In The Vast Yukon Wilderness — Ruling Protects First Nation Tribes


Click to enlargeThe result wanted by corporate pimps

Environmental and indigenous groups are cheering a landmark decision by Canada’s highest court on Friday, which ordered the Yukon Territorial Government to abide by a negotiated plan to preserve one of the largest intact wilderness areas in North America.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision marks the end of a three-year legal battle between the Yukon government and a coalition of indigenous First Nations and environmental groups over the future of the Peel Watershed, a wildlife-rich region of mountains and rivers that also has significant deposits of gas, coal, iron, and other minerals. Roughly the size of the Republic of Ireland, the pristine region was featured in an article in the February 2014 issue of National Geographic.

A commission made up of representatives from the First Nations and the Yukon government spent seven years negotiating the fate of the Peel Watershed via a process laid out in land claims agreements signed by Yukon First Nations and the federal and territorial governments. The commission produced a final recommendation in 2011 to keep 80 percent of the watershed roadless and off-limits to resource extractors.

Anyone think the US Supreme Court – with its supply of Republican pimps for corporate mining interests – would ever have the integrity and wisdom to produce a similar ruling here in the states?

Coppers using Tasers for Torture


Police Sergeant using taser on handcuffed prisoner

❝ Corporal Matthew Stice pointed his Taser at Martini Smith’s bare chest.

Smith was 20 years old, pregnant and stripped nearly naked, standing in a cell in the Franklin County jail in Columbus, Ohio. She had been detained on charges of stabbing a boyfriend she’d accused of beating her. Stice and a deputy had ordered her to disrobe, take off all jewelry and don a prison gown. But she hadn’t been able to obey one command – remove the silver stud from her tongue.

❝ “Take the tongue ring out,” Deputy Shawnda Arnold said. Smith continued struggling to unscrew the ring, inserting fingers from both hands into her mouth. No luck. Her fingers were numb, she protested: She had been cuffed for six hours with her hands behind her back.

“I will Tase you,” Stice said. The ring was slippery, Smith said, asking for a paper towel. The deputies refused. “I just want to go to sleep,” Smith cried.

Stice warned her again, then fired. The Taser’s electrified darts struck Smith’s chest; she collapsed against the concrete wall and slid to the floor, gasping, arms over her breasts.

❝ “Why did you Tase me?” she moaned. “I wasn’t harming nobody. I can’t just take it out.”

Five days later, Smith had a miscarriage…

Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 – 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used. Some of the in-custody deaths were deemed “multi-factorial,” with no distinct cause, and some were attributed to pre-existing health problems. But the Taser was listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than a quarter of the 84 inmate deaths in which the news agency obtained autopsy findings.

RTFA and begin to understand why most poor or non-white or just ordinary workingclass folks consider our police departments to be something other than institutions chartered to “serve and protect”.

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity — This is Your Second Notice!

❝ Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”…These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse…

❝ As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life…

Read it and weep, folks. But, I’d rather you get angry, get active. More than 15,000 scientists signed on, this time. There is no shortage of principled avenues of opposition to this crap.