Sierra Club oversight or Measure K payback

The Sierra Club sent out a glossy flier telling people to vote for a couple of ballot measures and Vinnie Bacon for City Council. No mention of Bob Wieckowski, who went out on a limb proposing that Fremont do away with Styrofoam and plastic grocery bags, or Gus Morrison, who I’m guessing used to get that endorsement. Of course, they backed, in more ways than one, Measure K two years ago, which gave the green light to the Patterson Ranch development.

Wieckowski told me last month that he wasn’t even given a chance to interview for the endorsement.

Matt Artz


  1. Matt,
    Your biased and slanted reporting for your friend Wieckowski is very apparent. You obviously called your Bud Wieckowski, Did you call Bacon or the Sierra Club. I do not
    think so. This makes all your political reporting suspect.

  2. Hey! 🙂

    I started the Sierra Club Conservation chapter before Vennie belonged to it back in 1991. Also, help found the Green Party in CA in 1992.

    However, I never bothered supporting the Sierra Club because I figured my pro-small property rights and immigration enforcement advocacy would make it pointless. Sierra Club had a big fight over this in the mid-ninties, and the progressives ran out the conservatives. Now the Sierra Club is just another advocacy group for ‘social-environmental justice’.

    “Green” has become such a buzzword, it’s embarassing to have it applied to you. All this big government/”Green” funding is going to end in a washout. Once the funding dwindles, so will the ‘green industries’. Alternative energy along with universal healthcare only can go so far. None of it is free, and they will require massive amounts of taxing and borrowing to finance and maintain them.

    Right now, Green is going to be our ‘second new deal’ since every politician on earth is talking about how they will make ‘jobs’ through a government-backed Green energy sector. Fremont is even proposing a ‘carbon credit program’, more assistance for solar companies, and using tax payer money to promote Green awareness and info on global warming…

    Green is a cover for more government finance of corporations, and it will move democracy and freedom away from the small guy, and give it to the social planner. Many of these things sound great on the surface, but they deserve more criticism. Green is becoming not only a spongeword but a grab bag for levied money.

    What Green is today is not what it was thirty years ago. Thirty years ago it was much more radical. Today, it’s just another cover for state corporatism.

  3. Actually Wieckowski told me about the Sierra Club shortly after he made me breakfast last month as I was interviewing him for his council profile. CG, you probably think that makes me biased in his favor, but his eggs came out a lot better than my story, and my story on Bacon came out a lot better than Wieckowski’s eggs.

  4. In other words, the way to get to this Artz is through his stomach.

  5. That’s right Charles. How can one be for green power and against white power? This is *the* dilemma facing Fremont.

  6. According to Bob Wieckowski, he cares for environment since he is for small things like banning styrofoam cups and growing organic vegetables in his backyard.

    How about his decision to approve large-scale/multi-storied developments that cause traffic congestions, more pollution from idling cars at traffic intersections.
    He is no true greenie since he has taken a lot of money from developers in this election cycle. If elected, he will help them in whatever way he can by ignoring resident concerns.

  7. So small, decentralized government and economics = “racism” Do you call anything you don’t like “racist”? Or just the working class who are trying to fight state capitalism or ‘business socialism’?

    I guess that’s one way to defame ideas which uncompromisingly resist social collectivization and redistributive economics. Marty, this is nothing other than fighting fascism with a liberal face… The two parties are both fascist, in the strict sense of the term. If you want to call anti-statism ‘racist’, this kind of charge from the lumpen managerial class (white collars) is not surprising or the first of its kind.

    Go ahead. Don’t really care.

  8. Charles, I apologize for that comment. I actually agree with your general sentiments about the “green” movement. But as usual, my propensity to be an ass overcame.

  9. Fremont Native –

    Thanks for the comment re Bob W’s seeming veneer of being “green”.

    I agree with your assessment – B.W. has used the styrofoam cup and plastic bag thing to the hilt.
    “Big hat – no cattle”

  10. Thank you Marty.

    I saw an excellent expose on how we’re getting ripped off by both parties on 20/20 by John Stossel last Friday night. Please check out at least the first couple minutes. The 20/20 segment can be viewed here:

    I recently re-read a 1986 book on the German Greens (who started Green Parties in Europe). They once had strong positions on anti-EU/globalization and decentralization:
    Green Politics The Global Promise by Charlene Spretnak and Fritjof Capra 1986

    The “Lost Pillar of the Green Movement”= radical decentralization

    p. 35 “Although the Greens agree that the Federal Environmental Agency, in Berlin, should be strengthened, they are split over the idea of creating a Ministry of the Environment. Some Greens maintain that such a top-level government agency is necessary to develop effective positive programs as well as halting the damage. Other Greens are horrified at the thought of swelling the federal bureaucracy in the name of Green solutions”

    p. 47, “Some Greens feel that the principle of decentralization should have been a fifth pillar, as it is essential to Green politics. All Green proposals are built on the conviction that people must have more direct control over the complex interplay of social ecological, economic, and political forces. They maintain that overbureacratization and the hierarchical structure of government thwart the initiative of citizens. Moreover, the Greens state that the impenetrability behind which various economic and political interests hide has become a danger to democracy. They oppose the strong tendencies in industrialized nations toward authoritarian measures, such as surveillance and censorship of books. To facilitate greater participation by citizens, the Greens advocate decentralizing and simplifying administrative units with a greater share of government revenues going to states, regions, counties, towns, and neighborhoods. The Greens, then, are the vanguard in West Germany of the movement to reclaim power from the centralized state. This same impulse is finding expression in the United States”

    p. 85, “The first rule shows that the question of scale will play a central role in the reorganization of our economic and social structures. The criterion governing all considerations of scale derives from the comparison with human dimension. As E.F. Schumacher put it in his book Small Is Beautiful, we need “a technology with a human face.” Decentralization—in government, business, and in most our social institutions—will be essential to restore ecological balance…”

    Green version of Subsidiarism: “If the small can solve the same thing as the big, use the small.”

