*Spits*

19-6

© C. Ford.

North Dakota legislators have been pushing a raft of draconian bills through to make any protesting impossible to do, if you’re actually outside your abode. The worst of them is one which would allow drivers to ‘accidentally’ hit a protester without penalty. Thankfully, it didn’t pass, but the shit-filled asshole who authored it still wants it to be enacted, because:

Republican state Representative Keith Kempenich told local media that he sponsored the bill after his mother-in-law was caught in a protest while driving.

Kempenich defended the bill Monday before a vote, saying current laws had failed to protect citizens, and that the much publicized bill was mischaracterized by the media.

“I’d like to see this bill passed forward. I think that it shows that we are willing to stand up for the citizens of this state,” he said.

How about you say what you mean, you piece of shit? You want that bill to pass because you think us nasty Indians ought to be killed. We sure as hell obviously aren’t citizens of this state in your colonial, genocidal eyes. Fuck you, Kempenich.

Via Raw Story.

Oh, that fucking wall.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

The projected cost for President Donald Trump’s border wall continues to rise, and Trump has no good plan to contain it.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the border wall will be much more expensive than the $10 billion figure Trump repeatedly cited during his campaign or the $12–$15 billion cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last month.

“Trump’s ‘wall’ along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct,” Reuters reported, citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document the outlet obtained.

And it could end up costing even more than that.

“Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion,” Reuters reports.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to that news by assuring Americans that costs of constructing the wall will come “WAY DOWN” as soon as he gets involved in the negotiations.

<Tweets snipped.>

But Trump’s citation of the reduced cost of F-35s should give no one confidence he’ll be able to bring down the exorbitant cost of his border wall.

That’s because on January 30, Trump took credit for cost cuts to the fighter jets that were already put in place before he got involved. A Washington Post fact-check gave Trump’s claim that he was responsible for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program “Four Pinocchios.”

[…]

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for deals that were in the works long before he won the election or became president. For instance, he’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs.

[…]

Last year, Reuters reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents don’t think the type of border wall Trump has long supported is necessary for national security. Instead, they seek better equipment and technology.

Not only is this wall idea the epitome of idiocy, people tend to forget a different cost of such idiocy – the high cost imposed on animals, the environment, and various ecologies. This sort of arrogant assholery is little more than a chest-pounding display of cruelty, a game for bully boys. Unfortunately, such people don’t much give a shit about the planet which gives them life, or the diversity of life on our earth, which has no use for the concrete idiocy of naked apes intent on warring with their neighbours. You can read a bit about this high cost here.

Full story at Think Progress.

The Stream Protection Rule. Pffft.

The Stream Protection Rule is an update to existing mining regulations. It compels companies to restore the “physical form, hydrologic function, and ecological function” of streams after mining operations are complete. And, it calls for monitoring pollution levels in streams near surfaces mines.

In Appalachia, mining companies regularly blow the tops off mountains to access stores of coal beneath, a practice known as “mountaintop removal.” They dump the debris into valleys below, filling rivulets and contaminating downstream water supplies. Mining firms have decapitated more than 500 mountains in Appalachia and buried some 2,000 miles of streams, according to Appalachian Voices, an environmental advocacy group.

This poses a threat to wildlife and people who live nearby. Numerous studies link mountaintop removal to higher rates of cancer and heart disease among residents of neighboring communities.

[…]

“The rule spells out best practices for reclaiming land and reforesting with native species. It strengthens protections for ephemeral streams that are necessary for good water quality and quantity downstream,” said Davie Ransdell, a retired surface mine inspector for the state of Kentucky. “In my view, it’s also a job generator, since it prevents mining companies from just pushing material over the hill and into streams below.”

[…]

Lawmakers will likely vote Wednesday to overturn the rule, using the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the power to scrap executive actions issued in the last 60 working days.

