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Old 07-10-18, 09:57 AM
Trump pardons the ranchers who stood up to the government with armed resistance.
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President Donald Trump has pardoned two ranchers whose case sparked the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted in 2012 of intentionally and maliciously setting fires on public lands. The arson crime carried a minimum prison sentence of five years, but a sympathetic federal judge, on his last day before retirement, decided the penalty was too stiff and gave the father and son much lighter prison terms.

Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in October 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum.

The decision sparked a protest from Ammon Bundy and dozens of others, who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the Hammond ranch in southeastern Oregon from Jan. 2 to Feb. 11, 2016, complaining the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach.

The armed occupiers changed the refuge's name to the Harney County Resource Center, reflecting their belief that the federal government has only a very limited right to own property within a state's borders.

Bundy was arrested during a Jan. 26 traffic stop, effectively ending the protest. Another key occupier, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was fatally shot that day by Oregon State Police.

In a statement Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called that decision to resentence the Hammonds "unjust."

"The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West," she said. "Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency."

The pardons are the latest in a growing list of clemency actions by Trump, who has been using his pardon power with increasingly frequency in recent months.

Trump has been especially pleased with news coverage of his actions, which included commuting the sentence of Alice Johnson, a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses whose case had been championed by reality television star Kim Kardashian West.

He has repeatedly referenced emotional video of Johnson being freed from prison and running into her family members' arms, and has said he's considering thousands more cases — both famous and not.

But critics say the president could be ignoring valid claims for clemency as he works outside the typical pardon process, focusing on cases brought to his attention by friends, famous people and conservative media pundits.

Aides say that Trump has been especially drawn to cases in which he believes the prosecution may have been politically motivated — a situation that may remind him of his own position at the center of the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling.

Many have also seen the president as sending a signal with his pardons to former aides and associates caught up in the probe, or lashing out at enemies like former FBI Director James Comey, who oversaw the prosecution of lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, whom Trump has said he is thinking of pardoning.

Trump pardons ranchers in case that inspired 2016 occupation of national wildlife refuge in Oregon - Chicago Tribune
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Old 07-10-18, 12:18 PM
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Bad call. I might have been ok with a commutation of their sentence, but a pardon is outrageous.

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Old 07-10-18, 01:11 PM
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He's trying to win even bigger favor with the anti gov/stand your ground crowd. Wants to be seen as the anti government overstep president even though he craves power.



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Old 07-10-18, 01:43 PM
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This is going to end badly. The Hammomds were arsonists who grazed their cattle illegally on federal land and issued death threats against BLM officials and rangers. The West has a problem with white nationalists, sovereign citizens and other malcontents who fantasize about armed rebellion against the federal government. Luckily, none of them is organized enough to do anything major, but by giving this pardon, Trump has signalled to them that they can challenge the hardworking federal officials at the ground level, the folks who work for BLM and the Forest Service. Mark my words, someone is going to get hurt or worse.

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Old 07-10-18, 01:59 PM
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people already have got hurt or worse. there was an older guy who refused to drop his weapon when he was pulled over and he got shot to death. i remember seeing it on frontline.
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Old 07-10-18, 02:12 PM
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That was an offshoot of the Hammond situation. When the Hammomds were sentenced, the Bundys and their buddies took over the wildlife refuge to protest. A bunch of them tried to run a police roadblock and one of them pulled a gun out and got shot.

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Old 07-11-18, 01:11 AM
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This is going to end badly. The Hammomds were arsonists who grazed their cattle illegally on federal land and issued death threats against BLM officials and rangers. The West has a problem with white nationalists, sovereign citizens and other malcontents who fantasize about armed rebellion against the federal government. Luckily, none of them is organized enough to do anything major, but by giving this pardon, Trump has signalled to them that they can challenge the hardworking federal officials at the ground level, the folks who work for BLM and the Forest Service. Mark my words, someone is going to get hurt or worse.

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Scrum, Here is a counter to the way you are thinking.

One could argue that people like the Hammonds are the type of people who left Britain and formed America, because they didn't like the British government and they wanted absolute freedom. So when you say, "The West has a problem with white nationalists, sovereign citizens......" one could argue that you're saying the West has a problem with behavior consistent of how the west was originally formed/created.
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Old 07-11-18, 01:20 AM
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The West was created by people who slaughtered the Indians and the buffalo and raped the land. Let's be real. The myth and romance of the American West is fiction built on the bloody reality of murder, greed and broken promises.

Getting back to the Hammonds, they wouldn't pay the going rate to graze their cattle on BLM land, a rate that is already a tenth of what private landowners charge. They illegally set fires that burned hundreds of acres of federal land, causing a runaway fire that trapped firefighters and almost caused a major tragedy. They threatened to kill BLM employees and rangers.

They were not exercising their right to live free, or any such romantic bullshit. They were moochers, layabouts and thieves who tried to stiff the American people who are the landowners. They deserved to be in jail.

As an Oregonian, I have followed this stuff closely. I can write and talk extensively about what I think about ranching in the Great Basin if you are interested.

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Old 07-11-18, 01:37 AM
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The West was created by people who slaughtered the Indians and the buffalo and raped the land. Let's be real. The myth and romance of the American West is fiction built on the bloody reality of murder, greed and broken promises.
all true but name 1 society in the history of the world that wasn't created in exactly that same way.
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Old 07-11-18, 02:18 AM
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all true but name 1 society in the history of the world that wasn't created in exactly that same way.
Hey, it was Keiser who was suggesting that what the Hammonds were doing is somehow some kind of Western "yearning to be free" thing.

The reality is a lot more mundane and crass than any such thing.

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Old 07-11-18, 06:59 AM
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Is there a lot of outrage over this locally? Because I'm surprised at how little coverage this is getting nationally.

