Tag Archives: Michele Fiore

They’re Back! Ladies vie for Official Nevada Embarrassment Title

Angle 2016

Just in time for political silly season in Nevada! Sharron Angle, Our Lady of Perpetual Campaigning, is pleased to tell one and all in 8 minutes and 41 seconds, how she’d be a great candidate for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat.

Perhaps we can get a repeat performance of some of Angle’s classics:

“You know what I’m talking about. You’re paying for things that you don’t even need. They just passed the latest one, is everything that they want to throw at us now is covered under ‘autism.’ So, that’s a mandate that you have to pay for. How about maternity leave? I’m not going to have any more babies, but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things that we want to get rid of.” –Sharron Angle, mocking the notion that health care coverage for autism treatment and maternity leave should be mandated, 2009 Tea Party rally”  [Phumor]

Or this:

They [Republicans] say, ‘You’re too conservative.’ Was Thomas Jefferson too conservative? I’m tired of some people calling me wacky.” –Sharron Angle, March 21, 2010”  [Phumor]  Maybe if she’d stop saying wacky things people might not comment on it?

Fiore Mag

If this isn’t enough fun – welcome back Michele Fiore, the Bundy Babe from southern Nevada.  There’s always her classic comment about guns on campus: “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them,” she told the New York Times. “The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.” [WaPo]  Nice, for a candidate from Congressional District 3? [h/t Crooks and Liars]

Who’s the best qualified as the Official Embarrassment of the Silver State?

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Filed under Angle, Gun Issues, Nevada news, Nevada politics

The Something For Nothing Crowd in the Nevada Assembly

Nevada Legislature And Nevada’s Assembled Wisdom totters on:

“Remember what happened yesterday. Just after the Senate’s grandiose SB 252 floor vote, the Assembly devolved into pure “TEA” powered madness with constant recesses, shouting matches over those recesses, a floor fight over blatantly unconstitutional bill language, mind-numbing flip-flopping over outrageously discriminatory legislation, and an epic freakout over online sales tax. Are you scared yet? Ralston and others clearly are.” [LTN]

Why are we not surprised?  The bill now goes to the Assembly, in which the ideologically pure (sort of) and constitutionally correct (rarely) will have a whack at the funding for Governor Sandoval’s budget.

“The scariest prospect is that with a third of the session left, the biggest issue before the state has been left in the hands of a body populated by some GOP members who don’t understand policy, who don’t live on the same planet the rest of us do and who are the most embarrassing legislators the state has ever seen.” [Ralston/RGJ]

For those keeping score, Steve Sebelius provided a handy list of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the almost comprehensible measures before said Assembled Wisdom this season. It’s a handy reference.  … Which gets us to the Something For Nothing Crowd.

Consider this release from the Assembly Policy Committee, and its spokesperson Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-Bundyville):

“With all due respect, much of the governor’s proposal is based on the mistaken idea that the way to fix public education in Nevada is to pump more taxpayer dollars into the existing failed system rather than dramatically reforming that system and providing far more school choice to Nevada parents, including the financial assistance necessary to exercise that choice for low-to-moderate income families.

“That said, the unemployment rate in Nevada remains, as Bill Anderson of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation put it last week, ‘stubbornly high’ at 7.1 percent.  As such, the last thing the Legislature should be doing is taking money out of the private sector, where it’s needed to create jobs, and transferring it to the public sector so that government can continue to spend beyond its means.

“Conservatives in the Nevada State Assembly cannot and will not support  SB252 as passed out of the Senate today.”

Let us Parse. First, nothing good ever happens after someone begins with “with all due respect.”  Thence to the heart of the matter – the old privatization refrain, which goes back to the 1874 Kalamazoo Case.

