Image 01 Image 03

“What if Bundy Ranch Were Owned by a Bunch of Black People?”

“What if Bundy Ranch Were Owned by a Bunch of Black People?”

Saturday Night Card Game: What matters to us is what is being fought for, not the skin color of the people doing the fighting.

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.

Was it, as some portrayed, a heroic struggle against an overbearing and overly aggressive federal government (in which case we might have taken the side of the underdog) or, as Harry Reid has portrayed it, a bunch of domestic terrorists looking for a shoot up? Or somewhere in between?

Which gets me to the title of this post, “What if Bundy Ranch Were Owned by a Bunch of Black People?,” which is the question posed by Jamelle Bouie at

A few things.

First, this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.

Second, it won’t happen, but right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials.

Finally, I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats?

Somehow, given the degree to which right-wing media traffic in racial paranoia, I think we’d be looking at a different situation if the Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people.

Needless to say, I disagree with most if not all of what Bouie says there, but particularly the notion that conservative reaction would be different if “Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people.”

That reflects just how deeply liberal and left-wing writers don’t understand, or care, that what matters to us is what is being fought for, not the skin color of the people doing the fighting.

They are the ones obsessed with race, not us.

So to the extent the Bundy Ranch people deserve our backing (a decision, again, I have not resolved), such backing would be just as strong — if not stronger — if “Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people.”

(Featured Image Source: YouTube)


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


If the Bundy ranch was owned by African Americans, we would be looking at Pigford 3 by now.

southcentralpa | April 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Given the long history of gun control being used as a tool to keep Blacks down, if the Bundys were Black, they would be the new public face of the NRA (if the NRA was as smart as they like to think they are)…

I don’t know of a conservative writing about the Bundy thing who thinks Bundy is legally right.

The issue is the storm-bureaucrats who populate ALLLLLLL our alphabet soup agencies, and their use of thuggish tactics here.

PLUS the entire ambit of federal land holdings in contravention of the Constitution, which NEVER permitted the central government to own vast stretches of land in ANY state.

It’s high time for reform here. The Feds don’t even know what the fluck they own, and it’s time for them to divest to the states and the people.

    Awing1 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 12:12 am

    The federal government has owned large swaths of land since before the Constitution was founded, and has owned large swaths within states since the first state was founded out of federal territory in 1802 (that being Ohio). Ultimately, the constitutional argument comes down to Art IV Sec 3 Cl 2, which gives Congress the power to regulate and dispose of property belonging to the United States. When Congress creates an enabling act that explicitly conditions statehood on disclaiming any right to the public lands in a federal territory, Congress has clearly expressed its intent not to “dispose” of that property. If it’s the case that the United States can’t actually own property inside of a state, the Constitution would require reversion of that “state”, accepted under a faulty act, to a federal territory.

      Awing1 in reply to Awing1. | April 20, 2014 at 12:14 am

      Corrections, the first “federal government” should just say “government of the United States” and the first “founded” should say “ratified”. Typing too quickly for my own good.

      Ragspierre in reply to Awing1. | April 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

      “The federal government has owned large swaths of land since before the Constitution was founded”

      That is simply an irrational statement, and it gets no better if you put “United States” instead of “federal government”.

      An entity cannot own stuff before it exists.

      It is also just historically false.

      Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution for the United States.

      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 this provision was under consideration, a member of the Constitutional Convention asserted “that this power might be made use of to enslave any particular state by buying up its territory, and that the strongholds proposed would be a means of awing the state into an undue obedience to the general government.” In response, a motion was made to “insert, after the word ‘purchased,’ the words, ‘by the consent of the legislature of the state.’ This change, as asserted by the delegate who proposed it, “would certainly make the power safe”.

      The Framers…

      1. KNEW that land = power, and they

      2. all represented STATES that were jealous of their power and sovereignty.

      They very EXPRESSLY created a central government with strictly LIMITED power, including that power that they understood came from land holdings.

