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Saturday, April 12, 2014

One More Thing to Blame on England: the Nevada Ranch Stand-off

I have been fascinated by the ongoing stand-off in Nevada between the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy. As I write this, reports are coming in that the Feds are in retreat, and are abandoning their effort to round up the evil Bundy cows.

I thought of titling this post, "Is it April 19, 1775, yet?" or, "Will Cattle Lead Stampede for Liberty?" but decided to go with one blaming England.

Ostensibly at issue in this stand-off are some $1.3 million in fees the Feds say Bundy owes the BLM for grazing his cattle on Federal land since 1993, when Bundy stopped paying. Bundy replies that he and his family have grazed that land since just after the Civil War, have ancestral rights to it, and that the Feds arbitrarily changed the rules on him when they put 100,000's of acres off limits beginning in 1993 to protect a rare desert tortoise.

The Feds, who for this operation must have had their PR designed and executed by the same idiots who decided that a low-level flyover of Manhattan in 2009 by Air Force One was a good idea, sent in armed agents in a stream of SUV's, bulldozers, and backhoes, with helicopters buzzing overhead, and began rounding up hundreds of cattle, and, reportedly, euthanizing at least some of them. In addition, some genius decided that for crowd control reasons, the Feds would set up an officially sanctioned and fenced in "First Amendment Area," where people who didn't like the BLM's actions could express their opposition--there but nowhere else, since the Feds apparently have determined the where and when of the First Amendment. The tone-deaf Feds also have been highlighting environmentalist "concerns" for a species of desert tortoise, as though that makes them appear on the side of goodness and light. Note to the leftards running our government: the American people are fed up with and do not trust "environmentalists," and the image of agents with guns, tasers, helicopters, and police dogs does not convey a warm and cuddly green enviro-message.

I don't know all the legal ins-and-outs of the case and the media have not (Surprise!) done a good job of presenting the case for both sides: I wait for Legal Insurrection (the best blog on the net) to do that. That aside, I am struck by the arrogance and high-handedness of the Feds. We see a genuinely totalitarian atmosphere, an air of living and operating removed from everyday reality in the way our government now works. We have seen this before, generally under Democratic administrations, e.g., the Clinton-Reno handling of Waco, but not exclusively so, e.g., the 1992 Bush (41) handling of Ruby Ridge, but under this administration that totalitarian impulse has gone on steroids, e.g., the use of the IRS and EPA to suppress dissent; the use of the ATF to build a bogus case against gun ownership with "Fast and Furious"; the ramming through of Obamacare ready or not, wanted or not; the use of the auto bailout to close pro-Repubilican car dealers, etc. Did the Bundy case really rise to this level of Federal action? A dispute over a million dollars in land use fees? Really? What has this operation cost the taxpayers? More important, what has this operation cost the government in the one resource it no longer has in great stock, the public trust?

The popular reaction, as one can see by going to Drudge, has been strong with protestors clashing with BLM and National Park Service agents. Bundy supporters have been driving in from across the country to confront the Feds, and help Bundy retrieve his cattle. The BLM, apparently, has announced that it will abandon its cattle round up, and, as noted above, the Feds seem in retreat, something that could have great significance for the future.

What we have on display is the perennial clash between two English traditions or tenets: the first, respect for the "Crown" and the law; the second, a demand for individual liberty. Where those two rub up against each other the resulting friction produces a lot of heat and, at times, even flame. On another April, this one in 1775, we saw those two English principles also come into conflict when Royal troops went into the Massachusetts countryside to retrieve guns and some powder defiantly stored by English farmers. The resulting clash, which began on April 19, 1775, saw the Royal troops retreat in the face of an armed countryside, and served as the spark for the American Revolution. Angry and armed English farmers should not be your enemy of first choice. That Revolution was a continuation of a great theme in the English Civil War, the battle over the nature of the individual's relationship to the Leviathan. The victors in the American Revolution were those Englishmen who held liberty above loyalty to the crown.

The cow "war" in the Nevada desert, perhaps, could provide the spark that lights a more widespread resistance to the increasing arrogance and stupidity of those who now operate in the name of our "Crown," His Royal Majesty Barack I. If it is true that the Feds have had to back down, this event could well be the watershed in a new struggle to preserve our English liberties.

Blame it on England. I do.

