Thoughts on our Republican Controlled Government and the Future of the Climate

I’m not in the mood to rant or weep. I’ve read a lot of very well-written, heartfelt essays expressing the dismay at the Trump victory, and most of them were written by personal friends posting on Facebook. I’m going to try to stay away what’s already been covered. Other than to say that the post-election eruption of racism and KKK victory demonstrations are not at all separate from what a Trump presidency and the failure of the Democratic Party to lead a strong opposition represents: mass ignorance. On the one hand, the idea that billionaire Trump is some kind of outsider (he’s already proven this incorrect by hiring Republican insiders), and on the other hand, thinking the same Republican-lite Democratic Party the Clintons ushered in, in a permanently depressed economy, is going to stop a man perceived to be an outsider. Corporations have been selling plastic rebellion for decades.

Ignorance leads to fear, fear to hatred, hatred to moral depravity and violence. But it all stems from ignorance, from not knowing and not wanting to know. Anti-Intellectualism in American life is a tradition that may become the undoing of the human species. And it’s getting really difficult to be polite about it. If your friend is standing in the middle of a highway with his children and a semi is barrelling down on them at 100 mph, you’d not be much of a friend to say “Well we both disagree on whether you should be standing there, but it’s your right in a free society.”  A more appropriate response would be to yell, “GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE ROAD YOU FUCKING IDIOT! YOU’RE GOING TO GET US ALL KILLED!”

While education is a requirement for a democracy to function, we can’t afford to wait until we strengthen the educational system and make college affordable, and only then expect the public to make responsible democratic decisions. Those of us who understand the possible catastrophes in the coming decades, and there are millions of us even in this idiocracy, now need to follow the Standing Rock Sioux at #NODAPL and other indigenous tribes worldwide, and develop a practical strategy to dismantle the fossil fuel industry, and eventually take state power. We can’t waste time trying to educate people who have spent decades being made stupid from corporate and religious power propaganda, people who have graduated high school and college not understanding what science and evidence even is. A definitive, black/white argument from a corporate or religious stooge is infinitely easier for the masses to digest as they float through an ocean of media rather than a speculative, complex, nuanced, evidence-based argument from a scientist that will only catch the ear of the naturally curious. Neil degrasse Tyson and others have been trying to popularize science with encouraging results that will benefit us long term, but we need to act now. I am past tired of trying to engage people who have been programmed to think thoughts that lend themselves to corporate power no matter the evidence.

Perhaps Republican control of all three branches of government will do away with the illusion that we can sit back and allow those in power to take measures to curb climate change. Hillary Clinton and a Democratically controlled Senate would have had to have been pushed to do anything beyond half-measures. And half-measures will leave us just as dead as doing nothing at all.

Clearly though, Republicans offer a mountain to climb in the way of progress on climate change to the establishment Democrats’ hurdle. I’m waiting to see what kind of weirdness a Trump administration will bring. There’s a possibility that we’ll have the first resignation since Nixon, once the guy realizes the weight of his office. What we do know is Trump is a climate change denier who promised to bring back the coal industry and approve all pipelines. He has stated he’s going to gut the EPA, and hired another climate change denier, Myron Ebell, to head his EPA transition team. Trump has also stated he’s going to back out of the Paris agreement. In response, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said he was going to place a carbon tax on American products should the US pull out of the agreement, while author Naomi Klein called for sanctions against the US.

What Your Children and Grandchildren Will Face if We Keep Burning Fossil Fuels

1. Mass migration from sea level rise.

The oceans have absorbed 93% of the heat caused by the burning of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution, half of that heat has been absorbed since 1997. This melts ice. Melted ice means rising sea levels. Sea level rise means no more Miami, New York, San Diego, Sydney, any city near an ocean. This means millions of people will have to find new homes. If humans were smart, they’d prepare for this and move gradually. More likely, humans will deny and deny until their sewer systems no longer function and there’s water in the living room. A Katrina-like catastrophe won’t be confined to the lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, it will involve millions and millions of people with no water.

Methane trapped under the ice caps will also be released into the atmosphere, which is known as amplified feedback.. the more the climate warms, the more it causes conditions that further warm the climate.

