Monday, February 29, 2016

'Spotlight' exposes underbelly of Roman church

South Dakota's legislature is hiding clergy crimes while Minnesota is prosecuting predator priests.

Boston's disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law lives amidst splendor in Rome after resigning his office.
The upcoming release of a movie detailing the Boston Globe’s 2002 investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-up of clergy abuse may bring up “horrific memories” for New Mexico victims of sex abuse, Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester said. In a recent letter to Archdiocese of Santa Fe priests and parishioners last week, Wester said that the movie “Spotlight” is a chance for the faithful to pray for abuse victims. New Mexico was at the center of similar scandals years before the Boston stories. The Diocese of Gallup, which serves a large part of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona, filed for bankruptcy in 2013 as lawsuits mounted over claims of clergy sex abuse. [Albuquerque Journal]
Like a dozen other US Roman churches have done the Helena, Montana chapter of the sect faced 362 claims of sexual abuse and filed for bankruptcy.

After a cassock with ties to the Sioux Falls diocese resigned amid clergy crimes, jaws are dropping.
A day after the deadline for filing clergy abuse claims against the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese, interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda described the number of victims who stepped forward as “staggering.” With the full list of creditors now in sight, the archdiocese will begin working in bankruptcy court with the victims’ committee, insurance companies and others to review the claims. Hebda argued that a speedy end to the bankruptcy proceedings is good for everyone. [StarTribune]
A Sioux Falls cleric is closely tied to Archbishop John Nienstedt, a defendant in the case.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi on Friday criminally charged the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its "role in failing to protect children and contribution to the unspeakable harm" done to three sexual abuse victims of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer. Wehmeyer said he asked the archbishop a couple of times, 'Are you aware of my past? Are you aware of my record?' Wehmeyer said that Nienstedt brushed it off and replied, 'I don't have time to look into that stuff.'" [Minnesota Public Radio News]
Nienstedt is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of St. Thomas where Sioux Falls Bishop Paul Swain serves on the Institutional Advancement Committee. They are standing together in the front row in this photo.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Paul J. Swain as the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls on August 31, 2006 and he was consecrated as Bishop of Sioux Falls on October 26, 2006. Bishop Swain previously served as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.--bio, Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls.
When Bob Carlson was bishop of the Sioux Falls chapter of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers he testified for the defense at Bill Janklow's manslaughter trial.
"Girl Scouts is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values," Carlson wrote in a letter dated Thursday. "We must stop and ask ourselves — is Girl Scouts concerned with the total well-being of our young women? Does it do a good job forming the spiritual, emotional, and personal well-being of Catholic girls?"
Read the rest here.

The leader of the Roman Church is slowly cleaning house of pederastic predators but is taking heat from Republicans for his stance on curbing human-induced climate change and from progressives for his intent to canonize a colonizer accused of raping children.

South Dakota's Ku Klux Klan "opposed Roman Catholicism because it feared Catholic involvement in politics."

Both South Dakota dioceses are up to their areolae in debt to the white christianic ruling class for covering up crimes committed by pederastic priests where Catholic congregations and the state's legislature have engaged in obstruction of justice for decades. In South Dakota the Roman church has been behind the seizures of hundreds of American Indian children in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

As lawsuits and the US Department of Justice swamp the Roman church the future of the religious cult isn't looking very rosy.

According to one sect bean counter, attendance at Mass in the parishes in the Sioux City, Iowa diocese has dropped by 27 percent since 2008.
Officials with the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City have unveiled a restructuring plan that would greatly reduce the number of parishes across its 24-county region in northwest Iowa. There are currently 108 parishes in the Sioux City Diocese and, under the draft proposal, 41 parishes would be closed or merged by 2025. The 67 parishes that remain would be grouped into 31 “clusters[.]”
Read or listen to the justice news at WNAX.