74 comments:

  1. Interesting take on this showdown. As was so often true in the West of yesteryear, it is ultimately up to the fed up citizen to confront the bad guys. It also should be remembered that you don't turn your back on a sneaky polecat. Those ranchers know this.

    This does indeed have ringings of the English Civil War and the American Revolution. From the English Civil War narrative, who is to be the Cromwell?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day Whitewall,

      I think what [or who actually] you need is another Sir Thomas Fairfax rather than another "Old Noll". Ollie C turned out to be a bit of a dictator himself.

      That aside it is good to see some good old American individualism popping up.

      Delete
    2. David, G'day to you sir! Oliver did take that turn as most seem to do I guess. These land disputes out West are always simmering just under the surface. Armed Federal agents are that way because a good many Americans are armed and some don't care much for the presence of Feds of any stripe. That is true in my part of the country too. Still it is nice to see an American stand up to the Leviathan. That could catch on in our current climate.

      Speaking of the West, one of your countrymen Robert Taylor plays the part of a modern western sheriff in a series on tv called "Longmire". It has become quite popular and it amazes me how easily a western character is played by an Australian. Seems natural.

      Delete
  2. My understanding, from some reading on the topic, is that this is about water and real estate developers. No doubt the developers are taking good care of Harry Reid's family, who seem to be involved in every dishonest deal in Nevada.

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    Replies
    1. Harry Reid and real estate development in an arid place like that?? Nope, he had much bigger plans: a deal with the Chinese to have them build a huge solar panel "farm" on those acres. He would've been very rich but no work for Americans...and that crock about saving the tortoise from the cattle? They are picked off by predatory birds, just like other slow-moving animals. And Reid's solar panels would have baked them on the half-shell for the buzzards.

      Reid is now officially shovel-ready.

      This thing has been under the radar for awhile. There's a National Review essay a few weeks ago.

      I seldom ever link to my own blog but people have been sending us places to see, so here is a brief recount and a lot of links:

      http://gatesofvienna.net/2014/04/eyeball-to-eyeball-and-the-feds-blinked/

      Eyeball-to-eyeball echoes the Cuban missile crisis. And the picture we used is from a reader in England - go figure.

      There is still a lot of video to emerge yet. But as the rancher, Bundy, from Bunkerville, put it: that land has been grazed by his family's cattle since the 1880s.No bureaucrat with a sniper rifle was going to push him off his family's heritage. That "federal" land was state land until 1993 - thank you Bill Clinton. Now 84.5% of Nevada is owned by the state and the feds - more even than places like Wyoming. Doesn't leave much for regular folk.

      See this map for who owns what in this country:

      http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/291-federal-lands-in-the-us

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  3. Recall the case of the North Dakota rancher Randy Brossart? When 6 cow wandered onto his property he demanded payment before their release:

    "Brossart and his family face various criminal charges that relate to a conflict they got into with law enforcement officers after six cows from a neighboring farm wandered onto their land. Brossart declined to return the cattle to their owner until he was paid for the feed they had consumed. When police got involved, three of Brossart’s sons allegedly chased the officers away with guns. In the end, a drone was deployed, Rodney Brossart was repeatedly tased and then arrested, and the cows were handed over."

    The judge in that case, which involved Homeland Security drones, said this:

    “This case should have never happened,” state District Judge Joel Medd said in court. “Chalk it up to stubbornness, to stupidity, to being at odds with your neighbors or any combination of those. We should never have been here if the cows would have just been returned.”

    Indeed, stubbornness, stupidity, and at odds with your neighbors. Kinda sums up the federal government.

    Harry Reid's kid got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It's a PR nightmare for Reid when the cookie jar is full of fortune cookies Made in China.

    R.M.

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  4. Thinking of the (dubious) possibility that Mr. Bundy "owes" the federal government land use fees numbering some roughly one million dollars, what, I wonder, does the federal government owe the people of the United States, people like Mr. Bundy among them, for the plunder of the public fisc. in squandered funds for decade upon decade of projects like Detroit (the city), Solyndra, General Motors, Chrysler, Pres. IWonPenPhone's empty Afghanistan campaign, innumerable "scientific' grants poured down a pre-determined rat-hole, trillions wasted in the "war on poverty", and now many hundreds of billions of dollars spent to destroy the health care apparatus of the United States, a once adequate system now to be replaced with a top-down monstrosity certain to result in higher prices and worse health outcomes?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do we hear a bid for Reparations?

    heh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I'm for reparations for slavery and Jim Crow, from the organization most culpable in the continuation of the former and the creation and continuation of the latter ... and, conveniently, without sovereign immunity.

