A Well Regulated Militia: Burns, Oregon Edition – Updated at 7:45 PM and 10:10 PM

While we’ve all been hashing out Texas’s new open carry law, the good folks of Burns, Oregon have been living the dream. Oregon is an open carry state and the Burnsites (Burnsers?) are experiencing an influx of out of state militia folks. They are there to defend the Constitution and two local cattle ranchers who are set to turn themselves in on Monday after the 9th Circuit resentenced them to longer prison terms for setting fires on the Federal land where their grazing leases were. The out of state/area militia folks are being led by Ammon Bundy; Montanan Ryan Payne – the Army veteran who claims to have been Bundy’s militia advisor and in charge of setting up the snipers at the Bundy standoff; and Arizonan John Ritzheimer –  the Marine veteran who has kept his honor clean by acting like a loon around Muslim Americans.


The Hammonds, who are set to turn themselves in on Monday, as well as most others in Burns do not seem to want the outsiders around. A rally and march earlier today seems to have gone off without incident, so hopefully Burns can make it through the weekend without a problem and the Hammonds can peacefully turn themselves in on Monday. The rally was organized by right wing radio host Pete Santilli, who was on site today in Burns. We’ll update if anything of note happens…

In other militia news: Stuart Rhodes, the Oathkeepers founder, was disbarred in Montana (h/t: Eric the Fruit Bat). This was, apparently, for some sort of malfeasance in Federal court. The lawyers in our commentariat can explain if this means he’s done as a lawyer everywhere, as it arose from a Federal complaint, or just in Montana.

——— UPDATE ———

There’s been some question in the comments of what, exactly, the Hammonds were charged and convicted of and both why and how they were resentenced. Since we’re a full service blog here (though we won’t pick you up at the airport – this is what relatives are for), here are the links to the legal/juridicial issues. The first link takes you to the right up for the original trial and sentencing. The elder Hammond was convicted for setting the 2001 Hardie-Hammond fire. The younger Hammond was sentenced for both the 2001 fire and for a 2006 fire: the Kumbo Butte fire. They were acquitted on charges that they set two other fires in 2006.


This second link provides the explanation on their being resentenced. The appeal was made because the sentences were considered by the prosecution to be far too lenient. The prosecution also drew a conceptual connection to eco-terrorism, which is where the terrorism related allegations/concept seems to have come from.


———UPDATE 2————

Thanks to Paul W and Kelly in the comments, we now know that Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, another unnamed Bundy brother, Ryan Payne, and a number of other militia folks have now occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters buildings. No word on Ritzheimer’s whereabouts. The Bundy’s have stated that they are prepared to stay there for years and that they are prepared to use violence if any attempt is made to remove them. So we now have breaking and entering into a Federal facility, criminal trespass, and terroristic threats.


* Image taken from here.

148 replies
  1. 1
    dedc79 says:

    The lawyers in our commentariat can explain if this means he’s done as a lawyer everywhere, as it arose from a Federal complaint, or just in Montana.

    It would depend if he’s also barred in another state. If not, then he can’t practice. And he may have a hard time getting barred elsewhere given this Montana situation.

  2. 2
    Big R says:

    @dedc79: Reciprocal discipline means he’s done everywhere. If he holds a license elsewhere, he will be disbarred for this misconduct everywhere. If he doesn’t hold a license elsewhere, he can’t pass a character & fitness anywhere.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dedc79: @Big R: Thank you both. We’ll add you to the list of lawyers not to be killed first…

  4. 4
    dedc79 says:

    @Big R: I had thought there was typically reciprocal discipline but not necessarily identical discipline.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: That one’s covered by the 1st Amendment.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    Fuck Oregon. Fuck it up its stupid ass.

  7. 7
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    Slight correction: I live in Bend and we have nothing to do with any of this. It’s all happening 120mi. east of here in Burns. We’re already living the dream. Just being an Oregonian is enough…

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    I wish Oregon would just go ahead and freakin’ secede already. Good riddance.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t recall were it said you could act like a flaming douchebag in the first. Speak like one yes.

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Expressive conduct is covered by the 1st Amendment.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Make sure to use protection. Its the considerate and responsible thing to do.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Capt. Seaweed: Thanks, I thought I got that right all the way through, but apparently I have Burns in the title and in the third sentence, but defaulted to Bend, which I’d heard of before this, in the first sentence. I’ve fixed it.

  13. 13
    muddy says:

    @efgoldman: He can do Sovereign CItizen Law and his buddies can pay him the big bucks for his “legal” advice.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    Says a knucklehead from Texas.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Yes, which is nice. I understand why the deescalation occurred at the Bundy standoff, but I also know that the folks supporting Bundy learned all the wrong things from Federal, state, and local law enforcement acting in a prudent manner.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I always wondered if the “authorities” had little private conversations with these idiots?

