Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coalition Of Western States forms to Protect Against Federal Overreach

A newly-formed coalition of state legislators, sheriffs, other representatives and leaders in the patriot community has been announced today (4/14) at the site of the recently-liberated Bundy Ranch.  The new alliance, called the Coalition of Western States, was  joined today by an additional 20 state legislators from Idaho, Montana, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.  They’ve vowed to stand their ground, along with their fellow countrymen, to fight back against the war on rural America and the plundering of land by an increasingly overreaching federal government. The announcement made at the Bundy Ranch site,  just outside Mesquite, NV was led off by Rep. Matt Shea (WA). Shea said that one of the main goals was to facilitate the transfer of public lands back to the state level, and to have the states and counties manage the lands, “not far-away Washington DC”. Michele Fiore, Assemblywoman, District 4, Nevada had a reason to join the coalition.  This recent event virtually happened in her back yard.  Fiore stressed the importance of getting to know who’s running for office.  She urged the people to ask tough questions and find out where the candidates stood on the issues, “and know they’ll stand on the front lines when a disaster like this is about to happen.” Barry Weller, Vice Chairman, District III, Apache County Board of Supervisors (County Commissioner equivalent) Called for the thousands of other supervisors to stand up for their citizens.  “we are like the sheriff, we are to protect our citizens, not to rule over them and [tell] them what to do.  We’re here to protect them.  We need to stand with them, and to protect them.”...more

Coalition Of Western States...COWS

Utah official plans illegal ATV ride through BLM canyon

 by Phil Taylor

A county commissioner in southeast Utah is organizing an illegal all-terrain vehicle ride through a river canyon rich in archaeological ruins to protest what he argues is an overbearing federal government.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman said the May 8 ride through Recapture Canyon aims to assert the county's right to access federal lands, while prompting the Bureau of Land Management to reopen it to off-highway vehicles (OHV).

The ride, which Lyman publicized in a recent op-ed in the Deseret News, threatens another Western showdown over states' rights following BLM's failed bid last week to round up several hundred illegal cattle from public lands about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Lyman's ATV ride, which was planned well before the Bundy dust-up, carries a similar theme of a perceived breach of constitutional rights. But it's a dangerous trend, according to conservationists and legal experts who argue public lands are managed by BLM on behalf of all Americans, not just those who live around them.

"It's a freedom that's been taken without our consent," Lyman said in an interview yesterday, noting that the ride is not endorsed by San Juan County. "We have power and jurisdiction to do things independent of BLM."

On his Facebook page, Lyman takes a more revolutionary tone.

"As we approach independence day, let us contemplate what it means to be free and what we are willing to do to ensure that our children and their children inherit a free and flourishing San Juan County," he wrote March 2. "Remember that our revolutionary forefathers did not declare war, they declared independence, the war was only a consequence."

May 8 was chosen to commemorate the day that federal agents raided Blanding, Utah, homes in 1986 to confiscate what were believed to be illegally looted American Indian artifacts.

Lyman said he and others are willing to be arrested or cited for the ride. But sources say there's little chance BLM will arrest violators. The agency is more likely to take names and turn them over to federal attorneys.

Such appeared to be the case in 2009, when hundreds of OHV riders illegally rode up the muddy Paria River that BLM had closed to vehicles in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

 Lyman said he's been told BLM will not arrest people for riding Recapture, but he's worried that the agency could take a more aggressive approach after being forced to back down in the Bundy roundup.

And then there is this:

"It doesn't matter if you're an environmentalist, industrialist, rancher or county commissioner, public lands don't belong to any single person or entity. They belong to us all," said Ross Lane, director of the government watchdog group Western Values Project. (emphasis mine)

"They belong to us all".  I'm really sick of hearing this.  You or I don't own these lands, the feds claim to.  Would you charge yourself a fee to enter your own property?  Would you charge yourself rent to use your own property?  Of course not.

Cliven Bundy goes from folksy rancher to media magnet in ‘range war’


