The Trials of Snack Team 6: Is it Ammon Bundy or Ammon Buddha?


Ammon Bundy has now completed his three days on the stand in his own defense. What have we learned? We’ve learned that Ammon Bundy thinks he’s the Buddha.

“Is it your testimony today you were not the leader?” Knight continued.

Bundy told Knight he wanted to clarify “what you’re wanting me to say.”

“I teach correct principles and let them govern themselves,” Bundy said.

Oy vey…

Bundy also testified that:

Knight said guns were brought to “keep the federal government away,” right?

“No,” Bundy responded.

Yet Knight reminded him of his testimony that if the occupiers hadn’t brought firearms to the refuge, they likely would have been hauled off in zip ties and handcuffs in a paddy wagon.

“So the presence of guns prolonged your presence?” Knight asked.

“It protected us from being detained,” Bundy said. “I would say they allowed us to express our First Amendment rights.”

And LaVoy Finicum’s widow also testified!

She said her husband got a call on New Year’s Day, asking him to support the Jan. 2 rally in Burns in support of Harney County ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, ordered to return to prison for arson on federal lands.

She said her husband drove all night to Burns with co-defendant Ryan Bundy. She thought he’d stay a day or two, and when he told her he was at the refuge and planned to be there, she urged him to return to Utah.

“The first part of the week I repeatedly asked my husband to come home,” she said, breaking down in tears.

By the end of that first week, she said her husband was committed to staying because local ranchers had urged him to do so. She visited the refuge the weekend of Jan. 22, and had planned to meet up with her husband again in Idaho on the following weekend.

The judge didn’t allow anyone to question Finicum’s widow about her husband’s shooting, or a wrongful death lawsuit that she intends to bring against the government.

“She should not be asked about his death, period,” U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown instructed.

We have additional coverage from earlier in the week from Balloon Juice Bunker embedded commentator Soylent Green who offers the following disclaimer: “Note that I am very much not a lawyer and don’t understand the rules, so won’t go into much detail. I just want to capture the trial’s overall character.”

A Day at the Bundy Trial (October 3)

I got to the courthouse early. After guests of the lawyers and defendants were allowed into the courtroom, there was space available for eight members of the public. I was number nine in line. So I had to watch the trial on closed-circuit from the overflow room. In the jury seating of courtroom 13A I was surrounded by a gaggle of Bundy fans – cheerful middle-aged women with flag accessories, bedazzled jeans and purses, cowboy boots, big western belt buckles.

Testifying on Monday were Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, then four Bundy supporters. Three were Burns, Oregon, locals, and the fourth was one of the occupiers, who like many of the occupiers was never charged.

The prosecution has worked very hard to prevent this from becoming a circus trial, which is the intent of Ammon and his team. They keep trying hard to push their narrative, the one in which the federal government is an evil, tyrannical monster countered by a brave band of true patriots who held a peaceful protest to convey how the U.S. constitution proves that the federal government has no authority over public lands. The Bundy gang earnestly believes this narrative will sway the jury to their cause because God is on their side. However, Judge Anna Brown is having none of it, shutting down most of their endless attempts to speechify or extract phrasing from witnesses in ways that are irrelevant, argumentative, hearsay, nonsense, or otherwise a waste of the jury’s time. The prosecution made what should be a slam-dunk case for a guilty verdict, but Ammon’s strategy may work if he can sway or mislead the jury.

Throughout the trial, Ammon Bundy has been dressed in his blue jail scrubs. The judge forbade him from wearing his cowboy costume, so this is his way of sending a message that he is a political prisoner in a kangaroo court. Meanwhile, Ryan Bundy has been wearing a dark suit and tie, but with a leather vest under the jacket to maintain his cowboy cred.

Next to Ryan is Shawna Cox and behind her is David Fry, slouched with his knees up, feet on Shawna’s chair and with a fixed sullen expression.

Ryan and Shawna are representing themselves, thus are conducting their own direct and cross examinations of the witnesses, with comical results.

Ammon’s lawyer Marcus Mumford (aka “Mumbles”) is a piece of work. He is not an impassive professional but a fellow Sovereign Citizen (SovCit) true believer. The man has a serious stuttering problem. And his speech in general is halting and unfocused. And he gets excited and frustrated and whiny. This is not how lawyers on TV lawyer shows talk.

(This is verbatim). Mumford greeting a witness: “uh, uh, guh, guh, guh, good, uh, guh, good morning, Mr. Rose.” Mumford asks a question: “You understand that Ammon Bundy was, uh, uh, was, was, was, asking that, and, and, uh, uh…” (loses train of thought). Or he chokes on the first word of a sentence, can’t get it out, then there’s a long pause before he starts over. This has been going on the entire trial and is driving everyone crazy.

