The “Winuts”

 

The “Winuts”

Lessons (not) Learned From Aesop or Uncle Remus

John Hanno    October 31, 2016

Whether employing Aesop, the Bible, Big Bird and Sesame Street or Uncle Remus, most parents attempt to plant the seeds of morality into their children, soon after the age of reasoning. I believe you can relate each and every one of these lessons to the 2016 Republican primary and general election. Its clear that many neo-con politicos and corporate types, either failed to heed those formative lessons, or were tutored from the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, while they’re little brains were developing. Can we even guess what stories Donald Trump was reading or listening to from his parents when he was growing up? He obviously didn’t even read the Journal because from all accounts, he’s just not a very good businessman.

Many rich people like Trump, #324 on Forbes world’s list of billionaires (who by the way is opposed to raising the minimum wage for the working poor), and the Koch brothers, 7th and 8th richest billionaires in the U.S and tied for 9th in the world with $42 billion each, (who support ALEC legislative efforts throughout the country, opposing labor and union rights, living wages for teachers and others in the middle class, and supporting right to work campaigns), must have been reading books like, “The Art of the Deal” when they were very young. Each of the Koch brothers wealth ($42 billion each) is the equivalent of the yearly income of 840,000 average American families, or 1,680,000 families between the 2 brothers. How can they possibly begrudge middle class folks like teachers, mail carriers and union employees, a living wage or collective bargaining. How much wealth is enough for these people?  If they would have read the “Boys and the Frogs” maybe they wouldn’t try so hard to undermine the American worker. Its the story of boys throwing stones and killing frogs swimming in a pond. One of the frogs lifted his head out of the water and cried out: “Pray stop, my boys; what is sport to you, is death to us.” And the moral of the story is: “One man’s pleasure may be another’s pain.”

Charles and David Koch, pledged to spend $889 million on the 2016 election to promote an alt right agenda detrimental to working men and women, organized labor and the environment. The Donald and the Koch’s represent people who place winning above everything; who would do absolutely anything to win. I call them ‘Winuts’. They say America isn’t winning any more and our current leaders don’t know how to win, as if the only thing that matters is how much money or how many toys you’re able to accumulate. We all had friends like them when we were growing up; children who wouldn’t share. Their parents should have read them “Brer Rabbit and the Tarbaby.” Brer Rabbit wanted no part of working with his neighbors to provide water or food but just took what he wanted. Or read “The Miser and His Gold,” the fable about a miser who reduced all his riches to a lump of gold, which he buried. He came back every day just to look at it, but was spied on and his treasure was stolen. As the miser was crying about his loss, he was consoled by a neighbor, who told him that he might as well just bury a stone (or had returned each day to look at a big empty hole) because it would serve the same purpose for all the good his money had done him or had done to help others.

These folks also should have read: “The Dog and it’s Reflection.” A story about a dog carrying a stolen bone in it’s mouth. The dog is looking down as it’s crossing a stream and sees its own reflection in the water. Taking it for another dog carrying something better, the dog opens its mouth to bark at the other dog and drops the bone into the stream and loses it. For years, the Koch brothers have supported efforts by PERC and others to privatize our National Park System and public lands. They believe America should exploit public lands and our national parks for oil drilling, hydraulic fracking and the mining of minerals. They’re also big supporters of Governor Scott Walker and behind efforts to make the state of Wisconsin a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, in order to exploit the states silica sand deposits used by the Koch’s for fracking of natural gas. Aesop’s Fable “The Old Women and the Doctor” involves a women who asks a surgeon to cure her worsening blindness but would not pay for his services unless she was cured. While the surgeon applied salves to her eyes, he was stealing her valuables during each visit. Once she was cured, the women refused to pay his fees because she claimed her sight was worse than ever since she couldn’t see any of her valuable belongings.

The Donald, mimicking all Republicans and many businessmen, trumpets that America’s GDP is anemic. And he screams daily that China and Mexico are stealing our jobs. But China and Mexico aren’t stealing our manufacturing plants and jobs, multinationals have and will continue to chase the cheapest labor, the least amount of safety and environmental regulations and international partners who will turn a blind eye to their exploitation of labor. These companies have off-shored about 60,000 manufacturing facilities. China and Mexico are just the latest destinations. And if TPP is passed, there will be another half dozen of these cheap labor pools to chose from. We used to have a vibrant manufacturing sector that balanced out the rough times for our economy; but thanks to unpatriotic multinationals, our economy now depends on a retail sector representing 71% of America’s economy. And since America’s middle class is struggling, so is our economy. Business titan Henry Ford realized this many decades ago. If his own workers couldn’t afford the autos he was making, his company wouldn’t prosper. So he raised his workers wages substantially. Donald constantly claims he will bring back American jobs but then buys steel and aluminum for his buildings from foreign manufacturers even though it’s readily available from American workers.

In reality, our GDP growth is anemic because America’s middle class has been under siege, since the Regan administration declared war on organized labor. Boomers like myself don’t really buy much of the cheap crap coming from low wage countries. Our homes are mostly furnished and most of our income goes for necessities like food, transportation and healthcare. Millennials, 40% of which still must live at home, can’t spend much because they’re saddled with a student debt albatross around their necks. They can’t buy a home, get married, start a family or can’t even afford rent and expenses while paying down these student loans. This should trouble the family values diehards who support Trump, but it clearly doesn’t. Many Millennials who live in urban areas don’t even drive a car. Low growth will therefore be the new normal for the foreseeable future. And there’s not much a president can do without cooperation from congress. Republicans in congress pander to corporations and the super rich, who want still more tax cuts, so there’s slim to no chance of getting any legislation passed to help the middle class, unless the Democrats take control of the Senate and make strong gains in the House. The fact is, most of us who don’t have investment funds or wealth, couldn’t care less about GDP growth. 75% of America’s workers live paycheck to paycheck. Probably 80% of American’s wages have been stagnant, adjusted for inflation, over the last 25 years. All the benefits from steady increases in productivity over the last 3 decades, has gone to the upper 10%. And unless Citizens United is overturned, nothing much will change.

As always, when it comes to the Republican controlled Congress proposing or opposing legislation to help America’s middle class, they trot out the discredited trickle down economic ideology that hasn’t worked in the last 30 years and has only contributed to worsening income inequality. The first thing that comes out of their mouths is, tax cuts for the rich and cuts to entitlement and social safety net programs. Empathy is not their strong suit. These new tea party controlled Republicans continually bash social programs for poor folks, mostly women and children. They demonize food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, and even Social Security, which is the most successful government program in our history and a program that has raised 10’s of millions of seniors citizens out of poverty. And by the way, a program that is fully funded as long as tax cutting Republi-cons keep their hands off the $2.8 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund surplus. They also opposed every single jobs bill, proposed by the Obama administration after the financial collapse, to help put our middle class back to work. Mr. Trump brags about not paying federal taxes, and after he loses (on paper, thanks to favorable tax dodges) one billion dollars in a single year, experts surmise that because of that write off, he probably hasn’t paid federal taxes in the last 18 years. He says that’s being smart. He doesn’t contribute to our military, which he routinely denigrates, doesn’t contribute to the crumbling infrastructure he bashes daily and doesn’t contribute to our veterans, even though they made it possible for The Trump Brand to flourish. He and many1% er’s and some successful corporations refuse to pay their fair share of supporting our governments and society even though they have prospered the most from them. This reminds me of the fable “The Horse and the Donkey” a variant of the story of the overburdened ass who asks it’s companion the horse to help him carry his load. The horse refuses and the ass dies. The horse is then forced to carry not only the original load but also the dead donkeys skin as well. But the burden here is placed on the American taxpayer. Again the moral comes from La Fontaine’s Fables in poetic form: “Neighbours here should each other aid, For if one dies, it’s on your back, His burden surely shall be laid”.

I realize many people have a jaundiced opinion, when it comes to the ability of politicians to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but Mr. Trump is clearly in a class by himself when it comes to lying. When he repeatedly stands before the American public and lies to their faces, sometimes twice in the same sentence, how can true Republicans still support him? How can they tell their children to tell the truth and then vote for a pathological liar? How can family values type evangelicals continue to support him in spite of his lying, bigotry, deceitful and vulgar conduct and revelations concerning sexual abuse toward women? These evangelical family value ‘Winuts’ place winning the presidential election above absolutely everything, even moral integrity. And you must blame the Trump supporters even more than Trump himself. He said he could shoot someone in times square and they would still vote for him. That’s actually one of the few times he’s told the truth.

