President Donald Trump granted pardons on Tuesday to father-and-son cattle ranchers in southeastern Oregon. Father and son – Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond were sentenced to serve prison time on two separate occasions for the same charges of arson on public lands.
The charges against the Hammonds for a fire that spread to a small portion of neighboring public grazing land. This incident in part led to the protest at the Bundy ranch. The return to prison of Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond was the spark that led to a 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in early 2016.
That occupation led to the shooting death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a rancher who acted as the protesters’ spokesman. Finicum’s murder by a state trooper during an encounter between the armed occupation group and law enforcement led to charges against an FBI special agent.
Much of this protest and occupation was indicative of a broader frustration that has been building across the West over federal land control. The federal government owns significant land in the West, which has led to anger from many ranchers over federal policies, a dispute that is often overlooked in other parts of the country.
“The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land,” the White House said in a statement. “The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.”
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said an “overzealous appeal” of the Hammonds’ original sentences during the Obama administration, which sent them back to prison, was “unjust.”
Sanders stated of the pardon – “The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West. Justice is overdue.”
Fox News reports –
“President Trump just signed the order granting clemency to 76-year-old Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond, 49, who were convicted of arson in 2012 for fires that burned on federal land in 2001 and 2006. Though they served their original sentences for the conviction — Dwight serving three months, Steven serving one year — an appellate judge ruled in 2015 that the terms were too short under federal minimum sentencing laws and the Hammonds were resentenced to serve the mandatory minimum.”
The conviction of the Hammonds has drawn significant rebuke from the local community and there have been accusations that the family was aggressively prosecuted using anti-terrorism statutes because they were outspoken about public land use in rural Oregon.
Dwight and Steven, admitted in a 2012 court case, to lighting two different fires, both of which were originally started on the Hammonds’ private property. The first fire was a planned burn in 2001 on Hammonds’ own property in an effort to reduce juniper trees that are considered invasive in that part of the country. That fire burned outside the Hammonds’ private property line. As a result, the fire encompassed approximately 138 acres of unfenced BLM land before the Hammonds extinguished the fire. No BLM firefighters were needed to help extinguish the fire and no fences were damaged.
According to Susan, Dwight’s wife and Steven’s mother – “They called and got permission to light the fire,” explaining this is a customary practice among ranchers conducting range management burns which is a common practice in the area.
Susan explained, “We usually called the interagency fire outfit – a main dispatch – to be sure someone wasn’t in the way or that weather would be a problem.” She stated that Steven was told the BLM was also planning to conduct a burn of their own on the same day somewhere in that region and there would be no problem with the Hammonds going ahead with the planned fire on their property as well. The information from this phone conversation was included as part of the court transcript.
Cross-examination of a witness for the prosecution further revealed an admission from a range conservationist by the name of Mr. Ward, in which he stated the 2001 fire improved the rangeland conditions on BLM. His testimony is part of the official court record.
Former range technician and watershed specialist, Erin Maupin was a former BLM employee, resigning in 1999. She states that collaborative burns between private ranchers and the BLM are common, rising to popularity in the late 1990s due to local university extension researchers and their recommendations to use these burns as a means to manage invasive juniper that steal water from grass and other ground cover.
Maupin states – “Because private and federal land is intermingled, collaborative burns were much more effective than individual burns that would cover a smaller area. Prescribed burns on federal land in their area have all but stopped due to pressure from “special interest groups.”
As a result of meddling from these special interest groups, wildfires now burn much hotter due to a “ladder” of material on the ground – grass, brush, and trees. Maupin states – “The fires now burn really hot and they sterilize the ground. Then you have a weed patch that comes back.”
However, planned burns in cooler weather like the Hammonds chose to do improves the quality of the forage, as well as making for a better sage grouse habitat by removing juniper trees that suck up water and house raptors – a sage grouse predator.
Ruthie Danielson, a neighbor of the Hammonds with bordering property confirmed this practice, stating – “Juniper encroachment had become an issue on the forefront and was starting to come to a head. We were trying to figure out how to deal with it on a large scale. In 1999, the BLM started to try to do large scale burn projects. We started to be successful on the Steens Mountain especially when we started to do it on a large watershed scale as opposed to trying to follow property lines.
In 1999, the BLM started to try to do large scale burn projects. We started to be successful on the Steens Mountain especially when we started to do it on a large watershed scale as opposed to trying to follow property lines.”
