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Works and Days

Cliven Bundy and The Rural Way

April 20th, 2014 - 6:26 pm
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Frank Hanson, my grandfather, riding Paint in Kingsburg, California, in 1959.

I’m sure that Cliven Bundy probably could have cut a deal with the Bureau of Land Management and should have. Of course, it’s never wise to let a federal court order hang over your head. And certainly we cannot have a world of Cliven Bundys if a legal system is to function.

In a practical sense, I also know that if I were to burn brush on a no-burn day, or toss an empty pesticide container in the garbage bin, or shoot a coyote too near the road, I would incur the wrath of the government in a way someone does not who dumps a stripped stolen auto (two weeks ago) in my vineyard, or solvents, oil, and glass (a few months ago), or rips out copper wire from the pump for the third time (last year). Living in a Winnebago with a porta-potty and exposed Romex in violation of zoning statutes for many is not quite breaking the law where I live; having a mailbox five inches too high for some others certainly is.

So Mr. Bundy must realize that in about 1990 we decided to focus on the misdemeanor of the law-abiding citizen and to ignore the felony of the lawbreaker. The former gave law enforcement respect; the latter ignored their authority. The first made or at least did not cost enforcers money; arresting the second began a money-losing odyssey of incarceration, trials, lawyers, appeals, and all the rest.

Mr. Bundy knows that the bullies of the BLM would much rather send a SWAT team after him than after 50 illegal aliens being smuggled by a gun-toting cartel across the southwestern desert. How strange, then, at this late postmodern date, for someone like Bundy on his horse still to be playing the law-breaking maverick Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) in (the David Miller, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Abbey effort) Lonely Are the Brave.

But the interest in Mr. Bundy’s case is not about legal strategies in revolving fiscal disagreements with the federal government.

Instead, we all have followed Mr. Bundy for three reasons.

One, he called attention to the frightening fact that the federal government owns 83% of the land in Nevada. Note that “federal” and “government” are the key words and yet are abstractions. Rather, a few thousands unelected employees — in the BLM, EPA, Defense Department, and other alphabet soup agencies — can pretty much do what they want on the land they control. And note, this is not quite the case in Silicon Valley or Manhattan or Laguna Beach. The danger can be summed up by a scene I see about once a month on a Fresno freeway: a decrepit truck stopped by the California Highway Patrol for having inadequate tarps on a trailer of green clippings, just as a new city garbage truck speeds by, with wet garbage flying over the median. Who will police the police?

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Top Rated Comments   
Economist Franz Oppenheimer said that there are only two ways of gaining wealth: 1) the "economic means", buy which he meant value-for-value exchange in a voluntary and lawful setting; 2) the "social means" by which he meant cronyism, subsidy, regulatory capture, special favor, government franchise. I elevate these to the "objective means" and the "subjective means", or the "truthful and honest means" and the "dishonest, guile-enabled means".

Bundy lives the economic means, Harry Reid and anyone else who loves big and ever Bigger government, lives the social means. Bundy creates real things and trades real value. Reid et.al. only create value by guile, which is not really an increase in value for all parties involved. Reid's value added is only enabled by creating money out of thin air, by which he is the Chief Broker, Arranger and Fixer.

Near-infinite money enables near-infinite government, and the bigger the government the more Harry Reids there will be. Yet another reason to seriously consider calling an Article V convention to remove the ability of the federal government to create money out of thin air.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's a thougt exercise.

Let's say a Native American ( a real one, not one that wears extra blush to raise their cheekbones and redden their skin tone) says they have generational history on land wrongfully seized by the Feds and a Republican Senator who got rich while spending his whole life slopping at the public trough is going to enrich his family and cronies on the land.

How would this play in the media and on the far left?

Nobody roots for the cowboys anymore. Just the Indians.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amen. VDH wrote “So we are not threatened by the likes of Cliven Bundy. Instead, the scary lawlessness extends to the bureaucracy itself, given that under Obama the government is becoming tainted and an ideological tool of social transformation..."

I think this ideological fervor is the key problem. It is important to be aware that, by and large, when we are talking about the Democrats today, we are talking about a clique of dangerous sociopaths, who directly and indirectly control a vast legion of minions doing their dirty work. Their ability to lie and steal so easily, profusely and remorselessly (you can actually detect their glee in some instances) is your first clue. Their tendency to weave incredibly elaborate webs of nonsensical ideas, concepts, words and visions and to then use these to manipulate people on a huge scale, and also to identify fanatical supporters (potential leaders), naturally submissive individuals, and also opponents, is your second clue.

The complete lack of a moral compass, i.e. the inability to perceive that some things are inherently wrong is another key indicator. For instance their willingness to impoverish, deceive and destroy whole generations of black people – in the name of uplifting black communities, and while attacking conservatives as racist. Or their deliberate efforts to plunge entire regions of the world into chaos, upheaval and war - reveals the kind of demonic cynicism and intent, that are the hallmarks of the deepest kinds of evil.

Once this kind of clique gains power, it is like a bellwether for the rest of society. All of those (and they are considerable in number) who are driven by resentment, anger, fear, self-loathing... or worse, revanchism, perversion, nihilsm, sadism... crawl out of the woodwork, for they know the environment is favorable to them now. Those in power fan the flames of strife and degradation, since an anarchic society suits their outlook. In fact they despise any sign of virtue, kindness, beauty, faith, hope, love...
they even despise humanity itself (it is an extruded form of self-loathing). And so society turns on itself in a kind of paroxysm of evil.

For those who choose to resist, there are no guarantees. And when the tipping point comes, there is no backing down. Once you've headed down the path of opposing evil, you have to go through the fire. You may survive the ordeal or you may not. But then, none of us get out of here alive, so it just depends on how you want to go. On your feet or on your knees.

