Editorial: Rip the veil of secrecy from the Bundy case

Bunkerville standoff (Reuters pix)

Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.

The wheels of justice continue to grind in the federal criminal case against Cliven Bundy, four of his sons and a dozen co-defendants over the April 2014 armed standoff with federal agents trying to confiscate Bundy’s cattle at his Bunkerville ranch. All of the defendants have been jailed for more than a year.

The standoff occurred after armed Bureau of Land Management agents attempted to roundup Bundy’s cattle after he had refused for 20 years to pay grazing fees in the Gold Butte area. The BLM said he owed $1 million in fees and penalties.

Faced with armed protesters the BLM agents eventually released the cattle and left to avoid potential bloodshed.

Much of the evidence in the high-profile case remains cloaked in secrecy due to a blanket court protective order that requires just about everything filed in the case must be filed under seal.

But the press — specifically the Las Vegas daily newspaper, this newspaper and The Associated Press — continue to fight for openness. Just this past week attorney Maggie McLetchie filed a writ with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that the veil of secrecy be lifted, because it “is anathema to the First Amendment” and longstanding court precedent from the 9th Circuit itself.

McLetchie argues, among other things, that much of the rationale for keeping material secret is merely to protect government agents from legitimate criticism of their conduct. She also says the protective order is  based on “speculation and scaremongering” supported almost entirely by a series of years-old online social media posts.

Since the arrests of most of the defendants back in February 2016, things have not gone swimmingly for the government.

Two of Bundy’s sons, who had been arrested on separate but similar charges of illegally occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge to protest the jailing of father and son ranchers under a terrrorism law for letting fires get out of control and burn a few acres of federal public land, were acquitted of those charges this past fall by a jury, along with their co-defendants.

In April, the first of three scheduled trials for the Bunkerville defendants — charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, extortion, assault and impeding federal officers — ended in a mistrial. The jury found only two of six people on trial guilty of some charges but deadlocked on the others. The jurors agreed to convict on only 10 of the 60 charges brought. None of the conspiracy charges stuck.

In January, the Interior Department’s Inspector General released a 16-page investigative report outlining misconduct and ethical violations by the BLM agent who supervised the Bundy cattle roundup. The report never named the agent but said he abused his powers by obtaining preferential treatment for family and friends at the 2015 Burning Man event on BLM land, misused BLM personnel and equipment, improperly intervened in hiring a BLM agent and attempted to influence an employee’s testimony during the Inspector General’s investigation of him.

News accounts identify the agent as Dan Love.

McLetchie noted that the misconduct allegations add fuel to the “general public’s concern that the government mishandled the investigation in this case.”

Her writ quotes from a 9th Circuit ruling from 1983 in which The Associated Press sought information about a criminal case. The court stated there “can be little dispute that the press and public have historically had a common law right of access to most pretrial documents. … Moreover, pretrial documents, such as those dealing with the question whether [a defendant] should be incarcerated prior to trial and those containing allegations by [a defendant] of government misconduct, are often important to a full understanding of the way in which ‘the judicial process and the government as a whole are functioning.’”

Seems on point for the Bundy case.

The defendants from the first Bundy trial are to be retried in late June on the same day Cliven Bundy, his sons and others were scheduled for trial. The court has yet to say what the schedule will be for the long-jailed remaining defendants.

The court needs to shine more light on this case so the public can see whether justice is being done.

A version of this editorial appeared this 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.


92 comments on “Editorial: Rip the veil of secrecy from the Bundy case

  1. robertleebeers says:

    This case highlights the difference in philosophy between Democrat and Republican; left and right. The left sees the government as near royalty if not deity. Any opposition to whatever the government desires to do,( constitution? what constitution?) is akin to blasphemy if not outright treason. On the right, the government is viewed as oppressive, even dictatorial, using its power to abuse and even kill with impunity those who try to limit its exercise of authority. Unfortunately, there is evidence from the Washington protest that may uphold that last opinion.

  2. “the misconduct allegations add fuel to the “general public’s concern that the government (BLM) mishandled the investigation in this case.” Just like the Feds did in the Hage case…just like the Feds did in the Hammond case. It’s time the jury sent the Feds a very strong message, this kind of misconduct and misbehavior being rained down on the citizenry will not be tolerated anymore. Neil Kornze should be the first head to roll…

  3. Bill says:

    Bundy was wrong in taking a free range attitude towards grazing his cattle on range controlled by the BLM and then refusing to pay levied costs and fees. Bundy Bundy chose to become a scofflaw while other ranchers aid their fees and abided by the rules, no matter how onerous.

    Whatever the sins of Bundy, they are offset by the response of the Federal Government. Instead of pursuing judicial remedies such as taking a judgment and levying against Bundy’s assets, such as cattle when sold and notifying brand inspectors of their claims, the government opted to create a wild west confrontation.

    The government opted to hire a professional posse to round up cattle on the open range and bring forth law enforcement and armed BLM agents to have a showdown.

    In short, the government set up the scenario of confrontation not unlike some others we have seen such as the Branch Davidian and Ruby Ridge fiascos.

  4. There are no other cattle ranchers in Clark County. Bundy is the last. The reason he refused to pay fees is because he was told he could only graze from July to February to protest tortoises. Desert range cattle actually lose weight during those months. He would have gone out of business like all the other ranchers.

  5. Bill says:

    Still, I still can’t agree with Bundy. Bundy’s ranching business may well have been a casualty and that is another sad reality of the changing times and economics and the competing demands for public land usages. Since at least the 1970s there has been a decrease in rangeland grazing and development and the BLM has gone from a trusted friend and ally of the rancher to the hated enemy.

