Man Shot at Seattle Protest.

Protesters at the Seattle event in an AP photo by Ted Warren.

Protesters at the Seattle event in an AP photo by Ted Warren.

A “person of interest” is under arrest in the shooting of a man during the protest of an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos in Seattle.

The victim, who is in his 30s, is hospitalized in critical condition with a possibly life-threatening injury, Seattle PI reports. He was shot in the abdomen at a Friday night protest at the University of Washington, where Yiannopoulos, a gay alt-right nazi commentator, was speaking.

The victim’s name has not been released, nor has the name of the person of interest. He turned himself in to university police and is under arrest, according to Seattle PI.

The massive protest delayed the start of the speech by Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart editor who is notorious for his racist, anti-trans, and otherwise inflammatory statements. The event, coordinated by the University of Washington College Republicans, had been oversold, and police had to eventually stop ticket holders from entering the venue. Some attendees supported Yiannopoulos, but others came to confront him.

The shooting came after what had been a largely peaceful protest, with demonstrators holding anti-Yiannopoulos and anti–Donald Trump signs, and “occasionally trading barbs” with ticket holders, Seattle PI reports.

Via The Advocate. Let’s hope we don’t see more of this happening.

Potential Grizzlies.

Waving Grizzly gif on Twitter.

Waving Grizzly gif on Twitter.

Betsy DeVos’s hearing veered straight into the absurd, citing potential grizzlies:

However, nothing quite caught the flavor of how poorly her hearing went than her response to Sen. Chis Murphy (D-CT) who asked her, “Do you think guns have any place in or around schools?”

After saying the availability of guns should be “best left to locales and states to decide,” Devos replied to further questioning on guns on campus by adding, “I will refer back to Senator Enzi (R-WY) and the school he was talking about in Wyoming … I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”

Ms. DeVos is not only singularly lacking any qualification to head up the Department of Education, she’s not exactly stellar in the thinking department. She did note she had a bleeding heart:

If the question is around gun violence and the results of that, please know that my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence.”

Buuuuuuut…potential grizzlies, man! I’m hearing Cheech & Chong in my head. The twittersphere erupted over the potential grizzly bears.

Mo Gaffney

@mogaffney

So DeVos won’t say guns don’t belong in schools. Except says yes when grizzlies are near. How many grizzly adjacent schools r there?

*

Adam B. @AllThingsBooks

“We need guns in schools because of grizzly bears.” You know what else stops bears? Doors.

*

Sarcasticsapien @Sarcasticsapien

I’m confused. Betsy DeVos wants to bring God into schools but also guns because I guess God isn’t powerful enough to stop grizzly bears.

*

Gary @mrgaryhuang

I must REALLY live in a liberal bubble. I didn’t think grizzly bears were even remotely a problem in public schools.

More Tweets at Raw Story.  Also covering this story, Think Progress.

Roll ’em up like a little burrito…

Source: GunPolicy.org

Source: GunPolicy.org

If America were to do the unthinkable, and grow the fuck up, there are a number of places we’d do well to emulate. Basically, America has become the bad example for everyone else. Everything here is done ass backwards, and that’s supposed to be some point of pride. Why that is, I don’t know.

Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. What is the secret?

Imagine that, 6 whole deaths, and I’d be willing to be that Japanese people think that’s 6 too many. Don’t miss that whopping 33,599 gun deaths here in uStates, and that was in 2014. That number has gotten higher, especially since cops all over have decided shooting someone to death for any infraction is a nifty way to deal with problems, rather than actual policing.

If you want to buy a gun in Japan you need patience and determination. You have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%.

There are also mental health and drugs tests. Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too – and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licences, police also have sweeping powers to search and seize weapons.

That’s not all. Handguns are banned outright. Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed.

The law restricts the number of gun shops. In most of Japan’s 40 or so prefectures there can be no more than three, and you can only buy fresh cartridges by returning the spent cartridges you bought on your last visit.

Police must be notified where the gun and the ammunition are stored – and they must be stored separately under lock and key. Police will also inspect guns once a year. And after three years your licence runs out, at which point you have to attend the course and pass the tests again.

I can only imagine the howling of all the gun fondlers here in uStates attempting to cope with that.

“Ever since guns entered the country, Japan has always had strict gun laws,” says Iain Overton, executive director of Action on Armed Violence and the author of Gun Baby Gun.

