As you have no doubt heard on the shortwave radio set in your guard tower, anti-government militia members took over the visitor’s center at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon yesterday. Led by Ammon Bundy, son of patriot/delinquent grazing account Cliven Bundy, the group massed to protest the arson convictions of Dwight and Steve Hammond, who were sentenced to five years in prison last week for burning several acres of federal land. But that’s bullshit. Federal land does not belong to the federal government; it belongs to ranchers, who have a constitutional right to graze it/set it on fire/shoot does on it while the rest of us pay for its maintenance. Bundy and his supporters are just standing up for their rights. There’s nothing violent about marching through the streets with guns and then seizing a federal building, as the Missoulian reminds us with its headline, Peaceful protest followed by Oregon wildlife refuge action.
Seven black churches in the South have burned down over the last ten days, although officials in Greeleyville, SC say that the fire at Mount Zion AME last night was probably accidental. It burned down during a storm, and “the accidental burning of churches is not uncommon across the US.” That’s one for Fodor’s. It seems possible that various white people in South Carolina, angry their legislature would have the audacity to take down a flag in response to the murder of nine black people, have set things right by terrorizing more black people. It’s a confident moral system that turns to arson. There’s no money in it. The people who do such things must be inordinately convinced of their own rightness.