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Ranchers Hammond and Bundy: the Best of America
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Cliven Bundy. Credit: Washington Post
Cliven Bundy. Credit: Washington Post

America, as one wag put it, is a “post-constitutional” country. Even worse, a plurality of Americans has now turned, en masse, against the First Principles of its founding. The organizing principle that currently informs American thinking is statism. It’s the state über alles: its laws, and the foot soldiers that enforce hundreds of thousands of arbitrary rules.

This sorry state-of-affairs is abundantly clear from the standoff between farmers and Fédérales, brewing in Burns, Oregon.

To look at rancher Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son, Steven, 46, is to see the salt of the earth; the best of America. Any decent American ought to be able to see that these family ranchers, so different from politically connected agribusiness, are better and braver than all of us city slickers put together.

We slickers consume the rancher’s grass-fed, organic, “local” beef, while we cheer his oppression. Fellini, the Italian film maker who excelled at portraying corruption of the soul, as expressed in the decay of the flesh, could not have set the scene better. The idiom of Greek Tragedy works, too:

Our protagonists are the two ranchers aforementioned—sentenced to five years in jail, due to a double-jeopardy like maneuver by the federal government.

The Antagonists are the federal government, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service, the courts, who’ve come down upon citizens with limited resources, citizens whom this Federal juggernaut is supposed to serve, not screw.

Other Antagonists in this morality play are the chorus of trash-talking radio, TV mouths and assorted bobbing heads (Republicans and Democrats), who say they care for The Folks but don’t know good folks when they see them.

Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon, has come to stand in solidarity with Dwight and Steven Hammond. The case of the Bundys of Bunkerville, Nevada, is instructive in understating the First Principles involved in the Oregon standoff.

In 2014, the BLM had come to steal Cliven Bundy’s cattle, in lieu of back taxes the BLM claims the rancher has owed it since 1993, when Bundy stopped paying grazing fees. The Bundys had homesteaded the disputed land, southwest of Mesquite, in 1877. Bundy’s forefathers had lived off the land well before the Bureau of Land Grabs came into being. The Feds subsequently passed laws usurping Bundy’s natural right to graze his cattle. The elderly rancher offered the following rejoinder: “I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. … I can raise cattle there because I have preemptive rights,’ among them the right to forage.”

Also edifying, via The Conservative Tree House, is that “the Hammonds were forced to grant the BLM first right of refusal.” In other words, were “the Hammonds ever to sell their ranch, they would have to sell it to the BLM.” The BLM may get its way, for how are the Hammond women to pay the shakedown fines levied by the Fédérales? These amount to hundreds and thousands of dollars. How will the wives continue the Sisyphean struggle against the federal occupier, and, simultaneously, run the ranches sans the men?

Here we arrive at the “Catastrophe,” also an element in Greek tragedy.

These family farms will go under; will be absorbed into the federal government’s national parks project. Eventually, the cattle rancher will go the way of the practitioner of free-market medicine: extinct. Should these families be driven to extinction qua farmers, where will liberals (I include “naysayer” conservatives) get their “local,” organic, grass-fed beef? Where will said beef be raised once America’s frontier men and women have been driven off the land of their ancestors?

Joining the Hammonds as protagonists are other Oregonian ranchers. All have spoken of coming under similar siege. Hundreds of ranchers are being squeezed by the BLM, which is making it increasingly difficult for them to raise and graze cattle.

Many of Oregon’s ranchers settled the Harney Basin in the 1870s. They homesteaded the land. In the 1970s, Fish and Wildlife, in conjunction with the BLM, began driving ranchers off the land with the view to increasing the federal government’s holdings. Perhaps cattle operations are viewed as antithetical to conservation. They aren’t.

Central planners are antithetical to conservation.

Family ranchers—small-scale commercial farmers—who depend on pristine land for their own survival, are better stewards of it than far-removed federal agencies under whose “stewardship” hundreds of thousands of acres and animals combust yearly, together with lives and property.

If the Hammonds are jailed for unintentionally losing control of a backfire, so should BLM agents, whose gross mismanagement causes death and destruction every summer.

