The Evening Blues - 4-12-21
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features r&b singer and guitarist Tarheel Slim. Enjoy!
Tarheel Slim & Li'l Ann - Close To You
“[In early 2007] there was a new rash of articles and headlines on the front page about the "Chinese military build-up." The Pentagon claimed that China had increased its offensive military capacity -- with 400 missiles, which could be nuclear armed. Then we had a debate about whether that proves China is trying to conquer the world or the numbers are wrong, or something. Just a little footnote. How many offensive nuclear armed missiles does the United States have? Well, it turns out to be 10,000. China may now have maybe 400, if you believe the hawks. That proves that they are trying to conquer the world.
It turns out, if you read the international press closely, that the reason China is building up its military capacity is not only because of U.S. aggressiveness all over the place, but the fact that the United States has improved its targeting capacities so it can now destroy missile sites in a much more sophisticated fashion wherever they are, even if they are mobile. So who is trying to conquer the world? Well, obviously the Chinese because since we own it, they are trying to conquer it. It's all too easy to continue with this indefinitely. Just pick your topic. It's a good exercise to try. This simple principle, "we own the world," is sufficient to explain a lot of the discussion about foreign affairs.”
-- Noam Chomsky
News and Opinion
US sends two warships into the Black Sea as Russia warns of “full-scale hostilities” with NATO-backed Ukraine
The US is sending two warships to the Black Sea amid a rapidly escalating crisis in East Ukraine. On Friday, the Turkish government confirmed that the Pentagon had issued a formal request 15 days ago that two of its warships be allowed to pass through Turkish straits, to be deployed in the Black Sea until May 4. The sending of US warships to the Black Sea is the latest in a series of extraordinarily provocative moves by NATO-backed Ukraine and the US in the crisis. In March, shortly after Joe Biden took office and reaffirmed that “Crimea is Ukraine,” the Ukrainian government of Volodymyr Zelensky announced a strategy to “recover Crimea” and the Donbas. ...
This was the immediate backdrop for the growing fighting between the separatists and the Ukrainian army. Zelensky has since urged NATO to accelerate the admission of Ukraine to the military alliance, and Ukraine and NATO have announced joint military exercises. Last Friday, Zelensky met virtually with US President Biden, who assured him of full US support against Russia. In response to these provocations, Russia has amassed troops on the borders to Ukraine, announced military exercises and is reinforcing its navy in the Black Sea.
Like the US, Germany and France have denounced “Russian aggression.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel called upon Putin on Thursday to withdraw troops from the border of East Ukraine. Zelensky is set to travel to Paris next week to meet for negotiations with French President Emmanuel Macron. The French government has also demanded on that Russia “explain” the troop movements in the region.
On Thursday, Zelensky traveled to visit the Ukrainian troops in East Ukraine on Thursday, whom he praised for being “a true example of heroism and dedication.” A significant number of the troops and militias still fighting in what is a deeply unpopular war in Ukraine are affiliated with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and similar far-right formations, which have been systematically built up by the Ukrainian state and the US, especially since the 2014 coup. ...
Writing for the right-wing think tank publication National Interest, Ted Galen Carpenter noted that the situation now was reminiscent of the lead-up to the 2008 Russian-Georgian war, when the US deliberately encouraged Georgia to take aggressive action against Russia. He wrote, “The parallels between Washington’s excessive encouragement of Ukraine and Bush’s blunder with respect to Georgia [in 2008] are eerie and alarming. Vladimir Putin’s government has given the West numerous warnings over the years that attempting to make Ukraine a NATO military client crosses a bright red line in terms of Russia’s security.” Carpenter warned that the situation could escalate into a nuclear confrontation between Russia and the US.
A spokesman for Iran’s civilian nuclear programme said an “accident” struck the electrical distribution grid of the Natanz nuclear facility, a day after the government announced it was starting up new uranium enrichment centrifuges.
Behrouz Kamalvandi announced the accident on Sunday, saying there were no injuries and no pollution. A mysterious explosion in July 2020 damaged Natanz’s advanced centrifuge facility, with Iran later calling the incident sabotage.
Iran had announced on Saturday that it had started up advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges at Natanz, in a breach of its undertakings under the 2015 nuclear deal, days after the start of talks on rescuing the accord.
The US had said on Friday that it had offered “very serious” ideas on reviving the hobbled agreement but was waiting for Tehran to reciprocate, something Saturday’s move signally failed to do.
President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated a cascade of 164 IR-6 centrifuges for producing enriched uranium, as well as two test cascades – 30 each of IR-5 and IR-6S models – at Natanz. The ceremony was broadcast by state television.
Joe Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Sunday the US is concerned about China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan and warned it would be a “serious mistake” for anyone to try to change the status quo in the western Pacific by force.
“What we’ve seen, and what is of real concern to us, is increasingly aggressive actions by the government in Beijing directed at Taiwan, raising tensions in the Straits,” Blinken told NBC’s Meet the Press.
Blinken also said China’s failure to provide access to global health experts made the Covid-19 pandemic worse than it had to be, and it was important to “get to the bottom” of the origin of the novel coronavirus.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing are high. On Thursday, China blamed the US for tensions after an American warship sailed close to Taiwan. On Friday the White House said it was keeping a close watch on increased Chinese military activities in the Taiwan Strait, and called Beijing’s actions potentially destabilizing.
The US has a longstanding commitment to ensure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and to sustain peace and security in the western Pacific, Blinken said. Asked if the US would respond militarily to a Chinese action in Taiwan, Blinken declined to comment on a hypothetical.
Congressman Ro Khanna of California was the first House Democrat to speak out Friday against President Joe Biden's request for a $715 billion Pentagon budget for Fiscal Year 2022, an increase from the current $704 billion level approved under former President Donald Trump.
"At a time when his own Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, recently criticized a federal budget that is basically 'military and pensions' without building our productivity capability here at home, it's disappointing that President Biden would propose a budget of $715 billion for the Pentagon, an increase of 1.6% over Trump's $704 billion budget, instead of working toward returning to the Obama-Biden era spending levels," Khanna said in a statement.
While applauding Biden's proposed elimination of the overseas contingency operations (OCO) account—an off-budget war funding pool that critics have decried as a "slush fund"—Khanna said he is "concerned that this budget will likely include other wasteful spending," such as money for new intercontinental ballistic missiles pushed by the powerful weapons lobby.
"We need a fundamental shift in how we address national security issues and invest in climate action and pandemic response," said Khanna, the deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "Those are the issues impacting the security of the American people and will keep Americans safer than spending billions on more deadly weapons."
Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, vowed on Sunday to push the Biden administration for more Covid-19 vaccines as her state experiences a worrying spike in cases.
Joe Biden has said Washington will give Michigan more federal resources to support vaccinations and testing, but not additional vaccines.
Whitmer, also a Democrat, told CBS’s Face the Nation she would work with the White House but wanted to do everything she could to get additional doses.
“We did not have a national strategy for a long period of time,” Whitmer said, “and then the Biden White House came in and we have one. And by and large, they’re doing a great job.
“I would submit, though, that in an undertaking of this magnitude, with such consequence, it’s important to recognize where there might need to be some adjustments along the way.”
Michigan has the highest rate of new Covid-19 infections in the US. The state reported 6,900 cases on Saturday and 74 more deaths. It does not report data on Sundays.
Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip, said on Sunday he intends to give Joe Manchin a lesson in US history as he attempts to clear a path for Joe Biden on voting rights and infrastructure. Manchin, a moderate Democratic senator from West Virginia, has emerged as a significant obstacle to the president’s ambitious proposals by insisting he will not vote to reform or end the Senate filibuster, which demands a super-majority for legislation to pass, to allow key measures passage through the 50-50 chamber on a simple majority basis. ...
But Democrats appear to be losing patience – and none more vociferously than Clyburn. “I’m going to remind the senator exactly why the Senate came into being,” Clyburn, from South Carolina, told CNN’s State of the Union, refreshing criticism of Manchin that has included saying he feels “insulted” by his refusal to fully embrace voting rights reform.
“The Senate was not always an elective office. The moment we changed and made it an elective office [was because] the people thought a change needed to be made. The same thing goes for the filibuster. The filibuster was put in place to extend debate and give time to bring people around to a point of view. The filibuster was never put in place to suppress voters … It was there to make sure that minorities in this country have constitutional rights and not be denied.”
Clyburn has assailed Manchin for promoting a bipartisan approach to voting rights and refusing to endorse the For the People Act, a measure passed by the US House and intended to counter restrictive voting laws targeting minorities proposed by Republicans in 47 states and passed in Georgia last month. ...
