The Bundy Ranch Stand-Off: Free Riders, Armed Extremists and Federal Agents

© Josh Sager – April 2014

For the past 20 years, a Nevadan rancher named Cliven Bundy has been grazing his cattle on federal land while refusing to pay any fees to the Bureau of Land Management. Obviously, this refusal to pay fees for the use of federal land breaks the law, and the Bureau of Land Management has made several attempts over the years to address this in court–none have been successful and Bundy has regularly refused to even acknowledge the legitimacy of the federal government’s right to compel fees for using their land.

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During the last few weeks, the conflict between this rancher and the federal government reached a breaking point, culminating in the federal government attempting to round up Bundy’s cattle which was grazing on federal property. Bundy owes over $1 million in grazing fees to the federal government and they sought to sell his cattle to recoup these losses.

Unfortunately, this attempt was met with a massive push-back from a variety of militia members, anti-government protesters, libertarian ideologues, “sovereign citizens” and right wing “states’ rights defenders,” who showed up to support Bundy carrying loaded weapons.

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After a short standoff between federal authorities and the armed Bundy supporters, the federal authorities left without the cattle in an attempt to prevent armed conflict. This retreat by federal authorities has been portrayed as a victory of “small government” activists over the “big federal government,” but, in reality, this is nothing more than the temporary victory of armed extremists over the rule of law.

Cliven Bundy: Free Rider

Cliven Bundy is clearly in the wrong when he says that he should be allowed to graze his cattle on federal land without having to pay any fees; that land is owned and maintained by the public, and Bundy’s assertion that he should be allowed to graze there for free is as absurd as if he claimed the right to graze his cattle on your front lawn without your permission.

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The Bundy Ranch situation is a textbook example of the “Tragedy of the Commons,” where public goods are exploited by free-riders. In the early years of our republic, farmers were allowed to graze their cattle on public commons, but nobody wanted to pay for the upkeep of the land that others would use. Eventually, the commons became over-grazed and it became apparent that the government would need to tax and maintain the land. The compulsion of taxation forces even those who would rather not pay for their use of the land to pay their fair share, thus solving the problem of the free-rider.

While Bundy attempts to cloak his free-rider status in the language of “freedom,” he has no legal or moral leg to stand upon. He is, in effect, stealing from the American public in an attempting to avoid paying for the upkeep of his cattle, which he will then sell for a personal profit.

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In a sane and consistent world, Bundy is just the type of person who the right wing purports to hate: an individual who refuses to respect the property rights of others and who expects federal assistance without being willing to “pay his fair share.” He refuses to operate within the “free market” by buying grazing rights, and has exhibited “thuggish” behavior that should anger every “tough on crime” conservative. Unfortunately, our world is often neither sane, nor consistent, and the right wing fringe has rallied in favor of

Perspective on the Public Response

Ultimately, the important issue in this story is not the grazing dispute, in and of itself, but rather the response by activists and extremists who want to turn the Bundy Ranch into a cause, if not a hill to be martyred upon.

Once it became known that the federal government was attempting to impound Cliven Bundy’s cattle, hundreds of armed supporters came to “support” his cause, some from many miles away. Most of these people have absolutely nothing to do with ranching and are simply latching onto the Bundy ranch as a justification to express their preexisting hatred for the federal government. These activists are part of a persistent fringe of anti-government extremists who have regularly committed violence on our soil (ex. Timothy McVeigh) and targeted federal agents for the terrible offense of being public servants rather than “rugged individualists” (who, ironically, mooch off of the system while refusing to pay taxes).

Put simply, the fact that extremists with guns got the Bureau of Land Management to back off in this case is a breakdown of the rule of law and a terrible precedent.

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Because Bundy and his cohort are white conservatives—a group that many in power are terrified of offending—the media have truly failed to recognize just how dangerous this precedent is; in order to fix this oversight, we need only translate this situation into analogs involving other groups and imagine the reactions from the public and authorities:

  • A black family decides to take over a public street, without permission and refusing to pay any fees, and use it to host a public gathering for a few weeks; when the police arrive to ensure that this family doesn’t illegally monopolize a public resource, a bunch of other African Americans show up with guns and threaten a shootout if the family is kicked off of the street.

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  • The owners of a mosque decide to build an extension of their building into the parking lot for a federal building without permission. When the federal government tries to stop the mosque from building onto its land without permission, a group of devout Muslims gather with assault rifles to threaten violence against any federal agent who tries to stop construction.

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These two hypotheticals present similar situations to the Bundy fiasco—where a group of Americans decide to illegally use public goods and, when called out, are supported by an armed group of people from a similar demographic—yet it is obvious that both would be portrayed dramatically differently. The black family would be seen as “thugs” and criminals who take public resources and threaten violence when called out on it. In all likelihood, this family would be the arrested and charged, if not shot dozens of times by an overzealous police force. The Mosque owners would be seen as terrorists and would likely be shot or detained as such (I can almost hear the drone motors revving up from here).

The Danger of Extremism

To put into perspective how extreme and deranged some of the armed Bundy supporters are, here is a quote from one of Bundy’s better-known allies, ex-sheriff and Tea Party political candidate, Richard Mack:

“It was a tactical plot that I was trying to get them to use. If they’re going to start killing people, I’m sorry, but to show the world how ruthless these people are, women needed to be the first ones shot. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible. I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die. I would have gone next, I would have been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here.”

“…But the best ploy would be to have had women at the front. Because, one, I don’t think they would have shot them. And, two, if they had, it would have been the worst thing that we could have shown to the rest of the world, that these ruthless cowards hired by the federal government will do anything.”

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In short, Mack is advocating for using women and children as human shields so that the federal government would be blamed for shooting them in the event that there was an armed exchange. In a final irony, Mack thinks that this tactic would be the perfect way to illustrate just how ruthless, cowardly and immoral the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is.

A group of anti-government extremists who are willing to take up arms and sacrifice women and children to their cause are extremely dangerous—anybody to reach this point has already gone far beyond reason and into a place where anything is acceptable to achieve the downfall of the opposition. In fact, we have heard virtually identical quotes from Hamas terrorists when they explain why they choose to fire missiles into Israel from schools, elderly homes, and mosques (to draw a response that kills the innocent and causes ill-informed viewers to blame the person who simply responds to an attack):

“Accordingly [Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire Death, as you desire Life.”

–Fathi Hammad: Al-Aqsa TV, Feb. 29, 2008–

Conclusion

While it may have been a good idea by the feds to back of temporarily and diffuse the gathering of armed anti-government extremists, this is a precedent that cannot stand. When the law can be invalidated by a small group of extremists with guns, we lose the benefits of living in a civilized society and are faced with the possibility that any well-armed minority can live only by its own rules. The federal authorities must act with speed and aggression in regard to Bundy and his supporters, taking advantage of every statute under the law.

Personally, I find myself on the side of the rights of protesters in virtually every argument, even if the person protesting is as repulsive as the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church. That said, this support changes the moment that those protesters decide to pick up weapons and threaten violence in order to force people into respecting their preferences.

The Bundy family must have its assets frozen and cattle seized until a court case can decide their culpability to the federal government for past fees; additionally, Cliven Bundy must be charged with tax evasion and face felony charges which would permanently invalidate his ability to own weapons which could later be used in future acts of anti-government aggression.

If anti-government militias and extremists decide to mass with guns and threatening violence, they must be charged with crimes that prevent them from legally buying or holding guns. While everybody has a right to protest their government and petition for redress of grievance, this does not protect the threat of violence against government officials—anybody to threaten such violence has proven themselves incapable of responsibly owning a weapon, and it becomes a priority to separate them from their means of committing violence.

83 thoughts on “The Bundy Ranch Stand-Off: Free Riders, Armed Extremists and Federal Agents

  1. Some people are starting to realize that this guy got into this situation because he refuses to pay his BLM fees. Supposedly, his neighbors pay it. Why doesn’t he pay it ?

