Monday, April 23, 2012

Agenda 21 and the Great Ravalli County Trainwreck, Continued Some More

When Madison County Commissioner Dan Happel made his “Agenda 21” presentation to the Ravalli County Planning board last month, he defined himself. He told the board—and us—that he was a qualified expert on “Agenda 21” because he had been involved in the “liberty” movement most of his life. Chairman Jan Wisneiwski  further qualified Happel’s  claimed “expertise” on the topic-at-hand by allowing fundamentalist prayer to be presented before the proceedings, liberally sprinkled with “citizen comment” that fundamentalist prayer, as well as this “educational” presentation on “Agenda 21” were relevant to planning board discussions about clean air and water because “we are a Christian nation” and that President Obama is a “critter”  .

Okay. It’s true. People have a perfect right to claim that the moon is made out of green cheese. It says so right in the Constitution. But when these people start citing “studies”, “reports” and “experts” to back up their “green cheese” claim, Us the People—the ones who are footing the bill for such discussions to be allowed on the public’s dime under the guise of being somehow relevant to county business--have the perfect right to demand a forthright answer from them as to what dark hole they’re pulling this stuff out of.

If you’re not content with dismissing the whole Foxnewslandia mess our commissioners have brought down upon our taxpaying heads as Freeman/Posse Comitatus/ “patriot” (and dangerous) nonsense—which it is--and you’d like to know just where people like Happel and Wisniewski are acquiring their superior knowledge of the shadowy, comic-book world of super-villian environmental Stalinists trying to take over the world through mind-control and zoning, here’s some samples from the horse’s mouth for your examination:

In 2008, a “Freedom 21” conference was held in a Dallas, co-hosted by the far-right, conspiracy-oriented Eagle Forum and the far-right, conspiracy-oriented American Policy Center (APC). Other “patriot” organizations presenting  at this “educational” event included the far-right, conspiracy-oriented Freedom Advocates, the far-right, anti-U.N. Soveierenty International, and of course the far-right, conspiracy-oriented John Birch Society, who once insisted that President Eisenhower was a communist.
The subject of the conference was the new catch-all, Far-Right conspiracy theory: an obscure 300-page non-binding (read: toothless) document presented at the U.N. Earth Summit in 1992 that discussed and offered help to local communities in areas such as energy efficiency, clean air and water. This document, one of literally millions of similar obscure public and international documents that float around in our info-age world, was named by some similarly-obscure bureaucrat “Agenda 21”.
And there you go. That’s all you need to know to be as “educated” about “Agenda 21” as Wisniewski or Happel, other than some spin that came out of that 2008 conference that have since become common coin and litmus test combined for all of those who’ve felt threatened by the existence of the first non-white president’s right- leaning administration, including our own Celebrating Conservatism phenomenum here in the Bitterroot:
·         Agenda 21  is "an anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture.
·         Sustainable development policies will require "a police state" and ultimately "turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources."
·         "Sustainable development can exist only when people are controlled by government."
·         Agenda 21 advocates have drafted an Earth Charter which they compare to the Ten Commandments and keep in an Ark of Hope”.
·         "The major goal of the sustainable development movement is to disarm Americans."
·         "Feminism has destroyed society,"
·         Schools should "spend more time on prayer than putting on condoms"
·         "Diversity is a code word for teaching homosexuality in schools."
·         “It's time to make the U.N. into a parking lot."
·         "This is not some nice little debate…this is war."
So we can use the Far Right’s own chosen metaphor: War, usually the worst expression of American xenophobia and nativism, and by extension, the worst of Montana, your home. These folks, including our local government officials, are feeling comfortable enough now to declare war on the environment (and environmentalists), women, our schools, our courts, public employees and anyone benefiting from public services of any kind that they don’t approve of.
This is crazy, destructive stuff brought to us by people who have chosen not to be reasonable, that is picking up steam every day throughout the country and here in the Ravalli County commissioners’ meeting room every time it isn’t filled with angry citizens demanding our elected officials and the boards they appoint to represent us stick to reality when doing our business.
How about us striving to be part of the best? Let’s counter this stuff. It’s dangerous. It’s crazy and you gotta show up. Otherwise, they win.  
Again, your commissioners now apparently think it’s proper county business to discuss whether anyone advocating for sustainability, a clean environment, or even zoning are in reality Stalinist operatives working to send everyone in Montana to work camps in Seattle.
Here are the links to last Wedensday’s commissioner meeting:
Part 1 Video -
Part 2 Video -
Part 3 Video -

