Mining – Paramilitary protection law

Chipping away at public access and control

It is all so subtle. After the GOP misread the reaction to the curtailment of collective bargaining rights in February 2012, after which even Scott Walker said he would do it differently, the republican controlled administration, Senate, Assembly and Supreme Court have adopted a more subtle approach to the reorganization of Wisconsin. In a private meeting in the governor’s mansion just before that February announcement he referred to the actions as “dropping the bomb”.

In the aftermath of “the bomb”, the GOP looked around at the damage and began a strategy of surgical strikes across the spectrum of government to undermine the control and oversight by the public of the new, ever encroaching, GOP quasi government – one bill, one law, one rule, at a time.

Now, actions are orchestrated in bits and snatches so as to seem trivial to a press that is financially strapped and satisfied to simply regurgitate the message on any given day without investigating or drawing reference to the larger picture. The elephant in the room is: privatization.

1. The transfer of ownership of property or businesses from a government to a privately owned entity.Investopedia definition

The latest surgical strike to shift power to the private sector

Oh it is all so subtle, like requiring a permit to assemble in the Capitol rotunda, like awarding vouchers for private schools, like setting up the former Department of Commerce as a “quasi” governmental agency, like curtailing collective bargaining rights, like turning a deaf ear to the encroachment of frac mines in Norhwestern Wisconsin, – all, all surgical strikes across pockets of political interests, divided islands of geography, a smattering of skirmishes hither and yon, each one seeming somewhat trivial to the whole.

Surgical Strike #278

All of the media is reporting the story from the Groth TiffanStar Tribune to NBC – another surgical strike to knock out another point of public access, another curtailment of the public right to assemble, another subtle encroachment of the public will in favor of corporate interests, another domino in the plan for privatization of the government of the people.

A pair of Republican state legislators (the usual suspects Grothman and Tiffany) introduced a bill late Friday that would allow a mining company to prevent public access to some 4,000 acres of forest surrounding its controversial proposed iron mine site in northern Wisconsin.Host Madison

This bill exempts from the requirement that recreational activities be allowed on MFL (Managed Forest Land) that is designated as open if the MFL is within a site for which a mining company has notified DNR that it intends to file an application for an iron mining permit (proposed mining site).

2013 Senate BILL 278

The regurgitation of the intreped press

State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and Glen Grothman R-West Bend are quoted as saying: “the move is meant to protect mine workers and Department of Natural Resources employees working at the proposed Gogebic Taconite mining site from protesters.”

Of course it would require too many column inches to reveal the back story of this surgical strike, so let’s just print the Grothman/Tiffany press release verbatim and call it journalism. Let’s not make assumptions by comparing it to the big picture of how this action relates to what is happening with frac mining in Northwest Wisconsin, or singing in the Capitol rotunda, or the move to allow vouchers for public schools, or the creation of a “quasi” department of government (WEDC) – lets not talk about the elephant in the room – privatization.

Here is the response of democrats:


Whatever happened to the heroic 14? Whatever happened to the opposing party?

There is a back story to this latest surgical strike that goes back to the initial debate of the mining bill and can be read in full in the article: The Million Dollar Bill January 24, 2013 by Rebecca Kemble.

“Of the nearly $1 million in campaign donations to 20 Senate and Assembly mining committee members by interests backing mining deregulation, $74,000 went to Sen. Tiffany, according to Victoria McMurray who cited Wisconsin Democracy Campaign finance records. Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) was the biggest recipient, cashing in nearly half a million in campaign contributions, while Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) came in third with $52,000 in donations.”

Most news reports skirt the eco-protestorsissue of the paramilitary security force called “Bullet Proof” that was dispatched to the North woods without a license. No mention is made in this surgical strike to the other surgical strike: that the presence of the paramilitary force was against the law and no charges were filed for the infraction, while common citizens are being charged on a daily basis for singing in the Capitol rotunda.

Oh it is all so subtle.

The committee will have a public hearing on the bill Wednesday (no time or location given)

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin – Overcome

Today, this morning at 6 :14 a.m., Scott Walker posted a quote on his face book page. Just below his picture. I read the words:

“…where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream today!”

Reading the quote on his status window stirred a discomfort that I’ve experienced a few memorable times in my life when I was caught dissing a person who is standing within earshot in the same room. The awful and embarrassing slap came when I saw faces before me go blank and then looked around to acknowledge the person who is the brunt of my attack…just standing there. The difference is…I felt it. I wanted to disappear. My identity as a human being was shattered in a momentary panic attack.

