Open Thread: “The Common Clay of the New West…”

“…. you know — morons!”

Adam, bless the man, is doing serious, constructive updates on the Great Malheur Bird Sanctuary Loon Invasion. Which leaves me free to do what I’m best at — aggregating the bathos, cheap shots and snark. Has anyone else made note that “Malheur” is French for “misfortune”?…

Amanda Peacher’s a local reporter:

The prospect of hundreds of out-of-towners who openly carry firearms concerns some residents in Burns.

Fliers with the message “Militia go home” hang on signposts downtown.

Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward said he received death threat emails from people in other states after he told militia organizers he would not create a safe haven for the Hammonds to stay in Harney County.

“I haven’t slept a full night in close to two months now. I have a lot of anxiety,” he said. But Sheriff Ward wants to protect his county.

“What we’ve been threatened with here is civil unrest and the insinuations of armed rebellion,” said Sheriff Ward…

Even Bundy is unsure whether the protest is a good idea, and whether it’s proper for his family’s supporters to get involved. “I don’t quite understand how much they’re going to accomplish,” Bundy said. “I think of it this way: what business does the Bundy family have in Harney County, Oregon?”…

I suspect the good people of Burns also share the resentment known to every tourist-attracting community: These guys show up with one shirt and a twenty-dollar bill, and in two weeks they won’t have changed either one.

In the Washington Post, “Terrorists? Freedom fighters? Oregon standoff poses quandary for media”:

… In the wake of the seizure of a federal wildlife management building in eastern Oregon by armed protesters on Saturday, the news media have struggled with how to refer to the people involved.

The descriptions have included “self-styled militiamen” (Reuters), “armed activists” (the New York Times) and “armed protesters” (The Washington Post), as well as a number of other variations on the theme.

The descriptions have included “self-styled militiamen” (Reuters), “armed activists” (the New York Times) and “armed protesters” (The Washington Post), as well as a number of other variations on the theme.

The media’s attempts to find a neutral formulation were in stark contrast with the partisan fray on social media, where supporters and detractors of the protest group found their own adjectives. The majority of those posting under the Twitter hashtag ­#OregonUnderAttack seemed to prefer more loaded phrases, such as “domestic terrorists.”…

Me, I’d go with “wanna-be terrorists,” if “FailQueda” is under copyright protection…

(Extraneous vowel at the end there, Cap’n.)

95 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    So, IIRC, the Bundy whackaloons originally and repeatedly said the only authority they recognize as lawful is the county sheriff.

    Apparently non-operative now.

    It’s winter. Cut the power and the water to the buildings and wait ’em out.

  2. 2
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Just waiting for the first rain storm to arrive, it’s supposed to rain all week; yeah!

  3. 3
    Tommy says:

    Their ration of supplies in that Twitter pic might be more sad and pathetic than this whole shit show in general. I mean I am nothing close to a hoarder but an active hiker and camper. I got more rations, freeze dry food in my closet where I keep all my camping gear and in my backpack then they appear to have as an entire group.

    I just love these responses:

    This is less than I pick up on a Costco run.

    20 bucks that these idiots turn to cannibalism within two weeks.

    I mean I knew already these folks were loons that couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag, but my gosh as a “militia” you think they could at least order some of the supplies that are advertised on Glenn Beck’s show to get ready for the end of the world via a UN takeover of the United States.

  4. 4
    pea says:

    i am a 66 year old american citizen. federal lands belong to all americans.
    i want to cash in my chips, i want my acre …or 5′ by 5′ feet NOW, and will immediately secede.
    but where? yellowstone? yosemite? next to the bundys?
    but oh
    i don’t own guns…

  5. 5
    Tommy says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: If I could somehow wish the rain I am about to get and have gotten in your general direction, I would gladly do so :).

  6. 6
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    These people remind me of the sons in the X Files episode “Home”

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: We already had some rain tonight! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that rain all week forecast. It doesn’t seem like it’ll be too heavy, either. The biggest amount here is .82 inch on Tuesday.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    I’m sorry but I’m dying about the Stanford Band at the Rose Bowl. They played the Farmer’s theme and had a big “cow” on the field! The Iowa fans were insulted and booed lustily prompting a band member to later tweet “Hey Iowa fans, were you booing or mooing’!