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ravalli County Trainwreck Continued

This is yet another letter I sent to the local papers about the laws of physics: If a railroad bridge is washed out up ahead of a fast-moving county-government train full of loose wingnuts and thier tax-paying captives, and the wingnuts who have unfortunately been given the throttle refuse to slow down, gravity (if you believe in Gravity) dictates that there probably or will (depending on how well your own personal world-view nuts are screwed down) be a train wreck.

Are we there yet?
Thursday morning, the Ravalli County commissioners agreed with planning board members Jan Wisniewski, Vito Ciliberti, Bill Menager and other appointees who hold Freeman/Posse Comitatus-style extremist views that it is proper planning board business to discuss—on county time—whether those of us who advocate for clean air and water are in reality part of an international Stalinist conspiracy to forcibly relocate Montanans to Seattle.
That’s right. That was the level of discussion Thursday morning at your county administration building.  On your dime, your five commissioners and the extremists they have appointed to the planning board now insist that it is proper, and even “educational”, to force planning board members and the public at large to sit through paranoid spectacles like the planning board meeting last month. That was the planning board meeting when Madison County Commissioner Dan Happel spouted forth about Agenda 21, which he claimed was not the non-binding (read: toothless) agreement to provide assistance for communities seeking help on issues like energy-efficiency--which it is—but rather is a nefarious blueprint for a communist one-world government to use environmentalism as a “tool” to promote such treasonous evils as wilderness, smart growth, the Clean Air and Water acts, the Endangered Species Act and zoning regulations. Your commissioners also agreed that planning board members who do not share similar paranoid world views and do not wish to waste their time sitting through such indoctrination sessions should be censured, disenfranchised and even kicked off the board.
That’s right. What your commissioners told you Thursday morning—you members of the public who believe that clean air, water, wilderness and zoning are worth speaking up for—is that you are being summarily defined as a “threat”, and are therefore fair game to be the topic and target of conspiracy blame-games and paranoid witch hunts conducted—on your public dime—by what can only and fairly be defined at this point as a rogue commission and its various hand-picked board members.
The full video of the April 19th commissioners’ meeting should be available within the next couple of days at
In the meantime, please contact them and express your feelings on this matter:
Ravalli County Commission:         375-6500          
Bill LaCroix           Victor, Montana               642-6400

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bitterroot Wing-nuttery: Part 3

Preface: This was the letter I sent Terry Nelson, Ravalli County Planning Office-Manager, after the April 4th planning board meeting, which can be viewed at: (Part 1) and  (part 2). I highly recommend watching the video. Then I highly recommend being outraged. Then I highly recommend calling up Terry and the commissioners and asking them if they believe Hell is down under where fracking and deep-water drilling occur, or closer to the surface where us common folks can more easily identify devils with pitchforks. 

From: Bill LaCroix []
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2012 1:53 PM
To: ''
Cc: bitterroot star; ''; Alex Asakariassen-Independent; ravalli republic
Subject: Document request from Ravalli Co. Planning office

As per my request at last night’s planning board meeting, I would like copies in the form of email attachments of documents verifying when Item 11—“Discussion and possible decision of Bylaw Changes”—was placed on Ravalli Co. Planning Board’s agenda, and where the copy of those proposed changes were, prior to last night’s meeting, for public examination. If the documents are not in digital form for attachment, please let me know where the hard copies of the requested documentation exist.

