American Elephants


Sometimes a Picture Speaks More Loudly than Words by The Elephant's Child

piepline-protest

The Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe of about 10,000, are leading the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, which they claim could pollute the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of drinking water, and harm cultural lands and tribal burial grounds.

The tribe is working with the environmental group Earthjustice and has filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers, claiming the government didn’t properly consult them before approving the section of pipeline that runs near the reservation.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, says it has followed state and federal rules, met with Native American tribes, and proposed different versions of the pipeline route. The pipeline is 92 percent complete, only the small portion near the reservation is being contested. The pipeline does not enter the Standing Rock reservation.

Aseem Prakash, director of the Center for Environmental Politics at the University of Washington contends that the conflict reflects deeper-seated grievances of Native Americans. Years of injustices and their preferences not adequately taken into account. The pipeline goes through private land, not the reservation, but the tribe contends the land was acquired improperly and actually belongs to them by the terms of a 1851 treaty with the US government.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters. A group of military veterans have said they will join the tribes’ protest. CNN says ‘hundreds’ of veterans, but that’s CNN. There’s apparently a lot of fossil-fuel hatred in the mix as well. You can tell how deeply serious it all is by the fact that Jane Fonda and someone named Shailene Woodley turned up to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the protesters.

President Obama, who had approved the pipeline, reneged and halted it. The Army Corps of Engineers who had approved the pipeline reneged, and said they would have to reroute it, and that’s where it is at the moment. The map above, though humorous, clearly indicates the absurdity of the whole thing. Donald Trump is probably not up to either being fearful of fossil fuels, nor particularly sensitive to Native American angst about an 1851 Treaty that they’ve decided was unfair.

If the oil cannot be transported safely by a pipeline, it will be transported unsafely by train or truck.



The Continuing Saga of the Election Recount by The Elephant's Child

Jill Stein’s campaign to raise money to challenge the vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan is apparently going nowhere rapidly. Pennsylvania informed her that the deadline was last Monday—a week ago, not today. Wisconsin said they weren’t going to do a recount. And Michigan just finished laboriously counting the ballots from the election for the first time, and Trump won healthily.

Haven’t seen any response from Dr. Stein, but she would seem to retain her 1% in the final tally, if it’s any comfort. Sorry about that.

ADDENDUM:  When she filed her challenge to Wisconsin election results, Jill Stein assumed that the recount would be done by hand. State officials decided that counties would not be forced to do a hand recount of ballots. Officials decided a machine recount would do, unanimously. Now Stein is suing to force a hand recount. “We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system” she said in a statement. Since Wisconsin voting machines are not connected to the internet, hacking is unlikely.  Officials said no recount will happen until she pays the $3.5 million fee ahead of time.The Democrat Elections Commission chairman cited a 2011 hand recount that changed only 300 votes out of 1.5 million as the basis for declaring a machine recount adequate. Real drama out in the hustings. (what are ‘hustings’ anyway?) Merriam Webster: “Hustings are where babies are kissed, flesh is pressed and media events are staged.

ADDENDUM II: After the first day of Jill Stein’s vaunted recount in Michigan, joined by Hillary, Hillary has gained 1 vote. She needs only 22,000 more for the election to be tied. Stein filed a petition with Michigan’s state Board of Canvassers on Wednesday, asking for a manual recount of every vote cast in Michigan in the presidential election. She also is leading efforts to force recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, claiming her goal is to “ensure the integrity and accuracy of the vote.”But not so fast! Michigan’s Republican attorney general filed a lawsuit on Friday to halt the vote recount attempt pursued in the state by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

Michigan voters rejected Stein’s candidacy by massive margins but her refusal to accept that state verified result poses an expensive and risky threat to hard-working taxpayers and abuses the intent of Michigan law,” Bil Schuette said in a statement/

“We have asked the court to end the recount which Stein is pursuing in violation of Michigan laws that protect the integrity of our elections. It is inexcusable for Stein to put Michigan voters at risk of paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process”.

