Canada: Trudeau Okays Two Pipeline Projects.

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On Tuesday, Canada’s Liberal government approved two major oil pipelines that, if constructed, would send one million more barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s tar sands — known in Canada as oil sands — to markets overseas. The move brought a chorus of criticism from environmentalists and indigenous communities, which have fought hard against the pipeline projects.

The move could be a major setback for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who came into power on a progressive platform that included strong climate action. He has spoken out in favor of the Paris climate agreement, and, under his leadership, Canada has announced plans to enact a nationwide carbon tax. But approving two pipeline projects — even while rejecting the Northern Gateway pipeline — will certainly damage his credibility with environmentalists who had hoped Trudeau’s leadership would signal a clean break from the policies of his predecessor, climate-denier Stephen Harper.

During the announcement, Trudeau acknowledged that the decision was bound to upset many across Canada, but argued that the projects were in the best interest of the country and the economy.

[…]

“Today’s announcement may as well have said that Canada is pulling out of the Paris climate agreement,” Aurore Fauret, Tar Sands Campaign Coordinator with 350.org, said in a statement. “By approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines, there is no way Canada can meet those commitments. Justin Trudeau has broken his promises for real climate leadership, and broken his promise to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples.”

[…]

Vancouver residents — as well as residents of Washington state, which shares waters with the Port of Vancouver — worry that increased oil traffic will raise the risk of a major spill off the Vancouver coast. The product from Alberta’s tar sands is a particularly heavy type of oil known as bitumen, which sinks when released in water, instead of rising to the surface like other oils. That makes cleaning up bitumen spills incredibly difficult and costly — instead of skimming oil off the top of the water, cleaning up bitumen usually requires dredging, which can have serious detrimental effects on ecosystems. Indigenous communities along the Vancouver coast are worried that such a spill could devastate important species like salmon and orcas.

“This issue is as black and white as the killer whales they endanger,” Charlene Aleck, a spokeswoman for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, said in a statement. “This is about our survival and the protection of our home, this inlet and the planet. They are making a big mistake, we will not allow this pipeline to be built.”

[…]

Local environmental activist groups, however, voiced their disapproval of Trudeau’s decision.

“As thousands of water protectors continue to make camp in winter conditions at Standing Rock, more crude oil pipelines are the last thing the Midwest needs,” Andy Pearson, Midwest tar sands coordinator with MN350, said in a statement. “The Canadian approval of Line 3 is a slap in the face to the landowners and indigenous community members of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, who will work harder than ever to make sure this dirty tar sands pipeline does not cross into the United States.”

[…]

On Tuesday, hours before Trudeau’s decision to approve the two pipeline expansion projects, news broke that Kellyanne Conway, President-elect Trump’s campaign manager and senior transition adviser, would be traveling to Canada before the inauguration to tour Alberta’s tar sands.

The move has lead to speculation that the incoming Trump administration might renew the Keystone XL project, something that Trump promised during his campaign. Following Trump’s Electoral College win on November 8, TransCanada — the company behind Keystone — released a statement saying it was eager to work with a Trump administration.

“TransCanada remains fully committed to building Keystone XL,” company spokesman Mark Cooper said.

We can all thank Prime Minister Trudeau for jumping on the oil wagon, and guaranteeing that Indigenous peoples in Canada and uStates will be endangered and royally screwed over. Thanks ever.

Full story here.

Europe: 4 out of 10 say rape may be justifiable in certain circumstances.

noA new survey reveals that a quarter of Europeans think that rape is justifiable in some cases, notably in situations where a person is drunk or drugged, or agrees to go with someone. There are several sources available, and you can read the full 102 page report here.

Article One, Article Two, Article Three.

Every Day of December is a #NoDAPL Day of Action.

Help Amplify, This Is Very Important, Thunderclap!

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Take Action! * Banks Target Map.

There’s more at the Sacred Stone Camp Blog. http://sacredstonecamp.org/blog/december-action.

Reuters has the latest on the Thug’s action plan. Oh yes, they are just so darned concerned about people in the cold, that’s why they are trying to cut off supplies and threatening people bringing supplies with a $1,000 fine. So compassionate!

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Missouri Pipeline Explodes.

Standing Rock Protester Shot in Face With Tear Gas Canister May Go Blind.

Breitbart: We Represent American Values.

Breitbart is declaring a war on advertisers after various companies announced they’re jumping ship over the outlet’s controversial content, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

On Tuesday, Kellogg announced that it would no longer advertise with Breitbart since the site has come under fire for its racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic commentary.

