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    Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Let's discuss Canadian Tar Sands, again. It looks like we are going to be talking about this for the rest of our short lives. It looks like the mercury causes birth defects and brain damage. Can anyone say Zombie apocalypse?
    Every new story that comes out about Tar Sands has a new disaster pending for it to continue.
    Pray for us!

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/201...sands-mercury/

    Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    By Emily Atkin on December 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Just one week after Al Jazeera discovered that regulatory responsibility for Alberta, Canada’s controversial tar sands would be handed over to a fossil-fuel funded corporation, federal scientists have found that the area’s viscous petroleum deposits are surrounded by a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of mercury.

    Canadian government scientists have found that levels of mercury — a potent neurotoxin which has been found to cause severe birth defects and brain damage — around the region’s vast tar sand operations are up to 16 times higher than regular levels for the region. The findings, presented by Environment Canada researcher Jane Kirk at an international toxicology conference, showed that the 7,500 miles contaminated are “currently impacted by airborne Hg (mercury) emissions originating from oilsands developments.”
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

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    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Mercury corrupts certain enzymes that protect the brain, such that when mercury crosses the blood brain barrier oxygen goes haywire and starts wrecking the place.

    Enjoy.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Mercury is common in Alberta.

    I live hundreds of kilometres away from the oilsands, the river running through our city passes no where near the oilsands, and yet we are advised to limit any fishing out of that river due to natural mercury in the water:

    http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_r...y/fishing.aspx

    The point is, if mercury gets stirred up a bit, it was always there in the environment, and it goes directly back to the local environment it comes from. In 10 years it will seep back down to the depths out of harm's way.

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    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Mercury is common in Alberta.

    I live hundreds of kilometres away from the oilsands, the river running through our city passes no where near the oilsands, and yet we are advised to limit any fishing out of that river due to natural mercury in the water:

    http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_r...y/fishing.aspx

    The point is, if mercury gets stirred up a bit, it was always there in the environment, and it goes directly back to the local environment it comes from. In 10 years it will seep back down to the depths out of harm's way.
    There doesn't have to be much mercury in the environment. Because the element and its compounds are bioaccumulative, every step of the food chain magnifies it. As do heavy radionuclides. For those reasons I would not buy fish from Japan, or any food from the Ukraine or Russia.
    Last edited by Alnitak; January 1st, 2014 at 12:27 PM.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    True. Fortunately we don't generally harvest foodstuffs from the area around the oilsands.

    My biggest concerns about the oil industry in Alberta are the use of freshwater to force oil to the surface, thus destroying and "fossilising" the freshwater forever, withdrawn from the hydrological cycle, and CO2 capture that isn't happening yet.

    Did you know that Bakken oil from North Dakota is explosive? Killed 40 people in Lac Mégantic.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle16157981/

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Alnitak View Post
    There doesn't have to be much mercury in the environment. Because the element and its compounds are bioaccumulative, every step of the food chain magnifies it. As do heavy radionuclides. For those reasons I would not buy fish from Japan, or any food from the Ukraine or Russia.
    A friend of mine from college runs a non-profit she started after undergrad which focuses on educating Native women in Pacific Northwestern tribes about the mercury contamination and how to safely eat locally particularly when pregnant, due to the risk of pregnancy issues and birth defects. That mercury is primarily from the Gold Rush, 150 years ago, and is still all over northern California and the northwest, including in the salmon and sturgeon, particularly in inland waterways where it has accumulated.

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    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post

    Did you know that Bakken oil from North Dakota is explosive? Killed 40 people in Lac Mégantic.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle16157981/
    It's volatile, and North Dakota doesn't have the proper infrastructure or rail cars for rapid oil development, not to mention it is landlocked.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_D...ucture_effects
    Last edited by Alnitak; January 1st, 2014 at 01:15 PM.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    The North Dakota oil trains are explosive. Another one exploded yesterday in Cassleton, ND.

    http://www.startribune.com/local/238207831.html

    They're checking to see if lack of oil regulation is the cause for these trains exploding. The oil companies in ND have the republican Governor under their thumb.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Mercury is common in Alberta.

    I live hundreds of kilometres away from the oilsands, the river running through our city passes no where near the oilsands, and yet we are advised to limit any fishing out of that river due to natural mercury in the water:

    http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_r...y/fishing.aspx

    The point is, if mercury gets stirred up a bit, it was always there in the environment, and it goes directly back to the local environment it comes from. In 10 years it will seep back down to the depths out of harm's way.
    Glad you are more knowledgeable about it. But being from up there you would know. I thought of making the thread to your attention first then changed my mind.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
    You first

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    True. Fortunately we don't generally harvest foodstuffs from the area around the oilsands.

