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On the Nevada “Cattle Battle”

April 22, 2014

This is in response to a relative who seems to be an uncrtitical admierer of millionaire Nevada rancher Cliven Bunds’s 20-year logn defiance of the law and of repeated court orders. She suggested I didn’t read the article she posted all the way through and therefore prejudged the situaiton:

I did read the article you posted all the way through. But instead of immediately swallowing it whole, I did some fact-finding and cross-checking from several other sources. In other words I didn’t drink the Fox News Kool-Aid without checking out the facts. Almost every aspect of the Fox version has now been thoroughly debunked,  from the fantasy that the federal government doesn’t exist (because millionaire rancher Cliven Bundy says it doesn’t) to the fictional “state sovereignty” (no entity called Nevada existed before it was created by the federal government, first as a territory, then as s state. It never was “sovereign” in any sense of the word) to calling gun-waving neo-Nazi militias (Brown shirt wannabes) “patriots.” They are just about Bundy’s only supporters. Last I checked (about 24 hours ago) none of his fellow Nevada ranchers and none of the Cattleman’s Associations haves supported Bundy. Even crackpot Glenn Beck has distanced himself from Bundy and his supporters.

It is a matter of historical fact (not opinion) that the federal government has repeatedly tried to turn over those federal lands to the western states. Under Herbert Hoover, then under Eisenhower, and again during Reagan’s presidency, the feds tried to persuade the state and local governments to accept ownership of those lands. Each time the state and local officials adamantly refused because they would lose eth massive federal subsidies and many services they receive with federal ownership. They didn’t want the responsibility or the expense.

Even the “Dean of Western Writers”, Wallace Sterner, a cultural conservative and sympathetic historian of the LDs experience, summed up the agenda of the “sagebrush rebels” and “cowboy caucus” toward the federal government as simply “get out but give us more money!” In other words they pose as self-reliant “rugged individualists” while demanding more government pork-barrel subsidies. A discerning man, he saw through the pretense.

I will be happy to send you a shrot bibliography that elaborates onf what I’ve summarized here.

 

 

 

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