Page 4 - the NOISE August 2012
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06. Ach Nein! Yellow Trees, Reclaimed Wastewater, and the Big Collusion
08. National Support Peaks
for Peaks attorney facing “outrageous” attacks
10. USFS: Above the Law?
Depsite court rulings, Red Rock Ranger District continues illegal fees
10. Fuel Dumps & an Airport Too Near WIll Sedona shut it down?
14. Film!
16. It’s the Arts
25. Jerome ArtBeat
26. Prescott’s Don’t Miss List 28. Music for the Masses
30. Question Man
34. La Otra Arizona
35. Supplement Calendar 37. Letters to NEd
39. Strangeology
39. Green Gold
40. Old Town
42. Business News
HünTagen Edition
August 2012 • #135
Editorial Board:
Clair Anna Rose, Ellen Jo Roberts Kyle Boggs, Sarah Gianelli Bobby Carlson, Joe Grumbo Cindy Cole
Donna Chesler, Tony Ballz, Logan Phillips Sarah Irani, Lisa Aguiñaga
Angie Johnson-Schmit, Tom Blanton Bob Reynolds, Jon Jensen
Bill Bohan, Mark Szopinski Annabel Sclippa, ThunderfooT
Cole Lahti, Leon Fitzgerald
Publisher: Charles Seiverd
The Noise is a free forum for ideas and cre-
ative expression, hence all opinions ex- pressed herein are of no affiliation to the directors of Weavel Inc and are strictly those of the individual artist. Copyrights are held by the individual artist and no part of this publication may be duplicated without ex- plicit consent by the artist.
Readership: 52,000
Distribution: 350 locations in Northern Arizona: Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Camp Verde & Jerome.
PRESCOTT — A corporation is not an indi- vidual person; seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Not exactly. On January 21, 2010, when presiding over the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are in fact persons, and are therefore entitled to the same First Amendment rights as individual human beings.
So what exactly does this entail? With the 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court attempted to pro- tect a corporation’s right to exercise free speech as an individual can. One aspect of the ruling allows corporations to engage in certain legal actions, such as the ability to sue and be sued, among others. However, much to the alarm of a growing number of concerned citizens across the nation, the “free speech” the Supreme Court sought to protect means allowing corporations the ability to pour limitless amounts of money
— and therefore limitless influence — into cam- paigns and elections, without reporting figures and without regulation. Interestingly, both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitu- tion never once mention corporations.
The decision has brought about the emer- gence of so-called “super PACs,” political action committees that independently exude influ- ence. As candidates scramble for money in an attempt to gain the upper hand over their ad- versaries, these super PACs gain control over the individual seeking election, and to a larger ex- tent elections as a whole. Essentially, citizens are denied the right to full self-governance.
Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the four Supreme Court Justices to vote against the ma- jority decision, said in his dissent, “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of hu- man beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
The dissent also states that the ruling “threat- ens to undermine the integrity of elected insti- tutions across the Nation,” and that “a democra- cy cannot function effectively when its constitu- ent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”
Richard Posner, one of America’s most influ- ential judges outside of Supreme Court, shares this belief, saying, “Our political system is perva- sively corrupt due to our Supreme Court taking away campaign contribution restrictions on the basis of the First Amendment.”
Spearheaded by Move to Amend, a nation- wide bipartisan coalition of organizations and individuals, resolutions proposing an amend- ment to the Constitution clearly outlining that corporations are not people and that money is not speech have been popping up across the nation, including our own home state. Jerome and Tucson have already supported such reso- lutions. Most recently, last month the Occupy Prescott movement urged the Prescott City Council to join their fellow local governments in supporting the proposed amendment, outlined by a resolution presented to Prescott City Coun- cil last April. The movement comes equipped with a petition signed by over 1,000 Prescott area citizens’ signatures.
It is this corruption that Move to Amend, and all else involved, hope to root out. The main goal of the movement, both locally and nation- ally, is to increase public awareness and under- standing. As word spreads and Move to Amend gains momentum, the hope is that more local resolutions within communities will be passed, increasing pressure on elected officials at all levels of government to take action. After all, as Move to Amend explains, it is not “We the corpo- rations ...” but “We the people ...” that the Con- stitution should protect. — Mark Szopinski
FLAGSTAFF — Songwriter Klee Benally was ordered by Coconino Justice Court Judge Howard Grodman to perform community service as consequence to his prayerful act of resistance to desecration of the Holy San Fran- cisco Peaks. Mr. Benally took action on August
13, 2011 to address Arizona Snowbowl’s clear- cutting of 74 acres of rare alpine forest and the laying of 14.8 miles of a reclaimed wastewater pipeline in furtherance of a US Forest Service and City of Flagstaff-supported project to spray artificial snow made of reclaimed wastewater on the Peaks, which are held holy by more than 13 Indigenous Nations.
The state prosecutor was seeking 12 months probation, restrictions barring Mr. Benally from going onto Snowbowl Road, and community service. During the sentencing hearing Mr. Be- nally responded, expressing that restricting his ability to go onto the Peaks, including Snow- bowl Road, would place an “undue burden” on his religious freedom.
Judge Grodman stated, “I think that your motivations for protesting were genuine and heartfelt,” he then offered the option for Mr. Benally to do community service in assisting with a Northern Arizona University class called
“Investigating Human Rights.”
“If you would be willing to participate in that
class, assist in that class, I think you’d have a lot to offer the students, that would be the entirety of my sentence,” stated Judge Grodman. When issuing his sentence, the judge expressed that he was unaware until recently that Mr. Benally had produced the documentary, The Snowbowl Effect. Judge Grodman stated he had used the film in a class he taught years ago.
Mr. Benally was also ordered to pay restitu- tion to Arizona Snowbowl in the amount of $99.24 for construction worker’s wages Snow- bowl claims we’re “lost” due to Mr. Benally’s prayerful action.
“How can I be ‘trespassing’ on this site that is so sacred to me? This is my church. It is the For- est Service and Snowbowl who are violating human rights and religious freedom by des- ecrating this holy mountain,” said Mr. Benally in a previous statement, “Their actions are far beyond ‘disorderly’.
“This experience has shed light on what my ancestors, and all those who have gone before me in the struggle for justice and dignity, have faced. This experience cannot be isolated from the larger context of 500 years of colonial ag- gression. Our ways of life are being attacked by this ‘justice’ system, the Forest Service, and by those who value money more than life and ecological integrity.” — Leon Fitzgerald
Cover Art: Pulse by Erica Fareio INQUIRIES: 928-634-5001 |
POB 1637 • Flagstaff AZ 86002 | POB 1257 • Clarkdale AZ 86324
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an Arizona 501c3 nonprofit organization
We are dealing with a Constitutional crisis here, folks, and I’m not referring to the bowel movement. Being pragmatic — not alarmist — it took some time on the porcelain throne to digest late June’s Supreme Court decision, but in so doing, this writer discovered that every single Supreme Court Justice who ruled in favor of the Constitutional Rights of corporations in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock has a vested interest — through stock and bonds, or those of their spouses — with the very same corporations who contribute heavily to political campaigns of the leg- islative and executive branches.
For the first time in history, we have all three branches of government influenced by not the people of whom they are sworn to serve, but corporations who influ- ence our daily lives already through products, media, the cycles of the economy, and now, thanks to the “highest court in the land,” our own elections. By so ruling, the Supreme Court has created a dangerous schema of power of which we have not seen in the free world and has in essence, given a stamp of approval to a form of government not by the people, for the people, but for the benefits of profit-making only — one of which we did not sign up for, nor pledge allegiance to, nor sing the Star Spangled Banner to — and one that is essentially illegitimate if we take the Con- stitution on its merits.
We could heed to Dwight Eisenhower in his last speech to the nation:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
We the people must guard against it if our elected officials refuse to do so. And it
begins in every community.
4 • AUGUST 2012 • the NOISE arts & news magazine •

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