Oregon Under Attack
January 3, 2016 10:00 AM   Subscribe

An armed right-wing militia has occupied a federal building and plans to stay for "years." Here is a bit of background to this issue, which has been brewing for years in rural Oregon. Social media has taken note of the response both from authorities and the general media to this action, drawing out the disparities between the response to black vs. white civil disobedience.
posted by thelaze (3672 comments total) 72 users marked this as a favorite
 
Guess they won 't be wanting to,....oh.....eat anytime soon. "years"...long time.
posted by Freedomboy at 10:02 AM on January 3, 2016


Previously.
posted by Fizz at 10:02 AM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Air strikes.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:02 AM on January 3, 2016 [23 favorites]


The discrepancy between how the 'black lives matter' movement was/is being portrayed in the media versus how these terrorists are being treated is mind boggling. Just a reminder: in Ferguson, 150 unarmed black people occupied a blocked off street, they were gassed, sprayed and shot with rubber bullets.

Also, pay attention to the type of language that is being used by the media:

VISIBLE MINORITIES: gangbangers, dissidents, radicals, terrorists
WHITE MILITIA: gun enthusiasts, protesters, occupiers

Fucking outrageous.
posted by Fizz at 10:05 AM on January 3, 2016 [290 favorites]


An Oregonian friend of mine tweeted the best summary of what's going on I've seen
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws backfiring against those who wanted them to fight so-called "Eco-terrorists". Boo-hoo.
In addition to the racial angle on what's happening, there's also the insane thing about homegrown insurgency. Gun nuts like to babble about how gun ownership prevents tyranny, that an armed populace is a free populace, etc. This action in Oregon is a demonstration of that principle. People with guns are trying to overthrow (a tiny part of) the federal government. It is terrifying.
posted by Nelson at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2016 [53 favorites]


I hope that all of these guys go to jail for a long, long time. I don't think that will happen, but I hope it does.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2016 [16 favorites]


Can't wait for Trump to comment.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:09 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


The discrepancy between how the 'black lives matter' movement was/is being portrayed in the media versus how these terrorists are being treated is mind boggling.

Well, you are also talking about the difference between local Missouri police (and later Missouri National Guard) and the federal government.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:09 AM on January 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


Well, you are also talking about the difference between local Missouri police (and later Missouri National Guard) and the federal government.

The latter of whom remember all the shit they got after Waco and Ruby Ridge, and are happy to let the morons get bored and go home.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:13 AM on January 3, 2016 [29 favorites]


This is why everyone on Daddy Bundy's compound needed to be arrested.
posted by PMdixon at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2016 [36 favorites]


Some of the same armed “militia” involved in the Cliven Bundy affair in Nevada have occupied federal land in Oregon formerly reserved for the Northern Paiute. Ironically, the “legal” basis for starting a fight with the federal government is that sovereignty “really” belongs to Oregon rather than the Paiutes, who have seen their federal trust land shrink from over one and a half million acres to a tiny remnant of 760 acres in Burns, Oregon, where this current armed standoff began.
Bundy Militia Musters Again Over Paiute Land
posted by graymouser at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2016 [17 favorites]


This is what the second amendment is for, right? All those deaths, yearly, so this can happen?

Hope it seems worth it.
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2016 [72 favorites]


Freedom loving pack of lone wolves demands handouts from the Federal government.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:15 AM on January 3, 2016 [123 favorites]



Guess they won 't be wanting to,....oh.....eat anytime soon. "years"...long time.


I thought so too, but apparently Law Enforcement is letting them receive deliveries. (WTF)
posted by drezdn at 10:16 AM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


Wow, the "federal building" headlines are terrible. This is some park headquarters building, that is, a building owned by the federal government, not an actual federal building (big office building housing federal agencies and courts). Really sloppy.
posted by ryanrs at 10:16 AM on January 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's amazing how cowardly seditionists get away with calling themselves brave patriots, and nobody laughs.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:18 AM on January 3, 2016 [51 favorites]


I wondered during the Cliven Bundy standoff, and I wonder now, if the feds (& Obama) are severely handicapped by the certain overreaction by gun enthusiasts and the right wing press to any legal or tactical efforts to peacefully resolve this situation. If the mere suggestion of action is only going to fuel more outlandish protests and propaganda, it looks like a no-win situation for the federal government. At least until the gun enthusiasts start eating the local wildlife.
posted by sneebler at 10:18 AM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow, the "federal building" headlines are terrible. This is some park headquarters building, that is, a building owned by the federal government, not an actual federal building (big office building housing federal agencies and courts). Really sloppy.

wut
posted by PMdixon at 10:19 AM on January 3, 2016 [28 favorites]


"Wow, the "federal building" headlines are terrible. This is some park headquarters building, that is, a building owned by the federal government, not an actual federal building (big office building housing federal agencies and courts). Really sloppy."

Yeah, the headline 'Oregon Under Attack" is pretty melodramatic too.
posted by merelyglib at 10:20 AM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


How cute, this guy's copy of the Constitution is a picture book.
posted by peeedro at 10:20 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's amazing how cowardly seditionists get away with calling themselves brave patriots, and nobody laughs.

And the deep irony of claiming their constitutional right to defend themselves and blah blah blah against a federal government that grants them those same rights they are openly defying.
posted by Fizz at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2016 [15 favorites]


We had an IRL regional campout not too far from this place in 2014. Had to actually drive through the wildlife refuge to get to the campout location.

I'm wondering whether they chose this location because they resent the protected status of the possible game birds who use this as part of their migratory path. They are demanding the wildlife refuge be disbanded, so I would be surprised if they aren't poaching for food when they can, if they do plan to be there "as long as it takes" or whatever.
posted by hippybear at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Obama could designate the building to be a new mini-prison and order the BLM to build a fence around it.
posted by Brian B. at 10:22 AM on January 3, 2016 [71 favorites]


These guys aren't even Oregonians, and as the Vox piece states, the guys they claim to be supporting don't want them there and are fine going to prison.

But the lack of police response? Ugh. Police keep low profile in militia standoff is an Oregonian piece that goes into that. They say it's under FBI jurisdiction, and the FBI is keeping moot. They also mention that one of the guys posted what seemed like a farewell video just before going to Oregon for this, ugh.

Also, in some pointed yet certainly unintended symbolism (they're not Oregonian so it's doubtful they know the background of Malheur), Malheur is French for misfortune; calamity; tragedy.
posted by fraula at 10:24 AM on January 3, 2016 [16 favorites]


Peeedro - I'm pretty sure the "This Guy" in question there is Ritzheimer, (originally mentioned for holding those anti-Muslim rallies in the last year, then trying to fundraise claiming he was receiving threats, etc).
posted by Archelaus at 10:25 AM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


These guys are idiots.

That said, don't let your disdain for these heavily armed halfbrights cause you to dismiss occupation as a strategy altogether. I grew up in Seattle, where there is a genuinely wonderful Native American cultural center that got its start back in the 1970s when a group of radical Native activists staged a long-running (unarmed) occupation of U.S. military land within the Seattle city limits, land which was eventually transferred back to the tribes. The problem with these right-wing Oregon guys isn't that they've taken a building with the demand to hold it for years. The problem is that their politics are incoherent and vile, and they think that guns can protect them.

Seizing land and refusing to leave, though, is a valid tactic.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:26 AM on January 3, 2016 [67 favorites]


Or, terrorism.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:28 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trending twitter hashtags: #YallQaeda, #YokelHaram, #YeeHawd
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:28 AM on January 3, 2016 [100 favorites]


If these guys were black, there'd be airstrikes indeed
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:29 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


These stupid losers are fighting for their Landfare rights, the right to graze private cattle on public land, at the cost of the other species who need protection to exist, at a cost to Americans who want to enjoy visiting pristine habitat. It is also on the dime of hunters who buy duck stamps and licenses to responsibly harvest fish and game birds. You used to have to pick your way through cowpies to hike in the Escalante River drainage, until it was fenced off from cattle.

Folks move to marginal, cheap land because they can afford it. Then they expect to graze cattle for as far as the eye can see, on public lands, for free, without leasing the lands or managing the range for the common good of the American public.

Put their asses in jail, after doing some sort of Iwo Jima landing with American troops, itching for combat. Fly some fighters low over them, so low their teeth rattle, and make them sure who owns the land, and that the owners are sick of them. Jesus Christ, we are carrying on in the Middle East like we own the place, what about the stuff we do own?

Make it sound like Ramadi over there. Regardless of any other consideration. If we don't, then ignoring the proper management of public lands, will become the norm.

This is already the norm in The National Dope Growing Forests.
posted by Oyéah at 10:29 AM on January 3, 2016 [117 favorites]


While I know next to nothing about this case, in matters claimed to be "civil disobedience", I keep in mind the true grievances of the pirates in Somalia

As I have come to understand, conflicts there destroyed the government and left the coastline open to both illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping. While piracy in that region eventually tended toward robbery and localised terrorism, the inception was a desperate measure of defence. As the pirates captured foreign vessels, foreign navies began responding, which had the side-effect of diminishing illegal fishing and dumping.

I won't forget the projectcensored.org report:

Acts of piracy are actually acts of desperation, and, as in the case of Somalia, what is one man’s pirate is another man’s Coast Guard.

While I know little of the case in Oregon, it's worth remembering that civil disobedience does not always take obvious forms. That this group of people feels so aggrieved that they have chosen extreme action may represent either hubris – and the desire to live above / outside the law – or a legitimate grievance that has been at best ignored and at worst demonised.

In the case of the pirates:

“Do we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn’t act on those crimes—but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we begin to shriek about “evil.”

Not to say the militia in Oregon has a legitimate grievance – it would be good to know whether the objective opinion is that they do, or they do not. The point here is that civil disobedience does not always take the form that one might expect.
posted by nickrussell at 10:30 AM on January 3, 2016 [19 favorites]


Twitter has been all over this since late last night and I'm surprised dissapointed that it took major media outlets so long to cover this issue. That being said, the ones that are covering it, aren't doing such a stand-up job of covering it. I mean seriously?!
posted by Fizz at 10:30 AM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's amazing how cowardly seditionists get away with calling themselves brave patriots, and nobody laughs.

Well, putting public land on private hands is apparently a Koch goal, and therefore a republican goal, and they're the only people who count as patriots so USA! USA! USA!

Basically be all folksy about it and run up a flags and the American people will absolutely allow themselves to be screwed over by armed nutjobs backed by oligarchs.
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on January 3, 2016 [14 favorites]


Militia aside, if you think, as I do, that the minimum sentencing for "eco-terrorism" is far too harsh, it's pretty hard to see the extended sentences for the two ranchers as anything like justice.
posted by surlyben at 10:32 AM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


Why is it that the public reaction to Waco and Ruby Ridge leads to prudence (trying not to inflame people to greater violence), while the public reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing and the Rodney King beating are used to justify increased police violence? Is it really just the difference between the police and the feds?
posted by idiopath at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2016 [36 favorites]


American police are in general cowardly bullies who aren't going to do shit about anyone who might shoot back or have political support.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on January 3, 2016 [13 favorites]


I thought so too, but apparently Law Enforcement is letting them receive deliveries.

What the shit? This is like when you go "camping" by putting a sheet over the dining room table and sitting under there drawing pokemons and your mom brings you fluffernutters
posted by Greg Nog at 10:35 AM on January 3, 2016 [141 favorites]


Why is it that the public reaction to Waco and Ruby Ridge leads to prudence (trying not to inflame people to greater violence), while the public reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing and the Rodney King beating are used to justify increased police violence? Is it really just the difference between the police and the feds?

...because they're black?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:35 AM on January 3, 2016 [71 favorites]


"American police are in general cowardly bullies who aren't going to do shit about anyone who might shoot back"

Which, perversely enough, is pretty much one of the gun nuts arguments.
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:37 AM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]




Bundy: “The Lord was not pleased” with the arson conviction.

Replace "Lord" with "Allah" and how do you think this would end?
posted by HighLife at 10:37 AM on January 3, 2016 [42 favorites]


How cute, this guy's copy of the Constitution is a picture book.

It's a pamphlet containing the constitution, with a picture on the front, published by a conservative group called National Center for Constitutional Studies. It does contain the text of the constitution, so I wouldn't call it a "picture book".
An amazon review for it says it's the text of the constitution and declaration of independence, framed with some quotes opposing separation of church and state.
posted by xris at 10:38 AM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


While I know next to nothing about this case,

Maybe you could look some stuff up then instead of writing a medium length comment with generalities about the need to look at underlying grievances.
posted by PMdixon at 10:39 AM on January 3, 2016 [40 favorites]


in matters claimed to be "civil disobedience", I keep in mind the true grievances of the pirates in Somalia

As I have come to understand, conflicts there destroyed the government and left the coastline open to both illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping.


Which is pretty much the exact opposite of any of the stated grievances of this group of armed men in Oregon. (Read the background links in the FPP.)
posted by hippybear at 10:40 AM on January 3, 2016 [18 favorites]


What the shit? This is like when you go "camping" by putting a sheet over the dining room table and sitting under there drawing pokemons and your mom brings you fluffernutters

I believe the Feds worked out that if they put up a cordon around a bunch of armed nutters, that course of action tends to run inexorably towards having to shoot them or something. By not having a cordon, the Feds have options. Including putting up a cordon if they want to later.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:41 AM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


Law Enforcement is letting them receive deliveries.

Surely that is standard for any occupation.
posted by colie at 10:48 AM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Law Enforcement is letting them receive deliveries.

Let them receive all the Hungry Man dinners they want. Cut off their electricity and running water and let shit (literally) pile up.

Sanitation is what ends a siege.
posted by HighLife at 10:52 AM on January 3, 2016 [51 favorites]


>That being said, the ones that are covering it, aren't doing such a stand-up job of covering it.

Which is why I usually have to go to The Guardian to get decent coverage of US news stories these days :(

Their on-site reporter states that although US news sources were regularly reporting 150 protesters terrorists occupying the building, the Guardian reporter only saw about a dozen cars in the parking lot. And that the occupying protesters terrorists were keeping other Americans from entering the land that they had claimed for all Americans themselves

(Also Twitter is not news coverage, it is an advertising medium. You can't truly cover news in 140 character chunks spaced out throughout the day.)
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:53 AM on January 3, 2016 [16 favorites]


Surely that is standard for any occupation.

Maybe when you're white; iirc they tried starving out AIM and cut off all utilities to Wounded Knee back in 73.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:54 AM on January 3, 2016 [29 favorites]


I wonder if anyone's troubled to run the plates on those dozen or so cars?
posted by Archelaus at 10:54 AM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, either they'll slink away into the night without their power, internet, and running toilets or we'll see someone smeared in body paint and feces waving a conch.

"Civil disobedience" my fucking foot. What happens when they run an armed take over of something less remote and shack-like?
posted by Slackermagee at 10:55 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


These are the same kind of people who make fun of left-wing activists when they "occupy" parks or college administration buildings. So I guess they don't have a principled objection to unlawful squatting, they just don't want the "wrong" people to do it?

This is not civil disobedience, it's an attempt to seize a building (and ultimately a valuable plot of grazing land) from the federal government. Doesn't matter whether their motivating politics are left- or right-wing. Have them arrested. (That said, try to avoid another violent siege like Waco or Ruby Ridge. They may be criminals, but they still have human rights.)
posted by Rangi at 10:59 AM on January 3, 2016 [30 favorites]


Maybe when you're white; iirc they tried starving out AIM and cut off all utilities to Wounded Knee back in 73.

I don't doubt that the police/state treat groups very differently according to their race and social position, but I'm just concerned that the very notion of peaceful 'occupation' might get trashed a bit in this thread that's all. Certainly student occupations are a really important activist tool and the authorities don't attempt to starve them etc.
posted by colie at 10:59 AM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Once you're armed, the 'peaceful' part of the occupation is kinda out the window.
posted by PMdixon at 11:04 AM on January 3, 2016 [120 favorites]




Maybe you could look some stuff up then instead of writing a medium length comment with generalities about the need to look at underlying grievances.

Referenced readings were inconclusive in terms of whether or not their grievances are valid, beyond the unsophisticated methods mentioned. There appears to be valid grievance with federal land use policy, and its influencers. They would certainly not be alone in that. However, the reporting then goes on to discuss witnesses that may or may not be of relevance, and commentary on the standoff rather than the grievance. My point is that it is unclear to me if the grievance is valid, and until that is clear, it seems mis-guided to focus too heavily on the methods.

Now, the grievance may well not be valid, however, I haven't seen linked here or in a quick browse of the news enough information to conclusively say that their grievance is invalid. They are certainly extremists and promote themselves poorly, however, if there is corruption of land use supervisors and/or judicial problems, that is certainly a crucial piece of the story.
posted by nickrussell at 11:04 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think the presence of guns is a big distinction between peaceful, student protests and whatever this is.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2016 [26 favorites]


"Civil disobedience" my fucking foot. What happens when they run an armed take over of something less remote and shack-like?

Just be patient. The dystopic aftermath of a violent revolution that we've been reading/watching in our fiction for the past 100 years will soon be a reality.
posted by Fizz at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Does no one in the "we need guns in case we need to overthrow a corrupt government" camp follow the news even casually?

You don't overthrow an oppressive government with guns. No one does that anymore. You use public protest and personal reporting.

In fact, if you made a pie chart of how critical various tools are to revolution in the 21st century, "guns" would be a tiny sliver hard to make out between the giant wedges for "Twitter" and "Facebook."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:06 AM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Wow, the "federal building" headlines are terrible. This is some park headquarters building, that is, a building owned by the federal government, not an actual federal building (big office building housing federal agencies and courts). Really sloppy."

Yeah, the headline 'Oregon Under Attack" is pretty melodramatic too.


Given that it IS a federal bulding, shouldn't this be AMERICA UNDER ATTACK?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:07 AM on January 3, 2016 [25 favorites]


Local Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter says 10-12 people in the building.
posted by jgaiser at 11:10 AM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


What is really bothering me is that liberals and radicals alike are already adopting the reasoning of the far-right here - that you are either with these terrorists, or with the police. This is a false dilemma. You can actually, really oppose both the armed far-right and the armed wing of the state here.

That said, I do think what these guys want is some kind of firefight/martyrdom. See Waco, or even the attempted arrest of Silent Brotherhood founder Bob Mathews. The FBI might be skittish about letting something like that happen, for good reason. On the other hand, it's also entirely possible the whole Bundy Ranch incident emboldened these clowns. I think the best thing that can happen here is citizens doing what the police won't. And by that I mean blockading the area from receiving deliveries entirely, cutting the power (if it hasn't been shut off already), naming and shaming these fools (many of their pals are already all over social media bragging about this).

We must not let these fascists force us to buy into the rhetoric that this is about Free Citizens vs. The Armed State. They would make real and actual fascism happen if they had their way. They need to be shown that they are not just up against the feds here, but a nation of people who refused to be cowed by their cheap intimidation tactics.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2016 [67 favorites]


I think the presence of guns is a big distinction between peaceful, student protests and whatever this is.


Totally, and so it's not really accurate to call this an 'occupation'.
posted by colie at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Honestly ignoring these wackos is the right course of action. An armed confrontation is what they want. Let them have the park, they'll get bored in a week or two when the supposedly terrible Federal Government doesn't send in troops. Then they'll just go home. Arrest them in a few months for tax evasion when they're out of the limelight.
posted by miyabo at 11:12 AM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


I hope that all of these guys go to jail for a long, long time. I don't think that will happen, but I hope it does.

If it goes down like that other Bundy fiasco in Nevada, those guys now own the building and the land tax-free in perpetuity.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:13 AM on January 3, 2016 [26 favorites]


Arrest them in a few months for tax evasion when they're out of the limelight.

Tax evasion? Is there any reason to beleive they are guilty of that, or is that just a charge we can toss at anyone for any reason?

Largely, I agree with you though; but I'd arrest them as they drove out of there, for criminal trespass, firearms violations, threatening federal employees, and/or other things they have actually done.
posted by el io at 11:16 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


. I think the best thing that can happen here is citizens doing what the police won't. And by that I mean blockading the area from receiving deliveries entirely, cutting the power (if it hasn't been shut off already), naming and shaming these fools (many of their pals are already all over social media bragging about this).

I, too, want this to end without militaristic violence from *any* side, but I think much of the revenge fantasizing going on here is a response to the fact that the "armed wing of the state" certainly seems to pick its victims along racial and ethnic lines.

With that in mind, how are citizens to blockade the building or cut off the power without themselves becoming victims of the far right militiamen or the armed wing of the State?
posted by kewb at 11:18 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Now, the grievance may well not be valid, however, I haven't seen linked here or in a quick browse of the news enough information to conclusively say that their grievance is invalid.

Their grievance is that two people were convicted of arson for intentionally setting fires on federal land under a burn ban without notification while firefighters were camped nearby. They are lucky that nobody was killed.
posted by JackFlash at 11:19 AM on January 3, 2016 [76 favorites]


drezdn: I thought so too, but apparently Law Enforcement is letting them receive deliveries. (WTF)

Maybe the plan is to wait a week or two so they get comfortable, and then drug the hell out of one of the food deliveries. Go in and pick everyone up while they're passed out.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:25 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


With that in mind, how are citizens to blockade the building or cut off the power without themselves becoming victims of the far right militiamen or the armed wing of the State?

Avoiding getting picked off by rednecks or arrested as they attempt to cut power or block deliveries depends entirely on the layout of the place and surrounding areas, so I have no idea where that's concerned. I'm just tossing ideas out here. Escalation is clearly not the answer, though, and I think non-escalating means of containing and defeating these guys are crucial. And in the meantime, the Pro-Armed Redneck Or Pro-Cop meme needs to be ignored, because it only plays into their agenda.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:26 AM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


> I think the best thing that can happen here is citizens doing what the police won't.
> And by that I mean blockading the area from receiving deliveries entirely,

With that in mind, how are citizens to blockade the building or cut off the power without themselves becoming victims of the far right militiamen or the armed wing of the State?


Agreed. I don't think forming a militia is always the best response to nutters forming a militia.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:27 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Totally, and so it's not really accurate to call this an 'occupation'.

Well, it's an armed occupation. With an unarmed occupation the only penalty for the government to force you out is PR. With armed, it's the threat of the death of federal agents. So, when done for political aims, armed occupation is an act of terrorism and should be treated as such. I respect the desire not to cause unnecessary deaths, but terrorists should not be allowed to do this. This is the sort of thing SWAT is actually for, not tossing a weed dealer's house.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:30 AM on January 3, 2016 [86 favorites]


Certainly student occupations are a really important activist tool and the authorities don't attempt to starve them etc.

Perhaps sometimes...

I remember a governmentboffice occupation in BC a decade ago where the students tried to order pizza and this was not allowed.

I don't think letting a bunch of armed people who say they are willing to kill or be killed should be receiving deliveries. The delivery person's safety is one thing. What can be smuggled in is another.

Armed stand off is not peaceful civil disobedience.
posted by chapps at 11:31 AM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't think forming a militia is always the best response to nutters forming a militia.

Fortunately, I'm not arguing in favor of forming a counter-militia.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:33 AM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are so many pieces to thus to unpack... Certainly the racial bias in policing, the expansion of terrorism laws, the idea of outsider protestors trying to speak for locals, people harnessing any protests as an excuse for acting out violence and perhaps machismo.
posted by chapps at 11:34 AM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: Avoiding getting picked off by rednecks or arrested as they attempt to cut power or block deliveries depends entirely on the layout of the place and surrounding areas, so I have no idea where that's concerned. I'm just tossing ideas out here. Escalation is clearly not the answer, though, and I think non-escalating means of containing and defeating these guys are crucial. And in the meantime, the Pro-Armed Redneck Or Pro-Cop meme needs to be ignored, because it only plays into their agenda.

1. Unless the place is generator-powered, there's another end to that power cable. Pull that one.

2. Tell all local residents and food services "Deliver to those guys and it's aiding and abetting". Arrest anyone who goes anyway once they get back.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:34 AM on January 3, 2016 [14 favorites]


I think the best thing that can happen here is citizens doing what the police won't. And by that I mean blockading the area from receiving deliveries entirely,

I don't understand why you would ever think trucking in some anarchists for a little direct action against armed fascists would be a good idea here: this isn't Eugene. The local "citizens" are certainly not going to lock arms around this "protest". Which side do you think they would pick in a fight between gun loving ranchers and black block kids?
posted by ennui.bz at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the correct response to this is the state enforcing its monopoly on violence, not other people trying to enter the market.
posted by PMdixon at 11:41 AM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Cover the road in caltrops.
posted by miyabo at 11:42 AM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would love to know what the drone commanders are telling Law Enforcement about the legalities of sending American Armed Forces drones in to execute Americans on American soil right now. Surely it is perfectly legal by this point but I bet they really really really do not want to do it.
posted by bukvich at 11:43 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't the currently popular patriotic response be to just build a really big wall?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:45 AM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


ooh yes i forgot about the drones
posted by poffin boffin at 11:45 AM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


How about freezing their bank accounts? The government seems to do it on the flimsiest pretext all the time. Those ranchers will probably think twice when their wife and kids at home can't buy food anymore.
posted by miyabo at 11:48 AM on January 3, 2016 [15 favorites]


I guess this explains why westerns are making a comeback. This is, after all, a real-life range war.
posted by maxsparber at 11:49 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


While I acknowledge the difference in treatment between whites and POC, I'd hesitate to call this terrorism. Bank robbers instill terror, but they aren't really terrorists. These guys are a bunch of privileged assholes who think they're special snowflakes and the laws don't apply to them. I've met a few "sovereign citizen" types, it's basically a license to do whatever the hell they want.

That said, I don't want this to end in a gun battle, partially because some of them would love to be martyrs to the cause. However, I don't understand why the Feds haven't cut the power and blocked the roads in. Starve me out seems to be the simplest solution. Anybody who steps out carrying a gun gets tear gassed.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:49 AM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


This "takeover" is ridiculously cowardly and low-stakes: they "occupied" an empty building, and I doubt anyone would have even noticed by now in the absence of their own relentless self-promotion. So there's no reason not to have a sense of humor. These are disaffected ranchers, so I say fight fire with fire: set up a cordon and air-drop thousand pound sacks of literal bullshit, the substance with which they would gladly pollute our federal lands, and see how long it takes for them to give up.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 11:50 AM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


What if they cut off the cell phone signals? No way to post on social media, no publicity. It's not like this place has tons of TV cameras.
posted by miyabo at 11:51 AM on January 3, 2016 [13 favorites]


Yeah, the correct response to this is the state enforcing its monopoly on violence, not other people trying to enter the market.

but the whole point is that this violent right wing political action shows just how useless the anarcho-libertarian idea of the "state" and a "monopoly on violence" is. Genghis Khan had a monopoly on violence; the bourgeois state is not the Golden Horde. it will always defer to groups associated business interests in society, because power in a bourgeois society ultimately derives from those interests.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:57 AM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Based on the campout we had in 2014, and the number of birders we encountered while there (repeatedly had people be astonished we weren't there with binoculars to look at birds), I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of people with binoculars pretty outraged by this after they've driven to the most remote corner of Oregon.
posted by hippybear at 11:58 AM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


What if they cut off the cell phone signals?

This would be my first move. I don't know much about the technology, though. Is it possible to jam cell communications? Once they're jammed, let them sit and stew, unable to get their message out. Then, cut power. Sit and stew some more.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:59 AM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Responses I'm enthusiastically for: not allowing people to bring food to them (aiding and abetting), cutting off their electricity (which they are arguably stealing), waiting for them to come out and then arresting them.

Responses that are repugnant and disturbing to me: violently attacking/killing them. Look, they don't have any hostages, do they? Are any lives in imminent danger?

Personally, I'm against the death penalty: that is, state sanctioned murder. The death penalty comes with a ton of judicial review and due process, and I'm still against it. I hope that everyone here in favor of a violent state response to this action are also ardent defenders of the death penalty, because what they are advocating in this thread is the death penalty without any due process.

Honestly, I'm pretty disgusted by this thread, and disappointed at many of the commenters in it.

Don't get me wrong, I abhor the crazy political views of these folks, abhor their tactics even more, and think they should all be put in federal prison, but summary execution isn't something that I think the state should be engaged with. The only time deadly force is appropriate is when lives are in imminent danger (hostage situations, for example).

Seeing the calls for violent response to a situation that doesn't warrant it reminds me of people that wanted to use a violent response to the Occupy folks or Black Lives Matter movement.

Yes, these people have guns; yes, they should be arrested, but no lives are in imminent danger at the moment, and it's law enforcement's job to peacefully deescelate this situation, and then arrest the people involved (as they should have done after the Bundy ranch standoff).
posted by el io at 11:59 AM on January 3, 2016 [101 favorites]


Apparently they're also trying to bring in kids now.
posted by drezdn at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


the anarcho-libertarian idea of the "state" and a "monopoly on violence" is.

Uh. I think there's a lot more people calling that the basic defining feature of a state than anarcho-libertarians. Yes, there's a lot of differing possible sources of legitimacy, which is the thing that turns 'violence' into 'force', but by and large 'an entity that has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence within a geographical territory' is taken as the starting definition of what a state is.
posted by PMdixon at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Apparently they're also trying to bring in kids now.

If the feds allow that to happen we're fucked and I'm going to start figuring out which country is most likely to let me seek asylum under the grounds that I may face persecution as a gay man.
posted by PMdixon at 12:01 PM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I'm sorry, the precedent for this is John Brown at Harper's Ferry. The politics are immaterial. This is an armed insurrection, and I expect my federal government to pursue this with vigor and efficiency.

That said, it seems like the most efficient course is for the feds to cut the power, cut the water, cut the cell coverage, prevent any deliveries, and wait for twelve irrational, hungry white guys to stagger out of the park, hands up. Then arrest them all.

The very last thing I would ever allow these occupiers/terrorists to do is bring in kids. Bringing kids into a standoff with guns, just to be props for the justice of your cause, is just plain evil.
posted by newdaddy at 12:03 PM on January 3, 2016 [28 favorites]


Kids as human shields. This same group was using women and children as human shields down in Nevada. It's a tactic they "learned" from the Waco standoff and tragedy.

Stay classy, militia-people.
posted by hippybear at 12:05 PM on January 3, 2016 [33 favorites]


Given that it IS a federal bulding, shouldn't this be AMERICA UNDER ATTACK?
posted by mandolin conspiracy


If these jokers were Muslim, you can damn well bet that would be the headline.
posted by spitbull at 12:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [38 favorites]


Responses that are repugnant and disturbing to me: violently attacking/killing them. Look, they don't have any hostages, do they?

Actually.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:10 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm not in favor of civil forfeiture, but given that it is used and (however dubiously) legal, why can't the feds just establish a line around the place, then anyone that crosses that line has their belongings subject to civil forfeiture. That would take care of food delivery and arms delivery quickly enough.

My sick sense of humor suggests that that should extend to their clothes as well and that it be done in full view of the press.
posted by Death and Gravity at 12:15 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


(TD Strange's link is to a quasi-interview with a woman affiliated with YallQaeda, and among other things she mentions bringing children onto the compound today.)
posted by PMdixon at 12:19 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Kind of curious how many undercover cops are there.
posted by drezdn at 12:20 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


If there aren't any there now, there soon will be.
posted by hippybear at 12:22 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kind of curious how many undercover cops are there.
posted by drezdn at 12:20 PM


What am I missing?
posted by yesster at 12:22 PM on January 3, 2016


And can we please spell Y'allQaeda correctly? It's not Ya'llQaeda... the apostrophe goes in the correct place.
posted by hippybear at 12:23 PM on January 3, 2016 [32 favorites]


What am I missing?

The call for others to join them, whether they are armed or not. Open opportunity for infiltration.
posted by hippybear at 12:24 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


My wife tells me someone's referring to these guys as "vanilla ISIS."
posted by doctornemo at 12:24 PM on January 3, 2016 [100 favorites]


I resent "Y'all Qaeda." They are not Southerners.

are they? please tell me they're not from down here
posted by Countess Elena at 12:26 PM on January 3, 2016 [21 favorites]


There's a lot of American dialects that include y'all, not just deep southern ones. They're most recently from Nevada, which contains multitudes.
posted by PMdixon at 12:27 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


if you take the big picture view, a lot of this comes down to just how much a political disaster the era of radical eco-activism in the Pacific north west was, the main result being that it provided cover for big business to liquidate employment in the timber industry and associated businesses. the economy of the Pacific northwest would resemble something like Afghanistan without the constant investment and intervention of the federal government. cattle ranching in particular was always a federal welfare program and an inefficient one at that. but the drying out of the west combined with the collapse of timber employment has made the situation so much more stark and driven welfare queens like the Bundy's to outright crime. you could joke that the entire economy would collapse without the federal money that comes with fighting first fires but it might be true. but the point is that the Bundy's (and the tribes) wouldn't exist without the federal government so all of this is a variation on a longstanding game that no side really wants to "win". but as global warming radicalizes the ecology of the northwest this game will become increasingly high stakes...
posted by ennui.bz at 12:28 PM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


the apostrophe goes in the correct place.

Not this again. How dare you bring up something as serious as that in this lighthearted discussion about some nutty sovereign citizens and their pretend invasion of marijuana land?

How? Dare? You?
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:28 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


WhineSIS
posted by drezdn at 12:29 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


In order to contextualize the insurrection in Oregon for those used to reading about the middle east, I've compiled a handy list:

"armed militia" = "militant insurgents"
"local residents" = "villagers"
"remote federal building" = "government outpost"
"peaceful march" = "public demonstrations"
"militia members claim" = "intelligence reports suggest"
"occupation" = "capture"
"protestors" = "anti-government sympathizers"
"calls for support" = "extremist propaganda"
posted by TheNewWazoo at 12:29 PM on January 3, 2016 [54 favorites]


They're most recently from Nevada, which contains multitudes.

Many of them seem to be from Montana and North Dakota based on the early reports I was reading. With the oil fields slowing down, there are men with lots of time on their hands in those areas.

I am a bit resentful that they are giving men with beautiful beards a bad reputation, but I can't do anything about that.
posted by hippybear at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


I resent "Y'all Qaeda." They are not Southerners.

there was significant emigration from Texas to the Pacific Northwest in the early middle of the 20th century. not sure if this explains anything...
posted by ennui.bz at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah sorry, focusing too much on idiot Bundys and not the rest.
posted by PMdixon at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


What to do if they run out of toilet paper?
posted by Postroad at 12:31 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Use the bullets of the weapons they claim to have brought to a non-armed occupation?
posted by hippybear at 12:33 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Use the Constitution?
posted by drezdn at 12:33 PM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


What to do if they run out of toilet paper?

Duh, use the peanut butter jar.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:33 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Shit, my brother is a scientist at the USDA research station in Burns. They've been out of town for the holidays, but SHIT.
posted by gamera at 12:34 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Southern Poverty Law Center's come up with this handy and timely resource - Timeline: Land Use and the "Patriots"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:38 PM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


I was wondering about undercover cops because with "Eco-terrorists" and BLM there have definitely been undercover cops that had infiltrated the organizations. Curious if any had done it with this right wing militia.
posted by drezdn at 12:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]




Kind of curious how many undercover cops are there.
posted by drezdn at 12:20 PM

What am I missing?
The US Govts history of using agent provocateurs. Generally this is with leftist movements, but also the far right (Hal Turner for example).
posted by el io at 12:44 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


My favorite response to this was posted on dailykos:
You know you're a badass Tea Party patriot motherfucker when your militia takes over an unprotected bird sanctuary
posted by Bringer Tom at 12:47 PM on January 3, 2016 [122 favorites]


About the above questions regarding Tax Evasion, it's as much a part of this right wing movement as antisemitism, bizarro world readings of archaic legal documents, and white entitlement.
posted by idiopath at 12:48 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I guess I do wonder if the Hammonds were black or gay or Jewish or Muslim, would these same men be marching with their weapons toward one of the least populated sections of Oregon on their behalf?
posted by hippybear at 12:51 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


The county has announced that schools will be closed the entire week (and possibly longer) which I think is a bad move since it sets the clock ticking for an escalation, and potentially adds a bunch of bored and/or dumb teenagers to the mix.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:52 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm all for cutting off their water supply and freezing their bank accounts. The feds have plenty of ways to resolve this without a) resorting to violence b) creating a PR shitstorm for themselves.
posted by iffthen at 12:54 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Yeehawdists," that from California.

I didn't suggest violence, I suggested close overflys. But my next suggestion is strafing the vehicles, and making them pay for towing. I suggest making so much noise and such a personnel over-response, the Yeehawdists won't have enough toilet paper to come out clean, with their hands up.

The problem is these people are the pawns of exploiters, who by use of bored folks like these, plan to log, mine, and graze every piece of public land in this nation. They plan for no public land to exist.

I am amazed at disappointment stated, over an armed response suggested, to armed takeover of public resources, inside the US.

OK, so starve 'em out. They will hunt the protected wildlife, just like the guys did who are voluntarily going back to jail, for setting fires, to cover deer slaughter.
posted by Oyéah at 12:56 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh also, the job of good government is to handle stupidity like this with intelligence and subtlety. Hoping nobody drops the ball here.
posted by iffthen at 12:59 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


I’ll repeat my standard response to news about “militia” groups. These gun nut groups that summarize the entire Constitution to only a fragment of a single sentence in the second amendment need to have the rest of the Constitution read to them.
Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution clearly states the purpose, and the organizing authority for: training, arming, disciplining, and selection of officers of the Militia. The stated purpose of the Militia is "to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions".
Despite their misuse of the name, a ragtag group of self-serving crackpots defying legal authorities is not a militia.
posted by X4ster at 12:59 PM on January 3, 2016 [38 favorites]


Also2 (and I'm done after this), double-sentencing these guys is not great as a matter of policy.
posted by iffthen at 1:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm wrong but isn't civil disobedience is something that's usually practiced without packing guns? I'm pretty sure Gandhi and MLK wouldn't have done it that way. So let's not give this armed tantrum the dignity of being called "civil disobedience ".
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


The double-sentencing was problematic, especially since (I believe) they already served their first sentence. Double Jeopardy is a thing we don't do here in the US except on a game show. Seems the Feds should have let it drop after they got out from their first, fully-served sentence.

But the Hammonds are going to surrender themselves peacefully for their second sentence tomorrow, and they aren't even participating in this whole matter. These are people who have come in from around the country to try to protest against a thing that the people involved aren't even protesting or resisting.
posted by hippybear at 1:12 PM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


The calls to kill protesters in Ferguson were gross, and the (presumably meant to be ironic or funny) calls to kill people here are gross. The feds acting with patience and looking for deescalation is a good thing in the midst of any armed standoff and should be the norm we expect in all situations. (That said, it is shameful that it has been a year since that Bundy protest and it appears that they have not bothered to go after them for the unpaid fees, illegal actions during the protests, or the range of tax offenses that some protesters bragged about.)

I've been through Burns a few times this year. If you aren't from this region, it's hard to exaggerate how remote it is; it is not at all the place where you would expect to find a congregation of sovereign citizens, or a congregation of pretty much anyone other than birders or hunters. It says a lot that the ranchers at the center of this -- the ones actually in jail -- have disavowed the protesters and don't want any part of their craziness.

I didn't suggest violence, I suggested close overflys.

I can only imagine the environmental impact process for permitting low overflights in a wildlife refuge. Good luck getting Fish and Wildlife to sign off on that one.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:17 PM on January 3, 2016 [17 favorites]


"these guys"

The arsonists were convicted of a crime that had a mandatory minimum, their shorter sentence was an error. It is not double jeapordy - there was no second trial. The original sentence was in error. If you are opposed to mandatory minimums (as I am), there is reason to complain, but nothing illegal happened here.

Also the usage of the term "these guys" here is extremely misleading. The occupiers are not from Oregon. The arsonists are willing to serve their longer sentence and have explicitly distanced themselves from the occupying private army.
posted by idiopath at 1:18 PM on January 3, 2016 [19 favorites]


One of the militia men occupying the fed wildlife refuge in OR left a goodbye video to his family.

Seriously? Their desperation to become "martyrs" is showing.
posted by jessian at 1:19 PM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


The double-sentencing was problematic, especially since (I believe) they already served their first sentence. Double Jeopardy is a thing we don't do here in the US except on a game show. Seems the Feds should have let it drop after they got out from their first, fully-served sentence.

They weren't tried twice- they were found guilty exactly once. The judge "disagreed" with the mandatory minimum (5 years) and instead sentenced one to 3 months and one to a year.

While they were serving their sentence, the feds appealed and argued that the mandatory minimum should have been applied, the appeals court agreed, and sent them back to prison to serve the remainder of the 5 years that they should have been sentenced to in the first place.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:23 PM on January 3, 2016 [46 favorites]


The Jon Ritzheimer goodbye / "I just want to stand for something" video (youtube 13min41sec).
posted by phoque at 1:25 PM on January 3, 2016


I don't understand the drive to call them terrorists. Who are they terrorizing? They took over some unoccupied building in the middle of nowhere. I'm not defending them; I don't know enough about the Hammond case to have an opinion on whether there is some underlying injustice or not.

Certainly racism exists, certainly there are differences in police tactics, but the situation is not the same as people blocking roadways and shutting down malls. The major danger here is to law enforcement. My opinion would change dramatically if they were holding hostages, or were in a major city, but it sounds like they are in BFE and currently not affecting anyone else. Let them run out of food and get cold and this will burn out on its own.
posted by desjardins at 1:26 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


if they were holding hostages

At least one source linked above has them saying they intend to bring kids on site. They want to force the feds to replay Waco.
posted by PMdixon at 1:29 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Liquidwolf

Off the top of my head there was: Wounded Knee '73, the Black Panthers, Malcom X, the Deacons of Justice and Defence, Athens Tn, the coal wars and "labor riots". Maybe not a good tactic, but it is a historic one.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:29 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Who are they terrorizing? They took over some unoccupied building in the middle of nowhere.

A building that would be open for business Monday morning if they weren't there -- this Wildlife Refuge is open year round and the staff would be coming in for their M-Th wintertime work shift if they weren't there.

As for who are they terrorizing? Pretty much everyone who agrees that poaching on Federal land, setting unauthorized burn-out fires on Federal land, unauthorized/uncompensated grazing on Federal land is illegal. They're stating that, unless they get their way, they are willing to take up arms and move into anywhere they feel their unblocked access to use Federal land however they wish is being squashed and hole up there until their demands are met.

Right now this is in a remote place. But what they've done is they've closed off this entire remote bit of Oregon (which is very popular for travelers in search of rare birds and other wildlife) from the only source of outside tourist money it gets. It will hurt "only" these small communities for now. But if they win this, they will find new locales in which to practice their imported brand of armed protest agains supposed injustice, and they aren't likely to stop expanding their sphere of influence until they lose.
posted by hippybear at 1:33 PM on January 3, 2016 [103 favorites]


It was weird, growing up in Oregon, with regards to the anti-federalism strains one would run into. It wasn't presented like that, but before I knew what the BLM was I had already sort of ingested this anti-BLM attitude. To this day, I don't know what problem people had with the Bureau of Land Management, aside from federalism!. Then there was the thing where people on the Southern Oregon border joked about hanging signs on the Welcome to Oregon sign on I-5 saying 'Now Go Home" or signs on I-5 saying "keep the U.S. out of the U.N."

And that was on I-5, Western Oregon. Eastern Oregon is a whole other kettle of fish. Growing up in Ashland, which is Western Oregon but isolated enough that it has the tang of the East, we regarded our surrounding Oregonians with a skeptical eye. I feel bad that I thought of everybody outside of Ashland, Eugene, and Portland as hicks with guns and a lack of access to dental care, but take out the pejorative part of it and there's some truth to it.

Portland gets a lot of liberal joy, and good for old Portland, but the state has been home to some pretty pernicious bullshit. I have a weird ancestral history tangled up with Governor Pennoyer, and that man got into office on scalding-hot anti-Chinese racism. My great-grandmother was full-blooded some Native American tribe from Oregon, but which tribe is unknown because that fact didn't align with my family's WASPy narrative.

In short, I'm totally unfucking surprised this is happening in my homeland.
posted by angrycat at 1:34 PM on January 3, 2016 [17 favorites]


"Civil disobedience" my fucking foot. What happens when they run an armed take over of something less remote and shack-like?

Oooh, let's just jump to the good part. Do Y-12 or Pantex next.
posted by ctmf at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


> I don't understand the drive to call them terrorists.

FBI definition:

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:
  • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
  • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
posted by rtha at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [65 favorites]


People in the local communities find them scary and annoying and don't want them there. In general, walking around with Big Guns making noises about your willingness to shoot anyone who gets in your way is pretty damn terroristic.

No visits, no food deliveries, cut off water and electricity (I read they brought a generator, but water? You'd need a lot for 12 people for a long time). Don't let them hunt, and keep your people up close enough to scare off the wildlife anyway. (seems like it would be dumb on their part to hunt; they'd be isolated and easy to pick off. So hey, maybe do let them hunt. )

Let them know that the charges get more serious every day they are in there; I assume employees who can't work there because of this nonsense would have the right to pursue civil suits? Maybe mention that too.

I would never say shoot them/kill them. I don't even think that's what they want. I think they are cosplaying as badasses but have no real backbone. But they need to be stopped because laws have meaning and the national parks are not their White Boys Only clubhouse.
posted by emjaybee at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [20 favorites]


angrycat: Do realize, the Hammonds aren't participating in this, and most of those who are occupying the building aren't from Oregon.
posted by hippybear at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


But what they've done is they've closed off this entire remote bit of Oregon (which is very popular for travelers in search of rare birds and other wildlife) from the only source of outside tourist money it gets.

I'd imagine that the economic impact of this locally is actually a positive. You now have journalists from all over the country/world converging on this remote town; eating at restaurants, sleeping at hotels. Not to say this is a good thing in any way, and it must suck for the locals to have to deal with the journos (undoubtedly asking them a bunch of stupid questions about how they feel about this, etc).
posted by el io at 1:43 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Off the top of my head there was:

Also MOVE in Philly '85 which as we all know did not end well.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:44 PM on January 3, 2016 [18 favorites]


Air strikes.

love too endorse state killings when it suits me
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:45 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Here's a bit of propaganda put out by a Bundy supporter. If you take in to consideration its target audience, it rather well done.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:47 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


This report from the SPLC on the 2014 standoff gives some illumination on the racist, conspiratorial ideology that is underpinning many of these "patriot" groups.
posted by graymouser at 1:47 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Portland Audubon Society weighs in on the out of state private army occupying our nature reserve.
posted by idiopath at 1:48 PM on January 3, 2016 [32 favorites]


hippybear, yeah, I know the dudes aren't from Oregon, but aside from the tourists and random fed researcher and legal aid lawyer, the assholes aren't exactly in unfriendly country
posted by angrycat at 1:48 PM on January 3, 2016


Being resentenced after an appeal court determines your original sentence was unlawfully short is not "double sentencing" and it is certainly not "double jeopardy".
posted by robcorr at 1:49 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


This thread is gross and appalling and I'm very disturbed to see many people here sounding like right wing clones when it's against people they don't like.

How is it a-ok to use the same illegal and disgusting tactics against ANY protestors that we use against people in the middle east, or black people, or muslims? Suggesting that drone strikes or extrajudicial murder are an appropriate response to what is a (so far) peaceful protest is really horrible and unjust.

Is the only thing that separates the crazy right-wingnuts from us who we think it's okay to murder or torture? I genuinely hope not.
posted by zug at 1:49 PM on January 3, 2016 [30 favorites]


I just came across this High Country News piece from a few years ago about the violent confrontations that often occur between public-lands employees in the western U.S. and government-hating wackos. They FOIA'd a bunch of reports from BLM and the Forest Service. Here are the excerpts from the actual reports.

Completely terrifying and infuriating. People like this have been getting away with this shit for way too long.
posted by primalux at 1:51 PM on January 3, 2016 [30 favorites]


aside from the tourists and random fed researcher and legal aid lawyer, the assholes aren't exactly in unfriendly country

Except for that I haven't read a single report that says the locals want this to be going on.
posted by hippybear at 1:52 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Operation Nifty Package

Imagine the playlist possibilities.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


You don't want to cut cell service, because then it looks like you're trying to hide what's going on. Cut power, prevent deliveries, sure, but you want all the media possible showing what idiots they are. For every crackpot they reach and encourage, they reach a lot of other people who want to see them get what's coming to them. Plus, they're generating their own evidence against themselves. Even the people who eventually have to go in and pull them out by the ear should have body cams on so we know nothing inappropriate happened.
posted by ctmf at 1:56 PM on January 3, 2016


I read they brought a generator, but water? You'd need a lot for 12 people for a long time

Wouldn't such a remote building be on well water rather than a municipal system?
posted by desjardins at 1:57 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


They don't seem to be holed up in traditional standoff fashion. They are still free to wander back into town and back to the refuge. They basically drove up, parked an RV and trailer there, huddled around a campfire and declared a stand was being taken.
posted by phoque at 1:58 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I generally agree that violence should be avoided if possible, but I don't think that the government can stand down here. These things will only get worse if these people are successful. A stand-down is their goal. Cordon off the perimeter and wait them out.
posted by graymouser at 1:59 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


When my cousin and I were little ones, we heard about the concept of going on strike, so we made up little signs and told the adults we were indeed "on strike."

