Apr 27, 2017

Wisconsin Scientists' New Group to Access Threats to Natural Resources

Wisconsin Green Fire - "Voices for Conservation has been
formed in response to recent developments at the
state and national level that threaten science-based
practices and long-term vision in natural resources
management," (Woods Person). Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices
for Conservation website, and opportunities to join and/or
contribute are scheduled to be launched in coming months
Facing an unprecedented assault on natural resources by polluting industry, a group of scientists in Wisconsin will launch a private consortium offering science-based analysis into public policy-making and the political culture.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource, (DNR), now facilitates pollution, whereas in the past the DNR protected natural resources.

By Don Ystad

Fellow concerned citizens,

If you look at this from a distance, it's shameful that citizens and former DNR scientists have to rise up to fight the state DNR, a bureau formerly responsible for one of the greatest environmental programs in the country, and a legislature blind to the needs of it's citizens as it panders to a relatively small group of mega farmer lobbyists.  But, we have to also be grateful for the experts stepping forward to remind us of what we have to lose if we also don't step in.  In the current political environment, silence is consent.  Your inaction emboldens the politicians to continue pandering to the mega farm lobby while they threaten your wells, lakes and streams and destroy the family farm heritage we celebrate.

As we approach a blitz by the state Assembly to join forces with the state Senate to provide water rights in perpetuity to these mega farmers, even while your well, stream or lake runs dry or becomes unusable, ask yourself if this might be the right time for you to join forces with other like minded citizens and raise your voice in one of these groups - Concerned Rome Citizens, Protect Wood County, Central Sands Water Action Coalition, Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, and the new statewide Citizens' Water Coalition of Wisconsin.  Take back your right to clean and abundant water.  You probably won't get a second chance.

Scientists form new group to address threats to Wisconsin’s natural resources

Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation has been formed in response to recent developments at the state and national level that threaten science-based practices and long-term vision in natural resources management.

[Madison, Wisconsin – April 21, 2017]

Once regarded as a national leader in conservation, Wisconsin’s proud tradition of dedicated stewardship of its land, waters, and wildlife has been severely compromised. A new organization, Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation (WGF), now seeks to reclaim that tradition of leadership for a new generation.

Under Governor Walker’s administration, budgets have been slashed for Wisconsin State Parks and public lands management, scientific research, the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, and the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. Scientific information on climate change has been scrubbed from Department of Natural Resources communications and restrictions on Department of Natural Resources staff have limited access to science at public hearings. This is a partial list of changes by the current administration that make it clear that responsible, science-based, long-term management practices are no longer welcome at the table.

In response to these threats, a group of retired and active Wisconsin scientists with experience from a wide range of institutions—including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the University of Wisconsin, federal natural resource agencies, nonprofit environmental groups, research institutions, and the private sector—have established Wisconsin’s Green Fire.

WGF is an independent, nonpartisan group. Its nearly 70 members represent a depth and breadth of experience in natural resource management, environmental law and policy, scientific research, and education.

Historically, Wisconsin managed its abundant natural resources based on sound science, wise economic investments, fair and open public process, and a shared conservation ethic. In the last six years that tradition has been eroded.

"Wisconsin’s Green Fire, (WGF), believes Wisconsin’s citizens deserve better. We believe there are many in Wisconsin who feel, as we do, that a state as beautiful and bountiful as ours deserves thoughtful stewardship." said WGF board member, Nancy Larson, who retired in the past year from WDNR’s water program.

Wisconsin’s Green Fire will help local units of government, nonprofit organizations, media, decision makers and citizens get the scientific information they need to address local and regional issues. The group will also be a source for those seeking experts who can and will take positions and bring scientific clarity and scrutiny to contentious and complicated environmental issues. Underpinning WGF’s mission is the belief that scientific research, knowledge and education are a basis for ensuring clean water, air, and healthy ecosystems for the economic and social benefit of society.

"In recent years, Wisconsin’s longstanding tradition of balancing natural resource conservation with human activities has been undermined," said Terry Daulton, a coordinator for Wisconsin’s Green Fire.  "Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff is no longer able to fully share their expertise with policy makers and the public. As a result, we are seeing new and unprecedented threats to Wisconsin’s water, air, lands and wildlife. Our goal is to be a voice for sound science in conservation."

The group takes its name from one of Aldo Leopold’s essay, "Thinking Like a Mountain". "We decided to use Green Fire in our name to tie us to Wisconsin’s conservation hero, Aldo Leopold," Daulton said. "Leopold’s land ethic relies on understanding that people are a part of the land, every species has importance, and human activities must be in harmony with nature. It also tells us, as citizens and as scientists, that we all share a responsibility for the land, for one another, and for future generations."

More information about Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation, a website, and opportunities to join and/or contribute will be available in coming months.  For information now, you can contact terryldaulton@gmail.com.

