By ann summers
The Oregon Bird Sanctuary Siege continues and Fluffy Unicorn remains in charge despite being surrounded by Federal minions. The question the militant group now asks is whether they should be treated like Rosa Parks even though they are armed with assault rifles and snacks. Liberating public land for private ownership and exploitation is a recurring Western theme with some interesting questions related to the 19th Century demography of the United States. Counterfactual history will be taking a beating over the coming week(s).
There is no truth to the rumor that the Unicornists will demand that they be designated a tribally based self-governing homeland called bantustan, although it now seems possible that for the Department of Homeland Security the Bush 43 administration had the South African definition of homeland in mind.
On a related development there is no truth to the rumor that the occupiers will be submitting to DNA testing or subscribing to Ancestry to determine their eligibility for oppressed status. Apparently, essentialist philosophies will also be taking a beating in the coming weeks.
And despite the presence of many F-150 pickups, the Rolls Royce of American trucks, there are less than 93, quashing any rumors of the occupiers’ fealty to the Rancho Rajneesh
The occupation reached a fifth day Wednesday with no end in sight to the conflict that started as a peaceful protest in support of two local ranchers sent to prison for setting fires on federal land. Bundy, (son of ) a Nevada rancher, and more than a dozen supporters took over a bunkhouse and say they won’t leave until Dwight and Steven Hammond are freed from federal prison.
Bundy also wants federally owned land in Harney County returned to the people who live there, saying his group was sifting through property records to find instances of federal officials seizing land from private owners.
Earlier Wednesday, Bundy compared the ranchers’ occupation of the refuge to the civil rights battle waged by Rosa Parks.
“We are doing the same thing as Rosa Parks did,” Bundy tweeted. “We are standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom.”
The term “eminent domain” was taken from the legal treatise De Jure Belli et Pacis, written by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius in 1625, which used the term dominium eminens (Latin for supreme lordship) and described the power as follows:
“… The property of subjects is under the eminent domain of the state, so that the state or he who acts for it may use and even alienate and destroy such property, not only in the case of extreme necessity, in which even private persons have a right over the property of others, but for ends of public utility, to which ends those who founded civil society must be supposed to have intended that private ends should give way. But it is to be added that when this is done the state is bound to make good the loss to those who lose their property.”
Some U.S. states use the term appropriation (New York) or “expropriation” (Louisiana) as synonyms for the exercise of eminent domain powers.
It seems to me that this crowd’s actions came under the Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C. § 1951) the moment they issued their demands to the government at gunpoint. They demanded that Federal prisoners be set free, and that a government game preserve be turned over to “the people.” They seemed to neglect the fact that in law, the government IS the people. I get the idea that by “the people,” they must have meant themselves. That is extortion.
A Federal felony conviction means they will no longer be allowed to own firearms, or have firearms in their homes. That will cool their jets considerably. I guess they will have to make do with slingshots or bows and arrows.
Hmmm…. Rosa Parks with an assault rifle. That’s interesting. I don’t think we can just dismiss that out of hand.
But back to my main point. Sure, you can make the argument they are fluffy unicorns. But I think careful scrutiny will demonstrate that are each and everyone unique snow flakes.
Sometimes the actions of some of the denizens of my adopted land truly alarm me. I am trying to estimate just how long the British Government would have allowed this to state of armed rebellion to continue anywhere on its territory. It is a complex calculation involving the cruising speed Augusta-Bell A109 helicopters carrying SAS troopers…..but measure it in hours!
These crooks should be joining their arsonist friends in prison.
That would make martyrs out of them, as happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco. The Feds learned from that, and are playing a more subtle game. Call them what they are. They are not protesters, but domestic terrorists. They will tire of playing the victim game eventually if there is no reward. Combine that with a high plains winter, and they will go home soon enough. Pick them up at the barber shop, the feed store, or at The IHOP. One at a time, with no cameras nearby for them to play to with the drama queen bit.
I see that one of their number took some the funds raised for them by donations, is staying at a motel in town, and went on a drinking binge. That is sure to win him the Miss Popularity contest with the group. Not!
Take it to the bank. Do you think my idea of a Hobbs Act violation will fly, or should it be some other charge(s)?