Worse it that Mumbles has been ill-prepared for each day’s proceedings. He has not cleared his witness or exhibits with the prosecution. He has not prepared his exhibits for trial use, and keeps trying to get the jury to watch hour-long unedited videos instead of excerpting them. He has not given the judge what she needs to review in advance. Then (this went on all day, and I’m told has been going on every day since the trial started on Sept. 7) Judge Brown must admonish him to get his act together. Repeatedly, with waning patience. You can hear the exasperation in her voice. He tries to introduce exhibits (videos, letters, all kind of stuff that the poots have been spreading on social media all year) that have no bearing on the case. (Aside: “poots” is the new term for Bundy supporters of any stripe, short for “pootriots,” from the occupiers’ use of a government backhoe to dig latrines at the refuge.) He wants to show hours of videos from the Bunkerville standoff of patriots cheering as they heroically hold off the jackbooted government thugs. Then the judge must spend an hour or more each day winnowing down all this junk. The defense is not really defending against the charges because Ammon’s gang believes that their cause transcends federal law.

All day long we hear “Counselor, I have told you over and over, please stop wasting the jury’s time.” Or after Mumford calls witnesses to the stand, he strays into unrelated areas. So I kept hearing the judge say “Please move on” … “Get to the point” … “Irrelevant. Ask another question” … “Move to another subject please.”

This may be intentional. Mumford may be trying to bore the jury to death so that they stop listening to the testimony. Or to confuse the jurors enough to get a hung jury.

The tenor of this trial can be captured in two words. “Objection.” “Sustained.” In this single day I heard something like 150 instances from the prosecutors of “objection, irrelevant” or “objection, argumentative” or “objection, hearsay” with almost all of them sustained. The judge keeps trying to keep the trial focused and the Bundy gang keeps trying to pitch their stirring narrative (patriotic Americans standing against the evil gubmint).

In the morning they called Sheriff Ward to the stand and tried to get him to confirm their story. In their version, they asked him very nicely (meeting with him repeatedly in the months before the occupation) to do his duty and protect his citizens (the Hammonds) from the feds. In a letter, Ammon asked him to “turn your weapons” on federal marshals coming to return the Hammonds to jail to complete their sentence. Mumford presented this letter as though it somehow exonerated his client.

Ward is in a tough spot. He must go home to Burns fearing retribution by some yahoo. He kept his cool and answered questions very tersely. I don’t know why the defense called him as a witness because he did them no favors. I think they wanted to show that he had failed to do his duty thus was to blame for their next move. In their minds, all sheriffs are constitutional sheriffs, but most don’t know it yet and must be edjumicated.

While Judge Brown was speaking, Ammon interrupted her, more than once. “Sir, sir, keep quiet please.”

When Ryan Bundy is speaking, he uses big words incorrectly. He is trying to sound like a lawyer. There is a cockiness in his voice.

The afternoon witnesses: all four have been well-coached by the defense team to drop Bundy narrative talking points.

First up is Kim Rollins, longtime Burns resident. An older man with a glorious white beard that would put Santa Claus to shame. “Did you see any guns on display at the refuge?” “No, never.” (Not remotely true as there are many images of cosplay commandos with assault rifles.) Did he see any damage to the facility? No, it was very well cared for.

Next up is Pat Harlicher of Burns. Mumford: “Uh uh did, how, how, how, how did you be, become informed about the refuge?” Harlicher said he visited the occupation six times, with many friends along. It was a happy family camping scene. No guns on display. “I learned that what the constitution says about our public lands and the need to return them to their rightful owners.” Judge Brown instructs the jury to disregard this statement. But they’ve heard and processed it, which must be the defense’s intention. Harlicher is asked about what is going on in Burns during the occupation and he remarks about the big police presence around the county courthouse (where Harney County Judge Grasty had received death threats) and Harlicher says, “It was like a scene out of Red Dawn.”

Third witness, Brand Nu Thornton of Las Vegas (yep, that’s his name). Thornton is one of the occupiers and was present before it started, planning it with Ammon, and stayed until the day before Ammon was arrested. But he skated with no charges, go figure. Thornton is the shofar (rams horn) guy. Says he has a “shofar ministry.” On the stand, he is wearing a Mexican serape. A smug bastard, smiles and laughs a lot. Waves to David Fry. Shawna Cox winks at him. He drops his talking points. “After the ambush where LaVoy was murdered by the FBI…” Judge Brown: “Jurors, disregard that remark.”

