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Libertarian Fairy Tales: The Bundy Militia's Revisionist History In Oregon

For centuries, the federal government has bailed out cattle ranchers in Oregon and other Western states. It requires a lot of magical thinking—and historical erasure—to see "tyranny" in Harney County.
 link to www.psmag.com

Libertarian Fairy Tales: The Bundy Militia's Revisionist History in Oregon

Aaron Bady Jan 7, 2016

Ammon Bundy outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on January 5, 2016. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Though actual historians would quibble with how the militia movement understands American history, the Bundy family has justified what they are doing by evoking a distinctly 18th-century style of American patriotism. Because the land and its resources belong to the people, and because a tyrannical government now conspires to take it from them—which they say is specifically and intentionally an effort to reduce free men to slaves—the free people of America have the right and even the moral obligation to take a stand against that government. "We're out here because the people have been abused long enough," as Ammon Bundy put it; "their lands and resources have been taken from them, to the point where it's putting them literally in poverty."

Like the original American revolutionaries, the Bundys warn of creeping tyranny. If they fetishize the constitution, it's fair to say they worship the Declaration of Independence, and the Bundys tell the same kind of story about a government's history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having as their direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny. To them, Barack Obama's federal government is not simply misguided or abusive; to them and their ideological bedfellows, the government of the United States is intentionally sabotaging the economy to drag free men and women into poverty, making them dependent on government handouts and patronage, and, thus, easy to control. Government is not just the problem; government is the enemy.

This is why the seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is only superficially about the incident that provoked the conflict—the Hammond family and its legal troubles. The Hammonds provide a useful pretext for directly confronting the Federal government, or, as Ammon Bundy puts it: "The Hammonds are just an example or a symptom of a very huge and egregious problem, but it's happening all across the United States." Bundy continues:

We have the EPA that is taking property away from people, they are restricting whole industries, putting whole states and counties into economic depression. We have a slew of other federal agencies that are doing the same thing, and they are doing it by controlling the land and resources, because they know where wealth generates from: wealth generates from the earth, from the land and resources. If they can control them, then they can be the beneficiaries of them, and then the American people have to practically beg them for whatever they give them.

Before seizing the refuge, the Bundy brothers first appealed to the Harney County Sheriff on November 12, urging him to defy the federal government as the true representative of the people. Like their father, Cliven Bundy, who defied the federal government because he regarded it as a "foreign court," the Bundy brothers belong to the "county supremacy movement," who regard the only legitimate policing power as the county sheriff. In that open letter, they argue that the Hammonds did no more than to "use and care for the land," and, as a result, have come into conflict with the government, "those that harbor the ideology that it is a moral obligation to restrict man from the use of the land and resources." According to Bundy, "multiple federal employees are using their position in government to remove the Hammonds from the land to set a precedent for the removal of other land users."

This claim makes more sense if you assume that Obama really is a secret socialist, and that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by subversionary elements seeking to establish totalitarian rule over the American people. And a lot of Americans do believe these things. The Bundys accuse the Bureau of Land Management (along with the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies) not of enforcing the law, but of conspiring to "restrict man from the use of the land" as an end in itself. There is therefore no point in trying to "reform" how the BLM manages public lands. If this government's actual goal is tyranny—and control of the land and its resources is the instrument it uses—then public lands are only a battlefield; seizing them is a strike against tyranny, but only a first step. One has only to take these "patriots" at their word to see that they are not reformists but revolutionaries.

Though it may lack the rhetorical zip of the Thomas Jefferson original, the open letter that the Bundy family wrote to the Harney County sheriff in November is—like the Declaration of Independence itself—primarily a list of grievances. There are a few semi-quotable assertions, like the claim that "Government employees (full-time & elected) have changed their culture from one of service to, and respect for the people, to the roll [sic] of being a masters" or the declaration that "It is the duty of the people to defend their God given rights if government fails to do so or turns to devour them." But most of the document attempts to substantiate the grounds on which the Bundys are aggrieved, by telling a story of government tyranny—a 4,000-word bill of the Violations, Corruptions and Abuses and an accounting of the Facts & Events.

