Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cliven Bundy: Nevada's Own House of Cards

Cliven Bundy: The Rancher on Horseshit Mountain.

At some point we often get a glimpse of the real man -- think Rand Paul, Anthony Weiner and, yes, even Bill Clinton -- behind or, better yet, below the public image. Famous-for-fifteen-minutes Cliven Bundy built his house of cards only to get knocked down by reporters and, yes, his own fool mouth.

And we know we're getting there when they start to say "I never said that." What? Don't these guys know the Internet wrecked 90 percent of a public figure's opportunity for pure bullshit? What part of Google or Freedom of Information Act don't these clowns get?

Point one:
"I've lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements," Bundy said.
Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy's parents bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.
Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn't start grazing on that land until 1954.
The Bureau of Land Management was created 1946, the same year Cliven was born.
"My rights are before the BLM even existed, but my rights are created by beneficial use. Beneficial use means we created the forage and the water from the time the very first pioneers come here," Bundy said.
Every claim he makes is horseshit. Point two:
[...] What about Bundy’s claim that his forebears bought the land he is now accused of trespass grazing upon?  This land was once Mexican land, and was won by the United States after the Mexican-American War. It is part of what is known as the “Mexican Cession.” All of Nevada, California, Arizona and most of New Mexico were part of the Cession. Much of this land was privatized under various grants and laws such as the Homestead Act and the Desert Lands Act, plus mining claims. Several million acres were granted to Nevada for state lands, but those lands that were not privatized have always been Mexican lands or United States lands owned by the U.S. government. Before the Taylor Grazing Act, these government lands were called “the public domain.” They could be privatized, as mentioned, under the Homestead Act and such, but the acreage allowed per homesteader was limited to 160 acres.
[...] The result was disaster because the operator to find green grass and eat it first won out, promoting very bad grazing practices. That was the reason for Taylor Grazing Act — ranchers and others could see the public domain system led to disaster on the ground. Therefore, the more powerful ranchers with “base” private property received grazing permits. This got rid of the landless livestock operators. Taylor Grazing was administered on the ground by the U.S. Grazing Service. Now, ranchers with grazing permits had to pay a grazing fee to use their permits.
[...] In 1946 [the year Cliven Bundy was born] the Bureau of Land Management was created by executive order of President Truman to replace the Grazing Service. The Service had been defunded in a dispute between the House and the U.S. Senate. The BLM has since been affirmed by law rather than a mere executive order. It is supposed to manage the public lands for multiple uses and for sustained production (“yield”) of renewable resources such as grass. As before, you need a grazing permit for cattle, sheep, goats, or horses to legally graze. It is a privilege, not a right, and this has been firmly stated by the U.S. courts.
Bundy doesn't even know the history that proves his horseshit is horseshit. Now, point three, that he didn't say what they say he said:
Like everyone else to ever be quoted saying something untoward, Nevada rancher and new conservative folk hero Cliven Bundy, who just happens to be a huge racist, said this afternoon that his comments about black Americans being better off as slaves, as published in the New York Times, were inaccurate and taken out of context. They most certainly were not. "I didn't say nothin' about pickin' cotton," Bundy told Alex Jones on the radio today. "This is bombshell. This is bombshell," said Jones. "You're telling me you did not say 'picking cotton'?"
"No, I did not say pickin' cotton," said Bundy. Let's go to the tape.

Oops, there it is, at 1:45: "They never learned how to pick cotton ... were they better off as slaves, pickin' cotton?"
And just to finish off this trip to horseshit mountain, read this piece in Salon that lists the crap that conservatives threw together in defend of Bundy. It's hilarious, or would be if it weren't for how close to an armed insurrection we came at the insanity's peak.

More proof of Hannity's insanity?

My, how the right-wingers who took up Bundy's cause are "distancing" themselves from him today. If an armed mob shows up to defend Bundy when the feds do come again -- and they will -- they will leave themselves open to serious condemnation. Bundy has knocked down his own house of cards, leaving himself most likely alone on Horseshit Mountain.

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