South Dakota: New Attack on Transgender Kids.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). CREDIT: AP Photo/James Nord.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). CREDIT: AP Photo/James Nord.

Last year, Gov. Daugaard vetoed an anti-transgender bill, after meeting with a number of transgender persons. Unsurprisingly, the bigoted bill is back on the table, with a new twist.

The 2017 bill, SB 115, has the same purpose as last year’s: blocking schools from letting transgender students from accessing bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. But there’s a new word included in the bill — one not seen in other anti-transgender bills — that could set a dangerous new precedent for legislation designed to discriminate against transgender people.

“The term, biological sex, as used in this Act, means a person’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth,” the bill reads. “A person’s original birth certificate may be relied upon as definitive evidence of the person’s biological sex.”

That word “original” means there would be no way for any transgender person to ever obtain legal recognition.

Currently, in South Dakota, transgender people can obtain court orders to amend their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity without any specific medical requirements.


But if anti-trans legislation starts referring to “original birth certificates” like South Dakota’s new bill does, that would further limit the already-few ways trans people have to protect their gender identities under the law. Indeed, it would eliminate the relevance of any legal documentation they obtain that confirms their gender identity.


Given South Dakota’s otherwise-identical bill made it all the way to the governor’s desk last year, this year’s version could similarly have legs. And there’s nothing to stop the many other states considering various anti-trans bills from incorporating the same change or propose new bills with this extra rejection of transgender identities.

This is absolutely evil, and so unnecessary. I’m tired of saying it should not be alright to legislate hate and bigotry. I would hope that Daugaard find the spine to do the right thing again, but I’m doubtful. Even if he does, this will be picked up by spiteful, bigoted, hateful, christian asses in many other states.

Full story at Think Progress.

Upcoming Marches.


Resistance in Philly: Fighting for Our Lives. January 26th.



Planned Parenthood Counter Protest. February 11th.



San Diego Climate Change Rally. February 21st.



Latinx Against Trump @ Chicago. February 25th.



Stop the Trump Agenda in Chicago. February 19th.



NoDAPL, Central NJ, January 28th. Keep up with #NoDAPL for news.

Normally, I would post about this, but all I can do is scream at all the fucking lies, so go read about the fucking asshole of the day.

There are an additional 9 more marches coming up, you can see them all, with links, at The Advocate.

Oh Gods. More Assholes.

Credit: Youtube.

Credit: Youtube.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Sen. Dan Bishop, a Charlotte Republican, has proposed a new measure that would make it a crime to “threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties.”

The measure came in response to a video in which several protesters followed Ex-Gov. McCrory down a street in Washington, D.C. while chanting things like “Shame!” and “Anti-gay bigot!”

“If Gov. McCrory were a former official of the District of Columbia, this incident might have been a crime punishable by five years in prison,” Bishop in an official statement. “So should it be in North Carolina. This is dangerous. Jim Hunt, Bev Purdue and other governors never faced riotous mobs in their post-service, private lives, without personal security.”

Chanting “Shame!” and “Anti-gay bigot” are not dangerous. They might be embarrassing, yes. And a shameful bigot like McCrory certainly would have his little ears burning, but it’s still not dangerous. Five years in prison? Unfuckingbelievable. Is there any redeeming feature to self righteous rethuglicans? Just one? Because I never see one. People are fighting for basic human rights and the rethug answer? Prison! If there are any repubs who think they are chock full of redeeming features, you’re staying awfully quiet.

At no point in the video did any protester physically touch McCrory or make any threat against the former governor.

And since issuing threats to public officials is already a crime, the scope of Bishop’s bill would likely depend on how it defines “harassment” and “retaliation” against current or former government officials.

And there’s the heart of it. In the new Fascist States of America, you should not have the right to criticise. So much for those vaunted frozen peaches.* Full story here. *Free Speech / Freeze Peach / Frozen Peaches.

And in Louisiana, all that matters are blue lives, the rest of us can just go to hell or prison, whichever comes first:

Following suit with the Trump administration’s law enforcement platform, police in Acadiana, Louisiana have used the state’s new “Blue Lives Matter” law. Louisiana is the first state to enact such a law, which aims to protect the conduct of police officers by slamming people who resist arrest with hate crime charges.

“We don’t need the general public being murdered for no reason and we don’t need officers being murdered for no reason. We all need to just work together,” said the St. Martinville Police Chief, Calder Hebert in defense of the new law. “Resisting an officer or battery of a police officer was just that charge, simply. But now, Governor Edwards, in the legislation, made it a hate crime now.”