Kellogg is far from the only company to withdraw advertising from Breitbart, but it seems the Kellogg withdrawal really got up their collective nose.

Breitbart and some of its right-wing audience are now declaring a war on advertisers who are dropping the site. The site’s CEO Larry Solov said, “We’ll handle this the way we always do — war.”

Solov added, “What you’re seeing is Kellogg’s and others buying into a false, left-wing narrative that our 45 million readers are deplorables … Our readers are mainstream America and, frankly, that’s who these advertisers risk alienating. They’re creating economic censorship of conservative discourse. They say we don’t represent their values — but we represent American values.”

Mm hmmm. I’m American, and I can say with no uncertainty, you do not in any way represent my values. If you want to say you represent white supremacist American values, fine, can’t argue that one, but you don’t get to speak for every single person in this country. Not yet, anyway.

At least one blogger seemed to agree with Solov’s assessment. John Hinderaker wrote for PowerLineBlog.com that Frosted Flakes should be boycotted — much like Hamilton and Starbucks.

Hinderaker wrote, “I am not generally a fan of boycotts, but this, like so much else in our civic life, has been a one-way street. Executives at companies like Kellogg need to understand that ours is not a one-party state.”

No, American is not a one-party country. What you seem to miss is that freedom, and choice, is not a one way deal. No one ever gets as whiny and starts stamping their little feet like conservatives, when they are reminded that freedom of speech, choice, and freedom of action is not theirs alone – people who disagree with them get those things, too. Oh, they love their free speech until someone dares to criticize them, and then it’s awful, and those critics should be made to shut up. It’s all tears and war and threats whenever anyone dares to disagree:

He added, “A final observation: most cereal like Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops is consumed by children. Who has more children, liberals or conservatives? Right. Kellogg might want to start looking for a new CEO.”

People with a whole herd of sproggen already tend to buy the knock-offs of popular cereals, and as many conservatives embody the quality of the finest skinflints, I expect many of them do the same. People who have a smaller amount of children probably find it easier to indulge their sproggen with preferred brands in smaller boxes. Anyroad, I doubt this will be as simple a matter as you like. People can be oddly dedicated to breakfast cereals. As for Starbucks, you’re boycotting now? Really. Huh, last time I looked, droves of Trumpoids were buying at Starbucks, having the brilliant idear of giving their name as “Trump”, declaring that some sort of glorious victory over us lefties.

Perhaps they should add Apple to the list of companies to boycott, since the App Store officially removed the Breitbart News app last week.

:Laughs: That’s a splendid idea! All you cons, toss all your iPods, smartphones, and lovely Macs into the trash. Go on now, you know you can do without.

Via Raw Story.

Swastika Cupcakes and…(Continuation 11)

Swastika cupcake (KPNX/screen grab).

Swastika cupcake (KPNX/screen grab).

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. – Sweet treats at a Jewish teen’s birthday party in Paradise Valley turned into an offensive message after young party goers decided to decorate their cupcakes with swastika symbols.

Pictures of the swastika topping began spreading on social media after the teen’s mom posted about what happened on Facebook, writing that she hoped it could be used as a teaching moment for parents.

According to the post the girls are all friends and told the Jewish teen’s mom they did it to “be funny.”

The teen’s mother also posted that her daughter and the girls at the party had just had a lesson on the holocaust, so she believed they knew very well what the symbol meant.

Carlos Galindo-Elvira, the director of the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona says parents need to teach their children about the meaning symbols tied to acts of hate like the swastika.

“When you joke with symbols like the swastika you begin to normalize them and make it very casual within our society,” Galindo Elvira told 12 News.

“It’s a joke!” “It’s funny!” No, it’s not a joke. No, it isn’t funny. I never see an explanation as to just what makes this sort of thing funny. All I see is an increase in an empathy deficit in people. That’s no joking matter either. Via KPNX.

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All the Disciples and Crocodile Tears.

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Crocodile Tears.

The evangelist Rick Joyner has quite a lot to say about Trump. Silly, unbelievable bullshit, but I’m sure those who listen to him will happily buy it.

On his most recent “Prophetic Perspectives on Current Events” program, televangelist Rick Joyner declared that President-elect Donald Trump is a “tough as nails” leader who is also deeply compassionate and religious …. not unlike the disciples whom Jesus chose.

