then you still are not following closely.
but even if he is, does he not have the same rights a non-racist does?
even if he is the biggest ahole racist in the world it has nothing to do with the blm issue.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to dmacleo. | April 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Our president was part of that black power church … and seems pretty darned racist to me. He seems to detest our founding fathers. And black racist Panthers calling for Zimmerman’s head, or brown power La Raza (The Race) calling for the overthrow of SW America … seem to only get praise.

    The Duck Dynasty Dad made some statement about blacks he worked with in cotton fields not having it so bad. And a little post slavery, I picture a stronger black family with a heavy Christian faith. Bundy went back too far.

    Perhaps Bundy tried to put a little too much edge on his point about how rich Dem’s like Sharpton have taken advantage, by comparing to the inhumanity of slavery. But I don’t think he was advocating slavery, he was trying to show how government and the Revs have degraded blacks, after a civil war freed them.

    Another example might have been the Indian nation, and their problems on the “reserves”. Our government “helped” them too, as it would seem only certain chiefs prosper, while many flounder.

    But Bundy doesn’t have a PR guy to craft his messaging. So he made a blunt and good point, but hit the explosive topic of slavery, not aware even many supporters are afraid of any honest comparisons that step into that mine field. He should said more about how the work on equal opportunity was squandered by opportunists like Sharpton and Obama.

    But again … our President was mentored by two communists, was part of a black theology church that also supported Farrakhan, that lies to America about our vital interests, and sells out America supporting Libya and Egypt tyrants in favor of his Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood buddies.

    Should I really worry that Bundy can’t craft his message as well as he can castrate a bull calf? All he really said (imo) is that Dem’s have put the blacks on the Democrat plantation, and done great harm to them, as witnessed by the gangs and all of Detroit. I think his slavery comparison was only an attempt to show just how bad today’s situation is … certainly he was not advocating slavery. sheesh …

Has anyone on the left ever apologized for Reverend Wright’s outrageous remarks, or for the man who attended his church, heard those remarks, and tacitly supported him? While I may not approve of what Bundy said, as Rags and David Graham have stated, that is not the issue. I am tired of the left telling us that this or that is wrong, and then those on our side snapping to and apologizing. Enough!

    Ragspierre in reply to gasper. | April 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Or the man who described his grandmother as a “…typical white person”?

    But that is basically ad hominem tue quoque.

    Bundy was and is wrong, I think. Slavery was an appallingly BAD system based on coercion. Any comparison between “subsidized” living is invidious, although I do kind of get what he was saying. It is not so very different from Hayek’s “Road To Serfdom”, except for the racial component of what he said, and his allusion to a “paternalistic slavery”.

    That said, Bundy can be faulted for being a rather poor philosopher, though his comments suggest he thinks. His saga suggests he thinks rather poorly, but that can be said of Ezra Klein and LOTS of other people.

    What this does is enable the Collectivist “othering” of Bundy. And this is something we have to resist. David Koresh and the Branch Davidians were not monsters. They were very likely not even criminal in any sense of that term. But the ATF needed a big, glitzy operation and the “others” would not be sympathetic to a Walter Cronkite America.

    Perhaps it is cliche, but “First, they came for the desert cranks, and I was not a desert crank…”

Back in the days when Catholic school was tough, Sister Mary Retribution taught us that the four cardinal virtues are prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude.

Picking the right battles is important; the corollary is that it’s important to avoid the wrong battles. So, in hindsight of course, I endorse LI’s prudence wrt Cliven Bundy.

    Sanddog in reply to gs. | April 24, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    We’re picking our battles based on political correctness and progressive values. Ending that practice is the most important battle we must fight.

      Bush 41 won the 1988 election basically by tagging his opponent as a liberal. Those days are gone.

      If the Right (and the GOP Establishment) hadn’t p*ssed away the Reagan legacy, caution about picking battles be less important. But it did and it isn’t…assuming the Right is serious about rebuilding a governing coalition.

        Ragspierre in reply to gs. | April 24, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        I’m as serious as sudden death about “rebuilding a governing coalition”.

        And as much as I eye that prize, I won’t do it at the expense of being too damn cute about what I oppose, and who seems to benefit from that.

        I understand marketing better than most. I also understand principle. And I think marketing is a moon-cast shadow to principle.

          And yet…and yet…one “pragmatic” decision after another by the GOP Establishment…one “principled” decision after another by the Right…and here we are.

