Cliven Bundy, Free Speech Zones, and Endangered Rights

The son of rancher Cliven Bundy, David, was taken into federal custody a few days ago for taking pictures of cattle on his father’s ranch. Let me explain. Cliven Bundy owns a 150-acre cattle ranch in Nevada. His cattle used to graze on the thousand acres or so around his farm (called Gold Butte), and for a few years,  Cliven Bundy paid the federal government for grazing rights. He stopped paying that price to the federal government in 1993, saying he would be happy to pay the county, but didn’t think the federal government should have any say in the land.

In 1998, the federal government, or more particularly the Bureau of Land Management, made grazing on the land outright illegal. The move may have been political retribution or leverage, but ostensibly, it was to protect the habitat of an endangered animal: the desert tortoise.

Cliven refused to stop grazing the land. And he has taken his case to federal courts for about twenty years, and been regularly shot down. Is it any surprise that federal courts would protect the sovereign authority of federal agencies? Not really.

Now, para-military federal officials from the Bureau of Land Management have swarmed the area to escort “trespass cattle” out of the endangered habitat zone. They’re carrying guns and rifles, throwing their weight around, and generally acting like petty dictators. No surprise there. An eye witness to the madness had this to say:

 I drove through the area to see whether the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service could manage to round up a few hundred head of cattle without looking like they were invading a small country.


They couldn’t.


Nearly every federal official I saw—and there were many dozens of them—wore a semi-automatic pistol on his hip. Some cruised the area in unmarked SUVs with tinted windows. Given the lack of attention Saturday from even other members of Bundy’s large extended family, the crush of security gave the quiet area a surreal feel.


The cow cops were out in force. Those steers were getting a more secure escort than the president. Folks who believe in the government’s “black helicopter” mystique were no doubt having their suspicions and paranoias reinforced by all the personnel and firepower.

But you have nothing to fear. The civil government has politely put up a little corral they’re calling the “Free Speech Area” for anyone who wants to protest. As long as you’re in that little area, you may exercise your First Amendment rights all you want.  It used to be that your rights had all the habitat in the country to roam. Not so anymore. When the civil government tells you when and where you can exercise your rights, what’s the point of even having rights? At that point, why even call them rights? They’re revocable privileges from the imperial overlords. We’re worse off than serfs.

22 responses

  1. Although our 1st Amendment right is still with us, the USG is making sure it is out of sight & out of mind from the rest of the population.
    After the American Revolution the founders of America made this the most important freedom by making it the 1st Amendment.
    Time for the Revolution again?

    • Time for the Nevada Governor to grow some cajones, and run the feds out for violating the First Amendment rights of Nevada citizens.

      • He cannot go and do whatever he wants on that land. I’m part of the public and a taxpayer, and I say he can’t. Do you see how your logic is totally nutty.

          • The Federal government owns the White House too! Does that mean I have a party with some strippers in the Lincoln bedroom anytime I want???

          • I feel sorry for the troll BobEeeeeee he has no life. He spends all of his time arguing a losing point on this news site. Very Sad.

          • LaBoob,
            I checked with present-dent Bumbling Barry Oblamer for you. He says as long as they are male strippers, you invite Barry, and you provide the condoms and one dollar bills he’s ok with it.

      • The land is owned by the state of Nevada. The BLM manages it. It is public land, not federal property. The rancher has offered to pay the county a range fee. Do any of you have an inkling just how huge 160,000 acres is ? I grew up on a ranch that was once that size, by the time I came in to the picture it was sold off to other ranchers with 10,000 remaining. It took us a week to ride fence on the 10 thousand acres. The few hundred acres he has been ranching with his family for generations is such a minute amount. The stupid turtles are not the issue here, control is.

    • The feds obviously don’t understand that First Amendment Rights apply across the entire USA, the entire state of Nevada, the entire county, and on ALL state roads and ALL Lands. Aren’t you a good little Nazi Collaborator to side with the feds setting up a “free speech containment” and arresting those doing outside of their little box? You are one disgusting little fascist loving POS.

  2. Who gave this land to the feds? The federal government has limited authority to own land. Article 1, Section 8, US Constitution.
    “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases
    whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by
    Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat
    of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all
    Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the
    Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and
    other needful Buildings;…”

    “…for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and
    other needful Buildings…” This land doesn’t qualify per the Constitution, PERIOD. It’s state land. (10th Anendment)

  3. Ask yourself… is this really about the turtles? How many turtles are there per acre? Not many. Do the cows go looking for the turtles with murder in their hearts? My guess is that the cows never see a turtle. This has nothing to do with turtles. Like ALL federal government intrusions, it about forcing control over the very people that are supposed to be the sovereigns in this country. Then we reelect the same moron that do this to us. Make this election different, vote for freedom, vote for Constitutionalists, PLEASE.

  4. Thanks to Amendment 5 of the federal Constitution, eminent domain, public lands, and property taxes, every square inch of land in America is owned by the Constitutional Republic.

