Monday, April 14, 2014

Bundy vs. the Feds - Rooting for Winter Again...

I read up on this Bundy vs. the Federal Government thing, and the long and short of it is that I think we’re looking at a battle between two shitty actors and trying to pick who we’re rooting for here, when we should be doing no such thing. As I've said before, it is okay to root for winter...  

On one hand, you’ve got a rancher claiming that because he’s always been able to use someone else’s property before, that he should be able to use it forever, regardless of the owner of that property changing the deal at some point in time.  Whether you think that’s right or not, it doesn’t actually work that way.  If I explicitly allow a person to graze cattle on my ground under permit for 50 years, I can retract that permission on year 51 and say “get off” and he doesn’t have any recourse.  Even IF my reasoning was stupid, like protecting a tortoise or wanting to sell my land to an energy conglomerate. 

You might say that the federal government shouldn’t own land.  Fine, that’s a different subject, to which a large extent I agree.  But the fact is that under our current system, they hold that land in trust for the beneficial use of every American citizen, not just Cliven Bundy.  Their reasons for excluding Cliven might be stupid.  Fine.  Let’s have a talk about that.  This is obviously a problem that is created when you transfer the ability to make rules from elected officials to sinecure-holding bureaucrats in an alphabet soup agency that shouldn’t exist. 

On the other hand, you’ve got a federal government that is just itching for these fights on all fronts.  They are tightening the noose on everyone, every chance that they get, and then acting shocked when people push back.  They act like they’ve got carte blanche to do what they want, when they want, and that they are our masters and we their subjects, when in fact, it is the opposite.  First amendment zone?  Really?  
This actually happened. Laughably.  Lamentably. But it did happen....
How about you go fuck yourself, G-man?  The entirety of America is my First Amendment zone, you pusillanimous crap for brains.

Hat tip to Claire Wolfe for this graphic...  
So you’ve got the old nazi’s vs. communists dilemma.  On one hand, I’m happy as hell to see the government get put in their place, and also that they showed some restraint instead of going full-on Lon Horiuchi on the protesters.  For once, government actors DE-escalated a situation, which I’ve never once seen in my lifetime.  So good on them.

But I don’t think that this is over.  I don’t think it is over by a mile.  The first pitched battle was won by the protestors, but the government won’t let this stand.  They CAN’T let it stand.  What message does it send that they can be driven off their own land by armed protestors? 

So they’ll be back, and once again in the long history of the west, blood will almost certainly be spilled over grazing rights.  There is nothing new here.  There is nothing new under the sun. 

My opinion is that the local government are the only people who can stop the inevitable bloodletting.  The governor needs to step in and put a stop to this, by first telling Bundy that he needs to get his cattle off of ground he has no right to have them on, and by second telling the feds to get the hell out of Nevada.  

I think that this is a perfect example of why I've said that the State should be an intermediary for the payment of any federal taxes of any form at all.  The feds shouldn't be able to collect taxes directly from the people, because it changes the power dynamic between the state and the feds.  The feds can bully the state because they can say "Oh, so you want to play tough guy, eh?  No highway funds for you!" and so every citizen in the State gets to drive on potholed roads because the State stood up for Cliven Bundy, or Cliven Bundy gets thrown under the bus for the common good.  

However, if the State collected taxes for the feds, the State could say "You want your money?  Then leave Cliven alone!" and the only people who suffer are the unelected technocrats who were shown that their power over the American Public is largely imaginary (as it should be).  

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