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Too busy getting rich to commit war crimes?: Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?

By Dave Lindorff

 

       Donald Trump’s cabinet choices are suggesting a governing philosophy along the lines of a corrupt municipal police force relying on gangsters to help it keep street crime held in check.

About that legacy, Mr. President: Obama Has a Small Window to Go Out with Some Flair and Excitement

By Dave Lindorff

 

            There is a lot of talk going on among the pundits about how President Obama is leaving no enduring legacy -- that his progressive actions as president, few and small that they may have been, were written in the sand of executive orders, which can and likely will be erased within days of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Hurricane Donald and the Storms of Changing Climate

John Feffer argued on Wednesday that Demagogue Donald, whose very existence will lead me to pretend I'm not from the U.S. the next time I'm in Europe, is part of a wider trend that's already hit Europe hard:

"The ugliness has been percolating in Europe for some time now. It wasn’t just Brexit, Britain’s unexpected rejection of the European Union. It was the election of militant populists throughout Eastern Europe — Viktor Orban in Hungary, Robert Fico in Slovakia, the party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland. It was the electoral surge of the National Front in France and the Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany. It was the backlash against immigrants, social welfare programs, and 'lazy Mediterraneans' — but also against bankers and Brussels bureaucrats."

At Standing Rock, A Native American Woman Elder Says "This is What I Have Been Waiting for My Entire Life!"

By Ann Wright

This time I have been at Standing Rock, North Dakota at the Oceti Shakowin camp to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for four days during a whirlwind of national and international attention following two terrible displays of police brutality toward the water protectors.

On October 27, over 100 local and state police and National Guard dressed in riot gear with helmets, face masks, batons and other protective clothing, carrying assault rifles stormed the Front Line North camp. They had other military equipment such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Personnel carriers (MRAP) and Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) and a full assortment of tasers, bean bag bullets and clubs/batons. They arrested 141 persons, destroyed the Frontline camp and threw the personal possessions of those arrested in garbage dumpsters.  The Morton county sheriff reportedly is investigating the purposeful destruction of personal property.

In another overreaction to the unarmed civilian water protectors, on November 2, police shot tear gas and beanbag bullets at water protectors who were standing in a small tributary to the Missouri River.  They were standing in the frigid water to protect a handmade bridge across the river to sacred burial sites that was being destroyed by the police. Police snipers stood on the ridge of the burial hill with their feet on sacred burial sites.

On October 3, in solidarity with water protectors, almost 500 religious leaders from all over the United States arrived to join water protectors in a day of prayer for stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Retired Episcopal Priest John Flogerty had put out a national call for clergy to come to Standing Rock.  He said he was stunned that in less than ten days, 474 leaders answered the call to stand for protection of Mother Earth.  lDuring the two hour interfaith witness, discussion and prayer near the current digging of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), one could hear the digging machines destroying the ridge line to the south of Highway 1806.

How a Company With Ties to a Dakota Access Pipeline Owner Flew Over Protests in the No Fly Zone

Photo Credit: Richard Bluecloud Casteneda | Greenpeace USA

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Lobbyist for Dakota Access Formerly Led Army's "Restore Iraqi Oil" Program

Photo Credit: C-SPAN Screenshot

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Robert Crear, one of the lobbyists working for Dakota Access pipeline co-owners Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, formerly served as a chief of staff and commanding general for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

The choice this year is easy: Why No Leftist, Progressive or Liberal Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

By Dave Lindorff

 

            With one week to go in this year’s presidential election -- an astonishing and depressing contest in which the two least-liked and least-trusted candidates in history are the two choices put up by our two main political parties -- it’s time to look at why left and liberal people should not vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

This Natural Disaster Assistance Law Is Why Other States Are Policing Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That inconspicuous law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents present at the continuing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota.

Security Firm Running Dakota Pipeline Intelligence Tied to U.S. Military Work in Iraq, Afghanistan

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

TigerSwan is one of several security firms under investigation for its work guarding the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota while potentially without a permit. Besides this recent work on the Standing Rock Sioux protests in North Dakota, this company has offices in Iraq and Afghanistan and is run by a special forces Army veteran.