For decades survivors of abuse from Roman Catholic clergy have been silenced by a sweeping conspiracy in the hierarchy.
...Phil Saviano, who was abused by a priest when he was 11. He is one of the film’s heroes, played by actor Neal Huff. Saviano said he was also thinking of those who did not survive, like Patrick McSorley, who was 12 years old when a priest named John Geoghan began molesting him. [Boston Globe]
"This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican," said producer Michael Sugar. "Pope Francis, it's time to protect the children and restore the faith."
Read it all here.
Australian Cardinal George Pell said on Sunday the Catholic Church made "enormous mistakes" and dismissed cases of sexual abuse of children in "scandalous circumstances", as he became the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on Church abuse. The Australian inquiry into sexual abuse cases which occurred decades ago has taken on wider implications about accountability of Church leaders because of Pell's high position in the Vatican, where he now serves as finance minister.
Read more here.

Although nothing untoward ever happened to me as an altar boy at Our Lady of Good Counsel my girlfriend in high school told me their family attended Mass elsewhere because Father Louis J. Miller had done something bad and was transferred to the Elkton parish under Sioux Falls, South Dakota cleric, Lambert Hoch who was born in Elkton.

Louis Miller was elevated to monsignor then was decapitated in an automobile accident near Pierre in 1968.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Lynnie!

Lynn Kurtz Larson would have been 60 today. She was killed in 1995 in a car/bicycle collision on the Moody County, South Dakota road outside her farm. The family called her Lynnie the Pooh.

Mutual friend, Nadene Deiterman Greni has penned a remembrance.
I remember Lynn on our first day of school at St. Mary's. She had long, flowing brown hair and wore a baby blue dress. Even though it was the first day, she was the 'new girl' because the rest of the class had met for one day in the spring. [Nearly/a/Data Geek]
One of the first jobs we kids learned after moving to the farm in the Spring of '64 was picking rock. I was almost ten, sister Lynn was eight. We learned to drive taking turns at the wheel of that old tractor and wagon moving at a half a mile an hour while Dad did most of the real work.

Finding stone hammers was our reward for clearing glacial till from those fields not knowing that they had been left there by the ancestors of those killed at Wounded Knee. Blood from our oft-smashed fingers is still on some of those rocks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Seth, Lyle Jeffs arrested; FLDS compounds raided

Update, 25 February, 1200 MST:
Jeffs, 42, appeared today in federal court in Rapid City, one day after his arrest near the compound he is alleged to lead near Pringle. He is a high-ranking member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a reputed polygamist sect that U.S. prosecutors allege has access to a vast system of closed-off and secure hideouts in South Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, western Canada, Mexico and South America. [Rapid City Journal]

$20 says the Bundy and FLDS arrests are linked.

"Seth Steed Jeffs was arrested Tuesday morning in Custer County, South Dakota, and will have an initial appearance in federal court in South Dakota."
Lyle Jeffs, who has been running the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for his imprisoned brother, has been indicted on food stamp fraud charges, the U.S. Attorney for Utah announced Tuesday. Also indicted was Seth Jeffs, brother to both Lyle and FLDS President Warren Jeffs. Jeffs and a number of other FLDS Church members — in Utah and South Dakota — were arrested, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Read it all here.

This post has been getting traffic and now i know why.
A secretive religious group linked to national cases of polygamy and the marriage of underage girls may be expanding to the Edgemont area, and there may be little Fall River County officials can do. The property in question was part of the estate of Buddy Heck and was left to Doris Seabeck and to Carolyn Fines. Seabeck is Heck’s sister and is the personal representative of his estate. Seabeck signed the purchase agreement, which is being contested by Fines in the courts. The commissioners said that as Carolyn Fines is state’s attorney Lance Russell’s mother, there may be some conflict of interest on the county’s part. [Rapid City Journal]
In 2011 Russell was censured by the state's judiciary for leaking grand jury testimony.

Following arrests and a death during a siege by Mormons in Harney County, Oregon tensions are high where white people are becoming conflicted about whether sedition is an appropriate response to perceived government tyranny.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pew: Obama's approval ratings similar to Reagan's

The Yankton Press & Dakotan editorial board isn't very happy with the Republican congress:
THUMBS DOWN to congressional Republicans who have decided they won’t even listen to the Obama administration’s final budget proposal. In a move that breaks decades of tradition and foists a middle finger at the president, GOP has decided not to invite White House budget director Shaun Donovan to budget hearings. “Rather than spend time on a proposal that … will double down on the same failed policies that have led to the worst economic recovery in modern times, Congress should continue our work on building a budget that balances and that will foster a healthy economy,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Georgia). So, in a blatant election-year move, the GOP has decided to ignore the president, whose proposal is usually a starting point for negotiations anyway. In fact, this is doubling down --- but more so on the exasperating, disrespectful political theater that has overtaken Capitol Hill and has given Congress some of its lowest approval ratings ever. Apparently, these politicians just can’t help themselves. [We Say]