    Early last week, Cliven Bundy was a relatively unknown rancher who called a press conference in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store that attracted just a couple reporters from Las Vegas media.
    At one point, a store employee asked him to hurry up and move along, as Bundy’s weathered old pickup truck was blocking other vehicles from entering the parking lot. For Bundy, sparsely attended press conferences and obscurity have become a thing of the past.
    These days, the rancher has turned into a contemporary folk hero in the eyes of his admirers, while also gaining notoriety from environmentalists who criticize his disregard of land management regulations. Instead of showing up at press events by himself, he’s now surrounded by an entourage of armed militia guards devoted to protecting him as long as necessary. And Fox News host Sean Hannity lands exclusives with Bundy.
    Somewhere along the way, a plainspoken rancher from Bunkerville managed to wage a formidable public relations operation against a federal agency backed by two court orders and armed law enforcement officers.
    To be sure, it’s not Bundy’s first time in the news. It’s just never been on this level before.
    ...So far, Bundy appears comfortable in his new role as a rancher who famously took on the federal government and forced armed agents to give in to his demands. On Monday, he cracked jokes with supporters and repeated a version of what he told Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie on Saturday, shortly before the standoff. On Saturday, Bundy had told the sheriff he had one hour to disarm the federal agents. Gillespie didn’t take him up on the request.
    “OK, media,” Bundy said Monday. “I want you to remember what I said. Sheriffs across the United States of America take away the guns from the United States bureaucrats.”
    Of course, Nevada ranchers know that Bundy remains the figure he was before the standoff — a fellow rancher.
    “This is my personal view — I view him as another rancher,” said Ron Torell, president of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association. “I think he loves the land and the cattle business. I believe his philosophy differs from our views in the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association. I respect his position and tip my hat to him for sticking to his guns.”
    As the 67-year-old rancher gave an increasing number of interviews to the media, BLM officials started saying less. In the end, that gave Bundy and his supporters a megaphone for expressing their views, which faced a shortage of comments from the opposing side.
    The day that Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, was shot with a stun gun by a BLM officer, the footage of the incident was posted on social media and quickly spread across the Internet.
    That same day, the agency canceled a scheduled conference call with reporters, opting not to answer questions about the roundup. The agency also delayed scheduled releases of daily numbers of cattle rounded up.
    As the BLM started tightening the flow of information, Bundy’s family became de facto public relations professionals. By last Wednesday, the kitchen table at the Bundy house had transformed into a workspace for laptops and telephones, as family members fielded calls from media outlets across the nation.
    At the height of the Bundy-proclaimed “range war,” it was the rancher — not anyone from the BLM — who stood before a swarm of television cameras and became the face of the story, blasting the federal government along the way.

ACLU of Nevada: Cattle Battle Is First Amendment Victory

The ACLU Of Nevada is claiming a First Amendment victory in the cattle battle near Bunkerville, which has captured national media attention. Tod Story, ACLU executive director, said the free speech win resulted from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removing so-called "free speech zones," as armed protesters gathered in support of rancher Cliven Bundy. Story warned that the government-designated areas for protesters to gather probably violated the First Amendment. "They're supposed to be in the proximity of the 'time, place and manner.' It's a question that the courts have entertained and continue to review," Story said. The First Amendment ensures peaceful assembly in reasonable physical proximity to the subject being protested or supported, he explained, adding that there are multiple reports that the BLM's free speech zones were located an unreasonable distance away from the cattle roundup...more

Abengoa Solar: Obama’s green energy projects fail, even when they are successful

by Marita Noon

...This report will expose one of the largest recipients of Obama’s green energy funding: Abengoa — which if not stopped, will get even more taxpayer dollars. On April 2, 2014, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, said: “the department would probably throw open the door for new applications for renewable energy project loan guarantees during the second quarter of this year.”
Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn about Abengoa and how it operates:
  • Crony-connected, Stimulus-funded, Spanish-owned company builds/opens solar generating station—currently producing electricity.
  • Brings foreigners to U.S. to fill jobs from welders to administration to engineers to management—often working on tourist visas for as long as 9 months.
  • Many Americans, who do have jobs on the project, get fired so expats can have the jobs.
  • Health insurance fraud committed by putting expats on plans when they are not on payroll (expats on tourist visas were paid out of accounts payable).
  • American vendors/contractors payments are intentionally delayed while U.S. taxpayer funds are in Spain collecting interest—$70 million owned to U.S. vendors.
On October 7, 2013, a giant concentrated-solar plant opened near Gila Bend, AZ. The $2 Billion Solana Generating Station has 32,320 mirrors on 1900 acres (equivalent to 1400 football fields) making it the world’s largest parabolic trough array with thermal storage. The 280 MW generating station is one of the first solar plants that can store thermal power for six hours. The stored thermal power can be used at night or on cloudy days to produce the steam that turns the turbines and creates electricity.

Solana was made possible because of the 2009 stimulus bill and the loan guarantees and grants made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Plant owner, Abengoa, reports that Solana’s construction employed 2,000 people.

When selling ARRA to the American public, the president said it would create jobs. Abengoa employees, who contributed to this report, were grateful for the jobs. They believed in green energy generally and the project specifically. But that was in the beginning when the sun was shining on Solana and its parent Abengoa.

With the green energy failures (32 failed and 22 circling the drain) being widely exposed by both the mainstream media, through shows like 60 Minutes, and Republicans, who point to the failures in order to embarrass President Obama and stop future green energy spending, one would think that Solana’s success would be something the White House would want to use for a major PR campaign — with pictures of a triumphant Obama cutting the ribbon splashed across the front page of every major newspaper. At the least, you’d expect an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier, the White House had promised one or the other would be there, but neither was present for Solana’s October opening.

With the president’s penchant for photo ops, it seems mysterious that the official White House photographer wasn’t present to capture, and capitalize on, the moment.

Why wasn’t Obama waving to the cameras on October 7? Because even though Solana is a technical success, it is still an embarrassing failure. When the details in this report are exposed, as he must have known they inevitably would  be, he didn’t want to be anywhere near the project—because, as this report exposes, Solana would have never happened without direct intervention from the President.