On Sunday Clyburn also reached into history to repeat his contention that the Georgia law is “the new Jim Crow”, a claim repeated by Biden but which Republicans say is unfair. ... “The whole history in the south of putting together those who are eligible to vote is based upon the practices and the experiences of people based upon their race. So, I would say to anybody, ‘Come on, just look at the history … and you will know that what is taking place today is a new Jim Crow. It’s just that simple.”
This week, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., signaled his resistance to President Joe Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent to fund infrastructure investments — and his intransigence could protect numerous private equity donors who bankrolled his 2018 reelection campaign.
Further review of Manchin’s campaign contributions reveals his stance on tax reform could also protect lucrative tax benefits obtained by many of his biggest campaign benefactors in the legal industry as part of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law. That legislation included a special tax cut for certain types of incorporated law firms.
Unlike Manchin’s private equity donors, which include familiar names like Ares Management, the attorneys and lawyers who have filled the senator’s his campaign war chest mostly belong to the inscrutable name-soup of billboard regional law firms unknown to most voters, such as the West Virginia firm of Bailey, Javins & Carter, whose lawyers donated $6,400 to Manchin’s 2018 reelection campaign. But those donations have added up. Since 2015, Manchin has received nearly 800 contributions averaging slightly less than $1,000 from lawyers in 31 states, according to data available through the Federal Elections Commission.
In total, lawyers and law firms represent the second largest source of donations to Manchin’s campaign committee and leadership PAC after securities and investment businesses, totaling more than $822,000 in contributions since 2015, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets. Donors from Manchin’s largest individual source of law firm cash, Steptoe & Johnson, delivered $23,100 to his 2018 reelection campaign, and the American Association for Justice PAC, which advocates for trial lawyers and opposes tort reform, contributed $10,000.
And all of these lawyers have a major stake in what happens with Biden’s new tax plan.
Amazon has rejected claims it intimidated workers voting on whether to create the company’s first union at an Alabama warehouse. The overwhelming decision by employees in Bessemer, a suburb north of Birmingham, to rebuff organised representation was seen as a blow to the US labor movement. Union leaders alleged “egregious and blatantly illegal” conduct by Amazon during the closely watched vote.
In a statement posted to its website, Amazon said the claim by officials of the retail, wholesale and department store union (RWDSU) had no merit.
“It’s easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that’s not true,” it said. “Our employees heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers, and media outlets than they heard from us. And Amazon didn’t win – our employees made the choice to vote against joining a union.”
Among allegations levelled at Amazon were that it forced workers to attend anti-union meetings, bombarded them with text messages and papered the walls of warehouse bathrooms with anti-union posters. Additionally, there was a wrangle over the erection of a mailbox outside the warehouse that Amazon encouraged workers to use for their votes, raising suspicions the company was seeking to influence the casting and counting of ballots. The Washington Post revealed that the US Postal Service installed the mailbox at Amazon’s urging in February, at the start of the seven-week balloting period.
Britain would be on stronger ground campaigning against authoritarian regimes if it pressed the Biden administration to drop its call to extradite Julian Assange on espionage charges, Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, has told the Guardian. Moris – who has two children with Assange – is trying to broaden the campaign of support for him by pointing to the global damage caused to the UK’s reputation by keeping him in jail for so long.
In an interview coinciding with the second anniversary of his detention in the high-security Belmarsh prison in south-east London, she says: “The treatment of Julian is compromising the UK constantly all round the world. It’s giving authoritarian governments points to score all round the world both privately and in international fora like the UN. You cannot start a new values competition with China with Julian Assange in Belmarsh for publishing war crimes. It just does not work. You don’t get to take the moral high ground with this as your starting point.
“Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said the difference between China and the US is that China puts its critics in prison. I am not sure the British government is aware of how much international criticisms it is facing over this issue, or the damage it is doing to its soft power reputation. It’s a tool to whack the UK again and again. It is the perfect response for authoritarian leaders when they are criticised by the UK, or pressed to release political prisoners: ‘What about Julian Assange?’”
She said the UK Foreign Office was running a major global press freedom campaign, and yet at the same time keeping Assange in jail. “Every major human rights group – Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters without Borders – are on the same page about this issue.“
Civil rights and free speech advocates on Friday decried the advancement in the Florida Senate of a controversial bill that the ACLU says "aims to silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians for exercising their First Amendment right to protest."
