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A Recommended Honorable Exit Strategy For Ammon Bundy

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I believe you know that I respect you as a man of great, inspirational courage and conviction.  And likewise for your brothers.   It was your family’s inspiring courage and conviction at Bundy Ranch in Nevada that caused me, Oath Keepers as an organization (with hundreds of our members answering the call), and many other groups and individuals to come from all over the nation, rifles in hand, to protect your family and back you up, shoulder-to-shoulder, as you took a strong stand for your rights and for the Constitution against a clear and present danger of military trained snipers and Special Forces veteran “contractor” mercenaries.   When we saw the militarized posture of the .gov forces arrayed against you, we veterans felt honor bound to interpose ourselves between them and you, to prevent your ranching family from being “Waco’d.”  It was a profound honor to do so, and it was a stand that will go down in history.

However, as you know, we oppose what you have chosen to do by occupying the wildlife preserve there in Oregon, specifically because it is not being done with the consent of the locals or at their request, without the request of the Hammond’ family, without even their knowledge of what you were going to do, until you did it, and because it is not in direct defense of anyone.  The right way to go would have been to respect the right of the locals on the Committee of Safety to call the shots, decide what needs to be done, and to actually let them be in charge of all outside volunteers, including you.  You can certainly act as an adviser and instructor, giving input on what you think they should do, but they must be in charge.

And frankly, what they should do is go out, as a united community, and simply use the land to ranch, log, mine, farm, etc, with our protection.  You can bet that if they did chose to do so, Oath Keepers, the Oregon III%, Idaho III%, Pacific Patriot Network, Bearded Bastards, and other hard-core patriots would have saddled up and rode, with distinct pleasure and joy in our warrior hearts, to protect the people as they nullified, used “civil-disobedience” and simply lived as free American westerners, ranching, farming, logging, and just living as if he BLM did not exist.   It would be ideal if they did so with a Constitutional Sheriff leading the way, with the people serving as his posse, but even without that, so long as a significant number of locals choose to stand, we can provide direct, physical assistance and protection to back them up as they take back their land.

But none of us have the right to make their decisions for them.  They need to have the stones to stand up.   They must make that momentous decision for themselves.   Once they do, it is then our duty to back them up 100% and then some.  It is a fundamental principle of self-government, the consent of the governed, and self-determination that it is the people of Harney County who must make the momentous, critical decision to stand, and who must ultimately be in charge.  In fact, you said so yourself, during your recent town hall meeting on December 15, 2015, where you helped locals form the Harney County Committee of Safety.  You said:

We have people across the United States that will stand with you, I’ve already explained that.  I’m confident.  But the thing is, it’s not necessarily right, for us, or for the people, to come in here and to make a stand without the people forming and being in control of it.  That’s what this Committee of Safety is.  It is where the people elect this Committee and this Committee is in charge of those that will come in and assist throughout this country, in defending the rights of this people and enforcing the Constitution.  And, I’m not going to dance around what we’re talking about here.  We’re talking about removing these unconstitutional agencies from Harney County.   And bringing the people back up to go ranching, logging, or whatever else.  But the people have to – you, you have to exhibit enough organization to form these committees of safety so that you can charge, and be in charge of the militia.   That’s what it comes down to.  That is the proper way in which this is supposed to happen (emphasis added).

I agree completely with your above quoted statement to the Harney County Committee of Safety.  The people of Harney County do have the absolute right to govern themselves, and to be in charge of, and in control over, whatever is done to secure their rights in their county and state, and they have the right to be in charge of any volunteers from elsewhere who come in to help.   That truly is “the proper way in which this is supposed to happen.”  But unfortunately, you did not respect that right.   Apparently, you did not really trust the people of Harney County to take a hard stand and were not confident that they would do so.  And while you told the locals that they would be in charge and control of their own destiny, you had evidently already planned out this armed occupation of the federal facility at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and were already staging your men (none of them locals) and supplies in the area to do it.  All of this was done without even the knowledge, let alone the consent, of that local Committee of Safety (or any other locals).  The Harney County Committee of Safety is now in charge of jack squat.   And that’s what you now have the chance to correct, with honor and integrity.

I propose that you return to and adhere to your own stated principles of respecting the right of the people of Harney County to self-determination, self-government, and their right to stand up, on their own two feet, with our support and protection.   Therefore, you need to submit yourself to the authority of the Committee of Safety and the people of Harney County at large, and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that they are now in charge, and you will comply with whatever they decide must be done, whether you agree with it or not.   Even if you think the people there are not yet ready to stand, you should know you cannot graft a pair of balls onto a gelding.   The people must grow a pair themselves, and it must be their decision to stand, and meanwhile you must respect their will and do what they determine is best.   You can advise, suggest, and assist, but you cannot decide for them.

So throw your sword at the  people’s feet, and pledge and swear that you will abide by their decision, whatever it is, and defend them in doing whatever they decide is best, so long as it is ethical, moral, and constitutional.  But it must be their decision, not  yours.

That is the honorable, ethical, moral, and constitutional way to go.  That is an honorable exit plan.

I recommend you take it, and by doing so you will have retaken the moral high ground.  And then we can all pledge to protect any rancher, logger, farmer, miner, etc. in Harney County who has the physical and moral courage to take a stand, and simply act as their forefathers acted, as free Americans on the land, and we will protect them with our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor (as we did this year at the Sugar Pine Mine, in Oregon, and again at the White Hope Mine, in Lincoln, Montana).   Let that be our standing offer to any of the people of Harney County who will take a stand.   Let that be our oath, and when they stand, we will be honor-bound to stand with them.  And we will.

And when that happens, we will be acting with honor, and it will be the Feds who will have the choice of honoring their oaths by standing down, or violating their oaths by aggressing against the people, and history will reflect who had the moral high ground and acted only in defense of human decency, local self-government, liberty, and the Constitution.

That is the honorable path here.   Please take it.

For the Republic,

Stewart Rhodes

Founder and President of Oath Keepers



Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.


  1. Thank you Stewart for your thoughtful and Constitutional stance on this. The light has been allowed to shine on this situation. It is now time to stand down and let the people of Harney county continue their fight. If they ask for just and rightful defense – I will ride with you sir.

    1. I think there are several people in this country including my fellow veterans who need to seriously look at the Constitution, particularly regarding federal lands. We have a lot of problems in this country – what amazes me is how anxious some are to grab their weapons at the drop of a pin and head out to “defend” us against the government. Why don’t you occupy the steps of Capital Hill in DC and protest the lack of action by Congress in so many issues? The minute you decide to “arm” yourselves, you immediately draw lines between so many people and groups that your mission loses its purpose. In this particular case, Bundy and his Boyz are simply stirring up a confrontation with authorities, and to what end: A shooting incident?

    2. This is correct and the right answer to the stand taken in Oregon by the Bundy’s.

      Respectfully, Stewart has not done his homework not made effort to understand both sides. My representative to the scene came back reporting that the towns people have been so abused that they had no confidence that anyone could help. They now have confidence and new found courage. People are telling their stories, taking a stand and proving their claims with video evidence.

    3. I guess it’s time to ask some questions about Rhodes’s judgement – questions that are not mere opinions,, but rather, questions based on firsthand experience. Q#1 – Why was Rhodes so late in arriving at Bundy Ranch ? From the time the first call was issued, we had no leadership at Bundy’s for four or five days, and Rhodes (And Sheriff Mack) didn’t arrive on scene till AFTER we had faced down BLM. Rhodes’s handling of the drone scare incident certainly added nothing to his reputation. Q#2 – Why did Rhodes pass up the one year anniversary gathering at Bundy’s ? Prior commitments? This excuse won’t fly, as the anniversary was known months in advance. Sheriff Mack was there. Q#3 – Sugar Pine Mine : Once again, Stewart was significant by his absence, and only showed up after we had done all the work.Fortunately at Sugar Pine we had the excellent leadership of Joseph, Bruce, Brandon and others.Q#4 – Is Rhodes’s position on Malhure parochial ? Is this federal control of lands issue peculiar to Harney County ? As we all agree, the fed has declared war on rural america. Wars produce battles, and the dynamic of events at the start of this year brought the battlefront to a remote tract in Eastern Oregon. Dr Franklin once said “Three can keep a secret – if two of them are dead ” ! The occupation had to be a surprise move. If the committee of safety ( Who I admire very much, especially Mr Briles) felt betrayed by the occupation, I’ll point out that our actions have left them free and clear of responsibilty for it as well. Ammon and the rest of us will be vindicated by history. Note that our occupation was completely non-violent, and has shaken up and energized the entire lands issue. We have produced RESULTS ! It was the authorities – and not us – who have put blood in the game.

  2. Thank you Mr. Rhodes.
    expertly said and right on point. I have great respect for the Oathkeepers. You are true Constitutional fighters.

    1. Mr. Ammon is 110%, as a leader of your community and by leadership skills and knowledge of the needs and wants from your community, they will stand by you in circumstances like this one…
      Give the people that chance to grow as a community and lead them by the path of truth and righteousness and WE will cover your corners.
      Engage….. God’s speed.

  3. I think it is great what Ammon is doing, and the way him and his cohorts are going about it. No one in Harney County wants to stand up to the feds, because they have seen how the feds destroy people using the power of the feds and all it’s agencies and collaboration with the agencies of local, city, county and state to destroy people in all the possible imaginable ways. This reclamation work of our rights is best done without the need for martyrs from Harney County, everyone that cares to look can see the injustice that the feds have perpetrated over the last twenty years there. Of course everyone in Harney County says they do not want Ammon and his cohorts around, if they did the people of Harney County would be lambs to the slaughter, any person, in Harney that backs up Ammon will be destroyed, the feds have plenty of time to teach people a lesson, in the way the feds teach people a lesson, and it has nothing to do with the honorable way to do things. The people of Harney County know that their fifteen minutes of fame will be over soon, and when the circus leaves town they will be on the feds menu, lambs to the slaughter.

      1. This video was awesome. She makes a passionate argument why this is no longer (and never really was) about the Bundys or Hammonds.
        Todd Bethell
        By the way, an easy way to get rid of the trolls, provocateurs, subverts… etc. is to only allow dues paying members to post comments and REQUIRE REAL NAMES!

      2. Thank you Krissanne!!!!!
        she nails it!!!.
        The Feds have NO RIGHT to own land outside of DC PERIOD!!!!!.

      3. We need more people like KrisAnne Hall to brought to the forefront. Her knowledge and ability to communicate the truth about our Constitution is needed big time right now.

    1. I thought this facebook post was quite telling about how fearful the county people are of the feds:

      Tim Davis

      Yesterday at 12:07am ·

      i came to Burns Oregon to find out the truth…Now, im just laying here alone in my room taking in all I’ve learned ..what I can tell you is the media like we all have come to expect is lying…from my view anyway….as far back as 100miles where ever I ask…who ever I ask…all support the Hammond’s and the Patriots !! as of yet I have not found a single soul that live in fear of the Patriots nor think the Hammond’s guilty of anything…not a single one…but I did find that fear the media speak of so fast in regard to good men just trying to save our Nation…but that fear was not found against Patriots….I had Americans …right here on American soil ..telling me of their support for the Bundy brothers and the Patriots that stand with them….in hushed voices…fearful that someone from the BLM might hear…wrap that around your minds people….a whole town bullied by the BLM! behold reality ! right here in the good ole USA…Americans speaking in hushed tones in public places…afraid of who in our gov of power might see…how did we allow this? how did we let it fall so far.

      1. Here, here! If you listen to mainstream media, you will get a negative spin on this issue. I heard the town meeting, listened to the ranchers who went out to visit them at the compound, those who spoke with Pete Spirelli’s live feed. This is still a Constitutional issue that the ranchers are afraid Will backlash on them. The “towners”, as called by the ranchers wants things back to normal only because they’ve not been adversely affected personally. If people “stand down” regardless of the compliance to the government, by the Hammonds, who the hell will!

