Insurrection in Oregon


Ammon Bundy (Photo the Oregonian) 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

It is seldom now that I get this spun up, but I have had it with violent conspiracy theorists using the cover of patriotism to mount an insurrection. Let’s be honest and call what is happening in Oregon what it is. It is armed insurrection and terrorism being perpetrated by extreme right wing, pseudo-Christian, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis. The list of extreme supporters has exploded on the Internet today, and frankly if you actually bother to read something about them even their own materials, they are a violent and dangerous bunch.

Led by Cliven Bundy’s sons Ammon, and Ryan Bundy, and former Army sergeant Ryan Payne who threatened to kill Federal agents during the standoff at the Bundy Ranch in 2014, these people are a threat, not just to society in general, but to the causes that they purport to support. Payne fits the profile of a sociopath and is a bona-fide conspiracy theorist.

The Missoula News profiled Payne and the Bundys in a very detailed article in June of 2014. They noted of Payne:

Payne came to believe the latter, that the government uses regulations to deliberately undermine the average American, “that they are purposely destroying industry, they are purposely taking this land from people.” The more he looked, the more he saw a deliberate and nefarious plan being orchestrated by a small number of people wielding enormous power. He saw a pervasive conspiracy to control all aspects of the media, the financial system, the entertainment industry, the military and the government.

More specifically, he came to believe that slavery never really existed in the United States and that African Americans in the antebellum South “didn’t view themselves as slaves.” He came to believe in “an effort by some Jews to control the world.” He came to believe the founders of the United States intended for the states to act as sovereign countries. He came to believe taxes are a form of “legal plunder.” He came to believe names are spelled in all-caps on driver’s licenses because U.S. citizens are actually “corporate entities.” He came to believe U.S. courts are actually foreign admiralty courts. He came to believe that “in most states you have the lawful authority to kill a police officer that is unlawfully trying to arrest you.” He came to believe when a newborn child’s footprint is made on a birth certificate, that child is effectively entering a life of servitude to the U.S. government, which borrows money from China based on that child’s estimated lifetime earning potential. (The article can be viewed in its entirety here )

The Bundy’s and Payne came uninvited to Burns Oregon, and trampled on the desires of the people in that town who were conducting peaceful protests the day that they went out and seized by force the administrative building of the U.S. Forrest Service in one of the oldest national wildlife preserves in the nation.

Map locates Burns, Oregon, where protestors occupied a national wildlife refuge building; 1c x 2 1/2 inches; 46.5 mm x 63 mm;

Since the takeover, neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, as well as other anti-government and anti-liberty groups are taking up their cause. The leader of anti-Muslim protests that have targets Mosques in many cities, Jon Ritzheimer, has called on his followers to take up arms and fight alongside the Bundy clan, Payne and their confederates.

Ritzheimer, a former Marine, whose anti-Muslim acts have given him plenty of headlines, has been spoiling for a fight for a long time. He wrote, “I am 100 percent willing to lay my life down to defend against tyranny in this country… We need real men here… Americans who have the intestinal fortitude to come here and take a stand and say enough is enough…. To my family, just know that I stood for something. Don’t let it be in vain. I love you.”

The leader of this rag tag bunch of pseudo-patriots, Ammon Bundy posted this on his Facebook page:

“We have basically taken over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. And this will become a base place for patriots from all over the country to come and be housed here and to live here. And we’re planning on staying here for several years.” Bundy called his band the “the point of the spear,” and called other like-minded extremist thugs to “bring your arms.”

Of course Bundy’s brother Ryan, in a statement to the Oregonian clothed the militant’s aims as being constitutional. “The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area… will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control.”

But that is a lie, none of the ranchers have been kicked out, in fact none ever owned any part of the land. The land federal lands that the Bundys and their compatriots argue should be “returned” to the local, overwhelmingly white population were once part of a reservation established by President Ulysses S. Grant for the Northern Paiute, an American Indian tribe. That tribe now is located on a smaller reservation north of Burns.

