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The difference between a terrorist and a good old boy

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, January 4th, 2016 - 76 comments
Categories: International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, war, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

End white terror

A group of good old boys self described as patriots have decided to hole themselves up in a Federal Wildlife Reserve building in Oregon essentially because two local ranchers were sent to jail for burning state property.  The strange thing though is that the ranchers involved have refused to accept the help of the patriots and intend to serve their time.  They had previously been sentenced to shortish periods of imprisonment which they served but on appeal the terms were increased and they have been required to return to prison to serve the balance of their terms.

The individuals involved have asked for other patriots throughout the US of A to head to Oregon and become part of the movement.  As can be seen from this video the people involved are armed.  At this stage the police are doing nothing which given their predilection to do things such as shoot unarmed black Americans in the back who a running away is something of a surprise.

Vox has this explanation which is so outrageous it reads like a typical introduction to the TV series Soap.

Among the militia’s members are Ammon Bundy, whose father Cliven Bundy became a Fox News star in 2014 for his armed standoff in Nevada with the federal government over cattle-grazing rights. On the surface, this is about a father and son from Oregon who were ordered by the court to return to prison to serve additional time for a 2012 arson on federal land. But, as with Cliven Bundy’s standoff, the anti-government militiamen who are driving this crisis believe it’s about standing up to a tyrannical federal government.

Who are these guys, and what do they want?

The apparent goal of the takeover is ultimately to induce the federal government to turn over government-owned land to local ranchers, loggers, and miners for their use …

But the men involved in the takeover — including Ammon Bundy, Ammon’s brother Ryan, Jon Ritzheimer, Blaine Cooper, and Ryan Payne — are not locals. Rather, they are a small group of individuals who travel around the country attaching themselves to various local fights against the federal government, usually over land rights. Several of them were involved in Cliven Bundy’s 2014 standoff.

The response from twitter has been scathing at the hypocrisy of the police’s and the media’s complete disinterest in what is occurring. Can we expect Donald Trump to call for a ban on armed red necks entering the state of Oregon?  Can we ask for calls for the NRA to denounce the actions of the Oregon Federal Wildlife Reserve terrorists?

And as usual Twitter nails the subject.


76 comments on “The difference between a terrorist and a good old boy”

  1. I think the local Sheriff’s department response is fine. They’ve cordoned off the area and are waiting for a multiple agency response. As the occupation is on reserve land, I’m guessing this is a matter for the State and Federal authorities, not the local police.

    As for hypocrisy, there is none. Police and media are all over it and not in the least bit ignoring it. There is no equivelence between the response to the so far peaceful occupation by these rightwing nutters and the very few incidents of unlawful police shootings. The big problem in the States isn’t police shootings, it’s shootings full stop.

    There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of police authorities in the States. They all have their own way of dealing with things. It seems that the local Sheriffs department in Malheur are actually showing how good policing is done.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      I agree that the response is fine but wanted to contrast it with the multiple examples where the police response has been barbaric. The intent of the post is to show the contrast.

      • Magan 1.1.1

        How is that white guilt coming along their MS?

      • Fair enough, ms, but it’s not apples with apples is it? This current incident is a well organised and foreshadowed protest occupation where noone is under immediate threat. It’s just a bunch of rednecks taking over the equivalent of a DoC hut in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a snowy winter. There is no clear and present danger, which is the usual starting point when US cops open fire.

        In the minority of cases where the shootings are unlawful, the US police routinely prosecute their own. I would caution buying into the myth that US Police have a “predilection” for shooting unarmed black men in the back. The simple fact is that if you run from the police in the US, they are usually authorised to shoot you.

        Here’s a teaser for the readers: what percentage of fatal US police shootings involved white policemen and unarmed black men? And further, what percentage of those shootings were unlawful?

        • marty mars

          Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. Their rate of police-involved deaths was five times higher than for white men of the same age.

          Paired with official government mortality data, this new finding indicates that about one in every 65 deaths of a young African American man in the US is a killing by police.

          “This epidemic is disproportionately affecting black people,” said Brittany Packnett, an activist and member of the White House taskforce on policing. “We are wasting so many promising young lives by continuing to allow this to happen.”


          5 times higher!!!

          • te reo putake

            That ‘five times’ figure is close to the ethnic breakdown of crime in America, marty. The black population feature in the crime stats at a way higher level than their actual percentage of the population, so the likelihood is that fatal interactions with the authorities are also going to be high. However, that wasn’t my question; I asked what percentage involved white cop/black man. It’s surprisingly low.

