Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, January 4, 2016

The Occupation of Malheur by Armed, Out of State Militia Groups

The hysterics on the far right excuse the unlawful takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge because, according to their presidential hopefuls, news sites, and bloggers, the federal government has no right to own these lands in sovereign states, and the states should be sole owner and decision makers of what is to be done with the land within their borders. An idealistic, but unrealistic notion, since whomever is in charge of a state's government would be able to sell to the highest bidder the precious natural resources of said state (see below). 

The hysterics on the far right think that states' rights mob rule is always in the best interests of any given situation, so we can see why they'd be on the side of the outlaws in this situation. This has nothing to do with "states rights," and everything to do with preserving our country's precious natural wildlife and resources.

The Audubon Society of Portland explains:

Audubon Society of Portland: Statement on the Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge 

 By Bob Sallinger * Jan. 3, 2016 *

Portland Audubon Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect the vast populations of waterbirds that were being decimated by wanton killing by the plume trade. The 188,000 acre refuge represents some of the most important bird habitat on the Pacific Flyway. It is one of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System and belongs to all Americans. 

In 2013, the Refuge adopted a long-term management plan developed through an inclusive collaborative process that brought together the local community, tribes, conservation groups, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders. These stakeholders have continued to work together to implement this strategy which includes one of the biggest wetland restoration efforts ever undertaken.  

The occupation of Malheur by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers. 

The occupiers have used the flimsiest of pretexts to justify their actions—the conviction of two local ranchers in a case involving arson and poaching on public lands. Notably, neither the local community or the individuals convicted have requested or endorsed the occupation or the assistance of militia groups. 

 Portland Audubon fought 100 years ago to protect this incredible place. The powerful images taken by Portland Audubon founder, William Finley, of Malheur’s incredible bird populations and the wanton killing that was being inflicted upon them, caused President Roosevelt to make Malheur one of the first wildlife refuges in the Western United States. 

Portland Audubon calls upon the local, state and federal authorities to once again protect this incredible place for the amazing wildlife that live there and to preserve this natural heritage for current and future generations. Portland Audubon greatly appreciates the outstanding federal employees that staff the refuge, as well as members of the local community who have rejected this occupation. 

We hope for a safe, expeditious end to this armed occupation so that the myriad of local and non-local stakeholders can continue to work together to restore Malheur in ways that are supportive of both the local ecology and the local economy—the occupiers are serving nobody’s interests except their own.

From Stonekettle Station:


Ray Cranston said...

Oregon 'terrorists' don't plan siege very well, put out plea for snacks and supplies

VanillaISIS? Yup.

Dave Miller said...

There are many layers to this issue, and I've not seen it well explained by the press in their focus on the sensational.

Suffice to say, we will never hear the whole story about this.

I know many folks connected closely to the events, and opinions and views are all over the place. What most are saying is this... the Bundy Clan is not wanted there, the locals understand the Constitution just fine, and they have a long history in that ranching community of working with the Feds and the BLM, mostly to the benefit of everyone in the area.

I like Sheriff David Ward's words... we are seeking a peaceful situation. So if the Bundy group would just go home, people in Burns could go back to work and kids could go back to the schools that were closed because of fear of violence.

Dave Miller said...

Related to takeover and how it is perceived by some in our country...

Conservatives spend a lot of time saying "We are a country of laws" and that "people just need to follow the law and respect the police."

I am waiting for them to say that in this case. I am also waiting for someone to explain the difference between a lawbreaker being a thug, and a lawbreaker being a patriot. While they are at it, perhaps we could get a definition of a "Domestic Terrorist."

Finally, before any of the ill informed chime in that is a result of the policies of the Obama Admin, let's set the record straight. The current BLM policies about which the Tax Evading Bundy Clan is protesting date to the Admins of Nixon, Ford and Carter. Aggressive water plans that impacted the area date from the Reagan and Bush the Elder Admins. The ranchers are charged under a law from the Clinton Admin. The offenses took place during the Bush II Admin. The case was adjudicated by the Obama Admin.

