So, About That Nevada Rancher Who Might Spark a Civil War…

Updated: April 15, 2014


By RU Twisted

67-year old Cliven Bundy is a Rancher in southern Nevada’s Clark County. He has allowed his cattle to graze on the same land that his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents did, dating all the way back to the 19th century.

A 2013 court order, however, stated that Bundy must remove his cattle from the land that is now federally controlled under the authority of the Bureau of Land Management. Bundy’s refusal to comply with this order has resulted in BLM authorities rounding up his cattle—which number nine hundred at this point.

Bundy’s argument, which he has been stating in court for some time, is that this land has always been free to use for Clark County residents and that his family has done so dating back to the 1870s. Dating back to 1993 when courts ordered that he pay “grazing fees” to allow his cattle to feed on the land, the last remaining rancher in Clark County has maintained that his family’s use of the area predates the existence of the BLM and that the state of Nevada has allowed him to use it. Bundy has declared that he would pay the fees, but only to Clark County.

He has also stated that, although he was at one time among 50+ other ranchers, the BLM has since regulated them off the land and out of business. It has, according to the rancher, become nearly impossible to be a rancher due to the incredible levels of legislation one must face to do so.

BundyRanchIn 1998, the BLM declared the desert tortoise, which was common to the area where the cattle grazed, to be endangered. The agency then stated that, of the 150,000+ acres it had sectioned off for the special turtle, only 150 cattle would be allowed on it. This is, of course, an amount of cattle too small for a rancher to make a living with and a number of little significance to wildlife in an area to that area of land. Bundy, therefore, was put in a position to either continue using the land with his 900+ head of cattle or go out of business—the work that his family had been doing for over 120 years.

Early last week, the situation escalated when, not learning from past fubars, the federal government descended upon the Bundy ranch with all the subtly of Charlie Sheen with a bag of coke in a room full of hookers. Some 200 heavily armed agents have surrounded the ranch with the intent of rounding up Bundy’s cattle and, if need be, shutting down his entire ranch while claiming it in the name of owing back fines and penalties.

Bundy told one reporter, “What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”

The heavy-handed approach from the feds has prompted the arrival of numerous protesters and, interestingly, militia members from around the country who promise that many more are on their way. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, bloodshed has already been “narrowly avoided” after a confrontation that resulted in Bundy’s son being shot with a taser and a dog being sent after….a pregnant lady.

Armed agents, helicopters, snipers, militias, protesters, and multiple federal authorities gathered together around the same ranch over land that is, by decree, now supposed to be used to be used only for protecting…a tortoise (which, by the way, the federal government has killed thousands of).

If you’re thinking this is a recipe for another Waco, Ruby Ridge, or something even bigger, I’d say you are on the right track.

bindy3Who’s right in this whole mess? Consider a couple things: one, Bundy has stated, on the record multiple times, that he is willing to pay these fees, as long as they go to Clark County. So he’s not a complete nut-job who just doesn’t want to give any money to anyone.

Two, the federal government’s response to this whole situation has been, according to numerous residents of Clark County, nothing short of Gestapo-like and gives a great deal of credence to the line of thinking that they have far too much authority.

Three, just remember—this is all supposedly over a tortoise.

But hey, it’s all okay because the federal agents on the ground have designated a “First Amendment Zone,” whereby people are “allowed” to protest. Yay, freedom!

This is, in essence, a case about far more than cattle or tortoises (was that a children’s book?). It goes to the heart of state’s rights as well as the rights of private business. Can people say no to a federal agency? Do people have any rights, or are the declarations of agencies such as the BLM like edicts from a king? Does a state have any right to control its own land, or is it only occupied by them under the permission of the federal government?

These are, of course, issues our country has been facing for a good number of years. But what happens when several groups of opposing sides regarding the answers to these questions all gather in the same spot—and most of them are heavily armed?

Rest assured, all of these ingredients add up to something that could very well explode into something much, much larger on a moment’s notice. If we see behavior like we did at the sieges of the Branch Davidians or Randy Weaver’s residence, the amount of armed militia already on site in Nevada may well be the catalyst of an event that drastically shapes our near future on a great number of issues.

Yes, Bundy has defied court orders dating back to 1993. But his case—that the courts are only doing what they’re told by the federal government and that he essentially has no recourse—is not at all without merit and should not be quickly dismissed given the situation. The concept of a heavy-handed Fed declaring “this is ours whether you like it or not” should give anyone pause for serious concern.

It’s worth noting that the actions of the BLM and federal authorities in this case have been stated to be their method of “resolving” the case. I think Stefan Molyneux of Freedom Radio put it succinctly when he said that their method of resolution boils down to:

“Give us all your cattle to pay the fines we imposed on you to save a tortoise we are currently euthanizing… Or we will shoot your family.”

Those in Clark County who have seen the methods used by agents on the ground are agreeing and, according to a woman who lives very close to the ranch, “are getting really, really pissed about how this is happening.”

What happens next? I for one am extremely curious to see. As stated above, this has all the potential for disaster that affects far more than a single rancher outside of Las Vegas.





  1. leftoftheboom

    April 15, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Eminent Domain: the process by which the government, be it local or federal, claims that for the good of all, you must lose your property.

    Law of Unintended Consequence: (I have used this one myself), the act of committing to a course of action, that later results in a completely unintentional result. The environmental group that wants to sleep with and love the turtle; finds a loophole and approach congress for sanctuary of said turtle. In an effort to get votes, the congress wants to show that they care, they vote to save the stupid turtle. Once that law is in effect, the other people and residents in nearby turtle areas find themselves at the mercy of bureaucratic government officials who can barely read, but who will enforce their precious rules to the death because it is what they do.

    You don’t have to be evil to be a despot. Just be inflexible and have legislators that are easily manipulated. If you play your cards right, you can even have one branch of the legislators arguing with the other while nothing actually gets done. **cough cough** Harry Reid **cough cough**

    I have often wondered what I might do if required to choose between the totalitarianism of a federal government that is out of control and answers to no one, and a rebel fighting for the cause of justice and light. Should I be some nameless clone storm trooper firing my shots for the Emperor and Lord Vader, or some nameless rebel trying to help Luke finish the job?

    I have often pondered where the Gestapo came from. The truly bad guys have been researched and books have been written but what about the rank and file? Where did they come from? I think they came from people who made a choice to enforce the rules the sheep created.

    The real danger in my opinion is no just that the government is getting high handed. It is that government employees are happy with their jobs and happy to enforce the rules. There will always be those who are attracted to the power of the petty tyrant. But we are all headed for anarchy when good men are forced to take sides.

