Wednesday, January 06, 2016


This week Conor Friedersdorf cried The people united will never be defeated! and asked his brothers and sisters to make common cause with the Bundy gang in Oregon because they, too, are against mandatory minimums -- at least for their fed-threatening wise-use buddies, the Hammonds. But the Bundy gang's demands have nothing to do with mandatory minimums -- they want Gummint land for themselves and their pals, which belongs to them by some unspecified right having to do, one would guess, with their folksiness and skintone:
BURNS, Ore. (AP) - A leader of the small, armed group that is occupying a remote national wildlife preserve in Oregon said Tuesday they will go home when a plan is in place to turn over management of federal lands to locals. 
Ammon Bundy told reporters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that ranchers, loggers and farmers should have control of federal land - a common refrain in a decades-long fight over public lands in the West. 
"It is our goal to get the logger back to logging, the rancher back to ranching," said the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights... 
Earlier, Bundy offered few specifics about the group's plan to get the land turned over to local control. But [Arizona rancher LaVoy] Finicum said the group would examine the underlying land ownership transactions to begin to "unwind it."
But word must have been passed to the gang's Minister of Information of Friedersdorf's bullshit, because they're at least making a show of outreach: Ammon Bundy compared the gang's armed seizure of federal land to Rosa Parks (*see update, below) -- a schtick I remember from the original Bundy caper in 2014:

Bundy got another chance to show some downness-with-the-peopleness in an interview with Margaret Corvid at Jacobin, but he just couldn't quite do it -- see if you can guess why!
Millions who have never heard of your movement are now watching your actions, and some say you’re a racist. How would you respond to them, and how do you feel about the Black Lives Matter protests and the police reaction to them? 
In today’s society if someone doesn’t have the same views as you they consider you racist. That’s just how I see it. I don’t know a lot about the Black Lives Matter movement but I know their initial protest involved lots of looting and violence towards businesses and innocent citizens which I do not agree with. I do agree with them standing up for what they believe in. I just think during their protest they were unorganized and not well-planned.
Corvid gave Bundy a big, fat pitch that could have bought him some cred with lefties, and he basically said it was good for people to stand up for what they believe in but hey, those guys were violent, we're only threatening violence, and unlike those looters, we're organized and well-planned; now please send us some snacks. (I wonder why Corvid didn't ask Bundy about three-strikes drug laws. That would have been an entertaining exchange.)

I don't like mandatory minimums and I'm willing to entertain the notion, at least, that the arsonists in this case don't deserve theirs, despite their belligerent history. But that's not what the current protest is about -- it's about seizing government land. which I guarantee you would not in such a case be equitably distributed among We the People, but would instead get funneled to the usual shitheels whose cries for devolution of government resources always come down to "gimme."

*UPDATE. Apparently that Rosa Parks tweet was a hoax. Bundy's restraint in the Jacobin interview makes more sense now: The idea of comparing himself to black liberationists must have never occurred to him,

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