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Old 07-11-18, 01:44 PM
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Is there a lot of outrage over this locally? Because I'm surprised at how little coverage this is getting nationally.

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Yeah, it got quite a bit of coverage out here. Basically, most people agree that the Hammonds were guilty and deserved jail time, but it was a pretty severe sentence and people were not sure about that.

In the West, most of the land is owned by the federal government, in the form of national forests, BLM land, etc. So, there is always tension on how the land should be used. On the one side, there are the hunters, hikers, etc. who want the land to be conserved. On the other side, there are the ranchers and also the people who want mining, etc., i.e. those who want to exploit the land in some way.

Oregon actually has done a really good job of setting up a dialogue between the fed land managers - the forest rangers, BLM officials, etc. and the people living there. We have come up wtih various agreements on how to balancve conservation and responsible land use. A good example is the lesser sage grouse. It is a bird that lives in the Great Basin and is threatened. The ranchers don't want the Endangered Species Act to kick in because that will force the land to be off limits to them. So, they have done a good job of working with USF&W to use responsible land use practices to ensure that the sage grouse can recover. This is an good example of how cooperation can solve problems before harsh action needs to be taken.

The Bundys came along and messed things up. Everybody here hates them - they are from Nevada and they don't understand all the good work that has happened. They are ideologically against the federal government - they have an alternative interpretation of the Constituttion that insists that the feds cannot own land outside DC - something that has been debunked by the courts over and over. They should just go back to Nevada and stay there.
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Old 07-11-18, 07:47 PM
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i'll have to watch the PBS Frontline episode again to see if i'm misremembering the theme of the episode. i definitely remember coming away with mixed feelings on them but I don't remember the episode painting them in a "bad guy" light so to speak.

here it is if your interested. https://www.pbs.org/video/american-p...201712-fyuhhs/
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Old 07-12-18, 11:27 AM
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Scrum, if the native Americans had guns instead of arrows they would have won and today you’d refer to them as the bad guys for slaughtering some poorer immigrant Europeans looking for a better life.
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Old 07-12-18, 03:45 PM
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I'm not sure where you are going with this.

We are not in the Wild West any more, where federal authority all the way from DC was tenuous at best.

The Hammonds were found guilty of arson on federal lands, endangering the lives of firefighters, issuing death threats to BLM personnel and being scofflaws all the way around. They are not some kind of heroes. Now you can argue whether the prison time they got was too long, but the were guilty as sin. By PARDONING these guys, not commuting their sentence, mind you, Trump has indicated to everyone in the West that they can take the law into their own hands, exploit and misuse public land (that belongs to you and me) with impunity and really run roughshod over the rights of everyone else. Do you know all the shit that went down with the Bundys? Scary stuff.

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Old 07-12-18, 07:48 PM
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I'm not sure where you are going with this.

We are not in the Wild West any more, where federal authority all the way from DC was tenuous at best.
I've moved on from the Hammonds and zero'd in on this statement from you:

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The West was created by people who slaughtered the Indians and the buffalo and raped the land. Let's be real. The myth and romance of the American West is fiction built on the bloody reality of murder, greed and broken promises.
My point is that if the Indians had guns (and lest be honest many of them were savages as well and attacked and raped not only the white man, but rival tribes) they would have won the west and then your position would be that the savage Indians slaughtered innocent, peaceful European immigrants who were simply coming here looking for a better life.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:03 PM
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Let me go back to what you said:

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So when you say, "The West has a problem with white nationalists, sovereign citizens......" one could argue that you're saying the West has a problem with behavior consistent of how the west was originally formed/created.
Yes. The West has a problem with behavior consistent with how the West was originally created. The problem is that it isn't 1818 now, but 2018 and sovereign citizen arguments that claim that the federal government has no authority over Western lands has been rejected by the courts over and over.
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Old 07-13-18, 01:18 AM
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rejected by the courts over and over.
if the courts rejected something you fundamentally disagreed with you wouldn't just say "well if the courts say so I guess it's A okay!"

not defending the bundies. don't care about them one way or another. just pointing out that a courts ruling doesn't change what someone believes is unjust like the bundies do.

For example, if the supreme court rules that abortion is now illegal in all cases no matter what the situation. Me and you would know that's a bunch of horse shit and we would reject them regardless of their ruling. It's what we believe is right versus what they believe is right.

I think the bundies get sympathy because they are seen to have stood up against the "big bad government" for what they believe in and won.
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Old 07-13-18, 11:49 AM
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rejected by the courts over and over.
The courts also recently upheld a travel ban from 6-7 Muslim countries which I don't believe you agree with, right?
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Old 07-13-18, 04:43 PM
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Not sure where this thread is going. Are you seriously suggesting that the federal government is not allowed to own land outside DC? I am talking about a specific thing that has been to be constitutional by the courts and you guys are going off on some kind of whataboutism about unrelated court cases. Every court case is different. Unless you feel that people can take over national parks or trash BLM land without any consequences.

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Old 07-13-18, 04:45 PM
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If you want a serious discussion about land issues in the West, a topic that I am passionate about and have more than a passing level of knowledge about, I'll be happy to engage. Otherwise, I am wasting my time.

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Old 07-14-18, 09:36 AM
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If you want a serious discussion about land issues in the West, a topic that I am passionate about and have more than a passing level of knowledge about, I'll be happy to engage. Otherwise, I am wasting my time.

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it's not strictly about land issues though is it.. this Bundy thing brings up a whole bunch of arguments that tend to tie into other issues in America. particularly the idea that they stood up to the "big bad government". no matter if you are on the left or the right, black or white, or anything in between.. that idea appeals to people in some deep way i think. my personal feeling is that I don't necessarily agree with everything they did or how they handled every situation but they fought for what they believed in and that's powerful.
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