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Tilting at Windmills

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January 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

POMBO-PALOOZA....The Wall Street Journal reports today on congressman Richard Pombo, "public enemy No. 1 for many environmental groups":

In just a few short years, the 43-year-old has become a leader in Congress in rolling back environmental regulations at a time when like-minded Republican conservatives in the Senate and White House are in power. Apart from contemplating a selloff of national-park sites, Mr. Pombo has recently tried to overhaul the Endangered Species Act, privatize vast government lands in the West and open up protected coasts and wilderness to more drilling.

....Not surprisingly, Mr. Pombo has many defenders in business. During the 2004 Republican National Convention, the American Gas Association hosted a bash for him called the "Pombo-Palooza," featuring a mechanical bull and country-and-western music. "The left wing is all hot and bothered over Pombo...due to his effectiveness and a lack of willingness to pander to liberal pet causes," wrote Raymond Keating, chief economist of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, last year in an op-ed piece in Mr. Pombo's California hometown paper, the Tracy Press.

Pombo also has some ethics issues stalking him, and on Friday former Republican congressman and friend of the environment Pete McCloskey announced that he is coming out of retirement to challenge Pombo in this year's primary:

The tough-talking, 78-year-old ex-Marine said in a telephone interview that he decided to challenge Pombo in the June 6 GOP primary because of the congressman's efforts to weaken environmental laws and connections to figures in a Washington corruption scandal.

"This is no Republican Party I recognize today," McCloskey said.

Good for him. Nobody gives McCloskey any chance of winning, but at the very least maybe he can provoke a smidgen of soul searching among Republicans in Pombo's district. Maybe.

Kevin Drum 12:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (87)

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Before I moved, that shmuck was my congressman. Gods, what an awful human being. If I hadnt met him I would have said that he was a left-wing caricature of a right-wing politician. Since I have met him I can say that he really is that bad--- on every issue you care to name...

Posted by: Andrew Cory on January 21, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: " at the very least maybe he can provoke a smidgen of soul searching among Republicans in Pombo's district. Maybe."

Well, maybe but I seriously doubt it. I live next to Pombo's district and I can't see any of those Republicans searching their souls before they vote for Pombo. Hell, it's even difficult for the Democrats to scare up any serious competition against Pombo.

Posted by: Taobhan on January 21, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's optimism, no matter how much understated and drenched in caution or sarcasm, is kind of charming.

The right has won the war. The other side has been reduced to whining and finding particles of hope in minor sideshows.

Posted by: nut on January 21, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta love this shit. The west is all hot and bothered over UBL due to his efficiency at destroying airplanes, and buildings full of people. It isn't even what is being said that I find so disturbing these days. The way it is being said is so juvenile I wonder if many are not suffering from arrested development. They just do not seem to be well.

Posted by: thebewilderness on January 21, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Give 'em hell, Pete.

Pete is the former Marine who served in Korea, who wrote about that "Great Patriotic War Leader" Pat Robertson being reassigned to Liquor Control Officer duties in Japan because of the influence of Pat's daddy.

Pat sued Pete - In the deposition, another Marine Officer told of Pat's ill treatment of prostitutes. Pat dropped the lawsuit, saying that he was "too busy" running for President.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 21, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

"This is no Republican Party I recognize today," McCloskey said.

I seriously think older conservatives sure need to come out and denounce Bush as NOT being a real conservative and they should it BEFORE Bush ruins the image of the Conservative Party for good, a Party of NO real Christian values or ethics, instead the Party of one corrupt act right after another. Bush WILL ruin the image right along with his good buddies Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, libby and Rice, liars everyone. Rove divided the nation in a time of war, Cheney lied repeatedly about WMD even after the fact of lie, Rice lied about Bush's torture policies, Libby's been indicted.

AND Bush seems to have declared war on the elderly of American and that's strange considering that the Republican Party's strong hold IS the elderly voter - the elderly always vote and usually always conservative - but if they get screwed in this conservative drug deal of Bush's they certainly won't be voting for conservative anymore.

Use to be conservtive elderly voters pick politicans who keep a tight rein on spending - but Bush has NEVER even tried to control spending - what happened to the real conservatives of American because Bush is no conservative.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 21, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Cheryl

I tried to talk about this on another thread. Republicans [my whole family]are disgusted with Bush. He's not conservative in the ways that matter to us.

As small business people, we dont' hate the environment, we don't want war. We want less government intrusion, less taxes, and more freedom.

We want to protect our children from the sleaze in hollywood and the erosion of our income from illegal immigration.

I'm writing this because there is a huge block of voters who

a/ don't vote out of disgust
b/ are unhappy with bush but don't see an alternative offered by dems
c/ are frightened of the extreme left and right in politics.

But extremists are the backbone of every political party. I dont want my kids to learn about sex with condoms on bananas. Those are the kinds of incidents that put many voters off the democratic party.

Why not offer up an anti war, centrist, America first candidate.

All those people who don't vote or are looking to flee the neocon takeover would run out and vote.

A Hillary candidacy will bring out the haters of the right in droves. If she is the candidate, it's only because the party insiders don't want an anti war candidate.

I don't see anybody talking about why we cannot muster up an anti war candidate in either party.

Why can't we close the borders to illegals. No takers in either party.

Why can't we stop funding Israel and creating more enemies? no takers in either party.

Why can't we spend money on domestic problems instead of everybody elses problesm?

again - no takers in either party.

WE only have ONE party. The insiders. You and me don't count.

Posted by: Ashley on January 21, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I think you'll find that there are a fair amount of Republicans unhappy with Pombo, much as Ashley discussed above. McCloskey is allied with a Republican slow-growth advocate from Tracy (Pombo's hometown) named Mark Connolly who successfully got a slow-growth measure passed in 2004. Connolly obviously has a number of local political connections (after getting the measure passed) and is deeply, deeply unhappy with Pombo. If he can rally some like-minded folks behind McCloskey, I think you'll see a damaging fight in the primary.

I do expect Pombo to win, but there is a lot of energy from the Democrats in the area to take on Pombo. I know that a lot of us in the East Bay, including a number of us who went to swing states in 2004, have realized that we need to take care of business closer to home in 2006. Pombo is target numero uno for people like me who don't have to worry about our own Congressional race (I have Barbara Lee and she isn't going anywhere) and our state legislative races. Of course there is a lot of energy to oust Arnold too, but campaigning in CA-11 is completely compatible with that effort. So keep your eye on CA-11. I think it'll be a very interesting race.

