Promoting quiet recreation in Wisconsin.
Opposing the coming attempts to sell off Wisconsin's natural heritage.
Fighting denial about climate change. When are we hitting the streets?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Checklist: What will happen in a Trump/GOP administration

At this point it shouldn't be too hard to predict what is going to happen, legislatively and behaviorally, in the Trump/GOP coalition.    I am compiling a list, so that you can keep me honest.   Your milage may very as to whether you think these things are good or not.   Some are happening already.  Feel free to comment if you think I am missing anything.

1. Obamacare repeal without adequate replacement__
2.     Privatizing medicare/Medicaid/Social Security__
3.    Privatizing V.A. medical care__
4.     Vastly increased Russian power in Eastern Europe__
5.    War against Iran__
6.     Rolling back climate change treaties__
7.    Rolling back environmental protections__
8.     Selling off public assets__
9.    Cutting taxes on the wealthy__
10.  Return of deficits, national debt growth__
11.  Deregulated wall street, large financial institutions__
12.  Economic collapse following re-deregulated wall street__
13.  Imposed “austerity” after next economic collapse__
14.   Criminalization of protest__
15.   Govt. transparency, press access greatly curtailed__
16.  Use of private “troll armies” to control social media, intimidate opposition__
17.   Random populist gestures by President to distract from unpopular programs__
18.   Support for voting restrictions__
19.   Appoints Supreme Court judges to the right of Scalia__
20.  Roll back of LGBTQ protections__
21.  Roll back of women’s health care access__
22. Roll back of norms re: conflict of interest__
23. Roll back of independent ethical oversight of Congress, President__
24. Violation of bipartisan norms in order to rush through and hide unpopular legislation_
25.  Crackdown on civil liberties as a means of cracking down on illegal immigration__
26. Cutting the legs out from under,  then privatizing, public education__

 I will flesh out some of these items as time goes on.   For example, I think in the early stages, I am not sure whether Congress will go for a quick strike against Social Security/Medicare or whether they will try the stage approach-that is, weaken the programs and make them unsustainable first, then strike later as part of an austerity package.

Jamelle Bouie: Trump/GOP most extreme coalition since the civil war.   It can't be stressed enough: these guys aren't "conservatives".

Monday, December 12, 2016

Manty Ellis at the Jazz Estate

Since we moved to Milwaukee, I have wanted to make it to the reopened Jazz Estate. finally got a chance this week.

Monday, February 22, 2016

 Clinton and Sanders differ in terms of policy preferences and even more in terms of instincts.     For climate warriors,  I am not sure the work we will have to do differs that much regardless of which one is President.

If Sanders is elected, we will need to organize and advocate so that he has support.  IF Clinton is elected, we will need to organize and advocate so she is limited in the degree to which she can triangulate to the right.

Either way, we need to organize and advocate.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Turning Northern Wisconsin into a sacrifice zone: part one

A mine is proposed next to the Menominee River along the Wisconsin-Michigan border.  

Democracy Spring

Looking for something to do this Spring?   Want to help make the world a better place?  Looks like two events are happening.

  Democracy Spring in April

Democracy Spring consists of a march from Philadelphia to Washington in April.  The focus is on forcing Congress to pass legislation to protect voting rights and to pass a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United.

In May, it looks as if and other Climate Change organizations are preparing for "coordinated and bold mass actions".   You can keep up with them here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Here's a Boulder Junction paddle-pedal trip for you

Last week I went on a paddle-pedal adventure, taking advantage of the great new segment of the bike trail between Boulder Junction and Manitowish Waters.  I parked my bike at the bridge overlooking Rice Creek.,   then drove back up to H and K, putting in at the Manitowish River  just below the rapids.

Its been years since I had been on that part of the river-it was actually better than I remembered.   The water was moving swiftly, and there were some downed trees to create strainers.   I never had to get out of the canoe, but I did have to pay attention.    There are houses along the first part of the river, but otherwise it felt peaceful and remote, especially after the first hour of paddling.

At about the time the river flowed into Island lake,  wind and rain and even a bit of hail came up.   I made the mistake of cutting a straight line towards Rice Creek,  which meant I had the full  force of the wind and choppy waves hitting me sideways.   Had I to do it over, I would have taken the long way around, sticking to the southwest, then cut across the lake when I got to the Creek.

At any rate, I made it across to Rice Creek, and then the wind basically carried me upstream.  You can see me moving through the wild rice in the video above. (whoops, trying to get the video uploaded now)  I saw these otter playing, but I couldn't really slow down enough to get a good video.

Lots of wild rice in Rice Creek!   Very quiet and peaceful.   The weather got better, by the way.

I was in the water around 8 a.m., and out around 2 p.m.    Once I got my legs to work again, I biked along the trail (did I say how great this trail is?) back to my car-about 30 minutes maybe.

Wildlife spotted: The otters, a mink (or fisher or something) eagles, kingfisher, blue heron, a huge cloud of redwing blackbirds descending on wild rice, lots of ducks and Canada geese.

Quiet hunting:   Bad weather makes for good quiet hunting.  This was  the big motorcycle weekend, but there was only a segment where I heard much of them.  The river initially runs along highway H, and that means you do hear vehicle noise from time to time.   Mostly, I noticed  the sound of wind through the trees.

I had a thought if anyone takes this trip-please remember that although the trip starts and stops along the bike trail on Highway K, for most of the trip, the river will move well to the south. If for some reason you have an  emergency and need to get out of the water, don't go north (to the downstream right) -the area is very remote.   Instead, look south (downstream right). In the early part of the trip, the river hugs highway H.   In the second part, there is a boat landing to the left just as you move into Island Lake.

  Though this is a "quietwater" trip, there were a number of strainers to look out for early on, so you should have  basic canoe handling skills.   Otherwise, this is a great trip.  I can't wait to do it again when the fall colors come out.

One more thing: The day before I ran along the trail close to the North Lakeland School and spotted a large coyote starting to cross, just  in front of me..   I wasn't able to get my phone out to take a picture, it was gone in a moment.   Did I say how great this trail is?

Friday, September 12, 2014

The scariest and most revealing argument of all for ATV's in Vilas County

Quoting from the print version of The Lakeland Times, August 29th:

     "Supervisor Walt Maciag said he found arguments against ATV's because of items such as noise, safety and invasive species to be hollow."
    " 'We have noise from other kinds of vehicles', he said." (p. 28)

That's like saying if someone is  kicking you in the shins, you have no right to complain if I want to poke you in the eye.

You see this argument a lot when it comes to noise.   On the face of it, it doesn't make any sense.   Peace and quiet is a scarce resource-the fact that other activities take away a good bit of it isn't an argument for ATV's, its an argument against them.

 Its another way of dismissing those of us who think the quiet of  Vilas County is an actual rare thing that needs to be preserved.    Which includes, by the way, most residents and visitors.

Mr. Maciag is basically saying "quiet doesn't matter to me, and if it matters to you, you don't matter either".

There are windows of silence, little bits of time when we aren't confronted by leaf blowers, "high performance" exhausts, fireworks, thumping car speakers.     That silence is an actual resource,  like whitetail deer and  clear lakes.  Visitors know that.  Its what people come here for. Its a real thing.  And it can be lost.

"Board; No Advisory Referendum",  The Lakeland Times, Vol 122-Issue 52 , p. 28.