ADDENDUM III: It’s Over! A federal Judge in Michigan ruled that Jill Stein could not possibly win under any circumstances, and thus she had no standing to be able to challenge the election.



Hillary Said She Was Surprised by Trump’s Suggesting that He Might Not Accept the Result of the Vote by The Elephant's Child

Well, Hillary has had some trouble grasping the nature of modern times. Technology has given her some trouble, emails and erasing things, but one would think that any politician would be aware of YouTube and videos of one’s past statements, however confidently given.



Remy Does Parody And It’s Quite Special by The Elephant's Child

Lyrics:

I heard the news and I was sad
A crazy man who’ll power grab
He’ll probably bomb countries unapproved, yeah
The debt will double – Won’t abate

He’ll build up the surveillance state
I guess it won’t be all that different, ooh yeah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

He might be so awful, So unhinged
Defense Secretaries leave and then
Imply his White House knows not what to do yeah

He’ll wage a war on whistle-blows
there may be unexpected gropes
He’d be that nightmare
They call “deja vu” yeah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah

He might take the data from our phones
Have citizens killed by flying drones
Mock the disabled oh no we’ll be through yeah
So if you’re mad and on the streets
Concerned about this overreach
Well where’ve you been
It isn’t all that new, yeah

But Hallelujah
Hallelujah



Newsweek Recalls 125,000 Copies of Its Souvenir Madam President Issue by The Elephant's Child

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From Britain’s The Telegraph today. “Hillary Clinton signs a copy of Newsweek’s ‘Madam President’ commemorative magazine on November 7. They printed one for Donald Trump, too, just in case. The old photo of Harry Truman holding up the newspaper with the Dewey wins headline remains a caution to the press. Can’t help but enjoy it.



“The Great Liberal Freakout” by The Elephant's Child

Steven Hayward posted this review of “The Great Liberal Freakout” at Powerline yesterday. It’s so good it’s worth repeating.

The head of the Joint Center for Political Studies, which the Washington Post describes as a “respected liberal think tank,” reacted to Trump’s landslide thus: “When you consider that in the climate we’re in—rising violence, the Ku Klux Klan—it is exceedingly frightening.” Castro, still with us, said right before the election: “We sometimes have the feeling that we are living in the time preceding the election of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.”  Claremont College professor John Roth wrote: “I could not help remembering how economic turmoil had conspired with Nazi nationalism and militarism—all intensified by Germany’s defeat in World War I—to send the world reeling into catastrophe… It is not entirely mistaken to contemplate our post-election state with fear and trembling.”  Esquire writer Harry Stein says that the voters who supported Trump were like the “good Germans” in “Hitler’s Germany.”  Sociologist Alan Wolfe is up in the New Left Review: “The worst nightmares of the American left appear to have come true.” And he doubles down in The Nation: “[T]he United States has embarked on a course so deeply reactionary, so negative and mean-spirited, so chauvinistic and self-deceptive that our times may soon rival the McCarthy era.” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, keeper of the “Doomsday Clock” that purported to judge the risk of nuclear annihilation, has moved the hands on the clock from seven to four minutes before midnight.

Oh wait, did I say this was the reaction to Trump??  Sorry—these are what the left was saying the day after Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. Some things never change.



Unintended Consequences, or Truth is Stranger than Fiction. by The Elephant's Child

hillary-scowlThis struck me as hilarious: from The Washington Free Beacon—the headline “Clinton Campaign Bars Employees from Using Personal Email Accounts.”

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign prohibits employees from using a personal email address to conduct official business, according to a hacked copy of its employee handbook.

“Staff are provided an e-mail account for Campaign business use only. Employees must use their Campaign-provided e-mail accounts for all correspondence regarding or related to the Campaign’s business,” the handbook states.

“Employees cannot use personal email addresses (.gmail,
i cloud, etc.) to conduct Campaign business.”

“Failure to retain documents subject to a litigation hold can result in the imposition of harsh fines and other penalties on HFA and, in some cases, on the individual,” the document advised.




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