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The "Eco-Terrorist" Propaganda Machine

by Know Chomsky Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2001 at 11:29 PM

The "Eco-Terrorist" propaganda machine: reflections on [in]accuracy, bias, and propaganda in corporate media.

errorThe label "terrorist" today is a joke. It's applied without discussion or dialog to any individual or group that speaks out on the ills of the status quo. It's an effective way to marginalize people and causes, quite like calling someone a "racist". You can't defend yourself against being called a racist (or terrorist), and the accuser doesn't have to "prove" the allegation. Peaceful protesters in Seattle and elsewhere are now regularly slapped with the label "terrorist."

When I hear the word Ecoterrorism, I think of the thousands of corporations that have dumped toxic waste, spewed smoke into the air, poisoned our water, and so on. These aren't "accidents", they are calculated costs of day to day operations that corporations use to profit by externalizing costs of pollution. The real victims of these ecoterrorists are the people who suffer from a polluted environment, who die from health problems and cancer.

From a news article in today's Chicago Tribune:

"The Fox, a schoolteacher who took the name of the river valley he wanted to save, got his start in Chicago's far western suburbs in 1969. He plugged sewer outlets of factories that fouled the water, crawled up belching smokestacks to cap their fumes, and once dumped a small coffin of dead fish and slime onto the white carpet of U.S. Steel's executive offices. His specialty: squirting skunk scent into buildings owned by polluters. To some environmental activists across the U.S., The Fox was the first ecoterrorist--or rather, the first ecosaboteur. In furtive conversations with reporters, the affable, ordinary-looking provocateur took pride in the clever tactics that made him something of an environmental Robin Hood: He was feared by the bad and loved, or at least cheered on, by the good. His goal was to embarrass and befuddle polluters, not destroy them. To his delight, he's never been caught, or even identified."

Note the terminology used in more honest times. "The Fox" was labeled a "saboteur", not a "terrorist". The burning of a few houses (regardless of any merit as a tactic) would have been more accurately called "arson" or "vandalism". It's quite a leap from there to terrorist status. Applied equally, the U.S. has achieved terrorist status abroad (hundreds of unilateral, international acts of war, not sanctioned by the U.N.), and at home (e.g. Waco, where a structure was burned down with people inside it, those trying to leave were shot; peaceful protesters in Seattle who were shot and teargassed with carcinogenic chemicals by police; Cuban-Americans in Florida terrorized by federal police.)

Terrorism is also not applied equally to corporations like Shell and Chevron, who back undemocractic, military regimes in Africa and elsewhere, and have citizens shot or executed for speaking out against pollution. Or to U.S. corporations such as Unocal in richmond, CA, which is responsible for thousands of cases of cancer and other health problems from it's yearly "accidents," which release thousands of pollutants, toxics, and carcinogens onto the air (in part due to "safety" mechanisms which violate the law).

Now, the word ecoterrorist is hyped to divide and marginalize the environmental movement, through infighting and association. Discussion is steered away from the real ecoterrorist acts of corporations, and focused on a few tiny cases of arson here and there; cases which have only caused property damage, and not human injury. Don't miss the message here: property is more important than people.

This sort of "terrorism" is an American tradition, ever since the Boston Tea Party was thrown to make a point about economic injustice (which is what pollution and unfair labor practices is all about).

Stick the ecoterrorist label where it belongs: on companies like Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Union Carbide, Bechtel, DuPont, McDonalds, Mitsubishi, etc. etc. etc.

"Ecoterrorist" - label brought to you by corporate-sponsored government propaganda.
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Protests too much

by Paul Daly Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 at 12:24 AM
pauldaly@altavista.com

C'mon. Admit it. Being labeled an Eco-Terrorist by the Man is a Badge of Honor among you folks, those folks, whichever.

I've seen the videos of you guys in your Camo and ski masks. . . You LOVE the comparisons to the Weathermen Underground. ("Daddy had his war, now I have mine.")

Oh, and by the way, I'm already growing real tired of the "the REAL eco-terrorists are the people who club baby seals so they can build another factory" rap. Yawn.

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PREPOSTEROUS PROPOSINGS OF OUR SYTEMS

by LINDA R. SAFLEY Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 at 2:16 PM
lindasafely@hotmail.com 410-235-7110 1936 E. 30th ST.

