Cliven Bundy: What Can We Learn From His Illegal Cattle Grazing, And Alleged Racist Remarks

Illegal Cattle Grazing

 

Like an old western, a Las Vegas cattle rancher defies the government’s laws in favor of his own, but angers African-Americans by allegedly stating  that they are better off picking cotton.

In order to understand this story about how guns, cattle, the federal government, and issues about race, circling this story like a wagon train, one needs to explore the relationship between Cliven Bundy, and the government Bundy now perhaps hates.

Bundy, a Mormon cattle rancher, made headlines in mid-April, when he infuriated the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), by refusing to cease grazing on federally owned land. The BLM claims that Bundy owes them back taxes, and that they would confiscate the cattle as money owed.  Bundy said no. Within a few days, citizens in the area and from surrounding areas, some armed, came to protect Bundy’s rights.

The BLM stated that Bundy owes $1 million in back fees because his cattle has been grazing on federal land, FOX 31 Denver reported. Each cattle is worth $1000.00

The BLM gathered 400 cows, but they were short of their goal of 900. Bundy’s cattle has been trespassing without grazing permits for over 20 years, CBS News reported. Since the protests and alleged physical altercations between protesters and the BLM task force, the BLM had to stop gathering the cattle and release them.

The armed coalition that supported Bundy caused highways to be blocked in both directions for three days. Bundy later went on to say that the citizens of America came to help him.

The conflict between the government and Bundy’s family has stemmed from as far back as the 1800s. Bundy, 67, stated that he does not recognize federal authority on the land; he insisted that the land belongs to Nevada. Bundy’s family has operated a ranch since the 1870s, near the small town of Bunkerville, and the Utah and Arizona lines.

Back in 1998, a federal judge in Las Vegas, first ordered Bundy to remove his trespassing cattle; the BLM was implementing two federal court orders last year to remove his cattle after making repeated efforts to resolve the matter outside court, CBS News reported.

Since the end of the standoff, with Bundy getting his cattle back, he allegedly spoke out against African-Americans. Speaking at a daily news conference on the weekend, and to 50 supporters, Bundy described the housing project that he had seen in North Las Vegas, which he claimed was occupied entirely by African-Americans.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” Bundy said, “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom,” The New York Times reported.

Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe stated that conservatives should feel exposed by Bundy’s racist comments. And, that Bundy’s comments makes him the sort of character conservatives do not want to embrace, The Washington Times reported.

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Second Season Of Devious Maids Returns With Eva Longoria, A Gay Theme, An Academy Nominated Actor, And Another Murder

Cast of Devious Maids

 The return of Devious Maids’ Season 2, has some of the Latina domestics dealing with more family drama, a gay “in the closet” Latino singer, more murder, and Eva Longoria. Brace yourselves, spoilers included.

The Devious Maids April 20th premier drew in 2 million viewers, and a rise in viewership with the key 18-49 age group. The show climbed 15 percent with 951,000 viewers. And it also improved in other demos as well: a six-percent increase in the 25-54 age group with 916,000 viewers, and a three-percent rise with women in the 25-54 age group at 684,000 viewers; and 12 percent among  women of the 18-49 age group with 706,000 viewers, The Wrap reported.

Season 1, of the hit Lifetime Television Network show, saw an even higher number of 3 million total viewers, along with a high number of criticism for and against the portrayal of Latinos. The show  wrapped up Season 1 by ending a few plots by revealing the killer, and by not pulling “The Killing” technique on viewers; while other plots were left unfinished, so that perhaps the season could continue.

Dania Ramirez, who plays Rosie Falta, the widowed mother and Mexican immigrant, says there are more secrets coming this season. Ramirez also says the relationship between Rosie and Spence’s characters get more complicated; and her immigration status is in flux, the New York Daily News reported. Ramirez sees Spence and Rosie like the “Ross and Rachel” of Friends, “They can’t get together, it’s forbidden love,” Ramirez adds.

