Indeed, the fight over Confederate statues is just a discrete and more understandable eruption of the larger trend. This stuff has been happening for decades. One of the first outbreaks involved the word “crusader.” The term hurt the feelings of people who didn’t know what they didn’t know. Left-wing historians (and the Islamists who love them) convinced themselves that the Crusades were a trial run of Western imperialism and colonialism. They were, in fact, largely defensive wars intended to beat back the aggression of Muslim colonizers. Even the organization Campus Crusade for Christ changed its name to “Cru” lest people get the wrong impression.
Sports teams — most famously the Washington, D.C., NFL Franchise That Dare Not Speak Its Name — have been under increasing pressure to drop any association with Native Americans. Columbus Day is outré. And statues of Christopher Columbus may be heading to the pyre, if recent developments in New York City are any indication.
Members of the environmental lobby should be ecstatic that the Interior Department’s review of 27 national monuments resulted in minimal changes. But in today’s world of all-or-nothing politics, they’re instead speed-dialing their attorneys and wringing their hands because a handful of these nature reserves may still be partially downsized.
Oh, the horror!
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke completed the review last week. He recommended that no designation be rescinded. But a spokesman said he has also proposed border modifications for a handful of monuments. The department has yet to name those areas, but they could include Nevada’s Gold Butte and Basin and Range.
I intended to write an article about the Freedom of the Press hearing in Portland, Oregon. However, since I had decided to testify, I had mentally prepared to answer cross-examination questions, should they be asked. My problem in writing this is that the answers given and the answers not given are mingled together in my mind, I can’t quite sort them out and be sure of the accuracy of what I say. As to discussing other matters that were brought up, as well as examination and cross-examination of the government’s two witnesses, FBI SA Jason Kruger and FBI SA Matthew Catalano, are also mingled in my mind, as well as much that was presented by both the prosecuting attorney and my able counsel, Michael Rose.
Therefore, I will, at this time, simply give an overview, from my perspective, of what occurred.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate List’ has all the authority of a mean girl’s burn book. Yet it is dangerously provocative.
The flip side is that the SPLC’s abuse of the term “hate” will attract support from a certain segment of the population that wants to suppress the views of those who disagree with them. That is good for direct mail marketers who are interested in generous contributions from the fatuously self-righteous.
Sadly, history has revealed time and again that organized vilification campaigns endanger human dignity and freedom. The SPLC treads perilous ground, trading in explosively hostile language in return for what else but money and power?
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Bureau of Land Management agent who has been scrutinized for past behavior took valuable stones held as evidence and handed them out “like candy” to colleagues and a contractor, federal investigators said in a report made public Thursday.
Daniel Love played a command role in an April 2014 standoff involving backers of Nevada rancher and states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy. It pitted weapon-toting Bundy supporters against heavily armed BLM agents who, in the end, gave up efforts to collect Bundy cattle for nonpayment of grazing fees.
Love was previously faulted for using his influence to get tickets to a sold-out Burning Man counterculture festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert that he was helping oversee security for and manipulating a job search for a friend.
U.S. Department of Interior investigators also found Love told an employee to delete some emails that contained bureau information requested by then-U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Though the report does not name Love, Chaffetz confirmed Thursday that his request had been directed to Love. Chaffetz did not specify the nature of the request.
ST. GEORGE – The future of Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments was left unknown Thursday when Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke sent recommendations for 27 national monuments under federal review to the White House but did not make the report public.
Zinke announced Thursday morning to the Associated Press he won’t seek to rescind any national monuments carved from the wilderness and oceans by past presidents. But he said he will press for some boundary changes.
Zinke did not directly answer whether any monuments would be newly opened to energy development, mining and other industries the U.S. president has championed.
The prosecutors broke the 17 defendants in the Bunkerville standoff into three groups. Six would be tried in April and the others — including 71-year-old rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons — would be tried shortly thereafter.
But in April the jurors convicted only two of the six of any charges. Jurors told defense lawyers after the trial they never came close to convicting four defendants, voting 10-2 in favor of acquitting two and splitting on the others.
The government decided to retry those four and rejected Cliven Bundy’s bid to move up his trial, saying he would have to wait in jail until after the retrial. That retrial ended this week with two of the four being acquitted and the remaining two acquitted of all but a handful of lesser charges. All have been freed.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal jury in Las Vegas refused Tuesday to convict four defendants who were retried on accusations that they threatened and assaulted federal agents by wielding assault weapons in a 2014 confrontation to stop a cattle roundup near the Nevada ranch of states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy.
In a stunning setback to federal prosecutors planning to try the Bundy family patriarch and two adult sons later this year, the jury acquitted Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.
More than 30 defendants’ supporters in the courtroom broke into applause after Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ordered Lovelien and Stewart freed immediately and set Wednesday morning hearings to decide if Parker and Drexler should remain jailed pending a government decision whether to seek a third trial.
OPINION – Our news cycle was dominated this past week by the birth announcement of a destructive, tantrum-prone love child sired by masked socialist activists and their national socialist counterparts.
While the public’s attention is focused on whether this little monster looks more like its mother or its father, a very real injustice is taking place just out of view.
The highly publicized, and sometimes blatantly distorted, narrative of events at Bundy Ranch three years ago made the Bundys a household name. No matter which version you choose to believe, it’s safe to say that what happened at Bunkerville was likely the most significant act of armed civil disobedience in the past 150 years.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a lawsuit Monday against the Justice Department and FBI in an effort to pry loose documents related to the FBI’s prior impersonation of documentary filmmakers.
The FBI has admitted to sending undercover agents to Nevada in 2014 to act as a film crew and interview supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy amid an armed standoff with the federal government.
Footage shot for the fake documentary was later used by the government during criminal trials of some of those involved in the standoff.
The reporter’s committee sought through Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain FBI records regarding the bogus film crew as well as any records on the bureau’s use of the tactic dating back to 2010. The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comes after the committee said the FBI has failed to act on the FOIA requests.
After more than two days of deliberation, jurors are expected to return Monday in the retrial of four men facing federal charges in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville.
On Tuesday, the panel of six women and six men started deliberating the charges against Idaho men Steven Stewart, Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, and Montana resident Ricky Lovelien. Jurors were sent home at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday and are expected to resume deliberations Monday morning, defense attorneys said.
During closing arguments this week, prosecutors pointed to social media posts in which the men discussed the activities in the rural Nevada town, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. On a video played for jurors, rancher Cliven Bundy spoke to a crowd outside his ranch, encouraging his followers to do what they needed to do to retrieve his cattle from the Bureau of Land Management.
A judge Wednesday revoked Oregon refuge occupier Darryl Thorn’s release and sent him to jail immediately to undergo a mental health evaluation, concerned about repeated threats he made to his girlfriend that he was going to hang himself or commit “suicide by cop.”
Thorn, who was convicted of federal conspiracy, possession of a firearm in a federal facility, trespass and other charges at a trial this year, suffered an “emotional crisis” after moving to the small eastern Oregon town of Monument, his defense lawyer said.
Thorn, 32, moved there from Spokane in late June on the promise of a job and a residence, only to have both fall through, said Jay Nelson, Thorn’s third defense lawyer in the case. He ended up living in an RV park and searching for odd jobs while his girlfriend often was away traveling for her job in road construction.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — In a dramatic end to a contentious trial, defense attorneys declined Tuesday to make closing arguments on behalf of four men accused of wielding assault weapons against federal agents in a 2014 standoff near Nevada anti-government figure Cliven Bundy’s ranch.
The move left defendants Eric Parker, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien of Montana and Oklahoma essentially mute in answer to 10 felony charges including conspiracy, weapon possession and assault on a federal officer.
Defendant Scott Drexler of Idaho testified in his defense on Monday.
Parker testified last week, but Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ordered him off the witness stand and struck his testimony from the record for what she said was a deliberate failure to keep his testimony within bounds of rules she set to keep the focus on what the defendants saw and did during the confrontation, not what they felt or why they acted.
Defense attorneys sat silently Tuesday, rather than give closing arguments for the four men facing a retrial in the Bundy Ranch standoff.
Hamstrung throughout the trial by a judge’s decision to limit the witnesses they could call, the questions they could ask and the testimony their clients could give, the lawyers made the final decision, a statement of sorts, after discussing the option with the defendants — Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien — during a lunch break.
“It was a strategic decision,” said lawyer Jess Marchese, who represents Parker. “We thought we gained more by not giving a closing argument than the government giving a rebuttal.”
Defendants waived closing arguments Tuesday in the Bundy Ranch standoff trial in Las Vegas, ending a monthlong legal battle with a clear protest about court proceedings.
Lawyers for the four men charged in the 2014 clash among federal agents, militia members and cattle ranchers took the unusual step of resting their cases without a final address to the jury.