WELL, IN THE ARTICLE IT STATES, ABOUT CORPORATIONS, RULING ON WHATEVER OR WHEREEVER THEY LIKE, WITHOUT DUE CONSEQEUNCES, AND WE RARELY SEE JUSTICE, OF AN ECCO SOURCE, WHERE OUR CANCER RATE IS DIMINISHING, AND OUR YOUNG ARE BEING BORN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS, BRAIN TUMORS, AND OTHER HORRIBLE THINGS, THAT I CAN NOT EVEN IMAGINE. AND YET, OUR SAVY GOVORNMENT, IS FOR GETTING TRADE SECRETS, MONIES, AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT FOR SHUTTING UP ABOUT WHAT ARE THE STATISTICS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORTS, LET'S JUST SWALLOW EVERYTHING UP. THERE HAS BEEN MIS-MANAGED FEDERAL AGENCIES UNDER THE DEMOCCRATS, AND WE KNOW OIL, IS POLLUTING OUR AIR, OIL SPILLS, UNPRECENDENTED TO THE POINT, WHERE OUR WILDLIFE HASN'T EVEN A FIGHTING CHANCE, AND THE ANIMALS HAVE THEIR RIGHTS TOO, ON THIS PLANET. SO THEREFORE, WHEN ECO-TERRORISM, IS PPUT OUT THERE, FOR WHATEVER REASONS, IT MAKES US WONDER OF WHAT KIND OF A SOCIETY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE COPING WITH HERE. FREE ECO-REPORTS, BECOME FEWER, DO YOU HEAR OF ANYTHING IN OUR NIGHTLY NEWS, WELL THAN, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SPECULATE, MAY ATTENTION! CLEAN WATER MUST BE NOW! NO NUCLEAR MIS-HAPS, THE SOIL NEEDS TO BE PURE, NO GENITICALLY ALTERED FOOD, TO BE GOVEN TO OUR YOUNG! AND LET'S HAVE CLEAN FRESH AIR, IF WE ARE GOING TO BREATHE THE AIR, WE MUST PROTECT OUR AIR, FOR US TO BE HEALTHY AND NOT GETTING CANCER FROM THE AIR, SUCH AS THE EPA. COVERED UP, AT THE MAYOR'S MEETING. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE OUT THERE, GOOD LUCK IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
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PREPOSTEROUS PROPOSINGS OF OUR SYTEMS

by LINDA R. SAFLEY Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 at 2:20 PM
lindasafely@hotmail.com 410-235-7110 1936 E. 30th ST.

WELL, IN THE ARTICLE IT STATES, ABOUT CORPORATIONS, RULING ON WHATEVER OR WHEREEVER THEY LIKE, WITHOUT DUE CONSEQEUNCES, AND WE RARELY SEE JUSTICE, OF AN ECCO SOURCE, WHERE OUR CANCER RATE IS DIMINISHING, AND OUR YOUNG ARE BEING BORN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS, BRAIN TUMORS, AND OTHER HORRIBLE THINGS, THAT I CAN NOT EVEN IMAGINE. AND YET, OUR SAVY GOVORNMENT, IS FOR GETTING TRADE SECRETS, MONIES, AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT FOR SHUTTING UP ABOUT WHAT ARE THE STATISTICS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORTS, LET'S JUST SWALLOW EVERYTHING UP. THERE HAS BEEN MIS-MANAGED FEDERAL AGENCIES UNDER THE DEMOCRATS, AND WE KNOW OIL, IS POLLUTING OUR AIR, OIL SPILLS, UNPRECENDENTED TO THE POINT, WHERE OUR WILDLIFE HASN'T EVEN A FIGHTING CHANCE, AND THE ANIMALS HAVE THEIR RIGHTS TOO, ON THIS PLANET. SO THEREFORE, WHEN ECO-TERRORISM, IS PUT OUT THERE, FOR WHATEVER REASONS, IT MAKES US WONDER OF WHAT KIND OF A SOCIETY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE COPING WITH HERE. FREE ECO-REPORTS, BECOME FEWER, DO YOU HEAR OF ANYTHING IN OUR NIGHTLY NEWS, WELL THAN, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SPECULATE, PAY ATTENTION! CLEAN WATER MUST BE NOW! NO NUCLEAR MIS-HAPS, THE SOIL NEEDS TO BE PURE, NO GENITICALLY ALTERED FOOD, TO BE GOVEN TO OUR YOUNG! AND LET'S HAVE CLEAN FRESH AIR, IF WE ARE GOING TO BREATHE THE AIR, WE MUST PROTECT OUR AIR, FOR US TO BE HEALTHY AND NOT GETTING CANCER FROM THE AIR, SUCH AS THE EPA. COVERED UP, AT THE MAYOR'S MEETING. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE OUT THERE, GOOD LUCK IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
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PREPOSTEROUS PROPOSINGS OF OUR SYTEMS