I'm not sure how many people read the open letter when it first appeared at the Bundy Ranch website in November, misspellings and all, or when they re-posted it in December. But on Sunday, the Facts & Events section appeared (without citation) at "the Conservative Treehouse," where it has been shared far and wide. The Conservative Treehouse is a far-right website (it ran hit-pieces on Trayvon Martin) and these days serves as a clearinghouse for news on Benghazi, how Donald Trump will make America great again, and talking points from the National Rifle Association; from there, the document has been shared many thousands of times on Facebook, and was even re-re-posted back onto the Bundy Ranch website. Despite being essentially authored by the Bundys themselves, it is viewed in some circles as unvarnished truth, the key contextualizing document in the latest Bundy affair, at least for those sympathetic to the militia movement (and especially for those who reject anything published under the shadow of .gov, and who get their facts from Infowars and from Facebook).

This, for example, is how the Bundy family describes the origins of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which they have occupied:

(aa) The Harney Basin (were the Hammond ranch is established) was settled in the 1870s. The valley was settled by multiple ranchers and was known to have run over 300,000 head of cattle. These ranchers developed a state of the art irrigated system to water the meadows, and it soon became a favorite stopping place for migrating birds on their annual trek north.

(ab) In 1908 President Theodor Roosevelt, in a political scheme, create an "Indian reservation" around the Malheur, Mud & Harney Lakes and declared it "as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds". Later this "Indian reservation" (without Indians) became the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

This is a libertarian fairy tale, even before the authors go on to dismiss wildlife conservation as a "political scheme." In the beginning, there was the land. But like all virgin soil, it required entrepreneurial ranchers to settle it before it could produce value, and this was central to the myth: that nothing existed before the arrival of these free men. The "Indian reservation" is mentioned a full paragraph after the Harney Basin "was settled in the 1870s," and safely enclosed in scare-quotes (along with the parenthetical disclaimer "without Indians" to emphasize that the Indians didn't really precede the settlers). Even the birds didn't really arrive until after our heroic pioneer ranchers had built "a state-of-the-art irrigation system" to make the lake a hospitable stopover spot.

For the Bundys, then, nothing really happened before the 1870s. They do not mention Spanish explorers in 1532, or French Canadian trappers, or the British occupation after the war of 1812, or Oregon statehood in the 1850s. Their story most definitely does not begin thousands of years ago, when the first people settled the region. They have no time for how the Army re-settled the northern Paiute in the Malheur Indian reservation in 1872—emptying Harney County for settlement by white people—nor how those same white settlers demanded (and got) the reservation dis-established in 1879 so they could have that land too.

But history didn't begin in the 1870s. A lot had to happen before rancher-settlers could run hundreds of thousands of cattle in Harney County, and so a lot has to be forgotten by ideologues like the Bundy family. In part, this is because most of the pre-1870 erasures was done by the federal government. Obviously, the U.S. military first had to ethnically cleanse the land, getting rid of the various native peoples that had lived in these stretches for thousands of years. But even after the land had become "free" to white settlers, prospective ranchers still needed markets for their cattle, especially once their primary market for meat, the Army, had moved on to other territories. It was the federal government that stepped in and bailed them out, taking on debt by an act of Congress to finance and build a railroad system. Without the Central Pacific Railway, those thousands of cattle could never have been sold.

Despite the Bundy mythology of family farming and homesteading—individual homesteads headed by patriarchal Free Men—cattle ranching in Harney County was first and foremost a corporate concern. For one thing, raising cattle is and has always been a capital-intensive industry, so Harney County ranchers had to be, and were, financed by businessmen in California, which is where most of the ranchers originally came from. In the 1860s and '70s, the prospects for cattle ranching in California had become dim: A few major droughts and a piece of fencing legislation in 1874 (which favored planted agriculture over stock-raising by placing the financial burden for fencing on cattle ranchers instead of on grain farmers) effectively closed the California range, sending herds east into the northern Great Basin.

