Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Speaking of our extremist Ravalli County commissioners:

 Last week, by unanimous vote, the Ravalli County commissioners installed a fellow tea traveler--Scott Boulanger—to fill Bob Lake’s state senate seat (SD 44). Bob, as many of you may already know, is an A.L.E.C.-approved Bitterroot politician (*) who was recently elected to our Public Service Commission along with fellow-A.L.E.C.-approved extremist Roger Koopman. You also may know how this pair of intrepid private (not “public”) servants have been tasked by their corporate handlers with divvying up the public spoils for the greater corporate good.
What you may not know is who the hell Scott Boulanger is. Well, I’m here to tell ya:
Boulanger lives in Darby (I think) and holds outfitting permits for the Selway country and the West Fork of the Bitterroot, or at least he has in the recent past. He, along with our incomparable commissioners and a fellow named Keith Kubista have been very active in attempts to perpetrate a militia-style county supremacy scheme on Ravalli County that they insist on euphemizing as "coordination" which is part and parcel with other militia tenets such as nullification (**). Boulanger plays the “outraged outfitter” part in this scheme, claiming that public wolves have been responsible for ruining his private livelihood. Kubista, for his part, is Ravalli County’s vociferous representative of Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife (SFW), a well-funded and out-of-state Wise Use bunch who are infamous for advocating for the privatization of our wildlife as well as the privatization the public lands they frolic on. Follow the angle of repose of SFW's line of thinking, like Kubista and Boulanger apparently do, and you will come to the conclusion that wolves—as well as the land they tread and the game they live on—must be privatized so that they may be more easily eradicated for the private good. In fact, Boulanger positioned his outfitting business up the West Fork to take full advantage of liberal hunting regulations there, which regulations and excesses, from my observation point as a former elk hunter in those parts, contributed more to the nose-diving of the herds than any five packs of wolves. In all my tromping around I never saw a wolf-torn elk carcass, but saw a statistically-significant number of shot and unretrieved elk, either dead or slowly-dying, cluttering up the woods during that time. For a while, it was a massacre. Made conscientious hunters and outfitters sick.
In appointing Boulanger, the Ravalli County commissioners chose to ignore the fact that Boulanger lost a primary bid for HD 87 to Pat Connell this last June, in large part because he inspires indigestion even among his Republican neighbors, let alone the rest of us living in the round world. This, of course is not the first time our rogue commission has chosen cronyism over democracy. A year and a half ago they appointed the chair of the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee, Terry Nelson, to the newly-created position of Ravalli County Office Manager, duties of which include light monitor and chair monitor but apparently not much else since these same true-believers gutted our planning department. ( ***) But I digress.
To put it bluntly, which I always strive to do, appointing someone like Boulanger to a supposedly-democratic institution like our state senate is basically a nose-thumbing at anyone to the left of that good ol’ boy Attilla, which now includes just about every Republican who hasn't fallen off the far-right edge of the world yet (just south of Conner with a special heavenly bridge to Lost Trail Ski area and various other snowmobile-accessible areas). It is the unmitigated action of dictator-wannabees, of fools or of both.

And remember: $733 a month in insurance premiums is what you the taxpayer are gonna be paying this unqualified, government-fightin' guy to...be part of our government!! To sit in one of our senator seats, in other words, for the grand private (not public) good of fighting the expansion of Medicaid and the gutting of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

In closing, I’d like to wax enigmatic. I’m going to refer you to the Montana Cowgirl blog in general, and to her posting about the recount for school superintendant in particular http://mtcowgirl.com/2012/12/06/the-ruse/   and make a few obvious observations.
·         No real superintendant candidate who hails from Martin City, Montana would think of—let alone be able to afford—a $200,000 recount of a race she almost certainly lost.
·         Couple this with Boulanger’s taxpayer-funded coronation and Lake and Koopman on the PSC.
·         Consider Mark Twain’s timeless query: “I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
·         And just like a hologram, the answer Mark Twain's query pops out in 3-D from the flat page: that the smart ones running the country are only concerned with putting on the imbeciles who really mean it, and that both groups don’t give a flying two-cents for democracy or anything or anyone else in their way.
Maybe I should start a church or something. Any suggestions for a tax-exempt name?
In case you missed these footnotes in the previous post. They bear repeating, I think.
*In a nutshell, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is energy-billionaire Koch Brothers’ corporate vehicle for secretly-buying state legislatures with junkets and other trinkets in exchange for corporate-written policies that undermine democracy and have the ultimate goal of privatizing our country’s every function, including education, prisons, state and federal legislatures. These huge corporations, of course, in many if not most cases, are either trans-national or not even based in the United States.
** To simplify: Militia-corporate style interpretations of the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution claim that any rights or duties that weren’t SPECIFICALLY spelled out in the Constitution, any rights or duties that have been interpreted over 200 years of case law are null and void, and therefore those rights and duties revert back to the states. Hence the term “nullification”. In the past as well as the present, the cause of “Nullification” has been taken up by such groups as the Montana Freemen, Posse Comitatus, Oathkeepers, and various other gun-bristling outfits whose philosophies pretty much trace back to pre-Civil War “Bloody Kansas”, the training grounds for the likes of Quantrill’s Raiders, the James Gang and the Younger brothers. Pseudo-legal 10th Amendment/nullification canards were a major component of the “paper terrorism” strategy these violent militia groups used in threatening and harassing local officials. Up until this latest mass-hysteria euphemistically dubbed Tea Party politics , “nullification” was considered so extreme no serious politician would dare mention it. Now, we’re getting corporate bills underwritten by out-of-country money promoting it and being proudly introduced by our “patriot” legislators. Really??? Really.
*** This leaves Terry, who now pulls in a taxpayer-funded $50,000 a year salary plus healthcare benefits, free to practice his true interest of using his still-held position as Republican chair to spoon-feed his nominal bosses (our rogue commissioners) rogue candidates to fill vacancies. The way it works is that when a Republican official pulls a Palin, like former commissioner Kanenwisher did, or gets a sweet new taxpayer-funded job, like Lake did, it falls to the local Republican Central Committee to “suggest” candidates to fill the vacancy. This Mr. Nelson does with alacrity, since as an anti-government extremist on the public dole he’s doing essentially nothing, NOTHING, of value for his taxpayer bosses, and also because he’s in the catbird seat of appointing those who nominally oversee him for us. A commissioner here. A state senator there. What a coincidence! The public need not sully their hands anymore with that messy governing stuff anymore. Terry and our wonderful, wonderful commissioners will do all that for us, thank you very much now go run along and play while The Gang does the real work of tearing the meat off the half-dead carcass of our democracy.  

1 comment:

  1. Boulanger...??!! A real piece of 'work' and sponsor
    of the SB197, let thoselittle kids hunt, prove their manhood and sponsored by OUT OF STATE outfitter shills, while we have superb hunter education program that works well....