Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Green is the new Red" says Mark Meckler in surprise appearance at local Tea Party meeting

Updated July 4.
Last night's Nevada County Tea Party meeting was an event not to be missed; speaking were NCTPP head Stan Meckler, Sixteen-to-One mine head Mike Miller, Dan Logue representative/ "political wet work" veteran Cliff Wagner, and in a surprise appearance, the Tea Party Patriots' Mark Meckler with an impassioned "Green is the new Red" talk in which he equated sustainability with tyranny.

  • I guess I'll need to read up on ICLEI and the U.N.'s Agenda 21...
  • Wagner & Mark Meckler in particular spoke with extreme frankness, and being sensitive to the potential for misunderstanding about the what's-public-what's-private boundary, I checked with Stan afterwards to verify it was ok to report what I'd heard.

Meckler's talk sounded almost as though he'd pulled talking points from Joe Bageant's book. Paraphrased & quoted from my notes -
"Our job is to fight for the oil companies" - they want to deliver us more and cheaper gas, if we can only get the bureaucrats off their backs. Plenty of oil is available off the coast of California, but we can't get any permits to drill it.
[Not mentioned: externalities, risk or limits.]

The people making their living off of natural resources are the real stewards of the earth; they used to be our heroes, but now they're seen as villains, and it's our fault (for not having stood up to defend them).

A single term covers the problem - Eco-Tyranny. The greens are driving our country into the ground. We're fighting a battle between tyranny and liberty; green is the new red. The environmental movement is about control - they don't want you to be free, they think they're better and smarter than you.

The United Nations' Agenda 21 - it's not just a kooky conspiracy theory; it's being implemented at the local level. ICLEI is infiltrating your government - they sell it as simple sustainable development, but it's actually a plan for one world government; when the UN is in control, who decides what we can do?

Yuba City has adopted ICLEI [Ed. note, added 2011-07-06: ICLEI doesn't know this, Yuba City's not on their member list] ; and it's already coming to Nevada City [this too might be worth checking]. But local governments don't know what they're doing when they adopt these things, and if you explain it to them, ...
The audience agreement with Meckler on the true goal of greens - that it's to curtail your freedoms - was whole-hearted and enthusiastic.

When asked whether this "green is the new red" theme wasn't a dramatic shift from his previous Tea Party speeches (e.g. this one ), Meckler said that no, it's not a shift at all - the TPP has always been fundamentally a liberty movement.
[But that year-ago one was all generalities, and didn't mention the environment at all, that I recall.]

A woman asked "but what about the [giant multi-national corporations] of the world?"
Meckler's response was: the problem comes when the g.m.n.c.s get in bed with government; we need to keep big business out of bed with government, or else the regular people suffer; bring control back to the people.
[Meckler later refused to tell me whether these "people" should include corporations.]

"Our founders wanted to protect people from government; the constitution was to be used by the people to control the government."
[Meckler overlooked the points that a) the constitution was written before the explosion in corporate power; and b) when it's working right, the government is the best tool we have to protect us from corporations. See also: John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up (coming to a library near you...)]


So, that's what I heard; now it's audience participation time:
If you were there, what other points did Meckler make, that I've overlooked?
And whether you were there or not, what counterpoints would you make to his talk?
(I've got some, but first I'd like to hear what NCFocus readers see & have to say.)


Don Pelton said...

I wasn't there, but from your excerpt here it's clear that Meckler either (1) doesn't really grasp the concept of sustainability (since he incorrectly refers to it in opposition to stewardship, whereas sustainability is the essence of stewardship), or (2) his reference to those who are "stewards" is bad use of language at best or duplicitous at worst, he's really hitching his fate to unsustainable resource extraction industries, and correctly sees ICLEI and other sustainable movements as existential threats to his philosophy and practice.

I find it encouraging that the right-wing feels threatened by the concept and practice of sustainability.

Todd Juvinall said...

All these attempt by the eco red/greens to change the vernacular are simply not going to work. Sustainability? I think the planet will survive just fine without a bunch of leftwingers telling the people how to live their lives. The poor Ethiopian women who travel miles every day to get firewood really need your help more than any American does.

Don Pelton said...

I completely understand -- but don't endorse -- name-calling here: it's much less intellectually challenging than engaging in actual dialog, which requires good will and a certain amount of work done in good faith.

The convenient thing about name-calling is that the brain can be used like an old leather pouch containing a bunch of unrelated words and phrases: "eco red/greens", "bunch of leftwingers", "tree-hugging environmentalists", "eco-freaks" etc. (Although I don't consider most of these pejoratives at all).

All you have to do is reach into the old pouch and pull out a few of these labels at random and fling them ...

It's not necessary to logically connect them together as if they were actual ideas.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

A possible fun question:

"Do you think environmentalism is a plot concocted by Jewish bankers?"

