Somebody explain the Nevada situation for me please?

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Political musings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I am all for peaceful protest. It doesn't usually involve AR-15s.

I am all for peaceful protest. It doesn’t usually involve AR-15s.


A question for all my America friends, especially those on the right of the political spectrum.

So, if irregular militia turn up and point semi-automatic guns at lawful officers who are simply trying to enforce multiple court orders to make a greedy rancher stop free-loading his cattle on public land, (which he’s done for 15+ years) how are those people not terrorists?

How is defending someone’s right to make money illegally about freedom?

Can you imagine the hoo-ha if the Occupy movement did anything remotely resembling this? Blocking a highway, defying lawful commands, ignoring court orders year after year, and threatening to shoot officers?

Please. Explain.


  1. gwpj says:

    Ahhh, well, . . . . . . Well, this is Nevada, where some folks think it’s still the Old West, and . . . That’s about all I can make of it, Yolly.


  2. Paul Brixey says:

    I really don’t know but it’s their country and something that outsiders shouldn’t really get involved in.


  3. Perhaps letting the situation build up will help the government pass laws making it easier to clamp down on lesser offenders. Or maybe Waco and Ruby ridge have them overly cautious about creating martyrs for the other causes. If I stood on my porch and waved a knife the police would surely shoot me dead without hesitation so I must assume there is something about the story that has yet to be revealed.


  4. underwriiter505 says:

    I certainly can’t explain it. All I can come up with is white, male, rich privilege gone mad, but that is not an explanation. I did ask for help, though –


  5. mlshatto says:

    It is not clear to me why the Federal officials chose this time, after more than twenty years of failure to pay fees on the part of the rancher, to move on the situation. Apparently there was a recent court order that the Bureau of Land Management was trying to enforce. The most recent reports now say that the Feds have completely backed down and released the 400 head of cattle that they had rounded up. I suspect that part of the motivation for that decision was to avoid a confrontation which could, and probably would, quickly turn deadly. Memories of the Branch Davidians in Waco, TX, and the Ruby Ridge stand-off still fuel much hatred of federal agents. But I fear that the stand-down will simply embolden those who threatened violence.

    The Libertarian strand of our politics has enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years. The John Birch Society, which ten years ago seemed to have just about disappeared, is now growing and increasing in prominence. The election and re-election of President Obama certainly has been part of the impetus, but the “patriot” and “militia” movements had been simmering for long before 2008. Right-wing media keep a significant portion of our population whipped into a frenzy of hate and fear directed against the federal government, racial and other minorities, immigrants, etc. I have believed for some time that the purpose is to divert attention from the truly criminal ways in which our economy and democracy are being undermined for the benefit of the exceedingly wealthy.

    Here is a link to an article written prior to the stand-down and posted on Truth-Out, tying Koch funding to some of the groups supporting the rancher:

    And another link to blog posts on the Southern Poverty Law Center website:


  6. reasonablyliberal1 says:

    The best and most understandable answer I’ve seen was in an interview between Chris Hayes (and MSNBC) with Nevada state representative Michele Fiore. Her point was that the government shouldn’t collect bills with force. It was one of the more sane commentaries I’ve seen. Most of them are petty far out there and don’t make sense.


    • Why should the Government enforce court orders – repeated – by force.


      • mlshatto says:

        If we in the U.S. are to remain in any way a country ruled by law, then I think that, when all else fails, government agencies must enforce the law by exercise of their police powers. Force should be the last resort, and as minimal as possible. But in this case armed “militia” unauthorized by any political process have protected a rancher who has stolen resources from the American taxpayers for the past two decades. If anti-government armed bands declare themselves the law in the territories that they are able by force to control, how is that different from what we deplore in Afghanistan and Syria? The lawless Wild West of the 19th century makes for great films, but it undermines our hopes for a civil society in the 21st century.


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