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posted by martyb on Wednesday October 19 2016, @01:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the freedom-of-the-press dept.

Amy Goodman, host of the New York City-based leftist news programme Democracy Now! was charged with criminal trespass by the North Dakota state's attorney (prosecutor). The charge was changed to riot, then was dismissed due to lack of evidence when Goodman appeared in court on Monday. The charges stemmed from her presence at a protest in September against construction of the Dakota Access (Bakken) oil pipeline, after the protest was reported on her show.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:23PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:23PM (#416228) Journal
    It's part of the idiotic behavior of the Obama administration, particularly during the first term, to always mention [slashdot.org] jobs "created or saved" even when they were minuscule. The value of such a pipeline is not the jobs created, but the oil moved to the refineries of the Southeast.
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  • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:28PM

    by Zz9zZ (1348) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:28PM (#416234)

    Woah, my first upmod of a Khallow post (I think).

    Who the hell downmodded this? Just cause it calls out Obama? I'll fight back! This isn't just an Obama thing, every administration does this stuff, but Obama got to preside over a major recession which makes jobs a very important public policy point.

    This isn't partisan Khallow, but it is still bullshit stats to try and improve public opinion in general, or for specific projects.

    40 jobs... gimme a break, screw this pipeline and spend it on solar installations.

    --
    ~Tilting at windmills~
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:40PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:40PM (#416238) Journal

      So your saying that Obama shouldn't mention "a very important public policy point?"

      • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:11PM

        by Zz9zZ (1348) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:11PM (#416343)

        I should clarify, a very important public policy point from a PR perspective. In this case for such a huge project we only get 40 extra jobs, that makes it a very ridiculous thing to tag on and is transparently a move to gather support from the locals. My opinion is that such PR moves are meant to hoodwink the public into thinking things are getting much better, when in reality they are not. Our unemployment stats are very controversial...

        --
        ~Tilting at windmills~
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:29PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:29PM (#416351) Journal

          My opinion is that such PR moves are meant to hoodwink the public into thinking things are getting much better, when in reality they are not. Our unemployment stats are very controversial...
          --

          It's more than an opinion, it's a fact backed up by decades of hard data that says the real income of the American middle class has been on an uninterrupted 40 yr slide. Also, we had an article on the site a few days ago that talked about the massive numbers of people that have fallen out of the labor force. You could also argue that Trump's popularity proves that at least half the country doesn't buy the bullshit anymore (you could argue that the other half doesn't buy the bullshit anymore, either, but are more afraid of Trump than Hillary).

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:42PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @05:42PM (#416241) Journal

      Who the hell downmodded this?

      Don't worry about it. I would have to post an incredibly long run of crap in many different stories in order to get significantly downmodded.

      I don't know who wanted the permanent jobs info. It might be a cheap attempt at gaining favor or publicity by the would-be pipeline owner or it might be requested information from whoever approves such projects and dutifully parroted by a journalist looking to fill page.

      My point is that the pipeline would move, cheaper and safer than rail, a massive amount of oil from North Dakota much closer to the Southeast refineries (Wikipedia says it's still missing a final leg from Illinois). That's the value not 40 jobs.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:28PM (#416272)

        And the rest of us would like that oil to stay in the ground, job value or not.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @07:06PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @07:06PM (#416294) Journal
          How many people is "the rest of us" and what standing do they have to impose such a desire?
          • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:17PM

            by Zz9zZ (1348) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:17PM (#416347)

            Turn that question back around, it goes both ways. It is generally pretty easy to tell who "the bad guys" are, they are the ones that don't allow discussion, ram their projects through regardless of objections, and in this story have their minions attack peaceful protesters with dogs and tear gas. Some people want civilization to continue on this big ball of dirt, others only want to get their short term profits so they can live out their greedy little lives in luxury.

            While I understand the desire for the pipeline, and the short term need and benefit, my preference is to do away with the need by investing in renewable energy and fusion / thorium / fission. I already know we differ on this topic, but go ahead and respond anyway if you want.

            --
            ~Tilting at windmills~
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @11:29PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @11:29PM (#416400) Journal
              I don't know what happened here except it sounds like a lot of people and dogs got hurt on both sides. That's why I have yet to comment on the protest itself.

              But I do know this. We don't want only our bad guys to be the ones allowed to build pipelines and other such stuff. A society where peaceful protestors are allowed to shut down large infrastructure projects, unless some bad guy beat them up first, is not a healthy direction.

              For example, a fair number of people here complain about "psychopath CEO" behavior. Here's an example of how you can encourage it. The protestors are aiming for destruction of this project. We're dangerously close to the only sort of person who can carry out this project legally or otherwise being a psychopath. That's typical of the terrible incentives we see in this society today.

