Wednesday, September 30, 2015

kurtz agenda advancing slowly

My eldest daughter, a feminist and staunch Democrat, is a Rapid City Central grad and has almost finished her education degree at Black Hills State University. She has begun the process of joining the San Diego school system. Her fiance and two other young Democrats are looking forward to living in a blue state. My younger daughter, a top athlete and Democrat, is fleeing Rapid City for Chicago.

Why? Because teaching in South Dakota sucks.
A new study ranks South Dakota as one of the worst ten states in America to be a teacher. WalletHub looked at a range of factors including average starting pay. The state came in 2nd to last: 50th overall, in median annual salary for teachers, and 39th in public school spending per student. [Black Hills Fox]
While nutcases like Fred Deutsch are crusading for an end to women's civil rights the state is hemorrhaging educators.

Want to reverse the exodus?

South Dakota should listen to Paula Hawks, Bernie Hunhoff and Cory Heidelberger and pass a corporate income tax.

Reduce the number of South Dakota counties to 25, turn DSU into a community college, and adopt my cannabis template: the kurtz solution painted on a thumbnail.

Read more about the GOP war on public education here.

I began playing in Jerry Apa's illegal poker games in the basement of the Bodega in Deadwood somewhere around 1985. It was a seminal time in bringing gaming to the Gulch. The late Mike O'Connell was a founding father and a Democrat as were Chuck and Bernie Williams.

One frequent player was Walter Dale Miller even after he became Lt. Governor Miller. After poker became legal he played while governor and even after Bill Janklow shafted him forcing him from politics he came to Deadwood to play. This reporter has been in Texas hold 'em games where Gov. Miller, Mark Hollenbeck's dad, Bud, and Kevin Costner were also playing.

Miller was horrible at poker sometimes pouring thousands into a game. He liked being called Walt.

Recall that after years of financial problems Miller's son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Mary, were convicted of tax crimes then served time in federal prison.

Mark Hollenbeck is up to his tits. Bud was a shitty player, too.

My obsession with poker and power wiped out a career and destroyed at least two of my marriages so, i haven't played for over ten years.

Going into a restaurant where poker is on teevee causes my mind to replay images of the past and renders me unable to take my eyes off the screen.

Imagine the number of lives touched by video lootery.

The specter of Janklow operatives sabotaging Governor George Mickelson's plane still haunts me.

It took the lobbying of Lt. Governor Walter Dale Miller, Democrats Bill Walsh and Tom Blair to bring legal gaming to Deadwood to finance historic preservation; but, Republican greed has turned it into the prostituted cultural wasteland that it is today.

Cannabis in South Dakota, rewilding through expanding bison range, fire being used to reduce ponderosa pine overgrowth restoring aspen habitat, tribal nations being recognized as counties in a non-contiguous 51st State, raising awareness of Republican failures in protecting watersheds, shining flashlights into GOP recta, pulse crops instead of corn, restoring Lakota names to geographical features and teaching American Indian languages in public schools have taken decades of effort by a team of thought leaders advancing a progressive agenda for a red moocher state.

We still have much to do.

We need Democratic butts in every county chair, we need to raise money, we need candidates in local elections like city council, county commission and mayor, we need to talk more about the things that we want and do not have like protecting women's rights, reversing the horrors of the Janklow/Rounds/Daugaard years, and raising the revenue to make South Dakotans' lives better.

I'm plowing the road to get to those things.

Join me. Let's make South Dakota safe for Democrats again.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Paper: suppressing every wildfire “dangerous, expensive, and ill advised”

Mixed pine, fir and aspen stand after Las Conchas Fire

We all know this, right?
“We are in the middle of this 30,000-acre, near-treeless hole,” said Craig D. Allen, a research ecologist with the United States Geological Survey. If historical patterns had held, the remaining pines would by now be preparing seeds to drop and start the cycle of regrowth. The trees in too-dense forests are already competing for water that the historically more sparse stands of trees might have found adequate; as drought increases, the stress will kill many trees outright and weaken others to the point that they become more vulnerable to predators like aggressive bark beetles. In an increasing number of cases, said Malcolm P. North, a research scientist with the United States Forest Service Pacific Southwest research station in Davis, Calif., “after the satellite trucks leave and everyone goes home, you have a charred condition on the landscape that does not have a historical precedent.” In a paper published last week in the journal Science, Dr. North and colleagues argued for ending the national policy of fighting every fire, and for making more concerted effort to thin forests so more fires might only scorch trees without destroying them. The authors called the traditional policy of trying to suppress every fire “dangerous, expensive, and ill advised.” [excerpt, John Schwartz]


Ortiz Mountains from burn