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  2. This was purported to be the “hopeful “beginning salvo of the freak circus of Nazi sympathizers, private militia, Tea party “patriots”, and other social outcast over-throwers. I was incensed that the government backed off at first, then realized one side had to correctly call the shots. I agree with your conclusion for what must be done. it is way past time for people to remember the meaning and punishment for sedition.

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  3. The government was absolutely correct in their assessment of the situation and withdrawal. This man, he is nothing but a leech. Under any other circumstance, people would see him for what he is. Unfortunately, this isn’t normal and people are blind and ignorant. I find this situation frightening.

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    • The only reason they pulled back is the same reason the CIA or Armed forces holds back on a drone strike overseas, the blowback from such actions would often cost more than what could be achieved by using more surgical actions.

      The blowback from the Waco disaster is still very much on the minds of those in Federal Law Enforcement.

      Look at the capture of Ed and Elaine Brown for an example of how to defuse a standoff without a Waco style disaster.

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      • Thanks GSP for mentioning the Ed and Elaine Brown incident. I searched for it and read it. In that incident however, Ed Brown was already a convicted felon who had served time in prison for an assault with a weapon and armed robbery in 1960. Cliven Bundy to my knowledge has no criminal record and was walking around out in the open during the standoff speaking to supporters and the media and made no attempt to barricade himself inside a “compound”. In the Brown incident, you’ve got to admire the police for how that was handled.

        The siege at Waco (which actually occurred in Elk, Texas which is 9 miles away from Waco) began when the BATF attempted to execute a search warrant to locate suspected illegal weapons at the Branch Davidians compound. The irony is that had the Hughes Amendment of 1986 never been passed, then the government would have never had a reason to search the compound and that tragedy might not have ever occurred. There were allegations of possible sexual abuse by David Koresh, but that would have been handled by the McLennan County Sheriff. I believe that instead of a raid, the government should have surrounded the facility with an adequate force and first ordered Koresh to allow entry for a search. If Koresh would have refused, then force would have been necessary. The decision by the government to lay siege to the compound after the initial raid failed for 51 days was a mistake. The BATF should have requested reinforcements from the Army and immediately launched a second assault while Koresh and his cult members were still disoriented. The death toll would likely have been much lower. Many people have forgotten that the Waco incident was the primary factor that would motivate Timothy McVeigh to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City two years later on April 19, 1995, the second anniversary of the ending of the siege at Waco.

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  4. I found your two hypotheticals amusing. If a “black family” were to take over a “public” street, thus blocking access of regular motorists and possibly obstructing the entrances of businesses and then threatened to have a shoot out with police or the owners of a mosque decided to build an extension into the parking lot of a federal building and threatened to open fire on federal officers, then it is likely that they would be quickly seen as rioters or terrorists by the majority of Americans and the “white conservative” gun owners would arrive to support the authorities in those situations. Although, we both know that the local and federal authorities would not need any help in either of those situations as they are well equipped to quell those individuals.

    I get the feeling that had none of Bundy’s supporters shown up armed and the authorities had dispersed them with various non-lethal crowd control techniques and the BLM had kept the cattle, that you would totally change your tune and support Bundy.

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    • So, you are actually supporting the idea that only white people should have the “right” to resist the government in this way?

      Bundy is refusing to pay the fees that everybody in his business does in order to graze their cattle on federal property (not his own). I have no sympathy with him and, if you truly supported a market economy, neither would you. If those people had shown up unarmed in protest, I would still have taken the cattle, but I wouldn’t have attempted to disperse them and would have let them support this deadbeat to their heart’s content before the heat and boredom caused them to disperse naturally. Worse comes to worse (ex. them forming a human blockade and making it impossible to access the cattle), I would have put a tax lien on Bundy’s house, transportation, and bank accounts, taking the $1.1 million out of his other assets and leaving him his cattle (which would likely be hard to appreciate with a dry bank account, no car and no house).

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      • I see the double standard coming into play again when it comes to race in this country. Everyone has to abide by the law, “EXCEPT IF YOU’RE WHITE!”. You’re right in the two later scenarios: Had it been either the African Americans in the hood or the Muslims, they would not have back off like they did with the white extremists on bundy’s ranch. They would’ve shot the Muslims and the Blacks dead and called them a bunch of gangsters and terrorists and the authorities claimed there hand was forced. Either everybody obey’s the law, or nobody obey’s the law: THAT SIMPLE!!!!

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  5. The first scenario you described involved a “black family” illegally taking over a “public street” for a “public gathering”. This is something that would be illegal for anyone of ANY race or ethnicity to do and would not cause the public to rally around them. I don’t seem to recall any armed supporters mobilizing to show their support for the University of California students that were pepper sprayed by police during the Occupy Wall Street incident on November 18, 2011. Why did you decide to use a black family? I ask that question already knowing the reason why, I’m just curious to see how honest you will be in your answer. The second involved the “owners” of a mosque (why don’t you just say Muslims?) committing a blatant terrorist act on American soil which would justify swift military action. Any such group would have to be VERY careful regarding their choice of locations to commence this type of attack. Depending on what state the federal facility is in, they would likely be defeated by an overwhelming force of “extremists with guns” and “white conservatives” before any uniformed military forces could arrive. Comparing these two scenarios to Bundy is just apples and oranges. To my knowledge, the federal land in question is public land and not inhabited. I personally don’t care if Bundy’s cattle graze there. The grass will grow back. As for the Mojave Desert Tortoise, there are over 250 different types of turtles in the world and approximately 50 different types in North America. Just relocate them, there is over 95,751 square miles of desert in North America.

    You’re intention before even writing one word of this article was to condemn Bundy and the Second Amendment. Therefore, I must assume that all of the information that you compiled to prepare this article was from the government’s perspective. What experience do you have regarding legal matters of this nature? You stated that Bundy has been grazing his cattle on that land for over two decades and that the government has been unsuccessful in their attempts to resolve this matter in a court of law. How could this be possible? Does Bundy have a legitimate reason to refuse to pay the fees? If the government has a case against Bundy, then federal prosecutors could file a charge, a warrant could be ordered and Bundy could have been arrested. Why has this not happened? The BLM was certainly within it’s rights to deny access to the land and drive Bundy’s cattle off of it. However, the BLM actually seized the cattle (private property) with the intention to sell them. I’m sure that you would agree that the US government wastes a great deal of taxpayer’s money on various unnecessary and often hazardous pursuits. So you are perturbed by Bundy’s victory? Just how much cattle does he have? I don’t believe his herd is large enough in financial value to fix the federal deficit which Bundy is not to blame for. Perhaps this is just about beef. Are you a vegetarian?

    In closing, I have a hypothetical for you. A prosecuting attorney from one of the 33 states which does not allow same sex marriage and is an outspoken critic of same sex marriage announces that any clergy that attempt to perform a same sex marriage will be immediately arrested. A local pastor challenges this and performs a same sex marriage and is immediately arrested and taken to jail with bond set at an enormous amount. I realize that the gay and lesbian community would likely raise enough donations to pay the bond. However, lets say that instead, a group of armed homosexuals were to surround the jail and demand the pastor’s immediate release and threaten to assault the facility to free him. Would you race to the area to join these extremists ready to throw knives at police?

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    • First, you prove my point by deriding the idea that black people or Muslims could utilize the same strategy as Bundy’s supporters-and yes, all three cases are very similar legally, as they all involve public citizens illegally appropriating public lands in order to achieve a private goal, only to rally groups of armed support when the government objects. If you support such action for white people, yet refuse to apply the same precedent for black or Muslim Americans, that simply makes you an unprincipled racist.

      As to your example of armed gay people: I am consistent on this and would support arresting every person to storm the police station with a weapon and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. It simply doesn’t matter what one is protesting in civil society (not in situations like when southern sheriffs would lynch black men), threatening the authorities with weapons (knives, guns, bombs, etc.) automatically invalidates your stand and makes you a criminal.