When Peter French first came to Harney County in 1872, for example, he represented Hugh J. Glenn, a businessman in Sacramento, acquiring land and cattle for what he would eventually incorporate (in California) as the French-Glenn Livestock Company. French would marry into Hugh J. Glenn's family, but only after their business partnership had been consummated, becoming one of the two major corporations that owned the vast majority of the ranchland in the county. Peter French acquired his land by any means necessary, but all of it had originally been acquired by and then from the federal government. Sometimes French bought it from discouraged family settlers, who were looking to move on; sometimes he forced them to move on, so they would sell their land to him. Sometimes he quietly fenced off and seized what would have otherwise been public rangeland; according to a General Land Office report of 1886-87, around 30,000 acres of commons had somehow found itself enclosed by French-Glenn fences. Another means of sidestepping the law was for his own employees to file homestead claims and then immediately sell the land to their employer (according to historian Margaret Lo Piccolo Sullivan, French-Glenn acquired around 27,000 acres between 1882 and 1889, of which around 16,000 were "purchased" from employees listed on the company ledger).

There were many schemes. It was possible to buy land that had been surveyed as "swamp" from the government at very low prices, for example, if you promised to drain and use it. So sometimes French and others would flood the land first, rendering it swampland so as to lower the price. Sometimes they didn't even bother. In one of the most notorious bits of fiscal legerdemain, French purchased 50,000 acres of swamp land in 1877 from a previous owner who had certified it as swamp, before purchasing it, by technically crossing it in a boat—a boat drawn by mules. The regulatory agencies eventually caught up with these schemes, but by the time they did, most of the land had already been distributed among a very small number of hands.

After the 1870s, the story of Harney County ranching became a story of class warfare, as cattle barons such as French sought to expand and monopolize the range by destroying or incorporating smaller competitors. The underlying economics—and corrupt local governance—tended to favor the syndicate: Only well-capitalized firms, with many employees, had the resources to drive their cattle to the nearest railhead, hundreds of miles away, so small-scale ranchers often had no choice but to sell their cattle to the big operations (at whatever price the large operations chose to buy). Large firms could drive small ranches out of business, simply by refusing to buy from them. Of course, sometimes the big fish eating the little fish paid their own price: Hugh J. Glenn would be killed by a disgruntled employee, and Peter French, in turn, would be shot and killed in 1897 by a small-holder whose farm he had encircled as part of a long-running border dispute. But that was the old West.

The era of the great cattle barons had already passed, long before the Hammonds moved to Oregon and bought their ranch in the Diamond Valley, what had once been a part of French's 140,000-acre empire. When the frontier closed at the dawn of the 20th century, sheep farms, drought, and desertification put the big cattle ranches into debt: The French-Glenn Livestock Company would be sold to Henry L. Corbett in 1907 and become part of the Blitzen Valley Land Company, which would in turn be re-organized as the Eastern Oregon Livestock Company, in 1916. But in 1935, the company would be underwater again, this time for good; its shareholders would look to the government to buy them out.

There are many reasons why the government owns so much land in Harney County. Some of the land is of no value to anyone; the Army took all of it from the northern Paiute, but never found buyers for some of it. Sometimes it was always more profitable for individual ranchers just to use government land without buying it. And sometimes the land fell back into the federal government's hands because the ranchers no longer wanted it. For all the infrastructure it built to make cattle ranching profitable (and the massive fraudulent handouts to well-connected and well-capitalized cattle corporations), the federal government enabled the great cattle empires of the 1870s only to watch them go belly up. But they were, of course, too big to fail: In a story as old as finance capitalism, the federal government bailed them out and bought back the land.