2. Agricultural Collapse

What happens when the “breadbasket of the world” becomes a desert? As the climate changes rapidly, it doesn’t just get warmer so we can grow bananas in Pennsylvania. It means more drought, more extreme weather, more flooding, the proliferation of new pests farther North, all of which has an immediate effect on the global food supply. With populations growing and growing, your children will most likely see or experience instances of mass starvation and death as extreme weather events cause crops to fail.

3. Water Wars

We’re already seeing a reduction in water supply and a disruption of the water cycle from heavy rains. Glaciers around the world that provide water for millions of people are melting at a rapid pace. If global corporations are allowed to own all the water, they’re sure to protect that resource with violence just like they do with “their” oil.

Read about other “Climate Impacts on Society“, a very conservative article courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency.

So if a planet full of millions of people dying constantly of mass starvation and thirst, constant world war over basic resources, wildfires, more powerful hurricanes, floods, acidification of the oceans, and on and on is a place you want your progeny to exist in, I encourage you to relax, do nothing, and enjoy what we have while it lasts. Look at the world in terms of easy answers and short term solutions, every problem framed simply in a good vs. evil dichotomy, and continue to vote for leaders who think just like you.

The Mindset of Survival

For roughly 94% of human history, we have survived as hunter-gatherers. We lived in small egalitarian bands and shared all acquired resources. With the invention of agriculture 12,000 years ago, societies began to form around fertile lands, and thus the concept of ownership grew out of this. Authority, hierarchy, and authoritarian religions grew out of this. Monotheism and all of its resulting conflicts near the “fertile crescent” of the Middle East grew out of this.

Several hundred years ago hierarchical European societies, empowered by a lust for gold and a belief in an authoritarian dictator god, began to enslave members of tribal societies in Africa, and conquer entire tribes in the Americas with sword and small pox. During the final century hierarchical European society was obliterating tribal societies in Africa and America, the Industrial Revolution took off. Those on the lower rung of the European hierarchies were taken from their small shops and small farms and made to work in coal powered factories. William Blake called them “Satanic mills”. And we’ve been burning fossil fuels ever since.

I cannot take any argument seriously that states hierarchical corporations who are blowing off mountain tops in West Virginia and poisoning millions of gallons of water with fracking, injecting it into wells and causing earthquakes in Oklahoma, who are paying people to say climate change is a hoax, who are causing wars over oil resources in the Middle East, are going to voluntarily solve this problem in the free market. Companies will continue wrapping everything in plastic unless forced to do otherwise. Local governments will keep refusing to raise taxes on the rich and build public transportation unless forced to do otherwise.

We need massive public action on these things, in order to pass regulation to force giant corporations to stop burning so many fossil fuels. To expect individuals, compelled to live in a fossil fuel based economy, to cut down their individual behaviors is not only absurd, but even if everyone cut down their household electricity use by half it still wouldn’t be enough to keep the world below the accepted 2 degrees Celsius of post-industrial global temperature increase. To make the argument “Well how do you get to work? How are you online now? How do you stay warm in the winter?” defends the system that is destroying us by deliberately refusing to look at a big picture answer, that actually questions the entire system.

We need sweeping legislation by a government that truly represents the public. And to get that, no matter who is in office, we need a mass movement of people taking action like the people in Standing Rock, North Dakota.

 

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i’m serious senator

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The End of The World 2016: Ranting and Endorsements

Note: raw copy, not yet proofread, sure to be mistakes, will remove this note when cleaned up

Tomorrow, all over The United States of America, millions of Hee Haw extras will turn off whatever form of corporate propaganda they droll to, trim their goatees so their mouth looks like their mother’s hairy vagina, slap on a pair of Oakley wraparound dickface sunglasses, practice their jack-ass smirk, kick the corn out of their pre-distressed bootcut jeans, then get into a vehicle that’s obnoxious on purpose in some way. They will attempt to operate the vehicle. But they will fail. It will be a turn-signal-free, slow-in-the-left-lane, wait…wait..wait.. then-pull-out-from-a-side-street-just-before-oncoming-traffic-approaches-then-go-10-mph-under-the-speed-limit-so-the-car-behind-them-has-to-brake-to-avoid-rear-ending-them, not-knowing-when-to-go-at-a-4-way-stop, not-turning-their-headlights-on-in-the-dark, truck-nuts, bumper-stickers-advertising-their-own-brain-damage, not-knowing-a-green-arrow-pointing-left-means-you-can-turn-left, taking-a-full-6-seconds-between-the-time-they-take-their-foot-off-the-brake-and-place-it-on-the-accelerator, taking-upwards-of-half-a-minute-to-make-the-actual-turn ride to a polling place within walking distance. They will take up at least two spaces in the parking lot of a church or dilapidated public building to cast their vote for their king, the Orange King of All Douchebags. An illiterate, spoiled rich kid snake-oil salesman who is an obvious fraud with all the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.

To explain Donald Trump to one of his enthusiastic supporters is like trying to explain to someone with a nose that shit stinks. You can either smell the orange turd on your dinner plate, or something is fucked up about your nose.

That Trump is terrible is obvious to anyone who has managed to dodge the onslaught of decades of anti-intellectualism and corporate propaganda, whose curiosity wasn’t grated down enough to educate themselves despite the refusal of the system to properly educate us since the 1970s. He’s a billionaire selling rebellion with his name on it like one of his shitty products. He’s the music industry selling”alternative music” in the 90s. “This isn’t the same old corporate crap,” they had unwitting stooges in Seattle bands tell us. Before you know it you have the worst corporate diarrhea ever created by the music industry, rednecks yarling all over the radio, labelled “alternative”.

Step aside Douche Savior from Creed, Donald Trump is the new Douche Savior of stupid white people, “rith arrrlms wad hope-reennn”.

As you can probably tell I’m not voting for him, because I am smart, or at the very least, not a total moron.

Sloover’s 2016 Election Endorsements for Tulsa County Oklahoma

For President/Vice President, US Senator, State Senator District 39, State Representative District 70, County Sheriff, County Court Clerk, and County Commissioner District No. 2: STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET

There’s no fucking way you’re going to convince me to vote for Republicans and Libertarians in this state. Trickle-down urine economics and corporate control of resources is already causing motherfucking 5.0 earthquakes, oil pipeline spills, mass incarceration, deplorable education conditions, and poverty in Oklahoma. I want nothing to do with anyone aligned with these ideologies holding public office. In past elections I have voted for Republicans in local elections, but not this time, and not here. Oklahoma Republicans are all flagrant corporate whores. Governor Mary “the Joker” Fallin, with her whore makeup and vacant stare, has refused federal money for Medicaid, literally denying healthcare for millions of people in poverty. Fuck her. Senator Jim Inhofe threw a snowball on the floor of congress in Washington DC in the winter to prove climate change doesn’t exist. He’s a moron and a whore cocksucker to the oil industry who has lobbied against every EPA measure to protect our environment. James Inhofe should be drug out of his offices here in Tulsa, beaten with boards with rusty nails in them, tarred and feathered and marched through the Tulsa streets while children throw rocks at his penis, then dressed as a penis himself, then hung from the crotch of the Dickless Driller. And neither of those cunts are even running this time. But Fuck the Oklahoma Republican Party leadership. Fuck every one of them.

Now I will write about a few of my selections included in the my Straight Democratic Ticket vote……………

President/Vice President: HILLARY CLINTON AND TIM CAINE, A PROTEST VOTE IN THE REDDEST STATE IN THE UNION

According to FiveThirtyEight, Donald Trump has a 99.9% chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in Oklahoma. That means my vote for president, no matter who I vote for, literally doesn’t count and doesn’t matter. I’ve tried to explain this to idiots who support Hillary Clinton (Donald Trump doesn’t have a monopoly on idiots, there are enough uneducated people for every candidate in this country). But they don’t understand how the electoral college works. “Every vote matters!” No it doesn’t. Not when you’re in Oklahoma.

There’s no fucking way I’m voting for Gary Johnson. I’d pick Trump over him.

And the Green Party didn’t bother to get on the ballot here, or I would have voted for Jill Stein, who has an actual liberal ideology like Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders won in Oklahoma, a hipper state than Pennsylvania, where moderate conservative Hillary Clinton won.

Anyway I look forward to the Green Party’s big plans for 2017 when it’s not an election year. I’m sure their website might be updated a couple times. Maybe their Myspace page.

I also don’t have a write in option. One year ago I put out a video called “Why I Will Never Vote for Hillary Clinton”. I assumed I’d have some other option that was further to the left of her, or at least a write-in option here. Also I said in the video, I would vote for her in a swing state. Or whatever I’m a liar, who cares.

The first woman president is more than symbolic. I wish it was someone else. I wished Obama was someone else too. I knew he was funded by corporations and the defense industry. I knew he was going to continue mass murdering civilians in the middle east and continue funneling bailout money to Wall Street, just like his predecessor. But I remember Inauguration Day 2009. I lived on a farm in North Carolina. We had a rare, thick snowfall and the snow blanketed the rolling hills and made the woods beautiful, just like it does every winter in Pennsylvania where I’m from . And I walked out into the field with my dog Maggie and wept. The first black president was no joke, and I know I’ll feel the same about the first woman president.

That’s not why I’m voting for her though, I’m voting but it’s the least worst option. Just like Obama was, just like John Kerry. The election campaign is about personalities, but for me it’s about policy. Having an intact Environmental Protection Agency and a president we can push on climate change is better than having no Environmental Protection Agency, which Trump proposes, which would probably end any hope for curbing fossil fuel emissions and making the planet habitable for your grandchildren. Shitty foreign policy that we can fight her on is worse than insane foreign policy power wielded by an illiterate and manipulated by whatever dictator gets to him first. Obamacare we can push her into moving toward single payer is better than whatever insane corporate model a Republican congress and executive would concoct.

We, the left, bought into the campaign rhetoric of Obama and failed to look at where the money was coming from. Well I didn’t but most of the rest of you did. The anti-war movement dissolved and the war continued. The left failed to push Obama on anything because they thought he was as sincere as Bernie Sanders. We can’t make the same mistake with Hillary.

If Hillary wins, I’m looking forward to fighting her for eight years. If Trump wins, I’m looking forward to an insurrection by next summer.

United States Senator: MIKE WORKMAN, A Sane Man with No Hope of Winning

James Lankford is a typical Republican cunt. Evangelical, supports expanding fossil fuel exploration and the Patriot Act, less restrictions on guns, barred the EPA from regulating emissions, opposes federal healthcare, abortion, and gay marriage. Probably a racist too. Scum of the earth.

The only other party in Oklahoma (like most of the US) organized enough to take down scumbags like this is the Democratic Party. So I’m voting for Mike Workman. Wants to raise the minimum wage, support education, supports alternative energy. He doesn’t have a snowball’s chance on the Senate floor of winning.

State Senator: JOHN WALDRON, An Enthusiastic Endorsement for a Teacher I Met in My Neighborhood

The greatest thing that’s happened in Oklahoma this election season is the “Teacher Caucus”. A bunch of educators fed up with education being continually cut in Oklahoma so the oil whores in government here can give their masters another sloppy tax break decided to run for office. This is grassroots politics, and this needs to keep happening. With or without Bernie Sanders’ “Our Revolution”, sane people like Mr. Waldron need to get involved in politics and kick the greedy bastards out. And it needs to happen yesterday.

I met John Waldon at a fundraiser held around the corner from my house – a fundraiser in schoolteacher fashion – a bake sale. Nice, smart guy, who is running on a simple but important issue – the fact that we need to educate our children. And one reason for that is so we don’t end up with another Trump.

Oklahoma has led the nation in cuts to education over the last decade, at 24%. (Despite that, Bernie Sanders won and Trump lost their respective primaries here.) As Waldon stated in the Tulsa World article linked above, “This is not a political question any more, it’s a social question. It’s about how we live our lives and kids’ abilities to go to decent schools.”

Out of everyone I’m voting for, John Waldon will be my conscience vote. It all comes down to education in this country. The destructive lack of it education, and the arrogant anti-intellectualism that goes with it angers me more than anything else about my country.

Tulsa County Sheriff: REX BERRY, Who is Not Vic Regalado

After former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s buddy who he let play cop murdered an unarmed black man, in a moment of sanity, Tulsa decided it would be a good idea if there wasn’t a sheriff any more. There was a runoff election in the spring, and the people of Tulsa voted for Vic Regalado as the new sheriff.

Regalado received an unusually large amount of money for a sheriff’s campaign, including $2500 from a 25 year old convicted felon.

The issue of transparency of Oklahoma law enforcement, including Tulsa County Sheriffs department, has been raised by the new Tulsa investigative journalism outlet, The Frontier. As interim sheriff, Regalado has already had issues with transparency, resulting in a lawsuit by the Frontier for the release of a video in which an inmate suffered a broken neck, back, and pelvis while in a jail cell. The department claimed he jumped into a sink from his bunk bed.

Regalado is almost certain to retain his position. Some of Rex Berry’s recent quotes to media all but conceded.

Judicial Retention

This is a Yes/No vote on whether individual justices should be retained. It’s hard to find out where judges stand on issues. Sometimes you can check out who is endorsing them and vote based on that. To go along with my Straight Democratic Ticket, I am voting based on whether a Democratic or Republican governor appointed these judges.

Winchester: NO

Combs: YES

Hudson: NO

Smith: NO

Fischer: YES

Thornburgh: NO

Joplin: YES

State Questions

We have several referendums we can vote on here in Oklahoma. These will probably be the most important part of our ballot, since Republicans will probably win every other contest, but these could go either way.

776 “Oklahoma Death Penalty Amendment“: FUCK NO

This will give the morons that run this state more flexibility in abusing the death penalty. Since so many people have been wrongfully murdered by the state, I’m generally against the death penalty. And when morons like the Republicans who run this state have the power to kill people, there’s no fucking way I’m in favor of anything that has to do with giving them any power.

777 “Right to Farm”: NO

Just like “Right to Work” this is a corporate giveaway designed to look like it’s protecting small farmers. Like every fucking thing Oklahoma Republicans do, it’s giving corporations power to use the state as its whore. The Frontier asks “How is it the largest producer of pork in the world, owned by a Chinese firm, with its president a member of the Communist Party, is able to own 45,000 sows in Oklahoma? Are they helping pass State Question 777?”

779 “Raise the Sales Tax 1% for Public Education”: YES BUT..

…fuck that it’s just a way to tax the poor for a societal necessity by raising sales tax (a flat tax on everybody which hurts more the lower your income is). And there is some private charter school lobbying money involved in supporting this thing.. Charter schools are private schools that loot public treasuries. However, the State Question clearly states public education would receive the money, and that is desperately needed.

780 “Change Drug Possession/Petty Theft from Felonies to Misdemeanors”: FUCK YES

The penalties in this state for drug possession are fucking insane. The prisons are overcrowded. The state is broke. And stop fucking talking about how free our country is when we have the most people in prison in the world and in world history, by number and percentage of population, because we fucking insist on locking up people who are guilty of non-violent crimes. This costs taxpayer money both in the short and long term. A person with a felony conviction is more likely to rely on public services even after they do their time than a person with a misdemeanor. FUCK FUCKING FUCK YES on 780

781 Just Provides Funding for 780: FUCK YES AGAIN

790 “Enabling Evangelical Cunts to Loot the Treasury So They Can Put Their 10 Commandments Vomit All Over Public Parks and Buildings”: FUCK NO

No state money for religion. Religions should pay taxes too. Assholes. Fuck off. Read the Constitution. Shitheads want to turn this country into a Christian version of a middle eastern theocracy. You need to be kicked in the face.

792 “Liberalizing the Alcohol Laws”: YES

Groceries stores can sell beer and wine. This will eliminate this Oklahoma low point beer fucking shit beer. Low point beer is for evangelicals. 3.2% – it doesn’t even get you drunk. What kind of evil motherfucker invented that shit? There are decent arguments against this law, namely the privately owned liquor stores will have to compete with big grocery chains.. but they will still have a monopoly on all hard liquor, varieties of craft beer and wines. And since I drink mostly liquor an wine, I’ll still be shopping at my local liquor store. However low point beer is a terrible scourge. And I can’t wait to see the old men at the bar who are used to drinking a 3.2 Budweiser get shitfaced.

That’s all for now. Follow me on Twitter @sloover for election day updates. Weather permitted I will be walking all around Tulsa, taking pictures, commenting on news. Wednesday I’ll probably post my thoughts here. Good luck and don’t worry. It’s only the end of THIS world.

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Walking the Dog in the Cool Morning Fog

Late October morning in Oklahoma, quiet and cool, I could see the fog covering the backyard, and the neighbor’s house across the street. I wanted to get out in it before the sun got too high and burned it all off. I poured coffee into a plastic mug with a lid, put on some clothes, and swallowed ibuprofen for a sore toe. On a hike the week prior, up on Turkey Mountain, the toe rammed into a massive rock embedded in a downhill path and hurt like hell. But it didn’t really bother me until it sent me limping the following Saturday, during the last quarter of my twelve hour shift, where I walk a massive clothing warehouse all day, stocking and picking items in preparation the annual winter solstice shopping orgy.

