Posted: July 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm

You Wanna’ Talk Ridiculous Protests

I tend to agree with Pogie when it comes to the protest by Earth Firsters at the capitol building yesterday.

Was it the most effective way to get their message across, probably not, and they probably wasted their opportunity to meet with the Governor in person, though it was cool of him to try.  But these kids don’t represent Montana’s conservation movement, most of them weren’t even from here.

The reaction to the protest from the right has been predictably giddy, but right-wingers are the last people to be pointing fingers. Indeed, the Christian Right are the poster children of truly ridiculous protests.

Take the Christian right’s protest of what they called the Starbucks “Slutty Mermaid” logo.  Yep, a conservative Christian group calling itself The Resistance, actually issued a statement protesting the supposedly spread-eagled  sexually suggestive pose of the Starbucks mermaid featured in their logo. As Mother Jones points out, perhaps these folks would know that a mermaid doesn’t have legs to spread if they had had medically accurate sex education instead what is called “abstinence only.”

Anyway, who could forget the religious wack-jobs who burned Harry Potter books for promoting sorcery and the devil.

Then there was the Christian group Pray at the Pump, joined by the pastor of the Rising Sun Baptist Church of Baltimore, who planned to picket the Obama beer summit designed to relieve racial misunderstanding unless Obama changed his choice of beverage to lemonade.

I won’t even get into the Westboro Baptist Church and their ilk. You can probably think of a lot more examples of this kind of thing.  I’d be interested in reading them.

168 comments

  1. Jack Ruby

    I think it just allows them and environmental issues to be marginalized in the eyes of a lot of Montana voters. Like it was said at pogies place by others the majority of montanans may be sympathetic or supportive to their actual goals. But these kind of actions reinforce the stereotype in peoples’ eyes that enviro issues are for fringe trustafarian types from out of state that congregate in Missoula. People I know that are middle of the road but dont pay much attention to politics and could probably be convinced by a reasonable argument about such things are completely put off by this stuff…probably just the imagery and the caricature these people are more then their ideas. You arent going to convince people that your ideas have merit with these clownish antics anymore then Tim Ravndal is going to convince people of his nutty ideas when he is out shouting on a bullhorn at the captiol wearing a goofy pirate hat.

    Larrys comment was pretty spot on..if they would have protested without making asses of themselves and been prepared to have an actual discussion with the Gov it probably would have been pretty productive without the negativity. Plus I heard the stench was unbearable all the way to the Sec of States office.

    • Matthew Koehler

      Re: Larry K’s comment was spot on.

      I’ve pointed this out elsewhere, but given that Larry K and the other “Environmental Rangers” call for taking up arms to protect the environment you’ll have to excuse me if I find that Larry K’s “pathetic protest” meme lacks some credibility.

      Heck, last V-day I was at the Montana Capitol and one of Larry K’s Environmental Ranger buddies was openly talking about armed insurrection and killing people right there in the Capitol Rotunda. Good thing there were no reporters there to record the dialogue I guess, right?

      I mean, Larry K, talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        Matthew, allow me to be blunt for a moment. I know that you’re a great enviro, but Schweitzer is the BEST DAMN GOVERNOR this state has ever had! He’s one of us. He’s a good man. He’s a decent man. And he’s a friend to most of us here in Montana. Bottom line? HE DIDN’T DESERVE THIS SHIT!

        It is not right for folks to take out their anger and frustrations at corporate fascist polluters on OUR governor. I can sympathize with the young people who showed up. But they did a very bad thing. They made ALL enviros look like spoiled, ignorant assholes!

        I have spent the last twenty years of my life fighting for the environment. But THAT involves much more than throwing a temper tantrum in the governor’s office. I involves FIRST AND FOREMOST knowing what the hell you’re talking about! These folks didn’t know their own asses.

        Schweitzer went beyond the call of duty. He met with these people. Name ANY other governor in the country that would have done that. And here’s the deal. Schweitzer is a highly educated man. He’s a soil scientist. He WILL debate with anyone in a extremely intelligent manner. How do I know? Well, I used to watch him in action when he was running for office. He would WILLINGLY go on the rightwing radio stations and debate those folks making them look like monkeys!

        Scwheitzer got sucker punched by this protest. He’s a good man. He went out to meet with these folks in good faith. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO! But he’s much like the rest of us. A bunch of concerned, passionate young people show up, they deserve an audience and deserve to be heard. At least that’s what I would think. I meant, this IS still Montana after all. And that would be my thinking.

        But these twits blew it. They disrespected the best damn governor this state has ever had. And THAT pissed even ME off regardless of what they were trying to prove! For God’s sake, Matthew, study a little Montana history. Just LOOK at our recent past. The Dems got their ASSES kicked for a long time. Then along comes Scwheitzer, and he kicks PUBBIE ass, and he does so with class and style. He never RAN as an enviro. But he DID run as a man who would take care of the people of this state! Please never forget that. And he HAS fought courageously and successfully against the crazed inbred rightwing.

        I seriously doubt that ANY of the so-called protestors knew whom they were disrespecting. You see, as I’ve mentioned, there really ARE politicos that deserve in-your-face protests. But Scwheitzer is NOT one of them. It’s better to send forth your brightest and allow them to debate a man of intelligence who granted these bozos an audience.

        Over the years I’ve seen a ragtag bunch of ranchers, enviros, etc., do battle with the mining industry. THESE folks became experts in the fields that they were fighting against. ie. heapleach goldmining. And I never ONCE saw one of these folks disrespect the governor nor dance on a table. I still believe that there were agent provocatuers in that crowd.

        p.s. And the Rangers don’t protest. Never have, never will. We go DIRECTLY to the bad guys and let them know that there will be consequences for their actions. That is far different than protesting. Our direct action campaigns involve getting in the face of the REAL bad guys. Hey, you know Howie Wolke. Ask him.

        • Horst

          Schweitzer has benefitted more than anybody else from the plethora of punk politicos the state of Montana has endured in its history. Only two–Mike Mansfield and Pat Williams wer neither one as smart as Schweitzer–but both had more environmental ethics in their little finger than Brian Schweitzer has even read about. He is truly a creature of the deal made by Tsongas, Leiberman and Clinton in 1989.
          Mike Mansfield was cut from the same cloth as Harry Truman; and Pat was just an honest Irishman. Both had all of our sorry asses in the back of their minds whenever they dealt with legislation of any kind.
          Schweitzer thinks first of Schweitzer.

  2. Mark Tokarski

    I have always maintained that protesting on the outside merely means that you don’t have representation on the inside. it’s an act of powerlessness. And indeed I suspect that environmentalists of all stripes are powerless inside that building except to make a rukus. So they had nothing before and nothing after, they lost nothing.

  3. Farmboy

    The fact is that oil pipeline’s leak. And even more important, the recoverable oil in the tar sands will result in CO2 emissions will result in an atmospheric emission equal to 200 parts per million. Right now we are at 394 ppm. Scientists say we need to be at 350. Tar sands will put us at 600 ppm, at which point we are all dead.

    Schweitzer is part technophile, part used car salesman, but there is no escaping reality on this one. Still waiting for his syn-fuels…lol

  4. Stan

    Perhaps those individual protesters lost nothing, but they’ve risked the work and reputations of the many reasonable, respectful conservation activists and organizations in Montana. The conservation movement in Montana is strong in large part due to their reasoned, engaged and respectful approach- what these group of kids did is nothing short of a temper tantrum- and it’s very disappointing.

    • Matthew Koehler

      Hey, but look on the bright side Stan.

      Perhaps one day one of these current EarthFirst! activists will stop their (supposed) “temper tantrum” ways and get a “real” job working as the field director for a MT Senator.

      After all, the Jr Senator from Montana has a current field director who, during the 1980s and early 90s, was an EarthFirst! activist. I seem to recall this person even had to appear before a grand jury regarding a tree spiking issue in Idaho. Oh how some people’s selective memory causes them to forget certain things!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        Matt, it was a shitty protest. That’s all. They f*cked up. I STILL believe that there were agent provocatuers. Hell, those bastards were ALWAYS trying to infiltrate the Rangers. Always talking about guns and wanting to blow shit up. We just laughed at them and sent them on their way. Dancing on tables at a protest makes one look retarded, NOT seriously concerned.

        • Helenan

          Do I think they should have a voice, of course. That doesn’t mean their input should be taken as seriously as people who actually live here, who have spent their lives working and living in Montana communities, who have organized here for conservation because they have a stake in protecting our land. Our Montana State Government is elected to serve Montanans.

          • Matthew Koehler

            Some of you people with your stereotypes and made-up crap just need to stop it.

            I mean…

            Where in the world does “Helenan” get the idea that all the people who participated in yesterday’s meeting/protest aren’t from Montana and don’t “actually live here?” Hmmm…yet four of the five arrested were from Montana (Missoula and Great Falls).

            Or that these folks haven’t, actually, “organized here for conservation” or that these folks don’t “have a stake in protecting our land?”

            Some of you folks are no better than racist tea-baggers on this one. Sorry, sad but true. Look in the mirror before you start pointing fingers at people you don’t even know. You know nothing about their background, up-bringing, job status, etc…oh, except what you infer based on their appearance. What’s next, “Helenan?” You going to call the cops when a black guy walks down your street? Or an Arab-American boards a plane. Seriously…WTF?

            • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

              Saw the “protest” on the local news tonight. They TRASHED the capitol! There was GARBAGE all over the place. And they interviewed MANY of the folks, all from outta state. I really resent that. No one will ever convince me that there were not agent provocatuers in that bunch. Hell, they probaly PLANNED it! They acted like animals. I have never seen enviros from Montana act like that. Big mistake.

              And WHOM did they have on for a counterpoint? Why, cary hegreberg, the little piece of shit who used to work for the wood products ASS. These buffoons set the enviro movement WAY back in Montana. I’m sure it was planned by exxon. Just TOO cute the way things happened.

              • Horst

                I suspect Larry must recently have read a spy novel in which those two words were tossed about with abandon.

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                  Sorry, dude. The past is prologue! Look, I KNOW that the Rangers were targets of infiltration over the years. These guys were very easy to spot. They had NO history of environmental activism, and they wanted to start blowin’ shit up! Again, we simply told them, “you did your best, boys. Now take this message back to your masters. You AIN’T gettin’ those mines in on the Black Foot!” True story.

                  Now, about this current incident. Exxon takes a toxic dump in the Yellowstone. Schweitzer’s ALL over the news bout kickin’ exxon’s ass. SO, what does exxon do? Why, they create a giant SHIT storm of angry enviros right in his office! Dancin’ on the tables??? Wa the FAAA?

                  Sorry, but that doesn’t pass the smell test. HEY, there’s lots of folks out there that need the money. And this is just WAY to cutesy of a coincidence to be coincidence! Now, Scwheitzer looks like the bad guy! And exxon passes off to Scwheitzer. And exxon dodges the ball again. And exxon gets a free pass! And exxon shoots and scores!

