January 5, 2016

"The frustration of the people built up to cause this. It’s really no different than the Occupy Movement or a sit-in at a college."

Said B.J. Soper, 39 — who lives near the taken-over federal wildlife refuge —quoted in a WaPo article titled "In Oregon, frustration over federal land rights has been building for years."
“What people in Western states are dealing with is the destruction of their way of life,” said Soper, a father of four who was once a professional rodeo rider. “When frustration builds up, people lash out.... True wealth comes from the land. If they can’t feed their cows, there’s not going to be beef in the supermarket,” he said. “People are no longer [able] to make a living.” Federal agencies, he said, "are taking food out of people’s mouths."

89 comments:

rhhardin said...

There's what it's worth to the seller and what it's worth to the buyer. If there's an overlap, a voluntary transaction happens because both come out ahead.

Regulation and taxes close the overlap, and the transaction no longer happens.

That's why the economy is dead and will stay dead.

What that has to do with this individual case I don't know. Maybe or maybe not.

Moneyrunner said...

Well, yes.

damikesc said...

Don't know or care about this protest, but the amount of land the Feds own in the West is absurd. Sell it, use the proceeds to pay down the debt.

Mark said...

Major anti-Islam activist involved.

"Jon Ritzheimer, a former US marine, was one of the guards posted at the gate of the Malheur wildlife reserve on Monday, and he was happy to espouse his virulent opposition to the Islamic faith."

Dude is worth a blog post if his own.

james conrad said...

Although i don't know the particulars of this Oregon case or the the Bundy case either, i am inclined to side with the ranchers on these matters. The federal agencies that have armed federal bureaucrats has grown to more than 70.
"For years, the public face of federal law enforcement has been the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Today, for many people, the knock on the door is increasingly likely to come from a dizzying array of other police forces tucked away inside lesser-known crime-fighting agencies.

They could be from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Labor or Education departments, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency known for its weather forecasts."

Meanwhile, as Obama is proposing to limit Americans access to guns, the federal govt is arming itself to the teeth at never seen before levels.

Hagar said...

Well, there is one difference. The Malheur Wildlife Refuge can readily be spared this time of the year, so just ignore them and let them occupy it until they need to go home and take care of the calves.

traditionalguy said...

It's just one more Religious War. The Federal Bureaucracy is not a Government of, by and for the people anymore. It has become the Clerical Career arm for the State's Established Religion that worships Goddess Earth and righteously acts to cleanse Goddess Earth from the cursed humans touching on her sanctified areas by a legal system Inquisition of tortures.

rehajm said...

True wealth comes from the land.

But you insist on extracting that wealth for yourself for free. In that way your movements are indeed similar.

Crazy Jane said...

We're now an urban country, and it shows in the contemptuous comments that follow the article. People who haven't lived in or near small Western towns don't understand resource-based economies. My uncle, a miner who drew pictures of forests and forest animals in his spare time, was an expert fly fisherman and kept a collection of interesting ore specimens on his back porch. Another relative, a forester who ran lumber mills, hiked just about every square foot of unpopulated space in Washington, Oregon and northern California. While urbanites imagine themselves to be environmentalists, these guys knew the land and LOVED it. I imagine it is the same with the Hammonds -- why else would they settle down 50 miles from the nearest small town?

People like these, whose connection to the land spans generations, are understandably skeptical about land-use diktats handed down by federal bureaucrats.

City folk might want to look closer to home and consider their own effects on once-pristine lands, rivers and animal habitats. Glass houses, stones.

Conflating the Bundy gang's actions with the Hammonds' situation is very unfortunate. These are two separate issues.

Hagar said...

And another difference: I read in the Albuquerque Morning Democrat this morning that "the occupiers" are allowing visitors access to the Refuge and are policing the area, i.e., picking up trash and keeping it clean and orderly.

Michael K said...

" let them occupy it until they need to go home and take care of the calves."

They can't do that because the budget is most important. Both Waco and Ruby Ridge occurred during budget hearings for ATF.

This whole story is outrageous. The persecution of those men, who are trying to avoid violence, is a real story and the demonstrators, who have not done ANY of the violence unlike BLM (both black and land) are not the bad guys that HuffPo wants to shoot down. There is a problem of false flag agitators who might be DHS imposters. There are some people who have been at all these protests that most of the demonstrators don;t know.

Remember the feds were shooting Bundy cattle.

Robert Cook said...

"Don't know or care about this protest, but the amount of land the Feds own in the West is absurd. Sell it, use the proceeds to pay down the debt."

Better yet, keep the land federally owned--don't release it to private capital to develop and despoil--but stop all ongoing military adventuring around the globe, shutter the NSA and CIA, slash the military budget, and use those savings for more productive purposes that will benefit the American people.

Wilbur said...

When I heard about this I immediately thought of the Occupy Movement and other leftist sit-ins and wondered if the media would cover it similarly.

