Ruby Ridge…a classic example of government gone horribly wrong. Briefly, Ruby Ridge was the 1992 confrontation where Federal agents surrounded separatist Randy Weaver’s mountaintop cabin near Naples, Idaho (40 miles south of the Canadian border) after Weaver failed to appear in court to address charges of possessing an illegally shortened sawed-off shotgun. Starting with the U.S. Marshals Service trying to serve a warrant for his arrest, it escalated into firefight after agents shot the family dog and ended with the deaths of Weaver’s 14-year old son Samuel, Weaver’s wife Vicki, and US Marshal William Degan.
Three people killed for NOTHING before the incident ended, with Weaver and family friend Kevin Harris being arrested. Weaver was acquitted of all charges except missing his original court date and violation of his bail conditions, and was sentenced to 18 months and fined $10,000. Credited with time served, Weaver served four additional months in prison, and Harris was acquitted of all charges.
And now 22 years later it’s as if the government hasn’t learned anything from what happened at Ruby Ridge for once again its engaging in the same outright criminal misconduct and behavior that this time could escalate into a full-fledged range-war of sorts…and all because of some so-called ‘trespassing cattle’ grazing on federal land where some ‘endangered’ tortoises wander about…or is it.
Oh give me a home where the ‘trespassing cattle’ roam…
Bringing in a show of force that includes dozens of armed agents in SUVs and helicopters, the Bundy Ranch…the last cattle ranch in Clark County Nevada…is now in the cross hairs of the EPA and Federal Law Enforcement officials over ‘trespassing cattle’. And as federal agents surround Cliven Bundy’s 150-acre ranch…blocking his access to public lands…federally hired contract cowboys have started to seize his cattle…rounding up hundreds of heads of cattle to date…cattle whose crime was sometimes grazing on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Guess the cattle couldn’t read the signs posted because they missed school the day they taught that by crossing the boundary they would be grazing on the habitat of the ‘protected’ desert tortoise, trespassing on land that has been off-limits for cattle since 1998.
Off-limits for cattle but NOT for tortoises…give me a break.
And while BLM officials claim that “For more than two decades, cattle have been grazed illegally on public lands in northeast Clark County,” and as they bloviate that “BLM and (the National Park Service) have made repeated attempts to resolve this matter administratively and judicially. Impoundment of cattle illegally grazing on public lands is an option of last resort,” the standoff has turned dirty with Bundy saying he’s grazed cattle on the land for decades, and that his father and father’s father did so before him.
So as the government continues to push the story of this battle being over the habitat of the now federally protected desert tortoise, this battle is really about BIG intrusive government vs an American citizen. And with federal officials saying BLM enforcement agents were brought into the dispute because Bundy ‘supposedly’ made comments that the agency perceived as threats, and with The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, saying that federal action for getting the ‘trespassing’ cattle off their land was long overdue, you just know the situation will go from bad to worse.
“When threats are made that could jeopardize the safety of the American people, the contractors and our personnel; we have the responsibility to provide law enforcement to account for their safety.”
– National Park Service spokeswoman Christie Vanover
So let’s put this all into perspective…some grazing cattle…grazing on a minutely small portion of the Gold Butte 600,000 acres owned by the federal government must now be rounded-up with some killed in the process (the BLM has denied killing any cattle intentionally only saying that there may be some cases where a cow would need to be euthanized…yeah right) just so they do NOT continue to graze on the burnt and dried out grass on a plot of land that some desert tortoises dig holes on, hide under rocks on, and get their feet burnt on…desolate empty land that NO one goes to.
You’d think this bureaucratic idiocy…but like everything else our federal government does there is more to this than ‘trespassing cattle’ vs. a tortoise.
And the truth is that this battle goes back to 1993 when Clovin Bundy stopped paying grazing fees to the government, saying he did NOT have to continue to make payments because his Mormon ancestors had worked the land since the 1880s, giving him certain rights to the land.
While willing to pay grazing fees to Clark Count but NOT to the BLM…who claim Bundy now owes the federal government some $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees…the simple truth is that the federal government is trying to regulate and bully this ‘last man standing’ off his land just as they did by regulating 52 of his fellow ranchers off their rightfully and legally owned land.
Kudos to Clovin Bundy for standing strong against a federal government run amok.
And now tensions are escalating as people in the nearby town of Bunkerville are standing strong with Bundy to try and stop the feds from taking…NO…from stealing…the cattle off the land. Saying the feds are now using “heavy-handed tactics,” BLM and park rangers have actually started to taser those standing against them and in support of Bundy. In fact, Ammon Bundy, the son of Cliven Bundy, said the rangers tased him twice, and one woman has even said that federal officers hit her with their vehicle while she was protesting against them.
“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.” – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
So the bottom line in all this is the fact that the Bundy family, who settled in Bunkerville more than 140 years ago, now claim an ‘inherent right’ for the cows to graze in the disputed area. Refusing to pay BLM grazing fees since 1993, Clovin Bundy has argued in court filings that his ancestors worked the land long before the BLM ever came into existence, thus giving him rights that pre-date federal involvement. Bundy also says the issues he’s now facing are Nevada states’ rights issues NOT issues needing federal intervention.
And right he is on all accounts.
But you know what…when all is stripped away this fee…this regulating of 52 of his fellow ranchers off their land…this all amounts to NOTHING more than extortion…plain and simple.
And where is Harry Reid in all this…Nevada is his state after all…for this nonsense of ‘trespassing cattle’ is nothing more than an illegal federal land grab. In fact, some rummages have been heard that this is all about water rights as Las Vegas is running out of water, so the feds are trying to steal the land of the very last cattle rancher in southern Nevada. And with the feds ready to stop at NOTHING to get what they want, this could turn into another Ruby Ridge but on a grander scale…a more deadly scale…a scale that could make the old fashioned range-wars of years gone by look like a walk in the park.
So as BIG government tries once again to trample on the rights of ‘We the People’…this time one brave man is fighting back and it took some ‘trespassing cattle’ to carry the banner into the fight.