For all the cows: The complicated tale of Cliven Bundy

This story of Cliven Bundy and his neighbors against the U.S. Government officials is a hard one to follow. Read through this piece that presents the situation chronologically.

Everything you need to know about the long fight between Cliven Bundy and the federal government.

In the comments, note that one person mentions that the anti-government militia has played a significant role in escalating the conflict. And, Bundy is rather a big jerk, a “scofflaw”. Not “believing” in something (such as the US government) in no way makes it less real or able to kick your ass. His son is also in trouble with the law and also a jerk because he kicked a police dog.

This is a bit of a tongue in cheek rundown of some of the other aspects to this story:


  • The dispute over conservation of land for a threatened/endangered tortoise versus use of that land for cattle grazing or vehicle use. Bundy didn’t like that.
  • The ranchers feud with the US Bureau of Land Management in order to use that land ranchers who want to use the federal land without fees or oversight. Ranchers claim they need to use the land. The preservationists say cows degrade and pollute it.
  • United States v. Bundy played out over many years in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada beginning in 1998.
  • Ranchers and natives pull out weapons and copies of the Constitution and waive them menacingly. Potential violence is a threat and pipebombs are delivered to the BLM office.
  • Along with issues of state’s rights, Bundy states that his rights derive from the fact his Mormon ancestors were using the land far before the federal government was. (I think the tortoises were using it before them, dude, so doesn’t that kill your argument.)
  • Bundy declares he doesn’t recognize the authority of the US Government.
  • When the BLM gives in, they get sued by conservation groups. (See, it’s not just coming from one side, you get it from both. One side has rifles, the other has lawyers.)
  • In flutters the sage grouse to add more to the human grousing.
  • The BLM is going to wrangle up the loose cattle, which brings us to the following:


March 27, 2014: The BLM has closed off 322,000 acres of public land, and is preparing to collect Bundy’s cattle. Bundy files a notice with the county sheriff department, titled “Range War Emergency Notice and Demand for Protection.” Bundy also says he has a virtual army of supporters from all over the country ready to protect him. He also has Gardner. “I think Cliven is taking a stand not only for family ranchers, but also for every freedom-loving American, for everyone,” Gardner said. “I’ve been trying to resolve these same types of issues since 1984. Perhaps it’s difficult for the average American to understand, but protecting the individual was a underlying factor of our government. … My support is that I am determined to stand by the Bundy family in any fashion it takes regardless of the threat of life or limb.”


  • Bundy’s own cousin says, I don’t think he’s working on all four cylinders.” 
  • Meanwhile, Bundy says the price of beef will go up as the cattle are taken.
  • A straw man is erected comparing desert tortoises to cattle and which can win in an economic race…
  • Words like “voodoo science” get thrown around.
  • Wild horse advocates get mad, saying that the cattle ruin habitats. Other scientists argue that the wild horses ruin habitats for other animals. Et cetera…
  • Two of Bundy’s family members are injured in a confrontation with federal officials. One of them was Bundy’s son, tasered after he kicked a police dog. “I’m almost getting mad enough to swear,” Bundy says.


I guess this range war is not really about cows and tortoises. Will an armed battle ensue? There is a lot more to this behind the scenes but that’s all I can handle for now.  It’s all very absurd in a ‘merican sort of way. I really don’t think you can reason with either side in this matter. Can’t end well.


The Irony of Cliven Bundy’s Unconstitutional Stand: The Atlantic

Bundy Standoff: Wikipedia

  14 comments for “For all the cows: The complicated tale of Cliven Bundy

  1. Mark Larsen
    April 15, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    You were actually in the vecinity of that BLM land, Sharon, when you visited the Valley of Fire State Park.

    Bundy defends his illegality by claiming that his “Mormon ancestors were using the land far before the federal government”?! Not only were the tortoises there first, but so were the Mexicans, preceded by the Spanish, preceded the Native Americans. It makes me wonder if Bundy would ironically want the feds to help him if his Moapa Piute neighbors next door decided to take over his property…?