Posted by: Say No to Pombo on January 21, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Use to be conservtive elderly voters pick politicans who keep a tight rein on spending - but Bush has NEVER even tried to control spending - what happened to the real conservatives of American because Bush is no conservative.

Posted by: Cheryl

Bush is no lefty wacko like Kerry either. A lot of conservatives voted to save SCOTUS from another generation of lefty activist judges. We got what we wanted and with any luck Bush will get to pick at least one more justice.

Conservatives come in a lot different flavors social, economic and religious. Or some mixture of the three. One thing they do have in common is a desire for conservative judges and a strong military. Things that left wing wackos of the Democratic party despise and will not provide.

So don't try to pigeon-hole Republicans. They are not as slintered as the Democrats, a good thing, but there are still different flavors. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 21, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

PS. Sorry, I didn't realize how the URL function in the comment box would work. I have a blog following this race. It's called Say No to Pombo. I have already raised over $2,600 for the anti-Pombo cause. You can donate to the effort here

Posted by: Say No to Pombo on January 21, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

But extremists are the backbone of every political party. I dont want my kids to learn about sex with condoms on bananas. Those are the kinds of incidents that put many voters off the democratic party.

I agree with you, and I'm a liberal.

Democrats need to get away from value-laden issues. Many activists, however, are firmly of the belief that we need to promote gay marriage and other issues like that. I contend over and over that if Dems become the party of gay rights, licentiousness and permissiveness, we are in huge trouble, and will not win another election.

What we do need to do promote is PRIVACY and SELF-CONTROL. We need to be the party of NO MORALITY NAZIS under the bed, while down-playing our support for abortion. I am not a big fan of Hillary, but the "safe, legal and RARE" stance on abortion seems right to me.

Posted by: POed Liberal on January 21, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Soul Searching? What is that?

Kevin, on this subject you can't come up with a parroted wingnut "hypothetical" to make nuisances such as soul searching disappear?

Let me help. What if terrorists used our national parks and vast forrests to hide out in. In fact, who knows if this is not true?

How in turn would we look at Pombo's positions on the environment then? You know, we could allow strip cutting and opening up the national parks to development, thus destroying the torrorists cover while making $ at the same time!

Anybody against that is surely not patriotic. Bingo, soul searching is solved. Look for it on Foxnews soon.

It is amazing to me that you do alot more "soul searching" over the environment than you do over the detrimental longterm effect of killing innocents in this BS "war".

Posted by: Chris on January 21, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

at the very least maybe he can provoke a smidgen of soul searching among Republicans in Pombo's district.

Soul-searching is not a Republican value. If they were interested in soul-searching, they'd be Democrats.

Posted by: Constantine on January 21, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Fatass,

There was a well known study done recently that compared the voting records of the current SCOTUS justices to overturn congressional law.

The wingnuts on the court coverwhelming voted to overturn more laws than the "activist lefty judges". In fact, I think Scalia led the pack.

Idiot.

Posted by: Chris on January 21, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The wingnuts on the court coverwhelming voted to overturn more laws than the "activist lefty judges". In fact, I think Scalia led the pack.

Idiot.


Posted by: Chris

What typical lefty asshole and a fool. Overtuning laws that are UNCONSTITUTIONAL is not being an activist judge. It is doing your job.

Making up law like Roe v Wade or creating constitutional rights where none exist is being an activist judge.

So you are the true idiot and asshole to boot! Come back when you know what you are talking about1

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 21, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

fat white guy,

i'm curous: what generation of lefties on the supreme court are you talking about? as i recall there have been only two justices appointed by a democrat in the last 37-years. oh and if the dems despise the military, why are there are far more gulf war-iraq war vets running as democrats this year than republicans? and why has it been the only vietnam vets to be nominated by the two major parties have been democrats? republicans want others to serve. they don't want to sacrifice in a "time of war" as they like to say. they want tax cuts. too bad if military vehicles are too thinly armored or not armored at all. too bad if there isn't enough body armor to go around. too bad if a few thousand of our men and women come home in body bags, or without limbs. they're not part of our base. the problem with republicans today is they are more about power than governing. they're more about themselves than doing what's right. in the end that's what's at the abramoff scandal is all about.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 21, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fatass,

Whatever. You move the goalposts just like the rest of your ilk. Your definition of "unconstitutional" surely is different than mine. That is not even worth debating.

The fact that Scalia, etal, voted more times to overturn the will of the people thru their elected representatives is more "activist" than upholding those laws.

Chew on this hypocrisy for awhile: Remember all of the "activist" judges that wouldn't let wingnut politicians "save" Teri Schiavo? This subject brought to the forefront this issue. Who were these "activist" judges that wouldn't let Jeb do his job and the job of god? Wingnuts were on TV every day spouting this new pug buzzword.

Where in established law does it say the parents opinion overrides the decisions of the husband? It is common law that the husband trumps the parents after marriage.

You and your ilk were the activists here, not the judges. Yet, the judges get branded with the name by you and the corporate whore media.

Your definition of an activist means somebody that disagrees with your world view.

You are truly stupid, but that is not surprising.

Posted by: Chris on January 21, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Radical environmentalism has set a goal of complete paralysis of human use of resources and land. While I don't agree with some of Pombo's positions, it wouldn't hurt to have someone in Congress pulling in the other direction.

Here in California, the Endangered Species Act is often used as a political weapon against developers, regardless of any objective threat to a species or sub-species.

And yes, we need to do more domestic oil and gas drilling. No amount of conservation is, by itself, going to solve the problem of imports from nations that don't always have our best interests in mind.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 21, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Your definition of an activist means somebody that disagrees with your world view.

Actually, that seems to be everyone's definition.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 21, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

You are truly stupid, but that is not surprising.

Posted by: Chris

Shit for brains! This is not about Schiavo which was the husbands decision from the word go. It is about what contsitutes an activist judge.

When a law is struck down for constitutional reason and in concurrance with the constitution that is not being an activist judge.

When a judge creates new rights not covered by the constitution and therefore would come under states rights. That is an activist judge.

So pull your head out of your ass and take a deep breathe. Maybe some fresh air will clear your thinking. Because you are a totally clueless asshole.

