More Reasoned Rhetoric from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies: Nazis!

Often what people say speaks more about their values than what you say about them. Such is the case of Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. In the typically respectful and rhetorically effective style his organization is known for, he offered this nuanced critique of mainstream environmental organizations in Montana:

Unfortunately, a disturbing trend has appeared as big environmental groups such as the Montana Wilderness Association and the Wilderness Society increasingly take foundation money to “collaborate” with timber corporations. And much like the Vichy French helped the Nazis occupy France during World War II, these collaborators now have to face the harsh and shameful legacy of what they have done and continue to do.

In a piece replete with logical fallacies and specious arguments, the section noted above does an especially effective job of portraying just how far removed from reality the extreme environmental movement in Montana is. They damage the movement by attacking allies and perhaps most critically, by giving the false impression that to be an environmentalist requires adherence to an all-or-nothing mentality which leaves out the vast majority of Montanans, many of whom would be willing to work for a cleaner environment.

The “collaborators” Mr. Garrity talks about are the ones who got meaningful legislation passed to protect Montana’s wild spaces and the nation’s environmental quality.  Those mainstream organizations got the very laws passed that Mr. Garrity’s organization uses when it seeks to protect wild spaces and to even suggest a comparison to Nazi collaborators demonstrates a profound ignorance of history and disrespect for the efforts of those who fought to protect the environment.

It’s more than just shameful rhetoric for which Mr. Garrity should apologize.  It’s the kind of rhetoric that conservatives find terribly useful when they seek to demonize the entirety of the environmental movement.

122 comments
Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

BTW, Part II: Judge: USFS failed to study how Colt Summit timber sale affects lynx habitat http://ncfp.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/judge-usfs-failed-to-study-how-colt-summit-timber-sale-affects-lynx-habitat/ Question: What does this ruling saying about the type of “collaboration” taking place in Montana right now between the timber industry and a handful of well-funded conservation groups? Is the future of national forest management best served when industry gets together with well-funded special interest groups to push through illegal timber sales? Or is it best served when the Forest Service is required to follow the law and best science when managing our public lands?

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

BTW: Tricon Timber in St. Regis, one of the timber mills who took part in $30,000 in Ads attacking the Alliance for Wild Rockies and calling for an end to the public appeals process and exempting many Montana national forest timber sales from judicial review has just announced that the could close if the Forest Service won't let them out of a timber sale contract, which they've apparently had since 2003. And to think some people think we should have Congress mandating more logging on our national forests. http://www.kpax.com/news/tricon-timber-could-close-without-contract-compromise/

larry kurtz
larry kurtz

Both Udalls now in service have angered tribes and enviros to litigation with botched Forest Service directives: why do you choose to bash Tester with solutions, Toke?

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

I suggest for you a blind taste test - take the actions of the Senators, Baucus, Burns and Tester without knowing their names, and distinguish one from the other. That's what convinced coke to go with New Coke - they didn't realize that their product was only distinguished by consumer perceptions. Tester is only distinguished by perceptions, and is no different than Burns. At least I get a sense here that people realize what a slug Baucus is, but are yet to realize that Tester is no different. (Those folks who will vote for Baucus next time around claim now they won't. That's a change.)

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"I suggest for you a blind taste test – take the actions of the Senators, Baucus, Burns and Tester without knowing their names" Better plan - let's compare the two men we are actually choosing between, on something they both have proposed plans about. Candidate A would like to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list entirely Candidate B would like to remove endangered species protection for gray wolves only in those regions that have shown they have a plan to deal with it. Which do you vote for? Sure, you may dislike both plans, but is one not better?

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Lesser-evil politics. God what an undignified way to live! Buck up man! Flex your muscles! Breathe the air! Live, dammit! Live!

