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.