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 21, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

ON CSPAN right now Negroponte is speaking from an event taped Wednesday at the World Affairs Councils of America. Negoponte was introduced by the CEO of Northrop Grumman, who spoke in the familiar to the Director Of Natational Intelligence. Pombo has parties thrown for him by the American Gas Assoc. These institutional/corporate benefactors of our political actors is the real corruption problem. Abramoff was a loose cannon and he was caught, but nothing is going to be done to stop what the K St. Project represents: a wholesale synergy between economically powerful corporations and the individuals who are responsible for policy either as legislators or executive managers. I have started calling it a militant Marxism. A Dictatorship of Capitalist Executive Management.

Posted by: Powerpuff on January 21, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Jews did it!...you're all Democratic party operatives!...Israel must go!...can't forgive Bush for making Clinton look good!...causy!...gay agenda!...I'm just your average Republican!...homosexual lobby!...Africans breed too much and fags not enough!...I'm not a bigot!...I'm not a bigot! I'm not a bigot!....whiz! grerp! whirr...flop!

Posted by: Random Ashley/TJ/Arsenia/wenn/Mike Word Generator on January 21, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Whooooops! Forgot to add Karen!

Posted by: Random Ashley/Karen/TJ/Arsenia/wenn/Mike Word Generator on January 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Your definition of an activist . . .

I always thought an activist was someone who spent a lot of time, money, and effort trying to get there message heard on a particular issue. When did it become a bad word?

While we're talking about definitions how come a term coined by the likes of tbrosz hero Ron Arnold is getting wide application by the FBI, DOJ, and mainstream newspapers. According to official FBI definition, people who threaten to spray paint hummers or throw red paint on ladies in fur coats are called "eco-terrorists" but as far as I know there is no equivalent term for folks who set off bombs that actually kill people in abortion clinics. Evango-terrorists? Makes more sense to me. The only "eco-terrorist" that's actually killed someone is Theodore Kaczynski and if you were going to coin a term for the wackjob you'd probably call him a technophobe-terrorist or a schizo-terrorist. BTW, I'm not defending the vandals the FBI calls eco-terrorists -- just the official association of such mentally retarded pot smoking fuckheads with the likes John Muir and Osama Bin Laden.

Anyway, when you see an over-the-top politically motivated epithet coined by Ron Arnold and Rush Limbaugh get widespread use by the government and mainstream press -- you start to realize that liberals are not equally adept at getting their frames recognized. If the FBI's Domestic Terrorism Section comes up with an official definition for the term "feminazi", I'm going to buy a shack in Montana and become a hermit.

Posted by: B on January 21, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK
So don't try to pigeon-hole Republicans. They are not as slintered as the Democrats, a good thingPosted by: Fat Angry Guy
On the contrary, it's easy to pigeonhole republicans. Youre the loony guys who use Lie&Smear McCarthyism to attack the honest people of American in order to push a Christo-taliban, big business, anti-consumer, anti-American agenda that involves deficit spending huge sums that goes to Big Oil, Big Pharma, and the wealthiest people in the world. All Republicans believe it is their duty to afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable. Republicans believe it the duty of government to spend billions on corporate welfare and screw over senior citizens and children, Republicans believe it is the duty of government to snoop on every American, control their personal lives, control their information, and support dictatorial presidents who are above the law.
Radical environmentalism has set a goal of complete paralysis of human use of resources and land. While I don't agree with some of Pombo's positions, it wouldn't hurt to have someone in Congress pulling in the other direction. Posted by: tbrosz
Pombo's agenda is to sell off the people's assets at a bargain price to the corporate interest who support him. He is nothing other than the usual corrupt Republican congressman. Guys like you constantly whine about conservation while you support the power of corporations to poison the air, the sea and the land. The goal of environmentalism is to utilize our limited resources in the best way possible in order to preserve as much as possible for future generations.
When a judge creates new rights not covered by the constitution ...Posted by: Fat Angry Guy
Nope, an activist judge is one who overrides congressional laws for un-constitutional reasons. Despite you contempt for the rule of law and equal rights for all American, it is your heroes, Roberts Alito Thomas Sclia who are the activists. Posted by: Mike on January 21, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Pete McCloskey is responsible for my one short period as a republican. I turned republican to vote for Shirley Temple against Pete in the primary. Pete had already lined up on the commie side of almst every question and had just dumped his wife for a piece of fluff. If that Jane Fonda in Jarhead clothing really runs, I just might move to Tracy long enough to vote against his commie ass again.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on January 21, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody gave McCloskey any chance when he beat Shirley Temple.

I wouldn't bet against him.

And besides, here's another chance for the drool-case right to claim that the Navy Dept. awarded another Silver Star by mistake, that it was really intended for Pat Robertson.

Posted by: Steve High on January 21, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nevermind -- you all were talking about activist judges not activists.

Posted by: B on January 21, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think Pombo has reason to be worried. His district has changed drastically in recent years. Ten years ago, his district probably looked a lot like most of interior California, agriculture and trucking. Now it is mostly bedroom communities for the larger San Francisco Bay Area. I would bet it is ethnically significantly more diverse than when he was first elected. I suspect a serious challenger could pick him off without difficulty.

Posted by: Jonathan Sandoe on January 21, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The venom and vitriol of every "Fat White Guy" post keeps me from reading it. I might consider what you say if it were not so hateful and vile.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 21, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Pombo's major legislative sin is a bill reforming the Endangered Species Act to provide such common sense things as compensation for the restriction of private lands, peer review of all scientific data before a species is listed as endangered, and recovery goals and timetables once a species is listed which makes eminent sense as only 10 of the 1,300 "endangered" or "threatened" species have ever been recovered. The bill passed the House and was cosponsored by 96 other congressman including 22 Democrats with such well known right wing nutjobs as Sheila Jackson Lee and Major Owens originally signing on.
And McCloskey isn't some disinterested senior statesman with visions of good government dancing in his head - he helped write the ESA and is basically pissed that someone dares mess with his well intentioned baby.

Posted by: scouser on January 21, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
All I take away from this post is that anyone who dares challenge the Endangered Species Act or privatizing government land is, automatically, some grubby, business-loving, corrupt politico who should be attacked and pummelled.

It strikes me that the conservatives' sacred cows are centered around national defense. The liberals' are centered around the environment.

The key difference is that the sacred cows of the Republicans wins elections.

Posted by: Charles on January 21, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Walter,

Tell us again about the French Battalion running out on you.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 21, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Radical environmentalism has set a goal of complete paralysis of human use of resources and land....

