Bundy Revisited

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Bundy revised by Mike Young, Last week there were reports of the court appearance of Bundy and friends in Federal court where they were remanded to custody until the new trial date in 2017. They were denied bail and will remain in jail. Something seems wrong about that.

The argument for keeping them in custody was that they were all domestic terrorist. Yet how can that be for all of them? As I remember Bundy himself was not on the line when the confrontation took place. As far as evidence goes he didn’t even have a gun. Yes there were many that did but not him.

The government tries to take his cattle and some people stand up and say you can’t do that, it’s rustling. As I understand it his family purchased the land from one of the pioneers who settled the land before Nevada was even a state. They raised cattle on the land before the Bureau of Land Management even existed. Nevada is a free range state where cattle can wander anywhere they choose unless the owner fences off the land.

The Federal Government has not fenced off land they just say you can’t use it unless you pay us a fee. So the families have been grazing their cattle in open country for generations but now the Feds want money for the grazing cattle. At first it was just a little but like governments do, the fees kept going up. So the rancher begins to think what am I paying for? They don’t take care of the land; they don’t take care of my cows so why am I paying? He also made the argument that the land belonged to the state of Nevada not the Federal Government.

It is true that the United States paid $15,000,000 in 1848 for the land. While technically the territory was purchased by the United States, the $15 million payment was simply credited against Mexico’s debt to the U.S. under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Under that treaty the United States acquired almost 1,000,000 sq. miles of territory from Mexico.

As any smart businessman would, he stopped paying. The government didn’t do much about it until the debt was way too much money for a melon farmer and rancher to pay. Bundy accumulated more than $1 million of unpaid grazing fees and court-ordered fines. According to The Portland Oregonian newspaper in May 2014 that the amount that Bundy owed stood in “stark contrast” to the situation in Oregon, where just 45 of the state’s roughly 1,100 grazing permit holders collectively owed $18,759 in past-due payments to the BLM. Excluding Bundy’s unpaid fees, the total of all late grazing fees owed nationwide to the BLM was only $237,000. Something funny is going on here.

How can land acquired in a war for almost nothing and today, if you have ever seen the land, next to useless, be worth so much for “Grazing rights”? Another issue has come up and that is a lawsuit has been filed by Bundy assuring that his land is being sought as part of a solar project sponsored by none other than Harry Reid. Really not Harry himself but his son Rory who is the attorney for the project.

I’m not about to defend Bundy but – there are many questions. Why is he being denied bail? Why is he in solitary confinement? I thought everyone had the right to bail, unless they were a threat to society or a flight risk. How much of a threat is this guy, he has a melon farm and some cattle? And what about a speedy trial, if you can’t have a speedy trial then you should have at least bail. Something fishy is going on here. Think about yourself, held in solitary confinement with no bail, no trial for a year or more.

How can the federal government hold a citizen without a trial? Maybe the militia’s stance of government overreach has some merit, because something is defiantly wrong here. It looks like people are being confined to stifle free speech. Everyone is to be assumed innocent until proven guilty. But not locked up in solitary confinement for a year without a trial, somehow that doesn’t sound like America!

Mike Young is a retired water and power executive who resides in Mesquite. Graduated from the University of La Verne he has taught communications skills and technical subjects throughout the Western Hemisphere. In addition to writing and editing technical manuals, he has a book titled “Speaking for Effect”. He has received some of the highest awards and recognition from both professional and public organizations. He also serves as Mesquite’s representative on the Overton Power District board of trustees where he servers as Secretary /Treasurer.



