Fun With the Bundy Ranch Groupies

The standoff in Nevada with rancher Cliven Bundy has apparently turned into some sort of wingnut Burning Man, with a various assortment of people gathering with some truly bizarre views on virtually everything. Esquire sent a reporter there to gather some comments from them and much fun ensues.

In the background, a singer with an American-flag guitar warms up the stage with a raspy hollering he explains as Tibetan throat singing. Suddenly noticing a man off to the side shaking maracas, he stops and grips the mic:

“Is there really a black man in the house?” A lone “whoo” goes up from the folding chairs. “You’re with the media, right?” The cameraman nods, and the singer returns his focus to the folding chairs. “So, are we racists here today? That’s how they’re trying to spin this one — this is good. Channel 13 came at me the other day — a cute little blonde, of course. They sent her at me, y’know, go get the story! Go get the radical…” The generator cuts out, silencing the mic, and the story about how he isn’t a racist is lost.

“There’s a black person here, therefore we can’t possibly be racist.” Non-sequitur much?

A militia member with the group Oath Keepers named Mark, who drove in from out of state by way of Zion National Park (“which was absolutely beautiful — you should go”), offers to explain to me the truth behind public land management.

“The assumption is that the BLM is part of the federal government. But we need to check the facts on that one. The BLM doesn’t work for the government: they work for the United Nations. They might as well be wearing blue helmets. If we find out there’s money being exchanged between Harry Reid and the Chinese government, no one should be surprised.”

WTF? The BLM was established by the merging of two federal agencies in 1946. This isn’t some big secret, for crying out loud.

A self-trained lawyer tells me the same. He adds that Bar-certified lawyers, like the ones who prosecuted Bundy, have sworn loyalty to the British government, whose statutes encourage sex with clients. “That’s what they do with all their clients.”

Sounds legit. Oh, and Bundy thinks he talks to God:

The crowd, fresh off their victory at the Battle of Bunkerville, gives Bundy a standing ovation. But he doesn’t seem pleased. He reproaches the crowd for failing to follow the word of God – to the letter – which he says is being delivered through him. They failed, for example, to follow his instructions to tear down the toll booths at Lake Mead and disarm the Park Service.

“The message I gave to you all was a revelation that I received. And yet not one of you can seem to even quote it.”

Cliven continues, sermon-like: “The records of our bible — how long have they been kept? Thousands of years. They’ve been turned over generation after generation, buried, and all kinds of things happen to ‘em. And yet, here, something I felt was inspired [by God] and yet we haven’t even carried it forth for even a couple of days. Shame on us.” Smattering of clapping.

He goes on to explain that, although they managed to deter the BLM, they failed to do it “within one hour,” as the revelation had prophesied. So when an hour passes, he decides to get in his bulldozer and march on the BLM himself. The dozer gets stuck in the mud and he receives another revelation.

“It come to my mind real plain — the good Lord said, ‘Bundy, it’s not your job, it’s THEIR job.’ So we come back over here and heard that they had brought some cattle back. So I want you to understand,” addressing the crowd, “This is not my job, it’s YOUR job.

Well isn’t that convenient for him?

In the downtime, a group of men laments the way the world has changed. Obama, a Muslim Kenyan, doesn’t let kids say the pledge in school anymore.

45 states require the pledge in school. This has precisely nothing to do with President Obama or the federal government at all. But hey, if you’re gonna just make shit up, make it good, amirite?

Behind us, an older man, whose face is cut up from tumbling down a hill during the protest, gets into his beige sedan to leave. It’s covered in lettering:

IF YOU WERE BORN IN 1980 AND AFTER. YOU MAY BE IMPLANTED WITH A GOVERNMENT MICROCHIP WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE: GOOGLE DOCTORS THAT REMOVE MICROCHIPS.

“Google MKUltra,” he says cryptically, “Then you’ll find what I’m about.”

It’s wingnutapalooza. Better keep a keen eye out for those chemtrails and the juice boxes that turn us all gay.

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  • Doug Little

    This is beautiful, once all the wingnuts have assembled can we provoke them into firing the first shot?

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    Sad to say, I have uncles who would be indistinguishable from this mob.

  • eric

    I bet you could show up to this thing, call yourself Jack D. Ripper, start talking about precious bodily fluids, and most everyone there would just nod along.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “There’s a black person here, therefore we can’t possibly be racist.” Non-sequitur much?

    Better yet, a black person who is not even there by his own choice.

    A self-trained lawyer…

    Aren’t we all self-trained lawyers? Except the ones who went to law school?