I strapped the dog in her harness and leash, and walked her out the door with my coffee steaming into the fog around us.

“It’s so quiet,” I said aloud as we walked down the driveway, as though the fog itself made everything silent. Even the large white dog who came out to guard his territory when we passed barked deeply and softly at us. Even my dog, aggressive toward other dogs, paid him no mind. A little sedan went by, late model though quiet as an electric car. Even on the main road the cars going ran softly, like the fog made everything, man, animal, machine, behave as though in church, whispering and genuflecting in awe of its mystery.

I imagined this place when it was still wild prairie, and the view looking South to the bottom of the hill toward 31st Street, and the hill lifting back up to the little college campus. I craved a wider view of the fog, so I made the fairgrounds our destination, with its vast flat parking lot. There, greeted by the Golden Driller, the fog complementing him, he became a mythical giant from a weirder, older fairy tale than the 20th century one he was constructed for.

There was an Arabian horse show going on at the fairgrounds in the massive expo center. We passed the big open doors. They had filled the place with dirt, and an announcer was speaking over the PA, in a tinny, country voice spoken through the nose, immediately recognizable as a horse racing announcer voice.

We cut across the back of the expo center into the vast foggy parking lot, the old fairground buildings eaten in the fog, looking like mystical palaces. The dog sniffed spots of horseshit as I yanked her gently away from it. Pickup trucks parked everywhere, and even in the busy lot, the fog continued to maintain a quietness in everything. Trails of dirt and mulch across the parking lot from the barns toward the northern end of the fairgrounds where the horses were being housed to the expo center  where they were being shown.

We walked over the first trail and kept on toward the second. The dog spotted an old hat left in a parking space, dirty and worn with some sort of horse logo on the front. I let her sniffed it but pulled her to keep going.

We approached the second dirt path. A man and woman guided a horse over the dirt path. A brown horse, finely groomed, wearing purple garments and mask. The dog tensed and stopped and her ears perked up. She’d never seen a horse so close. I stalled her at about 50 yards so she wouldn’t get close and disturb the beast, a pampered show horse. She was about as blown away as though seeing an alien. But she didn’t bark. The the fog kept her quiet.

She couldn’t help but sniff around the dirt path at the hoof prints as we headed on into the foggy parking lot full of pickup trucks, and back around the expo center, again toward the golden giant.

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Help Allison if you can

This is my friend Annie’s girlfriend, Allison. This is her gofundme page. This is 100% legit, and they are good people. Annie has helped me out designing graphics and doing a bunch of editing for me for free just because she’s awesome. So you can consider a donation to Allison a donation to Sloover.com

I am a disabled transgender woman who is just starting out on my transition, and looking for some help with it….The dysphoria and depression that have haunted me nearly my entire life have significantly lessened since I began my transition

After 28 years of lying to myself and the world about who I am, I am finally embracing it instead. My facial hair is one of the last things standing in the way of being able to present fully female. It would mean the world to me to be able to look people proudly in the face instead of trying to hide mine.

The kindness and support I’ve received since I have embraced my true self have been incredible. I am relying on that kindness again here.

Please help out if you can, and if you have cool friends please share this on the social media of your choice.

https://www.gofundme.com/AllisonsGoal

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Comply or Die

Dash cam video

Watch the cop (Betty Shelby) on the right

0:15 Terence Crutcher hands up
0:16 DJ on radio: “James Hetfield” as Crutcher turns toward car with hands still up
0:17 POP of gunfire – Betty Shelby recoils – plume of smoke – Crutcher’s hands go down
0:18 Crutcher wobbles, more cops rush in
0:29 Crutcher collapses
0:34 “Shots fired!”

 

 

 

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We Must Destroy the Fossil Fuel Industry

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota is on the front lines of a war for the existence of the human species.

In April, the tribe and its allies set up Sacred Stone Camp in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline stretches 1,172 miles from northwestern North Dakota to south-central Illinois. It has the potential of carrying 570,000 barrels of oil a day. It crosses the pristine waters of the northern part of the Missouri River, and the the already depleting Ogallala Aquifer, which provides 30% of groundwater used in irrigation in the United States, as well as drinking water for millions of people.

