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This Is Why You’ve Never Heard Of The Dakota Access Pipeline Until 2016

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An increasingly bitter dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline — particularly in the wake of Donald Trump’s election to president — has been fraught with controversy in recent months as construction nears completion.

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Approval for Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the pipeline — which will transport North Dakota sweet, light crude to a hub in Illinois and ultimately out to foreign nations via the Gulf Coast — continues to baffle opposition, who views its planned route under the Missouri River as inherently threatening to the drinking water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and millions downstream.

As a lawsuit brought by the Standing Rock Sioux against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers languishes in federal court, however, it’s imperative to examine precisely why Dakota Access came to fruition in the first place.

Contention over Dakota Access, however, didn’t begin in earnest until early 2016, despite the project garnering approval two years before — and the reason for that discrepancy illustrates how few obstacles bar Big Oil from construction projects which would otherwise be deemed too risky.

A little-known, and perhaps deeply flawed, permit stipulation grants approval for even lengthy pipelines — Dakota Access will stretch 1,172 miles and span four states — without a conditional environmental impact statement encompassing the entire project.

Put simply, the Army Corps only has to grant approval for sections of pipeline which will affect bodies of water and wetlands — but isn’t required to assess those segments as a connected whole.

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Thus, Dakota Access went from formal proposal to breaking ground in less than 18 months — and residents, including the Standing Rock Sioux, were for the large part none the wiser.

Called Nationwide Permit 12, abbreviated NWP, the process itself has befuddled activists and environmental advocates who feel strongly that the Army Corps has not interpreted its language according to original intent. NWP allows for “activities required for the construction, maintenance, repair, and removal of utility lines and associated facilities in waters of the United States, provided the activity does not result in the loss of greater than ½ -acre of waters of the United States for each single and complete project.”

That last portion of NWP has come under fire from critics, who say the Army Corps’s segmented approval process violates the spirit of the law.

“It’s in violation with, if not the law itself, certainly the spirit of the law,” National Wildlife Federation attorney Jim Murphy, who specializes in federal regulations such as the Clean Water Act, told the Seattle Times.

But the Army Corps disagrees, even over the markedly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, saying it “may only regulate the areas where the pipeline crosses waters of the United States or federal real property interests acquired and managed by the Corps for flood control and navigation projects.”

In fact, the Corps argues assessing the pipeline sectionally allows for stricter evaluation, public input, and review under other environmental protection laws, like the Endangered Species Act.

Although Nationwide Permit 12, itself, comes under review every five years, it wasn’t until the bid for Keystone XL and now Dakota Access that flaws in its interpretation truly came to light. Pitting First Nations like the Standing Rock Sioux against Big Oil corporations backed by a facilitator government — and clashes between heavily militarized police and those who see it as their duty to protect the water — has finally drawn international awareness and condemnation.

A boom in domestic production left land ripe for exploration and exploitation by companies like Energy Transfer Partners and the project’s Big Bank investors seeking to profit exponentially once the crude can be shipped overseas around the world. Indeed, last year’s controversial, hobbled-together Omnibus Spending Bill included a massive shift to allow the export of unrefined crude for the first time since the 1970s — a legislative coup almost certainly designed to facilitate construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

When coupled with the NWP, oil and gas companies have essentially been provided a fast-track method to begin construction, even when all permits have not been granted — which is exactly the case with DAPL, and the focus of the pending lawsuit.

“Oil companies have been using this antiquated fast-track permit process that was not designed to properly address the issues of megaprojects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network wrote during the formal review process this summer.

“Meanwhile, tribal rights to consultation have been trampled and Big Oil is allowed to put our waters, air and land at immense risk.”

Meanwhile, as the permit remains under review by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, Energy Transfer Partners has capitalized on the fractured process, completing at least 75 percent of the $3.8 billion multi-state project. Boasberg failed to intervene on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux this autumn, noting the pipeline “needs almost no federal permitting of any kind because 99 percent of its route traverses private land.”

ETP has, however, intimated it would begin drilling under the Lake Oahe reservoir — which provides drinking water for the Tribe — whether or not the appropriate permits had been granting. Using the distraction of the presidential election last week, ETP announced the transport of boring equipment to the banks of the Missouri to begin that segment — one of few pipeline sections yet to be completed.

