The Watering Hole; Thursday April 17 2014; GOP’s Task: To Meld Ends – with Beginnings

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
(Winston Churchill, 9 November 1942)


Every now and then I stumble across a random parcel of tidbits that invariably brings to mind, for whatever reason, a line from the 1950’s WWII movie South Pacific, words spoken by ‘the Frenchman’ character and plantation owner Emile de Becque to the island’s American military commander, Navy Captain George Brackett: “I know what you are against,” de Becque begins, but what are you FOR?”

The following is courtesy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and includes, in Bernie’s words, just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on [as VP candidate] in 1980.” Note there’s not a word in all that Sanders quotes that would be in any way alien to this day’s Republican/Tea Party docket, and note too that it still, this day, most ably summarizes at least the bulk of the agenda of David Koch and his  Brother Charles, not to mention that of numerous other radical right billionaire financiers. The underlined highlights are mine, but everything else is exactly as originally published some 34 years ago. 

• “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”

• “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

• “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”

• “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”

• “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”

• “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”

• “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”

• “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”

• “As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”

• “We support repeal of all law which impedes the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”

• “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”

• “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”

• “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”

• “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

• “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”

• “We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”

• “We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”

• “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”

• “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.” • “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”

• “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”

• “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”

• “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”

• “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

• “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

• “We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”

Makes one think Paul Ryan had a copy of that in front of him when he wrote his recent Federal budget proposition. On the other hand and as per Emile de Becque, we do now indeed know what they are AGAINST, and that includes ANY government support of any kind in any way of: fair elections and voting rights; granting medical care assistance of any kind to anyone in need; Social Security; the US Postal Service; ALL taxation, no exceptions; public education (read: “indoctrination”) subsidies at any level, including Kindergarten-College; “compulsory education laws”; environmental protection (EPA); energy regulation (DOE); all public transportation including trains, buses, also publicly owned and maintained rails, roads and highways, even inland waterways; safety mandates of any kind, including those implicit in seat belts & helmets; the FAA; the FDA; “all government welfare, relief projects, and aid to the poor programs;” OSHA; Consumer Product Safety Commission.

A pair of unmentioned hate- and fear-based issues which are particularly popular today are gun control and gay marriage. It’s probably fair to note that, esp. on the gun control issues, the cited document dates back to 1980, BEFORE John Hinkley Jr. shot President Reagan and BEFORE the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act became the law of the land, so perhaps their silence is understandable. The question of allowing/legalizing gay marriage was not, as far as I can recall, much of a vocal issue back then, and certainly NOT the product of our ‘runaway anti-Christian tyrannical government’ as many on the right claim to view the matter today.

On the other hand, today’s version of de Becque’s question still stands: what are they FOR? In their words they are for only the concepts (and consequences) embedded in their words: “repeal, abolish/abolition, dissolution, deregulate, terminate, condemn, privatization, and, why not, state usury,” along with, of course, the power and wealth acquisition implicit in ALL the above. To anyone who’s been watching the evolution of the American political scene over the last three-plus decades, the “points” as spelled out above are totally familiar; many of them have, in fact, either been advanced by the Republican/Tea Party congressionals or, if not formally introduced, they are all-too-frequently talked about and encouraged publicly, and often even demanded . . . with all due vitriol.

In summation, the above-cited 1980 Libertarian Party platform has IN FACT become today’s RADICAL RIGHT WING formula for, at the very least, preparing the “legal” means of turning the country and virtually ALL of its resources over to special interests, to the (mostly white, of course) power-hungry wealthy, and in the process relieving the once vast middle class — along with the ever-increasing numbers of working poor and unemployed — of any chance at ever living a productive life, much less of accumulating anything of lasting value to pass on to their progeny. And though said platform doesn’t even mention, much less address the concept “provide for the common defense,” it does implicitly suggest the repeal of (at least) the US Constitution’s Preamble propositions including “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, . . . promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” — in other words, to effectively dismiss the words “We the people” and substitute, instead, ‘we the proud, the lust-filled, greedy, slothful, envious and wrath possessed gluttonous rich and powerful’ — etc. Senator Sanders put it this way:

“The agenda of the Koch brothers is to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the most vulnerable in this country” and that “It is clear that the Koch brothers and other right wing billionaires are calling the shots and are pulling the strings of the Republican Party.”

