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Tuesday, April 15 - 6:39pmSanction this postReply
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Rancher Bundy has been making legal arguments that vary from incoherent to just plain wrong - and it is too bad. Because when you look at the facts it is a different issue.

 

Bundy says the land doesn't belong to the federal government and he won't get far with that argument. The land does belong to the federal government (or more precisely they have the legal right to manage this land which is owned in common by the people of the United States). And upon getting Statehood, Nevada officially ceded that land to the federal government. This is what knocks the legs out of his legal arguments.

 

He has been representing himself in court - big mistake.

 

Bundy's family have owned the land since the 1800's. Back then the federal government opened the area to settlers and it came with a promise of the free grazing on any adjacent federal lands. Bundy says that his family relied upon that promise.

 

They acted on that promise. The family grazed on that land for generations before the BLM came into existence in 1946 and before the BLM started imposing the current grazing fees and limitations (which was in 1993).

 

Over the last few decades the BLM has been driven by environmental issues where they are managing on behalf of things like the Desert Tortoise, not the humans that make valid use of the land. The intrusion of the BLM's involved: increasing limitations of the amount of cattle that can graze in an area, decreasing which areas can be grazed and increasing the grazing fees. These have resulted in a decrease of the ranches around Bundy from dozens till now where his ranch is the only one left.

 

Bundy's other argument is that the BLM has been abusing laws for the purpose of driving him out of business and that he shouldn't have to pay them for that. And he says that the BLM is supposed to manage the land to improve or maintain its value for the people is not doing that. He also argued that the federal officers shouldn't be able to bring guns out and go after the citizen's of a county. That the Sheriff, who is an elected official of the country, is the only one who should be able to use guns and make arrests of citizens - he calls this a state's rights issue.

 

I don't understand his reasoning, but it is an interesting idea. To reduce the ability of the federal government to take us into a police state it makes sense to say that the federal courts should have to issue warrants that local officials be the ones to carry them out. That would, like jury nullification, and state nullification of federal laws, be another safeguard of individuals rights being violated by federal overreach.

 

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As a side note, Harry Reid is aligned with the BLM which is very important to Nevada (76.1% of all the land in the state). Where the BLM may well be the most important government agency in the state, Reid is the most important political figure in the state. The BLM is run by a former Chief of Staff of Reid's. Various developers who would very much like to get their hands on this or that piece of land are Reid's campaign supporters.

 

The BLM doesn't want to restrict all uses of the land under their management, they have things like solar power and wind power that the BLM wants to increase more. The BLM manages 55 million acres. Employees over 10,000 people (doesn't include contractors). And has a budget that exceeds a billion a year.



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Wednesday, April 16 - 5:34amSanction this postReply
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He has been representing himself in court - big mistake.

Sad state of affairs when it's a mistake to represent yourself in court - when laws and regulations have become so complicated that even lawyers shy away from suing the state ... in Germany you can't even get legal expense insurance against the state ...

A law has to be understandable and it's consequences measurable by those living under that law - otherwise we're back to AS: make laws impossible to follow, creating a nation of felons that's easy to govern ...

 

or more precisely they have the legal right to manage this land which is owned in common by the people of the United States

another sad state of affairs if the government is the only one who can manage land 'owned in common by the people' - is that actually covered by  'property rights'? I understand that someone has to do it, but does it have to be a gang of idiots (at best) or at worst some moochers looking for an easy carcass?

Alternatives anybody? Who should 'the land' belong to? and why?



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Friday, April 25 - 1:01pmSanction this postReply
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I probably should have put this here:

 

On a larger scale, there is the BLM case out closer to Steve's way. The rancher scofflawing the federal governments 'grazing permits' for his cattle for the last 20 years, to the tune of 1 million dollars in unpaid grazing fees.    No permits needed, right?  Let freedom ring on federal land.   One solution to this problem is to offer permit-less hunting/harvesting of cattle on those same open lands; let freedom ring.    The scofflawing rancher celebrating freedom can enforce his cattle squatters right any way he wants, and those celebrating their freedom with the incentive to harvest permit-free meat on the wide open plains would be free to take their chances as well, and let the most powerful prevail in the wild wild permitless west.   No permits required for grazing, no permits required for harvesting free range cattle.   No need for courts and laws.    Complete rule by the calculus of labor leader A. Philip Randolph, who once observed: "At the banquet table of Nature there are no reserved seats; you get what you can take; you keep what you can hold."