Clearly this is a bi-partisan issue.

Infidel753 said...

This is happening in a very remote and thinly-populated part of Oregon which normally votes Republican, but from what I'm hearing, the locals aren't supporting the militiatards at all. They're not acting for anyone but themselves and their own tiny, crazed movement.

Ray's link is a reminder that these people generally aren't very bright. If they didn't think to bring supplies, the government may be able to resolve this just by sealing the place off so no supplies can get in, and waiting until they get hungry enough to give up (or one of them blows his own nuts off while fiddling with his gun).

Ducky's here said...

Will their "snacks" be delivered by USPS?

This low functional group of cow tippers would be a simple source of mirth if they
weren't a possible catalyst for much more serious acts.

No real idea how extensive their support is but it might not take much to set of the militias
who will see anything as an unconstitutional response by the communist, Kenyan, Muslim usurper.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"My thoughts- secure the area, allow exits - arrest those leaving, and prevent others from entering. Give them a short deadline, a few hours to get out. Then impound vehicles, cut water/power/sewer/block communications, and set up loudspeakers and blast three John Tesch songs, two tragic opera arias, and a POTUS speech on a continuous loop 24/7. When they start shooting, use tear gas at regular intervals until they leave, then arrest them. No tanks, helicopters or shooting." --Jon Stewart

skudrunner said...

This is a media event. If ignored it would go away.
When will the federalists learn that some things are better left alone. We really don't need another Waco.
On the other side don't they have a right to protest. They have not harmed anyone, not taken possession of private property and not disrupted anyone's business. Unlike black lives matter and OWS, this is a peaceful protest that hurts no one.

Good idea about playing POTUS speeches 24/7. That will put them to sleep and entering the building will be no problem

Shaw Kenawe said...

We can always count on "law and order" people to be on the side of law breakers so long as those law breakers agree with their politics.

"They have not taken possession of private property." But it's okay to take possession of federal property? So if someone has a grievance against, say the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you'd have no problem with them taking possession of it? How about the Lincoln Memorial? No problem with a disgruntled mob taking control of that? What are you willing to overlook because it's not "private property?"

And those supposed "peaceful" militia have tweeted this:

Ian Kullgren Verified account
I talked to Ryan Bundy on the phone again. He said they're willing to kill and be killed if necessary

But as long as they're not "Black Lives Matter" or "Occupy Wall Street," threatening to kill is fine because it's your tribe doing the threatening?

Can we have some consistency here?

Anonymous said...

Shaw more tweets on the militia takeover:

"Lars Petticord @fatdownjacket

Every successful revolution starts with takeover of closed visitor center with gift shop."

Infidel753 said...

If it were up to me, the government would give those idiots a 30-minute ultimatum to get out of there and surrender, and at the 31st minute, napalm the place. So maybe it's just as well that it isn't up to me.

They do need to take a hard line, though. If the wingnuts pull crap like this and there are no consequences, they'll just keep doing it. This attack might well not have happened, were it not for the fact that they pulled that stuff they did at the Bundy ranch and got away with it.

Certainly cutting off electricity/water/communication/etc. is the bare minimum that needs to be done right away.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... did the militia violate the law?

A plain and simple question, and one conservatives will not answer.

So let me give you some help... Yes, they did.

Tell me why they should not be charged with breaking and entering and then be tried?

Are they patriots, or law breakers?

People are out of work in this area because of their actions. People are scared, intimidated by this group and schools are closed out of fear. Life has been disrupted across the towns of Burns, Hines and Crane. Is this okay?

Apparently, in the views of some, yes it is. In the views many people who actually live there, and interact with the Feds on a daily basis, no it is not.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"People are out of work in this area because of their actions. People are scared, intimidated by this group and schools are closed out of fear. Life has been disrupted across the towns of Burns, Hines and Crane. Is this okay?"

