The “greenest” faction of the Nazi war machine was the SS. Heinrich Himmler who headed the unit was an animal lover, a vegetarian and organic farming enthusiast. In fact, at Treblinka, the SS had beautiful picnic grounds and a zoo, while the last sight the Jews saw before entering the gas chambers was an exquisite flower garden. The SS advocated an ideology of “blood and soil” that rolled into one policy evolutionary racism, peasant agrarianism and environmentalism.
Mr. Bundy is a fourth generation rancher in Nevada. He has been grazing his 500 cattle on Clark County, Nevada public lands as did his father and grandfather before him. He has paid his grazing fees to the County and the State. He has not, however, paid fees demanded by the federal government as it is his position, supported by the Governor of Nevada, that the U.S. Government and Bureau of Land Management have no authority to collect them.
The response to his refusal to pay those fees is now the theft of his private property by the Federal Government (200 cattle thus far captured and removed), armed marshals surrounding the remainder as well as he and his family, his son tasered and a dangerously escalating situation. Memories of Waco and the Branch Davidian Sect standoff come to mind. The prospects for this ending poorly increase exponentially by the day.
The regulation and legal basis by which the Federal Government is asserting its authority and claim was enacted 20 years ago protecting the desert tortoise of the region from extinction.
As an animal lover I would never want to see any animal harmed, let alone extinct. But when we reach the point where the survival of the tortoise is grounds for abrogating the U.S. Constitution and basic human rights, we are dangerously close to…if not over…the same line the SS crossed. That story ended poorly as well.
We need to understand our connectedness to one another,to all living things, and to the environment within a well-thought through balanced approach. No one aspect of that triad should prevail at the expense of the others. Every American should be appalled and vocal about what is taking place in Nevada. As German Lutheran Pastor and vocal Nazi opponent Erik Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak. Not to stand is to stand.”