Mar 28, 2017

Trump's Talk with Police Group Is Facism Incarnate

Listening to Donald Trump's public meeting with a police-power interest group should make your skin crawl.

While law enforcement personnel routinely peddle their political support to judges and candidates for all levels of elective office, Trump's rhetorical embrace of the Fraternal Order of Police at the White House today is odious, (Washington Post).

His message is clear: Oppose police, support civil liberties and you oppose Donald Trump. Victims of police, you get what you deserve.

Trump's veneration for "law enforcement" is replete with over-the-top rhetoric extolling police: "Great," "amazing," "incredible" saints in blue and military-black who equally praise-worthy, supported Trump, always a virtue.

Said Trump in part: "I also want to thank you for your support during the election. I guess you probably know, the numbers were extremely lop-sided, right? ... As I traveled the country during my campaign, I had the great privilege to spend time with our amazing police officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. And I made a crucial pledge: We will always support — and you people know that better than anybody, you know me —the incredible men and women of law enforcement, I will always have your back 100-percent, like you always had mine and you showed that on November 8."

If you are a cop, and you can kill, imprison, harass, fine and attack innocents, and you have a friend in Donald Trump and his "great" attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

At the police event, Trump pledged, "I will work night and day to make American safe again."

Americans must be celebrating the glory of Donald Trump and their local police.

Wisconsin Legislators Look to Give Away Water to Special Interests

Pro-water signs proliferate in the town of Saratoga in
central Wisconsin.
Image was taken May 2015 by Saratoga resident
Madison, Wisconsin — Communities in central Wisconsin look to the state capitol to see if legislators will turn their backs this morning.

It's a good chance legislators will turn their backs on their own constituents, they're considering a bill that would deplete Wisconsin's waters for the benefit of special interests:

The bill is Wisconsin Senate Bill 76, (Assembly Bill 105), and has drawn opposition from communities, small farmers, businesses, recreation and tourism activists, property rights activists and a coalition of citizens who have worked to stop the operation of a proposed industrialized factory farm or CAFO, (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) in central Wisconsin.

Among the effects on water policy in the bill are Constitutionally dubious changes to environmental laws that plead regulatory procedures to ignore Wisconsin’s Public Trust Doctrine, which protects public access to waters.

The bill is expected to be acted upon on March 28 between 10 am and 1 pm in the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform. [Linked here is the Wisconsin legislative committees' calendar.]

From Rome and Saratoga, (Wisconsin), Concerned:

Dear Senators,

Let's be honest about the proposed bill. We know it's a reach by the large grower lobby to gain the advantage and have unlimited access to groundwater. And, we recognize that the plan for a paper ballot is to prevent you from considering amendments that might make this bill more reasonable to all citizens.

The large growers have spent large sums of money to try to sway you, they've created their own groundwater fact book filled with junk science and innuendo, they launched a campaign in the central sands to try to influence each county board into quietly standing by while they assault our state capitol with their junk science, and recently they've been seen at listening sessions using misleading photos to suggest there is no damage to lakes in the central sands.

During this same time, you've seen growing numbers of constituents busing to Madison to share scientific evidence with you that shows our lakes and streams are being unfairly damaged by excess groundwater pumping via high capacity wells from these same grower organizations. You've seen more and more press coverage stating the issues with water all around our state.

By now, you recognize that there are key differences to the two sides on this issue. On one side, you have large grower interests using their financial power to try to influence you through lobbyists and misleading information. On the other side are your constituents, lobbying you with empirical information and personal stories showing what is actually happening to our lakes and streams from over pumping of high capacity wells, sharing the threats to the state's $20 billion tourism revenue, and sharing concerns for their own property values and lifestyle issues with the threat of even more high capacity wells and unlimited pumping. I would remind you that there are already 13,000 high capacity wells in our state, the majority used for agriculture.

So, the question to you is, will you support the citizens who are asking for reasonable groundwater solutions in critical areas like the central sands, or will you bend to the big grower lobby trying to have unfettered groundwater access regardless of the effect on our citizen's right to clean and abundant water? The recent healthcare repeal attempt is an indicator of the result when citizens apply pressure to protect what's important to them. Ignore it at your own peril.

Please vote no on the paper ballot and force a more reasonable groundwater bill.

Mar 27, 2017

Deep Space Satellite Hovering Between Sun and Earth Can Help Earth Concerns

Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, mission
As Donald Trump works to inflict the Republicans' kill-us budget, there is, it is widely believed, a covert professional, bureaucratic and market-stabilizing resistance.

