Human is, as Human ___?

18 Feb

Here’s a heartwarming story…

Earlier this month, After 41 days of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, all of the armed militants surrendered peacefully. And even though the armed occupiers were “heavily armed” and had multiple weapons that they at times threatened federal authorities and police officers with and had even pointed at them while shouting phrases like, “You’ll never take us alive” and “We’ll never surrender”, they were all captured peacefully.

No one was injured, and no shots were fired during the arrests in which officers of the law were heard to say, “nice and easy, hands behind your back.” I’m not sure if the words please were ever uttered by law enforcement officials but shouts of “hallelujah” echoed through the phone lines of those involved in the final roundup of the protesters.

Did I mention that the protesters were armed…with guns? And after their surrender they informed federal agents that the occupied area had been left booby-trapped…with explosives! And finally, after carefully (very) searching through the area, Investigators indeed found explosives, firearms and even human feces to add to the occupiers careless 41 day desecration of what was a 6,000 year old Native American archaeological site.

But the good news?

Not one of the heavily armed occupiers was:

shot in the back while running away, or shot in the front 15-20 times while holding what appeared to be weapons, or shot while surrendering, or shot while sitting in a wheelchair, or shot while being only 12 years old, or shot while holding a toy gun, or shot by a ricocheting bullet fired in fear of one’s safety, or shot to death while sitting in a car, or choked to death after surrendering, or found hanging in a jail cell after capture, or found dead in a van after the drive to jail.

So let’s all cheer “Hallelujah!” It can be done. Those who either are or are perceived to be, Threatening, belligerent, frightening, angry, heavily armed, militant criminals can be apprehended peacefully, even when law enforcement officers are in fear for their lives…even though I read no mention in any of the Oregon reports, of any law enforcement officers expressing fearfulness for their lives during the 41 day ordeal…although I’m sure, at some point, they must have.


Oregon Standoff 2016                                         Ferguson, MO. 2014

In conclusion: Humanity can and does work! Everyone should give it a try.



19 Responses to “Human is, as Human ___?”

  1. joyindestructible February 18, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    I don’t agree with what these ranchers did but there’s still a huge back-drop missing in this story. What is it that causes peasants to turn their plow shares into swords? Few people are aware of the kind of stress Ranchers have been subjected to over the past twenty years. Particularly, along the Mexican border. BLM was set up as a partnership between ranchers and the Federal Government to mange public lands. I want to stress ‘partnership’ because one partner in this old relationship has become a big bully. They want the ranchers out now and use some pretty mean tactics to make their lives miserable. Add the chaotic border situation and I think it’s enough to give most people a little PTSD. Also, look at the incident that triggered this protest. A rancher does a controlled burn that gets out of control and crosses to BLM land. He does jail time. Then look at the EPA mine spill near Durango, Co. So interesting that this EPA Super Fund site was near completion, ready to be shut down, when this catastrophic spill happened and polluted the Animas probably, forever. No one was fired. No one did jail time. No! Low and behold! All the jobs these workers were about to lose were saved! Their program was expanded and they received more Federal dollars. Meanwhile, in sister-state NM and sister-town Farmington, thousands of energy jobs are being lost due to arbitrary BLM regulations. There was a meeting here with the BLM a couple of nights ago and 600 angry oil-field workers showed up, or that’s how many the fire-marshal allowed into the building. They feel desperate and there were no reports of guns but I imagine the mood was militant. The same kind of meeting was taking place in Silver City but with ranchers. Land and water are power in New Mexico and a good number of us see this as a Federal Government land/power grab. I’m sorry, but when every day hard working people who rarely have time to enjoy a day off turn militant something is deeply wrong. One thing I’ve noticed our Federal Government is very, very efficient at and that is in turning ordinary people into terrorists.

    I’m am sad about the rancher that was shot. I think what the did was stupid and I’d never take part in something like that but I fully, understand what pushed those people to that point. I’m glad no more lives were lost. The whole incident makes me very sad for my country.

    • kingmidget February 19, 2016 at 3:43 am #

      None of the ranchers involved in either the Oregon situation or where the Bundy’s operate are anywhere near the border. So the suggestion that this is related to issues at the border is inappropriate. In addition, the controlled burn conducted by the ranchers in Oregon occurred after they and other ranchers in the area were ordered not to set any controlled burns because they would place the firefighting crews in danger. Meanwhile the Bundys refused to pay grazing fees on federal land because they object to the federal government owning the land — what do you think would happen if that land was owned by private individuals? Do you think the fees would go up or go down? Do you think the private individuals would be interested in trying to maintain the same balance of interests that the government is forced to consider?