Water issues eyed at New Mexico town hall meeting

A failure by New Mexico to address water supply challenges and climate change would have far-ranging effects on everything from national security to energy independence and the ability to compete in the global economy, a U.S. senator said Tuesday. The warning was issued by Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich to state officials, business leaders, tribal officials and mayors as they gathered for a two-day town hall on the severe drought gripping New Mexico. Heinrich told participants there’s no single solution to the water problems and steps must be taken to prevent conditions from getting worse. “There’s no doubt we’re seeing bigger fires. We’re seeing drier summers. We’re seeing more severe floods when it does finally rain and less snowpack in the winter,” Heinrich said. “The reality is things are only going to get more challenging.” Heinrich and other experts at the meeting suggested the ability of an arid state such as New Mexico to attract businesses and jobs, maintain its military bases and national labs, and continue with energy production depends on sustainable, clean sources of water. Some of the questions explored at the town hall involved how New Mexico plans to handle expected water scarcity and whether the state can benefit from collecting storm runoff during summer monsoons...more

Senator Heinrich knows that based on a legal settlement with Texas, southern NM has the opportunity to capture new water.  Yet, he cosponsors legislation to create Wilderness and National Monuments right where small dams could go to capture this water. 

State legislators push Obama on monuments

A group of 230 state legislators on Tuesday encouraged President Obama to brush aside Republican opposition and designate more public lands as national monuments. Public areas in the United States are valuable for tourism and outdoor recreation, the lawmakers said, but the threats of mining, logging and drilling put the lands at risk. “As legislators, we encourage action from Congress to protect these landscapes but, as you know, for the last three years Congress has passed just one bill to designate new wilderness,” they wrote. The lawmakers praised Obama for designating the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands in California as a national monument. But the state lawmakers told Obama he should push forward. They want him to declare the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico and Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho as monuments...more

Twenty-six of the signers were from NM.  To see who signed from each state you can review the letter here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bundy vs. BLM: A Visceral Reaction

By Peter Kirsanow

One can be a supporter of the rule of law and still recoil in anger and disgust from the militarized display of force by the federal government toward Clive Bundy.

The disproportionate nature of the government’s reaction to Bundy suggests this has less to do with delinquent grazing fees than it does with the selective assertion of raw governmental power — sending a message not just to Bundy or a disfavored group, but to America as a whole. The same federal government that deploys Bureau of Land Management shooters tricked out like SEAL Team 6 directs Border Patrol agents to flee from aggressive illegal immigrants.  The same federal government that would fire and prosecute federal agents who physically restrain border-crossers sends agents to tase and sic German shepherds on ordinary Americans exercising First Amendment rights.

One can acknowledge that the government has the right — in fact, the responsibility — to enforce the law, yet object that this administration habitually enforces the law in a capricious, arbitrary, and discriminatory manner. They imperiously go after a Bundy while excusing scores of miscreants whose get-out-of-jail-free card is membership in a politically-correct class. They regularly waive legal requirements out of sheer political expediency. They fail to defend duly enacted statutes with which they, the enlightened, disagree.

One can concede that the federal government may take reasonable steps to (ostensibly) protect endangered species, but reject that such creatures should be given primacy over human beings humbly trying to earn a living. It’s a bit unsettling, to say the least, that this administration has displayed more resolve (and animosity) toward Clive Bundy than it has toward Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad.

And the absurd visual of  the government’s designated ”First Amendment Zone” in the middle of nowhere simply adds to the fury. After all, these things haven’t happened in isolation: The government tells us we’re free to practice our religion provided we do so only within the confines of our homes and churches; we can form associations to participate in the political process, but only if those organizations meet the approval of a partisan bureaucrat at the IRS. The federal government even commands that we buy health insurance we don’t want as the price for being born in the United States of America.

The appalling contempt this government has shown toward its citizens and the rule of law is the context in which the Bundy-BLM confrontation  is playing out. It’s a context that further diminishes, rather than enhances, Americans’ respect for the rule of law.


Why the feds tucked tail on the Nevada ranch

by Kevin McCullough 

...It is telling that in the Nevada case the feds pulled out so quickly, given all they had indicated they were willing to do to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. They had set up a perimeter around the Bundy's family land, ranch, and home. They had brought in extra artillery, dogs, and snipers. They were beginning the process of stealing more than 300 head of cattle that did not belong to them.

They did so--or so we were told--for the reason of protecting the desert tortoise. But then it was revealed that the Bureau of Land Management had shot far more desert tortoises than the Bundy cattle had even possibly destroyed. We were told they did it because the Bundys had broken federal laws by not paying what amounted to retroactive grazing fees to the federal government. But the Governor of the state of Nevada told us that Bundy had paid every ounce of state tax, met the state requirements, and their family had been improving the property more than 100 years previous.

Finally we were allowed to know the connection between a communist Chinese wind/solar power plant and its connection to that senator named Harry Reid. Evidently a plan had been hatched to use the Bundy property for a solar farm and instead of paying the Bundys, someone, somewhere in the administration believed it was easier to just take what they wanted.

That approach is at least consistent with the readily documented abuse of eminent domain where the government for any number of reasons--few of them valid--have taken to taking what doesn't belong to them. Americans then watch as it gets handed over to some multi-national corporation for the "cause" of the "greater good."

There were a few specific reasons why the feds chickened out in the Nevada desert though.

