|On a weekend where some were expecting rain, the final day of the week-long ‘Reject and Protect‘ rally against the Keystone XL pipeline brought clear skies, warm sun and thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The protest was organized by the Sierra Club, 350.org, Bold Nebraska and the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, an organization of cowboys, ranchers, farmers, land owners, and Native Americans from the regions that will be affected by the construction of the pipeline.
“What is life? Life is water itself and water is life itself,” said Casey Camp-Horinek, a Native American Ponca woman from Ponca, Oklahoma and the White Eagle Community and a featured speaker at the day’s rally. Camp-Horniek was referring to the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the Great Plains area of the United States, covering eight states and providing water to millions of people. The Kansas Geological Survey at Kansas State University calls it “one of the most accessible groundwater systems in the world” — asystem threatened by the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. To Camp-Horinek, putting so much emphasis on scientific impacts often causes us to overlook our own connection to nature and the environment, “those things called aquifer and those things that are scientifically spoken of, to us, are life.”
Art Tanderup, a farmer from Nebraska, sees his opposition to the pipeline as a fight for his life, as well. Tanderup has been an outspoken and creativeopponent to the pipeline, due to the fact that the pipeline’s proposed route runs directly through his property. Tanderup told Think Progress on Saturday that the potential risk to the Ogallala Aquifer is not worth the payout. “There is no amount of money that could buy access to our land … In the Midwest, that aquifer is life,” he explained. “It provides our drinking water, the water for livestock, animals. It provides irrigation for our crops. It provides water for our villages and cities, it’s the life of Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma. It’s life out there.”
Proponents for another source of life, the preservation of wildlife, from theNational Wildlife Federation, made their concerns known, as well. Sam Lockhart, the National Outreach Coordinator at NWF said the native caribou population in Canada could see its habitat “completely destroyed by all of the developments of the Keystone pipeline.” Mollie Simon, also with NWF, brought up concerns with the habitats of bird species that migrate between Canada and the United States.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004—Mercs part of Iraqi jail torture scandal:
Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation.
The scandal has also brought to light the growing and largely unregulated role of private contractors in the interrogation of detainees.
Lawyers for the soldiers argue they are being made scapegoats for a rogue military prison system in which mercenaries give orders without legal accountability.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Bothered again today by more bad comparisons of the Bush dynasty to the Clintons. Greg Dworkin parses the latest polls, then leads us back to Sasha Issenberg's TNR entry for further discussion. Rs finally learning ACA isn't going anywhere. And a dubious "Doctor's Declaration of Independence." Mass shooting news from GA this morning, where of course, they recently went gun bonkers in the legislature. From Time's archives: "Do Guns Save Lives?" Well, they don't like this one much! E.J. Dionne on the new GA gun nuttery. What kind of signals do the wackos think they're receiving? Finally, more from the big Issenberg article.