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

One of us has to somehow make collaboration seem noble, feign some kind of dignity in such low behavior. The other is typing this on an IPad, and once owned a desktop, and therefore has no voice in the destruction of wilderness by collaberators. I am supposed to be sending messages on onion skin using an Olilvetti to be true to the wilderness ethic. Gotcha, Don. Keep chuggin'. As was said in the 60's, you sold out. I say you bought in. Tomato tomahto? you tell me which it is.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

Keep typing away on that piece of global capitalism and tell the rest of us how we've sold out, will you?

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

PS: I drive a car too.

Pogie
Pogie

I think you should do some reading about the subject, Mark. It's pretty common, actually, for affluent Americans to do exactly what you do. You condemn global warming while driving a car which contributes mightily to it. You criticize the impact of globalization while buying the products it produces. The only way we'll save the environment is if we stop externalizing our guilt and confronting our own responsibility. Stop blaming Jon Tester and the Democrats--look at yourself.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Faux environmentalism as a cover for your typical Democratic no-fight impulse? This is almost Rovian, Don. You're placing yourself in the shoes of the fighters. Insult much? We are not Birkenstocks and granolas. We are people from all walks of life, almost all of whom live in urban settings. Our objective is to preserve what little is left of untrammeled land. I personally did not set out to stop people from driving or living in wooden houses or using computers. I joined MWA to play a small part in saving what we had left. I learned right away that, despite my initial confusion, that Democrats were not allies, and worse than that, Baucus was a faux bonhomme, or false friend. I realized that to succeed we had to eschew party politics, as alliance with Democrats would be fatal to wild lands. I mentioned the magnet above, which is concentrated wealth. When I was with MWA, Pew had already shown up. They offered grants, but we had to crawl to them and show them that our agenda was in their play book. It wasn't, and we lived without their blood money. But Pew, from the beginning, was out only to neuter MWA and the others. They succeeded. MWA is no longer a player. They are doormats. The push now is that there has to be some resolution of the "problem" of roadless land. The underlying notion is that things are not OK as is, what with industry wanting in and pesky environmentalists stopping them. So Tester's role, as with Burns, is to knock down walls, open up the lands, close the courts and shut the doors once and for all on citizen activism. If Rehberg wins instead of Tester, he too will push the same agenda, but will have less success, as you and yern might wake up. Your alliance with industry via Tester is the pull of money, the metal particles aligning, not even aware of the magnet. That's not psychology, but politics. If concentrated wealth funds both parties, then there really is no alternative. The Democratic Party a nursing home, a moribund place where popular citizen movements go to die.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

Nope. Not my point at all. It's that people like you refuse to accept their culpability for the very environmental problems they rail about. It's psychologically satisfying, but incredibly damaging to the environment. Professor Emilio Moran explains it pretty well: What to do? What must be done is perhaps the most difficult thing of all, especially for those addicted to high levels of consumption and unfettered individualism: they must choose to consume a lot less and become models of a new biocentric model of production and consumption. Is this unlikely? Perhaps. The good news is that it is precisely in these countries that resides a substantial number of people who have begun to question our current economic model as an environmental and social disaster, and who long for greater simplicity (see Figure 8.2). It is from a growing awareness that our well-being is threatened by these myriad and interconnected insults against the functioning of the planet that such a shift may occur. We already have a growing number of people who are choosing to move out of mega-cities to smaller towns where a closer relationship can be built between people and the physical environment that supports them. It is there that it is possible to begin to reconnect to the challenges of production in a given growing zone, and to make do with what the land can produce sustainably. Without those who currently consume the bulk of the world's resources in a very public and convincing way giving up their current patterns of consumption, we cannot hope to turn around what is now a global consumerism that threatens us all. Like anything else, what seems pretty good when done by a few people, is a disaster when it becomes a global phenomenon. In small villages it is ok to throw one's mostly organic garbage in the street because there are plenty of scavenging animals loose to clean it up and recycle. When everyone does that in a mega-city, or even a modestly sized city, it is completely untenable. A sophisticated system of garbage cans, daily clean up of streets, and penalties for littering must conic into place to keep the city livable. All it takes is for the Garbage Workers to go on strike for a few days, to see a city like New York, or Sao Paulo come to its knees in a few days and concede. Likewise, the use of private cars offers unparalleled convenience. Asa complement to public transportation it is a useful convenience. But when it dominates as a mode of transportation, it is an unmitigated disaster to the health of people and the planet.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