      Bundy hasn’t won and will likely have all of his assets frozen in the near future, as well as have a lien put on his property and, if the government decides to be a bastard about it, have his utilities shut off.

      P.S. I am as far from a vegetarian as possible.

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      • No, sorry. Still apples and oranges. Race has nothing to do with it. The only color that is relevant in this discussion is red as in Red Herring. This blog involves gun rights, stop trying to insinuate that all gun owners are sheet wearing, cross burning bigots and stay focused.

        I know that the Bundy saga is not over and that he may eventually be charged with some crime. However, the standoff WAS a victory for him if only a temporary one. He got HIS cattle back didn’t he? The number of his supporters will now greatly increase as will militia membership and gun ownership. One thing that you have overlooked is that during the standoff, it would have been very easy for one of Bundy’s armed supporters to intentionally fire a shot at police or just into the ground or the air in an attempt to spark a shoot out. This did not occur. That says something about the character of those supporters. Let us not also forget that in order to have legally owned those firearms that they brought to the standoff, that the supporters would have first had to pass a background check.

        One thing about this whole gun control controversy that really disturbs me is how it appears that gun control is most popular in the New England states. At least, that is how the liberal media makes it appear. The people of New England are supposed to be the descendants of the original patriots and should honor their heritage. It must really be loud up there right now with all the people rolling in their graves. The Bundy Ranch standoff clearly demonstrates why dishonest politicians do not want Americans to own firearms, it restricts their ability to practice tyranny. These politicians use public safety as their Red Herring and hide behind children. Anyone who supports gun control is unknowingly just a government pawn.

        By your reasoning, the minutemen automatically invalidated their stand and became criminals on April 19, 1775 at the North Bridge in Concord. Do you just not want to be an American? Maybe you would be happy living in the UK. Here’s a link that might be helpful.

        http://www.arriveandthrive.com/uk/index.htm

        I should warn you however as one carnivore to another that the UK recently had a scandal involving horsemeat that was mislabeled as beef.

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      • My blog covers FAR more than simply gun control.

        I grew up in Lexington, MA, so I am extremely familiar with the entire revolutionary history and can easily point to the fallacy of your argument. During the revolution, we had no electoral means to petition address of grievance, thus armed revolution was the only possible option (you must have heard the “taxation without representation” simplification). As we do not live in a monarchy–where the people have no ability to peacefully change who controls the government–anymore, it is no longer appropriate to violently oppose the government.

        You still have yet to actually point out how my two examples are different from the Bundy situation (I never said that the guns in the other cases were illegal or even used) other than through the races of those involved.

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  6. I hope that you realize how ridiculous you sound–exactly one country has a 2nd Amendment, and we are barely even a democracy anymore (Citizens United, legalized corruption, voter suppression and insane politicians).

    Josh Sager, Don’t Let The Gun Extremists Control Our Democracy, October 29, 2013

    I just read my local Sunday newspaper which contained an article about the Bundy Ranch Standoff. I feel that I should issue an apology to the Second Amendment supporters of New England of whom I know there are many in spite of what the media would indicate. One of the armed Bundy supporters is Mr. Jerry Delemus, a former United Stated Marine Corp sergeant who is from New Hampshire. Mr. Delemus and approximately 40 volunteers have remained at Bundy’s ranch to provide security for Bundy. As it turns out, Bundy’s family first settled the land in the 1870’s when the nearby town of Bunkerville, Nevada was founded. In 1993, the Bureau of Land Management (which controls over 85 percent of the land in Nevada) designated the area as a habitat for the endangered Mojave Desert Tortoise and placed restrictions on the amount of cattle that Bundy was allowed to graze there. Cows are herbivores and do not eat turtles by the way. Bundy had previously been paying grazing fees but quit paying in 1993. It sure sounds to me as though he may have a reason to complain. This matter has been in and out of court for the last 20 years. It would seem that Mr. Bundy has made every attempt to settle this peacefully prior to the events of this past week.

    Now, please explain to me how Cliven Bundy is no different from a hypothetical “black family” illegally blocking access to a public street that they have no exclusive claim or right to or the “owners” of a mosque (likely not natural born US citizens to begin with) claiming rights to a federal building’s parking lot.

    P.S. Just because you grew up in Lexington, MA doesn’t mean that the schools there have exclusive access to historical information that other school districts across the US do not. The history is the same no matter where you learn it.

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    • …actually, Mexico, Haiti and Guatemala all have constitutional provisions which guarantee the right to own and carry weapons, while several others have no real regulatory regime to speak of (much of the Middle East and Africa).

      You just linked a tangential article segment that doesn’t actually address the comparison that I presented you. As far as I can tell, your argument boils down to black people and Muslims (who you automatically assume are not natural born citizens) don’t have the same rights as Bundy because they obviously don’t deserve them–unless you can actually specify why this is the case (ex. assuming the right to graze cattle on federal land vs. assuming the right to expand a mosque onto federal land), I will assume that you are simply racist.

      P.S. Your view of “history” may be referencing the events which happened in reality, but your understanding of those events is completely distorted by propaganda. For example, I bet that you think that the 2nd Amendment was intended to guard against “tyranny” (while, in reality, it was a political concession to Virginian slave-holders to ensure their right to a slave-catching militia and an assurance that the lack of a federal army wouldn’t leave states unprotected in case of war or native American raids) and that the Boston Tea Party was a protest against high taxes (when, in fact, it was a protest against unfair tax breaks given to English companies that resulted in an uncompetitive advantage).

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      • There you go again attempting to label me (and by extension, every Second Amendment supporter) as a racist. I don’t care if the “family” that is illegally occupying the public street were white, black, Hispanic, Italian, Asian or whatever. They are disturbing the peace and threatening the safety of the citizens that reside, work or have to travel through the area and they should be removed, peacefully if possible and then by whatever level of force the police deem as appropriate.

        If you would bother to do some research, you would learn that it wasn’t until the 1880’s that Muslims really began arriving in the US. Before that, it was estimated that only 10% of slaves brought to the US practiced Islam. Currently, it is estimated that Muslim Americans comprise only about 6% of the US population with approximately 72% being immigrants or second generation Americans. In other words, they have little or no ancestral claim to any land in North America and many of them may not be able to purchase firearms legally. If the “owners” of a mosque wish to expand their building, I have no problem with that. They can first attempt to purchase additional surrounding property or if the current owners won’t sell, then they can consider relocating to a different area. Forcibly occupying the parking lot of a federal building and then threatening to open fire on police is a terrorist act.

        As I have already stated, the land involved in the Cliven Bundy matter was originally settled by his family in the 1870’s. The land is wide open with no public streets for his cattle to block and inconvenience motorists or residents to endanger or disturb and no parking lots that are utilized by federal employees. His supporters brought their own legally owned weapons which they legally displayed in plain sight and made no threats to shoot anyone to my knowledge. Apples and oranges whether you choose to accept it or not.

        Twisting facts and ignoring evidence is one thing. However, making up history is quite another. The Second Amendment does not say:

        “A well regulated supply of slaves, being necessary for the security of a free state, the rights of the people of the State of Virginia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        I suppose that next you are going to try to say that the pilgrims were really black Muslims.

        What possibly could have happened to you that was so bad that you feel you need to hate the United States so much? Here is an article that you REALLY need to read.

        http://www.wnd.com/2000/04/6435/

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      • I love the United States, but I won’t bend facts to fit an unrealistic narrative.

        Legally speaking, the Mosque’s owners are committing an IDENTICAL offense as Bundy, and some non-legal ancestral claim to land is simply irrelevant.

