The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 12, 2014: Bill Me Later

Conservative Republicans in Congress are at it again. And by “it,” I mean making a mockery of Logic, Science, Common Sense, and Reality. For the life of me, I cannot understand why voters continue to send Republicans to Congress, especially Republicans who spend their entire time in Washington trying to destroy the very government in which they work. Cases in point: Senator Ted Cruz (R-La La Land), who wants to sell off public lands, and Representative Sam Graves (R-Fantasyland), who wants to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ted Cruz is one of those conservatives who does not believe in the concept of publicly owned property. From the Think Progress article:

Federal lands make up one-fifth of the nation’s landmass and over 50 percent of the land Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. Under Cruz’s proposal, these states, which are home to some of the country’s most beloved national parks, forests, wildlife areas and iconic natural resources, would be forced to either pass the costs of managing these lands along to state taxpayers or, more likely, give them away or sell them off for mining, drilling, and logging.

And that worries me, because most of those states are run by Conservatives, and Conservatives believe in exploiting the land for its resources regardless of how much destruction they do to our habitat. I just don’t see too many of today’s Conservatives being very good Conservationists, especially the Conservative Christian ones. They believe the Bible gives them the right to take what they want from the land. (Remember, Ann Coulter said, “God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.'”) Conservatives, selfish people by nature, despise anything resembling “Collectivism.” So they don’t seem to understand the concept that our government is us, it is “We the People.” We are not ruled by nobility who believe in the Divine Right of Kings. We rule ourselves, by choosing who we want to have in our governments of all levels. Granted, we don’t always make good choices (Republican voters, I’m looking in your direction; we didn’t put Ted Cruz in office), and we often don’t have the greatest of choices. In fact, for most of us, if we do have a choice it’s usually between Evil and Not-So-Evil, or Shitty and Not-So-Shitty. Bad as they are, they’re OUR choices. And when we don’t like what they’re doing, we have the means (not nearly exercised enough) of voting them out of their phony-baloney jobs. And the best part of our system of government, is that in all the years we’ve been governing ourselves, we’ve always had a peaceful transfer of power from one president, or governor, or mayor, to the next. True, there have been many presidents, governors, and mayors who were assassinated, but their assassins did not take over that person’s governing responsibilities. We’ve had no military coups. You don’t usually have that kind of government where monarchies are involved. And part of the reason for that is the very concept of The Commons, the parts of the country that belong to everybody, not just a few people, or a single person. And because public land belongs to all of those, we have to protect it from those who would rape it for its natural resources, just to make a little money for themselves.

Which is why we need an Environmental Protection Agency with the authority to punish those who destroy public lands. Otherwise, what’s the point of having public lands in the first place, if there’s no one to protect them from destruction? But Graves thinks the EPA goes too far in exercising its authority, and so he has introduced the “Stop the EPA Act.” I think Sam needs to hire a proofreader, because the very end of his appeal calls for doing the exact opposite of the bill’s name.

The EPA is putting the squeeze on small businesses and middle class Missourians. Higher costs, longer delays, tighter budgets, and bigger headaches are on the way unless the EPA is not stopped.

Sam, I think you meant “unless the EPA is stopped,” or “if the EPA is not stopped.” By saying “unless the EPA is not stopped,” you’re saying all those inconveniences will happen unless the EPA is allowed to do its job. A rant of his against the EPA said, “Our region benefits greatly from coal-generated electricity, the cheapest and most readily available form of American energy.” Not true. It’s the most profitable, maybe, but it’s not the cheapest and it’s not the most readily available. Solar power is, and it’s free, delivered to your planet daily from the Sun. But the Capitalists don’t like it because the source is infinite (for our lifetimes), and they can’t follow the normal rules of supply and demand to set a high enough price. But once they figure out a way to control it, they’ll drop coal in a heartbeat and sell us sunlight, at a premium. (“Get it while it lasts, the Sun could go supernova any day!” No, it won’t, but they’ll try to sell you on the idea that it’s somehow in limited supply. I think they’re waiting until there’s no shred of Truth in Advertising laws left.) I think Sam’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t like the idea that the Congress gave this agency the authority to set the rules by which we protect our environment. He thinks the States should be allowed to regulate their own lands, even though the impact of their decisions could easily have adverse effects on neighboring states (and often does; New York State has to deal with the ramifications of all those smoke stacks in the Midwest pumping crap into the atmosphere. If there weren’t federal authority to regulate such emissions, New York would be at the mercy of everyone west of us.) Besides, if you enjoy drinking clean water and breathing clean air, you can thank the EPA for that. I know I do.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Ted Cruz, Sam Graves, that more intelligent than either of them mold spore growing behind your refrigerator, or anything else you wish to discuss.