Actually living in the backwoods is generally worse for the environment than living in an urban area - infrastructure costs and all that. By his standards, and mine, you make more of a difference ditching your car than refusing to vote for Jon Tester

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Lame! By your standards, no one should ever fight for anything unless we live in the backwoods. You're deflecting, dissembling, not good at thinking on your feet. I suggest Toastmasters.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

Then I suggest you stop lecturing the rest of us about protecting the environment. You're just a classic case of externalization.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

All righty then! You sold out, Don! I cite SK citing BG that your "moderation" (no fight in you - Eesh!) is no virtue.

steve kelly
steve kelly

So, is anyone still confused about the ad nauseam media narrative that touts the "historic" collaboration that brought together longtime adversaries -- the timber industry and their radient new partners at TU, TWS, NWF, MWA and Pew? C'mon boys, we're shooting for 100!

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Pogie even over there is dissembling, JC, talking only about the Vichy remark. Don, if you got something besides that, now would be a good time to bring it. Otherwise you might want to take a moment to self-reflect about the power of money and the nature of collaboration. Here's a simple metaphor (Rod, leave the room): Imagine metal particles scattered about on a table, and that someone takes a powerful magnet and merely waves it over the table top. See how the particles, not ever aware of the magnet, align with it. That's just how power works, back in the 1940's and now, in the 21st century. Most people are indifferent or distracted, those who are aware mostly follow power and align with it, and a few of us fight in the trenches and endure the ridicule of the collaborators, who are of course "reasonable" people of "moderation." So the Vichy remark, while it upsets your "moderate" sensibilities, ought to give you pause, not that you are going to harm people, but rather that you have accommodated power now to the point that you are part of it, and of no use to any energetic progressive or conservation cause. And I suspect that your overreaction to that remark has more to do with your internal discomfort at your collaborative behavior, and that you are acting out, demonizing the non-collaberators, perhaps out of guilt? Sucks to be you? OK Rod, metaphor over. you can come back in now.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

I drive a car and live in a wood house. That all you got? I mean, seriously Don, that's really lame.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

And now Tokarski brings out the amateur psychology. To his credit, he made it almost two days. I'd suggest, actually, that it's you who is struggling with repressed shame and guilt. I mean, there you are, railing against the corporate interests that dominate American society, all the while unable to stop talking about your iPad, built by those same interests. As a result, you're projecting your guilt on others. Good luck.

Nameless Range
Nameless Range

It's amazing how our allegiances to an ideal can rob us of all reasonableness when that ideal comes under attack. Regardless of where your values lie on the continuum of enthusiasm and passion for the wilderness issue, the truth is this thread would be a hell of a lot shorter if just one person on the "wilderness-expert-defender" side of the debate would make a simple concession: The nazi comparison was an extreme dis analogy. This was the main thrust Mr. Pogreba's post in the first place. It's an interesting look at what politics can do to an individual's rationality, regardless of which side of any debate you fall on. http://lesswrong.com/lw/gw/politics_is_the_mindkiller

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

If we were not branded as "extremists" by your Tester perhaps we'd be less sensitive. After all, we haven't changed over the years. Your side went to the other camp. You're not Nazis, but if you were with us once and were lured away by the power of money that dwells behind Democrats, you are quislings. If you were always on the other side, and now feign to be with us to entice us to collaborate with developer corporations, then you are merely agents provocateur. We have remained steady in our beliefs. Our goals our plainly apparent to all who know us, friend and enemy alike. We are not the problem. Democrats are the problem.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"If we were not branded as “extremists” by your Tester perhaps we’d be less sensitive." Indeed. But you are now, supposedly, more sensitive to the power of inflammatory words, having been put on the receiving end of them by a Senator. Now, shouldn't that greater sensitivity cause you to realize that calling people Nazis is disrespectful to any number of people, and counterproductive to boot?

