Who says the United States does not have a royal class?
The bureaucrats at the Bureau of Land Management just don’t think like the rest of us. They are downright imperious — in more ways than one.
A year ago they sent an invading army of heavily armed agents — with snipers on hilltops and attack dogs on the roads — to intimidate Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy while hired wranglers rounded up his cattle from BLM land and agents destroyed water tanks and pipelines and shot his bulls.
Now, the BLM bureaucrats are demanding that they be treated like pampered royalty at the annual Burning Man festivities in the Black Rock Desert.
The Reno newspaper reports that the BLM is demanding that the festival organizers build a $1 million luxury facility replete with trailers, flush toilets, washers and dryers and vanity mirrors for the comfort of BLM executives and agents and unspecified VIPs. Festival organizers say the cost of permits and complying with BLM demands have risen from $1 million in 2011 to nearly $5 million this year.
This year’s eclectic event — described as celebration of art and free expression, whatever that means — is scheduled to take place between Aug.30 and Sept. 7. It annually attracts about 70,000 people and generates about $35 million for the local economy.
In addition, the Reno paper says emails it has received spell out a demand that the facility be stocked with hot-and-cold running desserts and a 24-hour full-service kitchen providing a potentate’s menu of gourmet meals and snacks that include (we kid you not) 10-ounce steaks, 18-ounce pork ribs, poultry, ham, fish, vegetables, potatoes, bread, salad bar with five toppings and three dressings and desserts.
Specifically the desserts to be served in the desert must include Drumsticks, Choco Taco, assorted ice cream flavors, Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches, as well as cakes, cookies, pies, cobblers, puddings and pastries.
An army travels on its stomach.
The Gazette-Journal said the emails cited BLM Special Agent Dan Love of Salt Lake City as the person behind many of the BLM requests. Love led the BLM standoff with Bundy and his armed supporters. He did not return the paper’s requests for comment.
The Bundy standoff ended peacefully when the BLM backed down and released the cattle it had rounded up.
We are not sure how this Burning Man shakedown will end. Just don’t stand between a bureaucrat and the buffet and be sure to bow and curtsey when they pass by.
A version of this editorial appears this past week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel, Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.