CBS News correspondent David Begnaud clarified on Twitter that the police chief’s language was inaccurate, according to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ communications director. However, the Blue Lives Matter provision has already been used to charge someone with a hate crime.

If the response to protesters at Donald Trump’s inauguration is any indication of what’s to come from police, any Blue Lives Matter law that seeks to slap felony hate crime charges on people for resisting arrest is just another component of a serious crackdown on dissent.

Based on Louisiana’s Blue Lives Matter law, anyone who resists arrest or uses physical force against an officer can now be charged with a felony hate crime, a serious offense that will only further criminalize those most affected by abusive policing. Hate crimes are punishable by ten years to life in prison.

Again, the only answer: prison. And that’s for lawful dissent. Dark days. Full story here.

Indigenous Roundup: Avenger Missiles, No Clemency, Decampment.

Courtesy Gary Dorr.

Courtesy Gary Dorr.

Mobile Avenger Missile Launcher Appears at Standing Rock.

A first-hand account of the terrifying deployment of an anti-aircraft device pointed at people.

Later, a veteran buddy looked it up to be sure, matched it up with our pictures, and based on his experience noted:

“My suspicion is that the Avenger Missile Systems deployed to Standing Rock are a cost-effective alternative to having an Apache Helo flying overhead when they need it. The Avenger system has Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Capabilities. The civilian plane and helicopter probably don’t have FLIR and that is when they need an Apache Helo to “monitor” situations under darkness and record for evaluation later. Instead of calling up the Apache, they can have Avengers on-site for instant intelligence day or night. The Avenger system also has video capabilities. It costs them far less to have an Avenger system on the ground 24 hrs a day than to deploy an Apache Helo occasionally. The security ground forces have Night Vision but the Avenger has FLIR and a laser rangefinder along with video capabilities. The FLIR will be at least a plate-sized round lense mounted on the weapon rail on the left side (driver side) if there is one. Just a suspicion. If I am correct, there should be more info to request in a FOIA. The sheriff’s Department can’t all have TS Sec clearances so if they brief them all using Avenger footage, it should be low hanging fruit that would be unclassified.”

[Read more…]

A Shameful Justice System.

Pearl Pearson Jr., a deaf man who was charged with resisting arrest after not listening to officers' instructions.

Pearl Pearson Jr., a deaf man who was charged with resisting arrest after not listening to officers’ instructions.

A deaf man from Oklahoma has been cleared of charges that he resisted arrest because he allegedly failed to hear police officers’ orders.

Pearson was originally pulled over by troopers in February of 2014, and was slapped with a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest after not obeying officers’ instructions.


Pearson claims that he tried to inform the troopers who pulled him over that he was deaf, and he says that they proceeded to beat him after pulling him from his vehicle. His 2014 mug shot clearly shows a swollen eye and other injuries that he alleges came from his encounter with police.


The district attorney cleared the troopers of any criminal wrongdoing in the case, but charged Pearson with a misdemeanor of resisting arrest.

Yes, of course you did, after all, beating the shit out of people is just another day at work, right? Perfectly okay that, and to insist on preferring charges against a deaf person. Makes perfect sense if you’re a regressive, backwards asshole.

Attorneys for Pearson had successfully argued Pearson needed special interpreters for his trial. Pearson learned sign language during segregation, which means his way of communicating differs from traditional American Sign Language, or ASL. District Attorney David Prater, who appeared for the state in person at the hearing requesting interpreters, did not object to the request.

Pearson’s attorney, Scott Adams, says prosecutors told him they were dismissing the case due to the costs associated with the special interpreters for court. The case was scheduled to go to trial next week.

Online court records indicate the case was dismissed without cost to Pearson, though he has had to pay for his own defense attorneys.

Court documents filed by prosecutors say the cost of Pearson’s misdemeanor trial could meet or exceed $40,000.

“It is the District Attorney’s responsibility to be a good steward of the taxpayer’s money,” Prater wrote.

Oh, right. So that’s what it is, deciding on what to do with taxpayer money, sort of an accounting thing, not a justice thing. Mr. Pearson won’t see any justice for being beaten by cops; he’ll still have to pay his lawyers, and if it weren’t for the need to pay special interpreters, you would have gladly wasted a lot of money persecuting him for no good reason. Perhaps with some of that 40k you saved, you should put out some public service announcements: Danger! Don’t Be Deaf Around Cops! Danger! Especially Don’t Be Black and Deaf, No!

Via Raw Story and KOKH.

The Painting Hated by the GOP.

