The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 11th, 2015: OMG, We’re Missing the Bundy Reunion!

Yes, it’s been a year since the Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff – time flies when your country’s going crazy, doesn’t it?

Since the standoff at the Bundy Ranch, it appears that Cliven has found enough like-minded idiots in the Nevada assembly to have had one Assemblywoman, Michele Fiore (R-duh!) introduce a “Bundy Bill” last month. According to an AP story on the local CBS affiliate Channel 8 NewsNow, KLAS:

“The original proposal would require the federal government to obtain permission to use land within the state’s borders. The proposal also strips the federal government of state water rights and would allow county commissions to parcel out state land for commercial use.”

After wasting time and taxpayer money on an obviously unconstitutional bill, the final version supposedly “…deletes core proposals and instead says local sheriffs can enter into an agreement to patrol federal lands. It also states that sheriffs are the primary law enforcement officers in unincorporated parts of their counties.” Oh, yeah, that’s MUCH better, because everyone knows that Federal law enforcement just LOVES to take orders from the local LEOs. KLAS’s 8NewsNow investigative “I-Team” also provides a brief rundown of the ten other States who are producing similar legislation. Yesterday’s ThinkProgess thread on this topic lists those States as: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. TP links to “Keep Our Land American” at www.americanpubliclands.com for more details and a petition.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Bundy family and their fellow miscreants are celebrating the anniversary with a “Freedom Reunion” aka “Liberty Celebration.” (I guess they couldn’t figure out a way to squeeze both “Freedom” and “Liberty” into the name without sounding redundant – oh, who am I kidding, they don’t know what the word “redundant” means. [“Hey, who ya callin”redundant’? Take it back!”]

Take a look at the actual invitation and its accompanying re-written idealized “history.”

From the Bundy Ranch Facebook page:

THERE ARE PLENTY OF PLACES TO CAMP OR MESQUITE HAS LOTS OF ROOMS TO STAY IN – COME AND ENJOY BUNDY RANCH LIBERTY CELEBRATION

Date: April 10-12, 2015 (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Location: Bundy Ranch – Bunkerville NV 89007 – Exit 112 off of I-15, follow the American flags
Purpose: To gather in celebration of our liberties, agency and stand with God, for our U.S. Constitution, State sovereignty, Property rights and to enjoy access to our lands.
Who is Invited: All people who enjoy freedom
Activities: Camping, Off Roading, Hiking, Playing in the River, Evening BBQ (Bundy Beef), Shooting- Come camp all weekend if you would like.
Stage Activities: Slide/Video Show, Live Band, Cowboy Poetry, Guest Speakers
Program: Friday & Saturday Evening; Stage activities and BBQ
Sunday; Testimony meeting, share your feelings for God and country

Special Invitation: Those who express music, poetry, words, documentaries and other arts. Those who hold political office. The cowboys. Those who supported with prayers and finances. The militia who keep us safe. [emphasis mine] Media outlets both friendly and unfriendly (TV, radio, internet, books, magazines and other). All those who have invited the Bundy family to speak and teach around the world.

*If you would like to be a participant in the stage activities please contact the Bundy family at rancherbundy@gmail.com

Some of the replies/comments:

Janae Hutchins: Wish I wasn’t so far away now. I’d love to come. enjoy the anniversary of your victory against tyranny! God bless America! 🇺🇸

Scott Saragoza: I will be there to stand with all of you for our Liberties…………. Absolutly!!!!!!!! Thank you.

Robert Brooks Bob: God Bless yall from N.W.Ar…Wish we could be there.

Shirley Pitcher: I wish I was heading back to Utah.
I would love too.
Good bless the Bundys

Ray Herrera: This Sounds like a lot of Fun !!! God Bless the Bundy Family !!! They are my Hero’s

William Morgan: Great thing here Mr. Bundy I wish I could be there to support you and Our freedom

Now, c’mon, don’t you wish that you were there?

 

This is our daily open thread – talk about whatever you’d like.