    Do I choose my job, my financial security, my family’s well-being or my principles? We have already seen perfect examples of government excess and the absolute power they believe is theirs. And more and more of the masses are going along with it. Why? Because life is so much simpler when someone else does all the thinking and does all the heaving lifting.

    How about this shining example? A guaranteed level of income for everyone mandated across the board. But they don’t say where the money would come from. And they cite places like Brazil as a reference. But I guarantee you that there are a large number of people who love this idea. And they will sell you and your children for it.


    In the end there are three choices. Rebel, sheep, or Storm Trooper. And I can simplify that further. Do you want to get hit with the night stick or hit people.

    • Ian Schuelke

      April 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I can not possibly understand how the desert tortise is endangered when there is a Medevac team and a preserve located at 29 Palms that evacs them all the time if they pee themselves.

      I also believe that if someone with more than two brain cells to rub together was on hand on the Federal side they would resolve this as quickly and quietly as possible. However by making this into a much larger issue then it actually is they have left themselves no room to maneuver in the public eye and this rapidly turning into a Domestic version of the accusations of Syrias use of chemical weapons against their populace after the Administration drew a “red line” in the sand.

      If someone on the Federal side does not start using the empty space between their ears this has a very high potential to explode and rewrite all the in the shadow policys the government already pursues.

      • leftoftheboom

        April 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

        I don’t understand why we are trying to save a desert creature which has such a faulty survival mechanism.

    • rb325th

      April 19, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Bundy never owned the land and despite claims he has made, the first time his family grazed cattle there was 1953 not 1870. That land was ceded to the US GOVERNMENT in 1848 under the Treaty of Guadalupe that ended the US Mexican War.
      Since then all that land belonged to Uncle Sam. When Nevada became a State all non privately owned land was deeded to the Federal Government.
      Bundy was paying for the land in 53/54 when his family first used it. In 1973 they returned to grab their and again leased the land from the BLM. He stopped paying after his 1992 lease because he “decided it was not in his best interest”. Nothing to do with the tortoise…The BLM modified all leases and he felt he did not want to abide by the new rules on cattle herd sizes.
      Since then he has lost each and every court case. He has alternatively claimed the land was his (not) that it belonged to the State or County and both affirmed that was never the case, that it had always been federal land.
      He is a greedy basted who has wrapped himself in the flag and sought help from those who have twisted the story to recreate it into some unconstitutional land grab that it is not.
      Nothing BLM or US Forrestry have done is unconstitutional. It is written right into our Constitution that the Federal Government can own property and set the rules for its use.
      Article 4 Section 3. A stand alone article written by our forefathers, the same as they wrote all the other Articles of the Constitution and then the Bill of Rights.

    • leftoftheboom

      April 21, 2014 at 7:21 am

      To take the question of “where did they come from” one step further, I wonder how many members of the BLM are former military who go the job using veteran’s preference?

      In the military, I may not have liked the orders I got, but they were legal so I obeyed them, and legal was pretty black and white. At what point do we question the legality of the changes to law vs. our interpretation of the constitution? Our system of Justice works on three stages. (oversimplified for clarity; if I missed something chime in)

      The law is introduced and passed in Congress, Senate and signed by the President.

      The law is enforced by the agencies or agencies responsible for enforcement.

      The law is challenged in appeals to the Supreme Court where it stands, is modified by a partial ruling, or struck down after someone challenges the law in court, is arrested, convicted and appeals the ruling.

      I am not trying to be a provocateur. I would like to know what the audience thinks to one question.

      When do you accept the law? If we don’t accept change to the constitution, then there are going to be some unhappy people. But all change is made through the above process. Now I know that we have total asshats in office. But they legally made the change. So when do you accept the law? A majority of citizens elected individuals that passed a vote and made a law I don’t like. But I have to accept it or challenge it in court. Those are my legal options. If I object to the interpretation of the law, I can challenge it in court. Armed resistance is not necessary.

      At what point outside that process, do I lock and load; to stop being joe law abiding citizen; and become a Freedom fighter willing to kill my fellow citizens because I disagree with the interpretation of the law that it is their job to enforce?

  2. Dustan

    April 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    You conveniently left out the part where unidentified ranchers bombed a federal building in Nevada in 1995 over this dispute. Supporting domestic terrorists now, are we Ranger Up?

    Not even the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association (a ridiculously right leaning group in and of itself) is willing to back him anymore because they know he’s wrong.

    Conservatives believe the law is the absolute law when it’s convenient for them but when it’s not, it’s just a minor suggestion that’s begging to be ignored. This man has refused to pay a fee for over 20 years. Are there certain things wrong with the situation? Yeah but this was handled by courts and he lost his appeals.

    • Brendan Smith

      April 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      You mean these two very identified and very convicted individuals who ATTEMPTED to bomb the IRS because they lost their homes? They were from a ranching community but the article doesn’t say they were actually ranchers. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/29/us/2-men-held-in-attempt-to-bomb-irs-office.html

    • Brendan Smith

      April 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Actually, they were construction workers according to CNN.

      So, you said, “You conveniently left out the part where unidentified ranchers bombed a federal building in Nevada in 1995 over this dispute.”

      Accept they were identified. The bomb never went off, it was an IRS building, but they were construction workers who lost their home, not ranchers and it had nothing to do with this dispute. But hey, 1 out of 6 facts isn’t bad. You must be a journalist.


      • Dustan

        April 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        I was actually referencing the repeated bombing of the Federal Forestry Service, not the IRS bombings. The Forestry bombers were ranchers but were never identified or convicted.

        • Brendan Smith

          April 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

          So, if they were never identified or convicted, how do you know they were ranchers? I just read through 4 articles about this and it could’ve just as easily been miners who were also having problems with the Forestry Service and the BLM, or an unknown party…But, it has to be Ranchers because that’s the only way that it supports your argument.

          • Stu

            April 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm

            Well done, sir.

        • leftoftheboom

          April 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

          If they were never identified, how does that make them ranchers? That is a partial identification, so either they are identified, or they are not, and if not, we don’t know what they are.

          Or are you saying that specific ranchers, the actual perpetrators of which group remain unidentified? Which leads me to the question of, who said they were ranchers if they are unidentified?

          Never trust the media. The media lies. The media is in not in the business of truth. They are in the business of profit. Once telling the truth made them a profit, now telling the story in the most sensational fashion possible gets the profit and if you have to shade the truth a bit, well that just sells more.

          Dolphins did it to stop whaling.

