Sunday, January 03, 2016

Dare call it treason

I was genuinely surprised yesterday at the incandescence of my anger when I read about the rebel militia seizing the Malheur NWR headquarters building.
Partly, I suspect, because that lonely stone structure has many fond memories associated with it. It is a "desert oasis", disproportionately attractive to the passerine migrant through the deserts of Malheur County. The notion of a passel of gunlicking Tenther rebels lolling about the place where I whiled many happy hours birding was infuriating, to be sure.

But the most part is the degree to which none seem to dare call these treasonous bastards what they are.


Worse; traitors in arms. They fulfill perfectly the definition of the enemies I swore to defend the Constitution of my nation from, foreign and domestic; defying the laws and regulations of the duly-elected government of the United States and bearing arms against the officers of the same.

For a mad moment I wanted - wanted so badly that it made my throat tighten - to take up my old rifle and rise on my bad leg and hobble down to the federal courthouse in Portland city and volunteer to follow the colors out to the sagebrush wastes south of Burns to shoot down the traitorous enemies of my country. Suddenly I understood how so many other men stood up in 1861 to do the same. The hatred and loathing of these rebel traitors burns within me still, banked but glowing like a balefire in the night.

The news agencies, the current crop of candidates, Oregon politicians...they need to call this what it is. It is black, dirty treason; rebellion in arms against our nation, and I can think of no better response, no better description of the response that is needed and should be applied to the treasonous bastards than those of the man who flayed the last rebellious treason in this country:

"My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom."
I had a blissful moment imagining a modern Bill Sherman staring at the gaggle of dirty, hangdog prisoners standing under guard as the old stone building burns behind them, removing the cigar from his mouth to spit;

"Shoot them, major? Shoot them? I think not."

He would pause for a moment before jerking the stogie towards the big trees standing nearby, and growling;

"Rebels taken in arms aren't honorably shot. Rebels, major, are hung like the criminals they are."

"See to it."


Jim said...


Podunk Paul said...

Chief, we don't need another Civil War. Let the legal mechanism -- slow, crippled and compromised -- have precedence. The time, I hope and pray, had not yet come for guns.

Ael said...

Ok, I'll bite.

Why don't opinion leaders call it "armed rebellion"?

This militia thing has been festering for quite a while.
Why is it so tolerated?

FDChief said...

Paul: What "legal mechanism"? So far not even the news media is willing to cover this treason or call the rebels in arms what they are! I defer to the honorable General Sherman again: "War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."

WE may not need another Civil War. But apparently these treacherous sonsofbitches do, to remind them of the duties and responsibilities of a honest citizen. I'm tired of my country tiptoeing around these traitors. We made a mistake at the Bundy farrago not forcing the traitors to bow and make submission or die. We should not make that mistake again. As the gentleman above said: "We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war."

Ael: I suspect that the GOP depends on these fucktards and will not condemn them even if they begin fighting. For the rest, the media and the center-left, they are fearful of the din that the right wing Noise Machine will set up if the traitors receive the appropriate serving of hot lead; the screeching would reach a level audible only to bats and dogs...

Podunk Paul said...

We are dealing with fools, not monsters. They seem motivated by a misreading of the Constitution, rather than the exhilaration of evil that we see at present in ISIS. If these idiots kill hostages or federal officials, then off them. Until then, let’s try to keep the lid on our passions and let the legal system creak into action. To paraphrase Sun Tse, extraordinary actions –- and nothing is more extraordinary that lethal action -- should be reserved for extraordinary provocations.

FDChief said...

I will make two predictions now, and remember them;

These people will pay no price for their treason, and

We, the rest of us, will rue that we did not crush this seditious villainy when it was but small and could be crushed.

The law should have been pressed on the Bundys and was not. The law will not be brought to bear on these swine. Instead they will walk away, boasting, and the poison they bear will spread.

FDChief said...

And many a traitor that left his bones at the Little Round Top, or in the Wilderness, or at Vicksburg was a fool, or an idealist, or, worse, an honest man fighting for an evil cause. As Sherman said, it is the fools and the idealists and the honest men that must learn to fear the siren call of treason.

It's time and past time that these fools learnt the true price of their folly.

StoneMason said...

'Oh, we're having a war, and we want you to come!'
So the pig began to whistle and to pound on a drum.
'We'll give you a gun, and we'll give you a hat!'

And the pig began to whistle when they told the piggies that.

Pluto said...

I understand your rage, Chief, but my feelings are muted by other realities.

Is it not treason for states to violate federal laws and allow the sale of recreational cannabis? Is it not treason for states to violate federal laws and allow gays to marry? The 10th Amendment (among others) no longer exists.

