tagged w/ Wisconsin
6 months ago
Acts of racism and intolerance from the right-wing seems to be the gift (curse?) that keeps on giving this election season. But is this latest homegrown political sign the latest heinous example of racism or just a mistaken message? The sign confronts drivers on a rural road in Wisconsin with the words “Hang In There Obama,” and featuring a hangman’s noose. Strangely enough, the sign’s maker, Tom Savka, says he supports the president.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=44938Acts of racism and intolerance from the right-wing seems to be the gift (curse?) that... more
Seems that the Romney-Ryan ticket just can’t seem to keep the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) off its back. First, one of Mitt Romney’s fat cat corporate supporters, had a complaint filed against it for allegedly threatening employees if they did not attend a Romney rally, and now the GOP’s Boy Wonder, Paul Ryan, has had a complaint filed directly against him for the alleged misuse of Congressional campaign funds.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=44413Seems that the Romney-Ryan ticket just can’t seem to keep the Federal Elections... more
Jason Thompson, son of former Wisconsin governor and current Republican Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, was caught on camera making birther- style jokes at a brunch hosted by the Kenosha County GOP and attended by the RNC Chairman Reince (War on Caterpillars) Priebus...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=44445Jason Thompson, son of former Wisconsin governor and current Republican Senate... more
This part is funny. She tried to plead "no contest," but the judge wouldn't let her and changed the plea to "guilty."
From the article:
"Kelly Rindfleisch, 43, served as Walker's deputy chief of staff in Milwaukee County in 2010 and spent much of her time at her taxpayer-funded job doing campaign work for Brett Davis, a Republican state representative who was then running for lieutenant governor, as well as Walker, her criminal complaint said. Rindfleisch, whose desk was about 25 feet away from Walker's office, frequently used a secret wireless Internet system to communicate with Davis, Walker campaign staffers and other campaign workers, according to the complaint.
Walker had been subpoenaed to appear as a witness in Rindfleisch's case, first by prosecutors, then by the defense. Her plea agreement spares him from taking the witness stand and testifying in open court.
Rindfleisch may be called as a witness in the trial of another former top Walker aide, Tim Russell, who is accused of embezzling more than $20,000 from veterans and their families. Russell's trial is scheduled to begin in early December.
Another former Walker aide, Darlene Wink, has pleaded guilty to a charge related to the John Doe investigation into Walker's former aides and associates. The investigation has already led to charges for six people. Former Walker appointee Kevin Kavanaugh has been on trial in Milwaukee this week.
Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/ex-walker-aide-kelly-rindfleisch-pleads-guilty-to-misconduct/article_480c0288-13d9-11e2-8762-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz296IjMQNzThis part is funny. She tried to plead "no contest," but the judge... more
Ryan's Run into a Little Trouble in his own congressional race.
So, what gives, Ryan? Seems to me you’re using your Congressional seat as a safety net should you fail to move into the vice presidential office at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Lord knows you won’t find cushy conditions, full benefits, free travel, and that hefty salary if you were forced to go get a real job out here with us mooching members of the 47%.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=43911Ryan's Run into a Little Trouble in his own congressional race.
Jennifer Livingston, an anchor for Wisconsin’s WKBT morning show, took a few minutes yesterday morning to address a viewer email that had been sent to her regarding her weight. What we’re left with is a beautiful and inspiring message...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=43443Jennifer Livingston, an anchor for Wisconsin’s WKBT morning show, took a few... more
Mitt Romney has plenty of money of his own, not to mention countless wealthy (and often anonymous) donors, as well as SuperPACs that are funneling loads of cash into the GOP 2012 election machine.
HOWEVER... the campaign borrowed $20 million in August, and now, as a result is in the red. The loan was initiated just before the Republican National Convention, as a result of complaints from campaign aides that they had been running out of primary campaign dollars to be able to continue competing with the Obama campaign in certain markets.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=43254Mitt Romney has plenty of money of his own, not to mention countless wealthy (and... more
Who made the Stew's weekly list of winners and losers?
This week saw the overturning of Scott Walker’s attempt to bust the unions, a portion of the NDAA was stuck down, and the comedy cavalcade known as the annual Values Voters Summit took to the stage. Plus Mittens determined what to render unto Caesar...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=42729Who made the Stew's weekly list of winners and losers?
This week saw the... more
Old parrot says final ‘Cheerio’
THOUSANDS IN SKOREA ATTEND FUNERAL FOR REV. MOON
TIP NABS ALLEGED ‘BUCKET LIST BANDIT’ IN OKLA.