          I’m not saying you’d make those decisions, but they were made.

          And here we are.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | April 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

          Why is “principled” in scare quotes?

          Be specific about what principled position has damaged the “winning coalition”.

          1. Why is “principled” in scare quotes?


          Quotation marks can also be used to indicate a different meaning of a word or phrase other than the one typically associated with it and are often used to express irony.

          2. Be specific about what principled position has damaged the “winning coalition”.

          What’s the magic word…?

          My phrase was “governing coalition”. I fear we’re in a period with winning coalitions that don’t govern.

        We’re long past the possibility of having a governing coalition. We’re in Vaclav Havel territory now. And I couldn’t get too excited about a governing coalition if one was still possible. Last time there was one, conservatives and Republicans quickly went intellectually bankrupt, much faster than Democrats had done before them.

          We’re long past the possibility of having a governing coalition.

          It seems that way, but things can change quickly. The Reagan Democrats come to mind.

          The Stupid Party had to work hard to alienate Asian-Americans; that might change. Who knows?—The SP might even explain to Latino Americans that illegal immigration takes their jobs or depresses their wages. Unfortunately, IMHO that’s the primary reason why crony-capitalist “compassionate conservatives” support illegal immigrants.

          Last time there was one, conservatives and Republicans quickly went intellectually bankrupt, much faster than Democrats had done before them.

          Sad but true. How did the Party of Ideas degenerate into the Stupid Party? Oddly, it feels to me like the Party of Ideas period was longer ago than the Reagan period.

          MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Reticulator. | April 25, 2014 at 8:01 am

          Reagan Democrats are just waiting to be asked to join the coalition. Democrats have sold out hard working United Coal Workers – preferring instead to cozy up to billionaire environmental zealots for their dirty lucre. The Laborer’s Union is furious the Keystone Pipeline hasn’t been built. Laid off roughnecks could be put back to work if the Feds would open more oil drilling on federal lands.

          It’s pretty obvious Democrats have decided to sell out their traditional working class union base in favor of ivory tower academic intellectuals and billionaire environmental zealots. Rather than capitalize on it and convince those people that the Republican Party is their natural home, Republicans are going to help Democrats pass an amnesty law to increase the pool of legal labor who will compete for hard working union members jobs. It makes no sense.

          MABAW, it can make sense if you concede that Republicans are also selling out their base (albeit in a different, and more short-term, way than Democrats are).

seems like plenty of people are resisting the urge on this guy too..
Bundy spoke foolishly with, from what I can tell, no malice or ill will about the loss of the family unit. the same thing the black guy running for lt gov of virginia (I forget his name) did.
this guy did it on purpose for political reasons.
yet bundy is the bad guy.

and it all still has nothing to do with the blm issue.

I’m disappointed in you, Professor. Haven’t we caved in to the left’s attacks enough? This entire “Bundy is a racist” meme is just another squirrel to distract us from the main issue, which is the actions of the BLM.

    janitor in reply to terimwal. | April 25, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Yes. RED HERRING! What in heck do the guy’s opinions about ANYTHING else have to do with the BLM issues?

      Midwest Rhino in reply to janitor. | April 25, 2014 at 6:51 am

      and how in the world did he get roped into talking about this, with these thoughts now being the big story on the whole issue? Surely he was baited by some left leaning reporter. Unless Bundy decided to try to leverage his new found fame into a soapbox for spreading his “wisdom”.

      Unfortunately, anyone with a public image to protect, especially politicians or talk show folks, feel the knee jerk need to kick Bundy to the curb for this, with an unfair kick in the teeth on the way out.

      But our wise Latinas would just lead us down a white guilt path to permanent preferential treatment to any “minority” that screams “racism” loud enough, and demands white cower any time the word “slavery” is uttered.

      Deodorant in reply to janitor. | April 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      He also denied that the federal government existed. His delusional thinking is consistent. The slavery comment was just more sensational. But all his comments on the actual dispute are delusional.

The difference between what Cliven Bundy said and what Starr Parker said in her book, Uncle Sam’s Plantation, is that Bundy said it poorly and Parker said it with more finesse.

Does that make Starr Parker a racist?

How often does a reporter interview a victim of wrongdoing, then write a story that trashes the victim for something completely unrelated to the issue that made the victim newsworthy? And the inflammatory comment is evoked in an urban neighborhood miles away from the ranch where the newsworthy standoff occurred. How did THAT come about?

I smell a New York rat.