A plank of the Southern Strategy seeking to assuage poor white people in the wake of the civil rights movement, the so-called 'War on Drugs' declared by the Nixon White House, then institutionalized by the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, redefined caste in the United States becoming a policy tool for the mass incarceration of non-white men.
Our poll in December 2015 showed that 46% of Americans approve of Barack Obama’s job performance – a rating that’s been steady throughout 2015, and is up 4 percentage points from a year prior. Over the course of Obama’s presidency, his average approval rating among Democrats has been 80%, compared with just 14% among Republicans. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, an average of 31% of Democrats approved of his job performance. Reagan’s approval rating dropped to 49% in January 1987 during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he left office two years later with a 63% rating. The presidents with the starkest gaps between their highs and lows in job approval are George W. Bush and his father.
Read the rest here.

President Reagan removed the photovoltaic cells from the roof of the White House destroying the country's momentum toward an energy-independent future.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Scalia croaks; who's Trump's nominee?

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has gone to his just reward.

A Democratic Senate confirmed Anthony Kennedy, Ronald Reagan's nominee to the Court in his last year in office and failing to confirm an Obama nominee could significantly increase voter turnout, which historically works against GOP. 4-4 decisions affirm the lower court.

A 4-4 court would uphold strong unions, abortion rights and affirmative action.

Thank you, Nino Scalia, for reminding us why Democrats need to control the federal bench. Scalia's exit is just one more teaching moment and should be a clarion call for Tom Daschle to get in South Dakota's US Senate race.

For some reason Google's poll widget is down so, tell us: a President Donald Trump will nominate whom for associate justice for the Supreme Court of the United States: Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, Ted Cruz or Tom Cruise?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

EWG: voluntary conservation efforts are being plowed under

The Supreme Court of the United States has put a hold on President Obama's Clean Power Plan.

A new report from the Environmental Working Group says many ag producers are abandoning voluntary conservation efforts.
EWG used aerial imagery to track what happened between 2011 and 2014 with two simple but important practices – stream buffers and grassed waterways – in eight watersheds prioritized in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. In that period, some landowners in those watersheds started following practices to control runoff, but others stopped. In the end there was no lasting gain in protection and no or miniscule progress in reducing runoff. To start, we should require landowners to meet four basic standards of care: (1) keep 50 feet of vegetation between cropland and waterways to filter polluted runoff, (2) heal or prevent temporary gullies, which are direct pipelines delivering polluted runoff to streams and lakes, (3) manage access of livestock to streams to prevent battered stream banks that collapse, fouling waterways and (4) don’t spread manure on frozen or snow-covered fields.
Read the rest here.
Staggering habitat losses have put at risk the state’s reputation as a ringneck Mecca. South Dakota lost 1.8 million grassland acres between 2006 and 2012, a sizable portion of which came from the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which pays producers to idle marginal cropland. As a result, pheasant numbers tumbled 30 percent from the 10-year average. Hunter participation and hunter harvest also have nose-dived. [Star-Tribune]
A decade ago CRP acres were about 1.5 million acres in South Dakota but that acreage number is only about a million today.
The 23.4 million acres enrolled in the CRP program in November 2015 is down from nearly 27 million acres in 2013, approximately 31 million acres in 2009, and over 36.8 million in 2007. Currently, there are just shy of 17 million acres under General CRP contracts, 5 million acres under Continuous CRP contracts, 1.1 million acres under Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) contracts, and 380,000 acres in the Farmable Wetland program. Livestock producers should also be aware that haying and grazing of buffer strips is not allowed on CRP acres, except when emergency declarations occur. [Farm and Ranch Guide]
Operators with expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts will be able to sell them for mitigation acres.
If they initially qualified for CRP contract by plugging some wetlands, those wetland could qualify as mitigation acres, if the farmer doesn’t take the plugs out when the CRP contract expires. [Profit from wetland rules: Offer mitigation acres]
CRP is thirty years old this year.

