Same Song, Next Verse

This is a blog, not a cable news channel, so I don’t want to turn this into all militia all the time, but when I was a teenager we had one of these sovereign citizen kooks in our home town, so I have a little perspective on this foolishness.

The ur-kook of the posse comitatus/sovereign citizen kookery is a guy named Gordon Kahl. Old Gordo believed that he could avoid paying taxes to the IRS, or as he called the agency, the “Synagogue of Satan under the 2nd plank of the Communist Manifesto.” Gordon killed two federal marshals in a shootout near Medina, ND, and then was killed in a shootout in Arkansas. Kahl became a bit of a folk hero for nut cases, and he was even the subject of a protest songs as part of his martyrdom. I remember one with the refrain “Calling Gordon Kahl”, but the only one I could find on YouTube was The Ballad of Gordon Kahl.

This was in the mid-80s, when large banks were pulling out of the agricultural loan business. In doing so, they’d call in notes of farmers, some of whom could not get financing from smaller, regional banks. There were a lot of auctions and foreclosures, and a lot of farmers lost everything. Gordon and his followers recruited from this group of (rightfully) angry farmers. One of their recruits lived in my home town, and I watched his downward trajectory.

It started with long letters to the editor of the local paper, filled with circular, strident nonsense about the natural rights of man to avoid taxes. I don’t remember the details of the manifestos this guy wrote, but they had the hallmarks of general kookery, including references to odd readings of the Constitution and the mis-use of legalisms like “posse comitatus”. Then the guy started attending every meeting that involved a politician, which included one I attended where he read, dead-eyed and monotonously, from a long mimeographed screed. Finally, when it was time for the sheriff to foreclose, it ended in an armed standoff at his farm. Luckily, this guy wasn’t as far-gone as Kahl, so the standoff ended peacefully, and he was carted off to jail and ultimately the state penitentiary.

The important point is that this kind of nuttery is not new. It’s essentially anarchism undergirded by flowery, circular, legalistic horseshit. The militant anarchism attracts people with more guns than sense. The legalistic horseshit attracts people who feel they’ve been screwed over by banks and government, and are attracted to a leader who they believe has found them a way to screw those institutions back. It’s an ugly mix, but it’s been around a long time.

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187 replies
  1. 1
    negative 1 says:

    It may not be new but there seems to be a difference between your story and the current one. Cliven Bundy had no such tragedy as having his farm auctioned off as far as I’ve read, he just refused to pay because he falsely believes he doesn’t have to.
    No matter how hateful they become I seem to always have some sympathy to those that have arrived at their hate because of awful things that have happened to them. I feel, and felt, badly for those farmers that lost their farms. They were screwed, and despite what they became I still feel for them. I feel no such leanings towards Bundy.

  2. 2
    Poopyman says:

    The legalistic horseshit attracts people who feel they’ve been screwed over by banks and government, and are attracted to a leader who they believe has found them a way to screw those institutions back. It’s an ugly mix, but it’s nothing new.

    Loons will always find a reason for their rage. The trouble is, it’s become obvious that people really were/are being screwed over by banks and government. I’d be looking for some recourse too, if it happened to me.

    Obama’s famous “I’m the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks” comment to the banksters was accurate. Maybe next time (and there will be a next time) the government shouldn’t be so complicit. It won’t stop loons from being loons, I’ll admit, but might cut down on the number of demi-loons looking for a Second Amendment remedy.

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    We had a kook like that in a neighborhood I lived in about a decade ago. This particular kook was notable for dressing in camouflage all the time and refusing to affix state-issued license plates to his vehicle, opting instead to create a homemade sign on his Jeep that fulfilled the same purpose. From what I heard, he petitioned the state for this exception.

    I didn’t know the guy, just saw him drive down our street from time to time, and his vehicle was noticeable because of the clanking sign that replaced the license plate. One day we heard helicopters hovering overhead and bulletins on the news about some nutjob being arrested in a homemade bunker filled with ordnance and weapons. Sure enough, it was license plate guy.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @negative 1: I see Bundy more as the Kahl figure in this play – he originated a new brand of kookery centered around the BLM instead of the IRS.

  6. 6
    Cermet says:

    Until the IQ of the average wingnut rises above negative, they will continue to blame government rather than the real criminals – capitalism and its most hideous creation: corporations.

  7. 7
    Morbo says:

    So I saw a picture making the rounds yesterday captioned as a militia member lining up his shot on federal agents. How long do you suppose he would be allowed to do that if he were not white?

  8. 8
    Belafon says:

    There’s a party that would actually listen to their grievances, but these people can’t even think straight enough to figure it out. The vote for the party that backs the right to throw people out of their homes, and instead think that the one organization (the government) with the power to help them is evil.

    As for Bundy, he just wants the benefits of being in the United States without any of the responsibilities.

  9. 9
    Poopyman says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix: BLM, IRS, it’s all the same – some part of the government taken over by that Kenyan, so it’s not legitimately the US govt. That’s why they have no problem flying the flag of their US of A.

  10. 10
    Yatsuno says:

    @Belafon:

    As for Bundy, he just wants the benefits of being in the United States without any of the responsibilities.

    This sums up all wingnut/glibertarian thinking right there. All the benefits, none of the costs.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Belafon: True. It shouldn’t surprise me that even establishmentarian wingnuts are jumping on the Bundy bandwagon, but it does, in a way. The GOP has been defining kookery down for awhile, but it really accelerated about 5-1/2 years ago for some reason…

  12. 12
    Yatsuno says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m randomly hugging you just to randomly hug you. Hi lady!

    The GOP has been defining kookery down for awhile, but it really accelerated about 5-1/2 years ago for some reason…

    Now what could that possibly be…

    This is why I want Hillary to run and win. Not only would she likely bring in a helluva Congress (BRING BACK NANCY SMASH!) but she would have to be nudged into more progressive positions and I bet she’d go along with that. Plus the wingnut freakout would be EPIC.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    The important point is that this kind of nuttery is not new. It’s essentially anarchism undergirded by flowery, circular, legalistic horseshit.

    There are numerous honorable strands in anarchist thought. It’s a wide world out there.

  14. 14
    Citizen_X says:

    It’s essentially anarchism

    That’s a funny way to spell “fascism.”

    Look, the song you linked to was some Christian-Identity bullshit, posted by a Holocaust-denying neo-nazi. These people are violently opposing a decline in privilege of the True American Volk. It’s fascism any way you look at it.

    Here, learn about an anarchist. Anarchists may be ruthless, or dense, or (in Durruti’s case) criminal much of the time, but they’re Utopians who don’t like Capital, don’t like religion, and really don’t like Fascists.

  15. 15
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Not only would she likely bring in a helluva Congress…

    How would she do that? The House seems lost to us for the foreseeable future.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    I think there is just as much, or quite similar, crazy in urban areas because people are under stress here, too. But in urban areas kooky people, and kooky black people, tend to bump up against laws and authorities and neighbors more because of the density of population and law enforcement. My guess is that (some) of these people get picked up and locked up for disorderly conduct or neighborhood complaints or non compliance with police somewhat faster than a nearly identical person in a rural area. There’s just more room for people to be crazy in rural (and some suburban and ex urban) places. There’s less law enforcement, less chance for a blow up/fight with neighbors, and more tolerance of and fear of crazy people with guns.