Although he didn’t originate it, Barack Obama has continued this rapacious federal feeding frenzy by greatly expanding the national government’s land grab under the Antiquities Act. The number of livestock ranchers are permitted to raise has been drastically reduced, and grazing rights ruthlessly restricted on homesteaded land.

My book, “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lesson For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” documents the ghastly fate of livestock on Afrikaner farms seized for distribution to South Africa’s black, subsistence farmers. The chapter, “Killing God’s Creatures,” laments “the expiration in agony of animals” in the throes of death from starvation and dehydration, a harbinger of the fate of the Hammond cattle, if BLM barbarians persist in fencing-off the family’s water sources. But liberals don’t much care, so long as private property is nationalized or distributed.

The BLM centrally plans and calibrates the number of livestock ranchers can carry and it rations the amount of grazing animals can do. How tragic and wicked it is that Americans (including an intelligentsia that is not very intelligent) still fail to grasp that when a resource comes under central-planner control it is mismanaged and subsequently destroyed (California, anyone?). Only the rancher knows how many animals his land will support and how much feed they require to thrive.


Too few livestock doing too little grazing results in surplus grass. This is a tinderbox for fire. Frantic, the Hammnods lit backfires to protect their animals’ winter feed. A backfire is “a fire started in the path of an oncoming fire in order to deprive it of fuel and thereby control or extinguish it.” Once a fire burns (almost always generally due to BLM mismanagement), the agency will further restricts land-use for years to come.

The Hammonds, and hundreds of families like them, are caught in a maelstrom of the federal government’s making.

While Donald Trump had aced questions about Cliven Bundy, he has yet to speak his mind about the peaceful, symbolic squatting at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, by Ammon and Ryan Bundy’s Citizens for Constitutional Freedom. In 2014, Trump said this: “I like [Bundy], I like his spirit, his spunk and the people that are so loyal.”

So far, so good.

Bravo, too, to Rick Santorum, who told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that his support for the ranchers in their fight against Federal nationalization of land was unreserved.

The standoff in Oregon will continue to separate the men from the scurrying mice.

It goes without saying that little robot Rubio was with Ted Cruz in “decry[ing] the occupation as ‘lawless’ and urg[ing] those involved in the standoff to pursue what they wanted through more lawful, constructive means,” like selling their land and leaching off taxpayers, Rubio style.

In that insufferable nasal twang, statist Cruz slobbered over law-enforcement “risking their lives” (where? when?) for a paycheck, but had nothing nice to say about American heroes, the men and women who work the land and risk their lives for liberty.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Bundy Family, Constitutional Theory 
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  1. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    The elites have betrayed the people.

    The people followed the elites in war and peace.

    When elites said, Do This, the people did it.

    When elites said, Go There and Fight, the people went there and fought.

    So, what do the people get in return for this service to the elites?

    Look in US, UK, Germany, Sweden, and etc.

    The elites stab the people in the back and favor masses of darkies.

    This is what you get for being sheeple.

    We need a new nationalism that is truly for the people.

    The elites try to elect a new people. The people must select a new elite.

    A true elite tries to improve the people and put the people to good use.

    But globalist elites feel no such responsibility. If they have problems with their own people, they just figure on importing scab-like immigrants.
    Since the elites can just recruit new people from around the world, the native people are left to rot, especially with morass of trashy pop culture.

    In a way, it all makes sense. The powerful despise the slavish and loyal. The people of EU and US have been too sheepish to the elites, and the elites feel nothing but contempt for them.
    Elites in the US insult white people for being ‘too angry’ when, in fact, the main problem has been that white people haven’t been angry enough.

    White Americans served the elites most loyally. They even went to fight in Vietnam and Iraq. But the elites give a middle finger to the people and just call for more immigration.

  2. Screw that SOB Cruz and his Goldman Sachs wife.

    There has been a long train of abuses. We are now a nation of “Men”- not laws.

    The time for dialogue is over.

  3. Ben_C says:

    Without the “rule of law” there really isn’t anything…at least in terms of a “society”

    The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said ‘This is mine’, and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society.

    -Jean-Jacques Rousseau,

    While this can be discussed for a long time, if you go down this road then “private property” itself, something that isn’t real without the state (among other things) doesn’t exist either. Then what?

    Is this what want and are advocating for?