            • marty mars

              What are the numbers of killings of unarmed black men by white police officers?

              • Less than 40 of the nearly 1000 people fatally shot by cops last year. Of those 40, only a quarter were legally questionable. That is, 30 of those killed were lawfully shot (presumably resisting arrest, committing assault without a weapon or just running away after being warned to surrender).

                To to put it another way, only 1% of all people shot by cops fell into the category of unarmed black men shot by white men in circumstances that may have been unlawful. That’s surprisingly low, given the meme that suggests its a widespread problem.

                • North

                  That seems like some equanimity you display @ 1 above TRP…….about what you suggest is a customary US police power, viz. ‘shoot them if they run away’ – running by a person not red-handed or known to have committed a crime I mean.

                  Do you know that such a police power is authorised and operationally availed and if so how widely across (I would guess) thousands of US police districts, or are you merely assuming ?

                  It’s just that I notice your observation – “There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of police authorities in the States. They all have their own way of dealing with things.”

                  Would be interesting to see any detail you have.

                  • Running from the police is a crime in itself, North. In some cities, counties and states it’s a misdemeanour. In some, it’s a felony. In most places, police officers are authorised to use their weapons to stop a fleeing suspect.

                  • Andre

                    North, in the US pretty much every local government and a lot of quasi governmental organisation have their own police force and policies. One day of my commute leaving in Philadelphia PA and working near Princeton NJ could have brought me into contact with: Ridley Park township police where I lived, the police for the next township, SEPTA (public transit) police when dropping wife at train station, Penn State Troopers on the freeway, Delaware River Bridge Authority Police crossing into New Jersey, New Jersey State Troopers on the freeway, Lawrenceville NJ township police, and Bordentown NJ township police, not to mention the University of Pennsylvania police and City of Philadelphia police that wife might have run into. So yes, definitely thousands of police organisations. Quite often the police chief is an elected position with a 2 year or 4 year term, so policies do vary widely according to local community sentiment.

                    • millsy

                      Rather like Auckland city, port, airport, railway network, university having their own seperate police force, with a seperate police force for Housing NZ homes, and one for the reigonal parks, and other for the beaches.

            • Macro

              The black population feature in the crime stats at a way higher level than their actual percentage of the population

              I wonder why?
              Couldn’t possibly be due to any racial bias could it.

              • Yes, racism is a symptom. But capitalism is the disease.

                • weka

                  Those silly black people making out their problems are special.

                  Sorry, but I think that Black Americans get to define what the problem is with their people being shot by police.

                  • Nope, it’s an issue for all Americans, not just black Americans. They live in a violent, dysfunctional society based on a dog eat dog belief that winning is everything. That’s the problem, actually.

                    Still, it’s nice that you’ve come round to accepting the concept that the victim gets to define the problem. What a difference a day makes!

                    • weka

                      That’s not what I’m saying though. I’m saying that Black Americans have a far better idea than you about the causes of violence against them as a class. To say that they are wrong is patronising and racist.

                      Your second paragraph about me is nonsensical.

                    • Nobody is saying they’re wrong. I’m saying you’re wrong. To suggest there is an equivalence between this redneck revolt and terrorism or, indeed, the experience of black Americans, is ridiculous.

                      As for the second sentence, you might have to re-read the thread earlier this week when I was subject to a bit of fact free character asassination. You were firmly on the side of the troll, remember?

                    • mickysavage

                      But that is the problem TRP. This is not a terrorist activity. It is a bunch of good old boys having a bit of fun.

                      Young black people have been killed because they ran away or they did something and it was also not terrorist activity. But they paid for it with their life.

                      Surely we have a problem?

                    • @trp
                      You said you thought it was terrorism (“So, yep, I guess so”) in the thread below and now you say “To suggest there is an equivalence between this redneck revolt and terrorism… is ridiculous.”


                    • Marty, you are right, but I was only quoting the US law. It appears to be terrorism by their definition. My definition is a little softer, at least until they start shooting.

                      ms. There is simply no corrolation between these guys and the experience of black Americans referred to above. They aren’t being treated differently. Locking the joint down and awaiting developments is law enforcement 101 when there are no hostages. You know this.

                      If there is an equivalent case where the sheriff of this county acted differently because of race, I’m all ears. Till then, this argument diminishes the actual reality of black Americans by comparing them with idiots.