Thornton’s biggest whopper of the day: Were federal workers impeded from doing their jobs? No, we would have given them a warm welcome and let them work. Had the refuge fisheries biologist come in, the occupiers would have given her back her chair. (This after they had rifled through all her work and personal files). Of course they ignore the fact that the first duty of the Fish and Wildlife Service staff would be to clear the public from all the non-public space, which is every inch of the facility except the bird museum at the front.

On Tuesday morning, Thornton was in the street blowing his shofar. I heard him from my desk.

I’ll stop here as there are better reporters of these proceedings. See their tweets on Fogbow.

I’m not absolutely sure the government will win this case. The jury members were chosen because they had not (or said they hadn’t) heard anything about this case, which was big national news, and bigger news in Oregon. Several are from deep-red eastern Oregon, where anti-federal-land-manager sentiment runs strong. Some might be swayed by the Bundy narrative, no matter how much the judge swats it down. I doubt it but it’s possible.

UPDATE: A lot has happened in the last two days, with Ammon on the witness stand, where he gave a tearful, godbothering account of his quixotic cause. God compelled him to pursue it. If federal laws were broken, justice demands that they be disregarded. Some observers are saying that the trial is off the rails and the judge has lost control, because the defense witnesses have been given more latitude to sell their fairy tale. (Michelle Fiore got in another “Lavoy was murdered.” Judge: Jurors, disregard that remark.)

Other commenters say the judge is playing eleventy dimensional chess by allowing the defense to do the prosecution’s work and proudly, willfully incriminate themselves in both cases, Oregon and Nevada.

America is on a slippery slope. Belief, biases, and bullshit are trying to push aside rationalism and the rule of law. Trumpism is the leading edge, of which the Bundy/militia/SovCit movement is a subset.

122 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Fiore should have been held in contempt for that remark, and locked up a cell for a week or so.

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Thank you, Soylent Green, for the on-the-scene reporting.

  3. 3
    LAO says:

    Thanks Soylent Green!

  4. 4
    Feebog says:

    The entire family has a collective IQ of 22. They will all be convicted, and given moderate to heavy sentences.

  5. 5
    Mary G says:

    Wow, that was worth waiting for. Brand Nu Thornton is performance art at its finest. Plus shofar horns. Thanks, Adam and Soylent.

  6. 6
    Felonius Monk says:

    Anybody want to speculate on what happens if these guys are found not guilty?

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Felonius Monk: They immediately occupy the Federal Courthouse and Ammon Bundy sets up shop in Judge Brown’s office.

    Actually, regardless what happens almost all of them are headed to the Federal Courthouse in Nevada to face trial for the 2014 Bunkerville standoff.

  8. 8
    LAO says:

    @Felonius Monk: Well, those that are charged in Nevada remain in Uncle Sam’s custody. Don’t underestimate how difficult it is to get an acquittal in federal court.

    ETA:and Silverman beat me to it!

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: is part of my charm…

  10. 10
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Soylent Green, you are my hero as an embedded Balloon Juice commenter and now commentator on Snack Team Six, Ammo and friends testify. Thank you for your service.

    I am annoyed that a NevADDa legislator stated that Lavoy Finicum was murdered by the FBI. It would seem that her commentary was in violation of a court order on said topic, but (unlike, most likely, LAO) I have not read the order at issue.

    Also too, I spent the late afternoon/early evening patiently explaining to a young veteran why Hillary Clinton did not commit federal crimes or perjure herself in congressional testimony. I had to play the “do you believe that I am providing accurate information based on my background, training, and experience as a criminal attorney?” card. He told me he deferred to my superior knowledge and acknowledged that he was mislead by media manipulation. This involved margaritas at happy hour, consumed by counsel for education.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Thing Three: Congrats on not mentioning Jews in another comment.

  12. 12
    LAO says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): between work and Maggie, my obsessive PACER stalking has slowed to a trickle.

    And good work today, every vote counts.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    This involved margaritas at happy hour, consumed by counsel for education.

    Well done.

  14. 14
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Margaritas may be tax deductible. I am not a tax advisor, nor have I ever slept in a Trump Hotel.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Soylent Green says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): The widder Finicum testified today and people thought she would use the M word, but she took the judge’s warning and didn’t go there.

    I’m going to put in another day or two next week.