The first episode takes place three months after the  Season 1 finale, with Ramirez, and Judy Reyes’ Zoila and her daughter Valentina, played by Edy Ganem living apart. As well as, Roselyn Sanchez’s Carmen dating her former boss, who is gay and in the closet, so to keep up straight appearances Carmen dates him with the promise that she will finally get her singing career; and, Ana Ortiz’s Marisol also returns.

Reyes reveals that Zoila’s deteriorating relationship with her daughter, Valentina, and Zoila’s marital problems forces her to move in with her melodramatic, and occasionally suicidal employer, Susan Lucci’s Genevieve Delatour.

“They end up living together, so hilarity ensues, and you’re gonna see Zoila in romantic scenarios,” Reyes said. “She gets in trouble with her kid,  with her  estranged husband, and she moves in with her boss, and they get in trouble together,” Reyes said.

They are many changes in store for Season 2, it includes Eva Longoria directing the premier episode.  Lucci tells TV Guide, “You would never know this was her [Longoria’s] debut! Eva was wonderful to work with, smart, decisive, completely at ease and in sync with Marc Cherry [also Devious Maids co-producer].” “Now we have to get her on the show,” Lucci added.

Meanwhile, on date night at a red carpet event, Sanchez’s Carmen and Matt Cedeno’s Alejandro, Carmen gets cold feet about keeping up straight appearances as they arrive in their limo. Alejandro steps out, but Carmen refuses to leave the limo. Alejandro calms Carmen, but an emotional Carmen explains that if the paparazzi sees her crying, then they will know that she is not happy, US Weekly reports.

Besides Longoria directing, the Academy nominated actress June Squibb from the film Nebraska, is expected to play Lucci’s mother, in a two-episode story arc, The Wrap reports.

Witches, And Magic Returns To TV: The Premier Of Salem

Salem

In a TV and film landscape filled with sexy and youthful vampires, a new TV series Salem, about witches, could drive a steak and rub some garlic in the wounds of the perhaps dwindling vampire craze.

Salem, aired on April 20th, draws on facts, evidence, and legend to keep the story about witches, and human suffering and persecution to perhaps anchor and  draw viewers. So far so good for WGN America’s first scripted series.

Salem is a re-visitation of the witch trials that took place in Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. It stars Janet Montgomery, from Downton Abbey and Merlin; Shane West from Nikita and ER; and Ashley Madekwe, from Revenge, Madekwe plays the infamous Tituba,  Ad Week reported.

Salem debuted to good numbers on WGN, with an average of 1.52 million viewers among the 18-49 age group; and the two successive encore presentations drew 2.2 million viewers, with 886,000 adults of the 18-49 age group, Ad Week reported.

In an interview with TV Guide, Shane West, who plays war hero John Alden talked about the script, pilot, and how dark the series really is.

“When I read the pilot, the horror element came across on paper, and in my own imagination, it was pretty dark,” West said. “When we actually filmed, I was shocked it stayed to the tone of what the script was because things change once it comes to production; the horror element is expertly crafted into the story line.”

In Salem, witches are real, and they are actually manipulating the town into a state of fear. West’s John Alden, a historical survivor of the witch trials, returns home to discover that his former love, Montgomery’s Mary, has married the elderly town leader. Unbeknownst to John, he got Mary pregnant; Mary makes a deal with the devilish witch Madekwe’s Tituba to get rid of her child, TV Guide reported.

The initial success of the show can also be attributed to its creators, and theme music. Salem is created by Brannon Braga, who executive produced a number of Star Trek (ST), TV and film projects, including ST: The Next Generation; as well as the earlier two Star Trek films: ST: Generations, and ST: First Contact. Also serving as Salem’s creator is Adam Simon, of The Haunting in Connecticut film.

Marilyn Manson’s song “Cupid Carries a Gun,” is Salem’s title music, Entertainment Weekly reported. Composer Tyler Bates, working on the show, has worked on an album with Manson; Bates thought the song would work.

Manson agreed, “I liked the themes of Salem. It looks at the witch trials without being cliche like most modern films.”

Click here for a peek at Salem