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Storm in the Desert

I note with some concern a series of stories about the Nevada rancher locked in a struggle with the U.S. Government over his payments for grazing rights. According to the stories he hasn’t paid rent on the Bureau of Land Management lands on which he has been raising cattle, cattle he sells for a profit. The Government has gotten court orders to seize his cattle and have picked up some 300 head.

But the rancher is defiant and – this is the scary part – has attracted militia members from all over the West who are protesting quite stridently. Already there have been confrontations, an arrest, a police dog injured, and lots and lots of noise. The more inflammatory statements compare this to the Branch Davidian sadness in Waco and the Randy Weaver case in Idaho.

I am intrigued and troubled by the pattern of local controversies fanned into flames by “tourists” such as have shown up in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. In other regions these are called foreign fighters. I’m also concerned that the midterm elections in November will influence events. Wait til Fox News gets this.

Update: The Twitter feed reports that BLM is calling off the cattle roundup. Watch the tourists evaporate and the roundup will resume.

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