  17. 17
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Cool, Snack Team 6-Vegas Edition.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Prescott Cactus: I saw your email – just didn’t get a chance to reply – and since I knew Soylent Green had covered the Fiore thing, I knew we were good.

  19. 19
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I hear there’s a taco truck on every corner.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Soylent Green: Send me the write ups and I’ll post them.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Still a no show in my neighborhood. Of course, depending on traffic, its only about an 8 minute drive to the Mexican restaurant.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    Has anything further come out about LaVoy Finicum’s potential health issues? He was kind of gaunt; did not look like a well man to me. Always wondered if he was in late stage of some illness, and chose death by bird sanctuary standoff.

    What a silly reason to lose his life, although I know he feels he went out a true patriot.

  23. 23

    Bundys have unusual first names. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  24. 24
    Jay S says:

    I wonder how strong the jury instruction can be. I would hope there is latitude to help the jury cut through the crap without jeopardizing the trail.

  25. 25
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Finally, a fix!

    And I’m shooting this straight into my veins:

    The tenor of this trial can be captured in two words. “Objection.” “Sustained.”

  26. 26
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Personal replies never needed.

    Soylent Green hits the long ball with their commentary !

    Thanks for assembling these treats for us.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Prescott Cactus: Agreed; you don’t need to be a lawyer, just a keen observer, to capture the entire Gestalt of the trial, and Soylent has done that quite well indeed.

  28. 28
    LAO says:

    @Jay S: I read them, the defense isn’t particularly happy. I expect the government will submit additional request to charge in light of the shit show that has developed.

  29. 29
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @LAO: can the prosecution ask for a directed verdict like we do in civil cases?

  30. 30
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ll talk to the neighbors*, they’ll get a truck on the corner. Eight minutes is too long a drive.

    *My neighbors are Latino.

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

    @Soylent Green: We are in your debt.

    @Adam L Silverman: This is a (sadly too Americanized, but they work with me) Mexican joint here in Redneckistan, and I had a long nominally working lunch there with a NAMI pal last Friday; when the manager came in he said “no Margarita? it’s the weekend!” I told him Mr. Q and I might be in over the weekend and we were, with cocktail consumption. Today, during the education of the sgt. college dude with locks, the manager wasn’t in, but I asked after him. I told the waiter who served us I’d be back for dinner and he chuckled. He seated us and I told Mr. Q he hadn’t believed me, he said “but I believe you now!”

    When he came over, I told the manager I’d missed him at happy hour and he looked skeptical, but the waiter told him “she was here!” The manager said “oh, with your friend” and pointed to the booth I’d been in last week. The waiter said “oh no,” with very wide eyes, and Mr. Q said “it’s always a different guy.” It was kind of funny. I’ll give them that my student does not look like a likely companion of any kind of mine.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: TACOS NAO!

  33. 33
    LAO says:

    @Steve in the ATL: no, thank g-d or I’d never get a case to the jury.

  34. 34
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Steve in the ATL: If only(kidding! sorry LAO). But that would be would be sorta kinda not terribly constitutional. The defense can though.

  35. 35
    Howard Beale IV says:

    They’re trying the old jury nullification tactic-this time it may work.

  36. 36
    LAO says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): in 20 years of practice, I’ve only won 2 Rule 29 motions (motion for an acquittal). They are rare.

  37. 37
    Soylent Green says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ve never understood why the poots find it so easy to dishonor Lavoy Finicum by pretending he was murdered. Throughout the occupation he said repeatedly that he wanted to die like a man and would never see the inside of a jail cell. At the traffic stop, before he jumped out of the truck, he kept shouting to the troopers, “Shoot me. You’re going to have to shoot me.” He wanted to go out fighting and that’s exactly what he did. This is not conjecture; the video shows it clear as day. They should be celebrating his courage, not diminishing him with their lie.

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Only the defense can move for judgment of acquittal, per Rule 29(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

  39. 39
    LAO says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Name me a defense attorney who hasn’t tried that tactic. I certainly have.

  40. 40
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Finally, a fix!

    Melt the chocolate chips and pretzel salt before lift-off.

  41. 41 I try to be amused says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Bundys have unusual first names. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    The Bundys are Mormons. Unusual names are common in their (large) families.

  42. 42
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @LAO: Indeed they are. I lost one once from the other (state court) table. Out of more than dozens.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LAO: ::fans self and clutches pearls::

  44. 44
    Jay S says:

    @LAO: The instructions are already prepared? I guess that makes sense. Much of it would be boiler plate, but with so much “jury will disregard” testimony here, I would hope there would be a road map for what is relevant and what isn’t.

