Oath Keeping in Lincoln, Montana

by William Skink

White people with guns get to do things non-white people wouldn’t dare to do. Last year it was anti-government white people in a standoff against the Feds to protect Cliven Bundy’s ranch that allegedly ‘invigorated‘ anti-government groups. This year it might be the Oath Keepers in Lincoln, Montana providing armed resistance against the tyranny of the Forest Service meddling with innocent miners. Here’s the rub, from the Missoulian link:

The groups say the mining claim held by George Kornec predates 1955 regulations that granted surface rights to the Forest Service. The claim thus falls under the 1872 mining law, granting both surface and subsurface rights to Kornec, they say.

The Forest Service, the groups said in a news release, has been unlawfully demanding operating plans under the 1955 law, and not allowed the miners to operate for two years.

“Our position is to protect the rights of these miners thru a open dialogue with the USFS and reach a Legal & Constitutional conclusion,” the news release state

Instead of delving into the merits of this nuanced legal argument that should probably be left to the courts to decide, I’d like to take a look at Don Pogreba’s predictable reaction, with a post titled THE OATH KEEPERS ARE COMING! HIDE YOUR BOOK LEARNING! (CAPITALIZATION ADDED FOR EMPHASIS!)

Let’s start with the second paragraph of this insightful post:

The merits of the claim by the miners is irrelevant, because in a civilized society, those disputes are settled by courts and negotiation, not wannabe Rambos cosplaying as hereoes of the Revolution. Only in the paranoid fantasies and grandiose self-delusion of the chemtrail-fearing, Jade Helm-resisting, tinfoil-donning militia crowd does appearing at a mine dispute to “defend liberty” improve a situation or defuse what could be a tense situation, but here they are, no doubt with a Fox News team on its way to stoke the flames.

I find this rich piece of discourse, pitting the civilized norms of society against paranoid Rambo fantasies steeped in conspiracy, totally boring. More to the point, Don’s civilized society can go %$*! itself.

While these paranoid white conspiracists with guns are worthy of Don’s disdain, actual murderous right-wing neo-Nazi thugs get to go berserker in Ukraine because American foreign policy is reckless and insane. But hey, don’t worry, Congress totally made sure some of those neo-Nazi thugs won’t get our tax dollars:

The House of Representatives has unanimously approved an amendment to the U.S. military budget, proposed by Conyers and Florida Republican Ted Yoho, banning support and training for “the Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary militia ‘Azov Battalion.'” Azov was set up in May 2014 to fight pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.


Now let’s see Don’s parting shot against our local Oath Keeper threat:

It’s easy to mock these clowns, because their grasp of history, logic, government, and human decency is so limited, but mockery obscures the fact that they are dangerous, in their ham-fisted, clumsy way. One would hope that Montanan politicians, especially those who give these patriots credence, will condemn their actions, and that the press, charged with informing us, will give them the scrutiny they deserve.

Instead of mocking the predictability of this reaction, I’d like to offer a different take. Warning: the following may sound conspiratorial.

Allowing the militia threat to fester is a feature, not a bug.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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18 Responses to Oath Keeping in Lincoln, Montana

  1. JC says:

    Interesting that the House would ban military funding for Azov, which is Igor Kolomoisky’s militia in E. Ukraine. And Kolomoisky is still Hunter Biden’s boss at Burisma… And Azov has been clearing the fields for Burisma’s fracking and gas production, which is one of the U.S.’s main goals in the UKR — to find replacements for Russian gas. Oh what a twisted web they all weave.

  2. steve kelly says:

    “…because in a civilized society, those disputes are settled by courts and negotiation…” Really?Serial lawbreakers vs. The Patriots. Get your popcorn ready.

    Anyone who believes that disputes with the U.S. Forest Service are ever settled, by courts, negotiation, or civil disobedience is clueless. This quasi-military bureaucracy operates in its own top-down, authoritarian universe. More corporatist than fascist. If Oathkeepers and these independent miners could somehow convince the Forest Service that they represent a bonified political special-interest, well then, this dispute could easily be negotiated to guarantee a profitable outcome for all — except perhaps the public interest and anything living in the area before the bulldozers have their way.

    There is one rule, however, that’s followed to the letter in any buraucracy — no tickee, no washee — nobody gets anything without handing in the proper paperwork.

  3. Big Swede says:

    You’re right, let’s stop the festering.

    Shoot the guy’s wife thru her forehead and his kid in the back.

    Worked for Ruby Ridge.

  4. here’s an article worth reading: Does America Have a Gun Problem…or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem? The article is mostly about what the author continues using Bowling for Columbine as a teaching tool in his classroom. From the link:

    Bowling explores empire and militarism as a structuring presence in “normal American” life, reminding us, for example, that a quarter of the planes that dropped bombs on Iraq during the slaughter of the first Iraq War took off from Oscoda, Michigan, the location of a military base where Eric Harris lived with his bomber-pilot father for years before the massacre. Moore’s review of the South Metro Denver area near the shooting includes not just golf courses and pristine white suburbs, but nuclear missile silos, bomb manufacturing plants, and—perhaps most soberingly— actual monuments to mass murder, such as Nixon’s “Christmas Bombing” of Vietnam in 1971. In particular, Moore lingers over the fact that the largest employer in Littleton, Colorado, where the Columbine shooting happened, was Lockheed-Martin, USA’s #1 arms manufacturer. Bowling asks us to consider whether or not kids in America might be influenced by the fact that their parents’—and their society’s—idea of “going to work” is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction or dropping them on people.

    • steve kelly says:

      Or an expansionist fantasy born out of blind faith in Manifest Destiny. Samantha Powers and Victoria Nuland seem to disagee on methods not objectives. Both work for the Obama administration. Seamless Empire building since, well, forever?

