Up to 150 well-armed, white, Christian, self-described “patriots” take a “hard stand” against federal “tyranny,” taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon

Last night, up to 150 well-armed, white militia members led by rancher Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon took over a federal wildlife refuge in the high desert of Oregon. Ammon Bundy, urging others to join him, declared the following in a video posted to Facebook. “We have basically taken over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge,” he said. “And this will become a base place for patriots from all over the country to come and be housed here and to live here. And we’re planning on staying here for several years.” Calling this group of his “the point of the spear,” Ammon Bundy called on his fellow “patriots” to “bring (their) arms” and join those already assembled in their “hard stand” against federal “tyranny.”

In the opinion of the Washington Post, this most recent battle of the so-called “patriot” movement is all about “sticking it to The Man, who they feel is responsible for their economic misfortune.” And, given what Ammon Bundy told CNN earlier today, it seems as though he’s in agreement. “I want to emphasis that the American people are wondering why they can’t seem to get ahead, or why everything is costing more and you are getting less, and that is because the federal government is taking and using the land and resources,” he said.

As for what sparked the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, it would appear that Ammon Bundy and others saw an opportunity to continue their fight against perceived federal tyranny, which began several years ago in Nevada, with the recent sentencing of Oregon ranchers Dwight Hammond, and his son Steve, who had been convicted of arson in federal court. The father and son, who were each sentenced to five years in prison, apparently set their first fire on federal land in 2001 to destroy evidence of their illegal poaching of a deer, resulting in the burning of 139 acres. And, more recently, the two set a fire in 2006 in order to protect their ranch from an approaching wildfire. This action, according to prosecutors, endangered the lives of volunteer firefighters in the area… It would seem, based on what I’ve read and seen thus far, Bundy and others feel as though the Hammonds should have free rein over public lands, given their status as well-established white patriots.

Here’s opportunist patriot Ammon Bundy explaining how the Lord has asked him to do this, and urging others to join him in standing up to the government.

Speaking of their being white, US Uncut just posted an interesting piece about the Oregon militia movement in which, among other things, it was suggested that what we’re seeing today has its roots in the white power movement… Here’s a clip.

…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. 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…

As of right now, it doesn’t appear as though law enforcement has made a move against these 150 or so men. One would expect, however, that we’ll see something happening soon. One just hopes that it can be done in such a way as not to create martyrs for this growing anti-government movement.

While we’re on the subject of this movement that the Bundys are in the middle of, here’s a little something that I posted back in 2014 on the occasion of their last standoff with federal authorities, and the subsequent murder of law enforcement officers

“This is a revolution.” …The recent domestic terrorism attack in Las Vegas and its roots in the Cliven Bundy standoff


It’s being reported that Jerad and Amanda Miller [seen above], the couple who murdered two Las Vegas police officers as they ate lunch on Sunday, and then moved on to a nearby Wal-Mart to continue their killing spree, may have been involved in the mid-April anti-government standoff between federal authorities and armed militia members supporting racist Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Regardless of whether or not they participated in that armed uprising against Bureau of Land Management agents, who had massed outside Bundy’s Bunkerville, Nevada ranch in order to roundup his cattle, which had been grazing illegally on federal land for the past 20 years, though, there’s no doubt that the two harbored deep anti-government beliefs.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok, who we spoke with not too long ago about the growing threat of the anti-government groups in Michigan, “Witnesses said that (the Millers) shouted ‘this is a revolution’ and draped the (murdered) officers with a Gadsden flag — a symbol of liberty used by both the anti-government ‘Patriot’ movement and many Tea Parties — before going on to kill themselves as police closed in.”

By way of background, here’s a clip from the Las Vegas Sun:

…In his last Facebook post before Sunday’s fatal shooting, Jerad Miller spoke of the “dawn of a new day.”

“May all of our coming sacrifices be worth it,” the June 7 post read.