Kevin Woster photo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

RMRS: burning slash piles a waste of fuel

An estimated 75 volunteer, career, U.S. Forest and South Dakota Wildland firefighters are currently managing burns in and around the Black Hills.

Gee, where have i read this before?
Forestry operations in the western U.S., including thinning for hazardous fuel reduction, leave behind a staggering amount of wood waste. Much of this waste is non-merchantable tree stems, branches, and tops. These materials, called forest residues or “slash,” are usually yarded into large piles andburned for disposal. In the bark-beetleaffected areas of northern Colorado alone, it is estimated that there is a backlog of 120,000 piles of woody biomass slated for burning. Not only is this a waste of a potential resource, pile burning can exacerbate air quality problems and increase greenhouse gas emissions. It also leaves long-lived burn scars on the forest floor. If slash could be economically transported, processed, and used by a bioenergy facility, it could be transformed into energy and marketable products rather than burned for disposal. This may be a more environmentally and socially appealing alternative to open burning. [excerpt, press release, Rocky Mountain Research Station]
Creeks that haven’t flowed in the Black Hills for decades are running because 400 square miles of ponderosa pine have been turned by the bark beetle from transpiring millions of acre/feet of water into standing methane generators. Looks like natural selection from this 60-year observer of the Anthropocene; the Arkansas and Platte are at bank full in mid-July for the same reason.

In the Black Hills, Weyerhaeuser analogue, Neiman Enterprises is taking the last of the old growth ponderosa pine in the name of insect control and taking federal dollars to do it while the small diameter trees are left standing. Massive piles of slash littering the forest preside over skidder trails that slice up hillsides.

Multiple mycology surveys reveal disrupted, cattle-infested tree farms where humanity has destroyed whatever remains of the preceding 11,000 years of indigenous and ungulate management. Multiply that by the countless watersheds that European immigration destroyed in the United States and Canada by the number of those exploited in the name of disaster capitalism.

The latest trip through the Hills shows the Central Hills bug kill has yet to peak, Rapid City and Vanocker Canyon seeing new eruptions. Despite its efforts to stem the bark beetle Lawrence County is probably ground zero for ponderosa pine elimination right now. Weston and Crook County, Wyoming seeing large die-offs.

The Black Hills National Forest has announced that the mountain pine beetle is erasing a century of habitat mismanagement.
“We are seeing positive results as we continue our work with partners and conservation leaders throughout the Black Hills. We will continue to perform landscape scale treatments to make the forest more resilient to insects and fire,” said Craig Bobzien, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor. Results showed an overall decrease in tree mortality across the forest as a whole, but there are still several areas of significant beetle activity. Areas that have the highest current activity include the Northwest corner of the Forest around the Tinton area (approximately 8 miles west of Lead and 8 miles South of Spearfish), areas south and east of Custer and the west-central area near the South Dakota/Wyoming state line. [BHNF press release]
Ponderosa pine is not native to Black Hills.
Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), the most widely distributed pine in North America, experienced one of the most rapid and extensive of these post-glacial plant migrations. The eastern race of ponderosa pine (variety scopulorum) spread northward along the Rocky Mountains, starting at its northernmost known distribution in southern New Mexico and Arizona around 13,000 years ago, and reached central Montana only within the last millennium. The western race (variety ponderosa) experienced a parallel but less well-known migration along the Sierra Nevada, eventually mingling with the northernmost populations of the eastern race in the northern Rockies. [Climate Past as Prologue for Ponderosa Pines]
Neiman Enterprises is putting pressure on Republicans to increase logging of the old growth pine: critical habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Hey, where have i read this before?
In the first study, a team made up of French researchers obtained historical data describing the numbers and types of trees in Europe going back to 1750—they then used that information to create a model that showed the impact that forests have had on climate change. That allowed them to see dramatic forest loss in the early years, which carried on for nearly a century. But then, as more food was imported into Europe, forests began to rebound—but they were managed, which meant certain types of trees were favored over others for commercial reasons. This led to the displacement of a large percentage of broad-leaf trees with conifers, which the researchers note, hold more carbon, but since they have been harvested the carbon has been released. They also found that because fir trees have needles instead of leaves, and because they are darker, there have been significant changes in evapotranspiration and albedo, causing temperatures in forested areas to rise. [Studies show impact of forest management and deforestation on climate]
Researchers are saying insect activity doesn't make wildfire potential more likely in the Rocky Mountain Complex where fires and bugs have been clearing overgrowth.
The mountain pine beetles pinned inside Diana Six's lab in the Bioresearch Building on campus are little, the size of Tic Tacs. The research the University of Montana professor of forest entomology and pathology is doing on the insects is big. Beetles can tell the difference between a strong tree and a stressed one, and they are removing trees that are less able to adapt to climate change. Now, when beetles hit an area, people have a tendency to clear-cut for salvage, Six said. But downing every tree might be counterproductive if their hypothesis is correct. [The Missoulian]
Millions of acres are being farmed for ethanol by burning diesel fuel. Logging is diesel fuel-intensive. Diesel can be distilled from wood waste ground in the landing processing some with mobile pyrolysis systems.