People like skud don't think that's bad they think that's "peaceful." See it's not breaking the law when THEY break the law -- that's being "patriotic." When minorities demonstrate and even cause problems because they feel they've been discriminated against and/or killed by state and local federales, that's being "thugs!" When are we going to learn this double standard? The Republicans have been teaching it to us for decades! It goes somelthing like this:

Donald Trump and his 3 marriages and infidelities = Great for the family values GOP and its evangelicals! They overlook this because he "tells it like it is!"

Michelle Obama = No class -- "Manly looking" and bossy -- telling Americans how to feed their kidz nutritious food!!!

Melania Trump = Classy 3rd wife of Donald Trump who undressed herself to show her womanly T&A for everyone on the planet to enjoy. Now that's classiness anyone can understand.

This is how it works. The GOP shape-shifts its values to match whatever clown they think will give them back the White House. That 30% of the Republican base supports Donald Trump is proof of how craven they are.

Kevin Robbins said...

Thanks Ray for the link. My plan was to starve them out. Guess that'll go even quicker than I imagined. Hope they don't go all Donner party.

Ducky's here said...

Maybe skud would like to comment ... on Bundy's half million dollar small business loan.
He seems to be sympathetic with the idea of the government being a lender of last resort.
Wonder if he'll renege as Cliven did on his subsidized grazing fees.

Let's face it. These dangerous clowns are self serving leeches but maybe you have a different insight, skud.

Rational Nation USA said...

Interesting perspective.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Smith & Wesson stock rose 10% today. Since Obama has been in office S & W stock has risen over 900%.

Ahab said...

The Audubon statement brings attention to a matter that has been ignored by the media: what environmental impact will these nitwit occupiers have on the refuge? If they're littering, poaching animals, scaring away wildlife, and otherwise disrupting the ecosystem, it could undo the hard work of everyone who made the refuge possible.

May these buffoons get arrested soon. I hope they run out of snacks too.

skudrunner said...

It is a media event. Fence it off and ignore them and they will go away.
I would comment on this more but the censor will not allow it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

FYI, skudrunner, this is my blog and I get to decide who comments here under the rules I've set down. Do you call your friends on your conservative blogs censors when they delete comments or not let them through?

I have no obligation to let anyone troll my comment section.

You often come here and write things that are off-topic, snarky, and many times just plain wrong.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... you comment at other blogs where we are not even allowed to participate and you call slam Shaw for censoring content?

Seriously, while she may in fact censor commenters, as is her right as the blog owner, for your snark to be consistent, you'd really should direct at least some at a few of the conservative blogs who regularly delete and block comments from a liberal/progressive perspective.

As for what's up in Oregon, I am wondering how a wait 'em out strategy would work. Yes, at some time, those guys will get hungry and need to come out for food. What happens when they do? Will they go peacefully into arrest? Probably not.

They are breaking the law aren't they? Can you, or anyone else tell me why they should not be arrested, tried, and if found guilty, put in jail?

At least MLK was willing to peacefully go to jail for his beliefs. I doubt there's a Bundy out there that would do that.

Anonymous said...

Poor Skud, he's Shaw's bastard pup. Something for all the accepting progressives to kick around.

Infidel753 said...

They're already starting to make noises about leaving. Most likely the cold, boredom, and their lack of foresight in bringing enough supplies are getting to them. Unless an argument over the last bag of Cheetos erupts into gunfire, this will likely end without bloodshed. It may be that the feds were wise to downplay the situation and refuse to take them seriously.

When they do finally leave, of course, we need to prosecute the fertilizer out of them. Not doing so would just feed their fantasies that laws they don't like don't really exist, and encourage more of the same antics later.

skudrunner said...

I have no arguments that this is your blog and you make the rules and I have stated that before. If you don't agree with my opinions you have every right to not post them.That is what censorship is all about.
I don't go off topic any more than others. I just don't happen to take a leftist view and some do not like opposing views.

Shaw Kenawe said...

You call it censorship; others call it having the good sense not to have one's blog trolled.

And you often do that.