1. Technology - As the Bundy family members were abused, cameras captured it. Not television network cameras, but dozens of cell phone video devices that gave witness to a Bundy aunt being shoved to the ground, and a Bundy son being tazed. All of this while threatening protestors with dogs, brandished weapons and vehicles was captured, uploaded and made viral to the watching world.
2. States' Rights - As the drama unfolded it became clear that the Governor of Nevada, and the Sheriff of Clark County knew that Cliven Bundy's family had not only not broken any state law regarding the land, but that they had gone to the enth degree to insure compliance with Nevada laws on the property. The Governor and the Sheriff, to their credit, did not favor the feds as a more powerful party in the conflict. Though there must have been pressure from Senator Reid's office, the administration via the Bureau of Land Management, and local officials who were bought and sold like the Clark County Commissioner who told those coming to support the Bundys to have "funeral plans in place."
3. Grassroots Response - As other incidents have transpired in the past, the amount of time it took honest information to reach the grassroots and thus the response to the action came to slow. In the massacre in Waco, most of the nation had been sold a single narrative from the limited media outlets covering the events. Similarly the events surrounding the abduction of Elian Gonzales from his family in Florida and deportation to Cuba took place in such a response vacuum that by the time Americans knew the real story, the damage was done. With the Bundy ranch, internet outlets by the dozen had competing information with the limited "official news" being released by the networks, and in most cases the alternative sources had it correct and usually a full day or so ahead of the news cycle. By the time afternoon drive hit, when the network news rooms in New York were preparing their first stories, talk radio audiences had already been dialing their elected officials in Washington demanding action.

Sheriffs warn of violence from Mexican cartels deep into interior of U.S.

Outmanned and outgunned, local law enforcement officers are alarmed by the drug and human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping and money laundering that Mexican drug cartels are conducting in the U.S. far from the border. U.S. sheriffs say that securing the border is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies throughout the country, not just those near the U.S.-Mexico boundary. “If we fail to secure our borders, then every sheriff in America will become a border sheriff,” said Sam Page, sheriff of Rockingham County, N.C. “We’re only a two-day drive from the border and have already seen the death and violence that illegal crossings brings into our community.” Sheriff Page, whose county has about 94,000 residents, noted that a Mexican cartel set up one of its drug warehouses about a mile from his home. “These men are coming into our county with more firepower than I have,” he said Wednesday. “I’m literally outgunned.” Rusty Fleming, a spokesman for the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, is on the front lines of the border battle and said the U.S. side is losing. “These cartels are so sophisticated. They’re getting affluent white teenagers to help them encrypt their software; they do digital money-laundering, can hack into government databases and actively recruit our agents to keep one step ahead. The rest of America is just now getting a taste of what we’ve been dealing with for years,” Mr. Fleming said. He estimates that cartels have infiltrated more than 3,000 U.S. cities and are recruiting local gangs, former prisoners and teenagers to do their dirty work. “There’s no doubt they’re spreading themselves very rapidly and very deep into our U.S. interior,” said Mr. Fleming, who directed the documentary “Drug Wars” and has testified before Congress about the drug trade. Sheriff Page said Rockingham County has jailed 194 illegal immigrants on criminal charges since 2010. Of those arrested, 10 were released and later rearrested. Six were deported only to re-enter the country, re-establish themselves in his neighborhood and get rearrested...more

Feds play waiting game at Nevada ranch

Federal officials appear to be waiting out Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters. Observers say the government would be smart to wait for the dust to settle, and then to try to resolve the situation. “It’s a very prudent strategy for the government to say ‘we’re going to let this go for now, but we’re going to revisit it,’” said James McCarthy, a professor of political geography at Clark University. “They can afford to play the long game,” said McCarthy, who suggested the government could wait six months or longer for its next action. Jonathan Emord, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney specializing in disputes over federal land, predicted that the government will move to the courts for the next battle. “They’ll press charges against him in federal court, and they’ll try to basically bleed his ability to defend himself, and beat him up on technical grounds,” Emord said. “They’ll put him in a situation where he’ll end up with a determination of liability that would be so great that he would have to sell his ranch to them to extinguish his debt.” McCarthy said the dispute can be linked to federal government decisions in the late 19th century to keep large swaths of land in public ownership while allowing private citizens to use the land for various reasons. “When our federal land system was set up, it was completely understood and accepted and part of the design that the private landowners … would have really extensive access to and use of public lands,” McCarthy said. One of BLM’s predecessors, the Grazing Service, was established to manage the land that had been set aside for livestock grazing. Though the federal government owned the land, it always had a system to allow grazing. “There’s a long history of federal allowance of trespass,” Emord said. The land management also was put in place in order to encourage settlers to move to the remote areas and use it for purposes like ranching, logging and gold exploration. “Here you have the law inviting people to settle in the West,” he said. “You create populations out there who are then dependent on the business that you invited as the federal government.” But in the latter half of the 20th century, as the country become more aware of its effects on the environment, the government’s priorities moved away from providing economic benefits through its land and more toward conservation...more

Editorial: Cliven Bundy's Cattle Battle

A Chinese solar farm that fries birds is OK, as is redrawing tortoise habitat boundaries to benefit political donors. But an American rancher grazing his cattle brings feds with sniper rifles.

It appears Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has, at least temporarily, wonhis "range war" with the paramilitary wing of the Bureau of Land Management. Fearing another Waco, BLM has announced it will no longer enforce a court order and stop stealing Bundy's cows, called "trespass cattle" by the feds, accused of grazing free on part of the 84% of Nevada that is federal property.