    My point is there are crazy autodidacts with a hate on for authority/banks/schools etc.. in urban areas as well as rural but that the urban ones get reigned in faster.

  17. 17
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I admit to composing sacred songs and a complex mythology around you but I promise never to jump on your head.

    Be well.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    If the cowboy and supporters were Blah instead of cracker, does Fox still support their insurrection?

    Ha ha! I crack myself up sometimes.

  19. 19
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    I always like to have the constitution nutsplained to me.

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    @aimai: the urban ones get reigned in faster.

    The urban ones have to be more tolerant because they are rubbing elbows with lots of other people. If they can’t handle that, they take to the woods with a pocketknife and a bag of salt… and get deeper into the paranoia.

    It might be a chicken/egg situation where rural types more easily avoid social situations, but then lose their tolerance for them, as well.

  21. 21
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Punchy:

    If the cowboy and supporters were Blah instead of cracker, does Fox still support their insurrection?

    Sure they would. Why any minute now Fox will be starting work on a four-part miniseries commemorating the Black Panther Party. Rumor has it that they’re in negotiations to have Angela Davis host it.

  22. 22
    Rand Careaga says:

    These people are being fitted for brown shirts.

  23. 23
    Belafon says:

    @Rand Careaga: “Hey you, you get the special red shirt.”

  24. 24
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Belafon:
    If they get into a firefight with the Feds they will be wearing brown pants.

  25. 25
    dubo says:

    At least Bundy is willing to fight for his twisted beliefs. Hannity and the others egging him on are the truly repulsive ones.

  26. 26
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @dubo: Yeah, nothing screams noble warrior like using women and children as human shields.

  27. 27
    mai naem says:

    These people who don’t want to pay taxes – I get how they think the moochers are taking all their money, they don’t want public schools,no IRS, no BATF etc. etc. but how the hell do they intend to pay the police who show up when they get into an accident ? How do they think airports are built? The Coast Guard. The border guards. Is a magic fairy going to come down and do something if there’s a major pandemic? The free market’s going to take care of salmonella laced meat? An oil spill? A forest fire? Who’s going to look after Uncle Harold who has Alzheimers, who lives 2000 miles away and has no kids to look after him?
    I swear these are just like the GOPrs who don’t have a replacement for O-care because a replacement for O-care with what they want to keep of O-care would look like O-care. Their government would look similar to the current one with what they’ll want to provide.

  28. 28
    danielx says:

    The important point is that this kind of nuttery is not new.

    Not anything new, indeed. It died down somewhat after the Oklahoma City bombing, and even more so after the election of He Who Must Not Be Named, aka that RINO who sat in the Oval Office from 2001 through 2008. But hey, once that well known ruthless plotter/weakling/islamofascistsoshulist was in (their) White House, time to crank up the paranoia! Trouble is that after twelve years of war, there are a lot of wingnuts who have acquired serious skill at mayhem.

  29. 29
    Cassidy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: And red shirts.

    I work with one of these kooks. He’s an unrepentant bigot, wants to be a sovereign citizen without the balls to shoot at armed LEO’s. I related the story a couple days ago how he said it’s time for a revolution re: this story on the news. I laughed at him and told him people who say that have clearly never seen what a Bradley Fighting Vehicle does to people. He started in on some bullshit about the Army firing on “America’s sons and daughters” but I walked away since it was time to go home. Strangely enough, his partner has informed me that he really doesn’t like me.

    Shorter point, these people are cowards. They’re not going to pick a fight. They are all waiting for someone else to do it for them.

  30. 30
    smith says:

    some bullshit about the Army firing on “America’s sons and daughters”

    Next time ask him about Kent State.

  31. 31
    ericblair says:

    @WereBear:

    The urban ones have to be more tolerant because they are rubbing elbows with lots of other people. If they can’t handle that, they take to the woods with a pocketknife and a bag of salt… and get deeper into the paranoia.

    I think there’s a fair bit of sorting going on. You got to see that when the teabaggers were in DC for their demonstrations: they really, really got uncomfortable in close proximity to strangers, and it’s not just a matter of what they’re used to. If you’ve got a large aggro radius you’re going to get out of urban areas and into the exurbs or rural areas. It’s not a matter of liking the outdoors; it’s very much not being able to tolerate getting near unknown people.

  32. 32
    Gene108 says:

    @Cermet:

    Corporations do not make it illegal to have sawed off shotguns. Corporations do not make it illegal or next to impossible to obtain fully automatic firearms, RPG launchers, etc.

    I am not sure if it is still the case, but there was a nexus between the gun-nuts wanting more firepower, deciding the Feds could not supersede local laws and white supremacists. Randy Weaver (Ruby Ridge) was selling guns to white supremacists, which got him in trouble.

    There has always been a group of right-wing fascists in this country, who want use the threat of force to get their way. They often had the blessings of their local governments. Thus we have the KKK, the coup de etat of the Wilmington, NC government in 1898, etc.

  33. 33
    eric says:

    It is Calvinball. When the government suits their interests, go ahead and lock up the brown hoard under absurd drug sentencing guidelines. Make laws requiring women carrying babies to term. Repeat ad naseum. Some are wackier than others, but the principal is the same. No longer are “we” imago dei, but “I’ am imago dei.

  34. 34
    Cassidy says:

    @smith: He’s in his 20’s and not incredibly bright. Shift change happens at 0730 and I have zero interest in staying past that to get someone caught up on modern history.

  35. 35
    Mudge says:

    I lived in Fargo when Kahl killed the Federal marshals. Horrible time. We knew relatives of one of the marshals killed. There seem to be more like Kahl than ever these days, but yes the type has been around forever.

  36. 36
    El Caganer says:

    @mai naem: Remember “tell the gubmint to keep its hands off my Medicare?” These creatures devour cognitive dissonance for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  37. 37
    WereBear says:

    @ericblair: It’s not a matter of liking the outdoors; it’s very much not being able to tolerate getting near unknown people.

    Huh. Folds right in with my own experience, which is kind of, “If you knew me better you’d despise me.”

  38. 38
    justawriter says:

    Went to college with a guy who was making out with his girlfriend on the coach of his family’s trailer house a block or two from where the shootout happened. They heard the gunshots, saw the cop lights and hit the deck for the duration.
    For 30 years Grand Forks had a right wing looney book store where you could learn all sorts of things, like ND governor Al Olson was running drugs and a prostitution ring out of his office in the capitol. This was not the looniest thing they believed, by far. (Olson was probably the squarest person to be governor in the last 100 years, which in North Dakota is saying something)

  39. 39
    catclub says:

    @mai naem: “How do they think”
    Facts not in evidence. Also, cognitive dissonance held in check by … not thinking.

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    @negative 1:

    Cliven Bundy had no such tragedy as having his farm auctioned off as far as I’ve read, he just refused to pay because he falsely believes he doesn’t have to.