This has to be a first. I actually thought that this post, from the real tbrosz was actually from the fake tbrosz. This is like a reverse-fake-tbrosz-foolery.

It's moments like this that the fake tbrosz is so entertaining-- not only does the fake tbrosz sound like the real tbrosz, but the real tbrosz is so off-the-wall, you have to think, "that has to be from the fake tbrosz."

Posted by: Constantine on January 21, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Soul-searching is not a Republican value. If they were interested in soul-searching, they'd be Democrats."

In general, I tend to agree with Chris about this, but it is also a fact that a raving Republican (free-market business type) friend of mine (yes, I do have Republican friends) has removed Bush's picture from his establishment because of the outing of a CIA agent. Really!

So I think it is wise, strategically, for Democrats to view each race individually, finding the cracks in the armor and inserting the knife just there.

In some districts, it will be the eavesdropping. I see that working well in the mountain West.

In some districts, it will be the God-awful Medicare prescription mess. This should work well in Florida, I suspect.

The Democratic veteran candidates can take stake out a position that's not anti-war but anti-bungling of the war. Of failing to get OBL. Of failing to provide body armor. Of waging war on the cheap to provide tax cuts for the have-mores.

Two values areas I think Democratic candidates need to finesse: abortion (always liked the Clinton position on this one) and guns (where Dean is right on). Come to think about it, I bet your average NRA member isn't too thrilled about the warrantless eavesdropping.

Go after each and every one of the SOBs where they're weak.

And, much as I'd like to see Pombo gone, and much as I admire McCloskey, a different Republican is not the answer. A Democrat is the answer.

Posted by: cal gal on January 21, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

B,

people who threaten to spray paint hummers or throw red paint on ladies in fur coats are called "eco-terrorists" but as far as I know there is no equivalent term for folks who set off bombs that actually kill people in abortion clinics. . . The only "eco-terrorist" that's actually killed someone is Theodore Kaczynski

It looks to me like you're arguing that intent has no bearing on the crime, only the outcome matters. Never mind the 3 CA. loggers killed by tree-spiking. Using that line of reasoning, bombing an abortion clinic but having the bomb be a dud would save the bomber from being labeled a terrorist.

The chances of an Eco-terrorist killing someone are less than an abortion clinic bomber, so what they are playing is a game of russian roulette. Have your buddy spike a tree stump in your backyard and then you try to find it with your chainsaw. In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood "Are you feeling lucky today, punk?" The fact that mills instituted procedures to try to detect spiking, and thus reduce injuries, shouldn't diminsh the intent environmentalists have to kill or maim people.

BTW, I'm not defending the vandals the FBI calls eco-terrorists

I understand, but to hold up Osama bin Laden as an example of a typical terrorist is being disingenuous. Terrorists can commit smaller evils - like bombing abortion clinics, spiking trees, and sending death threats to insurance executives. If I'm reading you correctly you think that the potheads shouldn't be equated to OBL and because OBL is a terrorist then the potheads are incorrectly labeled as terrorists. I think you've actually got it backwards, in that the mislabeling is at the expense of OBL. He's more than a terrorist, he's like a super-terrorist, if you will. Clearly, the potheads are seeking to incite fear with their deaththreats and tactics and thus is clearly within the domain of terrorism - using terror to influence the public. OBL is in a whole other league of evil.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 21, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Constantine:

I covered radical environmentalism in another thread. The rational environmental movement used to be about watching developments, industries, and other things to make sure they didn't pollute, destroy irreplacable resources, and other things.

Now, it's mostly about making sure nobody ever builds anything anywhere, and long-winded tirades about capitalism.

I still see reasonable environmentalism out there. Architects praised for designing "green" skyscrapers. Compromises with developers to balance homes and open space. Industries working with regulators to find a proper balance between productivity and environmental impact.

But it's getting harder today to find any major environmental lobby with any position other than "Don't touch the environment. Ever."

Posted by: tbrosz on January 21, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz>Now, it's mostly about making sure nobody ever builds anything anywhere

Every heard of Zero's Paradox? Each time someone wants to develop more land, or expand into another fishery, the compromise position is to leave some portion of it left. After all, it would be unreasonable to demand that the whole parcel be set aside, wouldn't it? So half is left, then half again, and again...cut the baby in half, again and again.

Continue this to the present day, with only a few % of many ecosystem types left in a given region.

I would guess that in many areas, and with many issues, it is not the environmentalists that have changed. It's the situation that's changed. Too many compromises, over too many years.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 21, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

In fact I'd go further. After watching specific issues in my home region for many years, I no longer believe any net increase in developed land base is justifiable. At all.

Too much sprawl and wastage has occurred already. New development should be limited to redevelopment and brownfield sites, and if new land is developed, a parcel of equal ecological value should be shown to have been remediated (past tense).

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 21, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

tangoman:

The FBI definition "eco-terrorism" includes violence against property. Tree-spiking is violence against humans and could easily lead to charges of homicide or manslaughter. If such acts were among those alleged in the recent FBI cases, "eco-terrorism" might make some sense.

I have three problems with the term.

1) Calling vandalism terrorism overstates the threat of such acts.

2) Associating ecologists (a type of scientist) and environmentalists (a type of political activist) with violent criminals is about as fair as associating religious people with abortion clinic bombings (Cathlo-terrorists??) or white people with KKK lynchings (Caucasio-terrorists??)

3) The term was coined within the last 10 years by right wing property rights activists with an obvious political agenda. To quote Ron Arnold "Our goal is to destroy, to eradicate the environmental movement."

So yeah, maybe you're right. Maybe it's an objective term.

Posted by: B on January 21, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

What's with the stereotype that most of the elderly are and vote conservative? Today's older population were young--or youngish--in the 60s and many were thrilled by the changes that were taking place. We now look back and say, Where did it go? This isn't the country we were building. We don't recognize what the generation now in power--and they're not the elderly--has done and is doing to the nation.

Posted by: Nora on January 21, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce:

Are you trying to convince me that Canada is running out of wilderness? You need to get out of town more.

Where I live, there are severe restrictions on development, and a lot of area has been reserved for forests and undeveloped grasslands. The housing prices reflect this. This is great if you are the sort of person who can afford a house in Los Altos Hills, but not so hot if you are a middle-class person looking for someplace to live.