    “It come to my mind real plain — the good Lord said, ‘Bundy, it’s not your job, it’s THEIR job.’”

    It’s funny how the Lord keeps telling Bundy that he has no responsibility for anything, like paying his grazing fees or following court orders. Everything is someone else’s job.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I wish I could have whispered a suggested comeback in the journalist’s ears: “What are y’all, ‘Blazing Saddles’ reenactors?”

  • Mr Ed

    wingnutapalooza if we are lucky. This could degenerate into Jones Town or Branch Davidians where they convince themselves there is only one way out.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    So instead of going in with guns blazing, the feds should just pump some flouride into the drinking water and the nutcases will scatter like cockroaches in the light.

  • sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    Bundy thinks he talks to God:

    Actually, he thinks god talks to him:

    “The message I gave to you all was a revelation that I received. And yet not one of you can seem to even quote it.”

    which is even more doolally than merely talking to god.

  • Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Can we chip in somewhere to rent a sky-writer and just dump some smoke over their heads to freak out the chemtrail people?

  • atheist

    In a way it’s too bad the Bundy decided to get publicly racist. Now there is no opportunity for his views on the federal government, which are just as dumb as his views on black people, to be examined.

  • bahrfeldt

    So Cliven (“clove footed”?) is also a false prophet, and an illegal profiteer. “Thou shall not steal”. One would presume if the good Lord wanted a thief to succeed, his tractor would not get stuck in the mud.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    So Cliven (“clove footed”?)

    Huh, I never thought of that. This seems like the perfect angle to get his followers to think he’s Satan and turn on each other. Also, that voice inside his head, which keeps telling other people to go commit crimes, sounds an awful lot like what the devil would say if there were such a thing.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Can we chip in somewhere to rent a sky-writer and just dump some smoke over their heads to freak out the chemtrail people?

    A sky-writer writing “Ceci N’est Pas Un Chemtrail” would be really epic.

  • Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Isn’t there something in Revelations about a false prophet who’s supposed to deceive the church? If we could get some of those last-days-obsessed folks thinking good ol’ Cliven is the deceiver, they might get to fighting amongst themselves and sort the whole mess out for us.

  • Larry

    Any one got a black helicopter they feel like flying around that place?

    Wear body armor.

  • Sastra

    “The message I gave to you all was a revelation that I received. And yet not one of you can seem to even quote it.”

    Look, if you’re going to form a religious cult you can’t just pick up a bunch of nuts for a weekend and bingo, instant cult. You have to carefully prepare and groom your followers into groupthink and slavish devotion.

    And no, God is not going to tell you that doing this is a job for someone else. You’re the Holy Prophet, damn it.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The Bundy Ranch Groupies

    Dibs on band name!

  • blf

    In a way it’s too bad the Bundy decided to get publicly racist. Now there is no opportunity for his views on the federal government, which are just as dumb as his views on black people, to be examined.

    Yes. Paul Klugman, writing in The New York Times, made a very similar point, High Plains Moochers:

    It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy — the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance — has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken.

    For at the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others.

    [T]reating Mr Bundy as some kind of libertarian hero is, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy. Suppose he had been grazing his cattle on land belonging to one of his neighbors, and had refused to pay for the privilege. That would clearly have been theft — and brandishing guns when someone tried to stop the theft would have turned it into armed robbery. The fact that in this case the public owns the land shouldn’t make any difference.

  • blf

    <borkquote> fail! The first paragraph in @18 was supposed to be a quote of atheist@10.

  • busterggi

    Can someone please toss a lit string of firecrackers into their corral when they’re sleeping?

  • http://www.pixelated-reality.com Alareth

    Not content to sit around basking in FREEDOM™ all day, the militia is branching out to set up checkpoints on public roadways where they demand motorists prove they live in the area before letting them pass.

    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/25371465/concerns-growing-about-militia-members-at-bundy-ranch

    Also, things are no going so great for those remaining.

    The head of the Oathkeepers mentioned in the above post pulled his men out for thier safety based on what his insists is credible intelligence that Eric Holder authorized a drone strike on the Bundy ranch.

    The “head of security” for the Bundy compound, a man named Booda Bear, has declared them to be a bunch of pansies and says they arent allowed to return .

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/28/1295220/-Bundy-Ranch-Security-Chief-Kicks-Oath-Keepers-OFF-Bundy-Ranch-LMFAO

  • atheist

    @blf – April 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm (UTC -4)

    [T]reating Mr Bundy as some kind of libertarian hero is, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy. Suppose he had been grazing his cattle on land belonging to one of his neighbors, and had refused to pay for the privilege. That would clearly have been theft — and brandishing guns when someone tried to stop the theft would have turned it into armed robbery. The fact that in this case the public owns the land shouldn’t make any difference.

