Eyeball to Eyeball — And the Feds Blinked


Why did the federal government back down and return Cliven Bundy’s cattle without firing a single shot?

Was it because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was about to be exposed in a corrupt deal with the Chinese to use federal land in Nevada for a huge solar power farm?

I don’t know the answers. But as far as I can recall, this is the first time in my lifetime the federal government has ever retreated in the face of domestic dissent by white people.

For those who have not been following the story: the Bureau of Land Management sent armored vehicles and snipers to Bunkerville, Nevada when they started to round up cattle owned by a rancher named Cliven Bundy, who is said to owe more than a million dollars in back grazing fees for pasturing his cattle on land claimed by the federal government. Mr. Bundy did not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the feds — only that of the state of Nevada and Clark County — and resisted the encroachment. Hundreds of supporters poured into Bunkerville from all over the country, many of them armed, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Bundy Family against the federal government. Today the BLM backed down. It announced that in the name of public safety, it had agreed to return Mr. Bundy’s cattle and pull out.

Whatever the reason for the retreat, the feds have lost their mojo in this one, big time. Cliven Bundy and his supporters faced down federal snipers and armored vehicles without flinching. All the mojo has passed to them.

I don’t see how the federal government can allow this to stand. Expect a second act.

Make sure to read what Sipsey Street Irregulars have to say about what happened in Bunkerville.

Links to various news stories about the standoff at the Bundy ranch (yes, I know some of them are Infowars, but Infowars has been reliable on this story so far):

Many thanks to our British correspondent JP for sending the photo used at the top of this post.

22 thoughts on “Eyeball to Eyeball — And the Feds Blinked

  1. The first battle goes to the people, but the war is not over. But let’s not give ourselves a headache trying to figure the feds next move, because it appears that they have lost all heart for this desert land of the protected tortoise. And if there is to be a new standoff with Mr Bundy involving the feds why would the BLM have released the cattle? Was that a strategic error or is there something more sinister in mind?

    • lull him into a false sense of security?
      There’s a lot of drones these days, and drone operators with a lot of work experience shooting up ranches occupied by the enemy in Afghanistan eager to keep their skills current.

      An accident lurks in a dark corner, it’s easy to mask a Helfire explosion as a gas explosion if the accident investigators are in your pay.

  2. Please see this map: 84.5% of Nevada is already govt-owned. The Baron told me that in 1993 Clinton federalized much that was state-owned down that way.

    Here’s a map:


    [Click on map to enlarge]

    Nevada is the biggest loser (no coincidence that it’s a poor state) but other far West states have been gobbled up by the government. They take private land into their control and dry up any real estate revenue that would be forthcoming to the state and the feds. Not to mention the productive uses to which private ownership would put that land.

    I think this ‘conservation’ started with Teddy Roosevelt. It has taken waaay too much land out of private hands and then proceeded to neglect it. Proves the government is a poor steward. It’s the main reason we get a lot of forest fires out west. Those bureaucrats may have degrees in forestry, but the rules in place don’t permit them to use what they learned to actively manage those vast forests.

    When Things Fall Apart, the private use of federal lands will begin again – informally at first and then more codified as the scope and nature of our governance changes.

    I’m waiting for people to complain that “Info Wars” isn’t real journalism. As if the MSM lotus-eaters are?? They didn’t want to touch the Harry Reid Loves China deal for fear of being closed out of the govt information loop – as Fox News has been, to pay for its sins.

    After all the big talk in this administration about alternative power, why were the Chinese to get American jobs, pray tell? In fact, why put in one of those huge solar panel purgatories to fry all the tortoises when the Bureau of Land Management claimed protecting those torts was their reason for showing up to drive the cattle off?

    Slime and more slime. Harry Reid slithers out of the room now…the farmer can return to doing what his family’s been doing since long before Harry Reid came along.

    • You’re entirely correct, Dymphna. Neither the CBS, NBC or ABC news stories on this mention anything about Harry Reid and his plans to gift the lands to a Chinese company he’s connected to. The feds backed down only after this came to light on Drudge and other outlets.

      If I had to guess, I imagine the next foray against the Bundys will be via lawfare from Holder and the DOJ. They won’t try a frontal assault again, at least here. They were dealing with armed citizens, and it had attracted more attention than they planned on.