        • Whitey

          April 16, 2014 at 12:27 am

          So what exactly do ranchers look like, Dustan? How do you know that two unidentified individuals were ranchers? Is there a secret handshake? Some kind of gang sign? I grew up in a ranch town, have worked on ranches, and am friends with some 5th-generation ranchers. Guess what? They look and sound exactly like everybody else.

          The perpetrators of the attack you mentioned on the US Forest Service (it’s not called the “Federal Forestry Service,” humor my OCD for a minute) are unidentified–you said so yourself. If they are unidentified, then your assertion that they were ranchers is unfounded conjectural bullshit.

    • Mr. Twisted

      April 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      I didn’t “conveniently” leave anything out, Dustan. 1) I’m not going to write a book about the subject. I have limited space. 2) As Brendan Smith already pointed out, the two men who attempted to bomb the IRS were, it would appear, not related to Bundy, nor employed by him. So why would I include them in the story, and why would the omission imply a support for domestic terrorism? Would love to hear your response.

      Also, your comment regarding what “Conservatives believe the law is” shows that you 1) haven’t read much of my stuff, and 2) are reading your own bias into the article.

      • Dustan

        April 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

        You misconstrued my intent. I wasn’t actually referencing you in the conservatives believe rant, I was referencing others that I know that have blindly supported him behind some made up facts. Also, the conveniently leaving that part out stuff was an attempt at humor but didn’t come across as I intended, as I just got surgery and my brain is running at about 40% at the moment. None of this was really meant as an attack on you.

        • Amanda

          April 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm

          Which means, Dustan, you should leave the crawfishing to the crawfish. If, when your brain returns to 100%, you sound ever so slightly more mature and not so much like a complete troll, you will be allowed to return to conversation with us grown folk. Now sit down, and shut up.

          http://www.lumosity.com/ May help your debate ability

          • leftoftheboom

            April 16, 2014 at 8:04 am

            And the take down goes to Amanda with a classy and awesome response.

            I have a tear in my eye.

  3. Hotel1

    April 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    The tortoises in question are ones to be relocated to his grazing area from Reid’s solar plot just down the road.

  4. Dennis

    April 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    At first I thought Bundy was more of the lone nut, shaking his fist at the government. The more I read about this, the more I am on his side.

    King George had the law on his side when he levied the tax on tea and tried to confiscate weapons from colonists. Just because the law is on your side doesn’t mean your tea won’t end up in the harbor, and your subjects may finally decide that they have had enough and decide to revoke your authority.

  5. Mic

    April 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Wow RU I’ve never seen a more inaccurate and nonfactual story on your site. You really should vet the information you allow to be posted in your name.

    • Mr. Twisted

      April 16, 2014 at 7:23 am


      If you see an inaccuracy or something contrary to the facts, please point them out. I am happy to address them. If something I wrote turns out to be false, I will gladly retract and state it publicly.

      However, just writing that it is “inaccurate and nonfactual” without pointing out specifics does no good to anyone and proves nothing.

      • Mic

        April 16, 2014 at 9:41 am

        The BLM was formed in 1946 when the General Land Office and the Grazing Service were joined.

        Grazing on Federal lands have been controlled since Taylor Grazing Act of 1934.

        The BLM didn’t just show up in the 1990’s.

        Mr Bundy and his family had held and paid the Federal government on these leases for many years before in 1993 he stated he “fired” them and failed to renew his lease because they “no longer worked for him” In1993 only part of the land was closed due to the tortoise. Clark County bought all the lease’s including the Bundy’s The land was not closed off for cattle till 1998, Mr Bundy had not paid his grazing fees for 5 years at this point.

        The “Heavy” Handed Government. The BLM originally had little security and only at the collection site for the cattle. It was MR Bundy’s public threats in the media that caused them to bring out more security.

        These and several other misconceptions can be found here even why it has not and has never been his land or even the State of Nevada’s land. : http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/13/is-harry-reid-involved-seven-answers-to-seven-questions-youre-probably-asking-right-now-about-the-nevada-rancher-situation/

        Helicopters and “Snipers” The Helicopters are a tool being used in the round up of the cattle They are all “N” Numbered aircraft and privately contracted. This is a common practice when herding cattle on very large stretches of ground. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8trsv1BtbCY

        Snipers. The famous picture can be seen here: http://www.dailypaul.com/316427/snipers-positioned-on-hill-at-bundy-ranchmesquitenv

        Now you guys all have military backgrounds. Now look at the picture The man on the left (facing) is holding binoculars and the man on the right(facing) is looking through a spotting scope. There is no rifle present. They are observing not pointing sniper rifles at a bunch of innocent poor farmers.

        I can add to this but I would also like to add something that will explain why this was the time picked do finally act on the courts orders. The real smoking gun here is an organization called The Center for Biological Diversity. They are a Non profit environmental advocacy group. There MO is to sue the federal government into forcing land management entities of the Fed’s to act on court rulings involving federal lands. They filed a notice to sue on this land : http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/reptiles/desert_tortoise/pdfs/60_day_notice_to_BLM_FWS__HCP_BP_IA.pdf

        This action was the outcome of that suit. here is a link to their news release: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/gold-butte-roundup-04-12-2014.html

        What is the best way to win a war? It is to pit your enemies against each other and sit back with popcorn and watch. I beg of you to look into this group, they have filed thousands of these suits.

        One more thing: This is Sheriff Richard mack the De facto leader of the group of “Peaceful protestors” This is a video from Fox news where he discuses what his next move would be if the Feds would have not backed down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut0Ydwj5_2I
        This coward needs to be exposed for who he really is.

        Thanks for your time.

        • Mr. Twisted

          April 16, 2014 at 11:02 am


          First let me say thank you for posting all of this. It is much more helpful than just saying we suck.

          Regarding the BLM and timeframe, no, they didn’t just show up in the 1990s. However, that doesn’t address the point at all, which is that 1) The BLM has vastly increased its size, scope, and reach in the area (I have family very close to this situation), and 2) that there is no recourse against the BLM doing whatever they want. Saying that they are simply enforcing a law doesn’t even touch the biggest problem; namely, that the BLM can write its own laws and then enforce them, magically making criminals overnight out of various people.

          Regarding their heavy handed approach, yes, they were heavy handed. This is not really arguable. There would not exist the outrage of so many Clark County residents if it weren’t heavy handed. They approached this case with all the subtly of Waco or Ruby Ridge because, like typical government, they don’t learn from past mistakes.

          “…even why it has not and has never been his land or even the State of Nevada’s land.”