    It is but a matter of time before grazing on public lands will be a thing of the past. It is more economical for a farmer in the mid west to raise a few cattle on his non-productive acres than utilizing vast acreage to support a ranching operation.

    Ranching in Nevada has never been an easy proposition nor in most cases a highly lucrative business. The economics are no longer there. It is sad but inevitable.

    I am sorry that Bundy’s grazing rights were restricted.

    I am even more offended by the government setting up this O.K. Corral scenario.

  6. Steve says:

    I second Bill.
    Bundy doesn’t deserve any sympathy but the BLM deserves even less for their overacting and lack of action for 19 years.

  7. Rincon says:

    “This case highlights the difference in philosophy between Democrat and Republican; left and right. The left sees the government as near royalty if not deity. Any opposition to whatever the government desires to do,( constitution? what constitution?) is akin to blasphemy if not outright treason. On the right, the government is viewed as oppressive, even dictatorial, using its power to abuse and even kill with impunity those who try to limit its exercise of authority.”

    I generally agree, although there are some glaring exceptions to this rule. The right has historically been supportive of governmental efforts to put criminals behind bars, including their prohibition efforts against drugs. Have they no advocated an expansion of the government’s so called dictatorial powers along these lines? Can anyone find a Constitutional authority for the government to ban the voluntary consumption of a substance in the first place? They also advocate a huge defense infrastructure and a militarily aggressive foreign policy. This is not the mark of people who consider government to be oppressive and dictatorial.

    Although it can certainly be argued that the left advocates more than reasonable government power, they hardly seem to consider it sacrosanct. Were the civil rights and war protesters (admittedly long ago) not considered liberal? They also do not support draconian efforts to eliminate illegal aliens.

  8. deleted says:

    Bundy and his kind represent a lot that is wrong with this country and we can only pray that. He never sees freedom again for the remainder of his life that would undoubtedly be used either to further enrich himself at the expense of decent people, or to spread his evil philosophy.

    That’s right, I said evil and remember greed is one of, and the worst of, the 7 deadly sins. Bundy has lived a life of greed, and no fantasy reimagining of what he I has done or is doing can change it.

    The guy raped land, that didn’t belong to him he spit in the eye of average Americans while he did it by taking money that belonged to them and converted it to his own use, then claimed that “they the people” didn’t even exist. Then, when they said please kindly pay us what you agreed to pay, Bundy said no. Then “they the people” said, well we’ll have to go to court and see and Bundy laughed, and mocked, and then when the court agreed he took up arms and said screw you, try and come and get what I told you I’d pay you.

    The evil is that this has now spread, like a disease, and he, and his disease need to be cured.

  9. Bill says:

    I am sorry that in your religion of hatred you see no redemption for transgressor Bundy for the “evil” he has committed.

    I am doubly sorry that you are praying that Bundy never sees freedom again for ” the remainder of his life” because of the “evil” he has committed and “spread”.

    Somehow you are sounding like the haters and cross burners that you condemn in other comments.

    You might keep in mind that greed is only one of the 7 deadly sins.

  10. deleted says:

    Cross burning equals freedom of speech in your world Bill?

    Save the fake sympathy for the victims of discrimination. It suits you better.

  11. Steve says:

    Isn’t interesting watching the tin foil hat extreme far far left try to justify their segregationist, discriminatory, prejudiced policies?

    I mean, it is obvious Patrick (AKA deleted) is, in no way, a Liberal…simply put, Liberals are far too “conservative” for the likes of Patrick’s dogma driven crazy as bat shit extreme far left political insanity.

    Patrick (AKA deleted) makes Communists look like middle of the road Democrats!

  12. “The evil is that this has now spread, like a disease, and he, and his disease need to be cured.” The evil that has been mounting…and now spreading is the gestapo like tactics from the likes of Dan Love and his associates at the BLM and unfortunately from some quarters of the Fish and Wildlife agencis. Dan Love’s head is the second one that should roll…

  13. deleted says:

    Demonstrating how absolutely twisted the far right wing perspective is; a citizen that denies the existence of the country whose land he has made millions from, whoa free stealing from the tax paying citizens of that country for years, and who has been granted the due process the rules of law provide for and found to be in violation of those laws, takes up arms against those citizens, and challenges their authority to enforce the laws that were enacted through the legal processes called for, is made a deity by the far right wing while those that would enforce the laws passed, which all citizens are obliged to follow are labeled “nazi like”.

    This is especially absurd given that the agency which is responsible for carrying out the laws, was created in large part, by the very same ranching interests, and for their near exclusive benefit, as those who condemn it now. An agency that is, and has been for many years, nothing but a lapdog promoting the interests of the ranchers and mining interests, which have been constantly permitted, in violation of the law, to steal that which belongs to the American taxpayer, and which went unchallenged by this agency, which is why Bundy could operate for as long as he did, without paying the pittance he was required to pay for so long.

    I guess to the farthest reaches of the far right wing, even suggesting that the man stop stealing, and do what the law says he was supposed to do, is nazi like but my recollection of the history of that particular entity’s enforcement policiare different.

  14. Steve says:

    Well, would you look at that.

    Patrick (AKA deleted) agrees the BLM is a waste of resources, albeit for very different and conspiratorial made up bullshit but he also thinks the BLM is wrong.
    Not just in this case but in its very inception.

  15. “a lapdog promoting the interests of the ranchers and mining interests”????

    Ask the miners and ranchers. Well, you could if there were any left.

  16. deleted says:

    Thomas, you’re not REALLY suggesting that there aren’t any mines or miners left in Nevada are you?

