They used to be known as the political fringe. But, thanks to crackpot radio hosts, Internet conspiracy theories and a general mistrust of government, the vigilantes who call themselves “militias” have gone mainstream and are headed south to Twin Falls.

The Idaho Lightfoot Militia is looking to recruit a “battalion” in Twin Falls and has made a call for members. The organization, made up largely of former members of the military and retired police, see themselves as the last defense against federal incursion. It’s all hogwash.

It’s not as if they have any real authority.

The Idaho Constitution lists three types of “militia” under the purview of the governor and the Legislature — the National Guard, the organized militia and the unorganized militia. But that same constitutional section requires appointment of officers by the governor. State officials recently told the Idaho Statesman that only two states — Washington and Louisiana — even have recognized organized militias.

None of the leadership of any of these groups in Idaho were appointed by the governor or vetted by the Legislature. They’re just angry dudes. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter should step up and say as much.

The men looking to expand their paramilitary ranks are nothing more than a right-wing political fringe fiending to point a weapon at a federal bureaucrat. They are anarchists posing as protectors of freedom. They’re people who believe the social contract is only worth defending if it works for them. Multiple national news stories about Idaho’s militia groups note that many of the members are out of work. But blaming a federal analyst for the decline of rural America makes absolutely no sense.

That was the case earlier this month when gangs like this circled Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy — who had leached off the federal government for decades — and took aim from elevated positions. It wasn’t an act of protecting states’ rights. It was an excuse to act tough, and maybe vent a little pent-up rage.

These are groups that consider the local sheriff the ultimate arm of law enforcement, claim a monopoly on constitutional understanding and refuse to acknowledge federal authority — all while prancing about under an American flag, oddly enough.

It’s this kind of mindset that gave us Timothy McVeigh, the bomber who murdered 168 people in 1995, including 19 children, at a federal building in Oklahoma City.

These so-called “militias” — a misnomer since they’re actually not recognized by any real government — are nothing more than anarchy groups, the kind that 15 years ago would have been ignored until considered dangerous.

But American political winds have shifted, and the right-wing fringe are consuming a constant stream of half-truths to feed their paranoia.

If things continue on this path, there will be another tragedy. The question that will have to be answered when it happens will be, “Who were the bad guys?” Was it the federal officials acting under the rule of law or the vigilantes who decided to get in the way?

(55) comments

prepper10

So, everyone who isn't like you and your neighbors should be locked up? You don't need Constitutional rights if you feel, believe, dress, act, eat, and vote just the way everybody else does, now do you? Who made you judge of what is and always will be "fringe"? Dump everybody who's different into one big, dangerous, anarchist, paranoid, ultra-right wing stereotype. It's easier to demonize them that way, isn't it? I know nothing about the Idaho Militia, but I know a sensationalist rant when I see one.

desertdr12

"Sensationalist" aptly describes the people to whom this editorial refers, Prepper. I hardly think your criticism that the editorialist is simply generalizing is valid; every thing this mob has done according to the article has been played and re-played (while the Right-wing Fascists shook with glee) all over our televisions for much too long. You don't know anything about Idaho Militia because there is nothing to know since it doesn't exist but these people who share nothing but blind rage---and are armed---need to be put away where they can't harm anyone.

prepper10

I strongly disagree, desertdr12, but I will defend your RIGHT to disagree.

People don't have to be "recognized" by the govt. in order to exist. The opposite, however, is not true--unless you're in North Korea.

duke

times news board ,hey who gave the orders for troops to storm this mans home??>no one will own up to it,so the wright wing favored McVeigh ?study your history, and look at the man Obama has a great friendship with.and why does old harry ried want that property so bad,yes you must what we used to call a dog pile ,you left wingers are jumping on a rancher over a million dollars? wow,i hear all the hate from the left wing,,.,.,.,.

morrisg

Very well said, prepper10 MLG

SKC_ID

I do not want or need a "militia" to protect me - We have a military and law enforcement for that. (The job has already been filled.)
When I saw the photo of Eric Parker and others aiming their weapons at Federal Agents, I was appalled! Who the hell do these wackos think they are?
The Times News is absolutely correct on every single point in this editorial.

duke

did you see federal agents aiming their weapons at the citizens?who gave the order for them to do this ,just like Benghazi,no one gave the order to stand down>>>>>>>skc-id you need to get out of twinfalls county and see some of the rest of these UNITED STATES......

prepper10

So, SKD_ID, because you saw a picture of some extreme person pointing a gun, EVERYONE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME who you consider vaguely "paramilitary" is a crackpot and zealot who should be considered guilty until proven innocent? It is you who frighten me.

Please stop oversimplifying. I can only hope you use more critical thought when raising your children and going to the polls.

SKC_ID

"EVERYONE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME who you consider vaguely "paramilitary" is a crackpot and zealot who should be considered guilty until proven innocent?"