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

"I am not strategically gifted, but am a good judge of character. " I'll just have to take your word for that. ~hehehe~

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

I was but a small part of a larger effort.I met some of the smartest people, strategically speaking, that I have ever known. My contributions were small, to be sure, and their ability to see the big picture was my guiding force. I am not strategically gifted, but am a good judge of character. That's probably why I don't much care for you.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Hmm, you fought the good fight and things got worse. Reads to me like you weren't very good at it, were you? 'Good thing you didn't quit your day job.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

I served my time, Kailey, and yes, I'd like to take LSD or meth or something after all these ears to get taxation and accounting out of my head. I was 14 when the original bill passed, didn't know anything aboutit but did love hiking and camping the beartooth. I was a member of MWA and served on the executive committee for many years while you wee acing your philosophy courses and sleving your books. During all of that that time I never nice heard the name "Kailey." Fortunately. PW and Rod, you both indicate that the public has moved behind the corporations who want access to the remaining roadless roads, and offer no evidence to that end. What has changed is that Pew corrupted MWA with money (my wife and I resigned in disgust before we left Montana), and they backed off long-held ideals and began the work of opening the doors to the corporations who want to impose a final solution for the roadless lands, claiming now to be "moderates" as you so shamelessly do. You are collaborators, nothing more. Stop harping about how reasonable you are being! That makes my skin crawl. When the lands are roaded and logged, when the ATV's and snowmobiles come screaming in, the land will never again be the same, it will be over. The public appetite for resources is insatiable, but resources finite. There is no point n taking all that is left. There s such a thing as "enough." There is no need to overrun everything. You could not resist the power of money, you Democrats, and engaged in quisling selling out while proclaiming moderation. You guys are like that about every single damned issue - soft in the middle, no fight in you. Eesh! As I've often said, having Democrats fight for you is lke sitting atop a bowl of Jello. I also said, way back when, that someday we'd not be fighting for new wilderness, but trying to hang to the old, and indeed the corporations are now knocking on Tester's door with a bill to change the definition of wilderness to allow roads, ATV's and building. Thanks Democrats. Thanks. You're the best.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Tokarski was never branded an "extremist". He simply includes himself in the group to feel like one of the 'cool kids'. Tester called Koehler an extremist, he called JC an extremist. Tokarski is an accountant.

Moorcat
Moorcat

This article ties in with another story I am currently researching. As yet, I have not found any concrete beginnings to the story, but it appears that one option being considered to deal with firefighting is to move national firefighting crews under the Office of Homeland Security (you guys thought I was joking). This appears to be a real idea with people involved in three governmental offices. I first heard about it from three Forest Service employees and I have since had it confirmed from a BLM employee and a seasonal Fire Fighting Crew Chief. If the organizations involved in fighting fires blow their budget this year (and it is expected that they will spectacularly), we may well see this function moved to the Dept of Homeland Security. Is this the agency you puritopians want to see handling forest fires? It would certainly limit your ability to have a say in anything.

larry kurtz
larry kurtz

The Forest Service is broken: it should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation. The land it manages is broken and should be divided among BIA, the Park Service, BLM, and the tribes. Enviros traded wilderness protection for endangered species protection in 2011. “Wilderness designation does not ensure sanctuary from political, social, economic and environmental events that threaten the ecological integrity of these areas. Even the ecosystems in these most protected of public lands are threatened. In addition to the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service are charged with stewardship of these lands while providing for appropriate human use and enjoyment.” Wilderness.net