Susan states the second fire took place in 2006 and was started by Steven as a backfire in an effort to protect their private property from lightning fires. Steven started several “backfires” in an attempt to save the ranch’s winter feed. The “backburn” firebreak worked and protected the Hammond’s ranch.
She recalled the events that took place stating – “There was fire all around them that was going to burn our house and all of our trees and everything. The opportunity to set a back-fire was there and it was very successful. It saved a bunch of land from burning.”
The BLM claimed that a single acre of federal land was burned by the Hammonds’ backfire, land which the Hammonds paid for grazing rights on prior. Though according to Susan and others attempting to determine which fire actually burned which land is “a joke” because due to the lightning storms – the reason for the backfire in the first place – the fire was burning in every direction.
Nevertheless, BLM firefighters saw the backburn and called it into their headquarters as an “arson.” The US Attorney for the state of Oregon indicted and tried the two men on charges of arson against federal property along with nine additional charges. A jury convicted the two men on only two of the charges, for starting the fires which they readily admitted to starting in the first place.
Arson against federal property calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years prison, though the Hammonds were able to successfully argue before the court through their attorneys that such a mandatory sentence was unconstitutional and the judge agreed. As a result, the judge sentenced both men to less than the five-year minimum sentence. Dwight serving three months, Steven serving one year.
However, the U.S. attorney appealed the sentence to the Ninth Circuit. In 2015 an appellate judge with the Ninth Circuit District Court ruled the terms were too short under federal minimum sentencing laws.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reasoned that “given the seriousness of arson, a five-year sentence is not grossly disproportionate to the offense.” The court vacated the original sentences and ordered that the Hammonds be re-sentenced “in compliance with the law.”
That sentence to federal prison for the Hammonds then prompted the Bundy family of Nevada to join with local militiamen to take over the headquarters of the wildlife refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 50 miles southeast of Burns until justice was served. Approximately 300 militia members and local citizens, including ranchers, marched through burns in protest of the prosecution of Dwight and Steven.
A federal judge later dismissed all charged against rancher Cliven Bundy two of his sons and another person citing “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” in her decision.
Fox News reported –
“U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Dec. 20 declared a mistrial in the high-profile case. It was only the latest, stunning development in the saga of the Nevada rancher, and served as a repudiation of the federal government. Navarro accused prosecutors of willfully withholding evidence from Bundy’s lawyers, in violation of the federal Brady rule.
The Brady rule, named after the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case known as Brady v. Maryland, holds that failure to disclose such evidence violates a defendant’s right to due process.
Navarro had suspended the trial earlier and warned of a mistrial when prosecutors released information after a discovery deadline. Overall, the government was late in handing over more than 3,300 pages of documents. Further, some defense requests for information that ultimately came to light had been ridiculed by prosecutors as “fantastical” and a “fishing expedition.”
“Either the government lied or [its actions were] so grossly negligent as to be tantamount to lying,” Napolitano said. “This happened over and over again.”
Navarro said Monday it was clear the FBI was involved in the prosecution and it was not a coincidence that most of the evidence that was held back – which would have worked in Bundy’s favor – came from the FBI, AZCentral reported.”
As an American, I am dismayed to learn of the pardons issued to Dwight and Steven Hammond. As an Oregonian, I'm disgusted. They are arsonists and have caused nothing but harm to our state and country. What of the jobs lost, the laws broken and the money spent on these criminals?
— Shelley Engle (@shellspdx) July 10, 2018
So, Trump just pardoned Dwight and Steven Hammond, the 2 arsonists at the center of the Bundy militia stand off, presumably because he hadn't done something to ingratiate himself to white nationalists in a whole 12 hours.
— Drew Gibson (@SuppressThis) July 10, 2018
Your takeaway from the Dwight and Steven Hammond pardons is that white guys can be forgiven for any crime as long as they wear cowboy hats doing it
— Matt Osborne (@OsborneInk) July 10, 2018
There is no reason to pardon Dwight and Steven Hammond.
They broke the law. They are being punished according to the law.
You cannot claim to be the party of "law and order" while ripping children away from legal asylum applicants and pardoning convicted arsonists.
— Nunca Trump (@NeverTrumpTexan) July 10, 2018
The White House is now pardoning these two men and attempting to right significant wrongs done to the men and their families. It is true that it seems people only consider injustice when it directly effects them but the truth is injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere. When certain groups of people are targeted, how long before that becomes you or me?