    2. Im really disappointed in Stewart Rhodes. After reading many articles on standoffs he supported, its hard to believe he would encourage the abandonment of peaceful and kind people like the Bundy’s, Hammonds, and others in Oregon right now. The Hammonds, among multiple others have exhausted all judiciary and legal channels, thus being forced to take a stand and educate the unaware. The Hammonds appear to have been coerced into retreat from all communications with their friend, Bundy, as a result of corrupt attorneys pressured by judges, and most importantly the “establishment,” being threatened with longer prison sentences and less desirable circumstances. If Rhodes cant speak with reason and judgment, he at least ought to avoid humiliating decent human beings who have harmed noone.

      1. You probably would benefit from reading more deeply into this entire issue. But whether or not you inform yourself fully, the reality is that Stewart Rhodes and Oath Keepers called it right and gave a subtle support in the public mind which may be just a little bit over your head, over your ability to comprehend. Just keep on reading all the facts, and you’ll come around to understanding how psy-war tactics may be best used. Do not linger long in your disappointment with Oath Keepers, as your perception is all based in your mind on presumptions which are, while understandable in your case, never-the-less incorrect.

        Elias Alias, editor

  4. Ammon, surely these words ring true with you! Surely you can see that there is no silver tongue here! Ammon, listen! For you more than for almost others, it is easy to swallow your pride. Do the right thing, brother.

  5. Very nicely articulated Stewart. The Sheriff should have taken control of the situation acting in his Constitutional capacity, but he did not. It is up to the people to decide if they want FREEDOM or SLAVERY.

    1. The local residents had better have plans in the works to remove this “Leviathan Lap Dog” dimwitted Sheriff. A Sheriff that probably has never educated himself about his powers to stand-up against a far left-Wing tyrannical overreaching Leviathan that has embraced the United Nations Agenda 21. Minimally ignorance on the Sheriff’s part for sure
      A Sheriff that doesn’t even have any grasp on his own powers and responsibilities to protect his county’s citizens from Agenda 21 and a dangerous and lawless United Nations driven and fully out-of-control Federal Leviathan.

    2. Yes, it is up to the people whether they want FREEDOM or SLAVERY and we say that to other nations of the world regularly yet none of them has been able to garner that freedom, we once had here, when the Oligarchs and Dictators control the means of production, currency and land. The Federal government has taken control of the means of production in many businesses in the last few years. They already control the currency, education and soon most energy production and distribution. They have pretty aggressively taken control of all the land as well through takings such as in this instance in Oregon and in Nevada, etc,
      etc. and other lands which contain mineral wealth by incorporating it into a national park or other refuge controlled by the Federal Government. There is an opportunity here to stand against this criminal Government and it shouldn’t be lost lest we become just one more slave state.

  6. I Salute you Mr. Rhodes and Ammon Bundy. Please Ammon you know what is right. One cowboy to another.

  7. Can we stop all the we don’t support you talk. Those preparing to attack don’t need more reason not to worry about repercussions! As for not supporting them, fine, don’t go to the refuge and stand with them. But you and the III percenters could go and stand with the public who do not want to see a blood bath! Stand down the road and say you’re there to protect the public, and to ward off another waco! Or, go unarmed and simply be witnesses. But doing nothing is doing nothing. The one take away those who abuse their power have, is more proof that the sheeple will simply watch, and talk. And now they know there truly is no one to stand in their way! All they need is for good sheeple to do nothing! Which has been the case there for decades!

    1. Great post Dave. Stand down the road is what needs to happen if you don’t want to stand for the fight. Just being there sends a message.

      1. So, if Ritzheimer and his pals had actually had the stones to go and try to arrest members of Congress, would you and Dave have jumped in your vehicles, all loaded up with rifles and kit, to go and back them up, while they were holed up in the office of some Congresscritter, surrounded by the cops? If not, then why not? Scared? Or just smart? Just because a patriot does something dumb doesn’t mean you must go double down on stupid, and join their armed cluster fuck, and it doesn’t make you a coward if you don’t.


        I am not very happy that our “Movement” is being openly displayed as being a bunch of rank amateurs, with about as much unification and coordination as the “Keystone Cops”. Our adversaries, I am sure, are having a big laugh at our dis- functional methods and lack of a unified purpose. Our opposition has about 60 years organizational advantage over us, and we in our naivety STILL cannot manage to make a simple unified tactical effort to show competency and a nationwide adherence to a dubiously unified Command structure.

        Before we start committing ourselves to Operations where WEAPONS are carried we had better do allot more Military training and coordination before we make COMPLETE asses out of ourselves and someone accidentally gets SHOT. Won’t THAT look great as HEADLINES on some LEFTIST NEWSPAPER or TV Channel ?????

      3. My comment has nothing to do with rifles and war! I’m saying you can stand on the principle that abuse of power on a grand scale has taken place, and that’s why they are there. That does not mean that you or I agree with what the patriots did. It means I’m disgusted with the behavior of the blm, and all others who rail roaded these people while abusing the constitutional limits placed on the federal government! Go and maintain disagreement with what they did, but act on the fact that peoples rights have been abused by an out of control fedgov! Why even have a constitution, if it’s simply going to be ignored!

      4. Like you, I too am disgusted with the actions of the BLM, here, and all over the West. And that is why we have, now on three occasions, directly stood up against them, armed, in support of the rights of people who were being put upon by the BLM. So, still not clear on what you are saying to me.

      5. I’m saying you’ve made your point with regards to the behavior of Ammon and crew. Now address the BLM, the sheriff, the courts, and fedgov.

      6. Mr Rhodes, I agree with you whole heartily. Is there some way a person or persons could meet with the ranchers and convince them to stand for what is Constitutionally right? Give them a plan and a mission that they can believe in. If that could be accomplished there would be
        many veterans and patriots that would join the mission from every state. They are ready but they want a plan and a mission.

      1. They hung themselves out to dry, by alienating the local by deceiving them, and also all of the other patriot groups who came there to support the Hammonds, such as the Idaho and Oregon III%. And by choosing to take an empty building rather than taking the trouble to locate a stalwart local rancher willing to take a stand, and defending them. So, they treated all of us in the patriot movement, and all the locals, like mushrooms (kept us in the dark and fed us bullshit) and you expect us to jump on board their goat rope, which we think is horrible strategically and tactically, just because they have put themselves at risk in a way that paints us as the aggressors, and is truly the greatest gift Obama could have gotten for the New Year, on the eve of his push to violate our right to bear arms?

        So, if a patriot group were to attempt to take over a state legislature building, and proclaim the start of the revolution, would you rush to their aid with rifle in hand just because they had done it, and were now at risk? Why not? You don’t double down on stupid. At least you shouldn’t.

      2. EXACTLY. They chose to be deceitful and when they executed their ill thought out plan they obviously thought they could fall back on the rest of us to bail them out. No thank you, I will never put my life on the line for a deceitful leader who is more interested in bravado and self granduer than the welfare of the people he is supposed to be leading. I am so pissed at all of them! Everything all Patriots commit do is more of a media campaign than anything else. If we do not win over the People we have committed to serve then we have lost and our Republic will go to. When delivering a message, make sure you have the right messenger who stays on point and is an eloquent wordsmith whomcan connect with the People, because if you don’t then everything will be about the messenger and the message lost. This is exactly what is happening in Oregon with Bundy & Co.

      3. No, I think you are falling for too many of the bullshit media lies. Just like you people believe there were kids there because the media showed photos from the protest that had children and claimed they were at the refuge. The lies are ridiculous and are not helping anyone.

        You keep saying that no one in the community supports them and that is another lie. There are people that live in the community that are there with them at the refuge!! What about them? What about the stand that THEY want to make? They shouldn’t be ignored because the BLM is bullying the county residents and they don’t support the Patriots at the refuge simply out of fear of retaliation. Sure, there are some ill informed people that really don’t want them there, but what about all the people that do? You just keep ignoring those people.

        Honestly, I think your motives as an oathkeeper need to be called into question because you don’t seem to be able to sort out the reality from the lies and are actually assisting the media in propagating their lies. It’s this kind of behavior from someone that claims to fully support the constitution that is giving oathkeepers, III%’s, and militias a bad image. Especially in the eyes of those that actually see what is going on.

        Whether you agree with the way they did it or not is irrelevant at this point. It’s done. And for you to now say that they need to give up the fight for OUR RIGHTS (all of our rights NOT just those in Harney county) because you don’t agree with the way they went about it is just ridiculous. They have a valid fight and you are turning your back on them AND this country for that matter and your excuses for doing so are WEAK!!!

      4. Hello mr rhodes. I have read and listened to many interviews of people like you, sheriff mack, bundy and others. You all talk about the horrible abuses and corruption of our government. As it pertains to Oregon. Then you all agree that it is not the time to stand up to this tyranny. Please tell me when is a good time? When they come to my home and take my guns and arrest me for the same act the Hammonds.
        About the Hammonds, if you were in the hammonds shoes, and were threatened by the federal government not to associate with bundy, what would you do? Knowing that you are going back to prison.
        I would stake my life on the fact that the hammonds deep down are glad that the militia is there to keep this in the spotlite. Im sure the hammonds could careless that it might not show a positive lite on your organization or others. If it was me going into prison and my son, i would be glad as hell the militia was there standing up for me.

      5. In this particular situation the right time to take action is when there is a SOLID STRATEGY to act upon. If there is no solid strategy, then it is pointless to act because you will end up doing more harm than good. Bundy’s strategy is two dimensional and poorly planned, therefore, it is not worth acting upon.

        I have not seen a SINGLE rational argument as to why Bundy’s strategy is logical or useful; only emotional arguments about patriotism and duty.

        NO ONE is arguing that the Feds are not corrupt. We are arguing that the response to Fed corruption must be well planned. Acting merely on emotional impulse is a fool’s endeavor doomed to failure.

      6. Mr. Rhodes, several years ago when I first heard about Oathkeepers I shouted Hurray!!!
        Today I have a question. With your groups knowledge, could you not see your way to step up to help out the men south of Burns with a strategy other than giving up? I for one like the results being shown of the media lies, gov’t lies,,etc. that have opened up the more days this incident has continued. Please help with speaking the Truth into the Lies of the BLM and other agencies. I have an old friend that has been involved for many years in the Political world. He has always told me about the two things to look for in all of Gov’t shenanigans. Follow The Money and There Is Always Something Going On That We Don’t See. Grew up in Conservative Southeast Oregon and still live close.

    2. I believe they already know what the repercussions will be if they attack, they have already been warned no more free Waco’s!

      Do you not think one can gather a list of everyone that attacks, and where they might live?

  8. Mr. Rhoda’s,
    I enjoy your comments, articles and the Oathkeepers as a whole. Like many veterans that I know, We ( the veterans I hang with!) believe the big picture is being clouded by lots of misinformation from the media? Perhaps Bundy has taken the wrong approach ? Perhaps not? If you / we as a group want to critize his actions then perhaps we / you should offer a soulation to this issue?

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  9. Great write up and plan as long as things go the right way. What’s the plan if this goes to shit???

    1. As we stated, there are no more free Wacos. And think nationally, act locally. In other words, the focus is on your local AO. And it is all goes to shit, we will all be very, very busy right where we live. I would encourage you to start now, if you haven;’t already, to build up a neighborhood watch with teeth, to find out where your Sheriff and Police Chief stand, and to start organizing your community for mutual defense and mutual aid. If, God forbid, the hammer is dropped on these men there in OR, we will need that mutual aid and defense network in spades to defend ourselves and each other, and to fight against the regime. Just the way it will be.

