cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The Bureau of Land Management’s handling of the situation involving a Nevada rancher seemed almost something it would be impossible to see in our wonderful country. Snarling police dogs, weapons at the ready, large numbers of law enforcement people milling about; and a rancher who hadn’t paid his ‘grazing’ fees for a decade because he thought he and his family had been there long before the Bureau of Land Management had ever been thought of.
Federal officials decided to back off, at least for now, since they could see this situation was devolving rapidly and they might be looking at another Waco disaster if they pressed the issue.
Some are now suggesting that this backing down is all part of election year recognition that votes are more important than the law.
This situation may’ve been averted for a while but, since the rancher says he’ll not pay any ‘grazing’ fees, the situation likely will heat up again. The federal government obviously felt it had gotten to the point where physical arrest and the herding of cattle by helicopters was the only thing left to enforce its claim.
That approach didn’t appear to be working well this time, so one wonders why it will work any better later. The rancher was not going to back off; he and those with him were armed and they were standing their ground. This is the kind of situation that could turn into another Waco and do so quite quickly. When tempers flare on both sides, reason gets trampled under the boots. The rancher didn’t appear to much care if he got shot or torn apart by the police dogs. He appeared resigned that this might be his last stand and that he was ready to give it his best.
I wouldn’t want to be on either side in this situation. The people who were there this time were very fortunate to all have come home alive and without serious injury.
It was a very sad thing to watch knowing that this was happening in Nevada, and not in some Eastern European country. The idea that these tactics might be seen as necessary and desirable in this era in our own country just made me sick to my stomach.