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Sun, 26 Sep 2021
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Don't mess with Texas: U.S. court blocks Keystone XL

The Keystone Oil Pipeline
© TransCanada Corporation/Handout, Reuters
The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota in this undated photograph released on January 18, 2012.

Washington - A Texas family farm has won a temporary restraining order to block TransCanada Corp. from building the Keystone XL pipeline through its property, accusing the company of dealing in bad faith and withholding vital information about the project.

Lawyers for TransCanada and the Crawford Family Farm in northeastern Texas's Lamar County are now set to square off at a hearing Friday that could determine whether to approve the Calgary-based company's petition to condemn the property under eminent domain laws.

"We don't think they have negotiated in good faith," said attorney John Pieratt, who represents farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford.

"They just want to build the thing without us having our day in court."

At issue is TransCanada's effort to gain a right-of-way easement allowing it to build the future Keystone XL pipeline across the Crawford farm.


US Texas: Austin Police Department and 'Babysitting While White,' Part Deux

© austinchronicle.com
A few years back Grits posed the question, "Is babysitting while white reasonable suspicion for police questioning?" after my granddaughter and I were detained and questioned at length in my neighborhood on suspicion of some nefarious deed (it was never quite clear what). In that incident, the police were pretty clear I was stopped solely because Ty, like her mother (who came to live with my wife and me when she was a child) is black, while I'm an almost stereotypical looking white Texas redneck. At the time, Grits was amazed that three squad cars were dispatched to question me for walking down the street with a child of a different race, detaining me for no good reason and scaring the bejeezus out of then-two-year old Ty.

Last night, though, Ty and I got the full jump-out-boys treatment, making our earlier interaction with Austin PD seem downright quaint. It could only have been more ridiculous if they'd actually arrested me, which for a while there didn't seem out of the question. (This is a personal tale much more than a policy analysis, so if you're only interested in the latter, don't bother to read further.)


More Anti-Smoking Hysteria: Kuwait Bans Smoking In Public Places

© chaiou7aleeb.wordpress.com
Kuwait issued Monday a blanket ban on smoking in public places including hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Commerce and Industry Minister Amani Buresli ordered the ban upon recommendations from Health Ministry.

Minister Buresli said the ban covers all forms of smoking including water pipe.

The minister asked restaurants, cafes and entertainment places to allocate well-isolated places for smokers.

Inspectors will monitor all public places to ensure full respect for the new rules, Buresli said.

She also warned that the ministry will take puntive and legal actions against violators of the ban.

The Ministry of Health also banned smoking in shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals, airports, government offices, sports clubs, libraries, recreational places and other public places.

The two ministries urged all Kuwaiti citizens and foreign residents to help enforce the ban that aims to protect public health.

Comment: Governments are continuing to attempt to suppress smoking in spite of studies suggesting that smoking may not be the health hazard we have been led to believe and can actually be helpful for some people. For more unbiased information see:

Let's All Light Up!
Nicotine helps Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Patients
Nicotine Lessens Symptoms Of Depression In Nonsmokers
Scientists Identify Brain Regions Where Nicotine Improves Attention, Other Cognitive Skills
Can Smoking be GOOD for SOME People?

Eye 1

US: Female Passengers Say They're Targeted By TSA

2/13/2012 update: This story has led to new legislation being introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Women passengers complain that TSA agents are targeting them for extra screening.

The Transportation Security Administration has a policy to randomly select people for extra screening, but some female passengers are complaining. They believe there is nothing "random" about the way they were picked.

A Dallas woman says TSA agents repeatedly asked her to step back into a body scanning machine at DFW International Airport. "I feel like I was totally exposed," said Ellen Terrell, who is a wife and mother. "They wanted a nice good look."

When Ellen Terrell and her husband, Charlie, flew out of DFW Airport several months ago, Terrell says she was surprised by a question a female TSA agent asked her. "She says to me, 'Do you play tennis?' And I said, 'Why?' She said, 'You just have such a cute figure.'"

