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Category Archives: Ready Set Take Action

Free the Felines!

Free the Felines!

It was one of those warm summer evenings in July 2010, on a Sunday around 6:00 pm, when a pipeline quietly ruptured and over 1 million gallons of diluted bitumen — aka tar sands or heavy crude oil — spilled into Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River in southwestern Michigan.  It took 17 hours for Enbridge, the company responsible for the pipeline, to react — that’s three separate shifts of workers who failed to notice a massive problem.  Meanwhile, despite multiple 911 calls by residents who reported unusual petroleum smells, local authorities were clueless; they hadn’t even known there was an oil pipeline in the area.  It was not until a worker from a gas utility company noticed the spill and reported it that Enbridge did anything.  Contaminating some 38 miles of the Kalamazoo River, this disaster resulted in the largest and most expensive inland oil spill in U.S. history (costing over $1 billion to clean up).  Three years later and three days before the anniversary of the spill, three protesters peacefully engaging in non-violent direct action chained themselves to Enbridge machinery in hopes of halting progress of more installed pipelines (to the same line that ruptured earlier), an act of civil disobedience for which they were arrested as felons — a federal crime tantamount to murder or arson, even though all they were found guilty of was trespassing and obstruction.  They were recently convicted and are currently being held in jail without bond until their sentencing on Wednesday, March 5th.  They stand to be imprisoned for three years.  They should be exonerated.  You can help.
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Blowing a Bottom Line of Koch

Blowing a Bottom Line of Koch

How’s this for an irony: an independent documentary about the pernicious influence of high-dollar donors gets canceled by PBS due to the influence that a high-dollar donor has on PBS?  The rich white man in this case is none other than David Koch, the multigajillionaire who along with his tycoon-harpooning brother, Charles, and their sprawling empire Koch Industries have brought you such popular hits as: cancer, climate denial, media conglomeration, fat cat plutocrats, conservative politics and tea party histrionics — not to mention mosquitoes, ticks, pestilence, boils, botulism, plagues, famine, flat tires, traffic jams, canker sores, migraines, Svengali-like manipulation, basic obfuscation, and general evil — all in the name of a shameless poweropoly the likes of which would make even Mr Burns envious.  The documentary in question is Citizen Koch, which showcases the effects of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on the recall election of Scott Walker as well as the admirably quixotic presidential campaign of former Louisiana governor and congressman Buddy Roemer (whose central platform is campaign finance reform), all while following the lives of three Wisconsin state employees whose lifelong ties to the Republican Party are reconsidered in the aftermath of Act 10.  The film was to air on PBS sometime this year on behalf of Independent Television Service (ITVS), the funding and distributing tributary of public television for independent films.  But worried that there would be too much fallout — and lack of funding — ITVS backed out of its deal with the filmmakers, which unwittingly proves the whole point of what the film was about in the first place: the influence of money on public resources.
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Mined Over Matter

Mined Over Matter

Since my recent mining redux has generated more comments than any scribble in the nearly two-year-long tenure of this blog — even more than the name-calling, rotten produce throw, shit show that the “Unplanned Parenthood” piece inspired (feel free to seek it out if you’re feeling frisky for a cat fight) — what better idea could there be than continue yet anew with it.  Here’s the gist: Part 1 is about the money behind the mine.  Part 2 makes an argument to support Democratic state Senator Tim Cullen’s alternative mining bill.

Ready, set, Gogebic!

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¡Viva la revocacion!

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Bovine Providence (or, Having a Gay’old Time at Summer Camp in North Carolina)

The latest from the great state of North Carolina…

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Tax Dodging Rotten to the Core

Tax Dodging Rotten to the Core

I’ve always liked that bumper sticker that reads “If you’re not OUTRAGED, you’re not paying attention.”  (Though of course it can just as easily be stated that If you’re not outraged, you must be paying attention to Fox, but I digress…)  Another slogan I’ve enjoyed goes “I’ll believe corporations are people when a Texas jury executes one.”  To that sentiment all I would add is this: or until they pay they have to pay their taxes like all the rest of us working stiffs.  To wit, today is Tax Day, everybody, so pony up!  You, too, corporations — that is what your name means after all: “corporation” from the Latin for corpus and corporare, literally to make into a body.  (Think “corporeal punishment” or “Marine Corps.”  Or hell, just think corpse, as in the American dream/ social mobility/ public works/ U.S. revenue thanks to tax dodging loopholes.)  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Cranes! The Cranes!

The Cranes! The Cranes!

“Amid the endless mediocrity of the commonplace, a crane marsh holds a paleontological patent of nobility, won in the march of aeons, and revocable only by shotgun.”
— Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac Read the rest of this entry »

 

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