  5. I like how James Conner is able to discuss this without resorting to the conspiratorial mockery that Don immediately goes to:

    These men are sincere. No one should suppose they are not. They mean well. They believe they are protecting liberty. But from the same facts available to everyone they draw conclusions that make sense only when one has a very high level of fear, an unreasonable level of fear, of their government.

    Their sincerity notwithstanding, their conduct is fraught with risk. Thus far, no one has been shot in these encounters. But I suspect it’s only a matter of time until someone is.

    • Rob Kailey says:

      Yes, James makes a very level headed argument. His only mistake is that he ends it with a period and not a question mark. We all suspect that it is only a matter of time before someone is shot in these anti-government militia encounters with people trying to do their jobs. And then what?

      That’s the same question I have for all of the awake folk who believe that the shadow forces of what our government has become have us so thoroughly under their thumb that the Sheeple are terrified to do anything about it. Violence happens either in the Ukraine, Ferguson Mo, or Lincoln Montana. And then what?

      I guess the simple answer is simple: Blog posts, and more blog posts ranking on someone else’s blog posts. Surely the Sheeple will awaken any day now … unless somebody else’s blog post silences the alarm of a blog post. And then what?

      • let’s start with a fact Rob: our government regularly violates our constitutional rights. top level government officials have lied and have not been held accountable. check out Has James Clapper been indicted for perjury yet?.com and you can see a day-ticker indicating it’s been 878 days since Clapper lied to Congress.

        there’s more I want to say, but it fits better in a post.

        • Rob Kailey says:

          Yes, those are facts, though certainly not the ones to “start” with when kvetching about another blogger’s concerns.

          How ’bout we start with these facts. A bunch of heavily armed individuals are showing up north of Helena to defend ‘property rights’ against the gubmint. They are certainly sincere as Conner notes, just as the SPLC is in labeling the Oath Keepers a hate group and Pogie is in his hyperbole laden post. Those are all facts. You know who else is sincere? The people who work for the Forest Service who have to babysit this charade. Big Swede in his Ruby ridge nightmares. The local authorities who have to enforce the law as they see it while now staring the barrel of guns.

          A fact or two more. Read the list of laws (orders) the Oath Creepers will not support. Among them is any law that denies a state’s right to secede. Fine young Confederates (except they are mostly older) and the Constitutionality of that was decided 150 years ago. It wasn’t decided for what they want, so what exact oath do they think they are keeping? The oaths they swear are done so “under God”. Their words. Our Constitution, under God. Do you still think Pogie was using hyperbole? Here’s the fact that is most significant. Many of these people are military trained. That doesn’t just mean getting your center line in order or trigger discipline. The Colorado headcase and I agree clearly on this point, military training is meant to desensitize humans from the idea of killing the enemy. It certainly doesn’t take with all of them, contrary to some opinion, but those who are willing to pack their ARs to Lincoln Montana? Oh yeah. They are looking for a symbol of a corrupt government to shoot. Too bad those symbols are actually people. And the people they want to shoot are backed up by people who want to shoot them, because the government lies, yes?

          So my question remains and is more significant than ever. And what then?

        • a civil war, a race war, does it matter? we kill each other, they celebrate less mouths to feed.

        • Big Swede says:

          Ruby Ridge nightmares Rob? I’m thinking wet dreams.

          ““Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”-John Locke.

          The law of unintended consequences awaits.

        • Swede, Ruby Ridge has long puzzled me, as there was no credible threat there to justify the violence. It could have been many things: Contempt of cops, for which cops are known to shoot; a coming out party, showing the public what lie beneath the velvet glove, or just a big fuck-up.

          I tend to think a coming out party.

          This much I do know: The right to keep and bear arms only matters if the arms we keep and bear have as much lethal potential as those the government has. Those days are long past – helicopter gun ships, tanks and personnel carriers, machine guns, silent weapons firing fleshettes, trained sharpshooters … The odds of any uprising succeeding are slim and none. It does not hurt that they keep us divided too.

          So I think when the government puts on a demonstration of force, as they did at Ruby Ridge and at Boston too, it is to remind us that they have enough power to keep us under thumb, that there are no constitutional protections anymore, and they want us to know it.

          And again, this all goes back to 11/22/63, the overthrow of the executive.

        • Big Swede says:

          You’re thinking JFK? I’m thinking Kent State, May 4th 1970.

          “The shootings led to protests on college campuses throughout the United States, and a student strike, causing more than 450 campuses across the country to close with both violent and non-violent demonstrations.[8] A common sentiment was expressed by students at New York University with a banner hung out of a window which read, “They Can’t Kill Us All.””-wiki.

        • Of course I don’t know, but it appears to me that Kent State was just a F-U. Why would the government want to ignite all those protests? There was no mass clampdown after, just a cooling off time, and even a somewhat legitimate investgation, kind of a rarity. ,

  6. JC says:

    I find it humorous that this whole controversy over the mine is the result of a day-late postmark. Shades of the USSR… How petty our bureaucracy has become.

    If the postmark was from a letter from, say, Barrick Gold (who runs the Golden Sunlight Mine by Whitelhall), the whole thing would be swept under the rug.

  7. JC says:

    Just had a talk with a friend whose band is playing in Lincoln tomorrow at “LincolnStock”. There’s a lot of worry about two things: 1) there will be a few thousand extra folks in Lincoln this weekend partying their asses off; and 2) a bunch of hair trigger (“we won’t shoot first”) militiamen wandering through Lincoln packing heat just waiting for someone to look at them cross-eyed. If a day-late postmark got things to this point, I wonder what one fire cracker, or inarticulate jibe might do? Or indelicately placed rim shot? Cowboy hot rod Ford truck backfiring?

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