        As to the history of the 2nd Amendment, you simply don’t need to take my word for this–here is a transcript from the Virginia conference during the ratification of the 2nd Amendment: http://jgiganti.myweb.uga.edu/henry_smith_onslavery.htm

        While you may argue that the 2nd Amendment has other purposes today, it is simply a piece of historical fact

        P.S. WND is a fact-free conspiracy mill that serves only to misinform the unwary and bilk right wing imbeciles out of their money by promoting nonsense.

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  7. I believe the best way to describe this incident is “government mismanagement”. There are far too many other current examples of government mismanagement to list.

    You could also think of the original American colonies as being mismanaged by Britain. The result was the Revolutionary War. And you could also describe the founding fathers as “terrorists”. They were taking up arms against their current government. So this is nothing new.

    Examining the details of Bundy’s issues is irrelevant. Because the situation is really not about Bundy. It’s about THE REASON WHY, so many Americans were/are willing to take up arms against their current government. These people were/are willing to die. Did we just witness the beginning of the “American Spring”?

    One thing is for certain – if the government mismanagement continues and gets worse, then there will be an armed revolution.

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    • The people involved were a fraction of a percent of minority of extremist anti-government nuts who will always see black helicopters regardless of government action. Over the past decades, we have seen these people (ex. the sovereign citizen and separatist militia movements) try to foment a revolution, only to fail once people see how insane they are ( I direct you to the quotes about using women and children as human shields).

      If there is an armed revolution, it will be put down quickly and without much trouble.

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      • The “women and children” quote was from 1 person – Sheriff Mack, who was not in charge of the operation (you could argue that no one was really in charge of the operation). And the women were already at the front on their own choosing.

        I will give you the point about the small number involved in this situation. However, they did win the battle. And human nature being what it is, others will now want to join the winning side. Including politicians.

        There is no doubt that the British also thought they would win quickly, and without much trouble as well.

        If you recall the Dorner situation in Los Angeles, recently. 1 man had the entire City on edge for several days. Police were arresting and shooting at anyone. Now imagine that times 100, or times 10,000. The US military is not often called upon to kill their own fellow citizens. Many would likely abstain, or may even switch sides. An already weak economy could falter. Things could get out of control very quickly.

        The people in charge are aware of these consequences. That’s why they had to stand down.

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  8. An excellent article that states what I have been saying for days. Those so called militia would not be out protecting the rights of blacks or Muslims. Your friend clearly thinks any Muslim is not an American and is obviously racist. I truly hope the government will quickly seize Bundy’s bank accounts and property and let him know we don’t care if he recognizes the federal government because it is going to make his pitiful life a nightmare.

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    • Thanks.

      The one thing that I cannot decide on is whether these Bundy supporters are consciously racist, or are simply so wrapped up in white privilege and unconscious bias that they truly see no conflict in their thinking–either way, the result is the same but it is still an interesting thing to analyze.

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    • I can’t decide what offends me more. You jumping to conclusions and calling me a racist or you calling me Mr. Sager’s “friend”. I think that any Muslim that is not an American citizen is not an American. I don’t believe I would classify Cliven Bundy’s life as pitiful. He is a wealthy rancher with 14 children and 52 grandchildren and hundreds of friends and strangers came to support him.

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      • It is remarkably easy to make a good living if you steal the materials required to produce your product. Bundy is simply a millionaire who feels entitled to leech off of public goods in order to pad his wealth, while his supporters are simply useful idiots, zealot, ignoramuses, and gullible zealots.

        The fact that you automatically assume all Muslims to be non-citizens and are apparently unable to imagine that the Muslims in my example are Americans demonstrates that you are either racist, willfully dense and trying to construct a straw-man, or immensely stupid.

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      • Racists with guns who haven’t gotten over the fact the a black man is in the White House. You automatically assume that all Muslims are not citizens. I assumed you were racists based on your statements. guess we both made assumptions

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      • Then if he’s such a wealthy independent rancher then why first of all why would he need all of those supporters to speak up for him? A real man in that position should have the ability to speak up for himself and wouldn’t need anybody to defend him. Secondly, why didn’t have the consideration to keep his defenders from using their own women and children as “human shields”? Someone allowing that to happen sounds to me to be very cold heartened, callous, selfish and deranged which would make question what his agenda really is about! And thirdly, if he’s so wealthy, then why can’t he pay the money he owes the gov’t? Sounds like this just a wealthy racist cheapskate freeloader using whoever he can to get out of his paying his fairshare of what he used, and your one of his expendables he’s merely “pimping”!!!!

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    • I don’t dispute that there are some non-white Americans who are stupid (Cain), crazy (Carson) or greedy (D’Souza) enough to vote for and support those who would oppress them (although rich minority Americans have less to worry about because they have the resources to mitigate the GOPs racist policies on their lives), but that doesn’t mean that I have to listen to these outliers. In aggregate, racial minority Americans are perceptive enough to recognize who better supports their interests, thus the GOP has gradually condensed into the party of rich, old, white, men (just look at the last election’s demographic breakdown).

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  9. Ah, the plot thickens. Thanks again John. Mr. Sager is probably going to make some negative comment about how your videos were made by Fox News.

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    • I don’t get angry when people cite Fox News as their source of information–I just laugh at how they have destroyed their credibility and have proven themselves to be part of the group shown by numerous studies to be less-informed than even those who don’t watch, read, or listen to any news (never mind people who watch TYT or The Daily Show).

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    • Cute John. Except the guy who did this, Mark Dice, is obviously a right winger thinking he’s funny. I went to his facebook page and he is absolutely not funny.

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  10. Just for the heck of it, I decided to read the portion of the transcript from the Virginia Conference during the ratification of the Second Amendment that you provided the link to on 04-21-14. As I expected, absolutely nowhere does it make any mention of private ownership of firearms nor does it support your claim in any way. However, I did agree with the sentence in the final paragraph, “From these remarks, it appears that the government will fall into the hands of the few and the great. This will be a government of oppression.”

    Here’s one thing to consider. During the standoff with Bundy, the BLM had trained, professional law enforcement officers with superior weapons, aircraft and access to many more officers if they had requested them. I understand that the BLM did not want to have any citizens injured or killed, but it still seemed to me as though they gave up real easy. It is no secret that the government spies on our citizens for what we hope is the common good. I am sure that in addition to the terrorist watch list that the government also has a separate list of militia’s that they are keeping an eye on. Perhaps the government believed that a formidable force of militia was mobilizing to assist Bundy and did not believe that it could be repelled. This of course is just a theory.

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    • Ironically, you are entirely correct that at no time did the founders intend for the 2nd Amendment to be considered an individual right and that the VA connection involved slave-catching militias. The entire idea of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right was pulled out of the collective asses of the NRA and right wing judicial activists in the late 20th Century (as I pointed out in several other articles).

      The BLM gave up easily because they didn’t need to turn the entire thing into a bloodbath to take Bundy’s money. Odds are, they will seize the proceeds of every cattle sale that he attempts in the future digitally and without any danger of militia involvement.

      As to the government spying and keeping lists of people, this is a given. I have written EXTREMELY critically about domestic spying, but this is actually a case where there is a clear-cut and valid justification for the government to spy. Right wing extremists are, by far, the most active ideology in terms of domestic terrorism and it wouldn’t be difficult at all to get specific warrants to spy on members of extremist militias.

      It is the height of absurdity to argue that the federal government was afraid of being repelled by a handful of militia extremists, however. If they really needed to go in, they would have mobilized the national guard, gone in in force, and rolled right over any possible resistance. In this case, they chose not to because it wasn’t necessary and would have presented a PR shitstorm that they really wanted to avoid.