Indonesian suicide bomber ‘back from heaven’
Wisconsin state judge strikes down collective bargaining law
Anti-American fury sweeps Middle East over filmOld parrot says final ‘Cheerio’
THOUSANDS IN SKOREA ATTEND FUNERAL FOR... more
From the YouTube description: As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about a senior citizen, Tom Nielsen found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. The 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan’s plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman’s only public appearance scheduled during the August 2011 recess — a $15 Rotary Club luncheon in West Allis on Tuesday.
Nielsen repeatedly told police that he wasn’t fighting them and that he didn’t want to make any trouble. He also told them several times that he had a broken shoulder. Police officers ignored his comments as they wrestled him to the ground despite his howls of pain.
http://youtu.be/GBhdXfCdaA8From the YouTube description: As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about a senior... more
An analysis of the Romney/Ryan Ticket:
In the 5th Century B.C. the legend of two twins, Romulus and Remus captured in narrative form the “moral” values of Rome. The city is widely believed to be the namesake of Romulus. The myth was apparently intended to trace the chronology of the Late Republican and early Imperial era, dating the city’s foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and the age of Plutarch.
The term “plutocracy” is commonly defined as “government by the wealthy.”
http://veracitystew.com/?p=40742An analysis of the Romney/Ryan Ticket:
In the 5th Century B.C. the legend of two... more
Pat Robertson of The 700 Club, who is known for his tirades and ramblings against almost anyone who is not a devout, avowed Christian, had coarse words for atheists in regards to our latest national shooting tragedy.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=40508Pat Robertson of The 700 Club, who is known for his tirades and ramblings against... more
A sad story for children that barely knew their own father:
By MUNEEZA NAQVI, Associated Press – 1 hour ago
NEW DELHI (AP) — For 16 years, Lokinder Kaur waited patiently for the day her husband would be reunited with her and their children. That dream died with him in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Ranjit Singh, one of six killed in a shooting attack at the temple, never came home even once in all those years, working at a grocery store during the week and volunteering at the Sikh gurdwara on weekends. He promised his family he was doing what had to be done to get a green card so they could come join him.
He called every few days, even as the months dragged into years. Kaur said she spoke to Singh just the day before a gunman entered the temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and shot worshippers as they prepared for services on Sunday.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iy9HYbQdIGr2OakP4Tb7O9ilEjWw?docId=b1997602e8e44e79abd3670931366349A sad story for children that barely knew their own father:
By MUNEEZA NAQVI,... more
By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine. Cross posted from The Daily Banter
The intellectual-left’s wild mood swings between unrequited love towards labor unions, and unrequited contempt, got me wondering how this abandonment of labor has manifested itself. While progressives and labor are arguing, sometimes viciously, over labor’s current sorry state, one thing progressives haven’t done is serious self-examination on how and where this abandonment of labor manifests itself, how it affects the very genetic makeup of liberal assumptions and major premises.
So I did a simple check: I went to the websites of three of the biggest names in liberal activist politics: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the ACLU. Checking their websites, I was surprised to find that not one of those three organizations lists labor as a major topic or issue that it covers.
Go to Amnesty International’s home page at www.amnesty.org. On the right side, under “Human Rights Information” you’ll see a pull-down menu: “by topic.” Does labor count as a “Human Rights topic” in Amnesty’s world? I counted 27 “topics” listed by Amnesty International, including “Abolish the death penalty”, “Indigenous Peoples”, “ “Children and Human Rights” and so on. Nowhere do they have “labor unions” despite the brutal, violent experience of labor unions both here and around the world. It’s not that Amnesty’s range isn’t broad: For example, among the 27 topics there are “Women’s rights”, “Stop Violence Against Women” and “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”. There’s even a topic for “Business and Human Rights”—but nothing for labor.
Puzzled, I called Alex Edwards, Amnesty’s Media Relations guy in Washington DC, to ask him why labor unions didn’t rate important enough as a “topic” on Amnesty’s “list of topics.” Edwards was confused, claimed that he was totally unaware that there was a “list of topics” on Amnesty’s home page, and promised to get back to me. I haven’t heard back from him.
On the advice of an old friend, Jan Frel, I read an excellent book on the human rights industry, James Peck’s Ideal Illusions, which helps answer why labor rights have been airbrushed out of the language of human rights. It wasn’t always this way: Economic rights and workplace rights were for decades at the very heart of the human rights movement. This was officially enshrined in 1948, when the United Nations adopted a 30-point “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” putting labor rights and economic equality rights alongside those we’re more familiar with today, like freedom of expression, due process, religion and so on. But somehow, labor rights and economic justice have been effectively amputated from the human rights agenda and forgotten about, in tandem with the American left’s abandonment of labor.