“They are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world and I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don’t play a part in civilian society.”

People were being rewarded for giving up firearms as far back as 1685, a policy Overton describes as “perhaps the first ever gun buyback initiative”.

1685. There are people who decided to do the sensible thing straight off. And it’s paid off, because they have an actual civilization, where citizens do not need to be afraid of people with guns.

Japanese police officers rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts – all are expected to become a black belt in judo. They spend more time practising kendo (fighting with bamboo swords) than learning how to use firearms.

“The response to violence is never violence, it’s always to de-escalate it. Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015],” says journalist Anthony Berteaux. “What most Japanese police will do is get huge futons and essentially roll up a person who is being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station to calm them down.”

Yet another society which emphasises de-escalation. What does America do? Militarize the cops, and more or less authorize them to use lethal force any old time.

“People assume that peace is always going to exist and when you have a culture like that you don’t really feel the need to arm yourself or have an object that disrupts that peace.”

How incredibly nice that is, peace. That will never be America until Americans grow the fuck up and stop acting like being armed is the most important thing ever.

Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London applauds the Japanese for not viewing gun ownership as “a civil liberty”, and rejecting the idea of firearms as “something you use to defend your property against others”.

I’ll join in the applause, and add disdain for the whole “guns = civil liberty and the defense” bullshit. That’s all it is, shit, and extremely juvenile shit, too.

BBC has the full story.

Facebook, Oh Facebook XV.

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A days-old argument between two groups of people that escalated on Facebook led to a shooting Allen Tuesday night.

The Allen Police Department said that disagreement was between nine people from South Dallas and seven from Allen.

Sergeant John Felty said the Dallas group drove to a home on Hawthorne Drive near South Jupiter Road in Allen for a confrontation. He said it was about to end peacefully when someone fired shots.

“Well I can’t imagine what would be so important that it would end like this. It is a tragedy,” he said.

Four people were shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officers detained eight of the nine from Dallas and the other, who police believe fired the shots, is in custody.

“The good news is… if there is any good news in this… is that the people that are responsible for this are detained or in custody,” he said.

The fact that the shooting stemmed from a Facebook argument was not lost on authorities.

“We’ve had social media disagreements for quite some time but never to this degree where it turns into a shooting,” said Fenty.

Oh good. Great Americans are going to drag their guns out over FB arguments now. If this shit continues, there won’t be all that many people left to worry about, will there? I know how infuriating people can be, who doesn’t know that? Even so, grabbing a gun is not a good idea because someone on the internet pissed you off. If we start killing people on that basis, there really won’t be anyone left.

Via WBAP.

Only in America…

The list of “celebratory” gunfire incidents in this barely begun year goes on and on and on and on. All over the place, people who would, I am sure, consider themselves “good Americans” whipped out guns and started firing indiscriminately. A lot of people have been shot, a five year old girl was killed. I’m sure everyone one of them would class themselves in the “responsible gun owner” category, too.

People truly need to stop, and take a good look at themselves, and their country. If you were looking at pages of articles about people deciding to whip out loaded guns and fire at will, because holiday, and this was taking place in a different country, how disapproving and condemnatory would you be? This is barely short of insanity, the gun mania in uStates, and it must stop. Dallas (Texas) alone received over 1,000 calls about idiots with guns. Is anyone going to care that a lawmaker was shot in the head? That a five year old child is dead? That scores of other people have been shot? That scores more have been traumatized? That houses have been marked with bullets? What’s it going to take?

This is not greatness. This is idiocy descending into chaotic madness. Go ahead, take a look at all the incidents, then take a very good look at the country which is supposedly so grand.

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.

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.

Perry the Prayer to Be Energy Secretary.

Rick Perry speaks to Fox News (screen grab).

Rick Perry speaks to Fox News (screen grab).

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, whose style of governance was basically “hey, let’s pray!”, has been tapped by Trump to be Secretary of Energy.

CBS is reporting that President elect Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to be his energy secretary.

[…]

According to Major Garrett of CBS, two sources have confirmed Perry will be offered the spot  and will accept.

As CBS notes, Perry sits on the boards of two major energy companies, including Energy Transfer Partners which owns a subsidiary Dakota Access LLC, which is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.