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Dem Candidate Pushing ‘Irresponsible Breeder’ Tax On Certain Parents Because Of ‘Privilege’
Scott Wallace is a multimillionaire running in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District against current incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-R). Considered an elite, even amongst the wealthy, he boasts a net worth of between $127 million and $309 million, according to his financial disclosure statement. This would make him the third-richest member of Congress if he were elected to the House today.
From a hardline leftist pedigree, his grandfather was Henry Wallace, the “New Deal visionary” and one-time vice president under former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His wealth is inherited, stemming from a seed company his grandfather founded that was purchased by DuPont for $10 billion in the 1990s, along with a large number of stocks with the largest being DowDuPont.
His campaign is largely self funded with Wallace claiming he is “putting a significant amount of my own assets into this because this is the most important thing I can imagine doing for America at this point in my life — this is a very expensive district to run in, but it is crucial in the Democrats’ efforts to retake the House.”
But just why this is so incredibly important to Wallace goes beyond the typical party lines of Republican and Democrat. Receiving endorsements from both Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (NOW), Wallace is a population control zealot who believes families who choose to have more than two children are “irresponsible breeders” and should be taxed. Wallace has donated nearly $7 million dollars to various population control groups over the past 20 years, with the majority going through his own Wallace Global Fund. In addition to its efforts towards population control, the foundation has also reportedly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-Israel groups that support a boycott of the Jewish State.
Fox News reports:
“Zero Population Growth (ZPG) was among the organizations that received the money from the fund. According to public records, it received $420,000 between 1997 and 2003.
The group, shortly after being founded in 1968, released a brochure advocating abortion to stabilize population growth and claimed that “no responsible family should have more than two children.” To deal with larger families, it also called for families to be “taxed to the hilt” for “irresponsible breeding.”
It also blamed the overpopulation on the ‘white middle-class’ that ‘use up more than their share of resources and do more than their share of polluting‘ and urged them to ‘voluntarily limit their families to two children.’
Paul Ehrlich, who co-founded the ZPG, once called abortion “a highly effective weapon in the armory of population control.” The goal of the organization, which changed its name to Population Connection in 2002, has remained the same since its inception, arguing that the world needs to contain population growth with particular emphasis on American families.
The organization’s political arm, Population Connection Action Fund, publicly endorsed Wallace for Congress, saying his support for their cause is “exactly the kind of dedication we need in Congress.”
Wallace’s fund also gave $20,000 in 2010 to the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), a group that sees the economic growth as undesirable and instead supports an economy with ‘stable or mildly fluctuating levels’ and a society where birth rates equal death rates.
The organization openly supports zero population growth and its executive board member, Herman Daly, advocated issuing reproduction licenses, allowing women to have only two children unless they buy the license for more children from other women. Daly called it the ‘best plan yet offered’ to limit population growth.”
The group advocates strongly for abortion and along with taxing families “to the hilt” for having more than two children, as noted in a Yale Law School publication about the “voices that shaped the abortion debate before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court’s ruling.”
The group advocates that –
- That no responsible family should have more than two children. Any family wanting to care for more than two children should adopt further children. Adopting children does not increase the population.
- All methods of birth control, including legalized abortion, should be freely available—and at no cost in poverty cases.
- Irresponsible people who have more than two children should be taxed to the hilt for the privilege of irresponsible breeding.
Fox News continued:
Zoe Wilson-Meyer, communications director for Wallace’s campaign, didn’t answer Fox News’ questions on whether Wallace still supports the ideas expressed by the groups.
“The Wallace Global Fund has for decades been a leader in helping women gain access to family planning. Former Co-Chair Scott Wallace is proud of the work of grantees like Planned Parenthood in empowering women and protecting reproductive rights and will stand up for Pennsylvania women,” she said in an email.
“In Washington, Brian Fitzpatrick voted to defund Planned Parenthood and supports Donald Trump’s effort to take away a woman’s right to choose,” she added.
Largely reminiscent of Nazi Germany who exercised eugenics to its full and most horrific potential, this policy of so-called “irresponsible breeders” also resembles the one-child policy from China that saw forced abortions or other forced invasive birth control procedures. Yet eugenics practices had their roots in America as well. American newspapers frequently offered praise for eugenics just prior to WWII and The Holocaust …. that is until Adolf Hitler revealed the true horrors of what eugenics really looked like. They avoided the subject for decades thereafter.