Why would anyone invite a repeat of this terrible admission of smallness ever again? How can Scott Walker use the words of Dr. Luther King with an exclamation point after signing a law to require a photo ID to exercise the right to vote? The people gathered at the March on Washington fifty years ago, where assembled to redress grievances against the Government. Yet, even as he copied and pasted the words under his picture, Damon Terrell remains in jail for singing in the Capitol rotunda to redress grievance against his government. Damon was charged with felony battery of a police officer and taken to jail where he remains and will likely stay until his arraignment on Thursday.

After last January’s celebration of Martin Luther King Day, when Walker was recorded as he sang “We shall overcome” in the Capitol Rotunda – the same space where Solidarity Singers are being arrested – suggests a disconnection of his identity as leader with the the effects of his policies, his rules, his mode of operation. It strikes as being more than naive hypocrisy and suggests some psychological malfunction or personality disorder that deprives him of the realization that he is dissing the person in the room. To the most of us, it is embarrassing to witness a Governor of Wisconsin who is so out of touch with his own identity or what his presence suggests in the worship of an obvious nemesis – and he just doesn’t get it.

Uploaded on Jan 16, 2012

Scott Walker singing along to We Shall Overcome during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Ceremony.

[meteor_slideshow slideshow=”force”]

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin – Pressure Point Controls

As Scott Walker spoke to Republicans in Alabama, Police employed jugular notch controls on singers in the Capitol Rotunda.

“We need to embody courage at the local level, at the state level and Lord knows at the national level,” Walker told the crowd”.All Alabama blog

As Walker spoke, Chief Dave Erwin was posted in the situation room in the basement of the Capitol observing the action in the rotunda on his bank of monitors, watching and waiting to radio the command to make an arrest.

Meanwhile, in Alabama, Walker spoke on describing the turmoil during the protests that surrounded the Wisconsin capitol.

“In times of crisis what people want more than anything is leadership,” he said.

Erwin’s features hold a ghostly aspect in the blue/gray glow of the monitors as he points to a tall man in a cream shirt and speaks into his radio, “Get him. The tall guy to your left. Arrest him.” On the rotunda floor four police officers surround and corral David Newby, the former head of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, and apply restraints.

In Alabama, Walker continues with his accounts on how he was victimized:

He said he received death threats, and his mother and son were shouted at and spit upon during a trip to the grocery store.

Now, as the words to “If I had a hammer, I’d ring it in the morning” echo through his head set, Erwin spots a likely suspect in one of the monitors. He is a young black man who Erwin recognizes as a trouble maker; that is anyone who frequents the daily Solidarity Singing in the rotunda.

He commands, “Move in the the black guy with the dread locks. Now. Get the other one too.”

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said.”He’s a guy that doesn’t mind making a stand and doesn’t back down.”

As applause and cheers echo through the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery, Alabama; the voices of solidarity in the rotunda are singing the line, “If I had a bell….”, when screams and shouts erupt to squelch out the song. A young black man is splayed out on the marble floor as four officers surround his prone body, and one of them pushes a knuckle deep into his neck, a pressure control technique called a “jugular notch”.

Erwin leans forward in his chair like a sports fan moved toward victory, “Clear him. Clear the area.” he orders.

Scott Walker has left the stage in the Montgomery hotel and is shaking hands with Alabama republicans who look to him as the hope for the future.

In the rotunda, the singing has resumed.

“I’d ring out danger.
I’d ring out warning.
I ring about the love between my brothers and my sisters,
all over this land.”

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin – Silencing Song

Silencing of Song in Fitzwalkerstan, Whoville, or Estonia

Wisconsin labor leader Marty Beil calls on union members to join Solidarity Sing Along
Judith Davidoff on Friday 08/16/2013 5:06 pm

“This is our fight and our time. We need you standing shoulder to shoulder with other Wisconsin citizens to call out the inequities, corruption and incompetence of the Walker administration. Yours in the union!”

There is a power and spirit in song that sustains the human spirit with an eternal foundation more enduring than the earth itself.

Capitol Police Chief, David Erwin, has embarked on a mission impossible. He has been cast in a role in which he is doomed to fail. Many a predecessor, who have set out to silence the singing voices of an inspired people, have all been defeated by a omniscient power outside the limited authoritarian code. What happened to the “Grinch who stole Christmas” and the kings of psychotic horror, Stalin and Hitler, in face with the power of song? The Who’s of Whoville won out over the Grinch as the people of Estonia smashed the dictators with a most gentle and lyrical grace.


I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
– Leonard Cohen

Yet, out of ignorance or a self righteous zeal for power and purpose, despots have taken aim at the power of angels who, in every instance, are left dancing on the ashes of the villains of history – of the Grinches and dictators who failed in the the fool’s mission of the silencing of song.