                  Right outta the corporate playbook! Horsty, you MUST be bout one day old, ’cause it appears you were born yesterday, dude! Think about it. It was DEFINIETLY not Montana inspired! I’m thinkin’ that the Kockh bros. are havin’ a cold one and laughin’ their fat asses off bout now. NO ONE from Montana treats the guv that way. They would be ashamed to do so.

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Horst, I must ask at this point if you are TOTALLY unfamiliar with the fake david kockh interview with guv snot wanker of Wis.? Do you NOT know that wanker discussed and thought about USING agents to disrupt the protests in Wis? You need to get out more, dude.

                  • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                    Not at all. “All” need NOT be the agents. That’s not how it works. It only takes a few, a handful, or even one to destroy a movement. Look, I don’t know how familiar you are with large protests, but MANY times a group of anarchists will start smashing windows, etc., and marganilize the entire protest. Happens all the time. THIS was a simimliar deal. Someone reported that when the group started dancing on the tables, many in attendance were cringing in disbelief.

            • Helenan

              Well they picked a person from San Francisco as their spokesperson, which leads one to believe that their leadership is from elsewhere.

              • Matthew Koehler

                The “leadership” of what? EarthFirst! doesn’t have any “leadership” and Northern Rockies Rising Tide is based in Missoula, MT. Thanks.

                From:
                http://northernrockiesrisingtide.wordpress.com/about/

                Northern Rockies Rising Tide is a chapter of the international, decentralized, grassroots movement Rising Tide. We are based out of Missoula, Montana, USA and work primarily on issues concerning the northern Rocky Mountains bioregion.

                Rising Tide is an all-volunteer network of groups and individuals who promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct actions to confront the root causes of climate change. Rising Tide was born out of the conviction that corporate-friendly “solutions” to climate change will not save us and that most government efforts are half-measures at best. We organize through decentralized, local groups that support one another through shared resources, ideas, fundraising and training.

                Northern Rockies Rising Tide is committed to stopping the extraction of more fossil fuels and preventing the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure. Equally important, we believe that we must make a just transition to sustainable ways of living.

                Rising Tide’s tactics are diverse and creative, taking a bottom-up approach to connecting the dots between colonialism, corporate power, social justice, biocentrism and the environment. The systems that are destroying the planet are systems rooted in oppression. Combating climate change is not solely a matter of carbon emissions, but of confronting the institutions that destroy communities, cultures and the Earth.

                The international Rising Tide network now spans countries on four continents. We know that whatever we achieve in our local struggles is amplified by the energy of the growing global movement for climate justice.

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                  Wow! All that nobility and ALL they could come up with was dancing on tables and trashing the office. And for the record, THEY DID! I saw it on the local news last night. The capitol looked like a garbage dump, and the people looked like they were insane. Now THAT’S a real message they got there! That is exactly the message they got out. What the hell do you think your average Montanan sitting at home thought when they saw this? There is NO defense of that action. Hell, they made that little hermaphrodite cary hegreberg look reasonable! They set back evnironmentalism thirty years in Montana. Tell them tanks a lot when you see them, Matt.

                  • Steve W

                    Larry, young people are doing politics about protecting the environment and you are critical/upset because you think they are doing it wrong?

                    I support their efforts. And since they are doing the work/organizing I’ll just leave that up to them on how they want to do it, since I’m here sitting on my ass typing.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          p.s. Matt, we don’t do this to our friends. We DO this to Marky Ratco, Judy Mars, Dopey Reeburp, etc. You know, the REAL bady guys. But we SURE AS HELL don’t do this to a guy like Schweitzer! With our friends, we try to educate them to our point of view.

          Look, ALL of environmentalism is on an evolutionary scale. Some folks are just farther along. And some folks are educable, and some are not. Where were YOU on the scale twenty years ago?! ANY intelligent person who is not venal nor evil will eventually become environmentally conscious. Sometimes all it takes is for something to hit very close to home. ie. cancer clusters on the Hiline or some such.

          But again, ANY rational, thinking person will eventually end up in the enviro camp. And we can never forget that.

          The REAL trick is NOT making too many allies into enemies along the way. And that’s a fine line to walk. I definitely place Schwietzer in the eventual enviro camp. I mean my GOD! Look at his reaction to the oil spill! He’s being “educated” as we speak! It don’t take TOO many times gettin’ hosed by the likes of exxon to figure things out! (unless of course you’re a venal piece of shit like the aforementioned!)

          Many ranchers who were previously TOTALLY against anyting enrivo have come over to our side. Why? Well, they’ve been f*cked over, and they’ve evolved! Go down to Hilger and talk to Alan Shammel bout heapleach gold mining. And there are MANY just like him all over the state.

  5. Ben Caplis

    It does upset me that republicans are trying to paint all environmentalists with this brush. Montana Conservation Voters for example, whom I have a ton of respect for, is focusing on taking the TEA party republicans out of office. You don’t see them protesting the mega loads or dancing on publicly owned antiques. But Republicans will try to tarnish their image by bringing this up I know.

    • Steve W

      It upsets me that Democrats tremble in fear about what the Republicans might say about them.

      Who wants to vote for that?

  6. Matthew Koehler

    The Montana Lowdown blog has the footage of the rally and meeting with the governor up on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udzxb2h1_98

    In the dialogue with the Governor presented on the video, you’ll see plenty of very intelligent/informative questions and concerns expressed by the activists not only relating to the environmental impacts of megaloads, the tar sands and Keystone XL pipeline, etc but also related to the impact of these activities on indigenous communities in the US and Canada, on union workers, on people of color. It’s a fact that plenty of social and economic justice concerns were expressed along with environmental concerns.

    Unfortunately, a couple of times Governor Schweitzer thought his folksy humor would work with this group and that it would provide the answers they were seeking. It was clear, from the video, that Gov Schweitzer’s actions and unwillingness or inability to answer some pretty straight-forward questions contributed to the frustrations expressed by some activists.

    It’s also a fact that, based on the video footage, that it was one piano player (who was quite good actually) who busted out a rag-time tune that prompted a total of about 10 people to dance on the table. By and large, the group of activists were pretty well-behaved and expressed lots of good points, concerns and questions. Claims by some leftie Montana bloggers that they “trashed” the Montana Capitol seem pretty over-blown to me, based on the video evidence.

    Moving on, I’d be willing to bet that people like Pogie, Kailey and MT Cowgirl actually have very little experience working with EarthFirst! activists. I’ve been working with EarthFirst! activists over the years, staring in 1995 during the Warner Creek blockade on the Willamette National Forest (longest lasting road blockade in US History). A nice movie about that campaign was made by our friends a few years ago: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1915772001649860572

    Anyway, while Kailey apparently wants to put EarthFirst! activists in the “Principled Left” (whatever he defines that as) category, I actually know of no EarthFirst!ers who would consider themselves in such a way. To over-generalize, for the most part, the political philosophy of many EF!ers is anarchy with a big helping of Deep Ecology mixed in. Over the years, EF! activists have successfully worked side by side union workers (Steelworkers, especially), people of color, the economically disadvantaged and indigenous people all over the place. EarthFirst! is not an organization so much as it is a mindset of those who consider themselves EF!ers during any given period.

    I’ve given a few dozen media trainings to EarthFirst! activists over the years and some of those have been more successful than others. I also have experienced the joys, first hand, of having the actions of an individual or two derail a lot of hard work and strategy that we put into our campaigns.

    For example, back in September 2000 Idaho Rep Helen Chenoweth was holding a Congressional field hearing at the U of Montana to lay the blame on the 2000 Bitterroot fires at the feet of enviros. I must have worked 80 hours that week to get a pre-hearing rally together at the UM on a Saturday morning that featured over 200 people. The rally went off as planned, we had great speakers and everyone at the rally was on-message with their signs, etc. We had a bank of TV cameras and other reporters covering our rally. Then we go into Urey Lecture Hall, the field hearing starts, and one EF!ers decides to toss a rotting salmon pie at Helen. Hmmm….what do you think the media coverage
    focused on? Our rally got ZERO coverage, even though all the media was there and recording it like crazy. Was I frustrated? Sure was. Did I feel like all our hard work had gone for naught? Yep. Did I feel like we missed an opportunity to educate the public and take a stand? Of course.

    However, it just never occurred to me that the best thing I was supposed to do as an activist was make fun of the way the pie thrower looked (he had dreads) or smelled (patchouli and wood smoke), or even really critize his actions publicly. If someone is willing to risk it all (the pie thrower went to jail for quite some time) for something they believe strong in, who I am to criticize?

    As such, for the most part, keeping EarthFirst! “on message” and “in line” is impossible and counter-productive. However, in my mind, what’s also counter-productive is having people sitting in front of their computer tearing apart front-line activists. I mean, it’s like the General back in the comfy tent bitching about the soldiers in the trenches getting shot!

    P.S. Oh, and “Cowgirl” this “ridiculous” protest is actually getting some decent coverage nationally. Kinda funny that some national media outlets actually want to talk about the issues raised during the meeting/protest, rather than some Montana leftie bloggers, which apparently want to focus on hairstyle, perfume and fashion.

    • Cowgirl

      The use of the word ridiculous refers to the religious right protests mentioned in the post, and references the word used in the attacks by the GOP on these protesters. As in, “Do you know what is truly ridiculous? These right wingers.”

    • jed

      I get the impression that doglap has gone completely into the middleclass camp heretofore best represented here by wulfgar. It sounds to me as though he may have forgotten that while he was putzing around Nam trying to protect our oil interests, there was a whole bunch of earthfirsters making LBJ’s life as miserable as Larry’s pal Brian’s was yesterday.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        Not at all, Jed. But I KNOW sh*t from a good protest! That’s all. Allow me one more story. I’m FULL of them. I’m old.

        Schweitzer’s running for senate, and Mark O’Keefe is running for guv. They have a small fundraiser gathering here in GF in a resaurant basement. The public asks questions and the candidates answer, questions about everything.

        Someone asks an off the wall question about the Berkely Pit and what to do with the water. The questioner speculates that there must be some way that it can be used for good. WithOUT missing a beat, Schweitzer and O’Keefe, both very educated dudes, begin a tutorial on just HOW that water could be processed to withdraw the minerals in the MOST scientific of terms!

        NEVER before had I heard two more qualified candidates talk in such terms. These guys were bright, serious, and ready to take on the challenges of the environment! It was amazing! They took a question that MOST candidates would simply laugh at as being fanciful, and they gave the guy a serious answer worthy of a doctoral thesis!

        THIS is who this ragtag band of misfits was dealing with in their “so-called” protest! If they had actually tried to debate Scwheitzer, I saw NO ONE there with the where with all to hold their own! And Schweitzer, being the gentleman he is, tried his best to not make them look stoopid. But they would have none of it.

        That part of the whole fiasco was very disappointing to me. As I’ve said before, all the good REAL enviros in Montana know their shit! Jim Jensen and his crew comes to mind. And hell, even I read every damn thing I could get my hands on regarding the mining issues. I could debate ANY industry puke, and did! Even on the radio! (I had a KUFM guest editorial, which was roundly applauded)

        But these poor people could not debate at all. There HEARTS may be in the right place, but their HEADS are up their asses.

