Good News: Cliven Bundy Arrested on His Way to Malheur Lake

Per the Oregonian:

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who touched off one armed showdown with federal authorities and applauded another started in Oregon by his sons, was arrested late Wednesday at Portland International Airport and faces federal charges related to the 2014 standoff at his ranch.

Bundy, 74, was booked into the downtown Multnomah County jail at 10:54 p.m.

He faces a conspiracy charge to interfere with a federal officer — the same charge lodged against two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the Jan. 2 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns. He also faces weapons charges…

The last four occupiers, who have camped alone since Jan. 28 at the headquarters compound, agreed Wednesday night to surrender in the morning. They did so after FBI tactical teams infiltrated refuge buildings undetected overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday. The FBI then hemmed in the occupiers with armored vehicles and negotiated with them for five hours to reach the surrender agreement…

If anything good can come out of this deplorable shitshow, it would be getting Cliven Bundy away from his heavily armed Nevada playpen and under adult supervision — without more bloodshed. Should this discourage the remaining Feeble Four loons into surrendering come morning, all the better. Let them stand on their hind legs and bleat about “constitutional law” in a situation where they can’t destroy more of our mutual property. I’m guessing (hoping) all the Facebook-fierce “patriots” ginning each other up to join the rebellion!!! will suddenly realize how vital it is that they finish re-organizing their bug-out bags and writing coded messages on dollar bills safely in their own communities, since Burns and the other communities near Malheur Lake have suffered enough already.
Read more



Bulldozers And Baloney

So, remember in Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy how Ford Prefect managed to get Arthur Dent away from lying down in front of a bulldozer that was trying to tear down Arthur’s house by convincing the bulldozer driver that Arthur didn’t really need to be physically there wallowing in the mud, and that if the wrecking crew just assumed Arthur was going to be there and wasn’t actually there, then the bulldozer guys didn’t actually have to be there either and everyone could go down to the pub and have a pint (which is what Ford and Arthur did)?

Yeah, it’s apparently exactly like that in Oregon.

“Right now, they are allowed to come and go as they want,” says Bill Fugate, a spokesman for the Oregon State police.

The unknown number of militia men involved in the stand off are calling themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom. The group sent an alert message to supporters Monday asking for snacks as they are holed up in the refuge center, but authorities confirm that they are free to drive to the grocery store and pick up snacks.

Fugate says that to his knowledge, law enforcement are “not monitoring what they are doing.”

“We are not monitoring their movements,” Fugate says.

Because, officer, it’s vitally important that we go to the right now and have a few stiff ones, you see, and you can just assume we’re occupying the place and we’ll get some Funyuns and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos while we’re out and then hey, we return the favor and you guys can grab some beers once we get back, see?

Hey, why not. Pretty sure General Washington would have agreed to the whole thing too.



It’s Barbaric, But Hey, It’s Home

Apparently Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are terrorist masterminds, who knew?

 

I’m gonna go ahead and bet that factoring in Democrats that we end up with that fabulous TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT of all American voters will agree to anything thing yet again, yadda yadda America has a dangerous military Genie deficit SO LET’S BOMB AGRABAH AND GET THAT JAFAR DUDE YEEEHAAAAAA.

On the other hand, Iago is pretty suspicious for a parrot…

EDIT: Full PPP poll results in PDF form here. Far scarier than bombing a fictional country is the very real problem that having 46% of your voters wanting a national database of Muslims presents, assholes.

EDIT 2: Yep, 19% of Democrats also want to bomb a fictional Disney sultanate.



18 U.S. Code § 2331: The US Definition of Terrorism

In his post earlier today about the exciting new (potential) developments in Rowan County, KY Zandar asked when we could start calling these types of events or statements of intent domestic terrorism. The US definition of terrorism can be found in the criminal code. Specifically, 18 U.S. Code § 2331. The section that defines domestic terrorism is Part 5 (A) through (C(. I think Part 5 (B) i and i are likely the answer to Zandar’s quite appropriate question.