      I refer, of course, to the Democratic Party.

      Delete
  6. Snort. It was never about the desert tortoises (which the government has allegedly been euthanizing because they don't have the funds to care for them). It has ALWAYS been about grabbing the land and, much more valuable in the arid west, the water rights.

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  7. I blame Canada. And Kenya.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think some people may have been shocked awake by the Feds' comportment during this episode. Some people are relieved they are backing down. I'm not convinced. I think the Feds may be biding their time and intend to arrest and/or kill the family and seize their assets after their supporters leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. paul_vincent_zecchinoApril 13, 2014 at 7:00 AM

      Agree. They'll be back. Especially with a leftist regime which will not be questioned.

      Delete
    2. "The Sand People are easily startled; but they'll be back, and in greater numbers." O. Kinobe

      Delete
  9. "If it is true that the Feds have had to back down, this event could well be the watershed in a new struggle to preserve our English liberties." I hope you're right. They will be back and better prepared next time, this fight's a long way from over. They have to be back, if not it all collapses in on them.
    James the Lessor

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  10. Oh, blame it on us as usual.

    $1.3 million, for what exactly?

    As I mentioned to a friend, over here we have, usually in the poorer hill-land, agricultural areas the rights to graze on common-land. I nearly bought a small (10 acre) property in The Borders recently. It had pre-statute/Parliament rights of pasture [15 sheep and 4 cows], turbary, marl, pannage, estovers and even piscary on the old manorial stream nearby, since the house was C16 the rights probably go back to Celtic times. The only 'fee' is one for 'registration/transfer of title. (Go for a walk in my local, regional 'city's' parks and you spend half your time dodging stampeding cattle, a right the local farmers still maintain on that land from the time of Magna Carta).

    As others have already mentioned this is more about the water rights, with all the attendant skulduggery and corruption.

    For, we foreigners, the main unbelievable issue is … armed BLM officials. Really? Oh, I'm well aware that the Marshall Service are there in strength but to quote “ there is some question as to whether all the armed, uniformed BLM officials are actually sworn law-officers”. So, someone whose role it is to manage land needs to be armed? And is in fact a 'law-officer? Why?

    This is a uniquely American phenomenon. Oh, we have had some militarisation of our police but as one who has pottered through countries with some of the worst regimes ever, not even they go this far. IRS, Dept. of Ag., and now BLM SWAT teams? What are you thinking? On what planet does some minor bureaucratic functionary, whose duties are doubtful (make-do, jobs for the boys) at best, when faced with some 'resistance' to their officiousness fail to call the police but gets 'tooled-up' themselves?

    Nope, this is 'all' yours I'm afraid. Here, wishy-washy as we are, said official would face SSS (the middle S is shovel in case you were wondering) , and heads would roll right up to Parliament. You 'are' facing a totalitarian regime and it 'ain't us'.

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    Replies
    1. I think you in the UK might have trouble mustering the wherewithal for the first S, though.

      Delete
    2. Oh, you'd be surprised!

      Handguns 'are' illegal here and long-guns 'frowned-upon' by the 'elites' but there are still literally millions of shooters even here, and that isn't even considering the rise of all those illegal weapons (courtesy of the lefts general idiocy).

      Don't judge us by the inane mumblings of the Guardianistas (or the typical lefty metropolitan whining), and we won't judge you by the NY Times and Washington Post ;-)

      Take your average Cumbrian, Northumbrian, Durham rural male and plonk him down in rural Idaho, Arkansas or Texas and we fit in right well (well except for that minor misunderstandings regarding why your men are proud of wearing suspenders in public - you do realise that word means something entirely different to us? OK, maybe I shouldn't have started singing 'The Lumberjack Song' from Monty Python in the logging camp, but ....).

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    3. Living in one of the western states, I was surprised, last spring, when I visited the BLM office to obtain a rock gathering permit for a quarry on federal lands, to see the weaponry in the vehicle of a BLM agent. Looked like an AR15 in a bracket, just like the police. The arming of federal forces has been going on quietly for a while now.