  9. 9
    Zinsky says:

    These ignorant tools apparently weren’t allowed to play enough “Army Man” when they were little and so they want to act out into their adulthood. I bet these degenerates get a stiff little weiner every time they put on their camos. Sick.

  10. 10
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Tommy: Mormons used to store food for…well I don’t know what for; when I was close to them back in the 60’s and early 70’s(I had a close friend who was a Mormon and was in a Mormon Boy Scout Troop). I guess they don’t do that anymore or these are really bad Mormons(and obviously not Boy Scouts, Be Prepared and all…).

  11. 11
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Tommy: We don’t want the kind of rain you’ve had, all the hillsides would slide into the basin and we’d be in feet of mud.

    @Mary G: I’ve seen a few drops here just now, it looks like they’ve scaled back the forecasted amounts a bit.

  12. 12
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: The first time I saw the LSJU band was as a freshman in college at the LA Memorial Mausoleum; their theme was a salute to office supplies.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    “American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee in 1973. Government immediately sent US marshals; prepared tanks/planes; killed 2, wounded 13″.

    Gee, wonder why there were no adults then saying ‘now, now, let’s not overreact’.

  14. 14
    BillinGlendaleCA says:


    Gee, wonder why there were no adults then saying ‘now, now, let’s not overreact’.

    Nixon was President and wouldn’t have given a shit.

  15. 15
    J R in WV says:

    Well, I’m loving the fact that Balloon-Juice has room for serious background and comment on the Loons Return to the Bird Sanctuary event AND the more interesting snark being provided here about the Loons Return to the Bird Sanctuary.

    Thanks for all the research on snark being generated as a result of the Loon Return on other web sites, I know that was time consuming, even while funny.

    Their storeroom “full” of supplies for the years long effort to overthrow the government was interesting. Our everyday kitchen pantry frequently has more food, paper products (we keep paper plates, paper towels, bowls, etc for use when the power is off, as the water is off too then) bottled water, etc.

    And did they bring exercise equipment with them, or is that federal equipment, or even equipment actually owned by employees at the National Wildlife Refuge?

    Has anyone seen multiple electrical generators on site yet? Because I imagine the power will be shut off by COB Monday, unless they have opened a customer account with the local power company or co-op, as the government can’t afford to supply free electrical power to every protest movement in the country. There isn’t a line item in the federal budget for “Power, Electrical, Insurrectionist or Protest Movement, for the use of – Item FW198-902839-09445”

    This can be fun, until or unless the armed insurrectionists begin self-defence action by shooting passers-by or Sheriff’s Deputies. I hope they brought a big fan along to handle the shit that will be in play at that time.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    The Peacock brothers in that episode were, quite literally, a bunch of motherfuckers.

  17. 17
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “What we’ve been threatened with here is civil unrest and the insinuations of armed rebellion,” said Sheriff Ward…

    Sounds like straight up home grown terrorism to me. But they’ll probably get away with it because they’re the right skin color.

    Disagree strongly with Michael Cohen’s tweet. He’s insinuating that it’s up to the Federal government to seek a peaceful resolution of this terroristic action. It’s actually up to the terrorists to be peaceful since they’re the ones making the threats and carrying around assault weaponry. They need to end this and they bear the blame for any deaths which may occur.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @amk: If you are so fired up that something be done pack your shit up and go there.

  19. 19
    low-tech cyclist says:


    Nixon was President and wouldn’t have given a shit.

    Tru dat. Nixon’s answer to his ‘enemies’ (i.e. everybody except his overt supporters) was to hit them with a bigger hammer. In an era with Kent State and Jackson State, the response to Wounded Knee was unfortunately par for the course back then.

  20. 20
    amk says:

    @raven: way to misread, macho boy.

  21. 21
    low-tech cyclist says:


    So, IIRC, the Bundy whackaloons originally and repeatedly said the only authority they recognize as lawful is the county sheriff.
    Apparently non-operative now.
    It’s winter. Cut the power and the water to the buildings and wait ’em out.

