F A Q

What is a Progressive?

What makes a person fit the category of Progressive? Why does that matter? 

A:

Progressive is a broad term but is most strongly linked to folks who have a lot of empathy or caring for the world around them and close to them. A Progressive holds these Values closely  Concern for preserving rights and freedoms due to citizens under our laws.

Progressives value clean air, water, freedom of speech, public education, healthcare for all, laws that protect these freedoms, responsive and accessible elected representatives, a government that reflects those values. 

What is Freedom and Whose is it?

Freedom is a term with many meanings to many people. To understand one another we must determine if we agree on what freedom means to us. We also need to examine 'how other folks think of freedom and why'.  When liberal thinkers speak of 'freedom' or 'their freedoms', they refer to a very different set of ideas about freedom than do conservatives. In our blog about Freedom, we will examine these differences and identify the progressive viewpoints about freedom contrasted with the conservative. We will link to more information on this topic. It is important to understand these differences if we are to learn how to work with each other as citizens sharing the same towns, cities, counties, states and nations.  

A:

This is a question of great importance we need to understand from both the liberal and conservative perspectives. Knowledge is a type of freedom, and by gaining knowledge about freedom as it is valued in our nation and world, we increase our chances of working together more effectively as we share life here on earth!  We can manage this if we understand one another! Let's give it a try! Please comment and ask more questions!  

Whose Freedom is most like your idea of freedom? We will list the aspects of the term freedom most closely linked to both the conservative and liberal viewpoints, We will give background information on how these conclusions have developed and give references so you can discover more on this critical topic. 

There are very clear differences in the set of accepted definitions of 'freedoms' and 'freedom' between the way these values are held by liberals and conservatives.   We invite you to read about this and identify which freedoms 'fit' your point of view. It is a fascinating exercise that will offer all of us a chance to see what makes the world tick when it talks about this most important idea. Please join me in this examination of one of our most important and cherished ideas, it will help us protect and promote the 'freedoms' we value most deeply!  

Why is there a problem with Sand-Mining?

Is there any reason for concern about the commercial  mining of silica- sand in Wisconsin's Driftless Area? What is there to learn about? What benefits do the mines provide towns, farmers, owners of mineral rights? is there anything citizens can do if they are not happy about the sand mines in Wisconsin?  

A:

The sand in Wisconsin's Driftless Area s incredible! Almost nowhere else on the planet does such sand exist, nor does it exist in such great amounts, so near huge hubs of transportation to the places it is needed. The oil fields! (not in Wisconsin!) in the oil-shale rich regions of our nation!  If, after we learn about frac-sand mining in Wisconsin, we decide on an appropriate action, there is plenty we can do together. 

Here is a brief idea what is happening to cause the problems related to Frac-Sand mining.   Beware-- not all sand mining is created equal!  The sand mining we are studying is very different from old style sand and gravel pits. This is special sand. These are giant mines and HUGE processing plants! There are billions of tons of sand, and the oil companies want it all. 

A few decades ago,  it used to be unprofitable to go after oil and gas trapped in America's shale rock because the technology was weaker and the price of oil and gas was too low to make the extraction uneconomical. However, as the price of oil and natural gas rose, the mantra became "America must become energy independent." And the technology of drilling sideways through shale became easier - and the fracking boom was on!

Our sand, water,  and a special mix of chemicals make a mix that is forced into the gas or oil bearing rock with hundreds of thousands of pounds per square inch of massive water pressure to crack or "fracture" the rock - sometimes they actually blast a well before pumping it full of the mixture, just to be sure the rock is really fracked good! Our frac-sands work to hold cracks in the rock open so that oil or gas seeps out where it can be pumped. 

Frac-sand is just the right size, shape and hardness to do the job. Almost our whole state scenic Driftless Area is layered with it. The layers - actually sandstone - are what form the lovely hills and bluffs. The sand sits just under the farm soil farmers have depended on for generations.    

Wisconsin has lots and lots this sand! Towns had no protective ordinances about operation of sand mines of this size.Imagine how you would feel, as a farmer if  a 300 acre sand mine suddenly opening 50 feet from your home and farm!  No regulations! This has happened in Wisconsin over and over! 