A Day of Action to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline will take place tomorrow, with over 200 actions planned in states and cities around the United States and elsewhere, with a goal to permanently halt construction. Water protectors and their allies fear this could be the last big push to stop the controversial project before President-elect Donald Trump — an outspoken proponent of the oil and gas industry, as well as Dakota Access — takes office in January and issues a predicted blanket approval.

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Japan Demands More Proof From The U.S. That Iran Attacked Tankers

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Japan is asking for more proof that Iran was responsible for tanker attacks. The US has made rash claims that Iran was without providing any strong evidence.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we witnessing the rise of yet another false flag attack that could push for war? Is it not interesting to witness the difference between Japanese government culture and US government culture?

A chance for awareness and a change in conversation here. The Japanese government has been requesting that the United States provide concrete evidence that shows Iran did, in fact, attack the two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a statement hours after the attacks that alleged Iran was responsible, the US had no proof to make these claims.

Not long after, The Department of Defense released a video allegedly showing an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine attached to the side of the Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous. This, of course, does not mean that Iran put the mine there, nor is there any evidence of this.

The Pentagon most recently released a photo showing an Iranian patrol boat near the tanker, again, proving nothing.

Iranian patrol boat near tanker.

Japanese government officials remain unconvinced that Iran is responsible, and they are not unwise to think so, the evidence is still very weak.  “The U.S. explanation has not helped us go beyond speculation,” said one Japanese senior government official.

The US has made their assertions based on  the fact that their “intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

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Let’s recall how sure the US was about the 9/11 attacks as well, which to this day remain a mystery for anyone who’s done even a shred of their own research on the topic. Even now, it’s difficult to know who was truly involved and what really happened in detail on that day. To cover-up 9/11’s laughable story, the term conspiracy theory has riddled intelligent and scientific questioning.

The 9/11 attacks began a war that has still not ended. It has seen millions perish and the power elite have made billions of dollars off the war along the way.

Let’s also not forget the Pentagon has been known to invest in creating fake PR material to push war as revealed when the Pentagon paid a PR firm over $500 Million to create fake terrorist videos.

Japan Not So Quick To Fire

Thankfully, a source close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “These are not definite proof that it’s Iran.” “Even if it’s the United States that makes the assertion, we cannot simply say we believe it,” he said.

Using the US’ logic, Japan’s Foreign Ministry has stated that if the proof is simply having the expertise sophisticated enough to conduct the attack then “That would apply to the United States and Israel as well.”

“The attacks have severely affected the prime minister’s reputation as he was trying to be a mediator between the United States and Iran,” said the source close to the premier. “It is a serious concern, and making mistakes when determining facts is impermissible.” (source)

Still, the Japanese government has held back on stating who they feel is responsible for the attacks, a wise, peace-seeking move.

The Takeaway

In a classic, calm style, Japan remains unconvinced that Iran attacked the tankers because there is no evidence this is the case. Much like what transpired with 9/11, where still there is no evidence for who the US attacked being responsible for 9/11, a more calm and collected approach keeps war racketeering out of the picture.

I feel this is an important observation to make as we, as a people, can change the conversation away from the gullible assertions that Iran is responsible, fuelling our governments into war, and instead have a more grounded discussion of figuring out any details prior to coming up with the next step, which truly doesn’t even have to be war. A great chance for humanity to wake up and take a new path here. It starts with conversation. The key detail is think and assess before acting. Heart-based decision making vs head based or agenda based.

Are we witnessing the rise of yet another false flag attack that could push for war?

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Donald Trump Finally Shares His Thoughts About UFOs

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Donald Trump was recently asked about UFOs, and he hinted towards the fact that he's not really a believer, despite the fact that the reality of these objects can no longer be denied.

  • Reflect On:

    How much do presidents really know about UFOs and other programs that don't really have any government oversight? What's really going on?

Talking about the existence of UFOs is no longer taboo. It’s gone quite mainstream, and it appears that it’s not really a question of belief. There is more evidence for the existence of UFOs than there is evidence for many things humanity accepts as 100 percent real.

This evidence comes in the forms of actual military and commercial radar trackings of UFOs, videos and pictures of UFOs that’ve been released by multiple governments, and statements from hundreds of the highest ranking military personnel from across the world about UFOs being far more technologically capable than any aircraft on Earth.