        Awing1 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 9:14 am

        The United States existed before the Constitution was ratified, the Northwest Ordinance and its preceding arrangements among the states explicitly ceded (most of) the Northwest Territory to the United States by 1787, 2 years before the ratification of the Constitution. Since we did not have a federal government in the sense we did after that ratification, I felt it more accurate to refer to the United States (which was a continuous entity).

        As for the Enclave clause, I don’t see how it applies. It discusses two things, purchase of property from a state, and the establishment of a capital. Neither are what occurred here, so why do you think it’s applicable? The Property clause (Art IV Sec 3 Cl 2) would seem to control explicitly, in the way that I previously delineated. The only irrationality here is your assumption that the Enclave clause has some unspoken portion that prohibits ownership of land outside its provisions, which would mean A) the framers didn’t understand their own document and B) they added the Property clause for no reason, since the Enclave clause already provides its own grant of authority over land acquired under it.

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

        “The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.”

        You seem to manage a reading of that which says, “The Federal government can own land without restriction”.

        I cannot find that, and you fail to address my two points about the Framers intent to limit the power and scope of the central government, including the explicit concern expressed during the drafting.

        At any rate, ONE excellent reform I would push would be divestment of virtually ALL “Federal land”, including parks (which can be managed very well by the states; indeed, better).

          Awing1 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 10:32 am

          I certainly don’t read it that way, the restrictions of the Enclave clause obviously would restrict the Property clause, but the Enclave clause simply isn’t relevant here. The federal government acquired the territory through a treaty, something it is explicitly allowed to do in Art II Sec 2 Cl 2, and it has not disposed of that property since. This is a rather simple analysis.

          rorschach256 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm

          Rags, et al, perhaps this cace might be on point in this discussion.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | April 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

          Yep. Sure seems to, dunnit?

          Awing1 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 22, 2014 at 8:15 am

          The United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory of which Alabama, or any of the new States, were formed, except for temporary purposes, and to execute the trusts created by the acts of the Virginia and Georgia legislatures, and the deeds of cession executed by them to the United States.

          This, again, proves my point. The public lands in Nevada belong to the federal government by force of the act that created the state, and the Constitution of Nevada. This case is about a condition on the waterways, but no title or claim to the land by the federal government was reserved for it in its enabling act. The case isn’t the same.

          rorschach256 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

          Awing1, I read that to mean that the federal government has no sovereignty over lands in states that are not expressly deeded to it by the states, therefore the Federal government does not have sovereignty over land in Nevada unless the Nevada State legislature gave it to the Feds, which it did not.

          Awing1 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 23, 2014 at 11:31 am

          You should probably read Nevada’s state constitution.

        sequester in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 10:14 am

        Awing1 I cannot be so dismissive Ragspierre’s reference to the Enclave clause. The Enclave Clause has been broadly construed, see — Kleppe v New Mexico 426 U.S. 529. It is one of the few Federal Property and Territory Clause cases.

        It would be helpful if you pointed us to some case law on the Federal Property and Territory Clause. I don’t read it as a broad empowerment to seize private lands or lands belonging to States. It’s placement suggests that the clause was intended to give Congress power in drawing the boundaries of States. The Enclave Clause, as Kleppe demonstrates is still used to justify seizure.

        I’d be fascinated to see you address the legal distinction between a Territory of the United States (e.g. Puerto Rico — where the Constitution does not have to apply) and Federal Property fully contained within a State.

        Barring that, I think you were very harsh on Rags

          Awing1 in reply to sequester. | April 20, 2014 at 10:27 am

          Kleppe v. New Mexico is actually a perfect case to demonstrate what I’m saying. In that case, the Supreme Court found the Property Clause to be a broad grant of authority. I’m not sure how you think it’s in opposition to my argument.

          As for:

          “I don’t read it as a broad empowerment to seize private lands or lands belonging to States.”

          I’m certainly not saying it does, I’m not sure how this is relevant to the case at hand at all. This is an issue of federal property, property held continuously by the United States since it was acquired from Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

          sequester in reply to sequester. | April 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

          I don’t read Kleppe that way. Kleppe did not say the Federal Governemnt had exclusive jurisdiction over the land. I quote from Kleppe:

          Absent consent or cession a State undoubtedly retains jurisdiction over federal lands within its territory

          The Court seemed to apply a balancing test:

          We need not, and do not, decide whether the Property Clause would sustain the Act in all of its conceivable applications.