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    4. As someone living in an Eastern blue state, what disturbes me most is the feds "coming in heavy."
      Just about every day I read about another home owner that had their doors busted down by a heavy team; shoot the dog, terrorize the family, sometimes kill fathers with a reign of bullets right in their own living rooms.
      This is going on far too frequently here in the U.S. and no one seems to be accountable for it.
      Two years ago a friend of mine, that I have known for over 50 years had her doors blown open and a swat team come in at 2 am because her husband was accused of throwing a bottle out of his truck window (the bottle supposedly landed on the driveway bib of a mosque). The wife and adult child were held at gunpoint for 4 hours while the local swat team ransacked their home. This caused over $8,000 damage to their home. The daughter who has an obscure auto-immune disease ended up in the ICU with a complete auto-immune collapse.
      I tell you this because I think that regular working Americans are sick and tired of the militarization of our gov't against the average citizen.
      I think the Bundy ranch stand off was a rallying cry for many. I know I sympathize with them; they have ranched the land for over 140 years and now the Feds tell them they have to pay the Crown for the continued right? And the whole turtle thing is just a joke. The freaking turtles make out better under the feet of the cows than they do under federal protection! The feds have so poorly managed their "turtle conservation area" that half the turtles are diseased and have to be euthanized.
      Add Harry Reid and his lobbyist son to the mix... We are looking at political corruption. And just to clarify, the Chinese solar thing was to take place at another site. This land was supposed to be used as a trade for habitat. First order of business, get all the citizen stake holders off the land, reduce the grazing rights to all ranchers in the area. After all, the US gov't has spoken!
      Just think about this for a second... Why does the US gov't own 82% of the state of NV?

      Delete
  11. Something else perchance to blame it on, potentially seriously.
    Check this one out: BLM Cover-up Exposed! They Want Bundy’s Ranch to Build a Solar Farm

    http://survivaljoe.net/blog/blm-cover-up-exposed/

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is working overtime to hide documents that reveal the real reason why they want Cliven Bundy’s cattle off the land in Gold Butte, Nevada.

    Jack I am, maybe # 8 to 20 or so......
    Still lurkin' and lovin', Dips and all others comments, 'bout 99.5 %

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  12. What is the name of the BLM employee who authorized this action? Is this miscreant still in a decision making position?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent question and one we should address to our Congressional reps

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    2. Answer will come none. But I would bet, if there were some way to settle the bet, that this miscreant has just been or will soon be promoted.

      Delete
  13. Turns out, there's more on the deception and corruption of the US government.
    Seems ol' Harry Reid may be behind the matter and the solar energy here:

    http://www.teaparty.org/breaking-sen-harry-reid-behind-blm-land-grab-bundy-ranch-39293/

    The dirty Reid and his corrupt crap just keeps getting deeper than cattle **it. See another one of his sordid affairs here, and who is behind the whole thing. If true, it is unbelievably big.


    And zerohedge says this, and is being picked up by conservative sites, with 700 plus comments already in only 6 hours:

    Why The Standoff At The Bundy Ranch Is A Very Big Deal
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-12/why-standoff-bundy-ranch-very-big-deal

    Jus' be Jack here, again, by gum.....

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  14. I can't really say much on the original plan or problem or what not, but I can't help but shake my head at the feds turning tail. If it wasn't so in keeping with this administration.
    I can just see Obama with a bucket of red paint, sloshing it in the dirt in front of a cow as it meanders through the prairie.

    - reader #1482

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  15. paul_vincent_zecchinoApril 13, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Harry Reid and his kids were 'partnering' with chicoms to build yet another solar energy scam factory on the land.

    Reid's former consigliere is the present BLM cheasze.


    Another April, another leftist regime in a standoff with citizens over their liberty, property, and very lives.

    How very Waco of them.

    The Left just never quits, like a wingless barnfly walking around on the outhouse floor, it's always stirring it up in effort to provoke.

    But for the Net, this would have been another Waco.

    Thanks to the Net and the many citizen reporters who shamed the marxstream media into covering this story, albeit in their tiresome skewed fashion, it wasn't another Waco.

