Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, January 4th, 2016.

VanillaISIS? YeeHawd?

Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

I’m not going to call the meatheads occupying buildings in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge “terrorists” because I don’t think they rise to the level of competence to actually terrorize anybody. They’re more like play-pretend insurgents.

According to Jennifer Williams at Vox, most of the “militia” men are  “a small group of individuals who travel around the country attaching themselves to various local fights against the federal government, usually over land rights.” They seized some buildings in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge ostensibly to offer shelter to Dwight and Steven Hammond, a couple of local ranchers who were convicted of setting fires on federal land.  The feds say the Hammonds started one fire to cover up evidence of illegal deer poaching, although as the fires destroyed all the evidence of poaching I don’t know how the feds would know that. Oh, the feds got it from a witness, it says here.

Anyway, long story short, the Hammonds are turning themselves in after being resentenced to more prison time. They turned down the offer of a refuge from the law.

There may be a legitimate argument that the re-sentencing wasn’t fair, but the “militia” is not making that argument. Instead, they are arguing that federal land ought to be turned over to the states, which in turn ought to let the righteous white men of the West do whatever they want with it, sandhill crane habitat or no sandhill crane habitat. This has something to do with the U.S. Constitution, which they say is an “inspired document by Our Lord Jesus Christ.” However, I’m not aware of any part of the Constitution that deprives the federal government from retaining federal reservations within state boundaries. I believe in the case of national parks and wildlife reserves, states agreed to let the feds run the land and were compensated for it.

And if you want to be really picky about it, the Paiutes have a stronger claim to the land in questions than the state or the ranchers.

The question is, what’s to be done about this situation? Apparently the feds are being cautious, wanting to avoid another Waco. But letting the meatheads get away with these little tantrums seems to encourage them. I’d vote for a blockade; once they’re out of beer and beef jerky they may become more pliable.

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