Moorcat
Moorcat

Larry, it might surprise you to know that I at least agree that the Forest Service is a hybrid organization that is in desparite need of restructuring. There is an amazing amount of duplication between various land management federal organizations that could be simplified by combining some some of them. Even the structure of the Forest Service is hybridized (their money comes from one agency and their administration comes from another). Where we part ways is in the idea that any ecosystem in the US can be "untouched" or "true wilderness". That is silly think in my opinion. Nor do I believe that it should be. These lands are PUBLIC. You do understand what that means, right? We - as in the public - should, as a body, determine what happens to those lands, not a handful of eco nuts that are bound and determined to institute a policy of NON-use to preserve an idea of "wilderness" that simply doesn't exist. The very fact that man has tread on those lands ensures that they are far from "pristine". As a member of the public, you will never convince me that locking those lands up behind a wall of rules and fences is in the best interest of the majority of the public. Moreover, you can't convince me that these lands are somehow untouched and will remain untouched if you have your way. They are subject to the vagarities of man's existance and trying to "restore" them to a pristine wilderness is doomed to failure. What is needed is a reasoned, negotiated compromise that stewards these lands while still allowing public use and enjoyment. You don't get to dictate what that use and enjoyment is, no matter how many suits are filed. The public at large does and should.

larry kurtz
larry kurtz

I am far more radical than maybe even Matt when it comes to the West, Mr. Kailey, and consider myself an 'eco-nut.' Just posted this at a friend's South Dakota blog.

Moorcat
Moorcat

This is not news to me and I am uncertain why you are pointing it out to me. Did my reply insinuate otherwise? I am very aware of your leanings (I think your use of the phrase "Earth Hater" to describe anyone that doesn't share your views is kind of a give away) and Yes, my reply was directed at people like you and Matt.

larry kurtz
larry kurtz

Enviros traded wilderness protection for endangered species protection in 2011. "Wilderness designation does not ensure sanctuary from political, social, economic and environmental events that threaten the ecological integrity of these areas. Even the ecosystems in these most protected of public lands are threatened. In addition to the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service are charged with stewardship of these lands while providing for appropriate human use and enjoyment." The Forest Service is broken: it should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation. The land it manages is broken and should be divided among BIA, the Park Service, BLM, and the tribes.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Hello: Lost in this very interesting debate has been the actual substance of what the $30,000 ad campaign from the "timber partners" called for. Specifically, the timber mills who took out the Ad claimed “We believe the Forest Service is being held hostage by a small group of professional obstructionists" and then they offered these solutions: “We see several options available to Congress to immediately rectify these abuses: 1) Amend the Equal Access to Justice Act by requiring a Cash Bond in these types of administrative appeals and lawsuits. Amend the Act further by implementing a Loser Pay System, where the loser is responsible for paying the attorneys’ fees and costs of the overall prevailing party. 2) In designated Timber Management Areas already established under the approved Forest Plans, Congress could exempt from judicial review those Timber Sales which deal with trees that have been killed or severely damaged by the Mountain Pine Beetle. The authority of Congress to limit court jurisdiction can be found under Article III Section 2 of United States Constitution. A similar limitation was recently enacted by Congress when they removed Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List and barred the federal court from any further review. 3) Scrap the entire Forest Service Administrative Appeals Process and use the more streamlined approach that the Department of Interior – BLM uses for their timber projects.” Does anyone here care to offer their views about the timber industry's proposed solutions? Would these solutions be in the best interest of America's national forest? Would these timber industry solutions be in the best interest of endangered and threatened species and their habitat? Or science-based management that preserves and restore important ecological functions on our public lands? Or keeping the public and everyday citizens involved in the management of their public lands? If these answer to these questions is "No" then who will speak up and out against the timber industry's demands in their $30,000 Ad campaign? It seems pretty obvious that groups like the Montana Wilderness Association and The Wilderness Society will remain silent and say nothing about their 'timber partners' solutions. One has to wonder if the oil and gas industry or the coal mining industry took out similar Ads around the state calling for these same exact solutions as the timber industry what the reaction would be from these same groups. I guess part of the point I'd like to get people to think about is that the manner in which some small sub-set of conservation groups go about "collaboration" appears to really just prevent them from speaking out against any of the timber industry's desires. These groups appear to care more about not upsetting their 'timber partners' then they appear to care about standing up for the management of public lands based science, law and the right of all Americans to fully participate in the process. As I keep mentioning, as someone who's deeply involved with the forest and Wilderness movement nationally, not just in Montana, there is a general impression throughout the larger movement (as clearly evident at conferences, through internal list-serves, via official written testimony on bills like FJRA, etc) that the manner in which some of this "collaboration" is taking place in Montana is mis-guided, politically driven, potentially in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and doesn't serve the long-term interest of America's public lands legacy. There is also a general belief throughout the larger movement that some of the policy solutions being offered up by some of these Montana "collaborations" (ie mandating logging, releasing Wilderness Study Areas for development, allowing motors and other non-capable uses in designated Wilderness) would set a very dangerous precedent that would simply trickle down throughout the entire national forest system. These are the types of substantive public lands policy discussions taking place everyday within the larger forest and Wilderness movement around the country.

