by Jim Heddle & MB Brangan – EON
[Originally published in the Bolinas Hearsay News and the West Marin Citizen. We share it with a wider readership here because we believe the local is the global – especially when it comes to the corporate/government driven proliferating electro-magnetic and nuclear radiation pollution of the world environment. Whether its toxic trespass with wireless pollution and pesticide spraying, or monitoring the radioactive fallout from Fukushima,
our West Marin issues mirror the planetary challenges facing our species. ]
AT&T’s cell phone antennas on your firehouse whether you want them or not.
PG&E’s wireless, dirty electricity-causing, so-called ‘smart’ meters on your house and all your neighbors’ houses whether you want them or not.
A ‘nuclear renaissance,’ the rollback of collective bargaining, the corporate takeover of cash-strapped municipalities, bailouts and bonuses for Wall Street, foreclosures and unemployment for Main Street – whether you want them or not.
Corporate ‘personhood’ and ‘free speech’ for corporations in the form of unlimited election spending – whether you want it or not.
The world’s largest military budget, a permanent war economy for an un-ending global war, tax breaks for the richest 1 per cent, corporate tax evasion and cuts in social security and medicare whether you want them or not.
Do we begin to see a pattern here?
Corporate power is well advanced in the process of seizing control of governmental institutions and agencies, media, labor and immigration law, education and health care, trampling democratic rights and choice in the process.
This is no easily-dismissed ‘conspiracy theory.’ It’s the explicitly stated agenda of corporate-funded outfits like the American Legislative Exchange Council ( For more see AlecExposed, the Nation and ALEC.org).
Funded by among others, our Tea Party-funding friends the Koch Brothers, ALEC is devoted to ‘limited government, free markets and federalism’ – code words for deregulation, privatization of public assets, roll-back of labor rights and corporate rule at every level from national to state to local.
ALEC’s M.O. is to craft off-the-shelf, boiler-plate legislation that sympathetic lawmakers can attempt to implement simultaneously en masse in as many jurisdictions as possible. Witness the recent coordinated deployment of anti-collective bargaining laws in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere, or the push to spread Arizona-style, draconian, racist, anti-immigrant laws in other states across the country. Pretty smart strategy, eh? About as smart as ‘SmartMeters.’
According to Wikipedia, “Among other activities, the group assists its members in developing “model laws” for state legislatures and serves as an easy-networking tool for fellow legislators to research how certain policy projects and problems have been handled in other states. ALEC has approximately 2,000 legislative members representing all 50 states, as well as more than 85 members of Congress and 14 sitting or former Governors who are considered “ALEC alumni”. While the alumni elected to the United States Congress and as Governors are almost exclusively Republican … around one third of ALEC’s legislative members are members of the Democratic Party.”
800 sample laws of ALEC were recently leaked. The full archive of ALEC documents is now available at a new website, ALECexposed.org, thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy, which has provided useful tools to turn this knowledge into power.
Local is Global
Seen from this perspective, the onslaught of telecom and for-profit utility monopoly’s expansionist business plans on local jurisdictions like Bolinas is clearly part of a nation-wide pattern of creeping attempts at corporate domination.
Tiny local bodies – such as our so-far heroic and steadfast local Fire Boards are hard-pressed to resist such powerful pressures.
That’s why it’s vitally important for all Bolinas citizens concerned about these issues of public health, safety and sovereignty to show up at the July 25th Bolinas Fire Board meeting, make your views heard, and support our elected representatives in making a decision about AT&T’s antenna build-out plan that embodies the collective will of our well-informed and fiercely caring community.
Let’s embolden by example other local jurisdictions facing the same anti-democratic, corporate pressures. This is a significant historical moment. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not us, who? Our little village is a microcosm of the collision of corporate overreach and local pushback.
Remember how they wanted to build 100 nuke plants on the Northwest coast? Public resistance stopped ‘em.
Remember how they wanted to aerial-spray toxic pesticides over all of northern California? Public resistance stopped ‘em…so far.
Remember how PG&E said local jurisdictions have no choice about allowing wireless ‘smart’ meters? So far, at least 45 local governing bodies (and counting) have disagreed. Bolinas was one of the first.
California’s ‘smart meter’ pushback is now a major focus of industry concern. PG&E even says what happens here has global energy policy implications.
So let’s continue our assertion of our rights. Grassroots democracy works…IF we make it so.
We know from experience that: Resistance is Fertile!
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