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A sign advertising Deep Fried Frozen Margaritas at the Texas State Fair.

Deep fried oreos? That’s SO five years ago.

Tonight the Firedoglake Watercooler is in solidarity with a dam blockade underway in Manitoba, Canada.

Elder Winston Wutunee Blessing PH 280 Blockade.

Backed by four of the five band councillors, members of Tatakweyak Cree Nation are now blocking Manitoba Hydro traffic on Provincial Road 280, the only route to the site of the recently approved Keeyask Dam.

West Coast Native News explains more about the Keeyask dam blockade and their demands.

Members of Tataskweyak Cree Nation (TCN) in Split Lake are blocking construction and Manitoba Hydro vehicles from passing through Split Lake on Provincial Road 280 near the site of the Keeyask Generating Station construction site to protest the deterioration of the highway and the Crown corporation’s treatment of the First Nation.

‘We have been left behind,’ said TCN Coun. Melanie Spence, one of the blockade organizers, in a press release. ‘Now that Hydro has our consent to build Keeyask, the company is treating us more like an obstacle than a partner.’

[…] The Keeyask site is 58 kilometres from Split Lake, the main TCN community. Split Lake is located about 140 kilometres northeast of Thompson, also along PR 280. Councillor Melanie Spence, one of the blockade organizers, says people in the community are fed up with being treated like second class citizens. While Manitoba Hydro reaps huge benefits off TCN lands and waters, local people are left to endure conditions and a level of health and infrastructure services that most Canadians would never tolerate.

According to the official release, their demands include:

  • paving of PR 280;
  • resolution of a range of outstanding hydro-related damage claims from trappers and commercial fishers;
  • good faith dealings by Hydro with respect to various construction work contracts that were to be granted to TCN-owned companies (related to Bipole III, PR 280 upgrades and Keeyask);
  • a better hiring process and better working conditions for TCN members at the Keeyask site;
  • a solution to hydro bills that are much higher than the provincial average;
  • a reasonable compensation package for the family in whose home are Keeyask is being built; and
  • environmental mitigation measures related to existing hydro operations.

The State Fair of Texas begins next month and fried food vendors are already vying for the Big Tex Awards, named for the fair’s giant talking statue rebuilt last year after an electrical fire. From KVUE:

The competition, which began in 2005, picks the most creative and best tasting options from the fair vendors’ newest concoctions each year. Last year, Fried Thanksgiving Dinner took the title for most creative while the Fried Cuban Roll won best tasting.

The contestants presented their creations to the State Fair of Texas earlier this month, and the field has been narrowed to eight. Here are the finalists and their descriptions, as written in a fair press release:

[…] Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato by Butch Benavides

The creamy and moist insides of a baked potato, loaded with generous amounts of butter, bacon, and cheddar cheese, are coated and battered with a delectable blend of spices and flour that create a perfect combination of fried crispy crust and delicious, creamy loaded baked potato. Served with a ranch dipping sauce.

Deep Fried “Breakfast for Dinner” by Edna Sutton & Tom Grace

A twist on a favorite American dinner — “Breakfast for Dinner.” This is a 10″ flour tortilla stuffed with eight favorite breakfast items – scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, bacon, potatoes, ham, onion, cheddar cheese and gooey cinnamon roll bits – that are deep fried until golden brown and served with a creamy country gravy, salsa and a pico-queso dip.

[…] Fried Sriracha Balls by Mark Zable

A lip-smacking combination of shredded chicken, corn, green chilies, tomatoes, and Sriracha hot sauce, formed into balls and coated with crispy tortilla chips. It is then flash-fried until golden brown. For those who like their food higher on the Scoville Scale, extra Sriracha Sauce is available.

Thanks to Katey Psencik for the tip.

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Photo by Alex Archambault released under a Creative Commons license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and