January 12, 2016 by Chris Kite
Here we are well into the second week of the takeover of an unoccupied wildlife refuge and there is no sign of any progress. For some bizarre reason our Federal Government is being timid and not taking any action with the militant criminals that have seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I’m not suggesting they need to go in with guns blazing, but it seems logical to cut off power, close the roads, and not let food, water, and supplies flow into their camp. Perhaps put up a little show of force with some armored vehicles in the area. I know this raises the risk of actual use of all those guns. But not doing anything is sending a pretty clear message that our government is willing to accept lawlessness. At least from whites.
It is interesting that there is a historical parallel to this episode. It goes way back to a much revered founding father. It turns out, a guy named George Washington decided to tax whiskey and some citizens didn’t like the tyrannical and oppressive regime of George Washington.
In 1791, the United States Government decided it need to tax distilled spirits in order to raise money and decrease the national debt. You see, we had a war to pay for. Sound familiar?
Anyway, they levied this tax and it became known as the whiskey tax. It wasn’t just a tax on whiskey, but whiskey was the most popular spirit so the name whiskey tax stuck. The good patriots in the western counties of what we now call the Appalachian states didn’t like this tax. They didn’t like it all. So they screamed about how it stood against the principles of the American Revolution. And called it taxation without representation. The words turned into threats and the protestors turned to intimidation and violence.
The similarities are striking. Remember your geography and American history. Because those counties in Appalachia were “The West” back in the 1790s.
All these protests came to a head in July 1794. Because of the threats and intimidation, a military officer named General Neville joined Federal Marshal Lennox in serving subpoenas in Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania. As they tried to deliver the subpoenas, warning shots were fired at them. Lennox returned to Pittsburgh and Neville returned home. Shortly after, rebels surrounded Neville’s home, exchanged gunfire, and lit the house on fire.
The protests, violence, and occupation went on for quite some time. By October, growing tired of the situation, and having exhausted negotiation attempts, Washington called up an army of over 12,000 “real” militia. He sent the army marching for the area and at one point even lead the army. The protesters fled and eventually about 20 of them were captured and 10 were tried. Two were found guilty of treason and sentenced to hang, but Washington eventually pardoned them.
Ironically, the “whiskey tax” died when Thomas Jefferson became President in 1801 as he repealed it. But it most certainly was not the end of taxing in America. Just like these fine “patriots” in Oregon are not likely to end grazing fees.
Interestingly, the “outrageous” grazing fees the US Government charges these poor ranchers is 93% less than what private landowners charge on average. And the fees only cover about 15% of the cost to manage the lands.
So not only are we paying taxes to deal with the current actions of these criminals (don’t think this isn’t costing plenty), we’re also paying taxes to subsidize their grazing.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t find their actions to be very “patriotic!”