Perspectives: Bundys in Oregon, what’s really going on?

Perspectives column image, St. George News

OPINION – Any time the news media starts to hyperventilate about terrorism, that’s the time to make certain your BS detector is calibrated and functioning.

It’s essential to keep this in mind as the story of the Hammond family’s ordeal in Oregon finally begins to reach the public’s consciousness.

Sensational stories are beginning to emerge of heavily armed anti-government terrorists taking over a federal building near Burns, Oregon. Even worse, three of Cliven Bundy’s sons are among them.

Based upon these terrifying revelations, we just know that something truly evil must be afoot. After all, a large segment of the American public has been conditioned to respond to the name Bundy with unquestioning fear and loathing.

But what if those currently regurgitating media talking points were to take a step back and realize that they what they actually know of the situation is very limited?

In fact, what if most of what they know was deliberately misleading? How many would have the courage and intellectual honesty to question what they are being told?

How many would deign to go directly to the source rather than be spoon-fed by liars and propagandists?

My goal here is not to persuade you which side is right and which is wrong but instead to recognize that, for all the “news” we consume, we know very little of what is happening in the world.

A great deal of the press consists of government-dependent corporations whose livelihoods are inseparably connected to maintaining the status quo.

This is not to say that there is no truth in their reporting. The deception more often takes the form of half-truths or incomplete facts that prevent us from being better informed.

Typically, the news media will ignore stories that involve government overreach that harms or threatens innocent people. It’s only after the story becomes unavoidable that most media sources will grudgingly begin to cover the story.

Even then, coverage is generally manipulated to fit the official narrative. This includes smearing those who have been harmed and marginalizing any who come to their defense.

When we start hearing broad-brush talk of domestic terrorism with little to no defining of what exactly that means, it’s a safe bet that someone is yanking our chains.

This kind of misinformation is dangerous in a couple of ways.

First of all, invoking the word “terrorism” is a tactic designed to silence opposition to government action in a clumsy attempt to create guilt by association. After all, who in his right mind would defend terrorists?

This artificially pits the American people against one another rather than allowing us to work together to keep government operating in our interests rather than its own.

Secondly, it invites government to use the extra-Constitutional powers it has assumed in the name of national security to murder, imprison and torture without due process. What exactly this might set in motion, if used against Americans on American soil, could be the start of something as ugly as it is unstoppable.

This is what happens when a society tries to function based on bad information. The key here is to recognize that most news organizations exist to enforce ignorance rather than to keep us informed.

One doesn’t have to be in complete agreement with the Hammonds to acknowledge that their treatment and re-sentencing under a federal anti-terrorism law is creating greater distance between the federal government and the people.

The presence of the Bundys on behalf of another ranching family that has been targeted by the BLM is most likely a product of paying forward the incredible support that they were shown nearly two years ago in Bunkerville, Nevada.

People whose panties bunch up at the mere mention of the Bundy name ought to ask themselves why they have such a visceral reaction over people that in no way have affected them personally. Some may come to realize that their hatred is based solely on what the media has told them.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, has a point worth considering:

In any case, everyone who opposes government-sanctioned violence should remember that unfounded concerns about terrorism are the health of the state. Lowering the bar for what counts as terrorism is not a winning move for critics of authoritarianism and unconstitutional exercises of police power.

The bottom line here is that if you really want solid information on the Hammond family and their situation in Oregon, you’re going to have to go out of your way to find it.

Few people have the time or personal commitment to truth to do that. However, this is the line that separates the informed from the manipulated.

Bryan Hyde is a radio commentator and opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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53 Comments

  • voice of reason January 4, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Wow, for an article titled “what’s really going on”, you haven’t once mentioned anything that is actually happening. The racist Bundy’s who are there deserve to be in prison.

