Last week an MSNBC host, Chris Hayes, a lefty of the leftiest persuasion, was interviewing Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore about the standoff in Bunkerville, the home of Cliven Bundy and his family. She supports Bundy so instead of answering any of Hayes’ rather simple, rational questions, she went off on rants that were nonsensical, non-sequiturs at best.
She did ask this one question: “…why the heck the federal government felt a need to come in armed to collect an unpaid bill?”
Well, for starters, for the most part law enforcement officials in this country are armed, whether they are federal, state or local law enforcement. So, wherever they go, even to collect an “unpaid bill” (as she so quaintly referred to the act), law enforcement folks in this country are going to be armed. Duh.
Second: the person being served, Cliven Bundy, has, for over two decades, refused to peacefully comply with the court orders to pay his fines and stop grazing his cattle in protected areas. And just last month he said he would fight the federal government, calling on his militia type friends, people with guns, to help him fight the federal government.
For the past 20 years he has been claiming the U.S. government doesn’t have any jurisdiction to enforce any federal laws in Nevada, or at least the part he wants to use so his cows can freeload (free range), allowing him to continue making money at tax payers’ expense.
Earlier this month he insisted the Sheriff of Clark County, Douglas Gillespie, disarm the federal officers, “Do his job!” Bundy demanded.
Really? Sort of makes you laugh when you watch the video. There’s the sheriff up on the stage with Bundy, letting the old lawbreaker incite his followers to wage a “range war” (Bundy’s words) against the federal government. You gotta be kidding. Makes you wonder if this guy’s seen too many old timey westerns.
According to Bundy and his cast of supporters, all Sheriff Gillespie has to do is tell the Feds to scram! Vamoose! Sheriff Gillespie has more authority than the federal government … except that Nevada law says otherwise. Gillespie has been cooperating with federal authorities throughout this situation.
On top of that, Cliven Bundy is a blatant racist.
In recent comments to the press, Bundy said, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro …”
In a New York Times story Bundy said he recalled driving past public-housing 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? 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.”
Now here’s a guy on whom you can hang your political future. He not only breaks the law by illegally grazing his cattle on protected habitat and refuses to pay grazing fees, he thinks “the negro” would be better of as slaves.
Nevada Senator Dean Heller came out in support of Bundy … but now he’s condemning the rancher for his racist remarks.
Haven’t heard from Assemblywoman Michele Fiore yet, she’s been busy standing tall for Bundy at his ranch in Bunkerville, which some supporters have referred to as “Bundyville.” Aw, that’s sweet. How does she feel about him now, after hitching her political wagon so publicly to Bundy, the law-breaking racist?
To be fair, that blatant racism appeals to a certain element of our society and many of those types are already supporting Bundy, so there is a small niche audience for that racism. And in America a person is free to be a racist and appeal to other racists; and others are free to support racists who are flaunting their criminal activity.
A person is even free to call Cliven Bundy a patriot — who claims the United States doesn’t even exist as a nation. So maybe Fiore is happy to pin her political future to the racists of Clark County. But it’s not likely she will get many other supporters if she continues to cling so tightly to Bundy.
So this guy, Cliven Bundy, who has been in violation of the law for over 20 years; a criminal who has lost cases in both federal and state court over his illegal grazing, threatens violence against federal law enforcement officers that are going to his ranch to collect his debt — he’s being hailed as a patriotic hero by every right wing nut bar cheerleader, from Sean Hannity to birther nut Alex Jones.
Cliven Bundy is the guy who said in a radio interview, “I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.”
How is a guy who denies the existence of this nation a patriot? Oh yeah, he had a video shot of him holding an American flag while riding his horse. The hypocrisy of it is mind-boggling. Even more astounding: Bundy and his supporters are so overcome by this insanity they can’t even see the hypocrisy.
If he doesn’t believe the U.S. government — in other words, the United States of America — exists, why does he pose with American Flags? And then tell his supporters he’s “… proud to be an American,” if he claims to not even recognize the U.S.?
Why indeed. He’s a liar and scofflaw, a taker of the worst sort. He gets federal handouts in the form of cheap grazing rights, but he can’t even abide by those subsidies and continues to graze his cattle for free.
He claims his family has owned that land since the 1870’s, when in reality it’s only been in his family since the 1940’s. He claims to abide by the laws of Nevada — except the part of the Nevada Constitution that says Nevadans are first and foremost U.S. citizens, bound by all federal laws.
The “Preliminary Action” of the Nevada State Constitution, from the state’s website reads: “Whereas,
The Act of Congress Approved March Twenty First A.D. Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Four ‘To enable the People of the Territory of Nevada to form a Constitution and State Government and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the Original States,’ requires that the Members of the Convention for framing said Constitution shall, after Organization, on behalf of the people of said Territory, adopt the Constitution of the United States.—Therefore, Be it Resolved,
“That the Members of this Convention, elected by the Authority of the aforesaid enabling Act of Congress, Assembled in Carson City the Capital of said Territory of Nevada, and immediately subsequent to its Organization, do adopt, on behalf of the people of said Territory the Constitution of the United States[.]”
But I guess old Mr. Bundy missed that part of the state Constitution he claims to abide, or maybe it isn’t in his handy pocketsize Constitution he carries with him and often refers to when he’s misquoting it.
Oh, and his claim that this is political retribution by Senator Harry Reid and an effort to secure the land for Reid’s son who, Bundy alleges, is working for a Chinese solar energy firm that wants the land for a solar energy farm … it’s all conspiracy nut bullshit.
The Bureau of Land Management, along with the U.S. Forestry Service, needs to head back to Bunkerville and finally confiscate Bundy’s herd, arrest the guy — and everyone threatening federal officials with weapons in support of Bundy — and put an end to this criminal activity.
The rest of America is expected to recognize and obey the laws of the land; those that don’t pay the fines and some go to jail. It’s time for this Bundy character to do the same.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.