A View from the Trenches – from my Perspective by Todd Macfarlane

This past week has been one of the hardest, saddest weeks of my life.

As many know, I am an attorney, and I represent the family of LaVoy Finicum. On Tuesday, LaVoy was ambushed and killed by the FBI and Oregon State Police in a roadblock as he was attempting to travel to an adjoining county.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown just couldn’t wait any longer. So after less than a week of attempted negotiations, the agencies involved were out for blood. To that end, from what I understand, Governor Brown authorized the use of any force necessary to end it – regardless of the consequences.

What she and others, including federal officials and local Harney County officials obviously don’t understand is that if they had just simply ignored Ammon Bundy and his followers at the refuge, eventually the whole thing would have just shriveled up and died. But an approach like that would require too much common sense. So instead, they pretended that it was some kind of really big thing -- that by being at the refuge the occupiers were allegedly “impeding federal officers” in their duties, and “disrupting local community,” when in reality it seems fairly clear that it is the government’s own actions and personnel that are causing virtually all the disruption.

And what a mess their decision to escalate has now caused. Does anyone remember the movie “First Blood?” Now there are literally legions of federal agents and “contractors” in Burns. Someone I know, a local rancher, tried to strike up a conversation with one of the fancily uniformed agents in a sandwich shop. He was clearly a big husky federal operative. The rancher first asked him what he was doing here, the agent said “security” then he was asked “for which side of the fence” to which the agent answered “the right side, I hope” he was then asked if he was a 3%er?. “no”, national guard?, “no”, OSP? …Uh, “yes”. When asked where he was from he said “Up North.” The rancher said, “where, Hermiston or Pendleton?, ”the agent said uh, Hermiston, yes. The rancher said, “that’s interesting because I grew up in Hermiston, and my mother still lives there. At that the agent stuttered and stammered around and said no more. End of conversation. The rancher then thought, “right!!. . that’s why there’s a half dozen black stretch suburbans with Minnesota private plates out front that you guys got out of. And why did you look me in the eye and have to lie about it. Is that what this is coming to?”. The rancher thought , “how stupid do you think we are here and if you aren’t subversives, then why do you need to lie?

After weeks of people being able to come and go at the Malheur Wildlife refuge for weeks – from what I saw, I swear the federal employees could have gone out there and done whatever work really needed doing -- now that there are only four people left, there are heavily armed, militarized check points on all the roads around the refuge. And you should see what happens at those checkpoints.

From what I understand, it’s not just a matter of showing your papers and explaining your business. If you approach one of the checkpoints, you are warned that you will be shot if you do anything other than exactly what you are told. From what I understand, these checkpoints are fortified with multiple vehicles, including Bearcats, with .50 caliber machine guns. To determine whether anyone who approaches a checkpoint has any business there, they make people get out of their vehicles – obviously at gunpoint, with the .50 cals always ready. Then they make people lay down on the ground, and they handcuff them before engaging in invasive, heavy-handed searches for weapons and other contraband.

That’s what another rancher I know encountered when he tried to go feed his cows. When he pulled up to the checkpoint, someone on a bullhorn threatened to shoot him if he made any misstep, before searching him as described, before finally allowing him to pass to do his chores. This is what locals are experiencing at the hands of the fully militarized police forces restricting their travel and activities in the area.

And thanks to the spin the government is putting on all of it, with the help of the mainstream media, this heavy-handed approach is all more than justified because a bunch of batshit crazy nutjobs camped out at the wildlife refuge.

Thanks to all the distortions, even if the protestors have any legitimate points – like the injustices to the Hammond Family – it’s all lost in the spin, and they don’t stand a chance in the court of public opinion, or in the court system.

Which reminds me, I was arguing a case last week before the Utah Court of Appeals in Cedar City. They were visiting Southern Utah University for this court session, so it was kind of a special occasion, and a big deal (at least to some). A number of local attorneys and judges were present to observe the proceedings. A couple of them are very good, long-time friends of mine. One is a guy I went to college and law school with who is now a vice president at SUU. The other is one of my former law partners, who is now a judge. He was one of my mentors as an attorney, and one of the best lawyers I have ever known. I have always had a lot of respect for him, and hold him in high regard. They were sitting together.

Afterward, as I was visiting with my law school buddy-turned-university administrator, he said that while I was arguing or during my comings and goings associated with the proceedings, our friend the judge leaned over and asked him if he had been seeing me on TV. My friend had to admit that he hadn’t and asked what that was all about. Our friend, the judge said “he’s been up there with those ‘nutcases’ in Oregon.”