Western militia-types like to fantasize that they are oppressed by a "foreign" government. They like to play dress-up, to pretend that they are entrepreneurial family farmers who built it all themselves. But you can tell the story of Harney County as a morality tale about the evils of big government only if you leave most of it out. And so they do. The story the Bundy brothers tell is mostly empty space, like the Western frontier of their imagination. And perhaps this is fitting. After all, what is American history if not a history of unspoken violence, told by erasure?

homepage: homepage: http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/libertarian-fairy-tales-of-the-bundy-family

Where are the apologists for the "Patriots" "oppressed" by the BLM? 10.Jan.2016 19:29

no where in sight

Come on "blues", shaker, and the rest---isn't Pacific Standard another Mass Media outlet spreading "propaganda"? Surely, since the only pdx imc supporters left are "libertarians", this should bring them out from their rocks with a chorus of "no fair!".

To really blow these people's minds, look up who owns the PS on Wikipedia....and watch the conspiracy clowns flock to the circus!

RE: " conspiracy " 10.Jan.2016 22:43

guess what

I posted this article here on the newswire

( i.e. one of the people not-in-lock-step-with-Corporate-Owned-Social-Media-Y'All-Qaeda-memes, but also not "in support of" the Malheur occupiers )

imagine that. A person who actually isn't "on one side or the other".

nice to clearly ID the folks 100% supporting FedGov, though

p.s. : reminder from the other thread 10.Jan.2016 22:48


a reminder to those casually throwing around the T word 07.Jan.2016 18:10


once you begin to learn to read 11.Jan.2016 09:59


you can then call me an 'apologist', not before. It's obvious that you've read little of what I've said with some critical eye that doesn't have the focus of intentionally malicious emotional response.

Quit living in the 'dream-time' of myth, too, in regard to yourself as well as the world around you.

I'm utterly familiar with dream-time, and I'll say the same to you as I said to one of the break-off Occupy supporters. (The original action was brilliant.) Dream-time can exist in the past, and in the present for small groups of the equally given, but it can't be brought into the future simply because dream-time requires an essential measure of innocence that life doesn't allow, just for the fact that with each step one could inadvertantly take a life that isn't theirs, or infringe upon territory over which another takes issue.

The contradictions are just too blatant to notice. Just more of the same, with all the same 'involvement' to which the internet is so panders.

This group protesting at least is public, which is more than I can say for most of those deluded on either whatever line is placed to give the proper dichotomous nature with which our pitiful minds can't seem to ever reconcile. That's pretty normal. Maybe a case in point was some grand philosophical delusion in another post here which, curiously, only had one comment in attendance: mine, as consistent as all my comments have been throughout this subject.

Now you've become a distraction in the same vein. Stick with the facts. There's enough to complain about and glory over your own words right there. What do you do? You beat on the confusion of 'blues-comments' and criticism of others. Why don't you try expressing your thoughts of the matter and publish a post rather than simply comment? All are welcome here. Right?

For now, I'm done. You've made my point quite well, haven't you?

'militia' fraudulently claim to be ex-military 11.Jan.2016 14:28


Heavily Armed Oregon Patriots Lied about Actual Military Combat Service

Camouflaged, Gun-Toting Oregon "Militia" Exposed as Faking their True U.S. Military Service

By Nate Thayer

January 9, 2016

The heavily armed protestors strutting around dressed in military camouflage in Oregon have one thing in common: many have lied about their service in the U.S. military, falsified combat duty service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lied about being captured, held as POWs, and being wounded in battle, according to official U.S. military documents and veteran groups who investigate false military service.

The "Patriots" and "Militia" members routinely refer to their status as combat war veterans and invoke rhetoric of defending the Constitution in the American homeland but are, in truth, a rag tag group of military wannabees who are largely fraudulent "internet warriors" who never served in the U.S. armed Forces.

"These guys don't question one another because they would expose each other as the frauds and liars they are," said Mary Schantag , chairwoman of the POWNetwork.org. "The real veterans would leave as soon as they heard these guys' ridiculous stories." Schantag runs an organization of military veterans devoted to exposing frauds and perpetrators of "Stolen Valor".