If the forces deployed in and around the Nevadan's ranch had been deployed to Benghazi, it's likely Glen Doherty, Ty Woods, Sean Smith and Ambassador Christopher Stevens would be alive today. If illegal aliens were grazing on the disputed property, there would not have been federal snipers perched nearby with American citizens in their sights.

The government that has detonated hundreds of nuclear weapons in the Nevada desert claimed a rancher's meandering cattle threatened a protected species.

BLM, one of the myriad federal agencies armed to the teeth these days, would have us believe the 67-year-old rancher is a trespassing bitter clinger who isn't paying his federal grazing fees as his cattle munch on government-owned vegetation and threaten the endangered desert tortoise.

So BLM SWAT teams descended on the ranch west of Mesquite, Nev., where cattle and the tortoise have lived in harmony for over 100 years. BLM claims Bundy owes them grazing fees dating back to 1993; he says his grazing rights predate the BLM. The desert tortoise in fact is so "endangered" in this area that the government is planning to euthanize some of them.

...Bundy, who lives in a country founded by armed Americans resisting a tyrannical government, has objected, reviving the long-simmering Sagebrush Rebellion between residents of the West and a land-grabbing federal government.

In the end, Bundy and the people who rallied to his cause, some of whom carried firearms of their own while demonstrating , proved what the Second Amendment is all about.

Judge Napolitano on the Cattle Battle - video

 Judge Napolitano says the feds backed down because they were losing the PR battle. He also said, “The federal judiciary should not be deciding what land the federal government owns,”and “The government’s option is to take the amount of money he owes them and docket it, that is file the lien on his property….the federal government could have done that, instead they wanted this show of force”.  Instead, the Judge said,“They swooped in….with assault rifles aimed and ready and stole this guy’s property, they stole his cattle, they didn’t have the right to do that, that’s theft and they should have been arrested by state officials”.  Napolitano said Americans feel “enough is enough with the federal government, we’re drawing a line in the sand right here – and it drew people from all around the country who basically said ‘quit your heavy handed theft of property and act like you’re a normal litigant and not God almighty’.”

Its good watching.

Armed guards surround Bundy, supporters fear imminent threat

Local rancher Cliven Bundy may have his cattle back, but his supporters say they are still preparing for an imminent threat. Militia groups from all over the country say they are flocking to the Bundy ranch to protect the family from a feared federal government raid. The Bureau of Land Management allowed Bundy to release his cattle Saturday, after they felt threatened. Bundy now has a whole contingent of armed guards surrounding him 24 hours a day. "They're just there, trying to make sure something crazy doesn't happen to him," Bundy's son Ammon Bundy said. His security detail and family feel he is someone to be protected because of what the federal government could do. "There were snipers on the hills and armed guards and you know, military forces with cameras all over." Ammon Bundy said. Cliven Bundy fears that the government could gather up again because they never reached a formal deal. He is also trying to determine whether federal agents damaged any of his cattle before they released them. The BLM only allowed the family to open up the gate of the pen where the animals were being held because officers were afraid of violence. As of now, no one has cleared him to take back his cattle for good. Taking the stage to address supporters Monday, Bundy was quickly obscured behind his guards. The detail told 8 News NOW they are now patrolling the area 24 hours a day looking for federal snipers...more

Bundy ranch dispute with federal land agency draws variety of foot soldiers

Cliven Bundy’s fight with the Bureau of Land Management over the federal agency’s roundup of his cattle attracted a diverse group of foot soldiers: fellow ranchers, Las Vegans and militia and patriot groups were among them. Their battle cry is the U.S. Constitution and liberty. They fear the federal government overstepping its bounds at every turn. This concern, in their view, applies to those from all walks of life, be it a rural Southern Nevada rancher or a militia member from northern Montana. Ultimately, the Bundy protest — which was defused Saturday when federal land officials agreed to end the weeklong roundup that culminated in a 20-minute standoff between armed protesters and law enforcement officers — became an outlet for those wanting to voice their opinions about government overreach and any perceived infringement of constitutional rights. Armed militia members wore holstered weapons and mingled with cowboy-hatted ranchers throughout the week. Tents popped up across the landscape and vehicles became temporary bunks as the Bundy ranch, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, turned into a gathering place for traveling pilgrims from across the nation. Bundy’s standoff with the federal government, which captured national attention, gave the protesters plenty of nonlethal ammunition for their arguments against federal oversight. The BLM’s so-called “First Amendment areas” — marked-off areas designated for protesters — drew scorn from allies of Bundy, whose family has ranched the land since the 1870s. Eventually the BLM dismantled them, but not before protesters put together signs reminding passers-by that the First Amendment is in the U.S. Constitution, not in an area. “I feel like we made history today,” said Neal Wampler, 66, of Los Osos, Calif., on Saturday. Wampler made the drive to the ranch from California. He brought no weapons. “I myself am willing to be shot and killed for constitutional rights and principles,” said Wampler, a Navy veteran. Wampler is a member of Oath Keepers, a national organization founded by Yale constitutional law scholar Stewart Rhodes, who was a staffer for Ron Paul, a former Texas congressman who unsuccessfully pursued the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and 2012. Oath Keepers is an association of current and former members of the military and law enforcement. Plenty of people at the Bundy ranch didn’t have ties to any organization. “I try to go to any rally, anything that’s constitutional and stands up for our liberties,” said Paul Vargas, 34, a factory worker from Las Vegas who was at the protest area on Friday. As for the government’s role in the conflict, he said, “They’re just testing the waters to see how easy it is. I worry about big government taking away our freedom and liberties.”...more