“Kalamazoo Union High School, which many believed to be a necessity for bridging the gap from common school to university, operated with some minor opposition, until 1873. In January of that year, three prominent Kalamazoo property owners filed a suit intended to prevent the school board from funding the high school with tax money. They argued that the 1859 state law had been violated when the high school was established without a vote of the taxpayers. Charles E. Stuart, a former United States Senator from Michigan, along with Theodore P. Sheldon and Henry Brees, initiated the suit. At the time, it was believed to be a “friendly” suit intended to settle the issue legally in favor of the school. However, Stuart’s comments to the Kalamazoo Board of Education years after the suit had been settled, suggest that he and his companions sincerely resented the tax burden that the public high school placed on them. Stuart, like many others of his time, believed that a common school education was sufficient for anyone, and anything beyond that should be paid for privately.” [KPL]

The School Board prevailed in the 1874 litigation, and thus we have public funding for education k-12. [MLive]  The fact that if a school board is charged with administering a k-12 system then it must have the funding to do so raises the second portion of the argument – the part concerning the level of that financial support.

Enter the Something For Nothing Crowd.  What else explains the phrase: “fix public education in Nevada is to pump more taxpayer dollars into the existing failed system rather than dramatically reforming…?” This statement assumes (1) the current level of funding is adequate, or perhaps less is necessary; (2) the schools are failing with the present level of funding and therefore no additional funding is desireable; and, (3) the system needs to be “fixed.”

None of these assumptions can be asserted without challenge.  The first problem is the general issue of the Disappearing Dollars often cited by conservatives. The notion of “pumping in” dollars infers that the dollars are a measure of educational support in themselves.  The concept is a great leap to a highly ideologically framed conclusion.  No. money doesn’t solve educational issues but it does purchase: The services of highly qualified personnel, specialists, aides and assistants, and administrators; school physical facilities, books, libraries, equipment, supplies, etc. 

It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Something For Nothing Crowd is channeling the spirit of Charles E. Stuart from the 19th century – if a family wants a better education for their children they should pay for it themselves.  Witness: “dramatically reforming that system and providing far more school choice to Nevada parents, including the financial assistance necessary to exercise that choice for low-to-moderate income families.”   The translation is fairly simple.  School choice equates to a voucher system for attendance at private schools. and “far more schools” usually equates to the establishment of private charter operations.

We’ve touched on the rationales for this thinking before:

“The K-12 schools are “failing” and therefore we should augment the resources for privatization in the form of charter or private schools.  This contention is most often wrapped in “parental choice” camouflage covering.  That the proposed choice doesn’t exist in many rural communities, or that the proposed choice is extremely limited in urban ones, doesn’t enter into the discussion often enough.  Nor is it observed often enough that school voucher programs are a way to siphon off public funds for public schools and channel the money to private ones. [DB 2012]

In addition to the questionable rational for the conservative philosophy as it pertains to public education, there’s the problem of educational standards. What’s “failing?”

The most common measurement of “educational attainment” and the one most often cited by conservatives is standardized test scores.  Standardized testing has its uses.  However, placing them at the center of the argument is to risk overemphasizing their usefulness:

“We can stipulate that most tests manufactured for use in public schools by major publishing houses are statistically reliable and generally statistically valid. What we cannot say with any statistical certainty is whether or not we are measuring what we value in public education.” [DB 2011]

We appear “not to test well” and there may be some valid reasons for that, such as the generally low salaries for teachers, “Teacher salaries have a huge impact when it comes to attracting good instructors. The innovative, smart, highly skilled people you want teaching your kids aren’t exactly in love with the idea of making $38,000 per year (the average for first-year high school teachers) when they could go somewhere else and earn more while doing less.” [ABC]

Or perhaps we should place greater emphasis on early childhood education: “

The OECD found in a separate study that 15-year-olds who had attended at least a year of preschool performed better on reading tests than kids who had not, even when socioeconomic factors were taken into account.  The U.S. spends more on preschool than other countries but money doesn’t do any good unless kids are enrolled, and the U.S. lags on that measure.” [ABC]

The ASCD offers an enlightening summation:

“For several important reasons, standardized achievement tests should not be used to judge the quality of education. The overarching reason that students’ scores on these tests do not provide an accurate index of educational effectiveness is that any inference about educational quality made on the basis of students’ standardized achievement test performances is apt to be invalid.