18 USC § 2331 states:

(1) the term “international terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;

(2) the term “national of the United States” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(3) the term “person” means any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property;

(4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of—
(A) declared war;
(B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or
(C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin; and

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Read more








Battle Flag Acquisition Strategies

battle-flags_edited-1

Early this morning, I was doing some research on the endurance of corporate culture, studying how sometimes the spirit of a smaller, acquired firm can permeate the larger, acquiring organization. It’s not unusual for a big behemoth to acquire a scrappy smaller company solely for the purpose of infusing the moribund giant with fresh blood, and when the companies’ interests align, it can create an unstoppable marketplace force…for a while.

With that dynamic still on my mind, I moseyed over to Booman’s place and read a post that hit upon something that has been bothering me about the focus on the rebel flag in the wake of the domestic terrorist massacre in Charleston:

But the focus on the Confederate Flag can have an unfortunate side effect. What, after all, does that flag mean when it doesn’t simply mean white supremacy?

It’s meaning in those cases in nearly identical to the meaning of the modern conservative movement. It’s about disunion, and hostility to the federal government, and state’s rights. It’s anti-East Coast Establishment and anti-immigrant. It’s about an idealized and false past and preserving outworn and intolerant ideas. It’s about a perverse version of a highly provincial and particularized version of (predominantly) Protestant Christianity that has evolved to serve the interests of power elites in the South. It’s about an aggrieved sense of false persecution where white men are playing on the hardest difficulty setting rather than the easiest, and white Christians are as threatened as black Muslims and gays and Jews.

“Those blacks are raping our women and they have to go.”

That’s what the Confederate Flag is all about, but it’s also the basic message of Fox News and the whole Republican Party since the moment that Richard Nixon promised us law and order.

But it’s not black people who have to go.

It’s this whole Last Cause bullshit mentality that fuels our nation’s politics and lines the pockets of Ted Cruz just as surely as it has been lining the pockets of Walmart executives.

Today, maybe the governor down there had an epiphany. Maybe this massacre was the last straw. But, tomorrow, we’ll all be right back where we began with Congress acting like an occupying Confederate Army.

If we solve a symbolic problem and leave the rest untouched, then what will really change?

You can’t bury the Confederate Flag without, at the same time, burying the Conservative Movement.

Let’s get on with it.

He’s right. For many white people, the rebel flag represented moldy old myths about the antebellum South. But think about how nicely that mythology dovetailed with the lies about the pre-Civil Rights era that paleocons like Pat Buchanan tell themselves.

Like a moribund corporation, the GOP acquired Confederate culture with the Southern strategy, harnessing the racism in the South and its echo nationwide to build the present day Republican Party. That’s why Ronald Reagan launched his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. That’s why an always-wrong, New York City-born legacy hire who is relentlessly eager to send other people’s kids off to die in glorious causes is tweeting nonsense that his ancestors would find…puzzling:

So, the rebel flag should come down in South Carolina and every other state capitol in the former Confederacy, and with surprising (to me) swiftness, it looks like it will. That will be more than a symbolic victory; it will be the partial righting of a very old wrong.

But there’s a danger in “otherizing” the South in this context. It’s not wrong to condemn its blinkered myth-making and prideful backwardness, but there’s a hazard in moral preening within and outside of Dixie, a risk of declaring a tidy victory when the dinosaurs in the state capitols of the former Confederacy finally sink into the tarpit they’ve thrashed in for 150 years.

The risk is that we’ll lose focus on the modern day “Congress acting like an occupying Confederate Army,” as Booman put it. At its core, the Southern strategy was an attempt to roll back progress by hitching the anti-New Dealers’ star to the creaky old Confederate wagon. Its organizers weren’t all or even mostly slack-jawed yokels waving rebel flags. They included a fiery libertarian business man from Phoenix, a glib B-movie pitchman who hailed from Northern Illinois and a twitchy, paranoid Quaker from California.