          This, my friend, is part of the real issue. Without bringing up the entire first 100 years of our country’s history, do you believe states should have any sovereignty at all? Because as of right now, they don’t. That, in my opinion, is a decidedly bad thing. Just saying “well this is how it is” doesn’t address why it’s a problem and why it will get worse.

          “There is no rifle present. They are observing not pointing sniper rifles at a bunch of innocent poor farmers.”

          Saying you can’t see a rifle in a pic and saying there is no rifle present are two entirely different things. Can I prove that there is a rifle there? No. But can you prove that there isn’t? Not only no, but if those are federal agents, I would bet a large sum of money that they have at least one.

          “The real smoking gun here is an organization called The Center for Biological Diversity.”

          I agree 100%. Groups like theirs cause far more damage than people realize. But guess what? They wouldn’t have that kind of pull if the BLM either didn’t have as much power as it did or, even better, didn’t exist in the first place.

          Nothing I have seen about Sheriff Richard Mack has been good. However, at no point in my article did I champion him or his tactics, so the mention of him in the context of your whole comment seems odd.

          Most of what you wrote leaves me struggling to see how the whole article was “inaccurate” or “nonfactual.” I certainly didn’t give the whole background on Bundy’s case (it’s even longer than what you wrote and more detailed. I suggest going here: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/04/why-you-should-be-sympathetic-toward-cliven-bundy.php ) and I didn’t go into nearly as much detail as others have (I suggest going here for first-hand info: http://www.oafnation.com/guests-pieces/2014/4/15/9mvbn50fndma3151vdk6aav08na6r6 ), but the overall point of my piece has not really been pointed out in any substantial way to be wrong or false. Pointing out, for example, that helicopters are used routinely for cattle does not refute that I mentioned helicopters in my article as part of the response. Or am I missing something?

          • John

            April 16, 2014 at 11:25 am

            Brilliant response!

            This is my favorite part, “Groups like theirs cause far more damage than people realize. But guess what? They wouldn’t have that kind of pull if the BLM either didn’t have as much power as it did or, even better, didn’t exist in the first place.”

            There has never been a better time to reduce federal power, return it to the states, or even better, the people. And when I say “the people” I mean individuals.

  6. John

    April 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Absolutely beautiful article RU Twisted.

    I live in Wyoming and my family/neighbors have been fighting the BLM and Forest Service for as long as I’ve been alive. The BLM’s habit is to back off of these things when people get upset, then sneak in a year or five later and get what they were after. The important thing is to never give in to these statist monsters. The BLM was originally created to dispose of Federal ownership of unclaimed land in the West. Like every government thug the BLM agents soon realize that if they did their job they would soon be out of a job. So they changed their job description to harass the people in this country who produce things to the benefit of those who produce nothing.

    I must say I am very proud of my fellow citizens who stood up in Nevada. That video of the unarmed crowd dispersing the BLM thugs brought tears to my eyes.

    • Mr. Twisted

      April 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you, sir!

      If you are in Wyoming, then you’re right up the road from me (northern Colorado). The BLM and their tactics have a long-standing tradition of irritating a lot of people in this area. One does not need to spend much time in the Rocky Mountain region to figure out that they do not have “the people’s” best interest at heart.

      • leftoftheboom

        April 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        Now the black helicopters are coming for both of you.

        But more importantly, there were some Armed people in that crowd too. And I would be cautious in thinking that only the unarmed demostrators caused BLM to back down.

        • John

          April 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

          Yes, the right to bear arms is the single most important right in my opinion. If we lose all of our other freedoms but still have weapons, we can get the other freedoms back.

  7. erick

    April 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    The first thing u must remember is we don’t support domestic terrorism. But on the flip side when it does come to fighting back ie a revolt their are going to be two sides. Those who belive they r fighting for the constitution and freedom and those that r fighting for the government because they feel the government is America. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. Now we have the opportunity to change things through votes. but when even that is corrupted and the ppl are called racists for wanting to fix it u are creating a division of the ppl. U and most other liberals forget the origin of this country was built upon terrorists and traitors to the crown. When the ppl who belive the government is corrupted and have no recourse they will take up arms. It is not just our right it is our duty to fight for the constitution against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. Now I’m not advocating open revolt just yet but the system needs to fixed. Lawmakers must be held accountable. Bills must be written that are simple and to the point. The attorney general of this country must enforce all laws on the books not the ones his government masters tell him to. We are at a cross roads between those that belive in the constitution and those that can’t even name an amendment besides the 2nd. It is not the job of the federal government to invade ur private life. The role of the federal government was designed by our founding fathers to be limited with the states holding the power not the other way around.

    How can u get a fair trail against the federal government in a federal court esp when the court and government does not own the land. It was a power play pure and simple. Had the courts went by the letter of the law and the original intent of the blm he would have won. But the court was put in the position of opening the flood ga Just because other ranchers have bowed down to the crown and paid the blm does not make it right. This was a state issue and the feds should have stayed out of it.

  8. Nevadan Batboy

    April 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I’m going to re-iterate the fact that some people might have missed:

    The zone that Bundy’s cattle peruse is being allocated for wilderness as an offset for Reid’s family’s interests in a solar plant. Basically a “carbon credit” except that it’s one family that is to-do that has buddies in the BLM (which is the rulemaker, referee, and there IS no contention against them because they write the book that they enforce, a tiff unto itself) which is being used as a weapon against other people. BLM has scrubbed this fact from their websites, however it’s freely available if you use the “wayback machine” or other internet cache sites. Here’s a link:


    Nobody except politicians likes the BLM in Nevada. There’s entirely too much land here that is operated by them, and the comment about “if they did their job right they’d be putting themselves out of a job” is wholeheartedly correct.

    In short, Fuck the BLM.


    April 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I’m surprised I still live in this country. The government sends tons of money to foreign countries but yet violates all of our rights. Can we Vets just pool our money and buy our own Island?
    Seriously they way the government spits on us, seriously makes me question why I bother breathing.
    Land of the free? I wish it were true.
    Also they want to get rid of the A-10, I must be in purgatory

  10. Lobster

    April 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    It’s interesting that at one point, the feds main contention was that they were trying to save the desert tortoise. However, the feds own solar projects, like the mega one in Owens Valley are killing more tortoises than Bundy’s ranch ever will. Follow the money. This has corruption and Harry Reid & family written all over it.

    • Whitey

      April 16, 2014 at 12:51 am

      Just like the tree-hugger-approved, “environmentally friendly” solar plant just across the state line from Primm…that raises the ambient air temp to 600 degrees and barbecues every bird with 1/4 mile of the mirrors, including the endangered ones. Plus, birds are actually attracted to it because to them it looks like a lake. Really saving the environment there!