          Kleppe also explains why I felt you were needlessly harsh on Rags over the Enclave Clause:

          Article I, 8, cl. 17, of the Constitution provides that Congress shall have 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 . . . .”
          The Clause has been broadly construed, and the acquisition by consent or cession of exclusive or partial jurisdiction over properties for any legitimate governmental purpose beyond those itemized is permissible. Collins v. Yosemite Park Co., 304 U.S. 518, 528 -530 (1938).

          Rags raised some excellent points. I find Kleppe on point but not dispositive as regards the Bundy situation. This is a very specialized area of law that few practioners have exposure to. Can you provide some case law?

          Awing1 in reply to sequester. | April 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm

          I’m really not sure what part you’re questioning, so I don’t understand what you want case law on. Here we have land, in the hands of the federal government continuously since 1848, and no subsequent disposition of the property. What part of that do you believe needs caselaw to demonstrate that the feds can make rules and regulations regarding it?

          Ragspierre in reply to sequester. | April 21, 2014 at 10:39 am

          An affront to the original charter of our government of ancient duration is not “legal” by dint of longevity or custom.

          Awing1 in reply to sequester. | April 22, 2014 at 8:18 am

          Rags, the point of noting the longevity isn’t that “time makes right”, it’s that the federal government held the territory before Nevada was a state, and never transferred over title, as was made explicit in her enabling acts. Questions of “grants” or “cessions” are simply irrelevant.

          Ragspierre in reply to sequester. | April 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

          I’m arguing first principles and you’re in the weeds of Nevada, which was admitted in a VERY bad atmosphere.

          “The shores of navigable waters, and the soils under them, were not granted by the Constitution to the United States, ***but were reserved to the States respectively, and the new States have the same rights, sovereignty, and jurisdiction over this subject as the original States.***

          The United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory of which Alabama, or any of the new States, were formed, except for temporary purposes, and to execute the trusts created by the acts of the Virginia and Georgia legislatures, and the deeds of cession executed by them to the United States, and the trust created by the treaty of the 30th April, 1803, with the French Republic ceding Louisiana.

          Upon the admission of Alabama into the union, the right of eminent domain, which had been ***temporarily held by the United States, passed to the State.***”

          sequester in reply to sequester. | April 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm

          Rags has raised some excellent points. The Nevada Constitution states:

          That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States;

          This rather bizarre clause was put in the Constitution to comply with the odd requirements imposed by the Congressional legerdemain that granted statehood to Nevada.

          Unlike Awing1, I find Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan – 44 U.S. 212 (1845) to be on point regarding this forceful appropriation.

          This dictum is very clear:

          The United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory of which Alabama, or any of the new States, were formed, except for temporary purposes, and to execute the trusts created by the acts of the Virginia and Georgia legislatures, and the deeds of cession executed by them to the United States, and the trust created by the treaty of the 30th April, 1803, with the French Republic ceding Louisiana.

Legally right or not, the legal process in this case in in itself corrupt. The government managed to prove that ctatle which had been co-existing with the desert toroise for over 100 years was threatened by those very same cattle. WTF?

That’s a completely illogical conclusion that flies in the face of historical facts. A foregone conclusion where the study was going to prove what the government wanted before it even started.

Legally “right” does not mean justifiable.

Just one of the many things wrong with the whole entire scenario.

Manage to mix that up. But, still understandable. If the two have already coexisted for 100 years+, they don’t suddenly become a threat to one another.

    MarlaHughes in reply to gospace. | April 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    In actuality we’re finding out that the cattle were only co-existing with the tortoises since the 1950’s when Mr. Bundy’s father purchased the land in question. Besides, the issue isn’t really the tortoises, it’s the land the tortoises and the cattle SHARE, along with many other species. Some of those species occur naturally, some do not. The key, according to the taxpayers (many of whom are increasingly liberal in the area in question), is how many non-native species should be allowed to co-exist with both native species as well as tourists who bring mega bucks into areas formerly called wasteland (including by cattlemen)who love to both view those native species and in some cases, hunt them.

It’s interesting how die hard leftists only have the one “gotcha” issue here calling him a “corporate agricultural wellfare queen” in the fact that Bundy hasn’t paid his fees. Despite that he is an actual producer, and has provided work for hundreds of people and food for tens of thousands. Yet the true wellfare queens that have not worked, or produced or provided anything deserve more and more and more “entitlements”.

Just picture this if you can… change one thing: switch Cliven Bundy’s name to “Carlos Banderas”. Keep all else the same.

Do you think the mainstream media would approach this differently? Of f*cking course they would! Every single advocacy group you can think of would be down there freaking out.

Almost every leftist I see is gleefully shouting for Bundy to be aggressively raided, many calling for a massacre. Solely because he is a stupid, backwards, redneck cowboy. Comparing this to the horrid injustices that the native peoples endured, and saying Bundy somehow deserves it because of what our government, this SAME government did 200 years ago. Well two wrongs don’t make a right. Right? If it was wrong for this gov to do a land grab and break treaties with the natives, why is right for this gov to do it to it’s OWN CITIZENS?

    Voyager in reply to p.r.o.t.o. | April 20, 2014 at 12:15 am

    If he was “Carlos Banderas” he would be a white hispanic.

    If he was black, they likely would have just shot him and used it to stoke black fear of police brutality.

    They aren’t any nicer to their own people than they are to us.

I recall conservatives speaking against the absurd situation of black women being required to attend cosmetology school before they could run a business devoted exclusively to African hair-braiding, which involves no chemicals or health hazards or anything else that’s taught in cosmetology schools

It’s safe to say that those businesses would have no white people as customers or workers. And chances are, the women involved would overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Yet white conservatives defended their right to earn a living with dignity.

Apparently leftists have a hard time understanding the concept of defending a principle just because it’s the right thing.

    Liberals don’t have principles. Their big thing is consensus and compromise. Principles would require them to draw a line and say “This far and no farther!” and that is something that they will not do.

It seems like me they also get their panties in a wad when conservatives support black candidates and public officials (Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Sen. Tim Scott, etc.)

“What if Bundy Ranch Were Owned by a Bunch of Black People?”

You wouldn’t have been able to even hear the “right-wing media” over the hysterical, 24/7, day after day shrieking of progs on every alphabet network and cable news station about oppressive, raayyyycissst government goons harassing a poor black rancher… or Holder would have given one of “his people” a total pass.

Too bad there weren’t ever a whole bunch of white Republican males willing to go to war to defend the rights of Blacks. Oh, wait.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 19, 2014 at 11:36 pm

I need to consult blazing Saddles for the answer . I shall return.

I do recall reading an article recently that the Federal Government may have been actually breaking the law here too.

I gather one of the other ranchers in the area fought them on the grounds that the original lease had granted them vested usage rights, that were carried forward in existing laws, that the BLM was in violation of As I recall, the court cases bankrupted him, and he died of old age before he won them, but I recall the final verdict was that he did have vested rights in the land usage, and that the BLM had violated them.

On the other hand, the only rancher left standing i all of this was the one who simply decided to believe the US Government didn’t exist, rather than the ones that tried to live under the laws, or change them through normal channels.

    Ragspierre in reply to Voyager. | April 20, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I believe you are essentially correct, but I think the specific rights were water rights.

    This is apparently such an arcane legal subject that few lawyers understand it well enough to defend these rights. I sure don’t.

