Ammon Bundy in Custody; Is Malheur Over?

LaVoy FinicumWell, as of Wednesday, Ammon Bundy is in custody and the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is more or less over. One man ended up dead, which is sad. But given the situation, I think we need to be thankful. We aren’t talking about the most stable people here. It could have been Waco all over again. They could have decided to burn themselves alive. What I hadn’t known was that these guys had been coming and going from the refuge to have meetings with the press and so on. As a result, the FBI and local officials decided to just pick them up on the road. It looks like everything went okay until LaVoy Finicum panicked and drove away. When his vehicle got stuck, he charged at police and was shot dead. Ammon’s brother Ryan was apparently shot in the arm.

The supporters of these domestic terrorists are defending them. In fact, Nevada Assembly member Michele Fiore tweeted out, “My heart & prays go out to LaVoy Finicum’s family he was just murdered with his hands up in Burns OR.” Was she there? Of course not! She just heard it from someone else who wasn’t there. I’m not saying that Finicum wasn’t murdered in cold blood — police certain do that. But it’s typical of a conservative to just gab any liberal rhetoric and go with it, because they are postmodern and they define the truth.

To give you some idea of just how ridiculous this all is, on 21 January, Ammon Bundy went and met with the FBI to negotiate an end to the standoff. They was supposed to meet the following day, but Bundy left when the FBI refused to negotiate in public. It’s all too clear what this is all about. Ammon Bundy and company want publicity. Their demands are ridiculous: that the federal government doesn’t own any of its own land. Thus, according to these bozos, the land belongs to them. It seems to me that if federal land were to just go back to the people, it ought to be proportioned, which means that none of these people would get enough land to graze their animals in his new world. It’s just because they want to define the new world so that it benefits people like them — rich people who don’t need any help.

It is sad that Finicum is dead. But the whole thing is frustrating. All these guys have acted like spoiled five year olds. They don’t respect the law and they deserve to be put in jail for a very long time. But that’s not what will happen. Because they have a lot of money, this will all go on for a very long time. They will get slapped on the wrist. And if they get any kind of major penalty (and even if they don’t), they’ll just take over another piece of property that they don’t own. Personally, I think they should all be denied bail because the probability of this is so great.

Right now, perhaps a half-dozen people remain at the refuge. And they are talking tough. But now the FBI is not letting anyone in. It seems kind of strange to me that they ever did. I really do think the whole thing would have been better dealt with the way you deal with a spoiled brat. Let them whine in their rooms and don’t let them have any snacks. Soon enough, they’d get bored and give up. What they never should have been allowed was a major platform to air their petty grievances.

One thing that is ironic is that the Bundies and their followers have always claimed this was about the federal government. But it was the people of the local area who most wanted these guys to get the hell out. The FBI was getting a lot of pressure from the local people to end the standoff. But of course, Ammon Bundy has always hidden behind the “silent majority” rhetoric — claiming that the people in that area were totally behind them. They weren’t.

The whole lot of them should spend a long time in a jail or mental hospital — whichever is appropriate. And they should be watched. Because these are exactly the kind of people who blow up federal buildings — with day-care centers. These are bad people who the society needs to be protected from.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

33 thoughts on “Ammon Bundy in Custody; Is Malheur Over?

  1. Personally, I am not heavily laden with remorse. It is not the same government as the one they claim to be oppressed by or there would have been many dead, weeks ago.
    I saw a Hummer today…….not the newer lesser priced type…..with a spare wheel cover emblazoned with the stars and stripes….and the printed slogan “there is only ONE America.” I thought how wrong that is. There my America and their America.

    • That is a great irony. If the government were the autocracy that they claim, it would just come in and murder them all. They are a bunch of pretenders. I’ve come to believe it is mostly people who saw Red Dawn when they were kids and now want to live it out.

  2. Gosh, the guy had his hands in the air and the cops just shot him anyhow.

    Who’d have guessed that one of the Bundy protestor crew was black?

    • Ha! There is something very creepy in everyone knowing that if were the Blank Panthers, they’d all be dead. But somehow, we’re all supposed to be okay with the FBI being so careful. And I am okay with the FBI being so careful. I want to always be. But as a society we don’t. This is a great big example of white privilege. And just white but fairly wealthy. Most of the rest of us have jobs we have to tend to. Although it looks like I could have gone there are still worked. It doesn’t seem like they wanted for anything. Was their internet shut off?!

