Someone is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you ~ FlyingSnail graphic by C. Spangler ~ Open Flying Snail Views in new tab or window
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell

Video: US Supreme Court Appointment Hearings, Roe vs. Wade via redditortan

Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did. John Ehrlichman, GOP Republican

Turtles All the Way Down by Sturgill Simpson via Mankind Film

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues (Official Music Video) (4K) via Shadows and Light

Much, much Success today, 202209.03
(smile) Our fingers are crossed! (smile)

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...

September 12, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were
used for the production of biological weapons. George W. Bush

Time for a Corporate Death Penalty?

Big Tobacco Corporate executives swear: “Nicotine Is Not Addictive” via joe

Gangstas Paradise, RIP Coolio, via Marfel González

Boptime ~ Saturday Mornings ~ w/Even Steven Leech

Even Steven's Boptime

On Boptime we begin at 6am (EDT) on Saturday with oldies back to back to back. We’ll hear the second episode of The Heart & Soul of Delaware Rock n' Roll at 7am (EDT) by going back to the mid to late 1950s in the Wilmington vicinity and hear commercial recordings from groups and single artists getting on the Rock & Roll bandwagon, Including the first national hit record by a Delawarean. You’ll have to tune in for that one. At 8am (EDT) Micheal Ace challenges the listener with, “bet you don’t know who this is.” At 9am (EDT) on Beatlemania!!! we bop back to 1965, near the end of a year that saw the beginning of the Vietnam War, Medicare, and the granting of the Vote to all Americans. ~ Steve

BOPTIME: Saturday, 6 AM Eastern, 3 AM Pacific time
Go To:
Click on a listening link below the WVUD logo:
WVUD 91.3
Boptime available locally in Delaware on:
WVUD-FM 91.3
Shoutcast = [Search: WVUD] || TuneIn

Boptime ~ Saturday Mornings ~ w/Even Steven Leech

Even Steven's Boptime

On Boptime we begin at 6am (EDT) on Saturday with oldies back to back to back. The Heart & Soul of Delaware Rock n' Roll returns at 7am (EDT) in The Early Hour we’ll hear Frank Sinatra’s concept album “Water Town” from 1969. We meet at The Club Baby Grand at 8am (EDT) with some Clifford Brown, Lem Winchester with Ramsey Lewis, and others who're still with us. There’ll be some other jazz surprises as well before we embark on some choice R&B sides at 9am (EDT). ~ Steve

BOPTIME: Saturday, 6 AM Eastern, 3 AM Pacific time
Go To:
Click on a listening link below the WVUD logo:
WVUD 91.3
Boptime available locally in Delaware on:
WVUD-FM 91.3
Shoutcast = [Search: WVUD] || TuneIn

Feetlines ~ Fascism & Fascism and Ideology ~ The sky is falling!

Nobody Cares
The sky is falling!

The sky is falling!, Henny Penny, Chicken Little, 1916
An illustration in New Barnes Reader vol.1, New York, 1916 ~ from the story "Chicken Little".

Are the American People willing to
live under
something similar to:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Source

Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical, right-wingauthoritarian ultranationalism,[1][2][3][4] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy,[5] which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.[6] The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries.[6] Opposed to liberalismMarxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[12][13] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[12][13]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[14] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[14] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[15][16][17][18] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky (national economic self-sufficiency) through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[19]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th-century fascist movements.[6][20] ~ [Continue reading at Wikipedia]

Fascism and ideology
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Source

The history of Fascist ideology is long and involves many sources. Fascists took inspiration from sources as ancient as the Spartans for their focus on racial purity and their emphasis on rule by an elite minority. Fascism has also been connected to the ideals of Plato, though there are key differences between the two. Fascism styled itself as the ideological successor to Rome, particularly the Roman Empire. The Enlightenment-era concept of a "high and noble" Aryan culture [dubious – discuss] as opposed to a "parasitic" Semitic culture was core to Nazi racial views. From the same era, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's view on the absolute authority of the state also strongly influenced Fascist thinking. The French Revolution was a major influence insofar as the Nazis saw themselves as fighting back against many of the ideas which it brought to prominence, especially liberalismliberal democracy and racial equality, whereas on the other hand Fascism drew heavily on the revolutionary ideal of nationalism. Common themes among fascist movements include; nationalism (including racial nationalism), hierarchy and elitismmilitarismquasi-religionmasculinity and voluntarism. Other aspects of fascism such as its "myth of decadence", anti‐egalitarianism and totalitarianism can be seen to originate from these ideas. These fundamental aspects however, can be attributed to a concept known as "Palingenetic ultranationalism", a theory proposed by Roger Griffin, that fascism is essentially populist ultranationalism sacralized through the myth of national rebirth and regeneration. 

Its relationship with other ideologies of its day was complex, often at once adversarial and focused on co-opting their more popular aspects. Fascists supported limited, nominally private property rights and the profit motive of capitalism, but sought to eliminate the autonomy of large-scale capitalism by consolidating power with the state. They shared many of the goals of the conservatives of their day and often allied themselves with them by drawing recruits from disaffected conservative ranks, but presented themselves as holding a more modern ideology, with less focus on things like traditional religion. Fascism opposed the egalitarian (Völkisch equality) and international character of mainstream socialism, but sometimes sought to establish itself as an alternative "national" socialism. It strongly opposed liberalism, classical liberalismcommunismanarchism, and democratic socialism. [Continue reading at Wikipedia]

A Night at the Garden by Marshall Curry + Brown Shirts + Night of the Long Knives

None of the Above
should be a choice on Voter Ballots

Notes from ~@~ Remembering Robert Pruzan [Ed. Note: Late due to technical problems]

Robert Pruzan

Robert Pruzan ~ Photo: C. Spangler
September 12, 1946 ~ May 29, 1992

In Memory of Robert Pruzan
1st Annual Haight Street Fair ~ Photograph: Robert Pruzan

Curtis and Ira Cohen - Photograph: Robert Pruzan
C Spangler & Ira Cohen ~ Photograph: Robert Pruzan

Notes from ~@~ Remembering 'The Mountain' [Ed. Note: Late due to technical problems]

Flying Snail Ranch

Flying Snail Ranch Dreamweaver
Valley Fire, 12 September 2015 ~ Pages ~ Complete

Hillbilly Deluxe, Brooks & Dunn via HQ Productions ~
Upper North/East Backyard
Ranch ~ East Kitchen Sink windowRanch ~ Succulent Garden, Ancient Douglas Fir, Oak Tree and backyard
Where Ranch house wasWhere Ranch house was

Notes from ~@~ Remembering the United State Cafe [Ed. Note: Late due to technical problems]

Remembering the
United State Cafe

United State Cafe signUnited State Cafe, Entry/Exit Stained Glass WIndow above front door by C. Spangler United State Cafe
Historic San Francisco Haight/Ashbury ~ United State Cafe

Boptime ~ Saturday Mornings ~ w/Even Steven Leech

Even Steven's Boptime

On Boptime we begin at 6am (EDT) on Saturday with oldies back to back to back. The Heart & Soul of Delaware Rock n' Roll returns at 7am (EDT) in The Early Hour we’ll hear Miles Davis’ soundtrack for the Louis Malle film Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud, along with other gems. At 8am (EDT) on Clifford’s Corner with co-host Larry Williams, we’ll play some choice jazz sides and some truly rare and quality R&B. ~ Steve

BOPTIME: Saturday, 6 AM Eastern, 3 AM Pacific time
Go To:
Click on a listening link below the WVUD logo:
WVUD 91.3
Boptime available locally in Delaware on:
WVUD-FM 91.3
Shoutcast = [Search: WVUD] || TuneIn

Nobody tells the truth all the time!

Ted Rall  Cartoon "I can see clearly now the pain is gone"

Ted Rall cartoon October 4, 2001. This cartoon was done less than a month after 9/11 and shows a rectangle divided into four smaller rectangles. At the top it says: I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE PAIN IS GONE

The upper section (of each smaller rectangle) has a black background, with white print, and below them there is a cartoon.

1st small rectangle shows: cartoon of an oil man with a wrench working on an offshore oil rig.



2nd rectangle, next to the one above, shows a cartoon of two oil executives talking in a room with UNOCAL Petroleum on the wall.



3rd rectangle, bottom left, shows a cartoon map with a pipeline running from the Caspian Sea to the Port of Karachi, across several countries the U.S. is currently fighting in.


Below, in the cartoon, it shows the: SHORTEST POSSIBLE PIPELINE ROUTE

4th rectangle, next to the one above, shows a cartoon of a gas station with a gas price sign.


In the above cartoon, the gas price sign says: UNLEADED 1.89 9/10 PLUS TAX

November 19, 2001

"There's no denying that this is an oil administration, you can't talk about the career of any George Bush -- father or son -- without talking about oil." [November 19, 2001 - Dark Heart of the American Dream]


The Department of Interior Oil and Gas Royalty Scandal and Its Wyoming Roots

By Laton McCartney and Rone Tempest, WyoFile, Posted by: Guest Writer August 18, 2009, Article Source

Part One: The Wyoming Stage

On a cold, blustery January 28, 2009, the newly appointed Secretary of the Interior of the United States, Ken Salazar, arrived at the headquarters of Minerals Management Service at the Federal Center in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, Colorado.

With him were two men: Interior's Inspector General Earl Devaney, a former Secret Service agent and police officer, and Salazar's chief of staff Tom Strickland, the former U.S. attorney for Colorado.

Minerals Management Service is, to the few people outside the energy industry who've ever heard of it, an obscure Interior Department agency. Yet it has an enormously important mission: leasing out onshore and offshore sites for exploitation by oil and gas companies, and collecting tens of billions of dollars in royalties from those companies. In fiscal 2008, those revenues came to a whopping $23.4 billion. Royalty payments are this country's second largest source of income (the largest, of course, being taxes). And not incidentally, Wyoming, which gets 49 percent of the federal royalties collected in the state, is the largest recipient of these revenues. In fiscal 2008, the Cowboy State received $1.27 billion dollars in federal oil, gas and coal royalties, almost twice as much as any other state.

The Lakewood branch of Minerals Management operated differently from its parent in Washington, D.C. Following the Bush administration's oft-expressed desire to run government like a business, the Lakewood office functioned like a quasi-business, collecting royalty payments not in cash, but in "kind," that is, in actual oil and gas. The Lakewood office then sold this oil or gas on the open market, competing with private sector traders.

Lakewood's operations were unique in another way. The office had become a rogue enterprise, a feds-gone-wild hotbed of sex, payola, cocaine and corruption. Which was why Salazar's visit was no ordinary meet-and-greet. Eight days after taking office, Salazar and his colleagues had come to Colorado to lay down the law.

"We are no longer doing business as usual," the Stetson-wearing secretary told reporters. "There's a new sheriff in town."

"The President has made it clear that the type of ethical transgressions, blatant conflicts of interest, wastes and abuses that we have seen over the past eight years will no longer be tolerated," Salazar warned Lakewood employees. He vowed to re-open a two-year-old investigation into alleged corruption and mismanagement that critics—and former Interior Department employees—claim had cost Americans billions of dollars in lost revenue.

When you read Inspector General Devaney's 2008 report on the office, the word "tawdry" leaps to mind, astonishment not so much that Minerals Management personnel were corrupt, but how cheap they were. Devaney's report doggedly details hundreds of industry gifts to federal Royalty-in-Kind employees: golf games, tacky little sight-seeing tours, luggage, golf bags, silver-plated trays, dip bowls, boozy Christmas parties, visits to bars, ski lift tickets, snowboarding lessons, hotel rooms, country music concerts, tailgating parties, paintball outings, drunken dinners etc., etc. Sure, it all adds up to tens of thousands of dollars, but come on!