  4. @Priss Factor

    White Americans served the elites most loyally. They even went to fight in Vietnam and Iraq. But the elites give a middle finger to the people and just call for more immigration.

    Pitiful whining. It’s like the strikebreaker who entreats the boss, “I scabbed, and now you’re laying me off!”

  5. Art says:

    Ranchers Hammond and Bundy: The Best of America

    Hear Hear — what a great heading for this article.

    I watched the Waco killings by the government on live TV. It was the worst feeling I ever had for my country. When it comes to government – I became an adult that day.

    The authorities were running around the Waco compound like crazy people in tanks with American flags on long whip polls. When the fire started they would not let in the fire trucks. They were crazy with self indulgent righteousness.

    I have never ever trusted government since – period.

    p.s. The same goes for the Jew MSM – they were egging on the government to do more – to take out those evil religious Christian people who were raping children (a total lie).

    • Replies: @Rurik
  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You are an idiot.

    • Replies: @Stan D Mute
  7. David says:

    Any decent American ought to be able to see that these family ranchers, so different from politically connected agribusiness, are better and braver than all of us city slickers put together.

    Completely ridiculous.

    • Replies: @Kristen
  8. Rehmat says:
    @Priss Factor

    The only thing the American Whites have served is their personal greed, racism and loyalty to Israel. Take for example, pastor John Hagee, one of America’s top pro-Israel Evangelic preacher. Sometime he is so obsessed with state of Israel that he forgets to mention his Lord Jesus during his sermons. He is founder of ‘Christians United for Israel’. In his book In Defense of Israel, Hagee says that Jesus did not come on earth to be the ‘Promised Hebrew Messiah’. In 2010, Hagee called Iranian president “Hitler of Middle East”. In July 2011, while addressing ‘Christians United for Israel’ annual convention in Washington DC, the anti-Christ Pastor advised Ahmadinejad not to threaten Israel.

    One of Hagee’s ‘holy gaffe’ came during his 2013 sermon ‘God’s message for men’. Hagee spent most of his sermon explaining that men are different from women because their brains don’t function the same way. To prove his point, Hagee brought-up September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as an example of how men and women reacted to the tragic event.

    Hagee said that while women showed sympathy for those trapped inside the World Trade Center (what about the passengers in the so-called 4-hijacked planes?), the men wanted to know who was in charge.

    Hagee answered his own question by saying that after 9/11 attacks “Alexander Haig actually said I’m in-charge here”. None of Pastor Hagee’s Zionist Christian sheep questioned his ignorance.

    Gen. Alexander Haig (died 2010), former secretary of state and Supreme Allied Commander-Europe (SACEUR), made that statement on March 30, 1981, when president Ronald Reagan was shot at during his address at the AFL-CIO union gathering at the Washington Hilton hotel.

    • Replies: @Aurelius
  9. in the largest but precise sense, what has been done to successful White farmers/ranchers (“Kulaks”, in Jewspeak) in America by the BLM (see: Neil Kornze) and other Jew-infested ZOG agencies is a slow-motion repeat of what the Judeo-communists did to the private farmers (“Kulaks”, in Jewspeak) in the Ukraine and elsewhere in the Red Empire during the 1930’s: complete liquidation, first economic and then via physical mass murder. There was actually a parallel foreshadowing of this in America during the 1930’s; cf. the so-called documentary film “The Plow That Broke the Plains” – blaming the Dust Bowl on “private small farmers” – and similar propaganda artifacts of Roosevelt’s communistJew-infested regime.

    Contra Ms. Issacson a.k.a. Mercer, though, it remains a sad fact that the Hammonds – unlike the Bundy Ranch confrontation – have chosen not to resist the destruction of their ranch and lives by Kornze et al. You cannot fight effectively for those who refuse to defend themselves. I was not at Bundy Ranch…but I did help fund the successful resistance by contributing a week’s-worth of my own food budget. No pizza this time. Ammon and his friends – a couple of whom appear to be .gov provocateurs – need to go home. And thanks for the info re cuckservatives Cruz and Rubio, the former of whom will most likely be the Republiscams’ Prez nominee

    finally, someone should point out to Senator-married-to-GoldmanSachs Cruz that the Hammonds have already been apportioned their “legal remedy”: 5 years in the Pen for attempting to stop the Feds from burning down their ranch