It is, I suppose, fair to note that nowhere in the cited 1980 Libertarian (read: conservative) platform does it mention the privilege implicit in MONEY, nor does it demand that MONEY be THE yardstick when it comes to the grant of privilege (including even, strangely enough, the right to vote). Suffice to note, however, that in recent years the SCOTUS has amply addressed those issues by (1) their decisions in Citizens United and McCutcheon, and (2) in their dismissal of a major portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The collective result of those three (5-4) decisions has (a) nearly completely overturned all Campaign Finance legislation designed to minimize the impact the influence on elections of ‘Big Money’ and preserve the Democratic privilege of ‘one person one vote’, even as it has allowed the various states to legislatively impose the means of DENYING that ‘one vote’ to factions of those people who tend to vote for other than radical right candidates.

A close-up review of the above-mentioned policy proclamations as ‘platform’ does, however, reveal the absence of one ultimately necessary tidbit: nowhere (perhaps for obvious reasons), is that one missing detail either (yet) spoken of or insisted upon. The late Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, described “it” — its whats, its whys, and its hows — in a March, 2005 speech on the US Senate floor when he said (underlines/highlights mine):

“But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends. Historian Alan Bullock writes that Hitler’s dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law. Hitler needed a two-thirds vote to pass that law, and he cajoled his opposition in the Reichstag to support it. Bullock writes that “Hitler was prepared to promise anything to get his bill through, with the appearances of legality preserved intact.” And he succeeded.

“Hitler’s originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.

FINALLY!! — and after all these 80 long and desolate years of progressive-liberal-socialist-Marxist-caring-for-others nonsense, there it is: the means to Meld Ends — With Beginnings!! And the process is SO SIMPLE!! Revolt WITH the Power of the State!! Use “the cloak of legality” to make “illegality legal”!!! — and then go for it! Return to 1980!! LIBERTY!! And then, LET THE REVOLUTION BEGIN! 

For current informational details on right wing progress, feel free to contact (to name but a small handful of radical right celebs) Reince Priebus, or Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Steve King, Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert, Paul Ryan, Mike Huckabee, Rick Scott, Scott Brown, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Paul LePage, Mike Lee, Darrell Issa, Cory Gardner, Ron Johnson, or even Nevada wingnut “welfare” rancher Cliven Bundy . . . et al. et al. et al. Take your pick; ask for details from any one or all rabid right wingers whose sole goal in life appears to be nothing more than to “Make illegality legal”!!! 

So. Where are we? We have obviously traversed and passed the end of the beginning and are now clearly standing at the rear portal that defines the beginning of the end. Just the other day, in fact, Think Progress reported that Wisconsin Republican Committee Voted To Uphold ‘Wisconsin’s Right …To Secede’, and included in said report was one very telling statement, one which brusquely points to the fact that “Though there is no shortage of irony to the Party of Lincoln now morphing into the Party of Secession, this Wisconsin resolution is part of a larger pattern of conservatives questioning the legitimacy of the United States as a nation. Indeed. And a day or two ago, Nevada welfare rancher Cliven Bundy restated that same premise with near perfection when he said, “I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.” And right wing radicals everywhere, including those on Fox news, cheered him; many anti-government ‘militiamen’ even showed up on his ranch bearing fully loaded assault weapons, apparently ready to fight that ‘final battle’ against the tyrannical government of the United States, against We the people.

Stated another way,

The “end of the beginning”
now become
“the beginning of the end”

Final question for the Kochs and for Republicans, Teabaggers, and radical right wing neo-Fascists everywhere: I know what you are against, but what are you REALLY for? When you question the legitimacy of the United States as a nation, does that mean that each and all of your attacks on the Constitution and on each and every policy that benefits We the people are solid pieces of evidence that your ultimate goal is to destroy the United States as it currently exists?

I think the technical term for that is Sedition.

Another sip of KOCH, anyone?


48 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday April 17 2014; GOP’s Task: To Meld Ends – with Beginnings

  1. Gisela has discovered that not only does she have a tail, but also that it will run from her if she goes after it. 😀

      • This odyssey to finally being solidly on second shift is so bizarre I may have to try to write a post about it, just to see if anybody has ever experienced anything like it. I certainly never worked any place managed as scattershot as this before.