Now, let’s just think a little bit about all of that. I think it’s fair to say that his statement probably reflected the views of about 90% of all Americans. It’s all about labels. By letting labels do most of the thinking, it keeps things a lot simpler in most people’s minds. That way they don’t have to try to understand the real issues.

But here’s the even bigger concern: it’s probably the view of about 99% of all judges. So, can you imagine anyone involved in this whole affair getting any kind of fair and impartial hearing before any judge -- state or federal? What a comforting thought.

In the meantime, I’m going to be working on a piece about the realities of the Federal Court System when it comes to Western land & resource use cases.

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Todd Macfarlane is an attorney, rancher, writer and political activist. He and his family own and operate the Turkey Track Ranch, near the small town of Kanosh, Utah. Todd is a veteran from earlier dust-ups in the sagebrush rebellion, having represented Mary Bullock and other ranchers in long-standing struggles with the federal government.  He currently represents the LaVoy Finicum Family. 

Jamiol Presents

Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode #209

Macy Gray- “Coming Back To You”

The singer of tonight's Soothing the Beast BFP/Jamiol Music Pick is known for her distinctive raspy voice, and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday. She is American R&B, jazz/soul singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress Macy Gray. She has released six studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one. She also has appeared in a number of films. The song for
tonight by Ms. Gray is Coming Back To You ... Enjoy ... DJPJ

Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode #208

Jeff Healey Band- “The Thrill Is Gone”

This week on the Soothing the Beast BFP/Jamiol Music Pick, we are going to try and give those caught up in this massive snowstorm a nice little diversion to take their minds off the cruel elements. The artist capable of doing just that is the late Jeff Healey and the Jeff Healey Band. JH, one of the best bluesmen ever, will be doing a cover of The Thrill is Gone. So forget about what's going on outside and give a listen to some excellent blues by Jeff Healey ... Enjoy ... DJPJ.

Narco News- Penn Envy: Fear of Citizen Journalism Defined Commercial Media’s Hostile Response to the Interview of the Decade

Sean Penn & Kate del Castillo Scooped the Press and Embarrassed the US & Mexican Governments in Interview with Chapo Guzmán

Oscar winner Sean Penn and Mexican film and TV star Kate del Castillo recently played starring roles as citizen journalists and scooped the world’s major media outlets by scoring a sit-down interview with notorious Mexican narco-trafficker: Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (aka Chapo Guzmán).

As one of the longtime leaders of the powerful Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization, Guzmán has been on the run from law enforcers for years — having previously twice escaped from high-security Mexican prisons.

Penn said in a recent interview with CBS News that the story he authored for Rolling Stone magazine earlier this month based on the visit with Guzmán was intended to spur a deeper discussion about drug-war policy. Instead, it drew a round of cackles from major U.S. media machines like the Washington Post, which characterized Penn’s first-person account as being self-absorbed and an insult to the dozens of Mexican journalists who have been murdered covering the drug war.

Boiled down, the argument advanced by the Washington Post and echoed by other media outlets seems to be that because Penn and del Castillo were not tortured or killed by Guzmán and his associates, or at least threatened with bodily harm, then they couldn’t possibly be real journalists — and consequently Penn’s Rolling Stone story simply can’t be taken seriously.

To make matters worse for Penn and del Castillo, the Mexican government is trying to paint a target on their backs by announcing that Mexican law enforcers were monitoring Penn and del Castillo’s communications with Guzmán. That surveillance, Mexico’s attorney general claims, was key to leading Mexican Marines to the drug traffickers’ secret hideout in the mountain jungles that straddle the border between the Mexican states of Durango and Sinaloa — a region in northwestern Mexico that is part of the so-called Golden Triangle, so named for its copious production of marijuana and heroin.

The claims by both U.S. media outlets and the Mexican government in justifying their attacks on Penn and del Castillo, however, don’t stand up to the sanitizing effects of sunshine.

String of Coincidences

Penn and del Castillo met with Guzmán this past October in a jungle clearing somewhere in the mountains of Mexico. That meeting, and a series of follow-up interviews conducted via BlackBerry Messenger and video, became fodder for a Rolling Stone story published online on Jan. 9 of this year.

A few days after the Oct. 2, 2015, meeting between Penn, del Castillo and Guzmán, Mexican forces laid siege to some 13 mountain communities in the Tamazula municipality of Durango, Mexico, in pursuit of Guzmán, who managed to escape the law’s clutches, but not before some 700 residents were forced to flee their homes due to the Mexican military’s assault on the area, according to press reports.

Mexican Marines finally caught up with Guzmán on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in the Mexican city of Los Mochis, far away from the security of his mountain hideout and the protection of his mercenary army, estimated to number in the 100s. Guzmán was apprehended a short distance from a house in that Pacific coast community that was stormed by a relatively small team of some 17 Mexican Marines, according to news reports. Five of Guzmán’s guards allegedly were killed in the raid and another six arrested — representing a small fraction of his much larger, well-armed security entourage.

