TOM THE DANCING BUG: The Cattle Caliphate Invades Chagrin Falls, USA

That’s an odd comparison for right after explaining how people of color get away with these same tactics, seeing as how your very article talks about firefights and how someone was killed. As @Shuck says, your comparison to Ferguson neglects some major differences too.

In any case, though, while I wouldn’t call AIM terrorists per se I think it is clear they were breaking the law. And although you touch on this, I’m seeing these comparisons used as false equivalences often enough that I’d like to spell it out: not all law-breaking is the same. You may excuse it to some extent when following the law is perpetuating mass injustice – and in this case, when treaties were already being broken – without excusing it when it’s a question of idiots feeling entitled to use up public spaces.

Yes, that would mean weighing trying to help people and trying to rip them off differently despite the resulting actions sometimes looking vaguely similar. No, I don’t care. Form is not content.

It would be really nice, though, if some of these people were charged for it. Not anything using “terrorism”, and certainly not by forcing an armed conflict. Just after the fact and using the ordinary laws they broke seizing a bird sanctuary and threatening people. Because it would be nice not to show militias this approach lets them get away with whatever they want.


I thought and even somewhat expected that there would be some warrants issued after the previous Bundy spectacle, but it doesn’t seem any were. The message has already been sent, these yahoos will face few, if any, consequences for their actions.

@celesteh: who do you think the “jailed-for-life martyr” is, eh? :wink:

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Oh, great, now I have to worry about telling old people to get off my lawn too.


I know, it’s easy to make fun of the politics of these people in, where was it, Oregon? They probably believe Reagan is smiling down on them from heaven, and like to grumble about the libberuls in Warshington… But they must surely know some recent history, and realize that they are hopelessly outmatched if the government decides to send one or more of its own armed gangs to fight them.

Let’s revisit this alleged arson, of which some of them were convicted. Let’s see, it was some dry plants that were burned. On the prairie. They said they lit a backfire to stop a wildfire, while the BLM arrested, tried and convicted them of arson. Just on the face of it, whose version is probably correct? Did they burn down a building and try to collect insurance on it? Apparently they did not have the same latitude in jury selection that OJ had. To me, it sounds a lot like other cases of official abuse, in which a victim of police brutality is accused of ‘resisting arrest’. Cases in which the agents’ account, whether it makes sense or not, is supported by a not-so-independent judiciary.

This standoff, and the court cases that preceeded it, seem to me to be part of an accelerating pattern of executive overreach. Whether it’s to be found in the Snowden revelations, or in the vicious suppression of the Occupy movement, or the arrest of someone suspected of downloading a copyrighted work, or the whole concept of civil asset forfeiture, we have a centralized/authoritarian power, going insane.

On another note, will the citizens of Chagrin Falls (a suburb of Cleveland, I believe) sue Ruben for besmirching the good name of their town?

How is that the case in this standoff, where as far as I can tell, no executive power is reaching for much of anything?


Not so much the standoff, perhaps, but the actions that preceded it.
But it won’t surprise me if it is resolved in a not-so-peaceful manner.

I don’t know why being open about it is relevant. Obviously people who have shot guns to drive back police don’t want to give a press conference about it later. But there are many eyewitness reports of people shooting at riot lines during the height of the uprising - and not just police reports which are obviously untrustworthy.

I don’t think it’s reasonable to call those folks terrorists simply because they had guns. Using the term “terrorist” is invoking the neocon idea that anyone who resists the government in a forceful way is an enemy soldier and should be dealt with accordingly. It’s a dangerous idea and we shouldn’t use it at all - even if we dislike the current so-called terrorists.


Absolutely, AIM was repressed with basically military force. And the people who supported that repression argued for it by calling AIM terrorists. I do not support that approach, and I hope that you don’t either. Therefore we should not assist the government in casting political dissidents as “terrorists” the minute they bring out guns. Because that same rhetoric (and material resources like SWAT teams, drones, etc) will be used against us in the future.

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Perhaps you’d like to scroll down towards the bottom of this article to see how a family member described their arson? [TW]

Or if the discussion (and photos) of their history of child abuse puts you off opening the link, here’s the relevant bit:

“Steven started handing out boxes of Strike Anywhere matches and said, ‘We’re going to light up the whole country on fire,’” Dusty told the jury.