    I dunno, this sounds quite congruent with libertarian beliefs. Steal assets from the public and give them to private individuals or corporations. And libertarians are happy to use guns to do this.

  • raven

    The Bundy ranch doesn’t sound like much fun right now.

    A bunch of loonies sitting around with their tinfoil hats arguing over who is the craziest. In the middle of a hot desert in the middle of nowhere.

    I’d be tempted to just leave them. Let them sit out there and do nothing and babble day in and day out.

    BTW, who is feeding and sheltering them? Being a moocher isn’t free you know. Somebody has to pay for it. I suppose if they get hungry, they can just go hunting with their expensive assault rifles. I’ve heard there are some cows on the nearby BLM land that would make a great barbecue.

  • Abby Normal

    He reproaches the crowd for failing to follow the word of God – to the letter – which he says is being delivered through him.

    Or as it was delivered by Jesus as recorded in Mark 12:17. “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    I can’t help but wonder if sooner or later we won’t see a bloodbath at one of these kind of things when some accident happens, such as a gun going off by accident, and the cranks think they’re under attack by the government. They seem to be the kind of people who think having a gun gives you psychic powers to instantly know someone is the bad guy, which is perfect for getting them shooting at each other.

  • raven

    I can’t help but wonder if sooner or later we won’t see a bloodbath at one of these kind of things when some accident happens,…

    The potential for another Ruby Ridge or Waco is pretty high. That is why the feds aren’t in a hurry to end this.

    1. The bigger problem than an accidental gun shooting is one of more of the guys deciding to shoot some police or BLM rangeland managers.

    These are all marginal people living on the lunatic fringes of our society. But even lunatic fringes have their lunatic fringes. There might well be a few that just want to kill someone, preferably a federal employee. Or after a few months of boredom in the desert, one of them could decide they need some excitement or see a BLM ranger and decide they look like a Reptilian Shapeshifter from the United Nations Agenda 21 task force.

    PS Just guessing with no first hand knowledge whatsoever, but the Department of Homeland Security, NSA, FBI, and related alphabet agencies are probably gathering as much intelligence as they can about all these people. For their files and future reference.

    Or they should be. These are clearly wannabe terrorists who deeply hate the USA enough to pick up an assault rifle and wave it around.

  • Doug Little

    They seem to be the kind of people who think having a gun gives you psychic powers to instantly know someone is the bad guy

    That and the DVD’s of all the seasons of 24.

  • pocketnerd

    Thus Spake Zararaven, #26:

    The potential for another Ruby Ridge or Waco is pretty high. That is why the feds aren’t in a hurry to end this.

    Exactly. And some of these folks have been soaking for years in martyrdom fantasies: “Someday the United Nations will roll into town with black helicopters and guillotines to make everybody take the Mark of the Beast and execute all the Real True Christians, and only me and my big manly guns will stand against the Antichrist’s New World Order! WOLVEEERRRIIINNNES!!”

    Any attempt to deploy armed law enforcement against them is likely to turn into a massacre — a bunch of portly, greying yokels lost in Left Behind wank-fantasies are no match for well-equipped, well-trained law enforcement. And you just can’t spin that confrontation favorably; even when acting completely in accordance with the law and SOP, it comes off looking like Big Mean Gubbamint Bullies versus Plucky Nonconformists (Whose Fortuitously Numerous Guns Are The Only Means Of Resisting Tyranny). I suspect just thinking of it gives Rupert Murdoch a chubberoo so big he has to re-tile the ceiling.

    I imagine sooner or later they’ll get tired of sitting in the desert and stroking their barrels. The BLM can afford to play the long game.

  • http://dontlinkmebro F [i’m not here, i’m gone]

    raven

    I keep seeing this same reasonable statement, but since I just have to say something now, I had to pick you to quote:

    The potential for another Ruby Ridge or Waco is pretty high. That is why the feds aren’t in a hurry to end this.

    1. Local police departments and the FBI should take a real fucking lesson here and internalize the hell out of it. They usually seem to be all about escalation is someone doesn’t submit to their authority immediately. Even when the person or persons are extremely frightened, or suffer from a mental illness, or the cops just plain have the wrong damn address.

    2. What happened to the good old days where the actual military would be sent in, even against people who weren’t a threat to anything? (Not a good option at all, but strangely absent here, considering this assemblage of nuts does constitute an actual danger., with real threatening behavior against other citizens and the government that some gov agency didn’t have to manufacture.)