I read an article last week in Politico about fact checking the Donald. Daniel Dale, Washington correspondent from Canada’s Toronto Star, thestar.com, said there’s multiple media, CNN, Politifact, Washington Post and others, taking on the monumental task of fact checking Mr. Trump, but he wanted to compile the actual total number of falsehoods. He found that in a 33 day period, Mr. Trump made 253 false statements. He also made 67 false statements (34 and 33) in the first 2 debates. Politifact’s Truth O Meter revealed that 204 of Hillary’s statements were true, mostly true or half true; the Donald had 87. And that 75 of Hillary’s statements were mostly false, false or pants on fire; the Donald had 219. During the final debate they found that 100% of Hillary’s statements were true, mostly true or half true, and 72% of Trump’s statements were mostly false, false or pants on fire. Many people have rightfully labeled Trump a pathological liar.

It’s obvious Mr. Trump never heard the “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” or “The Honest Woodcutter,” which tells of a woodcutter who accidentally drops his axe into a river; and because it was his only means of livelihood, sat down on the river bank and wept. The God Hermes (Mercury) saw him and took pity on the woodcutter. The god dove into the river and brought up a golden axe instead. Is this your axe, asked Hermes? No it wasn’t said the woodcutter, and said the same thing when Hermes brought up a silver axe. But Hermes then brought up the real woodcutters axe and the woodcutter said that was his. Hermes was so impressed by his honesty, the god let him keep all three. Hearing of the woodcutters good fortune, his neighbor threw his axe into the river and sat down and began crying. When Hermes appeared and offered him a golden axe the greedy man said yes it was, but was then denied that and his own axe because he was not truthful. The moral is obviously, Honesty is the Best Policy.

Donald Trump has consistently tried to divide America into two basic groups; those who have always been in power and are reluctant to give that up, even if it means dragging us back to the dark ages; “To Make America Great Again.” And in the second group, “the others;” women, people of color, immigrants and others who just want their share of the American Dream. He denigrates Mexicans, Muslims, women, gays and even disabled folks. He should have studied “The Four Oxen and the Lion.” A lion visited a field where four oxen lived. He repeatedly tried to attack them but the oxen turned their tails to each other so that their horns always faced the attacking lion. But when the oxen fought with each other and went off on their own, the lion attacked them one by one and killed them all. The moral: United we stand, divided we fall.

Donald, like many rich folks and corporate executives, lives in a world where no one ever tells them they’re wrong. They’re surrounded by yes men, revered and constantly praised. Mr. Trump’s ego is bigger than Mt Rushmore; he obviously failed to learn the meaning of humility. He should have read “The Fox and the Crow,” a story about a crow that found a piece of cheese and flew up to a branch to eat it. The Fox, wanting the cheese for himself, flatters the crow, telling him he’s beautiful and asks if his voice is as pretty. When the crow lets out a caw, he drops the cheese and it’s eaten by the fox. The moral, in the form of prose from the La Fontaine’s Fables taught to French and Creole children:

Flatters thrive on fools’ credulity. The lesson’s worth a cheese, don’t you agree.

The crow shamefaced and flustered swore. Too late, however, “Nevermore!”

Everything that comes out of Donald’s mouth is beyond exaggeration. “Only I can make America great again, he says; in spite of the fact America is still great.” “I’m the greatest businessman,” even though he lost a billion dollars in one year, filed bankruptcy 6 times and refuses to produce his tax returns to prove it. “I build the greatest buildings,” even though he merely puts his name in really big letters on someone else’s buildings and then promotes it for his own benefit. “I know more than the generals” or “I alone will destroy ISIS”, even though he hasn’t put forth one single sentence of a creditable foreign police plan in the last 2 years. Donald frequently refers to best selling book, “The Art of the Deal”, as the second best book of all time behind the bible and brags about it as his own work, even though Tony Schwartz actually wrote the entire book. He says he’ll build a wall (the biggest and best wall ever seen) and make Mexico pay for it, even though anyone with half a brain knows it’s a pipe dream. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines demagoguery as the “use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.” Aesop warned against these promises of politicians (“Great cry and Little Wool”) in the fable “The Mountain in Labour.” He also might have read “The Ass In the Lion’s Skin,” the fable about a donkey who puts on a lion’s skin to intimidate and terrify all the foolish animals, but as soon as the fox heard the donkeys voice he said: “I might possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not heard your bray.” The moral is of course: clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.

Donald Trump  regularly brags about his charitable trust and all the charities he donates to but it’s been proven that he never gave what he claimed to schools, veterans, 9-11 victims and others. He took credit for the donations made to his trust by others. In contrast, the Clintons give 11% of their income to charity and their foundation has collected $2 billion for charities around the world, 90% of which goes directly to the various charities. Sen. Bernie Sanders gives about 5% of his income to charity. Mr. Trump should have read: “The Fir and the Bramble” It tells of a fir tree that boasts to a bramble. “You are useful for nothing at all; while I am everywhere used to build roofs and houses.” The bramble answered: “You poor creature, if you would only call to mind the axes and saws which are about to hew you down, you would have reason to wish that you had grown up a bramble, not a fir tree.” The brambles and scrub trees are small but strong and are used in the making of saw and axe handles. The moral: “renown is accompanied by risks of which the humble are free.

And of course Mr. Trump denigrates everyone just to pump himself up. I think he hides an inferiority problem. Mr. Trump led the campaign and propagated lies about President Obama’s birthplace even before he decided to run for office. The Donald hasn’t said one single positive thing about President Obama’s eight years in office. That, in spite of this administration’s success in turning around an economy in free fall, one that was losing 800,000 jobs a month and heading into a depression. They bailed out the American auto industry, which is again making a record numbers of autos. Job creation has averaged more than 200,000 jobs a month and the total is more than 15 million since 2009. The unemployment rate has been cut in half to 4.9%. And the President has cut the deficit by two thirds; you would think he could have at least gotten an at-a-boy from businessman Trump for that.

The New York Times used two full pages of their paper to print out every person and organization insulted by Donald Trump on Twitter since his presidential campaign launched more than a year ago. The list contains 281 “people, places, and things,” including each and every one of his fellow Republican competitors. When I first saw the supremely effective Hillary Clinton campaign video, depicting children watching Donald Trump repeating all the extremely vile and derogatory things he’s said about women, people of color, immigrants and disabled folks, it reminded me of the fable, “The Eagle and the Arrow.” The parable of the soaring eagle who was mortally wounded by an archers arrow. As the eagle fell to earth bleeding to death, he looked at the arrow that pierced his body and discovered the arrow had been made with his own feathers. The moral of the story is: “We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.”

It also reminds me of the “The Bee and Jupiter.” A queen bee ascended Mt. Olympus to present Jupiter with her fresh honey. As a reward, he granted her whatever she wished for. She said ” Give me, I pray thee, a sting that if any mortal shall approach to take my honey, I may kill him. Jupiter loved the human race, but had to grant his promise to the queen bee. So he told her “You shall have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life. For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make and then you will die from the loss of it.” The moral: Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost.

“Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” a story originating in a sermon by Jesus from the New Testament and later told as an Aesop fable, told of a wolf who disguises himself in a sheep’s skin in order to get close to the sheep he wanted to eat. The moral is that: one’s basic nature eventually betrays itself. There’s a variant story that tells us the shepherd was fooled by the wolf’s disguise and he locked up the wolf with his sheep at night, but when the shepherd wanted to eat a sheep for supper, he mistakenly killed the wolf. The moral: Doing bad things can have unintended consequences.

Mr. Trump says over and over that he alone can save the Republican party, that he’s brought millions of new followers into the party. But who are these converts? They’re the voters who Hillary correctly labeled the “Deplorables.” These Folks (The Winuts) will stand by Trump no matter what he does, who he hurts, who he disparages, how deplorable his conduct is, how much he lies, how many folks he cheats, no matter his ties to Russia and their oligarchs and even if he were to shoot someone dead in Times Square. And the media has been fully complicit; giving him as much free rope and coverage as he’s was willing to take. And then Mr. Trump has the nerve to say the election is rigged against him. An apt Aesop fable here would be “The Mischievous Dog” a story about a dog that keeps biting people on the leg. It’s owner ties a bell around his neck to warn people. The dog thinks the bell is a reward so he prances around the town showing off his bell until an older dog tells him it’s really a sign of disgrace. The moral is: notoriety is often mistaken for fame.

