The caper in Nevada concerning a cattleman named Bundy and the government’s Bureau of Land Management is the latest example of our government flexing its muscle against citizens. The federal bureau has control of all government owned land throughout the country, which amounts to about 10 percent of the United States. In western states the percentage is much higher because of so much unproductive land.
In Nevada, Cliven Bundy lost several court cases regarding grazing of his cattle on government land. Government officials could have placed a lien on his property that would have been upheld in any court, but they chose to send in a group of armed federal people. Supporters of Bundy — many of them fellow cattlemen who use federal land for grazing — also arrived. It seems the government thought it could intimidate Bundy and everything would be fine. But Bundy refused to back down. Some of his cattle have been seized and in some cases slaughtered. This sounds more like the book 1984 by George Orwell than 2014 in the United States of America.
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Many conservative organizations are suing the IRS because they were targeted and prevented from getting 501(c) recognition as non-profit organizations. Non-profit groups receive donations that can be written off on income tax filings. Applications with certain key words such as “Tea Party” were pulled and required to provide additional information, some of which was illegal for the IRS to request. Remember when this initially broke, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were shocked and stated they would get to the bottom of the matter. As usual, nothing has happened. The government has continued to stonewall any type of investigation and the head of the IRS department responsible for the targeting has taken the Fifth Amendment before a congressional committee and now is retired.
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The National Security Agency has been accused of spying on American citizens and foreign leaders. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, stated before Congress that domestic surveillance was not conducted. Later he apologized for misstating the facts. Isn’t misstating the same as lying? The left loves to change words so that it is more difficult to understand. We no longer pay taxes, we make contributions. The government does not spend, it makes investments. These are just a couple of examples that the government uses to confuse the issue.
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The government has seized one-sixth of our economy with the implementation of Obamacare. To add to the confusion, on Oct. 1 the United States is scheduled to implement a new system of codes to report injuries, diagnoses and inpatient procedures called ICD-10. This is how doctors will report their work in order to be paid. The number of codes is skyrocketing from 17,000 to 155,000. It is suggested that medical facilities have a six-month fund saved so they can survive not being paid for that long. Wow, I am sure the medical facilities are looking forward to that. Much like the implementation of Obamacare, there has not been much testing to determine if it will work. Does anyone care to make a bet on the result?
We are told what size toilet to buy, what type of light bulb, what type of washer, etc, etc. Unfortunately every one of the required buys is not as good as the one it replaced. It seems that far too many of the individuals who are placed in a position of authority feel obligated to implement pet projects or just to make a change. How many members of Congress ever have done anything except be a politician? The majority have absolutely no idea what makes a company successful or what the military truly does. It is much like an individual who has a PHD behind his name. He is considered an expert in the field that he is addressing even though his expertise is in another area.
The Middle East and Ukraine are exploding and our president is off to the Far East. I realize he has the capability to communicate anywhere in the world, but there is nothing like face to face if a crisis occurs. Body language has the capability to send messages that are hidden on TV screens or in phone calls. The world watches what we either do or do not do, and I believe leaders pay particular attention to what the U.S. president does.
Donald Myers is a retired Marine Colonel and regular contributor to Hernando Today. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.