The contempt in which the oilmen held the government officials shines up off the pages: references to Minerals Management marketers as the "MMS chicks;" e-mails damp with sexual innuendo, such as the Shell Pipeline Company official inviting the marketing specialist "girls" to "meet at my place at 6 a.m. for bubble baths and final prep. Just kidding…"

Yet the report also has its moments of pathos, as when Minerals Management marketing specialist Stacy Leyshon tells Devaney that, yes, she did sleep with a Shell Oil guy, but she didn't have an improper "personal relationship" with him because a "one-night stand" isn't personal. And what about the hurtful revelation to Minerals Management marketing specialist Crystal Edler? She thought she was dating a man from Hess Corporation, but Devaney found that the guy was putting her down on his expense account when they went out—he was working.

And then there was Greg Smith, the Lakewood office boss of the Royalty-in-Kind program. Devaney's report observes, almost as an aside, that Smith used illegal drugs and had sex with his subordinates "in consort with industry," which brings to mind a fairly unlovely picture. The statement that government was in bed with the oil and gas industry was not, in this case, metaphorical.

The September release of Devaney's report brought a quick response from Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, who with Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) co-sponsored a bill (S.3556) to rein in the agency.

Minerals Management Service "cannot be allowed to carry on like some corrupt Third World bureaucracy from a bad Hollywood movie," Wyden explained in a press release announcing the bill, which would have suspended the royalty-in-kind program unless the Secretary of the Interior implemented all of Inspector Devaney's recommendations within 60 days.

"The recent investigation raises serious questions of public trust and illustrates a total disregard for personal, professional, and programmatic ethics," Barrasso added, accurately if somewhat colorlessly.

"The Department of the Interior will raise the bar for ethics, and we will set the standard for reform," Salazar promised last January. But he also said the scandal at the Minerals Management Service royalty-in-kind office in Lakewood was the fault of a "few individuals"—nearly a third of the royalty-in-kind office was involved—and "special interests" who exploited an "outdated and flawed royalty collection system."

Exactly what was this "outdated" and "flawed" royalty collection system? Will it be changed now that the new sheriff is, so to speak, sitting tall in the saddle? Is the problem really just a "few individuals" in Lakewood, or is it a bigger mess? Since its inception in 1982 under the Reagan administration's Interior Department, Minerals Management Service has not been an especially strict guardian of the people's purse—quite the contrary. So what's up with the billions the nation—and Wyoming—are owed for their precious, rapidly vanishing minerals?

Royalties: In Kind or in Value?

The royalty-in-kind program that Minerals Management Service administers in Lakewood is fairly new on the national scene, although Wyoming saw this arrangement in its trial stages in the mid-1990s and other places—Texas, Canada—have had their own versions for more than 20 years. Still, "royalty in kind" has an economically primitive, barter-ish air about it; writing in the April 2009 Harper's magazine, David Bryant likened the practice to a landlord's leasing a building to a grocer and letting him pay the rent in "fruit and steaks." In this instance, the "landlord" is the citizenry, who have no way of knowing if the "grocer" is paying what's due because he largely determines the quality and quantity of the fruit and beef he hands over.

It's a mechanism designed and promoted by the energy companies to satisfy their obligations to the American people, and to the states where they do their inevitably destructive work of mining, drilling, pumping, and transporting the non-renewable resources that they sell back to us so we can live our lives and run our country. The alternative to royalty-in-kind payment is paying royalty "in value," i.e. money, an old-fashioned method the federal government has been trying—and failing—to handle competently since the passage of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920.

The scandal at the royalty-in-kind program at Minerals Management Service is certainly not the only ethical problem the agency has encountered. There have been many, so many that one could be forgiven for laughing at the public-relations blurb that today opens the Ethics Office page of the Minerals Management website: "Welcome to the Home Page of the MMS Ethics Office! MMS Employees are Dedicated Stewards for America; demonstrating Integrity and Excellence."

James Watt's Legacy

Minerals Management Service is a creature of James G. Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first Secretary of the Interior. Watt, born in Lusk, educated in Wheatland and at the University of Wyoming, was secretary only two years, but he was a busy fellow during that time, zealously pursuing the anti-conservation, pro-exploitation agenda he pioneered as founding president of the Colorado-based non-profit Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group prominent in the anti-environmental protection movement. Until the 2006 appointment of Dirk Kempthorne as the Bush administration's second Interior Secretary, Watt held the 20-year record for the fewest number of plants or animals placed on the Endangered Species list.

James Watt created Minerals Management Service by secretarial order in January 1982 out of the old Conservation Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, which previously had been responsible for collecting and managing royalties.

The Conservation Division had not done well. There had been scandal, theft, massive fraud, waste, and astronomical losses of revenues, particularly for Wyoming Indian tribes. There had been appointment of a special commission, and six months of investigation. There had been the conclusion, as the commission chairman David Linowes reported to President Reagan at a press conference, that "the financial management of the Nation's energy resources had failed to do its job" for more than 20 years.

"As a result," Linowes went on, "hundreds of millions of dollars"—no one knew the exact amount— in federal revenues were lost each year because royalty collections were conducted on an "honor system" that let oil companies decided for themselves what royalties they would pay, without any government verification— only a handful of audits had ever been conducted. In addition, oilfield security was lax and theft of oil was "quite common" throughout the country. All this had been going on for more than 20 years; nothing had been done about it.

"Mr. President, this is the kind of fraud and waste that we can stop by investigating problems that now exist and installing improved management systems that will prevent fraud and waste in the future," opined the press conference chairman Edwin L. Harper, who headed the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency.

Secretary Watt also attended this press conference and he spoke up, announcing that his department had adopted all 60 of the commission's recommendations before they were made, and that he had two days previously created the Minerals Management Service agency to take care of the royalty problems.

"And we think that we have already started stemming the loss of funds—the unbelievable loss of funds to the taxpayers —that has been going on for these many years," Watt bragged. "And within the next weeks, we will have really cut that flow off and saved the taxpayers these monies."

He added that the royalties problem was a "tremendous example, unfortunately, of how the Department of the Interior has mismanaged a multi-million dollar problem for 20-plus years," adding that the private citizens of the Linowes Commission had helped save the day, thanks also to his own almost incredible efficiency.

"Not many government reports get acted on like that," he said of his speedy, before-the-fact response. "This one hasn't been sitting around."

"Yes, I know," Reagan agreed. "Most people are cynical and think reports like this go on a shelf someplace."

So the president was prescient; Watt was not.

"Accountability" in the 1980s

The Linowes Commission had strongly recommended that the energy industry be brought to heel by vigorous federal oversight that would include independent audits, internal controls, site security standards, and strong sanctions for failure to pay royalties fully and on time. "Accountability," the commission said, must be the watchword.

Minerals Management Service began its life as the bringer of accountability with an annual budget of $298 million, 1,639 employees, and a mandate to manage federal leases and royalties both onshore and off.

In January 1983, a year after the new agency was born, Congress passed the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act, a piece of legislation intended to correct the "archaic and inadequate" system of accounting for oil and gas royalties due from leases on federal and Indian lands. Besides admonishing Secretary Watt to "aggressively carry out his trust responsibility," the act noted that "it is essential that the Secretary initiate procedures to improve methods of accounting" for royalty payments. Among other things, the new law gave federal auditors and their agents some police powers, and added a provision allowing citizens to sue recalcitrant mineral companies and force them to pay up, for a share of the take.

The Minerals Management Service started collecting oil and gas royalties, but contrary to Watt's prediction, theft, fraud and gross underpayment continued unabated, and pretty soon another blue-ribbon panel was convened to look into the matter.

The 1989 report of the Committee on Investigations of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs noted that fraud, corruption and mismanagement of Indian natural resources had not significantly lessened during the 1980s. As a result, tribes had lost many more millions of dollars in revenue from their non-renewable natural resource base.

The Senate committee observed that while simple "smash-and-grab" theft–stealing entire tanks of crude oil by force–was rare, "sophisticated and premeditated theft by mismeasurement and fraudulently reporting the amount of oil purchased has been has been the practice for many years." Chief among the victims were the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes of Wyoming's Wind River Reservation.

Wyoming Goes Bust

Wyoming's fortunes were in sharp decline by the end of the '80s, although the 1970s had been pretty good. The 1973 OPEC oil embargo had caused price hikes for all American fuels, not just oil and gas, and in minerals-rich Wyoming employment boomed. Casper, long known as the "Oil Capital of the Rockies," had refineries that processed millions of barrels of oil annually—a drop in the bucket on a world scale, but fairly substantial for Wyoming. Drilling rigs sprang up like sunflowers across the state. Wyoming strip mines produced the most coal in the country.

The strain on the state's ability to house the new workers, educate their children, and even dispose of their sewage was soon apparent. A mineral production tax — a so-called "severance tax" — had been passed in 1969, and to meet the new demands of the 1970s it was increased as fuel mineral prices rose. In 1974, voters approved the Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund, bankrolled by a 1.5 percent severance tax on all minerals extracted in the state. The tax rate on coal rose from 3 percent in 1973 to 10.5 percent in 1979. Rates went up and down, but by 1985, the state of Wyoming imposed severance taxes ranging from 4 percent of gross value for crude oil and natural gas stripper wells, to 6 percent for non-stripper wells, to 10.5 percent for surface coal and 7.25 percent of gross value for underground coal.

Wyoming, without corporate or personal income taxes, became increasingly dependent on natural resources for money to fund government and social services. The percent of state revenues from severance taxes rose from 20.1 percent of total taxes in 1977 to 52.8 percent in 1983. When Wyoming's half share of federal royalties was added, levies on the state's natural resources made up 62.32 percent of the state's income.

In early 1980s, the value of energy minerals began to drop as oil prices headed to a 1986 worldwide crash. The drop in state severance tax income was not immediate (Wyoming's energy tax revenues grew at an annual rate of 61.2 percent from 1977 to '83), but certainly was on the way: from 1982 to 1983, the state's severance tax revenues experienced what bankers euphemize as "negative growth" of -0.1 percent.

Three levels of government—federal, state and local—assess charges on mineral production in Wyoming. Grossly over-simplifying, we can say the feds, through Minerals Management Service, collect leasing royalties and give Wyoming about half the take; the state, through the Department of Revenue, imposes severance taxes at varying rates, as well as Oil and Gas Conservation taxes; and Wyoming's counties, through their Boards of Commissioners, levy ad valorem property taxes on the value of the previous year's production assessed by the state Department of Revenue. Each government entity may offer the industry various tax breaks, bonuses, "royalty relief," and other features designed to let businesses legally pay less than the tax law would otherwise require. Each of the three tax systems gives a financial nod to the existence of the others; taxes levied by one entity may be deductible expenses for another. The taxing governments may also share information, and even some duties, such as auditing or site inspection. The three systems are not supposed to be antagonists, but as it turns out, they often are.

Audits and Bounty Hunters

In the mid-1980s, state Auditor Jim Griffith and state Senator Tom Stroock (R-Natrona County) began looking at state and federal royalties as a means of bolstering Wyoming revenue. Stroock, then Senate chairman of the Joint Appropriations Committee, had been in the oil business in Casper more than 30 years by this time, and had a good idea of how things worked.

"Jim Griffith and Tom Stroock had the foresight to look into mineral reporting at public lands, and later on, we initiated a joint federal-state audit," recalled Rich Ryan, an auditor who worked under Griffith, the first state official in the nation to audit mineral production. Ryan told WyoFile that the two men were particularly interested in the federal leases because the state got "vastly greater" revenues from its 50 percent share of federal royalties than from the state's 100 percent of state royalties, because the feds held "seven to eight times the acreage" owned by the state.

"Fifty million dollars was collected in the first two years of the [joint audit] program," he said.

But the results could have been better. By the end of the decade, some state officials were concerned that Wyoming did not have enough auditors on staff to do the job, and Washington wasn't coming to the rescue. Mike McCune, a senior examiner with Wyoming Department of Revenue and Taxation, observed in a 1988 report that "unfortunately" for Wyoming, taxes on mineral extraction were not being fully collected, so that "enormous amounts of precious minerals have been removed over the years at great benefit to mineral development companies, but at little or no benefit to the citizens of Wyoming." Lost revenues reached "billions of dollars. And the losses continue," he wrote.

McCune suggested that hiring 100 new state auditors "would be just a start, and every one of them could recover many times their cost for the citizens of this state."

