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Vigurie Blathers About the Bundy Case

Richard Vigurie is the king of conservative direct mail campaigns and he’s become quite rich raising vast sums of money from conservative groups. He also either doesn’t have Google or he’s just plain lying about the Bundy Ranch standoff and the subject of grazing fees in this column at the Worldnetdaily.

The BLM claims the Bundys owe the feds more than $1 million in fees and penalties.

Bundy notes that these fees were never authorized by Congress or passed into law. The BLM just started charging them on its own, without congressional statute. According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress makes the laws in America, not the BLM.

Never authorized by Congress? Let’s set the Wayback Machine for 1934, when Congress passed the Taylor Grazing Act. It established the U.S. Grazing Service, which was authorized to give permits for grazing on public lands, permits that came with a grazing fee. In 1946, the Grazing Service merged with the General Land Office and became the Bureau of Land Management.

Then in 1978, Congress passed the Public Rangelands Improvement Act, which included a specific schedule of grazing fees:

For the grazing years 1979 through 1985, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior shall charge the fee for domestic livestock grazing on the public rangelands which Congress finds represents the economic value of the use of the land to the user, and under which Congress finds fair market value for public grazing equals the $1.23 base established by the 1966 Western Livestock Grazing Survey multiplied by the result of the Forage Value Index (computed annually from data supplied by the Economic Research Service) added to the Combined Index (Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Price Paid Index) and divided by 100: Provided, That the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 per centum of the previous year’s fee.

Then in 1986, conservative hero St. Ronald the Magnificent (Ronald Reagan to you and me) extended that grazing fee schedule indefinitely in Executive Order 12548.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to provide for establishment of appropriate fees for the grazing of domestic livestock on public rangelands, it is ordered as follows:

Section 1. Determination of Fees. The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior are directed to exercise their authority, to the extent permitted by law under the various statutes they administer, to establish fees for domestic livestock grazing on the public rangelands which annually equals the $1.23 base established by the 1966 Western Livestock Grazing Survey multiplied by the result of the Forage Value Index (computed annually from data supplied by the Statistical Reporting Service) added to the Combined Index (Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Prices Paid Index) and divided by 100; provided, that the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 percent of the previous year’s fee, and provided further, that the fee shall not be less than $1.35 per animal unit month.

I’m sorry, Mr. Vigurie, what was that you were saying about grazing fees not being established by Congress? Were you lying or do you just not care about the truth and blindly accept whatever anyone tells you as long as it fits your preconceived narrative?

Cliven Bundy asks: Why should I be paying the federal government to put me out of business?

Funny, every other rancher in America who has a permit to graze on public land somehow manages to stay in business. Maybe that’s because these grazing fees are only about 1/8th the cost of the fees charged to graze on private land. Bundy is not a hero or a patriot, he’s a deadbeat and a liar.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    Bundy is like so many libertarians and quasi-libertarians, he wants to squat in this country, sucking up all the public goodies he can, and not pay for them.

  2. raven says

    Cliven Bundy asks: Why should I be paying the federal government to put me out of business?

    1. I’d be surprised if he is bothering to pay his federal and state taxes. As a Sovereign Citizen, in for a penny, in for a pound.

    2. The Taylor grazing act was set up by the ranchers and senator Taylor was himself a rancher. Before then, anyone could graze animals on federal land. The result was the dust bowl and the Tragedy of the Commons.

    The ranges were so heavily grazed, all the vegetation was destroyed and no one could make a living running livestock over a moonscape. There were range wars between cattle operations and between cattle and sheep herders.

    3. It isn’t much better now. According to one source, 90% of US rangelands show some degree of desertification. The land we see now is highly human modified.

  3. Artor says

    Bundy is not a hero or a patriot, he’s a deadbeat and a liar.

    This cannot be repeated enough. Anyone who holds Bundy up as some sort of hero is either a deadbeat liar themselves, or sadly delusional. It’s scary how many of those people there are, and how heavily armed they are.

  4. raven says

    Sheep Wars
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Sheep Wars,[1][2] or the Sheep and Cattle Wars,[3][4] refers to a series of armed conflicts in the western United States which were fought between sheepmen and cattlemen over grazing rights. Sheep wars occurred in many western states though they were most common in Texas, Arizona and the border region of Wyoming and Colorado. Generally, the cattlemen saw the sheepherders as invaders, who destroyed the public grazing lands, which they had to share on a first-come, first-served basis. Between 1870 and 1920, approximately 120 engagements occurred in eight different states or territories.

    At least 54 men were killed and some 50,000 to over 100,000 sheep were slaughtered.

    This was one reason the Taylor grazing act was passed. Ranchers and sheepherders used to kill each other over who gets to overgraze the land.

  5. Kevin Kehres says

    Bundy is not a hero of a patriot, he’s a deadbeat and a liar. And he’s quite literally a traitor who doesn’t recognize the existence of the United States government. Oh, and a racist, too.

  6. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Bundy notes that these fees were never authorized by Congress or passed into law.

    So Cliven Bundy insists that the federal government does not exist yet claims the fees are invalid because it was not a law passed by the Congress of the very government he insists does not exist?

    No wonder these guys can’t keep their bullshit straight; to say it is incoherent is to give it far more credit than it deserves.

  7. says

    these grazing fees are only about 1/8th the cost of the fees charged to graze on private land

    WHUT!!!!?!?!?!?!11!! (sputter) Why U no like Free Markkits!?!?!?!11!!

  8. jonathangray says

    Fascinating to see so much librage at ‘threats to the rule of law’ and ‘traitors’ when these were badges of honour for libs in the 1960s.

  9. Childermass says

    Kevin Kehres @ 7: “And he’s quite literally a traitor who doesn’t recognize the existence of the United States government.”

    Bundy might be racist freeloader, but he is not a traitor. I will let the Constitution speak:

    “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    He clearly does not fit that. Just because the right wishes to abuse words, concepts, and facts is not justification for us to do do the same.

  10. marcus says

    @11 Well, since you seem to lack any perspective:
    It’s:
    “Waaah, why can’t I fuck up the environment and make a butt-load of money for free while everyone else foots the bill (all the while spouting racist, idiotic bullshit)? Stop oppressing me!”
    As compared to:
    “Why would I allow the government take away my freedom (and possibly my life) to send me to some godforsaken hole to fight and kill people who are not a threat to me or the country?”
    Or:
    ” Am I not a human? Do I not deserve equal treatment and protection along with the same rights and responsibilities as every other American citizen?”

    Perhaps to you these appear to be the same.

  11. frankb says

    # 11 jonathangray. In the 1960”s destructive exploitation of natural resources was the law. Bundy is the bad guy then and now. In the 60′s racism was the law. Bundy is the bad guy then and now.

  12. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    A $1.35 per head to graze. I just paid $75 to let one horse eat down a pasture for a month, and that’s cheap.

    Oppression!!11!

  13. jonathangray says

    So laws are binding only insofar as they reflect morality. Bundy is guilty of disregarding the Moral Law and is thus a traitor to the Good. Fair enough.

  14. raven says

    A $1.35 per head to graze. I just paid $75 to let one horse eat down a pasture for a month, and that’s cheap.

    That is for two animals. An AUM is cow + calf for one month. 68 cents a head.

    I spend that much on a cat. In two days.

  15. tyler says

    #12 Childermass: Thanks for keeping the air clean.

    I was just reading from a collection of essays– one line made me think of Bundy: “…the man who pretends to live independently is a conscious or unconscious parasite.” -Bertrand Russell

  16. says

    So Cliven Bundy insists that the federal government does not exist yet claims the fees are invalid because it was not a law passed by the Congress of the very government he insists does not exist?

    Try reading the latest court order against him. Bundy threw up every idiotic legal excuse he could find, many of which contradicted the others, including my personal favorite, “Maybe those cattle that had my brand on them were put there by someone else.”

    He switched to arguing that the United States doesn’t exist and that its courts have no authority only after he tried for many years to manipulate them but kept losing.

  17. says

    “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    He clearly does not fit that.

    Clearly? No, you could argue that his violent acts against the US government and his declared intention to fight a death-match against it don’t fit the de jure definition of War, but there is nothing clear about it. He is quite literally taking up arms against the United States.

  18. says

    I agree with Area Man @20; Bundy and members of his Posse Comoronic have offered to visit violence on legally empowered federal officials. He won’t be charged with it, of course, but he’s a traitorous piece of shit.

    @1&14:

    JohnnylyingfuckbagGray is quite well aware of the differences between Bundy and those who fought for an end to the U.S. war on Vietnam and the rights of the poor, African-americans and others.

