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home : opinion : editorials September 30, 2014


4/27/2014 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: An ode to the rancher from Bunkerville

Alan Choate
News Editor


Cliven Bundy. You either really dig that guy or you think he's a freeloader and responsibility-dodger who's giving a bad name to ranchers everywhere.

I fall into the "freeloader" camp. This guy's had 20 years to work something out with the Bureau of Land Management about grazing cattle on public land, and his response is to keep digging his hole, while also surrounding himself with sycophantic armed people who think it's a good idea to threaten violence over a herd of cows.

And then there are the latest comments. Here's the full New York Times recounting:

"Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, 'and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids - and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch - they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.

'And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?' he asked. 'They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom.' "

If you go into a yoga pretzel backward dog contortionist pose, you can maybe, in a very limited way, give him a break on some of what he was saying. In his framing, he was wondering if people who have all their basic needs taken care of by "government subsidy" will develop a work ethic and endeavor to better themselves.

Of course they will. "Government subsidy" covers basics. If someone wants more, they'll seek it - but without investments by we, the people, in education, in mentoring, in health and infrastructure, and in making capital available to those who aren't already rich, the opportunities to do so are limited.

And now I will put on my Capt. Obvious hat and add this: Bundy was wrong. It's better to be on welfare than to be someone's property.

This has been inspiring. Like, song-writing inspiring, even if I have to tread upon one of my first favorite songs: Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy."



I've been grazing this land so long

And paying less than a song

I know every bush in this scrubby outpost of desert

The BLM's after my herd, but all I did was say one

word and I've got an army

There's been a load of bull and hustle

As I faced the federal muscle

And now all the camera lights are shining on me!



I'm a welfare cowboy

With a media wave that says my cattle don't have to go

Just a welfare cowboy

Backed up by people with rifles that I don't even know

And I can just bask in the glow



Well I said America don't exist

But there's also this little twist

I wanted to use U.S. courts, but it didn't go my way

A million bucks that I owe?

How 'bout if I stall, and get famous and put on a show?

I wrap myself in Old Glory

But I'm just the same ol' story

A guy who wants it all my way, and wants it for free!



I'm a welfare cowboy

Grazing cattle on public land without a cost to me

Just a welfare cowboy

Saying black people would be OK back in slavery

Oh please, point the cameras at me



And, by the way, David Allan Coe claims that he's the original Rhinestone Cowboy.

Just putting that out there.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"An absolutely amazing leap in logic."

Thanks and with just a single bound too.



Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"...therefore any other ones are feds."

An absolutely amazing leap in logic. My use of dim-bulb "militia" was pointing out the fools hiding behind K-rails and taking aim at BLM officers with high-powered weapons.

There were - as evidenced by video - hundreds of others who were simply the usual gawkers attracted to anything from car wrecks to silly old fools who don't pay their bills. And of course they were not "Feds." Unless you have some evidence to the contrary.


Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"So you "know" they are feds because........? Curious response."

You claimed they were feds surely you remember posting several times ' "militia” members hiding behind K-rails.', therefore any other ones are feds. This is your claim AN. Own it.



Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"...it is obvious to anyone who looks at them that there are not large letters on vests of all the feds.'

So you "know" they are feds because........? Curious response.


Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"I don’t believe so, however they are readily identifiable by the vests they wear that have large letters on them indicating the agency they are associated with."

OK just wondering because, after just a cursory examination of the videos and photographs, it is obvious to anyone who looks at them that there are not large letters on vests of all the feds.




Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@DUH

“do the federal ones glow like knights in shining armor?”

I don’t believe so, however they are readily identifiable by the vests they wear that have large letters on them indicating the agency they are associated with.

The militia members are identifiable by their hiding behind K-rails while aiming high-powered weapons at federal officers.

See how easy that is and it does not employ any “special knowing” whatsoever, just a cursory examination of the videos and photographs. Try it.


Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"Hmm, curious how you are unable to discern actual federal officers from “militia” members hiding behind K-rails. "

why? do the federal ones glow like knights in shining armor? or is that some of your special "knowing"?



Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Bobber!! You have no clue as to what they were aiming at unless you were there and looking down their scope!!”

Yeah, I can accept that, but when you see a weapon pointed at a group of federal officers from a snipers nest it is not a great leap of logic to understand who those weapons are pointed at. I’m sure had you bothered to look at the plethora of photos and videos showing these people you would come to the same conclusion.

“Lol think bud!!!”

Well, BUD, it is difficult to draw any other conclusion from viewing both the videos and photos of what was going on. And as I have said before, why they were not arrested or shot on the spot is a conundrum.

And I am curious why you members of the Bundy Brigade are not protesting the actual seizure of land – owned land – from actual ranchers.


Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Bobber!! You have no clue as to what they were aiming at unless you were there and looking down their scope!! Just because someone is posted in a certain spot with a rifle doesnt mean they were "aiming" at anyone! You really think the cops are going to just sit there and say, " oh we have sniper hostile sniper rifles aimed at us, no big deal"" no!! Lol think bud!!!

Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"...all I got were federal snipers/merceneries pointing guns at the Bundy's."

How odd that your Internet is different from mine. Not one image of any Federal agent pointing anything other than a Tazer or a paintball gun. Of course, plenty of shots of the mercenary wannabe militia group members in firing positions with high powered rifles.


Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Funny! I put Bundy Snipers in a search engine as Bob Moore suggested and all I got were federal snipers/merceneries pointing guns at the Bundy's.”

Hmm, curious how you are unable to discern actual federal officers from “militia” members hiding behind K-rails.

”Federal Snipers Train Guns on Family For Filming Cattle...”

And no matter how many times you have been asked you have never told us where we can find this “film.” Why is that, oh wait, I know – IT DOESN’T EXIST because it never happened.

“Sheriff Mack: federal snipers at Bundy ranch are mercenaries ...”

Oh, yeah, he’s the guy who wanted to put women and children up front and let them be killed. Yeah, good source that one.
”Thanks - Case closed.”

Nope – it still comes down to Bundy being a thief who stole fro the American people for over two decades, lost multiple times in court and like a little kid decided he doesn’t “recognize” our government and called for “militia” help.

And where is your ire over actual landowners having their property taken away by the government?


Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Funny! I put Bundy Snipers in a search engine as Bob Moore suggested and all I got were federal snipers/merceneries pointing guns at the Bundy's.

Snipers, tasers, and steer: the great Nevada range war ...

Federal Snipers Train Guns on Family For Filming Cattle...
None of the family members were armed, but as soon as Dave Bundy began filming the cattle in the distance, 11 BLM vehicles each with two agents arrived and surrounded ...


Sheriff Mack: federal snipers at Bundy ranch are mercenaries ...

Thanks - Case closed.


Posted: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Yes, I've already written about the rancher at Red Lake, Texas! Tommy Henderson, Feds. took 390 acres and want another 90,000.

You want your taxes going to a pot smoking, wannabe rock star in his thirties who thumbs his nose at you and all other Americans getting his $200 mo. food stamps.
Yes, in the Bible (too tired to look up for you, find it yourself) talks about those who can but don't work not entitled to eat.
Don't go your own hypocritical rant about being or not being Christian.
Being a Christian does mean you let people walk all over you and put up with others attacking you using Christianity as a tool to do so.



Posted: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

@AN.....could you provide detailed backup for your assertion that Bundy's 52 neighbouring ranchers lost everything due to their abuses of BLM grazing privileges? Aside from that statement contradicting every detailed account I have read of the situation (where, in fact, the ranchers were pressured into agreeing with impossible BLM demands, which cost them their livelihoods - something Bundy would not go along with), it doesn't make much sense to me - that 52 long-established ranching families would knowingly engage in prolonged reckless behaviour to the point where they lost everything.

Posted: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Mr. Moore, I have addressed the issue of fed. govt. pursuing other rancher and trying to take their land.”

And curiously none of the apocryphal stories you have posted seem to pan out. Why is that? All I see are stories about public (i.e. our) lands being removed as grazing areas due to misconduct by those who allowed to use the publics (i.e. ours) land..

“Otherwise, yeah let him starve to death if he doesn't want to work for his food!”

Spoken as true, compassionate conservative “Christian.” Pathetic.

And I am still waiting for one of you Bundy Supporters to explain why you are not up in arms – literally – over peoples land that they actually own (not the bogus claims of a lying old thief about public [i.e. our] land) being taken away from them? Where is the ire? Where is the “militia” defending those lands? Why won’t you speak out against this outrage and usurpation of the people’s right to the sovereignty of their own land?


Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

" I don't want my little black to grow up and marry a little white honkey kid any more than you want your little white kid to grow up and marry my black child".

Well..that says it all about you AND her. At least you admit it...thanks for that. My how the mores have changed from 40 years ago...thank heavens!


Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Mr. Moore, I have addressed the issue of fed. govt. pursuing other rancher and trying to take their land. One is in the Tex. panhandle on Red Lake which borders Oklahoma, they took 350/390 and want another 90,000 acres.
Where have you been?
As for the beach bum in Calif., I have listened and watched him as reporters go with and talk with him.
Yeah, he is physically fine he just chooses to take advantage of the system with no remorse because according to him, "It isn't my fault the system is et up as it is". They should take him, throw his butt in military basic training and teach him how to be a man!! Otherwise, yeah let him starve to death if he doesn't want to work for his food!




Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Should the person pulling you over happen to be the impersonator and you tell him you are calling to verify, could set him off causing him to break the window to get to you.
Hope you find the creep soon.

As for officers resigning or retiring, there should be strict policy in place at every law enforcement dept. for disposing of uniforms and having seen police officer badges for sale in a shop downtown, it should be highest level felony to buy/sale a law enforcement badge!
If any officer lacks the pride of his time on any department he shouldn't be able to keep that badge!


Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

The racial card, I had a wonderful Black friend some years back. She was a nut, kind of as I am. When a DPS Sgt's wife killed herself, Elaine would come over after our children were asleep (husband home w/hers).
I'd been devastated over the death of Bobbie. Elaine and I talked a lot and very candidly on issues, with no animosity or hurt feelings over them.
As Elaine put it to me, " I don't want my little black to grow up and marry a little white honkey kid any more than you want your little white kid to grow up and marry my black child". Friends is good but as we both agreed that was it.
Cliven Bundy was making a point of how the govt. has intervened in the lives of the Black community and questioned if some are better off now because of it? I think that's a legitimate debate!
Bill O'Reilly has pointed the oppression of the Black community in Chicago and where are the Black leaders and why are they not more involved in turning the tide in the cities for these younger people.
Mrs. Obama wants to tell everyone what to eat, why isn't she spending more of her time going to Black communities and the schools inspiring these young kids and giving them hope and helping them have a sense of potential instead?

We see it all the time, Black leaders attacking Black conservatives!


Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014
Article comment by: DOLLAR BILL

Stevie Nicks, David?

What about the conservative's hero? Ted Nugent! (check his military record)

You still haven't answered my questions.


Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@AS

“Cliven Bundy wasn't the original fed. govt. target of this mess, his father was battling this same issue and had been long before his death…”

So his old man was stealing from the American taxpayers as well by making money grazing cattle on public (i.e. OUR) land without paying grazing fees! Thank you for that information. Oh, by the way Daddy Bundy was never targeted, but he should have been.

“Cliven Bundy has paid fees to the state of Nev.”

So what? The issue is his refusal to pay his federal grazing fees as signed into law by Ronald the Dim.

“The 30 something beach bum getting $200.00 a month in food stamps?”

Your assessment of this individual being a “beach bum” is, well, never mind…you know. And you would rather have this man die? Typical rightie.

And why aren’t you and the rest of Bundy Brigade upset about actual ranchers (not welfare kings who squat on public land) who are losing their actual, owned lands as “the government” takes away their property? Where is your ire? Where is the militia? Where are the guns? So far not a one of you has spoken out about this outrage!


Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Cliven Bundy wasn't the original fed. govt. target of this mess, his father was battling this same issue and had been long before his death, Cliven picked it up from there.
Cliven Bundy has paid fees to the state of Nev.. And not state income tax as Nev. has no state income tax.

For you who are so bent on issue of welfare, where's your outrage against Jeff Greeslate of La Jolla, Calf.? The 30 something beach bum getting $200.00 a month in food stamps? What about those tax dollars??


Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

"Funny seeing the support for Clive by the right wing, the Republicans, FoxNews, and our own Mohave County Tea Party folks (10 of them were able to take time off their jobs or their welfare to journey up there)"

Yes, but did you see how quickly Bundy was abandoned when it turned racist? That's not something a political party wants to support in the public forum.


Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Article comment by: It's Not Welfare When It's Called Subsidies

Alan, you're the man. And the publisher of the Miner needs to recognize your contribution. You've written another intelligent column which has gathered more attention than those written by other editors, letter to the editors, etc. Another words, your words has stirred readership. Good man.

Oh, by the way you are correct. This Bundy guy is as actually worst than Al Bundy since at least Al goes out and earns his living while Clive mooches off all of us. Indeed a Welfare Cowboy. Funny seeing the support for Clive by the right wing, the Republicans, FoxNews, and our own Mohave County Tea Party folks (10 of them were able to take time off their jobs or their welfare to journey up there).


Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@Teeje

“deflection, deflection...and you don't know that anyone "aimed" rifles at anyone…”

In order to prevent your further embarrassment I suggest you do a search for “Bundy Snipers” and you can see the hiding behind K-rails in sniper nests and taking aim at BLM Officers.

“…as that would be illegal and a threat of death…”’’

Agreed and why these fools were not arrested or shot is a mystery to me.

“…so the truth is probably a better statement to state as well as actually addressing the statements made towards you bud.”

Well, “BUD”, I will expect an apology once you have seen that – as usual – you were grossly mistaken in your attack upon me. Thank you.



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