JC
JC

Matty, these guys have no interest in nor understanding of environmental policy. All they care about is that they are good foot soldiers following the policy dictates of their senator (no matter its substance), and that anyone who doesn't fall in line should get a good whipping.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Another ridiculous Ad Hominem, JC. Here's a hint guiding you to examine your own internal contradictions. Agreement does not imply understanding, nor does disagreement imply disinterest or ignorance. If there is something that others in this thread have no interest in, it's the foolish belief that those not stridently in *your* camp are making deals with the fascist devil. That's conspiracy twaddle worthy of Tokarski.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

You might want to reread my comment, Mark. My only comment about "devils" was "fascist devils", the Nazis that Garrity and others accuse 'us' of collaborating with. Gerrity would be using the rhetoric of polarization that you fantasize coming from me. Your delusion is truly out of control. See, I don't think you're a demon. I think you're an idiot.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

That is a wild leap on your part, part of the rhetoric of polarization. We have not changed over the years, our values are intact. But your side has accommodated to the degree that you are now aligned with the developers and corporations whose guiding ethic is to do whatever it takes to gain access to the commons. You've gone off the extreme end. On that end, by the way, are not demons or evil people, but rather a reflection of a common development due to the top-down structure of corporations: The people calling the shots demand only results, and the soldiers down below have to achieve those results or lose their jobs. Those in charged are not in the trenches. Ergo, down below, ethics go out the window. It's not people so much as the way we are structured, with corporations by law having to satisfy investors over all other objectives. Here in Colorado this year there was a bill before the legislature to allow for a corporate charter that would place public good above investors. It did not pass, of course, but does highlight the problem. I see I've become a demon in your mind. Interesting!

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

False, JC. The Kaileys may disagree with the tactics, and I can't speak for their mastery of the environmental knowledge. As far as I'm concerned, if you're winning most of your lawsuits, then either the law needs to be changed (if the populous is unhappy with the outcome), or the relevant parties need to stop breaking them. What I, and I presume Don, oppose, is comparing people who don't share your passion for lawsuits to a group of people who assisted in the murder of thousands, especially when you already decried a moderate senator's use of the word 'extremist' as 'dangerous'.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

You do realize, of course, if you were as committed to your principles as you claim, you'd probably not purchase a product that fuels global capitalism, destroys the environment, and exploits workers, right? I mean the rest of us struggle with that dilemma, too, but we don't present ourselves as ideologically perfect.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Polish Wolf: Please register my vote for: "The relevant parties need to stop breaking [the law]." Thank you. It's curious to me how everyone seems to express concerns with how the Forest Service manages our public lands, yet some people seem to have issues when certain groups successfully hold the Forest Service accountable through the judicial system.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Nothing more need be said on your end there PW. We should also leave civil rights open to vote as well. Your appeal to the gallery here is beneath you. Either argue the values underlying the 1964 law, or back down. Public opinion, when 90% of the public is busy doing other stuff, is nothing more than a refuge from debate. As Dagline said, you're beat. Stay down.