by LINDA R. SAFLEY Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 at 2:21 PM
lindasafely@hotmail.com 410-235-7110 1936 E. 30th ST.

WELL, IN THE ARTICLE IT STATES, ABOUT CORPORATIONS, RULING ON WHATEVER OR WHEREEVER THEY LIKE, WITHOUT DUE CONSEQEUNCES, AND WE RARELY SEE JUSTICE, OF AN ECO-SOURCE, WHERE OUR CANCER RATE IS DIMINISHING, AND OUR YOUNG ARE BEING BORN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS, BRAIN TUMORS, AND OTHER HORRIBLE THINGS, THAT I CAN NOT EVEN IMAGINE. AND YET, OUR SAVY GOVORNMENT, IS FOR GETTING TRADE SECRETS, MONIES, AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT FOR SHUTTING UP ABOUT WHAT ARE THE STATISTICS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORTS, LET'S JUST SWALLOW EVERYTHING UP. THERE HAS BEEN MIS-MANAGED FEDERAL AGENCIES UNDER THE DEMOCRATS, AND WE KNOW OIL, IS POLLUTING OUR AIR, OIL SPILLS, UNPRECENDENTED TO THE POINT, WHERE OUR WILDLIFE HASN'T EVEN A FIGHTING CHANCE, AND THE ANIMALS HAVE THEIR RIGHTS TOO, ON THIS PLANET. SO THEREFORE, WHEN ECO-TERRORISM, IS PUT OUT THERE, FOR WHATEVER REASONS, IT MAKES US WONDER OF WHAT KIND OF A SOCIETY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE COPING WITH HERE. FREE ECO-REPORTS, BECOME FEWER, DO YOU HEAR OF ANYTHING IN OUR NIGHTLY NEWS, WELL THAN, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SPECULATE, PAY ATTENTION! CLEAN WATER MUST BE NOW! NO NUCLEAR MIS-HAPS, THE SOIL NEEDS TO BE PURE, NO GENITICALLY ALTERED FOOD, TO BE GOVEN TO OUR YOUNG! AND LET'S HAVE CLEAN FRESH AIR, IF WE ARE GOING TO BREATHE THE AIR, WE MUST PROTECT OUR AIR, FOR US TO BE HEALTHY AND NOT GETTING CANCER FROM THE AIR, SUCH AS THE EPA. COVERED UP, AT THE MAYOR'S MEETING. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE OUT THERE, GOOD LUCK IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
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Protests Too Little and Watches TV too much

by BrownOneYQue Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 at 7:56 PM
brownoneyque@memphis.edu

Aside from the almost indicipherable rant above, which has good intentions but could
have used a little moderation, the point is that Mr. Paul Daly is representative
of other boo-boo heads who refuse to see the complicity of the mass media in
misrepresenting the interests and actions of ecology activists. The hypocrisy of
corporations and the mass media is absurd, but then, since the sixties counter-cultural
movement they have developed the skill of playing the role of the victimized (the
"eco-terrorists" hurt "us") when they are the victimizers ("they" are the real ones
fucking up the ecology almost to the point of no repair). The mass-media is so
conglomerated now that most news outlets are in some way connected to the interests of
the corporations that commit the crimes to begin with--so their complicity is obvious,
and quite frustrating for those of us who have learned not to believe anything they say.
It is irrevelevant whether young zealous activits "wear the badge of honor" of "eco-terrorist"
or not. The point is that their agenda and actions, heroic in the face of corporate greed at
best though not always warranted, are labeled and misrepresented by a self-interested,
biased media intent on demonizing them before the public, while the continuing destruction
of our environement through multiple agents (corporations, corrupt politicians and govenements,
etc,). So to Mr. Paul Daly I say, your attempt to project labels on others and your lack of
critical insight towards the news media bore the living shit out of me.
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Protests Too Little and Watches TV Too Much

by BrownOneYQue Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 at 8:04 PM
BrownOneYQue@memphis.edu

