Kicking Kirchmeier.

Oceti Sakowin Camp. © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

There’s a petition, and yes, I know people get petition tired, but please click on over and sign this one, to remove the murder-minded and incompetent Kirchmeier from his position as Sheriff of Morton County. Kirchmeier took a brutal stance from the beginning, and as some of you will recall from the Standing Rock posts, he spread misinformation and outright lies from the beginning, and never stopped telling lies, either. He used all the climate justice warriors as an excuse to spend outrageous amounts of money on military equipment, so he could play a latter day Custer, obviously hoping for better results. In the end, his unholy alliance with the oil companies worked out just fine for him, giving him equipment to oppress and harm, all while lining his pockets. Please help out by adding your name to the petition.
 
Remove Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, of the Morton County Sheriff’s Office.

Zuul crurivastator.

Zuul crurivastator, a newly discovered species of armoured dinosaur named after a creature from Ghostbusters, is shown at the Royal Ontario Museum. (Andrew Francis Wallace).

“It has this very short, broad snout, and then it has these two sets of horns that project backwards from the eye; one above the eye and one a little bit further down. And that’s exactly what we see in the skull of this dinosaur.”

Research on the new species, led by Arbour, was published in the May issue of the Royal Society OpenScience journal.

Zuul, the dinosaur, is about 75 million years old. Its body was found in a river deposit in Montana’s Judith River Formation and spanned about six metres long.

The dinosaur’s skeleton was found almost entirely intact, according to Evans, noting it was “remarkably preserved” under 10 metres of rock.

“This is a dinosaur that would not have been exposed for paleontologists to find for probably hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years,” he said. “The fossil was never exposed to modern erosion or plant roots . . . so that means we have a level of preservation that is jaw-dropping.”

The skeleton had to be broken up into several pieces in order to be removed. Zuul likely weighed about 5,500 pounds, equivalent to the size of a white rhinoceros.

“This is very rare, to find a complete articulated skeleton, especially for this group of dinosaurs,” Arbour said. “They’re just not as common.”

Its species name, crurivastator, means “destroyer of shins,” a reference to a large knob of bone at the tip of its tail, which may have been used to strike the legs of predatory dinosaurs in defence, or for battle during contests for mates.

Researchers have preserved the large, sharp bony spikes that formed in Zuul’s skin over its tail and likely the entirety of its body, forming its armour. They also managed to maintain very rare keratin sheaths — the same material which forms finger nails, bird beaks and the top of turtle shells — and soft tissues such as its scales.

While the dinosaur’s colour is unknown, Evans said they believe it may have been brightly coloured due to its outer keratin layer.

Full story here.

Yeah, That Will Make Us Great.

Ahhh, the oh fucks are piling up again, a brief roundup…

Reveal News reported Friday that Trump plans to cut $60 million from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, which fights child labor, human trafficking and slavery around the world.

“The preliminary budget of President Donald Trump’s administration would eliminate $60 million in grants from the bureau’s budget, calling them ‘largely noncompetitive and unproven,’” wrote Reveal News’ Jennifer Gollan. “It suggested that the agency instead focus its efforts ‘on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.’”

The cuts would cripple the government’s ability to monitor child exploitation around the world and potentially interfere with tenets of 13 separate trade agreements. Furthermore, the measures would ultimately have the opposite effect of what the president intends. By allowing other countries to exploit child workers and other laborers, U.S. workers will be put at a disadvantage for using fair labor practices.

Full story here. Exploiting children, that’s sure to make Amerikkka Great Again, right?

Moving on to Health and Human Services, the Tiny Tyrant has appointed a vicious anti-choice activist. Well, as we all know, women don’t count for shit, so this certainly won’t downgrade that greatness, right?

President Donald Trump has tapped a well-known anti-abortion activist, Charmaine Yoest, for the position of assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Yoest is a senior fellow at American Values, a conservative group that says it opposes a “culture of death,” and the former president of Americans United for Life. AUL’s work has been key to moving anti-abortion bills forward on the state level, since it claims to have offered state lawmakers 32 different kinds of anti-abortion model legislation, according to its website.

Full story here.

And because destruction in pursuit of oil will certainly make everything great again, fuck the land, fuck the oceans, fuck the arctic, and there’s no climate change, either!

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that seeks to increase offshore oil drilling in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. The order leaves out the Pacific Ocean and Eastern Gulf regions.

During the signing ceremony on Friday, Trump emphasized that the order will open the Arctic for drilling.

“It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban,” the president said. “So hear that: It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban, and directs Secretary Zinke to allow responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our Treasury and jobs to our workers.”

President Barack Obama protected 98 percent of the Arctic Ocean from oil leasing in December 2016, under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The new order directs all areas protected as of July 2008 to be preserved, but anything else — including broad swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic — has been reopened.

Full story here.