Too much paronoia on IMC 11.Jan.2016 15:00

woo woo

"nice to clearly ID the folks 100% supporting FedGov, though "

Uh huh. I suppose from there it's a short trip to "cointelpro" or "agents". What a head case.

What I want to know:

Where are all the so called animal rights activists that once roamed indymedia? Surely if they(assuming it's more than one guy in a basement) can organize vandalizing and harassing local small businesses and craftspeople, they can come out of the woodwork to condemn the Bundy protest in Hammond's name.

Why should animal right's people care? This all started when the Hammond's torched some land to hide the fact they slaughtered deer--and even other hunters where appalled:

 link to www.wweek.com

"Federal prosecutors built their case around three deer hunters, who testified that the Hammonds' hunting party shot into a group of seven or eight small bucks on federal land, constituting illegal poaching. "I saw at least four bucks get hit by bullets," testified hunting guide Gordon Choate. "I saw one with a leg flopping, running. And basically the herd of bucks just exploded like a flock of quail."

Prosecutors argued that by starting the fire, the Hammonds were able to destroy evidence of the deer slaughter. Dwight Hammond's grandson, Dusty Hammond, testified that "Steven [Hammond] started handing out boxes of strike-anywhere matches and said we were going to light up the whole country on fire."

So where are all those fired up animal righters on indy? They should go out and confront the occupiers! A far better use of their time than gluing locks of local small businesses.

Of course it would involve some risk, so I don't expect any takers...

Yes, they are Terrorists 11.Jan.2016 15:29

a clue

"a reminder to those casually throwing around the T word "

Oh boo hoo. These nutbags have been threatening people for years

 link to www.oregonlive.com

A 1995 article published by The Village Voice, citing Kisler's affidavit, said Dwight Hammond "threatened to kill" Cameron and his assistant manager, Dan Walsworth, and that Hammond had "claimed he was ready to die" over the fence line.

Kisler said the tensions boiled over Aug. 3, 1994, when workers who showed up to finish the final links in the boundary fence found one of the Hammonds' large dirt scrapers blocking their way.

Federal officials were out fiddling with the disabled scraper for some time, Kisler said, before the Hammonds showed up to taunt them with obscenities and vitriol.

"We made it clear they could call us any name in the book, and that was fine, as long as they didn't interfere any further with this fence crew," Kisler said.

Later, as a truck hauled the scraper away, Hammond walked down to the work site and confronted Kisler, hoping to get arrested, Kisler said.

"I literally drew a line in the sand," said Kisler, adding that he didn't want to make the long drive back to Portland with Hammond in custody. "I told him, 'If you cross that line, you're going to leave me no choice.'"

And yet?

"As soon as I said that, he jumped over that line," Kisler said. "And that was it."

Court files show the Hammonds faced felony charges that included intimidating and interfering with federal employees. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors and then dropped in 1997.


More threats followed the arrests, Kisler said, but this time from Hammond sympathizers — some of whom had taken to the streets in protest. Those years-old demonstrations, drawing supporters and militants from across the West, had echoes in Saturday's protest in Burns.

"At one point, they had a homemade sign that had all of our names, refuge people's names, my name, my partner's name," said Kisler. "Luckily, my partner and I, we both had unlisted numbers."

The Village Voice reported that one Hammond supporter had called Cameron, the Malheur manager, and "threatened to wrap the Camerons' 12-year-old boy in a shroud of barbed wire and stuff him down a well."


This is terrorism. A pattern going back years. Time to end slaps on the wrist and send people like the Hammond's to prison.

" This is terrorism. " 11.Jan.2016 15:38

No It Isn't.

Hammond may face felony charges, and the occupiers will face charges for carrying firearms on a federal building.

But it isn't "Terrorism."

p.s. Hammond is not occupying the Malheur refuge. Totally different group.

and even if you were some sort of "cointelpro" you obviously have ZERO comprehension or understanding of federal laws or sentencing guidelines.