Also, in regards to the board’s discussion and subsequent approval of by-law changes that seek to compel volunteer board-members to comply with a more stringent attendance policy, I’m requesting all documents-- minutes, notes, communications, emails—pertaining to the planning department and planning board’s studied assessment that Agenda 21 was so important to planning decisions in Ravalli County that volunteers on the planning board would be forced to sit through conspiracy-theory meetings such as Agenda 21, organized at the public’s expense, under pain of expulsion if they miss too many of these far-right educational opportunities provided by the current planning board and office. I remind you that the MACo attorney admonished this same board at the last meeting that they are not authorized to discuss anything unrelated to planning issues at this meeting, so if these documents do not exist, I would expect a detailed explanation as to why these policy-shifts have occurred on the public’s dime.

Finally, I am unclear about what was voted on at last night’s meeting in regards to tardiness. The board sought to set a strict limit on how much time an individual board member may miss on any given subject before that board member is either silenced and/ or not allowed to vote on that subject. Much discussion revolved around board members being censured or otherwise punished for not being physically present in the room when the subject is discussed. My question arising from this discussion and from the board’s subsequent approval of  the motion to censure-by-exclusion any board member not being present for what the board determines is not enough minutes on any given subject is several-fold:
·         How many minutes can a board member be absent from the room before she/he is censured?
·         Has the planning office looked into the legality of censuring members of any county board, including commissioners?
·         If your office has already done so, how much time did the above research take away from county attorney staff? If your office hasn’t checked yet, please provide an estimate of cost?
·         Will there be an official timekeeper at these meetings to keep track of members’ movements from the room like, say, when Mr. Wisneiwski left the room to go to the bathroom last night? Who is qualified by statute or decree to keep the official tally? Again, have your office looked any of this up yet?

My last request is that I be sent an estimate based on official policy and pay scales as to what these public meetings that are apparently (to the public who pays for them) designed:
·         to discuss whether citizens who advocate for clean air and water are really in league with global Stalinists to take over the world and
·          how many times a volunteer board member may relieve him/herself before he/she is censured and silenced by the board at large…

…are costing the public.

I would note that I did record last night’s meeting in its entirety, which recording may be viewed at  and that I am cc-ing members of the press who were not present at the meeting. I’m doing this because my above requests might seem frivolous to anyone who didn’t attend last night’s meeting. I want to make sure everyone in this email loop—which as you know, Terry, is an official citizen’s request to your office and will necessarily be available to the public at large—has access to the actual substance of the meeting before passing judgment on the seriousness of these requests. As I’m sure you yourself know, I am quite serious, quite concerned, and do expect answers in timely fashion.

Thank you,
Bill LaCroix/ Victor/   363-1329

Bitterroot Wing-nuttery: Part 2

Preface: After I sent the Bitterroot Star my letter (Bitterroot Wing-nuttery: Part 1: Hell), I sent a shortened version to the Ravalli Republic, because the Republic usually likes to keep their letters down to 300 words or less. Within my shortened letter I referenced Mr. Wisneiwski’s stalking of two citizens claiming his right as “citizen enforcer” to do so. Sherry Devlin, the editor, refused to print the letter, and the following is the exchange we had.

I re-submitted the letter (below) with reference to “stalking” taken out. I haven’t heard back from her yet.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sherry Devlin []
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 10:21 PM
To: Bill LaCroix
Subject: RE: Letter to editor

If you want this to run in the paper, you need to take out the stalking/threatening references -- unless charges were filed and convictions were won -- and stick with your complaints about the Democratic filings.
Sherry Devlin/ Ravalli Republic editor

From: Bill LaCroix
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 1:45 PM
To: ravalli republic
Subject: Letter to Editor

There was no actual “stalking” charges filed, unfortunately, even though that’s exactly what he did. There is a police report (and I believe a RR article) about the late Oct. 2010 incident with the county commissioner. He did maliciously follow Stewart Brandborg to his home in July of 2010 and then announced Brandy’s address at a Celebrating Conservativism meeting shortly thereafter with the suggestion that some of the 100+ “2nd Amendment” people attending  “go talk to him”. This is what we have to put up with every day here with these people, they are libelous-to-malicious in word, deed and print, and they get away with it. Partly because of a biased standard of proof they’re allowed as opposed to their victims. It’s tiresome.
No offense, but just so you know.                                                                         Bill LaCroix   