The appropriations committee of the GOP-controlled Florida Senate voted Friday to approve House Bill 1 (pdf), which was first proposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis last September in the wake of Black Lives Matter and other racial justice protests that followed the police killing of unarmed Black people including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville.
If passed, the bill would classify certain demonstrations as felonies and impose harsh penalties on some protesters. The Florida House of Representatives voted last month along party lines to approve H.B. 1. The ACLU of Florida warned at the time that:
H.B. 1 would send people to prison for up to 15 years for pulling down a Confederate flag or other shrines to white supremacy. It would subject any person present at any gathering that became violent through no fault of their own to felony charges, potentially leading up to five years in prison and the loss of their voting rights, even if the individual did not engage in any violent and disorderly conduct, among other provisions. It would also protect violent counter-protesters from civil liability for injuring or killing a protester with their vehicle.
The entire Florida Senate will now vote on the bill. On Friday, state Senate Minority Leader Gary Farmer (D-34) told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that the bill "is so broadly worded, so badly defined, so potentially harmful to the right of free speech that... you could have peaceful protesters prosecuted simply for being present while someone near them... breaks the law."
Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement Friday that "H.B. 1 is a direct attack on the First Amendment. It is designed to stifle Floridians' right to peacefully assemble and seek change in their democracy."
"For these past several weeks, legislators have been hearing opposition to these harmful bills from Floridians of all walks of life," Kubic added. "Nearly everyone who has testified has strongly opposed this bill for an array of reasons."
Itohan Ighodaro, a Black woman from Broward County in South Florida, told the Florida Phoenix she opposes the bill because she fears it will be used to target minorities.
"H.B. 1 is harmful legislation that will have a long-term devastating impact on marginalized communities," said Ighodaro. "The Florida Senate has the ability to prevent this dangerous bill from becoming law."
"Peaceful protest has been and is still the organizing mechanism [and] cultural tool Black Americans have used to continue to fight for our freedom," she added. "This bill was pushed by a governor who did not bother to include a racial and ethnic impact study, even with prior knowledge of the demographic of Floridians who protest."
Throughout the first phases of the Derek Chauvin murder trial, the defense attorney Eric Nelson has made passing reference to the term “excited delirium” as he attempts to build a case for his client. Nelson referenced the phrase during opening arguments, has asked a number of witnesses about the term and may well explore it when the defense gets to present its case.
But “excited delirium” is a controversial and disputed expression often used in fatal cases of police violence. While certain medical bodies and experts recognize the term, many others do not, and there is no universally accepted definition of what it constitutes. Others have argued the phrase carries racial biases and is often used to justify lethal use of force by police, disproportionately against Black men.
Broadly, the term has been used to describe individuals who become agitated or distressed after using drugs or during a mental health episode. In some instances, those described as experiencing “excited delirium” are perceived to exhibit higher pain thresholds and unusual levels of strength.
The term is not recognized by the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association or the American Medical Association. ...
The phrase has been used in a number of highly controversial officer-involved deaths of Black Americans and has often been used to justify a decision not to criminally charge police.
Within the bounds of a block in Athens, Georgia, three high-rise dorms stand where 50 Black families used to live. The dorms were built in the 1960s as part of the federal government’s urban renewal program, which empowered cities and colleges to seize property in the name of so-called slum clearance. As the University of Georgia and the Athens city government requisitioned lots and burned homes to the ground, they steered many residents into public housing. According to the University of Richmond’s “Renewing Inequality” project, 298 families in Athens were displaced during this period, 176 of them families of color.
In February, nearly six decades later, the county began its first attempt to offer redress. “The Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County extends to former residents of Athens’ Urban Renewal Districts, their descendants, and to all Athenians a deep and sincere expression of apology and regret for the pain and loss stemming from this time, and a sincere commitment to work toward better outcomes in all we do moving forward,” pledged Mayor Kelly Girtz in a signed proclamation. Two weeks after that, the county’s 10 commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that apologized specifically for the county’s role in destroying Linnentown, the Black, middle-class community that preexisted the UGA dorms.
