Endgame Premises Archives: 11: Civilization is a culture of occupation

From the beginning, this culture—civilization—has been
a culture of occupation.

Visit the global 11: Civilization is a culture of occupation archives for posts from all DGR sites.

The Corporate Rot Eats Away at Wisconsin

from The Progressive

The corporate coup d’etat in Wisconsin is harder to ignore since June 5 when Scott Walker was deemed winner of the recall election. The veil is being lifted on the identities of the people who have their hands on the levers of power in the state and the economic interests they represent.

Gogebic Taconite is a case in point. This week, Matt Rothschild broke the story revealing dissension within the ranks of the mining lobby. James Buchen, the Vice President of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, took the Wisconsin Mining Association (of which Buchen himself is a board member) and its executive director, Kennan Wood, to task for working on a compromise mining bill with Democrats in the legislature after the one written by and for Gogebic Taconite failed to pass the state senate earlier this year.

The letter offers a rare glimpse of the inner workings of corporate influence in Wisconsin politics and illustrates several points:

1) That lobbyists and the businesses that pay their salaries believe they control the legislative process;

2) That consolidation of power within a certain corporate faction – namely the defense manufacturing and resource-extractive industries – is nearly complete. Total domination of the state apparatus only requires two more senate seats;

3) That even the people promoting the Gogebic Taconite project themselves realize that it is not viable unless extraordinary de-regulatory measures are taken to subsidize it; and

4) That they believe the very purpose of the legislative process is to do the bidding of wealthy corporations. Continue reading

DNR Backed Off Violations

May 10, 2012

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It appears influence peddling is alive and well in Wisconsin.  See the article below about one of the Governor Walker’s top appointed officials at the WDNR stepping in to let a polluter off the hook for over $37,000 in fines.

Governor Walker has praised his appointees’ approach, stating that, “increasing compliance and decreasing the number of… violations is a good thing for Wisconsin’s valuable natural resources…[and] our economy…”

Milwaukee Riverkeeper disagrees, believing if we are to deter future violations (a good thing even according to Governor Walker), then penalties must be sufficiently large to punish the polluter.  For more information see the article below.

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Coalition Intends to Sue EPA for Failure to Enforce Clean Water Act at Power Plant

from Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Yesterday, the Cleaner Valley Coalition, of which Milwaukee Riverkeeper is a member, called on the EPA to take stronger steps to clean up pollution at the We Energies Menomonee Valley coal-fired power plant.

Two members of the Coalition – the Sierra Club and its attorneys, Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA), filed a Notice of Intent to Sue the EPA for failing to comply with its duty to ensure that a new water pollution permit is issued for the plant.

The Valley power plant has been operating with an expired water permit since 1987; the expired permit fails to include standards necessary to protect fish and aquatic life and recreation in the Menomonee River. As detailed in a report from the Sierra Club, it is estimated that billions of fish and other aquatic organisms are killed each year by water-intake systems on outdated power plants, including coal-fired power plants like the one in the Valley. Water-intake systems suck in water to cool the power plant, then spew hot water back out into local waterways.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has been working to revise the permit for years (the Valley’s permit is the longest expired water permit in the country). Milwaukee Riverkeeper and the Cleaner Valley Coalition believe the delay has been way too long.

If the WDNR does not issue a permit in the next few months to address the threat to our waters, then EPA should take immediate action. The EPA has 60 days to respond to the NOI. If it does not respond, or fails to take necessary action during this period, Sierra Club and MEA can proceed to file a lawsuit in United States District Court.

To read the full press release and article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel click here.

Ready, Set, Destroy – Walker Looks to Violate Treaties

from http://www.politiscoop.com/

Scott Walker Breaking Tribal Treaties

Madison – In a release today, the blog Cognidissidence posted what it dubbed as a secret email to Gov. Scott Walker from Walker staffer Andrew Davis. The email depicts talking points Walker will use to justify the breaking of treaties with tribes in Northern Wisconsin by opening their lands up to iron ore mining.

To give you a brief history, The Ojibwe of Wisconsin signed three major land cession treaties with the United States in 1837, 1842, and 1854, ceding their entire homeland to the U.S. and establishing reservations for four Ojibwe bands in the state. The 1837 land cession treaty between the United States and the Ojibwe was concluded at a conference held near present-day Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota.

There, the Ojibwe traded the majority of their Wisconsin lands for a twenty-year annuity of $9500 in cash, $19,000 in goods (blankets, rifles, and cooking utensils), $2000 worth of provisions, $3000 to establish and maintain three blacksmiths’ shops, and $500 worth of tobacco. Congress appropriated another $75,000 to pay debts the tribe owed to fur traders. A final treaty provision reserved the Ojibwe’s right to hunt, fish, and gather wild rice on ceded lands.

More, President Obama Promised Tribal Leaders Help with environmental issues in November 2009 when he signed a memorandum directing every Cabinet agency to give him a detailed plan within 90 days of how they will implement an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton nine years ago that established “regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration” between tribal nations and the federal government.

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Bad River Chippewa Against Proposed Mining Legislation In Wisconsin

from http://www.intercontinentalcry.org/


BY  JAN 8, 2012

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are working, along with several NGOs, to stop a controversial mining bill that would gut existing environmental protections and effectively silence the public in order to streamline mining projects in the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin State Assembly Bill 426 looks like it could’ve come straight from former Peruvian President Alan Garcia’s waste basket, for all the good it would do. The 183-page billwants to:

  • Allow for the destruction of high quality wetlands
  • Allow mining waste to be deposited in floodplains and on the shores of lakes and rivers
  • Remove the right of citizens’ to sue for illegal environmental damage by a mine
  • Prohibit the DNR from monitoring mine waste sites or facilities, stopping work at a mine if there are permit violations or pollution, or making mine companies pay fines for those violations.
  • Force the DNR to make a decision on a mining permit within 360 days, otherwise it is automatically approved.
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Protecting Wisconsin Waters

from http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/

Anti-Mining Struggles in the Penokee Hills and Lake Superior Region

By Sarah Tops

Open water stretches for miles to the north, and a soft, cool breeze whips your hair into your eyes.  The hardwood forest opens behind you to a pale sand beach into which you sink your toes.  Gulls laugh and a single piping plover searches for mollusks amongst the gentle lapping waves.  The rough outline of a commercial tug can be made out through the sea haze.  No, you’re not on the east or west coast.  This is the northern coast, often overlooked by most Americans, but not Midwesterners.  The inland seas, our Great Lakes, have been an inspiration and way of life for generations up here.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, covering an area the size of South Carolina.  Its sloughs and shorelines contain rich wild rice beds and its waters over 80 species of fish.  The Lake Superior region, spanning Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, as well as Ontario to the north, has been home to the Ojibwe people for over two hundred years, and before then, the Dakota and Huron.  However, like most of America’s beautiful, natural places, it, too, is under threat of destruction and poisoning by industrial civilization.

Since the late 1800s, the Lake Superior region has suffered from large-scale iron mining operations, supplying over three-fourths of the nation’s iron ore.  The land was stripped of this resource half a century ago, but with current rising prices of iron and other minerals surrounding Lake Superior, mining companies are going back to dig out the dregs, a low-grade iron ore called taconite.  Communities in the upper Midwest have been affected by air and water pollution as well as poverty associated with the boom-bust cycle of resource extraction.  In the past several decades, however, Wisconsin has become a stronghold against large mining operations due to a mining moratorium law passed in 1998 after a prolonged struggle against sulfide mining that began in the 1970s.  Now, Wisconsin’s strong environmental laws are being rewritten by a new administration working hand-in-hand with mining companies.

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