              While I understand the desire for the pipeline, and the short term need and benefit, my preference is to do away with the need by investing in renewable energy and fusion / thorium / fission.

              That's fine. My view is that hydrocarbons whether from the ground or some renewable process remain a very efficient way to store energy for driving. And pipelines remain a great way to transport that fuel. And of course, there are trillions of dollars in infrastructure that directly uses hydrocarbon fuel for transportation. I think it would be foolish to throw that away.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:02PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:02PM (#416255) Journal

      There is no downmod. It looks like khallow chose not to use a karma bonus.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @08:24PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @08:24PM (#416327) Journal
        That's standard MO for me. Never seemed much point to using the karma bonus.
        • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:20PM

          by Zz9zZ (1348) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:20PM (#416348)

          Many of your comments will remain unseen by those who filter out score 0 comments, plus you have to tick a box every time (unless it is also a default you can set?).

          --
          ~Tilting at windmills~
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:56PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:56PM (#416370) Journal
            It's a default you can set. I set it back when I first started posting.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:58PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:58PM (#416372) Journal
            Under "preferences", go to the "Comments" tab, scroll to the bottom and click "No Karma Bonus".
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:00PM (#416253)

    > value of such a pipeline is not the jobs created, but the oil moved to the refineries of the Southeast.

    What good is moving oil around if people don't have a reason to use it?

    Your analysis that jobs are unimportant and that spending is unimportant because its not "wealth" is high-school freshman reductive. A billion dollars that sits unused is indistinguishable from 0 dollars. Economies flourish when people are working at creating value, but to do that people need to be working and that means both jobs doing that work and the ability to spend money buying the results of that work.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:49PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:49PM (#416280) Journal

      What good is moving oil around if people don't have a reason to use it?

      It wouldn't be. But we figured that problem out a century ago and there's now a vast number of people in the US and elsewhere who have considerable uses for that oil.

      Your analysis that jobs are unimportant and that spending is unimportant because its not "wealth" is high-school freshman reductive. A billion dollars that sits unused is indistinguishable from 0 dollars. Economies flourish when people are working at creating value, but to do that people need to be working and that means both jobs doing that work and the ability to spend money buying the results of that work.

      So are you claiming instead that 40 pipeline jobs is more important than moving that huge amount of oil around? I just don't see the point of your argument here. I guess we could talk about the uses, the jobs, and spending that much oil could provide to the US and elsewhere. I don't have a good feeling for it, but I figure thousands to tens of thousands of jobs is probably the right ballpark.

      And spending a billion dollars? I guess we're talking about my link to the SNAP program [slashdot.org] (a US food for the poor program). There I note:

      Note that $5 in spending produces $9 in spending not wealth. So right there we don't have a 2:1 return. As I see it, we take $5 of someone's money and use it to generate far less than $5 of value - feeding someone who can feed themselves. That's negative return on investment right there.

      The program had a billion dollars in spending a year. So it sounds like that's what you're referring to. The obvious rebuttal to your post then becomes the observation that the billion dollars depresses spending and investment elsewhere whether it be appropriated by taxes, borrowed, or helicopter money. It's not a billion dollars that was sitting unused. It's a billion dollars that was going to employ people, buy things, build businesses, etc, but instead got used to feed people who could feed themselves for the most part (in hindsight, I grant that some part of the program might be necessary for people who simply can't work and even positive value in those cases, but I don't buy that the program at the current scale is so).

      Note this was in response to someone who blandly claims that food assistance creates twice the wealth for the money spent. It turns out it doesn't. They aren't even trying to measure wealth and instead measure the far different and weaker metric of economic activity or "spending".

      Anyway, here's my summary:

      It's a destructive economic gimmick to conflate spending or economic activity with wealth creation. They aren't equivalent or even correlated. For example, a disaster creates a lot of spending and economic activity (from reconstruction efforts), but it results in a net loss of wealth.

      This is the macroeconomics version of the broken window fallacy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19 2016, @07:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19 2016, @07:46PM (#416308)

        > So are you claiming instead that 40 pipeline jobs is more important than moving that huge amount of oil around? I just don't see the point of your argument here.

        There are a million unexamined assumptions behind your claim.
        For example, that the money spent on the pipeline couldn't be put to more productive use elsewhere.
        That the externalities of all the people using the oil shipped by the pipeline don't drown out the benefits.
        That the pipeline is really the most efficient method to get oil to the market rather than some other source more local or cheaper.