Miller’s online presence over the last year includes dozens of Facebook posts and 20 YouTube videos posted under the username USATruePatriot.

The posts and videos depict Miller as a man frustrated with the government to the point where he considered violence.

“To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed,” Miller wrote in a lengthy rant posted on June 2.

One video posted on Oct. 15, 2012 shows Miller dressed up in full face make-up as the Joker, Batman’s comic book nemesis. The video, titled “joker for president” shows a costumed Miller ranting in front of an American flag.

“Year after year I’ve watched you Americans, my fellow citizens, vote for tyranny,” Miller said. His other online posts mention having visited the Bundy ranch during Cliven Bundy’s showdown with the federal government in April. They also touch on topics ranging from Benghazi to gun rights to the militia movement…

Here’s Miller’s last entry on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 2.56.40 PM

While there’s not yet evidence placing Jerad or Amanda Miller in the area of Bundy’s ranch in April, along with all of the other militia members pointing their weapons at law enforcement officers, a photo has surfaced showing Jerad with former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, the leader of the radical “Patriot” group The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the two met at a February 8 campaign event for Libertarian candidates running in Clark County, Nevada. (See photo below.)


I mention this likely connection between the Millers and the anti-government crew that coalesced on the Bundy ranch not to suggest that the latter were in any way directly responsible for the murder of these three individuals in Las Vegas, but to ask the question, “Do those individuals who knowingly spread misinformation about our government share any culpability when things like this happen?” In other words, should those individuals who, for political reasons, purposefully spread misinformation about Benghazi, chemtrails, Obama’s secret Muslim agenda, and any number of other things, feel any sense of responsibility when something like this happens? I think they do. The folks who orchestrated events at the Bundy ranch may not have turned this couple into the killers that we saw on Sunday, but there’s no doubt that their paranoid fears were being stoked by Cliven Bundy and those individuals surrounding him. (Bundy, when you strip everything else away, is just a wealthy rancher who doesn’t want to pay the over $1 million he owes to American people for grazing his cattle on federal land. Everything else… all the talk of federal tyranny… is just bullshit intended to whip up the anti-government masses who rushed in with their assault weapons to defend him.) Bundy and company may not have put the guns in the hands of Jerad and Amanda Miller, and pointed them toward a target, but they certainly played a role. And, in my opinion, they should be held accountable for that in some way.

And if you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention.

update: After initial denials that the Millers were at The Bundy ranch, footage has surfaced which shows them there.

update: Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy just confirmed with The Associated Press that Jerad and Amanda Miller were among their supporters on site in April. According to Ammon, though, they were asked to leave due to their radical beliefs. Backpedaling ferociously, he said, “The only thing worse than tyranny is anarchy, and we certainly recognize that.”

So apparently it’s OK to point your guns at officers, just not to pull the trigger.

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  1. Jcp2
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    It’s Oregon. Why the surprise?


  2. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Mark– I’m disappointed. You jumped all over the Bundy’s entering the picture. You bring in the Miller’s, but you made no attempt to look into the Hammond’s original complaints against the other BLM. You turned this into a story of white terrorism following your political bias, the same way the right turns Black Lives Matter protests into a story akin to Black terrorism, Bundy’s an asshole. He jumped in for media attention, but the complaints of the Hammonds are legit. Out West the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has been at odds with ranchers in territorial and water rights disputes for a hundred years. It’s a fight for agency, financial survival (not riches) and a way of life against the state. (Sound familiar?) And we know how fights against the state go. The state does not play fair. Period. The Hammonds, the Oregon ranchers, were clearly grossly mistreated over years by the Bureau of Land Management. They have been harassed for over ten years, losing land, access to water for their cattle and being fined and jailed. The Bundy’s showing up is, in their world, like Sharpton showing up. The media follow.

