What You Need to Know about Standoff at Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge...
Over the weekend we had hashtags like #OregonUnderAttack. Hopefully you weren't drinking something at the time, lest you splatter it all over your computer screen. "Under attack"? Hyperbole at its finest. In fact, if the media could be more honest than they are now, what with trying to hide their whorish liberal bias, the hashtag would've been #HicksStartZombieApocalypse or #RednecksGotGunz. Yeah, see, I'm not exaggerating, for just today the newest hashtag is #yallqaeda Get it? Y'all Al Queda. Ignoring that "y'all" is more common in the South, not so much in Oregon, the comparison to a terrorist group isn't close. The protesters in Oregon took over an empty building. Like empty, empty. Like a liberal's head empty. Terrorists, by contrast, blow up civilian heavy areas, or in the case of San Bernardino, a Christmas party. Not the same.
So, here's what you need to know about what's happening. Let's start with why it's happening, becuase often this bit is reported last, alllllll the way at the bottom of an article about OMG, THEY HAVE GUNS!
Two men, father Dwight Hammond, Jr. who is 73, and his son, Steven Hammond, 46, are scheduled to begin a five year prison sentence. Why? That's what's interesting about this story. The Hammonds are ranchers. So unlike the Mizzou protestors, unlike the #BlackLivesMatters protesters, the Hammonds put food on tables. Ranchers get up at insanely early hours and work all day long. That ribeye steak? People like the Hammonds made it possible. Trust me, you'll be hard pressed to find harder workers than ranchers. So take your philosophy degree and shove it up a cow's ass.
Whoa, got a little bit on my soapbox there. Not sorry. The Hammonds were one of the few ranching families who still owned land adjacent to the wildlife refuge. The saga with the Hammonds and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a long and sordid one. I'm not going to recap the full timeline here, but you can read about it on this website. This is the lead-up to the prison sentencing. The following timeline is from theConservativeTreeHouse.com:
- 2001, Steven Hammond (Son) called the fire department, informing them that he was going to be performing a routine prescribed burn on their ranch. Later that day he started a prescribed fire on their private property. The fire went onto public land and burned 127 acres of grass. The Hammonds put the fire out themselves. There was no communication about the burn from the federal government to the Hammonds at that time. Prescribed fires are a common method that Native Americans and ranchers have used in the area to increase the health & productivity of the land for many centuries.
- 2006 a lightning storm started multiple fires that joined together inflaming the countryside. To prevent the fire from destroying their winter range and possibly their home, Steven Hammond (Son) started a backfire on their private property. The backfire was successful in putting out the lightning fires that had covered thousands of acres within a short period of time. The backfire saved much of the range and vegetation needed to feed the cattle through the winter.
- The next day federal agents went to the Harney County Sheriff’s office and filled a police report making accusation against Dwight and Steven Hammond for starting the backfire. A few days after the backfire a Range-Con from the Burns District BLM office asked Steven if he would meet him in town (Frenchglen) for coffee. Steven accepted. When leaving he was arrested by the Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup and BLM Ranger Orr. Sheriff Glerup then ordered him to go to the ranch and bring back his father. Both Dwight and Steven were booked and on multiple Oregon State charges. The Harney County District Attorney reviewed the accusation, evidence and charges, and determined that the accusations against Dwight & Steven Hammond did not warrant prosecution and dropped all the charges.
- 2011, 5 years after the police report was taken, the U.S. Attorney Office accused Dwight and Steven Hammond of completely different charges, they accused them of being “Terrorists” under the Federal Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. This act carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of death. Dwight & Steven’s mug shots were all over the news the next week posing them as “Arsonists”.
Between 2011 and 2015, the Hammonds' ranch was searched, the Hammonds were targeted by law enforcement and the BLM. I again urge you to read the full timeline. For the sake of brevity, I have to fast forward a bit.
In June of 2012, Dwight and Steven Hammond were found guilty of starting both the 2001 fire and 2006 fires. The federal courts charged them as "Terrorist" under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act. The judge who oversaw the case overruled the sentencing, saying it would be a violation of the 8th Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) for the Hammonds to receive the full sentencing (minimum 5 years in prison, maximum is death).
Yeah, you think?
Reminder, the Hammonds conducted a controlled burn to prevent wildfires. Another reminder, wildfires burn out of control all the time because there haven't been controlled burns (see CALIFORNIA) or because of government regulations which PREVENT ranchers from conducting controlled burns. Usually to protect an endangered species. No, in this case the "endangered species" is not logic or reason.
So in January of 2013, Dwight and Steven Hammond reported to prison and fulfilled their sentencing. They submitted, you guys. They went along with the dumbassery.
Now, here's where all this hits an even higher shit fan. Ready for this? The following timeline is also from theConservativeTreeHouse.com. Brace yourself:
- June 2014, Rhonda Karges, Field Manager for the BLM, and her husband Chad Karges, Refuge Manager for the Malheur Wildlife Refuge (which surrounds the Hammond ranch), along with attorney Frank Papagni exemplifying further vindictive behavior by filing an appeal with the 9th District Federal Court seeking Dwight’s and Steven’s return to federal prison for the entire 5 years.*
- October 2015, the 9th District Court “resentenced” Dwight and Steven, requiring them to return to prison for several more years. Steven (46) has a wife and 3 children. Dwight (74) will leave Susan (74) to be alone after 55 years of marriage. If he survives, he will be 79 when he is released.
So, after the Hammonds served their prison sentences, a field manager at the BLM and her husband, a manager at the wildlife refuge, wanted an additional pound of flesh. Not filet mignon. Not ribeye. Not even a New York Strip Steak. Nope, those government officials wanted a pound of flesh from the Hammonds life.
This is the real story we should all be discussing. Understandably, everyone is focusing on the efforts of the Bundy Brothers in their takeover of the empty building of the wildlife center because OMG, THEY HAVE GUNS.
No one has been shot, by the way. Or in anyway harmed.
Also, the Hammonds have distanced themselves from the Bundy Brothers and turned themselves in for further sentencing. That's key here. The Bundy Brothers are not acting FOR the Hammonds. The Bundy Brothers, in my opinion, are using the Hammonds as a catalyst for a movement. We can debate their methods til the cows get off the ranch becuase the BLM might just take them, but the story here, for Oregon, should be about the Hammonds and their struggle with our government. Okay? Okay.
We're talking about two ranchers who started a backfire to prevent a wildfire from a lightening strike. Contrast their treatment with other stories about real terrorists. Think about how these ranchers are treated versus how the protestors in Baltimore were given "space to destroy." Compare the Hammonds plight to the media's coverage of Mizzou.
What do you think? What would you do if you were in the Hammonds's situation? How would you handle yourself? What do you think about the Bundy Brother's response and the militia who has also responded? Sound off in the comments.
~Written by Courtney Kirchoff