The state didn't hire more auditors and the data used to compute a corporation's tax liability continued to be unreliable. The feds were no help. Astoundingly, after all the investigations, the new Minerals Management Service agency still ran the federal royalties program on the "honor system" that had caused so much waste and fraud in the bad old days. Minerals Management let the energy companies tell the state and Management Service how much gas or oil they'd taken from a field—word of honor! —and pay royalties accordingly. Nobody sent auditors out into the field to see if producers were telling the truth.

Counties Cut Their Losses

At this time Wyoming's counties didn't have mineral production auditors on staff, but a pair of private mineral auditing companies had recently appeared on the scene, headed by former state revenue department auditors and ready to take on recalcitrant ad valorem taxpayers. The auditing companies took their fees contingently—that is, upon success. Contingent fee arrangements are popular with tort lawyers and common in personal injury lawsuits, but the idea applied to mineral audits was new and attractive to county government, as the private contractors bore the upfront costs and the risks. Rocky Mountain Auditing Services, founded by Rich Ryan, and Wyoming Royalties, Inc., led by the late Randy Fetterolf, contracted with 18 of 23 Wyoming counties to recover delinquent minerals taxes and interest.

"We were quite successful," Ryan told WyoFile recently. "Collections exceeded $100 million in delinquent ad valorem and severance taxes, and interest for the counties and the state."

The energy companies resisted vigorously and tenaciously with legal challenges both before the Board of Equalization and in the courts—one case lasted more than 16 years, according to Ryan.

In 1992, independent auditors Ryan and Fetterolf were witnesses for Uinta County against Union Pacific Resources, which was suing the county and the state, claiming the county had no right to hire minerals production auditors for contingent fees, and disputing the taxes on the company's oil and gas production in the county. Ryan told WyoFile that when he and Fetterolf showed up to give their depositions in the case, he was shocked to find that state Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Laramie County Republican, was the company's lawyer.

"Cynthia, are you here to represent your constituents or Union Pacific?" Ryan says he asked.

"I represented Union Pacific Resources Co. in a declaratory judgment action that went to the Wyoming Supreme Court," Lummis told WyoFile, adding that the court made no decision on the merits of the case, but sent it back to the Board of Equalization.

Cynthia Lummis, who is now Wyoming's sole U.S. Representative in Congress, has been a politician for more than 30 years, and a lawyer for nearly a quarter of a century. When she was working for Union Pacific Resources in the 1990s, she was a partner in the Cheyenne firm of Wiederspahn, Lummis & Liepas PC. Her husband and law partner, real estate developer Alvin Wiederspahn, is a former state representative and senator on the Democratic side of the aisle. In the '90s, the firm's clients included Amoco Production Company and Union Pacific Resources. Wiederspahn was also a leader of the Wyoming Taxpayers' Association, a group with a populist-sounding name that is an energy industry lobby.

The companies also sought direct legislative relief from their political allies, of whom they had many. For example, Representative Eli D. Bebout of Riverton, a "hereditary" Democrat who became a Republican in the 1990s, in the 1995 session of the Legislature introduced a bill, HB225, to ban private auditors from working for counties for contingent fees. At the time, Bebout was president of Nucor Oil and Gas, Inc., and his 1994 campaign had been 60-percent financed by mineral interests. His Senatorial co-sponsor of the bill was one of his business associates in the uranium industry and the radioactive waste disposal business, Riverton newspaper publisher Robert Peck.

Bebout likened the private auditors to "headhunters."

"Can you imagine the IRS coming in and getting a salary based on what they can get out of you?" he asked. "The IRS would be after all of us."

Ron Trowbridge, an auditor with Rich Ryan's Rocky Mountain Energy, told Casper Star-Tribune reporter Joan Barron at the time that "contingent fees are the only practical way to pay for audits, as counties strapped for cash don't have the money" to pay the private auditors up front.

"Fetterolf acknowledged that he and other private sector mineral auditors are not popular with industry," Barron wrote in January 1995.

"They call us bounty hunters and mercenaries, but we wear the badge proudly because the beneficiaries of the findings are school kids primarily," Fetterolf told her.

"We were called everything under the sun, including 'opportunists,' 'odious mercenaries,' and 'bounty hunters,'" Rich Ryan recalled recently for WyoFile.

Unpopular as the auditors were with the industry, Bebout's bill was even less popular with county governments, and was firmly squashed in a committee-of-the-whole vote, 43-14.

But 1994 had been a watershed year in Wyoming politics, when twenty years of Democratic governorship ended with the election of Republican Jim Geringer, who followed two-term Democrat Michael J. Sullivan. Sullivan, a petroleum engineer by education and an oil-and-gas lawyer by trade, definitely knew the industry well when he took office after more than two decades of law practice in Casper. Although not hostile to the industry, Sullivan vetoed several measures that the oil and gas interests had backed in the legislature. In his campaign, Geringer promised to make Wyoming "friendlier" to operators.

Just a couple of months into his first term, Geringer signed into law four measures lowering taxes on energy companies, including some that Sullivan had vetoed in 1993. Sullivan also signed SB-96, a bill giving mineral companies an environmental "self-audit" privilege that granted the companies immunity from Department of Environmental Quality fines and penalties if they reported their environmental violations and filed cleanup plans.

In a March 1995 article by Nancy Moore, Platt's Oilgram noted that besides quickly signing the drilling incentives into law, Geringer also scheduled an April 20-21, 1995 meeting in Casper "to get the industry's ideas."

Moore wrote that Karen Kennedy, then the executive director of the Wyoming Independent Producers Association, had observed that "Wyoming's legislature has always been friendly to the oil and gas industry, but the state's former Democratic governor had stopped many initiatives in their tracks."

"Oil and gas producers in Wyoming are saying 'what a difference an election makes,'" wrote Moore.

One of those differences was Geringer's cabinet appointment of Rejane Medinger "Johnnie" Burton to head the Wyoming Department of Revenue, where she served from January 1995 through early March 2002. Burton, a staunch Republican, had a background that oil industry lawyer Gale Norton, George W. Bush's first Secretary of the Interior, described as a "solid mix" of experience in state government and the oil and gas industry.

Born of French parents in colonial Algeria, Burton fled the country during its independence struggle, arriving in the U.S. as a 22-year-old refugee in 1963. She began her career in the petroleum industry as an oil scout in Casper for Rinehart Oil News of San Antonio, Texas, then started her own oil industry news service, Hotline Energy Reports Inc., which later merged with Dwights Energydata Inc. She and her husband, geologist Guy C. Burton, Jr., also owned a Casper-based oil exploration company, TCF Inc. Guy Burton also partnered with Bill Hawks, a Republican politician from Casper, in Burton/Hawks, Inc., an oil and gas exploration and drilling company. Johnnie Burton served in the Independent Petroleum Association's Mountain States Speaker's Bureau from 1977 through 1979, then in the Wyoming state House of Representatives from 1982 to 1988.

Taking up her appointment in 1995, Burton as director of the Wyoming Department of Revenue was supposed to ensure that the department established a "fair market value" for minerals taken from state lands. She also believed, according to transcripts of administrative hearings, the department was supposed to make policy decisions on implementing mineral valuation laws. Inevitably her department clashed with the county governments, because her interpretations of the laws seemed to favor the energy companies. At times, she even surprised her own employees with her pro-industry enthusiasm.

"I recall one informal administrative meeting with an oil company taxpayer to discuss audit findings," Richard J. Marble, who at the time was Department of Revenue's Mineral Tax director, told WyoFile. "I was conducting the meeting when Johnnie walked into the room, interrupted the meeting, and told the taxpayer that under her leadership the Department would bend over backwards, within the limits of her fiduciary responsibility, to support the taxpayer [i.e., the oil company]. Everybody in the room just kind of looked at each other."

The Geringer administration early in its life started hearing complaints from the energy industry about Marble, who was promoting in the Department new auditing practices similar to those employed by Ryan's and Fetterolf's private auditing companies, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The Ryan-Fetterolf method was not a field audit, but a fairly straightforward comparison of reported figures. Instead of just accepting the energy company's data as fact, however, the auditors compared sales numbers the companies reported to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission with the numbers given to the counties.

Johnnie Burton fired Marble within a month of taking office, and Marble told WyoFile he was "kind of expecting it."

"I always felt it was Geringer's call," he said.

The industry "got some help … with the administration of the royalty program when Geringer's new director of revenue, Johnnie Burton, fired Rich Marble," Platt's Oilgram observed at the time.

Witness for the Oil Companies

Chevron U.S.A., Inc. in its long dispute of an audit assessment by the Mineral Division of the Department of Revenue, was one of several companies during this period that actually presented Burton as a witness against her own department.

Chevron's case involved the "proportionate profits formula" used to compute taxes due on natural gas taken from the Painter/East Painter fields in Uinta County in 1996-98. State auditors believed that under a 1990 mineral valuation law, Chevron's "direct costs" of production should include production taxes and royalties, which would have increased the company's ad valorem taxable value by over $18 million— $18,270,508.00 to be exact. If, as Chevron argued, the production taxes and royalties were excluded as direct costs, then a natural gas producer-processor could take a processing deduction three to four times the actual costs the company had incurred.

Burton, in a memo dated August 6, 1996, at first agreed with her auditors, basing her decision at least in part on legal advice from a senior assistant attorney general. But the oil and gas industry, as the Board of Equalization observed, "reacted sharply," and Burton began looking for a way to accept the companies' view.

During the summer, Burton—who as a Republican state representative from Natrona County had served on the House Revenue Committee with Rep. Cynthia Lummis—consulted Lummis and former state Sen. Dan Sullivan, who were co-chairmen of the legislature's Joint Interim Revenue Committee that had reported on the 1990 law. Sullivan, the Republican brother of former Democratic Gov. Michael Sullivan, was by 1996 working for Chevron. He assured Burton that Chevron was correct, the production taxes and royalties should be excluded. Burton met with Governor Jim Geringer three times on the subject, and he finally told her, she said, "Do what you think is right."

What she thought was right (Burton consulted the state attorney general to see if she was about to break the law; he said no) was to accept Chevron's view of the matter, overrule her auditors and herself, and exclude production taxes and royalties from the direct cost formula. She issued a new memo in October 1996 to "supercede" and "cancel" her previous memo. The Equalization Board later found this October memo to be "contrary to law."

"The Department is never free to ignore the proper interpretation of the statute simply because the Department's Director prefers a result other than that required by the statute and the Department's regulations," the Board ruled. "Ms. Burton was not free to ignore the statute and regulations because she preferred an alternative result."

In one of the many interim appeals in the case as it made its way through the administrative process, the Board of Equalization had in 2001 ruled against Burton. The Board noted that she decided not to appeal (the companies tried to insist that she do so) because, after discussing the matter with the governor and his staff, "Ms. Burton felt an appeal would not be appropriate, would not be a politically 'good thing to do.'"

The oil companies, of course, had no such political qualms and continued the fight in the state court system, at the same time seeking the help of sympathetic lawmakers.

Sen. Robert Peck (R-Riverton) who earlier had sponsored the Senate version of Rep. Eli D. Bebout's bill to curtail private auditors working for the counties, in 2002 introduced Senate File 69, which would have made into law the valuation formula favored by Chevron, RME (formerly known as Union Pacific Resources, Cynthia Lummis' client,), Amoco (a client of Lummis' husband, Alvin Wiederspahn) and other energy companies. SF-69 failed on a tie vote on third reading, in part because, according to a Chevron spokesman, the industry lobbyist stopped pushing the bill because Geringer was "probably going to veto" it if it passed.

The issue in all these legal and legislative fights, and the issue in the battle over Royalty-in-Kind, is "value," and how it is to be determined for tax purposes. There are other issues—the reliability of industry self-reporting, for example—but value comes first, and brings with it the hardest feelings and most intense struggles. Value, one could say, is where the money is.

