News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 29, 2014

RONN MOTT: Defiance of the Law

Cliven Bundy has tried very hard to be a 21st century Robin Hood … take from the rich and keep it. Here’s a man who for many years has taken the scrub land of the desert that is not owned by him and run his cattle on it. The land happens to be owned by the government and Mr. Bundy, who doesn’t like much of anything, has decided to thumb his nose at the government.

It would be like an apartment building where everyone pays his/her rent except for one person. And this occupant of the non-paying apartment has conjured up some complaint against the ownership of the building. When the owner came to collect, the occupant of the apartment has his friends, with their guns, surround the apartment. I understand his family has been there for a long time. What I don’t understand is his claim to the right of not paying.

Some conservative columnists have likened this man to Gandhi, or Jesus, or anybody who stands against the government of the area.

And, of course, Mr. Bundy had to make comments that black people would be better off in slavery picking cotton and having babies. He is 68 years old and as dumb as a pile of donkey dung. This racial bias seems to go hand to hand with these home-made militias and people who want to have their cattle fattened free on government land while their neighbors pay.

I don’t get it. Conservatives, generally, stand by the rules because it keeps their fortunes intact. This guy wants to have the unfettered range left absolutely free to him and not pay a dime. How stupid! And the tea baggers want to make a hero out of him.

For those of you who feel that way, look around. You won’t have to look too far to find people who don’t want to pay their bills … you know, the money they owe for their car, their mortgage, their rent, etc., etc.

This hard-scrabble land cannot be used for much … open-range cattle hardened to just that which grows, plus hot summers and cold winters. That is just about all it is good for. I’m always a little confused about these right-wingers who try to tie race into their hatred with nearly everything they are involved in.

A small piece of advice for Mr. Bundy: In the early days of the cattle drives when drovers got the name cowboy given to them, one out of every four cowboys was an African American. The early cattle bosses didn’t care about the color of a cowboy’s skin. They only cared about the skill he had to get the cattle to market and all the things that had to be done to make it so.

Mr. Bundy and his gun-toting militia friends are going to bring hellfire and brimstone down upon themselves because they just want an excuse to start shooting their guns in a conflict. They had better be careful because they are liable to get what they wish for, and they are not going to win.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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