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Old 02-21-2016, 01:07 PM  
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I received a form from my insurance company to include with my tax return. A government that requires such proof of minimum insurance is a government that thinks I serve at its pleasure instead of it serving at my pleasure. I'll send this post to my congressman, strange though that with a republican congress Obama still leaves his footprint on us. I guess this explains the Trump phenomenon.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:34 PM  
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[QUOTE]What the Oregon Standoff Is Really About
Forget the Bundys and "terrorism"—the real crime is what federal bullies do to ranchers like the Hammond family.
By JUSTIN RAIMONDO • January 7, 2016

The occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, by a group led by Ammon Bundy—yes, of those Bundys—was supposed to have focused attention on the plight of a rancher family that has been fighting decades-long efforts by federal officials to drive them off their land. Instead, this dramatic act of civil disobedience has done the opposite: amid debates over the Bundy family, their tactics, and ideology, the focus has been taken off the Hammond family, and their struggle to preserve their land and their way of life has been largely obscured.

This is their story.

Dwight Hammond and his wife Susan bought their ranch in 1964. The Hammond ranch consists of 6,000 acres, grazing rights in four areas on public land, and rights at three separate water sources. They live in a small ranch house—a beautiful structure of stone and hand-hewn wood—on the property.

The land sits in Oregon’s Harney Basin, an area first settled at the tail end of the 19th century. While the narrative we are getting in the media depicts the ranchers as despoilers of the land, implacable enemies of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, the true history of the region shows that the “cowboys” who lived there and ran as many as 300,000 head of cattle were in fact its best defenders. Without them, there would be no Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

As the cattlemen developed an elaborate irrigation system in order to feed their herds, what had been a huge swampland surrounding Malheur Lake was transformed into rolling meadows, wildlife flocked to the area, and it became a favored spot for migratory birds. In 1913, however, the Oregon state legislature passed the Thompson Act, which authorized anyone who won approval from the Land Board to drain any lake and “reclaim” it for development. Drainage districts were established all over the state, and taxes were extracted from landowners in order to further approved development schemes. The Oregon Swampland Act created a “Reclamation Service,” which surveyed and facilitated the drainage of riparian areas, applying for title to lands owned by the federal government, which would then be turned over to developers who envisioned selling plots for agricultural purposes. (As it turned out, however, the land around Malheur Lake was too salty for crops to grow, but since no one had bothered to investigate, this wasn’t discovered until much later.) In 1913, the year the Thompson Act was passed, there were no fewer than eight attempts to drain Malheur Lake filed with the Reclamation Service.

These efforts were thwarted by the ranchers, represented by the Pacific Livestock Company, who contested the water rights and fought the developers to a standstill. As Nancy Langston puts it in Where Land and Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed: “What saved the Malheur Refuge from being destroyed by drainage along with other federal refuges in the region were precisely its tangled water rights and the stubbornness of local ranchers.”

Yet the federal officials who today preside over the refuge don’t remember or don’t care to recall that it was the ranchers who saved the land from being despoiled. Imbued with what can only be described as an imperialistic impulse, the feds have relentlessly sought to expand the refuge, using every method, legal and illegal, to drive them off the land.

As Ammon Bundy explains on his blog, in the 1970s the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) launched their campaign of conquest: ranchers were informed that grazing was inimical to wildlife and had to be reduced, if not eliminated. Out of a total of 53 permits, 32 were revoked; grazing fees were raised sky-high, and many ranchers were forced to give up their land. The irrigation system they had created and which had attracted birds and other wildlife to the area was appropriated by the refuge. While the original refuge established by Teddy Roosevelt included only Malheur Lake, and neither the rivers whose waters flowed into it nor most of the land surrounding it, today it covers some 187,000 acres, completely surrounding the Hammonds’ ranch.

Those who held on, including the Hammonds, were continually pressured to sell, but the hardscrabble ranchers—who had fought the developers, the state politicians, and the forces of nature to preserve their land and their way of life—were not about to surrender to an army of bureaucrats and the urban elites who ran the environmentalist lobby. Their answer was a firm: no way, no how.

As 1980 rolled around, the feds came up with a new battle plan, taking a leaf from the playbook of the Israelis, who have seized Palestine’s water and dole it out in dribs and drabs to their Palestinian helots. The FWS was keen to acquire privately owned land on the nearby Silvies Plain, so the refuge diverted the water, channeling it into Malheur Lake. Water levels rose, soon doubling, and over 30 ranches on the plain were utterly destroyed: homes, barns, and the verdant pastures on which cows once grazed were under water.

