Can we make sense of the Malheur mess?

A writer finds camaraderie and despair inside the Oregon standoff.

 

What more can be said? I was one of the hundreds of journalists who went to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the Ammon Bundy occupation, and I saw the same things that all the rest of them did. If there was any difference between myself and those hundreds of other journalists, maybe it was that I went there looking for kindred spirits.

I am a self-employed, American-born writer with a wife and two teenage children living in a tiny town on the plains of Montana. I’m a reader of the U.S. Constitution, one who truly believes that the Second Amendment guarantees the survival of the rest of the Bill of Rights. I came of age reading Edward Abbey’s The Brave Cowboy, Orwell’s 1984, and a laundry-list of anarchists, from Tolstoy and Kropotkin to Bakunin and Proudhon, who gave me the maxim that defined my early twenties: “Whoever lays his hand on me to govern me is a usurper and a tyrant: I declare him my enemy.” I read Malthus and Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, and am a skeptic of government power. I was not surprised when I read about the outrage over the sentencing of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steve Hammond for arson: Federal mandatory minimum sentencing has been a terrible idea since its inception. I am gobsmacked by an economy that seems engineered to impoverish anyone who dares try make their own living, and by a government that seems more and more distant from the people it represents, except when calling up our sons and daughters to attack chaotic peoples that clearly have nothing to do with me or anybody I know.

I am isolated by a culture that is as inscrutable to me as any in the mountains of Afghanistan. For loving wilderness and empty lands and birdsong rather than teeming cities, I risk being called a xenophobe, a noxious nativist. For viewing guns as constitutionally protected, essential tools of self-defense and, if need be, liberation, I’m told that I defend the massacres of innocents in mass shootings. When I came to Montana at age twenty-five, I found in this vast landscape, especially in the public lands where I hunted and camped and worked, the freedom that was evaporating in the South, where I grew up. I got happily lost in the space and the history. For a nature-obsessed, gun-soaked malcontent like me, it was home, and when Ammon Bundy and his men took over the Malheur refuge, on a cold night in January, I thought I should go visit my neighbors.

Neil Wampler, 68, smokes a cigarette at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Brooke Warren/High Country News

At first light on Jan. 12, in the parking lot above the headquarters of the Malheur refuge, I met Neil Wampler, a tall, white-bearded man in his sixties who was standing in the snow, at twelve degrees above, wearing a pair of old black running shoes and a green coat over a hooded sweatshirt. He was near the campfire where the occupiers would gather, behind the big white pickup that blocked the road into the refuge headquarters and that was emblazoned with signs that said, “Clemency for the Hammonds. Blaine Cooper, whose real name would be revealed as Stanley Blaine Hicks (with felonious history) of Humboldt, Arizona, was sitting in the pickup with the heat blasting. Cooper looked like an urban model – perfectly trimmed and moussed black hair, pale blue eyes, and, oddly, given the place and the weather – 4,100 foot elevation, sagebrush steppe, severe ice fog – a lightweight black Calvin Klein jacket. As I approached the open window of the truck, Cooper said something to me about how the government had to be opposed. I was holding my legal pad and trying to make notes, but then he said something to the effect that “the left” had killed and enslaved people and blown up buildings to create this refuge, and I smiled, nodded, and kept walking. I learned from covering wolf reintroduction in 2000 that the most outlandish quotes, however entertaining, ruin stories. I shook hands with Wampler, who was much calmer than Cooper, didn’t seem to be suffering from the cold, and actually looked like he was having a good time.

“I’m just the cook, really,” he said. “Been cooking for the crew since Bunkerville.” He smiled, “And I can tell you, it’s good to be the cook.” When he told me that the goal was for a federal transfer of the refuge lands to the states, I asked him how much he knew about what would happen to the lands if they were successful. He admitted that he didn’t know, really. “This is a deep study,” he said. “Our previous actions were more protective, to keep the federal government from harming the citizens. This is different, because the states are asserting their 10th Amendment prerogatives. When our founders created the states out of the territories, 95 percent of it was meant to be private land.”

I asked him if he knew the history of this place - the range wars, the overgrazing, the plume hunters that led to the establishment of the refuge in 1908. He admitted that he did not, but that he would like to know more. “You really need to meet Ammon, and talk to him about these things,” he said. “I’m amenable to other solutions, but we have to rid ourselves of this government. All three branches are out of control. When we were at Bunkerville, the BLM had attack dogs, snipers, tasers. I saw that happening on television in California, and by 10 am that morning, I was packed up and on the road to join up. And we had a great victory there.” He brightened, and the circuit-preacher intensity of his voice was gone. “I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’m an old hippy, and this is a high, the most exciting and energizing thing. I’m off my butt, I’m 68 years old, and my friends back home are so jealous. To be an old hippy from San Francisco, and to be in this mix, to be friends with a redneck from Alabama. It’s beautiful.” Unlike the other occupiers around the fire, Wampler was not conspicuously armed, perhaps because, as other reporters would uncover, he has a 38-year-old conviction for second degree murder (of his father) in California, a crime for which he long ago served his time but which precludes him from legally owning firearms.

As I write this, the Malheur occupation has come to an end, with Sean and Sandy Anderson, with whom I spent a pleasant hour or so talking politics and smoking cigarettes, surrendering as the last of the holdouts, along with the youthful techie, the seemingly demented Ohioan, David Fry. The likeable Andersons, in their late forties, seemed to me a most unlikely couple to rant for blood and maelstrom.  They had only recently moved to Riggins, Idaho, from Wisconsin, and I wondered if they had not misread the West, and Idaho, and fallen in with militants when they might just as easily have met and joined a band of merry ice fishermen. During our conversation, Sean had to keep reminding Sandy to keep her weapon with her, as she shifted from place to place trying to get warm - they wore cotton fatigues more suited to the jungle than the Great Basin in deepest winter. Sean had some authority; at least, he had a radio, and he politely kept me from going down to the refuge headquarters until he got word that it was alright, and he had his (outdated but effective) Ruger Mini-14 slung or close at hand. I took some ribbing for being unarmed, and when I said I wasn’t sure that my Montana concealed carry permit was even reciprocated by Oregon, Sean patted the little pocket Constitution visible in his coat pocket, and said, “This is the only permit you’ll ever need.” (On Jan. 30, Sean probably cooked his own goose, legally speaking, with a Fry-enabled YouTube rant about killing federal agents.)

I am doing my best here to be respectful of people with whom, it turned out, I disagree strongly, even violently. I could focus upon the essential nuttiness of the occupation, the lack of a plan for an outcome, the exhaustion of being assailed with pocket Constitutions any time one presents an argument that cannot be easily countered. Crackpots are drawn to such an open event like moths to a halogen light (and, no, I do not automatically exempt myself from the category). I wanted to find occupiers who could argue for what they were doing, but what is there to say when people take up arms inspired by, say, a belief that the President is the front for an Islamic takeover of the nation, or that the Chinese are already committed to buying the uranium that lies underneath the Hammond ranch.

I went to Malheur to ask questions and to listen, to learn and report. But what can be reported when your source is convinced of plots and powers that do not exist? When I asked whether they were endangering the Second Amendment by brandishing AR-15s, the answer was that an occupation like this was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment. When I asked whether, since the county was the highest level of government recognized, the occupiers would stand down if the sheriff asked them to (Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, of course, already had), they said no, because Sheriff Ward was a tool of the oppressors. And when I asked whether they would stand down if the Oregon National Guard came and asked them to, they said it was too late for that. And so on.

In the parking lot was a skinny bearded man in denim whose entire car was covered with professionally made ads for doctors who will surgically remove government-installed microchips from your brain (“If you were born after 1980…”). A young woman in a fur-trimmed coat and tall leather fashion boots approached me and one of the occupiers and asked us to guide her around. The occupier, a preternaturally soft-spoken and friendly man in his forties, unarmed, asked her what she wanted to see, and she said, “Anything I’m not supposed to see.” He looked at me and shrugged, then dutifully led her through the sagebrush. She was quickly back, asked me for my name, and then sped away into the ice fog in a Prius.

A car with ads about government-implanted microchips, with links to websites about various conspiracy theories parked at the entrance to the refuge headquarters.
Brooke Warren/High Country News

There was the legless man – James – who was carried in his wheelchair across the snow to join us at the fire, an energetic and apocalyptic monologist of almost surreal dullness, who beseeched the Lord for forgiveness each time he cursed and insisted on being lifted from his chair so he could kneel in the cold mud beside the fire pit and pray for us all, whose wheelchair constantly threatened to tip over or roll forward into the flames, despite the blocks of firewood and kindling we jammed under the front wheels. In the seemingly endless quest to haul breakfast or coffee or ammo on a rope up into the 90-foot steel fire lookout that overlooks the parking lot, a trapdoor banged, causing Sean Anderson to flinch (we are, after all, in a heavily armed encampment that is illegally occupying a federal wildlife refuge, despite the freshman debate team campout atmosphere), and say, “I thought it was on, there for a second.” To which James shouted, “I hope it is! I hope it is! Bring on the fire!” A series of refuge-owned ATVs came up the icy road, ridiculously fast, fishtailing on the trail to the fire tower, and James cheered. “I love everybody here!” he exclaimed.

To focus on the bizarre, to wallow in the cheap pleasures of ridicule, is to sacrifice any chance of finding meaning or instruction here. Jason Patrick, one of the eleven occupiers now in jail, told me that he could not care less what happened to the lands at the Malheur, or what the history of the place was. “It says in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, that the federal government has no right to own any of these lands. That’s it. If we don’t abide by the Constitution, which limits what the federal government can do, then we have no rule of law, we have no country.” Patrick is 43 years old and wears khaki pants, a dress shirt and a blue blazer, as if ready to address a court rather than stand in the snow, smoke Marlboro Lights, and talk to reporters and other skeptics, which is what he did most of the time I saw him.

One morning, we stood outside the refuge headquarters, a venerable building of rough-cut local stone. Within, Ammon Bundy, LaVoy Finicum, and the core group were having yet another meeting to prepare for the upcoming press briefing. The sun came briefly through the fog, and Patrick and I stood smoking and being pelted with bits of rime falling from the old Siberian elms and cottonwoods as the sun heated them. Below us, Duane Ehmer of Irrigon, Oregon (who might have been the only native Oregonian in the occupation), was feeding his cow-horse, Hellboy, from hay stacked by his rusted white horse trailer, both of them taking a break from being the symbol of the occupation, the too-much-photographed man on the horse with the American flag.

In his other life, Ehmer is a welder, rides Hellboy in jousting matches, hunts black bear on horse-packing trips in the national forest. Because he is convinced that the federal government will soon sell off all public lands or close them to the public, he worries about the loss of access to places to ride his horses. He gets $130 a month in disability payments for hearing loss incurred while he was in the military. His weapons are mostly symbolic, a cap-and-ball Colt revolver, and a single-shot 12 gauge shotgun. I suspect that he does not have the ready cash to buy the AR-15s and Trijicon sights, the tactical sniper rifles tricked with the latest optics, the Glock handguns that are the norm among his colleagues, but it could be that he just has no interest in newfangled lethal gadgetry. He showed me his classic 1859 McClellan cavalry saddle, and told me he was trying to get a relative to bring down his cavalry saber. (“And they call me a terrorist,” he said, shaking his head.) He is in jail now, too.

Jason Patrick is no cowboy, and doesn’t try to be. He isn’t a physical fitness buff, rugged outdoorsman, or gunner. He might share with Ammon Bundy and the rest of the Mormon contingent of occupiers the belief that the Constitution is divinely inspired, but that’s not clear, because he does not talk religion. He reveres the Constitution as the ultimate stopgap to a government that, in his view, ruins everything it touches or tries to guide. His disdain for President Barack Obama is matched by his fury at George W. Bush. Patrick had a roofing business in Georgia that collapsed with the economic crash of 2008, and he believes, as I do, that the endless wars and crony capitalism of the Bush era destroyed the assets of middle-class America, while “too big to fail” government relief programs further evaporated our money upward and away. Like Sean Anderson, Patrick is tired of a government that sends young people away to die in wars that profit, to an often obscene degree, the one class whose children will never serve in them. “My father was a Vietnam veteran,” Patrick said, “and we lived on a homestead in Virginia that we cut out of the woods. We were off the grid a long time before that was ever a thing to be.” His father died when Patrick was twelve years old, he says, of cancer related to wartime exposure to Agent Orange. His mother spent years trying to collect veteran’s benefits to support their family.

Jason Patrick and Neil Wampler walk along the road to the wildlife refuge headquarters before the first of many press conferences during the standoff.
Brooke Warren/High Country News

Our conversation was interrupted by Finicum, who was coming out the door with a harried expression. Finicum and Patrick had a short and slightly heated exchange over who had failed to clean up the refuge woodworking shop. As Patrick headed over to the shop, I was reminded of other groups I’ve known or been a part of, anarchist, communal, certain families, where hierarchy is rejected, and how the smallest chore takes Herculean effort to address or convince someone else to address. This was my only contact with Finicum beside the circus-like press conferences held in the parking lot. I learned later that, like Patrick, Finicum had his own business failure behind him, a bankruptcy in 2002, and an admission to reporters that his ranch, even before he renounced his federal grazing leases, just covered expenses (which is why his main business was taking in foster children). With a huge family of his own, reports place the number of Finicum’s children at either eleven or fourteen – I cannot imagine how anyone can survive, much less prosper, in the current US economy, with that many mouths to feed, that many shoes to buy. Even with the comfort of strong religious faith, the stress of meeting the bills every month must have been profound. Watching Finicum walk away, clean Wranglers with his camouflage gaiters pulled tightly to the knees, a squared-away Westerner at home in the snow and the cold, I could not have guessed that he would be the one to die in this chaotic, seemingly pointless takeover.

It was clear to me, though, that somebody would die. Such certitude as these men and women possess demands blood sacrifice to justify itself. There were too many armed people in, and circling, the occupation, with too many varying levels of sanity and too many varying motivations for being there. Even Neil Wampler, a man whose demons seem like they are mostly in his past, had said, “You can’t not give an inch and be assured of a peaceful outcome. If it came down to a violent showdown, we’re willing to pay the price.” Walking around the refuge parking lot and buildings, I saw a lot of gray beards and “We the People” caps and camo watch caps covering thinning hair or bald pates. The weapons and the tactical vests lent a seriousness to men disappearing into the irrelevance of late middle age. Guns,  for as long as we have had them, have given undue impetus to arguments that lack merit or reason, given credence to delusional rants.

The American West has the highest suicide rates in the nation, and has since frontier days. The current epidemic of suicide among white males in the US is part of the story here – in a recent article at Salon, Robert Hennelly wrote, “According to federal morbidity stats in 1999, 9,599 white men killed themselves. By 2010 that number was 14,379. In 2013 the U.S. recorded 41,149 suicides, 70 percent of which were white men, who mostly shot themselves. The most heavily affected demographic is middle-aged white men in the 45 to 64 age cohort.

This die-off may serve as a kind of anthropological warning about the pernicious nature of global capitalism and how it treats those its marketplace judges surplus…”

Forty-five to 64 is exactly the age bracket that dominated the occupation of the Malheur.  Camaraderie and unity of purpose are the strongest antidotes to despair, and despite the conflicting opinions and anarchic individualism of so many in the modern militia movements, unity in fiery opposition to the federal government, especially a federal government headed by a Democrat, is the universal.

It does no good whatsoever to try and discuss with them the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, which empowered the Bundy family and many others among the 18,000 or so other public lands grazers to own small holdings, usually around a water source, and graze their livestock on public lands around those holdings for what may arguably be the lowest grazing fee on the planet. Most of the occupiers have never heard of the Taylor Grazing Act, and those who might have, insist that “grazing rights” on public land are a property right attached to the base private land. No amount of arguing will convince them otherwise, although the Bureau of Land Management will plainly state that grazing of BLM lands is not a property right, or a right at all, any more than my neighbor’s home and yard is mine if I rent it, or that my renting a home means the owner cannot sell it or rent it to somebody else, or paint it a different color. When presented with that fact, an occupier like Jason Patrick will merely say that the BLM has no right to exist.

No one seemed interested in the fate of the lands they were claiming in the takeover. None could explain why a mostly Gentile band of militants were now following what is almost entirely a Mormon-led insurrection, with a man named Ammon, named after the leader of the Nephites, at the head, or a man who calls himself Captain Moroni (Alma 59:13 “And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country”) on guard duty, or a spokesman like Finicum, whose ranch in Cane Beds, Arizona is less than two miles from the FLDS enclave of Colorado City. The Gentile militants seem uninterested in how they might fit in to a renewed State of Deseret, even though the language that the Bundy leaders use is almost identical to the 19th century plans for that kingdom, and the Malheur lies at the very northern expanse of the old State of Deseret claims. They do not see themselves as volunteers in a new version of the Nauvoo Legion from the Utah War of 1857-58 because none of them seem to know, or be interested in, any of that history.

Finicum must have known the history of his homeland in the Arizona Strip, which in the time of his grandfather was almost denuded by the overstocking of 100,000 head of cattle, and which, in the 1890’s, even the hard-as-nails cattleman and visionary pioneer Preston Nutter could not control. A smallholder like Finicum, unless he had his own militia, would not have survived one season in the early settlement years of the Arizona Strip. The battles over water sources and the destruction of the range were such that Preston Nutter, not exactly a big-government kind of businessman, was a leading advocate for the Taylor Grazing Act.

The sign the armed group affixed over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge sign.
Hal Herring

It is tempting to use the venerable Santayana quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” but it doesn’t fit here. Ammon Bundy (I did not meet him during my visit to the refuge) may or may not know the history of land use in the West, but there will be no repeating the free-grazing era of the late 19th century. Not in the fastest-growing developed nation on earth, on a planet that will soon play host to nine or 10 billion human beings. Nothing will be free. What the militants are asking for is almost exactly what more mainstream political leaders like Rep. Rob Bishop, from Utah, or the American Lands Council, now headed by Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, say they want, too. The Malheur occupation, with the incessant press coverage in its early weeks, was the soapbox for disseminating payloads of misinformation about America’s public lands, about their management, about how and why we have them. Every soundbite was delivered to further the goal of privatization.

The Bundys and the militants who follow and support them are the agents of their own destruction.

Should these adherents to the land transfer movement succeed and have the public lands given or sold to the states, some version of the State of Deseret will almost certainly flourish. Such a place already exists, of course: the Deseret Ranches, owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints, 235,000 acres in Utah and 678,000 acres in Florida (2 percent of Florida’s landmass). The LDS corporation would certainly be prepared to make some very large purchases of what is now public land, but it is highly unlikely that any of the Bundy family, or any of Finicum’s many children, would be grazing their cows there. Smaller operators cannot own lands that do not put enough pounds on cows to pay property taxes. It is unlikely that any of the current crop of smallholder ranchers anywhere in the West will be able to bid for productive land against the Church; or against families like the Wilks of Texas, who have so far bought over 300,000 acres of austere grazing land north south of the Missouri Breaks in Montana; or the Koch family, whose ranch holdings comprise about 460,000 acres (including almost a quarter million acres in Montana); or Ted Turner, who has some 2 million acres across the US; or Stan Kroenke, who two years ago purchased the 165,000-acre Broken O Ranch in Montana and has just bought the 510,000 acre W.T. Waggoner Ranch in Texas.

Buyers, in a world packed and competitive beyond the imaginations of those who set aside these unclaimed and abandoned lands as forest reserves and public grazing lands in the early 1900s, are now everywhere, planet-wide. As Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, when he was president of the American Lands Council, famously said of privatizing federal lands, “It’s like having your hands on the lever of a modern-day Louisiana Purchase.”

