THE STRANGE CASE OF CLIVEN BUNDY AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

We are coming up to the 1st year anniversary of the last showdown between Cliven Bundy,  his supporters and the Bureau of Land Management, BLM for short.

This has been an ongoing dispute for over 2 decades. A review of the facts is in order. In 1954 Cliven Bundy and his father paid for and used their grazing permit to have their cattle feed on Federal land. They stopped making payments for the right to use the land granted in his original allotment, in 1993. All of a sudden it was not okay to pay for the use permit. If he had a true objection based upon a legitimate claim, his complaint should have been made in 1954 not in 1993.

When in court and out of court, Cliven Bundy has claimed the rights of heredity on his maternal grandmother’s side to graze on the land without paying a fee. He has stated that he does not recognize the Federal Government’s existence and that he will abide by Nevada law and by it’s Constitution.

What is interesting is what you will find in the Nevada Constitution. In point of fact he is in violation of the Nevada Constitution.

Like many states, Nevada has a Paramount Allegiance clause. In Article 1, Section 2 the Constitution of Nevada states the following: Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of its Constitutional powers.” It goes on to say that it may warrant an employment of an armed force in compelling obedience.

What defies common sense is the fact that he claims that he would abide by Nevada law. Bundy would have to pay $15. 50 per head of cattle under Nevada law and only $1.35 per head under Federal grazing per head of cattle rules. Who would want to pay more money to graze their cattle? It really begs the question of whether or not Mr. Bundy isn’t just a dead beat debtor who doesn’t want to pay for the use of the land that his cattle fed on.

Let us go back further in our history to further understand the lawlessness of Cliven Bundy’s actions, or his failure to act rather, in not paying the one million dollars plus that he owes the government for unpaid grazing bills.

In 1848 as part of the Guadalupe Hidalgo agreement whereby Mexico ceded land to the United States, the Territory of Utah was included in that ceding. The federal government has held title to 2/3 of the land of Nevada since 1848. Congress gave power to the executive branch to oversee federal land back to The Taylor Grazing Act, which was passed in 1934 and the subsequent agency that manages federal land is the Bureau of Land Management. It manages 167 million acres in the United States.

Nevada was originally part of the Utah territory and once it split from Utah it became a state in 1864. The Paramount Allegiance clause has been part of the state law of Nevada for a long time.

Bundy’s claim of heredity rights even if true, starts in the 1880’s after the state of Nevada became a state and long after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. He and his father did not start to use the land until 1954. All of Bundy’s claims ring false and after the fact. America was given the land by treaty from Mexico. Nevada ceded power to the Federal Government in order to become a state. Bundy used the land finally, years after the Bureau gained the rights to ask for a fee for usage of their land to others.

If Cliven Bundy will not accede to the laws of Nevada and denies the existence of the Federal government his actions contradict both federal and state law.

The facts are clear he refuses to pay for the right to use someone else’s land. He and his Dad paid those fees for years. It really sounds like he just got tired of paying the money and he has used any excuse in the book to keep from paying what he owes. Other citizens do their part and pay what they owe and are responsible by keeping their word. In essence he had an agreement, a contract by which he was to pay and he did pay for years the right to use land that was not his.

He arguments in court have gone from not recognizing the existence of the Federal Government to arguing that he doesn’t have to pay anything because of the property clause of the Federal Constitution. But Under Article IV., Section 3. the Constitution clearly states that “Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all Needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.” The property that Cliven Bundy has his cattle graze on is Federal land.

When a respondent to a lawsuit such as Cliven Bundy has his arguments go from one to another his arguments become hollow and specious. He says one time that he does not recognize the Federal Government than he uses as his excuse for not paying his debts, the Property Clause of the Federal Constitution. And on the other hand he says he will recognize Nevada law and that it is Nevada land that he is using and then the next excuse he uses is that he should have the right to have his cattle graze freely. So according to this logic, he would be able to trespass on private property or Nevada land or Federal land without paying a dime.

Now the government and we citizens have a problem, how to deal with a man like Cliven Bundy who has now been permanently enjoined from using the land. At some point in our lives we have signed a contract to pay for a car or a house. What if you decided to not pay and physically squat on the land that is not yours or drive a car that you haven’t paid for? We all know that if you didn’t pay you would have your car re-possessed, and that if you squat and trespass on someone else’s land the rightful owner would have the right to have you removed. It is also customary to have the law seek payment of debts by attaching your salary or your property. Contracts and the law would be worthless if they were not enforced. It is an insult to all of the law abiding citizens to let this lawlessness go unpunished.

If anyone is being treated unfairly it is the Pauites and other Native Americans who were here first and who were robbed of their land.

The Federal government recognized the danger of a major confrontation and a potential for a loss of life once the militias arrived. These are not well organized state militias like the National Guard.These are groups of primarily men who seek to take the law into their own hands. Danger lurks once again as we get closer to the anniversary of the last confrontation. Our government does not want to see a repeat of the disastrous confrontations of the past like the disasters in Waco, Texas or at Ruby Ridge.

The government has an understandable level of reluctance in taking action against Mr. Bundy. We citizens must ask the question of when will action be taken against Mr. Bundy? No one is above the law.

Regarding the so-called militia men and their families who were incited by people such as Sean Hannity to go to Nevada to defend Bundy. I have this to say about Hannity and all of those misguided people who came to Bundy land. You all were part of an act of sedition. These self styled Patriots who originally went to Nevada are nothing but confused and wrongheaded traitors to the flag and for all that this country stands for. We are a country of laws not of men and especially men who flaunt the law and abuse those who obey the law.

We face anarchy if we allow Bundy’s lawlessness and careless disregard for the law to go unpunished. He might once again be protected by the Oath Keepers or some other fringe group, but we know the truth, he’s just trying to continue to break the law. He is still breaking the law by grazing on land that he has no right to use. Cliven Bundy is not a man deserving of our respect or our help. He is not above the law. He belongs in jail.

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