I read an interesting series of comments on Facebook today following Bryan Hyde’s link back to this blog. The gist of a few on the comments were attacks on Mr. Bundy for statements which he had said. One in particular caught my interest.
I am using this blog to respond, because I am long-winded with a capability to say in several words what could be said in a few. I excuse myself by quoting Honest Abe, ““I’m sorry I wrote such a long letter. I did not have the time to write a short one.”
“…the Federal Government & BLM have given him ample time and fair opportunity to comply. It is not his personal land, and I think he is basically stealing by not paying his fees to use these public lands.
Would you show the same support to someone who refuses to pay property taxes, state taxes or the IRS?”
A fundamental point continues to be missed, or ignored, by the liberal progressives. The national government has no authority under the US Constitution to “generally” own, control, or manage land use.
Another post on Facebook attempted to indict Mr. Bundy with one of his quotes, “I’ve got to protect my property,” he told The Times last year. “If people come to monkey with what’s mine, I’ll call the county sheriff. If that don’t work, I’ll gather my friends and kids and we’ll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws.” It is quite obvious the use of Bundy’s words “But I abide by almost zero federal laws” is intended to villianize the man by insinuation.
Yet, again I say “A fundamental point continues to be missed, or ignored, by the liberal progressives. The national government has no authority under the US Constitution to “generally” own, control, or manage land use.”
Let’s examine the first assumption iterated in the Facebook post. “Would you show the same support to someone who refuses to pay property taxes, state taxes or the IRS?” That is a fair question. However, it is irrelevant.
The irrelevance is that both property and state taxes are assessed at the state or local level. They are not restricted by the Constitution. The Constitution applies to the power of the national government. Great care was taken by the Founder to that states retained authority that was not delegated to the National government.
One cherished liberty is religious freedom. More precisely, the First Amendment severely restricts the ability of Congress to mess with religious liberty. What may surprise many folks is that congressional restriction applied only to Congress. It did not apply to the States. In fact a few of the states did institute “religious tests”.
I point that out not to engage in a religious discussion but to highlight the fact that the rights of states do not automatically extend to the national government. Thus, one more time, land use control is not in the purview of the national government. Comparisons between state/local taxes and nation bureaucratic control are tedious at best.
I cannot speak for Mr. Bundy. He has not given me that permission. Yet, when he uses the phrase “I abide by almost zero federal laws” I am not alarmed, nor think him inherently unlawful. When it comes to the matter which he is dealing with, the federal government “overfloweth their boundaries”.
If the national government is not held to the principle on which it was founded…they will extend as far as the strongest opponent will allow. What is unfortunate is that until now, Mr. Bundy has been the lone strong opponent. Shame on any Congressman that is not standing between him and the BLM firing squad.
Now, since I brought religion into this discussion I shall quote from the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church to which Mr. Bundy belongs (as I understand).
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrightful (author’s change from unrighteous to unrightful) dominion.”
I am not much interested in the rash of hate-mongering about religion that will follow my use of a religious reference. Such distractions are common practice among objectionists.
The key point it that the principle espoused reflect clearly the attitude of the BLM. When the national government has no foundation, other than desire, to pass laws that restrict freedom than those laws are suspect and unjust.
That is not only applicable to the Bundy family, but to the entire nation of citizens.
It should not be shocking that one man says “I abide by almost zero federal laws”, which are unjust. It IS shocking that all men do not say “I shall not abide by unjust national laws”.
That Is The Way I See It.