  11. Jeff Coulter

    April 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    How about the obvious fact that almost everything the federal govt does is blatantly unconstitutional because it violates the Tenth Amendment. If it’s not specifically stated as power of the Federal Govt, then the states are sovereign. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever have to choose between the two parts of my oath: supporting and defending the Constitution or obeying the orders of the President and the officers appointed over me.

  12. Objective Al

    April 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I have been trying to find an objective story about this, because that’s what I’m about obviously if you can’t tell from the name. I would say the Mr. Twisted article is one of the pieces that sides more with Clive Bundy and the demonstrators/militia. There are three sides to every story. In this case it’s crazy’s side, crazy’s side, and the truth.

    So Mr. Bundy has used the land since 1993 ignoring court orders to pay grazing fees for the past 21 years. In 2013 he was told to remove his cattle from the land that he does not own. A year later he has still yet to remove those cattle on his own and instead opts to put out cookies and punch for all right wing crazies who care to come down and oppose the man Ruby Ridge/Waco style.

    Then you have the BLM who allows Mr. Bundy 21 years to comply to their court order. Why not try to remove his cattle 21 years ago when smoke checking militia men was cool? The BLM probably could have had their own HRT ready team and Delta Force advisers on site to handle any unruly protesters.

    Now the last time I checked Federal law always trumps state laws and we’ve already fought a war over this once and it didn’t work out for those states that didn’t agree. However, I would say the state of Nevada would be a pretty good mediator between the BLM and Mr. Bundy. 21 years, a kicked dog, and a couple of tased protesters later the the “All for Our Country” state has stepped into that role……..ish.

    The news, MSM as the crazies call it, is reporting it as the BLM giving ground to ensure the situation doesn’t escalate. All I have seen on the news is Rangers in uniforms and armaments that you would typically find on a cop on the beat. The “MSM” has shown photos of “militia” men armed with some pretty sweet RDs, that were probaby smithed just up the road from the publicly owned land Bundy calls his ranch, taking up fighting positions in the event one of those Rangers drew their pistols to fire on the protesters.

    This is obviously not over. The federal government isn’t just going to walk away. I think it was wise to deescalate the situation rather than having a law enforcement officer killed by a trigger happy militia men. That would have set off a chain of events that would have ended in the FBI’s elite HRT making an appearance. You don’t need to have the Vegas odds on that showdown to know a bunch of tough guy “militia” men would be doubling over faster than Vicki Weaver holding open a door in that scenario.

    Where do we go though? You can’t take the man’s cattle, but you can’t raise a militia to avoid paying a bill to the federal government just because it’s accrued 21 years worth of interest either. So while we wait to see what transpires next I have been audited by the IRS. Apparently I left out, royally screwed up, some income from the US Army Reserves back in 2010. Now it’s only a few hundred bucks that I owe, but I’ve got fresh cookies and ice cold punch……………………

    • If A Tree Falls in the Forrest Will the NSA Hellfire It?

      April 16, 2014 at 5:07 am

      You are a snide, foolish little boy.

      It’s karmic retribution that the IRS sikked itself on your because you can’t count without taking off your shoes and socks.

      • Objective Al

        April 16, 2014 at 7:47 am

        I can’t count damn it. 1, 2, 10. No punch and cookies for you. I’m going to make sure your name is black balled on the “milita sihn en” list ok.

  13. Steve

    April 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I like turtles.

  14. Brian

    April 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    To the author RU Twisted,

    I would offer a different, albeit not entirely dissenting, point of view to your article. I agree the issue of the desert tortoise was one of the many false pretexts used by the BLM, however your article would appear more opinion than impartial analysis based on fact. I would welcome you to see my critique of the events (http://wp.me/p45P9s-eo) based on video, local news interviews, and national open sources where I assess the protester’s confrontation and the entire pretext to which Bundy, the BLM and others have used misdirection to garner support. In essence, you’re wrong if you think Cliven Bundy is without fault in all this.

    • Mr. Twisted

      April 16, 2014 at 7:24 am


      Thank you for posting this. I haven’t read all of it yet, but what I have so far is outstanding.

      • Brian

        April 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm

        Thank you. But given Reid’s recent comments and experience with the government, I doubt this will go on much longer. One way or another. Both sides handled this poorly. Perhaps one solution would be for the BLM to absolve Mr. Bundy’s fees provided he is willing to abide by the current regulations. This entire situation seems to revolve around one man’s personal view of where he stands in relationship to the federal government of the United States. Perhaps he could use the $1M in funds to run for office and then effect both political and personal change, vice complaining when the govt comes to eventually pay him a visit.

        • Anna

          April 21, 2014 at 7:04 am

          Perhaps one of the best articles I have seen so far on this issue. It seems to me that every time we have an issue that one side of the wingnuts takes up (whether its left or right), the facts and truth get lost in the middle. I hope you don’t mind me sharing your site. Thanks!

  15. Mike

    April 15, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    “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, dockyards, and other needful buildings” This is article 1 section 8 of the US Constitution. Reading this, how on earth does anyone miss the fact that the Federal Government has no claim to the land and can’t unless Nevada sells them said land and the land is for military use or ‘useful buildings”.

    • John

      April 16, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Yes! I’ve been preaching this little excerpt of the Constitution for years. It’s just to bad that our elected leaders have chosen to wipe their ass with the Constitution since 1913.

  16. OX2

    April 16, 2014 at 12:07 am

    As with all political situations there are two sides to this story and both sides aren’t telling the entire truth. Is Bundy just trying to avoid his Bills? Is Harry Reid aka “The Federal Government” trying to seize the land for a solar farm to make personal profit? When it comes down to it, you end up having to pick the thief you agree with the most. Is being denied the land what caused the other ranchers to go broke? I agree Beurocrats always take on a life of their own, power of their own, like some ameba, always expanding their reach using the name of Doing it for the children, some endangered species, a certain race, gender, religion or life style.
    Here we have the clashing of two trails of money. What do “thugs” from the BLM know that makes them believe they are the good guys in this? The guys with pistols, dogs and tasers verse some very well armed militias. RU Twisted brings up a point I always keep in the back of my mind, did the rank and file SS trooper know he was a “bad guy”? No sane Soldier wants to be the bad guy, it’s always about spreading democracy, freeing ‘them from tyranny” or some other reason other than the real one, do what I tell you I’m your boss. What was the average Cavalryman in J.E.B. Stuart’s Cavalry Division motivation to fight the Federal Government? What did Guys like Lee, and Davis find so compelling that they had to fight to separate their States from the United States?
    Who is manipulating who to what outcome in this whole event? Sometimes is Good guys vs bad. Sometimes it’s bad vs worse. Lots of questions here with no good answers.

