Hoo boy, where to begin with this one?  Hypocrisy always makes for good cartoon material but the militia “takeover” in Burns, Oregon is like peeling the proverbial onion of hypocrisy.  (Is that a thing?  It is now.)  Should we begin on the Bundy side or on the Hammond side?

Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan seem to be taking their anti-government militia show on the road.  They recently occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge building to keep the heroic ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, out of federal prison.  Now their new purpose is to give the “government’s” land back to the people.  Um, it already is the people’s land.  Seems like Bundy’s “Land of Many Uses” refers exclusively to ranching and mining.  Ah, the good ol’ days of overgrazing and arsenic poisoning.

At first glance, the Hammond case looks like extreme government overreaction to some innocent little brush-clearing fires.  But digging just a little bit deeper reveals that Dwight and Steven Hammond have had run-ins with the law for decades.  Besides child abuse, anger management classes and arson, the elder Hammond has a record of death threats against the wildlife refuge managers going back to 1986!  Seems like there may be a reason the feds gave these guys a little extra scrutiny.  White-hatted cowboys, they ain’t.  You can find loads of links to the backstory here.

 

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What a line of horseshite; effete half-truths, sloppy 'journalism' & no experience, book learned propaganda.
Sorry, Mark, but being shallow and flippant and taking the party line is not exactly investigative journalism, now is it? As usual, you do little more than mouth the liberal cynical response to anything you don't understand. Go ahead and make fun of this but the truth is, this is pushback by the people for an ever-increasing federal monster.
"Onion of hypocrisy"... how clever. It seems you've missed the point in your weak attempt at humor. "The people's land is no longer being managed as the people's land. It's the government's land. And if you think that your own right to access it isn't going to be infringed upon, you're sadly mistaken. I'm not going to waste much more time here because it's clear that you've already drank the Kool-aid. Don't be surprised. When you're crammed into the high density urban dwellings with the rest of us, you'll see. Think it's a joke? Look up your own county's 2030 (or 2035) Visioning Plan. You think that all of this shit talking online is going to exempt you from this fate, but it won't. You're being played worse than you could ever imagine. See you there, neighbor.

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He was shot doing his job—walking a young man with autism back to his group home.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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