        I do not BLAME young people for being incensed at the world they’re inheriting, but they must be smart about their battles. They need leaders. I saw none yesterday. They need their OWN Judy Bari. Those people are out there, but they’re just not coming to the fore.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          p.s. The Rangers are all fast approaching social security. (except Mert. He just turned seventy-five) So, it’s up to the NEW group of vets coming back from the wars to take on the new war for the environment. There exists NOTHING as healing to a war vet as the wilderness. And when these new vets figure this out, we will pass the torch. AND the ammo can! I can’t wait! They will bring what is needed to put some TEETH back in the enviro movement! They will want to fight for someting WORTH fighting for this time!

          • jed

            I told you once before that in your memory you may still be a young turk; but you have become a mossback. I am too. I’m 74; but I’m here to tell you those kids who did the tapdance on the Reagan Democrat’s porch a couple of days back are a lot more like we were 40 or 50 years ago. Than you are now. I like them better–a lot better–than I like what we have become.

  7. Matthew Koehler

    USA Today: “Pipeline protesters hit Montana governor’s office”
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-07-13-montana-oil-protest_n.htm

    ———-

    Democracy Now: “Environmental Activists Occupy Montana Governor’s Office”
    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/13/headlines#7

    ———-

    Free Speech Radio News: “Environmental activists occupy Montana governor’s office over tar sands pipeline”
    http://fsrn.org/audio/headlines-tuesday-july-12-2011/8794

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Exxon must be SO proud! Now, everyone is talking about SCHWEITZER and not exxon. Hmm. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

  8. DesterWallaboo

    It bugs me to no end that people on the left like to broad brush anyone on the right as a person not concerned about our health (via food quality/diversity) or the environment.

    Environmentalists tend to be crazed earth worshipping zealots with their own form of scorched earth policy…. at the cost of humanity.

    I tend to stick with the conservationist crowd, as they seem to use logic over earth-worshipping nuttery. Let’s get to the resources we need with the least amount of damage to our environment. Seems reasonable to me.

    I’m pretty solid on the right and I think that Monsanto can suck it. Unfortunately, Lord Obama hasn’t done anything to stop that lovely cycle of moving people in and out of the USDA/FDA and Monsanto.

  9. Matthew Koehler

    JC’s informed/experienced comments over at Pogie’s site are also worth a read…

    ——

    From JC:

    Couple of thoughts.

    First, it seems that most of the criticism of this protest would be pointed at any EF! protest. So, I think that most of the criticism is better directed at the group, than this specific action. And as to criticism of the group, many folks have already pointed to “behavior” as a reason for not liking the group and its actions. So I see this sort of commentary as nothing more than more culture war from the center for the fringes.

    And speaking of fringes, EF! is not representative of the progressive left. Heck, most of the participants in the group and their actions are anarchists. And they refuse any attempts to be pegged, or peg themselves on a political continuum. So any attempts by folks to hold them up as representatives of the “progressive left” have ulterior motives attempting to slander that group by attaching the actions of EF! to them.

    And on to the matter of civil disobedience. I have to ask folks that are criticizing this specific action as being [insert negative comment here] just what actions of EF! they have found be be positive or beneficial? If they can think of none, then maybe my first point holds true here. EF! actions are not conducted to gain public support. They are conducted to raise issues. This one seemed to raise the issue of Schweitzer’s support of Keystone XL. And Keystone XL is symbolic of 1) the corporate excesses of Exxon and 2) the environmental, human and cultural damage that the Alberta tar sands projects are wreaking on the area.

    Of course, as usual, the media is more concerned with the conflict (protesters vs. governor) than with the issue (though subversively, the issue might eventually sink into a reporter’s subconscious as maybe worth a story someday). And it seems that most of the commentary I’ve read recently misses the point of the action, which is to draw attention to an issue. Which is to say that blogs are following the media’s lead in diverting the story elsewhere.

    ANd with civil disobedience in general, just what role models would folks who criticize EF! like to see environmental activism follow? There are scant few environmental activists who I know of who spark the type of protests as Mandela, Ghandi, or King. Lay out some civil disobedience that you might find appropriate for Keystone XL and the Alberta tar sands projects. Or is it just easier to criticize behavior?

    Again, if you think that the examples of civil disobedience of Dave Foreman, Mike Roselle, Howie Wolke and the other EF! “leaders” and founders are not suitable role models, then again, you’re just getting down on the organization in general, and will never be happy until it turns into something that it isn’t and will never be.

    Can EF! ever do anything right in any of your minds? Or do you just wish it to disappear? Can you look at the issue they were trying to illuminate, or is it just more self-fulfilling to ignore the issue because you don’t like the people raising it?

    Because if folks are willing to look the other way when the Alberta tar sands issue is raised (and it is being labeled as one of the earth’s greatest environmental disasters right now) just because of the behavior of a handful of protestors you find distasteful, then maybe the real problem here is your own apathy for environmental issues in general, and your inability to deal with your own powerlessness of what you can do to successfully deal with issues like climate change and the end of peak oil production and the resulting global economic meltdown that we are currently experiencing.

  10. DesterWallaboo

    CO2 makes up 0.038% of the earth’s atmosphere. And the people from Big Green™ (aka Al “Haz Cheezeburgerz” Gore) keep screaming that we’re going to end up like a fiery ball similar to Mercury. Hello Mr. Bore Gore… Mercury’s atmosphere is 95.32% CO2… yeah.. somehow I don’t think we’re going to get there any time soon. The whole Global Warming™ science scam is making lots of people rich. I like to call it The Other Big Corporatist Organization™ that is screwing the little people. I want clean air. I want less pollutants. I want less pesticides/herbicides in our food supply. But puhleeeze…. let’s be honest about it. I know a guy that works in the Carbon Credit business… he laughs his way to the bank every dang day of the week. And you know what? It does very little to change the environment… but it does a whole lot about putting change in the pockets of philanthropists opportunists.

  11. James Conner

    Sometimes, you need to raise a ruckus to get noticed. That was the premise here. Sure, they probably got a bit rowdier than necessary (and I’ll bet that at least one traveled in a vehicle with a “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History” bumpersticker), but no one became violent and I don’t think there was any property damage.

    I look upon this as the analogue of someone giving religious testimony. The willingness to be arrested and jailed attests to the depth of the convictions of the protesters. And, as Tokarski notes, it reveals their political weakness.

    I’m no more going to condemn this encounter than I’m going to condemn not sitting in the back of the bus.

    • Wow

      Yeah, sounds like it was just kids doing what kids do. Still, the repubs are using this incident to attack the rest of us enviros.

      • Matthew Koehler

        And some Dem party operatives are using Tester’s mandated logging bill or Tester’s anti-ESA wolf rider to attack enviros. What’s your point? Some GOP’ers are attacking EarthFirst!ers…big deal? Is that really surprising to you? Of course, GOP’ers must be a little careful here or else they will seem to be supporting Governor Schweitzer, right? Anyway….

        • Rob Kailey

          Koehler, That’s what you’re truly clueless (or willfully lying) about. The GOoPers aren’t attacking Earth First. They are attacking us, the Governor as well, and that is a big fucking deal.

          • Matthew Koehler

            Oh…Ok King Kailey. Good to know.

            I honestly haven’t seen too many examples of the “GOoPers” “attcking us, the governor as well” over this meeting/protest. Please share some links or beta. It may be out there, but honestly I haven’t looked for it.

            Not sure how this possible makes me “willfully lying,” but, hey, you pull out the “liar” card with me early and often, so that’s how you like to roll…and I kinda like it.

            Thanks. Enjoy these Wild Rockies thunderstorms rolling in.

            • Rob Kailey

              I’m sorry I thought you wrote clearly that you aren’t on Twitter. And don’t expect me to prove you wrong concerning things you haven’t ‘looked for’, jackass.

              • Matthew Koehler

                King Kailey, Yes, I’m not on Twitter. 100% fact. Is that a sin in your book? I’ve looked on google news for evidence of the “GOoPers” “attcking us, the governor as well” over this meeting/protest and I haven’t been able to find any. If it’s happening on Twitter, I wouldn’t know about it unless someone on Twitter shares that stuff with me, which you have obviously refused to do…instead opting to call me a “jackass” and infer that I’m lying…which appears to be the only game you got for me these days.

                Somewhere there has to be a second-grade classroom missing a Wulfgar! right?

            • Mark Tokarski

              God almighty it’s painful to read this crap. Kailey, your words are like wind coming in the window of a skid row hotel. You can’t keep them out. It just blows and blows and blows.

              Why don’t you let me comment at LITW? What scares you? That I would eat your lunch? Are you such a lowly coward that you have to openly censor your betters? You are such a guttersnipe. Your cake is made of deep rich chocolate stupidity, your frosting is arrogance.

              Take me on, you miserable loser. Take me on. Bring it.

              OK. I’m done here now. Have a nice day then!

      • James Conner

        “Still, the repubs are using this incident to attack the rest of us enviros.”

        So what? Are they supposed to protest only in ways that won’t embarrass respectable environmentalists? And are respectable environmentalists rendered impotent by a green anarchist raising a ruckus?

        I’m getting the sense that some of the self-annointed respectables would love setting up a Directorate of Socially Respectable Protest with the power to keep Unwashed Greens under lock and key.

        Wow. What tolerance. What self-confidence. Wow.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          Spoken like someone COMPLETELY unfamiliar with the enviro movement here in Montana. Conner, how many times have YOU testified in Helena, or ANYwhere, on enviro issues? Please state your creds to make such a bullshit statement. For you see, I don’t recall seeing you ANYwhere during the last twenty years at ANY meeting! What have you invested?

          When both sides ruckus, do you have a quorum? Just wondering. And BTW, I don’t think that anyone is objecting to a ruckus, but NOT in the guv’s office! I would have NO problem if they ruckussed all day LONG outside! (without the littering of course)

          But they violated the decorum and sanctity of OUR capitol itself! That is anarchy. Anarchy is uncontrolled and unprincipled. It’s simply a mob. And the enviro movement in Montana has been VERY successful exactly because it has been controlled and principled, and peopled with outstanding, intelligent, well-spoken activists. It is NOT a mob! THIS was purely bullshit. Why?

          Because it plays right into the hands of the corpos. It’s the enviro equivalent of the Teaparty. Comic characters acting out in funny get ups. It’s easy to characterize Teatards and wackos, and now these folks have done the same for enviros. Name me just TWO ranchers over in the eastern part of the state that will willingly form an alliance with this group to help prevent the keystone/kockh pipeline!

          Conner, you’ve got nuhtin’. You need to get out more.

    • larry kurtz

      Mr. Conner: how refreshing to have your perspective on this event. It saddens me to witness the vituperative smack-down between Mr. Kailey and Mr. Koehler, two persons with whom i generally agree.

