Some Damned Foolish Thing

It was Bismarck who said “Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where … Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off.”

And with that we have Ammon Bundy and a few other folks taking over what would seem to be a bird watching outpost in a National Wildlife Refuge. The local ranchers don’t seem to be too happy about this, which hopefully will allow for a peaceful resolution.

Ordinarily, we’re told when groups that have the left’s sympathy act out, that we have to understand their grievances. In this case, they are calling them terrorists and demanding severe action from the federal government.

I’ve posted this debate between Prof. Robert Churchill and Josh Horwitz of CSGV before, but it’s worth linking to again. The Bundy’s aside, there are a lot of people out there for whom there has been no economic recovery, and they are angry. In the west, a lot of these folks have serious and not-unwarranted grievances against the federal government for their heavy handed management of federal land. Bitter’s family are among those who are facing having land seized by BLM along the Red River. They are mad as hell, and well armed. So are their neighbors in the same situation, on both sides of the border.

The left either has no idea what a powder keg this kind of situation potentially is, or they are happy to start seeing their political opponents start getting shot to death. I can understand the former, but the down the latter path there be demons. This situation has to be carefully defused, and then the land issues addressed. Most of the federal land in the west should probably be turned over to state management.

17 thoughts on “Some Damned Foolish Thing”

  1. As a couple of histories of the pre Great War period will point out, there were a LOT of incidents that could have lit a powder train that led to the Great War. Most of them didn’t, but it only took one.

  2. No one sees the irony that they want more free handouts from the government? And yes, they are terrorists.

    1. So far there hasn’t been any violence. I’m not going to classify every yahoo who has a standoff with the cops as a terrorist.

      1. Y’all Qaeda and Talibundy are my favorite monikers. And come on, they are occupying gov’t land under threat of violence.

        1. I see it as not meaningfully different than any of the occupations BLM or OWS have done of government buildings. Groups which have most definitely gotten the kid glove treatment…

        2. So? The Founders occupied British land under threat of violence.

        3. So did occupy wall street. So has BLM on the interstates.
          Stop withe hyperbole They are not terrorists They just want media attention. The location is closed Let them sit alone for a winter. Ignore them.

        4. That’s insurrection or maybe sedition.

          it’s not terrorism.

          Terrorism is the use of terror attacks on civilian targets in order to achieve a policy change or the like.

          Terror attacks are, well, attacks meant to cause terror in a population.

          “Armed occupation of a building nobody gave a damn about in the first place” is … just not “terror”. It’s not even close.

          These guys do want a policy change, but that’s the only thing I see in common with “terrorism”.

    2. I’m having a hard time finding good information on this, so maybe I missed it and I’m misunderstanding the whole situation. What “free handouts” are they after?

      1. The “free handouts” is probably a reference to last year’s standoff, where the Bundy-aligned groups had a confrontation with the BLM, and the central cause of the dispute was (a round-up of) cattle access to now-public land dependent on certain fees and that may or may not have been available any more.

        This version is apparently a (badly-planned) protest over two people getting a railroaded sentence.

  3. Terrorism is an act of violence or coercion directed against a civilian population with the aim of affecting a political situation.

    I have heard of no violent acts or threats directed at the civilian population, so I’d call hyperbole (at a minimum) on the folks crying “terrorism” over this incident.

    There are tons of grievances to be rattled off agin the feds & their handling of land out west, as well as their treatment of landowners. In the Hammonds situation, I found a very thorough explanation of events over at this post from Irons in the Fire:

    That being said, there’s speculation that this occupation of the wildlife refuge building was in some part large or small the result of federal infiltrators. Speculation, but seems plausible given what I know.

    Obama, being the most political joker to set foot in d.c. in evah, will use this to his advantage. You can bet your sweet S&W Asp that they’ve already been working out every possible PR angle, & their course of action will be in accordance with how best to spin things. If you want a peaceful resolution then hope that scenario focused grouped well with the administrations agenda, otherwise that won’t be the option they pursue.

    Turning the land over to the respective states would be the best option (barring trials of blm & epa workers), but it won’t happen. This administration is not above using the bureaucracy to punish its enemies, real or perceived, & the bureaucracy is usually happy to oblige. Even if this situation ends peaceably I’d look for things to get worse for landowners in the west, not better. (Course I admit I gave up on optimism after that ’88 Atlanta Braves season…)

  4. “Most of the federal land in the west should probably be turned over to state management.”

    “The Congress shall have Power to … exercise Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings…”

    Govt is not supposed to own or control any land other than that described in the above quote, who can name the document? Anyone? Anyone?

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