 

The let freedom ring rancher, in this instance, might draw upon those who agree with him in the tribe to come help defend his 'rights' by forceful enforcement.   He might even pay well for their help.    Or, the let freedom ring no permit required free range harvesters might recruit their own like minded tribal friends,  pay them as well, and the accountants could take over for the lawyers, and we could substitute one form of permitted power rules for a different version of permitted power rules.

 

His argument is that he was relying on a past deal made 'in perpetuity' that anyone on adjacent land could use the land at will, as they see fit, without future restrictions.    OK.  Then how does the permitless open season on free range cattle violate that agreement?

 

regards.

Fred



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Friday, April 25 - 2:31pmSanction this postReply
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Fred,

 

I think you'd have to have experienced what things were like 30 or so years ago to understand the change.  There was a sense of partnership between all of the people who were using different kinds of public lands and the people in charge.  There were some squabbles between different parties, but they were minor.  Ranchers, hunters, fisherman, hikers, campers... all of them were being served by a very small government presence that did its best to juggle different interests and never impose some outside agenda.  Many of the agencies paid for themselves with small use fees.  Now?  The change is like night and day.  Many of the people in the West feel like their land is held and ruled by outsiders for purposes unrelated to anything they want or need.  Vast tracts of land are being pulled out of public use - no trespassing allowed.  But it is land that once was used for fishing or hiking.  Many Westerners feel occupied, and taxed by the occupiers, whose primary purpose seems to be keep the locals off the land - keep the land pristine for... for what?  And it isn't about making modest increases in regulations or fees to be able to keep up with inflation or population growth, it is being ruled from afar without representation and abusive use of regulations.



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Sunday, May 4 - 12:06pmSanction this postReply
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Fred,

His argument is that he was relying on a past deal made 'in perpetuity' that anyone on adjacent land could use the land at will, as they see fit, without future restrictions. OK. Then how does the permitless open season on free range cattle violate that agreement?

First off, I believe that everywhere possible, public land (all forms of public property) should be auctioned into private hands to eliminate this, and other problems.  But, given the existence of the public land, it should be managed by the government to suit those who use it. That might mean finding compromises that permit grazing of cattle, with access to hikers, hunters, snow-mobilers, etc.   But it shouldn't include keeping people out altogether in order to "preserve the land"... as if it were a sacred area that can only be entered by the ecological high priests employed by the EPA or Endangered Species protectors.

 

Whatever decisions are made, which might include grazing fees that will support the management of the grasslands, they shouldn't be applied for the purpose of driving ranchers out of business to suit the environmental fantasies of those who want everyone to stop eating beef.

 

Because cattle are grazing on 'free' range, doesn't mean they aren't someone's property, so I don't understand why you'd want to see them shot   :-(

 

We are stuck with far more common property than we think. Navigable rivers are an example. And there are different agencies that tend to managing our publically owned rivers. The Army Corp of Engineers work to prevent damaging flooding, for example. The Coast Guard and local harbor patrols have jurisdictions for regulation of waterway use. A parallel to the Bundy cattle deal would be a family that counted upon being able to use a river to deliver ships they build to their customers. If the EPA decides that it is harming some guppy-like fish to have these ships in the water and drives the builders out of business, it would be like the ranchers in Nevada.

 

It wouldn't make sense to say that anyone can come along and have a permitless 'open season' on taking possession of any ships that are using that river.

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I'm not sure that the issues of dealing with all the different kinds of public property has been very well explored from an Objectivist/Capitalist perspective.  There is the air itself, the water along the coast line, the rivers and creeks, the water table under the ground, the minerals as yet unclaimed under the land's surface, our codes of laws themselves, public buildings and the land under them, national parks and forests, usable property created by government employees, public schools, right of way instances where private property would have to be crossed in some fashion to grant access to another piece of property, air space over private property, public structures like dams, roads, etc.



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