Overthrowing the U.S. government can be expensive. That’s why Daniel Brewer needs his federal disability check to join the attempted government overthrow on the Malheur Wildlife National Refuge in Harney County (OR). On a posting for people to come help the “militia,” Brewer commented:
“$300 it’s a shame. The Federal Government can’t get my disability straight. $300 I and my Sons could be there. Shoulder to shoulder. My heart tells me to get there. I simply can’t find the gas money. I’m so sorry. I know I can make a difference. My prayers, are with you. I feel so bad its $ keeps me from doing what my heart tells me is right. If they want blood, make sure it’s theirs my brothers and Sisters. Damn. Please lord find me a way to help these people…. Amen.”
Brewer’s position is similar to that of the woman who wrote President Obama: “I don’t want government-run health care. I don’t want socialized medicine. And don’t touch my Medicare.”
Maybe Ammon Bundy could send some of his government money to Brewer. Although Bundy’s father, Cliven, refuses to pay the $1 million in grazing fees owed to the federal government, it loaned Ammon Bundy $530,000 to start Valet Fleet which services semitrucks throughout Arizona. There is no public record about how the money was spent or whether it was repaid.
The people who who took over a federal building now need snacks, according to anti-government terrorist Blaine Cooper. Ammon Bundy had said that they had planned for months; evidently the plan didn’t include packing “snacks.” Cooper’s desperate message stated:
“We do not stand for fame or fortune….We don’t want your money. If you have supplies or snacks … please send them to the address above…. The last sentence in the Declaration of Independence reads: And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Who knew that meant snacks! And sent through U.S. mail—paid for by the U.S. government. The occupiers also want a government handout, free land. They have support from conservative lawmakers in at least nine western states who want to take over federal lands in order to make a profit off them—possibly even selling the lands to private owners.
Ranchers grazing cattle on public land are getting a much better deal by paying the federal government instead of private owners. BLM fees for grazing are 93 percent than on private land and become cheaper as the years go on. In 2012, annual fees were $1.35 for supporting a cow and her calf for a month. In 2014, grazing fees covered only 15 percent of the bureau’s costs to maintain the lands.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, home to 320 bird species, is a “tool of tyranny,” according to Ammon Bundy. Actually, it’s a major tourist attraction and staple of local economy, drawing visitors from all over the world. Bundy wants to give the land, which President Ulysses S. Grant, gave to the Paiutes, “back to the people,” but the people had access to it until Bundy and his tribe moved in. Children in Harney County can’t even go to school now because of Ammon Bundy. The group, now know known as Ya’llQueda are illegally occupying federal land for what they see as their constitution rights to burn public lands, use taxpayer money to freely graze cattle, and ride their ATVs to destroy archaeological sites.
The occupiers started by claiming that they are protesting the Hammonds’ being sent back to prison. The two men flew down to southern California before turning themselves in at the Terminal Island federal correctional facility in San Pedro. The lawbreakers no longer have an excuse to be in central Oregon illegally living in a federal building.
One anti-federal extremist, “Captain Moroni,” claims that the Mormon religion inspired the insurrection. In that religion, Moroni organized weapons, strategy, and tactics to allow Nephites to worship and govern as they wished. Like Christians, Mormon protesters claim that Jesus inspired the U.S. Constitution, making the document scripture. The man calling himself Captain Moroni said he was inspired by a call to come to Oregon: “I’m willing to die here.”
These so-called “conservatives” are opposing a century of GOP-led commitment to conservation and the protection of wildlife initiated by GOP President Theodore Roosevelt, who established the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1908. It is “one of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System,” according to the Audubon Society of Portland, “and belongs to all Americans.” Bob Sallinger said:
“The occupation of Malheur by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers. The occupiers have used the flimsiest of pretexts to justify their actions—the conviction of two local ranchers in a case involving arson and poaching on public lands. Notably, neither the local community nor the individuals convicted have requested or endorsed the occupation or the assistance of militia groups.”
The news repeatedly states that the event in Burns (OR) is an “occupation” following “a peaceful protest” and “an expression of anti-government sentiment.” An examination of the situation, however, shows that it is a gang of people with guns who declare themselves outside the law and plan to overthrow the government.
One state legislator who supports Bundy and his people is GOP lawmaker Any Holt in Tennessee who doesn’t see the problem with the “militia” despite Article III of the Constitution:
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”
And U.S.C.S 2383 follows up:
“Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Instead of pursuing the illegality of the “militia’s” actions, the media follows the event with a certain level of bemusement. talks to whites occupying a federal building in Oregon about how they cook, find bunks, etc. In contrast, black protesters–labeled by Fox as “terrorists,” “Nazis,” “sub-human,” a “hate group,” “extremists,” “thugs,” “rioters,” and “grave threats” to the police–are killed.
- Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered with impunity within two seconds after a police officer saw him with a toy gun.
- Laquan McDonald was killed with 16 shots in one-fourth of a minute as he walked away from police officers.
- In 1985, heavily armed members of MOVE in Philadelphia were surrounded by police answering a noise complaint and bombed by a military helicopter. The fire destroyed several blocks and killed 11 people, including five children.
- When armed supporters of the American Indian Movement occupied the town of Wounded Knee (SD) in 1973, police, military, and FBI created a war zone on the reservation and killed two AIM members. They just wanted the federal government to honor their treaties by granting Indians greater control of their own lands.
- Gun control in the 1960s came after armed Black Panthers peacefully marched on the California capitol in Sacramento.
Law enforcement analyst and retired U.S. marshal Art Roderick drew a comparison between heavily armed whites and unarmed blacks. As black people pose no violent threat in their neighborhood, law enforcement pulls out military gear to force protesters to disperse. Faced with heavily-armed white “militias,” law enforcement works on a peaceful resolution.
Many of the people now in Oregon pulled guns on law enforcement in Nevada with a declaration to seize land nationwide but faced no criminal charges for sedition. That experience allows them to believe, perhaps correctly, that they will not face any prosecution for their treasonous actions. Meanwhile, they try to overthrow the government that provides them with their livelihood.
Late this afternoon, Ammon Bundy said that the insurrectionists will leave the community if it asks them to. Maybe they’re running out of food—and snacks. If they leave, they’re sure to pop up somewhere else to create more havoc and get more publicity.