    My biggest concerns about the oil industry in Alberta are the use of freshwater to force oil to the surface, thus destroying and "fossilising" the freshwater forever, withdrawn from the hydrological cycle, and CO2 capture that isn't happening yet.

    Did you know that Bakken oil from North Dakota is explosive? Killed 40 people in Lac Mégantic.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle16157981/
    With the sea level rising, maybe sticking some water out of the cycle is a good thing.

    Oh -- and explosive oil is a good argument for building a pipeline... trucking all that just means we will have an ongoing stream of such accidents, with a high likelihood that one will count as a real disaster.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
    Oh, if only!

    Mercury from old fillings has been pointed to by doctors to explain my bipolar and anxiety disorders.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  14. #14
    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Oh, if only!

    Mercury from old fillings has been pointed to by doctors to explain my bipolar and anxiety disorders.
    It should be detectable in your blood and hair I would think.

  15. #15
    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    With the sea level rising, maybe sticking some water out of the cycle is a good thing.
    Drawing water lowers elevation of the ground above. This is especially a problem in Mexico City, which has sunk several feet over the centuries.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Alnitak View Post
    It should be detectable in your blood and hair I would think.
    Not any longer -- my dentist cleaned out the old crap and replaced it like eight years ago.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  17. #17
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Alnitak View Post
    Drawing water lowers elevation of the ground above. This is especially a problem in Mexico City, which has sunk several feet over the centuries.
    So we need a system to put it back.

    A relative in Nebraska told us the Department of Agriculture is contemplating putting in a huge lake in the sand hills; the geology there is such that it would take years just to see any results of putting water behind a dam because it would keep soaking into the ground. Once the lake got filled, it would effectively pump water back into the aquifer. The problem is that they'd be sending down all the chemicals that get into our rivers now, as well as those blown by the wind. Presumably it could be filtered first, but the cost would be prohibitive (OTOH, there's been progress toward membranes that would only allow H2O molecules through, in which case they could just line the lake with it).

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  18. #18
    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    So we need a system to put it back.

    A relative in Nebraska told us the Department of Agriculture is contemplating putting in a huge lake in the sand hills; the geology there is such that it would take years just to see any results of putting water behind a dam because it would keep soaking into the ground. Once the lake got filled, it would effectively pump water back into the aquifer. The problem is that they'd be sending down all the chemicals that get into our rivers now, as well as those blown by the wind. Presumably it could be filtered first, but the cost would be prohibitive (OTOH, there's been progress toward membranes that would only allow H2O molecules through, in which case they could just line the lake with it).
    Not 27 feet of it as Mexico City has.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Alnitak View Post
    Drawing water lowers elevation of the ground above. This is especially a problem in Mexico City, which has sunk several feet over the centuries.
    Well the opposite isn't brilliant environmentalism either. Injecting water - especially freshwater - seems like a squandered resource.

    The nice solution to both problems would be the commercialization of existing / developing technology to inject CO2 (problematic in itself) into the wells to force oil to the surface (thus leaving the freshwater where it belongs in the river bed, and the downstream riparian ecology in tact).

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    JockBoy87 Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Well the opposite isn't brilliant environmentalism either. Injecting water - especially freshwater - seems like a squandered resource.

    The nice solution to both problems would be the commercialization of existing / developing technology to inject CO2 (problematic in itself) into the wells to force oil to the surface (thus leaving the freshwater where it belongs in the river bed, and the downstream riparian ecology in tact).
    Human development is impossible without impacting the environment in some way.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Alnitak View Post
    Not 27 feet of it as Mexico City has.
    Twenty-seven feet of what?

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    JubberClubber White Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    The Natives are restless everywhere. This from CBC Canada. Native tribes are going to sue at every turn, it looks like. MOA has nothing on Tar Sands.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/albe...2014-1.2481825

    Alberta oilsands facing aboriginal legal onslaught in 2014
    First Nations plans challenges of new rules for regulatory approvals of energy projects

    The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 02, 2014 12:17 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 02, 2014 5:06 PM ET

    Simmering disputes over the oilsands between Alberta aboriginals and the provincial and federal governments will break into the open in 2014 as virtually every one of the many recent changes in oversight of the controversial industry comes under legal and political attack.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

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    canucklehead rotary's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by White Eagle View Post
    Every new story that comes out about Tar Sands has a new disaster pending for it to continue.
    Pray for us!
    North America. We'll gladly let other countries pollute themselves, ship the oil to us halfway across the globe on tankers, risking ocean environments so we can continue to enjoy our conveniences but when it comes to domestic production and transportation suddenly it's NO NO NO too dangerous. Keystone, no. Northern gateway, no. Constructing a line east, no. So let's continue shipping it on rail with derailments occuring every week? Oil development in Alberta is not going to stop, how long are we going to twiddle thumbs before doing something?

