Cliven Bundy, Son of Liberty and Latest Right Wing Folk Hero, on the “The Negro”

Cliven Bundy, Son of Liberty and Latest Right Wing Folk Hero, on the “The Negro” April 24, 2014

Golly. Who could have predicted that the latest darling of the discernment-free right would turn out to be a racist nutjob in addition to a lawless welfare queen wrapped in a flag? Turns out “The Negro” would have been better off under slavery according to this Son of Liberty. Oh, and Bundy’s the Real Victim here.

Speaking of which, one of my sources reports:

[G]ot an intelligence briefing on the standoff from the FBI today… It was worse than you think, and at one point was seconds away from a bloodbath. Beyond f*cking crazy.

My source also reports that, in addition to the women being used as human shields, “They had children on the front line as well. Classy.”

My source also reports:

Apparently at one point, as the line of protestors pushed forward and a confrontation seemed more likely, some of the BLM officers called their wives and said they were either going to be killed or go to federal prison for shooting women and children — those would have been the choices they faced if a firefight had erupted.

Many of the terrorists who flocked there from out of state were extremely well armed and equipped. In some cases they matched or exceeded the feds in that regard. Some of the chief antagonists went there with the expressed intention of inciting an armed conflict and killing feds. They used carefully executed military tactics and were able to get the feds to back down. My fear is they now feel empowered and emboldened. The next encounter might not be a bloodless one.

Good rule of thumb: If something or somebody triggers an enormous wave of hysterical right wing support invoking George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and painting its critics as supporters of Hitler, Stalin and Mao while comparing grazing fees to abortion, you can take it to the bank that it is utter folly to get on that bandwagon. That any Catholic could fall for this hysteria for one moment is an indictment of the quality of formation in the American Church. If you are a Catholic who is, in any way, making excuses for these terrorists, go to confession. And if you are a prolifer enthusing over this guy, I call you a hypocrite to your face.

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  • ivan_the_mad

    I’ll respect people who, to protest laws they deem unjust, engage in civil disobedience. They’re prepared to deal with the consequences of their actions in the legal system, to use the court as another forum and jail as a testimony to their conviction.

    People who disobey laws with guns are felons in possession of firearms, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t see a difference here between Bundy et al. and a common criminal, except possibly that a common criminal doesn’t commonly shield himself with women and children.

    I’ve seen reference to this being a case of the 2nd Amendment protecting … something. Being a proponent of the right to own firearms, I’d exhort other proponents to disavow and condemn this without reservation. This man is the very antithesis of “law-abiding gun owner”.

    We have laws for a reason, and a system to effect change, however imperfect and glacial in pace. Bundy is no hero, he’s an anarchist, and ought to be anathema to thinking conservatives.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      What has frustrated me to no end in this case is the feeling that no one is giving a straight story. The conservative news is holding him up as a hero–the little guy against the grasping, greedy government (possibly trying to take the land and sell it China–heard this, have no idea where it came from or if there is any truth). The first reports I heard are that he paid his lease to the state but the feds were demanding more, they wanted more than was in his contract, etc. The liberal media outlets happily start portraying him as the most dangerous man in America. Suddenly it isn’t just that he didn’t pay his lease, he didn’t pay taxes either (true? Rhetoric? I don’t know! I can’t trust any of the sources and it’s driving me nuts!)

      The facing the feds down with firearms and women and children though–that’s utterly crazy. It’s attention mongering, and it’s by the grace of God it didn’t go very bad. I agree with you. This is not a responsible gun owner. We all love stories where the little guy wins and the big bully is sent packing, but sometimes, the little guy isn’t a good guy, even if the big guy is a bully.

      • Cas

        “sometimes, the little guy isn’t a good guy, even if the big guy is a bully.”

        Indeed, a classic “Freddy vs. Jason” scenario. That is to say, they both suck and one wishes they could both lose, rather than being forced to choose which of the two evils to rally behind.

        • IRVCath

          I’ll go with the government in such a situation. There’s a reason Paul preferred even the Caesars to anarchy and called on people to as far as possible obey the government.

  • Evan

    I know I’m sometimes too sympathetic to libertarian ideas, and I’ve struggled with that as a Catholic, but how could anyone in their right mind seriously support Bundy? He and those flocking to his defense are either idiots, evil, or both.

