The Inquisition Comes to Helena – con’t

Part II – The TEA Party – Steeped in Hypocrisy

640718455_tea_crusades_logo_xlargeThe first Inquisition was created through papal bull, Ad Abolendam, issued at the end of the 12th century by Pope Lucius III as a way to combat heresy in southern France. Just as the Medieval Inquisitions had their roots in religion, so too, the current local version, under the auspices of TEA Party Patriots, is closely aligned with radical evangelical politics.

Of course, the high priests of this new Inquisition aren’t acting under the authority of Rome – or Washington, as the case may be – but that hasn’t slowed down their dedication to excising the heretics from the body politic. They don’t need no stinkin’ pope – They has the power of “We the people!” Even though most of the people don’t have a clue.

Despite the original TEA Party focus on the fiscal policies of the government, the evolution of the movement has become inexorably tied to the right-wing social agenda – anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-illegal immigration, anti-sex-ed… (When is somebody going to call “uncle” on these guys?)

Tea Party Patriots is 100% grassroots, 100% of the time. That was the mantra of the original TEA Party, an unorganized populist movement. The Tea Party Patriots got its start as a scrappy, ground-up conservative organization. Its rowdy activists demanded more transparency and less business-as-usual in the nation’s capital, and they worked hard to elect candidates who they believed wouldn’t succumb to the ways of Washington. But it didn’t take long for the grassroots tea party organization to embrace the DC establishment—and some of its more questionable practices.

Lately, Tea Party Patriots (TPP) has started to resemble the Beltway lobbying operations its members have denounced. The group’s leaders have cozied up to political insiders implicated in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and have paid themselves significant salaries. Recently, the group has hired several big-time fundraising and public relations firms that work for the who’s who of the Republican political class, including some of the GOP’s most secretive campaign operations.

TPP has long insisted that it wants to avoid divisive social issues like abortion to focus on the core values of fiscal responsibility and limited government. However, in the spirit of “actions speak louder than words,” it has joined with the ranks of a long list of evangelical organizations affiliated with the far-right wing of the political spectrum.

Jay-Smithsonium1-1Jay Anderson, one of the most visible leaders of the local TEA Party, is a paid operative of the TEA Party Patriots Associations and often designated as the group’s local spokesman. “We’re not Republicans, we’re not Democrats,” he’s been quoted as saying, but when he wraps himself in the vestments of the LCCRCC, he has no problem with genuflecting at the altar of partisan dogma while sacrificing conservative fiscal doctrine. Although he has publicly declared that, “Individuals are free to run for any political office or support any candidate,” he proclaims a different standard for republicans: Support the guy with the “R” behind his name or find yourself the target of the Grand Inquisitor himself.

Jay is supported in his efforts by a gaggle of right-wing activists, particularly Ed Argenbright, head of the Big Sky TEA Party in Helena. Ed is a former state Superintendent of Schools, who has embraced his more zealous nature as he advocates for “…getting God back into government.” Ed’s main function apparently is to lend the credibility of previous political experience to the tribunal and impede the diffusion of heretical ideas among the neophyte (“clueless”) congregants.

Following the 2012 election, the TEA Party Patriots announced their intent to aggressively wrest control of the Republican Party from those they accuse of not adhering to their conservative catechism. The recent nasty purge of long-time members and officers of the Lewis & Clark County Republican Central Committee was a key to their takeover strategy which wouldn’t have been possible without the proverbial choir of acolytes. Whether willing accomplices or unwitting dupes is unimportant, the Republican Party in Helena is now firmly in the hands of about 30 extreme social conservatives bent on cleansing the party of heretics, blasphemers, sodomites, and – horrors! – moderates.

The new TEA Party mantra: “Holier Than Thou. Holier Than Thou. I thank God Almighty, ’cause I’m holier than thou!”

Check back for Part III….

The Inquisition Comes to Helena

Part I – Torquemada Lives!