  45. 45
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Did you get to your couch in time?

  46. 46
    burnspbesq says:

    On the subject of bizarre Federal criminal cases, the former judge of the United States Tax Court who initially pled not guilty to income tax evasion asked to change her plea after her soon-to-be-ex-husband allocuted.

  47. 47
    Lizzy L says:

    @Soylent Green: Thanks for this! Fascinating, though I feel for the jury.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay S: Most Jury Instructions are from the local book. Usually, there is a conference between counsel and the judge to decide the specific instructions and any variations in wording necessary due to the specifics of the case.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Let’s just say that my elbow hurts.

  50. 50
    LAO says:

    @Jay S: I always used to try my cases backwards — using the jury instructions as a road map — start with my dream closing and then use cross-exam to get what I needed for closing. Jury Instructions are important, they are the last thing the jury hears from an authority figure the jurors presumably respect, so I spent a lot of time fighting to tailor them to the defense. That did not happen in this case.

  51. 51
    LAO says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s shocking I know. And surprisingly difficult to pull off if the judge has any jury charm.

  52. 52
    Soylent Green says:

    @efgoldman: The jury is not sequestered. Judge Brown instructs them not to talk about or research the case between sessions, but who among us wouldn’t do that?

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Yes, they would.

  54. 54
    TriassicSands says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Locked up for a week — another martyr, victimized by the evil gubment.

    Soylent Green — thanks for the excellent report.

    Judges presiding over cases like this — where the defendants are all irrational nutjobs — don’t have an easy job. It has got to be among the most difficult tasks they face trying to keep “morans” in line. If she locks up everyone who shows contempt by repeating talking points they’ve been warned not to mention, then she looks like a tyrant trying to suppress free speech.

    We have to hope that the jury, by chance, is made up of rational beings. That is getting more and more difficult in this country, as Trump’s slice of the voter pie is showing. If 40% of the juror pool is made up of Trump supporters, then there is an overwhelming likelihood that at least one will make it onto the jury. That means a hung jury is a reasonable possibility. (And there is probably a segment of Gary Johnson supporters who also view the government as innately evil and more or less automatically guilty.)

    A guilty verdict — in what should be a slam dunk case — will be a major achievement for the prosecutors. I wish them luck — they’ll need it.

  55. 55
    Lizzy L says:

    @Soylent Green: They might not. I was on a jury in a DV case a couple of years ago: we were very conscientious about not discussing the case. But especially in this case, the temptation to look things up on the web must be enormous.

  56. 56
    Soylent Green says:

    @TriassicSands: There may be some acquittals, as the cases against each defendant aren’t the same, and they aren’t all playing on the same team. Fry will probably get a mental hospital instead of prison. I’ll call this a success as long as Ammon, Ryan, and Shawna get nailed.

  57. 57
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Soylent Green: I never did, I’ve been on about 5 juries.

    ETA: My favorite was a civil trial where the judge’s prosthetic ear fell off.

  58. 58
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @srv: It’s all about projection with you and Donny.

  59. 59
    Feebog says:

    @Soylent Green:

    Not courage. Finicum was a crazy MoFo, end of story.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have to say, out of all of these people, I feel sorry for Mrs. Finicum. It sounds like she didn’t want her husband to participate in this, even begged him to come home, and he insisted on being a martyr, leaving her with, what, 8 kids to take care of? What an asshole he was.

  61. 61
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @srv: Thankfully Bush / Cheney did away that trial thing. . . Guantanamo Bay, it’s not just a Bay, it’s an adventure !

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m still wondering what a “countess” trial is.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: One of mine is too. They have one of those fru fru Cadillac SUV things. I can’t bring myself to call it a truck. It is, however, usually parked on the corner!

  64. 64
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Those were foster kids the state of AZ was paying him for.

    Catholic Charities

    paid the family $115,343 to foster children in 2009. That year, foster parents were compensated between $22.31 and $37.49 per child, per day, meaning if the Finicums were paid at the maximum rate, they cared for, on average, eight children per day in 2009.

    “That was my main source of income,” Finicum said. “My ranch, well, the cows just cover the costs of the ranch. If this means rice and beans for the next few years, so be it. We’re going to stay the course.”

    ETA: Wikipedia “at least 15 of his own 4 with wife #1 and 11 with wife #3. . . No rest for the wicked !

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Soylent Green: Kind of hard to win your civil suit for wrongful death if you’re going with: “My dearly departed husband was a patriot like our Founding Fathers and willingly watered the Tree of Liberty with his all American blood”.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @efgoldman: FTW

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: @efgoldman: You have to wear a tiara in the dock.