      • Matthew Koehler

        Larry, For the most part, I avoid Kailey and only respond to him when he starts calling me a liar, which, unfortunately, as I’ve pointed is, is a well he goes to early and often these days. I’m sorry for my part in this. Thanks.

        • larry kurtz

          No apologies to me are necessary, Mr. Koehler; your input is deeply important to Democrats struggling to craft a message that rings in the ears of the very people Mr. Kailey hopes to convert into votes.

          Thank you for the work that you do.

  12. Wow

    Koehler, I don’t see any critic of fashion and perfume here. You think because this is a woman run blog this is what we’d be talking about. It looks like you are wrong, but thanks for the stereotyping!

  13. Matthew Koehler

    “Wow” before you start saying I’m wrong…or sexist… you better bone up on the fact, ok?

    This “MT Cowgirl” post brings up Pogie’s post, which started off referring to his tweets about the meeting/protest.

    You can see Pogie’s actually Tweets at this link…

    http://leftinthewest.com/diary/4674/breaking-news-activists-lock-down-mt-govs-office-over-oil-pipeline.

    So “Wow” you’ll clearly see, there were some critics of fashion and perfume, despite your claim that I’m a lying sexist. Have a great day!

  14. Matthew Koehler

    “Jack Ruby” Do you know how absolutely degrading it is for you to refer to all these people as “trustafarians?”

    Do you honestly believe that none of those folks in the meeting are working class or came from working class families? So now anyone in America who makes a decision to live a counter-culture, less consumptive lifestyle is 100% a trust-funder?

    I mean, you must have some pretty interesting glasses to see that all those people have big fat trust funds sitting at Goldman Sachs. WTF, dude?

    And if you’d actually bother to watch the video that the Montana Lowdown posted on youtube, you see that these folks shared plenty of reasons the Alberta Tar Sands and Keystone Pipeline are bad ideas. If you want to say “educate us please” why don’t you spend some time taking personal responsibility to educatie yourself. Geez!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1915772001649860572

  15. jack ruby

    Matt pardon me but I thought your point was in part that we should confront the issues instead of the superficial aspects of these peoples poor hygiene. Isn’t it your job to advocate and educate on these issues or do you just douche it up and get in pissing matches on blogs? You seem more interested in the latter.

    • Matthew Koehler

      Jack Ruby:

      RE: Advocating and Educating on these issues

      For the record, please note that my very first post or comment regarding the EarthFirst!, Northern Rockies Rising Tide meeting/protest at the Montana Capitol was here: http://leftinthewest.com/diary/4674/breaking-news-activists-lock-down-mt-govs-office-over-oil-pipeline

      As you can clearly see the post read:

      According to the Great Falls Tribune:

      “More than 100 environmental activists from across the country descended on Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s office Tuesday to demand that he rescind his support for the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Exxon Mobile megaload transportation project.

      Schweitzer met with the rowdy group of activists in the reception room of his office, but refused to meet their demands. Activists from Northen Rockies Rising Tide, Earth!First and other environmental groups said last week’s rupture of an Exxon Mobile pipeline that fouled dozens of miles of the Yellowstone River downstream of Laurel is a prime example of why Schweitzer should “toss big oil out of Montana.”

      Great Falls Tribune reporter John S. Adams is, apparently, on scene and, according to his Montana Lowdown blog, will “have more on this as the day goes on, including photos and video from today’s protest in Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s office.”

      On Monday, Adams took a deeper look into the issue with his post, “Schweitzer still supports oil sands/Keystone XL despite tough talk on Yellowstone oil spill.”

      That’s seems pretty issues-focused to me, especially the link to Adams’ deeper look into the issues.

      It was Pogie and a handful of other Montana bloggers and commenters that wanted to make this meeting/protest about something other than the issues at hand. Thanks.

    • Matthew Koehler

      Pogie: The only people I called racist teabaggers were racist teabaggers. I should have pointed out that I don’t believe all teabaggers are racist, just some. That’s my bad. And for the record, I factually said, “Some of you folks are no better than racist tea-baggers on this one.” That’s called a comparison. Thanks.

  16. George3

    I agree. We can’t blame Pogie, who is a teacher, for wanting to teach young people about the most effective ways to get their views and voives heard. No one is criticizing their ideals or their right to have them-only the fact that they could have used more effective methods. And I care what most people think about the conservation movement Steve, as I believe it is important. Don’t you??r

  17. Wow

    @James Conner-i won’t judge the entire movement by these people, and you won’t, and I doubt the governor will, but undecided voters will. Its the same concept as wearing a suit to a job interview or spitting out your gum. Yes, good for anyone who applied for a job, but if we want them to get hired we should hope they do it well.

    • James Conner

      ” but undecided voters will”

      How many undecideds will, and how do you know that? And even if you’re right, and I don’t think you are, it seems to me that the real problem is not that unwashed greens are raising a ruckus, but that button-down greens are wringing their hands with embarrassment and fear instead of seizing the opportunity to prosecute the issue in a more traditional way, thus presenting a different and, perhaps, more respectable image.

      On Pogie’s website, I likened the protesters to believers delivering religious testimony. They were acting from the heart, and in the process not always using their heads wisely. I’ll defend, and defend vigorously, their right to express their opinion in unconventional ways, and I’ll cut them some slack when their judgment isn’t perfect. I’m not worried that their colorful little stunt will give all environmentalists a bad reputation.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        I’M a “button down” green?? Too funny. And just WHAT was the issue that was so cogently presented, james? The “issue” never MADE it into the press! It was overshadowed by the medium. And THAT is not the way it’s supposed to be. The letters to the ed are already starting to appear in the dailies, one in the GF Spitoon this a.m. It’s beautiful fodder for the anti-enviro types.

        THIS little protest did for enviros what Snow Tim and his Seven Mental Dwarfs showing up at the Capitol toting AKs did for respectable gun owners America! And if I remember correctly, YOU joined the chorus condemning them!

        I CRINGED when Tim and the Seven Mental Dwarfs did their thing, and I cringed again at the dancing street people!

        • James Conner

          Years ago, while still in college, I found a paper in an academic journal that reported a study of letters to the editor — and concluded that the number of letters taking Position A on a subject often was inversely proportional to the support for Position A among the general public as measured by public opinion polling. Not surprising.

          Nor is it surprising that letters to the editor denouncing the ruckus at the capitol and trying to hang the event around the necks of all environmentalists, are beginning to be printed. That happens all the time. I’m not convinced that a couple of letters from mischief makers changes many, if any, minds, let alone wins or loses elections.

          The pipeline protest was rowdy, but as far as I know, not one protester showed up with a firearm.

          Finally, better to be a button down green than an unbuttoned one, at least in public.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

            james, these folks are EXACTLY why the people in Wisconsin did not want anything to do with their type. And they are EXACTLY why guv. snot wanker thought of employing them to disrupt things! Think about it. Bet you didn’t learn THAT in college!

            The people in Wisconsin know what works. They impressed a nation. These dancing homeless rainbow people agent provocatuers impressed few. Hell, they even made POGIE mad. That ought to tell you sumthin’!

            Bottom line? Dirty hippie environmentalism is just so passe, wouldn’t you agree? HEY, jimmy, no one lives in buses in Missoula any more by choice!

            At this point I must ask just HOW many times have you spoken or testified on environmental issues? Did you ever see anything like this? It is unprecedented for a reason. Because it was infantile.

              • Steve W

                More! Larry. Can you believe it? Music jams, drum circles all from a bunch of rainbows who totally discredited the well spoken and very polite union people in Madison.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNFWA4tfoFQ&NR=1

                WISCONSIN IS LOST LARRY!!!!!!!!

                Do Something now!!

                Write a post and condemn those people or unions will be the laughing stock!!!

                Alert the Kaileys and Pogie. Get some blogging going to save the day!

                HELP!!

                HELP!!!

                The Republicans are bound to win now. Bad protests have sunk us.

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                  Don’t play stupid, Steve. It’s unbecoming. They TRASHED the Capitol here and DANCED on the table. Where did they do that in Wisc??

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Jesus, Lar, I clicked on your name and I found a great site! Like it, especially the commie stuff from Chavez and Cuba! Good job! Do you run it? Are you a commie too?

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Larry, I noticed from reading your site that anonyous advertised this “event” in Helena. I suspect that that is why it went a little awry. I suspect also that a goodly portion of these folks were not from Montana. And that is not always a good thing. Their pent up rage was misdirected toward the guv. What they NEED to do is go find the real culprits, the Kock brothers, and let them have it with both barrels. Hell, I’ll EVEN whizz on a Kock bro. table!

                      http://anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=1021

                    • Steve W

                      Larry, (of the rangers) type “Wisconsin Capitol trashed” and you will find tens to hundreds of pages of Repos, teabaggers, and right wing whackos all bemoaning the hippies who trashed the capitol in Madison.

                      Then type Montana Capitol trashed, and you will find
                      LITW, MT Cowgirl, and Intelligent Discontent all bemoaning the hippies who trashed the capitol. We don’t need Repos, Teabaggers and right wing whackos, because we got you.
                      good job!

                      4 of the 5 people arrested in Helena are from Montana.

                      Northern Rockies Rising Tide is located in Missoula.

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Steve, pictures don’t lie. The Capitol floor was COVERED with trash. I saw it on the Channel 3 news. Now, as far as Wisc. goes, that was all lies as I understand. I heard that the people policed it each night. Do you have pics?

                      And I don’t care about arrests. ALL the people interviewed on TV were from some place else. ie. San Francisco.

                      And please don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE their passion, hate their tactics. They were not proven, sound Montana tactics. You DON’T stop things overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and perservance. And THAT is the antithesis of a flash anything!

                  • larry kurtz

                    South Dakota is putting a lobbyist database online. When i Google for one in Montana it does not appear.

                    My sense is that there are many, many out of state lobbyists bending the governor’s ear. Why should EF! not be heard?

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                  Steve, you seem particulary dense, but I’ll ask anyway. Please re-watch the Helena tape and answer. WHAT was the one question asked by these morons that impressed you? They had NO idea what they were talking about! Or maybe two for the sake of argument. What were the two insightful questions from that incident? For you see, I saw none and I’ve watched the tape numerous times.

                  It was a mob action that was hooting and howling over nothing when Schweitzer attempted an answer. GREAT way to get your message out. THAT alone angers an rational, thinking people from Montana. Why? Why does this anger people from Montana?

                  Easy answer. Because OUR guv is easily accessible! If these morons would have been polite and asked the guv to come sit at the table for a moment and discuss things, he would have done it in an instant! That’s just the way he is. He has NEVER shirked a debate! Ever! He relishes a debate. If these bozos were from Montana, they’d know that.

                  But noooooo! These yahoos had to hoot and holler even before he got an answer out! Sorry, that’s rude, infantile, and a stoopid tactic. In fact, it’s NO tactic. Why did the guv deserve this? Bottom line, he didn’t.

                  So, these folks blew it. SOMEone SOMEwhere ginned up the idea in these rainbowed heads that Schweitzer is a bad guy. Well, he’s not. And for unkempt street people with fleas to treat him as such is an insult to all Montanans.
                  THAT is why it didn’t work! Their tactics got the best of them. They crossed the line.

                  I’ve got NO problem with climbing flag poles. Hell, that’s a good one. I’ve got NO problem with dancing, but NOT on an office table. I’ve got absolutely NO problem with speaking to the guv. But NOT the way that THEY did it! There appeared to be NO ONE there even barely literate about the issues! A big fail. This did NOT happen in Wisc.! Every person I saw interviewed was articulate, knowledgeable, and passionate.

                  You see, Steve, the corpos have declared war on us and the environment. We MUST be smart. We NEED good leaders. We need another Che, a doctor, and Castro, a lawyer! We need INTELLIGENCE, like the teachers in Wisc.! What we DON’T need are reetards who simply hoot and holler. Sorry.

                  Have a nice day.

                  • Steve W

                    Larry, the tape I’m watching is over 22 minutes long.

                    Is that the one you watched?

                    Below is from Northern Rockies Rising Tide.

                    “Environmental activists from Northern Rockies Rising Tide, Earth First and other groups descended upon Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer office on Tuesday, July 12. The group demanded that Schweitzer rescind his support for Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline as well as ExxonMobil’s plans to truck over 200 massive Korean-built tar sands processing modules across Idaho and Montana. Here is raw video from the protest and the meetings.”

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udzxb2h1_98

                  • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                    Below is what our TV news showed. This is what we saw. And we groaned our way through it. It was NOT very flattering. Granted, it ain’t a lot, but you can see the garbage all over floor. And you get a feel that many were from outta state. And for God’s sake, ONLY this protest could have made that hermaphrodite cary hegregerb look good.

                    There is raw footage from the same site. I loved the flag deal. As I mentioned, with a little leadership, this could have been a fantastic event. Guess I’m not into flash mob antics. Hell, I don’t even know really what that means! I prefer discipline. Comes from being in the military. Before every Ranger operation, we sit down, Indian style in a council, and discuss the operation. And everyone has their say. Anyone is free to back out if they choose. But that rarely happened. And then, we settle on a course of action. We’ve always been very disciplined in our efforts, so these protests aren’t for us. As I mentioned, we really never protest at all. Only once. We’re not protestors.

                    http://www.krtv.com/news/helena-protesters-garner-attention-but-little-support/

                    • Steve W

                      Your TV news did a hatchet job on the story.

                      That’s about as biased reporting as I’ve ever seen. A totally slanted report, not even an attempt at fairness.

                      You should write them a letter and tell them to learn how to do journalism.

                      And you should quit believing everything you see on TV. Most of it’s crap.

                      Did you watch the 22+ minute video?

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Yes, up until the dance scene. Then I was done. Hell, I haven’t even seen High School Musical yet. Again, I think they took what could have been a great event and blew it for lack of planning.

                      I will tell you this. I would not even THINK of opening my mouth to testify unLESS I had my shit wrapped tight. In other words, you HAVE to make yourself an expert if you’re going to confront the experts. And the guv is damn good. HE’S a guy that has his shit together. So you must be prepared. Hell, he was WANTING to engage these folks with the issues, and they, because of lack of leadership, took a big dump. You have to have leaders. THAT is why anarchy doesn’t work.

                      Steve, can you understand a bit of what I’m trying to say? Hell, it comes from twenty years of frontline enviro work with the best. I’ve seen farmers, Native Americans,and ordinary folks become experts in heapleach mining and water issues. They MADE themselves experts. These folks in Helena were experts in nothing. And that comes from inexperience. AND also, not living here. You see, to folks living here, enviro issues are not just a cause, they are our LIVES! We ain’t goin’ back home after the dance!

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                      Steve, your newness is showing. For God’s sake man, with the press you take what you get! Hell, if you don’t understand even THIS much, you have a lot to learn. Stop whining and do it right next time. Hey, I have a great idea. Why don’t you ask the folks who KNOW what works? Just a thought. No sense in reinventing the wheel I always say. And with good guys, err on the side of civility. With bad guys it doesn’t matter. They’re shit anyway. But Schweitzer is NOT shit. Get it?

  18. Matthew Koehler

    Hello, I would like readers of this blog to know that Don Pogreba has now decided to censor and remove my comments on his blog post about the meeting/protest at the Capitol. Instead, Don Pogreba has decided to simply re-write my comments under my own name with the following words:

    “Stuff. Copy. Pasted.”

    and

    “INSERT SMUG, PRESUMABLY FACTUALLY CHALLENGED AND COPY-PASTED REMARK HERE.”

    You can see Don Pogreba actions for yourself at the bottom of the comments section here:
    http://intelligentdiscontent.com/2011/07/12/capitol-protest-lets-discuss-not-dance-our-way-to-broad-environmental-coalitions/#disqus_thread

    What’s so funny and childish about Don Pogreba’s antics to censor, remove and then re-write my comments under my name is that the comment in question is simply a response to something Don himself brought up – namely the testimony I gave before the US Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee in 2009.

    Below is the comment that I have attempted to post on Don Pogreba’s blog three times now. We’ll see how long it lasts up there before Don removes it and then replaces it with some childish, smug comment that he attributes to me, but writes himself. Good grief Pogie!

    ———

    Pogie, thank you so much for bringing up my 2009 Senate testimony.

    Anyone can view the entire Senate hearing here:
    http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.LiveStream&Hearing_id=506d4038-9383-540e-6697-6db84663f270

    I was invited to testify on behalf of over 50 conservation groups from around the country and I was actually quite pleased with both my testimony and responses during the Q/A session. I’m pretty sure the same could not be said of Senator Tester. Oh my, Don, have you actually forgotten about this article about the actual Senate hearing?

    LET’S HAVE AN APOLOGY
    What Tester’s Outburst Tells Us
    Mean-spirited, personal attack at congressional hearing completely out of line, especially coming from a member of the U.S. Senate.
    http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/what_testers_outburst_tells_us/C41/L41/

  19. Marci

    I went and read the removed comments. I must say I could tell the comments were cut and pasted by the formatting. Only your comments were formatted weird, becuz only you appear to be cutting and pasting from elsewhere. You also called us Cowgirl commenters racists I see. What the heck dude? I have enjoyed this discussion, but I have to say I resent being compared to a racist teabagger.

    • Jed

      If Montana continues to send Reaqan Democrats like Tester and Schweitzer into office we are going to continue to be represented by Reagan Democrats–or worse, yet, losers like Denny, or teawankers!

  20. Matthew Koehler

    Marci, I do most all of my work through my email program…so that fact, combined with my poor understanding of technology, is why my comments were “formatted weird.”

    If you read Pogie’s blog you’ll also notice that I wrote yesterday, “Sorry for the formatting of my messages. No idea how they end up like this, as they appear just fine, with proper spacing, etc when I type them in. Oh well….”

    The fact here is that the comment I have been trying to post on Don Pogreba’s site (but which he keeps on removing and re-writing under my name) was an original comment written by me earlier today.

    It’s also funny that I only wrote that comment, and attempted to provide a link to the Senate Hearing and the NewWest article about the hearing, because Don Pogreba had posted the snarky comment “It’s not hard to see why you performed so well at the Senate.”

    Well, my question to Don would be, if it’s not hard to see why I performed so “well” at the Senate hearing then why does Don feel compelled to actually remove my comment, which includes a link to the TV coverage of the actual hearing and a NewWest article based on the hearing?

    Why does Don feel so compelled to re-write my comment and then post it up on his blog under my name, without my permission?

    Does Don not want to public to have access to the actual US Senate hearing? If so, that’s, like, so “democratic” of him, don’t you think? Hey, perhaps even Don’s students are leaving that removing comments on a blog and then re-writing them under someone elses name is the way to go!

    But, hey, I guess the big issue for you Marci is the formatting of my comments, not the fact that Don Pogreba is removing my comments and then re-writing them under my name. Look on the bright side, Pogreba might have been our Governor. Not sure how far such childish actions would have taken him in that position.

    Finally, I didn’t call anyone here a racist (again, this must be the BIG issue right?). I’ve explained what I said a number of times here. I simply took exception that some people were criticizing the EarthFirst! action based on the appearance or smell of some of the people involved. Again, my exact statement was “Some of you folks are no better than racist tea-baggers on this one.” That wasn’t directed at you Marci, so no idea why you would take such great offense to it. If that comparison offends people, I’m sorry…but geez.

    • Moorcat

      And my question to you would be.. “What do you think gives you the right to question or attempt to overrule the owner of the damn blog?”. It is Don’s Blog, not yours. You have no rights, no expectations of being allowed to comment (other than the ones you try to take for yourself) and he doesn’t have to justify deleting, modifying or mocking your comments. It is not your soapbox – it is his. Deal with it and move on. By posting this same complaint on multiple websites, you make yourself look whiney, small and childish. If you want a platform, get your own blog, post a link to it and move on.

    • Pogie

      Matt, given your childish tantrum and threat to me today, perhaps you should reconsider the personal attacks.

      Why did I remove your posts, even though in six years of blogging I have never done it before?

      Two possibilities present themselves.
      1) I just couldn’t handle your sophisticated reasoning and argumentation. Your truth bombs were just too heavy, man.

      2) That your infantile remarks so often characterized by a troubling degree of martyrdom, don’t add anything to the discussion and would be more appropriate on your livejournal page.

      As always, you get to pick your own truth.

      • Matthew Koehler

        Don, just what “threat” did I make to you today? Are you referring to the email I sent you as the big “threat?” My goodness Don.

        Everyone should know that in the email I requested that Don immediately cease from removing my comments on his blog and replacing my comments with snarky, childish comments, which Don was writing himself, but posting under my name. I told Don that if he didn’t cease writing comments under my name I would speak to an attorney.

        I’m happy to provide anyone with a copy of my email to Don, but I certainly made no “threat” to him in the sense that he appears to be inferring.

        Finally, for the record, pasted below is the exact comment I’ve been trying to post at Intelligent Disconnect. Ironically, the comment is in direct response to Don bringing up the Dec 2009 Senate hearing on Sen Tester’s mandated logging bill.

        Ask yourself why Don would feel the need to censor, remove (and then re-write under my name) a comment which simply directs people to:

        1) the actual TV footage of the entire Dec 2009 Senate Hearing and;

        2) an article about Senator Tester’s actions during the hearing written by Bill Schneider of NewWest?

        Ask yourself what exactly in my comment below is so egregious as to warrant being removed from Intelligent Disconnect?

        Thank you.

        ———-

        Pogie, thank you so much for bringing up my 2009 Senate testimony.

        Anyone can view the entire Senate hearing here:
        http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.LiveStream&Hearing_id=506d4038-9383-540e-6697-6db84663f270

        I was invited to testify on behalf of over 50 conservation groups from around the country and I was actually quite pleased with both my testimony and responses during the Q/A session. I’m pretty sure the same could not be said of Senator Tester. Oh my, Don, have you actually forgotten about this article about the actual Senate hearing?