I didn't say any of that, but, since you mentioned it ...

prepper10

Japanese. Internment. Camp.
Who is the zealot?

gr8today

What a joke.. Prepper, well said my friend. If maybe teh times news researched into what really is going on with teh bundy situation, instead of being spoon fed like they we trying to do us, then maybe they'd understand that teh people there were fighting for their rights.. Did teh police ever show up and tell those Feds what's up? No... You think you are protected by teh police around here? Wake up....

prepper10

I'm not a fan of Bundy or his defenders. There have already been too many tragedies. But, "Who were the bad guys?" In addition to religious extremists, they are federal officials violating the rule of law. The Patriot Act is tragic. The NDAA is a tragic. The NSA is tragic. The Constitution and the rights of every American are their victims.

What is the govt. doing to prepare for the next pandemic or EMP (natural or man-made)? What about a corrupt and deeply indebted financial system? Our power grid, nuclear plants, water/food chains, and transportation systems are extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks, earthquakes, contamination, and sabotage. What about medical care for veterans and better treatment of mental illness? So, if you want something to worry about, militias are a poor choice. McVeigh was not in a militia, and militias are hardly some great threat.

SKC_ID

Violating the rule of law? They were federal officials doing their jobs.

You're right, though. McVeigh was not actually in a militia, but he tried to start his own, and failed. This editorial talks about the "mindset" of some people that can make them extremely dangerous. I'd say that militia members obviously have a much different mindset than the rest of us.

BurleyMan

TO the times news.

I just read our view vs your view and I have to say I find the editorial board is full of crap. You don't want people to think you want them to think like yourself. If you wanted them to think you would publish the full story instead of repeating the AP line. It's nothing new, as I've pointed out in the past how you missed the story but it didn't fit the liberal agenda and that's okay. But don't try to act like you are presenting the facts and letting your readers decide for themselves.

Bunch of hypocrites.

Bundy leached off the federal government? Have you seen a map of all of the land controlled by the federal government? If anything the federal government is leaching off of the western states since they control over 50% of it. Why is it that it's only the western states? It's time for us to take control of the lands in our own states!

KiltedOne05

I think that it is fair to say the Times News Editorial Board members are not journalists. They prepared this slanted view of the people involved with the Light Foot Militia without ever talking to them. They also prepared this "editorial" at the same time they had a reporter out in the field with the Ada County 1st Battalion on a training day. She is the only one qualified to write on what kind of “crack-pots” we are as a group. For our part, we thoroughly enjoyed having her with us for the day. She was also able to interview the founder of the Light Foot Militia, who by chance was with us for the day. I'm not sure that this editorial board could possibly let her report a positive view of the people she met or what our real values are, as you have drawn a line in the sand with no knowledge and no facts. But this is no real surprise.

In Federalist #29, Alexander Hamilton wrote "There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia, that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests?" You are acting just like the fear mongers that Hamilton wrote about over 200 years ago. Equally true today, as it was then, that people serving in the militia at the cost of their own time, their own funds and their own lives which they have volunteered make them solid citizens. Without the militia, we would still be talking about submission to English Royalty. Regardless of your opinion, we remain committed to serving our families, our communities, our counties and our state. Commanding Officer, Ada County 1st BN LFM

SKC_ID

I'll bet women are lining up by the hundreds to enlist in these militias, knowing that they will probably be put on the front lines.

reclamationking

Both Oregon and California have Militias like the Idaho Lightfoot Militia. They are called "Home Guard" There is even a national Association of Home Guard Units.
Google State Guard Association of the United States.

In these times of over deployment of the Federal funded National Guard I see the Idaho Lightfoot Militia as a blessing to Twin Falls County and Idaho.

The Times News needs to do more resources checks before they print these type of smear stories.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas has discovered that the feds’ extreme tactics employed at the Bundy ranch are not authorized by law — let alone the Constitution. “Because of this standoff, I have looked into BLM’s authority to conduct such paramilitary raids against American citizens, and it appears that BLM is acting in a lawless manner in Nevada,” he wrote, citing limited powers granted to the federal government and the fact that even under U.S. law, the BLM has no authority to exercise police powers.

SKC_ID

Did Rep. Stockman make that claim before or after Sean Hannity said Cliven Bundy is Ignorant, Racist, Repugnant and Despicable? I'm betting it was before.

reclamationking

http://www.sgaus.org/

Cognitive Dissonance

The most scary thought I've had while reading all this is, "these blind liberal idiots are actually allowed to vote.

SpyGuy

It's worse than that. They eat our food, live in housing provided to them, are given cell phones to talk to their friends, free college tuition, medical care, public transportation and produce little if anything of value. Pure parasitical growths on the economy.

adern

>…made up largely of former members of the military and retired police…

Yea, what a bunch of “crackpots” these guys are. People who spent much of their lives, and took an oath to, uphold and defend the laws of this great nation. The police who kept your neighborhoods safe from local danger; our young men and women who enlisted in our nations all-volunteer military to be ready to keep the nation safe from foreign danger.

>…It’s not as if they have any real authority….

That claim is a bit difficult to defend, or even understand, in a nation where ALL power in the government is derived from the people. (Declaration of Independence, if you actually need a citation on this one).

