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Tired of the intrusiveness of the Federal Government?
June 4, 2002 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Tired of the intrusiveness of the Federal Government? Hate the United Nations? Grant County welcomes you! About the size of Connecticut with a population of 7,500, this rural Oregon County recently passed ballot measures banning the UN and allowing people to cut trees on federal land, with or without the U.S. Forest Service approval. Government agencies are engaged in something called "Rural Cleansing" according to WSJ reporter Kimberley A. Strassel, and the people are having some success standing up to the government. Are these people kooks? Is Civil disobedience wrong? Are you in, out, or straddling the fence? Ready to move?
posted by Mack Twain (20 comments total)

 
"The U.N. scares me. If anything ever got bad, we could have foreigners here controlling us"

Righty-o then. If it's all the same to you, I think this pantheist will stay right here, thanks.
posted by Fenriss at 12:04 PM on June 4, 2002


Sounds like an episode right out of "Courage: The Coward Dog". Foreigners taking over hehe... Dont they freakin know that US Army comprises most of the UN force. Stupid.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:12 PM on June 4, 2002


I don't understand how a county within a state within a country can "ban" the United Nations. Do the folks at the UN picnic there from time to time? Can a heavily Democratic county ban the GOP? Or can a county decide to ban the internet or the school system or a call-up call for military service?
posted by Postroad at 12:13 PM on June 4, 2002


Bud Trowbridge, whose grandfather settled in John Day in 1862, said he's ready to use force to protect his property from the United Nations.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that UN meeting. "Ladies and gentlemen, I think we all know the true enemy facing us today: Bud Trowbridge."

Go iconoclastic rednecks! At least they're entertaining.
posted by Skot at 12:31 PM on June 4, 2002


If they're intentions on logging are accurate: cleaning out deadwood and damaged trees, then I'm all for their exercise in civil disobedience. Of course what they say to the press and their actual intentions may be two things, in which case they should get their asses handed back to them. From their description and expectations of the U.N. I can expect their reasoning to be something along the lines of:

"We gave you the right to cut down deadwood or damaged trees, you've clearcut the area, please explain yourself." asks the U.S. Forestry representative.

Pausing to expectorate a great steaming wad of tobacco stained saliva, the lumberjack replies, "They were damaged, some yahoo sprayed them with that day-glo orange paint." Tossing a can of day-glo orange paint into the sawdust he continues "I don't see what the problem is."
posted by substrate at 12:35 PM on June 4, 2002


They must be real tired of those black helicopters flying overhead

I bet their Tim McVeigh Fans Club is doing really well. (If, of course, IF, McVeigh really did it)
posted by matteo at 12:40 PM on June 4, 2002


Bud Trowbridge, whose grandfather settled in John Day in 1862, said he's ready to use force to protect his property from the United Nations.

"We're trying to avoid a fight. But we still got our guns," he said.


People like this make it hard for normal, hardworking, sane rednecks.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:49 PM on June 4, 2002


I love the insinuation that if you despise the Federal Government and/or the U.N., you must be a child murdering terrorist. Good call, matteo, now I know what box I can fit these people in.

"The U.N. scares me. If anything ever got bad, we could have foreigners here controlling us," said John Day painter and muralist Patricia Ross, 55.

So they basically think the U.N. might one day work closely with the government to screw them over. That's not really controversial, although they come off completely xenophobic. Aren't the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. foreign enough?

I'd like to see what would happen if they attempted a peaceful secession, via their county government, a referendum or something. I don't think the U.S. is civil enough to let any part leave peacefully (Canada, on the other hand, is more open to the idea). Too bad.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:55 PM on June 4, 2002


Sorry, Oregon, but you're behind the times.

Sadly, Laverkin's ordinance had to be repealed after the Utah Attorney General said it was unconstitutional, but at least they were on the cutting edge, no?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:58 PM on June 4, 2002


Let them go the whole mile and secede---of course then we should close the US border with the new quasi-state-county in its entirety.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:00 PM on June 4, 2002


I'd like to see what would happen if they attempted a peaceful secession, via their county government, a referendum or something.

Check any history book for what happened 142 years ago if you're really curious.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:33 PM on June 4, 2002


cleaning out deadwood and damaged trees, then I'm all for their exercise in civil disobedience

Dead trees are important too. They are just not as fun to hug.
posted by piskycritter at 1:42 PM on June 4, 2002


I realize they're important, but like anything, if people were to moderate their harvesting the forest would be ok and so would people. Unfortunately people tend to think in the extremely short term and clear cut (and try to convince "tree huggers" that monoculture replacements are environmentally friendly)
posted by substrate at 1:47 PM on June 4, 2002


People secede from the US, and other countries, all the time. Usually it's for not much more than the chance to sell novelty passports and t-shirts, but a few of them are relatively successful...
posted by ook at 1:53 PM on June 4, 2002


Kooks.
posted by rushmc at 2:31 PM on June 4, 2002


hey ook, thanks for the link (visions of Cryptonomicon dance in my head...)
posted by jkaczor at 3:08 PM on June 4, 2002


Unfortunately the poor kooks have some genuine concerns but they never learned how to manipulate the media as well as the "green" side.

I live in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and if you live outside of town the "Gorge Commission" can tell you what color to make your roof or paint your house. Honest. Just pray your house doesn't burn down (or get too old) because you probably couldn't rebuild it. Someone declares your property a scenic area and all your retirement plans and plans to give something of value to your kids go out the windows.

Your hear the same rural depopulation rhetoric here too--equally as lame.
Yes, this area needs to be protected but who bears the cost?
posted by wiinga at 8:04 PM on June 4, 2002


insomnyuk
the story, if you care to read it, makes pretty clear that we're not talking about Jeffersonian country gentlemen wary of Rooseveltian governmental intervention. This is xenophobic, borderline militia material
Endure me for a sec: the guy says "If anything ever got bad..." What exactly? Invasion by Kofi Annan led (i.e. dark skinned) troops?
And then: "we could have foreigners here controlling us". The UN controlling Americans? How dear God, how? It's a nutty argument, attack me with your exquisite irony if you want, but it remains nutty and dangerous
You write that "they basically think the U.N. might one day work closely with the government to screw them over". Maybe they think that (and again, how would they accomplish that is a mystery: relocating blacks in rural Oregon?), but their words are different. And please, the whole rhetoric against "bureaucrats" is kinda scary:

Aren't the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. foreign enough?

I don't know. What about the bureaucrats in the Murrah building instead?
posted by matteo at 7:02 AM on June 5, 2002


Kooks.
posted by vaca at 2:25 PM on June 5, 2002


Matteo, first, you assumed I didn't read the story (but if you had read my post, it made it clear that I had read it), then you assume that those yokels are all racists (there's a slim difference between racism and xenophobia).

I don't know. What about the bureaucrats in the Murrah building instead?

You are putting some simple farmers who have had their livelihoods threatened by the government into the same boat as a murder who killed 150 people. Whatever.

Maybe they think that (and again, how would they accomplish that is a mystery: relocating blacks in rural Oregon?)

Another unfounded assumption by you. Maybe they have more foresight than you think.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:49 PM on June 6, 2002


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