        • What are your second-shift hours? Do you work 10 or 12 hours?
          I worked a 2.45 p – 11.45p for nearly 12 years and midnight shift for about three.
          When I got employment with ‘regular’ hours 6.30a – 3p it took me a while to get used to ‘real life’ – going to evening gatherings, having dinner with family, going to punk rock concerts, etc.

          • We’re training a new third shift guy, and to keep production up we’re doing ten hours right now. I’m doing 3pm to 1:30am, but the regular shift will be 3 to 11:30, once the new guy gets up to speed, if he gets up to speed.

            • i worked at a Firestone tire plant when i was going to college, and was on all 3 shifts at some point. during summer months, i would bid on day shift openings and would hold it for a week or two until someone higher in seniority bump me back. i liked doing that and enjoying normal life for short stints.

              I worked the second shift for a several years, and thought it was very dysfunctional from time to time. mostly upper management wannabe’s would try to make their mark by relentlessly pushing production trying to get noticed and promoted to days with the big muckety-mucks. many didn’t last when they actually saw production fall when trying to push….they’d just show up one day punching the clock and out on the floor working again.

              manufacturing is a weird world to say the least.

  2. Pro-Russian militants killed in clash at Ukraine port city

    Ukrainian forces engaged pro-Russian separatists Thursday in what appeared to be the most intense battle yet in the restive east, killing three militants and wounding 13 after what the Interior Ministry described as a siege on a military base in the southeastern city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.

    …After a “short battle,” Ukrainian commandos and counterintelligence units fanned out into the city by ground and helicopter in an operation to round up militants. He said that 63 separatists had been detained in what remained an ongoing operation. Avakov reported no causalities among Ukrainian forces.

  3. Remember the 60’s when those who questioned the actions of the government were told “America, Love it or Leave it!”? Now we have a bunch of “patriots” who claim to love America so much that they want to leave it. Unless I’ve missed something, which is entirely possible as spring is finally starting here and I’ve been potting a slew of tiny little plants, outside of Texas most of the calls to secede come from the states who’ve not tried it before. That’s remarkable considering the relative concentration of tea party crazy in the South. Dear Wisconsin, Don’t try it. It turns out poorly. Signed, Virginia

  4. Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine

    Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media.

    Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest

    Ruh roh! I’d say deja vu all over again, but I wasn’t around the last time this happened.

    Watch the RWNJs claim Obama is behind this.

    • Wait a minute. Jews have to register in areas where Russian militants have taken over? I thought it was Western Ukraine that was supposed to be under Nazi control. Hmmm. No WONDER the Amurikkkan radical right wingers think Putin is a REAL MAN and Obama is a wimp! Putin is, i.o.w., showing himself to be a genuine radical right wing fascist-oligarch — A REAL MAN!! — as opposed to, well, those old-timers like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and today’s Obama, those silly wimps that prefer freedom and prosperity of the masses over than the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of just a few.

      Fascist-Oligarchy. Don’t recall seeing that term before, but I think I kinda like it.

    • That little tidbit alone is, really, a vivid and telltale sign that those shitheads have absolutely no concept of anything at all. As I watched Bundy and those camo-clad armed idiots pretending to be REAL MEN, it suddenly struck me: when guns and camo are the most obvious tools-of-the- day, dick length and IQ clearly tend toward negative number equality.

      • The picture of the guy with a reasonably large rifle, and likely not much else, sticking his gun through a hole in a jersey barrier says it all. Pretty limited field of fire for a long range shot and no regard for the morons standing around him taking picture of the idiot.

        • The whole lot of them together redefined and clarified the meaning of the word ‘stupid.’ Turns out, too, that “Bunkerville”, wherever the name came from, is the perfect designation for that little corner of the world.

    • Ok – OIMF start trucking your farm animals to the land this fellow is occupying.
      If it’s free for him – then it would be free for whomever moves in on him!

      • Yeah, I thought of that too. If I figured I’d enjoy living in the Nevada with a bunch of (extra-goofy, according to reports) Mormons I’d relocate in Bunkerville and build a cabin on that free land, then bring in a pack or two of wolves and let them ‘graze’ there.

        Goofy world, this one.