    He did have the land he and his family had been ranching on for over a century designated as critical desert tortoise habitat, which forced him to change the way he was ranching. My understanding is that is the original core of the dispute. The refusal to pay grazing fees started as part of his complaint about the environmental regulations surrounding the tortoise. The BLM has wisely focused on his refusal to pay them because it puts him clearly in the wrong, but it’s only part of the dispute.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    Probably back in the day there was some caveman who refused to share whatever he killed on the hunt after his fellow cavemen protected him so he could get in position for the kill. When they took it from him by force he started spouting off about Cave Traditions and Rules and how Founding Cavefathers never meant for the kill to be shared with those who didn’t hunt. Etc.

  42. 42
    KG says:

    @mai naem: they think airports were built by the free market – I mean airlines are private companies and need places to land/take off, so, duh. As for the police, they don’t believe they need them – I had a Wingnut once tell me that if you “eliminated the government” in some small american town, nothing would change because of the culture. They had no answer about what happens when someone realizes they don’t have to obey stop signs or speed limits and kills someone (shockingly, I know, the answer to violent crime was more violence). If they’d actually read, I’d say they are Lockean – as in believing the natural world is all puppies, ice cream, and beer. They believe an unregulated market (which they call “free”) would solve all the problems, it might take time in your salmonella example, but eventually people would stop buying meat from that company… Assuming that company hasn’t become a monopoly, which (of course) only exist because of government (no really, I was told that, and when I said “ever hear of Standard Oil?” I was blown off)

  43. 43
    smith says:

    @Violet: And then they threw him to the sabretooths and human evolution proceeded apace. Where oh where are the sabretooths when you need them?

  44. 44
    KG says:

    @smith: global warming killed them off

  45. 45
    aimai says:

    @Roger Moore: There’s something weird about the way you are giving this guy a pass for attempting to continue a certain ranching style over a century on land that has been changing and subjected to ecologicla stress for over a century.

    If I were still doing things the way my ancestors did “a century ago” I would be thought an absolute fool. If I were still exploiting the same resources or trying to live and work with the same exact resource base or tools that my ancestors used a century ago most people would think me crazy as they would have worn out or been altered or were no longer suitable to modern life.

    There is nothing in the statement “owning or doing X for more than 100 years” that makes that practice morally or legally or environmentally appropriate today. In fact, quite the opposite. It is perfectly possible that land that was marginally suited to cattle ranching on an occasional basis 100 years ago (not his land, never his land) has been so degraded and overused in the interim, or become so scarce as a proportion of the overall land available, that the current owners (the BLM)have changed their mind about what makes sense to do with it. You’d expect that over 100 years.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    Fuck this insurrectionist bullshit.If they want to live their lives angry and punching at imaginary enemies, let’em. I got better shit to do.

  47. 47
    kindness says:

    I have old college friends that later became ‘militia’/teabagger types. The one thing I find most hypocritical of all these folks is they denounce anybody getting any help from the government via services, medical care or retirement but they are first in line for claiming they are owed (or ought to be owed) free stuff by that very same government.

    When you point out their hypocrisy they deny it is anything like that at all.

    For me I’d just as soon let a shooting war start so these ‘fine’ citizens could find themselves no longer a problem for us the living.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    “The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?””

    The Code of the Woosters, PG Wodehouse

  49. 49
    chopper says:

    This is a blog, not a cable news channel

    “this just in: john cole considering purchasing a car. we will keep on this story as it develops”

  50. 50
    Felonius Monk says:

    Oh, yes, Gordon Kahl. Well portrayed by Rod Steiger in the made-for-tv movie “Manhunt in the Dakotas” somewhere in the early 90’s.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    The important point is that this kind of nuttery is not new.

    Who is saying or arguing that it is?

  52. 52
    Penus says:

    It’s not going to get any better now that Republicans have started speaking out against the BLM and in defense of Bundy. But the environment was already in place. It’s aided by all the talk about nullification, combined with the NRA angrily telling Americans to buy more guns to protect against the jackbooted government thugs (and getting extensive political help to do so). Now we have a climate where there isn’t a political consensus to support enforcing a court finding of, essentially, theft.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @chopper: I can see the dramatic graphics now: “The Test Drive” “The Kicking of the Tires” “The Decision”.

    With music by John Williams.

  54. 54
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Brilliant!

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    @NotMax:

    i dunno. nobody who paid any attention during the 90’s at the very least. funny how these asshole nutjobs only start coming out of the woodwork when a democrat is in the white house.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @aimai: There you go, using those commie critical thinking skills again.

  57. 57
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    A coworker of my husband’s was reminiscing yesterday about growing up near
    Frazier Glenn Miller, calling his house just to listen to the rant on his answering machine.

    A friend sent me this link this morning. Still funny, and maybe a good time to resurrect it.

  58. 58
    Felonius Monk says:

    fist@Top:

    It’s essentially anarchism undergirded by flowery, circular, legalistic horseshit

    Like the kind that Larry Klayman spreads around?

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG: I once got into an argument with some idiot in the WaPo comments section (shame on me btw) who told me that the “free market” would have met the demand for an internet if only the government wouldn’t have gotten involved.

    This ignores the fact that the internet was created by the government in the first place. As were computers.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    Who is saying or arguing that it is?

    Just Mix trying to sound wise and thoughtful. In a very short time he has improved beyond two unnamed, unconfirmed sources, though, so some credit is due.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @aimai:
    I don’t want to give the guy a pass. I support environmental protections; if anything, I think we should shut down grazing in a lot more places and let the native wildlife back in. The desert habitat is very fragile, and cattle are terrible for it. But the point is that Bundy didn’t just up and decide that he didn’t have to pay grazing fees for no reason; that decision is part of a larger dispute that involves land use rules rather than just the cost of grazing fees. My suspicion is that he’s like the farmers Mix is describing at the top in that he had a core dispute with the government about something else and got sucked into crazy right-wing ideology because it provided him with a justification for not having to obey the rules.

  62. 62
    Senyordave says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Or they could just ask Michelle Obama to play the Angela Davis role. I’m sure they don’t see any difference between the two of them.

  63. 63
    hoodie says:

    Speaking of the history of another nut of the moment, Glenn Miller, there was a piece in the Raleigh paper by a former Duke school newspaper reporter who interviewed Miller back in the early 80’s. The reporter concealed that he was Jewish by using a false name and taking his waspish looking photographer with him. Miller didn’t figure it out, but one of his cohorts indicated that he “smelled a Jew.” This adds to the sick irony arising from Miller killing three non-jews during his rampage in Kansas City.

  64. 64
    🌷 Martin says:

    300 million guns in this country, presumably all justified to protect the citizenry from tyranny. They now proclaim to see the tyranny they fear, and none of them is willing to fire a shot. They’re either lying or cowards or both.

    I’m going with both.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    If this kook Bundy doesn’t believe in any authority higher than local ones, does that mean he also refuses to recognise the state of Nevada? Incidentally, in what country does he claim citizenship?

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @🌷 Martin

    Had he access to a time machine, would have been compelled to go back to kill Christ?

    There’s an SF short story in there somewhere. Paging Wiley Cash.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:

    Crap on a cracker. My bad.