But more to the point, more of your comments make it through than are deleted. David's correct. You often comment at certain right wing blogs that disallow ANYONE with a left-leaning point of view. Do you complain to them? How about the Smut Hut where anyone with a left-leaning pov is attacked with vile name-calling and links to people sodomizing each other, and links to racist photo-shopped images of Mr. and Mrs. Obama as an answer to their comments?

I've never read anything from you criticizing that, but you complain when one of your off-topic, snarky comments is deleted?


Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel753, if the white supremacist who took over the bird sanctuary are not prosecuted, we can be sure we'll see more of this foolishness.

Kevin Robbins said...

I like the idea of them being laughingstocks.

Ducky's here said...

The material writes itself

I'm curious that they aren't arrested when they left the "occupation".
Maybe the interdiction of their "snack" shipments is working.
Surely, "Capt. O" and "Budda" deserve some jail time. Budda's the one who lied about his service record. There were some swell photos of him curled up with an AR-15 and a bottle of rum.

If all this is true, we are in danger of treating these jamokes as humorous curiosities rather than would be, if inept, terrorists.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... they are there because the Feds backed down before in the face of Cliven Bundy. The man still owes us, the people, a million dollars and has suffered not one whit for his refusal to pay his grazing fees.

The folks up in Oregon complain about those fees too, but they pay, because it is their responsibility as users of federal land.

I am afraid this won't end well as the protestors have refused all requests to leave from the average guy on the street to a group of Sheriffs from not just Harney County, but surrounding areas as well.

It's a mess, partly brought on by the feds relctance to have another Ruby Ridge or Waco moment.

Skud, you can post opposing viewpoints... just stay on topic and present a reasonable argument.

skudrunner said...

No offense but how am I suppose to complain about post that is not posted. Granted I am much smarter than most but even I cannot do that.

I did express disdain about personal attacks on any Blog but I have been the subject of that as well, just ask legs.

On arresting the occupy bird house, have they done anything the occupy wall street protesters did and they were not arrested. If they are asked to leave and don't, arrest them. Wouldn't this also apply to illegal immigrants in this country after all they are breaking the law.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... really? You're equating the armed takeover, and threats of a shoot out, with people saying they are willing to die in the process, with illegal immigration?

These are armed intruders, who literally broke into a federal facility, and are refusing to leave, even after being asked to do so by the local sheriff, the townspeople and others.

When illegal aliens are caught, they are in fact arrested, and then sent back, as is in evidence this week with the start of the deportations of the immigrants from Central America.

Why are you, and other conservatives simply unable to delink the Bundy clan from any other issue? Illegal immigration is not germane here at all. Did the Bundy clan break into a federal facility? Yes they did. Are they still there? yes they are. Are their actions criminal and is their continuing presence an ongoing crime? Yes, and more than likely, a felony.

Should they be arrested? Yes, then tried, then probably, sent to jail.

Will any of that happen? Of course not. because a lot of law and order folks here in the US will not support these guys being charged and tried.

It really does seem as if that group is only for laws and orders they like.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... by the way, Octo, or legs as you call him, has never treated you as badly as libs get treated on the other sites where you comment. And even if he did, at least you get to comment here...

skudrunner said...


You make law and order sound like a bad thing. Breaking the law is breaking the law no matter who is doing it. Bank robber, illegal immigrant, shutting down commerce are all illegal acts but treated differently.

We can have another Waco or we can just ignore them. Ignoring them seems to be the better choice. You are close to a border, how many crimes are committed by illegals crossing the border every day. The answer is a lot and people in that region threatened, vandalized and robbed every day so yes there is a correlation, both are illegal acts. I don't see the same attack on our ineffective handling of illegals so yes it is the same, they are committing a crime.

As to your post about being treated bad on other sites. Like this one, we are all at the mercy of the owner and her/his/it's/theirs set of rules. I am not supporter of personal attacks nor of swearing because it shows a lack character or limited vocabulary. I may disagree with you and RN but you stand up as who you are and on the web that is admirable. Of course you express differences without attacking and I can't say the same for Les.

Rational Nation USA said...

skudrunner, I will word my responses to you very carefully so as not to offend you so you feel you've been "attacked". As to commenters that have attacked me first, like say at the Stench Trench, yeah I attack back at Emory.