    The lack of cooperation between governments here is mindblowing. Build the pipelines.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by rotary View Post
    North America. We'll gladly let other countries pollute themselves, ship the oil to us halfway across the globe on tankers, risking ocean environments so we can continue to enjoy our conveniences but when it comes to domestic production and transportation suddenly it's NO NO NO too dangerous. Keystone, no. Northern gateway, no. Constructing a line east, no. So let's continue shipping it on rail with derailments occuring every week? Oil development in Alberta is not going to stop, how long are we going to twiddle thumbs before doing something?

    The lack of cooperation between governments here is mindblowing. Build the pipelines.
    I keep repeating that to MoveOn.org and all the other places that keep trying to stop the pipeline. Yes, our pipeline technology leaves a lot to be desired -- but it's still far safer than putting it in tanks rolling on wheels.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    canucklehead rotary's Avatar
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    I keep repeating that to MoveOn.org and all the other places that keep trying to stop the pipeline. Yes, our pipeline technology leaves a lot to be desired -- but it's still far safer than putting it in tanks rolling on wheels.
    Which roll through the middle of cities. And explode.

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by rotary View Post
    Which roll through the middle of cities. And explode.
    The exploding part is beyond chilling. I suspect there are some things about the chemistry of this crap that will lead to new insights in organic/petroleum chemistry.

    In a cheap science fiction story, it would lead to a new, powerful energy source....

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    One thing that doesn't make sense is something I've never even heard mentioned when seeing a news story on the Canadian Tar Sands:

    Why not just build a refinery in Alberta?
    Wouldn't that be a lot easier and cheaper than doing thousands of miles of pipeline?
    (Yeah I know the 'finished products' would still need to be transported, but still it seems pointless to send it all the way to Texas, process it there, then ship it to wherever it needs to go. When it could be processed right there in Alberta, and then sent right to wherever it needs to go)

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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by 72-Jay View Post
    One thing that doesn't make sense is something I've never even heard mentioned when seeing a news story on the Canadian Tar Sands:

    Why not just build a refinery in Alberta?
    Wouldn't that be a lot easier and cheaper than doing thousands of miles of pipeline?
    (Yeah I know the 'finished products' would still need to be transported, but still it seems pointless to send it all the way to Texas, process it there, then ship it to wherever it needs to go. When it could be processed right there in Alberta, and then sent right to wherever it needs to go)
    Mostly because there is a lot of investment from US corporations in the oilsands. They are more interested in supplying the refineries they already own, than building new ones here. Our government is more interested in using oil royalties to solve their problems (i.e. getting re-elected by spending our own money on impressing us) than in ensuring the resource is developed to our advantage. So they give these foreign corporations a pass and ship our resources out to the lowest bidder.

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    Bammer's Papa
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    Re: Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

    Quote Originally Posted by 72-Jay View Post
    One thing that doesn't make sense is something I've never even heard mentioned when seeing a news story on the Canadian Tar Sands:

    Why not just build a refinery in Alberta?
    Wouldn't that be a lot easier and cheaper than doing thousands of miles of pipeline?
    (Yeah I know the 'finished products' would still need to be transported, but still it seems pointless to send it all the way to Texas, process it there, then ship it to wherever it needs to go. When it could be processed right there in Alberta, and then sent right to wherever it needs to go)
    Some of it may end up being sent to China...

    But I agree it would make sense to build a refinery closer to the source -- especially since if the US buys a lot of that oil, much will be sent to the Gulf and then trucked back north to where it will be used as fuel. If nothing else, a refinery in South Dakota would make sense; even though there's a refinery in Illinois, a good deal of its product gets shipped back west, so a South Dakota refinery would help distribute the load.

    The big problem with building a refinery in the US, though, is that regulatory resistance just doesn't want any -- period. The only way around that would be for President Obama to order one built on federal property, such as an unused military base... and there happens to be one by Rapid City -- which would not be too great a divergence from the proposed XL route. One benefit of that is it would reduce the amount of syncrude being pumped through Nebraska, which is still, last I knew, objecting.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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