“I would encourage the House to act quickly so that we can send this resolution to the president’s desk as soon as possible,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. Throughout his career, McConnell has opposed coal mining regulations. He also blamed what he called “Obama’s War on Coal” for the decline of the mining industry, although energy experts say it is largely the low cost of natural gas that is responsible for coal’s demise.

According to the Center for American Progress, the 27 representatives that sponsored or co-sponsored the Congressional Review Act bill received nearly $500 million from mining interests last year.

And there you have the bottom line of rethugs everywhere. Their only line – how well will their pockets be lined? They don’t give a fuck about the planet, they don’t give a fuck about clean water, they don’t give a fuck about wildlife, and they don’t give a fuck about people other than themselves. The full story is at Think Progress. In the same vein, the rethugs are looking to help big oil by making bribery and a lack of transparency okay again:

The House will vote as early as Wednesday to nullify a rule that makes it harder for U.S. oil companies to engage in bribery and corruption in developing countries.

In June 2016 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized the “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers” rule, requiring oil, natural gas, and mining companies to publicly disclose the billions of dollars they pay to foreign governments for drilling rights around the world. This rule — meant to promote transparency and fight corruption — now faces the prospect of repeal as Republicans look to rollback a myriad of Obama administration rules.

“On the same day as the Senate is considering the nomination of former Exxon CEO as next Secretary of State, the House of Representatives is deciding whether or not to vote to license the bribery and corruption that the oil industry has lived off for decades,” Corinna Gilfillan, head of the U.S. office at Global Witness, said in a statement. “We cannot stand by while the interests of a few powerful oil companies trump the safety and values of our country. We need this law to protect investors, developing countries, and our own national security interests.”

That story is here.

NO DAPL Roundup.

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama has chosen to stand with Standing Rock.

A group of 100 people gathered in Park City to protest the revival of the project by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Malia Obama joined the protester who were holding up signs that read: “Exist. Resist. Rise.” and “Impeach corporate control,” according to the Daily Mail.

Along with protesting the construction of the pipeline, which will disturb sacred grounds and introduce contaminants into the local water supply, the group was protesting the festival sponsorship by Chase Bank, which is invested in the pipeline. The rally was held in front of the Chase Sapphire on Main lounge.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Chairman Archambault on MSNBC: ‘President Is Circumventing Federal Law’.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.

“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”

The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter’s Doctrine, we have NEPA.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline Will Create Just 35 Permanent Jobs. Don’t Believe the Lies.

For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns.

Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.

Standing Rock Chairman Archambault Sends Strong Letter to Trump.

Editor’s note: Reaction was swift and strong when President Donald Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders designed to move the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) forward and revive the Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded immediately, and on January 25 Standing Rock Chairman Archambault wrote a letter to Trump explaining the legal constraints, the support that the Environmental Impact Statement and the tribe have, and the need for a leader-to-leader meeting. The full text is below.

DAPL Profiteers Steal Marty Two Bulls Designs.

You’ve probably seen and shared at least one of the many brilliant political cartoons by Marty Two Bulls at some point in time. Marty Two Bulls—an artist from the Oglala Lakota Nation—has been drawing political cartoons with great success for many years. His work has long been a staple on the pages of ICTMN. He’s known for bringing clever humor and hilarious imagery to hot, controversial issues: most recently the anti-DAPL movement in Standing Rock.

But now, you might see his work in places it shouldn’t be: dozens of t-shirt sellers who are hoping to make a buck from the #NoDAPL campaigns have ripped off Marty Two Bulls designs and been using them to sell t-shirts of their own with no credit, profit, or acknowledgement offered to the artist. Now, Two Bulls has taken the matter into his own hands. In addition to filing dozens of reports to stop production of the rip-offs, he has decided to sell t-shirts of his own.

The design thieves are mostly from overseas with no connection to Native country.
“So far I caught over 20,” Two Bulls said, “I go online, I search terms like #NoDAPL and Water is Life on Facebook, and there they are.”