    Ideally this WILL be handled peacefully. Ideally Black Lives Matter protests will also be handled peacefully going forward. (And MOST have)It’s worth pointing out the different treatment happening in the media, but I’m not happy with the left’s uninformed dismissal of the concern’s of the ranchers any more than I’m happy with the right’s uninformed dismissal of the concerns of Black Lives Matter. Look at what happened here– half the story, all from one side. That’s how bias works. It concerns me that we divide along political lines where we should be aligned against the state in all instances of government over-reach.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    For what it;s worth the NYTimes did essentially the same thing, weighting the story to the Bundy’s and the white militia movement. They do mention the fires on the Hammond ranch that spread onto govt land and which the Hammonds themselves extinguished and for which they were imprisoned under arson charges, but not the gov’t seizing of the Hammond’s water rights. They neglect to explain what a fucking controlled burn is. Controlled burns going beyond their intended range is extremely common out west. They are good and maybe required environmental practice. Our local park service does the same. Neither they or you bother to explain that the Hammond property is surrounded by the Wildlife Refuge in question– a wildlife refuge to which they refused to sell their land 40+ years ago. Whatever. It’s a bad time for journalism. Totally depressing. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/us/armed-group-vows-to-hold-federal-wildlife-office-in-oregon-for-years.html?_r=0

  4. anonymous
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    While I would agree with you, Jean, that it’s worth discussing the tactics of the Bureau of Land Management, I think the bigger story here is the standoff between these 150 militia members and the federal government. The fact that the Hammond situation sparked it is less important to me.

  5. Taco Farts
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Yep, exactly the same as Natural Area Preservation. Just a bunch of good guys caring for the land!

    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.

  6. Meta
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    From the Washington Post this morning:

    “The mysterious fires that led to the Bundy clan’s Oregon standoff”

    The trouble with the Hammonds and fire began in 2001. That year, the government showed, Steven Hammond went hunting, killing deer on land under control of the Bureau of Land Management. What to do to erase evidence of this game violation? Break out the matches.

    “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,’” a Justice Department account of the trial read. “One witness testified that he barely escaped the eight to ten foot high flames caused by the arson.”

    The result: More than 100 acres of public land were destroyed. But, the government said, Steven Hammond was ready with an explanation. Sure, he had started the fire, he said. But he never meant to burn any land his family didn’t own.

    “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,” the Justice Department wrote. “Dwight and Steven Hammond told one of their relatives to keep his mouth shut and that nobody needed to know about the fire.”

    Susan Hammond, Dwight’s wife, explained the family’s version of the story.

    “They called and got permission to light the fire,” she told the Tri-State Livestock News — which bills itself as “what ranchers read.” “… We usually called the interagency fire outfit — a main dispatch — to be sure someone wasn’t in the way or that weather would be a problem.”

    Livestock News called the fire “a routine range improvement practice” and said proof that the family got permission was documented in a recording of the phone call played in court.

    If the government’s story and the Hammonds’ story weren’t divergent enough, a similar scenario played out in 2006. That year, the Justice Department said, Steven Hammond purposefully set a fire again without permission — this time to prevent wildfires started by lightning strikes from spreading to his property. The practice, called “back burning” or lighting “back fires,” can be effective, but it also endangers public property that abuts private ranch land. Firefighters were already battling blazes started by the lightning, and a “burn ban” was in effect.

    “Despite the ban, without permission or notification to BLM, Steven Hammond started several ‘back fires’ in an attempt save the ranch’s winter feed,” the government wrote. “The fires burned onto public land and were seen by BLM firefighters camped nearby. The firefighters took steps to ensure their safety and reported the arsons.”

    Susan Hammond again explained her family’s thinking.

    “There was fire all around them that was going to burn our house and all of our trees and everything,” she said to Livestock News. “The opportunity to set a back-fire was there and it was very successful. It saved a bunch of land from burning.”

    The Hammonds’ fires, part of an obscure beef between ranchers and BLM, might seem tangential — not the real center of a national news story about the Bundys’ hostage-free, would-be armed rebellion. But at least one federal judge opined that the Hammonds have been unfairly treated.