    Yes, I mean evil. Using women and children as shields while you prepare to murder government officials doing their perfectly legitimate jobs to enforce a completely reasonable law is evil. And making excuses for that behavior is as well. I have no more sympathy or patience for those who support Bundy than I do for Pelosi when she says that she’s a faithful Catholic while defending abortion. Actually, I have even less respect for pro-lifers who defend this guy; they should know better.

  • Ken

    I can’t believe that someone with crazy, nutty ideas would have other crazy, nutty ideas. What’s the deal with “conservatives” that support this nonsense? Duck Dynasty, Donald Trump, Mel Gibson, Putin, etc… All you have to do is publicly criticize the gov or better Obama and they will support you without fail.

    • Cliff Towle

      “The enemy of your enemy is your friend”.

    • Humphrey

      Lack of leadership.

      Don`t blame the sheep,blame those who have abandoned them to the wolfs.

      • Ken

        You’re right. It’s sad someone like Sean Hanity would incite this kind of nonsense. Hello, people! You think you’re side arms are going to do anything against the federal gov? They have tanks, airplanes and bombs. Why do people that have this irrational hatred of the gov also think it’s a good idea to give them an unlimited budget for military spending?

    • Dave G.

      What’s wrong with Duck Dynasty apart from the typical reality TV issue?

      • Ken

        At the same time they made the comments about homosexuality that many people, myself included agreed with, they also said things about segregation. They basically said they didn’t see what was wrong with it since many black people at the time seemed “happy.” It wasn’t close to being as horrible as what this guy said but it just showed a level of misunderstanding and a lack of empathy to something as evil as segregation. It was pointed out, on this blog, and others. There seemed to be some sort of conservative logic that they were dumb hillbillies when it came to African Americans but were sophisticated when it came to homosexuality.

        It comes across to me that “conservatives” are so hard up for people that share their views that they don’t care anything else about them. It’s a constant stream of embarrassment for them but they keep doing it.

        • Dave G.

          I’m still having difficulty seeing someone’s life experience as wrong. According to the publicized quote to a question, he gave his own experience. If that was his experience, what else can we say?

          • The Deuce

            Well, see, he didn’t express himself using the Approved Progressive Vocabulary or abide by the strictures of Observations You’re Allowed To Have, so he was guilty of racist ungoodthink.

            • chezami

              Even Sean Hannity and Rich Lowry are backing away from this radioactive nutjob. When you hit bottom, stop digging.

              • Dave G.

                Then it sounds like they looked and decided he’s not one to rally behind. Sounds normal to me.

            • Dave G.

              Your’re talking about papa duck, correct?

        • Heather

          In addition to Dave’s comment, I remember perusing the apparently outrageous comment and never actually saw the question the Duck Dynasty guy was answering. It was just a statement, devoid of context. No, it wasn’t a great statement. But I’d be curious as to what the context was, and what he was actually answering. Was it a question about segregation in general, or something much more specific about his own experience at that time?

          • Dave G.

            This is the post-modern era. This is a generation with college degrees and access to the Internet. And you’re withholding judgement until you find out more information? You’ll never fit in that way. ; )

    • It is the natural response to a government that has led a genocide of 56 million people.

    • Dave G.

      Oh, and what Conservatives are supporting Mel Gibson? Putin is quite the hero in some places overseas. I just ran into a Jewish girl from Chechnya whose family was forced to flee for their lives some years ago because of attacks, and they see Putin as quite the hero, restoring order, helping improve their lives, and except for the whole gay rights thing, think he’s pretty much a good but maligned fellow (maligned by the Western media). I thought that was an interesting take by someone more in the cross hairs than I am. But Gibson? Except for going to The Passion in support against the charge that the NT and Christians who believe its traditional take are antisemitic racists, I’ve not heard many give him much thought.

  • Dave G.

    I just say it’s a good thing he didn’t set off a makeshift bomb and kill or maim dozens of innocents. Then I’d be told like I was repeatedly told last year to stop obsessing about what he did, and instead focus on the real issue of our increasingly overreaching police state.

  • SteveM

    Regardless of Bundy’s personal political views, the BLM sent in a SWAT Team over what is essentially an administrative dispute. And Goon Squad SWAT Teams have proven themselves to be totally undisciplined when it comes to using deadly force against people (and their animals).