    #86 should have been @hoodie>/a>

    Sorry ’bout that.

  68. 68
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Mnemosyne: That reminds me — it’s been at least two or three years since I last read “The Code of the Woosters.” I’m on it.

    I remember that one of Kahl’s neighbors said that Kahl was a pleasant, ordinary guy “until you mentioned taxes. Then he was off to the races.”

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    This was in the mid-80s, when large banks were pulling out of the agricultural loan business. In doing so, they’d call in notes of farmers, some of whom could not get financing from smaller, regional banks. There were a lot of auctions and foreclosures, and a lot of farmers lost everything. Gordon and his followers recruited from this group of (rightfully) angry farmers. One of their recruits lived in my home town, and I watched his downward trajectory.

    So, they were screwed over by big banks, and they reacted by pointing their righteous anger at… the IRS?

  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    Sigh. #66, not #86.

    Must. Make. Coffee.

  71. 71
    catclub says:

    @chopper: ” funny how these asshole nutjobs only start coming out of the woodwork when a democrat is in the white house. ”

    Randy Weaver was 1992 and Janet Reno was NOT the US Attorney General at the time.
    Wasn’t that just on the earlier review material about how to tell a nutjob?

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    @Chris: Because reasons and freedom.

  73. 73
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    I would be glad to contribute to a fund to put gold fringes on flags in the courtroom where Glenn Miller is tried, just to exacerbate the freak-out.

  74. 74
    japa21 says:

    Resistance is all a question of who is resisting and why. True, these same people would be reacting dirfferently if the skin hue of those protesting while armed was darker than theirs. But it goes beyond that.

    Look at Northern Wisconsin where the Governor is planning on selling off half the state to a mining company which will, effectively, destroy several thousand square miles of somewhat pristine wilderness. Many people are protesting and walking through the woods armed. These are white folks, in effect protesting a government action. What do the right wing nuts think? Many are advocating shooting them on sight. Why? Because they are liberal hippies protesting a sincere, legitimate state government, which just happens to be controlled by Republicans.

  75. 75
    amk says:

    The wingnutz rage against taxes but had no qualms in voting for that tax dodger extraordinaire mittbot and his ilk and for the party that openly sides with these tax dodgers.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    Just quickly checked and, unlike General Franco, Lyndon LaRouche is still not dead.

    Wonder if anyone from the world of media has tracked him down for a statement or three?

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Incidentally, in what country does he claim citizenship?

    The Sovereign Republic of Bundystan.

  79. 79
    Chris says:

    @Penus:

    Traditionally, the double standard is that the government will sort of ignore you or drag its feet if you’re committing or threatening violence against a poor and disenfranchised group, but will absolutely go into freak mode (Palmer Raids, COINTELPRO) if you commit or threaten violence against the government. (This often benefits right wing groups like the Ku Klux Klan, who thrive on targeting the poor and disenfranchised).

    The unusual thing about nowadays is that you have people openly committing and/or threatening violence against the government, and thanks to the large number of wingnuts that’re in it, “the government” not only isn’t reacting as is usual for them but much of it is actually egging them on.

    Not unlike the schizophrenic relationship Saudi authorities have with their jihadis, in fact.

  80. 80
    Poopyman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: All hail Queen Peg!

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @japa21: They’re also getting in the way of short term Jerb Creators who are going to extract the wealth and take it somewhere back east, as Gawd himself commands.

    Critical thinking skills (just basic ones, like playing out the consequences of an action in your mind) are simply not found among this set. Which is why they’re so vulnerable to cons.

  82. 82
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    No, not John Williams. I’m imagining Randy Newman.

    John and Shawn driving in the Subie with the piglets in the way back.

    I love West VA. Steve loves it!

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris: Also, too, don’t follow through and commit violent actions against monied interests. It’s one thing to burn down a homeless camp. and something totally different to fire bomb an auto dealership.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MomSense: Randy Newman if Cole gets to choose the soundtrack.

    John Williams if it’s the network making the choices.

  85. 85
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Morbo: Negative zero minutes. But the police treated the Occupied protesters pretty roughly too and they were mostly White.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But the point is that Bundy didn’t just up and decide that he didn’t have to pay grazing fees for no reason; that decision is part of a larger dispute that involves land use rules rather than just the cost of grazing fees.

    Yes, but it’s certainly an interesting coincidence that he suddenly discovered his opposition to the federal government when Bill Clinton was president.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Wodehouse is perfect pre-bedtime reading. I just wish more of it was on Kindle for the US.

  88. 88
    Violet says:

    @Patricia Kayden: They were hippies.

  89. 89
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    But the police treated the Occupied protesters pretty roughly too and they were mostly White.

    Yes, but they were portrayed as dirty liberal hippies, which trumped their whiteness.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    Yes, realize he died 35 years ago, but as the whole exercise is in fantasy league territory, here’s one vote for Nino Rota.

  91. 91
    Belafon says:

    @C.V. Danes: They were portrayed as anti-business, the ultimate no-no.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, he’d been listening to Ronaldus Magnus telling him for eight years that “government is the problem, not the solution”, so naturally, when some commie was installed in the Oval Office, he knew exactly what the deal was.

    As a serious aside, you ask these guys what the alternative is to government, and they’ll tell you it’s the community coming together and creating a set of rules. Then you say to them “um, dude, that’s what government is” and they won’t make the connection.

    The problem of course is that they are not getting their way all the time. Pretty much like the libertarians who are so oppressed because they cannot oppress. Pretty much like Christianists who have no religious freedom because they cannot impose their religious beliefs on everyone.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Prezactly. That’s what’s going on in Wisconsin as well…the damn hippies are getting in the way of Jerb Creators.

  94. 94
    Chris says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Yes, but they were portrayed as dirty liberal hippies, which trumped their whiteness. made them nig[CLANG!]-lovers and therefore race traitors, nonwhite by association.

    FTFY.

  95. 95
    scav says:

    Private ownership is magical!. Decisions over private property so long as held privately (include churches) are absolute and binding. You can’t have free-speech here, this plaza, this sidewalk is sacred to a few! Or this mall doesn’t want you sort lingering about, grab your Happy Meals and scatter! Pronto! no sitting. It’s my ground and I can frack if I want to, downstream is a liberal myth and my grandpappy dug holes richt he-ah! But government ownership is meaningless. First in, first pillage! Elites operating in Government are brain-dead moocher-czars that can’t manage anything eptly, but one whirl of the revolving door and they are brilliant CEOs and lobbyists worth every single penny of their bonus and need an encouraging tax-break. NB principle of excluding guns from premises works other way, somehow trumping all other property rights. Also note that property rights don’t apply to wimmiz privates, those can be probed and pillaged and hid behind according to entirely different rules of Calvinismball.
    / rant, or at least I hope I can slow it down a bit.

  96. 96
    Gene108 says:

    @catclub:

    There was a big resurgence of white supremacists in the 1980’s, such as the Aryan Nation and more generally “skinheads”, and some of them wanted to be violent.

