Saturday, January 30, 2016

Let's try "Peaceful Resistance"

I have a suggestion for all the "militia" leaders out there.
We know that there will be more Federal landgrabs in our future; this one for instance:

and there will be times when other citizens will be needed to try and protect people from this out of control Federal Government. The events in Harney County, Oregon have shown us that our current methods are not the best.

Forcing the Government to back down is not an easy task. They backed down at Bundy Ranch last year simply because They were outgunned and outnumbered at the time and decided to back down instead of calling in hundreds more agents for a pitched battle. At Bundy Ranch, the combination of helpful media; Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others, and the overwhelming armed force presented at Bundy's made Them step back and reconsider. The illegal actions of the BLM were obvious and well documented so They backed off. It could just as easily have gone the other way if the BLM hadn't done such stupid things that were presented to the public via internet.
However, the situation in Oregon didn't go the right way. The press kept harping on the "armed militants" angle. I think it likely that the Feds learned from the Bundy ranch and changed Their tactics, getting the support They needed from Their pets in the media; thus gaining a large part of the public support They need in order to do what They do.
So, we need to learn also.
The situation in Burns was supposed to be an effort to protect the Hammonds from Federal assault. Somehow, that vision was lost by a few of the protesters and it turned into a mess. I could never see how the occupation of a remote Federal facility would keep the Hammonds out of jail. In their case, I think the best help would have been providing them funds for a good attorney.
Anyway, I believe I have a way for us to very effectively stop the Feds in their tracks and make them replan again.
Four "teams" or groups at a protest.
The largest group are UNARMED protesters who are prepared to accept arrest and jail. Unarmed. Did I mention that? Unarmed. If you don't have the guts to face Federal Troops while you are unarmed and unable to fight back then stay home. We need courage, not violence. Any idiot can pull a trigger. Can you do what this man did?

A team of videographers who will NOT be directly involved in the protest actions. Their job is to video everything that is happening and get it to their subteam, a group with wireless access to the active cameras and internet access, so pertinent video can be uploaded at almost real time to the internet for all to see. In addition, some of the videographers, if internet is available to them, could be uploading to places like Ustream in real time.
A team of Lawyers, ready to work for all those arrested at the protest.
If this is a longterm kind of thing, like Bundy's was, a support team; cooks, laundry, computer support and that kind of thing.
The protesters Do Not Fight with the police. They resist. There is a difference between fighting and resisting. For instance, let's use the Hammond situation. There were 300 protesters there who could have ringed the house, sat on the ground with linked arms and not allowed the Hammonds to be taken to prison. No punching, kicking or other kinds of assault towards any officer. Just don't let Them handcuff you. Make Them do stupid things, all on camera, so the American citizens can all be witnesses to illegal government action.
When people are arrested, their attorneys are waiting for them at the jail. The court system is innundated with 300 arrests, the jails are too full to handle it and it's all on the national news. And no one could be painted as a redneck gunnut who is just spoiling for a fight. Also, it's unlikely that anyone is arrested for a felony.
This kind of peaceful resistance worked in the 60s to help end the Vietnam War. It worked for Ghandi. All that Government Police understand is direct action...violence. The American people don't want to see that from either side.
 We need this:
Not this. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

FBI releases some video

Here is video, released by the FBI, of the stop, pursuit and, in my opinion, murder of Lavoy Finicum.

Someone dubbed the audio testimony of Victoria Sharp over this video and it obviously corroborates what she has to say.

At , you can read the FBI Agent's statement about this incident.  The only thing he really says differently from Victoria is that she claims there were multiple shots at the vehicle and he doesn't.  It would be nice to see the vehicle before it gets fixed up.

So, let's examine what Victoria tells us.  She says that, at the first traffic stop, the police shot at Ryan Payne without provocation but missed.  This caused fear in those left in the vehicle and Finicum drove away, not knowing he was headed into a roadblock.  Police were firing indiscriminately at the vehicle, knowing full well that the road was blocked ahead and knowing that there were non-combatants in the vehicle.

Once LaVoy drove off the road, he got out of the vehicle with his hands in the air.  At one point, as he's staggering through knee deep snow, he drops his hands towards his body.  At that point, for sure, he's shot by at least two officers, one in front and one behind and he goes down.  Then, still without any attack from the suspects, the police begin firing at the vehicle again.  We see flash-bangs going off and if you watch closely you'll see at least one passenger side window blown out.  All this with no firing from the vehicle towards the officers.

Much of my own police training was in the use of force and especially the use of deadly force.  To deploy deadly force...shoot someone...that suspect had to have three things:  the ability to cause me or someone grievous bodily harm or death.   The opportunity to cause that harm or death and he had to place someone in jeopardy of grievous harm or death.  It's not that complicated.  He's carrying a pistol.  Ability.  His possible victim is in range of that weapon and the weapon has been deployed...taken out of the holster.  Opportunity.  But, if he never raises the weapon to shoot, he has NOT placed anyone in jeopardy and so, deadly force cannot legally be used.  Let's be clear here.  Contrary to the hopes and prayers of most Liberals, simply possessing a firearm is NOT a capital offense.  If the weapon was under his jacket he could be charged with a misdemeanor for Carrying a Concealed Weapon but even that is not justification for summary execution.