    Guess the county sheriff is the lawful authority until he tells them to get lost. Then they’re sovereign citizens or something.

    And I’m with you on cutting off their power and water. And when they surrender, charge them with armed trespass, breaking and entering, and anything else that can be thrown at them, hit them with the max sentences for everything, and make them serve their time consecutively rather than concurrently.

    Let them be ‘martyrs’ while quietly rotting in a prison somewhere.

  22. 22
    raven says:

    @amk: Wasn’t you first post on this was it sweetheart? I do appreciate you telling me about AIM in 1973 though, I had no idea.

  23. 23
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    To celebrate the first full week of the new year, I’ve put up not one but two new Flickr albums:

    Happy New Year,


    Seoul – From the Archives.

  24. 24
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning. Happy first Monday in January.

    First time I’ve had NBC on in two weeks: turned on Morning Joe to see how they were handling the Mammon Militia standoff and —

    they seem to be purely sticking to horse race politics. Have not heard it mentioned, unless it was quick and I was out of the room.

    We have our answer. It seems to be inconvenient and they’re not covering it at full pant, first thing. TV is now off. They’re pumping Bernie putting up big fundraising numbers, because it’s a way to slag Hillary.

    No militia madness.

    Might tune in the big nets morning shows to see where they place the story.

    To remind: the reason I put a moratorium on watching NBC News earlier: it was the Today show opening after the Democratic debate — the debate we all saw because it was held the Saturday night before Christmas — and Matt Lauer opened with a “Hillary needs to apologize to Trump — you won’t believe what she said about him and ISIL recruiting — what a liar she is!” segment at the top of the show as what NBC took away from the Democratic debate.

    Click went the TV.

    Have not watched a morsel of news on cable or networks since.

    It’s been heavenly.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    “What we’ve been threatened with here is civil unrest and the insinuations of armed rebellion,” said Sheriff Ward…

    Sounds like straight up home grown terrorism to me.

    Yup. You are not wrong. Why it seems not to be a topic on Morning Joe today. Turned them back on. They’re talking Iran and Saudi Arabia. They’re scrupulously avoiding the topic, so far.

    Also, the sentence before your excerpt:

    “I haven’t slept a full night in close to two months now. I have a lot of anxiety,” [Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward] said. But Sheriff Ward wants to protect his county.

    That’s the local color that was missing, last night, from the major dailies reporting. They were giving the militia-ranchers a lot of deference in their big summary stories that went up online last night.

    The local sheriff, under pressure from militia activists and still doing his job. That resonates.

    Good on Amanda Peacher for doing her job.

  26. 26
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Not to suggest that there’s unequal justice in this land or anything, but part of me wants to ask if we should take up a collection to fly the Tamir Rice cops out there.

  27. 27
    Elizabelle says:

    @low-tech cyclist: The Tamir Rice cops? So they can join the Mammon Militia?

  28. 28
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    This incident is more important existentially for this nation than many want to acknowledge.

    Sure, it is fun to make fun of these loons. But these loons have committed a clear serious of felonies, they have threatened, in fact promised, armed insurrection, there is no way they do not qualify for charges under the various “anti-terror” laws that are so quickly brought into play in our nation now if a child melts a crayon in kindergarten.

    This is the point where the political and judicial infrastructure of this nation lose ALL credibility, if these armed insurrectionists are not removed, by force if necessary, tried, convicted, and thrown in prison for at least 10 years.

    NOT doing this will send a very clear signal that the power structure of this nation CONDONES this sort of militant, anti-government, insurrectionist, and felonious action.

    I would point out the obvious, that this is particularly the case when the the insurrectionists are good ol’ white boys, but that just goes without even saying anymore.

    If these people were Black, or MY $DEITY MUSLIM, the center they are holed up in would already have been carpet bombed as per future President Ted Cruz’ planned actions, and would be nothing but a smouldering, collapsed ruin.