This new collection of voters is well; you can’t really call them Republicans because they’re nothing like the Grand Old Party. Those moderates were all drummed out long ago. And you can’t call them conservatives because they’re the least conservative folks I know. Spending $4 or 5 trillion on an unnecessary war is not being conservative. You can’t call them a party because they’re as divided as any group can be. It’s an organization cleaved together basically to oppose, beyond all reason, the first black President in our history. And if Hillary is elected, they will continue to oppose, without rhyme or reason, the first female President in our history. These ‘Winuts’ will work against the “others” no matter the consequences to the country because compromising to them means total capitulation.

The Republican leadership created the environment for this (NTP) Neo Tea Party group to flourish when they got together on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration and hatched a plan to obstruct everything the President attempted to do. They wanted him to fail and become a one term president. They couldn’t care less if America and it’s middle class failed in the process. As long as America’s first black President failed, it was a “win.” Eighteen months ago, no one would have thought Donald Trump would be the standard bearer of the GOP. No one took his candidacy seriously and when they still could have stopped him, they didn’t because he was useful in bringing excitement to a moribund party. Then when he was exposed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, its was too late.  Reminds one of the fable “Belling the Cat” or “The Mice in Council,” a story about a group of mice who crafted a plan to put a bell around the neck of a dangerous cat, so they were warned when the cat was near. But none of the mice would volunteer to put the bell around the cats neck. The moral: The story was used to teach the wisdom of devising a plan not only on how effective it was but also on how to execute the plan, the fundamental difference between an idea and its feasibility.

Or he should have read “The Blind Man and the Lame.”

A blind man was carrying a lame man on his back,
And everything was going well, everything’s on track,
When the blind man decides to take it into his head
That he needn’t listen to all that the lame man said.
“This stick I have will guide the two of us safe,” said he,
And though warned by the lame man, he plowed into a tree.
On they proceeded; the lame man now warned of a brook,
The two survived, but their possessions a soaking took.
At last the blind man ignored the warning of a drop,
And that was to turn out their final and fatal stop.

And in the end, the Donald should have read “The Fox and The Grapes,” about the fox in a vineyard trying to get at the grapes hanging from the vines. Hard as he tried, he couldn’t reach the grapes. He took solace in that they were probably sour anyway. The moral of that story is: people sometimes belittle things they can’t have. This fable brought about the popular expression, “sour grapes.” If he loses to Hillary, he’ll probably say that he really didn’t want to be president after all, that the job would have crimped his style. He wouldn’t have been able to speak his mind (what there is of it) or do exactly what he wants because, well “quite frankly” he would have had to sit down and compromise with the Democrats and even with those in his own party in Congress who disagree with him, and with the FBI and the CIA and the EPA and the IRS and the Pentagon and with NATO and Mexico and Canada and with our other neighbors like Cuba and with Arabs and Muslims and of course would have had to work with black folks and Latinos and with women (who now make up a majority of the work force) without grabbing them by the private parts. And “quite frankly,” he just can’t fire everyone who would disagree with him. And of course he’s said he won’t respect the results of the election “unless he wins.” If that’s not sour grapes, what is?

The simple fact is, 10’s of millions of American’s still haven’t recovered from the great recession of 2008. 100’s of thousands of innocent families, including mine, lost their homes and life savings. None of the culprits who perpetrated that calamity and crisis have gone to jail. Most of us can no longer say that our children and grandchildren will have a better life than we had. Many of the young people today are saddled with a 30 year mortgage of student debt and can’t find the living wage jobs necessary to get over that hump or shed that albatross. State after state is broke and on the road to bankruptcy because unpatriotic multinational corporations fled the country and abandoned the tax paying American worker for cheap labor and lax regulations.

America faces enormous problems. A large national debt that threatens necessary investments in social services and crumbling infrastructure, low tax revenue from low wage jobs, ballooning student debt, rich folks and prosperous corporations that aren’t paying their fair share and the angry taxpayers who resent having to pick up the slack for them and for the lowest 47% who can’t pay anything at all. We face the catastrophic threat of global warming and climate change and a congress half full of deniers. Because of gridlock and obstruction by the Republicans who wanted the President to fail, our congress has an approval rating in the single digits. That gridlock won’t allow constructive debate and compromise, on comprehensive energy reform that emphasizes alternative sustainable energy over destructive fossil fuel interests, on comprehensive tax reform that closes the loop holes that allowed Mr. Trump and others to shirk their responsibilities, on comprehensive immigration reform that takes into account fair treatment of families who took advantage of the welcome mat held out for workers who took the dirty jobs American’s really didn’t want, or cooperation from the Republicans to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act, instead of demonizing and repeated efforts (60) to repeal help for 20 million or more deserving Americans (20,000 of which die every year simply because they don’t have insurance) and on a whole host of other legislation, including real budget reform.

 Before you cast your vote on November 8th, ask yourself the tough questions, void of political bias. Who held out their hand for compromise, like the President did; instead of slapping it away, like the Republican leadership? Who’s not afraid to talk about immigrants without being derogatory? Who’s willing to face head-on the growing threat of climate change? Who will make the tough decisions on the national debt, tax reform and a budget with a line item veto? Who’s willing to compromise on these issues without holding them hostage to special interests or to political pressure from contributors? If you answer these questions truthfully, your choice on who to vote for will be apparent.

Some might be tempted to vote for a snake oil salesman barking miracle cures, but There’s an Italian proverb sometimes attributed to Aesop: “Jumping from the Frying Pan into the Fire” a story about some live fish thrown into a frying pan of hot grease. One of the fish talked the others into jumping out of the pan but of course they ended up on the hot coals. The moral: The fable warns us that when we’re trying to avoid present dangers, we should not fall into even worse peril. John Hanno,  www.tarbabys.com

Letter to President Obama About Dakota Access

John Hanno response to:   http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-10-03/standing firm at standing rock why the struggle is bigger than one pipeline

October 26, 2016

Letter to President Obama Concerning Dakota Access Pipeline

Thank you Amy for shining a light. I also wrote the White House, as did many others, including many organizations with 10’s of thousands of signers. The President has heard and is listening. That’s the reason they halted Dakota Access. It’s also the reason they decided against Keystone XL. Protests by Native Americans, farmers, landowners, activists and environmental groups have slowed tar sand extraction in Canada, stopped Keystone, stopped Sandpiper and are on the front lines fighting lines 3,5, 6B and others. If we can stall DAPL through the winter, we just may stop it. Stopping a half built pipeline will be an enormous victory for Native American sovereignty and a sustainable energy future. But we must keep up the pressure and stand up in such numbers that it will make the Presidents job of rejecting Dakota Access much easier. I also received a reply from the White House. Vote on November 8th for Earth Protectors. John Hanno

 

Dear John:

Thank you for writing.  As President, my greatest responsibility is ensuring the safety of the American people, including when it comes to our Nation’s energy infrastructure.  My Administration is setting the highest possible standards for oil and gas production and transportation, and each day we are working to make sure our pursuit of energy resources does not put our communities at risk.  That work includes steps the Army has committed to taking in light of important issues raised about the Dakota Access pipeline.

I understand the risks associated with the development and transportation of fossil fuels, which is why my Administration has overhauled Federal oversight and raised the bar on safety across the board.  As part of our efforts to improve Federal permitting and review processes, we are making safe pipeline infrastructure a priority in order to help ensure the health and security of our communities and the environment.

As new energy infrastructure is developed, the Federal Government will continue working with State, local, and tribal governments—which play a central role in the siting and permitting of pipelines—to address the concerns of local communities.  One of my priorities as President is upholding an honest and respectful relationship with Native American tribes, and we have made a lot of progress in restoring ancestral lands, waters, and sacred sites over the past 8 years.  My Administration also remains committed to consulting with tribes to ensure meaningful tribal input is factored into infrastructure-related decisions across the Federal Government.  In the weeks ahead, Departments and Agencies will meet with tribal leaders across the country in a series of formal consultations on this issue.