As you note, treason (and you name their actions correctly) is most easily nipped in the bud early and that should have happened years ago. If you REALLY want to go off, read about these f**king idiots. Their membership is at least in the tens of thousands.

But the primary reason I do not reach for my rifle is that the old Republic is dead, killed by a cast thousands of all political persuasions who found its respect for the rule of law to be inconvenient. The nascent American Empire is struggling to rise from its ashes, hampered by the forces that killed the Republic, and I will NOT help that cause.

Donald Trump, if he is elected, may be the first person to officially cross the Rubicon; but like Caesar before him, there have been multiple people like Sulla and Marius to lead the way. My personal favorite is Dick Cheney, who destroyed much of the Constitution because his love for the country was greater than his love for the rule of law. The idiots who have taken over the Federal building are cut from the same cloth.

Anybody who reads much history knows that our descendants will someday come to love the lack of chaos more than they love freedom itself. We have existed in a blessed time and I hope to die before I see the consequences of our leaders actions.

FDChief said...

Stonemason; as noted above, war - or, at least, armed rebellion - is the remedy these traitors have chosen. A polity that cannot suppress armed rebellion is no longer a viable state, but a failed state. If the state no longer has a monopoly on violence it has ceased to be a state.

I am the last person to delight in war; as Sherman himself said, it is hell and you cannot refine it. But if I have to choose between war and the rule of these traitors? Let it be war. You'll note that in the book Vereschagan chooses the latter rather than allow the rebellion to succeed.

Paul; No - indeed, it is the essence of "federalism". Were an individual to sell weed or marry her girlfriend in contravention of the laws of her state, it would be a crime. Not "treason" as defined by 18 CFR 2381. Carrying arms against your government? Yep. Pretty much the definition of treason. to the desuetude of the republic...there's a case to be made. But, as yet, the republic is not past redemption thru civil means. Once the genii of armed treason is out of the bottle, however...

Paul Harris said...

Chief: perfectly on target. I just want to add that I've read & heard some idiots say that "some of these guys are veterans", as if that excuses them or their actions. IT DOES NOT. It adds to their guilt. As a vet myself, from a family of vets, I want an example made of these scum that will keep like-minded morons hiding in their backyard bunkers for the next generation.

mike said...

I share your feelings Chief. What I do not understand is why these cretins choose to defend welfare queens and cheats like daddy Cliven and now the Hammonds.

FDChief said...

Here's what really galls me about this; the pusillanimous way everyone is pussyfooting around the goddamn traitors is a perfect crystallization of the way that our politicians, our news media, and a hell of a lot of our fellow citizens have been treating these rightwing nuts for...hell, every since the Reagan years.

As far as looney-tunes politics the Right has been the cutting edge of whackadoodle-dandy for forty years. "Government is the problem", "taxes are theft", selling missiles to mullahs to arm vicious rebels, cuddling apartheid, Tentherism, birtherism, Christopathic triumphalism, invading random name it, these sonsofbitches have done it.

And, by and large, they've gotten away with, at worst, being called "one side" of "both sides do it". None of our major politicians, none of the major news conglomerates is willing to call this shit what it is; freakishly radical regressiveism at best, outright betrayal of the political compact of a republic at worst (when you are unwilling to consider your political opponents' victories legitimate you're breaking the very system that your polity depends on).

And here we are; with a bunch of goddamn rebels in arms. Which nobody in the major media organs is willing to call "rebels in arms". Which the fucking GOP has such a ginormous boner over thatr you can see the fucker from space. Which even the Federal government is unwilling to drop the big hammer on, for fear of...something.

Look, I get "Waco", I get "Ruby Ridge". But, fuck...if you can sic the ARNG on a bunch of black people in Missouri you can, at the very least, do the same to a bunch of white people in Oregon. If you can call the Negroes "looters", "thugs" and "rioters" you can call these people "treacherous rebels in arms"...because that's what they are.

I'm just sick of it. Sick of these people being treated as if they had a point, instead of being looney cancers in the body politic.

I'm ready to see if hanging a couple dozen of them might bring the rest to their senses. Pour l'encouragement les autres, as it were. Certainly making nice and trying to "see their view" doesn't seem to be making them any less fractious.

FDChief said...

mike: My understanding is that a hell of a lot of this Western welfare ranching and the associated love for mooching off the feds is directly descended from one of the bad ideas of the Reagan years (and, when you think of it, how many other of the bad ideas of today's GOP are, too..?); the "Wise Use" movement.