Bruce Hayden said...

Don't know or care about this protest, but the amount of land the Feds own in the West is absurd. Sell it, use the proceeds to pay down the debt.

That is part of it, and part of it is that the people in the west have been using this land for better than a century, and it has been a long time now since anyone was able to acquire much of it. So, you have millions of acres that have been used for generations by ranchers, etc., and the hand of the federal govt. has gotten progressively harsher. Pretty well guaranteed that we will have commenters here opine here about how this land is owned by the rest of us, etc. But, many/most of those opining like that have never been close to any of this land. Federal land use is now controlled by environmental wackos living in large urban areas.

I don't know the specifics this time, but down in Clark County, NV, the BLM SWAT team was rousted to remove cattle from land leased for solar panels by foreign clients of Harry Reid's oldest boy. And, yes, the head of BLM used to work for Reid. BLM had managed to eliminate all but one of the ranchers form that county - which is bigger than a number of the eastern states (my memory is that it is about the size of MA). And, some of that land had been ranched for more than a century. This happened because you couldn't homestead enough land to live off of, and no one had any use for this land, other than ranching, for better than a century. Now that the Reid family could make money on it, they needed to get the last rancher family out of there.

Drago said...


"It’s really no different than the Occupy Movement or a sit-in at a college."

If you don't count the rapes, destruction of property, body lice and guys pooping on police cars, it's really just like the Occupy Movement!

Drago said...

Mark: "Major anti-Islam activist involved.

"Jon Ritzheimer, a former US marine, was one of the guards posted at the gate of the Malheur wildlife reserve on Monday, and he was happy to espouse his virulent opposition to the Islamic faith.""

I wonder how many homosexuals/apostates Mr Ritzheimer has murdered and women he has sexually enslaved?

I wonder if Mr Ritzheimer finds those Islamic practices rather disturbing and worthy of "virulent" opposition?

What kind of person would it take to NOT virulently oppose those practices?

But then I remembered that the Red-Black (left-Islamic) alliance is going pretty darn strong these days.

Michael K said...

"you insist on extracting that wealth for yourself for free"

Yes, "extracting that wealth" by ranching is free. Sure it is. Why don't you go down there and try it ? After all, it is free.

Cookie needs his first cutoff coffee before he spouts lunacy.

Larry J said...

damikesc said...
Don't know or care about this protest, but the amount of land the Feds own in the West is absurd. Sell it, use the proceeds to pay down the debt.


Very much so. Unlike the stupidity proposed by Cook above, the federal government should sell some of its land holdings, which total about 30% of all the land in the United States. This article shows a map with the percentage of each state owned by the federal government. Why does the US government own over 80% of all the land in Nevada, 69% of Alaska, 53% of Oregon, and even 45% of California? No one is talking about selling Yellowstone or any of the other national parks, so let's kill that stupid strawman from the beginning.

Bruce Hayden said...

I commented before about my experiences in NW MT. There, it is heavily wooded, so it is the Forest Service, instead of BLM, that they deal with. 30 years ago, there were maybe a dozen lumber mills in the county. Now, there are maybe a third of that. Instead of timering the FS sat on the land, the fuel built up on the grand, thanks to them suppressing fires, and now, every summer and fall is fire season. Last August, my partner needed a mask to walk outdoors, when we would do so to work out. Worse than the wood smoke in the winter. Last summer was esp. bad, with a big fire near the county border, and a friend of mine in N. ID having a fire clip his property, and take out buildings on the properties to either side of him. Now, they are playing catch up, with proscribed burns during the winter - except last fall, one got away from them (while a natural fire was coincidentally still burning on the other side of the ID border). And why did the feds kill the timber industry there? Because policy is essentially being set by urban environmentalists thousands of miles away. Their view is that it is "our" land, and so should be conserved for future generations. Which would be fine, except that the climax trees in the area (notably, huge Ponderosa/White Pines) have thick bark designed to withstand 20 year fires. They just cannot withstand 100 year fires, which is what they are now seeing, thanks to a century of fire suppression, and 30 years of no thinning, thanks to bans on timbering. The result is that these remote urban environmentalists have turned a self-preserving system into one that burns more and more trees every year.

Probably 75% of the land in the county is federally owned, managed by the FS. Which means that you cannot live there without having to deal with that agency. So, there is a love/hate relationship. ON the one hand, FS employees often seem to be fairly autocratic, telling people they can't do stuff that they very definitely can legally do. On the other hand, the fires are on FS land, and the FS does most of the forest fire fighting. And, much of the heat during the winter comes from burning wood, which is typically harvested from FS land (now, you have to pay for permits, of course). And, yes, most everyone supplements their food supply by hunting esp. deer and elk on the nearby FS land. On the flip side though, there are a lot of people who got let go of by the lumber mills when they were shut down by the ban on timber sales. One guy I know drives a trash truck in his 70s, after being laid off after the timber company he worked for for better than 20 years collap0sed.