  10. Rurik says:

    When it comes to government – I became an adult that day.

    me too Art

    the Waco siege and aftermath was my moment of clarity

    I was forced to realize that the US federal government was a demonic snake pit of fiends

    recently I watched a documentary on that event and it shows unequivocally that there was automatic machine gun fire into the only exit as the building was being torched. (the FBI has admitted that it lied about using flammable gas canisters during that final siege – they did) It doesn’t take a genius to realize that people would be trying to escape the flames, and the medical examiner was interviewed and said bodies were piled up at the exit full of bullet holes. You could tell he was deeply effected by it.

    It was the job of our federal government to protect those people, and especially the children, but instead, they burned them alive. And why? Because they would not submit totally to the Clinton regime’s federal government.

    I have my own views of the human animal, and I’m not one or those who believes there’s an all knowing God in the sky dispensing justice. No, I see the human animal as barely above the rest of the great apes, but unlike the peaceable and agreeable Bonobo chimps for instance, or the regal and magnanimous might of the gorilla, we humans are far more like the baboon, who once in power, are always demanding displays of submission and fealty from the entire troop. They can not countenance any sass; it seems to drive them near apoplectic.

    How different are we?

    They humiliated and brutalized and then put Jesus on that cross to die slowly because he defied their earthly authority. And they burned those people alive in that church in Waco because Koresh was defying their authority as they saw it, and it drove them literally insane with psychotic rage.

    Now today, thank God that it’s Obama in the White House and not Clinton, because when that bitch was last in the White House, American children were being deliberately set to flames. And seeing how she conducted herself as Secretary of State, and as Gadhafi was tortured to death to her cackling, I’m sure she cackled at the screams of those children too as they slowly cooked alive. And I don’t believe that she could countenance this defiance from these white men today. Obama, for all his failings, isn’t the power-crazed baboon that Hilligula Clinton is. And let’s hope that he (and sanity) can contain the baboons who make up most of the fecal government today.

    that’s my little prayer to the universe

    • Replies: @Threecranes
  11. Tick Tock says:

    Is this some kind of sick satirical joke.

    The article is akin to what comes from the last part of the GI tract of these ranchers cattle.

    • Replies: @jtgw
  12. Cranky says:


    Scamming LDS sinners are not the best of the country!!!

    They grazed the land under rent- not as owners- I am an owner of that land as a citizen, and they scammed me.

    Period. End of story.

    As for their occupation- eff em- arrest them, and take away their rights to their toy guns.

    That would serve them right- no more popguns.

    Post constitutional my ass- they have more rights to guns than folks did 200 years ago- after all they can go and buy them for dang near nothing, whereas 200 years ago it took 3-6 months wages to buy a decent used gun.

    Well regulated militia clause is of course, totally ignored- and these morons are certainly not regulated.

    Just more idiots like Shay- which our founding fathers promptly put down after trying to talk sense into them.

    The frontiers are always full of idiots- we need a new frontier to send them out to settle and get rid of them from civilization. Because they can’t handle civilization- it requires following the rules and living within boundaries.

    I particularly like the native americans telling them to get out of the wildlife refuge- it was ours before you came to complain the feds stole it from you ‘uns!

    • Replies: @Francis Marion
  13. Aurelius says:

    Do you have ANY thoughts unrelated to Jews and Zionists? Please return to your desert homelands. Believe me, there are many whites who consider you an unwelcome alien. You evolved to live in the desert regions of the planet. That is where you belong.

    • Replies: @Avery
  14. Kristen says:

    Why is that ridiculous? There’s something Jeffersonian about a family working farm or ranch land. It is their land. They worked it. They own it. And frankly, I admire them for pushing back against the government.

    Have you ever met a ranching family, David? If not, please do.

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @David
  15. DCBillS says:

    When they show their deed to the land (which is mine and yours) that they are using they may warrant sympathy. Not before. The term that applies is “welfare ranchers.”

    • Replies: @Art
  16. Svigor says:

    Pitiful whining. It’s like the strikebreaker who entreats the boss, “I scabbed, and now you’re laying me off!”

    1. You’ve made it pretty clear you don’t care for the working class.
    2. You’ve made it pretty clear you’re not working class, but some form of snobby aristocrat type socialist.