Sir, you put up your weasel worded post about not having enough information over a week ago … and obviously in that time you haven’t done a bit of research …
until this morning you had no way of knowing what sort of answers the NYT’s would claim Bundy said in their interview …
so your relief at dodging a bullet comes from refusing to get into the fight and hanging back not from thinking Bundy was a racist …

there is no honor in your position …

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm

For shame
For shame
For shame

You as a professor of law, should know better. Any person should be treated the same under the law, and unless a fact came out about the standoff itself we should not change out opinion of the situation.

Whether the person being harassed by the government is Mother Teresa, Louis Depalma ( the character in Taxi played by Danny Devito ), Charles Manson ( well OK Manson would be different, because aside from the standoff he is a criminal but a person holding Mason’s beliefs who has not committed any crime ) or even Rosie ODonnell, it should not matter to how they are treated by our government.

In fact, the more despicable a person is the more effort should be put into making sure that they are treated even handed.

Furthermore, has it not occurred to you that the BLM essentially said “I’ll be back” and that this information may be the opening salvo of round two?

    Deodorant in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    The BLM better be back. He violated the terms that allowed him to graze his cattle on public lands. He refused to pay the heavily subsidized rate. He has declare himself immune to the law. That should not be left as a precedent.

If a woman gets violently gang raped, we should make sure she isn’t a racist before going after the perps.

    HarrietHT in reply to Andy. | April 25, 2014 at 2:10 am

    A fair analogy, I think. Just think of it like this: As long as the target (Bundy) can be vilified according to the most recent PC directives (point of view; the rallying cry around which all “decent” people must agree with a little help from the Greek chorus, aka, the MSM) then the state may act with impunity in whatever pursuit it deems necessary to its cause.

    Take for example your average, everyday homeowner — these folks run the gamut from the erudite and wordily-wise, to the ordinary hillbilly who worked hard and saved to provide for his family. Now the man, the government man, comes along and decides he wants to take a given parcel of land (for reasons left to your imagination) and so decides to raise property taxes (through its myriad of bureaucratic tentacles) to such a level that the homeowner is FORCED out by the sheer economics of the situation. This is essentially what happened to Bundy. Not to mention the important fact that the increased fees (for Bundy), taxes for you and me as homeowners, was used by the feds to buy up property and force all the other ranchers out.

    The problem with the modern reader is that he’s been bottle-fed TV crime, police, and legal drama and have no reference for Randolph Scott, much less the history of our nation.

    And another thing: Ask yourself how much improved is the black family under the Federal plantation than they were when their masters knew their names. For the record, I oppose both forms of slavery. But to say that the black race is as a group better off than they were 150 years ago is a debate worth having, not one to be considered TABOO.

    Deodorant in reply to Andy. | April 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Do you know of a case where that happened? This isn’t a law school hypothetical. Women do get denied justice in rape cases all the time. “look at the clothes she was wearing” “She was asking or it”. But I have yet to hear of a case not being persued because the alleged victim was a racist; especially if the victim was white. Maybe if there was no physical evidence and the accuser lacked credibility, there might be a problem.

    Emitt Till was lynched for whistling at a white woman. That is racism.

Give Cliven a break, what if he has had a stroke or something? Think of the pressure he has been endured these past few weeks. And add to that Harry Reid’s daily threats to his family and his life’s work. How would you hold up living under threat from a corrupt government? – really think about that.

I understood Mr. Bundy as trying to point out all the black people have lost spiritually in the last 150 or so years. I think he see them as being warehoused. Willingly giving up life to live on government handouts in filthy building and an Obamaphone. Seeing people not having to work for a living, just sitting day after day on a porch while their children are short changed by Teachers Unions and corrupt politicians. Their young men have no future and are mostly destined to populate jails. Their children have nothing to do. Not having to work for a living might seem wonderful to some, but for people like Cliven Bundy who have had the joy of hard work and strong family ties all their lives it is a tragedy.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to betty. | April 25, 2014 at 1:39 am

    So well said, betty.

    Other conservatives do give Mr. Bundy a break. ‘pub politicians, some of whom fall into the conservative to semi-conservative category, do not. They have bailed on him. They bailed on him because he undermined their support by giving their opponents a gift so huge it was like a Christmas bonus.

    I believe Mr. Bundy intended his comments just as you’ve suggested, but he made his comments so clumsily that it would have required a herculean effort at honest journalism for this to not go the way that it went, and we know there are no herculean efforts being made in journalism.

