Living In Texas

As most of you know, my family and I relocated to Dallas in December to work for Glenn Beck and The Blaze. Everything is bigger in Texas, so the saying goes, and Texas will shove this in your face from the bigger traffic to the giant Texas-shaped cutting boards (bigger than the United States cutting board) at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. In Texas the ants aren’t just ants, they’re FIRE ANTS and they will cut choo. The June bugs are the size of golf balls and every night they kamikaze by the hundreds into my windows, so hard that it sounds like hail. There was a wolf spider in my backyard and I passed out and died and am posting this from Heaven. And then there’s this thing:

WHAT IS THIS I don’t even know. I was on the phone with my mother and out of the corner of my eye saw what I thought was a humming bird drinking from my petunias. I walked over to it gently and initially silently bragged on myself … to myself … for being so stealthy that I didn’t frighten it off; but then I noticed that it was obviously a deformed humming bird. It had the long beak like hummingbirds but legs? Where are its legs?? warned the tiny voice in my head. It kept zipping around, feet from me, drinking from the flowers. Its little wings flapped as hard and furious as those of a hummingbird’s but the absence of legs and its turd brown color set off alarms in my head. ALERT. ALERT. NOT A HUMMINGBIRD. I REPEAT, NOT A HUMMINGBIRD. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Chris took a picture of it. I have no idea what it is, still.

 

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Is Harry Reid Trying To Incite Violence With More Violatile Bundy Ranch Rhetoric?

Senator Harry Reid isn’t taking the accusations that he’s abusing the Bureau of Land Management for personal gain lying down. After calling unarmed ranch hands who prayed before meeting the BLM and rounding up their confiscated cattle “domestic terrorists,” Reid tried to stoke the flames again this afternoon:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says “something is going to happen” to get Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to stop letting his cattle graze on federal land.

“It’s obvious that you can’t just walk away from this. And we can speculate all we want to speculate to what’s going to happen next,” Reid told KSNV-TV. “But I don’t think it’s going to be tomorrow that something is going to happen, but something will happen. We are a nation of laws, not of men and women.”

Reid seems displeased that the dispute last week between rancher Cliven Bundy, family, supporters, and several hundred armed agents ended peacefully.

Additionally, the BLM confirmed that it killed six of Bundy’s cattle during the roundup, for which they intend to bill Bundy.

I’ll be on “Kelly File” tonight to discuss this and the battle brewing between ranchers and the BLM in north Texas.

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Bloomberg Anti-Second Amendment Group Chastises Over Parody

Anti-Second Amendment advocate Michael Bloomberg combined his so far unsuccessful anti-gun groups under one umbrella, called Everytown. Their name was promptly hijacked on Facebook and parodies abounded, believable after some of the more asinine commentary from Bloomberg’s funded members. Now, Everytown’s Communications Director, Erika Soto Lamb, has taken exceptions with this parody, chasing down everyone on Twitter demanding they state that it is a parody.

 

Except that her group has deliberately and maliciously spread false information about my employment in an effort to get me booted from The View and incite a wave of threats my way. That wasn’t a parody, it was purposeful intent. Big difference.

Since Ms. Soto Lamb is fixated on truth, I asked her to retract her group’s statements and apologize, which they refuse to do and still continue to perpetuate the same false accusation.

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On Rule Of Law

I’ve been mulling over two questions this past week and a half: what is the law if inconsistently applied? What is “rule of law” if the rule on which the law is based has been bastardized?

Those who wanted Cliven Bundy to remain in a court battle with the federal government have never been in a legal fight. They’ve never witnessed how a legal system can be used as a manner to delay justice instead of obtain it.

John Hinderaker speaks to this in a piece about the Bundy Ranch:

So it is possible that the federal government is driving Bundy off federal lands to make way for mitigation activities that enable the solar energy development to the north. But I don’t think it is necessary to go there. Rather–this is the second and more important point–it is obvious that some activities are favored by the Obama administration’s BLM, and others are disfavored. The favored developments include solar and wind projects. No surprise there: the developers of such projects are invariably major Democratic Party donors. Wind and solar energy survive only by virtue of federal subsidies, so influencing people like Barack Obama and Harry Reid is fundamental to the developers’ business plans. Ranchers, on the other hand, ask nothing from the federal government other than the continuation of their historic rights. It is a safe bet that Cliven Bundy is not an Obama or Reid contributor.

The new head of the BLM is a former Reid staffer. Presumably he was placed in his current position on Reid’s recommendation. Harry Reid is known to be a corrupt politician, one who has gotten wealthy on a public employee’s salary, in part, at least, by benefiting from sweetheart real estate deals. Does Harry Reid now control more than 80% of the territory of Nevada? If you need federal authority to conduct business in Nevada–which is overwhelmingly probable–do you need to pay a bribe to Harry Reid or a member of his family to get that permission? Why is it that the BLM is deeply concerned about desert tortoises when it comes to ranchers, but couldn’t care less when the solar power developers from China come calling? Environmentalists have asked this question. Does the difference lie in the fact that Cliven Bundy has never contributed to an Obama or Reid campaign, or paid a bribe to Reid or a member of his family?

