The Standing Rock Sioux (along with many other tribes) are camped out on the plains of North Dakota right now protesting an Energy Transfer Partners (rhymes with Koch) pipeline that’s scheduled to be completed this year and go under the Missouri River. Yep, you read that right; under the river. Just another example of mankind’s short-sighted greed taking precedence over logic and common sense. Obviously, the pipeline threatens the tribe’s water source, their livelihood, but it also crosses ancient sacred burial grounds, and that’s why EarthJustice is now suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the tribe for illegal permitting.
So, I guess it’s a good thing I recently renewed my driver license because I feel a fourteen hour road trip coming on… And did you know you are no longer allowed to show your teeth in your driver license photo? I’m pretty sure it’s because the facial recognition software doesn’t work as well when we’re smiling. And this way, the picture is more likely to match a mug shot— if you have one in the system. Which I don’t. Yet. But who can say what will happen when I get to North Dakota and give those pipeliners a piece of my mind…
Anyway, back on the subject; big business is hijacking our basic rights as human beings. Nothing is left untouched. Will it ever end? Will we ever be able to stop slapping the lecherous old-man-hands away from under the skirt of Nature? This quote by Winona LaDuke sums up the current situation perfectly: “Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn’t make a corporation a terrorist.”
Imagine if humans couldn’t own anything natural. No land, no water rights, no rainforests… I mean, right away most lawyers would have to pack it in and become traveling elixir salesmen. But think about it, we could all use the planet we live on together, but no one person or corporation could own it. I know, I know, I sound like Gandhi, John Lennon, and Soc all brought up a love child together. You gotta admit though, it would be cool if we all shared our planet’s resources. There would still be rich and poor, sad and happy, workaholics and folks like me… there would still be a real estate market, but only to buy and sell the house, not the land.
This is brilliant! We should test it out in Carbondale; we just have to shift our perspective (and retrain our Anglo-capitalistic dragons.)
Someone recently asked me if I felt entitled. My reply was, “entitled to what?” (My birthday was only a few days away.) But I started thinking about it and yes, I do feel entitled. I think every living thing is entitled to fresh air and clean water, food and shelter, community and love. There’s no viable reason why some beings should suffer because a company “bought up” the land where they happen to live. It’s ludicrous when you take a mental step back and see this planet for the giant-spinning-orb-hurtling-through-space-for-no-apparent-reason that it is.
If we all started acting like we’re on a spaceship together, instead of separated by imaginary lines drawn on a man-made map, I think it might bring about a path to world peace and understanding; two things we all claim to want. Just think, we could hang out in the galley together trading stories and snacks, and focus on brainstorming everyone’s standard of living up to a decent level. We could even take turns “driving the ship” since it’s obvious by now that none of us are in charge of where this barge goes.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll just drive fourteen hours to help my fellow humans protect their right to live, love and watch the stars speed by in the night sky.
p.s. And yes, I am fully aware of the fact that I will use gasoline to get to North Dakota, but the way I see it, there are respectful ways (and places) to move/extract oil and then there are irresponsible, greedy ways.