  5. FINLAND, Minn. – Today, by a vote of 28-2, the Vermont state Senate passed H.112, a bill to require mandatory labeling of foods sold in Vermont that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill also makes it illegal to call any food product containing GMOs “natural” or “all natural.” Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require four or five other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont’s law contains no “trigger” clauses, making it the first “clean” GMO labeling law in the country.

    The bill now goes back to the House which is expected to agree to the Senate’s amendments, then to Gov. Peter Shumlin who is expected to sign it.

    Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), issued the following statement:

    Today’s victory in Vermont has been 20 years in the making. Ever since genetically modified crops and foods entered the U.S. food supply in the early 1990s, without adequate independent pre-market safety testing and without labels, U.S. consumers have fought to require the labeling of foods containing GMOs.

    Consumer demand for mandatory labeling of GMOs spawned a national grassroots movement that has persevered despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the biotech and food industries to lobby state lawmakers in Vermont, and to fund anti-labeling campaigns in California (2012) and Washington State (2013).

    Today, consumers and a number of principled legislators in Vermont made it clear to Monsanto, Coca-Cola and other opponents of consumers’ right to know: We will not back down. This movement is here to stay.

    • Why does Vermont have to be so close to the Arctic Circle? I’d move there except for the majority of the year being winter.

    • I’ve got some very mixed emotions about this. I like the technology, if used cautiously to avoid the unintended consequences that often come with blind embrace of sometime in which the corporation holding the patent on something has no real checks on their profit motive. I fear loss of biodiversity due to monoculture and the evolution of ever more resistant bugs and weeds due to overuse of our current ag chemicals. I do think the fears about consuming GMO products are overstated to the point where they become another form of fear based marketing. I supplement my hogs with a complete (but non-medicated in any way) commercial feed and some locally grown corn. Pasture, especially in winter, does not supply everything they need and my neighbors would object to my letting them forage in their woodlands. I know there are GMO crops in that feed, but I also know there is no mechanism whereby the DNA of the feed could alter the meat. Non-GMO feed is available, but at a greater cost than the stuff I buy from the local coop. I could raise prices and have it trucked in, but my meat is pretty expensive already, though less than the price of that produced by others touting non-GMO, and I don’t really believe the benefit to the consumer is worth the increased cost. So, I’ve decided to continue on as I am, and try explain why to the customers who inquire. I would feel bad doing something I really don’t believe in and promoting it as more beneficial to their health. I’m really interested in any feedback y’all have as I struggled with this issue all winter. The Vermont bill, which I have read, does not require meat raised with the use of GMO feeds to be labeled as such.

      • I think my only problems with GMO products are the potential impacts on biological diversity of, as you mention, insects, weeds, and in the long run, potentially on seeds themselves. GMO seeds are patented, and owned by (usually if not always) Monsanto. I can think of no greater threat to global agriculture than to create a world where one single company owns the rights to virtually all planting seeds AND is the only source of said planting seeds.

        Years ago, I thought GMO was a grand idea. I mean, imagine corn that’s not susceptible to borers; cotton not susceptible to boll worms or boll weevils; or maybe eventually a “leguminous” corn or cotton species that fixed its own nitrogen. But that optimism soon faded, along with my support of various herbicides and pesticides whose immediate impact was crop-positive, but the long term impact of which appears to have extremely negative consequences in re bees, butterflies, and who knows how many other species.

        The bottom line is that the less biodiversity that exists in the global plant life community, the greater becomes the potential negative impact on virtually every other living species, including our own.

        Personally, I’d much prefer we go backwards in time in re esp. pesticides, herbicides, and GMO plants. I’d rather have to pull an occasional worm from an apple than find there are no more apples to be had, perhaps because the global pollinating bee population was destroyed via a combination of pesticides, herbicides, and non-pollinating GMOs.

        I’d far rather live in a world without Monsanto than one without bees, butterflies, and/or millions of varieties of food-producing plants.

        • There was a time when “better living through chemistry” meant something.
          Usually that was at a Grateful Dead show.

        • I agree. I’m trying to find a responsible path that produces wholesome affordable food without blindly embracing the corporate line or going to the other extreme and handing out leaflets saying GMOs cause cancer. You’ll find both types at market, as well as the few who will lie and tell a customer whatever they wish to hear. Non-GMO fed eggs fetch $11/doz, go that route and your food stamp customers will never have a decent egg.