When that lever is pulled, and it will be, unless a majority of Americans know enough about what is at stake to oppose it, we will live through the transformation of our country. Federal water rights that underpin entire agricultural economies, and that are critical to some of the last family farms and ranches in America, will be in play. Few Americans, even those in the cities of the east who know nothing about these lands, will be untouched in some way by the transformation. Once the precedent for divesting federal lands is well-set, the eastern public lands, most of them far more valuable than those in the West, will go on the international auction block. The unique American experiment in balancing the public freedom and good with private interests will be forever shattered, while a new kind of inequality soars, not just inequality of economics and economic opportunity, but of life experience, the chance to experience liberty itself. The understanding that we all share something valuable in common – the vast American landscape, yawning to all horizons and breathtakingly beautiful – will be further broken. These linked notions of liberty and unity and the commons have been obstacles to would-be American oligarchs and plutocrats from the very founding of our nation, which is why they have been systematically attacked since the Gilded Age of the 1890s.

I went to the Malheur looking for kindred spirits. I found the mad, the fervent, the passionately misguided. I found the unknowing pawns of an existential chess game, in which we are, all of us, now caught. Driving home across the snow-packed Malheur Basin, through mile after mile of sage, with towering basalt cliffs in the near distance, herds of mule deer appearing as gray specks in the tongues of slide rock and wind-exposed yellow grass, I did not wonder what Edward Abbey would have said about all of this, or Kropotkin or the lugubrious monarchist Thomas Hobbes. I thought instead of the old C.S. Lewis books of my childhood, and of Lewis’ writings on the nature of evil, where evil is never a lie, because lying implies creation, and evil, by its nature, has no creative power. Instead, the nature of evil is to take a truth and twist it, sometimes as much as 180 degrees. Love of country becomes hatred of those we believe don’t share our devotion, or don’t share it the same way. The natural right of armed self-defense becomes the means to take over a wildlife refuge, to exert tyranny on those who work there, or those who love the place for the nature it preserves in a world replete with man’s endeavors. The U.S. Constitution, one of the most liberal and empowering documents ever composed, becomes, with just a slight annotation or interpretation, the tool of our own enslavement.

version of this essay was also published in our magazine, on March 21, 2016.

Armin Gollannek
Armin Gollannek Subscriber
Feb 12, 2016 06:07 PM
This is the best article written on the Bundy takeover presenting a clear view of the What, Why and How this all came about. Many thanks to HCN and Hal Herring for presenting this story in a clear and concise way.
Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers Subscriber
Feb 12, 2016 06:15 PM
An amazing writing. Thank you.
Susan Schneider
Susan Schneider
Feb 12, 2016 07:23 PM
To repeat an earlier comment, this is the best thing I've read on the entire situation. Thank you.
Paul Thomson
Paul Thomson Subscriber
Feb 12, 2016 08:18 PM
great read, being a native Oregonian from a family with a ranch just over the mountains in the Klamath Basin I have been following this very closely. I have spent countless hours reading articles from every side of this conflict and reading and rereading the articles in the constitution that the Bundy's site as their reasoning I have come to the same conclusions as the author of this article. I think that a more local over site of the land would be better for all involved I in no way think the control and ownership should be transferred back to the states. That would just make it easier for the land to be privatized and exploited for the benefit of a small group of people. Which would lead to fewer and fewer places for the average person to enjoy the natural world. As a wildlife photographer I rely on refuges such as the Malhuer I make at least one trip a year to photograph the diverse wildlife of the area. These public lands are our heritage and I can't imagine life without them.
Melissa McDowell
Melissa McDowell Subscriber
Feb 12, 2016 09:00 PM
I didn't have to visit the Malheur occupation to know what Hal found out, but this is a well-written eyewitness account which is important. Public freedom vs. private interests: I most always feel pretty free but never freer than when I walk on precious wild public lands like Malheur and the rest. Don't feel the same on private land, even my own. Something about American heritage, I guess.
Tina Ricks
Tina Ricks
Feb 12, 2016 09:19 PM
This is a brilliant piece of writing. Bravo. Thanks for the history lessons and a peek inside one of the weirder chapters in Oregon's recent history.
Mary C Ray
Mary C Ray
Feb 12, 2016 09:52 PM
Many of the described here sound truly mentally ill. I hope they get the help they need.
Preston Andrews
Preston Andrews Subscriber
Feb 12, 2016 10:35 PM
Hal, your essay has dug down to the very depths of what plagues as a society. Bravo!!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 12, 2016 11:22 PM
Just like the Malheur situation, this article was a mixed bag, but mostly disappointing. Interesting tidbits about the Arizona Strip and the State of Deseret, but completely absent with respect to the Dwight Hammond case that was the catalyst for all of this.

Also, the writer's injection of his own whackjob radical politics -- which are typical of the liberals at High Country News -- was as predictable as it was laughable. I occasionally get sent to High Country News by this or that friend, and the articles are invariably written by some New Yorker in cowboy boots.
Sara Walsh
Sara Walsh
Feb 13, 2016 02:10 AM
Great essay, Hal. Your grasp of the relevant historical, philosophical, and religious tenets, together with your honest and brilliant assessment provides the best insight and clarity I've seen of this bizarrely distorted and misguided situation. This deserves to be shared far and wide.
John H
John H
Feb 13, 2016 02:24 AM
I'd like to repeat the earlier sentiments that this is the best piece on the takeover that I've read so far, and I've been following it intently. On top of that, it's a superb work of writing altogether, tying together many of the loose strands of history thrown aside or waved away with cries of "but the constitution..."

It's a shame there's so little room in modern conservatism for conservatives like you Hal (my apologies if someone as well read as you isn't comfortable with any label), because while I fancy myself pretty far left on most issues, a lot of what you wrote struck home with me a way that made me wish that there was anything right of center in the country right now that isn't the worship of short term profits at all costs and relentless exploitation of all resources - labor included.
Mike & Lorri Benefield
Mike & Lorri Benefield Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 09:48 AM
A great summation of an important issue that should be required reading for every American. While there was nothing surprising about those who occupied the refuge, the extent of the role that untreated mental illness played in this affair was disconcerting. It could have ended much worse, with so many deluded, armed individuals wishing for "suicide by police" gathered in one location with constant media attention.
Michael Parker
Michael Parker Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 11:59 AM
This is a superb essay and will hopefully be published beyond High Country News. I've followed the Malheur occupation since the beginning. This is among the very best description of the people involved. Thank you for your excellent writing!
L.  Anderson
L. Anderson
Feb 13, 2016 01:50 PM
I was shocked to read such a great article on this whole fiasco. Finally some truth and common sense. Thank you Hal.

 I am an ex Mormon who also resides in Montana. I have lived all over the west. Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and now Montana. The public lands of the American West are what make this nation so special. I am so blessed to to have lived here my entire life and to have spent a great deal of time in some of the the most remote and beautiful areas of our public lands.

To turn the public lands of the people of America over to a bunch of greedy, corrupt, politicians, ranchers, miners, loggers and real estate developers would be the end of America as we know it. I have been out to Gold Butte and seen first hand the damage done by the Bundy's cattle. That the BLM is such cowards that that won't go in and exterminate those stinking cattle is a disgrace. It the reflects the current poor leadership of our nation.

I support multi use of public lands and think our Federal Land Managers are doing a pretty good job considering the number of special interest groups they have to deal with. Keep up the good work!

I hope all those who domestic terrorist who took over our wildlife refuge will be be behind bars for a long time.
Good riddance!
Kenneth Keffer
Kenneth Keffer Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 01:57 PM
Re: Jake Jackson. Most of the people at the refuge were from out of state. Bundy had talked to the sheriff of Grant co months before the take over so it was planed not spontaneous. Wackjob would be the armed take over of federal property not writing about it. The federal lands here in the west belong to those New Yorker's in cowboy boots just as they do to you and they have the same rights to commen about them as you do.

Lawrence Wichman
Lawrence Wichman Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 02:03 PM
Fantastic essay. Myself, I've been searching for the words.

The author painted a kind of picture that really helped me understand. These weeks, I found myself getting really mad at these militia/militia types. I got myself unnecessarily deep into the news/streams/social media these last weeks, I'm relieved the bad guys are in jail. Sheriff Ward suggest it's "time to turn off the computer". Well said. It is absolutely time I wean myself off this drama.

I've printed an essay copy; I've give it a slow read a few more times. Hal..., amazing! you were there! Thanks for the straight dope.

Larry, Seattle Wa

There where a lot of angry middle-age involved. On my worst days, there are moments I am just as misguided myself. I'm working remove some of own splintered self. The occupation is finally over, I'll read the essay again every so often. Thanks for some clarity
George Hayduke
George Hayduke
Feb 13, 2016 02:11 PM
Excellent. Best I've seen yet. Shared and shared on all my networks.
Tom Sharp
Tom Sharp Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 02:27 PM
A bold essay exposing the pathos behind the Refuge occupation. Many shares are occurring.
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 02:29 PM
I appreciate Hal's candid description of his personal longing for freedom and his disappointment in the low intellectual content of the MNWR occupiers' motivations. Half my lifetime ago, I would have had more sympathy with the malcontents. Even now, I think that while the Hammonds abused their too-generous access privileges to public grazing land, their jail sentences (under a mandatory-minimum law enacted by a Republican-dominated Congress) were draconian. And like most of us, I'd like to see a few changes in the way our country is run myself. But at my current age, I understand that while too little liberty is tyranny, too much liberty would result in a war of each against all, with the tyranny of the strongest the result. I'll take the rule of law, thanks.

As for federal control of publicly-owned land: I'm convinced it is essential to slow the loss of what's left of our country's biodiversity heritage. As co-owner of our federal public lands, I have every right to a say in how they are managed, and I say no grandiose self-appointed patriot is allowed to seize them for the exclusive use of crooked welfare ranchers like the Hammonds. Am I not the people?
Ted Vandell
Ted Vandell Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 02:33 PM
Thanks. Great job.
Dan Freedom
Dan Freedom
Feb 13, 2016 02:37 PM
 "Utah and her sister states accepted the U.S. Constitution as the 'supreme law of the land' as a condition of statehood. The Supreme Court has made clear that the Property Clause grants Congress an “absolute right” to decide upon the disposition of federal land and '[n]o State legislation can interfere with this right or embarrass its exercise.'" http://www.nationalparkstra[…]ublic-lands-over-state25858
Candy Odiorne
Candy Odiorne Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 02:56 PM
I imagine this will resonate in SOME way with virtually everyone who loves this country - except the powers maneuvering to take it from us. Time to lay aside our differences and defend our beautiful home. I hope everyone who reads it will share it as far and wide as their social network permits.
Aaron Tessoni
Aaron Tessoni
Feb 13, 2016 03:22 PM
Part of the joys of living in a country made up of "United" States, with Government by the people, and ndividual's who all share the xa!me rights. Your rights end where everyone else's begin. Federal lands belong to the People, and is thusly administrated by the people to protect the best interest of the people.... Not just for the use of select few and personal interests. Being a ,"free" citizen does not mean you are free from law and the social contract as a citizen of this country. Part of that contract is being being a civil Patriot. That entails being loyal to the "people"..ie the governing body we have democratically elected. That doesn't mean you can't express disagreement, but it does mean you need to do so with civility and .if you expect to have your concerns heard. The Constitution protects our right to be heard...not treasonous. Do you believe that disagreements should be solved by force and coercive threats? If your neighbor disagrees with you then its OK for them to use those kind of tactics with you to get their way? No! We have coivil resources. Would you consider the Black Lives Matter using these tactics constitutionally legal and without reproach? I highly doubt it! I imagine most of these supporters have expressed negative views/opinions of those protestors, and for the most part it was lawful civil disobedience.
David Mattson
David Mattson Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 05:44 PM
A bunch of middle-aged white guys on the pointy end of the economic stick and in the midst of an existential crisis manifest in the demonic construction of our federal government as a satanic threat? Yep, fully on board with that. Who, to the extent it can be reckoned by another, are advocating that which would betray their apparent self-interests? Yep, fully on board with that as well. Or, more tacitly, it seems, from my read of your text, that there may be something really important that is plausibly described as the “greater good” or “common interest”? Absolutely on board with that. And, even more buried in your text, that the common interest often needs to be secured through law and policy at the highest social order possible (i.e., national) if we are to maximize the odds of dignity for those of us in the commonwealth? Yep.

But spare me the ad nauseum articulation of your libertarian credentials…which I assume you thought was necessary as a prelude to your critique of the mindset and cant of those who occupied Malheur. Despite what you seem to imply, guns, even AR-15s, will not provide us with any assurance of liberty and security from tyranny. If anything, the opposite. And what do I fear? Demagogues given power by those beset by unchecked existential anxiety—often folks who own lots of guns—fueled by language that preys on their irrational base fears. Think Donald Trump. I also fear the unchecked despotism of wealth feeding power, and power feeding wealth, all under the justifying rubric of “capitalism.” Think the Koch brothers. To which you only make passing reference.

An interesting piece…as far as it went.

David Mattson
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 06:00 PM
So, David Mattson, now that we're going to do the "slur white people" thing, let's imagine what would've happened if the Y'all Qaeda Militia were black. If we take the events in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore as precedents, they might have started by rioting in Burns. Then looting, then burning.

At that point, the same liberals who were calling for blood at Malheur would've been calling for racial justice, and cheered the occupation. President Obama would've heard the calls and sent his attorney general in to tell all law enforcement authorities to back away and let the rioting continue, while the Justice Department investigated to see whether the Harney County sheriff had written too many traffic tickets to "people of color."

p.s.: I must say that I love your hatred not only of "middle aged white guys," but of guns. A true blue boutique Westerner, if that much. You fit will with High Country News, that's for sure.
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 06:43 PM
@Jake Jackson: "let's imagine what would've happened if the Y'all Qaeda Militia were black. If we take the events in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore as precedents, they might have started by rioting in Burns. Then looting, then burning...At that point, the same liberals who were calling for blood at Malheur would've been calling for racial justice, and cheered the occupation."

Lots of "might have"s and "would've"s in your hypothetical. Of course, you're free to label anyone you choose a liberal, whatever color their skin is. Some people you would've said were liberals might have supported #BlackLivesMatter, and some others might have called for blood at Malheur. You have no evidence they're the same individuals, though. Now, who's doing a "slur liberal people" thing?
Laurel Larsen-Stokes
Laurel Larsen-Stokes
Feb 13, 2016 06:43 PM
A well written article that helps with some perspective of the occupation. When I was raised in this area, I never expected something like this to happen south of Burns. I don't think anyone from the area expected this or wanted to see this happening in their homeland. It is a beautiful but harsh, challenging area to live in. My love and prayers go to the people and the land, may they heal and grow beyond this.
Candace Hyde-Wang
Candace Hyde-Wang Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 07:43 PM
Powerful, profound writing. Send it to the New York Times, the Atlantic or the New Yorker. This deserves a national audience.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 08:01 PM
First things first. I shouldn't have accused David Mattson of hating middle aged white guys. Bad choice of words. I should have been more accurate and accused him of disparaging middle aged white guys, which is absolutely true.

So, Mr. Anderson, I see that you are a supporter of the "BlackLivesMatter" fraud. Not me. I'm an "AllLivesMatter" guy, which of course makes me a racist in liberal eyes. Oh well.

Now, seeing as how I spend a lot of time at Malheur, and am one "degree of separation" from the Hammonds, who were sent to prison by a truly bizarro liberal prosecutor, I paid very close attention to this from the start. One of the first things I noticed was the blood lust of many liberals. Not only was it unseemly, but it was starkly hypocritical. The sudden desire for law and order among a group of people who lined up behind the rioters of Ferguson and Baltimore, and the vandals of "Occupy Wall Street," was something to behold.

But hey, it's all in a day's work at High Country News, whose articles and comment sections are indistinguishable from those of, say, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Salon, Think Progress and others. Of course, they are liberal and therefore smarter than mere humans.

This article was one-sided, misleading, shallow, and deeply condescending. Oddly enough, it never even touched on what the pathetic misfits are really all about: the so-called "posse comitatus" movement, which holds that the county sheriff is the highest law. Their reading of the Constitution that they never stop prattling about is laughable. No one seems to have read Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2, or the 150-plus years of court cases supporting that clause's clear statement of the federal government's authority to own land within state borders. Oh well.

Amid the dwelling on the Mormon side of this (without even mentioning that the Mormon hierarchy instantly disavowed them), and the attempts to tie them to a plot to seize federal land everywhere, High Country News chooses to ignore well-documented federal mismanagement of the land it controls, and worse.

On January 5th, the congressman who represents Harney County, Rep. Greg Walden, detailed some of the BLM's sins in an eloquent speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. God help the High Country News, they'll never mention it. Why? Because Walden is a Republican, and not liberal. And we all know that liberals are the only smart ones. Why? Because you never stop telling us so.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 08:06 PM
@Candace Hyde-Wang, I agree. They should definitely send it East. Which, figuratively speaking, would be right across the hall. High County News is about as "Western" as a microbrewery in Boulder, Colorado. Which is to say Eastern through and through. This article told every Easterner exactly what every Easterner wants to hear.
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 08:38 PM
@Jake Jackson: you'd have a clearer picture of reality if you got past your hatred of "liberals". I'm guessing you don't actually know anyone you'd apply that label to personally. If you asked them, you might discover that a lopsided majority of your friends and neighbors qualify.
Candace Hyde-Wang
Candace Hyde-Wang Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 08:42 PM
Well, if you think the Feds mismanage it, wait till the Mormon Church gets it.
And I am from Utah. My ancestors settledDeseret after they took it from the Indians. They article is not condescending but says so much about a dying way of life that is much broader than the American West.
Astrid Olafsen
Astrid Olafsen Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 08:43 PM
Hal Herring writes thoughtfully and deeply about a misled and misdirected tragedy of ignorance. His frustration at discussions of substance are what so many of us experience, when trying to have a meaningful give-and-take dialogue with people who care not about any history other than that they've constructed in their own mind, and create their world, top down, under a banner of what they think they hate. Ideas and facts fit it under that banner, or they're not worthy of consideration, and cannot exist.

And he expresses the fears that those of us who love the land, have spent years outdoors on the priceless treasures of our public lands, know would be the outcome of that sell-off. Land barons from the earliest times of Manifest Destiny have exhausted it for what they want, and then left it behind, torn, wrecked, dredged, eaten down to the dirt.

Thank you, sir. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future, as you join Krakauer and others among my favored authors writing about the real issues and people of the West. Place in here you brought tears to my eyes.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 09:26 PM
@Karl Anderson, you don't have a clue who I know. But hey, I can't try to tell you because you are a liberal. See, you can always tell a liberal, but you cannot tell a liberal anything, because liberals are smarter than humans.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 09:30 PM
Fantastic article, thank you. If you are ever in the Black Hills, you have friends here.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 09:46 PM
@Candace Hyde-Wang: Agreed, this needs an international audience. Post it up everywhere we can. It's been a long time since I've since such a clear, objective analysis of some of the idiocy facing our nation.

@ "Jake Jackson" : If half the things you are saying are true, you are at best deluded, and more likely a paid troll. This is a classic example:
"High County News is about as "Western" as a microbrewery in Boulder, Colorado. "

Apparently you don't read it. This is as obvious to most people here as sunshine on a clear morning.

Anyway, bother off, the adults are trying to have serious discussion, and it's way past time the kids were asleep.

"Instead, the nature of evil is to take a truth and twist it, sometimes as much as 180 degrees. "

Yes. Twisty turny politics, twisty turny followers, twisty turny forum posts. Gollum, gollum, gollum.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 09:53 PM
@Andy, I've read enough of High Country News to see what it is. So tell me, are you voting for Hillary, that corrupt liar, or Bernie and free ponies?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 09:57 PM
"First things first. I shouldn't have accused David Mattson of hating middle aged white guys. Bad choice of words. I should have been more accurate and accused him of disparaging middle aged white guys, which is absolutely true."

 Jake, I'm a middle aged white guy, half a century old, and I don't disagree with David. I meet lots of middle aged white guys who I don't think are worth the carbon they use up.

On the other hand, I think you are a paid troll. Trolls are best dealt with by pretending they don't exist. Goodbye.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 10:12 PM
@Candace " They article is not condescending but says so much about a dying way of life that is much broader than the American West. "

 Belief in peace and prosperity
Candace Hyde-Wang
Candace Hyde-Wang Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 10:14 PM
I very much appreciated this statement: " I am gobsmacked by an economy that seems engineered to impoverish anyone who dares try make their own living, " I live in the Bay Area now and the computer world is changing everything and not, I fear, for the best. There are very few people who can live and make an independent life anymore. Wage-slavery is the future. Or no wages. http://www.theguardian.com/[…]-jobs-moshe-vardi?CMP=fb_gu This is not a conspiracy. The world is changing due to forces we put in motion and the effects, I believe, can be seen in the anger and confusion all around.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 10:23 PM
@ Candace - yes :)
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 10:27 PM
This article really deserves to be shared far and wide. Thank you, Hal. Telling the truth is hard enough, detailing it in the face of possible reprisal is worse. You've earned my respect and admiration.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 10:50 PM
Candace: "This is not a conspiracy. The world is changing due to forces we put in motion and the effects, I believe, can be seen in the anger and confusion all around."

   With a complexity left unsaid. -A
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 11:08 PM
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 11:37 PM
@Andy, yes, it's true, The Evil Koch Brothers (tm) pay me $10,000 a month to "troll" (i.e. disagree with liberals, who just despise being contradicted, because they are so much better and smarter than mere human beings) High Country News. It's great work if you can get it. Sure beats that $15 an hour Bernie will give me for occupying something.
Mark Luttrell
Mark Luttrell Subscriber
Feb 13, 2016 11:41 PM
Hal and HCN editors: The quality of this story is exactly what I expect from HCN!
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 08:12 AM
Jake Jackson illustrates how ideology makes political choices easy, by allowing the ideologue to sort every person and issue by a single criterion. He can ignore every personal and political dimension but one. If someone he applies the "liberal" label to is for something, Jake's against it, and vice versa.

Jake's dipolar political model has the benefit of simplicity, but carries significant risks even for him. For example, if someone he's placed at the liberal pole decries the influence of money in politics, Jake embraces the Koch Brothers as allies. A multi-axis model makes decisions more difficult but enables finer-grained analysis. At the least, it helps keep political fleas off, by allowing one to recognize dogs.

Sigh. Winston Churchill (British, you know) said, among other things: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried" and "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." I sometimes think my fellow Americans are determined to prove Sir Winston half right.
tony  newbill
tony newbill
Feb 14, 2016 08:49 AM
TELL ALL THE CITIZENS TO SIGN THE PETITIONS BELOW because the FEDS are about to GIVE AWAY all the 150 Trillion of USA Minerals to Foreign Nations for a DEBT we the People did not agree too for over 30 YEARS of our GOVERNMENT APPEASING THE REST OF THE WORLD SO THEY WOULD KEEP USING THE DOLLAR !!!!!!!!!
             
    This is what its all about , http://cascadebusnews.com/n[…]-take-back-our-public-lands
http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/[…]/

Let me ask you if you would have been told the USA would accumulate 18 trillion in debt and 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities because of the last 30 years of unfair trade policies which allowed a trade partner to manipulate its currency in a fashion that created that SOUND ROSS PEROT said we would hear that only de-industrialized the USA that led to these loses in durable wealth creation and the conversion of any debt to an equity position , would you have agreed to that kind of trade policy ?


http://www.americanlandscouncil.org/key_points , http://freedomoutpost.com/[…]/plan-use-land-west-pay-debt-china

READ THESE LINKS it tells you about the Russians that want USA Uranium ,
http://farmwars.info/?p=14481
The Clintons: is the Oregon standoff really about uranium? by Jon Rappoport
https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/[…]/

This article says that Malheur County may be the BIGGEST Uranium Deposit in the USA !!!!!!!
http://www.wweek.com/[…]/article-18572-a_glowing_opportunity.html


FEDS want 13 million acres taken away from private sector operations in the Western States
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcW2xTkh7rs
This is the Clintons Russian Counterpart that is Taking ALL USA Uranium !!!!!!!!
https://www.facebook.com/[…]/timeline , they have since took down their page .
http://freedomfromgovernment.org/[…]/#more-51

 PETITIONS TO SIGN THAT WILL ALLOW EVERYONE TO BENEFIT FROM THE STATE RESOURCES THESE GOVERNMENT BANDITS ARE STEALING ********* One Petition is for Oregon Citizens , and the other is for US Citizens .
https://www.change.org/p/or[…]ers&utm_medium=copyLink
This one is for everyone in every state make these go viral because it will get the GREEDY GOVERNMENT TO OWN UP TO THIS FRAUD AGAINST WE THE PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!
http://wh.gov/iwuee





Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 14, 2016 08:49 AM
What a great read ! A gentle touch on many issues surrounding the most elaborate suicide by cop ever.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 09:22 AM
Great writing Hal! Anybody know if Siberian elms were planted following Dutch elm disease die off? I should know that but I don't. Especially poignant was "his other life, Ehmer is a welder...Because he is convinced that the federal government will soon sell off all public lands or close the them to the public, he worries about the loss of access to places to ride them." Nonsensical for certain, given he is a pawn in the greater game of wresting public land away from the public. As for Jake, I assume, since you are an "All lives matter" guy and the self-appointed spokesman for what is and is not western, you would oppose the 12 to 15 cases where other criminals, mostly environmentalists or leftists, were sentenced under the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death penalty act mandatory minimums? Or is it only the Hammond sentencing you object to? After all, those mandatory minimums placed the subjective power into the hands of the prosecutors, one of which you complain about. I think mandatory minimums should go away because I don't fear the "soft on crime" claims of the past, not because the Hammonds were fairly sentenced under the law.


Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 09:51 AM
@ Karl - I salute you, sir; you have a way with words that I can only admire and be humbled by from afar. No, that's not sarcasm. ;D

  Mr. Churchill is likely spinning in his grave right now, with a rotational intertia that could be tapped to power the entire output of political speech on the planet at any one time... even in his wildest alcohol fueled nightmares would he likely have imagined how far the fascists could have perverted something as fundamentally corruptible as democracy.

"dipolar political model" - going to have to remember that phrase, it is the perfect description of the idiotic thinking of fanatics on both sides, although honestly I think the republicans win the game there at this point in time.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 09:51 AM
@Jake: Good bennies?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 09:54 AM
Mr "Newbill", this forum is for discussion, not for spamming nonsense propaganda. Please keep your capital letters to yourself.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 09:57 AM
@ Candace: I happen to be successfully self employed in the computer/electronics service and repair world and have been most of my life. Yes, it's tough, and even more so as I live in an area that is sparsely populated. Any advice or help I can give you is freely offered.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:02 AM
@Jake, who ejaculated: " liberals, who just despise being contradicted, because they are so much better and smarter than mere human beings"

 Yes, I often find that to be the case as well. It's a certainty that the conservatives I've seen posting here rarely have shown the same level of intelligence and wit.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:06 AM
@Jake: By the way, did you file your taxes on that Koch brothers income? I hear the Feds are cracking down on freeloaders, even the rich ones.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:19 AM
@ Mr Jordan: re Siberian Elms.

Apparently. Interesting reading I don't have time for :( so I gift it to you :)

https://www.google.com/sear[…]4.serp..4.6.977.mnJRliTAgQs
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 10:24 AM
@Andy, yes, liberals have more intelligence and wit. We know this because that's what you keep telling us.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:28 AM
Jake, you just made my point for me. Thanks.
Candy Odiorne
Candy Odiorne Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:50 AM
So much for setting aside our differences and saving the West. :( The Koch folks keep stirring the sh*t.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:52 AM
Just so, Candace. It has struck me more than once that the folks stirring this stew are probably few in number, but have influence and power to make up for it.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 10:52 AM
Speaking of being a paid troll ...

http://tinyurl.com/internttroll

Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:53 AM
I guess the rest of us just have to keep on living the good life and keep the bandits at bay as best we can...
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 10:57 AM
@Robert Jordan, I realize that you're a liberal and therefore know everything. If it were different, I'd suggest that you actually research the Hammond case, and not through the usual liberal sources that love criminality as long as it's committed by liberals, black rioters, or both. You'd find out that the charges against the Hammonds were largely trumped up, and that the second go-'round was arranged by a liberal prosecutor who is one of the more bizarre personalities of recent times.

But wait, forget it. Liberals already know everything they need to know. This is what they keep telling us, so there'll be no need for you to find out the facts. They'd only disturb you, and we can't have any of that.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:59 AM
Jake, this is not meant to be offensive, but you just don't get it. That's not a criticism, sometimes humor and camaraderie is just outside one's reach. I've been there too.

It's not about disagreement, it's that you keep writing allegorical nonsense and attacking people, and we're trying to have a discussion here.

For example:

"Also, the writer's injection of his own whackjob radical politics -- which are typical of the liberals at High Country News -- was as predictable as it was laughable. I occasionally get sent to High Country News by this or that friend, and the articles are invariably written by some New Yorker in cowboy boots. "

Did you really think that people here would not take exception to the way you said that? Grow up.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:59 AM
By the way, Jake, I am not a liberal.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 11:04 AM
"ou'd find out that the charges against the Hammonds were largely trumped up, "

I've read about that extensively over the last couple months, and talked to a few lawyer friends I have who defend people like that, and the overwhelming consensus is that they were guilty. So said the judge, the jury, and even the Hammonds haven't appreciated the attention visited on the case by the idiots at Malheur.

 It's a dead horse. Stop flogging it, you look like a fool.


Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 14, 2016 11:24 AM
It would be worth noting that the man most responsible for the brainwashing of these " patriots" is Cleo Skousen. This bigoted, Mormon, "scholar" , and his interpretation of the Constitution, provide Ammon his Ammo. The pocket constitution alluded to in this, and so many other articles is his version. He is the Mormon thread weaving through the Bundy saga.
Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 14, 2016 11:26 AM
* Cleon Skousen.
Astrid Olafsen
Astrid Olafsen Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 11:55 AM
Max Espo -- Skousen is dead, but Glen Beck discovered him (through his Mormon faith), and made his commentated pocket Constitution part of his 9/12 project. It was Beck's trumpeting of Skousen, author of The 5,000 Year Leap, a book Beck says “changed his life.” First published in 1981, Beck wrote the foreword to a new edition that instantly became a top seller on Amazon.com. http://www.mrm.org/cleon-skousen
So I blame Glenn Beck for popularizing Skousen's "only own 10 acres" dribble.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 12:04 PM
@Andy, it's o.k. to be a liberal. No need for you to deny it. Say hello to Bernie next time you see him. Tell him I don't want one of the ponies he's going to be giving out. But I'll take a corporate jet. It's the least he can do for a paid Koch Brothers troll.
Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 14, 2016 12:08 PM
Beck, another Mormon in the chain promoting obscure, debunked, constitutional ininterpretations to mobilize the nit wits to accomplish the goal of the monied special interests.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 12:09 PM
@ Astrid and Max: Just so. Thank you, I had never chased that logic chain down. Beck has been a parasite for a long time but I wasn't aware of that connection. Makes a lot of sense now.

 Skousen's ideas make some sense in a developing industrial culture - half a century ago and more - but are entirely irrelevant now, when the urban masses have the means to travel out to the rural areas easily in the event of a societal crash, and dictate to anyone they found in their way. Having a secure stronghold rurally now just means you are a target for anyone who wants to use it. Google earth means they will know where it is.

  I don't care how much you fortify a place, if you have a hundred times your numbers coming at you, or a military unit with serious heavy weapons, they will get in. If the government is going to come at you in a serious way, they will get in. Arming oneself past the basic needed to repel the casual intruders (or suicide rather than be ravaged) is ridiculous and a waste of resources. It's not frontier America anymore, and owning an assault rifle or such does not mean you will be safe.

Better to spend the time and resources trying to change society for the better ... ;)
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 12:13 PM

Jake: @Andy, it's o.k. to be a liberal. No need for you to deny it.

 You are absolutely correct, there isn't, because not only am I not liberal, I'm not a conservative either. I don't do partisan politics. Ever.
 I'm afraid I have not met Mr Sanders, if I did, I would have a few things to discuss with him. I'm not very enamored of the way he sees the world.

 I'm glad your employers treat you well; it's difficult to make one's way independently in the world nowadays ;)
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 12:17 PM
@Andy, you really don't like guns, do you? Poor Easterner, you.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 12:27 PM
@Andy, it just occurred to me that maybe you're one a-them liberals who's taken to calling himself a "progressive."
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 12:27 PM
Well, Jake, if you would look at other things I've posted here in this wonderful magazine's comment forums, you would have realized what a ignorant question that is. Since you didn't, I'll enlighten you a bit.

  I do not at this present time feel the need to own or maintain one. A gun is a tool, like every other piece of technology, and it has one specific purpose, and that is to cause damage to living beings. I do have philosophical objections to owning one, but that doesn't mean I don't know how to use one. I am well enough equipped to defend myself both physically and intellectually - which I have done so successfully as necessary over the years. I don't need to own a firearm to feel secure, or adult, or manly, or a "patriot".

 As to "Easterner" you can call me that, and it's true, I was born and raised and spent 36 years east of the Missouri. But I have been adopted by the wonderful people here and become part of the "west river tribe" and my friends include many ranchers and natives and tons of other wonderful people who can trace their families back to the early settlers. They are my family, my tribe, my friends, and I will not shirk in defending them.

 You, sir, do not represent their interests in large or in part, and I cannot respect you.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 12:51 PM
@Andy, don't worry. You fit perfectly with your fellow liberals ... er, progressives ... here at the faux-Western High Country News.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 12:59 PM
Yup Jake, they - the whole political spectrum of them - are a great bunch, great comments and discussion, and HCN is a fine magazine with more objective reporting in it than many mainstream media rags. It's a shame you don't seem to want to fit in. I guess you'll always be an outsider, then.

 By the way, I can play with trolls all day long, having had much experience with your sort over the decades, and also being rather decent at fishing - besides the point, but we're wasting other people's time here, when they have important things to discuss. So I hope you won't mind if I keep my replies to you shorter and more to the point after this? I *promise* I won't break the rules. Really, from my heart.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:02 PM
You like High Country News because it's, ah, "progressive" in the finest Eastern sense. There is nothing "objective" about this publication.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:07 PM
"There is nothing "objective" about this publication. "

Is that all you have to offer? This is boring. I was hoping for a worthy opponent... even Brandon was better at this.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:08 PM
Jake, I cut my verbal and cynical teeth on slashdot nearly a decade and a half ago, when it was still a wild frontier. If you only knew...
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:08 PM
@Andy, by the way, you're wrong about guns having one purpose, i.e., to cause harm to living beings. Like the rest of the "progressive" Easterners, you are terribly afraid of guns, to the point where you don't even know what as "assault rifle" is. (Of course, being a liberal ... er, progressive ... you wouldn't be caught dead admitting your ignorance. After all, you are smarter than mere humans, and of course do us the favor of constantly reminding us.)

Now, I could bring you a fact, but Eastern "progressives" cannot be given facts, because they already know all of them, and resent the introduction of new ones. But what the hell, I'll do it anyway. The overwhelming majority of the 13 billion rounds of ammo shot in the United States each year are shot for target practice. That would be a fact, but like I say, you're a "progressive," and progressives aren't high on facts.

As for "living beings," I take it that you object to hunting. So are you not only an Easterner and a "progressive," but a vegan? Did I hit the trifecta here?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:10 PM
As to progressive, yes, HCN is progressive. I'm not thinking about the political sense, I'm thinking about the word for what it means. Moving ahead, changing for the better. Political blabber often causes us to lose sight of some things.

 Wouldn't you agree that change is needed?
Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 14, 2016 01:13 PM
I think it is a shame to let such a well thought out,well written article, be followed by partisan name calling. Please don't feed the troll.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:14 PM
I get it. HCN is liberal but afraid to say so, like you. Now what about the vegan part? If you're not a vegan, then why are you against hunting?
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:15 PM
@Max Espo, well yes, anyone who doesn't agree with a liberal is surely a "troll." Liberals really, really hate it when anyone disputes them.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:18 PM
And it was not a well thought out article. It offered a couple of interesting historical tidbits for those of us who read history, but did so for the purpose of building a strawman. In totality, it was another liberal hit piece of the sort that dominates the Eastern media that HCN aspires to be recognized by.
Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 14, 2016 01:23 PM
Speaking of Malheur, has anybody noticed that those screaming " tyranny" and "constitution" the loudest and most frequently are the ones who understand it the least ?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:24 PM
Jake: Oh, something resembling a discussion!

 "@Andy, by the way, you're wrong about guns having one purpose, i.e., to cause harm to living beings
 No, I"m. Like the rest of the "progressive" Easterners, you are terribly afraid of guns, to the point where you don't even know what as "assault rifle" is. (Of course, being a liberal ... er, progressive ... you wouldn't be caught dead admitting your ignorance. After all, you are smarter than mere humans, and of course do us the favor of constantly reminding us.)"

No, I'm not wrong. Can you come up with another purpose?

 No, not afraid of guns at all. Come visit me sometime, I bet I can outshoot you on the range ;)

Smarter than mere humans? What's a "mere human"? Is that what you call yourself?



"Now, I could bring you a fact, but Eastern "progressives" cannot be given facts, because they already know all of them, and resent the introduction of new ones. But what the hell, I'll do it anyway. The overwhelming majority of the 13 billion rounds of ammo shot in the United States each year are shot for target practice. That would be a fact, but like I say, you're a "progressive," and progressives aren't high on facts."

Well, this is the internet, you can type what you want to, so where are your facts? References? Intellectual discussions?

 Oh. What exactly does the 13b rounds shot every year have to do with what we are talking about? When I go shoot at the range or at my friends ranch in WY, I am practicing in order to be proficient at using a weapon specifically so I can kill living beings, in case it becomes necessary in the future; I spend a not insignificant amount of my time trying to make that future not become true (like posting here, heh)

  Being profiecient at using a tool is one thing, worshipping the tool... Are you saying that just because I don't *personally* own one, and don't they they are the answer to all my troubles that's not what it's about? That you love guns because they are... what?

"As for "living beings," I take it that you object to hunting. So are you not only an Easterner and a "progressive," but a vegan? Did I hit the trifecta here?"

