Clean Coal Strikes Again

One of the continual drum-beats of the energy industry is the promotion of the myth of clean coal.  If we need to continue the intense us of fossil fuel in this country, it's a reassuring notion to believe that somehow the environmental damage of coal burning could be stopped, while still using the vast resource of coal the US has. 

However, as a Christmas present to the people of Tennessee , we're reminded this morning just how clean coal can be, as a wall of fly-ash sludge has breached its containment pond, and washed over 400 acres of land.  This has contaminated the water supply for a large number of people and made several homes uninhabitable.  I expect that the cleanup for this incident will be lengthy and extremely expensive. The current push to continue to use coal and nuclear energy, despite the long-term environmental damage caused by both, is an irresponsible approach to stewardship of our country and the planet, and as we continue to reap the rewards of not maintaining the fragile infrastructure that holds this garbage in place, we'll see this sort of incident more and more.

Avoid the mall, shop at home; Give the gift of peace

So you say it's below zero out there, and your garage door's frozen shut, and you don't know if your car will start anyway, and even if it does that shopping malls make you so tense and irritable you want to sit down in the aisle and cry, and you don't even have the slightest idea what to get anybody for a gift anyway, and time is running out?

Is that what's troubling you, Bunky?

Well, be troubled no more.

If you're reading this you're already at your computer, so just relax and take care of your holiday shopping needs in the next few minutes.

Consider giving the gift of peace.

With just a few clicks here and there, you can relieve your holiday stress, help make the world a better place, and encourage those who are working every day for peace and justice. Make a contribution in the name of your friends and relatives, and give them a card telling them what you've done.

Aunt Peg doesn't really need one more scarf, and Brother Joe won't be heartbroken if he doesn't get his usual box of golf balls. Really.

There is an endless list of good causes, of course. You no doubt have some favorites. But in case you're coming up empty on ideas, here are links to a few of mine:

LGBT Community Needs to Fracking Chill on Obama and Warren

Update: Percentage of Americans who believe that God created man pretty much in his present form in one instance within the last 10,000 years: 47 percent. ... Rick Warren is one of these people

Most here have heard the indictment that Barack Obama's inauguration will include a "humiliating" (Maddow) slap at the LGBT community for the incoming administration's political benefit.

Presto products are shooting a lot more than salads

What was Steve Burns, a staff member of Wis. Network for Peace and Justice, doing on an anti-shopping spree in Madison Friday?

Well, it was Iraq Moratorium day, and Burns decided his action this month would be to call shoppers' attention to a little-known connection between a Wisconsin company and deaths of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Burns learned that Wisconsin's National Presto Industries, known to the public for making Salad Shooters and Fry Daddies, has a dark side that it doesn't advertise.

The Eau Claire-based company produced artillery fuses during World War II, artillery shells in the 1950s, and during the Vietnam war, from 1966 to 1975, manufactured more than two million eight-inch howitzer shells and more than 92 million 105mm artillery shells.

These days, it's 40mm cannon rounds. An article by Nick Furse in Tomgram lays it out:

The Pabst Farms Mirage

I warned against Pabst Farms back in February 2008.
Another retail wonderland is the last thing Wisconsin needs to be
publicly-funding at this - or for that matter, any other - time. Such
subsidization merely realigns spending away from existing shopping
destinations toward the newer, shinier destination. A colossal waste of
public (and private) resources if there ever was one.

But wait a minute, things aren't going as planned.

I thought this was a slam-dunk economic development initiative?

One of those unstoppable catalysts that was necessary, creates jobs, and spurs further development.

So why can't the developers even sign tenants?

Maybe it has to do something with the duplicative, sprawling, inefficient, environmentally unsound, and bribery-laden path of our urban planning & economic development. Sites compete for capital, subsidizing businesses to locate in less

Two more cities join Iraq Moratorium today

Minocqua and Menomonie have joined the list of Wisconsin communities holding Iraq Moratorium events on Friday, Dec. 19, to call for an end to the war and occupation of Iraq.

Wisconsin is a leader in the national grassroots movement which asks people to act, individually or collectively, on the Third Friday of every month to end the war and occupation.

The Menomonie event -- headed by Uppity Wisconsin's Steve Hanson -- is the result of a new organizing effort in western Wisconsin , with the theme of "Health care, not warfare."

Rice Lake, Superior, and Eau Claire.began holding events in November. Minocqua had been holding Saturday vigils but moved to the Third Friday to join the national network.

The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ), a statewide coalition of more than 160 groups, has helped spread the Moratorium among its members. The Iraq Moratorium-Wisconsin project is aimed at western Wisconsin communities where the Third Friday activity has not yet taken hold.  Among the additional targets are Hudson, Chippewa Falls, and Ashland.

Pardon Jailed Wisconsin Veteran

President-elect Barack Obama has tremendously more on his plate than reinventing government and restoring some semblance of accountability to Americans.

Ensuring that the world does not enter into a second depression, halting a war or two, saving the environment, formulating an industrial policy on alternative energy, one can go on; all are problems of a massive scale.

But readers of Uppity Wisconsin may notice a comment from a veteran posted this week about another veteran who is serving a four-year sentence in federal prison.