    Obviously there aren’t as many ranchers as there used to be once, and there are lots of reasons including that they sold out cause they wanted to cash in on the developers money, and that ranching is hard work and kids today….and droughts made it harder, and global competition made it less profitable, and…they wanted to cash in as developers kept coming around offering them money and lots of it.

    Course, this ain’t nothing to do with whether the BLM has been a lapdog of the miners and the ranchers interests since it was created by the ranchers and the miners to further the interests of the miners and the ranchers out of the old grazing and interior agencies these interests dominated.


    I mean, how else do you explain Bundy the lawbreaker getting away with stealing, in plain sight, for more than 20 years?

  17. Who was stealing? The people who demanded he pay for the privilege of grazing cattle when they would lose weight?

  18. deleted says:

    So if I deem the agreement is sign with my phone company as no longer financially profitable for me, I get to stop paying them and keep my service?

    Come on man.

  19. Steve says:

    When you phone company provides a useless level of service you have many choices from which to choose to purchase new service. And in all of those examples, you can even keep your phone number.

    You make a silly attempt to compare things for which there is no common ground.

  20. Rincon says:

    Come on, Steve. Choice isn’t the question. Bundy paid nothing, but insisted on reaping the benefits. Do that with the phone company and a judge would have little sympathy. As for choice, you might be thinking of the city. In rural areas, I suspect there are many people who have only one choice for dependable phone service.

  21. Steve says:

    Sure…the BLM is a gov’t monopoly.

    In Patrick’s “comparison” there is no monopoly.

  22. Rincon says:

    If you have only one choice for telephone service, I believe they still call it a monopoly.

  23. deleted says:


    No rancher that I’m aware of is REQUIRED to graze their cows on property owned by we the people. PLENTY of them graze their cows on their own land. Heck, that sounds like a CHOICE to me. Sure isn’t any “monopoly” if the ranchers can just feed their herds off their own land, or the land of their neighbors, or private feedlots, or shoot by just buying feed and bringing it to their own land.

    The ONLY reason these ranchers actually apply for these gov’ment PERMITS, is because THEY have decided it is in their best interests to do so AND, most importantly, in the event they CHOOSE that the agreement they voluntarily enter into isn’t financially beneficial to them anymore, they can voluntarily cancel the agreement.

    Course, given that the amount they pay for grazing their cows is infinitesimal compared to what they would otherwise have to pay to graze their cows, (cause the American taxpayer are subsiding these millionaire ranchers like Bundy) they aren’t dumb enough to do that.

    But Bundy figured the subsidy wasn’t enough, and he’d just steal the rest.

  24. Steve says:

    “If you have only one choice for telephone service, I believe they still call it a monopoly.”

    But no one has only one choice for phone service anymore.

    If the only lands around your ranch are BLM, then you have only one source for graze.

    It’s like Patrick insists we can charge native Americans a buck a head to get out of the country and all will be well if they would just stop complaining that the land was theirs before we changed the rules.

    BLM changed the rules and left no other choice than to protest.
    Now, Bundy eventually chose the wrong method of protest but what he did, initially, was protest.

  25. Bundy family members have been grazing cattle in the area since 1877, but the BLM arbitrarily changed the rules.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The BLM’s permits allow them to change the rules so Bundy understood that from the beginning. I’m betting he didn’t mind when they “changed the rules” and reduced the price of the AUMS.

  27. Rincon says:

    Landlords have the right to terminate a lease unless terms of the lease specify otherwise. You don’t believe the government should have the same right?

  28. 150 years of ranching means nothing?

  29. Steve says:

    So, you both have come to the realization that Bundy,at least initially, was protesting what he and his peers see as government overreach.

    This makes his actions, up to the threat of armed actions, free speech. The same free speech the Dakota pipeline protesters were exercising.

  30. Steve says:

    And, in a case of a Tenant/Landlord relationship, once again Patrick is trying insert a round peg into a triangular hole.

    Tenants have many choices of landlords. Ranchers have only one.

  31. Steve says:

    Sorry, Patrick. It’s Rincon trying to stuff a round peg into a triangular hole, not you.

  32. Steve says:

    However, Patrick, All the net metering customers who signed that contract knew they were subject to rate changes at the whim of the PUC, they are making progress protesting this injustice, ranchers have every right to protest in similar ways.
    One is to stop paying for lousy service provided by the monopoly BLM.

  33. deleted says:

    Thomas no matter how long the Bundy clan have run cattle the permit he received allowed the BLM to alter it.

    Bundy had the right to challenge whatever changes the BLM made to the permit, which he did and lost. At that point, he had lots of options. He could have stopped running his cattle on land that didn’t belong to him. He had the option to run the cattle and pay. He had the option to sell his land and his cattle. He had the option to find other ways to feed his cattle, like lots of other landowners do, like graze them on private land, or take them to feedlots, or even to buy private feed, and feed them on his own land.

    Without regard to how efficient, or profitable these options may have been, they were the legal options available to him and rather than taking advantage of any of them, he consciously decided that he would break the law, and that ain’t right.

  34. Steve says:

    So, Patrick, what you are saying is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe needed to heed the court decision and stop their protest as well as Bundy needed to heed the court and stop his.

    The two are the same.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  35. Rincon says:

    “150 years of ranching means nothing?” I know what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that he can run his cattle at no cost.

    Funny how the shoe is on the other foot. When talking about other issues such as welfare, unemployment, or the minimum wage, I heard a lot about how someone with few skills has “choices”, as if they could just stop providing for themselves and/or family in order to get educated and obtain skills. Can’t a rancher do the same thing? After all, he presumably has some capital, something the unemployed and poorly paid often don’t have. Bundy also had the luxury of time. He could have continued running his cattle while making other plans.