    The government has plenty of non-violent mechanisms to get what it wants. Using Domestic Security State Goons for enforcement of regulations should be their last option.

    Unfortunately, in this day and age…it ain’t…

    • Dave G.

      It almost sounds like you’re saying we shouldn’t forget about the government’s role in this.

      • PalaceGuard

        Nor should we. That said, anything that encourages the soi disant militias to crawl out from under their respective rocks is Not Good. Bundy would seem, from what I’ve heard and read that he has said, to be not much of a deep thinker, and rather loosely tethered to this planet (I do wonder, btw, whether his attitude to the government may be rooted in long-lingering resentment in some Mormons about being absorbed into the U.S. in the first place). Finally, when that brave, brave Defender of Freedoms, whoever he was, got on the tube and said they were moving the women between hizself, his buddies, and the Feds, I had a flashback. Chicago, 1968, Democratic Convention, bold Yuppie boys in the mob screaming, “CHICKS UP FRONT!!!” The politics may change, but the idiocy remains the same.

        • Dan F.

          Idiocy? Cowardice.

          • PalaceGuard

            That, too.

        • Dave G.

          I’d love to agree, and to a degree I actually do. Funny thing though. I’m still smarting from a year ago when I was informed I was nothing but a devotee of Fox News since I, like some others, thought less attention should be spent on the horrors of Boston Law Enforcement, and a little more on the two who actually killed (that’s right, killed) innocent people, why and how it happened, and of course the grieving families. But nope. The perpetrators were dismissed as inconsequential losers and all focus was instead put on Boston Law Enforcement or else (see Fox News devotee above).. Now? Strange how the Feds are all but dismissed for all focus to be put on this guy and his band of rebels. It’s not much to ask for consistency is it?

    • Paul Druce

      The BLM sent in a SWAT team to provide protection for the cowboys who were rounding up the cattle because Clive Bundy had already threatened violence against them and other government agents. It was an entirely appropriate reaction by the government.

      • Elmwood

        Not worth it, crazy bundy’s handful of cattle grazing on desert brush is not worth sending in a SWAT team to potentially escalate into a shoot-out. better to just arrest the guy discretely.

        • SteveM

          Right. They could have put a lien on his house and went after the cattle later.

          And the temporal issue is not using SWAT Teams. It’s using SWAT Teams populated with reckless, shoot first sociopaths.

          Bundy is no saint. If he has to pay his coin to Caesar, no big deal. But to be anything but highly suspicious of armed Agents of the Domestic Security State is nuts.

          P.S. The only thing that (sometimes) limits the Goons these days are when they know they are being video recorded.

          • HornOrSilk

            Of course, then you would have complained about government taking the house (his own property) instead of removing him from what was not his property. And if he had everyone from the wild west with him at his home, you would accuse the government of evil still.

        • Paul Druce

          The government escalated nothing. The armed agents were sent in, as a protective measure, after Bundy had already called for a damned war.

          • The correct response to a call for civil war is a retreat.

            • Paul Druce

              There is no duty to retreat laid upon the government.

              • There is in Augustinian Just War as an invading party. But of course, like I said before, this government is neither rational nor moral.

                • Paul Druce

                  The federal government is not an invading party. If anyone might be called an invading party here, it would be Bundy.

                  • He was there first. But of course, I’m not even sure that the annexation of the Oregon Country was moral or rational anymore, given what white folks have done with it.

                    The Natives would have been better of if white men had never arrived.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      He was not there first. Native Americans were there before him. It’s always funny how people make claims about him “being there first.” Indeed, he had no rights to the land, it wasn’t his land. How can “it’s not his land, nor ever was his land” mean “he was there first”?

                    • He was there before the BLM existed.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Native Americans were there before he existed. Oh and so was the Federal Government, whose land it is.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Kindly leave us out.of this.

                      And the US government was nowhere to be found when the first Bundys began ranching that land.

                      What baseless assumptions you make as a result of this comment will be interesting to see.

                    • HornOrSilk
      • Why not say, gasp, not round up the cattle?

        • Paul Druce

          The cattle were there illegally and there was a court order to remove them.

