Monday, March 5, 2012

What to Do About Citizens United?; Fish & Wildlife Service Goes Rogue on Wolves

In This Edition:

- What to Do About Citizens United?
- Fish & Wildlife Service Goes Rogue on Wolves.

Enchanted Financial Forest


What to Do About Citizens United?

Jeffrey Clements on Citizens United and Constitutional Amendments

In a recent (3/2/12) Letters & Politics audio, Clements goes over the history of the events leading up to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allowed seemingly unlimited amounts of money to be spent in our elections by corporations, unions, and individuals (like Sheldon Adelson) [See also: Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Says He Might Give $100M To Newt Gingrich Or Other Republican] who donate to super pacs. He points out that Americans have historically used the Constitutional tools available to them to create Constitutional Amendments to overturn the over-reach of Supreme Court decisions. Examples of Supreme Court decisions which were ultimately over-turned through the Constitutional process are those that denied women the right to vote (19th Amendment) and another which overturned the Supreme Court decision (Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.) outlawing the income tax (16th Amendment).

Jeffrey D. Clements is the author of Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It

Amazon description of the book:
"This is the first practical guide for every citizen on the problem of corporate personhood and the tools we have to overturn it. Jeff Clements explains why the Citizen's United case is the final win in a campaign for corporate domination of the state [I.E. America] that began in the 1970s under Richard Nixon. More than this, Clements shows how unfettered corporate rights will impact public health, energy policy, the environment, and the justice system. Where Thom Hartmann's Unequal Protection provides a much-needed detailed legal history of corporate personhood, Corporations Are Not People answers the reader's question: "What does Citizens United mean to me?" And, even more important, it provides a solution: a Constitutional amendment, included in the book, which would reverse Citizens United. The book's ultimate goal is to give every citizen the tools and talking points to overturn corporate personhood state by state, community by community with petitions, house party kits, draft letters, shareholder resolutions, and much more."

Listen to this valuable and informative audio:
Letters & Politics 3/2/12

Letters and Politics - March 2, 2012 at 10:00am

Click to listen (or download)

See Also:

We the People, Not We the Corporations



Fish & Wildlife Service Goes Rogue on Wolves.

Center forBiological Diversity

For Immediate Release, March 1, 2012

Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495

Feds Plan to Strip Endangered Species Act Protection From Gray Wolves Across United States

Propose Exceptions in Special Cases Only: Subspecies, Northwest/Northeast Regions

PORTLAND, Ore.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today recommended removing federal protections from gray wolves that remain on the endangered species list after wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and upper Midwest had their protections stripped last year. The move could be devastating to wolf recovery. Fish and Wildlife conceded it will still consider protection for subspecies or breeding populations (including Mexican gray wolves, a recognized subspecies) and for populations in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast; its recommendation came in a five-year review of the Endangered Species Act listing for gray wolves in the lower 48.

“The agency’s saying protection for wolves should be taken away from them anywhere they don’t live right now, even if they lived in those places for thousands of years before we exterminated them and even if those places are still good habitat for them,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, which has worked for decades to restore wolves. “If this approach had been taken with, say, bald eagles, we’d never have recovered eagles across much of the Midwest, Southeast or Northeast, where they didn’t exist when they were protected. This is a frightening example of the Fish and Wildlife Service abandoning the recovery mandate of the Endangered Species Act.”

According to the agency, ongoing status reviews covering the Mexican wolf, northwestern wolves and eastern wolves in New England will conclude by Sept. 30, 2012, at which point the agency signaled national-level protection for wolves would cease, likely including protections for wolves anywhere they are not currently found — such as the Northeast, Great Plains and central Rocky Mountains.

“Scientists have identified extensive wolf habitat in the Northeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains and West Coast,” said Greenwald. “Protections should stay in place in all these wild areas, and recovery plans should be written allowing wolves to return safely.”

Wolves may retain protections in the Northwest, including portions of California and western Washington and Oregon, where wolves have recently been establishing packs. Two packs currently reside in western Washington, and wolves have been moving west from newly established packs in eastern Oregon — including a wolf known as OR-7, or Journey, that traveled 1,000 miles to become the first wolf in California in almost 90 years. The situation is less clear in the Northeast, where there are currently no breeding packs, although there are wolves a mere 100 miles north of the Canadian border.

“We hope wolves in the Southwest and Northwest will retain protection and gain the benefits of scientific recovery plans,” said Greenwald. “But stripping protections for wolves in the central Rocky Mountains of Utah and Colorado, and in verdant New England where overlarge deer populations are devouring tree seedlings and stopping forests from regrowing, hurts these ecosystems and is tragic for pioneering wolves.”

In the vacuum of federal leadership for wolf recovery, and in light of OR-7’s ongoing two-month-long journey into Northern California, a hopeful precursor of other wolves’ arrivals, the Center petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission on Monday to list wolves as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act and to develop a state wolf recovery plan.

“Wolves are a keystone species that have shaped North American landscapes for eons,” said Greenwald. “They restore natural balance and in the process benefit a host of species.”

Scientists have found that wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995 forced elk to move more, and in so doing allowed for recovery of streamside vegetation, helping beavers, fish and songbirds. Wolves also benefit scavenging animals such as weasels, eagles, wolverines and bears; and they increased numbers of foxes and pronghorns in Yellowstone and nearby Grand Teton National Park by controlling coyotes, which wolves regard as competitors.

“If we want to keep any part of America wild, we need to keep our wolves,” said Greenwald.

Read more about the Center’s work to save wolves.

Hollywood turns wolves into man-killers
High Country News
Feb 23


A Final Refuge for Wolves


More on OR 7

March 2, 2012 | 10:34 AM | By Cassandra Profita
Welcome Home? OR-7 Crosses Back Into Oregon


A Few of My Other Posts on Wolves:


Idaho Hunter Illegally Kills Collared Oregon Wolf, OR 9; Idaho Fish and Game Shrugs

Wolves, Prison Labor, NPR

For all posts, see the Baker County Blog Search facility at the left of the blog title, and enter the word "wolves."

I haven't had a chance to read today's Baker City Herald Article "Are Wolves Bigger, Badder Than Before?" I have noticed recent flyers about that would like to imply that the reintroduced wolves are not the same wolves that used to inhabit Oregon, but that irrelevant straw man has been going around for quite some time. If a response is even necessary, it will be addressed in a later post.

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