The Watering Hole, Monday, April 22nd, 2013: Last Chance

I have written off and on about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and the many reasons why building it should not even be considered. Thousands of people have protested (and been arrested) against the proposed pipeline, and, thus far, the State Department has yet to decide on it.

Today is the last day for public comments on this proposal. If you have not yet submitted a comment, please, please, send an email to This is too important to our nation, our planet and our future.

Here’s the email that I sent:

I am writing this letter in objection to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Advocates of the pipeline say that it will create thousands of American jobs. This is a lie. While it may create a certain number of temporary jobs in the construction stage, fewer than 50 permanent jobs will be created.

Advocates of the pipeline say that, once the pipeline is finished and the tar sands oil is refined, it will provide the U.S. with a plentiful supply of oil, lowering oil prices and lessening our dependency on “foreign”, i.e., “Middle Eastern” oil. They say that because of this, our “national security’” will be enhanced. This is a lie. The tar sands oil, once refined, will be sold on the world market, not directly to the U.S.

Advocates of the pipeline say that the pipeline will safely bring tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, through several U.S. States, to refineries in Texas. This is a lie. Keystone’s own track record as regards previous spills, i.e., in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River (which to date, several years later, still has not been ‘cleaned up’) belies this notion. Tar sands oil is the filthiest form of oil, and the pipeline’s route would take it through hundreds of ecologically sensitive areas; most importantly, it will run through, or perilously close to, the largest aquifer in the country, which provides drinking water to several states.

Any claim that Keystone may make to guarantee that the pipeline will be safe would be a lie. Regardless of anything that the final Environmental Impact Statement may say, there is no technology on this earth that can clean up the kind of disaster that a tar sands oils spill would cause. Consider the ineffective efforts to contain the BP Deepwater oil spill in the Gulf, and the ridiculouis use of paper towels to attempt to clean up the recent Mayflower oil spill.

Are even 50 permanent U.S. jobs worth even the slightest possibility of a pipeline leak and the subsequent ecological and human disaster? Are 50 jobs worth ruining the drinking water of millions of Americans? I say NO, and I would hope that anyone with any critical thinking skills would have to agree.

Please, I implore you, just say NO to Keystone.


Jane E. Schneider
Pawling, NY

This is our open thread — what will you say to the State Department?

92 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, April 22nd, 2013: Last Chance

  1. If Congress passed a law that banned exporting refined petroleum based on it being a strategic defense asset, and the administration approved the pipeline, I bet they wouldn’t even build it. Their only reason for the pipeline is to get it to the coast so they can sell it on the world market.

  2. Suggestion: Send a real letter and not an email.
    Request a reply.
    Be polite, address them respectfully, be logical. (see above)
    Inform them that you have also sent this letter to their colleagues.
    A real letter a human must open and read.
    An email does not carry the same weight.
    I do this with my representatives.
    Polititians figure that only one out maybe a few thousand people actually take the time to write a hard copy letter so a real letter has much more hitting power.
    Requesting a reply means they must acknowledge you.
    You’d be surprised how many do.

    • Unfortunately, I think that once the comment period is closed, a ‘real’ letter arriving afterwards won’t be allowed as part of the public comments.

      I would suggest, however, finding John Kerry’s email contact info and copying him on whatever you send. Also your rep and Senators. (I neglected to do that, but I can forward it later today to mine.)

        • It only hit me when I saw it on Think Progress. I saw reminders about it now and then, but forgot until yesterday. One would really only know about it if one followed the progress of a project like this.

          Usually, once the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) or, in this case, the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is submitted to whoever the lead agency is, usually the public has anywhere from 30 to 90 days to submit public comments for or against the project. In this case, the State Department is the lead agency. When I worked for a civil engineer, I did several EISs, and the public comment period was 30 days. In those cases, the Town involved would be the lead agency. On a project this size, I guess that they had to have an extended period.

    • the Enbridge oil spill shows you how inept the EPA is at demanding cleanup after the damage is done…and how much power the oil companies have in covering up the collateral damage

      what if the pipeline ruptured?…as John points out, it will eventually wear and eat away from the inside and rupture

  3. Another beautiful day in the NRA-version of America.

    Police: 5 dead in shooting south of Seattle – Yahoo! News

    unfire erupted at an apartment complex in a city south of Seattle and five people were shot to death, including a suspect who was shot by arriving officers, police said early Monday.
    Officers responding to an emergency call at 9:30 p.m. PDT Sunday at the apartments in Federal Way encountered a chaotic scene, with bullets flying.

    • Clearly, if each and every dead person had a firearm, then they would still all be dead, but the number of rounds expended would be much greater! What a win!
      For the ammo/gun merchants.

  4. Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr has been singing in my head for the past week…and i really never liked the guy.

    how do you make these things stop?

  5. Boston Marathon bombing suspect answering FBI questions in writing

    Pete Williams of NBC News: “Despite a serious throat wound preventing him from speaking, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect is beginning to respond to questions from investigators, federal officials tell NBC News.”

    The New York Times reports that authorities believe the brothers had planned to continue their attacks if they hadn’t been apprehended, but according to CBS’s John Miller, their plan was not part of a larger plot or conducted in coordination with other terrorist groups or individuals.

    The chief of Boston Police says he believes that Tamerlan Tsarnaev died from injuries sustained when his younger brother Dzhokar drove over him trying to escape capture. “After several minutes, the elder brother, Tamerlan, walked toward the officers, firing his gun until he appeared to run out of bullets, Deveau said. Officers tackled him and were trying to get handcuffs on him, when the stolen SUV came roaring at them, the younger brother at the wheel. The officers scattered and the SUV plowed over Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was dragged briefly under the car, he said.”

      • “Mr. Carney noted that it was illegal to try an American citizen in a military commission”

        Wingnuts aren’t concerned with the laws of the land. Their motto: Break them now and maybe we’ll rewrite them later.

  6. QOTD:

    “Yeah, man, I mean, tragedies can happen anywhere in the world,” – how Dzokhar Tsarnaev reacted when discussing the marathon bombings with a classmate after the attack.

  7. Boston Bomb Suspect to Be Tried in Civilian Court, White House Says

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, will not be tried as an enemy combatant, the White House said on Monday. “We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.

    Mr. Carney noted that it was illegal to try an American citizen in a military commission, and that a number of high-profile terrorism cases were handled in the civilian court system, including that of the would-be bomber who tried to bring down a passenger jet around Christmas 2009 with explosives in his underwear.

    Mr. Carney said the government had gotten “valuable intelligence” from suspects kept in the civilian judicial process. “The system has repeatedly proven it can handle” such cases, he said.

  8. Fearful of losing the title to Beckyboy; Ol’ Lushbo has concocted a brilliant rebuttal in the form of his very own conspiracy theory. New Black Panthers+Rev. Wright+Benghazi= “It’s all Obama’s fault”.

    Meanwhile, here in the cause and effect universe inhabited by sane people, law enforcement officers tracked down the suspects, engaged them in combat, suffered casualties, and ended up with the suspects being dead and/or caught without resorting to the invasion of any sovereign nations.

    • The dunderheads keep grasping and missing the brass ring.
      They are so certain one of these made up conspiracies will come true. (unicorns romp around in their heads)

  9. Teamsters form human wall against planned Westboro Baptist picket at bombing victim’s funeral

    What the hell’s THAT all about? Am I to presume that Krystle was gay? And even if she was, what the fuck POSSIBLE difference could it make, now, or before, or in the next dozen or two eternities? Jesus H. Christ, those IDIOTS! are FUCKING SICK!!!! And they’re too goddamned stupid to know.

    Ten bucks says they all vote Republican. What a disgusting pile-of-shit party that outfit has become. Is.

    Sorry for the rant. I guess it’s the word ‘Westboro’ that sets it off? Hard to imagine any conglomeration of such a pile of festering stupid shitbrains exists anywhere.

    Where the fuck is “God” when needed to control the freakin’ IDIOCY?

    Never mind, I know the answer. Sigh. Maybe another glass (bottle? Keg?) of wine or something . . .

    • The sick fucks don’t care if the young woman was gay. Their theory is that god hates America because we’re not mean enough to the gay folk. Their god then kills random people in horrible ways because he is pissed.

      • I’ve reached the point where I don’t care a whole lot about “America” either, esp. that which it’s become in the last few decades. I am a bit surprised that ‘god’ appears to sanction our collective hatefulness and stupidity, though. What ever happened to the ‘god of love’ and all that other nonsensical/associated malarkey? Westboro? Really?

        OK, God. Special request from below, from way down here: ENOUGH IDIOCY, ALREADY!

        • If there truly were a ‘god’, she’d strike down every last one of the hateful bigots that call themselves members of such an organization. (Not using the word church out of respect for those of religious belief who aren’t nutjobs).

    • Today here on the front face of the Rockies it was close to 70, lots of sun. Tomorrow snow and ice. Where the hell is “Spring”? We had a foot of snow just last week, for chrissake!

      • Similar here. We may break the 60 barrier in a couple of days. We have one day a week lately that is nice (above 50) then the next day it snows some more. No snow on the ground now but last week we had snow on Sunday that stayed until Friday. Usually in April if we get snow it’s gone the next day. Very strange.

    • Shaking head. Sickness, idiocy, mental impairment, conservatism . . . all the same.

      I assume that back in the thirties there were thoughtful Germans who also sensed a national demise. I think I now understand. And boy, do I sympathize . . . with those felt they had to succumb, and with those who were forced to succumb. Ich bin . . . etc.

      Fascism. Seldom a pleasant solution . . . even though ‘final’.

  10. Sounds right:

    “At best, George W. Bush was a well-meaning man who gave the occasional nice speech and was thoroughly overmatched by events. At worst, he was the most disastrous foreign policy president of the post-1945 era. Am I missing anything?” – Dan Drezner, Foreign Policy.

  11. George W. Bush On Legacy: ‘There’s No Need To Defend Myself’

    Bush also urged people not to forget “the lessons of 9/11,” saying that it was still evident that “evil exists still in the form of people who murder innocent people to advance a point of view.”

    no shit you murderous fucking criminal…

  12. I know my understanding of the law is somewhat lacking, but someone help me out here. Even before any cop “reads you your rights”, you still have the right to remain silent, and you can still demand to speak to a lawyer before answering questions, can’t you? The cops might think you have something to hide, and maybe you do, but it’s still your right, isn’t it?

    • Miranda does not in any way require the police to warn suspects taken into custody that they don’t have to answer questions or that they have a right to have an attorney present. All that Miranda says is that if the interrogators don’t give the warnings, then (barring an exception), the government won’t be able to introduce into evidence at trial statements the unwarned suspect makes, or the trail it may lead to.

      it is quite unlikely that “Zooey” is unaware that he has a right to remain silent, either because of his knowledge of American culture or because his alleged terrorism-masters in Chechnya would surely have had the wit to say something like “if you’re captured, remember that those wimp Americans will accord you a right to remain silent.”

      I’m just relieved we don’t have a Romney administration or this American citizen would be getting prepped for being tortured, just as Jose Padilla was.

  13. Apologies if someone already posted a link to this, but I just saw it. “The War On Drugs” auto-tuned. And check out the GIFs below. Number 3 is an awesome homage to M C Escher, number 6 is a great demonstration of fractals, number 12 is just hard to tear your eyes away from, number 19 is a bunch of dogs jumping rope, and the others are cool, too. Enjoy.

  14. Damn kids. Just because it’s about 65F and sunny, specifically so I can open some windows, is no reason for you to be bouncing a basketball and squealing like happy people. Go inside and play video games, dammit!

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