Bruce Hayden said...

Remember the feds were shooting Bundy cattle.

Because, of course, the cattle were impacting the solar farm installed on BLM land by foreign clients of Harry Reid's oldest son, and, yes, the head of the BLM ordering such had previously worked for Reid's Senate office.

damikesc said...

I remember Clinton just naming millions of acres of land in Utah as a national park for no valid reason during his term


We.should name Manhattan a national park and generate insanely onerous rules on it.

Gusty Winds said...

"It’s really no different than the Occupy Movement or a sit-in at a college."

Except these guys actually try to produce something for a living.

Big Mike said...

@james conrad, it's even worse than that because the different agencies have different policies, different agendas, and put up regulations that are oftentimes conflicting. Get everything right with one agency, and another is apt to show up at your door with warrants in one hand and drawn guns in the other.

Living in the Washington metropolitan area, a thing that one rapidly comes to understand is how much the regulators in this administration positively hate the folks who live between the Appalachians and the Rockies, and will do everything in their power to hurt them.

Static Ping said...

Robert Cook: Better yet, keep the land federally owned--don't release it to private capital to develop and despoil--but stop all ongoing military adventuring around the globe, shutter the NSA and CIA, slash the military budget, and use those savings for more productive purposes that will benefit the American people.

That sounds wonderful. So the world is without violent threats! Did Jesus come back and I missed it?

And if "more productive purposes" is not exclusively about debt repayment because, you know, we're broke, then I suspect we have very different definitions of "productive."

garage mahal said...

The education level between OWS and Al Qracker is quite different.

AllenS said...

This is a must read:

Then ask yourself, does two fires that spread to federal land deserve 5 years in prison for these two people?

Rusty said...

Hagar said...
And another difference: I read in the Albuquerque Morning Democrat this morning that "the occupiers" are allowing visitors access to the Refuge and are policing the area, i.e., picking up trash and keeping it clean and orderly.

Occupy Movement; Shit everywhere. rape your girlfriend. Destroy private property.

Occupy White guys; Pick up litter. Clean the bathrooms. "Here have a cupcake. We just made em."

Plus what Gusty Winds said.

Mac McConnell said...

The Feds should give their lands in the west to the western states like they did everywhere else when the territories became states.

What's the US constitution say concerning what the Federal government can own and operate?

n.n said...

It seems that the occupation is self-managed and minimally disruptive. There is no violence other than its perception through conflation with arms... I mean, firearms. The last time there was a similar episode was in DC, where the press did its best to crucify millions of Americans who peacefully assembled to protest government corruption.

Original Mike said...

Could we make a dent in the federal debt by selling federal land? The (acknowledged) debt is $18 trillion, but I have no idea of the value of federal land holdings.

damikesc said...

The education level between OWS and Al Qracker is quite different.

Yes. The ranchers provide a useful good. The OWS crowd are useless shits.

Better yet, keep the land federally owned--don't release it to private capital to develop and despoil

Why do you assume public property is better kept than private property? With private property, SOMEBODY has a reason to keep it up.

I'll ask a simple question: Not knowing what they look like at all, if you were required to use a public restroom or private restroom, which would you choose? I'd choose private. Every single time.

Besides, the government doesn't fire anybody, so not only does nobody have a vested interest in taking care of something. Nobody is punished if it doesn't happen. That's why West Germany was FAR cleaner than East Germany.

Robert Cook said...

"That sounds wonderful. So the world is without violent threats! Did Jesus come back and I missed it?"

There are violent threats in the world, and we are one of the greatest, and our activity in the Middle East simply exacerbates the instability there. If we had never invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, for instance, there would be no ISIS today, and whatever existed of Al Qaeda and like groups would be significantly smaller and less virulent than what we have caused and helped them to become.

"And if 'more productive purposes' is not exclusively about debt repayment because, you know, we're broke, then I suspect we have very different definitions of 'productive.'""

We're not broke; if we were, we couldn't be prosecuting our very expensive illegal wars abroad. However, claiming we're broke provides the government justification to NOT apply monies to that which serves the people's needs. Rather, they spend our money on the military, on keeping criminal banks solvent, on funding the black budgets of the various intelligence agencies, etc.

As for paying down our debt--and remember, no less an August personage than war criminal Dick Cheney has said "deficits don't matter"--we could require wealthy corporations and individuals to pay more taxes. (Or, we could just mint a trillion dollar platinum coin or two to wipe out the deficit.)

Mark said...

Taking illegally harvested food out of people's mouths maybe ...

"Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property.  Jurors were told that Steven Hammond handed out “Strike Anywhere” matches with instructions that they be lit and dropped on the ground because they were going to “light up the whole country on fire.”  One witness testified that he barely escaped the eight to ten foot high flames caused by the arson.  The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations.  After committing the arson, Steven Hammond called the BLM office in Burns, Oregon and claimed the fire was started on Hammond property to burn off invasive species and had inadvertently burned onto public lands.  Dwight and Steven Hammond told one of their relatives to keep his mouth shut and that nobody needed to know about the fire."

Kind of hard to believe the Hammond story after hearing from someone who helped start the fire.

garage mahal said...

These idiots are stooges for the extraction industry, and they don't even know what they don't know. They think they're fighting tyranny. Pathetic dupes. That's what you get for watching Fox News and right wing propaganda.

Larry J said...

Original Mike said...
Could we make a dent in the federal debt by selling federal land? The (acknowledged) debt is $18 trillion, but I have no idea of the value of federal land holdings.


Some 30% of all the land in the US is owned by the federal government. This is especially true out west, with the most extreme example being Nevada. Some of that land is on military bases and test ranges. Other portions might be park land. Quite a bit of it is likely land that no one else wants. However, quite a bit of the federally owned land does have value, either for farming/ranching, mining, timber, or as real estate. When you consider that some 45% of California is owned by the federal government, it seems unlikely that all of that is unsuitable for use or habitation.

Jason said...

Garage: These idiots are stooges for the extraction industry, and they don't even know what they don't know.

Garage, of all people, calling other people "stooges" = lulz.

rehajm said...

Yes, "extracting that wealth" by ranching is free. Sure it is. Why don't you go down there and try it ? After all, it is free.

Such muttering. I've been there/done that. 'Down there' and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Parents, too. Grandparents, too. Ranching. Logging. Worked within the rules. Paid the fees. These folks did not and think they don't have to. They're wrong.

buwaya puti said...

"The extraction industry"?
What does that mean?
Please expand on your economic theories and how they relate to the administration of Federal lands.

Fritz said...

garage mahal said...
The education level between OWS and Al Qracker is quite different.


All the ranchers I know are college educated, some post graduate.

Fritz said...

Original Mike said...
Could we make a dent in the federal debt by selling federal land? The (acknowledged) debt is $18 trillion, but I have no idea of the value of federal land holdings.


According to this Time magazine article, just the oil and gas alone on federal holdings is worth about $128 Trillion, so, yeah, we could comfortably eliminate the deficit and debt by selling off selected property.

http://business.time.com/2013/02/05/the-federal-governments-128-trillion-stockpile-the-answer-to-our-debt-problems/

Fritz said...


Mark said...
Taking illegally harvested food out of people's mouths maybe ...


Dammit, the Hammonds killed the King's deer? Execution is not good enough, they must be drawn and quartered for treason! Order a new trial!

Poaching in rural Oregon is like speeding in Washington D.C. Everybody does it.

Birkel said...

As a matter of principle, every Leftist should forego consumption of any good produced by the people they revile. After all, this is but one example of "the extraction industry" and "takers". The best way to hurt these bad men is to boycott their products.

Somebody should make a list of all the products that Leftists should boycott. I will start it:

1. beef
2. vegetables
3. drugs
4. electricity
5.

Greg Hlatky said...

"Whose land? Our land!"

"This is what Democracy looks like!"

Remember that? Great days, great days.

Birches said...

You know, Mark, that big witness was 13 at the time of the incident, and is 24 now. And he really doesn't like the Hammonds, because they used corporal punishment when they had custody of him. He's surely a reliable witness...

Hagar said...

The "everywhere else" would be east of the Mississippi, where the original 13 states had claimed all the land and the agreement to give it up and authorize the "General Gov't." to organize new states therein no doubt had a paragraph specifying that unoccupied land would go to such states as they were organized, given the fear of the "Old Republicans" in power at the time of Federal Government aggrandizement.
West of the Mississippi, the land, except Texas, which was an independent republic (a foreign country) when it joined the Union and did not give up any of its lands, was bought from France in the Louisiana Purchase (BTW, has anyone seen any confirmation that the $15 million was ever actually paid?) or acquired by conquest in the Mexican landgrab of 1848. The treaties, or purchase contracts, for both these events specified that existing private ownerships in these areas would be respected, if they could be proven,but otherwise the land would of course belong to the purchaser, i.e., the Federal Government.

Now, here in New Mexico, which was a settled area along the Rio Grande and Pecos watersheds, a lot of the private ownership was in fact not respected, but the owners dispossessed during the great land grant swindles of the post-Civil War era - part by simply hauling the old Spanish courthouse records off to the dump, thus leaving no "proof" of private ownership - and when the swindles collapsed, the Federal Gov't just kept the land rather than returning it to the New Mexican or Pueblo owners. This was the background of the Tierra Amarilla Courthouse standoff in 1967.