You have been debunked, in other words.

RE: "Where are all the so called animal rights activists that once roamed indymedia?"

They should be asking the same question about Disinformationalists such as yourself, attempting (with zero comprehension of the actual federal statutes) to garner "terrorism" accusations vs. the occupiers of Malheur.

Are you an "animal rights activist" yourself? or, just Concern Trolling with your feigned interest in that topic here/ such activists?

Fuck off.

@No It Isn't. 11.Jan.2016 15:59

pay attention

"p.s. Hammond is not occupying the Malheur refuge. Totally different group. "

The Hammond's are the reason they went there...before they changed their reasons.

"But it isn't "Terrorism." "

---Dwight Hammond "threatened to kill" Cameron and his assistant manager, Dan Walsworth, and that Hammond had "claimed he was ready to die" over the fence line.

No different from a jihadist.

----"At one point, they had a homemade sign that had all of our names, refuge people's names, my name, my partner's name," said Kisler.

Terrorizing innocent bystanders, stalking, intimidation.

----"threatened to wrap the Camerons' 12-year-old boy in a shroud of barbed wire and stuff him down a well."

Did the Hammond's speak out against this? I doubt it.... Terrorism includes death threats and torture.

"threatened to kill" 11.Jan.2016 16:35


"threatened to kill"
is just "threatened to kill".

That's all.

Specific (not 'terrorism') laws relate to that, and can be acted upon/pursued to conviction with enough evidence and prosecutorial effort.

"No different from a jihadist."

Which "jihadist" (WTF is that anyway, esp. with regard to Federal laws and sentencing — and further no one here gives a ***k about "jihadists") has been convicted of "terrorism" for merely "threatening to kill" someone?

Not enough.

To be convicted under 2016 USA terrorism statutes, acts dangerous to human life (e.g., WMDs, assassination, kidnapping), attempted influence of government policy, and intimidation/coercion of civilian population are required.

None of this has happened yet at Malheur.
(It's too remote, for one thing. No hostages, for another. No civilians are threatened. Only the occupiers themselves via their own actions have placed themselves in 'jeopardy' of any kind.)

Rhetoric and "threats to kill" are not enough (RE: terrorism statutes of USA)

STFU now, before digging yourself any deeper.

Bundy's flip flopped on the Hammonds... 11.Jan.2016 16:44


They're the REAL reason for the "protest" after all:

 link to www.chicagotribune.com

Tribune wire reportsContact Reporter
January 11, 2016 5:08 PM

The leader of a small, armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon said Monday he and his followers are going through government documents stored inside refuge buildings.

Ammon Bundy told reporters the documents will be used to "expose" how the government has discriminated local ranchers who use federal land for cattle grazing......

Ammon Bundy called his group's occupation of the refuge "peaceful" and said the armed men would not leave until the Hammonds are out of prison and abuses against ranchers are exposed. Bundy called the occupation a "moral and righteous stand for the future of this country.""

RE: "real reason" 11.Jan.2016 16:53


After following this clown cluster**** for a week or so I've come to the following conclusions :

1) Bundys' tactics/strategy (if any?) in 'taking over' the refuge have been massively inept; no 'plan' is evidently in place

2) Occupiers have little to no support from local residents, Oregon-based militia members, majority of right-wing leaning Americans, or mass-popular media (which has responded with ridicule and derision)

3) Significant number of the occupiers themselves have been exposed as stolen valor (fake claims of military service) posers

4) Occupiers display little grasp or understanding of federal land administration history, or the federal hegemony they wish to challenge

for these reasons, I'm now just preparing batches of popcorn in anticipation of the outcome....

RE: claimed Bundy 'discovery' of documents at the Malheur premises — seeing is believing, Ammon.

Re:Terrorism 12.Jan.2016 11:40


"The intent of terrorism is to achieve political aims through intimidation and threats.

