Slant 9-8-2016

• We’ll bend a knee with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback stirring up the conservative sports world with his visual statement against racism in America. He’s kneeling, not standing for the “Star Spangled Banner” and taking frightening flak for it. Bravo to his coach Chip Kelly, well known to Eugeneans, who affirmed free speech in America, as did President Obama and some other sports stars like Megan Rapinoe, the great soccer player. Makes no sense, but we were pleased to see the 49ers win last Thursday.

• The news out of Standing Rock in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, is infuriating as tribal members try to prevent the constructions of a massive oil pipeline that, if built, would carry a half-million barrels of crude oil across the tribe’s treaty lands daily. According to a recent media update from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, on Saturday, Sept. 3, “Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts.” Tribal Chairman David Archambault II says, “They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction.” Events over the weekend also involved protesters being bitten by private security dogs. The good news is that thousands of people from more than 200 native tribes have joined the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts to protect their lands, waters and sacred sites from harm during construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline.

• If you don’t like either Hillary or Donald and are casting about for another box to check, be sure to read our interview of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson this week. No way we can vote for anybody who seriously says that the free market will take care of climate change. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump, the idiot who denies climate change. That means we must follow Bernie Sanders’ lead and vote for Hillary.

• Talk about burning issues in the Weekly! A local gentleman recently came to our front desk to inquire about the newsprint and ink used to print the paper. He was using this free tabloid to start his barbecue and the food didn’t taste right. We’ll investigate, of course.

• We’re giving three sarcastic cheers for the geniuses who knocked over Cape Kiwanda’s iconic sandstone pedestal. Seriously? The vandals were caught on video shoving the Oregon coast rock formation until it collapsed. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, it’s disheartening to witness such blatant instances of disregard for our natural landscapes at one of our state parks. We’re reminded of Casey Nocket, the woman who painted garish graffiti on rocks in national parks across the country, including Crater Lake. Destroying nature is a pretty permanent form of vandalism: Once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

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