210,000 gallons of sludge


As in slime,  scum, slop.

Grease, goo, grime.

Mud, muck, mire.

Contamination, defilement, corruption.

As in 210,000 gallons of oil leaked from Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota last week. And don’t forget last year. Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 8.47.43 AM


Who owns Keystone Pipeline?

Dakota Access, LLC, owns 75% of the pipeline while Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake.[17] Energy Transfer Partners LP and Sunoco Logistic Partners LP own together 51% and MarEn Bakken Company, the joint venture of Enbridge (75%) and Marathon Petroleum, owns 49% of the Dakota Access, LLC. It gives the following indirect stakes in the pipeline:

  • Energy Transfer Partners LP and Sunoco Logistic Partners LP together – 38.2%
  • Enbridge – 27.6%[18]
  • Phillips 66 – 25%[17]
  • Marathon Petroleum – 9.2%[18]

Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistic Partners, both subsidiaries of Energy Transfer Equity LP, has announced their merger.[19]

Bakken Holdings Company and Phillips 66 also co-own another part of the Bakken system, the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline which runs from Patoka to storage terminals in Nederland, Texas.[20][17]

Political Ties

According to his federal disclosure forms, filed in May 2016, President Donald Trump held between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Energy Transfer Partners – down from $500,000 to $1 million in 2015 – and between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66. This creates a conflict of interest when making presidential decisions affecting the pipeline project. The senior Democrat on the Public Resources Committee, Raul Grijalva, called this appearance of conflict of interest “disturbing”.[148] The Washington Post reported that Trump sold off his shares in Energy Transfer Partners in the summer of 2016.[149] The credibility of this claim has been questioned by liberal organizations.[150]

Trump is also indirectly linked to the project because Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren contributed $103,000 to the Trump campaign.[151][152] Trump has said that he supports the completion of the pipeline project. According to his transition team, this position “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”[153]

A former staffer of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad re-election campaign, Susan Fenton, who is now the director of government affairs with the Des Moines public relations firm LS2, is handling public relations for Energy Transfer.[154] Texas governor Rick Perry was a member of the Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners boards of directors but resigned after Trump selected Perry as his nomination for Energy Secretary In December 2016.[155] Kelcy Warren had contributed $6 million to Perry’s 2016 Presidential campaign.[156]

What does Dakota Pipeline Access have to say?

If you go to the Dakota Access Pipeline Facts, you’ll find they have a page dedicated to misconceptions. Then within the misconceptions section, you’ll find a document called: The Dakota Access Pipeline is safe.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is built to survive the test of time, extreme weather, and natural disaster. It uses state-of-the art construction material, including heavy-walled steel pipe that is nearly 50% thicker than required by law.

What about current events listed on their page dedicated to News and Opinions?

Selected editorials by unknown authors saying things like “protesters aligned with powerful forces in the White House, with Hollywood celebrities, and with plenty of money behind them from wacky anti-capitalist financiers” and articles celebrating the $20,000 donations made to counties and photo ops that remind me of Trump asking Ricardo Rossello if the United States “did a great job” in response to Hurricane Maria.


Click to watch video of Trump putting Rossello on the spot…

Would you like to contact Dakota Access Pipeline? Here’s the contact info they share:

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 9.23.27 AM


Life did not begin at my birth

I am fond of this quote, in particular, because it is always a humbling reminder that I am not the center of the Universe.

“There is divine beauty in learning. To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me. And I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers, and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences. And so are you.” – Elie Wiesel

Buchenwald Concentration Camp, WWII.  2nd row, 7th from left is Elie Wiesel.

Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel KBE was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. Gary Henry pays great tribute to Wiesel in Story and Silence: Transcendence in the Work of Elie Wiesel.


Conversation reflects what’s on the mind. People do our jobs for us – they reveal themselves, if only we would listen. The problem is, we rarely listen carefully enough. – Noah Lukeman from The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life

I happened upon this quote in the context of learning how to be a better writer. But it struck me so strongly, I ended up plunging down a rabbit hole full of questions revolving around being a better listener.

I have a friend who talks. A lot. He has an incredible memory and his mind is like a set of encyclopedias running a marathon. Unfortunately, if someone is speaking to me, especially at breakneck speed in order to get everything out before he loses my attention or has to take a breath, he’s actually wasting his breath. My mind can only remember what someone else says for a few seconds, not necessarily in the correct order and I’m attempting to interpret and categorize as I go. And although I may be using ‘I’ while making these statements, I really mean WE.

According to Sharon Drew Morgen,

our brains arbitrarily delete or redefine anything our Communication Partners (CPs) say that might be uncomfortable or atypical. Unfortunately, we then believe that what we think we’ve heard – a subjective translation of what’s been said – is actually what was said or meant. It’s usually some degree of inaccurate. And it’s not our fault. Our brains do it to us.

What if we just started by intentionally recognizing everyone with whom we’re speaking as a Communication Partner? And then move forward with the recognition of our CP as a goldmine of knowledge, experience, biases, “assumptions, triggers, habituated neural pathways, and memory channels that sift out what’s being said”? download.png

Stay tuned…I haven’t even gotten to the part about listening to the voiceless yet.

Light new light in the hearts of people

Angie Filtered
Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people. -Mother Teresa

Rocky IV training in the mountains of Montana

The snow at our house is starting to feel like sand at the beach. It’s just a part of the terrain. You have to lift your knees a little higher when you walk and when you run, it feels like you’re starring in a slow-motion movie. It inspires me to train like Sylvester Stallone on a Russian countryside farm in Rocky IV. And…we’re only halfway through November. Bring on the snow, Montana. Let’s do this.


Kafka on the Shore


“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore

When two people meet

I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen… When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you’ve got two new people.

-John Steinbeck

It snowed again last night. I was going to write something about Weathering a Montana Winter, but then I remembered that it isn’t even Winter yet and even then, it would only be my first. I have so much to learn.

Enter: John Steinbeck holding The Winter of Our Discontent. Then I did a little digging and it turns out that recommending books to read while snowed in as a quintessential must for bloggers. There are so many recommendations. Let it snow.

Stoic Arthur in the snow