  29. 29
    Botsplainer says:

    All that Western farmers and ranchers want is the following:

    1. To continue to operate on land given to their ancestors for free by the USG after it was stolen off from native Americans;

    2. Their water use provided courtesy of massive federal subsidies for hydro projects;

    3. Their grazing rights provided by the USG for a small fraction of market rates; and

    4. To lecture all of us about their superior morality and self-reliance.

  30. 30
    dp says:

    @Tommy: The quartermaster corps of the militia is much less romantic than the gun-toting part.

  31. 31
    ThresherK (GPad) says:

    @Botsplainer: All I need is my free water, cheap grazing, roads to market, to dump the effluvia downstream…and to get that gummint from interfering with my life.

    Really, I’m ailing. There’s a joke in their but I’m too under the weather to arrange words funny.

  32. 32
    gelfling545 says:

    Block their internet access. They’ll be out of there by Thursday.

  33. 33
    Lurker says:

    Turn off their water and electricity. They’ll scurry out like the bunch of cockroaches they are.

  34. 34
    C.V. Danes says:

    One has to wonder what the media response would be if armed insurrectionists had taken over a Mosque to protest it from being shut down…

  35. 35
    Satby says:

    @C.V. Danes: A mosque is private property. This bunch of seditious fucks took over property that belongs to all of us. As part owner, even of only a microscopic piece, I’d like to see them evicted.

  36. 36
    BGinCHI says:

    I’d like to see some helicopters playing Ride of the Valkyries or some of those trucks with the speakers they used against Noriega blasting CREED or Celine Dion 24/7.

    But joking aside (it’s hard to do this with these fucking idiots), agree with HeartlandLiberal above that this needs to be professionally/legally dealt with. Not stupidly to make them martyrs, but with the cold, hard grip of law enforcement that procedurally puts you in a place where it is not televised and not romantic.

    You want free government grazing?

    Do it in the cafeteria of a Federal Penitentiary.

  37. 37
    p.a. says:

    SpiteSIS manifesto:

    1. Occupy remote tourist info center.
    2. ???
    3. Overthrow US gvt.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    @p.a.: If they could overthrow the House of Representatives they might actually be greeted as liberators.

  39. 39
    Chaplain Weasle Forsythe says:

    My first thought was “Geez, I got more for a Junior or Senior High lock-in”… back when I was an inner-city Youth Minister, but I really needed to feed my kids. And that was just for 24 to 48 hours!
    I also chuckle because I learned from Lyudmila Pavlichenko and others who survived the siege of Stalingrad, and these bozos clearly are shitty planners of both siege warfare and revolution.
    Major Lulz!!!!!

  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    Wow, this is a good one:

    “Look, all ranchers want is to graze on your land, keep all the profit from it, and lecture you about self reliance. And burn some shit.”

  41. 41
    Emily68 says:

    @Tommy: Since they’re all heavily armed, when the cannibalism starts, nobody will be able to go to sleep for fear of getting shot and eaten.

    Of course, it’s possible they’ll start shooting each other sooner than the cannibalism stage just because they’re all getting on each other’s nerves.

  42. 42
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: this.

  43. 43
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Re hashtags, maybe #Failitia is worth a shot (so to speak).

    Then again, the Felicias of the planet don’t deserve the opprobrium.

  44. 44
    NonyNony says:


    This is the point where the political and judicial infrastructure of this nation lose ALL credibility, if these armed insurrectionists are not removed, by force if necessary,

    No. That turns this into an existential threat. Right now, these are a handful of loons who have “occupied” an unmanned bird sanctuary visitor center. The best way to deal with them is to shut off their access to food, water, electricity and phones and wait for the photo op when they come out and pathetically turn themselves in the hope of a sandwich. If they escalate then they’ll get stomped, but there is absolutely zero reason for the police involved in this matter to do anything for literally weeks other than block the roads and cut off their access to supplies and the Internet.

    If the Feds escalate this it just gets more martyrs for the cause and gets more idiots to think this kind of crap is a great idea. Right now they’re a bunch of the most pathetic wannabes that have ever been seen in this country – don’t make them into something bigger than that. A few of them are talking the good game of being a martyr willing to “die for the Constitution” – but I imagine they’re expecting that death to be a quick one of suicide by federal agent in a hail of bullets not the slow death of dehydration and starvation. A few missed meals and most of these guys will be surrendering and looking to make a plea deal in exchange for a sandwich.