Fervent TEA Party conservatives are bringing back a Medieval institution – the Tribunal of the Office of the Inquisition. Their goal is to purge the Republican Party of those deemed too moderate or insufficiently committed to the extreme right-wing agenda embraced by the leaders of the movement. Following the disappointing results of the 2012 elections, these mental midgets determined that their best chance for success in the future would be to take a fanatical approach to shoring up the faithfulness of the faithful, as it were, by casting forth those who refuse to unquestioningly accept the tenants of the new doctrine.

The effort by these extremists to take over the Lewis & Clark County Republican Central Committee intensified in the final months of last year. Using the previously somewhat successful tactics employed by the Ron Paul “Evolutionaries” (or whatever the hell that logo-thingy said they were) of 2007, the TEA Party leaders organized a surprise coup to place sympathizers in a majority of precinct positions. They then created their own version of the Inquisition and Auto-da-fé to accuse, condemn, and oust the officers of the organization. The take-over will be complete when these fanatics elect the new officers of the LCCRCC next Monday night.

Who are the leaders of this twenty-first century jihad? Let’s take a closer look at the main characters in this pathetic drama.

The role of Grand Inquisitor Torquemada is being played with intensity, if not intellectual integrity, by a relative newcomer to Helena, Mark Perea.

perea photoMark landed in town about four years ago from California by way of New Mexico. He ran unsuccessfully for the Montana legislature last year, garnering less than 40% of the vote after supposedly contacting everyone in his district at least three times. That’s what he told his supporters during the campaign, anyway. Guess maybe the folks in the district weren’t all that impressed with him or his exclusionary message. Smart people. But, according to his biography, he is a veritable wonder kid:

He graduated from Albuquerque High School where he was an award-winning member of DECA and a star tennis player. From there he attended Boise State University on tennis scholarship before returning to Albuquerque to finish his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in history at the University of New Mexico. He then went on to U.C. Berkeley, where he received his master’s degree in ancient history, ancient Greek, and Latin. Since then Mark has held various positions in education. He is currently a substitute teacher in the Helena School District. He has been an instructor in European Civilization at Berkeley and a lecturer at The University of New Mexico and Santa Fe Community College, having taught Western Civilization and Ancient History. He has also taught History, Latin, and PE at two private preparatory schools in California. He served as the history department chair and middle-school basketball and flag-football coach at one. He also taught Spanish, English, and American Government in the Albuquerque Public Schools and filled in for five months for a teacher on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in northern New Mexico.

He goes on to mention that he has owned two retail businesses and three online businesses and founded a private school here in Helena. That’s an impressive resume for a young man. Except that, when you think about it, it looks more like someone who can’t find, or keep, steady employment. Apparently, he hasn’t been able to stay in one school district long enough to earn tenure, and can’t even find a permanent position here in Helena after three years as a substitute teacher. A simple check of public records shows that he hasn’t registered either his online business or his school with the State of Montana – as required by law. He’s also using the name of the school, Ascension Hall, illegally. (He’s not the registered owner of the assumed business name and the owner doesn’t know anything about the school. Whoops.) But hey – details, details! I’m sure the IRS knows about these successful businesses even if the state of Montana doesn’t seem to.

He’s a true blue conservative and passionate about inflicting his principles on those he considers his moral and political inferiors. According to his campaign website, he “decided to run for State Senate in order to restore an efficient, sovereign government to the People of Montana. But, further, he says he intends to advocate for a return to the principles of the United States Constitution at the national level as well.” He doesn’t explain how he intends to achieve this – perhaps he intends to challenge Max Baucus in 2014. That ought to be a hoot and a half. But we digress.

Mark is all about excommunicating members of the Party who donate “even one penny” to a Democrat candidate, his self-defined, number one, cardinal sin. He’s sure that whatever mean, vindictive actions he takes to achieve his own ends are justified by his dedication to this sacred purpose. Mark holds fast to an unflinching conservative orthodoxy of bigotry and narrow-minded fanaticism of the right-wing evangelical social conservatives.


Mark Perea – The Grand Inquisitor, indeed. Bring on the rack!!!

To be continued…

Who’s In Charge?