  1. william michaels says:

    There is so much wrong with this article that the author must be writing a fiction.
    The land in question does not belong to the Bundy’s and has never been owned by him or any other members of his family.
    Cliven does make that claim but like so many other things he claims he has no proof. Records show that Cliven Bundy came into this area back in 1964 Definitely not generations ago. Of course a person can choose to believe Bundy’s claim even though he has no proof to back them up or they can believe the public records.
    As for how this land became property of the US makes no difference. If you lease a property from someone how they obtained that property or what they paid has nothing to do with the person leasing it.
    The reason the Bundy’s owe so much more than all the other ranchers with BLM leases is simple, they unlike Bundy believe in paying what is owed. Notice how many lease holders rushed to the refuge when Ammon called for them to come and tear up their BLM leases. Only one rancher showed up and he had to have an extra incentive to do so. He was offered help in his fledgling political careers by a group known as COWS. The truth is that the vast majority of ranchers leasing land from the BLM are satisfied with the arrangement.
    Bundy hasn’t made a payment in over 20 years. Not only does he owe the grazing fees he also owes penalties for not paying while still grazing his cows on lands he has no more rights to than any other American citizen.. As for the claim about the solar plant that claim has been debunked long ago. The Reid”s were involved in a deal with the Chinese but the land they were discussing is over 90 miles from the Bundy ranch and the deal fell through long ago..
    People are held in jail while awaiting trial all the time. It’s nothing new and has been done to many others not just the Bundy’s

    Since the Bundy’s claim they don’t recognize the federal government and have ignored previous court orders. If released it is very likely that they would retreat into their ranch, call up their militia pals, and trigger another standoff that could led to violence at anytime. So no bail is quite reasonable to those of us who look at the facts.
    As for solitary confinement it is standard procedure to keep high profile inmates isolated from the general population for their own safety. With Cliven it is even more important considering his comments about the “negro” not only asking if they were better off as slaves but implying that they were.. A lot of black men are setting in jail and many of them may find Clivens statements more than just a little offensive.
    Perhaps the next time this guy writes a piece he should get his “FACTS” straight. Or perhaps this whole article is just propaganda. Meant to blur the line that separates truth from lie.

  2. johninnv says:

    Bundy has repeatedly shown for decades that he does not obey court orders and has also shown that when enforcement of court order are tried, he will put out a call to arms and hole up behind hundreds of government haters to resist compliance.No judge could ever have any confidence that he would obey a court order to return for trial rather than again defy the law and lawful court orders, potentially resulting in another armed standoff with law enforcement. BTW – the delay in trial was requested by HIS lawyers. Isolation from the general population in jail is for his own protection and as far as I understand was requested by him. After all, I don’t think some of the inmates would appreciate his position on the “negro”.

  3. Duggins says:

    These two com-mentors must have been retired government employees. This Federal government is completely out of control.We as Citizens do have the right to a speedy trial,and reasonable bail. Apparently in Federal Court you don’t have any rights. This should be taken up by our elected officials, and would be if they weren’t afraid of being reelected. The article is better researched than these two com-mentors William Michaels and johninnv. Every time I read their comments it makes me sick.

  4. mmcgreer says:

    Duggins. It is impossible to explain speedy trial, bail and other legal issues to you and others holding with your ideas of how the federal government works. William Michaels is correct about Mike Youngs misundersttanding of the facts

  5. It makes no difference how one feels about the Bundys. Every citizen is entitled to a fair and speedy trial. EVERYONE!! When you make exceptions for one, you open exceptions for all. The Government supposedly had sufficient evidence to charge the Bundys with a crime. If so, take it to trial and let justice prevail. A delay of about one year is, in my opinion, unconstitutional. Let them have their day in court and get it over with, one way or the other.

    • Another Public Land Owner says:

      Mr. Lestat, Maybe you should talk to your Congressman and Senators about that. The Congress has not passed a law authorizing an increase in the number of judges since 1990. In that time, the number of cases filed in federal courts has increased by 40%. To make matters worse, the Republicans in the Senate are sitting on judicial nominations until Obama leaves office, meaning that existing judges that retire and not being replaced. Existing judges are working 75 hours a week. A good part of that isn’t in the court room; it’s writing opinions, responding to motions etc. Cliven Bundy is suffering for that. Bear this in mind though, since Bundy’s case is criminal, it has priority over civil cases. People suing the US government or with other civil disputes that need to be heard in federal court are waiting behind Bundy.

