Community Service

It’s only March and I’m already in the ohgodwhenwillthisend phase of the political year. So let’s think about something more cheerful.

The Malheur Malcontents are still in jail. That’s something.

Saturday the faithful held demonstrations of support for the imprisoned, um, patriots. More than one hundred people rallied outside the Portland federal courthouse.

The so-called patriot movement made efforts to broaden its message to connect with other activist groups like Black Lives Matter. …

…”These people that are in these cells up here, right now, they’re guilty of a community service act,” said Rich Morelan, an Aumsville, Oregon, man who helped organize the protest. “They came in and they cleaned that [refuge] building up. There was no violence.”…

…The Malheur refuge was found in a state of disarray, the manager calling it “one big mess.” The Paiute tribe is still reeling from the disruption of their sacred sites on refuge grounds.

“Imagine if I went to Washington, D.C., to the cemetery where all the military are and dug a hole and made a latrine out of it, like they did to my people’s burial grounds,
he said. “That’s the only way I can explain it to non-natives.”

Cliven Bundy appeared before a federal judge Friday.

Bundy, 69, stood with a deputy federal public defender at his side as he heard the 16 charges against him including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer, obstruction of justice, interference with interstate commerce by extortion and several firearms charges.

There is some question about whether Cliven qualifies for a public defender.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Hoffman said Bundy would remain in custody until at least next Thursday. The time will let him hire a lawyer or file revised financial disclosure forms.

The judge expressed doubt about whether a report that Bundy filed in Oregon qualifies him for a lawyer at federal expense.

Cliven own a ranch and a whole lot of cattle, right? Turns out rounding up Cliven’s cattle won’t be easy.

The 69-year-old landowner, whose ranch 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas was the scene of a 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, was arrested last month on charges related to the Nevada incident when he left his ranch to travel to Oregon, where his sons were involved in another standoff with federal officials. Meanwhile, his 1,000 head of cattle are still roaming federal lands due, in part, to his absence and also to what officials call his “unconventional, if not bizarre” ranching methods.

“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,” said court documents filed by federal prosecutors last month. “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.” …

… With Bundy in prison, his cows are “left to fend for themselves year-round, fighting off predators and scrounging for the meager amounts of food and water,” according to federal prosecutors. In addition, the authorities maintain that the surviving cattle are “wild, mean and ornery” and are destroying fragile plant species and even destroying sacred Indian artifacts.

No wonder he had plenty of time to stand around talking to journalists. He doesn’t do any work. Apparently if he needs to sell some cattle he goes out and traps some. They also show up on roads and golf courses and other people’s property. Sounds like rounding them up and getting them off that land would be a real community service.

There were more arrests last week of “militia” members who participated in the 2014 standoff. These included two more of Clivin’s sons — Davey, 39, and Mel, 41 — and Jerry DeLemus, the New Hampshire co-chair for Donald Trump.   I’m surprised there were enough un-arrested people left to hold demonstrations. Lots of felony charges are being brought against these guys; I suspect their bad ranching days are over.

Meanwhile, the people who run Malheur say it’s a big mess. Not much structural damage, but files were scattered and the offices need a lot of cleaning. Also there was a lot of habitat work that had to be postponed because of the occupation.

27 thoughts on “Community Service

  1. To paraphrase what Ralph Kramer used to say:
    They tried to connect with WHO?
    Black Lives Matter!

    That sounds like the same level of brilliance and “strategery” that caused all of these Bible-spouting, gun-fondling ammosexual sociopathic losers and loons, to end up facing some serious jail time!

    Is one of “Morons of Malheur” named Hardy?
    Because then, he could say, “Well, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Ammo!”

    Oh, and can to imagine if a black rancher let his ranch go to shit, and had his cattle running wild all over the place, with the mommy cows not knowing who calf’s father is, what all of the conservative bigots would say about it?
    “Cotton comes to his ghetto ranch! That there Nigrah’s ruinin’ the whole damn ranch neighborhood, an’ lowerin’ our proper value’s!”

    If they made a western movie about this gang that can’t think straight, they couldn’t get John Wayne, or Alan Ladd, or Jack Palance, to star in it.
    Hell, they couldn’t get John Cleese, Alan Arkin, or Jack Benny to play the leads!
    Paging “Second City TV!”

  2. I hear a lot about free range chickens..As a matter of fact my mother in law insists on buying eggs that are laid by free range chickens..I’m wondering if the same logic could be applied to free range cows.. no stress, no artificial chemicals in their diet, and all the benefits of being raised a environment like the good Lord intended for them. I would assume that given all those wonderful attributes that Bundy’s cows would draw a premium on the open market.
    You hear so much about Trump steaks being the best steaks in America. Why doesn’t the government cash in on marketing Bundy steaks?

  3. Swami,
    Mad owner = mad-cow disease?

    “Get your Bundy steak now, and we’ll throw in a free case of Flint water, FREE!!!”

  4. Well, if you want something uplifting and positive…Today I’m celebrating 41 years of marital bliss…My wife really hit the jackpot when she met me.. 🙂

  5. Congrat’s Swami!

    I heven’t even wanted to live with myself for 41 years, let alone all 58.

  6. Wonderful, Swami! Happy anniversary.

    Working in property insurance in a farming and ranching state, I’ve seen plenty examples of responsible versus shockingly irresponsible agricultural practices. Cliven Bundy is a lazy worthless sack o’ sumpin, that much is certain. He steals from all of us by running his “free-range” cattle on public lands and avoiding the grazing fees. (It bears repeating: he’s no better than someone who steals books from the public library, or computers from a public school.) He mistreats his cattle by failing to provide for their needs. I can’t imagine who would even buy his animals… Ken-L-Ration?

