The Ethics of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Hi everyone,

This was my final paper in my ethics class this past semester & I just thought I’d share my thoughts on this issue.

*Note* I know this does not encompass this entire issue, it was a 6-8 page paper, and I had to write this within some guidelines.



Jennifer V. Kurland

Water hoses being sprayed on peaceful protests was a game changer for the Civil Rights Movement when those images were broadcast to the public on TV. When similar, yet more brutal tactics were used on water protectors protesting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the media was missing in action. Native people in the United States are victims of genocide from the onset of our country’s founding, and still today struggle for the basic human rights supposedly guaranteed to all people under the Constitution. The Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction against the wishes of the Standing Rock Sioux is just one more injustice piled on to this sordid history. There is no ethical justification that would allow this pipeline to continue decimating the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s ancestral burial grounds and treaty territory.

Continue reading


Arcadia Power Makes Green Energy Easy

How about we take a brief break from all the politics to talk about something near and dear to our Green hearts – clean energy? My wife and I own a little mom and pop jewelry store in Lowell. We have been here since 2002. Nothing would make me happier that to have a solar array or a couple wind generators on the roof of our 3 story building – built in 1868. That is simply not in the cards right now.

However, I am pleased to tell you that our building is now a Certified Clean Energy Partner with Arcadia Power. We are basically buying RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) from Arcadia to offset the amount of energy we use in an average month. Arcadia looked at the past 12 month of bills and came up with a monthly average of kilowatts used. Then they gave us an amount that represents the difference we would pay to have our electric be provided directly by a wind farm. For us it works out to $10 a month. Continue reading

Why Jill Stein Has My Vote

Jill Event 1

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event mentioned in the image above. Two highlights for the day – accidentally got to met Green Party VP Candidate Ajamu Braka back stage when I went out to get some stuff out of the car and we got to hear Jill Stein’s stump speech live and direct.

Some people will vote for Jill because of her New Green Deal plan which involves a massive national effort a la FDR’s New Deal in which we will not only make a massive shift toward renewable energy in the US, but also employ lots of people doing so. Sure, I like that.

Some people will vote for Jill because she believe WATER IS A HUMAN right and she will do everything in her power to protect and preserve what we have as well as make fresh, safe drinking water available to everyone. Yup, I gotta agree with this.

Others find her plan to slash military spending in half and use that money to help forgive student debt and pay for college tuition for those who want to attend college. That is certainly an admirable position.

Those people who have been crushed by medical debt will not doubt support her promise to provide single payer health care – health insurance for ALL – to the only developed nation on the planet that does not year have it. I can get behind this since I am still paying for cancer treatment I received in 2012.

Jill n Ajamu

Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka in Detroit.

Her promise to end our failed War on Drugs will no doubt resonate with thousands of people from all walks of life and all political persuasions. Works for me.

Her rejection of Political Action Committee bucks and her refusal to take Corporate Money in her campaign speaks volumes to Bernie Sanders supporters and to anyone smart enough to decry the ridiculous influence of money in politics. Amen, sister!

PAc Free

All Green Party Candidates are PAC Free!

All of those reasons are great. Jill’s vision that ALL of us are interconnected and of equal importance is music to my ears. Speaking of music – now we are getting to the one thing Jill did in Detroit that sealed my vote – She jammed on the congas with a stage full of Detroit’s most talented musicians.

Way to go Jill – you got me!

Click Here to See Jill Play the Congas!

Conga Jill 1

The Green Way Forward

Disclaimer: These words are written to myself as well as my fellow Greens.

Warning: It could get a little sappy in the next paragraph or three.

Green Hope 1

Election Day is right around the corner. Things are heating up even hotter than in previous weeks. I am writing this to encourage all of us Green Folk to take the high road in our daily conversations and especially on social media.

Rather than sharing the latest meme that PROVES what a bombastic liar he is or DEMONSTRATES what an election stealer she is, we need to concentrate our efforts on making sure people know that there is an alternative.

We need to show them The Green Way Forward.

I remind myself of this, and encourage you to do the same, for two reasons. One is practical and one is a little more on the mystical side. On the hippy-dippy side, we need to be the sunshine in these dark times. There are enough people spreading enough blood-pressure raising hoo hah when it comes to politics. We need to rise above the temptation to share the latest piece of news PROVING how screwed up our political system is – be it on a national, state, or even local level. Instead, we need to keep beating the drum that there is a better way – a more inclusive, power-to-the-people way: The Green Way Forward.

On a practical level – do we really thing ANYTHING we say or post or re-post is going to convince the hard core Donkeys or Elephants to change? Ain’t gonna happen. If they cannot see the handwriting on the wall at this point, for us to keep pointing it out really boils down to Preaching To The Choir. (Remember, I am directing this at myself first – I love sharing evidence at how broken Michigan politics are. By writing this piece, I am going to have to shape up my own game or be held accountable – hoisted by my own petard as it were.)

So, how about for the last 60 days or so leading to Election Day we pour on the Positive Message the Green Party has to offer. If you see an article you would be tempted to share to PROVE (y)our point, maybe just post something in the comments about how Green candidates would turn that situation around. How the Green Way Forward is unlike anything we experience in politics today. Let’s get all ju-jitsu up in there and take the negative energy of those kinds of news reports or posts and toss them over our hips with a thrust of positive force and turn that negative energy into The Green Way Forward.

Three Campaign Promises From Cliff Yankovich – Green Party Candidate for the 86th District Michigan House

From the outset my intention for this campaign was to make it different. I wanted to avoid making promises I could not live up to. These are three promises I can and will keep if elected.

Big 3

1. I will put the best interests of the tax payers of Michigan as a whole, and the 86th District in particular, ahead of my own interests and ahead of the interests of large corporations and companies.


2. I will STRONGLY support the existing effort by State Senator Rick Jones (R-24th District) to shut down Pipeline #5. The 63 year old pipeline that runs almost a million gallons of crude oil an hour underneath the Straits of Mackinac. Owned and operated by Enbridge Oil. If that legislation has died away, then I will introduce a new bill with the same goal in mind: Turn off the pipes NOW and then come up with a solution.

3. Introduce a bill that will tie the paychecks of all 110 State Representatives and the 38 State Senators to the median (average) pay in Michigan. The pay checks of our 148 legislators are 43% more than the average wage of the people they are supposed to represent.


Making the pay of a Representative/Senator linked to that of the average person will make us more “representative” of the people of Michigan, but it also provides for all 118 of us to create a climate in Michigan that lifts the income for everyone – because if the average income rises, then so would ours.


Frankly, I believe this idea should have traction with both major parties. Democrats claim to represent the common man – so then let your compensation reflect that. Republicans claim to be interested in job creation. Great, so lets all work together for the people we represent and create better paying jobs for everyone and then enjoy a pay raise ourselves.

There are solutions to the problems in government. The first part in reaching many of them is to eliminate the blinders created by money.

Maybe not Everything – But It Had Better Change the Economy

Here’s an new film with a title that should be familiar from the book. It’s another opportunity to have the sort of community discussions that are so much needed.



It’s a documentary film, already screened in New York, which will be released nationwide for both theaters and community screenings on October 20, 2015. Hosting a screening is expensive – $200 minimum – but might be worthwhile if you can get a big enough audience. You can see the terms and conditions at