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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/7/14

Koch Industries versus The B.L.M.

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Support by the Koch Brothers for Nevada rancher-squatter Cliven Bundy was at first hidden, then got found out and criticized, and most recently has been removed from websites of Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

The entire purpose of Americans for Prosperity and their other lobbying groups is to hide the nefarious anti-Constitutional schemes of the Koch Brothers. The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and the more recent McCutcheon decision make this almost moot -- with no limits on political spending, the Kochs need not hide behind PACs. The Kochs would still rather not be questioned at their dinner parties in Wichita or at charity balls in New York City, so hiding behind 'dark money' groups is still good for them.

Nevada farmer Bundy fell out of favor with the right after making racist remarks, and then defending his right to say such things. The Americans for Prosperity website and Facebook pages quickly removed reference to Bundy and his 'cattle battle' with the B.L.M. (the federal Bureau of Land Management), and many of his protective militia members went home.

So why are the Koch Brothers and their paid political groups involved here? On the surface, Bundy maintains that he owes no payment of grazing fees to the federal government (although all the other farmers in Nevada do so). Bundy's position is against reason and specifically violates the Nevada Constitution.

Grazing fees on federal land across America are often a dollar and a half or less per month per 'cattle unit', which might be a steer, or a cow and calf, or a horse, or four sheep, or some other equivalent.

The Koch Brothers have an interest in the issue because they operate three cattle ranches: Matador Ranch in Texas, Beaverhead Ranch in Montana, and Spring Creek in Kansas. Forty percent of the Koch Industries 440,000-acre cattle operation is on land leased from the federal government. They run about 11,000 head of cattle, and if you figure half are on B.L.M. land, then their grazing fees are about $8,200 each month, or maybe $98,000 a year (about what they might spend on a weekend barbecue for the neighbors).

Well, the surface is not all that there is about the Koch Brothers, nor their fellows among the One Percent. The Koch Brothers as individuals and as Koch Industries are known to fund The Bill of Rights Institute, The Cato Institute, Donor Trust, FreedomWorks, F.A. Harper Institute, and Mercatus Center -- plus many others, larger and smaller. But the key lobbying group connected to this matter is A.L.E.C. - the American Legislative Exchange Council, which was established back in 1973.

The job of A.L.E.C. is to subvert the U.S. Constitution at the state and local level. A.L.E.C. pays for members of state legislatures to attend semi-secret 'training meetings' at various resorts, providing them with already-written 'model' laws to be enacted in their state. A.L.E.C. is very successful at this, though less so since their agenda was revealed.

A.L.E.C. intends to eliminate public education, to cancel subsidies for renewable energy, to suppress voter registration, to cut taxes on the One Percent, to reduce or eliminate government regulation, to reverse Obamacare, to eliminate collective bargaining & minimum wage laws, and to promote open access to guns & weapons of all kinds.

The relevant issue here is passing very unconstitutional laws that have the state legislature assert that B.L.M. management of federal land is ended, and that the state is now in charge. In April, an already-scheduled 'Legislative Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands' was held in Salt Lake City, with over 50 officials from nine states attending.

By eliminating the B.L.M. and the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency), these vast land holdings across America will become available to the lowest bidder. (Right: lowest.) The only people who could bid for the newly available lands are the One Percent. The plan is to bid mere dollars per acre, then strip-mine the minerals and clear-cut the forests and pump away the water and leave corporate pollution and death and destruction in their wake.

Koch Industries saving $98,000 for a year's grazing fees is nothing compared to the billions in unregulated raping and pillaging of public land that is their objective.

Real simple plan: Spend a few hundred million to dis-educate the masses and to suppress legitimate voters and take over Congress and state legislatures, cancel rights and opportunities for the people, then make billions and billions without government oversight of any kind -- because the One Percent will BE the government.

"The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance" is still true, and while Americans need to prevent further fascist takeover in Congress and-or loss of the Executive Branch to the fascists, it is equally critical to prevent loss of hard-won individual rights in the states. Many newspapers publish 'what your lawmakers voted on' reports in the back pages, and the more citizens who read them the safer is the country.

When details of A.L.E.C.'s agenda were revealed in mid-2012, major corporations -- including Amazon, Apple, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Mars Candy, McDonald's, Merck, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble, Sprint Nextel, Symantec, Wal-Mart, Wendy's Hamburgers, and Western Union &ndash publicly cancelled their membership in A.L.E.C. Here in New Mexico, protests and telephone campaigns forced several members of the state legislature to cancel membership in A.L.E.C. and even to return 'donation' money received from A.L.E.C.

The bad news is that protecting and preserving the Constitution is up to everybody; the good news is that protecting and preserving the Constitution is up to YOU.

Copyright 2014 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved
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author / philosopher / revolutionary G.E. Nordell lives & works in rural New Mexico

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