    There were some criminal lawsuits against rank-and-file members, but the folks egging them on never got their hands dirty enough for criminal prosecution. Civil lawsuits for massive monetary damages did shut the worst of the worst up.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MomSense: You know, now that I think about it, that would be great. Perhaps the Go-Go’s can follow along behind the Subie in a Pontiac convertible?

  98. 98

    Yup, you’re exactly right, we’ve always had these nuts and kooks. However, thanks to Al Gore’s invention of the internet, they now have ways of finding each other and organizing and even broadcasting their horseshit that they didn’t use to have. So what used to be a fringe group if wackos on the furthest reaches of the AM dial is suddenly tonight’s Fox News Legal Expert.

    Ain’t America wunnerful.

  99. 99
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As a serious aside, you ask these guys what the alternative is to government, and they’ll tell you it’s the community coming together and creating a set of rules. Then you say to them “um, dude, that’s what government is” and they won’t make the connection.

    Hippie: Right now we’re proving we don’t need corporations. We don’t need money. This can become a commune where everyone just helps each other.
    Hippie: Yeah, we’ll have one guy who like, who like, makes bread. A-and one guy who like, l-looks out for other people’s safety.
    Stan: You mean like a baker and a cop?
    Hippie: No no, can’t you imagine a place where people live together and like, provide services for each other in exchange for their services?
    Kyle: Yeah, it’s called a town.

  100. 100
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As a serious aside, you ask these guys what the alternative is to government, and they’ll tell you it’s the community coming together and creating a set of rules. Then you say to them “um, dude, that’s what government is” and they won’t make the connection.

    Instead of telling them “that’s what government is,” have you tried asking them what they’ll call this “community coming together and creating a set of rules” thing? Asking them if that’s new or has it been done before? You know, playing dumb. I find that’s the kind of thing that works best to get wingnuts to see anything. It’s not a perfect technique, but it works better than telling them they’re dumb, which just makes them mad.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gene108: Then again, there were violent incidents involving these vile creatures.

  102. 102
    Pogonip says:

    @chopper: “…and considering…and considering…and considering…and considering…

    “Film at 11!”

  103. 103
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Southern Beale: Damn internet. Brings all these people together, on subversive blog sites like, oh, I don’t know, Balloon Juice…

  104. 104
    Violet says:

    The “performance artist” who had the backpack yesterday at the Boston Marathon finish line is apparently bipolar:

    A man arrested near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker on the anniversary of the bombings has a mental disorder, his mother told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, 25, has bipolar disorder, his mother, Joie Edson said.

    Thank goodness St. Reagan cut funding for mental health hospitals and clinics. Wouldn’t want to waste money on things like that.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: Well, you see, that’s my problem. I have very low tolerance for such willful stupidity. It’s one of my serious character flaws.

  106. 106
    Cacti says:

    If you dig down beneath the surface militia/sovereign citizen kookery, Bundy’s argument is just typical 1 percenter tripe.

    He believes he should be able to freely exploit a public resource in pursuit of private profit.

  107. 107
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Citizen_X: So left-anarchists, like the right neo-cons, become what they despise?

    IMO, extremist political movements ARE the problem.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: Hey, Boeing and General Dynamics NEEDED those funds to make shiny toys!

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: Yup, that is what it boils down to. He’s a 1%er who isn’t part of the 1%.

  110. 110
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @aimai:

    There’s less law enforcement, less chance for a blow up/fight with neighbors, and more tolerance of and fear of crazy people with guns.

    Oh, they get in fights with neighbors, even kill them; just takes longer for them to get caught and sometimes the authorities never intervene in their disputes. I’ve heard of cases of rural sociopaths where the sheriff’s deputies were literally terrified of the guy and wouldn’t mess with him.

    If it weren’t for the amazing power of illegally trafficked guns to assist dumbshit teenagers in killing and maiming a lot of people real fast cities would probably be more peaceful places.

  111. 111
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The gun trafficking is perfectly legal. The merchants of death would have it no other way, and their advocacy/marketing organs are hard at work to keep it that way.

  112. 112
    sparrow says:

    @aimai: Your comment is similar to my boyfriend’s explanation for why school shootings seems so common in suburban/rural areas, and rare in really urban ones (and in places like Greece, where he is from). Basically, in Greece, or in dense urban environments generally, it’s harder to go into a downward spiral of crazy because you have way more people around you providing input from reality. Saying hey man, that’s crazy talk let’s go have a beer. Maybe wrong, but interesting.

  113. 113
    Bill Herbert says:

    I also remember John Singer being a hero in these circles — even though his case involved Utah state, rather than Federal authorities, and they acted only after the (still legal) husband of Singer’s second wife won custody of their four children (they thought he would provide a better environment than a household practicing polygamy — go figure).

    But as a wise man once said, freedom is untidy.

  114. 114
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I just have fun with it. I think it’s funny to toy with wingnuts and the best way to get them to talk themselves into a corner is to keep asking questions. I have had people realize their beliefs are stupid or at least have them admit in front of other people that they are for or against certain policies because they’re racist or greedy–like the one who said he’s against gay marriage because of Social Security. Can’t let those gay people inherit their spouse’s Social Security benefits! It was quite something to hear him admit it in front of his friends. I made sure to ask if it was okay that straight spouses inherited. Yes, yes, that was fine. Even his friends were appalled he admitted it in public and he would not have had I not asked enough questions.

    I hold no illusions that I changed that wingnut’s beliefs, but it certainly made the thought process behind them clear to his friends. Some of them were shocked and from what I heard later it got one of them to question his belief system. So good may have come out of it.

  115. 115
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yup, that is what it boils down to. He’s a 1%er who isn’t part of the 1%.

    Isn’t that wingnuttery in a nutshell?

  116. 116
    MikeJ says:

    @Violet: Bipolar disorder ain’t an excuse for doing any stupid thing you can think of.

  117. 117
    Wally Ballou says:

    @aimai: @sparrow: I also suspect it has something to do with rural communities being more racially/ethnically homogenous. People are more willing to tolerate or indulge a kook when said kook happens to look like them.

  118. 118
    NickT says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The key point here is that it IS NOT, WAS NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN his family’s land. It’s federally owned land although you can guess just what the Clan Bundy thinks about the legitimacy of that.

  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    Speaking of that asshole Bundy (but I repeat myself) can y’all take a look at image #5 and tell me how that’s legal?

    http://www.hcn.org/articles/bu.....dium=email

    Are citizen snipers within the law so long as they don’t pull the trigger? Serious question–do “open carry” advocates reserve the right to draw a bead on me? If they’re hidden behind a Jersey barrier so I can’t see them, is it okay then? Maybe some “freedoms” aren’t worth protecting.

  120. 120
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @WereBear:

    The urban ones have to be more tolerant because they are rubbing elbows with lots of other people. If they can’t handle that, they take to the woods with a pocketknife and a bag of salt… and get deeper into the paranoia.

    It might be a chicken/egg situation where rural types more easily avoid social situations, but then lose their tolerance for them, as well.

    Completely agreed. That, too, also.

