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Posts published in “Day: January 27, 2016”

About American Redoubt


There’s a new player on the Idaho political scene that warrants careful monitoring and serious scrutiny. They call themselves the “American Redoubt” movement but they bear an uncanny resemblance to the survivalists and posse comitatus types that operated in Idaho in the ‘80s.

The agendas are remarkably similar: the primacy of the U.S. Constitution, support for so-called “open carry” of firearms; repeal of the 17th amendment (direct election of U.S. Senators by a state’s legislature); adamant opposition to immigrants; abolishing agencies like EPA; supremacy of a county sheriff as the highest figure in the criminal justice system, etc.

The differences between then and now are revealing.Then, they did not register or vote. They weren’t active in local or state politics; now, they have become the shock troops for the Tea Party and openly support certain candidates.

In the Republicans’ “closed primary” they can exercise tremendous influence over their fellow citizens. Several of their sympathizers, such as Rep. Heather Scott of Blanchard, have been elected to the Legislature and have started referencing the writings of their spiritual founder, James Rawles.

(Scott, by the way, has truly become an embarrassment to Idaho. She unfurled and embraced the Confederate “Stars and Bars” at one rally just as police in South Carolina were finally getting a handle on things. If I’d been the U.S. attorney for Idaho, I would have cited her for trying to incite a riot. Then, Scott traveled to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge to embrace the cause of folks there engaging in sedition. The people of Harney County, Oregon, most of them ranchers who abide by the terms of their grazing leases, don’t want her or the SS-like storm troops hanging around. Scott tries to justify the unjustifiable.)

The forefathers of the American Redoubters used to embrace racism. Now, Rawles says racism ignores reason.

They say they welcome all, and that there’s no discrimination against minorities, but that’s easy to say when you have few minorities.

Then, the Redoubt types banded “together” for protection wherever they were. Now, Rawles touts political migration to smaller western states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming where he believes they can live relatively unbothered by the federal government. This in fact is the underlying concept and the key to understanding American Redoubt.

Despite the outcome of America’s great and bloody Civil War, these types still adhere to the concepts of a state’s right to secede from the Union or nullify congressional laws they dislike. The Supreme Court has firmly rejected both.

They still don’t understand what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in his majority ruling and precedent setting 5 to 4 Supreme Court opinion, District of Columbia vs. Heller, ruled. Scalia wrote there was a qualified right for an individual to carry a weapon, whether concealed or not apart from being a member of a militia.

Scalia clearly said there is NOT an absolute right. He went on to write that the state in the name of public safety has the right to close off public spaces like schools and courts to the carrying of any weapon, whether concealed or otherwise. One can conclude he would not support Rep. Scott and American Redoubt’s so-called “constitutional carry” legislation.

The Redoubters say they love their country, but fear their government that protects their right to dissent, their right to free speech, their right to vote and their right to own side arms, rifles and shot guns.

However, they don’t believe in your right to an ownership interest in the nation’s public lands, its wonderful national parks, its wildlife refuges, its national forests and wilderness areas. No, beause they live adjacent to these lands, whether dedicated to multiple use or a prominent single use, they think these lands are theirs, and that they own them.

Keep your eye on these American Redoubters and their Tea Party puppets - they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Caveat Emptor.

First take/Burns


A whole lot of people, including us and the governor of Oregon, have been wondering when the feds (meaning principally, the FBI) would act and bring the crazy occupation at the Malheur bird refuge under control. Now finally it has, at least mostly. And the approach, if late, seems to be about what was warranted.

The feds seemed to have hoped that they could simply wait out the group and maybe make some arrests after the occupation had disbanded. From the standpoint of avoiding bloodshed, that could make some sense. But the occupation was bringing in a steady number of outsider agitators. Intimidation and outright threats to law abiding people in the Burns area were on the rise; a good many residents had fled. The place was becoming decidedly not safe, ad was getting less so. That was the situation that led Oregon Governor Kate Brown a few days ago to call on the FBI to, at long last, act.

And last night, they did. A community meeting had been set up at John Day, about an hour north of Burns (a pretty drive, by the way, if you've not been out to that country), and most of the occupier leaders piled into a couple of cars to go. Why not? They've been coming and going to Burns for weeks with impunity.

This time, though, they were stopped and arrested. (There must be scores of possible federal law violations they could be charged with, and made to stick, at this point.) There was an incident in the process; shots were fired, and the group's spokesman was killed. Hopefully, video exists showing just what happened.

As that happened, the FBI sent out a warning: If those remaining at the bird refuge leave now, they can go home, but those that don't will be subject to arrest. Presumably soon. (One visible occupant had fled the place for Arizona earlier Tuesday. Did he know what was coming?) Apparently, some took the FBI up on their offer. Soem didn't.

The one death so far was unfortunate, but these were people who have been marching around the area heavily armed and proclaiming that they were willing to kill and die. They were acting like terrorists, and truly, they have bought on themselves the results emerging now.

There's no reason for the FBI to wait much longer at the refuge. This ugly incident needs to come to a final end in the next day or two. And it can be. - rs