Yes, Mark, This one’s for you. J Please don’t take it personally, as I am only poking fun. And after all, you DID call me a socialist. More than once. Kind of like being called a dyke, I don’t really take it as an insult…it just doesn’t really fit. And if it is clearly meant as a jab (even a good natured one, which I take yours as) I feel almost obligated to jab back. Plus, I enjoy our little chats too much to let it sit.
As you may have guessed, I threw out the previous Quote of the Day to give you a chance to get your rhetoric on a little bit…but then I remembered that you had never heard of Grover Norquist…so I went to find an article about him so I could make it easy to find out about him.
Then, I read the article.
Up until then, the only link I had between Anti-Tax activists and terrorism was that one creepy neighbor back in the Northern Minnesota countryside with the two VERY quiet little girls and the wife we nicknamed “Mrs. Frankenstein” because of her salt-and-pepper bouffant and ugly temper.
Nobody did anything when she got on the school bus and threatened the bus driver’s life because she felt her children were not being treated properly.
Then, one day, the FBI showed up and hauled lots and lots and lots of military weaponry from his property. The good stuff, too. Let’s just say, that the kind of deer you would need this sort of arsenal for would spit running chainsaws for their opening act. He was an anti-government tax evader. And he was SERIOUS.
As the years went by, I began to think of anti-government tax protestors as being more like Kent Hovind (AKA Dr.Dino). You know, sort of a crazy old crank with a cheap rip-off tourist trap creation museum and an argument that, because he is a servant of God, he doesn’t have to pay any taxes. You can read his prison blog here.
And, of course, there’s Grover Norquist. Other than his attempts to use his national organization to affect local politician’s decisions regarding taxes(which have nothing to do with HIM), and his super-chummy associations with the power-elite of the Republican party, you wouldn’t think there was that much amiss about him. But then I came across this little gem in the article linked to for Mark’s edification about a major leader in a cause he feels so strongly about:
During the second half of the 1980s, Norquist detoured from his tax work to engage in a series of safaris to far-off battlegrounds in support of anti-Soviet guerrilla armies, visiting war zones from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to southern Africa. Working alongside Col. Oliver North's freelance support network for the Nicaraguan contras and other Reagan Doctrine-allied insurgencies, Norquist promoted US support for groups like Mozambique's RENAMO and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA in Angola, both of which were backed by South Africa's apartheid regime (Norquist represented UNITA as a registered lobbyist in the early 1990s).
“In support of anti-Soviet guerrilla armies” What guerilla armies were operating along the Afghan-Pakistan border? Wasn’t it *gasp* the Taliban? Grover Norquist supported terrorism? Say it isn’t so!
Information on RENAMO (those of you with an aversion to Wikipedia, don’t worry, just follow the links to their citations.)
Information on UNITA (repeat of Wikipedia disclaimer above)
I especially liked this little line here:
As Savimbi gained ground despite the forces aligned against him, American conservatives pointed to his success, and that of Afghan mujahideen, both of which, with U.S. support, were successfully opposing Soviet-sponsored governments, as evidence that the U.S. was beginning to gain an upper hand in the Cold War conflict. Critics responded that the support given Savimbi and mujahideen, which came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine, was inflaming regional conflicts at great expense to these nations and even risking the potential of nuclear war between the superpowers. (The bolding is mine, for emphasis.)
So, in Grover Norquist’s mind, it appears that spending tax dollars arming and training
terrorists warlords freedom fighters that we will have to go back and spend even more money defeating two decades later is a GOOD use for American tax dollars, while spending it ensuring a decent education and welfare for trailer park kids in some rural backwater so that we won’t have to spend a lot more imprisoning them two decades later is a BAD use of tax dollars.
By the way, what is one of the best places for American “
patriot” skinhead neo-nazi terrorist organizations to recruit new members? Prison.
Don’t even get me started on the discovery that Norquist’s organization Americans for Tax Reform allegedly served as a conduit for some of Abramoff’s dirty money to
astroturf grassroots lobbying efforts.