Time for some updates on some of the stories included in yesterday’s Friday Links! So, just moments after a federal judge denied the request of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe for an stay against construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the U.S. Department of Justice and Deparment of the Army, and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that they were halting the project pending further review: Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is a big deal, and came as very welcome news to the growing crowd of protestors who have been camped out near the Standing Rock reservation: Federal government halts work on part of pipeline project.
It’s a temporary pause, and the feds have asked the construction company to voluntarily stop. But the agencies in question have the ability to make it mandatory if necessary. Also, it’s worth noting the judge was only ruling on whether an immediate injunction was warranted. His ruling doesn’t stop the lawsuit the tribe filed against the construction companies. They may well prevail in court, yet. That’s assuming the meeting that the government agencies are convening with the tribes and other interested parties doesn’t result in another resolution to the dispute.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and Russia have brokered a cease fire in Syria: Syria Rivals Sign Up To US-Russian Peace Plan. Previous truces in this conflict haven’t held, so I don’t know how much hope people are holding out that this will lead to a resolution. But I think we have to keep trying. And we can at least hope that during the ceasefire aid is able to get to those who need it.
Meanwhile, things have turned predictably deplorable at the so-called Value Voters Summit: Gary Bauer At Hate Summit: Christians Are Like The Flight 93 Passengers Trying To Stop A Hijacking. I get it, tomorrow is the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the anti-gay, racist, misogynist, sectarian jerks have to maintain their delusion that they are under attack. They are probably sincere in their claims that any time they aren’t allowed to oppress (preferably with the full force of the law) people who believe differently than they do that they’re the ones being victimized.
But the steady march of America toward liberty and justice for all is not a hijacking. It’s what the country has claimed to be the goal since our founding! It’s particularly irritating when the person making this tortured metaphor is also someone doing it in the name of the religion that teaches: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”