Nevada Rancher’s Fight Goes Much Deeper Than Media Willing to Cover PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:25

As I write this, hundreds of Americans are gathered in Clark County, Nevada, in support of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy in his fight to save his family’s ranch from an aggressive takeover by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the Department of the Interior.

The mainstream media’s shocking lack of coverage of this story provides all the evidence Americans need to unambiguously indict it for the propaganda machine it has become. Massive resources are provided for weeks of endless speculation on a missing plane originating in Malaysia, but practically no coverage of well over 200 federal agents surrounding the Bundy ranch – fully armed and including trained snipers – high-tech surveillance, and a declared no-fly zone over this area of Nevada.

Any coverage by the corporate media has been glaringly slanted in favor of the government’s position in this takeover, claiming that Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees for his cattle that graze on federal land. The cattle of Bundy’s family have been grazing on this same land since the 1800s.

What the media isn’t mentioning is that Bundy’s cattle grazing on a small section of nearly 600,000 acres of barren desert land was never an issue until the early 1990s. Coincidentally, that is when Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) initiated a study to designate huge swaths of land in a six-state area for solar-energy development to accommodate a Chinese corporation that wants to build at least one solar plant that includes Bundy’s property.

Instead, the media mentions a highly questionable threatened tortoise that purportedly faces extinction due to trampling by Bundy’s cattle. Noticeably absent from reports is the BLM’s own extermination of large numbers of the very same tortoise it claims to be trying to protect.

Obviously there is a lot more to the situation than grazing fees. For years, Bundy paid the fees as a part of his ranching enterprise, but he began withholding payments when he claimed the BLM started operating against his property interests, and those of his neighbors. (Examples include the BLM bulldozing long-established water wells and removing cattle with baby calves that then perished.) He has been to federal court to no avail on three occasions seeking remedy against BLM’s arguably strategic effort to force his family off its ranch.

There are several important aspects of this story that bear consideration. First, there is plenty of case law in support of the constitutional limits of the federal government to “own” property outside the 10 square miles that compose the District of Columbia, or “the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings” (U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 – known as the Enclave Clause). The founders expressly gave Congress control over territories that were not designated as states, but once formed as a state, all sovereign control of the land reverted to the state.

Second, the Bureau of Land Management is an administrative federal agency, one of 456 agencies that compose the Executive Branch – although several agencies are under the purview of the Legislative Branch. The Executive Branch of government is exponentially larger than the the other two branches, and only gaining in size and scope of power, even usurping power from other branches – especially that of Congress. Within the agencies are thousands of smaller bureaucracies, most of which Congress has no clue exist, let alone knowing what each does. Wikipedia has a listing that demonstrated the sheer enormity of the federal government’s agency-heavy hierarchy that is well worth reviewing for perspective alone (RCReader.com/y/agencies).

BLM is deriving its authority from administrative statutes that often ignore the Constitution. Specifically, BLM claims authority under the International Property Maintenance Code, whose rules are the result of the United Nations’ Agenda 21. There is nothing in our Constitution that obliges property owners to international regulations. When did compliance with an international code of anything become an enforceable event within the continental United States, specifically in one of the several states – namely Nevada – that justifies heavily armed agents against a rancher and his family?

How is this scenario even possible in a constitutional republic of laws? This is perhaps the most important question of our time. Americans must become far better informed about administrative government. Think about it like an overlay of government that exists in corporate form – United States of America, Inc. – because that is precisely what it is. USA, Inc. has branches of itself in every state and county in America, all “agents” for the parent corporation in DC.

Administrative statutes are akin to corporate bylaws. Initially, Congress passes legislation that establishes an agency and its authority, along with its funding, deliberately using overly broad language to comply with our Constitution on its face. Once established, the agency is free to create its own rules and regulations in carrying out its duties – more often than not, completely afield and outside of what the Constitution actually allows. It is free to grow and multiply, adding departments and sub-departments as it sees fit. The growth of agencies is the primary force behind the explosive growth of government – federal, state and local – resulting in a massive, out-of-control regulatory behemoth that is inherently abusive. But until this multitude of abuses of authority is challenged by Americans, the overreach goes merrily on, with agencies policing themselves and remaining unaccountable in any meaningful way.

The congressional oversight committees tasked with overseeing the 456 agencies are ludicrously outnumbered and outmatched by agency personnel. Recent congressional hearings have exposed those agencies under investigation to be adept at thwarting serious oversight and shielding their agencies’ leadership from accountability.

Third, administrative rules and regulations are antithetical to a bottom-up constitutional republic. The body of statutes is exhaustive in its agenda to control resources as comprehensively as possible, therefore necessarily adopting a top-down structure that is disgracefully arbitrary in its enforcement authority. This is evidenced in recent exposure of corruption and crimes that have gone criminally unprosecuted at the federal level, especially when it involves agency personnel. To name egregious acts in just the past five years that we know about: murder of embassy and ATF personnel; drone attacks that killed innocents; lying to Congress under oath; IRS targeting of certain groups; NSA spying on Americans; myriad agencies’ misuse of taxpayer funds; ignoring congressional subpoenas; ethics violations; waste, fraud, and abuse in defense-contract expenditures; ignored auto-industry mandatory disclosures resulting in loss of life and limb; billions in bank fraud and money-laundering; refusal to submit mandatory audits of books by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Health & Human Services.

Meanwhile, through the federal courts, federal control over state-owned land is gaining. However, Utah is fighting back, passing legislation to “demand the return of most of the federal lands in Utah back to state control by 2015” (RCReader.com/y/utah).

This controversy begs the question: What circumstances permit administrative law to trump constitutional protections? For what purpose does the federal government now claim authority over 80 percent of Nevada, 45 percent of California, 55 percent of Utah, and 70 percent Alaska? Visit RCReader.com/y/land to learn more about federal claims in all 50 states, including Iowa and Illinois. Keep in mind the collateral value of U.S. property, both public and private, for the federal government in managing its dangerous national debt.

Which brings me back to Cliven Bundy. The issue is far more about whom and what interests the federal agencies really serve. If it were those of Cliven Bundy and other similar American ranchers, the problems would be worked out amicably. (Bundy is the only remaining rancher of 53 ranchers in Clark County and surrounding territory that have been forced out by BLM.) Perhaps the grazing fees could be forgiven to the extent that BLM harmed property.

In the meantime, the compromised media turns a blind eye to this showdown with the BLM, which could very easily turn into another travesty not unlike Ruby Ridge. Call your senator and representative today to demand to know where they stand on protecting American life, liberty, and – as U.S. legislators – property rights in Clark County, Nevada, and the rest of our 50 states.


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