Patriotic or Not?—Hashing Out The Bundy’s Struggle Against Government Tyranny

Patriotic or Not?—Hashing Out The Bundy’s Struggle Against Government Tyranny

—January 29, 2016

Well, the siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is winding down, with the ringleader and 10 of his followers under arrest, and four hold-outs still rattling their sabres (AR-15s and the like) at the refuge over the alleged tyranny of the U.S. government.

For those of you unfamiliar with this story, Ammon Bundy and about 20 very-well armed associatesimage.adapt.480.low.bundy_1272016 took over the wildlife refuge on Jan. 2, ostensibly in protest of a federal prison sentence handed down to Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond for arson on public lands that the ranchers grazed their cattle on. Upon the Bundy seizure of the refuge, the Hammonds quickly disassociated themselves from Bundy, proclaimed that the Bundy gang did not speak for them, and urged Bundy and his gang to leave the refuge.

Bundy just as quickly quit referring to the Hammonds’ plight as the excuse for the armed take-over. The new excuse posited the seizure as a protest against the Federal Government’s unconstitutional ownership and management of federal lands, and Bundy’s militia vowed not to give up the refuge until the government turned it over to the people of Harney County.

But not all the people. While the refuge is actually part of an 1.78 million-acre Indian Reservation taken from the Northern Paiute tribe in violation of an 1868 treaty, Bundy, while recognizing the tribe’s historic claim, told the press that “they lost that claim.”

Meanwhile, the vast majority of people in Harney County agree with the Hammonds that the Bundy militia does not speak for them, and urged them to give up the occupation and go back to their own homes in Arizona, Nevada or wherever they hailed from. Many area residents also noted confusion about why the self-proclaimed patriots decided to occupy Malheur and expressed the sentiments that “they don’t speak for us,” and “we don’t want them here.”

Well, the government—federal and state—kept its distance from the refuge and the siege has thus far lasted some 28 days at what is excepted to be great taxpayer expense, not to mention great inconvenience to the residents of Harney County, who are under a partial lockdown, with schools closed and businesses related to the popular refuge shut down.

Now, we could stop right here and ask you to hash out your thoughts about whether the Bundy militia is comprised of true-blue patriots or self-righteous, right-wing Looney Tunes. But no, we’re going to go back a couple of years to another siege of sorts, which was initiated by Ammon Bundy’s father and has yet to be resolved.

You see, in April 2014, a self-proclaimed militia came to the defence of Ammon’s father Cliven Bundy, whose cattle were being impounded in the Gold Butte area of Clark County, Nevada by the Federal Bureau of Land Management. The impoundment was ordered due to Cliven’s failure to pay more than $1 million in grazing fees and fines for non-payment and non-compliance with grazing regulations over the course of two decades.

For the record federal grazing fees are relatively cheap and represent a 93 percent discount from what the private sector charges. However, Cliven in 1993 declared, among other things, that any federal ownership or control of the land was null and void, and spent the next 20 years all but ignoring federal efforts to collect any payment due or force compliance with grazing regulations. Cliven did attend the many federal court proceedings against him, all of which ended up in favor of the government and ordering Cliven to pay the ever-increasing fees and fines and comply with grazing regulations.

And finally, on April 5, the government took direct action by starting the round up and removal of the trespassing Bundy livestock that had freely grazed with impunity for so long. Armed militia members and other antigovernment protestors showed up at Gold Butte shortly thereafter and  demanded the release of the Bundy cattle. More federal agents were called to the scene and an armed stand-off of sorts ensued. After several days of escalating tensions the government backed down, released the Bundy cattle and withdrew.

Cliven quickly followed up his success by demanding the country sheriff disarm the National Park Service at Lake Meade and Red Rock Park, and then declared that county sheriffs across the country should “disarm the federal bureaucrats.” Cliven became a darling to the Tea Party, the extreme-right wing of the Republican party and prominent members of the right-wing press. This quickly faded within a week after Bundy, wise sage that he is, publicly stated that African-Americans might be better off as “slaves, picking cotton and having a family life,” rather than living off government subsidies.

The federal land known as Gold Butte is no longer “managed” or “patrolled” by government personnel. Armed Bundy supporters reportedly patrol and block access to the land, as well as intimidate trespassers, especially those that give hint of any ties to the government. Bundy walks around as a free man and has still not paid any of the $1 million plus in fees and fines owed for his use of government land. Of course, according to the Bundys, the land doesn’t belong to the government, it belongs to “the people.”

So, Hash It Out! Is Cliven Bundy a scofflaw or a defender of the people’s rights and ownership of the land? Are the Bundy militia members patriots or domestic terrorists? And, should the government continue to let these “patriots” of whatever stripe take over federal land without repercussion, or arrest them for their various transgressions?

—Published in hashitout.com Jan. 29, 2015.

GuyFi Beats Stress by Strangling the One-Eyed Snake

GuyFi Beats Stress by Strangling the One-Eyed Snake

—January 21, 2016

OK, kids, today’s story would appear to be from within the realm of “Are you f—king kidding me!?”

But no, we are not kidding you…. A British sex toy company has opened the first “male stress relief booth” in New York City, “designed to give the busy Manhattan man the privacy, and the high-speed Internet connection, he deserves.”

Or, to put it in layman’s terms: A British sex toy company has opened the first masturbation booth for men in New York City, where guys can slip into a former phone booth curtained off from public view, watch some high-speed Internet porn and engage in a little hand-to-gland combat.

Yeah, whoa!

