Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tinfoil Hat or Black Helicopter Brigade?

Tinfoil Hat or Black Helicopter Brigade, take your pick.

State Sen. Judy Burges, one of the brigade members, held a hearing last week in the Arizona Senate to discuss United Nations' Agenda 21. Of course, this is not exactly new, or necessarily news, in and of itself.

However, in 2012 and again this year, she introduced bills to outlaw Agenda 21 and prohibit any state government agency, employee, or political subdivision (defined in the bill as "this state, or a county, city or town in this state including any special districts authorized by a county, city or town") from complying with said UN declaration.

Naturally, it's easy to dismiss Mrs. Burges and others in her brigade. After all, the need for sustainable energy and a sustainable economy are well established ESPECIALLY in central and southern Arizona deserts. But we really do need to put Burges and her cohort in perspective.

First, Burges' bill may have originated as model legislation (not from ALEC but instead) promulgated by the John Birch Society. At this time, the JBS web page on Agenda 21 is quite sophisticated but there is no direct reference to model legislation. However, it does cite the Arizona legislation as well as Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire and Oklahoma all as having had legislation introduced. In its Agenda 21 Rollback Manual, JBS instructs activists to determine if their lawmakers are "members of, or affiliated with, other organizations (such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Sierra Club, World Conservation Union, World Resources Institute, Zero Population)..."

Lumping the Sierra Club in with the Council on Foreign Relations is likely meant as a signal (not unlike that of the Manchurian Candidate) to get JBS followers to believe and reflexively act as if environmental activism is a plot to undermine the freedom of Americans (and the Constitution of the United States). Except that during this hearing, former state Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-6000-year old Earth) comes right out and claims that to, in fact, be the purpose and goal of the UN Declaration.

I wish this was as unlikely as it seems absurd. I wish it was reasonable to just laugh off and dismiss Judy Burges and the rest of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade at the Arizona Legislature. But make no mistake, those people are True Believers in their cause.

Here are highlights from last week's hearing:



From Sen. Steve Farley's (D-Tucson) Friends O' Farley report dated April 16,

In the middle of all this, Rep. Bob Thorpe, (R-Flagstaff), decided to "joke around" by inviting the audience, "Please refrain from laughing and clapping, but here in Arizona if you do have your Colt 45, please feel free to shoot it into the air." Note that the Senate Floor was directly above the hearing room. You can see a video of him saying this here. Later he helpfully pointed out another target of ire, Sierra Club lobbyist Sandy Bahr, in the audience, so they would know who she was.  

I doubt Farley is aware of the "dog whistle" nature of Thorpe's comments about Bahr. Hopefully, even though he made the video available, he will not dismiss these folks as harmless cranks. To what extent they are capable of harm, I do not know. But right in the front row of the gallery sat Wes Harris, who has the honor of being the first named plaintiff in the Harris et al v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the case that recently wrapped up trial proceedings in federal court).

In 2012, SB1507 died in the House after having been approved in committees and in debate on the House floor, but not being scheduled for a Third Read vote. Recall that in 2012, the GOP enjoyed a supermajority in both chambers. The Senate had already approved it by a vote of 21-9.

This year, the Senate approved SB1403 by a vote of 16-13. It is currently languishing in the House with no action currently scheduled in that chamber. Last week's hearing was in the Senate with Burges apparently hopeful to light a fire under the House on the issue.

Do not dismiss Wes Harris. He clearly is determined to make an impact on public policy in Arizona, so it would be a gross miscalculation to underestimate him (them) as nothing more than a nuisance.

I would be remiss if I didn't specifically call attention of the three-judge federal court panel now working on writing its opinion and ruling in Harris et al v the AIRC. Judge's Neil Wake, Richard Clifton and Roslyn Silver now have all written documents and briefs, trial transcripts and a whole lot of evidence to think over and carefully consider. But THEY will be remiss if they don't consider who exactly is asking them to overturn the legislative district map adopted by the AIRC.

Harris' lawsuit is nothing but an effort to undermine the will of the People of Arizona for purposes Wesley Harris demonstrates in the highlight video from the Tinfoil Hat Brigade hearing in the Arizona Senate last week.


2 comments:

  1. Low info voter are we? This is going on all over the country.

    granitestatefutures.org has the scoop.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Since I don't know who the "we" is that to which you refer, I would say it looks like you're taking my blog post personally. I looked at the website you cited. It is unrelated to the hearing conducted by Judy Burges in the Arizona Senate.

    At the bottom of the main page at your website, it says, "The subject of this website is the "Granite State Future" program. GSF is funded by public tax dollars and subject to the "Right to Know" (RSA 91-A ) laws of New Hampshire. GSF freely distributes the same material on their own website."

    I have no prior knowledge of your website or of the Granite State Future program. I offer absolutely NO opinion -- good, bad or indifferent -- on your website or the program on which it purports to report.

    As such, there is no reasonable ground for you to infer that I claim that you are a "low info voter."

    The material in my blog posts, stands on its own and the subject and named individuals referred to in the hearing are known politicians, former politicians and local activists. I make no claim of fact nor any inference thereof regarding any of them other than what office(s) they hold or held previously and what role in situations I have observed them personally, including in person or video.

    But I thank you for reading the Arizona Eagletarian. And wish you good tidings.

    ReplyDelete