In unsettled area, most arable land was sold off under the homestead act, etc., but any land not sold off remained Federal property. The BLM, Forest Service, Park Service, etc. and so forth, were then established to administrate and maintain these areas. This was a large task for what was then a relatively small government so the legislation generally specified that the land would be administrated for the common weal and in partnership with the local populations. Thus the BLM or the Forest Service., f. ex., would auction leases to area ranchers allowing them to graze cattle and construct minor improvements, such as stock tanks, for a certain amount of time, but imposing requirements such as erecting and/or maintaining fences, the number of cattle or sheep that could be grazed in a given area, etc., etc.

Today the Federal Government has grown very large and powerful and has largely been taken over by the urban political organizations, which is to be expected since the city/rural population ratios have reversed in the past century. However, the efforts by the eco-warriors of the urban gentry to drive the remaining ranchers and farmers off their lands seem very shortsighted to say the least.

Birches said...

I also love how people "in the know" think that the Hammonds slaughtered a whole herd of deer and set the fire to cover it up. Yep, because after one gets shot, the deer just make a single file line to await their fate.

BrianE said...

In addition to the 5 year sentences, they were fined $400,000, of which it is reported they still owe $200,000. Reading a blog on the situation, it appears the BLM has first right of refusal to their land and if they can't pay the remaining $200,000 will have to sell the land to the government.
The complete story is here:
No doubt it is sympathetic to the Hammonds, but has good context to help balance what is being reported in the media.

http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/01/03/full-story-on-whats-going-on-in-oregon-militia-take-over-malheur-national-wildlife-refuge-in-protest-to-hammond-family-persecution/

Birches said...

I also love how people "in the know" think that the Hammonds slaughtered a whole herd of deer and set the fire to cover it up. Yep, because after one gets shot, the deer just make a single file line to await their fate.

n.n said...

Another key difference between this episode and other civil disruptions (e.g. Occupy, civil riots) is that the latter were an illegal infringement and endangerment of private parties and the general public through illegal action, not constitutionally protected assembly on public land, with or without exercise of Second Amendment rights.

Drago said...

garage mahal: "These idiots are stooges for the extraction industry, and they don't even know what they don't know."

LOL

Perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

BrianE said...

There are a several issues that no doubt are influencing local reaction to the Hammond situation.
This year approx. 2.8 million acres burned in fires in Washington and Oregon and perceived federal mismanagement of the fires has ranchers looking for answers.
Here is one of many articles by the Capital Press, a newspaper dealing with agriculture issues discussing the issue.

http://www.capitalpress.com/Livestock/20150904/ranchers-criticize-forest-management-firefighting-tactics

Terry said...

It is always wise to remember that the federal government is the least democratic level of our government. The only federal official everyone votes for is the president, and no one will vote for this president again. Voters can't hold him accountable. The federal government has no senators, no representatives. Those are elected by the states and congressional districts within states.
In my state the land use issue protest come from the left (native Hawaiians protesting the use public lands are put to). They focus their efforts on the public lands controlled by the state, because they have no political leverage with the feds. DC is 5,000 miles away.

Drago said...

garage mahal: "These idiots are stooges for the extraction industry,..."

Quick 2 part question: What volume of natural resources provided by the "extraction industry" does Bill Clinton consume when flying on private jets to Epstein's pedophile island?

Now, multiply that number by at least 11 (since we know billy jeff visited this pedophile paradise at least that many times as a personal guest of this pedophile prince.

And forget about how much energy Clinton consumed traveling around with his other underage girl pal Ron Burkle.

Gee, it's almost like there is a pattern there or something.

Just think, if a baby is actually able to run the gauntlet of garage-backed planned parenthood organ harvesting, and then the child is able to avoid garage-approved Islamic terrorist beheadings and sexual enslavement, then that child STILL has to deal with avoiding becoming an underage sex toy for garage's political heroes.

Follow up question: what are the odds garage mahal has abandoned his own personal consumption of "extracted" materials? (Remember, even toothpaste contains extracted "grit" in the form of fine silica, not that it matters much to garage for obvious reasons.")

Drago said...

garage: " They think they're fighting tyranny. Pathetic dupes. That's what you get for watching Fox News and right wing propaganda."

A mind, even garage's, is a terrible thing to waste.

Hagar said...

Sarah Palin says some lady wrote her an e-mail chewing her out for murdering that beautiful reindeer; she should just go to the supermarket and buy factory-made meat like everybody else.

Garage?

Static Ping said...

Robert Cook: There are violent threats in the world, and we are one of the greatest...

The world has been a dangerous, violent place for the entirety of recorded history, which would be obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of history. It takes incredible ignorance to not realize this. Yes, I'm sure that if we disarm ourselves, Mr. Putin and the Red Chinese and Iran will see this as a moment to reflect upon their aggressive ways and repent. I don't think anything like that has ever happened outside of fiction designed for children. Examples of once great empires being crushed to dust, sometimes by previously footnote level powers, are legion.

