Okanogan Wildfire


Three more towns say no to the Patriot Act. And these hamlets lean right instead of left.

[Via Jim Henley.]

NEXT: Self-Hating Voters

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  1. dude,

    “Depends a lot on who runs against him, I suppose.”

    Thar’s the rub!! The Dems have plenty of blood on their hands too where the Patriot Act and civil liberties in general are concerned. I don’t know that I’d agree with some that they’re just as bad or worse, but they all too often fail to be a clear improvement!

  2. Yeah, I know. The dems don’t deserve the rep as the civil rights party. Still, under Clinton it never felt like a police state was just around the corner (well, unless you’re a cult leader in Texas I suppose). Seems like an opportunity for the dems. Or could just mean a lot of people stay home.

  3. dude,

    I can answer that.

    I’m on the cusp right now of changing my party affiliation to Libertarian but this has nothing to do with national elections, at least not yet.

    Foyo correctly points out that all “winnable” candidates are guilt on such things as the Patriot Act.

    And this is where I don’t gel with the Libertarians; there is no actual logic or planning to their platform. I’m all for drug legalization but it is a silly platform to win the hearts and minds of the average uninformed American.

    So if I decide to go ahead and change, it will be to make a difference at the local level. Once this starts to happen across the nation, then maybe we can create a viable national presence.

  4. A cult member in Texas, or a refugee in Miami, or a college student trying to speak his mind on any major college campus, or . . .

    One of the most prominent traits of the modern Democratic party is their restrictive attitude towards open debate and speech. Americans are finally starting to recognize this and this why the Dems, by their own polls, only reflect a third of this country’s voters. Their numbers haven’t been this low since pre-FDR.

  5. Yeah the love-hate with the feds in the rural west continues up to this date. Just the other day I read an article about how happy all the businesses owners in Tonasket are because the crews working the fire have been spending loads of bucks in town. Most westerners seem to prefer a federal government that is like an ideal dad to a teenager: just give me my allowance but please don’t ask me where I’m going tonight.

  6. Jesse: not only is the DEA unfavorable in rural washington; the good folks do not trust the UN and feel one day, they’ll be coming for the guns! You can still see billboards mounted to old trucks that basically suggest the UN plant stakes in another country, some being a little less polite in their prose!

  7. Jesse,

    There’s a great deal of overlap between populists of left and right: Alex Cockburn has a lot more in common with Karl Hess or the gun rights and home school people, than either group has with the current “centrist” alternatives of neocons and New Republic liberals.

    Many of the homeschooling and gun advocates I know are also into alternative energy and organic farming, and are quite willing to coexist with just about any countercultural types on a “live and let live” basis.

    Karl Hess wrote in his autobiography that he’d been a Goldwaterite, and anarchist, and a Wobbly at various times, but he’d never been a liberal. Right on!

  8. Kevin: Of course. In Michigan, a friend of mine had the same sort of experience in the homebirth movement. The Wiccans and the fundies had a sort of unspoken pact not to talk about abortion…

  9. Three more towns say no to the Patriot Act.

    If the California recall is democracy run amok, then this is surely sheer anarchy.

  10. Could somebody please point me to the specific sections of the Patriot Act that are anathema to the Constitution? Everybody talks a lot about it, and EPIC and ACLU have little unattributed bullet lists, but nobody points to the vast collection of clauses that are sucking up are individual rights. I’d like to go see for myself exactly what it says.

  11. CStephen – check Heather MacDonald’s article in the City Journal (?) for a rundown on the Patriot Act. Her take is that most of the kvetching is just the usual interest groups trying to make political hay and raise money, and that most of what is in the Act is pretty unexceptional. Nothing to do with terrorisim, but hardly the inauguration of te Fourth Reich, either. Sorry, no link – slow connection, but its a good article.

    When the Bushies start torching mosques full of women and children and kicking down doors to send children back to Communist hellholes, I will begin to beleive that they are worse for civil liberties than the Clintonoids.

  12. ^You might add that the child’s father said he wanted him back in the hellhole.

  13. I’m not looking to pick a fight, but I recognize that things get steamy in here. Let’s explore this through what Charles Murray would call a thought model.

    Every Sunday morning, Joe attends a small church with a congregation of 100 people. Joe’s pastor, William, is a community activist who believes that charitable organizations, mutual aid programs, and friendly civil institutions are a just and human alternative to the enervating authority of the welfare state. William makes no bones during his sermons about how the government intrudes in Joe’s life in ways that compromise his relationship with God, specifically as it manifests in good deeds toward fellow men. William cites examples throughout history or in other countries of social models that reinforce good deeds, free from government intrusion. Joe likes what he hears and, on the front steps of the church, after service, he shakes William’s hand and tells him so.

    George overhears this conversation. George values his church, but believes that William oversteps his responsibilities as a pastor. He calls the FBI and informs them that Williams is spreading inappropriate, politicized messages in his sermons, some of them involving how much better things work in other countries. William, George reports, has actually mentioned a few Middle Eastern countries in his argument.

    Under normal circumstances, the FBI is governed by the rules of investigatory engagement, i.e., constitutional law. But thanks to the Patriot Act, the FBI can dispatch an undercover agent — a new congregation member — to listen to and record William’s sermons. Utterly bypassing judicial authority, this agent can record exchanges between William and Joe on the fronts steps of the church, where he learns that Joe has been doing some research at the library about civil society models in other countries. Joe, now, is subject to an unannounced review of his library records and any use he makes of library internet computers. The library, of course, may not tell Joe that this is occuring.