The adults said "from what?"

I don't know why I was reminded of this story just now.
posted by NedKoppel at 2:00 PM on January 3, 2016 [40 favorites]


Wouldn't such a remote building be on well water rather than a municipal system?

Could be well, could be giant tank behind the building refilled by truck periodically. Based on what I know of similarish Forest Service/BLM sites in NM and complete ignorance of geology in the relevant area and lacking ability to extrapolate from said knowledge if I found it, I'd give 50/50.
posted by PMdixon at 2:04 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


What did Minneapolis do with the black lives matter protesters that seized a street and turned it into their base? I think the city let em have it for a week or two and then took it back.

Seems like a reasonable way to do it.
posted by jpe at 2:08 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is there some reason that armed occupation of federal land fails to count as (however ineptly) waging war against the United States, and hence, treason?

I mean, how much does this differ from the Whiskey Rebellion? The men involved in that were convicted of treason, though later pardoned by Washington. (Maybe these guys could be tried for treason and then pardoned by Obama.)
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:12 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


The real fun will happen later tonight, when all the Republican candidates fall over themselves trying to draw in votes by "condemning" them as faintly as possible.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 2:12 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I resent "Y'all Qaeda." They are not Southerners...are they? please tell me they're not from down here

When I was in Idaho on vacation a few years ago, i saw more Stars'n'Bars than a Klan rally.
posted by notsnot at 2:14 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


LA Times summary of the incident from a couple of hours earlier today. Seems to cover a lot of the salient points including that the locals aren't interested, and the 150 number was people who marched in Burns but who aren't occupying the building. Also mentions food and a generator.

From the article, the statement of the demands from the occupiers by Ryan Bundy: "The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control," he said.

Ranchers who were kicked out of the area in 1908 when Teddy Roosevelt created the refuge. 5 generations ago.
posted by hippybear at 2:18 PM on January 3, 2016 [29 favorites]


Mary Ellen Carter: "Trending twitter hashtags: #YallQaeda, #YokelHaram, #YeeHawd"

#d'oheash
posted by chavenet at 2:19 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's fire season in Australia. So far we've lost more than 200 homes. This happens every summer. Needless to say, we take firebugs very seriously. The very idea that someone would actually defend arsonists and not become an instant pariah is completely alien to me.
posted by adept256 at 2:20 PM on January 3, 2016 [25 favorites]


2 p.m.

An Oregon sheriff says the group occupying a national wildlife refuge came to town under false pretenses.

Sheriff David Ward says the men came to Harney County in remote southeastern Oregon claiming to be there in support of local ranchers, but were really there to spark a movement to overthrow the government.
[ABC News]
posted by hippybear at 2:27 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


adept256: I get the impression that it was somewhat less arson and somewhat more an uncontrolled controlled burn. Yeah, they should face legal consequences for their actions, but personally it seems somewhat different than arson (although not in the eyes of the law). But we shouldn't blame the arsonists on the actions of these asshats.
posted by el io at 2:28 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


And now for a very special episode of Married With Children, we find the Bundy kids all grown up. . .
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:33 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]




I think it's interesting that 'Ammon' and 'Captain Moroni' (the "I didn't come here to shoot; I came here to die," guy) are names associated with Latter Day Saint (Mormon) theology. Some of the more fundamentalist - or fashionably fundamentalist-seeming - families often give their sons these and other "LDS" names (Nephi, Lehi, Zoram). But if any of these dudes were named Mohammed? Faik? Ahmed? Boy golly.
posted by sutureselves at 2:37 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sheriff David Ward says the men came to Harney County in remote southeastern Oregon claiming to be there in support of local ranchers, but were really there to spark a movement to overthrow the government.

Hilarious. It's not the Capitol, or the White House, or even a post office. Their chance to overthrow the government is zero. The only people that are going to join their movement are probably already in it in some form.
posted by adept256 at 2:38 PM on January 3, 2016


The government of Abbotsford, BC employed a unique solution to their runaway homelessness problem - dump truckloads of manure on them.

In their case it was completely unacceptable, but here I think it might be very effective. Isolate them in the facility for a few weeks - long enough to strain their supplies - then barricade them in place with a 100-foot-high ridge of moldering pig feces.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 2:39 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


barricade them in place with a 100-foot-high ridge of moldering pig feces.

Invite Trump to give a speech?
posted by adept256 at 2:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


My understanding is that there were at least two fires. The first was a sort of uncontrolled controlled burn, which they claim they notified the authorities about, but they apparently didn't really have the proper permits and it spread onto federal land. There are allegations they lit this fire to cover up their illegal use of federal land. The second was a backfire they lit because they claimed that lightning fires were spreading toward their ranch. That fire apparently threatened some volunteer firefighters who were camped in the area. Backfires can be useful tools, but they are generally lit by firefighters, who know what they are doing and where their fellow firefighters are; you don't really get to just light your own. Further in the background to all this is a long-standing dispute about the wildlife refuge and its management.

Applying terrorism charges to this to force a five year mandatory minimum sentence is nonsense to be sure, but far bigger miscarriages of justice happen every day to people caught with quantities of crack (some with different colored skin from the militia members), yet no one tries to overthrow the government in their name.

And the sad thing is that, if this was really about the Hammonds, the left and the right have a lot in common here when it comes to sentencing reform, ending mandatory minimums, and stopping proprietorial overreach. But instead, we've got armed men taking over an office building in the middle of nowhere, so that's so much for accomplishing anything.
posted by zachlipton at 2:45 PM on January 3, 2016 [14 favorites]


Imagine what a political clusterfuck there would be if the Feds quietly decided to not appeal lower-than-minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offences...
posted by BungaDunga at 2:55 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Law enforcement can't win. Teargas them and arrest 'em? Deplorable. Be patient and wait 'em out? Apparently also deplorable.

The answer to "some people are treated horribly by cops" isn't "all people should be treated uniformly horribly by cops."
posted by desjardins at 2:59 PM on January 3, 2016 [24 favorites]


hippybear, I won't derail the thread with this any longer, but claiming that Eastern Oregon generally doesn't have a historical anti-federalism trend is not in line with my direct experience. Great that the locals aren't on board with the full-on crazy, though.
posted by angrycat at 3:04 PM on January 3, 2016


I lived in La Grande for a few years. Not sure how direct your experience was, but I hung out in a rancher/railroader bar for much of that time. We can compare notes sometime, but probably not in this thread.
posted by hippybear at 3:06 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


It turns out that in practice most people's rhetoric and actions are quite inconsistent with each other, thankfully. Loudly saying "Fuck the hippies and the feds" is one thing, being uncivil to said hippies and feds is another, roughing up the hippies is yet another, and pulling guns on the feds is something else entirely.
posted by PMdixon at 3:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Since people were talking about anarchist or left wing interventions above...

I don't know if this would be a smart idea at all, but it would be amusing to see what happened if a group of Black Lives Matter folks came to join the protest, eager and earnest to make a coalition with these folks, and carrying weapons. Maybe if the Yes Men had a budget for bullet proof vests...
posted by idiopath at 3:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


This needs some kind of gonzo intervention.

For example, per Michael Moore and TV Nation (the "Love Night" episode):

Sending a mariachi band to a KKK rally or a multiracial chorus line to an Aryan Nations compound.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:08 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Thanks for that background, zachlipton. Using the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act does seem like a strange vehicle for prosecuting an arson case in the absence of any exacerbating circumstance. And I have to wonder why the US government decided to kick the anthill after the judge overrode sentencing guidelines (though the connection to the Bundy ranch is a tipoff).

I think it's definitely something that should be part of the broader discussion, because you're absolutely right--the left and right have common ground here in sentencing reform broadly.

Just wish these assholes had followed the appeals process like law abiding citizens. Or organized a protest that didn't involve armed insurrection. Or taken up an 8th amendment case. Or any of several dozen better options.
posted by Room 101 at 3:09 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Oregonian reported that at the appeals court, the judge asked each of them if they had anything to say, and each declined to make any comment. If they were appearing pro se, they probably lost out right there. Even if not, it might have been wise for them to respond to her.
posted by mmiddle at 3:10 PM on January 3, 2016


The group is tiny. Bundy brothers, three friends (Blaine Cooper, Ryan Payne and Jon Ritzheimer) and a couple wives appears to be pretty much the entire homesteader troop.

Cooper and Ritzheimer attended a Trump rally 2 weeks ago and promptly went outside to try to provoke the first Muslims they could find. Actually suggest not watching link as it contains nothing intelligent or positive and is provided more just as proof of observation.

The first fire
Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property. Jurors were told that Steven Hammond handed out “Strike Anywhere” matches with instructions that they be lit and dropped on the ground because they were going to “light up the whole country on fire.” One witness testified that he barely escaped the eight to ten foot high flames caused by the arson. The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations. After committing the arson, Steven Hammond called the BLM office in Burns, Oregon and claimed the fire was started on Hammond property to burn off invasive species and had inadvertently burned onto public lands. Dwight and Steven Hammond told one of their relatives to keep his mouth shut and that nobody needed to know about the fire.

posted by phoque at 3:11 PM on January 3, 2016 [24 favorites]


I get the impression that it was somewhat less arson and somewhat more an uncontrolled controlled burn.

The link to your controlled burning refers to the Willamette Valley, which is over 200 miles away across the Cascade Range. The Willamette Valley typically gets 50 inches of rain a year. The Harney Basin gets less than 9 inches. The idea of controlled burning during the height of fire season in a desert is ridiculous.

You are making foolishly ignorant arguments in defense of these people.
posted by JackFlash at 3:14 PM on January 3, 2016 [29 favorites]


Please just nobody die.
posted by Talez at 3:14 PM on January 3, 2016 [22 favorites]


Law enforcement can't win. Teargas them and arrest 'em? Deplorable. Be patient and wait 'em out? Apparently also deplorable.

Or how about what the police are actually doing, letting them get food deliveries, bring their kids, other shit that other protesters don't get to do?
posted by Iax at 3:18 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


The group is tiny. Bundy brothers, three friends (Blaine Cooper, Ryan Payne and Jon Ritzheimer) and a couple wives appears to be pretty much the entire homesteader troop.

Something to note: that's a fraction of the size of these crazies.
posted by el io at 3:28 PM on January 3, 2016


Stop calling them a militia. They are not a militia.

Because the militia were heroes? I find this talking point hillarious... because it involves both sides (the Bundy militia and their opponents) claiming the militia is a wonderful American institution in a completely ahistorical way. Yes there was the American Revolution militia... but there was also the corruption and immorality at muster days and general uselessness of the 19th century American militia, or 20th century events like the Ludlow Massacre and the Kent State Massacre.
posted by Jahaza at 3:28 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


It would be a mistake to assume that because the Cause appeals to knuckle-draggers the tactics are not useful. There is no way to get past their opening move, to create a highly publicized demonstration of their stance. This is actually a brilliant tactic, for as far as it goes.

If I were a member of a right-wing organization that wanted to garner support, I would try to figure out at way to force the federal government into a reactionary posture, while alienating as few people as possible. I could use the incident in Idaho a few years back, or the fed's tactical antics at Waco as models to assess the Fed's response. (The working theory is that the Fed is not very flexible in situations like this.)

I could set up a highly visible bunker in the middle of nowhere and occupy it with a couple dozen fairly well schooled gun freaks who'd like nothing better than to see themselves as martyrs for the cause, and await an assault. Meanwhile I would use various media to get national coverage, on the theory that a few thousand of my brethren will be drawn into the cause.

For this model I would look to the incidents along the Canadian border, where Native Americans stood their ground, and the recent dustup in Iraq, where our efforts helped to consolidate a whole generation of disaffected young Muslim fighters into a stupid cause. In this case these assholes take the role played by the Native Americans--preyed upon by the federal government. This particular place has the advantage of protecting the general public if the shooting starts. The "grazing rights" issue is not the central issue, of course; federal control is the issue, and it's linked to a broad spectrum of general malcontent and fantasy.

My strategy in this case would be to form a nucleus of militant dissidents who share my politics, and garner support for a broad-base political force. I would assume that the federal government wouldn't want to engage in a civil war, so they would back down before engaging in one, but I wouldn't mind starting one. This building would be my rallying point. If this small force gets overrun by troops, then they will become martyrs to the cause. This is to say that not all the prime organizers are in that building, so it won't be over when it's over.

It doesn't matter whether these lunatics have logic on their side, because it just so happens that quite a few thousands of these people believe the defense of the Constitution should not be left in the hands of the Federal government--many of them have direct issues with the BLM, dating back generations; in particular, land use reforms from the 1970's have redirected their grazing allotments. This hasn't actually hurt most of them, but the idea pisses them off at some visceral level.

My version of a working solution is fairly costly, and pretty much low key. I assume these guys are electronically connected via whatever they have: facebook, phones, maybe even internet. First, I cordon off the area with a military perimeter. Then I would establish line of sight observation posts with floodlights at more or less regular intervals, to keep their building lit up, no shadows on any side. The floodlights give these yahoos something to shoot at night (it's easy enough to replace these fixtures), and it has the effect of having the only shots being fired come from their position. After the perimeter is set up I bring in a tactical EW unit to jam their receivers--no cell phones, no internet.

I would not allow anybody in or out. I would not try to communicated with them. I would just let them run out of food. If they want to talk they can send out an envoy, who would immediately be put in handcuffs and taken away. I don't know what the logistics of their building is, but I suppose it may have, at the most, a well, operated by electricity from a generator. I wouldn't try to mess with that. Let them get hungry, but not thirsty. In the meantime I would instruct my snipers to let any individuals who want to come to the perimeter to do so as long as they weren't carrying a weapon. If someone with a rifle charged the perimeter, I would instruct the snipers to wait until the were close, then shoot off one of his feet. I would send a team in an armored vehicle, with a medic, to retrieve the wounded man and bring him out. The soldiers on the perimeter would be instructed not to return any fire during this retrieval.

During this time, the perimeter forces must have outward-looking security. Were I one of the organizers, I would like to have a mobile strike force to run the perimeter carrying supplies to the defenders. The model for this strategy would be the siege of Khe Sanh, where at some point the attacking forces basically run out of steam. Normally the besieged forces lose, but if they can be resupplied and are not worried about being slaughtered, they may choose to just wait it out. In this case they have no way to communicate with the outside, so they are left to their own imaginations.

After a month I would call in by loud speaker and invite any who wanted to leave to approach the perimeter unarmed. I would then put any of those knuckle-dragging shitheads who'd had enough in handcuffs, and into the custody of some federal authority on charges of terrorism. I don't believe treason would be a viable charge here. Just terrorism. That charge may have to be modified if these assholes have the fire-discipline to not shoot anybody, but that's down the road. Right now they all are terrorists.

Even doing this, the feds will not come out smelling like a rose. Too many issues regarding the interface between ranchers, 2nd amendment mavens and the federal government exist for the trial to be uncomplicated. So the charges, at most will top out at maybe some sort of reckless endangerment, unless the feds can manage to get one of their agents killed without mounting an assault. (This is what the light towers are for. You can bet that at least a few of these assholes are very good shots; but not all of them understand muzzle control, so it may turn out that one of the guys who goes up the towen to change a lightbulb will get shot. If that happens, then anyone who doesn't surrender immediately becomes complicit in some sort of federal charge of manslaughter, perhaps murder.)

By the way, Oregon isn't under attack. We all are, and the issue spans racism. If we can't mount a better response than Waco--just get frustrated and attack--then we may have to rethink how this country needs to run itself. I don't know if my thoughts are the best way to go about this. I'd hope those folks up there have a way to deal with it rather than validating the paranoid fantasies of these assholes.
posted by mule98J at 3:36 PM on January 3, 2016 [17 favorites]


So it has been widely reported that a militia has seized a federal building? I think some honest scrutiny of the terms being used is in order.

These reports are accurate if militia is defined as "an assemblage of guys dressed like Roy Rogers, numbering anywhere from 15 (reported by someone who actually went up there) to 150 (claimed by the group itself)".

And what immediately comes to mind when you hear the words federal building? Probably something like the Murrah Building, or a large facility in your own town housing courts and various federal agencies? The reports are accurate as far as the building being a public facility administered by the federal government, but we've all seen this sort of 'federal building' if we visited a national park or tourist attraction. They are better known to most people as visitor's centers.

The reports are accurate if seized is redefined as "drove my pickup truck 50 miles into the middle of nowhere and hung out at the visitors center while posing for pictures with guns after inviting the media".

Now, I admittedly think if these guys were black or any random people of middle eastern descent they'd all be dead by now.

But OMG, such hyperbole.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:51 PM on January 3, 2016 [18 favorites]


3. The ‘Patriot’ movement is a child of the White Power movement
Many of the tactics and talking points being used were popularized in the 1970s by the white supremacist group Posse Comitatus. This group promoted the “Christian Patriot” movement, advocated the formation of “Citizens Militias,” helped forge an idiosyncratic reading of the Constitution, said the county sheriff was the highest elected official that should be obeyed, and opposed federal environmental restrictions.

Over the years, these ideas took on a life of their own, even though few of the activists using these ideas today are ideological white supremacists. For example, they still try to recruit county sheriffs; the sheriff in Harney County (where Burns is located) was asked to provide sanctuary for the Hammonds from the federal government, although he refused.

Activists such as Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy (who is leading the Malheur occupation), claim that what is happening to the Hammonds is unconstitutional. This view of the Constitution is based on a position promoted by Posse Comitatus. They held that the Constitution could be interpreted by individual right-wing activists in a way that allowed them to have more jurisdiction than federal courts do. The Sovereign Citizens are the best-known movement that promotes these crank legal theories today. For example, Pete Santilli, who livestreamed the Burns march and went to the Malheur takeover, promotes these ideas.
I Studied Oregon’s Militia Movement. Here’s 5 Things You Need to Know
posted by standardasparagus at 4:02 PM on January 3, 2016 [13 favorites]


I would not allow anybody in or out.

Therein lies the crux. The reason I think that they're allowing "deliveries" is that multiple men with long guns are probably making the deliveries and are ready to go out in a blaze of glory if they're impeded. The BLM isn't an agency that wants to start shit because it puts thousands of their uniformed employees at risk. They only have 300 rangers and special agents who are armed and trained. There are more wingnuts and they are far more dispersed than the BLM's enforcement agents. The other 11,000 odd employees are sitting ducks for ambushes in national parks along with undefended and unsecured federal buildings like visitor's centers and offices. If every wingnut that threatened them over the past decade saw any firefight as a green light for an open season on BLM employees it would be a literal slaughter.
posted by Talez at 4:04 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


The reason I think that they're allowing "deliveries" is that multiple men with long guns are probably making the deliveries

Interesting speculation. Any evidence for this?
posted by hippybear at 4:06 PM on January 3, 2016


Interesting speculation. Any evidence for this?

Because if I was in a gun crazy wingnut trying to provoke the Federal Government it's the most likely route I would take. Put a few guys in a truck with their AR-15s along with the supplies and dare the BLM to try and stop them.
posted by Talez at 4:10 PM on January 3, 2016


Supplies
posted by phoque at 4:16 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Supplies

Astonishing. Was Vault-Tec involved?
posted by adept256 at 4:20 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


BLM = Bureau of Land Management
and
BLM = Black Lives Matter

Some comments in this thread were baffling to me until I realized this.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:20 PM on January 3, 2016 [40 favorites]


Still, it's speculation, with no actual reports. One article I read (that I can't find quickly on Google, because my Google-fu is not strong at the moment) talked about a woman who was driving an RV who took them some chile yesterday. This article says that a supporter says they are leaving and returning freely. She traveled there from nearly 300 miles away, from the supposed Left Coast region of WA.

No reports of men with long guns making armed deliveries of supplies to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters I can find anywhere. Don't stoke the fires with speculation. Look for reports, and share those.
posted by hippybear at 4:20 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


So ... looking at all the freaking excerise-equipment there, it seems that maybe this is really just a New Years resolution gone horribly wrong.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:21 PM on January 3, 2016 [24 favorites]


squats and oats brah
posted by PMdixon at 4:25 PM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Amanda Peacher's twitter postings are great: "I asked how #bundymilitia got into the refuge buildings. They found a whole set of keys." If that is true, whomever left the keys under the mat will have some explaining to do in their yearly evaluation.

Put a few guys in a truck with their AR-15s along with the supplies and dare the BLM to try and stop them.

I'm sure that the guys in the supply trucks are armed, but BLM is not the lead agency; it would be the FBI and/or OSP who would make any response. But as Peacher notes, "I haven't seen a single law enforcement vehicle out here." At the moment they are being totally hands off, having the learned the lessons of Waco and Ruby Ridge a little too well.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


wow, I have to admit, I didn't really get the whole "MeFi doesn't do Southerners well" thing until Y'allQaeda in this thread. Seriously?
posted by threeants at 4:33 PM on January 3, 2016 [15 favorites]


Or how about what the police are actually doing, letting them get food deliveries, bring their kids, other shit that other protesters don't get to do?

Like these protestors in Minneapolis who camped out in front of a police precinct for a week? Where they were allowed to set fires in the street and obtain"pizza and doughnuts and [...] coffee"? Granted, they were cleared out, but they were there, directly in front of a police precinct, blocking a road, for a week. I'd say that's unusually indulgent. (Note: I agree with their cause.)
posted by desjardins at 4:34 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm sure that the guys in the supply trucks are armed, but BLM is not the lead agency; it would be the FBI and/or OSP who would make any response.

You sure? The Bundy incident was BLM as the lead with ATF backing them up.
posted by Talez at 4:37 PM on January 3, 2016


I'd imagine that the economic impact of this locally is actually a positive.

It's already paying off for the locals:
"As marchers reached the courthouse, they tossed hundreds of pennies at the locked door. Their message: Civilians were buying back their government. After the march passed, two girls swooped in to scavenge the pennies."
posted by JackFlash at 4:37 PM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


This aggression will not stand, man.

This isn't quite Harpers Ferry, though, as that had violence and federal weapons.
posted by persona au gratin at 4:38 PM on January 3, 2016


If we don't immediately suppress these rebels, their actions will serve to radicalize more extremists.
posted by mikelieman at 4:45 PM on January 3, 2016 [9 favorites]




Yeah, the way the feds' Fabian strategy ends is with another OK City.
posted by PMdixon at 4:59 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


If we don't immediately suppress these rebels, their actions will serve to radicalize more extremists.

Or not. Give them enough rope, and they may do something educational.
posted by sneebler at 5:01 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Always relevant.
posted by entropicamericana at 5:05 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, are all men called Bundy objectionable in one way or another? Can history present us with an acceptable Bundy?
posted by Grangousier at 5:09 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


If we don't immediately suppress these rebels, their actions will serve to radicalize more extremists.

I don't know, the suppression of the folks in Waco seemed to do a great job at radicalizing a whole bunch of folks. Don't make these asshats into martyrs.
posted by el io at 5:09 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can history present us with an acceptable Bundy?

Al Bundy.
posted by Talez at 5:11 PM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


He was Ted's brother, no?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:12 PM on January 3, 2016


Bundys John Elwood, Alan, and Hezekiah all look OK.
posted by PMdixon at 5:13 PM on January 3, 2016


Buck Bundy?
posted by LindsayIrene at 5:13 PM on January 3, 2016


(But not Edgar, obviously. Pre-Raphaelite influences == baddy)
posted by PMdixon at 5:14 PM on January 3, 2016


I'll be fascinated to see what Trump does about this. The man has a terrifying capacity to glom onto events that somehow generate a toxic cloud of paranoia regarding the supposed ineffectiveness/tyranny of the status quo.

If he doesn't appropriate this, maybe that's a great sign that this will be resolved peacefully and the Bundys will just be objects of great ridicule.
posted by angrycat at 5:15 PM on January 3, 2016


Waiting on the Lin Manuel Miranda treatment, TBH.

Ammon: Yo our dad's Cliven
Ryan: We enliven
Ammon: A debate on
Getting ranchers back to ranching
As our movement's branching
Into getting loggers back to logging
White supremacists back to blogging
Ryan: We got guns with a capital "G"

Ammon: As we make stand...
Ryan: Our stand?

Ammon: Yeeeah, in this sanctuar-y!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:16 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think the strategy here for authorities is to treat them exactly like the protestors, let them do their thing for a short time, then go kick them out. Someone is going to have to walk up and arrest them, pretending they don't have guns. They want to imply violence by having weapons, but also the deniability that they weren't going to use them? No. Call their bluff.

Unfortunately it's going to take some nerves of steel for the poor LEOs that have to do the arresting.
posted by ctmf at 5:19 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Wow. What a shitstorm.

Yeah, there aren't 150 people inside the building. I've been to this park and this building, and I grew up a few counties over to the east. The nearest building that could hold 150 people is the high school gym in Burns (Burns Union High School has about 350 students).

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters is about the size of a suburban three-bedroom house. It's got a parking lot that can hold a few dozen cars. It's technically in the post office district of Princetown (16 miles to the east). Here's a picture of Princeton's post office. (TLDR: It's a single-wide trailer home.)

Nearby Burns, with a population of 2500, is the largest city within 120 miles of itself. The nearest towns larger than 5000 are both 130 miles away in either direction. This section of the country is about as far away from anything as you can get and still be in the lower 48. If you haven't been out here, don't go. It's desolate in a way that's not easy for non-locals to understand. Eastern Oregon, which is a little bigger than Florida, has about 13% of the state's population, most of which live in the Columbia Gorge, around Bend, or next to Idaho. Most of the middle area is unpopulated.

That said, if you show up with a bunch of your redneck buddies, guns in hand, to lock down and occupy a patch of federal property, you're an occupying force and not a peaceful protest. You pull this Yokel Haram nonsense and everybody should get to spend the next few years of their lives locked up in federal prison.
posted by phoebus at 5:23 PM on January 3, 2016 [27 favorites]


Reporter Amelia Templeton tweeted about the plan before it happened and reported 6-12 people involved when she went to look.
posted by phoque at 5:24 PM on January 3, 2016


i think the major danger in this whole situation is of accidental fire - repeated water bombings by aerial firefighters are necessary to prevent a tragedy from happening - many sorties at 800 gallons a piece will probably be necessary to thoroughly soak vehicles, the parking lot, and the exterior of the station

after which we can drop a few pairs of ice skates for those who wish to leave, the lows being below 15 degrees for a good part of the upcoming week
posted by pyramid termite at 5:37 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


And now I'm wondering... if this place is going to be occupied for years, "as long as it takes" or whatever, how are these men going to run their lives back home? Are they hiring people to help on the ranches they've abandoned to take this stand? Is there going to be a swap-out roster established so it's continually occupied but not by the same people? Are they depending on donations to support them at their outpost and also their families they've left in whatever state that isn't Oregon they came from?

These sorts of logistical questions are interesting to me.
posted by hippybear at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


We keep hearing about "responsible" and "moderate" gun owners. Why have none of them stood up to condemn the actions of these violent extremists?
posted by stet at 5:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [63 favorites]


These sorts of logistical questions are interesting to me.

(You know the actual answer is "they haven't thought this part through at all beyond vague fantasies of inspiring an army of supporters," I assume.)
posted by PMdixon at 5:43 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


If we don't immediately suppress these rebels, their actions will serve to radicalize more extremists.

If there was an easy solution to this immediate problem, such as a very large incendiary device hot enough to melt their guns, that would not also cause long-term problems such as even more armed loons barricading themselves in the outhouses in national parks, it would already have been implemented.

The government is hoping this problem somehow solves itself while they hold long meetings to try to figure out a relatively peaceful solution that doesn't make them look like bad guys in an election year. If you have a cunning plan, let them know. It can't involve a shootout or bombing or large armored vehicles or black helicopters, and it can't involve starving them out just so their children can weep to Fox News over pictures of their dear old daddies' ribs sticking out come February. Maybe begin the process of seizing and selling everything they own to pay fees and fines? I don't know.
posted by pracowity at 5:44 PM on January 3, 2016


Isn't there some kind of magic incantation involving gold flag fringe, a bellowed "I don't recognize your authority" and assorted sprinklings of derp that will send the Feds packing immediately ?
posted by dr_dank at 5:48 PM on January 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


The discrepancy between how the 'black lives matter' movement was/is being portrayed in the media versus how these terrorists are being treated is mind boggling. Just a reminder: in Ferguson, 150 unarmed black people occupied a blocked off street, they were gassed, sprayed and shot with rubber bullets.

Armed Militia Seized A Federal Building. The Media Called Them ‘Peaceful.’
posted by homunculus at 5:48 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


They should just send in a bunch of sheep. Nothing gets a cattleman riled up like a sheep.
posted by stet at 5:49 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


If there was an easy solution to this immediate problem, such as a very large incendiary device hot enough to melt their guns, that would not also cause long-term problems such as even more armed loons barricading themselves in the outhouses in national parks, it would already have been implemented.

Not to mention the damage done to a vital water way for migratory birds, which is why TR set it aside in 1908 and why the building they are in even exists to begin with.
posted by hippybear at 5:52 PM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


While I don't like the discrepancy between how law enforcement is handling this mess and the way it handles more peaceful but less politically popular protests, this is probably closer to the appropriate way to handle them. The only problem with the way they handled the Bundy ranch situation is that they didn't follow it up with a bunch of arrests like they should have.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:56 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Supplies

I'm actually surprised they didn't bring a year's worth of freeze dried food and MREs.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not to mention the damage done to a vital water way for migratory birds

You don't think a simple fire would hurt the waterway much in the long term, do you?
posted by pracowity at 5:59 PM on January 3, 2016


Isn't there some kind of magic incantation involving gold flag fringe, a bellowed "I don't recognize your authority" and assorted sprinklings of derp that will send the Feds packing immediately ?

MALHEUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

=

LAUD ALL GENUINE LAW IF HE REFORM IT

posted by threeants at 6:00 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


concidence??
posted by threeants at 6:00 PM on January 3, 2016


I assumed there'd be more of these supplies.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:09 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not to mention the damage done to a vital water way for migratory birds

You don't think a simple fire would hurt the waterway much in the long term, do you?


I believe "a large incendiary device hot enough to melt their guns" is probably not "a simple fire". Perhaps I'm wrong.

Anyway, how many years of having no vegetation would it take for migratory birds to have their numbers start to diminish? One? Three? I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure the birds aren't there just for the water.
posted by hippybear at 6:14 PM on January 3, 2016


I assumed there'd be more of these supplies.

Or these.
posted by ctmf at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2016


Tonight, bless twitter for helping us laugh a bit when we want to cry.

In addition to this tweet, there's also (under a pic of a couple open-carry dicks in a store)
You might be #YallQaeda if you need rifles to shop for plungers @HomeDepot

#YallQaeda #Yeehawd #VanillaISIS
posted by NorthernLite at 6:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


but BLM is not the lead agency

It definitely isn't. This wildlife refuge is operated by the Fish and Wildlife Service, which is a much smaller agency with minimal law enforcement powers (apparently 261 agents in 8 offices). They mostly investigate poaching and animal smuggling, not violent criminals.
posted by miyabo at 6:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ranchers who were kicked out of the area in 1908 when Teddy Roosevelt created the refuge. 5 generations ago.

I mean, if they're going to support generational claims, I really hope those same folk are going to agree to reparations for both Native Americans and descendants of slaves.
posted by qcubed at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2016 [39 favorites]


Plurals.
posted by qcubed at 6:46 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


miyabo, the FBI has the lead in this incident.
posted by futz at 6:48 PM on January 3, 2016


You sure? The Bundy incident was BLM as the lead with ATF backing them up.

Yes, I am sure. As noted just above, the refuge is managed by USFWS, but the reporting currently says that the FBI is the lead agency for the federal law enforcement response. (What, is USFWS going to send in their crack team of wildlife biologists to study these bozos?)
posted by Dip Flash at 6:53 PM on January 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Stop calling them a militia. They are not a militia.

Because the militia were heroes?


Uh, no? Because an armed mob of anti-government fanatics does not = a militia? And in using the term militia they can claim some legitimacy under the second amendment, which obscures the fact (for much of the public) that what they're engaging in is straight up, right-wing domestic terrorism.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:58 PM on January 3, 2016 [13 favorites]


We shouldn't call these fools a militia or terrorists. That would be be giving them too much credit. They are cowardly burglars (they broke in the building when no one was around) and trespassers and noisy clowns making empty threats. So far, they haven't done anything to terrorize anyone. Were I in charge, I would leave them incommunicado (perhaps with an electromagnetic pulse to trash all their computers, cell phones, radios and dish TV's) and let them stew there. When they finally got bored and left, I would change them rent for use of the building, plus damages, indict the ringleaders for burglary, trespassing and criminal mischief (vandalism), then sentence them to mopping floors in a soup kitchen. They are idiot redneck punks, nothing more. They don't deserve our anger or our outrage, only our ridicule and contempt. YeeHawd, indeed.
posted by tommyD at 7:04 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


I talked with my brother. School is closed for the week, and he's been told not to come into work tomorrow. He says that the militia guys have really alienated the locals. For one thing one of their leaders compared county residents to sheep who need to be protected from the Federal wolves.

There's also a big (well. big for the area) birdwatching event at the Refuge in April that brings in a lot of tourist dollars. If the milita occupation is still ongoing, lots of people are going to be really pissed.
posted by gamera at 7:05 PM on January 3, 2016 [28 favorites]


What spurred the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in southeast Oregon - "“When the federal government was stopped from enforcing the law at gunpoint that energized this entire movement,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who said the number of self-described anti-government militia groups is believed to have grown by one-third in 2015. “When you have a big win like they did at the Bundy ranch, it emboldens people. . . . It is definitely a recipe for disaster.”"

These all look like resource conflicts the world over. Kenya, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Pakistan. Militants will seize on political, religious and cultural justifications, as usually saying "we want more money!" is a hard sell in this asym environment.

Anyway we're talking about Borderlanders with an extreme interpretation of their religion engaged in a resource conflict. Wonder what Andrew Exum has to say?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:06 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


He says that the militia guys have really alienated the locals. For one thing one of their leaders compared county residents to sheep who need to be protected from the Federal wolves.
This is sounding more and more like Che's old foco strategy and I expect it to be just as (in)effective in Oregon as it was in Bolivia.
posted by wuwei at 7:11 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Because an armed mob of anti-government fanatics does not = a militia?

If you are armed and organized enough to take over a building (unlocked and undefended though it may be), you pretty much meet the colloquial definition of a militia in the sense of a paramilitary force. On top of that there is the whole "reserve militia" thing ("every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who is not a member of the National Guard or Naval Militia," according to wikipedia) which gives rhetorical cover for just about anything you might want to do, whether or not it has any actual validity.

The question isn't why these doofuses are claiming to be a militia -- it's why no one on the other side of the political spectrum has tried it out, since it seems to provide an extraordinary amount of cover.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:16 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you are armed and organized enough to take over a building (unlocked and undefended though it may be), you pretty much meet the colloquial definition of a militia in the sense of a paramilitary force.

Hang on. I'm personally capable of occupying an unlocked building. The cops would hopefully gently shoo me out of there once I sobered up, but that's a terrible definition.
posted by figurant at 7:41 PM on January 3, 2016 [25 favorites]


“When you have a big win like they did at the Bundy ranch, it emboldens people. . . . It is definitely a recipe for disaster.”

People like the Bundys seem to have the Feds painted into a corner. If the government does nothing, the nutjobs win. If they use any force at all, even non-lethal force, the nutjobs win again where it counts...with their fellow sovereign citizens. God forbid gunfire should erupt, because now the Feds have played into the exact image of a violent oppressor these nuts so dearly believe in.

I really don't know what the best play is for a good outcome here. I suppose just let them sit there and bore the public. But, I'm not convinced these folks will sit still like that. If the Feds just do nothing, I have a feeling the occupiers will do...something...to try and goad the Feds into doing something.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:42 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


So here's the story behind Captain Moroni.

“If our (U.S.) Constitution is an inspired document by our Lord Jesus Christ, then isn’t it scripture?” Bundy asked.

“Yes,” a chorus of voices replied.

“Isn’t it the same as the Book of Mormon and the Bible?” Bundy asked.

“Absolutely,” the audience answered.


Wow.
posted by adept256 at 7:47 PM on January 3, 2016 [31 favorites]


Hell of bibliolatry
posted by Countess Elena at 7:55 PM on January 3, 2016


They are inviting locals, loggers, off roaders, grazers all things to enliven the local economy.

Yeah. It'll be interesting to see if any actual loggers come in and start taking trees. I can't see the BLM letting that happen.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 PM on January 3, 2016


There really aren't many trees in that area. It's mostly marshland and grassland.
posted by hippybear at 8:03 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe this will go viral and the gun nut militias can actually start an insurrection. Then, Obama can go full Lincoln on them in the last few months of his presidency.
posted by rdr at 8:04 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


The question isn't why these doofuses are claiming to be a militia -- it's why no one on the other side of the political spectrum has tried it out, since it seems to provide an extraordinary amount of cover.

When the Black Panthers tried that in California in the late 1960s, Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill that prohibited open carry in the state.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:05 PM on January 3, 2016 [21 favorites]


There were fire hoses and policemen with truncheons at peaceful civil rights protests parading in the streets in the 60s. Men and women wearing suits and white shirts and dresses with nylons politely assembled and were subjected to violence because of it. These people were asking for basic human rights.

There were beat-downs and National Guardmen shooting (and occasionally killing) peaceful college students during sit-ins on the lawn in front of administrative buildings in the 70s. These people were asking to get out of an unlawful war.

Now it's OK for assholes with LOADED GUNS to be occupying Federal building and demand they be given property and privilege over and above all other US citizens.

Our country is seriously fucked.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:06 PM on January 3, 2016 [26 favorites]


Now it's OK for assholes with LOADED GUNS to be occupying Federal building and demand they be given property and privilege over and above all other US citizens.

To be fair, these Bundy guys represent the people who were beating the shit out of civil rights demonstrators in the 60s, so...things kind of cancel themselves out and a standstill ensues.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:10 PM on January 3, 2016


I live in area that is filled with people not dissimilar to these idiots and I only pay them passing attention (don't feed the trolls, I say) so I wasn't terribly familiar with the Bundys. I didn't realize there was a Mormon angle there. That makes sense.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:25 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Forget the 60s, the same exact shit is still happening to actual peaceful protesters right now.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:26 PM on January 3, 2016 [27 favorites]


When you have a big win like they did at the Bundy ranch, it emboldens people.

Emboldened. Please. I was against these dipsticks, until this travesty.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:32 PM on January 3, 2016


Maybe this will go viral and the gun nut militias can actually start an insurrection. Then, Obama can go full Lincoln on them in the last few months of his presidency.

Yeah not great timing to do something that will piss off the fed. Obama is in serious Honey Badger mode at the moment.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:32 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you're interested in the history of right-wing anti-government hysteria over federal land management, this guy's Twitter timeline is a very good one to follow right now.
posted by mostly vowels at 8:45 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


The last protest team Bundy was involved in resulted in the arrests of five organizers, many weeks later, with at least two convicted, jailed and fined, for damages to a Utah canyon archaeological site.
posted by Brian B. at 8:47 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


To people equating this to Ferguson or the civil rights movement.

Ferguson was not a federal case. It was county police. Most of the worst of the civil rights was also county or city or state actors. In general the feds are much less likely to overreact to provocations with a display of force. Also the 60s were 50+ years ago. That's a long ass time when talking about how the government responds to provocation. I mean 50 years before that they openly shot at unionizers, and 50 years before that slavery was legal. The world changes.

(That being said, yes white militias get treated differently than black protesters, no doubt about it.)
posted by aspo at 9:53 PM on January 3, 2016


threeants:

wow, I have to admit, I didn't really get the whole "MeFi doesn't do Southerners well" thing until Y'allQaeda in this thread. Seriously?

Agreed. In good faith, I'd take those comments to be ham-handed attempts to get across the point that domestic terrorism by white, "Christian" Americans should be taken as seriously as "Islamic" terrorism, and well they should because the photo of Chris Field holding Baylee Almon is too easily forgotten when we're talking about these self-appointed "militias." It's who they are and what they represent.

Now, this timeline really suggests more of a Northern influence in getting the whole movement up and running, so to slag it off as a "Southern" thing is historically wrong in a big way, up to and including the Oklahoma City bombing:

Sept. 11, 1990: President Bush, describing the post-Cold War world, outlines his vision of a "New World Order." Conspiracy-minded "Patriots" take this as a slip of the tongue revealing secret plans to create a one-world government.

February 1992: White supremacist theorist Louis Beam calls for "leaderless resistance," or cells of fighters who report to no one. In coming years, many in the Patriot movement will pick up the concept.

April 2, 1992: Terry Nichols, who will one day be convicted of conspiracy in the Oklahoma City bombing, renounces his U.S. citizenship, saying he "follow[s] the common law," indicating his early participation in the Patriot movement.

August 1992: James "Bo" Gritz, a Vietnam war hero admired by many Americans, calls for civilian militias during his "populist" campaign for the presidency.

Aug. 31, 1992: White supremacist Randy Weaver surrenders after an 11-day standoff at his cabin on Ruby Ridge, Idaho, that left his wife, son and a U.S. marshal dead. The incident galvanizes many on the radical right.

Oct. 23, 1992: Anti-Semitic Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters hosts the "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous" in Estes Park, Colo., where 160 extremists, reacting to Ruby Ridge, lay out strategies that will help shape the militia movement.

Feb. 28, 1993: Four federal agents and several cultists are killed in a gunfight when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raids the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. The 51-day standoff that follows rivets the nation.

April 19, 1993: The FBI tries to end the Waco standoff by injecting tear gas into a building that subsequently bursts into flames, leaving almost 80 Davidians dead. More than any other event, the debacle ignites the militia movement.

July 8, 1993: In a stinging rebuke to federal law enforcement, a jury acquits Randy Weaver and another man of murdering a U.S. marshal during the Ruby Ridge standoff. Evidence emerges that the FBI loosened its normal rules of engagement and covered up that fact later.

November 1993: The Brady Bill, imposing a waiting period for handgun purchasers, is signed into law, infuriating many gun enthusiasts. Anger at the bill, along with a 1994 ban on some assault weapons, helps fuel the militia movement.

Jan. 1, 1994: The first major modern militia, the Militia of Montana, is officially inaugurated. John Trochmann, a white supremacist supporter of Randy Weaver, heads it.

April 1994: The Michigan Militia, soon to grow into the nation's largest militia group with up to 6,000 members, is formed by gun shop owner Norm Olson and Ray Southwell.

May 1994: In a speech to the antigovernment U.S. Taxpayers Party, a militant abortion opponent calls on churches to form their own militias, reflecting the increasing convergence of Patriot and anti-abortion activists.

Aug. 4, 1994: Two members of the Minnesota Patriots Council are arrested for making the deadly toxin ricin and later are convicted of plotting to poison federal agents.

Sept. 19, 1994: Self-appointed militia "general" Linda Thompson calls for an armed march on Washington, D.C., prompting other Patriots to renounce her as foolhardy and suicidal. She ultimately rescinds her call.

Sept. 28, 1994: In one of the first acts of the Oklahoma conspiracy, Terry Nichols helps steal explosives from a Kansas quarry. He will help acquire many other materials before leaving co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh a letter urging him to "go for it."
And, again, this is what "go for it" looks like years later:

Every April 19, Aren Almon Kok, Baylee’s mother, is faced with not just marking down another year since the worst day in her life, but also watching as time erodes the memories of the 366 days she was able to spend with her daughter.

This is what the silly shitbirds occupying that little office stand for, and it's pretty goddamn sad.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:58 PM on January 3, 2016 [21 favorites]


“If our (U.S.) Constitution is an inspired document by our Lord Jesus Christ, then isn’t it scripture?” Bundy asked.

“Yes,” a chorus of voices replied.

“Isn’t it the same as the Book of Mormon and the Bible?” Bundy asked.

“Absolutely,” the audience answered.


JEISIS
posted by futz at 10:06 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


The hypocrisy here just burns: these guys want to "return" the refuge -- but not to the tribes that used to live there, just to the ranchers who never did. That area never was private property: it was public domain land. No ranchers lost anything when the refuge was set aside.
posted by suelac at 10:23 PM on January 3, 2016 [23 favorites]


Wait wait they think Jesus WROTE the constitution?

What?

Holy shit?
posted by emptythought at 10:40 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


No, nothing that silly. The guys who did write it were being told what to write by the holy spirit. When they weren't hacking out the parts of the bible they didn't like with a razor and rearranging it.
posted by ctmf at 10:51 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]




Not a peep from the GOP? Not a single tweet from Trump? Not even Ted Cruz, Cruzplaining the situation at a church revival? Are reporters even asking for their response?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:00 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Forget seizing oil fields, manufacturing, or communications and control centers. If you want to bring the federal government to its knees, you have to grab small administration/storage buildings in the middle of nature preserves.

This is why Rommel lost the Africa campaign! Patton prevented the Afrika Corps from gaining control of a hut.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:05 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Not a peep from the GOP? Not a single tweet from Trump? Not even Ted Cruz, Cruzplaining the situation at a church revival? Are reporters even asking for their response?

I mean, we might hear something, so take this with a big heap of salt, but I don't think that any of the Republican candidates will benefit by backing this openly - they are, after all, auditioning for the job of the head of state, whereas these folks are in essence declaring illegitimate the very institution that they've been spending time and money trying to get elected to head. And speaking out against the militia will garner backlash among the lunatic Right contingent that most have them have, to varying degrees, been courting.

At the very least, it would make more sense to see what Obama does, and then criticize the hell out of that and get brownie points with the Right, or (riskier) praise him and look big and "statesmanlike." It's one thing to snarl about brown people, its another to advocate open defiance of the very "forces of law and order" that they've been defending from Left-wing activists' "attacks."
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Not a peep from the GOP?

John Weaver is a strategist for the Kasich campaign: I know a good federal compound for Bundy and his gang: a U.S. penitentiary.

That's all the Washington Post could find.
posted by peeedro at 11:40 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


No, all I'd expect is a bullshit (or canned) response, but I think the total radio silence -- even from Trump -- means none of them have any clue how to respond without either pissing off their base or looking like they are sympathizing with the occupiers (not a good look if you want to be president.) I'm not eager to hear whatever bullshit they come up with, I just hope they are all really squirming.

What I do find surprising is that it doesn't appear that any of them have even been asked to respond. Mediaite doesn't have anything on the subject.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:48 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think that any of the Republican candidates will benefit by backing this openly - they are, after all, auditioning for the job of the head of state, whereas these folks are in essence declaring illegitimate the very institution that they've been spending time and money trying to get elected to head.

You may be right about whether or not they'll back the Bundy Bunch, but the larger point about esteem for federal-level governance remains to be seen. Ted Cruz, for example, is running on a platform to eliminate five federal agencies-- you know, obscure ones like HUD and the IRS.
posted by threeants at 12:01 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not a peep from the GOP?

Without having to take sides publicly, they can say they are not going to interfere with "a delicate ongoing situation" or something like that. Candidates don't want to lose the all-important wacko right wing of the American electorate, but they cannot plausibly be running for head of the federal government and simultaneously side with armed nutcases commandeering federal property and rebelling against the federal government. They are waiting until the current administration acts so they can see how to safely spin the outcome for their campaigns.
posted by pracowity at 12:06 AM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


The real terrorism will commence with the owl and chipmunk beheadings.
posted by Chitownfats at 1:18 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I said I was done but idiopath correctly called me on a few things.
The arsonists were convicted of a crime that had a mandatory minimum, their shorter sentence was an error. It is not double jeapordy - there was no second trial. The original sentence was in error. If you are opposed to mandatory minimums (as I am), there is reason to complain, but nothing illegal happened here.
Agreed that nothing illegal happened. I'm also opposed to mandatory minimums (in general), I just think the way the federal government handled things, what with getting the sentence wrong the first time around, is not ideal and is likely to cause resentment.
Also the usage of the term "these guys" here is extremely misleading. The occupiers are not from Oregon. The arsonists are willing to serve their longer sentence and have explicitly distanced themselves from the occupying private army.
Correct. Sorry - the arsonists do appear to be peacefully going along with their sentence and the "occupiers" seem to be hijacking the situation. I find the behavior of the occupiers so stupid that I'm being a bit blunt and hand-wavy and not disambiguating where I should. I was hoping it would be clear which group I was referring to but that was kinda vague on my part.
posted by iffthen at 4:44 AM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Where is the Mormon Church
On this? It is their co-religionists who are perpetrating this, even going so far as to calling out the Book of Mormon in their justifications. While the church has historically had a conflicted relationship with the government, it surprises me that they seem willing to tacitly support Bundy & his family in this action...
posted by Chrischris at 4:58 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Mormon Church can much more plausibly dismiss these guys' appeals to the Book of Moron than the GOP can disavow their association with the same anti-federal extremism. Absence of specific comment is not "tacit support" in all cases, that's the same exact FOX News reasoning as, "why won't all Muslims denounce Islamic terrorism every time they speak?" The GOP candidates are directly appealing to the same extremist base in a way that the Mormon Church just is not. I would read much more into silence from leading Republicans than from Mormon leaders.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:55 AM on January 4, 2016 [9 favorites]


Not a peep from the GOP?

