Cows, Guns & Money
Published on Apr 20, 2014
The Tea Party Economist
Helping you to get through the economic mine field in one piece.
Written by Gary North on April 16, 2014
Let’s begin with a map.
Here are some explanations.
The United States government has direct ownership of almost 650 million acres of land (2.63 million square kilometers) — nearly 30% of its total territory. These federal lands are used as military bases or testing grounds, nature parks and reserves and Indian reservations, or are leased to the private sector for commercial exploitation (e.g. forestry, mining, agriculture). They are managed by different administrations, such as the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US Department of Defense, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Bureau of Reclamation or the Tennessee Valley Authority.This map details the percentage of state territory owned by the federal government. The top 10 list of states with the highest percentage of federally owned land looks like this:
New Mexico 41.8%
You can find this here.
The Bundy family is grazing its cattle on federal lands for free. It refuses to pay. This is a property rights case on the surface.
We need to get beneath the surface. The real problem can be seen on the maps. The federal government exercises ownership over land that it should not own.
If the federal government auctioned off this land to the highest bidders, using the money exclusively for paying off the federal debt, the nation would be a lot better off. But the government refuses to do this.
My hope is that this showdown in Nevada will raise this question: “If a private owner controlled access to the land, would the Bundy family work out a deal?” I think it would.
The BLM has lost the first round: in the media. It thought it could steal Bundy’s cattle and get away with it. The plan has backfired. The BLM has backed off in the name of protecting the public from violence. But when has that ever stopped the Feds? The BLM has backed off because it has become the villain in a range war. It has received enormous coverage. The public is generally on Bundy’s side.
This is one of those situations where those of us who like small civil government can take control of this issue. The issue is best seen in the maps.
The BLM will want revenge. YouTube will make this more difficult for the BLM to achieve.
VIDEO AT THIS ADDRESS NOT ABLE TO EMBED.
Harry Reid says, “It’s not over.”
I hope he is right. It’s great PR for liberty.
Will the BLM raid Bundy’s home? It may. There are signs that it will. But the day of invisible raids is over. YouTube enables voters to impose counter-measures. The bureaucrats fear bad publicity, and a raid on Bundy’s home will produce overwhelmingly bad publicity for the BLM.
This is likely to escalate. If the ranchers avoid violence and use YouTube instead, they will win.
RELATED POST FROM GRASSFIRE:
The “Cattle Battle” in Nevada is still in the news, and Grassfire wants to make sure you get the full story. In case you didn’t get to read yesterday’s alert about what the mainstream media isn’t telling you, we’ve included it below. To take immediate action against Big Government oppression, overreach and tyranny, click here to sign the “America, Push Back!” petition now.
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April 16, 2014
On the surface, the “cattle battle” in Nevada might look like a simple, but volatile, dispute between a rancher and the federal government over land rights and grazing fees. That’s the “angle” a lot of mainstream media outlets are presenting to the American people. The “meat” of their reporting is simply that Cliven Bundy doesn’t want to pay his “fair share.”
But there’s much more to this story that you’re likely NOT being told.
In an article posted on Grassfire’s LibertyNEWS yesterday, Managing Director Eric Odom calls the media silence surrounding this story “stunning,” adding:
“We all know media, as a whole, generally ignores stories that eventually prove massive wrongdoing within the rank and file of federal government. That said, the blackout of the Nevada land showdown takes it to a completely different level.”
Odom found evidence that “America’s most powerful Senator may very well be right at the center of the Nevada land controversy” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):
“(T)he government’s part in this fight appears to be fueled by corruption and profit. … The most likely scenario involves Harry Reid’s family, a Chinese green-energy company, the federal government and profit from ‘public land.'”
Through his research and reporting, Odom “connects the dots” between Sen. Reid, Reid’s son, a former Reid staffer who now heads the Bureau of Land Management, and China’s ENN Energy Group. Last week’s aggressive and brazen display by federal law enforcement in Nevada appears to have its roots in Big Government profiteering and cronyism.
+ + Join The Movement! Push Back Against Tyranny!
Grassfire’s question is: When will the American people say “Enough!” to Big Governnment oppression, overreach and tyranny? If you’ve reached your limit, now is the time to push back and take action!
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not,” warned Thomas Jefferson.
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A Conservative Blog
Americans rising up against government
America’s ruling class has been experiencing more pushback than usual lately. It just might be a harbinger of things to come.
First, in response to widespread protests last week, the Department of Homeland Security canceled plans to build a nationwide license plate database. Many local police departments already use license-plate readers that track every car as it passes traffic signals or pole-mounted cameras. Specially equipped police cars even track cars parked on the street or even in driveways.
The DHS put out a bid request for a system that would have gone national, letting the federal government track millions of people’s comings and goings just as it tracks data about every phone call we make. But the proposal was suddenly withdrawn last week, with the unconvincing explanation that it was all a mistake. I’m inclined to agree with TechDirt’s Tim Cushing, who wrote: “The most plausible explanation is that someone up top at the DHS or ICE suddenly realized that publicly calling for bids on a nationwide surveillance system while nationwide surveillance systems are being hotly debated was … a horrible idea.”
On Friday, after more public outrage, the Federal Communications Commission withdrew a plan to “monitor” news coverage at not only broadcast stations, but also at print publications that the FCC has no authority to regulate. The “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN (pronounced “sin”) involved the FCC sending people to question reporters and editors about why they chose to run particular stories. Many folks in and out of the media found it Orwellian.
How this program appeared was, like the DHS program, a bit of a mystery: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said: “This has never been put to an FCC vote; it was just announced.” But the blowback was sufficient to stop it for now.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut a massive new gun-registration scheme is also facing civil disobedience. As J.D. Tuccille reports: “Three years ago, the Connecticut legislature estimated there were 372,000 rifles in the state of the sort that might be classified as ‘assault weapons,’ and 2 million plus high-capacity magazines. … But by the close of registration at the end of 2013, state officials received around 50,000 applications for ‘assault weapon’ registrations, and 38,000 applications for magazines.”
This is more “Irish Democracy,” passive resistance to government overreach. The Hartford (Conn.) Courant is demanding that the state use background-check records to prosecute those who haven’t registered, but the state doesn’t have the resources and it’s doubtful juries would convict ordinary, law-abiding people for failure to file some paperwork.
Though people have taken to the streets from Egypt, to Ukraine, to Venezuela to Thailand, many have wondered whether Americans would ever resist the increasing encroachments on their freedom. I think they’ve begun.