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Ranchers vs. Regulators: The Clark County Range War

Interviewing Cliven
photo: Will Grigg

War came to the Western Range that April, a conflict pitting the forces of order and respectability against a restive band of extremists accused of cheating the government of what it was due. The prohibitively stronger side consisted of regulatory agencies allied with powerful non-governmental organizations determined to control the land and expel small private interests who made productive use of it. The unyielding demands of the political elite were met with the unflinching defiance of rural ranchers, leading to talk of a “range war.”

Eventually the ranchers exhausted the patience of the government, which deployed dozens of heavily armed Regulators to the county under orders to put down the rebellion. This would mean arresting – or shooting – anybody who resisted. Rather than submitting, the rebels – with the support of the county sheriff and the aid of several veterans of the most recent war – mobilized to confront the threat. Citizens coalesced into a militia and rode out on horseback to confront the invaders at their staging area.

To the consternation of the government and the respectable media, the rebels held their ground, forcing the Regulators to retreat.
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Congress Investigates “Slush Fund” At USAID Used To Get Lawmakers To Pass Reforms

Usaidmoney

Our government has long seemed to be descending into a type of Orwellian universe of double speak. The Libyan War was not a war but a “time-limited, scope-limited military action” under Obama. Torture of detainees was not torture but “enhanced interrogation” under Bush. Now it appears open bribery of foreign officials is not bribery but “incentives” to implement policies favorable to their own people.

Congressional members are moving to address what is being called a “slush fund” with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where millions are paid to political figures in foreign countries. We have previously discussed such payments by the CIA to the openly corrupt Afghanistan government, including suitcases of cash to President Hamid Karzai. What is most interesting is that an act that is a federal crime for citizens doing business abroad can be not only legal but an official program by government officials. It appears that in the handshake shown on the USAID seal, there is often a sawbuck or two in the palm.

The USAID routinely makes “incentive” payments to lawmakers to pass legislation or enact policies through the world. Even policies that benefit their own people like granting rights to women or protecting the democratic process are secured by greasing the palms of corrupt officials. In doing so, the United States perpetuates the rampant corruption in these countries and enriches officials who will only act if it benefits them personally.
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CIA Terror Chief Pulls Rank in Kiev

Brennan

There could hardly be an American official more sinister than CIA director John Brennan, yet when his mysterious visit to Kiev at the weekend is exposed in various news media the White House responded with vacuous naiveté and as if Russia is foolishly over-reacting.

It is not without good reason that Brennan is known unofficially as Obama’s “assassination and torture tsar”. The 58-year-old spymaster is the embodiment of how Washington has itself become a secret, unaccountable government that has set itself above the law in the running of torture and assassination programs by presidential command. Brennan is the “éminence grise” of the White House’s covert world of state terrorism. 

Following disclosure of Brennan’s weekend visit to the Ukrainian capital, the White House was evidently caught on the back foot. The Oval Office made the somewhat unconvincing attempt to portray it as a perfunctory meeting between security officials. Well, if it was merely a routine itinerary then why was the fact of the meeting such a closely guarded secret – up until the matter was leaked by parliamentary sources in Kiev?

The timing of Brennan’s sojourn in Kiev comes at a crucial juncture. The unelected Western-backed junta in Kiev is threatening a violent crackdown on pro-Russian protesters in the east and south of the country…
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I'm Confused, Can Anyone Help Me?

I'm confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were 'pro-democracy protestors'.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these 'pro-democracy protestors' even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

Now, just a few weeks later, we're told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not'pro-democracy protestors' but 'terrorists' or 'militants'.
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Ron Paul On Bundy Ranch Showdown: Cautious Optimism

RPI Chairman Ron Paul gives his take on the recent stand-off at the Bundy Ranch to Fox News's Neil Cavuto. Dr. Paul is encouraged by people demonstrating against government unfairness. He says:
I'm hoping this is positive and a sign of things to come where the people stand up and object to the federal government's intrusion into our lives. And when people do get together and stand up I think governments will be forced to back down. But the other thing is, governments don't give up their power easily, and they may well come back with a lot more force like they did at Waco.

