Ain’t that America… WTF 9/7

 

 

treaty broken again

We be screwing with the Native American nation folk one more time… so what else is new? Eh?

More on that a little later on but first these important news messages…

Ain’t that America…

ain't that america. 2

 

joe1And there’s winners, and there’s losers
But they ain’t no big deal
‘Cause the simple man baby pays the thrills,
The bills and the pills that kill

Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, ooo, ooo yeah

Ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, hey we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, oh the home of the free,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Little pink houses babe for you and me, ooo yeah ooo yeah

(John Mellencamp © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)

Ain’t that America….

And just for an FYI… about the dudes who really mange our health…

health-ceos-pay

It’s a retrospective week for WTF on American life in a kinda, sorta “Look” or “Life” sort of way. For those of you who are too young and probably have no idea why I am referencing  those two words… especially in the manner I have… there used to be magazines that were produced  in America that presented and represented the mostly American, and sometimes world, news in pictures with some very short but relevant stories. Look and Life were the most prominent of those magazines…

I’m stealing their format.

WTF note…

I had four days off his Labor Day weekend. You would think I had a lot of time to do stuff… but… Au contraire mes amis. I am a land owner. Albeit, a rather smallish plot of land but still a land owner. And, unfortunately, as a land owner I have learnt the hard lesson that all land owners must come to grips with sooner or later… the land must be taken care of or else it will devolve into a shithole that is the scourge of the neighborhood, and, frankly, not someplace a person would desire to be living upon.

So, my long weekend was spent landscaping… with some cooking in between… and building a damn fence…

Why am I  telling ya’ll this?

Because when I found any free time to go and check into stuff on my computer all I wanted to do was just scroll around and make sure the world hadn’t yet blown itself to smithereens… which if it had, then it meant fixing up my yard would be time wasted when I could be out frolicking about and generally having myself a hell of a good time while looking like a damn fool…

Long story short…  I had little to no time to spend writing my weekly column…WTF.

So whats that mean? At least to those of you who give a shit about reading WTF…

There gonna be a change in the format… don’t worry, sometimes change is good… its gonna be a lot of quick hitters… and a semi long piece about something I think is really worth spending some time on…

Not that everything I write about ain’t worth spending time on but this one item is something that mainstream media seems to want to ignore, and, frankly, I think we shouldn’t.

Worry…

worry

Worry…

… something we do a hell a lot of too much in this world of ours…. when we could be doing a hell of a lot more stuff that is more fulfilling, more constructive and sometimes just plain foolishness and fun…

The reason…

not standing

This may not be the last time I write about Colin Kaepernick and what his demonstration means or why he is doing it but it is a definitive reason why some folks seem to object to him doing it all… in fact get up in arms about it and at times… disrespectful…

It’s not original… by that I mean my words…  but it’s succinct, to the point and the truth…

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action.’”

… Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963)

If, ya need another reminder…

Oh, yeah…

Recently we celebrated something we in America call Labor Day. Similar to that other day earlier in the year that we call Memorial Day, I wonder how many folks really know what the damn day is and what it really means…

So, just in case some folks may have slightly misremembered… this is… among many reasons… what it’s all about…

labor day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sioux nation speaks…

The Dakota Access Pipeline?  Heard about it?

And, I’m not talking about some stuff you might have seen on Facebook, although that is informative and does count in the “heard about” category… rather… I’m talking about on your TVs or in your area newspapers. Well, have you?

Because, I read a newspaper every damn day and I have yet to see one damn piece… not even a column inch… hell, or even a quarter of a column inch… or… even a picture with a short description underneath about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Some activists have asked… “If you don’t know about this, you should.”

They are right… we should know a lot of stuff that we don’t mainly because we are so damn dependent on the mainstream media for our news…

They are one of the reasons we are stuck with a for shit choice for prez in this year’s election… they helped steal the donkey nomination away from Bernie and gave us Hillary Billary by the way they presented and represented their slant on the primary news and made it seem like Bernie had a snowballs chance in hell of winning the donkey nomination…

Now… what the hell is this damn pipeline thing?

The federal government has granted a privately owned corporation the right to build an oil pipeline… 1100-plus miles long… that will need to go under the Missouri river to gets to its ultimate destinations. When it goes under the Missouri, it will be about ½ mile upstream from the Standing Rock Reservation. The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is situated in North and South Dakota The reservation is the “home” of people from the Sioux Nation… specifically the Dakota and Lakota Nations.

Keep that in mind…

But first… from the corporate peeps… from one of their websites…bakken-news-map

“The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a new approximate 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the rapidly expanding Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand.

It will transport approximately 470,000 barrels per day with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more… which could represent approximately half of Bakken current daily crude oil production. Shippers will be able to access multiple markets, including Midwest and East Coast markets as well as the Gulf Coast via the Nederland, Texas crude oil terminal facility of Sunoco Logistics Partners.

Depending upon regulatory approvals, the pipeline is projected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2016.”

