The 109th United States Congress held a vote back in 2006, where a Republican Congress—acting at the behest of the Bush-Cheney administration—enacted a law that required the postal service to “pre-fund” retiree health benefits seventy-five years into the future. NO corporation has ever been asked to shoulder such insane financial burdens and Americans had no idea this was happening, and why. The US Post Office is one of the top employers of veterans. Yet the GOP has repeatedly slashed any means of assistance for the “troops” they claim to support. Not only did those brave men and women fight a senseless war without being properly equipped with safe gear, but their means of livelihood when they return to civilian life has been systematically eradicated by Republicans.
During the 2012 Presidential Campaign, Willard Romney touted his business acumen by revealing Bain Capital’s retail success. Bain’s Staples Office Supply Stores were the shining example of the “noble” business of venture capitalism. Staples announced recently announced, in twenty-seven states, some of its stores will contain actual U.S. Post Offices.
Coincidentally, the sponsor of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was Republican Tom Davis of Virginia, an ardent supporter of Willard Romney. Obviously no stranger to corruption, he’s been linked to the K Street Project, a fundraising scandal linked to Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff. It truly is a very strange bill, which went under the radar in the House. On February 9, 2006, the Senate passed the bill. Not sure how they passed the bill, as there was not a recorded vote. The intent was to privatize the mail industry and destroy the Postal Union while enriching obscenely profitable corporations. Staples employees making minimum wage will be performing the tasks of the Postal Union workers while earning neither pensions nor benefits. This is another example of the privatizing of government industries for-profit while underhandedly cutting the throats of the American worker.
On a typical weekday afternoon in Mesquite, Nevada, a young girl and her grandma are sitting in a local Subway sandwich shop. In walks two men with rifles slung over their shoulders and a firearm on either side. Neither has bathed in several days. The young girl says, ‘grandma look at their guns!’ One of the disheveled men says, ‘we are fighting for liberty and freedom!’ So the young girl, clearly frightened says, ‘I think I should call the police,’ so she picks up her cell phone and dials 911 and the two men scurry away like cockroaches in a newly-lit kitchen. Perhaps these self-appointed soldiers have rap sheets that are as long as their automatic weapons? Citizens of the Virgin Valley are tired of the fifty or so self-appointed militia-folk who have descended upon their quiet Southern Nevada community on behalf of a law-breaking, tax-evading cattle rancher. These Bunkerville militia members are not exactly good for tourism, the primary draw to the Gold Butte National Conservation Area. If you look a little more closely at the Mesquite, St George, Colorado City tri-state area (NV, UT, AZ) you’d notice something a little different about the folks frequenting the shops in the area: a disproportionate number of very young women all holding babies, dressed in modest pattern dresses. You guessed it, you’ve stumbled upon one of the communities populated by the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS). These are the original “settlers” of the area and because he is related, Bundy claims he owes no federal fees.
Senator Dean Heller, yes, that’s right, Senator Heller (R-NV), a United States Senator, has essentially condoned this lawless, criminal behavior not only by Cliven Bundy, but by all the unhinged militia members whom he calls “patriots.” These folks, who are in desperate need of a shower, are simply waiting for the government to say “boo” and they’ll react by placing their womenfolk at the front lines to take the first hits. But seriously, how important are women in a Mormon community like Bunkerville? You must understand the LDS faith: women are not worthy of holding the priesthood according to scripture and their only function is to multiply, much like Cliven’s freeloading herd of cattle.
You’d think a crowd as obsessed as the Republicans are with the marriage is between one man and one woman concept would be as vehemently opposed to polygamy as they are to same-sex marriage. Strangely enough, the area’s FLDS-dominated communities, are seldom harassed by the dreaded government who has the audacity to demand taxes from Cliven. The area is truly an oddity, very isolated and will most likely remain so while Mormonism dominates. If you go to any number of these rural towns, expect to be followed by a pick up truck or two. They don’t take kindly to strangers. The area is so laden with polygamous families, one of the neighboring towns has a median age of 12.7 years! There would be far too many orphans created if these communities were raided, so they are left to the misogyny and abuse of the FLDS.