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  16. But even if Reid is truly dirty in this, even (hypothetically) to the point of calling up BLM himself requesting the raid, *nothing* will happen to him. A governmental system of untouchable bureaucrats and politicians will build up immense frustration and anger. Now put that together with fear ofCall-of-Duty-masked federal SWAT teams and you have a truly toxic brew. I have the feeling we're heading towards something that won't be good.

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    1. Maybe not good - but if history is any guide- necessary.

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    2. Agreed. The feds have gotten far too aggressive in enforcing odd and unimportant laws and regulations. At Waco, all the ATF agents killed were shot by other agents, not the Davidians they were attacking.

      Delete
  17. I blame Global Warming(TM).

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  18. That reminiscence about 1775 and the (then still) English farmers reminded me of this:
    ""The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
    But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice
    right.
    When he stands like an ox in the furrow--with his sullen set eyes
    on your own,
    And grumbles, 'This isn't fair dealing,' my son, leave the Saxon
    alone."

    (Kipling, Norman and Saxon)

    See - it's got a very long English tradition, this standing up to those inpower who abuse said powers ...
    ;-)

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  19. In Australia along the Murray River, the last of the Crown Land grazing leases are being extinguished. As usual the rationale is to protect the environment. After 100 years of grazing you would think that all the environmental damage had been well and truly done.

    The truth is that Government sponsored introduction of European Carp did and still does the majority of damage, not cattle.

    The people of the great and formerly free countries (UK, US, Aus, NZ, Can) are shortly going to have to reclaim their freedom and liberty from their respective Federal Governments.

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    1. Your mention of the enviro damage already having been done, reminded me of a friend who showed me a poster that stated "The US Government detonated 100s of nuclear bombs in the Nevada desert. Now 900 cattle are a threat to the environment?"

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    2. I know math is hard, but 900 is too many by 365: there's only 100 head in the upper corral, 435 in the lower.

      And yes, more of a threat that 100s of nuclear bombs. Compare modern Detroit to modern Hiroshima.

      Delete
    3. Actually, it was closer to 2,000.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Nevada_Test_Site_craters.jpg

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    4. Back around the bad ol' days of 1775, the continental Draggoons, aka "goons" were brought in to do the heavy lifting for the Brits military, as a kind of Marines or SWAT sniper team of the age, "goon squads" as it were. They seem oddly familiar increasingly these days, exceedingly improperly so, along with so much leftard liberal trash talk claptrap, hand in hand.

      Point bein', similarities to the Brits, King George and the pathetic Feds, in all colors, of the current times are too well coming into focus, for those with righteous Liberty and the Constitution and history, in mind. The Feds nowadays clearly want collectivism of all they can take over control of, from education, land, and the output of one's labors! By rules, law, purchase with taxpayer’s funds, or of course, by the use of deadly force, or heavy bully threats.

      Viz a viz your anon. closing sentence "The people of the great and formerly free countries (UK, US, Aus., NZ, Can) are shortly going to have to reclaim their freedom and liberty from their respective Federal Governments." and the nicely chosen title and content Dip used for this post, times do seem to be growing ever more edgy, and twitchy, all over the nation.

      Jack I am

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  20. Remember the "Sagebrush Rebellion" of the 80's? It helped put Reagan in office. Maybe something good will come of this.

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  21. Wonderful article Mr Mad.

    I commend you for highlighting the grave injustice of stealing...I mean siezing of land around ridicoulous environemntal regs that is happenning to Americans. This is unfortuanltey unreported by the media. The inner concpiratist in me feels is some collusion between media and governemnt but the pragmatis disbelieves this...not in the Obama misadmistration.

    Its bad enough that the governemnt has slammed though regulation to support this see below link for some info

    http://www.propertyrightsalliance.org/obama-administration-makes-attempt-seize-millions-a2892

    The seizing of such land, under the pretense, manner and frequency should raise significant alarms to all who value liberty. What is most alarming to me is the corruption of the constitution that is going on to legalise such practice and the culture within governemnt that seems to employ such narcassitic types of people that revel in this sort of behaviour.

    I beg to differ with you on one point in that the theme in your article conveys that the people enforcing such rules e.g. seizure of land, low flying jets are incompetent or idiots. I disgaree, having worked with such goverenement types the eventual result of all the crazy schmens have some calculated outcome e.g. fast and furious, Obamacare....

    I'll borrow some insight frrom one of your greatest Presidents Mr R Reagen who said one of the scareist statement (or words to that effect) is "I am from the governemnt and I here to help".