Aside from the almost indicipherable rant above, which has good intentions but could have used a little moderation, the point is that Mr. Paul Daly is representative of other boo-boo heads who refuse to see the complicity of the mass media in misrepresenting the interests and actions of ecology activists. The hypocrisy of corporations and the mass media is absurd, but then, since the sixties counter-cultural
movement they have developed the skill of playing the role of the victimized (the "eco-terrorists" hurt "us") when they are the victimizers ("they" are the real ones fucking up the ecology almost to the point of no repair). The mass-media is so conglomerated now that most news outlets are in some way connected to the interests of the corporations that commit the crimes to begin with--so their complicity is obvious, and quite frustrating for those of us who have learned not to believe anything they say. It is irrevelevant whether young zealous activits "wear the badge of honor" of "eco-terrorist" or not. The point is that their agenda and actions, heroic in the face of corporate greed at best though not always warranted, are labeled and misrepresented by a self-interested, biased news media intent on demonizing them before the public, while the continuing destruction of our environment through multiple agents (corporations, corrupt politicians and govenements, etc,) persists. So to Mr. Paul Daly I say, your attempt to project labels on others and your lack of critical insight towards the news media bores the living shit out of me.
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Moi?

by Paul Daly Friday, Jan. 19, 2001 at 12:04 AM
pauldaly@altavista.com

Me, boring? Why, I never!

I'm mortified.

How's about this for "exciting".

The environmental movement is a sham. It is actually a front for socialists who wish to destroy the concept of private property. Under the guise of environmental protection, the government has the right to dictate every little thing that they can and cannot do on their own property. This effectively destroys the value of private property. What good is it if you can't do stuff on it?

Here's an example. A guy sinks his life savings into a piece of property in 1960 on a lonely stretch of highway. It is zoned Commercial. Forty years later, development in the surrounding area makes this property worth 40 times what he paid for it. He goes to sell it to a developer who intends to put up a mall with a supermarket, a Starbucks, a movie theater, a bank, a Blockbuster -- things the people in the now developed area want and need.

Before closing the multi-million dollar deal, the developer goes to make sure that the property can be developed.

Uh-oh. It turns out that there's some standing water in the back of the property. Its a Wetland now! Can't build there! Not ever.

Or, maybe 5 miles a way the Feds have spotted a Churled Moth or something, which is an endangered species. The Feds say -- sorry, that "habitat" must be kept natural so that, as the Churled Moth, or whatever, makes a comeback, it will have a place to go. Can't build there until the moth gets off the endangered species list.

Oh well, sorry bud. That multi-million dollar deal is dead. Your investment -- wasted.

Locals -- you'll continue to have to drive 30 minutes to the supermarket and what have you.

The value of that property went from several million dollars to $12.50 an acre.

That is, in my opinion, an unlawful taking of property.

Now, I don't ever see that story, which is true (except for the churled moth reference) in the mass media.

In fact, when the media discusses environmental issues -- it is always a scare story:

THE OZONE LAYER IS DISINTIGRATING AND WE'LL ALL DIE

MERCURY IN FISH IS CAUSING BIRTH DEFECTS

AIR POLLUTION IS STRANGLING SENIORS -- RECORD NUMBER OF BAD AIR DAYS THIS MONTH

Dude, that's what I see in the news and the paper. Hardly corporate lackeys. I see GOVERNMENT LACKEYS in the media --spreading fear to further justify the Government's efforts to grab more power to control private property.

But that is just this boo-boo head's perspective.

What is a boo-boo head anyway? Sounds derogative -- but clearly not as bad as being "boring".