Mormons stick together, apparently that includes the fringe element of the cult. Whether it is rural polygamous families or prominent Mormons like Senator Heller, the cult rules over the laws of the land. Even though Cliven and his gang are violating Federal law, his actions will be defended by people who believe in a “higher power” than the government whose flag they seem to love to fly. We sure dodged a bullet when we rejected Willard Romney, as he would have ruled the United States based on Joseph Smith’s fables and not the Constitution these patriots all claim to love.
Recently, events have occurred which would indicate a perfect storm, which would help create the right wing fantasy of the Rapture. Conditions for this “final judgement” are ripe when you mix heavily armed anti-government insurrectionists, white supremacists with shotguns and Mormons who do not believe in the laws of the United States but believe Joseph Smith looked into a hat with a peep stone to translate scriptures from gold plates. Culminating with the Blood Moon of Monday night’s lunar eclipse, fundamentalists believe we have achieved the perfect conditions for the Apocalypse. That’s the ultimate goal of the folks who have made life in America unlivable with the deplorable legislation they’ve enacted; they seek to destroy the environment, contaminate drinking water, eliminate the middle-class altogether and create a theocratic vision for America that would make Jefferson weep. This is the right-wing fringe element hard at work, making America just a little less civilized and a lot more crazy, where the paradise of the after-life is all we should desire because we’ve really screwed this life up royally.
The now infamous rancher from Bunkerville, Cliven Bundy, says he does not believe in the U.S. Government. The situation outside his ranch has escalated to a point where the armed TeaPartiers have made federal agents nervous about potential casualties, which would certainly immortalize these lunatics and spark more domestic terrorism. Turning anti-government ranchers who advocate waging war on the federal government into heroes simply emboldens domestic terrorists to feel justified in murdering federal officials with self-righteous zeal. Cliven identifies himself with ancestor Dudley Leavitt, who played a pivotal role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Cliven is related to one of the original LDS combatants involved in that horrific event the Mormon church would love to forget.
Ironically, Cliven is in violation of one of the thirteen Articles of Faith. The twelfth states: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. I suppose Cliven must have missed Sunday School the day they went over Joseph Smith’s articles. Bundy himself said he didn’t believe in the U.S. government’s law, yet clearly the religion he follows demands he abide by the laws of the land. Over a century and a half before, Bundy’s Mormon ancestors, under the command of Brigham Young, carried out a massacre because the Federal Government attempted to enforce the laws of the United States. Blaming the “Indians,” they brutally murdered 120 innocent settlers to make their point. Cliven Bundy seemed to be following in their footsteps, and the U.S. government wanted no part of that. Naturally, we aren’t getting the full story from mainstream media outlets. Thankfully, the internet helps us connect with people from all points of view.
The local blog Let’s Talk Nevada provides a much different, more organic perspective than we’ve seen from the Conservative media, who has literally made a hero out of this law-breaking, tax-evading rancher. The author admonishes Federal Agents who have, for now, tacitly surrendered to this insurrection:
The Tea Party has eliminated the rule of law, militarized the Gold Butte region with armed civilian militias, saved those poor starving cows to wander the desert for inadequate food and water, enhanced our business climate with threats of violence, put us on the map of every nut with a gun who is itching to fight for “liberty and justice” AND established Cliven Bundy as the face of the Virgin Valley. All in one week.
Imagine if this did escalate into a Ruby Ridge or Waco? These folks would be considered martyrs for the cause of manufactured TeaParty rage. The hate-groups, angered by a “lawless” (a.k.a. black) president have been emboldened to act with displays of force, while the government can do little against this insane group of heavily-armed, outraged hypocrites. In fact, since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has had more deaths attributed to right-wing violence than Jihad.
