Another whirl on the Sovereign Citizen carousel?
March 22, 2016 6:28 PM   Subscribe

On March 21, a court unsealed the last name on the Malheur indictments: Jake Ryan, who is charged with digging a latrine trench through sacred Paiute grounds.

The 'constitutionalist' sheriff of Sanders County, where Ryan's family lives, claims to be attempting to work out a "peaceful resolution". But his family is promising that "the arrests stop here", and some familiar players are winding up the circus organ again.
posted by tavella (192 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, we knew those assholes were full of shit.
posted by eriko at 6:33 PM on March 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh great, so another bunch of idiots are going to play silly buggers again? Only with a sheriff on hand to make things worse?
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked Jake Ryan a lot more when he was with Molly Ringwald.
posted by areaperson at 6:35 PM on March 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


"With that said, I want you to know that Federal Officers have not operated in this county without my knowledge."

Because if they had...
posted by johnnydummkopf at 6:37 PM on March 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


For those of you interested in this sort of material (and if you live in the US, you should be gravely interested), I recommend perusing JJ MacNab's blog and twitter feed.
posted by stinkfoot at 6:41 PM on March 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oregon Public Broadcasting recently had a pretty well-done piece about how GOP lawmakers (including but not limited to Michele Fiore) had a part in fomenting, egging on, and helping the Ranch Dildonians.
posted by dhens at 6:41 PM on March 22, 2016 [31 favorites]


Hand him over to the Paiutes. I'm sure they can work out a "peaceful solution".


Actually, when tribes get their hands on a white offender, they tend to punish very leniently, because just the message that they can do that is an improvement on the status quo (of assholes who think they can hop into rez, cause mayhem, and flee.)

But come to think of it, not one Paiute ever signed a piece of paper relinquishing control over that wildlife reserve. Giving the land back to them, legally speaking, is very clearly within the Federal government's domain. Then the reserve won't draw these guys, and the Paiutes will no longer have to put up with this circus. Once is more than enough.
posted by ocschwar at 7:00 PM on March 22, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hand him over to the Paiutes. I'm sure they can work out a "peaceful solution".

You mean encouraging law enforcement to prosecute?
During the occupation, tribal leaders expressed repeated concerns that petroglyphs or historical items sacred to the tribe would be unearthed and destroyed. They asked federal authorities to prosecute any related crimes.
The last thing we need is to get all puffed up with frontier justice over this. The Paiutes aren't a biker gang.
posted by teponaztli at 7:00 PM on March 22, 2016 [59 favorites]


Can someone give a non-American a clue as to what this is even about? Someone dug up a Native burial ground with a backhoe and then pooped in it. I get that much. But, why? And why are locals defending him?
posted by 256 at 7:12 PM on March 22, 2016


Well, there's a bit of a thread about it.
posted by Artw at 7:16 PM on March 22, 2016 [13 favorites]



Can someone give a non-American a clue as to what this is even about?


Economically stressed white people latching on to strange theories that start with treating the founding documents of the United States as Holy Writ and then engaging in some mighty creative exegesis.
posted by ocschwar at 7:26 PM on March 22, 2016 [18 favorites]


But his family is promising that "the arrests stop here"

The key feature of Sovereign Citizens is their inability to comprehend that this isn't going to be the time it finally starts working.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:38 PM on March 22, 2016 [41 favorites]


Plus guns drive you mad.
posted by Artw at 7:49 PM on March 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


Finicum's Kanab funeral drew supporters from all over the West — including Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, owner of the Bundy Ranch and father of Oregon indictees Ammon and Ryan Bundy.

So...In reading this bit in the second link in the fpp, am I correct in understanding that the Bundy's are out of jail now? If so, does anyone actually think they'll show up for their trials?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:50 PM on March 22, 2016


Finicum's funeral was before Cliven was arrested.
posted by valkane at 7:54 PM on March 22, 2016


Can someone give a non-American a clue as to what this is even about?

The briefest summary I can come up with is this:

In the United States, a substantial part of the land west of the Rockies is owned by the US government. This land is mostly desert and / or mountain, and most of it is remote from population centers. Some right-wingers believe the US Constitution does not permit the US to own this land. A few of those people had an armed confrontation with the Bureau of Land Management (usually abbreviated BLM-- this government agency is the administrator over the majority of government lands in the western US) in 2014 over the right to graze cattle on the land, and the rules and fees connected. This confrontation ended with a victory for the ranchers. No one at the time was arrested and prosecuted for their actions.

In January of this year, many of the people involved in the 2014 confrontation decided to take further action. They seized control of the visitor center at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, also administered by the BLM. The wildlife refuge is traditionally Paiute tribal land and the Paiutes have certain rights over it, though not direct control. This seizure and occupation was supposed to be permanent, and was to be a start in the handover of federal lands to private landowners. This did not work out in the occupiers favor as they were all eventually arrested (and one shot) after 40+ days of walking around the refuge heavily armed and telling their secret plans to any reporter (or youtube viewer) who would listen. Many of the people involved in the 2014 confrontation, but not present at Malheur, were also arrested.

During the occupation, the toilets at the Refuge stopped working. Some of the occupiers, including Jake Ryan, used stolen government equipment to dig a latrine. They happened to pick ground where Paiute artifacts were still buried. Disturbing tribal sites is against the law.

As for the bigger picture, the people who live next to BLM land are sometimes resentful of the BLM. The agency tells them where they can graze their cattle, where they can use their off-road vehicles. Makes rules about hunting, fishing, and even sometimes restricts gun use in certain areas. The sort of person who lives in the remote West often does not like having to follow these rules. Therefore some people in the West are sympathetic to Jake Ryan and the other occupiers.

Now, you're mostly up to date. Look up "Malheur Occupation", "Cliven Bundy", "Ammon Bundy", "Sovereign Citizen", or the Defend Your Base Youtube channel if you want to learn more, and feel somewhat less sane afterwards.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:05 PM on March 22, 2016 [108 favorites]


The key feature of Sovereign Citizens is their inability to comprehend that this isn't going to be the time it finally starts working.

Trying the same thing time after time and expecting different results each time is how recovering alcoholics tend to define "insanity".
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:07 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


So...In reading this bit in the second link in the fpp, am I correct in understanding that the Bundy's are out of jail now? If so, does anyone actually think they'll show up for their trials?

No. The core 6 charged in both the Malhuer case and the original 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff are headed to Nevada for an initial appearance.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:07 PM on March 22, 2016


HELLO NEW THREAD!
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:10 PM on March 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


Can someone give a non-American a clue as to what this is even about? Someone dug up a Native burial ground with a backhoe and then pooped in it. I get that much. But, why?

This is the latest set of criminal charges to come out of the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge (or at least the refuge's administrative buildings) in Oregon. Some of the charges are related to using heavy equipment to dig latrine trenches in an area of cultural importance to the Paiute tribe, others relate to firearms charges and so on. Jake Ryan, the accused, is being supported by some of the same people who supported the occupation, as well as by his family and possibly by his local sheriff.

And why are locals defending him?

He is from a small town in rural Montana. For a sense of scale, that area is about 550 miles (almost 1000 km) away from Burns, but the tensions between federal and local are common across the west, and a not insignificant number of local law enforcement officers sympathize with the anti-federal viewpoint. (Law enforcement in the US is mostly local, with only the FBI nationally, and most sheriffs are elected, which creates some unusual situations at times.)

The militants who are being arrested are being charged with quite serious crimes, rather than being ignored by authorities as had happened after previous confrontations, so Ryan has some incentive to delay his arrest and to hope to leverage media attention or popular support into a more lenient position, though that seems unlikely to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:12 PM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


Can someone give a non-American a clue as to what this is even about?

honestcoyote's is about as good as you can ask for. There's also a couple twitter lists floating around for up to the date coverage of the legal case, mainly OPB and Oregonian reporters (and the invaluable JJ Macnab, along with some dedicate twitter people). And several thousand posts here on Meta during the 40 day standoff with a wealth of background reading and real-time commentary.

It's pretty easy to get lost in these cases, they have an entire alternate theory of the US legal system (and reality) that sounds almost reasonable on first glance...and then progressively less so until it crosses into batshit raving insanity with alarming quickness, and keeps going from there. What makes it so fascinating is they believe it so thoroughly, in the face of all evidence, and are literally willing to fight and die against the US government (or French foreign mercenaries posing as illegal US government agents...one of the two).

Oh, and there's strong indications that at least some of this is being fed by Republican lawmakers and billionaires like the Koch brothers, with the goal of taking control of federal lands in the West and converting them for private exploitation. So there's the crazy true believers, the law makers likely being paid to show sympathy for their cause...and as usual, the shadowy money men behind them all who stand to ultimately benefit the most.