    Some company decides to lay off a bunch of people so it can raise its earnings by a few percent and it’s no problem at all. Let the government lay someone off, so to speak, and it’s a crime. Seems this is less about what’s being done than it is about who’s doing it.

  36. Bill says:

    It is sad to see a way of life die and that is what is happening for Western Ranchers. They have, for many years, been on increasingly tenuous economic grounds. While we still have a place for horses and cowboys, ranching has increasingly depended on mechanization while facing
    higher and higher costs of production.

    Most ranchers I have known over the years are hard working honest men and women who begin their days before dawn and end them after dark. They do so to hopefully pay their current cattle loans so that they can get another cattle loan next year in the hopes that cattle prices will hold or rise and that they will not suffer a disastrous year and be able to hold on for another year.

    In the public’s eye, there is much romanticism about ranching that simply is not true. Mostly it is hard work and dirty work. While there may be an occasional BBQ or shivaree there are few parties. Neighbors can be scarce and everyone is busy. Ranching can be an isolated and dangerous way of life with little reward other than being able to hold on to the land for another year.

    For those who do not know history or perhaps need a reminder, grazing of livestock on the “open range” was was not regulated by any governmental agency until 1934. Thus we see the stuff of movies, some of which in parts of the country were true, of rich “Cattle Barons” and warfare between Cowmen and those migratory sheepherders who destroyed the range, poisoned the water and moved on to greener pastures. It should be noted also that grazing sheep on public lands has waned as well. So chances are the leg of lamb that you just paid $50 for at the market came from New Zealand or Australia.

    1934, Congress passed the Taylor Grazing Act and amended that Act in 1936 to provided for the establishment of grazing districts. By doing so they placed “public lands” under governmental control for the first time. At first, there was still a lot of land and western ranching continued through the use of “allotments” for grazing. For the most part the system worked but as so often happens, conflicting demands, such as the Endangered Species Act and other well meaning but restrictive laws, rules and regulations were implemented. Also, as inevitably happens, bureaucrats increased their power and funding by passing more restrictive rules and regulations thereby increasing the need for personnel and budgets.

    If Bundy were a more sympathetic character, he might be considered “collateral damage”.

    Whatever his sins may be, the Federal Bureaucracy known as the BLM bears a great deal of responsiblilty for making this a showdown that did not need to happen.

  37. Steve says:

    “Let the government lay someone off, so to speak”…..

    Lets see how you feel about that when they outlaw all pet ownership.

  38. Rincon says:

    Government doesn’t own peoples’ pets. They own the land Bundy claimed.

  39. Rincon says:

    Government still wouldn’t own peoples’ pets. You’re talking apples and oranges. It’s political conservatives that opened the door to banning things when they decided that the Constitution allows the banning of certain drugs. There is definitely a ying and yang to democracy. On the one hand, it gives the majority what they ask for. On the other hand, people with views in the minority don’t get what they want.

    Government action is often a two edged sword. Japan has some of the strictest gun laws in the world and the police enjoy much broader search and seizure powers than here. The benefit is that they suffered only 11 firearm related homicides in 2008 vs 12,000 in the US. In 2015, Japan had only a single gun slaying. In Japan, one can be quite safe in essentially any neighborhood at any time. Here, a motorist with a breakdown in a bad neighborhood is is in big trouble. Which system is better?

  40. Bill says:

    Rincon, your analogy about landlords is not apt. In fact in many jurisdictions it is almost impossible to terminate a tenancy. Mobile home parks come to mind here in Nevada and “rent controlled” cities across the country are another.

  41. Steve says:

    And if the logical path is taken to it’s end, (As i it has with ranchers in Clark County, NV) banning all pet sales means no one owns pets. They (like the “public” lands) become the property of “the people”.
    No I am not comparing oranges and apples. I am bearing fruit.
    Tell me again how this is not a foot in the door, Rincon. And get ready, they appear to be coming for you now….

    “There is definitely a ying and yang to democracy.” (hmm, yin?)
    Damned good thing we are supposed to have a Constitutional Republic with an Electoral College rather than that Democracy you describe,, huh?

    “In Japan, one can be quite safe in essentially any neighborhood at any time”
    Huh, ever wonder what the Japanese “melting pot” looks like?

    “The racial discrimination that exists in Japan is reminiscent of the segregation-based atmosphere of 1950s America, posing a hostile environment for those of non-Japanese origin.”
    And this hasn’t changed, Japanese remain openly racist and the population of Japan remains more than 95% Japanese (to the exclusion even of their “cousin” Asian races, if you aren’t Japanese, you are openly discriminated against. Good example, Rincon!)

    1950’s America was a pretty “safe” place too, or had you forgotten that?

  42. Bill says:

    Steve, having spent a good deal of time in Japan, I can second your observation about the Japanese. They are unabashed in their view of non Japanese people as inferior. It is not as rigid as it was but “multiculturalism” has never had widespread support in Japan. They still haven’ gotten the message that is taught on college campuses today that preserving your culture is evil.

  43. deleted says:

    Or, as one man said, (paraphrased) race purity can’t be a bad thing.


  44. Steve says:

    Patrick “thinks” we used Japan as a good example!

    Go back and read again Patrick, Rincon introduced Japan as a positive.

  45. Rincon says:

    Definition of democracy
    plural democracies

    1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
    b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

    Sounds to me like the definition of democracy includes a representative republic. Stop picking nits. My meaning was clear.