Again, thank you for writing.  I hear you, and I am optimistic that together, we can grow our economy and create new opportunities while securing a cleaner and safer future for all our people.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

 

 

Drilling Into Underground River of Magma in Iceland

John Hanno response to:    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/blogs/iceland-taps-into-underground-river-magma-geothermal

October 26, 2016

The first thing I think of when I hear of someone drilling deep into the earth, is how many holes can we drill before we blow the whole dam world apart. It’s not like that saying when we were kids, “if you dig down deep enough, you’ll get to China.” I picture the earth being attacked from every angle, drilled left and right, on an angle and horizontally, by oil wells, fracking wells, gas wells, deep wells drilled below the bottom of the oceans, and now by someone thinking it’s a good idea to drill into the magma core of the earth and drilling into “tectonically-active regions,” which as we know are prone to earthquakes. I mean, we know what happens when one of the world’s sleeping giants we call volcanoes decides to let off steam and magma. I’m not an expert geologist or scientist but I’m a bit skeptical. I construct buildings and understand the importance of a solid foundation. I would never drill into a foundation of anything because it’s only a matter of time before the dam building will come crashing down. We have to think long and hard before we do something that isn’t reversible. I think wind and solar are better alternatives.

Depending on who’s opinion you use; “Sunlight striking Earth’s surface in just one hour, delivers enough energy to power the world’s economy for an entire year.” or “In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.” or There’s enough wind energy potential within the corridor from Texas up through Illinois to power the entire nation, if only the electrical power grid infrastructure were in place. Europe is already all in, in developing off shore wind.

Our energy department has invested in tidal research but we haven’t scratched the surface of that energy potential. Although our U.S government and military have put more than $330 million into marine energy research over the past decade, Britain and Europe have invested more than $1 billion. We need to do better. The DOE believes 20 to 30 % of America’s energy could come from wave energy. They just announced our first wave generated energy went online this week in Hawaii. The power travels by undersea cable to a military base, where it feeds into Oahu’s power grid. America’s first off shore wind farm came online recently and will produce enough power for 17,000 homes.

The main problem we have with energy today is not the solutions, it’s the political will. The will to put the enormous amount spent, drilling the earth apart and blanketing the globe in leaking pipelines, into proven alternative sustainable energy. Too many in our Congress (Republicans) are beholden to fossil fuel. Complacent lackeys who have, shirked their duty to craft comprehensive energy legislation favoring alt energy, by supporting companies trying to extract every once of fossil fuel asset before it becomes obsolete. Vote on November 8th for the environment. John Hanno

Police Beat Native American Water Protectors with Batons and Pepper Spray

October 23, 2016       Standing Rock Sioux

Police beat Native American water protectors with batons and pepper spray them in unprovoked attack

By Brenda Norrell at Censored News

STANDING ROCK, North Dakota — The Morton County Sheriff and police carried out a brutal attack on Native Americans as they gathered for prayer today. Native Americans and supporters defending the water of the Missouri River from the Dakota Access Pipeline were beaten with batons by police, pepper sprayed and thrown to the ground. More than 80 water protectors were arrested today during the unprovoked attack by police on peaceful water protectors. The police are defending a private pipeline.

Tipiwizin, a young mother at Standing Rock, called out for help, urging all those who came and camped at Standing Rock to return. “The police, the military, armored vehicles, assault rifles, they are chasing our people, surrounded our people, chasing them into the river.” Watching the live stream today, she said, “I started crying, holding my baby daughter, because we come from people who were chased down, hunted down and gunned down by the military and the police. History is repeating itself. All those stories we were raised with, that we carry in our hearts, of our people, fleeing, running, racing, for our lives, just to live. We are the grandchildren and great grandchildren of those who survived the US Government federally mandated massacres on our people.”

In an unprecedented amount of lies in the media, the Morton County Sheriff has falsely accused the water protectors of being violent and being armed. The local media, revealing a long history of racism, have repeated these lies in the media. In a steady stream of misinformation, the mainstream media reported that President Obama had halted the pipeline construction. Again, this is misinformation. DAPL, owned by Kelcy Warren, who has become the face of genocide for Native Americans, is racing to complete the construction. The DAPL construction is near a burial place where water protectors were attacked with vicious dogs and pepper sprayed on Sept. 3.

The Morton County Sheriff is engaging in strip searches and false imprisonment of Native American men and women, who are jailed without credible charges. The owner of the land where the Camp of the Sacred Stones Camp is located, said her daughter was arrested without cause, while traveling in a car away from the area, strip searched and jailed naked. Dakotas, Lakotas and Nakotas here say this abuse is recreating the historical trauma, a result of their ancestors who were murdered and subjected to sexual violence by the Calvary and U.S. military.

 

October 23, 2016

John Hanno

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. You would think the Governors office and these police officials might have learned lessons from the civil rights protests in the south in the 1960’s. America was jolted awake when they saw police turning fire hoses and attack dogs on our black brothers and sisters peaceful protests. That was the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965. America and the world is watching, and is again waking up thanks to the Standing Rock Protectors and the morally bankrupt police who think it’s OK to abuse and intimidate peaceful protestors. This should be the catalyst we need to finally address climate change, global warming, destruction of our air, water and soil. We need a bill in Congress to protect our Native American brothers and sisters and our environment. It should be called The Standing Rock Protect America Act of 2016. This pipeline insanity must be stopped. We can’t all go to Standing Rock or line up with protestors in Iowa and Illinois but we can do our part. Contribute to their legal defense funds. And vote on November 8th for progressive Earth Protectors.

Like 37

Jerilyn  So well said, Thank you.

Scott   I hope so!

Reina  What’s sad is that it happens again and again because prejudice and hate begets prejudice and hate or it goes into hiding for awhile but comes back whenever true freedom and human dignity raises it’s head

Phyllis  John Hanno – Yes!!

Enbridge Oil Spill in Michigan

John Bolenbaugh WhistleBlower

October 23, 2016

SICK ENBRIDGE RESIDENTS PART 1

A few small clips of the hundred sick residents I’ve interviewed. Almost a dozen kids now have lukemia, in our small area. A must see. I am part cherokee and Blackfoot and I have always felt a deep love for the environment, animals and a need to protect our water. When the Enbridge spill happened in my back yard. I knew what Gods purpose for me was, it was to protect mother Earth against companies like Enbridge. Enbridgelies.com

SICK ENBRIDGE RESIDENTS PART 1A few small clips of the hundred sick residents I've interviewed. Almost a dozen kids now have lukemia, in our small area. A must see. I am part cherokee and Blackfoot and I have always felt a deep love for the environment, animals and a need to protect our water. When the Enbridge spill happened in my back yard. I knew what Gods purpose for me was, it was to protect mother Earth against companies like Enbridge. Enbridgelies.comWatch part 2

Posted by John Bolenbaugh WhistleBlower on Sunday, October 23, 2016

Proof ENBRIDGE lied. Please share all of these short clips. Many more on my facebook. They can help save future lives. I am part cherokee and Blackfoot and I have always felt a deep love for the environment, animals and a need to protect our water. When the Enbridge spill happened in my back yard. I knew what Gods purpose for me was, it was to protect mother Earth against companies like Enbridge. Enbridgelies.com

Posted by John Bolenbaugh WhistleBlower on Monday, June 20, 2016

Watch part 2

“True Blue Collar”

Response to AFL CIO President Richard Trumka’s CBS News interview talking about why Trump falls like a house of cards with union members.

“True Blue Collar”

John Hanno    October 7, 2016

I’m blue collar, thru and thru. I wear blue shirts, blue pants, blue socks, blue hats and if I could afford designer underwear, I’d wear blue underwear too. I’m proud of my lifetime (50 years) of working with my hands, as an electrician/electrical tech and carpenter. I belonged to 4 different locals of the IBEW and was a member of a dozen other unions; steel, textile, auto, teamsters, nuclear workers, furniture workers and other industrial unions. Having been through 4 manufacturing plant closings, I can understand folks who need a job, any good living wage job. But there are issues more important than strictly looking out for one’s own welfare. There were many of our brothers and sisters who sacrificed life and limb in the early days of America’s labor struggles.

I know some union workers are thinking about voting for Trump, especially in those rust belt states most impacted by off shoring. Trump will say anything to anyone in order to hoodwink voters. It’s pure bull. Every other sentence that come out of his mouth is a lie. If you think for one minute that you can trust Trump or any other Republi-con in Congress to support programs vital to labor and particularly union labor, you’re kidding yourselves. Even before the Regan administration’s war on unions, corporations (now multinationals) and their Republican enablers have mounted an unrelenting decades long assault on labor, and consequently America’s middle class. Walker in Wisconsin is nothing new, he’s just the latest version. These crony capitalists have an inbred hatred for unions and labor in general. And Trump has proven that, time and again, by stiffing workers who labored for him. Just check out the unrelenting legislative attacks in every single state controlled by Republican Governors and or legislatures.

And if you think Trump or any other alt right republi-con is capable of bringing back manufacturing plants or keeping others from leaving, you’re delusional. China and Mexico are not stealing our manufacturing plants and jobs as Trump screams daily, multinationals have and will continue to chase the cheapest labor, the least amount of safety and environmental regulations and international partners who will turn a blind eye to their exploitation of labor. China and Mexico are just the latest destinations. And if TPP is passed, there will be another half dozen of these cheap labor pools to chose from.

Study the history of the labor movement. It’s no accident that labor has unfailingly supported progressive Democrats. Google these Republi-con pretenders voting records in Congress. They’ve voted for every single bill that enabled these companies to flee the country with lucrative accompanying tax incentives and against any legislation that would protect workers or retrain those impacted by off shoring. They’ve voted against any and all minimum wage increases and unemployment benefits. They’ve voted against any and all jobs bills proposed by the Obama or any other Democratic congress or administration. And if you think Trump would be any different, just read a list of the folks he’s intended to hire if he’s elected. He wants to take America back yes but back to the Robber Baron days.

These folks despise and devalue those of us who work with our hands or undertake the dangerous and dirty jobs. They demonize government workers (especially mail carriers for some strange reason), public school teachers and those who labor long and hard to supply us with cheap food. They can’t help themselves, it in their DNA.

It’s been a rough few decades for labor but I think the pendulum is swinging back our way. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month in the last Republican administration but are now creating 200,000 or more per month now. And because of The Affordable Care Act, all those older workers, who were hanging onto jobs just for medical insurance, have left the work force; ergo the low employment participation rate. That’s why the Republi-cons tried to overturn the ACA more than 54 times. They want desperate workers beholden to employers. But President Obama quickly realized that to tackle the jobs debacle he inherited, he had to try to appease the corporate titans who pleaded the high cost of health care as the number one reason for off shoring jobs, ($2,300 per American made auto). That’s the primary reason he invested so much capital, trying to get at least a marginal health care bill passed. It wasn’t pretty but it’s a start.

To continue the rebirth of labor and the American middle class started by this administration, we must support progressive Democratic candidates who respect labor and their contribution to a vibrant middle class. Our job on November 8th is to vote only for candidates who fight for, living wage jobs for all, the clean technology jobs of the future, infrastructure beneficial for all of us, not just corporations and fossil fuel, free public education and affordable single payer health care. And most importantly, overturning Citizens United so that oligarchs like the Koch brothers can’t buy our politicians. Stay strong brothers and sisters, don’t sell your soul to these anti labor devils.

Alton    Very well said brother

John Hanno,   Thank you.

Patrick    If the “GOLD STANDARD” TPP is passed, you can thank your blue sweatered friends in DC…

John Hanno,   Patrick, Do your homework. 100% of progressive and at least 75% of the rest of Democrats in congress are against TPP.

Elizabeth   HRC is NOT a progressive and she IS for TPP

Marie,    Unions are automatic votes for Democrats. How about Unions stay out of politics and just worry about your members well being. Stop telling them how to vote. Btw, proud Union home here.

John Hanno,  Marie,  You can’t separate union and politics any more than you can separate living and politics. They’re intertwined. There’s been a coordinated war on labor and unions since Regan. It’s corporations and oligarchs like the Koch Brothers in coordination with their Republi-con lapdogs waging this war. Its a political war waged in legislatures in red states, (and some in blue states with Republi-con governors like Rauner in Illinois) and labor must stand up and defend themselves in the political arena. I was a union member for 50 years in a dozen different unions. I was never told who to vote for. I had enough brains to know who was and was not supporting labor. Most if not all the Republican who even thought about supporting labor interests have been drummed out of the party long ago.

A True Conservative…. Standing Rock

September 20, 2016

John Hanno Posted on Standing Rock Sioux Facebook 124 Likes

A True Conservative?

The environmental community has quit trying to influence the U.S. Congress. Unless Citizens United is overturned, there’s no hope of a comprehensive energy reform bill that must place alternative sustainable energy ahead of business as usual fossil fuel interests. Even when oil was well over $100 a barrel and we had (and have) an enormous glut of oil reserves, Congress wouldn’t even discuss eliminating oil subsidies. And at the same time, alt right Republicans labeled incentives for wind and solar as socialist plots to undermine America’s energy independence.

Red state legislatures, regulatory agencies and consequently their state courts are joined at the hip with fossil fuel corporations. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and even some in blue states Illinois and California have sold their souls to the drilling, fracking, injecting and pipeline devils and forsaken the health and safety of their residents.

When America can’t depend on their elected officials (Sorry Flint) to protect its citizens basic rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, our political process is broken and democratic principles destroyed.

Even though alternative energy is growing exponentially and getting cheaper by the hour, red states routinely side with fossil fuel, and oppose wind and solar at every turn. Red state officials blessed with the greatest wind and solar potential often erect obstacles to residents willing to invest in those energies.

But in spite of this opposition, even some red state sectors are joining the revolution. North Carolina (unlike sunny red states Florida and Arizona) has overcome staunch opposition, to become the number 2 state with installed solar, behind only California. Oil rich Texas (number one) and Iowa (number two), now produce more wind energy than they can reliably deliver to cities in need because of a lack of infrastructure.

The potential for renewable energy is irrefutable. Depending on who’s opinion you use; “Sunlight Striking Earth’s Surface in Just One Hour Delivers Enough Energy to Power the World Economy for an Entire Year.” or “In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.” or There’s enough wind energy potential within the corridor from Texas up through Illinois to power the entire nation, if only the electrical power grid infrastructure were in place. Our Energy Department has invested in tidal research but we haven’t scratched the surface of that energy. Although our U.S. government and military have put more than $330 million into marine energy research over the past decade, Britain and Europe have invested more than $1 billion. We can do better. The DOE believes 20 to 30% of America’s energy could come from wave energy. They just announced our first wave generated energy went online this week in Hawaii. The power travels by undersea cable to a military base, where it feeds into Oahu’s power grid.

The environmental and progressive communities have joined Native American sovereign nations (the original environmentalists) because we believe they have the advantage of being almost universal in their opposition to fossil fuel interests and in their desire to protect their soil and water. If our U.S. Congress is serious about honoring their treaties with sovereign Nation Tribes, they must not bulldoze their lands and jeopardize their water. The world is watching. Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II spoke to the 49-member U. N. Council today in Geneva Switzerland, in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Canada and America are under siege from Canadian Company Enbridge’s Pipeline Network Expansion. We opposed Enbridge when they wanted to run pipeline 78 across our organic farm. That pipeline joins with Flanagan South pipeline at Patoka, IL, the termination of Dakota Access. When we refused to sign the easement, they filed an eminent domain action. You can read our story at gofundme.com/2xpggwfw.

Enbridge has invested $1.5 billion in Dakota Access (the Bakken Pipeline System), after cancelled plans for the $2.6 billion, 616 mile Sandpiper Pipeline Project, a pipeline running from the Bakken field in North Dakota, across blue state Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes) to Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge blamed low energy prices and “extensive and unprecedented regulatory delays and irregularities,” (Go Minnesota). But the Sandpiper Project faced strong protests from environmentalists and Native American tribes and support from their elected officials. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said the pipeline would have crossed 28 rivers, lakes and wetlands. These threatened, ecologically sensitive areas couldn’t be reached by existing roads. How could Enbridge have possibly discovered, controlled or re-mediated an oil spill? (Google Kalamazoo River Oil Spill)

The Texas state legislature (and legislatures in other red states like Oklahoma, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well) have overturned any attempt by cities and communities to place common sense local restrictions on drilling, fracking, injection wells and pipelines. You can drill, frack, inject or place pipelines within shouting distance of homes, schools and businesses. And their state Environmental Protection Agencies turn a blind eye, as they did in Flint, Michigan. Who in their right mind would invest hard earned money in a home or business in these environments? And why would voters reelect candidates who would devalue their homes, properties and communities?

If you’re a true conservative, you must favor alternative sustainable energy over fossil fuel. If you believe in god and his blessings of clean air, fertile soil and pure water, then you must support the Standing Rock Earth Protectors. And if you worry about your children’s and grand children’s future, you must vote in November for only earth protectors. This election is an important turning point in the fight to preserve humanity. If your candidates deny climate change or say they aren’t scientists and don’t know enough to make rational decisions about our climate and comprehensive energy reform, kick them to the curb. They’re too ignorant to deserve your vote.

More than 100,000 protectors, Native tribes, farmers, landowners and activists from Bold Nebraska, the Sierra Club, IL Climate Activists, 350.org, Bold Iowa and others, inspired President Obama to decide against approving Keystone XL.

I believe American’s can stop Keystone clone Dakota Access and also shut down Line 3 and it’s replacement if we stand up in unprecedented numbers. It’s our responsibility as thinking human beings, to oppose and delay the damage being done by fossil fuel interests, including the banks and investors they’re leveraged to, until sustainable energy can prevail.

More than 100,000 concerned folks have already shown support for this peaceful Native American DAPL protest and donated close to a million dollars to their valiant cause. The Sacred Stone Camp Protectors have earned the respect and support of America’s environmental and progressive communities. Native Americans have a sacred and spiritual connection to their land and water. They and most farm families cherish the blessings Americans have been given with fertile land and pure water. I believe the only hope of stopping this pipeline insanity lies with President Obama and an executive order. But President Obama has stated many times that he can’t act alone. Common Sense American’s must stand up in such numbers that the President can’t ignore his duty to protect our environment. Please Vote in November for earth protectors!

 

Michele  May I share your comments? Very well presented and your story is one others should hear.

John   Absolutely

John       Enbridge is a Canadian company. No matter how many different convoluted entities they form down here, they are still a foreign company. A foreign company taking American’s property by eminent domain in violation of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And while the crazies are worried that our guvment will take their guns away, corporations are stealing the land, water and minerals right out from under them.

Michele   Go Standing Rock Protectors and Iowa Farmers.

I wish I could post that!! That’s it in a nutshell. I love it!!

John  Post away!

Anon    surely these “crazies ” you speak of are as passionate about something they believe in as you are also regarding this dreadful state of affairs with the oil pipeline…..its valid for both……also, how do you know that they are not supporting you John, they could certainly be doing so because it boils down to, people being treated in a bad way, guess it just depends on the perspective either a glass half full or a glass half empty……I say this with respect and no offense intended……

John    Sorry,  And none taken. I was only talking about the folks who are duped by and obsess over those issues that divide us instead of the important things that should bring us together.

Dakota Access 2.0

John Hanno, tarbabys.com        September 15, 2016

“Dakota Access 2.0”

I knew Native American tribes and protesting landowners couldn’t rely on our state courts to save America’s precious water and valuable farmland from the Dakota Access Pipeline Operators. Red State courts are joined at the hip with the fossil fuel industry. I also believed there was only a slim chance U.S. District Judge Boasberg would rule in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Once the Army Corps approves these pipelines, its a done deal. They’re routinely rubber stamped by controlling State agencies; the Public Service Commission in North Dakota, the Commerce Commission in Illinois (ICC) and the Iowa Utilities Board, a three person board appointed by Republican Governor Brandstad. Once the pipeline company is granted eminent domain authority, they threaten and intimidate landowners into signing easements. And that authority ties the hands of state courts. The only issue these state courts then rule on is the compensation to the landowners. And its seldom in the landowners favor. Landowners aren’t even allowed to testify concerning the value of their own land, no matter how many generations (Centennial Farms) they’ve owned that land.

Enbridge (who just purchased 49% of DAPL) wanted to run pipeline 78 across our organic farm. Pipeline 78 and Flanagan South pipeline join Dakota Assess at Patoka, IL. The easement they wanted, granted them the ability to “abandon in place” when they’re finished with the pipeline. We know landowners and the American taxpayer will be stuck digging up the more than 250,000 mile of rusting pipelines, leaking into our precious water supplies. When we refused to sign the easement, they filed eminent domain. We lost in state court; but appealed the case. You can read about our fight against Enbridge at gofundme.com/2xpggwfw.

Based on that fight, I believe the court action blocking eminent domain actions against Iowa landowners and farmers is only a temporary obstacle for DAPO. Those landowners can only hope their case is eventually decided by the Iowa Supreme Court. This abuse of eminent domain principles by private and foreign corporations for private gain not only violates the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but also violates Native American treaties and sovereignty, and should be roundly condemned by state supreme courts and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court.  Even though many of these state courts are packed with very conservative, business friendly judges, I just can’t believe any true conservative would favor these private interests over property owners.

There is hope; several contested eminent domain actions have been addressed by State Supreme Courts. The Kentucky Supreme Court has let stand an appeals court decision that said only regulated utility companies can use the power of eminent domain to take land for pipelines. Tony Arnold, A University of Louisville law professor, an expert on environmental law, said the Kentucky Supreme Court decision was “significant for both opponents of the Bluegrass Pipeline and for all Kentucky residents who want to ensure that the exercise of eminent domain for energy development and transmission is held accountable to the public interest.”

A Pennsylvania appeals court rejected an action by Sunoco to dismiss a challenge to it’s Mariner 2 pipeline. Environmental group, The Clean Air Council can now argue against the company using eminent domain to build the pipeline.

Within minutes of Judge Boasberg’s ruling against Standing Rock Sioux, they caught a Hail Mary pass from a joint decision of the Departments of Justice, Army, Interior and probably from the White House and President Obama. The Corp said “The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws….”

Based on this joint decision, it appears the administration is willing to revisit the impact of these fossil fuel time-bombs in the context of these larger issues; and also on global warming and climate change, as they did with Keystone XL.

Canada, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and other states are under siege from Canadian Company Enbridge’s pipeline network expansion and their mad rush to blanket America in pipelines before sustainable energy progress makes fossil fuel assets obsolete.

Enbridge recently announced they would cancel plans for the $2.6 billion, 616 mile Sandpiper Pipeline Project, a pipeline running from the Bakken field in North Dakota, across Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes) to Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge blamed low energy prices and “extensive and unprecedented regulatory delays and irregularities,” (Go Minnesota). But Sandpiper faced strong protests from environmentalists and Native American tribes. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said the pipeline would have crossed 28 rivers, lakes and wetlands. These threatened, ecologically sensitive areas couldn’t be reached by existing roads. How could Enbridge have possibly discovered, controlled or re-mediated an oil spill? (Google Kalamazoo River Oil Spill) Enbridge has instead invested $1.5 billion in this Bakken Pipeline System (DAPL).

The Justice Department also stated: “Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects….” including “protection of tribal lands, resources and treaty rights….”

“Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, was critical of the Obama administration’s move in a statement, calling it “deeply troubling” and saying it could have a chilling effect on infrastructure development in the U.S.”

WELL LETS CERTAINLY HOPE SO! We need infrastructure projects beneficial to all American’s (including Native Americans) and not just oil, gas and pipeline companies, their executives and their financial benefactors. America needs comprehensive energy reform, not a country riddled with oil, gas and injection wells, oozing and leaking, contaminating fertile farm soil and precious water supplies and shifting our tectonic plates (Hello shaky Oklahoma). And instead of 250,000 miles of ticking time bomb pipelines, how about 250,000 miles of 100 ft wide bike paths. Can you even imagine the benefits. A big win, win, win; keep FF in the ground, save energy by biking instead of driving and at the same time, we improve our health and lower Obama Care costs. And they would cost a minute fraction of these pipelines.