It's a true modern American tale.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:22 PM on March 22, 2016 [18 favorites]




Ahh... Feels good to be back...
posted by Windopaene at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


But it's just not the same without Dave TV.
posted by valkane at 8:34 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]




Wow! I been slacking on keeping up on this stuff. Wonder who did those groovy front-end graphics for Dave's youtube? I can't imagine David's got access to a computer.
posted by valkane at 8:48 PM on March 22, 2016


The agency tells them where they can graze their cattle, where they can use their off-road vehicles. Makes rules about hunting, fishing, and even sometimes restricts gun use in certain areas.

Also just to be clear to unamerican types, and as a simplification:

BLM tells them where they can graze their cattle on BLM land, not on their own land.
BLM tells them where they can drive their ATVs on BLM land, not on their own land.
BLM makes rules about hunting, fishing, and firearms on BLM land, not on private land.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:49 PM on March 22, 2016 [72 favorites]


agents found "significant amounts" of human feces in at least one of two large trenches, prosecutors previously said

Become a Crime Scene Investigator, they said. Look how glamorous it is on TV, they said.
posted by Naberius at 8:50 PM on March 22, 2016 [97 favorites]


In part, what all this proves is that big government works because you get actual sewers rather that pooping in a pit that results in your own arrest.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:27 PM on March 22, 2016 [26 favorites]


Best summation of the history of "public lands" concept/underpinnings I have found.

Sorry I don't buy the "Republic of Sovereign Citizens (Narcissists)" self described superior claim over the United States. The majority of one over all is a concept I don't get. Constitution did not freeze in place the day the ink dried. The document provided a means, through amendment process, to renew itself endlessly. You want a Sheriff as master authority go to medieval England, okay?
posted by WinstonJulia at 9:31 PM on March 22, 2016


This is the thread with the snacks, right?
posted by gamera at 9:38 PM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


You misspelled "dildos"
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:42 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Become a Crime Scene Investigator, they said. Look how glamorous it is on TV, they said.

CSI: Libertarian Midden
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:44 PM on March 22, 2016 [17 favorites]


Rule by Sheriff would be a real crapshoot, what with every other one seeming to be a wannabe insane despot.
posted by Artw at 9:46 PM on March 22, 2016


ah but they're an elected despot, so it's ok
posted by BungaDunga at 9:54 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


The agency tells them where they can graze their cattle, where they can use their off-road vehicles. Makes rules about hunting, fishing, and even sometimes restricts gun use in certain areas.

Also just to be clear to unamerican types, and as a simplification:

BLM tells them where they can graze their cattle on BLM land, not on their own land.
BLM tells them where they can drive their ATVs on BLM land, not on their own land.
BLM makes rules about hunting, fishing, and firearms on BLM land, not on private land.
Yeah, it's a wierd melange of "property rights are fundamental!" and "How dare you enforce restrictions on my use of your property!" If any person or organization except the federal government were to own a large tract of land and let people use it with certain restrictions, these dudes would fall all over themselves about how generous that was, and of course that could be revoked at any time for any reason, get off my lawn hippies.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:55 PM on March 22, 2016 [12 favorites]


To expand a smidgen.

Coyote highlights the home spun objection to the Federal government owning so much land in the west. That's only part of the answer. The extraordinary decades long exploitation of some private lands highlights the efficacy of historical Federal control which grew out of the acquisition by treaty, purchase or conquest, of broad lands that became Federal territories to then be managed until, distribution by Congressional Act, private grants or state governance could be established. The concept is incorporated in the Constitution (Property Clause). Not a bad idea. We certainly would not have liked the robber barons to have divided up various Federal Territories, states to be, for instance, just because of some non-universal concept, land has to be in private hands.

I personally don't buy the local good guys will be the good stewards of the land. The evidence? The West is littered with mining operations horrendously toxic that are polluting rivers, radioactive tailings abandoned, the parent companies long ago bankrupt by design or rolled into shell holding companies that bear no responsibilities for cleanup. Open pit mining that challenges drinking water supplies throughout the west. Overgrazed land that is left to waste or desertify. Anyone heard of the Superfund law? Much of the private steward shtick is private property to privatize the profits, oh, but socialize the costs when the carcass is fully picked clean.

Regarding the Bundy's et al, do I smell the Koch brothers involved in this scheme?
posted by WinstonJulia at 10:08 PM on March 22, 2016 [18 favorites]


During the occupation, the toilets at the Refuge stopped working.

... providing the perfect ruse for ace OPB reporter John Sepulvado.
[There were] no plungers. I unclogged it once using the toilet brush. *but* it gave us cover to investigate computer story. LaVoy was so grossed out he left me alone in the building as I plunged, and that's when I snuck around.
(via Twitter: 1, 2)
OPB has done awesome reporting on this story. And not just on the DVD-bonus-material stuff like this. If you haven't already seen the recent OPB article on the political support for the occupation (already linked above, linked again here), go read it.
posted by compartment at 10:26 PM on March 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


This clown car is going to be packed fulla stupid. And these idiots are spending even more of my centrist, HRC -loving tax dollars. I am wondering if this will result in any change in the laws of the land. And which way they will go...
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 10:29 PM on March 22, 2016


We certainly do not like how the robber barons have divided up various Federal Territories...

There's a reason public school history goes The Civil War-> WW1. Railroads, big mining co.s and big foreign owned ranches all had, lets phrase it, a large influence on all levels of government at that time. The effort to increase the number of acres for a western cattle homestead to 2500 wasn't defeated by the working class.

I think if migrant farm workers, miners, or cowboys had possessed any political power the state of the west would be more than a little different.
posted by ridgerunner at 10:58 PM on March 22, 2016


I wonder how many conspiracy theories revolve around the Bureau of Land Management and Black Lives Matter being represented by identical acronyms.
posted by ethansr at 11:29 PM on March 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


We have them in Germany too, calling themselves Reichsbürger, not accepting the authority of "Germany, Inc." and making scenes in the courtrooms (Google translate)
posted by ts;dr at 12:03 AM on March 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


... Reichsbürger..."Germany, Inc."...

That's fascinating, in the middle of Europe no less. Thanks.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:32 AM on March 23, 2016


Plus guns drive you mad.

Lead poisoning.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:49 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reichsbürgerbewegung. Damn, if I was a bi-lingual sociologist, I'd be all over this. 'provisional government of their own with named Deutsches Reich AG (based in Nevada, USA).' Plus Sealand!

Yeah, its kinda scary, but it reads like the prologue of a post-apoplectic novel.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:52 AM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


and are literally willing to fight and die against the US government

I thought most of the wildlife refuge group eventually surrendered to Federal authorities rather than getting involved in a firefight they knew they were bound to lose?
posted by Paul Slade at 1:08 AM on March 23, 2016


After a lot of strategic non-action on behalf of the FBI or other law enforcement, the leadership of the Malheur militant group got cocky and thought they had full freedom of movement and were mostly apprehended (one was killed) in a remote area as they were traveling to a neighboring county to meet with a sheriff who said he was sympathetic to their cause.

My details get a bit fuzzy at this point, but it seems that after this leadership group was apprehended, the group remaining at the refuge mostly dissolved. I believe they were put through law enforcement checks as they left on the limited roads out of the area and were either then arrested with cause or were allowed to leave. Some of those who were allowed to leave were later apprehended.

Four remained for several days, the last of those was apprehended after several lengthy and strangely public negotiation phone conversations.

There was not, to my knowledge, any sort of "we're going to leave/surrender because we are outgunned" sort of conversation. The snake got its head chopped off, and the body slowly died until finally the tail stopped twitching.
posted by hippybear at 1:22 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know, a quick re-read of Shawna Cox's terms of release suggest that even by -suggesting- people get involved with this, that she just violated the ever-loving crap out of them. Wonder if anything will come of that?
posted by Archelaus at 1:52 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thanks, hippybear. I may be conflating the real news with a comedy routine I once saw Rich Hall do on this subject.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:44 AM on March 23, 2016


Regarding the Bundy's et al, do I smell the Koch brothers involved in this scheme?

I was wondering that, too. After all they are people who have a very profound belief that land should not be owned by the U.S. Government, but rather should be owned by the Koch brothers. And they have a long history of manipulating the bewildered to achieve their ends.
posted by Grangousier at 3:05 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


These people had free mobility; they couldn't go buy a fucking plunger?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:19 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


they couldn't go buy a fucking plunger?

Pfft, cleaning toilets is women's work. So much better to do manly things like digging a trench with stolen vehicles.
posted by Alnedra at 3:23 AM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yay! That gum I like is back in style!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:29 AM on March 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh yay. Another Moon Law thread! Hi again everyone. Missed you all.
posted by Jalliah at 4:29 AM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


> Actually, when tribes get their hands on a white offender, they tend to punish very leniently, because just the message that they can do that is an improvement on the status quo (of assholes who think they can hop into rez, cause mayhem, and flee.)