larry kurtz
larry kurtz

Clearly you meant, "populace," Mr. Downhour.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

Which part was the substantive part again? Was it the broad generalizations about the motives of those who have the temerity to suggest that using Nazi rhetoric is inappropriate? Was it the part you claimed Senator Tester was inciting violence against you for using less inflammatory language than you are defending? Or was it simply the part where Mr. Garrity called his opponents Nazis? I'd appreciate clarification.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"any understanding of its precepts" You can understand a theory without subscribing to it. Wait- let me rephrase. Most people can understand a theory without subscribing to it. The vast majority of people in Helena have little understanding of environmental philosophy at it's most basic, much less the more involved theories. A substantial portion of the minority that does, does because Don taught it to them. I know of no other teacher in the city (and I know nearly all of them) who could claim the same.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

I think it's funny, JC. You note correctly that moderate environmental groups are not being compared to Nazis - just anyone to the right of them (ie, most people). Good work. It's indefensible rhetoric, JC. Here's a good litmus test for what makes rhetoric indefensible - If essentially non-violent people, looking for popular support, give a label to themselves, it is a defensible term. Barry Goldwater labeled himself an extremist decades ago, and that quote is one of the most admired, in certain circles, ever uttered by an American politician. So extremism can at least be interpreted positively or negatively. Indeed, Ralph Nader called Joe Lieberman a 'right wing extremist'. I would say Nader has a higher profile than Tester, and yet no reasonable person could argue that he was inviting violence against Lieberman or his supporters. Now, no person in American political or civic life would label themselves as a quisling or compare themselves to the Vichy government. Why? Well, in addition to the incredibly negative connotations (compared to extremist), those people were SHOT BY THE THOUSANDS AFTER THE WAR, and few people argue that it is unjustified. So, in comparing non-violent, moderate civilians to a group of people who were justifiably executed en masse in living memory, how do you figure you aren't inciting violence? But hey, you're done with this thread. I would take this up with you on 4&20, but I don't drink nearly enough for that site to be tolerable.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

You can't cry about "casting aspersions" on many people when you're defending a piece which calls thousands of people the moral equivalent of Nazi collaborators. Talk about cognitive dissonance. I know "you're done with this thread" but how can you not see that you lose all moral ground to condemn Senator Tester's rhetoric when yours is far more egregious? I do know a great about the history of Vichy, and the comparison Mr. Garrity made is beyond the pale. He should apologize.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

I also teach reading comprehension. You might want to drop by sometime. PW said that I teach my students about a wide range of environmental thought, including the precepts of Deep Ecology, which is a pretty fascinating movement. I'm fairly certain that he neither suggested that I am a devout follower of Naess or Sessions or that I seek to make my students that. Instead, crazily enough, I expose them to environmentalism from the mainstream to the extreme--and even let them read critics of environmentalism. You know, educate them.

JC
JC

And Don as herald of Deep Ecology in Helena? Really??? Deep Ecology was the philosophical seed of Earth First! I daresay that there isn't a person in power at either MWA or the Wilderness Society in Helena that practices Deep Ecology, or has any understanding of its precepts--or if they do, they must be undergoing some pretty serious cognitive dissonance these days. Reading "On Walden Pond" as an English assignment does not more make a person a devout follower of Deep Ecology any more than assigning poli-sci students to read "Atlas Shrugged" makes them a conservative.

