Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Mesquite Flavored Petulance


Call me a Western Romantic Fetishist, but to me, nothing says putting it to the man, the government that is, like hoisting a prodigious denim packed ass onto an ATV mount and blasting through the remnants of long gone Ancestral Puebloans. Also doing this in accordance with your local government man, commissioner Phil Lyman’s recommendations. It’s sort of sticking it to the government though the use of handy suggestions from the government. This needs to be done in a place of incredible beauty, so gorgeous in fact that even the name strays out of the mouth in all the ways that feel good. Recapture Canyon absolutely floats off the lips. Sure, let’s muck up that place.

The site had been made off limits for vehicles after an ATV trail that assaulted the creek back and forth was discovered. This somehow became part of the broader quest for millionaire rancher welfare rights. All is connected my friend, and the ever-willing dusty puppets straddled their ATVs in a deliberate attempt to create turmoil.

But here’s the thing. It didn’t happen. No stand-off, sorry. Because the government doesn’t give a shit about this hokey motor show. If anything it’s a happy distraction. Because it’s not real dissent. There’s no threat to anything that the upper echelons care about, namely lands composed of unquantifiable beauty or the sensitivities of less than white descendants of genocide. And the participants simply enjoy lording over this lovely indifferent land that will outlast them. You can’t love these places until that is accepted. They don’t accept it. Words like sovereignty and dominion are heard often out west. And there’s a menacing undercurrent that most of this is being stoked simply to open the idea of private ownership in regard to these last bastions of common grounds, of wilderness. Because people like the Kochs want them. They are nothing if not masters of perverting base instincts in a manner beneficial to them.

Now I did read about Homeland Security showing up at a local Utah parade in a tank. I really have no idea why they would do something like that other than they probably like tearing around in that nasty, destructive machine and it was an excuse to do just that. It was cited as a reason for some of the ill-will floating about in the area from the locals. How horrifying it must have been to see overpowering aggressors flaunting their omnipotence in something so revered as a small town parade. Almost as horrible as people riding ATVs though burial grounds, maybe. For some reason the sensitivities of the beleaguered white patriots are magical and worthy, while the feelings of the truly oppressed are treated with scorn and yeah, ridicule.

The complaint being brought forth by these individuals seems to focus on what they term “government overreach”.  Oddly enough I’ve not heard about any coordinated protests by Bundy fans into the ultimate of overreach–that of data mining. To my way of thinking, this is the apex of overreach, ultimate mind patrolling. Every call, every note typed and sent. It’s all being pushed through the mining process, catching everything. Sluice boxes churning. But these folks in Utah don’t seem to care so much since the biggest repository of its kind is in that state now—near Bluffdale to be exact. It wouldn’t be a hardship for them to ride an ATV there; it’s nearby. Well, sort of (western distances). It’s the place that took about a billion and a half dollars to build. Anybody show up at that groundbreaking from this group? If so, I heartily apologize. I don’t think I’m going to have to send an “I’m sorry ATV freedom rider for my wrong assumptions” card. And don’t get me wrong, I’d really like to send one. They are the only cards I have left to get rid of from my Dollar Store greeting card variety pack.

Just wondering if any of these patriots know or care who Cecily McMillan is? It sounds like she got grabbed and clobbered and might be in jail for 7 years just for reacting to an assault–it was during a NY Occupy protest. Overreach onto her breast by cop. She’s at Riker’s now. Just one of the many brutal (likely coordinated) disproportionate responses to Occupy in cities across the nation. But not to worry patriots, there won’t be a decree from above to the BLM or local law enforcement to come down hard on Recapture Canyon ATV parades. I think it’s more than obvious why. And I have a notion the people who participated in this ATV caper didn’t have much sympathy for Occupy protesters. If this really was about what they profess, there might be a kinship there.

So all I can hope for are scorpions, upcoming monsoon lightning, flash floods and rattlers. Because the Feds and friends probably won’t ever care about protecting that land adequately. You know….they’re just too busy listening in Bluffdale.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest and can be reached at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future