  68. 68
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Remember it’s srv so it’s cause HRC’s a chick; or it just could be a typo.

  69. 69
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Prescott Cactus: up to 15 of your own kids at home and average 8 a day from the Catholic Charities, I believe I would ask someone to shoot me. Convincingly. Often. Without precedence. With an automatic.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TriassicSands: The woman is an outright enemy of the Constitution of the United States.

    Whiskey Rebellion the lot of them.

  71. 71
    Lizzy L says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh thanks. Now I’m imagining a judge with unreliable prosthetic ears presiding over a courtroom where all the witnesses are wearing tiaras.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lizzy L: Provided he’s at home, Pacific Palisades, California.

  73. 73
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Lizzy L: Worst part was, the judge’s ear was slowly slipping off and he didn’t realize it. One of the jurors had to raise his hand and tell the judge his ear was falling off. The next court session the judge opened court by asking us how we liked his new ear.

  74. 74
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve been meaning to go to the Palisades and see Will Roger’s ranch.

  75. 75
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Did he ‘splain how he lost the old one ?

  76. 76
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Prescott Cactus: He didn’t need to, we watched it fall off.

    If you mean the original equipment, no. He was a retired judge and really old.

  77. 77
    Suffragette City says:

    @Elizabelle: Lavoy’s book had a ‘hero’ who took out several federal agents. His actions on the day he was taken down lead me to think he felt he could do the same..just that the snow got in the way of his ‘exceptional skills’
    Here is a review of “Only by Blood and Suffering” I hope the link works..I’m puter stupid sometimes.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Oh, dear. I hate it when that happens.

  79. 79
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @efgoldman: OEM wearing out is OK. . . Falling off ?


    He was a retired judge and really old.

    Please say more than 50 years old. Oh FSM, at least 50 !

  80. 80
    redshirt says:

    Anyone under 50 can be considered “young” in this thread.

  81. 81
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Prescott Cactus: I think he was in his mid 80’s.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yay! I get to be the young one! And it’s even before I get my gray roots covered over on Saturday.

  83. 83
    Miss Bianca says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    This involved margaritas at happy hour, consumed by counsel for education.

    Ah, the sacrifices we make for voter education!

    @Soylent Green: And the sacrifices *you* are making for our education and delight! Many thanks!

  84. 84
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is it wrong to laugh at this? Too late!

  85. 85
    PatrickG says:


    I’m 37. /runs away

    ETA: I already have grey roots, though.

  86. 86
    Amir Khalid says:

    Damn. I miss the cutoff by five years.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    NotMax says:


    (Thinks hard for a minute.) Yep, I remember 50.


    (Thinks even harder.) Vaguely remember being capable of running.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:


    Young whippersnapper!
    /shakes fist

  90. 90
    Prescott Cactus says:

    Old age isn’t a battle, it’s a massacre.

    I’m living the scream !

  91. 91
    Anne Laurie says:


    Has anything further come out about LaVoy Finicum’s potential health issues? He was kind of gaunt; did not look like a well man to me.

    During the Malheur standoff, it was being reported that he’d just lost his major source of income — ‘fostering’ teenage boys who were put to work on his ranch. IIRC, the state had pulled his license for reports of physical abuse & neglect, and Finicum was complaining all over the internet that apart from losing those boarding fees, he couldn’t keep up his homestead single-handed. He was, of course, convinced it was a dastardly plot by the vile government to make him homeless, take his manhood, let him serve as an object lesson to other would-be ‘freedom activists’.

    Even without specific health issues, pretty clearly he saw the Malheur occupation as his last chance to TAKE A STAND FOR FREEDOM. If he couldn’t be a ‘real man’, at least he could choose to be a ‘real martyr’?

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    I can still run. OK I can sort of still run. I look like a 3 legged gazelle on a 3 week bender, but still I can run. I do pay for it the next day.

  93. 93
    Anne Laurie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Bundys have unusual first names. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    They’re from a fundamentalist Mormon subsect that seems to use baroquely ‘Biblical’ names as a form of group identification. If you’re really devout, you want everyone to know that you’re intimately familiar with names like Ammon and LaVoy — you don’t want your kids to be mistaken for ‘gentiles’.

  94. 94
    PatrickG says:


    One day (hopefully) I shall be old — like you. Hopefully the awesome kind of old — like you!

    In the meantime, I’ll bemoan the grey hairs due to phone banking. Thanks, Hilbama!