    P. 37 “Direct, or participatory, democracy locates a greater amount of power and control with the local groups, the grassroots. This orientation informs the structure of the Green party and in their federal program: Grassroots-democratic politics means an increased realization of decentralized, direct democracy. We start from the belief that the decisions at the grassroots level must, in principle, be given priority. We grant far-reaching powers of autonomy and self-administration to decentralized, manageable grassroots units…”

    Green Anti-Globalization: Another Lost Plank?
    p. 48, “The Greens advocate not only smaller units of domestic government but also smaller countries, which they refer to as regions. They believe the nation-state is inherently dangerous because the enormous centralization of power is inevitably used for economic competition of power is inevitably used for economic competition, large-scale exploitation, and massive wars. Many Greens mentioned Max Weber’s observation that the state is the seat of legitimized violence. They argue that smaller units of population would result in a safer world on all counts, and they suggest that cultural and ecological boundaries could determine the regions. There are many such regions in Europe, usually determined by a shared dialect. They often cross national borders, such as Friesland (West Germany and The Netherlands), Flanders (Belgium and France), Alsace-Lorraine (West Germany and France), and Dreyeckland (West Germany, France, and Switzerland).*

    p. 49, “The Greens advocate a nonaligned ‘Europe of the regions’ and hope that the model would eventually be adopted by the entire northern hemisphere as well as the Third World. They admire the federal system of the United States, although they strongly oppose a ‘United Europe’ that would become a third military power and would continue the forced exploitation of the Third World. They favor cooperative economic exchanges and only minimum coordination, such as would be necessary for transportation systems. The eco-decentralist model in Green politics for all economic, social, and political structures is that they be…overseeable or manageable units. Appropriate scale is the central issue.”

    The dialectics of “Left vs. Right”– a false choice

    p. 84, “The global obsession with growth has resulted in a remarkable similarity between capitalist and communist economies. The two dominant representatives of these so-called opposing value systems, the United States and the Soviet Union, are in reality not all that different. Both are dedicated to industrial growth and hard technology, with increasingly centralized and bureaucratic control, whether by the state or by so-called private multinational corporations”.

    p. 35 “The radical-left Greens, however, read social as a codeword for socialism, that is, democratic Marxism. Since that political model is specifically not what the visionary, liberal, and conservative Greens have in mind, a battle developed at the preliminary convention in Offenbach in November 1979 over establishing the basic principles. The majority of the assembly wanted the new party to stand for possibilities other than either socialism or the capitalist status quo.”

  11. The reason I am not voting for Bob Wieckowski

    He claims to be Green, a environmentalist, we fell for that line last time. He was completely ineffective in banning Styrofoam etc and has not done anything of any significance environmentally. There is not a environmentalist that is backing him that I know of.
    He claims to have secured 160 million dollars for the Bart Station, He was appointed by Wasserman to a commission. He just happened to be the guy, on the commission, when the money was awarded.

    The is not the main reason for not voting for Bob Wieckowski. The reason for not voting for Him is that He is going to run for Torrico’s State Assembly Seat in two years. I have no problem with Bob doing this,
    But I want A Council member who will work for a better quality of life in Fremont, not prepare for a political campaign.

    I do not dislike Bob, but I want some one who is effective in Making Fremont a better place to live.

  12. CaliforniaGuy,

    Not voting for Bob Wieckowski either.

    As a side note: “Green” has become an empty term. Today it just means big money for ostensibly environmentally clean technologies. There is no consideration on how these technologies are manufactured and if they are soft technologies that fit a human scale regarding their upkeep and production. I laugh when I see the example of the new solar industry company moving into Fremont, and the workers in a fab lab wearing bunny suits, processing the silicon on the assembly line (photolith, etching, deposition, etc.). This kind of enterprise entirely misses the point of local production/consumption and repossession of work/meaningful labor…

    Thus, ‘greens’ are having no impact on how power and community are structurally established and extended. People who call themselves “green” don’t know what they are talking about.

    What is also interesting, the origins of Green politics goes back much further than the new social movements of the 60’s or rachel carson, etc. They date back to the 1830’s and earlier. Google a history on the Bulgarian Green International, Green Armies in Russia during the Bolshevik civil war, and various Peasant National Unions of eastern europe in the mid-nineteenth century. For America, Green movements date back to agrarianism of Jacksonian Democrats, Grangerism, and Jefferson’s yeoman ideal.

    Green movements were orginally rural, populist, and small property, agrarian parties. Decentralization of cities and political processes were a major part of their political identity. Today, this has all been lost and ‘detourned’ for the sake of entrenching market rationalism and increasing business socialism.
    — the opposite of what Greens historically have been about!

    One more candidate who calls themselves “Green” is going to make me loose my lunch! It’s times like this you don’t want to be called Green… Geeesh!

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