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home : opinion : editorials May 1, 2016


4/13/2014 6:00:00 PM
Editorial: Bundy drama a replay from the '90s

Rich Thurlow
Editor


It's the 1990s all over again in Nevada, and for many residents of this part of Arizona, what's going on there is mighty important.

The interest is in Clark County rancher Cliven Bundy's dispute with the Bureau of Land Management, supposedly over grazing fees and the fact that Bundy hasn't paid them for years and years. The showdown is something of a magnet for politicians (including a few from Arizona) and activists, many of them dismayed over the ever-expanding role of government in their lives.

So, yeah, Bundy may live in Nevada, but every caller and visitor Friday who wanted the Miner to cover the story made it clear whose side they are on.

Hint: It isn't the BLM.

Desert tortoises are part of this storyline, as they were 20 years ago. Far from endangered, the hard-shelled beasts are merely an excuse for the federal government to exercise power.

Back in the '90s, county officials would joke about steps they'd have to take to make sure a tortoise wouldn't come to harm. This included elaborate fences in work sites - after paying for a biological survey that already showed no tortoises were in the area.

The "joke" was on us, though, because it was taxpayer money being wasted, tacking on costs needlessly to otherwise worthwhile projects.

Federal control of land in the West is well over 50 percent - almost 90 percent in Nevada. Arizona is in that same range.

It's time for Washington to sell off the land over a period of time, pay off the national debt, and get out of our hair.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Article comment by: mr. parker

This mess reminds me of Clinton's assault on the Branch Davidians. The idiotic ATF had a warrant for David Koresh and could've arrested him when he jogged everyday off his compound. They had to make a clownshoes show of force after losing the element of surprise to increase their budget.

BLM did not need this type of armed intervention, they could've arrested him when he went into town- which he did. They could easily get an arrest warrant if they didn't have one already.

BLM started the siege. The people ended it. The BLM put up "First Amendment Areas." The people don't need signs to tell them where they can exercise their rights.

It sickens me that federal agents would point and aim at citizens who are just protesting. Just like any other bully, you stand up to them and they back down. The BLM show of intimidation failed. They aren't used to being disrespected by mere citizens.

The why of this is intriguing. Reid's hands are dirty, his buddy Jack Abramhoff has helped him and Rory in pay for play deals in the past. It's not beyond belief that this somehow goes back to Dirty Harry.

We have a difference of opinion sir, you will never convince me and I will never convince you.



Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Why is it suddenly a huge problem?”

Because Bundy the crook decided to call for help from members of the “militia.”

”The pipe bombs could've been planted by the violent Earth Liberation Front, for all we know.”

Word limit forced me to cut back on the post. What we KNOW is the pipe bombs were planted and taken credit for by individuals who were upset about having to pay grazing fees.

”Reid or not, someone wants that land for some reason.”

No “someone” wants the land. The courts decreed that Bundy, the crook, was not paying his grazing fees and was incorrectly claiming the land as his.

I agree, now that Bundy has turned this into an armed stand-off circus populated by sadly deficient “militias,” politicians who support breaking the law and ignoring court decisions it is time to just step back, wait for the guy to die and economically destroy his progeny.

“The sight of law abiding citizens and armed agents makes me sick.”

Actually I am sickened the sight of armed citizens setting up snipers nests and aiming high-powered weapons at federal officers.


Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Article comment by: mr. parker

Interesting timeline. So this has been going on since 1993. Why is it suddenly a huge problem?

The pipe bombs could've been planted by the violent Earth Liberation Front, for all we know.


Reid or not, someone wants that land for some reason. The common sense solution is to wait until Mr. Bundy passes away and attach a lien to his estate. Then how about a declaration that that land will not be used for any commercial purpose.

The sight of law abiding citizens and armed agents makes me sick.

If this is a federal issue like border "security" for example, why are state and local agencies involved with this mess. Eric the Red needs to look at that.


Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

1993: Hundreds of thousands of acres designated for conservation efforts. Bundy repeatedly fined for grazing cattle on protected land, fines not paid, permit revoked.

1995: The fight between BLM and ranchers wanting to use federal land without fees intensifies. A pipe bomb goes off in a Forest Service office.

1996: Two more pipe bombs explode in Forest Service and BLM offices.

1998: A judge issues a permanent injunction against Bundy, ordering him to remove his cattle and pay grazing fees. Bundy loses an appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Bundy continues to graze 600 cattle on public lands

May 2012: BLM files in court an injunction against Bundy.

August 2013: A court order gives Bundy 45 days to remove his cattle from federal land and pay grazing fees.

October 2013: A federal district judge court tells Bundy not to, “physically interfere with any seizure…operation.”

March 2014: The BLM sends Bundy a letter informing him they will impound his cattle found on federal land.