 Again, your imagination is filling in the blanks. No, I don't object to hunting, just because I don't, doesn't mean I don't think other people should, and I enjoy venison chili :)

  I am an avid fisherman. Neither am I a vegan (although my doctor has told me to cut down on red meat; so I fish a lot instead). Nope, no trifecta, either, sorry, whatever the bleep that was supposed to mean.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:26 PM
Yep, as I wrote above:

"This article was one-sided, misleading, shallow, and deeply condescending. Oddly enough, it never even touched on what the pathetic misfits are really all about: the so-called 'posse comitatus' movement, which holds that the county sheriff is the highest law. Their reading of the Constitution that they never stop prattling about is laughable. No one seems to have read Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2, or the 150-plus years of court cases supporting that clause's clear statement of the federal government's authority to own land within state borders. Oh well."
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:26 PM
Max: Yes, and that's the continual undercurrent of adult humor running through all this ;)
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:29 PM
@Andy, so you're fine with hunting but object to guns because (in your laughably incorrect view) their sole purpose is to kill living beings. So is your view that everyone should be required to hunt with bow and arrow because Andy, the Eastern "progressive" come to spread his wisdom so generously upon the West, is afraid of guns?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:31 PM
"@Max Espo, well yes, anyone who doesn't agree with a liberal is surely a "troll." Liberals really, really hate it when anyone disputes them. "

Your understanding of the word "troll" is shallow. Enlighten yourself. Google is your friend.
Astrid Olafsen
Astrid Olafsen Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:32 PM
Jake, perhaps you are not a troll, but certainly you are trolling. You are mocking people with terms you have no idea whether they actually apply. Disagree with you they must be "easterner" (I'm western for 67 years), hate guns (I own one), hate hunters (mmmm, elk burgers), liberal (as if that term meant anything these days), and, vegan??!!! To that you assume readers (I guess based on their reading level) must be for Hillary or Bernie, ignore that Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive,
But, hey, I think I'll join in: Shame on your big sister, Jake, who was a liberal, and always lording it over that you she was smarter, thus tainting your ability to ever have a meaningful discussion with those who try to discuss substance.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:32 PM
"Liberals really, really hate it when anyone disputes them. "

Hmm, seems to me that conservatives act the same way. In my experience, however, the liberals generally can defend what they are saying, while the conservatives often don't. But I might be getting old or something.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:36 PM
@Astrid: If it talks like a troll, lives under a bridge and springs out like a troll, and looks like a troll.... well, dang ;D
Astrid Olafsen
Astrid Olafsen Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:39 PM
And, Jake, point well taken about the Posse Comitatus (sp?) movement. There were certainly things not touched on in the article. Had it touched on all of them it would have been a book, or at least a kitchen-sink article that had no more than a couple of sentences about each. And this was more about the actual people there, not all the possible movement out there that might have lured them in. The author could have brought in Gavin Seim, for example...
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:40 PM
There's nothing more fetching than the wounded liberal who, when criticized, curls his lip and says, "How dare you, idiot!"
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:44 PM
@Astrid Olafson, the author had enough time to acquaint us with his whack-job politics, and to construct an elaborate straw man involving the Mormons, even though their hierarchy made clear right away that they disassociated themselves with the Y'all Qaeada nutjobs.

High Country News, like every Eastern liberal, would much rather build a straw man than ever be forced to examine the federal government's well-demonstrated incompetence and outright skullduggery with respect to its management of land. That would be inconvenient, and (as they say) disrupt the narrative. Liberals cannot EVER allow for their narrative to be disrupted. It's just too disturbing for delicate minds, such as they are.
Brad Garber
Brad Garber
Feb 14, 2016 01:44 PM
Great article! Shared
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:48 PM
Well said Astrid; indeed there will likely be tons of books written about this ( and Profphets will be made, as they say)

What I really loved about this article, about Hal's outlook, is the pain that comes through. He went there expecting a change, a revolution - which I think most of us can identify with, I certainly can, back in the early 90s, and now seeing my country being torn apart by forces beyond my control - and as has happened so many times, I found out it wasn't what it purported to be. That's a disappointment I think we all know.

 There are a lot of grievances against government, there always will be, that's the nature of it, because government is composed of people, we elect them, so we are the government, and people disagree.. So it's kind of self flagellation ;)
  But we can all agree that we want our kids to live in a decent world, yes?
Karl Hahn
Karl Hahn Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:50 PM
Thank you for your article. The Bundy Rebellion occupiers, Nevada and Oregon, spoke about Federal tyrants, government over reach, regulations, local government control, county sheriffs, militias, freedom, DONT TREAD ON ME, second amendment, freedom of speech, Obama, GOD, land taken from the ranchers, unconstitutional, and such. Tea Party politicians and conservative commentators say and support the same things. ALEC.com has written model legislation using the same concepts and words. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) declared Cliven Bundy to be a patriot for standing up to the BLM in 2014. Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-NV) participated in both Bundy Rebellions. She introduced the Cliven Bundy Bill in Nevada to return the Federal land to Nevada. Utah PLPCO has worked for years to return Utah's Federal land to the state. Return the Federal land legislation has recently been introduced in Wyoming. The point is the Rebellions are not just a bunch of crazy armed militants. There is a Tea Party, and probably other interested parties, who want the land to go to the states where it will privatized. This is a land grab.
The occupants believed they were fighting for freedom. They invested their time, resources, freedom, and one life fighting for the future privatization of public land.
Public land is managed for multiple use: grazing, mining, energy production, hunting, fishing, antiquities, wild life management, camp grounds, environmental protection, forests, and such. If the Federally managed land is transferred to the states, it will be privatized. Public land will disappear.
Protect your public land.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 01:51 PM
"High Country News, like every Eastern liberal, would much rather build a straw man than ever be forced to examine the federal government's well-demonstrated incompetence"

Mr Jackson, you are as much a part of that government as anyone else here - unless you refuse to be.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:56 PM
@Andy, I don't have one bit of input into what the federal land management agencies do. And the faux-Western HCN makes it clear that they couldn't be bothered to take a close, impartial look.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:58 PM
@Karl Hahn, I bet if the federal gov't that you worship were to own 80% of your native New York, you wouldn't like it much.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:27 PM
Karl: "Protect your public land." "This is a land grab".

 Yup, it's nothing more or less than a transparent attempt by moneyed interests to take what little wild land we have left.

 No.

So say we all.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:27 PM
Sorry Jake, you do seem to be trolling. Especially when you won't agree with people supporting your argument. The "liberal prosecutor" you rail against was given authority in 1996 to sentence the Hammonds to the mandatory minimum. Of course, you must know this with all your research. I assume you oppose those mandatory minimums right? I live in Oregon, own guns, hunt, support the 2nd amm., wished we had a Tom McCall to vote for and will vote for Sanders. Not sure what that makes me in your opinion but I am sure I will gather that with your name calling.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:30 PM
"@Andy, I don't have one bit of input into what the federal land management agencies do."

Of course you do. Whether they follow your recommendations or not is of course up to them, but you can always let your opinion be known.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:32 PM
By the way, this piece was an essay...HCN has provided great coverage of the occupation. Of course one has to digest the comprehensive coverage to realize that. It is much easier to lob bombs while referencing one's own research.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:38 PM
Robert, you forgot the word "marvelous" and "shiny" when you said it was an essay ;) but other than that I have no problem... but in any case, we haven't been discussing it much...

I imagine that Hal is much amused. There's some irony there ;0

Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:56 PM
"I am isolated by a culture that is as inscrutable to me as any in the mountains of Afghanistan. "

 Yes. Who are these people who claim to be Americans, and where did they come from?

Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:58 PM
Andy, I wish it were ironic but unfortunately, it is the norm these days and lacking as much irony as all those things In the song ironic. It reminds me of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. The righ-wing was so offended at Michael Moore's aggression toward the NRA and Charlton Heston, they failed to comprehend the conclusion of the documentary. The basic question was of course, how is it that Canada, with the same access to American cultural violence, the same, if not more access to weapons (per capita) has way less in gun deaths? The answer he discovered was "the culture of fear" in this country, much of which is generated by the media. If I were the NRA, I would have said "thank you very much. We agree". but of course, it is so much easier to just shout at the messenger and call him liberal. It certainly raises more money which I guess is their goal. I can lead a right-winger to knowledge but I can't make him think. Hal gave a very vivid account and if he had a couple more thousand words or another few days, I am sure he could have covered Posse Comitatus and explored Ammon Bundy's prayers too. After all, HCN covered the enclave clause very well.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 02:59 PM
Robert, I know. But we soldier on anyway, eh?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:00 PM
I think that was Hal's point ;)
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 03:02 PM
@Andy, the federal land management agencies are as purposely obtuse, arrogant, the aggressively ignorant as the liberals of HCN. Except that, unlike HCN, they're a monopoly with the legal power to do whatever the hell they want to do.

@Robert Jordan, the prosecutor who sent the Hammonds to jail the second time was (and is) a stark, raving lunatic who was fired from her job for misconduct. Obama never should have hired her to begin with. But neither you nor the liberals of HCN would be caught dead looking into it.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:07 PM
"The basic question was of course, how is it that Canada, with the same access to American cultural violence, the same, if not more access to weapons (per capita) has way less in gun deaths? "

Easy answer. They don't glorify it as much as we do. Here in the US, more and more every year, special interests are pushing that. Guns are a magic tool that can make things better. Gee, who is pushing that?

It's just a damned tool. Not a god, or anything to be worshiped. It can be used for good, or evil, and like a swiss army knife has many functions.

But somehow, it's been given deity status, in the western culture now.
Brad Garber
Brad Garber
Feb 14, 2016 03:11 PM
"Be afraid, be very afraid. Live your life in fear." The message of the NRA and gun manufacturers for the past 40 years. Boogie men, all around. Death, all around. Bad shit, all around. Better go get a gun! Paranoia is rampant, and silly. If my government really wanted to off me, it could do it tomorrow, no matter how many guns I own. One Blackhawk could have wiped out the nutjobs at the Malheur, in one fell swoop. End of story.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:12 PM
Jake, you may want to check that piece out, since it previously made your point regarding the property clause....it is titled "No, federal land transfers are not in the Constitution" and naturally, the folks occupying the Malheur have probably not read that. I think Hal made that clear.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:14 PM
"@Andy, the federal land management agencies are as purposely obtuse, arrogant, the aggressively ignorant as the liberals of HCN. Except that, unlike HCN, they're a monopoly with the legal power to do whatever the hell they want to do."

Government can be changed by consensus. Corporation power can't be.
Kenneth Keffer
Kenneth Keffer Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:21 PM
 Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 01:58 PM
@Karl Hahn, I bet if the federal gov't that you worship were to own 80% of your native New York, you wouldn't like it much. "
The states in the west were created from federal land the states never owned that land that's the part you conveniently leave out how can you take back something you never owned be honest and just say that you want to take land that belongs to everyone and give it to a select few who you are going to choss.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:22 PM
I think the FBI handled it very well. I would not have said so if they created martyrs. A friend pointed out that if those guys had any eye for terrain, they would have never entered the canyon where they were without cell phone coverage and the place that was the most logical takedown spot for 150 miles. But the FBI knew they were dealing with guys that liked to play dress up and talk insurrection, guys that as Hal pointed out in other words, were not intellectuall giants. Finicum it seemed, was the only one with a true death wish. While I think the BLM empowered Cliven in Nevada, HCN covered fairly well how and why they screwed up. Cliven landing in Portland wrapped this up nicely, or their prison terms will. How long I wonder?
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 03:22 PM
@Andy, the BLM is a power in its own right. You're a liberal ... er, progressive ... so you won't be caught dead ever admitting that they are arrogant and lawless. That would upset your mental apple cart, such as it is. Progressives can NEVER have that happen, because a) they already know everything, and b) facts are so deeply confusing.
Brad Garber
Brad Garber
Feb 14, 2016 03:25 PM
Time to stop romanticizing the great American "cowboy." No more taxpayer subsidies of their "lifestyle!" If they truly believed in capitalism, most of them would have folded up, long ago.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:27 PM
"@Andy, the federal land management agencies are as purposely obtuse, arrogant, the aggressively ignorant as the liberals of HCN. Except that, unlike HCN, they're a monopoly with the legal power to do whatever the hell they want to do."

Huh? Who is a monopoly? Your rant is confused and incoherent.

Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:41 PM
" Time to stop romanticizing the great American "cowboy." No more taxpayer subsidies of their "lifestyle!" If they truly believed in capitalism, most of them would have folded up, long ago."

 I think it would be good if we cut off all subsidies to everyone, and only renewed them on merit.

Just sayin ;)

Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 03:47 PM
@Kate: Bet you never guessed...
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 06:12 PM
@Andy, well yes, of course it's "incoherent." You're a liberal ... er, progressive ... and if you can't understand the obvious then it must be "incoherent." Why? Because liberals ... er, progressives ... are smarter than mere humans. We know this because you are forever saying so.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 06:18 PM
@Brad Garber, you are doubtlessly referring to grazing fees at $1.69/AUM. I've heard the liberal "welfare rancher" rant many a-time. Okay, if the fees were raised to their market value, which is about $3.50/AUM, because of the economics of it all, two things would happen. First, the fees would immediately get passed upstream, because the market for beef on the hoof is highly competitive.

In turn, this would a) force American ranchers out of business, and b) cause more beef to be imported, and c) cause prices at the store to go up. Always interesting to watch liberals arguing for higher food prices.

I might suggest the following: Have anyone who gets any federal benefits -- including the recipients of SNAP (aka food stamps) -- to work "welfare rancher" hours. But wait! They'd have to work at all. Oh, the horror!
sean cruz
sean cruz
Feb 14, 2016 06:38 PM
A very finely-written eyewitness narrative, well-researched, and inciteful (if not insightful) reading for those who support the crazy-quilt array of Constitutional/Mormon/anti-gummamint/militia beliefs expressed by the Bundy mob. Required reading for those who appreciate clear thinking.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 06:45 PM
Good thing the WHO has recommended only eating meat twice a week. Nice Jake, the old canard of "welfare". How about providing some substance to your comments? Instead of complaining about critics leveraging the term "welfare ranching" maybe you address the National Public Lands Grazing Proposal for purchase and retirement of the rights at above market value cost? The argument is that the public wins because the long term costs are higher. Are you capable of debate and conversation or is this troll mode your only gear? It is so weak. You seem smarter than that.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 06:51 PM
@Robert Jordan, the day I care what the United Nations thinks about my diet will be the day there's a snowstorm in hell. As for "trolling," well yes, anyone who doesn't agree with a liberal ... er, "progressive" ... is surely a troll. This is because liberals ... er, "progressives" ... cannot stand disagreement. It ruins the narrative, as do facts.

http://tinyurl.com/internttroll
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 06:53 PM
"Required reading for those who appreciate clear thinking."

Actually, required reading for those who appreciate the latest from liberal faux-Westerners who concoct a one-sided, shallow, misleading exercise in strawman construction.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 06:57 PM
p.s.: Robert Jordan, thanks for letting me know that I'm not smart enough for you. This comes as such a surprise. You'd never think that I'm familiar with the insufferable arrogance and condescension of Eastern liberals like yourself who never tire of telling everyone else how stupid they are, and how smart liberals are. So thanks for letting me know. It's so appreciated. I'm sure the idiots of the intermountain West -- an area you clearly know nothing about -- appreciate it too. That's why they elect so many liberal Democrats!
Scott  Perry
Scott Perry
Feb 14, 2016 07:21 PM
The author, Hal Herring is correct. A small battle may have been won here, but a victory against the disaffection and ignorance of so many Americans has not yet been acheived. Those who can should take great care to explain what is really going on with all of these wild militias to as many as they can. Let us hope that there might not be too many more Finicums, losing their lives for a cause they do not really understand, in the battles that yet lie ahead in this.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 07:30 PM
I am 300 yards from the Pacific Ocean right now Jake. If I were any further west I guess I would be in a boat or Hawaii. Never mind the facts you call for. I tried. Futility to me used to be an image of a guy banging his head against the wall. Now it is the memory of trying to converse with Jake Jackson. If I want a productive conversation with Jake in the immediate future it will be with the neighbors dog or a young turkey during spring season. Troll, troll, troll your boat....
James  Burgett
James Burgett
Feb 14, 2016 07:48 PM
Mr. Jackson, I seem to be an impossible thing in your world. A pro gun liberal ( I fire 10 rounds of 7.62x39 every day and own a small gun range), I carry on my property (high desert, less than 200 miles from Malheur) and the gun rack om my truck is not ornamental. I've been in burns recently and while I did not go out to the reserve, the descriptions of the mindsets of the supporters is not incorrect based on the carpetbaggers I met in town (I did have the displeasure of encountering Santelli) The author was actually quite generous in his descriptions, He left out terms like "poser" , "couch potato" and "welfare recipient". I've worked all my life and provided jobs for others and my family has been here since before and fought in the revolutionary war. being "progressive" is Americanism as America was founded on looking forward and seeing a better way, not looking at a fictionalized version of the past and trying to go backward. But this is a free country and you can provide unwitting comedic relief as long as you wish.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 07:56 PM
@James Burgett, I was never a fan of Y'all Qaeda. They were (are) a band of pathetic clowns whose posse comitatus act, and prattling about the Constitution, is ludicrous. I think I've made that clear already. But there were other carpetbaggers in Burns: the out-of-state "Center for Biological Diversity," which oozed in from Arizona, and the foreign-financed "Backcountry Anglers and Sportsmen," which hopped on down from Montana. No shortage of nutcases on the left.

Thank you for your liberal arrogance, and your self-justifying selectivity.
James  Burgett
James Burgett
Feb 14, 2016 08:05 PM
and the monkey dances, If I could throw peanuts, I would.
Wells Hobgood
Wells Hobgood
Feb 14, 2016 09:10 PM
God bless the Taylor Grazing Act. Keeping the $1.69 per animal unit per month is good for the nation and good for the law abiding ranchers. Any social studies teacher across the west has enough knowledge to convince people that the current system fits hand-in-glove with the constitution.
tony  newbill
tony newbill
Feb 14, 2016 09:46 PM
Hey everybody , who is the most aggressive poster here because thats your paid Government Spinner of the truth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joel Freudenthal
Joel Freudenthal
Feb 14, 2016 10:07 PM
Interesting discussion, parallels the rational/irrational nature of the occupation itself. I understand that Jake Jackson does not like liberals, fair enough. I too think that this article was a fine piece of writing, and the most thorough example of the almost cubist nature of the occupation and views of land management and belief systems in the West. But have to agree with Jake that Hal hath no Western Street Cred with me, the premise of the article, that he went to Malhuer hoping to meet objectively rational people shows either a deep misunderstanding or a lack of experience with the more radical elements of western culture. From the historical perspectives of the article, it is obvious that Hal is well read, but the disputes here blissfully unrelated to the study of Stegner, Abbey, Thoreau, and especially Leopold. I know from experience that ranch work is best done in a slightly pissed off and misanthropic manner, much of what was transpiring on the Refuge was little different than what was happening at home, just less lonely and more emotional reinforcement. Hal is disappointed by this, but I have no sympathy for him and find his disappointment as misplaced as the shock of someone who just moved from Wisconsin to Riggins might feel at being the last one at the party, and likely losing their .guns for life as a result.

I too was fascinated by the occupation, but from what I think is a western point of view. In the west, it is OK to be a nutcase/prophet (why else would the Aryan Nation move to North Idaho), but it is not OK to be a rude nutcase/prophet. Generally, Westerners do not interrupt, and this occupation was more-or-less only an expensive, navel-contemplating interruption and freak show. David Fry, and those who pity him, are the classical "Easterners" in this story for not understanding that the arid west will bring you up short more often than not. That's how the Brave Cowboy ends, doesn't it?

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 10:08 PM
@Wells, couldn't agree more. I hope you are sincere.