Our problem is the sand is close to the surface of our land, often in big layers in our beautiful wooded hills in farm country. In some parts of western Wisconsin, there is very little "overburden" over the desirable sandstone. The miners really like that. Sometimes the process of removing the sandstone may require 24/7 blasting and excavating the lovely hills, miles of them all over about 66% of Wisconsin's most lovely landscape.

When the sandstone is is processed, it is crushed, sifted, sorted and coated with chemicals. The chemically toxic residue & water is then stored in holding tanks on the processing plant property that may or may not be the same place as the mine.  The little towns where mines have set up quickly were not prepared to protect themselves from the effects of the noise, sand dust (silica fragments floating in air), run-off water laced with toxic chemicals, holding tanks for waste water overflowing into watersheds,  sudden vast water-usage, or a Department of Natural Resources with only 2 examiners to check on over 120 mines, processing and distribution sites spread out all over the state, and a governor who is not concerned with environmental protection, only with protection of businesses.

There is a lot more information. This is just a start. Please look at the articles and follow the links on this topic. We will also have videos where you can see what the folks who are affected by the mines already operating have to say about their situation & experiences.  The problems can be dealt with.  Yes, this type of sand-mining is not healthy, but find out for yourself. Time is running out for the beautiful hills and farms of Wisconsin's Driftless.  We must be willing to try to help both landowners and land. We can learn what is needed to correct the problems and respect one another.

 

  Please see the links we provide to help you learn more!  SAND-MINING.   

What is Citizens United ? Why does this matter?

What is "Citizens United"? It sounds like a club, but I know it 's not. Please explain and show where I can learn more about it. 

A:

'Citizens United ' is short-hand for a Supreme Court decision.    It took place in 2010. 

On April 1, 2014, citizens of Windsor, DeForest, Waunakee and other Wisconsin communities will have the opportunity to vote on advisory referendums to send a message to legislators in Madison and Washington that THEY WANT TO AMEND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION TO STATE THE FOLLOWING:

         1. Corporations, Unions, Non-Profits, etc. are not People and, therefore, not entitled to Constitutional Rights AND

         2. Money is not equivalent to political speech and, therefore, many be regulated.

The DeForest Area Progressives urges a vote of YES and YES on municipal issues 1 and 2 on the DeForest and Windsor ballots and a vote of YES on the municipal issue on the Waunakee ballot!!!!

===============BACKGROUND INFORMATION================== 

This is why it is important to all U.S. citizens:  It is about permitting more money into politics.

The actual case is named:  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a US constitutional law case, in which the United States Supreme Court held that First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporationsassociations, or labor unions. The conservative lobbying group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act(commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or "BCRA").[2] In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.

The 5 Supreme Court Justices who voted in favor of the case presented by the organization, Citizens United, were the conservative justices.  

"It was technically about a small issue, a nasty campaign film in 2008 attacking Hillary Clinton. Chief Justice Roberts, however, turned it into a question of whether corporations counted as 'persons' with respect to free speech, where free speech is interpreted as the unlimited spending of money on political advertising. Citizens United allowed the formation of Super-PACS, which can collect unlimited amounts of money to spend on elections.  the effect as been to give enormous power to wealthy conservatives and corporations to help elect extreme conservatives to offices of all levels"

-- author, George Lakoff, in The Little Blue Book.

 

Learn More About This:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission

 

Citizens United (organization)

Citizens United is a conservative non-profit organization in the United States. Its president and chairman is David Bossie. It is best known for the U.S. Supreme Court case on campaign finance Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

 

Citizens United describes its mission as being dedicated to restoring the United States government to "citizens' control" and to "assert American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security." To fulfill this mission, Citizens United undertakes various marketing projects, including television advertising and feature-lengthdocumentaries.[1]

 

Citizens United was founded in 1988 with major funding from Charles and Bill Koch.[citation needed] David Bossie has been its president since 2000. Its offices are on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C. The associated Citizens United Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

 


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