The world is a dangerous place. Those that do not realize it either have short life spans or are protected by those who are not so naive. What you are suggesting is suicidal.

We're not broke...

Yeah, we pretty much are. There is still time to avoid disaster, mind you, but it generally considered a poor idea to spend money on new things when you haven't paid off the old things yet. At this point the only productive options for extra money are emergencies and debt payment. Once that is under control we can talk.

No, you cannot raise taxes on just the rich and corporations and wipe out the debt or even the deficit, especially since such entities have the option to simply move somewhere else. Even in the short-term it wouldn't work. The debt is enormous compared to what you could possibly raise. This is a simple practical issue.

And, yes, the trillion dollar coins. Printing money has historically worked so well for those countries that tried it. We would probably be better off defaulting, which would be an epic disaster in itself.

But I do agree with you about the banks, or at least some of them. There is that.

Henry said...

Why does the US government own over 80% of all the land in Nevada, 69% of Alaska, 53% of Oregon, and even 45% of California?

By accident. Look up the Homestead Acts and the Sagebrush Rebellion:

In order to encourage settlement of western lands, Congress passed the Morrell Act in 1862, granting parcels in 40-acre (160,000 m2) increments to homesteaders who could maintain a living on land for a period of time. Congress also made huge land grants to various railroads working to complete a transcontinental rail system. Much of these latter grants intentionally included mineral and timber-rich lands so that the railroads could get financing to build. Again, the hypothesis was that the railroads would sell off the land to get money.

Ultimately, however, it turned out that much land west of the Missouri River was not ecologically suited for homesteading because of mountainous terrain, poor soils, lack of available water and other ecological barriers to significant settlement. By the early 20th century, the federal government held significant portions of most western states that had simply not been claimed for any use.


Robert Cook said...

"The world has been a dangerous, violent place for the entirety of recorded history, which would be obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of history. It takes incredible ignorance to not realize this. Yes, I'm sure that if we disarm ourselves, Mr. Putin and the Red Chinese and Iran will see this as a moment to reflect upon their aggressive ways and repent. I don't think anything like that has ever happened outside of fiction designed for children. Examples of once great empires being crushed to dust, sometimes by previously footnote level powers, are legion."

I didn't say the world wasn't a dangerous place. It is dangerous because of dangerous actors in it. From the immediate post-WW II period to now, the United States has been the most powerful and the most violent and dangerous actor in the world. It is naive or obtuse to speak of "Mr. Putin and the Red Chinese and Iran" while ignoring the United States, who is far more aggressive and violent in the world than any of these.

Empires are more often undone by their own hubris and overreach, and less often through "being crushed to dust" (presumably by conquering empires). We are already on the way to undoing ourselves...and it is our global military overreach and subservience to the wealthy elites that is the greater part of our slog to our own undoing.

Terry said...

Ranching is the lowest level of economic exploitation of the land. Farming returns more value (where it is possible). Where I live, the first people to exploit the land beyond hunting and gathering cut down the forests and sold the trees as lumber, firewood, and charcoal. They then grazed cattle on the cleared land. Ranching is terrible for the environment. Not sure how it compares to farming.
The greatest economic return on investment comes from the exploitation of natural resources. A lot of environmentalism is basically schemes to reduce that high return on investment with impact fees and taxes.

Terry said...

"It is dangerous because of dangerous actors in it."
Those actors are called "human beings", Robert Cook.
If I thought the US was as wicked as you apparently think that it is, I would leave. How can you live with yourself, knowing you are adding to the evil in the world?
Commenting on Althouse's blog isn't striking a meaningful blow for peace, you know.

Birkel said...

Terry,
When the settlers arrived in New England most of the trees had been cut down or burned by the Natives who were already here. Go look at contemporary monographs if you don't believe me. Or read any of the contemporaneous written accounts.

And quit using "exploitation" when what you mean is "use". Do you grok what I am saying? Or garner it?

Dude1394 said...

The way that we see the federal government encroach, encroach, encroach on our lives in the urban arena, I can not imagine the encroachment that goes on where no one can see it.

Static Ping said...

Robert Cook, the world always has dangerous actors. You do not have an option to a world without them. Violence is always an option and there are always powers that will use it, if they can think it will benefit. Your choice is the United States, perhaps the most benevolent dangerous actor in world history, or whoever is left standing among Russia, Red China, Iran, or, God forbid, ISIS. Choose.

And, yes, hubris and overreach go hand-in-hand with being "crushed to dust." The ultimate hubris is pretending that national defense is a luxury. It never ends well.

garage mahal said...

"The extraction industry"?

What does that mean?


Did you try googling the term? Mining, oil, gas, timber, and so on. These morons protesting "the government", are, once again, doing the bidding of huge multi-national corporations who want the states to have the power to turn the entire west into a giant fossil fuel ghetto.