      1. Aye, Stewart, exactly this and what you wrote originally here. The JBT kitten stompers would love nothing better than to have thousands gather to fuel the MSM lies and provide cannon fodder if they get froggy, or plain stupid. But what none of the goons can admit to themselves is the very reason for all the “gun control” and posturing.

        They want to do things to us that we won’t allow as long as we have guns… and the very idea that Americans in every state are getting ready – or are already well prepared – to defend themselves and their own communities… that has them scared spitless.

        Go home, Mr. Bundy.

  10. We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stovelid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
    – Mark Twain

  11. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the residents of Mesquite mostly not support the Bundy family? Didn’t the people of Las Vegas and Clark County not go to Bundy Ranch in droves in a show of support? Didn’t the Nevada state representatives — with the exception of one terrific woman — not strongly and loudly condemn the actions of the BLM?

    I recall speaking with an older gentleman who lives in Mesquite (from St. George, Utah) who when I asked if the people in Mesquite support the Bundys told me No most of them do not. He said it’s weird, but they do not. That surprised me. Of course, Mesquite is 12 miles from Bundy Ranch and is not a rural community. I do not know about the feelings of the residents of slightly closer Bunkerville. And I did meet friends of the Bundy family who live in Mesquite who were there and actively helping the family by doing work on the ranch and giving financial support as well.

    I met no one from my Nevada town at Bundy Ranch, a few from Pahrump. Very few people out of the entire population of the City of Las Vegas were there. As a percentage of the supporters at Bundy Ranch, Mesquite and the Las Vegas Valley were only a small percent.

    People from Utah, Arizona, California and Montana traveled there, but so few from Clark County. I find it sad and strange.

    Even State Reps from Arizona made the trip to Bundy Ranch, and a Washington State Rep actively aided the Bundy’s cause, but only one Nevada State Rep was outspoken on the Bundy’s behalf. Heck, our own Governor Sandoval only complained about the First Amendment areas set up (the Bundys stated that Sandoval was not supportive of them). Nevada District 4’s Congressman did not support the Bundys at all, he was with Reid and Obama in condemning them (that worthless specimen was voted out of office in the next election, thank goodness!).

    So the Bundy Ranch support operation was conducted without overwhelming support of the local community or the county residents.

    So how much does the support of the local community play in these situations, versus the support of the nation as a whole? All of these terrible cases of persecution of ranchers are now being revealed, making people across our country aware. Before mid April 2014, I was ignorant of what has been going on for decades. But now I and others know, and we are appalled. I do not live in each community where these abuses have been taking place — Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma — but I am now aware. And I have a voice with which to speak with my government representatives and the ability to post comments on Internet news articles to put forth the truth about the rancher’s situation. Many of us do.

    I think many people from around the country calling the Nevada Congressional Reps and Senators (well one Senator anyway) as well as calling their own Congressman and their own Senators and telling them they were concerned about another Waco is partly responsible for stopping the BLM and then stopping the Obama administration from using a drone and military force. The whole nation was watching. So support may not be local, but it can be national and it can be strong and it can be effective.

    I do not agree with the occupation of the Wildlife Refuge building (I too see “that one” who is a provocateur), but I do support the Bundys, the Hammond family and the Americans who once were ranchers, forced off their own land by our government. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Rhodes’ suggestion that the local residents return to ranching and logging and farming and whatever worthwhile activities they used to engage in before these federal government abuses began. Protecting good American families living decent lives and growing food for us all to eat is a just cause.

    My sole prayer is for everyone to leave the Wildlife Refuge unharmed. I’m sure every member of the Bundy family is deep in prayer and waiting to hear guidance from God. Please, dear God, let all be unharmed and return to their families. Let the provocateur be revealed, so good trusting people will not be led into a bad situation again. Let this end peacefully.

    1. What is needed, at a minimum, is one local rancher willing to stand, that we all then defend. That is needed as a beginning, and then you build from there. And that is what we had with the Bundy Ranch itself, for example.

      1. What is wrong with the defending the multiple ranchers that are at the refuge right now? Why would it have to be on their own land? It shouldn’t matter if it’s on their land or if they are joined at the refuge. Your arguments really make zero sense. They are uniting to take a stand for a legit cause and we should ALL be supporting them whether we agree with how they did it or not! I find it ridiculous that you are saying that the ONLY way you will support them is if the are slaughtered for the feds. So they have to be martyrs to get you people to do what you swore to do??

        Another thing I have a problem with is why don’t you, Stewart, sit down and have a conversation with Ammon and the others? No, instead you are listening to lies from the media and refuse to talk to him to understand exactly how this went down. I understand you feel betrayed but maybe that was never the intent. Regardless, you should be communicating with them. Yes, they could have done things differently but it does not make the fight any less legitimate!

  12. You people are a disgrace. This piece reflects at least a bit more sanity than those lame-ass Bundy boys but you’re all just a bunch of [One word deleted by Elias Alias, editor] trying to compensate for something, whether it be your [Two words deleted by Elias Alias, editor] or some rejection in childhood, or something. Grow up!

    1. And once again a keyboard commando who insults from afar good men, who are proven in service, and many of them in combat. you’re not fit to shine the boots of the warriors who serve on our Board of Directors, such as SGM Joseph Santoro (You’d be shaking in your shoes if you were standing in front of “Top” and even thinking of running your mouth to him), Marine Vietnam combat vet Steve Homan (my VP), Special Forces combat veteran, Rick Moon, or Sheriff Denny Peyman, who is a fearlesss modern day “walking tall” Buford Pusser.

      Project much?

      1. May I, as a sane norwegian (yes, foreign!) veteran leftist first offer my apologies for much of the hate that the US left is throwing the way of the oathkeepers?

        Having said that, from what I read on US military forums, the general consensus among armed “leftists” (does that include RINOS these days?) as well as most conservatives is that the use of long guns as a part of offensive civil disobedience is way over the line, and is basically criminal. This was not a response to a already armed situation, this was and still is a sitdown, in the tradition of Gandhi but just with snipers. And the sniper-part makes it unsupportable since there was no armed opposition to begin with.

      2. Mr. Rhodes…..Some good common sense suggestions and comments. The comments on this site for the last few days were, for the most part, well thought out and submitted for all to review and consider. Those that visit this comment section are very well versed and I detect one major common denominator…..American patriotism !! Add good judgement, management skills, American style basic common sense and the desire for freedom makes us the ones that can, and will, when required, defend this Sovereign Constitutional Republic at any cost whatsoever against whomever. No one with any brains can doubt this fact and everyone is aware that the “Tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”….We are under full attack from this Administration and you can be well assured that they are “doubling down” with just one year remaining and the real “carnage” and continuing “Fundamental Transformation” is far from over. I also personally believe that whether we like it or not, there will be a serious “altercation” in our future and I am proud to say that there are countless of “us” that stay ready, to keep from having to get ready. Communication, planning, organize and execute… it shall be done. I feel we are on the right path. God bless America !

    2. “You people are a disgrace.”

      I believe you have it backwards. You are the disgrace as you are either still ignorant of our LEGITIMATE government – or a paid shill (possible Traitor when working AGAINST the American people).

      “This piece reflects at least a bit more sanity than those lame-ass Bundy boys but you’re all just a bunch of [One word deleted by Elias Alias, editor] trying to compensate for something, whether it be your [Two words deleted by Elias Alias, editor] or some rejection in childhood, or something. ”

      This “comment” (and I do use the term loosely) shows everyone just how deep your ignorance is, and it is only a problem if you refuse to remedy that situation. Ignorance is curable with a little effort.

      As for your last “comment”, might you apply it to yourself? Because if you are saying this out of ignorance, then you can fix it. But understand that IF you are working against the American people then you might find yourself being prosecuted for those crimes someday, and we will not be lenient if you are found guilty.

      I do not always agree with Stewart – or others that I do respect and trust, but I do recognize that he has access to information that I do not, and take that into account. But understand, I and many, many others will lay our own lives on the line for and with him because a leader that is knowledgeable, skilled in the actual “job”, and willing to take advice is rare and worth following.

      You might want to start with actually reading the real US Constitution so that you can “cure” your ignorance of the true American government which is a Constitutional Republic NOT a “democracy” with the DELEGATED powers put into writing for all to read.

      If there were never intended to be action to defend the Constitution from those who are domestically attempting to destroy its power and authority, why would each Oath require it of those who take the Oaths?

      Chief Tecumseh: “When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

    3. @ Gary et al: Your slanderous filthy commentary (prior to
      Elias edit) is at best a personal cry for attention. Typical of projecting ones own pathetic pain upon others. Hope you have a happy life; it’s not too late.


  13. There should be an exit strategy for corrupt “Sheriff” Ward, a traitor and enemy of the people.

    1. Agreed! None of this crap would have happened (including the sad spectacle of an old, honorable rancher going back to prison to serve out an unjust sentence) if the Sheriff had just done his job. he should have told the Ninth Circuit to pound sand and should have interposed himself.

      1. This is well said. I think that your suggestion to Ammon is reasonable. Do you have an alternate plan if he does not follow your suggestion? In my opinion, even if Ammon does not follow your suggestion, an intercession by Patriots can deny the feds whatever propaganda fuel they would score in taking them on. Obviously they would “win” in the short run, though the entire nation would lose in the longer run.

        I submit that this is a situation that the Patriot Movement must resolve, one way or another. Make the Movement stronger, not weaker. Do not let the feds have their way, non-violently. Perhaps even have the Sheriff deputize some of your best and most trustworthy guys…help him grow some..

        I wrote my thoughts after watching the sound-byte from rep Walden from the House..

        May God be with us..

        Interesting that people keep saying, “An armed takeover is not the way to make it happen.” Even the militia people who are dedicated to American Liberty and the restoration of our Constitutional Republic, leaders like Stewart Rhodes and Chuck Baldwin are saying this.

        My comment to that is, well, that may be so, but look at the dialogue that has erupted as a result of Ammon Bundy’s concern, first for the Hammonds and then in addressing the massive government abuse that his discovery process revealed.

        Would any of this dialogue exist if Ammon Bundy had simply minded to his own business, the Hammonds quietly submitted themselves to an unConstitutional case of double jeopardy, and the residents of Harney County continued to tremble in fear in their own homes, hoping to avoid the attention of the government?

        In addition, the label “an armed takeover” establishes the foundation for a false narrative. These men simply walked into a building and occupied it, same as the “Occupy Movement” set up their occupations. No one was threatened, taken hostage or held captive. No property was damaged. The only real difference is that the Occupy Movement was at the mercy of armed police, who abused them and violated their First Amendment Rights, whereas Bundy’s group has their own weapons and has stated their intent to resist any effort on the part of the government to inflict harm on them.

        Pivotal moments in history are seldom planned. Plans have a way of falling apart, or taking their own direction once they are put into motion. Generally these pivotal moments are not gift-wrapped in a pretty box with a bow. This incident is one of those pivotal moments, in my opinion. It could go in a number of directions, depending upon the moves made by a number of parties who have a vested interest in the outcome of this situation.

        I understand the sensitivity of this issue in regards to the potential fuel for negative publicity against Patriots and Militia groups. That is a legitimate concern, and the propagandists in the White House, and the MSM, could certainly use a shootout to their advantage. If it is let go to this outcome, the propagandists get their fuel.

        The only legitimate option, in my opinion, is for the Patriot movement to take care of this situation themselves, avoiding a firefight, avoiding bloodshed, and denying the federal government the opportunity to score their propaganda points. Don’t throw Ammon Bundy to the wolves.

        I am certain that the leadership of the Patriot movement can put their heads together and develop a plan to defuse this situation before it turns bad. A window is still open for this, in this moment. I understand that there are differences between the various groups. This is a moment to set aside those differences and to respond to a crucial situation as the valiant men and women, committed to Liberty and the Constitutional Republic that you are. Authentic Brotherhood is the key.