    Paranoid and preposterous, you say? Read the Patriot Act or any analysis of it. The problem is not WHETHER the government would exercise its powers in the way I’ve described. The problem is that it CAN.

    If you value individual liberty in any form, how can you allow your lazy Congress to rubber stamp such a venal piece of legislation? Call your local Senator’s office and ask how they voted on this act. Unless your Senator’s last name is Feingold or Landrieu, you’ll find that your Senator concluded that national security at any cost trumps personal liberties, that it occludes due process, right to representation, a swift and speedy trial, the presumption of innocence, freedom of association, etc. If you’re happy with that, remember that you always get what you ask for. If you’re not, vote your Senator, regardless of all the pork he or she brings home, out of office.

    Our government has been trashing the Constitution and fattening federal government since FDR’s New Deal, raising the level of mutilation with LBJs Great Society.

    Americans used to understand the value of holding their representatives to strict codes of constitutional conduct, but we don’t seem to give a shit anymore. If “they” think it’s right, then who are we — the mere governed — to question their so-called wisdom?

    The answer is simple. We, not “they,” own the United States of America, but 250,000,000 of “us” have handed our constitutional right to involvement and governance to approximately 500 elected officials. Ninety-eight of them, plus the president, decided that your personal liberties aren’t as important as the power of the federal government.

  14. Tonasket has the best barter fair in the state. It is the only place I have been to where hippies and conservative farmers/ranchers come together for a good time. If such groups can unite for a barter event, then they can unite to denounce the patriot act. Good for them.

  15. Tonasket doesn’t lean right, it wobbles wildly. For a number of years the rastafarians in Tonasket sponsored Roots Mountain Reggae. Real Jamaican musicians playing outdoors for three days on a mountaintop in cowboy country. What a festival!

  16. Cool read. Put me in a good mood. Do you think there’s enough libertarian republicans* that when Dubya finally succeeds in alienating them, it will make an impact in 2004? I’ve been wondering about that. Depends a lot on who runs against him, I suppose.

    * I don’t mean libertarians who sometimes vote for republicans, I mean libertarian republicans – like, oh, Goldwater, etc. Old skool conservatives, as opposed to neocons. Most conservatives in flyover country are of this type (that, and evangelicals) in my experience.

  17. James & Trainwreck: When I lived in rural Washington, I noticed an overlap between the populist right wing and the counterculture, to the extent that I started trying to find words to distinguish the liberal hippies from the others in casual conversation. My barber was married to the former sheriff, who professed to hate all federal cops, despised land-use planning, and voted for Perot. Their kids were a couple of potheads who lived in a bus. A recipe for Archie-and-Meathead generational conflict? Nope: their separate styles of anti-authoritarianism meshed pretty well. (It helped that they all held the DEA in contempt.)

  18. Please pick a fight Mr. Lynch, if you recognize the outright denial of the first amendments proclamation, ?Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?.
    I live in Okanogan Co and was present at the acceptance of the Tonasket resolution, this does by no right qualify me as expert as to what each person felt or saw there in the packed room of city council and citizens, but as any historian could point out, my perspective was infused with the moment?s resonance. I witnessed a unanimous acceptance of duty to each other and to the greater good; they passed the bill and went on to the next business at hand? resolute, determined, and resolved of purpose.
    I live with these friendly respectful people here in the highlands; I see them most every day, they are a cross section of humanity choosing to coexist with each other generally peacefully, despite difference, idealized mainstream America; not so long ago not idealized but expected. I am glad that I was part of this statement of intent, while not belonging to that congregation of your illustration I have actual friends that the scenario could prove disastrous for. Our republic was founded on unanimity, by 56 men that agreed upon the administrative notice that was presented to King George. One of their generally overlooked places of agreement was that they were all Christians, and it takes very little imagination to see the interplay of biblical study interpretive in the document and the one that came after the Constitution. Even restricted as to scope of other religions apparent in the making of the documents it was foreordained that a tolerance to others views would be construed for the future. We are that future and this has been one of our deepest held beliefs as a people for 227 years give or take, why we should just shrug our shoulders of commitment and stroll away, for some more repressive future, no? time to stand for principal.

  19. “When the Bushies start torching mosques full of women and children and kicking down doors to send children back to Communist hellholes, I will begin to beleive that they are worse for civil liberties than the Clintonoids”

    Mr. Dean I think CNN and their ilk gave us boundless opportunity to witness what you have said you are waiting for during the last two condoned butcheries… oh, I understand you are waiting for it to happen here first… well wait no longer, just study history starting with the 1930’s and FDR?s new deal, witness the slaughter of the veterans in Hooverville just across from Washington DC, by Macarthur, Patton, and Eisenhower, the 1860’s and the repatriation to the federal government by A Lincoln and least we forget, the continual rape and pillage of the aboriginal peoples of this land as examples of governmental tolerance. Kicking children back to commie hellholes?. buddy why do you think the majority of adlitum state appointed parent hood cases before the courts is reminiscent of, commie hellholes, if I don?t miss the Marx. It is big business now to separate the families from themselves under opinion of what is good for them. Jeez, just look around and tell me you should wait to see the writing on the wall. Soon perhaps the wall is too high, and long before we have become illiterate.

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