    Mr. Bundy seems to be either an astonishingly stupid or astonishingly sheltered man to have not known in advance what would be taken from his comments.

    As somebody below said, this was an unforced error – a gargantuan “error”.

    Yukio Ngaby in reply to betty. | April 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

    “I understood Mr. Bundy as trying to point out all the black people have lost spiritually in the last 150 or so years.”

    So American Blacks were spiritually richer back when many were chattel owned by White people? Is that what your sentence says? Seriously? Because I guess greater freedom equals poorer spirituality… just ask Stalin and Mao about that.

      no, but they (literally) had to fight to keep their families together and often did so.

        Yukio Ngaby in reply to dmacleo. | April 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

        Uh huh. I’d like to see some docs on that, because the figures I’ve seen is that between 1/3 to 1/5 of slave marriages ended in forced separations by masters. This does not count children, sisters/brothers, cousins, aunts/uncles, etc. sold down the river.

        But all of this has to do with spirituality in what way?

It should be interesting to observe how many people are capable of holding to separable and separate issues in their heads simultaneously. Thus far, it seems that issues are conflated and otherwise distorted in order to maximize leverage and reduce mental burdens.

Personally, I am pro-choice. I choose to address the issue of an overbearing (e.g. contractual terms for land use) and corrupt (e.g. normalization of abortion/murder) government; while choosing to not address a settled issue: involuntary exploitation and constrained liberty; and choosing to address the advantages of short-term, focused, and accountable rehabilitation efforts, and the disadvantages of long-term dissociation of risk (i.e. opiate of the masses).

That said, it was an unforced error, which will likely be exaggerated, isolated, and amplified for effect.

    gs in reply to n.n. | April 25, 2014 at 12:23 am

    That said, it was an unforced error, which will likely be exaggerated, isolated, and amplified for effect.

    The GOP should change the subject to abortion. That’ll work!!

    I’ll email Senators Akin and Mourdock immediately.

      n.n in reply to gs. | April 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      It wouldn’t change the conversation. Bundy noted the progress of dysfunctional behaviors. Most notably that abortion/murder literally threatens people’s future. Abortion/murder was promoted as a means to reduce the problem set. This myopic vision normalized by incompetent or malicious individuals needs to be addressed.

        gs in reply to n.n. | April 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm

        This myopic vision normalized by incompetent or malicious individuals needs to be addressed.

        It’s unlikely to be addressed while many swing voters believe that anti-abortion absolutists are the tail which wags the GOP elephant. I trust the Right on abortion as much as I trust the Left on “common-sense” gun control.

      SmokeVanThorn in reply to gs. | April 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      A useful idiot, happy to keep doing the work of the left.

    Phillep Harding in reply to n.n. | April 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    A recent example being the dozen or so reasons Bush gave for going back in to Iraq. The public was not able to handle multiple reasons and the news media simplified to a single, dramatic reason; WMDs. Rove went along with it, and that was a mistake.

Bundy has fundamental rights. These include

1. the right to be wrong.

2. the right to have unpopular ideas.

3. the right to express his ideas poorly.

4. the right to be a jerk.

5. and on in a similar vein.

These rights are to be respected by the press as a matter of honesty, by Americans of all political views as a matter of principle, and by the government (at all levels) as a matter of law.

If I may say so, this is the only proper Conservative position.