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thanks, I thought I got that right all the way through, but apparently I have Burns in the title and in the third sentence

    Wait a second. Are you saying, “boo or BOOurns”?

  18. 18

    Is it me or has the stupid increased increased in the Obama years? I don’t remember this level of crazy in either W or Clinton’s presidencies.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: Some of them have quietly been arrested. Some have been quietly talked to. However, until the most vocal and the leadership are arrested and prosecuted, all that’s happened is that these folks think what happened at Bundy’s ranch is something to be emulated. If Payne did, indeed, set up the snipers who were publicly brandishing weapons and overtly threatening Federal, state, and local law enforcement then he needs to be taken into custody, charged, and tried. Ammon Bundy has been arrested and is awaiting trial on his charges. Cliven Bundy should also be charged too. I don’t know (doubt?) it’ll happen, but we don’t get to resort to threats of violence and violence when we don’t get our way. Especially when both the legal and ownership history of Bundy’s claims are clearly not in his favor.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Huh? I’m now confused.

  21. 21
    Beeb says:

    His write-up at the Southern Poverty Law Center suggests that he was admitted in Nevada before he moved to Montana. I dunno if I can post this link here correctly, but I’ll try:


    Since he filed to appear in the Montana proceeding, I assume he doesn’t care. But I’ll bet Yale would like its degree back.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It was there under Clinton, but receded under Bush 43. This has happened with every Democratic Administration since Kennedy’s. No matter the electoral outcome, no matter what Congress does and which party is in the majority in either chamber there, if a Democrat is elected president they are somehow not legitimate. Google JFK wanted poster Dallas.

  23. 23
    Schlemazel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Well, there was that unpleasantness in Oklahoma . . .

    It calmed down while Boy Blunder was in office because the loons turned it down to 7, with a Dem in the WH it was back to 11.

  24. 24
    Beeb says:

    Ack! Proofreading, how does it work? Filed should be failed. Sigh.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Simpson’s reference. One possible reply is to say, “I was saying BOO-urns.”
    /Hans Moleman

    To be fair, it’s probably not funny except to maybe 1% to 2% of the population who get obscure Simpsons references, which we have been informed repeatedly is de minimis and therefore should be fucked in their stupid asses.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Beeb: Don’t worry, its the bespoke comments like yours, which include these little hand made errors, that make Balloon Juice so special.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Now I’m tracking. I was looking for another spelling error in my original post!

  28. 28
    Schlemazel says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    I always thought Bend Ore. was the greatest city/state combination possible. I mean, we have Fertile & Climax out here on the tundra and Tenn had Knob Lick but none of those can hold a candle to Bend Ore.

    But Minn has the best city based jokes
    If you take Emily on and Outing you’ll be sure to get to Atkin (pronounced like ‘achin’ ) before you get to Remmer (pronounced like ‘ream-er’ )


    Why does it take so long for the train to go from MIlaca to Princeton? Because the Engineer stops at Long Siding and Pease.

    Those were big hits in 8th grade.

  29. 29
    Soylent Green says:

    @Corner Stone: Corner Stone, how stupid are you? Burns is a small ranching town way out in the high desert of eastern Oregon. Politically that part of the state belongs to the rest of the intermountain West (with Idaho and Utah) and does even begin to represent the politics of this reliably blue state.

  30. 30
    Eric The Fruit Bat says:

    @Beeb: His disbarment was adjudicated in December 2015-the SPLC hasn’t been updated with this latest update; nor those who have been following him appear to have been aware of the latest ruling. All of his registered/certified mail was received but he filed nothing in response.

    He appeared last year on Jesse Ventura’s “Off The Grid” web series-I tweeted him letting him letting him know on Rhodes’s latest issues in following the United States and Montana Constitution and their respective laws.

  31. 31
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I haven’t followed it, but I hope that the snipers who were publicly brandishing weapons and overtly threatening Federal, state, and local law enforcement are among those quietly arrested. And if Payne set it up, he should be tried.

    I hope everyone has been quietly(and forcefully) talked to by authorities. I should also note that I hope to wake up 40, slender, and charming in the morning as well.

  32. 32
    Schlemazel says:

    @Soylent Green:
    It’s a troll is out from under its bridge, feel free to ignore; they live off of people responding to them.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @Soylent Green:

    Politically that part of the state belongs to the rest of the intermountain West (with Idaho and Utah) and does even begin to represent the politics of this reliably blue state.

    Well, if it does even begin to represent, then how stupid is Oregon? It sounds like secession is reliably in the future of this befucked and sorry ass state.
    Secede already, you fucking small dicked ammosexuals!

  34. 34

    @Adam L Silverman: I have seen that poster. I remember the craziness during Clinton years, but the size and scope of the crazy seems to have increased in the last 7 years.

  35. 35

    @Corner Stone:

    Fuck Oregon. Fuck it up its stupid ass.

    That seems like a particularly stupid thing to say, given that the people stirring up the trouble are from Nevada, Montana, and Arizona. It isn’t Oregon’s fault if a bunch of jackasses from out of state come in and piss all over the place.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Well there might be something distinctively different about the current President, but other than the ears, I can’t really think what it might be…

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, if a tiny minority getting its way isn’t the starting point for defaming an entire state, then what is?

  38. 38

    Totally OT: I need to get me one of these awesome drums.

    Inspired by the Ganpati aarti in Bajirao Mastani searched for actual RL videos at the time of Ganesh visarjan (when people bid adieu to the Ganpati) in 21 century Pune, the capital of the Peshwas.

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No, it happens every time a Democrat wins the White House. I remember right after Clinton’s election, three members of a militia group in Michigan were interviewed on PBS’s nightly news show. Three overweight guys dressed in camouflage two sizes too small talking about how they could drive at any speed they wanted to because there was nothing in the Constitution saying they couldn’t. Had I known then what I know now…


    resentenced them to longer prison terms for setting fires on the Federal land where their grazing leases were

    What is this about? “If I can’t have the grass, you can’t either”?

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I had not seen that poster before, but it shows how nothing’s changed. Glenn Beck’s said all the same thing about Obama and every other Democrat in Washington.

  41. 41
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Schlemazel: We moved here from Baltimore in 1985 and have never looked back. Bend has always been a very livable small city in a livable state. Oregon gets a lot of things right. There are worse places to live…

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
    I should also note that I hope to wake up 40, slender, and charming in the morning as well.

    Who wouldn’t?

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    There are worse places to live…

    Exactly why a couple of friends and I are thinking of moving there.

  44. 44
    Geoduck says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    It’s the fact he’s from Hawaii. He even tried to conceal it by cobbling together a fake Kenyan birth certificate.

    What is this about? “If I can’t have the grass, you can’t either”?

    I believe they were trying to do an unauthorized “controlled burn” and it of course got out hand.

    And as a WA state resident, it and Oregon are called “blue”, but they are really two blue metropolises surrounded by a sea of purple shading inexorably to blood red. Here in WA at least, that means a GOPer won’t be elected to state office anytime in the near future, but there are just enough knuckle-dragging troglodytes in the state legislature to keep the government fairly paralyzed.

  45. 45
    Suzanne says:

    @Soylent Green: CornerStone is making a point, because he’s in TX and we always make noise about wanting to kick the bums out.

    However, I’m in AZ, and I kinda feel like we deserve to be kicked out. We kinda suck.

  46. 46

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, if a tiny minority getting its way isn’t the starting point for defaming an entire state, then what is?

    Who says they’re getting their way? That’s not at all apparent from the articles; it sounds as if the locals are telling them to stuff it.

  47. 47
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    The Feds have time on their side. They didn’t need to turn the Bundy ranch showdown into a shoot-’em-up and I’m glad they didn’t. In a group these ‘wingers have a lot of courage and it makes them reckless. Individually they’re just jackasses with an attitude and a lot of bad ideas. Easily picked off one at a time for their crimes.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suzanne: I was just in AZ a week before Xmas. Hard freeze on the first night I was there. Good times.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @srv: flags with fringes! flags with fringes!

  50. 50


    What is this about? “If I can’t have the grass, you can’t either”?

    It sounds as if they set the fires to destroy the evidence they had been poaching. Shows you what a bunch of upstanding individuals they are.

  51. 51
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Corner Stone: As an Oregonian, fuck you.

    On point, the people in Burns are very conservative, but broadly speaking are not right-wing crazies. There are very, very few who follow the Nevada/Idaho/Montana model of anti-government nutjobs — most of the community understands that the Hammonds put hunters (in one case) and firefighters (in another case) at risk when they committed arson on the public lands, and so there’s no a lot of support for them (also, the Hammonds are assholes, and so they don’t get a lot of sympathy). There’s no “battle for the soul of Burns” – there are a few discontented rabblerousers from out of state who are not wanted by the vast majority of the local people.

  52. 52

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    The stupid and crazy have increased vastly. However, as @Adam L Silverman notes, militias are not part of that increase. They are the fringe that always existed and goes conspiracy-theory nuts every time a Democrat is elected. The increase in crazy during Obama’s years was that fringe becoming mainstream.

  53. 53
    Schlemazel says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    No doubt but don’t you ever want to just touch your toes when you tell someone you are from Bend Ore? Come on, that’s some great juvenile humor right there!

  54. 54
    Mike J says:


    Why does it take so long for the train to go from MIlaca to Princeton? Because the Engineer stops at Long Siding and Pease.

    Don’t forget that Thatcher was known as Daggers (Dagenham) Maggie, because she was three stops past Barking.