Charlie Pierce tracked this nonsense down in his post today: "...the lingering economic recession of the early 1980s, which provided a receptive grassroots audience for the Wise Use claim that it is easier to force nature to adapt to current corporate policies than to encourage the growth of more environmentally sound ways of doing business. Wise Use pamphlets argue that extinction is a natural process; some species weren't meant to survive. The movement's signature public relations tactic is to frame complex environmental and economic issues in simple, scapegoating terms that benefit its corporate backers."

That's really the bottom line, and it fits perfectly with the radical reactionary ideas of today's "conservative" movement. Drill, baby, drill, because climate change is a hoax designed to promote Agenda 21! More Big Macs, less salad! Drive a Hummer because freeeedommmm!!!

To accept anything different would be to admit that Jimmy Carter and his sweater were right and that nearly everything generated by the Right Wing Noise Machine is wrong, and that's not acceptable to these people.

StoneMason said...

Chief: Didn't mean to imply you were delighted, just that any amateur who decides force is a legit political tool should expect a very cold response from those who have made it their business. Regrets or otherwise, the pig whistles.

I really hope that the militia movement gets to see just how seriously the rest of America takes this kind of breach of faith, either as they start to starve or as shells begin to land in the perimeter. They've been allowed to live in a 'lost cause' fantasy world for far too long. If you tried to start an organisation using the word 'militia' here in Australia you should expect some very long conversations with the Federal Police, same goes for any other developed nation.

On a side note, the '150 Militiamen' count seems to partly originate with Russia Today. Even though I know rationally that number isn't correct, that it's more likely 15-30 people and that some of them won't be under arms, once you see '150' it's difficult to get it out of your mind. In a situation like this that kind of disinformation is really, really scary.

FDChief said...

Stonemason: My heartburn with this nonsense is that there is a substantial portion of the American Right that has been openly flirting with this sort of armed sedition for some time and has been allowed to get away with it. This is what happens when you are allowed to play rebel without learning the blood-price that rebellions typically pay, and I fear that if these people continue to be allowed to walk away whistling that the price will get steeper every time.

And there's a larger problem here. The same part of the Right has been able to insist that - in a representative republic, no less - "government is the problem" without being forced to confront the reality that in the nation they're supposed to be citizens of the People are supposed to be the government. And that, if not, then the presupposed remedy is the ballot, not the bullet. That if the remedy they choose is war then they, themselves, have set the course for the crushing of their "interpretation" of the Constitution and the extinction of their cause in the same way that war was used to extinguish the cause of slavery.

FDChief said...

To add to the perfect storm of fucking stupidity, here's an interesting take on the Big Stupid at the heart of this nonsense:

"What they should be upset about, way more than the land bullshit, is that the Hammonds were prosecuted under a 1996 anti-terrorism law and are being sent back to jail because the federal government didn't think the original judge should have shortened the mandatory five-year sentence to under a year. The judge did that because how the fuck is the land burning in any way, shape, or form terrorism?

What the rednecks ought to be protesting is the egregious and seemingly random use of "terrorism" to prosecute and persecute people around the country and the world. To put the Hammonds in the same category as someone who tries to blow up a plane makes the word "terrorist" meaningless. To not prosecute abortion clinic shooters as terrorists makes the word less than meaningless. To proudly announce that the FBI has arrested a terrorist who is really just a poor, mentally ill bastard who was entrapped because he said one or two things on an online forum is to render the entire terrorist state apparatus antithetical to an alleged democracy."

But, because this muttonheaded HeeHawsbullah knows more about Rush Limbaugh than they do about James Madison they're all up about a fictional tyranny than a real abuse of government authority.

But we know that.

Podunk Paul said...

A nation state must maintain a monopoly on violence, on that we agree. But the response need not be instantaneous. Holding one’s fire permits winter and deprivation to take its toll. Far better that the usurpers end as federal prisoners, rather than martyrs. And, if reports are correct, there are now children in the compound, which makes a police-initiated shootout even more unfeasible. That these scum protect their asses with children will go hard against them in a court of law and in public opinion, which is basically what this battle is about.

FDChief said...

My concern is that every day permits these people to spread their sedition, since the news media will not ignore them and will not deride their ridiculous notions of "tyranny". As Jay Z said, the problem with arguing with idiots is that from a distance they look similar; the risible grounds for their treason will not be examined on the evening news. They will be given the credit of their convictions, instead, and appear to the gullible public as the heroes and patriots they claim to be.

AND the delay gives the law enforcement agencies less and less impetus to deliver the conge' needed to instill Bill Sherman's fear. The slow-motion process will undoubtedly end up, as did the Bundy pottage, with the traitors escaping the deserts of their treason...

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