I like to look out the window when I fly from California back to the Midwest. Believe me, we aren't running out of uninhabited areas in this country, and I know damn well Canada isn't.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 21, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Another Ron Arnold quote:

We're out to kill the fuckers. We're simply trying to eliminate them. Our goal is to destroy environmentalism once and for all

Sort of sounds like an econo-terrorist, no?

Posted by: B on January 21, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

B:

Those of us who understand the concept of property and its relationship to human life and effort, might argue with excluding eco-terrorists from the definition of "terrorist."

By that logic, if I burn down a city it isn't "terrorism" if nobody got hurt in the process. Ask those who came through hurricanes unhurt, but lost their homes or businesses, if they suffered or not.

I would call someone who bombed an abortion clinic a "terrorist," even if nobody got hurt. I suspect most reasonable people would.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 21, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Come on tbrosz, I'm talking about official FBI definitions.

If you want them to exchange the names of all property crimes and assaults with x, y, or z-terrorism, where x, y, and z are the motivating reasons for the crime -- feel free to introduce the bill.

Posted by: B on January 21, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz>Are you trying to convince me that Canada is running out of wilderness? You need to get out of town more.

No. It is (or was) running out of a specific kind of wilderness, namely lowland coastal old growth, but those battles are mostly over. A few percent was finally set aside, and the rest is gone. It's now a waiting game to see if those parcels they survive climate shifts.

However, the bulk of BC's population is in the lower mainland river delta and southern vancouver island. Those areas are constrained, tend to have fertile farmland and ecosystem types specific to them, and already have too much of their land developed.

This pattern exists elsewhere; people like to settle in specific kinds of places, coasts and river deltas being popular examples. So the fact that most of the land base is still either true wilderness or tree farms matters little.

>I would call someone who bombed an abortion clinic a "terrorist," even if nobody got hurt. I suspect most reasonable people would.

And I would call Hummer driver a vandal and a waster. I suspect most reasonable people would.

Rhetoric designed to vilify is easy to throw around, and its truth depends on your value system.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 21, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Damn. Poor editing; I agree about the abortion clinic, but only because it expresses a threat to physically harm human beings.

Terrorist = causes terror. I don't think people are terrified of vehicles being vandalized. Very angry, maybe. I've had a certain number of fantasies involving golf clubs after property thefts myself. But property damage doesn't produce terror unless it shows a risk to a person.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 21, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: " at the very least maybe he can provoke a smidgen of soul searching among Republicans in Pombo's district. Maybe."

Well, having grown up in Pombo's district (and incidentally was a highschool friend with is nephew) most of the people in that district have long killed their souls.

Posted by: zed on January 21, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK
Where I live, there are severe restrictions on development, The housing prices reflect this. Posted by: tbrosz
Slow-growth advocates put restrictions like the ones you are complaining about in place, not the Federal government. Try comparing to the housing cost in San Francisco, Carmel, Malibu or Santa Monica, all strong on slow growth. If you want cheap housing, try pro-growth areas: South or North Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming or Montana. They have huge areas of public lands and national forests, and they have cheaper housing. You are not comparing the same thing.
But it's getting harder today to find any major environmental lobby with any position other than "Don't touch the environment. Ever." Posted by: tbrosz
That's a straw man with a pant load. It is fair to say that the entire Republican Congressional delegation is pro-business and anti-envormental restrictions, but even by their standards, Pombo is an extremist. If he is your man, you must share his extremist ideology.
Pombo's major legislative sin is a bill reforming the Endangered Species Act Posted by: scouser
Strange you didn't mention his desire to sell off national parks. The Endangered Species Act has ample protection for peer review, but not for Pombo's industry lobbyist review.
Pete had already lined up on the commie side of almst every questionPosted by: Walter E. Wallis
People, don't ever think the Bircher nut wing of the Republican Party is dead. Calling Pete McCloskey a commie puts one with the nut jobs on the far right.
It strikes me that the conservatives' sacred cows are centered around national defense. The liberals' are centered around the environment. Posted by: Charles
If by national defense, you mean a corporate interest, that's correct. That is where their money comes from. The liberals' are more centered on workers than capital. People live and breath environment; capital exploits it. Posted by: Mike on January 21, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Two comments - First, Tom B, I doubt very seriously that you would like to live in many of "uninhabited areas" between San Jose and the Midwest.

Second - Yesterday the FBI in Portland, OR announced that an indictment had been brought against eleven eco-saboteurs. They are charged with committing arson which has caused an estimated $23 million in damage between 96 and 01 in Oregon, California, Washington, Wyoming and Colorado. Eight have been arrested and the other three are thought to be abroad.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 21, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Continue this to the present day, with only a few % of many ecosystem types left in a given region.

Case in point: The tallgrass prairie used to stretch from Texas to Canada, and now only a few acres remain.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 21, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

I am not defending eco-sabateurs, but the places they torched were pretty stupid developments. There is a simple rule of thumb that developers should be held to:

If there is no naturally occuring water supply, you can't build there!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 21, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

As a resident of Lodi, this post is some of the best news I've heard in a long time. Pombo is vulnerable on the issues of corruption and his pandering to energy interests.

The less said about the Endangered Species Act in this district, the better. All people here know about the Endangered Species Act is from the local farmers forced to spend thousands when they change crops to ameliorate the loss of vernal ponds (seasonal mud puddles) to provide potential habitat for fairy shrimp, an endangered bug nobody has ever seen.

Posted by: Mark Zimmerman on January 21, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce,

However, the bulk of BC's population is in the lower mainland river delta and southern vancouver island. Those areas are constrained, tend to have fertile farmland and ecosystem types specific to them, and already have too much of their land developed.

What I see too often is that those who are in favor of restrictions are already well ensconced and are trying to force others to abide by restrictions that they themselves aren't willing to live by.

I would love for every person advocating no-growth policies to pick up stakes from Vancouver, let's say, and move out to Kimberly or to Dease Lake. The people who want to move to Vancouver are willing to make the trade-off of increased urbanization for whatever quality of life that they seek.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 21, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: I covered radical environmentalism in another thread. The rational environmental movement used to be about watching developments, industries, and other things to make sure they didn't pollute, destroy irreplacable resources, and other things.

Now, it's mostly about making sure nobody ever builds anything anywhere, and long-winded tirades about capitalism.

You did "cover" it, if by that you mean you made the above statement and had your ass handed to you by someone who actually knows something about the history of the environmental movement. He pointed out in some detail why your statements were flat-out wrong.

