For my first post of this calendar year, I address the so-called “Oregon Standoff”. (Why not? Everybody else already has.)
It might seem that every aspect of the situation has been covered to excess … and I’d be the first to agree. And yet, we know very little about the reality of the situation. And if you’re looking for clarification, you might as well move on now.
I confess to being perplexed by almost every facet of this debacle. I felt confident in my position of support for the Bundys and their opposition to the BLM. I felt confident in the information I was getting from sources I trusted. Generally speaking, I do not have that sense regarding the Hammonds.
Given my strongly held feelings about being governed, my inclination in situations like this is to always side with the anti-government position. However. My nonarchist tendencies do not extend to actions that appear randomly violent, overly aggressive, or self-serving. Some parties involved in the Hammond case give off a fairly strong whiff of some or all of those attributes.
For example, what does the occupation of portions of the Malheur refuge have to do with anything? Is it just me, or does it look a lot like an attempt to replicate the Ruby Ridge / Waco standoff situations? Well, clearly it’s not just me because some members of the groups opposed to trends in federal government are questioning the occupation in rather strong terms. It is hard to ignore the possibility of a false flag operation, designed by the feds to marginalize gun owners, agrarians, opponents of federal bureaucracies, III%ers, and others in the loose confederation some call the Liberty Movement.
On the other hand, those generally opposed to the occupation are seizing on every tangential meme available: racism, anti-Muslim sentiment, domestic terrorism … and snacks. One (admittedly ill-conceived) statement has produced a huge wave of scorn over the occupiers request for snacks. The level of vitriol is remarkable for both its inanity and its irrelevance.
Meanwhile, government, showing its infinite patience with its wayward children (yeah, right), is basically doing nothing. In other words, they’re riding the wave of divisive rhetoric for their own purposes. What actions will issue as a result of the confrontation remain to be seen. What ongoing actions will be ratcheted up, using the confrontation as justification, also remain to be seen.
Honestly, my concern here is that otherwise good people will be tarred by the brush that is the Oregon Standoff, to their detriment and the detriment of others like them. This is rapidly becoming “a house divided against itself”, and I can’t stand it.