This broke the back of the rancher resistance: most came to the FWS and gave their land away for a song. It wasn’t until 1989 that the waters began to recede. By then the entire plain was in the grasping hands of the refuge.

Still the Hammonds refused to sell, and along with a few other holdouts they began to develop a strategy of resistance. Susan Hammond, the matriarch of the family, began to research how the refuge managed its considerable resources. What she discovered was that the ostensible purpose of the refuge—to provide a habitat for birds that might otherwise be endangered—was ill-served by refuge personnel. She dug out a 1975 study conducted by the FWS itself (as Bundy’s blog notes), which showed that the policies pursued by the refuge and allied federal bureaucracies were driving the birds away. It turned out that private lands bordering the refuge provided a haven for four times as many geese and ducks as the federally held lands. Migrating birds turned up their beaks, so to speak, at the refuge and were 13 times more likely to alight and breed on ranchers’ land.

One of the reasons for this is that federal overseers have allowed carp to take over the waters of Malheur Lake and the streams that feed into it. Massive numbers of carp have invaded and destroyed a habitat which once contained grasses and aquatic plants that provided birds and animals with a steady diet. No more. As Oregon Public Broadcasting put it:

Scientists say Malheur Lake once provided expansive habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.

That was before common carp were introduced to the lake. These fish are native to Eurasia. Malheur wildlife biologist Linda Beck says the common carp was brought to the lake as early as the 1920s, likely as a reliable food source for people living in this arid region…

Now the shallow Malheur Lake is mostly brown, open water, free of the plants that provide food, shelter and nesting grounds for the birds… The lake’s estimated carp population runs in the millions.

The refuge, the BLM, and the FWS profit from this disaster by hiring commercial fisherman to come in and catch the carp, which is then sold in areas of the country where immigrant communities for whom carp is a favored foodstuff buy it. Forget the birds: it’s the carp that bring in the money.

Another big problem—one that would come to figure prominently in the Hammonds’ legal problems—is the invasion of junipers, which are crowding out other plant species and turning what were once fields—maintained by ranchers, who regularly cleared the land for grazing—into forests. Junipers suck up water at an amazing rate, and the result is that those fields have now turned into desert. For years, environmentalists objected to cutting down the junipers because it might encourage grazing on “public” lands, and the federal bureaucracy’s “no use” policies encouraged the juniper invasion, which has now conquered over 6 million acres. Finally, the BLM got wise to the problem, but as with the carp invasion, they reacted far too late. This is another reason why the refuge is not popular with the bird population, who are losing their habitat and being driven out—along with the ranchers.

And it isn’t just the junipers that are hogging all the water. In the early 1990s the Hammonds applied for and were granted water rights in an area adjacent to the Refuge by the state authorities. The BLM and FWS went ballistic, with the latter challenging the water rights in Oregon State Circuit Court. They lost—and that’s when the bureaucrats really starting going after the Hammonds.

Not long after being told by a judge to back off, the BLM and FWS fenced off the Hammonds’ water—a brazenly illegal act. The Hammonds struck back, dismantling the fence: the feds called in the Harney County sheriff, who arrested Dwight Hammond. Charged with “disturbing and interfering with federal officials,” a felony, Dwight was jailed for two days. Brought before a federal judge, he was released without bail: the hearing was at first postponed, and then it looks like the government was so embarrassed by the illegal actions of the BLM and FWS that they forgot to schedule another hearing date. The whole matter was dropped. But the feds had sent a message to the Hammonds—that the government would not be bound by the law.


/QUOTE]For the rest of the article go to; http://www.theamericanconservative.c...-really-about/
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:36 PM  
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Well, as is usually the case Eddie, there is a difference of opinion. First, the insurance thing. The people of this country, which includes the government consequently, have grown weary of people who refused to accept personal responsibility. These are the people such as my oldest brothers daughter, who float through life and expect everyone to carry them. She got cancer, the tax payers took up the bill and when it was over, we were left holding the bag for nearly one million dollars. You obviously can't just let people die, insomuch as the insurance companies would do just that and have done that in the past. So, when you have people skimming a huge profit of those who get sick, doctors and chiefly insurance companies followed by the drug companies and medical devises producers, you need to have people step up and take responsibility for their lives, especially if it's going to punish everyone else around them. I don't agree with it, and I can't help but feel that Bernie Sanders single payer plan, that most every other civilized country on the planet has, is the best and most humane way to go. But apart from that, requiring people to have insurance on their own accord is an alternative plan and it's one that the republicans including Mitt Romney pushed for.

