Have you ladies been following this militia rancher standoff in Nevada? I saw a Daily Show segment about it a few days ago, and didn't think much of it, but it seems like it might be getting serious.
Apparently this rather insane man named Bundy is a rancher whose family has been grazing land on Federal Land for almost 100 years. In the 1990s the Federal government instituted new rules about grazing in order to protect a type or tortoise, but Bundy wouldn't follow the rules, and now owes the Feds about $1 million in fees and fines from various judgments against him. His argument is apparently that the federal government doesn't own the land, Nevada does. Also, he might not recognize the authority of the federal government at all. (This is actually not the first time I have heard someone in Nevada claim that the federal government doesn't have sovereignty in Nevada, so I guess people with batshit opinions on how government works just live out there.)
The Feds just got it together to seize Bundy's cattle to recoup the money owed and stop him from grazing the cattle on the land he's not supposed to be using. Catching wind of this, a group of heavily-armed militia men have come to guard the property and cattle.
Where things really start to go wrong is that the government tried to seize the cattle, and did seize some. The militia, however, forced the federal officers from the Bureau of Land Management, at gunpoint, to return them. Now they are celebrating their victory for states rights. Obviously the government isn't giving up entirely, but basically the militia members were able to hold off the government by threatening them with firearms, wanting them to battle for these stupid fucking cows.
This really creeps me out. I have a real problem with armed militias deciding they get to change land use policy so one of their buddies can keep stealing from the federal government. I have a real problem with the fact that Senator Heller of Nevada is calling people who don't acknowledge the Federal Government, and who openly planned to put women and children at the front of their group so they would be shot first if they successfully provoked the government to fight them, PATRIOTS.
These people are breaking laws, and getting away with it by using the fact that the government is unwilling to engage in some kind of fucked up pitched battle. They claim this is for states rights, but there is no state right at issue, really. This is about one man who is being stubborn, and all his friends amped up on prepping, anti-Obama propaganda and Fox News fear. I am so disappointed that our country has come to this, but I'm honestly not surprised.
I'm not saying this is the end of the US or anything. I'm sure the Feds will get their cattle somehow, but I hope it doesn't involve a shoot out. I just think that the fact that our country is so full of bile and fear right now that there is a pocket of armed resistance to the government reveals how disarrayed our affairs really are. How can we get to a place where we are one nation of people with different opinions, but who can talk about it? I don't know exactly where I'm going with this, so I'll stop, but I feel very unsettled.