Saturday, April 29, 2017

Further Thoughts On The Pipeline Protests -- Follow The Money And The Amenities -- April 29, 2017

Earlier I posted this note:
No repeat of the DAPL (link at FuelFix): Trans-Pecos Pipeline ready; protest camp to close. See more of this story at this post
Through e-mail a reader and I have been discussing how the Texas Trans-Pecos Pipeline protest was different from that of the DAPL protest. One can imagine all the well-known reasons, most of which I have probably written about before. Regardless, the reader pointed these things out which is as good as anything as I've seen regarding the DAPL protest:
Another thought is that these Pecos folks weren't being paid or at least not as much.  There were many versions of a rumor that [name deleted] didn't want to lose all that Bakken rail business so was paying $150 a day to protestors largely recruited on the West Coast through Craigslist/Facebook ads.  That didn't seem to factor into Pecos.
Standing Rock Indian Reservation ran a propane truck to camp every day until late January - the "campers" were fed by tent kitchens that cooked on propane, and heated their yurts/yurtpees with propane.  Propane refills were free until the tribe voted to disband the camps.  If the Pecos campers didn't have the luxury of a casino where they could swarm the showers, recharge their cell phones, etc., living was more expensive and sparse.

Then there's the fact that Texas doesn't have a reservation, having dealt with the land's previous inhabitants differently.
Of course, unrelated, but I had completely forgotten about Texas and native American reservations (actually, I never thought about it) . Apparently there are three -- but they must be incredibly inconsequential -- reservations in Texas. 

It was well-known that the DAPL protestors were being paid: it appears they were given a "finder's fee" for initial expenses and then paid on an hourly basis based on "activity." I had forgotten (or did not know) about the amenities that the reservation and the casino would have provided.

One wonders how many "homeless" from Portland, OR, went to North Dakota to protest the DAPL. The "Portland homeless" would have been a perfect fit: many/some/most of the "homeless" in Portland live in tents. They would have felt at home on an Indian reservation. 

From what I can tell, the tents in Portland are becoming more and more high-end. If so, one starts to think about the marijuana story in Portland.

Wow, I'm getting off the subject.

As most folks know, there are now "hundreds" of "pot shops" in Portland, OR, now that the state has legalized marijuana. Apparently the "black market" is as vigorous as ever, maybe more so despite all these shops. It turns out that buyers must provide personal information before they can purchase marijuana legally, something some/many/most prefer not to do. 

The personal information requires one's name and an address. Think about that. If the Feds ever decide to crack down on this federally illegal activity -- anyway, I guess it's federally illegal -- they will have books and books with names and addresses. Mostly fictitious. Whatever.

It appears the "going-price" for marijuana at the "pot shops" is $30 for a quarter ounce (or maybe it was a half ounce, I forget). Something tells me, an entrepreneur can buy a pretty nice REI tent selling pot for that price.

Here it is: average price of Portland marijuana: $200/ounce. Or at this site, $12/gram = $360 / ounce. As far as I know there are no recycling fees on plastic bags unlike recycling fees for Coca-Cola's aluminum cans. I know politicians are trying to help us cut back on Coca-Cola due to it being so dangerous to our health. Whatever.

On a different note, there are so many "pot shops" in Portland it begs the question how so many were set up so fast. One rumor is that most "pot shops" had been "virtual," illegal, street, "pot distribution centers." True or not, I don't know, but it certainly makes sense. 

And folks are worried about fracking. LOL.

America's First Homeless Person

This is pretty cool. In today's WSJ "Review Section," there is an essay on Henry David Thoreau who would be 200 years old this summer (July 12, 2017, to be exact). Expect a lot of HDT books to hit the bookstores this summer. The two mentioned in the WSJ essay are already available, and a third, a comprehensive biography by Laura Dassow Walls, will come out this summer. The two available now:
  • The Boatman, by Robert M Thorson; and,
  • Thoreau and the Language of Trees, by Richrd Higgins
During our four years in Boston, I visited Walden Pond often; it's interesting and a must-see, but it's not particularly awe-inspiring. It's a huge land-locked pond. Surrounded by trees.

Thoreau's bigger story was the Concord River on which he rowed many, many times, and many, many miles for many, many hours. I knew Thoreau kept a journal of his boating on the river but I did not know that his journal was kept for 24 years and goes on and on: two million words long.

The longest I ever kept one continuous journal was from June 9, 1968, to August 14, 1977. On 9 June 1968, I was a junior in High School, not yet 17. On 14 August 1977, I was celebrating my 26th birthday and looking forward to starting my career (and family), having graduated from graduate school just a few weeks earlier.

Then, the high point in the essay, at least for me. Well into the article, this paragraph:
In the early 1850s, Thoreau would accompany William Ellery Channing on what they called "riparian excursions," paddling the Musketaquid, a vessel compromised by the memory of a dead brother , up the Concord Rier, a channel compromised by modern industry, to woodlands, compromised by unprecedented deforestation. 
Had it not been for the blog, I probably would have skipped over the word "riparian." I know I would not have know a) its definition; or, b) its significance.

Wow, the blog has taught me a lot.

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