Posted by: shortstop on January 21, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Shortstop. I have considered myself an environmentalist for quite some time. When we built a get-away on a few acres we inheritted, we built it green, with windmills and solar and the place is heated by radiant floors and cooled with attic fans and swamp coolers. I have recycled since I was a teenager, and I raised my kids in cloth diapers. I think I qualify as one who pays more than lip service. I drive less than 6000 miles a year, instead I use public transportation and ride a bicycle. I don't even keep a car in the city. I keep my thermostat low, I eat low on the food chain, and drink organic, fair-trade coffee that I grind myself.

I have yet to launch into a long-winded tirade about capitalism, and I have never espoused the luddite build-nothing-ever mmotives you seem to want to ascribe to everyone who espouses green values.

I mentioned this the other day on another thread. As I said, I keep the thermostat low and have radiant heat floors in the kitchen and the bathroom. My gas bill for December was just under $37.00 - so Missouri Gas Energy charged me a Conservation Surcharge.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 21, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,

Have to admit mixed feelings - The Vail development???

However, they torched the Elizabeth C Miller Library at the University of Washington - Said that they went after genetic engineering of plants by a researcher who denied any such research. - Mrs Miller was a great lady and a great gardener - One had to work for her for five years before she would allow the person to prune a shrub - A foundation runs her personal garden north of Seattle - She left a wealth of information behind for the library. Over $2 million in damages and a heavy loss of books and research.
However, arson is arson - fortunately no one was killed in the many attacks.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 21, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

I admit ignorance about the Miller library. I lived in the Willamette Valley when "Earth First" was engaging in small-scale vandalism of developments and rich-people playgrounds. but I was kinda busy doing the kid-raising thing back then, and pretty much living like a single parent, so a lot of that stuff got past me...

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 21, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

how about outside McLoskey's district? where the hell are the real republicans...the ones that cared about America and Americans, the ones that weren't pure veneal greed? where the hell are they, the ones that would be sickened by what bush, rove, cheney and modern republicans have become with their thorough and overwhelming corruption, their trashing of the constitution, their sop to religious fanatics and filthy corportists...isn't there a damn republican left with a soul other than McCloskey?

Posted by: gak on January 21, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

B,

The FBI definition "eco-terrorism" includes violence against property.

I'm trying to get a handle on the crux of your criticism, so help me out here. ISTM that you're making a distinction that a criminal act is not a terrorist act, if by design it is not directed at harming or killing people. Is that fair?

If a terror cell called in to report that they were blowing up the Brooklyn Bridge and that authorities had two hours to close it off and get all people to safety, then by design this criminal act wouldn't be targeting people and shouldn't be considered terrorist in nature. Is that a fair analogy?

This is what IRA tactics evolved into when they found that they could get a lot of publicity with their London bombing campaign by warning authorities of an impending explosion and give them time to evacuate the vicinity. Were they terrorists?

If you think that this analysis is going down a blind alley please feel free to take it in another direction if that helps you parse the difference between terror directed at killing people and terror that seeks to avoid killing people.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 21, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

estimated $23 million in damage

I'm glad whenever they catch an arsonist, but how much did the 9 year investigation cost? And how much damage was done by fires intentionally started by loggers and forest fire fighters during the same time period? I'll make it simple, just consider the Barker Fire in California, the Hayman fire in Colorado, or the Warner Creek fire in Oregon.

Posted by: frodo on January 21, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

"Radical" environmentalism has an exact meaning, and I think you know the people I'm talking about as well as I do.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 21, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

There is a demonstrable moral distinction between intending to kill people and intending not to kill people.

Whether or not ALF/ELF and the IRA are incorrectly called "terrorists" because they seek to avoid harming people is kind of a side issue. Since terror is terror and people are scared of what they're scared of, then verbal "terroristic threats" can be construed as terrorism.

So what.

The moral distinction holds regardless.

People are not equatable to property.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 21, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Today's radical environmentalists take great pains to avoid injuring people.

Tree-spiking went out in the late 70s.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 21, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan: I don't believe you're really that dense, and if you are this won't help anyway -- but here goes:

I'm not here to argue about the precise definition of terror. I'm pretty sure it includes the act of setting explosives to go off in public spaces (even empty ones) and doesn't include the act of taking a baseball bat to an empty car in a dealership at 3AM. There's plenty of room for meaningless argument in the middle.

It's the term eco-terror that's bizarre in the absence of officially sanctioned FBI terms for other arson attacks like logger-terror (Warner Creek fire), Christian-terror (fire bombing of abortion clinics and gay night clubs), caucasian-terror (KKK burning of black churches), and pupil-terror (kid's trying to burn down their grade school cause they don't like Mrs. Smith). Because of the absence of other loaded terms for arson and the fact that the word was coined by a radical opponent of environmentalists, I personally believe the term is being pushed by political opponents of the environmental movement in order to paint everyone that cares about clean water as the sympathizers of pot-smoking mentally challenged criminals. Feel free to disagree. It's a free country.

Posted by: B on January 21, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

B,

Thanks. I now have a better handle on where you're coming from. You make a good case and I need to think it through some more.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 21, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan,

Here you go:

This is what IRA tactics evolved into when they found that they could get a lot of publicity with their London bombing campaign by warning authorities of an impending explosion and give them time to evacuate the vicinity. Were they terrorists?

Of course, the fact is, the IRA of the last thirty-odd years has had nothing to do with actually trying to achieve a unification with the Republic of Ireland. No, it was actually a very meticulously run organized crime syndicate, more on the line of something you'd find in Sicily.

If you think that this analysis is going down a blind alley please feel free to take it in another direction if that helps you parse the difference between terror directed at killing people and terror that seeks to avoid killing people.

Then there's the mercenary kind of killing. You seem to think the IRA never killed anyone. A hell of a lot of their victims have been shot. Where was the phone call warning people that a sniper was going to take a shot in South Armagh, for example? They have killed a member of the Royal family. They have killed innocent women and children. And they did it all so that they could continue to shake protection money out of Catholics in Belfast and Derry.

"Terror that seeks to avoid killing people." That's a new one, even for a shill like you.

