Define Tyranny

The militia members and self-proclaimed “patriots” who have rallied to the side of Cliven Bundy have stated for years that they oppose government tyranny. In the case of Bundy, they claim they are merely defending him and other ranchers from government overreach.

I’ve already discussed the facts of the Bundy situation. That post can be seen here:

However, as a quick recap: The Federal government acquired land in what would eventually become Nevada. After Nevada became a state, the government maintained ownership of most of that land. The Nevada constitution was written to acknowledge the authority of the federal government. Many years later, Cliven Bundy, along with many other cattle ranchers, used parts of this government-owned land for cattle-grazing, understanding that some areas require extra fees and rules to prevent damage to said public land.

20 years ago, a chunk of this land was found to be ecologically damaged by overgrazing, and rules were put into place restricting the use of this land. Other area ranchers agreed to these rules. Cliven Bundy fought them. He went to court twice, lost both times, and racked up over a million dollars in fees to the Bureau of Land Management over the 20 years since the rule changes occured.

Bundy claimed grazing rights… that were disproven. He claimed family use of said lands dating back to the 1870’s that not only didn’t help his argument, but turned out to be 80 years earlier than the truth. He misread (or likely never read) the Nevada constitution. Bundy managed to be wrong about pretty much everything.

Eventually, the BLM decided to actually enforce their rules. That’s where these militia groups came in. Swallowing Bundy’s claims without a thought, hundreds of armed extremists came out to Nevada to threaten violence and attempt to provoke another Waco. All in the name of “combating tyranny.” So, they used women as human shields, pointed weapons at federal law enforcement agents, who backed down to prevent a massacre, and have now set up checkpoints on the highway, where they are asking people for proof of Nevada residency. They are openly and proudly discussing armed rebellion against a democratically elected government in the name of a wealthy trespasser who doesn’t want to pay his bills.

Tyranny, according to Webster’s (that’s the dictionary, not Emmanuel Lewis) means “cruel and unfair treatment by people with power over others,” and “a government in which all power belongs to one person.”

The dictionary goes on with more detail, but the gist is clear.

A government program (BLM) overseen by a democratically elected authority, enforcing rules mandated by the public, is called tyrannical by people who blockade public roads, and threaten and intimidate private citizens with weaponry.


The irony meter has been redlined.

For more information on the insanity in Nevada, feel free to check out all these fun links!

Or pretty much anything recently posted on Orcinus:

I have some other stuff in the works, including my political myth posts, but this was too good not to comment.


About hbreck

Writer, debater, contrarian, storyteller, occasional troublemaker. I'm mostly just making things up as I go.
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