January 13, 2016

#BrokebackOregon: Intelligence held hostage, week 2

Update, Jan. 26: Ammon Bundy and seven other Ammonites have reportedly been arrestedwith one dead after exchange of gunfire with federal and state officials.

This happened on the way to a community meeting in John Day, in another county, where, per this piece, the sheriff there is apparently a Posse Comitatus type guy.

The fact that the "jamokes" were apparently either dumb enough, or arrogant enough, to try to, or think they could, drive 100 miles from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to John Day, and hope they'd go scot-free, speaks volumes all by itself.

Ammon Bundy and the other jamokes, asshats, or bags of dicks have now entered the second week after taking over a portion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and resolution seems no nearer.

Part of this traces back to Washington, D.C, per The Guardian a week ago. It reported that Dear Leader was allegedly going to shut off the power there by Monday. Guess that's about as factual as Tricky Dick's secret plan to end the Vietnam War. Shock me.

And, with that said, a few updated observations about the Oregon situation, aka Oregon Held Hostage.

(Note: For #BrokebackOregon or #BundyEroticFanFic, go to this blog post with some quite purplish, and turgid, prose.)

1. Who's who at Malheur? High Country News gives profiles of Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and other occupiers, as well as in-town supporters in Burns. Although Ammon has emerged (or been put forward) as the public face of the takeover, it notes that brother Ryan is even more strident.

Many of the in-town folks didn't support the Bundys taking over the NWR, but, nonetheless, refuse to go home. (Yet more on the relative lack of support here.)

2. It is stupid, this event, but, if our US gummint has brains, can be solved easily enough, assuming no employees are being held.

You keep the area of the refuge that's occupied, and even more any building, surrounded and you cut off the water supply as well as the electricity to the visitor's center building, trumping Potus Bear by one utility. Given that it got down to 10 degrees Sunday night, cut off the power, and they'll be cold enough, soon enough. And, while they may have brought food, you cut off the water, and all they'll have otherwise is bits of powdery high-desert snow, and that outside the building.

And, no, this shouldn't be that hard. Men like the U.S. Marshals have individual marshals for stuff like this.

3. That said, good luck on Harney County Judge Steve Gratsy (similar, in this county, to the Texas/Southern county judge) in trying to bill the Brokeback Oregon folks for county expenses related to the occupation, and anything possibly related to its outside supporters. You and what army, since Obama ain't sending anybody?

The fact that other self-identified militia leaders oppose the occupation show that if this is handled tactfully, this will work.

4. Unfortunately, by the Bureau of Land Management and Dear Leader not having adequate cojones vis-a-vis Cliven Bundy (shock me) it encouraged something like this to happen. I don't need the WaPost to give me official MSM confirmation of this, though it does. And I am "shocked" that the Southern Poverty Law Center is part of worrying about this. Has there been a single extremist or quasi-extremist group it hasn't liked to vilify for fundraising purposes?

High Country News has much more. A former BLM head admits that, going back a full decade, his agency was too timid with the Bundys. Flip side is that today's BLM has a hang 'em high mentality.

HCN also has a much better insight on Bundy.

So, after the Malheur situation is cleaned up, Obama and the BLM need to find some balls. Yeah, right. If members of the AA-level militia have left the NWR to go to a motel, Obama will apparently never have balls.

Besides Dear Leader having no balls, the key person in a lot of this is BushCo Interior Secretary Gale Norton, former lackey of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, key factotum for the so-called "Wise Use" movement that succeeded the Sagebrush Rebellion.

5. Gale Norton et al leading to the Bundys show that "rule of law" is as selectively applied by wingnuts as is worrying about deficits. Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward has made clear that Group Bundy supporters and other militia types have increased harassment of people since the trespassing began, including of county residents who Group Bundy is supposed to be drawing to its side.

Update 1: All right! I think we have our first 2016 entrant in the Darwin Awards, and it's a Brokeback Oregon supporter to boot.

Update 2: Brokeback Oregon says it will have a community meeting on Friday and announce when it intends to leave at that meeting. Yeah, sure. You'll say you're leaving "when the community is strong enough," which it said a week ago, or other bullshit with no date certain. I mean, it was LaVoy Finicum of lonely cows and #BundyEroticFanFic hashtag purple romance fame who made both the Jan. 13 statement and the one a week earlier.

(That meeting was scrubbed after local government officials said a meeting site couldn't be used.)

Update 3: I don't know how close to, or far away from, the visitor center the fire watchtower at Malheur is, but I call it further mismanagement of the situation by Dear Leader that the criminals have access to it. It also makes it harder to isolate the visitor center. And, the lack of a cordon has allowed the criminals to get their "snacks" and more substantial food.

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