33 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 12, 2014: Bill Me Later

  1. I’ve got a campy 1958 sci fi flick on TCM. Zsa Zsa Gabor has captured Mr. Favor (from Rawhide), and is about to create an earth-shattering kaboom!

  2. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bild – he must be seeing what I am seeing …. at least two columns of Russian armoured vehicles supposedly crossed the border into Luhansk yesterday… and now?

    • Putin is so bold as to have crowned himself king of the world…
      what will stop him? Some how the world must step in and dethrone PootyPoot as the BabyBush called him.

  3. Stat I didn’t know til today:

    The number of internet websites at the beginning of 1994 was 623. By the end of that year the number grew to more than 10,000.

  4. In re Public Lands: as of today, there are, in 44 states, some 758 designated Wilderness areas totaling 109,511,038 acres. That acreage does not include, of course, National Parks, National Monuments, or BLM land. Designated Wilderness areas were first enabled and set aside courtesy of The Wilderness Act of 1964; they’re roadless areas, areas where no motorized vehicles are allowed or permitted — on foot or horseback access only. They are, in that sense, largely undisturbed corners of the country where mother nature rules, where other than casual human intrusion is not allowed. Corporate money interests and idiots everywhere hate and detest the concept, and will likely leave no stone unturned in their effort to bring it back into THEIR fold, back to where it can be destroyed however they see fit.

    Cruz is a curious critter — seems like each and every day he finds yet one more way of demonstrating for all to see just how fucking STUPID he truly is. Sadly he’s not alone. Still, I recommend deporting Cruz and all other like-“minded” (use the word ‘mind’ loosely) assholes to either Canada or Cuba or, if they refuse, maybe to Honduras or El Salvador, or better yet Somalia.

  5. hmm, sound familiar?

    July 12, 1917: The Bisbee Deportation was the illegal deportation of about 1,200 striking copper mine union workers, their “trouble maker” supporters, and citizen bystanders by 2,000 armed vigilantes (wearing white arm bands). The strikers had been demanding safer working conditions and an to end discrimination against union workers and the unequal treatment of foreign and minority crews.

    Deportation Images

  6. Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts on this day in 1817.
    “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.”
    –from WALDEN (1854)

  7. Happy 71st birthday to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, who has the distinction of giving the band its first top twenty single, 1975’s “Over My Head”

  8. After a sheriffs association sought to ban unconcealed weapons, fearing they might frighten voters, the state’s attorney general ruled that guns could be openly displayed at polling sites.

    The state? Alabama. Duh.

    Remember when bars were closed on voting days? I want my country back.

  9. Hi Ebb. Saw your note from music night. The song I posted last night was from my phone. First time using the phone at the Zoo.

    We are all doing well. Thanks for asking. It is beautiful here and has been for a few days. Today is 85 and not a cloud in site. Scout had two walks this morning before the heat came and is now lying in the grass! Hoping to go hiking tomorrow but it may get to hot too fast.

    Scout has become a most excellent dog. She comes when called but still isn’t a great retriever!

    How are things with you?

  10. Life is difficult for those who murder and get away with it…

    George Zimmerman divorce records: I’ve got no home, no job and spend $100 a month on vacations

    …He listed his total assets at $14,000 – most of that is his 2008 Honda pickup. His debts total $2.5 million, most of that is money he owes criminal defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West.

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