They're all waiting for the first of them to say something (lookin' at you, Donald Trump) so they can either disclaim or amplify it. Guarantee once the first person folds the rest will have statements out with the speed of an automated microsecond stock trading system.
posted by ftm at 6:58 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


they can say they are not going to interfere with "a delicate ongoing situation" or something like that

This is what I expected to see already, at least from Trump.

They're all waiting for the first of them to say something (lookin' at you, Donald Trump

Exactly, and when has Trump ever hesitated to talk. That's why I hope they are concerned that this time they backed themselves into a tangible no-win situation. Kasich says they belong in jail and no one challenges that or even comment on it? Trump just quintipled down on the Muslim ban, using it as the basis for his first ad. It's a weird silence is all. (Hit post instead of preview.)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:21 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not that it's literally impossible to contact people on a holiday weekend, but the fact that it's a holiday weekend probably has a lot to do with the lack of a real news cycle on this. I'd expect both reporting and campaigning apparatus to kick into motion today.
posted by cortex at 7:25 AM on January 4, 2016


But I want to see the GOP squirm noooooow.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:29 AM on January 4, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm actually surprised they didn't bring a year's worth of freeze dried food and MREs.

They did not. Here's a picture of their storeroom.
posted by scalefree at 7:30 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


What's in that big dog food looking bag? Is that a Costco size bag of goldfish crackers?
posted by discopolo at 7:35 AM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you're wondering why a Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) building was taken over as a result of a conviction for arson on BLM land, there is a very long backstory. The Hammonds' five-year sentences are the ostensible reasons for the armed takeover, but the choice of target seems to stem from a long-held grudge.

According to a High Country News article from 1994, Dwight Hammond wanted to run his cattle across the refuge, but was allowed by permit to do so only at specific times. FWS revoked his permit, and in retaliation he parked a Caterpillar earthmover on the refuge boundary line when workers were attempting to build a fence. He allegedly dropped the bucket on the front-end loader at one point, and nearly hit a person. On previous occasions, he allegedly threatened to kill FWS employees. (Additional source.)

He was arrested for the 1994 incident but charges were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors after protests.

The Hammonds apparently hold a long-standing grudge with FWS. And although they publicly protest that they don't want anything to do with the Bundy action, they seem happy to open up to the Bundy family:
“In public, they haven’t asked for our help,” [Cliven] Bundy told OPB. “In private, we’re still needed. I talked to Dwight Hammond…for probably close to an hour. His conclusion is basically, ‘I do not want to be shot in the head.’ He had fear that if he actually rejected what was going on, and stood up for the abuse in what was going on, there would be somebody who would actually kill him. Fear, is what their problem is.”
It's worth noting that when the prosecution appealed the Hammonds' shorter sentences, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cited the following case law supporting harsh sentences:
Rummel v. Estelle (1980) — Upheld a life sentence under Texas’s recidivist statute for obtaining $120.75 by false pretenses. 5-4 decision with a majority opinion written by Rehnquist, who suggested that a rare and successful challenge to harsh sentencing laws might be for a hypothetical life sentence for "overtime parking." Kind of weird to me because although three of the four dissenting justices were liberals, so too was a bunch of the majority, and circa-1980 SCOTUS seems like some kind of magical liberal dream court that somehow still dropped this terrible opinion.

Hutto v. Davis (1982) — Upheld a forty-year sentence for possession of nine ounces of marijuana (worth about $200) with the intent to distribute. 6-3 unsigned decision based on Rummel v. Estelle.

Ewing v. California (2003) — Upheld a sentence of twenty-five years to life under California’s three-strikes law for the theft of three golf clubs. A 5-4 decision whose dissenting justices were all on the court's liberal wing.

Lockyer v. Andrade (2003) — Upheld a sentence of fifty years to life under California’s three-strikes law for stealing nine videotapes. Andrade's case was reviewed under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the same law used to sentence the Hammonds. 5-4 decision with the same split as Ewing.
Conservative activists have had 35 years to take a principled stand against this kind of thing. Five years seems harsh for the Hammonds, but the reaction seems more like grudge than it does a principled objection. It's not fair to ignore three-and-a-half decades of draconian sentencing laws, and then stage an armed occupation because two arsonists got five years for a grass fire.
posted by compartment at 7:35 AM on January 4, 2016 [24 favorites]


Death throes of people who fear to tread into the 21st Century.
posted by Atreides at 7:40 AM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


What's in that big dog food looking bag? Is that a Costco size bag of goldfish crackers?

Big bag of some Bob's Red Mill product. Oats or flour or cornmeal or some such.
posted by cortex at 7:40 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Death throes of people who fear to tread into the 21st Century.

Or the mid-19th, for that matter.
posted by Etrigan at 7:42 AM on January 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


it is surprising that somebody in the GOP race hasn't said, "this isn't good, but Obama has mismanaged federal agencies in the following ways" I mean I assume that will get hurled out at one point. It's not a prima facie crazy thing to say.
posted by angrycat at 7:42 AM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trending twitter hashtags: #YallQaeda, #YokelHaram, #YeeHawd

Also #VanillaISIS and #al-Shabubba
posted by discopolo at 7:44 AM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Lies, Damned Lies, and Accurate Statements We Don't Like
So ... it's inflammatory to say that Payne was claiming his allies had targeted "federal agents" with deadly force, because the only people they'd targeted were agents of the Bureau of Land Management (a federal agency)? It's bad to target, say, FBI agents, but if the people you're threatening to kill are merely from the BLM, that's cool?

[...]

For folks who don't like the alleged policing of speech associated with "political correctness," right-wingers are awfully good at spotting nonexistent verbal "microaggressions" against conservatism. When do we get to call their attitude "conservative correctness"?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:45 AM on January 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Five years seems harsh for the Hammonds

Not if you've lived in a brush desert during fire season.
posted by PMdixon at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2016 [27 favorites]


Republicans were burned last time by their full-throated support of Cliven Bundy after he started talking about how blacks should be put back in bondage. They're more gunshy this time (plus it was a holiday weekend).
posted by dirigibleman at 7:52 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]




If this was a sitcom, we could just have an actor pretend to be sympathetic and on their side and bring them a pot of chilli with ex lax in it. They'd be crying and calling for maw pretty quickly.

But that would be wrong.

As would having a clever rabbit dress up in women's clothing and act flirtatiously, only to lead them off a cliff.

(I have no helpful ideas.)
posted by discopolo at 8:06 AM on January 4, 2016 [18 favorites]




The timing of this, on the heels of the announcement that Obama plans to take executive action on gun control, is just so interesting.

Because the 2nd Amendment is about citizens being able to "resist internal oppression," this lines up more neatly with the NRA's desire to prove guns are needed by everyone (even if the whole reason for this "takeover" is a farce, IMO.)
posted by jeanmari at 8:14 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just think the way the federal government handled things, what with getting the sentence wrong the first time around, is not ideal and is likely to cause resentment.

The government didn't get things wrong. The government prosecutors attempted to apply the mandatory sentence all along. It was the Hammond's defense lawyers who made the argument in court that their clients were exempt from that particular federal law and provided the grounds for an appeal on the law. The appeal went to the District Court of Appeal which found in favor of the prosecution and then the Hammonds further appealed to the Supreme Court which refused to reconsider, which is why it took three years to settle. The government wasn't wrong. The Hammonds fought the sentence every inch of the way and finally lost.
posted by JackFlash at 8:23 AM on January 4, 2016 [13 favorites]


Aww, the poor little guys didn't bring enough snacks. They're requesting snacks be sent to them-- through the Federal mail, obviously. Insurrectionists ain't got time to establish their own working mailing system! They're too tuckered out from patriotin'!

This is kind of like the episode of an 80s sitcom where little kids run away with a box of cookies and half a sandwich as their supplies and they eventually find them living in the tree fort out back.
posted by bluecore at 8:32 AM on January 4, 2016 [39 favorites]


When do we get to call their attitude "conservative correctness"?

They're demanding a Safe Space!
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on January 4, 2016 [16 favorites]


Wait, one "militia" guy is telling reporters his name is Fluffy Unicorn

Is that for real?
posted by discopolo at 8:39 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can we bring back outlawry for idiots who have deluded themselves into thinking they're 100% self sufficient bootstrappers who don't need no government? Just cut them off and show them firsthand the logical conclusion of their philosophy until they ask pretty please if they can come back in?

I mean I know the world is better off without outlawry judgements as it was a terrible idea open to corruption and it's anathema to due process but... it would be so apropos for this shit.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:47 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


cortex: "Big bag of some Bob's Red Mill product. Oats or flour or cornmeal or some such."

Seriously? These yahoos are buying their insurrection supplies from a worker-owned cooperative? This just keeps getting better.
posted by stet at 8:49 AM on January 4, 2016 [31 favorites]


Establish a go fund me for a new Wildlife Refuge visitor center. Get a demolition permit for the old building, by the books. Then get after that demo by any convenient means. Oh, and it's time for old man Bundy to pay up.
posted by Oyéah at 9:07 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hipstorian @ottomanscribe
I love it when people try and counter narratives of Muslim terrorism by naming white groups after them. Wait no I don't.

Texas Taliban, Y'all Qaeda, Vanilla ISIS etc. etc. As though there are no ready examples of American terrorism to make reference to.

If your only way to refer to terrorism is through a Muslim lens, you aren't challenging anything with these names.

KKK was a violent nonstate, separatist supremacist group that used terror. But when it comes to Oregon all u think is Muslims? #YallQaeda
posted by andoatnp at 9:11 AM on January 4, 2016 [36 favorites]


andoatnp:
"But when it comes to Oregon all u think is Muslims?"
I think part of this is meant to be a jab at people who are assumed to be Islamophobes. Still, it is a good point.
posted by charred husk at 9:29 AM on January 4, 2016 [9 favorites]


"But when it comes to Oregon all u think is Muslims?"

This is a simple question to answer. The problem is that calling the American groups you mention "terrorists" remains a contentious point for some people, but groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda are unambiguous.

This, of course, is representative of the exact problem that's been discussed extensively both on and off the blue, of the double standard where white folks get off easier on the same crimes, both in our media and in our cultural discussion.

Calling them equivalent to the KKK has some other cultural fodder, because of the KKK's extreme focus on race (though Cliven Bundy's involvement muddies the racial waters, too, I suppose). Personally, I find them fairly equivalent to the Whiskey Rebellion.
posted by Archelaus at 10:10 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


>Seriously? These yahoos are buying their insurrection supplies from a worker-owned cooperative?

It makes the whole insurrection experience more authentic..
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:12 AM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Do they have beards?
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do they have beards?

I think they have cowboy hats.
posted by discopolo at 10:43 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ranchers who were kicked out of the area in 1908 when Teddy Roosevelt created the refuge. 5 generations ago.

yeah I love how their main beef is how they were here first or whatever and got their land taken away and yet somehow I doubt they'd be too happy if we followed that same fucking principle and just gave it back to the local native american tribes
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 10:49 AM on January 4, 2016 [19 favorites]


Republican candidates start to react:

Marco Rubio: "you’ve got to follow the law. You can’t be lawless. We live in a republic. There are ways to change the laws of this country and the policies. If we get frustrated with it, that’s why we have elections. That’s why we have people we can hold accountable.”

Ted Cruz: "Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds. But we don't have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence on others. And so it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation."

Ben Carson: "Are these wildlife refugees from Syria? Because I think we should take a time out on admitting any more of them until we can verify whether they are Christian or not."

(OK, I made the last one up.)
posted by msalt at 10:54 AM on January 4, 2016 [9 favorites]


Other interesting responses:

Stewart Rhodes (founder of Oath Keepers): “The Oath Keepers will not be involved in an armed stand off that’s being manufactured by potheads who want a fight because this is going to be a bad fight, not a righteous moral high ground fight."

Susan Hammond (wife, and mother, respectively of the two convicted ranchers):
"I don’t really know the purpose of the guys who are out there. I kind of understand where they come from, as far as their priorities in life. ... I don’t even know what ‘occupying the refuge’ means. I can’t judge what’s going on out there because I don’t know what it is. I hope they’ve got some warm clothes.”
posted by msalt at 11:01 AM on January 4, 2016 [12 favorites]


I made it like 5/6 through the thread before commenting only to continue reading and find out like 3 people had made that point already but I digress
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 11:03 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Five years seems harsh for the Hammonds

Not if you've lived in a brush desert during fire season.


Yeah. My brother and his family lost everything--photos, furniture, everything in the house--to an out-of-control fire. My sister-in-law barely made it out alive with nothing but the clothes on her back. And these yahoos set one to cover up another crime?

Five years is fine by me.
posted by emjaybee at 11:39 AM on January 4, 2016 [16 favorites]


There were also rumors -- which I can't verify or disprove -- about people setting fires to create firefighting jobs and bringing in federal dollars in the efforts.

Which just goes to underscore the weird dependence of these anti-government types on federal money. It's like a trust-fund kid complaining that their parents control them.
posted by msalt at 11:52 AM on January 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's like a trust-fund kid complaining that their parents control them.

If you read Ask Mefi, this is not all that uncommon.
posted by miyabo at 11:58 AM on January 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Rand Paul chimes in: "I’m sympathetic to the idea that the large collection of federal lands ought to be turned back to the states and the people, but I think the best way to bring about change is through politics. That’s why I entered the electoral arena. I don’t support any violence or suggestion of violence toward changing policy.”
posted by msalt at 12:41 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Bundy crew is being manipulated by powerful interests who want to privatize public lands. This is not new. In the 1970s: it was called the Sagebrush Rebellion. In the 1990s: the Wise Use Movement. These are efforts by mining, timber, grazing, oil and gas interests to privatize your public lands.
The Bundy Militia Raid on Burns: What the Media Left Out
posted by graymouser at 12:58 PM on January 4, 2016 [12 favorites]


fraula: They say it's under FBI jurisdiction, and the FBI is keeping moot. They also mention that one of the guys posted what seemed like a farewell video just before going to Oregon for this, ugh.
It's actually a smart move for the FBI to deal with this very deliberately. They don't want another Waco, followed by another Oklahoma City Bombing (which was inspired by Waco.)

The only problematic aspect to it is the object lesson that a reputation for terrorist vengeance pays dividends over the long term.
posted by Coventry at 12:58 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]




Just wanted to share Josh Marshall's brilliant description: white privilege performance art.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:32 PM on January 4, 2016 [34 favorites]




It wouldn't be a real armed insurrection without a persecution complex.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:11 PM on January 4, 2016 [9 favorites]


Henry Krinkle at Current Events Inquiry: #OregonUnderAttack and the occasional authoritarianism of “privilege” discourse
The recent occupation by an armed militia of a federal building in Oregon has created a predictable stir of indignation on Twitter directed mostly against the media for purportedly either not covering it enough or not immediately labeling the perpetrators “terrorists” as they do for non-white and/or left-wing militants. We’ve seen and heard all this stuff before, and much of the underlying sentiment is understandable. It can be frustrating to see the federal government officially charge animal rights activists with “terrorism” for freeing minks and watch conservative outlets portray desperate refugees as potential terrorists while right-wing militants and their sympathizers appear to receive preferential treatment. However, there comes a point when this type of “privilege checking” seems to be more focused on revoking certain privileges rather than expanding them to cover marginalized groups.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:13 PM on January 4, 2016 [11 favorites]


Rustic Etruscan, that link is really excellent.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:21 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oregon Militants Say They're Getting Worse Treatment Than Black Lives Matter Movement

This would make a pretty good Christopher Guest movie. Like Waiting for Guffman.
posted by discopolo at 2:24 PM on January 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Director: Christopher Guest
Producer: Spike Lee
Starring: Zach Galifianakis as an entitled clueless failed ranch owner, Chris Tucker as a misguided libertarian who tries to join the cause.

This movie needs to happen.
posted by idiopath at 2:34 PM on January 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Margaret Corvid, over at Jacobin, weighs in:
How we respond to those calling for blood in Oregon makes manifest the crucial dividing line between liberals and socialists.

A socialist approaches the state with critical caution. She might call for the incarceration of a rapist, but she knows only a people’s challenge to misogyny and capitalism can end rape culture. She demands that police be sacked and jailed for their racist murders, and she fights to reform the police to spare lives, but she also fights against the gentrification of communities and the criminalization of the marginalized that the police routinely enforce.

Though we hate and fear the worldview the Oregon gunmen profess, subjecting them to the same brutality the state metes out against black people would simply empower the militia movement. Ammon might call this occupation peaceful, but there are people hunkered in that refuge who are ready to die for their beliefs. Giving them their martyrs would only strengthen their cause.
Link
posted by wuwei at 2:35 PM on January 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Elon James White (who created #OregonUnderAttack) saw the Huffington Post article.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:49 PM on January 4, 2016


Vanilla ISIS needs snacks, people.
posted by Talez at 2:55 PM on January 4, 2016


Leah Libresco at 538: “The Armed Oregon Ranchers Who Want Free Land Are Already Getting A 93 Percent Discount”

The defining characteristic of Libertarians everywhere: massive government subsidy. These people are parasites.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


This would make a pretty good Christopher Guest movie. Like Waiting for Guffman.

Or episode of Reno 911. Pleasepleaseplease send in Tom Lennon in short-shorts.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:00 PM on January 4, 2016 [10 favorites]


The media can't come out and call the right-wing terrorists actual terrorists, but at least one outlet is daring to ask the Question. It's progress of some kind, I guess.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:19 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the two ranchers convicted of arson quietly surrendered to prison in San Pedro, California.
posted by msalt at 3:20 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Pleasepleaseplease send in Tom Lennon in short-shorts.

fuckin terry...get yer ass outta that pickup.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:21 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Margaret Corvid, over at Jacobin, weighs in

This is some weird, no-true-socialist spin. Not saying that people should be calling for blood, but that seems like a nonsense line.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


MALHEUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

=

MAUL HER DIREFUL WIFE LEG

posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:27 PM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Heh.

What are the protesters’ demands?

$5 million in cash and safe passage to 1874

posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2016 [26 favorites]


I guess these folks want to cast this as a David versus Goliath thing, inspiring resistance and showcasing the heavy-handedness of the feds.

So I'm pretty impressed with the Obama and Lynch for not taking the bait. As it stands, the FBI has only been "monitoring" the situation. There have been no prominent speeches, no threats of drastic action. As of right now, the FBI's website doesn't even mention the situation.

The worst thing for these guys would be if they get a few news cycles, then the public loses interest. As much as I *emotionally* want these entitled fools to bear the full weight of the law, I think it's better if just a few of them get misdemeanor trespassing charges or something, and the issue just fizzles out and dies, relegated to obscure right-wing echo chambers.

As it stands, they've already lost on their signature issue: The Hammonds have turned themselves in, without endorsing this action. Maybe the feds will get their land, maybe not. Maybe the militia will stay for a day, maybe for a year. Maybe the leaders will be locked up, maybe not. But the BLM is going nowhere. The boundaries of the Refuge may not grow, but they won't shrink, even if a Republican wins in 2016. Barring an abrupt and bizarre shift in demographic trends, the voting population as a whole will continue to become less sympathetic to folks like these. Not even the crazies seeking the GOP nomination have expressed support.

These guys are losing, and hard. I'm more inclined to feel victorious than angry about double standards.
posted by andrewpcone at 4:01 PM on January 4, 2016 [11 favorites]


re: charges:

I will be very unsatisfied with any level of charges that does not result in these guys losing their gun privileges, forever.
posted by Archelaus at 4:04 PM on January 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


LOL at the idea that is even possible in U.S. law.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on January 4, 2016 [13 favorites]


Doesn't being convicted of a felony cause you to lose any right to own a gun? Or am I imagining that?
posted by hippybear at 4:12 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Not even the crazies seeking the GOP nomination have expressed support.

Let's not start patting them on the back just yet. Both Cruz and Paul were A-OK with these guys pointing guns at government employees and using human shields when the press attention was minimal and the potential electorate was much whiter, older, and racist. It wasn't until the white supremacist subtext became text that they bothered to distance themselves.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:15 PM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gawker: Nine months ago, Ted Cruz was railing in support of the Second Amendment as the “the ultimate check against governmental tyranny—for the protection of liberty.” Now, as a group of armed men occupies a federal building in Oregon, Cruz says no one should use force to protest the government. What gives, Ted?

Psst. Marco. That's your cue.

LOL at the idea that is even possible in U.S. law.

People convicted of violent felonies are not legally allowed to own guns (with a few exceptions, I think.)
posted by Room 641-A at 4:17 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Doesn't being convicted of a felony cause you to lose any right to own a gun? Or am I imagining that?

People convicted of violent felonies are not legally allowed to own guns (with a few exceptions, I think.)

There's no enforcement in gun-friendly states regarding other people buying guns and giving it to you as "gifts". Even if you're not allowed to have one, it's not like if you go to register one they're like "hey, the system says you're not allowed to have one so you'll have to give that there gun to the sheriff!"
posted by numaner at 4:23 PM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Personally, I find them fairly equivalent to the Whiskey Rebellion.

FWiW, unlike these jokers, the Whiskey Rebels actually *were* being screwed over by the federal government. Charged a per-gallon excise tax on the one product they could easily take to market, meanwhile the big distillers on the east coast could pay a one-off licensing-type fee for relative pittance to nope-out of it.
posted by absalom at 5:16 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Doesn't being convicted of a felony cause you to lose any right to own a gun? Or am I imagining that?

People convicted of violent felonies are not legally allowed to own guns (with a few exceptions, I think.)

There's no enforcement in gun-friendly states regarding other people buying guns and giving it to you as "gifts". Even if you're not allowed to have one, it's not like if you go to register one they're like "hey, the system says you're not allowed to have one so you'll have to give that there gun to the sheriff!"


"Own" and "buy" are not the correct words to use in this discussion. Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922[g][1-9]) prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives.

Possession of a firearm may be either actual or constructive. The latter has been defined as follows: “Constructive possession exists when a person knowingly has the power and intention at a given time of exercising dominion and control over the object or over the area in which the object is located...” (See U.S. v Booth, et.al. 111 F.3d 2 [1st Cir. September 1997]). You don't have to own a firearm to possess it.
posted by zakur at 5:54 PM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Your spouse (unless they have a similar restriction) is a useful loophole.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:03 PM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Doesn't being convicted of a felony cause you to lose any right to own a gun?

Well, maybe they could get an exception if they ask nicely enough.
A standard probation term bars defendants from possessing firearms, but Nuffer modified it to require only that the men remove guns and ammunition from their homes when probation officers visit.
posted by ctmf at 6:08 PM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


This gun thing is a derail, and I'm sorry I took the bait and was part of it. ArtW, trust me, we know our gun laws are fucked. No LOLs needed.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:10 PM on January 4, 2016




(Stupid ipad.) This sounds to me like more of a sweet diss than a punt.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:23 PM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Death throes of people who fear to tread into the 21st Century.

They don't fear the 21st Century, quite the contrary, they want to shape it. To borrow from Games Workshop: "In the grim darkness of the near future there is only war." In the 21st Century everything is war, politics, culture, gender...Christmas. I think these people foresee an American future of Balkanization, violence, rebellion and chaos and the gradual breakdown of American society as we know it and they welcome and will do what they can to speed up the process. It's an apocalyptic vision of the inevitable decline and fall of the American Empire that drives a lot of these types. Than again I could be completely wrong.
posted by MikeMc at 6:31 PM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is some weird shit, all around. I'd also like to add my voice to the requests to stop slandering southern people by association with the y'allqaeda stuff... it's hack and it's unfair.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:47 PM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


WaPo provides further background and new developments: In Oregon, frustration over federal land rights has been building for years
posted by hippybear at 6:51 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


As it stands, they've already lost on their signature issue: The Hammonds have turned themselves in, without endorsing this action.

And patriots are not joining them in droves, and the government is not going to see how many of them there are and say Damn! Guess we better just let them have it!

They look like a bunch of clowns. They'd be better off at this point if everyone DID just move on and forget about it. They might be realizing that.
posted by ctmf at 7:13 PM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Awwww... and just after they had chosen a name.
posted by hippybear at 7:19 PM on January 4, 2016


What, they're leaving already? OK.

Call Gitmo and tell them to cancel the reservations.
posted by mule98J at 7:22 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, one "militia" guy is telling reporters his name is Fluffy Unicorn

The Bronyan Nation?
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:23 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


There is definitely a sort of weird overlap between young reactionaries and stuff like My Little Pony, Internet memes, Anime etc.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:42 PM on January 4, 2016


I thought he was giving a coded FU message, but I could be wrong. And there's always Urban Dictionary...
posted by hippybear at 7:46 PM on January 4, 2016


All it takes is one of these guys -- or someone who personally identifies with them -- to take offense at how ineffectual the "occupation" has been. The guy saying he was ready to lay his life on the line, with the goodbye video to his family. Met with patiently dismissive Federal L.E.O. treatment.

We mock. Justifiably so.

Does a True Believer reconsider, or double down?
posted by yesster at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2016


They don't fear the 21st Century, quite the contrary, they want to shape it. To borrow from Games Workshop: "In the grim darkness of the near future there is only war." In the 21st Century everything is war, politics, culture, gender...Christmas. I think these people foresee an American future of Balkanization, violence, rebellion and chaos and the gradual breakdown of American society as we know it and they welcome and will do what they can to speed up the process. It's an apocalyptic vision of the inevitable decline and fall of the American Empire that drives a lot of these types. Than again I could be completely wrong.

I see it as more of the violent death throes of the straight while male "Father Knows Best" style of patriarchy. Or to sound less pretentious, crybabies that don't want to share the direction that society heads are having a tantrum.
posted by Talez at 8:04 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wingnuts are coming out of the woodwork to cry "false flag!"
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:13 PM on January 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


At first I thought soft martial law is martial law that hasn’t taken a little blue pill.
ahaahahahahahahaha holy shit TD this is gold.
posted by Talez at 8:23 PM on January 4, 2016


On cue, to justify the retreat while still inflaming the crazies. With any luck, they can turn this into another Benghazi circus.
posted by ctmf at 8:26 PM on January 4, 2016


Ahh, "false flag," the "no true Scotsman" for the crowd that would legitimately like to sit around all day arguing what constitutes a "true American."
posted by Navelgazer at 8:26 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


These small communities, like Burns, have been struggling for a long time. Decades ago the federal government settled these communities under a set of rules. These rules basically gave away the land when it would be put to an economic use. So private ranches that were mostly too small, could get grazing rights and leases over federal land. Mining and timber rights could be obtained. Water rights were apportioned based on overly optimistic rainfal expectations.
Now the rules have changed. We stopped making these communities the absolute and only priority. Instead we came to realize that we needed to have a more balanced approach. More land for conservation and habitat. Bring back the wolves. Increase the flow of water in the rivers to let the fish live. We've tried to implement these changes in ways that will limit the impact, but for those who lived under the old system it's terrifying.
Have a little sympathy for these folks who are terrified that the Federal government is changing the deal they thought they had and there isn't anything they've been able to do about it.
posted by humanfont at 8:42 PM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


It can be frustrating to see the federal government officially charge animal rights activists with “terrorism” for freeing minks and watch conservative outlets portray desperate refugees as potential terrorists while right-wing militants and their sympathizers appear to receive preferential treatment. However, there comes a point when this type of “privilege checking” seems to be more focused on revoking certain privileges rather than expanding them to cover marginalized groups.

I think the point of focus is to force the privileged to accept expansion to other groups by making them endure what the marginalized have experienced.
posted by hippybear at 8:47 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have a little sympathy for these folks who are terrified that the Federal government is changing the deal they thought they had and there isn't anything they've been able to do about it.

Did you miss the part where the people who actually live in the area seem to mostly think these yahoos are dumbfucks?
posted by PMdixon at 8:49 PM on January 4, 2016 [15 favorites]


Does a True Believer reconsider, or double down?

Seems pretty obvious which it is.

Have a little sympathy for these folks who are terrified that the Federal government is changing the deal they thought they had and there isn't anything they've been able to do about it.

When they stop waving guns around, flouting the rule of law, and generally being antisocial assholes, sure. You want change? Don't use guns. Use your words. Stage a peaceful sit-in (side note: dreadful irony that the sit-in methods of the godless liberal commie hippies work far far better than this waving guns about bullshit) protest, occupation, or takeover. These people are the most privileged class there is, and it's not like their only option is "to the barricades!"

They just want to live out macho weekend warrior fantasies while utterly neglecting, as mentioned above, that the logical extension of their arguments has all the land returned to indigenous people and themselves sent packing back to somewhere in Europe. It's pathetic, it's stupid, it's dangerous because it escalates, and people who resort to these methods when there are perfectly legal methods biased in their favour deserve nothing but mockery and scorn for their rank stupidity and sociopathy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:51 PM on January 4, 2016 [20 favorites]


This evening I watched Wolf fucking Blitzer do a piece on these fools. He interviewed Darryl Issa, who blamed it all on Obama while scenes of the protest in Burns played, with no explanation this was not the bird sanctuary invasion, and giving the impression there were more than a dozen crackpots on the site. I was reminded why I don't watch Wolf fucking Blitzer.
posted by tommyD at 8:53 PM on January 4, 2016


#yallqueda deserves all the mockery. We should be in a mockery deficit by the end of the week. All the mockery and then some. Dumbasses.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:54 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


We mock. Justifiably so.

There's no greater burn than "...punted questions to the Department of the Interior"
posted by mikelieman at 9:58 PM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ok, lets share equally.
(3.8 million sq. mi in US / 318 million people) * 640 acres/sq. mi. ~ 7.6 acres/person
Bundy farm: 160 acres.

Seems like you already have your fair share there, Bundy. How much are you giving up?
posted by ctmf at 10:02 PM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Arguably, the less federal public land, the less nation. I should think a patriot would want more land, not less.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:15 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wingnuts are coming out of the woodwork to cry "false flag!"

PLEASE SEND SNACKS
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:30 AM on January 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


yahoos are dumbfucks

I've been saying "dumbfuck yahoos" under my breath and giggling about it and I think if my mother knew (and if I wasn't 3 decades past 5 yrs old), she'd want to have a word with you.

Are there any pools going on about how long until a backed up toilet and/or lack of Mountain Dew drives them out of there? I'd also like to bet on someone accidentally dropping one of those weights on their fellow "militiaman's" toe and needing medical attention.

Or just accidentally shooting each other. That definitely will happen sooner or later.
posted by discopolo at 2:31 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


They just want to live out macho weekend warrior fantasies

Pre-9/11 these guys would have joined the Army Reserves but now they'd be shipped out to fight real battles. (No disrespect to people who join just to serve, but that was definitely a thing with certain people.)

PLEASE SEND SNACKS

I'm seeing a need here. My new Kickstarter is for Dr. Carson's Old (Like, Really Old)-Timey Portable Grain Storage Pyramids. Available in Single, Family, and Compound sizes.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:15 AM on January 5, 2016


I do have sympathy for people who are seeing their way of life threatened. But the level of entitlement is difficult to stomach. They want to be given land and given water rights, to be subsidized when crops are bad or prices fall, but not to pay taxes that might be used for welfare. This is a frustrating position to argue with. They are the flotsam of manifest destiny, left high on the beach, and now that the water has drawn back there is nothing to keep them afloat.
posted by Nothing at 5:15 AM on January 5, 2016 [26 favorites]


Have a little sympathy for these folks who are terrified that the Federal government is changing the deal they thought they had and there isn't anything they've been able to do about it.

No. They are citizens. They have the rights to petition their Congresspeople, run for office themselves, and also to simply obey the law as written, which other ranchers appear capable of doing, and earning an honest living, or else choosing another profession.

They could even simply protest peacefully. I would support them doing that even if I disagreed with their cause.

Instead, they're doing this, and causing economic pain for everyone else in the region.

I see no reason for sympathy.
posted by emjaybee at 7:05 AM on January 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


Also, I hate to be the guy with the rose-tinted spectacles, but apocalyptic white supremacist cults at least used to go to the trouble of building their own compounds.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:16 AM on January 5, 2016 [39 favorites]


Looks like the Feds may cut power and phone access.
posted by leslies at 7:24 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe I would have a little sympathy for these anti-government warriors if they acknowledged that due to the horrors of big government intervention, the deal they feel is so terrible is actually a 93% discount off the market rates for grazing.

(edit: whoops, missed the earlier link. point still stands)
posted by tocts at 7:29 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


We’d all do better to focus on forging red-blue alliances to address injustices of common concern rather than behaving as if it is either useful or morally righteous to denounce, demonize, and dehumanize the members of opposing ideological tribes.

Proponents of using civil disobedience to draw attention to government injustices ought not conflate those who engage in that tactic with ISIS, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban. Opponents of mandatory-minimum sentences should oppose them in this case, too, even though there are far more egregious cases to highlight. Opponents of over-incarceration should look askance at sending an elderly man to prison for five years––two years more than Mike Tyson served for rape––even if he did set a fire to hide an illegal deer hunt. And opponents of overly broad domestic-terrorism laws should object to how the ranchers were prosecuted under them for non-terroristic acts. Why is cooperating on those concerns so hard for so many who share them?
What the Left gets wrong about the Oregon standoff (Atlantic).
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:54 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Good old Conor Friedersdorf, never one to let the facts get in the way of some good hectoring of "the Left." Doesn't The Atlantic have a fact checker on staff to tell him that this protest is primarily about land use policy, and has almost nothing to do with mandatory minimum sentences? Yeah, of course focusing on that aspect of the proponents' bios helps his thesis that the mean old lefties need to unilaterally disarm so they can find common ground with political opponents who he somehow never asks to do the same, but there's the story that's actually happening on the ground, and then there's the story that makes your paint-by-numbers "what is 'the Left' doing wrong now? column more convincing. It's a shame The Atlantic doesn't ask him to try harder to make those two stories resemble each other a little bit.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 AM on January 5, 2016 [24 favorites]


Jacobin, in a really interesting move, interviewed Ammon Bundy.
We hope it ends peacefully too. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? They are mostly an audience of socialists, who will disagree strongly with many of your beliefs.

I would like to add that we didn’t come here for violence and that we are not terrorists which I’ve seen us being called a lot. We are people taking a stand for our land rights.
posted by graymouser at 8:13 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


You're not wrong, but you're also not unarmed.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:36 AM on January 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would like to add that we didn’t come here for violence and that we are not terrorists which I’ve seen us being called a lot.

The actual number of people in world history who would admit to being "terrorists" is so close to zero as to be effectively zero. They're always "freedom fighters" or "taking a stand" or some such bullshit.
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM on January 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's a shame The Atlantic doesn't ask him to try harder to make those two stories resemble each other a little bit.

C'mon, The Atlantic is where Megan McArdle began her non anonymous career. As the scorpion said to the frog, "You knew what I was when we started this."
posted by PMdixon at 8:38 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Such a shame this opportunity to build bridges with unhinged threatening maniacs is being let go by.
posted by Artw at 8:40 AM on January 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


So it seems that possibly the power might soon be cut.

Here is the FBI's situation room.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:42 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


C'mon, The Atlantic is where Megan McArdle began her non anonymous career. As the scorpion said to the frog, "You knew what I was when we started this."

Yeah, but they also give folks like Coates and Fallows a big platform, so there's something worth saving there.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:45 AM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]



Such a shame this opportunity to build bridges with unhinged threatening maniacs is being let go by.

I don't even understand how this can even be suggested. There really isn't any common ground. It appears that their idea of land rights and what people should be allowed to do on their land is selfish, destructive and all about 'me' 'me' 'me', $$$ and fuck the actual land itself.

There's no common good being fought for here except in their own delusions.
posted by Jalliah at 8:49 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


The actual number of people in world history who would admit to being "terrorists" is so close to zero as to be effectively zero. They're always "freedom fighters" or "taking a stand" or some such bullshit.

Nevermind that at least one of the guys repeatedly tries to incite and possibly commit anti-Muslim violence (for calling him a "terrorist," no less), which sounds like terrorism to me.

Good old Conor Friedersdorf, never one to let the facts get in the way of some good hectoring of "the Left."

I love how the network that hired Erick Erickson printing a mild op-ed from a former DHS employee and Twitter randos making crude jokes are the avatars of "the Left," but actual socialists and Mother Jones are apparently not.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:58 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's no common good being fought for here except in their own delusions.

If there are Freemen or Sovereign Citiizens in their group, which it sounds like some might be, I can guarantee you that delusion is the right word to use. I work in a state government and from time to time, I or my colleagues, have to deal with them. They operate in this weird fabricated world created by modern day snake oil salesmen, selling them a medicine made of the good ol' days when a man needed only a gun, a plow, and an American Indian's land to live a life of true freedom from the "government" and enemies of his country. They treat the law, real or not, almost like magical mumbo jumbo, believing if they file W document at X place over Y topic, then Z will occur. I have seen them claim to have filed the right recipe of documents to require the state to hand back taxes collected on every citizen, and have been personally labeled as someone who's been "dishonored" by association to a government official who was subpoeaned (I was sent to quash the subpoena).

They're frightening in their twlight lunacy. The same fellow who stated the above almost was detained in contempt of court because A) He argued with the judge for several minutes that he was "John of the Family Smith" and not "John Smith" (John Smith was the corporate legal identity that existed as a legal fiction to allow him to interact with the world, but which assumed all liability for his actions [not him]) and refused to take a seat when asked to by the judge.

They're the type of people I fear most about encountering in my job. They can be and often are unhinged and delusional.
posted by Atreides at 9:19 AM on January 5, 2016 [26 favorites]


Just wanted to share Josh Marshall's brilliant description: white privilege performance art.
Josh Marshall, graduate of the prestigious private Webbs Schools (2015-2016 school year tuition $55,985 for boarding students and $39,815 for day students), AB (Princeton), PhD (Brown)? Calling out a bunch of economically marginal, working-class white men, no doubt shittily educated at poor quality local schools, for their "privilege"? Right. Because that's not disingenuous elite sneering at all, is it?

White people calling out other white people for white privilege is always weirdly self-refuting, but when (as usually seems to be the case these days) the initiator of the call out is way more educationally and economically advantaged than the groups they're attacking, it just leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:23 AM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


One can recognize racial privilege while being racially (and even economically) privileged.

The More You Know!
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 AM on January 5, 2016 [29 favorites]


I hesitate to engage in this derail, and I don't want to discuss this in a protracted fashion, but I feel that whatever Josh Marshall (or anybody) says should be judged on its own merits.
posted by newdaddy at 9:29 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Because that's not disingenuous elite sneering at all, is it?
Here’s What Happened When Black People Tried Armed Occupation

Less violence is better.

One can recognize racial privilege while being racially (and even economically) privileged.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how different forms of power could confer different advantages and disadvantages, and how these differences might interact in surprising ways. Like how the experience of racial minorities can be changed based on their economic conditions - that wealth alone or race alone is not the sole mediator of human interactions.

I'm trying to come up with a good word for this entirely new and wholly unique idea which I alone am responsible for, like the pioneers of American history, working this fertile but untamed and heretofore uninhabited intellectual landscape.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:32 AM on January 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


it just leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

You mean your mouth. There is no universal mouth in which a bad taste can be left. Either own your reaction or leave it out of the discussion, don't try to simultaneously disclaim it and throw it in.
posted by PMdixon at 9:34 AM on January 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


Reporters have been looking into the background of leader Ammon Bundy. It seems he received a $530,000 government loan from the Small Business Administration in order to start up his truck repair business in Phoenix in 2010.

But what good has the government ever done for Ammon this week?
posted by JackFlash at 9:36 AM on January 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


So it seems that possibly the power might soon be cut.

I like this quote:

“After they shut off the power, they’ll kill the phone service,” the government official added. “Then they’ll block all the roads so that all those guys have a long, lonely winter to think about what they’ve done.”

really gives that tone of talking to spoiled children which is conveniently exactly what they're behaving like
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 9:36 AM on January 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


Ultra-exclusive private "day schools" that manage to get their average-intelligence kids into Princeton are also white privilege performance art. There's lots of white privilege performance art. Plenty to talk about in many, many threads.
posted by miyabo at 9:37 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


These bozos are not in any sense of the word disadvantaged. Every step of the way the system has been there for them, subsidizing them up to the hilt.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


IIRC the Bundys are a family of millionaires, the current generation of which is living high off of daddy's ill-gotten gains and government subsidies. I don't think they qualify as "economically marginal" or "working-class" but given their propensity towards white supremacist rhetoric and partnerships, their education is certainly shitty.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:40 AM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


The certainly didn't go to any schools local to Oregon.
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to add my voice to the requests to stop slandering southern people by association with the y'allqaeda stuff...

I've seen this point made a couple times and I must say I don't get it. Southern people don't own the monopoly on the word y'all. It's perfectly common in the parlance of the western rancher. Have you people never seen a cowboy movie?
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:47 AM on January 5, 2016 [16 favorites]




An interesting background connection:

Showdown in the Malheur Marshes: the Origins of Rancher Terrorism in Burns, Oregon
In the early 1990s, Hammond repeatedly transgressed federal environmental laws, trespassed on federal lands and hurled death threats at federal wildlife officials. Little action was taken against Hammond by a timid Clinton administration. Emboldened, Hammond and some of his fellow ranchers continued over the next two decades to flagrantly flout environmental laws and harass federal officials. These activities finally culminated in an act of poaching on Steens Mountain and two arson fires. Hammond and his son were convicted in federal court and sentenced to five years in prison. That conviction sparked the armed takeover of federal buildings now unfolding in Burns. Here is our report from 1995. — JSC
(JSC is Jeffrey St. Clair, editor of Counterpunch.)
posted by graymouser at 9:48 AM on January 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


So it seems that possibly the power might soon be cut.

There is a vault in the gift shop filled with $600M in bearer bonds, but the circuits cannot be cut locally. The FBI is playing right into the terrorists' hands.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:51 AM on January 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


It included a cardboard box of apples and oranges, a few dozen pots of instant ramen, 24 cans of chicken noodle soup, a similar number of cans of sweetcorn, peas, beans and chili, and 20 boxes of macaroni and cheese.

There were also three sacks of potatoes, one bag of flour, another of rolled oats, boxes of raisins, a single bag of pretzels and one granola bar.


Nobody brought the beer. Jeez - I threw better parties as an underage freshman. They'll be done in less than a week.
posted by newdaddy at 9:52 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


There is a vault in the gift shop filled with $600M in bearer bonds, but the circuits cannot be cut locally.

...so the new die hard is going all cinema verite. sounds legit
posted by PMdixon at 9:55 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it a heist of those cool 3D moulded maps? Because I like those.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I guess you'ins haven't heard of Marshall Law. That's when you crank the woofers up to 10, and the bass man and drummer go nuts while the other guys take a much-needed bathroom break.

Or did you mean Apocalypse? Revolution? Make up your mind.
posted by mule98J at 10:10 AM on January 5, 2016


I really wish people wouldn't start mocking tools of every protest or occupation just because they don't like these guys. Like, yes, they called for supplies and 'snacks' to be sent by supporters. So did Occupy Wall Street. So did every anti war protest lasting more than a day that I've ever been to. So did Black Lives Matter. So did the anti-Walker pro-union protests.

Asking for supplies from supporters is a perfectly normal and totally boring thing to do, even if you have the wherewithal to get your own. You do it to save the movement money and also to cheer up your guys to see the solidarity. There's lots of legitimate reasons to hate on this protest, but "they asked for supplies" is not one of them.
posted by corb at 10:34 AM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


but "they asked for supplies" is not one of them.

I think it's more about the fact that people think these people are supposed to be "survivalists."
posted by drezdn at 10:38 AM on January 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


I've never before seen an argument of false equivalence based on snacks. One can find anything on the Internets.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:39 AM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh please. They showed up like the usual posturing libertarian survivalist people, waved a bunch of guns around, and then went "waah we didn't bring enough food."

Like, it's so utterly emblematic of this mindset that they'd show up unprepared and expect a handout from someone else so they can keep terrorizing people. That's why they deserve mockery for each and every thing they do, including whining about snacks: it's the hypocrisy of bootstraps.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:46 AM on January 5, 2016 [35 favorites]


Asking for supplies from supporters is a perfectly normal and totally boring thing to do, even if you have the wherewithal to get your own.

This was a planned thing, though. They got in their vehicles and drove for a long damn way, presumably past several grocery stores. This wasn't a bunch of people sort of deciding to do a thing in their own personal locality, and oh crap it lasted longer than their lunch hour. They were asking for supplies pretty much the minute they got there.

Also, their "movement" is based on rugged self-reliance without the damn government getting in their way. BLM, Occupy, pro-union protestors -- they're all about collective action.
posted by Etrigan at 10:46 AM on January 5, 2016 [28 favorites]


I think it's more about the fact that people think these people are supposed to be "survivalists."

... and Mormons. If you go into a Mormon basement you aren't going to find just a couple of Power Bars and a family-size bag of Cheetos. You're going to find a neat row of 5-gallon white plastic buckets filled with food to maintain a family for more than a year.
posted by JackFlash at 10:47 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Making fun of racist sovereign citizen/survivalist nutjobs who complain about Uncle Sugar giving Those People handouts and engage in chest-puffery about bootstraps and living off the land, all the while getting rich off of the taxpayer and whining about snack food, is 100% appropriate.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:53 AM on January 5, 2016 [29 favorites]


You're going to find a neat row of 5-gallon white plastic buckets filled with food to maintain a family for more than a year.

Apocalypse Chow: We Tried Televangelist Jim Bakker's 'Survival Food'

♪♬ America, eatin' my lunch from a single bucket in the visitor center, where I'm livin'. ♩♫
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:55 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here’s What Happened When Black People Tried Armed Occupation

Or the Cornell Willard Straight Hall occupation which ended peacefully and in which no charges were filed.
posted by Jahaza at 10:56 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


#daddysworeanoath

Warning: John Darnielle
posted by Etrigan at 10:56 AM on January 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Are we just assuming because they're ranchers that they are preppers? I haven't seen anything about it, and as I recall in the last Bundy standoff they fed them off beef from Papa Bundy's cattle. There's a pretty conspicuous lack of MREs, too. I wouldn't assume. I mean, they could just be lousy preppers, but they just kind of seem like your average run of the mill Starter Protester levels of prepared to me.
posted by corb at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2016


Call them names and return anger with anger. Dismiss their livelihood and that of their forbearers. Show zero understanding of their situation. No wonder the country's politics are so poisonous. Maybe we ought to consider some alternatives.
posted by humanfont at 11:03 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Simply don't let them leave. Send in prison food once a day. They promised go be there for years, so save the court costs and prison costs and just make them stay inside.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:06 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


None of the actual local people, who get 93% off the rates anyway, are the terrorists here. The locals have, indeed, been meeting these shitbirds with contempt and dismissal.

Before we consider alternatives, they need to consider alternatives to armed occupation.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:07 AM on January 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


Show zero understanding of their situation.

A lot of people understand their situation and still find them ridiculous. Indeed, the more you understand, the more contradictory, selfish, short-sighted, and poisonous they seem. But, no, we're the ones who are poisoning this.
posted by maxsparber at 11:07 AM on January 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


No wonder the country's politics are so poisonous. Maybe we ought to consider some alternatives.

Civility! That's what will bring them around!
posted by Etrigan at 11:08 AM on January 5, 2016 [31 favorites]


Maybe we ought to consider some alternatives.

How about giving the terrorists an emergency airdrop of snacks made with Olestra. In addition to placating the anti-snack concern troll brigade, that would put an end to this nonsense in about 3-4 hours post-consumption.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:09 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Okay, sorry, that was flip. But here's my problem with it -- the time to use civility was when they were asking (or demanding, whichever) to continue to use public lands for private profit. And we did that. For decades, the law and their rights and the situation and the reasons were patiently explained to the Bundys, and they just put their fingers in their ears and said "LALALALA I HAVE RIGHTS LALALALA!" And that didn't fucking work, and now they're on some insane crusade that's only tangentially related to their issue because they can't stand the idea of not being able to do whatever the fuck they want to do, and it's somebody else's fault that they can't, so they're bringing guns to a debate.

So no, we didn't poison this well.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on January 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


Call them names and return anger with anger. Dismiss their livelihood and that of their forbearers. Show zero understanding of their situation. No wonder the country's politics are so poisonous. Maybe we ought to consider some alternatives.

What is the understanding that should be shown, exactly? The challenge of telling people that you've been getting too sweat a deal is real -there’s a reason tax cuts are more popular than tax hikes- but what aren’t we understanding?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:19 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


We're not being understanding enough of wealthy, privileged white men throwing temper tantrums.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:20 AM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Dismiss their livelihood and that of their forbearers. Show zero understanding of their situation.

What livelihood? What lack of understanding? We're not criticizing farmers just because they get government money and tax breaks. We are criticizing people who do so while making millions off of that, saying they earned the land (which was stolen from others), and who broke a contract they had been perfectly fine with abiding by for almost forty years.

The only people making a mockery of their livelihood and that of their forebearers while showing zero understanding of their situation is these dumbasses.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:24 AM on January 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Conor Friedersdorf may be trolling, but he's right (as was the judge) that the mandatory minimum sentence imposed is completely insane. I don't know the extent to which it inspired the current protests—Friedersdorf thinks it did, people on the blue mostly disagree.

I think if we can't look at a prominently reported absurd mandatory minimum sentence and affirm "yes, this is cruel and draconian, even when it happens to right wing white males," then we are tacitly endorsing the same. I'm guessing the occupiers mostly supported this mandatory minimum law in the 90s when it seemed to be more directed at urban folks or people of color. But that was naive. Once the legal apparatus or cultural precedent gets established, it can be redirected at whatever group falls out of favor. And now it's directed at them.