                    • North

                      So racism is a “symptom” of capitalism TRP ?

                      From where does racism in non-capitalist societies come ?

                      Seeking information only TRP. You can leave out the snot and the sneer.

                    • weka

                      Nobody is saying they’re wrong. I’m saying you’re wrong. To suggest there is an equivalence between this redneck revolt and terrorism or, indeed, the experience of black Americans, is ridiculous.

                      As for the second sentence, you might have to re-read the thread earlier this week when I was subject to a bit of fact free character asassination. You were firmly on the side of the troll, remember?

                      I haven’t said those things TRP. All I’ve said to you is that Black Americans are in a better position to define what affects them than you are. Perhaps it is you that needs to do some rereading.

                      I still don’t understand your inference.

                • Sacha

                  Racism has been around for longer than capitalism. Need to address both of em.

            • Penny Bright

              How about ‘white collar’ crime?

              Any stats on that one?

              ie: how much is there and who does it?

              Penny Bright

              • I don’t have the facts to hand, Penny. Though I can vaguely recall one case like that in Auckland where someone is freeloading off other residents. Using all the available facilities but not paying for them. Is that the sort of thing you mean?

        • mickysavage

          “[W]hat percentage of fatal US police shootings involved white policemen and unarmed black men? And further, what percentage of those shootings were unlawful?”

          My very strong impression is that the only shootings deemed to be unlawful (where there is at least charges laid) are only those where there is video evidence.

        • Draco T Bastard

          There is no clear and present danger, which is the usual starting point when US cops open fire.

          Not in many of the police shootings that have been reported over the last few years.

          Here’s a teaser for the readers: what percentage of fatal US police shootings involved white policemen and unarmed black men? And further, what percentage of those shootings were unlawful?

          Better question: How many of those shootings weren’t prosecuted despite being unlawful?

          This is a good example where the officer was only charged after the video came out which contradicted the officers report.

        • McFlock

          In the minority of cases where the shootings are unlawful, the US police routinely prosecute their own. I would caution buying into the myth that US Police have a “predilection” for shooting unarmed black men in the back. The simple fact is that if you run from the police in the US, they are usually authorised to shoot you.

          “Minority of cases” requires US police shootings to be collated in the first place (good luck with that). And then there’s a bit of a tautology because for the shootings to be deemed unlawful they require successful prosecution – and the prosecutors require cooperation with the police in future cases, so that might lead to a higher threshhold..

    • Are they terrorists?

      • The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations says terrorism is “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

        So, yep, I guess so. Again, another reason why the local cops are wise to just maintain a cordon.

        • marty mars

          If the response is different that shows the hypocrisy of the authorities.

          • te reo putake

            The response is not different, so no hypocrisy is evident.

            • North

              You honestly think that if 150 US citizen Muslims holed up in the Statue of Liberty as a protest at ill-treatment in their various communities in the US……simply on the score they’re Muslim…….that the response would be the same ? TRP ?

              Actually I think you’ve misunderstood the post. How come ? Unlike you not to understand what is pretty obvious.

              Edit: forget the Statue of Liberty – holed up……Muslims…….armed……anywhwere.

              • Your comment makes no sense, North. Try and focus on the reality of the actual situation rather than make up fantasies.

                At this point, the actual situation is a big meh. There’s a couple of dozen rednecks stuck in a DoC style hut in the freezing cold apparently without much food. So no exit planning, no hostages, no demands, no deaths. If you can find a ‘muslim’ terrorist situation that equates to that level of stoopid, do let us know.

                • BM

                  So it’s a bit like those Maori at kaitaia airport.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Occupation, small group, police being patient and negotiating


                    have guns
                    occupying a government building
                    Asking for land back that wasn’t theirs originally and supporting the imprisonment of an arsonist who challenged his sentence and got a longer one
                    threatening violence
                    Most have come from outside local area

                    Occupied land by the airport
                    Was asking for land back that was originally theirs
                    Were locals
                    Threatened no violence and calmly sat there while being arrested

                    So you could say a bit like – I’d say pretty dis-similar.

                • joe90

                  At this point, the actual situation is a big meh.

                  Damn big meh.

                  Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward warned residents to avoid the refuge, about 30 minutes south of Burns, and warned that the group’s intent was nothing less than total overthrow of the government.

                  “These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers, when in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States,” Ward said in a statement Sunday.