    Is it unfair that everyone else in this country wouldn’t be treated the same way? Youbetcha. But that doesn’t mean that the right thing to do here is to escalate. It means what’s being done to everyone else in this country is wrong. Escalation by the authorities is almost never the right answer – only in cases where there are hostages involved is escalation even something that should be considered. In a situation like this the worst thing that anyone could do is escalate rather than playing the waiting game with this bozos.

  45. 45
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    Remember, these are respectable white folks, not dirty hippies or injuns.

  46. 46
    Keith G says:


    “American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee in 1973. Government immediately sent US marshals; prepared tanks/planes; killed 2, wounded 13″.

    Gee, wonder why there were no adults then saying ‘now, now, let’s not overreact


    Nixon was President and wouldn’t have given a shit.

    While Bill got to the area first, my thoughts were: Jesus amk, in the early 1970s the federal government was helmed by a cabal of Constitution shredders and war criminals and actually (eventually later) federally convicted criminals. Meanwhile, state policing authorities had gunned downed college students in Ohio and Mississippi.

    So yeah, expect a different response.

  47. 47
    Keith G says:

    @NonyNony: I think HeartlandLiberal needs to change his/her moniker to HeartlandNeoLiberal. She/He seems like a DLC kinda person.

  48. 48
    danielx says:

    At a wild guess, they’re counting on fellow militia travelers to bring them supplies, heaters, bottled water, etc etc, since it doesn’t look like this particular piece of political theater was very well rehearsed. Which their militia buds very well might, in the absence of a perimeter preventing any such resupply. Under ordinary circumstances, an energetic and ambitious Assistant US Attorney could and would use this travesty as a pretext to begin looking into Ammon Bundy’s sources of funding and so forth to prove a terrorist conspiracy against the citizens of Oregon and the federal government, not to mention god, motherhood and apple pie – provided that Ammon’s last name was was something Arabic. However, Bundy and his bros want a confrontation and massive Federal overreaction*, since it would prove – prove beyond the shadow of a doubt! – that BHO and his minions are determined to stamp all true (white) Amurikan patriots into the dust, or snow as the case may be. Also, Amurika. Taking a page from ISIS’ propaganda book, as it were…so the smart move is to wait and freeze these morons out, and let’s hope smart people prevail.

    Goes to show that these guys don’t know diddleyshit about what oppression really is. One of the major differences between these bozos and the 1973 AIM Wounded Knee incident is that AIM members knew very well that they were truly risking their lives and liberty. If there is any group of people who comprehend the very real risks involved in defiance of the federal government, it’s American Indians….

    *Edit – they also have no idea what real overreaction looks like, since it usually involves heavy weapons and blood, guts and brain matter splashed all over the place. They may think they know, but they don’t.

  49. 49
    Shell says:

    Part of their wish list
    “Anything you think will help”

    A nice dose of sanity might be good.

  50. 50
    scav says:

    “When threatening violence, inciting revolt and insisting on my right to mooch off multiple government resources, I have always relied on the provisioning of others.”

  51. 51
    mellowjohn says:

    a friend of mine got transferred to the SLC area in the late 90s. bought a house that had a mormon storage room in the basement. he turned it into a wine cellar.

  52. 52
    Karen says:

    These RWNJ and their New Order militias have been trying to create their own Waco and Ruby Ridge in the hopes they could either start a race war and/or overthrow the government and it’s getting old already.

  53. 53
    nutella says:

    This is why I don’t read the Onion. Real life is weirder than anything they can dream up.

    A bunch of outside agitators travel to a remote desert town in support of local arsonists who repudiate the ‘support’ so they take themselves hostage at an even more remote bird sanctuary. In the dead of winter, without supplies. After pissing off the local sheriff. And complaining about his elderly mother being rude to them.

