Saturday, April 30, 2016

Senator Tester 'cutting through the gridlock'

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and this blog follow each other on Twitter. As rail coal traffic dies Tester wants to restore the Hiawatha Line. He and his colleague, Tom Udall (D-NM) are leading efforts to improve the Indian Health Service.
Dear Larry,

For too long politics has forced Congress into a gridlock.

Today elected officials are more interested in scoring political points, than doing what is right for the folks they represent.

But last week, I helped lead a bipartisan group of Senators through that gridlock and we delivered for our state's energy future, outdoor economy, and transportation infrastructure.

A decade ago, America was a net importer of energy. Today, America is more energy secure than ever - thanks not only to oil and gas development, but also dramatic advances in wind and solar energy. This week, I joined my colleagues to pass a bill that builds on this success. The Energy Modernization Policy Act, invests in an all-of-the above energy strategy that includes wind, solar, geothermal, oil, gas, and coal.

This bill will cut red tape on the permitting process for renewable energy projects and it prioritizes clean coal research and development.

At a time when the coal industry is facing competition from low natural gas prices and changing consumer demand, this bill takes steps forward to protect our good-paying jobs and it addresses the bizarre changes in weather patterns that are threatening Montana's agriculture and outdoor industries.

Speaking of Montana's great outdoors, this bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The LWCF is used to increase public access to public land for folks who love to hunt, fish, and hike.

Additionally, this bill helps establish more shooting ranges on our public lands, and it requires most BLM and Forest Service lands to be open for hunting, fishing, and shooting.

But the week of bipartisanship didn't stop when we passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act.

The Senate also made significant investments in Montana's airports by reauthorizating the Federal Aviation Administration.

I was able to successfully add several amendments to strengthen our national security to this bill, including requiring folks to look at the feasibility of installing the most up-to-date security equipment at all Montana airports.

I also was able to pass an amendment that doubles the number of security teams monitoring baggage claims and increases law enforcement training for active shooter situations.

These amendments will make traveling safer and invest in critical transportation infrastructure.

It was the a breath of fresh air in the Senate, and going forward I will continue to reach across the aisle and ensure that Congress is doing what's best for Montana.

It's an honor to serve you in the U.S. Senate,


Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's time to talk about George

On the passing of Harriet Kurtz, Lizabeth Craig, Reva Palmerton Kurtz and Bill Nelson it's time to reveal that i have a half-brother born in 1943 who is the son of my mom before she met and married my dad.

Mom didn't talk until 2009 when she was outed by her sister, Liz after Dad cut off what i now believe was blackmail that Mom was paying.

It's an evolving story and this blog is as good as anywhere to tell it.

These letters were forwarded to me in 2009 from my maternal cousins, Jane Mountain Nielsen and Mary Mountain, daughters of Norma Craig Mountain. I have edited them:
Mary has been doing some genealogy online for both sides of our family and she was contacted by a man that says he has a friend that knew your mom from Wyoming. he had the correct names and says he emailed Twig and didn't hear back from her so he then emailed Mary. this man sent Mary a long letter with details and we didn't know what to do. if you like i can forward the letter to you. it has some interesting and rather shocking information in it, so may be you don't want it. and of course, with the internet it could be a hoax. Let me know what you want to do.

Dear Ms. Mountain:

I am writing in hope that your genealogy and family history interest will allow you to join forces with me and solve a mystery.

To begin, by way of introduction, my name is Charles P. Moriarty (Charlie).   
My wife Mickey and I have two children and five grandchildren. I have just recently retired from a 42 year career at the Omaha Public Power District, retiring as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. I relay all of this in an attempt to show my honesty and seriousness.

I was born and grew up in Omaha. I lived at 4705 North 29 Street along with my parents and eight siblings.

Now, I will get into the heart of the matter.

Growing up across the street at 4702 North 29 Street was a Schmitz family. There were three children in the Schmitz family -- two girls and a boy. All the Schmitz children were adopted at the Saint James Orphanage in Omaha Nebraska. The boy's name was George B. Schmitz. George was and is my best friend. Our friendship extends well beyond 50 years. George was born in May 1943.