Here's a testimony by a woman named Bea Worton:

The year 1976 started with a horrific no-warning bomb that decimated a New Years Eve party killing three people. The Friday night previous to Kingsmills at a New Years Party the IRA exploded a no-warning bomb outside Dawsons pub/Central bar in Gilford. The Venue was full of local people both young and old there to see in the New Year. However as they enjoyed the music and company a bomb ripped the building apart killing three and injuring scores of others. The bomb was planted by the INLA shortly after 9pm, in a duffel bag in the porch of the bar and exploded 40 seconds later. The no-warning bomb contained 5lbs of explosive that destroyed the building injuring so many that a fleet of seven ambulances were needed to ferry the wounded to hospital. The bombing ruined not only the new year but ended the lives of three people.

Oh, and...three, two, one--where's the post where someone with another handle tells me to fuck off?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 21, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Tangoman> What I see too often is...trying to force others to abide by restrictions that they themselves aren't willing to live by.

Actually I would put it differently - those people are trying to generalize restrictions that they themselves are *already* living by. Most of the people against sprawl are have chosen to pay more for housing, but less for transportation, by living in urban low-rise, high-rise, or multi-tenant detached housing situations.

I tend to believe that there should be only urban, and traditional small-town style development, and no in between unless the residents have an economic connection to the land (agriculture, etc). The problem is wastefulness, not use. People have to live somewhere, the issue is how much land, asphalt, and car commuting is involved.

>The people who want to move to Vancouver are willing to make the trade-off of increased urbanization for whatever quality of life that they seek.

But so often, they're not. They want the ammenities of a city, but detached housing way the hell out. Then they drive in between. The city ends up burdened with the infrastructure costs on its citizens, and the whole region ends up with inefficient transportation.

They think they're doing it for their kids to have a safe place to grow up, but at least in Canadian cities, it isn't true. The total risk (accidents + violence) is higher in the suburbs. And their suburban-raised kids, feeling alienated in too-controlled an environment, end up going causing problems as soon as they reach their teens. Sticking the true urban areas that do legit urban planning with a tax burden (yet again), this time in the form of policing costs.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 21, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Actually, I was talking about policymakers in broad daylight, not the guys running around wrecking bulldozers at night.

As far as I know, none of these people have ever committed a criminal act of that kind, but they're still radical.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 22, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Paul McCloskey. He ran for the Republican nomination in 1972 against President Richard Nixon. One of his major campaign issues was the war in Vietnam, which he opposed. For his campaign, he wrote the book Truth and Untruth - Political Deceit in America. At the convention, Nixon got 1,347 votes; McCloskey got 1 vote.

I hope McCloskey is more successful this time.

But maybe just as Nixon had to resign in disgrace, Rep. Pombo . . . I can hope, can't I?

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on January 22, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Bruce,

As I read your comment I thought you made a better case for more efficient allocation of city infrastructure costs than you did for land use planning and the enforcement of, not to mention restriction of choice for, certain lifestyles.

If, as you say, those who are agitating for restrictive land-use by-laws are already living in an urban environment and thereby minimizing their need for an expensive transportation infrastructure, then the major impact of suburban sprawl seems to be the taxes that are needed to create the transportation arteries to move the people into and out of the city. By allocating the taxes for that infrastructure onto the commuters and off of the backs of the city residents the pertinence of the land-use question to city residents is diminished quite a bit. Then it becomes more of a busybodiness whereby they are trying to enforce a certain lifestyle on others for ideological reasons. Thereafter, those who want to live in the suburbs and are paying full fare on the taxes for the highways, have made an informed choice, just as those who live in the citycenter do when they choose to live by values which stress shorter commutes, readier access to cultural activities, and the other aspects of living by the code of restrictive land-use.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 22, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz,

Yeah, the guys you quote are radical, but they haven't actually implemented their policies, unlike these guys who have:

It's no secret that millions of native peoples around the world have been pushed off their land to make room for big oil, big metal, big timber, and big agriculture. But few people realize that the same thing has happened for a much nobler cause: land and wildlife conservation. Today the list of culture-wrecking institutions put forth by tribal leaders on almost every continent includes not only Shell, Texaco, Freeport, and Bechtel, but also more surprising names like Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Even the more culturally sensitive World Conservation Union (IUCN) might get a mention.

[ . . . ]

Later that spring, at a Vancouver, British Columbia, meeting of the International Forum on Indigenous Mapping, all two hundred delegates signed a declaration stating that the "activities of conservation organizations now represent the single biggest threat to the integrity of indigenous lands." These are rhetorical jabs, of course, but they have shaken the international conservation community, as have a subsequent spate of critical articles and studies, two of them conducted by the Ford Foundation, calling big conservation to task for its historical mistreatment of indigenous peoples.

[ . . . ]

Curious about this brand of conservation that puts the rights of nature before the rights of people, I set out last autumn to meet the issue face to face. I visited with tribal members on three continents who were grappling with the consequences of Western conservation and found an alarming similarity among the stories I heard.

And these environmentalists are putting the rights of nature above the rights of humans, and further these humans are from the culturally diverse grabbag that environmentalists seem to think are "so authentic."

Posted by: TangoMan on January 22, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Tangoman> Thereafter, those who want to live in the suburbs and are paying full fare on the taxes for the highways, have made an informed choice...

And city core (entertainment district) policing costs, pollution costs (best applied via sin taxes on gasoline) and sewage system costs, etc, etc. I actually have a fair bit of faith in traditional economic theory, but subsidies distort the picture. If costs were appropriately carried, surburbs would be denser, and sprawl less of a problem.

And native leadership itself is not loaded with saints; corruption is rife, often due to the way settlements for past grievances end up being distributed by "leading families". I've cringed in the past at sierra clubber diefying the clayoquot sound tribes, for example, as stereotypical peaceful nobel savages. They hunted whales, and their neighbour's life expectancy, from archeological studies, was all of 22 years.

Their economic and cultural grievances are genmerally valid; they were cheated even out of the promises in the treaties they did sign. But the issues are not simple, they're not saints, and they're economically desperate and excluded.

>And these environmentalists are putting the rights of nature above the rights of humans...

The value of a species avoiding extinction trumps the right of a human being to consumer luxuries every time. You guys keep making mismatched comparisons, putting low-on-the-pole rights like property against high-value rights like life and human health.