Apr 25, 2017

Fitchburg, Wisc Police Harassment Escalates Against Poll Worker Who Blew Whistle on Voter Obstruction

Rushed piece follows no sleep by author, and inflicted trauma to household by 1:00 a.m., police intrusion

First-person report


Fitchburg, Wisconsin — Somewhere deep in my life experience, I don't want to believe cops are lying, harassing pieces of human filth.

But I know better after living 53 years in Wisconsin.

Following the Aug. 9, 2016 civil citation given to Fitchburg, Wisconsin polling worker who blew the whistle on voter obstruction, police have harassed a home in a quiet, suburban neighborhood.

From an email sent this morning to Fitchburg, Wisconsin officials documenting what is one sense light harassment, but is in our home intimate betrayal and police misconduct, (see Mal Contends and Mal Contends.

James,

Would you forward to the judge? I want this documented in real time.

Judge H.E., please preserve this email as a record.

Tom Clauder, you have the most-heavy police background, read on and tell me this acceptable behavior by police. Tell me this is the way it was in my Cap Times days when I covered Fitchburg.

This morning at approximately 1:00 a.m. Jackie and I were awakened to the Fitchburg police harassing our home. That's one in the morning, people, and I have not been back to sleep since. Jackie caught some two hours. We're clearing out calendars as we can, we do need to sleep.

This is the second time Fitchburg police have harassed our home is the last two months, both on laughably ridiculous pretexts.

Both times Jackie has been driven to tears. I can tell you that this is a less-than-gratifying experience. This harassment follows the Aug 9, 2016 harassment and the polls and our home.

The perp is Fitchburg police, and on both occasions cops shined powerful, (spotlight-intense), lights into our home after creeping around the outside of our home (in our quiet, peaceful neighborhood save the harassment by cops) and then lying to our face about what they were doing.

This is effectively terrorizing us in our home. I have alerted a civil liberties atty who asked to be kept posted after the last time this occurred earlier this year, calling him/her at 2:00 in the morning, for Christ's sake.

The pretext, the lie told to us after confronted the cops by phone, is about as credible as the Sgt with whom we spoke by phone at 1:30 this morning. Whatever you may believe about the character and nature of Fitchburg police, know these are not honorable individuals. Read on.

Two months ago, it was a car accident in the area that the cops said was "traced" to our address, which is easily disconfirmed, but resulted in no apologies to us. Moreover, when I walked outside to confront the two cops digging in the snow behind our bushes, I told them they looked "busy" but would like to know what is going on. I believe in retrospect the cops were planting evidence of footprints in the fresh snow for another purpose. This is felony misconduct, people.

This morning the Fitchburg Police Department said there was a 911 call "traced" to this address. On both occasions Jackie and I were dead-asleep, which is to say the cops lied, and their supervisors covered for them instead of investigating this harassment. "Traced," now, that is one bullshit word.

This kind of story is not one which is in the public sphere of consensus attitudes towards police, (but we are learning about the motivations and actions of these people).

This is a ridiculous situation, and the cops know this to be ridiculous but who will say anything? Writers, civil liberties activists, (and lawyers) that's who. I will say something, and will not stop until we are granted some measure of legal relief.

Therein is the motivation behind cops acting like thugs and prowlers in the night. Retaliation against me for what I write, and the civil liberties violations against others on which I have reported while working as a Fitchburg poll worker, (2007-2016).

I am taking legal measures of course, bringing these matters to the attention of newly elected city officials is one among many measures, but should I have to?

Neither Jackie nor I are is prepared or schooled on how to handle being harassed by cops.

With the approaching warm months, the only real concern we have Re safety, health and security is police harassment and being awakened at 1:00 in the morning, accomplished with bad intentions to inflict injury onto our household.

In any event this harassment, twice in two months, precedes my trial against the bogus civil citation. That trial is May 10, 5:00 p.m. I urge you to attend. My provisional conclusion is hostile cops wish to intimidate me and traumatize my disabled life partner so we will forgo our defense.

On the memory of my mother, I intend to litigate this citation and the harassment Jackie and I have endured. I will litigate first in muny court, then county district court, then federal dist court, and will be filling every complaint and making use of every civil defense against this apparent harassment project dating back to at least Aug 9. 2016.

Believe it. Oh, and pls consider acting.

A call to Fitchburg PD expressing concern would be a start, asking, for example, just what the hell do these people think they are doing?

Apr 24, 2017

Use the F-word, Morons

George Grosz, Rosenwald Collection; 1951.10.299;
National Gallery of Art
Updated - The collection of American ding-bats who voted the fascistic, anti-Semitic, white-nationalist, anti-immigrant Donald Trump into the presidency won't have a problem with Trump's backing the fascistic, anti-Semitic, white-nationalist, anti-immigrant Marine Le Pen of France.

Juan Cole notes this is the first time in American history a U.S. president backs a fascist France.