        You are the king of assuming the worst for positions you disagree with and the best for positions you agree with.
        In reality all you do is construct elaborate strawmen to rationalize your bias. Complexity, nuance, scope, differing interpretations, etc all of that is for ignorant dummies as far as you are concerned which is ironic as fuck.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @08:10PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @08:10PM (#416319) Journal

          For example, that the money spent on the pipeline couldn't be put to more productive use elsewhere.

          I don't see you in a position to make that evaluation nor anyone else for that matter. In a distributed system, we don't need to be. There are key information from the economy, such as a good estimate of risk free rate of return and the price of crude in various markets, present and past that adequately informs a pipeline builder of the relative productivity of their would-be investment. They can then decide whether that's good enough or not.

          That the externalities of all the people using the oil shipped by the pipeline don't drown out the benefits.

          That's a pretty flimsy concern since cheap energy has considerable positive externality.

          That the pipeline is really the most efficient method to get oil to the market rather than some other source more local or cheaper.

          That actually a pretty easy one to figure out. It's already pretty local and pipelines are well known for being extremely cheap for the volume compared to other transportation methods.

          You are the king of assuming the worst for positions you disagree with and the best for positions you agree with.

          Compared to what you just wrote? There is an awful lot of projection on the internet.

          In reality all you do is construct elaborate strawmen to rationalize your bias. Complexity, nuance, scope, differing interpretations, etc all of that is for ignorant dummies as far as you are concerned which is ironic as fuck.

          Show it's relevant. Don't just complain.

    • (Score: 2) by VanessaE on Thursday October 20 2016, @12:03AM

      by VanessaE (3396) <vanessa.e.dannenberg@gmail.com> on Thursday October 20 2016, @12:03AM (#416406) Journal
      I've used this quote before, and it's still just as true today as the day it was first uttered,

      "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow."

      (mentally swap "manure" for "fertilizer" if you prefer a modern version)

      Those guys who talk about the "velocity of money" don't sound so far-fetched, now that I think about it.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday October 20 2016, @08:21AM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday October 20 2016, @08:21AM (#416524) Homepage
        Yes, but flinging a tonne of manure onto the children's play area and your windows may be measurably high velocity, but doesn't achieve any positive goals. Velocity as an end in itself is pretty flawed.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:54PM

    by HiThere (866) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @06:54PM (#416283) Journal

    If they're only planning on 40 permanent jobs, that says to me that they're planning on skimping on maintenance.

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @07:19PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @07:19PM (#416299) Journal
      Perhaps. It does seem light compared to the Alaska pipeline which has a staff of 800 people for a similar volume and shorter length. But maybe the thing is much more automated, being 40 years newer and all.
  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:23PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:23PM (#416350) Journal

    You nailed it. It is not about jobs. It's about the refineries and private profits for corporations. If all the states between point A and point B should suffer the costs of a clean up, should the pipeline leak, well that's tough cookies.

    Wait, dammit, i thought the key to parsing khallow was that anything the US or khallow does is just fine, but now we have to concatenate another exception "unless obama?" No wonder this code keeps returning the wrong answer--it's impossible to debug.

    Sigh. Anyway, you're right about it being bullshit.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:56PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 19 2016, @09:56PM (#416368) Journal
      Apparently, the project has already passed EPA approval. So they must have something to show for plans on cleaning up spills. One thing about spills from pipelines is that they tend to be very easy to shut down and contain compared to rail car accidents (and you'll never have a string of states affected by a single leak). I've read of several Alaska Pipeline spills, for example, including at least two cases of sabotage/vandalism, and none of the spills ended up being significant. For example, in 1978 someone blew a one inch hole in the pipeline resulting in the largest spill of 16,000 barrels of oil. While pipeline spills tend to be larger, railroad accidents from North Dakota have been rather numerous.
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 20 2016, @11:33AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday October 20 2016, @11:33AM (#416579) Journal

        Yeah that's the other point. There are a lot of other pipelines that cross the country. They keep a lot of trucks and train cars off the road that would otherwise transport that product, which saves CO2 itself. Adding another doesn't seem to matter that much.

        In this case I think it was the environmental lobby trying to find another issue to fundraise on. They haven't gotten much love from the Obama administration, and their coffers must be getting low at this point. Their lawyers and lobbyists have expensive homes and lifestyles in DC they have to maintain, you know. The thing is they've been throwing stuff against the wall for the last eight years, hoping that something would stick that they could farm for dollars. They tried the Pacific trash gyre. They tried banning microbeads, the tiny plastic bits put in soaps and toothpaste as abrasives. They tried to attack another pipeline that already crosses the great lakes underwater. They also tried to push tiny homes and entomophagy, but that didn't catch on because what country do they think this is? The Keystone Pipeline was the only one they got any traction with, but god knows why.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.