      The Federal Government turns ordinary people into terrorists? That’s really kind of a ridiculous sentiment. Reasonable people would look at what happened with the Bundys and at Malheur and knowing ALL OF THE FACTS would conclude that “terrorism” isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, the people who are engaged in these activities are not reasonable.

      What’s funny is how dependent many of these people are on the government for their livelihoods. Meanwhile they act based on a complete misreading of the law, the Constitution, and numerous other things. They want federal lands turned over to the States — well, have they ever asked if the State governments want them — the responsibility and cost involved in managing and maintaining those lands?

      • joyindestructible February 19, 2016 at 4:27 am #

        I don’t support the Bundy’s but I can understand why a person like that would end up at the head of this. I know of one rancher from New Mexico that was there to protest but not part of the take-over. There is no Rancher with a BLM contract that doesn’t feel connected to this or threatened by the Federal Government. I’m not saying the public land should be private. I’m saying that the BLM should honor their partnership and their workers should stop bullying ranchers. The BLM was never meant as a wildlife reserve, even though wildlife should be considered. Those contracts were meant to be for managed land use between the people and their government. The Bundy’s don’t represent every rancher hurt in this as any grassroots movement includes diverse people with a common complaint. You are extremely judgmental of individuals you don’t know and painting people with a broad brush is a very good way to blind yourself to important details. Good people would not follow a Bundy if there wasn’t something very wrong.

        My reference to terrorist making policies includes how we behave in the Middle East. I can’t imagine what it is like to live over there under the threat of drones. People who live on ranches in the middle of nowhere don’t have the same mindset or savy that city people have. That doesn’t mean they are subhuman. It means they live in a different time and a different world. A bully government pushes simple people into a corner where they feel they have no choice. I never said that terrorism was a right choice. People do stupid, crazy things when they feel they have no choice. Reasonable people become very unreasonable when they are harassed and their way of life is threatened. People become terrorists when they feel they have no other way to fight back. I don’t know all of those men and you don’t either so, I lay aside personal judgments.

        The government is much more dependent on them and us than those hard working people are on the Fed. If you had a contract with the government and your livelihood depended upon it, you’d want that contract to be honored. I would like a return to State’s Rights too. For the simple fact that I would like the people who pass laws to have to live under them. I’d like to have the people elected to govern my life close, where I am better able to hold them accountable. I am not of the mindset that I need the government to help me manage every aspect of my life. I like liberty and I like independence. We left the Constitution in the dust a long time ago. It’s been interpreted by experts into nonexistence. It was intended to be a simple document that simple people could understand and demand their leaders uphold.

        I didn’t comment to get into a political debate. I commented because there is a lot more to this story and I wanted you to see the plight of simple hard working people who produce the food and energy in this country. I suppose you prefer Monsanto Foods along with a big fat central government? Cheap Iranian oil at the cost of a lot of foreign and American blood? The one economic engine they’ve left for my home-town’s economy is a bomb factory. It’s going strong. I guess it makes more sense to spend money on bombs to get our oil than to support American workers to produce our energy? Is that really good management of resources? One thing I’ve noticed about city people is they love to drive nice cars and eat steak. No matter how stupid or ignorant people think ranchers are they will sure miss that organic, grass-fed beef. I’ll ignore the being called ridiculous. What’s really ridiculous is the EPA destroying a river they were hired to clean up but that’s not terrorism. I guess none of them went to jail because no one gave them a warning not to dump tons of heavy metal into the Animas. Who cares if the ‘rednecks’ that live along it all die of cancer? No biggy right? Great resource management…

      • kingmidget February 20, 2016 at 5:09 am #

        I also posted because it’s important to know all the facts, which you didn’t include. The controlled burn was done in violation of orders that were in place to protect firefighters who were fighting the wildfire. There are also other facts about that situation which you did not include.

        I don’t want to get into an argument with you either, but there is much that is wrong with your post. In a post that is focused on the issues in the West, ranchers, the border, BLM , you suggest that the U.S. is very good at creating terrorist and when I call you on that, you suddenly shift to the Middle East. I agree with you there. We are playing right into the Islamic terrorists with our actions in the Middle East. But that’s not what this whole dialogue was about. What happens in the West is not cause to become terroristic unless one has a complete misunderstanding of the Constitution and federal actions. It seems you believe that the BLM should be in partnership with ranchers and kowtow to what ranchers need or want. The only problem with that is the BLM and federal government has greater responsibilities than meeting the needs and wants of ranchers. There are multiple uses federal lands are intended for and those uses must be balanced. Some of these ranchers seem to think the only thing that matters is their interest.