In early 2000, Johnnie Burton as head of Wyoming's Department of Revenue observed at a meeting of the Select Mineral Taxation and Valuation Committee (co-chaired by Sen. Bill Hawks, her late husband's business partner) that "the relationship between counties and the state administration has deteriorated over the years due to a conflict of jurisdiction on valuation of minerals." No one disagreed. State-county relations remained strained through the remainder of the Geringer administration, but the spotlight was shifting now to the players on the federal stage, where soon enough Johnnie Burton would make her entrance.

True Value

On the morning of August 13, 1996, at a ceremony at the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Federal Oil and Gas Simplification and Fairness Act. The bill had strong bipartisan support, the backing of the Clinton administration, and the agreement of 33 state governors—including Gov. Geringer—as well as wide support in the energy industry.

"I hope that this is an omen of things to come, " the president said, "because this is the way America moves forward. When we tone our rhetoric down and work together and roll up our sleeves and try to meet our legitimate interests and protect our values, come to grips with these challenges, we can do it."

The president's hope that rhetoric would tone down and people would work together with their sleeves rolled up did not come to pass. The Republican victories in the legislative elections of 1994 had meant that the Democratic administration's policies met stout resistance from a Republican-controlled Congress that was, most definitely, feeling its oats. Implementation proposals from the Clinton administration, attempting to address the touchy issue of mineral value—which the new statute had not resolved—met stout resistance from industry.

Basically, the new law simplified the way royalties were collected by reducing paperwork and accounting obligations associated with the tax collection process. Most of the law's provisions became effective on September 1, 1996, but the critically important question of developing regulations from the law was, as is usual, assigned to the agency in charge, Minerals Management Service. The agency was then headed by Cynthia L. Quarterman, an engineer and oil-and-gas lawyer whom Clinton had named Management Service deputy director in 1993 and then appointed director in March 1995.

Minerals Management was smarting from yet another negative Congressional assessment, this time from the Republican Congress—the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee's 1996 report, Crude Oil Undervaluation: the Ineffective Response of the Minerals Management Service, which had concluded that undervaluation of federal royalties had seriously shortchanged the United States Treasury, with millions of dollars in royalties undervalued and up to $2 billion unpaid. Responding, Minerals Management in 1998 under Clinton's appointee Quarterman issued revised rules for valuing oil and gas to reflect "true market value."

Previously, the Department of the Interior had based royalties on a value defined as "the gross proceeds realized by … lessees under arm's-length sales." The enormous changes in the world petroleum market made this method unworkable. Then there was a period of "posted prices" as a value yardstick, but that quickly became a way for the industry to game the system, since the "posted price" in reality was a starting price, which no one in the business paid. In the years following passage of the "Simplification and Fairness Act," Minerals Management Service proposed several different methods—none were "simple" — to determine "fair valuation." Finally in 1998 the agency determined that royalty payment would be based on a "price determined between an oil producer and a willing buyer"—in other words, market value.

The oil and gas industry resisted fiercely, and for the next two years a prolonged, acrimonious debate between the industry and Minerals Management Service played out in meetings and hearings in the House and Senate, while implementation of the new valuation rules was delayed at the behest of the oil and gas industry, usually through a legislative bit of budgetary legerdemain.

The focus of the issue became the choice of collection system, whether to take royalties "in kind" or "in value," and here Wyoming's Congressional delegation stepped into the national spotlight.

Correction: This story has been altered to correct the Colorado town Secretary Ken Salazar visited earlier this year and talked to employees about the royalty in kind program.

Ride the Fence, The Coup, via Rip & Roy <not work safe>


How the ‘Royalty in Kind’ Scandal Went From Wyoming to the National Stage

The second of a two-part investigative series from WyoFile detailing the Wyoming roots of a national Department of Interior scandal.

By Laton McCartney and Rone Tempest, WyoFile, Posted by: Guest Writer, September 3, 2009, Article Source

When President Bill Clinton signed the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996 into law in Jackson Hole, his Washington, D.C.-based Minerals Management Service director, Cynthia Quarterman, came out to attend the August ceremony.

Her summer had been busy and, one might assume, stressful. She had appeared several times before different Congressional committees investigating her agency's work collecting oil and gas royalties. At one vituperative hearing in mid-June, she had been grilled by a New York Democratic Congresswoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, who clearly did not believe Minerals Management Service was doing its job. At the hearing, Quarterman had been confronted by Maloney's own hostile report, issued jointly with the private nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, that accused Minerals Management in its entirety, "including its politically appointed leadership over several administrations," of "bad faith," and said the Interior Department had such a "dismal record of negligence, misfeasance, and incompetence" that there was no hope Minerals Management could improve.

"The Department of the Interior is institutionally unwilling to aggressively collect the money owed to the American people by the oil industry," stated Maloney's report, titled A Wink and A Nod: How the Oil Industry and the Department of Interior are Cheating the American Public and California Schoolchildren. The report said that "for decades" Interior had given "loyal and devoted service to the petroleum industry" and had a record "replete with mismanagement, duplicity, evasions, and outright lies."

When the subcommittee chairman, Los Angeles Republican Stephen Horn, asked Quarterman if she wished to respond to POGO and Maloney's report, she said "I do like the title" and added that their "heart is in the right place."

So maybe it was nice for Quarterman to visit Wyoming at the summer's end and, in the grand wilderness setting, issue her own congratulatory press release on the signing of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996.

In the release, Quarterman applauded the passage of the new law and offered her personal thanks to its architects. She observed that the act fulfilled the president's one-year-old "pledge to the natural gas and oil industry" to "improve and streamline" the federal royalty program. She listed a few of the good things the act brought to industry—a seven-year statute of limitations on royalty collections; interest payments by government to industry on overpayments; refunds to companies for the same—and went on to note that Minerals Management Service had itself "embarked upon a series of continuous- improvement initiatives" in the spirit of the new law. One of the fresh launches she listed was "piloting an offshore royalty in-kind program."

Quarterman did not mention improvements in Minerals Management's valuation system, because those were still pending. But she had noted earlier in the summer that "valuation, determination, and collection procedures have been subject to debate and litigation for years" and that the offshore gas Royalty-in-Kind pilot was an effort to "streamline these processes without sacrificing royalty revenues." The current valuation problem was that Minerals Management Service's proposed new rules tied royalty payments directly to the market, so that as oil prices rose, so would royalties. The oil and gas industry did not want to pay more royalties. Implementation of the new rules had so far been successfully delayed in Congress by the attachment to appropriations bills of little-noticed riders barring implementation. While the rules pended, the industry geared up to have in-kind royalties substituted for cash payouts.

Quarterman had been named director of Minerals Management in March1995, when the royalty-in-kind pilot program was already three months old. The idea was not new, and the practice was already suspect in some quarters, although Republicans championed it as an easy way out of the valuation problem. .

In June 1996, the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight had heard testimony on undervaluation of crude oil taken from federal leases. Quarterman had testified. Royalty-in-kind crude oil transactions, the committee's report observed, "may have left U.S. financial interests unprotected." The committee cited a May 1996 inter-agency task force report that had pointed out:

In concept, royalty-in-kind oil is taken by the Department of the Interior and sold directly to a refiner. In practice, the Department relied on the Federal leaseholder [the royalty-paying company] and the refiner-purchaser to arrange the terms of sale and transfer to the refiner's facility. The Federal Government then received payment from the refiner. Typically, this was the posted price, which has been determined to be undervalued. … [T]he Federal Government may not have received all of the fair market value of the crude oil which it was due since some of the value may have been retained by the leaseholder through excessive transportation charges.

Yet, Republican legislators liked royalty-in-kind and supported it at this hearing. One who testified was the House sponsor of the new Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act, Republican Ken Calvert of California, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. He was a strong early supporter of taking royalties in kind, as was his fellow Republican committee member, Barbara Cubin of Wyoming.

"When we get to the point of valuation, that is going to be a continuing problem," Calvert told the House Reform and Oversight committee. "And I think royalty in kind is an interesting way of taking care of that problem. In effect, the Government would be selling its share of product at the marketplace and that forevermore will take care of that problem."

Quarterman in 1996 described the pilot program, which involved offshore gas, as a "dramatic effort by MMS to do business in a different manner" since 1992 deregulation had created a new, highly complex market. In the Royalty-in-Kind gas pilot, she wrote, Minerals Management, "is testing the concept of removing itself from the complex practice of determining the appropriate value of production and auditing whether companies have paid royalties based on an appropriate value."

Having the government "remove itself" from the complex tasks of valuation and auditing was exactly what attracted Republicans to the idea of taking royalties in kind. Democrats were not quite as generally enthusiastic, but had lost control of Congress and were, with the Clinton administration, busily "reinventing government." Almost everyone was talking about "streamlining" and "reducing administrative burdens" and "simplifying" procedures for energy producers. Almost no one—except perhaps the obstreperous New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney—was talking about protecting America's revenues.

Successful Money-Loser

At the conclusion of the 1995-96 gas royalty-in-kind pilot, Quarterman declared the program an "operational success." Unfortunately, she added, it lost the taxpayers money and she could not quantify any savings in administrative costs. But those facts intimidated no one who really liked the idea of royalty in kind.

The "operational success/financial failure" of the first pilot led to a 1997 Minerals Management feasibility study to continue and expand the program, a study undertaken partly in response to a "congressional directive" included in MMS's Fiscal Year 1997 Appropriations Committee Reports, urging Minerals Management "to consider additional RIK pilot projects for both onshore and offshore Federal oil and gas leases."

When it came to the on-shore business, Wyoming was front-and-center. The feasibility study had concluded a royalty-in-kind program had the best chance to succeed in Gulf of Mexico natural gas; crude was problematic.

"For crude oil RIK, the information is equivocal and the revenue and administrative implications are uncertain," the report said. "However, there is significant interest on the part of producers, marketers, and the State of Wyoming in taking crude oil in kind from Federal leases in Wyoming. Thus, we recommend that a small-scale crude oil RIK pilot— developed in concert with all affected parties – be instituted in Wyoming to test revenue and administrative effects."

Upon taking office, Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer had pledged that his administration would be "friendlier" to the energy industry than his Democratic predecessor's. His early actions—naming Rejane "Johnnie" Burton head of the Department of Revenue, signing industry-backed legislation, firing aggressive auditors—certainly looked friendly. When the industry went for royalty-in-kind, Geringer was on board.

The 1997 Minerals Management feasibility study conducted hearings and workshops, including one in Casper on March 25, to solicit public comment on the idea. Minerals Management reported that public statements from "essentially all parties" supported taking royalties in kind. These parties were oil companies and industry associations—Total Minatome, Marathon Oil, Coastal Oil and Gas, Devon Energy, Burlington Resources, Shell, Giant Refining, Vastar, Independent Petroleum Association of Wyoming, Independent Petroleum Association of America, 88 Oil, Nance Petroleum, Enron Oil and Gas, Merrion Oil and Gas—and the State of Wyoming.

"Industry urged MMS to be bold and move forward as fast as possible to implement not pilot programs but actual 'live' operations for substantial volumes," the agency reported. This echoed Enron's earlier suggestion to MMS after the first pilot lost money: if the feds wanted Royalty-in-Kind to achieve "higher value or more bang for the buck or whatever you want to call it, […] take some more risk in the marketing efforts.

So in this brave new world, where mammoth industry urges government bureaucracy to boldly take big financial risks as quickly as possible, Wyoming was ready with citizens' cash. The state distinguished itself by putting forward a novel proposition to let Wyoming take in-kind royalties for "all federal production and pay MMS its 50 percent share." If such bold action were not authorized (and it wasn't), Wyoming proposed to take its share of federal production in Campbell County during the life of the pilot project, combine it with its state lease production, and sell the oil via competitive bidding.

In his original version of the Royalty Fairness and Simplification Act, California Republican Ken Calvert had tried to remove the Department of the Interior from nearly all aspects of royalty collection in order to, as he said, "unleash the 'junkyard dog' that is the States in search of a royalty bone." During the Geringer administration, Wyoming hardly had the look of a dangerous, royalty-hungry dog. Johnnie Burton, Republican Gov. Jim Geringer's head of the Department of Revenue, a part of the oil and gas business, was more like the industry's faithful companion.