The Watering Hole; Friday April 10 2015; “Environmentalists Caused California’s Drought”

Following is a brief summary of abject idiocy, wingnut style. Read the full tale here, if you have the nerve.

It’s so simple, really. California, according to Carly Fiorina (and she oughtta know, right?), is in the middle of a “man-made disaster” caused by “liberal environmentalists.” She further notes that “California is a classic case of liberals being willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology,” and that in the liberal’s world view, “fish and frogs and flies” are more important than building more reservoirs and water delivery pipelines. Fiorina tries to further advance her man-made disaster thesis by adding, “A single state, or single nation, acting alone can make no difference at all, that’s what the scientists say. We’re disabling our own economy and not having any impact at all on climate change.” She seems to think that if all river outflow was captured via new dams and reservoirs there would be no shortages and life could go on without such nonsensical water use restrictions as are in place today. And if some species should become extinct in the process, so what?

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes agrees with Fiorina, and notes that his area of the state has been decimated by drought due to [leftist] politicians using “water as a weapon” by cutting supply off to farmers in order to better protect liberal voters. One of his major gripes is that in 2008, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service set restrictions on the amount of water that could be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in an attempt to save the endangered Delta smelt from extinction. The restriction meant that Central Valley ag interests would feel the pinch during periods of reduced runoff, and most especially during periods of sustained drought.

Simply put, the right wing thesis seems to be that even though the drought may be caused by human-induced climate change, the real IMPACTS of the drought are caused by liberals because they care more about frogs and fishes than they do about the well-being of Republicans. And furthermore, since there haven’t been any more dams built to hold the runoff from all the rain and snow that isn’t falling anymore because of . . . ummm . . . well, you know.

Fiorina and Nunes obviously have it all wrong, and the balance of the article refutes each and all of their complaints as it explains, via the science that underlies, the grim realities implicit in severe multi-year drought. What puzzles me most of all is the stupidity that is continually on full display — nationwide — concerning virtually any issue pertinent to both local and national interests. Is there no corner of the country — or the world, for that matter — that is not negatively impacted each and every day by the enfeebled mental acuity that has come to define political right wing / conservative / Republican / fascist movements regardless of their location? Why must the planet and all of its life forms suffer because so many humans are so totally devoid of functional mentality?

Friedrich Schiller once said, “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” I don’t suppose he was aware way back then that he was describing the collective mentality of 21st century America’s right wing politic, but he sure did nail it.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday April 9 2015; “We Have Come To Take Our Country Back”

In Rand Paul’s recent presidential candidacy announcement speech, his first big applause line was “We have come to take our country back.” The first question that popped into a lot of heads, my own included, was ‘back to where?’ What did he mean? Back to the Bush depression? To Iraq? The Persian Gulf? Iran Contra? Watergate? Vietnam? Jim Crow? The stock market crash of ’29? Or maybe to those golden years of pre-Civil War slavery? The following video (h/t C&L) offers a look at the other obvious question: Take America back FROM WHOM?

The video’s embedded thesis makes a lot of sense even in today’s context, given all the mean-spirited tirades we’ve been forced to endure these last years concerning such disparate topics as President Obama’s birthplace (racism, of course), immigration reform, Islamic “terrorism” (ethnic and religious intolerance), and more recently the outrageous (and potentially seditious) din in re ongoing negotiations with Iran and our attempt to resolve international concerns over its nuclear program. Politics. The word becomes more vicious and more tainted on a daily an hourly basis.

Enter newly announced candidate Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky who says his primary goal as President would be to severely cut back on federal spending — especially on things like food stamps, medical care, Social Security, public education — on anything, in short, that might benefit We the People rather than the billionaires, banks, and corporate entities that have come to define the GOP’s fund raising capacity. Paul did, however, note that he wants vast increases in the Pentagon ‘defense’ budget (“defense” being the Republican word for eternal warmongering — taxpayer money well-spent because corporate profits, etc.). Conclusion: Rand Paul is a Republican — a factoid which for whatever reason brought to mind my January 4 2013 Watering Hole post in which I included this 1998 essay quote by historian Robert Paxton:

From . . . the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it’s easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it’s blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn’t have a moment’s shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.