Let's not be so naive as they were. If we oppose mandatory minimums for black people convicted of nonviolent drug charges, we should oppose them for white people convicted of setting fires to cover up illegal hunting, or which did very minor damage to some remote public land.

The criminal justice system is certainly unjust along racial lines, but if we refuse to acknowledge when it abuses white people, or get smug about how finally right wing whites are getting a taste of their own medicine, I think we're fucking up hard.
posted by andrewpcone at 11:31 AM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I know their politics don't float everyone's boat, but Mises is hosting a really sharp takedown of the Bundy standoff from a free-market perspective - both acknowledging the problems with federal land management and exploitation of anti-terrorism law for the Hammonds, and also with the Bundy clan and the libertarian legitimacy (or lack thereof) of the protest.
"The details of the Hammond case are still coming out, but if the Hammonds have been enjoying a deal similar to that of the Bundys, it's unclear as to why the protestors — who are occupying a building they have obviously not homesteaded — should get a free pass with principled free-market advocates. In cases like these, we often find that the resistance to federal control is just a desire to trade in federal bureaucrats for more local bureaucrats who are on friendlier terms with the ranchers in question, and more open to their demands for continued subsidies."
posted by corb at 11:34 AM on January 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


I find myself capable of both being displeased with mandatory minimum sentencing, and still thinking that armed occupation of unrelated buildings in protest of mandatory minimum sentencing is blatantly insane.

Relatedly, though, I think the Hammonds probably are getting off light here, given that apparently they staged an arson to cover up other crimes, according to the legal record. Also, how much this actually has to DO with the Hammonds is pretty questionable, given that they didn't want these guys involved, and went back to jail in spite of their little showdown.
posted by Archelaus at 11:38 AM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Archelaus, I'm not saying we should support the armed protestors here, or that the Hammonds shouldn't be punished, or that the current protestors are primarily motivated by the 5 years sentence.

I'm saying that when we spot an injustice happening to someone we *don't* agree with, with whom we *don't* sympathize, there is an opportunity to build credibility and bridge unnecessary cultural divides, and we shouldn't miss it.
posted by andrewpcone at 11:44 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's some question as to whether there's any actual injustice going on here though. Setting a fire to cover up another crime is pretty damn serious, triply so in dry areas.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:47 AM on January 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


we should oppose them [mandatory sentences] for white people convicted of setting fires to cover up illegal hunting, or which did very minor damage to some remote public land.

This wasn't their first offense. The second time they set fires in the middle of fire season, in contradiction to a burn ban, while firefighters were already in the field fighting natural lightning fires. Firefighters were camped nearby and woke up to discover a new, unexpected fire coming from a different direction.

Three wildfire fighters were killed in Washington state this last summer. It is a difficult and dangerous job. If there is any crime deserving mandatory sentences it is deliberate wildfire arson.
posted by JackFlash at 11:48 AM on January 5, 2016 [41 favorites]


Andrespcone - Fair enough. I just felt the need to get that out there. I've never been a fan of our for-profit-mandatory-minimums-prison -thing-, but I don't think it's a serious injustice in this particular case.

In fact, in this particular case, I think the injustice is that these guys were out of jail -at all-, because they're a clear and present danger to others. (Disclaimer: I'm the child and grandchild of firefighters who have done the wildlands firefighting thing).
posted by Archelaus at 11:50 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


If there is any crime deserving mandatory sentences it is deliberate wildfire arson.

REALLLY? REAAALLLY? Because I would think that, like, deliberate arson of a downtown apartment building that resulted in the deaths of all inhabitants would be more deserving of a mandatory minimum, or any of a thousand other crimes that deliberately harm individuals. But, heck, that's probably why mandatory minimums are a bad idea.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:56 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ha ha, #OregonSendMeASnack.
posted by newdaddy at 11:57 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Let's not be so naive as they were. If we oppose mandatory minimums for black people convicted of nonviolent drug charges, we should oppose them for white people convicted of setting fires to cover up illegal hunting, or which did very minor damage to some remote public land.

Some people oppose all mandatory minimums in principle, favoring judicial discretion to decide on appropriate sentencing, but judicial discretion has been used throughout history to provide free passes to commit heinous crimes as long as the local judges sympathized with the perpetrator and excessive sentences to perpetrators not in favor with the locals, so a belief that mandatory minimums aren't inherently evil is a perfectly reasonable position.

This of course raises thorny issues about what categories / levels of crimes merit the use of mandatory minimums, but this "gotcha" you're trying to go for here isn't going to fly. We're not talking about white people who got caught with an ounce of weed, we're talking about white people who deliberately set fires that could have resulted in massive destruction.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:57 AM on January 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


Like, yes, they called for supplies and 'snacks' to be sent by supporters.

Well, Ammon Bundy said that when they took over the wildlife refuge that they planned to be there for YEARS. The fact that they started asking for material support after only a few days is deserving of mockery.
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:03 PM on January 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. andrewpcone, not sure if you're trying to pick a fight in here but if you aren't, please drop the comparisons that are guaranteed fightstarters.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:07 PM on January 5, 2016


I think the "mandatory minimum" issue is a side line; Ammon Bundy said in his interview with Jacobin that the occupation is about "land rights," not about the sentencing. The Hammonds appear to be despicable people who committed arson to conceal evidence of poaching and got off easy, and have subsequently cooperated with prosecutors. The Bundy group hijacked their cause as part of their own crusade to steal public land, which is both related to what the Hammonds are doing and a much bigger and longer-term project.

FWIW, I oppose mandatory minimum sentences entirely, but focusing on them distracts from the real questions here.
posted by graymouser at 12:14 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


OK, let's try this again.

It's easy to take a nasty crime and say "if anything deserves a mandatory minimum, this does." When you start picturing the potential implications, it's pretty horrific. When the offender is someone you don't sympathize with, it's easy to think, "What an asshole, this guy should be punished hard."

This tends to disadvantage more marginalized groups. But it also starts a sort of arms race of brutality, which is more or less what happened in the 9th circuit's opinion.

tonycpsu: I'm not playing "gotcha" here. Maybe Friedersdorfer is, but I'm not. I'm saying we have an opportunity to be the better party here, and to try to bridge divisions that ultimately benefit no one but the private prison industry.
posted by andrewpcone at 12:16 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Because I would think that, like, deliberate arson of a downtown apartment building that resulted in the deaths of all inhabitants would be more deserving of a mandatory minimum.

And that would be murder, with a sentence of life in prison -- which is a lot longer than five years.
posted by JackFlash at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


If you are dealing with people who think it's A-OK to set fires in a brush desert to cover up other crimes, there is no division to be bridged, sorry.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not playing "gotcha" here. Maybe Friedersdorfer is, but I'm not. I'm saying we have an opportunity to be the better party here, and to try to bridge divisions that ultimately benefit no one but the private prison industry.

And I'm saying that "the better party" doesn't have to believe that if mandatory minimums are a bad idea for certain classes of crimes, they must be a bad idea for other classes of crimes.

We already have distinctions between misdemeanors vs. felonies, different degress of murder, and many other legal distinctions that have been put into place to guide and in many cases constrain what prosecutors and judges can do in terms of leniency for different offenses. Mandatory minimums are just another tool, one that's currently misused to punish drug offenders who've in most cases hurt nobody but themselves, which makes it nauseating to see them being compared to arsonists as if support for mandatory minimums must be all or nothing.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


[Another few comments deleted. Having gone a few rounds on it, maybe let's set the mandatory minimums thing down at this point.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:39 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Bundy group hijacked their cause as part of their own crusade to steal public land, which is both related to what the Hammonds are doing and a much bigger and longer-term project

Yes, this. There is a decades-long history of ranchers (and miners and loggers and multinational corporations profiting from mining and logging) pushing for privatization of the public lands, because they don't like the way the federal agencies are required to manage them. They don't like it that federal land managers have to balance: recreational uses, endangered species habitat, water quality, ecosystem restoration, fire management, invasive species management, wild horses and burros, grazing leases, gas and oil permits, and extractive mining uses in granting permits.

The funny thing is, if these were private lands, the ranchers (and miners) would be paying a lot more per animal unit month (AUM) for their grazing, and in all likelihood the natural environment would be much poorer, because the private owners wouldn't be obligated to worry about most of those issues. (Except endangered species, which is one reason why the ESA is such a hot button issue.) And the private owners certainly wouldn't have the technical qualifications to analyze and manage those resources that the federal agencies provide.

BLM and Forest Service personnel have been assaulted, shot at, and threatened with violence all over the west, because it's their job to balance dozens of competing uses in a way that protects and preserves the property of the entire United States. The Sagebrush Rebels want purely local control of this property, even though purely local control often results in a wasteland, because local stakeholders are dependent on the extractive industries. They feel entitled to do whatever they want with land that doesn't belong to them, because they live nearby.

As it is, the BLM already gives too much deference to the mining/oil & gas industries, and there is pushback from ranchers in the SW over the issue of oil & gas development in areas where it conflicts with long-term grazing leases.
posted by suelac at 12:42 PM on January 5, 2016 [36 favorites]


Can someone please give a link about the bearer bonds in the gift shop?
posted by waitangi at 12:43 PM on January 5, 2016


Can someone please give a link about the bearer bonds in the gift shop?

Here you go.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:48 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I love the public response of mockery. I made a comment way upthread about the militia guys being "terrifying". Which I now regret, because it gives them way too much power. The #YallQaeda, #VanillaISIS and #al-Shabubba hash tags, not to mention the Please Send Snacks flag, is the right level of seriousness to give these folks' agenda.

At least I hope so. They are still violent, and armed, and seditious. Timothy McVeigh and his pals murdered 168 people in an act of terrorism. I still think it's right to mock them, but I sure hope the FBI is doing it's job in keeping these idiots from being a real threat.
posted by Nelson at 12:51 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe we ought to consider some alternatives.

As it happens, we - if by "we" we mean the federal government - did consider an alternative. The last time, very specifically, a group of Aryan Nation/Oath Keeper/Gadsden flag types got together under the leadership of a member of the Bundy family, federal authorities first attempted to enforce the law and then, when it seemed possible that attempting to enforce the law was going to lead to a gun fight, withdrew and deescalated, allowing Bundy to continue to pasture on federal land.

So, that was the alternative that was considered and implemented. That appears to have emboldened that group and its leadership to the point of illegally occupying federal land, as well as opportunistically grazing cattle on it. It also, arguably, contributed to the deaths of Joseph Wilcox, and of the police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, when they were killed in Las Vegas by two of those Aryan Nation types who had gravitated to the Bundy ranch and been asked to leave.

So, that's the alternative that had so far been tried. This time around, it looks like the federal government is taking a slightly different tack, albeit one still aimed at avoiding armed confrontation.

If, however, by "consider some alternatives", you mean that we - not the federal government, but some people on the Internet - should be nicer to a group of people who are materially benefitting from amping up rhetoric that has already seen innocent people killed, and who are currently actively soliciting cash donations through a website that sells "FUCK ISLAM" bumper stickers, then... well. I mean, good luck with that, but I think I feel my response is calibrated pretty well.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:59 PM on January 5, 2016 [29 favorites]


Setting a fire in no-burn season pretty much *is* the equivalent of torching an apartment building. If you don't manage to kill anyone it's because you were lucky.
posted by tavella at 12:59 PM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oregon's historically timber-dependent communities struggle to diversify with increasing desperation. What's ahead for these once-prosperous towns? It's a question far from answered.
Story by Ben Jacklet

An old article (from 2009) but I found it to be an interesting look at the economic history of the region. (I was looking into the claim that it was one of the most prosperous counties until the 1980's, which is true but the driver was a private company that had secured massive timber rights to federal lands in the 1920s but closed shop in 1980 and it was a massive shake up. Things then dwindled till the housing meltdown and by 2008 demand was all gone and the industry dead. So now it is ranches and tourists, there is more to it than that, but that is a rough overview.)
posted by phoque at 1:07 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


According to Ammon Bundy who has done extensive research both on western land issues and the Hammond Case, as late as the 1980’s, Harney County was one of the wealthiest counties in the state and now it is one of the poorest and it’s due to federal acquisition of western lands.

This was the pro Bundy article that sent me on the chase, but it is the references to Malheur Headquarters that made me laugh.
posted by phoque at 1:12 PM on January 5, 2016


and it’s due to federal acquisition of western lands

WHAT.

Those lands have been federal land since the US removed the tribes. They were never private land, there's no question of "federal acquisition".
posted by suelac at 1:15 PM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


I can't even begin to explain how charming it is that you are still shocked that right-wingers have a terrible grasp of history, facts, statistics, et cetera.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:31 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nothing says "we fancy ourselves outdoorsmen" like a campfire made of pressure-treated wood signposts.
posted by compartment at 1:33 PM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


"At one time (Harney County, Oregon) was the wealthiest county in the state; today it is one of the poorest," he says.

The prosperity was also a time when workers were receiving union wages.
posted by phoque at 1:37 PM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think it's fair to say though, that as this century goes on, more people and groups are going to come to resent that their older ways of working and living are going to produce relatively less wealth. These guys are just kind of a leading indicator.
posted by newdaddy at 1:41 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


These guys are just kind of a leading indicator.

On the contrary, I think all of the various ways we subsidize rural living and working make them relative latecomers to the party.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


These guys are just kind of a leading indicator.

I dunno. Lots of very vocal people have been complaining about this for at least 40 years. Steel mill workers. Auto workers. Factory workers in general. These guys are johnny-come-latelies, frankly. Maybe the difference is that most of the factory workers were located between the coasts, and were largely union workers, so the right didn't shed a single tear for them?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:48 PM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Those lands have been federal land since the US removed the tribes. They were never private land, there's no question of "federal acquisition".

Sort of... the "Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000’’ (pdf) restricted grazing on many Federal lands in the county. Now, that's not in itself an acquisition of land, but we're not talking about unified blocks of land. Public and private land is intermixed. It's led to stories like this one: farmers who find it hard to use their land, which they do own, because it's surrounded by federal land which is now off limits. And some of them apparently feel they've gotten a raw deal because the BLM was supposed to install necessary fencing (as the ranchers understood the act when they agreed to support it), but the BLM is now interpreting it otherwise.

This is a complicated area of law, but this is arguably acquisition if it rises to a "constructive taking"... and ranchers might see it that way somewhat reasonably even if ultimately courts don't decide in their favor. (Also, we don't always require people to speak in absolutely legally precise ways.)
posted by Jahaza at 1:49 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]




YEARS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:43 PM on January 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


I assumed years was bullshit hyperbole. This is one reason waiting out occupations is often the best plan.
posted by corb at 2:51 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


From hippy bear's link above:

The local sheriff urged the Bundys and the others to get out of town soon "Militia Go Home" signs began being seen posted on telephone poles.

In a very teeny, tiny way I feel like maybe these guys will help break the spell that has been hanging over a few (even one?) of the people who have been riding this dumbfuck train for the last few years. Did anyone even remotely lucid and breathing oxygen stand up and defend these guys? I mean, even Alex Fucking Jones didn't defend them (even as he used them to attack Obama, of course.)
posted by Room 641-A at 2:53 PM on January 5, 2016


Here is some deep history of the situation, from Seattle treasure Knute Berger.

"Oregon standoff: White and exempt in the wide open West

....It’s hard not to imagine what would happen in Malheur if this were a group of armed Muslims or a Black Bloc of anarchists from Eugene. Or what about unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters or tribal activists?

One reason is that federal officials and employees in rural areas are themselves often locals, or certainly have to live with their remote neighbors. The other is that the causes being espoused — that the federal government is too powerful or is entirely illegitimate — underlies the main ideological thrust of one of the nation’s predominant parties, today’s Republicans, and that’s usually the party of choice in these rural counties.

Even if they might disagree with the Bundys’ tactics or extremism, the local sense of general grievance can be long and deeply held, and exacerbated by economic conditions. The occupiers are not necessarily seen as “others,” but as reflections of their angriest selves."
posted by Rumple at 2:55 PM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


They're not going to let them go home, are they? They're going to arrest them, right? I'm down for not going in there after them to avoid a gun fight, but surely we're not going to just let them go home.
posted by Weeping_angel at 2:57 PM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


I hope not, Angel, but Papa Bundy is still sitting at his ranch with his cattle grazing on government property as the fines surpass $1 million of which he has no intention of paying. Armed standoff be damned.
posted by avalonian at 3:02 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


y'know, since they're all gathering in Malheur, BLM should go to his ranch and start rounding up some cattle!

also: The Spice Must Flow
posted by numaner at 3:08 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thats a protected tweet Numaner, whats the joke?
posted by kittensofthenight at 3:34 PM on January 5, 2016


Of course they'll let them go. The last thing the Feds want now is a scene that plays into these idiots' worldview. They'll walk, none the worse for wear.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:34 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


It wasn't protected with numaner posted it. They put the account private after it was linked here, probably because it was getting attention from all over.

I don't remember the joke, but I do remember seeing the actual tweet link.
posted by hippybear at 3:51 PM on January 5, 2016


Sara Robinson: Inattention to Detail
What they don’t factor into this is that the perpetrators are watching for just this reaction. Almost always, they’re motivated by the idea that they’re simply acting on widely-shared community values. “Other people have been silenced by the political correctness police; I and I alone have the courage to say out loud what everyone else is really thinking. And in daring to do this, I’ll be hailed as a hero — as the one who finally stands up for the truth.” Wherever you see right-wing violence in action, it’s a pretty safe assumption that some version of this dramatic, heroic vision is playing in the actor’s head. You can bet this is what they’re telling each other right now in that little building in Malheur.
Letting them get away with their first actions provides strong confirmation for this story.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:53 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Amanda Preacher says that charges are imminent.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:57 PM on January 5, 2016


Wherever you see right-wing violence in action, it’s a pretty safe assumption that some version of this dramatic, heroic vision is playing in the actor’s head.

Prove to me that I shouldn’t also assume this when I see left-wing violence in action.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:07 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


>Amanda Preacher says that charges are imminent.

That twitter feed also shows that someone brought in grilled cheese sandwiches and fries for the armed gunman. There appear to be about 12 sandwiches there (What? No snuggly blankies??).

In the actual link to the news article the local Sheriff says “I think if one person gives them a Snickers bar, they’re going on national media and claiming that the community supports them,” which immediately made me love that guy.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:15 PM on January 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


Let them eat cake.

In prison.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:15 PM on January 5, 2016


someone brought in grilled cheese sandwiches and fries
I noticed that as well, but I didn't see where it's stated that those were brought in. Given how that bell-end Ammon Bundy was crowing about the provided soup the night before, I'm thinkin' that they made that there meal fer themselves. Or had ther women-folk fix it.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:28 PM on January 5, 2016


Amanda Peacher says that charges are imminent.

The article that Peacher links to doesn't say anything about the imminence of charges, only that the Harney County Sheriff has been told by the FBI that "the men will face charges."

According to a January 3rd post on Peacher's Twitter feed, LaVoy Finnicum planned to stay "until the Constitution is upheld."

Didn't take long
for that steadfast attitude to waver, though: "When Oregon, the state of Oregon, is safe from the threat and intimidation of a central power — You know, I need to get home, I got cows that are scattered and lost, and I've been looking forward to that."

It's worth watching the end of the video clip. He's just rambling on and on, hitting each of his bonkers talking points, and then all of a sudden he does a hard 180 and the subtext is like, "Sleeping on a floor has left me incredibly tired."
posted by compartment at 4:32 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]




Sounds like the grilled cheese was brought in. PBS NewsHour did an interview with Amanda Peacher:
You see a few of the protesters walking between buildings. There are some women in the kitchen making grilled cheese sandwiches for the protesters. But it’s very calm. It’s very quiet.... I have seen zero law enforcement vehicles and — that are marked at least. And I have heard nothing from law enforcement about their intentions to come near the area.
posted by ectabo at 4:38 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The article that Peacher links to doesn't say anything about the imminence of charges, only that the Harney County Sheriff has been told by the FBI that "the men will face charges."
Personally, I'd call that a distinction without a difference. I suppose that, were the edit window still open, I could change it, to satisfy whatever error it is that I've apparantly made. Alas, it isn't. Guess we'll both just have to live with this nightmare.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


All Things Considered ran a good story on the situation tonight.
posted by humanfont at 4:49 PM on January 5, 2016


The story behind the minimum sentencing laws is interesting:
"Oddly enough, terrorism against the federal government in Oregon was a significant reason why federal penalties for arson in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 have ended up being enforced so often. In October of 1996, eco-terrorist group the Earth Liberation Front burned down a forest ranger station about 30 miles outside of Eugene, Oregon that did over $5 million in damage. " -- Weekly Standard article
There are some ironies here.
posted by sneebler at 5:11 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


the feds should just totally Blair Witch this shit. Shoo all the bystanders away so when the jerks peek outside they see nothing, nobody. Then the feds should leave weird little mounds in front of the jerks' door. Then start making some really weird noises at night.
posted by angrycat at 5:12 PM on January 5, 2016 [16 favorites]


Angrycat - I love the idea, but I'm not so sure I want to put the Fed in the position of taunting armed idiots.
posted by Archelaus at 5:14 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


LaVoy Finicum tries to explain what their plan is in the second video in the NBC News "I need to get home" article.

It makes this sound like a research project. They're examining the record of government acquisition of land, so that they can invalidate anything not "purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State" (from Article 1, section 8 of the constitution). Then they can return the land to whomever the government took/unconstitutionally purchased the land from.

But that raises more questions than it answers. Does this facility have paper records of how the federal government acquired this land? Is this information otherwise publicly available, such that they could have occupied a seat at the library (no guns necessary)? Or even at their own computer?

This matches what was noted in the LA Times article from a few days ago, as linked to and quoted by hippybear:

From the article, the statement of the demands from the occupiers by Ryan Bundy: "The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control," he said.

Ranchers who were kicked out of the area in 1908 when Teddy Roosevelt created the refuge. 5 generations ago.


So they're going to have to do some genealogy work, too.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:32 PM on January 5, 2016


Ranchers who were kicked out of the area in 1908 when Teddy Roosevelt created the refuge. 5 generations ago.

Was anyone actually kicked off land they legally owned back in 1908? Or, was the land always Federal land and Teddy merely carved out this refuge from it?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:44 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Personally, I'd call that a distinction without a difference. I suppose that, were the edit window still open, I could change it, to satisfy whatever error it is that I've apparantly made. Alas, it isn't. Guess we'll both just have to live with this nightmare.

Apologies if I came off as overly critical. No disrespect was intended. The difference in my mind was just over the imminence of charges. I think it makes a difference whether they're charged tomorrow morning while still in the building or a week down the road after they've left the building. Not a huge deal, and again, I apologize.
posted by compartment at 6:01 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: Was anyone actually kicked off land they legally owned back in 1908? Or, was the land always Federal land and Teddy merely carved out this refuge from it?

Possibly, but it looks like it was based on public action.

"In 1901 residents of Baker County sent a petition to their congressional representative requesting that the mountains around Baker City and Sumpter be withdrawn from the public domain in order to protect the area’s water supply. The following year residents of Malheur and Harney counties submitted petitions asking that the Strawberry Mountains and the headwaters of the Malheur, Silvies, and South Fork of the John Day rivers be withdrawn to protect water, timber, and grazing resources. The Secretary of the Interior responded in July 1902 by authorizing the temporary withdrawal of more than 3 million acres of land in the forested areas of northeastern Oregon."

I got this from Blue Mountains National Forests: Chronological Record of Selected Boundary Proclamations (pdf). It is quoting an article in the Oregonian newspaper dated March 18, 1906 entitled: “Forest reserve created at last; President sets aside Blue Mountains for timber purposes.”

The quote continues, noting that this action was controversial. Also relevant:

"More problematic than local opposition were the land speculators who claimed land in the proposed reserve with the intention of trading it for more valuable land elsewhere in the state. This practice was at the heart of a major land fraud scandal that resulted in the indictment of dozens of Oregonians, including most of Oregon’s congressional delegation."


(Relevant) Timeline (adapted from the same report).
July 28, 1902: Blue Mountains Forest Reserve was informally withdrawn from the public domain
March 15, 1906: Blue Mountains Forest Reserve was formally established by proclamation.
March 4, 1907: Act of Congress changes Forest Reserves to National Forests.
June 13, 1908: Blue Mountain National Forest lands were distributed amogst the new Whitman, Malheur, Umatilla, and Deschutes National Forests. Malheur National Forest was established by executive order #814.
posted by mountmccabe at 6:13 PM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


But how could you even acquire such information without occupying a building and demanding snacks? Are you a wizard?!?
posted by rtha at 6:18 PM on January 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


Next in old timey reading: "Report on the proposed Blue Mountains Forest Reserve" by H.D. Langille to the Department of the Interior from 1906. (pdf)

Skimming the 19 pages reveals that it includes some summary of agricultural use, logging, mining, and cattle.
posted by mountmccabe at 6:25 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Apologies if I came off as overly critical.
No worries.

Trying to reason with some of these "freedom fighters" today (I am down with a cold) has made me trigger-happy. I overstated my case.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:45 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


In a very teeny, tiny way I feel like maybe these guys will help break the spell that has been hanging over a few (even one?) of the people who have been riding this dumbfuck train for the last few years.

Come on, you know you can't win with this demographic. That will only radicalize them even more with anger that the poor sheep didn't appreciate all they were doing for them. Congratulations, now you have government haters plus contempt for the general public.
posted by ctmf at 7:01 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


If they were winning with that demographic, there would have been a mass migration to the remote SE corner of Oregon to join them with their stand against tyranny and government overreach.

Nobody made the drive beyond the initial 12-15. They stand alone. It's obvious. To us and to them.
posted by hippybear at 7:09 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


The refuge was established in 1908 but has been expanded significantly since then. BLM has reduced leasing of land for grazing on adjacent parcels since the 1970s. This may have contributed to a number of ranches ending up for sale and purchased by the Federal government to add to the refuge.
posted by humanfont at 7:09 PM on January 5, 2016


Which isn't exactly the Federal government seizing land, now is it?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:12 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's certainly nothing like when the Feds moved into the Hanford area and literally kicked people out in order to build their plutonium refining station in SE Washington. One documentary I saw suggested they were given less than a month to make their decision, and if they refused after 3 increasing offers for their land they were subjected to Eminent Domain and just put off their land.

That would be a more bold stand for the Bundys and their followers to take, but then, you can't graze cattle on that land, because reasons.
posted by hippybear at 7:16 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Next in old timey reading: "Report on the proposed Blue Mountains Forest Reserve" by H.D. Langille to the Department of the Interior from 1906. (pdf)

The book Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West is a fantastic history of forestry and land management in the Blue Mountains. It's about the forested areas, not the wetland areas involved in this controversy, but the land management issues have similar histories.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:31 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Many ranches are a mix of privately held land and land that is leased from the BLM. Without the lease the ranch doesn't have enough pasture to support the herd. No herd, no money and now your forced to sell your land to the government. Perhaps you can understand how the rancher might simplify the story as the government took the ranch.
posted by humanfont at 8:28 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


holy shit lmao
posted by emptythought at 8:34 PM on January 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


You mean the leases they pay 93% less than everyone else for?

I mean, to a point I respect your committment to your talking points, but back here in reality we have a bunch of terrorists who aren't related to this dispute at all, who indeed have been repudiated by those who are involved in this dispute, who pretended they'd be there for years and didn't even bring enough food for a few days.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:39 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Many ranches are a mix of privately held land and land that is leased from the BLM.

Leases can be on land managed by an agency other than BLM, though I think that they are the dominant agency for grazing arrangements. But yes, it is definitely the case that a ranching operation will require both private land (with water rights) and public leases to be viable. As with water, public land is supposed to be managed for public benefit, and it is not controversial to say that pretty much every state and federal water and land management agency has a record of extreme mismanagement of those resources.

I have seen it get emphasized in some of the articles about this situation, but I think it is sometimes hard for people in other parts of the country to really get how dominant public land management (especially federal land) is in the west. A huge part of the economy (as well as non-economic things like hunting and hiking) has been based for generations on continued access to public land. I'm not saying this to excuse either the original arson guys, or the jackasses who are occupying the building, but that living here land management issues are huge in a way that isn't the case almost anywhere else in the country.

Whenever the management rules change, whether for reasons of favoritism or environmentalism or anything else, it has huge impacts locally, but the people on whom those impacts are felt often have very little say in the management decisions and implementation. A lot of small communities in the west have a history of pretty much always getting fucked. Back in the day the resource wealth was extracted and sent east (leaving only scraps and low wages for dangerous jobs), and since then those resource industries have collapsed (logging) or are being restricted by land use and environmental changes that can turn narrow margins negative (ranching).

But these are complicated and important issues that are best solved with local consensus and creative thinking, not by these outside bozos showing up with nutjob political talking points. They are helping no one except for themselves, and once they go off to their next event the locals will be left holding the bag. The resources absolutely need to be better managed, and a key part of that needs to be not screwing the locals.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:54 PM on January 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


This is why I could never be in a position of power. Were I Governor of that State I'd immediately cut water , power and cell service. I'd call up a company or two of National Guard infantry to pay a visit along with several attack helicopters rising over the treeline at dawn playing Ride of the Valkyries on loudspeakers just because I know those bozos have seen that movie a zillion times. Maybe some SWAT from Portland too. II would tow their cars to some place it would cost them a zillion dollars to get back. I'd violate so many civil rights that even Rahm Enanual would bow his head in embarrassment and go "Oh really, you've gone much too far".

And shortly thereafter I'd undoubtedly be be disgraced and somehow voted out of office but it would be a darn fine show, really it would, And I would leave office thinking the millions I had spent had been totally worth it to see them all crap their pants.

This is why I can never hold public office :(
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:08 PM on January 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


My old boss has been working at an advocacy group for protection of public lands out west for a while now, and they put together a nice little roundup of politicians involved with these nutbags.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean I'm not a business dude, but if changes in the public subsidy in the form of land usage I depended on destroyed my business, I might look into another line of work
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:53 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


ctmf wrote:
Well, maybe they could get an exception if they ask nicely enough.
A standard probation term bars defendants from possessing firearms, but Nuffer modified it to require only that the men remove guns and ammunition from their homes when probation officers visit.
It's actually not all that unusual when the charge is for a minor nonviolent offense when a particular term would present an undue hardship given the defendant's particular circumstances. Yes, it's privilege in action, but it's not reserved for gun nuts. I've known people who have had the provision requiring they maintain gainful employment removed as well as travel restrictions, among others.
posted by wierdo at 9:56 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just to provide some context, the BLM administers about 180 million acres of land for U.S. citizens. 80% of that land, 140 million acres, goes to grazing leases. There are 16,000 leases. So consider that 140 million acres of the people's land is going to the benefit of fewer than 16,000 ranchers (keeping in mind many ranches have more than one lease). And they want more. That's what this fight is about.
posted by JackFlash at 10:06 PM on January 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


An OPB article on tension between ranchers and land management. And a reminder that without regulation it would be grazed to abandon.

Data Gap On Ecosystem Health Puts Ranchers, Feds At Odds
by Jes Burns and Tony Schick

In the decades after the Civil War, ranching boomed on public lands in the West.

Anyone who wanted to start a ranch needed little of their own property and few hired hands on the payroll — thanks in large part to their ability to let their animals graze on federal land.

---
Decades of unchecked grazing degraded the Western landscape. By 1934, federal law established the regulation of grazing on public lands. That ultimately led to the first grazing districts, then grazing allotments and an agency that later became the Bureau of Land Management.

As America’s environmental consciousness emerged in the 1960s and 70s, the federal government started reining in cattle ranching. Environmental laws required the agencies pay more attention to the health of the land, rivers and native wildlife.

Public lands used for grazing in the West shifted to accommodate multiple purposes – not just cattle forage but outdoor recreation, water quality and habitat for endangered species. As that happened, many ranchers saw their freedoms shrink and the bureaucracy of administering new laws grow.

posted by phoque at 10:09 PM on January 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Even if it does give lip service to the problems of unrestricted grazing, that's still some problematic views of the matter. Specifically:

As that happened, many ranchers saw their freedoms shrink and the bureaucracy of administering new laws grow.

Can I expect to read another article in which I'm told "many factory owners saw their freedoms shrink" because that durned government bureaucracy told them they can't just dump poisonous chemicals into the rivers anymore?

Making a profit by eroding public lands into a fucking desert is not a "freedom" that anyone is owed.
posted by tocts at 4:48 AM on January 6, 2016 [28 favorites]


If someone here know more about this and can briefly comment that would be appreciated. I know ranching is a different beast then the type of cattle farming that's done here but my experience with the local farmers is that they super aware of managing their land and stock so the land stays good. I also doubt that all of these types of ranchers are not aware and care. Are these guys just a subset that don't seem to care? Or is it a matter of the scale of land we're dealing with which leads to a different mindset? Like there's so much around that they figure they don't have to or that it leads to the thinking that there is so much it doesn't or shouldn't matter because if this area gets wrecked there's another to move to.

Just trying to get my head around ranchers/farmers that don't seem to give a shit about ecological issues as in my experience with farmers in my area do give a lot of shits. Granted there are sometimes differences in opinion about how to go about it but it's based on giving a shit.
posted by Jalliah at 5:12 AM on January 6, 2016


They don't get the land at a 93% discount. Grazing fees in Oregon are calculated based on the amount of land, number of cattle allowed, trailing market price for calves and expected weight gain of the cows during the grazing period.
There is a substantial difference in price between renting private pastureland vs government land, but this has to do with the fact that they are seperate markets with different supply and demand factors.
posted by humanfont at 5:16 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


There is a substantial difference in price between renting private pastureland vs government land, but this has to do with the fact that they are seperate markets with different supply and demand factors.

Indeed. Specifically, the government will subsidize ranchers by renting them land at well below market value, while private owners won't.
posted by Gelatin at 5:20 AM on January 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


Indeed. Specifically, the government will subsidize ranchers by renting them land at well below market value, while private owners won't.

Should I be rented sidewalk space at full market value? We subsidize all kinds of stuff, sometimes with good outcomes and sometimes poor; simply attacking things on the basis of being subsidized makes no sense. (On the other hand, calling out the asswipes like Bundy for not wanting to pay even those subsidized fees needs to be front and center.)

I know ranching is a different beast then the type of cattle farming that's done here but my experience with the local farmers is that they super aware of managing their land and stock so the land stays good. I also doubt that all of these types of ranchers are not aware and care. Are these guys just a subset that don't seem to care?

It's a mixed bag. There are ranchers who are in full-on, 100 percent land-destroyer mode all the time, but they are the outliers. The only way to get rich ranching is to start with a huge fortune and own a gazillion acres; anyone ranching on a small scale is working their asses off for not much reward. Ranches have usually been in a family for generations and people know the land intimately, and are trying to make good long term management decisions. They are limited by resources (since as noted there aren't huge profit margins, so economically people need to maximize productivity) and sometimes by tradition ("Dad and grandpa did it this way, so I will too").

Because of the mismanagement of the public lands, it's not like you can talk to a rancher and point to the pristine and well-managed public land as an example of best management practices. There's also a long history here (as well as around the globe) of devaluing local ecological knowledge and practices, and of imposing solutions that work elsewhere without understanding local conditions. A lot of the suggested changes in management mean taking on more risk, which is hard for a shoestring family operation.

In a lot of cases the best results ecologically come from dialing down the pressure on the land -- limiting grazing in riparian areas, keeping animals moving, and so on -- but that takes subsidies, both direct and indirect, such as support for agricultural extension offices. There are ecological benefits to grazing and having herd animals on the land, but only when the numbers are appropriate and the management is consistent with fire cycles and other ecological issues.

I mean I'm not a business dude, but if changes in the public subsidy in the form of land usage I depended on destroyed my business, I might look into another line of work

It's worth thinking through what the alternatives are. Ranches shutting down do not mean that the land becomes wilderness. It often means that the ranches are bought to be managed as private hunting resorts, which means closing off all public access (ranchers are typically great about allowing people on their land; distant owners of resorts close all access) and high impact land management to maximize timber and game value, or are otherwise developed. Grazing allotments just get reapportioned, again usually to large interests with no stake in good local land management.

It's interesting to take a look at government extension office publications and other advice given to farmers of a few decades back (like how to straighten streams with dynamite) -- a lot of the practices that we are now criticizing were considered best scientific management practices of the time and were heavily promoted and subsidized.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:53 AM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Should I be rented sidewalk space at full market value?

No, because everybody gets to use the sidewalk. If you intend to claim a public resource for your own profit, then absolutely. If you intend to claim a public resource for your own profit without regard to the common good, then you should be charged full market value and then some.
posted by Gelatin at 6:06 AM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


anyone ranching on a small scale is working their asses off for not much reward.
For not much financial reward. Some of us just like raising cattle and work off farm only for the cash.
posted by ridgerunner at 6:07 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


simply attacking things on the basis of being subsidized makes no sense.

No one here is doing that.

(On the other hand, calling out the asswipes like Bundy for not wanting to pay even those subsidized fees needs to be front and center.)

This is what everyone here who talks about subsidized fees is doing.
posted by Etrigan at 6:09 AM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Not to mention these guys love wrapping themselves in the whole "rugged, self-reliant, don't need the government" thing. I live among people just like this. They are among the most deluded, childish, self-centered people in the world. They're the people who gripe because rural counties are represented by a handful of legislators at the capitol. (LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU HOW PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION WORKS.)
posted by entropicamericana at 6:36 AM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Why Did The Bundy Brigade Take Over This Particular Oregon Wildlife Refuge?

Hammond sounds light a nightmare neighbor.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on January 6, 2016


The amount of private land for lease is substantially less than the amount of public land available. Also the private land tends to have numerous upgrades not available on the public land. Does someone living in an apartment in a building with no amenities in a rough area of town pay the same rent as someone in a two bedroom in an upscale building? The same comparison applies here. The changes in government land policy are a bit like gentrification in the city. People end up evicted to make way for the new condos in the city. People end up out of their ranches to make way for the wildlife refuge.

There is also an element of social policy, just as there is in rent controlled and subsidized housing. In this case ranches were established under government policies setup to encourage the settlement of communities in the West with ranching as a major industry. Now a couple of generations later we're altering the terms and the disruption is understably terrifying.

Unfortunately the political alliances in our country have divided the folks on the wrong end of the economic disruptions. Rural end up voting Republican and blaming big city liberals for their problems. City dwellers end up blaming the rural voters for their problems. The animosity has gotten so great that programs which benefit both like food stamps are cut out of spite. I
posted by humanfont at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


“. I”? Was that comment accidentally truncated?
posted by Going To Maine at 9:40 AM on January 6, 2016


No law enforcement authorities are even closing the roads, the Bundy militia is free to come and go as they please and restock their supplies at the nearest Walmart.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:43 AM on January 6, 2016


I can’t tell if that’s ridiculous, or if that’s helping to devalue the takeover in the eyes of the public. I’m leaning towards the former.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:47 AM on January 6, 2016


Actually, to heck with leaning. That’s ridiculous.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


A True History of the Malheur Region

"After listening to the Think Out Loud radio interview this morning I had a few thoughts. The interviewee, a member of the militant militia that have taken over a wildlife refuge suggested that the federal government had not bought the land from the state so it has no rights to the land. The militant suggested that the federal government should give all such holdings back to the states and also suggested that the federal government had to reserve its land ownership to the District of Columbia only.

At no time in this interview was there any discussion about tribal treaties or tribal land rights. Nor was there an informed discussion about the history of the land. The militant suggested that the federal government had just taken the land from farmers and should give it back or they, the militia, were not leaving. I am not sure if they are aware that much of this land never belonged to the state at any time. The land was originally Native land and had been for over 10,000 years.

Previous to farmers owned the land, the land was owned by the various Northern Paiute tribes of the region. The Paiutes ceded the land to the Federal government under the Shoshone-Bannock Treaty, in what amounted to a sale of the land in 1868. In the U.S. Constitution, Treaty making with foreign governments is specifically reserved as a federal government activity, states alone cannot undertake such an action. In 1871 the Malheur Reservation was created there by executive order. This was a federal reservation for the Paiute people. Then in 1878-79 the Bannock War happened causing the federal government to close the reservation in 1880. The war occurred because the Paiute people, were not at all happy with how they were being treated on the reservation. They left the reservation and the War involved trying to capture them to return them to the reservation. After closure of the reservation, the Paiutes were scattered between several reservations (Warm Springs, Yakima) and a few remained in that area. Those who remained received off-reservation allotments under the 1887 Dawes act. The Burns Paiute tribe was not restored until 1972.
.......
"
posted by Rumple at 10:01 AM on January 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


The Bundys And The Irony Of American Vigilantism, Jedediah Purdy, New Yorker
But Bundy’s movement makes sense—a strange and parochial kind, but still sense—only in a more specifically American and Western context. In American politics, there are two traditions of laying claims by occupying a place. The more familiar kind, which belongs to the left and the civil-rights movement, makes private spaces more public and political. Strikes asserted workers’ role in their employers’ factories and mines. Sit-ins at lunch counters asserted a principle of equality against business owners’ traditional legal right to decide whom to admit to their places. The Occupy movement made the privately owned but publicly accessible Zuccotti Park into a pageant of participatory, consensual democracy and anarchist self-organization, at least for two months in 2011.

The other tradition turns public land into private property by occupying it. Historically, it has been anything but a protest technique.
Kieran Healy: The Federal Government Owns a Lot of Land and Checkered Past - "While making the maps for yesterday’s post about the extent of US federal landownership, I noticed an odd checker-pattern in one part of it. It flowed through northern Nevada and Utah, and then out a ways into southern Wyoming. I did enough work to make sure it wasn’t a coding error on my part, but didn’t pursue it any further. This morning, JP Lien asked me about it on Twitter, and we both took a closer look. Here’s what the pattern looks like close up."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:16 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thats a protected tweet Numaner, whats the joke?

aww dammit, it was one of the #daddysworeanoath parodies, this guy held up his nook with Dune on the screen swearing the spice must flow.
posted by numaner at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2016






The book Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West is a fantastic history of forestry and land management in the Blue Mountains.

Nancy Langston, the author of that book, has a good op-ed piece in the Times today about the issue:
When mythic histories supplant the complexities of the past, the results can be lethal. Equitable futures for Western public lands won’t be achieved when ideologues swagger in, brandishing guns and taking over federal buildings. Rather, they develop from the hard work of collaboration, like the 2013 effort that brought together the local community, tribes, conservation groups and the state and federal governments to develop a new management plan for Malheur. These are the efforts that best respect the region’s history while pointing the way to a sustainable future.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


> No law enforcement authorities are even closing the roads, the Bundy militia is free to come and go as they please and restock their supplies at the nearest Walmart.

You'd think law enforcement would quietly pull them over one by one. The nearest three Walmarts to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are in Bend (156 miles away), Ontario (160 miles away), and Redmond (170 miles away). The biggest store within 100 miles is the Safeway in Burns. Good thing these geniuses arrived in trucks.

"Where's Joe?" "He went to Walmart to get us some cheese doodles and toilet paper." "When'd he leave?" "8 hours ago." "Okay, he'll be back in a while then."
posted by phoebus at 11:18 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some of the militants belong to a small political party, The American Independent Party, inspired by a speech Ezra Taft Benson once made. Benson was a prophet of the LDS Church and a member of the John Birch Society. The AIP picked up four percent of the Utah vote in the 2014 election. The LDS Church does not support the actions of the militants at the Malheur Refuge, but called for all adult Mormons to read Ezra Taft Benson's writings last year.

The American Independent Party also does not support the actions of the militants over on the bird refuge.

If you follow their militant logic, I should go in with weapons to The Bear River Bird Refuge and seize the opportunity to open up a barbecue stand. It is no wonder they have failed to garner credible support.

No system is perfect. What has happened to farmers and ranchers in North Dakota is a good example of traditional land use meets the oil and gas industry leases. This is where farmers find their land, water, and air, encroached upon and poisoned by industrial use of agricultural land, with poor environmental oversight or protections.

Actively campaigning for the erosion of environmental considerations is bread and butter for industries who stand to gain from resource exploitation. These guys are idealogues with little knowledge of the larger issues. Armed with their comic book constitution, guns, fatigues, and pickup trucks they want to be relevant, they want celebrity, I am surprised Sarah Palin hasn't showed up yet. Probably not enough money for either Palin or Coulter to get up a retinue.

These militants are amateurs. Maybe next time they should take over an ant farm or their next door neighbor's garden.
posted by Oyéah at 11:19 AM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am surprised Sarah Palin hasn't showed up yet.

Hush, now.
posted by Gelatin at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


ubi incurrunt ipsi in desertum , vocant bellum
posted by pyramid termite at 11:25 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, an associate professor at Duke hadn't heard of the railroad land grants? Being a humble state university graduate, I never understood the Duke jokes on the Internet before. I guess I understand now.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:47 AM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Warning from the Birding Community to the Terrorists in Oregon: We're Watching You

the comic in the comments is great
posted by numaner at 11:59 AM on January 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


Some of the militants belong to a small political party ... The American Independent Party also does not support the actions of the militants over on the bird refuge.

According to JJ MacNab, the Independent American Party is the reason why the couple that killed two Las Vegas police officers moved from Indiana to Nevada — they were there to support IAP candidate David Lory VanDerBeek's run for governor. Shortly before the killings, one of the Las Vegas shooters had clearly gone off the deep end, and on June 2nd posted to Facebook a rant saying that oppression could only be stopped with bloodshed.

According to MacNab, VanDerBeek's campaign manager was one of the handful of people who hit the like button on that post.

Cliven Bundy joined the Independent American Party after his standoff and gave a speech at an IAP event in his honor. The speech roughly outlined his worldview, and it's been a while since I listened to it, and the whole thing is pretty tedious (like, there's this tangent about how desert tortoise conservation is responsible for high gas prices, or something). If I recall correctly, he talks about his belief that federal ownership of land is generally illegal for non-military purposes. He also describes the federal government as a bush whose branches have been beaten (i.e., in the 2014 Bundy standoff), but whose roots need to be cut. At other times he's explicitly stated that if county sheriffs don't disarm the federal government, people would need to fight the government themselves.

The IAP may not explicitly endorse these actions, but a lot of their most prominent members have extremist views. What's happening right now in Oregon is apparently causing a rift within the party.
posted by compartment at 12:56 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just noticed a similar checkerboard pattern in logging while I had Oregon up on Google Maps satellite view. I wonder if it's related.
posted by indubitable at 12:58 PM on January 6, 2016


Episode One: A Stupid Menace
posted by numaner at 1:06 PM on January 6, 2016


I just noticed a similar checkerboard pattern in logging while I had Oregon up on Google Maps satellite view. I wonder if it's related.

Almost certainly.

posted by entropicamericana at 1:12 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Also. And here.)
posted by entropicamericana at 1:18 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Fed should start charging admission and add and area where you can buy pellets to feed the militia-men.
posted by drezdn at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


And more locals who want the intruders to go home.
posted by leslies at 2:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


What crimes would these guys get charged with at this point? Trespass, breaking and entering, vandalism? Are any of those crimes serious enough to generate real prison time?
posted by humanfont at 2:42 PM on January 6, 2016


They can get up to two years for bringing guns into the refuge headquarters building.
posted by compartment at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


What crimes would these guys get charged with at this point? Trespass, breaking and entering, vandalism? Are any of those crimes serious enough to generate real prison time?

I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that using guns to seize control of public/government property and refusing to leave should get you in some kind of legal trouble.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:07 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I mean, if it doesn’t then any further allegations by these folks about the terrible oppressiveness of the US government should be summarily ignored.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:09 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Decemberists Frontman Colin Meloy Tweeted Erotic Fanfiction About the Militia Standoff and It's Awesome
"They huddled together for warmth. The cold of Ammon's Ruger 22 against Brian's naked thigh sent a thrill up his spine." #bundyeroticfanfic
— colin meloy (@colinmeloy) January 6, 2016
posted by Nelson at 4:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


What crimes would these guys get charged with at this point? Trespass, breaking and entering, vandalism? Are any of those crimes serious enough to generate real prison time?

If those signs/posts they burned (or any other federal property they destroyed) are worth more than $1000 (felony), than per 18 U.S.C. § 1361 a fine and up to 10 years in prison. Less than $1000 (misdemeanor), it's up to a year.

Per US CRM 1666, for the felony offense "the defendant is subject to a fine of up to $250,000, ten years imprisonment, or both." It is a fine of up to $100k, one year imprisonment, or both, for the misdemeanor.
posted by zakur at 4:21 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Possibly relevant Oregon laws:

ORS 164.255 Criminal trespass in the first degree. This is a Class A misdemeanor, which could mean prison time of up to 1 year.

If intent to commit a crime (during the trespass) can be shown then it could be ORS 164.215 Burglary in the second degree. This is a class C felony, which could mean prison time of up to 5 years.

And for those that it is shown were armed it could be ORS 164.225 Burglary in the first degree. This is a class A felony, which could mean prison time of up to 20 years.