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Environmental movement a sham?

by Kirk Evans Friday, Jan. 19, 2001 at 5:34 PM
KirkEvans@netzero.net

The whole crux of your argument rests on the belief that "environmentalism is a sham", and that there are no environmental problems. There is just way too much evidence to the contrary. Until people can each individually act in a noble way toward the environment, there will be a need for some super-agency, your dreaded government, to police it. It's the whole problem of how individuals can use a shared resource (the earth) without destroying it. To me, it's the irrational hatred of government that's a problem. As Abraham Lincoln put it, at its best, government is nothing more than people getting together to solve a problem that they don't want to handle by themselves. Of course governments can turn tyrannical, and this is a reasonable fear. But a greater evil is to ignore a real problem that there's plenty of evidence for, because you don't like the cure. You should consider that your ideology - government is evil - has blind spots, and forces you to ignore things you don't want to see.

There is a much larger spiritual dimension to it as well, that drives beliefs on both sides of the issue. People who think that the entire universe revolves around them tend to view the environment in purely economic, what's-in-it-for-me terms. To me this is no different than the egocentric way children see themselves in the world, a Terrible Twos view of the universe. A more mature view understands that the Earth is a spaceship, and that we're all (humans and non-humans) in this together. There is no room for cowboys on a spaceship. The fact is, we six billion plus souls on this planet are stressing and destroying the very life support systems that enable us, and this simply can't continue. There's the saying that Mother Nature plays last - biology/ecology supports and ultimately trumphs economics. Be bored all you want, but as I see it, it's the boredom of a child who doesn't get the bigger picture.
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How about this for a bad investment...

by Megaton Friday, Jan. 19, 2001 at 5:44 PM

Oh...Daly has a problem with environmentalist crypto-socialists ruining his "investment"...well how about this for a lost investment:

A long, long time ago, a bunch of well armed white imperialists with techniques in murder and torture heretofore never thought of landed on our continents and enslaved and butchered our population in the name of a weak metal substance we called "yellow mud." They invested years of blood, sweat and tears in thier murderous endeavor, and then one day, we savages - with a total lack of respect for THEIR private property (the mines, the gold, the forts along the trade routes, etc.) - waged a little something now called the "Pueble Revolt".

The foreign pigs were ousted. Their "Private Property" and their "Investments" were left in smouldering ruins - as it should be.

So, Mr Daly, you illicit no sympathy from this ecoterrorist, socialist, nigger, spic, savage (or whatever term your type would like to use to marginalize me). Your kind will be broken and driven from the land again.

There is no such thing as private property. And if your kind had their way we would all be pushing up daisies in the name of some good investment.

Fool.

Everyone knows this secret but you.

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See? I'm not boring!

by Paul Daly Friday, Jan. 19, 2001 at 11:36 PM
pauldaly@altavista.com

Boring! Ha!

Its almost too easy pushing your buttons!

This is sooo much better than "Temptation Island."

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Touchy Feely Freaky Stylie

by Paul Daly Friday, Jan. 19, 2001 at 11:52 PM
pauldaly@altavista.com

"The more mature view is that the earth is spaceship"???

But anyway:

I never said government in general is evil.

However, a government which does not respect the rights of its citizens IS EVIL.

The greatest threat to our liberty is government.

This is not something that can be argued: Government is force. Government does nothing without coercion, the use of force or the threat of force. They want to build a highway? Well, first they force the people who own the land to sell it to the government, usually for less than it is worth. Then they coerce the tax payers to pay for the construction.

This cannot be argued: Government is unique in its right to use force -- the amount of force it can use, when it can use it. Listen, Nike can't put a gun to your head and make you give them money for sneakers. The government can put a gun to your head and make you pay for someone else's sneakers.

This cannot be argued: Government creates nothing. It takes from Mary and gives to Jane. They want to build that highway -- they need YOU to get a job, go to it, get a paycheck so that THEY can take their 1/3. You're paying for the highway with the sweat of your brow -- not the governor.

This cannot be argued: Politicians are inherently untrustworthy. Geez -- that's obvious right.

So, what, your expecting that a group of untrustworthy people, who have the right to take your liberties and property by force, and who create nothing will solve the environmental problems of this country?

Naive.

I'm not saying there are no environmental problems. I'm am saying two things though:

1. Government will continue to fail to solve environmental problems.

2. Government will continue to exagerrate the extent to environmental problems to further limit individual rights and increase its own power.