Furthermore, we’ve had mainstream UFO disclosure. For example, Christopher Mellon, who served 30 years in the federal government and was Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Intelligence from 1997 to 2002, has published multiple articles on mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times about the reality of these objects and the need for governments to take them seriously.

Mellon’s Washington Post article detailed a number of extremely credible UFO encounters with the military. But again, this isn’t new information. In the 1950s, President Harry Truman went on national television announcing to the world that UFOs are real, and that they discuss the topic at every conference that they have with the military, that “there’s always things like that going on, flying saucers and they’ve had other things.” (source)

This is why it was very interesting to hear Donald Trump finally share his thoughts on the UFO phenomenon, as you can see below.

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Was He Lying? Important Points To Consider

Being a UFO researcher for approximately 15 years myself, one thing has become quite clear to me and others in this field who have looked into the subject in depth: This topic goes far beyond the knowledge of the highest ranking people within the government, including the President. We are talking about Special Access Programs (SAP). From these, we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as ‘deep black programs.’ A 1997 US Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.”(source)

You can read about the latest discoveries on the black budget, here.

One of the latest “proofs” of this came in the form of a testimony from Dr. Edgar Mitchell. It was a video testimony within UFO researcher Dr. Steven Greer’s “Sirius” documentary, where Mitchell details a meeting him and Greer had with Amiral Thomas Ray Wilson, who was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, regarding extraterrestrial space crafts and “crash retrieval” programs. This meeting was in 1997.(source)

What’s interesting is that a document was just leaked detailing notes from the well known scientist Dr. Eric Davis, who had a meeting with Wilson in 2002 regarding that specific meeting and what happened after it.

The document shows how Admiral Wilson was denied access to information about crash retrieval programs about downed extraterrestrial craft. This would mean crafts that were either shot down or who had potentially crash landed. (not sure what this means! like an extraterrestrial craft that was shot down? Please rephrase for clarity! thanks!)

It now makes sense why Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Defence Minister, said that the protocol with regards to these objects is to “shoot first and ask questions after.”

The document outlines how defense contractors have more knowledge regarding this subject, more so than the highest ranking people within the government. The document doesn’t include specific names but states, in this case, a popular aerospace contractor.

You can access that document and learn/read more about it here.

So, we are talking about your Bigelow’s and your Lockheed Martins. When I think about Bigelow aerospace, I think about the comments made by its CEO Robert Bigelow, stating that he has knowledge that extraterrestrials are and have been visiting our planet. When I think about Lockheed Martin, two former directors come to mind who have pretty much said the same thing: Ben Rich (former Lockheed Skunkworks Director) and To The Stars Academy’s (TTSA) Steve Justice, who was a Lockheed Aerospace Director.

The point is that Donald Trump probably knows very little about this topic, as with most presidents before him. It is controlled by a power that goes far beyond the government, perhaps by an international group of ‘powerful’ people with tremendous amounts of resources. One thing is certain: The private contractors definitely have more knowledge, as they are the ones that work with these crafts and perhaps even reverse engineer them and what not. But again, there are those above them that probably control this issue.

Trump may be telling the truth. He could be sharing how he feels, and he may not have come across information that convinced him, or he could be lying and thinking about the upcoming election as well – playing politics if you will.

Either way, the reality is that the existence of UFOs cannot be denied, so it’s surprising that Trump would make such comments.

The Takeaway

Some people believe that all of this is a hoax. The trust is that’s what the elite wanted us to think for so long. The subject has long been branded as a “conspiracy” theory, with high ranking officials like the very first director of the CIA, Roscoe Hillenoetter, admitting that:

Behind the scenes, high ranking air force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe that the unknown flying objects are nonsense. (source)

Today, there’s been a complete flip flop in opinions, and the subject is now slowly but surely being acknowledged. Some people believe this is part of the elite’s plan to create a false flag alien invasion and/or control the narrative in a certain way. We have yet to see that.

Related CE Article: And Just Like That, UFOs Are Real In The Mainstream

At the end of the day, the idea that other life forms are and have been visiting us dates back thousands of years. It has huge implications and leaves no aspect of humanity untouched. We still, however, have a lot to uncover/discover.