Marty is an amazingly talented artist, and one of the best political cartoonists in the world, he’s brilliant. Please, if you want to show support for Standing Rock, take the time to make sure your item is coming from the actual artist. Most artists aren’t rolling in money, and this theft hurts, one more than one level. Marty is trying to do something for his people, and if you want to help, and like his artwork, please buy from Marty Two Bulls.

Upcoming Marches.

1

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

 

counterprotest

Planned Parenthood Counter Protest. February 11th.

 

climate_change

San Diego Climate Change Rally. February 21st.

 

chicago

Latinx Against Trump @ Chicago. February 25th.

 

agenda

Stop the Trump Agenda in Chicago. February 19th.

 

nodapl

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.

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…]

Repeal of ACA and Native Lives.

marty-two-bulls-cartoon-011317-1

© Marty Two Bulls.

Mark Trahant has an in-depth article about the problems of no healthcare.  In related news, Trump’s Health and Human Services pick is busy trying to fan the stench of corruption away from himself, but the stink is speaking loudly:

Washington (CNN)Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.
Price bought between $1,001 to $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet, according to House records reviewed by CNN.

Less than a week after the transaction, the Georgia Republican congressman introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation that industry analysts warned would significantly hurt Zimmer Biomet financially once fully implemented.

Full story at CNN.

MMIW Website.

mm

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.

The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss.

A YouTube video from North Dakota’s new Gov. Doug Burgum. More of the same about Standing Rock.

A YouTube video from North Dakota’s new Gov. Doug Burgum. More of the same about Standing Rock.

Damn. Think about what was possible: A governor who is framing his entire administration on innovation just dismissed the most disruptive force in his state’s recent history. That is what Standing Rock is about. Instead of saying, “What can we learn from this? What can we do together?” The new governor relied on the screen saver that was there before; the idea that powerful forces will roll over the tribe and build the Dakota Access Pipeline without interference. Thank you.

Burgum also scratched away at an old story: The Obama administration created this problem.

But his larger message is that the state of North Dakota and its corporate partners are more powerful than any tribal government. Instead of a pause, a moment to engage in a government-to-government dialogue, the new governor emphatically says the pipeline will get built soon. No. Matter. What.

“Make no mistake, this infrastructure is good for our economy,” the governor said in his YouTube video. “And it’s the safest way to transport North Dakota products. Failure to finish it would send a chilling signal to those in any industry who wish invest in our state and play by the rules.”

[…]

The new governor could have reset the law enforcement battle lines too. Nope. “As a result of the Obama administration’s refusal to uphold the rule of law on federally owned land, both our citizens and local and state law enforcement have been put in harm’s way,” he said. “These actions are putting daily demands on the scarce resources of our state and local government.”

Those daily demands are because the state of North Dakota made it so. Pick a word: defuse, de-escalate, negotiate. There were so many better alternatives, ones that were dismissed in favor of sending in the cavalry. I have interviewed many government officials over the years that successfully reduced tension instead of using the police powers of a state. In every test the state failed in this regard and the new governor is following the same path.

I had hopes that Gov. Burgum would see the potential of the Standing Rock story as one that could make North Dakota a beacon. Think about this: This moment in history has brought indigenous people together in a way that’s unprecedented. And the world is paying attention to that. What an amazing opportunity, something that could stir the imagination of investors, entrepreneurs, and governments. Potential partners in a state that found a solution by working with tribes to solve an intractable problem.

The former governor blamed social media for this global perception. But that misses the point that the Standing Rock Tribe owns the story. And that won’t change because the new governor posts a video on his account. The problem is not social media. It’s the message that the State of North Dakota will use the rule of law, the police power of a state, to roll over a tribal nation. It’s a message of brute force instead of inspiration.

Same old tired shit. Same old tired white privilege. Nothing ever changes. Mark Trahant’s full column at ICTMN.

No Peace for Our Time.

profits-of-the-indian-agent

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!

Again.

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:

ict_editoon_120716

© 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.