The “David” who did not care for music

Chief David Erwin (pictured below) is not the David who played the Hallelujah that pleased, but seems to be a David who really doesn’t care for music, or singing in the Capitol Rotunda. What is it about song that raises the hackles of Chief David? The answer is simple and goes back to the birth of song itself – song flies on the wings of angels and cannot be clubbed or cuffed into submission. Song is the maker of fools; it leaves those who attempt to subdue it stranded on a beech while attempting to collect the ocean in a little plastic pail.

This David, who does not care for music, is the new chief of the Wisconsin Capitol Police who has been shuffling along trying to fill the huge shoes of Chief Tubbs. He is bringing a new approach to law enforcement in the Capitol which includes striking a harsh E flat Major in the silencing of song.

The Song of the Solidarity Sing Along

Regulars at the Solidarity Sing Along have rode the wings of angels in the Capitol rotunda space on most weekdays at noon for 17 months singing old union songs and folk tunes. I don’t know what the original inspiration was, but the daily singing harkens to the touching human story of the “Singing Revolution’ of Estonia.

The Soviets took the Estonians’ farms and their churches and their freedom of speech, but they could not take away the folk songs that had been passed down from generation to generation. Singing their folk songs had always kept the Estonian spirit alive. “We had no weapons but singing,” says one Estonian. “Being together, singing together, this was our power.

At the link below you will find another link to the movie “The Singing Revolution” on Netflix.
Singing Revolution

Journalist, Madison alder arrested as Wisconsin Capitol police broaden crackdown
Judith Davidoff and Joe Tarr on Thursday 08/15/2013 6:52 pm

Rothschild (Progressive editor) says when he told the officers he had a right to be there, one grabbed his arm and told him he was being charged with obstruction.

“I didn’t get close to the officers,” he says. “I didn’t get in their face when we walked down the hall. I was just trying to get in position to take a decent picture.”

Rothschild was brought in handcuffs to the basement offices of the Capitol Police and then transferred to Dane County jail in a squad car. He was fingerprinted, frisked and photographed for a mug shot. He then spent just under 90 minutes in a holding cell with three other inmates.

Let Us Sing!

In their own way and in their own time, and using their voices alone, the people of Estonia fought for their independence. Estonian activist Heinz Valk called it “the Singing Revolution.” He says of that time, “Until now, revolutions have been filled with destruction, burning, killing and hate, but we started our revolution with a smile and a song.”

When their capitol was secure, activist Marju Lauristin stood out on the balcony of the building and thanked the people. “We were sure that if you came to help us that you would do it in the way you did. With your intelligence, your songs, your heart. That is when we are at our strongest. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” And the people of Estonia raised their clasped hands to the sky above, and sang.

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!


Walker's Wisconsin – Unreasonable Singing

Civil Disobedience IS often unreasonable

Some elected politicians and bloggers have issued statements in the past week suggesting that the Solidarity Singers are being unreasonable for continuing to assemble and sing in the Capitol rotunda without getting a simple permit.

Citizen Dave: Solidarity Sing Along should be free to be annoying
David J. Cieslewicz is an American politician who served as mayor of Madison, Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011.on Thursday 07/25/2013 10:21 am

So, my first reaction to that is “oh, for cryin’ out loud, just get a damn permit already.”

And anyway, it’s a good lesson in democracy Daveand free speech. Those freedoms come at a price and a couple dozen folks who just can’t move on with their lives singing old protest songs is a small price to pay. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it worth arresting people over? Of course not.

Dave Cieslewicz (chess-lev’-ich), former mayor of Madison, epitomizes why the Democratic Party sucks. Check out the headline of his recent opinion piece in Madison’s free weekly newspaper, Isthmus Democurmudgeon blog

State Senator Bob Jauch calls on Solidarity Singers to get a permit

Jauch has been a stalwart progressive legislatorjaunch from the north woods for 30 years. He took Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz up to visit the La Courte Oreilles Harvest and Education Camp after the Iron County Forestry Committee recommended that the full county board pursue criminal and civil charges against the camp organizers. Jauch is no moderate democrat. He’s a pragmatic, north woods progressive. So am I.

[Rep. Bob Jauch’s photo from Support Bob Jauch Facebook Page]

The Solidarity Singers should get a permit or go home.Blogging Blue

I got this text message today from some guy named “Dave T”:

I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.

I texted back-
Yeah. Who are you?

I believe, that government is best which governs not at all.

Ok. How did you get this number? What’s your point?

The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.

K. So…????

What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

Isn’t it unreasonable to refuse to get the required permit to assemble in the Capitol rotunda?