@tony, you missed it above. I am paid $10,000 a month by the Evil Koch Brothers (tm). Good work if you can get it!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 10:11 PM
@Joel, you're a good deal closer to it than the Eastern liberals of HCN and most of their commenters.
tony  newbill
tony newbill
Feb 14, 2016 10:18 PM
jake I wasn't thinking of you
James  Burgett
James Burgett
Feb 14, 2016 10:48 PM
"paid government spinner" I can laugh at you and reinforce your delusion at the same time! a twofer!
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 10:53 PM
Well, as you can see from the comments here, anti-intellectualism need not inherently have its own ideology, but it does seem to be broadly exploited these days by one end of the political spectrum. Maybe the most endangered amendment is really the 1st. Not because it will be trumped by government power, but because it will become obsolete as the sound of thoughtful opinion is drowned out by the unhinged, ad-nauseum screaming of 500,000 nitwits. @Jake Jackson; you are the appendix that this essay didn't need, but solidifies its point nonetheless.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 10:56 PM
@Mikey, I have a graduate degree from one a-yer respectable colleges. I am many bad things, but "anti-intellectual" ain't one of 'em. Frankly, the average liberal ... er, progressive ... is one of the more purposely stupid groups of people I know of.
tony  newbill
tony newbill
Feb 14, 2016 10:57 PM
God Bless you Mike Clark !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
tony  newbill
tony newbill
Feb 14, 2016 10:58 PM
Jake Liberals are all about control of your every movement
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 14, 2016 11:04 PM
@Joel For what its worth, the masthead says, "For People Who Care About The West", not "For Gritty Western Men Who Have Range Cred". Let's not assign the "western" point of view to the "cowboy" point of view....not even on this issue. True, Abbey and Stegner might chuckle a little at the first paragraph, but as writers and, yes, intellectuals, they would stand with this essay on the whole.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 14, 2016 11:27 PM
@Mikey, a true "intellectual" would laugh his ass off at this joke of an essay that used a faux-"gentle" treatment of those delusional nutcases as an excuse to construct a strawman and thereby evade the real issues at play. High Country News should hire some Westerners who actually know a damn thing rather than whackjobs like the writer of this article, who flog their weirdo politics and avoid the train wreck that calls itself the Bureau of Land Management.

Oh, but that wouldn't go along with the agenda that HCN and their fellow Easterners want to write about and talk about, would it?
Astrid Olafsen
Astrid Olafsen Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 12:06 AM
Just to set Jake straight, since facts seem to be so important to him, it was Back Country Hunters and Anglers https://www.backcountryhunters.org who showed up to support public lands and ask the carpetbaggers to leave.
" the foreign-financed "Backcountry Anglers and Sportsmen," which hopped on down from Montana. No shortage of nutcases on the left." Jake, you do know they have an Oregon branch, with members who put their time into outdoors projects, and that the sponsors or BCHA are pretty much outdoor gear?
Oh, and that "the out-of-state "Center for Biological Diversity," which oozed in from Arizona" -- while one of their field stations may indeed be in the mountains of SE Arizona, they have a nationwide network, and a sizeable number of staff spread around Oregon. And those of us who know, know that birders are over-represented among them.

Jake , I have no idea why you just want to mock and misrepresent, but it seems to have no coherent purpose. So we seem to go back to the concept of trolling.
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 12:10 AM
Oh you've pegged us all. None of us do an REAL thinking like you do. Your an irascible firebrand and a true American smart-guy. Anyone and everyone else is "in the bag" and are just mindless robots carrying out their marching orders from our secret left-wing puppet masters.
Robert Lavoy
Robert Lavoy
Feb 15, 2016 06:34 AM
Hal Herring
I feel sorry for you.
I feel sorry that you have used your wonderful gift of writing and your beautiful expression of words, to paint masterful pictures that are fictions and false narratives. You have a creative gift that is dirty with shame. Your painting fails to reveal the courage and loyalty of good men, willing to take a stand for their neighbors and country men who have been abused for years and subjected to systematic injustices inflicted on them by the BLM. You speak elequently of the history of the area in a mocking tone toward these men whom you masterly portray as ignorant, and misguided. Yet you fail to mention the history of what brought these men to the refuge in the first place. You did not mention that Steve and Dwight Hammond who set back fires with the intent of defending their property from being destroyed, were for that act tried by their government as TERRORISTS and imprisoned for 5 years where they unjustly remain today. You fail to discuss the event that precipitated the take over. Did you miss that history as you went back to the Grazing Act of 1934 ? You start your article saying that you were one of hundreds of journalists, but you are not. You are a wonderful writer and to someone who doesn't know the truth, you paint an image. It's not a true image. Wonderfully done though, and with splendid writing. You never mention that the sheriff was himself a BLM man prior to becoming sheriff. You wonderfully avoid facts as you paint over them with your mastery of words and send out an image that is entirely false of who these men are and the principles they stand for. You are a maker of images. You are splendid with words. You do not regard the truth as you do your art, and so it would be mistaken to call yourself a journalist. You are more of a fiction writer, with an appreciation for a story that you create. I love your writing ! A distorted image, no matter how beautifully framed, is destructive to truth, and destructive to an informed society which is the purpose of a free press. That is why I feel sorry for you. If you used your gift to make images of what is true, then in the end it would seem to me to be more rewarding. If you had the courage and will to use your gift in the service of truth rather than of false narratives, then in the end it would be beautiful. Excluding all of the injustices these men are standing against, out of your "journalism" is simply a matter of choosing which colors go into your painting I suppose. I guess, like anyone else you need to make a living. That is why I feel sorry for you. It would be so much more beautiful, this creative work you do, if it served the truth rather than a lie. Very nice writing. Excellent.
James  Burgett
James Burgett
Feb 15, 2016 07:05 AM
hides behind a corpses name, accuses others of "fiction" hilarity!
Dan Freedom
Dan Freedom
Feb 15, 2016 08:08 AM
@ James - you cant fix stupid, but I think I can speak for most of the readers here, who do truly appreciate your efforts. The far Right just can't accept when they are wrong. Ever. Trying to point out their hypocrisy, or in some cases, willful ignorance, just makes them madder. Thank you for confronting their ignorance. Most of us just don't have the energy.
Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 15, 2016 08:20 AM
Didn't the Hammond's have problems with BLM personnel prior to starting the fire to hide their poaching ? Didn' the Hammond's have record of threatening BLM employees and verbally abusing them ? Are the records of threats and poaching made up ?
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 09:20 AM
I appreciate that critique Joel. Astrid, good point on CBD...I thought that as well when I read the comment. The only Center employee I know is an Oregon native that lives in Oregon.
sean cruz
sean cruz
Feb 15, 2016 10:13 AM
This thread is likely to continue for a good, long time as the courts determine how many years the Bundy/Malheur/Mormon mob will occupy federal correctional facilities, and one thing that is very clear is that the delusional, trigger-happy, "We the People" cadres are not amused.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 10:35 AM
@Astrid, once again, you can always tell a liberal but you can't tell a liberal anything. Your sainted "Center for Biological Diversity" might have an office in Oregon, but the clowns they sent to Malheur came from Arizona. And the foreign-financed carpetbaggers of "Backcountry Hunters and Anglers" traveled from Montana.

But hey, you're a liberal, and therefore the rules you establish for others do not apply to you, because you are better and smarter than mere human beings.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 10:38 AM
@Max Espo, were you just as worried when the fraud artists of "black lives matter" made threats in Missouri and Baltimore, or when the liberal vandals of "Occupy Wall Street" trashed downtown Portland? I didn't think so. The first group was black, so they're exempt, and the second group is liberal, so it's o.k.
Wells Hobgood
Wells Hobgood
Feb 15, 2016 10:58 AM
Sarcasm is a great tool for getting one's point across while looking another human being in the eye. However, sarcasm should not be used in a forum such as this one because a sincere comment can be interpreted as a comment made by a fool . . . and vice versa. When I say the ranchers have a really good deal with The Taylor Grazing act and it should not be altered, I am sincere. I've been on a piece of Ted Turner's land and there is no way I would have been admitted unless I had business there. I ain't one of his buddies. If all of the millions of acres of Federal land in the west is sold, most of us won't step foot on it once it is owned by the people with the money. I'd rather have access to the land and share it with a few steers than have no access at all and have to stare at the land from a lonely blacktop road.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 11:04 AM
@Wells, nice strawman you've constructed there.
Kenneth Keffer
Kenneth Keffer Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 11:10 AM
@Robert Lavoy You didn't mention the media coverage of armed thugs talking about not being taken alive or the people destroying government property or the people digging through sacred artifacts all this is on tape for the world to see so do we believe what we see or do we believe you. There is a wrong way and a right way to do things and the armed take over of the refuge was a prime example of wrong, all your words don't change that so now the people who broke the laws we all live by will have their day in court and pay the price, was it worth it?


 
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 11:56 AM
@Robert Lavoy, speaking of facts, you might your own medicine. The Harney County sheriff was NOT previously employed by the BLM. Someone with a similar name was, but it was not the same person. Between the liberals of HCN and the occasional posse comitatus nutcases, there's not a whole lot of truth around here.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 11:57 AM
* you might try your own medicine
Stuart Hurlbert
Stuart Hurlbert
Feb 15, 2016 12:21 PM
An excellent, well-informed, fair and civil analysis, Jake. Thanks.

The core issues here seem to me to be religious extremism, ignorance and greed, and how these can all be exacerbated by overpopulation and a bad economy. Cliven Bundy is a paragon here. His Mormronism-inspired philosophy seems to have been: have 14 kids and 50 grandkids (so far), get out the long guns and demand the government make ranches out of public lands for all his brood, and take out a few feds if they resist!
Stuart Hurlbert
Stuart Hurlbert
Feb 15, 2016 12:23 PM
Ooops, should have thanked Hal, not Jake.
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 02:27 PM
Commenters complaining about the involvement of people from outside Oregon in the Malheur mess don't seem to recognize that it was *federal* land that was occupied, and the principal issue appears to be whether land may be owned in common by *all Americans*, not just by residents of individual states.

It's been repeatedly pointed out here and elsewhere that whatever the "original intent" of its framers' might have been, the Constitution has meant neither more nor less than what the Supreme Court of the US says it means, since at least the Marbury v. Madison decision in 1802. It's also been pointed out that the federal government's authority to enforce federal law throughout the country under the "Supremacy Clause" (Article VI, Paragraph 2, FWIW) has been both a de jure and a de facto reality since 1792, when the Whiskey Rebellion was suppressed by state militias at the request of the country's first President.

Further: as discussed in a Jan. 06 item on oregonlive.com titled "Supreme Court already ruled that feds rightly own occupied refuge":

"rulings by the nation's highest court, in 1902 and in 1935, found that the federal government has an incontrovertible claim to the refuge's wetlands and lakebeds, dating back to the 1840s, when Oregon was still a territory.

"Before Oregon was admitted to statehood, the United States is shown to have acquired title which it has never in terms conveyed away," Justice Harlan Stone wrote in 1935."

(http://www.oregonlive.com/[…]/supreme_court_already_ruled_th.html)

SCOTUS has never reversed its 1935 ruling, nor has it been abrogated by Constitutional Amendment. Like it or not, the authority of the federal government to own and manage land on behalf of all Americans is settled law.

OK: the MNWR debacle unfolded on land legally owned by all Americans in common (it's a *national* wildlife refuge), and it was all about whether Americans have a right to own land in common. That gave every American an equal interest in the outcome and an equal right to be there. Anyone who thinks it matters whether any of the dramatis personae was a resident of Oregon or not has forgotten what "United States of America" means.

Last word: LaVoy died because he insisted that his own authority to interpret the US Constitution was superior to SCOTUS's. And Ammon Bundy is in jail because when he said "The land belongs to 'We the People' ", he didn't mean all of us.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 03:44 PM
@Karl, but aren't you and the other HCN liberals decrying the involvement of the out-of-state Y'all Qaeda? Oh but wait! You're liberal, and liberals never have to follow the rules they'd make for others.
Brad Garber
Brad Garber
Feb 15, 2016 04:10 PM
@Karl....it's a lost cause, man
Cherilyn Eagar
Cherilyn Eagar
Feb 15, 2016 04:31 PM
No doubt an incredible amount of research went into this article. However, no amount of research can preclude bias and that sometimes becomes apparent through omission in the research. It is not difficult to find legitimate articles written from sources such as the New York Times about foreign interests and crony capitalists or oligarchs that have made deals to mine the uranium on these lands. So to omit the topic of eminent domain and the probable connection between unelected bureaucrats and elected officials and federal agencies in collusion for profit or debt collateral to foreign investors was glaring. Please update your article and enlighten us as to the side of this story not being told.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 04:40 PM
@Cherilyn, there is no evidece whatsoever that there are uranium mining deals in the Refuge or the adjacent wilderness area. The fact that a few hundred wingnut websites keep repeating that lie does not make it true. The critical omissions in this article concern the BLM's horrendous mismanagement of its lands -- including within the Malheur Refuge and the Steens Mountain Wilderness.

HCN and its fellow liberals despise ranchers, and they'd never be caught dead mentioning Rep. Greg Walden's speech on the issue, even though he's the congressman who represents the area. HCN is a faux-"Western" publication written by Easterners, and for Easterners.
Nancie McCormish
Nancie McCormish Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 04:45 PM
Brilliant, illuminating, and even-handed journalism here. I've sent this on to many others, and laud HCN and Hal for this work, which makes me notice (sadly) how little of such integrity exists anymore. Thanks for an elegant analysis of the very complex cultural tectonics we are witnessing here, and which I hasten to add will not disappear with the arrests and quieting of the particular people involved, but rather is sure to erupt again at another time and place, perhaps even more explosively.

How can we nominate this piece for some sort of journalism award?
Brad Garber
Brad Garber
Feb 15, 2016 04:47 PM
Worthy of a Pulitzer, I'd say
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 04:55 PM
@Jake Jackson: "but aren't you and the other HCN liberals decrying the involvement of the out-of-state Y'all Qaeda?"

Jake, I just explained why the Bundy Gang's non-Oregon-residency wasn't a problem for me. My problem was with their armed insurrection in the name of a pair of crooked welfare ranchers, and their intent to disenfranchise every American but their buddies. Whoever those "liberals" you're talking about might be, they'll have to speak for themselves.

Look Jake, if everything everyone has written here is tl;dr for you, just ask yourself "What will I do when a law enforcement officer puts his hand on his service weapon, shows me his badge and tells me I'm under arrest?"
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 04:57 PM
@Brad Garber: "@Karl....it's a lost cause, man"

Sure, but it's fun 8^D!
Brad Garber
Brad Garber
Feb 15, 2016 05:00 PM
@Karl...yeah....sort of like shooting fish in barrel (with an assault rifle, of course)
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 05:02 PM
@Nancie, there's nothing "even handed" about this article, which makes it perfect in the eyes of the Eastern liberals who'd like to think that High Country News has anything to do with the West.
Candy Odiorne
Candy Odiorne Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 06:48 PM
Step away from the "Range" Kool-Aid
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 06:53 PM
Don't worry Candy....some folks would just rather spew about "liberals", "easterners", etc., than have an informed debate where they actually have to back up their position with those pesky facts. It's a lot easier to stick your tongue out....kind of like in middle school....remember?
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 06:54 PM
" but aren't you and the other HCN liberals decrying the involvement of the out-of-state Y'all Qaeda? Oh but wait! You're liberal, and liberals never have to follow the rules they'd make for others. " Where is this? Show me.
Max Espo
Max Espo
Feb 15, 2016 07:10 PM
I followed this debacle from day one the the last "hallelujah" exclaimed by an FBI agent as he cuffed Fry. I followed in the internet via YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. I went through many emotions while listening and watching. Pity, embarrassment, anger, and in the end relief. Can we ever makes sense of it ? I don't think so because these people make no sense, rebels without a cause, motivated by their constitutional illiteracy. I could feel the 3%ers, Oathkeepers, and various militias cringing. I visited many of their sites and chat rooms to see if I could find a coherant message, a higher level of intelligence and common sense, with less paranoia and fatalism. Sadly, it wasn't there. It's scary how many are hoarding bullets and food, preparing for the time when they are so marginalized and so wronged that armed insurrection and sedition is their last ditch effort to remain relevant in a society that has had enough of the hate and fear mongering.
Nancie McCormish
Nancie McCormish Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 07:40 PM
@ Jake: The author clearly wrote here his own observations and conflicted conclusions, which I find nothing but honest, especially in such a short essay. I accept that you don't share that view, but don't feel any compulsion to attack you for it. Not being among those eligible for your vilification purely by geographical location or supposed political leanings, I can't and won't engage in such pointlessness.

This article and this author do add quite a lot to the complicated schisms we are all sorting through here. Whether you or I agree or disagree with him is of little consequence; I (and others, it seems) do appreciate the author's honest effort and obvious ability to eloquently naviagate some of the grey areas rather than opt for the far-too-simple black/white/good guy/bad guy dialogues which take us all exactly... nowhere.

If you have an equally cogent essay we can share in these pages, please submit it to the publishers as Mr. Herring did. I'd give it the same attention, and guarantee I don't care where you live.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 08:22 PM
@Nancie, there's no point in submitting an essay to High County News, the Eastern voice of the liberal boutique West. You think the article is "eloquent" because you share that perspective, as does almost all of this comment section, which is indistinguishable from the usual lefty Internet sites.

There was nothing whatsoever "thoughtful" about the article, nor was it balanced or objective. What we have here is an essay that dodged the genesis of the whole thing, before plunging headlong into a conspiracy tale about the Mormons -- not even bothering to take note of the fact that the Mormon church immediately disavowed any connection with these yahoos.

Bottom line: I don't think there was any "honest effort" here at all. HCN is telling its Eastern liberal readers exactly what they want to hear, and constructing its own paranoid fantasies that, in their own way, are a mirror image of what Y'all Qaeda offered. It'll win 'em a round of microbrews in Boulder, but it has nothing at all to do with the standoff, or the issues in the West.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 08:24 PM
@Karl, I'll see you a liberal monster, and raise you a Trump. Quick! Run! Hide!
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 15, 2016 09:23 PM
Karl, While Jake may suffer from fear of liberal monsters under his bed, his larger burden is probably his state of employment. I hesitate to say "over educated" because I know that mentioning the word educated will set the rabid dog off on how liberals continue to tell him how unintelligent he is. But he has a graduate degree...if I believed in God (this one's for you Jake! I want to help cultivate your stereotyping), I would pray for his advisor, committee, office mates, anyone who had to interact with the guy on a regular basis. But I don't so I won't. But I will, as a radical leftist, address Congressman Walden's nonsensical rant on the house floor with a recommendation to read "An open letter to Congressman Walden" by Martin Birnbaum. Now let me warn people that Martin is an "easterner" as he resides in eastern Oregon so he certainly has a liberal - er - progressive bias. He sent his letter to the LaGrande Observer, an eastern Oregon newspaper. And he is a retired public defender so he must certainly share the HCN agenda of liberalism. I found it to be provocative. Now, Heeeerrrees Jake!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 09:49 PM
@Robert, I'll see your second liberal monster, and raise you a Trump AND a Huffington Post!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 09:50 PM
p.s.: Don't worry your "progressive" head about my employment. Trust me, I got that more than covered.
Robert Lavoy
Robert Lavoy
Feb 15, 2016 09:59 PM
Jake Jackson:
Are you saying that sheriff Dave Ward was not a BLM employee ?
Here is the source that sheriff David Ward was a BLM employee:
United States vs Hammonds
Case # 6:10-CR-60066-AA
page 5 Witness#11 BLM Rangeland Specialist Dave Ward.
There is the evidence in a Federal Court document.
Can you substantiate your claim to the contrary ?
If so, it would be greatly appreciated.
thanks,
Robert



Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 10:27 PM
@Robert, as I understand it, this is not the same Dave Ward. But if you can provide evidence that it is, I'll be happy to stand corrected.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ward_%28sheriff%29
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 10:37 PM
@Robert, if you look at the court document, and compare it to the sheriff's biography, you'll see that the Dave Ward who's now sheriff was in the Army on active duty from 1998 to 2002. The incidents described by Dave Ward, "Witness #11," occurred in 1999 and 2001. Unless the sheriff's biography is phony or Dave Ward managed to be in two places at once, it's not the same Dave Ward.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 15, 2016 10:40 PM
This story puts now-sheriff Dave Ward in Texas between 1998 and 2002.

http://www.oregonlive.com/[…]/army_experience_rural_values_h.html
Nancie McCormish
Nancie McCormish Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 12:05 AM
"We can't continue to go on tearing each other apart and hating each other because of difference of opinion." -Sheriff Dave Ward.
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 16, 2016 12:21 AM
Astute article! I too have closely followed the Bundy boys brouhaha with a mixture of alarm and fascination with the complete idiocy of their armed land grab insurrection.
The delusory ideation the Bundys could actually go up there and pull their insurrection off, that they could collect a group as large as bigas it was is a real testimony to how dumbed down the American population has become. I'm happy it was only as violent as LaVoy Finicum made it be.

