What the Bundy Ranch Militias Think They’re Doing

Gawker reports on a GoFundMe account started by one of the heavily armed wingnuts who have flocked to the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, eager to start a civil war over a deadbeat rancher who refuses to pay his entirely legitimate bill for grazing on public land. Here’s the appeal:

To all American Patriots:

I am the Team Leader that took Charlie Delta, the black marine, out to Nevada along with two other volunteers that all did an outstanding job at the Bundy Ranch. I understand most of you have come to know Charlie Delta through his expressed views on Cliven Bundy and the good we are all doing as patriots at the ranch. I am coming to you tonight humbly asking for your help. We may be the front line soldiers facing down an overbearing govt bureaucracy, but we are first off family men and women that have our own homes and jobs and families left behind to take on this endeavor. Therefore we have spent our fortunes for freedom and love of our fellow man and need your help to continue our efforts to keep all Americans free from tyranny. Please if you can spare even a few dollars for food, fuel and supplies to continue the stand against tyranny and an overbearing governtment [sic] please help. Even the smallext amount will help keep up the pressure to return this land to the people. I thank you all sincerely for your contribution.

Christopher E Ferrell

United we stand! Divided we fall!

That last part cracks me up. Unable to think in anything but platitudes, he might as well have screamed “A stitch in time saves nine!” or “Cold hands, warm heart!” But more interesting to me is how Ferrell views himself and those around him, as “patriots” and “front line soldiers” fighting “tyranny and an overbearing government.” The reality, of course, is quite the opposite. They’re supporting a welfare cowboy who has made huge amounts of money selling cattle that were raised on government land. Every other rancher who grazes their cattle on federal land pays for that privilege, at a rate that is about 1/8th the cost of grazing on private land.

But even that small amount is too much for Cliven Bundy, a staggeringly ignorant man who says he refuses to acknowledge even the existence of the federal government and says they have no authority to own land at all other than Washington, DC. Really, Mr. Bundy? So we better shut down every American military base in the country, right? Because that’s all land owned by the federal government.

By the way, there’s this thing called the Property Clause. It’s in that constitution you claim to revere but know nothing about. It explicitly gives Congress to regulate the use of property owned by the federal government. And that’s what they did more than half a century ago when they authorized the use of grazing fees. It’s what Ronald Reagan, who I have no doubt you would invoke as a hero, was doing when he extended the fee schedule. It’s all on the Googles; you should try looking it up sometime.

I find it quite ridiculous that this gun-loving know-nothing thinks that be defending this deadbeat cowboy he’s protecting the freedom of all Americans. That’s just plain delusional. There’s only two things going on here. You’re either just playing dress up or you’re actually trying to start a civil war. Either one is bad.

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  • Charlie Delta, the black marine

    What’s it that Bundy thinks he should be doing, again, picking cotton? I wonder what Charlie Delta thinks of Bundy’s expressed views. You’d think that after 1776, there’d be some suspicion of white land-owners talking a lot about freedom and liberty, but having a core of racism, wouldn’t you?

  • teawithbertrand

    Now these dumbasses are asking for money? Life is full of surpises. This isn’t one of them.

  • You have completely misunderstood.

    What Ferrel is really saying, is: Bundy is white, and Obama is black.

  • Mr Ed

    I’d give to him but how do we know he isn’t a government plant and this is a sly way of ferreting out like minded people. This is just what a government operative would do. If just one of the people on Bundy’s ranch gets convicted on a terrorism charge everyone who gives is in jeopardy

  • @4:

    I seen what you did there, liebralboy!

  • I don’t suppose that GoFundMe has policies on funding items that potentially violate local laws?

  • busterggi

    “Even the smallext amount will help keep up the pressure to return this land to the people.”

    Damned Commie!

  • abb3w

    @0, Ed Brayton

    Unable to think in anything but platitudes

    That seems oddly typical.

    Google scholar doesn’t turn up much on the “psychology of platitudes” — that is, how they work. That seems an odd blind spot in the research; maybe I just need better keywords?

  • AndrewD

    @ 4

    Of course if I reprsented a foreign terorist group or was an anti-US government I might be inclined to toss a few bucks in to the pot just to stir up trouble and who knows start the long awaited collapse of US power.

    (I am looking at you President Putin)

  • keep up the pressure to return this land to the people

    It’s nice of them to be sticking up for the native americans, though. I gotta admit they’re more progressive than I expected.

  • Matt G

    He forgot to mention ammo. How can you fight government tyranny without hot lead?

  • Larry

    I haz a sad that these poor, misunderstood patriots are serving front-line duties protecting an outstanding Americanfree citizen like Bundy who only wanted to graze his cattle for free on land not owned by him from such an oppressive government that paid for and built all the roads they used to get there.