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  17. Biff says:

    “We had an equally strange situation on the west side of the refuge,” said refuge manager Forest Cameron. “It was a place where cows would wander down off of BLM lands and onto the road at night. We’d had quite a few cow and car collisions. So we decided to put up a fence. You can’t just let cows lie down to sleep in the middle of a public highway in the middle of the night. That’s got to change. And there was fierce resistance to it, even though we worked closely with a lot of the local ranchers, relocated their corrals and the like. So we put up five miles of fence and then one night somebody hotwired one of the BLM backhoes and knocked down every foot of fence, tore up every fence post and demolished the backhoe. The point is that the harassment and intimidation continues in an open and confrontational way. In fact, it is branching out. Many of us feel that the legal process hasn’t moved swiftly or aggressively enough. We’ve been hanging in a kind of limbo. Maybe things will eventually work out. But right now all of us live in a state of anxiety. And you really worry about your kids.”

    As for being a federal wildlife official in the West these days, Cameron chuckled darkly and said, “Well, it’s about learning to keep your head down.”

  18. jtgw says:
    @Tick Tock

    I agree with much of what Ilana says, but to me it’s a bit rich for her to condemn the “statist” Cruz when she has been so vocal in support of Donald “Eminent Domain and National Healthcare” Trump.

  19. Biff says:

    Have you ever met a ranching family, David?

    I have, in fact, many. I grew up working on various ranches in North Park Colorado. Most where nice, but there were some that were flat out rogue jerk face assholes – kind of like the rest of the world.

  20. Corporate-controlled US federal government.

    Meaning Wallstreet/Agribusiness wants to eradicate small – medium businesses. Only big megacorps they controll must stay.

    The Wallstreet monopolies (Goldman Sachs crime syndicate e.a. on top) morph into state-enforced Colchozen.

    Corporate communism in the US.


    -End the FED
    – limit private equity 100 million \$ per capita
    – limit corporate size 5% of market

  21. David says:

    I agree. I admire people who take care of themselves and their families in responsible ways. I guess I see “something Jeffersonian” about lots of roles in society that involve an ownership.

    To me, it’s stupid to believe a career or lifestyle makes someone better than everyone in every major American city, combined. Writing can be a throught process that leads to sound conclusions or it can be full of nonsense declarations like, “ranchers have halos.”

  22. Avery says:


    apparently the anti-Christian IslamoFascist individual lives comfortably somewhere in North America, courtesy of Christians, and endlessly spews anti-West, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-American hate-vomit on a web site funded and run by a Jewish-American.

    Typical ingrate IslamoFascist behaviour.

    “You evolved to live in the desert regions of the planet. That is where you belong.”: Funny.

  23. Art says:

    When they show their deed to the land (which is mine and yours) that they are using they may warrant sympathy. Not before. The term that applies is “welfare ranchers.”

    In English common law when two parties have an ongoing working understanding between them, it becomes an enforcible contract. If one party unilaterally breaks the contract – then they are in the wrong. These grazing rights are a long established contract. The government is in the wrong.

    Of course if you have the big guns, as the government does – right and wrong and long standing contracts are meaningless.

    p.s. We the American people benefit from this grazing in the form of healthy protein and lower beef prices.

    p.s. These government bureaucrats are thugs and should be treated as so.

  24. Max Payne says:

    The Bundy’s are terrorists. The only thing that saves them from the distinction is the fact they don’t touch their head to the ground 5 times a day.

    If they did this entire “stand off” would be over in a day or two. Waco-style.

  25. @Svigor

    Well, do you support the line of pitiful whining that I criticized or not? Do you think the American working class actually merits praise for accepting imperialist war? (An acceptance expressing the betrayal of workers’ interests by the labor bureaucracy.)

    I’m not personally a worker (nor aristocrat – petty bourgeois, probably like you). I see my own interests, however, aligned with the working class – I fancy I can see beyond appearances.

    As to “caring for the working class” – I leave the signaling of “caring” to social workers, bleeding-heart liberals, sjws, cuckservatives, and white nationalists.]

  26. biz says:

    This is silly and counterfactual.