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      • Others have already explained to you that the members of the United States military take an oath to serve their country, not to kill their own countrymen. Sadly, it is true that some people are allowed to enter the military who definitely should not. These people are unstable and violent and are eager to kill anybody and would not hesitate to kill women and children if they thought they could do so under the protection of following lawful orders. There have been numerous, infamous atrocities of which I am sure you are aware. However, the overwhelming majority of our armed forces are and always have been good and honorable Americans. I speak from experience, something that you cannot do. These people would never open fire on other Americans and would refuse to follow any such orders. I am not speaking only of the teenage recruits that are fresh out of high school. Servicemen and women of all ages and rank all the way up to those in command would refuse such orders resulting in insubordination and outright mutiny. Unless of course, the American adversary is committing acts of terrorism against innocent Americans.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/05/southern-poverty-law-center-militias-gun-control/1964411/

        Militia members (of which I am not one) are told to hold their ground and let the federal forces fire first. There are at least eight times as many citizen militias now than there were in 2008. Many of their members are former U.S military. Some of their members hold federal firearms licenses and maintain a large inventory and can manufacture ammunition as well. Many of them have relatives serving on active duty with the U.S. military. Believe me when I say that the government does take these people seriously. A PR shitstorm is an understatement. Try PR cataclysm.

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      • Here is the first section of the officer’s oath: “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;

        In case you didn’t realize, people who threaten federal agents–acting with legitimate authority under a duly-passed and judicially upheld act of Congress (those grazing fees and fines were legislated and signed into law by Reagan)–are threats who perfectly fit into the category of “domestic enemies” of the US government.

        As to militias growing: this is true, but not due to any good reasons. Militias grow when Democrats hold the presidency (look back at the Clinton years) because angry white conservatives start fantasizing about sedition due to the “oppression” of not getting their way at the ballot box. I would also point out that white supremacists’ numbers have grown dramatically since 2008 for this reason as well: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/spring/the-year-in-hate-extremism-2010

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  11. The second amendment was fashioned after the English Bill Of Rights Of 1689. The English Bill Of Rights specifically allowed individuals to own firearms. King James II had previously taken gun rights away from Protestants. The right of self-defense goes back thousands of years to Roman law.

    “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

    It’s hard to believe that anyone could twist those words to not mean the individual right to bear arms. However, the left is well known for mind control, and propaganda. People will believe black is white if enough coercion is applied.

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  12. P.S. Heston, like Reagan, was just another foolish and ignorant right wing figure-head, who was competent in selling an ignorant population on policies which result in their impoverishment and death.

    Josh Sager, The Differing Definitions of Liberty, November 1st, 2013

    If you stand by what you stated on 11-01-13, then you are agreeing that Reagan’s signing into law of the legislation regarding the grazing fees and fines was a policy meant to result in “impoverishment and death”.

    Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes “domestic enemies of the US government”. Since the Second Amendment was ratified to provide a means for the common citizen to defend their nation against all enemies foreign and domestic, Second Amendment supporters feel that gun control fanatics are domestic enemies. Corrupt politicians who wish to remain in power for as long as possible in order to maximize the extent of their influence to increase their bank accounts and those of their friends are scared when they see Second Amendment supporters successfully unseat other politicians. They will either abruptly change their tune and start supporting (or at least act as though they are supporting) the Second Amendment or they will attempt to fool some naive voters into believing that the Second Amendment supporters are domestic enemies.

    Since you were only 3 years old in 1992, let me clarify something for you. The only reason Bill Clinton won was because of Ross Perot. By running for president, Perot drew enough conservative voters away from Bush to allow Clinton the majority of votes, not the majority of voters. Conservatives had every reason to be angry that a draft dodger with marijuana use in his past was in the White House. Less than two years later, Clinton signed the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act (sometimes referred to as the Assault Weapons Ban). This really got militia’s motivated. However, this law was allowed to expire in 2004. There were two reasons that Clinton won reelection in 1996. First, Ross Perot ran again. Second, the Republicans made a poor choice in nominating Bob Dole. He would have made a fine president, but the voters would have preferred someone younger with a more energetic personality. In 2012, the Republicans could have taken back the White House if they would have gone with someone other that Romney. To his credit, Romney did get 47.2 percent of the popular vote.

    Democrats do serve one purpose. America needs to occasional liberal to remind us of why we should always vote conservative.

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    • 1) You are using a pure argumentum ad absurdum, as I never said that ALL of Reagan’s policies were destructive, merely that the totality of his programs were extremely harmful to most of the United States population. Every politician has good bills, even when you disagree with the vast majority of their programs (ex. McCain supports campaign finance reform, Nixon signed the EPA into law and Bush was relatively moderate on immigration).

      2) Yes, everybody has a different idea about what constitutes a domestic enemy, but that is why we have the laws to ensure that there is a uniform definition of the term. As current federal law stands, those who were taking up arms at the Bundy ranch were technically guilty of armed sedition. If you don’t like the law, you can organize politically and elect people who agree with you–until you do this, the law is on my side of this argument (and even the national review agrees with me on this: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/375824/case-little-sedition-kevin-d-williamson)

      3) Despite the growing number of guns in circulation, the actual number of gun owners has been shrinking for decades–this shrinking minority just keeps buying ever more guns to placate their paranoia. Electorally, this means that your side is going to lose once the gun extremists attrition out of the population as they grow old and die. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html?_r=0

      Liberals gave you virtually everything that we consider good government: they pushed through the civil rights act, voting rights act, social security, medicare, equal treatment for women, the weekend/wage laws, environmental protections, and investments in technology that led to the internet and tech sector explosions. Conversely, conservatives have done everything in their power to tear these things down and halt the tide of progress.

      The last generation lived by your ideals (regressive taxation, deregulation, outsourcing, and social investment stagnation), but the future will be guided by progressives (as it was during the civil rights movement and the new deal). Younger people are far more progressive than the current Democrats and it is only a matter of time before the arc of history smacks you conservatives upside the head once more.

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  13. You are a victim of NY Times propaganda JS. Gun ownership is actually increasing:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/09/Poll-Household-Gun-Ownership-On-Rise

    The number is probably much higher than 39%, because many people no doubt would rather not answer that poll in the affirmative. Also, it was a Republican President who took a stand against slavery. Civil rights legislation would not have passed without Republican support. It was a Republican (Nixon), who signed the Clean Air act. It was a Democrat (Clinton) who gave China most favored nation trading status. China rewarded Clinton with $2 million for his library. And although it is true that most younger people are left leaning. It is also true that as they grow older, they become more conservative.

    Collectivism invariably brings the standard of living down to the lowest common denominator. The failure of the Socialist countries in Europe is a good example. It is quite ironic to see China, and Russia abandoning their Socialist policies in favor Capitalism. And have the west move to adopt those same failed Socialist policies.

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    • I love the irony of you calling the NYTimes slanted, only to reply with a link to Breitbart–a pure propaganda outlet.

      Before the civil rights era, the Republicans were the socially liberal party (I suggest that you look up the southern strategy and how the Republicans absorbed the southern racists after the Democrats decided to vote against them with the passage of the civil rights legislation)

      Pure socialism never works for the exact same reason why pure capitalism never does. We live in what is called a mixed economy, where socialism and capitalism are mixed in order to compensate for the deficiencies of the other. IF you are actually interested in reality, as opposed to reflexive partisanship and policy ignorance, please read this: https://theprogressivecynic.com/2013/11/18/our-mixed-economic-system/

      P.S. If you don’t like collectivism, you must hate the internet, military, police, fire, public education, roads, highways, bridges, phone lines/satellites, and all of the other collectivist things that make society livable.

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      • I believe that people should only do collectively only what they can’t do for themselves. E.g. local roads should be paid for by local communities. Roads between communities should be paid for the State. The role of the Federal Government should be limited to things which are impractical to do at the State level. A combined military, Federal law enforcement, etc. The Federal Government should not be trying to manage 87% of the land in Nevada. At the extreme, a statist would have every aspect of an individual’s life controlled by a central government. These types of political experiments have always been complete failures.

