To The Daily Sun,
Nevada Rancher Clive Bundy has become a "hero" and a "patriot" to many on the far right. In reality, he is neither. He is a lawbreaker with a "fringe" agenda.
Mr. Bundy is not in trouble for grazing his cattle on his own property. He is in trouble because for two decades, he refused to pay fees for grazing them on public land. Mr. Bundy does not recognize the right of the federal government to own and regulate land, but the Constitution does give it that right. It also has the right to ask for fees and fines if the fees are not paid. After all, it is public land that actually belongs to all of us.
Many ranchers have used public land for grazing and have had no problem complying with the law. But, Mr. Bundy decided to thumb his nose at the law and that is why authorities sought to confiscate his cattle. He has lost his cases in the federal court and has been given many opportunities to pay the fees.
People who ignore court decisions and the law often face sanctions. Mr. Bundy's case is no different. It is really no different than if I go camping in a national park and have to pay a camping fee. That is quite reasonable. Do I have a right to demand that the park rangers give me a campsite for free at the point of a gun? I don't think so.
The "militia" members who showed up to intimidate law enforcement are also lawbreakers. The Constitution does speak of militias, but our Founders envisioned a "well-regulated" militia. A well-regulated militia is one that is established lawfully, is subject to a legitimate chain of command, and is subject to legitimate civilian authority including a state governor and ultimately, if called into national service, the President of the United States. Today, we call these state militias National Guards.
A well-regulated militia is not a bunch of extremist adults that never got over "playing army" as kids who run around with weapons threatening law enforcement. While many of these "militia" groups (and other extreme conservatives) accuse the president (or anyone else with whom they disagree) of "treason," groups that arm themselves to fight a legitimate government are coming mighty close to the Constitutional definition of treason themselves.
Is armed insurrection ever justified? Perhaps it is in countries where people have no legal, legitimate, and non-violent avenue for change. But, in the USA, we can still vote and our courts are still operational. There are still plenty of non-violent alternatives to affect change in our country. Even in America, civil disobedience is sometimes justified, but never violent insurrection. In Mr. Bundy's case, he is not challenging an unjust law but a reasonable one that most comply with.
Mr. Bundy's supporters are calling this a victory and gloating that the authorities "backed down." No, they did not back down. They should be praised for exercising restraint in a potentially violent situation.
The last thing anyone wants is for Mr. Bundy or his supporters to become martyrs of the far right. At the proper time and place, when his "militia" supporters are not around, he will be arrested for his actions along with others who participated in this standoff and have his day in court. The courts will give Mr. Bundy and his supporters due process even though they do not recognize the legitimacy of the courts.
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
Just a couple things you may have missed in the so-called news from the lame stream. Forty thousand union jobs have gone wanting because liberal multibillionaire Tom Styer of California has offered the Democratic Party $100 million to block the Keystone Pipeline. Environmentalist? Maybe. But it's reported Styer will lose money if Keystone is built. Either way it looks to me like the Dems have been bought off.
On Friday the White House announced that President Obama will order the release from prison of 100,000 convicted drug dealers. That should do wonders for cities like Chicago which suffered over 60 shootings, including 13 deaths, over the past two weekends. Most were attributed to drug gangs. Yup, Obama is really helping the poor and minorities. Question is helping them do what?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 10:06
To The Daily Sun,
Recent events in Kyiv, Ukraine, which led to the overthrow of the corrupt, puppet Yanukovych regime, by Ukrainians seeking to liberate themselves from hundreds of years of Russian control and domination, caused Vladimir Putin to respond in a very disturbing but predictable way. Putin seized Ukrainian sovereign territory in Crimea, its ships, and state properties despite Russia signing a treaty in 1994 guaranteeing Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine surrendering their nuclear weapons. The seizure was done under an absurd pretext and Russia threatens further seizures of Ukraine, Moldova and potentially others. Putin's actions reveal some troubling insights to a somewhat gullible free world, namely:
1. Putin and Russia's current regime is a criminal enterprise; how else would you characterize a thug who enters your home, steals your property and decides to stay — for your protection. They violated a sanctioned treaty they had signed, which demonstrates they cannot be trusted. They will lie, cheat and steal in order to get what they want.