Supporters of Bundy’s crimes offered to use their wives as human shields provoking federal agents. These armed-TeaPartiers always seem to be a homogeneous group of white conservatives. Like many fundamentalist Christians, the LDS “faith” believe(d) blacks were cursed until President Carter threatened to revoke their tax-exempt status in 1978. But in a strange turn of events, Glenn Beck is now urging protesters’ violent threats to cease and desist, (as perhaps he’s no longer comfortable backing a man of the polygamous FLDS sect of Mormonism)? It’s not as if Mormons positively ally themselves with the FLDS, who dominate the area around Mesquite, Nevada. What’s more bizarre, Beck often compares his worldview with that of Martin Luther King Jr., because MLK would support a gun-crazed group of insurrectionists without question.
As this chaotic scene unfolded, three innocent people in Kansas were gunned down as a result of hate from an extremist, white-supremacist. Frazier Glenn Miller, the 73-year-old suspect in Sunday’s fatal shooting outside a Jewish Community Center near Kansas City, Mo., has a decades long record of virulent white supremacism and anti-Semitism. The shooting is another example of the influence of the pro-Second Amendment crowd over those who harbor hate. In turn, these loons are then emboldened to act as it is extremely easy to acquire weapons and ammo in this country. It seems the more into “God” and religion a group is, the more they are into the procurement of violence through firearms. I have a feeling this will not change until the people of the United States realize religion holds our society in a very medieval state of ignorance, superstitious fear and paranoia.
December 2, 1970 was the last time a Republican created something that benefits the greater good of society. Seriously, it’s been over forty years since any Republican has successfully enacted legislation that is based on scientific data, also known as reality. Richard M. Nixon created the EPA in 1970 which marks the last time the party behaved responsibly by utilizing data from climate scientists and attempting to clean up our environment. Their actions ever since have been an attempt to pollute indiscriminately.
Everything the GOP stands for is rooted in religiously-based discrimination of some sort. Whether they are quashing the rights of women, the poor and minorities or relinquishing the rights to drink clean water and breathe healthy air, the GOP is always on the wrong side of history. They claim trickle down economics is the magical way the job-creator fairies instinctively share their wealth. Profit-gorging corporations care only about their coveted bottom line: earnings for the shareholders. They are not concerned with the middle class, as companies like Walmart have created the working poor as the new normal. The laws they’ve passed are unimaginably awful.
On April 1, 2014 the Supreme Court handed corporations unlimited political power by cementing the idea that more money equals more speech. The five conservative Justices in the Supreme Court have ruled twice in favor of selling our democracy to the highest bidder. Money equals speech, (and) some people have more speech than others. It codifies oligarchy. It creates a free speech caste system. The highest bidder is also, unfortunately, the most rooted in theological doctrine supplanting a secular constitutional government. Chief Justice Roberts actually said: “Ingratiation and access … are not corruption,” he wrote, quoting Citizens United. Bribery, in other words, has no impact on a legislator’s actions. Because no one has ever succumbed to bribery, right, Scalia?
Biblical Creationism is favored over scientific evolution. Mandatory prayer and religious mottos like In God We Trust are proudly displayed in secular institutions like public schools. Mississippi’s Governor Bryant, enlightened by Old Testament-driven hate, is making it legal to discriminate against homosexuals openly! Other Red States are desperately trying to sanction laws very similar to those in Russia, who proudly boast of their anti-gay propaganda. There is actually a Minnesota candidate who has gotten into politics to ensure his daughter doesn’t have to learn about that alarmingly factual scientific theory of evolution, which has no place in the Biblical book of fantasy (which is the basis of all Republican legislation). If you look at the campaign the Republicans have launched against the scientific community’s consensus on the dire nature of man-made climate change, you’ll see a concerted effort to shun reality and promulgate illogical fantasy like that in the Bible.
Without even touching on the denial of racism and sexism, one can see very clearly how rooted in fantasy and lies the Republican platform has become. It is fashionable to disregard evidence, fact and data to promote the agendas of large corporations who care nothing for the citizens of this country. With 5/9 of the Supreme Court on board to sanction deception to the American people, we are truly in a situation where everyone MUST pay attention or our country will go the way of theocracies like Afghanistan. Income inequality will only worsen as our situation on this planet becomes more perilous with increasing weather disasters. Politics is local, and electing Democrats who are not religious shamans would be a great step in the right direction in this 2014 election year.