Alternative energy is growing exponentially and fossil fuels will must obsolete within 20 years, if mankind is to survive. Little Costa Rica’s electric grid has been powered entirely by its mix of hydro power, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass for 150 days so far this year. Since June 16th, they’ve gone 90 plus consecutive days and counting, in which all electricity has come from renewable resources. In 2015, they were powered by 99% renewable. Although Costa Rica is blessed with favorable alt energy potential, (80% of their power comes from hydro power) America can and must do better! We are blessed with substantial solar and wind power potential, if only we would take full advantage, instead of pandering to fossil fuel and their desperate campaign against wind and solar progress and subsidies.

The Justice Department went on: “Finally, we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely…” “In recent days, we have seen demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites.  It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.”

The “broadest public interest” must include the welfare of Native Americans, (the very first environmentalists) and everyone else who cherishes our blessings of clean air, fertile soil and pure water. I think the half dozen or more letters sent to the White House and signed on by 100’s of thousands of Native Americans, environmentalists, farmers, landowners and fed-up American’s, obviously had an impact on the President and his administration. Social Media (and not just in America) is watching and talking and commenting (even in Laos) and filming and they refuse to allow our Native American brothers and sisters to get dumped on again. And they’re sick and tired of the fossil fuel industry and their paid political lackeys, denying climate change, ignoring overwhelming scientific proof of global warming, controlling the energy agenda by refusing to support comprehensive energy reform and obfuscating and fighting at every turn (Exxon Mobile), the potential of sustainable alternative energy.

Justice added: “The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution….”

But President Obama has stated many times that he can’t act alone. Lacking any support from the Republican controlled Congress, It will take overwhelming support from the American Public for him to take executive action. The DAPL opponent’s job now, is to turn the Army Corps “expeditious and timely resolution” into a peaceful slow walk. If they can stall this pipeline through this winter, anything can happen. Cushing, Oklahoma can’t find anywhere else to stockpile surplus oil. And all those earthquakes are striking closer to those storage terminals.

More than 100,000 water and soil protectors, Native tribes, farmers, landowners and activists from Bold Nebraska, the Sierra Club, IL Climate Activists, Bold Iowa, 350.org  and others, inspired President Obama to decide against approving Keystone XL.

This stand by the Native Tribe’s affiliated with the Sacred Stone Camp has struck a nerve with America’s environmental and progressive communities. Unlike fossil fuel proponents and their political panderers, these Native Americans have a sacred and spiritual connection to their land and water. They and most farm families cherish the blessings Americans have been given with fertile land and pure water.

Common Sense American’s, including True Conservatives, must stand up in such numbers that the President can’t ignore his duty to protect our environment. Contact your elected officials and especially the White House. Support Bold Nebraska, IL Climate Activists, 350 Kiswaukee, MN350, The Sierra Club, Resilience, Action Network.org, Bold Iowa, the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme campaign and anyone else who believes in environmental common sense. And please don’t forget to vote in November. Fossil fuel pandering politicians, cherish campaign contributions but could care less about American’s, their air, their soil, their precious drinking water, and their children’s and grandchildren’s future. This election is an important turning point in the fight to preserve humanity. If your candidates deny climate change or say they aren’t scientists and don’t know enough to make rational decisions about our climate and comprehensive energy reform, kick them to the curb. They’re too ignorant or corrupt to deserve your vote. I believe our Native American brothers and sisters might stop this pipeline. John Hanno

Rich Yes, vote them all out

John, Rich  Not all of them, just the ones that don’t know the difference between oil and water.

There Are No Safe Pipelines

John Hanno response to     http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-10-03/standing-firm-at-standing-rock-why-the-struggle-is-bigger-than-one-pipeline

 

September 10, 2016

“There Are No Safe Pipelines”

We stand with Dakota Access water protectors. We fought to protect the well on our small organic farm in Illinois. Canadian Co. Enbridge, who just purchased 49% of DAPL, wanted to run line 78 across our farm. Line 78 connects with Flanagan South and then DAPL at Patoka, Illinois. Our fight with Enbridge is at gofundme.com/2xpggwfw.

We also joined many environmental organizations in the Midwest trying to protect the Great Lakes, which holds one fifth of the worlds fresh water. Our well water comes from the Great Lakes Basin aquifer. We’re involved in the fights against the onslaught of Enbridge’s pipeline expansion in the Great Lakes region. We support the efforts to shutdown line 3 and it’s replacement in Wisconsin, and line 5, which runs through the straights of Mackinac. We supported Minnesotan’s who stopped Sandpiper. We support those fighting against Plains pipeline company trying to get approval to ship heavy crude through a 98 year old pipeline (built in 1918) that runs under the St Clair river and upstream of the Detroit and other communities water intakes. We don’t need another Flint. Michigan disaster.

A Miami Herald article this week reported that: “Exxon Mobil Corp. will pay $12 million for environmental damages caused by a pipeline break that spilled 63,000 gallons (238,474 liters) of crude into Montana’s Yellowstone River and prompted a national debate over lax pipeline safety rules….”

The simple fact is that there are no safe oil pipelines, especially tar sand pipelines. This is why the Standing Rock Protectors fighting DAPL, are standing their ground and will not give up. Pipelines are: made of steel, buried in the ground, sometimes underwater, carry corrosive substances (even sand particles), under extremely high pressure and subject to corroding, rusting, delaminating, chemical reactions and bursting wide open. And all the assurances given by pipeline companies that they have the latest safeguards are bull pucky. In every pipeline spill, the autopsy was the same: “the pipeline company failed” (fill in the blank), to detect, to respond to, to respond to quickly enough, to get to the remote location, due to inclement weather, by thinking the alarms were a mistake, by stopping the pumping but then starting again. The NTSB described Enbridge’s response to the Kalamazoo River spill as “the Keystone Cops.” That 2010 tar sand spill is still not fully cleaned up and never will be. They just purchased 49% of Dakota Access.

This Montana pipeline, which is upstream of Billings, contaminated 85 miles of the Yellowstone River. This is exactly why Standing Rock Native Americans are so opposed to a pipeline upstream of their Rez. Who knows how far a spill would travel down the  Missouri? Probably to the Gulf of Mexico. It could contaminate drinking water for 17 million or more American’s

This Montana pipeline was 20 year old. Kalamazoo River line 6B was 40 years old and had at least 15,000 defects. The Santa Barbara pipeline was 46 years old. Google the pictures; it looks like a 50 year old excavated tin can. Some recent spills in Alberta were in very young pipelines (one was only 2 years old). The 65 year old Enbridge Line 5 pipeline under the straights of Mackinac, could contaminate at least 2 Great Lakes and at least 700 miles of shoreline in Canada and the U.S. if it bursts.  And if that’s not risky enough, Plains pipeline company is trying to get approval to ship heavy crude through a 98 year old pipeline (built in 1918) that runs under the St Clair river and upstream of the Detroit and other communities water intakes. America, you’ve lost your Fracking mind!

The environmental community has quit trying to influence the U.S. Congress. Unless Citizens United is overturned, there’s no hope of a comprehensive energy reform bill that must place alternative sustainable energy ahead of business as usual fossil fuel interests. Even when oil was well over $100 a barrel and we had (and have) an enormous glut of oil reserves, Congress wouldn’t even discuss eliminating oil subsidies. And at the same time, alt right Republicans labeled incentives for wind and solar as socialist plots to undermine America’s energy independence.

Red state legislatures, their regulatory agencies and consequently their state courts are joined at the hip with fossil fuel corporations. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and even some in blue states Illinois and California have sold their souls to the drilling, fracking, injecting and pipeline devils and forsaken the health and safety of their residents.

When America can’t depend on their elected officials (Sorry Flint) to protect its citizens basic rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, our political process is broken and democratic principles destroyed.

Even though alternative energy is growing exponentially and getting cheaper by the hour, red states routinely side with fossil fuel, and oppose wind and solar at every turn. Red state officials blessed with the greatest wind and solar potential often erect obstacles to residents willing to invest in those energies.

The Texas state legislature (and legislatures in other red states like Oklahoma, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well) have overturned any attempt by cities and communities to place common sense local restrictions on drilling, fracking, injection wells and pipelines. You can drill, frack, inject or place pipelines within shouting distance of homes, schools and businesses. And their state Environmental Protection Agencies turn a blind eye, as they did in Flint, Michigan. Who in their right mind would invest hard earned money in a home or business in these environments? And why would voters reelect candidates who would devalue their homes, properties and communities?