The Tiny Tyrant spoke to the NRA, pledging his undying love and sucking up so damn hard, I’m amazed he didn’t swallow himself. Odd how weapons weren’t allowed at his little suck up session. Of course, what Amerikkka really needs to make it great are more guns, more, more, more! They are now sacred. Yep. There’s one lobby that will get whatever the fuck it wants. Way to drain the swamp there.  :Spits:

Trump pledged his allegiance to the powerful National Rifle Association, the country’s leading gun-rights advocacy group, at a convention attended by thousands. Elected in part on a law-and-order platform, Trump was the first sitting president to address the NRA since fellow Republican Ronald Reagan in 1983.

“As your president, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Trump told thousands of people attending the NRA’s annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

[…]

“You have a true friend and champion in the White House,” he said. “We want to assure you of the sacred right of self defense for all of our citizens.”

Full story here.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Saint Incredibeard.

Oh, does this photo ever make me laugh, it’s great. For the consciously hirsute out there, have a visit to Incredibeard, and don’t miss the Incredibeard Instagram. Part of their proceeds goes to help children access clean water, too, so you can get some nifty stuff for beard care, and be socially conscious, too.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has their Birds of North America up and running, and it is a great resource for all of us dinosaur watchers out there, check it out!

#Hints You Are In Hell.

The U.S. Forest Service is not happy. They have very good reason for that, too. Some reading on the destruction to come:

Trump to sign executive order putting two decades of national monuments in jeopardy.

Trump’s order on national monuments decried as corporate ‘give-away’.

Via Raw Story.

Ruth Hopkins Sums Up.

Putting Oil CEO Kelcy Warren on a Parks & Wildlife Board is ludicrous. Its like giving Darth Vader a spot on the Jedi Council.”

Yep. Who better to be a steward of wild spaces? Think Progress has the full story.

Climate Change, Now A Witch Hunt!

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has come to Exxon’s defense — again. AP Photo/Eric Gay, File.

Climate change, why it’s a witch hunt, it is, for real and true! What this is actually about is protecting Exxon, with republicans going full court testerical over the issue, claiming the usual excuse, freeze peach.

Citing Exxon Mobil’s right to “free speech,” 11 state attorneys general — all Republicans — filed in court this week to stop an investigation into the oil and gas giant’s decades-long history of climate denial.

The attorneys general — from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin — filed a brief to support Exxon’s request to stop the so-called “Exxon Knew” investigation, arguing that there is a “public policy debate” over climate change and that the investigation is an “unconstitutional abuse” of power.

“The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government witch-hunts such as this one, where officials use their authority and the threat of criminal prosecution to try and suppress speech on a viewpoint they disagree with,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

This isn’t the first time Texas has intervened in the investigation on behalf of the state’s largest company. Paxton and his counterpart from Arkansas filed on behalf of Exxon in May of last year when it challenged a Virgin Islands subpoena. Paxton has said the investigations are “ridiculous.”

Think Progress has the full story.

Also see:

The Earth just passed another carbon threshold.

Climate change will fuel terrorism, report warns.

Dow Chemical gave $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, now wants pesticide risk study buried.

Apocalyptic Vision: The Cultured He-Man and Survival Bros.

Valentino says he lives for months at a time in the woods. But he also likes art galleries and classical music. (Joe Riedl).

The doomsday prepper business is booming in Oregon, as well as other places. Willamette Week has a look at some of the apocalyptic entrepreneurs, from Valentino to a professional cuddler Survival Bro, to wealthy conservatives getting even wealthier in the apocalypse business. There’s a great deal of unintentional hilarity in the article, as well as the blatant fearmongering of the wealthier side of this business, so I recommend reading the whole thing.

…This is, after all, his business. For $190, he will take you up on the mountain for an “immersive, advanced survival training” course. His target market: “preppers”—a term commonly used to describe people obsessed with surviving cataclysmic societal collapse.

It’s a booming market.

“This is in vogue,” Valentino says.

[…]

Schlepping his packs on a plastic sled, Valentino leads a photographer and me over the snowy trail away from the parking lot at Barlow Pass Sno Park.

Partway up the trail, he remembers: “Oh! Safety.” He proceeds to explain all that could go wrong.

Mount Hood could explode. There could be an earthquake—he felt several tremors last year. Cougars could pounce from trees and eat our kidneys. We could disappear in a snow-covered pit. We could be impaled by a tree. Assuming good cellular service, help is two hours away.

Later, he remembers another thing. “I forgot,” he says. “Today there is avalanche warning.”

[…]

In the event of a catastrophe, Valentino says, Mount Hood will be no refuge. He expects it will be overrun with poorly trained, overconfident, trigger-happy preppers—more dangerous than in the city, where at least one could still find food and shelter.

“Let’s talk about shit hit the fan,” Valentino says. “People will not survive in the woods. They can’t. Something will happen. The cold will take them down. Or their own brain will take them down. And what if people have children?”

When the big shocks come, you won’t catch this mountain man running for the hills. Instead, he says, he’ll be in the city, helping others.

[…]

From a home base in Clatsop County, Ore., Cameron McKirdy runs a YouTube channel and website, survivalbros.com.

The site bills itself as “more than an emergency preparedness blog”: It’s also a “strong community” and an “alternative news” source (think conspiracy king Alex Jones). With his infotainment brand, McKirdy markets himself to millennials as a high-protein, fluoride-free guide to scraping by in the dystopian chaos.

[…]

McKirdy, 33, grew up in Seaside and attended the University of Oregon. He started taking survivalism seriously after a 2011 tsunami warning.

Like many people his age, he’s juggling multiple gigs. He was an announcer at mixed martial arts fights, but now he’s an on-call professional cuddler with Portland business Cuddle Up to Me, offering platonic embraces for $1 a minute.

McKirdy also works retail at a nutrition store, which confers a discount on the protein powders that compose much of his diet. Sometimes he wins cash prizes in eating competitions, and he makes about $100 a month from ads on his Survival Bros YouTube channel, which has roughly 6,000 subscribers.

[…]

Since McKirdy’s method amounts to small-time grifting, I ask what the difference is between being a Survival Bro and a hobo. “I prioritize self-care and hygiene,” he replies.

[…]

From their $844,000 home in Portland’s West Hills, David and Beth Pruett travel the country selling homemade first-aid kits and teaching informal classes about emergency medicine.

Since living through the San Francisco earthquake in 1989, the Pruetts have stockpiled supplies, made checklists and practiced for the next disaster. David is a U.S. Navy veteran and an emergency medicine doctor at Oregon Health & Science University.

In 2011, David designed a compact, individual first-aid kit, the iFak, which is short for “individual first-aid kit” and stocked with medicines, bandages, implements and adhesives. Soon the couple turned their hobby into a preparedness business and blog, amp-3.net, which Beth runs from home, selling iFaks, radio gear, books like The Survival Nurse and Modern Weapons Caching, and some self-produced instructional DVDs. In 2015, Beth says, Amp-3 topped $140,000 in sales.

They get a lot of online sales, but it’s more effective to go where the customers are: prepper conventions.

The full story is here.

National Parks: WPA to 2050.

What America’s National Parks will look like by 2050 if we fail to act against climate change.

Hannah Rothstein has taken some of the iconic WPA (Works Progress Administration) National Parks Posters, from 1938 to 1941, and updated them to 2050 and a catastrophic future if we do not act on climate change. It’s a striking and effective way to get the message across, because the art and legacy of these posters is so well known, and they are beloved by many people. The WPA posters were a message and invitation to weary, beaten down people dealing with the Depression, that there were wonders, come and see! They were a promise of hope, of a better future. Now we have too many people who are actively denying climate change, or apathetic about it, little realizing that yes, it will most certainly impact them, and not in a good way. These re-worked posters are as brilliant as the originals, reminding people that if we choose to not act, we are inviting the harbingers of doom. These are a call to action, and I hope they start popping up all over the place.

You can see all of the posters, and purchase an original or fine art print here.

Via Raw Story.

Dakota Access Allowed to Keep Risks Secret.

© Marty Two Bulls.

It’s not enough that the pipeline went through, and once again, drinking water is threatened (which is fine, of course, because Indians), but ETP can now keep risk information to themselves. Just keeps getting worse. And to those people who think they are helping through vandalism? You aren’t, so fucking stop it.

Despite concerns that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline could threaten the primary source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux, a federal judge ruled that the pipeline’s developer can keep some information about spill risks secret from the public.

The ruling — which would permit Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, to keep information about spill risks at certain points along the pipeline shielded from the public — comes after unknown protesters used a torch to burn holes in empty above-ground segments of the pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes had argued that information about spill risks could potentially strengthen their case for more environmental review of the project.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg rejected that argument, saying that shielding the information from public view would prevent vandalism of the pipeline.

“The asserted interest in limiting intentionally inflicted harm outweighs the tribes’ generalized interests in public disclosure and scrutiny,” Boasberg said in his ruling.

[…]

Pipeline spills in North Dakota are not uncommon — according to analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity, North Dakota has averaged four pipeline spills a year since 1996, costing more than $40 million in property damage.

Under the Trump administration’s proposed budget, the Environmental Protection Agency would face sharp cuts in its enforcement programs, limiting its ability to enforce and penalize companies that violate environmental laws. When pipeline operators, for instance, violate laws like the Clean Water Act by spilling pollutants into waterways, the EPA is normally the agency that imposes fines on those operators. Last week, for instance, the EPA and the Department of Justice issued a fine against a pipeline operator in Ohio that violated the Clean Water Act by discharging approximately 1,950 barrels of gasoline from a pipeline into nearby waterways.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Edinburgh Remakery.

Here’s a grand undertaking, and one desperately needed all over the place. We have become so accustomed to living in a consumer driven throwaway manner, and even when people want to be thrifty, or would prefer to fix something, there’s often no option to do so.

The Edinburgh Remakery is a social enterprise that teaches repair. The shop sells refurbished computers and furniture, and hosts workshops where people can come along and learn how to repair their own things. There’s a big vision behind it: “we want to generate a repair revolution. This means changing the way people use and dispose of resources, encouraging manufacturers to build things to last and to be fixable, and making sure the facilities are in place to allow people to repair and reuse.”

Films for Action has the full story.