  54. 54

    AWWW, how sweet. It seems they’ve been asking online for supporters to send them supplies. Do they think the mail will deliver those supplies? Nobody is going to hand-deliver them. Even assuming the Feds don’t have up a perimeter, the outpouring of other righteous rebels flocking to join their standoff has been… nil.

  55. 55
    Oatler. says:

    @Karen: Here in Oregon we overthrow the govenment every weekend, then the fire department puts out the mattress fire and we all sleep it off behind the laundromat.

  56. 56
    kindness says:

    This may end well. Depends how it plays out over the next few days. I don’t think setting up a siege is the best answer though. Obviously we screwed up when we let the loons run things down at the Bundy standoff. This one the government has to be a little more heavy handed. And if that means some of these loons get killed, I won’t cry for them.

  57. 57
    Calouste says:


    They’re talking Iran and Saudi Arabia

    Which is a somewhat bigger deal than a few loons on a bird sanctuary.

  58. 58
    NCSteve says:

    I believe the government will, and should, do every thing possible to cause this to end as ridiculously as possible, to generate as unmanly and humiliating a fiasco for these morons as they can. Which means the Feds are going to cut off the water, cut the road and set up a perimeter and starve the idiots out. Or wait until they call for help after a dysentery outbreak. Either way.

    Now here’s the scary part. Being the kind of people who think “reality” TV shows about “survival” and “Red Dawn” are real, once they run out of Slim Jims, these idiots are going to attempt to “live off the land,” i.e. shoot every non-hibernating creature inside the perimeter and, more than likely, attempt to exfiltrate past the perimeter so they can kill more animals. Indeed, they’re probably looking forward to it with an anticipation bordering on the sexual.

    Which also means that the probability a stray bullet will hit or nearly hit one of the law enforcement officers who’ll be making up the perimeter are high, as are the opportunities for “chance engagements” where the idiots are likely to start shooting will be high. Yeah, these people are stupid enough to generate another Waco purely by accident. And yeah, let’s be serious: that would be bad.

  59. 59
    Peale says:


    help after a dysentery outbreak. Either way.

    That’s what I thought. Why cut off the water when slipping things into it would work so much better.

  60. 60
    NCSteve says:

    @Peale: Oh, no need to do that. Once the water is cut off and they’re living off snow, they’ll manage to contaminate their drinking water in no time.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    THIS. Ten million times this.
    Would it be deep down satisfying for these doofuses to have their nuts crushed? Sure why not! But we are supposed to be adults, we are supposed to be better than them. And absolutely we are supposed to be better than sanction government killing of innocent children and minorities. We have to be, otherwise we are them.
    We complain about bad cops, we complain about conservative loons that attack their political opposites and curb stomp them, we complain about lunatic supreme court justices. Let’s not put ourselves up for ridicule by acting like them. I want to be better, I’d hope that you do as well.

  62. 62
    Zinsky says:

    A couple of well-placed Hellfire missiles would send these two-legged vermin back to Jesus that they claim to love so much and lower their dependents use of government services that they claim to hate so much! A two-fer!!

  63. 63
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    This all got me thinking about the cost of ‘subsidized subsistence’: that is, the amount the federal government ends up paying to ensure that ranchers and other white rural types out west and in Alaska can pretend to be rugged self-sufficient individualists.

    Now, there’s arguably value in underwriting that kind of stuff, to keep deputised stewards of the land and just so that a somewhat iconic way of life doesn’t die out. And there are clearly lots of ranchers who pay their peppercorn leasing fees and aren’t militia assholes. But it’s all in the service of perpetuating a myth about the American West.

    I also wonder how it compares to the amount spent by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

  64. 64
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @NCSteve: Yeah, these people are stupid enough to generate another Waco purely by accident. And yeah, let’s be serious: that would be bad.

    If anything happens it’ll be on purpose, not by accident.

    My guess is that the lack of big-time TV coverage on this is frustrating for these idiots. They expected attention! Cameras! Sean Hannity!!!

    Problem is, if they get too desperate for attention, what’s next? I can see them upping the ante on purpose. How long before they set that building on fire?

    Which sucks cuz that’s one beautiful visitors center, as far as remote Wildlife Refuges go.