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  22. I just read that these solar farms will vaporize any bird flying into their domain. Poof!
    There is a complete disconnect with the gov'ts supposed care of wildlife and their disregard for birds. When asked about this... SHUT UP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some do; some don't.

      The "power tower" designs with ground-based and steered mirrors are the ones that fry-on-the-fly. Photovoltaics are just a bunch of shade panels. Nothing grows underneath but birds are OK.

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    2. That's why they build wind turbines . . . to take care of nay bird who made it through thee solar farm . . .

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  23. The reports out of Ukraine are getting pretty bad. So now they've sent Biden to Kiev and snipers to Nevada. There is news the Russian military has repositioned itself into defensive configurations on the report that Biden brought his "air-shotgun" along for deterrence.
    James the Lessor

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    1. It's not "just" Ukraine James, that's looking increasingly ...oh, restive I suppose. Might keep an eye on Thailand for instance.

      Of course with Thailand we don't have to worry "much" the Gang who can't shoot straight is gonna risk getting us directly involved.

      Arkie

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    2. Yeah you're sure right on that Arkie and the list is very long and getting longer by the day. Just to focus on the Ukraine though, perhaps Putin has done us a favor and exposing NATO as nothing but the social it is and has been for awhile. You're more current on these things than I so I ask. Can you think of any Western country who has large formations in land warfare in the last 20 yrs? Are there any European countries who deploy and sustain a corp size formation? Just how far and strong could the West maintain an air umbrella to the East? Russia may be inferior (and that can be debated) militarily, but the action is right outside their front door. There is talk of arming the Ukrainians, with what and how would they be trained?

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    3. That should read "social club".

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    4. Your question James would be better addressed by Able, nowadays I spend the larger percentage of time near computer terminals either linking from Arkansas or networked through Austin.

      (It's my understanding Able is out of pocket these recent days so I don't know he'll notice this or, if he does whether he'll be "free" to respond so I'll take a stab on it - mind, I spend most of my attention where Central Command does, some Africom stuff.)

      You might head over to Duff & Nonsense - Dip's sidebar - place in David's Search function "NATO" without the quotes. The UK mil-followers are well aware of NATO's increasing irrelevance. Putin didn't need to do anything to call attention to any shortcomings - anybody watching the Gaddafi Takedown, led ostensibly ("masterminded"?) by certain countries ... Italy, France come to mind for instance.

      The country best fitting your parameters in my estimation is likely Poland - an air umbrella would almost certainly have to be implemented and performed in the main by the US. And that neck of the woods has some rather crowded airspace - plus it doesn't take very much straightline airtime to cross out of friendly (read: host nation) airspace into not-friendly airspace - mere seconds in some cases.

      As to "arming the Ukrainians" ... what would likely be of greater utility for them would be comm gear as opposed to lethal force weaponry - the region is awash in the latter. - One of Duff's commenters noted the Ukrainians possessing in stockpiles 300+ Soviet era tanks as I recall. But I should think the tanks on hand have radio comms gear designed for interoperability with whatever the Russians have to hand hence, comm gear allowing for cloaking (as feasible) command instructions, and to minimize friendly fire incidents.

      Hope that helped but I figure James, you already knew what I've just added.

      Ark

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    5. "Hope that helped but I figure James, you already knew what I've just added." Yes and thank you to the first part, and not necessarily to the second.
      I will say this I believe the West has very seriously underestimated and misread Putin and quite possibly the Russian military. Their view on both approaches delusional in my opinion especially on the Putin the person. I just read a piece in some western news mag whrer it was stated that Putin was only an average KGB agent citing as proof his assignment to East Germany! The KGB would never assign anyone "average" to Stasi and Herr Wolf country, ever. I don't anything about the moral Putin, he could be the devil incarnate for all I know, but I've come to believe he is a leader of the first rank.
      The Russian military from what I've seen and heard looks very different (new equiment, unis, etc) and seems to behave pretty professionally, of histories graveyards are full of brand shiny new model armies that collapsed on first serious contact, so no verdict there.
      The one thing I seem to notice in all of the western analysis of Putin is they seem to be statements about the West and what it wants to believe instead of what's really there.
      As for the Diplo side Mr Lavrov also seems of the first caliber, but that I leave for Mr. Mad.
      James the Lessor

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    6. The Russian military from what I've seen and heard looks very different ...