These were suggested by a lawyer, but I am not that lawyer and I am not a lawyer.
posted by mountmccabe at 4:24 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Heh. My first thought was "Forget Oregon laws, they should be charged federally!", but then I started to appreciate the beautiful irony of the Feds taking a completely hands-off approach, and them going to state prison instead. Not sure how plausible that is, but it would be great. Arrested by the County Sheriff and all...
posted by Anoplura at 4:43 PM on January 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


How would this go down if instead they had invaded Putin's favorite bird-watching reserve, outside Moscow?
posted by newdaddy at 4:44 PM on January 6, 2016


It's starting to feel a bit odd how much effort you've been putting into painting these folks in a sympathetic light.

They're not monsters. They're idiots.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:28 PM on January 6, 2016


They're idiots brandishing guns and a tendancy for armed confrontation with my government. I see little reason to treat them sympathetically, or to use this particular minor sedition as a reason to open some new debate on long-settled principles of federal land management.
posted by Nelson at 5:45 PM on January 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


Let these right-wing yahoos beg for snacks from a prison commissary.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:37 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel the obligation to caution anyone from siding with the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) in all cases, they have programs to exterminate coyotes, wolves, and random wildlife victims in their traps, in order to protect the local interests of sheep and cattle ranchers, using old and terrible ranching policies in areas of concern. On the other hand, their staff archaeologists, rangers and field personnel are awesome, experienced and aware, and can point you to hidden petroglyphs if you ask.
posted by Brian B. at 9:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The native Paiute tribal leadership weighs in:

The tribe is still fighting over land use but now works with the federal government's Bureau of Land Management to save its archaeological sites. "We have good relations with the refuge. They protect our cultural rights there," said tribal council Chairwoman Charlotte Rodrique....
The tribe said it has never ceded its right to the land but received federal recognition in 1868 and signed a treaty with the federal government that requires it to protect the safety of the natives and promised to prosecute any crime or injury perpetrated by any white man upon them.

posted by Brian B. at 9:30 PM on January 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


Crimes: They were driving heavy equipment owned by the federal government to block roads today, in fear of police taking the place back. That would probably count as theft or car theft or something.

What's the opposite of kidnapping -- preventing someone from the lawful entry to a place?

Theft from use of electricity, cooking equipment, bathrooms, etc.

Certainly threats.

use of firearms in other crimes. Odds are pretty good that at least one of these guys has criminal convictions that make their gun possession illegal, and impose additional penalties for use of guns in further crimes. Probation violations?
posted by msalt at 11:12 PM on January 6, 2016


Can you get nominal and punitive damages (like in Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc) in a civil trespass suit in Oregon?
posted by ctmf at 11:58 PM on January 6, 2016


They were driving heavy equipment owned by the federal government to block roads today, in fear of police taking the place back.

Starting to question the wisdom of the federal government's "leave the keys under the mat" policy...
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:07 AM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


On a more serious note:

> They're not monsters. They're idiots.

i think that at the upper level they are probably more correctly grifters, although that does not stop them from being either monsters or idiots (or both). The nature of the grift is pretty simple - engineer a confrontation with federal authorities, get as much airtime as you can, ask for donations. The endgame is probably to get a TV show.

Unfortunately, this particular grift involves setting up in a specific location and claiming to be ready to kill agents of the federal government. Which means, as we saw in the case of the Las Vegas shootings, becoming potentially a catch and release program for spree killers.

If I were tasked with enforcing the law in Burns, Oregon, I wouldn't be too worried about the head grifters - if things get too hot, they will pack up their card table and run, or serve a short sentence in jail to benefit the long grift. I would be worried about the people who sincerely believe that killing a couple of cops will spark an uprising against the tyranny of government.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:42 AM on January 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think the Bundy's are shifty and exploiting the situation to further a scam, probably involving direct mail fundraising for themselves. However their power comes from people who are genuinely afraid and concerned for their community's future. I am from the rural west and I know a lot of folks who have those same fears. I think we need to try to understand and sympathize with these fears to diffuse the Bundy's toxic bullshit.

I also know a of people who welcome the changes over the last few decades. I love that the wolves are back and that public lands are now used for something other than resource extraction and over grazing. I feel like my side has carried the day on the right policies, I now think the time has come to work on helping people adjust better. We need to figure out how to support those that remain better.
posted by humanfont at 5:14 AM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]




I think the Bundy's are shifty and exploiting the situation to further a scam, probably involving direct mail fundraising for themselves.

It's always about the money.

Here's this quarter's variation of the NRA's fund drive cycle:

"Obama and Clinton want to take away your Second Amendment Rights!!! We need your support to fight against this infringement on your rights! Support us at the 100 dollar level at NRA dot org, and we'll send you our exclusive NRA tote-bag as our gift..."
posted by mikelieman at 7:34 AM on January 7, 2016


Here's this quarter's variation of the NRA's fund drive cycle:

"Obama and Clinton want to take away your Second Amendment Rights!!! We need your support to fight against this infringement on your rights! Support us at the 100 dollar level at NRA dot org, and we'll send you our exclusive NRA tote-bag as our gift..."


"Oh, and by the way, here's where you can buy more of these things that Obama wants to take away (conveniently brought to you by our corporate owners supporters)."
posted by Etrigan at 7:52 AM on January 7, 2016


NYTimes editorial: Guns, Anger, and Nonsense in Oregon
posted by newdaddy at 8:01 AM on January 7, 2016


IMO, the Bundy's are absolutely True Believers in many ways - Cliven Bundy has been battling the BLM in court for twenty years on the basis of a bunch of "sovereign citizen" nonsense, where whacko interpretations of the US Constitution means that the Federal government doesn't have the standing to determine land use and the highest legal authority is the county sheriff.

Bundy Ranch blog.

Bundy's YouTube channel.

The "scam" they're interested in is getting free land to ranch on, but they don't see it as a scam, they see it as their natural God-and-constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Harpers: The Great Republican Land Heist
posted by soundguy99 at 8:20 AM on January 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Lesson for Stalemated Sides in Oregon: A Texas Standoff Without End. John Joe Gray has been holed up in a barbed-wire compound for 15 years, avoiding charges of assaulting a Texas state trooper.
posted by Nelson at 8:52 AM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Malheur occupation in Oregon: whose land is it really?

Interesting article that covers the history that brought the land from Paiute to federal control and decisions upholding it. There are a lot of good links. I was fascinated by Duck stamps. And there is also a link looking at the first Sagebrush Rebellion the grievances and recurrence.
posted by phoque at 8:59 AM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I feel like my side has carried the day on the right policies, I now think the time has come to work on helping people adjust better. We need to figure out how to support those that remain better.

Other than being nicer to them in Internet comments, what specifically do you propose we do here? There are a lot of other Americans who've had their way of life threatened by technological, cultural, and societal change who aren't starting fires and holing up in public buildings with firearms. Am I to blame for feeling more sympathy for West Virginia coal miners and Detroit autoworkers than I feel for these people who, for all they're losing now, had a lot more to lose in the first place? I don't think it's that hard to understand the moral hazard of continuing to offer them heavily-subsidized access in perpetuity to a resource that they're threatening to burn if they don't get their way.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:11 AM on January 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


Lesson for Stalemated Sides in Oregon: A Texas Standoff Without End. John Joe Gray has been holed up in a barbed-wire compound for 15 years, avoiding charges of assaulting a Texas state trooper.
A woman approached, and she was asked to relay an interview request to Mr. Gray. He declined. A young man in a cowboy hat who was part of the group was told about the charge being dropped, but he waved his hand dismissively and walked away.

On Wednesday, the same woman returned to the gate, this time with a rifle over her shoulder. A man with her in camouflage pants was also armed. They were told of the sheriff’s comments that Mr. Gray was no longer a fugitive.

“We can’t believe anything they say, and we can’t believe anything y’all reporters say,” she said.
This is actually kind of the perfect ending. This guy has been holed up in a cruddy compound for 15 years in order to avoid detention for assaulting an officer, and now that charges have officially been dropped and he's free to leave, he's so invested in his "Feds are jackbooted thugs" philosophy that he's eschewing freedom and retreating back into his pathetic, self-made prison for the long haul. That's one less nutter the rest of us have to deal with.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:35 AM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sounds like he sentenced himself to house arrest even before the trial's verdict. What happened to presumed innocence? This guy is pretty intent on violating his own constitutional rights.
posted by Think_Long at 9:40 AM on January 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


i think that at the upper level they are probably more correctly grifters, although that does not stop them from being either monsters or idiots (or both).

It's an eclectic mix of grifters, monsters, and idiots united not so much by a common cause as they are by paranoia. Surf on over to Three Percent founder Mike Vanderboegh's blog, and you'll find instructions on how to send him anonymous cash donations. But you'll also find a recent post where he calls out one of the armed occupiers by name as a federal agent provocateur. The comment thread is rich with deeper flavors of paranoia, including allegations that the entire Malheur takeover is a false flag operation, and that federal agencies are "part of a for-profit mostly foreign owned corporation ... operating only in the jurisdiction of the Sea or Admiralty and Maritime jurisdiction."

(As a tangent, let me just say this: I googled "conspiracy theories involving maritime law." Apparently some people believe that any court with a gold-fringed flag is a SECRET MARITIME COURT.)

Vanderboegh is the guy who, speaking in metaphor, warned Harry Reid of wolverine-related castration risks after the 2014 Bundy standoff.

Also present at the Bundy Ranch in 2014 was Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. After the standoff, Rhodes got "intel" that Eric Holder was preparing a drone strike against them; his willingness to pull out over drone-related fears supposedly almost led to a gunfight between the militia contingent and the Oath Keepers.

Now Rhodes is condemning the Malheur occupation, and he claims to have new "intel" that JSOC has moved into the area. To support his allegation of leftists "frothing at the mouth and demanding blood" he quotes Montel Williams. Rhodes (and most people in his comments section) seem to regard the Malheur takeover as a terrible mistake, but he also believes that this whole thing could somehow result in civil war.

With the exception of the Bundy supporters who actually took over the refuge headquarters, pretty much everyone is against this. Members of the fringe anti-government crowd seem to believe that the Bundys have naively surrounded themselves with people who are hotheads at best or provocateurs at worst.
posted by compartment at 9:50 AM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I really don't know what the right answer is here. I feel like, the longer you let them all extol the heartiness of their ham-and-biscuit breakfasts, and the comfort of sleeping in a warm bed every night, the more inviting it looks to others. People won't remember how it ended, they'll remember what a grand old time they had, those first several months.

If they were there unarmed, protesting land use policies, I'd let them stay all year, heck, I'd bring them some sleeping bags and s'mores. God bless'em all.

But given that they have automatic weapons, and talked a lot of smack about "kill or be killed", the response of law enforcement needs to be deliberate and overwhelming. I feel like the cautious, measured response here is exactly the wrong answer. Law enforcement is putting themselves at more and more risk the longer they let this go on. They need to make this something that no one would ever even consider repeating, for their own safety.

I don't know what the right thing is, but didn't we invest a chunk of tax money in equipment to answer domestic terror threats, back after 9/11? What happened to all that stuff?
posted by newdaddy at 9:51 AM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you think that Texas story I linked is some kind of justice of self-inflicted house arrest, you may not have read to the end of the article, the part where he stole two children from their father.
Few had put more pressure on the authorities to enter the compound than Keith Tarkington, 49, the former son-in-law of Mr. Gray. A court order granted Mr. Tarkington custody of his two children, but he believes his sons and ex-wife have been living in the compound. He tried but failed to persuade officials to enforce the court order. His sons are now 18 and 19, and he believes they have been sequestered with Mr. Gray since they were infants.
We are a nation of laws. Fair enforcement of the law is what keeps our society functioning. Men like Mr. Gray in Texas or the Bundys or Timothy McVeigh or violent tax protestors undermine America.
posted by Nelson at 10:38 AM on January 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


They need to make this something that no one would ever even consider repeating, for their own safety.


These kind of people swoon at the idea of martyrhood. Ruby Ridge is a name well known in federal response to such things, and despite all the evidence of the terrible things going down in Waco, that compound is also up there. They served as inspirations for others.

I'm fortunate or not to have some people on my facebook who are rather conservative and short of dropping a guided missile on these people, anything less will simply serve as inspiration for others to take up arms against the "government" and start the second third American Revolution to free the good citizens of America from a tyrannical godless government. (The "second revolution" was how a lot of Confederates dressed up their secession from the United States, going so far as to make George Washington on a horse part of the national seal.)
posted by Atreides at 11:44 AM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


"One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty." —Martin Luther King, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

"We've broken no laws and there's not one 'No Trespassing' sign here." —Armed idiot who warmed himself by fire made of cut-down signs
posted by compartment at 11:54 AM on January 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


If those signs/posts they burned (or any other federal property they destroyed) are worth more than $1000 (felony), than per 18 U.S.C. § 1361 a fine and up to 10 years in prison. Less than $1000 (misdemeanor), it's up to a year.


There is no such thing as a government sign that costs less than $1000. Go look at how much they would charge you if you ran one over. There's warnings and stories all over the Internet. Hell, a stop sign on a residential street costs several thousand.

There's essentially no way they've done less than 1k in damage. You have to factor in the costs of installing new signs too, not just the signs and other stuff itself.
posted by emptythought at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I bent a highway railing in a crash that was my fault and part of my insurance payout for my totaled car included paying the local government $500 to what amounts bending a piece of metal back into place. These guys a burning thousands of dollars.

Also: Tarp Man
posted by numaner at 12:28 PM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


> A court order granted Mr. Tarkington custody of his two children, but he believes his sons and ex-wife have been living in the compound. He tried but failed to persuade officials to enforce the court order

What the hell.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:29 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Burns Paiute tribal council member Jarvis Kennedy passionately asks protestors to leave the Oregon wildlife refuge they have been occupying for days. (autoplay video)

Tribal council member Jarvis Kennedy took a much more direct approach (see video above), saying protesters need to "get the hell out."

"We as Harney County residents don't need some clown to come in here and stand up for us," he said.

posted by Rumple at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


An Anthropologist looks at the Oregon situation

Farmers and ranchers long served as the ideal locus of national identity, and any outcome to the standoff in Oregon will find a logical place in that undeniably violent history. The denouement will either be cast as another federal intervention into the management of the American West, or it will be another issuance of exceptionalism for the Anglo-American agriculturalist.

How, in closing, might hashtags like #YallQaeda and #YeeHawd change the imagined face of domestic terrorism in the United States? Can the label of terrorist stick to the American farmer or rancher? Or, if not, what language do we have for civil disobedience that carries weapons and leaps to the unsolicited rescue of any agrarian at odds with the feds? I suspect that most Americans are not prepared to apply the label of terrorist to those who look like the heroes of a Hollywood Western. Our terrorist imaginary has a different face in mind. Instead, given how distant issues of rural livelihood are from most Americans’ daily experiences, I worry that we will content ourselves with being amused by the spectacle in Oregon even as ranch country drifts further away from what any pastoralist would consider a good life.

posted by Rumple at 12:49 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pizza, rifles and tension: a night inside the Oregon protest

The brothers have taken over the cozy and cluttered office of Linda Sue Beck, a biologist and civil servant they have come to view as a symbol the federal government. They said they would allow Beck to come to gather her personal belongings. But they don’t want her to return to work.

“She’s not here working for the people,” declared Ryan Bundy, the more outspoken of the brothers. “She’s not benefiting America. She’s part of what’s destroying America.”

posted by phoque at 1:10 PM on January 7, 2016




Yelp reviews Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Pluses: Uncrowded, wide variety of avian life, low cost amenities.

Minuses: Armed lunatics, intrusive reporters. Maintenance has recently declined.
posted by msalt at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also: Tarp Man

That's actually Ed Harris preparing for an upcoming role and punking MSNBC.
posted by peeedro at 2:28 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


what language do we have for civil disobedience that carries weapons ?

If it carries weapons, it is by definition not civil disobedience. It's armed revolt.
posted by msalt at 2:35 PM on January 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Not unless they use them, but of course just having them there raises the tension and increases the chance of a Waco style incident where they can say they were just defending themselves when one side or another takes the first shot.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:48 PM on January 7, 2016


Of course they are using them. They're using them as a threat rather than actually firing them in most cases, but a threat is still a use.
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on January 7, 2016 [18 favorites]




Artw, I'm making kind of a nuanced point here that it's probably not necessary to define "armed revolt" down to include assholes toting guns in a threatening manner. The behavior is menacing enough without changing what words mean.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:55 PM on January 7, 2016


Do you think we shouldn't call it armed robbery if the cashier doesn't get shot?
posted by Drinky Die at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


Exactly. If they fire their weapons, then it's a violent attack. Armed means you are carrying weapons, nothing more or less.
posted by msalt at 3:07 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, we do have different penalties for whether the guns are used or not, but your apples to donuts comparison aside, I get your point -- obviously the guns aren't there for fun, they're there to threaten law enforcement and make their political argument more persuasive.

Still, in my mind, the phrase "armed revolt" carries connotations greater than the sum of its constituent words, and implies using guns to actually overthrow the government, so I'm uncomfortable with using it in this case. "Terrorism" or even "armed terrorism" seems more appropriate to me, but this isn't a hill I'm going to die on.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:08 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm down with armed revolt. The fact that it's a stupid, futile revolt doesn't make it any less; they want to subvert the laws of the country and they show arms in their stand. The fact that they are more likely to win Powerball than to get what they want doesn't matter. It's armed sedition and has traditionally carried very harsh penalties.

I get that the authorities are trying to avoid making them martyrs or inciting a Waco-style bloodbath, but you also have to remember that the penalties are there to deter the behavior. If people figure out the penalties don't apply to white folks then white folks won't be deterred, and they will keep doing this even in this kind of stupid and inconsequential way.

I just hope the Feds actually have a not too long term plan to end this in a way that thoroughly humiliates these assholes.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:29 PM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


If a revolt starts in the woods and no one comes to oppose it does it still make a sound?
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:35 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Come on, you know you can't win with this demographic. That will only radicalize them even more with anger that the poor sheep didn't appreciate all they were doing for them. Congratulations, now you have government haters plus contempt for the general public.

You're right about the true believers for sure. I guess it just feel like there are a few cracks now where a short while ago Fox would have had these guys on 24/7.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:37 PM on January 7, 2016


Tearful militant discovers friend drank away donation money: ‘It’s like finding out there is no such thing as Santa’
his friends tearfully announced that Oshaugnessy, who is known as “Capt. O,” had left the refuge Wednesday and was instead staying at a motel nearby — as some others associated with the militants have apparently been doing, according to sources.

Some of the militants have reportedly been spotted eating at area restaurants during the standoff, as well.

The militants have been allowed to come and go freely from the nature preserve in the absence of a law enforcement presence, but at least one of them, Brian “Booda” Cavalier, failed to return after a newspaper report revealed he had lied about serving in the U.S. Marines.
posted by twist my arm at 3:40 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Omg I want to show up as they are eating Popeyes and MOCK
posted by angrycat at 3:55 PM on January 7, 2016


“Terrorism” or even “armed terrorism” seems more appropriate to me, but this isn’t a hill I’m going to die on.

FWIW, I’m actually in the opposite camp. It doesn’t seem like terrorism, because they aren’t trying to create terror. It seems like a revolt because they are protesting the authority of the US government.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:56 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


At Bundy encampment, outsider says militants 'attacked' his group

Violence broke out at the Bundy compound Wednesday night between its militant occupants and members of an outside group whose leader says he wants to get women and children out of the compound.

Lewis Arthur, who leads a group called Veterans on Patrol and calls himself an anti-violence patriot, arrived Wednesday afternoon with a small crew.

By Wednesday night, one of Arthur's three-person crew was in the hospital, his eye blackened from a punch to the face.

posted by phoque at 4:03 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been going with armed insurrection. It's more specific than terrorism (while echoing it) and insurrection feels more akin to a protest while revolt feels more akin to a bigger takeover attempt.
posted by imbri at 4:17 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why the authorities haven't shut off the electricity yet.
posted by grouse at 4:20 PM on January 7, 2016


At Bundy encampment, outsider says militants 'attacked' his group

This is so bizarre.
posted by Jalliah at 4:25 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It doesn’t seem like terrorism, because they aren’t trying to create terror.

18 U.S. Code § 2331 - Definitions:

"(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."


Emphasis mine.

I'd say what they're doing certainly fits that definition of "domestic terrorism."
posted by soundguy99 at 4:26 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


The comment thread is rich with deeper flavors of paranoia, including allegations that the entire Malheur takeover is a false flag operation, and that federal agencies are "part of a for-profit mostly foreign owned corporation ... operating only in the jurisdiction of the Sea or Admiralty and Maritime jurisdiction."

(As a tangent, let me just say this: I googled "conspiracy theories involving maritime law." Apparently some people believe that any court with a gold-fringed flag is a SECRET MARITIME COURT.)


You mock but I have compelling evidence that famed maritime lawyer Chareth Cutestory is just a cover identity for some privileged California liberal all tied up in lightly treasonous CIA actitivies in Iraq.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

Interesting - then yes, I’d say that could be considered to be terrorism. However, I’d also be inclined to see most takeovers of government buildings as terrorism as well, since it could certainly be argued that they are intended to intimidate.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:32 PM on January 7, 2016


I think there's an enormous difference when the takeover is armed.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:36 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not really sure how anyone can claim that demands being accompanied by loaded guns don't contribute to a situation being coercive or intimidating.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:42 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Tearful militant discovers friend drank away donation money: ‘It’s like finding out there is no such thing as Santa’

Oh God, his life is really going to suck when he find out that there is also no Santa.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:46 PM on January 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I’d also be inclined to see most takeovers of government buildings as terrorism as well, since it could certainly be argued that they are intended to intimidate.

Like when citizens went into the Michigan state capitol building and were singing songs to protest the governor's dismantling of unions. That was definitely terrorism. /sarcasm
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


> I don't understand why the authorities haven't shut off the electricity yet

This is just me guessing, but maybe they don't want to give them an excuse to burn office stuff for heat. They've already burned signs for a campfire, and they've demonstrated that their survival skills are less than what's needed to get a Girl Scout "Camper" badge. I wouldn't put it beyond them to start fires indoors.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:59 PM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Photos of the headquarters/visitor center show that it has a chimney. I'd assume it's functional. I start a fire indoors on a regular basis with no ill effects, because I have a fireplace.
posted by hippybear at 5:01 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, but you are not a moron.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


The New Yorker nails it.
posted by humanfont at 5:13 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


However, I’d also be inclined to see most takeovers of government buildings as terrorism as well, since it could certainly be argued that they are intended to intimidate.

See part (A) of the definition: involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State.

Loaded guns I think qualify as "dangerous to human life", and it's already been established that it's illegal for them to bring firearms into Federal buildings.

Not at all sure that "most" takeovers of government buildings involve acts dangerous to human life.

I mean, look, call it whatever you want - my point is more that regardless of how you would define their actions, there certainly seems to be a legal basis for the Feds treating this as "domestic terrorism" when or if they're actually charged with anything.

(Although as far as my non-lawyer ass can tell, "terrorism" seems to more of a sort of "force multiplier" for sentencing guidelines rather than a specific criminal charge.)
posted by soundguy99 at 5:19 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm curious -- what's up with the Velcro patches? Why don't they sew them on? (This isn't limited to these guys -- I've seen the same thing from the military to Stargate Atlantis.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:27 PM on January 7, 2016


Picking up a needle and thread is too much of a girly activity for such manly men?

(In my Boy Scout troop in the 80s, it was a mark of honor to sew on your own patches, no matter how bad the job was. But that's just my own "hey, you're a faggot, you like girly things" PTSD assessment of how men like this interact with the world.)
posted by hippybear at 5:38 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


18 U.S. Code § 2384 - Seditious conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
posted by phoque at 5:38 PM on January 7, 2016 [12 favorites]




fbi reaches for the phone
'get me truckasaurus'

truckasaurus is taking time off
he has an estranged daughter
'you should take the chance i never did abby'
his phone rings
'i have to go abby i am real sorry'
'i know dad i know'
'remember what i said'
'i will i will take the chance'

'talk to me chief'
truckasaurus has a tureen of coffee in one claw
it pours scalding hot liquid down his metal front
'truckasaurus we have a situation some bad guys do not know they are bad guys and they think they are good guys and worse yet they think they are good guys that john cena might play in a movie'
'this is serious'
'and they have guns'
'do they have bullets'
'yes'
'why not give them more bullets very quickly'
'damn your robot heart truckasaurus these are people real people dummies with families and beards and some of them even have youtube followers so technology'
truckasaurus rips the coffee tureen in half in rending steel jaws and sighs
'i am getting too old for politics chief'
chief is silent crushed by falling scraps of metal

'hey beardos it is me truckasaurus lets come out and talk'
'how do we know we can trust you'
truckasaurus rips a car in half and spits fire
then he sits on the car backwards
'i think he is on the level commander beard'
whispers one to the other as truckasaurus wrecks the smeck out of that car
the beardos do not discuss their boners

'so how do you want to do this'
'we have all the gripes truckasaurus and we are ready to fight'
'what are your gripes'
'we want a seat at the table'
'what table'
'the government table'
'so you came to middle of nowhere bird place'
'yes'
truckasaurus feels his patience fade quickly

'so the hard way i hate the hard way'
truckasaurus rolls off the crushed car
beardos get worried
'wait we did not say we would fight much'
'okay'
'maybe if we can each ride in you than we can go home and say our honor has been restored also can you make me a truckasaurus too'
'no deal i am a lone wolf who is also a dinosaur who spits fire also you guys look like you smell like feet and i have to be at my daughters wedding this weekend and i do not do that sort of thing no more'
'okay fair point about the feet thing turns out there are no showers here because it is a gift shop'
'maybe you should just go'
'but we tried so hard and got so far'
'but in the end nothing really matters amirite'
commander beardo weeps
'you get us truckasuarus you get us'

'i am pleased to announce the end to the occupation'
truckasaurus is wearing his best tie which is made from a shipping container door
the media takes pictures as each beardo files out of the gift shop
each shakes a truckasaurus claw
each gets a selfie because technology
then they file slowly into their beardowagon
'i feel like i learned a lot about myself and how good government works'
says commander beardo to his first mate
first mate tries to nod and be stoic but is surprised
truckasaurus is right in front of the van
'suckers'
truckasaurus says
the beardos scream but
the van is in the air
the flame jets are going
the beardos wanted a seat at the table
but now they only get the edge
of metal teeth

the end

or is it

it is
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:17 PM on January 7, 2016 [34 favorites]


Picking up a needle and thread is too much of a girly activity for such manly men?

True dat. In the online backpacking communities with a DIY ethic of making their own gear, sewing machines are called thread injectors or fabric welders because sewing is a gendered activity.
posted by peeedro at 6:17 PM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


its much more manly to affix your badges using the same material a 4 year old uses to tie their shoes
posted by entropicamericana at 6:20 PM on January 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I feel like the point that's being missed is that there is a firearm in circulation for every man, woman and child in America now. If these guys can make it look like a fun holiday to protest (with firearms) whatever branch or component of government you disagree with, America will become chaos overnight.
posted by newdaddy at 6:22 PM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


was intended to keep a Soldier from spending money modifying uniforms with new patches

Well, also the patches can be easily removed for operational security. There are places where you don't want to be advertising force makeup, number of units, etc. inadvertently by wearing unit insignia around. That's the kind of metadata that can be compiled into useful information by observant hostile forces.
posted by ctmf at 6:33 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I feel like the point that’s being missed is that there is a firearm in circulation for every man, woman and child in America now. If these guys can make it look like a fun holiday to protest (with firearms) whatever branch or component of government you disagree with, America will become chaos overnight.

This seems provably wrong, unless your assumption is that these guys aren’t making it look like a fun holiday.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:42 PM on January 7, 2016


Not terrorist but more like claim jumpers.
posted by ridgerunner at 6:46 PM on January 7, 2016


The American Conservative: What the Oregon Standoff Is Really About, Justin Raimondo - "Forget the Bundys and "terrorism"—the real crime is what federal bullies do to ranchers like the Hammond family."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:43 PM on January 7, 2016


What the Oregon Standoff Was Supposed To Be Is Really About
posted by Going To Maine at 7:48 PM on January 7, 2016


This Land is My Land - "From accounts of threats made against employees of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management since 2010, published in 2014 by High Country News."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:48 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


My Dad is a Marine who served during the end of WWII and into the Korean War era. His advice for me when I was a kid was that if I ever join the Marines I should train to beat the physical requirements before showing up for boot camp so it's easier and that I should learn how to sew otherwise I was going to end up paying the one guy who could all the time because it comes up a lot more often than you would think. "Learn all the useful practical skills you reasonably can," is good advice for people of any age range or gender.

I neither learned to sew or joined the Marines, but the advice was good!
posted by Drinky Die at 8:07 PM on January 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


"wearing his best tie which is made from a shipping container door," So very good! A fav just wasn't enough. Somexay soon I'll learn bow to make italics with Android.
posted by Oyéah at 8:18 PM on January 7, 2016


fbi reaches for the phone
'get me truckasaurus'


I feel like this needs to be an illustrated children's book.
posted by figurant at 8:28 PM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]




Of course they accuse the Irish guy of being a drunk. I'm beginning to have a tiny suspicion that these armed white militia guys might have some minor personal issues with racism going on.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:08 PM on January 7, 2016


These guys are a performance art troupe, right?

I could go conspiracy theory here and suggest they are government operatives, actors who are drawing our attention from an important issue — but more likely it's something to do with a MFA graduation requirement, like the performing arts equivalent of a thesis. Helluva show, whatever the truth. Lots of surprises and plot twists, never know where they're gonna take it next.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 PM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


FFF - there's already folks claiming they're a false flag op.
posted by Archelaus at 10:23 PM on January 7, 2016


Newdaddy , consider what will happen when a mega church goes "tilt"… as is inevitable. Hello Damascus all over again.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:41 PM on January 7, 2016


Of course they accuse the Irish guy of being a drunk.

Say what one will about yahoos like Roy Moore, at least they only trying to move the country back the 1950s, and not the late 1800s, like these shit-kicking yahoos.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:01 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been going with armed insurrection.

I kind of like the idea of calling them "insurgents".
posted by Rumple at 11:20 PM on January 7, 2016


They’re real mavericks, for sure.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:36 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course they accuse the Irish guy of being a drunk.

Well, they are Mormons.

The old story is that if you go fishing with them, you make sure you have at least two Mormons. If you have just one, he'll drink all your beer.
posted by JackFlash at 12:03 AM on January 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: the beardos do not discuss their boners
posted by wallabear at 12:04 AM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


obviously the guns aren't there for fun, they're there to threaten law enforcement and make their political argument more persuasive.

Exactly. If they didn't have (and brandish) guns, the police would have tossed them out in 15 minutes. "GTFO you morons"
posted by msalt at 12:18 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Say what one will about yahoos like Roy Moore, at least they only trying to move the country back the 1950s, and not the late 1800s, like these shit-kicking yahoos.

Moore et al are just more willing to take the journey in steps, but don't ever make the mistake of thinking that they'll stop once you give them a cookie.
posted by Etrigan at 4:35 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This article by Matt Taibi is a thing of beauty, pointing out the hilarity of these clowns while agreeing that they are indeed dangerous buffoons. Lovely turns of phrase.
posted by leslies at 6:34 AM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Going back on his word to leave if the locals asked him to, Bundy declines to go when asked by the sheriff. Oregon Sheriff Has First Meeting With Armed Federal Land Occupiers
posted by hippybear at 6:36 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


But Bundy declined, saying he and his compatriots were "being ignored again."

Well, then, I guess instead of snacks they simply need a giant neon sign air lifted into the area which blinks repeatedly, "GET THE HINT."
posted by Atreides at 6:44 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


But Bundy declined, saying he and his compatriots were "being ignored again."

I love the way the sheriff didn't even think Bundy was worth the trouble of arresting while they had him pretty much in their custody at the time of that meeting.
posted by mikelieman at 6:56 AM on January 8, 2016


I will pay $5 to anyone to puts up a new "Opening Soon: FEMA Death Camp #1" sign over the road into the preserve hq.

Better yet, put it up when just a few of them are on their way back from a "supply run" and then take it down before they can bring others out to see it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:24 AM on January 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Going back on his word to leave if the locals asked him to, Bundy declines to go when asked by the sheriff. Oregon Sheriff Has First Meeting With Armed Federal Land Occupiers

The funny part of that is that in the "sovereign citizen" worldview that the Bundys are clearly influenced by or part of, many take the position that the County Sheriff is the highest authority they'll answer to. Largely because, supposedly, Sheriffs are local enough that they can actually represent the will of the local citizens.

So there's Bundy with an actual County Sheriff telling him, "Look, the will of the local people is that you go away" and he refuses.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:32 AM on January 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Well it's not like Ward is his sheriff.
posted by Nelson at 8:00 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


But given that they have automatic weapons

Although the umbrella term of "automatic weapon" can describe a semi-automatic, it's conventionally used to mean fully-automatic, which these are most likely not.

If someone has shown that one of these clowns actually has a full auto gun with them I'd like to see it. Seems like something the Feds would be really interested in pouncing on, after they are cleared out. (Of course a bump stock on a semi-auto will pretty much get you there; these I wouldn't at all be surprised to see)
posted by achrise at 8:15 AM on January 8, 2016


There's a history of Sovereign Citizens under the Posse Comitatus movement ignoring the desires of a sheriff when it conflicts with their interest. They're pretty much hypocrites who hide behind their "movement" so far as it's convenient before falling back on their own arguably selfish or paranoid perspectives.
posted by Atreides at 8:20 AM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


So there's Bundy with an actual County Sheriff telling him, "Look, the will of the local people is that you go away" and he refuses.

That's easy: the sheriff has obviously been mind-wiped by an Obama drone and re-programmed at a UN black site by a team of climate scientists under the command of Attorney General Lynch in accordance with Agenda 21.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:01 AM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


On a lighter note, Letter from an Oregon Militiaman (youtube 1min13sec documentary style letter reading parody)
posted by phoque at 9:44 AM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


That is a fantastic bit of journalism listing all the seditionists, phoque, thank you.

The sartorial preference for camouflage is particularly striking.
posted by Nelson at 10:01 AM on January 8, 2016


For families where hunting is a pastime, often their cold weather gear is camo due to the crossover of seasons and weather, for what its worth.
posted by Atreides at 10:22 AM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


The camouflage outfits are the fashion accessory.
posted by Nelson at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


An interesting mix of carpooling and paranoia: The Oregon Militia Standoff - Rideshare.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:52 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Big comment and a bunch of fairly metatalk-ish discussion removed. phoque, I dig the journalistic and non-malicious intent of putting that list together but at the same time it's bordering well into pretty weird territory to stick it in a MetaFilter thread, all reasonable intentions aside. I think if you wanted to put it somewhere else and link to it that'd be an okay compromise. If folks want to talk about the ethics or context of that as a site- rather than current-situation-specific issue, that's something that would make more sense over on the grey rather than here.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Oh, well, look at Ruby Ridge, and all that. They're definitely doing the right thing by not confronting these Oregon people. it would just make more right-wing people angry. They just need to wait'em out." (My lunch companions.)

I'm just still trying to get my head around this. What other crime in American law enforcement is handled in such a way? If it's such a great idea, why can I not think of a single other example of it? If it's such a great idea, shouldn't there be some articulation of it in actual law?

The only reason why no violence has occurred yet is because civilian federal servants have been prevented from going to their place of work. If the bird-banding guy or the carp woman showed up at their office, I'm betting they'd be seriously harmed. I don't see this as a solution, it looks to me like law enforcement failing to do its job.
posted by newdaddy at 12:53 PM on January 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Infighting Over Oregon Militia Takeover Reveals Deep Divisions Among ‘Patriots’

This kind of internecine bickering is a common feature of far-right organizing, especially in the antigovernment realm. For instance, while far-right mythology now enshrines the Bundy Ranch standoff as an epic moment of victory for their cause in which disparate groups came together, the reality is that the Bundy scene quickly dissolved into nasty factional quarrels, replete with drawn weapons and death threats.

Also one of the neat twists of language is they are sure drones are everywhere and they are about to get droned (jumped or assaulted or killed by drone strike or by government (federal probably, but the new verb is readily expansive)).

[Hey, sorry about that cortex, really didn't think I was going too far off trail but had my head buried in nonsense so may have been uncalibrated. I can't post it anywhere else as the only copy I had was in the comment box and it would take me way to long to redo, plus I don't have anywhere else to put it, so I bequeath it to you or anyone who wants to contact you for it.

Also I noticed The Southern Poverty Law Center uses this disclaimer;

This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.

perhaps appending it to the list (except for the field source thing as none were used) would help things if it were to be put elsewhere.]

posted by phoque at 12:54 PM on January 8, 2016


This kind of internecine bickering is a common feature of far-right organizing
posted by Going To Maine at 1:10 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]




Forbes writer and anti-government extremism expert JJ MacNabb's twitter stream is must read right now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:44 PM on January 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Well, shit. Just when I thought they'd been sufficiently mocked and were likely to leave with their tails between their legs:

Idaho militia arrives to 'secure perimeter, prevent Waco-style situation'

I'm not sure how this ends peacefully now. The Sheriff and the Feds have been overwhelmingly patient, but their patience, as others predicted up-thread, has only encouraged more escalation.

An additional note: I find it interesting the headline of that news article calls them a "group" but the URL uses the word "militia"-- maybe the editor got cold feet and dialed the language back at the last second? It's irritating how we have to walk on eggshells around these twitchy thugs.
posted by bluecore at 5:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


With beards like those, they should be repackaging artisanal chocolate.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:43 PM on January 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


Yeah, it looks like different factions of armed and unstable people are now congregating (who could possibly have predicted), and the risk of someone losing it in a populated area is growing. I'm starting to suspect that law enforcement may have to intervene to stop the splintering and unstable occupiers from killing each other...
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:10 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


That would be... well I won't say it because that would still be terrible. You'd better believe I'd enjoy pointing it out to the "armed society is a polite society" dumbfucks though.
posted by ctmf at 6:35 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course they show up on a Friday afternoon. How many of them will still be there on Tuesday morning? Weekend warriors, indeed.
posted by hippybear at 6:48 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have two out of the box plans to end this crisis.

1- I propose we create masks that look like the perps. Then we will wear the masks and disguise ourselves to look like the perps. Wearing the disguises we will torment ravens near the refuge and in the home towns of these perps. Ravens will then attack them on sight, shit on their trucks. Studies at UBC using masks and disguises were able to induce this behavior and it persisted to generations of ravens who had only heard from the other ravens about the bad guy.

2- we will send them a care package of flannel and hats that have been carefully seeded with Rid resistent human body and head lice. These guys are very hairy and will soon be itching like crazy. Once they are sufficiently infested we will send them lice combs so that they can delouse eachother. Primate studies suggest that social grooming triggers the release of oxytocin and serotonin in individuals being groomed. This will curb their anti-social behavior and lead to a peaceful resolution.
posted by humanfont at 7:04 PM on January 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


It's good news for Walmart, I guess.
posted by Artw at 7:14 PM on January 8, 2016




Did the Idaho people bring any snacks?
posted by newdaddy at 8:20 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aww. I feel sorry for the poor biologist who's office they're fucking with.
posted by Artw at 8:27 PM on January 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


If Oregon doesn't label these childish posers as outsiders and intruders fast, they will lose the advantage. There is a reason they chose a state that didn't know them.
posted by Brian B. at 8:29 PM on January 8, 2016


Lose what advantage? The vast majority of Oregonian's have seen these idiots for exactly what they are since they arrived.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:36 PM on January 8, 2016


Lose what advantage?

Public relations. If the nation doesn't already know for sure what the vast majority of Oregonians think, then too many may conclude that Oregon interests are represented by the Bundy's. Any state retaliation may look like betrayal rather than a defense.
posted by Brian B. at 8:45 PM on January 8, 2016


Anyone who has been following this story knows that the locals don't want these people there. Are you new to this thread, or what?
posted by hippybear at 8:50 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm really having a hard time finding any "Oregon want these morons here" narrative among either my fellow Oregonians (including those from the east of the Cascades) or any mainstream national/international new outlets.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:53 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did the Idaho people bring any snacks?

No, but hopefully they'll soon be ringed by a militia from another state, who'll bring juice boxes and lunchables.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:01 PM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


I would almost ... just almost go there to bring them all my "special" home cooked brownies.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:31 PM on January 8, 2016


This is a little late to the party, at this point, but I found this timeline of the arson related activities really helpful in understanding what led up to the Hammonds' convictions.

There's even more detail in the summary of evidence presented at the trials which the BLM included when they refused to renew the Hammonds' grazing permits.

I'm in Oregon and unfortunately my social media feeds have too many posts from people whose version of these events seems to come solely from The Conservative Treehouse. I see rural landholders who ought to know better in terms of understanding why to respect fire bans falling all over themselves to make excuses for these people, just because they themselves hate the Federal government and the BLM.
posted by toodles at 11:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Militants May Have Accessed Government Computers At Refuge
There are four desks in the office, two on each side. Three of the computers were turned on, and in screen saver mode. Papers in the room were strewn about in a disorderly manner.

After Finnicum realized he shouldn’t have allowed OPB to access the room, he quickly picked up lists of names and Social Security numbers by the computers, and hid government employee ID cards that were previously in plain sight.

Shortly after, one of the militant leaders, Ryan Bundy, walked into the room.

When asked about the computers, Bundy emphatically denied any of the work spaces had been touched since the occupation.

“No, we haven’t touched a single personal item. We haven’t touched any of the computers, we haven’t tried to log on — we haven’t done anything. We’re not here to hurt people,” Bundy said, “not even the people who work here.”



OPB Reporter Amanda Peacher responds to language use questions
I was at first referring to the group as a militia in part because, when I asked people in Burns how they referred to these outsiders before the protest, most said "the militia." Flyers posted around town read “Militia Go Home.”

In the first days of the refuge takeover, OPB’s editors referenced the Associated Press stylebook to see which definitions fit best for this unusual group.


and points here
From the Standards & Practices Outbox
Language To Use And Not Use When Reporting About The Occupation In Oregon
posted by phoque at 11:53 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have two out of the box plans to end this crisis.

Personally, the best idea I've had to end the crisis is to convince these guys that the government is going to hit their generators and that they need to bring them inside.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:24 AM on January 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


OPB Reporter Amanda Peacher responds to language use questions

Armed assailants who take over government property by force and threaten government workers and locals with assault weapons are terrorists, despite what the right-wing idiots at NPR might claim.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:28 AM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Going to turn into a Woodstock for people who want to shoot federal workers, if they wait too long to cordon the place off. HOW many Idaho 3 percenters just joined up? Does anybody even know?
posted by newdaddy at 2:36 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


HOW many Idaho 3 percenters just joined up? Does anybody even know?

KTVZ News says at least twelve militia members, but that's probably twenty-four more semi-automatic weapons we have to deal with. The Bundy gang were a dangerous but absurd bunch of grifter idiots, kind of the Keystone Cops of militias ("I thought YOU were supposed to bring the snacks!") but these Idaho 3 percenters are legit crazy. Per JJ MacNab (anti-government extremism expert at Forbes) their name comes from the supposed belief that only 3% of the population fought and won the Revolutionary war, so that's all they'll need to win the Second Revolutionary War, which they're actively trying to bring about.

I don't know how this ends. I don't want to give them the martyrdom they clearly desire, but I also don't like the idea of these armed thugs thinking they're above the law.
posted by bluecore at 5:57 AM on January 9, 2016


bluecore: I have pretty much the same thoughts, even the Keystone Cops comparison. It looks like it's now gone from bumbling dangerous that had a good chance of petering out due to more 'people who have their shit together' dangerous. (relatively speaking of course).
posted by Jalliah at 6:42 AM on January 9, 2016




> Of course they show up on a Friday afternoon. How many of them will still be there on Tuesday morning? Weekend warriors, indeed

They have jobs to get to, as real Americans, not like you liberal elitist elites.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:15 AM on January 9, 2016


Let's just fence off a few thousand acres around them and call it Coventry. Anybody who wants can go in at any time, including in lieu of a prison sentence. Nobody gets out (we can air drop the snacks). They can do whatever they like in there, we won't bother them or enforce any laws there. It'll be the perfect, armed, polite, dystopian society they dream of.
posted by bigbigdog at 9:16 AM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


bigbigdog - that a fine plan up until the President's plane goes down in the compound and we have to send some asshole in to rescue him.

Escape from Bend
"This Time They're Out For More Than Just Snacks"
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:47 AM on January 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think President Trump can fight his own way out. Worst case scenario, we just send Putin after him.
posted by bigbigdog at 9:52 AM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know the thing about Oregonians? They are so fucking polite. I wish these assholes had tried it in Philly like at the goddamned Wing Bowl. It would be drunken louts puking over their assault weapons and yelling about tits

Really every time I call or visit Oregon the politeness freaks me out
posted by angrycat at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


CSM has an interesting article: Armed Oregon occupation: Is it really about white poverty in the West? "Ammon Bundy says that federal land management practices are pushing more people into poverty, highlighting a serious rural economic problem."
posted by hippybear at 11:15 AM on January 9, 2016


Broke, unemployed and on disability: Here’s how the Oregon militants can afford to play ‘patriot’ games

According to experts who study right-wing movements, militia members barely get by, with some living on government disability checks and the earnings of their neglected wives.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:38 AM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


But given that they have automatic weapons, and talked a lot of smack about "kill or be killed", the response of law enforcement needs to be deliberate and overwhelming. I feel like the cautious, measured response here is exactly the wrong answer. Law enforcement is putting themselves at more and more risk the longer they let this go on. They need to make this something that no one would ever even consider repeating, for their own safety.

Look, I just - one of the things that I'm finding really sad and frustrating about this whole thing is that it really illustrates, on a deep level, just how much one side does not understand each other. Liberals - and I don't say this as a gotcha, or in a mean way - focus on and prioritize safety over freedom in a way that, largely, conservatives do not. You see this in things from childrearing to seatbelt laws, and certainly in opinions about guns.

Normally this is not a big deal, but when you're trying to get the federales to come in with 'overwhelming force', it matters, because you are thinking that if this is overwhelmingly destructive - in lives, in blood, in jail time - that it is going to discourage others. But when you say this, you fundamentally fail to understand the culture of honor that is informing the choices, and you do so in an enormously dangerous way.

I don't know how to explain this if you can't get it, but please trust me when I say that some people want martyrdom - for a lot of reasons. Sometimes, honestly, they don't have a really great life. There's a reason suicide bombers are generally single men. For people who don't have a really great life, and don't think that they will be remembered on their own, the possibility of martyrdom is like catnip.

And the thing is - because of Waco and Ruby Ridge and other fuckups, if the feds start crashing in with flashbangs and such, from a tactical standpoint, they really have to shoot them, because the alternative is to die quietly. There is literally no way of knowing, for them, whether flashbangs are being sent in to pacify them for peaceful arrests, or whether flashbangs are being sent in to lower the risk when feds are shooting. And once they start shooting, the only thing the feds can do is start shooting. And then assuming the feds bring overwhelming force, you have probably at least 20 bodies on the ground.

If there are 20 bodies on the ground in the next week, I am going to buy a house in the deep woods and not come out for the next five years, because I do not want to see how a population which is already convinced the feds want to shoot them like dogs react to the feds actually shooting them like dogs.

The best thing the feds can do is let them get their sandwiches, and just wait until they are bored and go home - and then quietly file charges against all of them, at staggered times, in their various originating states.
posted by corb at 11:50 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Corb - I don't know about that. Right wingers, especially of the libertarian variety, are in general full of shit and utter cowards. They might make a big show of how tough they are but they're never going to go into a situation where they can't bully people with an utter lack of consequences.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on January 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Chastising a man for having a wife who's the breadwinner is unpleasant.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh, not if they're an exploitative deadbeat.
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Right wingers, especially of the libertarian variety, are in general full of shit and utter cowards.

This strikes me as the kind of shit people say when they hate someone and want to denigrate them. Like, I get that you hate their politics and that's totally fine, but saying that someone is an utter coward because of that makes no damn sense. The majority of guys I served with in the military were right wing, which is honestly probably one of the reasons I lean far more conservative than I did when I went in, and they were brave as fuck. Most of their shitkicker friends were too - like, idiots sometimes, but brave idiots who thought nothing of doing dangerous fucking stunts that sometimes got them all fucked up.
posted by corb at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Michael Oman-Reagan storified tweets on;
How the Bundy militia created the Harney county "Committee of Safety" to Overthrow Local Government.

Harney County Committee of Safety
For the people, by the people

Safeguarding individual rights against those that will take them is one of the greatest challenges of society. The taking of life, liberty or property is a transgression no matter who is doing the taking. Safety is most likely achieved when neighbors who, respect and love one another, band together in the defense of each others rights.

Prior to the Revolutionary War, Committees of Safety existed in the frontier or wilderness areas where the government did not provide any troops or other protection against Indian attacks. The community got together and built stockades, enrolled militia, commissioned officers, and set watches, all to secure the property and lives of the association members from threats from the savages.


I was going to look up who it belonged to or who set it up, but I doubt I would be surprised as it links to Ammon Bundy defining the magical incantation that makes his fantasy concrete in his mind. A commenter de-spells many of the myths. (Okay I looked) JJ MacNab looked too.

Video journalist Jessica Sherry (youtube 30sec) asks Jon Ritzheimer about Paiute peoples requests for them to leave.
posted by phoque at 12:06 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


But given that they have automatic weapons, and talked a lot of smack about "kill or be killed", the response of law enforcement needs to be deliberate and overwhelming. I feel like the cautious, measured response here is exactly the wrong answer. Law enforcement is putting themselves at more and more risk the longer they let this go on. They need to make this something that no one would ever even consider repeating, for their own safety.

The FBI are repeating the go-slow, deescalatory approach that worked for the Montana Freemen standoff in the mid-1990s, and allowed the Bundy standoff to end peacefully as well. Eventually it is going to backfire and there will be a new paradigm, but this seems to be the current approach, with the feds prioritizing non-violence over quick resolutions or even arrests afterwards.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Chastising a man for having a wife who's the breadwinner is unpleasant.

There's more to that article than your summary, but better that than to celebrate deadbeats who mooch off a hard-working spouse, so they can go buy guns and ammo and go play games like 10-year olds, instead of being law-abiding adults who contribute equally to a relationship.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:09 PM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


The majority of guys I served with in the military were right wing, which is honestly probably one of the reasons I lean far more conservative than I did when I went in, and they were brave as fuck.

Bravery is shown in different ways. In my experience, the folks who are most right wing seem to be terrified of change and of the unknown and this, in my opinion, expresses itself in their attitudes towards immigrants, anyone who looks different from them, and changing economic conditions.

It is possible that my decisions to try to mitigate risk in my day to day life (for example, by using seat belts or wearing a riding helmet) give me a sense of security that allows me to read from a variety of sources and opinions in order to understand the world around me, to not be terrified of the other and the unknown, that allows me to see a group of refugees as a group of refugees, that allows me to understand that I can (and should) adapt and change to a changing world and not yearn for some past utopia that in fact never existed.
posted by toodles at 12:20 PM on January 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


allowed the Bundy standoff to end peacefully as well.

Well, sort of end. Mostly. Except it seems not, really.
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


That we can tell who's mooching off their spouse and who's contributing to their marriage is problematic, I say as a housewife. There's a lot I dislike about these people but I don't think we need to get all gender essentialist in our criticism.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Bravery is shown in different ways. In my experience, the folks who are most right wing seem to be terrified of change and of the unknown

Sure, but in this case, we're talking about 'are they scared of getting shot to death', not 'are they scared of immigrants'. Unless you're advocating the FBI send in immigrants wearing sheets and making 'Wooooooooooooo' noises.
posted by corb at 12:26 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I suspect they would be remarkably more scared of "being shot to death"/being sent to prison like the criminal jackasses they are if there was a chance of it actually happening, and making it clear it isn't going to happen is the thing that has led to this escalation, not "bravery".
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


It seems to me now would be a good time to arrest Cliven Bundy, what with everyone paying attention to the folks in Oregon. It would certainly put some pressure on his kids to end this foolishness.
posted by TedW at 12:41 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have honestly no idea why they haven't done it already.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The majority of guys I served with in the military were right wing, which is honestly probably one of the reasons I lean far more conservative than I did when I went in, and they were brave as fuck.

Since the ratio of people at Malheur who actually served to people who claim to have served seems to be pretty heavily weighted towards the latter, I'm not sure how valuable this information is.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:03 PM on January 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


corb: If there are 20 bodies on the ground in the next week, I am going to buy a house in the deep woods and not come out for the next five years, because I do not want to see how a population which is already convinced the feds want to shoot them like dogs react to the feds actually shooting them like dogs.

A population that did nothing but wring its hands and say, "damn, mental illness is crazy, right?" with 20 dead toddlers on the ground at Sandy Hook, and collectively shrugs when cops shoot unarmed black people in the back. I don't know if they'll care more for armed thugs who are breaking the law and obviously desperate to be martyrs, but I guess I should stop being surprised and disappointed with the bizarre things some of my fellow countrymen believe. I will say I fundamentally disagree with you on one thing: this isn't a "culture of honor." These are armed thugs who are willing to use violence or the threat of violence to get their way. There is nothing honorable about this at all.
posted by bluecore at 1:16 PM on January 9, 2016 [25 favorites]


The thing that gets me about these guys' wanting the government to release the land is that it's not like they'd be the owners. If the government hadn't claimed this land, someone else would have done it, and it would be in private hands - probably owned by established ag companies, or large farms/ranches. They'd be even worse off, because they wouldn't even be able to do the limited use the government allows.
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:28 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's a Koch brothers show - you better believe if if any land is successfully stolen from the people it's going straight to corporate interests.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


They'd be even worse off, because they wouldn't even be able to do the limited use the government allows.

Yeah, my late father-in-law was one of those people who think everything should be privatized (to be fair he was really idiosyncratic politically - a conservative world war 2 veteran who loathed the military but this post is already a digression so enough about that ). He used to love to take long drives out on the back roads near where he grew up - until a Rockefeller bought the land and put locked gates on all the roads.
posted by gamera at 1:44 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Look, I just - one of the things that I'm finding really sad and frustrating about this whole thing is that it really illustrates, on a deep level, just how much one side does not understand each other. Liberals [...]

Gah! This has nothing all to do with my politics or their politics or what cultural group we perceive them to belong to. They could wear cowboy hats or berets, they can drive Priuses or Ford F-150s, they can eat bar-b-que or sushi or vegan whatever. It doesn't matter, the law is the law, and if it's different depending on what kind of hats they're wearing (or what religion or politics they are) then it's not really the law that we subscribe to in America. As soon as they start seizing land and threatening people with guns, our response needs to be crystal clear. There is no essential difference between the bird sanctuary they've seized with guns and the post office that I and my wife go to.
posted by newdaddy at 1:55 PM on January 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


> ratio of people at Malheur who actually served to people who claim to have served seems to be pretty heavily weighted towards the latter,

I don't even see why it's relevant. Serving in the military doesn't make you a legal scholar, or a wiser person, or a land-use expert.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:06 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Dying is easy son; living is harder" is a nice way to think about bravery.
posted by angrycat at 2:12 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm always going to be susceptible to a good HAMILTON riff! But I think people are still tragically underestimating people's willingness to die for their cause, and how much bloodshed going in there guns blazing would cause.
posted by corb at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I heard an interesting peice on NPR this afternoon on how they enacted gun control in Austrailia. A key lesson they learned was not to be intimidated by the gun nuts. Those campaigning for it, including the prime minister had to occasionally wear bullet proof vests at town hall debates, but they really pressed the issue.
We need to liberate the west from these jerks with a new generation of freedom riders who will go in and stand against these guys.
posted by humanfont at 2:19 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


> I think people are still tragically underestimating people's willingness to die for their cause,

But it's not their cause, it's somebody else's cause, and those people don't want them there.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:21 PM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


But I think people are still tragically underestimating people's willingness to die for their cause, and how much bloodshed going in there guns blazing would cause.

They made their choices when they showed up with guns. If we want to end this without innocent casualties, we can fly a drone strike against them, and then blame it on them starting a fire.

If the people in GITMO don't get due process, why should these terrorists?
posted by mikelieman at 2:23 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ammon's notebook
posted by phoque at 3:04 PM on January 9, 2016


But I think people are still tragically underestimating people's willingness to die for their cause, and how much bloodshed going in there guns blazing would cause.


Whose fault is that? It's not the fault of the fish biologist. It's not the fault of the bird banding guy. It's not the fault of the guy who writes the grazing permits. It's not the fault of the county sheriff, or the Feds that get called in to help enforce the law. If I had to peg it on someone, I guess I'd have to go with ... seditious irrational wanna-be terrorists threatening people with guns? It seems like where the blame goes is pretty clear.

I want to make this perfectly clear. I'm not saying that federal agents should shoot everyone wearing camo or a cowboy hat. I'm saying the law should be enforced. The longer it goes unenforced, the worse the situation is going to get before it is resolved.
posted by newdaddy at 3:11 PM on January 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


Ammon's notebook

LOL. Looks like his party's equipment list, nobody brought torches or rations.
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on January 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Not wanting to cause the next Waco or Ruby Ridge is eventually going to lead to us not preventing the next Jonestown.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:17 PM on January 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Even the Capital Press, the leading right-wing voice of NW agriculture (except on Mexican immigration for which they're pretty much "Open the floodgates! Cheap labor!") thinks these guys are a bunch of assholes.

"Instead we trust the tools provided by the Founders — the ballot box, the legislative process, the courts."

They also go with "yeahadist." This is kind of a big deal. I am so not reading their letter-to-the-editor next week though.
posted by stet at 3:22 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm all for enforcing the law here, but we should do it with some savvy. These guys want to be bullet-martyrs, but we don't have to give them that. Give them a warning that everyone who doesn't leave before tomorrow is going to be guilty of serious crimes, trespass-warm them, and let anyone go who wants to go (search them, though). After that, just engage in good long-range surveillance. Figure out who everyone involved is, and what they're doing.

Let the thing peter out, let everyone go unopposed... and then start to pick them up a month or two later. Fake traffic stops. Fake sweepstake wins. Watch them and get them when they can be gotten safely. Arrest everyone, later, when the situation is safe. Then, charge them for the crimes you recorded with the surveillance equipment and put them away. And hit them with the things they'll hate the most; seize guns and seize land. Try to get everyone with a token felony so they can't own firearms anymore. Charge the ones most involved for the government's full cost, and seize their land to pay for it. Charge the wives who were there (they're adults too, after all). Just make sure the law is enforced so this doesn't happen again. Because, if there's no cost, they'll do it again. They got a platform to speak and they really don't have anything better to do.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:24 PM on January 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


The OR militants have updated their wish list

FRENCH VANILLA CREAMER.

You cannot make this shit up.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:10 PM on January 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


I wonder what the sandpaper is for.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:12 PM on January 9, 2016


Manicure, I'm guessing
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:14 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe they're sprucing up the buildings and doing some of those repair jobs one tends to put off.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:18 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


I really feel like this situation gives the lie to all the chest-pounding over the second amendment. Here is a manifest and self-declared threat to the state. Where is the well-regulated militia, whose declared purpose was to answer threats to the state?
posted by newdaddy at 4:21 PM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I wonder what the sandpaper is for.

Given that the Bundys had already sandpapered a homemade tattoo off a young man who was staying with them several years ago, I can only imagine.
posted by hippybear at 4:21 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


the fuck-??
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2016


Here's your felony convictions - as if any more were needed...

Militants May Have Accessed Government Computers At Refuge
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:29 PM on January 9, 2016


Given that the Bundys had already sandpapered a homemade tattoo off a young man who was staying with them several years ago, I can only imagine.

Not the Bundys. That was the Hammonds.
posted by zakur at 4:37 PM on January 9, 2016


Hey there is nothing wrong with French Vanilla Creamer. My morning coffee would suck without it!
posted by Jalliah at 4:43 PM on January 9, 2016


wait why are they asking for tampons.
and why do they need oven cleaner
and why can't it be hazelnut creamer
posted by angrycat at 4:43 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's a typo. They meant Freedom Creamer. Vanilla, naturally.
posted by Nelson at 4:44 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


i mean i know tampons can be used in first aid but i'm just surprised to see it out there, just tampons, no explanation
posted by angrycat at 4:45 PM on January 9, 2016


So... They thing a situation might arise where they get full of billet holes but not dead/arrested? That's optimistic.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2016


Tampons usually need no explanation. There are women there, right?
posted by futz at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


That list is incredible. Re: sandpaper - that grit would be appropriate for rough reshaping and sharpening of tools / knives...

Something that struck me as I was looking through so many of the newer pictures - Lots of black and desert tan, but nobody in snow camo. Or maybe there are and I just can't see them.
posted by MysticMCJ at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Are there?
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2016


That list, though.

Money

Really? Subtly tucked into the middle of a giant a supply list? Cute.

Medicine

Pretty general. They can't be more specific?

John Radios Ham

Is this a brand of cured meat?

Markers and Poster Board then much farther down the list Chisel Point Markers

Somebody's going to make some signs!

Aprans 4"

First I thought this was supposed to be "Aprons," but 4-inch ones would be tiny!

Gaming Supplies

PS4 or Xbox One?

Marlboro Red 100's
and Marlboro Light 100's

Bummin' cigs. Pathetic.
posted by zakur at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2016


Should send in some mislabeled nicotine free cigs and NA beer. Psychological warfare.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:54 PM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


That list basically proves that the only thing they came prepared for was a gunfight.
posted by MysticMCJ at 4:56 PM on January 9, 2016 [18 favorites]


That list is incredible.

Not really. It's pretty much mundane stuff one would need and want for living day to day in a situation like they are in. What I find incredible is how much of this stuff they didn't bring in the first place in order to at least have a starting stock of supplies. They either assumed it would be easy to get supplies in and out or are lucky that there incompentance at planning logistics is not biting them in the butt.
posted by Jalliah at 4:56 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Are there?

Yes, and children too, apparently. I think one of the rifts in their group was a militia member disagreeing about having women and children there.
posted by bluecore at 5:00 PM on January 9, 2016


Well, that's child abuse added to the list then. Fucking idiots.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, that's what I meant by incredible - How completely unprepared they were outside of firearms and ammo, in every way possible.
posted by MysticMCJ at 5:05 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


The biggest threat I see which is exacerbated by guns being in the mix is boredom especially once the 'high' of the initial excitement of the start is worn off. The day to day of mundane living in this type of situation is just boring and a lot of drudge work.
posted by Jalliah at 5:06 PM on January 9, 2016


people in GITMO don't get due process, why should these terrorists?

Because two wrongs don't make a right, only a right winger.
posted by humanfont at 5:06 PM on January 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Given that the Bundys had already sandpapered a homemade tattoo off a young man who was staying with them several years ago, I can only imagine.

Oh god, the police report has pictures. Why did I look at this. That poor kid.

The Hammonds did not admit who actually did the sanding, after being asked ten times, but Dusty Hammond claims that Steve did so. "Dwight or Steven admit to many important details of D.H’s allegations of abuse, including the claim that D.H. was forced to eat chewing tobacco and that much of his skin was sandpapered off."

Forget about whether they really deserve five years in prison for arson. They deserve at least that long for child abuse. They don't even show remorse: "Steve Hammond told me that he did not agree with the government getting involved in family matters."

On preview: the Bundys have children with them in the "occupied" building? I'm tempted to say they should be considered hostages.
posted by Rangi at 5:07 PM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


They absolutely should be considered hostages, and child endangerment should go on the list of charges along with God knows what else.

These people need to go into a deep hole and never be let out.
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Are there any reputable reports that there are children among the occupiers? I was under the impression that there were women and children among their supporters staying off of the refuge, but not actually in the occupied property. Admittedly, the fact that everyone has been given carte blanche to come and go as they see fit makes it a bit hard to tell exactly what's going on, but it seems like any confirmation of kids in the self-declared "stand off" zone would change the tenor of reporting by a good bit.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:23 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's at least one woman, who is there full time. The Guardian.
posted by Jalliah at 5:27 PM on January 9, 2016


Or actually at least two. Missed the second in the article.
posted by Jalliah at 5:28 PM on January 9, 2016


It seems like they have two women on site (to do the cooking, natch), but I'm not seeing any suggestion of children. Conservative notions of chivalry aside, I'm not sure "women & children" should be seen as a single demographic block.

Also: I'm not sure if it's been posted already, but this Oregonian article is a decent breakdown of our key players, and hopefully well enough sourced to not get deleted as doxxing.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:43 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also: I'm not sure if it's been posted already, but this Oregonian article is a decent breakdown of our key players, and hopefully well enough sourced to not get deleted as doxxing.

There are some funny moments in there (along with endless typos, have they fired all of their copyeditors?).

Stettler told the Post that the Malheur occupiers seem to spend most of their time watching Fox News or on the phone with reporters. "These guys aren't hardened militia," he said. "Most of them couldn't even run a mile."
posted by Dip Flash at 6:07 PM on January 9, 2016


I don't believe the O has had copy editors for at least five years.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:11 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


If we're going to keep on applying the ridiculously stupid notion of a "culture of honor" to these immensely dishonorable people, then it's high time we start calling the murders they commit "honor killings." The two killers in Las Vegas who were part of the Bundy gang, the Charleston and Planned Parenthood murderers, all these racist shitbags are all doing this for "honor." So let's give them the same descriptor of the kind of horrors they claim they oppose, if for no other reason that it makes it clear there's actually no difference at all.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:11 PM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


It seems like they have two women on site (to do the cooking, natch), but I'm not seeing any suggestion of children.

LaVoy Finicum's (the tarp guy) family is there.
posted by sporkwort at 6:19 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have authorities cut off access to the militants? It seems like they are being allowed to stockpile supplies and additional supporters. I don't understand this at all.
posted by grouse at 6:19 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


They either assumed it would be easy to get supplies in and out or are lucky that there incompentance at planning logistics is not biting them in the butt.

Well, there's no law enforcement presence whatsoever still, so there's no reason why they can't buy all of this crap and bring it back. They're calling for donations to avoid spending their own money, not trying to run the federal blockade. All this crap is presumably being delivered by the federal post office.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:20 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have authorities cut off access to the militants? It seems like they are being allowed to stockpile supplies and additional supporters. I don't understand this at all.

No. There has been no response whatsoever.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:21 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's basically an armed LARP.
posted by Artw at 6:22 PM on January 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


It seems like they have two women on site (to do the cooking, natch), but I'm not seeing any suggestion of children.

Several articles have mentioned that they had families visiting on Friday, but I have not seen anything about having kids staying at the refuge.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:23 PM on January 9, 2016


Have authorities cut off access to the militants?

This is exactly my point. They waited around for a while, and the Idaho 3%ers showed up. They waited some more, and the Pacific Patriot Network guys showed up. The longer they wait, the worse it's getting. That's not my conjecture. You can watch it happening.
posted by newdaddy at 6:27 PM on January 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


LaVoy Finicum's (the tarp guy) family is there.
posted by sporkwort at 6:19 PM on January 9 [+] [!]


Unless I'm mistaken, families are staying offsite (i.e. not occupying a federal building by armed force) and playing a "support" role.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:36 PM on January 9, 2016


The Pacific Network people have apparently left. Also found this but not sure how good the source is.

Ammon Bundy’s gang finally has the armed confrontation they’ve been preparing for. Just not with whom they were expecting.

As of Saturday evening, a group calling itself the Pacific Patriot Network descended on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, just as Bundy’s group was finishing a press conference. According to The Oregonian, Joseph Rice, a spokesman representing the new group of armed men, is presenting the Bundy militia with “Articles of Resolution,” ordering them to end the standoff and return to their homes.
......
“Ammon [Bundy] felt blindsided,” Todd Macfarlane, an attorney mediating the dispute between the Bundys and the Pacific Patriot Network told The Guardian. “This was not a welcome development. We are trying to de-escalate here – then boom, they all show up.”

posted by Jalliah at 6:43 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also read in some comments by people who appear to have some knowledge of the area that there is an issue with turning off the power because of the way the grid is set up. That to turn power off at the site would affect other residents on the grid. They did turn apparently turn off the power at a nearby fire station site to stop any temptation of them taking over that too.
posted by Jalliah at 6:47 PM on January 9, 2016


We are trying to de-escalate here

Then disarm, even if you don't end the "protest", and talk about your concerns like reasonable adults in a democratic society. What an infuriating comment.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:52 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, the militia is now surrounded by another militia? Is this going to turn into a militia-tryoshka?
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:19 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, the militia is now surrounded by another militia? Is this going to turn into a militia-tryoshka?

No. Looks like they left.
posted by Jalliah at 7:22 PM on January 9, 2016


Oh wait. I got confused. So many Militas to keep track of. The Idaho guys and Patriot guys are different. Apologies.
Idaho guys still there.
Pacific Guys not there any more.
posted by Jalliah at 7:24 PM on January 9, 2016


Maybe it will be easier to round all these guys up after they congregate in one location.
posted by humanfont at 7:25 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The supply thing shouldn't be surprising, they got ... public assistance at the Bundy ranch too.
posted by phoque at 8:11 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Welfare kings!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:53 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Somebody mail them some medibles.
posted by buzzman at 11:35 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


What a gong show. If you were writing a novel and used this story, critics would eviscerate you for using an inane, too-stupid storyline. Yet here we are, watching a third-rate bozo eruption play itself out. Daft reality, too improbable for fiction.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:43 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Slate:
How american news would report this if in another country.
posted by adamvasco at 6:03 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]






Jon Krakauer on the regional fundamentalism directly influencing the Bundy's and their movement.
posted by Brian B. at 7:56 AM on January 10, 2016


The "Culture of Honor" mentioned by corb above refers to specific concepts that are not entirely self-evident from the constitution of the phrase. I feel some commenters missed that, and that is a shame.

In short, when there's no law or third set of eyes in the vicinity, you need to make sure you have a reputation for not backing down from perceived slights or exploitation.

Wikipedia links: Honour --> Cultures of Honour and Cultures of Law and Culture of Honor (Southern United States)

A choice but not entirely representative snippet on the possible origins of southern honor culture:
Herds, unlike crops, are vulnerable to theft because they are mobile and there is little government wherewithal to enforce property rights of herd animals. The theory is that developing a reputation for violent retribution against those who stole herd animals was one way to discourage theft.
posted by tychotesla at 10:34 AM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]




tychotesla - sounds backwards to me. These guys don't live in the Wild West, making it necessary to wave guns around and threaten people, rather they want to wave guns around and threaten people making it necessary to pretend they live in the Wild West.

They should keep their bullshit power fantasies in videogames like normal people.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on January 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


Backwards from what? Are you saying that the armed occupiers (who have, lets remember, ties to militias, ranchers, and organized racism) are trying to access a culture that they were not already a part of?
posted by tychotesla at 11:39 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


A population that did nothing but wring its hands and say, "damn, mental illness is crazy, right?" with 20 dead toddlers on the ground at Sandy Hook...

I'm afraid that it's even worse than that. These people think that what happened in Sandy Hook is just a hoax.
posted by NoMich at 11:42 AM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Because it gets in the way of their stupid dangerous fantasy. It's all about living in a dream world for these suckers.
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sure. A culture of honor is regressive. Like conservative attitudes concerning sex, it causes the problem it tries to fix. It is presumably a factor in how they were raised though, so regardless of it being silly it may be critical for diagnosis.
posted by tychotesla at 12:02 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


The only part of the "culture of honor" that is applicable to the real world around them is that they won't back down, in order to safe face. The culture of honor is only really present in their own fantasy world, within their little group. It has no applicability outside of it - there's nobody else to safe face with. Even other militias have said they shouldn't be there. It's a delusional culture.

Of course, that doesn't make it any less applicable within their microcosm, and it informs some of their decisions. As they come to terms with reality, it's harder to maintain that.

It does fit in to the idea of this being a LARP fairly well, though.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:06 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well it isn't a lark.
posted by Oyéah at 12:20 PM on January 10, 2016


"Eggs (needed badly)" and "French vanilla creamer." They meant to do a nice brunch this morning.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:22 PM on January 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Did anybody figure out what they mean by apran? When paired with the 4" It just doesn't seem like a typo. Google isn't helping, although I did learn that there is such a thing as a "apron gun holster".
posted by achrise at 12:40 PM on January 10, 2016


I was hoping it was a typofication of "a pan", and that they wanted to make some muffins.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:46 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Arrgh - Save face. One thing I have in common with these guys - I really need to pay more attention to typos.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:55 PM on January 10, 2016


NYTimes: The Larger, but Quieter Than Bundy, Push to Take Over Federal Land. "a growing Republican-led movement pushing the federal government to hand over to the states millions of acres of Western public lands — as well as their rich stores of coal, timber and grazing grass."
posted by Nelson at 12:59 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, it's not like these two things aren't linked - it all goes up to the Kochs.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2016


Man, what an opportunity for some horrible company to get their name in the news. Big company-branded semi rolls up and proudly unloads enough stuff for these guys to live for 3 months. The outrage would be breathtaking, but the knee-jerk outrage backlash (e.g. Chick-Fil-A, Duck Dynasty dude) might be worth enough cash short-term to make it worth it. Get ready to cry "government retaliation" with a GoFundMe or whatever.
posted by ctmf at 1:33 PM on January 10, 2016


Make it Chipotle.
posted by spitbull at 1:49 PM on January 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


BTW How is FOX covering these guys?

(I have no stomach for looking myself)
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on January 10, 2016


Maybe giving the awesome power of an Oreo Phone will backfire on Nabisco?
posted by achrise at 1:51 PM on January 10, 2016


i would love to have a chat with these guys. what do they think, for example, of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience"? Why is it more honorable to make coffee creamer requests than to spend some time in a jail cell?

I mean I'm in a charitable mood but I have absolutely zero understanding of what their moral underpinnings are. Somebody mentioned Jonestown upthread. That was some horrific cult of personality/ideology mindfuck.

Please Jebus no more Jonestown, but what are these guys about? Do they have no sense that requesting not only coffee creamer but a specific flavor of coffee creamer makes them look like lumps animated suet, in terms of where they are on the Admirable Martyr scale?

My latest idea is to relocate Burning Man to Burns. I don't know anything about Burning Man aside from the fact that I am too poor to consider going, but they do have those cool mechanical displays plus it seems like everybody is on drugs. I guess that would be bad for the birds living there but I have a feeling the two groups would cancel each other out.
posted by angrycat at 4:12 PM on January 10, 2016 [5 favorites]




Fox news have this arsehat reporting.
posted by adamvasco at 4:20 PM on January 10, 2016


Considering the amount of nudity at Burning Man, I suspect Oregon is a little too cold to do it right.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:32 PM on January 10, 2016


To be fair, I'm pretty sure Nevada in January is also too cold.
posted by hippybear at 4:34 PM on January 10, 2016


There was also a Las Vegas-area elected official who joined the conversation by phone, Grasty said. The names of the other elected officials weren't immediately clear.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2016


I mean I'm in a charitable mood but I have absolutely zero understanding of what their moral underpinnings are.

they're ranchers who are trying to make an honest living from it and tyrannical government regulators from out east are doing everything they can to wreck their livelihoods and their communities, in an eventual plot to force them off their lands

civil disobedience? - that's not how we got our freedom from the british, buddy

admirable martyrs? we ain't no martyrs, we're gonna WIN!!

vanilla creamer - we're entitled to that - just like we're entitled to use of the land around us that we don't own

it's hopeless, of course - they don't have a clue about how dependent they've been on the government or how that dependency has strengthened the government they now want to rebel against

you're not going to get much in the way of political or moral insight from people who have zero insight into the circumstances of their own lives
posted by pyramid termite at 4:50 PM on January 10, 2016


They know how dependent they are on the federal government. That's why they are out protesting. The government rules they depend on have been changed to no longer exclusively favor their interests. So rather than accept that our democratic society gets to decide what to do with our land, they are demanding the government go away and give them the land.
posted by humanfont at 5:47 PM on January 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


LeVoy Finicum wrote a novel! He's the one with the tarp.

Not to spoil anything, but it begins in the dangerous America that was inevitably created after a sweeping national gun buyback program. Albuquerque is in flames as a result of roving gang attacks. The protag is a young woman fleeing into the western hills, lamenting how her peace-loving mother had trusted the false security of a gated community and turned in the family gun, which had of course left said mother helpless against four professional-style intruders/rapists in her own home and tragically dying while attempting to escape. There are footnotes, naturally, that explain in detail how quickly a particular gun can reload.

I'm onto the second chapter now, which introduces the male protagonist by immediately veering into a discussion about inflation and the Federal Reserve.
posted by mochapickle at 8:00 PM on January 10, 2016 [14 favorites]


Also I just noticed the dedication:
Dedicated to God
The Author of Liberty
posted by mochapickle at 8:20 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you skip ahead does Jesus show up?
posted by Artw at 8:22 PM on January 10, 2016


Not so far. But the second chapter, the male protag is describing how valuable blankets, camping gear, and canned food are in this new world order. He and his family are fleeing in an Escalade (of course) with every canned good from their house. Seems like ol' LeVoy should have thought to plan his own stay in Oregon similarly prepared.
posted by mochapickle at 8:26 PM on January 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


There's a perfectly normal Safeway in Burns where they could buy all the supplies they want. It appears that they want other people to buy them stuff instead, which sounds more like "culture of mooching" than "culture of honor" to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:17 PM on January 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


The cosplayers have arrived!

I mean, it's all cosplay really, but this dude put in extra effort.
posted by Artw at 9:32 PM on January 10, 2016 [14 favorites]


Mochapickle, thanks for taking one for the team. You are indeed a selfless hero!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think you have to dedicate something to God

I think he'd see that coming
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:15 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, sounds like LaVoy Fincum is no Hakim Bey…
posted by Going To Maine at 10:34 PM on January 10, 2016


FRENCH VANILLA CREAMER.
What? They didn’t ask for “FREEDOM-VANILLA CREAMER”.
posted by blueberry at 11:16 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd really like to hear from someone with inside experience to chime-in and give us some idea of what the Feds might be thinking in leaving these buffoons to set-up a homestead and come-and-go as they please. The longer they're left alone, the more entrenched they become, making any eventual removal that much harder and, possibly, violent.

Unfortunately, I get the feeling the Feds have absolutely no idea what to do, and have decided to do nothing at all, hoping the bullies will simply go home after awhile.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:42 AM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd really like to hear from someone with inside experience to chime-in and give us some idea of what the Feds might be thinking in leaving these buffoons to set-up a homestead and come-and-go as they please.

The Feds are remembering Ruby Ridge, where a couple of possible sawed-off shotguns mutated into a rallying cry for an entire generation of the extremist right.

The longer they're left alone, the more entrenched they become, making any eventual removal that much harder and, possibly, violent.

There's also the possibility that the longer they're left alone, the more bored, cold, hungry, and tired they become, and they just leave on their own. It doesn't appear that they're really digging in or improving their positions to the point that removal will be any harder, if it ever does come to that.
posted by Etrigan at 8:11 AM on January 11, 2016 [4 favorites]




Great article Artw. I hadn't seen this posted yet but we can hope that the cold does the job for persuading these buffoons to go home.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 10:04 AM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd really like to hear from someone with inside experience to chime-in and give us some idea of what the Feds might be thinking in leaving these buffoons to set-up a homestead and come-and-go as they please.

I think Etrigan's right - they don't want another Ruby Ridge or Waco. Here's a Vox article on the subject that I don't think has been linked yet.
posted by gamera at 12:16 PM on January 11, 2016


There are undoubtably political considerations. How will a seige play out politically in terms of motivating right wing voters in the fall election? Will news coverage affect the President's agenda for his final year in office or the State of the Union. How do state and loca leaders want the Feds to act? What are the views of republican committee chairmen in congress?
posted by humanfont at 12:29 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Arresting people in transit isn't without risks either. Prior incidents with people in the similar-but-not-same tax protesting / sovereign citizen / oath keeper / etc. movements include Oakland, West Memphis, Walnut Creek, and more.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:37 PM on January 11, 2016


During the conference, Burns Paiute Tribal Council member Jarvis Kennedy pointed out a double standard inherent in the way the ranchers are being treated. He said, "I wonder if it was bunch of natives that went out there and overtook that, or any federal land. Would they let us come into town and get supplies and re-up?"...

When [CNN] correspondent Sara Sidner asked, "Why do you think the response is different this time?" Kennedy replied, "Because they're white. That's it. That's the bluntest I can be; It's because of their skin color."

posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:40 PM on January 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


I really hope President Obama has something useful to say at his speech tomorrow night, about why the FBI won't go in and make arrests. After this, and the abortion clinic and church shootings, positive and clear action against right-wing (white) terrorism is long past overdue.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:18 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Eggs (needed badly)"

Somebody doesn't watchCutthroat Kitchen. Never go on your standoff without eggs!
posted by stevis23 at 6:00 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]




Great.

This is why you don't let fucking terrorists camp in government offices.
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on January 11, 2016 [14 favorites]




sporkwort - that IS scary!

Someone most definitely should be going to prison at some point.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 7:51 PM on January 11, 2016


Executive director Garrett VeneKlasen and conservation director Todd Leahy of New Mexico Wildlife Federation aren't fooled by tarp. (youtube 35sec)


Libertarian Fairy Tales: The Bundy Militia's Revisionist History in Oregon
There were many schemes. It was possible to buy land that had been surveyed as "swamp" from the government at very low prices, for example, if you promised to drain and use it. So sometimes French and others would flood the land first, rendering it swampland so as to lower the price. Sometimes they didn’t even bother. In one of the most notorious bits of fiscal legerdemain, French purchased 50,000 acres of swamp land in 1877 from a previous owner who had certified it as swamp, before purchasing it, by technically crossing it in a boat—a boat drawn by mules. The regulatory agencies eventually caught up with these schemes, but by the time they did, most of the land had already been distributed among a very small number of hands.
posted by phoque at 7:52 PM on January 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


When [CNN] correspondent Sara Sidner asked, "Why do you think the response is different this time?" Kennedy replied, "Because they're white. That's it. That's the bluntest I can be; It's because of their skin color."

Yup. Pretty much.
I don't think anyone has any problem imagining the response if these chuckleheads were anything other than white.

I'm so disgusted by the non-response by the Feds. Sadly, the only thing this soft response is going to accomplish is encouraging similar actions elsewhere. The message being communicated by authorities seems to be "C'mon in boys. Help yourselves to the land. You're all the right color. No problems."
posted by Thorzdad at 8:16 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


This has definitely gone beyond the LARP level. From sporkworts link:

> There are continual reports of law enforcement officers and community members being followed home; of people sitting in cars outside their homes, observing their movements and those of their families; and of people following them and their families as they move around the community.

> As this issue has developed over the past week, employees and their loved ones have reported a number of uncomfortable incidences in which unknown individuals from outside our community have driven past slowly or idled in front of their homes, observing the residents and their activities.

> Additionally, several employees told officials they have been confronted by self-identified militia members while the employees were grocery shopping, running errands and just trying to lead their day-to-day lives.

These guys are clearly going to keep escalating until they get a response. This shit needed to be dealt with already, when it was simply contained in the building - It's not going to get better from this point on its own if it's spreading from there.
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:45 PM on January 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


I actually think the cops should treat every protest like this one if they know what's good for them. Give the protesters food and blankets and posterboard to make signs. Surround them with very official support. Send in politicians to give extemporaneous speeches on whatever the protest is about. Turn it into a circus. Sooner or later people will realize they look ridiculous and go home.

Embrace, extend, extinguish.
posted by miyabo at 8:46 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, as sides from the getting to commit whatever acts of vandalism and intimidation they see fit against the people of Oregon with no chance consequences - that not kind of sucks.
posted by Artw at 9:18 PM on January 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, just because it can't be said enough - Fuck these guys.
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:20 PM on January 11, 2016 [11 favorites]




Oregon occupation planned for months by Ammon Bundy and Montana militia leader

they keep using this word

I do not think it means what they think it means
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:29 PM on January 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Did you remember to pack the guns?"
posted by Artw at 11:49 PM on January 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


I dunno, the fact that they've gained access to computers that require two-factor authentication (if the second link in sporkwort's link is true) means that either they're more devious than previously thought or they were incredibly lucky. Did a bunch of employees, in an en masse violation of federal policy, leave their cards at their desks with their passwords written down? Were they coerced into giving them up? Were the cards stolen? Why didn't BLM lock access from those accounts to local machines and/or servers?

On the other hand, they're adding a bunch of very serious crimes to the long list they've already committed to access information that will likely end up being of little to no actual value to them. Harassing the BLM employees is almost assuredly going to get some of them jailed by the local fuzz at some point unless directed otherwise, and it's definitely going to involve federal charges somewhere down the line.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:05 AM on January 12, 2016


Did a bunch of employees, in an en masse violation of federal policy, leave their cards at their desks with their passwords written down?

Probably, yes. I highly doubt a building that tiny had keycard controlled access, why would it? So someone probably kept their card at their desk, hopefully locked up, but a standard issue filing cabinet or desk drawer isn't really hard to brute force. And it doesn't take "a bunch of" employees, it takes one 60 year old scientist who can't remember the 14 different passwords they have to use on a daily basis. I guarantee at least one person in that office had their password written down on a post it note.

Harassing the BLM employees is almost assuredly going to get some of them jailed by the local fuzz at some point unless directed otherwise, and it's definitely going to involve federal charges somewhere down the line.

You'd like to think that, but there's zero evidence that anything they've done will result in any kind of consequences when the last time these same guys were allowed to threaten federal agents with machine guns and walk free. At this point I don't think there will be any response whatsoever until they escalate to actual violence. The government has conceded that they own the place for now, and apparently are prepared to cede them the whole county.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:32 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


With luck, once this is finally over, the feds will determine that these guys didn't plan this, but they did conspire to do it.
posted by Death and Gravity at 5:57 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Harassing the BLM employees is almost assuredly going to get some of them jailed by the local fuzz at some point unless directed otherwise, and it's definitely going to involve federal charges somewhere down the line.

You mean like they frog-marched papa Bundy off to prison...

oh. wait...
posted by Thorzdad at 6:28 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, they're adding a bunch of very serious crimes to the long list they've already committed to access information that will likely ...

Gah! This is sedition, just as surely as John Brown's raid was. The only difference is that they didn't steal government arms - and that's because they brought their own. We don't need to tiptoe around on the Internet, going "Oh, they burned a sign! Oh, they drove a truck!" The only reason why they haven't shot federal officers yet is that not has actually tried to apprehend them.
posted by newdaddy at 6:35 AM on January 12, 2016


High Country News has a write-up on some of those involved with the standoff. They link to this profile of Ryan Payne.
More specifically, he came to believe that slavery never really existed in the United States and that African Americans in the antebellum South "didn't view themselves as slaves." He came to believe in "an effort by some Jews to control the world." He came to believe the founders of the United States intended for the states to act as sovereign countries. He came to believe taxes are a form of "legal plunder." He came to believe names are spelled in all-caps on driver's licenses because U.S. citizens are actually "corporate entities." He came to believe U.S. courts are actually foreign admiralty courts. He came to believe that "in most states you have the lawful authority to kill a police officer that is unlawfully trying to arrest you." He came to believe when a newborn child's footprint is made on a birth certificate, that child is effectively entering a life of servitude to the U.S. government, which borrows money from China based on that child's estimated lifetime earning potential.
The Oregonian article that hippybear linked to above portrays Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne as the two people most responsible for planning the takeover.

I know it's become abundantly clear by this point, but these are not what you would call well-balanced people.
posted by compartment at 7:56 AM on January 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


That's all fairly standard sovereign citizen drivel. They do love the idea of admiralty law, and the magic constitution invalidating properties of gold fringe on the flag.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:58 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


He's crazy - but you give the devil the benefit of law anyway. Unless you are comfortable with the cops shooting everyone who occupies a building - or a park.
posted by corb at 9:13 AM on January 12, 2016


Sure, that's all anyone is asking. The same level of enforcement against these armed militiamen terrorizing an entire community as was deployed against unarmed protesters across the nation.

But as of yet there's been literally no "law" to speak of. At all.

I wonder what could be the difference.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:33 AM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Benefit of the law for some, martial law for others.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:38 AM on January 12, 2016


This has nothing to do with occupying buildings. People occupy government buildings as a form of protest all the time. It happened in Wisconsin not too long ago. It happened in Baltimore over Freddie Gray. This has to do with them showing up with a ton of military weaponry and saying things like 'kill or be killed'.

The reason why we have a national holiday for Martin Luther King, and memorials for him, and streets and highways named for him, is that he led a group of people who has legitimate grievances, and made a deliberate choice to use non-violent protest. And to some degree he made it work.

We can't allow the common understanding to become that, if you show up with enough angry guys with guns, you'll win the argument. There are more guns than people in America! That's a recipe for disaster.
posted by newdaddy at 9:41 AM on January 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Corb - I am at a loss to how you think these shitty assholes could be pandered to any more than they already are. Ammo drops?
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on January 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


He's crazy - but you give the devil the benefit of law anyway.

You mean like arresting people who break it?

Literally the only reason these guys haven't been arrested is because they're waving guns around. Do explain, please, how and why that's okay. If all you need to flout the law is to brandish weaponry there is no law.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:44 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll take 'ignoring cause and effect with a side of false equivalence' for $500, Alex.

I think hardly anyone wants the cops to just open fire on them. The only people who seem to be suggesting that should happen are mostly just pissed that the cops are treating these terrorists with kid gloves while actual peaceful protests are met with extreme prejudice. Personally I just want the cops to do their job and attempt to arrest them. If that results in these jackasses opening fire to avoid getting arrested that's on them and at that point if the cops open fire back well that's what you get for attempted murder of a cop just doing their job. Even then I'd hope the cops showed restraint and just cut off their supplies until they turned themselves in.
posted by Green With You at 9:48 AM on January 12, 2016


Seems like if the cops did that, more 'militia' asshats would show up with more guns. If these shitbirds don't go home of their own accord soon, this is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:51 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Start nabbing them when they go out for supplies or to the bar or to do an interview.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:54 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


> He's crazy - but you give the devil the benefit of law anyway.

If you are just looking at what he has to say, sure.

However, when you rifling through federal personnel files, stalking and threatening employees, ripping up fences - all while toting lots of guns and constantly proclaiming that you aren't afraid to use them - I don't see how that falls within the "benefit of law."

This goes well beyond occupation. If they were just camping out there, I don't think anyone would really have a problem with it. When the people you claim to actually be standing up for don't even want you there or condone your actions, that's already a bit problematic. Destroying federal property is a bit more problematic. Doing all of this, plus threatening and stalking people is beyond unacceptable - even without weaponry.

This goes well outside of the law, and to say otherwise or to simply refer to them as "occupying a building" is showing willful ignorance of what is actually happening here.
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:59 AM on January 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


Literally the only reason these guys haven't been arrested is because they're waving guns around.

And are white.
posted by Etrigan at 9:59 AM on January 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Well yeah, that too. I figured it'd been said enough here that there was no need to belabour the point. I guess some people need reminding.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:01 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jon Ritzheimer doesn't appreciate supplies. (facebook video 1min25sec)
posted by phoque at 10:14 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am so delighted that they are getting dicks in the mail. Your federal postal service, people!
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:22 AM on January 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


They don't appear to have hacked into the computers files (youtube approx 30sec description)
posted by phoque at 10:23 AM on January 12, 2016


From High Country News: I have a lot in common with the Bundys. Here's what I'd like to say to them.:
I'm a lifelong rural Westerner, and I believe that if I were to talk with them, we'd most likely find we have a lot in common. There's the way our lives were shaped by the land, for instance. I was born in Nevada, and I grew up and now live in southwestern Idaho. Though my family worked as carpenters, we lived on small farms where we raised cows and grew hay for the winter. Like the Bundys and many of their allies, I come from hard working, blue-collar folks. ...

Then I'd say: "You are carrying firearms and threatening to commit violence if you don't get your way. You say you want this to be a peaceful protest, but in the same breath you warn that you will fight and die for your cause. You bluster, trying to provoke a response, all the while using the media to protect you and further your cause.

"You are abusing your rights as an American. There are legal ways to change systems if you feel that they aren't working. I have heard nothing from you about your responsibilities, only demands about what you want, though ultimately, what you want is to control a resource that belongs to me and to every other American. Public lands are our birthright, and you have no right to commandeer them for your own purposes.

"Frankly, I don't want my land – which includes all the federal land in the West – turned over to people who behave like you. I want to be free to hunt, fish, hike, ride my horse, my mountain bike or all-terrain vehicle, to picnic, camp, and to bird watch on the nation's vast tracts of federal ground, and I don't want to have to ask for your permission to do so.
posted by dialetheia at 10:37 AM on January 12, 2016 [33 favorites]


Fucking right. Fuck these land thieves and their corporate masters.
posted by Artw at 10:43 AM on January 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


They don't appear to have hacked into the computers files.

To be clear, I wouldn't credit these maroons with the ability to hack into a rotten log, but it's possible, as above, that people who were not expecting their remote bird sanctuary to be occupied by the militant wing of eating paste might have left their login credentials, ID cards or even their work phones in the office. And claiming that you are not doing a bad thing while doing that very bad thing is pretty much the modus operandi of this gang of maroons, and indeed maroons across the globe. So.

Saddest thing for me in that video is the picture of the government employee's kid in a ladybird costume on the desk. Second saddest is the bargain-bucket Kilo Ren in the video saying in the comments "i have a pistol to shoot my head if something happens". That's what you travelled to the middle of nowhere for? To spray blood and brains over a picture of someone's kid in a ladybird outfit that someone else is going to have to clean? That's your brilliant strategy?
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:47 AM on January 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


Here's what private land ownership of federal lands would look like.

Fuck that.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:50 AM on January 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not really sure the speed in which this has descended to suicide-bunker territory is really helping the case of those wanting to just wait them out indefinitely.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:52 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


running order squabble fest owes me a new keyboard for "the militant wing of eating paste".
posted by Etrigan at 10:53 AM on January 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


These guys probably talk like that if they're going down the road to buy a coffee, but then again I wouldn't trust them to do that without accidentally shooting themselves or a passerby either.
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


This goes well beyond occupation. If they were just camping out there, I don't think anyone would really have a problem with it

Well, I would. This isn't a campground. There are plenty of places designated as campgrounds if they want to go have a camp out. This is a bird sanctuary and there was actual scientific work being done there. As a link up thread mentioned, scientific research is an actual use of the land, even though the Bundys don't see it that way because it doesn't line anyone's pockets.
posted by bluecore at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


They don't appear to have hacked into the computers files.

Eh? All the guy says is that he used a bootable linux flash drive to use the BLM computer and their network. While "hacking" is a pretty nebulous term, it's pretty clear that he has circumvented the access controls governing the use of that computer and its network and is using those resources without proper authorization. I'm pretty sure that gets you into felony territory with the CFAA.
posted by peeedro at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


They've pretty much stated that going through documents is one of their goals - at this point the benefit of the doubt hinges more on competence than intent.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]




Has that judge previously ruled that Br'er Rabbit is to be thrown into that ol' briar patch?
posted by Etrigan at 11:45 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




Oregon siege: Vandalism, intimidation of civilians on the rise, sheriff says

Gee. If only there was someone the residents could call for help. Someone empowered to protect them and deal with the vandals...
posted by Thorzdad at 11:57 AM on January 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


> This isn't a campground.

Perhaps I should clarify, although it should be clear that I'm not saying they should just be able to camp out whenever the hell they feel like it, as if it was a campground.

If they wished to carry out a legitimate peaceful protest - in good faith - and remained camped on the territory while they did so, I would feel that would be well within the norms for political protest. No matter how much we may or may not agree with them, I don't think it's something that would be largely viewed as a problem, and I think forcibly arresting them or removing them would be not OK. If we are not OK with that, then we shouldn't be OK with any sort of camping / occupation as a form of political protest from anyone.

Of course, none of that is what is happening here.

A couple of years ago, I'd think that they would be more likely to enact some change and get what they want that way than they would by taking up arms -- but unfortunately, the Bundy ranch has given some historical precedent to the presence of armed seditionists being a very effective way of getting what you want when it comes to making use of public lands.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:06 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


[One comment deleted. corb, I'm going to ask you to step away from this.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:49 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Now that's not to say the cops shouldn't be doing anything - for example, the tactic of letting people come and go at will is ridiculous. What they need to do is state to returning occupiers, "The park will be closed tomorrow to all non-media, so we won't be letting anyone back in if they leave." And then just wait. Let people out, don't let people in. And don't, like, bristle about it. Just set up some fucking roadblocks and lay out some caltrops on the sides of them.
posted by corb at 12:50 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ok, shit is getting weirder - The kangaroo court is beginning. From jjmcnabs feed:

> Big announcement from Malheur. "Judge" Doucette has arrived and the common law grand jury is now going to convene.
> The militants will now put officials like Sheriff Ward on trial for treason.
> "Judge" Doucette is not a real judge, of course.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:51 PM on January 12, 2016


Summon the Grand High Wizard! The Wizarding Tribunals have begun!
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:53 PM on January 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Ah, they're going full Petoria.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, man.

Shit's not just getting weird. It could get seriously, dangerously real. Some of these Patriot™ types actually go out and attempt to "arrest" anyone found guilty in these "courts." I forget the exact term they use for their "sheriff", but it's a real threat. In the past, they've gone so far as to invade a real court proceeding. This could become hostage-taking.

They also start filing property liens against everyone and anyone they determine to be guilty or aiding the guilty.

This is what you get for not nipping this shit in the bud.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


> Big announcement from Malheur. "Judge" Doucette has arrived and the common law grand jury is now going to convene.
> The militants will now put officials like Sheriff Ward on trial for treason.
> "Judge" Doucette is not a real judge, of course.


I thought I was familiar with Sovereign Citizen nonsense but this is a new one to me. What is a common law grand jury? On what basis are they charging someone with treason? How do they square a trial in absentia with the Constitution? (Other than 'poorly,' I mean)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:00 PM on January 12, 2016


wait so now it's french revolution cosplay? confused
posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:01 PM on January 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hey! They're also holding a town hall meeting Friday!
posted by Thorzdad at 1:04 PM on January 12, 2016


The fake judge isn't anything to laugh about. There are crazies who will act on the "orders" of said judge and that might very well include finding Sheriff Ward guilty of treason or something to that ilk. I had a coworker once who received a phone call from a confused sheriff's deputy, "Oh, hey, so, ah, I got a piece of paper from a gentleman, who claims it's an arrest warrant for you?" (She kept it in her desk to show folks later, finding it both kind of scary and amusing.)

I pray the feds aren't waiting and watching for someone to be shot before having the 'justification' to come crashing down on the party.
posted by Atreides at 1:08 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


What is a common law grand jury? On what basis are they charging someone with treason? How do they square a trial in absentia with the Constitution?

The SPLC has a crash course in sovereign citizen "common law":

At some point in history, sovereigns believe, the American government set up by the founding fathers — with a legal system the sovereigns refer to as "common law" — was secretly replaced by a new government system based on admiralty law, the law of the sea and international commerce. Under common law, or so they believe, the sovereigns would be free men. Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way.

This is how they go about the "grand jury" process.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:08 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


The location has yet to be determined. All are invited to attend, Finicum added.

Surely, this...
posted by tonycpsu at 1:09 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I pray the feds aren't waiting and watching for someone to be shot before having the 'justification' to come crashing down on the party.
posted by Atreides at 4:08 PM on January 12 [+] [!] Other [7/7]: «≡·


I think it's pretty clear they are. There's a political dimension to this that the feds are both worried about a repeat of Waco, but also terrified of the headlines on FOX screaming "OBAMA'S JACKBOOTED THUGS ARE HERE" from now until the election and galvanizing support for the Republican nominee.

That probably all goes away if these wackos fire first.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:10 PM on January 12, 2016


This is how they go about the "grand jury" process.

what the actual fuck
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:13 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey! They're also holding a town hall meeting Friday!

Because what could possibly go wrong with a bunch of heavily-armed, obviously crazy people who just announced they're planning to detain officials who have been amazingly accommodating and peaceful to them?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:16 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's a political dimension to this that the feds are both worried about a repeat of Waco

Yes, well, I think it's crystal clear that these Yeehadists intend to push their world view as far as they can, with the idea that the only way they will stop is the US Government bows to their demands and hands over Federal lands.

Barring that, they want another Waco. They'll take another Ruby Ridge, for that matter.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:19 PM on January 12, 2016


Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way.

I suddenly wonder if Waterworld is some kind of unending dystopian nightmare for these people, where the hero rejects the laws of the water to find freedom on dry land. Meh.

Incidentally, Bill Clinton taught Admiralty Law at the School of Law at the University of Arkansas. I wonder if during the 90s if any of them latched onto that factoid.
posted by Atreides at 1:39 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


As long as they stick to their guns, so to speak, they are forcing the government into one of two options: "become murders or wait for us to murder someone."
posted by charred husk at 1:40 PM on January 12, 2016


Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way.

Admiralty Law? I'm not a slave, I'm a Pirate King!
posted by mikelieman at 1:44 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well the sovereign thing explains why they're so interested in the boring documents kept by a nature reserve; they're looking for the secret code that invalidates the conventional land ownership.
posted by Bringer Tom at 1:45 PM on January 12, 2016


Admiralty Law? I'm not a slave, I'm a Pirate King!

I'm a Martian!
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on January 12, 2016


I'm a Martian!

Not until you grow food!
posted by mikelieman at 1:49 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Admiralty Law? I'm not a slave, I'm a Pirate King!

I'm a Martian!


The Bird Sanctuary, that's where I'm a Viking!
posted by Floydd at 1:49 PM on January 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Well the sovereign thing explains why they're so interested in the boring documents kept by a nature reserve; they're looking for the secret code that invalidates the conventional land ownership.

I'm tempted to suggest they try the Konami code.
posted by Archelaus at 1:49 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


As long as they stick to their guns, so to speak, they are forcing the government into one of two options: "become murders or wait for us to murder someone."

I think they're going to keep escalating until someone calls their bluff. At which point, well, I'm *fairly* sure they know that if they actually start shooting their bubble of protection pops, but these are unstable and incompitent weirdos so I wouldn't rule out them accidentally kicking something off.

And if some wandering militia nut job decides to have a crack at Sheriff Folksy Wisdom in the meantime I don't know what happens then.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on January 12, 2016


Well the sovereign thing explains why they're so interested in the boring documents kept by a nature reserve; they're looking for the secret code that invalidates the conventional land ownership.

I think you're talking about Bird Law.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:52 PM on January 12, 2016


Not until you grow food!

For alleged aggriculture activists I really doubt they'd be any good at that.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on January 12, 2016


I'm guessing that's a typo, but "aggro-culture activists" has a nice ring to it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:56 PM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think they're going to keep escalating until someone calls their bluff. At which point, well, I'm *fairly* sure they know that if they actually start shooting their bubble of protection pops, but these are unstable and incompitent weirdos so I wouldn't rule out them accidentally kicking something off.

I tend to think they know exactly what they're doing, despite appearances. If they kick something off, it won't be an accident. It's easy to joke about their insane world view, but these people are deadly serious. They believe wholeheartedly every bit of the Sovereign Citizen stuff.

I just hope the Feds have troops hidden in the area, standing-by to respond at a moment's notice. But, if all they have is a handful of FBI agents and the local sheriff and his deputies...well...I dunno...
posted by Thorzdad at 2:02 PM on January 12, 2016


I don't think there's any reason not to believe them to be both deadly serious and clownishly incompetent and unhinged. It's really not a good combination, and I feel bad for everyone having to deal with it.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:09 PM on January 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


This could escalate quickly
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:12 PM on January 12, 2016


You all are talking like they're an organized group of a single mind. We should be so lucky. The real threat is one of the seditionist folks is also a trigger-happy nutjob and starts something all his own. From what I've read they're running an open camp there with random people joining out of solidarity. What happens if one of those armed good ol' boys is a bit too hot under the collar?

Another scary option is FBI agent provocateurs in the group. Certainly happened plenty of times with leftist protest groups. So far the feds have taken a low key approach here, and I'm reluctantly in favor of that.
posted by Nelson at 2:12 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




It's clear that they aren't an organized group of a single mind. What I worry about the most is crowd behavior - You get that many people who don't all necessarily have the same ideas, other than they are armed and ready to fight feds, and bad shit will happen.
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:00 PM on January 12, 2016


I hate to say it for the Sheriff's sake, but the militia attempting their "sovereign citizen" bullshit of arresting and trying Sheriff Wade for treason may be the crystal clear crime they need to put these terrorist thugs away for long time. I'm sure the charges have mounted (trespassing, vandalism, unlawfully accessing government computers) but kidnapping? That's a 25 year mandatory minimum. It also puts these chubby mall ninjas in the crosshairs of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, at which point their weekend warrior army cosplay fantasies will come to a screeching halt. I truly hope this ends peacefully, but I also look forward to seeing them being led in shackles into a SuperMax prison. I guess they might end up in the cell next to El Chapo, so they've got that going for them... which is nice.
posted by bluecore at 3:04 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, I know rationality isn't really part of this, but how the fuck does sovereign citizen even work if nobody is from or represents the region in question?
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:10 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Would they even try to arrest the sheriff? It looks like their normal MO is to try to get the local sheriff to arrest whomever they've convicted and when that doesn't work, they convict him or her and work their way down the chain of command to meter reader or dog catcher second class.

I wonder what would happen if one of the "guilty" turned themselves in to these guys and demanded the rights available to prisoners under the Constitution and Geneva Convention. "Sorry, Larry, but we need to take your bunk for the prisoner. Also, he seems to have clogged the toilet again so you need to get on that too."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:12 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reducing people to pink list is a lot easier and convenient when they don't have hostages, mind.
posted by Artw at 3:12 PM on January 12, 2016


Would they even try to arrest the sheriff?

My guess, which is totally uninformed and made up, is they want to impeach him for not carrying out their orders, and declare themselves the new sheriff. That's how they go from Cosplay Judge and Jury, to Cosplay Law Enforcement. After all, if they were going to limit themselves to the judicial branch, they wouldn't have needed all those guns.
posted by ryanrs at 3:24 PM on January 12, 2016


Power for the Loons: A small electric co-op considers what to do with the Loons at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge
Harney Electric, for all its territorial expanse, isn’t a very large company. In fact, the members read their own meters. The company audits meter readings once a year, but for all 12 months of the year the meters are read by the customer/members and not by designated meter readers.
posted by phoque at 3:24 PM on January 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Another good article from the Southern Poverty Center (as linked by jjmcnab yet again): Sovereign Citizen Kane [PDF]
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:28 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Feds will probably wait for a clear request from the local community to take a more agressive response. I anticipate that in the next week they will issue the request.
posted by humanfont at 4:27 PM on January 12, 2016


Also, I know rationality isn't really part of this, but how the fuck does sovereign citizen even work if nobody is from or represents the region in question?

It's a state. Of mind.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:42 PM on January 12, 2016


It's a federal facility. The FBI already has primary jurisdiction, they don't need the local sheriff's permission. And any response at all would have to be "more aggressive" by definition.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:42 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


The guy who was using BLM computer supports ISIS, OPB confirms.
posted by phoque at 4:44 PM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Clearly an antisemitic japanophile with a modicum of computer skills is exactly what we needed thrown in the mix.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:56 PM on January 12, 2016


The guy who was using BLM computer supports ISIS, OPB confirms.

In fairness, he also likes Hitler.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on January 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


yeah holy shit some brain bleach is needed
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:59 PM on January 12, 2016


Another tarp falls Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (youtube 2min54sec)
posted by phoque at 4:59 PM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think the Sovereign Grand Jury and "Judge" Doucette are gonna be too happy with those guys, destroying a Sovereign Tarp like that.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:06 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Permission isn't at issue. The Feds want to isolate these idiots and make sure local leaders are on board.
posted by humanfont at 5:41 PM on January 12, 2016


I don't think the Sovereign Grand Jury and "Judge" Doucette are gonna be too happy with those guys, destroying a Sovereign Tarp like that.

Eh, I don't think that sign will stay exposed for long. Them boys are probably working on a new tarp right now, this time with gold fringe sew onto the edges for extra constitutional (or extra-constitutional, perhaps) magics. #supertarp #admiralty #sovereignfringe
posted by Anoplura at 5:43 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Them boys are probably working on a new tarp right now, this time with gold fringe sew onto the edges for extra constitutional (or extra-constitutional, perhaps) magics.

I don't think you understand their magics. The fringe signals that it's admiralty, the bad sovereign-usurping shit that makes slaves of us when they take our baby footprints. They are the opposing good guys with guns to restore our fringeless flags of "common law" which lets us do whatevs we wants, like the law should.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:54 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have to say that I was marginally aware of the sovereigns before all this shit, and it was not at all clear during the Cliven Bundy fiasco that sovereigns were involved. With these paper chasing fanatics in the mix letting Cliven off without prosecution was a really bad idea because it's going to give them the idea that they are oh so much closer to the magic legal formula that unlocks their "freedom." This is probably why they are pulling this stunt in Oregon. They seriously think it will work. These are not normal people subject to normal motivations. They honestly think that the right combination of paperwork and secret signals will make the law slink off and leave them be, and the outcome of the first Bundy fiasco was almost perfectly calculated to make them think they were almost there.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:59 PM on January 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think it almost goes without saying that the level to which the government has used kid gloves with various militia movements and anti-government groups (all coincidentally made up of white dudes who are real 'muricans) has been a really bad idea. It has allowed insanity like the sovereign citizen movement to fester and grow like a cancer, and this shit with the Bundy clan will not be the last nor the worst of it.
posted by tocts at 6:11 PM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Obviously the way to end this standoff is to have one random dude surreptitiously wave a gold-fringed admirality flag behind their podium, thereby turning their sovereign presser into a Secret Maritime Presser. Then a reporter needs to ask, "Secret Admiral, how long do you intend to occupy this Sea Base?"

Ammon Bundy will turn around, see the gold-fringed flag, and immediately realize that all his actions are now taking place under the authority of Maritime Law. He looks around even more. Oh my god. There are gold fringes on all the trucks and guns and tarps. Somehow the magical golden flags have even transformed his pocket-sized Constitution into a miniature printed copy of United Nations Agenda 21.

Worst of all, their Common Law Grand Jury will have become a Secret Maritime Court.

In a delicious twist, his attempt to warn others will be his undoing. There on the podium, he will shout out loud: "It's a trap!"

This is the magic legal incantation that completes his transition to admirality. Also it causes him to look like a giant squid-person.
posted by compartment at 6:28 PM on January 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


There on the podium, he will shout out loud: "It's a trap!"

Not, "It's a tarp!"?
posted by NoMich at 6:46 PM on January 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


oh my god, it's Calvinball for backwoods lunatics
posted by indubitable at 6:47 PM on January 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


From the link above about the Harney County Electric Coop: However, this time the Bundy’s aren’t ripping off the federal government – they’re ripping off the customers of a small electric cooperative.

Take that, Socialism!
posted by sneebler at 6:57 PM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]






Someone please send them erotic cakes. Preferably dick-shaped. Wouldn't want them to starve.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:38 PM on January 12, 2016


I'm OK with allowing them to continue receiving packages as long as there's a "dicks only" directive in place.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:24 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would prefer a law enforcement solution to a sexual harassment solution, but at this point, anybody willing to do anything at all to get them out is better than the current nothing response.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:35 PM on January 12, 2016


anybody willing to do anything at all to get them out is better than the current nothing response.

The National Guard would be a good choice, since any action would be ordered by the governor of a "sovereign" state and their authority is legitimate in the invader's worldview. It would avoid the sought-after conflict with the feds, and avoid the anti-government propaganda waiting to exploit the confrontation. The problem is that the local congressman is publicly wavering on the problem, which perhaps indicates a fragile political landscape that is unable to muster a state-wide effort to follow through on the local response to reject the takeover.
posted by Brian B. at 11:05 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Would it matter what a local legislator thinks, if the National Guard is under the purview of the state's executive branch, i.e., Governor Kate Brown?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:25 PM on January 12, 2016


The National Guard would be a good choice, since any action would be ordered by the governor of a "sovereign" state and their authority is legitimate in the invader's worldview.

Could you better explain why we should be accepting these terrorists' ridiculous premise? I'm afraid that one went over my head.
posted by indubitable at 4:53 AM on January 13, 2016


The National Guard would be a good choice, since any action would be ordered by the governor of a "sovereign" state and their authority is legitimate in the invader's worldview.

Except, the National Guard, while being state-based, is tied directly to, and often serves, the Federally-run military (National Guard units are used in combat deployments) So, I would imagine the Patriots™ would find that the Guard is an illegitimate military force, and defend themselves.

Hell, I'm pretty sure Sovereigns™ would find something in their tortured worldview to claim state and local governments to be illegitimate, too. They've shot enough local and state police to make one believe they're simply against anyone claiming any authority over them. Even an unfortunate cop stopping them for speeding.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:35 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think that County Sheriff is the highest valid office in right-wingnut org charts... So, even within the fantasy the National Guard's authority would not be recognised.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:56 AM on January 13, 2016


So...Maybe if the Sheriff deputized the entire National Guard?

It's a moot point, though. In this specific case, the local Sheriff is conveniently being tried for treason by the Sovereign Grand Jury, and will no doubt be found guilty. So, they've obviously found a way around their recognizing the Sheriff as being a valid power. Try and convict him.

Then, I would imagine, declare one of their own as Sheriff. And, from there, arrest all elected officials as well as any residents not on-board with the coup.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:13 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Could you better explain why we should be accepting these terrorists' ridiculous premise? I'm afraid that one went over my head.

I would argue that using the FBI to clear them out with actual violence is accepting the terrorist premise, which is a public relations battle within a territorial dispute over local authority. The mere threat of the National Guard involved would deflate their premise, and it would be unwelcome invaders versus actual people from Oregon, demonstrating how weak their argument is. The FBI can pursue their arrests down the road, in any state.
posted by Brian B. at 7:03 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh good, their "constitutional attorney" has shown up.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:15 AM on January 13, 2016


...which is a public relations battle within a territorial dispute over local authority.

Except, none of these bozos are from the local area. That alone should negate any of their claims to the land.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:29 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oregon State Defense Force (Wikipedia). Note that this branch of the Oregon Military Department was recently suspended, though temporarily.
posted by Brian B. at 7:36 AM on January 13, 2016


[Comment removed; if you want to beef about moderation, do it in MetaTalk, where you already did. And I get that everybody's hype about Deadwood coming back but this is the second time in a week I've had to say that that's not actually a good excuse to start throwing "cocksucker" around on the site.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 AM on January 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


Brian B.: I would argue that using the FBI to clear them out with actual violence is accepting the terrorist premise, which is a public relations battle within a territorial dispute over local authority. The mere threat of the National Guard involved would deflate their premise, and it would be unwelcome invaders versus actual people from Oregon, demonstrating how weak their argument is. The FBI can pursue their arrests down the road, in any state.

They believe a "Constitutional Sheriff" is the highest law of the land, but have conveniently ignored that the actual Sheriff and the actual people of Harney County have asked them to leave and that they're the actual invaders here, so I don't think there's any chance you'll get them to admit, "The National Guard? You know what? You got us on that one. Welp, pack it up, boys." Anyone who opposes them is labeled a traitor and tried in their "Constitutional court", the Governor included, so any action by the National Guard or the Oregon State Defense Force will just be labeled as traitorous too.

Additionally:

The Oregon State Defense Force has no training facilities, and as such must recruit from prior military members in order to maintain a level of professional training, with the exception of professionals who may offer skills needed by the Oregon State Defense Force, who may be exempted from the prior service requirement. Soldiers in the ORSDF are required to attend drills with their unit to refresh and expand upon training, generally once a month

I'd rather they use the FBI HRT, who trains every day for this kind of thing, than have units that train once a month and might kick off something accidentally.
posted by bluecore at 7:43 AM on January 13, 2016


The Oregon State Defense Force has no training facilities, and as such must recruit from prior military members in order to maintain a level of professional training...

Unfortunately, a lot of "prior military members" tend to sympathize with "patriot" groups. I suspect activating the OSD might very well backfire.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:48 AM on January 13, 2016


Metafilter: do it in MetaTalk, where you already did

WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP SENDING US DICKS

The video was so dramatic! And that's the same #daddysworeanoath guy! I'm going to now imagine him tearfully writing a letter home to his children about how there was so many dicks.
posted by numaner at 8:31 AM on January 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


>Oh good, their "constitutional attorney" has shown up.

Haven't clicked on the link yet but I'm just guessing here it's not Obama ??
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:49 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm going to now imagine him tearfully writing a letter home to his children about how there was so many dicks.

Hopefully read in the style from Ken Burns' The Civil War.
posted by indubitable at 8:49 AM on January 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


What Do the Oregon Ranchers Really Believe?
A field guide to their radical, diverse—and often contradictory—ideologies.

Found from this New Yorker article The Far-Right Revival: A Thirty-Year War?

On a side note, while I was looking for this guy;
-Capt. Moroni"I didn't come here to shoot I came here to die."
-Gladiator at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
-Illegal ATV ride goes ahead "Country music played, and American flags, protest signs, and flags emblazoned with the slogan “Don't tread on me” were seen in abundance. One sign, held by Provo resident Dylan Anderson, proclaimed that federal lands should be transferred to the western states.
“I was in Bunkerville with Ryan (Bundy) under the freeway,” Anderson said. “I'm in it with him, this is my fight, too.”
-Couple at Recapture Canyon protest from this article.
-Same protest and captioned picture at bottom of this article.

I found this article about the prosecution approach taken there;
Defense calls just one witness in trial of Utah’s Recapture Canyon riders; closing arguments Friday
Much of the four-day trial's testimony has focused on the writings and interviews of the accused conspirators before the May 10 ATV rally — both in traditional media and on Facebook.

Prosecutors submitted into evidence a 2014 opinion piece Lyman wrote for the Deseret News before the protest. At the time, Lyman wrote on his Facebook page that he was disappointed the newspaper did not publish his invitation to the protest.

U.S. attorneys also used recordings from San Juan County Commission meetings to show Lyman talked about the protest as a public official.

And they included an interview with KUTV Channel 2, when Lyman told a reporter, "I'm only breaking the law from a federal standpoint."

But Thursday's testimony — nearly three hours — focused on Facebook postings about the ride and who "liked" which postings.

The prosecution's conspiracy case was built on an investigation by BLM special agent Brian Loftin, an expert in Internet communication and social media.

Loftin's testimony Thursday detailed numerous Facebook postings by Lyman and Wells, Wells' blog articles critical of BLM's Recapture management and an interview with Lyman that Wells posted on YouTube a few days before the ride.

The postings invited the public to participate in the ride on routes BLM closed to keep tires off Recapture's archaeological sites. Wells reposted one of Lyman's posts under a picture of Uncle Sam declaring, "We Need You!!!"


Perhaps letting them blather is the decided procedure, because nothing else seems to be organizing or ramping up.

One more;
Why don't feds try to oust Oregon occupiers?
Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI chief hostage negotiator, likened Ammon Bundy and his occupiers to one of the Republican presidential candidates. They have said they're camped out until the federal government releases two Harney County ranchers imprisoned for setting fires that damaged federal land and until the refuge land gets into local hands.

"The group out there is a little bit like Donald Trump," said Van Zandt, a former negotiator and supervisor in the bureau's Behavioral Science Unit during his 25-year career with the agency. "They do things for attention. They do things so the media pays attention."

posted by phoque at 9:30 AM on January 13, 2016 [6 favorites]




Wait, how do you worship both common law and the Constitution?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:59 AM on January 13, 2016


They don't worship common law. They worship "common law" (see the SPLC's guide).
posted by ogooglebar at 10:09 AM on January 13, 2016


This article is a fun read;

Bundyland Two devout Mormon brothers have created a fantasy camp for commandos in Eastern Oregon.
posted by phoque at 10:16 AM on January 13, 2016




The Oregon Militia Is Picking the Wrong Beef With the Feds

I get the feeling even if the Bundys know about how the agriculture corporations are driving ranchers out of business, they're happily rallying against the Fed for an eventual seat at the corporate table. They might be fools, but they probably know enough to try and get on a certain side, especially because where they are, that's usually the winning side.
posted by numaner at 11:25 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Amanda Preacher of Oregon Public Broadcasting tweets : "Occupiers said a "very important person" is going to make an announcement at 11:30"

That's 3 minutes from now people - who will it be? Get your guesses in early!
I'm guessing not Obama.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:27 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I like longshots, so I'mma go with Palin.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:29 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Palin sounds most probable. My big longshots are Donald Trump or Antonin Scalia.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:30 AM on January 13, 2016


I dunno, if I had to pick a famous nutjob with little to no understanding of how the constitution actually works, and who probably could use the publicity, I'd go with Kim Davis.
posted by tocts at 11:31 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think I had a tiny political orgasm just thinking about Palin being there tonycpsu
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:31 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course, these guys aren't exactly big on women who won't stay home and in the kitchen, so Palin or Davis may not be welcome.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:33 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]




From A.P. again - Occupier Brand Thornton blows a antelope horn (ed. a "Shofar") while reporters wait. "It's for God to intervene."

So it's God then - OK I didn't see that coming.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:35 AM on January 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Anna Maria Wilhelmina Hanna Sophia Riezinger-von Reitzenstein von Lettow-Verbeck, Private Attorney in Service to His Holiness Pope Francis"

She totally knows that guy from the Vanity Fair FPP from a couple days ago.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:38 AM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well 16 minutes after that first Shofar blow and no news about the "very important person's" announcement In fact, no news at all!

I'm forced to assume the whole Divine Intervention thing did not work out as they had expected.
this is why we Jews only blow those things once a year
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:43 AM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


As an aside, I appreciate that if I google "sovereign citizen insanity", the top link is "Top 10 tips for prosecuting a sovereign citizen", written for the Texas District & County Attorneys Association. Fun reading, if a tad depressing in that it has to exist at all.
posted by tocts at 11:44 AM on January 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


guys, was it the horn of Gondor

is Aragorn involved

posted by cortex at 11:46 AM on January 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


Wait, they're blowing the chauffeur and are pissed off about getting dildos? I'm so confused....
posted by mikelieman at 11:47 AM on January 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


A Wizard is never late, he arrives precisely when he means to.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:47 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why didn't Obama just send the eagles to Burns?
posted by drezdn at 11:50 AM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


SEND MORE SECOND BREAKFASTS
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:52 AM on January 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


PO-TA-TOES
posted by numaner at 11:53 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Occupier Brand Thornton blows a antelope horn (ed. a "Shofar") while reporters wait.

Man, if they carry on with that they are totally going to alienate their unicorn support.

CALLBACK
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:07 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


> is Aragorn involved

I need to know this because of reasons. Google Maps tells me I can be there by dinner.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:07 PM on January 13, 2016


They're taking the dildos to Isengard!
posted by tocts at 12:20 PM on January 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


It is the Last March of the Dongs!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:23 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's a magical dildo that glows blue when Feds are close.
posted by bluecore at 12:25 PM on January 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


One does simply walk into a federal building.
posted by cjelli at 12:28 PM on January 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Rancher upset that militants destroyed his fence
posted by humanfont at 12:34 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well is been an hour since they announced a special "very important" speaker and then blew the Shofar - and what has transpired? Nothing. Nada. Bupkis. Not a word from ANY local media sources or twitter on what the VIP said. Radio silence.

Well what did they think would happen after they announced that "It's for God to intervene." and then blew a religions icon? (please no catholic school jokes - this is serious! We Jews do this once a Season and it's by appointment only and we didn't set the appointment time!

What did they think would happen after they summoned the Divine just like that? Even with offerings of French Vanilla creamer, I'll tell you what - imagine somehow getting the phone number to the White House and then calling Obama and complaining about the drones. Imagine the consequences and then multiply that by a thousand!

But even if a Divine "Candygram for Mongo" moment did not happen what were these guys thinking? You can't just announce this and then - nothing ?? ! Have they no social media awareness? Are there no Geeks in Conservative Gilead?

Oh wait - there's one ...
posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:35 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


The VIP turned out to be Burns fire chief Chris Briles.
posted by phoque at 12:42 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


So disappoint :(
posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:43 PM on January 13, 2016


I'm also trying to figure out if he was retired ... so it may be even sadder.
posted by phoque at 12:44 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, congratulations, I guess, on finding the one local resident not telling them to fuck off.

I'm guessing he's a resident?
posted by Artw at 12:47 PM on January 13, 2016




Just stepping back and looking at this whole thing since it started - it's unbelievably surreal. While the majority of the US, the community, and ranchers do not support them, more people keep showing up, and weirder shit keeps happening.

We left the world of the rational a long time ago in this whole thing - They clearly are in their own little world where only their rules apply, and only their authority. There is literally nobody whose authority they will recognize who isn't part of this whole occupation.

I can't help but fear that this is really symptomatic of our present political culture within the states. The amping up of political rhetoric, vitriol, and lies has been feeding more energy into fringe groups for a while now - Look at the birther movement, for example. Still a thing - despite all evidence - and the man who founded it is presently the lead contender to be the Republican nominee for the top position in the country, with rabid support.

I'm not going to draw a direct line between these guys and the Republican party as a whole - I may not care for their politics, but I think that is a bit of a stretch. However, I am willing to draw a direct line between the Tea Party as a whole and this group. The whole sovereign citizen movement really just seems like a logical conclusion of their desire to eliminate government and taxes - Honestly, the only real big differences between the Tea Party and this movement is the whole thing about YOUR NAME vs Your: Name, and the insanity that theres some multimillion dollar deposit made when you are born that you have some access to. If you pull those two things out, then these guys have just jumped to the end-game, and otherwise aren't that different.

We have seen a rapid buildup of extremism in the public spotlight - and that's just what we see publicly, there's more seething and growing there that isn't so visible. The Bundy Ranch was one event, this event is another - and we can likely expect to see many more of these. I'd imagine that's guiding part of the response - the desire to temper further growth. I can understand how coming in aggressively could not only have a bad outcome here, but it could fuel further extremism within the US. Unfortunately, inaction - like we see here, and as we have seen at the Bundy ranch - plays into their beliefs and their goals as well. On one end is the fringe feeling like it has to fight a war, and on the other is the fringe feeling like they are achieving victory.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:55 PM on January 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Matt Taibbi weighs in
posted by AGameOfMoans at 1:07 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Republican party as a whole - I may not care for their politics, but I think that is a bit of a stretch. However, I am willing to draw a direct line between the Tea Party as a whole and this group.

I don't. There is no distinction between "the Tea Party" and "the Republican Party" and there never was. The "Tea Party" was always the same exact group of 24-33%ers that were rabid George W Bush supporters to the bitter end. The only thing that "the Tea Party" ever was was a rebranding to wipe off the stink of W from the Republican Party after his disastrous presidency. Did they take on a life of their own after that? Sure, but everything that came out of the "Tea Party" movement since its inception has direct roots in right wing, explicitly Republican, ideas and subtleties dating back to Goldwater, the John Birchers and looking back further, to Republican opposition to the New Deal.

This is a Republican created mess, and it always has been. They have explicitly and implicitly fed and nurtured the ideas these idiots stand for in service of electing Republican candidates, for decades. If they've lost hold of the tail of the tiger, let's remember who let the tiger out of the cage in the first place.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:12 PM on January 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sensible adult Republicans who smoke pipes and look like 50s dads and care about things like science or logic or concrete financial realities - Republicans in any way connected to reality, are pretty much a dead species now. It's a party of delusional crazyfucks now, as evidenced by their internal leadership struggles.

Maybe there could be a preserve for Rational Republicans them somewhere, but the Bundys would probably want to burn it down.
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Maybe there could be a preserve for Rational Republicans them somewhere, but the Bundys would probably want to burn it down.

Nah. They'd just file a dozen liens against the property.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:32 PM on January 13, 2016


I think a lot of blame for this can be laid on President Chester A Arthur
posted by numaner at 1:34 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Leave the A-Man out of this!
posted by Atreides at 1:46 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


What did they think would happen after they summoned the Divine just like that? Even with offerings of French Vanilla creamer, I'll tell you what - imagine somehow getting the phone number to the White House and then calling Obama and complaining about the drones. Imagine the consequences and then multiply that by a thousand!

This is what the great LORD says: Let the wildlife refuge go, so that the scientists and birders may use it. If you refuse to let it go, I will plague your whole ranch with dildos. The watering holes will teem with dildos. They will come up into your feedbins and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your ranch-hands and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The dildos will go up on you and your people and all your media coordinators.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:03 PM on January 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


has Matt started photoshopping dildos into pictures of these guys yet, btw?
posted by indubitable at 2:17 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


These guys are a bunch of jokers - the more you look into them the more absolutely laughable they are - laughable except the guns thing of course. These are the kind of guys who need to be told not to run with scissors.

So the new guy in town is a self appointed judge who is presumably going to ... judge stuff (???) ... with no legal school training what so ever. So I googled him up based on recent news articles (where is is totally doxxed correctly identified ) - and I will avoid the doxxing fiasco discussion here by keeping it nameless - so no worries. So it turns out this people's court wannabe "owns" a computer training business in Denver - an I.T. "business" without a single website or web presence whatsoever. His linked in profile says the last actual job he had - save for his "business" was in 1985. His bio on Linkedin credits himself with being the original designer of the PC bus at age 23. No really - it does. Ummm... no college listed. I know - I was as surprised as you are now.

Well he's a judge now and I guess he'll be judging stuff this week.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 2:33 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well he's a judge now and I guess he'll be judging stuff this week.

Great tumblr idea - pictures of "common law judges" judging stuff. Eat your heart out, Kim Jong-Un!
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:45 PM on January 13, 2016


Taibbi really nails it with this:

There's no doubt that these people are dangerous, but their ridiculousness is a huge part of who they are. Incidentally, this is true of groups like the actual al-Qaeda, too, led as they are by men in beards and Rick-Perry-style "smart glasses" who play at being religious scholars and intellectuals when in fact they are the kind of people who are afraid of cartoons and lie awake at night wondering if it's permissible to play chess with a menstruating woman. Just because a person is dangerous does not mean he's not also absurd.

It's more fun than getting a job, right? We interperet written law and religious text to our advantage! We vote ourselves rich! And never get sent to bed!

I can see only one difference between these folks and the folks who ride around the middle east in toyota hiluxes with semi-automatics akimbo: in the middle east, the kids in the truck are in their teens and 20's.
posted by valkane at 2:58 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Here's further info about the visiting judge (it's from the Oregonian, which might make it journalism, but if this is too doxxy for whatever reason the mods are welcome to delete this).
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:59 PM on January 13, 2016


They have a website now ! Its called "Defend Your Base" (yes,really) and it's coded by that ISIS supporter guy whom the other Constitutional Defrauders Defenders have no problem with for some reason.

Now you will think it is a parody - because it's so very bad - but it is not. It is a real thing. Direct from the compound as it were. The only thing missing on that train wreck of a site are the flaming skulls gifs from 1999 but from the looks of things that should be in there by tomorrow.

One of the three links on the main page is " List of Serious Injustice" .
Such Patriotism. So Constitutional.
also all your base belong to us - yeah I went there
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:21 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


al-Qaeda means The Base. We call that one Muad'Dib.
posted by valkane at 3:26 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Buy Book!
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:27 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, the "list of serious injustice" consists of unexplained links to the Wikipedia pages for Mark Rich and Jeffery Epstein, an International Business Times story about Israeli complaints over US weapon sales to Saudi Arabia, and a youtube video about the sinking of the USS Liberty during the 6 Day War. No list of charges, no demands, no explanation of how any of those things remotely relates to federal land use policies.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:31 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


there's a BP oil disaster quality to this, in that it's an expression of toxicity that must be stopped but nobody can figure out quite how
posted by angrycat at 3:32 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Now you will think it is a parody - because it's so very bad - but it is not. It is a real thing. Direct from the compound as it were. The only thing missing on that train wreck of a site are the flaming skulls gifs from 1999 but from the looks of things that should be in there by tomorrow.

Camo with camo trimmings and a cowboy with packhorse silhouetted with an American flag. It is so manly my neatly trimmed beard just grew a second even more neatly trimed beard.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:46 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


the "send snacks" flag has been updated
posted by burgerrr at 3:52 PM on January 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


They have a website now !

This must be fake.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:55 PM on January 13, 2016


It's not - that's the very best part !
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:58 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I like the quote by nobody at the bottom.
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on January 13, 2016


I like that the news feed includes headlines like "Oregon Militiamen Appear To Be Preparing To Put Local Officials On ‘Trial’"
posted by Vibrissa at 4:10 PM on January 13, 2016


"World of Tanks"? No wonder Truckasaurus is so mad.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:16 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reality TV Terrorism.

Edit: Like Trailer Park Boys, except in an office building. And with guns instead of grass.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:08 PM on January 13, 2016


> the more you look into them the more absolutely laughable they are - laughable except the guns thing of course.

You will hear some gun owners say that an armed society leads to a mutually respectful society, or a polite society. I think that some people like to carry in order to stop the sort of laughter at them that you reference. It forces a form of silence that they like to call respect or politeness, when it really is just the fear from others that they may be shot for saying or doing something they don't like.

I also think it's the only reason that some of these guys are listened to at all... There's an implied threat when someone demands to have a voice or your time while carrying a weapon. Not the threat that they are about to use it, but that they may at any moment with little notice.

Something tells me that wasn't the goal of the 2nd amendment...
posted by MysticMCJ at 5:30 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Cute, they registered their domain to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
posted by MysticMCJ at 5:31 PM on January 13, 2016




I also think it's the only reason that some of these guys are listened to at all...

Occupy Wall Street and the many Black Lives Matter (before and after it was called that) protests didn't include weapons, and look where it got them. And other protests, too. Remember this guy? He's not at Malheur with his pepper spray.
posted by hippybear at 5:39 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


My new insane plan involves some a Go Pros, DJ Phantom drones,bear spray, David Bowie's "I'm afraid of Americans" and strobe lights.
posted by humanfont at 5:54 PM on January 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


No Dildos? Plan denied !
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:05 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


By the way PopeHat as an incredibly informative summary of the arson legal proceedings against the Hammonds - ostensibly what this whole idiocy was first about.
I found the above link just a few minutes ago while getting into a "discussion" with someone who had obviously been watching Faux News too much.

Highlights of the discussion :
Him: "But they never were granted a jury during the appeal!"
Me: {sigh}
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:27 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


OPB posted this awesome video of the refuge during more normal times. (Facebook video link)
posted by humanfont at 8:07 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


In my facebook today is a story about a 76 year old ex high school wrestling coach/birder who went out to the refuge to check on some young owls. He lives in Burns. He was confronted by some fat, camo guy with a gun who told him to get on the ground, and the old birder said no, the camo guy busted a move and the elderly birder left him groaning on the ground and went to check on the owlets. Then he went home.

I think it would be amazing to put up free cattle signs over along the Bundy ranch in Nevada. Since he isn't paying grazing fees, aren't the cattle property of the American people anyway?
posted by Oyéah at 8:21 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


the camo guy busted a move

Wait - did he break his move all by himself or did the elderly birder knee him in the crotch?
posted by Going To Maine at 8:28 PM on January 13, 2016


79-Year-Old Bird Watcher Takes Down Oregon Militant With Old High School Wrestling Move (it is satire but at this point it can be hard to tell)

Also the fire chief who resigned in protest today retired in 2006.
posted by phoque at 8:29 PM on January 13, 2016


(it is satire

Thanks, I thought so but given the general nuttiness i wasn't 100% sure. It was just a little too perfect, though .
posted by Miko at 8:32 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cute, they registered their domain to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Perhaps a little too cute. The Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act as part of the Intellectual Property Protection in Courts Administration Act provides stiff penalties for providing false domain name registration information. It adds a new criminal provision, 18 USCA Sect 3559 (2000 & Supp 2004), that requires judges to double, or boost by seven years, the sentence for a felony offense that involves the use of a falsely registered Internet domain name.

I suppose it matters what they do with their domain and if it involves a felony.
posted by JackFlash at 8:42 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


David Fry now says he's not pro-ISIS . This is the guy who had holocaust denial stuff all over his web presence and who built the (weirdly tank video infested) website for the lunatics.
posted by Death and Gravity at 8:44 PM on January 13, 2016


Local PDX paper Willamette Week joined with Oregon Public Broadcasting to write an article out about Bundyland.

I don't think I realized that parts of Oregon were part of the old proposed state of Deseret. Sadly, article does not include any mention of the bags of dicks they've received, nor the 55-gallon drum of lube...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:06 PM on January 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Scott Carrier has an interview with one of the Bundy gang: “Absolutely, God Told Us To Do This”
posted by Going To Maine at 9:19 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ryan Bundy: Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one AR-15 semi-automatic-rifle; two boxes of ammunition; blue tarp; Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer, French Vanilla, 16 oz.; pocket constitution; pocket bible; pocket book of mormon; folded 8.5x11 sheet of office paper diagramming connections between International Zionism and Bureau of Land Management courtesy webude; camouflage-print winter coat; camouflage-print winter pants; cowboy hat; 15 dildos express shipped courtesy Amazon; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings; 55-gallon drum of personal lubricant. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:47 PM on January 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


He said he came to the refuge from his home outside Cincinnati while his parents were on vacation in Costa Rica. He said they will return home in about a week.

I sort of love the way OPB just leaves the bit about his parents as an easter egg for the attentive reader.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:35 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act as part of the Intellectual Property Protection in Courts Administration Act provides stiff penalties for providing false domain name registration information. It adds a new criminal provision, 18 USCA Sect 3559 (2000 & Supp 2004), that requires judges to double, or boost by seven years, the sentence for a felony offense that involves the use of a falsely registered Internet domain name.

That's highly problematic. A felony for trying to have an anonymous domain?

Also, having automatic multipliers to sentences, without judicial review is highly concerning. America needs to remove people from prison, not add them.

Don't get me wrong, the armed takeover of a building (federal or not) should have some jailtime associated with it.

Anonymously creating a domain should not be a felony.
posted by el io at 10:51 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's highly problematic. A felony for trying to have an anonymous domain?

No. For using it in the commission of a felony crime.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


If I read it correctly, I think false registration in of itself isn't penalized - only if the domain is used in a felony offense. This one is new to me as well and rather surprising. I'll have to dig some.
posted by MysticMCJ at 11:02 PM on January 13, 2016


There is a chat link about to go up on that web site. It's not yet live - only a placeholder link that just went up but we can possibly expect chat real soon now.

I don't see what could possibly go hilariously wrong here.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:15 PM on January 13, 2016


A felony for trying to have an anonymous domain?

As stated, it is a penalty for using a fictitious domain registration to commit a felony. It was primarily designed for spammers and fishers and such.

What is unclear is if you used an illegal domain to solicit money or contributions to advance a felony crime would be covered. For example asking for food and money donations so that you can steal a federal excavator to tear down fences.
posted by JackFlash at 11:42 PM on January 13, 2016


A felony for trying to have an anonymous domain?

That is not at all what is going on here, the choice of address is extremely symbolic.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:48 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking to OPB Wednesday, Fry identified his personal religious affiliation as Messianic Judaism

http://www.opb.org/news/series/burns-oregon-standoff-bundy-militia-news-updates/oregon-militant-website-creator-david-fry-im-not-isis/
Oh, fuck this fucking shit and every fucking fuck involved...
posted by mikelieman at 12:46 AM on January 14, 2016


That is not at all what is going on here, the choice of address is extremely symbolic.

Sure as hell violates ICANN rules, but when you're willing to do federal time for felony charges, I guess being honest in your domain registrations isn't to be expected...

https://archive.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp-rules-24oct99.htm
posted by mikelieman at 12:57 AM on January 14, 2016


>Fry identified his personal religious affiliation as Messianic Judaism

"Messianic Judaism" is to actual Judaism as bologna is to kosher.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 1:05 AM on January 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


mikelieman: “I guess being honest in your domain registrations isn't to be expected...”
Yeah? I'm not sure I've ever used a real address. I used 1060 W. Addison for years. Now I just pay the protection money.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:19 AM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


a box and a stick and a string and a bear: He said he came to the refuge from his home outside Cincinnati while his parents were on vacation in Costa Rica. He said they will return home in about a week.

I can't help but imagine his poor parents on their vacation, just trying to have one week of peace and quiet away from their son's conspiracy theories, and then making the mistake of turning on the news. (long sigh) "David's done it again. He's joined another terrorist group."
posted by bluecore at 4:42 AM on January 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


"At least he's not blowing his money on Magic: The Gathering cards again."
posted by drezdn at 4:53 AM on January 14, 2016 [9 favorites]




"...why the balls are they even asking?" asked a bewildered Harney County employee.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:06 AM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


ember Chris Briels, a retired Burns fire chief who held a part-time position acting as the county fire marshal, said he had resigned that post over the county's refusal to host the meeting.

"I will not work for government or a person that I do not believe in or have faith in," Briels said, joining the occupiers at a Wednesday news briefing at the refuge. "I will not work for somebody that I don't trust."


You know, I rather suspect they are better off without a pro-arson fire marshall.
posted by Artw at 7:14 AM on January 14, 2016 [20 favorites]




Oregon standoff: Harney County won't host community meeting with Bundy as headliner

Anyone think the Yeehadists just might come in and occupy the facility and hold their meeting anyway?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:54 AM on January 14, 2016


Anyone think the Yeehadists just might come in and occupy the facility and hold their meeting anyway?

C'mon everyone, gun-toting yeehadists have taken over the community center and invited us all to a meeting! We better go see what it's all about, right?
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:21 AM on January 14, 2016


Going out on a limb here and saying that if a bunch of unmoored militiamen from different states moved in and occupied local public spaces by force, I might not consider them as 'community' immediately, either.
posted by newdaddy at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2016


White House petition - Arrest Ammon Bundy and the armed occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge
posted by zakur at 9:43 AM on January 14, 2016


C'mon everyone, gun-toting yeehadists have taken over the community center and invited us all to a meeting! We better go see what it's all about, right?

This sounds like the elevator pitch for a shitty re-make of Over the Edge.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:50 AM on January 14, 2016


Wasn't there some discussion upthread about how the "yeehadist" jokes were kind of shitty to rural Americans and Muslims?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:08 AM on January 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also, according to the Oregonian, the jailed rancher has ordered the militia off his land, and has repaired the fence, with his own resources. That must rustle the collective militia rhubarb.
posted by Oyéah at 10:11 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Different rancher than the Hammonds Oyeah. But still demonstrates that the local ranchers don't agree with the occupation.
posted by humanfont at 11:14 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Couple of comments deleted; let's ease back on the yeehadi/y'allqueda thing, we've recently had a MeTa about not making lazy jibes at southerners/rural folks, plus the joke's been made a dozen times and it doesn't need to become a further point of contention in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:41 AM on January 14, 2016 [6 favorites]




Oh good heavens, the comments on that YouTube.
posted by mochapickle at 11:56 AM on January 14, 2016


Oh good heavens, the comments on that YouTube.

Scary, isn't it? Try not to think about how they very well might be your neighbor.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:48 PM on January 14, 2016


I'm in Colorado Springs, so they probably are!
posted by mochapickle at 12:49 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked the part where Ammon Bundy says, "the only reason we're here is because of our love for you." And I liked the way the shadow of his hat covered his eyes in the video. His nose is a white blob marking every word he utters. "We know that we're very close to uncovering some really deep things."
posted by sneebler at 12:51 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Their "internet chat room" - now a Disqus forum is everything you could imagine. Hundreds of posts berating the group and the single "mod" being about as lost with issues of social media and public relations as a John McCain at CES. At one point he openly suggests hanging President Obama. Elsewhere, in answer to a question regarding the unasked for destruction of the rancher's fence, he replies, "Shut up and eat your Fukushima!" Oh and the memes have arrived as well on that forum.

Comedy Gold if you are an optimist - a nightmare if not.

AT this point I really think they should be arrested for their own protection before a local mob starts forming which I seriously do not think is out of the question considering how many local people they are making very angry.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:58 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


"We know that we're very close to uncovering some really deep things."

MS Paint diagrams to follow.
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on January 14, 2016 [6 favorites]




I'm picturing the U.S. Attorney's office with one of those digital "National Debt" counters up on the wall except for jail time and watching it tick over whenever they commit yet another felony.
posted by JackFlash at 5:06 PM on January 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


According to NPR, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens at the Burns theatre, the only moviehouse in over a hundred miles, at the same time these clowns are holding their "town hall meeting". LOL
posted by Windopaene at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


That's fantastic! More on that here.

Apparently the theater owner has been playing the older Star Wars movies all week with free admission.
posted by mochapickle at 7:45 PM on January 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


And big city folk ridicule small town life. I wish I'd had that offered where I live!
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


And big city folk ridicule small town life.

Really? Where?
posted by Anoplura at 8:11 PM on January 14, 2016


In every city since the dawn of civilization. (And right back in the other direction)
posted by Drinky Die at 8:20 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]




Really? Where?

Small town ridicule and flyover country hate is a staple of MetaFilter. Hang out here much?
posted by hippybear at 8:25 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did the Republican Presidential hopefuls get a single question in tonight's debate on how they would deal with the situation?
posted by humanfont at 8:31 PM on January 14, 2016


Trump campaign member praises Oregon wildlife refuge occupation - appears to be somewhat unofficial.
posted by Artw at 8:34 PM on January 14, 2016


Heavily Armed Oregon Patriots Lied about Actual Military Combat Service
The heavily armed protestors strutting around dressed in military camouflage in Oregon have one thing in common: many have lied about their service in the U.S. military, falsified combat duty service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lied about being captured, held as POW’s, and being wounded in battle, according to official U.S. military documents and veteran groups who investigate false military service.
posted by phoque at 8:40 PM on January 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Did the Republican Presidential hopefuls get a single question in tonight's debate on how they would deal with the situation?

I missed the first half hour, but it certainly didn't pop up in the remaining two hours.
posted by mochapickle at 8:41 PM on January 14, 2016




No, there was no mention of this at the debate. To be fair, Obama ignored it in the SOTU as well.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:45 PM on January 14, 2016


To be fair, he's not interviewing for a job.
posted by ctmf at 9:55 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, I finally get it. This is a satire. It's satire as performance art. Well done!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 PM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Shut up and eat your Fukushima!"

What does this even mean?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:27 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, if the Disqus mod is yelling about Fukuskima, the mod must be the Hitler/Daesh fan kid who's parents are in Costa Rica, right?
posted by blueberry at 10:31 PM on January 14, 2016


“Shut up and eat your Fukushima!”

What does this even mean?

It means that for a die-hard Patriot, he is surprisingly bad at communicating in his mother tongue.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:33 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Elsewhere, in answer to a question regarding the unasked for destruction of the rancher's fence, he replies, "Shut up and eat your Fukushima!"

Probably a reference to stuff like this. The anti-nuke crowd has been promoting radiation panic since the day the news about the problems at the plant started.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:04 PM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


DRINKY DIE - That sort of thing is exactly what he is talking about. His Google+ page is a hotbed of literal insanity. He cleaned it up but only to about 2 months ago. Prior to that it is still extremely insane.

His spelling and modding skills are getting progressively worse - he's been doing this for about 12ish hours now.