* * *

"The poor Ethiopian women who travel miles every day to get firewood really need your help more than any American does."

Indeed, Todd, what the poor Ethiopian women really need is cheap oil, so that they can fill their cars with gasoline!

-- frank

Anna Haynes said...

> much less intellectually challenging...

Indeed. A reminder (from Mind vs. Machine, in The Atlantic (link)) -
"the question of what types of human behavior computers can imitate shines light on how we conduct our own, human lives. Verbal abuse is simply less complex than other forms of conversation. In fact, since reading the papers on MGonz, and transcripts of its conversations, I find myself much more able to constructively manage heated conversations. Aware of the stateless, knee-jerk character of the terse remark I want to blurt out, I recognize that that remark has far more to do with a reflex reaction to the very last sentence of the conversation than with either the issue at hand or the person I’m talking to. All of a sudden, the absurdity and ridiculousness of this kind of escalation become quantitatively clear, and, contemptuously unwilling to act like a bot, I steer myself toward a more “stateful” response: better living through science."

Anna Haynes said...

(...she says, statelessly reacting...)

Anna Haynes said...

> A possible fun question: ...

Frank, that would be an interesting question to ask Barre Seid.

Anna Haynes said...

re Todd's
> I think the planet will survive just fine without a bunch of...

You're right, the planet itself will do fine, over geological time - it's human civilization that faces a rough future - and the longer we ignore the "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" asymmetry, the more draconian the restrictions on freedom that'll be needed once we finally face up to the bill that's been accruing.
(but if you're elderly & don't have children or concern for what comes later, not your problem.)

Anna Haynes said...

...better said by Joe Romm:

"...if you hate government intrusion into people’s lives, you’d better stop catastrophic global warming, because nothing drives a country more towards activist government than scarcity and deprivation … if we hold off today on government action that focuses for several decades on preventing catastrophe, we will almost guarantee the need for extreme and intrusive government action in the post-2030 era, perhaps lasting centuries.
Only Big Government–which conservatives say they don’t want – can relocate millions of citizens, build massive levees, ration crucial resources like water and arable land, mandate harsh and rapid reductions in certain kinds of energy–all of which will be inevitable if we don’t act now."

Anna Haynes said...

The more I think [in middle of night; thus unreliably] about that Tea Party meeting, the more it seems - odd.
And the kerfuffle here is a distraction from my (IMO rather more significant) other blog's "Top Heartland Institute funder..." post.

(Yeah I know, the odds of there being any such intent are laughable - I'm about the lowest protoplasm in the blogosphere.
...protoplasm that needs to sign off & get some sleep. note to self: nix the triple espresso)

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Anna Haynes:

"Frank, that would be an interesting question to ask Barre Seid. 8-)"

If you ask me, it's also useful to put this question to the PR talking heads further down. It seems the Far Right wants to play to extremists and the non-extremists at the same time.

Asking questions such as these will force them to choose between losing extremists and losing non-extremists. (Or to try some obfuscatory tactic...)

-- frank

Anna Haynes said...

Frank, if I asked that question, a disturbing number of people would view it as seriously meant. Turns one's stomach, it does...

Also, an addendum to the blogpost - "political wet worker" Cliff Wagner did take credit for having been behind Nevada County Citizens for Responsible Government, one of the two anti-NH2020 organizations circa 2002.

Anna Haynes said...

Correction, NCCRG was more explicitly election-related. The explicit anti-NH2020 groups were PYPR(protect your property rights; Drew Bedwell) and CPR(Citizens for Property Rights; Bill Weismann, yes that Bill Weismann).

Yubanet on NCCRG (link), from back when Yubanet did news (but why doesn't a Cal Sec of State search for NCCRG (or its full name) bring up anything today?)

Anna Haynes said...

- in 2003 Yubanet reported NCCRG Inc's status was Suspended, and I can't find it in the SoS records, yet as late as 2007, NCCRG was in the news endorsing Dan Logue (link).
(Is this the same as "Citizens for Responsible Government in Nevada County", endorsing Kilborn in 2008? link)

Anna Haynes said...

...and do these groups contain actual citizens?

Anna Haynes said...

My followup post on Meckler's talk.

Brings to mind Michael Tobis's assessment, that we're trying to 'sell' adulthood.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Anna Haynes:

"Frank, if I asked that question ['do you think environmentalism is a plot concocted by Jewish bankers?'], a disturbing number of people would view it as seriously meant."

I don't see that as a bad thing.

-- frank

Anna Haynes said...

Wed 2011-07-06 update: ICLEI responded with a link to a member list; which doesn't include Yuba City (nor Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee)

Anna Haynes said...

Above, a text change please:
s/from back when Yubanet did news/from back when Yubanet did more than fire news/

(the fire news is much appreciated in our community)