    • KarenS January 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Here are a few facts. The Bundy group invited themselves into the situation and are not welcome in Burns. There are signs in the town of Burns that say “Go home militia”. The schools in the entire county are closed all week because of fears of violence. The Hammonds from Burns were convicted in a court of law by a jury trial. It is indeed puzzling that they heading back to prison when they have already served some time for their actions. If there are questions on that, it can be appealed in a court of law. The Bundy group has their own vague agenda which they have failed to articulate. They should leave and head back to Bunkerville.

      • mesaman January 4, 2016 at 5:54 pm

        Here are some facts concerning your facts; whether the Bundys are welcome or not in Burns is a decision to be made up there, not here. America still allows people to move about without restriction, unless they are under penalty of law. So let them decide and not you. Fact; the Hammonds were convicted and serve a prison sentence until a judge claimed they had NOT spent enough time in jail and must return. Has nothing to do with the sentencing, has everything to do with the judge’s discretion. Vague agenda? To whom are you referring? Vague to you but very clear what their intentions were, with or without the acceptance of the Hammond family. It may be appealed and it may not. If the Hammonds can operate their ranch while they finish this sentence, then let it be their decision. You have failed to articulate the vagueness of their agenda. If and when the return to Bundyville it will be without your consent or the consent of your comrades here in So Ut.

  • Cuberantcamper January 4, 2016 at 7:07 am

    For all the talk, I don’t see any of respect for the law for this (the BLM lands are ours crew). They think they can cherry pick the laws the laws and just ignore what they don’t agree with. Graze cattle without paying fees? Is this respect for the law?

    • dguble20 January 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Would you pay fees on a land that you have maintained for years before the BLM ever even existed. and had continued to maintain even after they came about demanding money for things that didn’t maintain. sorry but I wouldnt pay some one money for some one who has done nothing

  • native born new mexican January 4, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Very good article Bryan. The truth is far from what most of the media present it to be. When you have had similar experiences and walked part of the road the Bundys, the Hammonds, and the people in San Juan county have been forced to walk you know the truth is not being told by the media because your life experience tells you so. My family and I know the truth of the Hammond situation because we have dealt with a similar situation in New Mexico. It is so sad that until people actually experience something for themselves they won’t wake up to the truth of what is happening to their neighbors. What you are saying about finding the truth of the situation is so important.

    • 42214 January 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Hammonds just reported to prison and do not endorse the armed occupation according to Fox News. Just wanted you to know you little freedom fighter you.

      • observer January 4, 2016 at 5:23 pm

        Hammonds smartest thing to do is show up for prison. If found unconstitutional, there’s injury to the Hammonds along with civil rights violations. Of course they wouldn’t endorse any activities that could be construed as breaking a law – hence possibility of new charge. 42214 appears to this observer to be LE and not well rounded in Federal constitutional civil rights.

        Many of those “freedom fighters” were soldiers who’ve protected and served this country. Calling any freedom fighter “little” is total disrespect of these men and possibly women.

        • 42214 January 4, 2016 at 10:02 pm

          I was referring to Native Born sarcastically. As for serving, I did more than my duty.

          • 42214 January 4, 2016 at 10:27 pm

            As for federal Constitutional rights I’m quite well versed. I was merely reporting a fact to Native Born Dip Stick that his heroes turned themselves in to prison. Observer, you sure draw assumptions and conclusions from very little information. You should get your exercise in the gym, not by jumping to conclusions.

          • observer January 5, 2016 at 8:54 am

            Last time I checked, this article has nothing to do with you personally, yet all I see in your posts are jabs at people. Bitter that the country you served, isn’t returning the favor? Most soldiers are and have either lost it mentally or are very bitter…. Never seen so many young American soldiers sitting in a VA waiting room for their psychiatric counseling appointment. Some with blown off legs, most sit with jittery bodys – clear signs that “war” served no purpose. So some of these freedom fighters are doing what they feel is needed to “protect our country – both foreign and domestic”.

            Then we have the sarcastic soldiers, so bitter and angry, trying to find peace with what they’ve endured, what kind of collateral damage they’ve done via orders, and how to live with themselves….