It’s not enough to say all these rich assholes are living in one another’s pockets, they are living in each others rectums. It’s quite the racket Trump is setting up, making sure that all his investments don’t suffer by protecting his fellow investors, all of whom are climate change deniers, and pro-fossil fuels. (See here for the Exxon mess.)

People must get serious about fighting filthy energy, our lives are at stake. When we remove the earth’s ability to sustain us, we’ll die, and not pleasantly so. When we have poisoned all the water, we’ll die. And once again, water systems are not neatly contained puddles. Water flows, it meets other water, it’s an intricate and beautiful network, one which is vital to the health of our earth, and the life residing on it. Everywhere you look, more pipelines are being approved, against public sentiment and wishes. Trudeau, who styled himself a friend to the Indigenous nations of Canada, recently approved two major pipelines. Trump has vowed to okay Keystone XL, and while he won’t be pinned down on DAPL, he says “there will be a fast resolution”. As he’s heavily invested in ETP, I’m sure it doesn’t take much work to figure out which way he will go. The coal industry is also getting much more pushy, pinning their hopes on a Trump presidency. As usual, much of the pipelines and planned coal stations will be on Indigenous land, and treaties will be broken left and right, while colonialists happily destroy the ability of Indigenous people to sustain themselves, and make sure their land and water is always at risk of being poisoned beyond repair.

Does anyone think that the blatant disregard shown by Trump and his appointees won’t matter? Climate change is real, and we are already feeling the effects of it. Sea levels are rising. Water is routinely poisoned by gas and oil. Land which used to yield food is now rendered blasted and useless from fracking. Things will continue to get worse unless we change things right. fucking. now. Trump and his cronies have no interest in that at all. They plan to accelerate all the damage. When great swathes of the U.S. are no longer inhabitable for 3 to 6 months a year, what’s going to happen? Do you have enough money to purchase alternate residences, and the money cushion involved in moving back and forth? Are you going to get out your precious, beloved gun and start shooting people who don’t have resources? What do billionaires care about any of that? The entitlement brought on by having endless amounts of money and power allows them to think they will never, ever be victimized by such things, but planetary climate change doesn’t care about billionaires, and while it might get them last, it will get them.

The most recent pipeline leak here in nDakota, it was not detected by all that supposed early detection equipment, so no more of the same, tired bullshit about how safe pipelines are, and oh, they have detection equipment, because that crap does not work, and pipelines leak, end of story.

People in Arkansas and Oklahoma need help to stop a pipeline.

…More. Right. The orange man is on deck. Trump the troll. His minions. Pipeline lovers. Oil-addicted junkies. Wall builders and bigots. The illegal immigrants in this country are not brown. I’ve said this before. Many times. These gibbed geeks are the descendants of European invaders. But enough of that. Word is the oil-and-gas fat cats at Energy Transfer Partners are pissing and moaning into their whiskeys and ryes. Whiny brats. They said they’ll push on. President Andrew Jackson pushed on, too. The Trail of Tears happened anyway. “Justice Marshall made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Another whiny brat.

There’s little justice in this world, but on December 4, Native Americans got a taste. It’s always a fine feeling when good prevails over evil. And that’s what these pipelines are. Evil. Pure. Unadulterated. How could they not be? The oil oafs and their seedy oligarch asshat homies know pipelines leak. And they know people get sick when they do. Just ask the folks in the gulf who are still suffering from the massive BP oil spill. They agonize from chronic respiratory illnesses and skin diseases. THEY know what happens when pipelines leak and poison the water, sink into the soil. But these paunchy pipeline pricks turn a blind eye in the name of profit. They are gibbed vermin, and they deal in deception. …

Excerpt from Simon Moya-Smith, writing from the Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Standing Rock: No DAPL Roundup.

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© Marty Two Bulls.

Standing Rock: No DAPL Roundup.

Sacred Stone Media/YouTube Grassroots coalition against DAPL announces December as a month of action, focused on banks.

Sacred Stone Media/YouTube
Grassroots coalition against DAPL announces December as a month of action, focused on banks.

We, the below stated, are a coalition of grassroots groups living and working in the Dakota Access resistance camps along the Cannon Ball River in Oceti Sakowin treaty lands.