>…The Idaho Constitution lists three types of “militia”… the National Guard, the organized militia and the unorganized militia…

That is an interesting claim; however it is customary when making such a statement that one would also cite the section. I looked. I cannot find it. I think you got this one wrong.

>…They’re just angry dudes…

Please, on what do you base this blanket statement? Have you actually met or talked to any of them; much less all of them?

>…They are anarchists posing as protectors of freedom…

Actually, the militia group in question specifically prohibits anarchists. Perhaps you should have looked that up. http://www.awrm.org/Rules.htm would be a good place to get some true information about the Light Foot Militia. The Light Foot Militia is not an anti-government group. It stands on strict constitutionalism.

>…many of the members are out of work…

And that is relevant why, exactly? Is a man less of a citizen because he finds himself facing hard times?

>…These so-called “militias” — a misnomer since they’re actually not recognized by any real government…

Not recognized by any “real” government? Well, you got that one wrong as well. How about the US code Title 10 section 311

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Or perhaps the Idaho Constitution Article XIV

“Section 1. Persons subject to military duty. All able-bodied male persons, residents of this state, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, shall be enrolled in the militia, and perform such military duty as may be required by law;…”

Note the word “shall” in Section 1 above. That means that these “crackpots” (along with all other able-bodied males between 18 and 45) are members of the militia in Idaho by law. The fact that they choose to organize, or not, has no bearing on the fact.

The editorial board should be ashamed of themselves for such sloppy work. I certainly hope that the good people of Twin Falls will see through this slander and hold their newspaper to a higher standard.

adern

>…made up largely of former members of the military and retired police…

Yea, what a bunch of “crackpots” these guys are. People who spent much of their lives, and took an oath to, uphold and defend the laws of this great nation. The police who kept your neighborhoods safe from local danger; our young men and women who enlisted in our nations all-volunteer military to be ready to keep the nation safe from foreign danger.

>…It’s not as if they have any real authority….

That claim is a bit difficult to defend, or even understand, in a nation where ALL power in the government is derived from the people. (Declaration of Independence, if you actually need a citation on this one).

>…The Idaho Constitution lists three types of “militia”… the National Guard, the organized militia and the unorganized militia…

That is an interesting claim; however it is customary when making such a statement that one would also cite the section. I looked. I cannot find it. I think you got this one wrong.

>…They’re just angry dudes…

Please, on what do you base this blanket statement? Have you actually met or talked to any of them; much less all of them?

>…They are anarchists posing as protectors of freedom…

Actually, the militia group in question specifically prohibits anarchists. Perhaps you should have looked that up. http://www.awrm.org/Rules.htm would be a good place to get some true information about the Light Foot Militia. The Light Foot Militia is not an anti-government group. It stands on strict constitutionalism.

>…many of the members are out of work…

And that is relevant why, exactly? Is a man less of a citizen because he finds himself facing hard times?

>…These so-called “militias” — a misnomer since they’re actually not recognized by any real government…

Not recognized by any “real” government? Well, you got that one wrong as well. How about the US code Title 10 section 311

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Or perhaps the Idaho Constitution Article XIV

“Section 1. Persons subject to military duty. All able-bodied male persons, residents of this state, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, shall be enrolled in the militia, and perform such military duty as may be required by law;…”

Note the word “shall” in Section 1 above. That means that these “crackpots” (along with all other able-bodied males between 18 and 45) are members of the militia in Idaho by law. The fact that they choose to organize, or not, has no bearing on the fact.

KiltedOne05

Thank you for a thoughtful point by point dissection of the editorial...

kg6dgv

Communism is a dead dog in Russia but it is a Roaring Lion at the Times-News Editorial Board

kg6dgv

Communism is a dead dog in Russia but it is a Roaring Lion at the Times-News Editorial Board

SKC_ID

OFGS - Do you people really have to post that garbage twice?