Cliven Bundy: Fight Goes On Until Federal Bureaucracies Disarmed

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who along with hundreds of supporters stood down the Bureau of Land Management over the weekend, says the fight will not be over until all federal bureaucracies are disarmed. Sounding more like the leader of a rebellion than a cattle rancher in a land dispute with the government, Bundy told Fox News Channel's "Hannity" on Monday that he wants all county sheriffs in the United States to take away the weapons of "federal bureaucrats." "They might have took over our Clark County sheriff, but they never took over 'We, the People' – the sovereign people of this nation. We're standing, and we're going to stand until we take the guns away from those bureaucracies, and then we'll start making America great one more time," Bundy told host Sean Hannity...more

What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?

But as the story of the Bundy Ranch made it through the media in the last few days, disturbing questions began to be raised. In 2011, attorney Rory Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, went to China and returned with a new client — ENN Energy. ENN wanted to build a solar-powered energy plant in Clark County. Amazingly, Clark County commissioners voted to sell ENN a 9,000-acre tract for $4.5 million. The appraised value of the land was $38 million. As the Bundy Ranch saga unfurled, a lot of questions began to be raised in the conservative blogosphere. There were accusations that the Bundy Ranch and the area the Bundys use to graze their cattle are in an area called the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone. If the cattle continued to use the area, it would be impossible to use the land for a solar energy installation. The current head of the Bureau of Land Management is Neil Kornze, who was hand-picked by Harry Reid. Until 2011, Kornze was on Harry Reid’s Senate staff. All of this raises a fascinating, if circumstantial, case. It is a case that merits investigation. There are many questions that need to be asked. Such as, who ordered the initial raid? Why did Clark County sell land to ENN at far below its fair value? Who ordered the BLM show of force? Why did the BLM impose a no-fly zone over the Bundy Ranch so the media could not get video or photographs of what was going on? Rep. Darryl Issa has shown no reluctance in investigating wrongdoing by the administration, and his staff should be working on subpoenas today. While the House of Representatives can’t compel Harry Reid to testify, it can bring in everyone from the BLM, and that is exactly what should be done...more

Harry Reid on Bundy Ranch Showdown: 'It's not Over'; Rory Reid says Bundy should be Prosecuted

Following remarks Senate Majority leader Harry Reid made at the University of Nevada, Reno on Monday, the Nevada Democrat told Reno's KRNV TV his thoughts on the cattle controversy in Gold Butte. "Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over," Reid said.  Rory Reid appeared on KSNV's What's Your Point with host Jeff  Gillan and told Gillan that Bundy should be prosecuted: "He is not victim and he’s not a hero. He’s been using that he doesn’t own for over 20 years  and he didn’t pay. He broke the law. There are hundreds of ranchers throughout Nevada that conduct their profession honorably...".  Reid continued, "I think most people care about their reputation and I think he’s been exposed as somebody that has broken the law. The Nevada Cattlemen Association, which is the trade organization that advocates for cattlemen in the state of Nevada—not even they support Cliven Bundy at this point. We believe in a country in which we are subject to laws and you cant just ignore the laws we don’t like. I think clearly if state and local prosecutors look at this more closely, they’re going to find that he broke the law and he should be prosecuted."...more

Bundy Family: We Don’t Fear Harry Reid - video

The Bundy brothers Aman and Ryan issued a stern condemnation of Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) for his quasi-threat against the Bundy family earlier today. Aman, Ryan, and Cliven Bundy spoke with Fox News’s Sean Hannity about the crisis Monday evening. Aman Bundy blasted Reid, telling Hannity if the Senate Majority Leader is too stubborn to see the grassroots opposition to this gross federal overreach he should be removed from office. Ryan Bundy said Reid’s word “doesn’t matter.” “The people have spoken and said this is no longer going to take place. So we don’t fear Harry Reid. The people are here to say we will have our freedom and that’s what is going to happen.”  Source

The REAL Bundy Ranch Story - video

A more complete video of the final tense moments.

Rancher inspects cattle after showdown with fed

A Nevada rancher said Monday he’s trying to determine if federal agents damaged his cattle when the animals were rounded up then released in a showdown with angry protesters over a decades-long dispute about rangeland rights. Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, said she spent much of the past week with the Bundy family and helped feed some of the calves that were returned over the weekend. “It’s going to take a lot to revive the calves that were nearly dead when they were returned to the Bundy Ranch because they had been separated from their mothers during the roundup, and a few most likely won’t make it,” Fiore said...more

