Absolute power is not easily tamed. This is apparent when contemplating the life of LaVoy Finicum.
Finicum was father to 11 children and a veritable host of grandchildren. He was a faithful defender of individual liberty and our constitutionally limited federal government. Finicum was killed during a confrontation with FBI and state police on a lonely stretch of highway between Burns and John Day, last Tuesday.
The current information black-out is troubling because we are purposefully kept in the dark and find ourselves trapped in the web of manufactured information. The best way to quell the clamor about the unjustified taking of an innocent human life is to show the public the contrary evidence. We see daily video of drone strikes in Syria and police stops in Tallahassee, are you telling me the FBI doesn’t own any video-cams?
[Addendum: Here's an edited version released by the FBI that was taken from a helicopter or drone. There are still no video sources from a chest or body cam that shows the shooter's perspective.]
The anger buried in the cat-calls for “aggressive action” against the protestors has been fulfilled. This is what I find most distasteful and dreadfully shocking. Last week, popular TV host, Montel Williams felt free to suggest, “a bunch of undereducated terrorist buffoons” should be stopped by “a massive use of deadly force.”
Montel got his wish.
Media outlets foment these reactions by continually headlining that the protestors are “armed occupiers.” If every American has a right to carry a firearm, then why does this sound so threatening? If this is a guaranteed ‘right’ than is it any different from exercising your freedom of the press or the ability to speak your mind?
Patrick Henry asked the same question during the constitutional convention, “Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?”
Under the Obama administration the Department of Homeland Security purchased over 2.1 billion rounds of ammunition between mid-2012 and mid-2015. That’s enough ammo to kill around 30% of the world’s population, or shoot every man, women and child in American with 6 bullets each and have a quarter of million rounds left-over.
Enormous government stockpiles like these pose a direct threat to the sovereignty of all fifty states and our individual liberty and freedom.
Another self-perpetuating falsehood comes from the typical “on-the-street” interview. In these well-crafted interviews, we hear from people who are concerned about, 1) the costs of the occupation, or, 2) the safety of families and children in the area.
These concerns should be legitimate, but the real world tells us differently.
If anyone (including our elected Congress-persons) sincerely cared about unnecessary taxpayer burdens, then why do budget deficits go unchallenged. Our federal government is fast rolling towards $20 trillion in immediate debt with unfunded liabilities estimated to be $200 trillion.
The costs associated with closing the schools resulted from an unnecessary political gesture. All of the schools in Harney County are nearly 40 miles from the actual protest at the Wildlife Refuge.
News stories rarely relate size and distance of the land resources in Oregon’s Eastern Desert. Harney County, encompasses more than 10,000 sq. miles, which is more land than the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware. In this single county, the feds control more land than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
Additionally, the population totals for those three states approaches 5.5 million souls, while across the same square mileage in Harney County there are just over 7,000 people.
The protestors at the refuge are not terrorists but they are desperately trying to make a point.
Protestors in the 1960’s and 70’s didn’t think their voices would be heard if they played by the rules. Their method was to break rules, windows, and set things on fire. Bundy’s group has not turned and burned any police, sheriff, BLM or FBI vehicles, nor have they broken any windows.
The protestors of the 70’s included Former Attorney General Eric Holder who participated in a five-day armed occupation of a Naval ROTC building at Columbia University. Holder was a leader in the Student Afro-American Society (SAAS), which demanded renaming the office to the “Malcolm X Lounge.” The group insisted, the change would, “honor… a man who recognized the importance of territory as a basis for nationhood.”
During the 60's and 70's protests like these were fairly common. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) were known to provoke fights and the Black Panthers frequently demonstrated with firearms. The American Indian Movement, even joined in with a 71-day armed standoff at Wounded Knee during which they actually exchanged gunfire with the FBI.
These examples all boil down to the same issues which haunted the authors of the Boston Pamphlet (1772). They highlighted the absurdity of supposing that "the Power of one or any Number of Men," could usurp the "essential natural Rights or the Means of preserving those Rights," when the entire purpose of civil government was "the Support, Protection and Defense of those very Rights: The principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property."
These colonial rebels, during the late 1700’s, led the noble cause that created the freest nation on planet earth. They identified the same political rhetoric we see today.
Our public blindness to our nation’s principles for Liberty, allows the potential for unscrupulous men, in high government offices to abuse their proper authority and yet remain immune from the “Rule of Law.” This will be our most formidable obstacle as we work to secure Liberty for our posterity.
“The [Protestors] have been branded with the odious Names of Traitors and Rebels, only for complaining of their Grievances. How long such Treatment will or ought to be borne is [the question] submitted.” – The Boston Pamphlet (1772)