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More on Oregon

The background on the “arsons” the Hammonds were accused of. And more on the vicious prosecutorial overreach.

This looks very much like Ruby Ridge all over again — the liberal self-righteousness against the “armed nuts,” the prejudicial distortions in the media, and the handful of citizens standing alone against a bullying fedgov — except that (knock wood) no one yet has died.

(H/T GL)


  1. Karen
    Karen January 5, 2016 8:58 am

    From the article;
    “While “arsons” might sound suspicious to urban ears, anyone familiar with land management in the West (and to a lesser degree, in the rural South and Midwest) knows that land must sometime be burned to stop the spread of invasive species and prevent or fight destructive wildfires. Indeed, the federal government frequently starts its own fires, and protesters allege (with video evidence) that these “burns” often spread to private land, killing and injuring cattle and damaging private property. Needless to say, no federal officers are ever prosecuted.”

    That was my first thought in this whole mess. Here in Colorado, the Forest Service and BLM are always doing controlled burns on federal land for fire mitigation purposes. There’s one going on right now a couple of miles north of us, very close to town.

    Locally, the only backlash I’ve ever heard about a civilian doing a burn was one guy who got a smallish fine for not having a permit. Makes me wonder whose pocket the offensive judge is in.

  2. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth January 5, 2016 11:44 am

    This whole thing is just redlining the “provocateurs to the left and right” alarm, isn’t it?

    Saw me a funny on the TwitFace yesterday, in regards to this current cluster-coitus. The quote was:

    “You cannot have a peaceful protest armed. They are protesting with weapons because their friends committed a crime”

    The funny is that the dark-skinned fella posting the piece, posted it as “X”.

    Hm. Well, maybe he knows something I don’t. Perhaps he could explain this principle of his–that any display of weaponry is ipso facto a statement of aggression, rather than resolve, and that any who would do it do so only to excuse criminal misanthropy in themselves and their own–to a few others he has presumably heard of. Whatsay he begin with Malcolm X, the Deacons, Frederick Douglass, and even Huey Newton?

  3. pigpen51
    pigpen51 January 6, 2016 1:44 pm

    And once again, Claire has taught me to always investigate before making any judgement. I was pretty sure that the Hammond had set fires that had gotten away from them and burned federal land. They just didn’t want to fight the fight with
    Now, after reading this, clearly there is much, much more than meets the eye to this story. Or should I say meets the media. It certainly seems like another case of the government trying to screw another family, ala Ruby Ridge.
    The unfortunate fact that people who have an agenda have inserted themselves into the midst of this to stoke the fire is probably not going to help our cause.
    It seems like the only honorable bunch involved in this are the Hammond family. They are of course the once who are getting shafted. I hope none of them get shot by the feds.

  4. Claire
    Claire January 6, 2016 1:53 pm

    Well said, pigpen51.

    Don’t know if everybody has seen these statements from Oath Keepers. But here they are, just in case. Urgent one at the top, but basic OK position on the situation below.

    Clearly there are two separate issues here — the fedgov’s grasping persecution of the Hammonds (and history of using mafia-style intimidation and threats against landowners all over the west), and the standoff by Ammon Bundy et al. which is only indirectly related the Hammonds.

  5. pigpen51
    pigpen51 January 6, 2016 6:48 pm

    Stewart Rhodes was on Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis on Jan 4. I don’t usually listen to him, but I was dialing around the radio and happened upon it, so listened a bit. Rhodes was quite vocal in his displeasure at the entire fact that Payne and the Bundy guy and his bunch were out there, distancing the both the oathkeepers and the III % ers from the lot of them. I didn’t listen to all of it, just enough to get his feelings for that group. He seems like a straight shooter, but I haven’t checked him out yet, but rest assured I will before I make any decisions about him. I learn slowly, but I learn.

  6. Laird
    Laird January 7, 2016 8:03 am

    There was a fairly decent piece about this in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

    There are lots of issues here, but all stem from (what else?) government overreach. The Hammonds set small fires, for entirely legitimate reasons, on their own property which, in two instances, spread to neighboring federal land and caused a small amount of damage there. For this they have been charged (and convicted) under terrorism statutes. Everything about this is wrong, from the ridiculously broad interpretation of “terrorism” to the government’s entirely unconstitutional claim of ownership of so much western land. But the worst is that this is all politically motivated: the BLM has coveted that land for years, and will play any dirty trick possible to get it. This is a serious issue, not generally understood or appreciated by those of us back east.

  7. Old Printer
    Old Printer January 7, 2016 11:11 pm

    There is no easy way for an individual to fight a government agency, federal or state, that has been captured by the environmental religion. There in an interlocking relationship between private non-profits like conservancies and land trusts and many federal agencies. The BLM, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife, National Monuments and Parks, and even Tribal entities are all grasping for more and more private land to enlarge their fiefdoms. And the conservancies, under the guise of protecting an endangered species, saving wetlands, or just setting aside “natural” areas bring lawsuits, buy up easements, tear down dams, restrict access, and finally partner with government agencies such as BLM to achieve what they cannot get through the legal process. What is happening to the Hammonds is one result.

    At the opposite end of Oregon and across the Columbia in SW Washington, the same process is ongoing. A nominally private land trust is buying up land with money they’ve gotten access to through a lawsuit won against the Bonneville Power Administration. The money is advanced to the land trust to buy up land adjacent to the Columbia River and its tributaries as mitigation for all the land lost upstream when the dams were built in the 1930s. The cover for this land grab is wetland and fish spawning habitat restoration. But ultimately it will become a part of the Lewis & Clark National Monument or Park. As they get closer to that day, the full force of land confiscation will be needed for the recalcitrant hold outs, like the Hammonds. And just like the Burns Paiutes who I doubt are a federally recognized tribe and who held a press conference to condemn the Bundy boys, the “Chinook” tribe which isn’t federally recognized, want their land back along the Colulmbia.

    I have much sympathy for the folks trying to stop this. But the cards are stacked against them. It’s much better to pick the battles you can win. Or, adopt the tactics of the Earth Firsters, but in reverse. Seems to me someone wrote a book about that.

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