But, since 1908 the Malheur Wildlife Refuge has been Federal government property when President Theodore Roosevelt set aside unclaimed government lands encompassed by Malheur, Mud and Harney Lakes as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds. He did this because of the encroachment of feather merchants who were sending hunters into the area and wiping out the wild bird populations. The newly established Lake Malheur Reservation was the 19th of 51 wildlife refuges created by Roosevelt during his tenure as president. At the time, Malheur was the third refuge in Oregon and one of only six refuges west of the Mississippi.

The land never was and never has been the property of any ranchers. The arguments of the Bundy’s and their confederates have nothing to do with truth; they are a smokescreen to further a goal of attempting to destroy any semblance of government control in such areas and give it to people who have no claim, by right or ownership.

The mainstream corporate media is not challenging the lie of the Bundy’s and their supporters. None of the major networks has yet to call this exactly what it is, insurrection, sedition, and terrorism. Instead it is called a protest, or occupation. But you can be sure had the Bundy clan been a Muslim group, or other American minority group, including Native Americans, they would be calling them criminals, trespassers, and dare I say, terrorists. It is a double standard, if one is white, and claims to be a patriot; they go unchallenged by the mainstream media. You would think that they were Girl Scouts protesting because they could not sell cookies.

There are laws, long standing ones at that that deal with this kind of thuggery. The big one is the Insurrection Act of 1807 under which:

“The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it— so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.”

It is my opinion since this is land and property under Federal jurisdiction in the State of Oregon that the President should activate the Oregon National Guard (the actual legal militia) to work with other Federal law enforcement agencies to end this insurrection. I personally think that surrounding them with real military forces and cutting off power, fuel, food, and water to the Bundy Clan will end this. It should not have to come to violence, unless a sociopath conspiracy theorist like Ryan Payne decides to open fire on men and women who wear the uniform that he once wore.

These people are deranged and dangerous. Ryan Bundy said, they are “willing to kill and be killed if necessary.” These men are not conservatives or even libertarians, and they are certainly not patriots. They are extremist revolutionaries who are delusional and believe the most unbelievable conspiracy theories.

This has to be ended, hopefully peacefully, and these people sent home and their leaders to prison in disgrace. However, the inflammatory statements of the Bundy’s, Payne, and Ritzenheimer are setting the stage for potential violence. The only thing that I can think is that want this to foment a wider revolt of armed militia groups against the government and that they may even be willing to become martyrs, like the Islamic Jihadists of Al Qaeda and DAESH have been doing for some time now. Honestly I see little difference between any of these people.

Like I said, I seldom get really spun up by something, but what is happening in Oregon is dangerous and could get a lot of people killed. If people believe that Bureau of Land Management policies need to be changed, they should use the legislative process or make court challenges. There is no place for armed bands of people attempting force their will on the rest of the population when they are the only ones who will benefit from such an action.

I mentioned yesterday that there would be a crisis every day of the year, well, welcome to the first of many, and I haven’t even mentioned the twin crises brewing between Saudi Arabia and Iran, or India and Pakistan. But that can be dealt with another time.


Padre Steve+


Filed under civil rights, History, laws and legislation, News and current events, Political Commentary

17 responses to “Insurrection in Oregon

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    The facts are here … since mainstream media is so quiet!
    Take a look and learn the facts. Get your own education …… SMH!!

  2. Thank you for writing and sharing this post. I found it very educational and factual. I’m sharing with “friends” who think these nuts are defending their basic rights. The truth need be told!!

  3. Pingback: Insurrection in Oregon | Talmidimblogging

  4. Pingback: Thoughts for today, #307 .… “#OregonUnderAttack …. “!! | It Is What It Is

  5. Reblogged this on We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident and commented:
    Thanks for the history and being candid. I totally agree that this is a dangerous group, and they are playing to other hate-groups that have, since 2008, wanted a civil war in this country to destroy the federal government.

  6. Rachael

    This is a “Well-Regulated Militia?”

    “He came to believe that “in most states you have the lawful authority to kill a police officer that is unlawfully trying to arrest you.” Is that only if you are an armed white male?

