Monday, February 20, 2017

               The Trials Continue In Oregon and Nevada

      Federal Prosecutors In Oregon Get Help From The New Attorney General

                                        The Arguments In The Nevada Trial

               A jury was picked in Portland last week, 12 jurors and 4 alternates to hear the charges against the four defendants in the second Oregon Standoff trial.

               Unlike the first trial, more than felony charges are on the table.   Misdemeanors have been attached to the felonies and they will be decided by Federal District Judge Anna Brown, not a jury.

               The opening arguments begin Tuesday February 21st at 10am.

                Federal prosecutors want to use "evidence" they didn't in the first trial.    Last week they asked the new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to give them permission to subpoena former Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter John Sepulvado.

                Sepulvado interviewed Ryan Bundy for a Jan. 9, 2016 broadcast and with both Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy set to testify for the defense bringing the reporter in to tesify may be designed to hurt the defense case and convey the notion of a violent, extreme protest going on last year.

                Sessions granted permission for the subpoena to be issued.  There are concerns about the reporter being forced to reveal notes about his work or offer opinions about his interview.   The state of Oregon has a shield law for journalists.   There is no federal law to shield journalists.

                Meanwhile there's a trial of six men going on in Nevada, the first of three for numerous men accused in the Bunkerville Standoff near Bundy Ranch in April 2014,

                Federal prosecutors began to make their case last week depicting the protesters as threatening, menacing and intimidating.

                The defense counters that the protesters came there to help the Bundy's get their cattle back, exercising their First and Second Amendment rights.

                 A video has been released as trial began, showing aggressive actions of Bureau of Land Management agents against Ammon Bundy and others during the standoff.   Body cam video with angry comments from federal agents is also part of the 30 minute video.

                On the Saturday morning when the cattle were returned to the Bundy's, the prosecutors say the protesters were threatening but the defense says they came there with the understanding that a peaceful transfer of the cattle was taking place, only to find BLM agents raising their weapons at the protesters.

                Outside the federal courthouse in Las Vegas last week a supporter of those on trial, Gavin Seim, was attacked when a man named Doug Knowles tried to jerk Seim's camera around as he was sending out a live video report.

                Knowles is associated with a group known as "The Oath" who claim to care about the Oregon and Nevada cases but end up attacking people who support the accused like Gain Seim, Kelli Stewart, John Lamb and others.

                The activity of Mr. Knowles reminds me of thugs in a totalitarian state like Venezuela where red shirted thugs have routinely harassed opposition protesters for a decade or more.

                Last week President Donald Trump met with the wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition  leader Leopoldo Lopez.    Trump sent out a tweet that included himself, VP Mike Pence and Senator Marco Rubio pictured with Lillian Tintori.  The president called for the release of Lopez from jail.

               It was a good thing Mr. Trump did, but there are good things to be done in this country regarding those accused in Oregon and those accused and imprisoned in Nevada, including Jerry DeLemus,   DeLemus was the co-chair of Veterans for Trump during the New Hampshire primary last year, now he's jailed in connection with the standoff at Bunkerville in 2014.

              Mr. Sessions involvement in backing up the prosecutors last week does not send a good sign about the direction of the Trump Administration in these cases.

               It has been pointed out that pardons and so on can't be granted until after convictions in court and so on.  One thing clearly within President Trump's authority right now would be action regarding the Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, sitting in a federal prison for over a year now.   They were sent back there to serve  five year mandatory sentences as terrorists.  Their crime was setting a backfire to protect their land.

               The Hammond's were the reason for the Oregon Standoff protest last year.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

                 More Reflections on the Oregon Standoff

                     The Oregon Standoff was led by a man described as 'charismatic' by those who had contact with him during the time of the protest and before it.     Ammon Bundy said he took his stand to 'love thy neighbor' as in the Hammonds.   Dwight and Stephen Hammond were jailed as terrorists for a second time by the federal government because of a backfire they used to protect their land from a brush fire.

                     Bundy cited Dr. Martin Luther King as an example for his protest.   When he was arrested, no weapons were found on Bundy.  He never carried a weapon during the protest.  

                      When one reflects on the end of the Oregon Standoff and the days leading up to it one recalls the 'leadership' of David Fry, inspired by his relationship with LaVoy Finicum.   David stepped up to the plate with his ability to use the latest technology and keep the protest alive in spite of FBI attempts to shut it down.

                      David communicated with Gavin Seim, an activist I've come to appreciate in the last year, a modern day "John the Baptist" stirring up a ruckus that may lead him down the same pathway the original one in the Good Book did.    