        You have mentioned SS, Medicare, etc, as successful programs. They are not. These programs are scheduled to go bankrupt in a few decades. Obamacare only serves to make the financial situation worse. The solution governments have always used for this is to devalue the currency. The resulting inflation will lead to social unrest. A Statist would suggest raising taxes. This would only weaken the economy and result in less revenue. Cutting off benefits would also lead to social unrest. The US economy is check-mated.

        http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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    • Thanks for pointing out the fault with the NY Times John, it saved me the trouble.

      It’s time for a little history lesson. A total of 43 men have served as President of the United States. There have been 18 Republicans and 15 Democrats. There were 4 who were Democratic – Republicans (one of which was Thomas Jefferson), 4 Whig Party members, 1 National Republican, 2 independents (one of which was George Washington), 2 National Union Party members (one of which was Abraham Lincoln) and 1 Federalist Party member. The National Union Party was name used by the Republican Party for the 1864 election. Lincoln was originally a Republican.

      I don’t need to talk about the Democratic Party’s history of racism and it affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan. That is already well known.

      The “arc of history” has already passed in November of 2008. I’m sure you remember, you were 19 years old and it was the first presidential election that you voted in. I’ll bet that you were so excited to cast your vote Obama. I hope you didn’t celebrate too much. After all, you were not 21 yet. So, has the “hope and change” worked out like you hoped it would? Judging by your blog, obviously not. It appears that the smack upside the head rebounded and liberals ended up smacking themselves in the face. Don’t worry, there are only 998 days, 23 hours and 7 minutes left.

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      • You really need to learn the difference between PARTY and IDEOLOGY. Before the civil rights fight chased the racist southern whites out of the Democrats and replaced them with a constellation of racial minorities, they were the party of conservative rural whites (backed up by what they called the “solid south”); conversely, the GOP was a party of northern business interests, unions, and more socially liberal individuals.

        In short, those KKK Democrats left the Democrats 50 years ago and became the backbone of the GOP because of the southern strategy–the party name may have switched, but it is the same conservative southern whites doing the hating. When you are referring to the Democratic Party of the modern era as the party which identified with the KKK, you are either ignorant of history or you are being intentionally disingenuous.

        The current GOP’s composition is less than 50 years old and cannot be compared to the party’s historic ideologies (ex. Lincoln was so against “states rights” that he fought a war over the issue, during which he used the most expansive executive order in our country’s history to free the southern slaves).

        The “arc of history” refers to the MLK quote and has nothing to do with the election of Obama, who’s policy preferences are to the right of Reagan.

        P.S. Of the last 6 presidential elections, the Democrats have won 5 popular vote majorities and should have won five elections if not for the anti-democratic ruling of the SCOTUS during Bush v. Gore. This precedent, combined with the fact that the white majority is shrinking in key states, indicates to any objective observer that the Democrats have a massive advantage in future presidential elections (at least, until the GOP stops alienating the young, the educated, and the non-white). Given that Hillary is the likely contender for the GOP to beat and that their entire bench is devastated, it is almost certain that the Democrats will hold the White House for at least 4 years after Obama leaves office, if not 8.

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  14. Conservative vs. liberal, Republican vs. Democrat is not a simple young vs. mature or black vs. white issue. You are overlooking the fact that Americans are living longer. It is not uncommon for young people to vote against whatever political party holds the presidency at the time as a way to rebel. However, as they mature (assuming of course that they live), they will naturally become conservative. There will always be some that remain liberal in a futile attempt to hold on to their youth. The hippies protested the Vietnam War (for which we have the Democrats to thank for by the way) and eventually Nixon got elected and ended America’s involvement in Vietnam. An interesting fact, Kennedy defeated Nixon in 1960 by only one tenth of a percentage point. At that time, the Democratic party didn’t carry with it the stigma that it does now (drug use, homosexuality, etc).

    One thing to remember is that no matter what a politician says his or her priorities are, the only thing that they are really concerned about is getting elected and reelected. Just because they claim to be a member of a particular political party doesn’t mean that they will follow through with that party’s ideals once they are in power. I consider myself conservative (because I am educated, have lived 44 years and have real life experience), but have never been a strong Republican supporter.

    Whenever someone provides a link to an article or a video, you show a consistent pattern of belittling the source. However, you appear to favor the National Review.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/253768/why-unhappy-people-become-liberals-dennis-prager

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    • Dennis Prager is a conservative commentator who’s views inform his opinions. I say that liberals are more unhappy because of the inequality in the world and our country. They are more concerned for their fellow citizens than conservatives, who seem to have the “I got mine, screw you attitude.”

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      • “I got mine, screw you” is part of human nature, and a result of evolution. You’re not going to change that with some left wing slogan. Liberals who suggest they don’t have that attitude are just being hypocrites. The Hollywood elite are just as adept at avoiding taxes as the Koch brothers are.

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      • You are correct that liberals tend to actually care about their society, thus tend to be less happy when society inevitably has inequalities, but that is only one of the reasons why liberals are less happy.

        Here are a few other ones:

        1) Conservatives live in a black/white world of absolutes where reactionary answers answer all of life’s questions–this lets them quickly and happily mitigate doubts (ex. economy in trouble = cut taxes) and get back to moralizing about all of everybody else’ faults.

        2) Disproportionate percentages of conservatives are religious, which gives them the irrational belief that everything is going to be looked after by an imaginary father-figure who will protect them if they just ask enough.

        3) Conservatives, on average, tend to be less intelligent than liberals (here is one of the peer-reviewed studies which indicates this: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/01/04/0956797611421206.abstract), and, as less intelligent people tend to be happier, this creates a correlation between conservatism and happiness.

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  15. The absurd myth that liberals are more intelligent is nothing new. Read this article if you dare, it contains videos.

    http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/2012/02/study-claims-conservatives-less.html

    “Disproportionate percentages of conservatives are religious (because we are more intelligent) , which gives them the IRRATIONAL BELIEF that everything is going to be looked after by an IMAGINARY father-figure who will protect them if they ask enough.”

    Whoa! I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but after reading that I must ask if you are one of THOSE people. You know, the “A” word. No not that word, I mean atheist or agnostic. That may explain a whole lot.

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    • Thank you for proving my points! You give me a conservative blog post in an attempt to refute peer-reviewed studies which indicate that conservatives are less intelligent in aggregate, then you act with incredulity when I indicate that god is imaginary–given your reactionary and socially irresponsible thinking on the issue of opposing gun control, this creates a perfect hat-trick that demonstrates all of the reasons why conservatives like you are happier than liberals like myself.

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  16. Every person on this planet has one thing in common. Sooner or later, they will all believe in God. Sadly, some of them don’t believe until it is too late.

    You may not believe in God and you may be afraid of guns. But when you need help, you’ll be praying to God to send someone with a gun to come help you.

    By the way, I believe this whole liberals allegedly being more intelligent that conservatives rubbish started in 1972 after Nixon was elected in the biggest landslide presidential election in history and then really took off 1984 when Reagan won the election in the second biggest landslide victory in US history.

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    • A rather fatalistic view, isn’t it Blake? Speaking for myself, I’d much rather be in the proverbial “foxhole” with a moral Atheist, than a Christian who thinks he has all the answers. Having read the Christian Bible many times -starting as a child, and on through my 50s) – it occurs to me that this book has been used for every purpose under the sun, and continues to be.

      Now we see pure selfish greed, and pseudo power trying to use perverted “Christian” teachings to re-enforce everything from dividing people by being ” the chosen people”, to the sanction of slavery. Tsk tsk.

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      • Fatalistic? I believe the word you meant to say was realistic. If you have really read the Christian bible, you would know that. Apparently, you have never been in an actual “foxhole”. I can assure that when the shooting starts, so does the praying. Especially by those who have never done it before. By definition, atheists have no morality. However, some may be good at portraying the illusion of it. You better check that bible that you have allegedly been reading. It seems to be missing some important pages.

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    • I don’t believe in god because there is no evidence that he exists, while I want gun control because the evidence does indicate that it is needed to prevent thousands of Americans from getting killed every year (this isn’t fear, merely logic and good governance).

