Due Process? (on the Standoff Between the BLM and Miners in Southern Oregon)
(Federal "agents" during the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada.)
Well, it appears the U.S. Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is at it again in a Bundy Ranch style standoff with small-scale gold miners in southern Oregon. I've said again and again here in Bedrock Dreams that our mining (and personal) freedoms are being gradually whittled away and the current situation in Oregon seems to drive this point home with even greater emphasis.
Essentially, here's what's happening. The BLM is doing it damnedest to force small-scale gold miners near Grants Pass, Oregon off a legal claim (the Sugar Pine Mine) that has been worked for nearly 140 years now. Unsubstantiated reports state that certain "representatives" of the BLM have threatened to burn down buildings on the claim if the miners don't vacate the site. Evidently, militiamen and women from various parts of the U.S. have been apprised of the situation near Grants Pass and have been asked to ensure that due process is upheld and, if necessary, to counter any assault by the Feds on the miners.
Ruby Ridge and Waco
Due process? Let me ask you this question. Since when has the Federal government been committed to due process? I'm reminded here of the 1992 Ruby Ridge Incident where a number of Federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and the U.S. Marshal's Service closed in on Randy Weaver and his family in a remote area of northern Idaho. Yes, Weaver and his wife were survivalists who believed an imminent apocalypse was near and Randy may have had a very loose connection to the Aryan Nations, but did those things justify shooting 14-year old Sammy Weaver in the back and killing him after the Feds shot the family dog and Sammy defended himself? Or, the death of Weaver's wife who was shot by a FBI sniper while standing on the front porch holding her and Randy's baby in her arms? And what about Waco, Texas when the Feds assaulted David Koresh's compound in 1993 causing the deaths of 76 people, including many women and children? Granted, cult leader Koresh was no shining example to anyone with common sense, but were the Feds justified in doing what they did? Evidently they were in both cases because Federal officials (including then Attorney General Janet Reno) came out pretty much unscathed after all the smoke settled. Not true though of Randy Weaver's family and the innocents who were killed (murdered?) by the Feds at Waco.
(The Weaver family before the Feds shot and killed young Sammy and Mrs. Weaver.)
(Federal armored battering ram and the holocaust that consumed 76 men, women, and children.)
Only Following Orders?
But as usual, I digress. According to the News Network's Gary Franchi, at least one BLM official has openly declared that "He has issues with the U.S. Constitution" after he served a cease and desist order to the Oregon miners. Maybe I'm old school in thought and behavior, but aren't Federal officials sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Fat chance of that these days, methinks. Now I'm not trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater here because I've met and had dealings with BLM workers who were good people just trying to do their jobs and get by like the rest of us. I'm sure the same is true for certain people working under the umbrella of other Fed organizations. But what do you do when the government you work for acts like an oppressor intent on bending its citizens to its will and says the end justifies the means? Do you just say, "I was only following orders?" We heard that excuse for murdering millions from former Nazi war criminals at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials. Here's another question for you right thinkers out there. Who truly holds the high moral ground in these sorts of incidents. The oppressors or the oppressed?
("I vas only following das orders of mein Fuhrer!")
Parrots in Gilded Cages
It's also no surprise to me that the mainstream media has been relatively silent on this situation developing in southern Oregon. It's my belief that the mainstream media these days is composed of little more than parrots in gilded cages squawking out what they are told to squawk by a government that can pull the plug on them any time it cares to. Or alternately, all those talking heads on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, New York Times, etc. are pouring out mindless drivel on the questionable lifestyles and activities of the latest, all-the-rage celebrities because they know the dumbed-down masses out there will lap that mindless crap up like dogs at the dinner bowl. These are the main reasons I DON'T follow the news and am dependent on good people like "Rattlesnake" Jim and "Muskrat" to keep me filled in on the latest happenings out there. If you think I'm hiding my head in the sand because of this, that's OK. My peace of mind is worth more to me than what others think. There it is...
(Gotta love those mainstream media parrots.)
I can only hope that this situation in southern Oregon can be resolved peacefully and, of course, in favor of the miners at the Sugar Pine Mine. That's who I'm rooting for anyway. The Feds? Well, they can kiss my royal red behind if they are truly up to their old tricks again.
What a world we live in these days...(sigh)...
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2015
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org