      Everyone is entitled to a fair and speedy trial, but the taxpayers are going to have to pony up for more judges, court rooms and support people. In addition, Cliven Bundy probably could have gotten bail if he hadn’t ignored previous court orders. Judges take a very dim view of people who ignore their legal decisions and are likely to decide that they don’t want to appear in court when the trial is finally held.

  6. this man and his supporters are out of control, if they let him out I am sure he would be involved in another land dispute withe the feds. keep him in jail, that is the best place for him. remember, he brought this on himself.

  7. ericn1300 says:

    All of the whining wannabe constitutional scholars the keep repeating the mantra “the right to a speedy trial,and reasonable bail” should be aware that the trial delays are caused be the defense attorneys requests and the feds are just accommodating them to protect the rights of the defendants. If they were to get a speedy trial I’m sure the same defense attorneys would be protesting a judgement “rammed through” without time for an adequate defense.

  8. Junkyard dog says:

    That is right mike young- break into a federal building when the locals in oregon do not even want you there- mooch off the land for yrs you have no right to do ,and get a bunch of wanna be rambos who point guns at law enforcement- ARE YOU NUTS ,MIKE?
    Maybe you should move to Colorado city.
    Bundy and his clowns are nothing but domestic terrorists who should rot in jail the rest of there life.

  9. Mike Young says:

    William,Bob and Johnny, you all miss the point, Bundy and others are being held against the Bill of Rights. Isn’t that what we went to war with England over and one of the foundations for our country? Plus, holding them in solitary confinement seems like cruel and unusual punishment for people that haven’t yet even had a trial. If you read the record, the prosecution shotgunned the charges and now requested the postponement because there was too much evidence and some of the defendants would have to defend themselves in two different states. As for others being held for long periods of time waiting, maybe that’s one of the points. Somehow that’s not what of Founding Fathers had in mind but maybe you know better.Think about it and decide whether you and the King of England know better or our Founding Fathers.

    • Junkyard dog says:

      Hey mike- they would not be there if they did not do the goofy crap they did or stuck
      There noses in affairs like oregon – taking over the pavillion.
      Bundy and his crew thought they were untouchable much like the O.J. mentality.
      Let them rot in jail- at least the white trash thugs will not be pointing there ar- 15 at law enforcement or me or you while we drive by i-15 bundyville

    • Mesquite Dave says:

      Almost weekly I read about people being held in jail for years before their trial. No one seems to care about those people as they are usually black or Latino. This is how our criminal justice system operates today. The Bundy’s are not getting special treatment. They are being treated just like any other person waiting for their trail to start. Mike, if you are that ignorant on what is happening in our criminal justice system, then maybe you are not the right person to be sitting on our local water board.

  10. Rusure Bouthat says:

    If they want a speedy trial, then they should stop filing frivolous lawsuits and making numerous motions that delay the trial.

    Obviously, this author has bought into the Bundy’s version of history. A little fact checking would clear up his “understanding”.

    There is no point in my arguing directly with Bundy supporters on social media, they will merely accuse me of being a federal employee.

  11. laytonian says:

    How can the Bundys be held “against their rights” when they don’t even believe that the Federal government exists?
    Don’t you Bundyites understand the lies Cliven, et al, have told for years?
    Have you no capability to research the truth about the land ownership AND how none of what’s Federal land ever belonged to the Bundy family (ie, “moochers”).
    Get your noses out of that “as INcorrectly translated” W. Cleon Skousen version of the Constitution of the United States. You know, the one you sit in your car, and take a selfie video with while you scream.
    You should all be ashamed of supporting thieves.

  12. Rick Crain says:

    Hey Mike,
    I am not a Bundy sympathizer by no means but you had made some very good points. I think if we were to substitute a democrat for Bundy those that are writing against your article would be the ones jumping up and down about the mistreatment and speedy trail. The exception and difference would be they would want them paid while they were waiting trial.

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