KiltedOne05

It's amazing what the world looks like when you get good counsel from your spouse and have a good night's rest. The real issue is that the board has chosen to do a character assassination of a group of people that it has never taken the time to meet. So here is some of my character starting with the day of your editorial. I started Sunday AM at our monthly men’s prayer breakfast where we study, encourage and pray for each other to be godly men, husbands and fathers. I went home and picked up my bride and went back for worship together. I have been work in progress for Christ since I was 24 and that project continues. My bride and I are licensed foster-parents for the state of Idaho doing respite care for other foster parents. We have neighbors that need support and encouragement primarily due to their age and we enjoy those relationships. And they are becoming deep ones. Last year one of the men, a Navy Veteran, passed away. I had the honor and privilege of conducting his ceremony at the Idaho Veteran’s Cemetery. We spend the free time we have helping people move, doing odd projects for others, supporting the local Christian Children’s Ranch and loving on our three adult children.
While I am not prior service, I have a deep and abiding respect for all who serve. That was re-enforced when one of our sons had two combat tours in Iraq with the Marines. On their first tour, the Battalion lost 23 men and he lost one of his best friends. I had the privilege to attend the memorial service and meet the men he served with and the families of the men who died in combat. We who have never been in combat will never understand the toll it takes on them. But what showed at the memorial was how much these men love each other. Their devotion to mission and each other is unparalleled often times even within the church. When I asked him if he thought it was worth the price, his short answer was “because we were there a town of 80,000 people got their lives back.” Our service veterans are foundational to this country and it is an immoral thing to impugn their dignity. Editorial Boards and others see them as having issues or being a problem. In fact, many of their issues and problems are a direct result of having served us in the first place.
So why does a guy like this get involved with the militia? For me the journey towards the militia began about two years ago. I had been reading through the Bible and had gotten into the Gospels where Jesus was challenged by a lawyer to tell them the greatest commandment. Jesus gave them two! “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” For me the first one was easy and Jesus knew it was for the Jews as well. They had been reciting this as part of the ‘Shema’ since they were children. But for them and for me the second command was a 2x4 to the head. You see I was totally convinced as to what I would do to protect my family and what my response would be to someone breaking into my home or threatening my family. But I was not prepared for what I would do if it was my neighbor’s home. I realized that I could not say I loved God if I did not love my neighbor as myself. The essence of the militia is preparing yourself, your family, neighbors and others for that emergency that no one wants to happen. That is why the tag line for the Ada County 1st Battalion Light Foot Militia is “Neighbors Standing Together.”
Everyone who joins the militia has a story and they are all different. But the heart of it is a willingness to serve other people regardless of their color, creed, or other personal choices. I am proud to know each and every one of them. So what will your story be?
CO Ada County

kg6dgv

What happened to the free press in America? This paper is oozing Marxist and statist propaganda like the ridicules Russian TASC Television did back in the cold war days.
Is there even a hint of legitimacy or unprejudiced news anymore, or is all propagandized commentary clearly aimed at a Statist collectivist ideology?
Times-News opinions have made it clear that it has unprofessional bios statist opinions laced with name calling.
Time-news has more statist trolls than any California News Paper constantly making comments, how ridiculous can you get in this supposedly conservative area.
We can't have a free country without some kind of informative news source and the corporate controlled media is just that a State Run propaganda machine.
Twin Falls-News should to get rid of the propagandist in its staff! Autum you are the Editor and gatekeeper, you should be ashamed of the unprofessional name calling because you hold the responsibility for this papers opinions.
I think the Light Foot Commander, should be seeking an attorney at this time, that is only my opinion of course!

DeeGio

Saul Alinksy's "Rules for Radicals" lists rule #5 as "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." Your "editorial board" has made some very generalized and derogatory statements against people you've never even met. Harry Reid must really need that land deal to go through because the militia has been taking a beating in the press lately. Alinsky has been the liberals preferred method of dealing with those with whom they disagree and/or fear for their Constitutional stances for a long time.

Could you tell me, please, where in the law it states that the BLM, the Post Office or the Department of Education have the legal authority to form SWAT teams to be used against American citizens? Could you tell me, please, why your so-called standards are so subjective? Isn't it interesting that Al Sharpton owes millions in back taxes and he is literally embraced by our President and Attorney General. Timothy Geithner owed hundreds of thousands in back taxes and he became Secretary of the Treasury. Some IRS officials have not paid their taxes and they literally get bonuses paid by the taxpayer. And yet Cliven Bundy is the deadbeat because he tried to pay his grazing fees to Clark County and not the feds, and the salt of the earth people in Militias are the bad guys. Oops, your liberalism is showing!

Kelly Gneiting

I think perhaps you should re-title this article, "My View: ..." and your view, sir, is the minority. If you can NOT see the tyranny that is spreading all around us, my prayer is that you awaken in time.

SKC_ID

Tyranny my butt! I get so tired of hearing that crap. Neither I, or anyone else has anything to fear from our Government - we never have, and we never will, UNLESS we are breaking the law. Nevertheless, there seems to be a few in this country that simply love to wallow in fear, and for them, it becomes a lifestyle.
How noble it sounds to hear militia members talk about how much they sacrifice to be the protectors of us all. Well, thank you very much, but we don't need your protection. Like I said before, that job has already been filled.

SpyGuy

Another mindless drone creation of public education w/o an understanding of history or current events.

Cognitive Dissonance

So conservatives being targeted by the IRS is perfectly acceptable? People being put on the terror watch list and no fly list for working on Ron Paul's campaign is par for the course of a republic?

Guns laws that infringe on gun ownership is okay? What part of "Shall not be infringed" confuses you?

The supreme court has ruled that rights cannot, in any way, shape, or form be taxed, regulated, or licensed, as a license is permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal.

It is comical that a previous statement was made saying the militia only defends the constitution when it's convenient for them.

You are the only ones who pick and choose when the constitution is good or bad.

You imbeciles use the first amendment to take away the rest. Disgraceful.

Back to Bundy, Senator Stockman. He wrote a letter to the Whitehouse citing the U.S. CODE 43 and the illegal use of force by the BLM. Here's is an excerpt from the story:

The letter included a section of the U.S. Code — 43 U.S.C. Section 1733, Subsection C — stating exactly that point. [Emphasis Stockman's]

“When the Secretary determines that assistance is necessary in enforcing Federal laws and regulations relating to the public lands or their resources he shall offer a contract to appropriate local officials having law enforcement authority within their respective jurisdictions with the view of achieving maximum feasible reliance upon local law enforcement officials in enforcing such laws and regulations.”


Here's the entire story if you wish to nitpick and isolate segments for your benefit.

http://www.westernjournalism.com/congressman-pens-letter-obama-blasting-lawless-blm/#kQjm71UPtyj27ZAj.99

obfuscator

Do you know what tyranny is?

SpyGuy

Do YOU? Here;s the most ridiculous comment you've made to show how disconnected you are: "Our federal government gave Cliven Bundy, Timothy McVeigh, Gordon Dahl, and the myriad of others protections that no other nation would have given. Especially those who are dictatorships."

LOL....Uh, "obfuscator" (perfect name, by the way, since all your comments seem intended to "obscure" the truth), in case YOU hadn't noticed around the world, virtually all the groups that are rising up against dictatorial socialists and plain ol/ dictators everywhere are "MILITIAS." DOH!

SKC_ID

You have absolutely NO understanding of any of the comments made by obfuscator.
You really shouldn't try to reply to things that are obviously so far over your head.

obfuscator

First, that statement is pretty much factually correct. People who reside in Democracies have typically constitutional protections that give people access to Civil Liberties. If you live in a Dictatorship, and if you are unaware, if you provide political criticism, sedition or engage in level of subversion of the national government your chances of surviving or not being locked up is pretty slim.

There are several books, written by those people who experienced similar events out side of the United States, that reflect this. The first, albeit older, is Prisoner without a name, Cell without a number (Jacobo Timmerman) about the experiences in Argentina during the 70's and 80's. The other, a novel, is Darkness at noon about the experiences of being a political opponent or at least seen as one in the height of Soviet Russia.

I have always found it dubious the claims of right wing militia groups about the concepts of tyranny, mostly tax and gun issues, that are thrown around. The United States has lower effective tax rates than just about every modern democratic nation, the government largess is quite a bit smaller, and the gun rights are nearly non-existent in European Countries.

Yet the narrative persists about President Obama, tax and spend, limiting access to guns and ammunition and growing size of government (ACA). Most of those concerns haven't come to fruition in any manner. Effective tax rates are lower than any point in the 1990's, the Brady Bill has all been gutted (not renewed), and the only complaint would be about the growing size of government.

Which in that case the debt, is largely responsible of not President Obama but rather the systemic policies of the last three Presidents (Obama,Bush, Clinton). People see the ACA as a huge taxpaying boondoggle, but despite disagreements over the purpose and intent of the ACA, the ACA has a lower tax expenditure footprint than many conservative supported measures such as: Farm Bill (tax subsidies), military advancements and the myriad of tax subsidies given to business that base their organizations here but the majority of economic windfall is seen else where.

But maybe most importantly, as much as people want to place all the Cliven Bundy problems on this President, the laws passed and decisions made are nearly four decades old at this point. Your complaints should be with Reagan and the democratic congress as well as the EPA of the 1980's for such decisions.

Not the BLM, the forest service or innocents who are responsible for enforcing policies that have had many hands in the jar. If government were so simplistic, so literal, that the cause and the effect could be directly connected then maybe the conclusions proffered by militia groups would make sense.

But the world isn't black and white and most of the issues presented have only a correlative connection to our government or its many agencies. In other words as much as there seems to be a black and white answer, the answers are definitely more grey.

Moreover if you want an explanation to why events are happening, the easiest answer probably isn't the best choice. Makes conclusions are easier and easier to absorb but the world and our government isn't that easy. THe Constitution is a 250 year old document that has been implied, interpreted and adapted over time. Had it been interpreted literally, the document would have failed multiple tests. The United States wouldn't have survived the Civil War, the Great Depression or 9/11 and any other crisis if lawmakers weren't given the authority and ability to adapt to the needs of the time. Call it abuse of power if you want, but in most cases (not all) those measures taken allowed our country to adapt and keep motoring on.

obfuscator


A dictatorship. Good to know American's equate our government with that of regimes of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Pol Pot. Good to know that your views are so distorted on your perception of Constitutionality and your rights, that you fail to recognize that you aren't locked up in a prison cell or buried in a mass grave somewhere. Good to know that your possession of guns, pretty much banned everywhere else in the modern world is your indication of a true right of a democracy.

Democracies require people to participate intelligent in public debate, and the militia element uses absolutely nothing that is based in actual rational fact. None of it. These groups prey on the most susceptible, the weakest, of the population. They preyed on farmers in the 1980's, mostly middle-aged males who had recently lost their farms as a result of the 1980's farm crisis. They are preying on a similar dynamic again, those men who have lost their jobs as a result of the contract of the American economy in the 2000's.

Militias attempt to provide answers for things that most cannot answer themselves. These men are angry, and the large percentage are men, and want answers as to why a lifetime of work and effort ended up with them losing their jobs, their homes and in some cases their families. The answer provided by these militia groups is simple: There is a vast conspiracy of our national government, multi-national groups and organizations have conspired knowingly to control the world.