            I’m going to bet that the snipers up in the trees, the cutting of electricity, etc. will not flush these boys out. A helicopter can make food drops – these boys spent years in combat, are used to “drops” in war zones, and if anyone wants to call them terrorists, remember they were “created by our American Government” to protect and serve our Constitution at all costs, no different than the training you received.

            The gym? When one runs a ranch, the gym has “nothing” to offer one who spends days bucking hay, moving pipe, and getting real with the down and dirty stuff. It’s our calling.

          • 42214 January 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm

            Another failed assumption Observer. I discharged honorably 33 yrs ago. The education and training I received at USNA and Pensacola led to a very profitable private sector career. So, I’m not bitter that my government is not caring for me because I don’t need it. I don’t even begrudge the ridiculous taxes I pay. So read this and make more erroneous assumptions.

    • Rainbow Dash January 4, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Hey Native You dealt with a similar situation in New Mexico? Where are the sources that back up your story? Oh that’s right THEY DON’T EXIST because your stories NEVER HAPPENED!

      • native born new mexican January 5, 2016 at 11:27 am

        And You know that for a FACT Rainbow? How do you know that?? Tell us all about it! What a mean spirited, vengeful, bad actor you are.

        • Rainbow Dash January 5, 2016 at 3:41 pm

          Yes Native, what a mean spirited, bad actor I am for calling you out on your nutty right-wing extremist BS. Why don’t you back up your statements with some kind of proof when you make them? You’ve repeatedly accused the BLM and Federal Government of everything from Arson to Warrant-less raids but when someone dares ask you to prove your nutty right wing extremist BS stories, you reply with nothing but childish insults like “And You know that for a FACT Rainbow? How do you know that?? Tell us all about it! What a mean spirited, vengeful, bad actor you are”. You want to know what I know Native? I know that if I made a statement like yours in the way that you do, I would PROVIDE PROOF when people asked for it. Otherwise, people might think I was a nutty right wing extremist making up BS.

  • beacon January 4, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Yes, there’s much talk about digging for facts and then none are supplied. Perhaps you should have dug into getting facts and then providing? As for those of us whose “panties bunch up at the mere mention of the Bundy name ought to ask themselves why they have such a visceral reaction over people that in no way have affected them personally,” it does affect me personally when my taxes pay to support and operate facilities such as the one that Bundy and crew have “conquered” so that they can have the limelight at the public’s expense.

    • Accountable January 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Beacon and big guy are demanding that Bryan Hyde do the research for them. He’s presented his opinion based on his research, which you have attacked. Get off your lazy liberal butts and DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and then YOU present your opposing INFORMED views.

      You are the same liberals who have no problem at all doling out entitlements to “people” who have never supported our country by working or paying taxes and certainly not with their Patriotism.

      You are also the same liberals who support true TERRORISTS — Black Lives Matter and their ilk — who destroy innocent people’s lives and property as well as that of our towns and cities with impunity. I challenge you to name even one of those thugs that the government has charged, imprisoned, and made to pay restitution for the destruction they have caused.

      The government charged the Hammonds as TERRORISTS, imprisoned them, and fined them $440,000 for causing fires on open land. The Hammonds served their time and paid their fines. The government has beaten them down into submission and stolen their land. I have to believe, if the majority of Americans knew of their plight sooner, this travesty of justice (flat-out criminal action) perpetrated by the government would not have been allowed to happen.

  • BIG GUY January 4, 2016 at 8:37 am

    One of your worst columns, Bryan. You say, “The bottom line here is that if you really want solid information on the Hammond family and their situation in Oregon, you’re going to have to go out of your way to find it.” But you present nothing, absolutely nothing about the Hammonds. Instead, you spend the entire article lambasting the press for presenting slanted half-truths but never point out even one.

    You are the one presenting unsubstantiated allegations with no substance. Your credibility is severely damaged.

      • native born new mexican January 4, 2016 at 9:51 am

        Thank you so much Don. The truth is far from what the press, the government and the hate filled posters on St George news want it to be. I keep posting here because I believe there needs to be another voice heard publicly in this forum. I really don’t care what other posters say they can’t change the truth. I will keep posting and enjoying the anger I cause them.