    “It just would not be — would not meet any idea I have of justice, proportionality,” U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan, who declined to impose the five-year sentence mandated by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, said. “I am not supposed to use the word ‘fairness’ in criminal law. I know that I had a criminal law professor a long time ago yell at me for doing that. And I don’t do that. But this — it would be a sentence which would shock the conscience to me.”

    Hogan — who sentenced Dwight Hammond to three months in prison and Steven Hammond to one year and one day — was overruled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which upheld the five-year mandatory minimum sentence in October and ordered that the Hammonds be resentenced accordingly. Yet, the Hammonds, on their way back to federal prison, have chosen to distance themselves from the Bundys.

    “I have received information that Ammon Bundy has communicated with you or your office about the Hammond Family,” W. Alan Schroeder, an attorney for the Hammonds, wrote to David M. Ward, Harney County’s sheriff, in December. “… I write to clarify that neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family.”

    The ranching community seems caught in the crossfire. Sure, the Hammonds broke the law. But did they need to be prosecuted as terrorists? Then again, even if they are technically terrorists, do they need the likes of the Bundys — anti-government agitators — speaking on their behalf?

    Read more:

  7. Just Good Old Boys, Never Meanin' No Harm
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink


  8. Eel
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    You need to work in this trending hashtags.


  9. M
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    With all due respect, Jean, your comments remind me of when people try to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement by pointing to the facts surrounding the killing of Michael Brown. While it may be true that he didn’t have his hands up at the time that he was shot, and that he’d just recently smacked around a shop owner, it doesn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. What matters is the movement. His death was just the precipitating event. And if it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else. I see the Hammond situation much the same way. It doesn’t matter to me what actually happened. What matters to me is that it created a flashpoint allowing for the patriot movement to coalesce in a significant way.

  10. Brainless
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    You’re talking out your ass, Jean. These guys are straight-up criminals who would rather just burn down the fucking forest than have to pay their rightful share for anything. They’re conniving scumbag freeloaders, not some simple folk who just want things the way they used to be. Spare me the fucking “It’s a fight for … a way of life” garbage.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The most balanced article I have found, for what it’s worth, by a reporter who has been and is still in the thick of it. http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/12/ranchers_fight_with_feds_spark.html#incart_river_index

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    “It doesn’t matter to me what actually happened.” Nuff said. The Hammonds did not invite the Bundy’s and have disassociated themselves with the occupation

  13. M
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t dismissing your point about heavy handed tactics by the BLB. You may well be right, and it may warrant a longer conversation. My point, however, was that the occupation was news in and of itself, regardless of what happened in the case of the Hammonds, or whether or not the Hammonds invited Bundy and company. This, as I see it, is a continuation of the Bundy stand-off, and it could have happened anywhere. It just so happens that the Hammond case provided an opening.

  14. Brad Hodgins
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    If this were the Black Panther Party, everyone would already be dead.

  15. Greg Hischak
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Subsidized grazing land, subsidized water and subsidized roads — I can see why they’re pissed off.

  16. Ytown
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink


  17. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    M- with all due respect, I think Michael Brown does matter and I think the Hammond’s matter. I would equate my stance not to excusing the police in Ferguson, but to explaining the uprising there by providing both individual and historical context. The argument that Ranchers take federal subsidies (not yours) is not different in my mind than dismissing the complaints of POC against the state because they receive welfare. There has been Federal over-reach and just plain incompetence surrounding private lands out West– both generally and specifically regarding the Hammonds. The original March including many local citizens who along with the Hammonds rejecting the armed occupation of the federal building. It feels like the left is uninterested in understanding what the beef (heh) is about. They just want to condemn the whole thing and demonize everyone associated for the acts of, yep, outside agitators. And the left has then too- plenty of radicals waiting for armed rebellion. Usually they are not locals who have specific ongoing grievance. The right was equally dismissive in Ferguson. All I’m suggesting is that the opportunity to make Political points should not overtake an interest in the full complexity of any story. I don’t think the left and the right are much different on this count. I hold the left more accountable because I expect more from us– largely because we set those higher standards for ourselves in our rhetoric.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Sorry for typos. On phone. You all can figure it out. It just seems that if we want to move people with complaints against the State to the left, then we might want to listen to what they have to say. For what it’s worth, and I know most people don’t care, there is a solid environmental and climate action argument for grazing beef cattle on arid lands (v allowing them to return to a wild state under current conditions) as well as setting the fires. The BLM is not managing western public lands well. People take things into their own hands when their lives and livelihood and the place they care about are at stake. The Hammond ranch was shown in an environmental study to be more abundant in wildlife than the refuge around it. These are issues that matter to me. I would like to think they matter to everyone concerned with the environment. What happens in urban (and rural) poor communities matters to me too. Fuck divisive politics. The State and corporate ‘keep things just as they are’ interests (aka big agriculture, not independent ranching operations) may be the real bad guys we hold in common. The Bumdys are idiots– clever idiots nonetheless. Why give them press? Why give them power by not emphasizing how the community and ranchers have rejected their action. I hope this does end peacefully. I hope all uprisings end peacefully. It would be cool if we bothered to care about one another over political lines– or at least understand one another.

  19. M
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I didn’t say that Michale Brown’s death didn’t matter. It does. What said was that the facts surrounding these individual events are one thing, while the movements are another. When people bring up facts about Michael Brown’s life, in an attempt to prove his culpability, I think they’re missing the bigger point, which is that we were (and still are) living inside a powder keg in which something like this was inevitable. In other words, if the riots didn’t happen in Ferguson, they would have happened somewhere else. And I think the same thing is happening here. The Bureau of Land Management could be using its power to beat down local ranchers. But there is a larger narrative playing out. If this didn’t happen in Oregon, it would have happened somewhere else. This pot has been boiling for a while.

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like there are a dozen out of state militia occupying the center, not hundreds. They are coming and going as they please. The government is figuring out how to respond without another Waco. Hopefully they’ll succeed. But the media (especially the left) has turned this into a bullhorn for another right wing megalomaniac, who has essentially hijacked a local public grievance for his own agenda. And we feed that and have done investment in making that story more than it is. I’m reminded of when that asshole trucker shot up an Amish schoolhouse near my hometown a while back. The media swooped in and swooned. The Amish forgave the killer and burnt that fucking schoolhouse down to clear out the media. The Westbori Baptist church showed up to seize the media moment and show up at the funeral. The Amish (via lawyers) negotiated an hour of radio airtime with reverend phelps in exchange for them clearing out. If the left can’t manage to give the story context and balance, allowing the fringe nuts to sow fear and take over the narrative, than maybe they should just stop talking about these guys at all. Let the government handle it. We playing right into their hands. 12 people. That’s all. In a tower that’s been condemned. It can’t end soon enough. Someday we’ll all step back and see how the media makes these monsters or at least motivates them to take action.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    53% of Oregon’s land area is owned by the federal government.

  22. Posted January 4, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Dwight and Steve Hammond going to prison for arson after paying out a fortune in fines is, to use the parlance of anti government whackos, tyrannical. It’s a seperate issue from the Bundy people who should be in prison. It’s disappointing, based on the comments here, how many of you are unable or unwilling to hold on to opposing points of view.

  23. Lynne
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Well, I read that entire Oregonlive article and I still don’t think the Hammonds were treated unfairly but I can agree that the specifics of that case are not as important as the bigger picture of federal land management. I mean, is this not a case of private land owners acting entitled to federal land when perhaps they shouldn’t be?

    Also, we really need to revisit things like water rights out west. All of the water laws are outdated and designed to favor agriculture but should be changed to favor people and cities, imho.