        LET’S HAVE AN APOLOGY
        What Tester’s Outburst Tells Us
        Mean-spirited, personal attack at congressional hearing completely out of line, especially coming from a member of the U.S. Senate.
        http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/what_testers_outburst_tells_us/C41/L41/

      • Craig Moore

        Don writes to Matt: “Why did I remove your posts, even though in six years of blogging I have never done it before?”

        Well Don that’s a ‘pants on fire’ lie on your part as you did the same thing to me not too long ago. In fact you took it one step further and blocked my comments with this remark, “The site has blocked you from posting new comments.”

        If you are going to claim the high road, then you must try harder.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Don’t go away mad, matt. Just go away! We, the environmental community here in Montana, will call you if we need your services. And please state FOR THE RECORD, just WHERE in our history has some bullshit tactic like this recent one done ANY good? It hasn’t. The tremendous successes of Montana’s environmental community have NEVER invovled wackos from outta state DANCING on the table in the governor’s office! You are terribly uninformed about the enviro community in Montana and its history. Hell, I have NEVER heard of an enviro tactic actually ANGERING most of the enviro community in this state! I guess that’s kinda like an accomplishment, no? Not very creative NOR a good idea! EVER!

  21. Matthew Koehler

    Mr. Kurtz: Not the most updated blogs in the world, but here are some links. Also, I had front-page posting status at Left in the West from about December 2010 until April 2011. At that point I had my front-page posting status removed by the administrator(s) of Left in the West, apparently, because I posted an action alert regarding Senator Tester and his wolf rider. And I guess that was one of the biggest sins the world has ever seen. Oh well….From time to time I also write stuff that appears at 4and20 and http://www.counterpunch.org. Thanks.

    http://cleangreensustainable.wordpress.com/

    http://greengolf.wordpress.com/

    http://testerloggingbilltruths.wordpress.com/

      • Jed

        Odd that you’d say that. I can’t see wulf playing football. Or rugby. Or even baseball; but I can see him spending years settling for 90 while aiming for 89…

      • Moorcat

        Depends on which “Mr. Kailey” you are refering to. Both Rob and I played sports (a number of them), both Rob and I did track, both Rob and I have – at one time or another – competed in various forms of martial arts. I have played golf about a century ago but couldn’t really get into the game (Being ADHD, if I want to go for a walk, I will hike. Chasing a little white ball around for hours on end was boring to me). I am not sure if Rob has played, though if he did, he would probably be pretty good at it. He has the patience, the drive to improve and the ability to work out strategy for the game.

  22. jack ruby

    Your equation of the posters here to racist teabaggers requires discrimination against trustafarians to be equated to that of an actual legally protected minority class mr kohler.not valid.

            • Matthew Koehler

              Robbie K: Please, can you go back to just calling me a liar? I liked that sooo much better. Hey, you know what’s funny? People on this comment section ask me if I have a blog…so I post my blog address. Then you accuse me of “self promotion.” Hmmm….What to do, what to do?

              Anyway, the link you just provided here actually isn’t to a piece of “self-promotion.”

              http://www.leftinthewest.com/diary/4674/breaking-news-activists-lock-down-mt-govs-office-over-oil-pipeline

              It’s to the post I wrote up about the breaking news of the meeting/protest at the capitol, a meeting/protest that I didn’t even know was happening and had nothing to do with. And lookie at my original post…hmmm…Wow, I link to a Great Falls Tribune article and then link to a in-depth article at the MT Lowdown Blog. Yeah, you’re right…that’s just, like, such a big example of “self-promotion” I’m sure glad you called me out on it.

              P.S. Kailey, also so glad your new thing with me is to now call me a “trust fund baby.” My dad, who put in 8 years at the Kohler Co factory and then 40 years as a house painter…yeah, he put together quite the “trust fund” for my brother and I! Hilarious, Robbie, just hilarious!

            • Mark Tokarski

              Last I heard he was licking boots begging people to vote for him to go to Chicago or some such place – you know, part of the grandiosity aspect of his condition.

  23. Ken Thornton

    I left my last shift in the conoco refinery in 1990 vowing never to work in fossil fuels again. I spent the last 20 years using my engineering skills working in clean energy. I did what i could here in great falls to stop the coal fired power plant. I will take my last breath turning a wrench on a solar panel or wind mill because I have two children that need a working environment .

    Maybe its good politics to back the governor in his political dance but he lost me when he didn’t even bother using the absurd term “clean coal”

    Look at the climate . there is no denying that climate change is happening and is accelerating. The gospel truth is that the only sane folks in the governors office were the ones dancing on the table. We are past the time for politics.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      So, Ken, what you’re saying in essence is that Houston, we have a problem. So let’s do something REAL stupid and counterproductive. Now, Ken, I too am from GF and I NEVER saw anyone dance on a table and act retarded. And yet, we STILL stopped the coal plant! Go figure. Now, I ask YOU the same question I asked of kohler. WHERE have you seen retarded tactics prove effective in Montana? Anywhere??? Anywhere??? Anywhere???

      HEY, we all get frustrated with the corpo fascist polluters, but we ALL don’t do things dumb as dog doody just to get on the news!

      I’ll wait for your answer. You see, Montana has a very great, noble of history of environmental successes, ie. I-137 and the coal plant in GF. Did you REALLY see outta state reetard tactics in use in those victories? I didn’t. What I DID see is the committed, activist, socially conscious enviro intelligenstia in GF, some truly remarkable folks like Cheryl Riechert, Rich Liebert, Aart Dolman, etc., educating folks and forming alliances with the farmers most effected by the plant like Bob Lassila. It was through relentless education, alliance formation, and public comment etc. that turned the tide. Yes, it was a remarkable achievment that did NOT resort to infantilism!

      Now, Ken, when did you see the table dancers in GF? And just where? BTW, Scwheitzer did NOT deserve this. Again, he is a soft target. He is NOT a corporate polluter! Why didn’t these infants go attack EXXON CEOs? You see, that would require a certain amount of nuts that these folks just don’t have. They prefer soft targets, JUST like industry does!

      And sorry, Scwheitzer IS no raving enviro, but he is a great guv ANYway. He must govern EVERYthing, not just the environment. He deserves our respect. He’s done a fantastic job. Why can’t you show him even a MODICUM of respect? Hell, I REMEMBER the sixties! I LIVED through them! Scwheitzer is no Ronnie Raygun closing the exits at Berkly and gassing students! Some of your folks have a very distorted sense of history. Look, when a guv comes out to have a dialogue with folks, DON’T crap on the guy! That’s infantile.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        p.s. Ken, and let’s be honest. The folks in GF were relentless. They NEVER gave up! Week after week they showed UP in the city commission meetings to make their case in an intelligent, extremely well-informed manner. And they DID all this when confronting the most HOSTILE council imaginable! Many the night when folks were removed for the most innocuous word choice, or a look that the mayor did not like. Arrest was always a possibility, and everyone was at one time or another escorted from the podium by cops. THAT was the reality!

        Being reetarded and dancing on the tables would have achieved NOTHING! And you know that! It’s called brains, Ken. One must have brains to engage the bad guys, ’cause they simplye LUV reetards! It furthers their cause! THAT is exactly why they infiltrate eco groups and destroy them from within. A very effective tactic.

        SO, sometimes we gotta use our brains inSTEAD of our dancing “skill” to win. Believe me, it’s MUCH more effective. Oh sure, there is a time for emotion. But the ONLY emotion I saw in the Helena demostration was silliness. And so did all thinking people.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Not convinced about what? Well, I have been in the enviro work for a long, loong time. Long before kohler was on the scene. I know what works because I’ve SEEN what works. Success takes committment, courage, hard work, and intelligence. Infantilism defeats the purpose. Ya gotsta pay your dues if ya want’a sing the blues. And you’ve got to pay your dues if you want to be an effective enviro.

      Cheryl Reichert, research pathologist, MD.
      Rich Liebert, Lt. Col., U.S. Army retired.
      Aart Dolan, college prof, retired.
      Ronald Gessman, engineer
      Lawrence Rezentes, govt. accountant
      Stuart Lewin, atty.
      Ken Thorton, ex-coal field worker BUILT coalstrip one and two! And expert in renewables who house I believe is off the grid!

      THESE are a handful of the incredible people that fought the coal plant in GF and won! THESE folks have paid their dues! BIG time! They are extremely well-educated, courageous, committed, and motivated! And they showed UP week after week after week! Now, if I’m lyin’, Ken Thornton, a great enviro himself, can point out where I erred. But I did not.

      This is a small sample of the people we had working on stopping the plant. And it was NOT easy. For you see, many good Dems were all FOR the plant because of the jobs. It strained many friendships with our union brethren.

      Steve, this is just one small example. The outstanding people in the Montana enviro fields are legion! It has truly been a pleasure to meet and work with them. THESE are the folks that get things done! NOT the reetards dissing our governor.

      And don’t EVEN get me started on the heapleach mining issues. That would take a book. And I may write it one day. It’s an absolutely incredible story.

      • Moorcat

        Larry, it wasn’t just the “Enviro” crowds the stopped the coal plant in GF. There were also a large number of conservatives involved like Gregg Smith. This was a situation that drew together a great many people for a worthy cause, and you should at least acknowledge the people from the “enemy camp” tha worked along side you guys to stop the insanity.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          As I mentioned, there were too many people to name. I mentioned the true leaders. Smith did a great service with his blog by illuminating the issues. He was doing the investigative reporting that our local rag, the GF Spitoon was NOT doing and SHOUD HAVE been doing.

          BUT we must be clear. He had NO environmental objections or concerns about the plant. His only conern was the financial folly.

          But that is NOT to say that many of the people involved were NOT Republicans. I never felt the need to inquire as to their political affiliations, and to this day could not say one way or the other. But I DO know that most of the folks involved are also involved in all kinds of social justice and environmental causes. And I suspect that some have been Republicans their entire lives.

          But your statement as to a “large number of conservatives” I think is inaccurate. The farmers involved may be conservative, but the effort itself was LED by the local enviro community for sure. And for the record, I don’t HAVE an “enemy camp”, unless of course you’re refering to the wackjob crowd. BTW, Moorcat, back atcha, how many Dems in the House of Reps signed on to the current Pubbie bill that kills enviro protection in this country, and how many opposed it? I think most folks understand that the Pubbies in general have become hostile to the environment. Sure, it wasn’t always this way. But essentially, Nixon was FORCED into action for political reasons more so than ideological ones if the truth be told.

          • Moorcat

            The idea of Nixon being “forced” into anything during his presidency is kind of amusing. One of Nixon’s “charms” was that he pretty much disregarded Congress when they wouldn’t get on board for something he was advocating. As far as the EPA and Clean Air Act, these were issues that were brought up by Republicans at the time. There was a deep concern that, in the absence of regulations, the damage we were doing to the environment would adversely affect both citizens of this country and the growing manufacturing businesses. Yes, the focus from the Conservatives was somewhat monetary – it usually is with conservatives – but also remember that the majority of the Scientists working on the issue were conservative (that was the case at the time – hard sciences were usually the pervue of the right, “soft” sciences were usually the pervue of the left). Regardless of how they got to the conclusion, the conclusion was still that something had to be done. Nixon wasn’t forced by anyone unless you call listening to the citizenry of the US being “forced”.