Really, your pointing at the contraditions in the enviro/left movement is an almost exact analog to the social vs libertarian/economic conservatives, and tbrosz's crazy quotes list, well we could just as well come up with a list of rapture-ready armageddon or the "deserved terrorist attack" goofs like that fox screamer. And there are far more of the rapture death-cult crowd, too.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 22, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

I find it interesting to see what sorts of issues really "set off" tbrosz. Normally he's just a casual Republican-talking-points dittohead with a little too much misplaced faith in the administration's competence. However, when you mention environmental issues, he falls off the deep end and into the realm of self-parody. Notice that the "fake tbrosz" didn't make an appearance on this entire thread. The real tbrosz did the entire job all by himself.

Posted by: Constantine on January 22, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Radical environmentalism has set a goal of complete paralysis of human use of resources and land.

Ah, I knew tbrosz would resort to his beloved straw man arguments! Thanks for restoring my faith in you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

"soul-searching among Republicans"???? This statement implies they actually have this equipment onboard. Definitely "a fact not in evidence."

I mean, it's like expecting Dick Cheney to die of a heart attack. How??????

Posted by: TCinLA on January 22, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK
...none of these people have ever committed a criminal act...but they're still radical. Posted by: tbrosz
As far as we know, you haven't committed a crime, but you're still radical. Why not review some of these quotes from a fellow ideologue? Posted by: Mike on January 22, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce:

The value of a species avoiding extinction trumps the right of a human being to consumer luxuries every time.

I think Tangoman's example was showing places where wildlands are being considered more important than human subsistence, not just luxuries.

You guys keep making mismatched comparisons, putting low-on-the-pole rights like property against high-value rights like life and human health.

The fact that you think that a concept like property is "low on the pole", or can be separated from "high-value" rights like life and health, is one of the major differences between your side of the aisle and mine.

I've seen countries where the idea of private property was considered an outdated concept. I've seen how life and health are treated there. Their environmental policies are also a matter of historical record.

Environmentalism itself is a luxury requiring a society wealthy enough to be able to make the kind of choices that environmentalism requires. Keep that in mind.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 22, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Tangoman:

Check out the "Wildlands" project sometime.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 22, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Mike:

I have no problem with most of those Ayn Rand quotes. Not sure what your point is.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 22, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

wildlands are being considered more important than human subsistence,

Yes, but also the cultural diversity is being driven to extinction. This should be of utmost importance to progressive people who value the rich multicultural mileau of the restaurant scene, nevermind the quaint local ethnic festivals that they visit once per year, and who clamor for cultural diversity. They seem to forget that homo sapiens is also part of nature, and not apart from it. Further, the destruction of these microcultures is a one-way street. Once you've killed them they stay dead. These microcultures lived in balance with their environment and to extract them from a natural balance, again acting on the presumption that humans are outside of what is defined as nature, is as much a tragedy as reckless stripmining raping the environment.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 22, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Check out the "Wildlands" project sometime.

This is a bogus link posted by a fear mongering property rights group. It says nothing about our plan to spread smallpox, tax flatulence, and turn your daughter into a sex slave for wolves.

Posted by: radicalenvironmentalist on January 22, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz:

I think everyone agrees that humanity has damaged the environment, right? What do you think are the top ten ways in which humanity has damaged the environment? And what do you think are the best solutions? You spend a great deal of time attacking the environmental movement, which you perceive as being overtaken by radicals, but I would be interested in knowing where exactly you stand. For example, do you think air pollution causes people to get sick? Do you think air pollution causes asthma in children? Do you think that mercury from coal-burning powerplants falls down on the oceans, works its way up the food web, and eventually winds up in the human womb? Did lead from car fumes wind up in human bloodstreams?Is is true that removing lead from gasoline lead to a reduction of lead levels in children? Isn't Montana coping with the poisonous legacy of years of mining? At what rate is the extinction of animal species accelerating? To what extent have the oceans been virtually cleaned of major fish populations? Do you think that the recent thinning and shrinking of the polar icecap, and the simultaneous retreat of glaciers in temperate areas around the world, have anything in the slightest to do with humanity's penchant for pumping carbon into the atmosphere?

Yes, there are a tiny number of environmentalists who use violence, and I condemn any such act as barbaric. But by constantly talking about the minute number of these folks, you are able to evade engaging in an objective discussion of humanity's relationship to the environment.

Posted by: Arthur on January 22, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz>I've seen countries where the idea of private property was considered an outdated concept. I've seen how life and health are treated there. Their environmental policies are also a matter of historical record.

I tend to believe the problem there was with the lack of free speech and democracy. There are lots of countries where private interests dominate, yet democracy and free speech are lacking. Those places tend to have wide gaps between rich and poor, degraded environments, and supressed aboriginals (btw, the author of the article above was not an anti-enviro, he's a hardcore enviro, critical of behavior by large NGOs because they're not effective).

Private property, beyond personal goods, is a good means of achieving economic efficiency, nothing more. The fact that we are willing to ignore suspend such interests in times of war or emergency - when our lives and culture are at risk - is a testament to that fact.

As a concept it is also incapable of dealing with externalities on its own, or of managing natural capital that has a biological growth rate lower than the average market return on investment (such "renewable" resources will be in truth be liquidated and the capital reinvested elsewhere). These are critical flaws that require curtailing absolute property "rights".

And just as our cultural heritage is worth sacrificing for, so is our biological heritage. Too many compromises, and the world will be a very poor one in just a few generations. Or, at the current rate, perhaps just one.

>Environmentalism itself is a luxury...

No, it isn't. At the root of things, we're still an agricultural civilization. We only keep a few months of grain on hand, for example, and would not survive a sharp climate shift any better than any number of now-dead civlizations did. With no need for hollywood-friendly disasters.

Fish stocks are another example. Fish stocks everywhere are in trouble, and that's a highly linked system. Hundreds of millions of people depend on that food source for their lives and health.

No jobs on a dead planet, as they say. And our civilization is delicate now that most of the easy resources have been stripped. If we trip, we might not get back up. We are not behaving with sufficient caution.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 23, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

At my PomboWatch blog, comments are comming in from those who remember McCloskey from his days as a Congressman and Senatorial Candidate. Even those who are long gone and far away (Germany) are contemplating coming back to help out. It is rare to see that kind of loyalty to any individual, let alone a politician.

Posted by: Wes on January 24, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Check out the "Wildlands" project sometime.

tbrosz

Yeah - but don't check it out with Henry Lamb, whack-job-extraordinare. Just back off tbrosz's link and peruse this delightful page (don't forget to join Terri Schindler-Schiavo's Right-to-Life Site Ring at the bottom).

Posted by: seldomseen on January 24, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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