    Apples and oranges yet again. The racism of the Japanese has nearly nothing to do with the safety of walking the streets.

    Wouldn’t a Conservative say that forcing a landowner to rent his land and not allowing him to sell it is government overreach? And with these mobile home parks, is the landowner required to rent in perpetuity? No way of getting out if the park is going bust?

  46. Steve says:

    “representative republic”

    Is not a constitutional republic.

    The racism of the Japanese is a side point. They have a defacto “master race” in that country. Try comparing again. It doesn’t work here.

    There is a mobile home park not far from our neighborhood, all the land under each trailer is owned by the trailers owner. No rented or leased.
    But, again, that has nothing to do with killing of ranchers (and retail pet store’s for that matter, they’re coming for you in a few steps, Rincon!)

  47. Rincon says:

    Both fit neatly under the definition of democracy. Even if they hadn’t, you’re still just picking nits.

    Representative democracy (also indirect democracy, representative republic, or psephocracy) is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy. https://www.google.com/#q=representative+republic

    A constitutional republic is a state in which the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people. They must govern within an existing constitution. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers may be separated into distinct branches. https://www.google.com/#q=representative+republic

    “But, again, that has nothing to do with killing of ranchers (and retail pet store’s for that matter, they’re coming for you in a few steps, Rincon!” Not a problem for me. By the time that happens, the much ballyhooed death panels which, strangely, haven’t appeared, will become a reality. I’ll just change the name of the business to the Barack Obama End of Life Transition Center.

  48. Steve says:

    Ahh, the Keynesian theory, by the time that happens we will all be dead!
    Somebody should’a told the Ranchers about it sixty years ago, never mind, you got yours.

    The Electoral College is what makes our Constitutional Republic different from any other form of Democracy. And you peeps want to do away with it.

  49. Rincon says:

    Reread it. Nothing about us all being dead. Besides, that’s the Conservative rhetoric: We’ll all be dead by the time we: 1) Run out of oil and dozens of minerals 2) See the full costs of global warming 3) Lose the species listed as endangered 4) See the oceans degrades by acidification 5) Suffer the effects of ozone loss 6) See 99% of the wealth owned by the 1%

  50. Steve says:

    Keynes “In the long run we are all dead”
    You got yours, doesn’t matter about anyone after, huh. Ranchers know this well now.

    Fracking moots all your efforts to FUD

  51. Bill says:

    Fortunately, we do not live in a pure democracy but rather we have a democratic Republic. That is the entire basis of our Federal Constitution.

    Many of our fore fathers were fearful of a purely democratic government where a majority vote rules.

    One of my favorites definitions of democracy is the one attributed to Ben Franklin to the effect that:

    “Democracy must be something different than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

  52. deleted says:

    Right, a “Democratic Republic” that’s the ticket.

    Maybe a better, more realistic objectively based description of what a country “led” by a billionaire, having a Secretary of State who leads one of the three largest companies in the world, with other multi-hundred millionaires sprinkled in the “leadership” that seems bent on enriching their kind even further, is a plutocracy.

    government by the wealthy.
    a country or society governed by the wealthy.
    plural noun: plutocracies
    an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.

    Congratulations “conservatives” you made any claims that this country is a democratic republic as silly as those made that the “German Democratic Republic” was one too.

  53. Rincon says:

    “Fracking moots all your efforts to FUD.” Thank you for reinforcing my point. Fracking is a short term solution for a long term problem, but as Conservatives so often believe, we’ll be dead before it’s a problem.

  54. Steve says:

    Spin away, Rincon. Par for the course, you miss and/or intentionally ignore what I say while mischaracterizing it in your spin trying to turn my own words into your new FUD.

    Peak Oil is Nonsense … Because There’s Enough Gas to Last 250 Years

    An American Oil Find That Holds More Than All of OPEC

  55. Rincon says:

    Yes, 250 years. You’ll be gone by the time it’s a problem.

  56. Steve says:

    sure funny you try to be.
    Natural gas is in the process of replacing oil as the main fuel for generating electricity and has been used as “balanced” power replacing heating oil in the last 30 years or so.
    With this existing and growing consumption, gas is abundant enough to last more than 200 years and it proves new energy sources replace existing ones like coal and heating oil.
    Over the course of 200 years, gas (a very clean fuel) will be replaced by new technology you and I will not live to see.

    Meanwhile, your peeps will continue to act like Kathy Griffin and become more like the very things you all claim to so dislike.
    I mean, look at the acid Patrick spews on a regular basis here. That alone proves my statements, all of them.

  57. Steve says:

    “Natural gas is in the process of replacing oil” and coal…….

  58. Rincon says:

    Seems to me that the inhabitants of Easter Island said the same thing about trees.

  59. Steve says:

    And the Royal Society insisted the world was flat…

  60. Rincon says:

    Your claim is that you know and cannot be wrong. My claim is that I am probably right. Quite a difference. You think you’re a god. I know we’re both human.

  61. Steve says:

    Well, you make a place for me with little or no proof to back it up while I say you are a sheep following the mandate of politicians who don’t do any thinking for themselves. Who then tell you thinking isn’t an acceptable response to their directives.

    Consider, the Toyota Prius.


    And the PRIUS is only ONE of the lies.

    Stop selling (very expensive) lies and maybe the message could have a chance of being heard.

  62. Rincon says:

    Drivetribe.com? Really? In particular, this so called engineer missed the greatest fuel savings mechanism of the Prius. As he said, the engine is tiny and it doesn’t even run the whole time, but he claims that the Prius, with its tiny engine, running part of the time burns more than a much larger engine running all of the time. The key is that the other cars use engines far larger than they need Except when say, passing at 60 mph. Large engines loafing burn more fuel. Some engineer!

