Monday, April 14, 2014
Why The Feds Chickened Out On A Nevada Ranch
Let me obliterate a bit of confusion here: the Obama administration attempted to go to war with a rancher in Nevada. Let me amplify a little bit of truth: They tucked tail and have returned home. And let me add a bit of clarity: they had no choice!
As the nation began to become familiar with the plight of the family of Cliven Bundy, many of us harkened back to another standoff in which the Federal government attempted to bully it's outcome: Waco, Texas and the Branch Davidian massacre.
It is telling that in the Nevada case the feds pulled out so quickly, given all they had indicated they were willing to do to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. They had set up a perimeter around the Bundy's family land, ranch, and home. They had brought in extra artillery, dogs, and snipers. They were beginning the process of stealing more than 300 head of cattle that did not belong to them.
They did so--or so we were told--for the reason of protecting the desert tortoise. But then it was revealed that the Bureau of Land Management had shot far more desert tortoises than the Bundy cattle had even possibly destroyed. We were told they did it because the Bundys had broken federal laws by not paying what amounted to retroactive grazing fees to the federal government. But the Governor of the state of Nevada told us that Bundy had paid every ounce of state tax, met the state requirements, and their family had been improving the property more than 100 years previous.
Finally we were allowed to know the connection between a communist Chinese wind/solar power plant and its connection to that senator named Harry Reid. Evidently a plan had been hatched to use the Bundy property for a solar farm and instead of paying the Bundys, someone, somewhere in the administration believed it was easier to just take what they wanted.
That approach is at least consistent with the readily documented abuse of imminent domain where the government for any number of reasons--few of them valid--have taken to taking what doesn't belong to them. Americans then watch as it gets handed over to some multi-national corporation for the "cause" of the "greater good."
There were a few specific reasons why the feds chickened out in the Nevada desert though.
1. Technology - As the Bundy family members were abused, cameras captured it. Not television network cameras, but dozens of cell phone video devices that gave witness to a Bundy aunt being shoved to the ground, and a Bundy son being tazed. All of this while threatening protestors with dogs, brandished weapons and vehicles was captured, uploaded and made viral to the watching world.
2. States' Rights - As the drama unfolded it became clear that the Governor of Nevada, and the Sheriff of Clark County knew that Cliven Bundy's family had not only not broken any state law regarding the land, but that they had gone to the enth degree to insure compliance with Nevada laws on the property. The Governor and the Sheriff, to their credit, did not favor the feds as a more powerful party in the conflict. Though there must have been pressure from Senator Reid's office, the administration via the Bureau of Land Management, and local officials who were bought and sold like the Clark County Commissioner who told those coming to support the Bundys to have "funeral plans in place."
3. Grassroots Response - As other incidents have transpired in the past, the amount of time it took honest information to reach the grassroots and thus the response to the action came to slow. In the massacre in Waco, most of the nation had been sold a single narrative from the limited media outlets covering the events. Similarly the events surrounding the abduction of Elian Gonzales from his family in Florida and deportation to Cuba took place in such a response vacuum that by the time Americans knew the real story, the damage was done. With the Bundy ranch, internet outlets by the dozen had competing information with the limited "official news" being released by the networks, and in most cases the alternative sources had it correct and usually a full day or so ahead of the news cycle. By the time afternoon drive hit, when the network news rooms in New York were preparing their first stories, talk radio audiences had already been dialing their elected officials in Washington demanding action.
The majority of Americans saw through the efforts to spin the story in Nevada. Couple that with the leadership failures that the American people view the administration responsible for, from Benghazi to the Affordable Care Act, all it took was the unedited video of federal agents tazing Bundy's son, followed by his pulling the wires from his chest and continuing to stand his ground for there to be comparisons made to the American revolution.
It's also important to note that merely pulling back from the Bundy property hasn't settled the matter for the American people either.
The feds have stolen 352 head of cattle, and will not confirm or deny if they euthanized some or all of them. Recompense must be made. And to be candid, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see if a few ambitious law firms don't try to convince the Bundy family of the validity of litigation.
Fortunately for the American people, the feds were not able to ultimately bully a simple rancher, not for a tortoise, a solar power plant, or a dirty Senator and his administration.
We owe the Bundy family a great deal of thanks for standing tall.
For if the federal government is allowed to do it with one, then there will be nothing stopping them from doing it again.
The “Assault Weapon” Rebellion
The triumph of Cliven Bundy might encourage this rebellion too
In the April issue of Townhall Magazine, Bearing Arms editor Bob Owens asks what would happen if a liberal government passed a new gun law but nobody obeyed it?
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed what the Hartford Courant called “the toughest assault weapons legislation in the nation” last year. It required owners of semi-automatic firearms to register all firearms designated as “assault weapons” with the state government, along with any “high capacity” magazines they may own, by December 31, 2013.
The Malloy regime expected Connecticut residents to register somewhere between 372,000-400,000 firearms, and roughly 2 million firearm magazines that held more than 10 rounds before January 1.
What they got instead was defiance.
Just 50,000 of the estimated 372,000 so-called “assault weapons” in the state were registered by the deadline, or less than 15 percent. That’s still far better than the anemic 38,000 “high capacity” magazines that were reported to authorities, out of 2 million.
Why is compliance so low? We can’t know for sure. After all, the owners of these firearms and magazines refused to register, so we can’t easily interview them. But the theory we’ve heard bandied about most frequently is that the owners of these firearms felt that registration was a forerunner of confiscation, and that they would rather become felons under the eyes of a vengeful state than become disarmed subjects.
The development has left the government stunned and unsure of how to respond, and has driven the editors of the anti-gun Courant into a sputtering rage.
