Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

By Any Other Name

In the August 22, 2005 edition of the New York Times, Jennifer Guyot wrote:
Victims of Eric R. Rudolph, the bomber who attacked the 1996 Olympics and two abortion clinics, said he seemed different at his sentencing today.

In contrast to the defiant terrorist who had declared himself "bloodied but emphatically unbowed," even as he agreed to plead guilty, Mr. Rudolph - who was sentenced to life in prison, as expected - was subdued and even apologetic.
Now compare that with what John Holusha wrote on the Times blog The Lede about yesterday's econut attack in Seattle where several houses under construction were burned down:
For people who are anti-sprawl activists — or have baser motives — a new-built house sitting empty in a previously rural area evidently makes a ripe target for an attack by fire.


Environmental activists were initially suspected in a rash of fires in southern Maryland in late 2004 that destroyed 12 houses and damaged a total of 40. The houses were part of a 300-house development that drew complaints from environmentalists, both local and national, because it would “destroy a forest adjacent to state-preserved wildlands and severely degrade one of Maryland’s largest magnolia bogs.”
So, according to the Times, if you bomb an abortion clinic, you're a "terrorist." Burn down a house to stop "urban sprawl," you're merely an "activist." The left-wing Seattle Slimes was also guilty of similar prevarication.

Check out some of the comments on the blog:
  • I find it hard to condemn these arsons - unchecked development and urban sprawl are not only an enviromental problem but they also constitue a safety issue (see the San Diego fires last year). As long as they don’t harm people but only gredy companies’ profit or assets, it seems to me that these actions are morally justifiable, even if illegal.

  • thank god…. at least someone in this country cares enough to take action.

    perhaps its not the best way to act or show civil disobedience…. I agree with the comment about them ultimately doing the evil developers they’re trying to hurt nothing more than a financial favor that is relieving them of an economic burden/liability.

    but…. i’m glad that not all americans are playing playstation, watching orpah, and eating themselves into a motorized wheelchair. its inspiring to know that there are still some Americans who actually care enough to take a direct action against something that is killing the environment.

    mcmansions are the epitome of our nation’s narcissism and obsession with opulence.

  • I disagree with those who say this is an idiotic act. First of all, it has spurred a conversation between citizens of our country - and I see that a large percentage of those people commenting seem to be ambivalent about whether these acts are “terrorism”, which means this is a conversation we ought to have. I think acts such as these, which only harm empty buildings and their developers (who are insured) - and which do not harm people or animals - tend to make a larger point about where this society is heading and whether all of us wish to head there. To those who argue that this act created more environmental damage than leaving the homes alone, I would argue that the pollutants released in a fire like this amount to much less carbon emissions than those which are released when the homes are occupied, electricity turned on 365 days a year, SUV’s in the driveway and all the electronics turned on. I think in this day and age of the government monitoring us and renditioning us and holding us without charges, that it is quite interesting to see that there are people brave enough to risk being labelled “terrorist” in order to stand up for something they believe in and do something which is obviously more skin to vandalism than terrorism.
  • Scary.

    P.S. - This housing development was initially opposed because, wait for it, of worries over the local aquifer.

    P.P.S - Be sure to check out the editorial in today's Daily Watermelon that claims that "human society continues to commit atrocities against other sentient creatures" (i.e. cows.)


    Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

    So is the new slogan, "Save the Environment: Start a Fire and Release Thousands of Toxic Compounds into the Atmosphere!" or what?

    Satanic Mechanic said...

    Yes, I saw the headline in the Dailywatermelon today. They called them an "eco-group" as opposed to what they truly are, "eco-terrorists". The ELF, Earth First and other radical green organizations are anti-technology and anti-anything. The Green movement has its rotten roots from organizations within the Soviet Union.
    These groups also spike trees which cause chainsaws to break apart and injure/kill the logger. If the logger did not hit the spike, the saws at the mill will hit it and go flying. I heard many stories in the late 80's and 90's about loggers/mill workers in North Idaho losing hands and arms to spiked trees.

    Call these green groups what they are- terrorists. What do you do to these terrorists? Find them and shoot them.