      • The problem with lawfare is, it only lasts until the party being lawfared against by the federal govt begins to see the futility of it all and being bankrupted by the process begins to wage warfare out of desperation.

    • There is a troubling aspect, though. I read the article in the Sipsy Street Irregulars, including the posting from a counter-argument from Politics USA that one of the posters provided.

      Apparently, all Bundy had to do was pay for federal permits to graze on federal lands, as his neighbors did. He chose not to on principle. Now, are we willing to support an armed confrontation when a citizen decides he doesn’t like the procedures, or the jurisdiction, of a government, and ignores them?

      As for the problems with Harry Reid, Dymphna calls for the return of federal lands to the state jurisdictions, but let us recall that Reid is a Nevada senator, elected by and for the state of Nevada. Would the administration of lands by a state that elected the likes of a Harry Reid likely to be any better?

      It’s a fact that the use of lands and resources have got to be administered by some kind of government. Otherwise, you have the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy occurs when lands are freely used by all, but no one is responsible for its maintenance. Such a situation inevitably results in the ruin of the land, with no exceptions. Is Bundy trying to free-load, by avoiding the oversight of the government? We don’t know. But, he lives in the US as a citizen, and I would think long and hard before putting my life on the line to defend someone who has chosen to avoid a system of permits already in place because he decided he didn’t agree with the jurisdictions involved.

      • First. All Bundy had to do was give up his principles. He didn’t, good for him.

        Second. Just because Reid is a maggot-lying progressive piece of dirt does not mean the rest of the state has to go along with him.

        Bunkerville = Bunkerhill

        • I’m afraid you are not responding to either of my points.
          1. Do you want to have a confrontation every time someone decides to ignore the government because he disagrees with the jurisdictions involved? Or, do you want to act with some more coherent principles

          2. Harry Reid may be an unethical grifter, but he is not an argument for state management of lands, since Reid was elected through the votes and procedures of the state itself.

      • RonaldB, you raise some interesting points of view, but going on what I have already learned of this ‘incident’ I don’t think you fully appreciate the issues that have led up to this ‘incident’.

        So I’ll try to answer your concerns with the following:

        1. The Bundy family have had ‘legal’ access to the ‘grazing lands’ since 1877. Lands which were specifically put aside for ranchers needs and which were deemed as unproductive and therefore of no farming or commercial value. It is ‘useless land’ and not much better than desert. That photo at the top of this article gives a graphic example of how much desert it really is.

        2. Federal governments have increasingly since the Civil War been adding tracts of land to the federal collective, particularly those generally uninhabited areas out west. It is against the constitution of the United States for any federal government to do this, but they are still doing it.

        3. Why should ranchers accustomed to free range grazing rights, and in Bundy’s case, all legal since 1877, all of sudden in 1995 be made to pay for the ‘privilege’ with a 200% increase of fees for grazing on unproductive county land through a federal politically motivated and dictatorial decision? And how is land that is practically desert maintained when even the cited Desert Tortoise as being a protected species needs cow pats on which to survive? Cattle cannot ruin what is already classed as unproductive, verging on desert, land.

        Bundy is no free loader. His family has paid fees since 1877 to have cattle graze on open range land. What Bundy is protesting is this:

        a. The huge increase in fees now owing.

        b. The taking of the land by the federal government is unconstitutional. The federal government is now exerting its huge governmental apparatus to remove ALL ranchers from their lands by squeezing them off financially, or in Bundy’s case by force if necessary.

        c. Bundy’s family had access to the lands even before the state deemed them as being owned by the state and has some ‘legal possession’ under simple common law rights as a squatter.

        In my opinion, the federal government is massively and unconstitutionally playing the tyrant in this huge over-reach, orchestrated it appears, by a senator determined to have a huge solar powered site imposed over and above Bundy’s constitutional and common law rights.

        This fight is not just about Bundy, it is about the American individual and their rights as opposed to a now openly fascist and hostile American Government. And for that, Mr Bundy has my deepest admiration.

        • Nemesis,

          I’m grateful for your exposition. I still have questions, however.

          You assert that the land taking is unconstitutional. It may be immoral and unjust, but is it specifically unconstitutional? Article 4, section 3, paragraph 2 of the constitution states:

          “2: The 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; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”

          There may be excellent reasons for Bundy to maintain control over the land, and to maintain his grazing practices. There may be vast corruption, as in the case of Harry Reid. However, the question is, do we want issues of government to be decided by an armed gang rather than by government processes, however flawed?

