Meanwhile, back at the refuge. . .

January 28, 2016 • 8:10 am

Things appear to be winding down on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but it’s not over yet. I heard on the news this morning that jailed leader Ammon “I am Liberty” Bundy asked the rest of his thugs to leave, and this is verified by KATU in Portland, Oregon and the New York Times.  Three more protestors have turned themselves in and have been arrested, and Ammon B. issued the following statement:

“To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts. Please go home.”

The authorities have blockaded the roads, so protestors can no longer come and go as they please or head into town for snacks. While some have been reported leaving the area (they’ll get arrested when they do so), the NYT reports that others seem to be digging in for a longer haul. It won’t work.

What did they accomplish? Nothing. I hope other gun-toting libertarians think about that. What they did was piss off most of the rest of America, get clapped in jail, and one of them got himself killed. I hope the feds slap the group with fines for the damage they did to the preserve, which I hear is considerable. The next move should be confiscating the cattle of Ammon’s father Cliven.

I haven’t found much out about the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum; that scenario is being kept under wraps while the police (and perhaps lawyers) investigate. There’s still the possibility that he was killed in cold blood, though I doubt whether the police, with the eyes of the U.S. on them, would fire without some provocation.

Meanwhile, courtesy of the Multnomah County sheriff, we have mug shots of the first eight arrested, all being held without bond until at least tomorrow:

From top left, booking photographs of Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, From bottom left, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Eric Ritzheimer and Peter Santilli.

53 thoughts on “Meanwhile, back at the refuge. . .

  1. The story I heard from the police officers that were there – When they were attempting to stop the cars (apparently there were two) the guy who died was driving one and tried to get away but ran into the snow bank along the side. He then jumped out and came running toward the police.

      1. Turns out there was a different, non-involved eyewitness, who confirms part of Victoria Sharp’s story which I posted yesterday:

        “Hannibal said he spotted a second vehicle about a quarter mile or half mile up 395, about 50 feet off the road in the snow.

        He said that vehicle’s passenger-side window appeared to have been shot out.”

        I am glad there was a video. I wouldn’t be surprised to find Finicum reaching for his gun, and I would agree shooting him under those circumstances is justified.

        But we are already a long way from yesterday’s “shoot-out” and Finicum “brandishing a firearm”. And we have yet to get to the issue that bugs me, the easiest issue to debunk: Victoria’s claim that they shot many times at a car full of people.

        1. I actually do not find the three current eyewitness accounts that discrepant. All agree Finicum was out of the car approaching law enforcement who were undoubtedly telling him to get on the ground. He apparently didn’t, hands up or not. And of the three, the young woman would seem to be the most biased, as she was essentially an accomplice imho, though young and misguided no doubt. If he was armed and not cooperating, after three weeks of armed, boastful sedition, declaring he would not be taken alive, it’s his own fault.

          1. I agree the witnesses are fairly consistent on that point.

            However, Victoria’s claim about shooting at the car is also now partly corroborated by a report from the only other person who has commented on this. And that person was an opponent of the occupiers.

            I think we should all be concerned about media misreporting and heavy-handed law enforcement, whether it happens to people we like or people we don’t like.

            1. Victoria has said on video that they shot at the car “maybe 120” times; the other witness said he heard 5 or 6 shots. This is a big discrepancy. She also said she and the other passengers were on the floor of the vehicle. This would make it difficult for her to see what was happening when Finicum was out of the vehicle. Finally, every picture I have seen of Finicum shows him with either a gunbelt and pistol, or a pistol tucked in his pants. I have no difficulty doubting any of the claims of the thugs supporting the occupation.

              1. Nick, the other witness begins his observations after the windows of the car were shot out. Many of the shots Victoria describes happened before he began his observations. That’s how the windows got shot out.

                Also, if you listen carefully to her account, she does not claim to be on the floor at the time of the crash.

                You say “I have no difficulty doubting any of the claims of the thugs supporting the occupation.” Some thug. She’s a young girl singer. We don’t even know whether she supported the occupation or if she was just stuck with her parents. Her description of F’s death does not lionize him in any way, unlike the accounts of some of his supporters who claimed he was shot while kneeling in surrender. She describes a defiant Finicum daring the police to shoot him.

    1. I just listened to an FBI news conference in Burns. The FBI showed an edited video from an observation plane that was tracking the cars. The unedited (20 min)video is supposed to appear on the FBI You Tube channel. (The FBI has a You Tube channel?)
      As to shooting at the car, they say that they shot “flash-bangs” at the car to disorient the passengers (and some kind of non-lethal ammunition?).
      It looks like suicide by cop to me. He gets out of the car with his hands up, moves a distance from the car,then suddenly drops his hands, reaches into his coat, and is shot.

      1. Lou, have you watched the video yet? You have made a lot of “truth” claims before you have waited for the evidence. There are pretty clear pictures of the Finicum vehicle in the FBI video and shot out windows are absolutely NOT in evidence. It is also fairly obvious that Finicum makes a couple of aggressive moves shortly after exiting the truck.

        Everything you have posted the last 2 days seems to imply that you want to damn the government and applaud the thuggish “patriots” before all the facts are presented.

