Sunday, June 19, 2011

Glenn Beck and the "Agenda 21" Conspiracy

The far right's delusional obsession with the United Nations taking over America with their sustainable development initiative, "Agenda 21," has inserted itself into rural county and municipal government, as we have previously discussed here and here.

Now, in his last days of broadcasting, Tea Partisan Glenn Beck has picked up the conspiracy brought it into our national discourse, from

Beck Conspiracy Theory: U.N.'s Agenda 21 Will Result In "Centralized Control Over All Of Human Life"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What are some specific, local solutions to local problems? Guest Post by Alan R. Willard

Alan R. Willard is a 57 year old long
term resident of greater Bummerville
interested in community, organic living,
and a sustainable future.
Currently a care giver with a
micro-business, garden, family, and is
an active board member with the
Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth & Families.
By Alan R. Willard

How to create local solutions has been debated in our Dist. 2 community vision process in north east Calaveras County for the last 10 years at least. In fact it has been a subject of conversation in communities all over the USA. As our economic crisis continues to unfold it will be increasingly important to pay attention to the kind of helpful process’s we worked with stating in 99 and 2000 with the Rocky Mountain Institute , we called economic renewal. This set us on the road to answering the local problems, local solutions question.

One suggestion might be finding ways to get solar to more people. I think of all our power outages this last winter and wonder if there's a way to combine decentralized electricity production and putting the most vulnerable grid power lines under ground.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Ground We Walk On: A History of The Jackson Miners Union (Post 11)

By David Roddy (Previous posts in this series here.)

Sheriff T.K. Norman and the Jackson Miners Union

The year was 1903, the month was April, and the gold miners of Amador County were on strike. Hundreds of miners, primarily Italian and Austrian immigrants, patrolled the parameter of the mines as other miners made their way to work, pleading with them to join the strike. By April 17, all the mines around Jackson were closed.

Conservative forces in early 20th century America painted European immigrants
as stealing from Anglo-American wage earners. Mine owners and newspapers in
Amador County blamed such immigrants for labor upheavals.
Image from Judge Magazine.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Tea Party Politics will Burn Rural California to the Ground

By David Roddy

The smell of smoke
hanging low in the air on a dry summer evening is the most terrifying sensation of country living. It is an acrid smell, accompanied by a soft shade of brown blanketing the sky and the incessant buzzing of helicopters searching for any pool of water large enough to fill their buckets. If you get the right viewing angle, perhaps by climbing a roof, you can look out over the hills and treetops to the source of the tumult. A single column of clouds standing unnervingly still in the distance, colored with shades of gray, brown, and black in disgusting contrast with the usual bright white summer afternoon thunderheads.

Fire is uninterested in human economic ideologies. Its flames do not conform to the laws of supply and demand, nor are its effects tradable in the stock market. As a logical consequence of this inherent volatility, citizens have formed organizations for their mutual protection. The most obvious historical example of this is the public fire department. In 1993 Californian citizens, state agencies, insurance companies, and non-profit groups launched the California Fire Safe Council, which aims to mobilize “Californians to protect their homes, communities and environments from wildfire.” Most Americans agree that such an organization is beneficial to rural communities susceptible to wildfires.

But if we believe right-wing activists gaining popularity with the Tea Party,
an international Communist conspiracy is fooling most Americans.

The need for cooperation over competition in fire management is problematic for those who believe infallibility of the marketplace, a faith most piously exhibited by the contemporary “Tea Party” movement. This dissonance has catalyzed an assault on various forms of fire prevention at the regional, state, and national levels of government.