There. It’s so simple, so odious: the word Republican has become clearly and expressly synonymous with its more historically burdened equivalent, i.e. Fascist. Too bad no one has pointed out that it defines, this day, the politic of such egregious and well known celebrities as Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and . . . oh yes, how could I forget: RAND PAUL and his campaign to “Bring America back — ‘by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America.'”

Amen. Fascism. Q.E.D.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 4th, 2015: Today in History

Born on April 4th, 1918, my dad would have been 97 today.  Later today, after I take Squiggy to the vet for whatever shot he’s scheduled to get, I’ll be heading down to the cemetery for a visit. One of my coworkers said that she couldn’t bear to go to the cemetery where her father is buried, but I don’t have such a hard time going to see my dad. Not that I don’t miss him, or my mum (it is harder for me when mum is the reason for my visit), but when I’m there and look around at so many of their old friends buried nearby, it’s somewhat comforting. Nearly every name I see is one that I know, or know of, from growing up in Brewster. And almost every day when I’m driving home from work, I pass the old entrance to the cemetery, and I wave and say ‘hi’ each time because, while out of sight from the road, I know that my parents are straight up that old drive, and among friends.

Today also marks 41 years since my maternal grandmother, Elizabeth “Bessie” Cook, died of breast cancer. Even though the film mammogram had been invented in 1969, five years later it was certainly not the common preventative screening method that it is today. So despite having undergone a double mastectomy, Grandma’s cancer was too far along to be stopped. I remember mum and I going to the nursing home a day or two after my sister, Anne, had given birth to Bessie’s first great-grandchild, my godson and oldest nephew, Michael. We believe that, knowing that Anne was due any day, Grandma had been stubbornly hanging on until Michael was born. Anne had taken one of those old instant photos of newborn Michael and mailed it to Grandma immediately, but it arrived too late for Bessie. I will never forget her funeral, with my mum clutching my hand and sobbing aloud when the church soloist started to sing “Ave Maria.” to this day, I cannot hear that song without flashing back to that harrowing moment.

Mum and Dad's Wedding - Left to Right, Grandpa Joe Sechny, "Baba", my dad, my mum, Grandma Bessie Cook, Grandpa Ralph Cook

Mum and Dad’s Wedding – Left to Right, Grandpa Joe Sechny, “Baba”, my dad, my mum, Grandma Bessie Cook, Grandpa Ralph Cook

On a more global scale, several much more important events occurred on this day in history:

-On April 4th, 1968, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. This alone makes April 4th a day that should live in infamy. (I’m sure that if those who wish to re-write American history according to their own delusions, schoolchildren will someday be taught that “The Great White Hope” James Earl Jones pulled the trigger.) Remarkably, Dr. King was only 39 years old at the time of his murder – remarkable considering how huge an impact his brief life’s work had on the Civil Rights of African-Americans and on our nation’s history.

-On April 4th, 1776, General George Washington began his march from Boston to New York, and his presence here in our little neck of the New York woods is commemorated by several roadside historical markers. For a time, Washington’s headquarters were located in what is known as the John Kane House here in Pawling.

John Kane House, once George Washington's Headquarters

John Kane House, once George Washington’s Headquarters

-On April 4th, 1841, President William Henry “I died in 30 days!” Harrison died of pneumonia, exactly one month after having insisted on giving his over-long inaugural address on a frigid day without a coat or hat.

-On April 4th, 1949, the NATO pact was signed.

-On April 4th, 1928, future U.S. Poet Laureate Maya Angelou was born.

-And on April 4th, 1865, supposedly Abraham Lincoln dreamt about his own assassination.

This is our daily Open Thread – talk about anything you’d like.