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Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Crime, Environment | 7 comments

Some thoughts on the occupation of the Malheur Wild Life refuge in Oregon

shutterstock_10375321I was born in Oregon and other than a few years in Germany and a year in Japan I have lived here most of my life.  I was born and still live west of the Cascades in the Willamette Valley but I have spent a lot of time East of the mountains in Central and Eastern Oregon and that includes Harney County.  South Eastern Oregon is a jewel in the crown of the United States from the majestic Steens Mountain, the Alvord Desert and the Malheur Wild Life Refuge itself. This story has not received much national attention in part because it’s an election year but perhaps more important because most of the country really has no interest in a county in Oregon that is as big as Vermont but has a population of less than 10,000 people. Most of the ranchers get along with the BLM as they are only charged $1.35 a head for grazing rights as opposed to the $20.00 a head they would be charged on private land.

The Malheur Wild Life Refuge is a resting place for migrating birds and so this must be resolved quickly.  Most of Harney Counties economy used to be based on timber and ranching but now it is based on tourism and ranching.  These criminal militants have upset  upset that balance.  The four remaining should be told to surrender and submit to custody.  If they don’t they should be treated like anyone else that resists arrest.

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  • These misguided sadsacks need to comprehend the big picture. Poor rural Americans are caught in the same trap as urban poor Americans. As wealth is sucked upward and corporations consolidate and force individuals out of the economy, people are getting desperate in all areas. Despite what they are taught, other poor Americans and their government are not the problem. They are merely scapegoats and a diversion as their wealth is stolen. Yes, rural ranchers are going broke. Is it dirt cheap grazing fees and parks or giant food corporations? Their alternate reality of what it is to be patriotic, Christian and manly is hogwash but their predicament is the same as a growing number of Americans of all kinds.

  • JSpencer

    What? $1.35 a head isn’t cheap enough? Everybody wants something for nothing I guess. These guys crossed the line and that comes with a cost. They may view themselves as patriots, but I think most people view them as criminals.

    • Bob Munck

      most people view them as criminals.

      No, terrorists; that’s what all those guns are for. They certainly didn’t need them to take over an empty building. The guns, the camouflage costumes, the sunglasses, the big SUVs are all intended to intimidate the government and frighten the population. That’s the very definition of terrorism.

      • JSpencer

        Good point Bob. I must be losing my edge..

      • I agree Bob. They are indeed domestic terrorists and should be treated as such. They are a greater threat than al Quida or ISIL to the US of A. I have been in favor of closing GITMO but I’m now reconsidering that – perhaps that’s where these jokers belong.

  • Slamfu

    Trying to make sense of these people is a losing proposition. I watched their videos explaining why they were doing things and man, the paranoia, the utter disconnect from reality that feeds these people’s minds and hearts is pretty unsettling. They are raging over things that are happening only in their heads. Most of them appear to be frankly, losers, people that are just a mess and seem to be glomming onto this path of “patriotism” for the free dignity and some sense of purpose they think comes with it.

    They have somehow conflated, conveniently conflated I should say, that giving the land “back to the people” as they would have it is just a cover for giving the land to them. It’s utter selfishness and greed dressed up as some noble revolution on behalf of people that just want them to shut up and go away.

    I’d hesitate to use the word terrorist. These guys are just good ole fashioned outlaws, possibly rebels and traitors. To me, terrorists are those who basically have no hope of doing anything tangible, so they target civilians. Nightclubs, buses, airplanes, but the common thread of terrorists is the civilian casualties, and making as many of them as possible. These people didn’t do that, and if that was their goal, they had ample opportunity to do so. I don’t like the fact everyone we don’t who seems to use violence to get what they want is simply labeled “terrorist” these days. Words have meanings, and they shouldn’t be used that way I don’ think.

    • JSpencer

      If they really want to “back to the people” they should be campaigning to give it back to Native Americans. I can only imagine what they would think of that idea.

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