Nine out of ten eugenicists in the 20th Century were also Progressives or Socialists, and the most central component to the eugenic creed is the desire to engineer and centrally plan human reproduction, weeding out the unwanted or undesirable, according to a report on eugenics by PBS.
Yet where does that end? Who determines who is undesirable? Is it the unborn child conceived at an inconvenient time? The elderly mother? The child with cerebral palsy? Those with PTSD? Autism? Blue eyes? White skin? You cannot get to genocide without first visiting identity politics and they say the propagandist’s job is to effectively make the people forget his “enemy” is, in fact, a human being just as he is. It seems we never really do learn from history, do we?
Trump Issued Major Warning: ‘We Will Look Into Discriminatory and Illegal Practice’ – It’s On!
Huge problems and everyone needs to know!
President Donald Trump voiced his concerns over “discriminatory and illegal practice” when he posted about the alleged controversy going on with Republicans being censored on Twitter. The tactic is sometimes referred to as “shadow banning” and it seems to be a strategy that social media platforms use to limit the visibility of some people. For example, ever wonder why someone who is genuinely popular might have tons of followers but their posts don’t seem to get many responses? It could be one of several reasons. Either they have fake followers, the post is no good, or they are being censored. In many cases, it’s a form of censorship that’s the obvious result. When a social media user goes from getting a lot of replies and views on their posts, then all of a sudden there’s very little replies and it seems like no one has seen the post – then they were hit with that form of censorship or suppression.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been called out for suppressing the content of certain Republican voices or those who support President Donald Trump. Well-known stars like Diamond and Silk have made it very public that they feel targeted for the views and opinions on their pages. That’s just the tip of the iceberg because the problem spans from targeting well-known mainstream people all the way down to the independent publishers. Censorship like this is affecting people’s careers and causing an unbalanced platform in which people with certain views are being limited. It might not be listed as a “ban” but it’s certainly limiting the viewership of certain people. The content that would once appear in people’s feed or timeline now requires a fine-tooth comb to find and it seems like people are realizing this more often and being upset with it.
Trump spoke about it on Twitter and Vice News completed a report on it.
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Vice News reported: “Twitter is limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans in search results — a technique known as “shadow banning” — in what it says is a side effect of its attempts to improve the quality of discourse on the platform.
The Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, and Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman no longer appear in the auto-populated drop-down search box on Twitter, VICE News has learned. It’s a shift that diminishes their reach on the platform — and it’s the same one being deployed against prominent racists to limit their visibility. The profiles continue to appear when conducting a full search, but not in the more convenient and visible drop-down bar. (The accounts appear to also populate if you already follow the person.)
Democrats are not being “shadow banned” in the same way, according to a VICE News review. McDaniel’s counterpart, Democratic Party chair Tom Perez, and liberal members of Congress — including Reps. Maxine Waters, Joe Kennedy III, Keith Ellison, and Mark Pocan — all continue to appear in drop-down search results. Not a single member of the 78-person Progressive Caucus faces the same situation in Twitter’s search.
“The notion that social media companies would suppress certain political points of view should concern every American,” McDaniel told VICE News in a statement. “Twitter owes the public answers to what’s really going on.”
Presented with screenshots of the searches, a Twitter spokesperson told VICE News: “We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box and shipping a change to address this.” Asked why only conservative Republicans appear to be affected and not liberal Democrats, the spokesperson wrote: “I’d emphasize that our technology is based on account *behavior* not the content of Tweets.”
Twitter directed VICE News to a May 15 blog post that explained the company’s new approach to combating “troll-like behaviors.” After making changes to its platform, the company said that “[t]he result is that people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search.”
Twitter did not respond to a follow-up question.
Twitter’s troll hunt, however, has ensnared some of the most prominent Republicans in the country. Type in the names of McDaniel, conservative members of Congress like Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz, and Trump Jr.’s spokesman Andrew Surabian, for example, and Twitter’s drop-down search bar does not show their profiles. The search menu also does not display the verified profile of Rep. Devin Nunes of California, only his unverified one that he seldom uses to post.
That limits their visibility and the ease of finding their profiles compared to their liberal counterparts.
UPDATE: July 26, 10:00 AM: Twitter appears to have adjusted its platform overnight to no longer limit the visibility of some prominent Republicans in its search results.”
At what point do social media platforms give the control back to the people? Users should not have to worry about their views being censored by the machine.
Censoring any content that is not illegal should not be tolerated by the users.
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