  7. I wrote the following on Xena’s blog:

    I want these criminal trespassers to be arrested and to serve time with a minimal amount of fanfare and media coverage. This tine they will be sojourning in a region which is spartan and forlorn. I wan’t no press conferences by law enforcement. This is a great place to wait these peoples out until they leave on their own accord and then arrest time with no option for bail.

    What I do not want to ever see, would be these wannabes being memorialized in an event like the 1985 Philadelphia fires, Ruby Ridge in 1992 and WACO in 1993. .

  8. Didn’t think the President could call the Nat Guard, only the Govenor of a state can do that.

    • padresteve

      For state emergencies the Governor does, but the President can do it. Eisenhower did it in the 1950s to enforce court ordered desegregation and civil rights laws when the state wouldn’t.

  9. bravo6ep

    My initial reaction is to want a confrontation that brings all of the extremists out of the woodwork. Give them the opportunity to declare themselves and to act against the people of the US and then make an example of them. The authorities backed down in 2014 and what did it accomplish?

    Some are concerned that we will make them martyrs. Will martyrdom create more delusional extremists out of normal citizens? Not likely. Only people who are similarly delusional will care and they exist already.

    But as I ponder further the potential response of such actions my more reasoned response is for the government to establish the rule of law by all legal means to include force.

      • Margie G. Martinez

        Whoa! Never read a writing from you that revealed your ‘anger’! You do make a good point that these guys are not Patriots. These people are frustrated but barking at wrong entity. Their fight if it’s about their cattle ranching rights should be with big Corporations & Dept of Agriculture who have control over the profit making system of selling & buying beef. It’s the ECONOMY that’s frustrating ppl.

  10. Richard H. Randall, Major, USA, (ret.)

    Very well said. Thanks for the great facts. These men are not patriots: I’d suspect that most are not veterans, nor successful veterans at that. They are indeed dangerous, as they think they have a God-given right to run rough-shod over whole communities. They are appalling liars–and they- especially the Bundy famiiy members- hypocrites and thieves.
    I am enormously displeased with the BLM and Obama administration, for it’s total weakness in dealing with these people. Please see Harper’s Magazine article article by Christopher Ketchum, entitled “Cliven Bundy and the politiicans who are plundering the West. Out on 17 Jan 2016
    (Hey Padre, have you looked at Process Philosophy and religion? Good articles on Wiki, and The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.)

    • padresteve

      I agree with you sir. These people as dangerous. I favor a stronger response, but I imagine that the President and the administration are hoping not to have to do anything in order to ensure it does not hurt the Democratic nominee or the House races in the gerrymandered districts and in the Senate. They should cut those people off from all support and force them to leave, hopefully without violence. But, sadly I think the Bundys will force the issue.

  11. Richard H. Randall, Major, USA, (ret.)

    There was an article last Sunday or Monday, at the NYT, written by an environmental historian from the midwest. If I find my copy, I’ll send what I can (really need to learn how to send things…..will ask my kids)
    The article is historically founded, and is very, very good. It seems according to this lady, that prior to TR saving that dilapidated and spoiled by non-ethical hunters, it had been owned by a California cattle ranch which had forced out smaller ranchers and farmers and then destroyed the ecosystem to the point where it was a dying area, full of erosion, dead marshes and nearly devoid of wild life.The U.S. Government saved by purchasing and protecting it. Geting protected status, made recovery possible, and it has been run since by the BLM AND the citizens of that county, and its inhabitants, which explains pretty well why the current residents want these folks to go home! Note: Margie Matrinez makes a point the authoress made as well.

    • padresteve

      I saw the article. The Bundys and the others playing this game have not a leg to stand on. Did you see their claim that the Native Americans had forfeited their right to the land? I is amazing, they have no claim to anything but strut around like they are patriots when they are nothing more than low life criminals.

      • Richard H. Randall, Major, USA (ret.)

        Thanks for such an accurate and succinct description. That crew was out today, trying to get other ranchers to tear up their contracts with the BLM.
        I do believe, as you pointed out several days ago, that that that is at least sedition. Funny how these ‘law and order’ guys always demand maximum punishments….except when they are the guilty parties… Padre, didn’t Jesus Christ, the Righteous (as the Episcopalians call Him) have something to say about actions such as this?

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