In a case of coincidence being stranger than fiction, the Rolling Stone print edition featuring the Guzmán story was shipped to the press on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 — the same day the fugitive was recaptured — but wasn’t slated to reach the newsstands until the following Friday. Had Penn’s story hit the streets before Guzmán’s apprehension, it would have undoubtedly proven very embarrassing to law-enforcement agencies on both sides of the border


You can read the complete investigative report here @ NarcoNews

Jamiol Presents

Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode #207

Chambers Brothers- “Time Has Come Today”

Psychedelic Rock is on the menu for this week's Soothing the Beast BFP/Jamiol Music Pick. The song is Time Has Come Today and dishing out this rock n roll anthem is none other than The Chambers Brothers. This song is a blend of psychedelic rock, soul and acid rock. It is meant to be played loud with or without earphones. Enjoy... DJPJ

Jamiol Presents

Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Looking Back at Watergate

Peter B. Collins Presents Saint John Hunt

In this interview with the son of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, we get a new angle on the scandal that brought down Nixon. Howard Hunt was a CIA agent who participated in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the JFK assassination, and was recruited for the “plumbers” crew that broke into the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. In a new book, “Saint” focuses on his mother’s role as the bag woman who distributed “hush money” from Nixon’s allies and was killed in a mysterious plane crash in 1972. We get some interesting new insights and anecdotes on the state crimes against democracy linked to Watergate.

*Saint John Hunt’s new book is Dorothy: The Murder of E. Howard Hunt’s Wife—Watergate’s Darkest Secret. More information and links to his music recordings are here.

Listen to the Preview Clip Here

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Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode #206

Richie Valens - Come on Let's Go

It's back to the Fifties on tonight's Soothing the Beast BFP/Jamiol Music Pick. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Ritchie Valens is our featured artist. The song is Come on Let's Go. Valens was a rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. His recording career lasted only eight months. It ended when he died in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper on what is called "the Day the Music Died". This song is a rock and roll classic and a great dance tune...Enjoy...DJPJ

An Independent Perspective from the Rally in Burns by an Anonymous Activist

It was a blistering cold day as we arose at 6:30 to head to Burns, Oregon.  We had never physically protested before, but this case was different.  It was clear to any lay person reading the information that the Feds (and the various agencies involved) were out to take Hammond's property, any way they had to.

As the drive went on, I realized I had never really cared about what it meant to see or understand what a healthy range of land looked like. I was raised a city girl, and while I had some limited exposure to horses, I never really had time or took the time to ponder it all.

When we arrived (about an hour early), I was so pleased to see many American (and other flags) in the corner of the parking lot at Safeway in Burns. I glanced up at our car temperature gage, burr, 9 degrees. I thought, it's gonna be cold! My eyes were drawn to the many people already gathered next to those flags.  A sense of long-missed pride filled my heart.

We pulled into the parking lot and saw there was no place to park, already! My Husband dropped me off at the entrance so I could purchase some flowers and water for the walk.

He went off and checked into the motel, parked our car and walked back to Safeway. He met me inside the store. We picked out our things and checked out.  Everyone in the store was friendly and helpful.  I stood in the entry way, taking off my coat to add my hoodie.  The walk in was cold, and I had on a tank, a Tshirt over that and 2 pairs of pants. I added my hoodie, put on my hat and gloves and we headed outside.

Some background information on The Rally.... It was always clearly communicated to me, and the Residents of Harney County, that this was to be a peaceful Rally. We were all doing this to support The Hammond Family, and to protest not only the Cruel and Unusual Sentence they received, but their special designation as Terrorists for burning grass.  Anyone with common sense knows that you aren't a terrorist for burning grass, especially where no structures were damaged, nor were any monies or resources expended for putting the fires out (for background information, people were encouraged to read bundyranch.blogspot.com).  I was told no "militia" insignia, no open carrying of long guns (rifles) and that if you were going to carry a weapon, carry concealed, it was a matter of respect.

As I looked around the crowd I did see some insignia, but most of it was on hats, a few jackets. I saw a couple of long guns (but they were not seen on the walk), some side arms (some of that was clearly plain clothes Law Enforcement) and I was pretty impressed. I thought, really, getting approximately 300 people to all do the same thing was nearly impossible, and maybe some did not get the instructions I did.

Speakers started to Rally the crowd. We Prayed.  Law Enforcement kind of had a look like "I drew the easy assignment today".