OK, so London-based Hot Octopuss opened the “GuyFi” male stress relief booth a week ago on 28th Street and 5th Avenue, and company officials reported that about 100 men visited the booth on its first day of operation. According to the company’s Website, 80 percent of Americans say they suffer from workplace stress, and research has indicated that “a remarkable 39 percent of New Yorkers ‘self-soothe’ in the workplace to alleviate stress.” Thus, Hot Octopuss has created “a more suitable environment for this practice and “now invites office workers in desperate need of some downtime to visit the GuyFi booth and find out for themselves how a little break can make a big difference to their wellbeing and productivity.”

Hot Octopuss co-founder Adam Lewis said, “There’s no denying that working a nine-to-five job can be stressful on both your mind and body, especially in a non-stop city like Manhattan. It’s really important for guys to look after themselves so that they can stay healthy and focus properly on the task in hand.”

Yep, nothing beats choking the chicken as a means of keeping healthy and focused on work…. 

While the mainstream press has yet to weigh in on this pud-pulling booth story, the Internet press—such as Mashable and other sites—are posting the news, but also suggesting that the GuyFi booth is just a publicity stunt. For its part, company officials are insisting that it’s not a stunt and that the company plans to open other GuyFi booths around Manhattan, in London and in other major cities.

With a lack of mainstream press attention, public commentary about this five-knuckle-shuffle of a story is thus far muted. There was even a surprising lack of reaction on the comments section of those websites which did release the news, with the relative few comments generally ranging from support for the “great idea,” suppositions that it’s a hoax, questions about legality, and just a couple expressing outright disgust.

For example, a poster named Thomas hit the Hot Octopuss Website message board Jan. 18, with this apparent backlash of disgust:

“No this is revolting. Not only is this absolutely degrading but what about women? I can assure [you] I will not be buying anything from a company that thinks ‘men’ with no self control need to further harass women and children on our street by using MASTURBATION BOOTHS. How f—king ridiculous?! I don’t want to walk my girls down the street and have to explain what the hell these things are, or why some ragged homeless man is moaning and groaning in some f—k booth. Absolutely revolting – shame on you and this whole company.”

Upon reading Thomas’s comment we wondered what he meant by “but what about women?” Is he suggesting that women need their own booth in which to shuck their oysters—ahem, we mean, relieve stress?

We also wondered why Thomas focused on the “homeless.” What? he’ll have no problem explaining to his daughters why a Madison Avenue executive is moaning and groaning in the stress relief booth?

So, Hash It Out! What is your reaction upon learning about this new GuyFi booth?:

You are f—king kidding me….

LOL!

Eew!!!

Beavis-and-Butthead-It-s-A-Miserable-Life-beavis-and-butthead-9406719-720-480What a great idea!

There ought to be a law….

You wrote this blog because you have the psyche of a pre-pubescent boy and it’s giving you the excuse to spout out every masturbatory term you can come up with.

—M.J. Moye

Hashing Out the Lack of Diversity Among Oscar Nominees

Hashing Out the Lack of Diversity Among Oscar Nominees

The release last week of the nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards stirred an immediate backlash due to the lily-white composition of the best actor and best supporting actor categories. That’s right, for the second year in a row the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 6,000-plus voting members failed to recognize any people of color or ethnic diversity for their acting abilities.

You would think that the crackers—more than 90 percent of the Academy members are white—Oscars So Whitewould have learned from last year’s backlash and made an effort to be more inclusive. Last year’s slate of 20 white acting nominees marked the first time since 1998 that the nominees didn’t include at least one racially or ethnically diverse actor. This despite the critically acclaimed acting in the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic “Selma.” And now the Academy voters have done it again, and revived the “Oscars So White!” backlash.

But are the Academy’s crackers biased or was there just a lack of good racial or ethnic talent? Critics are pointing to “Straight Outa Compton,” “Beasts of No Nation,” and “Concussion,” as being filled with black talent that was ignored by Academy voters. Of course, the review of “talent” is highly subjective and many people might argue that these movies, though quite good, are not representative of Oscar-worthy talent.

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who happens to be a woman of color, said, “Of course I am disappointed, but this is not to take away the greatness [of the films nominated].” Nevertheless, she added, the Academy’s efforts to diversify are moving too slowly. For the record as part of its efforts to become more inclusive in the wake of last year’s backlash, the Academy invited “Selma” star David Oyelowo, “Concussion” acrtress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and “Straight Outta Compton” director F. Gary Gray to join its ranks.

This obviously isn’t going to tip the scales enough, and will probably only alleviate the apparent Academy bias against blacks. What of other minority groups? We don’t see them represented with any nominations. Are any of the acting nominees Asian? How about Hispanic? Disabled? Gay? Native American? Trans? Obese?

The answer appears to be “no.” And if you are appalled by this blatant lack of diversity in the Academy Awards nominees, then no doubt you would support a mandated affirmative action program for the Academy’s nomination process. And not only would this ensure the inclusiveness of all marginalized minority groups, but it would force Hollywood to make movies more reflective of the actual world we live in.

Here is what the slate of “best” and “supporting” actors would be comprised of under such an affirmative action nominating program (with nominations based to the extent possible upon the actual percentages of subgroups within the at-large U.S. population).

Fourteen whites

Three Hispanics (with at least one being of Mexican origin)

Two blacks

One mulatto

One Asian

and one Native American every sixth year

Of the nominees seven must be obese, four must be physically or mentally disabled, and one must be gay (every 22 years the gay actor can be substituted for a transgendered actor).

So, what do you think? Should we force Hollywood to be more realistic by holding it accountable to affirmative action in its awards nominations? Hash-It-Out!

—M.J. Moye

Originally published Jan. 15 in Hash It Out!