Cliven Bundy arrested in Portland; four refuge trespassers may surrender this morning

February 11, 2016

Given Cliven Bundy’s arrest in Portland yesterday, there is a reasonable possibility that the 40-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve in eastern Oregon by right wing gun enthusiasts may end peacefully this morning. The four remaining trespassers have been communicating with FBI agents through an intermediary, Nevada lawmaker Michele Fiore. She has been trying prevent a violent shootout with attendant loss of life by giving the trespassers an opportunity to livestream their views to the public via the internet. Their surrender may be imminent, according to media reports published late last night.

Meanwhile FBI agents intercepted and arrested Cliven Bundy in Portland yesterday preventing him from reaching the wildlife refuge.

The four remaining trespassers are between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The FBI is not going to permit them to indefinitely continue their unlawful occupation. Time is running out now that Cliven Bundy is in custody. If they do not surrender peacefully, the FBI will forcibly remove them. Therefore, they need to choose life or death.

It really is that simple.

What did Hillary Clinton tell the Wall Street bankers to earn millions in speaking fees

February 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton has not answered this simple question and her vague promise to look into providing transcripts seemed disingenuous.

Let’s keep it simple.

Difficult to imagine that she has a truthful non-controversial answer, right? If she had a simple answer, she would have given it, right?

The Wall Street sharks didn’t pay her to criticize their predation.

And they invited her to speak more than once.

Absent transcripts that prove otherwise, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that she stroked their egos and encouraged their plans for global domination in partnership with US foreign and military policy.

What else would the former Secretary of State have been expected to say?

What else would be worth that kind of money?

Cliven Bundy wants to join the party

February 5, 2016

Yesterday a federal grand jury indicted the Bundy brothers. The Las Vegas Review Journal reports,

Nevada brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and 14 others have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon.

All 16 defendants — including four protesters still holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns — have been charged with a single felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States.

Both Bundy brothers, the sons of anti-government Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, are being held without bail and face a Feb. 24 arraignment. Authorities consider Ammon Bundy the Oregon takeover’s leader.

The three-page indictment, unsealed in Portland on Thursday, accuses the defendants of conspiring to “prevent by force, intimidation and threats” employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from carrying out their duties at the refuge.

Cliven Bundy apparently wants to join the party. reports,

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy said Monday that the occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge would continue.

In a notarized letter from Clark County, Nevada, Bundy wrote to Harney County Sheriff David Ward that “We the People of Harney County and also We the People of the citizens of the United States DO GIVE NOTICE THAT WE WILL RETAIN POSSESSION OF THE HARNEY COUNTY RESOURCE CENTER. (Malhaur [sic] National Wildlife Refuge).”

The letter was also sent by certified mail to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and President Barack Obama.

“Remove all federal and state policing agents out of Harney County,” Bundy wrote. “Place a Harney County sheriff guard post at the entrance road of the Harney County Resource Center stopping all from entering or exiting, for a time.”

Since a conspiracy consists of agreeing with one or more people to commit a specific crime and then committing an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, I cannot help but conclude that Cliven Bundy’s letter seals the deal for him.

Here’s hoping the government sets another place at the defense table.

Bernie Sanders comes from far back to finish in a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton

February 2, 2016

Last night in Iowa, Bernie Sanders achieved what seemed impossible nine months ago. He overcame Hillary Clinton’s seemingly insurmountable lead and finished in a virtual tie. Something happened on her ‘way to the forum,’ so to speak. He derailed her expected coronation.

Last night, he said,

Iowa, thank you. Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state. We had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America. And tonight, while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie.”

His remarkable achievement in Iowa is even more impressive when one considers that he is a social democrat with virtually no name recognition outside of New England. He financed his campaign with donations that averaged $27. By contrast Hillary Clinton is well known and well financed with a war chest consisting of millions of dollars contributed by wealthy individual donors and corporations.

Here’s the breakdown of who voted for the two candidates. The New Yorker is reporting,

The age gap between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters was huge. According to the entrance polls, which wrongly predicted a Clinton victory, Sanders got eighty-six per cent of the Democratic vote in the seventeen-to-twenty-four age group, eighty-one per cent in the twenty-five-to-twenty-nine group, and sixty-five per cent in the thirty-to-thirty-nine age group. Clinton, by contrast, was largely reliant on the middle-aged and the elderly. Among forty-something voters, she won by five percentage points. Among the over-fifties, she won by more than twenty per cent.

I have been saying for a long time that Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for president from either party who has identified and proposed solutions for the most serious problems that we face. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is literally the establishment candidate who wants to stay the course that has failed to improve the lot of the vanishing middle class. Her foreign policy views are neoconservative and she supports the reprehensible exploitation of natural and human resources by U.S. corporations. Regrettably, she also supports regime change as a means to protect the financial interests of those corporations. In practice, regime change is antidemocratic because it involves destabilizing democratically elected reform-minded governments and replacing them with military dictatorships. For example, think of Honduras which has turned into the murder capitol of Central America after she supported the military coup that replaced the elected civilian government and commenced a war against reform-minded people protesting the loss of their democracy while seeking to protect human rights.

She also supports the policy best described by the expression, “Don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect.” Her willingness to settle for half-a-loaf when policies and priorities need to change dramatically to protect the middle class and rebuild the economy is discouraging. Her cautious approach does not inspire and that is why her support comes from older people.