April 1, 2014: Bundy's family hunkers down waiting for the BLM to arrive, as Bundy calls for militia help.

April 10, 2014: Militia snipers take up positions and aim rifles at BLM officers.


Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@Ms Athens

“Isn't it unreal how Bob Moore has the unmitigated gall to say Bundy made threats against the feds…”

Funny stuff! Thanks for the laugh. The old fool DEMANDED the sheriff bulldoze federal facilities, disarm federal officers, and bring him their weapons while encouraging the armed idiots to take up sniper positions and point high powered rifles at BLM officers.

“Then we saw hired mercenaries…”

Nope, did not happen and you have yet to tell us where we can find that video or photos. The only snipers we saw were members of the Bundy Brigade threatening BLM officers from sniper nests.

“Incidentally, BM, owing fees was NOT mentioned as one of the problems Bundy had.”

Of courses it was, it was the reason the BLM was dispatched to remove his illegally grazing cattle. Where do you get this trash and why do you defend law-breakers?

“And numerous sources have stated it's more like $200,000.00.”

And other sources say $1.3 million. But it is good to see you admitting the guy is a crook.


Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

FLS:

Isn't it unreal how Bob Moore has the unmitigated gall to say Bundy made threats against the feds when in fact, they all got ON THEIR KNEES AND PRAYED FOR NO PROBLEMS, asked everyone to NOT bring a weapon.

Then we saw hired merceneries, ie: snipers laying on their stomachs on hillsides with their guns pointed down at the innocent people and one BLM employee told the man named Michael making a movie of this he had just gotten the word from higher up in the BLM to shoot.

Incidentally, BM, owing fees was NOT mentioned as one of the problems Bundy had. Did you happen to know that? Nope, there was a list but it was like a person in a car had hit one of the cattle, someone could get hurt by that, etc....all complaints like that and OWING FEES WAS NOT EVEN LISTED. FACT!!!!!

And numerous sources have stated it's more like $200,000.00.


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"Does your finance company send someone to point a gun at you if you fail to repay your car loan? How about your mortgage holder?"

Not exactly, but they will come and repossess your car or have you evicted from the property and if you are considered a possible threat, there will be armed LE to keep the people safe. Try to walk up to them waving a gun, and I am quite sure you will have a gun aimed back at you.


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"Former Graham county sheriff said........"

Sounds like a smart plan to me and if the feds shoot first it will be very bad PR for obama.

So a small armed group does this and beats the govt efforts against them. Of course, you could claim it will not work. When you are done doing that, tell the same thing to the afghan terrorists who have made the U.S. military look like inept jackasses since day one, just like they did the russians before us.


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@LOL

“Got verifiable source for that figure?”

Yes, the court documents that set the judgment on the old crook.

“…why would they send armed agents to collect a DEBT.”

They did not send “armed agents” beyond the normal sidearm worn by officers. Once Bundy began making threats against those officers and claiming he “would do whatever is necessary” followed by a bunch of half-wits showing up and making snipers nests on the overpass and highway ramps it became necessary to institute protective measures.

“Does your finance company send someone to point a gun at you if you fail to repay your car loan? How about your mortgage holder?”

Yes, although your hyperbolic nonsense, “to point a gun at you” is basically silly the constable that serves your papers will be armed, as are the repo agents coming after you car.

“Don't answer…”

Why because the facts ALWAYS show you to be wrong?

”Here's hoping the feds try again and are stupid enough to shoot first.”

What is it with you righties and wanting people to shoot at each other? And of course we notice you are never anywhere near the fire zone – just sittin’ home and keyboarding!


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"1.3 million dollars"

Got verifiable source for that figure? Another figure mentioned is a few hundred thousand.

Now here's a simple question for all our local leftists. Assuming he does indeed owe the got money, why would they send armed agents to collect a DEBT. Does your finance company send someone to point a gun at you if you fail to repay your car loan? How about your mortgage holder?

Don't answer, leftists have shown they fully support the feds heavy handed tactics in many areas...

Here's hoping the feds try again and are stupid enough to shoot first. That will wake up a few people to how the fascist boot is now on our necks.


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Bob Moore: Bundy owes $200,000, not $1.3 million - the BLM made that number up.”

How odd that you make that spurious claim considering the court judgment specified an amount in excess of $1 million. Now, once again, where did you get that figure? And even if true the old guy is still a crook.

“He is perfectly willing to pay NV the fees…”

Too bad, so sad. He went to court – multiple times – and lost each and every time with the courts saying he must pay the federal grazing fees

“…the 50 solar plants Reid has planned with his Chinese buddies.”

Still wrong and yet you keep posting it. Why?

“They ARE a problem w/Reid's planned solar panel plants however.”