    In Boston I remember one case where some monster in an SUV ran down an elderly Vietnamese man in Dorchester, apparently deliberately, but it could have been DUI, anyway, hit and run, guy wasn’t caught, never turned himself in. There wasn’t a ton of ethnic tension around the Vietnamese emigre community–they were Catholics, and most of the immigrant groups in Dorchester, even the goddamn Irish, were Catholics, except for the African-Americans, who weren’t really known for picking on other ethnic groups too much with the exception of some anti-Semitic loons–but there was some.

    Here in Gainesville I’ve had multiple people tell me about being run off the road and nearly killed by knaves in pickups screaming things like “Kill the hobo!” At one point police were looking for a guy who was serially attempting to kill pedestrians.

    I also noted with horror that when Gainesville briefly had a fake strip club (the dancers were strippers but they weren’t entirely nude) that for a while there were almost weekly fights and stabbings outside on Saturdays and inevitably when you looked at the arrest records none of them lived in Gainesville! They were all from rural shitholes 30 or so minutes away.

    Although this wanna be gangster rapper from Jacksonville did shoot into a crowd at a club in Gainesville once. Just to be balance fairy here about urban vs rural violence.

    Seriously, though. No social skills + overstimulated = crabby, violent outcome.

  121. 121
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    I would tend to find that valuable simply because so much of the wingnut belief system at this point is buried in bullshit, rationalization, smoke and mirrors (see also all their arguments about “the Civil War wasn’t about slavery” and the like) that help them preach the unacceptable in an acceptable format. The “question, question, question” format at least seems to cut through the bullshit and force them to admit (including to themselves) what they really mean.

  122. 122
    MikeJ says:

    @trollhattan: Brandishing a weapon is illegal.

  123. 123
    Helen says:

    @Violet:

    This. I have stopped trying to use facts and logic to convince these people. I simply keep asking questions and asking them to explain themselves. It trips them up every time.

  124. 124
    JPL says:

    @dubo: This! Fox News condones anarchy.

  125. 125
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @ericblair: Ironically for an introvert like me it’s easier to avoid interacting with people the bigger the city. In a smaller city people say hello on the sidewalk and don’t even know you.

    I think just SEEING people freaked these freaks the fuck out. Remember that immortal post about navigating the Metro? WMATA opens doors … to a diseased psyche.

  126. 126
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ: Who said that it was?

  127. 127
    Cacti says:

    @trollhattan:

    Are citizen snipers within the law so long as they don’t pull the trigger? Serious question–do “open carry” advocates reserve the right to draw a bead on me? If they’re hidden behind a Jersey barrier so I can’t see them, is it okay then? Maybe some “freedoms” aren’t worth protecting.

    Pointing a firearm at another person is aggravated assault in most jurisdictions.

    Pointing one at a federal employee or official in the course of their duties is a felony.

  128. 128
    trollhattan says:

    @MikeJ:
    In that case I’d certainly be in favor of the US attorney reaching out to Eric Parker of central Idaho. I’m weary of our appearing to kowtow to these dangerous morans.

  129. 129
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @smith: That’s different. They were dirty fucking hippies.

    Never mind that one of those who died at Kent State was an ROTC cadet who just happened to be walking by the protest well into the background.

  130. 130
    burnspbesq says:

    @Violet:

    He did have the land he and his family had been ranching on for over a century designated as critical desert tortoise habitat,

    Which is permitted under a valid and clearly Constitutional Federal law.

    Fuck him. We the taxpayers have been subsidizing his cattle operation for decades, by charging him below-market fees for allowing his cattle to graze on OUR land–fees which he now refuses to pay, in violation of a contract that he freely entered into.

    I’m all for the FBI and the Nevada National Guard doing whatever it takes to bring this guy to justice. And I’m reminded of a line from Braveheart: “Alive if possible; dead, just as good.”

  131. 131
    Violet says:

    @Helen: Facts and logic don’t work with wingnuts because the facts and logic don’t support their beliefs. That’s why questioning them and getting them to explain their supposedly rational reasons for thinking what they do works so well. They can’t. It’s not possible. They get stuck.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: Only the correct form of anarchy. Their ideology trumps any empirical analysis of any situation. If Bundy were melanin-enhanced, Faux would be demanding his immediate summary execution.

  133. 133
    Violet says:

    @burnspbesq: You seem to be replying to me but I didn’t write what you quoted.

  134. 134
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: I blame Obama, and FYWP.

  135. 135
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Actually, it’s usually illegal but unenforceable because unlike in civilized countries, in the US we can’t get the law changed so that every time a gun is sold, even private sales, the seller deposits a card with the government stating whom it was sold to, serial number and all that.

    Plus the law is written so the seller has to “intend” to sell the gun to criminals so there’s this whole straw buyer thing going on that is just really, really hard to nail.

    And in Illinois they can’t get gun control statewide so it is super easy to traffic guns from Mississippi to Chicago.

    ETA: in other parts of law, say you receive stolen property, you can get nailed for that even if you had nothing to do with stealing it. And in some places you can be liable for someone else’s DUI because you gave them a bunch of drinks and then gave them their keys

  136. 136
    MikeJ says:

    I recall an earlier cattle based standoff in which the loons pointed a gun at a sheriff who was serving a search warrant. John lost his shit because they flew a drone over the guy’s house to determine when he was out in his pasture away from his arsenal before they came back to reserve him.

  137. 137
    Cacti says:

    @trollhattan:

    In that case I’d certainly be in favor of the US attorney reaching out to Eric Parker of central Idaho.

    I’d also say that Mr. Parker’s photo is worth a visit from the FBI and local law enforcement to clarify just who or what he was lining up in his sights.

  138. 138

    Home means Nevada
    Home means the hills
    Home means the sage and the pines

    I still love my old Battle Born home state, but it’s chock full o’ people who couldn’t make it elsewhere or went there to “get away” from something or everything.

  139. 139
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @MikeJ: Er, that’s why it’s a disorder, MikeJ.

  140. 140
    jl says:

    ” This is a blog, not a cable news channel, ”

    I’ve thought of BJ as the internet version of Jerry Springer for the sedate.

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MikeJ: DROOOOOOONES!

  142. 142
    Violet says:

    @trollhattan: Photo #4 is also interesting. Note that the law enforcement individuals in uniform are African Americans. Caption says this:

    Protesters yell at law enforcement officers near the BLM’s base camp where Bundy’s cattle were being held, April 12.

    White people yell at black people. What a surprise.

  143. 143
    Honus says:

    @Morbo: I’m still wondering why he was allowed to do that at all. In west virginia if you got caught during a strike with even a bag of jack rocks, they’d shortly have you down in the basement of the sheriffs office beating you with a rubber hose. I can’t imagine what the police would do with anybody the found aiming a rifle in their direction from an overpass. IMHO the BLM rangers exercised incredible restraint. I think they know Bundy is done and they just have to watch him disintegrate. He can’t sell his cows and he can’t borrow any money. Unless Hannity saves him with wingnut welfare, he’ll be gone in six months.

  144. 144
    Wally Ballou says:

    @Helen: Socrates would have approved, I think.

  145. 145
    Wally Ballou says:

    @Helen: Socrates would have approved, I think.