“The message is simple,” Las Vegas lawyer Shawn Perez said Tuesday afternoon. “You silenced us the entire trial … there’s nothing more to say.”
The move was part of a strategy to deprive federal prosecutors of an opportunity to make rebuttal arguments and to end the case while it was in the hands of the defense, said Perez, who represents defendant Richard Lovelien of Oklahoma.
The FBI has arrested an Oklahoma man on charges that he tried to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb, acting out of a hatred for the U.S. government and an admiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, according to court papers.
Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested shortly after an attempt early Saturday morning to detonate a fake bomb packed into what he believed was a stolen cargo van outside a bank in Oklahoma City, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. He was charged with attempted destruction of a building by means of an explosive.
According to the complaint, over the course of a months-long undercover investigation by the FBI, Varnell made repeated statements about the extent of his hatred of the federal government.
By David Ferrara Las Vegas Review-Journal August 14, 2017 Scott Drexler tucked the butt of his AR-15 into his shoulder and slipped the barrel through a crack in a wall along a northbound Interstate 15 bridge in Bunkerville. Under the […]
Restrictions placed by a federal judge on what defendants can say about being at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014 are leading to tense moments in the Las Vegas retrial of four men accused of wielding assault-style weapons to stop federal agents from rounding up cattle belonging to the anti-government figure.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro refused Monday to order a mistrial sought by the defense attorney for Eric Parker, a defendant who Navarro ordered off the witness stand last week before telling the jury to disregard his testimony.
Such a dramatic step involving a defendant in the presence of a jury is unusual and might draw scrutiny from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, said Robert Draskovich, a Las Vegas lawyer who said he had never heard of such a move in more than two decades practicing in federal courts. Draskovich is not involved in the Bundy case.
The concept of God Given (Natural) Rights and Freedoms is the foundation of our United States Constitution and the ability to exercise them within the concept of Liberty. But whats the difference between Freedom and Liberty?
Freedom is a singular act of any individual to exercise their Natural Rights. Liberty is the pursuit of the conceptional practice of Exercising Freedoms while allowing for and respecting those same rights exercised also by others. It includes providing a method of resolution when those same freedoms may conflict with those of others.
Bullying, as many people know, can be a tremendously painful experience for a young person. The point has been driven home over the last decade by stories about teens like Phoebe Prince or Amanda Todd, who killed themselves after experiencing bullying.
Recently, the parents of 8-year-old Gabriel Taye filed a federal lawsuit against the Cincinnati public schools, alleging that their son committed suicide because the school covered up and failed to prevent a culture of bullying.
All 50 states have some kind of antibullying law, and schools are increasingly being called upon to implement bullying prevention programs.
Bullying and suicide are both significant public health concerns for children and adolescents. As a scholar with expertise in youth violence and bullying, I’ve done considerable research to understand the link between bullying and suicide. Although there certainly is a connection between the two, research highlights the complexity of the relationship.
Three years ago several counties and groups filed lawsuits in federal court seeking to block the water grab, claiming the federal land agencies had failed to properly evaluate the environmental damage and follow the law. The lawsuits claimed the Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act in approving the groundwater project.
This past week in a Las Vegas courtroom federal Judge Andrew Gordon heard nearly two hours of oral arguments from both sides seeking summary judgment.
The judge in the trial of four defendants in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff with BLM agents attempting to confiscate rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle has made it clear she will not allow a defense based on First or Second Amendment rights or claims that BLM misbehavior provoked the protest.
On Thursday she cut short the testimony of defendant Eric Parker after he tried to mention in his defense testimony a “First Amendment area” the BLM had set up to isolate protesters — an area that Gov. Brian Sandoval said “tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution” — and attempted to mention where a BLM sniper was positioned.
Prisoners in Pahrump, Nevada’s CoreCivic operated Federal Detention Center, who have been in other facilities previously with remote Video Chat ability, may feel differently in spite of the cost. Not having it, except for locally at the facility, means families must travel to the southern Nevada desert just to see them on Video.
Jerry DeLemus, the 62-year-old Rochester man serving a six-year prison term for his role in Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff in 2014 has been permanently moved to the federal prison at Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass., his wife said.
Former state Rep. Susan DeLemus said she hasn’t spoken to her husband for nine days while he’s been “quarantined” and processed since his move from a Nevada prison to Devens, 90 minutes from their home.
“Never in my life would I ever think I would be happy my husband was in a prison of any kind, but I am happy he will be in Devens permanently now so I can see him,” Mrs. DeLemus said during a telephone interview.