        • Rainbow Dash January 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm

          Don, Ive looked at that “conservatives**thouse.com link and judge it to be #yallqueada CRAP! It’s about as honest and factual as George W. Bush was when he declared “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” on that Aircraft carrier. I got about halfway through the #yeehawdist writer’s “citations” before I’d had enough and scrolled around looking for an outside link, any outside link. I found maybe 10 links and guess where most of them led? THE BUNDY RANCH! Here’s the breakdown: 4-5 led to the BUNDY RANCH, 3-4 went to “The Oregonian”, I saw one link to TWITTER (everyone knows you always get the truth from Twitter) and one Wikipedia link (everyone knows Wikipedia is always right as well). I digress, there was one link that stood out in a blog entitled “Full Story About What’s Going on In Oregon – “Militia” Take Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge In Protest to Hammond Family Persecution…” One link that I thought would really present the ” Full Facts” because it stated “Full Facts On Hammond Case HERE”. Must be credible, I thought to myself, After all it said that I would find the “Full Facts” if I clicked the link so you know what I did? I CLICKED IT because I like to be informed. I clicked it and it not surprisingly brought me to THE BUNDY RANCH!

          • Rainbow Dash January 4, 2016 at 8:48 pm

            Oh I apologize George Bush never verbally declared “mission accomplished” but he did say these words while standing under a banner that read “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” on that Aircraft Carrier.

        • 42214 January 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

          It’s not anger Native, it’s amusement.

      • beacon January 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

        Lots of information that I hope is accurate, although as with all sources it can be challenging and time consuming to verify. There’s mention of “a hidden public record she found a study that was done by the FWS in 1975” but no link to provide details on that as an example.

        • observer January 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm

          There are plenty of hidden public records that, if found, can do wonders in a case. No link because it’s evidence to be provided to a court of law, not to the public. Do some research yourself if interested.

          Some of those ranchers in the area probably won’t take sides, because it’s a well known fact among real ranchers and farmers, that the federal government has and will continue to offer contracts to “not” farm or graze the land and the compensation to comply comes from federal taxpaying dollars…. It also drives up demand, price and economy – serving both parties at the cost of the consumer.

          In this case, all cattle removed, restitution was paid and both Defendants served their sentence.

  • theone January 4, 2016 at 9:14 am

    This father son, duo went out and poached (slaughtered several deer) then lit the place on fire. It’s estimated they caused 30 million $ in damage. They’re nothing but a bunch of idiots as the Bundy bunch is that think the big bad feds are out to get them. Delusional morons is what they are, and they should be put away for 30 years as far as I’m concerned.

    • NotSoFast January 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Theone, I suspect you got your info straight from a little mole sitting under a MSNBC news desk. Backup a bit to Don’s supplied posting, read his supplied information, pry that little mole’s fingers off your pant leg, then make your own honest Jury judgement.
      Bryan’s purpose for writing this article was to allow everyone the chanch to think about the subject. As far as the Bundys taking over the facilities? lock their asses up for a few months. (that’s my take on the matter until I hear more testomony.
      It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama uses this case for his reason to take everyones guns away. How does one signup with the NRA?

      • theone January 4, 2016 at 3:53 pm

        I got my info from an Oregon news article not your faux or msnbc. You sound a little like the typical right wing conspiracy crowd. Obama is going to take our guns, and push grandma of a cliff with death panels, etc.. Yeah I think anything you bring to the table is going to be worthless. Go research what those delusional idiots did for yourself.

        • mesaman January 4, 2016 at 5:59 pm

          Regardless, the trial is over, the sentence set, then set again by a Judge whose liberal temperament tempered his discretion. You have shown your socialist agenda. Leave it at and worry about Hildebeast, the wicked with of Arkansas, and her tarnished tenure as secretary of state, as she struggles to remove Colonel Sanders from the competition.