      • Not only wasn’t it shut off. Responses to their Internet calls for supplies included many shipments of sex toys.

        This whole thing has been batshit.

        • Really?! I’ve just started doing a little work for sex site of sorts (probably not what you are thinking). That might make a great article!

                • I’m working with a friend on something related. It’s amazing what a huge part of the net is dedicated to sex. Most of us never see it because it is kind of its own world. I’m compiling a list all the sites with erotic fiction. It’s funny, I long ago came up with the line, “If you are reading pornography and notice the grammar errors, you’re doing it wrong.” If you look at erotic sites, you will see that the comments are filled with complaints about the grammar! Anyway, the really big stuff is the video services. As far as I can tell, video is almost all for men. The erotic literature is more evenly divided. But it does make me wonder: is sex as important to humans as its presence on the internet would indicate? I think it is. The old “men think about sex every 7 seconds” is certain wrong. But obviously: sex is important from an evolutionary standpoint. I find it all fascinating though. I get why people make videos. They take a lot of work, but there is a lot of money in it. There isn’t much money in writing erotica, yet people do it. And much of it is professional grade writing. Or maybe I’m wrong about the economics. That’s something I should learn. I do know that a famous writer friend of mine was writing erotica for a website about 15 years ago. So maybe there is more pay than I know.

                  • According to this article on…yes, apparently depending on how you do it, you can make some serious bank.

                    I look forward to your first forays into the genre.

                    As for why it is so popular-people need wank material and that includes ladies, we get just as lazy as the next person for something to arouse us so we can finish and go to sleep without having to work too hard imagination wise. Anything more than that I am going to have to take this conversation private. :D

                    • It’s not my project. I’m just helping out in exchange for help with my venture. And it isn’t a site in the industry; it’s a site about the industry.

                    • Oh what might have been. Seriously, I would probably use it to cheer myself up because the mere idea has me cracking up.

                    • The site is up already. I just can’t find the link to it. But it is going to be re-purposed anyway.

                    • That “Cracked” article is hilarious. And it also makes me hugely angry with myself I didn’t think of the article first. There isn’t much I’m good at, but searching Amazon for funny porn genres, that I could have done! Bigfoot . . . geez.

                      I had no idea there was money in that stuff. Maybe my favorite thing in the article is how the genre porn-writing community looks out for each other. You imagine them bouncing crazy ideas off each other. “There’s a werecat alien with a penis that also fixes broken appliances.” “Brilliant!”

  3. I hate to repeat myself, but it seems to be my superpower.

    It’s important to remember that the case which started all this had zilch to do with Big Gummint stepping on the rights of ranchers. It had to with ranchers, who were cited lightly once for breaking the law, getting hit much harder for repeating the same offense. Except this time, they were endangering forest firefighters. Whose job it is to protect private property.

    However, I’m damn sorry one of the loony defenders was killed. That’s probably real incompetence on somebody in law enforcement’s fault.

    • Well, sure. But the Bundies just picked these people to push their “we shouldn’t have to pay for using other people’s land” agenda. I hope they stay in jail for a very long time. But they aren’t even being charged with much. If the police picked up a guy having an ounce of pot on him, he’d be facing 15 charges. These guys are domestic terrorists and it is one fairly minor charge. Bundy might have two.

      • I found the probable cause statement since it is now online and it does appear that either they are waiting to pull out a lot more charges (why?) or they are undercharging since in theory they could be charged for conspiracy once a day at least.

        • Yeah, I had forgotten that. They can always add charges. And add them. And add them. But you would think that at very least “trespassing” would be on the list.

        • Wait. Is that a Harry Potter reference? See how hip I am? I’ve only managed to make it through one of the movies: the one (first?) with Brendan Gleeson.

          • Yes, Harry Potter. It’s a shorthand I use for Azerbaijan and Lord knows wherever else we have these horrible torture centers (including, most likely, job-dead rural Minnesota areas with common English names like “Happyville”) because that Rowling book came out, with its depiction of a creepy Malevolent Evil power, at almost exactly the same time we learned of how many abominable prisons the CIA/FBI puts “guy whose neighbor is mad at him for stealing a goat accuses him of terrorism” in, everywhere.