Re-submitted Letter:
Jan Wisneiwski has been in the papers a couple times this last week. He’s been there before, like when he followed and bullied a female county commissioner and an elderly citizen in 2010, but let’s stick to the present.
First we see him inviting a fellow Freeman-style conspiracy aficionado to our public planning board meeting to “testify” that environmentalists are trying to foist a Stalinist system of repression on “we the people” through Agenda 21 after allowing the public meeting to be opened with a prayer that that the board had just voted not to allow (can anybody say the word “libel”?). Next we see him and six other conspiracy-minded “patriots” filing for Democratic precinct positions. We hear him claiming that he doesn’t know anything about why his extremist buddies filed at the same time he did and we hear that he’s not “looking at going in there and trying to trash the central committee” . Rather, he claims, he just wants to see the Democratic Party be “more open and transparent”. “I’m a Democrat”, he offers as an example of this new “openness and transparency” he would like to subject Democrats to. “It says so right there on the ballot.”
For anyone who agrees with Jan that bullying people who disagree with their world view is O.K. because they must be evil “Stalinists” by definition (since they disagree with them), and who further equates this air-tight rationale-to-bully with “First Amendment rights”, I offer this little factoid: all seven imposters filed for Democratic precinct chairs on the afternoon of March 12th, the last day for filing. Six of the seven were recorded within minutes of each other, from 3:50 PM and 4:40 PM. The one filed at 4:40PM was notarized by Ravalli Co. Republican Central Committee chair (and publicly-subsidized Planning Office-Manager) Terry Nelson the day before, on a Sunday. They all walked in at the last minute, together, to “trash the central committee”, Jan’s disingenuous “aw,shucks” defense notwithstanding.

Maybe all you conspiracy scholars who have worked so hard to obtain your heightened sense of Paranoia can help me out: where in all this do we find the openness and transparency, the honesty and respect for the rights of others that you insist that everyone else grant to you? I eagerly await your inevitable response.

Bill LaCroix/ Victor, MT    

Bitterroot Wing-nuttery; Part 1: Hell

Preface: This was a letter-to-the-editor published in the Bitterroot Star on April 4th, 2012. I consider it Part One of a three-part series I documented in various printings and communications concerning the latest wing-nuttery coming from Ravalli County's extremist personalities whom we unwisely allowed to be the engineers of their far-right trainwreck they would stuff us in the caboose of...and then blame us for the wreck. I'm collating them all here in one peice as my very own go-to documentation for a clear example of how fast things can go to hell when the throttle of the train is given over to wild-eyed theocratic wanna-bees who truly believe in their spiritual exceptionalism and--I guess by definition--the End Times, and demonstrably work to bring those times down on all of us sooner rather than later. I was raised Lutheran, so I can say with a straight face that there's a place called Hell and that we're going there. That's because straight faces and Hell are two things Lutherans excell in, and I was trained in both from an early age. Contrary to some folks who were inflicted with religion from childhood, though, I like to think I've matured a bit. Hell-going, I now believe, is an occupation practiced by identifiable folks who confuse the Underworld, where fracking and deep-water drilling occur, with the skin of the Earth we all call home. Here's my humble attempt at documenting and identifying a few of those responsible for the skin-of-the-Earth hell they're working so hard to create for us all...