Many rational-minded folk recognize the threats that Trump, evangelicals, nationalists and other nihilists pose to the non-suicidal. So an ad hoc project has been launched.

The aims and objectives include surviving Trump, preserving liberal democracy, nourishing stable international markets, extending the duration of the biosphere and related concerns for the milestone when this lunatic is forced to resign, or January 2021 comes.

Rightwingers and other commentators are correct in identifying a deep state coup, or more accurately the speak-freely-to-press-and-defy-this-lunatic project.

The deep state is generally recognized as the professional intelligence, military, analytic and academic resources serving as a professional class in and around government through administrations.

The coup is a good thing; consider as one writer poses the concern, "Can our trusty life-supporting biosphere hang in there?" (Hunziker, CounterPunch). [The most important journalist of the last 50 years, Glenn Greenwald, objects to the deep state coup, citing democracy concerns. For Greenwald's analysis, see The Intercept and Democracy Now.]

Deep Space Climate Observatory, DSCOVR Satellite Mission

America’s first operational deep space satellite hovers some one
million miles from Earth. Positioned between the sun and Earth,
it is able to maintain a constant view of the sun and sun-lit side of
Earth. This location is called Lagrange point 1, (L1).
- (Illustration is not to scale) Credit: NOAA.
To take one illustration of how reality and one depiction of reality can degrade death cultists, consider the Deep Space Climate Observatory, DSCOVR satellite mission.

If you are not aware of this spectacular achievement, this may be because the Deep Space Climate Observatory, DSCOVR's advocates realize the potential danger the images of a five-year, live, (images taken every two hours), perspective that DSCOVR's EPIC, (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera), camera poses to the death cultists. DSCOVR advocates may fear retaliation.

The EPIC camera, (NOAA runs EPIC), is aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite in stationary, (hovering), orbit between the earth and sun, 932,000 miles sunward from Earth. DSCOVR was launched from Earth February 2015 and has been sending images since June 2015. The DSCOVR mission's duration is five years.

EPIC cameras on DSCOVR offer NOAA personnel a constant view, (in images taken every two hours, and in real-time data), of the fully illuminated Earth, (and Sun), and the DSCOVR website offers us the highlights.

If NOAA decides to offer world populations NOAA's live, real-time viewing of Earth, (has not yet on a live, real-time basis like say the GOES geostationary satellite server), populations may increasingly see Earth as the planet Earth—a life-supporting place, many regions of which are available for human visitation. Images are reported by NOAA to be taken every two hours, maybe that's good enough for reinforcing the human need discouraging planetary catastrophe that death cultists wish to inflict.

The deep state could help by amplifying the DSCOVR's EPIC's perspectives of Earth as a means of subverting death cults in government and corporate interests. The message would be in effect: Don't destroy our home.

DSCOVR's capabilities are presented by NOAA emphasizing military-infrastructure-national security concerns: "The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will maintain the nation's real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA's space weather alerts and forecasts. Without timely and accurate warnings, space weather events like the geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind have the potential to disrupt nearly every major public infrastructure system, including power grids, telecommunications, aviation and GPS."

But it is the perspective of Earth that may lend the most-important images:

One year after returning it's first image, NASA's EPIC camera, aboard NOAA's DSCOVR satellite, shows us an entire year from one million miles away.

This video was created using NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope, aboard NOAA's DSCOVR satellite. EPIC takes a new picture every two hours, revealing how the planet would look to human eyes, capturing the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems and the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas. The camera has now recorded a full year of life on Earth from its orbit, seen here.

A million miles away, NOAA's DSCOVR, the Nation's first operational satellite in deep space, orbits a unique location called Lagrange point 1, or L1. This orbit is a gravity neutral point in space, allowing DSCOVR to essentially hover between the sun and Earth at all times, maintaining a constant view of the sun and sun-lit side of Earth. From here, the satellite can provide advanced solar measurements and early warnings of potentially dangerous space weather events, acting as a solar storm buoy in deep space.

Thanks to NASA's EPIC imager, DSCOVR's orbit also gives Earth scientists a unique vantage point for studies of the atmosphere and climate by continuously viewing the sunlit side of the planet. EPIC provides global spectral images of of Earth and insight into Earth's energy balance. EPIC's observations provide a unique angular perspective, and are used in science applications to measure ozone amounts, aerosol amounts, cloud height and phase, vegetation properties, hotspot land properties and UV radiation estimates at Earth's surface.

Learn more about the One Year on Earth - Seen from One-Million Miles video, and see video below:

Mar 26, 2017

Central Wisconsin Communities Flash Red over Bill to Deplete Waters

Paradise imperiled - Lake Camelot in central Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin — Following the Republican effort to pass by stealth the unpopular "death by a 1,000 straws", anti-water bill, central Wisconsin citizens' groups and communities are mobilized.

The bill is Wisconsin Senate Bill 76, (Assembly Bill 105), and has drawn opposition from communities, small farmers, businesses, recreation and tourism activists, property rights activists and a coalition of citizens who have worked to stop the operation of a proposed  industrialized factory farm or CAFO, (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) in central Wisconsin.

Among the effects on water policy in the bill are Constitutionally dubious changes to environmental laws that plead regulatory procedures to ignore Wisconsin’s Public Trust Doctrine, which protects public access to waters.

The bill is expected to be acted upon on March 28 between 10 am and 1 pm in the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform. [Linked here is the Wisconsin legislative committees' calendar.]
Below is a press release from Concerned Rome Citizens, (Adams County (Wisconsin)), and a communication from Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors, (Wood County Wisconsin).

For Immediate Release
Press Release
Contact: Don Ystad            
Phone: 262-894-9423          

Proposed SB76/AB105 strikes a blow to state tourism and property rights

Concerned Rome Citizens opposes SB 76, (AB 105), as written.  Passage of this bill in current form will result in continuing PERMANENT damage to our state’s waters – lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and residential water wells.  It may provide assurances to a select group of large growers and agricultural land owners, but it does not solve any problems for our state groundwater and surface water issues and only allows our current problems to continue and in some cases, expands those problems.

Further, the scheduling of a paper ballot vote on March 28th by the Senate’s Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform ignores the 9 hours of testimony provided at the initial public hearing a few weeks ago and prevents consideration of amendments suggested by legislators and attendees.  In short, it’s an attempt to fast track this bill for influential donors.

Wisconsin is a mecca for recreation and tourism. Allowing the passage of SB76/AB105 would land a direct blow to the thriving tourism industry upon which many of our rural communities depend.  Many vacationers who would otherwise travel to Wisconsin will find alternate vacation destinations to boat, fish, and recreate as lake levels continue to be drawn down.

SB76/AB105 will guarantee the continued drawdown of many lakes, trout streams, and residential wells if passed because it does nothing to remedy the current issues with lakes and streams already drawn down by excess pumping, or to prevent damage to lakes and streams in the future.  Unlimited permits are unprecedented in Wisconsin and pose a serious and immediate danger to our waterways and our residents.  Periodic review of high capacity well permits is essential to protect our waters. 

The following amendments should be considered and acted upon on behalf of Wisconsin constituents and citizens.

Wisconsin has a varying geology and we need an amendment that recognizes such where permitting and regulating high capacity wells is concerned

  • Identify the Wisconsin areas like Central Sands that are currently impacted, or subject to impact because of their geologic makeup. Make periodic review mandatory for all high capacity wells located in these areas and eliminate the need to do so where the science and history show it’s not necessary. Periodic review of a high capacity well in areas of Wisconsin currently demonstrating no significant impact from over-pumping is unnecessary when a well requires maintenance or reconstruction.

While automatic transfer of well permits when a property is sold may be important to high capacity well owners, maintaining lake and stream levels is equally important to citizens and the communities, counties and state where they live.

  • An amendment is needed to provide permit review before sales transfer in areas of our state where the science or history show impacts from over-pumping. This is especially crucial with transfer of land from property owner to another entity which plans to pump in excess of previous records of well pumping or is in a region where high capacity wells are already demonstrating impacts.  Conversely, transfer of property (ownership) between family members with the same purpose and estimated pumping rates of the property’s high capacity well, when in an area that is not identified as an area of concern due to over-pumping, does not require a periodic review.

Science has shown us that trying to refill a lake with a new high capacity well when that lake has been impacted by over-pumping of existing high capacity wells simply does not work.  By now we’ve all learned that surface water and groundwater are directly connected.

  • That provision should be stricken from the bill.

Citizens are at a civil litigation disadvantage once permits are awarded to large organizations.  Wording within this bill denying citizens right to request a contested case hearing is contradictory to the democratic process.

  • Citizens should have the right to contest a permit decision before a permit holder is allowed to operate, based on studies or evidence that shows the potential risks.

And finally, the Sensitive Resource Study Area outlined in the Central Sands region requires further consideration in that it does not incorporate the already highly impacted areas, instead targeting three random low impact areas. Highest impact areas must be included in the study

  •     Because of the unique geological conditions involved, study and groundwater modeling should incorporate the entire Central Sands region and not limited areas
  •     Temporary suspension of new high capacity wells should be implemented in the Central Sands region already showing the highest amount of impact due to over-pumping of high capacity wells.  This temporary suspension should remain in place until completion of the new study AND corrective actions are put in place legislatively to address the critical area and over-pumping occurring

Numerous scientific studies and models have confirmed the effects of over-pumping on ground and surface water.  However, agriculture interests continue to lobby for an advantage with the public’s water.  Visitors aren’t coming to Wisconsin because of our agriculture industry. They come and spend $20,000,000,000 here annually because we have a lakes environment second to none.  As Wisconsin residents, we trust our elected officials to enact legislation that will support the needs of agriculture and tourism, as well as property values and lifestyle for all residents for generations to come.  We expect changes in these bills that represent the needs of all Wisconsin property owners.

Concerned Rome Citizens values the lakes in the Rome area that contribute in a large way to the $300,000,000 annual tourism revenue in Adams County.  The billion dollars in valuation of lake properties in Adams County represent a major source of revenue to commerce, schools and community services. 

These lakes communities around our state must be protected.
From Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors

Spring is fast approaching which means all eyes and ears need to be open as the potential for manure dumping by the Wysocki's is high.

We have information that the Central Sands Dairy manure lagoon is full to the top.  The lagoon will need to be pumped soon and the manure will have to go somewhere, so keep your eyes open and report anything you see out of the ordinary.

SB76 / AB105 - Relating to: replacement, reconstruction, and transfer of an approved high capacity well, recommendation of special groundwater measures by the Department of Natural Resources, and metering requirements and grants for certain high capacity wells.

After 9 hours of testimony by Wisconsin citizens on March 15th the Senate Chairperson (Senator Nass) later instructed the Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform to vote on SB76 by paper ballot on Tuesday March 28th between the hours of 10AM and 1PM.

The paper ballot decision eliminates discussion of citizen testimony heard, debate of technical pieces of the bill, and does not allow for amendment to be introduced on the bill by committee members.  It also blocks the public from viewing and observing the committee communications.

Now more than ever we need citizens from all over Wisconsin hitting our elected officials with personal emails and phone calls voicing their concerns about this bill and the committees plan to proceed with a paper ballot vote.  Linked below are our Legislators email addresses in an easy copy and paste format.  Be sure to take a few minutes and do your part today.

2017 Elected Wisconsin Officials

Tax Working Families at Higher Rate, Says Wisconsin Mayor

Volunteers get ready to lit drop for Fitchburg,
Wisconsin mayoral candidates, Jason Gonzalez,
and Alder candidates Anne Scott and Rich Tate in
Fitchburg, Wisconsin the weekend of March 24.
Gonzalez would be the first Latino mayor of
Fitchburg, as residents increasingly express anxiety
about minorities living in the age of Trump, and
local working families living in the mayoral term
of Steve Arnold, (Tax working families as a stimulus).
Image by unidentified campaign volunteer.

Has any macroeconomic school, economist or policymaker other than one obscure Wisconsin mayor ever proposed taxing working families at a higher rate is stimulative to the economy

Fitchburg, Wisconsin — Alder Jason C. Gonzalez stopped by the neighborhood and pitched his mayoral campaign on a typically cold January day.

Gonzalez stressed affordable housing, saying the incumbent mayor's commitment to raise local property taxes is "regressive," and is a bizarre insult to working families.

This Wisconsin incumbent mayor is out-of-control, out-of-touch and constantly emitting public lectures pleading working-class homes should pay a nine-percent increase in local property taxes.

Fitchburg Mayor Steve Arnold pushes his grand plan to raise local taxes in this community of 25,000 residents, saying he opposes "austerity," and instead believes in a stimulus budget achieved by raising taxes on the working class in this "high-service city," (Gaines, Madison365).

In Arnold's world, families living in ranch homes, for example, would pay $100s more in property taxes every year and they would like it. Seriously, this is not hyperbole.

"Fitchburg is a high service community. Generally residents demand high services and are willing to pay for them," said Arnold at a mayoral forum hosted by the Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce, (Gaines, Madison365)

Working-class households do not want higher property taxes, and are not "willing to pay," in light of the undeniable fact Arnold's proposal that would mean some $1,000-plus in increased municipal taxes over five years for the average household, (Mal Contends).

Has any macroeconomic school or any economist or any policymaker other than Steve Arnold ever proposed taxing working families at a higher rate is stimulative to the economy? "No," said Gonzalez, when asked.

Increasing purchasing power, not degrading purchasing power is a municipal policy objective and is the aim of almost anyone in the political culture, save Steve Arnold.

Whether a politician is anti-healthcare or anti-affordable housing, the politician is anti-American.