Word on the street is that Gov. Bullock has removed Gary Buchanan as chairman of the Board of Investments and replaced him with someone else because he was unhappy with Buchanan’s op-ed and later TV interviews about state employee pensions.50b026e6ed039.preview-620

Insiders say that Eric Feaver had complained to the governor about Buchanan’s op-ed and insisted that the Governor “do something about it”.

The BOI is charged with managing Montana’s investment portfolio. Buchanan recently voiced his expert opinion about the state pension liability in an op-ed published last month. He noted:

A real solution gores everyone’s ox. On top of the state’s responsibility, beneficiaries need to make some changes. Consideration must be given to higher employee contributions, more reasonable cost of living adjustments, increased anti-spiking provisions, reasonable actuarial assumptions, a review of unfunded benefit increases in the last decade, increased years of service and increased minimum retirement ages.

If there’s one ox that shall not be gored, it’s Eric Feaver’s. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the players in Montana politics, Feaver, president of the MEA-MFT, is the Rasputin to Montana Democrat governors. Even Brian Schweitzer knew better than to ignore the demands of the head of the biggest financial contributor to Democrat candidates and issues. The Golden Rule of the Montana Democrat Party is “Whatever Eric wants, Eric gets.”

Obviously Neo-Governor Stevie is a quick learner.

As it was, so shall it be.

Skeet Killing

Guest post by Loki

pigeonPresident Obama has finally confessed to his blood lust to shoot defenseless skeet. It has been revealed that he secretly goes to a hidden government installation (Camp David) where the government has paid to install a facility to allow the President to satisfy his blood sport. Domesticated skeet are kept captive in small confined rooms without adequate food or water. They are then released on command of the President so he can shoot these poor creatures with a high-powered assault shotgun. Shamelessly the ASPCA is complicit in covering this torture and killing of helpless skeet. It is reported that the President shoots hundreds of these poor skeet in an afternoon. Not only that but he wastes the skeet as they are not even used at the dinner table. Their lifeless bodies litter the killing field the President frequents – they’re not even collected to feed the poor.

It is also reported that the President forgoes the use of a single shot shotgun in favor of a rapid fire pump and occasionally the dreaded semi-automatic assault shotgun. These are suspected to have been secretly supplied to the President by the Secret Service as no records of the President ever purchasing a shotgun or ammo have ever been found.

It should also be noted that an irreplaceable natural resource (clay) is wasted for this blood sport. And the target area has become a toxic waste hazard littered with lead shot. Yet no EPA inspectors have ever been allowed to investigate. In fact no environmental study was ever done to determine the disastrous global impact this has created.

The President has gone to great lengths to cover up his blood sport. Though many have tried, the Secret Service has made sure that no photos have ever been taken of the President killing these defenseless creatures. In fact the entire facility is guarded day and night by secret government employees who don’t allow any inspections and keep all photographers away.

Further investigation has revealed allegations that he has also taken his children with him to witness the carnage. It is even suspected that he is encouraging his underage children to take up this blood sport. Suspected third-party purchase of ammo is alleged to supply the children as the children can not legally purchase ammo.

It is time for the President to come clean and allow inspections and for him to confess his dirty deeds.

A Little History Lesson

Post Inspired by Loki


“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of
the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the
benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any
curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” –Mein Kampf,
Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403


“Verbum Sapientes Satis Est”

Crap Sandwich

images-1Poor Governor Bullock. Hardly has the password been set on his new computer and he finds a steamin’ pile of political sh*t has been dumped front and center on his desk.

No, I don’t mean the legislature. That’s a bouquet of roses compared to what his real good friend, Brian Schweitzer, gave him:

Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer is leaving the pending request for clemency from a Canadian citizen on death row for new Gov. Steve Bullock.

Schweitzer left office Monday without taking any action on the case. The former governor told the Associated Press that his replacement has all the paperwork necessary to evaluate the case.

The Montana Parole Board recommended last year that Ronald A. Smith be denied clemency. Smith is asking for life in prison without the possibility of parole instead of the death sentence he now faces.

Smith argues his original 1983 trial for shooting two Blackfeet cousins was botched.

Bullock did not immediately have comment on the case Tuesday. The former attorney general until last week led the office that is defending Smith’s conviction and death sentence.

