This was not a public hearing; it was an opportunity to gather facts. It also was an opportunity for Gogebic Taconite's (GTac)) spokes persons to be, shall we say, reckless with truth and reality. GTac's Mathew Fifield and Bill Williams started the process that has led to controversy, distrust, and political chaos in Wisconsin. Some believe this is the way the Cline Group operates to achieve their goals to extract resources and amass wealth for them. Others believe Fifield and Williams underestimated the dedication to the legacy of conservation in Wisconsin. And there are others who look upon GTac and its operatives with as opportunists who are grabbing at the chance to open up Wisconsin for resource exploitation by creating as much mischief as possible.
Maybe these guys have nurtured a few local political bullies to become their foot soldiers, and either on purpose or inadvertently fanned the slow burning racism that exists in America. The promise of billions of dollars and Jobs and more jobs - even Jobs for generations – which has spawned at least one Senate Select committee, to proudly support Jobs for Mines. Scott Walker very willingly embraced the gold offered by GTac and many down state politicians who have been unable or unwilling to do their jobs jumped on the chance solve the state’s financial problems. which many do not think exist, In the real world any analysis of why GTac has created havoc can be challenged and the spin doctors will have afield day. This all makes little or o difference, the door has been kicked open and the bankers and all the rest who might benefit will gladly stand by and grab the few coins that may bounce to their pockets. Others will wait hopefully for non-existent jobs as Northern Wisconsin is laid to waste. This reporter listened as Bill Williams suggested if they will make a new ecosystem after what took thousands of years to emerge. Apparently, the deities have anointed GTac’s operatives with the power of gods or just simple arrogance.
The truth is we get the government we deserve and we have the ability to manage our own destiny. If we allow a few well-paid politicians to change laws that allow further degradation to the Earth, to change laws that will water contamination, to ignore the importance of the interaction among plant and animal world with the two-legged world, then we are the greater fools. Fortunately, the greatest fools congregate in the Statehouse and surround themselves with nodding heads and well paid lobbyists.
This process leaves little doubt that the civil disobedience recently displayed in Madison will surface in North. The greatest threat to Democracy is government that excludes the people and politicians who have allowed their arrogance and egos to ignore the opposition. Taking away procedures that allow citizens to challenge corporations because it take too much time, costs too much or is nuisance destroy pubic trust and challenges the basic tenants of a democratic society. As we follow the unfolding events that are slowly deteriorating protection for Wisconsin’s resources it is frustrating – however the efforts of WMC, GTac, a misguided Governor, and bunch of politicians who are wheelin’ and dealin’ to pave the path for the bankers there is a shining light; a growing shining light, a powerful energy that is emerging throughout our state and region. Networking, organizing, and the recognition of just how strong we are when we stand together and support each other. Collectively we are gaining the awareness and the energy as the younger activists join as equal partners with those who have been fighting the good fight for may years. This energy is wonderful – it is fresh, tempered, and exciting. Civil disobedience is a long held tradition and honored and certainly more noble than the hiding behind laws designed to protect the corporations and bankers.