Geringer himself wrote and testified in favor of instituting royalty-in-kind, and also sent Jim Magagna, Director of the Office of State Lands and Investments, to speak on his behalf before Congress. Magagna appeared at a 1997 House Resources Subcommittee Oversight Hearing on Royalty-in-Kind for Federal Oil and Gas Production, chaired by Wyoming's own at-large congresswoman, Barbara Cubin.

"The State of Wyoming, under our Governor Jim Geringer, has assumed a leadership role, we believe, in seeking development and implementation of a cost-effective and efficient royalty-in-kind program," Magagna began, after applauding "the initiative of Chairman Cubin in providing this important dialog for the royalty-in-kind issue."

He explained that Wyoming had suffered "frustrations" with the value-based federal royalty program. He observed that "many in the oil industry support a royalty-in-kind system." Although Minerals Management Service regulations allow the agency to take royalties in-kind, he said, the "agency is reluctant to take all royalties that way, especially in remote regions and from low-yield marginal wells.

"But Wyoming is driven every bit as much by the opportunities for revenue enhancement that we see in the royalty-in-kind program," Magagna continued, "and we recognize that with those opportunities comes risk. We as a state are prepared to assume those risks that are associated with the private sector in the marketplace and that are necessary if you are to achieve the rewards that can be associated with that."

Magagna went on to explain that Wyoming did not feel a mere pilot program would be enough to show how much money could be made in royalty-in-kind. Wyoming wanted to "aggregate large volumes" and this would require a bigger royalty-in-kind program than Minerals Management was suggesting in 1997.

There is something very strange about the taking of royalties in kind, something that makes sober-sided conservatives suddenly eager to jump in! Jump in deep! Politicians who ordinarily would not credit the federal government with enough sense to get in out of the rain suddenly want to partner up with the feds and rush into the oil business together. Why? At this point, royalty-in-kind had been a money-losing proposition. Instead of saying, "Oh, hey, wait a second, this might be a bad bet," Republicans in Wyoming and Washington, D.C. could hardly wait to put even more money into the pot, take bigger risks, and hope for a giant payout.

A Concerted Effort

Industry's motive for pushing royalty-in-kind is no secret, according to both contemporary oil executives' testimony and a post-facto chronology prepared by David T. Deal. Deal, now a consultant, was then a leading petro-lobby lawyer who for more than 30 years moved between positions with the federal government and his job at the American Petroleum Institute. Deal pointed out that in 1997, when Minerals Management Service began its "protracted and contentious" attempt to make new oil valuation rules, industry responded with a concerted effort to substitute royalty-in-kind for valuation.

"The oil valuation program gave tremendous focus and tremendous impetus within the industry to please find a simpler way, and R-I-K particularly became the simpler way," said Larry Nichols, president and CEO of Devon Oil, in his Congressional testimony for mandatory federal in-kind royalties. Fred Hagemeyer of Marathon Oil Company testified at the same hearing that "the industry has pulled together to focus on this particular issue [royalty-in-kind]" and that valuation was a "catalyst." Casper independent oil baron and former politician Diemer True, speaking for himself and the Independent Petroleum Association of America, wholeheartedly agreed.

Wyoming oil-and-gas men and women who were also state legislators in 1997 quickly made royalty-in-kind an option for the state. To empower Gov. Geringer to accept the state's share of federal royalties "in kind," Riverton oilman Eli Bebout (Nucor Oil and Gas, NEW Corporation), then a Republican state representative, sponsored the Federal Mineral Royalties Taking in Kind Act in the House. The bill's Senate sponsor was Casper oilman Bill Hawks, who had been a partner of Guy C. Burton, Jr. in the drilling company Burton/Hawks Inc. Guy C. Burton was the husband of Rejane "Johnnie" Burton, whom Geringer had appointed head of the Wyoming Department of Revenue in charge of minerals valuation and severance tax collection. Geringer signed the bill, one of the first of its kind in the country, into law in March 1997, the same month Minerals Management came to Wyoming to workshop Royalty-in-Kind.

Cynthia Quarterman, director of Minerals Management Service, by this time had doubts about taking oil royalties in-kind, although the Wyoming oil program was going ahead anyway thanks to the enthusiasm of state officials.

"Considering that lessees cannot deduct marketing costs under the federal in-value system, we believe that implementation of an oil RIK program would actually lose revenue," Quarterman testified to the House Resources Subcommittee that summer, "because MMS would need to pay these costs under an RIK program […] In summary, we are not convinced that crude oil RIK is in the best interests of the United States."

Nevertheless, Minerals Management Service soon announced that its new royalty-in-kind program comprising three "demonstration pilots," would begin

in October 1998 and last up to September 2004, taking in-kind oil in Wyoming and in-kind gas from two areas in the Gulf of Mexico. MMS said it expected the pilots would provide "operational experience" in running such a program and in "evaluating the feasibility of a permanent royalty-in-kind program."

This less-than-whole-hog approach did not satisfy RIK's proponents in Congress. In March 1998, U.S. Representatives Mac Thornberry of Texas and co-sponsor Barbara Cubin of Wyoming, both Republicans, introduced the Royalty Enhancement Act of 1998, H.R. 3334, requiring Minerals Management Service to take all oil and gas royalties in kind. Cubin, chairwoman of the House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, conducted numerous hearings on the bill.

"Did we take advice from the oil and gas industry in the preparation of this bill? Absolutely. Yes, we did," Cubin announced in opening remarks at a mid-March hearing on the bill before her subcommittee.

Born in Salinas, California and educated as a chemist at Creighton University, a Jesuit institution in Omaha, Nebraska, Barbara Cubin won election to the U.S. House in the Republican landslide of 1994. At the time she touted term limits and the Contract with America and announced, at a House Republican newcomers' party honoring Rush Limbaugh as a "Majority Maker," that she was not a "femiNazi."

Cubin had served in the Wyoming House from 1987 to 1993, and in the State Senate the year after. Her long career—she broke her term-limits promise and successfully ran seven times for the U.S. House—clearly demonstrates that Wyoming voters do not mind a little raunch in their politicians. She said she owed her political life to Diemer True.

"Were it not for Diemer," Cubin told Cheyenne's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle when she announced her seventh Congressional campaign in 2006, "I wouldn't be here."

Undoubtedly, she spoke the truth. Diemer True of Casper was almost synonymous with the Wyoming Republican Party in the 1990s, and his support was–and some say still is–critical to any GOP member seeking an important nomination. He was himself a veteran of the hustings: True was a state representative (1973-76) and spent 16 years in the senate, retiring as president in 1992. He chaired the state Republican Party committee from 1992 to 1996, and has been Wyoming Republican National Committeeman since 1998. He has been friends since boyhood with Dick Cheney, and most of the lower-wattage Wyoming players in this drama—Barbara Cubin, Johnnie Burton, Cynthia Lummis—claim True not only as a political ally, but as a personal friend.

"I have known Diemer True since the late Sixties/early Seventies," Johnnie Burton wrote in an e-mail to WyoFile. "I have interacted with him and his wife in many settings: social, business, educational and political. I value the Trues' friendship."

True Story

Diemer True is an oilman, one of Wyoming's biggest, a son of the legendary Wyoming wildcatter, H.A. "Dave" True. Diemer True joined the family business in 1968 after taking a business degree at Northwestern, and became a partner four years later. In the late '90s, when royalty-in-kind was emerging as the oil industry's solution to the inconvenience of federal valuation rules, the True Companies approached complete vertical integration, with a vast portfolio of oil and gas exploration, development, drilling, marketing, and pipeline companies, as well as in agriculture and financial services. Among these were Black Hills Trucking Inc., Belle Fourche Pipeline, Cambria Europe, Inc., 88 Oil LLC, Equitable Oil Purchasing Company, Midland Financial Corp., Toolpushers Supply Company, True Environmental Remediating LLC, and True Geothermal Energy. The family property also included True Ranches LLC; The LandReport Magazine listed the True family of Casper as the nation's 27th largest landholder, with nine ranches and two feedlots totaling 255,000 acres. True Oil had its own private FAA-approved heliport nine miles northwest of Casper's business district.

The True companies run their own Political Action Committee, the True Responsible Government Committee, to collect and donate money to pro-business candidates (True Company workers can have a payroll department check-off give part of their wages to the True PAC) and Diemer True, his wife Susie, and the large extended family all contribute generously to the national and state Republican Party organizations and candidates. True is a member of the board of BIPAC, Business Industry Political Action Committee, a group that, according to its website, creates "grassroots" support for corporations' political agendas by "using political communication tools" to "communicate with employees and in turn have them communicate with policy makers."

But perhaps most importantly for the nation, Diemer True is an activist oilman, a tireless worker in his industry's political pressure groups.

"Diemer True has been one of the energy industry's strongest advocates for many years," said Joe Alvarado, presenting to True the 2008 Chief Roughneck Award for lifetime achievement as a petroleum industry leader. "His dedication, perseverance, ingenuity, leadership and integrity in every situation remind us all of what it takes to be successful and ensure the continued growth and prosperity of our industry."

Diemer True had of course worked in the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, but he also led one of the nation's largest and most powerful industry groups. True was chairman of the 7,000-member Independent Petroleum Producers Association from 2001-03 (today he is the treasurer), but in 1998, when royalties were the issue of the day, he chaired of the IPAA's Land and Royalty Committee. Thus, he was perfectly placed to carry forward the industry push for royalty-in-kind.

Diemer True liked the idea of paying federal royalties in kind. Eighty-Eight Oil Company, a marketing outfit, was one of the "essential parties" that attended the 1997 federal RIK workshop in Casper and pressed Minerals Management Service to boldly implement royalty in kind.

"IPAA intends to begin working to reform current valuation rules by 'taking our advocacy to the Hill,'" True told the Energy Report on March 9, 1998. "We want to introduce legislation and we will be supporting the legislation."

A late March storm held True snowbound in Wyoming, unable to appear and testify for his protégée Barbara Cubin's Royalty Enhancement Act of 1998, but he sent a representative and his thoughts and exhibits were entered in the record, along with those of the IPAA, numerous individual energy company executives, and the Domestic Petroleum Council, which all strongly supported the bill.

As the American Geological Institute observed, HR 3334 "quickly became the rallying call for the oil industry and other pro-RIK supporters." Several took the opportunity of the Congressional hearings to deplore Minerals Management Service's proposed oil valuation rules or Minerals Management itself, and one Wyoming outfit accused the agency of driving it into bankruptcy by demanding back royalty payments.

Cynthia Quarterman was also called to testify March 19, and she did not mince words either. The Clinton administration did not want mandatory royalty in kind.

"RIK is unproven and risky for royalty collection in the U.S.," the Minerals Management director began. "As stewards of public assets, we must have assurance that the revenue and administrative effects of RIK are decidedly positive before moving to implementation. Anything less is a gambler's folly with the taxpayers' money."

The Royalty Enhancement Act was, she said, "weighted heavily in favor of the oil and gas industry" and would force the United States to give up many of its rights, while relieving energy companies of many of their obligations.

"We must seriously ask ourselves how it is to the advantage of the citizens of the United States to give up these rights, and […] a substantial part of the value they receive for the production of their non-renewable resources," Quarterman said, noting that the effect of HR 3334 would be "an unjustified major economic gift" to the industry.

"We can only conclude that this legislative initiative is primarily designed to enhance the interests of oil and gas producers, at the expense of the American taxpayer," she stated. "[The bill] clearly represents a dramatic transfer of costs and obligations from the oil and gas industry to the American taxpayer. … [T]he revenue loss would be … on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum. … Because of the disastrous effect this bill would have on the taxpayer and the budget, the Department is prepared to recommend a veto."

At a March 31 hearing, Cubin–who had said she would not support RIK legislation unless government economists did–requested that the Interior Department and the petroleum industry each submit an analysis of the economic impact of her bill. In late April, the Department of Interior turned in a report saying, as expected, that mandatory royalty-in-kind would lose millions. On May 4, Diemer True, speaking for the IPAA, disagreed, as did the industry's report.

"With only just a quick examination of the Interior Department's report on HR 3334, already we see a great deal of the alleged revenue loss from a royalty in-kind program is based on an inaccurate interpretation of the bill," True said in a press release. "In fact, when you take a closer look, you also realize that DOI completely ignores aspects of the bill that will increase revenue for the federal government."

True said that "industry looks forward to working with members of Congress and the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service … to develop the best possible royalty in-kind program for the U.S. taxpayer."

Cubin's subcommittee easily approved the bill on June 18 and sent it on to the entire House Resources Committee. There it died, killed by an August 1998 General Accounting Office report's strongly negative assessment of a mandatory, national royalty-in-kind program.

Taking royalties in kind, the GAO reported, would not be "feasible" except under certain conditions: relatively easy access to transport pipelines; leases that produce relatively large volumes of oil and gas; competitive arrangements for processing gas; and expertise in marketing oil and gas. "However," the report said, "these conditions are currently lacking for the federal government and for most federal leases."

The Accounting Office noted that although most of the states that receive federal royalty disbursements supported MMS's proposed valuation regulations, "oil industry representatives generally oppose them [and] believe that oil companies should not pay royalties on higher prices." The new valuation rules that Minerals Management was proposing tied royalties due to prices received in the marketplace; taking royalties in-kind avoided this.

The death of mandatory federal royalty in kind was not the end of industry opposition to new valuation rules, still pending three years after they were proposed, or of efforts to impose RIK nationwide or at least greatly expand the existing RIK programs.

Nor was it the end of political efforts to do something generous for the oil and gas industry. Barbara Cubin carried on with a bill, her Federal Oil and Gas Lease Management Improvement Act of 1999, to give tax breaks to the corporations. This bill didn't have the sex appeal of mandatory RIK, and got only one co-sponsor, Rep. Joe Skeen of New Mexico. Perhaps part of the problem was the speech Cubin made when she introduced the bill on the House floor in May 1999. Potential supporters, even true lovers of the oil and gas industry, might have been put off by Cubin's tender sympathy for the agony of the oil industry, and her dismissive contempt for the selfish American consumer.

"Mr. Speaker, production of oil and gas from our public lands is fast becoming a rarity," she began. "The 'oil patch' in the United States is in tough shape. Consumers blissfully enjoyed record low gasoline prices until very recently, but producers have suffered immeasurably from the diminished proceeds they have received for their crude oil …. Our bill will provide some incentives to federal oil and gas lessees to 'stay the course'' when prices drop…."

The bill went to the Resources Committee, was referred to Cubin's own Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, and died there without a hearing.

A Change at the Top

The Democratic Party lost the presidency in 2000, and George W. Bush and his running mate Dick Cheney were sworn into office on a wet, cold, gray Saturday in January 2001, after long weeks of legal wrangling over who actually had won.

Bush's transition to power was conducted by his vice-president, Dick Cheney. Cheney had left his $25-million-a-year job as CEO of Halliburton, the oil-field services and construction giant co-headquartered in Dubai and Houston, to run for office in 2000. Cheney was an active executive. In an unheard-of move, he "seized the initiative" to staff much of Bush's Cabinet during the hiatus provided by the Florida recount. Cheney, not Bush, announced the appointment of several key transition team officials.

He selected David J. Gribbin III, a faithful friend from their days together in high school in Casper and at the University of Wyoming, to be the transitional liaison with Congress. To follow his mentor back into politics, Gribbin left his job as chief lobbyist for Halliburton. With Gribbin in place, Cheney took charge of negotiations with lawmakers about the legislative agenda.

Cheney chose Thomas Sansonetti, the Cheyenne lawyer and GOP activist, to head the inner-circle team choosing top personnel for the Interior Department.

Sansonetti, who has never held elected office is a well-known quantity in the Wyoming party and preceded Diemer True as the state's Republican organizational powerbroker: he was Republican National Committeeman, 1996-2001 (True took over in 2002) and chairman of the state Republican Party from 1983-87 (True was chair 1992-96). When Craig Thomas won the 1989 special election to replace Cheney, who had left his seat to become George H.W. Bush's defense secretary, Sansonetti became Thomas' aide. A member of the Federalist Society, Sansonetti was also a lobbyist for the coal industry.

Although the energy industry was represented at all important levels within the incoming administration, industry lobbyists continued their own efforts. According to Newsweek, oil and gas lobbyists met at the American Petroleum Institute offices nine days before the Inauguration to draw up a "wish list" for a Bush energy plan. The list was sent over to the Bush Energy Department transition team. The expansion of the royalty-in-kind program was near the top of the list.

Membership on the Energy Department team was a political plum, and the incoming administration rewarded generous supporters with seats at the table. Men who had given the Bush campaign more than $100,000, like Tom Kuhn, head of the Edison Electric Institute, or more than $200,000, like Enron's Kenneth Lay, became Energy transition team players. Some transitional heavyweights were not among the largest contributors, but were important in themselves, as high-level industry lobbyists. Diemer True, at this time chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association, was a team member in Energy, although he and his family had given only $125,000 to state and national Republican parties and candidates in recent election cycles.

The Bush transition team, prevented from occupying the customary federal transition team quarters by the long dispute over who had won the election, had raised its own transition office money and rented a 20,000-square-foot office in a southern Virginia suburb. There it began the work of accepting résumés for 6,125 federal jobs within the new Republican administration's gift.

To head the critical Department of the Interior, Sansonetti's team chose Denver oil- and-gas lawyer Gale Norton, a protégée of Reagan's first Interior Secretary, James G. Watt. Sansonetti had worked with Norton in Watt's Interior in the '80s. Like Watt, Norton was a Mountain States Legal Foundation attorney, and like Sansonetti, she was a member of the Federalist Society. Norton was confirmed almost immediately after Bush's inauguration.

But her department was not fully staffed for months. The expansion of the royalty-in-kind program, near the top of the energy industry's wish list, was going to have to take place in Interior's Minerals Management Service, which lacked a new leader for some time. Thomas R. Kitso, who had replaced Cynthia Quarterman in February 1999 and stayed on after January 2001, resigned that November. Deputy secretary of Interior J. Steven Griles announced that Lucy Querques Denett of the Minerals Revenue Management division would be Acting Director until "further notice."

Burton Heeds the Call

Notice, and Rejane "Johnnie" Burton, arrived in March 2002. She left behind her cabinet position as director of Gov. Geringer's Department of Revenue, but old friends were ready to welcome her to Washington. As soon as her name was announced in February 2002, Diemer True, chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association of America, issued a press release saying that his organization "commended" the appointment.

"Johnnie Burton is a knowledgeable and experienced administrator, who has been very successful as the director of Wyoming's Department of Revenue," True said. "She has been successful in her own business, successful as a state legislator, successful as a state administrator, and, I believe, will serve with distinction as MMS Director."

True did not just speak warmly, he acted. On March 28, Burton's official calendar shows that at 6:45 AM she was to meet Deputy Secretary Griles in Room 6117 so the two could be driven to 1400 M Street, the Wyndham Hotel. There, from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM, they would eat a "Welcome to Washington" breakfast with True and his colleague Ben Dillon, a vice-president of the IPAA.

Bernie J. "Ben" Dillon, a petroleum engineer from Montana, was the IPAA's first director of public resources, a position the group created in 1996 as IPAA began "stepping up efforts" to increase "access to the nation's public lands and waters." Dillon came to the IPAA from his majority (Republican) staff Congressional fellowship on the House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals, where he worked on the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Fairness and Simplification Act and on "reinventing government." Before his Congressional position, Dillon spent 12 years in the Interior Department.

As the director of public resources, Dillon was tasked with promoting royalty-in-kind payments on public lands.

During her first months in office, Burton maintained a hectic calendar of meetings, meals, and socials with the oil and gas companies. She attended their conventions and even their political strategy sessions. The Independent Producers and American Petroleum Institute, for example, briefed Burton on royalty issues on April 5, preparing for her attendance at the IPAA's Royalty Strategy Taskforce meeting in Houston on April 10. The vice chairman of IPAA's Land & Royalty Committee, David Blackmon, led the a discussion of "the importance of royalty-in-kind," according to the group's newsletter, including "challenges facing gas RIK, piloting RIK onshore with a new state, RIK and the current energy legislation debate in Congress, and the need for building a successful business model for the long-term growth of RIK."

The IPPA newsletter quoted Blackmon as saying that the Task Force was "honored" by Burton's presence, and that "She is obviously working hard."

A Sunk Ship named USS GEORGE W. BUSH

Dahbud Mensch ~ GOP Republican w/Democrat Support Patriot Act

Ashcroft holds a sign saying, 'The Bush Jihad Against The Bill of Rights' and says,
'Freedon is Slavery!'
Ashcroft holds a sign saying,"The Bush Jihad Against The Bill of Rights
A LEGAL FATWA "while, at the same time saying, "Freedom is Slavery!"

No mercy in Ashcroft's
brand of justice

[Broken Link, Copy Below]

Ashcroft's Power Grows In Terrorist Witch Hunt

by Helen Thomas, August 16, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General John Ashcroft doesn't have enough to do, hunting down terrorists.

With the help of a rollover Congress, he now has a new and bigger club to go after federal judges who impose lighter sentences in criminal cases than he would like.

As a faithful lord high executioner of the administration's much touted "compassionate conservatism," Ashcroft wants to clamp down on those judges.

At issue are the sentencing guidelines laid down by a federal commission that Congress created in 1984. Under pressure from Ashcroft, Congress voted in April to restrict the flexibility of federal judges to depart from the guidelines.

The new law also makes it easier for prosecutors to appeal more cases when they don't like the court-imposed prison sentences.

As it stands now, the attorney general must report within 15 days to Congress the identity of any federal judge who deviates from the rules and the reasons why. And the department must report within five days whether it intends to appeal.

The empowered attorney general then issued an order on July 28 to federal prosecutors, directing them to report all "downward departure" sentencing decisions in criminal cases.

Previously, the prosecutors were required to report to the Justice Department only those sentences that they had objected to and wanted to appeal.

The overall effect is to give Ashcroft more control and the final say on whether to appeal a sentence. And it reduces the powers of the prosecutors in the field, the people who know more about the defendant and the circumstances of the case than does anyone in Washington.

It looks to me as if Ashcroft has designed a new program to intimidate federal judges.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., accused Ashcroft of an "ongoing attack on judicial independence" and said he was requiring federal prosecutors to establish a "black list" of judges who diverge from the guidelines.

Department lawyers say the new rules are in the interest of uniformity. But Ashcroft obviously was miffed that some judges weren't handing out the tough sentences that he wanted.

The sentencing commission has statistics showing that 35 percent of the sentences handed down in federal court in the 2001 fiscal year fell below the guidelines.

Many of those sentences were the results of plea-bargaining and had the approval of the prosecutors.

Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, said many judges have denounced the guidelines for producing "unduly long sentences" and hampering the courts' ability to fashion punishments to fit the crimes.

Ashcroft wants judges to treat defendants as "statistics rather than individuals," Turley added. In all fairness, Congress shares the blame for giving him even more power to do so.

In his new order to the prosecutors, Ashcroft cited a May 5 speech by Chief Justice William Rehnquist who acknowledged that it was up to Congress to establish guidelines on sentencing policies.

But Ashcroft conveniently failed to mention that Rehnquist also used the same speech to criticize the sentencing restrictions as "an unwarranted and ill-considered effort to intimidate individual judges in the performance of their official duties."

Rehnquist also complained to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that limiting judicial discretion "would seriously impair the ability of courts to impose just and reasonable sentences."

In a speech last Saturday to the ABA convention in San Francisco, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a moderate conservative, criticized mandatory minimum sentencing and said prison terms were too long. He told the lawyers "our resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long."

He branded the guidelines as "not wise, not just."

An even more dramatic protest against the guidelines came from U.S. District Judge John S. Martin. He quit the bench in Manhattan in June and charged that Congress was attempting "to intimidate judges."