  • atheist

    @F [i’m not here, i’m gone] – April 29, 2014 at 4:12 pm (UTC -4)

    2. What happened to the good old days where the actual military would be sent in, even against people who weren’t a threat to anything?

    Bundy’s not black.

  • John Pieret

    Bar-certified lawyers, like the ones who prosecuted Bundy, have sworn loyalty to the British government,

    Actually, we swear allegiance to the Queen … before Freddie Mercury died, it was to Queen.

    whose statutes encourage sex with clients

    Damn! I’ve been doing it wrong!

  • ragarth

    I wonder what it’d take to spread the rumor that someone at the Bundy Ranch is a CIA plant.

  • felidae

    Just wait a few months, it will be a 120 degrees out in the Nevada desert and even the most brain fried of them will be running for cover

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    @ ragrath,

    I would guess that not a few are FBI informants or agents. Unless they only infiltrate hippie groups like Occupy.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Any attempt to deploy armed law enforcement against them is likely to turn into a massacre — a bunch of portly, greying yokels lost in Left Behind wank-fantasies are no match for well-equipped, well-trained law enforcement.

    Yes, but what’s the downside?

  • raven

    Concerns growing about militia members at Bundy ranch

    By Natalie Cullen at 8newsnow. com

    Posted: Apr 28, 2014 2:55 PM PST

    According to Horsford, his constituents say the militia have set up checkpoints where residents must prove they live in the area before they are allowed to pass and have set up a “persistent presence” along federal highways, and state and county roads. They also claim some have established an armed presence in the community.

    Horsford told the sheriff that the militia are making people feel unsafe.

    1. It looks like the aptly named Bunkerville, Nevada isn’t such a great place these days. I suppose hordes of dubiously sane, heavily armed, wannabe revolutionaries would do that.

    2. Don’t these guys have jobs, families, and lives? Doesn’t look like it. I can’t go off into the Nevada desert for months with my trusty friend, Julia the AR-15, because of various responsibilities, not least, who is going to feed the cats.

    3. … and have set up a “persistent presence” along federal highways, and state and county roads.

    What is that all about? They aren’t digging trenches, foxholes, bunkers, and setting up ambushes and minefields are they? Hmmm, bet sooner or later, they will start.

    Just wait a few months, it will be a 120 degrees out in the Nevada desert…

    It’s 74 right now. But supposed to be 98 degrees in a few days.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Charming group of people.

    @Raven:

    Don’t these guys have jobs, families, and lives.

    It isn’t hard to believe that it’s like a convention for people with paranoid personalities w/extra-heavy ladling of narcissistic grandiosity. So most people like that have difficulty either forming or sustaining relationships. And the ones who do form the relationships, tend to hook up with people with dependent personalities who can be easily bullied into compliant agreement, if not outright identification with aggressor’s beliefs. So, natch, when John Galt has to go out on a mission and leave the family, there’s no saying no.

  • samgardner

    whose statutes encourage sex with clients. “That’s what they do with all their clients.”

    Imagine the poor lawyers of the Koch brothers. I wonder how that works when a law firm is hired by a company? Does anyone in the company get to have sex with everyone in the law firm, or what?

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @samgardner:

    Does anyone in the company get to have sex with everyone in the law firm, or what?

    The other way round.

    Take that how you will.

    @John Pieret

    whose statutes encourage sex with clients

    Damn! I’ve been doing it wrong!

    1 more reason to hurry up and finish law school!

    @modusoperandi

    The Bundy Ranch Groupies

    Dibs on band name!

    You can have it. I’ve trademarked The Randy Bunch Groupies.

    We can always play back to back.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “That’s what they do with all their clients.”

    Methinks someone is conflating getting fucked by an attorney with a pleasurable sexual interlude.

  • caseloweraz

    Raven: The Bundy ranch doesn’t sound like much fun right now.

    A bunch of loonies sitting around with their tinfoil hats arguing over who is the craziest. In the middle of a hot desert in the middle of nowhere.

    Add in the mind-altering substances (which I expect are present, if not plentiful) and it makes a potentially explosive setup. I hope no one wanders in with a sky-blue motorcycle helmet.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Local police departments and the FBI should take a real fucking lesson here and internalize the hell out of it. They usually seem to be all about escalation is someone doesn’t submit to their authority immediately. Even when the person or persons are extremely frightened, or suffer from a mental illness, or the cops just plain have the wrong damn address.

    There really isn’t much gratification in bullying someone who actually might shoot back.