The weekend is over and it "looks like" the "good guys" have "won" on the Bundy ranch.
I wrote that first sentience because it felt good. Deep down in my gut I want it to be the gods honest truth. I want the good guys to beat the living hell out of the bad guys. The good guys being the cowboys and the bad guys being the carpetbagger representatives of the federal government. I went back and put quotes over: "looks like", "good guys" and "won", because the reality is all of those terms belong in brackets.
There is no doubt that the federal government is the largest bad guy in the United States today. Deep down in your gut, you know that the politics of pull have more influence in the halls of power than the principles of truth and fair dealing. We know this and we know that there is no practical solution to the problem.
Clive Bundy comes along and we learn that he is being run rough shod over by the BLM. The reasons why the BLM is doing this are obscure. We hear about a turtle that is "in danger" because of Clive's cows. Apparently the turtles and the cows have gotten along just fine for over 140 years. We smell a rat. We know about Agenda 21. Is this what's really going on? We don't know. Is this yet another case of blind environmental over reaching? We don't know. We hear about Harry Reid and backroom deals involving the Chinese and other corporate players. Is this what's going on? We don't know. We hear that Clive Bundy owes over a million dollars in grazing fees. I've demonstrated that the math doesn't add up, either he runs more than 900 cows or something else is going on. Is this just another case greedy federal managers looking to generate more revenue by squeezing the tax payer? We don't know.
A large part of the problem in this case is that we don't know. Nothing about the official version of events makes sense. The BLM has a court order. Big deal. The courts issue rubber stamp court orders all the time. There is no reason to have any faith in the courts when it comes to administrative decisions.
What we do know is that the federal government and their bureaucratic minions do make unjust policies and decisions on a regular basis. We have seen out of control environmentalism, power hungry boot lickers, and backroom deals for the privileged politically connected. The federal government lies. The IRS has been lying about the politics behind tea party groups and tax exempt issues. Eric Holder lies about running guns to Mexico. He decides what laws he will and will not enforce.
What the truth is you can't say anymore. What the truth is not, if experience is to be our guide, is what the government is saying.
What about good ole Clive? All he is saying is that his family has ranched that land for 140 years. That's it. Other people have dug through the old free range and settlement laws and looked for possibilities for a legal argument. Bundy hasn't made a case that I've seen. He may have a good case for all I know, but he isn't saying what it is. If he does have a case why not put forth an equitable solution? On the other hand, I've not see where he is claiming the 600,000 acres that the BLM says he is claiming. Clive has said he has rights to the river bottoms, not the whole county.
What we have is a situation where our "hero" probably isn't 100% in the right. In a way that doesn't really matter. Depending on whose count you use, about 300 to 400 people came to Bundy's aid. They came, at their own expense, packing their own guns and ammunition and supplying their own food and water. Some of them came to bear witness to the events, some to protest, some came to fight.
Don't make the mistake of believing that the came to fight FOR Bundy. Most of them never heard of him, or knew that you could run cows in the desert, or care one way or the other about free range issues. They came out to fight because they know something is wrong with this country. They don't know if Bundy is in the right. They know that the government is in the wrong. Our government is in the wrong about almost every issue facing this country today. People know that. They know it deep down in the gut. They are mad as hell about it.
Why did the BLM back down? Waco Texas, Ruby Ridge Idaho and Wounded Knee South Dakota. I don't for one minute believe that the Obama Administration fears the military prowess of a few hundred militia members in the Nevada desert. A company of men and modest air support would wipe out Bundy in short order.
The BLM backed down because no matter what they do to Bundy, they would lose. It's been a slow media cycle. Obummer has been blundering from one failure to another. The administration doesn't want news stories about how a brave rancher whose family settled in the desert 140 years ago was murdered by federal agents so they could give the land to turtles and Chinese solar companies. That's it. They don't want the bad press that would come if they machine gunned 300 people.
Bundy has won nothing. The BLM didn't propose a deed transferring him the land; they didn't put together a long term lease deal. What they said was, "ok not today". They let the cows go. They pulled out. They will be back. Next time the news media will be focused on other more titillating subjects. Next time Bundy will lose and it will cost him more than his cows.
None of that matters today. Across America there is something happy on the wind. In front of computer screens, and in coffee shops and diners and at the local watering hole, men are asking their buddies, "did you hear about Bundy?". Yeah, the feds are pulling out, we won. Who is this "we"? They didn't go and no one won. What they mean is: "I'm mad as hell about the direction this country is going! Can you hear me now?"