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A lengthy story in the Los Angeles Times this morning details the determination of mining companies to cut a deal with the Navajo nation, which covers 27,000 square miles and is deemed the “Saudi Arabia of uranium,” to extract the resource from tribal land.

The article, well worth a read for its overview of the sordid history of environmental disasters perpetrated on tribal land and the current legal rulings regarding impact on nearby towns, contains a nugget that really needs to be pondered in modern-day America in terms of what corporations think democracy looks like.

You see, Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr., , sick of getting phone calls from eager mining companies and on guard because of swindles and broken promises in the past, signed an executive order instructing tribe employees to avoid any "communications with uranium company representatives" and to report any contacts to the Navajo attorney general. (Apparently there is no such thing as a “do not call” registry for corporations lusting after a sovereign entity’s resources.)

This directive “infuriated mining executives,” according to the Times, leading to this interesting – and revealing – outburst from one such infuriated executive:

"You tell me, what kind of a democracy is that?" asked John DeJoia, a Strathmore vice president. "They've got tremendous resources out there. They're a very poor nation. That could change."

In Mr. Dejoia’s world, apparently just saying “no” is antithetical to democracy.  Think about the implications of this for a moment. If an individual or entity decides it’s not interested in a deal corporate America offers, if some company wants something badly from you and you refuse, if you decide the monetary trade-off is not worth the exchange ... well, then, you’re simply undermining (no pun intended) democracy.

In a “free” market, apparently the only “free” democratic answer when a corporation comes knocking is an eager and unequivocal “yes.”

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:51 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What's good for mining companies (15+ / 0-)

    is good for America!

    Time for a new frame:  A true entrepreneur can make money without special subsidies and tax breaks from the government.    

    What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell

    by RequestedUsername on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:52:17 AM PST

    •  Yep. Mining = democracy (14+ / 0-)

      And mining companies have been screwing Native Americans for a long time. God knows how many low-paid Navajo have died from work-related injuries after working in the uranium mines. The environmental effects have been catastrophic.

      Incidentally, Tommy Thompson, that eminently likable, Harley riding moderate, got his start as governor by engineering a racist backlash against the tribes in northern Wisconsin over spearfishing (it wasn't fair that the poor white folks couldn't spearfish, you see, but that the Chippewa could, even though they'd been granted those rights in a 100+-year-old treaty). Just by sheer coincidence, I'm sure, this brought up legal and environmental issues regarding the use of tribal lands and adjascent lands, which resulted in court decisions opening the door for Tommy's friends in the mining industry.

      "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

      by Septic Tank on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:08:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey! It's *Capitalism*! (0+ / 0-)

        You got a problem with that?

        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

        by Mr X on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:46:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I posted a comment before reading all the others (5+ / 0-)

        because I was late getting to DKos this morning and wanted to get in a link to the series "Blighted Homeland" which is about the uranium mining.

        Here on the Rosebud Rez,  we've had to deal with companies wanting to dump medical waste and are dealing with water problems from a corporate hog farm operation that did just what the Navajos are trying to prevent - it slunk around to the talk to poor people with the promise of money and jobs to get around tribal leaders who wanted to keep them out.

        •  It's a really excellent piece of journalism (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, navajo, greeseyparrot

          Just wanted to say that. Pat them on the back when they do good. This is the sort of muckraking that reporters should aspire to (and that probably most of them do in J-School, before they get ground down to nothing at a newspaper owned by some soulless media conglomerate).

          "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

          by Septic Tank on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:34:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The whole series is great (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greeseyparrot

            I signed up for a Times subscription two weeks ago because they offered this ridiculously good deal on it, and even though I'm kinda pissed at what's going on in the newsroom, that series is, as you said, what's right with journalism still.  The first part was especially striking.  Amazing how our government said there wasn't enough money to protect our own people in the 1970's, when they were porking it up and spending money out the ass.  Even an all-Democrat government gets it wrong.

            There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one. -5.25, -4.67

            by wolverinethad on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:43:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Up next... (7+ / 0-)

      ...mining companies will try to use the Kelo decision to appropriate Navajo land through eminent domain.

      Thwarting the forces of idiocy since 1978. -6.38, -6.00

      by wiscmass on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:35:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lookingglass, jfm

      We need to use the same rhetoric that they use against minority Doctor's, etc.  If you were really a good business-person, you wouldn't need government wellfare.

      God does not bless a nation that tortures.

      by RichM on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:11:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just the point. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrefugee, djpat, Shapeshifter

      The Navajo reservations are not part of America, they are a sovereign nation.  No environmental/safety regulations unless they make and enforce them themselves.  No wonder the rapacious vulture over them.

      •  The details of tribal law (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greeseyparrot, marina, jfm

        And where it intersects with federal and state law is an area that has many pitfalls and detours.

        The NALC has some training and funding available for law students and practicing attorneys.
        http://www.law.washington.edu/...

        I suspect the Navajo nation has treaty rights that can protect them but they have been the target of so many efforts to undermine their sovereignty in the past that some legal maneuvers,(especially well financed ones) could force them to capitulate.

        Every federal (and some state and tribal) agency that has been charged with looking out for the interest of the tribe members in the past has failed miserably to protect the members from the energy lobby, the mining lobby, various business and political schemers and sometimes, their own elected leaders.

        This scenario with variations is being played out all over the US where formerly worthless real estate (why they are there in the first place) turns out to have some resource to exploit. The traditional method in America has been to simply take it and buy the right judges or congressmen to make it legal or at least to use barratry to tie up the question in court until the resource is safely in the hand of the takers.

        The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

        by NCrefugee on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:39:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah... (0+ / 0-)

      If you can't make it by paying your employees fairly, by not obliterating the environment, by not taking advantage of--essentially robbing--those who are not themselves mighty corporations, and so on, then maybe you should fail.

      I mean, there's no right to success.

      The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

      by Shapeshifter on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:38:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've posted a diary on this to refocus the real (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina

      issue.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      I take corporate whining as a good thing when it comes to property rights and personal sovereignty. It shows that simple, basic laws work.

      What bothers me is when they have avenues to get governmental help to achieve their goals. This is far to common and is the real issue.

      (-0.05 econ., -5.44 social) Democratic Freedom Caucus-a better way.

      by ztn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 10:44:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How dare they? (22+ / 0-)

    How dare the Navajo keep the mining companies' uranium under THEIR soil?

    Man, these morons who conflate 'capitalism' and 'democracy' really piss me off.

  •  Tell Bush (0+ / 0-)

    He'll invade the indian land pronto. Halliburton is itching too.

    •  well there have been reports that the Navajo (37+ / 0-)

      Nation has acquired large quantities of yellow cake Uranium.   In addition, defectors provided by Navajo National Congress Founder  Achmed Dances with Neo-Cons, suggest that in violation of earlier treaties signed with the US government, the Nation is seeking to reconstitute its Nuclear program.  We also have reports that they may have stockpiles of lethal weaponized biological agents like blankets infested with a highly virulent form of smallpox.

      Furthermore  We've also been able to establish definite links between the Navajo regieme and know terorists like Leonard Peltier and his Indiano-fascist  terror organization, AIM.

      In this post 9/11 world we cannot afford to  let the Smoking signals come in the form of a Mushoom Cloud.   Therefore we have no choice, under our premption doctrine, but to invade Navajo lands and bring democracy to its oppessed people.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:42:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rolling on the floor of my hogan... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magorn, ChemBob

         Obviously the Navajo Nation doesn't have Jack Mehoff on speed dial (oh wait, he's in prison, n/m :-D )
        What Mr DeJoia fails to understand is that, even with a title of President, the various Nations are not Democracies. Traditionally, they are more like monarchies, although it is a "first among equals" type, and their autonomy is well established. Sure frustrates these corporate types when the people don't do what is in their (the corporations that is) best interest.

        •  that, i think, is the crux of his comment (0+ / 0-)

          that this seems to be an edict handed down to the tribe, rather than the people of the tribe deciding, democratically, to decline the offer.

          not defending the swine, just sayin'...

          weather forecast

          The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

          by Cedwyn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:09:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tough luck (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee, Rolfyboy6, Shapeshifter

            The Navajo tribal infrastructure is reasonably representative, if not in the traditional U.S. sense.  They have a council, and regional representation, and...  Tribal ideas on ownership, government, money, etc. aren't the same as U.S. ideas, and sometimes I think that's a Good Thing.

            Aside from that, what is so different about this edict saying to contact the Navajo A.G.'s office from the U.S. FTC telling people to contact them if they get a Nigerian Spam Scam?  They both sound about as equally obnoxious.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:13:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i repeat: (0+ / 0-)

              not defending the swine, just sayin'...

              words are precise things, despite what vaguaries of language structure might exist.  the core meanings of words, especially as defined by context, are not for subjective interpretation.  

              his words meant precisely what they said - that this was not a choice decided democratically, either at the referendum or legislative level, either by council or regional representation.  and i'm sorry, but he's right in that.  the tribal president - and i assume he has every right to do so - essentially issued a fiat.  i have no problem with that.  like i said, i was and am not defending the mining exec's position.  but on this point, he spoke correctly - it was not a decision made democratically by the tribe.  

              as for the difference between the two announcements, one is an attempt to deter the perpetrators of a predatory scam with no basis in reality, the other is an attempt to deter the perpetrators of a predatory scam that is all too real.

              : p

              i can't say what the technical legal differences might be; i don't know sovereign tribal law.  it might be something as simple as the business appealing to anyone other than so-and-so is a violation of tribal law, e.g. only so-and-so has the legal capacity to enter into business contracts or something.

              which is very different from the FTC - a regulatory, not governing, body - trying to corral a bunch of scammers.  

              weather forecast

              The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

              by Cedwyn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:44:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are wrong. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SarahLee, NCrefugee, GeorgeXVIII

                The Navago Nation Council voted by overwhleming majority in 2005 to ban uranium mining on Indian land.  Shirley issued the executive order in November 2005 after the mining companies kept calling.  Shirely did not act along and he was just re-elected by a wide margin

                "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" -George Carlin

                by Enoch on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:47:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i was going on the information presented (0+ / 0-)

                  is that tidbit in the LATimes article?  i don't have a login.

                  this datum makes mr. mining exec either woefully ignorant or a flat-out liar.  hmmmm.....

                  weather forecast

                  The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

                  by Cedwyn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:38:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Info on ban on mining (0+ / 0-)

                    is indeed in the full article.  Just be careful in the future in taking a mining company executive at his work.  More than likely, he is not being honest.

                    "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" -George Carlin

                    by Enoch on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:42:44 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Nope (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, Enoch, kurt

                The local chapter houses all discussed and discussed in open meetings and decided they did not want this or more uranium mining on their lands.  

                What the companies try to do, is find weak links and buy them off to get the votes changes - undermining the "democracy" of the Navajo/Dine nation.

  •  Remember Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. n/t (4+ / 0-)

    Nanotechnology can take atmospheric CO2 and make diamonds and fresh air.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:55:27 AM PST

  •  Congrats to the Navajo Nation (8+ / 0-)

    for doing what is right for THEM instead of caving in to demands.

    We're taking our country back - step by step

    by BlueInARedState on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:56:02 AM PST

    •  On this issue you might be wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Asak

      To be fair, it's not clear to me that the tribespeople oppose allowing access to the mining companies. It's clear their leaders do (the "tribal council"), and their reasons are not discussed. I don't think we know enough to pass judgement on this.

      We should consider the possibility that a fully-informed population would support the mining, provided they get a good deal from it and certain precautions are taken.

      Uranium extraction is a very simple and safe process, unlike gold mining, for example. No environmental polutants are left behind - just read the article: the stuff is washed out with water and oxygen only!

      I think that Kossacks here should be quicker than most to realize how irrational fears can undermine true democracy. I wouldn't be surprised if the irrational fear of the word "uranium" were to blame for some of the decisions made by the council. And if this is so then it really is a preversion of democracy.

      Add to this the fact that we're not talking extracting trophies like gold or diamonds, addictive drugs like oil, or earth-suffocating burnables like coal. This is about uranium, our only realistic hope of reducing our carbon emissions and avioiding a global catastrophe.  

      If irrational fears are keeping us from doing the right thing, then woe to us. And if irrational decisions are compromising the future of this planet, forgive me for not cheering them on, even if those decisions are made by a tribal council.

      Now maybe there is something not mentioned in the article which makes their decision a reasonable one. As I said, we don't know. I have no doubt that the mining company is trying to screw the tribe. My hope is that they're holding out for a better deal, and they desere a good one.

      But I'm sick of reading comments by knee-jerk anti-corporate cheerleaders who are content to sit by as 50% of our power is generated by burning coal (mined by still more unscrupulous corporations and under far worse conditions). A more reasonable leftist would support the right industries - and fission power needs all our help!

      •  Read the damn full series in the LAT (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlueInARedState

        And then stop spouting this BS that uranium mining is "clean"
        Sure it is cleaner than in the past, but without the full oversight of a Pre bushco EPA, the ease with which a few cut corners can create an even worse pollution problem using the new techniques is reason enough to continue the ban.

        The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

        by NCrefugee on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:51:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me remind you again how this is done (0+ / 0-)

          Water and O2 gas are pumped out of pourous sandstone, making sure there is a negative pressure where the drilling was done, so that goundwater flows in and not out. Sure, carelessness could cause a messup, if somehow the water with the oxidized uranium got into the drinking water wells - but this is absolutely preventable. Of course these corporations would rather circumvent safeguards, and the tribes should insist on them being in place. But this is technologically easy.

          I would hope that the tribal council would instead focus on how their natural riches could benefit their people, and how they could responsibly invest that money to improve their lives. Everybody must make a sacrifice for the sake of our planet, but for the tribes, this doesn't even need to be a sacrifice!

  •  Yes... to them, this is democracy (8+ / 0-)
    This is how small businesses in the eighties got hit. The corporations kept calling and calling and would not take no for an answer.
    It is in the corporate mind that if they want something, the little person is to give it up without a real fight.
    No is not a part of the equation unless it's their "No".

    Is it the new year yet?

    by RElland on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:56:45 AM PST

  •  This is scarey (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ducktape, SarahLee, Rolfyboy6, Blissing

    I hope the Navajo leaders keep their determination.  Corporate executives always have a way out when accountability sets in, and the track record with environmental disasters and mining in Arizona is pretty bad.  This could be very bad indeed;  Uranium isn't copper.

    There is more to truth than increasing its spin

    by hearthmoon on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:56:51 AM PST

    •  I hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ducktape

      the tribe is united on this because it could get ugly quickly if not. Corporations have enough money to spread around to make things happen.

      Speech in this country is free, you hack!

      -5.88, -6.82

      by Debby on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:28:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This issue sparked my political awareness (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Devilstower, SarahLee, Blissing

      20 years ago as an impressionable college student, this was a hot issue. I feel those embers glowing again.  The government at the time expoited the land disputes between the Hopi and Navajo (Dine) trying to divide and conquer.  So many issues are tied up in this dispute, nuclear, coal, tribal sovereingty, government coruption on both sides, health, sheep grazing, the way of life for the people living in their traditional ways the best they can, with the greedy paws of Kerr-McGee and Peabody Coal breathing down their necks, and more.

      Seeing this issue brought up again makes me tremble.  I think they have grown very wise in the passing years.  I'm sure it has never really eased up for them.

      For more information go to

      http://www.blackmesais.org/

      •  A slight correction (5+ / 0-)

        I mean "wise" in the the sense that they have been dealing with this kind of trickery for decades if not centuries.

        I see that John McCain has sponsored a bill that would forcibly relocate Navajo families from disputed lands.  The contention is that that it belongs to the Hopi.  The BIA has been working with the Hopi tribal government to achieve this for years.  That would free up the land for mining.

        I also reccomend the story of Pauline Whitesinger. It is further down the page.

  •  Democracy is not the same as capitalism (20+ / 0-)

    This is just another (and unusually explicit) example of the way in which democracy is confused with capitalism. We live in a capitalist democracy but not all democracies are based on the exploitation of wage labor and natural resources.

  •  This sounds remarkably familiar (7+ / 0-)

    because this is the kind of rhetoric that these companies have been pulling off around the globe. Government not letting you steal their resources, build your boondoggle construction projects, and enslave their population at risky poverty-wage factories, all in the name of a ficticious 'economic growth'? Accuse them of being un-democratic and oppressive, call in your hired goons (anybody read 'confessions of an economic hit man?') and 'democratically' unseat the motherf*&kers.

  •  The Navajo nation is poor (14+ / 0-)

    because the United States has screwed them and native Americans in general at ever turn.

    I fear the scary science fiction shows with corporations running everything is eerily close to coming to fruition. I feel like it's about time to find my own undisclosed location.

    •  Also, aren't the Hopi close to the GOP? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blissing

      I seem to recall bitter fights over tribal lands between the Navajo and the Hopi, who aligned themselves with the AZ GOP and won a lot of those fights.

      "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

      by Septic Tank on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:11:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hopi vs Navajo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chemicalresult

        They settled their dispute just earlier this month.  The agreement opened up a million acres to development.  

        "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" -George Carlin

        by Enoch on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:33:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Hopi and Navajo (8+ / 0-)

          It's been a decade since a spent a large amount of time in the area.  Back then, there was a high level of animosity between the tribes -- an animosity that companies always looked to as an avenue for exploitation.  Hopi angry over a border dispute?  Great time for a company that's at odds with the Navajo to rush in and make a deal.  The companies, and the US government, played the Navajo against the Hopi at every opportunity.  At times in the not too distant pass, I was there when shots were being exchanged across the joint use area.

          I've been back only a few times over the last six years, but I've been very surprised at the changes.  Not only do the two tribes seem to recognize that they gain by working together, but it looks to me (hopeless outsider that I am) as if some of the culture of each tribe is wearing off on the other more so than in previous decades..  


          Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

          by Mark Sumner on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:45:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Billions missing from Native American trust fund (12+ / 0-)

      Sen. McCain tries to sound all indignant about it, but it happened under his nose.

      It's no wonder at all that the Navajo would turn their backs on corporatists.

      Not to mention the scarring of their lands that would surely occur, leaving them with little recourse.  The corporatists would offer to sign handsome contracts including reparation of damages, but if these contracts are no more enforceable than agreements and treaties the U.S. Government already has in place with Native Americans, why should the Navajo bother?

  •  Q: What kind of democracy is that? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, Debby, slippytoad, chumley

    A: One that has made up its mind about what it thinks of you, that's what kind.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:58:52 AM PST

  •  Can't they just invoke eminent domain? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley

    I mean, didn't SCOTUS just say that when there's money to be made, the government can just take it and hand it over to developers? I don't think anything like property owenership or sovereignty actually gets in the way here, does it? So I kinda fail to see the problem ...

    < /snark>
  •  Republicans don't realize it, but (12+ / 0-)

    this is the kind of thing that is slowly eroding their power base in the mountain west. Smaller, noncorporatized landholders are becoming increasing suspicious and aware of how the Republican party stands for land takeover and unfair, unmitigated resource extraction. It is alienating many voters in even far-flung areas. In Colorado, this was one factor in giving Democrat Bill Ritter such a commanding win last Nov. 7th - he won endorsements among many on the Western Slope (the western third of Colorado).

    Similar issues arise in regard to oil, natural gas, and the always difficult water rights.

  •  Democracy is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, Rayne, Rachel in Vista

    when others agree freely (i.e. they do not get paid) to your point of view.

    The alternative, of course, is to bribe them. Then it's a dictature.

    Disagreement, of course, is not conceivable. Then the entity is evil or terrorist (or at best terorrist-loving)

    In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
    Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

    by Jerome a Paris on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:02:55 AM PST

  •  Bushworld (8+ / 0-)

    This is but one tiny glimpse of what the world has come to under BushCo. An absolute, unmitigated fucking nightmare. Couple disasterous policies that put corporate profits at the forefront of everything along with a war based on lies and manipulation and the result is an America we no longer recognize. That he could destroy this country in six short years is nothing short of amazing. Read the Constitution lately George? Obviously not. He just uses it for toilet paper.  

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:04:17 AM PST

  •  This administration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby
    and it's lackeys are responsible for this kind of thinking.
    Ever read the bullshit corporations foist on their employees? When healthcare benefits are reduced it's heralded as an opportunity to reduce costs. When staff is reduced it's lauded as an opportunity to improve productivity. When a buyout risks jobs it's cheered and a money maker.
    So, if you can cow your employees with that kind of crap why stop there? The republics have made it easy for you (corporations are individuals after all) to be expectant of your way or the highway. Why can't corporations get what they want when they want it? I mean they paid for this government.
    Unpatriotic bastards is the cry. Unpatriotic cause they won't serve the bottom line. Bah.

    "One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal." Bill Moyers

    by Lahdee on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:04:28 AM PST

  •  I grew up on the "checkerboard" (14+ / 0-)

    about 20 miles or so south of Crownpoint. Uranium mining and other environmental and economic disasters have been rife in that part of the country. In my town, the oil refinery used to spray the dirt track at the elementary school with some leftover... something or other. Allegedly this was a great idea.

    Here's the quote that steamed me the most:

    "We could worry ourselves to death that one additional cancer in a million will be caused," Velasquez said. "It sounds stereotypical, but these Indians jump in their car and drive 90 miles per hour down the road. But they won't take the risk on uranium."

    Yes, please, let's trust these people with the health and safety of the Navajo people and their neighbors in the area. They clearly care a great deal. Good for Shirley for making a stand against this.

    My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest. -Gandhi

    by Rachel in Vista on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:07:10 AM PST

  •  Should be a way for Navajo to make this work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, Plan9, ethanol

    The Navajo really are poor and it seems to me that if they get with the right people they should be able to make this work for them.  After seeing how Abramof fleeced the tribes down south it makes me wonder about the business sense of some indian tribes.  It would be a shame if they have the opportunity to improve the plight of their nation and aren't able to do it because they get hooked up with the wrong mining company. Seems that someone in the liberal/progressive establishment should be able to hook them up with a company that wouldn't screw them over.

    •  They should make this work for them. (0+ / 0-)

      I've seen some of these lands and the poverty is shocking. Of course they do have the right to say no.

      •  They wouldn't be in such poverty (12+ / 0-)

        ...if the government (BIA) hadn't already screwed them out of billions in oil royalties and pipline rights-of-way.

        Why should the Navajo, who seem to have finally gotten some measure of control over BIA decisions, trust anything any mining company has to say about their land after all they've been through?  Furthermore, Uranium mining is a dirty business; the tailings piles stacked up throughout Utah in less-than-stable arrangements is astounding, and all it would take is one solid storm to pretty much contaminate the entire Colorado River.

        No, right now the Navajo are doing what they think is right, and I agree with them.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:45:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why don't we let them decide this for themselves? (15+ / 0-)

      As a person of indigenous heritage, I have to wonder why it is that these corporatists as well as many Americans do not understand the concepts of sovereignty and self-determination.  We are talking about a separate nation of people that reside within the boundaries of the U.S. borders; they don't have to have the same kind of "affluence" that the surrounding culture has.   One person's affluence is another's affluenza, after all.

      Your comment about "business sense of some tribes" borders on racism; think about all the businesses run by whites in this country that pay lobbyists to represent them, and how that actually turns out for most of them.  I can think of one example in particular where a company promoting a technology that would have created pervasive, low-cost WiFi actually got the shaft by a lobbyist and elected Repugs, supported by existing, competing technologies.  Was this smart little tech company run by nice white people possessed of less than sound business sense, or were they simply rolled by corporatists that had far greater disposable capital to buy corrupt officials?

      Consider also that Native Americans along with many other non-whites in this country have been systematically abused for more than a hundred years by a government that believes only in protecting the white-male patriarchy; is it not at all possible the Native Americans were persuaded that buying access would be the only way to be heard?  How is that "lacking in business sense"?

      Even companies the size of Microsoft and Google have had to buy access by way of lobbyists (and I'm not done persuading Google to give that up).  Would you say they lack in business sense, being mostly white guys?  Or would you say the system is corrupt and broken?

    •  The economic costs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rayne, Plan9

      of mining in a way that mitigates the danger to people and the depredation of the environment would have to be factored into the equation, and if resources can be taken out of the ground in other places in the world without factoring in these costs, then the carefully extracted resources cannot be sold at a competitive price.  People freindly mining would take coordination around the globe, along with some considerable political leverage, not a few business classes for tribal decision-makers.

      There is more to truth than increasing its spin

      by hearthmoon on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:17:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you understood the culture (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rayne, Pithy Cherub, navajo, marina

      You would not say things like that.

      "business sense" the way you think of it is pretty contrary to traditional culture that values the long term health of the people over profit.

  •  Democracy is only as useful (6+ / 0-)

    As the ability it allows those in power to exploit those not in power.  If it doesn't allow such to occur, then it's just as useless as a pristine Indian reservation.

    Al Gore received more votes, Ohio was stolen. This isn't a democracy.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:12:11 AM PST

  •  Friggin' PIRATES in three-piece suits (7+ / 0-)

    That's all these corporatist fanatics are.  But unlike real pirates, they're too doughy and chickenshit to do their own dirty work.

    So you can't set up a "do not call" list against corporate harrassers.  But maybe you can invoke laws against stalking?   'Cause man, that's what it is, on a grand scale.

    BushCo and its cronies are making this planet a real shithole.

    PRAVDA under Stalin had more shame than Fox News.

    by chumley on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:14:19 AM PST

  •  Good for Joe Shirley, I have met him, he won't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Rolfyboy6, marina

    take shit from anyone.  Of course, the mining companies are all part of the corporacracy (sp?), which is just another word for fascistic government.  And now that we have at least partial control, it's time to put a stop to this!

    We Changed The Course!

    by hcc in VA on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:15:10 AM PST

  •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rolandzebub

    I wonder if they'll use the same methodology on the Navajo nation as they've used on middle eastern third world countries: leverage gov't relationships, use the CIA to foment a war with the country, invade, take over, and privatize their resources.

    Obviously, the situation is much different here.

    You many now return to your regularly scheduled chaos.
    http://godsdead.blogspot.com

    by becca00 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:16:13 AM PST

  •  In all fairness . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Gooserock, Showman, TomP, lump1

    I take the meaning of DeJoia's comment to be that this was done by executive order, rather than letting the nation vote on a referendum, etc. I believe that's what he is referring to when he says 'What kind of a democracy is that?"

    I make this point purely in the interest of intellectual honesty. None of this is to say that I disagree with the larger point of the post -- that corporations will grab whatever they can and try to eliminate anything that stands in their way. In fact, that's the real irony of this statement: that the President who is such a friend fo business, and gives the mining industry virtually everything they want, loves to operate by executive order himself (sometimes in the form of 'signing statements').

    •  Well, he's their selected executive (6+ / 0-)

      If we follow your reasoning, every agreement Bush makes in the name of America should come before us as a vote.

      •  Your ignorance is appalling (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Devilstower

        No, it should come before their legislature (whatever that is) and they should air it out there and decide.  Claiming that what happened in this instance -- the complete cutoff of negotiations by one man, the President -- is somehow representative democracy is just ignorance in action.  The fact that Shirley felt like he could draw such a line indicates to me that he isn't interested in taking into account what others in the Navajo Nation feel like doing.

        •  It's not your government (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Devilstower, Rolfyboy6, marina, WiddieDawg

          That is how the Navajo choose to govern.  The President speaks for the Council, just as the Council speaks for the regional residents.

          Finally, as an executive order, this covers tribal employees, and even in the United States, government employees answer only to the President or divisional government head.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:16:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh behave! (5+ / 0-)

          it's entirely possible to make your point without insulting SusanG, who is by no wise ignorant.  calling her ignorant, however, is.

          you owe her an apology.  

          weather forecast

          The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

          by Cedwyn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:22:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Navajo Nation banned uranium mining in 2005 (10+ / 0-)

          The Navajo Nation Council voted 63-19 in April 2005 to ban uranium mining on Indian Land.  In November 2005, Shirley issued the executive order that banned negotiations.  In Novemeber 2006, Shirley was overwhelmingly re-elected at the Navajo Nation President.

          I think the tribe has been pretty clear on where it stands on this issue.

          "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" -George Carlin

          by Enoch on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:27:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That isn't what happened (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9, greeseyparrot, marina, kurt

          -- the complete cutoff of negotiations by one man, the President --

          Because those discussions already took place within each community's Chapter House and the local decisions were taken to the larger tribal councils via those representatives and a decision for the tribe was made.  

          Shirley is simply trying to prevent the companies from circumventing the decisions by buying off individuals - as companies have done in the past.  Creating problems within families and communities across the reservation - where there were none before.

      •  FYI... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Devilstower, greeseyparrot, marina, kurt

        ...this in situ mining has been issue in NM for a decade or more.  It uses an injection process guaranteed to complete contaminate the drinking water for several towns over a considerable area.

        Navajo cultural Athabaskan neighbors to the north (their speech dialects are similar enough that they can converse in native languages) did a lot of uranium mining in Canada, and there was an area that became known as the village of widows.  The men were all employed to pack the ore out in backpacks and all died of cancer.

        Laguna Pueblo had a big uranium operation called the Jackpile mine, which provided much of the material for atom/hydrogen mines throughout the 1950s-70s.  Workers from there and from nearby Acoma Pueblo are still having horrible cancer deaths as the result of exposure.  There's a fund to help them, but only for those who have retained paperwork proving you worked there.  And if you breathed the dust while doing laundry at home, or lived downwind, you're SOL.

        There's plenty enough legacy to make native people in that area less than thrilled at the prospect of more uranium mining, because the consequences of the last round are still being played out.

        The Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) website seems to be non-functional, but New Mexico Environmental Law Center has been involved with the Crownpoint in situ uranium mining issue for a long time.  In case you wanted to read more.

        •  That is propaganda (0+ / 0-)

          The "village of widows" thing was a vastly overblown bit of press that got spread around on no basis.

          A study was conducted in the 1990s looking at the long term effects of the uranium mining on Great Bear Lake and what turned up was several things.

          1. Not "all the men" died.  Far from it.
          1. While cancer rates were elevated it was the radon they were exposed to in the mine that caused it.  That would not happen these days due to workplace standards in ventilation.  Moreover, radon was recognized as a hazard by anyone mining anywhere those days, so it was a general mining hazard.  Finally virtually everyone there smoked.

          You know, cancer causing activity?

          Furthermore most of the people recognized that there were good times back in those days.  Their standards of living went up, they had access to services that other people in the territory didn't, so on and so forth.

          •  Not what the people from there... (0+ / 0-)

            ...whom I've met personally say.

            An acquaintance, from Acoma Pueblo did his dissertation on the social, health, & cultural effects of uranium mining.  At first people ridiculed him for his views.  But a lot of years have passed, and as more and more of the Jackpile miners, and family members, are dying off young from cancer, more and more have come to him saying "You were right".

            Anyhow, maybe since you think it's all so hunky-dory, you should go be a uranium mine worker yourself.

            No?  Didn't think so.

            •  Careful what you wish for (0+ / 0-)

              I'm a geologist by training.

              I've worked in mines (not uranium) where radon levels where so high that on one abandoned level I had to wear an air pack in order to keep my exposure down so I didn't exceed my monthly limit in one trip.  If I had my choice and was back working as a mine geologist, uranium mines, from a safety perspective, are my first option.  Constant air monitoring, state of the art ventilation, fanatic dust control, radiation exposure monitoring for everyone, even one-time visitors, constant inspections by not only the normal safety inspectors but the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission people, environmental regulators and local committees...

              Now maybe in the US you guys do things differently, but in Canada uranium mining is one of the most environmentally monitored and responsible forms of mining these days.

              Were things bad back in the day?  Sure.  They were everywhere.  But basing decisions on old mining practices instead of modern ones is like deciding on whether you're going to buy a new Ford based on the crashworthiness of the Model-T.

              But it sounds good, doesn't it?  Makes knee-jerk reactions much easier when "uranium = evil" gets in peoples' heads so they don't have to critically think about the issue at all, doesn't it?  Means you don't have to think about the issue at all, does it?

              •  The Navajos don't want it. (0+ / 0-)

                You know better?  You gonna force it down their throats?  Why should you decide for them?  Who made you God?

                Great.  The world definitely needs more people like you.

                •  Nice creative interpretation (0+ / 0-)

                  Sure, the Navajo have that right, however mistaken I might think it might be, that is their call.  I don't believe I've said anything differently.

                  By the by, your friend, who everyone is saying is now right, might be a wonderful researcher.

                  Does he, you know, actually live in Northern Canada?  And I don't mean Timmins north, but "Yellowknife is subtropical" north.

                  I do.  As I said, I'm employed by people who've been here for a few thousand years.  And their appreciation of the situation isn't that of a simple folk who were conned in the past and are only know realizing it, which is what a great many environmentalists seem to believe.

    •  Representatives make fiat decisions all the time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rayne, esquimaux

      in "our" name, but we still call it democracy (even though it's actually representation).

      •  I don't think (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Rising, scottso, esquimaux

        scottso was saying that it was not democratic becuase the decision was made by executive fiat; he was interpreting, but not endorsing, the mining company's CEO's statement.

        If a referendum would preclude mining, that same CEO would be arguing for executive fiat.  He just wants to mine the land and is frustrated that he cannot.  The CEO's comments seems to me to be more of a "throw away line" than any real example of a CEO or corporatist philiosophy regarding democracy.  By law in this country, his job is to maximize shareholder value, although there is some room as how that will be interpeted. In our "democracy" we created those same laws.  What does he relaly have to fear from "democracy," besides a little pain at the margins.  He may not get his way this time.  

        It sometiems is fun to attack corporations as "bad" without examining the entire system in which corporate power is situated.  It is a seamless whole.    

        •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP

          for explaining my comment (which, I have to say, I thought was clear enough to begin with -- but perhaps I was mistaken).

          I also very much agree with the other points you made. A CEO is going to use whatever angle he can to try to improve profits.

          It's very apt that Milton Friedman ("The only social responsibility of the corporation is to maximize profits") just died.

    •  I take it you didn't read the article... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, danno50, kurt

      ...which says, amongst other things:

      Unconvinced, the tribal council last year passed a ban on mining or processing uranium in "Navajo Indian country," a term that embraces both the reservation and neighboring communities such as Crownpoint and Church Rock that participate in tribal government.

      But NM Senator Pete Domeneci is trying to do an end run around the tribe's wishes.  As it happens, Gov. Richardson, and a Navajo tribal member in a key position in the NM Environment Dept. have been supporting them.  And the tribal council, who passed legislation banning the process, are the legally elected representives of the people.  Why do you insist that a referendum is needed to make the stand of tribal government legitimate.

      If there's already legislation on the matter, then the boss is entirely within his rights to tell employees under his direction not to be spending their time doing things not part of their job description - entering into "conversations" with mining companies.

      One of Abramoff's misdeeds with tribes was to introduce money and other favors to influence tribal elections and other operations.  Sounds like the Navajo President is ordering his employees to keep out business that has already been banned by the elected tribal government.  Sounds reasonable to me.

      It appears to me that your "intellectual honesty" doesn't include bothering to read the linked article.  (You have to login now to read it, but there's no fee for doing so.)  Your "point" pretty much crumbles into dust if you actually read the particulars.  And there's quite a lot of grassroots opposition to this, too, which has been going on for a decade or more now.  Based in part on knowledge of the horrible consequences of uranium mining in the area at Laguna Pueblo (Jackpile Mine) in recent decades.

      Looks to me like you're just making this up.

  •  Thanks to Kelo v. City of New London (0+ / 0-)

    Soon, they won't even have to ask . . .

    •  Completely wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimsaco

      Kelo doesn't apply to sovereign nations, and furthermore would seem to actually support the Navajo claim - it's their right to decide how to allot land.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:47:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmmm, this seems open to interpretation (0+ / 0-)

        The feds reserve plenary power over all reservations, so technically they could make the case on "national security" grounds.

        •  Then again, Bush administration... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          ...has recently moved to resolve the Cobell Indian Trust litigation with a bizarre move.  More or less:  We're terrible stewards, so we'll just abandon federal trust relationship entirely.  One of these days, I might diary about this, as it's actually a HUGE thing going on below the radar.  Bush ran on putting tribes on state jurisdiction, at least that's what he said during campaign 2000.

          It would be a big change in Indian policy of recent decades to ram this through.  Though in WWII, at least two tribes had big chunks of land appropriated for the "war emergency" which were never returned.  One instance involved Black Hills-area stuff in the Dakotas, for bombing practice.  The other came from Nisqually in Washington, and was annexed to Fort Lewis, which it's still a part of.  So you could be right.  But there'd be a helluva fight over that.

      •  but, people are on a roll (0+ / 0-)

        against Eeeevil corporations, and why should the facts intervene?

        This could also just be negotiation through the media, which is what all good PR flaks do well.

        The history of mining companies in the West is not a pleasant one when it comes to either labor issues or environmental concerns.  If I were the Indians I would be concerned about getting screwed over again, myself.

        "We got [Lieberman's] ass out of the Democratic party. So we did our job." -Markos Moulitsas, 10/26/06

        by jimsaco on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:15:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democracy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    Seems to me like the proper response would be something along the lines of "We know what democracy means. It means the people get to choose for themselves. We choose not to do business with you."

    Or maybe even shorter: "We voted no."

  •  Iraq (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    Echos of Iraq. How did our oil get under their sand? We'll just have to push those 'savages' out of the way. Same mindset at work.

  •  Africa and the Navajo Dilemma (22+ / 0-)

    The position that the Navajo Nation finds itself in is very similar to that of many African nations which have valuable mineral resources, and a relatively impoverished population.  In Africa, western nations and corporations have found it much more cost effective to fund insurrection and corruption than to pay fair market prices for resources.  Why let tungsten reach a market equilibrium when it's perfectly acceptable policy for western companies to buy it from nations that have no tungsten but instead obtain it by sending raiding forces to prey on their neighbors?  Why pay taxes when bribes are so much cheaper?

    That's not to condemn every African leader as corrupt.  Far from it.  Many have been quite legitimate reformers who recognize that the mineral wealth in the ground might be the only leverage they have for moving their nation forward.  But a little corruption goes a long way, and a few shipments of AK-47s even further.

    The Navajo Nation has certainly felt the same pressures.  At times they have given into the companies, and to both severe pressure and miserable advice from the US government.  With the "help" of US officials, they've signed deals that gave away Navajo resources at bargain prices.  They've also not been free of their own brands of corruption, or from companies using violence to get their way.  Thugs can be purchased everywhere -- even Navajo thugs.

    Much to the Navajo Nation's credit, over the last two decades they've made enormous changes in how they deal with these companies.  They've done an astounding job of improving infrastructure within the nation, and to some extent they've managed to diversify the Navajo economy.

    However, the nation is still dangerously dependent on some of these mining companies -- some of whose claims are due to expire and/or be mined out within a few years.  When that happens, there's a risk of a new wave of poverty and unemployment, and a huge drop in the tax revenues that have completely turned around places like Kayenta and Tuba City.  

    How the Nation faces that crisis is going to be a true test of leadership.


    Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

    by Mark Sumner on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:21:30 AM PST

    •  Besides, It's more fun! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina

      In Africa, western nations and corporations have found it much more cost effective to fund insurrection and corruption than to pay fair market prices for resources.

      Cost effective because the taxpayers pay to have the CIA go in and 'pacify' the local population. Makes it fun for the corporation's executive suite too, they get to rub elbows with all those knarly dudes in camo gear or at least vicariously do so. It's all to spread democracy anyway. so it's all good.

      Watch the BBC Mini-Series "The Power of Nightmares" - Then tell all your friends.

      by danno50 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:34:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sense of Entitlement (5+ / 0-)

    I think Dejoia's comment is indicative of the sense of entitlement Big Business has developed after decades of being pandered to by the government.  They are so used to getting their way, that they act like babies when someone doesn't go along.  "What?  There are other motivations besides money??!!"  Big Business doesn't want to believe that.  Thank you, Mr. Shirley, for giving Dejoia and others a bitch-slap into reality.

  •  I once met a guy (8+ / 0-)

    Who, upon looking at the mouth of the Columbia, said, "Look at all that water--just going to waste!  Just draining uselessly into the ocean, when Southern California is going begging!"

    Only a developer could think like that.

  •  Rights always seem to be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    like beauty - something in the eye of the beholder.  Obviously corps hold all the rights, Indian tribes none in the eyes of corp exec.

  •  "Democracy": another idea cheapened by Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neighbor2

    You can add the word "democracy" to the growing list of phrases and ideas cheapened into non-existence by the whoring Republicans.  When democracy is used as an excuse for mayhem and oil theft in Iraq, it loses its formerly sacrosanct meaning.  When the word "terrorist" is applied to simple activists, it ceases to inspire fear.  And when the phrase "disaster response" inspires derisive laughter at its tragic irony, we know that we have been subject to the most cynical, abjectly immoral administration in possibly our nation's entire history.

    bizutti says, "Give me more IBU's!"

    by bizutti on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:30:08 AM PST

  •  The Diné also chose not to have casinos (6+ / 0-)

    They are quite independent.  Nearby tribes with casinos have come into some money, but the Navajo keep voting against the casinos because they want to protect their way of life.  Greed and poverty have been insufficient motivators, apparently.

    Today's technology surpasses that of the bad old days of the uranium rush in the Southwest.

    There is no reason that solution mining could not be made safe.  If the Diné one day decide to earn money from the uranium on their land, they could set up a very strict safety board to monitor every operation.
    But as long as the tribe and local ranchers reject uranium extraction, the corporations are stupid to press their case.

    In 20 years the price of uranium will be even higher, and mining technology will be even better.  So in the future the tribe might do very well with its resource.

    The formations in the area are so rich in uranium--a toxic heavy metal like lead--that quite apart from old mining operations it naturally contaminates some of the drinking water and therefore already has to be monitored.

    Also, the Diné live near huge coal-fired plants that burn local, uranium-rich coal. The Navajo Nation made deals with the coal industry to mine and burn. The combustion gives off 400 times more radioactivity than nuclear plants, along with mercury and other pollutants. Since the state of Virginia health department estimates that 1000 Virginians die every year from coal combustion, and 24,000 die annually from it across the nation, it is reasonable to assume that coal is also taking a toll on the Diné that is far worse than the worst days of the uranium boom. In recent years, the Diné have taken a stand against further coal exploitation.

    To put risk in perspective, today--because of mine safety regulations--uranium miners in conventional mines have no greater rates of cancer than do workers in other kinds of mines.  

    •  To say the Navajo "made deals" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Rolfyboy6, NCrefugee

      ...with the coal companies is a bit dubious.  The BIA made deals that they assured the Navajo were Good Deals; they were lied to, and they've got the $10billion+ lawsuit to prove it.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:50:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One commonality between the Navajo and non-native (7+ / 0-)

      In many areas where Uranium was at the heart of the economy during the sixties or seventies, the switch after the post-Three Mile Island collapse of uranium prices was to tourist industries.

      Towns like Kayenta are now much more dependent on their proximity to Monument Valley (which is an extremely cool thing -- a Navajo National Park) and Canyonlands.  On a early summer day, you're going to see families unloading their bikes at canyon mouths, and ski boats on their way to Lake Powell.  

      This has been the push for some time, and I think many people among the Navajo are actually looking forward to the drying up of the mining funds that remain as a means of accelerating this trend.  

      It's going to be much harder for companies to worm their way back in than it was to get a foothold in the past.


      Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

      by Mark Sumner on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:52:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Navajo will do well (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Devilstower, SarahLee, Rolfyboy6, kurt

        with tourism so long as Lake Powell doesn't dry up and blow away like it was threatening to do last year.  Increased rain and snowfall in key areas has helped a bit, but a return to drought could put the Dineh in a world of hurt within a decade.  Page, AZ - the main launch point in Glen Canyon - is within the Navajo Nation boundaries.

        Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon also bring in significant tourist resources, but the docking fees from Page are their largest source of income.

        So long as their tourism trade is healthy, the Navajo will get by in today's world.  It is a cool thing.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:09:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Going to the opposite extreme (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Land of Enchantment, kurt

          Taking down Glen Canyon Dam might in itself generate additional tourist dollars.  Hard to think of something so dizzyingly huge coming down, but just the hints of lost treasures that were revealed by the low water levels over the last few years have definitely gotten more people thinking along those lines.

          It was shocking for me to see how far the water had retreated by last summer.  One place where I had once rowed a little punt between a dock and a houseboat where I stayed during one project, had a water level so far down in the canyon that I had to stand on the lip of the rock just to see down to the lake.


          Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

          by Mark Sumner on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:53:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's possible, but... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee

            I think they generate more money from the boats than they do from the tourists themselves.

            Last year the water level was so low you actually had to walk to Rainbow Bridge for the first time since the '60s.  Hiking to places like Music Temple that have been underwater for so long is nice, but keep in mind - Glen Canyon isn't mostly in Navajo control.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:56:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Too True (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, kurt

              Page is where most of the non-native folks for my company live, as it's the nearest land that they can purchase (and because of this, a pretty danged expensive place to live considering what you get).

              The alternatives are to rent from Navajo landlords in Kayenta or Tsegi Canyon.  Years back, this prospect was looked on with horror, both because relationships were tense and because the housing options were none to great, but these days there are a lot more people taking that option and finding a lot nicer accommodations.

              I confess that I'd like to see the dam come down just to get a peek at what the canyon was like, but I'm none too clear on whether it would be good or bad for the local economy.  I suspect there might be a short term boost, but I can't say whether it would hold up once the novelty of seeing the "drowned canyon" had passed.


              Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

              by Mark Sumner on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:22:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There'd definitely be whitewater business. (0+ / 0-)

                Someone (Eliot Porter) released a calendar some years back of what was lost in Glen Canyon.  Gorgeous!!

                As it happens, I've recently heard there's location scouting for an indy film version of Monkey Wrench Gang underway as we speak.  Scouting happens pretty far along in the filmmaking process, so perhaps we'll have that reminder of canyon country before long visiting the big screens?  (Or at least film festivals & IFC/Sundance channels.)

                All of the dams capacities have been decreasing steadily as they silt up.  Imperial Dam downstream on the Colorado is mainly good for hunting and birdwatching, as it's mostly all wetlands now - almost completely silted up.  If it weren't for all that silt, Palm Springs, CA would be practically beachfront already.  That big plug of silt (from what was washed out to form the various canyons) keeps the 4-million-year-old rift that formed the Gulf of California from filling the below-sea-level Imperial Valley.  

                You could kiss Mexicali & Calexico bye-bye...

          •  As global temperature increases, dams will go (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt

            Because of coal-fired plants like the ones in the 4 Corners area expelling greenhouse gases, plants that have given employment to the Diné, droughts will be on the increase worldwide as these gases trap solar heat.

            Since how local climates will be affected is still uncertain--there may be more rain in the Southwest as melting ice caps and glaciers contribute more moisture to the atmosphere, as was the case at the end of the last ice age--it's hard to tell if the present drought cycle will worsen or go away.

            Ironically, the largest displacer of greenhouse gases in the world is nuclear power.  As more nuclear plants are built--29 new ones are in the works in other countries--the uranium demand will increase.  I hope that the Diné will one day have their own uranium mining corporation, run with careful attention to the environment and public health, and that nuclear power will replace the power generated so dirtily by the 4-Corners sub-bituminous plants.

            At present in the US there is enough uranium stockpiled to feed power plants for a couple of decades.  We're getting half of the fuel for our nuclear plants from uranium that would have gone into Soviet warheads.

  •  Native Americans always get fucked by Whitey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    Always.

    Bipartisanship: Democrats will issue subpoenas, Republicans will be sworn in

    by bejammin075 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:32:22 AM PST

  •  eminent domain (0+ / 0-)

    Want to bet the corporations try to use the new rulings on eminent domain to steal the land/landuse from the indians?

    Demand the Truth in America

    by EasyRider on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:32:36 AM PST

  •  The Unfree Market (5+ / 0-)

    This brings to mind the related issue of how basically unfree the highly-touted "market" is in many cases. In this era of corporate leviathans, monopolies are allowed to flourish, and information that could lead to informed choices is suppressed (e.g., when mad-cow-tainted beef was sold in California a year or two ago, initially the stores that sold it were prohibited from informing their customers).  This leads to a deck that is disastrously stacked against public health, the environment, and creative innovation, not to mention the deluded consumer who is persuaded to mortgage his soul to buy products he does not need or even really want.

    "The point is, every good candidate should have a positive agenda. But you also have to fight back." Al Franken, The Truth with Jokes, p. 104

    by Rona on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:38:57 AM PST

  •  Bush the Elder (4+ / 0-)

    Got a dose of this medicine in reverse, when he was doing his standup comedy routine yesterday in the United Arab Emirates (best punchline, said about his Idiot Son, "He's a man of peace"). An Arab student told Bush the Elder the truth. Imagine that. The student said, U.S. wars were “aimed at opening markets for American companies and globalization was contrived for America's benefit at the expense of the rest of the world.” To which, Bush the Elder, in  the patented corporate manner, responded, "That's weird and that's nuts."
    I guess that put those silly Arabs in their place, huh?

    •  Almost right (0+ / 0-)

      But the corporations are entities unto themselves, almost stateless.  Certainly with little allegiance to any nation.  Most of us here are, of course, not exactly benefiting from ol' ExxonMobil CEO's $400 million retirement bonus.  And so on.  And even moreso in Indian Country.

  •  Thats their version of democracy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    See, for the Coporatists everything is for sale. If you do not want to sell, you must not be a corporatist and be a commie pinko.

    Maybe the Navajo's want to wait for the absolute best deal huh? Nah too logical...

  •  I think what the mining co. is trying to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    ...is that the tribal leadership does not represent the feeling of the members of the Navajo Nation.  In other words, the mining executives believe that if it were put to the Navajo voters, of course they would want to be swindled and get some inadequate royalty payments in exchange for getting their land torn up with inadequate oversight.

    But as a government employee, I fully understand President Shirley's frustration.  We get all kinds of annoying calls from people who want to do business with our agency, who don't seem to understand the meaning of the word "no."  

    I don't know very much about the internal politics of the Navajo Nation, but there might be a faction within the tribe that would want to do business with the these companies, and Strathmore mining is trying to encourage them.  As far as I'm concerned, if the tribe really wants to allow this stuff to be mined, they should charter their own company, under the control of Navajos, and do it themselves.  I assume that Indian tribes can charter corporations, because states can, and tribes have more sovereignty that states.

    •  You know that $24 of beads & trinkets... (0+ / 0-)

      ...used to buy Manhattan?  Turns out it wasn't the people who lived there who "sold" it.  If they even knew what the concept was about.

      Similar story for Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce.  When they wouldn't sell the Wallowa Valley, the authorities found someone else who would.  As it happens, they recently used casino proceeds to purchase back a chunk of their homeland they'd not had access to for over a century.  A lot of tribes are using their gaming monies for that purpose.  Many of the big ranches come up for sale in NM in recent years have been bought by gaming tribes.  Perhaps that's for the best.

  •  Democracy allows a sovereign people . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Devilstower, SarahLee, SusanG, navajo, marina

    .
    . . . the right to say "no".  To numbnuts like DeJoia, "democracy" = the "right to engage in economic exploitation".  That's not only an grossly inaccurate conflation of a political system and an economic tactic, it's also (most ironically) dangerous if taken to its extreme by suckering "democracy-loving people" into thinking they're undermining their civil rights if they don't kowtow to the whims of their economic masters.  Again, go figure the irony there!

    BenGoshi
    ___________________________________________________

     

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:47:16 AM PST

    •  But another reading is possible, (0+ / 0-)

      and that is the Strathmore VP was objecting to the executive mandate of an employee gag order directed only at mining interests.

      I have no problem with an executive (Shirely of the Navajo Tribe) invoking a gag order on his employees.  

      Mr. Strathmore can be read in this statement as taking issue with that limitation.

      I know the big issue is the exploitation of trust properties, but isolationism and executive fiat against discussion of potential economic development is also an issue to Mr Strathmore, rightly or wrongly.  

      If the US President were to issue an executive order that would prohibit, let say the employee's of the VA from discussing with any one, the drug procurement policy of the VA, then we might take issue with that.  Not a great comparison, because the government is a public agency, but some might say that tribal government needs the same openness for the benefit of it's tribal members.

      I think the tribal governments now a days are savvier about dealing with exploitation issues than they have been in the past.  It sounds a little patronizing to characterize them as unable to negotiate deals with corporate interests.  Saying No and repeated NO responses, while suffering under poverty conditions might be seen as strident and inflexible.

      I also know that there are supernatural powers at play with boogey man corporate America and their ability to get whatever the fuck they want. I should never forget that progressive as it relates to the KOS community can sometimes be read as anti-business.

      I kinda like Howard Dean, it's those wild eye crazies that came with him I wonder about!

      by redlief on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:05:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My reading ... (7+ / 0-)

        The tribal council in April 2005 banned mining. Yet mining companies continued to contact employees of the tribe to try and get a foot in the door. Shirley then instructed employees not to discuss the issue with the companies, but to direct them to the Navajo attorney general.

        I really don't see how this is any different from any government -- or private company, for that matter -- asking employees to direct inquiries to one designated negotiator and quit calling all the extension numbers of employees to see if they can find a weak link. I don't view this as "undemocratic."

      •  I'm sure the executive can be removed... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, NCrefugee, marina

        . . . if a majority of the Tribe feel that he is working against their best interests.  

         I'm sure that members of the Tribe can petition the Executive to rescend or modify his order and that, if the political will of a majority of Tribal members is brought to bear with enough force on the Executive, then such would likely happen.

         I'm sure that a member of the Tribe can defy the order, then either through Tribal council or the Court system (I'm not sure about jurisdictional matters here), that challenge could be upheld, or not.

         The point is that this order does not appear to carry such weight that it could not be overturned, through one means or another, if, indeed, it is the will of the Tribe as a whole to so overturn (or, again, modify) it.

         No, the point of this diary is that it appears on its face that [1] a whiteboy greedhead is having a hissy fit because he feels like he's being thwarted from making a buck (or, perhaps, 10s or 100s of millions of bucks) off the Native Americans; and, [2] that said greedhead whiteboy has the unabashed temerity to lecture the Native Americans on what constitutes a "democracy", and, in doing so, demonstrate what an ignorant ass he is.

         BenGoshi
        ___________________________________________________

         

        We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

        by BenGoshi on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:18:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And there we have conservative economics (4+ / 0-)

    The economics of the Republican crony-capitalist class is about "free markets" about as much as the Soviet oligarcy was about "liberating the working class."

    It is an ideology, a catch phrase.  Their idea of "market economics" has little to do with what finds in an economics textbook and a lot to do with their determinsitic view of the world, wherein white Christian men invariably succeed and everyone else invariably fails because God favors white Christian men and created "free markets" to allow them to be "free" to take whatever they want.  This is a cultural, not an economic outlook.

    And when the Navajos engage in some old-fashioned bare-knuckles negotiatin' style capitalism and get nasty and hold out for a fatter and more environmentally sustainable deal, the boys just can't handle it -- white mining executives don't like it when Native Americans push back.

  •  Democracy in Iraq (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    Same thing ! Corruption and privitization is the US version of democracy in Iraq. Where Corporations make the rules and you either play by their rules or die.

    Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

    by california keefer on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:50:09 AM PST

  •  US Chamber of Commerce (6+ / 0-)

    This all goes back to the position taken by Louis Powell to the US Chamber of Commerce in the 1970's, and that is that business is democracy.  The Chamber of Commerces at the national, state, and local levels all are pushing the agenda that business leads and government follows.  It's the overriding umbrella that covers all of the corporate world's actions.

    reclaimingdemocracy.org said:

    Though Powell's memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration's "hands-off business" philosophy.

    You can read the memo here:  http://reclaimdemocracy.org/...

  •  Antithetical to "Democracy" (7+ / 0-)

    But that's only pocket Democracy -- the conveniently-displayed type of "Democracy" that can be trotted out in order to attempt to sway folks in an effort to undermine actual rights of freedoms of the unabridged form of Democracy.

    Rereading this paragraph from your post,

    In Mr. Dejoia’s world, apparently just saying “no” is antithetical to democracy.  Think about the implications of this for a moment. If an individual or entity decides it’s not interested in a deal corporate America offers, if some company wants something badly from you and you refuse, if you decide the monetary trade-off is not worth the exchange ... well, then, you’re simply undermining (no pun intended) democracy.

    note that this comes perilously close to the implied justification for eminent domain, particularly with regard to how it is now being applied in light of the SCOTUS case last year (was it only last year? Wow - time flies!).

    One of the important things we must work to accomplish, as a People hell-bent-for-leather in pursuit of the salvation of our nation and the ideals upon which is was founded, is to force such wordsmithing and phraseology into the limelight and expose the dangers of unpalatable groupthink and propaganda tactics.  We must work toward encouraging people to think more for themselves, and to help folks develop a counterindicative response to knee-jerk reactions.

    IMO, it's the only way we can keep such dangerous ideas in check and still maintain freedom of speech: simply help the public learn to think more critically, by improving education and quality discourse while explicitly examining and ridiculing the attempts of corporate lackeys to sway opinion using propaganda.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:59:39 AM PST

    •  Eloquent thoughts, written beautifully, GreyHawk. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreyHawk

      This single focus would do more to improve the political and social discourse of our democracy than many of the more superficial remedies suggested by those more likely to benefit from the status quo than by worthwhile transformation.

      And now the Democratic Party has the chance to put its ethics where its election promises were.

      by Enough Talk Lets Get Busy on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is sickening (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Land of Enchantment

    this is the same shit that corporations have been pulling on resource rich 3rd world countries for generations.  

    Forcing them to open up their resources to be stripped out, and leaving them impoverished with an environmental disaster on their hands.  

    Of course, in the third world country, the dictator propped up by the west becomes a very wealthy individual.  

    The Navajo have every right to keep the mining companies out of their small swath of land.  

    And in the right-wing corporatist view of the world, capitalism is democracy.  The will of the people be damned.

    We won! We won! Thank god almighty! We won!

    by Jerry 101 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:00:02 AM PST

  •  It seems corporate America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    is used to always getting what they want thanks to their Republican enablers, and they are unable to handle rejection.  John DeJoia, corporate asshole of the year!

    Kudos to the Navajo nation and Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.!

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:00:43 AM PST

  •  I would like to say I can relate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, hearthmoon, Jerry 101

    to Mr. Dejoia.  When Wal-Mart refused to finance, manufacture and sell my latest invention, the Shake-A-Wake, I had to cancel my order for my $90,000.00 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class automobile.  That my friends, is fucking with my democracy.  I mean, come on, we're talking MY DEMOCRACY!!

    (As an aside to my indignity: the 4 part LA Times series titled, Blighted Homeland,is a worthy read.  I have included a link to access the series.)

    •  How dare they!?!?! (0+ / 0-)

      You had an invention!  WalMart has a democratic obligation to market it!

      Your Democracy...nay OUR democracy has been severely harmed.  Much more so than by voting machine fraud.

      We won! We won! Thank god almighty! We won!

      by Jerry 101 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 10:08:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Luckily for the Navajo, Uncle Sam can't help the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    miners.

    I'm sure if it was U.S. territory, the miners would be cutting deals to circumvent simple laws...like big business always does when it wants something.

    Can't do it by private means? No prob, we'll use public institutions to get it and socialize the costs of it while we're at it.

    Like I said, the Navajo are lucky, the decision is theirs alone and not the public's (err, government's)

    Let this be a caveat, to the all too common easy and argument that less government power will let corp's do whatever they want. They can't when the owner says NO.

    (-0.05 econ., -5.44 social) Democratic Freedom Caucus-a better way.

    by ztn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:08:46 AM PST

    •  So far. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      The treaty rights signed by the Yakama nation more than a hundred years ago, have gone to the supreme court 7 times in that period.

      They will probably go again.

      If you want to read a story rescued from a crumbling private commissioned book concerning the fishing rights on the Columbia river look at my under construction site www.chewana.com.

      Bushco could force a fully wingnut majority on the federal bench and undermine tribal sovereignty forever. It really is not a safe bet at the moment to think it cannot be done.

      The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

      by NCrefugee on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 12:33:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  John DeJoia is an unmitigated liar (7+ / 0-)

    I live in Central Appalachia, and around here, it's a simple fact: there is a direct link between large-scale corporate mining activities and poverty.

    Perhaps Mr. DeJoia fails to realize that the Navajo are just quite possibly way too smart for his manipulation and exploitation. It sure sounds to me like Mr. Shirley has learned the lessons of his nation's history far better than many other Americans, and won't settle for corporate neo-colonialism after years of lies and broken promises from these decendants of the stright-up colonialists. Maybe he doesn't realize that many tribal values prohibit the destruction of sovereign lands.

    Maybe he just loves his nations (both Navajo and United States) the way he should. Mr. Shirley sounds to me from what I've read to be quite the upstanding individual. I give him props for his guts to stand up for his tribal values and refuse intimidation.

    Why does Mr. DeJoia hate America?

    Melissa Hart is gone - thank you Chris Bowers

    by surfbird007 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:11:23 AM PST

    •  I'm glad you brought up Appalacia (4+ / 0-)

      I've been thinking about the high cost in death, blight and misery of mining in West Virginia.  The "mountain top removals," the deaths this year in mines that could have been made safer.  Mining is dirty and dangerous, except for the big bosses making the money.

      There is more to truth than increasing its spin

      by hearthmoon on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:37:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        for getting my back in this thread.

        And yes, what surfbird007 said.  

        Not just Appalachia, either.  The Upper Peninsula of Michigan had copper mines, and there aren't exactly a lot of wealthy miners now lolling about in a highly developed area; there's only closed mines and former mine workers.

        In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond's commentary on Montana and the damage done by mining there is very moving and would surely support the point here that mining does not guarantee wealth and more likely assures long-lasting environmental damage.

  •  SusanG, you've highlighted the crux of the issue. (5+ / 0-)

    Democracy and unfettered corporate capitalism [read "state capitalism" in the US, where corporate welfare is alive and well to all our detriment] are at loggerheads precisely because they are organized in very different ways to support diametrically opposed human goals.

    Briefly, as we well know, corporations are hierarchical; no democratic principles at work in the organization in general. The CEO and president set the agenda, in cooperation with the board of directors. Everyone else "executes" their tasks. End of story. [I'm leaving out of this discussion employee-owned companies, within which there may be processes that permit meaningful worker bee input.] This is a very efficient organizational form for getting things done. Shortfalls: crucial decisions largely flow from the top, which means the future and direction of a given company depends on the expertise, experience and wisdom of a few key people in leadership. Now, to be fair, managers have some discretion on what sort of "democracy" to permit, e.g., employees may "vote" on where to have their annual Christmas holiday party, etc. Thus, corporations are more like the military: generals give orders down the chain of command, nobody really questions the orders, and objectives are accomplished (often brutally, as the Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Mining companies' histories make clear).

    Democracies, ideally emphasizing input from all sides, with their majority rule or parliamentary representation provisions [depending on the country], their systems of checks-and-balances, and their built-in mechanisms for debate and evaluation of proposed local, state and national objectives, etc, make decisions slowly, deliberately. In liberal democracies--our model--the rights, interests and opinions of minority positions on given issues are considered and weighed as part of the overall decision-making process. Democracies that are run justly and fairly will arrive at decisions most of their citizens can abide, and which support the greater good in concretely identifiable ways. Ok, all existing democracies are works in progress, but remember Winston Churchill's dictum:

    Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    It's easy to see, based on these descriptions, why people good at running corporations, but not mature or broad-minded enough to appreciate the great values and strengths of democracies, bristle at democracies' built-in safeguards against concentration of power and influence. It's also easy to see why US history is a cycle of repeated and continuous efforts by the wealthy and powerful to reassert control over our democratic institutions and processes parried, more or less successfully, by the politically democratic and economically populist inclinations of "We the People".

    As our current political, social and military history should be making clear as the Liberty Bell to all of us, we're at the zenith of one of these power-and-greed takeover cycles right now. Or have the Bush Republicans' vote theft/Constitution-shredding/false-pretext-war-making/treasonous-law-breaking/cronyism-war-profiteer ing/mainstream-media-corrupting/corporate-influence-toadying  behaviors escaped your notice? And, as this diary makes abundantly clear, regardless of our political climate, we need to be ever-vigilant regarding the efforts of wealthy and powerful people, corporate or otherwise, to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the rest of us. It's human nature after all, not well governed in all minds and hearts, unfortunately, to want more than one deserves by any reasonable standard.

    And now the Democratic Party has the chance to put its ethics where its election promises were.

    by Enough Talk Lets Get Busy on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:11:33 AM PST

  •  & They never rest till they win. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Land of Enchantment, kurt

    I fought a few Corps. and their patron the Army Corp of Engs. in fact I fought them and the entire local and State political establishment. I won. Well, at least I won temporarily, that is. So much $$$ is at stake these folks have never given up trying to force their stupid project down my communities throat. The present City Commission has had the good sense to stay clear of the "project." However, the companies and pols behind this pork barrel operation are now intent on taking over city hall next yr. The only people in there way is my Org. Will we win again? I can tell u this win or lose we will fight.
     The coupling of BIG Gov't and Corps. especially when the Big Gov't in question is the military is indeed fascism. I've experienced it 1st hand. These folks could careless about the environment or our community. They want the $$$ that's it.
     

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:13:01 AM PST

  •  Panama (4+ / 0-)

    For more on this topic, look up the history of the founding of the nation of Panama. In a nutshell, the Colombian government would not come to terms that were acceptable to the businesses who wanted to build a canal through what was then the Colombian province of Panama. So the businesses supported a small and largely powerless group of Panamanians that wanted independence and would accept less money than the Colombians. Voila--the birth of a nation, so to speak.

  •  Want to know why the Navajo are skeptical? (4+ / 0-)

    Do a search on the Church Rock Tailings Spill.  Also, read about the United Nuclear Corporation Superfund site near Gallup New Mexico.  Then read about the increased rates of reproductive organ cancer among teenage girls on the Navajo reservation which is 17 times higher than that for average girls in the US.  

    After doing that, ask yourself why the Navajo might not be interested in more uranium mining on or near their land.

    "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" -George Carlin

    by Enoch on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:15:53 AM PST

  •  Give me a break, Susan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9

    You're misconstruing the guy's point. By refusing to negotiate entirely, the President is turning down out of hand what could be an excellent opportunity to enrich his people. If the decision is made without consultation of those he represents, then the decision isn't being made democratically.

    Objections and thoughts:

    1. Natural resource wealth tends to become concentrated in the hands of the rulers of the area where it's extracted. This, however, is a distributive issue -- oil wealth, for example, isn't bad. Greedy, corrupt, short-sighted government officials are.
    1. Environmental side effects of mining -- and especially uranium mining -- can be disastrous, there's no exaggerating it. The Navajos obviously got burned in the past. With greater knowledge, though, those kinds of risks, can be generally managed contractually. If the President's position is strong enough to reject all offers out of hand, presumably it's strong enough to negotiate those elements that could have long-term negative consequences. Of course, if the mining company is refusing to entertain environmental risk management provisions, then I can understand the President's leaving the negotiating table on the matter. My guess, however, is that that's probably not the case.
    1. Natural resource wealth can lead to dependence upon it. But the Navajos, as far as I know, are already critically dependent, a condition generally  indicated by widespread poverty, on outside sources.  Including within a long-term contract job-training and educational provisions, scholarships and what have you, might mitigate this effect somewhat.

    I won't go into U.S. interests except to say that I prefer nuclear power to carbon emissions and hope that something can be worked out whereby we aren't supporting dictatorial regimes abroad to get it.

    -M.

    •  The Navajo, as do many other First Nations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Land of Enchantment

      peoples, deeply believe that mining the Earth is a desecration of the sacred, on a par with unearthing the human remains of their ancestors. Latter day "pragmatism" has motivated the Navajo and some other tribes to accept the necessary evil of dealing with extractive resources industries to improve the lot of their peoples. However, those tribal government leaders motivated by genuine integrity, rather than personal greed or power, have always been circumspect, vigilant or averse to contracting with corporations and other entities controlled by the dominant White race because they understand their own tragic histories of interactions with White interests. This is not a racist  insularity, but a greater pragmatism at work. I support the Navajo to "just say no" to the addiction of promised short term wealth at the greater expense of years of regret and compromised quality of life.

      And now the Democratic Party has the chance to put its ethics where its election promises were.

      by Enough Talk Lets Get Busy on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:24:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again (0+ / 0-)

        I freely admit that my personal knowledge is lacking here and that there may be intangible benefits to keeping the land intact, but your pragmatism argument simply falls flat.

        As recently as April, 2006, the President was struggling to end his nation's dependency on the federal government. There's an acknowledge economic weakness there. If the Navajo Nation can then still have the strength to reject negotiations out of hand, surely they have the negotiating power to get a contract that will benefit both parties in the long-term.

    •  This was a one man decision. (5+ / 0-)

      I posted this up-thread, but will re-post here again.

      The Navajo Nation Council voted 63-19 in April 2005 to ban uranium mining on Indian Land.  In November 2005, Shirley issued the executive order that banned negotiations.  In Novemeber 2006, Shirley was overwhelmingly re-elected at the Navajo Nation President.

      I think the tribe has been pretty clear on where it stands on this issue.

      "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" -George Carlin

      by Enoch on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:30:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The new American definition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    of democracy and freedom, in a nutshell:

    Being able to buy whatever you want and drive wherever you want.

  •  This hurts to say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic, lump1

    Because Lord knows I don't really want to defend a vice president of a uranium mining company. But when he was saying "What kind of democracy is that?" I don't think he was referring to the fact that Strathmore wants uranium under their land and how dare the tribe not offer it up to them? Rather, it was referring to the Navajo President, Joe Shirley, instructing tribe employees not to talk to any mining reps and to report any reps who try to start a conversation. Now, pardon my ignorance because I don't know if the Navajo nation's government works as a democracy, with the same theoretical rules America's democracy follows. But if they do, then the idea that President Shirley would prevent conversations between the tribe and outside interests could be interpreted as impeding freedom of speech. After all, what's wrong with talking? I would assume any deal, which would affect the entire Navajo nation, would have to be approved by their government no matter how tasty Strathmore thinks its offer is. In fact, in theory, other members of the government might be itching to make a deal (no uranium-poisoning joke intended), and Shirley's suppression could be seen as an attempt to squelch an uprising against him by his underlings.

    I'm certainly not saying this IS the case, I'm just saying, based on what little I've read, you have to admit, it IS possible that this is the context of his comment, it's just that we're all very quick to judge the actions of big business as actions that are not in the public's interest. And for good reason, but when we jump to conclusions, we limit ourselves to truly understanding our friends AND our enemies.

    •  Finding a willing tool. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, Land of Enchantment

      It is a classic dilemma- finding a willing partner.
      companies routinely bribe or buy US politicians,why shouldn't Indian leaders be exempt? If the guy you are talking to won't play, breed some opposition, find a willing mark and finance his overthrow. Bush does it on a grand scale with the US armed forces at his call.

       Uranium companies are no different,just smaller.

      Someone will be willing to make something out of it,there always are a few.  Successful? Maybe,maybe not.

      "Genius is the recovery of childhood at will" Rimbaud (thanks to Harlan Ellison for reminder)

      by Pete Rock on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:31:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That works two ways (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9

        I know of two situations recently where environmentalists have done the exact same thing: they've found people who've fronted for them, which has resulted in organizations supposedly taking positions that they most certainly had not.  It resulted in embarrassment when the organizations had to apparently retract statements until they actually had decided what to do.

    •  Read the story (8+ / 0-)

      This isn't one individual just deciding to say "no."

      Unconvinced, the tribal council last year passed a ban on mining or processing uranium in "Navajo Indian country," a term that embraces both the reservation and neighboring communities such as Crownpoint and Church Rock that participate in tribal government.

      ...After the measure took effect in April 2005, mining concerns kept calling the Navajo capital, Window Rock, Ariz., hoping to secure support for their projects. So Shirley signed Executive Order 02-2005, which instructs tribal employees to avoid any "communications with uranium company representatives."

      So last year, their council banned mining. Yet the corporations continued to try and get in, and after getting sick of the calls, an executive order went out. Mining companies still can make offers, I assume, through the Navajo attorney general, since Shirley directed employees to direct corporate calls  there.

    •  You say that because you don't know the history (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, navajo, Land of Enchantment

      and the history is long - but short answer is that the people of the Dine/Navajo nation did debate, discuss and decide and the president is simply trying to protect that decision.

    •  You didn't read the article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, kurt

      It explains that the elected tribal council voted to outlaw this kind of mining in Navajo country.  Tribal employees have job descriptions, and generally they don't include undermining LAWS passed by their government.  Instructing employees to do their jobs, and that all mining company calls go to the AG is appropriate.  Every job I've ever had, my boss has the authority to direct my work.  Navajo government, on all levels, has decided they don't want this.  Entirely appropriate to direct employees to comply with this, and direct all calls to the AG.

    •  Right on, finally someone who's thinking! (0+ / 0-)

      I had exactly the same qualms in my reading as you did. Somebody is knee-jerk judging before hearing the whole story. I get scared when too many people on the left show themselves to be no less judgemental and resistant to reality than the people on the right.

      This story has the perfect storm of archetypes that lead an uncritical left-wing mind to conclusions: Corporation (hiss!) + Uranium (run!) vs. natives on a reservation (guilt). So people pick sides without thinking through the facts. And we should never do that, lest we become what we hate.

  •  You have meddled with the primal forces of nature! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt
    "You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear?! You think you've merely stopped a business deal -- that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!

    Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

    You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and A T & T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war and famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused."

    Arthur Jensen, (Network)

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:24:35 AM PST

  •  In a Free Market (0+ / 0-)

    Any group, clan or tribe has the unequivocal right to self-determination, and choosing of their own economic needs.

    A Free Market is not necessarily just about money. It is about placing value, not cash, on a good or service! Many people confuse cash with value. However, in some cases they than can be the same

    I believe, eventually, the uranium will get mined on the Navaho land...

    But it will get used the Navaho way!

    No more gooper LITE!

    by krwada on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:25:04 AM PST

  •  If you aren't a whore for money, you aren't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, diplomatic, hearthmoon

    Democratic?

    Or does that just mean you aren't a Republican?

  •  Iraq's nationalized oil company. (0+ / 0-)

    Iraq has had its own control of resources ever since it threw out the British in 1922. The oil company is part of the national trust, staffed with Iraqi trained engineers and workers since 1960 and earlier. Foreigners got some development deals but never any ownership.

     That changed with the Bush Cheyney occupation.

    The Navaho should determine how and where they develop the resources.  In fact if they wanted to build a refinery on their land and swap Iraqi or Iranian oil for uranium which diversifies the economy of BOTH nations,they should be able to do so. That is democracy in action.

    Can you just see the howls and screams if the corporations get taken out by a better deal offered by Mideastern  countries or Venezuela?  Why not?
    Isn't the essence of democracy the unfettered, uncoerced right to freely decide?

     Another sharp stick right up the butt of Bushco.

    That is my Thank's giving day wish for the overlords and criminals.  Yeeah, it's a dream. But promising.

    "Genius is the recovery of childhood at will" Rimbaud (thanks to Harlan Ellison for reminder)

    by Pete Rock on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:26:07 AM PST

  •  I have no right to speak for the Navajo (7+ / 0-)

    and I will say a couple of things here.

    I see other misperceptions in the mining exec's POV.

    "tremendous resources" = sacred ground. Converting the flesh of the earth into U.S. dollars can easily be seen as sacriligious.

    "poverty" = lack of material goods. As others have said here, the U.S. dollars that the tribes should have benefitted from have been diverted and stolen for decades. And the tribe's view of abundance is very different from that of the capitalist.

    "democracy" = cut a deal with any tribal member who will, and then assume it applies to the whole tribe.

    This last one was the MO for most of the 19th century treaties, and lead to incredible suffering.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    (PC: -5.75, -6.56) Good men through the ages, tryin' to find the sun, still I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain? -J. Fogerty

    by RichRandal on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:27:29 AM PST

  •  Just out of curiousity, what would you say if... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9

    ...the president had been pro-development, and had made such an order regarding contact from anti-mining or loud environmental groups like Greenpeace?

    Serious question.

  •  Whatever the fuck kind of democracy they want (0+ / 0-)
  •  question (0+ / 0-)

    any sense of what mining this uranium would provide economically, and how far that benefit would go toward alleviating the grinding poverty on the rez?

  •  More of what happens when you are Indian and poor (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic, bree, navajo, Ambrosius, Turbonerd, kurt

    If you have not read the LA Times "Blighted Homeland" series, you should. Because it tells the story of what has happened to Dine (Navajo) people when their lands get mined.

       From 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were dug and blasted from Navajo soil, nearly all of it for America's atomic arsenal. Navajos inhaled radioactive dust, drank contaminated water and built homes using rock from the mines and mills. Many of the dangers persist to this day. This four-part series examines the legacy of uranium mining on the Navajo reservation.

    Each of the sections in the series has a audio/photo slideshow on the right side - watch them.

  •  Welcome to the corporatocracy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic

    n/t

  •  Fake Libertarians = Corporate Anarchists (3+ / 0-)

    Navajo President [...] signed an executive order instructing tribe employees to avoid any "communications with uranium company representatives" and to report any contacts to the Navajo attorney general.

    "You tell me, what kind of a democracy is that?" asked John DeJoia, a Strathmore vice president.

    The tribe employees are not run as a "democracy". They are a bureaucracy, which is controlled by the executive. The executive is part of a republic. The democracy comes in when Navajos vote for their representatives, like their president, to compose their republic.

    Dejoia is just another corporate anarchist posing as a "libertarian" demanding "democracy". Real libertarians know them as "looters".

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:56:21 AM PST

  •  Eminent Domain (0+ / 0-)

    I see little difference in this from the right of eminent domain.  If it benifits the nation, it could be considered, but if it benifits the corporation, to hell with them.  

  •  An offer they can't refuse (5+ / 0-)

    is what it's called. Resource corps have always believed that they are the true owners of all land, because they "understand" what to do with it, unlike the poor fools who like their mountains to keep sticking up into the air.

    The difference between resource corps and the Mafia: the former are better at bribery, and thus remain legal.

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:21:46 AM PST

  •  This goes beyond Native Americans (2+ / 0-)

    Not to trivialize the Native American rights issue at all, but this skirmish also serves as a small preview of what's to come if the nuclear power complex, with the help of some frightened environmentalists, revive nuke power as the answer to global warming. The damage from mining and processing as high-grade ore is quickly exhausted will be stunning worldwide. To say nothing of the usual unsolved problems of waste disposal, sabotage, accidents, and weapons proliferation.

    Since there is no shortfall of uranium for current power plants, the mining industry is obviously frantic to get more ore to supply what they believe will be exponential growth in the near future. That growth needs to be prevented.

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:34:13 AM PST

  •  PERPETRATE!!!!! (2+ / 0-)

    perpetrate - not perpetuate.  This is the fourth time I have seen this mistake TODAY.

    This word is turning into the "nucular" of the left wing blogosphere.  C'mon people, Bush is out, the literary bar has been raised back to pre-theocracy levels.

    Obey me, or I will diary this topic.

  •  Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr needs to ask... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    ..but a few questions and get the MSM in on this these.

    1. How much more of that does the world need?
    1. Why do you need to dig in our (Navajo) backyard when we have not fully exausted what the USSR had.
    1. Of the Uranium we have bought from the old USSR, has it all been diluted to reactor grade; if not why not.

    Then tell him to pound sand.

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:44:42 AM PST

    •  And yes, Russia is the correct term not USSR. (0+ / 0-)

      N/T

      BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

      by Habanero on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:49:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One other question.... (0+ / 0-)

      Do you suppose he is talking about the uranium, the people, or both when he is referring to resources?

      BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

      by Habanero on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 10:02:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The answers are available for anyone (0+ / 0-)

      You can look it up.

      Right now there's a massive shortfall in production required to meet current demand, let alone anticipated demand as more reactors are built.  It's the reason that U3O8 has risen from $7 a pound five years ago over $60 a pound right now.

      And, speaking for my employers who are a North American first nation with extensive uranium resources, if the Navajo don't want to compete, more opportunities for the people I work for.

      •  My first comments were as much questions as they (0+ / 0-)

        were points for the Indian Nation to argue.  It is a fact pointed out on National Public Radio (NPR) that there are huge amounts of undiluted material from Russia.  There is much more that is still to be recovered.   It would be far safer for everyone in the world to get that stuff under lock and key and dilute it down for civilian use.  This is a separate issue from not wanting to tear up reservation land.

        Yes/No?

        BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

        by Habanero on Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 05:39:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          While it's critically important to get it under lock and key (I'm pro-nuclear power, not a nutjob who thinks it's okay to have a few tons of weapons-grade material available for the open market), the quantity available won't significantly make a dent in the need for fuel over the long term.

          An August 2006 paper estimated there's 260 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium available in the world, which would, if blended down into burnable reactor fuel, is the power equivalent of about a year's worth of mined uranium.  Diluting Highly Enriched Uranium from weapons programs represents a more significant source: 500 tonnes of HEU, which is equal to the payload of about 20,000 average megatonnage bombs, and about 2 years production of natural uranium.

          However, there's only an estimated 2000 tonnes of HEU from military sources, US and otherwise, in the world and they ain't going to give it all up.  At best, with current demand, it might replace 8-10 years of mining.

          It takes, in North America, an average 10 to 15 years these days for a uranium mine to proceed from discovery to the actual start of production.  What this means is that, even if all the weapons-grade stockpile in the world were converted to civilian use, you'd still have to start the process now of bringing new mines into service in order to maintain the product flow when the weapon material runs out.

          •  I would have to go back to the archive(s) at NPR, (0+ / 0-)

            but I am fairly certain the speaker, who was an expert in the subject, stated that the supply from Russia was very large.  For my own memory I will go back and research that.  If as you say the stocks are not sufficient then yes, obviously we need to begin work now.  Barring that being a fact,  I do not support mining yet.  The less of that stuff around the better IMHO.  

            BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

            by Habanero on Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 10:56:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You'd still need the mining (0+ / 0-)

              Blending the weapons grade material into a reactor-ready form is just that: you need to blend it with mined uranium in order to get the grade down.  So you need the mining anyway.

              Look, simple economics here: it costs a lot of money to bring a mine into production.  If the weapons grade stuff was easily available, don't you think people would be grabbing it when they could, just from a cost standpoint.

              There's also one other issue that you tend to skip over.  Even if the Russians have all that enriched material...how do you force them to give it up if they decide they don't want to supply any more?  

  •  Yes! (2+ / 0-)

    Don't you people understand?

    That's why my ancestor, Great great great great great great great great great granpa William came to this country in the first place.

    He wanted the English King to treat his pub, "The Goat & Pet" as a person and not just a building in which people converted shillings into piss.

    That silly King laughed, they all laughed.

    Who's laughing now?

    There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't. - Robert Benchley

    by dj angst on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:55:36 AM PST

  •  What the heck do you think they were doing in SA? (3+ / 0-)

    Everyone better wake up and look around. What do you call taking over someone's land for roads?  What do you think Chavez was so ticked off about....he didn't want to give away the resources of his people.  I'm not saying he's a perfect human being but let's get straight what is happening around the world concerning US Corporations.  Do you wonder why people around the world hate us so much?  We not only go after their resources but we pollute their land and waters while doing it and then non-chalantly walk away.  Yeah, that is their idea of democracy.  What a greedy and pitiful excuse of power it is...WAKE UP!

  •  Tough Decisions for Democratic Congress (0+ / 0-)

    Dodd´s Balancing Act to Get Tougher - New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    November 22, 2006
    Dodd’s Balancing Act to Get Tougher
    By STEPHEN LABATON

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 21—As Senator Christopher J. Dodd prepares to take over the leadership of the Senate Banking Committee while also considering a run for the presidency, lobbyists and lawmakers are all asking the same question. ...

    ... As Enron and WorldCom fade from the news, some of his constituents are seeking to water down the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002 to strengthen the role of corporate gatekeepers in response to a wave of scandals. ...

    ... The accounting firms have been asking for limits on their legal liability. Large companies are battling against renewed attempts to give shareholders a greater say in corporate affairs and to ward off efforts to curtail high executive pay packages. Hedge funds are resisting calls for greater regulation and transparency. ...

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  •  Corporate Personhood (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greeseyparrot

    The core problem here is the legal fiction that corporations are persons, endowed with the same Constitutional rights as actual living and breathing persons.  

    The strong version of this legal fiction rests on an 1886 US Supreme Court case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, in which Justice John Marshall Harlan's majority opinion did not rely on the doctrine, but the doctrine was, nevertheless, inserted into the record as a statement of fact by Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite.

    It is high time that this case join Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott v. Sanford on the dustbin of history.

    For a different perspective, check out Green Commons!

    by GreenSooner on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:02:10 AM PST

  •  Bush 41 would concur. (0+ / 0-)

    he said at a speech in abu dubai that anyone who thinks we're in the middle east for 'money' just 'needs to go back to school.'

    I must have skipped the coporations and civics day in my elementary school...

    www.lovecraftbiofuels.com drive your car for free!

    by ucla grad102 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:36:12 AM PST

  •  Today's Fed Reg....Coal Slurry in Indian country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Complete notice about this coal mine/coal slurry
    project in the 4 corners Indian country
    area is at:

    http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/...

    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

    Black Mesa and Kayenta Coal Mines, Coal Slurry Preparation Plant and Pipeline, and Coconino Aquifer Water-Supply System, Coconino, Mohave, and Navajo Counties, AZ, and Clark County, NV

    AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.
    ACTION: Notice of availability of draft environmental impact statement
    for the Black Mesa Project.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUMMARY: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM)
    announces availability of the draft environmental impact statement
    (EIS) for the Black Mesa Project, the public comment period and
    procedures, and public meetings and procedures.

    DATES: To ensure consideration in the preparation of the final EIS,
    written comments must be received by OSM by 4 p.m., m.s.t., on January
    22, 2007.
       Public meetings will be held in:
       ? Window Rock, Arizona, on January 2, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. in the Resource Room at the Navajo Nation Museum, Highway 64 and
    Loop Road.
       ? Forest Lake, Arizona, on January 3, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Forest Lake Chapter House on Navajo Route 41 about 20 miles
    north of Pinon, Arizona.
       ? Moenkopi, Arizona, on January 3, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Community Center.
       ? Kayenta, Arizona, on January 4, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Monument Valley High School cafeteria, north Highway 163.
       ? Kykotsmovi, Arizona, on January 4, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Veterans Center.
       ? Peach Springs, Arizona, on January 9, 2007, from noon to 3
    p.m. at the Hualapai Lodge, 900 Route 66.
       ? Kingman, Arizona, on January 9, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Hampton Inn, 1791 Sycamore Avenue.
       ? Leupp, Arizona, on January 9, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    at the Leupp Chapter House on Navajo Route 15.
       ? Winslow, Arizona, on January 10, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Winslow High School, Student Union, 600 E. Cherry Avenue.
       ? Laughlin, Nevada, on January 10, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Laughlin Town Hall, 101 Civic Way.
       ? Flagstaff, Arizona, on January 11, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 9
    p.m. at the Little America Hotel, 2515 East Butler Avenue.

    SNIP

    I. Background on the Black Mesa Project EIS

       Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA),
    OSM prepared a draft EIS analyzing the effects of the proposed Black
    Mesa Project. The proposed Project consists of Peabody Western Coal
    Company's operation and reclamation plans for coal mining at the Black
    Mesa Mine Complex near Kayenta, Arizona; Black Mesa Pipeline
    Incorporated's (BMPI's) Coal Slurry Preparation Plant at the Black Mesa
    Mine Complex; BMPI's reconstruction of the 273-mile long Coal Slurry
    Pipeline across northern Arizona from the Coal Slurry Preparation Plant
    to the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada; and Salt River
    Project's and Mohave Generation Station co-owners' construction and
    operation of a water supply system consisting of water wells in the
    Coconino aquifer (C aquifer) near Leupp, Arizona, and of a water supply
    pipeline running 108 miles across the Navajo and Hopi Reservations from
    the wells to the Coal Slurry Preparation Plant. More information about
    the project and EIS can be found on OSM's Internet Web site at
    http://www.wrcc.osmre.gov/....
       The Bureau of Indian Affairs; Bureau of Land Management; Bureau of
    Reclamation; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of
    Agriculture Forest Service; Hopi Tribe; Hualapai Tribe; Navajo Nation;
    County of Mohave, Arizona; and City of Kingman, Arizona, cooperated
    with OSM in the preparation of the draft EIS. As a part of its National
    Environmental Policy Act activities for the proposed project, U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency will attend at least the January 3 and
    4, 2007, meetings respectively in Moenkopi and Kayenta, Arizona.

  •  Thanks for posting this (0+ / 0-)

    This is my pet issue.

    My 2 very first diaries here:

    Jan. 11, 2005:
    Canadian Uranium Co wants to reopen mines in AZ
    with a fantastic comment by Meteor Blades

    April 4, 2005:
    Good News! Uranium mining banned on Navajo rez!

    This is the first chance I have had to sit at the computer, about 16 hrs from your initial posting.  What a day!  Oh well, weighing in anyway on a dead thread.

    Thanks to SarahLee for emailing me your diary link or I would have missed it.  Thanks for all your diaries and especially this one.  

  •  Same old, same old (0+ / 0-)

    I get so sick of grossly overpaid, ethic lacking corporate CEOs spouting the virtues of democracy and the free market when ninety-nine of the creeps are hell bent on destroying both. Any citizen who workes for a living that pays any heed to the self-serving propaganda/PR these bastards spew is like a chicken singing the praises of Col. Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 02:51:22 AM PST

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