          It may be that the processes of government have become so corrupted as to bypass the original intent of the constitutional framers for a representative republic. I think we started down that road when the legislature and the judiciary began tampering with electoral districts and the requirement for “proportional representation.”

          But, the consequences of deciding issues with the presence of an armed mob is that you do away with the rules of government. Is it possible that a corrupt government which is nevertheless beholden to some system of rules is better than lurching from issue to issue depending on the attention of the mob?

          I wish to state I have every respect for the people wishing to protest what seems to be an abuse of federal power on Bundy. But, I am questioning whether this is the way we wish to decide issues. Is it possible that with the Drudge revelations, a team of lawyers could have the same effect? We’re far better off influencing government actions through an ongoing legal process than through the random gathering of angry people when an issue fires their imagination.

          • RonaldB —

            If I understand it correctly, it was President Clinton, and not Congress, who turned county or state public land into federal land. He did it with the stroke of a pen, like Obama, in an executive order.

            Regardless of what the Supreme Court might say, that’s clearly unconstitutional. And local legislators, sheriffs, etc. take an oath to uphold the Constitution. They are empowered — even required — to nullify any unconstitutional federal encroachments on their local rights, as protected by the Tenth Amendment.

            I think Bundy and his supporters are absolutely correct, legally and morally. If their local elected officials ignore the Constitution, then its enforcement is “reserved to the people”.

            That’s what it says in the document itself.

        • RonaldB, I believe the Baron has expressed the unconstitutional actions of the federal government concerning this incident better than I.

          Your raising the issue of ‘armed mobs’ as compared to legitimate militia – which is how I see it – exposes your thinking as an aversion to armed resistance when armed resistance is all that is left with which to argue against a tyrannical government that does not recognize the rule of law, let alone the requirements of a constitution that was designed to keep the over-reach of federal government to a minimum.

          That is what criminals do.

          I can’t imagine a team of lawyers getting the same result as the sudden appearance of the citizen militia, especially if you can consider the ineligibility of the current occupier of the White House and the many lawyers and others who have been trying to expose his ineligibility for that position since 2008.

          Maybe some thought could be given for the many ranchers that have lost their livelihood since that time while the Wrecker in Chief goes about his destruction of America.

          What we saw over the past few days was not simply an armed mob out for vengeance, but an organized and deliberate resistance to tyranny. It doesn’t come any more plain than that and it just doesn’t get any more patriotic!

          When this thing kicked off Bundy was not armed, but the BLM were, and they made sure that they intimidated those who at first turned up to support the Bundy family. That is not how typical law enforcement is supposed to operate to those who have a legitimate reason to be protesting.

          I believe this incident has exposed the empty suits in Washington and for what they stand for – themselves and theirs. I also believe we may be seeing more of this type of resistance to government over-reach as the days wear on.

  3. I always thought the feds were not like the ones we went to war with: Gaddaffi, Saddam, Kim ill. I thought the feds were healthy minded and loved their citizens.
    — Really? You are mistaken. Live in America and learn.

  4. ‘I’m waiting for people to complain that “info wars” isn’t real journalism.’

    You won’t get that from me. I tune in nearly every day for some REAL news!

    That Harry Reid is a slippery sucker!

  5. The fed Brownshirts blinked due to the fact that the dim overlords did not feel this would bode well during the midterms. They will be back. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  6. I had no problem with the feds owning all that land out west, just these feds. I think we need to change this government. It’s apparent no matter who we elect the peoples representatives will do nothing to arrest government interference in our lives. We owe it to our past and our future generations to do something about this. Maybe this is a new beginning.

  7. The reason the feds blinked was that the protesters had women and children with them and if the feds opened fire on the protesters, all sorts of Hades would have happened. Once that Pandora’s Box was opened, it would have signaled to the American people that their own govt is now a clear and present danger to everyone, and law enforcement right or wrong, would never be trusted and put themselves in danger no matter the call they went on.

  8. There have been two further comments in the blogosphere:
    1. That it is connected with the water rights
    2. It is alleged that Reid’s son is a lobbyist for the solar power people

    Can’t remember where I saw these – sorry.

  9. The bullies will be back. Nothing I repeat,nothing is done on matters such as this only with the full knowledge and approval of the regime of our ‘Dear Leader’.

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