    housemom1952 in reply to tom swift. | April 25, 2014 at 1:46 am

    This was a post from someone on “The Blaze” regarding this bluster about Blazing Saddles words of a culture from yesteryear:
    “I’m Black and this is what I think… It was just a matter of time… Cliven Bundy is a rancher that has been put on the national stage with no PR help. The Left will dig until they find something to allow them to distract and deflect from the REAL ISSUE. Am I surprised that some 67+ year old rancher in the Nevada desert feels this way about blacks in inner city government housing in LasVegas??? …. Nope. Do I care that he feels this way??? …. Nope. Do I think Cliven Bundy is hates Black People??? Nope. Do I think it’s total BS that an bureaucracy set up by the Federal Government comes after an American citizen’s property with guns over an administrative dispute??? … Yes! Do I think it’s total BS that the Leftist NY Times & the Useful Leftist Idiots celebrate Bundy’s statement as a “Gotcha Moment” while they ignore the story about comments from sitting ‪#‎Democrat‬ Governor of Illinois comparing conservative blacks in America to Jews that worked with Nazis in WWII Germany??? … Absolutely!!!! …. Proving once again that Leftists, Democrats, Liberals, whatever you want to call the residents of the Progressive Petri Dish in America, could care less about Real Racism in America!!! It’s only about SPIN and Political Leverage to them. The biggest disappointment I have with this is how this development been handled by some of the big names in talk radio. The worst offender was ‪#‎Hannity‬ who has sensationalized this from day one and when the obviously unpolished rancher stepped in it with these comments, Hannity runs like a roach when the lights are turned on instead of sticking with Bundy to try to work through the thoughts behind the comments… That would have been truly courageous… but after using Bundy for interviews on almost a dozen shows Hannity threw him under the bus without hesitation… No courage was needed to do that. Then there is Glenn Beck. Usually someone who digs in pretty deep to understand as many facets of an issue as possible… That wasn’t the case with the Bundy Ranch and it been very disappointing but I guess he can now revel in an I told you so moment… along with the usual suspects in the Lefty Media… How Sad.”

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to housemom1952. | April 25, 2014 at 2:03 am

      I think Beck just didn’t want to share any of his little spotlight beam with Bundy. beck is very covetous of his notoriety.

      If only Breitbart was still with us. *sigh*

      As for the post you copied, good catch.

      DuraMater in reply to housemom1952. | April 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Yes. Yes. Yes to all of your points. But most especially I thank you for calling out two personalities on talk radio who present themselves as conservative champions of the common man. Their sanctimonious indignation over what Mr. Bundy had reportedly said (according to the NYT) revealed a shallow and cowardly character much akin to several of our most despised elected leaders. Mr.s Beck and Hannity are no longer welcome in my home.

    Deodorant in reply to tom swift. | April 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    and people, including the press, have a right to publicize his delusions and ridicule him He lost no rights by making idiotic comments. He may have lost some followers that didn’t want to be associated with him. That is their right.

JackRussellTerrierist | April 25, 2014 at 1:23 am

Mr. Bundy is not an articulate man, nor a prudent one. He was not before his recent controversial remarks, nor is he now.

None of that changes what was done to him nor the myriad of other violations perpetrated on millions of people every day.

It’s just so damn sad that he opened his inarticulate, imprudent mouth on the subjects of cotton picking and the comparative freedoms in the good life that slaves once enjoyed, which had zero to do with Harry Reid’s jackbooted BLM thugs and the cattle, and gave the left exactly what it needed.

I will repeat again, that nobody, I mean nobody, can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like a Republican can.

    So Bundy and Reid are now even. They both shot off their inarticulate, imprudent mouths. Did Reid also snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Reticulator. | April 25, 2014 at 1:53 am

      “Did Reid also snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?”

      Bundy has now positioned Reid to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Bundy completely undermined his own political support at both the state and federal levels.

      Reid has always been in the power position in this matter. Bundy mustered political support from the governor and U.S. Senators Heller, Rand and a couple others, as well as several House reps. They have now abandoned him and disassociated themselves from him – threw him under the bus in a heartbeat. Without their support, Reid is free to send his BLM buddies in whenever he wishes to, and the pols will be silent no matter how many patriotic Americans show up in his defense. Further, it also opens the door for Reid and the feds to advance their agenda elsewhere without political obstacles now that these pols have been politically damaged by Bundy’s remarks. None of them will step up to the plate again. They’re a timid lot to begin with. They will not set themselves up to get burned by individuals embroiled in federal disputes no matter how much federal thuggery goes on.

      Phillep Harding in reply to Reticulator. | April 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      “I will repeat again, that nobody, I mean nobody, can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like a Republican can.”

      “Did Reid also snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?”

      Reid is not a Republican. Reid also has the legacy media covering for him.

    “that he opened his inarticulate, imprudent mouth on the subjects of cotton picking and the comparative freedoms in the good life that slaves once enjoyed”

    Boy, Do I just love the silly takes on slavery that come out of your racist mouth! LOL. Or should I say off your keyboard…

    Oh, and before anyone jumps on me for casually throwing out that JackRussellRacistist is a racist here’s a sampling some of her past racist remarks (found here ):

    “The black kids are feral savages born of feral savages”

    “black women despise white woem because that’s what black men want, by and large. The fact that white women who succumb to such relationships have an extremely high likelihood of being murdered, severely beaten, living in poverty for the rest of their lives or struck down by AIDS doesn’t seem to slow miscegenation.”

