Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Corporate tactics: the Great Green Scare: "Back in Reagantime the rightwingers smeared environmentalists as watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside. In those halcyon days, economist John Baden, major domo of a rightwing think tank called FREE and the Svengali of the Sagebrush Rebels, made a small fortune hawking watermelon ties, woven of the finest petro-polyester, to his retinue of oil execs, federal judges and range lords. Now that cap-C Communism has faded into the oblivion of high school history text books, the corporate world's pr mavens have had to concoct a new spine-tingling metaphor to evoke the threat environmentalism poses to their bottom line: eco-terrorism.

"Apparently, it's just a short step from al Qaeda to PETA. That's right, the money you save from not buying fur may be going to finance terrorist raids to liberate condemned mink from their isolation cages on rodent death row in Corvallis, Oregon."

"Meanwhile, the Reverend Pat Robertson broadcasts assassination proclamations on national television. Praise the lord and pay the hit man. Operation Rescue's Randal Terry publicly threatened federal judges during the national trauma over Terri Schiavo. One of David Horowitz's featured writers on Frontpage, a certain Michael Calderon, called for "Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, Michael Moore, Ward Churchill, and [Justin] Raimondos to be found shot full of holes." Another group of beer-gutted ultra-Patriots in Chicago openly pleads online for the execution of Stan Goff, Alexander Cockburn and your humble scribe.

"None of these would-be terrorists is currently deemed a public menace by the FBI. Rev. Robertson's notoriously corrupt Operation Blessing is even sanctioned to receive FEMA money.

"Over the past quarter of a century, only abortion providers and Muslim clerics have been on the receiving end of more death threats than environmental organizers. It comes with the territory. But these virulent acts of harassment--messages often driven home with dead spotted owls, bullet casings, and rocks through the front window--rarely rouse the interest of the FBI or even local cops. Apparently, the agency doesn't consider the violent suppression of political speech a terrorist act."

Now that the governments in UK/US/Aus have all passed their draconian 'anti-terror' legislation, one might predict that more innocents, environmentalists, dissidents, activists and antiwar campaigners will be harassed and repressed by this legislation than genuine terrorists.


the troll said...

It is a well written piece.

Violent suppression of political speech is not good.

I have a real world environment question for you. The demand for homes in my county is high and the supply is low. Hence the median price is high - $619,000. At the same time, the median income is not high enough to afford the median priced home. Something like 20% of the population earns enough to afford the median priced home. What should we do? Some say build more homes. Others say, let some people go away, they can live farther afield. But the jobs are here and if they live farther afield they will still commute to the jobs.

There are constraints on building more houses close in - we must save land for a precious tiger salamander.
But if we build further afield the commuters will be spoiling the environment by their use of more petroleum. Who should lose? The salamander or the warming globe (petroleum use). Maybe you will pick the third: get rid of jobs and outlaw commuting, maybe control the population through limiting births like china did?

Bernard said...

One possible answer is to reform the local property tax to tax land value only, and invest money in efficient forms of public transport, ie light and heavy rail. This might help restrain the runaway inflation of land values and build more sustainable communities at the same time.