    Another aspect of this thing is that the federal government has grown so immense, it cannot even tell what it owns any longer, much less manage it efficiently.

      rorschach256 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Rags, you know I’m no legal scholar, but my layman’s understanding of the situation is this. There are two different “rights” in play here and they are interrelated. The grazing rights, which until the BLM came along, had been promised to the Bundy family in perpetuity by the Federal government while Nevada was still a territory as an inducement to settle in Nevada. There was a push at the time to try to get the population above 60K in order that Nevada could qualify for statehood, Lincoln ended up short circuiting that by accepting them as a state in violation of those requirements in order to guarantee reelection. The other right is the water rights, and this is where things get a bit sticky. Bundy owns patented water rights for the land. And the way water rights work, you have to actively be using and improving the land and the water in order to maintain ownership of those rights (it is a form of mineral rights). Once those rights are lost due to inactivity they are gone forever, so by restricting his ranching use of that land, the BLM are effectively taking the water rights which he owns and paid money for, away as well. That is when it becomes an illegal taking, because he was not offered anything to compensate him for the loss of water rights. It also effectively made the land he DOES own outright effectively useless because without access to BLM land for grazing, the land is useless for much of anything else, so his resale value is effectively nil as well.

      As to whether the Feds have rights to own the land, there is a legal argument to be made apparently that the feds are violating the constitution in possessing it after Nevada was accepted as a state.

      Whether that argument holds water or not, I leave it to you “legal scholars” to decide.

      But whether it was legal for the BLM to do what it did or not doesn’t change the fact that it was morally wrong for them to do it.

      MarlaHughes in reply to Ragspierre. | April 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm
      You might also watch/read Mr. Bundy’s latest claims. He keeps having to back down as more and more of his family history is revealed through research by those that are only interested in the truth of the matter, both conservative and liberal.

    J Motes in reply to Voyager. | April 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    The rancher you refer to was Wayne Hage in Nevada. His son continued the fight against the federal government in court after his father’s death. Heritage published a nice article about the outcome of the case, which was a big loss for government:
    “Judge Jones did not mince words: ‘[T]he Government’s actions over the past two decades shocks the conscience of the Court.’ The judge concluded that the government denied the renewal of the Hages’ grazing permit for a ‘nonsensical’ reason that was ‘arbitrary’ and ‘vindictive.’ The employees of the BLM ‘entered into a literal, intentional conspiracy to deprive the Hages not only of their permits but also of their vested water rights.’ Some of the Hages’ ‘vested stock watering rights’ on local streams and wells dated back as far as 1866 and 1874; most of them had been established by late 1800s and early 1900s.”

I’ve read that Boss Reid wants all the ranchers gone so that his son can broker a deal with our future Masters, the Chinese.

Jamelle Bouie is just upset he couldn’t fap off to another Randy Weaver shooting. What a douche.

“Finally, I can’t help but wonder how liberals would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials.” Would applaud black militiamen (and Black Panthers, for that matter) aiming their guns (or billy clubs) at white bureaucrats (and voters)? Would Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et al applaud black militants aiming their guns at white bureaucrats? Just ask the SPLC.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | April 20, 2014 at 8:41 am

If Jamelle Bouie were capable of looking at ANYTHINGit for what it is, rather thanneeds to look beyond rI view it as a lessor/lessee property dispute.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | April 20, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Sorry. I was in the process of editing that and somehow that posted.

    It’s a lessor/lessee property dispute. If a black man defaulted on the lease for the apartment he rents, does Bouie believe the landlord has the right to threaten to use violence to resolve the dispute by surrounding his property with men pointing guns and taking his chattel property from him by force? Doubtful.

    So why do agents of the federal government have the power to threaten the use of violence to settle a property dispute with Bundy?

    Bouie insists on framing everything in terms of race and that prevents him from opening his mind to see things as they really are.

      MarlaHughes in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | April 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Mr Bundy and his supporters were the first to threaten violence, both against the BLM as well as the county Sheriff’s department, the day riders (and their families, who were doxed) and anyone else who opposed Mr. Bundy back in the first attempt to enforce the law back in 2012.

stevewhitemd | April 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

John Fund has this perspective at NRO:

United States of SWAT?

We have a number of federal agencies with policing power. Fine, as far as that goes: The Fish and Wildlife Service occasionally needs to arrest someone. The IRS needs to investigate for tax fraud. And so on.

But one of the problems is that they’ve all up-gunned significantly without apparent reason. As Mr. Fund points out, the FBI has a much better sense (though certainly not perfect) as to when a SWAT team is required.

The BLM does not need a SWAT team — if they do, they should call the FBI. As it stands, agencies like the BLM have wannabe infantry that lack accountability and the the very needed quality of calm when a situation is tense.