    “If you don’t think black culture in America is a swirling cesspool of savage violence and immorality, fine. I do.”

    And who can forget this little Jack RussellRacist rant where Jack contends that blacks are selfish, demanding, impatient, irrational, undisciplined, savage, and violent?

    “I say give him [a Michigan man on trial for murder after shotgunning a unarmed young drunk/stoned black woman in the face at his front door] an award for getting another drunk driver off the road and ridding society of a selfish, undisciplined woman who, like so many blacks do, demand immediate gratification and service for their every little need because they can’t seem to ever fend for themselves or think of a rational solution to their own problems. They just act like savages, make demands, and become violent when they don’t get what they want right that instant. That comes from living in the moment and never developing foresight and understanding what “consequences” are.”

    Why am I not surprised to see you voicing a black-people-were-better-off-when-owned-by-white-people attitude Jack?

    If only those comparative freedoms of “having masters forcibly break up somewhere between a fifth and a third of all slave marriages” and the reasonably frequent use of whippings to maintain an efficient plantation would make a comeback…

    Oh, and be sure to tell me again how I hate White people Jack. The evidence? I don’t approve of the racist crap like the stuff above. Yup. I’m a hater.

LukeHandCool | April 25, 2014 at 1:46 am

I can’t wait to hear his opinion on gays.

Back in the antebellum South, there were apologists for slavery who wrote that slaves were better off than factory workers in the industrial north. They pointed out that slaves in the south were more secure in their supply of food, clothing and shelter. In many cases it may even have been true. It’s pretty much the same argument that apologists for the welfare state make now.

    Deodorant in reply to Reticulator. | April 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    “It’s pretty much the same argument that apologists for the welfare state make now.” What exactly is that argument? Please explain how it is ‘more or less’ the same.

I fail to see what his views on any subject other than public land and his ranch have to do with anything, other than as a smear tactic of the left.

I am just as appalled at those putative “conservatives” and “libertarians” who say, “Bundy is tainted because he didn’t follow the law.”

Yeah, he could have tried to pay the fees, and reduced his herd by 90% as BLM demanded, and then he would be out of business like the 72 other ranchers who used to graze on these lands. And we wouldn’t have heard any more about him than we did about them, would we?

The point is, that’s open range that isn’t being used for anything. BLM’s only real interest in the area at all is their statutory obligation to humanely manage the wild mustangs, but they don’t do that because they say they don’t have the funding (but calling up a small army is in the budget, apparently). And the “threatened” tortoise.

Cattle pose no threat to tortoises or other small creatures. They don’t harm the land. They graze – and leave some fertilizer for future grass to grow. That’s it. In effect, they cut the grass on land the government doesn’t use.

Public land does not “belong” to the government. It is OURS, and the government is supposed to managed it for our benefit, NOT to appease environmental wackos or benefit Harry Reid’s sons’ clients.

First they came for Bundy, and we spoke up and stopped them. Then they labelled him “racist,” and we shut up and let them?

No, this is not only a key issue, it is a test of whether some name-calling will cause us to slither away like spineless creatures.

    Deodorant in reply to Estragon. | April 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Cattle “don’t harm the land. They graze.” Cattle are not native to the dry grasslands. They can cause desertification. When they drink from a stream they destroy the bank, muddy and contaminate the streams.

    “It is OURS, and the government is supposed to managed it for our benefit” That is exactly what they are doing. It is ours, not exclusively Bundy’s. Maybe I would prefer that Bundy doesn’t turn it into a complete desert. He has had a free ride, like the ‘Negroes’, for 20 years. If it is ours, he should pay up and stop abusing the land.

    I am glad you made that point.

LukeHandCool | April 25, 2014 at 3:10 am

I’m all for picking battles.

Bet you that Yamamoto wouldn’t pick Midway again.

I haven’t been following the story closely, but from the headlines and snippets I came across, it seemed that, like the Japanese defending their carriers, Bundy and his men shot every single torpedo bomber coming at them out of the sky. Seemed like things were going his way.

The Japanese celebration over decimating the enemy torpedo bombers was short lived.

The dive bombers overhead soon took the Japanese by surprise.

Bundy drew a target on his own ship and waved the dive bombers in.

You can talk law and abuse of power, etc., etc., until you’re blue in the face.

In the court of public opinion, he’s sunk.