  7. Congratulations Swami. Judging by your insights, your gift for expression and your sense of humor, I think she probably did hit the jackpot. A soulmate is the greatest gift that life can give you.

    Maybe after forty one years you can answer a question that’s been nagging me for decades. Why do women put up with us?

    By the way, I think free range chickens still live in “cages,” but the cages are left open. They are habituated to limit their “range.” They have brains the size of lentils, after all.

    Pastured chickens wander about at will, as our chickens do. They eat bugs, and anything else they find. They’re darn near omnivorous. The yolk of a pastured chicken egg is a beautiful orange color due to xanthophyll which is a fancy way of saying “orangey color stuff,” or so I gather.

    “Nothing feels like ‘something for nothing’ like finding a fresh laid egg.” (I can’t remember who I stole that quote from.)

  8. goatherd,
    Chickens have brains the size of lentils?

    When does the GOP argue for voting rights for them?

  9. Joan,

    What do you have against omni/carnivorous pets?!? 😉

  10. So, the latrine trench thing. Didn’t the facility have bathrooms? There were never that many of them there. Septic system full is all I can think of.

  11. Swami: Happy Anniversary! I truly am jealous of anyone who can find a soulmate and have many years of marital bliss. I bet you hit the jackpot also.

  12. Why do women put up with us?
    goatherd..It’s the attitude behind that question that provides your answer. And now you know why I’m a swami. 🙂

    I don’t know about the technical details of free range least in regard to the quality of the eggs produced..but in my mother in law’s case it is more of an anthropomorphic assignment to the emotional well being of chickens. I guess after watching undercover videos of Frank Perdue’s chicken harvesting operations one might tend to equate that lack of love and caring can transfer into the quality of the product.

  13. Actually CUND, their brains are more peanut sized, I was just using hyperbolic, speciesist rhetoric.

    You reminded me of the wonderful Molly Ivins’ description of a member of the Texas “Lege.” “If he were any dumber, they’d have to water him three times a week.”

    Gosh, I miss her.

  14. Peanut-sized?
    Oh, you mean like right-leaning Independents!

    Oh, I miss Molly too!

  15. Happy Anniversary, Swami! My last Anniversary was just a few days before my flight and I was in Virginia waiting for clear weather over DC. This time we will be back in DC, but together, one day before sentencing. Am I a romantic guy or what? If my wife kills me, they won’t charge her with anything more than a misdemeanor.

  16. “in my mother in law’s case it is more of an anthropomorphic assignment to the emotional well being of chickens.”

    I think a lot of the marketing is just that, but the fact remains, all living things have a consciousness, and possibly some things that we can’t conceive as sentient. In fifteen years of living with chickens, I am still amazed when I gain an insight into their world and their relationships. Animals, even in what we condescendingly call the “lower orders,” seem to be engaged with the world and with others, both of their species and not.

    So basically, I think you, and your mother-in-law are right on the money. The quality of an animal’s life often does have an effect on the quality of the product, and if not, it’s just the decent thing to do.

    We stopped milking a few years back. I could have sold off the goats to some Mexican friends who have a more practical mindset. But, instead we’re taking the point of view that these few acres are home to the lot of us, four legged and not. I’ll bury most of them, and maybe some of them will bury me, in a figurative sense. They’re rubbish at hard labor.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to sound condescending, I will need a few more lifetimes to be a swami, if I ever make it that far. At any rate I have no idea why women put up with us. But, I am glad that they do.

    It’s your anniversary eve, so “Cheers.” I wish I could send you a dozen fresh farm eggs. They really are quite different.

  17. Thank you everyone for your well wishes!

    Doug, How are things on the home front? I would imagine that with all the things before you, and all the penalties you will have to endure as a result of your protest that the one area where you would look to find comfort would be in the relationship with your loved ones.
    I say that because I know in my relationship with my wife we used to find separation in the fact that I was getting high at work. My behaviour was never such that I was out of control or brought any substances into the home, but nevertheless, her contention was that I was putting our security( primarily financial) at risk. I could understand her concern in the realm of possibility but I couldn’t accept her argument in the realm of probability. I was doing what I felt didn’t endanger my family.
    I know that might be a piss poor analogy. But the reality is that your wife is taking the hit with and I wouldn’t expect her to be all smiles, but I hope that in the area of your relationship you have communion and comfort on the road that lays before you. We all need a place to lick our wounds whether they are inflicted justly or unjustly.. and that place is in the embrace of those we love.

  18. Not only is it nice to be loved, it is essential. Today is my daughter’s 2nd anniversary, her first marriage. She had boyfriends but had resolved never to get married and have kids. So, she finally found a jewel and I guess was tired of the single life and got married. He is a great guy and takes very good care of her and she takes good care of him. My marriage lasted 17 yrs and I never had that kind of relationship. Guess that’s why it didn’t last. At least, he was a good sperm donor and I have great kids. They are very devoted to me and I feel very lucky.
    This is also the BD of my first son who was killed in a car accident in 1992 so I am feeling a little sad, nostalgic (or something) today.

  19. Grannyeagle – wow. I am happy for your daughter, so sorry about your son. Ditto the hugs!

  20. Granny, only love can get you through the hard times and sad memories, and it sounds like you have a lot of love, coming and going. I hope the joy that you feel for your daughter’s good fortune will carry you through.

  21. I appreciate everyone’s compassion. As Mr. Spock (my dog, my buddy) keeps reminding me: Love is all that matters. Yes, there is plenty of love in my life and I am grateful.

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