    The public lands in the West are a public resource. We (meaning US citizens collectively) either purchased them at some point from the US treasury (e.g. Gadsden Purchase, Alaska) or won them with the blood and sweat of Americans in war (Mexican Cession) or with the threat of war (Pacific NW). Turning them over to a private interest for free would be the height of corruption.

    There is no legitimate case that ranchers should automatically get to use public resources for free. Since there are multiple conflicting priorities for public land use – ranching, oil and gas development, conservation, open space – simple economics says that land use needs to have a price.

    Ranchers simply need to pay a reasonable fee for the use of BLM lands, and not use lands that have been designated for other purposes, such as Wildlife Refuges. The Bundys refused to pay their fees, and the Hammonds committed arson. Arson is bullshit, a crime against life and property, and they should not get off lightly for it. The Bundys should shut up and pay their fees, and if they don’t like their fees then get involved in the political process.

    • Replies: @jtgw
  27. jtgw says:

    “Public resources” is a dangerous concept. In the US, the government has the power to force private landowners to sell, what’s called eminent domain. Any forced contract like that should be invalid, but it’s a power of the government that goes back to the Fifth Amendment. In any case, progressives like to think the government answers to the people and this somehow gives legitimacy to government over the private individual, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even aside from whether a tyranny of the majority should outweigh individual rights, there’s the empirical fact that the politicians are in the pockets of big businesses. As long as the government has lots of power to redistribute wealth, the rich and well-connected will find some way to game the system. Giving the government more power isn’t going to solve this; taking power AWAY from the government is the only way to ensure freedom and justice.

  28. Hepp says:

    “I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. … I can raise cattle there because I have preemptive rights,’ among them the right to forage.

    If he admits it’s public land, isn’t pretty uncontroversial that when using a public good you should pay for it? I can’t go drain lake Michigan and use the water for my business, I don’t think.

    The cost of grazing on public land is apparently a fraction of what is on private land. I’m not automatically against this Bundy guy, but why should he get to use a public resource for free?

  29. Your noble “hero” farmers are, in fact, WELFARE QUEENS just like the vast majority of American farmers today.

    In the category of “leftists can do good things” at least once, an organization called Environmental Working Group publishes data from the Federal farmer subsidy database. Look up the Hammond’s ZIP code and bingo! Looky here:

    \$300,000 in OUR tax dollars have gone to these parasites. The farmers will get my sympathy when, like my farmer ancestors (and I myself), they tell the government to shove its money up its black hole of a budget.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  30. @Anonymous

    You are an idiot.

    And you are the reason Ron Unz created the “commenters to ignore” feature on this site. I commend Ilana for not spiking your silly ad hominem – it has great utility insofar as telling the rest of us that you have nothing intelligent to say.

  31. I wonder why, after reading this article, I am left with the feeling that it is somewhat satirical..

  32. @Rurik

    This is a very powerful and well written comment. Bravo. Hats off to you.

    • Replies: @Palerider1861
    , @Rurik
  33. KA says:
    If Washignton could get away with shady deals,murders and false claims ,Bundy should have no roadblock to the great American courage- based conscience neither those who denounce hin . Bundy needs a better PR personnel help him to put the words together on American flag embroiderred with a few tall robed in white praying figures . Jesus has been of help in the past . Reincarnation can again take place right there in the wild west where Bundy has entered the journey that Washinton and his fellow psychopaths embarked on yrs ago.

  34. @Cranky

    I’m not an American but I’m pretty sure that the term “regulated” in the 2nd amendment refers to training – not bureaucratic ‘regulations’ as such.

    I’ve listened to people like you type/speak in my own country for decades. The manner in which you do so does little but push your own nation closer to the brink. They are words of arrogance, pride and a sort of radical liberalism that deepens already gapping divides.

    Good for you for making things worse. You should be proud.

    • Replies: @Cranky
  35. @Threecranes

    Yes, Rurik truly does get it…unlike many of the usual suspects that post here.

    Funny how the display of good old-fashioned American values cause liberal heads to explode everywhere.

    This dispute out West between the ranchers and government is a reminder of just how far America has turned against the individual in favor of the collectivists.

    There is much more at stake here than steak.

  36. Rurik says:

    thank you

    I wish I had other, less ignoble things to write about, but these are the pressing issues it seems.