In Peck’s history, Human Rights Watch stands out as a force for rank neoliberalism, a major player in the extermination-by-omission of labor rights and economic equality rights from the language of human rights. How this happened sheds at least a bit more light on how the left abandoned labor.
Aryeh Neier, founder of Human Rights Watch and its executive director for 12 years, doesn’t hide his contempt for the idea of economic equality as one of the key human rights. Neier is so opposed to the idea of economic equality that he even equates the very idea of economic equality and justice with oppression—economic rights to him are a violation of human rights, rather than essential human rights, thereby completely inverting traditional left thinking.
Here’s what Neier wrote in his memoir, Taking Liberties:
“The concept of economic and social rights is profoundly undemocratic… Authoritarian power is probably a prerequisite for giving meaning to economic and social rights.”
As with Neier, William Graham Sumner argued that liberty has an inverse relationship to economic equality; according to Sumner, the more economic equality, the less liberty; whereas the greater the inequality in a society, the more liberty its individuals enjoy. It’s the fundamental equation underlying all libertarian ideology and politics—a robber baron’s ideology at heart.
Neier goes further, explicitly rejecting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because nine of its 30 articles focus on economic rights as human rights. Neier objects to that, singling out for censure “such economic issues as a right to work; to social security; and to an adequate standard of living.” The human rights article on “a right to work” that Neier dismisses as “authoritarian” is Article 23, and it reads:
“Article 23 (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”
It’s interesting that Neier rejects Article 23, the article on labor, which he mislabels as “a right to work”, because back in the 1970s, when Neier was executive director of the ACLU, he supported big business’s “Right To Work” anti-labor laws, against the rest of the left and the ACLU, which at the time still supported labor rights as civil rights. The so-called “Right To Work” laws are grossly misnamed—they’re really laws designed to bust unions by making it even more difficult for them to organize worker power against the overwhelming power of the corporation.
Less than twenty years after Fred Koch fought to destroy labor rights through “Right To Work” laws, the executive director of the ACLU, Aryeh Neier—the same Aryeh Neier who later led Human Rights Watch— colluded with William Buckley to push the ACLU rightward against labor by getting the ACLU to represent big business and “Right To Work” laws, under the guise of “protecting free speech”—the same bullshit pretense always used by lawyers and advocates to help big business crush labor and democracy. This “free speech” pretense is the basis on which the ACLU currently supports the Citizens United decision, which effectively legalized the transformation of America into an oligarchy.
I found an article from 1971 written by William Buckley in which the National Review founder praises Neier for working with him to turn the ACLU against labor: “I invited the ACLU to practice consistency by associating itself with a lawsuit which would prove unpopular among its labor union supporters,” Buckley wrote. “The executive director, Aryeh Neier, has replied, rather straightforwardly, I think. He says, ‘for many years, it has been the ACLU’s policy that the union shop does not, by itself, violate civil liberties. I have felt for some time that we should review this policy and I will use your request to initiate reconsideration,’ going on to say that it will take a while to canvass the directors.”By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from... more
The tactics Republicans use today to gain control of the electorate are eerily similar to the Mississippi Plan adopted by Southern whites to reduce Black voting strength more than a century ago.
They're waging a campaign to control every facet of the government. In order to guarantee success, they lie, cheat and steal elections. Here's a friendly wager...if the Republicans are successful in November, Citizens United will be overturned; they won't need it anymore.
If Republicans are really concerned about “the sanctity of the vote”, why didn’t they enforce their new rules during their own primaries? Perhaps Romney wouldn’t have been able to steal Ron Paul’s votes. In fact, why didn’t they pass national voter’s registration when they held the House, Senate and Presidency from 2001 to 2007? Who would have balked, half the nation thought they’d stolen the White House for Bush anyway. How hard could it be? Everyone has a social security number and they count every American in the country. And why do we have to register anyway? And what difference does it make which party one aligns with?
If they were really concerned about "the sanctity of the vote", they'd fix elections and promote access to the process, instead of suppressing it. They wouldn't legislate against recounts, but would instead welcome them in order to assure accuracy; but fairness and accuracy are not the goal.The tactics Republicans use today to gain control of the electorate are eerily similar... more
11 months ago
Head in any direction on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and you will reach gushing rivers, placid ponds and lakes – both Great and small.
An abundant resource, this water has nourished a small Native American community for hundreds of years. So 10 years ago, when an international mining company arrived near the shores of Lake Superior to burrow a mile under the Earth and pull metals out of ore, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa had to stand for its rights and its water.
And now, as bulldozers raze the land and the tunnel creeps deeper, the tribe still hasn’t backed down.
“The indigenous view on water is that it is a sacred and spiritual entity,” said Jessica Koski, mining technical assistant for the Keweenaw Bay community.
“Water gives us and everything on Earth life.”