          • Wow! $11/doz! Yikes! One dozen of those puppies would eat up almost my entire 2014 SS raise! Actually, given the purchase-point system at our local market, we almost always get a dozen eggs free. I can settle for that.

            Like you, I seriously doubt that GMO DNA has any impact on animal DNA. I still don’t like GMOs for the reasons cited earlier, but have not seen a shred of science that says they can or will directly damage moi. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see them globally outlawed, however.

      • we’ve actually genetically modified for years, the problem is, Monsanto and others have taken it to to extreme and in route has altered several hundred if not thousands of ecosystems by introducing strains like BT Corn, Herbicide resistant crops like “roundup resistant” corn and soybeans, wheat, etc.

        “Bt corn has been genetically altered to emit proteins from the Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. The protein is poisonous to certain insect pests and is widely used in organic gardening.”

  6. The welfare rancher has a facebook page, and today they posted a TPM article where the crazy ex-sheriff who recommended using women and children as human shields tries to explain it away by saying the women just spontaneously decided they wanted to be up front, so he just assumed it was a planned strategy. The number of women commenting that they are perfectly willing to be human shields in order to defend the welfare ranchers right to graze cattle on land he doesn’t own is deeply disturbing.

    • That ex-sheriff is from Graham County, Arizona, one of the most Mormon counties in the state. The guy is currently an Oath Keeper, so he’s like the rest of the bugheads on the welfare ranch: hates America, doesn’t believe in much of anything other than guns, violence, and Joseph Smith. It’s absolutely no surprise that those losers would hide behind their women’s skirts. That’s what they do for a living.

    • I still can’t figure out why the feds didn’t just arrest Bundy when his unpaid bill hit, let’s say, $250,000.00. Heck! I had a nice chat with a cop when I pumped $20.00 worth of gas into my car and boat and, since there were people waiting to get to the pumps, I pulled away to make room. The call went out about the time I was walking to the store and he must have been pretty close because I was still in line at the register when he came through the door and his partner was copying down my license number. I received a stern admonition to “never pull away from a gas pump without paying” and I often compare that experience to “white collar crime”. How does that old saying go? “If a poor man steals a loaf of bread he goes to jail while a rich man can steal millions and receive no punishment but paying his lawyer”. Or something like that. I even wonder if I would have had less of a hassle if I had showed up with a tanker and emptied the station’s tanks.

      As for the Bundy situation as it stands… Despite my empathy for the cattle I think the best option at this point would be to send in a couple squadrons of attack helicopters, dispatch the cattle on federal land from a safe altitude, and tack the price for the operation plus disposal of the carcasses on Bundy’s outstanding bill. I know it’s possible because of one of my family legends.

      While Dad was training in B-17s out of Kingman Arizona his crew decided they would go one up on their squadron mates and score a victory while still in training. They decided to shoot a coyote from the air and, since Dad was the guy who manned the “chin turret” in the front of the plane, he got first shot. The guys figured, somewhat rashly, that anything they saw running in the desert would be a coyote. Dad saw something running so he shot it.

      Well? It was a cow. I probably would have written it off as a tall tale but Dad kept the form demanding he pay the fine of $50.00 to dismiss the court-martial. I figure that, if Dad could shoot a cow from high enough that he couldn’t tell a cow from a coyote with a simple sight, a modern military force should be able to put down any number of cattle, with humane head shots, from well out of the reach of a bunch of gun nuts.

      • I don’t think they will waste an opportunity but they might decide to attack Hillary instead. I can certainly see the rightwhiners claiming that Chelsea finally decided to get pregnant, at the scandalously old age of 34, only so that Hillary’s opponents can’t claim she raised a barren daughter. And Benghazi, of course.

        On the other hand, unless her baby is the whitest white baby ever born white, they will photoshop a picture that makes the baby look a little less white so they can claim that President Obama knocked her up when Hillary pimped her out to him to get the Secretary of State job. Heck! A mere thing like storing sperm for 5 years is simple enough for them to explain away because Benghazi.

    • Magnificent captures of all those fox!
      The diving fox, and the up close capture of the fox are, particularly, impressive!

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