    They were never held accountable for Waco, rather the people involved were promoted, and because of that they went on to perpetrate other more heinous atrocities since then, I feel we need to eventually hold them to account, or what will they do next?…

    …why do they need the NDAA legislation? And what would our founders think of us Americans today for allowing that !tyrant’s calling card! to become law? Are we all really that bovine? Nothing could be more un-American than the NDAA legislation. Nothing could be more treasonous. Every man who voted for it should dance at the end of a rope as a traitor. If convicted. IMHO

    I’ll just leave with this nice photo

  37. Cranky says:
    @Francis Marion

    Here, read some of the real history of our “militia” and the rights of the people to keep popguns.

    As far as I am concerned, the odds of successful rebellion are near to zero- only in the wide open and empty spaces of the American West does anyone think there is a real chance.

    Too much heroic media- or as a vet told me a few years ago- “Our fledgling rebels play act at it, they should see how nasty it really is in Iraq, with the torture, killings, ethnic cleansing, and true hatred that has happened since we knocked off Saddam and let loose what was already there in terms of underlying hatreds.” In short, we coddle our kiddies, unlike what has happened in the past where previous rebels were basically shot dead by the state. See SLA, MOVE, etc.

    Now, when families are involved, it is probably a good idea to not push it too hard, the lessons of MOVE and Waco show that dead wimmin and chillens is bad pr.

    Another good example is the low level conflict dissolution of the FLDS hegemony in Arizona/Utah. It had to happen, and btw the Bundy’s are related to a lot of folks in the area who are FLDS- so rebellion against the state is a natural thing for them.

    It all goes along until the old guys in SLC First Presidency decide it is causing entirely too much fuss, and they should behave or else. The or else is exactly how Mitt Romney’s family choose exile for a while until they reconciled with SLC.

    Tie ’em to the LDS community and the old guys will make it quiet- after all have to keep the skeletons from Mountain Meadows firmly in the closet of Deseret.

    In short, thinking this kind of crazy is a mass movement is like discussing the clans fighting in Dagestan having a real affect on Putin’s geostrategy- same thing, no real deal.

  38. @Stan D Mute

    Your noble “hero” farmers are, in fact, WELFARE QUEENS just like the vast majority of American farmers today.

    I always laugh when one of you city-slicker hound-dogs expounds on the “welfare” nature of farmers. Having never done a lick of real work in your life, you are enraged by any demurrals from the working class.

  39. I, too, think Ilana Mercer is a bit off the beam with this column. I’d still like to slip her the sausage though.

  40. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    How come the Federal Govt got to own so much of the Western land? They could have hardly purchased or acquired (via eminent domain) all this much. Is the Govt capable of homesteading? What would it even mean for Govt to homestead a piece of land?
    And what determines that an act of homesteading could give ownership to millions of acres of land?

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  41. @Anonymous

    How come the Federal Govt got to own so much of the Western land?

    By conquering it from Mexico in 1848.

  42. People, do we really want the Bundys as our poster children? Don’t they feed into every negative stereotype that the media have established for us non-SWPL whites: that we’re all a bunch of ignorant, truculent rednecks who have nothing to complain about, but for some odd reason love to start pointless fights anyway? I mean, what exactly is their great cause? That they’re not allowed to graze their cattle on federal land for free? Big hairy deal! And since I don’t own any cattle (or land), what’s in it for me? Am I supposed to support them merely because they’re white?

    This is not like Ruby Ridge of Waco, either. There’s no evidence that Randy Weaver or David Koresh ever sought a show-down with the feds. These guys are deliberately provoking the government by attacking a federal building. There’s no way any reasonable person could regard this as self-defense against killer-cops.

