Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Genocide, ecocide, suicide driving Indian Country to the brink

The emergence of warrior societies led by veterans of the Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, and Kosovo has unified young people in North America's tribal regions. Movements are growing from the Mohawk Nation in Quebec and New York to the Lakota strongholds in South Dakota, among the descendants of the Arapaho in the Mountain West, south to the Navajo Nation and into the border regions of the Tohono O'odham.

In the US, where sovereignty rights, culture and language resurgence and growing capital resources from burgeoning black markets are building alternatives to hopelessness, suicide, and repression in Indian Country, deaths from firearm violence are higher than in any ethnic group.

North and South Dakota are in the cross hairs.
The company building the Dakota Access pipeline said Monday that the project remains on track to start moving oil this week despite recent "coordinated physical attacks" along the line. [Bismarck Tribune]
Attorney General Eric Holder was in South Dakota July, 2011 to keep the smoldering cold war with aboriginals from a flash point. Mary Garrigan provided readers of the Rapid City Journal with background:
Thirty U.S. attorneys from around the country, including U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson of South Dakota, will be in Rapid City to participate in the joint Native American Issues Subcommittee and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee meeting.
From Al Jazeera English:
In recent years in particular, Canada's indigenous communities have shown the will and potential to grind the country's economic lifelines to a halt through strategically placed blockades on the major highways and rail lines that run through native reserves well outside of Canada's urban landscape. There are more than 800 outstanding native land claims held against the Canadian government. And in many First Nations communities there is deep crisis, with poverty, unemployment and overcrowding the norm. According to figures from the Assembly of First Nations, more than 118 First Nations lack safe drinking water and some 5,500 houses do not have sewage systems. Almost one half of homes on native reserves are in need of "major repairs", compared with 7 per cent of non-native homes. Natives suffer a violent crime rate that is more than 300 times higher than Canada's non-native population, while natives represent 18.5 per cent of the male prison population and one-quarter of the female population, although natives only constitute 4 per cent of the total population.
Even as the Trump White House threatens funding for programs on public radio, especially those designed for Native audiences, producers bring the war on tribes to the air waves every day and people are frustrated, angry and increasingly militant.

Of course, the South Dakota Democratic Party should urge President Trump to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest, move management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior; and, in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management, rename it Okawita Paha or He Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members.

Tribal nations have been terrorized by genocide and ecocide for over three hundred years in the US. Why should they just lay over and take it?

Rewild the West.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Today's intersection: pink slime and Steve King

A judge appointed by Republican South Dakota Governor Denny Daugaard will hear a case brought against ABC News for its role in dubbing so-called lean, finely textured beef "pink slime."

Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products says it was forced to close three of its four plants and erase hundreds of jobs after consumers realized what is in the crap. Using ammonia to reduce bacteria BPI had a processing plant in Iowa but moved its headquarters to South Dakota to take advantage of the state's regressive tax structure.
As the “pink slime” coverage played out, Beef Products endorsed a USDA move to allow voluntary labeling so consumers would know which packages of ground beef had LFTB and which didn’t. [Wall Street Journal]
According to court documents released to the Associated Press the slaughter house was in the business clique that raised concerns about a state official GOP Iowa Governor Terry Branstad tried to force from office.
In a legal deposition, Branstad denied allegations levied in a lawsuit that he targeted former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey because Godfrey is gay. Branstad repeatedly defended the company’s product in the deposition, bristling when attorney Roxanne Conlin called it “pink slime.” [Associated Press]
Branstad has been picked by the corrupt Trump White House to replace Montana's Max Baucus as Ambassador to China.
Iowa voters are strongly opposed to Governor Branstad's proposal to privatize Medicaid. Just 22% of voters are in support of it, with a 52% majority against. Both Democrats (7/78) and independents (25/49) are firmly against it and even Republicans (36/26) are only narrowly in favor. Steve King is an unpopular figure on a statewide basis- only 30% of voters have a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. But he breaks even in his own district at 41/41, which has been good enough to keep getting him reelected. [Public Policy Polling]
BPI donates generously to Republican candidates like King and to South Dakota's GOP delegation.

King believes the Supreme Court of the United States has no authority to rule on marriage equality, routinely waxes poetic about his white supremacist proclivities and makes pink slime look pure...mostly. Iowa deserves King: he is one of the least effective members of Congress and suffers some of the lowest approval ratings in the US.

