Peace, From Turtle Island

Peace in Some Native American Languages

I thought it was fitting on this Christmas morning to pass along what I understand to be the central message of this Holy Day — expressed in some of the languages from the place in which I live.

Peace, to all of you. Merry Christmas.

Abenaki Okikiamgenoka, Kamignokawôgan
Alabama Ittimokla
Algonquin Wâki Ijiwebis-I
Blackfoot Innaihtsi’iyi
Cherokee (Tsalagi) Dohiyi
Cheyenne Nanomonsetôtse
Chickasaw Nanna Ayya
Choctaw Achukma
Comanche Tsumukikiatu
Cree Wetaskiwin, Papayatik
Hopi Sipala
Koasati (Coushatta) Ilifayka
Lakota (Dakota) Wolakota
Lenape (Delaware) Achwangundowagan
Micmac Wôntôkóde
Mohican (Mahican, Mohegan) Anachemowegan
Muskogee (Creek) Ittimokla
Navajo (Navaho) K’é, Hozo
Nez Perce ‘Éyewi
Ojibwa (Chippewa) Bangan, Bisaniwewin
Onandaga Chkenon
Ottawa (Odawa) Nwebin
Papago-Pima Dodolimdag
Potawatomi E’tokmite’k
Powhatan Cohqwaivwh
Siouan (Sioux) Wo’okeyeh
Tlingit Li-k’ei
Wintu Mina
Wyandot (Huron) Scan-o-nie

These translations and many, many others, can be found at this Website.

The costs and benefits of EPA’s new rules on coal

Photo by Nick Humphries, via Flickr Creative Commons

The AP’s Dina Cappiello has an excellent piece out today on the impact of a controversial new EPA rule on air pollution. Here’s her lede:

WASHINGTON—More than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to shut down and an additional 36 might have to close because of new federal air pollution regulations, according to an Associated Press survey.

Together, those plants — some of the oldest and dirtiest in the country — produce enough electricity for more than 22 million households, the AP survey found. But their demise probably won’t cause homes to go dark.

The fallout will be most acute for the towns where power plant smokestacks long have cast a shadow. Tax revenues and jobs will be lost, and investments in new power plants and pollution controls probably will raise electric bills.

Backers of Big Coal have long-protested similar clean-up rules, predicting economic ruin and widespread blackouts. A new rule to clean-up dirty coal? Cue the horsemen of the Apocalypse. But, as Cappiello’s investigation found, the consequences won’t be quite so dire. There are losers and winners, to be sure. But a full cost-accounting shows that these EPA regulations generally save lives and have a net economic benefit to boot. Just a few years ago, for example, as many as 30,000 Americans died prematurely every year because of particulate pollution from coal-fired power plants. In 2010, thanks to new EPA rules, that number had been reduced to slightly over 13,000.

The EPA says that the new rule would save thousands more lives annually and it would prevent, in 2016,

  • 4,500 cases of chronic bronchitis,
  • 11,000 nonfatal heart attacks,
  • 12,200 ER visits,
  • 11,000 cases of acute bronchitis,
  • 120,000 cases of aggravated asthma.

Yes, the new rule costs money. The EPA puts the price tag at nearly $11 billion in 2016. On the other hand, the health benefits from the new rule are estimated at between $59-$140 billion for 2016 — or somewhere between five and twelve times greater than the costs of the rule.

For years, opponents of “big government” and regulatory policies have relied on framing the issue as a choice between the environment and the economy. It’s a false choice, as the evidence shows. What’s good for the environment is, in this case and in many others, good for the economy.



DOJ: Civil Rights Violations Widespread Under Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Maricopa (Arizona) County Sheriff’s Office, headed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, engages in “the most egregious racial profiling in the United States,” according to an expert hired by the U.S. Department of Justice.

At a press conference in Phoenix today, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez announced the results of a three-year-long investigation by the DOJ.

Demonstrator at 2010 rally in Phoenix, protesting SB-1070 (copyright Osha Gray Davidson)

The DOJ concluded that the controversial “Sheriff Joe” (as he likes to be called) routinely violates the Constitution and laws of the United States by discriminating against Latinos. Arpaio, who is a strong backer of anti-immigrant policies, including Arizona’s law, SB-1070,  has denied that he racially profiles. According to the DOJ’s expert, however, records show that Latino drivers are four to nine times more likely to be stopped by the MCSO than non-Latinos under identical circumstances.

Violations by the Sheriff’s department goes well beyond racial profiling. The MCSO also illegally retaliates against people who criticize the organization, the investigation found.

“People opposed to the Department’s policies were frequently arrested and jailed for no reason,” said Perez. In the Sheriff’s jails, Spanish-speaking inmates were then punished for not complying with orders, given in English, that they did not understand — a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“In short,” said the DOJ Attorney, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office “is broken.”

Perez concluded his statement by stressing that his office wants to work with the MCSO to fix the many serious problems that exist there. “It’s is clear to me that this community is divided,” he said, “and needs to heal.”

But, should the MCSO refuse to cooperate, Perez warned, “we will not hesitate to take prompt, appropriate legal action.”