"The indigenous view on water is that it is a sacred and spiritual entity. Water gives us and everything on Earth life.” -Jessica Koski, Keweenaw Bay Indian CommunityThe Keweenaw Bay Indians are fighting for their clean water, sacred sites and traditional way of life as Kennecott Eagle Minerals inches towards copper and nickel extraction, scheduled to begin in 2014.
Tribal leaders worry the mine will pollute ground water, the Salmon Trout River and Lake Superior, and strip the spiritual ambiance from their historical sites. Meandering through the Huron Mountains before spilling into Lake Superior, the river is home to endangered coaster trout as well as other fish that the tribe depends on for food.
The Keweenaw Bay community’s L’Anse Reservation, home to 1,030 people, is both the oldest and the largest reservation in Michigan and sits about 30 miles west of the river. The struggle of this small community in remote, sleepy northernmost Michigan mirrors that of its native ancestors.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, there are 565 recognized Native American tribes. About 5.2 million people identified themselves as Native American or Alaska Native in the 2010 U.S. Census. But that sliver of the country’s population – 1.7 percent - historically has faced an unfair burden of environmental justice issues.
Keweenaw tribe members and locals have a sunrise ceremony of prayer and drumming to protect their water on Lake Superior Day 2010.
Since early European immigration there have been palpable culture clashes with Native Americans – with the indigenous people often on the losing end. Infectious diseases, forced assimilation and land grabs marred early relations.
But as the nation grew larger, the environmental justice issues did, too. Native American reservations have been targeted as places to dump industrial waste, and to mine both uranium and coal, leading to polluted rivers, lakes and tribal lands across the country. Some tribes have turned to waste storage or mining as revenue generators.
Native Americans continue to battle poverty, joblessness and low incomes. About 28.4 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives – nearly twice the national rate – lived in poverty in 2010. Their unemployment hovers around 49 percent, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ most recent labor force report in 2005.
Low income and environmental threats often go hand-in-hand, said Kyle Whyte, an assistant professor of philosophy at Michigan State University who studies Native American environmental justice issues.
Native Americans are even more vulnerable than other disadvantaged groups because of their reliance on natural resources for survival, he said. The top environmental justice issues still plaguing their communities are lack of healthy foods and water, and protection of sacred sites – all at play in northern Michigan.
For the 3,552 members of the Keweenaw Bay tribe, it’s more than just water at stake. “It is a living thing that provides for us – physically and spiritually,” Koski said.
Whyte said this view of water and the surrounding area is unique to tribes and should guide governance. “Part of it is admitting that some groups have a different conception of sacredness than we do,” he said.
"Almost more pure than rainfall"
The newest controversy is over the Eagle Project, an underground nickel and copper mine just west of Marquette, Mich., a few miles inland from the shores of Lake Superior. Mine development began in 2010. It is now 75 percent complete and is scheduled to operate in 2014, according to Kennecott Eagle Minerals, owner, developer and future operator of the mine. The tribe, however, hopes to derail it with pending lawsuits.
The concerns about water contamination stem from the method, sulfide mining, which extracts metals from sulfide ores. When the sulfide ores are crushed, the sulfides are exposed to air and water, which catalyzes a chemical reaction that produces highly toxic sulfuric acid. The acid can then drain into nearby rivers, lakes and ground water sources – a phenomenon called acid mine drainage.
“Water is the top environmental concern,” Koski said. “In addition to ourselves, all of the plants and wildlife rely on that water, and we have treaty rights for hunting, fishing and gathering.”
Now-shuttered Wisconsin mine
Under the Treaty of 1842, the Chippewa gave the U.S. government land bordering Lake Superior in what is now the western half of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northeast Wisconsin. The tribes were paid and allowed to continue hunting, fishing and gathering on the ceded land.
Kennecott now owns about 1,600 acres, including the mine site, within that territory given to the government 170 years ago. Over its seven- to eight-year lifespan, the mine will produce 300 million pounds of nickel and 250 million pounds of copper, and directly employ about 300 people, according to Kennecott estimates.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Water used in the mining process will be sent to onsite basins and then treated through reverse osmosis.
In recent years, the land surrounding Lake Superior has been a hotspot for companies seeking to mine, process and sell metals. A similar copper and nickel sulfide mine proposal in St. Louis County, Minn., by Polymet Mining, has come under similar attacks by residents concerned about the water supply.
The Eagle mine will be the first to use sulfide extraction in Michigan. The state has had copper mines in the past but it was native copper, not copper tied up in sulfide, Schulz said.
“There are no examples they can point to of sulfide mines that haven’t caused pollution,” Koski said.
More at the linkHead in any direction on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and you will reach gushing... more