    Spiny Norman in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 25, 2014 at 4:50 am

    You are correct. He’s sunk. The BLM SWAT Team will be back, only much more organized and forceful. The Reid clan will get their millions from the Chinese solar project, the greenies will get their “tortoise preserve” and the Democrats will have intimidated the timid GOP once again.

    gasper in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 25, 2014 at 6:01 am

    “In the court of public opinion, he’s sunk.” You are right of course, but had someone prominent on the left made a similar statement, the media, including black journalists, would have turned themselves into pretzels explaining what that person “really meant”. Remember the grief Reid took about his statement on Obama: “He’s clean and articulate”. It was brushed off. No such luck for Mr. Bundy. If it had not been this, it would have been something else. Perhaps he has a rock on his property with the “N” word written on it. Maybe he transported one of his horses on top of his truck. Maybe one of his ranch hands colluded to block off the trail to a water hole and caused a massive cattle backup on the only trail leading to it. It would have been something. The media can always find a target and they have unlimited ammo (in the form of words and time) to keep firing away at it. This was a liberal’s gift that will keep on giving.

    In the court of public opinion (including my opinion) he was sunk long ago. But the issue is not about him. It’s about Reid and the BLM.

    David R. Graham in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    “Let him who is without sin ….”

    David R. Graham in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Public opinion is not a court. It is a gang of leaping monkey-minds.

Juba Doobai! | April 25, 2014 at 5:41 am

Why is what Bundy said so bad? I think he may have misspoke to this extent: he did not draw the clear connection between welfare and slavery. Sitting on your arse doing nothing but collection a welfare check makes you a ward of the state, enslaved and subject to its whims. How is that different from being on the plantation picking cotton? Sure picking cotton is forced labor under slavery conditions, but the human condition of the welfare recipient and the slave is the same. Where’s the sense of self-respect? Where’s the sense of personal achievement?

So, Bundy called black people “negroes”; if you’re going to hyperventilate about that, then don’t go down to the Caribbean where that word is used there with no problem at all.

So, what’s the problem with what Bundy said?

I think that this whole thing is the first move in the Fed bid to arrest, imprison, kill Bundy (take your pick) and his family and seize their land. This comment of Bundy’s is a squirrel and it’s broadcasting by the LSM types is intended to strip him of his supporters and or make him and them seem racist. The end result is that Americans will be turned against Bundy and will to watch as the Obama administration drives him off of land his family has used for more than a hundred years.

It’s a squirrel, people. A squirrel.

You don’t have to love Bundy; you just have to stand with him against government tyranny. That’s where I stand.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to Juba Doobai!. | April 25, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Yikes! I normally agree with your posts, but I think that the wrong position from all aspects of this situation would be to try to minimize the universe of difference between slavery and welfare, “clear human condition connections” notwithstanding.

    I am absolutely positive that, given the choice between laboring as a slave and collecting a welfare check, no one in his/her right mind would choose the former.

    Yes to your concluding stand with Bundy against government tyranny. Best leave it at that.

    Yukio Ngaby in reply to Juba Doobai!. | April 25, 2014 at 11:17 am

    “How is that different from being on the plantation picking cotton? Sure picking cotton is forced labor under slavery conditions, but the human condition of the welfare recipient and the slave is the same. Where’s the sense of self-respect? Where’s the sense of personal achievement?”

    Bwahaha! What’s the difference between slavery and picking up welfare checks?! Stop it! You’re killing me!

I am also VERY DISAPPOINTED in the Professor. George Zimmerman was not perfect. After his acquittal he had all kinds of non-PC problems — even accused of domestic violence (only Dems get away with that). What CBundy said is no different than many things Robt Byrd said. But the right will dutifully throw Bundy under the bus because he is not perfect. The rape analogy is apt. I guess I will not get justice under these criteria (the Professors) if is revealed that I said some intemperate things in the past. When the left attacks (using the “nuts and sluts” attack template) the right dutifully backs off. We cant win. May I ask those who have abandoned Bundy, is there such a thing as redemption? I believe that Carla Fay Tucker will be in Heaven.

Or you could listen to the entirety of his remarks instead of relying on the edited chunk the folks backing the Feds on the matter have been pushing.

We seem to be spending a lot of time complaining about how unfair this all is. It’s as if nobody on the right understood that the media has a visciously leftward tilt. It was entirely predictable that the press would take any nugget of racism (or whatever ism) and use it to change the narrative.