          • Stupid reason, but it fits the rest of this incredibly incoherent court and legal system.

            • Paul Druce

              Explain how it is a stupid reason and how the court and legal system have been “incredibly incoherent”

              • It is not worth removing the cattle to gain a few dollars in rent, and it isn’t worth sending a swat team to remove them.

                At this point, it’s just arbitrary enforcement of randomly written law, with no logical coherence or constitution behind it. I have no respect left for a court order, or the legal system in the United States at all, and that was long before some idiot wanted to keep grazing on public land like *every rancher has for 200 years*.

                • Paul Druce

                  It was not to gain a few dollars in rent; it was to remove an unsustainable herd that was illegally grazing upon the land and causing severe damage to the land, to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars worth, and threatening an endangered species.

                  • Was the so-called endangered species edible? If not, then better to use the land for cattle.

                    • Satori

                      You and Bundy don’t get to decide that. You aren’t king of America, nor does Bundy own public land.

                    • He should have owned the land. It should have been sold to him years ago instead of confiscated by the BLM.

                      This only came to a head because the BLM wanted to sell to developers, the turtle is just a cover story.

                    • Satori

                      And I think we should have raised taxes on the rich a long time ago. Does that mean I am justified in arming a militia with AK-47s and Sniper Rifles in order to coerce the government?

                      That’s not true, but even if it were Bundy’s actions would be indefensible.

                    • Under Augustinian Just War Theory- as long as Bundy’s men stayed on *his* ranch, and defended *his* property and did not say, chase the government men back to their homes and murder them in their sleep, his actions can be justifiable.

                      We just had that discussion a week or so ago, and at his request, I unfriended Mark Shea on facebook because of it. I’d invite you to my facebook page to discuss it, but I can’t seem to find the discussion, even though I distinctly remember it, and apparently, I should have put it on my blog where it would be easier to find.

                      The basic argument is this- the invaded, no matter what he did to provoke the invasion, is never at fault for the war *as long as he doesn’t invade himself*. It’s the loophole in Augustinian Just War theory that was later closed in modern Just War theory, but I can’t help but think that perhaps the loophole provided a more secure, and thus more peaceful, world.

                      The modern equivalent in community policing would be it is OK to lay siege to a person’s house, and wait for him to come out, but it would NOT be OK to go in to get him. Likewise, it would be fine to say, arrest an illegal alien for deportation off the sidewalk, but it would not be fine to take him out of Mass or sanctuary in a church.

                      But those are more civilized rules for a more civilized age, which we no longer enjoy.

                    • Satori

                      Using this logic it is unjust for the government to come after me if I kidnap a woman and take her to my house to rape her. I fundamentally reject the idea that each individual person is like a sovereign state that can never be “invaded” by the government. Bundy broke the law, used federal land without paying fees, and then tried to stop the government from punishing him after he lost in court. He is a kook, and so are you.

                    • Oh, I know that by the authoritarian state worshipers I’m a kook.

                      Doesn’t mean that what we say isn’t right though, because the real kook is society itself.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      That is not Augustine’s theory of Just War. Augustine’s theory is also a theory of authority. Only those of proper authority can wage war. Only those with authority (soldier/police). Not civilians. You are turning Augustine completely upside-down, who was one who actually promoted the use of “troops” to “invade” (correcting the Donatists, for example). He would say the government is the authority and the people there are rightfully taken by officials.

                    • The individual invaded by the government isn’t the one who waged war. He’s sitting at home, minding his own business, when the government attacks him.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      It wasn’t his land. He wasn’t “invaded by the government.” And in Augustinian Just War theory, no “individual” has a right to wage war. Only those with authority can — Augustine even rejected the notion of unauthorized self-defense.

                    • Individuals have a right to self defense just like countries do. I don’t understand the concept of “unauthorized” self-defense. Either one has the right to self-defense or one does not; if one does not, then the government has become a tyranny.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Not according to Augustinian theory. Augustine is very clear on this. Perhaps you are confusing Aquinas with Augustine?