Oh. The other larder in the photo above is Mr. Pink Slime himself: Dakota Dunes' own earth hater, bail bondsman, Zionist and recently self-installed Exalted Cyclops of the South Dakota Republican Party, Dan Lederman.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Socialized agriculture driving Spring wildfire season

The Anthropocene has tripped a trophic cascade even as Oklahoma's Scott Pruitt, newly minted Earth hating administrator of an environmental protection agency at risk to the Trumpocalypse, watches his state go up in flames because of a warming planet.

Just a hundred and fifty years ago bison would be clearing the grasses driving the 2017 wildfire season.
Kansas rancher Greg Gardiner got into some of his scorched pastures for the first time Wednesday and surveyed what he likened to a battle zone: carcasses of dead cattle everywhere. Most of the burned land is in Kansas, where more than 1,000 square miles has been consumed in a series of blazes, including one believed to be the largest in the state's recorded history. Ranch hands were among those who have been killed in the fires. In the Texas Panhandle, three ranch hands died trying to save cattle from fires that have burned nearly 750 square miles. [Rapid City Journal]
Desertification driven by overgrazing has turned parts of the high plains into scorched earth.

John Thune (earth hater-SD) has rolled out his farm bill template for moral hazard and socialized agriculture while South Dakota's lone US House member and her fellow earth haters support it.

Moral hazard is the flip side of self-reliance and the livestock industry knows emergency declarations will provide bailouts for those who chose risk instead of burning off dry grasses minimizing losses.

Domestic livestock have contributed to catastrophic wildfire conditions and Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.

Not talking about fuel treatments during a wildfire is the same thing as not talking about firearms management during a mass shooting.

The Wolf fire in southwest South Dakota was the largest blaze to occur during the month of March since the year 2000.

Had Sen. Tim Johnson been successful in passing S. 3310 as a part of the doomed Omnibus Wilderness Bill the land burned by the Cottonwood and Wolf fires would have been placed within the stewardship of Badlands National Park and much, if not all, of the federal land scorched by the Cottonwood Fire would have been burned off prescriptively in increments instead of being managed by some careless rancher or passing motorist.

Tribal representatives attending a recent drought conference have water quality/quantity projects funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, some solely through EPA. Most of them are concerned the Trump regime has abandoned Indian Country.

If human activity has released countless tons of mercury, would it not follow that we have also released proportional amounts of carbon?

Rewild the West.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Red state cannabis hypocrisy gives cartels power over health care decisions

Marty Jackley didn't show and postponed Eric Hagen's trial apparently because Jeff Sessions is preparing to strike down the Department of Justice ruling on tribal cannabis to fuck local control.

Attorneys General in both Montana and South Dakota are wailing about the rise of meth use and crying for additional law enforcement industry resources while the Trump administration weighs cracking down on the rights of states to tax cannabis.

Thanks to meth South Dakota's law enforcement industry enjoyed a 22 percent increase in drug arrests last year, the Republicans are out of cash to house inmates and civil forfeiture just isn't paying the bills.
Quinnipiac University released a poll showing that 59 percent of Americans support recreational marijuana legalization and 71 percent of Americans want the federal government to get out of the way of states when it comes to marijuana policy. And you can bet a lot of that support comes from states President Trump won in 2016. The president may not believe that you can ‘Make America Great Again’ by legalizing marijuana, but if he wants states and citizens to be more in control of public policy, he should consider himself the last person who should try to get in the way. [John Hudak]
A just-released British study links high doses of sugar with increased rates of Alzheimer's even as the City of Santa Fe debates a soda tax.

Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that would align with our life/safety concerns.
So, legalization initiatives have a clear Democratic benefit. Democratic-leaning voters, who otherwise might have stayed home, could turn out to vote on marijuana reform. Some may leave other parts of the ballot blank, but Democrats could see a meaningful benefit overall. In a race that is close, a few thousand votes here or there could force an incumbent Republican Senator to pack up his office or shift a state’s electoral votes from red to blue. [Brookings Institution]
In South Dakota 302 children are confined per 100,000 kids; that's the highest number in the United States according to Pew.

South Dakota has the most draconian cannabis laws in the US: the law enforcement industry can even force catheters into urethras and penises to test possession by ingestion.

Reports from Mexico say homicides are soaring after the the arrest of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán left a power vacuum in illegal drug trade.

For the record, I do not support widespread growing of industrial cannabis in South Dakota, especially on tribal lands: it is an invasive species capable of overgrowing native grasses and easily migrates into adjacent lands. Why anyone would want to buy genetically engineered seed from Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery.

Indian casinos are small banks. Let’s ensure that cannabis cultivation and distribution stay out of the hands of Big Dope. It’s time to enter compacts with the tribes, let them distribute on the rez, on off-reservation properties and in Deadwood.