To the editor:
There is never a dull moment with the letters to the editor on the Review-Journal Opinion page. I’ve been following the Cliven Bundy-Bureau of Land Management cattle situation. Here is a guy who is breaking the law, and the feds are coming at him full force. His crime? Letting his cattle graze on public land without paying grazing fees.
As we know, the federal government would tax the air that you breathe if it could, and it may someday. Local governments already tell you what you can and cannot do on your own private property. Permits, anyone?
Mr. Bundy is allowing his cattle on public lands, which you, he and I pay taxes toward. What I find amusing is that people writing in claim he is infringing on their land — land they have probably never seen except from the comfort of their couch on the news or in the Review-Journal. Others demand he pay back all the grazing fees he owes the feds for letting his cattle on public lands. Does anyone else see the irony here?
We have a president who has, against the law, delayed key components of his signature health care legislation more times then I care to remember. Not to mention the numerous exemptions he has given. What’s good for the majority isn’t necessarily good for the politically connected.
The president has also decided to be judge, jury and executioner to American citizens by using drones on people he doesn’t like. Not to say that Anwar Al-Awlaki was a good person, but he doesn’t deserve to be murdered (along with his 16-year-old son) before being afforded due process, which is guaranteed by our Constitution. If we can drop in and kill Osama bin Laden, we can drop in and capture Mr. Al-Awlaki and put him on trial.
I would think that I would hear much more uproar about these atrocities, but I guess people in the Las Vegas Valley are more concerned about a guy letting his cattle graze on public lands. Or maybe we are just willing to give up all of our rights to the ruling class. Why do we hold our citizens to a different standard than our elected officials? Ask yourself what is worse: execution by drone without due process, or private cattle grazing on public lands? I think our anger is misdirected.
Camping with cattle
To the editor:
In the April 10 Review-Journal, Mary Meyers begins a letter, “Reality check, people. Have you been to Gold Butte? Cliven Bundy’s grazing cattle are not starving out desert tortoises, nor are they trampling them. In fact, you have to look hard to even see a cow out there most times.” I have been to Gold Butte to camp and hike, and I have very different opinions.
At the Gold Butte town site, I pitch my tent under a giant Cat Claw bush, because that is the only place not littered with cow poop or broken glass, and I know the cows won’t bother me there. (I have a lot experience camping around cows.) As for the rarity of cattle, think about the numbers. Mr. Bundy’s original allotment for 500 cattle was 158,666 acres. That’s 317 acres per head. Is it surprising you don’t see a lot of them? The reason cattle need so much room is because there is so little for them to eat, and they consume everything they can find.
Mr. Bundy’s cattle now range over a much larger area. Cows tend to bunch out-of-sight during the hottest parts of the day — behind boulders, in washes, under trees and out of the sun when they can, making them all the more invisible. When they find a water source, they tend to trample it into a mixture of mud and dung. All of Gold Butte has just a few hundred natural grazers such as bighorn sheep, which are individually a lot smaller than cows. That’s about what the desert can support.
Cattle, turtles smarter
To the editor:
I’m not the smartest guy around, so maybe you can clear a few things up for me. You can start by explaining to me why the Bureau of Land Management is spending over $1 million to round up some cows in the middle of the desert. I’m told that the cows present some sort of danger to some turtles. Also, why are law enforcement officers throwing old ladies to the ground and assaulting pregnant women who are protesting this roundup? These must be some pretty important turtles.
This whole episode represents a much larger problem: our federal government and its complete inability to solve any problem, no matter how small, and its endless propensity to create new problems, no matter how stupid. This whole thing is ridiculous. Now we have militia groups from other states coming to the aid of the cow people to ensure that their rights are not violated by the turtle people.
May I suggest that the militias stay home, the BLM go back home, the cops stop beating the crazy old ladies and pregnant women, and the cows and turtles live together in harmony as they have done since the beginning of time? I trust the judgment of the cows and turtles far more than I trust the judgment of our federal government.