Monday, September 12, 2016
Yesterday, this country marked the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on September 11th. It was a sad day in this nation's history, to be sure, but here we are, a decade-and-a-half later.
On many pictures and memes on the Internet about that day, you often see wording about always remembering that terrible day. Often times, the phrases "We will/shall never forget" or simply "Never forget", as in the picture at the top of this post, are most notable. Some may argue that keeping this as a yearly reminder serves the elite to keep us afraid. I believe there is some validity to that. Some may argue that we should commemorate a national tragedy every year on its anniversary, with which I wholeheartedly agree.
What I would hope with respect to remembering, in addition to commemorating the anniversary, is to keep the public's interest in this tragedy and spark an even bigger flame of curiosity. Curiosity so big as to inspire more and more inquiries into what really happened that day and what steps led up to it. Some has already come out, and more has yet to be uncovered.
One year ago today, I posted a film looking into what happened on that fateful day, titled 'Anatomy of a Great Deception'. Today, I offer another film on the same subject, '9/11 Exposed: 2nd Edition', which was released last year. (The original documentary was also released last year, with the 2nd Edition being an update.)
As with 'Anatomy of a Great Deception', dismiss this as conspiracy ramblings or give it a serious watch.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
The debacle that is currently going on in North Dakota began in 2014 and is fully funded by corporate greed. You don't know to what I am referring? That's not surprising. This story has received very little exposure on the national news. That, too, is not surprising since corporate interests trumping people's rights to clean water and previously set-in-place treaties is what is going on there.
The Sioux Nation's Standing Rock Reservation is the site of the stand-off between Native American tribespeople and both the U.S. government and Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based oil company. Land treaties have been in place for centuries, most notably the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux of 1851 and the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. Not that the treaties were honored up until now. General George Custer -- yes, that General Custer -- led a gold expedition on Sioux land six years after the latter treaty, as well as U.S. troops at the battle of Little Bighorn River. The following year, in 1877, the U.S. government confiscated the land, and the land has remained in dispute ever since.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is going to cross over sacred Native American lands and burial sites. In response to a clearing out of a two-mile-long, 150-foot-wide patch of land last Saturday, former Sioux tribal historical preservation officer of the Standing Rock tribe, Tim Mentz, stated, "I surveyed this land, and we confirmed multiple graves and specific prayers sites. Portions, and possibly complete sites, have been taken out entirely." Tribal chairman David Archambault II also added, "These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground."
Crossing sacred lands, several rivers which are valuable drinking water supplies to native peoples, will be in the path of the pipeline. Understandably, since this country's record of pipeline fractures does not instill faith, risking something vital to life itself, water, is beyond troubling. It is a threat to life itself.
It turns out that the government oversight on the project only covered government-owned lands, but not Sioux nation lands. The moving forward is based on supposition. The Dakota Access Pipeline is only part of a larger network of pipelines designed to transfer tar sands oil, the dirtiest kind of oil, down to refineries in the gulf region of Texas.
While it is based in supposition, how is it funded? I think you will find how it is funded simultaneously answers the questions of why it is being pushed and receiving little news coverage nationally.
All of the major recipients of revolving credit lines or loans are all under the Energy Transfer Partners umbrella.
The standoff has been steadfast on both sides. Last Saturday, bulldozing of sacred lands commenced. In addition, the protest by Native American tribespeople and other Americans alike became violent. (Warning: some strong language)
As of today, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has activated the state's National Guard to assist police onsite.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was successful in getting a temporary restraining order, halting progress on the bulldozing the land pending a judge's decision on a larger lawsuit, expected to come tomorrow. In July, they filed for an injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for giving the green light for the work to proceed. It its filing, Standing Rock wrote the following:
"In the afternoon of Friday, September 2, 2016, the SRST [Standing Rock Sioux
Tribe] further submitted recently discovered evidence of an astonishing
archaeological find. The find concerned historically, culturally, and religiously
important stone features and grave markings to the successors of the Great
Sioux Nation, including graves of chiefs, warriors and Bear Medicine healers.