  95. 95
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Ruckus: Mid 50’s. Bought a soccer ball and a basketball. Tue 20 to 25 minutes of futile hoops. Wed rest. On Thur 20 to 25 kick and chase soccer. Friday I was looking for evidence of contact marks with a locomotive.

  96. 96
    Origuy says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    They’re from a fundamentalist Mormon subsect that seems to use baroquely ‘Biblical’ names

    Ammon is from the Book of Mormon.

  97. 97
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Prescott Cactus:

    up to 15 of your own kids at home and average 8 a day from the Catholic Charities, I believe I would ask someone to shoot me. Convincingly. Often. Without precedence. With an automatic.

    I’d assume most, if not all, of his kids by the first wife would now be adults & on their own.

    However, having grown up as the eldest of six siblings, when they declare me God-Empress one of my first rulings is going to be that having more than 4-6 biological kids will be considered evidence not only of marital incompetence, but of child abuse. There may be special exceptions for blended families, but popping out a conveyor line of babies ‘because Jeebus’ is a form of mental illness, IMO.

  98. 98
    Anne Laurie says:


    Ammon is from the Book of Mormon.

    Yeah, that’s why I put ‘biblical’ in quotes, because I thought that was supposed to be the ‘fifth book of the New Testament’, or something like that? Last I recall, the LDS were still insisting they were Christians, really, just a somewhat more evolved version… just like the Protestants claimed to be ‘redeemed’ Catholics, and/or the strain of Catholic thinking which insists Christianity ‘replaced’ Judaism.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    Asked before to no response, but anyone else who has watched or is watching the French police/judicial drama Spiral on Netflix?

    Can’t say I like all of it – maybe 90% though, and some of the characters and their development offer downright fascinating personality studies (Judge Roban, for example).

    Not a binge watching type of show, too intense (for me) for that.

    Fair warning for those who might be put off: strong tendency to show bodies dead of murder or suicide in gruesome detail.

  100. 100
    TriassicSands says:

    @Soylent Green:

    I suppose a reasonable argument could be made that they all belong in mental institutions. Their beliefs are irrational and indicative of people living in a dream world of their own making. But, I agree, Ammon, et al. need some jail time — martyrdom or not.

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    @Prescott Cactus:
    I passed mid 50s a fucktonne of some time ago. I’m not as far along as a few here but have been collecting SS for a while now, I am as they say, fully vested. Like EFG I was born in the first half of the last century. If I had been just past the age to drink and had kids and they did the same and their kids did the same, my great grandkids would be easily out of diapers. Some days I have a lot of time to think of strange math problems.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:


    Their beliefs are irrational and indicative of people living in a dream world of their own making.

    Didn’t we use to call that a bad acid trip?

  103. 103
    Bill says:

    “I teach correct principles and let them govern themselves,” Bundy said.

    This is a quotation from Joseph Smith.

  104. 104
    Aleta says:

    @Anne Laurie: One of my cousin’s children has 5 (14 and under) and neither of their parents plans to vote. I’m trying not to condemn them –they have reasons to mistrust everything — but I’m extremely pissed off about it. They and their children will/have benefited from programs that Democrats put in place and Rs would take away. Nothing any family member has said to them has budged them.

  105. 105
    PIGL says:

    @NotMax: it’s a great show…but you really need the subtitles.

  106. 106
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: I tried because it sounded good but I couldn’t take the visuals. Seems I’ve gotten jumpy and more sensitive the last few years.

  107. 107
    Ian says:

    Really? That the best you can do? Even the NRA does better with their shitty commercials about people being murdered.

  108. 108
    Ian says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    the LDS were still insisting they were Christians

    Amazing how anti-Mormon bigotry is ok with otherwise liberal bloggers.

  109. 109
    Soylent Green says:

    @Ian: Thanks for pointing that out. This small band of kooks has no connection to the many good people of the mainstream LDS church, which long ago repudiated the refuge occupation and the warped interpretation of scripture by its leaders.

  110. 110
    workworkwork says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They give pretty thorough jury instruction around these parts. I was up for a jury trial and was pleasantly surprised. (I was the last alternate and didn’t get empaneled.)

  111. 111
    LurkerExtraordinaire says:

    These folks will walk. And then the country is fucked. Why would they hold the trial in Oregon? IANAL, but I would have requested a change of venue. The jury is composed of people sympathetic to their cause.

    Proof that white folks get away with everyfuckingthing.

    I’m extreme Negative Nancy today.