Employing standardized achievement tests to ascertain educational quality is like measuring temperature with a tablespoon. Tablespoons have a different measurement mission than indicating how hot or cold something is. Standardized achievement tests have a different measurement mission than indicating how good or bad a school is. Standardized achievement tests should be used to make the comparative interpretations that they were intended to provide. They should not be used to judge educational quality.”

Even if we do apply standardized test score to measure “temperature with a tablespoon” there’s no guarantee that the privatized or charter schools will achieve better results.

Researchers at Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes looked at test data from charter schools in 26 states and the District and found that 25 percent of charters outperformed traditional public schools in reading while 29 percent of charters delivered stronger results in math. That marked an improvement over a similar 2009 study by the same research team.

But 56 percent of the charters produced no significant difference in reading and 19 percent had worse results than traditional public schools. In math, 40 percent produced no significant difference and 31 percent were significantly worse than regular public schools. [WaPo]

So, we have the Something For Nothing Crowd in the Nevada Assembly decrying the essence of the Governor’s budget for education with all the old clichés from time gone by, and the tautological statement that if an underfunded school is failing the way to make it better is to further cut its funding.

We can only hope that after the tempers, the tantrums, the protestations, the gnashing of teeth, and the rending of cloth the membership of the Nevada Assembly will manage some form of civility and citizenship, and recognize another time honored statement – You Get What You Pay For.

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Filed under education, nevada education, nevada taxation, Sandoval

The Bundy Boys Join the Circus

AB 408

Remember the Bundy Boys?  Wonkette hasn’t forgotten the Fiore Forays into governmental mismanagement, nor have too many other people.  Now, the flags are flying again, for Freedumb!, in the form of AB 408, a singularly silly bill put forth by the usual group of Tea Partying Fanatics: Assemblywomen Fiore, Dooling, Shelton, Titus, and Seaman. Yes, it’s Ladies’ Day for AB 408, with some fellows tossed in as co-sponsors.  The ladies would like to kick the Feds out of Nevada:

“AN ACT relating to public lands; prohibiting the Federal Government from owning or regulating certain public lands or the right to use public waters; requiring the State Land Registrar to adopt regulations that provide for the appropriation and registration of grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial use rights on public lands; requiring the State Land Registrar to sell permits for grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial uses on public lands for which such rights are not registered and appropriated; requiring the board of county commissioners of each county to impose a tax on profits from the beneficial use of public lands;…”

Translation: Any rancher who doesn’t want to pay grazing fees for the use of public lands doesn’t have to.  And, we can go one step further – any mining company or logging enterprise can have the State Land Registrar sell off Nevada’s minerals and timber resources at will.  It’s privatization, as they say, on steroids.

What the Tea Bag Biddies seem to have forgotten is that there are other people using those lands too – not just the likes of Cliven “I want to tell you one more thing I know about The Negro” Bundy – and they aren’t hikers and tree huggers, they’re other ranchers.   If the Bundy ilk are allowed to over-graze range lands the land isn’t just Bundy’s problem, it becomes a problem for other ranching operations in the area which might want to use the land eventually.  This isn’t the only thing the Tea Bag Biddies seem to have overlooked.

There is more to BLM land management operations than protecting wildlife, there’s the part wherein the BLM is involved with wildland fire fighting, fuel mitigation, and related issues; combined with programs to manage energy resources, communication right of way and access, and hunting and fishing access.  Then, there’s that pesky bit of Constitutional History, in the act admitting Nevada into statehood:

“Third. That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; …..”

So, the terms of AB 408 are ultimately selfish, deliberately narrow, and most probably unconstitutional – and Ammon Bundy, litigant in a relatively new phony lawsuit against the Feds, is gathering support from the Tea Bag Biddies in the Legislature. [LTN]  And, they’ll be hoping for some company. Company who share the Bundy fictional version of the country:

“The natural resources of America are being stolen from the people and claimed by the federal government. Everything we eat, wear, live in, use and so on comes from the earth. If we lose access to the land and natural resources we become beggars to those who control access. Without doubt this is the greatest immediate threat to the individual person and people as a whole. More lives, liberties and property can be taken under this threat than any other we see.”  [RReport]

No statement could make it more abundantly evident that the Bundy Brigade sees itself as separate from the other 320,000,000 people in this country.  For all the blathering about Constitutional-ism, the Brigade appears to have forgotten the first words of the hallowed document: We the people of the United States, on Order to form a more perfect Union…”  We the people form the government. Not “we the Bundys.”  A rough translation of Bundy-ism might be: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too.

And lest we forget, it was this same general philosophy which attracted support from the two Bundy-ites who killed Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, in Las Vegas, NV in June 2014. 

The bill will get its hearing, and should get nothing more. 

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Filed under Constitution, Hate Crimes, Interior Department, Nevada, Nevada legislature, Nevada politics, public lands, Rural Nevada

The Great Nevada Bundy Babe Battle

Fiore

Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-LV4) will chair the Assembly Taxation Committee?  Sometime before the February 2nd opening of the Assembled Wisdom, Nevada Republicans need to get the clown car in operating condition.  Part of the reclamation project seems to be to explain the part where a person with tax liens gets to head a Taxation Committee.  She’s heading the Taxation Committee? She’s not heading the Taxation Committee? She’s not heading the Taxation Committee because there’s a GOP war on Women? She is heading the Taxation Committee because there’s no war on women, or she is heading the Taxation Committee because she can explain the tax liens? [Ralston]  [RGJ]

Those tax liens aren’t piddling, they add up to more than $1 million [[RGJ]  And, yes, she’s explained that an embezzling employee is at the root of the unfortunate matter – and there will be consequences (unspecified) — [CO] A list of the liens and release dates can be located here.  Scroll down and there’s another list of liens, some of which have not been released.  The Assemblywoman’s assertion that she is ‘all clear’ with the IRS indicates she might not be quite so entrenched as her compatriot Cliven Bundy in the Don’t Pay Taxes To the Occupying Government bunker — At least not so much as to Go Down Waving The Gadsden Flag before the almighty Government image she’d prefer during engagements with the Nevada GOP/Tea Party?

Fiore describes herself as a ‘health care industry CEO,’ of “Always There Personal Care,” and as manager/managing member of “Always There 4U LLC”, she’s also listed as once associated with Stage Left Productions LLC (now dissolved), and Galactic Pictures Corporation (permanently revoked). [NVSoS] Always There 4U LLC is listed five times in the Department of Health’s notices of investigations for deficiencies (2009-2014), and Always There Personal Care was the subject of two. [NSDH] Most were resolved without further action by the state agency.  Fiore may believe herself to be beleaguered by government red tape, but the record indicates she’s had relatively few and usually mild encounters with state regulatory agencies.

While her “anti-government” protestations may resonate weakly in terms of her actual business experiences, her propensity for “saying bad words” could push her into the Ira Hansen wing of racially repugnant Republicans, in the wake of the Bundy Battle her words were almost pure Limbaugh:

“At the station, Fiore continues her attacks on BLM agents, whom she called “Nazi-minded” bullies. During a commercial break, she criticizes government leaders for dividing America by race and political party. She uses Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford as an example, saying Horsford was the first person to accuse Bundy of being a racist on Twitter, while Horsford’s wife, an education scholar at UNLV, promotes the “negro student of America” in her writing.

“You talk about a racist household,” Fiore says later. “What if I went and printed an article saying the ‘white woman student of America.’ What would happen? I mean, we have Black Entertainment Television. What would happen if we started White Chick TV? Are you kidding me?” [LVSun]

Attempting to play the role of victim in a society beset with white privilege usually isn’t successful.  However, it may play well with the 16-18%:

“Overall, 79 percent of Americans in the poll said “racism is still a problem in American life,” while only 16 percent said it was not. Among white Americans, 77 percent said racism is a problem, with 18 percent saying it is not. In fact, 57 percent of Americans, including 58 percent of white Americans, said they know someone who is racist.” [HuffPo]

At any rate, the Nevada Republican Party members in the statehouse have until February 2nd to figure their messy leadership problems out, and more Nevadans will have time to calculate the damage some of these people can do before the 2016 general election.

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Filed under Nevada politics, Politics

Post Hansen Kerfuffle in Nevada Legislature

Hansen Sometimes it’s your friends.  In the case of Assemblyman Ira Hansen (R-NV32) it’s friends and some relatives. 

“John Wagner, the chairman of Nevada Independent American Party, which was founded by Ira Hansen’s father, Daniel Hansen, defended Ira Hansen Sunday and said he should not resign the speakership.  Wagner defended Hansen for a column the assemblyman wrote about civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“King’s private life was trashy at best,” Hansen wrote in a column for the Tribune. “King Jr. is as low as it gets, a hypocrite, a liar, a phony, and a fraud.” That does not make Hansen a racist, Wagner said.  “And I suppose if you criticize Jessie Jackson or if you criticize Al Sharpton, does that make you a racist today?” Wagner said.”  [RGJ]

Since when?  Let’s not conflate racism with ideological differences. Racism has a clear definition: “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”    It’s entirely possible to criticize Reverend Jackson, or Reverend Sharpton without reference to their “innate inferiority,”  However, it’s impossible to dodge the racism inherent in the acceptance of the smear campaign to discredit Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and to discredit the modern civil rights movement as an attack on white supremacy.

“The problem is that racism isn’t reducible to “different treatment.” Since if it is, measures to ameliorate racial inequality—like the Voting Rights Act—would be as “racist” as the policies that necessitated them. No, racism is better understood as white supremacy—anything that furthers a broad hierarchy of racist inequity, where whites possess the greatest share of power, respect, and resources, and blacks the least.” [Slate]

The expression of this concept is illustrated by Assemblyman Hansen in one of his columns:

“He wrote that African-Americans are insufficiently grateful for being given their freedom: “The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.” [NNR]

Lack of gratitude?  Deliberate ignoring?  How might that “gratitude” be expressed in a manner which would please Mr. Hansen?  Should it be that African Americans would “know their place” and remain ‘gratefully’ in it all the while thanking the White Masters for the ‘privilege’ of being human? Racism doesn’t get more blatant than in Mr. Hansen’s expression.  Assemblyman Hansen seems not to have traveled too far from his roots, from the Nevada Independent American Party, founded by his father, and recently adopted by none other than outlaw rancher Cliven Bundy. [Fox]

If the Nevada Republican Party leadership is uncomfortable with having a blatant racist in the Assembly speaker’s chair – who might be available?

Names such as Michele “Pistol Packing Mama” Fiore, of the Bundy Ranch Epic have emerged, along with those of Paul Anderson,  John Hambrick, and  Wes Duncan. [RGJ]

Fiore may be just a little too close to the Bundy Ranch business, which leads to thoughts of Cliven Bundy explaining why African Americans were better off as slaves, which leads the Nevada GOP right back to where it started with Assemblyman Hansen’s “ungrateful” scoundrels who won’t apologize for the modern civil rights movement.

Hambrick is a lesser known member of the Assembly representing District 2 (Summerlin) in Carson City.  His major contributors are the gaming industry, including the Sands, real estate interests and general contractors. [InfExp]  During the 2013 legislative session he was one of the co-sponsors of SB 520, section 14 of which provided criminal and civil immunity for a person who does not request a background check for a firearm sale – for “any act or omission that was taken in good faith and without malicious intent.”  AB 373, also sponsored by Hambrick, established a tax credit for donations to a school tuition organization (BDR 34-716).  In short, Hambrick has been a loyal, gun supporting, contractor supporting, private school supporting, and vote suppression supporting Republican regular.

Wesley Duncan, has proposed amending the state constitution to allow voucher schools, enacting the “Nevada Preservation of Religious Freedom Act,” and enacting SB 378 from the last session, the Nevada Liberty Preservation Act.  This last item comes from the Right Wing Fever Swamp which at one point was Outraged! about two sections of the National Defense Authorization Act which allowed for the capture and detention of terrorists. The radical right was convinced the Obama Administration was about to round up the citizenry and open the detention camps. 

Assemblyman Paul Anderson has wanted the speakership before, and still wants it now.   He, too packs his NRA credentials on his sleeve, signing on to the Assembly support for SB 223AN ACT relating to concealed firearms; authorizing employees of the Nevada System of Higher Education or a private or public school who hold permits to carry concealed firearms to carry concealed firearms on school property under certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.”  As if what we need are more guns on more school campuses.  He, too, is a school privatization advocate.

The trick for the Assembly Republicans will be to find a speaker who doesn’t have a history of Fever Swamp Activity, who will be amenable to the ALEC program of corporate support, and who can convince the leadership that he or she won’t prove to be too big an embarrassment?

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Filed under Nevada legislature, Nevada politics, Politics, racism

Enough Sovereign Citizens: Las Vegas Plot 2013 to Bundy 2014

Bundy 2In August 2013 two ‘sovereign citizens’ in Las Vegas, NV planned to capture and then execute a Las Vegas police officer.  The idea was to kidnap an officer at random, “try” him or her in a makeshift court packed with fellow ‘sovereign citizens’ and then kill the unfortunate law enforcement officer.  Their lovely mug shots are available here.

David Allan Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67 were to be arraigned on October 8, 2013 after Brutsche tried to persuade the court that he could represent himself.  Newman was to be assisted by a public defender. [LVRJ]  Instead of facing a trial, Newman, who had no prior criminal record, took a plea deal. [Mail AP]  Later  Brutsche also accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a felony conspiracy charge, getting a five year probation deal with orders to stay away from any connections to the Sovereign Citizens movement. He remained in jail as of April 13, 2014 because of his failure to register as a sex offender. [LVWN]

In short, Las Vegas law enforcement is all too aware of the Sovereign Citizens, and the kinds of people who become involved.  They are probably not  likely to see other adherents of Cliven Bundy’s philosophy as ‘boy scouts and grandmothers.’ [Heller/Roll Call]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also aware of them, and aware of the danger they pose:

“Since 2000, lone-offender sovereign-citizen extremists have killed six law enforcement officers. In 2010, two Arkansas police officers stopped sovereign-citizen extremists Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son Joseph during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40. Joseph Kane jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle, killing both officers.” [FBI 2011]

Was Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) using hyperbole when he described the Bundy mob as “domestic terrorists?  Not unless the FBI is applying hyperbole as well:

The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing. Sovereign citizens do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia, although they sometimes use or buy illegal weapons. Rather, they operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to train, help each other with paperwork, or socialize and talk about their ideology. They may refer to themselves as “constitutionalists” or “freemen,” which is not necessarily a connection to a specific group, but, rather, an indication that they are free from government control. They follow their own set of laws. While the philosophies and conspiracy theories can vary from person to person, their core beliefs are the same: The government operates outside of its jurisdiction. Because of this belief, they do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies, or regulations.” [FBI bulletin 9/2011]  (emphasis added)

What were Cliven Bundy’s words? “His personal grievance with federal authority doesn’t stop with the BLM, though. “I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada,” Bundy said in a radio interview last Thursday. “I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.” [Atlantic]  In this instance there’s a bit of nuance in Bundy’s philosophy — he does recognize county and state government, just not the federal one. Evidently, he’s not quite the constitutionalist he’d like to be, since he missed Article I, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution.  That’s the part which begins with:

“All political power is inherent in the people[.] Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers…”

As the FBI advised, these Sovereign Citizens have varying philosophies and conspiracy theories,  and Mr. Bundy’s appears to be a variation on a common theme — government doesn’t have jurisdiction over my activities — in his case it’s the federal government.

And who joined him in his “protest?” The Oath Keepers were front and center.  The FBI has been watching this and other groups which seek to attract members of the military and veterans, as set forth in a July 2008 report. (pdf)  The level of paranoia in the Oath Keeper’s 10 Rules is clear, if not absolutely blatant.   Justine Sharrock’s April 2010 article for Mother Jones should be required reading for anyone who wants an in-depth look at the Oath Keeper’s disturbing and perhaps invidious philosophy.

So, on April 12, 2014 Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) made this request to the Bundy followers:

“The dispute is over, the BLM is leaving, but emotions and tensions are still near the boiling point, and we desperately need a peaceful conclusion to this conflict,” Heller said.  “I urge all the people involved to please return to your homes and allow the BLM officers to collect their equipment and depart without interference.”

Yes, and this to a group of people who believe that the government is simply waiting for a catastrophic event during which it can incarcerate citizens in concentration camps?  Who will not “disarm American citizens?” Who will not obey orders to impose martial law?” Who will not assist foreign troops to keep order on American soil?

This? to Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who is going to save America from gun control? Who is an inductee in the National Rifle Association Hall of Fame?  Who is a devotee of the radical philosophy of W. Cleon Skousen? W. Cleon “Pocahantas was a Communist” Skousen? [MJ]

If anyone has any doubts as to why federal agents and BLM employees thought they needed armed protection, the presence of the Oath Keepers and Richard Mack should resolve the question quickly.

The question remains, if the law enforcement community in Clark County has a heightened awareness of so-called sovereign citizens,  and the FBI has been watching organizations like the Sovereignty Movement and the Oath Keepers, then WHY did Senator Heller walk directly into the morass in support of Bundy in the first place?

As noted in the previous post, he’s now back-pedaling as quickly as he can after Cliven Bundy’s outrageously racist remarks.

Bundy’s remaining public supporter is none other than Clark County’s own Assemblywoman Michele Fiore who issued this statement: ” Fiore said Bundy “has said things I don’t agree with,” but “we cannot let this divert our attention from the true issue of the atrocities BLM committed by harming our public land and the animals living on it.” [The Wire]

What atrocities? Tazing a man who kicked a police dog?  What harm to the land?  However, what can we expect from an Assemblywoman whose Mother’s Day blog greeting included a photo of all the women-folk armed to the hilt…or the stock if you prefer?  If one is known by the company kept, then Assemblywoman Fiore’s association with the likes of the Oath Keepers and Richard Mack may get her into the NRA Hall of Fame, but it won’t prevent questions about her penchant for supporting ultra-right wing radical causes.

After Cliven Bundy’s sad little tirade about “the Negro” the scales should have fallen from everyone’s eyes — the core of the issue for Mr. Bundy isn’t essentially about BLM operations, or two court orders — it’s about preserving a revised White Man’s America.  An America in which all those enslaved people were ‘happy’ — ‘must be why the old Gospel song says, “And before I’d be a slave I’d be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free?”  It’s a White Man’s America — out of a Hollywood western.   It’s a White Man’s America that never was except in the perfervid imaginations of the seriously disturbed and the wildly radical.

Meanwhile in the real world, the BLM will revise and recalibrate its enforcement strategies, the courts may have to hear more litigation on the matter, and in the end … Mr. Bundy may be forced to follow the provisions of Article I, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution and admit that the federal government is, in fact, due our paramount allegiance.

 

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