                    • Maybe. Can you give me a reference that won’t make me re-read City of God in its entirety?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      On Free Choice of the Will, Book 1, Ch. 5 if I remember correctly

                    • HornOrSilk
                  • The horse and burro pops are thousands over limit and BLM is responsible for managing those threats to the desert tortoise. They have no money to cull wild horses and are unwilling to sell unless the buyer promises not to eat them. This is in violation of law. The BLM is being sued by the Nevada Farm Bureau and the Nevada association of counties. They have money to defend the lawsuit. They don’t have money to maintain the desert tortoise sanctuary. They culled tortoises when that closed down. But they have money for swat.

                    The management decisions stink.

                • The Deuce

                  It’s not even enforcement of actual legislative law, but of arbitrary, capriciously, and unilaterally written bureaucratic regulations.

                • kenofken

                  A few dollars? The official figure is $1 million. Several hundred thousand on the low side. That might seem like chump change to the BLM, but I guarantee you or I wouldn’t get away with 20 year refusal and armed resistance if we owed the IRS a million. More than the dollar figure, what’s at stake is the ability to enforce any law at at all on what is, for better or worse, government land. If no action is taken against a guy like Bundy, every rancher who does follow the rules is a fool, and so is every company that pays for mineral or timber rights to public land. If the U.S. legal system and laws have no legitimacy, there’s no reason for illegal immigrants to obey the law either. Bundy had his day in court, several of them. He advanced a legal argument that was pure hokum. For all that, the feds would have been better off finding another way to settle the debt than rounding up cattle, which is bad PR and sort of a medieval way to collect debt. If they have a judgement, just bleed the money from his tax returns or seize it from bank accounts or put liens on his property.

                  • ” If the U.S. legal system and laws have no legitimacy, there’s no reason for illegal immigrants to obey the law either. ”


    • Satori

      The fact that there are right wing militiamen willing to point sniper rifles at government agents trying to do their job is a pretty good argument for SWAT teams and other military grade law enforcement officers. Bundy and his supporters are nuts, but they also have a lot of firepower.

    • jroberts548

      Using force to seize property to enforce a judgment is one of the oldest functions of law enforcement. That’s what makes law law, and not just a set of polite requests. The possibility of forceful debt collection underlies our legal system. Every time you enter into a contract, it’s backed up, ultimately, with the force of the sheriff where your counterparty’s assets are.

      • Usually they start with a lien. This time they did not. That is poor judgment.

  • JM1001

    “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
    — Bundy

    Let’s put aside the question of what this even has to do with the issue at hand.

    It would have been better if he’d just said that government dependence can be a kind of figurative slavery. But idiots like Bundy are not content with that. They must go further and say that a human being is better off under actual slavery.

    What do you even say to that?

    • ivan_the_mad

      “Nucking futs” springs to mind …

    • Newp Ort

      When you was slaves, you sang like birds.

    • That he’s right?

      Oh, not about the keeping the family together part. But it takes a real idiot to be a slave owner who eliminates his investment by killing a slave.

      OTOH, kill a minimum wage illegal immigrant, and there’s always one to take his place.

      I’d say that slavery never left, and debating the KIND of slave somebody is is stupid.

      • Paul Druce

        I guess an awful lot of slaveholders were real idiots then since they not only killed their slaves, but publicly bragged about doing so.

        • Yes, they were. Bad business sense is a huge reason why the South lost the war.

          • JM1001

            Bad business sense is a huge reason why the South lost the war.

            I would say that “bad business sense” is the least of a slaveholder’s sins — the greatest, of course, being that it’s intrinsically evil to own another human being.

            Whether or not slaveholders had “bad business sense” by brutalizing and killing their slaves is irrelevant, since slavery is a morally illegitimate business in the first place. It is therefore grotesque to suggest that a human being is “better off” under something that is intrinsically evil.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              No, the simple fact he stated is an indictment of current business practices, not an indictment of Ted Seeber, nor an apologia for chattel slavery.

            • “the greatest, of course, being that it’s intrinsically evil to own another human being.”

              Interesting concept, given that basically, that’s what the federal government has done since the 1930s. All Americans are indentured servants.

          • Asemodeus

            The south lost the war bey case they had no manufacturing base and their ports were blocked.

            Which, oddly enough, is the same problems they still have today.

    • Rosemarie


      Yep, slaves had a simply *fabulous* family life until their “owners” sold their wives and children. Or raped their wives and daughters.

      Call me crazy, but I think human beings are better off free.