        Historically, this could become one of the best things that has happened for all true Americans in recent times, May we make it so..

  14. Sensible. And it would certainly flabbergast the Democrat Party Audiovisual Club posing as the “mainstream” media, who’ve been rubbing their greedy little hands and cackling at the prospect of another Waco.

    If Michelle’s Metrosexual Mamzer had a molecule of strategic smarts, the arrogant illegitimacy would immediately issue a pre-emptory presidential pardon for all involved in this #OccupyMalheur action while launching an Inspector General investigation of the policies and tactics of the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service against which the Bundys et alia have been protesting.

    That would cost the clumsy, inept “community organizer” nothing of any significance whatsoever while making it look as if he were actually taking some kind of high ground.

    But he won’t. He’s too intent on making sure that nothing of this “crisis” goes to waste.

    Might as well cash in on the publicity already generated and leave our Indonesian-in-Chief swinging at thin air, thereby to look even more purposeless and stupid than he’s already proven himself to be.

  15. Im in the middle over all on this…
    I agree with OathKeepers on this, but at the same time, I agree with the Oregon protesters as well…

    so instead, I think ill recite some wisdom. its unwise for all the Patriots at this point to go, especially with Obamas bullshit executive order… if I was really wantin to get rid of all threats, id let them go to such a place… then drone strike or bomb them. 1) has literally no strategic value as a stagin area 2) no where for them to retreat!
    all ya gotta do is look at the google map.

    it literally would be a play from this book…

    “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    besides that,

    “No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”

    1. “Perception is strong and sight is weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and take a distanced view of close things” “Strategy is the craft of the warrior” Given your internet name of American Samurai I though I would share a little wisdom from a true Samurai Miyamoto Musashi from the Book of the Five Rings 1645.

  16. Well Spoken, Anything worth doing in the United States That has to do What are constitutional rights, has to be done Through the proper channels of government.

    1. OR, it at least has to be done in defense of an individual who asked for your help, and who is willing to stand up for themselves (for example, if he Hammonds had decided to stand). At the least, one stalwart rancher. Without that, actions by outsiders have no legitimacy.

  17. This taking of a federal building to confront the feds for thier lack of response to a “Pettion of Redress” signed by hundreds on citizens was the logical next step to get address. Where they took the building was also a logical place to bring attention to that Pettion of Redress. This is NOT about only this county but the country and ALL citizens rights to be heard and our Pettions answered. The government has no leg to stand on, they could and should have responded before We the People had to resort to such tactics. Mr. Rhodes you need to support this cause IF you stand for the consitution of the USA. The post above is correct… “First they came for………” Regards and best wishes to you.

    1. I think the next logical step would have been to find a stalwart rancher who was willing to defy federal edicts, and make that person’s ranch the base of operations in that county, and protect that rancher as he or she defied the feds, and once the other ranchers saw that example working, more would join in. And, while doing so, stand up a REAL citizens militia in that county.

      But even if you still think taking an empty federal building was the best next step, it should still have been up to the locals, on the Committee of Safety Ammon helped them form, who should have made that decision. Why they hell did Ammon help them form that Committee of Safety if he wasn’t going to let them decide the next step, as he promised? Window dressing? Apparently. I am just holding him to his own words. His own principles.

      1. Stewart, Who have you talked to in the area? About a third of the town is employed by the BLM. They may be slightly biased. Many others are scared of the government repercussions. just look at al the hell the Hammond s have been put through. and the Hammond s are not the only ones put through hell.

      2. I understand. We faced a similar problem in Lincoln, MT where the locals relied heavily on tourism and didn’t want to rock the boat. But, we need at the very least some individual rancher, miner, farmer, etc who wants help. You can start with that, and do something with that. You may never get majority support in a county that has been so badly taken over by the feds, but you must at least have the consent and cooperation of one brave soul with skin in the game.

      3. The process has already begun. It will get verry tense till the last moment. But one thing i see** EVREYONE AGREES** on the fundamentals.

        With you all my brothers my neighbors.

        Quebec Canada

  18. Thank you Stewart. That was the perfect response. I can see how what you described would be the just course of action. Its a shame it didn’t happen that way and its a shame that Mr Bundy lost his way. As I said before, I don’t think this will end well. Especially with Payne and Ritzenhiemer in that building. Two hot heads our movement does not need.

    1. Good point. Payne is either an agent provocateur, as many believe, or he is insane. And Ritzheimer is at the least a loose cannon hot head with very poor judgment, who likes to go off half-cocked, such as with his ludicrouos “plan” to arrest members of Congress (which he never even made a real attempt to follow through on). It is amazing that he still has credibility in the eyes of some, because he makes strident videos, and now because he has inserted himself into this mess. Balls without brains is still brainless.

  19. Agreed, your honorable actions have put a light on this issue, media are talking, congressmen are is talking and many people have been made aware of more Gov abuse and intrusions on the people. You guys in OR are great patriots and we need you for the future. Please walk away proudly and live to fight another day. Misinformation and the support of the people are mixed on this issue, right or wrong, we need the people’s support when we pick these battles, at least the part of the population that are not sheep, and in this case it just is not there. A better more coordinated effort in the future where all patriots, percenter’s and keeper’s are able to join and divide the forces of the Gov and have united support will come and we will need you. Don’t jump on the sword for this fight, walk away proudly now before the Gov and Media uses this for their advantage and against our cause.

    God speed my brothers

  20. I have a question for the “constitutionalists” and “oath keepers”. How is it that your scribbles on parchment can allow for a court case that cannot show a victim?

    1. I might have the ability to answer your question. However you will need to ask your question in a clear and concise question form so the receiver can understand what it is you are either confused about or need further expansion on the topic to form a well roun ded opinion. Askin a question that is drenched in an attempt of either insult or sarcasm simply won’t work and makes the messenger sound more like an instigator than simply the engaged. So if you can rephrase I think you might get an answer.

      1. I think he’s out of the USA and asking about how the Hammonds can be convicted of a victimless crime of arson when no one was harmed and the land in fact ended up being BETTER than it was before the burn, which is typical of nature in wildland settings.

  21. Well, Mr. Rhodes, it appears that your stance serves the divide and conquer meme that the PTB favor. Someone is taking a stance for your great American food belt and trying to defend YOUR rights – so when are you going to activate your Oath??? If you don’t stand aligned with these good folks, then it will be obvious that you merely blow hot air…so disappointed that you all have fallen for the divide and conquer that it makes me wonder what your organization is truly about. Do you really understand, the rights of all concerned here or are you just doing a political dance so you can say, “I told you so”.

    I once admired and respected your organization, now, I see you all speaking nothing but hot air. Even if the Hammonds voluntarily went back to prison, to keep the peace, do you not have any empathy for a 78 year old man, doing double jeopardy for truly no crime.How about the double dipping and funds generated by the justice system out of this case (while the govt scrambles for ways to pay govt employees by absconding land to avoid the public bankruptcy of the US)? How does that sit with you, when you look in the mirror? Do you really have that kind of conscience? I sure hope that when you get that age, someone is around to defend your food, your beef, your goats, etc…getting it??? This is Agenda 21 in action – wake up folks!

    You should stand behind these folks – you weren’t there and in charge, so back them up the best you can and stop tearing them down. Afterall, is there some kind of guide book for taking back the nation from criminal elements within your government that abuse the law and issue creeds, under the “color of law”? If so, please share. We all want to know.

    Help these people, don’t cut them off from love and support much needed right now. That is, above all what is needed right now…just imagine, what we can all achieve if we all helped them from a place of love.

    Besides that I do believe you need a consultation with Judge Anna Von Rietz ( so you actually “get” the rights that you all possess. You seem to not understand the base issues at play here.

    What you wrote about the “committee” well that’s just about passing the buck…and putting destiny in someone elses hands that may not have the collective intelligence to make proper decisions in the county and on behalf of those present. Are they “chartered” (and bonded) and by what power would they be granted the authority to speak/act on behalf of the Hammonds, Bundys and all the other ranchers showing up and telling very similiar stories to the Hammonds and Bundy’s?

    Time to be a force for good by standing with these folks that put food on your plate gentlemen. How do you like the price of steak these days? Food for thought….

    1. so when are you going to activate your Oath??? If you don’t stand aligned with these good folks, then it will be obvious that you merely blow hot air…

      You must not know much about us. We have placed ourselves directly in harms way on multiple occasions, starting with Bundy Ranch itself, but also again in Ferguson, Missouri, at the Sugar Pine Mine, and at the White Hope Mine in Lincoln, MT. And I was personally on the ground in all of those. I stood guard right outside the Bundy Ranch family home, all night. Were you there? At any of those important events where we stood? Probably not, but you insult those of us who were, and who did risk our lives for others (and as is typical, you insult us from the safety of your keyboard).

      Afterall, is there some kind of guide book for taking back the nation from criminal elements within your government that abuse the law and issue creeds, under the “color of law”? If so, please share. We all want to know.

      Yes, there is. It is the example of the Founding Fathers, who had the wisdom to retain the moral high ground, and the discipline to goad General Gage into being the aggressor, and attacking them at Lexington and Concord, where they were strong, and he was weak, and where they had a UNITED community that had formed militia and minuteman companies that numbered in the tens of thousands of men, and who had been preparing, storing supplies (including food, not just guns and ammo) for well over a year, and who had been organizing and training, so when the fight came, they kicked British ass all the way back to Boston. THAT is how you kick off a revolution. With a military victory and a moral victory, with Gage getting his ass kicked while also being the very clear aggressor since he marched his men out of Boston and all the way to Lexington, and since the Lexington Militia were standing on their own Green, and simply refused to lay down their arms. That way, they were clearly merely defending their rights. They did not go and seize a British customs office, military barracks, etc. They stood on their own Green. Here, the smart way to go would have been to find at least one brave rancher, miner, farmer, or logger who was willing to defy federal edicts, and then defend that local as they did so.

      What you wrote about the “committee” well that’s just about passing the buck…and putting destiny in someone elses hands that may not have the collective intelligence to make proper decisions in the county and on behalf of those present. Are they “chartered” (and bonded) and by what power would they be granted the authority to speak/act on behalf of the Hammonds, Bundys and all the other ranchers showing up and telling very similiar stories to the Hammonds and Bundy’s?

      Hey, it was Ammond’s idea to form that committee, so ask him. And it was he who told them they would be in charge, they would call the shots. I’m just pointing out what he promised, and then did not honor. So, take it up with him.

      If you have a local individual, you can support them. But if you don’t, you need some form of community entity in charge to make the decisions. That is what self government is all about. But you, as an outsider, cannot go into their county and just do as you please. You have to be under the authority of someone who is a local. Get at least one rancher who will take a stand, and stand with them and defend them. That is what we did with the Bundys themselves, and again with the miners.

      1. Mr Rhodes, I have to agree with Beyond Disappointed. Of course the Hammonds went to prison “voluntarily” and refused help out of fear the situation would be made worse no doubt after decades of battling the BLM and subjected to repeat harassment.

        Now, it is the Bundy brothers who need your protection. While FBI or local authorities have not made overtures it is not out of the question an attempted arrest will be made. The bundys nor the Hammonds deserve such unjust treatment even if you disagree with how they have gone about their protest. The bundys are making headway bringing to public light the abuses people are suffering at the hands of government. I ask Oath Keepers to reconsider and deploy to the location if only for the safety of the Bundys.

