Thursday, May 1, 2014

This Will End Badly, and They'll Be Lucky to Live Through it.

Those of you who are unfortunate enough to read my blog regularly will remember this closing statement in my estimation of “la affaire Bundy”. 

But I don’t think that this is over.  I don’t think it is over by a mile.  The first pitched battle was won by the protestors, but the government won’t let this stand.  They CAN’T let it stand.  What message does it send that they can be driven off their own land by armed protestors?  So they’ll be back, and once again in the long history of the west, blood will almost certainly be spilled over grazing rights.  There is nothing new here.  There is nothing new under the sun. 

I stand by my statement even more so now that I see this:  

My constituents have expressed concern that members of these armed militia groups:
1.      Have set up checkpoints where residents are required to prove they live in the area before being allowed to pass;
 2.  Have established a persistent presence along federal highways and state and county roads; 
3. Have established an armed presence in or around community areas including local churches, school, and other community locations.
Emphasis mine.  This is from a letter sent by Representative Steven Horsford to the local Sheriff’s office.  This letter is one of the singularly most ominous things I’ve ever read coming from an elected representative of our good country, because of what it says between the lines. 
What it says is that the federal government is working hard to manufacture a case to go back into Nevada, guns hot, just like I wrote that I feared that they would.  Because they can’t let this stand, folks.  They absolutely, positively can NOT let this stand.  Their arrogance and vanity will not allow for a group of mere peons to run them off their own land, and it is made worse by the fact that, right up until they start shooting, they are 100%, indisputably in the right in this situation. 
The reason that I say “manufacture” is because this letter from this representative is literally the only source of this accusation of militia types setting up checkpoints on the highways.  There is nothing on social media.  Nothing in the blogs.  Not one single annoyed or scared Nevada resident went on their Facebook page and wrote a screed about how they were stopped by a couple of gun-toting Cletii and interrogated about their residency status and asked for their papers.  The people of Nevada would not stand for this.  Someone would have started an incident by now.
Besides, this claim shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the people that we’re dealing with here.  Warren Myers writes about his “ideological Turing test” at his blog, and it is a fantastic point.
This gets me back to the notion I wrote about a while ago about people relying on their allies to tell them everything they need to know about their opponent's position, without ever actually listening to the opponents.
This topic comes up in the blogosphere from time to time, often framed as being able to pass an ideological Turing test.  Can, say, a Republican write a defense of the minimum wage that a reader of the Daily Kos would accept, or will it just come out sounding like a straw man?  
Essentially, he says that unless you can state your opponent’s position in a manner that he would agree with what you said as being his position, that you’re arguing from ignorance.  
I think what we’re seeing here is a leftist attempt to paint these right-wing militia types with the broad brush of their prejudices against conservatives, instead of understanding that these people are not conservatives at all.  The leftists driving this narrative have failed their ideological Turing test because they want to paint these “threepers” and “oath keepers” as their ideal bigoted, racist conservative, making the case that as soon as they get control of an area, they immediately start searching for undocumented brown people, when nothing could be further from the truth. 
This fails to understand that doing so would be a massive violation of several of the BIG TEN Amendments of the Constitution, which would be anathema to these essentially libertarian militia groups.  These are groups that would be more likely to take up arms against the Feds for setting up immigration checkpoints, than they would be to support the Feds doing such a thing, much less do it themselves.  The leftists driving this narrative are failing their ideological Turing test because they cannot even come close to stating their opponent’s position.  They just assume their cartoonish version of “brown people hating” conservatives fits everyone that disagrees with them, and paint them all with that broad brush. 
So as soon as I heard about this checkpoint thing, I smelled a rat. 
There is no evidence at all that this is happening, other than this letter, written by an elected official of our Federal Government. 
In this connected day and age, there would be some other source for this than just this letter.  Someone would have blogged about it.  Local news would have reported it.  Facebook would be alive with it.  SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, would have pitched a fit about this, but when you search it on the internet, you get a big huge pile of nothing (other than links to articles about this letter). 
They are positioning for the final strike.  People are fixing to die over this, and what an absolute travesty that will be: 
All over one racist rancher, with the shittiest understanding of property law that I’ve ever seen, who thinks he should have ownership over his landlord’s property because “reasons,” who managed to convince half the country that he had a valid cause – one worth dying over – and I am still convinced that that is exactly what is fixing to happen.   The Feds are starting to manufacture a case to go back in there, not over cattle, or land, or disputed grazing rights, but over violations of citizen civil liberties, and they will go in loaded for bear.
Men are about to die here.  Pay attention.  This is a very good example of “what not to do.” 
 I can only hope that this time, when the Feds go blazing in and start killing people, that the American Public actually gives a shit this time, instead of yawning and going back to sleep, like they did after Waco and Ruby Ridge. 

Not that these militia folk out there are the poster boys for the cause of freedom, right, and good.  They aren’t.  They are in the wrong, big time.  But they don’t deserve to get killed for it, and I fear that is exactly what’s going to happen.  


  1. Its interesting, in a tragic way, to watch things play out. We all knew this wouldn't end with the Fed pullout, although I was surprised when they blinked. I still stand by my statement, though, that at this point nearly any hat will do. OK and 3% types like Mike Vanderboegh (spelling!) know this, and I expect they are taking steps to mitigate the blowback, but they 've been spoiling for this, just as much as the Feds have been. Bundy (unsurpisingly) came back a little more tarnished than hoped, but the Feds know better than to serve us up a perfect, blameless martyr. After all, many of these folks are political animals to the core, they know how to play the game. I think they're too exposed though- somebody has to realize that, if things go Ukraine or Syria shaped, we have a serious headstart on equipment and resources.

  2. Forgot to hat tip j. Grant over at "failure to fire" for thisdiscussion. He started it over there. I'll fix the lack of attribution as soon as I'm in front of a computer again.