  55. 55
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Ruckus: Bend has become more and more expensive as people have discovered it. Very much a service economy town and a lot of people can’t afford the high rents. But the air is clean and the crime rate is low and microbreweries are everywhere. Skiing is close and a beautiful river runs thru town. It was love at first sight for me…

  56. 56
    Schlemazel says:

    Aren’t Washington and Oregon similar in that the left side is sane & the right-hand side belongs to insane Idaho?

  57. 57
    Schlemazel says:

    @West of the Cascades:
    That first sentence is exactly what the troll wanted. It justifies his butthurt over living in Texas.

  58. 58
    Schlemazel says:

    @Mike J:
    THATS GREAT! I had never heard that but it fits. Thanks!

  59. 59

    @Frankensteinbeck: So true, I don’t remember anyone asking for Clinton’s original birth certificate.

  60. 60
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: Give up, you should, my young padawan. Yes, hmmm.

    Lost on the inattentive and the dull, parody is.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    Bend isn’t as expensive as where I live and far less expensive than where my friends live. We’ve been looking for a number of years, by myself I’d have to move most likely out of the country and while I like a whole lot of the rest of the world and wouldn’t mind living there, I’m not sure I’d like to have to (or am capable!) learn another language right now.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: Its in dispute. They claimed they lit back/break fires to prevent a forest/wildfire from moving from the Federal grazing lease onto their actual ranch/farm. From what I’ve read the local/state prosecutors chose not to prosecute them, but the US Attorney did for arson. And somehow it was under a Federal support for terrorism statute that had mandatory minimum sentencing attached to it. When the Federal judge sentenced them the father got a couple of months and the son got a year. It seems the Federal prosecutor appealed and the 9th Circuit imposed the full mandatory minimum sentence.

    I honestly find some of the above troubling. Specifically the mandatory minimum sentencing, a charge that was related to terrorism for something that clearly wasn’t, and the need to embrace the concept of pyrrhic victory by appealing to get longer sentences. There seems to be all sorts of wrong involved here. Unlike Bundy, the Hammonds have longstanding Federal grazing lease permits, that have been paid for, since the elder Hammond’s father purchased his farm/ranch. This one is just a head scratcher all around, but credit to the Hammonds for saying that they’ll voluntarily and peacefully surrender to serve their time. And for making it clear that they don’t want militia interference.

  63. 63
    Schlemazel says:

    It was crazy when the last Clinton was in office too though. While I think some individuals are more hopped about because there is a colored boy pretending to be President I don’t think the mighty Wurlitzer is any different. They did, after all, try to impeach WJC, something that has not happened with the current President.

    The other difference is that they needed to scrounge around to find different things to use against WJC whereas there is the one easy dog whistles for use with BHO.

  64. 64
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    Among my 8 colleagues, one is planning to move to the Philippines and one to Costa Rica. Both nice places to visit, but I won’t live where I can’t vote.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Ruckus: There are more expensive places to live. California, f’rinstance. It’s said when there is an earthquake in Cal. real estate prices in Bend jump 10% and people flee up here because it’s better and safer and it’s NOT California. For me, I live here for the agreeable 9 months of the year then move to my home on an island in S. Thailand for the winter. Both fine choices, I think…

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: Last I checked, Oregon was an open carry state.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve done an update to the original post with information on the original trial and conviction and the resentencing. Including links.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes it is.

  70. 70
    Shell says:

    Did they or the prosecution reveal any motive for starting the fires?

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    My mansion in the islands went when my small but very new and unprofitable small business got eaten by the Bush recession. It was a shame actually that the house, the Ferrari, my wife, and both dogs were lost, along with the business and the house in Stinson Beach. I did end up with a then 14 yr old van to sleep in but finding an overnight parking place in Marin county was difficult.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Schlemazel: Go to Newfoundland – you can visit Heart’s Content, Dildo, Come By Chance, Leading Tickles, Blow Me Down, or if you want to be picky, Jerry’s Nose

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Shell: My understanding, and I’m not saying its accurate, is that they claimed they were setting back fires and controlled burns to improve the land for grazing by using controlled fire to reduce the likelihood of wildfire. I have no idea if that’s true, but a local jury didn’t buy whatever their defense was.

  75. 75
    Schlemazel says:

    @Just One More Canuck:
    Nice, I need to add Dildo, Newfoundland to the list! Thanks.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    Pfttt. That’s eastern Marin county with the horses.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: @efgoldman: This is not surprising. The Saudis are looking to escalate with this. They are signaling to their own population, who are adherents to the same doctrine of tawheed as the Islamic State guys, that they won’t protect the Saudi Shi’a or give them special consideration. They are signaling to the Islamic State folks that we’re inline on the theology/doctrine front, so we don’t need to be removed and replaced. And they’re signaling to the Iranians that the proxy war over control of the region and between Sunni and (Twelver) Shi’a Islam is not going to be contained to Syria or Iraq or Yemen.