The Bundy ranch standoff could have turned out very badly: Mr. Bundy’s people could have reacted with violence. The pro-Bundy militia types could have turned violent. And very importantly, the BLM SWAT teams could have turned violent.

That last one is, to me, the most dangerous part of the confrontation. Our society can deal with citizens who turn violent. But when the government turns violent against the citizens? That’s when revolution becomes not only thinkable, but necessary.

    Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 20, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Same-same with the Gibson Guitar raid.

    We need to demilitarize the Federals, as well as our own police locally. The Library of Congress does not need “shooters”.

    We need a lot more “Andy Of Mayberry” types generally.

    We see examples of people being shot and killed by LEOs way too often, and it will get worse unless we make them stand down.

      gospace in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 11:46 am

      And Insty had a link to that very subject today. The raid was August 2011, over supposedly endangered wood. Supposedly not harvested in accordance with another nation’s laws. At least from what I can re,member. August 2011. It’s now April 2014. Over 2-1/2 years. Over $500,000 in material confiscated. No charges filed.

      Government violation of Amendment 6- “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,”

      Probably being violated because if push came to shove, there is an Amendment 4 violation: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,”. I would like to see the government, especially today, prove to a jury that such a massive raid over WOOD supposedly harvested in violation of ANOTHER NATION’S LAWS was reasonable.

      The government wouldn’t want me on that jury.

David Gerstman | April 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

As a number of commenters noted, what would Jamelle Bouie have written if the Bundy’s were black? Would the incident have happened if the Bundy’s were black? Or would the feds have realized that optics were too awful to actually have laid siege to a property owned by blacks.

Henry Hawkins | April 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

If a thing is legal, it is right. Right?

Embargo Act
Indian Removal Act
Fugitive Slave Act
16th Amendment
Volstead Act
EA 9066 (Japanese internment)

..and so on, and so on.

(sarc) And in the unlikely event that a given law, act, or executive order is bad, true American citizens are duty-bound to accept it without question, right? (/sarc)

Townsend Act
Tea Act

…and so on, and so on.

The next conservative media pundit to point out that the Feds invading a private ranch is ‘legal’ needs to get slapped upside the head. Legal does not equal right, and the Bundy ranch affair is a symptom, not the disease.


Not Necessarily Paranoid Conspiracy Prediction:

Operators like Harry Reid and others within the federal government will now try to gin up other ‘spontaneous’ confrontations like the Bundy ranch in hopes some citizen will eventually take a shot at federal agents, towards the goal of expanding the definition of ‘domestic terrorist’ to include people on the conservative end of the political spectrum.


-Justifies (in their view) surveillance and prosecution of political enemies (something IRS is already up to).

-Full, legalized politicization of federal agencies like the IRS, EPA, FCC, etc., with added missions of domestic spying and enforcement (in process as we speak).

-Diversion of media attention away from Obamacare, the economy, and other issues dooming the midterms and 2016 for the Democrat Party.

-Confirmation and satisfaction of the self-important, self-indulgent, government-is-God-and-we-are-the-government ugliness inside every socialist/progressive/liberal fundamental transformist.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 20, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Happy Easter!

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

    There was a quite good piece in the “New Yorker” a few days back about the “othering” of the Branch Davidians and the ATF over-kill in the first instance which led to the subsequent over-kill.

    The Bundy thing seems to me to be a quite healthy reaction to the thuggish conduct of the BLM-irate (as Mark Steyn put them) and a resistance to this kind of ham-handed “governance”.

      Radegunda in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Nice that the New Yorker sees something wrong with the Clinton administration’s military-style attack on American citizens who weren’t threatening anyone (and whose leader could have been apprehended easily when he went into town), but did it take them 21 years to come around to that view?

    J Motes in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I have decided to think of Cliven Bundy as a modern-day Henry David Thoreau, who advocated civil disobedience against unjust laws. Here’s a small collection of relevant quotations from Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience and Other Essays” (published in 1849). Thoreau’s ideas are, I believe, descriptive of Bundy’s resistance to government over-reach.