    I have two friends with Priuses. They must both be liars because they claim that they get mileage in the 40’s.

    This same engineer linked to a “study” by an automotive MARKETING RESEARCH company. That alone should give the scam away. According to Wikipedia, among other things, to arrive at their conclusion, this firm assumed a 300,000 lifetime for a Hummer and a 109,000 for the Prius. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNW_Marketing_Research. Yeah, sure. Just cut the lifetime of the Prius by half and double the Hummer’s lifetime. You betcher butt the Hummer looks pretty good.

    Considering that the Prius has been rated by Consumer Reports as one of the most reliable cars and the Hummer as one of the least, the numbers deserve to be reversed. This is better termed fraud, but in America, deception is common, especially among “marketing research companies”.

    It’s also a good bet that the fossil fuel price of drilling, delivering, and refining the gasoline wasn’t included either. This is substantial.

    Quit believing what you want to believe and start investigating your sources.

  63. Steve says:

    You failed to comprehend what engineers are saying, Rincon.

    Total life span from inception to EOL means manufacturing and its associated pollutants add up to more than the Hummer in the day.
    You love attacking the messenger, specially when they are right (or “Right”, right?)

    Same thing with PV Solar, those panels produce more pollution than natural gas fired generators when you take into consideration the pollution produced during the manufacture of the panels.

    The lies are clear but you keep insisting on swallowing the BS your politicians are feeding you.


  64. Steve says:

    Oh, don’t forget, Toyota doesn’t talk about the less positive aspects of their Prius, which gives a large amount of room for conjecture when claims are made for the “overall” effectiveness of their technology.

  65. Rincon says:

    1) Since you had no rebuttal to my criticisms of the article by the self labeled engineer, then there is no reason for me to doubt my words.
    2) Thank you for proving yourself wrong. From your first article link: “The Argonne National Laboratory ran a side-by-side comparison of hybrid and conventional vehicles over their entire life cycle, which includes vehicle production, vehicle operation and the energy required to produce fuel for both cars. If you assume that both vehicles travel 160,000 miles (257,495 kilometers) over their lifetime, the conventional vehicle requires 6,500 Btu of energy per mile compared to 4,200 Btu per mile for a hybrid.”
    3) Your first article also makes a big deal about sulfur dioxide emissions. Even if we agree on the unproven assumption that there are more SO2 emissions from the production of a Prius than a conventional car of equal size, a) S02 is a readily scrubbable pollutant and generally is only released in small quantities these days and b) S02 has almost nothing to do with global warming nor the overuse of oil.
    3) You conveniently disregarded the conclusion of your own article: “Although hybrid vehicle production is more energy-intensive and results in higher production emissions, hybrid vehicles are still the greener choice overall.” So your point is…?
    4) Your Nat Geo link is apples vs oranges. It concerns recycling of solar panels and the industry’s efforts to limit toxic waste generation. I see nothing concerning greenhouse gas production nor conservation of oil.

  66. Steve says:

    No, you again ignore the point of my message.

    You are believing politically driven statements over facts.

    The facts are they are lying to everyone about how “green” their chosen technologies are.

    You simply choose to swallow their BS.
    And you do so to the outright ignorance of anything but the politically driven line of bullshit.

    But, nevermind anyway the big news of the day is Kathy Griffin! (As in LOOK a squirrel!)

  67. Rincon says:

    You posted a piece from a pseudoengineer claiming something theoretical that he never proved experimentally. On the other hand, I am foolish enough to believe that Consumer Reports actually tested the mileage of the Prius and found it to be essentially as advertised. But according to you, I’m the one swallowing politically driven statements. Enjoy your Kool Aid.

  68. Rincon says:

    BTW, I just ran across this. Looks like the mainstream isn’t so lame after all. You’ll have to look for a new example. I can suggest a few.

    “Medieval Europeans did not believe Earth was flat; in fact, from the time of the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, belief in a spherical Earth remained almost universal among European intellectuals. As a result, Christopher Columbus’s efforts to obtain support for his voyages were hampered not by belief in a flat Earth but by valid worries that the East Indies were farther than he realized” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_misconceptions

  69. Rincon says:

    In answer to another Conservative myth: “Al Gore never said that he “invented” the Internet. What Gore actually said was, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet”, in reference to his political work towards developing the Internet for widespread public use.[393][394] Gore was the original drafter of the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, which provided significant funding for supercomputing centers, and this in turn led to upgrades of a major part of the already-existing early 1990s Internet backbone, the NSFNet, and development of NCSA Mosaic, the browser that popularized the World Wide Web.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_misconceptions One has to agree that this version passes the stink test better than the myth.

  70. Steve says:

    Wow, I really got under your skin!

  71. Rincon says:

    Not really. There are other examples of the mainstream being wrong such as leaches for treating patients. Nevertheless, although blind submission to conventional wisdom is not advisable, dismissing it blindly is far more reckless.

  72. Steve says:

    “Medieval Europeans did not believe Earth was flat; in fact”….

    Proves the point. Believing the politically claimed “consensus” was never a rewarded strategy…specially as it has been correct more often than not.

    Oh, the “pseudoengineer” as you attacked the messenger,,,,is really an engineer.
    And a published one at that.

