Friday, May 23, 2014

Why the lone wolf is easily hunted down and killed....

David Stallheim has a passionate appeal for contributions for his legal appeals on "Get Whatcom Planning" in a post entitled "An Orwellian Time - Where Nothing Is What It Seems to Be". I don't know the full details of his pursuance of the "land disturbance violation" on the proposed GPT property that county council member Carl Weimer first alerted the general public to in July of 2011; but I recognize a familiar pattern in David's struggles to hold big business accountable to the rule of law here in Whatcom County and across the country.

Let's face it: very few of us have Carl Weimer's chutzpah or David Stallheim's courage and integrity.  Very few of us want to find ourselves in a hearing room with big energy on one side and a provincial hearing examiner between us and them.  Oh, we all write letters and blogs, and some march, and  some organize and appeal to the group for more support.  But the fragmented nature of unpaid activism and a balkanized progressivism here in the United States makes forcible activist reforms easily defeated by money and power and corruption.    Historically, it takes conditions approaching social revolution (WWI, Great Depression, Vietnam War, Iraq War) to coordinate and apply progressive social reform in any organized electoral and judicial fashion.

We should be honest about our limited electoral successes in Whatcom County.  The sole reason David Stallheim is not our chief executive in Whatcom County is because the GOP convinced us that voting for one conservative was somehow better than voting for the other. We are not just easily bullied and fragmented; we are easily fooled as well. Without Tom Steyer's funding, would Whatcom Wins have even elected a Democratic majority to council last fall? I doubt it.  If David Stallheim's hearing is any indication, we won't stop the coal terminal regardless. In truth, there is no Republican majority or conservative block of any significant democratic strength in either Bellingham or Whatcom County. Nor is there such, I suspect, in most of the country.  What there is instead is a well-funded pro-business elite who ceaselessly act to control the economy, social conditions, voter messaging and individual attention to further the ends of their increasingly consolidated profits.

When you really see behind the curtains and you have nothing left to lose, you become a revolutionary social movement like Occupy.  And you find yourself on trial and convicted for protecting yourself against the groping of an un-uniformed police officer.[1, 2]  We have to face facts now: both at the local and national level we currently  live in a fascist state.  How we each choose to come to grips with such a reality is our dilemma as progressives and individuals. But think about that tomorrow. Today, I recommend you send David some help and support.

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