Terrell says she walked into the body scanner which creates an image that a TSA agent in another room reviews. Terrell says she tried to leave, but the female agent stopped her. "She says, 'Wait, we didn't get it,'" recalls Terrell, who claims the TSA agent sent her back a second time and even a third. But that wasn't good enough.


US: Elie Wiesel: Mitt Romney Should Tell Mormon Church To Stop Performing Posthumous Proxy Baptisms On Jews

Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor who has devoted his life to combating intolerance, says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney "should speak to his own church and say they should stop" performing posthumous proxy baptisms on Jews.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke to The Huffington Post Tuesday soon after HuffPost reported that according to a formerly-Mormon researcher, Helen Radkey, some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had submitted Wiesel's name to a restricted genealogy website as "ready" for posthumous proxy baptism. Radkey found that the name of Wiesel had been submitted to the database for the deceased, from which a separate process for proxy baptism could be initiated. Radkey also said that the names of Wiesel's deceased father and maternal grandfather had been submitted to the site.


US: Does PETA Ad Featuring a Young, Pantless Woman in a Neckbrace Promote Veganism, or Offend?

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is known for its provocative ads--many of them featuring women in various states of undress--that aim to draw attention (however indirectly) to animal rights. But their latest ad, a Valentine's Day video that warns women about the "dangers" of their boyfriends' burgeoning veganism, may have crossed a line.

The ad, released online Monday, shows a limping, pantsless woman sporting a neckbrace, struggling to carry a bag of vegetables home from the store. (Unsurprisingly, we'll warn that this ad, embedded below, may be a bit too racy for the eyes of younger viewers.)


Accused Spree Killer Demands 'Cocoa Puffs'


Attorney Pete Mazzone (center), says that his client Holly Ann Grigsby (left), should have access to sugary treats while she awaits trial on aggravated murder charges.
The attorney for an accused spree killer argued Monday that his client should have access to sugary treats while she awaits her aggravated murder trial inside the Snohomish County Jail.

Holly Ann Grigsby and her boyfriend, David Pedersen, are accused of murdering four people from Washington state to California. At a hearing, Grigsby's attorney said his client's right to commissary had been abruptly taken away last December.

"The jail decided to take that privilege away without any reasoning, without anything," said Attorney Pete Mazzone. "We were asking for the court to allow our client to have the privileges that other inmates in the general population of the jail have, one of which is the ability to buy things from the jail store."

Comment: "The only people who seem to ever complain are the really high notoriety cases". That is to say, the clinical psychopaths who are unable to feel an ounce of remorse for their crimes and therefore have no problem making such demands.


France Sees Rise In Evangelical Churches

© unk
Hillsong Church, Paris
The atmosphere is like a pop concert: in a darkened theater in the lively Montparnasse area of Paris, hundreds of young people sing catchy songs and wave their arms in the air, while a group plays booming music on stage.

But this isn't a pop gig. Welcome to Hillsong Church. The Australian-born Pentecostal church set up a branch in Paris in 2005 and has seen its congregation grow from a few dozen people at its first meetings to around 900 now at each of its two weekend services, conducted in French and English.

Hillsong's pastor, Brendan White, won't disclose membership figures. But on a recent Sunday, the 1,000-seat Théâtre Bobino - where the church holds its main services - was nearly full.

This youthful, enthusiastic, multi-ethnic crowd is in sharp contrast to the diminishing gatherings in French Catholic churches, and it represents the rise not only of Hillsong, but of the evangelical movement as a whole in a country that is officially secular, observers say.

Better Earth

2012 and the 'End of the World' - Sott.net Needs Your Help!

So here we are, 2012, the year when it all comes to an end... or so a lot of people have been led to believe. The idea that a specific day, December 21st 2012, has been ear-marked by fate or god or whoever as the 'end of the world' not only seems implausible in a universe with even a modicum of free will, it also smacks of a set up. The fact that so many people are aware of this 'prophecy', seems to be part of the same set-up.