      • Bender January 4, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        It’s too late for the NRA to save you NotSoFast. Bender recommends you immediately dig a hole in your back yard and hunker down for the next 10 years with a Costco sized bag of Doritos and an barrel of Mountain Dew. Obama’s coming straight for you and your guns. Don’t let him get you. Tune in to http://www.conservativenuthouse.com/illbelieveanything for more info.

        • mesaman January 4, 2016 at 6:32 pm

          It appears to be a liberal-socialist version of National Enquirer. Great reference for non readers and deaf people.

      • .... January 4, 2016 at 11:47 pm

        Hey NotSoSmart get back in your jail cell stupid ! that’s why it’s a stupid jail cell. there’s nothing wrong with being stupid. which is good because you are stupid

  • .... January 4, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Bryan. this is without a doubt an article containing absolutely nothing about anything and it’s nothing but unsubstantiated B.S. plain and simple . Nuff Said

  • 42214 January 4, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Sounds like a good use of gov’t snipers in this case to put an end to this BS

    • .... January 5, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Hey 422 that idiot mesadweeb now is using YAWN instead of BITE ME ! Wow isn’t he amazing

      • ladybugavenger January 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        Yawn……hey that’s from Dexter aka “….”

        • .... January 5, 2016 at 10:47 pm

          Hey check out my brand new ladybug ‘ yawn ‘ T Shirt. !! Woooohoooooo Just go to
          #buythisshirtorgetsmackedinthehead .com

  • dguble20 January 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Great read this is very well put some times you have to read between the bs to find the true facts about anything this is a good heads up to people that just believe anything they are told.

  • Bender January 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Didn’t read your article Brian but knowing your sympathy for the libertarian worldview, thought you might like to help out your fellow “bros”. Check out their plea for help below:
    .
    http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/oregon-terrorists-dont-plan-siege-very-well-put-out-plea-for-snacks-and-supplies–ZJglh9sRjx

  • Bender January 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Also Brian, here is your church’s view on the matter:
    .
    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-responds-to-inquiries-regarding-oregon-armed-occupation

  • anybody home January 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    What’s happening in Oregon? A bunch of armed religious crackpots are spouting the Book of Mormon to justify their actions and have trampled around a place they don’t belong in the name of heaven knows what with Captain Moroni in the lead. What a joke. They’re all criminals and should be in jail as should the Hammonds.

    As for the “we wuz here before the BLM” nearly every family in the west who goes back a few generations in America has ceded land for one reason or another to the government. Including my own family in Oregon. Nobody’s out with guns and spit protesting. I hope the Bundy gang ends up in jail where they belong. As for the Hammonds, they went well beyond arson and at least have the humility to know they should be serving their sentences which is more than we can say of the Bundys. The article here might curl your toes.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/01/04/3735722/meet-the-child-abusing-arsonists-at-the-center-of-the-oregon-militia-standoff/

    All I can say, is get those terrorists out of Oregon!

  • Ellen January 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I agree that there is NO information about what is going on..just a frothing opinion about how we shouldn’t jump to conclusions..I resent your assumption. I did not jump to conclusions. They have taken over a BIRD Sanctuary for Gods sake, to protest the legal incarceration of two men, who, according to what I read set fire to the forest twice and caused a lot of expensive damage not to mention risking the lives of the firefighters. The first judge evidently messed up and they didn’t serve the proper time required by law. and instead of giving them money for appeal, The Bundys took over a government building. How stupid can these media whores be? Evidently pretty stupid ,and you of the press just fall in line and give them pages and pages of publicity as they wave their penis subsititutes about and swear they will die for their right to protest a legal sentence. If they were anything but white entitled assholes they would be dead already. I still think one good drone could settle this madness once and for all

  • voice of reason January 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    It’s also being reported by multiple sources (with pictures and videos) that the criminals who are there are now opening sheds and offices and using government trucks and off road vehicles. These men are not patriots or heroes. They are good for nothing leeches who deserve to be in prison.