At the time of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 there were a little over 800 anti-government “patriot/ militia” groups in the U.S., who defined themselves as armed enemies of either the federal or state governments, its officeholders, its employees, or all three. This represented a huge spike in both organized and dispersed anti-government bigotry from the early 90s, and it took many forms both as group actions and as individual actions in many locations, including in Oklahoma City. Here in Montana, we had conspiracy-based Freeman/Posse Comitatus-style frenzies in the Bitterroot, Jordan the Flathead and elsewhere. Virually all of our Montana iterations of this style of virulent right-wing populism represented dangerous situations for real citizens and their families brought on by warped versions of “patriotism” backed up with threats of armed violence or actual applications of it. Hamilton’s county courthouse, for, instance, received a bomb threat the day the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed.
Today, there are over 1200 conspiracy-based, anti-government “patriot/militia” groups, including several outspoken and identifiable ones right here in the Bitterroot. So it’s no laughing matter when our local right-wing populists show the skirts of their true intentions, which has been the case for quite a while but is particularly the case in the instance of the seven far-right extremists who filed for Democratic precinct chair positions under an obscure and recently-changed Montana statute (MCA 13-38-201) that seems to encourage such behavior.
Let’s be plain: the intent of these extremists is obviously to disrupt, through undemocratic and dishonest means, the current system we rely on for smooth and fair elections. The arrogant presumption of these seven conspiracy aficionados to “represent” a precinct of people who identify as belonging to the Democratic Party is definitive proof that they are not interested in democracy, and never have been. Rather, they feel free to state openly that they want to completely disenfranchise anyone who in their conspiracy-laced worldview are a subclass of “we the people” and who should therefore have no voice in their own destiny whatsoever. Consider the ongoing Family Planning debacle for reference as to how these folks feel about you and yours.
As a further example, let’s look closer at where one of these local “populists” who would wear the Democratic mantle has been coming from since at least his “Celebrating Conservatism” days. In a recent letter to the editor, current planning board chair Jan Wisneiwski complained that he knew what it was like “to be on the outside looking in at an institution that only wished to silence my concerns”. He’s trotted this man-bites-dog apologia out for us before, most notably on two occasions when he maliciously stalked people. On the first, in July of 2010, he wasn’t invited to a Bitterrooters For Planning meeting (surprise!) and on his percieved strength that since he was a volunteer member of the county planning board, after all, his feelings should get hurt. And they were, and he therefore decided there was a conspiracy afoot. And indeed there was, because when BFP moved its meeting to protect their right of privacy he stalked its members by car to the new location and then engineered not-cleverly-disguised threats in the direction of the owner of the house. In another instance which occurred in October of 2010, he stalked a female county commissioner to her driveway and then out of town in another attempt to assert his warped perception of “citizens’ prerogative” as volunteer member of the county planning board. The sheriff’s already-diluted staff had to deal with this one.
In Mr. Wisneiwski’s most-recent letter-to-the-editor, he informed us mere citizens that Madison Co. Commissioner Dan Happel would be leading a discussion—on our county’s dime-- on the Far-Far Right’s favorite conspiracy fantasy: Agenda 21. Mr. Happel, a proponent of the same county-supremacy scheme our commissioners are enamored with and which they insist on euphemizing as “coordination”, recently delivered a not-so-veiled threat to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks board members over wolf policy, apparently in cahoots with at least one of our own commissioners.
In an additional insult to our intelligence and sense of fairness, Wisneiwski has filed as a Democrat to run in HD 87. Maybe he thinks we’re as challenged as he seems to be with democratic principles, and at some level maybe we can laugh at this latest stunt. But again, it’s no laughing matter when local right-wing populists show the skirts of their true intentions. Wisneiwski’s just one of the seven pranksters, but this is also just one more example of what is coming out of the Republican Party itself. Look at our unqualified commissioners. Look at our unqualified county attorney. Look at our unqualified planning office manager, who demonstrably obtained his plum government job (with health benefits!) not on the strength of his qualifications as a “planner” but rather on the strength of his being the anti-government-baiting head of the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee. Look at the mess this county’s in and the superfluous waste of our tax dollars and government energy on conspiracy snake pits like Agenda 21 and “coordination” (no offense against snakes). Look at the commissioner’s agenda sometime. This far-right nonsense is taking up more than half of their time in office, and the wreckage and lawsuits caving down on the county’s head because of their dismissive attitudes and resultant behavior is sadly predictable.
The Ravalli County Republican Central Committee owes this community a deep and sincere apology for what it has allowed to be perpetrated in its name these last few years, and in particular for this latest cynical prank coming from their own. If we don’t get that level of apology from that organization, then we know where they stand, or rather trample, on our very own cherished, personal rights that they mouth in lockstep so obediently about “protecting”.
Hopefully, this latest jack-boot stunt of theirs will hit us where it hurts enough that we’ll finally pay attention. We have not been paying enough up til now. This is truly a ridiculous waste of taxpayer time, money and energy that has been allowed to continue, by us, for way too long. Have we had enough yet?