  24. Lynne
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Anyways, the solution to this situation isn’t so hard. Just wait them out. They are going to get hungry eventually. All the government has to do is surround the area and not let anyone in and only let people out if they lay down their weapons and are arrested. They can’t stay there forever even if they do have lots of supplies and a generator. That generator probably needs fuel that they don’t have and since this property probably uses a well for water, as soon as they run out of fuel for the generator, they’ll lose water too.

    It isn’t like we don’t know tons about siege warfare techniques. We just have to apply to them and wait. And while we are doing that, we have a whole bunch of horrible people locked up in that nature center where they can’t hurt anyone else. The people win either way. And if this whole business allows us to revisit BLM policies that allow ranchers to use water and land they aren’t entitled to, so much the better.

  25. Kat
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Militiaman Jon “your daddy swore an oath” Ritzheimer posts ‘goodbye’ video to family.


  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Militiaman Jon is a very bad actor. Enjoy your beers in the woods, dude.

  27. Eel
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Militiaman Jon: Tells wife and kids he’s willing to die to protect the constitution, really just getting hand jobs from other patriots in the basement of the basement of an abandoned gift shop.

  28. Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I will concede that the use of anti-terrorism laws in cases such as the one against the Hammonds is wrong. I have said as much in the past. Most recently, I believe I discussed this very thing on the Saturday Six Pack with journalist Will Potter, in our discussion about environmental activists being prosecuted under such laws. My objective in posting this last night, however, wasn’t to explore the reason why Bundy and others had chosen to make their stand in Oregon, near the ranch of Dwight Hammond, but to share the fact that yet another militia standoff was underway. If you’d like, I could add a footnote stating that the Hammonds are very likely getting fucked harder than the should be by the government in this situation. I don’t know that it changes anything from my perspective, though, as I think the bigger story is that of the growing threat posed by anti-government extremists, but I’d be happy to do that. It doesn’t change my view, however, that the threat posed by the white, Christian militia movement is both real and serious. Furthermore, while the Hammonds might be awesome people, I do think that a number of western ranchers feel as though they’re entitled to make use of public resources for their own economic gain. At least that was the sense that I got a few years ago when reading up on the circumstances surrounding the last Bundy standoff. With all of that said, I don’t believe we have to choose between discussing the current militia standoff and the circumstances of the Hammond case. We are adults and we can handle more than one thing at a time.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I am confused on the timeline. Militiaman Jon is using this armed “stand” at the wildlife refuge as an alibi for missing Christmas and New Years with his wife and kids? The stand did not start before Christmas did it?

  30. anonymous
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    they didn’t plan the siege too well. They’re asking for snacks.


  31. Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Goddamn, the internet works fast.


  32. Anonymous
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Not only are they requesting snacks be sent, they’re using the electricity of the wildlife center where they’ve set up camp. For rough and manly ranchers, these men aren’t very independent. They need the government to supply grazing land, water, and electricity. They need people to send them snacks.

    The free electricity is about to stop.


  33. Mr. X
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    The Onion had the best exchange on this……

    “What is the militia ultimately hoping to achieve?”

    “Garner enough attention over next few weeks to be brought onstage during rally for a low-polling GOP candidate.”

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Amazing how a dozen armed fringe weirdos occupying a remote derelict, empty refuge station becomes 150 armed militants in a hostile takeover of a federal building. And now they’ve been interviewed by every major news outlet. Nice work liberals. Trump 2.0. We could just ignore and leave them there closing off access until they run out of snacks. But what fun is that? Meanwhile, relevant issues of gov’t over-reach (with broader impact than ramchers) are ignored. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/01/oregon-mandatory-minimums/422433/

  35. Peter Larson
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Given white privilege, one is not allowed to comment on anything at all.