  • snap benefits January 4, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    There is an old saying that we might all agree on. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. I do have an opinion on the matter. Feel free to agree or disagree. I have no interest in political parties and the terms liberal and conservative hold little value to me. I don’t feel that protesting the shooting and killing of unarmed black children and men and protesting the arrest of two men convicted of arson is the same thing. The common link between the protests is the use of government policy and how it is used to protect the interest of the people who weld that power. That interest varies from protecting killers to protecting little iddie biddie birds. The people in power feel they are doing the best for the greater good. I don’t care either way all I am trying to say is there is two sides to the coin. There are people in power who are doing the best for their own interest as well.
    And through all this noise thrown out there by people I have not yet heard one rational long term solution to any of the problems. Well maybe I am not looking hard enough like the author suggests. I have no interests in trading in democracy so certain people can make land grabs. I have no interest in trading in state police force either.
    Millions of people out there live in poverty and the great thing about America and the people who live here is that we are willing to help each other out. All you need to do is ask. We pay taxes, we donate money, we donate time, we do so much for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Even if a portion does get absorbed by people who abuse the help we provide the majority does reach the folks who need it. Don’t be so hard on your selves, your doing good things for people. If you don’t like it well, your not a prisoner here feel free to immigrate to Canada and enjoy the health benefits.
    The Bundys have a lot they should be thankful for they have lived a prosperous life because of the hard work they put in, well at least the work there great great kinfolk put in. These guys just happened to be born into the position. The reality is that the control of government power is done at the polls fine folks of America. Obama and the people who support him kicked butts and took names. How does it feel getting your butts kicked by bunch of idiots? Now get back up dust yourselves off and go win an election.
    I do have questions and maybe someone out there can answer it for me. Bundy called for help on his video and made reference to leaders. Who are those leaders? And what do they lead?

  • tcrider January 4, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    what would of happened if these militia morons were muslim or even blacks? this whole thing would of been handled totally different.
    The locals don’t want the bundys or militia there, it seems like the bundys are looking for attention or some kind of welfare case land deal or a free hand out.
    These people have taken over federal property with assault rifles, I hope the government takes action and does not show favor to a bunch of white trash thugs with assault rifles.

  • theone January 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Wow and wow! You conspiracy trolls are alive. Please grow up!

    • .... January 5, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Mesaman will never grow up. he will always be 98 year old cry baby

  • Justthefacts January 5, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Dig in…

    Source: Oregon Farm Bureau

    Northern Ag Network Note: Reading through the comments on this press release from the Oregon Farm Bureau, we can see that there are many unanswered questions and details regarding this case. Listed below are links to additional information. Our question is, did the punishment fit the crime? There does appear to be a history of issues between the BLM, Fish and Wildlife and the Hammonds, but is that justification for being sentenced as terrorists? Let us know what you think.

    See More:

    Federal Double Standards on Fire Liability: On one side you have the US Forest Service whose prescribed burn got out of control and burned 11,000 acres, at least half of which was private ranch land, and it gets declared “No Liability.” On the other side, you have a ranch family who got permission to start a prescribed burn then ended up with jail time when the fire got out of control and burned 140 acres of federal land. How exactly does that work?

    Hammonds’ range fire prosecution: a deeper look: by the Western Livestock Journal gives a good overview of the case, and looks more in depth into the terrorism charges.

    Oregon ranchers charged with arson and threats: A good high level overview of the case by the Associated Press and non-agriculture news source Although it mentions that there were other fires involved, it neglects to mention which one they were found not guilty of including the 46,000 acre fire referenced in several comments.

    Dwight Hammond and Steven Hammond vs. United States of America: The Supreme Court appeals briefing filed on behalf of the Hammonds. Outlines the charges and sentencing for the whole case.

    Ranchers arrested at wildlife refuge: This article by the High Country News was published in 1994 and helps establish the long running issues between the Hammonds and public land administration.

  • Justthefacts January 5, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Here’s the judge that sent them back to prison.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Ann_Aiken

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