        Let’s wait a few days before making any more claims… I have had a great laugh today reviewing all the internet comments on YouTube and conspiracy theory sites from people who support the Ammon gang. They are living in their own, very bizarre, reality.

      2. Nick, yes, I have watched it. I commented about it a few hours ago on the earlier thread.

        I did not make unwarranted truth claims before waiting for the evidence. Reread my comments. I tried to debunk media distortions, and tried to introduce actual eyewitness testimony into a thread that had included no eyewitness testimony.

        I pointed out early on that there was evidence that the suspects did not take the first shot, and in fact did not shoot at all, and that there was credible evidence that many more than three shots were fired by the police. All three of those claims were correct. I pointed out that media headlines were wrongly identifying some people as eyewitnesses when they were not.

        I also said I felt Victoria Sharp’s actual eyewitness account was sincere. I think the video confirms that she was sincerely reporting her recollections and perceptions, even if she misinterpreted flash-bang bombs and pepper-spray projectiles as ordinary bullets. (Some commenters scoffed at her claim that they gassed the car multiple times.)

        I could not see clearly whether the windows on one side of the vehicle were shot out. A witness on the ground said he saw a passenger-side window had been shot out. If you watch the unedited video you can see projectiles hitting, and perhaps shattering, the windows about three times between 10:13 and 10:47.

        Victoria did not support the conservative narrative that F was kneeling in surrender when he was shot. She specifically said that he was walking forward and daring the police to shoot him.

        I have not been defending these people, Nick. I’ve spent my life defending and promoting everything they oppose. But I don’t give media or law enforcement a free pass just because they are targeting people I disagree with. I was (and remain) skeptical of the FBI and the media. I agree that my suspicions about the FBI were wrong here. I’m relieved.

        But my conclusions about what happened were largely correct, and the early narratives were not. I wrote those conclusions on the other thread, before the FBI had mentioned the video:
        “I think that Finicum probably did charge the police and they killed him, justifiably. But I bet the “shootout” narrative is false, and many more than three shots were fired.”
        That looks more or less right.

  2. I see the one who made the Video about Freedom and why he wouldn’t be there for Christmas with his Kids, has been arrested, better make another one saying he wont be there for a few more.

  3. Those mugshots challenge credible scientific evidence linking certain facial characteristics to the potential for criminal behavior.

        1. Not exactly, but it’s a fair enough comment on my bigotry! 🙂

          (There is a thing about men with facial hair either being excessively vain or having something to hide.)

          1. Or the third option is that they absolutely detest shaving.
            I shave when the wife insists. Or when there is significant risk of poison gas. Or if I’ve got to see a client in their office. Otherwise I don’t shave because I hate shaving.

            1. You sound like an ex-boyfriend of mine. He told me the first time he got to shave he loved it, because it made him feel like a man. The second time, the feeling was already wearing off, and ever since he’s hated it.

              1. I can’t even remember if I started shaving at home, or when I was on a mountain trip. I rather suspect that it was on a mountain trip, because I remember Dad telling me that I really ought to get a new blade because it’d cut me less, and I’d expect him to have taught me better if he’d done the job himself.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean. On an initial assessment, about 7 of the 8 appear to be male (do the police remove disguises before taking mug shots? I expect so.), which is around right for the general population of convicted criminals.
      Fortunately for the self respect of the orang-utan population, none of them appear to be orangs.

  4. “I hope other gun-toting libertarians think about that.”

    There is a saying in French that goes “à quelque chose malheur est bon” which means “good things can comme from misfortune”.

  5. In other right wing crazy news, I was surprised to find this at Huffpo on the Donald Debate fiasco:

    “Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

    The story was written by an editor. I know Huffington Post at one time said they were going to relegate Trump to the entertainment section, which lasted only so long, as he has become likely to win the nomination.

    I doubt most mainstream newspaper editorials will be so blunt, but some will probably edge towards it.

    If he does win this is going to be one of the strangest elections we have seen. Unlike Obama vitriol, or even some Bush vitriol (to be fair), Trump is actually going to play the role.

    1. I wonder what the chances are, if he’s nominated, that Hillary would refuse to debate him on the grounds of preserving the dignity of the office.

      1. A concern of mine at this point is that the Dem challenger might be Bernie. I am torn by this b/c I like Bernie Sanders, but I feel he would do less well than Hillary in the general election.

        1. I just read the WP editorial board opinion that Sanders is essentially a fraud. They think his ideas a lame and do not take account of reality. Another writer said dems would have to be insane to nominate him. I believe when push comes to shove, even progressives will be willing to support Clinton.

          I certainly sympathize with his goals, but I think Hillary will definitely get the nod.

  6. This situation is not a joke, and as a non-USian my opinion is peripheral, but:

    Were I the judge and this legally possible, at least part of the sentence would be 100 days solitary with the watching five times each day of the film “Blazing Saddles”.

    The best line is when the ‘Waco Kid’ says “Mah name is Jim, but folks roundabout heah usually call me ….. Jim” (or maybe when the ‘Injuns’ turn out to speak Yiddish).