Get cattle off the Black Hills National Forest and make it part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

Monday, February 8, 2016

NM emergency rooms adapting to surges in first-time patients under Obamacare

New Mexico has a high number of people with insurance through Medicaid and like South Dakota many are American Indians.
Full Medicaid coverage now extends to 748,000 adults and children — about 36 percent of New Mexico's 2.1 million residents, according to the state Human Service Department. New Mexico expects Medicaid enrollment to expand by June 2017 to 38 percent of the population. About 13 percent of residents remain uninsured. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
342,000 patients visited the emergency departments of the three biggest New Mexico medical providers in 2015. Forty percent were Medicaid patients.
Nationwide, three-quarters of emergency physicians have seen ER visits surge among Medicaid and other newly insured people since Obamacare took effect, according to a survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Many of these patients believed they had no other place to go and some had never gone anywhere else to receive health care. Thus, the Medicaid expansion has saved Albuquerque hospitals millions of dollars, because hospitals are now compensated for those patients, data compiled by the health systems show. Steve McKernan, CEO of UNMH, said his ER staffers have made many referrals to Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless and First Nations Community Healthsource. [Albuquerque Journal]
I like the idea of rolling the funding for Tricare, Medicare, the IHS and the VA together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. Reproductive freedoms should be included unconditionally just like the military does under Tricare.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Poppy Bush directed JFK assassination

I'm afraid for American democracy.

While the men (and women) behind some of the biggest crimes against humanity still not only evade justice but live under government protection replete with golden parachutes, their spawn, Jeb Bush and Liz Cheney, spin the revolving door of politics.

Anyone who believes the GOP and Paul Ryan wouldn't whack President Obama and Vice President Biden to ascend to the White House is delusional.

If i could go back in time i'd kill baby Prescott Bush.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Coal crash leaves Wyoming hospitals lobbying for Medicaid expansion

In a quiet vote the finance committee and trustees for the Campbell County Hospital in Gillette agreed to write off more than $1 million in noncollectable debt for November and December.
At the midway point of the year, the hospital has written off about $12.2 million in bad debt, estimated Dalton Huber, chief financial officer at Campbell County Health. “It’s getting worse,” Huber said simply. The state Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee recently voted against expanding Medicaid programs through the Affordable Care Act in Wyoming. It may force smaller hospitals to close, the governor said in recommending the expansion of Medicaid.
Read the rest here.

Gillette is a scary place. It's where ecocide is encouraged and mercury from coal burning power plants is released into South Dakota's watersheds and beyond.

And, from an editorial in the Lee-owned Casper Star:
Last week the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee voted down some $268 million in federal funding for Medicaid expansion in Wyoming ... again. Wyoming hospitals wrote off nearly $100 million in charity and uncollectable charges last year, partly because the ER is the provider of choice for many of the roughly 20,000 Wyoming people who would be covered by Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion is no longer a political third rail. If the Legislature has a better plan, they should roll it out. If not, it’s time to accept Medicaid expansion.
Read that here.

A policy brief submitted to a legislative panel by the Wyoming Department of Health said Medicaid expansion would mean a $11.4 million savings for state government.

Citing studies from the Pew Charitable Trust even the conservative Sheridan Press is urging the legislature to expand Medicaid coverage.

Because of the race hatred projected at an African American president and at American Indians another red moocher state South Dakota would rather die of cancer, mercury and lead poisoning instead of adopting Medicaid expansion.