  65. 65
    Dread says:

    Ask yourself ‘What would the Founding Fathers do?’ and then realize that they called in the military to stop rebellious citizens with guns.

  66. 66

    The rebellions the Founding Fathers faced were a weeeeeee bit more dangerous to the nation than this one. Even the stupid rebellions. Different population levels and distribution of federal/local control because of transportation limits.

  67. 67
    gex says:

    Has no one told these manchildren about paintball? The whole point of paintball is to keep people like this in the pretend battles they desire without endangering anyone else.

  68. 68
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I am in principle in support of the “cut them off and wait them out” approach, but…

    DonNt these guys come from the Bundy ranch? Where they were ALREADY supposed to be cut off and we were waiting them out to arrest them as soon as they left?

    There is a point where somebody has to enforce the damned law, and start arresting and jailing some criminals, or there might as well not be a law.

  69. 69
    Ruviana says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: They still do, it’s a tenet of the faith and is done mostly to be “prudent” and self-sufficient. Google “Mormon pantries” and click images some time. It’s amazing! I guess Ammon and his buds left theirs at home.

  70. 70
    Bill_D says:

    @NCSteve: There’s not going to be much in the way of animals out and about there this time of the year. Maybe a few jackrabbits and coyotes. Slim pickings.

  71. 71
    Sandia Blanca says:

    If I were a performance artist, I might consider rounding up several of my hippie friends and driving up there to “help” BozoHaram with lots of organic tofu, seaweed, kombucha, yoga mats, and incense to make their stay more pleasant.

  72. 72
    Jacel says:

    Elsewhere I joked that the government should deal with the situation by supplying arms to a counter-militia of Audubon Society members.

    But here’s the actual, sensible statement from the region’s Audubon Society on the situation.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    They also wouldn’t be speaking any of that surrender monkey talk: Bad Hour Loons it is.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    AL: Thanks for the shout out. Depending on how my day shakes out, I’ll try to put up something substantial about the ideology and theology that is driving this very slow moving train wreck.

  75. 75
    maya says:

    Here’s a perfect opportunity to experiment if it is feasible to subsist on one’s own digestive waste for any appreciable length of time. This is true for urine (trapped miners). Perhaps, by exchanging frozen shitcicles they can prolong their occupation indefinitely. I, for one, fully support this important research.

  76. 76
    Jay C says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: @Ruviana:

    Also, IIRC, the Mormon tenet of supply-hoarding dates back to their earliest days of settlement in the West. Having settled (usually) in small, separated communities in a vast and often barren landscape, food shortages (of the good-old-fashioned 19th-Century boil-the-harness-leather-for-dinner sort) were a serious problem, so Brigham Young or someone decided to make it a point of LDS doctrine that Mormons should store a year’s worth of supplies for their entire families, just in case. Maybe a bit out-of-date in the Walmart era, but still, I think, an active doctrine.

  77. 77
    Paul in KY says:

    @Zinsky: I’d rather not destroy the buildings. Wait till they are outside mustering (militias are supposed to ‘muster’ all the time).

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill_D: I’ve heard that jackrabbits in that area are basically inedible, due to all the mesquite they eat.

  79. 79
    dogwood says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:
    The Bundys burned their bridges with Fox at the last standoff when Cliven dropped the dog whistles and went full on racist. Same with candidates like Paul and Cruz who were publicly and enthusiastically supporting them. They seem to be pretty silent now. Rubio and Jeb didn’t take the bait the last time. If there are any sane republicans planning to vote in the primaries, that might give them an advantage. Alas, sane Republicans (and I know a few) aren’t in the habit of attending caucuses or voting in primaries.

  80. 80
    kc says:


    AWWW, how sweet. It seems they’ve been asking online for supporters to send them supplies. Do they think the mail will deliver those supplies? Nobody is going to hand-deliver them.

    Ms. Peacher’s Twitter feed yesterday had a photo of an SUV loaded with up supplies that were being brought to the armed moochers. No law enforcement there to stop them.

  81. 81
    Peale says:

    @kc: Yep. I know we’re supposed to pretend like this isn’t really a problem, but seriously, federal government. If you don’t give two shits about your federal land being occupied, we might as well just hand it over to the militias.