  17. Leedo2502

    April 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

    There is a myth in conspiracy theorist circles that the govt is unable to own land, Article 4 section 3 clause 2 of the Constitution is known as the property clause. This allowed the government to buy and sell nearly two billion acres of land since 1787 (when the Constitution was ratified) since 1781 congress has been buying land, from the British and French and other European colonial powers. Surely you remember the Louisiana Purchase… Seward’s ‘Folley’..?
    The land in question is in fact not owned by either Clark County or Nevada, it is federally owned land. Bundy had recognized this as it is public record that he paid his fees to the BLM up to 1993 then stopped paying when he said he ‘fired’ the BLM (which leads to a nice discussion on Socrates and Crito and Social Contract Theory).
    The BLM doesn’t own the land they manage it for the Dept of the Interior and collect fees and manage the land usage.

  18. Leedo2502

    April 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Also the BLM never tried to remove Bundy’s cattle from his 150 acres, they were removing the cattle from govt owned land. Nevada has never tried to say they own the land. When Bundy tried to pay his fees to the county in 1994 they told him that it was federal land and therefore couldn’t take payment. Bundy is is making money off govt land without having to pay a dime for it. And the feds have allowed him to do so for 20 years repeatedly telling him to kindly stop doing so, finally after two decades the govt stepped in to put a stop to it and there is no shortage of people yelling “Tyranny!” Does that honestly sound like tyranny to you?? Allowing a tinfoil hat wearing nutjob to further fleece the govt to the tune of one million dollars? I think it’s time for some perspective

    • Doug

      April 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm


    • John

      April 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Let’s just pretend you are 100% right and Bundy is a damn dirty thief with no case at all. Why do you think thousands of Americans support him to the point of being willing to put their lives on the line to defend him and his cattle? Why are a large percentage of Americans angry with their supposedly representative government to the point of renouncing citizenship, moving to other countries, stockpiling weapons and gold, screaming at town hall meetings, and attending demonstrations in record numbers?

      Is it because this government lies more than a 7th grouper returning from TDY in Columbia? Is it because people don’t understand why the government feels the need to wreck a healthcare system that was working well for them? Is it because they don’t understand why guns can be given to Mexican narco gangs in a not so subtle effort to undermine the 2nd Amendment? Is it because the US has fallen on the index of economic freedom each year for the past seven years? Is it because everybody in this country has had a negative experience with a heavy handed federal bureaucrat that has more power than a medieval earl?

      John Brown was a pretty sick and crazy guy. He was not deserving of support, but he got it and he got it big time because of larger issues at play during the time. That is what is going on here. I’m sure Bundy is no saint, but the larger issue of how tyrants in DC think they can run every tiny aspect of my life from how my children are educated to what I can eat to what kind of lightbulb I can use is what is drawing us “crazies” out of the hills.

      This is not a new issue. My grandfather told me about struggles with the feds that occurred long before I was born. Do you really think it is right for unelected Harvard graduates to hold life or death power over millions of acres of land they know nothing about? Frankly I find it absolutely intolerable that arrogant thugs in DC control land that I and my neighbors love more than our lives. It is even worse now that we know those DC thugs absolutely despise us and our way of life.

      The Constitution will be restored. Freedom is coming back. Washington DC will have to learn how to live without siphoning billions of dollars away from the producers.


    April 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Where are all these pro fascists dildos coming from?
    If you are pro Nazi gov take over then you do not belong on a veteran forum, numbnuts! We already have enough issues, we don’t need your mindless hippie bullshit. Obviously if you think it’s ok to trample an old rancher, then you are a piece of shit. These dicks have been screwing ranchers and farmers for longer than I’ve been alive, so shut up. Maybe we can get legislation passed saying Veterans are an endangered species, so maybe you idiots would be outlawed from even talking to us.

    • Steve

      April 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      As an Iraq veteran, just wanna say that it’s people like you who are preventing any sort of progress in this country. It’s finger pointing and mindless, ridiculous statements such as yours that drive people away from wanting to get involved. As a veteran on a veterans forum, I suggest you find a spot anywhere else in the world where you can completely disconnect yourself from people who don’t share your same views or at the very least disconnect your internet for a while and come back to this forum at a later date when you finally realize that sometimes, people have different views from yours… even other veterans! And before you spout off about me being a pog or some crap like that, Im an 11b.


        April 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm

        I was going to say more but why bother. You obviously missed who I was referring to. I don’t care if you’re an 11b, because I don’t usually bust people’s chops for their job title. I was in Iraq too, are we having a pissing contest or something? You seem more like a kid than a Grunt.

        • B

          April 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

          Wow. If im missing something then let me know. He had a lease til 92 then just said fuck it and let it lapse. He has lost in every court, and he hasnt paid his fee since his lapsed lease. He said he would pay it to a local municipality. He has threatened the government. His armed supporters have said theyll put the women, elderly and children up front so they get shot first. The government has tried to take his cattle. I cant believe that he got 20 or so years of not paying his herding fees. I cant believe you guys are supporting someone on welfare. Had he bought the land and they took it back wo payment then he would have a case. Every other rancher on federal lands has to pay this why is he any different? The idea that he as a welfare rancher gets away without paying his fees and any consequences is the total opposite of what i believe to be rangering up (i dont like it so im going to stop.). He is probably a nice guy, im almost positive hes never molested children, yet other ranchers (on federal lands) have to play by the rules and pay the fee. What happens when someone in his group of protesters fires a shot and hurt or kills a federal employee (im not sure if they’re actually leo)? i am not a nazi (maybe have some socialist ideas for healthcare it works in canada, uk, germany, mexico, and even cuba bro) nor do i believe in any of their racist beliefs. And as for as the comment “why do you think he has so manysupporters” comment remember so did jim jones, the nazi (pre ww2 and still do), so did hitler, so do the federal government, gangs have alot of supporters, so did the occupy movement. All of those things are bad on some level. Everyone is anti welfare moochers right? Then why not end his welfare and have his pay his fees? If he were to pay the fees to clark county and have them pay the federalis? He gets his pride and his fees get paid. See people thats what we in the business call problem solving. And cib i wouldnt live on any island with you by choice.