            The same holds true for the Highline plant in GF. Gregg and others attacked the problem from an entirely different aspect (for Gregg, it seemed to be a simple question of right and wrong). Gregg did a lot more than just blog about it, too. As a lawyer, he filed multiple motions, did a lot of “freedom of information” act stuff to gain information on the situation and worked tirelessly on educating the public on the less than stellar actions of the public officials involved. I do not downplay the role the environmentalists played in that whole drama, but don’t downplay the work of the people who’s motivations weren’t the same as yours. It took both groups of people to get the job done.

            • Jack Ruby

              He was forced into accepting the EPA by Matt Koehler dancing on his desk and refusing to leave. That was on the missing 18 minutes of the watergate tapes.

              • Matthew Koehler

                Ha! That’s funny Jack. But when Nixon created the EPA I was still two years sky of being born. Talk about a “Rose Mary Stretch!”

              • Moorcat

                I am really not willing to get into the issue between Koehler and Rob/Larry, other than stating his whining about blog owners not “respecting his opinion” is silly and childish.

                I was very much alive and watching when Nixon did the things he did and understand that the Conservatives today about about as removed from the Conservatives of that time in the same way the world today is removed from the world in 1776. Koehler has some good points – in his area of expertise – and I would probably take him more seriously if he wasn’t such a child in his posting. When it is all boiled down, that is pretty much what I am getting from both Rob and Larry. Conservatives of today need to remember that we depend on the planet and it’s resources and it is not feasible to continue to destroy our own house. Sadly, logic and reasoning seems to be seriously lacking on our side of the aisle. At the same time, I refuse to support the idea of “blind preservation” over the idea of conservation. Attempting to convince me of that idea will fail miserably – just as it will fail if you try to convince any conservative. It isn’t just the Right that have staked out positions of “Idiological Rigidity”.

                • Matthew Koehler

                  Moorcat: For the record, I have never anywhere stated that blog owners are not “respecting my opinion.” So please, in the future, refrain from attributing specific, quoted words to me that I didn’t actually say.

                  What I objected to in this specific case with Pogie was his removing and then re-writing my comments. I fully understand that if Don Pogreba doesn’t want to allow me to post a link to the TV coverage and a NewWest article about the Senate hearing on Tester’s FJRA that he can certainly do that.

                  The objection was that while censoring my comments, he was also writing his own snarky comments, but posting them under my name. I’m sorry that you feel my concern has no validity. I’m pretty certain other people who use their real names on these blogs understand, and would not want to see their comments deleted and then re-written either. Thanks.

                  • Moorcat

                    I will accept that you are a newbie at this whole intertubes thingie and you don’t get what Don did to your comments at his site. Yes, I see your concern as invalid as it is obvious to the most causual observer that he was not trying to post something as you. I am truly sorry that you are ignorant enough not to see the obvious.

                    As far as “attributing specific, quoted words to me that I didn’t actually say”, I also find it sad that you are so unfamiliar with the use of quotation marks to indicate paraphrasing that you misunderstood that – especially given that I have said that very opinion of your childish attacks on Don on multiple sites now. No, you didn’t say those exact words. Happy now? It doesn’t change the fact that your overly worded, pedantic and childish displays of temper on at least three different sites amount to the same thing for me…

            • Steve W

              Moorcat; Nixon was forced to resign by Congress. He had more vetos overturned than any president going back to Andrew Jackson with the exception of bush jr.

              Sen Muskie (D) wrote the clean air act of 1970. He got bipartisan support for his bill.

              You are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts.

              • Moorcat

                Actually, Nixon was forced to resign by his own party and the American People. They would not tolerate the President of the United States lying. Unlike Clinton, Nixon was never actually impeached. Your facts are incorrect.

                Yes, Sen Muskie did write and propose the Clean Air Act. I would also remind you that the President of the United States is not allowed to write Legislation (that whole pesky division of powers thing). That said, Nixon did support it and worked hard to get it passed.

                Not sure why you brought up his veto record. As I said before, Nixon and Congress often went to war, it was one of the reasons Congress jumped on Watergate so fast. They even tried to stop him from going to China (you see how well that worked out…). Nixon was insanely popular, in part, because he was a hard working, take no prisoners kind of President. Given the time (we were under financial attack by the growing pains of OPEC at the time), he needed to be. When he took office, the country was divided – primarily because of the War in Vietnam, a serious recession was in the making – due to the aforementioned war and the growing pains of OPEC – and there was a great deal of uncertainty about where the country was going. Nixon stepped in – strong, confident and able to forge alliances with both Democrats and Republicans – and turned things around. I find it interesting that Congress at one point, gave Nixon the power to do things like price and wage freeze – which he used to combat the recession. Sadly, about the only thing people remember about the man is “I am not a crook”. In the strictest sense, he wasn’t. What he did, though, was worse than commit a crime – he lied to the American Public – something the people of that day and age could not and would not tolerate.

                  • Moorcat

                    Who is making things up? You have no idea what Congress would and would have not done, Steve. You are guessing. Period. Yes, the votes were probably there to initiate impeachment. Back then, the idea of a sitting President lying was anethma. The fact is, you will never know what would have happened because Congress did not impeach him. He resigned. I clearly remember his speech when he resigned too. It wasn’t addressed to Congress. It was addressed to us – the American People. You are welcome to google to your heart’s content, but I watched it unfold in living color and it made an impression – as it did to an entire generation of people. If you want to think that I am making things up, you go right ahead, Steve. You seem to think that you always know more than the people that were actually there or have actually experienced something. I pity you for that.

                    • Steve W

                      I watched it too. I opened a bottle of Haig and Haig Pinch Scotch to celebrate. My girlfriend, our room mate and I brought a bottle back from Canada and we were in WA state at a friends when we watched it.

                      We also went to the Spokane Worlds Fair.

                      Why would you think I wasn’t there?

                      The House Judiciary Committee passed three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon on July 27, 1974. You can read them at the link I provided you. Nixon resigned less than two weeks later before the bill of impeachment was scheduled to come to the house floor for a full vote. He resigned so he wouldn’t be impeached, convicted and removed.

                      I don’t have to google it, but I think you might need to, just to refresh your memory.

                      I don’t pity you. You are dang old enough to check your facts before spewing forth a bunch of misinformation, after all.

            • Mark Tokarski

              Watergate, like all of politics, is 90% hidden. Try Russ Baker’s book, The Family for a different take.

  24. Steve W

    Our governor deserves dissing sometimes, IMHO Larry.

    I see Matthew Koehler as a good friend of environmentalists, as a good friend to everyday people, and as a good organizer for the environment and politics in general.

    Here’s some of the groups Matthew Koehler represented in front of the US Senate. I’m a member of a couple of those! And I give my moral support to a couple of others.

    The following conservation organization’s have joined our campaign and signed on to Keeping It Wild! In Defense of America’s Public Wildlands:

    Alliance for the Wild Rockies (MT)
    Big Wild Advocates (MT)
    Buffalo Field Campaign (MT)
    Conservation Congress (MT)
    Central Montana Wildlands Association (MT)
    Deerlodge Forest Defense Fund (MT)
    Friends of the Bitterroot (MT)
    Friends of the Rattlesnake (MT)
    Friends of the Wild Swan (MT)
    Montana Rivers (MT)
    Swan View Coalition (MT)
    Western Montana Mycological Association (MT)
    Western Watersheds Project (MT)
    Wilderness Watch (MT)
    WildWest Institute (MT)
    Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation (MT)
    Allegheny Defense Project (PA)
    Bark (OR)
    Big Wildlife (OR)
    Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (WY)
    Buckeye Forest Council (OH)
    Caney Fork Headwaters Association (TN)
    Cascadia Wildlands (OR)
    Center for Biological Diversity (AZ)
    Center for Sustainable Living (IN)
    Citizens for Better Forestry (CA)
    Clearwater Biodiversity Project (ID)
    Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice (TN)
    Dogwood Alliance (NC)
    EcoLaw Massachusetts (MA)
    Ecosystem Advocates (OR)
    Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (CA)
    Environmental Protection Information Center (CA)
    Green Press Initiative (MI)
    Friends of Bell Smith Springs (IL)
    Friends of the Breitenbush Cascades (OR)
    Friends of the Clearwater (ID)
    Heartwood (IN)
    Hells Canyon Preservation Council (OR)
    John Muir Project (CA)
    Kentucky Heartwood (CA)
    Klamath Forest Alliance (CA)
    League of Wilderness Defenders (OR)
    Native Forest Council (OR)
    Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility, United Church of Christ (TN)
    Protect Arkansas Wilderness! (AR)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) (DC)
    RESTORE the North Woods (ME)
    Save America’s Forests (DC)
    Selkirk Conservation Alliance (ID)
    Umpqua Watersheds (OR)
    Utah Environmental Congress (UT)
    Western Lands Project (WA)
    WildEarth Guardians (NM)
    WildSouth (NC)

    So I also disagree with you on your opinion of Matt Koehler.

    So I guess we will have to live it, or live with it.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      No he doesn’t “deserve dissing” sometimes. That’s bullshit. Allow me a question. Just WHERE were these dancing morons when judy mars and mark ratco were guvs? You folks are pathetic. Here, you made the news. WHOOPEEE! Maybe that ought’a hold you for awhile anyway! Right?

      Now, what’s your second act? What’s the followup? More dancing? A new reality show? Dancing with the outta state puerile anarchists? Wow! Now THERE’S a great idea! Sorry, stevey, but that’s simply infantilism that proved nor did NOTHING except anger a whole lotta decent people. Dancing on the table will NOT get you another audience with the governor. Nor should it. END of dialogue!

      So now what? Are you all gonna take a dump together on the Capitol steps? A collective dump? Well by GOD you might make the news again! And after your group dump, what’s next? You all gonna run around the Capitol nekkid? Or maybe hold a Masturbatathon in the bushes? Or the lobby?? Or on top of the Capitol DOME?! Hell, why not, right?

      You see, stevey, the possibilities for reetarded anarchists are many. The ONLY thing limiting them is their creativity. But ya really wanna know the TRVTH? Decent folks get REAL tired REAL quick of morons takin’ a dump on the Capitol steps! Or jumpin’ on tables. These morons blew it. They simply don’t know how to act. And that’s real sad!

      • Steve W

        You are just going to have to live it, or live with it Larry. See you around the boards.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          Steve, allow me a story. I DETESTED both judy mars and mark ratco. But you wanna know something? Every time I encountered them in public, I was respectful and addressed them as governor. Sorry, but I canNOT bring myself to show them tremendous disrespect in public. Judy used to always come to the union feed here if GF on Labor Day. She was never disrespected. She may not have got a lot of pats on the back, but no one ever said anything disrespectful either. That just doesn’t happen. Nor SHOULD it happen. Period. Sorry that you don’t possess the basic Montana sense of decency and civility to understand that. Guess you’ll just have to live with it.

            • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

              Steve, I ask this is all seriousness, just two questions.

              1) Just WHAT do the anarchists do for an encore?

              2) And do you think that our governor or ANY elected official will come out and meet with them again?

              You see, Steve, SOMEtimes it’s necessary to think. Oh sure, it feels great to run off half-cocked and get your pic in the paper. But if THIS were the true measure of success, Tim Ravdal and the Teatards would be runnin’ the show today!
              But the tactics used by these folks backfired.

              Now, I am very sympathetic to the protestors’ cause and have suggested what they might have done differently. But unfortunately, that was a one trick pony!

              So, what is the NEXT protest they have planned, and how long do you think the press will show UP for them?

              It’s all about tactics and strategy. If you have NO good tactics and strategy, you’re not accomplishing anything. I know you’ll hate to hear it, but even we E. RANGERS showed up at EVERY goddamned meeting in the state on mining issues, testified in the Lege, wrote HUNDREDS of letters to the ed, educated folks and argued with miners, etc. In other words, we worked within the system as much as we could. We tried it all.

              The ONLY time we were prepared for “direct action” so to speak was when all else failed. THEN, we were prepared to stop a crime against humanity.

              Who knows, we may have to do it against the pipeline! And as far as tar sands, it’s the people of Canada that should be up their blowin’ shit up. It’s their war. I wish to hell I could help them, but you can’t even own GUNS up there very well. Yes, the tar sands is a crime against humanity and the earth. Now, WHAT are you folks prepared to DO about it? The Rangers were prepared for war on the Blackfoot and other places. Our caches were in place. And our battle plans laid. And industry knew it. Thank GOD it didn’t come to that. I fully expected it to though.

              When they start building that damn pipeline, protests won’t matter much. It may take some direct action that really works to stop it. Jus sayin’. And we Rangers might just be there to do it as OLD as we are.

              • Steve W

                Hey, I can’t speak for any of those 100 or so people who went and protested. I don’t even know them. I didn’t know who they were at all until I watched a little video. But I’m going to send the local folks ten bucks and thank them for driving you, Moorcat, and Pogie over the edge. It’s worth it.

                Also they got the whole country thinking about tar sands and the pipeline.

                i like it.

                Here’s a way to answer your questions, Larry. Go to this site and read. Then send ‘em 10 bucks.

                http://northernrockiesrisingtide.wordpress.com/

                By the way, the fact that you fully expected to enter into a shooting war with a corporation (or their government protection) tells me that you aren’t necessarily the best spokesperson for tactics or for the political system. Jes saying.

                I prefer table dancing.

                I don’t condemn your action on behalf of the Blackfoot.

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                  Well, I WILL tell you this. The keystone pipeline is owned by two of the most vile, evil bastards on the face of the planet, the kock brothers. Tar sands also. And there is really NOTHING I’d like more than to pick a fight with THESE two no good pieces of sh*t. So yeah, it just might be worth it! THIS time it’s personal. I’d lay you money that the daddy kock was privvy to the Kennedy assassination if not involved. And for that, the Karma’s gonna get’em. The oldest kock brother was in his twenties at the time, so I’m guessin’ that he was privvy too. I’d like to get that nazi’s ass on a lie detector test to see just WHAT he knew. Maybe God can forgive his sorry ass I dunno, but I can’t. Hell is the proper place for guys like the kock brothers! And the sooner the better! My generation remembers. Our country was STOLEN from us by that rightwing coup. Anything to make it right is right. And hell, you never know how things are gonna turn out. I mean, look at murdoch. I hope that son of a bitch has a heart attack and ends up in hell soon too! The devil’s waiting!

      • jed

        Your holier than thou threads are beginning to look a little threadbare, doglap. What has turned you into such a judgemental ninny? You used to be simply ludicrously hardboiled now and then; but of late you are sounding pompous..!

  25. Matthew Koehler

    FYI:

    Montana pipeline spill may have carried oil sands crude

    (Reuters) – An Exxon Mobil pipeline that ruptured, leaking oil into Yellowstone River, may have sometimes carried a heavier and more toxic form of crude than initially thought, federal regulators said on Thursday.

    The U.S. Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration spokeswoman Patricia Klinger said her office had learned that the pipeline may have been used to carry heavier crude.

    “I just found out that apparently, and the regional folks just found out, there is an interconnect on the pipeline that possibly does carry some oil out of Canada,” she said in response to a question about tar sands crude in the pipeline.

    Entire story at:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/15/us-oil-spill-montana-idUSTRE76E0OJ20110715

    • Jack Ruby

      Seems there should be some kind of administrative rule or reg that creates higher standards for inspection or contruction in pipelines using tar sands oil. The fact these public officials are not claiming exxon violated such a reg would leave you to conclude such a reg does not exist. Is there a higher standard Matt?

      • Jack Ruby

        Should clarify that Im not excusing exxon here even if they followed the letter of the rule but asking if the rules need to be changed

      • Matthew Koehler

        RE: Is there a higher standard?

        That’s a good question Jack and I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve never really focused my attention on oil issues.

        I’d recommend contacting the folks at the Northern Plains Resource Council http://www.northernplains.org.

        Or the folks at Northern Rockies Rising Tide. http://northernrockiesrisingtide.wordpress.com/

        I’m sure they either of these groups either has the answer or could help point you in the right direction.

        • Lynn

          Richard Opper, head of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, said he was surprised to learn the pipeline buried in the streambed of the Yellowstone may sometimes have moved tar sands crude from Canada.

          “If the question is, did we know it was carrying tar sands oil? Hell, no,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “If companies are changing the kinds of materials in pipelines to mixes that make them more likely they will leak or rupture, that raises huge concerns.”

          http://dirtyoilsands.org/news/article/montana_spill_pipeline_may_have_carried_oil_sands_crude/

  26. Ken Thornton

    Larry, I mean no disrespect for the Governor. I am thankful for his skill and work, especially in this last year and out of pragmatism I would default to your judgement of this whole thing. The idea of Exxon agitators seem highly probable for the fact that you are right , This protest really doesn’t look like what we have done here in Montana in the environmental movement.

    All that aside, i broke with the governor when he sold the otter creek coal. He could have at least put in a provision that the coal could only be used in carbon captured facilities to match his earlier championing of “clean coal”. Also, when he went out and lectured the good folks on the coast about letting montana coal ship out of there ports on its way to China.

    Pragmatism has its place but Denny Rehburg and I graduated in that golden year of 1973( the first class not to be drafted into the Vietnam War) I am very thankful for the guys that danced on tables and got there heads busted stopping that war before I had to make a choice.

    To a point I will defer to pragmatism when it comes to politics but the minority of climate scientists 10 years ago said climate change might not be a problem while the majority where becoming more concerned. Now the growing minority is of those climate scientists that thing we are already fucked.

    I will stick to my point that the folks dancing on the tables were the sane ones because they were dancing for a very good reason.

    • Moorcat

      Here is where you and I part, Ken. Regardless of their cause, if their behavior was detrimental to the cause, their actions were counter productive. Period. It is a simple equation to figure out. While I understand you respect their “dedication” to a cause you believe in, how can you possibly support actions that A) show your cause in a negative light and B) tend to make people turn away from your cause? This makes no sense to me.

      Understand that, at least in some respects, I agree that the Tar Sands project needs to be re-evaluated. The idea that a Canadian Company has initiated proceedings against 33 Montana Landowners has me already at a slow boil. This goes counter to everything I believe in when it comes to property ownership and emminent domain (notwithstanding that I already have issues with the idea of emminent doman). As a realist, I know that there is now way to truly prevent pipe leaks and I have little faith in the regulatory agencies having any control over large corporations.

      The point is, though, that this demonstration did not make me want to express those concerns to my legislators or Governor. This demonstration simply made me want to shake my head in wonder at the stupidity of people. You see them as heros, I see them as misguided idiots, hurting the very cause they want to promote.

  27. Ken Thornton

    In 1989 I was welding on a project at the Exxon refinery in Billings. I was working night shift. More than once over the years I had noticed how just as the the dawn light was growing I noticed that the shadow of dark smoke would start to deminish leaving the more acceptable steam and light colored emissions one sees in the day. This particular morning as I went to my car in the contractors parking lot I noticed it was covered in yellow dots. Later that day when I woke up and inspected my car I found the yellow dots had burnt through the paint down to the metal . exxon paid for the paint jobs for a half dozen construction workers. I have always felt sorry for the poor fuckers that live down wind of Exxon. I still got the car with the pock marks all over it.
    Moral of the story, I wouldn’t trust
    exxon.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Oh hell, Ken, the old post office in Billings was RIGHT NEXT to the refinery. It ruined EVERYONE’S cars. It was an accepted part of working at the P.O.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      It didn’t take the paint off, just kinda discolored it. I worked at the P.O. in the summers of ’74 and ’75 while attending Eastern. I never heard of anyone actually getting paid for their paint. Interesting.

  28. Pingback: So many posts, so little time | The Road Less Traveled
  29. Ken Thornton

    Larry- in a 6 hour period the yellow spots literally ate down to bare metal and instantly rusted it. I m guessing sulfuric or maybe even floric acid, real hideous shit. The plastic bumpers still have the dimples where the spots were.Its bad shit that eats rubber.

    The worst part for me is when they would turn off the black smoke as soon as the sky started to lighten up. That showed me who exxon was.that was about the time I left fossil fuels for good. I truly believe these folks have given in to evil. a trillion dollars a year we spend on fossil fuels buys the souls of a lot of folks.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Yes, I know. You should have tried living in the Heights directly across the river from the refinery. Maybe you missed my post awhile back in which I mentioned that at night, when conditions were just right, the air was unbreatheable. This was NOT hyperbole. The air was LITERALLY unbreatheable.

      My mother-in-law used to live on Janie St. in the Heights. I used to stay with her occassionally after we moved away from Billings. I remember distinctly one hot summer night. We had no air conditioning so the windows were wide open. In the middle of the night, I was jolted out of bed and overwhelmed by the toxic air. I had to immediately get up and close the windows in order to breathe.

      Go there some time and ask the folks on Janie St. about the air. I am well aware of the toxic air spewed by the refinery. We lived over on Caroline St., so we were kind of out of range. We’d get it every once in awhile if the wind was just right, but no too often. We would more often get the rendering plant. And as bad as that was, it was not toxic.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Good article. It’s truly incredible, but it’s hard for some folks to come to the realization that industry does not GIVE a shit about you or your health! They used to confine the worst enviro damage to the poorer areas of the country, but now, they don’t care any longer. EVERY place is fair game. If the entire country becomes Love Canal, so be it. It’s the old James Watt mentality. Jesus is comin’ soon, so use it UP, boys! Makes no difference to Jaysus. He WANTS us to use it up! That is the christian thing to do. Dominion, right?