So here you have a newly elected Democrat governor placed squarely in the crosshairs of one of Montana’s most controversial issues – the death penalty – in a case that divided typically liberal constituencies: The bleeding-heart, anti-death penalty advocates and the tribes who are demanding the ultimate punishment for the murders of two of their own.

During the campaign last year, Steve came out half-heartedly in favor of the culling the gene pool:

“Democrat Steve Bullock, who is the state’s chief legal official as attorney general whose office represents the state in death penalty appeals, said, “In limited circumstances, I personally support the death penalty.”

Although support for the death penalty is not as strong as it once was, a majority of Montanans still believe there are cases that call out for removing certain scum from the planet. The families of Harvey Mad Man and Thomas Running Rabbit definitely feel that way about Canadian citizen, Ronald Allen Smith. Smith has been enjoying the hospitality of the Montana Department of Corrections since 1982 and has admitted that he would prefer to continue with his present living arrangements rather than moving on to his eternal reward/punishment, whichever. (What do you want to bet he doesn’t think the odds of “reward” are in his favor?). Now 55, Smith could look forward to many more years at the expense of Montana taxpayers.

So, what’s a newly minted governor to do? Either way he goes, he creates a political sound bite that can and will be used against him in future campaigns. Wowser.

That Schweitzer – what a friend, huh? Always thinking of his own political future:

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, in Washington to headline the Gridiron Dinner [Ed. note, last month], told CNN on Sunday that it’s too early to discuss 2016, but then teased, “I’m governor of Montana until January. At that point, I’ll no longer have a governor’s mansion. I won’t have a driver. I won’t have security. So I’ll have a little time on my hands. I think I did mention that I have a warm regard for the people of Iowa and New Hampshire.”

Guess who dodged a lethal injection?

Of REAL Republicans and RINOs

1658770416_republicans_thinking_337x360_xlargeThis is a post that has been a long time in the making and I’m not sure yet if I have gotten it right, but what the hey – let’s take a stab at it anyway.

There is a schism in the republican party these days – albeit one that has existed since the early 1900s. In 1912 there was a three-way battle between the former president Theodore Roosevelt, the then current president William Howard Taft, and Senator Robert LaFollet, each faction deeming the others to be not really republicans. The ideological battle for a test of true conservatism continued through the FDR and Truman administrations, easing somewhat when centrist republican Dwight Eisenhower was elected in 1952. Hard right conservatives, most notably Barry Goldwater, threatened to leave the party and form a third party along with conservative southern democrats. That concept has been explained, “… the recipe for a new conservative party was plain: one part Midwestern Taft Republican, one part Southern states’ rights Democrat.” That coalition remains the core of the right wing faction of the republican party today – a coalition that is notable mostly because it has never won a notional election. Only when they have joined forces with the moderates and liberal wing of the party – under Reagan, Bush the Oneth, and Bush the Second – have the republicans won the White House. But, the alliance is nonetheless a tenuous one at best. Even after 100 years of history to the contrary, the true believers remain convinced that their hard right message is the only path to salvation.

By the 2000 election the division was clearly articulated with term RINORepublican In Name Only “a pejorative used by socially conservative members of the Republican Party of the United States to describe other Republicans whose political views or actions are considered insufficiently conservative or otherwise not conforming to their positions.” The emergence of the TEA Party fiscal conservatives in 2009 brought what many thought was a huge new population to the conservative movement. Surely those additional voters would tilt the scales far enough to the right to silence the moderate and liberal republicans. Yet, when – horrors – Mitt Romney, who by general consensus was the most moderate of the presidential candidates, won the 2012 republican primary, the right wingers were verklempt. How could such a thing happen??? So sure were they that their brand of conservatism is the only acceptable philosophy, they failed to notice that their disdain and dismissiveness of those they deemed RINOs was hurting, not helping, their cause. Approximately 62 million Americans voted for George Bush in 2004; in 2012 only 61 million voted for Romney. Who were those missing voters? The social conservatives? No – they turned out in record numbers in 2012. The fiscal conservatives? Not so much. The disaffected moderates and the social liberals who were insulted for four years as not being “good enough” republicans? Bingo!! Instead of this “new conservative” message growing the republican party, it is, in fact, causing a defection that could result in its ultimate extinction.