John Trochmann of the Montana Militia, used to show a photo of a compound in Texas, probably taken from a helicopter, of a 'massive' compound' in the middle of nowhere as his proof that the United Nations in 1998 was set to invade the United States. The photo when cleaned up went on to show that it was a regional U-Haul/Ryder Truck facility.

Others would recruit people to militias by using traditional religious biases to get people believe the Jews were truly ruling the world, this is known as the Zionist Occupational Government. They would sit in the back of churches and community gatherings or even as far as attending foreclosure proceedings to promise that they had a way for them to get their homes back.

These groups don't hold up to the light of day. You can claim all you want that the federal government unjustly came knocking on Cliven Bundy's door. His supporters have sent mail bombs, pipe bombs to the Forest Service and BLM offices in Nevada multiple times over the past twenty years. The BLM armed themselves to take his cattle, which is their right to confiscate cattle that is illegally grazing on federal land, because Bundy multiple times over the past twenty years has in the media threatened violence.

As much as the militia want to claim the federal government is coming to take our rights away, the fact they exist is in direct opposition to their claims. Our federal government gave Cliven Bundy, Timothy McVeigh, Gordon Dahl, and the myriad of others protections that no other nation would have given. Especially those who are dictatorships. They are given 1st Amendment protections to the freedom of speech, even though their views are predatory and extremely violent. They have the right to assemble and protest the government and no point were those supporters taken away in handcuffs. Cliven Bundy claimed to have his property illegally seized, and he was given through the 5th Amendment to confront his accusers (of which he defended himself). Moreover, no matter how irrational Mr. Bundy's or John Trochmann's views are they haven't been thrown in jail without a reason (writ of H-Corpus) and was given the opportunity to pay a reasonable fine (8th Amendment). Militias wouldn't exist in a dictatorship, heck in most dictatorships they might not be alive if they complained about the government as much as they do.

So as a person who is well educated in not only in the parasitic culture of Militias but also in political science, I would ask those to spend a little time investigating, educationally the dubious claims of these groups. For after a while, as it availed it to me, the light of day makes these groups seem hardly sympathetic or accurate. As much as your claims suggest that we are in a dictatorship, the simple fact is while our democracy has its fair share of issues America is no dictatorship. To insinuate as much is pure hyperbole and offensive as well and reflects the complete lack of understanding of not only a democracy but governments in general.

Cognitive Dissonance

Congratulations!!! You're well educated but are grammatically incorrect. And you're offended by hyperbole?

It would appear that you've spent tens of thousands of dollars to get indoctrinated by a university. You are not educated. You are filled with rhetoric. That's it!!! Purely based on you ignorant comment, you've done nothing with your "learned" intellectualism, to understand our verify the garbage that was compacted into your brain while becoming "intelligent."

You have either embarrassed yourself by opening your mouth or you are a troll, maliciously training reality for your own personal goals. Thank you for removing all doubt.

Willful ignorance is suppose than complacency and you, sir, have chosen your ignorance and wear it proudly.

BTW, we don't live in a democracy!!!!!! We live in a republic. This is the Republic of the united states of America! Or, foo you not remember the pledge of allegiance? ...and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands!!!

When you learn the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic, then you can offer your ignorant opinion and be taken slightly more seriously. As of now, you are just a fool with a computer.

You do, however, have right to your blissful ignorance and mindless consumption of propaganda by the B.S. spewed from the media.

Assault hammers kill more people than"assault" rifles, every year.

How many innocent people have died from militias in this country?

SKC_ID

I will just repeat the comment that I made to SpyGuy ...
You have absolutely NO understanding of the comments made by obfuscator.
You really shouldn't try to reply to things that are obviously so far over your head.

Cognitive Dissonance

There is this short document encased in glass with spot lights to make it easier to read. It's called the constitution. The constitution allows the federal government to procure ten square miles of land as its headquarters, and to purchase land from the states to erect armories arsenals, and the like for the functionality of the federal government. Can you show where it says they can take Hubbard's of millions of acres nationwide, top sell to foreign corporations?

obfuscator


Congratulations. You got me. I fell for people using words like Tyranny, dictatorship, when those people haven't the slightest clue as to what type of government we have. They are oblivious as to the type of protections they receive to spew their rhetoric. Because their rhetoric is safer, less violent and more informed than mine. I got my information from Mao's little red book.

Oh I am sorry for generically listing our government as democracy, because of my advanced level of education I chose to dumb it down for the illiterate liberal masses that read this paper. For as we all know that it requires to be a member of your local Idaho militia is a civics test where you need to be able to answer questions like this:

What makes the United States a Constitutional Republic versus Presidential Democracy?

or,

When James Madison crafted the Constitution of the United States, why weren't civil liberties included in the document?

or finally,

What were the historical influences behind the protections given in the first amendment, and more importantly what indications through the study of historical text that the first amendment and the protections provided within would prevent the need of the second and third amendments.