  • ivan_the_mad

    The (utter lack of) merits to Bundy’s case aside, we certainly shouldn’t overlook the rise of the warrior cop and the militarization of federal agencies. But if we are concerned about that, how much more concerned should we be with Bundy et al., who are doing a marvelous job of justifying (albeit largely ex post facto) in the public consciousness the need for such paramilitary forces? The criticism of SWAT-style BLM agents will ring a bit hollow to many when you’ve pictures of folks sporting AR-pattern rifles on the other side.

    There are many reasons why civil disobedience is the more prudent course of action, one of them being the greatly diminished chance of handing the government a cornucopia of PR material. It’s harder to spin it when they’re busy letting unarmed hippies have it with fire hoses and pepper spray.

    • Dan C

      I am all for critiquing the rise of the warrior cop, in proportion to the 25 year history of this- I do call “foul” that when the inner city named this as trouble, it was just “them” and their “lawlessness.”

      This needs to be put into context.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    Well, in the quote at the link, Bundy makes it clear that he has no idea of the atrocities committed against slaves, including the intentional break-up of the family. There was no reason a slave owner couldn’t or wouldn’t sell a man’s wife or children or both to another slave owner. That idyllic idea that the black family was a happy cohesive unit when they were slaves is utter ignorance (Has he NEVER read anything by Frederic Douglass? Or a basic history book? Or heck, looked it up on his own? Faugh!).

  • I still see no reason for the BLM, Bundy or no Bundy.

    And once again, atrocities committed against slaves doesn’t give you the right to deprive the slave of every ounce of dignity he had. Deprive the slave owner certainly, but don’t deprive the slave the right to work or the right to have a family.

    We really screwed up the integration of African Americans after the civil war- and everything we’ve done to “rectify” it has only made the situation objectively worse.

  • Dave G.

    Out of curiosity, what source?

  • fondatorey

    “Many of the terrorists who flocked there…”

    So we should avoid hysteria by accusing people of being terrorists? Baloney, this is just hysterical anti-Bundy stuff the same way there is plenty of hysterical pro-Bundy stuff. Its the anti-Bundy forces doing the media rounds and trying to incite hysteria and anger and frustration and rage the same way the pro-Bundy people have done.

    • Asemodeus

      Pointing guns and threatening violence at government officials is terrorism, plain and simple.

      • kenofken

        If these ranchers had instead been young Muslim mean pressing a grievance against the United States with weapons, how many minutes would ANY of them have lived?

        • Dave G.

          I don’t know. How many have been killed by government officials in the US recently? That would probably be the best place to start in figuring out an answer to your question.

        • The Deuce

          You mean, how long did Nadal Hasan live *after* he started shooting at Fort Hood, or how long did we keep promoting him and ignoring the clear signs of danger out of political correctness after we were aware of them?

  • Are we sure when he spoke of “the negro” he was actually meaning black people?
    He might have meant this:

  • I get it. Racists do not deserve to have property and your rights are dependent on the acceptability of your political opinions. All those who do not believe this are not faithful Catholics and should reconcile with the Church.

    Mr. Bundy’s family purchase of grazing rights in the 1880s were supposedly stripped away without any proper takings procedures in the 1930s but none of that matters because he’s a racist. No doubt the 50+ families that were driven off the land leaving Bundy the last rancher standing in the area were similarly unacceptable to right thinking Catholics and did not deserve their property rights either.

    I condemn racism. If the underlying NY Times article is factual, I condemn Mr. Bundy’s complete ignorance of history and the comparative evils of soul destroying welfare clientism and slavery. He’s been around long enough to know better. But then again, these days I don’t put it past the Times to simply lie when it’s strategically convenient. They’ve done it before.

    It is rank consequentialism to advocate stripping a man of property because of views that are neither legally punishable, nor particularly related to the property issues at hand. Bundy’s a bad guy on race issues so we should strip him of his livelihood.

    Mark, you’re not serving the Church well here.

    • Dave G.

      Most conservatives I’ve heard and read have, in fact, said that Mr. Bundy’s claims are not without problems, but we should also focus on the overreach of the government. Seems like a balance to me.

      • Insisting that wife beaters get due process, the KKK gets free speech, communist draft resisters don’t go to jail, etc. is a deep part of the American tradition. Nobody thinks that Harding condoned socialism because he reduced Debs’ prison sentence to time served.