I have 160 acres in central Texas on the Blanco River that my wife and I maintain as a wildlife refuge under conservation easement with a Texas wildlife AG exemption. Knowing Texas and how private land has been fenced off so one can't even pull off the road near a stream, where "NO TRESPASSING" is the law of the land I well appreciate federally owned public lands in the West and the opportunity to visit places like wetlands in flyways maintained by the USFWS and the BLM.

The last thing most Americans want is private ownership of the special places. We can now all share in our national natural treasures and I would have it that our grandchildren may as well.

I hope this incident gives the press the inclination to give the people a civics lesson so we can all clearly understand what our Constitution really says. The US Government bought much of the land of the west from Mexico (Mexican Cession) or acquired them with settlement with England circa 1846-48. We can move through the Homestead Act through the Taylor Grazing Act to the Endangered Species to to see the thread from then to the present day. The government has been accused of land grab because ranches have abused and overgrazed the land, regulation cuts into their bottom line and that the rub against the agencies. If we live in harmony with the land we will be sought out as stewards and elders with sense enough to keep it usued but not used up
Steve Widmer
Steve Widmer
Feb 16, 2016 12:32 AM
A great and enlightening piece. Related to the mormon cults desire...no, intent...to dominate, the author brings out their corporations selfish interests. That needs to be spread far and wide as its a blight on our future. We should remember all the facts of the Bundy-types...the LDS Church owns some 928,000 acres in North America, is the largest ranch land owner in Wyoming, is the 2nd largest land owner in Nebraska, has the largest cattle ranch in 48 states (adjacent to Disneyworld in Florida), and is the largest foreign landowner in the UK. The LDS Church has assets, as noted in the recent PBS Special, estimated to be WELL ABOVE $80 BILLION! "It has donated a relatively insignificant $1 billion to charitable causes in the 23 year time span between 1985 and 2008, which account for 0.7% of the church's income. By contrast, the American Red Cross spends 92.1 percent of its revenue directly addressing the physical needs of those it intends to help; only 7.9 percent is spent on "operating expenses." I suppose the Mormon church might believe that spreading its image of helping mankind is obvious...we need to say otherwise while we can!!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:48 AM
@James, isn't it fun when liberals like you are so terribly thin-skinned about being contradicted? All this, and so humble too. If you don't like what I'm saying, tough luck.
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:49 AM
@Nancie McCormish: "We can't continue to go on tearing each other apart and hating each other because of difference of opinion." -Sheriff Dave Ward.

Fortunately, the US Constitution established a framework for preserving a stable government by popular sovereignty even if we hate each other. That includes a final authority empowered to resolve differences of opinion by due process of law, backed by a government monopoly on violence in case the losers go for their guns.

Regardless, I certainly sympathize with Sheriff Ward's dismay, even if I'm not the guy who has to take down the losers with the guns 8^(.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 11:54 AM
Anybody else read that "open letter to Congressman Walden" by Martin Birnbaum? I felt it was too long to post but a great response to Walden's pandering. A search quickly brings up the LaGrande Observer letter.
Jan Weber
Jan Weber Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 12:47 PM
I agree with the high praise of this article. It is among the best of the many excellent pieces I've read. I came to the magazine because, as a documentary maker focused on agriculture, I've spent years talking to farmers and ranchers whose stories of real life farming kicked the city advocacy notions right out of my head. What the author of this has done is open his mind to the telling, without judgement and "ridicule", as he says. Now I know something I didn't before reading this, and I am elated. Thank you. I wish I could do a documentary with as much unbiased truth in it as this.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 01:19 PM
This piece seems sprinkled with false dichotomies and straw men. How many of them the author personally believes, and how many of them are to create a story, or a narrative (see below) I’m not sure.

First, one can deplore federal mandatory minimums without supporting illegal takeovers of federal land. And, speaking of, Mr. Herring, and your comment about “teeming cities,” do you feel the same way about crack vs powder cocaine sentencing disparities?

As for an “economy that seems engineered …”? That’s big business lobbying.

As for “distant”? We’re a nation of 315 million people. ANY government at the federal/national level, no matter its size, philosophy, etc., is going to seem somewhat distant in a nation of that size.

As for the idea of someone who moved from Wisconsin “misreading the West,” a false dichotomy there. The Michigan Militia is one of the oldest, and most activist, of modern militia movements.

==

Other notes:

As for the “most outlandish quotes ruin(ing) stories”? Is that because it’s ruining a particular narrative?

As for Sean Anderson? At least you expose his hypocrisy of not caring about state laws when they don’t comport with him, just like federal laws.

And, yes, someone on here named Jake talks like a troll. He’s part of a small minority. Unfortunately, multiple surveys have shown that US politicians repeatedly overestimate how conservative their constituencies are.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 01:35 PM
@Steve Snyder, yes, anyone who disputes the liberal line must be a troll. You people cannot possibly stand to be disputed. It just hurts your feelings sooooooo MUCH!

http://tinyurl.com/internttroll
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 01:38 PM
I'm not a "liberal." Don't use the word about myself. Nor "progressive." To the degree I label my positions, it's not with either of those words.
Ken  Hogue
Ken Hogue
Feb 16, 2016 01:54 PM
  A great article; thank you. I was so fortunate to read Bernard DeVoto's "The Western Paradox", just a few months ago. A great primer for what has happened here.
Kate Schimel
Kate Schimel Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 01:57 PM
Hey folks,

just a reminder to stay civil in the comments section. This is a divisive issue and we encourage folks who disagree to engage with each other constructively. Please focus your writing on the content of other commenters' perspectives, not an individual's character. Our policy is here: https://www.hcn.org/policies/comments-policy Repeat offenders will be blocked.

Kate Schimel
Assistant editor
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 02:00 PM
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    >>>Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;<<<
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

http://www.potw.org/archive/potw351.html

I try to always put labels on actions, not people, here, Kate. That said, per Yeats, on issues like this, what passes for "the center" (being shifted rightward by the Overton Window) sometimes....
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 02:29 PM
My criticism have been of the article, which I consider to be disappointing except for the historical tidbits. (I'm a sucker for history, so I make allowances.) Nothing person against anyone here, but the constant accusations of "trolling" are irritating. The commenters, and HCN itself, are relentlessly liberal, and have paper-thin skins toward anyone who'd vigorously criticize them. All in favor of dissent being the highest virtue until the dissent is aimed their way.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 02:30 PM
*criticisms

*personal
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 02:36 PM
@Jake — Going by the "paper-thin skins" and your series of comments, I respectfully suggest looking in a mirror.

I start with your first comment:

"Also, the writer's injection of his own whackjob radical politics -- which are typical of the liberals at High Country News -- was as predictable as it was laughable. I occasionally get sent to High Country News by this or that friend, and the articles are invariably written by some New Yorker in cowboy boots."

You seem to be the one to have started the name-calling here, then being thin-skinned when called out.

Second, given that the writer has explicitly said he's from Montana, you apparently either lied about claiming to read the piece or else lied about this particular piece.

Third, if you don't want to read? Don't let the door hit your tuchis on the way out.
Sawyer Connelly
Sawyer Connelly
Feb 16, 2016 02:37 PM
@Jake Jackson. In regards to your comment about Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

 "The foreign-financed carpetbaggers of "Backcountry Hunters and Anglers" traveled from Montana"

While, BHA is headquartered in Montana, the members representing BHA at Malheur were residents of Oregon. And I would genuinely like to know where you concluded that BHA is foreign-financed?
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 02:50 PM
@Sawyer, in 2013, the "Backcountry Hunters and Anglers" got 60% of their money from a Swiss billionaire's foundation. You see, unlike those liberals (shhhh!) who love to pretend that anyone who disputes them is stupid, I actually do the research. You can too. I'll even help.

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/[…]/BHA-990-2013.pdf

As for the "Backcountry Hunters and Anglers" in Malheur being locals, that's not what I read in the stories about their involvement. What I read said they drove down from Montana, just like the "Center for Biological Diversity" people drove up from Arizona.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 02:55 PM
I'd add that the 2013 report is the latest that the organization has made available. The organization has also claimed that the people who demonstrated at Malheur in their name came from Oregon and Washington. Some in-state, some not. There were lots of liberals complaining that the Y'all Qaeda people came from Nevada. Well fine. What's good for one is good for the rest.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 02:56 PM
@Sawyer, you suggestion was anything but respectful. Just saying.
John W Stephens
John W Stephens Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:03 PM
Two things to point out. Rule-by-intimidation, which the AmmonBundyites practiced on the Burns BLM family got the occupiers off on the wrong foot. It seemed that they wanted to overthrow the federal government and replace it with something I never heard specified. Rule-by-intimidation is supposed to be what patriots resist, else they are thugs, not patriots.
More broadly, who remembers what the end result of an eye-for-an-eye is? The presidential campaign seems to show that what the people want is entertainment, not governance. Those darn occupiers sure were entertaining, eh? And those presidential debates? I think the candidates must be adding comedy writers to their staffs. And now you can really see it in the Senate. Mr. President, you can nominate whoever you want, it's a non-starter. Our job is to bitch your mix so that we have certainty in the future. Y'all been poking us in the eye when you had house and senate. Payback is ... infantile. So, perhaps Scalia is dead, along with his dead Constitution. What is so sacred about a document has provided us with a government that no longer works? Perhaps, in a twisted, bass-akward way their message really is that we need a modern, working constitution, but we are too eye-for-eye blind to see that.
P.S.: Your teeny-finy comment bar makes it really difficult to review a comment en toto. Please do better.
John W Stephens
John W Stephens Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:05 PM
Also, why can't we add "edit" to the comment options? You have to post it before you can see it, but once you post it's toasted?
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:08 PM
@John W. Stephens, as @Jake Jackson has shown, it's all about who's allegedly doing the intimidation. Law enforcement doing their work = intimidation. Intimidation of said law enforcement ≠ intimidation.

Speaking of, he's still not responded to my comment about the state of location of the author of this piece. Guess his "research" hit a glitch.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:12 PM
@Jake Jackson ... your research failed to tell you, or else your "research" deliberately overlooked, that the Wyss Foundation, not the individual, was the donor, and that it's incorporated in the US.

http://wyssfoundation.org/about-the-wyss-foundation/
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:14 PM
@Jake Jackson your "research" also ignored that Hansjörg Wyss has lived and worked in the US for decades.

http://wyssfoundation.org/[…]/
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:14 PM
Jake has certainly been critical. Dissent may be too generous as he continues to avoid engagement other than calling people liberal and suggesting they are thin skinned and judging his intelligence, rinse and repeat ad nauseum. He ignores comments that try to engage him in conversation or debate. That doesn't inherently make him a simpleton, just difficult and annoying. I would never want to see anyone censored for that behavior, no matter how sophomoric it appears.
William McConnell
William McConnell Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:18 PM
The comments seem to be following the format of the Republican presidential debates. Denigrate and vilify those with a different opinion. To change the tenor, here is my assessment of the current situation. Can we all agree that the public lands in the west are being poorly managed. (e.g. on Idaho's national forests 23 times as much timber dies as is harvested) and many workers, families, industries, school districts, and local governments are suffering? That being said, can we agree that changes are needed? Can we also agree that the changes should be made by law, rather than by armed insurrection? While there are differences of opinion as to the best solution to the problem - transfer selected lands to states, to trust management, remedial legislation [increased appropriations, timber sale self-funding, restrict serial litigation, simplify EIS and EA process , renovate fire management funding system, increase local government participation in decision making, collaboratives and
stewardship programs] - congressional inaction is primarily to blame. The fact that our Congress does nothing to correct these conditions sets the table for the Bundys and other irrationals to indulge their fantasies of "taking back their land". It seems to me that labeling each other as "liberal" or "conservative" serves no purpose. Write your congressman, not the HCN (I've done both).
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:18 PM
A technical note to Robert and others.

Only governments censor, properly speaking. Private individuals, as well as private businesses, have the legal right to control speech in the private sector, vs. the public corner, however they so choose.

They also, in my opinion, have the sociological right to set their parameters however they so choose. That includes deleting comments or individuals who cross lines.

Unfortunately, HCN also has the right to choose not to use like/dislike features, "block" features and more, per my quoting of Yeats above.
John W Stephens
John W Stephens Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:20 PM
@ Steve Snyder HCN articles said that protesters had directly intimidated BLM employees. I expect to see this in charges related to the occupation, possibly RICO as they connect the dots.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:23 PM
Steve: "he LDS Church has assets, as noted in the recent PBS Special, estimated to be WELL ABOVE $80 BILLION! "It has donated a relatively insignificant $1 billion to charitable causes in the 23 year time span between 1985 and 2008, which account for 0.7% of the church's income. By contrast, the American Red Cross spends 92.1 percent of its revenue directly addressing the physical needs of those it intends to help; only 7.9 percent is spent on "operating expenses." I suppose the Mormon church might believe that spreading its image of helping mankind is obvious...we need to say otherwise while we can!! "

The LDS should have their nonprofit status pulled. They haven't been nonprofit by letter nor deed since their inception.
John W Stephens
John W Stephens Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:25 PM
@ Steve Snyder: http://www.opb.org/[…]/
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:26 PM
William, agreed. That said, it's
A. Difficult to put a full price on recreational value, let alone anti-climate change value, etc.
B. Usually opposed by those on the right, when the issue is actually raised about "well, let's do a cost-benefit on something besides massive logging."
C. Per Herring, states in general don't want the land. Yes, there are state lands with state grazing, etc. But, they don't want the headaches, or the costs, etc.
D. Per your specific suggestions, places like Nature Conservancy already have trust management of lands. The likes of the Ammonites generally don't seem to like the likes of The Nature Conservancy. I agree with more money for fire management, if with other reforms, like higher charges for people who choose to live at the edge of the USFS or BLM interface, more money to buy out inholdings, etc. I'm OK with a simplified EIS, as long as it's not a weakened EIS along with that. That definitely applies to addressing what you call as "serial litigation" — I'm not in favor of further tilting the playing field, given that USFWS has already, repeatedly, shown it tilts away from robust defense of the ESA and related issues.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:28 PM
@John, I hope the RICO hammer gets lowered, yes. And, yes, you're right on who's being intimidated. If that gets caught up in a RICO dragnet, so be it.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:29 PM
@ john comment box size can be changed with the little teeny weeny "grab triangle" at the lower right of i (yeah, it's tough to see on most monitors. I used custom css in my browser to make it easier). If you don't see it let someone know...
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 03:35 PM
@Steve, Wyss is not an American, regardless of where he lives. If he lives here, then he is a resident alien. "Backcountry Hunters and Anglers" is thus foreign financed. And I wrote that it was a Swiss billionaire's foundatioon that made the contribution. Now, do you honestly think that the Swiss billionaire has no involvement?

@William McConnell, if we all agree that federal land has been mismanaged, I find it curious that, other than you and me, no one in this comment section has said so. Nor did the article we're talking about mention it, even though it's that mismanagement that's at the very heart of Y'all Qaeda's hijinks.

The problem, as I see it, is that the liberals of HCN and their Eastern admirers don't care one little bit about that mismanagement. Anyone who writes about "the West" and consistent fails to mention that the feds own more than half the land (sometimes a lot more than half) and do a poor job of managing much of it is an Easterner at heart who doesn't know or care much about the West, outside of a few boutique towns.

There have been peaceful protests all over the West about the issue. High Country News couldn't possibly care less, because when it comes right down to it, their "West" exists in a microbrewery in Boulder, Colorado.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 03:36 PM
@Steve Snyder, ah, flogging global warming, another liberal fraud.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:40 PM
@Jake ... you've still not addressed my question about your apparent lying over the residency of the article's author. And, yes, I'll keep raising it.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:44 PM
Steve, fair enough. I should have used the word silence instead of censor. As for agreeing on armed insurrection is not an appropriate way to influence our land management agencies, count me in for agreement. Steve, don't go down the global warming rabbit hole with Jake. Nothing good will come from it.
Kate Schimel
Kate Schimel Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:44 PM
Hey folks,

you are welcome to submit technical complaints to kateschimel@hcn.org. However, I will caution that we have some fairly strong constraints on what we can do, due to the way our website is structured and budgetary concerns.

For those of you interested in engaging in a longer format, you're welcome to submit essays to our opinion service. The person to contact on that is betsym@hcn.org. We welcome a wide variety of opinions.

Kate
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 03:46 PM
@Steve, raise it all you want. I've already answered it, and asking again will not change the answer.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 03:51 PM
@William McConnell, in Grant County, Oregon (home to the buffoon of a "constitutional sheriff," whatever the hell that means) the Forest Service has closed roads, and totally screwed up the fighting of some small fires that, because of USFS incompetence, turned into a giant conflagration that nearly wiped the towns of John Day and Canyon City off the map last year.

Meantime, in the same county, Oregon's corrupt ex-governor, a thief by the name of John Kitzhaber, allowed a campaign donor to walk all over the state's environmental laws to establish a luxury golf resort there. Not a peep out of the liberals who run Oregon. HCN? They wouldn't ever be caught dead -- not in a million years -- going after a liberal Democrat, no matter how corrupt.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:51 PM
@Robert: "That doesn't inherently make him a simpleton, just difficult and annoying. I would never want to see anyone censored for that behavior, no matter how sophomoric it appears. "

 If he's doing it deliberately, to start arguments, and for no other reason? I can tolerate that kind of behavior... if I can censor it from the commentary I am reading, so I don't have to waste my time. Here that is nearly impossible, and he has been breaking nearly every thread he's stuck his proboscis into.

  Yup, just like the presidential debate... which in my opinion so far is the most childish thing I've seen out of pres politics yet. What do they think this is, the British parliament? ;D
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 03:55 PM
Steve: "C. Per Herring, states in general don't want the land. Yes, there are state lands with state grazing, etc. But, they don't want the headaches, or the costs, etc."

Yup. Fire suppression being one of the biggest objections from what I've heard. Resources are scarce and most states would have to spend billions building up their equipment and teams to compensate for what the Feds would no longer bring in. This is a huge concern amongst firefighters, ranchers, loggers, rural homestakers and many others. Here, too, we have good locals but a dry season like 2012 we needed everything we could get.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 04:01 PM
@Andy, yep, liberals do hate to be argued with, don't you?
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:09 PM
@Jake Jackson: I've scrolled through all of your comments after you said:

"I occasionally get sent to High Country News by this or that friend, and the articles are invariably written by some New Yorker in cowboy boots."