        GOOD INFORMATION on this issue …

        SHERIFF Dave Ward Harney County Sheriff’s Office
        485 Court St Burns, OR 97720
        tel: 541-573-6156
        fax: 541-573-8383
        County Sheriff’s site

        PETITIONS For Hammonds Freedom

      2. Yes the Hammond’s went and peacefully turned themselves in. What would you do in their place? The Hammond women are left to try to run the ranch on their own. The BLM has made it so that if the Hammonds should ever have to sell their ranch. They have to sell to the BLM. The ability of the women to keep the ranch going depends on the BLM renewing their grazing rights. Do I need to explain any further?

      3. Here, here! If you listen to mainstream media, you will get a negative spin on this issue. I heard the town meeting, listened to the ranchers who went out to visit them at the compound, those who spoke with Pete Spirelli’s live feed. This is still a Constitutional issue that the ranchers are afraid Will backlash on them. The “towners”, as called by the ranchers wants things back to normal only because they’ve not been adversely affected personally. If people “stand down” regardless of the compliance to the government, by the Hammonds, who the hell will!

      4. Lori,
        Interesting article that might shed light on the BLM agenda….

        Australian-owned Oregon Energy LLC hopes to mine 18 million pounds of yellowcake uranium from the southeastern Oregon high desert 10 miles west of McDermitt near the Oregon-Nevada boundary.
        Meanwhile, Calico Resources USA Corp., a subsidiary of a Vancouver, B.C., company, may seek permits this month to chemically extract microscopic gold from a high desert butte south of Vale called Grassy Mountain, a project likely to create another 100 jobs.

    1. And yet another one who insults us from afar, who likely was nowhere near Bundy Ranch, Sugar Pine Mine, White Hope Mine, or Ferguson. And who likely never served and directly put yourself in harms way. I served a a paratrooper, with 36 jumps, and risked my life many times in service, nearly dying twice, with the last one being a near fatal parachuting accident during a night jump that broke my spine, which is now fused, with steel rods inserted to hold it all together. Yep, I’m a real airborne pantywaist.

      just because you disagree with something someone says, and just because they are not wiling to scream “WOLVERINES!” with rifle in hand and do stupid shit, does not make them cowards or wimps. It takes both balls and brains. Brains with no balls is useless. But so are balls without brains. Try to learn to disagree with others without presuming that they just MUST be cowards because they disagree with you. And that goes double when addressing people who have walked the warrior path and who have proven their personal courage in very concrete ways.

      1. If you really do respect Ammon Bundy . . . .as the leader of Oath Keepers, you should ride in there and escort him him out before the tarnished reputations of a certain 4 individuals there put a permanent public scar on the reputations of the patriot movement and the Bundy family. Are you watching the endles stream of bad press surrounding these 4 individuals?? If you want to really save the movement and help Bundy, go get him out of there while he still has his credibility and before the whole movement is badly damaged.

    2. “Jan”, are you a real person or one person using the software to post as many? I suspect the latter as those paid “operators” have nothing to say except “high schoolish” taunts.

      Understand if you are the latter, there is no cure for Traitors except prosecution. If you are a “dumbed down” individual there is cure for your ignorance of America, but it will take a bit of effort on your part.

      Giving you the benefit of doubt, may I suggest you start by reading the Constitution of the United States of America which defines our government, delegates and separates the authority granted by the people, and also is the supreme LAW of our land.

      Remember there IS a cure for ignorance, but Treason is a crime, the highest crime.

      If there were never intended to be action to defend the Constitution from those who are domestically attempting to destroy its power and authority, why would each Oath require it of those who take the Oaths?

      Chief Tecumseh: “When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

    3. @ jan: I put your screen name in lower case intentionally. Here we see an example of the polished art of “pissing in the wind.” Doing something that is a complete waste of effort and time for which you can expect no results and that may even backfire on you. May your headwind not better you.

      Best regards.

  22. Many of us patriots still have fresh memories of Ruby Ridge…. Waco…..and the Republic of Texas independence stand off 19 years ago now. In all three circumstances the situation got out of hand due to impatience, and pumped up emotions taking over the momentum. My concern is that this is pretty much the same “seasonal window” within which at least the Waco and the Ft Davis disputes began to develop into “Springtime” tragedies. I conclude with but one other thought. One thing that stands out in my own mind about the direction of the rebellion that took place some 150 years ago is that the antagonists never demonstrated any interest in gaining control of Washington, D.C. but chose to pick battles on the periphery. We are in the home stretch right now -with a healthy lead ahead of the jackasses in regaining control of this run-a-muck federal institution.

  23. Stewart, a wise old man once told me that democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. That is the situation we have here in Oregon. If we limit insistence on the observance of the Constitution to only those areas where people will vote to up hold it, liberty will be lost. You see, the purpose of the Constitution was not only to limit the power of the Federal Government, but to also ensure that without ratification of an amendment, the democratic process could never infringe on individual or state rights.

    While it is obvious that the planning for the stand-off in Oregon was inept, it does not take away from the issues. What is needed here now is the establishment of a new AO, identification of the individuals that have failed these citizens and a precise, simple message that is easy to convey. The establishment of a new AO will enable personnel to withdraw from the refuge, maintain news media momentum and should meet the following criteria:
    – Enables the free movement of personnel in/out to repeated rallies/marches to be conducted in Burns
    – Is on private property with the blessing/invitation of the landowner.
    – Has attributes similar to the Hammond situation with regard to BLM/NFS land access and use.

    This approach will allow for repeated area protests over an extended term if required, without the specter of a Waco/Ruby Ridge scenario for both the patriots and the Feds. The alternative is that this ends badly for both the people at the refuge and the movement in general. Politicians are not going to fix the issues in this county. They have tried for over 20 years and it is now obvious that the Federal Government has an agenda that does not include the best interest of the people in these regions.

    1. I agree completely that we don’t live in a democracy and it can be done by a small handful of ranchers, or even kicked off by a single ranching family, with our support. It doesn’t have to be kicked off by the county commissioners, the sheriff, or even by an elected committee of safety. It would be IDEAL if it were, but I recognize that we may never achieve that kind of united stand in that county. But, at a minimum, you need a local resident, with skin in the game, who is willing to take a stand for their own rights, and then we back them up. Where is that individual or ranching family in this case? The Hammonds chose not to stand. So the next move should have been to find a local who would. Then, use their ranch, farm, mine, etc as a base of operation, as we defended them while they took that stand. Who, exactly, is Ammon defending? He will say “all of the people of Harney County” but that is without their consent and without them being in charge. With an individual land owner, that land owner is ultimately in charge and we can make a strong case that we are defending them, at their request, and to do so is honorable and in keeping with the principles of liberty even if their neighbors won’t stand. That is how we did it at Bundy Ranch, for example, where the other ranchers had all folded and given up, and where the Sheriff of Clark County, NV refused to help the Bundys, and the people of Clark County sat on their hands (with few exceptions) and where the Governor also failed in his duty. And that is what we did a the Sugar Pine Mine, in Josephine County, OR, and again at the White Hope Mine in Lincoln, MT. In both those cases, the sheriffs would not defend them, the local county and town governments would not defend them, but we would. But it took miners willing to stand in defense of their own rights, as individuals, who then asked for our help. We don’t need the consent of the majority in a county to go and help an individual stand up for his or her rights. We only need that individual’s consent. But you do need at least one who will stand. Otherwise, who is in charge? By what authority do you act? See my point?

      It is best if we have a united community, but I’ll take one stalwart rancher. That’s all we need to get it rolling, but we do need at least that. – Stewart

      1. Stewart, It appears we are in agreement. I believe that our Federal Government has adopted a “never let a crisis go to waste” strategy. Our ability to educate the general public regarding these land rights issues (especially with the support of Rep. Greg Walden) has never been higher. We too should not let this crisis go to waste, if possible. There may be additional issues to protest should the FBI execute arrest warrants for personnel at the refuge. I suggest we all try to identify a suitable AO candidate location quickly, even if it is in Malheur County (where the proposed 2.5M acre Nat’l Monument issue is pushing ranchers to their breaking point). See and

        Representative Walden is a honest man. I suggest you consider calling his office to arrange for a short chat to determine if he would be able to help identify a suitable AO/property that would enable those willing to continue the protest to do so safely.

        His number in DC is (202) 225-6730 (he has a Bend office, but it is lightly staffed).

  24. Well the town hall meeting in Burns, Oregon is over. A lot of people spoke up with an equal voice of reason. Agreement of over reach by the government, disagreement with Ammon’s tactics but appreciation for him stepping up causing an awakening and that it is time for him to go home. It is easy to sit and judge others without really knowing them or their heart. The land the refuge sits on was of course Paiute land first and like all the land of the United States was taken away from the American Indian. We either hold it or we release all of it. When Oregon entered the Union certain “salt” lands were not included. The refuge in question remained territory and is U.S. land. The movement by many western states to have U.S. land relinquished to the states is a process. There is no “getting it back” only getting it for the first time. The Sheriff offered an escort out of the county. It’s a good time on a good foot to exit stage left.

  25. As a former Vetran, law enforcement officer and elected Sheriff for 20 years, I fully agree with Stewart . I also feel that the local Sheriff should have taken control of the situation long before now – appears.he was a pawn for the feds.

    1. And there is the root of the problem. This Sheriff did not do his job. We saw the same problem in Clark County, NV during the Bundy Ranch standoff, in Josephine County, OR where the new Sheriff refused to defend the miners, and again in Lincoln, MT. And that is why volunteers had to come in and defend those people, but we had someone to defend, who wanted our help, and who was willing to take a stand. That is what is missing here.

      1. Thank You Stewart.1.You have provided a plan of action.2.Execution of that plan.3.The protection for the people.
        This should be a blueprint for every town,County and State in the union.
        It will be in my Town.

  26. Mr. Rhodes, though I do support your stance you have taken on this and I do agree that is the best way for Mr. Bundy to save face and his ass in this, I do wonder what happens when he does (hopefully) stand down. Will he and his be prosecuted? Will the feds simply let him go? Will the sheriff intervene to assist, and assist who? The people may or may not do a thing and that is their choice, yet if it was that bad there in the first place what makes anyone believe it improves when the smoke has (hopefully metaphorically) cleared? Did the feds not say they’d be back pertaining to the Bundy Ranch incident?
    Whatever the outcome WE all need to continue our alertness on this matter (and others). I feel the Oathkeepers may be well served to get our message and awareness out to the US population in general. Fact is many places who could use our help have never even heard of us. Case in mind is Marion Mi. and the Bakker hog farm. That guy is currently selling off his entire operation due to gov’t intervention, harassment, etc… He may have wanted (or not) our help yet I wonder if he was even aware of us. That is just one example.
    Our militias have been destroyed and the small ones remaining, everywhere, sure could use some support and guidance as you are offering Mr. Bundy. I pray he takes your advice and can walk away a free man, able to fight another day as he’s called upon. I also admire the fact that he’s doing something.

    1. Good questions. I think his best bet would be to move to a privately owned ranch in the area, to support a rancher who was willing to make a stand, and stay there for the foreseeable future, where Ammon and his brothers could have some security and build up momentum and support in the community in the right way, while bringing in volunteers to back them up, as they do it right (by defending a rancher who wanted to take a stand and who requested help). All of the groups that have been alienated by the way Ammon did this, may then come back on board, though he would have to dump Ryan Payne and John Ritzheimer, at a minimum – and likely Blaine Cooper too (who is a felon), to make it clear that there would be sane adult leadership rather than ego driven stupidity, intentional manipulation and “agent provocateur” actions, or suicidal death wish thinking. Such a lateral move, to a private property ranch, is his best move, I think, to have the best chance to avoid arrest.

      1. Thank you Sir for responding to my post. Crazies such as those you’ve named are great fodder for our news media and those others with their own agenda. They taint and besmirch our names and what we stand for.
        I agree with your stated solution and hope it comes to that.

      2. TY Mr. Rhodes for showing a cool head during this Oregon show. I fear that provocateurs are in the camp also and that Ammon needs to bifurcate from those 3 fellas.