Sacred Stone Camp | Indigenous Environmental Network | International Indigenous Youth Council | Honor the Earth

The following is a coalition statement on the next steps for the #NoDAPL fight:

As we reflect on the decision by the U.S. Army (NOT the U.S. Army Corps) to suspend the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) river crossing easement and conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the resistance camps at Standing Rock are making plans for the next phase of this movement.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II has asked people to return home once the weather clears, and many will do so. Others will stay to hold the space, advance our reclamation of unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, and continue to build community around the protection of our sacred waters. They will also keep a close eye on the company, which has drilled right up to the last inch it can, and remains poised and ready to finish the project.

[…]

[Read more…]

No DAPL: Oren Lyons Speaks Out.

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Oren Lyons is a faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy) and a longtime international indigenous rights and sovereignty activist.

Accompanying article at ICTMN.

Jesse McLain, Asshole Bigot.

“Us North Dakota people are going to f*ck you up!”

I’m a nDakotan, Mr. McLain, and I think people like yourself are in dire need of a brain upgrade, along with classes on how to use said brain. This asshole bigot was caught on video threatening protectors at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck. Mr. McLain was arrested. At least Bismarck cops are being actual cops, not oil thugs. Mr. McLain was busy informing people he’d not only fuck them up, but fuck their wives too, because nothing shows what kind of a tough dude you really are by threatening rape.

A 33-year-old man was arrested Wednesday and charged with terrorizing a man involved in the pipeline protests outside the Ramada Inn in Bismarck.

Jesse McLain, of Bismarck, was allegedly one of two masked men captured on video yelling expletives and threats, including “take your protestin’ … back home” and “us North Dakota people are going to … you up,” into a vehicle at the hotel at 1400 E. Interchange Ave. on Monday afternoon, according to a Bismarck Police affidavit filed in the case.

Based on descriptions given in the affidavit, McLain is the man wearing a skeleton mask on his face. No charges have yet been filed against the other masked man seen in the video.

[…]

Police identified McLain after connecting the license plate on his grey van to a local service company in town, where he is an employee and driver of the van, according to the affidavit.

McLain was released from jail on Thursday afternoon on $2,000 bond set by South Central District Judge Gail Hagerty, according to the Burleigh County jail.

Via BisTribune.

Standing Rock: We Need To Go Home.

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We’re in the midst of a blizzard here in nDakota, and sub zero temps. Chairman Archambault has put out the call to go home.

Putting people at risk in that way is something the ancestral leaders would never have done, he said.

“I don’t want anyone to be living in an unsafe environment,” Archambault said. “We need to stay in prayer, believe in our prayer, and begin our journey home in prayer. I believe in my prayers and in the Creator. Take the lessons we learned here and apply them at home—unity, peace, prayer.”

The camps’ efforts to get the NoDAPL battle to this point have been essential, but “now it is time we pivot to the next phase of this struggle,” Archambault said. “That will be lead on different fronts like in court, with the new Administration, with Congress, and with the investors.”

He said the path is being laid down “to help the world understand that what we asked for, and what we got is the right decision. The world is watching us, and our behavior will determine the final outcome.”

Archambault suggested that each resident make a plan for closing and exiting the camp, leaving the land as it was when they got there, and to get home before the bitterest part of winter sets in.

“Pass this on—let everyone know that we are thankful for their passion and commitment and we are thankful for them all standing with us,” Archambault said. “It’s time now to enjoy this winter with your families. We need all to respect the host tribe’s wishes. We are asking all tribes to pass this on to their members.”

The winter, he added, has barely begun, and the current storm is tamer than what the worst of the season will bring. Temperatures drop even lower than they already have, and the shelters at the camps would be no match for blizzard conditions.

Acknowledging that people were socked in by the storm, Archambault said it was time to take the water protection battles beyond Indian country, to the rest of the U.S. and the world.

“I understand that folks cannot go at this moment, but as soon as this current storm has passed, we must execute an exit strategy and continue our battles to protect water,” Archambault said. “These efforts are not only needed in Standing Rock, but they are needed throughout Indian Country, across America and internationally. I want you to know that Standing Rock stands with you as you return home to carry this energy and movement into the future.”

That’s just a small bit from the full article, which is at ICTMN. People are unable to leave right now, roads are closed everywhere (we’re snowed in too), but this blizzard will pass eventually, then it will be time for people to make their way to safety.

There’s a good rundown of the current ETP financial woes, and the takeover by Sunoco here.

“We’ve hurt you in so many ways. We’ve come to say we’re sorry.”