Members of a local Tea Party group the North Bay Patriots have started gathering the necessary tin hat materials after deciding that PG&E's new SmartMeters are "a threat to public health, personal privacy and consumers' budgets." According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a gathering of the group in Cotati saw a few radio hosts and conservative bloggers speaking out against the wireless meters which allow the power company to monitor power consumption remotely. Take for instance, radio host and holistic health educator Jeffry Fawcett, who claimed a smart meter "allows PG&E to literally look inside your house." Which: sure the technology allows PG&E to peer in to the tiny part of your house that is a meter keeping track of how much power you've used, but that hardly sounds more intrusive than a technician wandering around your yard looking for your power meter.

Aside from privacy concerns, other attendees like Jed Gladstein (an attorney, author and radio blogger) got litigious, claiming PG&E's meter upgrades violate the Constitution and called the program "the sharp end of a very long spear pointed at your freedoms."

Still other speakers at the meeting on Wednesday were worried about the possibility of harmful radiation coming from the wireless devices, trotting out another argument we've heard before. PG&E rightly pointed to a "wealth of scientific evidence" that radio frequencies are harmless, so in this case we can't help but wonder how these conservative bloggers and radio jocks can get any work done if they avoid WiFi or, you know - actual radios?

UPDATE: As SFist commented BS pointed out, it's not just the Palin cult freaking out."[T]he hippies in West Marin are against them as well, going so far as to set up roadblocks and get arrested."