Kind of a pedantic go-back, but as a legal matter, tribal criminal jurisdiction is a mess (see, e.g., FBI bulletin from 2012 - tl;dr federal, state, and/or tribal government may or may not have jurisdiction based on who, where, & type of crime) and tribes generally haven't been able to exercise criminal jurisdiction (including tribal law enforcement - although there might exist agreements with local municipalities to address some of the issues) over non-Indians since the US Supreme Court decided not to recognize it in a 1978 case, Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe (wiki). This is probably why the tribe has to convince the feds to prosecute, rather than being able to prosecute themselves.

This is also why the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization in 2013 was a huge deal - because, among other things, it restored recognition of tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians in the limited context of domestic violence. Ex: WaPo (cw: descriptions of domestic violence)

(Increasingly unrelated: There's a case before SCOTUS this term, Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, addressing whether tribal courts have civil jurisdiction to hear a tort case with heartbreaking facts involving an employer and a 13-year-old tribal member in a job training program on the reservation. Probably worth its own FPP.)
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 5:06 AM on March 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Speaking of LaVoy Finicum, here is the press conference where they introduce (and fully show) the FBI helicopter video and the video that was taken with a smart phone inside Finicum's truck (warning: country music and someone eventually getting shot). The smart phone video is overlayed on top of the larger FBI video. The press conference has a mix of this video and actual press conferencing by officials.
posted by NoMich at 5:24 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Another bit of interesting news is the fact that an FBI agent was being investigated for misconduct during the Finicum shooting.
posted by NoMich at 5:26 AM on March 23, 2016


(warning: country music and someone eventually getting shot)

Ironically, I think you just described the content of about 40% of country music songs.

[Disclaimer: I like country music.]
posted by valkane at 5:34 AM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


vibratory manner of working: "
The agency tells them where they can graze their cattle, where they can use their off-road vehicles. Makes rules about hunting, fishing, and even sometimes restricts gun use in certain areas.

Also just to be clear to unamerican types, and as a simplification:

BLM tells them where they can graze their cattle on BLM land, not on their own land.
BLM tells them where they can drive their ATVs on BLM land, not on their own land.
BLM makes rules about hunting, fishing, and firearms on BLM land, not on private land.
Yeah, it's a wierd melange of "property rights are fundamental!" and "How dare you enforce restrictions on my use of your property!" If any person or organization except the federal government were to own a large tract of land and let people use it with certain restrictions, these dudes would fall all over themselves about how generous that was, and of course that could be revoked at any time for any reason, get off my lawn hippies.
"

Not sure that unamerican was le mot juste in this case. :)
posted by Splunge at 6:27 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's a wierd melange of "property rights are fundamental!" and "How dare you enforce restrictions on my use of your property!"

It's the "your property" part that pisses them off. It really all boils down to something very simple:

This land is my land and this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land should all belong to me

You can't get much more American than that.
posted by Naberius at 6:31 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


They want the land to belong to the Koch brothers so they can't get on it but at least the situation is clear.
posted by Artw at 6:40 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Worth mentioning that a lot of this shit is just as bewildering to folks like me out on the East Coast. I like the idea that a lot of the land is owned by the Federal Government as a steward for the People. We don't need to expand and exploit every last acre. There's value to keeping huge swaths of our country untouched by human development.
posted by explosion at 6:43 AM on March 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Explosion - that's a lot rougher to sell to folks out here where agriculture and timber are major businesses. I'm not saying they're right. I'm just saying they feel they have a vested interest in making money, and that the Fed is preventing them from doing so on that land.

Admittedly, I'm in a town sandwiched between the largest military base in the country, and the largest reservation in the country, so the pressures here are definitely weirder than in a lot of places.
posted by Archelaus at 6:48 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


post-apoplectic novel

I LOLed
posted by notsnot at 6:51 AM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Another bit of interesting news is the fact that an FBI agent was being investigated for misconduct during the Finicum shooting.

Ugh...whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.......?

The agents involved have to know that every single scrap of anything that looks like a cover-up is going to be fodder for the moonies for years! Even if the shots shouldn't have been fired, they should have been reported right away and it all could have gotten lost in the fog of "damn that crazy Finicum sure was hoping that we'd shoot him" in the initial few days.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:02 AM on March 23, 2016


If any person or organization except the federal government were to own a large tract of land and let people use it with certain restrictions, these dudes would fall all over themselves about how generous that was, and of course that could be revoked at any time for any reason, get off my lawn hippies.

Well Cliven Bundy first made news for grazing on Federal lands and not paying. The thing is though
he could have grazed on private property leased out by others.

They just charged A LOT more than the Feds. So he used Fed land, decided their
very low rates were still unfair and started this whole mess.
posted by Max Power at 7:10 AM on March 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


In all fairness, Max, no private land would have put up with Bundy's "ranching" style, either. I'm just saying.
posted by Archelaus at 7:11 AM on March 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Best summation of the history of "public lands" concept/underpinnings I have found.

Interesting the way this account describes how so much land ending up in the possession of the Federal government in the first place: Through conquest and treaty settlements, lands were also obtained from Mexico, Canada, Russia, Spain, France and England is a pretty straightforward description. But when the discussion turns to indigenous people, the report says Indian Nations ceded millions of acres of land to the newly established government that contributed to making the U.S. what it is today.

It sounds so much nicer by simply eliding mention of "conquest" when the subject is the relationship between Federal land ownership and the history of the people who were living here when Europeans arrived.
posted by layceepee at 7:17 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Naberius: "You can't get much more American than that."

Considering that the vast majority of Americans find the sovereigns' claims to be ridiculous, I disagree that it's fair to characterize their opinions as quintessentially American.
posted by Bugbread at 7:21 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


They're rugged individualusts! Send snacks!
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


It isn't just federal or state lands though. Cattle ranchers will let their cattle graze pretty much anywhere including private lands, and you'll get into a big pile of trouble for even interfering with the cattle, let along trapping or shooting them. The ranchers do take down fences and open gates to facilitate this.
posted by Death and Gravity at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


In all fairness, Max, no private land would have put up with Bundy's "ranching" style, either. I'm just saying.

This really hasn't been covered much but, by all accounts, Cliven Bundy was a terrible rancher who ran his cattle like it was the 1880s. He didn't brand, didn't vaccinate, and essentially let his cattle run feral until it was time to round up and sell off a few head.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm just saying they feel they have a vested interest in making money, and that the Fed is preventing them from doing so on that land.

It sounds so much nicer by simply eliding mention of "conquest" when the subject is the relationship between Federal land ownership and the history of the people who were living here when Europeans arrived.


What layceepee raises is the richest irony of it all - these settlers would have had no access to this land (or even their 'own' land) whatsoever had the federal government not secured it - for private sale and public use - not much more than 150 years ago. There are no lengthy ancestral claims, no right to the land that the government did not create - by fiat, by treaty, and by genocidal violence. It's hilarious for settler communities to try to claim some other authority over the land.
posted by Miko at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


More background on how Bundy treated his ranching operation is in the government's pretrial detention memo.
While Bundy claims he is a cattle rancher, his ranching operation – to the extent it can be called that – is unconventional if not bizarre. Rather than manage and control his cattle, he lets them run wild on the public lands with little, if any, human interaction until such time when he traps them and hauls them off to be sold or slaughtered for his own consumption. He does not vaccinate or treat his cattle for disease; does not employ cowboys to control and herd them; does not manage or control breeding; has no knowledge of where all the cattle are located at any given time; rarely brands them before he captures them; and has to bait them into traps in order to gather them.

Nor does he bring his cattle off the public lands in the off-season to feed them when the already sparse food supply in the desert is even scarcer. Raised in the wild, Bundy’s cattle are left to fend for themselves year-round, fighting off predators and scrounging for the meager amounts of food and water available in the difficult and arid terrain that comprises the public lands in that area of the country. Bereft of human interaction, his cattle that manage to survive are wild, mean and ornery. At the time of the events giving rise to the charges, Bundy’s cattle numbered over 1,000 head, straying as far as 50 miles from his ranch and into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (“LMNRA”), getting stuck in mud, wandering onto golf courses, straying onto the freeway (causing accidents on occasion) – foraging aimlessly and wildly, roaming in small groups over hundreds of thousands of acres of federal lands that exist for the use of the general public for many other types of commercial and recreational uses such as camping, hunting, and hiking.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:37 AM on March 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


Bundy’s cattle are left to fend for themselves year-round, fighting off predators and scrounging for the meager amounts of food and water available

...which means competing with wildlife.

Free rider. Jerk.
posted by Miko at 7:39 AM on March 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Well, at least the Indians farther west didn't get kicked off their land and moved west to Arkansas, then kicked off again and moved farther west, and then have it "allotted" so they couldn't even keep most of the shit land they ended up with in Oklahoma.

One of the reasons Oklahoma wasn't admitted as a state until after 1900 was that Congress required the elimination of reservations and allotment of tribal land to individual members with the excess given to white settlers. Some of the members ended up getting rich from oil, but a lot of them were bilked out of their land before the discovery was widely known. In other cases, white settlers literally stole the allotted land by forcing the notional owner off at gunpoint.
posted by wierdo at 7:44 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I know a little bit about raising cattle for beef and that astonishes me. It takes a lot of acumen and grazing science to produce palatable grass-fed beef, and that's with decent pasture, not desert rangeland. Along with all the other ass-hattery those cows cannot be marketable for much more than utility-grade meat and byproducts.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:54 AM on March 23, 2016


The reason Cliven didn't brand them is pretty obvious; since he let them wander into every conceivable bad situation, including threatening public safety, there would be no way to prove that he was responsible.

What a truly despicable human being.
posted by valkane at 8:02 AM on March 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


Along with all the other ass-hattery those cows cannot be marketable for much more than utility-grade meat and byproducts.

He sells it out of a freezer in front of the ranch, obviously no USDA inspection involved. It's the Nevada equivalent of buying mystery meat out of a hot van after the shady Asian grocery store got shutdown the day before.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:03 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


These people had free mobility; they couldn't go buy a fucking plunger?

They didn't even put one on their list.

Hi everyone! Missed you.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:18 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bundy sold 1,300 cattle even as he fought federal roundup

So not just a freezer on his front porch.
posted by Floydd at 8:31 AM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The reason Cliven didn't brand them is pretty obvious; since he let them wander into every conceivable bad situation, including threatening public safety, there would be no way to prove that he was responsible.

Branding also requires a lot of manual labor and a general idea where your cattle are in the first place. Most states require you to register your brand with a state agency and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Cliven didn't brand because "buy and sell without the mark" moon law gibberish.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:36 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


These people had free mobility; they couldn't go buy a fucking plunger?

Surely someone sent them a sufficiently sized dildo.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:37 AM on March 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Is Checkov's Lube still out there?
posted by Artw at 8:39 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cliven didn't brand because "buy and sell without the mark" moon law gibberish.

Mooooooooo-n Law, surely?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:40 AM on March 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


post-apoplectic novel

I LOLed


I'm glad that worked, no coffee until noon today.
posted by ridgerunner at 8:58 AM on March 23, 2016


Jalliah: Another Moon Law thread!

There seems to be a new one maybe once a month -- about every...
*takes off sunglasses*
...loon-ar cycle.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:02 AM on March 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


The fact that Utah was the destination for most of Bundy's cattle is somewhat ironic given that county and state officials vigorously opposed BLM's plans to bring impounded cattle there in 2014.
...
But Bishop last week said it's "not an issue" if Bundy sells his cattle in the Beehive State.

"The issue was if BLM confiscates his cattle and then sells them at auction at Cedar City," he said.

Great stuff from that eenews link. Utah legistors, including Jason Chaffetz, sponsor of the gut-the-BLM bill linked above, and who should be considered a Bundy ally at this point, were very concerned about the health of Bundy's cattle when the BLM was trying to confiscate them and bring them to Utah. But when Bundy himself sells cattle into Utah, well, it's not a big deal if they haven't been properly inspected or vaccinated, the Utah vet can just vaccinate them right there (because that's how vaccinations work right). They don't care at all about proper ranching procedures, only about stopping the jackbooted BLM thugs from oppressing honest God fearing businessmen like Cliven Bundy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:03 AM on March 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would say that many of these people are credulous to the point of being prime targets for a ponzi scheme (and have occasionally indulged in the fantasy of creating one targeted directly at them), but I'm not fully convinced that the Sovereign Citizen movement as a whole isn't a ponzi scheme itself, albeit possibly one where not even the people at the top make any money.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:09 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is probably why the tribe has to convince the feds to prosecute, rather than being able to prosecute themselves.

Technically, the Paiute Tribe has no jurisdiction on Malheur, because while it used to be tribal territory (I can't find my ICC map), the treaty with the Paiute was never recognized by Congress, and then they were evicted. So it's just federal land with no overlay of tribal jurisdiction. The Paiute do have rights as interested parties and affiliated tribes under the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, but none of that gives them authority to make any civil or criminal claims against the occupiers.

The most involvement I could see there is that Paiute tribal elders might be called as expert witnesses to describe what the resources were and how the damage would affect their value to the tribe.
posted by suelac at 9:10 AM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


but none of that gives them authority to make any civil or criminal claims against the occupiers.

The Federal government has a Constitutionally enshrined authority to give the Paiutes precisely that. Time to exercise it. So far none of the "Sovereign citizen" twits have come up with a theory that lets them trespass on an Indian rez. So make it a rez. One problem solved.
posted by ocschwar at 9:13 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


So far none of the "Sovereign citizen" twits have come up with a theory that lets them trespass on an Indian rez.

Somehow I don't think that'll take long.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:18 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


that's a lot rougher to sell to folks out here where agriculture and timber are major businesses.

Yes, and it is precisely because the federal government knows for a fact that without controlled management of the land, the timber industry will strip states bare, as they did with Michigan, that the BLM system was created.

Plus, much of the land in BLM hands is there precisely because homesteaders were not able to make a living off of it as well.

And finally, people like the Bundys have a hard time accepting the fact that they are just one interest group among many who want to use the land. Yes, THEY want it for unrestricted cattle grazing and timber development. Other people want to use the land for research. Hunters and outdoorsmen want to have a place with active, maintainable wildlife. Hikers want to vacation in unpaved nature where they won't be run over by ATVs.

Every time a BLM decision favors one of these other groups-- who have as much claim to the land as the Bundys-- they get indignant. The issue is simply that the public voted for certain government policies, those policies are in place, and the Bundys are upset that the votes don't come down 100% on their side
posted by deanc at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Bundy’s cattle numbered over 1,000 head, straying as far as 50 miles from his ranch and ... straying onto the freeway (causing accidents on occasion)

Here's the background on one of those crashes, and here's a follow-up story.

Did Cliven Bundy take any responsibility for the incident? No. Fencing his cattle to keep them off I-15 is, according to Bundy, "a state problem. It’s not our problem. We really feel bad when it happens. We sure don’t want it to happen. But we’re not liable."

Pretty brazen, but it gets even worse. Bundy said that he could sue the driver who hit his cow: "The person whose car hit that cow is liable to me."

One of the exciting things about Cliven Bundy is his ability to take an already deranged aspect of Moon Law — in this case, the cornerstone belief that traffic laws are bogus — and somehow make it even more insane.
posted by compartment at 9:46 AM on March 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


This makes me furious.

As has been mentioned before, these folks that think the Federal government is hoarding land that "belongs" to them curiously refuse to make any mention of or recognise the original indigenous inhabitants of the land. It's as if their ersatz law has a "finders keepers" stipulation that conveniently exempts the federal government and people who are brown.
posted by constantinescharity at 10:27 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deanc - You'll note I specifically said I didn't agree with them. I fully agree that there's solid and good reasons for the BLM to be a thing.
posted by Archelaus at 11:06 AM on March 23, 2016


I also need to apologize: apparently I had not fact-checked absorbed local rhetoric on the size of the local reservation (largest turns out to be the Navajo, which I should have known). It's in the top ten, but not the largest. Whoopsie. Got to Googling after I posted that, because something about it wasn't sitting right with me. Same applies to the base, though I'm having a lot of trouble pulling up good comparison figures for that one.
posted by Archelaus at 11:11 AM on March 23, 2016


Hello new thread! So much to share since the last one closed. Here's a start:

Malheur Refuge Occupation Gave Invasive Fish Species A Leg Up [or "fin up"?]
Employees had to stay away during the 41-day armed occupation. During that time, some critical work on controlling the common carp got missed.

The carp is an invasive species that really messes up bird habitat on Malheur Lake. Linda Beck is a fish biologist at the refuge. She says they were planning to divert water away from the lake and catch thousands of pounds of carp before they got there. But that was supposed to happen in January; then, the occupation got underway.
Judge opens door for Ammon Bundy, others to be prosecuted in Nevada and Oregon at same time
The trials in Oregon and Nevada would be held on different dates, prosecutors said. Trial in the Oregon case is tentatively planned for September. Craig Gabriel, a federal prosecutor in Portland, said he has "no intention" of delaying the criminal case in Oregon and that he's working toward a swift resolution.

The two cases aren't "the government's doing," Gabriel said. "The defendants had crimes that were committed here and in Nevada."

At that, one of the defendants in the courtroom – it's not clear which one – let out a loud guffaw.
These guys have no respect for any law besides moon law.
posted by zakur at 12:27 PM on March 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Don't worry Representative Jason Chaffetz has a SOLUTION!
posted by Max Power at 12:36 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, from the press on the current Supreme Court case being heard (Texas, religious objections to healthcare including um certain er services):

"Kennedy said if religious employers were forced to comply with the contraception mandate they would be "in effect, subsidizing the conduct that they deemed immoral."

Well, yes, that would be one aspect of what we call citizenship, wouldn't it?
posted by hank at 4:02 PM on March 23, 2016


Well, yes, that's definitely happening meanwhile, but does it involve Sovereign Citizens?
posted by Bugbread at 5:13 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


compartment, he's not actually wrong about that. It is the state's responsibility to fence highways if they want them fenced. It is also the driver who is liable for crashing into an animal on said highway, at least in the states I've lived. If the animal were owned, rather than wild, the owner could sue you for killing his/her animal.

As a driver, it is your responsibility not to crash into things. It seems stupid in cases like that, but it is what it is.
posted by wierdo at 5:15 PM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Kennedy said if religious employers were forced to comply with the contraception mandate they would be "in effect, subsidizing the conduct that they deemed immoral."

RYAN BUNDY (representing self): Your honor, the men who arrested me receive salaries that are paid for using tax revenue collected by the quote-unquote government. Because arresting a Freedom Hero is immoral, I am therefore in effect subsidizing conduct that I deem immoral. This is unconstitutional!

PROSECUTING MOON LAWYER: Your honor, taxes are only paid by corporations which have no natural rights. The taxes paid by corporate paper-person all-caps-RYAN-BUNDY-no-comma-LLC are lawfully taken in accord with the secret contracts imposed on all LLC-paper-people incorporated as a result of drivers licenses and birth certificates. Said secret contract contains no clauses that forbid the use of tax revenue for his arrest. It is only a violation of a flesh-and-blood person's natural-law Constitutional rights if actual-man capital-R-Ryan-comma-family-of-capital-B-Bundy-period-period-exclamation-point is arrested using monies taken from his secret natural-person government-run bank account, which secretly contains one million-billion dollars in Yosemite-Sam-style gold nuggets.

MOON JUDGE: Can you cite precedent?

PROSECUTING MOON LAWYER: Yes, your honor. In US Coast Guard vs. International Date Line, the royal cosplayers of LG-Sanyo-Westinghouse-Supreme-Court, Inc. nullified daylight savings time on this basis.

MOON JUDGE: I agree. Corporate paper-person RYAN BUNDY LLC's motion is denied.

RYAN BUNDY: Nooooooooooo
posted by compartment at 5:15 PM on March 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Moar transriptz, PLZ, Counsillor Compartment.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:36 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


MOON JUDGE: Can you cite precedent?

PROSECUTING MOON LAWYER: Yes, your honor. In US Coast Guard vs. International Date Line, the royal cosplayers of LG-Sanyo-Westinghouse-Supreme-Court, Inc. nullified daylight savings time on this basis.


MOON JUDGE: By citing precedence you have revealed yourself to be under Admiralty Law! Bailiff, remove him from this Court!

EVERYONE REMAINING: Yay!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:42 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Every time I see Trump in front of a flag, do you know what else I see?

GOLD FRINGE!!!!
posted by Windopaene at 6:39 PM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Worth mentioning that a lot of this shit is just as bewildering to folks like me out on the East Coast. I like the idea that a lot of the land is owned by the Federal Government as a steward for the People. We don't need to expand and exploit every last acre. There's value to keeping huge swaths of our country untouched by human development.

So I agree with you about how great having public lands is. I am living in a place with vast swaths of federal land in every direction just outside of town, and it is wonderful. But it is also important to note that almost none of it is wilderness in the sense of being "untouched by human development" -- most of it has been ranched, logged repeatedly, and mined, and of course was managed by fire for thousands of years by Native Americans before that. It's still "wilderness" in the sense of being in the great outdoors, without a lot of hard infrastructure, but it has been intensively managed for a long time and a lot of it continues to be managed just as intensively today.

compartment, he's not actually wrong about that. It is the state's responsibility to fence highways if they want them fenced. It is also the driver who is liable for crashing into an animal on said highway, at least in the states I've lived. If the animal were owned, rather than wild, the owner could sue you for killing his/her animal.

As a driver, it is your responsibility not to crash into things. It seems stupid in cases like that, but it is what it is.


My vague understanding (as a non-lawyer and a non-cattle-owning-person) around here is that when you are in open range, it is on you to not hit the cows. But outside of open range areas, landowners are responsible for keeping their animals fenced, though they obviously get out all the time. It's still on the driver to not hit the cow (and given the size of the cow, that is smart), but it's not legal to just allow your beasts to roam except in certain areas.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:20 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


MOON JUDGE: By citing precedence you have revealed yourself to be under Admiralty Law! Bailiff, remove him from this Court!

What a twist!

The beautiful thing about Moon Law is its open-ended nature. When you write Back to the Future fanfic, Marty always needs to hit 88 mph and he always needs 1.21 jigowatts of power. But with Moon Law fanfic, Marty can travel through time just by reading the secret Latin words that the government microscopically engraves on the edge of every dime.

I would love to see a Moon Law "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. "If you want the judge to prosecute you as a vessel under maritime law, go to the next page. If you accept the plea deal and swear loyalty to the British Crown, go to page 23. If you understand that every page in this book is also a legal contract and that 'choosing' it constitutes your binding agreement, please sign up for my webinar on gold-hoarding strategies."
posted by compartment at 8:57 PM on March 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Cleanup underway at refuge; occupation costs rise to $6.5 million

Remind me never to go camping with these guys.
posted by Floydd at 5:38 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, dear. Arizona mass shooter files $25 million suit accusing Gabrielle Giffords of framing Cliven Bundy
According to the suit, not only is Giffords part of the “Illuminati,” she financed the shooting attack in San Bernardino last December using government funds.

“Gabby Giffords is part of a global plot to take away our civil liberties,” Loughner states. “She infiltrated the Cliven Bundy Ranch and set that poor man up.”
posted by zakur at 5:52 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Arizona mass shooter files $25 million suit accusing Gabrielle Giffords of framing Cliven Bundy

Unreal.

Now I'm imagining a reality show called Crazy Is The New Black where the camera is in a SuperMax prison and follows the daily lives of Jared Lee Loughner, James Eagan Holmes, Dylann Roof, Ted Kaczynski, Cliven, Ammon & Ryan Bundy, Terry Nichols, Zacarias Moussaoui, Richard Reid, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Eric Rudolph, Bob Hanssen, etc., etc.

Highlights would be the weekly group therapy sessions. It would need one of those Fargo-style soundtracks, like the one in Making of a Murderer.

Call me, HBO.
posted by valkane at 6:17 AM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


So, just to clarify, apparently Sanders County Sheriff Tom Rummel was notified by the FBI that Jake Ryan was wanted for a crime, and they asked him for help apprehending him.

And rather than helping apprehend a wanted criminal, Sheriff Rummel instead warned the criminal that he was wanted and allowed him to escape?

Can Sheriff Rummel be arrested as an accomplice or something now? Because the idea of local law enforcement helping criminals evade capture by Federal law enforcement seems like a really bad one to encourage.
posted by sotonohito at 7:06 AM on March 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Well this is why they like Sherrifs, because apparently Sherrifs can do whatever the fuck they like up to and including using public resources to support Moon Law.
posted by Artw at 7:14 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Next time I hear someone tell me that the poor oppressed ranchers are better stewards of the land than the government, I'll point them to this photo gallery.
posted by JackFlash at 7:31 AM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Death and Gravity do you have any references for ranchers cutting down fences and opening gates to private land and people getting into trouble for interfering with cows on their land? I looked but my google fu must be weak, because I'm not finding anything.
posted by sotonohito at 8:05 AM on March 24, 2016


do you have any references for ranchers cutting down fences and opening gates to private land and people getting into trouble for interfering with cows on their land?

I don't know about actual cases, but NRS 569.440 1 (b) states:
If any owner or occupier of any grounds or crops trespassed upon by livestock entering upon or breaking into his or her grounds, whether enclosed by a legal fence or not, kills, maims or materially injures the livestock so trespassing, the owner or occupier of the grounds or crops is liable to the owner of the livestock for all damages, and for the costs accruing from a suit for such damages, when necessarily resorted to for their recovery.
posted by zakur at 8:59 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The law says that the trespasser is responsible for damages to the owner of the land. The owner of the land can seize the livestock and hold them as collateral until damages are paid. But the owner of the land can't just shoot the livestock any more than you can set the neighbor's car on fire for parking in front of your driveway.
posted by JackFlash at 9:19 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Arizona mass shooter files $25 million suit accusing Gabrielle Giffords of framing Cliven Bundy

That has to be a troll. I've read a lot of crazy conspiracy theories and yeah, sure, they're nuttier than a squirrel's poop, but there is at least some sort of crazy logic that runs through them. There's none of that here, just name dropping in hopes of getting someone's attention now that the world has moved on from his crime. The biggest disconnect here is that he's claiming that he was innocent, that he was framed, that he was mind controlled... in order to attack the person he says is behind his misery? Compare to Odom's manifesto about sexual aliens controlling him - Odom justifies his actions via the imagined abuse.