JC
JC

Let's tackle this head-on, PW. First, Garrity did not call "big environmental groups such as the Montana Wilderness Association and the Wilderness Society" Nazis. So any debate that revolves around that notion is just a red herring. What he said is that the foundations that fund those organizations--foundations like Pew, which is nothing more than an arm of Sunoco, the Fortune 100 oil & gas company--are using these organizations to move their political agenda. The analogy in Garrity's piece is that the foundations are the Nazis, using their corporate money--laundered through their foundations--to entice locals to do their bidding. In this case, It is not a stretch to say that Sunoco--through the Pew Foundation--is paying off MWA and the Wilderness Society to work with businesses whose missions are incompatible with the wilderness values supposedly represented by these nonprofits. And if you know anything about the history of France, the Vichy allowed the Nazis to occupy their land. What MWA and the Wilderness Society are doing is inviting timber companies, ORV enthusiasts, and other extractive industries to occupy land once protected as roadless. The analogy that Garrity used is an interesting one, but any attempts to say that he was insinuating that any people other than the Foundations using corporate money to buy off local opposition were analogous to Nazis is just wrong. So Don--and anybody else who plays along--with this meme is just participating in a big ole strawman. Par for the course, I might add. What any of this has to do with lawsuits, or the rights of individuals to hold the government accountable in court, I don't know. Just a bunch of slop over hatred of effective enviros, I guess. And then my final parting thought, as I'm done with this thread, is that I find it incredibly hypocritical for the author of this post and his cheering squad to defend a senator who out-and-out called his one-time supporters "extremists"--refusing to acknowledge or even debate any potential hazard that might carry--and then turn around and mischaracterize the words of Mike Garrity as accusing Montanans of being Nazis. It's hypocritical, disingenuous, and misleading. Why Don chose to do so, I won't hazard a thought at his motivation. But the outcome has cast aspersions on many people who have different values, and choose to use lawful and nonviolent tactics to achieve their goals.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"I suspect your harping on “Nazi rhetoric” is tactical, as you haven’t put anything else up, Don." He hasn't put anything else up, I'm guessing, because he's not an opponent of wilderness or the wilderness act or environmentalists of any kind. In fact I would say he has done more than anyone in Helena that I know of to spread the understanding of Deep Ecology and the rest of the theoretical underpinnings, and for that environmentalists should thank him. I am also not arguing against wilderness, or against a particular organization, because I don't understand either well enough to have a strong and well-supported opinion. My suggestion about the populace was directed to people like the Kailey's who are frustrated by environmental lawsuits - it's fine to disagree with the outcomes, but if a group keeps winning its cases (and not suing merely to slow down or intimidate rivals), those who disagree with the verdicts are better off trying to change the law than hope that the plaintiffs will stop suing. I am an opponent of calling people Nazis or quislings who most clearly have done nothing approaching that level. I keep harping on it because that is what the post is about - using language that hurts your group and hurts anyone associated with it. It is part of why Tester can call you extremists - because if you think the Wilderness Society is comparable to Phillipe Petain, you are pretty extreme, or have a poor grasp of history. This is foolish not only because it fractures the movement, but because it makes the movement less popular (In 30 years, there has never been a higher portion of Americans prioritizing the economy over the environment; until 2007 they had never been a majority). Sure, you can keep suing, but only until the laws are ripped out from under you (take the example of wolves). If those opposed to the environment are granted the 'ultimate weapon' of majority public opinion, the courts, being essentially undemocratic, can only hold back the tide for so long.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

I suspect your harping on "Nazi rhetoric" is tactical, as you haven't put anything else up, Don. You don't seem to have a factual basis for debate here, so you are name-calling. You are trying to paint environmentalists as "extremists" in an effort to give the dog a bad name. That way you can beat him. That's Tester's goal too oddly, Burns's as well. The odd thing is that I doubt very much you'd be doing this if FJRA were being pushed by Burns under some other name, as it has in the past. I constantly point out that Dems and Republicans are the same force in action, backed by the same money. Even if you can't see it, as it is obscured by your fear of the "other" party holding office, you are an example of why it is so. Someone above said that my equating the Obama agenda with the Bush agenda was extreme or something. It is not. It is plainly apparent, but also hidden in plain sight. That you cannot see it is something that I have long scratched my head about. Why so blind? Why?