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ranchandsyrup: The idea of a frontier where you can flee your previous life and make a new one, freed from the constraints of having to live in proximity to others is a strong one. Much of the intermountain West appeals to that mindset…it’s so seemingly empty.

    The walls are closing in, though. It’s always something.

  147. 147
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It’s part of the American psyche–“Go west, young man!”

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: I think the most pernicious lie of the American mythology is the entire “rugged individuals conquered the wild west” one. Yes, they did. Backed up by the US military, government land grants to railroads, and in wagon trains that were the all about the communal experience against those savages of the plains.

  149. 149
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There’s some truth to it–people did have to be a bit more rugged than those who stayed in cities. But it’s not like a bunch of individuals struck out on their own with no support to tame the wild west.

  150. 150
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You beat me to it.

    Probably the most honest part of these old westerns is the part where the cavalry arrives at the eleventh hour to rescue the heroes just as they’re about to be overrun by Indians/Mexicans/bandits/wev. The cowboy hero is a character who spends an entire feature film getting in way over his head and needing a government bailout to save him at the last second. (Then he dusts himself off and rides into the sunset like nothing ever happened).

  151. 151
    rikyrah says:

    ****

    Jamelle Bouie: What If Bundy Ranch Were Owned By A Bunch Of Black People?

    For 20 years the federal government has fined Cliven Bundy for grazing his cattle on protected land. And for 20 years Bundy has refused to pay. Last month this dance came to an end when the Bureau of Land Management sent Bundy a letter informing him that it intended to “impound his trespass cattle” that have been roaming on federal property. It closed off hundreds of thousands of acres, and earlier this month, moved to round up Bundy’s cows. The federal government blinked, and the Bureau of Land Management announced an abrupt end to its cattle roundup, hoping to avoid violence and further confrontations. this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.

    right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials. I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats as someone who closely follows the regular incidents of lethal police violence against blacks and Latinos, I also wonder whether law enforcement would be as tepid against a group of armed African-Americans. Judging from past events, I’m not so sure.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/wei.....anger.html

  152. 152

    @Villago Delenda Est: The Basques, the Mormons, the miners that couldn’t make it to CA, the Eye-talian-american farmers and ranchers, the other eyetalians (with others) that created Las Vegas. Lots of “out” groups made their way to the interior of NV for the reasons you state. It’s good to be left alone. But gets tricky when the feds own 85% of the state.

    I find the emptiness to be beautiful. Spent a lot of time out there working (usually for nothing) on survey crews. Helped my old man survey the Pony Express trail across the state. Some of my favorite memories with him.

  153. 153
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I think the most pernicious lie of the American mythology is the entire “rugged individuals conquered the wild west” one. Yes, they did. Backed up by the US military, government land grants to railroads, and in wagon trains that were the all about the communal experience against those savages of the plains.

    The prominent cities and towns of the “wild west” also had far more stringent laws on concealed or open carry of weapons than your average winger of the 21st century would ever find tolerable.

    Walking down Front Street in Dodge City with your trusty peacemaker holstered would get you a non-social visit from Wyatt Earp or Bat Masterson.

  154. 154
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    I wonder how true even that first sentence is. Seems to me that being a worker in the big industrial centers that developed in the nineteenth century at the same time we were ‘taming the West” – in the days before 40-hour work weeks, before unions, before much in the way of labor laws – would make you quite as rugged in its own way as experiencing the Great Outdoors.

  155. 155
    Cacti says:

    @rikyrah:

    We all know the answer to that one. If the scofflaws in question had been black, hispanic, or native american, the feds would have been zipping up the body bags days ago.

  156. 156
    chopper says:

    @catclub:

    eh, an outlier. tons, and i mean tons, of the 90’s militia shit boiled up after clinton came in to town. and wouldn’t you know it, it started bubblin up again the day obama was sworn in.

  157. 157
    scav says:

    @Chris: I was thinking, being poor was quite rugged enough. Mining at the time was sooo easy and for the non-rugged, etc. Lots of rugged lifestyles to go around. Certainly couldn’t be too cushy as so many headed west hoping for something better. (Granted, had a bit of unexpected oops with the climatic conditions.)

    oh give me a home where the freeloaders roam!
    and only the Anglo hold sway.
    Where never is heard an admonishing word
    and everyone does as I say.
    Home! Home on the Range!
    Where real men indulge in gun play!

  158. 158
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MikeJ: That was different. Because drones.

  159. 159
    Chris says:

    @chopper:

    My impression is that individual nuts like that have been around since forever, but Clinton’s election in the nineties jump-started a whole “counterculture” of admirers who started seeing these people as folk heroes rather than weirdos who went looking for a fight and found one.

    Admittedly, most of them seem to just sit around in goofy uniforms waving rifles around and talking about how badass the revolution they’re totally going to fight someday will be.

  160. 160
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Deal!

    Ok, I’ve got the first verse.

    Kid drives my car
    Frack trucks won’t yield
    Now my red subaru is stuck in some old farmer’s field

    Put down my mop
    looked for my pants
    this sucks almost as much as the time I shaved my cat’s ass.

    I love West VA (Steve loves it!)
    I love West VA (Steve loves it!)

  161. 161
    mtiffany says:

    Funny (not) how the very people that voted for Reagan got screwed by Reaganomics but somehow still managed to blame the commies, liberals, and (Imagine Grampa Simpson) Demmyyyyyyycraaaaaaats!

    Also too, is it any wonder that the people who spout that unhinged pseudo-legalistic word salad just love Sarah Palin?

  162. 162
    chopper says:

    @Chris:

    exactly. you stick a dem in the WH and suddenly all these dudes sitting around in a basement in michigan giving each other titty twisties start coming out of the woodwork.

  163. 163
    Cacti says:

    @chopper:

    exactly. you stick a dem in the WH and suddenly all these dudes sitting around in a basement in michigan giving each other titty twisties start coming out of the woodwork.

    And they start talking about the “collateral damaging” of bombing daycare centers, or using women and children as human shields.

    About a thimble’s worth of difference between their motives and methods and those of Al Qaeda or Hamas. But that point seems completely lost lost on their supporters.

  164. 164
    Violet says:

    @Chris: I think it was all hard, but when you live by yourself on some homestead with the closest people miles away, you kind of have to learn how to take care of yourself. There’s no one else to lean on if you need help. The strain of “rugged individualism” has a kernel of truth because those people were isolated for lengths of time and got to go to “town” only on certain occasions.

    That being said, being a miner or working in a textile factory or whatever during that same era was tough and long and hard work and the people that did it were tough as well.

  165. 165
    Paul in KY says:

    @trollhattan: I would think he could be arrested for ‘menacing’, whether or not the weapon was loaded.

  166. 166
    trollhattan says:

    @Chris:

    Good summary. And since Ronaldus Magnus had defeated the Soviet Union that one afternoon after a good nap, they could then pivot their attention to the Real Enemy–our gummint. Having to live under the cruel thumb of Janet Reno did not help their mood one tiny bit (“Ruby Ridge, Ruby Ridge!).