    This is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    Especially since it’s been going on since your great, great, great grandfather was not even a gleam in anyone’s eye.

  79. 79
    dogwood says:

    @West of the Cascades:
    Very few people in Nevada, Idaho or Montana follow the model either.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: According to the Guardian…. Scalia dismisses separation of church and state…
    God is good to the US because Americans honor him, according to supreme court justice Antonin Scalia, who added on Saturday that he does not believe the country’s constitutional traditions enshrine the idea of religious neutrality.
    Religion solves everything, one only has to look at the middle east for a good example of this. the Guardian

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: I’m neither surprised nor have anything to say about this that would be coherent. I’m a big believer in appointing, not electing, judges and with lifetime tenure to protect them from political pressure. Associate Justice Scalia is, perhaps, the best example of why the latter is not a good idea.

  83. 83
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Ruckus: Like most everybody else up here my business of 27 years got crushed when the bottom fell out. I got slammed but I owned my house and business outright so I didn’t have it as bad as some others. Rode out the next 5 years, sold my house this past summer on the upswing, and downsized into a mobile home. This was not the Dream as I planned but I did the best I could. Many people had it way worse…

  84. 84
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: I wonder if he’s getting more brazen as he gets older, or if this is part of the magnifying effect of the internet for shit he’s always been saying. I do recall when JP-2 made a strong statement against capital punishment, Nino said effectively, the Pope is infallible, except when he disagrees wit me

  85. 85

    @Adam L Silverman: It won’t get better till the Saudis run out of oil.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I honestly can’t tell if he’s just rubbing people’s faces in it/trolling or actually believes this stuff. But since members of the Supreme Court are not bound by hard and fast rules regarding what they have to recuse themselves for, he can spout off in prejudgement of any topic that will come before the court and no one can make him recuse himself from cases that deal with those issues.

  87. 87
    Ruckus says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    It’s OK that you don’t know me that well but almost all of that was snark.
    I owned a small retail store that I’d just opened, lived in the back, showers at the YMCA. I did end up investing everything I had in the business and I did end up with the van. A friend took me in for a year, now I have a job and am doing OK. No horses, no Ferrari, no wife, Stinson Beach would only let me drive through as long as I didn’t get out of the vehicle.

  88. 88
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Ruckus: re: moving out of the country.

    I heard a snippet of a rebroadcast of Dinner party download today. It had an interview with Bobcat Goldthwait about his new movie about Barry Crimmins.

    BG: You know, the joke that most people mangle that’s the typical Barry joke — if you really want to get into who he is — is the line: “People say if you don’t love America, why don’t you leave it?” And Barry says: “Because I don’t want to be a victim of its foreign policies.”

    Just something to think about. ;-)


  89. 89
    mclaren says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’re confusing Eastern Oregon, which is populated with far-right loons, with the rest of Oregon, which has some of the most liberal population in America.

    It’s sort of the difference between Austin Texas, which is a highly liberal progressive population, and the rest of Texas, which comes straight of the Stone Age by way of far right extremism craziness.

    Or Wisconsin, in which the big cities are highly liberal, while the rural areas abound with no-neck far-right mouth-breathers.

    Summary: All states are not politically homogeneous.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    Wasn’t planing to move to the middle east. And with republicans fully in charge would being here be a much better place to retire? I do think they want to burn down the entire world and make it over in some image that floats in what passes for their minds. Towards that goal I think any place that has running water is in trouble.

  91. 91
    Kelly says:

    And some of the crazier crazys have taken over a fed wildlife office.


  92. 92
    Satby says:

    @Roger Moore: see what Suzanne says at #48
    @West of the Cascades: You too.

  93. 93
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The Yemen ceasefire ended today, also too.

    This conflict has the potential to spin up very quickly and be even nastier than it has been…



  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Gonna be fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun.

  95. 95
    Satby says:

    @Ruckus: Iceland. I’m thinking Iceland. The cold keeps everyone else away.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Satby: Do you have a swan dress?

  97. 97
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Ruckus: It was a believable tale you told because it mirrored exactly what happened to numerous contractor friends of mine. Took on too much debt when the times were booming, got killed on the way down. Lost everything: houses, trucks, toys, spouses, and in a couple cases, their lives. It weren’t pretty up here. Much better now, tho…

  98. 98
    Ruviana says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve begun to wonder seriously if it might be dementia given Nino’s age. Not an ageist thing I don’t think since I’m in my 60s and dementia is indeed a thing that affects people as they age.