I have yet to see you admit the author of this piece is from Montana and not New York. Therefore, I must conclude you're lying about your previous lying, unless you can show me something different from some previous comment I missed, and with >>a direct quote from that previous comment.<<
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:12 PM
@Jake Jackson, you like to tout proof ... just in case you say, "but Hal Herring's not from Montana originally... "

Yeah, and he's not originally from New York, either: http://www.halherring.com/files/PDF/HalHerringbioful.pdf
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:18 PM
Andy, of course you are correct and I should not have used "never" because I do agree that it detracts from the discussion to have someone behaving the way Jake is. He has provided some substance to start a discussion he just won't finish it. I think he mad a good point, maybe even two. What I would prefer is to read is an essay from Jake in HCN. It is a win win. He uses his "research" and his "graduate degree" to craft a logical, rationale argument allowing readers to better understand his views or his essay resembles the frothy, zealous roller coaster ride his thread comments have taken us on. The latter of course won't do much to win over readers or could be disregarded by HCN if it was nonsense.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:24 PM
Kate, how much would it cost to build in, say, Disqus? Or, for its downside as well as upside, Facebook-based commenting?
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:26 PM
I'll bet Jake doesn't dislike liberals more than all people dislike liars.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:27 PM
@Robert ... since @Jake likes to talk about proof, I'll believe his grad degree claims when I have what I deem appropriate empirical evidence. Besides, he doesn't say what that grad degree is IN. For all you and I know, he could have a law degree and be working for the American Lands Council.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:36 PM
@Jake, how about it? If you've got a graduate degree from one "a-yer" (your quote) librul (spelled it kerrectly) universities, surely you're doing something with it where you've got a listing on somebody's website, and a way for us to corroborate, right?
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 04:40 PM
You folks are taking this waaaaaaay too personally. But that's what liberals tend to do. "Who, me? But ... but ... I am so much smarter, and I am so much better than mere human beings. How could anyone DARE call me out?"
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:41 PM
I called you out quite easily, because (HCN, I have incontrovertible proof, so don't delete), you're a liar on at least one issue.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 04:43 PM
Kate, the easiest fix is to only let subscribers comment. You can surely, easily, do that within your current commenting system.
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 16, 2016 04:56 PM
Seeing way too much repetitive, juvenile off topic name calling. I didn't know HCN comments was just a place to see tiresome conservatives bash liberals for their point of view.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 04:56 PM
I just looked at every one of my posts. I think my worst terrible insults were to call the author a "whackjob" (sorry, it was only once), someone else a "boutique Westerner," and a couple others an "Easterner." I don't think it's an insult to call someone a "liberal" or a "progressive."

I, on the other hand, have been repeatedly called a "liar" and a "troll," and have even being accused of being a "paid troll," not to mention various permutations of stupid. Hmm, do ya kinda-sorta just think I might be onto something when I accuse liberals here of beng thin-skinned and unable to deal with disagreement from people like me who they clearly consider to be their inferior?
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:01 PM
You used "whackjob" on your first comment. Therefore, you set the tone by which you became judged. After that, you set up a straw man of claiming people here considered you their inferior. You called the entire magazine "Easterner."

All of those actions, in combination, including your most recent post, Jake, are arguably those of a troll.

You were confronted with incontrovertible evidence that the author of this piece is not a "New Yorker in cowboy boots," which was also a claim you made in your first comment. Therefore, you lied, and did so again when you claimed you had addressed that.

These are simple facts on the ground.

So, no, I don't think you're "on to something," other than either "spinning" or self-deception — or both.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:02 PM
Jake: "You folks are taking this waaaaaaay too personally."

Hah. You've made it personal since your first post, in nearly every post, with everyone here, the magazine (they have a LOT of forbearance not banning you, more than I would have), most of the people at this end of the country, and half of the rest of it. From the beginning. Pot, Kettle, Black.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:03 PM
@Kate, yes, please answer the call of your fragile liberals. Ignore their personal attacks, and exclude me. Ax-grinding ideologues of the left and right, but especially the liberals these days, have a terrible problem with critics. They love dissent, except when they are the targets. O, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:05 PM
#Steve, yes, I consider the entire magazine "Eastern" and "boutique Western," which are one in the same. I've read enough of HCN to see that it's about as "Western" as, say, Obama is a true blue American. Which is to say, a fake.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:05 PM
And, I predict Jake will next make 5-10 posts about his post where he claimed he was the salt of the earth.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:06 PM
@Jake, so, are you a birther? How far short of "True blue American" do you think Obama is?
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:07 PM
"have a terrible problem with critics. They love dissent, except when they are the targets. O, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune! "

Critics, no. Trolls, yes. There's a world of difference, and I don't think you are so stupid that you don't see it.

That last sentence is hilarious, considering.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:16 PM
@Jake: John Kitzhaber is under federal investigation and was forced from office. A year ago. Better get back at that research.
 
"@William McConnell, in Grant County, Oregon (home to the buffoon of a "constitutional sheriff," whatever the hell that means) the Forest Service has closed roads, and totally screwed up the fighting of some small fires that, because of USFS incompetence, turned into a giant conflagration that nearly wiped the towns of John Day and Canyon City off the map last year."

 Let's see your evidence of any of this. By the way if you don't know what the term "constitutional sheriff" means by this far into the discussion, you REALLY need to do some research.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:19 PM
Steve: " Kate, the easiest fix is to only let subscribers comment. You can surely, easily, do that within your current commenting system. "

 While the idea is attractive, it is nice to let outsiders here too - most of them are great. Just sayin' ;)
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:23 PM
Andy, no, it wouldn't be ideal. And, I've been a reader long enough to know that few articles attract this. That said, another solution would be for HCN to close comments now.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:28 PM
@Steve, I consider Obama to be a dual citizen of Indonesia and the U.S., and a Muslim. The latter is fine; after all, Article VI of the Constitution forbids a religious test for holding office. But he claimed be a Christian, and I don't believe it for a microsecond. Obama should've simply come clean about who and what he really is.

@Andy, what is a "constitutional sheriff," as opposed to just a plain ol' sheriff? You're a liberal, and therefore so much smarter than human beings. How about schooling us?



Vernon Brechin
Vernon Brechin
Feb 16, 2016 05:28 PM
Thank you Hal for your enlightening essay.

Below is a link to an article that examines other factors behind some of the leader's beliefs.

Oregon standoff: What does Mormonism have to do with the U.S. Constitution?
http://www.oregonlive.com/o[…]hat_does_morm.html#comments
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:31 PM
Ahh, additional lies from Jake. Whether you like Rev. Wright or not, Obama went to his Christian church. And, the lie that Obama is a "dual citizen." All while dodging the question of whether you're a birther. Shock me.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:31 PM
Yes, that would be an option; personally I'm not sure if the discussion is going anywhere now, but then it's hard to tell given all the flak flying around.

 Tightening their behavior rules is another. More work for Kate, but I imagine they could find few people here and there who would be willing to moderate. (don't look at me, working 70 hour weeks already ;) )
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:32 PM
@Andy, I identified the John Kitzhaber as the "Oregon's corrupt ex-governor." Now, I would hate to contradict or try to educate a liberal like you, given how much smarter you are than humans. But still "ex" in this context means "former." Reading comprehension, Andy, it's what's fer dinner.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:32 PM
Andy, I work in the media biz. Small enough outlet to not have this degree of problem. (So far.) I know comment moderation is time consuming. Hence, I offered the close-comments alternative, which becomes more relevant yet after Jake's latest.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:33 PM
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:34 PM
Vernon, a little-known sidebar. During the height of the Cold War's heyday, many LANL employees were Mormon. And, from what I have read, hopeful of nuclear armageddon.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:36 PM
Maybe HCN likes all the comment, trollish as it is, or trollish plus troll-refuting as it is, because it's "selling" pageviews as a metric to advertisers?
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:36 PM
@Steve, I think Obama faked his Christian affiliation.

@Kate, yes, it might be a logical thing to close off your comments to all but your Eastern liberal fan base. These people get verrrrrrrrry worried when a "liar" and a "paid troll" contradicts them. It's a real outrage, I say. You really don't want to have different opinions here. It only disrupts the narrative.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:37 PM
Jake, Steve, everyone: " I consider Obama to be a dual citizen of Indonesia and the U.S., and a Muslim."

waay off topic.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:38 PM
@Andy, try it in your own words. You're a liberal, and therefore much smarter and more educated. Grace us with your powers of analysis and explanation!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:40 PM
Oh, and Andy? My comment about Obama's religion and citizenship were a response to one of the liberals here. Ah, the ol' liberal double standard. The question isn't "off topic," only the answer.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:42 PM
Andy, true that it's off topic (and what isn't here right now), but Jake raised it with: "I've read enough of HCN to see that it's about as "Western" as, say, Obama is a true blue American." I merely followed up.

If HCN >>Is<< selling pageviews, you don't get mine. I have Ghostery installed, and have for years.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:42 PM
Steve: "Maybe HCN likes all the comment, trollish as it is, or trollish plus troll-refuting as it is, because it's "selling" pageviews as a metric to advertisers? "
 I doubt it, honestly. If a small forum gets a bad enough reputation people will stop coming there; and so far the people I've met who run HCN are smart enough to realize that, and would not want that sort of rep regardless of ad $.
 That said, there's a sort of Delicious Irony in the thought of HCN making ad revenue off of Jake's posts, is there not? ;D
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 16, 2016 05:47 PM
> Jake Jackson 04:56 PM... who cares? This review of Hal Herring's article has devolved the same way the confrontation at the Malheur NWR unfolded into wondering what David Fry was going to say next as he fretted his way out of the ice box he had dug for himself.
Now I know where we are. Mr. Fry has found he can use the bars of his jail cell as a giant antenna to reach out and scold the world for his troubles. It's hooked up to the tin foil hat he wears as he cries himself to sleep for being so stupid. At least it's warm.

Obama is perfectly true blue.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 05:52 PM
Jake, I am not fool enough to waste my time trying to educate someone who has proven over, and over, and over that he doesn't wish to be educated, but merely to mock, as you are doing right now, and have been since you entered this forum.
 
 Everyone else here knows or can look up on their own the information needed, and you know that, so stop playing to the audience. They aren't as stupid as you seem to think they are.

 I'm done wasting my time with you; I have adult things to do, and I think that you have probably demonstrated to everyone just what kind of person you really are by now - and remember - unless Kate chooses to delete it, your wit and wisdom will be visible for decades ;)

 To everyone else: The one thing a troll just cannot stand, is being ignored...
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:53 PM
@Tim Jones, the review "devolved" because the liberal comment section of the liberal HCN is like liberals everywhere in the Obama years: They utterly despise anyone who calls them out on their various conceits. But yes, we agree that Fry is an idiot. I've never been on Y'all Qaeda's side on this.

@Steve, I don't consider Obama to be a real American. I think he's a half Indonesian fake Christian who through God only knows what machinations and reasons, got put in the White House.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 05:55 PM
@Andy, so you refuse to explain yourself. I'm shocked, just shocked. And thanks for the parting personal attack. I'm sure it will warm that lefty heart of yours with a long lasting righteous glow.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 06:02 PM
No, Jake, it devolved because of someone who apparently doesn't recognize that the Eastern masters whom he said were superior to him ARE superior to him. :) FIFY
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 06:03 PM
Andy, it's true that a troll hates being ignored. But, a troll also hates not having the field conceded to him.

HCN, per what I said about cutting off comments? Some of us can reconsider renewing our subscriptions. That's another option, from my end of the stick.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 06:06 PM
Steve: Ghostery can't hide your IP from their server; may be able to stop google analytics or such, but I don't believe would stop them selling pageviews or knowing that you visited. If the server doesn't have your IP, it can't send you data. Since it does the server can log or use the data, including what you block, for whatever it wants (including sending it to google), and of course tracking internal pages is easy. Also, it appears they sell your surfing (blocking) data to ad companies, the BBB, and other places. (debated apparently)
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostery (down to Business Model)
Real anonymity on the web is very, very difficult, and likely not possible to hide from places with the resources of, say, the NSA.

Offtopic and enough.


Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 06:09 PM
Andy, no, but it can stop tracking cookies of advertisers. And, thanks for that information; that I did not know.
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 06:11 PM
"But, a troll also hates not having the field conceded to him."

 I imagine so, but since I am not "conceding the field" at all ( I will still answer and debate reasonable, adult, and to the point posts) then it's irrelevant.
 I said I was done wasting my time with him, and I meant it; if, in the future, I believe it not be a waste of time, I can reenter his axis of the discussion. I doubt that is likely to happen.
 

 
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 16, 2016 06:24 PM
> Jake Jackson 05:53 PM If even you consider the Bundy Band "Y'all Qaeda"... sort of an aspersion to the South imho... and that's not just a pretext to fade the heat then those boys have really stepped in it.
 

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 06:24 PM
@Andy, you already "wasted time" on me after you declared that you wouldn't waste any more time. In that respect, I'd say you're about as credible as, um, gun control.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 06:28 PM
@Tim, you bet they stepped in it. For God's sakes, for people who never stopped praattling about the Constitution, they obviously never actually read it or studied it. And for people who purported to give history lessons to us, they sure didn't know much about that, either. Ever since 1794, Uncle Sucker has been successfully putting down rebellions. It's a measure of their delusion if they ever thought they'd actually win.
Julie LaFleur
Julie LaFleur
Feb 16, 2016 06:45 PM
By far, the best article on the takeover!! Excellent work. I will search your name for more articles.
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 16, 2016 07:03 PM
Hal Herring wrote:
"Federal water rights that underpin entire agricultural economies, and that are critical to some of the last family farms and ranches in America, will be in play. Few Americans, even those in the cities of the east who know nothing about these lands, will be untouched in some way by the transformation. Once the precedent for divesting federal lands is well-set, the eastern public lands, most of them far more valuable than those in the West, will go on the international auction block. The unique American experiment in balancing the public freedom and good with private interests will be forever shattered, while a new kind of inequality soars, not just inequality of economics and economic opportunity, but of life experience, the chance to experience liberty itself. The understanding that we all share something valuable in common – the vast American landscape, yawning to all horizons and breathtakingly beautiful – will be further broken. These linked notions of liberty and unity and the commons have been obstacles to would-be American oligarchs and plutocrats from the very founding of our nation, which is why they have been systematically attacked since the Gilded Age of the 1890s."

I would like to see someone dispute this assertion from Herring's article and make a case the US should divest our public lands. The Bundys are so utter dead wrong that their little expedition into insanity only serves the opponents of their cause. Yes, the BLM and USFS and USFWS may seem overbearing and overreaching but when one teases the science out of the decisions they make I think they err toward the right thing to do. Ranchers have hardened the land in the last 150 years. Clear cutting is not the answer to a healthy ecology. These are ways to abuse the land. Trying to figure out how to restore it while allowing reasonable use is a thankless task.

Harney County had developed a CCA/CCAA that the Bundys should have researched and respected before they went off on their wild adventure. We just cannot take and take and take and have anything left for everybody else.
Claiming the ESA is wrong and the climate change is hooey and that humanity isn't stressing out Mother Earth is just being blind to the facts.

Herring opens the door to a libraries of personal research. I thank him for this article. Most of the local users of these magnificent places are well adjusted to sharing the wealth with all of God's creatures. I do NOT want America to divest its public lands!
Larry Gilson
Larry Gilson
Feb 16, 2016 07:40 PM
Hal, Who is it you're working for? I don't argue that events as we've witnessed in Harney County draw citizens of many colors and motivations; nor do I deny there are there are "buyers" and exploiters out there seeking every opportunity to grab what ever they can for themselves and their investors and that you have a proven ability to craft words. I also agree with you that truth is easily twisted...and I think you've done that here, as "down-homey" and thoughtful as you try to make yourself sound. In fact, the overall tone of this article gives me the impression you have some support from the UN and those pushing Agenda 21/30, and/or those seeking to keep us all sleeping and thinking all is well as they slowly take control of all that we hold dear...including our personal freedom.
I acknowledge your right to your opinions, but I am sickened by the arrogance you display here in trying to tear apart and belittle not just the ideas and vision of all those involved in the "standoff", but also the people themselves. You were "doing your best to be respectful of people with whom, as it turned out, you strongly, even violently disagree?" If this is your idea of being respectful, perhaps you should give up serious writing and find a job with Saturday Night Live or some such show where people might not take you so seriously.
I don't necessarily agree with all those involved, nor do I think their venture was well-planned or thought out, but I think you did all of them a great disservice, and exposed your own naivety (or worse) by failing to acknowledge that there might possibly be something behind their concerns....and failing to give them credit for getting the country talking about a government that, unquestionably, is getting out of control. Did you, for instance, investigate the sale of Uranium One holdings in Malheur County...which are actually 100 odd miles east of the Malheur NWR and probably DON"T have anything to do with the Hammond ranch as some sources have recently suggested, but apparently DID involve the Clintons and Russia....and serve as an example of at least some in high government circles having personal agendas that could and will affect us all. Have you interviewed Rhonda Karges, head of the BLM district in Harney County and her husband Chad Karges, current Malhuer NWR manager, to see why they chose to prosecute the Hammonds 5 years after the last fire they were convicted of starting? Have you asked how a fast-moving brush fire was supposed to "destroy evidence of poaching" and why that alleged offense was brought up so many times during the resentencing process, etc when the Hammonds were never convicted of poaching and the initial trial judge acknowledged the witness telling that story was not a suitable witness?
You seem to imply that "buyers" like Ted Turner have been buying up public lands in the west and that if "Federal Lands" were turned over to the states, they would automatically in up in private hands. IF, as your words suggest, people are amassing public lands, they are doing so with the help of corrupt officials at the Federal level, making the "people's" continued ownership of those lands just as doubtful (or more so) under the present arrangement as it allegedly would be should those lands be transferred to the states! While states may be forced to increase mining and drilling on those lands to pay for the management of them, I think you are greatly discrediting the intelligence of the citizens of those states and those they elect by suggesting those lands would quickly end up in private hands. Granted, there would be considerable opportunity for corruption, but certainly no more than exists under federal management of those lands!
And finally, I think you also do those who took such great pains to form our constitution in such a way that it CAN'T be misinterpreted or twisted for the personal gain of any party a tremendous disservice by suggesting it can so easily become "a tool of our enslavement." "Originalism" is still the most prevalent interpretation of our constitution and only those who, as your C.S. Lewis quote suggests, "lack creativity' would attempt to twist it's meaning. What are YOUR motives here?
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 08:14 PM
Larry, blaming BLM for the Uranium One deal is like blaming a second-class busboy on the Titanic for the iceberg. If you want to blame someone, blame the Obama Administration in general, and Hillary Clinton plus Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in particular:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015[…]rol-of-uranium-company.html
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 08:16 PM
Larry, opportunities for corruption would be much greater if states owned the lands. They'd be much greater yet if yahoos got their way and had U.S. Senators chosen again by state legislatures. That's why Montana passed its anti-corruption act that the Supremes, as part of their Citizens United ruling, said was unconstitutional.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 08:19 PM
You know, I would listen to 10 Larry's for every Jake, even if Jake knows that the head of the BLM and the head of the refuge don't do the prosecuting. And even if I have no idea where to begin.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 08:23 PM
Robert, now that I have re-read Larry and see that he's mentioned "Agenda 21," I wouldn't take you up on your bet, not right now.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 08:31 PM
Hey, there's a new conspiracy theory I hadn't seen before. Apparently "Agenda 30" is the follow-up to "Agenda 21."

Ouch, my rolled eyes got stuck in the back of my head. What's the UN taking over this time, if golf courses were the target of Agenda 21? Bowling alleys?

Oh, wait ... maybe the UN is taking over ....

OUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES!!!

Run for the hills!
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 08:41 PM
Is the refuge where they are going to bury all of the bodies that go in the caskets they are stockpiling in Georgia? Damn They!
Andy Grosland
Andy Grosland Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 09:14 PM
"Oh, wait ... maybe the UN is taking over ....

OUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES!!!