The newspaper released an unsigned editorial on Valentine’s Day titled “State Can’t Let Gun Scofflaws Off Hook,” and argued that the state should use the background check database to hunt down non-compliant owners, presumably targeting them for police raids and arrests.
We can only assume that the Courant’s newsroom staff skipped American history in school, or they would know what happened the last time a group of government forces attempted a series of dramatic gun control raids in a neighboring state. As I recall, that day, April 19, 1775, went rather poorly for the British Regulars under Lt. Col. Smith.
Malloy’s staff seems to grasp their terrible predicament a bit better than the hotheads of the Courant. Sending 1,120 Connecticut State Troopers on SWAT-style raids against more than 80,000 suspect “assault weapon” owners could not possibly end well.
To date, Malloy and his allies in the legislature who rammed through these strict gun control laws largely remain silent on the fact that the citizenry has simply ignored them. What else can they do?
The government of Connecticut can’t threaten the citizenry with criminal charges. They’ve already willingly decided to become felons en masse. The government can’t threaten the citizenry with force. They’re both grossly outnumbered and outgunned. The government can’t offer an amnesty. It would only reinforce how little power the government has over a rebellious citizenry.
The only realistic option is for the government of Connecticut to pretend that their assault weapon ban never existed. To admit it exists, and that they can do nothing to enforce it, would reveal that the emperor and his court have no clothes.
A nearly identical problem is brewing next door in the much larger, more populous state of New York, thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hastily-passed NY SAFE Act. That law demands that New Yorkers register their semi-automatic “assault rifles” with the government by April 15.
While Connecticut is thought to have something less than 400,000 firearms classified as “assault weapons” under their law, New York is thought to have as many as 1 million firearms meeting New York’s revised criteria.
Cuomo faces an even bigger registration problem in New York than Malloy did in Connecticut because many of New York’s sheriffs are in near open revolt against the SAFE Act, and have stated publicly that they will not enforce it. While they have been less publicly vocal, New York State Troopers have quietly indicated that they, too, will do as little as possible to enforce the law.
New York Assemblyman Bill Nojay, a Republican from suburban Rochester, summed up Cuomo’s problem succinctly. “If you don’t have the troopers and you don’t have the sheriffs, who have you got? You’ve got Andrew Cuomo pounding on the table in Albany.”
As a result of the common revolt by New York gun owners and law enforcement against the SAFE Act, it is quite likely that the law’s April 15 deadline will reveal an even more spectacular refusal of citizens to register their arms, well exceeding 90 percent.
What will Cuomo do then? He has the option of following Malloy’s lead and just remaining silent.
Unfortunately for Cuomo, he’s never shown that ability.
An evil old man
A few weeks back, I highlighted Harry Reid's creepy obsession with the Koch brothers, billionaire businessmen who've donated generously to a number of right-leaning organizations (not to mention cancer hospitals, arts centers, and institutions of higher learning). In an unsparing headline, I referred to Reid as an incoherent, muttering old man. Allahpundit kicks it up a notch with his headline: "Mentally ill man can't stop talking about the monsters under his bed."
Labeling Reid a deranged person may seem like a low blow -- until, that is, you watch this clip assembled by the Washington Free Beacon. You'll be tempted to stop watching after about ten seconds, assuming you've got the drift of it. Don't. You really need the full experience. Take it away, gramps:
That's your Senate Majority Leader, America. Nowhere in any of those speeches did Reid mention his own multi-bilionaire political sugar daddy, Tom Steyer, who's pledged $100 million help elect Democrats. Nope, only conservatives try to "buy our democracy," or something. Meanwhile, Reid and his deep-pocketed liberal super PAC are being raked over the coals by fact-checkers for a series of lie-filled ads running against Republicans. Left-leaning Politifact rates an attack on vulnerable Sen. Mark Pryor's opponent "false," while the Washington Post awards Four Pinocchios to a separate spot running to help Sen, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana:
"This is the third time in a month that the Fact Checker has given Four Pinocchios to an ad sponsored by Senate Majority PAC. That’s a pretty dreadful track record, and does little for the organization’s credibility more than six months before the midterm elections."
Indeed. One fun fact noted by WaPo: Senate Majority PAC has been heavily funded by..."out of state billionaires." National Journal's Ron Fournier is disgusted with Reid, and says that the media should be ashamed of themselves if they let the Nevada Senator get away with his string of lies:
Leftist hypocrisy in Texas
Truth is optional for the Left. There is a hole in Wendy Davis's head where integrity should be. She is a "whited sepulchre"
Davis is also a miracle of plastic surgery
On National Equal Pay Day, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’s Twitter account posted this tweet exposing the gender pay gap in her conservative opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office:
Missing from that tweet were statistics that reveal Davis paid her own male staffers significantly more than women for years. The Daily Caller has the exposé:
According to documents obtained in an open records request, in 44 out of the 58 months between Jan. 2009, when Davis took office, and Oct. 2013, the highest earner in Davis’ Senate office was a man.
All told, male staffers employed by Davis earned just over $300,000 more than female staffers. Salaries paid to men totaled $1,143,357 while women were paid $837,481 in aggregate, salary records show.
This is just Davis’s latest bout of hypocrisy. In January, The Dallas Morning News wrote that Davis had exaggerated her rags to riches story. While campaigning that she overcame hardship living as a divorced teenage mom in a trailer home, Davis failed to admit this was only for a few months before moving into an apartment with her daughter. Her boyfriend then paid for her last two years at Texas Christian University. I don’t hear feminists bragging about these little details.
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Posted by JR at 12:57 AM