Bob Boyd said...

Occupy movement = I want the government to take somebody else's stuff and give it to me.

Oregon Refuge occupiers = I want to keep working hard for a modest reward, producing the things Americans need and want.

Robert Cook said...

"If I thought the US was as wicked as you apparently think that it is, I would leave. How can you live with yourself, knowing you are adding to the evil in the world?"

I am not adding to the evil in the world. Our government is. In case you hadn't noticed, the American people have no say in what the government does. It's been bought up by the wealthy elites.

All any of us who are not members of the ruling oligarchy--and that includes you as well as me and anyone else commenting on this blog--are passengers on the Titanic, being taken for a long ride to oblivion.

Howard said...

The ranchers are pissed that they can't freeload on Federal Land like the old days

Robert Cook said...

"The ultimate hubris is pretending that national defense is a luxury."

Who says we are fighting in defense of our nation? When have we fought in defense of our nation since since WWII? How often did we fight in defense of our nation prior to WWII?

We fight and have fought, primarily, for the reasons empires (and aspiring empires) always fight: to obtain physical possession of or control of access to the resources of other lands, and to assert our own dominance outside our borders. War, as the man said, is a racket.

Rusty said...

And yet, garage, the biggest environmental disaster in the last couple of years has been perpetrated by the EPA.

Sigivald said...

Garage thinks Malheur County is gonna be a "fossil fuel ghetto"?

There's nothing there. Nothing.

No coal. No gas. No oil.

Nothing.

Yes, yes, it's all "huge multi-national corporations", because that's all anything ever is. Evil corporations doing evil evilness to the entire west, where you don't live and that you know nothing about.

It's not that they want to, well, earn a living ranching and such, without the BLM playing hippie overlord. Nope. "Corporations".

Anthony said...

When I heard about this I immediately thought of the Occupy Movement and other leftist sit-ins and wondered if the media would cover it similarly.

I thought of Black Lives Matter. They riot and loot and suggest killing people (police) but they are Good and True Protesters.

AllenS said...

giant fossil fuel ghetto

I don't care who you are, that there is funny!

William Chadwick said...

"Occupy movement = I want the government to take somebody else's stuff and give it to me.

Oregon Refuge occupiers = I want to keep working hard for a modest reward, producing the things Americans need and want."

Indeed. When I first heard of people comparing the two, I thought: "well, here's a big difference, geniuses: the Oregon Refuge occupiers are opposing statism, while OWS is a gang of giant State-fellators." You know, like Robert Cook.

Terry said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"When have we fought in defense of our nation since since WWII?"
All wars the United States has taken part in since WW2 were either self-defense (determined politically by Congress), or in enforcing UN SC resolutions, or they were armed conflicts ordered or authorized by the US president.
If you don't think that the Afghanistan War is being fought in self-defense, you need to make it clear how you will determine what is and what is not a war fought in self-defense.
Like a lot of Lefties, you support democracy exactly to the extent democracy provides what you want it to provide, Robert Cook.

james conrad said...

I think the govt over reached in this case in convicting the Hammond ranchers on a charge of terrorism, they are clearly not terrorists. I don't think armed occupation is civil disobedience either, somewhere in between. That this confrontation got to this point is a direct result of the govt being a bully, this incident started in 2001, 15 YEARS AGO! You keep pushing people and pushing people and eventually, people start pushing back. I think that is where we are here.

Bob Boyd said...

Howard said...
"The ranchers are pissed that they can't freeload on Federal Land like the old days"

Ranchers pay grazing fees to run cattle on Federal land. These fees are one of many costs of production included in the price of beef at the supermarket. If anyone is being subsidized by low grazing fees it's the ordinary American consumer who want's beef at a reasonable price.
Most agriculture is subsidized by the government one way or another. An abundance of affordable food helps keeps citizens with guns from occupying things all the time.

eric said...

Blogger garage mahal said...
"The extraction industry"?

What does that mean?

Did you try googling the term? Mining, oil, gas, timber, and so on. These morons protesting "the government", are, once again, doing the bidding of huge multi-national corporations who want the states to have the power to turn the entire west into a giant fossil fuel ghetto.


Sometimes people on this site call you dumb and I think, wow, that's harsh.

But after reading all the above, well, I still don't think you're dumb. They have you all wrong. You're a machine. A program. One that finds key words and spits out talking points. Which gives you the appearance of looking stupid, but once it's understood you're really just a complex algorithm inside a machine, well, now it all makes sense.

They need to tweak the computation though. Whatever triggered the current regurgitation of these particular talking points is having a category error.

Titus said...

Do any of these people have jobs?

Original Mike said...

Mark posted a very strange account at 9:25am:

"Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property ... The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations."