Sally Jewell's Frustrating First Year In Washington

...Addressing climate change is just part of Jewell's ambitious agenda. She took office in April 2013 pledging to invest more in the future of the country's national parks, and to engage a new generation of Americans -- one more concerned with Grand Theft Auto than the Grand Canyon -- in the great outdoors. Obama hailed her as "an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future," and charged her with finding a balance between the oft-competing environmental and economic potential of the country's public lands. But much of her first year has been spent dealing with more basic problems -- like how to pay for these ambitious projects. Asked what the biggest challenge of her new job has been so far, Jewell doesn't hesitate. "The budget," she said. "Navigating through a three-week shutdown, navigating through sequestration, furloughs, and being in the forever business." "The forever business" is a term Jewell employs frequently to refer to Interior's responsibility for overseeing 640 million acres of public lands -- a full 28 percent of the total U.S. landmass -- which includes 401 National Park Service sites, as well as vast tracts of the West used for grazing and energy development. "People expect us to do things for the long term," she explained. "This is the longest-term focused job that I've had, and yet it's the shortest-term focused budget that I've ever operated under. That makes no sense." Congressional funding for the National Park Service, which will celebrate its centennial in 2016, has declined in recent years, even as the parks themselves face mounting costs for routine maintenance, as well as new infrastructure challenges related to climate impacts. Moreover, the past year's budget battles have hurt employee morale and sent scientists scrambling to preserve key programs. "It's been very difficult for staff to know whether they have a job or not, whether they continue their research or not," Jewell said. "I've never been in a job before where, no matter what I do, somebody is unhappy with me," Jewell told HuffPost. "I have found that just about every decision I make gets sued," she added. This is especially true when it comes to decisions about how public lands are used. The agency must balance competing priorities when it does or does not lease public lands for oil and gas development, or decides what should be preserved for its environmental and recreational values. One way Jewell has tried to bring equilibrium is by developing new "master leasing plans" for vast regions of Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Colorado...more

Sucking Carbon From Sky May Be Necessary to Cool Planet, UN Says

International efforts to combat global warming are so broken that it's come to this: hoovering massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the sky. A body of scientists convened under the auspices of the United Nations is giving more weight to the idea that vacuuming vast stores of CO2 from the skies and burying it in the ground may be necessary to limit the temperature rise to the internationally agreed safe level of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. The plan's not quite like a giant thermostat for the whole globe, but the metaphor's not completely off either. While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has touched on so-called geoengineering approaches in the past, the increased discussion of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere reflects a sense in academic climate policy circles that "it is more okay" to do so, said David Keith, a climate scientist and expert on geoengineering at Harvard University in Massachusetts...more

Finally, something the U.N. is good at...Sucking.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Mexico high court orders tribal recognition

New Mexico's highest court ordered Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday to recognize the Fort Sill Apache as a New Mexico tribe. The federal government designated a 30-acre parcel in southern New Mexico as the tribe's reservation in 2011, but the Apache governmental offices are in Oklahoma. The ruling by the Supreme Court will force Martinez to invite the tribe to annual tribal-state summits called for under a 2009 law that requires sovereign government-to-government cooperation. The state Indian Affairs Department also must include the Fort Sill Apache Tribe on the agency's website as part of a contact list for all tribes and pueblos in New Mexico. State recognition also will allow the tribe to seek other benefits, such as state financing allocated yearly for tribal capital improvement projects. The tribe will consider building a governmental office on the land in southern New Mexico if it's able to get state infrastructure funding, Haozous said. There's a smoke shop and restaurant on the tribe's land along Interstate 10 between Deming and Las Cruces, but efforts to open a casino have been blocked. The tribe acquired the land in 1998. Haozous said the court ruling would have "absolutely no bearing" on separate legal questions of whether the tribe can open a casino on the New Mexico reservation. He said an appeal is continuing of a 2009 decision by the National Indian Gaming Commission against tribal efforts to operate a casino offering bingo games. The tribe currently operates a casino in Lawton, Okla. Members of the Fort Sill Apache tribe are descended from the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apaches, who lived in southern New Mexico and Arizona until removed by the federal government in the late 1880s. They were sent to Florida, Alabama and later to Oklahoma. Haozous said he envisioned tribal members returning to their ancestral homeland in New Mexico over many years...more

Some questions on the Bundy Battle

I haven't had time to thoroughly reflect on the recent events, but here are some questions that have occurred to me:

Why did the Sheriff conduct "behind the scenes" negotiations instead of using his authority to prevent this overreach by the feds from ever happening?

Why won't the feds comply with state laws on livestock trespass?  They are a landowner in the state and each state has trespass laws that all the other landowners follow.  They comply with state law on water rights, on hunting, on speed limits and so on, so why not on trespass?

Why is the issue of jurisdiction never brought up?  Which entity, the feds or the state, exercises exclusive legislative jurisdiction over the BLM lands in question here?  See Art. I, § 8, Cl 17 of the Constitution which limits federal jurisdiction.

Section 303(c)(1) of FLPMA states, "When the Secretary determines that assistance is necessary in enforcing Federal laws and regulations relating to the public lands or their resources he shall offer a contract to appropriate local officials having law enforcement authority within their respective jurisdictions with the view of achieving maximum feasible reliance upon local law enforcement officials in enforcing such laws and regulations." (Emphasis mine).  Was the BLM in compliance with this section of the law?

Just where does the BLM get the authority to have official LEOs?  In a recent GAO report the BLM cites an Executive Order for their authority, but don't give the EO number so the text can be reviewed.

We have seen the pictures showing BLM weapons, helicopters and attack dogs.  Just how large is the BLM arsenal with respect to weapons, ammo, dogs, vehicles, drones and other devices and supplies?  The same question should be asked of the Forest Service, Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service and the EPA.