          • nadis

            Does that mean a Waco or Ruby Ridge type response mean the authorities are not hypocritical?

  2. Magisterium 2

    “Vanilla ISIS”

    (credit: https://twitter.com/mercuryeric)

  3. Descendant Of Sssmith 3

    There’s some pretty funny comments though on the #OregonUnderAttack feed though.

    It seems they’ve asked for snacks.

    Do you think they would accept a falafel care package?
    there were at least 500 Circle K’s on the way from AZ to OR, you’d think they would’ve stocked up.
    But they are ready to stay for years 😂😂 they didn’t pack any lunchables?
    Can’t the post office/U.S. Govt hold anything sent to theres as evidence against those who aid terrorists?
    I’m sending homemade tabouleh and mujadrah.
    So, this “General Mail” is their leader?
    So, they still trust and rely on the federal postal system? Damn socialists.
    Take your guns and hunt for your own damn snacks you paragons of boot-strappy manhood.
    Make sure to send them genuine American food, like pizza and nachos.

    And that’s just the snack ones.

    Seriously though I think the right approach is being taken as well. No-one needs get hurt on either side if it can be done that way.

    • Sacha 3.1

      “they didn’t pack any lunchables”

      women’s work 🙂

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.1.1

        #OregonUnderAttack by #VanillaISIS + #YallQaeda who’re waging #Yeehawd for their #Cowliphate, to impose #ShaniaLaw across the state

        Mind boggles at what Shania Law would entail.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith

            I was thinking that on one hand there’s fundamentals in the East and fundamentals in the West that “never the Twain should meet”.

            To save you trolling through the mass of tweets a few more others:

            These #VanillaISIS sissy ammosexuals are so tough, they’ve occupied an undefended bird sanctuary!

            Why didn’t other Christians tip off Homeland Security about this?

            Man, I bet the Crips & Bloods feel really dumb for calling themselves ‘gangs’ instead of ‘militias.’

            Notice that the”take back our country” rhetoric is only used by white people, who stole their land in the first place?

            Every successful revolution starts with takeover of closed visitor center with gift shop.

            So what qualifies you as a “militia”? Cause last time I checked 150 men with semi automatic weapons in my hood is a gang

            Wait, men are playing in a park with actual real guns?

            Apparently, what these armed maniacs are doing was not discovered in all that surveillance of mosques

            I blame all that violent country music they listen to. It’s part of their culture.

            Excited for the days of coverage about how the white militia members currently terrorizing Oregon were radicalized.

            I like the name #YallQueda but #YokelHaram also makes me chuckle,

      • gsays 3.1.2

        excellent sacha and dos.
        a good old belly laugh reading that.

  4. Macro 4

    Well there are 150 armed and maniacal white gunmen holed up in the woods – not an unarmed black american man running in fear with his back turned.
    Of course they could get “Lucky Luke” along – he’d sort it out;

    • weka 5.1

      Thanks for that.

      The Hammonds kind of remind me of the men in South Westland who got done for stealing pounamu. Ethics and laws change and there will always be those that resist due to historical entitlements.

      Not sure abou the anti-terrorism law thing though. Is it a special law, or did they just make all arson on federal land a mandatory sentence because of the general issues with terrorism?

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        Ironically the federal arson etc law with its fixed parameters and mandatory minimum sentence came from Timothy McVeigh bombing a federal building in the service of the same toxic redneckery.

      • Naturesong 5.1.2

        The legal definition for terrorism in the US is very broad.

        (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that –
        (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
        (B) appear to be intended –
        (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
        (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
        (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
        (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

        • weka

          Noting the ‘and’ in that piece I’d have to say on the face of it that the Hammonds actions don’t fit the legal definition of terrorism. But it could still be that the law they broke had its mandatory sentence increase because of terrorism without being a specific anti-terrorism law.

          • Naturesong

            That may well be the case.

            I saw on Edgelers twitter feed earlier someone mentioning that “damage to private property to further a political cause” was also covered by terrorism laws in the US
            Unfortunately I was unable to find any US law that confirms this (I suspect the law may well exist but I’m simply not skilled enough to find it)

          • Sacha

            “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion” seems to meet the test.

            • weka

              yeah, sorry, didn’t read the ands and ors properly.

            • Naturesong

              Yes, meets the test in (B) and (C), but not (A) as far as I can see.

