Newspaper column: Ranchers must hang together, or …

Historic Methodist Church in Austin, Nev.

Historic Methodist Church in Austin, Nev.

“But do not be angry, my lord, that I make merry in this way; very often I have heard a truth told in jest.”

—Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 1390

AUSTIN, Nev. — In late April in an old Methodist Church, ranchers and public officials huddled to discuss what could be done to counter the ever tightening restrictions on grazing on federal public lands.

“I just want to have a little bit of fun real quick, as I sit here in this building and look at everybody,” Dave Stix Jr., chairman of the state Department of Agriculture, commented. “I just want everybody to know that the seeds of revolution began in a small church. (Laughter.) Now, take this statement lightly, because we hope that the future is a little bit more controlled and we can go about this a little bit differently. As we go through the day and talk, I just want everybody to know there’s a time growing near that all us need to strike while the iron is hot.

“And I will tell you from listening to the people who have spoken around this room, it was said, not in a little church, but it was said in a small building in Pennsylvania that, if we don’t hang together, most assuredly we’ll all hang separately.”

Stix’s remark about revolution struck a chord, because the attempt by the Bureau of Land Management to round up Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle from federal public land in the Gold Butte area had just been called off, reportedly to avoid violence between 200 heavily armed BLM agents and armed citizens who had come to protest the confiscation. The meeting in Austin also occurred mere days after the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 — the shot heard round the world.

Stix mentioned the Bundy confrontation.

Read the entire column online at The Ely Times, the Elko Daily Free Press or the Mesquite Local News.

Supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy, fly flags on horseback on a hill overlooking the protest site. (R-J photo by Jason Bean)

21 comments on “Newspaper column: Ranchers must hang together, or …

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    This mornings RJ reported Harry Reid’s latest gambit, getting the FBI involved, ostensibly because the BLM rangers/agents were threatened with violence, you know, heavily armed BLM agents confronted by besieged citizens with legally held firearms. That confrontation ended because Obama and his Washington posse, including Harry Reid, couldn’t afford another scandal, another shooting war between federal agents and besieged citizens would have been a bit too much, even for the current administration. The upcoming elections and all. Chances are the FBI and other federal agencies had people on the ground during the confrontation, They have to do their jobs but rounding up cattle and collecting grazing fees seems a bit much for the FBI, the premier federal law enforcement agency. The good thing now is that the Bundys and their supporters will find out who were actual supporters and who were government observers among the crowd, the numbers will probably come out about even.

  2. Athos says:

    Greid won’t stop till he gets what he wants, by hook or crook.

    And why shouldn’t he? There is NO one to stop him, is there?

  3. Steve says:

    Interesting to note the colonists had vastly inferior weapons in comparison to the British and still handed the British an empire killing defeat.

    It appears there are a lot of legitimate comparisons to what is happening in the West with the Federal government today to what was happening in the late 1700’s in the east.

    Local government is answerable to the people,,central government answers only to more powerful forces…like public employee unions and huge sums of money wielded by multinational corporations.
    People? central government only cares about power and money…people get crushed if they happen to be in the way and separated from each other.
    There is power in numbers…the same power upon which this country was forged.

  4. nyp says:

    What?? We live in a democracy. We don’t have a king. We have elected representatives. If you don’t like some land use policy being pursued by a government agency, vote for representatives who while try to change the agency’s practices.

    There is no legitimate comparison between America in 2014 and the British colonies in 1775.

  5. You must always be the arbiter.

  6. Winston Smith says:

    Constitutional Repubic, not democracy. I won’t bother to delineate the differences, they’re all over the web…

  7. Athos says:

    King Pinocchio!

    And The Lord of the Realm Baron Greid!

  8. Steve says:

    Yes, nyp we live under a democracy…a democracy which has overgrown the intent and vision the founders originally laid out for it. Even as we have progressed with knowledge and technology, the intent of a small central government should be the main goal in enacting new law and guidance for the use and application of this knowledge.
    A central government that becomes all encompassing, all knowing and “allows” its governed people to gather only in “first amendment areas” to protest the actions taken by that same central government is no different from a kingdom. This is only one example, nyp. Its recent and real.

    A difference which makes no difference is no difference.

  9. Vernon Clayson says:

    The founders, our original legislators, instituted a constitutional republic, but also warned that it would be tenuous/brief and so it was. We can forget that “government of the people, for the people, and by the people” business, it’s behind us. There’s the political class and the rest of us, that’s it.

  10. Nyp says:

    So Vernon. – why so you despise our American system of government so much?

  11. Athos says:

    Why hate it? Because 80 years of The socialist creep (with the last 20 years in overdrive!) is turning our proud nation into a bunch of mewling teat suckers, petey.

    And there are millions of us (unfortunately for Tom we don’t ALL post on this blog!) that want our freedoms and liberties back.

    Get the picture?

  12. Winston Smith says:

    OK, I admit it, I guess I’m wrong. No reason to go around Yellen about it…

    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/05/08/when-asked-if-the-u-s-is-a-capitalist-democracy-or-oligarchy-janet-yellen-cant-answer/

  13. Rincon says:

    Athos is right. We are a nation of teat suckers. Of course, the poor are the only ones with an excuse. The rich and the businesses bathe in government largesse even though they hardly need it, yet we demonize the poor. And they rich get theirs because they essentially bribe officials. The poor get it mainly because a majority of us find destitution and starvation distasteful.

  14. Athos says:

    Being poor is no excuse, Rinny. Check your American history circa 1930s.

    As to being recipients of DC “care”, check out the plight of the American Indians.

  15. Athos says:

    And as to destitution and starvation, better check out third world countries (just look south to Mexico)

  16. Rincon says:

    My point exactly. Although governments often aid in making the rich richer, it’s strictly because the rich have all of the power and use it to enrich themselves all the more. Much of this power is the ability to keep the government from interfering with their moneymaking. They have done this since the dawn of time.

    In the 1930’s, the unemployment rate rose to 25%. That was when there was little welfare or unemployment insurance. Do you think they were all slackers? Your assumption appears to be that all of the poor are useless slugs that do not want to contribute. If so, this assumption also suggests that the cause of the great rise of unemployment is that suddenly more slackers appeared. Is that what you are saying?

  17. Athos says:

    Rinny, you are crediting me with thinking that “all of the poor are useless slugs that do not want to contribute”. Nothing could be further from the truth. During the “Great Depression” our country did not have people dying of starvation and want, in the 10s of millions (compare that to Stalin’s Russia!), and yet we didn’t have the welfare programs that are in existence today, did we?

    People will take the path of least resistance, and when faced with a dilemma, have the opportunity to let their God given creative talents to work out the solution. Our “War on Poverty” enslaves them, more than helps them (given the 50 years of failure to eradicate poverty without DC’s transfer of wealth).

    Hope that clears up your misconception of my post.

  18. nyp says:

    We didn’t have public assistance programs during the Great Depression???

  19. Athos says:

    Don’t be disingenuous, petey. It’s really unbecoming.

  20. Rincon says:

    I agree that welfare as it’s run today is a detriment to our country. The question is do you agree that corporate welfare is also detrimental (and massive)? Do you also agree that throwing the poor and jobless into the deep end without a life preserver is also not a legitimate answer?

  21. […] a year and a half ago dozens of ranchers met in Austin, Nev., to try to figure out what to do about grazing reductions imposed by the […]

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