Several articles referred to the FBI being on the scene.  Who requested the FBI involvement and in fact how many total federal employees were involved and from what agencies?

Prior to the decision to stand down, what intelligence was gathered by the feds, by whom was it obtained, how was it gathered and what role did it play in the decision to stand down?

Whew!  There's more rolling around up there but that will suffice for now.  I'm sure you have questions too.


The Left Goes Bonkers Over Bundy, He's A "Pigheaded...Welfare Rancher" Supported By The Koch Brothers

In this post a lefty writes:

For a brief moment in time these itchy-fingered gun nuts, anti-government ‘patriots’, conspiracy lunatics, anger management counseling drop-outs, T-shot junkies, weekend warriors and guys who were just trying to get out of mowing the lawn, had a man they would follow into hell if need be, in the person of Cliven Bundy: a pigheaded deadbeat welfare rancher in the Nevada desert. Except, in this case, it’s more: cattle rancher illegally grazing his cattle on land that is not his for over twenty years, refuses to pay for it, keeps going to court and losing, threatens anyone who goes near his welfare cows, uses the word ‘sovereign’ like it is magic, and vows to go to Alamo/Ruby Ridge/Waco/Masada on anyone’s asses who argues with him.

In a post titled Occupied In Nevada…By Koch Backed Right-Wing Nut Jobs   you'll find:

As the standoff between right winged followers of Cliven Bundy in Nevada comes to an end, one has to wonder, who is behind this madness? Is this a poor farmer standing up to a big oppressive government or is there something even deeper than that? According to various sites, Bundy is being used as a pawn by the Koch Brothers

And in "Feds Turn From Landlords To Warlords": Koch Groups Back Rancher Making Violent Threats Against Federal Gov't the author writes: 

AFP Nevada's Facebook page posted a graphic attacking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for spending "one million dollars" to enforce the court order to round up Bundy's cattle on federal land. Another photo attacked the Bureau for creating a designated "First Amendment Area" for protesters to gather in near the property.
The Koch brothers are major funders of Americans For Prosperity (AFP) and the facebook pages of the Nevada & Colo. AFP affiliates posted photo's in support of Bundy, therefore...the whole thing was orchestrated by the Koch brothers. 

But there is much more as Bundy is being called a far-right domestic terrorist  lawbreaker, of encouraging armed rebellion against the federal government of being a traitor who's actively harming America and his action had nothing to do with freedom or justice but was guided by greed with no regards to our environment.

I thought the lefties were full of compassion and believed in diversity and inclusion.  Let's give Bundy credit - he has peeled the facade off their true being and exposed it for all to see.

Nevada ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid’s reputation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said little as federal agents seized and then released cattle last week from the Bundy ranch, but there is little doubt that the highly charged episode was threatening to become a political headache for the Nevada Democrat. The Bureau of Land Management is headed by former longtime Reid aide Neil Kornze, who was confirmed by the Senate as BLM director on Tuesday, just as federal authorities descended on the cattle ranch outside Mesquite, Nev. Speculation spiked in recent days over Mr. Reid’s connection to the BLM episode, in which federal contractors seized about 400 head of cattle from 68-year-old rancher Cliven Bundy over his refusal to pay an estimated $1 million in grazing fees over 20 years. “It was likely pressure from upstairs, rather than weapons from the field, that changed his mind on the matter,” the liberal group Americans Against the Tea Party said in an online post. “Fact is, Harry Reid probably didn’t want his name attached to the biggest civilian massacre in U.S. history right before election season.” On Sunday, BLM spokesman Craig Leff told The Associated Press that “the door isn’t closed” to an administrative or judicial resolution with the Bundys...more

Rancher’s son: ‘Weapons needed to intimidate’ feds during Nevada cattle seizure standoff

A show of force was necessary to stop the government seizure and sale of embattled cattle rancher Cliven Bundy’s cows, his son said on Sunday, a day after an armed standoff between federal agents and hundreds of Bundy’s supporters. “We were dedicated to opening those gates and peacefully walking through to retrieve those cattle,” Ammon Bundy said in an interview. “The presence of weapons was needed in order to intimidate them.” The Clark County sheriff Doug Gillespie had delivered a bureau offer to leave, but keep the cows, and then helped negotiate the eventual end to the standoff, Bundy said. “When we went up there, they knew we were serious,” Ammon Bundy said. “They wanted to go. This thing was building and building and was going to continue.” Bundy said about 350 of the ranch’s cows were recovered from bureau holding pens. Some of the animals were injured and a handful of calves, some so new their umbilical cords remained attached, were being bottle fed, he said. About 100 Bundy supporters, many wearing camouflage and carrying firearms, gathered on Sunday with the family for an informal church service at a makeshift protest command center. Speakers offered a mix of prayer and religious testimony, denounced the federal government for excessive oversight on several issues, and called for the preservation of individual constitutional rights. An Arizona state representative in attendance, David Livingston, said the battle over the Bundy cows would serve as a unifying event for lawmakers across 11 western states working on state sovereignty issues. “This was a major tipping point,” Livingston said. Cliven Bundy...said he had been touched by the supporters who stood by his family over the past week. “I was really quite humbled to the fact that there are so many good people,” Cliven Bundy said...more

U.S. v Bundy

For those interested in the most recent (2013) court decision on Bundy, you can find it here

Cow Criminals