Thursday, April 10, 2014

No Law West of the Pecos

There is a lot wrong with this story. Nobody comes away with clean hands, but the Federal Government's are by far the dirtiest.

It almost reads like one of the old pulp westerns I read so many of in my youth: Honest, hardworking rancher gets attacked by a hoard of villains who isolate his ranch, steal his cattle and beat up his children.

The only thing the haven't done yet is poison his well.


The trouble is, in the old westerns salvation always appeared in form of a few cowhands, some of whom helped out the rancher- and his pretty young daughter- while one rode 'hell for leather' to bring in the US Marshal; the only law in the territory. In this case, it is the law doing the terrorizing.

Not that Mr. Bundy is blame free; the story doesn't get into why he stopped/never started paying the fees for grazing on Federal land, but he did; that was the nexus of his current predicament. $1.35 a head per month doesn't sound like much, but with 1000 head that's $1350.00 a month; $16,000.00 a year. To graze on public land that the family has used for 130 years.

Fine; so he owes the Feds money. Do they come after him with a court order? A judgment maybe?

Nope; they come after him with 200 armed agents and proceed to evict his cows from the land. Do they run them back onto land owned by Mr. Bundy? Nope. They IMPOUND the cows. At an estimated cost of $3,000,000.

Yep; the Federal Government is spending over $3 million to collect on $300,000. Do you know now why we are TRILLIONS in debt?

But just like an infomercial at midnight; Wait; There's MORE!!!!!

Not content with wasting a small fortune to make a point, and not content with harassing a man and his family over what is essentially a trifle, they have also closed a public highway and the airspace over the ranch (that $3 million to impound the cattle is starting to sound cheap, ain't it?), but they have also co-opted the local sheriff (well, he was usually crooked in the pulp westerns too) into creating and enforcing a 'free-speech zone', so the folks protesting this atrocity can't get close enough to see what is actually going on.

But WAIT; There's STILL MORE!!!!!

This is just part of the story. They are also closing almost 187,000 acres of land to grazing permanently- one of the reasons for the bovine eviction- to reserve the ground for a 'critical desert tortoise'.

If you have been following the news lately, you know what has been happening to the price of beef. what do you think the closing of 187,000 acres of grazing land will do the cattle herds? And to the price of beef.

So the next time you hit McDonald's and your Big Mac costs more than your first car, remember what the Feds did to Clive Bundy.

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