The company building the pipeline, Dakota Access, LLC, is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, a giant conglomerate of fossil fuel interests ruled by Kelcy Warren, a Texas fossil fuel billionaire.

While many Americans have been subject to the comforting lies of the psychotic fossil fuel industry, the Standing Rock Sioux are among those of us who understand that burning fossil fuels threatens the habitability of the climate. They understand that oil spills threaten to contaminate the water. And the Standing Rock Sioux sure as hell understand that the authorities, from local police forces to federal agencies, are there to protect big business interests, and not the public.

That is, unless the public raises enough hell to force them to do otherwise.

On Friday, September 2nd, the Standing Rock Sioux filed papers in federal court disclosing the locations of burial grounds and sacred sites on or near the pathway of the pipeline construction. A day later, Saturday September 3rd, Energy Transfer Partners halted work in the location they were working, drove bulldozers over to where the burial sites were, and proceeded to destroy them. This is outlined in the Democracy Now report, corroborated in a Facebook video by Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigineous Environmental Network.

“They stopped construction, and hopscotched over all this land to drop the machinery in and plowed through the last two miles, right through that cultural site. On purpose. They purposely went through that site, plowed through those grave sites. Because they wanted to get there before state officials could come out and do an official survey to tell them to stop.

This obviously angered the crowd at Sacred Rock Camp who then confronted the workers. They were met with attack dogs from a possibly unlicensed company called Frost Kennels from near Akron Ohio. Dogs were released into the crowd and encouraged to bite the demonstrators.

The local police force, Morton County Sheriff’s Department, was reportedly not on the scene, but put out a press release simply re-stating the company’s claims, and not taking into consideration the Democracy Now! video or the claims of the demonstrators on the ground. The AP took this as gospel and repeated the false narrative that protestors (who call themselves “water protectors”) suddenly attacked Frost Kennels for no reason, with not one word about what happened in the video: unrestrained, poorly trained attack dogs encouraged to bite people, pepper spray being deployed.

Saturday’s clash, on the anniversary of the White Stone Hill Massacre of 1863 that happened in the same area, is an arrogant American tradition in how authorities deal with peaceful protests. Protestors are provoked by authorities, protestors retaliate, then the retaliation is presented as irrational violence out of nowhere.

As Naomi Klein points out in her book This Changes Everything, indigenous people are on the front lines of the fight against oil extractors all over the world. In Klein’s Yes Magazine interview with indigenous activist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Simpson links extraction to historical theft of indigenous resources by Europeans:

Colonialism and capitalism are based on extracting and assimilating…extracting is stealing—it is taking without consent, without thought, care or even knowledge of the impacts that extraction has on the other living things in that environment. That’s always been a part of colonialism and conquest. Colonialism has always extracted the indigenous—extraction of indigenous knowledge, indigenous women, indigenous peoples.

Waiting for Our First Quake-nado

That same Saturday when mercenaries attacked Native Americans with dogs and chemicals, I woke up at 7am to my bed vibrating. I knew what it was. I held my hands up for some reason. I was in that pocket between sleep and awake where you’re melancholy and demented every morning.

“What’s that?”

“It’s an earthquake,” Redhead replied.

“Earthquake,” I said with my hands held up like a street preacher.  It rumbled and rumbled, the longest one I’d felt since being in DC in 2011 when the National Mall grounds turned to jello just as I stepped on the outer ring of the Washington Monument.

Redhead and I live in Midtown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, near the fairgrounds operated by the Cherokee Nation. We’re close to residing directly in the shadow of Tulsa’s iconic Golden Driller, a 75 foot tall oil-worker with no dick and balls.

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Tulsa was built on oil. And the oil industry remains the economic driver in this town. Low gas prices are great at the pump, but shitty for the local economy.

Since 2009, Oklahoma has been fracking, and in the process poisoning billions of gallons of water which then has to be injected in disposal wells. This is in addition to the wastewater from oil wells. With the massive increase in wastewater injection, comes a massive increase in seismic activity. In 2015, the same year Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law preventing localities from banning frackingOklahoma recorded 907 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or greater. Before 2009, Oklahoma had fewer than two such quakes yearly.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, who oversees oil and gas extraction, has been ordering wells shut down since 2015. Sandridge Energy made news for refusing to shut down their wells in January 2016. Following Saturday’s 5.6 magnitude quake, the Commission ordered 35 more wells shut down adjacent to the epicenter in Pawnee, OK.