If Loughner believed that there was a Giffords-lead conspiracy, then he would be claiming self defense, that he acted "on his own" in order to protect himself/America. If he believed he was innocent and framed by Bad Forces, he wouldn't have folded Giffords into the conspiracy at such a high level - she'd be a drone or a hubrid or mandroid or something, but not someone in charge.

Instead, he's just just mixing up terms designed to get attention and standard conspiracy buzzwords. There's no narrative here and I don't recall one from his trial...

...and it is a hoax. Well, at least I got to flex my degree in Conspiracy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:47 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


At the risk of sounding like a bad guy, I have a little bit of sympathy for Kaczynski. I don't know if it's fair to compare him to the rest of them. He sounded like a legitimately traumatized person, and a rather intelligent one at that, who was pushed beyond sanity. Judging by his sensitivities, he was clearly mentally ill.

The only illness these men suffer from is greed. There's nothing pathological here, unless their stupidity happens to have a tragically pathological origin.
posted by constantinescharity at 10:23 AM on March 24, 2016


the Ranch Dildonians.

I just want to say I simultaneously cringed and applauded at this turn of phrase. (Background for curious non-Americans; unfortunately, the dream of the '90s is still alive in more ways than we'd like.)
posted by psoas at 11:20 AM on March 24, 2016


In the last thread, I had a few head asplosions watching the Final Four on video, due to their profound ineptitude in an outdoor setting. Now I'm having similar reactions to the photo gallery JackFlash posted. So many questions. Questions like:

1. Why was someone painstakingly emptying out cigarettes to make a pile of tobacco?
2. Is that poop on the floor of the shed? Human poop?
3. What on earth did they do to simple gear like camping chairs and EZ-Up canopies that turned them into twisted, unusable metal sculptures?
4. Who punched in the wall by the light switch and why?
5. What are the pink and brown stains all over the floor?

Ugh, what a bunch of slobs.
posted by Miko at 3:29 PM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


The news video story at the link in the photo gallery is interesting. It says the federal government is estimating the cost of the lapse in operations at the refuge, plus cleanup, is $6.5 million. Seems low but must not take into account the state law enforcement cost, which also must have been just huge, let alone the community's lost revenue from tourism.
posted by Miko at 3:32 PM on March 24, 2016


Now I'm having similar reactions to the photo gallery

I'm most appalled by the bottle of Canadian Mist. But its not surprising that they would hide that under the couch cushions. I wouldn't want anybody knowing I drank that stuff either.
posted by JackFlash at 3:40 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Next time I hear someone tell me that the poor oppressed ranchers are better stewards of the land than the government, I'll point them to this photo gallery.

Kinda, painting with a broad brush? Not everybody gets a free lobotomy with their first cow.
posted by ridgerunner at 4:07 PM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, to be honest, I doubt real ranchers or cowboys can afford to take three months off to go shit-camp on a federal reserve.
posted by valkane at 4:19 PM on March 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


I don't have any concrete references at this point, but I knew a BLM guy who talked about ranchers doing it quite a bit, and I personally saw lots of open gates from BLM land to national forest land which should have been closed. (I asked about that and was told the gates should be closed, so I'd close them every time I went by them, and they'd always be opened again after a week or so.)

Also lived somewhere where the fence between the land that I was living on kept getting pushed down to the ground and where I was firmly told that I shouldn't even chase the cattle back off the land I was living on, though the landowner said that he did not want the cattle there and that he'd had the same problem.

And right now, I know someone living on private land where cattle are not supposed to graze, but there are cattle there all the time and the ranchers have said (however politely) "fuck you" to complaints.
posted by Death and Gravity at 5:37 PM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


USFWS released 28 photos today detailing the damage that the Malheur occupiers have caused. Damages are estimated to be at $6 million for the USFWS and an additional 3 million for the Oregon State government
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:49 PM on March 24, 2016


"The wildlife service...estimates it will spend $1.7 million to restore damaged property and replace missing items, Holm said."

What the hell did they steal? The damage photos look like maybe two days of cleanup work by a three man crew, so around $500, and then repairing the drywall near the light switch and the pinked-up floor looks like another $500 each, so $1,500. Assuming those photos show about half the damage (if there were a lot more damage they would have released more damning photos than "table with some books and stuff on it" and "two mattresses on floor"), that would be around $3,000 total. Then assuming my numbers are off by, heck, let's say a factor of ten, we're looking at $30,000 total. Then let's be extra careful and assume that my assumption of being off by a factor of ten is in fact itself off by a factor of two. So while I'm guessing it looks like $3,000 in damage, I'm going to go ahead and call it $60,000 instead. But that still leaves $1,640,000! Heck, if my guestimate was off not by a factor of 20 but even a factor of 200, that still leaves $1,100,000 in "missing items". Was the a bird sanctuary and diamond warehouse?
posted by Bugbread at 6:08 PM on March 24, 2016


That's just inside the main building, and only shows superficial damage.

There were major plumbing issues that caused them to dig a latrine in a graveyard, preservation and scientific shit that has to be restarted. Stored artifacts that I haven't seen reported on since the occupiers were rummaging through it, et fucking cetera.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:13 PM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, invasive carp are a big issue at Malheur, and the planned January removal while they were trapped by winter was prevented, so they have washed into the main lake and it will take much more expensive measures to lower the numbers.
posted by tavella at 6:39 PM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Okay, the plumbing part and the missing artifacts (especially if they're highly valuable) makes a bit more sense, though if they're artifacts would it even be possible to just replace them?

On the other hand, I don't see how preservation and scientific activities or carp removal would be "restoring damaged property or replacing missing items."

I'm suspecting it's just that the article was written sloppily and was really referring to any type of work necessitated by the occupation. In that case the $1.7 million wouldn't be surprising in the least.
posted by Bugbread at 6:51 PM on March 24, 2016


two days of cleanup work by a three man crew, so around $500

I think you need to look up prevailing wage rates (and the cost of biological hazards cleanups) and adjust your cost estimates way, way up, as well as go up on the amount of damage needing repairs. Don't forget to include computers, computer networks, and replacement GSA vehicles, among other things that those morons damaged, and they are also including the costs of having to relocate every staff member to a safer place during the occupation. I doubt anyone has even tried to place a value on scientific data that was lost or damaged yet, either.

1. Why was someone painstakingly emptying out cigarettes to make a pile of tobacco?

Sometimes a person wants to smoke something that isn't tobacco but they don't have any rolling papers, so they empty out their cigs and put in whatever it is they are wanting to smoke, sometimes mixed with some of the tobacco.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:02 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think I'm being misread. I don't think it's weird that the recovery will cost $1.7 million. I just didn't get how it was $1.7 mil in, specifically, "repairing property and replacing items". Stuff like relocation expenses, the carp situation, etc. all easily push the number into the millions, but they don't fit in that category. Plumbing repair and vehicle replacement costs do.

I'm still suspecting that the phrase "repairing property and replacing items" was just poorly phrased and the number really includes all the stuff y'all are discussing.

Also, there were missing vehicles? How did that happen? I understand that law enforcement let the occupiers go without arresting them in order to arrest them later, but when the occupiers left in gov't vehicles, even if they weren't detained, why didn't the FBI at the roadblock take the vehicles back?

(I'm not doubting that there are missing vehicles, I literally mean "How did that happen"?)
posted by Bugbread at 7:21 PM on March 24, 2016


I'm still suspecting that the phrase "repairing property and replacing items" was just poorly phrased and the number really includes all the stuff y'all are discussing.

I suspect you're just underestimating the extent of damage that was blithely inflicted to a wilderness area.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:29 PM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, if there's human shit everywhere, that alone involves a hazmat crew, and completely replacing the carpets and any other cloth items like office furniture in the building. If they damaged the excavator that'll get you 300k in one fell swoop. And you're vastly, vastly under estimating the costs of removing all of that random trash from the middle of no where, that's more like a week for 30 people, not a couple hours for a 3 man crew.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:35 PM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, there were missing vehicles? How did that happen?

One guy got arrested for driving a government truck to the Safeway, but otherwise I think all the vehicles were still there. I was just assuming that they were just as trashed as the buildings and would need to be replaced, but that may not be the case. (The vehicles are probably leased from the GSA, so I'm not sure who would be on the hook for replacement costs in that case.)

