Lawline Online Course: A field Manual for Involuntary Bankruptcies - Thursday, 11/5/2020 at 3:00pm EST
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Cliven Bundy would like folks to think he’s a big, tough, independent cowboy being run off his land by the Federales. Ain’t so.
Clive Bundy was sued by our country for using our national park to graze his cattle without permission or paying for it. He was sued in May 2012, had the wisdom to represent himself, claimed that the land didn’t belong to the U.S. (yeah, us), and lost that lawsuit, fair and square, in July 2013. He appealed the order directing him to move his herd off those lands, or to have the U.S. do it for him. The appeal was dismissed on January 30, 2014.
The U.S. holds the land Bundy trespassed on in trust for all of us. There is no genuine question that Nevada’s public lands belong to the U.S. since they were ceded by Mexico in 1848. So, why does Clive think he can graze his cattle on U.S. land without the U.S.’s permission, or paying the U.S. for it after losing the fight fair and square? I’ve got to pay the entry fee to enter a national park and can be arrested if I don’t. Eating at a national park ain’t cheap either. Clive’s either lying to himself or chewing on something that doesn’t come in a Copenhagen tin.
If the U.S. parked a herd on Clive’s private land, you bet he’d yell “trespass” and demand payment. If he put a cow or two in your yard or my yard, without permission, you bet we’d call the cops. Clive thinks he can get away with it because the land doesn’t belong to you or me. It belongs to the U.S.
His trespassing on U.S. property without payment is thievery. How’d he get his neighbors to defend him? They should just volunteer their lands and leave the U.S. alone. They probably don’t want the U.S. giving food stamps to poor folks, but feeding Clive’s cattle for free seems okay.
The Cowboy Commandments say, “If it ain’t yours, don’t take it.” Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code mandates that a cowboy respect his nation’s laws, be a patriot and be clean in deed. Many parts of the Code of the West prohibit using other people’s property: Never wear another’s hat. Never ride another’s horse.
So, Clive’s broke the spine of the cowboy way. He’s no hero. He’s an embarrassment to everyone whoever is, was, or wanted to be a cowboy. Clive Bundy’s no cowboy. He’s a ganif (crook) in chaps.
Regards y’all. Stay in touch.
(WG cowboyed briefly, and some still consider him a cowboy.)