The Thugs at Malheur: An Update

The Portland Oregonian ran an article Sunday by Les Zaitz that, candidly, was nothing more than uncritical parroting of the Bundy Brothers’ shifting claims, demands and posturings. One of WC’s favorite authors, Ursula Le Guin, called the newspaper out in a letter to the editor:

Federal land: The Oregonian’s A1 headline on Sunday, Jan. 17, “Effort to free federal lands,” is inaccurate and irresponsible. The article that follows it is a mere mouthpiece for the scofflaws illegally occupying public buildings and land, repeating their lies and distortions of history and law.

Ammon Bundy and his bullyboys aren’t trying to free federal lands, but to hold them hostage. I can’t go to the Malheur refuge now, though as a citizen of the United States, I own it and have the freedom of it. That’s what public land is: land that belongs to the public — me, you, every law-abiding American. The people it doesn’t belong to and who don’t belong there are those who grabbed it by force of arms, flaunting their contempt for the local citizens.

Those citizens of Harney County have carefully hammered out agreements to manage the refuge in the best interest of landowners, scientists, visitors, tourists, livestock and wildlife. They’re suffering more every day, economically and otherwise, from this invasion by outsiders.

Instead of parroting the meaningless rants of a flock of Right-Winged Loonybirds infesting the refuge, why doesn’t The Oregonian talk to the people who live there?

Ursula K. Le Guin
Northwest Portland

Bravo, Ms. Le Guin.



2 thoughts on “The Thugs at Malheur: An Update

  1. The media has not done due diligence on actual BLM practices and the scofflaw movement in the west, which has teamed up with militias for security. BLM has its problems, as do all large organizations, public or private, but their mission is to balance the health of the land and wildlife with the multiple use needs of the American public. They do a decent job of that much of the time. I’m tired of them constantly being made out as the villain in this, because those ranchers think they have a god-given permanent right to control and use that land as their own. They want to “give back the land” ONLY to ranchers, loggers, and miners. That is how small their world really is. They are living in the 19th century, with visions of cattle barons and mining empires.

    • You summed this up perfectly. And, the ranchers I know do live in the past. It is a very creepy culture and has become intensely entitled and arrogant. I was fascinated/horrified to learn about the rancher who makes his living raising foster children.

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