Thursday, January 07, 2016

Angry Birds of Another Feather

What's going on out at Malheur Wildlife Refuge is stirring up angst, not only down in Burns, which is way over in eastern Oregon, but all over the state.

Every day, the militants who have taken over the refuge, claiming they want to return the land to ranchers, as the rightful owners, hold press conferences.  They strike me as attention seekers.

One militant, who claimed to be a former Marine, with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was exposed today as a poser, by the Marines themselves.  Never served.

PETA is down there protesting, as they love to do, being attention seekers too, calling for an end to animal based agriculture and giving the militants vegan jerky.

The real owners of the land, turns out, really are the Paiute Indians. Seems after they were chased off their land by settlers and soldiers way back when, in their own trail of tears through deep snow, the treaty and terms of their surrender, giving over their land, was never ratified.  So the Bundys of Nevada and Arizona, can research old land claims all they want, but the unratified treaty is the end deal.

The local Paiute council told the militants to "get the hell out".  At a town council called by the sheriff, residents even considered a good old fashion posse of 100 people on horseback to run the militants out.

I think to myself it'd be better if the locals ran them out, then the one guy who wants the feds to kill him, couldn't get his wish.  I just think it might not be a bloody thing, if locals in droves pushed them out.  Are the militants really going to kill the citizens they claim they are there to "help"?  So if the locals forced them out, might not be a bad idea.  Hundreds of unarmed citizens, in lines, force them to their trucks and out.  I'll go.  If they fire on them, and I don't think they would, but if they did, be the end of their cause forever.  They'd get rounded up far and wide.

The birders are angry and a letter has circulated from one bad ass birder, demanding the militants get out, asserting his bad assness and the crimes birders routinely capture on long lens committed by the likes of those who broke into Malheur and won't leave.  Now there's talk of an Angry Birder festival this spring there.

It's a real circus down there.

Then there is the media circus and the media outnumber militants.

With pressure mounting against the militants and even them infighting, will they just leave?  Another anti government group arrived and tried to enter the refuge buildings, allegedly hoping to get out children inside, and stop one man, a friend, from martyring himself, which he has plans to do, it is said. A fist fight erupted and one militant, of which camp I don't know, ended up in the hospital.
It is worrisome, has to be to law enforcement, that at least one of the extremists there has vowed to die, which means he wants shot by the feds, and to get that accomplished, means he will fire on them.

Who wants an Oregon bloodbath?  Not I.  I'd like to see it end happily, cookies and hugs all around.  Everybody goes home to their families alive.

 

It's too crazy even for Oregon.

There is an excellent editorial on roots of the water fights that have gone on in that part of Oregon in the Oregonian today.

While this link lasts, you can read the thoughtful editorial here.

 And mentioned there, an esteemed documentary called A River Between Us, made about the water wars and fight for compromise in the Klamath Basin, that involved brave people coming together, from all sides.  The sides include Native Tribes, who want the water for the fish, the ranchers, the farmers and environmentalists.  An agreement was struck but never made it through Congress, partly, it is felt, due to the cowardly flacid nature of one Congressman, from that region, who was worried he would be challenged in election by the Tea Party if he endorsed the agreement (so it is said).  So the hard work and sacrifices of the brave few, who eked out the agreement, went for nothing.

You can read about A River Between Us here and discover where you can see the documentary.


10 comments :

  1. Militants nothing. They are domestic terrorists. I have seen them described as VanillaIsis.

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    1. I was trying to be kind, is all. We want them gone and snow not stained in blood. But them being who they are, I think they want bloodshed.

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  2. I've only heard snippets of the story on the national news but it sounds like a real mess.

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    1. It is a mess and I don't envy law enforcement trying to figure out what to do.

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  3. We know several people who have volunteered at Malheur but we never have been there. Great birding spot, but doesn't sound very good now. Like you, I hope this gets resolved without bloodshed.

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    1. We camped there once a year as kids. I hope this all ends soon and without bloodshed.

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    2. In fact we were there when the Columbus Day storm hit, the Big Blow of 1962. I remember the ducks flying in lines, in place, unable to make any headway, at the refuge. We drove home through that storm. I was very young, but our house sustained damage. I remember we had a barometer and were fascinated by how low it got.

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  4. Police seem to act very quickly against left wing demonstrators, going in boots and all. Why not in this case?

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    1. I know, the whole thing, riot gear and massive armored vehicles. Not sure why they're not being treated similarly, or worse, as they are armed to the teeth.

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    2. I've added new info, at the bottom of the blog post where you can read an Oregonian editorial and find links to a documentary made about water wars in that region. It's called A River Between Us.

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