      The idea that liberals are, in aggregate, more intelligent than conservatives started because there is an inverse correlation between education and conservatism, so researchers wanted to find out why. After doing tracking studies on children and statistical comparisons of IQ or educational achievement and partisan leanings, it became clear that this was due to the common characteristics of the conservative mind.

      As an ideology, conservatism attracts racists, low-complexity thinkers, religious zealots, and people who are drawn in by the non-factual propaganda that makes up the majority of the party’s platform–necessarily, all of these people are either less intelligent or less knowledgeable than many who don’t fit these categories, thus conservatism has a constant infusion of dumb people to drag down its average intelligence, but drive up its populous numbers.

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      • Thank you, my point exactly. One does not need a religion either for a crutch, or as a definition of one’s self; to share the concerns of, or work for, the good of the general population. I am not saying here, that the religious beliefs of others should be dismissed. I’m saying that those who use their religious “beliefs” in a manner that’s 180 degrees from what that religion’s tenets, are – in my experience -usually quite ignorant sorts. Many such zealots have never cracked the book they claim to “live by”.
        Since firearms were not invented in Biblical times, it’s doubtful that those who use their religion in support of their fantasies, would be worthy foxhole companions.

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      • 3) Hitler actually weakened gun controls, and the idea that Jews could have stopped the holocaust if only they owned guns is ridiculous, as they were mere percentages of the population, facing an organized army. I wish what you are saying is true (I am Jewish), particularly considering that many Jews had weapons as veterans of WWI, but it simply isn’t so.

        Josh Sager, Refuting Anti-Gun Control Arguments, May7, 2013

        So, were you lying when you typed this last year? How does one go from being Jewish to not believing in God in less than a year?

        You really seem to put a lot of faith in peer reviewed studies. It may come as a shock to you that there are experts who don’t believe that anyone should.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/debate/nature05032.html

        Here is another.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/

        I also did some checking on how many Americans identify with political parties. A recent Gallup poll actually indicates that 40 percent of Americans claim to be independents. I think this strange since no independent candidates have won election since John Tyler in 1841. In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney received 47.2 percent of the popular vote. It is estimated that only 57.5 percent of eligible voters actually voted in 2012. Whenever a candidate loses an election, no one likes to admit that they voted for that candidate because they want others to think that they are on the winning side. Different people have different reasons why they favor one candidate over another. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as the age of the candidate. However, when asked which candidate they prefer, they may wish to avoid the question by saying that they are independent and don’t like either candidate. It all boils down to which candidate can lie more convincingly and put on the better show during campaign season.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/151943/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx

        By the way. It doesn’t matter how high your IQ is if your mind is impaired by marijuana or other drugs.

        http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Liberals-Drug-use/2008/06/16/id/324135/

        If only there was a law making it mandatory to drug test every person before they can vote and not allowing them to vote unless they were sober we would probably go a long time before we see another Democrat become president.

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      • I don’t believe in God, but I am culturally Jewish and still have to attend major holidays because my family expects it (my mother was the cantor of the local temple).

        A record number of Americans are self-identifying as independent because the GOP is insane, extremist and totally corrupt, while the Democrats are pathetic, centrist, and mostly corrupt. If you look at their individual policy preferences, they are reliably progressive on issues of taxation, war, drugs, education, infrastructure, and regulation–that said, you are correct that they tend to vote for liars who don’t support their policy preferences.

        P.S. I have a neuropathy that renders my body completely immune to, among other things, pot, stimulants (from Ritalin to caffeine) and opiates (imagine how fun recovering from collarbone surgery is when even Dilauded is inert in your body), as well as IMMENSELY resistant to alcohol. In short, my mind is never clouded by drugs.

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      • Read below .jsabers mother makes him go to church. Did you actually say that? also
        many poor whites voted for Obama.
        Have you ever heard of Galileo? You sound bigoted including all poople with religious beliefs into a . Low-intelligence crowd. WHO started Harvard? Maybe you could get out more when you are not allowing yourself to be forced into religious services. How many
        Conservatives do you know? Is one your best friend? Thanks for trying to help cause further division among all people by stereotyping 101. Where did you learn to stereotype so well you are quite good at it.Your demeanor comes across as having a grudge against
        “White People” in general. Do you actually know any conservative, religious people?
        Sorry, you are forced to attend services? Maybe a Conservative will come to your aid if they won’t let you escape. You don’t seem to care about the Bundy situation, just extremely bigoted against whites.
        Low-complexity thinkers really? You appear to be the most simple thinking, back or white
        non-abstract thinker I have ever come across and you don’t have the self-awareness to
        Know it. Are you sure this is not parody? If I didn’t know better.

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      • I don’t consider all religious people or conservatives to be low-information, but there is an undeniable correlation between ignorance and religious fundamentalism and conservatism (why do you think they call it “liberal academia?”).

        Reform Jewish holiday gatherings are often minimally religious and I am not forced to practice anything I don’t want to–basically, we get together and eat good food.

        I suggest that you read my article a little more slowly and maybe get some help understanding it from someone you know who has a little more reading comprehension. It doesn’t say anything against white people and only references race in that it shows how conservatives only tolerate this type of moocher when they are white.

        As to your conservatism: you cannot be conservative and support Bundy, simply because he is using another’s property without paying for it or respecting the property rights of the rightful owners. Whether you like it or not, the federal government owns that land and every other rancher pays their fees (which are actually below the private market price).

        When you can condense this word-salad into a coherent argument or question, I will respond more fully.

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    • What I find interesting about this is the how atheists can be compared to gun control fanatics. Let us not forget that this article pertains to Mr. Cliven Bundy and his standoff with federal agents and was written by Mr. Sager in retaliation to his claim that legally armed citizenry would stand no chance against federal forces being debunked by Bundy and his supporters.

      This video from EOR has some accuracy in that it does tell what most educated people already know. Countries that are predominantly Muslim are involved in more conflicts and are the least peaceful. The Predominantly Christian countries that it shows are all Latin American countries with the exception of Ukraine and the United States. Violence in Latin American countries is attributed mainly to the illegal drug trade, poverty and unstable and corrupt governments resulting in civil war.

      However, the percentages that it claims for the alleged atheist countries are far from the truth. I find it strange that the video listed mostly European countries as being allegedly atheist and chose not to mention China.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/23/a-surprising-map-of-where-the-worlds-atheists-live/

      If you have time, check Wikipedia as well for all of those countries.

      In addition to the US, the video also mentions Israel and India. All three of these countries have two things in common. First, in all of these countries, Islam is not the predominant faith. Second, the armed conflicts that all three of these countries have been involved in during the past 30 years have been with countries that are predominantly Muslim.

      Whenever I have been present during an occasion where an atheist had the audacity to admit that they were atheist, the room would become silent. The atheist would then be put on the spot and be forced to defend themselves. Often, they would become frustrated. They just couldn’t seem to get it through their head that they were in the minority and would never win their argument much like gun control fanatics. This article from a former atheist may help you.

      http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html

      Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.