  73. Rincon says:

    The pseudoengineer might actually be an engineer, but he’s a moron. He’s postulating a conspiracy among every car company that makes hybrids which entices people to buy cars with mileage nowhere near what’s claimed. And he’s the only guy with the straight story! He comes armed with his theory, but didn’t even bother to actually measure the mileage of a single hybrid. As I said, enjoy your Kool-Aid

  74. Steve says:

    George Carlin once said (in a bit) this is the USA nail two things together that have never before been nailed together and some idiot(s) will buy it.

    Again, the totality of the durable goods items lifespan is what is being compared, you focus (just as your political masters wish) only on the one item for comparison.

    You are being lied to and you are eating it up like it’s candy for a baby.

  75. Rincon says:

    Your “engineer” said, “Any engineer worth their salt instantly knew that you can’t run a petrol engine to make electricity and get more forward momentum out of it. It is simply impossible, and always will be. The non-plug-in hybrid car concept for saving gasoline is a pure boondoggle, with the exception of one thing: the regenerative braking.”

    This idiot isn’t looking at the totality, he’s ignoring it. He is technically correct until he concludes that hybrids are a boondoggle for this reason. As I explained, his theoretical stupidity doesn’t measure up to demonstrated reality. You KNOW that the Prius mileage is close to what is claimed, you KNOW that this guy claims it cannot be, and yet you choose to believe everything he says.

    Enjoy your Kool Aid.

  76. Steve says:

    And you, again, try hard to sweep manufacturing pollutants under rug.

    The article is correct, even you have had to admit to a portion of it now.

    You are being lied to, Rincon and it isn’t me or that engineer doing the lying.

    Here’s some even more interesting information.

    In December 2015, nine months before the end of his presidency, Barrack Obama signed the Paris Accord. The United States did not. In order to ratify it as a treaty 2/3 of the Senate had to approve it. Obama told us it was not a treaty, but an executive agreement between himself and other nations. The Paris agreement was an agreement only with the Obama Administration, and an unratified treaty in which case it had no effect. The Constitution’s separation of powers prevents the President from binding the country unilaterally. Our system does not divide authority into spheres controlled exclusively by the Senate, House and President. It requires combinations of offices to work together.
    Obama’s counterparts in Paris knew he lacked the support to bind our country. In fact, they watered down the wording of the agreement to support Obama’s agreement that it does not require ratification. Examples: they changed the word “shall” to “should” in many places in order to avoid calling it a treaty. The negotiators chose between a treaty that would bind the United States and the promise of an outgoing president. Any claims that Trump or the United States “is going back on its word” is disingenuous. Only Obama gave his word and the other parties in Paris helped design the agreement to throw our Constitution out the window. Obama ignored his constitutional duty to submit treaties to the Senate. In fact, a statement from the Obama White House said it all when the White House signaled it would bypass the Senate, no matter what, by saying “I think it’s hard to take seriously from some members of Congress who deny the fact that climate change exists, that they should have some opportunity to render judgement about a climate change agreement.”
    Under the agreement Obama signed, the UN would have called the shots on what we did within our own borders to protect the climate. They would have also had the power to punish us through embargoes and trade agreements.
    Under Obama’s agreement, China, the world’s major polluters are ALLOWED to increase their emissions where the United States cannot. India is hinging its participation on billions of dollars of foreign aid.
    The agreement was less about the climate and more about other countries gaining financial advantage over the United States.
    This was a United Nations program that gave foreign leaders in Europe and Asia more say with respect to the United States economy then we do. It would have handicapped the United States economy – it was a deal that would have punished the United States, while imposing no obligations on the world’s leading polluters. China would be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants, but we can not, according to the agreement. India would be allowed to double it’s coal production by 2020, but we have to get rid of ours. Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants, but we can not.
    Obama’s requirements in the Paris Accord would cost the United States economy nearly $3 trillion.
    By 2040 our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial-sector jobs, including 31 million manufacturing-sector jobs.
    It would decapitate our coal industry which now supplies one-third of our electric power.
    It imposed unrealistic targets on the United States for reducing our carbon emissions, while giving countries like China a free pass.
    China would actually be allowed to INCREASE emissions until 2030.
    Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund – which is about 30 percent of the initial funding – WITHOUT being authorized by Congress.
    We are $20 trillion in debt, US taxpayers should not be paying to subsidize other country’s energy needs.
    The United States is already a Clean Energy and Oil & Gas Energy Leader. We can reduce our emissions and continue to produce American energy without the Paris Accord. America has already reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions dramatically (who remembers those yearly emission tests).
    The United States is the leader in oil and gas production.
    For anyone that thought the Paris Accord was all about clean river and air, it is not, and never was.

    The lies are a clear and present danger. You wouldn’t know what kool aid tastes like because you are so used to it that it seems like water anymore.

  77. Rincon says:

    “America has already reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions dramatically (who remembers those yearly emission tests).”

    Are you referring to yearly emission tests on cars and saying that these helped reduce CO2 emissions substantially?

  78. Steve says:

    This is mainly from a NERA economic consultants study. With a few personal observations thrown in for some lighthearted effect.
    In Clark County, NV we still do those annual smog tests but the point is really about how the USA has cut its overall CO2 emissions from all sources, not just vehicles. Even though vehicles are the largest single source worldwide.

    Nevertheless, it’s interesting you seem to focus only on that aspect of this summary.
    The rest of it doesn’t resonate with you at all? I mean, Obama and his administration tried to throw the USA under the bus and that doesn’t bother you?

  79. Bill says:

    Good comment Steve. Well reasoned and accurate. One can only wonder what the reaction would be if Trump tried to unilaterally sign any agreement as Obama did? Like the recent discovery by the Left of the 10th Amendment we undoubtedly would hear screams about separation of powers.