David Pulphus's painting in response to the Ferguson unrest, "Untitled #1", won first place in Missouri's 1st Congressional District in the 2016 United States Congressional Art Competition.

David Pulphus’s painting in response to the Ferguson unrest, “Untitled #1”, won first place in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District in the 2016 United States Congressional Art Competition.

Each year since 1982, the Congressional Institute has sponsored a high school art competition whereby students submit artwork to their congressional representative’s office, which in turn selects a winner. The 435 winning artworks are then exhibited in Washington, DC, hung salon style in a hallway between the Capitol Building and Longworth House Office Building for a year. The office of Representative William Lacy Clay, a Democrat from St. Louis, Missouri, selected a painting by Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School senior David Pulphus in early May 2016. Early this month, the untitled painting was hung in the Capitol. A few days later, the Independent Journal Review, a right-wing website with a mixed record on factual reporting, published an article titled, “Painting of Cops as Pigs Hung Proudly in US Capitol.” A cycle of outrage began. Fox News picked up the story. In a ginned up moment, Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican from San Diego, California unscrewed the painting from the wall, delivered it to Representative Clay’s office, and went to Fox News to brag about it. Today, Representative Clay and members of the Congressional Black Caucus rehung the painting. Shortly thereafter Representative Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, removed it again, only to have Representative Clay rehang it again. Congressional Republicans are discussing how to remove it permanently.

The full story is at Hyperallergic. For people who almost never shut up about being persecuted or censored (or criticized), conservatives are always the first ones to try and censor anything they don’t like.

MMIW Website.


Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women should sign up for MMIW inquiry emails while they wait to register to participate, inquiry commission officials say.

The emails will provide updates ahead of the inquiry, which is expected to begin in spring.

“We want to create a families first process,” said Michael Hutchinson, the commission’s director of communications. “Nobody has a list of the people that want to take part in the national inquiry.… We’re trying to collect that information from families.”

The MMIW inquiry has a new website, where families should be able to register soon.


The commission is only now starting to connect with families through the new website, to develop a database of who wants to give formal testimony to the commission in the new year.

Hutchinson said they are developing a form to simplify the process of registering with the inquiry.

A crisis line is also available for family members or friends who need support at 1-844-413-6649.

Via CBC.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Ethics? We don’t need no stinkin’ ethics!


In a secret vote held behind closed doors Monday night, House Republicans voted to cripple the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body created in 2008 to rein in corruption and other misconduct by members of Congress.

The move was spearheaded “by lawmakers who have come under investigation in recent years,” according to Politico. Among those speaking in favor of the changes were Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who was accused by a staffer of sexual harassment, and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), who allegedly received “an impermissible gift when he and his wife traveled to Taiwan in October 2011.”

Under the new rules, the Office of Congressional Ethics would be renamed the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and, critically, lose its independence. It would be placed under the auspices of the House Ethics Committee, which famously has turned a blind eye to wrongdoing by members of Congress. It became clear that an independent body was necessary after scandals largely ignored by the the Ethics Committee sent several members of Congress, including Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Bob Ney, to jail.

Ooooh, a complaints department! We’re all so sure that will work wonderfully, right?

Many of the new restrictions on the body appear designed to make it easier to sweep misconduct under the rug.

The new Office of Congressional Complaint Review cannot make any of its findings public — or make any other public statement — without the approval of the House Ethics Committee.

Ah, how cozy. All the corrupt, unethical, immoral republicans now have a lovely shelter, and no one will ever tell them they are wrong.

Even if the Office of Congressional Complaint Review finds evidence of criminal conduct, it cannot report it to the police without prior approval.

Even better! If caught, they can’t be punished.

The rules also prohibit the new office from considering anonymous complaints or investigating any conduct that occurred before 2011.

Very convenient. That effectively prohibits any investigation via a complainant who might have every reason to be concerned about retaliation.

The House leadership will get a chance to prove their opposition Tuesday, when a public vote on a rules package that includes the changes to ethics oversight will occur on the House floor.

Yeah, I’m not gonna hold my breath. More American Greatness™ folks, Look Ma, no ethics! Via Think Progress.

No Peace for Our Time.


This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ‘ … We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.

British PM Neville Chamberlain, 1938

Make no mistake: Donald Trump’s Administration is coming for Indian Country—we’re suddenly big targets on his radar. We haven’t had quite this big of a place on the national and international stage in a long time. It makes sense—Native communities have about 25% of the nation’s on-shore oil and gas reserves and developable resources and this upcoming administration is oil-thirsty.