His attention is on the future. Her attention is on the past.

I endorsed Bernie Sanders long ago and I hope you will vote for him too.

Dildonacht on Highway 35: One dead One wounded

January 27, 2016

Late yesterday afternoon, the FBI and Oregon State Police intercepted a small group of the radical right-wing terrorists, who had taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, as they were driving to John Day, OR to attend a community meeting. Gunshots were exchanged. Robert LaVoy Finnicum, 54. is dead. Ryan Bundy sustained a non life-threatening gunshot wound to his arm. Four others, including his brother Ammon Bundy, were arrested. The other three are Ryan Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah.

The Washington Post is reporting,

A sixth person involved in the occupation, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy of Cottonwood, Ariz., was arrested about an hour and a half after the initial confrontation. Shortly after that, a seventh person — Peter Santilli of Cincinnati, who is known for live streaming refuge events — was arrested in Burns, the seat of Harney County where the refuge is located.

Meanwhile, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, a key leader of the armed occupation, surrendered to police in Arizona on a conspiracy charge Tuesday, the FBI said.

Ritzheimer, who serves as the inspiration for the title, is the man in the video asking people to stop sending sex toys to the wannabe revolutionaries. He also is the guy who organized the armed anti-Muslim rallies in Phoenix, AZ.

Eight people are in federal custody charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

A group of the self-described patriots remains entrenched at the wildlife refuge. The FBI and Oregon State Police are reportedly surrounding the place, possibly with intent to arrest more people. If they are smart, they will surrender. The rest should leave or face arrest and possibly worse.

Later today, possibly this morning, the people in federal custody in Oregon will appear in court for an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge who will review the complaint and attached affidavit regarding the factual basis for probable cause, advise them of their rights, including the right to remain silent and be represented by counsel, and appoint counsel at public expense for those who cannot afford counsel. The judge will find probable cause and all of them will be detained without bail for a detention/preliminary hearing at which time the government will request that they be denied bail pending the outcome of the case. I am expecting that all of them will be detained without bail because they are charged with a crime of violence and they were armed when arrested.

You can reasonably expect that within a month or so a federal grand jury will return an indictment that will include additional charges. The conspiracy charge is just a way to hold them pending the comprehensive indictment coming down the road.

Basically, these defendants buried themselves in a mountain of social-media evidence.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so to speak, U.S. Attorney Bill Williams, Greg Bretzing (the FBI special agent in charge of the case) and Harney County Sheriff David Ward will be holding a news conference this morning.

Schadenfreude in Houston

January 26, 2016

A Houston grand jury convened last year to investigate Planned Parenthood for selling aborted human fetuses for profit concluded its investigation yesterday by indicting David Daleiden, the antiabortion zealot who created the Center for Medical Progress and Sandra Merritt his associate who assisted him in an undercover scheme to videotape Planned Parenthood officials allegedly agreeing to sell fetuses for profit, which is prohibited by law.

The videos were heavily edited.
The grand jury did not indict Planned Parenthood or any of its officials, which is consistent with the organization’s claim that it never sold fetuses for profit. Instead, they donated them to organizations for scientific research charging a minimal fee to cover their costs. The organization has since stopped collecting that fee.

The New York Times is reporting,

The record-tampering charges accused Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt of making and presenting fake California driver’s licenses, with the intent to defraud, for their April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston.

The LA Times is reporting,

He also was indicted on a misdemeanor count that is related to soliciting the purchase of human organs, according to a statement from Harris County Dist. Atty. Devon Anderson (a Republican, I might add, who was appointed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry).

Schadenfreude: a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people. : enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. German, from Schaden damage + Freude joy.

How sweet it is.

Genocide in Flint

January 24, 2016

If you believe that people generally intend the natural and probable consequences of their acts, you have to seriously consider the possibility that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his cohorts intended to commit genocide in Flint.

As anyone who has chemically treated swimming pool water can affirm:

When you add Chlorine (CL) to water (H2O) in order to kill microbes, you create HCL, which is hydrochloric acid. Since it’s not a good idea to go swimming in vats of acid as any damn fool knows, you have to add a base to neutralize the acid. When I managed a couple of public swimming pools back in the 60s, we used to add soda ash to the water to increase the pH to 7.0, which is the neutral balance-point between acid and base.

We checked the pH every hour with a simple portable color-test kit and added soda ash to increase the pH if it were below 7.0. We kept a written record of each hourly result and how much soda ash we added.

When the idiots in Flint decided not to add an anti-corrosive agent (i.e., a base) to the water supply they were disinfecting with chlorine, they converted the water into an acid that caused skin rashes and dissolved the inner surface of the pipes, releasing lead into the water supply.

As Amy Davidson lays out the case against the people who poisoned Flint’s water supply in her New Yorker article, The Contempt That Poisoned Flint’s Water, I cannot help but conclude that they knew what they were doing long before the story broke.

A brilliant neo-nazi type solution to reduce poverty in Flint.

A harsh accusation I realize, but how could Snyder and his cohorts not have known?

Michael Moore accused Snyder of genocide.

He is right, if Snyder is a person who intends the natural and probable consequences of his acts.

A thorough and complete investigation is necessary.


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