  167. 167
    Cacti says:

    @Violet:

    The strain of “rugged individualism” has a kernel of truth because those people were isolated for lengths of time and got to go to “town” only on certain occasions.

    Yes, but only to a certain point. Most of these “rugged individuals” depended on the US cavalry for protection against the native peoples who saw them as invaders, and would have run them off or worse.

  168. 168
    Paul in KY says:

    @Honus: He could have been aiming at the civilians on the highway in the background.

  169. 169
    Cacti says:

    @Paul in KY:

    18 USC 111 makes it a class A misdemeanor to assault, resist, or impede certain United States Government Officers or Employees.

    When a deadly weapon is involved, it gets bumped up to a class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment.

  170. 170
    Violet says:

    @Cacti: Yes, that was pointed out in an earlier comment.

  171. 171
    Paul in KY says:

    @mtiffany: Alot of them were single issue (abortion) voters. Still are.

  172. 172
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cacti: I was just saying what I thought the minimum might be. I’m almost certain you can’t aim a (assumed loaded) weapon at anyone unless you sincerely ‘fear for your life’ or you are defending someone from being imminently killed.

    Am not a lawyer, though.

  173. 173
    Gene108 says:

    @mtiffany:

    The 1970’s was the beginning of stagnating wages and the disruption of the prosperity of the 1960’s and 1950’s.

    Reagan may not have helped matters but the beginning of the end of post-WW2 prosperity started before Reagan. He did a good job appealing to people’s disatifaction with the 1970’s and promising a better future*.

    The problem with modern Republicans not wanting to deviate from Reagan is they have crafted an ideology to address problems that do not exist anymore.

    * Unlike modern Republicans, Reagan at least tried to present a sense of optimism about making America better and not just being nihilistic opposition to Democrats.

  174. 174
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cacti: That idiot with the gun could say he was not ‘assaulting’ them & that he would not actually resist/impede, if the agents tried to do their duties.

    However, it appears on face value that he could be ‘menacing’ people with the weapon.

    Nuance!

  175. 175
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    Ah, yes. “Rugged” wasn’t unique to them, but “rugged individualist,” more so. I get it.

  176. 176
    Chris says:

    @Gene108:

    Unlike modern Republicans, Reagan at least tried to present a sense of optimism about making America better and not just being nihilistic opposition to Democrats.

    I think that’s the nature of the beast when you’re coming in on the heels of a half century of New Dealish reforms and all the safety and prosperity they gave people. You can’t just say “I’m going to destroy society,” you have to make people think things’ll be better with your policies. Only much later, once you’ve ruined the safety net and entrenched yourselves in power, does it become safe to say “yeah, things suck, but there’s nothing we can do about it and this is the best you can hope for.”

  177. 177
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Violet: This is crap. There used to be far more people living per square mile in rural areas in the 19th century than today. Far more hands employed in agricultural work. Farms were much smaller. And people helped each other. Barns were built with community labor. Or, when the Depression came, farmers ganged up together to try to force crop prices to increase (unsuccessfully) and on a more wholesome note they would buy back personal property in farm auctions at bottom prices and return it to their neighbors, frustrating the foreclosing banks. Before that, rural people were the core of the Progressive movement. They pushed for an end to the (deflationary, farmer-ruining) gold standard and though they failed at that, they succeeded in implementing the income tax.

    When the Rocky Mountain Locust menaced the Midwest (it wasn’t a menace to Plains Indians–they thought the critturs were tasty and it’s like dinner came to you), the farmers begged for county, state, and federal assistance. But in those skinflint, robber baron, pre-income tax times, pre-New Deal times, the officials told them to go fuck themselves.

    It wasn’t that they were “self-reliant”, it’s that they were thrown on Nature’s mercy by a government by and for the trusts.

    Things like that send Teddie Roosevelt to the White House and led to the breakup of Rockefeller’s empire.

    The pervasive, secular rural poverty, extremely low rural population, and general weirdness of today is a newer phenom. It used to be localized to like, Appalachia, not exactly a great place to grow cash crops. (Industrialization in the North pretty much led to shit farmland up there going back to woods, and even so, rural New England is not nearly so spread out, emptied out, or wackadoodle thereby as you might imagine. Without a need to defend institutions like sharecropping or a penchant for heavy metal poisoning as in the Midwest, there was and is excellent education in the towns, people can walk easily from place to place staying mentally healthier, and even the unfriendly outsider haters aren’t violent.)

  178. 178
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Chris: Yep, some of my ancestors did that. Farming was a step up in those days.

  179. 179
    Chris says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Part of the “pernicious lie” about the old West is the extent to which it’s made us forget just how deeply progressive (in the economic sense of the word that’s now derided as “socialist”) ideology implanted itself in these communities.

  180. 180
    Violet says:

    @Another Holocene Human: We were speaking specifically of people who headed west, not a generalized examination of urban vs rural lifestyles in that timeframe. The life of a farmer on the outskirts of the cities in the northeast was drastically different from the life of someone heading west to stake out land in Wyoming.

  181. 181
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Pres. Roosevelt (Teddy) was actually exiled to the Vice Presidency (he had been governpr of NY) behind a young, virile Pres. McKinley to keep him from doing the kind of trust busting he did (once elevated by McKinley’s assasination).

    The white people back then who wanted a fairer shake, usually voted for the Democrat Blacks back then who could vote, usually voted Republican.

  182. 182
    Librarian says:

    There’s also no difference between this kind of nuttery and the kind where the Wisconsin GOP votes to secede from the union, or any number of state legislatures vote to nullify federal law on guns, the environment, etc. It’s all the same kind of nuttery.

  183. 183
    MaximusNYC says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    His position is incoherent. He claims allegiance to Nevada rather than the federal govenrment… but the Nevada constitution explicitly says that you can’t do the former without doing the latter:

    “I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada,” Bundy said in a radio interview last Thursday. “I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.” Ironically, this position directly contradicts Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution:

    All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.

    This clause reflects the fact that Nevada’s constitution was written during the Civil War, by staunch pro-Unionists. Bad news for Bundy.

  184. 184
    wengler says:

    Anarchism has some different group affiliations, none of which include ‘sovereign citizens’. ‘Sovereign citizens’ are much more like fringe cultists or paranoid schizophrenics. They believe that they have found codes, conspiracies or loopholes in law that no one else can see. They don’t conform to societal norms and refuse to honor any contracts they enter into. They are also the biggest narcissistic assholes you will likely ever meet.

  185. 185
    buskertype says:

    @Honus: I think you hit the nail on the head. Bundy’s finished, they’ll shut him down one way or another. The cops actually showed some restraint here and that’s a good thing. The last thing we need is another crop of martyrs for these nutjobs to rally around.

  186. 186
    Davo says:

    @Roger Moore: Sounds like a reach, my friend. I would speculate its just turtles all the way down for Mr. Bundy…

  187. 187
    johnny aquitard says:

    @trollhattan: I also think among these militia kooks there was not an inconsiderable amount of resentment due to having a woman running the organization that, in their eyes, enforces what they can do and not do with their manly freedoms and guns and stuff.

    It was just about the worst tyranny imaginable, least until a black man came along to tell them what to do.

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