In an ironic and metaphorical twist, the largest oil storage hub in North America in Cushing, OK is now threatened by the increase in the strength of earthquakes. If that doesn’t wake these bastards up to the destructive nature of their pillaging, nothing will.

Half Measures

Here in Tulsa, smart young city councilmen and entrepreneurs are trying to combat the ravages of capitalism by diversifying the local economy. Like my native Pittsburgh, a city once destroyed by dependence on a single industry controlled by greedy scum, Tulsa is attempting to make its downtown a destination area for tourists, drinkers, music-lovers, foodies, and the coveted Young Urban Professional who will pay top dollar for a newly built loft or an old broken down house their parents have money to renovate.

Which of course will, in turn, as in other cities from New York to San Francisco, drive up the cost of rent and push out all the non-yuppie culture that made the neighborhoods great places to be in the first place.

And the cycle of colonialism and plunder continues… And this is why we need not to build new forms of the old system, to but destroy this system entirely.

With the Paris Agreement, many nations have finally decided to agree to cut down on carbon admissions. Science said, years ago, that we have to keep post-industrial warming levels to under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Politicians said, okay, we’ll fuck off for a few years and not agree on anything and keep our public stupid so the money can keep on rolling in from the fossil fuel industry. Then finally, this week, all these psychopaths decided to sign the Paris Agreement, which, according to science, is seriously and gravely inadequate.

From a Nature abstract published in June “Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2 °C”:

The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. …The INDCs collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to where current policies stand, but still imply a median warming of 2.6–3.1 degrees Celsius by 2100. More can be achieved…both in ambition and scope. Substantial enhancement or over-delivery on current INDCs by additional national, sub-national and non-state actions is required to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Non-state actions. I like that one. Scientists have to be careful with language, but I don’t. That means sharpen your pitchforks and fire up your torches.

This Means War

Bold, courageous, arrest/injury-risking direct action like the Standing Rock Sioux are taking in North Dakota should be happening everywhere fossil fuels are extracted. And it takes lots of people organizing and forming nonviolent warfare strategies. Sign me up, show me where the meeting is! (seriously, if you are part of an environmental justice group in Tulsa, contact me sloover76@gmail.com, let me know when the next meeting is).

But ultimately, we need to seize government from the hands of big business interests, or half measures like the Paris Agreement will continue to be taken by Corporate Democrats, and zero-measures will be taken by the Republican fossil fuel industry whores who currently run the Sooner State.  We desperately need more representation of the public interest in our current government if we are to topple the fossil fuel empires.

A government of the people needs to take control of the oil industry, to flip the current arrangement on its head. And then implement a long term plan for shifting, much faster than any corporate-sponsored government or Paris Agreement would allow, to a 100% renewable economy.

Ideally, the day after the government-of-the-people takeover, all fossil fuel profits would go to renewable infrastructure rebuilding. All those working in the actual production and sale of fossil fuels would keep their jobs. Workers would be guaranteed new jobs in the vast renewable energy infrastructure as fossil fuel production is gradually phased out.

All the oil barons, the CEOs, COOs, and other unnecessary executives would be fired and their salaries applied to infrastructure building. Also they would be given a lifetime supply of sardines and contaminated water and locked in a coal mine while their assets are seized. Ideally.

The infrastructure will consist of a new electric grid set up like the internet. Just like the internet consists of millions of computers producing and uploading content for all to download, the new electric grid will consist of millions of structures (buildings, houses, solar and wind farms) producing and uploading energy for all to download.

Power, in both a literal and political sense, will no longer come from a centralized source that extracts, hoards, and doles it out. Power will be created by each of us for the benefit of all of us.

And that, my friends, spells the end of a hierarchical society, and the re-emerging of a truly cooperative, egalitarian one. And that’s how human beings have survived for 95% of our time as a species, and that’s how we’ll continue on.

“Everyone must choose to walk with the water of life, or the weapon of destruction.”

Black Elk, Oglala Lakota (Sioux) (1863-1950)

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