And another…

“Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC, is developing a new pipeline to transport crude oil from the Bakken/Three Forks play in North Dakota to a terminus in Illinois with additional potential points of destination along the pipeline route. Highlights of the Project include:

  • The pipeline is anticipated to be fully functional by 2016.
  • The pipeline will translate into millions in state and local revenues during the construction phase and an estimated $156 million in sales and income taxes.
  • The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a $3.7 billion investment into the United States directly impacting the local and national labor force by creating 8,000–12,000 construction jobs and up to 40 permanent operating jobs.
  • The committed volume rates of the pipeline project have already created historically high shipment ratios, with the pipeline projected to carry half of the Bakken’s current daily crude oil production.
  • The pipeline will meet or exceed state and federal safety requirements and at a minimum will be designed in accordance with 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 195.

Now… I have been a big proponent… specifically regarding our damn gas prices at the pumps… for asking this question: If we are… or about to become… the largest oil producer in the world, then why the fuck are we still having such high gas prices that fluctuate almost weekly… sometimes daily… at the pumps all because of some artificially contrived cost of oil per barrel which is based on internationally production… from countries like Saudi Arabia or Venezuela?

The point being… if, we our outproducing any one of the other big oil countries, then why should our prices be determined by the rest of the world’s production? What we supply to ourselves should be the main, and the most likely the only, criteria by which our oil prices, and the resultant fuels that we use, should cost. No? I think the hell it should.

So… when I read about this new pipeline tapping into one of our oil producing areas, I think… OK…about damn time…

Then, I hear about some other shit… from a different perspective…

Like…

America has more something like about a gazillion miles of pipeline bisecting, trisecting all kinds of secting throughout its land… OK… it’s more like about 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines going around the country in all sorts of zig zaggedy ways.

So, when some peeps… corporation big wigs… thought what if we build a “1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Patoka, Illinois” it more or less was supposed to be on the less side and a nonevent. No big deal. A… who cares… another pipeline… event.

Especially, since it was essentially done on the QT… besides… it’s just another “needed” pipeline to get oil across the country lots more efficiently.

So, when in July 25 the Army Corps granted authorization for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, it was exactly that… not much to do about anything… and…if, it was reported in the mainstream media it was minor… if at all.  And, Big Oil (as well as Big Finance) figured by sometime in 2017 some 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day would be moving through them newly constructed lines.

One teensy weensy bit of a problem… actually one big muther of a fucking huge problem developed. The Bakken oil fields sit on Indian treaty lands which are about a half-mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

And, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation objected… royally they objected. They said the pipeline route threatened the drinking water and would disturb sacred and cultural sites and therefore… hell, no, this pipeline will not go.

And, on August 12th, some few hundred tribal folks went to where they were building the pipeline and vowed they would stay until the pipeline was halted.no-pipeline

Since, that moment occurred, slowly but surely the news has begin to come out… mostly from social media sites… and hundreds more Native Americans… plus others who have allied themselves with the Sioux Nation’s arguments against the pipeline… have come to join the initial protest. And, they have won, at least for the moment, an abatement to the construction as a court has said it will hear the tribe’s suit against the Army Corps for failing to comply with environmental and historic preservation laws.

The moral high ground of the Sioux is important and it is indeed worth noting that their sacred land and burial grounds will be violated, as well as the reality that American government is one more time violating a treaty through its deal with Big Oil in the guise of Dakota Access, LLC and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC.

The Sioux are saying that the pipeline will disturb sacred sites and they have filed papers that claim they have found several areas of “significant cultural and historic value” within the boundaries of where the pipeline will go.

A tribal officer told a court that the tribe has found burial rock piles and other sites of historic significance to Native Americans that have been disturbed by the construction crews involved with building the pipeline.

Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault II also added that the crews removed topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for 2 miles and that “This demolition is devastating. These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.”

But also worth noting is the fact the Sioux say their major water supply… their drinking water… will also be threatened. The construction will have a very probable deleterious effect on the drinking water for thousands of Sioux people on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as well as millions of others down river.

Big Oil says, “Hey… our pipelines are safe… sure there are some accidents but overall the lines are safe.”

Crude oil pipeline incidents: 2010 to present
Crude oil pipeline incidents: 2010 to present

Fact is… them accidents? They are almost… practically… an almost daily occurrence. According to High Country News, since 2010 “… 3,000 incidents of crude oil and liquefied natural gas leaks or ruptures have occurred on U.S. pipelines…” and 80 people have died, more than 350 people have been injured… and the cost to land… farm and grazing lands as well as various communities has been in the billions…. at last counting about $3 billion. High country also adds that these incidents have “released toxic, polluting chemicals in local soil, waterways, and air.” And, “Over 1,000 of these incidents occurred on pipelines carrying crude oil.”

Since, these “incidents’ happen many more times than most of us know, it is not impossible and actually very probable that the Dakota Access pipeline will eventually suffer the same fate as other pipelines… which is… have an “incident.”

One more time… The Missouri River is the Standing Rock Sioux’s ONLY source of water.