As for adopting the ways which the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man’s life will be gone.

So, you are saying the protest actions are patriotic?

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

Seems futile:(

If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonable experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.

(Dave T’s chat above was taken form Henry David Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience”

And literary scholar Lawrence Buell predicts that Thoreau will be “an even more luminous and inspirational figure in the 21st century than he has been in the twentieth.” Henry David Thoreau:
Who He Was & Why He Matters

Source: Added: July 17, 2013 | Image size: 448x287px

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Singing and blogging

The solidarity sing along survives

How easy it is for the glass to appear “half empty”.

Singing keeps us in touch with a certain playfulness behind the dark cloud of an insane world. The Solidarity Sing Along began as a reaction song give2to the first “bomb”, the curtailment of collective bargaining for most public workers, and it has survived through all of the difficult political maneuvers of the Walker Administrations thru this day because of the playfulness and innocence carried within the very act of singing.

Some readers may know how my own playfulness is expressed most freely out side of this blog, although the exercise of writing is the fulfillment no matter the subject.

“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.”


The motive for my own writing remains at the first two stages of Moliere’s quote: for love or friends, but I do have a request of you for help with the project of my dreams for thirty years. The life of Moliere has been my “Solidarity Sing Along”, playful, dream since I attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1977. The dream was to write a play about his life and work, but I could never find a way in or around the problem of writing a predictable biography. Finally, last Winter, a playful muse alighted in the form of three monkeys and the play flew out and on to the page in six weeks. What to monkeys have to do with Moliere? The answer to the question leads back to my request.

Would you take the time to read the first five scenes of the play and write an honest reaction? You can learn more about “House of Monkeys” on my other playful blog

You will find first five scenes of the play at the “Moliere Play” tab at the top of the page.

No donation button. No petitions to sign. That’s it. Thank you!
(This is one of the most difficult posts I have written)

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin ….Not Wisconsin

History is being made in Wisconsin

Are you missing it? First time ever events are escaping to Wisconsin, to the Badger State, to America’s Dairyland, from the far north woods to the lakes of Madison – a new era is being born before our eyes with implications that promise to forever alter the character of our State. Are you prepared?

[meteor_slideshow slideshow=”force”]

Just last Monday the Solidarity Sing Along was deposed for one day by a “tea party” whanabee group whose goal seemed to be to…what? Steal the show, shame the singers to silence, stand with Walker (for one day), to prove how easy it is to get a permit.

Whatever the intended goal, the presence of the one time, one day, one hour singers only served to underscore the perseverance, determination, and decorum of the group they intended to satirize and dismiss.

There could not have been a bigger contrast between the two Sing Alongs at the Capitol in Madison on Monday.
Inside, there was a morose assembly of about 36 Tea Party zealots, gathered in the rotunda, pistols down their pants, with the sole purpose of “sticking” it to the Madison libruls.” The place was teeming with police, and the tension was

Walker’s Wisconsin is not Wisconsin

The alternate tea party group conceived and made manifest an attitude of divide and conquer as the songs they sang made a mockery of the real Wisconsin and the real America by salting the poetic and patriotic words of Woody Guthrie – who believed performing his anti-fascist songs and poems at home was the best use of his talents – with tawdry, childish, na na na abominations of his long cherished verses.

This is an image of one of the “songs” performed at the alternate tea party assembly and speaks for itself: a selfish, controlling,Land brand of freedom that only exists in the narrow realm of what any one individual owns. Outside the fence line of the tea party acreage a stranger is warned to keep out at the risk of being held in the cross hairs of a psychopathic view of all that is the real Wisconsin; a land of friendliness and neighborly love and respect.

I am glad that the followers of Scott Walker stepped forward to offer a clear glimpse into the Wisconsin they long to create and would strongly urge them to record the lyric into a campaign jingle that befits the man who they gather in support of. They sing out loud the attitude that Walker only hints at. Yes, this land is my land, this land is not your land, rings out as the true lyric of the Walker Administration, but I would encourage you to go further with the talents displayed – could you work something up along the lines of “Divide and Conquer”? – with a score from Wagner perhaps?

Here are some guidelines you many want to consider for “permitting” musicians:

Loyal members who were talented musicians were guaranteed a job.
Loyal members who were not talented musicians were not guaranteed a job.
Any non-Jewish person who demonstrated a “genius” for music and was a member of the (Reich Music Chamber) was permitted employment. This exception in policy permitted musicians like conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and composer Richard Strauss to continue working. Wiki Nazi approved music

Thanks for taking over for a day. You have done the real people of Wisconsin a great service in clarifying your position.

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!