Run for the hills! "

The NWR's *were* the hills. The UN owns them now ;(0
Larry Gilson
Larry Gilson
Feb 16, 2016 09:35 PM
Steve and Robert, Did I mention BLM with regards to Uranium One? I'm familiar with the situation and attempted to place blame where it is due...although I left out the huge donations made to the Clinton Foundation by the involved parties after the deal went through. I mention the Karges because they, along with the U.S. Prosecuting attorney filed the charges against the Hammonds as the local government reps. I bring that up because I am curious as to why they chose to wait 5 years and file charges at about the same time as they were pushing, along with county officials and many citizens, a several-billion dollar wind farm deal that would have really ruined the scenry on top of and down the slopes of the Steens Mountains. And shouldn't we question government motives when they kill someone nearly every time there is a "standoff?" do you honestly think that was necessary....even if Lavoy was acting a bit hotheaded at the time of his shooting? Was he really a threat to anyone with 15 or 20 snipers zeroed in on him? I don't want to see all Federal land wind up in private hands either, and I think the message Bundy, et al conveyed was confusing in part because at times they spoke of returning Fed. lands to private hands, and at others, to the states....which IS constitutionally supported. I'm not accusing anyone of anything yet, but I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we get too serious about our fighting over these issues....or before we write off everything we hear as just "another conspiracy theory." I think we will all eventually realize that very little is as it appears on the surface...call it what you will.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 09:51 PM
Larry, no you did not mention BLM. I'll give you credit for that, and I apologize But, per the link I provided, that could have been presidential politics of either party. It just happened a Democrat was in charge and a Clinton was part of the administration.

As for Finicum? Erm, he was pulling a gun. That's a threat. If you think it's not, can I pull a gun on you?

As for the Hammonds? There are plenty of federal cases like that that take years to investigate, have pretrial plea discussions and more. No, I do not think there was some conspiracy behind that. As for the wind farm, Steens Mountain is likely better left as a pristine preserve, yes. But, I'll stand by until you can provide me a clear connection.

Giving federal land to the states can legally be done. It has been done — in land swaps. It's not just "given back for free," though. And, per the Constitution, given that these states were originally territories, it's not "returning" it, because if generally wasn't originally state land in the first place.

As for the Hammonds otherwise? Per this magazine, as noted by NPR, they have a 30-year history of terroristic death threats against federal officials:

http://www.npr.org/sections[…]-armed-occupation-in-oregon
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 09:54 PM
And, beyond the above about the Hammonds, let's just add in a history of child abuse. Not a very defensible family: http://www.npr.org/sections[…]-armed-occupation-in-oregon
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 09:56 PM
@Robert Jordan, well of course you would. Liberals only listen to themselves, and utterly despise any contrary viewpoints. Their arrogance precedes them, and then you wonder why the West outside of your favorite four or five cities is Republican territory.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 09:58 PM
Ahh, the still-lying troll is back.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 09:58 PM
@Steve Snyder, you conveniently forget to mention that utter train wreck of a prosecutor, who was fired from her job for gross misconduct. But wait, she's a liberal and so are you, so stalking her co-worker to the point where his life was in danger is perfectly okay with your kind.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:01 PM
@Lary, don't imagine that the liberal boutique faux-Westerners of High Country News will ever stoop to looking at the long train of abuses committed by the liberals they worship, and the federal government that they bow down to every chance they get.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:02 PM
"Have you interviewed Rhonda Karges, head of the BLM district in Harney County and her husband Chad Karges, current Malhuer NWR manager, to see why they chose to prosecute the Hammonds 5 years after the last fire they were convicted of starting?" Your quote suggesting that the BLM and the Malheur NWR mangers chose to prosecute the Hammonds. That is what I was referring to.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:03 PM
So, Steve Snyder does his liberal thing: launching personal attacks because he just cannot bear to have his inferiors contradicting him. Very classy, Steve, and oh so "progressive."
Vernon Brechin
Vernon Brechin
Feb 16, 2016 10:03 PM
@Steve Snyder - Thank you for mentioning the Mormon involvement with LANL and how many assumed nuclear Armageddon was just around the corner. Funny how people learn to justify the kind of work they are doing. Later imminent nuclear physicist Dr. Edward Teller (father of the American H-Bomb) promoted Project Plowshare to utilize nuclear explosives for civil engineering applications.

I fear that one day a Christian extremest will have their hand on the button and feel obligated to end it all. I'm sure they would pass the psychological screening since they would just be seen as simply practicing their religious beliefs.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:04 PM
@Robert Jordan, let's face it. Neither you nor your liberal friends at High Country News have the slightest bit of interest in federal land use. None. If you did, you'd be making very, very different comments here.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:08 PM
@Jake ... I have no problem continuing to state the facts, not just since they're the facts but also since I believe HCN violated Point 2 of its commenting guidelines by not deleting your first comment.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:09 PM
@Jake ... so hiking in all but three national parks west of the Mississippi isn't federal land use? Got it. I'll tell my legs they weren't using federal land, and I'll tell my brain that it wasn't interested.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:09 PM
@Steve, so now you're going to engage in a constant stream of name calling. Hey, I understand! It's the "progressive" thing to do!
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:11 PM
@Steve, oh I get it now. A Gore-Tex weekender. Like I say, faux-Westerners are everywhere. Wow, he's rich, hip, and hikes in the national parks! Give that liberal a medal!
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:31 PM
@Steve.....First of all...don't you know that if you aren't trashing land or making money off of it, it's not really "wise use". Secondly, I think it's time to stop feeding the trolls here. Larry may have something to hear of what you have to say, the other guy is completely in an echo chamber. He may (but probably not) stop yammering if you stop responding to him.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:38 PM
@Michael Clark, I agree that Steve ought to shut up. He's becoming unhinged.
Brandon Glimpse
Brandon Glimpse
Feb 16, 2016 10:39 PM
Jake, really appreciate your input and hey don't worry about Andy , if their is really a Troll anywhere its him. I see a lot of intelligence from many of us American's commenting here. What we all need to remember is the almighty dollar is our reality but not our birthright, If that were taken away as Tony highlighted earlier we would all realize quickly that the world is a really big place and we need to stand together an citizens of these United States.
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:47 PM
@Larry "because at times they spoke of returning Fed. lands to private hands, and at others, to the states....which IS constitutionally supported." If you mean constitutionally supported because someone thinks it is a good idea...yes it's possible....if you mean constitutionally mandated......not even close. There is no constitutional support for that idea. Section 3 clause 2 plus every legal precedent since then = game over.

Secondly, if you are curious about the charges brought against the Hammonds, why are you asking here? There are better sources for that information and if you are really curious, I am sure you can find out and substantiate any claims that you are making with evidence. Then, the readers here might have some interest in what you have to say. Otherwise, it sounds a lot like conspiracy rambling.

I am sensitive to the killing of suspects in general....but I can't blame this LE officer for having an itchy trigger finger given that Finicum had stated openly and clearly that he would not be taken to prison under any circumstance. Does that sound like someone who is not going to be dangerous when you try to arrest them?
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 10:51 PM
No one will get an argument from me that both corporate power and government are interested in money and resources. Here's the deal......I have ZERO influence on corporate power. However, the entire U.S. government can be overhauled in November if the voters so choose. Sadly, a large number of voters will THINK they are overhauling the government when really they are just overhauling the treasury into the hands of corporate America in trade for some regressive social laws.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 10:55 PM
Sounds like Michael Clarke is another Boulderite for Bernie.
Brandon Glimpse
Brandon Glimpse
Feb 16, 2016 10:56 PM
The author of this article admits to "Never talking to any of the leaders of this " BUILDING TAKEOVER This is exactly why I turned up at the Grant County Senior Center ,,, to Hear why this Takeover was underway.
      
 This author seems to think he can diagnose what the leaders are saying by talking to the 'fringe' elements camped in the outer most parts of the camp. This is like deducing what we were doing in Viet Nam by talking to a Grunt in a foxhole stoned out of his mind and just hoping to make it through another night . How about talking to the leadership of that troop, platoon , unit, army, and they would really tell you why the United States of America was at war in Viet Nam. I believe the stated purpose of high command was to stop the spread of Communism , and it did. Why didn't the author state from the beginning ,, I went to find the reason for the occupation and I was to busy with my own thought to actually ask anybody in charge what they were doing ,,, so I don't know. !!!!
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 11:02 PM
@Brandon You make a decent point, but the analogy doesn't work. Most of the grunts in Vietnam were there because they were told to be there. The land transfer movement is defined by its rank and file as much as its leadership. The fact that the Bundy's were mostly rejected by the locals and embraced by the whackjobs suggests not so much a groundswell, grassroots movement that has a point so much as a fringe idea supported strictly by fringe interests (and some big money, as has been documented elsewhere).
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 11:10 PM
@Brandon, excellent comment. If the author had stuck to a portrait of the sad sacks he met, it'd haave been fine. But he didn't do that. Instead, he concocted a conspiracy tale involving the Mormons, not pausing to mention that the Mormon higher-ups instantly disassociated themselves from Y'all Qaeda. And, of course, not spending any time on the Hammonds or on the BLM's lawlessess at the Refuge and the Steen Mtn. Wilderness. See, to do any of those things would have conflicted with the High Country News liberal spin, and we can't have any of that.
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 16, 2016 11:10 PM
"Facts of the Hammond federal arson case"

Steven Dwight Hammond and Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr.
Case No. 6:10-CR-60066-AA
United States’ Supplemental Sentencing Memorandum
https://popehat.com/[…]/HammondGovBrief.pdf

&

"To The Citizens of Harney County, Oregon" from Acting US Attorney Billy J. Williams
District of Oregon
Comments on the Case against the aforementioned individuals.
https://www.documentcloud.org/[…]/2660399-Statement-USattorney.html

Pick and choose which elements to believe as the evidence points.
Hammonds were convicted by a jury of their peers.

Hammond's cattle were responsible for a lot of damage to stream bank and vegetation restoration efforts by the feds. Controlled burns in this state, Texas, are done with
agencies capable of fire extinction directly on hand.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 16, 2016 11:16 PM
Michael, no worries. Per what I said about "the other guy" and HCN's commenting policy, I comtacted HCN. It was after hours, but I'll hear from them tomorrow.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 11:22 PM
@Steve Snyder, did you report yourself for repeated personal attacks, then?
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 11:40 PM
You know why it's from "Acting U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams?"

Because the prosecutor who sent the Hammonds back to prison after they'd already served their original sentence, Amanda Marshall, was a complete nutcase. was fired from her job for stalking a colleague and possibly threatening his life.

http://www.wweek.com/portla[…]under_armed_protection.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/p[…]s.html#incart_story_package

Not a peep out of HCN or its liberal echo chamber about that weirdo. Yes, weirdo. How in hell she ever got her job is a complete mystery.

http://www.oregonlive.com/[…]/oregons_top_federal_prosecutor.html

And those "child abuse" charges? Amanda Marshall,besides having an obsession over the man in her office, was completely around the bend on child abuse, possibly because she had been abused herself.

But hey, the liberals at the voice of the boutique "West," High Country News, couldn't care less. All in a day's ignorance.




Kenneth Keffer
Kenneth Keffer Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 01:03 AM
@ Jake Jackson
Feb 16, 2016 11:40 PM

"Because the prosecutor who sent the Hammonds back to prison after they'd already served their original sentence."
You pick and chose the info that matches your convictions just like most cons do. The reason the Hammond's were sent back to prison was the first judge didn't have the authority to give them a lesser sentence they should have been sentenced to the mandatory minimum like the law says. Mandatory minimums take away a judges discretion and should be changed but the law and order right ring would never consider that because it would make them look like wimps in the eyes of their supporters.

Larry Gilson
Larry Gilson
Feb 17, 2016 01:30 AM
Steve, Robert, I said the Harges chose to prosecute,...of course it was prob. a decision from above them, but their signatures were the ones next to the U.S. Assistant Dist. Attorney's on the filing documents. Mainly I'm curious about their roles in all this...and they've kept a very low profile! Democrat, Republican, Socialist....I didn't mention a party with regards to the Uranium One sale...just corrupt gov. officials, which not doubt exist under every rock! After reading everything I have, I don't believe the Hammonds are completely guilt free. They obviously have some anger issues (for instance) that have driven them to make some pretty public comments and threats toward some people, but there are many who have gotten hotheaded over government regulation and bullying. Whichever side one is one, it's much like a union forming in a previously non-union plant. It's a situation with built-in antagonism....some eruptions are guaranteed! Whatever their past history has been, they were convicted of starting two fires and burning about 140 acres of land that even the Sheriff Dave Ward said, when he was working for BLM, actually improved the land. AND the government has burned far more land...and cattle and buildings in their fire operations, but they aren't called terrorists. "Defensible?" Some neighbors think the world of them, others don't. Which ones do you believe? Child abusers? Maybe, but they weren't being tried for that. There's just something about the whole issue that doesn't smell right to me....I'll let you know if I find the missing link.
Levoy...."pulling a gun?" I didn't see one, did you? In the pics I saw he was wearing a shoulder holster. I saw him reach low on his side...twice, but didn't see him with anything in his hands and they were raised except for when he was grabbing at his side...which one would do if they'd been shot. Then he was apparently tased...why do that, then shoot him? And the gun they "found" in his pocket...a stolen automatic? I wouldn't have jumped out shouting "go ahead and shoot me" knowing there were a bunch of scopes focused on me, but I don't think he was that much of a threat. Yes, Steve, if you let me train a scoped rifle on your head, I'll let you pull a gun on me...and if I see it pointing at me, I might even shoot, but I didn't see that happening.
And finally, in my eyes the constitution is very clear about the Federal government having limited authority to hold property. In territories, yes, but as soon as those areas became states, the land should have been transferred to the respective states. I don't see that as a direct transfer to private hands anymore than I see ranchers and farmers going back to overgrazing and other harmful practices should they find themselves without federal oversight. It's in their own best interest to take care of the land....there are prob. exceptions, but I think if you look closely, you will find modern ranchers and small farmers to be fair stewards of the land they own and use. This is a debate we will all be continuing I suspect, but I think we have a much better chance and more opportunity to have a voice in the management of public forest and range lands if they are managed at the state level. I recently read an article which stated that the states couldn't afford to manage them, suggesting that only the Fed. government can...but where do they get the money?....borrow it? That will soon come to an end!
Larry Gilson
Larry Gilson
Feb 17, 2016 02:00 AM
Michael, The constitution isn't changed through legal precedent. Some would like it to be that easily changed, but the procedure for that is clearly laid out as well, and it has nothing to do with some judge's opinion.
I know better than to seek answers in a comment section, but it's a good place to throw out questions that should be considered before we draw our various conclusions....and I'm not making any claims....beyond the fact that none of this is about what any of us think it is....and that it's definitely not time to take up arms against each other since none of us could truly say who the "evil other" really is! We have a lot of things to work out!
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 06:03 AM
@Larry.... Section 3, Clause 2. Also....the constitution created a judiciary that was equipped to decide constitutional questions. Marbury vs. Madison in 1803 affirmed this. It has been the basis of our legal system for 212 years. Its not going to suddenly change because a rancher thinks that they read the constitution differently.
We have a system here....it has worked, more or less, for over 200 years. Disputes about the constitution have every right to be played out in the courts.......not at gunpoint.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 06:41 AM
Jake, it's "acting" because, like with many of Obama's appointees, a GOP Senate has been deliberately foot-dragging. #Fail.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 06:42 AM
I otherwise see no reason why a troll and conspiracy theorist, both non-subscribers, should continue/start to hijack or divert a thread.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 06:49 AM
Larry, if all you saw were "hands up," then you clearly were choosing not to look fully. The video clearly shows Finicum reaching down for where that gun is.

And, other folks, people who want to hijack threads can use multiple methodologies to do so.
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 08:47 AM
Have all of these theories been linked to Scalias death yet? Just checking in.
Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 08:50 AM
Robert, that's Agenda 9: Taking over the Supreme Court.
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 17, 2016 10:57 AM
@Larry Gilson, I'm going to treat you gentle 'cause I think you heart's in the right place. But for starters, Dave Ward the sheriff did not work for the BLM. Different Dave Wards. It's a pretty common name. Scroll up and see my earlier comments on this, with links. Dave Ward, the sheriff, was on active duty in the Army, stationed in Texas, from 1998 to 2002. The Dave Ward with the BLM in Harney County, who was deposed in the Hammond case, was involved in things thar took place while Dave Ward, the sheriff, was in Texas. Bottom line: Two different Dave Wards.

Secondly, I have watched the FBI video of Finicum's death at least two dozen times. I do not think it supports the accusations made by the various "patriots" on line. I think a much better explanation is at the link. At the very least, I'm willing to await the results of the investigation that will be led by the Deschutes County sheriff and reviewed by the Malheur County district attorney. But in the meantime, this is the best explanation I've seen:

http://bearingarms.com/[…]/

Thirdly, as it concerns the federal government's authority to hold land, Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants it. The two links below are from authoritative sources. One is the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan arm of the Library of Congress that has a long-standing stellar record and reputation in Washington, D.C. for playing it straight. The other is the Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization that's been around for several decades. They are well-funded and rigorous, and have an excellent guide to the Constitution.

I urge you to read both links thoroughly. You will see that the feds do have the legal right to hold land within state borders. Whether they SHOULD hold so much is another issue. I think that ought to change, and at the very least there should be much close scrutiny of the actions of the BLM, the USFS, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. But these are policy issues, not Constitutional claims.

I find it frustrating as hell when fake Western liberals refuse to even look at the abuses committed by the feds. High Country News wouldn't be caught dead, not in a million years, caring about it. But that does NOT make this a Constitutional issue. Facts are facts.

http://www.law.umaryland.edu/[…]/RL34267_12032007.pdf

http://www.heritage.org/[…]/property-clause
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
Feb 17, 2016 11:06 AM
@Kenneth Keffer, it's nice to see a liberal do what liberals always do, and ignore the reality behind that nutcase who went after the Hammonds the second time. Yes, there are mandatory sentencing laws, but it's just as true that the feds have broad discretion in whether to enforce. Obama has repeatedly refused to enforce certain laws, and liberals have applauded him for it.

But not this time. Why? Because these criminals weren't black rioters in Missouri or Maryland. Nor were they liberals who "occupied" and vandalized central cities to protest Wall Street. Nor were they one of Obama's favorite 6,000 crack dealers who Obama is letting out of federal prison, just in time for him to leave office when he'll probably need another fix.

Nope, these were white ranchers. Obama hates them because they are white. High County News and its lefty commenters hate them because they are ranchers. So throw the book at 'em, even if the book-thrower is a deranged nutcase. Derangement is just fine if it's liberal.
Nathan Gilbert
Nathan Gilbert Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 11:09 AM
Awesome article!
Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Feb 17, 2016 11:18 AM
Below is an excerpt from the Detention Memorandum for Cliven Bundy. If the Bundys would have turned cattle loose like this on the Malheur NWR they would have utterly destroyed the place. I've spaced out some groups of sentences to make this more readable.

2-16-16 Doc 4 - U.S.A. v CLIVEN BUNDY - USA Detention Memorandum for Cliven Bundy
http://www.scribd.com/doc/2[…]Memorandum-for-Cliven-Bundy
(excerpt)
"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.

"Bundy claims he has strong anti-federal government views, proclaiming that the federal government cannot own land under the U.S. Constitution. These are not principled views – and certainly they have no merit legally – but nonetheless serve conveniently as a way for Bundy to somehow try to convince others that he has some reason for acting lawlessly, other than the obvious one: it serves his own ends and benefits him financially. Untethering himself from the law, Bundy claims he can do with his cattle as he pleases, including not incurring the expenses to manage or control them and not paying for the forage they consume at the expense of federal taxpayers."

[...]
Fascinating reading. The Bundy "ranch," the Bunkerville Allotment should disappear. Perhaps then the wild lands around Gold Butte will recover enough to allow the desert tortoise to survive without being trampled by starving cows.
Kate Schimel
Kate Schimel Subscriber
Feb 17, 2016 11:18 AM
Hey folks,

the comments on this article have significantly diverged from the topic at hand and have become increasingly personal. As of now, no new comments will be accepted. You are welcome to engage through our other channels.

Thanks,
Kate Schimel
Assistant editor