Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Mapping The Deal: Talking Locally

Catherine Austin Fitts' Mapping the Real Deal series

Talking Locally

Introductory Note from Catherine:

More and more people in the Solari Action Network find themselves taking an interest in what is happening at their local planning board, where the economic pressures of growing population meet the very real concerns about environmental deterioration. True sustainability will be sorted out in the pressure cooker of these debates -- it is a bit like the lotus blossom rising from the mud. Friend and business partner, Harry Blazer, wrote up his recent comment before the planning board in Montana and has kindly given me permission to post it as it speaks to issues we are dealing with in many places worldwide. To learn more about Harry, see

Comments delivered at Public Planning Hearing –
8-10-06, Red Lion Inn, Kalispell, Montana

From: Harry Blazer

I believe that there are few problems that cannot be solved by a well-intentioned and respectful conversation.


1) I appreciate the efforts of the planning staff. I believe that their efforts are “well intentioned” and have provided a basis for a productive conversation.


2) Comments on Property Rights vs. Community Rights

I would like to express my disappointment with the tone of the debate on this issue, especially from the so-called “property rights” advocates who have resorted to name calling that, for example, equates being a “greenie”, whatever that is, with being a degenerate or a communist or perhaps Satan himself. In that same vein, we need to support our leaders and I don’t like our commissioners being unjustly denigrated through these groups’ propaganda. By the same token I feel that the so called “property rights advocates” have raised legitimate concerns. To me, property rights and community rights are hardly mutually exclusive but are in fact “folded within” each other and should be mutually supportive.

I would like to propose a town hall meeting where the “property rights advocates” provide their solutions for the hundreds of “cross-cutting” issues that this community must deal with. For example:

  • The race track on 93 that is still going at 12:30 AM on a Sunday morning

  • Gun Clubs throughout the valley that kill clay pigeons at 9 AM on a Sunday morning

  • Land owners who feel no compunction about turning their property into junk yards strewn with disabled and rotting vehicles

  • Chemical drift from agricultural spraying

Again, there are hundreds of examples.

Our eco-system doesn’t understand nor adhere to property boundaries, although it ultimately establishes the rules regarding ultimate property rights. Groundwater flows, air circulates, birds fly, deer walk with no regard to these human artifices. Few own their property for decades. We all die but the land continues. We are all stewards for future generations.

By the same token, at this same town hall meeting I would then like to see the “community rights” advocates tell us about their plans to address the legitimate concerns involving the invasion of government in our lives and the undermining of our rights, including some of the most important – those involving our property. I would also like them to give us some insights into how they feel they can prevent the unintended consequences of their good intentions, for example where the development of a mall, for which substantial input was welcomed by the developer, was intentionally delayed for years in court, while strip shopping centers were allowed to proliferate nearby with hardly a peep.


3) A primary responsibility of a growth policy must address the limits to growth, physical, cultural, aesthetic, ecological. Carrying capacity is a key concept. The planning staff has maintained that they didn’t have the resources to pursue this track. But unless we define how big we want to get and can get, without destroying that which we hold dear, we have failed to fulfill one of the most important mandates of a growth visioning statement.

Growth is not inevitable. In our 4-dimensional world, what is inevitable is death.

Intelligent planning recognizes the constraints of the natural systems of which we are a part and needs to be in sync with the natural systems that define what true sustainable evolution is and in turn the limits to growth.


4) Peak Oil (and more broadly peak fossil fuels). If the rumors about depopulation and zero point energy are false, then we are screwed. Unless the suppressed technologies are shared and quantitative growth is curtailed, we are facing, for the immediate and foreseeable future, the end to plentiful, cheap energy. There is not even a word in the planning document about what will prove to be one of the most serious challenges to industrial societies and the greatest challenge to growth beside the consequence of burning those fossil fuels themselves.

In the world of Peak Oil, “going local” and especially local food production take on increasing significance. I disagree with those who claim that agriculture is dead in the valley and has no future. There is in fact a small but vibrant organic farming community that needs to be expanded and is providing train tracks for the future. We have seen widespread evidence that long-distance, fossil fuel-dependent commodity agriculture is failing us and that a transition needs to be made to local-based, organic and sustainable agriculture so we will have food to eat. Thus, it will become crucial to find ways to preserve our uniquely rich and valuable farmlands, which very well may mean, “banking them” as a community.


5) Finally, it is hard enough for truly free markets to provide alignment between price and cost, between financial and natural wealth. The distorted and corrupt markets that exist today, which are “marketed” as free but are the antithesis, are certainly incapable of providing such alignment. So we need to look beyond price and traditional economic indicators in order to know how we are doing. Transparency, sound money and the rule of law are prerequisites for free-markets and intelligent growth. Every day, we move further away from these requirements.

The fundamentals of wealth are quality air, water, topsoil and diversity, mediated by human culture. When the quality of those deteriorate as they are in the valley and on average everywhere on this earth, when the Dow Jones and other financial indexes are out of sync with our ‘well-being” indexes, then ultimately the limits to quantitative growth are being defined for us. The time has come to have a serious conversation about what sustainable and qualitative vs. quantitative growth looks like. What better time than now.


Mapping The Real Deal is a column on Scoop supervised by Catherine Austin Fitts. Ms Fitts is the President of Solari, Inc. Ms. Fitts is the former Assistant Secretary of Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner during the first Bush Administration, a former managing director and member of the board of directors of Dillon Read & Co. Inc. and President of The Hamilton Securities Group, Inc.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

The Dig - COVID-19: Just Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis is compelling us to kick-start investment in a regenerative and zero-carbon future. We were bold enough to act quickly to stop the virus - can we now chart a course for a just recovery? More>>

The Conversation: Are New Zealand's New COVID-19 Laws And Powers Really A Step Towards A Police State?

Reaction to the New Zealand government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has ranged from high praise to criticism that its actions were illegal and its management chaotic. More>>

Keith Rankin: Universal Versus Targeted Assistance, A Muddled Dichotomy

The Commentariat There is a regular commentariat who appear on places such as 'The Panel' on Radio New Zealand (4pm on weekdays), and on panels on television shows such as Newshub Nation (TV3, weekends) and Q+A (TV1, Mondays). Generally, these panellists ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Do You Consent To The New Cold War?

The world's worst Putin puppet is escalating tensions with Russia even further, with the Trump administration looking at withdrawal from more nuclear treaties in the near future. In addition to planning on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>


  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog