Apr 27, 2016

Wisconsin Republicans and Big Ag Implementing a Disaster

Water used to be recognized as
too critical not to protect.
Wisconsin Republicans offer
protection to poisoners and polluters
as criminal pariahs contribute
massive sums of money to
corrupt Republican policymakers.
Wisconsin media as embodied by
Gannett Co. gives Big Ag
a pass, typically declining coverage
and editorial comment.

Blue baby syndrome, water too toxic to drink, surface waters becoming hazardous waste depositories—tragic costs industrialized agriculture is willing to inflict onto Wisconsin families

'Remember when you could fish from the lakes, and drink water from the ground?' This is the destination towards which Wisconsin is accelerating as state Republicans align themselves with a brand of polluter removed from any decent concern of Wisconsin families and life: The poisoner.

The scope of Scott Walker's project to degrade Wisconsin into a southern state with snow is further revealed with each passing day, (Walker’s Worst 100), (2015-17 slashing of UW System funding), as the lifeblood of Wisconsin, water, remains under attack in an assault so broad it ought to draw the attention of the Department of Homeland Security in addition to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers which protect our water.

Consider central Wisconsin, (Friends of the Central Sands).

"Groundwater in the Wisconsin's central sands region is both over-pumped and contaminated at high levels by animal waste runoff, but officials have been unable or unwilling to stop it," (The Political Environment).

Citizen groups across the political spectrum have arisen to defend water, recreational and tourism water attractions as a way of life in central Wisconsin even as Republicans broaden the environmental assault in response.

Twenty-five years ago, policymakers debated the Wetlands Protection Act as a proposed bulwark against polluters. Today, these same polluters are protected. This very week Walker signed legislation devastating wetlands, (Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

What can you do? If you see a Republican, vote him/her our of office like your children's' future and the your family's health depend on it. It does.

Apr 25, 2016

Sanders' Movement Kills Insiders, Can Realign American Politics

Not too late for Hillary Clinton to say 'bye-bye.'

Since declaring his run nearly a year ago, Bernie Sanders proclaimed his intention to build a powerful force for change in American politics and garner the nomination of the Democratic Party.

Sanders has achieved his first objective bringing in the younger voters who must turn out if the Republicans are to be defeated in the U.S. Senate and in a long shot defy the Republican-gerrymandered House.

Against this progressive movement, Nicholas Confessore notes today:

[h]undreds of the party’s 'superdelegates' have endorsed Mrs. Clinton, a signal of her broad support among the party’s power brokers. The Democratic National Committee now relies on Mrs. Clinton’s fund-raising to provide a fifth of its monthly income, an arrangement the Sanders campaign has criticized.

And Mrs. Clinton is well positioned to block any proposals she would not want to defend in a general election. In January, the party chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, appointed dozens of Clinton supporters and advisers to the three standing committees of the Democratic Party convention. Of 45 potential members submitted by Mr. Sanders, she appointed just three ...

Since tying Sanders in Iowa, Clinton and her surrogates have called for her coronation in a repulsive display of the very anti-democratic, moneyed interests-rule maladies that Sanders has openly denounced.

Clinton has moved dramatically towards the FDR-Ike-LBJ domestic policy consensus harnessed by Sanders, but Clinton remains a corporatist in her outlook.

"I think what divides us is the understanding on the part of millions of people who are supporting my candidacy that it really is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics. We have to deal in very substantive way with income and wealth inequality. We need to understand that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people, not to provide paid family and medical leave. We have to deal aggressively with a corrupt campaign finance system which allows big- money interests to buy elections. Those are areas I think of difference,” Sanders said Sunday on Meet The Press.

The argument advanced by Clinton's campaign that Sanders must now submit to the rigged Democratic Party primary is ludicrous.

To expect millions of Americans to disenfranchise their power is not only ridiculous, it is dangerous and risks a sure-thing victory of the off-the-charts Republican Party.

If come July 25-28 at the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia and Sanders is not the nominee, Clinton will have to earn Sanders and millions of Americans' support by moving away from her neo-con and Wall Street alliances that Clinton still hides from scrutiny.

What Hillary Clinton does not get is these alliances are the problem.

Apr 19, 2016

Three Nuclear Meltdowns, and U.S. Politicians Want More Nuclear Power

UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank introduces Gov. Scott
Walker before he signed Wisconsin Assembly Bill 384
in April 2016.
'Fukushima reactors one, two, and three had been in operation on March 11, 2011, and all three suffered meltdowns,' Counterpunch.

When Scott Walker signed legislation earlier this month clearing the way for the construction of more nuclear power plants in Wisconsin, he had the broad support of unions, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, bi-partisan advocacy and a public relations message that nuclear power is clean and carbon-neutral, (Griffin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Energy Institute).

What Wisconsin politicians did not possess, nor offer any mention of, is a solution to such phenomena as radiation, nuclear waste, half-life, radiation-induced cancer and nuclear meltdowns. And certainly not Cesium-137; Strontium-90, and Tritium, (The Mainichi)—all radioactive wastes of the Fukushima March 11, 2011 meltdown in Japan.

Consider today's exposé with Katsuya Hirano and Hirotaka Kasai in Counterpunch.

Notes Dr. Hirano: "Last summer I interviewed Murakami Tetsuya. Just as the accident was happening he reached out to the government. But he got no response. He went to the prefecture. No response from them either. ... So really there was essentially zero emergency management in place. [I]t would seem that the myth of safety has so totally permeated the bureaucracy that there really is no one who thinks about these things – wouldn’t you say?"

A rational person would say so. And the myth of safety pertains not just to meltdowns, but nuclear waste as well.

Just to Wisconsin's north a massive Canadian utility recently proposed dumping nuclear waste next to the massive fresh waters of the Great Lakes. Short-sighted policymakers have to learn the lessons of nuclear power over again, (NukeWatch, Spring 2016). Notes NukeWatch:

In  what’s  been  called  the  most  counter-intuitive  and  irrational  radioactive  waste  disposal  scheme  ever  proposed, OPG, [the Canadian nuclear giant Ontario Power Generation], wants the government to allow burial of every sort of radioactive waste short of highly radioactive waste fuel, a mere 1.2 kilometers from the shore of Lake Huron.

The  waste  materials  would  be  from  OPG’s  eight-reactor Bruce  Nuclear  Generating  Station,  on  Bruce  Peninsula  northwest of Toronto. With five operating reactors and 3,800  employees,  OPG’s  Bruce  complex  is  the  world’s largest nuclear site. Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex is  bigger,  but  has  been  closed  since  the  2011  Fukushima catastrophe.
Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Honorable Catherine McKenna has stalled the plan to this point. See also See also NUCLEAR HOPE: A documentary about the deepest and darkest places on Earth.
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As far as the human species is concerned nuclear waste is forever as the half-life of much deadly nuclear waste is on the order of magnitude longer than the span of the existence of the human species. In producing waste, we should be considering deep, geological time, not the next election.

As noted by Nukewatch:

Radioactive waste originates with nuclear power, weapons, industry and nuclear medicine. It comes from uranium mining, reactor fuel fabrication and fuel reprocessing. Nuclear waste is radioactive and by nature, dangerous. It can be called 'low-level, transuranic, intermediate-level or high-level depending on the country and agency categorizing the isotopes, or a label may depend on the radioactivity per mass or volume, or for what the element can be used. It can be long-lived or short-lived depending on the half-life, or the amount of time half of the isotope’s energy disintegrates. A half-life can be seconds or millions of years and the faster it decays, the more radioactive it will be. Radioisotopes are unstable configurations of elements in decay and through the decay process, radiation is emitted. Many radionuclides decay into other radioactive elements. Isotopes may be a gas, solid or liquid. Hundreds of human-made isotopes are created in nuclear reactors. ...

Radioactive waste is a lethal by-product and the wisest path to take is to stop producing it. 

When will we ever learn? The answer is to this question is anything but clear.

See Disasters Waiting to Happen: The Eight Most Dangerous Nuclear Plants Near Earthquake Fault Lines.

Perhaps Wisconsin does not wish to feel left out.

Apr 16, 2016

Study: Wisconsin Trout Streams, Lakes, Rivers, Grounwater Being Sucked Dry by Big Ag

Those factory farms you smell on rural Wisconsin highways.

The stench is the best part.

Big agricultural interests are killing Wisconsin surface waters and aquifers with toxins, and the withdrawal of massive amounts of water by high capacity wells drawing over 100,000 gallons of fresh water per day are sucking Wisconsin dry, a new scientific study concludes.

A one-two punch to Wisconsin residents.

Lee Bergquist in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the story:

The results of the state-funded research may also provide clues on how large-scale groundwater withdrawals are impacting streams, rivers and lakes elsewhere, according to scientists.

Groundwater issues have become increasingly contentious in Wisconsin, especially in the 1.75 million acre Central Sands region — home to a large potato and vegetable growing industry. 

Of course. Bergquist is reporting on major scientific research of water depletion. As the study pertains to Big Ag polluters and its Republican protectors, the political culture in Wisconsin is: Tell it to someone who cares.

Apr 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton on Marriage Equality Is Indecent

If Hillary Clinton speaks, take out your BS meter.

"I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I have had occasion in my life to defend marriage, to stand up for marriage, to believe in the hard work and challenge of marriage. So I take umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those of us who worry about amending the Constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or to the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman, going back into the midst of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults."
Hillary Clinton in 2004 on marriage equity
Oh, but Hillary must have changed her mind.

Wisconsin Citizens Fight off Environmental Disaster of Massive Wysocki Factory Farm

Residents Fight Filthy Wysocki Secret in Central Wisconsin

In factory 'farms' there is no calling the cows to pasture, naming the cows or laughing at a quirk one cow may have after her name is shouted.

In industrialized agriculture, cows are "units," and the operations are vicious, confined, inhumane, toxic and dangerous.

If you live near a Concentrated (Confined) Animal/Agricultural Operation (CAFO), property values plummet, environmental and health hazards are guaranteed, and millions of tons of pathogen-laden manure is vectored into the environment.

In Wood and Adams counties in central Wisconsin region, citizens are continuing their work against the proposed, massive Wysocki CAFO.

CAFOs in Wisconsin are protected by Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans, and Wysocki's proposed CAFO is backed by State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa, Wisconsin).

"The present system of producing food animals in the United States is not sustainable and [CAFOs present] an unprecedented level of risk to public health and damage to the environment," said Robert Martin, Director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production

Below is a video about the proposed Golden Sands Dairy CAFO proposed by the Wysocki Family of Companies in the township of Saratoga in Wood County and the environmental devastation it will bring if permitted.

From Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors: