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Friday, 25 April 2014

The Bundy Ranch Standoff: The Bad and the Ugly

"So what we see on the Bundy ranch is really just a fight between bad guys: A corrupt state in league with corrupt economic interests, versus a rogue member of those same corrupt economic interests." - Kevin Carson


Kevin Carson
The Bundy ranch saga has been the subject of heated good guy/bad guy framing by both mainstream liberals and mainstream conservatives, who differ only on which roles to assign to Bundy and the feds, respectively. But I can’t really see any good guys in this.
The respective echo chambers for the two sides differ on whether the land in question was originally federal property from the time of acquisition or originally property of Bundy’s ancestors and then taken over by the government. There’s disagreement over whether Bundy attempted to pay the fees and there was some bureaucratic snafu about who to make the check out to, or he’d just flat-out refused from the beginning.
The claim that Bundy’s family owned the land since the 1880s seems rather tenuous, given that one condition for Nevada’s admission as a state was the recognition of all federal land claims dating to the acquisition of the land from Mexico. And Bundy doesn’t object to the idea of vacant land acquired in war passing into the public domain – he just believes, on constitutional grounds, that it’s the State of Nevada or Clark County, and not the U.S. government, that’s the rightful owner he should be paying taxes to.
And the Paiute Nation included the whole area of Nevada that Bundy’s ranch sits on, before the Paiute were driven into reservations on a minuscule fraction of that land. So they really ought to be shooting at Bundy.
But regardless of all that, there’s some stuff we should be able to agree on.

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