      On that point James I feel "somewhat qualified" to speak to. Here's a post you might find of interest (I'm not "Arkie" everywhere):

      http://malcolmpollack.com/2010/06/19/top-predator/

      As for assessing Vlad on a personal level, while I've not been privileged to "look into his eyes and see" whatever "our" people have been able to supposedly glean - I do agree with your assessment, "approaches delusional" and, pretty much, "of the first rank." (Of course I'm challenged on the latter because of what I'm limited to by way of *comparison.*)

      & I totally concur - Lavrov is best left to our host.

      Arkie

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    7. Incidentally James, to get to that link ... Google.

      Ark

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    8. It's as if our political leadership and media/pundit class will not see the Russians in any context except what they were in the early 90's. It is something I consider dangerous to the extreme. Well much of what I hear tonight tells me the dice have been cast and cast high.
      James the Lessor

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    9. Got the link, thanks.
      James the Lessor

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    10. James,

      "... the western analysis of Putin is they seem to be statements about the West and what it wants to believe ... "

      No particular expertise about the Russian/Central European part of the world, but my experience where I do have some knowledge shouts Yes Yes Yes to that thesis.

      Delete
    11. Kirk,
      It's a hard conclusion to escape.

      Delete
    12. James?

      I was abit pressed for time last evening when you queried,

      Can you think of any Western country who has large formations in land warfare in the last 20 yrs? Are there any European countries who deploy and sustain a corp size formation?

      But today is abit more leisurely.

      "Visegrad: A New European Military Force is republished with permission of Stratfor."

      Ark

      Delete
    13. Ark....when I was last a reader of Stratfor was when their site was hacked and consequently "stuff" got into my system. So I stopped. May need to go back based on your link.

      Delete
    14. Yeah Whitewall there was that *little* episode. And quite an adventure for me personally - and I do emphasize personally!

      I was sitting in a smallish saloon enjoying the heck out of it being near Christmas when my phone dinged. Looked at "who" was calling and muttered " _____ signed the papers right in front of me, he knows I'm back home for the holidays!" But I answered.

      "What the ____ you doing in Oman?!!

      "I'm not in Oman, I'm just across the Arkansas line only a mile into Missouri."

      "Well your ___ credit card is showing up all over the southern Middle East! Near to Hormuz for _____sakes!"

      So I went to the nearest computer. Heck, I'd even made that bastard Assange's WikiLeaks. (That's why here on Dip's site I'll continue to be 'Arkie' rather than creating a Google ID. Dip I reckon is safe with my IP known to him and his sitemeter but - with some few exceptions - nobody else.)

      Still, if you do go back - do all transactions via landline.

      James?

      Something else I felt might be of interest to you (perhaps Whitewall as well) necessitated my hitting Duff's archives - heck D&N's [almost] entire February 2014 makes for "interesting" reading.

      But it was from the February 18th 2014 post I had specifically in mind:

      While the Normandy landings during the summer of 1944 did mark a major turning point in the war in Europe, we should remember that by the end of that year, 91 Allied divisions in northwest Europe faced 65 German divisions across a 250-mile front, while at the same time in the east, 560 Soviet divisions fought 235 German divisions across 2,000 miles.

      http://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2014/02/an-historical-exercise.html
      ___________________

      I'd submit that little excerpt ought to be took to the attention of that Samantha Powers "lady" attention ... before she offers anymore wisdom on how to counter Vlad.

      Arkie

      Delete
    15. I understand Putin lost family (an uncle I think) at the siege of Leningrad. So the Administration's insinuation that Putin was acting like a nazi certainly endeared them to him.

      Delete
    16. Arkie,

      Hadn't read Stratfor in a long time, thanks.
      I gotta remember to sign off every time.
      James the Lessor

      Delete
    17. Nah James - me'n you've been conversing [sidelines I'm certain we'd both concede] long enough I recognize "James-Speak" without the "James the Lessor" bullshit & besides ...

      "Lessor → if I recall my Latin, English agent noun ending, corresponding to Latin -or. In native words it represents Old English -ere (Old Northumbrian also -are) "man who has to do with" doesn't quite seem appropriate as James, I've "seen" you comment elsewhere.