  80. Steve says:

    Yup. And this whole green thing is showing how much they lie to us.
    That Paris “agreement” really nails it home.

  81. Rincon says:

    A) You never answered my question
    B) The reason I made no comment regarding Obama’s action is that he wasn’t guaranteeing American participation in the first place; he was merely signaling support. It could not become law without Congress. The fact that Trump could reverse it so easily shows that it was a nonevent.

    The primary reasons that the U.S CO2 emissions are down are that we have substituted natural gas for coal, strong growth in renewable energy use, decreasing miles driven partly due to internet purchases along with changing attitudes as the generations shift, and ironically, that our winters have been much warmer in recent years. There has also been an increase in energy efficiency in recent times. Much of this progress has been in spite of efforts by Conservatives.

    Don’t be too impressed though. This is very much like a fat boy who’s very proud about losing ten pounds. Losing major amounts is unlikely and the tendency will be for it to bounce back

  82. Bill says:

    And some claim that fracking, by accessing gas heretofore unavailable has contributed to he natural gas supplies and thereby allowing more gas to be used in energy production in place of coal.

  83. Steve says:

    A) I most certainly did answer it, you just don’t like the answer.
    B) you just can’t accept real, proven, progress. The sky must fall! Or all your arguments become moot and Democrats would have nothing.

  84. Steve says:

    And, B sub 1)
    Well, the rest of the world certainly doesn’t seem to agree with your assessment. they are all angry the Trump doesn’t want to allow us to be used as their personal ATM machine!

  85. Rincon says:

    You’ve been listening to fake news. Get the facts. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/06/01/fact-checking-president-trumps-claims-on-the-paris-climate-change-deal/?utm_term=.78452f49bf82

    “I most certainly did answer it, you just don’t like the answer.” Of course I don’t like the answer. It was a yes or no question and you never said either. I clearly told you that I did not see an answer, yet instead of just pasting your answer or specifying which of your comments was your answer, you merely state that you answered the question. So here’s the predictable exchange: Did not! Did too! Did not! Did too… I finished with that garbage in grade school. Perhaps you could do so today. Try pasting or even better, clarifying.

  86. Steve says:

    “It was a yes or no question”
    No, it was not. you wanted it to be so your could “interpret” the devil out of it.

    NERA consultanting is not fake news. They are well respected economic consulting service with roots way back to the 1960’s

    Washpo is left leaning and their fact checker is part of their opinion page.
    For instance they insist on being selective in their choice of statistics. “per capita” is only one way to look at things, just so happens to support their opinion.

    As far as Trumps statements go, that wasn’t part of the post I made.
    Trump’s statements are always easily used to “debunk” the facts which are also specifically chosen here.
    Washpo is debunking Trump. They are not debunking NERA Economic Consulting.

    Here is the basis for the post I shared. Take note, Rincon, this is NOT a TRUMP issue.

  87. Rincon says:

    My question: Are you referring to yearly emission tests on cars and saying that these helped reduce CO2 emissions substantially? And you say that’s not a yes or no question? Amazing! You either were or were not. Quit yanking my chain. It’s hard enough to understand your sometimes vague writings. It’s infinitely harder when you won’t clearly answer a direct question. If you are wrong, you should want to know. If you are right, you shouldn’t be afraid to be specific and clear. Now, you’re afraid that I’ll “interpret” something that you should state in a crystal clear manner. It’s hard to “interpret” clear statements incorrectly. Try making them.

    You forgot the most pertinent piece of information regarding the veracity of NERA Consulting. Who paid for the study? This is a private business. They work for a customer, who may have paid handsomely for information that would support their position. The tobacco companies presented similar drek 30 years ago and I didn’t believe them either.

    Politifact called the following statement false: “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants,” Trump said. “So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement.” NERA’s words on the same subject: “The Obama-negotiated Accord imposes unrealistic targets on the U.S. for reducing our carbon emissions, while giving countries like China a free pass for years to come.” Sounds to me like NERA is saying the same thing as Trump, but is merely being less specific. Read the Politifact page. Makes NERA look bad. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jun/05/donald-trump/donald-trump-wrong-paris-accord-china-and-coal-pla/

    As for the Washington Post, show me where their fact checker was incorrect. If you feel they are selective, an intelligent person would present the missing information. Too hard to find? Dismissing them as fraudulent is unrealistic when you have zero evidence except for an opinion about media conspiracy.

  88. Steve says:

    It is not a yes or no question at all since I told you it was thrown in for some lightheartedness!

    Can’t you read? (Now THAT is a yes or no question!)

    AGAIN you use a TRUMP fact check to try and attack a NON TRUMP statement!
    Nevertheless, Politifact includes a portion of the NERA statement and the statement I shared here and clearly, Politifact states this is true.
    “Even the most cursory review of the text of the Paris Agreement discloses a careful, purposeful alternation between the mandatory ‘shall’ — indicating a binding obligation governed by international law — and the hortatory ‘should’ — nonbinding statements of strictly political intent without legal force,” Wirth wrote.” THIS is what made it possible for OBAMA to “agree” while not holding the USA to any agreement at all. The rest of the world, the media and even some of our own state leaders insist this “agreement” is to be followed to the letter and no other negotiation can be allowed….because it means MONEY for everyone ELSE!

    I told you about the Post’s selective use of statistics, again you simply choose to ignore it.

    IF, as you say:
    “The reason I made no comment regarding Obama’s action is that he wasn’t guaranteeing American participation in the first place; he was merely signaling support. It could not become law without Congress. The fact that Trump could reverse it so easily shows that it was a nonevent.”
    THEN Trump made the right choice.

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