Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Great Nevada tortoise standoff

It's been not so widely reported that a Nevada rancher pissed off the federal Bureau of Land Management so much, that there were as many as 200 armed agents surrounding the area, with helicopters and hired cowboys who were going to round up and confiscate the rancher's cattle and kick the rancher off the land. It was also reported, even less widely, that the action was motivated to aid the desire of a powerful majority leader in the Senate, to make a deal to let a Chinese outfit set up some sort of operation on the lands. The BLM says it is necessary to get the cattle off the land to protect a coupla dozen land tortoises.

I'm not certain how much of the reports to believe, but there certainly were hundreds of armed agents focusing on one American rancher family. The feds set up a little fenced in "first amendment" area, where, if somebody wanted to say something covered by the first amendment, they had to go to the little first amendment area, or else risk arrest for obstruction.

Anyhow, quite a few citizens from several states, near and far, showed up with guns and megaphones and arranged themselves in opposition to the federal agents. Nobody wanted to take the first shot, but . . .

No shots were fired, but blog speculation had considered the event to be a possible beginning of a civil war and tossed around speculations about Ruby Ridge, and Waco. The backdown happened coincidentally almost immediately after the reports of the Chinese desl were published.

So what happened? The feds backed down and went away. Cattle have been released, except for some that the BLM says it intends to sell, and pay something to the rancher who owns the cattle. The government announced that it was abandoning the operation in Nevada, but it intended to continue to pursue the issues "legally;" presumably that means in the courts.

Here's my question. If the government intends to pursue the matter in the courts, well, why wasn't that the first plan, not the backup plan? Oh, and if the government now plans to pursue the issue "legally", isn't that an admission that their coercive actions up to this time have been extra-legal, or illegal?

Just sayin'

No comments: