Public reactions to the standoff between the supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management in the Nevada desert have fallen mostly into two camps: 1) The federal government is overreaching and should leave this hardy individual alone; or 2) Bundy is a welfare rancher who is defrauding the tax payer.
Not surprisingly option 1 is the most common among people who type into comments fields on the Internet and write letters to the editors of newspapers.
Which is very interesting. What we have here is a person who has unilaterally decided which laws apply to him and which do not and is ignoring court orders he doesn’t like. A person who has stated publicly that he does not believe in the federal government. And this individual has now attracted a bunch of like-minded people who apparently believe they are the nucleus of a civil war.
This is the Weltanschauung that led to the Oklahoma City Bombing, a retread of a mindset that’s been around America for a long time, the idea that the federal government outlined in the constitution is somehow the enemy of freedom.
While we put ice packs on our foreheads to soothe the headache trying to parse that particular logic causes, let’s think about the sheer amount of slack these kinds of extremists are given. Remember: You consider the federal government to be the enemy of freedom while you are an American patriot fighting for that freedom. And the people who write letters to the editor of newspapers think you are correct.
Let’s do a quick thought experiment: Let’s say the people of Bunkerville were Black Panthers and that it was a group of black men with military training pointing automatic rifles at federal agents. How would the people writing letters to the editor about freedom and states’ rights feel about that?
Or, heck why not, let’s say it was a group of bearded Arabs in turbans doing the same thing, ranting about not acknowledging the federal government? While pointing sniper rifles at federal agents.
Think about that one for a while. How do you think that would play out?
So why does America cut anti-government extremists a ton of slack as long as they’re white?
Us humans filter everything we see and experience through our existing narrative. Nic finds this fascinating.
Nic loves books, but he loves their content more.
The American voting system is stuck in a time warp. It makes Nic sad.
Should you upgrade to Amazon’s latest e-ink reader? Nic gives it a reluctant and somewhat perplexed nod.
Nic is worried about the fragile state of our technology and thinks you should be as well.
Lots of good reads in this installment. Includes All Hell Let Loose, Metallica: This Monster Lives, 10% Happier, Onward, Echopraxia, Cibola Burn, The Getaway God, Lock In, The Red: First Light, Terms of Enlistment, and Lines of Departure.
Nic tries to understand the WATCH. It doesn't go well.
Nic thinks home integration could be Apple’s next major category. Read on to find out why.
Nic is frustrated with his Kindle and would love to see Apple make an e-ink reader.
Once again user-interface ineptitude and Internet idiots make things harder than they have to be.