But in spite of this opposition, even some red state sectors are joining the revolution. North Carolina (unlike sunny red states Florida and Arizona) has overcome staunch opposition, to become the number 2 state with installed solar, behind only California. Oil rich Texas (number one) and Iowa (number two), now produce more wind energy than they can reliably deliver to cities in need because of a lack of infrastructure.

The potential for renewable energy is irrefutable. Depending on who’s opinion you use; “Sunlight Striking Earth’s Surface in Just One Hour Delivers Enough Energy to Power the World Economy for an Entire Year.” or “In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.” or There’s enough wind energy potential within the corridor from Texas up through Illinois to power the entire nation, if only the electrical power grid infrastructure were in place. Our Energy Department has invested in tidal research but we haven’t scratched the surface of that energy. Although our U.S. government and military have put more than $330 million into marine energy research over the past decade, Britain and Europe have invested more than $1 billion. We can do better. The DOE believes 20 to 30% of America’s energy could come from wave energy. They just announced our first wave generated energy went online this week in Hawaii. The power travels by undersea cable to a military base, where it feeds into Oahu’s power grid. America’s first off shore wind farm went online last week and will produce enough energy for 17,000 homes.

If you’re a true conservative, you must favor alternative sustainable energy over fossil fuel. If you believe in god and his blessings of clean air, fertile soil and pure water, then you must support the Standing Rock Earth Protectors. And if you worry about your children’s and grand children’s future, you must vote in November for only earth protectors. This election is an important turning point in the fight to preserve humanity. If your candidates deny climate change or say they aren’t scientists and don’t know enough to make rational decisions about our climate and comprehensive energy reform, kick them to the curb. They’re too ignorant or corrupt to deserve your vote.

I believe American’s can stop Keystone clone Dakota Access, shut down Line 3 and it’s replacement and eventually shut down line 5, if we stand up in unprecedented numbers. It’s our responsibility as thinking human beings, to oppose and delay the damage being done by fossil fuel interests, including the banks and investors they’re leveraged to, until sustainable energy can prevail.

More than 100,000 concerned folks have already shown support for this peaceful Native American DAPL protest and donated close to a million dollars to their valiant cause. The Sacred Stone Camp Protectors have earned the respect and support of America’s environmental and progressive communities. Native Americans have a sacred and spiritual connection to their land and water. They and most farm families cherish the blessings Americans have been given with fertile land and pure water. I believe the only hope of stopping this pipeline insanity lies with President Obama and an executive order. But President Obama has stated many times that he can’t act alone. Common Sense American’s, including True Conservatives, must stand up in such numbers that the President can’t ignore his duty to protect our environment. Please Vote in November for Earth Protectors! John Hanno

Tommy   I am in awe of your statement, in the point of view you come from.

John   Tommy, Thank You.

Frances   Very well put! None could’ve said it better! Now people have a better understanding of how dangerous these pipelines are. I do anyway! I am a Native Member of the Lakota and am VERY concerned!

John    Corporations make decisions based on the bottom line of the next quarter. Native American tradition tells them to make decisions based on what’s beneficial for the next seven generations. What is best for humanity?

Kathy  brilliant explanation of facts, in solidarity with earth protectors

Maia  John  Thank you for a wonderfully informative and passionate comment!

John  Maia   Thank You. Just trying to do my part.

Maia    Richly descriptive and heartfelt report on the camps near Standing Rock, thank you. I very much appreciate that the focus here is not only on the present struggle against DAPL but on the overall, earth-wide struggle we must all be engaged in, inspired by native peoples everywhere.

Starting today, I am contacting banks which are currently lending financial support toward the pipeline construction and asking them to consider what that support is actually doing, and putting at risk. Even if they do nothing, they will know that people care enough to write a letter of objection to what’s happening and each bank’s support of injustice. I urge everyone who wants to stop the DAPL to join me in this. If you would like a list of banks lending money toward DAPL and email/physical addresses, respond to this comment and I will copy paste the list I got from a YES article online. Or you can go to YES Magazine and look for the recent articles on DAPL and Standing Rock. Thank you.

(Native) America’s Last Stand?

September 5, 2016

(Native) America’s Last Stand?

Twenty years from now, the oil industry will be the new coal companies, failing and bankrupt. Eco investors are bailing on fossil fuel. University endowments, pension and green funds are divesting from fossil fuel and moving into sustainable energy. Communities are requiring utilities to produce a percentage of alternative energy. Investment in the dirtiest Alberta tar sands, has been cut by two thirds. Wind and solar are growing exponentially and costing less. There’s more investment in renewable energy than fossil fuels; and new employment surpasses oil, gas and coal combined.

Renewable energy potential is irrefutable. “Sunlight Striking Earth’s Surface in Just One Hour Delivers Enough Energy to Power the World Economy for an Entire Year.” or “In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.” or There’s enough wind energy potential from Texas up through Illinois to power the entire nation, if only the power grid were in place. Oil rich Texas (number one) and Iowa (number two), produce more wind energy than they can deliver to cities in need. Our Energy Department has invested 20 million dollars in tidal research but we haven’t scratched the surface of that energy.

In spite of a glut of oil and gas, the fossil fuel industry is frantically installing the massive infrastructure needed to extract and export every ounce of oil and gas before America wakes up; or before alternatives make them obsolete. Dakota Access will cost at least $3 billion. Pipelines already in progress or planned will cost at least that much or more because they must cross ecologically sensitive areas in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois.

If only this enormous investment by oil and gas companies drilling and fracking the earth apart, (hello shaky Oklahoma) and by companies like Enbridge blanketing America with risky pipelines, was instead directed toward renewable energy? Little Costa Rica’s electric grid has been powered entirely by its mix of hydro power, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass for 150 days so far this year. Since June 16th, they’ve gone 88 consecutive days in which all electricity has come from renewable resources. In 2015, they were powered by 99% renewable. America can and must do better!

Fossil fuel pandering politicians, cherish campaign contributions but could care less about American’s, their soil, their precious drinking water, and their children’s and grandchildren’s future. This election is an important turning point in the fight to preserve humanity. If your candidates deny climate change or say they aren’t scientists and don’t know enough to make rational decisions about our climate and comprehensive energy reform, kick them to the curb. They’re too ignorant or corrupt to deserve your vote.

Canada, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and other states are under siege from Canadian Company Enbridge’s Pipeline Network Expansion. More than 100,000 protestors inspired President Obama to decide against approving Keystone XL. American’s can stop Keystone clone Dakota Access and shut down Line 3 and it’s replacement if we stand up in unprecedented numbers. It’s our responsibility as thinking human beings, to oppose and delay the damage being done by fossil fuel interests, until sustainable energy can prevail.

Enbridge wanted to run pipeline 78 across our organic farm. Pipeline 78 and Flanagan South joins Dakota Access at Patoka, IL. The easement they wanted granted the ability to “abandon in place” when they’re finished with the pipeline. Landowners and the American taxpayer will be stuck digging up the more than 250,000 mile of rusting pipelines, leaking into our precious water. When we refused to sign the easement, they filed eminent domain. We lost in state court; but appealed the case because these illegal eminent domain actions by a private foreign company, violate the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It also violates Native American Treaties and Sovereignty. You can read our story at gofundme.com/2xpggwfw.

The Sacred Stone Camp defense has struck a nerve with America’s environmental and progressive communities. Native Americans have a sacred and spiritual connection to their land and water. They and many farm families cherish the blessings Americans have been given with fertile land and pure water. The only hope of stopping this pipeline insanity lies with President Obama and an executive order. Common Sense American’s must stand up in such numbers that the President can’t ignore his duty to protect our environment.
Stand up any way you can. Call your elected officials and especially the White House. Support Bold Nebraska, IL Climate Activists, 350 Kiswaukee, MN350, The Sierra Club, Action Network.org, Bold Iowa, the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme campaign and anyone who believes in environmental common sense. I believe our Native American brothers and sisters can actually stop the Dakota Access pipeline.  John Hanno

Jeanette     Well written….to the point…if you could sing and dance….get it down to 2 paragraphs…we have a chance…to move their bodies and charge their souls….create understanding in the needed goal…get up on stage and share you have hopes….believing is the key to rockin this boat. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Very well written piece and I do wish people would take the time to really understand what is at stake….

John   Jeanette   Thank you. Sorry, a lot to cover.