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Jordan Peterson Is Backing A Censorship-Free Platform Called ‘Thinkspot.’ Here’s Why

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Image: Gage Skidmore at https://flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/29054996858

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Jordan Peterson has stated he will be backing a new platform called Thinkspot that promises to offer free speech and create meaningful conversation around video creators topics.

  • Reflect On:

    Does the conversation had on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter truly contain value? Or is there a great deal of trolling to weed through? Will this help create a space where Big Tech can't control speech?

In the era of dire need for new and meaningful social media platforms, author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson confirmed he is backing a new free-speech platform called Thinkspot. He confirmed the platform is in beta testing during a podcast last week.

According to Peterson, Thinkspot.com, will be a space where creators can monetize their work and users can engage in thoughtful conversation about topics without worrying about Big Tech censorship. An issue that is currently heavily seen on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Some argue that these issues more greatly affect conservative voices vs left-leaning voices, and this appears to be true, although from my analysis it seems to be less about conservatives/politics and more about truths coming to the surface about agendas being push by the elite through the left.

A nuanced look at this censorship reveals that the political agnostic elite is simply using the left to create a culture of outrage to widen the gap within humanity and create an environment where censorship is widely requested by the people, instead of being unwelcomely proposed by the elite. This is a classic case of the power elite creating a problem, getting the needed reaction, and then proposing their pre-thought solution.

More About Thinkspot

“Per the Joe Rogan podcast this week, I’m backing a new platform called Thinkspot, currently in Beta,” Peterson announced via Twitter on Monday. “Get on the waitlist here, exciting announcements coming very soon.”

During the podcast where Peterson was speaking to podcast host and comedian Joe Rogan last week, he explained that Thinkspot’s terms of service will uphold free speech principles. “Once you’re on our platform, we won’t take you down unless ordered to by a court of law.”

The platform, like many others in the works, will be less about accruing gigantic audiences where people have access to everything for free, and instead will be a subscription service where creators can monetize their work. the reason for this is simple, money has to be made somewhere to run these things. If the users don’t pay, you bet it will mean data harvesting is the driving force.

“We’re hoping we can really add dialogue to the podcast and YouTuber world,” explained Peterson. “We’re also gonna do the same things with books, so if you buy an e-book on the platform, you’ll be able to annotate publicly. … We can do that with books that are in the public domain, too.”

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to pull people who are interested in intelligent conversation, specifically, into this platform, maybe start pulling them away from YouTube and some of the less specialized channels — that, plus our anti-censorship stance,” he added.

Specialization is the key in the end. YouTube is great, but conversation is often limited to good mixed with a lot of trolling and those who don’t really add much value to the mix. Trolling is also prominent. This is where users simply come to the conversation to throw down just a few words of hate, aggression or disbelief without ever actually explaining one’s position. What value does this truly have? This behaviour is very prominent on Facebook and YouTube.

Thinkspot has thought of that. In an effort to avoid “trolling,” Peterson states the platform will have a 50-word minimum when it comes to comments.

“If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it. Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll,” said Peterson, adding, “If your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50/50 then your comments will be hidden, people will still be able to see them, if they click, but you’ll disappear … We don’t know if 50/50 is right.”

In the end, this policy is a good attempt at creating more meaningful conversation without censoring people because of what they say. Ultimately, the platform has two barriers of entry if you will, a small fee, and time. These should be effective means of weeding out those who don’t have anything of value to add to the conversation which, arguably, will lead to more meaningful and productive conversation.

The Takeaway

As we covered in detail in a recent podcast and video on CETV, it appears as though mainstream media, like Vox, has the power to create enough of a stink about something that Big Tech will respond and follow their demands. Is this coordinated? Perhaps, but there isn’t enough evidence to say for sure yet.

What this has done is given those who are willing to make enough noise, whether they are right or not, the power to have Big Tech begin censoring or demonetizing users. Just so happens, many of them are on the right of the political spectrum. Again, we don’t see this to be so much about left/right politics as much as it seems to be about a concerted effort by the power elite to maintain a divide and silence those who try to expose the divides and agendas being pushed.

Once again, the right simply is less driven to give up all their power to the government at the moment, to the elite, this message cannot spread.

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