Editor's note: Point one - These men were already tried and convicted and served a sentence. Now the Judge has come back and is telling them they have to serve an additional sentence of 5 years. - is this not a complete slap in the face to double jeopardy? The Double Jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution provides that "No person shall ... be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." The son has already served a year and the father 3 months - now the judge has said that the men have to return to jail for an additional 5 years?
Point 2 - The BLM has encroached upon and eliminated about 100 farmers in Harney county Oregon and has recently burned cattle, structures and land around the Hammond's farm in an attempt to scare them and cause them financial harm - the Hammond's lost and estimated 80 head of cattle - easily over 125,000 dollars worth of livestock lost to them at the hands of the BLM.
Point 3 - all this is being done to remove a family that lived on the land before BLM even had rights there. They are one of the last family ranches left in a county that was once the richest in Oregon - and now because of EPA, BLM and other government agencies Harney county is now the poorest.
Point 4. - There is a wealth of uranium and natural gas under the Hammond's property that the U.S. government wants control of and are not going to take no for an answer.
If personal property can be confiscated and taken away because the government wants the profit from it - what is left of our home of brave and land of the free.
Point 5 - The amount of natural gas and uranium under their land is infinitely more than enough to pay off the local BLM and federal BLM agents and get them to act as rogue thugs. Besides; in a society where we have just tried, convicted and sentenced a Judge in PA for illegally stealing children from their parents using Child Protective Services, and selling them to PRISONS FOR CASH - can we really say that our system is so righteous, corrupt free and infallible that it, or it's servants would not do such things for profit?
Apparently, we have some readers who feel very strongly about the Bureau of Land Management and the way it deals with cattle-grazing.
Just to be clear, I am not especially informed on the details of laws about cattle-grazing. However, when I see working class White men in a confrontation with the federal government, I simply assume that the federal government is wrong and the working men are right.
Clearly, that is the case in this situation.
For those who don’t know:
The short summary is: in an effort to draw attention to a ridiculous arrest of a father and son pair of Oregon Ranchers (“Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., 73, and his son, Steven Dwight Hammond, 46,) who are scheduled to begin five year prison sentences (turning themselves in tomorrow January 4th 2016), three brothers from the Cliven Bundy family and approximately 100/150 (and growing) heavily armed militia (former U.S. service members) have taken control of Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in the wildlife reserve. They are prepared to stay there indefinitely.
Basically, the Federal government is trying to bully these people to give up their land, prosecuting them for fires they set which were actually to prevent fires, and which the federal government has admitted were a good thing. They are also overreaching their jurisdiction, expanding their authority in an unconstitutional way.
Here is a video that Ammon Bundy, who is heading up the protest, posted on January 1, outlining a lot of the detail.
Right now, approximately 200 armed militia men are in this wildlife refuge, protesting. They say they are ready to stay there for years.
What I was criticized for yesterday was saying that this is not an issue which most people can rally around very easily, as most people – myself included – do not keep cattle-grazing rights as an issue close to our hearts. Of course, most people do keep the issue of government intrusion into our lives close to our hearts, but that is easily obfuscated by the details of this situation.
Obviously, I think it is somewhat regrettable that these people are not using their energies toward something that would be easier for the masses to rally around. Besides the fact that the issue of cattle-grazing is obscure, the politics themselves are esoteric.
However, what people will feel strongly about is if the FBI goes in and tries to do a Waco on these protesters in the refuge.
Right now, the FBI says they are merely “monitoring” the situation. Probably, they don’t want to deal with the backlash of killing a bunch of Americans in a massive shootout. But maybe they will.