DAILYKENN.com -- Got out my crystal ball this morning.
It says the media will soon be spinning the standoff in Burns, Ore. between patriots and the government as a matter of racism.
My crystal ball is accurate with a .0001% error rate.
Earlier it predicted the media would refer to the patriots as anti-government.
At issue are Hammon family members who withstood an effort of the federal government bureaucrats to micromanage land.
Arrested are Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., 73, and his son, Steven Dwight Hammond, 46, who are scheduled to begin a 5-year prison sentence tomorrow (Jan. 4, 2016).
In a show of support member of another family — the Bundy's — showed up with militia members to occupy a government building on a wildlife refuge.
How do the media know they are racists?
a. Protesters are carrying Don't Tread On Me flags, property called The Gadsden Flag.
b. They are white.
c. They don't cotton to the government micromanaging their lives.
Behind it all?
In the 1870 settlers began ranching The Harney Basin where they developed an irrigation system without help of the federal government.
In 1908 Theodore "Hasten forward quickly there" Roosevelt, a noted conservationist and failed rancher, designated surrounding land an Indian reservation. No Indians show up, but migrating birds found it a preferred stopping point.
The government decided it would make a better wildlife refuge than Indian reservation.
In 1964 the Hammonds joined the birds, purchasing a ranch in the basin. The purchase including grazing rights on government land.
In the 1970s the government began using strong-arm tactics to bully ranch owners to sell out to the feds. It began micromanaging the land. The government revoked most grazing permits, raised grazing fees, and nationalized the irrigation system built by ranchers. The government apparently used the birds as their excuse for the land grab, stating that grazing was detrimental to wildlife.
While many ranchers were forced to sell out to the government, a few refused to be bullied. The Hammonds, whose property was surrounded by the wildlife preserve, were among those who stood their ground.
In the 1980s the government intentionally diverted irrigation water, flooding many of the remaining ranches, placing them at the bottom of a lake. After suffering huge losses many ranchers sold their under-water ranches to the government. The water receded.
By the 1990s there were few ranchers left in the area. Among them were the Bundys and Hammonds. Research by Susie Hammond exposed the government's ruse when her findings revealed that government mismanagement of the land it had effectively stolen from property owners was detrimental to wildlife. Wildlife on private property, on the other hand, was thriving. That ticked off the feds.
The government also restricted access to parts of the Hammond land, prohibiting them from using it and a road that bypassed the restricted area leading to their upper property. When that effort failed, the feds simply revoked their grazing rights to their upper property. The Hammond property was effectively cut in half.
In 2001 the Hammonds performed a prescribed burn, a method used by Indians to prevent lightening fires. The burn affected a tract of government land. The Hammonds extinguished the fire. Charges were filed in 2006 against Dwight and Steven Hammond after they started another managed backfire, but the county attorney dropped the charges as groundless.
The home of Dwight and Susan Hammond was raided by federal agents.
In 2011 the fed applied the Federal Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 to charge the Hammonds with terrorism. Mug shots were taken. Dwight and Steven were labeled as "arsonists." They faced a penalty of five years to death.
During the ensuing trial numerous irregularities occurred favoring the prosecution. A jury found Dwight and Steven guilty of terrorism relating to the fires in 2001 and 2006. In addition to a $400,000 fine payable to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, Dwight was sentenced to 3 months in federal prison and Steven (son) to 12 months. The Hammonds served their time.
The Field Manager for the BLM, Rhonda Karges, and husband Chad Karges, who is Refuge Manager for the Malheur Wildlife Refuge (surrounding the Hammond ranch), filed an appeal along with a lawyer demanding the Hammonds serve a full five-year term.
The men were resentenced.
74-year-old Dwight Hammond will be torn away from his wife of 55 years and, assuming he lives out his term, will be 79 upon release. Son Steven, age 46, is being forced away from his wife and three children.
The sentencing begins January 4, 2016.
Meanwhile, Christians who own bakeries in Oregon are being persecuted and prosecuted for exercising their freedom of religion.
For a detailed background of the standoff, click here ►
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