Any damage to the heavy equipment will get very expensive quickly, though I don't think they really did that much with it other than drive it around, dig a few trenches, and build a small road.

Removing and rehabilitating that stupid road won't be cheap either. The refuge probably has enough equipment to do that work themselves, but contracted out you would be at least in the tens of thousands of dollars and probably more, plus the costs of the archeological testing and observation before and during, and the ongoing costs of the revegetation and weed control for some years.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:42 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


T.D. Strange: "Well, if there's human shit everywhere, that alone involves a hazmat crew"

Yeah, so this is something I was wondering about...

(and before anyone misunderstands me, I'm askin' real AskMe-style questions here, not rhetorical conspiracy-theorist-style questions like "How could one person have shot Kennedy?" or "How could one plane bring down a whole tower?" type questions)

...it totally makes sense that you'd need a hazmat crew to work with human waste. But plumbers work with human waste all the time, and they're not hazmat personnel. They don't even wear hazmat gear, just gloves. And I've seen sewer company workers doing pipe work without hazmat gear, etc. When does handling human waste require hazmat, and when can it be handled by just a plumber/sewer company worker?

T.D. Strange: "completely replacing the carpets and any other cloth items like office furniture in the building. If they damaged the excavator that'll get you 300k in one fell swoop."

Ah, cool, those also make total sense and can easily drive that figure up.

Dip Flash: "Removing and rehabilitating that stupid road won't be cheap either."

Ooh, yeah, good point.

Okay, what with the sewer, possible vehicle replacement, carpet and furniture replacement, road removal, and possible heavy equipment damage, the $1.7 million number makes sense now. Sorry for the derail. Let us now return to discussing Moon Law (and the difference between plumbers and hazmat personnel).
posted by Bugbread at 7:48 PM on March 24, 2016


Plus guns drive you mad.

Lead poisoning.
--lungful of dragon

There's actually some truth to that.
posted by eye of newt at 9:57 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's that book we see in the tobacco picture.
A Moon Law manual.
posted by Floydd at 6:05 AM on March 25, 2016


Fiore claiming guvmint out to ensnare more innocent cowboys
“… When they saw our cowboys camping in the middle of NOWHERE not arguing or yelling at people and all of a sudden 40 of our cowboys are in jail … “

Fiore discussed word that a new round of “mass” arrests related to the Nevada standoff is imminent, potentially sweeping up “anyone in Bunkerville in 2014.” With the interview as a platform, Fiore advised those persons “absolutely” to not talk to law enforcement without an attorney:

“… A lot of us, we want to be friendly and we want to help because we don’t have an issue with law enforcement, but their intention is to entrap and their intention is not pure so I would highly suggest no-one speak with the FBI or the police without your attorney, because they do not have good intentions at the moment.”
posted by zakur at 6:18 AM on March 25, 2016


look like maybe two days of cleanup work by a three man crew

I think you're really underestimating. I have had some bitter experience with flood remediation on a camp property, and though there are processes with that that are more involved (like mold elimination), what looks like a little picking-up work rarely is. They probably are going to want to completely sanitize every surface, they have e-waste to dispose of, I would not be surprised if there were propane and other flammables spilled all over the place that's going to require skilled removal, and floor treatment alone is expensive and time-consuming. We paid tens of thousands to get a disheveled camp property cleaned up post-flood, and it took over three weeks with a dozen workers; I expect because it's so remote, they're also going to need to house a remediation company locally; and in the end, that cleanup was more straightforward than this.
posted by Miko at 8:45 AM on March 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fiore claiming guvmint out to ensnare more innocent cowboys.

The interesting thing is that none of the people arrested is a cowboy. Ammon Bundy runs a truck repair business. Ryan Bundy is a construction worker. Ryan Payne is an electrician. Sean and Sandy Anderson run a sporting goods store. David Fry is a dental assistant. Pete Santilli is a radio jock, Jeff Banta is a construction worker. Jason Patrick is a roofer. Brian Cavalier is a tattoo artist. Jon Ritzheimer lives on disability and his wife's job. Cliven Bundy is a melon farmer who happens to let a bunch of cows run wild on government land.

These aren't cowboys. They are just folks who like to get together and wave guns at government employees.
posted by JackFlash at 9:40 AM on March 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


The interesting thing is that none of the people arrested is a cowboy.

BUT THEY ALL WORE COWBOY HATS!!!

Cowboy Cosplayers?
posted by zakur at 10:18 AM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


If the Final Four became the new face of "cowboys" in the American imagination, it may all have been worth it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:32 AM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]






Perhaps if she didn't want her daughter in danger, she should have encouraged them to not hang out in an armed insurrection. Just a thought.
posted by Archelaus at 2:29 AM on March 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Threats continue against troopers, governor, others after LaVoy Finicum shooting
The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, which investigated Finicum's death, this week released a sampling of threats collected by investigators. The threats contain sometimes vile language. Police redacted the names and other identifying information from the records.
Those samples can be viewed here (PDF). Pretty vile stuff.
posted by zakur at 7:26 AM on March 26, 2016




We are productive American people who want nothing more than to live peaceful lives.

LOL
posted by Artw at 6:43 PM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Idaho patriot group leader filed bankruptcy after Malheur visit
When Brandon Curtiss visited the Malheur Wildlife Refuge outside Burns, Ore., in January, he told a reporter from The Oregonian newspaper he had “built a property management company from scratch.”

... Three weeks after speaking to The Oregonian reporter, Curtiss filed for bankruptcy protection — for the third time. In a deposition for one of the lawsuits he said there were no shareholder payouts because the management firm “is not a profitable company."
Exec summary: He's a deadbeat Dad and a conniving grifter.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:39 AM on March 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Curtiss and his wife, Stephanie, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Feb. 3 in Boise. The Meridian couple claims debts of $235,000, with listed assets of $13,230. This filing follows a 2009 bankruptcy in which Curtiss owed about $140,000 and a 2001 filing from which documents are not available.

You can only do a bankruptcy discharge once every 8 years, so Curtiss is a little ahead of schedule on the grift.

Also, he has over $30,000 of medical debt incurred in the last year, so not surprisingly he is apparently an uninsured Obamacare protester. The rest of us will have to pick up his bills.
posted by JackFlash at 9:30 AM on March 28, 2016


Ripoff reports on Brandon Curtiss:

the Portland property owners quoted in the Statesman story.

Another employer.

A renter.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:46 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Today Cracked spotlights Schaeffer Cox, the Alaskan sovcit who's doing 25 years, in "Going Deep Undercover In A Right Wing Militia Ruined My Life." "The Peacemaker," an earlier piece on Cox in the Pacific Standard, provides more background and bonus CLGJ-at-DennysCon.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:33 AM on March 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


The manifesto that Floydd links is truly something.

On Fark, there is a thread about it, and one user (OooShiny) has dug up all kinds of law-breaking that Ryan Bundy has gotten up to over the last decade. Highly recommended. It demonstrates that Bundy has been protected by some pretty extreme white privilege, getting a series of slaps on the wrist for lots of infractions.
posted by dhens at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Cracked piece has an important bit of trivia, too. Paraphrased: "the cops don't like to serve warrants on these guys, because they tend to start shooting."

That's... some seriously worrying shit, right there. If we've got guys so crazy the cops literally won't arrest them, when they have warrants out, that needs some handling.
posted by Archelaus at 4:03 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Um, haven't we seen that repeatedly?
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2016


Have we? From the perspective of actual police saying so? I mean, yes, we've seen their willingness to shoot when thwarted repeatedly, for certain, but I'm not so sure we've seen cops acknowledging them as a big threat, before.
posted by Archelaus at 4:42 PM on March 29, 2016


Archelaus: "That's... some seriously worrying shit, right there. If we've got guys so crazy the cops literally won't arrest them, when they have warrants out, that needs some handling."

I think you're reading a bit more into the quote than is actually there. It says "Police generally hate serving said warrants, because sovereign citizens have a nasty habit of flipping out and gunning down cops." I've read quotes from various police saying this. However, that's different from saying "won't arrest them."

I have a cop acquaintance (not in America). He mentioned that he hates breaking up fights between drunken people, because you don't know what they're going to do. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't break up drunken fights, just that he hates doing it.
posted by Bugbread at 4:51 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not so sure we've seen cops acknowledging them as a big threat, before.