  36. Percival Coxoff
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Peter, please stop exerting your privilege by posting comments on this site. By doing so, you are claiming space that could otherwise be used by the oppressed to express their grievances. If you really want to help, instead of spending your time commenting here you would print out Mark’s posts, go out into the street, find the most oppressed person you can find, read the aforementioned posts to them, solicit their responses, and then go back home and transcribe what they’ve told you into the comments section. This is the only meaningful contribution to society that a white cis-gendered male can make.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Jean, how can you fault people for wanting to write about a guy who says things like this?

    Ammon Bundy @Ammon_Bundy
    “We are doing the same thing as Rosa Parks did. We are standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom.”


  38. Posted January 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous, it’s being reported now that the Rosa Parks tweet was a hoax.

  39. Anonymous
    Posted January 7, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    OK, I know I was wrong before about the Rosa Parks thing, but this story from Raw Story sounds legit.

    “Tearful militant discovers friend drank away donation money: ‘It’s like finding out there is no such thing as Santa’”

    A heartbroken militiaman announced that one of his buddies had walked off the Oregon nature preserve they had overtaken and had holed up in a local motel to drink away donation money.

    Joe Oshaugnessy, an Arizona militiaman, has been actively seeking volunteers through social media to join the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

    But 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.


  40. Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    They’re apparently not happy that people, instead of sending snacks, are now sending bags of dicks.

  41. Meta
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Teen chokes up at town meeting asking Bundy to leave: ‘I shouldn’t have to be scared in my own hometown’

    Ahigh school freshman received a standing ovation at a town meeting in Burns, Oregon on Tuesday after she tearfully spoke out about her fear of a militant group led by Ammon Bundy.

    Although many residents stepped up to the microphone to express their frustrations during Tuesday’s town meeting at the Burns High School gym, it was 15-year-old Ashlie Presley who “stole the show,” according to The Oregonian. Presley and her classmates were forced to start one week late this year due to security concerns over militants who staged an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

    “I am 15 and I’m a freshman in high school,” Presley began, choking up before she could finish her first sentence.

    The freshman took a deep breath and continued: “Being here with all this honestly has scared me. And it shouldn’t.”

    Read more:

  42. Meta
    Posted January 27, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “Oregon standoff spokesman Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum killed, Bundys in custody after shooting near Burns”

    Oregon standoff spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was killed and other leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested Tuesday after the FBI and state police stopped vehicles about 20 miles north of Burns.

    Authorities did not release the name of the person who died at the highway stop, but Finicum’s daughter confirmed it was Finicum, 55, of Cane Beds, Arizona, one of the cowboy-hat wearing faces of the takeover.

    “My dad was such a good good man, through and through,” said Arianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of Finicum’s 11 children. “He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved.”

    Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nev., suffered a minor gunshot wound in the confrontation about 4:30 p.m. along U.S. 395. He was treated and released from a local hospital and was in FBI custody, authorities said.

    Also arrested during the stop were his brother, Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada, and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah. They were charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers, a felony.

    Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore said that Ammon Bundy called his wife, Lisa Bundy, from the back of a police car on Tuesday night.

    Fiore, a vocal supporter of the Bundy family, said that Ammon Bundy told his wife that Finicum was cooperating with police when he was shot.

    But sources told The Oregonian/OregonLive that Finicum and Ryan Bundy disobeyed orders to surrender and resisted arrest. No other details were available.

    Finicum on Monday said an interview that “the tenor has changed” between the occupiers and federal authorities.

    Read more:

  43. iRobert
    Posted October 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m relieved to see EOS made it out alive.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I would love to see this revisited now. I don’t think Bundy is any kind of saint. He has a vested interest in the continued flow of cheap labor from across the border. And he loves publicity. But I also think he is highly responsive to issues of state over-reach, as are many on the working right especially out west, in a way that basement dwelling conspiracists like HW never will understand. The left should try harder to understand the concerns of the populist right that aren’t racist or couched in racism.


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