Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Battle for Bristol Bay: VoteVets joins activists to protect the people, the Vets and the environment from the Kochs and their friends

VoteVets - my favorite Veterans organization -heeds the Call-Up and is mobilized...

Joining environmentalists, fishermen and women and just plain folks in Alaska, to stop the destruction of pristine land and waters by multi-national mining interests (and the Koch Brothers, of course!) attempting to "Open Pit" mine at Bristol Bay...

The Pebble Mine Project  is a planned copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry mining project in the advanced exploration stage slated for state owned lands in SW Alaska. The plan is for cutting and gouging out the pristine land in a 20 sq mi area at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two of the eight major rivers that feed Bristol Bay - a plan that will destroy Bristol Bay and poison the surrounding lands...

Map of proposed mine in relationship to fish populations

From Save Bristol Bay at Trout Unlimited:
"... If built, Pebble would be one of the largest mines in the world. Because of its size, geochemistry and location, Pebble runs a high risk of polluting Bristol Bay, one of the world’s few and most productive wild salmon strongholds that supports a $500 million commercial and sport fishery. For this reason, Trout Unlimited is working with a diverse group of fishermen, guides, lodge owners, Alaska Natives, scientists, chef, restaurant owners, seafood lovers and many others to try to stop the Pebble development and to protect Bristol Bay. 
The proposed mine developers, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) are a consortium of the world’s second largest multinational mining corporation, London-based Anglo American, along with Northern Dynasty, a junior mining company headquartered in Canada. Anglo American’senvironmental track record does not bode well for Bristol Bay and Northern Dynasty has little experience safeguarding the environment having never developed a mine to date. Although PLP has not released its final mine plans, preliminary designs indicate that the Pebble Mine complex would span 20 square miles of state land in the Bristol Bay watershed. Located in a seismically active region, Pebble would require the world’s largest earthen dam to be built, some 700 feet high and several miles in length. Independent scientists have questioned whether the dam could withstand the force of a massive earthquake, such as the 9.2 quake that devastated Anchorage in 1964. 

The dam and 10-square-mile-wide containment pond are intended to hold between 2.5 billion and 10 billion tons of mine waste that Pebble would produce over its lifetime - nearly enough to bury the city fo Seattle, WA. Because the sulfide, or acid-generating, nature of the Pebble ore body, the waste would
 require environmental treatment in perpetuity. Any release of mine waste into the surface or groundwater has the potential to harm Bristol Bay’s salmon runs.
The PLP recently stated that they plan to apply for federal and state permits in spring of 2011. With the developers moving toward permitting, now is the time to get involved to stop this mega-project and protect Bristol Bay. Now is the time to educate elected officials, agency heads, the media and anyone who cares about the future of wild salmon. 
No Pebble Mine

From Stop Pebble Mine...

Economic Problems with Pebble:


In 2010, the Bristol Bay Fishing Industry brought in 153 million dollars with almost 29 million Sockeye Salmon being harvested.* Commercial fishing has been going on in these waters for over a century. Because of the careful management, the Bristol Bay Fishery is sustainable and as long as it stays carefully managed should continue indefinately. This industry employs thousands of people every year. The folks at Pebble Mine have offered a handful of local jobs for 50 years. 50 years of employment, and then Bristol Bay is left with a hole in the Earth over a mile wide and a lake of toxic waste. Doesn't make much economic sense. The companies are based in London and Canada. So while they line their pockets with gold, the United States loses one of it's National Treasures. Tourism in Bristol Bay brings in millions each year. With global warming bringing temperatures sweltering in the summers, more and more people will be wanting to migrate north for a vacation.

*Data collected from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's 2010 Season Summary

Cultural Problems with Pebble:


There are people living in Bristol Bay. Thousands of Native people who have their entire culture intertwined with living off the land. They fill their freezers with salmon, moose, caribou, berries and other foods from the land. In the villages of Bristol Bay the predominant language is not English. These people have the right to continue their way of life. To pass on their dances, language, and stories to their children. Creating a toxic tailings pond that will someday leach into the water is cultural genocide. There is no way for the Pebble Partnership to assure an infinite watch on their toxic waste. When this poison gets into our streams it will force people to relocate. 

