Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rage against the machine

Where is it?
Officers restrain Eleanor Fairchild, 78, left, and Daryl Hannah in a dust-up
during their protest of the Keystone XL pipeline in Wood County, Texas.

PHOTO: from Future Earth Eco Tribe facebook page

In a confrontation Monday that was barely reported, a 78-year-old woman was arrested in Texas for protesting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline being built to transport the dirtiest imaginable oil from Canada's oil sands site to the Gulf of Mexico for export overseas.

Eleanor Fairchild protested because the construction was on land taken from her by the state of Texas under eminent domain to allow the pipeline to go through.  And then Eleanor along with actress Daryl Hannah ended up in jail.

In other words, an American state government confiscated one of its own citizens' land for the profit of a foreign company.  And that American landowner ended up in jail because of it.

What is particularly telling is in interviews one local TV station in Wood County, Texas, showed people who disagreed with her, thought the government was correct in taking her land and then throwing her in jail when she objected.

While it might be jumping to a conclusion and it is a real danger to judge people, those interviewed reminded me of the same ones interviewed claiming President Obama is a traitor or defending their rights to own assault weapons because there might have to be an armed rebellion against government intrusion into private rights.  This is in a state where supposedly responsible elected officials threatened to secede from the Union after Obama's reelection.

Noticeably absent from Eleanor Fairchild's protest against the government taking her land for the benefit of a foreign corporation were those gun-toting zealots wanting to defend individuals from the tyranny of the state.  Where is the outrage when a little old lady and an actress were trying to block heavy, yellow equipment in an attempt to stop the project?

Oh, yeah, they defend the pipeline, believing the oil industry's total bulldust about how many jobs the pipeline will create, 30 full time once the pipeline is completed according to one report.  And others believing industry bulldust about how they can clean up any spill.  Ask the folks in Arkansas about that one, or in the Gulf of Mexico or in Prince William Sound in Alaska. Incidentally, to build the Alaska pipeline, the government had to settle Native land claims, in the process ceding more than 40 million acres of land and $40 million for the privilege and making the pipeline pay for leases where it crosses Native lands.  Was anything like this offered to Eleanor Fairchild?

Have to ask too, where was the press?  Only one of the first 10 results of a Google search showed a link to any of the established national news outlets other than those strictly on the Web, and that one was a local CBS affiliate in Wood County.

All in all it is a big fail across the board.  Not to advocate violence or armed rebellion, but how is anyone expected to believe the commitment of all those gun-waving patriots when not one of them showed up to defend a great-grandmother against a government that took her land?  Doesn't Ted Nugent live in Texas?  Wonder what would happen if that pipeline crossed his land where he hunts animals confined by fences. All this points to the fact that Nugent and others like him are blowhards, shake a saber, raise an assault rifle and and hide behind a misinterpretation of the second amendment to defy the government to pry their guns from their dead cold fingers, but when it comes to reality, just another bunch of hateful cowards with no backbones.

And, how is anyone expected to trust a press that is more interested in covering manufactured scandals in Washington than it is in protecting people's rights.  Apparently the federal and Texas governments are willing to damn the individual in favor of a foreign company that plans to ship the dirtiest, foulest oil known to man all the way across the country to a port where it can be shipped to overseas markets.  Interesting that Canadians blocked the plan to take the pipeline west to tidewater somewhere along Canada's Pacific coast.

Just have to ask, where is the rage?

CBS affiliate's video report on the arrests.

For more, Google: eleanor fairchild eminent domain

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Interesting quotations

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeare on Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

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