Thursday, January 07, 2016

"Capt O" Goes AWOL - Oregon Standoff Gets Sketchier

Sign posted outside of a Burns, Oregon home
Okay people, it's been a really long day at work and I was going to give the blog a rest tonight and chill but I saw this story about some outright buffoonery taking place at Ammon Bundy's Oregon standoff and I had to share.

According to an article written by Travis Gettys that was posted on earlier today, Arizona militia member Joe O' Shaugnessy got into a bit of a spat with some members of the standoff over the wisdom of having women and children present at a compound filled with heavily-armed men itching to get into a shoot-out.

Now it's possible the dispute arose over the announcement on Tuesday that federal agents on the scene were planning to cut off the electricity to the compound as a means to expose the people holed up inside to the reality of winter temperatures in order to encourage them to voluntarily pack up their guns and get out - which as the photo of the sign pictured above shows is exactly what locals are hoping will happen.

According to Gettys' article, O'Shaugnessy (affectionately known to his fellow militia members as Capt. O) left the compound on Wednesday and holed up in the comfort of a nearby motel where he and other members of the standoff have apparently been staying.

I guess they forgot to bring enough cots for everyone?

Muslim-hater Jon Ritzheimer in happier times
So Jon Ritzheimer (pictured left) see last night's blog for details on this gun-toting Muslim-hater, goes to the motel and discovers that "Capt. O" was holed up in the midst of a drinking binge.

Not only, that, he'd also taken with him some cash that he'd raised online from donations that were intended to support the standoff.

This betrayal elicited tears from some other militia members at the Oregon standoff including Cai Irvin; who posted a tearful confession on his Facebook page before quickly taking it down.

Now I may disagree with what these people are doing out there.

But I find it pretty low rent that someone would use this cause to solicit donations from hard working militia members, ranchers and other assorted anti-government folk and use it to pick up some booze from a liquor store, rent a comfy motel room and treat themselves to a bender.

Now in all defense to Capt. O, he may have kept his receipts from the liquor store with the intent of itemizing them and then later compensating the Bundy Standoff fund for his booze-fest expenses.

But I doubt it.

At this point the Oregon standoff is really going down the tubes fast.

Donald Trump supporter Jerry DeLemus
Today on, Alan Pyke reported that the co-chair of the New Hampshire chapter of Donald Trump's Veterans for Trump organization, Jerry DeLemus, has traveled to Burns, Oregon to join Ammon Bundy's increasingly-hopeless cause.

DeLemus (pictured left) is also a veteran of the 2014 Cliven Bundy standoff, so his experience with armed groups threatening federal agents over obscure points of law may prove to be a plus in Burns.

Now in all seriousness, this is America and these guys have a right to freedom of expression and to file grievances against the U.S. government as well.

But dragging a bunch of heavily-armed people (including women and children) out to a remote federal building on a wildlife refuge in the dead of winter is simply delusional.

I believe their decision to do so doesn't make them bad people, but it does reflect long and repeated exposure to distorted views of reality from living an insular life amongst other right wing extremists who've chosen to be indoctrinated within the echo chamber of right wing media that manipulates their minds until all they see is fear, doom and terror.

These folks huddled out there in the middle of a remote Oregon wildlife refuge are, in essence, a cult.

Like the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas they've retreated from normal society, follow the extremist beliefs of a charismatic leader (Ammon Bundy) who insists God has instructed him to "lead" people to this isolated location where like-minded people see their purpose as "making a stand" to bring about a violent apocalyptic ending that they themselves have prophesied.

All the blustery quasi patriotic rhetoric about being trampled upon by the federal government is fine and dandy, but make no mistake, by definition this is a cult folks.

Only this time the federal government isn't playing their game, and for many of them, like Capt. O, and the other part-time members of the standoff who've chosen to shelter in the comfort of a motel at night and eat in restaurants, the spell has worn off.

Perhaps Capt O is the smart one. At least he opened his eyes and realized the absurdity of a large group of heavily armed people with women and children huddled in some cold buildings in the middle of nowhere.

As a Rolling Stone article published on Tuesday by Tim Dickinson points out, they're unprepared, under-supplied and undermanned - and whatever message they hoped to convey to the world is being obscured by the absurdity of their presence in Burns, Oregon.

The idea that anyone would want to intentionally provoke a deadly confrontation like Ruby Ridge or Waco in order to make a point about disagreements with the federal government, or based on obscure interpretations of the Constitution, is simply absurd to the vast majority of the American people.

And at some point someone with influence in that movement has to see that the standoff is starting to become a joke, with social media branding them "YeeHawdists", "Y'all Qaeda" or "Vanilla ISIS".

Enough is enough.

These people need to pack it up before tensions get any higher and someone gets desperate, or goes rogue and people get hurt; or worse.

The novelty of the Oregon standoff has run its course and the people left there seem more like a bad comedian who doesn't know it's time to leave the stage because people are laughing at him, not with him; and his act simply sucks.

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