  112. 112
    Miss Bianca says:

    @LurkerExtraordinaire: There’s a world of difference in attitude between eastern Oregon and western – they might as well be different states. Or different countries. And IIRC, the trial is taking place in Portland, or thereabouts. So, I wouldn’t curse the chances of all these guys serving some jail time. Besides, most of them are simply going to go on to another trial after this one.

    @Ian: Myself, I tend to side-eye all organized religions these days. They all have their fundamentalist kooks who have more in common with each other than with the moderates and mystics of their own sects. Personally, I am of the opinion that at this point in human development, religion is more of a hindrance than a help in the evolution of morality. But that’s just me.

    That being said, I live around plenty of Mormons, fundamentalist Christians, Mennonites, et al., and as long as we stay away from the topics of politics, religion, and women’s rights, we all get along fine.

  113. 113
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Miss Bianca: I have serious religion side-eye as well, and I have for decades now after a few experiences that were quite illustrative of how often religion turns into power trips, and usually male ones at that.

    I’ve said a few times here that my BIL is currently in his last days from cancer. His wife has made sure from the very beginning that her dad is not allowed to be alone with him for one specific reason: when a friend of hers was in the hospital dying of cancer, her dad went to see him and told him that unless he repudiated the pope and became born again, he was going to hell for being a Catholic. That event was one of many that led my SIL to leave any church but remain a spiritual person. My BIL is Jewish, which I’m sure her dad views as even worse than being Catholic.

    We were just there visiting because it was looking like he’d cough to death from lung tumors, and then finally agreed to morphine which relaxed his lungs and mostly stopped the coughing so he is somewhat stable right now. On the last day of our visit her mom called and was almost begging her to let her dad come and do his “get born again so you don’t go to hell” dance on my BIL; she said no. We’ll be going back as soon as she asks us to, and I think part of why she’ll need us is to fend off her parents. I didn’t think my opinion of pushy evangelicals could get any lower, but whaddaya know, it did.

  114. 114
    The Moar You Know says:

    when a friend of hers was in the hospital dying of cancer, her dad went to see him and told him that unless he repudiated the pope and became born again, he was going to hell for being a Catholic.

    @StringOnAStick: I would normally never say anything like this, but that’s a murder-worthy offense. The lack of respect alone is staggering.

    I didn’t think my opinion of pushy evangelicals could get any lower, but whaddaya know, it did.

    Mine too. I seriously didn’t think there’d be a human being out there who could be so cruel.

  115. 115
    Miss Bianca says:

    @StringOnAStick:Oh, no, how awful for all of you – yes, the parents included, because their religion is telling them that unless your BIL does exactly what it says you need to do for “salvation”, he’s going to hell. That’s its own version of hell, right there, if they actually care about him and they think this is their way of showing it.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    @Miss Bianca:
    Am in agreement with you on religion. It has passed it’s sell by date a few centuries ago. The example of StringOnAStick is just one in a very long line of reasons why.

  117. 117
    BJ says:

    Moron biased ass wrote this article

  118. 118
    The Lodger says:

    @BJ: Thanks for reminding us all that BJ has an alternate meaning.

  119. 119
    LurkerExtraordinaire says:

    @Miss Bianca: Thanks for the words of hope. Sometimes the foolery and fuckery is overwhelming.

    @StringOnAStick: WOW. So sorry your SIL is going through that. Glad she is holding her ground, though.

  120. 120
    JR in WV says:


    As far as I know Anne Laurie’s comment was a simple statement of fact – that the Later Day Saints do still believe that they are Christians.

    So explain to me how a statement of fact is “anti-Mormon bigotry” please.

    I personally think, after talking about the religion with Mormons and reading the available founding documents, that the founders of the Church of Later Day Saints were either con-men who wanted lots of wives or genuinely crazy. I think most religions are fundamentally irrational and unrelated with reality, though, so I’m not picking out Mormons.

    You can call me a bigot for not believing in a Father of the Universe Living in the Sky, or the multitude of Gods living wherever the many Hindu Gods spend their free time. Of you could call me a rational scientist instead. I’m too polite to call the self-ordained preacher next door names, or be other than completely polite and helpful in neighborly ways. Except for Sunday Preaching, he’s a good guy.

  121. 121
    maurinsky says:

    The term “poots” cracks me up because in my family, that’s the term for when you fart but a little something comes out.

  122. 122
    Matt says:

    God compelled him to pursue it. If federal laws were broken, justice demands that they be disregarded.

    That’s not how being a martyr for your faith works, you ignorant goddamned yeehawdis. Even the dipshits that sign up for suicide-belt duty have more solid thought processes…

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