                      Crazy people you say.   Martin Luther King had 'crazy people' around him, people like Bayard Rustin and Jack ("Hunter Pitts") O'Dell.  Men reviled as Communists,  Rustin derided for his sexuality.   He was arrested for 'cruising' a mens room.

                       Dr. King himself had 'issues' like his patronizing of members of the world's 'oldest profession' (two at a time).  But you know, what makes Martin Luther King a great man in my humble opinion was his refusal to patronize the members of  what Ronald Reagan characterized at  'the second oldest profession profession in the world ' that 'bears a close resemblance to the first'.

                       King gave politicians no quarter.  He wanted more than speeches from them.  His actions at Birmingham in the spring of 1963 changed the course of history and made him an enemy of politicians, even as many rushed to honor him or get their picture taken with him.

                       When John F. Kennedy's widow referred to MLK as a 'despicable man' who 'arranged for orgies' in an early 1964 recorded interview she was listing the enemies of her husband, those she suspected of being behind his death.

                       Ammon Bundy launched a protest in Oregon on January 2nd, 2016 that would be objected to by politicians of both major political parties.   All Republican presidential candidates called for it to end.

                       Joining in that chorus of opposition were the III Percenters-Oath Keepers-Pacific Patriots Network organizations but they did some strange things like  show up at the protest heavily armed.

                       Ammon Bundy asked them to leave and they set up a "perimeter" which they promptly abandoned right at the moment of the FBI ambush on January 26th almost abandoning their positions with perfect timing you might say to allow the FBI side to move into them.

                       Lets get back to David Fry, a man who looked strange because of his mixed race parentage (his mother is Japanese) and who can honestly be said to have 'issues'.    His internet postings before and after the protest and  his jailing as well as his suicide threat as the FBI siege ended and David was ready to come out.

                       One thing was clear, though.   David saw the protest as being in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, a non violent action.   This was revealed during the trial and David Fry communicated his non violent intentions when he contacted Gavin Seim to literally 'get the truth out' in the face of the Pacific Patriots Network allegation that David and the other three protesters left were intent on violence.

                      David's message was clear to Gavin,  "PPN is compromised".

                       They were compromised.  FBI informants?????  Maybe some but my sense of that crowd that echoed the GOP presidential candidates in opposition to the protest was that they were 'fronting' for political purposes associated with the Republican Party.

                      Conservative, Patriot artificial turf.

                      As one who sees the Republicans as the party of fake Conservatism and the Democrats as the party of fake Progressivism with both just tools of the big corporations and banks and their desire for a world economic-political system,  that is my sense of them.

                      The Uniparty I call them, the Globalists they are called, too.  My vote for Donald Trump was based on my sense he was not 'one of them' but beyond him our political system is pathetic begging for a third party that means it on issues and isn't faking it like R's and D's.  God as I understand God is better than our pathetic cadre of elected officials 99 plus percent of them.   That is great comfort in the midst of this insanity.

                     I was really impressed when I heard David interviewed online a few days after the FBI siege began when he spoke of 'right wing media' and 'left wing media' arousing anger among people to cause division so the people really running things can get their way.

                     It looks like the Democrats have a cadre of ex-military Progressive, Liberal artificial turf  of their own, those veterans including Representative Tulsi Gabbard who pledged to protect protesters in North Dakota opposing the DAPL pipeline.    They were AWOL when the federal, state and local authorities moved in on the Leftist protest camp last week.

                     Getting back to Oregon, I really appreciate the work Gavin Seim did online as witnessed by hundreds of thousands, if not millions when the FBI launched its aggressive, tough guy assault on David and the other three protesters camped in the parking lot.

                      The whole episode reminded us again who the militants were, who those with violent intentions were during the Oregon Standoff and it was not Ammon Bundy and those the federal government deemed 'leaders' of the protest at their trial including David Fry.

                       Their acquittal by a jury of their peers on felony charges spoke volumes of truth about this protest ignored by the federal government, government and law enforcement in general, political activists under the influence of the major political parties and the media serving the interests of the above mentioned Uniparties.

                       Any future protest must be in the 'tradition' of Birmingham in 1963, a protest planned beyond the earshot and knowledge of informants, a protest not influenced or subordinated to the interests of a major political party or its operatives-front groups who claim to be 'on your side'.

                        Even more importantly a protest in a spirit of peace and serenity, sanity and sobriety.
                        A protest that is focused on 'loving thy neighbor' as Ammon Bundy put it.   May God help those who find themselves to be the future Ammon Bundy's, Lavoy Fincicum's, David Fry's etc. etc. etc.