        As for being judgmental … I have no idea where you think I demonstrated that. What’s fascinating are all of the conclusions you draw about people who may think differently than you and I can’t tell if you think those things about me even though you know nothing about me. All because I object to your efforts to minimize what ranchers are doing and paint the federal government as the all-encompassing evil in the world. Yes, of course, I favor what Monsanto does; I have no problem with what happened with the Animas; and I am a city dweller who drives a nice car and eats steak. Well, maybe not.

        By the way, I didn’t accuse you of being ridiculous. I suggested one of your sentiments — that the Federal Government is good at turning people into terrorists, which, remember, was stated in the context of the Bundy/Malheuer/Rancher/BLM dynamic, was ridiculous. 😉

      • joyindestructible February 20, 2016 at 5:42 am #

        All I wanted to do was make people aware that ranchers in the west are being crushed. To me Bundy is an American version of a terrorist leader, a controller with an agenda who finds disenfranchised, distressed people to exploit. I’m trying really hard to ignore the personal slams because I’m not trying to make this about you. I don’t know anything about you but when independent farms and ranches are crushed, then Monsanto is the alternative. When the people who produce food, energy, lumber, and build are gone what will any of us have? I am so sick of twitter-feed news. I only, wanted to draw your attention to a problem that I have some personal experience with over a very long period of time. At this point, I don’t feel served, protected, or trust my Federal Government. I don’t like what it does to people in the world and I don’t like how it is beginning to treat its citizens. Disenfranchised people do desperate, stupid things. What those men did, I will state again, was stupid, reckless, and dangerous. I just happen to know some of the pressures that pushed them there and believe me, the pressure is building. I’m not a cowboy but I am mad at the EPA for destroying my river and no one having to be accountable. I like grass-fed beef and hate genetically modified food that the government does everything to support. I like driving my nice car too and I prefer to be energy independent. I don’t like bombing people into oblivion for oil. My questions weren’t meant as a personal assessment. They were meant as an attempt to get you to consider what America might be without rural, independent, hard working class people. You know we can get into a stupid right/left political football game, you can call me red-neck and I can retort with citytard and while the left boot breaks my neck, the right boot can come down hard on your throat and neither of us wins. Or we could try to see each other as individuals both Americans and learn something from each other. I’m sorry I took your post off topic. I’m frustrated by many things happening these days. I am a rural person, not a cowboy, not an oilfield worker, but the struggle over Federal Land and the way they are using it to make or break our lives, is emptying out my town and has pretty much destroyed the economy of my state. The kinds of things they are doing to people here will probably lead to some people at least being labeled, a terrorist by the Feds. Of course I also, consider the way our government uses drones in the Middle East a form of terrorism and out-right horror. I’m thinking about the ‘all encompassing evil’ remark and I don’t want to think that’s true but honestly, I’m trying to think of something they’re doing right now that I don’t think is pretty evil. So much for grandma waving her flag. I support our veterans. I think that’s it. So maybe you can cure me of my cynicism and enlighten me to the good they are doing at home and abroad. Oh well…so much for civil discourse. Soon we’ll all be packing heat. I think most are already.

      • kingmidget February 20, 2016 at 5:51 am #

        I appreciate this … “Or we could try to see each other as individuals both Americans and learn something from each other.”

        This is the thing that is lacking in so much of what passes for “debate” in our country these days. It is just name-calling, finger-pointing, and shooting first and asking questions later. I desperately crave the opportunity to have conversations with people from different “walks of life” in America. Conversations that begin with exactly what you state … we are Americans first, let’s learn from each other. so, yes, I agree.

        And just so you understand me … I am totally behind the idea that we need to keep our ranchers and farmers and rural areas supported. But, on the other hand, there is this unfortunate reality that all of our food needs can’t be met without industrial farming and ranching. And I don’t know where the balance for that is.

        And just so you understand one more thing. I’ve been driving an electric car the last couple of years (and it’s not a Tesla), and we just had solar installed last week and I will continue to find ways to lessen my impact and increase my contribution to making the world a better place.

        And one final, final thing … I totally agree regarding the evil our country can do both home and abroad. I just don’t believe in the total evil that many on the right believe in.

        So, I look forward to the opportunity to learn from you … in a respectful and honest way.

