[UPDATE 21/5/13] Quick congrats to England and Wales for passing marriage equality legislation! Despite this Tim Loughton “wrecking amendment” regarding civil partnerships for heterosexual couples. Frig, the bill doesn’t need to be any more complicated than it already is. So now we can consider scrapping civil partnerships altogether, as they were artificially introduced as a consolation prize to same-sex couples who were excluded from the (civil) institution of marriage.
A quick congrats to Minnesota for passing marriage equality legislation less than an hour ago! Minnesota joins 11 other states + D.C. I am now taking bets as to how many states will pass such legislation before the federal government jumps on the bandwagon. My own bet? 50. When it comes to the US federal government I keep my expectations loooooooooow.
April 2013 was whirlwind month for marriage equality worldwide, with 3 new countries (+ 1 US state) joining the club of sanity. Current club members are the Netherlands, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa and New Zealand. Point of clarification: there is no actual club!
The oil/tar* sands of Alberta in general and the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines in particular are some of the hottest energy topics in North America right now. They also happen to be obsessions pet peeves of mine. Not having a Twitter account, I in effect spam my own Facebook wall by posting article after article about oil pipelines; in the past 3 weeks alone there’s been 9 posts – and there hasn’t even been any real news on the subject!
It has become one of the few energy topics I feel truly qualified to discuss, which is just one reason why I like yapping about it so much. The other reason is that it is not just about energy – the oil/tar sands, KXL, Northern Gateway and the potential West-East pipeline are so tightly wrapped in Canadian, American and international politics that it’s hard not to salivate. Like bacon-wrapped shrimp.
Governments and politicians know to wait until Friday afternoon to make potentially contentious, unpopular or controversial announcements. Most people don’t give a darn by then (weekend wheeee!), and the ones who do can have their weekends ruined.
So: the US State Department released its 2,000-page environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would transport bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Since us normal folk have better things to do than read 2,000-page government reports on a Friday evening, here’s grist.org’s summary of the summaries and reactions on NYT, WaPo and Mother Jones.
The United States of America: I love to hate it. No, seriously, I’m not a fan. But as much as I can’t stand a lot of the things it does, the old world order in which the US is on top is sooo preferable to a new world order ruled by China.