U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley of Clarksburg, W.Va., who heads the ABA's National Conference of Federal Judges, supports the critics of the guidelines.

She said the jurists would continue to "evaluate each sentence on a case-by-case basis." A study of the facts will show there is no evidence that judges have been bending the sentencing rules, she said.

Obviously Ashcroft's sense of justice is not the kind that is touched by the quality of mercy.

[Note: Target: 'Narco-Terror' == is now a Broken Link. Original link was:] has obtained a draft of the Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003, or VICTORY Act, which could be introduced to Congress this fall, and which appears to have been prepared by the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ashcroft, as the dark lord, says, Uh, yah ... I still need more emergency powers. Our Republic remains endangered.
Ashcroft says, Uh, yah ... I still need more emergency powers.
Our Republic remains endangered.

Provisions in the draft would:

Raise the threshold for rejecting illegal wiretaps. The draft reads: "A court may not grant a motion to suppress the contents of a wire or oral communication, or evidence derived therefrom, unless the court finds that the violation of this chapter involved bad faith by law enforcement."

Melba says, Edith, I hear the Government can tap our phones whenever they damn well want to!!! ~ Ashcroft who is illegally listening to the conversation says, That's not true, Edith-It's only to catch terrorists! ~ Edith questions by asking, Melba is a terrorist?
Melba says, Edith, I hear the Government can tap our phones
whenever they damn well want to!!
Ashcroft; illegally listening to
their conversation says, That's not true, Edith - It's only to catch
Edith questions Ashcroft, asking, Melba is a terrorist ?

Extend subpoena powers by giving giving law enforcement the authority to issue non-judicial subpoenas which require a person suspected of involvement in money laundering to turn over financial records and appear in a prosecutor's office to answer questions.

Ashcroft, while devouring United States Citizens' CIVIL LIBERTIES, demands MORE.
Ashcroft; devouring U.S. CIVIL LIBERTIES, demands MORE.

Extend the power of the attorney general to issue so-called administrative "sneak-and-peak" subpoenas to drug cases. These subpoenas allow law enforcement to gather evidence from wire communication, financial records or other sources before the subject of the search is notified.

Mr. Ashcroft wants people who go into American homes to snoop while they're there. ~ USPS, FEDEX, UNITED PARCEL, ACME EXTERMINATORS, & ED'S PLUMBING are depicted ~ At the door a woman says, I'm sorry Alice, I'll come back later I didn't know you had snoops.
Mr. Ashcroft wants people who go into American homes to snoop while they're
depicted. At the door a woman says to her, home owner, friend, I'm sorry
Alice, I'll come back later I didn't know you had snoops.

Allow law enforcement to seek a court order to require the "provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service" or a financial institution to delay notifying a customer that their records had been subpoenaed.

Ashcroft says, IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED.... and is about to blow-up American CIVIL LIBERTIES
Ashcroft says, IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED.... and tosses a bomb
"PATRIOT ACT II" ...trying to blow-up USA American CIVIL LIBERTIES

"This bill would treat drug possession as a 'terrorist offense' and drug dealers as 'narco-terrorist kingpins,' " the aide argued. "To say that terrorist groups use a small percentage of the drug trafficking in the United States to finance terrorism may be a fair point, but this bill would allow the government to prosecute most drug cases as terrorism cases."

John Ashcroft's War on Terrorists ~ A large eye is watching a couple in bed, who are trying to sleep.
John Ashcroft's War on Terrorists
A large eye watches a couple in bed, who are trying to sleep.

Concluded the aide: "It really seems to be more about a political agenda to jail drug users than a serious attempt to stop terrorists."

WAR ON TERROR thugs destroy a home, hold a gun on a dog, and look at women's underwear during a raid.
	Not finding anything terror related, one thug says, So...As long as we're here... Does your evil kid smoke dope?
Neighbor peers, from across hall through open door at unfolding of TIPS raid.
Republican/Democrat Politicians, wearing jackboots & 'WOT'
jackets smash into couple's apartment & destroy the door. A WOT guy aims his
gun at the family dog, holding paws in air; while another WOT politician gawks
at a brassiere he pulled from a dresser. Not finding anything, big GOT guy says:
** "So...As long as we're here... Does your evil kid smoke dope ?" **

a cartoon of what a terrorist looks like and it appears to be our own government
Terror Alert ** Have You Seen This Man [John Ashcroft] * Targets
May Include: * Your privacy rights. * Your right to know what your
government's up to. ** Your Protections Under The Justice System

GOP Republican John Ashcroft's Little Secret

[Supported By An Overly Old DNC 'Do Nutin' Club'?]

[Broken Link - copy below]

cartoon ashcroft breaking the liberty bell
Ashcroft cuts the bell ringer off a Liberty Bell with CIVIL
written on it, while shushing Americans.

Quite simply, Ashcroft's campaign and leadership PAC broke the law by giving and receiving a contribution that exceeded the federal contribution limit by at least 10 times and possibly by more than 200 times, and by failing to disclose the contribution in the first place.

[ARTICLE COPY]: Alliance for Democracy v. FEC

Is Our Chief Law Enforcement Officer
A Criminal?

by Lisa Danetz, August 28, 2003

As the top law enforcement officer of the federal government, the Attorney General of the United States has a moral duty to act with honesty and integrity, and to guard his reputation as a law-abiding citizen. This means the Attorney General must -- at the very minimum -- make sure the political committees connected to him follow the nation's campaign finance rules. Respect for the law demands no less.

So why is John Ashcroft stonewalling about charges that his 2000 Senate campaign broke the federal campaign finance law?

A coalition of voters and campaign finance reform groups filed a complaint in March 2001 with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), alleging that Ashcroft's leadership PAC, "Spirit of America," illegally contributed a fundraising list of 100,000 donors to his 2000 Senate campaign in Missouri. Neither the PAC nor the campaign committee reported the contribution.

Spirit of America developed the list of donors between 1997 and 1999 at a cost of more than $2 million, according to a press report. Upon receiving the list at no charge, the Ashcroft campaign allegedly rented the list out and made over $100,000.

If this is true, Ashcroft's PAC and campaign are in hot water on a number of counts. PACs are prohibited from contributing more than $10,000 to federal candidates in an election cycle, and campaigns are likewise prohibited from receiving such contributions. That limit includes the non-monetary donations, like the fundraising list. Further, all PAC contributions must be reported by both the contributing PAC itself and the recipient campaign committee.

Quite simply, Ashcroft's campaign and leadership PAC broke the law by giving and receiving a contribution that exceeded the federal contribution limit by at least 10 times and possibly by more than 200 times, and by failing to disclose the contribution in the first place.

Two and a half years later, the FEC has not resolved the matter, and its file remains secret -- but Ashcroft could ask to open the file to the public. Almost a year ago, a Washington federal judge ruled that plaintiffs could seek consent from Ashcroft's campaign and his leadership PAC to unseal the FEC file. If they agreed, the FEC could release the file.

The plaintiffs wrote letters asking for written consent to allow the documents in the FEC file to be released. They were ignored. Mr. Ashcroft's office also ignored numerous inquiries from the media. In response to a follow-up phone call two months after the letters were sent, Mr. Ashcroft's office confirmed he had received the letter, but again refused to respond.

A month ago, the same federal judge ordered the FEC to explain its delay in handling the matter. The judge's order sets the stage for the case to finally move forward.

Even when the issue is resolved, though, the vast majority of the FEC's file will remain secret unless the Ashcroft groups provide written consent for disclosure. Recognizing this harm, a coalition of campaign reform groups has once more called on the Attorney General to authorize the release of the FEC file. But -- no surprise here -- they, too, were ignored.

If Ashcroft is truly loyal to the rule of law, he will direct his campaign committee and Spirit of America to allow the FEC file to see daylight. Unless, of course, he has something to hide.

© 2003 Lisa Danetz

Lisa Danetz is a staff attorney at the National Voting Rights Institute and the lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Alliance for Democracy v. FEC, a case challenging the Federal Election Commission's failure to act on campaign finance violations committed by political committees controlled by Attorney General Ashcroft.

Is John Ashcroft in Jail?
None of the Above should be a valid choice on voter ballots!

Boptime ~ Saturday Mornings ~ w/Even Steven Leech

Even Steven's Boptime

BOPTIME: Saturday, 6 AM Eastern, 3 AM Pacific time
Go To:
Click on a listening link below the WVUD logo:
WVUD 91.3

Boptime available locally in DE on WVUD-FM 91.3, Shoutcast [Search: WVUD], and TuneIn

Feetlines ~ Is There A CURE Yet? ~ 202209.06: How about antibody SP1-77 ?

Is There A CURE Yet ...asking for a friend? Large Image
Is There A CURE Yet ...asking for a friend?

Scientists Discovered an Antibody
That Can Take Out All COVID-19 Variants

And they hope to create a new vaccine with it.

by Korin Miller, @ Prevention, September 6, 2022

COVID-19 vaccines have been effective at keeping people from getting severely ill and dying from the virus, but they’ve required different boosters to try to keep on top of all of the coronavirus variants that have popped up. Now, researchers have discovered an antibody that neutralizes all known COVID-19 variants.

The antibody, called SP1-77, is the result of a collaborative effort from researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke University. Results from mouse studies they’ve conducted were recently published in the journal Science Immunology, and they look promising.

But what does it mean, exactly, to have an antibody that can neutralize all variants of COVID-19, and what kind of impact will this have on vaccines in the future? Here’s what you need to know.

What is SP1-77?

SP1-77 is an antibody developed by researchers that so far can neutralize all forms of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was created after researchers modified a mouse model that was originally made to search for broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV, which also mutates. [continue reading @ Prevention]


Heads up folks:
Bacteria from respiratory droplets spread by one sneeze,
singing one minute, talking one minute, & two coughs

Mask ~ No Mask: Bacteria from respiatory droplets spread by one sneeze, singing or talking for one minute, and two coughs via Dr. Richard Davis, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
via Dr. Richard Davis
, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center

Dahbud Mensch ~ Stuck in the middle with who? ~ Re-thinking 9/11

Twenty Years Ago: September 4, 2002

If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late.
Joseph Biden

Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons,
biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons

is a day of danger for the United States. -- Joseph Lieberman

20 years ago Nobody read the Patriot Act &
today we celebrate this political blunder by
Operation TIPS!
Operation TIPS

A Cartoon by (Jeff) DANZIGER: ~ Wikipedia
Mr Ashcroft wants people who go into American homes to snoop while they're there. (USPS,
A woman at door says, I'm sorry Alice, I'll come back later I didn't know you had snoops.

In July 2002, [GOP Republican John] Ashcroft proposed the creation of Operation TIPS, a domestic program in which workers and government employees would inform law enforcement agencies about suspicious behavior they encounter while performing their duties. The program was widely criticized from the beginning, with critics deriding the program as essentially a Domestic Informant Network along the lines of the East German Stasi or the Soviet KGB, and an encroachment upon the First and Fourth amendments. The United States Postal Service refused to be a party to it. Ashcroft defended the program as a necessary component of the ongoing War on Terrorism, but the proposal was eventually abandoned. [continue reading/viewing Patriot Act]

Re-thinking 9/11
It is a fact nothing hit WTC7!

Nobody cares WTC-7 was not hit by anything?
On September 11 ask yourself when history repeats do we notice?

A video tape, released December 14, 2001, shows Osama bin Laden
confessing 9/11 attacks; however, possible audio/video manipulation
caused authenticity problems which angered Repubpotus, who said:

"It is preposterous to think this tape was doctored."
Picture of 5 Osama's with one that does not look like the others
Ok, let's have a look. Here's 5 Osama's, which is the odd one out?
Manipulation Accomplished
Manipulation Accomplished

Dahbud Mensch ~ Did GOP Republican Lindsey Graham issue a second Insurrectionist/Terrorist Call to Arms for former president?

Did Lindsey Graham issue a second Insurrectionist/Terrorist Call to Arms for the former President?