As for the ranchers, well, I happen to live among ranchers and at one time we operated a ranch. It's really simple. When you graze animals on public land for a profit, you have to pay fees. Simple as that. I pay for a permit to gather wood for my own homes wood stove. These guys run their animals on public land that we ALL pay for to maintain. Come out here to my home town and I'll drive you around so you can see the damage that these ranchers do to our creek that I have 650 feet of waterfront on. The cattle industry dumps their cows crap in the water. such as a dairy next to us, the cows knock down the banks all through our valley. The end result is that all the silt and other substances that the ranchers cause to go in our creek are now causing it to flood and back up. This isn't just my gripe, it's reality!! It is affecting every single family on the creek. Now, they are dredging it out and using excavators to clean it out so it flows again. The selfish pig headed ranchers are refusing to pay whatsoever, let alone their fair share since they are the people responsible. So I get it! You graze your animals or run any other enterprise that generates a profit, and you start affecting other peoples lives, health or home prices, then people want you paying for it.

The militia folks moved into Oregon because they were demanding that some people be released from prison, who had purposely started fires. I live in an agricultural hub and these people are arrogant, ignorant and selfish. I could elaborate in detail if you'd like and include photos even but I have little respect for agriculture, ranchers or the militia.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:26 PM  
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Apparently, I'm in good company. Here it is. This is one of the most honest break downs of these rancher dudes who love welfare and stuff for free!

The tale of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher, had all the elements of a certain type of political theater, making it inevitable that he would become a hero in the conservative blogosphere and a fixture on Fox News.

The story line, as told in those forums, went something like this: Heavy-handed federal bureaucrats, having seized Bundy’s cattle, were forced to back down after being confronted by cowboys on horseback toting nothing more than their sidearms and an unshakable faith in the U.S. Constitution. (A little-told detail: A sniper or two were concurrently taking aim at the federal agents.)



Bundy was painted as a man being “squeezed” by the federal government, and deserving of our sympathy. Or, more profoundly, he was cast in the same mold as Mohandas Gandhi and George Washington, men who disobeyed unjust laws to bring about revolutionary change. The word “tyranny” was used so often it became background noise in the news coverage.

Let’s dispense with niceties: Bundy is a freeloading scofflaw, a welfare queen in a Stetson who claimed what wasn’t his. He took subsidies from U.S. taxpayers and refused to pay the $1.2 million he owed for using federal – make that our – land.

Bundy has neither history nor law on his side in his long-running dispute with the U.S. government. He asserts that his grazing rights were established in 1880 when his ancestors settled the land where his ranch sits. By some reasoning understood only by him and his range-war sympathizers, the federal government has no constitutional right to interfere with his grazing cattle.




There is a gaping flaw with this argument. As several writers have noted, the Nevada constitution, adopted in 1864 as a condition of statehood, trumps Bundy’s right to graze on public land. It says:

“That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.”

Bundy no doubt is pining for the days, which he never actually experienced, when cattlemen could let their herds roam at will on public lands. That changed in 1934 when federal control of grazing was formalized under a law designed to prevent overuse and degradation of the range. The legislation was backed by ranchers (it was drafted by a rancher turned congressman), in part because it made it that much harder for newcomers to get into the business.

The law, the Taylor Grazing Act, gave existing ranchers permits allowing them to run their herds on federal land. In turn, ranchers paid user fees, which were lower than what most private landowners would have charged. Because those fees capture only a bit of the costs of the grazing program, it amounts to a taxpayer subsidy to ranchers of as much as $1 billion a year. Subsequent court rulings clearly established that the law didn’t grant ownership rights to ranchers who used federal land.




Bundy’s specific complaint dates to 1993, when regulators began a program to protect the endangered desert tortoise. They placed certain grasslands off-limits for grazing, and the government bought out the permits of some ranchers. Among others, Bundy refused to sell and kept grazing his cattle on restricted federal land without a permit.

The fees and fines kept mounting, and Bundy kept losing in court. In 1998, a federal judge permanently barred him from letting his cattle graze on protected federal land.

Finally, agents of the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees grazing rights, began rounding up Bundy’s cattle to remove them from federal property a few weeks ago. Things got hot when Bundy’s family and other ranchers confronted the agents. Wary of the standoff escalating into another Ruby Ridge or Waco – totemic events for some Americans – federal officials backed down and released Bundy’s cattle.

