The standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters is over. The BLM decided to call off its snipers and other armed agents after agents went after protesters with tasers and dogs, and then this scene:
Bundy still faces a legal battle, but at least for now a Ruby Ridge type of incident has been averted. However, questions still remain, like why does the federal government own so much land in Nevada, why does the BLM have snipers, and what is Harry Reid’s involvement in all of this?
The new head of the BLM, Neil Kornze, worked for Harry Reid as a policy adviser from 2003 to 2011. It is reasonable to assume that Reid got him the BLM job, and I would hazard a guess that Reid saw the situation turning into a public relations disaster–Nevada’s Governor and Senator Dean Heller, both Republicans, were more or less siding with Bundy–and told Kornze to give it up.
It still isn’t clear what the crisis was all about. Rumor has it that Reid wants the land for a giant solar farm that would be supplied by a Chinese company and, presumably, subsidized by the federal government. Reid’s son is apparently a participant in the deal. Whether that is true, I haven’t yet tried to figure out. One thing I will say with some certainty, however, is that tortoises had little or nothing to do with it.
It remains to be seen whether there will be much fallout from the Bundy confrontation. The root of the problem is the fact that the federal government owns most of the Western states, including more than 80% of the State of Nevada.