George Schmitz is 65 years of age and lives in St. Louis Missouri. He and his wife Rosalie have been married over 40 years and have three children and ten grandchildren. George is a successful business owner of the Surety Refrigeration Company.

About 1990 following the deaths of his adoptive parents George began an interest in learning of his natural parents. This led him to meetings with the Catholic Social Services Saint James Orphanage. He was given several pieces of information about his mother. Those pieces of information and a year's research led me to suggest that George's mother was a Harriet M. Craig, now Harriet M Kurtz of Elkton South Dakota.

George contacted the Orphanage and relayed my findings. Harriet M. Craig was confirmed as George's mother. George excitedly asked the Orphanage to attempt a meeting with his mother. The Orphanage contacted Mrs. Kurtz who indicated that she would not meet and did not wish any further contact.

George has honored his mother's wish for 18 years. He will continue to do so. George is not the kind of person who would interrupt another's life. It is a difficult acceptance.

A year ago, George Schmitz again contacted the St. James Orphanage seeking information about his natural father. He was given a few facts -- Harriet conceived George in Wyoming while visiting there rather than in Columbus or Omaha Nebraska. The father was a serviceman. Harriet relayed the father's name to the Orphanage and it is part of the official file.

George asked the Orphanage to attempt a contact with the father. The result of the attempted contact was -- the father could not be found -- the father was not in the Social Security Death Index -- and the father's surname was so rare that in a white pages search the name resulted in only six listings in six different States.

Saint James Orphanage has also relayed that the entire Adoption File will be released to George after the deaths of both the natural parents. And, as you can deduce, if the father is not found, the file will never be released.

This leaves George in the state of having only one source to ever know who his father was -- Mrs. Harriet Craig Kurtz. However, George is adamant that neither he nor the Orphanage contact Mrs. Kurtz.

Now, you know the "why" of my inquiry.

I hope that I have not relayed something of which you did not have previous knowledge.

Can you be of assistance? I believe your mother was the sister of Harriet Craig.

My first hope would be to simply learn the name of the father - now.

However, a scenario by which the name is determined, written down and kept for relay to George at a future date would be acceptable.

The worst thing would be to have the name of George's father never be determinable.

Please help.

Ms. Mountain, I have tried to be straightforward in this effort -- and so I must also tell you that I wrote a letter of introduction to Leslie Kurtz Leech a couple weeks ago. I did not relay the above story to her. I simply asked if she would exchange e-mails on the Craig family. I have had no response.
George Schmitz built Surety Refrigeration in St. Louis. We've talked on the phone: he's Republican, catholic and has a big family.

My sister Leslie (Twig) has met George and they enjoy a cordial personal relationship.

I had a whiff of the story in 2005 after my Aunt Frances died but after Dad cut off my Aunt Liz Craig's 'allowance' Mom had set up she caved in 2009. It solved so many mysteries in my own history.

Mom gave George up for adoption with Catholic Social Services in Omaha and when she spilled her guts to Dad and me she intimated that his conception was not consensual but she was not a reliable witness after 2009.

My Aunt Liz's betrayal stuck a knife in my dad. Mom carried it for nearly 70 years and Dad only learned about it just months before he died.

Aunt Liz (we kids called her Babe) went to Spain with us in the late 50s to '61 on Dad's dime unbeknownst to him.

For some reason i deleted a post in late 2013 about Babe's funeral in Omaha that included pictures. Damned if i know why it's gone. There is reportedly a photograph taken in 1942 or '43 of a pregnant Harriet somewhere.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

OKC bombing was just another day in the ditch

Twenty one years ago i had survived a divorce, had a daughter, my little sister was killed in a car/bicycle collision, my best friend was flooded out of his home and then Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Timothy McVeigh=Cliven Bundy=Ted Nugent.