Check, check, check."


" The Oregonian/OregonLive " 12.Jan.2016 19:01

check OUT.

wtf, Oregonian articles (as "proof") ??!

and STFU already.

there is no "terrorism". And no 'news' in your corporate mass media article.

Lol, are you stupid?

Nowhere in the Oregonian article does it say or even imply that "terrorism" is what the Bundys have done (at present), or will be charged with by the government.

At present all they have violated is a string of federal statutes (carrying firearms on fedgov property etc.)

( Depending on how mixed up / violent things get at the tail end of this occupation, the federal government may ? have accumulated, at that stage, further evidence which they could possibly use to force later terrorism charges, or DOJ charges under terrorism/USA Patriot guidelines. But it ain't over until _____ , and isn't there yet.)

We already know they "planned it in advance" / "plotted" / premeditated. So what?
(as are Earth First, animal rights actions)

We also already knew that the Hammonds 100% disavowed Bundy actions with respect to Malheur refuge. Not news.

They didn't just drive up to Burns for the Hammond demonstration ONLY, and RIGHT THERE AND THEN spontaneously decide 'gee whiz why don't we take over Malheur that isn't too far away'. It wasn't spur of the moment.
Absolutely premeditated, and no reporting from the outset has contravened that fact.

Militia = Earth First = animal rights
as far as US government is concerned

each of the 3 above has equal propensity to be --------> charged with 'terrorism' by the gov't
( depending entirely on circumstances, specific actions, individuals, devices-means utilized/involved etc. etc. )

Dysfunctional Terminology Rides Again 13.Jan.2016 06:40


--- Stated in the first comment above:

Come on "blues", shaker, and the rest---isn't Pacific Standard another Mass Media outlet spreading "propaganda"? Surely, since the only pdx imc supporters left are "libertarians", this should bring them out from their rocks with a chorus of "no fair!".

To really blow these people's minds, look up who owns the PS on Wikipedia....and watch the conspiracy clowns flock to the circus!

Okay so here I am.

In one comment in a previous blarticle it was stated: "But experts who monitor the anti-government movement say an even greater concern is lurking behind the confrontation that erupted Saturday at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the high desert of eastern Oregon." -- And I basically stated that the phrase "experts who monitor the anti-government movement" was idiotic. Then I was indirectly accused of being part of this "movement". We are talking about "experts" who monitor something that, practically speaking, does not exist. The only thing that could possibly count as an anti-government movement would be an ultra-anarchist movement - people who, perhaps, demand that we all go back to hunting and gathering, or maybe just the gathering.

So now we have this "Pacific Standard" magazine article cut-and-pasted in its entirety as the blarticle above. And what is the title? It's: "Libertarian Fairy Tales: The Bundy Militia's Revisionist History In Oregon". No! They are not "libertarians". Libertarians are typically true middle class, urban right wingers who have an "I've got mine, the rest of you can eat cat food" mentality.

Nor are they terrorists. Most of us probably understand that terrorists are people who attack and terrorize innocent folks in pursuit of some agenda. This is not the strategy of the militant Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers.

I have been saying for a long time that the occupy strategy, either peaceful or militant in form, is much too dangerous. Law enforcement agencies are prone to unpredictable fits of violence, and occupiers are just sitting ducks, in my opinion. This latest occupation is strategically incompetent, and will probably result in the imprisonment of productive, albeit naive citizens at tax-payer expense - or worse. Their "leaders" should get harsh treatment.

These militant occupiers are not libertarians, and they are not terrorists. They are just obstructionists and "aggravated trespassers". Politically, they are part of the liberty movement, so I call them liberty movers.

As for myself, I am a social justice protagonist. Most people at Portland Indymedia call themselves anarchists. Social justice protagonists have been calling themselves anarchists for generations - I don't know why. Portland Indymedia was created as a soap box for us, not for libertarians, law enforcement, etc. These latter groups need to keep a low profile here.