            (Note to Elizabeth: not only are paragraphs our friends, sentences are too. Notice I used run-on thoughts above in one atrociously constructed sentence. This is what happens when I get tired but don’t want to sleep because sleep means waking up to my job tomorrow. While you’ve been nailing the shit out of a fascinating debate about primary strategy on the other thread, taking just as long as you need to make your excellent points. I bow to most excellent writing, well done.)

            • Someday, I will have to sit down with a Harry Potter fan and have it all laid out for me. I did learn that Alan Rickman’s character turned out to been in love with Harry’s mother and was something of a morally grey (although I think ultimately good) character. The thing about the movies is that I really like all the adult characters. But the kids make me retch.

                • Yes! Perhaps a decent living in Puerto Vallarta with little more work than an article a week (after about 5 years of work getting it going).

                    • It’s a secret! And I’m not even sure I’m up for it, because I’ve been reading some really technical stuff and it’s making me crazy.

                      But I figure I could live a decent life in Mexico for about two grand a month, so we aren’t talking that much money.

  4. @Frank — as to Harry Potter, the adults in the films are almost criminally underused, considering the level of talent on hand. Still, if some kids were going to become child stars overnight (a gruesome fate which has destroyed many lives), it’s a good thing they had people like Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman around to show them how to be pros.

    The books are better, but more in the story than the characterizations. Basically, it’s the rise of fascism, and there are some interesting real-world parallels (some Tony Blair-type wizard politicians, for example.) But most of the characters are thin. Not Hermione, though. She’s a great scientist — she starts off obsessive about knowing all the rules and gradually becomes more interested in finding useful ways to break them.

    Snape was a double agent; he’d been in love (unrequited) with Harry’s mom. I always thought the story was pointing more towards him being in love with Harry’s dad, and the two had a terrible breakup. Wrong!

    That’s actually Dumbledore, the most interesting character in the series (who doesn’t do much in the films.) Turns out Dumbledore was something of a fascist in youth, and broke with his “dearest friend” when he began to change.

    Which cleared up the most annoying plot point for me. So Magic University has four houses, right? One for kids who are brave, one for the smarties, ones for those with noble hearts . . . and, um, Slytherin, the house for Evil. I always wondered why they didn’t just close it down, all the trouble it causes. Pack all the students off to the economics department at the University of Chicago, they’d be naturals.

    But since Dumbledore is a reformed fascist, he believes strongly in never passing judgment on anyone, no matter how suspicious their interests might appear. Good educational policy. Still, why not have some less spooky adults keeping an eye on those little monsters?

    • In the one I saw, I wondered the same thing. Some of these people are clearly aligned with Ralph Fiennes, why do they allow that? But much of that was lost on me. Dumbledore is the head of the school guy — the one played by Richard Harris and then Michael Gambon later? I know most of the characters by the names of the actors. Oh: Robbie Coltrane! You know…

      • Ah, if you’ve only seen one, I’d suggest checking out “Prisoner Of Azkaban.” Just because it’s directed by Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”), so it looks really great. (I’m into how films look, have you noticed?) Plus it tweaks the time-travel paradox in a pretty fun way (although “Bender’s Big Score” from “Futurama” does it just as well, and is funnier.) Tweaking the time-travel paradox is kind of a mini-art-form in itself, I like it when it’s done properly.

        After that, skip ’em. (I assume you saw the one with the hedge maze at the end, and that was pretty good.)

        Interestingly Cuaron asked Warner Bros. if he could do all the rest of the films; he really enjoyed the experience. And they said “no.” Huh? Why? The stupidity of movie executives never ceases to amaze me, and the last four movies were done by a talentless hack.

        Rowling wanted Terry Gilliam for the first movie, I think. It would have gone over budget (his movies always do), but geez, he could have wasted $25 mil on hamsters and they still would have brought in cash by the bucketful.

        • You’ll never forgive Gilliam for that! But I don’t think the material plays to Gilliam’s strengths. I’m very curious what he manages to do with Don Quixote.

          Yes, that’s the one I saw. The one directed by Mike Newell (who is pretty good).

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