I'm trying to understand this. What does "slaughtered" mean? As @birches noted above, this couldn't have happened all in one place; deer are not cattle and won't hang around to let you kill them en masse. So it must have happened over several hours/days. Did they butcher the deer for consumption? They must have; there's no way a fire would be hot enough to consume an intact carcass. Perhaps Mark can post a link so we can understand this event better.

I also like how we've now weaponized ("Strike Anywhere") matches. All in all, a very strange account.

Hagar said...

From my own brief experience working on a ranch I would say ranchers are about the hardest working freeloaders I have ever seen.
In just two months I gained 15 pounds and lost 1 inch around the waist.

What the government did to the Hammonds is terrorism.
There was no reason for bringing them back to court and re-sentencing them other than to "send a message of what will happen to you if you resist us!"

theribbonguy said...

Just found this, the back story from a local rancher...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRoVjQ-l5vY

...just wow.

jr565 said...

One difference, is that the building taken over was not actually in use and was out in the middle of nowhere. Whereas, some of these other occupations directly impacted govt and/or peoples work and livelihooods.

Terry said...

Blogger Original Mike said...
Mark posted a very strange account at 9:25am:

It is a press release from Oregon's US attorney's office.
Of course, Mark did not identify it as a biased source. Lefties are like this, heads so full of lies they don't know what the truth is anymore.

Eric said...

People like these, whose connection to the land spans generations, are understandably skeptical about land-use diktats handed down by federal bureaucrats.

Well, to have control over your land you have to own it. I'm sympathetic to ranchers who are chaffing under land-use restrictions applied to their own property. A lot less so for people on federal land.

damikesc said...

Did you try googling the term? Mining, oil, gas, timber, and so on. These morons protesting "the government", are, once again, doing the bidding of huge multi-national corporations who want the states to have the power to turn the entire west into a giant fossil fuel ghetto.

...because timber companies don't plant trees. Ever. Explains why we have more forest land now than we did centuries ago.

As far as the rest, since you're typing on a computer powered by one of those evil
"extraction" industries, you're just a weak hypocrite.

The ranchers are pissed that they can't freeload on Federal Land like the old days

Well, BLM is barricading roads around the ranch since they won't sell their land to them.

But that's just shits and giggles stuff there, right?

Note that one of their charges was setting a fire of their own to prevent a fire caused by the BLM and its abysmal ability to deal with overgrowth when a lightning-started fire started raging.

Douglas said...

I concur with damikesc. It's incompatible with a free country to have so much land owned by the central government. See, e.g., the People's Republic of China. Keep a few national parks and wildlife preserves and sell the rest off.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
"The extraction industry"?

What does that mean?

Did you try googling the term? Mining, oil, gas, timber, and so on. These morons protesting "the government", are, once again, doing the bidding of huge multi-national corporations who want the states to have the power to turn the entire west into a giant fossil fuel ghetto.


Look at your camera. Do you know where the raw materials to make it came from? Your kayak? Your fly rod? Every fucking thing you own in one way or another took energy to manufacture.

Robert Cook said...

"All wars the United States has taken part in since WW2 were either self-defense (determined politically by Congress), or in enforcing UN SC resolutions, or they were armed conflicts ordered or authorized by the US president."

NO wars we've fought since WWII have been in self-defense. Congress cannot "politically" determine whether we are fighting in defense against an aggressor against us; either a country is attacking (or about to attack) us or it is not. Making a "political determination" that a war is necessary for "self-defense" is just making shit up to justify our aggressive actions. (Hitler attacked Poland on the claim it was a defensive response to Poland's aggression.)

It is not legal to wage war in "enforcing UN SC resolutions." The UN SC must vote to approve military action, if this is what you meant to say. This is a different matter from fighting in actual defense of our country...and, exactly how many UN SC resolutions have there actually been since the UN's founding that authorized America to wage war against another country?

Waging war simply because the US President ordered or authorized it is NOT fighting in defense of our country, and it is not even constitutionally permitted: only Congress may declare war. (Congress has abdicated this obligation for decades, compounding the illegal nature of virtually all wars we've engaged in post-WW II.)

"If you don't think that the Afghanistan War is being fought in self-defense, you need to make it clear how you will determine what is and what is not a war fought in self-defense."

A war of self-defense is a war fought in response to another nation attacking us militarily, or threatening to do so, having the means to do so, and indications showing they are actually preparing and about to do so.

Afghanistan didn't attack us, and, having no military forces, have no means or capacity to attack us. Our attack on Afghanistan cannot in any way be seen as a self-defense response; it was an act of revenge, and sold as a means to capture bin Laden. He fled the country, and--assuming we had any business invading the country at all simply to capture him--we should have vacated immediately upon his escape.

We are the aggressors in our various wars in the Middle East.

Lonetown said...

Didn't Russel Means occupy Alcatraz Island for 6 yrs or so? C'mon you people in Wisconsin know that, you stole HIS land.