What I hear in the thread is a bunch of folks trying to argue why the MSM shouldn’t do what they have been doing for decades, and a bunch of others arguing why what Bundy said wasn’t really as bad as it sounds if you parse it to the nth degree. Both may be true, but both are also irrelevant to the battle for public support. All the rationalization in the world won’t turn Bundy’s artless comments into anything but a loss for the folks that supported him against the excesses of the feds.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Immolate. | April 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

    “All the rationalization in the world won’t turn Bundy’s artless comments into anything but a loss”

    I’m not sure who is “rationalizing” here. It seems many are afraid of any comments that bring up “slavery”, and they are rationalizing their action of throwing away the whole Bundy fight, against Big Gov Bureaucracy running roughshod over we the people.

    We must be patient as the “rise of the machines” runs its course, and the bloggers take control of the national message. That starts here in the comments.

    Listening to Bundy’s whole comment is much better than the TV sound bites
    … he actually sounds compassionate toward black and Hispanic families that have been harmed by the same fed leviathan that has harmed his own family.

    Do we really have to quake in fear and turn all “slavery dialogue” over to leftists that rewrite history? No one here is oblivious to the damage done by Bundy’s “awkward” statement that offended the PC crowd, but “resist we much”. 🙂

    tom swift in reply to Immolate. | April 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    We seem to be spending a lot of time complaining about how unfair this all is. It’s as if nobody on the right understood that the media has a visciously leftward tilt.

    That’s not what the thread is about; not at all.

    The tactics of the leftoid press are obvious and well understood. But the Professor’s post was about

    (i) accepting the press’s hatchet job on Bundy, and

    (ii) congratulating himself for sitting on the sidelines during this affair, particularly in light of (i).

    Some of his regulars disagree with the wisdom or the virtue of this.

    That’s what the thread is about.

A slander against Bundy. The slander of false lights.

Bundy has exposed an overbearing government (e.g. special interests). He has exposed the consequences of a short-term, not-so-great society. He has also exposed that addressing issues is susceptible to framing.

He’s right to question the federal government’s contractual terms to save a tortoise, but not the bald eagle, and other feathered and furry friends, in order to preserve the facade of “environmentalism” for profit.

He’s right to question the outcome of degenerative policies which have sponsored dysfunctional families, community violence, drug consumption, abortion/murder (literally destroying people’s future), etc. He was wrong to limit the scope of people affected by those “well-intentioned” policies.

He’s right that it is difficult, if not impossible, to address issues on their merits.

One of the supporters serving as a bodyguard for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy during his standoff with federal authorities — and who also happens to be black — said he would still “take a bullet for” Bundy after the rancher made racially inflammatory comments.

CNN’s Dan Simon noticed Jason Bullock, a six-year Army veteran who serves as one of Bundy’s bodyguards, hanging around the at the Nevada ranch. Simon asked Bullock whether he found Bundy’s remarks about blacks and slavery offensive.

“Mr. Bundy is not a racist,” he told CNN. “Ever since I’ve been here, he’s treated me with nothing but hospitality. He’s pretty much treating me just like his own family.”

“I would take a bullet for that man if need be. I look up to him just like I do my own grandfather,” he added. “I believe in his cause and after having met Mr. Bundy a few times, I have a really good feel about him and I’m a pretty good judge of character.”

but yeah hes a racist

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
―H. L. Mencken

I’m also really disappointed Professor. You were very patient about deciding whether/where to support the underlying issue, but you sure bailed in a jiffy when the Media said “boo” on an unrelated point.

I’m one of the disappointed ones, too.
I understand the desire to jump at a chance to prove a point you were hoping to be able to make, but it’s not really a good strategy to try to prove that being a moth flying towards a flame is a bad thing by being a moth flying towards a flame.

Many here seem to think that once slavery ended, African Americans suddenly had an equal chance. In reality, slavery was replaced with peonage. Laws required ex-slaves to work as sharecroppers until they paid off ther ‘debts’. The accounting was done by the ex-massa. They bought their supplies from the ex-massa’s company store.

Blacks were rountinely arrested for crimes like vagrancy. When they couldn’t pay their fines, a white guy would pay their debt and they would be forced to work to pay it off. They would be incarcerated on the property of the guy who paid the fine. Convicts were leased out.

The peonage system was worse than slavery. The people running the system had no long term interest in the peons because they didn’t own them. Thousands died in US Steel mines and working on the coke ovens.

This went on until the civil rights era. I thought people who came to this site revered history.