The resolution acknowledges the seizure of residents’ homes and the perpetration of “an act of institutionalized white racism and terrorism resulting in intergenerational Black poverty, dissolution of family units, and trauma.” It pledges, among other things, to erect an on-site memorial honoring the legacy of Linnentown and create a new center on slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the future of Athens’s Black communities. Perhaps most importantly, it promises to calculate the total amount of intergenerational wealth lost through urban renewal and use that number to inform annual participatory budgeting on projects for redress — in other words, public funding for reparations. ...
The former Linnentown residents say they hope to testify before Congress on reparations and the harms of urban renewal. They have also requested meetings with their new senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and plan to push for a constitutional change at the state Legislature to make distributing direct payments easier.
Donald Trump devoted part of a speech to Republican donors on Saturday night to insulting the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell. According to multiple reports of the $400,000-a-ticket, closed-press event, the former president called the Kentucky senator “a dumb son of a bitch”.
Trump also said Mike Pence, his vice-president, should have had the “courage” to object to the certification of electoral college results at the US Capitol on 6 January. Trump claims his defeat by Joe Biden, by 306-232 in the electoral college and more than 7m votes, was the result of fraud. It was not and the lie was thrown out of court. ...
At his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday, amid a weekend of Republican events in Florida, some at Trump properties, the former president also mocked Dr Anthony Fauci. “Have you ever seen somebody who is so full of crap?“ Trump reportedly said about the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Joe Biden’s top medical adviser who was a key member of Trump’s coronavirus taskforce.
Trump also said Covid-19 vaccines should be renamed “Trumpcines” in his honour.
According to Politico, the attack on McConnell concerned his failure to defend Trump with sufficient zeal in the impeachment trial which followed the Capitol riot.
Republicans believe they have a great chance to win control of the US House of Representatives in 2022, needing a swing of about six seats to depose Nancy Pelosi as speaker and derail Joe Biden’s agenda. To help themselves over the top, they are advancing voter suppression laws in almost every state, hoping to minimize Democratic turnout. But Republicans are also preparing another, arguably more powerful tool, which experts believe could let them take control of the House without winning a single vote beyond their 2020 tally, or for that matter blocking a single Democratic voter.
That tool is redistricting – the redrawing of congressional boundaries, undertaken once every 10 years – and Republicans have unilateral control of it in a critical number of states. ... While redistricting gives politicians in some states the opportunity to redraw political boundaries, reapportionment means there are more districts to play with. After each US census, each of the 50 states is awarded a share of the 435 House seats based on population. States gain or lose seats in the process.
Owing to population growth, Republican states including Texas, Florida and North Carolina are expected to gain seats before 2022, although the breakdown has not been finalized, with the 2020 census delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Republican-controlled legislatures will have the power to wedge the new districts almost wherever they see fit, with a freedom they would not have enjoyed only 10 years ago, owing to a pair of controversial supreme court rulings.
“The threat of extreme gerrymandering is more acute today than it has ever been because of the combination of an abandonment of oversight by the courts and the Department of Justice, combined with new supercomputing powers,” said Josh Silver, director of Represent.us. The non-partisan group issued a report this month warning that dozens of states “have an extreme or high threat of having their election districts rigged for the next decade”.
“Frankly,” Silver said, “what we’re seeing around gerrymandering by the authoritarian wing of the Republican party is part of the Putin-style managed democracy they are promoting – that combination of voter suppression and gerrymandering.” ... The new Republican gerrymandering efforts are expected to focus on urban areas in southern states that are home to a disproportionate number of voters of color – meaning those voters are more likely to be disenfranchised.
Democracy Now: Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General Turned Fierce Critic of U.S. Militarism, Dies at Age 93
It’s been a week since a significant leak at a long-abandoned fertilizer plant in the Tampa Bay area threatened the surrounding groundwater, soil, and local water supplies. Last weekend, officials ordered more than 300 families living near the 676-acre Piney Point plant site in Manatee county to evacuate. The sheriff even emptied out his jail’s first floor of inmates in case a “20-foot wall of water” came rolling their way.
By Monday, local officials said they thought the crisis had been averted; they lifted evacuation orders on Tuesday afternoon. But what they meant was that imminent catastrophe had been postponed. The long-term, slow-moving crisis of toxicity, decades in the making, remains – and is echoed at dozens of radioactive ponds across the state. “We’re nowhere near out of the woods yet on this – there’s a long way to go,” says Glen Compton of ManaSota-88, an environmental non-profit that has been urging officials for decades to do something about the industrial waste pile.
Piney Point has a long history of polluting the water and air around it, dating to when the plant was built in 1966, Compton says. Just two years later, in 1968, Compton founded ManaSota-88 to oppose the site’s phosphate mining. (“The 88 stood for 1988 because we were supposed to solve all the problems within 20 years,” Compton says. “So now, the 88 stands for 2088.”)
Within a year of Piney Point being built, its original owners – a subsidiary of Borden, the glue and milk company – were caught dumping waste into nearby Bishop Harbor, a marine estuary that flows into Tampa Bay. The plant repeatedly changed hands throughout the years, all the while continuing causing numerous human health and environmental disasters and incidents. In 1989, for instance, a 23,000-gallon leak of sulfuric acid from a holding tank forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. ...
The Piney Point site is shaping up to be a costly environmental catastrophe, and Compton thinks the fertilizer industry should be accountable for disposing of its waste, rather than passing the cost on to taxpayers. But even with talks of the fertilizer plant’s cleanup and closure on the horizon, he’s not optimistic the threat of pollution from its wastewater will soon disappear.
Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.
"Biden's inaction to protect our fragile ecosystems, natural resources, traditional medicines, and Indigenous rights is a clear sign that this administration is the exact opposite of the climate leadership narrative they promised to lead during his campaign," said Tasina Sapa Win Smith of the Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective.
Brooke Harper, campaign strategist for the environmental group 350.org, declared that "the Biden administration missed a huge opportunity today to take a step towards ensuring a livable future for everyone in this country."
"The Dakota Access pipeline violates treaty rights and endangers land, water, and communities," Harper said. "The climate crisis is here; we can no longer afford to build polluting, dangerous fossil fuel pipelines and delay a just transition to 100% clean energy. In solidarity with Indigenous water protectors, we call on President Joe Biden to stop the Dakota Access pipeline, Line 3, and all new fossil fuel projects immediately. If Biden wants to be a climate leader on the world stage, he needs to start at home."
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who ordered the environmental impact assessment last year, held a hearing Friday afternoon so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could provide an update on whether the Biden administration planned to allow the pipeline known as DAPL to continue operating without a federal permit.
After Ben Schifman, an attorney for the government, shared that the Army Corps of Engineers would not shut down the pipeline at this time but "is essentially in a continuous process of evaluating," Boasberg granted the 10-day continuance. The D.C.-based judge is expected to decide whether he will order DAPL to shut down by April 19.
The pipeline carries oil from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa, to Illinois. Although the project was denied permission to cross beneath Lake Oahe on unceded ancestral tribal lands by former President Barack Obama—under whom Biden was vice president—former President Donald Trump swiftly reversed course and allowed the project to proceed.
Indigenous water protectors and environmentalists have been fighting against the pipeline for years—opposition that's been met with forceful crackdowns by private security and law enforcement. Since it began operating in 2017, DAPL and the communities through which it runs have been plagued by repeated leaks.
"For hundreds of years, our people have faced unwelcome and deadly incursions upon our homelands," said Phyllis Young, Standing Rock organizer for the Lakota People's Law Project and former tribal liaison to the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. "Today's decision is disappointing and demonstrates a lack of understanding by Washington politicians for Indigenous sovereignty."
"We will do our very best to see this pipeline removed, our water protected, and our sacred lands healed," Young said. "We will replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. One bad decision can't change that. We're dedicated to providing a better future for the generations to come. We've been fighting for our lives for centuries, and we aren't going to stop now."
Chairman Mike Faith of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said Friday that "we are gravely concerned about the continued operation of this pipeline, which poses an unacceptable risk to our sovereign nation."
"In a meeting with members of Biden's staff earlier this year, we were told that this new administration wanted to 'get this right,'" Faith noted. "Unfortunately, today's update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows it has chosen to ignore our pleas and stick to the wrong path."
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Tarheel Slim - Wildcat Tamer
Tarheel Slim - Baby, I´m Going to Throw You Out
Allen Bunn (Tarheel Slim) & Group - My Kinda Woman
Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - Forever I´ll Be Yours
Tarheel Slim - Some cold, rainy day
Allen Bunn (Tarheel Slim) - Somebody Changed The Lock On My Door
Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - It's Too Late
Allen Bunn (Tarheel Slim) - Too Much Competition
Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - Can't Stay Away (Part 1)
Tarheel Slim - No 9 Train