As the protest by the Sioux tribe and their friends and allies has grown… again mostly, if not almost entirely, from social media publicity… the oil company has started hiring private security… with trained attack dogs. There have been incidents of people being pepper sprayed and most recently there was a verified report that the private cops had sicced the dogs on some of the protesters and injuries were reported by both sides… some requiring hospitalizations.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office said four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after several hundred protesters stood in defiance before the construction crews. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement that “individuals crossed onto private property and accosted private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles. Any suggestion that today’s event was a peaceful protest, is false.”

A Sioux spokesperson said the protesters had six people who had been bit by the security peep’s dogs including a young child. The spokesperson added that at least 30 people required attention for being pepper sprayed.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office said they were unaware of any protesters being injured or requiring medical attention of any sort.then and now

The corporate publicity geeks for Dakota Access, et. al, as well as the local sheriff’s department are saying the protesters have turned violent and were trespassing. And, once again mainstream media has been almost completely silent about what happened and when it has done any reporting it seems they slant the news towards the oil company’s perspective.

On the other side, the Sioux and others paint the Dakota Access Pipeline fight as a symbol of additional corporate overreach fostered by an ever growing greed that is determined to be fed regardless of the effects upon the people, the land, the clean water, and, an overall ecology that will become endangered and very likely poisoned beyond complete repair.

To say that I have done an effective 180 on my opinion of the usefulness of this pipeline is to put it in very mild terms.

As with most arguments and disputes, things tend to fall somewhere in the midst of it all. And, truth and lies come from both sides and there is a need to sort through it all. Although, I fear in this case the truth more often will be found on the side of the Sioux than the side of the Dakota Access.

Some people are saying this is another grass roots movement that has started much like the Black Lives Matter Movement, as a quest to stand against Big Oil, Big Finance and Big Government. But, understand this, if that be true then it is abhorrent how the media has effectively reported this…

… which is to say they have not done it very effectively at all.big_daddy_oilbucks

Which, when you think about it, is very effective.

Any perspective that we are hearing about this pipeline… if any news is being heard… is very likely slanted towards Dakota Access… it is very well may be tainted with more than just a bias. It may be tainted with a propaganda campaign against a people who have fought this battle many times previously… and have almost always come from the battle with wounds, with causalities and with many hard demeaning losses.

Remember who is involved here… Big Oil and Big Finance and Big Government….

Then remember that the media companies… the TV and radio companies and the newsprint as well as many websites are all brought and paid for… owned and controlled… by very rich corporate business people and their large megalithic corporations… who are ultimately controlled by the uber rich… the .01% of the 1%.

They try and tell us what they want us to know and little else.

Besides…

Ya know… I am just tired of hearing about another occasion where rich greedy people and big ass   corporations are breaking their word to the Tribal Nations of the Native American people. Our American history is littered with the harsh, racist and inhumane treatment done to these people by both the government and the business world, as well as greedy ass land grabbers. It is little taught in any of our school  but it is in the history annals if you just take the time to look. It is heartbreaking and despicable and any future ill treatment of Native Americans…as well as all other peoples…  needs to done away with for all eternity.

After all… what good is a man… or a  country… if he ain’t got his word?

Truth… that and our children are our most precious and valuable commodities. Without either we will eventually fail and have no future.

Jill was there…

And, oh yeah… one more thing…

Green Party candidate Jill Stein (c) meets with Dakota Access Pipeline protesters
Green Party candidate Jill Stein (c) meets with Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

 

The only politician… the only prez candidate… who showed up to show solidarity or just talk with the protesters… was Jill Stein, The Green Party candidate.

Another thousand words…

dunking-the-sun

 

This week’s gratuitous pictures…abby-lee-kershaw-6

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abby-lee-kershaw-4Abbey Lee Kershaw (29), known professionally as Abbey Lee, is an Australian fashion model, actress and musician… 

abby-lee-kershaw-5

abby-lee-keshaw-1

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Comments

comments

1 Comment

  1. Joe,

    As I write this, I am staring at a sticker to be put on a computer, a school binder, or (if I get lucky) someone’s forehead. It reads “SHUT DOWN LINE 5” and is distributed by Oiland WaterDon’tMix.org. It refers to a pipeline which brings crude oil from the Northern US Midwest and Canada through Michigan to a Marathon refinery in Detroit. It was put in place shortly after WW II ended and crosses the Straits of Mackinac.

    In addition to the other dangers you mention, this line (5) is very old. Enbridge (the current owner) claims it is safe–a claim mightily challenged even by experts. The Governor and State Legislature says they want to take action but are frozen into inaction due to being beholden to big oil (amoung other things).

    Even a minor leak could be catastrophic and a majot breech could cause environmental damage worse than a nuclear exchange in the area. Commerce using the Great Lakes (particularly Lakes Michigan and Huron) might be permantently stymied. A spill cound cause major devastation to places as far away as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, and even Montreal.

    I own shoreland on the Straits, so I am concerned. But it is not just me. Many others have a stake in preserving the Great Lakes, private landowners, businesses (both local and those who need the water for manufacturing and shipping). The ancestrial grounds of several Native American groups would also be destroyed by a major “incident.”

    Dakota Access is but one issue in a long line of such issues, going back two-thirds of a century. Let us hope that proper alternatives to them are found before we have a “pipeline three-mile-island or Chernobyl.”

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