So, the whole Bundy Ranch thing has--for now--had the Feds back off, for now. Good.
While there are people talking about the Bureau of Land Management, about the Feds swiftly resorting to incapacitive violence, and especially talking about Senator Reed's connections to a Chinese concern's desire to use the land for their energy operations--and they should--what I find interesting is so much protesting and not enough contesting.
Sure, having hundreds (if not the reported thousands) of militia show up armed and ready was nice to see, but even that is more protest than contest. The latter is what needs doing if this is NOT to end with shots fired and a clusterfuck of a firefight, and I'm not at all certain that this is desired by the folks (pro and con) most invested in the fight.
As Max Igan (whose latest video goes over this; embedded below) explains, when you protest you grant substance to the phantom system because you treat it as legitimate- it's the act of a child whining to their parents. When you contest, you're undermining claims of legitimacy and validity in the system as you question--and I mean that the way that Mike Wallace is infamous for, so no softballs here--because you're questioning things that a protest assumes to be so.
Asking questions such as "Under what authority do you presume to have the power to do that?" works on multiple levels. First, it's psychological; it is the act of an adult addressing someone apparently getting out of line, and it does NOT presume that the action is legitimate a priori. Second, it's political; it demonstrates that you have some awareness that this is about the relationship of the individual to others akin to himself, either by direct contact or by proxy via agents. Third, it is tactical; you're taking a superior position right away that can be used later to defend yourself from attack- either by someone doing wrong by physical violence, or someone doing wrong by political or legal violence. (This is also why you record all such interactions; He Said/She Said is still a thing. It's also why you don't go alone; having someone to watch your back is good sense.)
So, the first question should be "How can you presume to exert control over land that you do not own?" The answer, inevitably, is that the aforementioned government agency does assert ownership of the land; "public" isn't public at all, not as it is commonly comprehended or defined. "Public" means "government", and "government" is merely "privately owned by the government entity"- it is exactly the same in practice as "The King's Forest" and operated as such. This claim of de facto private ownership means that the BLM, on behalf of the Federal Government, exerts the powers behind the rights of any other land ownership as well as the powers claimed via legislation and regulation (i.e. dudes writing shit down and saying "Because we said so! Right here on this piece of paper!" and acting as if it's not just the same as the rules to Dungeons & Dragons).
The second question, then, becomes "How can you claim ownership over land that was not lawfully traded to you, according to Natural and Common Law, or gotten by way of homesteading?" and inevitably that will come down to "Because we say so, and we have the guns." because there was no such trade and no such homesteading. The most honest will say "Right of Conquest", which means "We lied, cheated, and killed to take this land so fuck you" and outs the Feds as nothing more than an organized crime syndicate with good publicity. The rest will point to their piles of statutes and regulations, much like a rules lawyer in D&D will point to the rulebooks, and state "Because the rules say so." and flip the table (use guns) if compliance isn't forthcoming.
The third question, therefore, becomes "How can you claim to possess powers that natural individuals do not, and yet say that you represent the people--that you are their agents, and therefore derived ALL of your powers from them--whom you are now threatening to kill?" and there is no honest answer other than "We don't; we made that shit up." because that's the reality of the situation.
That's the power of contesting, and why it beats protesting. If you contest, you force the exposure of Empire's false doctrines behind the behavior of the Thralls. It is still the belief that Government is somehow superior, that the people are still Serfs or Slaves to be controlled or culled, which is behind these acts of overreach. It is this contesting of claims which pushes them into outing their true positions, and when done in a manner that takes into account the reality that they are likely to just say "THEY'RE COMING RIGHT FOR US!" and open fire to solve the problem with a hail of lead (by having the means to make that option far more trouble than it's worth, as is the case with the Bundy Ranch), and coupled with the ability to show the world in real time via the Internet (both the easy stuff, and especially via the Darknet), we now have the means to chip away at Empire in ways that heretofore were impossible. Make Empire fall.