Anti-Pipeline March on Hillary Clinton's Office

Tomorrow, Thursday, October 26, we will gather for a water ceremony at Noon at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade at the end of of end of Pierrepont St. Then onto HRC's office.

Talk Nation Radio: Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein on why they shut down pipelines

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-emily-johnston-and-annette-klapstein-on-why-they-shut-down-pipelines

Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein face felony charges for having shut down fossil fuel pipelines.

Johnston says:

To be honest, I’d love to be able to lead a quiet life right now—building things, reading and writing all day, taking long walks with my dog, having time for dinners and vacations with my loved ones.

But to live like that at this moment in time would be to shrug off responsibility for the very world I was busy loving; we’re in a crisis of unimaginable proportions, and the fact that we here in the US can (between terrible storms and terrible droughts) live normal daily lives, doesn’t mean that we aren’t.

I’ve said enough about why I’m doing this: it needs to be done. I feel incredibly privileged to be alive in this moment, when so much is still so beautiful, and there’s still a chance to save it. But for years (decades, for some people) we’ve tried the legal, incremental, reasonable methods, and they haven’t been anything like enough; without a radical shift in our relationship to this Earth, all that we love will disappear. My fear of that possibility is far greater than my fear of jail. My love for the beauties of this world is far greater than my love of an easy life.

If others feel the same way, there’s hope for us yet.

 

Klapstein says:

My name is Annette Klapstein. I am a retired attorney and the mother of 2 grown children.  Three words embody my decision to take action: love, solidarity and responsibility. 

It is my job as an older person to step up and put my body on the line to protect my children and all children. Being retired and freed from those obligations, there is nothing more important than insuring a habitable planet for all our children. Our political system has failed to respond to the grave threat of climate change - this is my taking responsibility.

There was a call for International Days of Prayer and Action with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe this week - this is my prayer and this is my action.  My life is only marginally affected by climate change right now, but there are mothers and children around the world in frontline communities - mostly low-income communities of color - who are being drastically affected right now. This is my act of solidarity.

Like mothers everywhere, I act from a deep love for my own children that extends out to all children and young people, and all living beings on this planet.  I have signed hundreds of petitions, testified at dozens of hearings, met with most of my political representatives at every level, to very little avail. I have come to believe that our current economic and political system is a death sentence to life on earth, and that I must do everything in my power to replace these systems with cooperative, just, equitable and love-centered ways of living together. This is my act of love.

For more information, see http://www.shutitdown.today

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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A Nonviolent Strategy to End the Climate Catastrophe

As the evidence mounts that we are fast approaching the final point-of-no-return beyond which it will be impossible to take sufficient effective action to prevent climate catastrophe – see 'The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently' – the evidence of ineffective official responses climbs too. See, for example, 'Climate Con: why a new global deal on aviation emissions is really bad news'.

Renewable Revolutionary Railroad Renaissance

The forthcoming book from creative activist and kayaktivist extraordinaire Bill Moyer and his Backbone Campaign colleagues should remake the United States and limit the oncoming onslaught of climate suffering. It's called Solutionary Rail: A People Powered Campaign to Electrify America's Railroads and Open Corridors to a Clean Energy Future.

Here's the idea. There is huge potential for solar and wind energy in vast open spaces of the United States. There is a need for pathways through which to transmit renewable-produced electricity to where it's needed in big cities and small towns. Meanwhile, under-used railroad lines crisscross the country. As coal and oil use drop, those lines will be even more under-used, unless we change something. Yet, trains are more efficient than trucks even now, and would be much more so if electrified. So, we should run electricity lines along newly-improved railroad lines, and use some of the electricity to cleanly power a lot more trains.

By electrifying rail, you make rail less expensive as well as cleaner. With improvements to tracks you also make it faster. More freight and passengers find their way to rail. More jobs are produced in renewable energy. People living near trains get a cleaner and quieter environment. Traffic is lessened on highways, reducing accidents, deaths, injuries, and wear and tear on the roads. Electric trains cost less, take less maintenance, and last longer. Regenerative braking can produce still more power.

