Blame (and maim) the victims

Wasn’t the great benefit of North Dakota oil supposed to be that it was bloodless?

If it wasn’t enough that it maimed and killed countless workers and left untold poison in our wells and waters, now our state is in the business of shredding limbs in an ostentatious display of corporate welfare.  Or should we now say warfare?  What else can an armed repression of this scale be called?

Governor Burgum has a responsibility to end the Dalrymple era of total corruption in the service of the oil industry.  Doug doesn’t even have to say no – just make one key tweak:  Reroute this pipe down the Main Avenue Bridge in Bismarck, where anyone can see if it leaks right away.

Not one more soul should be put at risk for the mere expediency of an engineering project.

Pipeline protests in DC, NYC

A very hearty crowd came to Washington, DC today from the Standing Rock Oyate in North and South Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Along with them was a 140,000 signature petition that was given to President Obama decrying the proposed pipeline. The event, hosted by ReZpect Our Water as well as the Oceti Sakowin Youth & Allies, will host another protest tomorrow in New York City’s Union Square at 3pm ET.

South Dakota US Senate race back on the map

In South Dakota, as in Kansas, a popular independent candidate may thwart the GOP’s chances of flipping the Senate.

Larry Pressler’s moderate stances and name recognition is making for a serious challenge to what was previously thought to be a lock. The DSCC even likes the poll numbers so much, it’s backing Rick Weiland’s once-quixotic Democratic candidacy. Way to go!

John Thune selling out the Internet

Our neighbours seem to have much stronger opinions about Net Neutrality than North Dakota’s Senators:  You have Al Franken on one side, defending the open internet in defiance of his old bosses at Comcast, and then you have John Thune in South Dakota signing on with the pay-to-play crowd, yukking up about “opportunity” while showing off to FCC Commissioners the kind of small businesses that won’t be able to afford access to the marketplace if regulations allowing ISPs to double-dip go forward.

“Net neutrality” isn’t something new — it happens to be the way the Internet has always worked.  What has changed is that certain ISPs want to change the rules of the game, count things they shouldn’t and charge people they shouldn’t as many times as they please.

North Dakota skies choked by MOA constrictor

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is keen to keep the Bowman airport open, as the Air Force is planning an ill-timed major expansion of restricted airspace in southwest North Dakota.

Despite a major rush, or boom even, in civil air traffic in the area, the Air Force plans to appropriate the skies of 8 North Dakota counties to expand a training area that until now has been a ways into Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Most states have one or two MOAs that civilian planes have to steer clear of — there’s a major one in northeast North Dakota, north of the Spirit Lake region.  But why the Air Force needs yet more of the sky is puzzling. Has there been a buying spree in bombers and fighters I’m not aware of?  Last I heard the Air Force was mainly being cut.

Anyone who looks at an airspace map of southwestern North Dakota airspace can see that it’s a lot of wide-open county. Sure, there’s a lot of room for everyone. But just taking it for a MOA without giving anything back to civil airspace on the other side is just another appropriation of a public good, for the limited benefit of the few.