But obviously you know the answers to those questions. For I am some lowly minion indoctrinated by leftist socialist media and incapable of seeing or understanding how our government is abusing our rights on a daily basis. I am a mindless idiot.

Lastly, since it is fairly apparent you don't believe Timothy McVeigh was a part of a militia, cause otherwise you wouldn't have asked the question. For you believe the federal government made up 1,000 pages of evidence in his connection to those groups. Just a part of a liberal agenda.

Thanks again for scolding me. I have learned my lesson. I will retire to humble abode where I live off of subsidies from the federal government and pray at the altar of President Obama and his Islamic cohorts. I feel the need to read "What is to be done" and find a way to start a revolution and redistribute income and property, and maybe build a 5 year plan.

duke

are you talking about Obama? did he send those troops in there after bundy?.this is why we need a militia too much education can hurt you real life can help you more.......

4thgentrapper

I would like to make the specific request that Lee Enterprises takes steps to replace a completely out of touch top brass at the Times-Snooze on the grounds that they repeatedly miss opportunities for increasing readership.

The Our View column in Sunday's edition should have been titled "Militias, Crack-shots and Patriots". Then the article could have been written as a comparison between revolutionary militias in the 1700s vs. today's militia movement. There are significant similarities between them and that would have made for an engaging and informative piece.

But your editorial staff chose to denigrate a large portion of the Times-Snooze readership (assuming the readership is 'large' to begin with) by bashing Idaho patriots who cherish the U. S. Constitution, the American flag, and especially the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

Why, Lee Enterprises, would you choose to retain management personnel who alienate potential readers by missing great story lines?

I occasionally pick up the Times-Snooze when I need something to occupy my time while waiting for my food to be served in one of the many local greasy spoons. Features that interest me include the word jumble, the sudoku puzzle, the Harbor Freight ads... and that's about it! The rest of the paper is lame and rife with typographical errors, but this time it included poorly crafted insults to your potential readers.

Please, remain a liberal paper if you must - because that's what most newspapers are today, stump for Obama and his cronies if you choose, but please make some changes to that pool of hacks the Times-Snooze calls an editorial staff.

Hawk's view

The Second Amendment is quite simple really--- We have the right to defend ourselves. Being able bodied Americans, we can also help our neighbors.

Got that?

SKC_ID

Yeah? Well, my deck needs staining. Are you free this weekend?

prepper10

1995. Bombing of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City (April 19). No evidence surfaces to indicate the attack was planned by or connected with any militia group, but the tragedy nonetheless draws intense media (hence public) attention to militia groups; Southern Poverty Law Center calls for state laws against paramilitary activities. The media so demonizes militia groups that they go from being virtually unnoticed to achieving what Steven Chermak has called "'monster' status."; In United States v. Lopez, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 is declared an unconstitutional exercise of Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause. Following this decision, Congress made minor changes to the law which were merely a legislative tactic to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling, and it was re-enacted under President Clinton's signature.

1996. Groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center push for anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training legislation. ACLU and others express concern that such legislation infringes on or will lead to infringement of Constitutional rights (foreshadowing controversies over the 2001 USA Patriot Act)

2001. 9-11 terrorist attack causes 2,992 deaths; Passing of USA PATRIOT Act, which will be severely criticized and which courts will rule provisions of which unconstitutional.

2002. Large amount of weapon-grade nuclear materials are unsecured worldwide; Homeland Security Act of 2002 signed into law as Public Law 107-296, establishes the Department of Homeland Security. Creation of DHS is most significant reorganization within US govt. since Truman merged branches of armed forces into the Department of Defense in 1947.

2003. Now known as "duct tape alert," Homeland Security recommends that Americans prepare for biological, chemical, or radiological terrorist attacks by assembling supplies such as duct tape, presumably for sealing one's home against contaminants; Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) establishes the Secretary of Homeland Security as the principle federal official for management of domestic incidents.

2005. Hurricane Katrina. Government incompetence and the confiscation of guns make the importance of preparedness and self-reliance apparent to many, with 1,836 dead and $84,000,000,000 in damage; Laura Berg, nurse at a VA hospital, is investigated for sedition by the FBI after sending a letter critical of the Bush administration to a local newspaper.

2008. Supreme Court rules in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the individual to possess and carry firearms.

2010 to present. CNN poll shows that 56% of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to the rights of citizens. Surveys from the Pew Research Center show that nearly 8 out of 10 Americans don't trust the federal government; Patriot Act renewed with no additional privacy protections and is given a clandestine interpretation by the government; Fusion centers, thermal imagers, night vision, GPS tracking devices, keystroke logging software, cell-phone tracking and microphone activation, Trojan horse viruses for laptop webcams and microphones, surveillance cameras, satellites, drones, license plate scanners, biometric identification, and other techniques are regularly and unconstitutionally used against citizens within the U.S.; Increasing militarization of the police and untold billions spent on top secret intelligence programs as Supreme Court rules that you may be strip-searched for any offense; Everything you ever say and do can and will be used against you at any time by the crypto-totalitarian electronic police state.

