Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Breitbart is trying to open a second front in the newly nationalized wingnut war against the Bureau of Land Management with this story:

After the recent Bundy Ranch episode by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Texans are becoming more concerned about the BLM’s focus on 90,000 acres along a 116 mile stretch of the Texas/Oklahoma boundary. The BLM is reviewing the possible federal takeover and ownership of privately-held lands which have been deeded property for generations of Texas landowners.
Breitbart has posted follow-up stories, one featuring state attorney general (and gubernatorial front-runner) Greg Abbott daring the BLM to "come and take it!" Fox News, naturally, is also on the case.

Abbott is talking tough:
"I am about ready," General Abbott told Breitbart Texas, "to go to the Red River and raise a 'Come and Take It' flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas." ...

As to the timeline of how this matter moves forward Abbott explained that it is hard to tell how quickly or slowly the BLM might move on this matter. "One of the problems is, we can't tell what they're doing other than trying to operate in very suspicious ways. We want to make sure they are going to be open and transparent about what they are doing and that constitutional due process rights are going to be protected."
But BLM is being open and transparent. Nearly a year ago, it issued a Notice of Intent regarding its revision of the resource management plan for Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. It's been holding public hearings on this issue. Yes, a Republican congressman from Texas, Mac Throneberry, has complained that the one in Wichita Falls "was poorly advertised" -- but, really, you can't have it both ways, can you? If land management issues are worth having a Second American Revolution over, and the BLM is the new King George, then shouldn't the True Patriots be paying attention to what the tyrant is up to? Especially when the tyrant actually invites the public to weigh in?

This is a crazy situation, and has been for a long, long time. Attorney General Abbott's ranting and raving suggests that President Obama is causing all the trouble, but that's nonsense:
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, General Abbott said, "This is the latest line of attack by the Obama Administration where it seems like they have a complete disregard for the rule of law in this country ..."

... "What Barack Obama's BLM is doing," Abbott continued, "is so out of bounds and so offensive that we should have quick and successful legal action if they dare attempt to tread on Texas land and take it from private property owners in this state."
But this dispute goes back long before Barack Obama was born:
The border between Texas and Oklahoma meanders peacefully along 540 miles of twists and bends of the storied Red River. Peacefully, that is, except for an area within Lake Texoma, about 60 miles north of Dallas, that has been in hot dispute between the two states for almost 200 years....

For years, both states have agreed that the border would run along the south bank (Texas side) of the Red River. But, the exact location of the river's south bank within Lake Texoma has never been determined.

The lack of a clearly defined border through the lake has resulted in years of disputes over property taxes, water and mineral rights, court jurisdictions, and hunting and fishing licenses....

The original Texas-Oklahoma border was based on an 1821 treaty between Spain and the United State which was upheld in 1896 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1923 (Okalahoma v. Texas), the Supreme Court attempted to settle the dispute by ruling that the boundary between Oklahoma and Texas be identified by wooden stakes set on the river bank. But, any surveyor will tell you that wooden stakes are easy to move and don't last very long at all -- especially along a river....
It once led to armed conflict:
... nearly two centuries of squabbling [have] fueled two U.S. Supreme Court cases and spurred a revolver-toting Oklahoma governor to declare martial law and "invade," as 1930s newspapers put it, a narrow strip of disputed territory. (No shots were fired.)
Texas passed a law in 2013 establishing a boundary commission to settle this question -- but Governor Rick Perry dawdled before finally naming members to this commission in December. Any resolution of the border dispute has to be approved by Texas, Oklahoma, and the U.S. Congress.

In the meantime, the BLM is working from current law, including Supreme Court rulings that are still in effect. Yes, it's true that that may result in 90,000 acres of land being declared federal property -- but that's based on current law (and Texas's interpretation of where the border is is disputred not just by the feds but by Oklahoma).

What's going on is proceeding very slowly. BLM says any changes would require new surveys -- which BLM isn't planning, and wouldn't take place without prior notification.

Oh, and President Obama? This is a peripheral issue, but he actually signed legislation that exempted Texans from provisions of a 2008 amendment to the 1900 Lacey Act that would have prohibited certain water use practices because of the presence of an invasive species in water on the border.

Meanwhile, do you know when the best-known martyr in this story was martyred? During the presidency of St. Reagan:
Sid Miller, former Texas State Representative and Republican candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, has ... made the matter a campaign issue to Breitbart Texas.

"In Texas," Miller says, "“the BLM is attempting a repeat of an action taken over 30 years ago along the Red River when Tommy Henderson lost a federal lawsuit. The Bureau of Land Management took 140 acres of his property and didn’t pay him one cent."

Miller referred to a 1986 case where the BLM attempted to seize some of Henderson's land. Henderson sued the BLM and lost 140 acres that had been in his family for generations.
Goodness -- why didn't the Greatest American of All Time mount his steed and ride to Henderson's rescue back in 1986, at the head of an armed posse of True Patriots? It's a mystery.

This is a border issue that mature people would solve in a mature way. But it's in Texas and Oklahoma, where lots of people daydream that they're living in a Louis L'Amour novel. So I guess that's not possible.


Victor said...

Perhaps these brave patriots didn't hear about the hearings because they were too busy practicing hiding beneath the petticoats of the women they were going to put on the front lines to be shot first, if push came to shootin'-arns!

Btw - I wonder if that moron who was interviewed and said that they had discussed putting their women-folk on the front line, will ever get any nookie from his significant other, ever again?

Steve M. said...

In the post, I was going to ask whether Abbott, who's paralyzed and uses a wheelchair, was going to be put on the front lines in Texas. But I thought that would be harsh.

Jules said...

The fed is evil until these douchenuggets need disaster relief or maintenance of roads and bridges, or the money they get from the presence of military bases ...