Kruschev once said "Politicians are the same the world over; they promise to build bridges where there are no rivers." Too often, this is what government does when it talks about the environment -- create fear of a problem which doesn't exist (or hardly exists) and then ride in on the white horse to save the day.

Hey, BrownOneYQue, who's boring now!!! Not me baby.
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One quick thing

by Paul Daly Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001 at 9:54 AM
pauldaly@altavista.com

I was a little surprised to see that both people who responded to my comment CONFIRMED my suggestion that environmentalists oppose the concept of private property.

Megaton said it flat out: "There is no such thing as private property."

Kirk refers to the earth as a "shared resource."

Hey, you want to share your property -- go ahead. I've got a no trespassing sign on mine.

(By the way, where did Megaton get the idea that the story in my comment is MY story. It ain't. I should be so lucky.)

Another by the way, I love all these environmentalists using their computers to decry industry. Do ya really think we'd have computers but for industrial advancement? Can you avoid being a hypocrite without moving to a log cabin in Montana? If not, there's something wrong with your philosophy.

Aloha.

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one Last thing

by Kirk Evans Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001 at 6:42 PM
KirkEvans@netzero.net

Paul, I agree with you on a number of points you make about government. Points where we disagree:

"A government which does not respect the rights of its citizens is EVIL" - Mostly I agree but there are subtleties to this. Citizens often agree to give up some rights for a greater good. You don't have the right to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater for example. Most people in this country want greater environmental protection, not less, and are willing to concede some rights for this greater good. Consider that in every society (whether it's a family or a nation-state) there is a tension between the rights of the individual versus the rights or needs of the group. People voluntarily create governments to mediate between this anarchy of individuals versus the greater good of the group. What's evil to me is when the government does not reflect the wishes of its citizens. I regard our own government - "by the corporations, for the corporations, and of the corporations" a quote attributed to Rutherford Hayes over a century ago - to be in that category of evil.

It's not exactly true that government creates nothing. By creating and effecting policy, a society is moved down certain paths, hopefully in directions that its citizens/stakeholders want it to go. Again, government is nothing more than citizens banding together to solve problems that they don't want to tackle alone. If governments did not do this, societies would move down paths dictated by the most powerful alone. If you want to live under such a feudalistic setup, that's your pleasure, but it's not mine.

In the past government has indeed solved environmental problems. If you lived in LA 20 years ago, you would know what I'm talking about, regarding the once-legendary air pollution here. Would this have come about without government intervention? Further, this air pollution was caused in large part by the concerted effort of large business interests to get people to abandon one of the better mass transit systems in the country for busses and cars. This was hardly the free choice of individual buyers in the marketplace - there was a massive concerted effort to bring this about. Without government, who will protect the weak from powerful interests with their own agendas? You don't trust politicians, and there's certainly evidence that this is justified, but there is at least as much evidence not to trust business people as well. The key issue is whether power (in government or business) is accountable.

Regarding my using computers - not only do I use computers to communicate with you and others via the internet, but I also work in the computer industry. I am a product of this civilization just as you are. It's part of my own "dharma" (my spiritual path) to reconcile my situation with my beliefs. There are millions of others like me. It's simplistic to believe that only those who live in a cabin are authorized to speak and fight for the earth. We who are called all have our part.
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Paul, Let's Not Get Bogged Down in Semantics

by BrownOneYQue Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001 at 9:18 PM
BrownOneYQue@memphis.edu

Paul, you seem to have veered away from the issue and buried the
discussion in semantics. Lets get back to the specifics here. In the
United States, the news media is so conglomerated now (Time-AOL,
Viacom, et. al.) that you can't trust their representation of any counter-
hegemonic movement. Yes, I agree that some aspects of the environment
movement are a sham, like the corporate co-optation of so-called
environment protection groups like the Sierra Club or even the govt.
sanctioned EPA (witness the pendeja that Bush is trying to put into
his cabinet to dismantle that one), but the real activists who put their
livelihood on the line to make a statement are misrepresented as outlaws
just because they challenge the corporates.

Shesh, if people are going to veer so far off the subject we might as well
discuss something else. Has anyone heard about Saddam Hussein's
pledge to give monetary support to poor African Americans in the U.S.
Payback time for the bushes(hits)?
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Could there be intelligent life on the net?

by Paul Daly Sunday, Jan. 21, 2001 at 12:37 AM
pauldaly@altavista.com

Could be -- and this post seems to have it. So what if we veered from the main point? This is fun.

