Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriff and Police Officers Association and members of Oathkeepers stood their ground recently with rancher Cliven Bundy in Bunkerville, Nev., in a standoff with law enforcement.
The “overreaching” federal government had actually reached over and attempted to collect the $1.1 million in unpaid taxes and penalties accrued over 20 years while Bundy’s cattle had been ignoring the federal “You graze — you payze” land rule. Other ranchers currently pay $1.35 per head per month, but, hey, why buy the cow if the milk is free? And why rent the land if you don’t acknowledge the government?
In a flash of bravado during the April standoff, Mack revealed, “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they’re gonna start shooting, it’s going to be women that are gonna be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.” This from the sweetheart of the Nevada County Republican Women Federated, who hosted him as a speaker last year.
The anti-government rhetoric by conservative media caused a stampede to the ranch until Bundy, succumbing to an acute attack of hoof and mouth, showed his true colors … and they weren’t so red, white, and blue:
“And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Well, I”ll be hornswoggled! A rancher who fights for his freedom to cheat the government and enjoy an entitlement of government subsidy wonders if slavery, the absence of freedom for others … wasn’t such a good thing after all.
Groups of self-described militia men, itching and twitching for a fight, still stand guard around the Bundy ranch and also have taken to stopping vehicles in the area, i.e., a group of armed militia detained a neighboring rancher trucking his own cattle to Arizona … just to make certain that Bundy cattle wasn’t being rustled, pardner.
Haven’t those politicoo-coos who believe we are living in an unconstitutional police state led by a Communist Muslim from Kenya become the very thing they fear?
If you are a gun owner, radicals will attempt to persuade you that the government is just waiting to confiscate your weapons.
If you are a Christian, radicals might attempt to persuade you that the government is persecuting Christians and that thouest needs to defend thy religious rights.
If you are a parent of a school-aged child, your lure is that the government wants to remove your parental rights (anti-Common Core).
If you are a resource, property or business owner, your enticement is less government regulation, lower taxes and protection of property rights (CABPRO).
If you are a property owner, you might be interested that the government intends to confiscate your rural and suburban property and cart your family off to live in bunker-like apartments to promote environmentally sustainable growth (anti-Agenda 21).
What do all these flavors of Tea have in common? The stronger the tea, the weaker the government … and the stronger the billionaires that bankroll the propaganda.
Under the distraction of the political dust stirred up on the Nevada grazing lands, the American Legislative Exchange Council has been quietly promoting fossil fuel industry interests while undermining renewable energy.
Lobbyists recently have ghost-written 25 energy bills, 24 of which serve fossil fuel interests and government subsidies while undermining clean energy, i.e., the oil billionaire Koch brothers, conservative state legislators and big utilities have written a bill through ALEC to force private citizens with solar panels on their homes to pay extra in fees to be connected to the power grid.
Militia commanders, Tea Party leaders and other conservative Constitutional groups will be remobilizing and circling the wagons on the Capitol steps May 16 when the Save America Foundation sponsors Operation American Spring in Washington D.C. … well, to save America.
There will be muster stations and there will be prayer stations. But mostly there will be feeding stations in a pasture of paranoia and anti-government propaganda.
Maybe it’s high time local candidates who are taking contributions from the Tea Party give us their views on Sheriff Mack, the Oathkeepers, the Koch influence on the party and the legislative assaults on clean energy.
Cheryl Cook lives in Nevada City.