      • joyindestructible February 20, 2016 at 6:06 am #

        I do my best to use both the left and right side of my brain. Honestly, when it comes to national politicians, I see them as one. Left and right is a tactic they use to manipulate us against each other and keep us weak. I’m so very tired of dead bodies being turned into political footballs. I do know ranchers need to move into the future but they are human beings. Oil and gas workers are human beings too. We need to find better sources of energy but opening the free market up to produce new ideas is a better way than by government force. All they’re accomplishing is to destroy what’s in place now with nothing better to offer. I don’t know what kind of work you do but my husband and I have had our own business for about thirty years and I’m telling you that government regulations and requirements have become crushing. We make a mistake and we pay big fines and face possible jail time but government agencies do what they want, when they want, and they aren’t accountable. Corporations married to the government is not a good replacement for small business as the economic engine of our country. It’s a sick marriage. So enough said. God in peace and prosper. Remember electric cars are ultimately, powered by coal if it’s the type you plug in at night. I want clean energy too but there are snake-oil salesmen in that industry too. Buenos noches.

    • makagutu February 19, 2016 at 5:28 am #

      I don’t have a claim in this story but I think all our host was writing about was not on the legality of the occupation but that law enforcement can make arrests without shooting the people they are trying to arrest.

      • joyindestructible February 19, 2016 at 6:11 am #

        I wasn’t trying to write about the legality of it either. I think I said twice that it was stupid. I just know ranchers. I know other hard-working people who are having their livelihoods crushed by BLM regulations that are arbitrarily enforced. They are causing hardship and making a lot of working class people feel threatened. I don’t support Bundy. I’m sad to see it get to this point and what I really wanted to say is there is a huge back story in this that is untold and when Ranchers take time of to do something like this something, is really, deeply wrong. In my state, all rural people are being hard hit by this stuff. Our livlihoods depend on those lands. There’s been a long partner ship that has worked well for a long time but it’s different now. They are extreme, secretive, bullying, and corrupt. Do you realize that the top industry in America now is government jobs? They produce nothing, they are dependent upon producers of wealth to exist. Ten years ago the economy in my state was vibrant now, we have the highest unemployment rate and the highest child poverty rate. The state government and the federal government have choked the life out of our economy. Towns are shrinking, people losing jobs, leaving their homes standing empty. There was absolutely no reason for this to happen. Now the round-house is in a tizzy because violent crimes are soaring along with property crimes and they have no money to fix it because there are no revenues but this mindless Federal Government has a pie in the sky agenda and they’re shutting us down with no regard to the lives they are destroying. Things look like they’re going to get worse in the Middle East and when oil goes back up again, our energy industry is not going to be able to get back up and running that fast. If they can’t drill on the BLM then they’re non-existent because there isn’t much private land. People are supposed to have access to this land but the people are being shut out. Land and water in NM is every thing, there is no economy without it. There is no sense of reasonableness in working with the people affected. Hurrah for the cops who did their job but the rest of us want to work too. There are no computer apps that can raise beef, produce oil, or manufacture clothing, or build housing. I’m a small business person and because of that I’m forced to buy health insurance that is astronomically expensive and covers next to nothing but if I worked for the government, I’d have great coverate for half the price. I’m part of the same system but I’m considered a secondary kind of person. Is that right? People still need houses but that has been made almost impossible for people to do here. People still like beef but the powers that be think Monsanto should do it in a factory setting. I don’t like their unnatural means, they don’t produce stuff I want to put in my body but they are partnered with this Federal Government. I like to drive my car and I like America to be energy independent I mean even those little electric cars are powered by coal generated electricity. If we don’t get these people some relief we are going to be a people dependent on producers in other parts of the world for all of the staples of life. That isn’t good for any of us. Do you know that over 100,000 people have been murdered in Northern Mexico over the last ten years? And those are just the bodies and parts of bodies they’ve found. Many more have simply vanished. That doesn’t include the thousands who’ve perished during the Bush administration just trying to escape the agricultural economy destroyed by NAFTA. I feel I’m seeing a repeat of that in NM. A lot of people die here because of Narco and human trafficking. A collapsed economy in my state will be like opening the flood gate to the Cartels, who already have a strong presence here. Ranchers have been facing those cartels for decades with no support. I mean, how would you feel if you woke up to say, 13 middle eastern, would be terrorists in your front yard, with no cop less that 50-to 100 miles away? don’t you think you might be in the habit of packing a gun. They regularly, ride with a gun for protection and extra water for the people they find perishing out there. Do you know that the AZ border has been effectively moved north 75 miles into the enterior because of the danger there. Do you want to face drug and human smugglers, on your own, every day while your just trying to get your job done?
        I wasn’t commenting to support the methods those men used or promote it as a legal action. I just wanted these men to be seen as human beings and give people an idea of what the BLM and EPA are doing to rural people. I don’t think city dwellers view us as quite human and I don’t think they know how dependent they are on us. I don’t think they have a clue what it takes to put food on their plates and gas in their cars, or heat their homes. I’m telling you though, history proves that when a big central government takes over the food and energy supply, bread lines follow. I only wanted to get people to see these ‘militants’ and human beings.Frustrated, disenfranchised Americans. I didn’t mean to insulte anyone. But I don’t think Robert Finicum should have been gunned down that way. He wasn’t 13 but he was 65 and from his pictures, an old 65 as most people are an old 65 when they’ve labored hard and long as a rancher. I hate political footballs and I’m tired of trajedies being turn into foot balls especially, when those footballs are the dead bodies of human beings.