He said Steve had pointed to a spot on the skyline and told him to head there.“Just said, ‘Start lighting them and walk in that direction until you run out,’” Dusty testified.

Dusty did as bid, dropping lighted matches into the grass as he went while his uncle and grandfather and others in the party did the same in different directions. He ran out of matches and was turning to rejoin the others when he realized he was surrounded by flames.

“Fire was like knee high to start with, and then it—I was looking, trying to figure out where everybody else went, and I kind of got, like, trapped by it,” he testified. “It came up behind me faster than I expected it to… It was, like, over my head, eight, 10 feet probably… I thought I was going to get burned up.”

He dashed down the hill to a rocky stream, he said.

“There was Mud Creek, just a little bit of water, not much, but everything was green around it, so I went down there in the rocks and waited for most of [the fire] to go by,” he testified.

Dusty eventually reached his grandfather’s pickup truck, he said, and rode back to the ranch. They all sat down to a lunch of egg salad sandwiches.

“Dwight told me to keep my mouth shut, that nobody needed to know about the fire,” Dusty testified.

While we’re at it… This term you folks keep using, you seem confused about the meaning.

said, without proof, to have taken place

There’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps you’re looking for the word ‘criminal’, ‘negligent’, or ‘convicted’?

In other news, the BLM is not part of the judiciary branch and did not convict anyone of anything. That was the result of a judge and jury and extremely damning evidence, like the testimony given by their young relation who they nearly killed.


So maybe we could settle on something like “By the standards of the government, this militia action could be considered terrorism. That says more about our government’s crazy approach to dissent than how this protest should actually be dealt with. The Bundy Militia are still total assholes, though.”


Grass. They were burning grass.
And, the BLM is still part of the bloated executive branch, as I may have said in my comment.

for those gullible enough to take them at their word, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary:

They set a fire during fire season.

They were unable to keep their fire contained and the fire got out of control.

Wow, those guys who lit an out of control fire on purpose really are um… victims… I guess?


I do believe the crazy thing called “fair use” for satire would eliminate that as any possibility. And even if it weren’t, Chagrin Falls, OH would need to prove that he was directly using their town so they would need to go into a court of law and prove that their citizens acted like his cartoon characters do.

I doubt anyone is anxious to do that. It sounds suspiciously like executive overreach.


Not that I want to personally know them, I don’t think I’d like them, they probably kick their dogs, too.

Grass is not buildings, and burning it does not necessarily make them arsonists, IMNSHO. The bureaucrats seem to feel otherwise.

But it’s a fact of life in the far west that, if you prevent fires for a long enough time, you end up with much larger fires, one way or another. Lightning will start them if nothing else.

I think it was a jury that had the final say.


Dude, stay focused. The problem is bureaucrats. Big, bloated bureaucrats!


So the solution is to burn without prior notice during a burn-ban?

Is that how it is traditionally done?

We always used to burn off our grass, but after notifying the FD (mostly so they wouldn’t show up unexpectedly) and when there wasn’t a burn-ban.

Sigh. Setting fires was cool before all of these city-folk showed up with their cars and houses and society balls.

[spits on ground]

Can’t kill injuns no more without fillin’ out a whole passel o’ forms, neither.

[chews chaw]

T’ain’t the same as it was.


Be sure to hit the spittoon, now. There’s a rule against spittin’ on the floor.

Unless the agenda is left-wing (as AIM’s political goals are in the minds of the likes of Ol’ Tricky Dick and his ilk), acts of terrorism don’t get called terrorism by the government if white people commit them. The heavy use of ‘terrorist’ in this context is an attempt to highlight the hypocrisy.


Yeah for sure. Highlighting hypocrisy is well and good, but it’s important to clarify that the way to resolve this hypocrisy is to stop repressing people of color, rather than to subject Bundy and pals to a harsher response. Unfortunately I don’t think everyone understands that.

Raiding his occupation, bringing his gang up on national security [edit] charges and throwing them in jail would technically resolve the double-standard, but wouldn’t create meaningful justice. So it worries me when I see “law-and-order liberals” sliding the conversation in that direction.