This is a solution to air pollution, but its benefits just keep piling up. Electric rail is like the hemp of infrastructure. Faster, more efficient trains would take freight from trucks and planes, and people from planes and cars. Electric trains start and stop more quickly and can run more closely together than diesel trains. They run better on grades. They can run much faster than current U.S. trains on existing upgraded tracks. Restoring or adding double tracks provides three to four times the capacity of a single track.

Unless you're going all the way across the United States, for any shorter distance trip, a fast train from downtown to downtown is going to look mighty appealing when the alternative is a plane ride that involves: traveling to an exurban airport, being treated like a terrorism suspect, waiting hours, flying to an out-of-the-way city to wait additional hours switching planes, never being sure you'll be on time, buying much more expensive tickets, squeezing into a tiny seat with no chance to walk around, airplane food instead of a dining car, lousy internet, obnoxious announcements, and the knowledge that you're contributing mightily to the destruction of the earth's climate.

The Guy Who Went Viral from Presidential Debate Works for Coal Company Opposed to Climate Regulations

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

After Kenneth Bone asked a question about energy to presidential nominees Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton at the presidential town hall debate on October 9, he quickly became a viral internet sensation.

That evening at Washington University in St. Louis, Bone asked, "What step will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?"

Koch Industries and Fracking Lobbyist Mike Catanzaro To Lead Trump Energy Team

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The Washington Post has reported that Mike Catanzaro, a former senior energy staffer for Republican Party House Majority Leader John Boehner with a track record of climate change denial, will lead Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump's energy transition team. 

Before Presidential Debate, Obama Admin Weakened Endangered Species Act Under Oil Industry Pressure

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

As eyes turned to the most viewed presidential debate in U.S. history, the Obama administration meanwhile quietly auctioned off thousands of acres of land for oil and gas drilling in national forests, opened up 119 million acres for offshore drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, and delivered a blow to the Endangered Species Act. 

As Dakota Access Protests Escalated, Obama Admin OK’d Same Company for Two Pipelines to Mexico

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Photo Credit: C-SPAN

On September 9, the Obama administration revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on federally controlled lands and asked the pipeline's owners, led by Energy Transfer Partners, to voluntarily halt construction on adjacent areas at the center of protests by Native Americans and supporters.

Security Firm Guarding Dakota Access Pipeline Also Used Psychological Warfare Tactics for BP

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

G4S, a company hiring security staff to guard the hotly contested Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), also works to guard oil and gas industry assets in war-torn Iraq, and has come under fire by the United Nations for human rights abuses allegedly committed while overseeing a BP pipeline in Colombia and elsewhere while on other assignments.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature Ignores Impact of Militarism

U.S. Military Forgets to Mention Its Fuel Consumption, Carbon Footprint, Destruction of Nature During Presentations at World Conservation Congress

By Ann Wright

The worldwide, prestigious World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was held in Honolulu this week. The IUCN has come in for criticism for its lack of focus on the detrimental effects of wars and military operations on nature.  Considering the degree of harm coming from these human activities one would think that the organization would have a specific theme and a series of workshops on that theme.  Of the over 1300 workshops crammed into a 6-day marathon environmental meeting, followed by 4 days of discussion of internal resolutions, nothing specifically addressed the destruction of the environment by military operations and wars.

The heavy funding the IUCN gets from governments is undoubtedly the rationale for not addressing this "elephant in the room" in a conference for the protection of the endangered planet-a tragic commentary on a powerful organization that should acknowledge all pressures on the planet.

New poem by TCBH resident poet Gary Lindorff -- 'Monsanto and the EPA: How are they doing?"

Monsanto is walking

With his best friend-with-benefits, the EPA:

So why are you dragging your heels

Signing off on glyphosate?

Documents: How Big Oil Pushed to Make Dakota Access-Style Permitting a New Normal

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In the two months leading up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue to the Dakota Access pipeline project an allotment of Nationwide 12 permits (NWP) — a de facto fast-track federal authorization of the project — an army of oil industry players submitted comments to the Corps to ensure that fast-track authority remains in place going forward.

This fast-track permitting process is used to bypass more rigorous environmental and public review for major pipeline infrastructure projects by treating them as smaller projects.

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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