        I must apologize to you as I felt you were just jealous about not spearheading this deal. Facts I relied on where wrong-you have my sincere apology Sir. (I still don’t like Attny’s, lol)

        I do support what you guys represent and will be there when called!

  27. This gains the cause little, and endangers much. Mr. Pen and Cellphone has shown no indication of stopping or slowing his (and his agents) rule by decree, and this can provide another excuse for further intervention. Should violence occur it will certainly be portrayed as all about crazy militias with evil black rifles. If they had a local “Sheriff Mack” to stand with them, I might think differently.

  28. Although I agree with standing up against the govt and the BLM, I do believe it should be done with intelligence, much forethought and these actions should be supported by truth.
    That being said, let me ask you this; If I steal a car and you buy it, does that really make it your car?
    No. It makes me a thief and you a target who was duped into buying stolen property. A thief can never truly own what he/they have stolen.
    Everyone is talking about returning the land to these ranchers and farmers but what no one is recognizing or admitting, is that the land this “militia” has taken their ill fated stand on, is Paiute Land. This is when I revert back to my previous and truthful statement > A thief can never truly own what he/they have stolen. This includes a gov’t that writes laws to benefit them, making the majority of their laws *invalid*.

    1. That is a fair point. And maybe justice demands that any federally controlled public land that is taken over by the local residents really should be turned over to the Paiute tribe. Now, wouldn’t that really “torque the wa” of the left? If we declared that we were returning the land to the Indians? We can’t return what is now privately held property, since the current owner has to live somewhere, but when it comes to all the millions of acres of uninhabited land the feds control, we certainly can give large chunks back to the Indians. That would be fun. Some for the state of OR, some for the tribes. Good way to gain allies.

  29. Fluent, forceful, timely, and brilliantly appropriate speech,… from an eloquent orator that has devoted much deep thought to actually resolving this issue with dignity for those involved.

    Thank you Stewart Rhodes for stepping in and “engaging on an issue of potential life and death”.

    “Silence in the face of tyranny, is consent to that tyranny”


  30. January 7, 2016 Playing the government’s game

    When it comes to violence, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you—pull your beard, flick your face—to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”—John Lennon

    1. That only goes so far. Regimes throughout history have simply killed non-violent protesters and dissidents. White Rose Society, for example, in Nazi Germany. Depends on the situation, and how advanced the tyranny, and whether there is any check on their doing so. Here, the check is the Three Percenters, us Oath Keepers, the millions of armed veterans, and all of the active duty who would join the resistance if the hammer is dropped Waco style. That is the only check, frankly, on Ammon and crew being “Waco’d” I don’t think there is enough of a conventional political check. Not in this case. Stewart

  31. We need these Oath Keepers……….ALIVE. It is NEVER smart to play to the power of your enemy, and violence is our government’s forte. Step down now, live to fight on the day that is coming…..when the citizens of the United States of America have a chance. Not now. Whether you agree or not, Ruby Ridge was, sadly, a government victory. Remember, 75% of the college kids today could not name 10 people who died there, or exactly why they died, or who killed them. These people would not know that a smirking Attorney General of the United States of America, Janet Reno, said she was the one who gave the orders. That’s how the government operates and we can’t beat them with guns. We can beat them with the kind of brains and courage you and your men have. Please don’t waste them on the sword of stinking, mercenary contractors, paid for with taxpayers money. Don’t spill your blood on soil that will be forgotten. Have the courage to save yourselves and fight again, as I say, when together, we stand a chance. That day is not today….but it’s coming.

  32. As an analyst, it’s my job to take thing apart and study them. Stewart, your statement is extraordinary. You, and whoever may have helped you with this statement, should be highly commended for it.

    The most important thing is the retaining of the high moral ground. We are living in an era where entities, official and unofficial, will manufacture it. They avail themselves of opportunities, and like barbs on a fish hook, they will use them to insert their themselves under the guise of “protecting the people”. This tactic is one of the few that work in a society that is still functional. It is treachery and a fraud.

    Transparency, innocence and righteousness are key when defending against those who have much to hide.

    Well done.

  33. I can’t stand the keyboard warriors and their name calling, just stop as most will not engage in such a battle.

    I’m not sure what the answer is. But I do know this; there is a reason they call us the III%. As most American’s are complacent and comfortable in their lives, that’s about to change in a dramatic and drastic way as we sit back and watch our financial system unravel. Maybe then American’s will unite. Then again, maybe not. Maybe they’ll still believe MSM and the rhetoric from the federal government. I do find it ironic that the very agencies that the people should be keeping in check, are the same agencies calling those people, terrorists!

  34. Keep going Stewart…You’re on a roll. You obviously have the moral and constitutional high ground here. Weed out the bad and retain the good and level headed. You are in the right place on this issue….STAY THERE..!!! STAY THE COURSE…!!!

    By the way….What happened to your eye.?..You have been wearing that eye patch for some time now. Hope its nothing serious…

  35. Times like this makes me proud of all the plugging I do for the Oath Keepers as an Associate Member.

    This is one of the most honorable things I’ve heard an organization write. Right on. Every word.

    O.K’s truly remember the scope of the Constitution and our Oath to it WITHOUT letting emotions to guide us.

    Ammon is a great man and he and all of us stand to learn much from THIS response and Plea.

    I pray Stewart’s words can penetrate what our Brother Ammon is going through inside and take the 30,000 ft view, count to ten and see what the People can do united.

    Very Proud, this is Awesome.

  36. Have anyone thought about going to burns to offer an escort out of the state for ammon? I don’t know if it would be a good idea but it might allow the oath keepers a chance to positively end this thing on a national stage.

    Just thinking out loud

  37. S’cuse me campers,………… But did anyone ever hear of a “Chain of Command Structure” for an organization like ours, that deals with matters such as we do ????? I’m surprised that these conversations are being made for all the Country to view, and portray us to be a bunch of confused, amateurish, rednecks,toting WEAPONS, with a HATRED for anything that sounds or smells like a GOVERNMENT AGENT !!!! I don’t mind standing up against “out of Control Government”, but only if I am assured that the leadership is totally in charge and KNOWS how to Command. Why so much indecision and confusion? We are giving the Left Wing Press plenty of copy that makes us look STUPID !!!!!

    1. It is what it is. The dirty laundry was already all over the street. We’re just trying to pick up the pieces, and all I can do is say what I believe is the right course.

    2. Sorry, from now on I’ll make sure to qualify any future comments with the phrase

      “I am not an oath keeper, just a simple minded sympathizer with a keyboard “

  38. As a life member of oath keepers paid in full, this message from our leader speaks for me perfectly.

  39. I agree with the others who understand the aversion to render assistance to Ammon, but at the same time are wondering why the deluge of posts condemning Ammon’s decision.

    This is like what, the 6th essay in 4 days? They all essentially convey the same point, which is that Ammon is acting foolishly and or potentially going to be taken for a ride. We get the message.

    As another comment stated, where is the essay or statement against the regime for charging the Hammonds in double jeopardy, using spurious charges of terrorism, circumvention of a legally required Grand Jury for indictment, etc?

    Even Reason magazine, which is regime-friendly “libertarian lite”(and certainly nothing approaching militant), seems to understand the rationale for Ammon’s actions. See here:

    Also see this recent piece on here:

    As yet, Oath Keepers and the official speakers for III% have not tendered the same rhetoric or arguments, which is strange to me.

    On that note, I find an increasing amount of Oath Keeper statements and activities strange as of the last year. Looming large was the “operation” to guard military recruiting centers, which is inconsistent to say the least with a movement that is supposed to be about preserving individual liberty vis-a-vis the threat posed by the same regime doing the recruiting, and whose war making abroad and militant fascist outlook has been hugely responsible for the build up of a surveillance and security state that erodes individual liberty.

    I also never appreciated, or understood, Rhodes referring to the people as sheep and the military and police as the “sheep dogs” in recent speeches. Again, that is very incongruent with what is supposed to be a movement that is decidedly suspicious of centralized power, the enforcement capacity of that power, and jealous of individuals rights to prosper and secure themselves, as opposed to being the livestock of the corrupt and powerful.

  40. I do not think the sales of hats, t shirts and assorted trinkets will increase by always playing Defense. That time has past. the world is burning in front of our eyes.

  41. Support and defend the Constitution.

    Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.

    Participate in the democratic process.

    Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.

    Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.

    Participate in your local community.

    Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.

    Serve on a jury when called upon.

    Defend the country if the need should arise.

    Military or not we all have a duty to support the constitution and our country. What I see is psyop’s that are illegally placed into our country by our own government, you will never win over the masses with the amount of money invested to keep people in the dark you will always have some that are thick headed and would never think that a government could be so ruthless to hurt us. Those people later find out and do realize usually too late but when you know your in the right you can’t back down.

    If Ammon chooses to accept the offer to of safe passage then we shall be there to make sure that deal doesn’t go sideways and they own to there word unlike Ammon did not when he told the people of the county they where in charge, that’s where his credibility was lost with the sheriff and caution should be taken when accepting there offer which is why we should be there to make sure the others and himself are guaranteed this.

    You can still hold an upper hand and still show your loyalty and discipline to brothers. I may not have served my family has served and much respect to all those who have done so and I will do my best to honor those who have for us. Thank you all.

    1. I’m just now getting up to speed on this situation, was too blind to be drafted for Vietnam and know nothing of all the personalities involved in the takeover of the BLM facility. What I’m getting from all of this is that Amman Bundy may have badly miscalculated the amount of local support he would receive. If the figure someone threw out that ~1/3 of the area residents are dependent on the BLM for their jobs is accurate and if the abuses I’m reading about are several decades in length it’s not at all surprising that many locals have chosen to duck and cover. They would fear they would have to choose to leave their present lifestyles behind and move if they support Bundy and the Feds don’t blink. Not justifying them, merely making an observation…

  42. Ammon did what many others in this nation wish they had the balls to do. I support him 100%. It’s easy to sit back and criticize his actions, but the facts are the facts. This is bigger than a small ranching town in Oregon or any other state… This is about an over reaching, over bearing, out of control government. Our government has become 1776ish and quite a bit worse… Follow me here Mr Rhodes… Imagine if Oathkeepers and many others got behind him and showed up to Oregon to give support and make stand…. There is no time like the present…

    Watch “Writing on the Wall – Jordan Page (Soundstage Performance)” on YouTube

  43. Very well said but I don’t understand why Ammon Bundy seems to be being targeted here. I think his purpose is just. I think the Hammonds should not be in jail and I think BLM is overstepping their authority and the Judge sending them to jail should loose their title. The Sheriff as well needs to step down for allowing the Federal Government to attack the people he is sworn to protect. So why does everyone keep saying it is not their fight? I feel guilty for not standing beside him. The only thing I disagree with is occupying the Federal land even though I don’t believe there should be Federal land where it is. Why doesn’t everyone protest the Sheriff who allows the BLM to put Americans lives in danger and harasses land owners and keep them from using their land? It is time to stand!

  44. Stewart,

    You have laid out an excellent proposal. Would it be wise for Ammon to ask Sheriff Ward to join him at this meeting with the Security Council, but first. Ask Sheriff Ward to exercise his lawful authority and rescind the authority he has given the FEDs to handle this investigation. In addition, should Ammon not ask the Sheriff to rescind any deputations of Federal Agents? Once the Federal agents have removed themselves from the county, Ammon can do as you say. This would seem a reasonable request and compromise by each side. It would demonstrate good faith from the Sheriff in wanting to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the “protest”. After all, how can the Sheriff or the Committee on Safety have any standing, if they are not acting under the Sheriff’s approval. I do not see why the Sheriff would object to this for any reason, other than there is not a willingness to end this peacefully or have his authority recognized.