  • AndrewD

    @11 Cold Steel…

  • Cold Steel

    And very assertive mouse-clicks.

  • raven

    One of the main supporters of the militia and Bundy are the Koch brothers. It was their group, American for Their Prosperity that rallied the militias to Nevada.

    What is an oligarch without a few goon squads? If you can’t field a private army, might as well move to a democracy or something.

    Since they are mega-billionaires, they could fund these guys with their soda money. Only reason why they wouldn’t is fear of being convicted of supporting and funding terrorism. There are some draconian laws about that and Moslems in the USA who run “charities” frequently get convicted under them.

  • Therefore we have spent our fortunes for freedom and love of our fellow man and need your help to continue our efforts…

    It cost them their entire fortunes to stop working for a few weeks and travel to Nevada to camp out and do nothing?

    Apparently, these are not especially productive people and/or they completely lack basic financial sense.

  • Synfandel

    I am the Team Leader that took Charlie Delta, the black marine, out to Nevada along with two other volunteers…

    1. What’s a “Team Leader” and is the trademark registered?

    2. Why does Christopher E Ferrell feel that he needs to point out that Charlie Delta is black? Is “Charlie Delta, the black marine” the only marine who is black?

  • If Charlie Delta, the black marine, is their evidence that they’re not racist scum, why did it take a Team Leader and two other volunteers to drag him out there? Shouldn’t he have gone on his own without prompting? The way it’s stated, it’s basically an admission of tokenism. Ferrell wants you to know that he’s the one who bagged the negro and put him on display.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Apparently, these are not especially productive people and/or they completely lack basic financial sense.

    If they are anything like the people I work with, it’s probably the former. My co-workers that tend to spout crap like in that plea do little in the way of their job. All they do fro much of the day is gripe to each other about how awful the country is getting because (liberals/ gays/ atheists/ welfare queens/ women/ etc) while acting like the place would fall apart if they ever left or were laid off.

  • The Obama Administration really needs to crack down on this crap: he is coming off just as weak and ineffective as the right wing loves to paint him.

  • dugglebogey

    I just looked and there are three gofundme people begging for money so they can go “assist” Bundy. At least one of them is under a fake name.

    I guess if you are dumb enough to give money to that cause, you deserve to be ripped off which is obviously what is going to happen? I don’t know if I’m opposed to it. Caveat emptor?

  • John Pieret

    Ferrell apparently took down his gofundme page but still has one at FundRazr:


    It’s been up since May 4th and one chump has kicked in 30 bucks.

  • jonathangray

    his entirely legitimate bill for grazing on public land

    A bill? For grazing on the commons?

    government land

    Ah. “Public” means “government”. (War is peace, freedom is slavery &c.)

  • marcus

    jonathangray @ 23 Don’t be such a fucking idiot. It is practically free as it is. You know there is such a thing as social costs as well as costs for services rendered and resources utilized, or in this case damaged and devastated, apparently you never seen what a very large herd of cattle can do to sensitive desert ecology.

    How does this work for you.?

    A bill? For mining on the commons?

    A bill? For logging on the commons?

    A bill for polluting the commons?

    See how stupid that sounds?

  • marcus

    me @ 24 It should also be noted that all of the extractive industries and endeavors pay a mere pittance compared to the profits that they make from the “commons”.

  • cptdoom

    Let me het this straight: you leave your homes & jobs, spend all your $$ and abandon your families to engage in a pseudo-war against government employees who are simply trying to do their (likely low-paying) jobs and you want other people to fund you? Sure, but first I’d like to help you out by letting you invest in a genuine diamonelle mine.

  • raven

    Let me het this straight: you leave your homes & jobs, spend all your $$ and abandon your families to engage in a pseudo-war against government employees who are simply trying to do their (likely low-paying) jobs…

    You are making assumptions here.

    1. They have homes.

    2. They have jobs. Most of them don’t seem to. Some get government transfer payments.

    3. What money? I doubt they had much to start with.

    4. What families? These are violent lunatic fringers. Chances are they are supported by their families at best like MIke Vanderboerg, whose wife reportedly works in a warehouse, or their families haven’t heard from them in a while and are celebrating.

    More than a few of these guys have ended up killing their families and then themselves.

    Ariz. border militia leader kills 3 adults, infant and self

    content. usatoday. com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/05/5…/1

    May 2, 2012 – An Arizona border militia founder opened fire today inside a home in Gilbert, … Hugo Maderos, of Tampa, said the victims were his ex-wife, Lisa; their … to the child, the dead include two men and two women, KSAZ-TV reports

    JT Ready killed his girlfriend, and a few others including a 16 month old toddler.

  • Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    A bill? For grazing on the commons?


    Ah. “Public” means “government”. (War is peace, freedom is slavery &c.)

    Yes, the “government” is an entity we the public have defined, comprising people we hired, to among other things manage the commons for everyone’s benefit. The single largest driver of its failure to live up to that purpose is the constant sabotage by whiny little baby shits like you who expect to be given everyone’s everything for free and never have to accept any limits or provide any support for the good of society as aw hole.

  • Ah. “Public” means “government”. (War is peace, freedom is slavery &c.)

    That is one of the definitions of “public” found in the dictionary. If you think there is something contradictory about that, the problem is with your vocabulary. When speaking of “public lands”, one means that the land is owned by the government.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    @8 Unable to think in anything but platitudes

    Try “thought -stopping cliche” and you may hit paydirt.

  • “jonathangray @ 23 Don’t be such a fucking idiot.”

    Not being a fucking idiot is not a position that is available to Johnboy.

  • dingojack

    Jon-Jon – I never knew you were a fanboi of the Diggers!


  • greg1466

    So let me get this straight. You want me to pay your families bills so that you can stay on your extended vacation playing soldier? Let me think about that…uh, no.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    jonathangray: A bill? For grazing on the commons?


    Ah. “Public” means “government”. (War is peace, freedom is slavery &c.)


    So you think that publicly owned land should always be freely accessible? Land like the Pentagon or military bases or congressional offices. Huh. Crawling with tourists, crazies, foreign agents, and – liberals!


    Or perhaps you think that the government should be entirely outsourced to corporations since they are so much more efficient (you know, like Enron and GM and Panamerican Airlines). Of course, their efficiency is not in serving their customers but in enriching their CEOs. Let’s go to war, or not, based on whether it will enrich some unelected CEO’s portfolio. That should end well. We’ll soon find out; we’re almost there now.

  • Childermass

    The quoted comment made me think of this 1970s public service announcement:


  • My dear Christopher Ferrell:

    My name is Mrs. Bawundi Inkimbo of the Thoktlot Inkimbo’s. My late husband, Angerimofo Inkimbo was one of the leaders during OUR struggle for Nigerian independence. We succeeded in throwing off the Imperial British yoke in 1960, due in no small part to contributions from many, many generous U.S. citizens such as yourself; freedom loving, generous, polite and heavily armed patriots.

    After our independence was achieved we still had many millions of dollars in the fund that was set up to help us achieve our freedom. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that I am offering, in my late husband’s name, $12M–U.S. to you and your group to do as you see fit to arm, train, feed, clothe and entertain recruits to your cause.

    If you would be so kind as to forward your personal and organizational checking account numbers and any passwords or access codes that are necessary to access them I will immediately deposit the money into those accounts in a ratio of 2 for you to 1 for the cause. I eagerly await your reply.

    God BLESS you

    Mrs. Bawundi Inkimbo

  • jonathangray


    perhaps you think that the government should be entirely outsourced to corporations since they are so much more efficient

    Funny you should say that …

  • Johnnyboy:

    Lucky you. One KKKrazzeepants motherfucker finds another KKKrazzeepants motherfucker to link to.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal


    From the link: “Post-capitalist”

    Oh man, we have a live one here.

    Either we’re being trolled, or this idiot is likely beyond all reasonable discussion.

  • jonathangray
  • colnago80

    Re enlightenmentliberal @ #39

    Apparently you are either new to this site or haven’t followed the comments previously. Jonathan Gray is a Phalangist admirer of the late and unlamented Francisco Franco, even though he lives in Britain. I suspect that Eric Schmidt is probably vaguely amused by the proposal of his underling. If Schmidt is as smart as I think he is, he wouldn’t take the job on a bet.

  • colnago80

    Re Jonathangray @ #37

    Why Eric Schmidt? Why not Bill gates, Warren Buffet, or Larry Ellison?

  • jonathangray


    Jonathan Gray is a Phalangist [sic]

    The Falange was basically a fascist group.

    I am not a fascist.

    Therefore I am not a Falangist.

    You’re welcome.

    (The Carlists, on the other hand, rocked.)

    Why Eric Schmidt?

    Who knows? Sounds like a creepy individual to me.

  • abb3w

    @30, Tsu Dho Nimh

    Try “thought -stopping cliche” and you may hit paydirt.

    Trying the keyword “Cliché” did indeed help, but very marginally; it’s conjectured (doi:10.4236/psych.2013.49102) as associated to the “tolerance of ambiguity” construct, which seems the antithesis of the “need for closure” construct — and which does have some ties in to the literature on authoritarian mindsets. However, there’s still a distinct dearth of recent experimental publications on the topic.