Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-15B: Holy Week and government

By Nathan Barton

Good morning!  To many people, this is “Holy Week.”  The 13th was “Palm Sunday,” and at sunset on Monday the 14th begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or Passover.  I lose track of all the different names assigned the days of the week, except “Good Friday” and of course, Easter Sunday at the beginning of next week.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is one of those holy days (holidays) that commemorates liberty: the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt of the children of Israel, their liberation from Egyptian slavery and the beginning of about 280 years of freedom.  God’s gift to them, a gift that they attempted to reject several times and finally did in the time of Samuel the Judge (and Prophet) when they finally rejected God (His words, not mine) and demanded a human king, “like all the nations around us.”  That should sound familiar to us, as the people of the Fifty States have done the same.

Which is why we have messes (and messages) like the mess in Nevada.

Over the weekend, the escalating confrontation at Bunkerville, Nevada, between the Bundy family and several hundred supporters and 200+ BLM, NPS, FBI, and other federal agents, vehicles and aircraft, supposedly ended with the Feds backing down and withdrawing.  There is reason to think that the withdrawal was tactical (NOT “strategic” as so many people wrote, who do not understand the definitions of the words), and that the crisis is not yet over.

Across the border in Utah, there is another crisis coming to a head, between the Iron County government (ironic name, that) and several Federal agencies over wild horses:  2,000 of them in range capable of supporting only about 200 long-term, and eating ranchers out of house and home, as well as being a general nuisance.  This is NOT an unusual problem in the West:  “rats with antlers” (deer) are a nuisance AND a danger in many regions: few natural predators are present except humans and their predation is overly restricted. So hundreds of us hit deer on the highways, byways, and even our own driveways at times, as they eat crops and despoil flowers and much else: even in cities of 50,000 population or more.  Ditto for prairie dogs.  In some areas (Rocky Mountain National Park, for instance), elk are a similar danger and problem: their population outstripping the habitat available and destroying it. Similar problems exist with elk, deer, and “wild” bison populations in and around Yellowstone.  The FedGov’s agencies are destroying the environment.

Anyway, in Iron County, the local government has threatened to, and started, rounding up the feral horses and transport them or do something to get the population down to a sustainable level, and the FedGov (which has in essence decided that its only course of action is to bully and threaten and use violence) says that it will retaliate.  Because of Bunkerville, the possibility of violence has been increased in Utah.  And other places.

In South Dakota, various Lakota nations and organizations have begun creating camps to protest against and prevent the construction of the Keystone XL across lands that were once part of their reservations:  ironically against not just the pipeline and its supposed environmental nightmares, but against the man-camps.

In many other places, such as the northern San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado, and portions of the huge Navajo Nation homeland (reservation) of NW New Mexico and NE Arizona, new federal rule making and creation of “management plans” are being opposed by both sides: the environist “preservationists” on one side, and the multi-use proponents (and users: snowmobiling, fourwheeling, hunting, grazing) on the other.  Again, if we had the government we are supposed to have, these things would not even be issues: the land would be privately owned and while not perfectly-managed, certainly better than the government is able (or willing) to do.

The Washington Times tells us that the Nevada ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid’s reputation .  Mama Liberty asks, reasonably, ” How do you wet a river?”   No fooling.  Was discussing this with some friends after worship yesterday.  Nevada politics is like Pigpen, the Peanuts character.

Both Mama Liberty and I appreciated Karen Kwiatkowski’s commentary, “Early Lessons of Bunkerville
As with the British Army in 1775, the state’s institutions sow the seeds
of their own destruction. Inflation, crushing debt, and rats leaving the
sinking ship will conspire towards ultimate collapse.  As Bunkerville
publicly demonstrated, we the people can peaceably help this process
along.  The state will call it reform, transformation, or even
rehabilitation, even as politicians begin to scramble to “lead” the
leaders of this liberty and justice movement.   The state will shrink,
in influence at first, as we have seen, then in physical presence,
cohesiveness, and consumption.  We will call it victory, and tell our
children instructive fables of evil statist monsters.  God bless the
Bundys and their friends, and all of us.  It has started!

Over at TMM someone said:  I’m curious how many wealthy ranchers are going to come to the rescue of some IIIper that had his door kicked in, dogs shot, and guns confiscated?

Mama Liberty replied:

We might be surprised. 🙂 But I hope we never need to find out.  As for
“rich,” I don’t know why it matters by itself, but I suspect that
Bundy’s bottom line is very complicated with taxes, regulations and
probably a shit load of debt as well. I suspect he’s more “land poor”
than rich – and I’m also sure that the governments, both fed and state,
will leave no stone unturned to strip him of both money and land – even
if they don’t arrange for his death before doing so. All of the other
“rich” ranchers had already been driven out, one way or another.

But I’m really encouraged that at least this phase of the “war” turned
out well. It could so easily have turned into a holocaust… one
momentary slip of trigger discipline, one overeager drone operator
seeing the rifles on the bridge as an attack on the feds… a hundred
other things that MIGHT have happened – didn’t. The rag tag, leaderless
and completely self governing people who gathered there managed to
maintain non-aggression, regardless of their personal background,
opinions, attitudes and so forth.

Even the “jack booted thugs” managed to mostly behave themselves and not
start shooting at people…  they had the brains to understand that it
could not end well for them. They knew right away they didn’t have the
overwhelming advantage they always need and try to create. What “works”
in Boston, doesn’t accomplish much in Nevada…  hope some of them
learned that lesson.

THAT is the victory here, and I hope it continues.

As do I, milady, as do I.

On to one last item of news, again tied to the season in strange ways:

Three people have been killed in a pair of shootings at a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, by a elderly man who admits he is anti-Semitic and appears to be just filled with hate.  Bizarrely two of the people he killed were christians and not Jews, but apparently he didn’t ask for a membership card first  But the real story here is that NO one was ARMED and able to defend against this madman.  The idiot, excuse me, the Fuehrer’s comments were (as is so often the case) stupid: the three people were not “killed at their prayers” but rather putting on a play and other things.  But I suspect that he is angling to keep the ban (in too many places) on people being armed in church and synagogue meeting houses.  I find THAT rather odd, that a Jewish congregation would decide putting a play on was appropriate during the High Holy Days, when people are supposed to be remembering and celebrating their rescue from slavery in Egypt.  What a world we live in.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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