Last week, Trump said, "Le Pen is 'strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France,'" (The Politico).

Have not to this point heard anyone in the don't-offend Democratic Party note Donald Trump is a fascist.

Or that Le Pen is a fascist. Or even the most-mild offering of a political valuation that fascism is anti-human.

From this morning's New York Times on the fascist National Front and Marine Le Pen:

The rapid-fire endorsements of Mr. Macron [against Le Pen], coming from across the political spectrum, represented a dynamic that has always prevailed in France when the National Front approaches executive power — the cross-party, anti-far right alliance the French call the 'Republican Front.' The question now is whether that front can hold this time, as well.

Ms. Le Pen has oriented her appeal around what analysts and politicians call the 'un-demonization' of her party — the shedding of its racist, anti-Semitic, Nazi-nostalgic roots. That strategy has scored big results. Until the last week of the campaign, when she turned even more sharply anti-immigrant, her speeches were shaped around what she depicted as regaining France’s 'sovereignty,' breaking with the European Union and “restoring” France’s frontiers.

The two largest parties in American political culture do not comprise a 'Republican Front' guarding democracy. Fascism as a word is a political imprecation in the United States, now.

Apr 22, 2017

Central Wisconsin Lakefront Communities Look to Study Blue-Green Algae Prevention

 Lake Camelot in northern Adams County, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin — Resort and recreation attractions in central Wisconsin are a natural.

So is living in this picturesque region of the glacial sands and white pines. Many retirees call it home.

A broad coalition including many retirees have joined forces to fight Big Ag, and they are winning.

Lakeside communities in northern Adams county, (Wisconsin), the Tri-Lakes, is on the forefront. From a new communication:

By Don Ystad

Remember the lake closures for blue green algae last summer. You may recall that a citizens committee has been formed to work with TriLakes to clean up our lakes and 14-Mile watershed.

We've begun communication with upstream neighbors to bring all interested parties to the table. As part of our investigative process, we want to determine if the soil that was excavated from the lowlands and creek bottoms when these lakes were first built may contribute to our water quality issue.  o do that, we are performing soil tests of lakeside properties to determine the nutrients in our soil around the lakes. We need your help to have a reasonable distribution of tests around our lakes.

If you are a lakeside property owner, we would like you to allow us to do a simple soil sample on your property. There is no cost to you, or risk for you.  It's a blind test used only to identify soil and nutrient makeup around our lakes. You will be given the test results which can help you to know the nutrient content or lack thereof for your soil.

This is important in that it will allow us to know what part our lakes play in the water quality issues from which we suffer.

Thanks on behalf of our 14-Mile Watershed committee.

Apr 19, 2017

Bernie Sanders Is Head and Shoulders Above Everyone

Madison, Wisconsin — In Wisconsin during the Democratic presidential primary campaign, voices  cautioned repeatedly on social media that a Hillary Clinton nomination imposed by Party commissars ran the risk of giving the state to a Republican in the general election.

So did RealPolitics. So did Bernie Sanders supporters the nation-over.

Democratic super-delegates didn't listen. State parties didn't listen. The Hillary Clinton campaign didn't listen.

So, the nation ended up with the corporatist Clinton as nominee and the rest is sordid history that we live today.

What do 1,000s of activists in northern and western Wisconsin know anyway?

For one thing, Wisconsin activists know a President Sanders is preferable to a President Trump.

This knowledge is spreading across the nation, and Bernie Sanders is now the leading voice for a progressive and effective alternative to the lunatic in the White House.

From Deirdre Fulton in CommonDreams:

As he tours the country hoping to give the Democratic Party an energy boost, yet another poll has shown Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to be extremely popular among the U.S. electorate.

A Harvard-Harris survey found that 57 percent of registered voters view Sanders favorably, according to The Hill, which reported exclusively on the poll this week. In fact, 'Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled,' The Hill wrote.

Sanders fared particularly well among voters aged 18-34, who give him a 62 percent approval rating. And, reflecting—or supporting—his influence within the party, 80 percent of registered Democrats said they view the Vermont senator favorably.

On Tuesday night, Sanders reiterated to MSNBC's Chris Hayes that he does not consider himself a Democrat.

Neither do I, Bern. Neither do most Americans.

A new book out, Shattered (Allen, Parnes; (Crown), reveals the world had every reason to fear a Clinton nomination. Writes Michiko Kakutani in the Times review:

After a planned appearance in Green Bay with President Obama was postponed, the authors write, Clinton never set foot in Wisconsin, a key state. In fact, they suggest, the campaign tended to take battleground states like Wisconsin and Michigan (the very states that would help hand the presidency to Trump) for granted until it was too late, and instead looked at expanding the electoral map beyond Democratic-held turf and traditional swing states to places like Arizona.

Clinton was so full of herself she and Party functionaries neglected the potential damage they were willing to inflict on the world.

Bernie has not forgotten.