And they’re coming for what Tribes have; Dakota Access was the warm-up. Trump’s line-up of cabinet nominees tells us that his Administration is coming squarely for Native land and Native natural resources. Rick Perry, who sits on the Board of Directors for the Energy Transfer Partners (the company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline), was nominated as the Energy Secretary. Trump also nominated Scott Pruitt to be the new head of the EPA; Pruitt said that “hydraulic fracking, a technological innovation that has done more to reduce carbon emissions in this country than any other technological advancement of our time.” No really—that’s what he said. He also wrote a letter to Obama In 2012, Pruitt and Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wrote a letter to President Obama asking to eliminate a Bureau of Land Management proposal that requires oil companies to disclose the chemicals used in fracking operations on Native American land.

These cats want to separate Native people from our lands and mineral resources. It’s westward expansion, manifest destiny!


Gyasi Ross has an outstanding article up at ICTMN about the current political mess, and what it’s going to mean to Indian Country:

The Thing About Skins: Make no mistake, Donald Trump’s Administration is coming for Indian Country.

In an earlier edition, Marty Two Bulls made his feelings about certain Indians active in the current mess quite clear:


© Marty Two Bulls.

The Reality of Oil Spills.

Pastor Dahua, president of the community of Monterrica, on the Marañón River in the Peruvian Amazon, scoops oil from a spill from a Petroperu pipeline on his community's land. Barbara Fraser.

Pastor Dahua, president of the community of Monterrica, on the Marañón River in the Peruvian Amazon, scoops oil from a spill from a Petroperu pipeline on his community’s land. Barbara Fraser.

Hunching his shoulders against a driving rain Pastor Dahua scrambled down a muddy bank and stepped across a pool of blackened water to a makeshift shelter that marked the place where crude oil had spilled from an oil pipeline.

The spill in Monterrico, the community of Kukama and Urarina people of which Dahua is president, is one of 10 that have occurred since January along the pipeline that runs from oil fields in the Peruvian Amazon across the Andes Mountains to a port and refinery on the Pacific coast.

The rain worried Dahua. Between November and May, water levels in Amazonian rivers rise by 30 feet or more, flooding villages and forests. If the spill was not cleaned up by the time the flooding began in earnest, Monterrico’s only water supply—a stream that crossed the pipeline near the end of the oil spill—could be contaminated.

Monterrico is one of dozens of communities affected by recent spills. Even more people are exposed to contamination from 40 years of oil operations that dumped oil and salty, metals-laden water into rivers, streams and lakes in Peru’s oldest Amazonian oil fields.

Government agencies have identified more than 1,000 sites needing cleanup, but have a budget of only about $15 million for testing and remediation. Experts say that is just a fraction of the amount that will be needed.

Anger over the sluggish pace of efforts to address decades of pollution and neglect have come to a head in Saramurillo, on the bank of the Marañón River, a few hours by boat downstream from Monterrico.

Hundreds of people from more than 40 indigenous communities converged there on September 1, blocking boat traffic on the Marañón River, a key transportation route in the northeastern Peruvian region of Loreto, where there are virtually no roads.

Despite an initial meeting with government officials in October, the protest dragged on into December, amid tensions among both the protesters and the travelers and merchants trapped by the blockade.

Indigenous protesters stand watch on bank of Marañón River in Saramurillo, Peru, blocking boats from passing, as they pressure the government to solve problems related to pollution from four decades of oil production in the Peruvian Amazon. Barbara Fraser.

Indigenous protesters stand watch on bank of Marañón River in Saramurillo, Peru, blocking boats from passing, as they pressure the government to solve problems related to pollution from four decades of oil production in the Peruvian Amazon. Barbara Fraser.

This in depth look at the reality of oil spills, and their impact on Indigenous people is very necessary reading. The impact of such is not at all limited to Indigenous people, and the more Indigenous people fight against having pipelines on their land, the more the impact of spills will spread, further and further out, into a horrible web of contamination.

Everyone needs to stand up against fossil fuels, now more than ever, with the new climate change denying, fossil fuel loving administration poised to take over.

The full story is at ICTMN.

Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Photo by Tom Jefferson.

Photo by Tom Jefferson.

There are still people at the Oceti Sakowin camp, a considerably smaller number, around 2,000, who will stay until DA is gone. They are requesting that no one new come into camp right now, as weather conditions are very harsh. Those of us fighting the Black Snake still need help. You can signal boost, get involved in various actions, or donate, all is appreciated, deeply.

Have a look at the Oceti Sakowin Camp site, and see if there is a way to add your voice to the many.

The Dakota Access Pipeline may be on hold, but Water Protectors are still fighting for their freedom.

SUF Uppsala: Demonstration mot DAPL!