So let’s have some sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family. They don’t have a chance on the law, because under the Endangered Species Act and many other federal statutes, the agencies are always in the right. And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They don’t subsist by virtue of government subsidies or regulations that hamstring competitors. They aren’t illegal immigrants. They have never even gone to law school. So what possible place is there for the Bundys in the Age of Obama?

Bingo. What is the rule of law if the rule can be broken? What is the rule of law if it is inconsistently applied according to politics? If we’re going to discuss rule of law, this situation would have never happened in the first place. The Bundys and those who agree with them aren’t devaluing the rule of law, rather, they’re pointing out how those who have violated the rule of law are now trying to hold it up as a standard of measure. Bureaucrats writing their own regulations to later violate is a bad thing. Making a specious argument based on a situationally-endangered turtle is a bad thing.

I do disagree with Hinderaker here:

First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of Land Management has been charging him grazing fees since the early 1990s, which he has refused to pay. Further, BLM has issued orders limiting the area on which Bundy’s cows can graze and the number that can graze, and Bundy has ignored those directives.

I think it’s premature to claim that Bundy doesn’t have a leg on which to stand. First, shouldn’t this be tried in a state court, not federal? Secondly, BLM can waive rights which have existed with the Bundy family, rights that supersede the BLM’s existence? This is one part of a very large argument: Bundy is contesting BLM’s authority here. The “M” stands for management, something designed to work with ranchers on lands, not against them. There is more to this story than this graph adequately addresses.

Previously on this.

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Harry Reid On The Bundy Ranch Saga: “It’s Not Over”

Via KRNV and video via the Washington Free Beacon:

If only Senator Reid felt that Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the NSA, and Rep. Elijah Cummings’s scandal was “not over.”

Previously: The Real Story Behind The Bundy Ranch Harassment

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The Real Story Behind The Bundy Ranch Harassment

By now you’re familiar with the standoff between the federal government, i.e. the Bureau of Land Management, and 67 year-old rancher Cliven Bundy. (If not, check the backstory and my radio interview with him here.) The BLM asserts their power through the expressed desire to protect the endangered desert tortoise, a tortoise so “endangered” that their population can no longer be contained by the refuge constructed for them so the government is closing it and euthanizing over a thousand tortoises. The tortoises, the excuse that BLM has given for violating claims to easements and running all but one lone rancher out of southern Nevada, is doing fine. In fact, the tortoise has lived in harmony with cattle in the Gold Butte, Clark County Nevada for over a hundred years, or as long as Cliven Bundy’s family has lived on the land as ranchers. In fact, the real threat to it is urbanization, not cattle.

A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher. They want his land. The tortoise wasn’t of concern when Harry Reid worked BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore. Whittemore was convicted of illegal campaign contributions to Senator Reid. Reid’s former senior adviser is now the head of BLM. Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests. BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area. If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor.

BLM has also tried to argue that the rules have changed, long after Bundy claims he secured rights and paid his dues to Clark County, Nevada. BLM says they supersede whatever agreement Bundy had prior; they demanded that he reduce his living, his thousand-some-odd head of cattle down to a tiny herd of 150. It’s easy for the government to grant itself powers of overreach, but it doesn’t make it right. Many bad things are done in the name of unjust laws. Just look at Obamacare. This heavy-handed tactic has run the other ranchers from the area and now Bundy is the last one. He’s the last one because he stood up to the federal government.

So why does BLM want to run Bundy off this land and is Reid connected?

I discussed this on “Kelly File” tonight, video via Jim Hoft.

*UPDATE: Those who say Bundy is a “deadbeat” are making inaccurate claims. Bundy has in fact paid fees to Clark County, Nevada in an arrangement pre-dating the BLM. The BLM arrived much later, changed the details of the setup without consulting with Bundy — or any other rancher — and then began systematically driving out cattle and ranchers. Bundy refused to pay BLM, especially after they demanded he reduce his heard’s head count down to a level that would not sustain his ranch. Bundy OWNS the water and forage rights to this land. He paid for these rights. He built fences, established water ways, and constructed roads with his own money, with the approval of Nevada and BLM. When BLM started using his fees to run him off the land and harassing him, he ceased paying. So should BLM reimburse him for managing the land and for the confiscation of his water and forage rights?

Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t that he didn’t pay — he did — or that his cattle bother tortoises — they don’t — it’s that he’s not a Reid donor.

**One last thought: For those conservatives saying that since BLM arrived in the late 90s, it’s the law now, well, so is Obamacare.

 

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