Glenn Kirschner From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lindsey Graham Warns Of 'Riots In Streets' If Trump Is Charged Over Classified Docs

“Most Republicans, including me, believe when it comes to Trump, there is no law," Graham said on Fox News. "It's all about getting him."

by Mary Papenfuss, Aug 29, 2022, 04:57 AM EDT ~ Updated Aug 29, 2022

Lawrence O'Donnell Says Lindsey Graham's Riot Threat Puts Him In This Bad Place

The MSNBC host blasted the Republican senator for warning of riots if Trump is indicted over classified documents.

by Ron Dicker Aug 30, 2022, 10:00 AM EDT

Feetlines ~ Reject the Evidence of Your Eyes & Ears

Tainted News:
Tomi Lahren should fight addiction and not have to step on "used heroin needles" to get high?

Saluting the Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandumbic The Daily Show w/Trevor Noah via Joey deVilla
March 23, 2022 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stats & Numbers showed:
One Million (U.S.A.) HUMANS DEAD
Nobody knows on September 14, 2022, there have been
provisional COVID-19 deaths in the United States, begging the question:
Was Tainted News Accessory to Murder?

The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State. Joseph Goebbels

I want to thank all the BIG people who helped make this happen; the secretive governments,
the blame-shifting politicians, the 'leaders' who only cared how I might affect THEM...
Cartoon by Steve Sack @ Star Tribune

Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Declaration of Independence

Positively 4th Street, Bob Dylan, HQ via Franciescoli Polanni

Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They own you! They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. ~ George Carlin

Liberty Splits

5FDP vs. Billy Idol ~ Rebel Yell Over It, DJ Schmolli via SrvTech

ASIFA-SF, Karl Cohen ~ Association International du Film d'Animation, SF Newsletter

ASIFA-SF Newsletter

ASIFA-SF August 2022 Newsletter [PDF]

Boptime ~ Saturday Mornings ~ w/Even Steven Leech

Even Steven's Boptime

On Boptime we begin at 6am (EDT) on Saturday with oldies back to back to back. The Heart & Soul of Delaware Rock n' Roll returns at 7am (EDT) with a newly formatted hour program. In the first segment we head back to the mid 1950s and explore Delaware’s country and rockabilly roots leading up to the first rock n’ roll record by a Delawarean. Recordings from Harrington’s Blue Hen and Delray labels will be heard as well as from other labels. The new Heart & Soul of Delaware Rock n' Roll will contain some new material and over nine episodes will extend into the 1990s. At 8am (EDT) we head back to school with all those other students and Michael Ace on Rockabilly Ridge. We bop back to this day in 1963 on Beatlemania!!! It was only about six months before the Beatles brought the British Invasion to our shores and we’ll hear some hits from England as well as a slew of hit tunes from this time in 1963 on the home front, including one from Wilmington. ~ Steve

BOPTIME: Saturday, 6 AM Eastern, 3 AM Pacific time
Go To:
Click on a listening link below the WVUD logo:
WVUD 91.3

Boptime available locally in DE on WVUD-FM 91.3, Shoutcast [Search: WVUD], and TuneIn

Feetlines ~ '(sic) Policital Truth' is an interesting concept?

Humans Our next fossil fuel?
BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the
August 6 [2001] PDB warned against possible attacks in this country?
And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was,
"Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" [using planes].

When You Gonna Wake Up?


God don’t make no promises that He don’t keep _ You got some big dreams, baby, but in order to dream you gotta still be asleep

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts _ Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger’s got you tied up in knots

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

You got innocent men in jail, your insane asylums are filled _ You got unrighteous doctors dealing drugs that’ll never cure your ills

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

You got men who can’t hold their peace and women who can’t control their tongues _ The rich seduce the poor and the old are seduced by the young

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Adulterers in churches and pornography in the schools _ You got gangsters in power and lawbreakers making rules

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Spiritual advisors and gurus to guide your every move _ Instant inner peace and every step you take has got to be approved

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Do you ever wonder just what God requires? _ You think He’s just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

You can’t take it with you and you know that it’s too worthless to be sold _ They tell you, “Time is money,” as if your life was worth its weight in gold

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

There’s a Man up on a cross and He’s been crucified _ Do you have any idea why or for who He died?

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up _ When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider Music

Isn't Democracy Wonderful? ~ Martin Rowson
Martin Rowson cartoon showing Condi 		saying, "as I was saying Isn't Democracy Wonderful with Iraq and Iran in the background
Blood for Oil

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney - August 26, 2002

Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT - September 4, 2002

If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late.
Sen. Joseph Biden D-Del. - September 4, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
George W. Bush - September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
Ari Fleischer - December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
Ari Fleischer - January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
George W. Bush - January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
Colin Powell - February 5, 2003

Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY - February 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
George Bush - February 8, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
Colin Powell - March 8, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
George Bush - March 18, 2003

We are asked to accept Saddam decided to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd.
Tony Blair, Prime Minister - March 18, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
Ari Fleisher - March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
Gen. Tommy Franks - March 22, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark - March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board - March 23, 2003

We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
Donald Rumsfeld - March 30, 2003

Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction
Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary - April 2, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.
Neocon scholar Robert Kagan - April 9, 2003

I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.
Ari Fleischer - April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
George Bush - April 24, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld - April 25, 2003

Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a bit.
Tony Blair - April 28, 2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
George Bush - May 3, 2003

I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.
Colin Powell - May 4, 2003

I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld - May 4, 2003

I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.
George W. Bush - May 6, 2003

U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.
Condoleeza Rice - May 12, 2003

I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.
Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne - May 13, 2003

Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.
Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps - May 21, 2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.
Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff - May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.
Donald Rumsfeld - May 27, 2003

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on. ~ Paul Wolfowitz - May 28, 2003 ~ <Permmalink Source> [Note, Presented January 26, 1998, used as justification for invading Iraq ... insinuating Iraq 9/11 association, when everybody knows this was over oil and who controls it ?) ++ Related: Babies in Incubators, ... WMD, ... I am not a crook, etc.?"]

Terrorist & Insurrectionist
share a similar definition?

terrorist, noun & adjective [attributive]: person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

insurrectionist, noun & adjective [attributive]: person who commits violent uprising and armed insurrection against an authority or government.

Brownshirt, noun & adjective [attributive]: a member of an early Nazi militia, who wore a brown uniform, and founded by Hitler in Munich in 1921. They aided Hitler's rise to power, but were dissolved & murdered by the SS after the “night of the long knives” in June 1934. Also called storm troops or Sturmabteilung.

If you are an insurrectionist,
you are a terrorist?

"If you harbor terrorists insurrectionists, you are terrorists. If you train or arm a terrorist an insurrectionist, you are a terrorist. If you feed a terrorist an insurrectionist or fund a terrorist an insurrectionist, you're a terrorist, and you will be held accountable by the United States and our friends." ~ GOP, Republican: George W. Bush, WMD Liar ~ NY Times 11/22/2001

Addendum 202208.25

Some folks believe there is a chancellor of megalomania walking among us?

Megalomania is an obsession with power and wealth, and a passion for grand schemes; it then defines Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as a mental disorder characterized by a life-long pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, a diminished ability to empathize with others' feelings, and (often) psychologically abusive behavior.

Night of the Long Knives, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Röhm purge, also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri), was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power and alleviate the concerns of the German military about the role of Ernst Röhm and the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazis' paramilitary organization, known colloquially as "Brownshirts". Nazi propaganda presented the murders as a preventive measure against an alleged imminent coup by the SA under Röhm – the so-called Röhm Putsch.

Purge, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In history, religion and political science, a purge is a position removal or execution of people who are considered undesirable by those in power from a government, another organization, their team leaders, or society as a whole. A group undertaking such an effort is labeled as purging itself. Purges can be either nonviolent or violent, with the former often resolved by the simple removal of those who have been purged from office, and the latter often resolved by the imprisonment, exile, or murder of those who have been purged.

What goes around comes around, From Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Proverb: The status eventually returns to its original value after completing some sort of cycle.

(Aka): Fuck around and find out (FAFO)

To engage in a risky course of action, and then experience the consequences of so doing.

??? Suggesting insurrectionists from January 6th were actually sold out by their, ...ummm, 'chancellor', who might look at them later (2024) with thoughts of "Night of the Long Knives" ??? [P.S. = Time Lines are seldom exact.]

Corruption is Legal in America via Doku Mentor ++ Inexpensive solution for political corruption:
Nobody for President 2020 = NONE OF THE ABOVE on Voter Ballots
Eliminate voting for lesser of evils,
None of the Above should be a valid choice on voter ballots?
Tom Morello ~ Nobody for President
Nobody for President
~~ Tom Morello ~~

Madison Square Garden, NYC, 200910.29&30 via Ø.M
Make Orwell Fiction Again
Make Orwell fiction again?
Nobody has all the answers!

Notes from ~@~

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech aren't really important unless they're heard...It's hard for me to stay silent when I keep hearing that peace is only attainable through war. And there's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicated this Emmy to all the people who feel compelled to speak out and not afraid to speak to power and won't shut up and refuse to be silenced.~ Tom Smothers

Carlin Step, DJ Steve Porter & Eli Wilkie via Roland Kardeby

The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering) via R Smittenaar

Beautiful Child

One Day, Matisyahu

Unsung Hero via Rattakarn Srithavatchai "Garn"

The Sacred Clowns ~ Heyókȟa

The Heyókȟa symbolize and portray many aspects of the sacred, the Wakȟáŋ. Their satire presents important questions by fooling around. They ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say. By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about, or to look at things in a different way.

Principally, the Heyókȟa functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, thereby forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyókȟas also have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame--they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.

In addition, sacred clowns serve an important role in shaping tribal codes. Heyókȟa's don't seem to care about taboos, rules, regulations, social norms, or boundaries. Paradoxically, however, it is by violating these norms and taboos that they help to define the accepted boundaries, rules, and societal guidelines for ethical and moral behavior. This is because they are the only ones who can ask "Why?" about sensitive topics and employ satire to question the specialists and carriers of sacred knowledge or those in positions of power and authority. In doing so, they demonstrate concretely the theories of balance and imbalance. Their role is to penetrate deception, turn over rocks, and create a deeper awareness.

Develop Your Mind, Not Sacred Sites
Develop Your Mind, Not Sacred Sites

Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten. ~ Cree Prophecy

Nobody for President ~ NONE of the ABOVE should be a choice on voter ballots!

Nobody for President 2020 = NONE OF THE ABOVE on Voter Ballots
Curtis Spangler & Wavy Gravy, Nobody for President San Francisco Rally, October 12, 1976 - Photograph: James Stark
Curtis Spangler & Wavy Gravy, Nobody for President, 197610.12 ~ Photo: James Stark

Nobody bakes apple pie better than Mom, is eternal, perfect, has all the answers, ended war, will love you forever, brought peace to our time, fixed global warming, fed the hungry & destitute, knows, cares, shives a git about you, loves you when you're down & out, and if elected will not lie to, or steal from, 'the people'; ...begging a question, What's NOTA's entry fee ...more lies that lead to mass murder or human sacrifice, when Nobody says why not try love again?

American Dream, George Carlin via Ishtar [Not Work Safe] NOBODY should have that much power!

Message via Mike Pinder

Oh, I hope that I see you again I never even caught your name As you looked through my window pane ~ So I'm writing this message today I'm thinking that you'll have a way Of hearing the notes in my tune ~ Where are you going? Where have you been? I can imagine other worlds you have seen ~ Beautiful faces and music so serene ~ So I do hope I see you again My universal citizen You went as quickly as you came ~ You know the power Your love is right You have good reason To stay out of sight ~~ But break our illusions and help us Be the light ~ by Mike Pinder

Why I Think This World Should End, Prince EA via Prince EA
Without love in the dream, it will never come true. ~ Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter
And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. ~ John Lennon
Artist, John Flores

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear. So the man yelled "God, speak to me" and the thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you" and a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice. And the man shouted, "God show me a miracle" and a life was born. But the man did not know. So the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are there" Whereupon God reached down and touched the man, But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Somebody is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you
Don't miss out on a blessing because
it isn't packaged the way you expect!

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