    And I want to say one thing more: beware of some of these militias and ‘patriot’ movements. Most of them are, and have been, thoroughly infiltrated–and possibly co-opted–by federal agents. Are the Bundys being trotted out at just the right moment to help Obama make the case for his unconstitutional gun-control edict? Could be. Even a few thoughtful lefties, such as Eric Draitser, are hip to this possibility:

  43. Sara says:

    Both the Ranchers under the Homestead Act and the Federal Government stole the land from the Native Americans. From what I know about the case I think that the Hammonds are victims of judicial overreach and the failure of mandatory minimum sentencing laws but to call them stewards of the land is absurd! Both the Bundys, the federal government and the BLM all have the exact same goal to maximise their own personal profits They all have either little or zero regard for anybody else. let alone do they have genuine concern about animal welfare or the environment. It is impossible to judge the true intentions of people in any matter where the amount of their paycheck is at stake, but I feel it is safe to assume (without any irrefutable evidence to the contrary) that their judgements and actions are based on a desire to increase their personal wealth and only those who are naive, arrogant, or utterly stupid should believe elsewise.

  44. Delphic1 says:

    9% of beef is grazed beef like these guys. They get cheap feed from the government…when they actually pay for it. They are not family farms. They are not heroes, either.

  45. Delphic1 says:

    Did the Indians have a deed? Or should we give the entire state of Nevada to 5,000 or so Indians because “they got there first”?

  46. aeolius says:

    I had posed earlier on how the ranchers out west get to suck on the big teat in the sky. Big time sucking.
    Found us article detailing some of that sweet gov’t subsidy milk these “he man” ranchers receive that us folk in bigger states don’t get our Congress critters to sneak into legislation.

    “7 kinds of government subsidies those angry ranchers get that you don’t”
    There are true Libertarians and “BigTeat” Libertarians. Like the Koch Bros.The ones who want rid of the govt laws which cost them coin. Perhaps less concerned perhaps with carrying their own weight then twisting the laws and IRS special rules etc for their own advantage
    Ms. Mercer would you like to justify the laws giving ranchers these special subsidies?
    Boy wouldn’t small business owners in hurricane hit communities like the special and quick disaster relief that ranchers and farmers get?
    Wouldn’t small business owners like a 93% subsidy on land rental?
    Ranchers have some unequal Washington clout Like hungry calves they want to suck on the Big Teat. And push away the other calves to have that sweet milk all to themselves.
    One of the inequalities the Founding Fathers had to accept is that voters in the small population states have much more proportional weight in the Senate then those of us in more populous states. And so farmers and ranchers have much more of a chance to get special interest legislation passed. These special subsidies ranchers receive are the children of this Constitutional glitch presents some clear figures on which states receive the greatest transfer payments. That is most Federal subsidy.
    Now these transfer payments arise in Congress. Check out which states have Libertarians who are “Big-Teat” Libertarians. Do any of them call for cuts in transfer payments to their state???

  47. @Sara

    the Hammonds are victims of judicial overreach

    And for that reason – despite their craziness and greed – they should be defended.

  48. aeolius says:

    One of your heroes “The Best of America” was shot running from a roadblock.
    In checking him out it was found that he had foster kids- lots of them One year he collected >115K
    for showering his love on these kids. The money was channeled by Catholic Charities. But they weer a conduit for FEDERAL FUNDING.
    But think my dear what would a rancher do with a bunch of foster kids? Sower them with love or use them as free labor on his farm.
    Well his 15 minutes oest in America”f fame will insure that there is an investigation. So the truth will come out.
    If he was a child exploiter will you give us a “Mia Culpa” about him being the “Best in America” My America is about personal integrity which includes openly admitting mistakes. Is that your America?
    I somehow doubt it. There is another America. The America of jackels. The run in and steal whatever I can from the lion who has done the kill. Yup this includes welfare cheats and Union racketeers. But if you stop there you have only done half your job. There is the America where you hire real smart lawyers to find loopholes in tax laws. Or spend enough on campaigns to get laws in your favor past. Or see Federal land which rents for 3 cents on the private range owners dollar. Who then is owed the use of federal land. Or exploits the foster care system and collects government money and gets free child labor..
    Which America do you consider the Best. The America of Lions or of Jackels?

  49. Thirdeye says:

    The militias are just another group of deluded, self-entitled morons blind to the role that the US government has in propping up their lifestyles. Grazing permits provide below-cost access to federal lands. When the US Forest Service stopped the practice of making timber available below cost it drove a lot of marginal, low-efficiency operators in the hinterlands out of business. Ranchers in low productivity areas are lucky not to be in that situation.

    Mercer must be crying on her pillow after the tragicomic demise of the Malheur occupation.

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