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Nevada: Early Lessons of Bunkerville

Bundy Protest

The rush and rapidity of events in Bunkerville, Nevada surprised and cheered many, and there is a lot to learn from this case.

It’s too soon to know the long-term impact of people standing up against armed federales last week, but here are some early takeaways.

Location matters.  This insurrection, brought on by federal government arrogance and greed, happened in part because people could get there, physically and intellectually.  Wide open rangeland (for hardy cattle and 100 year old turtles) physically and visually juxtaposed with the artificial stupidity of “free speech zones,” domesticated citizens penned in by red government tape, tell a story without words, history lessons, or politics.   The imagery brings to mind the words of one of my favorite heroes, “[T]he truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.”
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Another Phony Budget Debate

Anyone watching last week’s debate over the Republican budget resolution would have experienced déjà vu, as the debate bore a depressing similarity to those of previous years. Once again, the Republicans claimed their budget would cut spending in a responsible manner, while Democratic opponents claimed the plan’s spending cuts would shred the safety net and leave vital programs unfunded. Of course, neither claim is true.

The budget does not cut spending at all, and in fact actually increases spending by $1.5 trillion over ten years. The Republicans are using the old DC trick of spending less than originally planned and calling that reduced spending increase a $5.1 trillion cut in spending.
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Patriotism is The Platform of Fools

Ukraine Full 1024X535

A century ago, crowds in Paris were cheering, “on to Berlin!” Crowds in Berlin cried, “on to Paris.” World War I, the supreme example of nationalist/militaristic stupidity, was about to begin.

One hundred years later we hear cries across America to “get tough” with Moscow over fragmenting Ukraine. A dozen US F-16 fighters are being sent to the Baltic, a squadron of F-15’s to Poland, and a US warship to the Black Sea. In short, just enough to spark a war but certainly not enough to win one.

No one seems to have remembered – except Vlad Putin, of course – that the roughly 50,000 US troops and officials now based in Afghanistan are in large part at the mercy of Russia which controls their major supply and exit routes.

As the Ukraine crisis continues to build, it’s absolutely horrifying to recall that most of the American politicians and general public now lustily shouting “on to…where was it again?….oh yes….Kharkov” had no idea where Ukraine is, never mind Kharkov or Luhansk.
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Stephen Colbert’s Ron Paul Interviews

With the Thursday announcement that Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of the Late Show on CBS next year, it is a good time to look back at Colbert’s in-studio interviews of RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul. While humor-filled, the interviews gave Paul a great opportunity to introduce his views to the Colbert Report audience on Comedy Central.

Paul’s first interview on the Colbert Report, in 2007, starts with loud applause in reaction to Colbert announcing Paul’s “no” votes on the USA PATRIOT Act and Iraq war. Paul elaborates on his pro-liberties and pro-peace ideas...
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The Cliven Bundy Standoff: Wounded Knee Revisited?

Cliven Bundy

Following the War Between the States, as the formerly independent South was being re-assimilated into the Soyuz, the US military took up the task of driving the Plains Indians off of land that had been promised to them through solemn treaty obligations – but was now coveted by the corporatist railroad combine.

In 1867, William Sherman wrote a letter to General Grant insisting that “we are not going to let thieving, ragged Indians check and stop the progress” of the railroad. About a year earlier, Sherman had urged Grant to “act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children.” Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo points out that Sherman set out to make the Sioux “feel the superior power of the Government,” even if “the final solution to the Indian problem” required that they be physically annihilated.

Writing in Smithsonian magazine, historian Gilbert King observes that the post-war US military wasn’t adequate to carry out that ambitious campaign. General Philip Sheridan, who succeeded Sherman as Commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi, complained that he had only 14,000 troops with which to carry out “the reduction of these wild tribes and occupation of their country.”
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