Serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis. © James Conner.


24 April 2014

Praise the Lord, stockpile the ammunition, & keep Cliven Bundy free

That was the overarching message at the Oath Keepers’ Second Amendment rally in Depot Park in Kalispell last Saturday. A well-armed crowd of 150 listened respectfully to speeches by State Sen. Matt Rosendale, Columbia Falls State Rep. Jerry O’Neil, former Whitefish State Rep. Derek Skees (candidate for Montana’s Public Service Commission), Ronalee Skees (candidate for House District 7), Mike Hebert (candidate for HD-11), Republicans all; Libertarian Chris Colvin (candidate for HD-3); and Kila based preacher and national chaplain to the Oath Keepers, Chuck Baldwin, costumed a bit like Billy Jack.

Some friends feared for my safety when I told them I was attending the rally. “What’s there to worry about?” I asked. “No one’s going to mess with that crowd.” Nevertheless, I arrived wearing khakis, a black leather jacket, and a camouflage baseball cap, reckoning I’d fit right in. Derek and Ronalee recognized me immediately and waved, blowing whatever cover I had. No problem. No one was afraid of me. Nor was I afraid of them. This was a crowd searching for answers, not a mob hunting bloggers. Give the organizers, who were selling raffle tickets for an AK-47, an “A” for logistics and crowd management, and an “A+” for the sound system.

Speakers, listeners, and firepower


Arriving a few minutes late, I found the crowd gathered just north of the Veterans Memorial.


There was no shortage of firearms, with most attendees wearing sidearms and many carrying rifles.


Matt Rosendale droned on, but said nothing improving on that extraordinary 30-second video in which he shoots down a dirty spying UAV with a deer rife. He was speaking at the right place.


Derek Skees, as hoarse as Bill Clinton during his 1992 campaign, delivered a peppy paean to courage. His wife, Ronalee, denounced the BLM’s First Amendment areas at Bunkerville (I’m with her on that), and suggested that what we really need are Second Amendment areas. Left to right on the left, Matt Rosendale, Jerry O’Neil, Mike Hebert, and the rally’s master of ceremonies.


Jerry O’Neil lamented restrictions on private citizens owning machine guns, flogging that lament harder than I expected he would. He wore a glorious red, white, and blue, flag themed tie that may have been visible in Lake County.


Chris Colvin is the Libertarian candidate for House District 3. He’s running against O’Neil and Democrat Zac Perry, the latter not present.


Ronalee Skees reads from her pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution. More Republicans than Democrats, in my experience, carry copies of the Constitution and the constitution of their state.


Mike Hebert has yet to win an election, but he’s become a polished orator, articulate, self-assured, and not unaware of the importance of his remarks or of his audience’s good fortune to hear him speak. He praised the Holy Father, the holy trigger, and the holy obsession with protecting Mr. Bundy from the unholy federal thugs who want to seize his sacred cows.


Oath Keepers national chaplain Chuck Baldwin traveled to Bunkerville, NV, last week to inspirit the self-appointed protectors of Cliven Bundy, the racist and scofflaw rancher who hasn’t paid his grazing fees for 20 years, and whose family has not owned the ranch since the 1870s, returning to Kalispell in time to deliver a 30-minute report/sermon on the great crusade to help Bundy continue his freeloading ways. Thanks to James White of the Northwest Liberty News, you can watch Baldwin’s speech online if you missed it Saturday.