Senator Reid has not “planned solar poser pnel palnst.” Where do come up with this trash?

“Reid's problem, Bundy doesn't scare as easy as the other 50+ ranchers forced out.”

1) There were no “50+ ranchers forced out”, 2) It is not “Reid’s problem” it is strictly the problem of Bundy who owes the American taxpayers over a million dollars.


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Bob Moore:

Bundy owes $200,000, not $1.3 million - the BLM made that number up.

He is perfectly willing to pay NV the fees, not the BLM as these fees are "turtle" fees to drive him off the land for the 50 solar plants Reid has planned with his Chinese buddies. The area first designated as a turtle habitat Reid with his $150,000 2007 illegal donor friend (now in jail) got the BLM to ILLEGALLY move the area over ONTO BUNDY'S GRAZING LAND, THEN FINE HIM TO FORCE HIM OFF. First, the turtle wasn't a problem, just USED by feds. They ARE a problem w/Reid's planned solar panel plants however.

Reid's problem, Bundy doesn't scare as easy as the other 50+ ranchers forced out.


Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Oath Keepers in video, former Graham county sheriff said their battle plan was putting the women in front line, was their plan B to put the kids in line two as they did at Waco? What kind of patriot hides behind women' skirts, the Welfare Cowboy and his militia domestic terrorists, anyone can read up on the other group at the ranch Sovereign Citizens who do not believe in paying taxes, like to kill police officers!

Posted: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Article comment by: DOLLAR BILL

"Obama and his band of merry men/women continue to waste trillions"

Could you be more specific David? Please tell us the amounts and projects that the money was wasted on.

And don't use figures from thw clowns on faux news.


Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“They are so incensed about this farmer ‘wasting’ $1 million to make beef available for our tables…”

What a really ridiculous statement. Bundy did not “waste” anything. He saved himself over $1.3 million dollars by not paying his grazing fees for more than 20 years and made a ton of cash by selling the cattle “to make beef available for our tables,” that he had illegally grazed on public (i.e. OUR) land.

What part of the following don’t you get? He stopped paying grazing fees on public (i.e. OUR) land in 1993, he went to court claiming he did not have to pay, the court decided he was wrong and entered a judgment for the $1.3 million dollars, he refused to comply with the judgment, the court ordered the BLM to remove the cattle from public (i.e OUR) lands, he then threatened BLM officers with bodily harm.

Now enter the right wing, low-information bunch that showed up armed to the teeth with more threats of violence, setting up a sniper’s nest on a bridge-overpass and aiming a semi-automatic weapon at BLM officers.


Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: David Gaither

These "lefties" crack me up! They are so incensed about this farmer "wasting" $1 million to make beef available for our tables, BUT Obama and his band of merry men/women continue to waste trillions and nothing but praise from the "lefties"! Gotta love them!

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“…supposedly over grazing fees and the fact that Bundy hasn't paid them for years and years.”

Sometime Thurlow will actually do some research before posting utter nonsense - but don't hold your breath. A quick check shows that there is no “supposedly” involved. A lawsuit had been filed demanding the BLM collect the $1.3 million dollars owed by Bundy – it’s as simple as that. But for some reason the righties have decided that Bundy, who made his fortune by selling the beef he fed on public (i.e. OUR) land, can decide he’s not going to pay his grazing fees for more than 20 years (after paying for years past).

We will now watch and see how many of the other thousands upon thousands of “ranchers” decide not to pay for their use of public (i.e. OUR) land.


Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Things Go Better With Koch Athens

Amen Mr T:

I didn't see this article previously but not to forget our friend Searchlight Harry and son Rory whose Chinese solar plant Rory works for seems to need to go in in Clark Co right where some of the Bundy cattle graze.

Which is what this is really all about.

I am sorry they are now exterminating 700 of the 1400 turtles scooped up and put in their So Las Vegas compound until it went broke. The 700 are supposedly sick which shows you, had they left them the hell alone, they would all be fine and since they never were endangered in the first place....

What a mess. We wish the BLM was an endangered species, that would mean less of them around to control more land. What part of Management in their name don't they get?


Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

In the meantime, the Federal government under the aegis of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) OWNS that land and Bundy has been grazing his cattle on it without paying the miniscule grazing fees for decades. He owes the Federal government (that's us) over $1,000,000, which is money he is robbing from the taxpayers. It's time robbing ranchers started paying they just dues. This is just another excuse for the radical right to flap their gums and showoff their guns.

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: R H

HURRUMPH!!!! HURRUMPH !!!!
The entire episode reminds Me of Blazing Saddles with the BLM as Hedley LaMarr's gang and the Bundy Ranch as the Town of Rock Ridge . The only thing missing was a bunch of BLM employees eating beans around a campfire .




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