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BLM v Hammond – A Blind Pimple Or Worse?

Nov 23, 2015 — by: Dennis Linthicum
Categories: Culture, Regulations, Natural Resources, Politics

As eMails fly around the Web supporting the Hammond family, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) shows a striking resemblance to a bad case of acne. My suggestion is that the BLM needs a thorough scrubbing.

A blind pimple is a red, painful, raised area that does not yet show the soft white head of a facial Vesuvius which is about to explode.  Pimples are caused by overactive glands which are producing excess oil. When the skin’s pores become clogged, the debris builds and pimples form.

On one’s face the results are quite common, although extremely frustrating.

Our federal government has what is akin to a bad case of acne. Daily, we witness excessive regulations, exorbitant costs and swelling inefficiencies which stem from the debris left by overactive and over-reaching government policies.

The results oozing from these unmanageable bureaucracies are the outright loss of individual freedom, devastating community conflict, incalculable economic ruin, personal pain and immense suffering. The accumulated layers of this non-consensual regulatory rubble is both harmful and costly to our Republic’s character.

The circumstances engulfing the Hammond family represent all of the above.

Oregon’s Honorable Senators, Wyden and Merkley and House Member, Walden, have all been on the job while the debris has been building. The coming explosion should do more than just ruin their starched white shirts. These men should bear the burden of accountability.

To stop tragedy from occurring Congress needs to rein in rogue federal agencies.  They need to stand for the people they were elected to represent. This means squeezing out the excess puss before federal agencies leave devastating scars on local landscapes.

The Hammond story is a long and twisted tale. The Feds claim the Hammonds, “knowingly and willfully combined, conspired and agreed to commit” crimes against the US.

The Grand Jury Superseding Indictment erupts on the scene in 2012. It highlights purposeful back-burn fires and other extraneous incidents, some of which were up to 15 years prior. It also categorizes the Hammond’s actions as “malicious attempts to damage and destroy” property of the US.

What it doesn’t document is any moral failings or malicious actions by federal employees. Somehow, through decades of interaction, the BLM deserves only glory for their moral rectitude and innocence. While the Hammond’s apparently deserve nothing but our contempt and 60 months in a federal prison.

The real story should be filled with men and women, on both sides of the issue, who made choices.  Sometimes the choices were made under great duress and sometimes they were made with well-thought diligence.

Choices made by individuals and organizations will never be perfect, regardless of which side of the fence they are on. After all, history’s record is swollen with mankind’s fallenness.

The Hammond’s story should also describe men and women who showed genuine care and concern, but who were hamstrung by over-zealous regulators. Washington’s reckless quest for more re-election campaign contributions adds conflicting burdens from crony capitalists, environmentalists and other special interest groups.

My conjecture is that the vast majority of actions at the federal level are aimed at building a federal empire of absolute control.

Our Congressmen have been continually surrendering their legislative authority for decades. They have  consistently squandered their rightful constitutional responsibility of managing national affairs via the historic principles of personal responsibility in free-markets and sound money.

Hudson Institute fellow, Christopher DeMuth, notes, “Since the early 1970s, Congress has delegated broad lawmaking authority to a proliferating array of regulatory agencies, from EPA [, BLM] and OSHA in the early years to numerous executive councils, boards, and bureaus…  In the new dispensation, members of Congress vote bravely for clean air, affordable health care, and sound finance, while leaving the real policy decisions to executive agencies.”

This is the making of a blind pimple of enormous proportions. It has been festering below the surface for decades and with the Hammond family we finally see the sickening whitehead.

The Hammonds are being subjected to a minimum of 5 years imprisonment under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Does anyone really believe this is an appropriate categorization for Dwight and Steve Hammond?

The Armageddon-like usage of this legislation is not designed to terrorists at bay or keep you and your family safe. Rather, it represents a larger strategic goal focused on ensuring empire through regulatory tyranny and abusive legislation over our food, water, air and land.

The Hammonds’ conviction turned on 139 acres of public land being destroyed during back-burn operations. Does this make them terrorists?

What about the millions of acres destroyed annually by the BLM and USFS? Are there any terrorist charges pending against these organizations or their employees?  No, the cabal of error, vengeance and greed would never allow that.

The federal government has been positioning for absolute control and martial law for years. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, and its annual renewal efforts, highlights my conjecture.

The NDAA allows for indefinite-detention-without-trial.  This provision is not only for foreign combatants but also applies to US citizens.  The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the National Security Administration’s (NSA) mass surveillance measures are used non-stop to gather millions of phone-calls and eMails without warrant. Additionally, massive resource confiscation provisions exist, via executive order, for the White House to exercise as long as the “emergency” label gets properly affixed.

This is more than a blind pimple festering under the surface.

This is the loss of liberty that the Founders so poignantly identified.

”Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”

– Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

We must not allow our modern congressional profligates their imagined rewards. Instead, support the Hammond family and fight for freedom!

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  1. Until the citizens of this great nation realize government is NOT on their side, but has evolved into a large monster which consumes our liberties and wealth at a record pace, we all will soon be swallowed into the monster’s belly. This requires a wholesale resistance to any and all of government’s alluring promises in exchange for more power. We must say a collective no to more government — no matter what the cause — and work to undo the progressive socialism that has poisoned our great republic.

  2. You nailed it with this article Dennis. The grievances are far too numerous. It is far past time to rein in these rogue agencies and our unaccountable congress. Congress has delegated authority to unelected paper pushers and policy makers for pure political cover. I will share your article as much as possible. We must get this example of tyranny that the Hammond’s are enduring out there for all to see along with all the other examples. It’s time to wake up those who keep their heads in the sand.

  3. Great article Dennis, but I would contend that the Hammond’s did not destroy 139 acres they burned 139 acres. That land is not lost and gone forever vegetation will grow back maybe better than before,any source of ground water that might have been there was not contaminated til the end of time and there were no vast herds of endangered species killed. Yes its just one little word but it is one of our words that the enemy that is Washington and the left can use so effectively against us who make our homes in the beloved west. Fight the good fight & be brave thanks for all you have done. I’ll do all I can to spread the word.


  5. This is a injustice, from the Blm going after a Hard working family for things they do all the time to the Judicial system. The Government should not be able to convict & sentence someone then come back over riding the Judge and sentencing again. I have known the Hammonds most of my life, stayed at their house, My wife & I call them friends, they would never do anything to hurt anyone or anything but they are being labeled as terrorist. This is wrong and I would love for someone to beable to tell me or others how to stop this Kind of injustice from happening again, because it will

  6. I do not know about this situation, however every time I see the word “public” I know that the reality of the word should be “government”. The only thing public is the use of citizens tax money. This federal government is out of control. The 16th and 17 amendment needs to be removed from the constitution. Our Oregon representative and senators have lost touch and could care less about the people they are supposed to represent because there is no way to hold them accountable, except to vote them out of office. I am so angry internally, but I just have one vote. We are seeing some results locally, but the state and federal is just disgusting. Dennis thanks for what you do. Al

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