2012. NDAA, Section 1021 and 1022 violate constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights. The legislation allows the U.S. military the option to detain U.S. citizens without a trial, indefinitely"; Polls now show that public's trust in the federal government has dropped to an all-time low.

2014. You have no responsibility for the safety of yourself or your family; You have no need to think for yourself or to question anything the government does; The government will tell you what you need to know when you need to know it; The government will provide for your every need; If you don't have an American flag tattoo on your forehead, then you are obviously a terrorist; Anyone who mentions the Constitution is probably also a terrorist.

We now return you the previously scheduled overgeneralizations and name-calling. Have a nice day.

prepper10

A loudmouthed, delusional nut and an FBI ready to use him for their own theatrical purposes.
http://www.startribune.com/local/256789051.html?src=news-stmp
There's plenty of stupidity to go around already. Please don't add to it.

KiltedOne05

As we say "Don't be that guy!"

SpyGuy

"Crackpots and Zealots," A more perfect description of the T-N Editorial Board couldn't be written. Yellow Journalism at its finest. Ignorant, prejudiced, and mis-informed reporting if there ever was any. Frightened, insecure, angry, bitter and irrational are just a few of the many, many similar adjectives that could be used to describe the T-N Board. These aren't Idahoans. They seem to be barely Americans given the ignorance and disgusting view of history and law-abiding fellow citizens.

SKC_ID

You have sadly overlooked the fact that this editorial was written with a ton of good old fashioned common sense, but ... rave on.

KiltedOne05

For those of you with more interest in the Light Foot Militia...
Facebook "Idaho Light Foot Militia"
www.lightfootmilitia.com (under construction)
Ada County - IDCCG1A@cableone.net FB "Ada County 1st Battalion Light Foot Militia"
Boise County - IDCCG6B@cableone.net
Canyon County - IDCCG2C@cableone.net FB "Canyon County 27th Battalion Light Foot Militia"
Gem County - IDCCG1G@cableone.net
Valley County - IDCCG1V@cableone.net
- All Battalion (County) meetings and training are open to the public.

prepper10

Are those who wish to curtail someone else's freedoms (freedoms for which others FOUGHT AND DIED) even worthy of such freedoms themselves? Do not those who trample another's rights also destroy their own and everyone else's? Something for you to chew on, SKC_ID.

MEDICAL

I took some time to read all the commentary here about the Magic Valley story and I feel that I have a good grasp of how everyone feels. it is obvious that those who have strongly expressed their feelings on the topic of Militias being crackpots and zealots either pro or con are well represented. Both are very polarized and I saw little between the two camps that one might build some common ground so I will just express why I joined a militia and forgo any attempts to dissuade any of the opinions expressed here.

I don't look on myself as a crackpot or a zealot, but see myself as more a concerned citizen who is feeling less and less that the voting public drive policy in Federal Government. I am educated and hold a good job in a respectable field and I contribute to the tax base and my community and I have broken no laws. I find a great deal of truth and wisdom in what Ben Franklin stated long ago that if you make people uncomfortable in their poverty, they will rise out of it. My observations are that our government is only capable of creating and sustaining an ever expanding population of the impoverished. This is done through the destruction of productivity and replacing it with service oriented employment. It is then sustained by programs that insure that those who are under employed or unemployed can eat, get around, obtain cheep clothes, have adequate distraction through games, or liqueur, and now even cannabis in some cases. They can now live in their parents basements until they are even 27 years old maintained by the skeletal remains of the former working middle class that built this nation. The Federal government wisely understands that if you don't maintain this crushing human glut of unemployed that they will rise up and do something about their circumstances. They would no longer tolerate the destruction of the infrastructure that made families possible and instilled pride in those that only a generation or two ago would have looked on this situation as completely intolerable. They would demand change and that change would need to come very quickly or you would see cell phone video far worse than any Greek with a burning bottle of gas could have ever imagined possible. The current government would not last long at all if they did not sustain people in their poverty so they do and they are very good at it.

Astute people in this country understand this they exist in government and they exist next door to you right now. Margret Thatcher stated it quite succinctly that this form of government is only possible until you run out of the other guys money. This understanding at least in myself has led to my wanting to build community and infrastructure that in the advent of economic crisis would be already in place. My hope is that by doing this I and others would be able to provide not only security for those we care for, but aid in the challenges that events like those that have taken place in Greece and the Ukraine can and do bring. The possibility of it happening here are as real as the places that it has already happened in, and to not prepare and put into practice a defense of our security is folly in my opinion. I can not pretend that the police state and the militarization of law enforcement isn't happening in preparation for this very outcome and cold only comfort those who are completely disengaged from reality. Any who believe that the government that created this situation is capable of maintaining the same level of comfortable poverty, while protecting those that still provide for them selves at current levels will be sadly mistaken. I do not share in the opinion expressed her at Magic Valley they like our government appear to be more afraid then those who are proactive in their preparations. I am not discouraged from the militia by the fearful comments expressed here at Magic Valley nor should anyone else. They are born of ignorance and wild speculation unsupported by evidence and refuted by history in my opinion, and that is all we have here at Magic Valley..... Opinions.

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