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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

THE WILD WILD WEST



Over the weekend Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy made the outrageous claim of that his property is in the sovereign state of Nevada and does not recognize the authority of the United States.

Bundy along with armed thugs bused in from other locations across the country staged a standoff because of Bundy's refusal to pay fines associated with illegally allowing his livestock to graze public lands.

The federal government headed by the weak President Obama decided to negotiate a settlement with these thugs by allowing these animals to roam free across the pristine Nevada landscape.

It is an atrocity that this administration allows this freeloader to dodge the government and avoid paying taxes. The freeloading moocher muckity muck.



That is what Fox News would be saying if Bundy was not white.

And if Bundy was not a land owner.

Over the weekend the story that has gotten your chain e-mail sending, Fox News watching uncle all riled up was about the Bureau of Land Management enforcing a court order concerning the above mentioned Cliven Bundy. For the last 20 years, Bundy has avoided paying fines and appearing in court because he does not recognize the federal government. Unfortunately, the Constitution under Article VI, Paragraph 2 states:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Now I am no constitutional expert though I did swear an oath to support and defend this document in August 2002, but it sounds like to me that any laws passed by the United States government is the supreme law of the land therefore his claim that he does not recognize the United States federal government is moot.

There is this little tidbit in Amendment XIV, Section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Again, I must point out that I am no constitutional expert. The claim that Bundy is making that he is only a citizen of the sovereign state of Nevada goes out of the window because he is a citizen of the United States FIRST and then a citizen of Nevada SECOND according to a strict interpretation of the US Constitution.

Bundy was given more than his fair share of due process and for the last two decades the United States government has exhibited lax enforcement of the laws concerning Bundy's tax avoidance. Bundy was able to continue this fight in court.

This has gotten Fox News, specifically Sean Hannity, all riled up and led to the Koch Brothers' backed Americans For Prosperity organization to come to the aid of the rancher.

I wonder if any of those supporters have connected the dots that the Koch Brothers are billionaires along with that Bundy is a ranch owner who owns livestock.
                       
Even more interesting is that the Bureau of Land Management got their fees calculated via an executive order.

And it wasn't by this president.


But rather this president.


In February 1986, President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12548 establishing Grazing Fees. So their initial complaint is with Reagan.

For the time being it appears that this situation has been resolved without giving into these faux patriots expectations of violence. However Cliven Bundy and his supporters are not out of the woods yet. Think Progress has suggested three ways that these people could end up behind bars. Here is a fourth one: obstruction of justice.

Here is another idea I've heard floating around: freeze his bank accounts.

In summary as I alluded to at the beginning of this post if this was another person, the conservative media complex and their supporters would not be so eager to rally to their defense. The fact that it is being backed by the Koch Brothers so ironically named Americans For Prosperity is yet another example of rubes being misled by people who could do more damage to this country than any foreign invader or domestic dictator.

One of the Koch Brothers, David, ran as a Vice-Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 1980. Some of the things that the party supported in 1980 was repeal of federal campaign finance laws, abolition of Medicare and Medicaid, repealing Social Security, repealing all taxation and the minimum wage, a complete dismantling of the social contract, and a repeal of safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.

Those are the oppressors and purveyors of tyranny.

Throw in militia groups who have self-delusional aspects of overthrowing the United States government and this incident looks even more ridiculous than it already is.

Anyone who supports this should be ridiculed for the fools that they are.


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