Your issue is that you are so often snarky and off topic. But I agree, you don't attack or swear.

Rational Nation USA said...

Correction... I attack back in kind.

Ducky's here said...

Any idea what's going on here?

"Armed members of the Pacific Patriots Network are leaving the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Joseph Rice, a spokesman for the network, told reporters that his group presented occupation leader Ammon Bundy and other protesters with "articles of resolution.""

Ammon getting closer to prison?

Shaw Kenawe said...

I have to say that I don't know what's going on here, Ducky. It's been an intense week. Mr . Shaw Kenawe was hospitalized and is coming home tomorrow. I've tried to keep up with current events, but I've been overwhelmed. Hope things go well enough so that I'm up to speed this week.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

skud [on January 8, 2016 at 4:48 PM]: “Granted I am much smarter than most …

If skudrunner were really as smart as he claims, he would respect the Lady of the Manor by respecting the subjects of her posts. If skudrunner were really as smart as he claims, he would stop annoying readers with off-topic taunts, non sequiturs, and intellectually dishonest comments.

Granted I am much smarter than most …

Please note the admitted arrogance and narcissism of a troll who operates under the guise of country bumpkin and feigns tone-deafness as a defense mechanism. One need not act as overtly as the Smut Hut to be equally obnoxious.

As he has always done for the umpteenth time, please note how he hijacks every discussion thread and turns the focus of attention back to himself — while the rest of you folks enable him.

skudrunner said...


I do not hijack content just responding to David's question, which is of course the polite thing to do. When did I operate under the guise of a country bumpkin? Have you any idea what my moniker means?

I always respect Ms Shaw and have never uttered anything derogatory about her on this or any blog. We may disagree on a few issues where she is wrong but disagreeing with someone is no reason to disrespect them. Some just take themselves a little to seriously. I haven't even disrespected you and tried not to turn your insults around.
As to the smarter than most, facts are sometime hard to accept.

Rational Nation USA said...

skudrunner @ 4:55 PM - ... facts are sometimes hard to accept .

And ones own arrogance and delusions are often hard to recognize skud. You should try harder.

Or were you schooled by Trumpy or someone like him?

BTW skud, this is not an attract but rather a valid observation/question.

skudrunner said...

Good point RN but sometimes legs has some valid points so I do not discard his opinion without thought.

Rational Nation USA said...

Good point skudrunner. When you occasionally have some valid points no one discards yours without thought either.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Here is an excerpt from I Stand with Linda Sue Beck - The Attack on Science at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge:

The occupiers of the refuge poke fun at Beck, her research on fish, and the normal trappings of a research station, including a dried bird in a storage area. They incredulously claim that the bird is “what they’re going to kill people over.” Presumably “they” is the federal government, and they mean to convey that Nature — the birds, the fish, the land — has no use or value.

“These sentiments run counter to American history of conservation and scientific land management … Malheur was one of the first wildlife refuges, established in 1908, and became part of the growing field of scientific wildlife management that came to fruition in the United States.

“National Wildlife Refuges are places where pathbreaking scientific research has taken place that has led to the great breakthroughs of wildlife management: research on the impacts of lead shot and its replacement by steel shot, the effects of DDT and its subsequent ban, and of course the impacts of harvest on fish and game populations.

The armed takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is, therefore, not just an attack on a federal property. It cuts deeper than that. It is an attack on the modern science-based approach to land management and it is an attack on the value and worth of science and scientists in the United States.

- - - - - - - - - -
Bottom line: When anarchists, armed militias, deadbeats, and and their supporters dominate the news (enabled by mindless journalists who repeat every trope, implying that the occupiers have a legitimate demand in wanting to work the land), this is what you get:

Distort, misquote, harp, carp, nitpick, accuse, slander, insult, heckle, and taunt; and never concede an argument (no matter how specious).

Sound familiar? I am thinking of a certain troll who is addicted to the Hokey Pokey but refuses to turn himself around.