Yeah, yeah, Jesus was a real tough guy, and those disciples were thugs. Does it matter? No one actually knows if a Jesus actually existed, and if he did, well, let’s just say the story got super-exaggerated. The point is that the soft clay figures of Jesus and crew can be made over into whatever image any one person wants, the premier feature of all gods, because after all, they are made in our images, not the other way around.

Joyner said that he met with Trump once before the election and discussed Trump’s plans to address illegal immigration. During the discussion, Joyner claimed, he “saw the tears well up” in Trump’s eyes at the thought that his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants could split up families.

“He was about to bust out crying,” Joyner claimed. “He said, ‘We can’t do that, we can’t hurt the families, we’ve got to fix that.’”

That’s one way to get me gagging early in the morning. He seriously expects people to believe this bullshit, after months of intense hatred hurled at anyone who wasn’t pasty white? Lazy, liars, rapists, but hey, I don’t want to break up families, we must make sure they are *all* deported! FFS, what a load of crap. Building that bloody stupid wall was a central part of Trump’s platform, one which got mass amounts of people on board with his idiocy and hate.

Joyner insisted that Trump is also “one of the most honest people I’ve met” and that he possesses a “remarkable fear of the Lord,” so much so that he fired his campaign manager after learning that “this guy was cutting off these Christian leaders from being able to contact him.”

“When he heard that, the guy was gone right away,” Joyner said.

Honest? I’ve lost count of how many times Trump has been indicted for fraud. He’s certainly paid out millions upon millions in such cases to prevent being convicted. He can’t open his mouth without lying. Fact-checking website Politifact, who fact-checked at least 337 of Trump’s statements on the campaign trail and since his election victory, noted that 19 percent of his claims were “mostly false,” 34 percent were “false,” and 18 percent were “pants on fire.” And the lies continue. He lies about the popular vote, he lies about everything. No, honesty is not a virtue of Trump’s. It’s not a virtue of Joyner’s, either. Trump fired a number of campaign managers, and I doubt anyone was fired for “cutting off access to Christian leaders”.

“If you look at the disciples that Jesus chose, they were all Donald Trump,” Joyner later declared. “Every one of them were Donald Trumps.”

Well, there’s a nasty image, leaves a bad taste in the brain. Good description of Christianity though.

Via RRW and Raw Story.

Great Genes. The Best Genes! Probably Yuuge, Too.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

Most people have heard by now that Steve Bannon is a believer in genetic superiority. Well, as long as your genes are nice and white. That’s not good news, given his hand is well up Trump’s backside. Compounding the bad news is that Trump is also convinced that genetic superiority is a for real thing, and naturally, he thinks he has said superiority, why he’s just bursting with scientific racism! Oh, I mean genetic superiority. Naturally, all the white supremacists, nazis or otherwise, are brimming with happiness over this news. These don’t even qualify as dog whistles to the white supremacists, more like disaster sirens, because the rhetoric is very plain, there’s little to no attempt to mask it, or wrap it up in flowery bullshit.

Trump has repeatedly connected his success to his “good genes,” as ThinkProgress previously reported. He’s said that his children “don’t need adversity” to build character or skills, because they share his good genetics. In an interview once, he went so far as to compare himself to a “racehorse” and discussing his “breeding” at length.

The belief in the genetic predisposition of qualities like intelligence are a hallmark of white nationalism.

That’s nothing to do with “good genes”. It does have everything to do with being born with a whole set of silver spoons, along with being fed a gross sense of entitlement, especially when much of that came from a wealthy father who was a known bigot. It’s not difficult to see this pattern was repeated with Trump’s own children. Money! Gold! Money, Money, Money! You own the world, babies! If Trump was bursting with this mythical genetic goodness, we might expect to see something like intelligence, and a lifetime spent in cultivating thought, along with how to think, which is something you do have to learn. Instead, Trump swallowed his sense of entitlement whole, where it continued to swell beyond measure, and has spent a lifetime perpetrating fraud, conning people, and occasionally taking time out to assault women, because of course, he and his super genes own all of them, too. But he did inherit all that money, that counts, right? Trump has also gone on, at length, about the importance of breeding. Makes a person wonder why he divorced the first race horse, oh, I meant wife. I guess once she bred, her usefulness was over.

As for his children not needing adversity to build character or skills, all I can say is that money is no substitute. No parent wants their children to meet undue adversity, but it is rather important to learn how to deal with disappointment, a lack of instant gratification, and the like. That simply makes for a better person. When you’re wandering about with the attitude that you can do whatever you want, and get whatever you want when you want it, there isn’t much room for character. I was unaware that lots of good genes makes learning skills unnecessary. Now piles of money, yes, that does rather cancel out the need for skills. Cancels out an ongoing connection with others too, and learning empathy and compassion. But, genes! Really good genes!

Edited to add: If you’d like an interesting insight into how this particular method of child-rearing worked, PZ has a post up at Pharyngula about Ivanka Trump’s recollection of their childhood fleecing of servants and playmates.

There are so many things to worry about, and this is yet another one. No matter how much “scientific” racism is debunked, there are too many people who hold onto it with a death grip, anything in order to justify a sense of superiority, who will cheer this on, and pour support into any policy which may reinforce this notion. Given the amount of white supremacists now poised for power, this is profoundly troubling.

Full story here.

A Fake News Story About Fake News.

Screenshots.

Screenshots.

Well, let us all congratulate mainstream media, shall we? After all, they’ve learned such a lesson about fake news, and what a problem it is, and they reported on it and everything! Goodness, they even wrote non-flattering items about facebook, oh my! All that sudden integrity lasted about a week, as noted by Think Progress:

It lasted about a week. As a story on Friday illustrated, alleged hackers needn’t have much bothered getting out of bed, as the media is still more than equal to the task of spreading fake news on its own. This time it came in the form of a report that CNN had accidentally broadcast 30 minutes of hardcore transgender pornography on Thanksgiving night in place of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”

If you were hoping to concoct a viral hoax, you couldn’t do much better than this one. It had a little bit of everything: sex, a largely disliked subject screwing up in the form of CNN, the delightfully discordant holiday angle, and ready-made punchlines riffing off the title. Add in the fact that it was a slow post-Thanksgiving Friday, with many newsrooms understaffed and weekend editors desperate for something to drive traffic, and it’s easy to see why this particular story spread so quickly to dozens of major news sites throughout the entire world in a matter of hours. But it didn’t make it any less maddening, and downright depressing, to watch as it happened in real time.

[Read more…]

No Citizenship for You! Or You! Or You!

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana.

I had thought that Richard Dawkins was the prime example of old, white, straight male privilege spilling out all over Twitter like toxic waste. We have a new winner for that position, one Donald Trump. For fuck’s sake, if he can’t control himself on effing Twitter, what does that say for when he’s handed the keys to the country?

Adorable, isn’t it, electing a jackass who doesn’t know one thing about government, history, the constitution, or the bill of rights. These are things you should know from grade school, but as we’ll see in an upcoming post, Trump doesn’t think that sort of thing matters, no. It’s just as well to keep in mind that this may well be another smoke screen, give the rubes something to watch, while I do this next evil thing. It’s best not to forget the proposal for legislating “economic terrorism“, aka protests. Everyone in the resistance has to keep all this in mind. Okay, back to the current idiocy:

But even setting aside Trump’s unconstitutional call to criminalize flag burning, which became a staple of American conservative politics long before Trump emerged as a presidential candidate, Trump is calling for something even more extraordinary. He wants to strip citizenship — and with it, voting rights — from political dissidents. Federal law does permit Americans to lose their citizenship after “committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States,” but flag burning is a far cry from treason or armed rebellion. It is a political statement, and democracy depends on the free expression of political ideas.

The president-elect of the United States has proposed stripping a political protester’s very status as an American. In the process, he would take away that person’s ability to vote — and thus to vote for someone other than Donald Trump. Today, Trump proposes this consequence for a very specific category of speech that most Americans view as odious. But once a person’s voting rights can be made contingent upon their beliefs, or their silence, then elections become increasingly meaningless.

We have to remember that Trump isn’t done appointing people as of yet; we have to remember that people with truly repugnant views control the senate and congress, so there’s little point scoffing with a “can’t happen”. We’ve seen what can happen. If that “economic terrorism” bill goes through, and there’s no particular reason to think it won’t, especially given Standing Rock, this isn’t quite as impossible as it seems right now. It doesn’t even matter whether or not Trump means what he says, he said it, he said it in a very public manner, and all the bigots, white supremacists, and other weak people who are desperate for a chance to kick others will embrace it. Welcome to the Nightmare.

Via Think Progress. * Support The Resistance.

Heavy, Wet, Deep.

Tuesday is usually go into town day, but the town plow has not been out, and no one is going anywhere until the roads are somewhat cleared. The snow is around 15″ deep, very wet and heavy. It’s windy, too, supposed to be 30mph winds tomorrow. The photos are of bits of the two deck pines, one in front, one to the side. Click for full size.

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© C. Ford.