        This separating of principles so that political enemies support each other when they are in the right is compatible with the Catholic Church, but not in Mark Shea’s world. In this case, Mark is simply wrong.

    • The Deuce

      Also, Bundy is a racist, so everything Bundy stands for is racist and anyone who thinks there’s anything here worth talking about besides what a racist terrorist Bundy is is a racist, and therefore liking Hispanic illegal immigrants is racist:

    • chezami

      “Losing twice in court” does not equal “no rights”. But by all means, keep digging.

      • Setting dogs on protestors and tasering them seems to be the larger problem here. Families and friends have gathered to protest the removal of property for quite a long time in the history of the state. Occasionally the state overreaches and you get a revolt. This seems to be what happened here.

        The Daily News, for those not familiar is on the blue collar left in NYC. Their account is likely not going to be edited for convenience of the right wing.

        The Daily News version of the video contradicts the BLM. The truck ran into the ATV. The BLM says it was the other way around. The relevant time stamp is 0:45 and it’s tough to stop in the exact fraction of a second where it’s obvious. You can bet that those discernment free conservatives went to the trouble to isolate the right frame. Normal, rational people generally have a problem when the government lies. But not you. At least not in this circumstance.

        The BLM in fine form, had dogs threatening people, tasers pointed at people, and were shouting to get back and also move the ATV. No matter what, there was a federal crime of not following law enforcement orders. That’s a legal convenience that troubles me and I don’t care who they use it on.

        The BLM had the option to put a lien on Bundy’s cattle. A small bit of paperwork, no guns necessary to resolve this. They simply did not think of doing such a thing. They went straight for the dogs, the tasers, the guns.

        These are the circumstances that you say Catholics must support. I grant the legitimacy of your beliefs and assume that they are heartfelt. You are wrong when you try to narrow the Church to your own ideological views. You are hurting the Church by not granting that those who think differently can legitimately come and freely partake of the eucharist.

        Shame on you for misrepresenting Church teaching.

      • Dave G.

        TMLutas is right Mark. I glossed over this my first reading:

        “That any Catholic could fall for this hysteria for one moment is an indictment of the quality of formation in the American Church. If you are a Catholic who is, in any way, making excuses for these terrorists, go to confession.”

        That’s too far. You’re moving past any discussion to condemnation and execution, and then demanding that anyone who does what you’ve condemned confess their sins. Think about that Mark. Only in the deepest corners of fundamentalism can one find people who equate sin with failing to agree.

    • jroberts548

      If the government takes your land, your remedy is to bring an inverse condemnation action. It isn’t to round up a militia and take it by force.

      If the government takes its own land, which is what happened here, your remedy is nothing.

      • You should study history more.

        • jroberts548

          Please elaborate.

          • There is no such thing as no remedy in history. The remedy may be outside the law. It may be a bad idea. It may be unjust, it may even be impractical but the idea of the rule of law requiring remedies to stay within the letter of the law is both a recent one and a fragile one and the BLM is trampling all over it by openly not complying with their own legal obligations.

            You can’t persistently refuse to obey the law (which the BLM does continuously) and get very hot and bothered when someone else treats the law with little respect.

            • jroberts548

              Which of its obligations to Bundy is the BLM not complying with?

              The idea that the rule of law doesn’t require obeying the law is insane. The idea that you can have any remedy you want is insane. Do you want to return to the bloodfeud and vendetta? The next time someone wrongs you, are you just going to round up your socii and kill someone?

              And I should have been clearer. Bundy has no property in BLM owned land. If a landowner excludes someone who has no property interest, then the excluded person has no remedy because he’s suffered no harm. Without a property interest in bLM land, Bundy has suffered no injury that can be remedied.

              • The obligation is from the federal government to stop choking off the economic life of the state of Nevada by holding 84% of the land and managing that land poorly in ways that limit tax revenue and a healthy politics. Bundy’s just an extreme manifestation of a much larger problem.