    But perhaps there is no antidote for getting one’s political philosophy from watching Hopalong Cassidy or the Lone Ranger as a 4-year-old.

    I wonder what the ‘safe places’ people at some university student unions would make of a proposal to show that film?

    1. In the case of that movie, I would have to side with the snowflakes. It is a relentlessly funny movie, but it is so loaded with old style racist humor that it just wouldn’t be right to show on campus.

      1. It’s strange that the same evidence can lead to precisely opposite conclusions.

        In the case of that movie, I would have to side with the snowflakes. It is a relentlessly funny movie,

        Agreeed and accepted, though I’ve probably only seen it a couple or three times.

        but it is so loaded with old style racist humor

        Agreed, dispite the misspelling of “humour”.

        that it just wouldn’t be right to NOT show on campus.

        And my interpretation is in bold.
        Same evidence, different interpretation.

      2. I do think all the humour (brit., or humor USian) including many ‘n.. words’ etc., is done as heavy irony and sarcasm. But one of the fundamental characteristics lacking in the ‘safeplacers’ is precisely a complete lack of any sense of that, perhaps no sense of humour (Canuck) at all.

  7. If they have indeed damaged the refuge, I hope that pictures of that damage are widely publicized.

    They make a big deal out of their right to use public lands. It would be nice if everyone got to see why we protect public lands. L

    1. +1

      I’d also like to see it publicized how much repairing the damage is going to cost taxpayers, and how much of taxpayers’ money has been spent protecting the public from these gun-happy fools.

  8. I am not sure I would call these folks “libertarians” as this word is generally used. Quite the contrary, they are mainly from a highly authoritarian religion (Mormons) that puts crazy notions into their heads about listening to the “Spirit” or the “Lord” instead of logic and reason, and then they are exhorted to follow the dictates of this invisible leader. Remember that Ammon Bundy said he started all this because the “Lord” told him that He was unhappy with the treatment of the Hammond arsonists.
    This group is certainly anti-government, but , as interviews of Cliven Bundy have repeatedly shown, these folks want all people to behave a certain way, according to their particular dogma (which is largely theocratic). That is not at all libertarian in my book, and it may be unwise to confuse anti-government with libertarian.

    1. Agreed, the Ranch Stupidians are not libertarians, though they sometimes adopt similar language. They are closer to a cult imho, doctrinaire religious and dimwitted constitutional fundamentalists who exist in an echo chamber of anger and resentment over being losers and largely left behind by society, which like everything constantly evolves. The Oregonian has some short bios posted of several of them and like the Freeman of Montana back in the 1990s most are fringy criminals with long histories of borderline behavior and no evidence of personal accomplishment. The leaders Ammon Bundy and the now deceased Lavoy Finicum were the cream of the crop, and both of them completely delusional.

      1. Speaking of Texas. Yesterday, I was sitting in Starbucks, man with holstered pistol and “don’t tread on me” tshirt walked in,

        Starbucks policy is to say that they would rather people not bring in guns. But I understand a bit. It seems unfair to make baristas ask such people to leave.

        1. There’s a really easy way to put a stop to that.

          People who don’t want to be in establishments with armed nutbags should just get up and leave.

          If it costs businesses enough money, they’ll do something about it. L

        2. Yeah – I wouldn’t want to do it. Just the action of wearing a gun is so aggressive, you don’t know what you could be dealing with.

          Incidentally, Unless you’re a cop or something, my assumption if you’re wearing a gun is it’s to make up for a feeling of inadequacy in some other area. The brain is second on the list. I also assume an increased likelihood of violence towards women. All the women I know feel the same. Those guys just look like losers to most of us.

          1. “Big Carbine, Small …”
            I’m trying to think of an suitable unsuitable word to complete the BCSD line. “Dangler”? “Derringer” (small, kept in the pocket, only fires once, often missing the target, takes ages to re-load)?

        3. About 500mg of phenolphthalein in the coffee will get them moving along rapidly. Really rapidly.
          Really, really rapidly, unbuckling the holster belt. And braces, and trousers.
          I do hope that the provision of public toilets in Texas is falling, because those things are such a waste of tax dollars.

    1. Assuming the facts in the video show just provocation for shooting him, it will be important to release the video to counter the rumors from their supporters and wannabes. A concern now is that the rumors flying around will inspire others, and this trend might be blunted somewhat with a clear video showing what really happened.

      1. Yes, that is really important. They should be getting ahead of the information wave, and not doing so makes it look like they have something to hide.

        Besides the video, they need to show the car.

  9. It’s notable these people are all around the same age, in their 40s. I wonder if there is any significance to that.

    Come on Gen X, get your shit together (I too am Gen X).

  10. WTF happened to Ryan Bundy’s face?!

    It looks like the faces of persons photographed just after being slapped using a high-speed camera.

  11. I believe he had some kind of accident as a kid.

    Finicum shooting video released (see His hands, though up initially, were clearly in his coat when he goes down. Of course now the militia idiots will claim a fake video or something more absurd such as that after almost running law enforcement down they snuck up behind him or something. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of this plays out. Wannabee Timothy McVeigh’s aren’t looking too good right now…

Leave a Reply