These formations and grave sites are adjacent to and in the pipeline's proposed
right-of-way approximately 1 to 2 miles away from the Lake Oahe crossing site.
Less than 24 hours after SRST's filing, Dakota Access desecrated and destroyed
the sites described in SRST;s declaration."
Dakota Access LLC has denied the tribe's claims.
There may be people who ask about the importance of burial lands in the first place. We, in this industrialized and materialistic society in which we live, also consider burial grounds sacred. If not sacred in a religious sense, at least in a civilly reverential sense. With that in mind, I wonder if the tables were turned. What if Standing Rock attempted that on non-tribal lands? What if they attempted that on our most nationally sacred of burial sites....??
If you actually try to parse your answer, then maybe you see Native Americans as second-class citizens. (Oh, maybe that has been the case long before the Dakota Access Pipeline.) Maybe you think treaties are not just things that can be dishonored, and have been, but that they should be dishonored. And what does that say about us?
Sacred lands are sacred lands. Greed is greed.
If you are able to go to North Dakota to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, go. Be careful, of course, but go. If you cannot, but want to get involved another way, here are suggestions of things those onsite can use...
The Dakota Access Pipeline must be stopped! Stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples of this land, in person or otherwise. Pass the blog posting around social media. It's up to social media and independent media, like 'Democracy Now!', to get the word out about this travesty!
UPDATE: September 9, 2016 -- A federal judge has denied the request of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed last weekend for a restraining order against to continuation of destroying its lands for the pipeline. The judge stated that the tribe failed to prove "it will suffer injury that would be prevented by any injunction the Court could issue." Hours later, the Obama administration halted work on the pipeline, following the judge's ruling and in response to the protests.
2ND UPDATE: October 11, 2016 -- Yesterday, actress Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars, Divergent film series) was arrested during a peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Just the day before, a federal judge had denied a request to stop the pipeline. Ms. Woodley was broadcasting a live stream on Facebook Live, recording the protest and speaking with some of the protesters. She also recorded her being singled out, stopped, and arrested for criminal trespass.
Morton County (ND) Police Department mugshot
3RD UPDATE: November 29, 2016 -- A lot has happened since my last update. The size of the camp for protesters and water protectors has grown to around 10,000 persons. There have been hundreds of arrests of peaceful protesters, both Native American and non-Native American alike. The presence of militarized police, eerily similar to the militarized police presence at the protests in Ferguson and Baltimore protests, and many of the Occupy protests, has increased and intensified. Excessive crowd control measures that are supposed to be for violent, unruly crowds are being used, including LRAD's (Long Range Acoustic Devices) that were originally developed for the military and pepper spray. (Videos below.)
Observers from the United Nations, at the request of tribal chief David Archambault II, have been onsite since late October and have reported multiple violations of international law. The United Nations has formally joined calls to stop the pipeline, with one observers citing "inhuman and degrading conditions" with regard to how those arrested are being treated as well as how they are being treated at protest sites. Amnesty International has been onsite as well and has reported on what they call "disproportionate militarization and use of force by police in violation of the human rights to peaceful protest".
The map below shows the original pipeline path (dotted line) and the currently-proposed pipeline path (solid line). The original path was close to Bismarck, North Dakota's capital, a predominately white city. When the residents of Bismarck complained about the pipeline, the route was changed to go through sacred indigenous lands, including lands protected (or supposed to be protected) by nineteenth century treaties).
The following two videos show what has been happening at the stand-off at Standing Rock.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has ordered people to vacate the area, and the local sheriff's department said that it will carry out that order by blocking access by people and supplies to the protest site beginning today.
Please E-mail Askcrs@usdoj.gov
or Call the DOJ Federal Office at 202-305-2935
or Call the DOJ Regional office at 303-844-2973
and tell them to stop the eviction and phrase your comments as this is a religious and racial issue.