  99. 99
    Honus says:

    @debbie: in 1992 I was in law school at W&L. I had criminal law at 8am on Wednesday. The day after the election I pulled into the parking lot at 7:45am and there was a car there with bumper sticker that read “don’t blame me I voted for Bush”

  100. 100

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Generally, if you’re that spiteful, you quickly convince yourself that whatever you made up for the purposes of trolling is true. Scalia already has a history of reasoning that indulges in ‘Whatever I want to be true, must be true. I just have to find words to put on it.’

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    Have a friend who got married and her husband spends a fair amount of time in Iceland. She loves it. I’ve lived in the cold, although not that cold and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it. The people though seem to be outstanding.

  102. 102
    dogwood says:

    The common assumption that wingnuttery is indigenous to the Pacific and Inland Northwest suggests pretty lazy thinking. The disease has spread to many in the indigenous population over the last 40 years, but Randy Weaver and his clan were from Indiana. Claude Dallas, Virginia. Aryan Nation and various other militias throughout the region are national in their membership. The anti-tax and anti- government movements so popular today really took off with an influx of disaffected ultra conservative Californians beginning in the 1970’s.

  103. 103
    Satby says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Nah, I’ll just knock down Bjork and take hers.

  104. 104
    Satby says:

    @efgoldman: That’s what I’m thinking.

  105. 105
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @dogwood: It’s here in MI as well. Remember the Michigan Militia from the Oklahoma City bombing? 50 miles from Detroit.
    I think angry nationalism occurs in men wherever they feel like they’ve been ripped off and taken advantage of. In MI, in the most recent era this is partly because of declining quality of life for blue collar people, and the feeling that someone is to blame. Someone is, but it’s not the immigrants, minorities, women, etc. that they’re directing their anger toward. It’s the invisible plutocrats looking the economy and destroying the decent jobs they used to rely on.

  106. 106
    PaulW says:

    what’s this about the anti-gov’t protesters taking over a wildlife refuge building?


  107. 107
    Ruckus says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:
    I was going for the “cheap laugh.” I did know of a few people who lived in Marin county that had “invested” with Bernie Madoff and were crying that they were going to lose their multi million dollar homes because of it. For them I didn’t shed a tear.
    I watched every business except two in the local commercial/industrial area (really nice, several biotech firms, and the like) close up or slim down. Every property except those two had vacancy signs put up. My 4 unit building took about 6 months to go to me being the only occupant. Spent a year that way till the owner found a buyer, who was one of the two business that grew. The other was a large biotech firm with two drugs FDA approved and several more in the pipeline. They bought seemingly half the property in the area and tripled in size in the four yrs before I had no more towel to throw in.
    And Marin county was one of the last in the country to feel the full strength of the recession. As you know it was brutal. If you don’t own anything republicans hate you with the heat of a thousand suns. If you own a little they want to take it all, so they can give it to those with a lot and then hate you with that same heat. If you own a lot they are willing to suck you off for the rest of their lives in the hope that you being those with a lot won’t take everything away from them as well.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    Now that’s not going for the cheap laugh.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    I could afford that. For about 5 minutes.

  111. 111
    sm*t cl*de says:

    an influx of out of state militia folks. They are there to defend the Constitution and two local cattle ranchers

    So these militia are defending the right of wealthy people to annex land from other people (the public) and make it their own — first the Bundys’ land-grab, now the Hammonds’? In the cause of Freedom and Property Rights?

  112. 112
    Kelly says:

    update: the Bundy Boys have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters at Burns OR. Should all be in jail over the grazing stand off.

  113. 113
    Satby says:

    @Ruckus: Seriously, I am considering booking for a few years to a country where my hundreds in retirement income will allow me basic comforts without having to pay bill roulette every month. I know people doing ok in Thailand and in Costa Rica. I’m a basket case in hot climates though, so choose aren’t too likely for me.

  114. 114
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Satby: Moldova?

  115. 115
    Cain says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    This. Our right wingers are not as nutty as some of these other assholes. As a non-white, I have traveled around in some of the conservative areas and I have been treated with nothing but respect. While they might not appreciate some of the liberal stuff that comes out of portland and salem, they are generally a live and let live type of people.

  116. 116
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Satby: I don’t know anything about Moldova, but a similar European country worth considering might be Poland. They got hammered during the recession so things might be relatively inexpensive, while they’re still part of the EU and NATO. They have their own currency, so they’re not trapped by the Euro.

    Lots of history, beautiful country, J enjoyed a brief vacation there. But I’ve got no personal experience with the place myself. I haven’t looked into their political leanings these days, either.

    HTH a little. Best of luck with your decision!


  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    The hardest part of some countries is being allowed to live there full time. Costa Rica is not too bad but getting more expensive. I’ve heard that Nicaragua is pretty nice and cheap. I know someone who lives there and he loves it. But then he was born there as well. Have a friend who lives in Panama who says it’s much better than Costa Rica. The far east can be very nice I’m told and cheap but some of the countries have pretty huge restrictions for getting a permanent visa. And so it goes. There are some very nice places to live in this world but make sure you can speak the language or that english is very widely spoken.

