I worked 6 years in excavation, 2 years of roofing and some other odd jobs that were labor intense. But none came close to the 18 months I spent on a dairy farm milking 30-40 head of Holstein during my seasonal winter lay-off from the excavation firms.
We used belly pulsators and did most everything by hand including shoveling the grain out of the silo. This farm was run by a man near 70 who had been doing it longer than I have been alive. His name is Don. The winter I came to work for him his house had just burned down. While it was still aflame he went back in for his work clothes so he could do the days chores.
He beat me to the milk house every morning and was the last one to leave every night. I learned more about hard work in that year and a half than I did the rest of my working life. Walking two five gallon pales of milky water down an icy incline in near freezing temps to feed calves helps put things in perspective. So does lying on your back on a shitty barn floor with a bloody new born calf writhing on your chest and dripping all over your face after you fell while delivering it and twisting your knee in the process. And for a real grit building experience nothing beats dehorning and castrating with the same equipment and methods grandpa used. The strange thing is, I loved it. Not every day. But something about making an animal work for you and produce for you is something...timeless.
I see guys these days, guys my age, that can't handle the least bit of physical discomfort or freak out when the pressure gets turned up and I think of old Don and try to just be thankful for the lessons he taught me without even knowing it. Mainly patience. People can't help the fact that they were born in the era of convenience. His kind really are a dying breed.
When I watched the goings on the Bundy ranch I couldn't help and think of Don. Someones grandfather, someones son carrying on a family business. To try and answer your question, the armed bureaucrats probably never had a Don, or a Clive or the man you worked for in their life. If they had, they may have found a more rewarding line of work.
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin
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