Absolutely. The BLM has essentially abandoned all work in thousands of square miles of the Arizona Strip because it is too dangerous to be in remote areas. The BLM has instructions that no personnel should travel alone in certain areas of Sovereign Citizen activity. Employees are accompanied by law enforcement officers in areas of Nevada near the Bundy farm.
posted by JackFlash at 4:58 PM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Cracked piece has an important bit of trivia

My favorite part was how Cox was like a degree away from wearing a fedora everywhere.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:26 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Piece in the NYT last weekend about how the Malheur area is recovering, tourism-wise. An interesting read, and I especially liked this part:

"....membership in the Friends of Malheur has gone from about 250 to more than 1,800,” he said, passing me his pair of binoculars. “That’s the silver lining."
posted by Miko at 1:51 PM on April 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


David Fry makes unusual personal plea for his release in federal court

"I'm absolutely not a violent person. I don't like guns,'' Fry told the judge
posted by Floydd at 7:53 AM on April 6, 2016


FTA (emphasis mine):
Federal agents found a shotgun and four other rifles in Fry's car after the occupation was over, prosecutors said.

Many of the guns didn't have a safety, so Fry moved them so no accidents would occur, Olson said.
RESPECT THE CULTURE!

Also, the idea that he's non-violent and doesn't like guns is directly contradicted by his livestreams. He seemed particularly keen on showing off one gun that had the Confederate Stars and Bars on it, which...yeah.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:03 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


"I'm not violent, I just declared war on the US when I was the last holdout by, y'know, accident."
posted by Archelaus at 11:52 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]




You could say he's in a world of shit.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:40 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Glad that happened peacefully, after all the posturing. It sounded like the sheriff was trying to persuade the family that it was a good idea, from reports a couple of days ago. Probably self-protection for himself, but still glad to see at least some of the CSPOA sheriffs still have some grasp of reality.
posted by tavella at 12:41 PM on April 6, 2016


So, this leaves just Travis Cox as indicted but not arrested? Any word on why he hasn't been brought in?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:26 PM on April 6, 2016


Oregon standoff figure Jake Ryan found hiding in shed in Clark County

Report of Squatter Leads to Arrest of #OregonStandoff Fugitive

Malheur Refuge Occupiers' Trial Date Set For Sept. 7
"Ryan Bundy and Kenneth Medenbach, two defendants who are representing themselves in the case, added they’ve faced excessive challenges in mounting their defenses. Bundy said he’s had difficulty accessing discovery, or even pencils and paper to work on his case — let alone leave the jail to interview witnesses because he’s being detained in pretrial custody."
If Ryan thinks he's going to be released every day to play Columbo, he really does have a fool for a client.

"SSG" Moe grifts for Jake. (Bonus commenter confusion over how Jake Ryan is a Bundy.)
posted by octobersurprise at 7:27 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Caught napping in someone else's chicken coop" seems an entirely appropriate ending for one of these guys and their great fugitive dreams.

As far as I know, that leaves only Travis Cox, who at least has been smart enough to stay low profile while on the run.
posted by tavella at 11:44 AM on April 7, 2016


"Caught napping in someone else's chicken coop" seems an entirely appropriate ending for one of these guys and their great fugitive dreams.

It's very 19th-century outlaw.
posted by Miko at 2:33 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Napping in someone else's chicken coop" sounds very much like a colorful description of marital in flagrante delicto.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:00 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


"You men eat your dinner
Eat your pork and beans
I eat more chicken
Than any man ever seen ..."
posted by octobersurprise at 5:58 PM on April 7, 2016




Jake Ryan had a .45 on him when he was captured. Why would he take a gun with him when he decided to go on the run? As far as I know there are no wild animals that prey on humans in Nevada. If he uses the gun for armed robbery, then he triggers a more intense pursuit which will end up with him being captured unless he straight out kills his victim. As far I know Ryan is only facing five years so he can't have been dumb enough to be planning on resisting arrest. All the gun does is increase the chance that he'll be dead in an encounter with law enforcement or some property owner.
posted by rdr at 12:58 AM on April 8, 2016


I'd guess that he carried a gun because he's convinced himself that it is a necessary part of his identity and a symbol of his existence as a free human being.

The fact that it had absolutely no use to him (unless he planned a crime) and significantly increased his likelihood of being shot by the police would almost certainly never have entered his thinking. To a lot of people on the right a gun is more of a symbol, a talisman, a physical embodiment of their value and worth as free human beings, than a weapon.

And that's why they keep getting shot by toddlers. Because they get so overly familiar with guns, because they think of them mainly as talismans against tyranny, they tend to forget that their guns, which they wind up treating more like mere fashion accessories rather than weapons, can kill people.

I recall seeing a person on a pro-gun forum once who expressed outrage that his sister in law was grumpy with him. She'd asked him not to take his concealed carry weapon into her house, and he'd agreed. But one day he forgot he was wearing it and she was grumpy with him for bringing it inside. This, he thought, was completely unfair and improper. He hadn't violated their agreement on purpose, it was an accident, a slip of the mind. He viewed it as totally reasonable for him to forget that he was armed, and didn't see at all that it was that very contemptuous casualness about guns that is the problem and the reason his sister in law didn't want him armed in her house.

The others on the forum were entirely sympathetic to him. In their view there was nothing wrong, nothing deeply disturbing, about a person forgetting that he was carrying a loaded gun. Because, to a lot of the guns everywhere people, there isn't any significant difference between a gun and a phone, or a gun and a wallet. They're just things you carry with you everywhere.
posted by sotonohito at 6:49 AM on April 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


That being my precise frustration with them, yeah.
posted by Archelaus at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2016


Mefi: That's why they keep getting shot by toddlers.
posted by Duffington at 10:30 AM on April 8, 2016


Meanwhile, an Ohio SovCit overshoots his right to bear arms by blowing up his own hands.
posted by mochapickle at 11:01 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


What a horrifying story.
posted by Miko at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2016


It is.

Most of those indicted for Malheur are from the western states (map of indicted), but Santilli and Fry are both from Ohio. Stuff like this has got me thinking more about the midwest and how things will play out when you don't have as much open land/space as you do out west.
posted by mochapickle at 11:15 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


For 40 bucks you can sponsor the Bundys in a "virtual race."
"This event is scheduled for Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th, 2016. There will be no central location, as this is a virtual race. For those new to virtual races, you are able to complete the run on your own schedule at any place. You may walk, run or even ride a horse. You can do it alone or as groups."
Given these tribes of yahoos, I think the important question is "Can you participate from a cell or a sofa?"
posted by octobersurprise at 11:53 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Haven't we already sponsored the Bundys to the tune of millions of dollars in unpaid grazing fees?
posted by hippybear at 12:09 PM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


But did you get an authentic American made-in-China belt-buckle and bandanna with that? I think not.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:20 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I drove through the Refuge a couple of days ago. The headquarters is still gated closed and the place looks pretty deserted. The tourists haven't shown up yet because the season is still early. Just a few sandhill cranes have arrived so far.

The Anderson-Fry camp is surrounded by a temporary chain-link fence like a hazmat site. It is still a pile of jumbled junk, trenches and feces covered with white plastic sheeting.
posted by JackFlash at 4:01 PM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: a pile of jumbled junk, trenches and feces covered with white plastic sheeting
posted by hippybear at 4:20 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Look I love all you people but I am going to be giggling over that for an hour at least
posted by hippybear at 4:21 PM on April 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


Carol Bundy and Ammon Bundy's lawyer start a facebook beef with Harry Reid.

From Carol Bundy: "Let's not let Harry Reid get to control who gets to see our land, who doesn't...".

Harry Reid is, to state the obvious, the Senate Minority Leader.
posted by rdr at 5:19 AM on April 11, 2016


Fry posted a thank you video to supporters in which he thanks an "M Pickle." (00:37)

It's not me, but man, that's weird. What are the odds?
posted by mochapickle at 10:17 PM on April 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


2 Bundys, 3 Others Balk at Pleas in Nevada Standoff Case
Co-defendants Blaine Cooper and Ryan Payne stood Friday next to their court-appointed attorneys in Las Vegas and said their rights were being violated.

Payne told the judge it was "preposterous, sir," to have to defend himself against federal charges in two jurisdictions at the same time.

"I don't understand the pretense of this level of government to bring forth such charges," he added.

Brian Cavalier finished his arraignment — "I will not be entering a plea today," he said — by offering federal prosecutors a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution.

The cordon of marshals tensed when Cooper picked up the pamphlet and tossed it onto the table of the U.S. attorneys handling the case.
posted by cjelli at 10:19 AM on April 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bundy brothers, three others refuse to enter pleas in Bunkerville standoff
Before [Bundy's] case was called, his Oregon defense lawyer, Mike Arnold, was ordered to leave the courtroom after he was observed using his cellphone in the gallery. Security officers had warned people ahead of time that they risked being removed if caught using a phone.

Ryan Bundy said he wanted to represent himself, and [Judge] Foley ordered a hearing next week to decide whether to allow him to do it.

Foley also set detention hearings for both brothers on Wednesday. He ordered Payne, Cavalier and Cooper detained as flight risks and threats to the community.

The three-hour arraignment was unusually long because one of the defendants asked for the 64-page indictment to be read in court. That took more than 90 minutes.
posted by cjelli at 10:23 AM on April 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


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