If Dick Cheney was still president, Ammon and Ryan Bundy would be joining their dad, Clive Bundy, at Gitmo…
However, he is not, so these wankster, VanillaISIS, Y’allQueda wanna-be martyrs are still strutting up and down the public square, brandishing their penis substitutes in the face of decent society. By some counts, there are 150 members of this Bundy terrorist cell, but I haven’t yet heard Ted Cruz or his acolytes calling for carpet bombing the Pacific Midwest until the forest glows…
The situation began, in some ways, in the decades following the Civil War. The 1862 Homestead Act granted 160 acres of land to the people willing to settle it. Ranchers in some regions needed far more land than that to be profitable. They eventually began to pay grazing fees for the right to lease federal land — if they agreed to federal oversight.
Some ranchers have strongly objected to the government’s management of federal lands, especially over issues of water or environmental conservation, and to the terms of their leases. Cliven Bundy, for his part, grazed his cattle on federal lands and refused to pay grazing fees. The government still hasn’t collected the more than $1 million he owes.
The tension is heightened by how much land the federal government continues to own in the Western states.
According to the Congressional Research Service, in Nevada the U.S. owned more than 81 percent of the land in the state in 2010. In Oregon, that number hovered right around half — 53 percent of the land, more than 30 million acres of which were administered by either the BLM or the U.S. Forest Service.
“The fact is, it’s a paradox being a rugged individualist dependent on the government — unless you’re John Wayne,” Robbins says.
(click here to continue reading Of Ranchers And Rancor: The Roots Of The Armed Occupation In Oregon : The Two-Way : NPR.)
Machine Gun at the Ready
and the so-called heroes are convicted felons under an Antiterrorism law, but no matter, they aren’t Muslim, they aren’t affiliated with Black Lives Matter, they are not anti-fracking activists, meaning they can point their weapons at law officers with impunity, and be celebrated on Fox News for their “courage”.
The seeds of the current situation were sown in 2001 and 2006. In both those years, the U.S. government said the Hammonds set fires that spread onto land managed by the BLM. The 2001 blaze burned 139 acres of public land, according to court documents; the 2006 fire — for which only Steven was convicted — burned an additional acre of public land.
Arson convictions for both father and son were handed down in 2012. Much of the dispute in the years afterward — including, eventually, this weekend’s armed occupation — revolves around the sentencing.
Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which increased the penalties for arson committed against federal property, the mandatory minimum punishment for such crimes was upped to five years in federal prison. The law, which was passed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, struck the judge presiding over the sentencing as too harsh — and off-base in this instance.
At the time, Hogan sentenced Dwight Hammond Jr. to three months of prison, and Steven Hammond to a year and one day. The federal government wanted the full five years, appealing the shorter sentences and eventually winning that appeal in 2014.
“Even a fire in a remote area has the potential to spread to more populated areas, threaten local property and residents, or endanger the firefighters called to battle the blaze,” District Judge Stephen J. Murphy wrote in the appellate court’s opinion. “Given the seriousness of arson, a five-year sentence is not grossly disproportionate to the offense.”
The original sentences were remanded, and the Hammonds were sentenced to five years in prison. The Hammonds are expected to report to prison Monday.
And as Charles Pierce notes:
There is no actual tyranny in this country against which to take up arms. There is bureaucratic inertia. There is pigheaded bureaucracy. There even is political chicanery. But there is no actual tyranny in the Endangered Species Act, or in the Bureau of Land Management, or in the Environmental Protection Agency, or in the Affordable Care Act, or in IRS dumbassery, or even in whatever it is that the president plans to say about guns in the next week or so. Anyone who argues that actual tyranny exists is a dangerous charlatan who should be mocked from the public square. Anyone who argues that there is out of political ambition, or for their own personal profit, should be shunned by decent people until they regain whatever moral compass they once had.
It does us no good to ignore what is going on in this obscure little corner of the Pacific Northwest. It does us no good to refuse to hold to account the politics that led to this, and the politicians who sought to profit from it. It does us no good to deny that there is a substantial constituency for armed sedition in this country, and to deny the necessity of delegitimizing that constituency in our politics, and the first step in that process is to face it and to call it what it is.
(click here to continue reading Oregon Standoff – Bundy Family and Extremist Militias Take Over Federal Property in Oregon.)
Also, not to put too fine a point on it:
This is an act of armed sedition against lawful authority. That is all that it is, and that is quite enough. This is not “an expression of anti-government sentiment.” Flipping off the governor as he drives by is “an expression of anti-government sentiment.” What Alex Jones does every day is “an expression of anti-government sentiment,” and god bless them all for it. That’s what the Founders had in mind. This is not an “occupation” following “a peaceful protest.” That would be all those folks who got bludgeoned and pepper-sprayed out of Zuccotti Park a couple of years back. (And when exactly did ABC News decide it wasn’t a news organization anymore?) These are men with guns who have declared themselves outside the law. These are men with guns who have taken something that belongs to all of us. These are traitors and thieves who got away with this dangerous nonsense once, and have been encouraged to get away with it again, and they draw their inspiration not solely from the wilder fringes of our politics, either. Ammon Bundy and his brothers should have been thrown in jail after they gathered themselves in rebellion the first time.
This is another step down the road that leads to the broken shell of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.
Sometimes You Just Want A Bigger Hole
Personally, I would be ok with creating a few martyrs in Oregon – send in a tank or two, perhaps an attack helicopter, and fire a few rounds at these VanillaISIS jokers, perhaps they’ll think twice about starting a war with the US Government again. If we never respond to armed aggression, the aggression will continue to escalate.
One more thought: in all the coverage of this event, and of the prior one, never once did I hear any of these Y’allQaeda mouth breathers ever mention the option of purchasing the land. No, they want to be able to graze their cattle on the land for free, and let the US taxpayer pay for it. Moocher cowards in other words.