          I was going to say damn what a nice, well written, thought out article by mr./ru twisted then i read the article and stand by ru should just let you go. Copy and paste from brittbart, redstate, or foxnews.com instead of wasting yours or their time with this. Bro do you see any facts or just say fuck it? And heavy handed? They want the fees that he has ignored for 20 years. He has threatened them in the media, his supporters are armed? The federalis have matched his response.

  20. Objective Al

    April 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I have thought Mr Bundy similar to someone who receives welfare since he makes money off taxpayer provided land that he does not pay any rent on. I find it interesting that I learned that private land cattlemen refer to ranchers like Bundy as “welfare ranchers.”

  21. Objective Al

    April 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I would also like to know if Mr Twisted thinks that armed militias should block the confiscating of private land to build the Keystone Pipeline?

    • John

      April 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      I’ve never heard of land being confiscated to build a pipeline. I’ve seen a lot of pipelines built. What you may be referring to is an easement. An easement is very different than confiscation, but sometimes through eminent domain laws easements are forced on people that don’t want them. It is unfortunate. I don’t like it. But if you are a rancher, or a farmer, you can still use your land just fine if someone has an easement across it. Unless that someone is a railroad, they kinda screw things up as far as agricultural usage goes. With a pipeline however, other than a little disturbance during the construction process which the oil companies are forced to pay the landowner handsomely for, you can use you land just like you always used it. Many times they will even build you a shiny new road.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you are trying to play gotcha, you picked a really shitty example.

      • JoeC

        April 22, 2014 at 11:40 am

        You call it what you want, it’s still confiscation. I have a pipeline going across my place right now that has made the entire properly useless to me. It’s going right across the place where I had intended to build a house to retire in and now I can’t do that. I didn’t want a pipeline, but I was getting one whether I wanted one or not. In the interest of full disclosure, this is the 4th pipeline on my property and I had decided that after the last one I wasn’t doing any more because the land is worthless as anything but pasture after they go through. You can refuse to sign the easement, but that will do nothing but land you in court where you are going to lose. You can dress it up with fancy words all you want, but the land is getting taken from you and the payment isn’t that hansom. I guarantee you I can’t buy a comparable piece of property to build my house on for what I received. Not even close.

        • John

          April 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

          Please don’t think from my post that I like eminent domain laws. That little piece of our legal system needs serious reform. I always come down on the side of private property rights to an extreme. What I was trying to say is that the Keystone pipeline and the BLM assaulting the Bundy family are two completely different things that don’t compare well at all.

          PS – If you didn’t get handsomely compensated, you should talk to some of my neighbors. They really know how to stick it to an oil company when a pipeline is being built.

          • Objective Al

            April 25, 2014 at 6:53 am

            I think my example is pretty spot on John. Land you own being used or taken from you versus land you don’t own and trying to use it for free. In the case of those farmers in Nebraska, the United States government is doing the same thing Bundy is doing. T

          • John

            April 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm

            Al, your argument is shitty. And you are about as objective as CNN.

  22. JoeC

    April 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

    They are two different things and I wasn’t trying to compare them. I was simply addressing your statement regarding easement vs. confiscation and in the real world there is often no difference.

    To most people, I was probably paid hansomly because they only see the numbers. They don’t see that the few acres in the easement rendered my entire property useless for its intended purpose. I got almost 3 times the going rate for an easement because I refused to accept what they offered me. I also knew approximately what it would cost them to take me to court, approximately what it would cost me to fight them in court, that I was going to lose in court, and that when I lost they would buy my property outright for the going cost per acre which would have netted me about 10% of what I got to sell them the easement. Figure in the attorney’s fees and I’m in the hole about $15k and with no access or right of access to the 3 or 4 acres the pipeline sits on.

    My cousin owns the 80 acres across the highway from me. The pipeline runs along her highway frontage for the entire length of the property. She will never again be able to use that land for anything permanent within 100 feet of the highway. No houses, no buildings, no driveways. Her property value was reduced by $100,000 by the pipeline and she got about $10,000 in compensation. Tell me how hansom her payment was.

    The whole pipeline easement business is crazy. There are people that don’t mind it and some that even want a pipeline easement on their place. Neither I or any of my family that own property around me want anything to do with pipelines, but we are forced to have them. For all practical purposes that is confiscation. They can hide it behind a different name for legal purposes, but it’s still confiscation.

  23. Objective Al

    April 25, 2014 at 7:07 am

    How about that Rancher now? Mr Twisted should write himself Douche of the Week for supporting that ass clown. Can you imagine the high fives going around the offices of conservative politicians who didn’t get around to showing Bundy their support yet? If blacks make up 30% of the military, but they don’t make up 30% of the US population, what does RangerUP’s sales look like if they keep this article up?

    Unless the “MSM” shoved their hand up Bundy’s ass and moved his lips for him, it’s in black and white. I face palm myself over his interview on CNN where he keeps talking about state sovereignty. The United States of America has owned that land since 1848 you clown! The state of Nevada is part of the United States. They don’t own that land, the US taxpayers do. He talks about putting meat on people’s table, but I’m pretty sure they paid for that meat, twice since he doesn’t pay his grazing fees.

    The Bundy situation shows what a really sad state of affairs the conservative party has come to in this country. In 2000 I was a dumb private and registered Republican. I would have told you that you were bat shit crazy if you had told me back then that John McCain would be running for office after Dubbers but I would not be voting for him. The Republican party has splintered and the crazy ones force themselves into the media every chance they get. There are entire districts in Texas,Minnesota and my home state of Kentucky that I want to lobotomize and restrict their access to Fox News. I’m not sure some of them would meet the minimum requirements to be lobotomized though.

    • Mr. Twisted

      April 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Sigh. Where to begin…

      “How about that Rancher now?”

      I’m going to assume (please correct me if I’m wrong) that you are referring to his racist comments caught on video. I ask you: so what? Is anyone really surprised that a hick rancher has some backwards view of race? Shocking! More importantly, can you please tell me how that relates to a heavy-handed, size-expanding federal government?

      “Mr Twisted should write himself Douche of the Week for supporting that ass clown.”

      I’m confused; how, exactly, did I “support” Mr. Bundy? Did I advocate for militias mounting up and riding to his aid? Did I encourage people to rush to his ranch with all the weaponry they could muster? Did I suggest people donate to his cause? Or did I write an article criticizing the federal government and, more specifically, the BLM?

      “If blacks make up 30% of the military, but they don’t make up 30% of the US population, what does RangerUP’s sales look like if they keep this article up?”

      This is an absolutely nonsensical statement.