Ammon Bundy did speak at the podium, and a short time later passed me on the way up the hill..he seemed distracted, serious. I did not see Blaine Cooper or Jon Ritzheimer yesterday, though from their videos on YouTube they said they were here. I just figured there were so many people I just did not see them.

Dwight and Susie Hammond's house was on the route the protesters took (their ranch is about 50 miles away, their son Steven and his wife live there) and they came out to greet and thank them. The protestors left their flowers. The Rally was over. It was great and it was successful because it was peaceful and respectful, from the main group.  No disruptions occurred en route.

The 'After Rally Meeting' was set up where the other community meetings were held, at the county Fairgrounds. We arrived, and we could feel things were not right, clear out in the parking lot.  When we got inside, Pete Santilli (a YouTuber with a Radio Show, who was also at Bundy Ranch), had the microphone.  I whispered to a friend "What's going on"? They replied "Ammon, Jon, Blaine and some others captured the BLM Building out at The Preserve".

We listened to several speakers, each trying to explain to angry participants what happened. "We don't know why".  "No, we did not know they were going to do this."  "We have no idea why they chose The Preserve as their location, please be patient while we try to find out.". My Husband said "I'm uncomfortable".  We walked out.

It is a shame really. Several people, inside Harney County and out, had concerns about a different agenda evolving.  Some of the Patriots could see the possibility that there was an "undercurrent" of another agenda at play, but each time it was asked about - to various people, it was denied that it was happening.  One man I give a lot of credit to is Bj Soper.  I do not believe that it would have been as respectable as it was (most did not know about the other plan until well into the 1.2 mile planned route), had he not made a concerted effort to communicate with residents, militia and participants alike.  There are quite a few others, but I think he was exceptional here.  The problem is.. No matter your great, respectful, peaceful intentions, someone always has to be different...this time it is a doozy.

Many Patriots are feeling deceived and manipulated by what happened. Many question the motives or true agenda of those who chose to take the "hard stand" and what will be accomplished with this "hard stand".  Some believe this was a maneuver to force other Patriots to take a "hard stand” too.  Others believe it is a PSYOP.

What this Patriot knows? Good Question...

I know I am embarrassed for The Hammond's. Their name is being dragged through the National Press..not to bring their name and story to the public at large, but as a "reason" for why "other terrorists" have latched on to this case...as if their case and name confirms they must be terrorists because they "attract other terrorists" to them.  What hogwash!

I do believe this for much for sure; This president thinks that it is acceptable to write Executive Orders limiting or taking away "rights" that are codified in our Constitution as Creator-Given Rights, that no government can take away. Congress is not doing its job to reign him in. The Supreme Court thinks it writes law/usurps states' individually enacted laws.  A Formal Redress of Grievance was provided to local and state officials, asking them to investigate The Hammond's Case. They are required by law to reply.  No reply was given by any officials.  We wrote letters, signed petitions.  At what point, as a people, do we acknowledge that our government is irreversibly no longer functioning in a workable manner? Remember, any law or authority not given specifically in our Constitution is to be considered Null and Void.  I would recommend people start reading our Founding Documents, to really understand what they say.

As we traveled home, I was again looking at the Open Range...noticing how there were very few trees. As we drove into Central Oregon, where our trees are allowed to grow, our land is "settled" with lawns and peppered with non-indigenous trees, I noticed something profound.  Our settled, un-razed (a controlled burn is called razing) land did not look nearly as healthy as the land that clearly was "handled" (intentionally or not) by fire.

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Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode #204

The Police- “Bring On The Night”span>

For the first Soothing the Beast BFP/Jamiol Music Pick of 2016, we're going back to 1982. The group is the Police and the song is their mega-hit Bring on the Night. This is one of the best versions I've seen on the web and Andy Summers on the guitar is brilliant. Stewart Copeland also gives his best on the drums and as to Sting...what can one say? So as we start 2016- kick back and give a listen to the Police at their best! ... Enjoy ... DJPJ

DisInfoWars with Tom Secker: Let’s Talk Dialectics

Following up on the last episode this week we look at 'the Hegelian dialectic'. What is the difference between Hegelian and Marxist dialectics? Does either explain the driving force behind history? Do conspiracy theorists say Hegelian when they really mean Marxist? And does the conspiratorial version of history lead to a culture of apathy and cynicism? This quick episode takes a potshot at all of these questions before offering a healthier and more mature way of looking at the ideological, dialectical, historical process and what we can do about it.

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Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode #204

Fleetwood Mac- “TUSK”

Where it's the Holidays, I'm going to be brief about tonight's Soothing the Beast BFP-Jamiol Music Pick. The song is TUSK. The group is Fleetwood Mac with the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band thrown in the mix for good measure ... Enjoy ... DJPJ

Jamiol Presents