Bundy is no hero

EDITOR: Cliven Bundy, recently lionized in The Towanda Daily Review Letters to the Editor by Craig Pierce (4/18/14) and Sarah Scholl (4/22/14), is a Nevada cattle rancher who has had a two-decade battle with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over unpaid fees in excess of $1 million for grazing his cattle on federal pasture lands. Bundy has lost multiple court cases regarding his grazing claims.

Bundy is deluded because he claims that he follows all Nevada state laws, but doesn't "recognize the United States government as even existing." Yet, the Nevada state constitution, framed during the Civil War, includes the Paramount Allegiance clause granting that the federal government may use armed force to compel obedience to its laws. His proclivity of waving a large United States flag while on horseback is also at odds with his non-recognition of the U.S. government.

Bundy is a thief because he refuses to pay grazing fees that are 3 percent of what they are on private land, and according to a Salt Lake City Tribune editorial on April 15, "Some 20,000 ranchers in Western states abide by BLM regulations, so what makes Bundy special?" He is essentially a cattle rancher who couldn't survive without help from the federal government. Regardless, he disavows their existence.

Bundy is reckless because, in mid-April, he incited similarly deluded armed supporters to confront federal agents who were legally attempting to impound Bundy's cattle that were illegally grazing on BLM land. During the confrontation, Bundy allowed women and children to be positioned as shields to protect him and his brave supporters. BLM agents ceased actions to avoid any casualties over cattle.

Bundy recently criticized blacks who are on welfare and claimed that they were better off as slaves. Senator Dean Heller (R, Nevada) who originally called Bundy a patriot has said that "he completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy's appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way." Fox News, initially supporting Bundy, was eerily silent on the matter after his racist rantings and support of slavery.

Bundy is no hero. He has allowed women and children to be put in harm's way to protect his thievery and delusions. As Senate majority leader Harry Reid said, Bundy and his supporters are "domestic violent terrorist-wannabes." They claim to be patriots but instead prefer to steal grazing rights, spout insane incoherent rationalizations and, when confronted, hide behind women, children, and the flag of the federal government. Bundy is a reckless deluded thief.

John Ferri

Towanda