So, let's give the police the benefit of the doubt here.  Let's say that he WAS reaching for his weapon; not reacting to multiple body hits or just opening his jacket to show them where his weapon was.  Let's pretend he was reaching for it.  Ability is there and he's working on opportunity.  Still hasn't put anyone in jeopardy yet.  Since half the state and federal cops in Oregon had their sights on him at the time, prudent officers, who cared about the law, would have let him fully commit and get his weapon up before they all blasted him out of his shoes.  So, just using this video as evidence, if I were on the shooting board, I would vote that the shooting was unjustified; i.e. Murder.  Guess it's a good thing for them that they'll be investigating themselves, huh?

As to opening fire on a vehicle full of unidentified and non-combatant people; well, there is NO justification for that.  Simple attempted Murder and in one case, Ryan Bundy, felony assault as he was hit by shrapnel and slightly wounded.

Whatever their actual goals were in this stop, these were some of the sloppiest cops in existence.  If they wanted to make some arrests with as little violence as possible; the stated and laudable goal, then they obviously screwed that up bigtime!  If they were planning to execute Finicum and Bundy and eliminate the witnesses, which I don't believe for a minute, they blew that, too, by leaving everyone but Finicum alive. 

In my opinion, based on this video and my former training and experience, no law enforcement agent at that roadblock, state or federal, who fired their weapon, has any business remaining in law enforcement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The murder of a non-aggressive rancher in Oregon yesterday is a profound incident in our nation today. It isn't getting the media attention it deserves because it paints our all-powerful Federal Government in a bad light.

"They" are showing us that They can do whatever They want. The Mainstream media reports what they are told to and the Fed Police can do as They like. One of those arrested was Peter Santilli. Was he an armed protester? Was he one of those occupying the Fed property? No. He was an "Alternative Media" reporter. As in, not Mainstream Media but someone who reports what is happening, not just what the Fed tells him to report. Result? He's in jail now too. Doesn't this make you go...Hmmmmm?

I agree with the underlying issue that the "Bundy" group was protesting; unconstitutional Federal Land Grabs and the peripheral issue of the unfair imprisonment of the Hammonds. I never thought the takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge buildings was a good idea. I thought it took attention away from the Hammonds. On the other hand, it DID bring the situation to National attention.

But, the occupation of the Federal facility and the rhetoric involved is not the issue we should focus on today. The problem that should be at the forefront of National attention is the outright murder of a good man.

LaVoy Finnicum was not a known criminal with a long rap sheet and multiple convictions. He was a Rancher, husband and father with no criminal record. He was not fighting with police at the time of his murder, nor did he threaten them in any way. LaVoy Finnicum was truly a "Hands up, don't shoot" situation and he was gunned down, for no reason, by Federal troops at what amounted to a traffic stop.

Victoria Sharp was in the car that Finnicum was driving and she says that none of the occupants of the car even touched their weapons during the encounter. None were carrying "long guns" and none tried to "shoot it out" with the Feds. One of the things she says really struck me. Ryan Bundy, with his hands out of the car window, made his head visible while trying to talk with the Feds. Without provocation, They shot at him but missed. Anybody heard of Ruby Ridge? Anyway, here's Ms. Sharp's story:

Here are some other websites with some additional info:

My understanding is that the Grant county Sheriff, Glenn Palmer, has expressed his opinion that this should be handled by local Law Enforcement and not the Federal force. With that, I would wholeheartedly agree.

What I would like to see happen now is for the Oregon Sheriff's Association all get together and take over the handling of this. Let the Oregon Sheriff's, who actually have jurisdiction, make this a local issue and get the Feds out of it.

For one thing, who investigates yesterday's murder? Do the Feds now investigate themselves and find it justified? The local Harney County Sheriff, David Ward, should be handling this whole thing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I'm back again

Let's get this show back on the road!! I've kind of gotten used to doing my writing on Facebook as it's so easy there to make contact with so many people at once. But I'm planning to get back into keeping up this blogsite again.

As I look through the last few posts, I like what I was posting before and have every intention of doing essentially the same things.

I'll be posting opinions of current events, interesting stories I've heard or experienced, travels and travails as they happen and just basic "stuff".

Comments are welcome and I will allow negative comments, if presented with taste and respect. Remember, I'm an old fashioned "Old Guy" and not thrilled with profanity nor am I willing to give a forum to someone who is abusive or combative. I'll be doing my best to not insult the readers, although I know my opinions will likely offend some. There is a difference.

I'm also willing to entertain the idea of presenting posts from others who have things they want to say. Just e-mail me your proposed post to and I'll look it over.

Things you've seen or done out there in the world. Reports of Cowboy or Western shows or gatherings. Reports of pool tournaments or even good matches you have watched or in which you have participated. Anything like that expands the view from here and gets more content available to those who read this. Pictures are always good.

Lets have some fun. Let's be entertaining, informative and even a little controversial.