2. "Peace through strength" is the only way for the free world to protect itself from Putin and other aggressors. Every free world nation, no matter how large or small, must be prepared to defend itself until reinforced by other freedom loving nations. Spending 2-3 percent of a nation's GDP on defense because you're relying on someone else to defend you is totally unacceptable. Unless all free world nations are prepared to spend a minimum of 10-15 percent of their GDP on defense, they are not serious about protecting their liberties.
3. The United Nations has outlived its usefulness. The few useful programs conducted under the auspices of the UN can easily continue as separate agencies. If a world body, such as the UN, cannot act effectively against one of its key members because of the veto potential by that same key member, what good is it? The League of Nations was disbanded between WWI and WWII because it was determined to be ineffective. It is time for the UN to be replaced with a new world body. Membership should be based on common beliefs in human rights, individual freedoms and liberties that are God-given to all human beings and nations. Member nations would have to meet certain prerequisites. Such criteria may exclude half of the nations in today's UN, including China and Russia. The priority should be individual freedoms and liberties not a façade of global consensus.
4. The U.S. has been the leader of the free world for the past 70+ years. As Americans, we truly have been blessed and we have a duty to fulfill our responsibility as the leader of the free world. We did not choose that destiny, but we have it. Withdrawing from the world stage, as some would like, is not an option for America, especially today when there is no other nation on earth that can be that leader. Without America's strong leadership, the unintended consequences for the free world will be disastrous.
5. NATO membership may not be the best long-term solution for Eastern European nations. These nations may want to form a separate Eastern European Defense Alliance, in which all member nations would support each other militarily and economically against any potential aggressors. Countries of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia could form the core of such an alliance and it may even be regarded by NATO countries and Russia as a positive development. Some of the possible members of this new alliance may include, but should not be limited to, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Georgia and others.
There is no doubt that we live in a very dangerous world. But, it has always been a dangerous world; evil has always existed and will continue to exist. I believe, good will prevail if the good are not paralyzed by fear, act decisively, and support each other. I pray for the leaders of old who refused to be paralyzed by fear and acted on the ideals and principles that we all cherish. I pray that our country is blessed again with another FDR, Jack Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. Time is running out; we are in desperate need.
Bo J. Rudzinskyj, LTC, U.S. Army (Retired)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 10:02
To The Daily Sun,
New England states are in a give-and-take energy policy mode. Massachusetts wants to provide northern states with a natural gas flow, and in return, Massachusetts want more renewable energy: like Northern Pass and Wind Energy.
Many Northern New England states have a real interest in growing out their gas pipeline infrastructure coming from Massachusetts. And in return Massachusetts wants a large-scale renewable energy source. In other words: transmission lines from the north and a pipeline coming from the south.
Energy goals are in play and all New England governors are negotiating with one another. From Gov. Deval Patrick's discussions with Quebec on Northern Pass, to discussions with Gov. Maggie Hassan on wind energy. Much of their talk will be surrounded around the constraints of our infrastructure system in New Hampshire. In layman's terms: 1) Our lines are fine for our current use; 2) The constraints come from additional power being added to those lines going to southern states.
Millions of dollars are at stake and each New England governor wants his or her fair share. Don't get confused and don't throw your common sense way of thinking out the window. It's a money-grab situation.
The million dollar question that remains is: Why are New Hampshire residents paying for any of this? We are nothing but a pass-through state.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Earle's latest rant includes such whoppers as "Liberals control much, if not most of the media. Liberals want liberal politicians elected."
His view of reality, which is not based on fact (maybe based on little voices in the bubble or on loud-mouthed shysters on talk radio) seems to be that even if a huge voting bloc subjugates, abuses, tortures, murders women, gays, blacks and commits terrible acts of violence and terrorism around the world, it's overlooked because they "vote the right way, for Democratic liberal progressive candidates." No other reason, none at all." Rant, rinse, and repeat.
Mr. Earle really, really, needs to do some basic research on just who owns most of the U.S. media outlets; whether they be TV or Radio or Newspapers. But I suppose that might be inconvenient for him, or might turn up facts that don't agree with his pre-determined view of reality. In fact, most all of those media outlets are owned and controlled by conservative individuals or corporations, often very conservative ones.
Research, research and more research Mr. Earle. Even first year college students are required to do research and provide fact-based evidence — not just lazily use made-up prejudices — for what they write for their courses.
Mignon McLaughlin said: "It is the most unhappy people who most fear change." Or as Robert Kennedy said, "Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies." Maybe it's just been a long winter and sunshine and warm weather might brighten Mr. Earle's moods.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:06