Kirk: Sounds like we're not all that far apart. However, let me suggest this to you: I disagree with the quote you attribute to Lincoln -- that government's are formed to solve problems people won't face on their own.

Here is my view on why governments are formed: We all have individual rights (ya know: speach, religion, association, property, contract, life, liberty, freedom from unreasonable search, stuff like that).

We have the right to protect these right as well.

A just government simply protects those rights of the individuals.

Therefore, in under a just government, the Law would never require someone to "concede some rights for the greater good." That would be working entirely against the very purpose of the law.

Now, among the rights that all citizens have, you will see there is no right to dump mercury in a stream, which will then run down stream and ruin other peoples water rights, chromosones, etc.

Similarly, no one would have the right to dump benzine in lagoons which would then leach into the ground water (perhaps injuring others).

These acts should not be permitted. Agreed as far as that goes.

(Theoretically, if you could keep your pollution on your property, and not harm any one else, you could do so. That's mostly a theory though.)

The question then is how do you accomplish this?

The current regulatory scheme that we have has a different agenda -- both in principle and in practice.

In principle -- the current thinking among environmentalists is that property rights are an OBSTACLE to good government -- as I laid out in my intentionally provocative post (boy did that work!).

In practice, the government, which doesn't care a bit about the environment, runs the regulatory scheme as a bunch of well mannered mafiosos. Its all about money and power. You have to look behind the headlines for this.

I guess its common knowledge now that the government is the biggest polluter in the country, right. There were vast congressional hearings on this subject -- with promises to reform and all (of course!). Fact is, every time the shuttles takes off it lets off more green house gases than New York city in a year. The military has dumped more nuclear waste than all the nuclear power plants combined -- and they don't care much where they put it.

The solution is, in my view, to get the government regulators out of the game and let's do it the American -- go to court. Polluters should be required to pay for the damage they cause.

This is currently a part of our environmental regulatory system, of course. I'm speaking from the inside here -- its pretty effective. Case I just handled, a major oil company ponied up $1.4M very quickly and quietly so that a neighboring land owner could remediate the mess the company made.

It is not a perfect system -- BUT NEITHER IS THE ONE WE HAVE NOW. Some case won't go the way most people think they should. There is no perfect system.

Also, Kirk, you're really just wrong if you think government creates anything. Its conduct has consequence, obviously, and you may think those consequences are good sometime and bad others.

But remember -- every penny the government spends on anything was earned by hard working folks like you and me. Every penny of it. (Say that 10x's before you go to bed at night -- you won't sleep a wink!)

You and I pay every bureuacrats salary, every Urban Renewal Development Study.

You and I, and a few thousand other people also earned $400,000 which the government took from us to build a Dr. Seuss Statue in Springfield Mass. No kidding. I mean, I love Dr. Seuss as much as any parent. But I spent from January to mid May, working every day, just to pay my tax obligations. Four and a half months I worked to pay all of my taxes -- and the friggin government takes my money and builds a Dr. Seuss statue???

I was just busting on you with the computers pal -- sorry if the smirk didn't come across in the post.

As for BrownOneYQUE:

You still haven't told me what a boo-boo head is.

I don't think it is unfair to call people who burn down houses "outlaws" -- in the strict sense of the word they are.

Frankly, I think people who commit these acts are a little dangerous. Not just because they may kill someone someday. (And its really just a matter of time till they do.)

But also because extremist thinking and actions tends to feed on itself until something happens to cause a violent backlash.

In the end though -- I see them as unfortunate misguided individuals, wasting their youths tilting at windmills. Their perspective is warped -- by who knows what.

They have no sense of history, it seems to me, or of the future. This whole land was once woods and plains and what have you. It looked pretty, but it really didn't do people much good. You needed to crap the place up a bit to set up farms, build homes, build hospitals, build schools. And, yes, you need to crap the place up more to build the factories that make the cars we drive, the computers we use, the lightbulbs we see with, the books we read. You can't help it unless you want to live in the stone age. (I guess some elves do want that!)

As for Megaton: Prozac.

Salut.

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