Republican Billionaire Sheldon Adelson | CREDIT: AP PHOTO/KIN CHEUNG
I shouldn’t have been surprised at the Supreme Court decision regarding McCutcheon v. FEC, but I was, nonetheless. I was naive enough to think the Court would see it’s mistake in their Citizens United decision and not repeat the same thing in this instance. I was wrong…
Chief Justice John Roberts begins his opinion in McCutcheon v. FEC with a flourish: “[t]here is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.” He then spends the next forty pages explaining why that participation includes the right of rich people to attempt to buy elections. Thanks to the decision Roberts and his four fellow conservative justices handed down today (Though Thomas did not join Roberts’ opinion, he wrote a more radical opinion calling for all limits on campaign donations to be…
It’s astounding we have such a tremendous number of homeless Americans in this country, when America is still the richest country on the planet. So many of our homeless are veterans, who number 75,000 on any given night. Greater than 5% of our homeless are actually veterans who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. We often hear of the “fraud” that’s uncovered when an investigation is launched into a suspicious case, where a random person pretends to be homeless, and people actually admonish you for giving to the sad person at a stoplight because they’re convinced the stories on Fox News are true. Everyone is gaming the system, if you ask the right wing media. Everyone is a fraud.
This is the mentality of the me, me,me Republican party and the Christian Fundamentalist movement that has dominated our politics. The Dominionists were the ones calling for a government shutdown rather than honor the debt already accrued by the country, they are the ones who think charity is no longer necessary for a moral society. The wealthy needn’t worry about the “eye of the camel.” Poverty (is) seen as the result of moral failure. Rendering unto Caesar (the Government) (is) no longer the moral thing to do. The mentality that it’s the poor person’s fault they don’t have a home or a job has been promoted ever since Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America has eviscerated the middle class and increased income inequality. The statistics tell a different tale. Poverty is a real problem in America and being a homeless family is more common than we’d like to think.
Shanesha Taylor, a homeless mother of two children: a six month old and two year old, was forced to leave her children in a car unattended while she was at a job interview in the city of Chandler, Arizona. Upon hearing a cry from the car, a passer-by called the police. Shanesha had no choice but to leave her kids alone while interviewing for a job. Shanesha, like so many Americans, are living out of their cars and need a source of income. Devastated at being charged with child endangerment, she faces jail time and losing custody of her children. The story made the news and this was the most fortunate thing to happen to this woman living in poverty.
Amanda Bishop, a twenty-four year old fellow citizen, was moved by the heart-wrenching police photo. She set up a fund on behalf of Shanesha that has raised over $71,000 as of April 1st. Naturally, on the website, there were those who thought she was undeserving, endangering her children. But thankfully, there were enough people out there with a sense of compassion and decency in their hearts to give to a fellow human being in need. It’s obvious there are far too many people now considered the working poor who were once considered middle-class. The cost of living has gone up while wages have gone down. With the exportation of so many jobs with unfavorable trade agreements lowering the amount of money per hour a worker can earn, people have to hold down two or more jobs just to subsist.
It’s nice to see people behaving like human beings and coalescing to help someone in need. It’s time these theocratic “Christian” conservatives stop promoting unfair stereotypes and discouraging charitable giving. People need programs like SNAP, Medicaid and Head Start to be funded more in times of economic crisis, not cut to ribbons like budget-makers in the GOP would like. Congressman Paul Ryan has been absolutely savage in his cruel budget cuts that hurt the poor while giving sickening tax breaks to giant corporations. Austerity is never the answer when people are suffering. It’s time people elect representatives that will help the poor and fix the income inequality that creates poverty in a country of such wealth. Democrats have always been the party who enacts legislation that benefits the majority of the population, especially women and children who make up the majority of the poor. Stop electing Republicans and we’ll improve America for all Americans, not just the one percent.