    “Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?”

    “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.”

    “The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to — for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well — is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.”

    “The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.”

    “There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.”

    “Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?”

      Henry Hawkins in reply to J Motes. | April 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      ‘Henry Hawkins’ is not my real name. ‘Hawkins’ is taken from Treasure Island protagonist Jim Hawkins, a lad who starts out humble and obedient and is forced to adapt to fight and win against oppressors of considerable power, an allegory for growing up, but also for the little guy against machinations of power.

      ‘Henry’ comes from Henry David Thoreau and his concept of civil disobedience.

        J Motes in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        Nice to know!

          Henry Hawkins in reply to J Motes. | April 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          The NC Psychology Board and the NC Association of Professional Psychologists combined aren’t entirely liberal, just.. oooh… about 99.92% liberal. Eighteen months ago I went into semi-retirement, but fully retired from constantly dogging the arses of the aforementioned groups. I am loathe to admit it and have worked hard to change it, but the field of psychology is largely a pseudoscientific joke.

          America, when it comes to psychology, substance abuse, and mental health as treatment disciplines, beware the term “evidence-based” wherever you see it. They don’t know what the term means.

          Organized NC psychology’s gain (my retirement) is local politics’ loss. Now I dog the local government authorities, lol. Had a Rocky Mount city councilwoman point at me after I spoke at an open meeting and say, “he’s.. he’s.. he’s a known Tea Party member!” as if it were equivalent to pedophilia or something.

    MarlaHughes in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    What’s hilarious is that the Bundy ranch (The REAL ‘owned’ property) was originally promised to the Paiutes as part of a treaty settlement. So, when anyone references the Indian Resettlement on this issue, that springs to mind.

If they were black, just as many people would have shown up to stand with them, and the MSM would portray them as racists, because they were there to help those poor black people who were incapable of defending themselves. It’s the race card, applicable in all scenarios.

This interview was conducted with Wayne Hage at the Pine Creek Ranch in Nevada. One of America’s largest ranches, it stretches over 1100 square miles (approx. 760,00 acres). From the time Hage and his family bought the ranch in June 1978 until 2009, they battled the US Government and various environmental agencies over the grazing and water rights, ultimately prevailing at the US Supreme Court level. It became one of America’s landmark property rights cases and is studied in law schools today.

I have noted that many feel that the Bundy’s do not have the law on their side. That is true, but that also points out the fact that our country is broken and that the laws are frequently used for purposes other than that for which they were intended. In this case, it is to allow Reid to have a huge deal with the Chinese at the expense of the Bundy’s. As a physician, I probably break the law at a minimum of five times per day, that is a minimum. I don’t know I am breaking the law and frequently it boils down to the opinion of a low placed bureaucrat. I feel this is the real reason for the hostility in this and coming events. After all, the President states that he will ignore laws that are inconvenient for him. The attorney general encourages others to put aside laws that are on the books. So why can’t the Bundy’s ignore a law or court decision? Unless something changes, this concept of numerous laws, rules, regulations and the Feds using excessive force (local government as well) will result in the coming civil war.

    MarlaHughes in reply to david7134. | April 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    The Chinese deal was disproven soon after the Bundy issue came up. Most likely, IF it’s a dispute over use of the land involving legislatures’ and special interests (much like the Range Wars in which the federal government was on the right side and Mr. Bundy’s ancestors were on the wrong side if he is correct about his heritage), I would side with the proposal that the Las Vegas area has too many former Californians migrating there, forcing new suburbs to concrete over tortoise habitat, forcing ‘easements’ in other areas to keep Nevada and Clark county in compliance with Endangered Species legislation.
    If that’s the case it’s very similar to my home state of Florida, formerly only second to Texas in cattle production, but victim to it’s own sunny climate and beautiful beaches and thus a destination of tourist and new residents alike. This makes the land worth more to it’s owners/local and state governments as residential and tourism zoning than agricultural. My husband, one of the last Cracker Cowboys (My grandfather was one of the first) now mows lawns for a living. We wouldn’t have DREAMED calling for an armed standoff to retain possession of what was not ours in the first place.