    As was said by commenters here and elsewhere Bundy conflates lying, thievery and whining with civil disobedience.

    Johnny’s a piece of shit and anything other than reminding him of that is pretty much a waste of your valuable time.

  19. caseloweraz says

    @Jonathan Gray:

    In the 1960s many young men disobeyed the laws — specifically the Selective Service Act — and took the consequences. There was good moral reason to disobey that Act when it supported the Vietnam War, which was based on a misreading of the threat, sold on a trumped-up pretext, and conducted so badly it trashed the reputation of the American military. Didn’t you hear about “Vietnam syndrome”?

    Cliven Bundy also disobeyed the law. The difference is that he did it only to rake in more money, and that he’s raising every sort of idiotic defense in an effort to escape the consequences.

  20. caseloweraz says

    Area Man: Bundy threw up every idiotic legal excuse he could find, many of which contradicted the others, including my personal favorite, “Maybe those cattle that had my brand on them were put there by someone else.”

    Damn those reverse rustlers!

  21. caseloweraz says

    This case might set a precedent which impacts mining fees too. As I recall, mining companies have at times underpaid the government for mines they put on public lands in western states.

    But I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  22. D. C. Sessions says

    I’ve heard of false flag operations, but this is a false brand operation.

    However, Mr. Bundy should thank the Feds from removing those misbranded cattle from his range.

  23. scott says

    I’m still waiting for a libertarian treatment of negative externalities other than “Fuck you, I have a gun”.

  24. freehand says

    jonathangray: So laws are binding only insofar as they reflect morality. Bundy is guilty of disregarding the Moral Law and is thus a traitor to the Good. Fair enough.
    .
    Bundy was subsidized for years by grazing his cattle on public land. The BLM spends more on this grazing program than they take in by fees. Are you saying that this is good, fair, or sustainable?
    .
    Bundy then failed to pay his fees for twenty years, claiming that he had no obligation to keep his end of the contract. Is this honest, fair, or legal?
    .
    Bundy waves the US flag around, but claims that there is no such entity. Is this proper treatment of the flag?
    .
    Bundy said his family has owned his ranch since the 19th century. Public records indicate that his parent bought it in 1948, after he was born. The feds owned it before Nevada was a state. He lied to get armed support in his standoff against the US government.
    .
    Bundy is a traitor, holds the USA and rule of law in contempt, is a welfare queen, a liar, and lacks all honor. Other than sitting tall in the saddle, what do you find admirable or moral about him? I do agree with you that he is a member in good standing in your tribe.He should run for office.

  25. says

    It’s generally understood that civil disobedience requires that one peacefully submit to the law in order to draw attention to laws that are unjust. Taking up guns and threatening a bloodbath against law enforcement doesn’t quite fit the definition.

  26. D. C. Sessions says

    I’m still waiting for a libertarian treatment of negative externalities other than “Fuck you, I have a gun”.

    Libertarian theory gives you the right to sue for damages. If you can prove that you personally were harmed by mercury emissions from Comapny X’s coal-burning power plant upwind of you, you can receive compensation for the harm done. Once your lawyers are paid, you can go after Company Y, which has another coal-burning power plant near Company X’s. Or you could, but Company Y went bankrupt and its assets (including the power plant) were acquired by Company Z.

    I’ve never been completely clear on how you would enforce the judgment in your favor, though.

  27. teele says

    raven @3:
    1. I’d be surprised if he is bothering to pay his federal and state taxes.

    raven, he’s 67 years old. I’d be surprised if he’s not collecting his Social Security and Medicare benefits.

  28. scott says

    Libertarian theory gives you the right to sue for damages.

    Yeah, I used to believe in magical courts and all that before I got better, until my girlfriend made pretty much the exact same point and I couldn’t answer it at all. But I was always more interested in the purity of the ideals than any actual belief that they might actually function in practice. (Well, I suppose they do function, if your goal is “feudalism”).

  29. scienceavenger says

    Fascinating to see so much librage at ‘threats to the rule of law’ and ‘traitors’ when these were badges of honour for libs in the 1960s.

    The 60′s?! That was 50 fucking years ago, practically every person reading this wasn’t even born yet. The bare bones minimum necessity to demonstrate hypocrisy is that the events involve the same people. It’s not sufficient that you choose to apply the same label to them. It’s the political equivalent of the “but they are still lizards” creationist argument against the demonstrated evolution of lizards, a semantic game, and nothing more.

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