With Harry Reid calling Cliven Bundy and his supporters “domestic terrorists”, Dems are setting the stage for a potential violent crackdown on the tea-party and any other force that stands against them. Things could get very ugly soon. It is important to be aware of that.

God bless Cliven Bundy.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (134)
All Comments   (134)
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First I want to say that I appreciate this view into the rural way of life, as VDH puts it.

There is some irony here; one of the precedents that led to the crazy way the endangered species act is enforced was the snail darter case, and that was actually an excuse to stop some well-connected types from grabbing land from those less connected.

I am not sure we are moving in that direction. At one time one could choose to work at a corporation, and although every day one's job was on the line, one was still pretty much taken care of for life. Today the hi-tech world is much more mercenary, and pensions are to a great extent a thing of the past. So while the manual labor is not there, self-reliance is becoming more necessary, if anything.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't "rule of law" meant - first and foremost and forevermore - to bind the officers and other armed goons of the government before such rule constrains the actions of the private citizen?

How thoroughly a bloody ignoramus does one have to be in order to take up the "Liberal" mindset?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The irony is rich. A government that picks and chooses the laws it enforces based on politics, sends enough men and firepower to quell a prison riot against a rancher grazing cattle illegally on public property. That is followed by the Majority Leader in the Senate calling folks agreeing with the the rancher "terrorist." Contrast this situation with the delicate handling of the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd.

The country certainly is undergoing a "fundamental transformation." Every day this administration remains in control it makes the country's survival less likely.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"[Bundy is] our past, Harry Reid and the bunch in Washington our future."

I have to disagree with you, Dr. Hanson. Bundy IS the future. The Washington bunch will continue with us until they utterly wreck the economy. Then they'll either flee to foreign lands to avoid the torch-and-pitchfork mobs, or they'll jump out their skyscraper windows.

The Bundy types are the ones who will clean up the mess after the crash and put us back on track. I'm throwing my lot in with them.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Count me with the Combat Missionary! You need to look into this cabal of a mislabeled Federal Agency. They have a business of their own, in the name of the Federal Government.

They collect fees, sell our minerals and timber, spending the funds collected as they like. There almost is no control over them, simply because they do not draft resources from the Federal budget. Check them out!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent insights Dr. VDH. Bundy and the rest of us "red necks" are hated by those who don't have sweaty hat bands and callouses on their hands. Look at the photos and have a vote on just who the terrorists are. It is much easier to take guns and rights from the law abiding than from the criminals. The Bundy ranch fiasco would have had a very different outcome if only Law enforcement had guns. In Harry Reid's dream nobody would own a gun or talk back to power without going to jail. Anybody remember Kent State , Ruby Ridge, and Waco ? These are the ugly images that caused the Feds to back off - at least before the election. Obama and Holder are now releasing thousands of felons from prison possibly to make room for the likes of Mr. Bundy and his supporters. Apparently it is down with cowboys and up with pajama boys. Bundy may owe money to the Feds or Nevada but he will have to pay with his life. That's what Harry meant when he said "it isn't over".
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Its called "Anarchic-Tyranny", a concept pioneered by the late Sam Francis who, to date, is verboten in "respectable" quarters.

However, a tenured Academic like VDH should feel safe enough to acknowledge his debt to Mr. Francis and, perhaps, recommend some of his less "controversial" works.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The amazing thing about the Bundy situation is that it reveals the ideological journey of the Left.

They know, full well, that if Mr. Bundy was up against a bank, and not a branch of government, they'd switch sides in a minute. They'd join hands to form human around his cattle (especially if they were organically raised) and sing songs to praise him.

So it is not that they are against Bundy. They are, instead, for the government. For the power, for the control, against opposition to it. Because they recognize that they've won. They are the government, they power, the control. They are the man, the establishment. And they love it.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or if it was the Defense Department and George Bush was in office.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
YOU BECOME LIKE THAT WHICH YOU BEHOLD...OR ARE BEHOLDEN TO...YET AMAZING IN POWER & STRENGTH...OR: HOWLING IN DREAD & PAIN!....THE 9TH CIRCLE IS STILL RESERVED FOR THE TRAITORS TO KIN & COUNTRY(JUDAS, "BRUTUS", "CASSIUS"). THE NEW (PM, AD INFINITUM, POENA DAMNI) 10TH CIRCLE IS RESERVED TO THOSE ABANDONED BY GOD & DESPISED BY SATAN; CONDEMNED IN AETERNA, TO ADMINISTER THE "OSCULUM INFAMOUSUM" TO THEIR ACCURSED MASTER & HIS DAMNED LEGIONS...Dixit
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The great Dr. Alan Keyes has weighed in on the matter:

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/keyes/140422
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
When the Brownshirts of the BLM, FDA, DOE, IRS, or any of the other militarized government departments finally open up on a bunch of civilians they can sleep easy knowing they only killed domestic terrorists (Thanks, harry) and where "just following orders."
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I looked at close up images of the BLM agents. They appear they just got off the plane from Afghanistan. Perhaps, beards are in and the BLM has no regulation on face hair.

In the old Marine Corp, before ROI were hand holding and song singing, one would get the pig award for not having a no shave sheet. Unless, one was going in country at a place like Afghanistan.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
They won't be firing on the terrorists. Haven't you heard?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kbe8KqjmGo

Real heroes, these militiamen. Reminds me of the last stand at the Alamo -- if the Alamo had been defended by jihadists.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Ah, the kind of nuanced commentary that scholars like Hanson are noted for."

Gee Pee, since you're the "nuance" czar, how about living by your own edicts?

The latest in Modern liberal thinking. Computer generated comments, with algorithms written by Pajama Boy.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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