  82. 82

    @Jay C: I think being required to keep a stash of food is one of the wiser religious dietary laws I’ve encountered.

  83. 83
    dogwood says:

    How do we know that the federal government doesn’t give two shits about this? There’s absolutely no evidence of that. Logistically it’s impossible to provide swift response to this situation. And local LE hasn’t got the man power or equipment to block their access to supplies. It sounds like the local sheriff has been doing a reasonable job considering he’s facing death threats. Do you want some “tough ” talk from the Feds or the President? Well that will simply motivate more kooks to bring in supplies before any blockade can be established.

  84. 84
    kc says:


    I’m not one who thinks the feds should go in blasting. And I’m glad they didn’t do that at the Bundy Ranch. However, I thought there would be consequences down the road for those people. Apparently not.

    Now, not surprisingly, they seem to think they can do whatever they want.

  85. 85
    kc says:

    “Feds monitor armed group but keep their distance”

    ETA: “Ryan Bundy told The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes the takeover will prompt others to take action across the country to seize control of federally managed land.”

  86. 86
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So they are “occupying” a visitor center in a wilderness? That’s pretty much trespassing so it sounds like more show boating for the grift like with at the Bundy Ranch. It’s hard see why the Fed needs to get involved at this point since would end up shooting someone to stop someone from getting shot.

  87. 87
    workworkwork says:

    @Ruviana: When I had a summer job with a moving company, we always dreaded moving Mormon households, since they had at least one deep freezer and all of that stockpiled food. (Not to mention that they were invariably in the basement so we had to hump that stuff up the stairs.)

  88. 88
    dogwood says:

    This is driving me crazy. How do we know that the Feds who stood down at the Bundy ranch have given up going after these guys? The Hammonds got a crap sentence years ago and the Feds stuck with that case all the way to the Supreme Court. We have no idea what the Justice department is doing re the Bundys?

  89. 89
    kc says:


    We have no idea what the Justice department is doing re the Bundys?

    Whatever it’s doing, the sons are running around seizing property and advocating armed overthrow of the government.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    Who says the federal government doesn’t give two shit about OUR land? Just because they didn’t rambo up and roll over these morons in the first 5 minutes doesn’t mean they are letting this go.

  91. 91
    a different chris says:

    How did the Bundy kid get up there? Was he smuggled out in a trunk? Do they have a network of tunnels? Surely he didn’t buy a plane ticket.

    No one was watching? No surveillance? No Feds tailing his F350 King Ranch until it was ~15 miles from home, then grabbing him up?

    I guess to do any of that would be seen as too aggressive, too much of a provocation. Same goes for cutting off access to the newly-christened Malheur Federal Prison. It’s better for everyone if we just pretend like they don’t exist and let them do whatever they want.

  92. 92
    MCA1 says:

    I love Y’allqaeda and VanillaISIS, but I think a shout out needs to be given here for “Al-Shabubba,” too.

    What I’d most love to see here is a couple hundred locals or folks who drive down from Portland, who are more adept at hanging out in the wilderness than these fools, show up with tents and set up camp nearby. Make it clear they have no weapons, and then walk around all day with picket signs reading “Get off my land!” or “Mooch off the government somewhere else!” or “Get a job, Takers!” and whatever other memes and satirical hashtags. That’s the sort of mockery needed, but it’s not really the federal gov’t’s role to provide it.

  93. 93
    Bill_D says:

    @Paul in KY: There’s no mesquite in Oregon. Maybe your source meant sagebrush? That is a major food source for jackrabbits in the intermountain region of the west.

    BTW, so-called sagebrush is not a kind of sage, but is actually a kind of wormwood. Smells great, but not good for most critters to eat. A few can, like jack rabbits and pronghorn.

  94. 94
    beasley says:

    @J R in WV: There are no passersby at the Malheur Refuge. Portland this isn’t.

  95. 95
    beasley says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: There is little or no mail delivery at the Malheur refuge in winter…particularly when there’s bad weather.
    There go the supplies. What an odd place to occupy.

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