    For more, see online Chapter 14 “Amendment 5: Constitutional vs. Biblical Judicial Protection” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at

  5. In a sickening display of arrogance and overstepping it’s authority, and unconstitutionality by the BLM threatening UNARMED citizens with snipers. WHAT ???? Are you thugs?

    ….can you bozos at the BLM READ? You haven’t got the authority…. FLPMA
    I hope you are defunded with the new congress we will be getting since you can’t follow the LAW.

    what a waste of 3 million dollars too for this Bundy ranch fiasco….BLM is the first agency I want cut….in fact eliminated entirely.

    by Chuck Baldwin who I voted for president in 2008

    During those turbulent years of the 1990s, the late-great Congresswoman, Helen Chenoweth, in an interview with Michael Reagan, spoke these words:
    “BLM is taking onto themselves law enforcement that is normally saved for the State, law enforcement over motor vehicles. They’ve written into the regulation without authority from Congress, the ability to stop vehicles or to search people, to search a place or a vehicle without warrant or process; to be able to seize without warrant or process any piece of evidence and to test people for potential DUI (driving under the influence). They have redefined a parachute into a mechanized piece of equipment, so if you parachute into any of their areas you can be fined $20,000 or more.
    “It is amazing. Our founders, when establishing our system of government wanted to make sure that law enforcement was closest to the people. You and I have talked before about how important it is to make sure that you elect the very best local county sheriff because he should be regarded as the highest law enforcement officer in the area because he is accountable to the voters. They really worried about a national, a federal, law enforcement. To federalize our law enforcement is to create a situation that the pilgrims were trying to escape.
    “We are moving quickly to that. The Bureau of land Management is taking onto themselves law enforcement authority that Congress never gave them. In the Federal Land Policy and Management Act that was passed in the early 1970’s it made it clear that Congress said that, ‘first, you must go to your local county sheriff for law enforcement activities.’”
    See Reagan’s interview with Helen.
    Helen knew what she was talking about. The BLM controls over 60% of all of the land within her home State of Idaho. The BLM controls over 70% of all land in Utah; and in the State of Nevada, the BLM controls over 76% of all land.
    Chenoweth was as much of a prophetess as she was an observer when she added, “Whatever [land] we have left. Right now in Idaho and I am sure all over the West, they are moving people and human activities off the land.”
    Helen was also correct when she noted that the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), which was adopted in 1976, stipulated that BLM had to go through the county sheriff for any action that required law enforcement. Nearly four decades later, the BLM (and virtually every other federal agency) totally and thoroughly ignores this requirement.
    For those of us who still labor under the conviction that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it must be observed that the only crimes assigned to the federal government in the Constitution for law enforcement purposes are Treason, Piracy, Counterfeiting, and International law violations. That’s it! All other law enforcement matters are the purview of the individual states, according to the Tenth Amendment.

    To coin a maxim from the German pastor, Martin Neimoller: “First, they came for the Randy Weaver family in Idaho, and I did not speak out; next, they came for the Branch Davidians in Texas, and I did not speak out; then, they came for the Cliven Bundy family in Nevada, and I did not speak out; then, they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.”

    BLM Nevada State Office
    1340 Financial Blvd.
    Reno, NV 89502
    Front desk: 775-861-6601
    State Director: Amy Lueders
    Associate State Director: Marci Todd
    Phone: 775-861-6590
    Here are some of my questions: why are the local and State law enforcement officers in Nevada assisting the BLM with this egregious act of tyranny? Beyond that, why are they not standing up to the BLM and telling them to go to Hades? Do the lives and liberties and property of the citizens of their State mean nothing? And, another thing: who are these independent contractor-cowboys in Utah who are willing to help trample a fellow citizen’s constitutional rights? How much does 30 pieces of silver equate to today? And what about those BLM snipers? Who are these men who would willingly turn their guns against innocent, hard-working Americans for the sake of a paycheck? I guess the only reason that the members of Mr. Bundy’s family are not six-feet under already is simply because those “brave” and “patriotic” snipers were not given the order to shoot. They sure had the family members in the crosshairs of their scopes; all that was missing was the pull of the index finger. Wow! That’s comforting. I wonder how many of us are in the crosshairs of federal snipers and don’t even know it?I hope the people of the western states will arise in support of the Bundy family in such numbers that the BLM thugs will be forced to withdraw and leave this dear family alone. If we are not careful, the feds could do to this family what they did to those poor Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, and to the Weaver family near Ruby Ridge, Idaho. This should be a wake-up call for all of us out west to let our elected officials know under no uncertain terms that we will not tolerate such conduct in our backyards.

  6. Did all of you get this part?:

    For those of us who still labor under the conviction that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it must be observed that the only crimes assigned to the federal government in the Constitution for law enforcement purposes are Treason, Piracy, Counterfeiting, and International law violations. That’s it! All other law enforcement matters are the purview of the individual states, according to the Tenth Amendment.

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