      “The United States of America has owned that land since 1848 you clown! The state of Nevada is part of the United States. They don’t own that land, the US taxpayers do.”

      In other words, you don’t believe in state sovereignty at all and take the position that the idea of states as a union is outdated and has no relevance? I’m sincerely asking, because that is the bigger issue here.

      Your last paragraph is simply a diatribe stating that you look at the political landscape of this country in terms that the media has presented to you. Please don’t take that as an insult, as it is not intended as such; most people do.

      This is not a “Republican vs Democrat” argument; this is not a “conservative vs. liberal” argument; those terms are, in our current climate, virtually meaningless because they convey entirely different things to different people. Very few have a grasp on what they truly represent and even fewer understand that no one in the federal government represents what most people believe them to represent. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, et al feed people exactly what they wish to hear because it sells; not because it’s what is most important.

      I’ve written here before and I will do so again as it is worth repeating that every political discussion essentially has two sides: the one that is for more government and the one that is for less. You can label a group as the “conservative party” all you want, but the reality is that everyone involved in politics at the federal level is just simply arguing about where to spend your money; not whether or not it should be spent at all or whether they should even have it in the first place.

      My point is that ranting against “The Republican Party” or Fox News is, at best, a distraction. At worst it is counterproductive as it gets people all heated up over the wrong things entirely, like “this person vs that person” when neither of them are worth even talking about.

  24. Leedo2502

    April 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    What do you consider “State Sovereignty? The Founders never intended for the states to be able to trump the Federal Govt. In Article Six Clause 2 of the Constitution they state that the Constitution and federal government are the supreme laws of the land. Federalist Papers 33 and 44 explain the rational behind the Supremecy clause as well.

    We are in a Federal Republic govt. when you talk of states rights over federal laws you go back to The Articles of Confederation.

    And if you think that the govt was overreaching and overstepping it’s authority by allowing a free loader to mooch off federal lands for decades, sit by as said rancher ignores 4 court orders, mount a law enforcement operation to enforce those orders and ultimately back down allowing the mooching rancher to continue robbing the federal government (which is really the citezenry) you should brush up on The Whiskey Rebellion.

    • Mr. Twisted

      April 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm


      Thank you for your comment.

      A couple things to address what you wrote here in your first two paragraphs:

      1) Yes, Article VI clearly states that the US Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. I have no argument there. However, so what? The federal government routinely tramples all over the Constitution when it conveniences them and has done so since the beginning. Yet we as a people are supposed to bow to this “supreme law” at every turn. My point here is that we do not have a “rule of law” anymore (more on this shortly regarding your Whiskey Rebellion comment).

      2) Note well in this context the Tenth Amendment. That has been entirely ignored by the federal government since the Civil War especially. States, though they originally had some authority, most certainly do not now. I asked the above question in light of this as a means to wonder if this is a good thing. You apparently do believe so, whereas I do not. The federal government has (obviously) argued and prosecuted the idea that they are the supreme law since the beginning. But keep in mind that a) that was a much smaller area o land at that time, and b) that’s what governments tend to do….100% of the time — argue and work for more control. That’s the nature of government.

      3) Yes, we are in a federal republic government. Again, I do not believe this to be a positive thing.

      Regarding your last paragraph, I’m surprised you bring up the Whiskey Rebellion. This proves how quickly the ideology of limited government was abandoned by people like Alexander Hamilton in desiring to collect taxes after just finishing a revolution over….taxes. The brilliant minds of Adams, Jefferson, and Madison crafted this amazing document intending limited government and it took all of about 10 minutes before Washington and Hamilton used it to do exactly what England had done that prompted a revolution in the first place.

      In other words, I’m not exactly sure why you assert that I should “brush up” on the topic.

      Please understand that the Bundy Ranch situation is a symptom and in no way an outlier. To be frank, I don’t really care all that much about him as an individual other than to say that this whole thing could have turned into a Waco or a Ruby Ridge very quickly. Beyond that, the bigger and more important issue here is the fact that organizations like the BLM are quite literally writing their own rules and then enforcing them. How is that Constitutional? If we suggest that the Constitution still matters, then how is it that the federal government can do what it does in so many regards?

      This whole thing has turned into a debate of whether or not Cliven Bundy as a person is wrong. That is, at best, a distraction from a much more important debate regarding the size, scope, and reach of the federal government.

      If you truly believe that the federal government is “the citezenry,” then you must see something I don’t. Yes, in theory, “the government” is not a thing; it is a construct of people. However, the overwhelming majority of what goes on at the federal level is in no way representative of the best interests of most people, and that is the bigger issue with state vs federal power; do you believe that some really rich dudes thousands of miles away from you and your family have any idea at all about what is right and wrong for you and your family? Is the BLM using your tax dollars to gobble up land in the best interest of “the people”? Not only no, but it’s not even in the best interest of the people close to the situation.

      Think bigger. Stop thinking about all of this in terms of “well, this is what the law says, so clearly this guy is wrong because he didn’t do what that law says,” and start thinking about it (and the rest of political theory in general) in terms of “is this law even just to begin with, and do those who wrote it even need to exist?” We can argue Constitutional law all day long, but if no one is abiding by it…?

      Here’s the reality: yes, I am well aware of the political climate we are currently in and don’t expect it to change any time soon. Yes, I understand that the federal government has ridiculous amounts of power and that is something we just have to deal with. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t — or shouldn’t — argue against it from a historical and philosophical perspective. I personally don’t like the fact that my tax dollars fund organizations that don’t represent me and extort other Americans even further. Do you?

      • JoeC

        April 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

        With regard to your statement about our founding fathers implementing a tax immediately following a war fought over taxes, you are forgetting one significant detail. The war wasn’t about taxation, it was about taxation without representation. When taxation was enacted after the war it was enacted on people who had representation in the government that was then established.

  25. Mr. Twisted

    April 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm


    “Taxation without representation” is the classic American-civics-class-answer, yes. However, I would contend that the revolution was more about taxation without consent, laws regarding money (what could be used and what couldn’t), and intrusion of the Crown into trade and business practices (which probably caused more animosity than anything else).

    In light of that, the so-called Whiskey Rebellion is relevant to the discussion given that it shows how Alexander Hamilton was opposed to the ideology espoused by someone like Jefferson in that he favored a very strong, centralized government that required taxation to exist. Hamilton’s position was one that saw government as a great thing — as long as he was at the top of it.

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Is Attitude Really Everything?

  A Ranger Up Fan Submission Well, I put that question to the test—”the biggest so far in my life”—and...