Where it goes from here is unclear. But what shouldn’t be in dispute is the nature of the conflict. This wasn’t a matter of capricious enforcement on the part of the federal government but the steady ratcheting up of pressure on a defiant lawbreaker. There is no grand principle here, just the poor judgment of a man who has helped himself at the public trough while believing he has a right to pick and choose which laws to obey.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-co...#storylink=cpy
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:39 PM  
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Opinions vary wildly obviously, but here are the facts, and I'm in good company because most people are of the same mind set.


The tale of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher, had all the elements of a certain type of political theater, making it inevitable that he would become a hero in the conservative blogosphere and a fixture on Fox News.

The story line, as told in those forums, went something like this: Heavy-handed federal bureaucrats, having seized Bundy’s cattle, were forced to back down after being confronted by cowboys on horseback toting nothing more than their sidearms and an unshakable faith in the U.S. Constitution. (A little-told detail: A sniper or two were concurrently taking aim at the federal agents.)



Bundy was painted as a man being “squeezed” by the federal government, and deserving of our sympathy. Or, more profoundly, he was cast in the same mold as Mohandas Gandhi and George Washington, men who disobeyed unjust laws to bring about revolutionary change. The word “tyranny” was used so often it became background noise in the news coverage.

Let’s dispense with niceties: Bundy is a freeloading scofflaw, a welfare queen in a Stetson who claimed what wasn’t his. He took subsidies from U.S. taxpayers and refused to pay the $1.2 million he owed for using federal – make that our – land.

Bundy has neither history nor law on his side in his long-running dispute with the U.S. government. He asserts that his grazing rights were established in 1880 when his ancestors settled the land where his ranch sits. By some reasoning understood only by him and his range-war sympathizers, the federal government has no constitutional right to interfere with his grazing cattle.




There is a gaping flaw with this argument. As several writers have noted, the Nevada constitution, adopted in 1864 as a condition of statehood, trumps Bundy’s right to graze on public land. It says:

“That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.”

Bundy no doubt is pining for the days, which he never actually experienced, when cattlemen could let their herds roam at will on public lands. That changed in 1934 when federal control of grazing was formalized under a law designed to prevent overuse and degradation of the range. The legislation was backed by ranchers (it was drafted by a rancher turned congressman), in part because it made it that much harder for newcomers to get into the business.

The law, the Taylor Grazing Act, gave existing ranchers permits allowing them to run their herds on federal land. In turn, ranchers paid user fees, which were lower than what most private landowners would have charged. Because those fees capture only a bit of the costs of the grazing program, it amounts to a taxpayer subsidy to ranchers of as much as $1 billion a year. Subsequent court rulings clearly established that the law didn’t grant ownership rights to ranchers who used federal land.




Bundy’s specific complaint dates to 1993, when regulators began a program to protect the endangered desert tortoise. They placed certain grasslands off-limits for grazing, and the government bought out the permits of some ranchers. Among others, Bundy refused to sell and kept grazing his cattle on restricted federal land without a permit.

The fees and fines kept mounting, and Bundy kept losing in court. In 1998, a federal judge permanently barred him from letting his cattle graze on protected federal land.

Finally, agents of the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees grazing rights, began rounding up Bundy’s cattle to remove them from federal property a few weeks ago. Things got hot when Bundy’s family and other ranchers confronted the agents. Wary of the standoff escalating into another Ruby Ridge or Waco – totemic events for some Americans – federal officials backed down and released Bundy’s cattle.

Where it goes from here is unclear. But what shouldn’t be in dispute is the nature of the conflict. This wasn’t a matter of capricious enforcement on the part of the federal government but the steady ratcheting up of pressure on a defiant lawbreaker. There is no grand principle here, just the poor judgment of a man who has helped himself at the public trough while believing he has a right to pick and choose which laws to obey.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:44 PM  
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And that's exactly it. People like Bundy simply pick and choose what's best for them and screw everyone else. Perhaps a little time in jail will allow him to realize that there are other people on the planet too!
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:09 PM  
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All the Bundy family did was gain negative attention with an over eager media.
Quote:
. . . this dramatic act of civil disobedience has done the opposite: amid debates over the Bundy family, their tactics, and ideology, the focus has been taken off the Hammond family, and their struggle to preserve their land and their way of life has been largely obscured.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:31 PM  
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They asked for it. When you do stupid, people take notice. These guys were all thugs, no different than ISIS. I hope they keep Cliven locked up for a bit. Hash it over. Reflect. Contemplate. Grow up. Pay his way. Like the rest of us!
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