John Podhoretz shares some interesting insights about the kerfuffle in Congress last week:

The most passionately anti-Obama Republican politicians and activists consider themselves the truest and purest of conservatives, and often unleash their scorn and fury on others who also call themselves conservative but differ on strategy and tactics… In so doing, they have turned on other conservatives — people who agree with them on substance — and accused them of impurity and corruption for refusing to march their party and their movement over a political cliff…

…Then came talk that Boehner should be fired as speaker of the House when the time came to vote in the new speaker yesterday afternoon. Yet none of the insurgents was brave enough to stand against him; instead, a bunch of them cast nonsense votes for someone else or refused to vote at all. In so doing, they came close to handing Boehner a humiliating and entirely destructive defeat — forcing a second ballot and leaving their own party leader critically injured. They seemed to crave disorder.

This is how people who are more comfortable on the margins than in the middle of things behave. This is cannibalism, not political combat. This is unreason, not reason. This is temper, not temperament.

This is anarchism, not conservatism.

imagesMaybe it’s time to re-examine our definition of terms. Could it be that those who proclaim loud and long to be (capital C) “Conservatives,” Constitutionalists, TEA party members, Ron Paul supporters, or John Birchers are the real RINOs? Republicans In Name Only. Republicans when there is no other place for them to go; no other label for them to adopt; no other way for them to vote. Republicans only insofar as the rest of the party members agree with them. Republicans who insist on a purity of philosophy that divides the believers from the non-believers. The people who only claim republican affiliation in order to validate their own agendas.

Who, then, are the real republicans?

They are the party faithful who identify themselves proudly and unabashedly as “Republicans” – without apology or adjectives. They are the individuals who understand that the GOP is a big tent party that welcomes a broad spectrum of political beliefs based on a commitment to God, family, country – in that order. They believe that government is necessary, not a necessary evil. They understand that governance requires compromise and compromise is not a four letter word. More than anything else, real republicans know, understand, and acknowledge that it takes a majority to have the opportunity to govern, and efforts to purify the party will only serve to minimize the chances of obtaining a majority in any future election. Real republicans have been around for a long time. They’ve been battered and bruised, insulted and infuriated, dissed and disgusted, but they stick around. Because “real” is a commitment – not a condition.

“When someone loves you for a long, long time,” explained the wise, old Skin Horse to the Velveteen Rabbit, “not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse, “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair have been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” —The Velveteen Rabbit

New Year’s Musings

Guest post by Loki

It is a new year. And I have made a resolution. I will no longer be polite to the vermin progressives. I have listened to them call conservatives racists and make comparisons to Hitler long enough. Every day in the comment section of the Helena IR someone will take a pot shot at conservatives. So be forewarned, my comments shall be less polite and a lot more colorful.

Well we have a new governor. Steve Bullock. He says he is humbled to be our new governor. He should be impeached. He lied thru omission about his support for expansion of Medicare and support of Obamacare till after the election, he filed a false suit against Rick Hill to tie up campaign money and then dropped the phony suit after the election was won. And to top it all off he now requests bipartisanship.

I am afraid that we are getting an even bigger bully and liar then Schweitzer for our governor. Someone who thinks just like Obama you can manipulate the media to fight your battles while asking for compromise while giving none.

To hell with compromise. We elected Republican to push a conservative agenda. We hold the House and Senate. And Governor Bullock should just sign whatever laws are passed. He can compromise.

New Year – New Look

Happy 2013!

After 6-plus years, I decided it was time for a little remodeling – new paint, couple of new accessories – you know, something to add a little life to the old blog. Call it a birthday present to my readers – and to me too. Change is good, right? I want to do a bit more decorating around here in the next few days, but this is a good start for tonight.

As we move into the new year, I do want to take this opportunity to thank my blog-buddy Loki who has kept this blog going so often these last few months. I look forward to many more of his posts in the weeks and months to come.

And to all of you – may the new year be filled with every blessing and happiness you can possibly imagine.

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~ Mark Twain