Let's review:

Timothy McVeigh was 27, Eric Robert Rudolph, part of the Christian Identity movement, was 30, Eric Harris was 18 and Dylan Klebold, 17, Seung-Hui Cho was 23, Nidal Hasan was 39, Jared Loughner, 22. Average age--25 years.

All seven men were victims of bullying, isolation, and ostracism. All seven had histories of extensive video game exposure and easy access to firearms. Distrust of government was a factor in most, if not all of these episodes. Ted Kaczinski, likely master of the minds in all these events, punctuates this post since he resided in Montana, a red state when, at 36, his activism morphed. His case changes the average age to 26.5.

Bruce Edwards Ivins, the 55 year-old Zionist and anti-abortion anthrax weaponizer, deserves dyshonorable mention maybe because Maryland is a solidly blue state.

Eric Frein was 31: his right wing views led him to assassinate a state trooper and the attempted murder of another.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings, subscribed to right-wing American publications that espouse white supremacy and government conspiracy theories.

Bombs, wildfires, and mass shootings are just some of the tools of terror. It's likely that the FBI is stretched too thin to get ahead of the curve and it is hiding the scope of its findings to mask the extent of the hatred.

The sovereigns are overwhelmingly white christians using a maladapted interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to rationalize its commitment to a pending race war using links to the federal storming of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and culminating in the Oklahoma City bombing. Many are either convicted felons no longer able to vote or have been marginalized by those who believe that the democratic process is ineffective especially since a person of color is President of the United States.

The American Left poses no violent threat to the United States while the hate-filled right wing of the Republican Party always will.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

NM weighing cannabis profits with local control

The Santa Fe Reporter's Peter St. Cyr won a lawsuit that opened New Mexico's cannabis growers to journalism's watchdog spotlight saying the state's Department of Health was violating public records law by keeping producers’ names secret.

He and this blog follow each other on Twitter.
New Mexico cannabis producers are required to operate as nonprofits, but the model is more of a myth than a reality. Late last month, Ultra Health opened its fifth state location in the back of a self-described hippie smoke shop in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood. In February, the company announced plans to construct two medical cannabis facilities and a cultivation and production facility for the Paiute Tribe in Las Vegas, Nev. The firm says it also hopes to announce deals with New Mexico tribes in the future and just last week sent out a press release about a research project in partnership with an Israeli company.
Fruit of the Earth Organics founders Lyra and Juan Barron run a debt-free family operation and insist they’re not interested in shared management companies or outside capital. Lyra says the nonprofit requirement keeps the focus on patient service rather than profit goals, “which is really a greed factor.” “It’s like a gold rush, and rather disheartening and disappointing, but then that’s the trend everywhere,” she says. “What a crazy world, where helping an epidemic of people trying to recover from sicknesses predominantly caused by environmental and food toxicity is used to create another profit industry.” [excerpt, St. Cyr, Growing Pains: How money flows from a nonprofit cannabis producer in Santa Fe to a for-profit Arizona company]
In my view Colorado shafted her medical growers to expand the industry there; also, edibles should only be available to patients suffering from debilitating diseases, disorders or conditions, be dispensed by pharmacists and taxed like other prescriptions.

Local control is essential to keeping profits from legal cannabis out of the hands of Big Dope and working for the states' stakeholders where it's legal.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is running for president as a Libertarian. In a Politico interview about the Veep rumors swirling around current Gov. Susana Martinez:
"This is a Sarah Palin-esque kind of choice. She’s served as governor of New Mexico for about the same amount of time,” Johnson said. “I think there were lessons learned [from 2008]."
His contention that legal cannabis can reverse rates of opioid overdose deaths is being borne out by new data. Cannabis is no longer listed as a gateway drug on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) website.

Tight control of the cannabis industry is the only way legislatures will legalize. Vermont's is struggling to find compromise even as favorite son, Bernie Sanders used legalization in part to capture the win in Wisconsin's presidential primary.

As the Drug Enforcement Administration ponders the descheduling of cannabis it's time to enter compacts with the tribes and pueblos, let them distribute on the rez, on off-reservation properties and let local growers market in the town of Las Vegas where revenue could be generated for historic preservation.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DEA edging closer to rescheduling cannabis

In a story published in the Rapid City Journal, Alex White Plume said, “When they cut my crop down they spread the seeds something awful.” 'They' were federal agents who raided his reservation home and cut his crop of cannabis using weed-whackers with metal blades.
In a lengthy memo to lawmakers, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it hopes to decide whether to change the federal status of marijuana "in the first half of 2016." According to the memo, in the years between 2010 and 2015, the government provided marijuana for research purposes to an average of nine researchers per year. Given the rapidly changing marijuana policy landscape, experts say that level of support is nowhere near enough to keep up with research demand. In addition to detailed information about the quantity and type of marijuana the federal government makes available to researchers, the memo outlines the steps the government is taking to improve coordination among federal agencies on data quality. [Washington Post]
Governor Kate Brown of Oregon just signed a bill that removes state criminal liability from banks and credit unions that do business with the legal cannabis industry.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin primary promoting cannabis reform. Public radio personality Rick Steves just endorsed California's Adult Use of Cannabis Act.

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 and pueblos, let them distribute on the rez, on off-reservation properties and in Deadwood or in New Mexico's case in the town of Las Vegas where revenue could be generated for historic preservation.

Montana should consider similar statutes allowing Butte to be the non-tribal market tagging revenue for historic preservation enlisting the growers who have suffered under that state's unwieldy medical cannabis law.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ted was right: America is the world's merchant of death

Ted Kaczynski knew it all along: America is killing the rest of the world just to enrich the richest one percent.
People in Lincoln knew him simply as "Ted." To them, he was the odd recluse who ate rabbits, lived without power and rode his bike into town to check out books from the library. His victims were random, but most were connected to technology, timber, advertising and psychology in some way. His motive appeared to be rage against the impacts of the Industrial Revolution on nature, but his journals contained many contradictions. ['Hiding in plain sight': Lincoln residents recall arrest of infamous Unabomber 20 years later ]
Today, Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota practice-bombs parts of four states, including Montana. Republican lawmakers support a multi-trillion dollar war machine that is bankrupting America.

Scientists have linked a climate crisis to the abandonment of parts of the Southwest US. To drive Russia into recession and create a backlash against Vladimir Putin the US fracking industry has put America at risk to climate disruptions and earthquakes.

In the US alone there are at least 15,000 abandoned uranium mines leaching radiation into the biosphere. Creationism is accepted in red states as a realistic alternative to science; and, discrimination against minorities is still widely practiced. Fourth Amendment protections are being stripped and any asshole can grow up to be President, no experience required.

Plastics derived from petroleum are causing gender dysphoria and endocrine disruptions in children and teens. The burning of fossil fuels is making war on the Earth. Ethnic cleansing is being visited against the First Nations and First Americans.

The extirpation of bison, cougars and wolves has created explosive wildfire conditions in the Greater Missouri Basin. Wildlife Services, part of the US Department of Agriculture, wants to exterminate a wolf pack that killed nineteen elk in a Wyoming refuge that feeds and over-winters the ungulates. Elk in the region are dying en masse from Chronic Wasting Disease that researchers say results from the federal government feeding of elk in close proximity.

Some wildlife managers want to treat elk and bison with PZP, a birth control method administered with dart guns, that has shown to be effective in feral horses and burros.

Kaczynski forecast all of this and acted on his fears inspiring a generation of white supremacists, militia wannabees, sovereign citizens...and some progressives.

So, reading through Ted's psych eval revealed some similarities with my own, where parents and nuns conspired to permit me to leapfrog fifth grade: "as the result of testing conducted in the fifth grade, it was determined that he [Kaczynski] could skip the sixth grade and enroll with the seventh grade class."

Here is the link to Ted's essay later described as the Unabomber Manifesto. It looks to me like an early forecast (and evidence) of the anthropogenic trophic cascade that's currently underway.

Kaczynski's brother, David ratted out Ted to federal authorities. His interview on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show can be heard here.

Rewild the West.