The "Pacific Standard" magazine whose entire article was posted here seems to be the organ of a "mini-think tank". Their orientation seems to be well stated in their "About Us" page:

Pacific Standard -- About Us

Pacific Standard is the award-winning magazine for affluent and influential readers interested in working toward forward-looking changes to private behavior and public policy. By combining research that matters with ambitious narrative and investigative reporting, Pacific Standard tells stories across print and digital platforms about society's biggest problems, both established and emerging, and the people attempting to solve them.

I guess they must think Portland Indymedia readers are affluent and influential.

the 'blues' many of us used to know... 13.Jan.2016 11:07


...has come out of the woodwork. The one who isn't here with simply pique and attendant distractions.

And, if you read my things, beyond the 'what indymedia might be and who it's for stuff' in this last, I've said the same thing, and I'm the one who wrote the 'The Contradiction Neo-Libertarians Can't Face':


Quite a bit of synchronicity in that post, as I wrote it before this particular action broke.

I've said the same thing. Stick with the facts, get off the labels that are likely meant to deflect from knowledge of the situation rather than inform. (For instance, I call myself a poet; we are essentially a self-declared lot whether published or not, and that self-declaration is of the same order as the labels of political/philosophical claims.) One will find the action and the reasoning of those participating in this action deeply flawed. Dig deeper into the reasoning, and one finds a self-centeredness and disregard for all others that it has no claim to a real society at all beyond some mythical dream-time view of collective life. They build walls and fortresses, somehow think that they all will have the most guns, the most bullets, and the most luck, thinking that society is their greatest enemy and with its fall into chaos they'll be well-positioned, all the while never admitting to the fact that in that event, those who they really need to be wary are others with the same line of thought as themselves. Not every libertarian will honor any 'Thou shalt not covet' when hunger or simply recognition of opportunity is at the wheel. Does anyone need to mention again what unbridled individual desire and concept would likely do to the environment...Or of the access to resources with such individual control.

You know, blues, you have to admit that your 'social protagonist' self sometimes is pretty inane. If people haven't history here they've not encountered very often the 'blues' who was the housing advocate, etc. I recognize at times when you're being that protagonist. In this set, though, it just seems that you were here to keep the distraction of misconceptions of the event in focus.

re: the term, Libertarian (blues) 13.Jan.2016 17:55



I read and understood the distinctions you were attempting to make in those 2 paragraphs.

However I think you attribute too much significance to Pacific Standard's pedigree and their intent.

(this also btw applies to others around here — not every single repost to PDX IMC needs to be from the same 4 anarcho-activist sources.... there's good, useful and applicable information and even wisdom obtainable from disparate viewpoints, at times)

The title of their piece used the word, 'Libertarian' as something of a generalized catch-all term (and perhaps a search-engine generator) for their article.

They used that 'L' word in the title of their article, as an overall ideological characterization or description.

i.e., they were not attempting to assert that the rancher/militia occupiers of Malheur, are somehow (either big 'L' or small 'l') libertarians, proper.
(Big 'L' meaning that political party itself, and small 'l' meaning "believes in Libertarianism but isn't a party member")

It is more the ideological 'picture' that many 'freedom patriots' in the country (which you blues allude to as 'movers' or what ever), happen to have of their own relation to the constitution, private property, and ("this land is your...") land.

I posted the article on this newswire, not because I "agreed with" either the authors or their point of view in particular, but merely because it seemed to have some worthwhile background information and analysis of the United States' western land managment history (and how it applies to the Bundys' occupation).

( p.s. also I tend to agree with your assertion about direct 'occupy' being generally too "dangerous" esp. when confronting the federal government; if not necessarily "dangerous", it at least most of the time becomes counterproductive to any sought goals, publicity, and/or a movement itself. Before undertaking such a "high profile 'occupy' action, one better make darn sure that sought goals, publicity etc. are near to a slamdunk.... otherwise you pay for it in federal PMITA prison.)