No thread about the Oregon Wildlife Refuge standoff?


Well, thank God it’s over and that they’ve arrested and charged the elder Bundy for that BS of a couple of years ago.


Here’s the federal complaint against Cliven:


How soon we all forget about the Hammonds. The Hammonds were found guilty of setting fire(s) endangering firefighters on Federal lands that they leased for ranching. They were sentenced well below the mandatory minimum sentencing (1 year vs. 5) and after being released the case was re-evaluated and they were forced to go back to prison to finish out the mandatory minimum sentence. The Bundy clan showed up in support of the Hammonds, but the Hammonds eventually voluntarily turned themselves back in.

After that, the Bundy’s took over the refuge with other “Patriots” and called on other armed militants (erm… “Patriots”) to come support them. As others have noted, the Bundy’s have a history of this sort of anti-Federal stuff, so they jump on any opportunity to show how bad (and illegitimate) the Federal government is.


Huge and detailed indictment. They must have been sitting on that one for a while, waiting for him to use air travel so they could (mostly) guarantee that he and his bodyguards would be unarmed.


In the end, the FBI seemed to handle this whole thing pretty well. I am pleased as punch that the elder Bundy ended up getting nabbed.


Yep. The 200 unnamed co-conspirators must be pretty nervous that eventually the Feds will get around to them.


All in all, despite the one fatality and the thousands of dollars of tax payer money wasted, a relatively good result as these things go. No Waco, no Ruby Ridge, no colossal screw ups.


The fatality is the only thing you can’t cheer. Wish it could have been avoided, but the victim was pretty much demanding suicide by cop at that point.


Yeah, as I noted, as these things go, it was handled about as well as could be expected. I still, vividly, remember watching Waco play out on TV.


Ah thanks chaps for the background (and yes i had no idea whom the Hammonds were!). You know i partially feel sorry for the situation if it was all about grazing rights. In the UK those rights have more or less gone (except in a rare few localised places, parts of Dartmoor and some places around the New Forest) and the concept of ‘common land’ pretty much eroded into history.

So from the point of view of ‘tradition’ and governments preferring to sell land to private owners that can do as they see fit with the issues (more akin to the old feudal system and less that of common public ownership), i can see where these cattle ranchers are coming from, if this was based on a long standing USA tradition along the same lines. However i draw the line at right-wing paramilitaries as whenever those guys are getting involved it is always accompanied with racist and fascist ideology that has no place is modern society.


It really isn’t similar to that at all though.

So this land is public land, and continues to be public land. To use this land for their cattle to graze there is a fee, but that fee is set far below market rates. The fee is to help cover the costs of maintaining the land. So the ranchers are getting a pretty sweet deal, they get to graze their cattle without having to pay market rates, and without having to pay the costs and responsibilities (and taxes) of land ownership.

The Bundy chucklenuts believe that since the land is government owned, and government is of the people, and they are the people, ergo they own the land and shouldn’t have to pay anything. So there was no danger of this ‘common land’ going away, and in fact if this common land were to go away they would be ecstatic about that, as these people would prefer a central government that basically doesn’t exist.

So you have no reason to feel sorry about the sweet deal they are getting. The Bundy’s are cattle ranchers with their costs at least partially subsidized (in the form of grazing at below cost), and the Hammonds want nothing to do with them. The original issue with the Hammonds was due to them losing control of a brush fire they started on their land, which spread to the federal lands besides them.


so not a moral stand in support of old traditions, and more a money saving scam? Ok well i didn’t need too much persuasion to not be on the armed right’s side in this issue ;)


The situation with the Bundy clan requires a level of cognitive dissonance akin to the “Keep Your Government Hands Out of My Medicare!


Well, it’s kind of weird… Because they don’t really consider it grazing “below cost” because they believe that they just have a right to that land. So in that way, the government isn’t subsidizing anything.

But it does get really weird, because it’s not really the case that NO ONE owns that land… if that were the case, then I could just go there and build a bunch of fences and start shooting their cattle when they come onto it. Basically just claim the land as mine. But they don’t want to do that. Indeed, I don’t think they even would necessarily want to take ownership of the land themselves, since then presumably they would have to pay property taxes on it.

The whole notion of public land gets kind of weird when you start talking about people actually using it for stuff.


Does it? How about a public building? A public vehicle? Do the Bundys think that we all should be able to just hop in a police car whenever we want? Heck, if I own one share of Apple stock, should I be able to waltz into an Apple store and grab anything I want?

“Public” does not mean that a given citizen has any and all use rights as to that land, building, vehicle, etc. Their idiocy starts and ends there: owned by the people does not mean owned by any given individual.


Yeah, that’s the thing… Things like public buildings and equipment and stuff are actually owned by the state, and specifically NOT for public use. They’re for use by the government in performing the work of the people.

In a case like the grazing stuff, it’s more like a park or something, only it’s being rented to individuals.

It just strikes me as kind of weird, in that I don’t really have and personal experience with that kind of purchasing rights from the government (at least that come to mind right now).


Land-use law has always recognized that ownership provides a bundle of rights that can be very finely divided. I can choose to let you on my land to do A, but not B. For example, you’re free to join me at my house for a barbeque, but that doesn’t mean you can pick my flowers. Grazing access to public land, even assuming that particular land is open to the public for recreational use as a park (which is not the case for all public land) doesn’t mean you can graze as you will.


Have you ever rented a park location for a party? My family, for a long time, rented the community center for our big holiday gatherings. It’s not all that weird really, the area can be used by the public but there are restrictions and fees associated with limiting others use. By denying the public at large access to the area for a time I have to pay for that right.

Same with the Bundy’s. Their grazing denies others the same usage of that land. Your cattle grazing means my cattle could not (to some degree). Your cattle would also limit access to that land for other uses.

Hell even things like hiking may have fees with them. Doing back country hikes on Mt Hood I had to pay for a back country tag. My usage of those trails in no way limited others, but the fee was for forest preserve services (as well as a way to track who is out there for rescue purposes).

EDIT: Also what stepsongrapes said.


No that’s not quite what the Bundy’s believe. They think the lands should be run by private citizens or the state. They don’t recognize the Federal government as having rights to it and think the land was stolen. What they leave out is these lands were for sale in the west, but a lot of the land when it was being sold to citizens wasn’t exactly good for homesteading, so a lot of these lands were kept by the Federal Government and some of it is good for grazing. Also what’s happened since then is we’re a little more concerned about preserving wildlife so they don’t just get free reign anymore which they clearly don’t like.


You mean kind of like a road that’s owned by the state, and you have to pay to drive on it?