  45. The Bundy’s need protection. Why are they being shunned by good American patriots? Because people are offended that the Bundy’s didn’t do it the way they would’ve done it? The people of Harney County obviously have not a set among them. The Sheriff is offering to escort them to their demise. This is the full video. Where the Sheriff acts more like a Fed then a defender of the Constitution.

    1. Excellent video and point! Ammon needs to keep pointing out ALL CHANNELS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. His actions of civil disobedience should be protected. He is building momentum background on these issues are put out the more support will be generated. Tried to send him delivered pizza yesterday as a measure of support but no deliveries in the area 🙂 Wish I was closer.

    2. I used to live in the area. The locals have a few dynamics going on. First, the ranchers are intimidated and literally AFRAID OF the feds. They have visited the CCF and told them exactly that. Bundy claims they’ve had hundreds of locals come by to interact with them and express support.

      Next, the locals don’t like outsiders coming in and calling the shots, as they see it. But because it’s such a small town they really can’t see beyond their own insecurities. It’s a life they live and they frankly need outsiders to take the lead on this. I believe they’ll fall in line and become supportive once they grasp the bigger picture (I’m speaking of the Oregon III%). They posted some lengthy video of a meeting they had shortly after this went down.

      The locals are now realizing that for the first time ever their town, and ISSUES, are on the map. We need to support this cause in every way possible, including a show of force if possible, as a way of sending a message to the rest of the nation that this is a widely supported cause.

  46. Did not know the whole story as to what was going on, I just know something didn’t seem right about it. This put into perspective!

  47. This is going is end with three, simple letters: A-D-X. It’s just greed & stupidity masquerading as patriotism. Pure mendacity – like a 82nd Airborne trying to pass himself off as a Ranger.

  48. How many community members does it take for this action to be legitimate? Is it ever 100%? Could Bundy and his group take a stand for the Hammonds regardless of their wishes? On behalf of other ranchers who might face government intrusion at a later date? Those afraid and intimidated by government and afraid to speak! Why, if what the government is doing is wrong, would the Bundys be illegimate in their form of protest? If protestors in Ferguson and Baltimore can loot and burn property, impede citizen movement, confront authority, assault police officers and citizens and create chaos, than why is what the Bundys and their supporters doing so wrong? They have merely began camping on public property. Guns are a 2A right of the people and irrelevant to the argument. Redress of grievances by the government is a Constitutional guarantee and the Bundys are well within their rights to demand it. Civil disobedience has been used since well before the Boston Tea Party and until We, the People demand redress through the use of this tactic, the government will continue to ignore our voices. Rebellion is a messy undertaking. Not always a perfect example of protest and action. The Bundys are the vanguard of citizens who are fed up. The government tactic of deceit and zealotry and overreach in reference to our land and guns and liberty is infuriating increasing numbers of people daily. The Bundys timing and location for their protest could be argued by intelligent individuals but, his sentiment about government intrusion is not overblown. Many Oregonians support Bundy and his group. Is his protest limited to the immediate area only?

  49. I can see the value of uniting together to uphold the constitution, but bringing guns to a protest muddies the message, as people may only be listening to you out of fear, or titillation, not because your ideas are persuasive. Plus the Bundys have closed the ears of the many who are offended by the guns or by the sneaky takeover of some workers’ offices and a museum that people have volunteered countless hours to build up and maintain out of love for that land and its creatures. They are simply bullies now, which is unfortunate because if they have a point, it’s lost in the drama.
    I’ve just read this page of your commentary and as a woman, I have to say that you folks sound as condescending as a bunch of feminists. Who are you to decide that you know what’s best for everyone else and that people are too weak to do the ‘right’ thing, which is your thing. I get that warriors enjoy confrontations, just as the leaders of most other movements do, but to condescend to those who by nature prefer a different approach to life is to actually weaken that person’s sense of self. I don’t like feminists’ efforts to ‘liberate’ me from my ‘weak’ choice to be a stay at home mother because all I see in that is their narcissism and disrespect for someone of a different temperment, and I see that kind of arrogance here, as well, towards the people you want to ‘save’.
    Bundy doesn’t need to save face. If he is a man of God, he needs to humble himself, apologize and pay any consequences he may experience for his actions. If you value the constitution, you accept the rule of law even when you find yourself on the wrong side of it.

    1. Betty, I think you and I can certainly agree that the locals need to be in charge of their own destiny, and that any lasting change and lasting “stand” will have to be done by them. We can help, but we can’t do it for them, as I said in my first written statement about this, which you can read here:

      However, sometimes you have to fight, because it is brought to you, as it was brought to the Lexington and Concord Militia, the Minutemen Companies, and their neighbors on April 19, 1775. By that point, they had no option but to resist, with arms, the attempt to disarm them and arrest their leaders. But certainly, it is still up to the locals to make that choice. Captain John Parker was a resident of Lexington, and he commanded the Lexington Militia, made up of other locals, and it was he, that one man, that local leader, who gave the historic order of “Stand your ground. Do not fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” (and those serve as very fine standing orders for us today). And then when the British commander shouted out an order for the Lexington Militia to “lay down your arms and disperse” Captain Parker and his men refused. They did not attack. They did not move forward. They did not fire. But they did not lay down their arms and disperse. They simply stood. That turned out to be exactly the right way to go. Brilliant.

      The Founders had baited General Gage into sending his men out to Lexington and Concord, to try to capture John Hancock and Sam Adams, the patriot leaders of all of Massachusetts, an to try to capture the stockpile of arms that the rebel leaders were stashing in the area of Lexington and Concord (along with food storage to feed an army they knew they needed to build). They had also formed up town militia and special “Minute Man” companies. They got ready. They organized, trained, and equipped a strong resistance. But they were smart enough not to attack Gage and his men in Boston, or to try to seize some British office. They forced Gage to be the clear aggressor out in the country, where the people had ignored and defied his orders that they cease holding town hall meetings (which King and Parliament thought were the source of all the trouble, and if they could just stop those town hall meetings, the resistance would lose steam – all it did was piss more Americans off to have their town hall meetings “banned” and they engaged in defiance and held them anyway).

      In this case, it must be up to the locals to decide how to resist. We can advise them, and we can protect them, if they want us to, against violence as they do so. But it must be their choice. And, yes, they certainly have the right to try peaceful, unarmed civil disobedience, but even if they do, our stance of “No More Free Wacos” (which we adopted from Mike Vanderboegh) is still useful. It is far, far easier to engage in peaceful civil disobedience when the government knows it cannot just crush you without sparking a civil war, in which not only many of the veterans will fight on your side, but also many in the current serving military. That matters. Whether you use it or not. It is a factor. And I think that is good, and as the Founders intended.

      God bless, and thanks for your well thought out comment.


      1. Stewart, I have learned much from this situation. Mostly I have learned that the Oathkeepers and other groups won’t stand up in situations I thought they would have stood up for. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s a valuable lesson just the same.

        I do have to say that I am giving the benefit of the doubt, to all Sheepdogs, that you all may see and understand something about this situation that I do not yet see or understand.

        This particular response, that you have given to Betty, does show me that you are a teacher. Not a Common Core teacher (that’s a compliment ), but a teacher with the truth and the student’s heart as your foci.

    2. Betty, These are my opinions in response to your post:

      You are missing the big picture. Your opinion is not uncommon, but it is selfish. This is not just a Hammond Family issue, nor is it a Harney County issue. Its not even an Oathkeeper issue nor is it a militia issue. This is not about people wanting a “confrontation”. This is about the United States Constitution. It is about OUR freedom (all of us who are proud to be US Citizens). It is about someone standing up and saying “enough”. You should be in awe of Bundy’s courage and commitment (not to memtion is extremely level head in the face of a traitorous sheriff) but instead you act as if HE, rather than the BLM is being the bully– seriously?? You are more fearful of an inanimate object (a gun) which Bundy has only for DEFENSE, then you are of a tyrannical government which cares nothing about you or your God-given freedoms– seriously??

      You are spending entirely too much energy focused on your feelings and not nearly enough energy focusing on what is really happening. This is not about any one individual and it’s most cetainly not about feelings. This is about fighting back before we no longer can.

      If standing up for our Constitution is not your thing, well you’ll have to square with that. Might I suggest that chastising those who would stand up is nothing more than shooting yourself in the foot?

      Disclaimer: I am also a woman and a stay at home mother… neither of those is an excuse to make everything about me.

  50. Stewart as you know I have been a strong supporter of the OathKeepers from a few months shy of the very start and I have done a lot of video work for you including the taping of the first annual OathKeepers meeting in which I ran three cameras without help for the whole thing which ran about ten hours as I recall. It has been my honor to work with you all and I have taken and will keep my oath forever.

    I have followed this situation in Oregon closely and I have taken the time to become very well informed about the issues involved. I think your stance on this situation is the right one as it concerns whether or not the OathKeepers should join Ammon Bundy in Oregon. Although it pains me greatly to not go and take part there in Oregon along side Ammon I understand your point which you have expressed so eloquently over the past few days in these statements. Know this though Stewart that my heart is pulling me VERY strongly to go and join them even though it was an ill advised and tactically unwise move to do what they did. I am close to saying to myself damn the torpedoes I am going anyway because I will not leave any patriot behind even if they blunder a little. I am torn between your wise approach to stay out of this and the feeling that we have all waited too long already to take concrete action and we have all suffered too much already to wait for the ideal scenario. I side with you Stewart but not by much. I have suffered myself at the hands of the feds and I will tell you about that another time perhaps if we ever get the time to talk again.

    That having been said I think we may all be limiting ourselves and our options as to how to respond without realizing it. Right now everyone is looking at this as a choice between two options. Namely we either go to the defense of the Oregon protesters in force or we leave them to their own fate at the hands of the feds. Well we have a plethora of other options available to us as to how we can respond.

    I think there is a way to respond that allows for us to seize the moral high ground, protect the ranchers in Oregon, protest the treatment of the Hammond’s, and resist the tyranny of the federal government all at the same time.

    What if the Oath Keepers and other patriot groups decided to launch our own protest against the mistreatment of our fellow Americans at the source? What source you ask? Think about what the ultimate source of all our issues really is.

    Before the revolution the real issue was an all powerful monarchy was forcing us all into servitude of itself. We were all being forced through various means to serve King George. The crown used taxation, the legal system, and virtually every form of coercion it could to make us all into servants of the crown.

    Well think about the situation today in our present circumstances. We are being taxed even more heavily than the revolutionaries were before the revolution. The justice system is grossly corrupted and abusive to the people as exemplified by the horrible mistreatment of the Hammond’s. The government is engaged in nothing short of the attempt to subjugate us all under it’s absolute despotism. The government is engaged in the wanton defilement of our beloved Constitution. Essentially they are treating us now the same way King George was back then. In some ways we have it worse today then the revolutionaries had it back then.

    We are in a high tech tyranny now where we are being strangled to death financially with a myriad of taxes, tolls, fees, and thanks to the fraud of the federal reserve system interest payments on our own God damned money. We are literally being milked like cows for every cent they can squeeze out of us. Our unborn great grandchildren are already in crushing debt. We are also being regulated and governed to death by countless rules, regulations, conditions, contracts, bureaucrats, inspectors, and laws so complex and labyrinthine that no single person alive could possibly know them all. We have to have a license to throw out a fishing line for God’s sake.

    Our representatives do not in fact represent us at all but rather serve powerful corporate interests. In essence we have King George back except he takes the form of a few powerful banking institutions now. So our condition today is in many ways worse than it was way back then.

    So what did the founding fathers do about it back then? Well you said it yourself Stewart they lured Gage into an unwise attack and got him to fire the first shot. So how can we do essentially the same thing here in our present circumstances? Well I have an idea about that.