              Though threatening to kill any law enforcement who may approach might? meet the test.

              • Sacha

                I’ll bet arson is defined in their statues as qualifying for “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws”.

                • Thats for the original offence though.

                  Or have Vanilla ISIS started burning stuff?

                  But I reckon they meet that test the second they resist being physically removed in a way that endangers either themselves or others.

                  They must have racked up a slew of charges. Whats the bet one of those has an endangerment test?

  5. joe90 6

    Religious extremists….

    “I’m Captain Moroni, from Utah.”

    That’s how one militiaman at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge responded to OPB’s Amanda Peacher when she asked for his name.

    That name is not a silly response to deflect responsibility: In many ways, it encapsulates a deeply intertwined anti-federal sentiment mixed with Mormon symbolism. Captain Moroni is a crucial figure in the Church of Latter Day Saints. He’s also a heroic figure for anti-federalist extremists.

    In the modern day west, Captain Moroni has become one of several powerful symbols for the Bundy militia’s anti-governmental extremism.



    Anti-tax religious extremists…

    Nov. 17: “The injustices the Hammonds are suffering will be a type and shadow of the suffering the American people will endure if we do not stand and put an end to it.”

    The quote above comes from an email sent by Carol Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s wife. The email urges supporters to contact Harney County Sheriff David Ward “in an effort to influence him to stand and protect the Hammonds.”

    The “type and shadow” language is especially significant. It comes from The Book of Mormon (the scripture, not the musical) and is used by a prophet who is decrying a king that has unjustly oppressed and taxed his people.


  6. Wainwright 7

    Good post, micky. Despite the dictionary-definition quibbling above, the point is obvious. When a group of armed men take over a government facility, it’s not terrorism if they’re white. When a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, is playing with a toy gun in a playground, he’s a criminal who deserves to be executed within 2 seconds of the cops arriving on scene. When a Muslim boy takes a homemade clock to school, he’s a terorrist. Anyone claiming they can’t see what’s going on there is a liar.

  7. Michael 8

    Apparently Twitter is dubbing them ‘Vanilla ISIS’ and ‘Y’allQaeda’. Ha.

    If they were Muslim, the media would be covering this like they did the San Bernardino shooting. Or imagine if a Black Lives Matter protestor said they were willing to ‘use force or die’ for their cause. etc etc

    Here’s a really good article, btw: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/thinking-rationally-about-terror

    • This is also good: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/03/opinions/kayyem-oregon-building-takeover-terrorism/index.html

      Interesting point about San Bernadino. That involved actual deaths and an armed seige in a large city. The media response was immediate because they had resources on the scene. Not so much in Oregon. Initially it wasn’t known who was doing the shooting, so the muslim aspect wasn’t a factor till well after the initial reports. In this case, we know exactly whats happening. Er, … nothing. The media coverage in this incident seems more than adequate given how boring and self serving this occupation is and how remote the location.

      And the police response is exactly what you would expect in an equivalent situation; no harm, no foul. So far, anyway.

      There’s a lot of false equivelence based argument being put forward without much analysis, in my opinion. But at least it’s coming from a good place, with good intent.

  8. joe90 9

    Some say terrorist.

    Neither the human rights organizations that track domestic hate groups, nor those of us who study violent extremism are surprised by this latest development. We are, however, puzzled by one thing: Why do virtually all media outlets dignify these people by calling them “militiamen?” They are terrorists, pure and simple.



    • One Two 9.1

      They must be terrorists. Anything less would not fit the narrative

      That the USA will face an uprising is almost a lock, but it won’t be these clowns who lead it, or start it

  9. Ad 10

    I’ll probably feel easier with the comparison when the Bundy family start slitting throats live on television. This isn’t ISIS, not even funny in the comparison.

    Not everything is a kind of liberal ‘told you so’.

  10. Ad 11

    In support of MS’s line, one member of the occupying militia specifically invited the comparison to Black Lives Matter.



  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 12

    and just as well they’re anti-government


    Nearly every part of the Bundy family’s business is funded by government welfare programs.

  12. Andre 13

    Just occurred to me: New Zealand has swung so far right that we’re actually doing what these nutjobs want, quietly and with the concurrence of both major parties: “tenure review” on those big South Island stations.

  13. ChrisMCM 14

    Sounds like a couple of New Zealanders climbing trees in Auckland that had local government approval to be removed.

    Small groups of people breaking the law, because they think they know better.

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