In a way it's a good thing that he is going to be caught and sentenced for this because his early rants are exactly like those of the sad people you hear about after they had done mass shootings. The other ranchers are "merely" deluded blowhards most of whom probably have their escape plan ready. But this kid - this "mod" - I get the distinct impression that he entirely believes all of it.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:51 PM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was on the fence about sending in the SWAT team, but if they're using disqus and google+, I don't think we have any choice.
posted by ryanrs at 2:18 AM on January 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile in other News.
Panning for a cross-country march to “restore America” — which is related to the Oregon nature preserve standoff — appears to have hit a snag when one of its organizers shot the other co-founder Monday afternoon during a drunken argument over a gun.
Sheriff’s deputies in Grayson County, Texas, have not released details about the fatal shooting, but social media posts by right-wing “patriots” associated with militants occupying an Oregon nature preserve identified the victim and shooter as the organizers of the Paul Revere 2016 Final March To Restore America.

posted by adamvasco at 7:36 AM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Limping Across America !"
posted by AGameOfMoans at 7:58 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


He's not going to be limping if it was a fatal shooting. Maybe it could be a "Wake Across America".
posted by five fresh fish at 8:16 AM on January 15, 2016


"Get Out of My Way 'Merica ! "
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:19 AM on January 15, 2016


The Crackpot Alternative Legal System That Threatens To Escalate The Oregon Standoff (nothing that hasn't been conveyed in previous links posted here, but a good one-link primer to send to others)
posted by bluecore at 9:53 AM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


For this federal-judge: David-Wynn: Miller’s-correction of the vassalees-fiction-syntax-grammar-pleadings is with the correction-participation-claim of this babble-indictment-evidence and: bad-probation-syntax=grammar-evidence. (Why did the vassalees do this case with a void-communications?) For the void-drogue-law, void-oath of an office, void-judge’s-oath, void-docking-court-house-vessel in the Washington-state-dry-dock and: void-original-lodial-land-title.

Glossolalia law.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]




"Before white man came, so to speak, there was nothing to keep cattle from tromping on those things," Bundy said.

Though some countries had domesticated cattle 10,000 years ago, the animals came to the United States with European settlers.

"We also recognize that the Native Americans had the claim to the land, but they lost that claim," Bundy said. "There are things to learn from cultures of the past, but the current culture is the most important."


So... they claim that because there was some ranching in the area before the Refuge was established, the Refuge needs to be de-established and the area used for ranching and mining again.

But the people who really pre-date the Refuge, who have evidence of occupation going back thousands of years? They "lost that claim". They're irrelevant.

Fuck you, asshole, and the four-by you rode in on.
posted by suelac at 11:56 AM on January 15, 2016 [23 favorites]


Hey, we genocided this land fair and square
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:04 PM on January 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Honestly, bringing up the specter of Native Americans in these incidents always rubs me the wrong way. We’re almost all living on land that wasn’t fairly claimed from the natives. Are we proposing that we ourselves are going to vacate the country? If someone challenged your claim to your house because it had at one time belonged to the natives, would you give up your property?
posted by Going To Maine at 12:11 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I live in Albany, NY, so the title here is pretty clear back to the Patroon's purchase from the Mahicans, but being Jewish this issue has actual relevance in say, Jerusalem...
posted by mikelieman at 12:17 PM on January 15, 2016


So, when's the community meeting?
posted by newdaddy at 12:38 PM on January 15, 2016


I really, really hope the Feds are playing a devious long-game here, and actually have a concrete plan for ending this, and it's all going according to said plan.

The silence from anyone in authority is a bit depressing. It makes me fear they have no earthly clue how to end this silliness. Beyond a commando raid, of course.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:41 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oregon militia has 4,000 artifacts in the building they're occupying.

This latest revelation is a very big deal. It is not the artifacts in the building that are at risk. It is the thousands of artifacts still in the field that are recorded on the maps.

The southwest has thousands of locations of native antiquities and archaeological sites on federal land and their recorded locations are carefully kept secret by federal authorities to prevent looting and deliberate destruction. From this article it seems that the Bundys now have access to those secret documents. Given that there is free movement of people in and out of the compound, there is nothing preventing the Bundys from xeroxing those secret maps and distributing them.

Pay no attention to Ammon Bundy's denial of interest in these artifact locations. They are very interested in them because antiquities are one of the reasons certain federal lands are closed to vehicles. Ryan Bundy was involved in the Recapture Canyon incident in 2014 in which they deliberately staged a confrontation and rode their ATVs onto land that was closed to motorized vehicles to prevent damage to archaeological sites.

So the Bundys have a demonstrated interest in looting and destroying archaeological sites in order to open up roadless areas to them. No antiquities, then no longer a reason to prevent vehicle access. Copying and distributing these carefully guarded maps could result in the destruction of thousands of archaeological sites in the West.
posted by JackFlash at 12:58 PM on January 15, 2016 [24 favorites]


Ugggh.
posted by mochapickle at 1:08 PM on January 15, 2016


Honestly, bringing up the specter of Native Americans in these incidents always rubs me the wrong way

Well, it's not like real life non-ghostly Native Americans haven't been pretty clear in wanting these guys to fuck off.
posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on January 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


Oregon militia has 4,000 artifacts in the building they're occupying.

Which really now explains why the Feds have no interest in causing a building fire (tear gas) or a huge shoot out. It's not the merely Bundy's they are attempting to preserve.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 1:12 PM on January 15, 2016


bringing up the specter of Native Americans

The Burns Paiute Tribe is hardly a specter. They're right there. They have an interest in the area, it's their ancestral lands, and the FWS and BLM and other federal agencies have been and continue to work with them to respect their connection to the landscape, to grant them access for ceremonial and traditional uses, and to protect pre-European sites.

Whereas I bet Bundy & his ilk are absolutely going to be looting everything they can get their dirty hands on, just the same as ISIS is in the Middle East. ISIS is funding their operations with the sale of oil, and the sale of artifacts -- especially artifacts that predate Islam, because they don't like the idea of anything that predates Islam.

And I don't think it's a big stretch to assume that these Bundyites/sovereign citizens/white supremacists have a similar attitude about pre-European cultural history. They don't want proof that someone else has a prior claim, after all -- how better to deal with that than to make money off destroying the proof?
posted by suelac at 1:12 PM on January 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


Someone I know in Burns says some of the militia guys have been trying to provoke a confrontation today. For everyone's sake I hope it fails, or that it's just the routine and he is exaggerating. He has been saying for days that the town is completely on edge and people expect violence.

I can understand the Feds taking a hands off approach to the refuge buildings, but it is unbelievable what impacts and threats they are allowing to the local residents.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:14 PM on January 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Homeland Security Looked Past Antigovernment Movement, Ex-Analyst Says

Sagebrush Rebellion Politics
But it’s also worth noting that people like the Bundys and Hammonds are also the extremist wing of a huge amount of sentiment among whites in the rural West. The Hammonds and many others like them in the rural West have created a history that they are the rightful occupiers of land that they own. This is the core of the Sagebrush Rebellion. Never mind that they don’t own very much of that land–it’s federal land. Never mind that their lifestyle on the land of running cattle, often in ecologically sensitive places, has one of this nation’s biggest forms of welfare for more than a century. And of course never mind that the the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is on stolen Paiute land. This is their land. These people see themselves as the descendants of pioneers, carving a living out of a hard landscape. That project always had a complicated relationship with the government. The ancestors of the Hammonds and of my family wanted the government to kick out Indians, provide cheap land, and get their crops to market. They also wanted absolutely no regulation on their activities and assumed that even after the establishment of agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, that government should work for the ranchers and loggers. And for most of their history, those agencies did, often leading to severe environmental degradation.
In Oregon, Myth Mixes With Anger
These complaints contain elements of truth: Rural communities in the West are poorer than urban communities, and environmental protections enacted since the 1980s have reduced grazing on federal lands. But locals told an interesting version of this history. Before the federal agencies came, they said, we lived in paradise. The grass was thick, the water was abundant and the towns were thriving. We were independent, working out our problems. When the feds came, they stole our resources, and our economies collapsed.

The implication was clear: If they got rid of the federal government, they’d have control over their land and lives again.

This version of history bears little resemblance to the actual past.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:35 PM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


They've called off announcing how they'll leave because they were n't allowed to use a public venue - obviously they couldn't just say they were leaving without a big show. Or, you know, they were never going to leave anyway.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]




More info: "Kenneth Medenbach, 62, of Crescent, Oregon, is accused of unauthorized use of vehicle - driving a refuge rig to Safeway in town."
posted by bluecore at 2:27 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


He drove it to the Safeway in town.

Seems pretty complacent or oblivious or both.
posted by phoque at 2:28 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


A fellow by the same name got into some hot water 20 years ago after building a cabin on federal land in LaPine, which is just up the road from Crescent.
posted by mochapickle at 2:39 PM on January 15, 2016






Budda aka "Fluffy Unicorn" just got busted in Arizona as well - FYI
posted by AGameOfMoans at 2:50 PM on January 15, 2016


looks like electrocution waiting to happen

Absolutely needs "Yakkity-Sax" music
posted by AGameOfMoans at 2:53 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Armed Oregon Occupiers Scrub Meeting With Town, Tell FBI to Leave

I have a feeling that they are on the verge of escalation, and whatever goes down next we're going to be hearing a lot about how they were trying to be reasonable but their hands were forced etc, etc, etc...
posted by Artw at 3:12 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


... told reporters Friday that Bundy is preparing a PowerPoint presentation.

That alone deserves serious jail time.
posted by JackFlash at 3:24 PM on January 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


Anti-Defamation League takes a look at the occupation, the occupiers and their ideology.
Anatomy of a Standoff; The Occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
(PDF)
posted by phoque at 3:26 PM on January 15, 2016


Taking a govt vehicle to the store probably isn't theft, right? Is there a federal joyriding statute?
posted by ryanrs at 3:28 PM on January 15, 2016


The hilarity level of their disqus forum is exponentially increasing. Apparently the mod hasn't been seen or heard from for some time now. He mentioned fears yesterday in an Oregonian interview that he was going to be kicked out of the compound. He also mentioned that he was running the whole show from his cell phone data plan so possibly - out of minutes??
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:33 PM on January 15, 2016


FBI to Malheur Militia: You’re Free to Travel
I met LaVoy Finicum in Cedar City, Utah yesterday (1/13/16) when I thought he was in Oregon engaged in an armed occupation of a federal facility at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

How could this be?

posted by phoque at 3:33 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


It appears that the Disqus forum inexplicably did not work out as planned so the mod deleted it. Who could have predicted that one ?

The 24 hours of freedom experiment in online media appears to have failed.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:18 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]




Medenbach must be incredible at Fallout 4
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:19 PM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Medenbach at home
posted by phoque at 4:22 PM on January 15, 2016




The OPB/WW article was interesting. The Feds have everything ready and can move in at any time. The only thing they arnt doing is blockading the facility.
posted by humanfont at 4:40 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looking like one of them got picked up in one of the stolen vehicles

Haven't found any other confirmation yet, but digging.
posted by Archelaus at 4:44 PM on January 15, 2016




The fact that they arrested Medenbach for stealing the pickup truck is interesting.

The big problem with Waco and Ruby Ridge is that not only was there a bloodbath, as far as a lot of people were concerned it wasn't clear that actual crimes were being committed to justify the bloodbath.

I think the Feds know there is a strong possibility of this all going pear-shaped too, but I think they are making sure that if it happens, when it happens nobody will be in any doubt whose fault it is or that it really was necessary. If that means waiting for the nutjobs to get violent first, they are willing to do that. This may explain why nothing was ever done about the first Bundy standoff. It broke up more or less peacefully leaving the original status quo, and most of the documented crimes are of the using federal resources and pointing guns at the wrong people variety, which some people don't think are "real crimes."

On the other hand driving a truck that doesn't belong to you without permission is a pretty unambiguous felony and since the guy was alone and getting groceries taking him in wasn't a big deal. I think this points strongly to what the Feds are willing to do. There isn't a jury in the US that will nullify car theft because of patriot blather. The driver of the second vehicle probably realized this and I suspect it was meant as a deliberate provocation that is probably sending a bit of a shock wave through the militant group since they were probably getting used to the idea that they could do whatever they wanted. Surprise, fuckers.

As for generally letting the idiots come and go, the moment they start taking people in at random the rest are going to go into siege mode, and then you really will have Waco slash Ruby Ridge all over again -- OK not quite the same because those were really private property and not an occupation of a government facility, but it still means you're in almost inevitable firefight territory with women and kids on the inside.

It's kind of an open question how long this could go on. On the one hand they could play the Feds along almost forever by keeping cool. But on the other these people seem really stupid, and there is a lot of friction within the group. Probably the best case scenario the LEO's are really hoping for is for them to start shooting at each other so the LEO's can come in and salvage the situation without blame.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:59 PM on January 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


He was arrested in the Safeway parking lot in one vehicle bearing federal government license plates. A second federal vehicle was parked next to him, but the man police suspect of driving that into town already had gone into the grocery before police arrived.

I can't discern from this if the police are incompetent or if the journalist is pulling our legs. Couldn't the police have tracked the man suspected of driving the second vehicle into the store? Or waited for when he came out?
posted by newdaddy at 5:01 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


This photo of Medenbach's Anti-BLM house includes his letter explaining his position and concludes;

And on behalf of the Citizens of Oregon, I, Kenneth Medenbach, take possession of the south 1/2 of Section 35, Township 34 South, Range 8 West, Willamette, Meridian, by adverse possession.
posted by phoque at 5:13 PM on January 15, 2016


Abracadabra! Make it so!
posted by indubitable at 5:25 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Aaaaand the cherry on top: Medenbach vs USA (his Google+ site), in which he claims that the Ninth Circuit has no jurisdiction over him, etc.
posted by mochapickle at 5:30 PM on January 15, 2016


Meanwhile, since November he's been scheduled for a court date for those Medford charges on 1/19.
posted by mochapickle at 5:32 PM on January 15, 2016


“Refuge of Scoundrels,” Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station, 15 January 2016
[I]f civilization does not protect the weak from the ruthless, then what damned good is it?

Those squatting in Malheur are not patriots. They are not soldiers. They are not citizens. They are an armed rabble of selfish malcontents.

They are nothing but bums with guns.

And that too is an American tradition, this ongoing lunatic tolerance for sedition in our own midst.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:43 PM on January 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Law enforcement has also established a command center in the middle of Burns.

They’ve taken over school district and county buildings, and fenced off two city blocks. The entrances are guarded 24 hours a day, and tall security lights shine on the property at night.
Fight fire with fire?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:12 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


My guess as to why the second guy "got away" is that the feds told the sheriff who they wanted to get arrested. I'm sure the feds know every detail of each of these guys lives and they know who looks most like a lunatic when their record gets splashed all over the news. Also, if you're going to fuck with a paranoid group that likely has a justified fear of federal informants in their midst all you have to do is arrest one guy and let another one go.
posted by rdr at 6:28 PM on January 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Or nobody wanted to fuck around with an armed maniac in a store full of people.
posted by Artw at 6:38 PM on January 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Really, what's the big difference between getting to live rent-free in BLM facilities and driving BLM vehicles? Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. And they're taxpayers, right? So they should have access to things that they (loosely, indirectly) paid for, right? Kind of like how government photos and research are in the public domain, ya know. {/hamburger}
posted by filthy light thief at 7:33 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Really, what's the big difference between getting to live rent-free in BLM facilities and driving BLM vehicles?

I'm guessing we're seeing the beginning of the end of the occupation here. I'd expect more arrests in the near future.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:07 PM on January 15, 2016


I'm guessing we're seeing the beginning of the end of the occupation here. I'd expect more arrests in the near future.

Especially arrests of people, one by one, who are picked up away from the refuge buildings for open warrants or doing dumb-ass things like driving a stolen truck.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:17 PM on January 15, 2016


I’m kind of confused; where do we send old dildos to help the cause? Asking for a friend.
posted by bongo_x at 8:26 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ok new plan. Everyone stop sending them dildos. Start sending them poppy seeds, drain cleaner, sudafed, and lab equipment. Then tip off the DEA that they are setting up a drug lab.
posted by humanfont at 8:34 PM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't know why anyone thinks one guy being arrested is somehow the beginning of the end or the feds cracking down. He was arrested by OSP for car theft and an outstanding warrant from another state. The feds may well have wanted to not be seen as involved, but for whatever reason, no feds were involved that anyone has confirmed.

It's the damndest thing. At some point the US federal government has got to come to terms with the issue of where "being smart to avoid making martyrs out of these guys" runs into the very widespread perception among millions of Americans that they are being intimidated into non-responsiveness, that the rule of law doesn't apply to armed white men, and that armed takeover gets you lots of publicity and free snacks and dildos and all and a huge platform for your subversive message with no consequences. Yeah people are laughing at them. But not in their circles of influence, however limited. There they are seen as heroes who succeed in avoiding martyrdom by being armed and tough and ideologically correct. In other words, the line between ignoring them and emboldening them feels like it was crossed quite some time ago.

I know many in the environmentalist community are beginning to lose faith that this is a "strategy" by the feds, of containment or waiting them out or whatever. It looks and smells like fear. Allowing them to have power and food and reinforcements and trips into town makes no sense. Especially if you don't arrest every single one who can be isolated away from the standoff at the first opportunity.

In my view, having encountered a few of these types in my life, there's not much percentage to be gained in sparing them the martyrdom they seek. The feds won't come of as more enlightened or receptive to rational engagement. If they walk away, they won't be humiliated, they will have won. And every day they stand there holding this ground their stature grows within their community of nutballs.

There are so many non-lethal ways to suppress this efficiently, beginning with the obvious idea of freezing and starving them the hell out of there. But the lack of a public statement of policy and at least warning that a price will be paid, even from the Attorney General or Homeland Security or the FBI, is getting to be so much bullshit.

The actual American people who actually own that land and actually have an economic and political interest in seeing it maintained and controlled as a bird sanctuary far outnumber the "ranchers" who claim an interest. So do the Paiutes, for that matter. The occupiers' claim is illegitimate for a fact and humoring it is bullshit too; they do not speak for any significant number of "the American people," and someone in authority ought to at least stand up on TV, say so, and point a warning finger at them with a deadline ultimatum after which they will be without food, water, power, or the ability to set one foot out the front door without being taken down by a non-lethal round, an LRAD, or a firehose or an annoyed Alsatian or three wearing body armor.

The lack of any high level federal public response is so dismaying. And the staties busting one dude in a parking lot for driving a reserve truck is bullshit. They didn't even get the other guy driving the other reserve truck.

Bullshit.
posted by spitbull at 8:48 AM on January 16, 2016 [32 favorites]


Poll shows majority of westerners in seven states oppose giving each state control over their BLM lands. The poll was done previous to the Bundy invasion, but there are now social media posts making the rounds which claim that most westerners favor taking control of BLM land, which is not true except in Utah by a narrow margin.
posted by Brian B. at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2016




That is not even true in Utah. Whatever slanted poll that was. Utahans love their wilderness and do not want the deserts full of smog and oil wells.
posted by Oyéah at 9:27 AM on January 16, 2016


That is not even true in Utah. Whatever slanted poll that was. Utahans love their wilderness and do not want the deserts full of smog and oil wells.

Utah passed a law demanding return of federal lands.
posted by Brian B. at 9:38 AM on January 16, 2016 [4 favorites]




man of twists and turns thank you for that most excellent link.
posted by adamvasco at 1:33 PM on January 16, 2016




Those can't be birders... not one of them are wearing binoculars.
posted by hippybear at 2:40 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


From OregonLive this afternoon:

Members of the Center for Biological Diversity, led by executive director Kierán Suckling, arrived for Saturday briefing carrying signs and waiting for an opening to speak against the seizure of the wildlife refuge 30 miles south of Burns.

When Finicum finished, Suckling picked up the mic.

"The center has been tangling with the Bundys since the mid-1990s," Suckling said of the Arizona-based nonprofit, which claims more than 990,000 members and activists dedicated to protecting wild places and endangered species. But before he could finish, the occupiers started screaming and booing.

"We're here to speak up for public land, which belongs to the public," Suckling continued over the roar.

"These people are trying to take the land away."

Pete Santilli, one of the occupiers, pulled out a bullhorn and started screaming "communist" and "fascist." He then flipped on a siren and said, "You're under arrest for bull****ting"

Afterward, Suckling said his group had a more civil interaction with the occupiers at the compound, He said it was important to be present, and to not criticize the occupation from the sidelines.



Here's the Center for Biological Diversity's Support page, if anyone feels like joining me in thanking them for standing up for wilderness.

posted by spitbull at 3:46 PM on January 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Pete Santilli, one of the occupiers, pulled out a bullhorn and started screaming "communist" and "fascist."

Someone has no idea what actual words mean.
posted by hippybear at 3:59 PM on January 16, 2016 [13 favorites]




Oregon Patriots Occupied My Butt. Via /r/Oregon on reddit, which has many other good links, and mostly native Oregon perspectives on the occupation (though slanted to reddit's demographic, of course).
posted by idiopath at 4:23 PM on January 16, 2016


The Guardian: "Oregon militia's behavior increasingly brazen as public property destroyed":
On Friday evening, [chairwoman of the local Paiute Indian tribe Charlotte] Rodrique said she was horrified to learn that the militia, led by Nevada rancher Ammon Bundy, had paved a road through part of the wildlife sanctuary. That move came days after occupiers destroyed part of a US Fish and Wildlife Service fence, to allow cattle to freely graze on public lands the federal government controls.
posted by grouse at 4:24 PM on January 16, 2016


The Week: The secret history of cowboy socialism
posted by hippybear at 4:35 PM on January 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


the militia, led by Nevada rancher Ammon Bundy, had paved a road through part of the wildlife sanctuary.

This must be a separated-by-a-common-language thing, because that road is very obviously not paved in the US sense of the word. It's still inappropriate to have done and will be an expensive rehabilitation project later to restore; the people who built it should be charged financially and criminally for every aspect, from stealing the machinery and materials, to the illegal road building and eventual removal.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:36 PM on January 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Militia head warns feds: Don’t ‘Waco’ the Oregon occupiers unless you want a ‘bloody, brutal civil war’

Y'know...This tells me that "Waco" is probably exactly the outcome these fools want. They were hoping that the Feds would have roared in immediately and provided the Sovereigns with exactly the imagery of an oppressive government that they desired and believe in. That explains why these men-of-the-land didn't bring enough supplies.

Instead, they got...ignored.

Now, despite the Fed's chill response, the occupiers and their supporters are going to ratchet-up the rhetoric and bile higher and higher until...something...breaks. Make no mistake, these people want violence. And they're going to goad the authorities until there's no choice but to roll in and, finally, put a stop to this nonsense.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 PM on January 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Militant Says Foster Children Were Pulled From His Home

“That was my main source of income,” Finicum said. “My ranch, well, the cows just cover the costs of the ranch. If this means rice and beans for the next few years, so be it. We’re going to stay the course.”

and in the same tiny article

Another militant at the refuge, Blaine Cooper, said in a video that Child Protective Services took his children out of his home, but that claim could not be independently verified.

However Pete Santilli (after he acted like a bigger asshole than normal (toward members of the Center for Biological Diversity)), talked to Melissa Cooper (roughly 3 min with very windy desynced audio) who said that her brother went and got the kids back and believes it was her in-laws who called CPS and is visibly worried and on her way home.


Vanity Fair article with a few tidbits;
That Night I Spent with Ammon Bundy’s Armed Militia

“God is on our side,” Melissa said, as she showed off the two washers, two dryers, four refrigerators, two ovens, two dishwashers, and television in the camp. One of the houses where people are bunking had HBO, she told me. The only thing they couldn’t seem to get to work was the Internet, even though they’d found the password. “We have T-bone steaks,” she said.

...

The truth is that most simply wanted to be there. Cooper and his wife told me they quit their jobs, cashed in their 401(k) funds, and left their three kids with friends in Arizona to be “full-time patriots.” They told me the militia had already won: they’d occupied federal buildings without firing a single shot. More importantly, the entire world knew it. He gestured to me as if to say, “Just look at you, you’re here.”
posted by phoque at 7:22 PM on January 16, 2016


Yeah, wait, how the fuck did they pave a road? Did they bring tar instead of food, or is this the worst siege ever?
posted by corb at 7:27 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


That last quote is basically the source of my frustration with the lack of visible government action to at least bottle them in, press charges, -something-.

As far as the Freedom Wingnuts are concerned, they've won this thing.
posted by Archelaus at 7:28 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


They drove a bulldozer down a hill connecting the guest lodging to the kitchen, but didn't put in any drainage so it will just turn into a mucky mess.
posted by phoque at 7:30 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


All paving only metaphorical.
posted by Artw at 7:40 PM on January 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, wait, how the fuck did they pave a road?

it's cold enough right now in oregon to freeze bullshit, and they've got a lot of bullshit they can use
posted by pyramid termite at 7:42 PM on January 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, wait, how the fuck did they pave a road?

Lots and lots of dildos.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:43 PM on January 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


So according to "Cowboy" Finicum himself, he has a little hobby ranch but his real job is running a childcare facility funded by government money.
posted by JackFlash at 11:07 PM on January 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


but but government handout bad

so confuse
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:13 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Militia head warns feds: Don’t ‘Waco’ the Oregon occupiers unless you want a ‘bloody, brutal civil war’


They don't just want the Waco, they WANT the bloody, brutal civil war.

And I think the tactics used are pretty good. Scooping them up when they go out on supply runs. Letting that 'potential informer' get back was a great idea, and I'd love to see one of their "Press Conferences" go off the rails when someone raises their hand and says, "Agent Cardholder, US Marshals, Could you please turn around and put your hands on your head, because you're under arrest for...".
posted by mikelieman at 1:06 AM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


And I think the tactics used are pretty good. Scooping them up when they go out on supply runs.

Except that's not really happening and the idea that the Feds are being super-smart and going about this in a methodical planned way doesn't hold up to any scrutiny. Oregon State Police (no Feds involved, TPM has the story wrong according to Oregon sources) busted one marginal character for a probation violation and driving a stolen car. That wasn't the feds. Those weren't "tactics." Many people are going back and forth to the reserve with supplies and not being stopped or arrested. It's a fantasy that the Feds have this under control.

The feds are scared shitless and doing nothing.
posted by spitbull at 5:28 AM on January 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


spitbull: The feds are scared shitless and doing nothing.

I disagree. There's been no evidence to come to that conclusion. The Feds might very be careful and methodical right now behind the scenes because it's in their best interest to do so to lull the militants into a false sense of security, as indicated by strolling down to the Safeway in a stolen refuge vehicle. Yes, the Feds didn't arrest him, but that also avoids the militants using photos of FBI agents with semi-automatic weapons drawn in their "the Federal government is terrorizing this town" propaganda to rile up more militias to join them. So, end result: a felon off the street, one less rifle facing them in the end, two refuge vehicles recovered undamaged, and the militants are painted as common thieves in the press. If Feds aren't seen as doing any of this, that's even better, as the militants will continue to make mistakes thinking they've won.

The lesson from Waco was that barricading the compound creates a "Hitler in the bunker" mentality where the militants feel their options are cut off and they're more likely to accept a suicidal fight to the death. As it is now, we've seen the realities of the world start to sink in with some of these people-- some of them have jobs or spouses to get back to, some of them left try to deal with custody of their kids, some are leaving due to group in-fighting. I agree that the influx of supplies and some new people is frustrating to watch, but I'm hoping that many will come to the realization that it isn't a magical wonderland, it's just a place where people tell them to do chores and stand watch in the cold for eight hours. (Although I wish the power was cut. I want it to be an especially shitty camping experience.)

In the meantime, public opinion outside of the fringe circles is squarely against the militia, the militants are kindly documenting all their crimes on video for the DA, and the FBI HRT is probably developing a plan to minimize deaths if it comes to that. I hope the next big news we hear from the refuge is just video of them all in shackles-- not video of humvees or MRAPs barricading them in because that will just be a beacon for militia members to drive up from Texas or wherever.
posted by bluecore at 7:25 AM on January 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


i'm also wondering if part of the reason for letting things continue as they are is that at least, the feds know what these people are up to and where they are and score can be kept easily on all the felonies they're committing - also, they're making fools out of themselves, which is going to scare away their allies - and the feds are probably getting some very good intelligence on people this way

"here, guys, here's some more rope to hang yourselves with ..."
posted by pyramid termite at 7:45 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, as long as it doesn't become rope to hang us all with...
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on January 17, 2016


I hope you're right, bluecore, really I do. But:

There's been no evidence to come to that conclusion.

I disagree. And that's the problem here. The evidence is a lack of action of any sort against violations in progress, even off the reserve itself (like the camera destruction yesterday). When in the history of this country has law enforcement ever let something like this just carry on unmolested, and even unthreatened, for this long?

If Loretta Lynch would just give a press conference to *say* "don't worry, we are on top of this, we have a plan, we're purposefully letting them accumulate violations, they will not be allowed to walk away" I'd believe something was going on behind the scenes. But two weeks with no comment whatsoever from a high ranking official in federal law enforcement has millions of people losing faith that the rule of law applies to these guys, especially in contrast to the way law enforcement has treated civil, unarmed protesters from Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street in the recent past. It's a double standard even *if* it is a a "strategy."

Again, I hope I'm wrong, and a massive brilliant rolling up of these maniacs is already planned and in position. At a certain point, the issue is not just how to deal with these guys, but how to give the majority of American citizens some level of confidence or faith in our legal institutions being fair and just.

And as for the Safeway arrest, yeah I hope the feds set that up and chose not to be visible. But then why one marginal guy? Why aren't there arrest warrants issued for the others?
posted by spitbull at 8:08 AM on January 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Literary trivia: in Lolita, one of the places Humbert Humbert and Lolita argue is in front of the Safeway in Burns.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:24 AM on January 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


But two weeks with no comment whatsoever from a high ranking official in federal law enforcement has millions of people losing faith that the rule of law applies to these guys, especially in contrast to the way law enforcement has treated civil, unarmed protesters from Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street in the recent past.

I would say that anyone who's aware enough to draw that conclusion is also well aware of the differences between BLM/OWS and the militia movement, as well as the differences between local and federal law enforcement.

The inaction in this case isn't emboldening anyone to take over other bird sanctuaries in the middle of nowhere. Action, though, might lead to another generation of radicalized white men -- i.e., the perpetrators of most of the terrorist attacks on American soil in our history.
posted by Etrigan at 8:24 AM on January 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


What are the main differences between BLM/OWS and the militia movement?

Hmm, let me think about it.

The inaction is absolutely emboldening people to come join the creeps at Malheur.

It's amusing to me to think that the feds believe they can prevent "another generation of radicalized white men." That's who's out there now. They already exist, are growing in number, and arming for conflict.

I guess it's a good thing no one worries about "another generation" of radicalized black men or lefties.

It's giving in to the power of the gun. It's what these guys want.
posted by spitbull at 8:34 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Right. They're a) white and b) an actual danger. I'd argue that underlining that you can do whatever the duck you like as long as you are those two things is maybe a bad thing.
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on January 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


spitbull: The feds are scared shitless and doing nothing.

I disagree. There's been no evidence to come to that conclusion."


There's the fact that Cliven Bundy and his thugs are still free nearly two years after armed confrontation with the feds. The federal government effectively ceded the taxpayers' land to Cliven and now they've done the same for his sons and their merry goons. Terrorism works, if you're a white conservative.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:38 AM on January 17, 2016 [6 favorites]




I think there's a sort of twit assumption that all this changes If they start firing shots, but what if it doesn't?
posted by Artw at 8:50 AM on January 17, 2016


spitbull:I disagree. And that's the problem here. The evidence is a lack of action of any sort against violations in progress, even off the reserve itself (like the camera destruction yesterday).

I guess I saw the camera thing differently-- It's another crime they're posing for right on camera, but it's also not worth risking FBI agent lives to catch them in the moment. There's a common refrain in tactical planning known as "never run to your death"-- which is to say rushing in like the movies just gets people killed. A gunfight on a dirt road with no cover over the destruction of a camera isn't a way to win this thing. The things we have on our side are our ability to plan, the choice of when to engage, and the ability to send in highly skilled people who have trained together for exactly these circumstances. Meanwhile, they're untrained amateurs who have to stay alert 24/7 and make food runs to Safeway.

When in the history of this country has law enforcement ever let something like this just carry on unmolested, and even unthreatened, for this long?

I'm not sure of the history of every stand-off like this, but Obama is clearly trying to avoid another Waco. I hate everything these people stand for, I hate watching thugs getting away with being thugs, and I know that no matter how this is handled white terrorist fringe groups will still use it as a recruitment tool, but in the calculus of how this eventually plays out, I'd rather it be something they talk about in nutty youtube videos instead of something the next Timothy McVeigh obsesses on as he builds a car bomb.
posted by bluecore at 9:00 AM on January 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


The next Timothy McVeigh is inevitable, even if they let these guys walk. There's always going to be some guy who thinks that a standoff isn't enough.
posted by mochapickle at 9:17 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm with spitbull and artw. The plan may very well be the plan for very good reasons. It might even be a brilliant plan. But from our point of view it looks indistinguishable from doing nothing and crossing your fingers. The capability exists to turn that camp into a grease spot in 30 seconds or less. Anyone who stepped out side the camp could be arrested, never to return. The camp could be isolated until they all go home or starve. Why don't we want to do any of those things? There are many good reasons, but we're just speculating that someone's thought of all the options and has selected a different one. If they have in fact selected 'treat them with kid gloves' that obviously brings the danger of being seen to favor white people and to encourage taking arms against the government. What's the plan for countering that perception?

Someone from the government needs to get on TV and tell us what the fucking plan is. If it depends on being a secret from the occupiers, it's not a good plan.
posted by ctmf at 9:33 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, because why have a government if they aren't going to do anything? They're playing right into the libertarian talking points with all the silence.
posted by ctmf at 9:36 AM on January 17, 2016


At the very least, I'm surprised they haven't cut power to the place.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:54 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


As far as the Freedom Wingnuts are concerned, they've won this thing.

Good! That's fine. Usually allowing the opponent to withdraw while claiming a small victory to save face is preferable to a 100% humiliating defeat. The humiliation requires revenge.

Problem here is, there has been no 'withdraw' part.
posted by ctmf at 9:57 AM on January 17, 2016


If I had to give a reason they didn't cut the power, I'd make this guess: if they cut power it cuts heat and that will either lead to the militia members freezing to death or starting fires to keep warm, both of which are bad outcomes.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:57 AM on January 17, 2016


i thought the local power lines were set up so you'd end up cutting the power to many people in the area, not just them
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 AM on January 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Actually the neurotic folks who are prepper partying on the refuge, are giving the information gatherers in the government, all the info they need about the leadership, strength, and size, of the movement. There is enough crap in this movement to fertilize the whole county, for some time to come.

This movement is supported by those who want to roll back environmental regulation, using these actors of marginal means and intellect out front. You will find the Republican party at the root of this down deep, with the blanket of crazy covering their well funded fort.

With regard to Utah and the attempted take back...Utah's number one employer is the military, in the form of Hill Air Force Base, followed by the defense industry nestled alongside. Utah lives on the US government. Utah's scrupulous gerrymandering has made the legislature what it is, and the representation at national levels, what it is. So the dollars shout down all other voices in Utah, and the potential dollars. These guys on the refuge live on the Bonanza, and Little House on the Prairie, daydream. They pipe that stuff into the water around here, and that communal daydream makes it possible to destroy a lot of habitat, air, rare and abiding geology that characterizes the state. The Bundy's link to the abiding Utah mindset is clear. What is less obvious is a large population within this state that supports the environment, and has fought for every preserved acre for the last fifty years or so. Actively working for preservation works, we just have to keep it up.

It is obvious to me standards differ with regard to different types of protest. What amazes me is how both neurotic and naive these protestors are. If they turn around government ownership of land, they aren't getting any, anyway, and the boomers, (yes the hated boomers,) many are poor in their retirement and the one thing they can afford to do is, enjoy public lands. The idea that in attempting to step into the American wilderness we will be met with automatic rifles, and guardians of the constitution, that is not the result of proper conservatorship of public lands. Having to ignore oil roads, haze, for-profit infrastructure, lights, the hum of machinery, flies and cow crap, in order to see the American west, is not good conservation of what belongs to all of us.
posted by Oyéah at 10:06 AM on January 17, 2016






But from our point of view it looks indistinguishable from doing nothing and crossing your fingers.

Until said plan (if, admittedly, it is a plan) works, and then the Bundy gang leaves and gets quietly arrested with no loss of life and minimal property damage and looking like ineffective fools to everyone who isn't already a hardcore believer. Might look dumb now, might not in the future.

If it depends on being a secret from the occupiers, it's not a good plan.

C'mon, really? That's, like, Not Even Wrong - it's not how conflicts work. Of course you don't let your opponent know your plan ahead of time. Sheesh.


I get and agree with the point that white conservative protesters are being treated differently than PoC liberal/progressive protestors, but I don't think that necessarily means that the correct response is to treat the Bundy gang the way Black Lives Matter/Occupy gets treated. More that BLM/OWS need to be given the same (if not more) slack than these bozos.

And, frankly, I'm of the opinion that a lot of the calls for a stronger response from the government are falling into the same macho bullshit show-of-strength mindset as the occupiers. Not surprising, given American culture, but I think it's certainly worth considering whether we want to engage in the same chest-puffy posturing, or maybe whether it would be useful to get an example of a conflict being resolved without a demonstration of whose balls are bigger.


i thought the local power lines were set up so you'd end up cutting the power to many people in the area, not just them

Yeah, from way upthread, phoque's comment & link definitely suggests that cutting power only to the refuge is not as simple as it might seem.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:23 AM on January 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Probably about time someone found a workaround for that TBH.
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Standing up to armed bullies is not macho bullshit unless it's bullshit.

However I do not favor the use of lethal arms to subdue them and do not think that should be necessary. I do not even necessarily favor immediate intervention of any sort other than to box them in but good.

What bothers me is the lack of a coordinated federal response. They don't have to announce their plans. They don't have to set up a perimeter. But someone in authority needs to assert that authority and make it clear to the public that there will be accountability here. I'm thinking it ought to be Loretta Lynch. But I'd settle for the regional director of the FBI. A simple "we are on top of this, but prefer to avoid armed conflict; however, people will be going to jail for destroying federal property etc." would suffice. You don't need to telegraph any plans.

The perception of a diffident stand both demoralizes the public (and offends many as well, and scares a lot of people including scientists and federal employees who work in the west) and allows the occupiers to persist in a state of utopian fantasy, every day of which enhances their stature no matter which way this ends up. Our options are: 1) the federal government is scared or incompetent with such situations; 2) the federal government is internally divided and frozen or even co-opted and complicit (on some levels, one does wonder about all the law enforcement/militia overlap out there, and the anti-federal tone of even mainstream GOP politics in the west); 3) the federal government is incredibly rational and competent (or evil and totalitarian) and is waiting patiently too take these guys down in a serious way, just you wait it will be glorious and they will look like fools!

It then seems to me a lot of further fantasizing along these various lines is going on rhetorically and emotionally for many segments of the public (witness our own arguments here) and within the militia movement, where all three narratives have strong appeal (that is, the feds are simultaneously capable of being incompetent, co-opted, and evil).

No sane person wants a conflagration. But many sane people wonder what's up with the snack runs.
posted by spitbull at 12:13 PM on January 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Regarding power, there's also the fact that cutting it will require politely asking the occupiers to drain the pipes so they don't break and flood a building full of un-replaceable artifacts.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:16 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Someone from the government needs to get on TV and tell us what the fucking plan is. If it depends on being a secret from the occupiers, it's not a good plan.

I expect there's an incredible amount of intel being developed from the successors to the "Total Information Awareness" programs, and while these nitwits are holed up somewhere harmless the data-mining of social networks is producing detailed network diagrams of all their supporters, sorted and heat-mapped according to 'threat-level' or some shit. Or at least someone is being paid to do that, regardless of whether they're producing reliable deliverables...

Just throwing that out there...
posted by mikelieman at 12:18 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


But someone in authority needs to assert that authority and make it clear to the public that there will be accountability here.

Why?

Seriously, what good would that do anyone? Helping some armchair quarterbacks on the Internet sleep better at night (except that they'd find some other issue with the assertion)? Unless you're a law enforcement or elected official in that area, you don't really know anything about what the law enforcement or elected officials in that area know or who they're dealing with. And you don't need to.

No sane person wants a conflagration.
someone in authority ought to at least stand up on TV, say so, and point a warning finger at them with a deadline ultimatum after which they will be without food, water, power, or the ability to set one foot out the front door without being taken down by a non-lethal round, an LRAD, or a firehose or an annoyed Alsatian or three wearing body armor.
No sane person indeed.
posted by Etrigan at 12:26 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


None of my proposed options involved lethal force. All minimize the exposure of LE personnel to retaliatory fire (other than the dogs might get shot).
posted by spitbull at 12:27 PM on January 17, 2016


For my part, I'd feel a lot better if I knew the government was going to do something about it if say, some boneheads decided to seize Mt. Ranier National Park. So, some visible activity, -any- visible activity would definitely help me sleep better at night.

If that makes me "an armchair quarterback on the Internet," so be it, but I'm comforted by the -visible- application of the law against blatant lawlessness. The law moving invisibly looks a lot the same as the law not actually moving, from the outside.
posted by Archelaus at 12:31 PM on January 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's no such thing as non-lethal, for one.

For another, what do you think the range of a firehose is? I don't know the exact figure, but it's less than the range of any long arm those goobers have.

Look, you clearly want them punished, and you clearly want it to hurt. And that's fine. I don't blame you. But don't try to take the moral high ground of "Oh, I just want someone to tell me what's going on!" on Sunday when you said that you wanted someone to bust this thing up on Saturday.
posted by Etrigan at 12:32 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's called prison, Etrigan, it's where criminals usually go and yes it is a punishment. As to how they get there, I don't particularly care if they like it or not.
posted by Artw at 12:43 PM on January 17, 2016


I wish our prisons were more focussed on rehabilitation and not punishment, but that's probably a topic for a different conversation.
posted by hippybear at 12:47 PM on January 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


My sympathies are somewaht limited when it comes to dangerous maniacs, it must be said. I'm mainly looking from keeping them away normal people and discouraging their mates here, them becoming anything other than fuckwits being extremely unlikely.
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on January 17, 2016


I get and agree with the point that white conservative protesters are being treated differently than PoC liberal/progressive protestors, but I don't think that necessarily means that the correct response is to treat the Bundy gang the way Black Lives Matter/Occupy gets treated. More that BLM/OWS need to be given the same (if not more) slack than these bozos.

Fun fact: These bozos often show up at BLM demos to "provide security" and threaten people with guns and are routinely ignored by law enforcement.
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on January 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


As for super secret FBI intelligence gathering behind the scenes, even a vague familiarity with the FBI suggests that the strand-offish approach is more likely to these guys being zero-th priority behind the threats presented by muslim extremism (real, imaginary and self-created) and BLM (pretty much entirely imaginary). Left to their own devices they're not going to be keen on doing anything unless theres a chance to be racist or hunt commies.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:25 PM on January 17, 2016


It's called prison, Etrigan, it's where criminals usually go and yes it is a punishment. As to how they get there, I don't particularly care if they like it or not.

I'm sorry, I was imprecise when responding to someone else. spitbull clearly wants them punished now in ways besides simply going to prison. Some of us would rather not also give them unnecessary martyr status (i.e., another Ruby Ridge).
posted by Etrigan at 1:29 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I could give a fuck, TBH. If they really want to go out in a blaze of gunfire it's going to be entirely their choice. As for the rest of the crazies they should be locked the fuck up too, not running around playing soldier.
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on January 17, 2016


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Maybe they'll be catching Bigfoot next then.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on January 17, 2016


I could give a fuck, TBH. If they really want to go out in a blaze of gunfire it's going to be entirely their choice.

And this is why some of us are pretty ok with the "go slow" approach.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:35 PM on January 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is not a "go slow" approach. It's no approach at all.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on January 17, 2016


Unless, of course, it's not. I'm not sure we have enough info to say any more than that at the moment.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:47 PM on January 17, 2016


And this is why some of us are pretty ok with the "go slow" approach.

The approach could be on a glacial timescale, but I honestly don't think Bundy and company intend for this to end peacefully. They're going to sit there forever, if need be, goading the authorities at every possibility, until they're forced out. Sooner or later, force of some sort will be required, because that's the only option Bundy will allow.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see the militants give up and walk out of there peacefully. I just don't think that's in their playbook.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:50 PM on January 17, 2016


Happy to be proved wrong, but I'm not seeing any resolution in sight except them wandering off when they get bored, facing no consequences, and trying again on a larger scale next time. The fuckwits who allowed law enforcement to back down at the buddy ranch set the precedent.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or as thorzdad says they're allowed to dig in forever and make the place a white supremacist theme park, which isn't desirable either.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The police have an obligation not just to presumed libertarian whack jobs in other states, but to the actual workers at the wildlife refuge. The workers at the refuge have a right to go into their offices, sit at their desks, and do their jobs. If a crazy gun-wielding revolutionary came into my office space and threatened me, and started tearing up the place, I would call 911 and I would expect the local cops to show up and at least make an effort to protect me and arrest the intruder.

How exactly is this any different?
posted by newdaddy at 5:27 PM on January 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


This is different because the workers at the refuge are not in immediate danger. The reserve was taken over by Bundy & Co. over a long weekend, when it was empty.

Your office space, even if taken over when empty, would likely still get a quicker response because it is a private space; there's a person (or a corporation) specifically impacted and (likely) calling for help. The Federal government should get to do things on their schedule when it is their land and their employees inconvenienced.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:51 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


To clarify, by "workers at the refuge" I mean the workers who would otherwise be able to go to their jobs at the Reserve, but are on paid leave because of the armed threat.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:53 PM on January 17, 2016


>The reserve was taken over by Bundy & Co. over a long weekend, when it was empty.

If I and my gang of armed thugs broke into a Federal bank when it was empty and made social media posts about how I was liberating it what exactly would be the difference here?
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:27 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Federal government should get to do things on their schedule when it is their land and their employees inconvenienced.

Not just the employer, the employees are individuals who have individual rights that are being damaged here. If the threat is that they will be killed if they go into work, that is more than an inconvenience.
posted by newdaddy at 8:41 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Some things have happened. One of the occupiers who lives on federal monies by providing foster care for four individuals, just lost that income source. Holy heck, poor kids who fell into that hell.

It is unnerving how much of what used to belong to the American people has been contracted out to private parties. It is unnerving to think public lands will become war zones when more convenient weather sets up. It is comforting to know they will chill with Ted Kaysinski, ultimately. These pawns will get their Aryan Brotherhood tats and life will not be the same for them ever again. They better enjoy their pancake breakfasts, snacks and delusions of mandeur, because the rest of this is going to bore them to death over a long period of time.

America wants it's wild places, that is why we have them. I never go for a drive to look at oil fields, powerlines, or private ranches.
posted by Oyéah at 10:32 PM on January 17, 2016


It's really weird seeing so many mefites criticizing the cops for not being violent enough. Occupying a remote visitor center doesn't seem all that more urgent or disruptive than, say, tree sitters blocking a logging operation. It's definitely less disruptive than occupying a university building.

There isn't any reason the feds need to resolve this situation today, or next week.
posted by ryanrs at 10:45 PM on January 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


Cutting the electricity would require an electrician going up a utility pole. Possibly within sniping distance of the watch tower at the refuge. Maybe no electrician has volunteered. Without a police escort. Which creates a confrontation. As 'a box and a stick and a string and a bear' noted upthread, no electric might mean frozen pipes and subsequent damage to materials in the buildings.

I don't know the terrain and so don't know if a road block is possible. The Bundy gang has earth moving equipment and high clearance vehicles. They could route around a passive road block. (A road block with, for example, jersey barriers.) An active roadblock would require several dozen (I guess) officers working shifts and trained and equipped to deal with the Bundy gang approaching from one side and another gang approaching from the other side. It could be called Operation Sitting Duck.

I don't know why law enforcement sought to take physical assets from Cliven Bundy. Apparently freezing or tapping financial assets wasn't possible. When Wikileaks upset the establishment, they lost access to ISPs and credit card processors. When the establishment cares they act. Turning off the phones and credit cards of the Bundy gang is possible. What is required to legally determine that the Bundy gang is a terrorist organization ? (The Hammonds were prosecuted under an anti-terror law.) And then remind people that supporting a terrorist organization is illegal. But then a cashier at Safeway would have to confront an armed terrorist when law enforcement won't.

Law enforcement understandably does not reveal their current plans. But they have no comment on why they failed to address the Cliven Bundy problem. This could have resulted in Congressional questioning but Benghazi comes first.

Perhaps law enforcement is what it is because the Bundy gang is a normal, average group indistinguishable from anyone else. On the order of 100 million people in the U.S. have guns. And consider them a necessary defense against a tyrannical government. Half the electorate is certain that government is too big. One third to one half of the people in the west believe that federal land should be given to the states. The difference between the Bundy gang and the Republican presidential candidates is that the candidates wear suits.
posted by llc at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's definitely less disruptive than occupying a university building.

Except they're armed anti-government militants. Students and tree-sitters tend not to blow up federal buildings, stalk public employees, or go on about heroic honorable last stands that give meaning to their desperate and slightly shoddy lives.

I agree with the current approach of treating them with kid gloves until they obviously fuck up, but this is all about the potential violence of this situation and the n+1 situation.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:32 PM on January 17, 2016 [