  2. francisguenette February 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

    Your post captured something I asked myself over and over while this whole episode in Oregon played out. Why such a different response? Why indeed.

    • joyindestructible February 19, 2016 at 6:26 am #

      I know why because I am being directly affected by the same totalitarian methods. Law should not be arbitrarily enforced. It wrong to have a law on the books that’s ignored for thirty years and then with the stroke of a pen in D.C. plug it into place because it fits and ideologues agenda. It’s beyond frustrating and so wrong to penalize the people that make this country work. I’m not going to resort to a militant take over of anything but I understand what can drive people to doing something so extreme. What I was trying to add went all wrong. We are so used to having every news item politicize it seems impossible to have a reasonable, multi-aspected conversation with anyone about anything real. I’m sure the whole thing will be boiled down to threats about gun control.

  3. avwalters February 19, 2016 at 12:50 am #

    Well, LeVoy Finicum died.

    • kingmidget February 19, 2016 at 3:44 am #

      Because he said he wasn’t going to be taken alive and reached towards his pocket where he kept his gun. If you were a police officer confronted with that situation, what would you do?

      • avwalters February 19, 2016 at 4:04 am #

        I wasn’t pointing fingers–Finicum signed his own life away, via statements and conduct. Still, the record needs to be clear and correctly stated. In the Malheur fiasco, there was one death. In my opinion, had the protesters been unarmed minorities, that might not have ended so well. It appears that being armed, unreasonable and white, makes all the difference.

      • joyindestructible February 19, 2016 at 6:38 am #

        I watched that video too and it didn’t look that way to me. I know Robert put himself in that situation. I also, know he was outspoken. To me, he looked like a little old man running for his life and I have no way of knowing it his putting his hand in that position was for the purpose of reaching for a gun. I think he knew he was a dead man and I think I might of reached for a gun if I had one too. So, reality is perception I guess. I’m still sad that he was killed and I hurt for his family whether he was in the wrong or the right. It’s not easy to be a cop either and they make wrong judgments in difficult situations all of the time. To me it is just all a tragedy that never should have reached that level. Anyway, peace.

      • kingmidget February 20, 2016 at 5:12 am #

        Fundamental reality … when confronted by armed law enforcement officers, there is a right way to act and a wrong way to act. The right way is that you follow their orders, which in this case was probably to drop to the ground or to stand still with his hands in the air. The only thing that made him a dead man is that rather than doing either of those things, he chose to keep running about and reaching into his pocket. He was only a dead man because of his choices. “Running for his life” was only necessary if he was unwilling to follow the orders of law enforcement on the scene.

      • joyindestructible February 20, 2016 at 5:52 am #

        You’re right. It was stupid but it still looked unnecessary. Sad. Shouldn’t have happened. I was raised on a ranch. I look at that bunch of guys (except the Bundy’s) and what I see is probably not what you see. Their guns don’t threaten me because it’s part of their tool belt. They aren’t super intelligent, savvy, educated men but they deal with predators on a daily basis and in a way, they are dealing with what they recognize as another kind of predator in the way they are accustomed. I know their plight, I feel sad for them. I don’t condone what they did but I don’t think what’s happening to western ranchers or what the Feds are doing with public lands is right and I believe it will effect everyone in the end. Where I live, the Mexican border is a HUGE issue. It is the heart of so much government corruption simply because of the amount of money involved. Ranchers on that border bear the brunt of it and they’ve been doing so for about twenty years now. So excuse me for throwing that in but I think all western ranchers view themselves as part of the same disenfranchised group and feel each others pain the same. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but really, I just wanted you to see those men as fellow human beings in desperate straights.

      • kingmidget February 20, 2016 at 5:56 am #

        I can agree that it’s sad that Finicum felt it better to die than to go on living.

      • joyindestructible February 20, 2016 at 6:06 am #

        I’m sad to see anyone die. Death is not a solution to anything.

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