  2. Vincent
    April 15, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    One protester, a former Arizona sheriff named Richard Mack, told Fox News about the militia’s plans if violence broke out in Bunkerville. “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.


    Did these women actually agree with this plan?

  3. April 15, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    @Vincent: Yeah, I wondered about that too. I understand Western women can be righteously ornery when needed, but doesn’t this sorta have the feel of menfolk putting their womenfolk in the line of fire? My guess is that “strategizing” is code for “knocking back a few beers in the roadhouse.”

  4. F89
    April 15, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    I heard a fragment of an interview with Mr. Bundy-he began to sound like he was a part of the “sovereign” movement.

  5. Mark Larsen
    April 15, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    I was very glad to see that has now debunked the ridiculous accusations about Senator Reid that the gunslingers were circulating far and wide after this debacle:

  6. Chris Howard
    April 16, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Is it just me or does the Tea Party movement sound like a bunch of selfish, entitled, old white guys who are of the opinion that THEY are deserving of government programs, and special treatment, because THEY are “patriots” (that and religion being the last refuge of a scoundrel).

    EVERYONE else (read: not white, male, heterosexual, or within a preferred SES) is a useless “taker” in their minds.

    I liked them better when they called themselves The Weathermen. At least the music the Tea Party listened to, back then, was better.

    Do they even realize the irony of the Möbius strip political life they’ve led?

  7. One Eyed Jack
    April 16, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    A protest camp has formed. There is a sign at the entrance that reads, “MILITA SIGHN IN.”

    Please tell me that’s a typo.

  8. Dave
    April 16, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Can I just say, for the record, that, although he claims Mormon heritage, the LDS church does not condone or encourage his behavior. We strongly believe in obeying the laws of the land and many of us seeing this play out is rather disgusted by his behavior

  9. Mark Larsen
    April 16, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Yes, Dave, you can say that. And one would hope that such is the case for Mormons nowadays, especially since their 12th Article of Faith states that they supposedly “believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

    However, we should not dismiss entirely the notion that Bundy’s religion influences his attitude and behavior. If we’re going to go on “record,” let’s not forget the horrific Gunnison and Mountain Meadows massacres perpetrated by Mormons –also in defiance of the federal government. In fact, some of the Mormon ancestors to whom Bundy refers participated in the latter murders. And we know very well that Joseph Smith himself was often on the wrong side of the law, from his fraudulent treasure seeking, to his Ponzi scheme with the Kirtland Anti-Banking Society, to his disregard for the freedom of the press, to his outlandish bigamy.

    And you’ll have to forgive me, but I also can’t help but wonder how seriously present-day Mormons obey, honor, and sustain the law. As only one example among many, consider their very active defiance of District Judge Shelby’s decision that the U.S. Constitution establishes equal rights for all citizens, including marital rights, regardless of sexual orientation. I am curious to know: if the Supreme Court upholds Judge Shelby’s decision, do you think the LDS Church will henceforth obey, honor, and sustain the ruling?

    I have my doubts. My impression is that Mormons generally support the law, but when push comes to shove… doctrines, beliefs, and the pronouncements of their prophet and apostles have always taken a higher priority.

  10. eddi
    April 17, 2014 at 4:51 AM

    OK it’s a typo. But who made it?

  11. Chris Howard
    April 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    I keep reading LDS as LSD.

    Maybe he should take some, and chill the f*@k out?

  12. April 18, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    After Nevada ranch stand-off, emboldened militias ask: where next? | Reuters.

  13. Graham
    April 19, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Oh dear, the 1775 comparisons are starting…

    The shot heard around the world: The American Revolution began today at Concord and Lexington in 1775.|Behind the Black blog.

    As I said in one of my other comments, these people do not defend the Constitution of the United States, but rather what they think is in the Constitution of the United States.

Comments are closed.