To achieve true victory, we have to finally drive a stake through the heart of the Southern strategy, not just the Confederacy. So let’s make expunging the rebel flag from the public square the opening salvo in a larger battle to take our country back. Yes, that’s right, TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK. With no lies and decaying myths about what that means. The flag that represents it isn’t spotless. Its founding was rooted in slavery, genocide and the oppression of women. But unlike its dying counterpart, this flag is worth saving.



No One Could Have Predicted

That an anti-Muslim flame-thrower would try to turn his followers’ fear into cash:

KPNX television reporter Brahm Resnik tweeted on Sunday that Ritzheimer had set up a GoFundMe page to raise $10 million to “protect his family or run against” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

The_Man_Made_Mad_with_Fear_by_Gustave_Courbet

It is, of course, not impossible that Ritzheimer might be at risk.  See Hebdo, Charlie and Theo Van Gogh, e.g.  Obviously, none here wish Ritzheimer more than regular ridicule, and it is my devout hope that the Muslim community in this country continues to act as they have so far:  emphasizing that sheer dicktitude on display, and demonstrating the virtues of another path:

The contentious nature of Ritzheimer’s protest on Friday didn’t prevent some productive interaction between the two sides. From the Washington Post:

Jason Leger, a Phoenix resident wearing one of the profanity-laced shirts, accepted an invitation to join the evening prayer inside the mosque, and said the experience changed him.

“It was something I’ve never seen before. I took my shoes off. I kneeled. I saw a bunch of peaceful people. We all got along,” Leger said. “They made me feel welcome, you know. I just think everybody’s points are getting misconstrued, saying things out of emotion, saying things they don’t believe.”

Paul Griffin, who had earlier said he didn’t care if his t-shirt was offensive, assured a small crowd of Muslims at the end of the rally that he wouldn’t wear it again.

“I promise, the next time you see me, I won’t be wearing this shirt,” he told one man while shaking his hand and smiling. “I won’t wear it again.”

But to return to the defining thread of this kind of nonsense:  whether or not Ritzheimer may indeed face anything more than scorn, you have to be impressed — not in a good way — at hiseffortless pivot to the trough.  Rage and bigotry as a profit maximizing strategy.

Poltroon!
ETA: Seems the campaign has been pulled.  Ah, well. It’s the thought that counts.
Image:  Gustave Courbet, The Man Made Mad with Fear, c 1843-44.


The Rough Beast Perambulates

The funny thing about making monsters is that they have this nasty historical habit of turning upon those they know best.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, state Senate President Andy Biggs (R) and “constitutional sheriff” movement leader Richard Mack were all on hand at an event on May 5 in Tempe, Arizona. The stated topic of discussion at the event, which was hosted by a group called the Arizona Liberty Caucus, was the “Dangers of an Article V / Constitutional Convention.”

Rhodes recalled serving as a Nevada delegate for former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) during the 2008 presidential campaign. He accused McCain and the “GOP machine” of manipulating the convention to sabotage Paul’s chances of winning the state’s delegates, according to a video of his speech posted by Right Wing Watch.

John Cain (sic) is a traitor to the Constitution,” Rhodes later said, misstating the senator’s last name. “He should be tried for treason before a jury of his peers — which he would deny you.”

“He would deny you the right for trial to jury, but we would give him a trial by jury,” Rhodes added. “Then after we convict him he should be hung by the neck until dead. But that was their candidate!

All that wacky fun “destroy the government” right wing nonsense is all fun and games until somebody reminds the monster that Republicans are part of that government, and that they haven’t exactly delivered on their promises to the fever-bright beast.

The monster is still necessary, representing a healthy chunk of Republican primary voters as it does, so it will get invited to parties and functions and generally treated well, rather than taken down.  But at this point that monster is well and fully in charge of the Republican party, and with more than a score of GOP hopefuls looking for 2016 glory, there is no shortage of red meat being thrown at it in order to feed it and make it stronger.

And so it will continue to rampage around, and the Villagers will pretend like one of our major political parties isn’t controlled by the kind of bloodlust that wants to see open conflict in this country, the kind that ends with lots of ropes, lots of bullets, and lots of bodies.

What rough beast, indeed.