    Since all these abuses the government is imposing upon us are against the principles laid down in the Constitution we have to take back the Constitution from them. So how do we do that you will ask? Well we simply go and take it back. We literally go to where the actual Constitution is being stored and we take it away from the government and put it back under our protection. Think about it.

    It is a symbolic act but the government would be forced to try and stop us in order to maintain control over us. So a stand off would take place where we surround the building that houses the Constitution and we demand it be released into our custody on the grounds that the government has defiled it through a long train of abuses.

    Now the Government is forced into a situation where they literally have to defend the actual Constitution where before they were allowed to simply defile it without consequence. The PR could not possibly swing more in our favor by getting into a standoff with the federal government over the physical ownership of the Constitution.

    We would be all at once protesting the mistreatment of the Hammond’s and the millions of other Americans abused by this out of control government and we would be reclaiming our Constitutional rights at the same time. We would be seizing back the Constitution itself and redressing ALL of our grievances all at once. Think of it as a bloodless revolution all rolled up into one simple act.

    If the Feds tried to stop us with force how could they justify it? We can enumerate thousands of abuses the government has done to us that are against the Constitution and we can justify our actions in defending it from them a thousand and one different ways.

    It is our document and we should go and take it back and we should go by the millions to do it. Perhaps we go at first with just a few patriots and we refuse to leave without the Constitution being released into our custody. The government is then forced to stop us by force of arms, we refuse to leave without it, they crack down on us and as a consequence lose all legitimacy. They are maneuvered into firing the first shot and they have to do so on our ground over our founding document no less. Millions will join our cause and we will retake our country because it will be the clearest possible righteous cause for us and the most egregious abuse of power for them.

    I think Ammon Bundy would be happy to leave his ill advised protest in order to join an effort like that and so would thousands of us patriots who want so badly to take action.

    Haven’t we all waited long enough? Haven’t there been enough cases like the Hammond’s already? Isn’t waiting too long already the reason Ammon Bundy and the other fine people in Oregon took this reckless action in the first place? Ammon and the others who want to support him are really just screaming for some kind of action because we have all suffered too much already. All they need, all we need, is an action that we can all support and believe in and a few good people to start it off.

    It is just an idea Stewart but wasn’t the United States of America and the Constitution itself just an idea at one point? We can make this a reality and we can do it wisely according to a careful plan. We can take our country back and you know what? Instead of taking desperate actions born from decades of frustration people like Ammon Bundy can join in an effort like this with pride and dignity that comes from being an American.

    Lets take back our Constitution Stewart and get this fight started already! Give me liberty or give me death!

    1. Could we not start this off in a smaller version on a state level in Oregon and invite Ammon and the other ranchers to join us? Could we not go to where the actual Oregon state Constitution is housed and demand it be returned to our custody? Would not thousands of Oregonian patriots join us in such a righteous cause? Could we not make this situation in Harney county the focal point for our broader action in Oregon? We would have the support of the people AND many Constitutional Sheriff’s with us. I am confident Ammon Bundy and the rest of the fine people hold up in Oregon would join us immediately. It would be a good cause and the right cause.

      This would be the first step in abolishing the current tyrannical government and installing a new one. We would have the Constitution itself in our custody and we simply reform a government based on it’s principles and abolish the current one. We take all the state assets and place them under the control of the newly instituted constitutional government. Hell we could even transfer control of all the state agencies that we want to keep to the new government. We keep all the current Constitutional Sheriff’s in place and elect new ones where needed. The Sheriff’s deputize as many of us as necessary to keep order. All the government workers that serve vital functions simply transfer to the new government and continue doing their vital work.

      We could do this in all fifty states at once and then do it on a national level in Washington DC and replace the federal government which has now been denied support from the states.

      Sure it is a big idea but so was America. I will take part in California and then in Washington DC for the national effort and so will millions of my fellow Americans who have had enough of the abuse and tyranny of the current rouge regime.

      This kind of revolution is LONG overdue and I will stand side by side with all the patriots who do it. What I will not do is wait much longer. I will not stand idly by while more good people like the Hammond’s are railroaded and abused. I will not stand by any more while the federal government wages brutal war against us and against people all over the world. I WILL NOT WAIT MUCH LONGER! What prey tell are we waiting for now? Do we need more proof that this is necessary?

      I am ready willing and able to join any action right now so long as it is geared toward establishing a new Constitutional government. I am not stuck on my plan, I will join any good effort at this point so long as we take action and try our very best to make it a peaceful transformation and a Constitutional one. I will not wait much longer though. That I will not do.

  51. Lead, follow or get out of the way. Ammon is leading but he is being influenced by unsavory characters in his camp that are influencing the followers both in and outside of Ammon’s camp to commit to a situation that can’t hold victory, only defeat.

    Stewart Rhodes has decided to lead and his decision is to get out of the way in this instance. I have chosen to follow his lead because it has common, tactical and organizational sense that cannot be matched or countered by our foes.

    Mr. Bundy would do well to adhere to Stewart’s good advice and those that have never seen the death and destruction that warfare brings should not be so quick to dive into it especially when the battle that they seek will lead to nothing but woeful failure and certain defeat.

  52. A group of ‘Patriots’, a number of whom apparently lied about serving in the military vs a sheriff with 21 actial years of service including in Somalia. And because he doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, you all disrespect him? Do you only respect veterans who blindly follow your narrative?

    1. Exactly Betty. Follow liars and bad men with records over honorable men. I live here in Harney County and we are being terrorized, threatened, etc. by these thugs. And I am a pro constitutional, pro 2nd amendment veteran myself. I don’t agree with anyone that breaks the law and follows thugs.

      1. Paul could you please back up your accusation that you are being “terrorized” by the ranchers hold up in the refuge with some evidence? I would like to see some evidence that you are being harassed by them. Get it on video as soon as possible and show us this abuse you are dealing with.

  53. We have asked him to leave, multiple times. He refuses. He makes demands as to what will get him to leave and then moves the goalpost. He doesn’t care about what this County says, he has his own agenda.

  54. I sense that many of you have not had a good, constructive conversation with an environmentalist. I care about ranchers, I care about loggers and miners, but I also care about wilderness and wildlife.

    Let’s start a dialogue, get to know one another, break break, and brainstorm for constructive, win-win solutions.

    Peace, brothers.

  55. Dear Mr. Rhodes, I appreciate your comments on the men occupying the refuge in Burns, Oregon. I respect what your organization does and stands for, especially the aid you gave our good friends in Bunkerville, OR, back in April, 2014. I was disappointed in your message to Ammon in your decision to “stand-down” in this matter. Those men are there in defence of our freedoms and liberties here in America, The people of Oregon need to know there are Americans all across the country ready to back them up when they take their stand. They, like many other “stewards of the land” (ranchers, miners, logger, etc), across America have been oppressed for many years. Those men at the refuge are risking their lives and the Oregon people who are coming to stand with them are risking both their lives and their livelihoods. I do not understand how you can casually say for Ammon to leave and leave those people alone to be abused further by these government officials. I see this like the boy being bullied on the playground at school (very larger scale of course) where his friends back him up while he confronts the “Bully of the Class”. The American people can not take much more of this. It has gone too far already. Every legal avenue has been exhausted and the Federal Government stepped out of it’s bounds long ago and has run away with itself. They and so drunk with money and power that there is no stopping them unless the people stand up and stop them. Your organization, I feel is leaving fellow Americans in harms way by not responding to the call to come to protect their constitutional rights. Please reconsider your decision. As long as there is one person in this great United States of America willing to stand up to this oppression, your group needs to be there in their defence. Is that not what you were organized to do? Respectfully, PD, a fellow American

  56. Americans don’t ever need any other Americans local’s government tribal or otherwise permission for access or stay on American Owned Federal designated land/s By any American or any group of Americans for any peaceable cause ever…..Period! Americans including the Native Americans at any time may be on Federal National Park and Wildlife refuge style lands within America without any need for permits or acceptance,consent or blessing from locals. There are rules and regulations regarding those National Park/wildlife refuge places so that everyone may be able to use the land and still have it in the condition it originally was before anyone got there.
    The Mayor said a right thing that the community will stay together. Everyone knows the only real division is what was there before Bundy’s and militia showed up and that division that already was was the fact that Sheriffs and Mayors and politicians and law enforcement including federally funded state police that they all are suppose to uphold and protect the US Constitution. And when policy was introduce by the Federal government on down? That was when erroneous bad policy or even heresy contrary to the Constitutional Rule of Law came and and by that things very nature was what was always the most primary dividing force. It divided the sheriffs and others as soon as they took that oath and then didn’t do it.It divided them in conscience and in spirit and in heart. In other words bad illegal policy even that stuff locals got use to and accepted was some of what had already started dividing the community and society because it first began inside force or compelled to oath and say one thing and then go and do or not do another.
    That Judges move to deny the peaceful protesters space to hold a meeting for press and locals to discuss Bundy’s and the Militia’s exit plan was a very poor choice of that Judge to deny them and that community that opportunity to talk out the various concerns. Those two Hammond boys should not be sitting in prison for an accidental fire corrupt prosecutors called deliberate arson that destroyed some of the Federal Land by accident. Because the Hammond’s had a permit to burn. And accidents do happen and everytime accidents happen someone doesn’t always have to pay a penalty. Hillary Clinton and Benghazi and the Emails from the state department on an unsecured third party server where she still hasn’t gone to prison for any of that is proof that not every accident or miss deed is getting proper punishment for.

    One more observation and comment. When Ammon Bundy shook Sheriff Ward’s hand did anyone else notice something? I was taught this by prison guard awhile back who taught me the way those militarized trained law enforcement police and sheriffs corrections officers etc are trained by the DOJ and DOD. The placement of Sheriff Ward’s hand when he and Ammon shook hands was deliberately trained into that militarized Sheriff. Sheriff Ward’s hand was placed in the position when shaking hands on top of Ammon’s. From that position of the Sheriffs hand on Bundy’s hand,the Sheriff would have been able to drop Ammon Bundy to his knees to subdue him in seconds. Ammon obviously wasn’t trained to dominate people physically,militarily or otherwise. So Ammon and the militia pose no threat to anyone’s way of life. It’s the FBI provocateurs dressed as Bundy Militia intimidating locals and committing crimes like flattening the Mayor’s tires and scaring his fearful based driven wife out of town is who has always been the Greatest threat and inconvenience and “division” upon people and community. Because the Feds have the most to loose even though they already lost soon as they violated the Constitution and took,assumed or possessed Americans land for themselves and their interests. So actually when that happened EVERY American from any area or state or ranch or tribe in America had a right to stand up for anyone else’s land and and rights because it was always the American peoples land and Rule of that land all along! Especially when unjust ‘Stewards and Custodians Representatives only’ of that land came along from Federal places. So when the unjust came along and did unjust things? Then it was those among the just to make them right. And that’s what God through Ammon Bundy and the Militia aims to do peaceable first….but if it has to and is absolutely necessary? Then force will be used and it will be really bad for everyone then!

    So bottom line folks is this. Either we have a US Constitution and we need to start practicing it again at every level of government and people and in every place inside America? Or we don’t? And then if we don’t have a US Constitution? Then we have to start getting everybody to quit swearing into office or service that they are going to uphold and protect the Constitution. Those that don’t aim to want to protect and serve the US Constitution as the Primary Rule of Law of ALL the USA land? Then if they aren’t going to be tried for treason and slapped in prison,then they should all at least swear to uphold and protect and defend the policy that undermines the US Constitution when they sear in!

  57. Let’s keep talking until we’re all dead or in chains. It sounds like the leadership and many others in this organization have a lot to lose.
    What a joke. Do you ever think that the Powers that be are going to say, “OK. We’ve overdone it. You’re within your rights to take us out of the equation.”

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