Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

The Bundy infection is spreading.


ow many small acts of outright sedition does it take before we all decide that something’s gone badly haywire in the country?

Cliven Bundy. (photo: David Becker/Getty Images)

We had the Bundys, and we had the Bird Sanctuary Dudes, and now, as The Washington Post reports, in Utah, we have people who are openly threatening the civil authorities with open revolt. It’s over a place called Bears Ears, out of which the president wants to create a national monument under the Antiquities Act, which he has a perfect legal right to do.

In the case of Bears Ears, there is no question that the area is imperiled by the kind of looting and pillaging that first inspired the Antiquities Act, as well as more modern threats, such as ATVs and motorbikes tearing through the desert terrain. There have been six confirmed looting incidents in the past six months, and at least two dozen over the past five years. In one, a vandal used a rock saw to remove a petroglyph; in one this year someone dug up a pristine ceremonial chamber, or kiva, that had never been professionally excavated. Although the BLM has allocated $400,000 over two years to stabilize 10 archeological sites and trained about 20 people to serve as volunteer “site stewards,” it employs just two law enforcement officers to patrol 1.8 million acres.

There’s all kinds of issues tangled up here, including a nasty fight between local Native tribes and the state’s white power structure in which ratfcking seems to be involved.

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