Environmental Problems with Pebble:


To build the largest open pit mine in North America at the headwaters of the two largest Sockeye Salmon producing rivers on the planet seems preposterous. But that is exactly what two foreign mining companies are proposing in Southwest Alaska at the headwaters of the Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers. These rivers have had millions of healthy fish returning year after year for millennia. This area is wild. It is home to grizzlies, wolves, caribou, wolverines, foxes, otters, moose, and much more. All of these animals thrive here in Bristol Bay because of the abundance of clean water. At a time where clean water is becoming more and more rare, it only makes sense to preserve our last remaining supplies. Pebble also sits in a seismically active area. So the promises made of keeping the toxic waste contained are unattainable. 

Why is VoteVets involved? Veterans from all over the nation go to Bristol Bay to become fishermen and women in order to work and support themselves and their families - not an easy job but a good one, especially for veterans that have been left unemployed and out in the cold by a government that ignores the needs of the warriors while promoting the wars.

Take action:

Pete Seeger, the legendary musician, activist, organizer, icon and human, dies age 94


Pete Seeger - America's troubador - known for his traveling folk singing, activating, and organizing, died Monday night, at age 94.

Born May 3, 1919, in Patterson, NY,  he sang his way through the Great Depression, the Unionization of miners, the civil rights marches, the Viet Nam war protests and the activism of Farm Aid.

Farm Aid 2013 at age 93:

He is the man that is credited with inspiring some of the greatest poets and musicians of our time:
Bob Dylan called him a saint.
Joan Baez said, “We all owe our careers to him.”

Known to many of us for his strong lyrics, strong heart and socialist humanity, Pete traveled the nation writing about the people.  From dust bowl dirt farmers to migrant farm workers; factory families and miners.

He brought the truth of the people to the people.

He chronicled the lives and deaths, pain and suffering of generations from war torn jungles to the deepest coal pits.

He inspired many of us to see what could be and demanded we take up the cause to bring it to fruition.
Seeger’s commitment to the revival of American folk music is rivaled only by his commitment to using music as an instrument for social change. His activism has been a constant in his career. Throughout the 1940’s, he was singing protest and union songs--first with Woody Guthrie, and his first group, The Almanac Singers, then after the Almanacs disbanded, with The Weavers, the popular folk quartet Seeger founded with Lee Hays. Their cover of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight Irene” became a number-one selling song for 1950. But at the height of their popularity, the group was black-listed and put under FBI surveillance for their politics, forcing Seeger to spend much of the 50’s battling HUAC for his socialist beliefs.
Seeger continued to attract new audiences through his activism. In the 1960’s, his Civil Rights and Vietnam War protest songs spoke to a new generation of fans. Then in the 70s, Seeger turned his attention to the environment, a cause to which he remains devoted, going green long before it became popular to do so. And now, at age 89, Seeger still performs on occasion in public, and continues to receive accolades for his many achievements. Of note, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, the Presidential Medal of the Arts in 1994, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000, and as of today, nearly 18,000 people and counting have signed the petition to nominate Seeger for a Nobel peace prize.
The body and man may pass but the light of his truth will shine on:

“It is better to have struggled and lost, than never to have struggled at all.”

Pete Seeger (from "Seeing Red")

Rest in sweet peace, brother Pete

Friday, January 3, 2014

PJ Harvey's "Shaker Aamer" - "Let England Shake" and Make the Obama Administration shake

Welcome to the fight to save the men dying for our Humanity

GTMO abuse, harassment, detention and torture are GW Bush's crimes against humanity and now Barack Obama's.

Hosting BBC's "Today," January 2, 2014, she brought the best of the confrontation ...WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, journalist John Pilger, and photographer John Duley. Actor Ralph Feinnes reading poetry, and various musical selections to include works by Joan Baez and Tom Waits.

From Julian Assange:

And with the great line up, they took the opportunity to use the time well.  Whether or not anyone learned a thing from the hour is left to be seen...

But they pulled no punches and hit squarely on well deserved targets... To include Barack Obama, and deservedly so.

From Ralph Fiennes - Reading lyrics to Pete Seeger's "Ticky Tock":

So, America, When will we stop putting budding war criminals in office, allowing them to flower into their full Corpse Flower wretchedness?