  118. 118
    Barry says:

    @raven: “I always wondered if the “authorities” had little private conversations with these idiots?”

    Either they didn’t, or it didn’t take. IMHO, they didn’t. It’s pretty clear in this country that white right-wingers get treated with kid gloves.

  119. 119
    Botsplainer says:

    I’m really OK with every militia retard there being gunned down by drones, A-10s, guided missiles, tanks and snipers.. Preferably on Pay Per View.

    Bonus points if they pray to their feeble shitstain of a deity first.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barry: Doesn’t really matter now. Three of the Bundy’s just validated their own parking. It’ll be interesting to see if Dad knew. Law enforcement made it clear that they 1) knew exactly who was involved and did what at the Bundy Ranch standoff and 2) they could afford to wait to deal with them piecemeal. The Bundy’s just provided that opportunity.

  121. 121
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: re: your Update #2

    Zooks. 2016 certainly is starting off with a bang, here in the US and elsewhere, isn’t it?



  122. 122
    Luthe says:

    I hope those assholes brought enough food for their “years-long” standoff, because law enforcement ain’t letting them leave that cabin ever.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Ritzheimer has made a 13 minute long farewell to his family video and posted it on Youtube. These guys have spent far too long imbibing far too much of their own (ideological) stash. From what I’ve just read elsewhere there’s only one road in/out from this building and only one power line in. And they’re in the Oregon equivalent of high desert. So they’re going to be cold and hungry pretty soon.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Overwhelming force wouldn’t have worked. Unless they brought in an air based strike platform, there was no way to keep the militia folks backing the Bundy who had taken up “overwatch” positions for sniping from killing far too many law enforcement, media, and other onlookers. From a tactical standpoint discretion was a good call. From a policy standpoint it just encouraged them. Though it seems to have done so in a way that they’re now overplaying their hand in a very bad tactical location. They’ve put out calls for reinforcement. No one who tries to make it into the Malheur building now will make it. They will be stopped by law enforcement and either turned around or detained. Those inside are getting out one of two ways: live and in custody or dead. I would not put self martyrdom past some of these guys – as in creating a suicide by cop scenario to create new martyrs for the movement.

  125. 125
    burnspbesq says:


    Scalia is probably trolling, but you can never be certain.

  126. 126
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Exactly right.

    I recall several years back when some long-haired tree hugger types occupied a government office in Mendocino County in CA by chaining their arms together inside some PVC pipe (I think) that the local law enforcement folks showed up and asked them to leave and then very applied OC spray to the protesters eyes using q-tips. Something tells me that ain’t gonna happen here.

    I think that as a general rule it’s better to deescalate situations and just wait out protestors, but at some point the federal government has to decide whether ordinary laws apply to the RWNJs.

    Were it up to me, I’d clear a perimeter around the occupied building sufficient to keep it from being filmed, evacuate all of the government personnel, computers, important documents, etc., have the appropriate agency give an order to leave the premises, then lob in tear gas, and then send an entry team in. It will give the RWNJs who fantasize about “standing up to the government” a lesson in the effectiveness of a few guys against a well trained entry team.

  127. 127
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: As I posted down below, I wonder what they plan to eat. The chances of any vehicle bringing in supplies to them now seems to me to be somewhere between zero and zero. Pretty soon they’ll be hungry.

  128. 128
    Bill_D says:

    @Adam L Silverman: From an ecological standpoint this is plausible, and in general most western lands have had far too little fire for many decades. Plus, federal agencies have mostly been too slow in reintroducing fire to these ecosystems, in part because their budget for doing so gets eaten up fighting fires made worse by fuel buildup caused by lack of fire.

    That said, laypersons setting fires in today’s environment is totally irresponsible because the fire can very easily turn into a disaster in more ways than one. Even prescribed fires get out of control now and then, usually resulting in a shitstorm.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill_D: I just did a clean post on the standoff and included the US Attorney’s statement on what they were charged with. Apparently the first fire was set to cover up poaching and one of their cousins testified against them to this effect.

  130. 130
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It was like -15 in Burns last night. More of that, please…

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Depends on how far ahead they planned. If this was always their intention, to occupy this location, they could have staged a fair bit of stuff ahead of time. But even if they did, it won’t last forever.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Capt. Seaweed: Its a lovely 65 here in Florida.

  133. 133
    Vhh says:

    @Satby: Iceland:30 active volcanoes, insanely expensive beer, and no last names (only patronymics), making phone calls and mail a nightmare. And you need to learn a challenging language and live on mostly fish.