      However James too, your efforting use of -or and -ee in, for example legal language (such as lessor/lessee) to distinguish actors and recipients of action has given the -or ending a tinge of professionalism, doesn't seem so precise to me either. So James, I figure you're using the term

      "James the Lessor"

      as either a title [name] in an ironic sense or perhaps - in a French sense (at which prospect I'd balk especially in conversing with you - in comfort - such as we've [at least I've] enjoyed in the past.

      So James, rather than confusing us both more than we two can combine to confuse either the one of us or both as the case might occur/happen to be, if you Sir are addressing me call me "Arkie" & Sir, I'll address no James "the Lessor" but rather attempt to distinguish who Arkie is "talking to."

      & that Sir is easily accomplished insofar as only you, Whitewall, me (Diplomad of course through his site-meter) know what we were talking about when I deferred to Diplomad running for President.

      It's all so very easy when it isn't made so complicated.

      Arkie

      Delete
    18. Arkie,
      Alas, not that complicated. There's been another James occasionally commenting here who unfortunately is a lot smarter. Hence the Lessor. The or instead of er comes from me not leaving well enough alone.
      James the Lessor

      Delete
    19. Then again James, nobody else far as I've been able to determine has suggested Diplomad painting his Corvette pink to catch the California vote.

      Yourself?

      Arkie

      Delete
  24. This article looks like a real explanation of the Bundy ranch storyl It has maps and everything and looks legit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. There were people who got upset with Bundy when he started mentioning "Waco" and "Ruby Ridge."

    Personally, I thought it was outstanding PR, because those kinds of statements tend to make people sit up and notice. It also, from a political standpoint, puts government on the defensive, because government is well aware of that time has not been kind to the public perception of those events.

    -Blake

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  26. I am a bit in awe of our government's "new" math, regarding the Nevada Rancher's supposed $1.3 million grazing bill. Per their own web page, it charges $1.35 per animal/month. Based on the media, Bundy is grazing about 900 head of cattle; that is $16.20 per head of cattle each year or $14580 for the 900 head. Over the twenty year period for which the government is requesting payment, the sum is $291,600 and that is now where near the $1.3 million it is demanding! $291,600 assumes that he always had 900 head/year (doubtful) and that the grazing fees remained static at $1.35, which I'm certain it did not.

    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.html

    Makes one wonder!!

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent piece of work. There might be fines or late payments, but still . . .

      Delete
    2. And how much do we, the people, have to pay for Mechelle's vacays every year?

      Delete
    3. 1000's of cows worth . . .

      Delete
  27. A disturbing glimpse of reality, today in Dan Greenfield's piece, at: http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-paranoid-party.html
    ...'The Democratic Party has been contaminated by the madness of the left through its alliance with the left. Its one night stand has developed into a syphilitic infection and it's slowly going insane. You can see the derangement in Nancy Pelosi, staggering through aimless rhetoric, or Harry Reid, burning with inchoate anger, telling increasingly implausible lies, doing anything to hang on to power.

    One of America's two major parties has become deranged and the entire country is paying the price. .....'

    Speaks to the question voiced now even on Fox that Reid, through his son, may be behind the Nevada government goon squad madness. Bundy had the local onsite intell., on his ground, about being surrounded by goon snipers on all the ridges, even above the patriotic militia, and I suspect that he wisely and correctly, for sure, brought up the reality of the trigger happy goons setting up for another government type execution, viz a viz the Waco, Ruby Ridge style.

    See the article above referenced, to understand the increasing widespread gap between good and evil, growing, between the American Founding principles and the principles of evil totalitarianism, and all the death it always, always without fail leads to, eventually including mass genocide, as well.

    As you may note below, both Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine forewarned well of the mess we are now in……
    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe. … Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” -- Thomas Jefferson

    "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." --Thomas Paine

    Jack here....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very timely Jack there. That sultanknish is one heck of a good blog, almost to the level of this fine blog.

      Delete
  28. If ever one of the links I've posted fellow Readers of Dip's you've enjoyed, I think I'd most favorably recommend this one.

    And, as sometimes rarely occurs - this one is on-topic.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/04/why-you-should-be-sympathetic-toward-cliven-bundy.php

    Via Malcolm Pollack

    Arkie

    ReplyDelete
  29. It is important for ATF to carry gun all times because they never know when they will face any criminal.

    ReplyDelete