After all, 'you're all going to die on December 21st' doesn't leave much room for self-determination, and, depending on the nature of a person's gullibility, serves to spread fear of an impending apocalypse or to ridicule the idea that serious earth changes are afoot. From an esoteric point of view, nearly all traditions say something along the line of "you will know neither the day nor the hour." That reflects the fact that, even though there ARE cycles of time, history, cataclysms, the Universe is still OPEN and human beings - the observers in the micro and macro quantum dynamic - do have some input into the outcome.

From a practical point of view, there are very few known factors that could wipe out all or most of life on earth in a single day. Oh, yes, there are factors that we have documented here on SOTT that can bring civilization to its knees, but the geological record shows that events that can take out almost every living thing at once are very rare. Rare, but not impossible.

You may have noticed that one of the main reasons for all of the war-mongering and posturing over the last 11 years is to keep the masses occupied and in a state of fear and distracted from this very real and much more potent threat to ALL life on planet earth. This constant fear and stress can destroy the mind and body and it seems that this is exactly what it is intended to do. As Ivan Pavlov proved, transmarginally inhibited dogs are much easier to program and control.

So, needless to say, it is crucial that we all pay attention and learn what is real and what is not, and more than that, what to DO! This is where SOTT.net can be an invaluable resource for all of those who sense that something 'big' really is on the horizon for our planet and every living thing on it. SOTT.net is, and always has been, dedicated to figuring out, as far in advance as possible, the precise nature of our reality and the future that awaits us, and making the results FREELY available to ALL.

The objective is to keep our finger on the pulse of our reality so that we - and all of our readers - can have some idea of what is coming down in order to be prepared. After all, knowledge protects, being forewarned is being forearmed.

SOTT.net was the first alternative news aggregator/commentary site that pointed out the obvious: that psychopaths rule our world. Today, it is common knowledge in the alt-news/truth communities. SOTT was the first to research and write about Ethnic Specific Weapons after we pulled on a loose thread we found in the David Kelly murder. SOTT was the first alt-news website to come right out and say that Israel dunnit vis a vis 9-11. And, of course, against the most unbelievable resistance, we have been researching cometary disasters that have occurred repeatedly on our planet and may be in the cards in the near future.

So, we see ourselves as a lighthouse that constantly scans and illuminates the darkness. And we do it absolutely with no obligation to anyone or any organization; it's all about Truth that we want to know for ourselves and to share as far and wide as possible. We have turned down many requests from advertisers and groups and individuals who have offered to buy us out in one way or another.

But the lighthouse that is SOTT.net is in serious danger of going out, and we need your help...


Italy Appeal Seeks Retrial of American in '07 Killing

Amanda Knox
© The Associated Press/The Canadian Press/Elaine Thompson
In this Oct. 4, 2011 file photo, Amanda Knox, standing in front of her father, Curt Knox, and other supporters, speaks at a news conference shortly after her arrival at Seattle-Tacoma
Italian prosecutors filed an appeal to the country's highest court on Tuesday seeking a new trial for Amanda Knox of Seattle and her onetime boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in the fatal stabbing of a British student in Perugia, Italy.

The appeal was filed four months after an appellate court overturned the 2009 convictions of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, in the murder of Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student found dead in November 2007 in the apartment she shared with Ms. Knox.

The appeal had been expected as part of the appeals in the Italian justice system, which could stretch out for some time. If it is granted, prosecutors could retry Ms. Knox in absentia, if necessary, and she could ultimately face extradition if convicted. But her lawyers dismissed that outcome as highly unlikely.

"We're not considering that possibility; for us she has been acquitted," said one of her lawyers, Luciano Ghirga. "That's how the system works, but for us it's a hypothesis far into the future."

Carlo Dalla Vedova, who also represents Ms. Knox, denounced reviving the case, saying it would "reopen painful wounds" and again draw attention to a sensational tale of sex and violence. "I am sorry for the two kids," he said of Ms. Knox, 24, who moved back to her hometown, Seattle, after her release from prison, and Mr. Sollecito, 27, who has been living in southern Italy.

"But I am especially sorry for Meredith Kercher; silence would have been better," he said by telephone.