  134. 134
    pea says:

    @debbie: the first fires in 2001 (by the elder hammond) were set to destroy evidence of illegal deer hunting…

  135. 135
    HYoung says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yep, crazy has increased a squillion-fold: it’s all the white people who can’t handle having a black President.

  136. 136
    Bill Murray says:


    It was crazy when the last Clinton was in office too though.

    Yeah, there were a lot of bombings in the West that weren’t heavily reported or really discussed after the initial report, except for in the local area. The reported on one’s were the one’s that killed people.

    here’s an article about one that nearly killed my aunt and uncle. They mention around 900 bomb threats at government offices between January and April 1996 and half a dozen bombings although these were over a slightly longer time frame than the threats.

  137. 137
    rcastle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The local and state prosecutors probably “chose” not to prosecute because the offense was a federal one (setting fire to federal land). I suppose there could be a local law broken there somewhere, but prosecutors at all levels tend to defer to the jurisdiction that was more/most offended. Also, it seems that their story could n be sustained by what was discovered on investigation.

  138. 138
    Zinsky says:

    I still say we just fence off Idaho and Wyoming and give them to these right-wing loons and gun goons and let them shoot up the place to their hearts content – just no leaving the compound once you are inside. After they have killed each other off and all the animals and wildlife are dead, we can have a rational, intelligent discussion about gun control and the rights of “the commons” vs. these mythical “individual rights”…

  139. 139
    Barry says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Law enforcement made it clear that they 1) knew exactly who was involved and did what at the Bundy Ranch standoff and 2) they could afford to wait to deal with them piecemeal.”

    No, because each and every one of them there committed enough crimes to get any (white guy) of us thrown in prison and any (black guy) of us killed on the spot.

  140. 140
    Mr. Poopy Butthole says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yes, the stupid has increased in the Obama years. Right wing militia movements exploded after Obama was elected, they all went nuts expecting, if not the end of the world, at least the end of the USA. You have to wonder if these people are really stupid or just insular, or both. A poll of state law enforcement folk revealed they consider the largest threat in the USA to be the sovereign citizen movement.
    This study was done by the University of Maryland.
    The FBI considered them to be a growing threat in 2011. This probably isn’t surprising considering the number of frauds and criminal enterprises many of these folk get into.

    The two from Bundy’s broo ha ha who murdered a civilian and two police in Las Vegas were sovereign citizens.

  141. 141
    Mr. Poopy Butthole says:

    @Zinsky: wrote “After they have killed each other off and all the animals and wildlife are dead…”

    That should read “After they have killed each other off and all the animals are raped and dead…”

  142. 142

    […] Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Balloon Juice has been doing some good coverage of the event (read here and here if you want a recap, as national media seems woefully off the case). Suffice it to say, […]

  143. 143

    […] Press, Hullabaloo, Slantpoint, The Gateway Pundit, The Reality-Based Community, KTVZ-TV, KOIN-TV, Balloon Juice, Lawyers, Guns & Money,Talking Points Memo, Mashable, Little Green Footballs and Washington […]

  144. 144
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Zinsky: Truly an original thought there.

    However, I for one am getting tired of tough-guy rhetoric on both sides. Yes, I said both sides. At least yours didn’t involve fapping to images of A-10’s blowing people away.

  145. 145
    Wes says:

    This comes from a conservative source and is undoubtedly one-sided, but it has the advantage of being detailed and explaining the ranchers’ grievances, whatever you think their merits are: http://theconservativetreehous.....rsecution/

  146. 146
    Barry says:

    @The Other Chuck: “Yes, I said both sides.”

    ‘Shape of the Earth: Opinions Differ’

  147. 147
    Thoughtful Today says:


    “The Armed Domestic Terrorists in Oregon Should Be Treated Just as ISIS Terrorists Would Be.” -By David Atkins

    The big story of the day is the armed seizure of an empty federal building in rural Oregon by a group of domestic terrorists, some of whom are the sons of federal tax cheat and freeloader Cliven Bundy.

    They’re apparently upset at the conviction and upcoming jail sentences of a couple of fellow domestic terrorists for arson. They believe that the federal government has no constitutional authority to own land, that national parks are essentially illegal, and that men like them have a God-given right to mine, log and otherwise destroy whatever forest land they want. (It remains unclear whether they would condone Native Americans for “standing their ground” and responding with force to their trespass on the same lands that God clearly gave to them first.)

    I don’t want to dwell too much on the rationales and motivations for these domestic terrorists any more than I would for the people who fight for ISIS or Al Qaeda.

  148. 148
    Paul in KY says:

    Will note that ‘Ammon’ was one of the names of a Carthagian deity that little babies were sacrificed to.

    Sounds apropos here.

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  2. […] Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Balloon Juice has been doing some good coverage of the event (read here and here if you want a recap, as national media seems woefully off the case). Suffice it to say, […]

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