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  17. (while, in reality, it was a political concession to Virginian slave-holders to ensure their right to a slave-catching militia and an assurance that the lack of a federal army wouldn’t leave states unprotected in case of war or native American raid

    Ok, now this is just complete lies and I’m surprised to see it in such an otherwise intelligent blog, even if its one I don’t agree with on everything.The Second Amendment was not about slavery for multiple reasons. Firstly, the first gun control laws in the US were aimed at disarming free blacks according to liberal historian Eric Foner, so the attempt to the racialize gun ownership as anti-black is inaccurate because blacks originally owned guns too and fought alongside whites in armed insurrections like Bacon’s Rebellion as equals. Read Foner’s history textbook Give Me Liberty if you don’t wanna take my word for it. You can debate the relevancy of the Second Amendment all you want but its purpose or meaning as a historical fact cannot be debated. The origins of second Amendment predate slavery in the United States, the right to bear arms was inspired by English common law and the English bill of rights, as well as John Locke, who may have got it from Aristotle and Cicero, it was not made up by whites to oppress blacks, and part of the civil rights movement was to give blacks equal rights to bear arms (the original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was all about this). Secondly, noone denied until recently that the Second Amendment was about resisting the fear of tyranny. Whether or not you think this is relevant to today is a separate issue from the historical fact that that’s what it was about. Also, your right about us having a political process to resist tyranny and that is what a civilized society does, but the Second Amendment is for if Heaven-forbid-that process fails. The colonists had political freedoms too but when they wanted more they were suspended. No taxation without representation is exactly the point, we have little to no representation because our representation is almost if not irredeemably corrupt and the system rigged. Noone wants a rebellion and everyone wants a peaceful solution to political problems, but whether it applies or not to today, the Second Amendment was intended for if such a solution was impossible. As JFK somewhat ironically said given his foreign policy, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable”.

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  18. “Ironically, you are entirely correct that at no time did the founders intend for the 2nd Amendment to be considered an individual right and that the VA connection involved slave-catching militias. The entire idea of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right was pulled out of the collective asses of the NRA and right wing judicial activists in the late 20th Century (as I pointed out in several other articles).”

    The view that the Second Amendment is not an individual right or that it was about slavery requires mental jumping jacks that ignore everything about the historical context of it. Every single historical precedent, from Aristotle the English Bill of Rights referred to the right to bear arms as being in the hands of the people, ie individual citizens.

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  19. “Right wing extremists are, by far, the most active ideology in terms of domestic terrorism and it wouldn’t be difficult at all to get specific warrants to spy on members of extremist militias.”

    Really?! Few if any mainstream militias have ever been involved in a terror attack in the US, McVeigh was an outsider wannabe. The majority of homegrown terror attacks have actually been jihadist in nature, which I suppose is a right-wing ideology, but not the one you are thinking of: Nidal Malik Hasan, Nasir Jason Abdo, Faisal Schezad, the Tsarnaev brothers, so-called Jihad Jane, the failed Fort Dix attack. Of course you have he occasional aberration like Eric Robert Rudolph, the Unabomber or Timothy Mcveigh but homegrown terror is mostly jihadist inspired (and no I’m not saying this is an excuse to deprive rights of or profile all Muslims). This is not to downplay largely defunct groups like the Order or isolated anti-abortion shootings, but right-wing extremism get’s a lot of talk as being the number one threat with little action, and then it gets used to demonize the entire militia movement which has never been involved in a crime. Actually the FBI says the most prolific terror group that posses the greatest treat is the Earth Liberation Front, of course that is using a looser definition that includes acts of vandalism by arson.

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  20. @Deb Meeker: Did you read what I wrote at all? Of course there is a right-wing terror, but firstly, I would not recommend the SPLC or ADL as sources, and secondly, I listed three right-wing terrorists in my comment so its not like I’m unaware of right-wing terror (well, I guess the politics of one of them are debatable) What I said was they are not the biggest terror, threat, certainly not more than Islamic extremism, not because Muslims are any worse than right-wingers, but simply because there is a worldwide or transnational militant revolutionary movement within Islam while right-wingers tend to be a bunch of disparate and disunited fringe elements loosely lumped together and don’t have the same potency as jihadist terrorism. You are out of touch with reality if you think there is a comparison. Then you fallaciosuly put the word “nonexistant” in quotation marks despite the fact that I NEVER used it AND cited SEVERAL examples of right-wing terrorism. The only thing worse than people who are wrong are people who are wrong with the condescension of someone who is right.

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  21. “Right wing extremists are, by far, the most active ideology in terms of domestic terrorism (jihadists are much more active if you look at the numbers, and the ELF is considered to be the greatest domestic terror threat )and it wouldn’t be difficult at all to get specific warrants to spy on members of extremist militias.

    For a civil libertarian, this is a very authoritarian thing to say and sounds like any anti-right wing version of the Palmer Raids, unless I’m misinterpreting you. Under due process, warrants can only be obtained based on probable cause that a crime is committed, simply being anti-government and even advocating general violence or violent revolution is not unlawful without inciting an immediate and specific crime (Brandenburg v. Ohio).

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  22. I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can not find your email subscription link or enewsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks. kebackadekcd

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  23. Suprmon,

    Did you actually pay attention to the article or the comments when you first read it? You did read it didn’t you? Bundy has been involved in litigation (that means legal action in a court of law) for over 20 years in regards to this dispute. That sure sounds like he’s being a “real man” and attempting to “speak up for himself”. This incident came to a head after the BLM seized Bundy’s cattle. His supporters were mostly volunteers whom Bundy did not personally know who came from all parts of the country of their own free will. These supporters didn’t rally just because of Bundy. These people were already dissatisfied with the government and used this opportunity to display this which they did quite effectively. These people had their own minds and were never under Bundy’s actual control. If you can find ANY proof that Bundy requested these people to use women and children as “human shields” or that any of these people actually did that, please let us know. During the standoff, Bundy supporter Richard Mack (a former sheriff) did state that they were “strategizing to put all of the women up at the front”. The women that he was referring to were the women who also came there of their own free will. If you can find any proof that any women were kidnapped and forced to be there, please tell us. Furthermore, at no time did Mack mention the word “human shield” or anything about children or that these women would be unarmed and defenseless sacrifices or that the men would not be standing alongside them. Just because Bundy is wealthy doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have any right to dispute the BLM and should have to give the government any money if he has a legitimate complaint against a certain policy. I will remind you that Bundy has attempted to resolve this matter in court for over 20 years. Are you even 20 years old? Your choice to use the word “pimping” makes me believe that you are probably still in junior high school.

    PS. If you choose to reply, please proofread your comment so that we can at least try to take you seriously.

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  24. I just read your response to Patricia’s comment entered today. It is most likely called “Liberal Academia” because some narcissistic liberal decided to call it that. Just plain old “academia” would have been sufficient. Here is a link to an article about a book that I am sure you probably won’t ever want to read which explores how liberal ideals are actually symptomatic of mental disorders.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rusty-weiss/2012/01/22/yes-liberalism-mental-disorder

    You need to read your own article again and the subsequent comments as well. You most certainly do have anti Caucasian American undertones. However, this is not surprising. The US population is 72.4 % White and 73% Christian and you have a need to rebel against the majority.

    If you want to talk about tolerating moochers, then let’s not forget about illegal aliens, convicted felons and drug addicts who come in all races and are more likely to favor Democrats.

    The amount of the fee that Bundy was being charged is not the issue. The land was originally settled by his family. Over the years, the government kept acquiring more and more land which forced ranchers into smaller areas and required them to pay fees. Bundy began paying fees in 1954, but stopped in 1993 in protest. Yes, he paid fees for 39 years! Bundy was not building any structures on the land, nor was he denying use of it to anyone else or using it for any purpose other than grazing cattle which he would eventually sell and pay income tax for. Whether you like it or not, the US government is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In other words, the federal government does not own that land, the tax payers do. Can you find any information that suggests that Bundy does not pay his taxes? Let me know if you can. If the government wanted to, they could have charged Bundy with a crime, issued an arrest warrant and taken him into custody. However, they seized the cattle instead. Bundy’s victory has served as an inspiration to others as demonstrated by this article:

    http://rt.com/usa/166940-carbon-county-refuses-blm/

    If an undocumented, Muslim immigrant living in the US (with no substantial claim to any land in the US) was discovered grazing sheep illegally on public land and the BLM took the sheep away and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) took that individual into custody you would probably then accuse the government of profiling and call their action a hate crime.

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  25. Here’s an interesting video.

    I over estimated Cliven Bundy’s age. I guess it was his family that had started paying the fees in 1954.

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