                The rule of law requires all participants to obey it, otherwise it breaks down. The BLM openly says it does not comply with the law on disposing horses and burros. The inevitable consequence is that they overgraze the land and reduce the grass available for cattle. This is a much more serious problem than Bundy because they’re doing it all over the state. The breakdown in the rule of law starts from this sort of action and the defiance of the disposal rules is just one example. This lawless resistance to ranchers purchasing, butchering, and making use of meat by an arm of the federal government is frightening. Bundy is one man and the evil he does is very limited. The BLM is not so limited and has the power of all our purses to defy the law.

                Mark Shea would prefer we concentrate on the mote called racist Cliven Bundy. The plank of law defying BLM mismanagement forcing ranchers to desperation and extreme action is not something he cares about.

                • jroberts548

                  And I agree with those criticisms of the BLM completely. I have no idea what they have to do with Bundy, his insane militia, and the people who support him.

                  • Go and examine the Boston Massacre with your present attitude towards authority. You sound very much like you’d come down on the side of the British. That’s not a nationalist indictment. Those soldiers’ defense attorney ended up the 2nd president of the United States at their murder trials.

                    The Bundy situation is that sort of incident, a prelude to potentially greater events that honest men can find themselves on both sides of. Fortunately it’s not ended up in fatalities so far though apparently taser darts do cause blood to be shed.

    • kenofken

      He shouldn’t lose his property because of his views, and he hasn’t. He lost because he advanced a fringe loony argument that was not supported by the facts or the laws governing the ownership and administration of federal land. His views on race have nothing do do with the merits of his case. They should be a factor in whether we make him a folk hero and the face of American virtue.

      • He lost his grazing rights because the federal government decided not to honor its commitments. It’s been doing that for many, many years. Bundy’s just one of the few mad enough to not give in. This resistance is not the problem. The racism is.

        Were less mad people to stand up, Bundy would promptly be marginalized and largely forgotten. This is the way moderates push out extremists. The way moderates empower extremists is to apply ideological cootie tests and trying to discredit legitimate issues by their advocacy by crackpots.

        Mark Shea often understands this dynamic with his use of mockery in the phrase “ritually impure source”. But in this particular case he’s gone over to the other side.

        • kenofken

          Bundy stands alone as the face of this dispute not because of his thorny personality or distasteful personal views on race, but because his case is crackpottery. Western discontent with federal ownership and management is not illegitimate, but Bundy’s legal theories and arguments are things nobody of substance wants to tie their reputations and dollars to because it’s straight out of Bizzarro World.

          He has argued that he has some sort of special and permanent ancestral rights to graze, which have never been shown to exist or even hinted at in anything he can document. He claims that the federal government doesn’t exist and doesn’t own the federal lands it clearly has title to, and has had title to long before there was a Nevada. He claims a core clause of the Nevada Constitution recognizing that federal ownership is invalid, because, why not?

          The only commitment the federal government had was to allow Bundy the same access to permits to graze land on land where permits are issued, and to be treated the same way as other ranchers in that regard. The 1934 law governing that specifically says permits don’t grant any right, title or interest to the land.

          The obligation boils down to this: “If you meet the conditions for a permit, you can graze cattle on the land we issue permits for, and do so for the term of that permit (up to 10 years), and if you pay X dollars per head per year.” Nowhere does it convey special rights for Bundy or anyone to graze wherever in perpetuity, nor does it exempt them from the effects of other federal laws governing public land use, such as endangered species protections.

          Bundy may well have a political case that more land should be sold off by the federal government or governed differently. He has no legal case and certainly no claim to injustice that warrants death threats or the promise of armed confrontation.

          • Honestly I don’t give a hoot about Bundy personally. I think the situation he’s in flows from the fact that Nevada is 84% owned by the Feds and that severely limits people in their ability to do traditional activities like ranching without mother-may-I kow towing to the US government. That’s a problem. As the US is a common law nation, you have to wait until somebody actually suffers damage to set up a cause of action. Sometimes, such as the case of Bundy, or Miranda, the guy establishing that a wrong is being done is not very appealing. Ernesto Miranda was a nasty piece of work, a rapist and a kidnapper. Nobody thinks this invalidates Miranda rights.

            West of the Mississippi land rights are much more fragmented than in the east. Very often rights such as grazing rights transfer separately from the land ownership. In other words, it’s perfectly possible for grazing rights to be privately held for federal land. Just saying that it’s federal land doesn’t settle the matter.

  • John Henry