Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Heartland Expressway gets infrastructure grant while Amtrak scrambles

Construction on the estimated half-billion dollar Heartland Expressway connecting Rapid City with I-80 in Nebraska and I-25 in Wyoming or Colorado is not completely stalled but it is glacial.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation will receive some $18.3 million from a federal infrastructure grant to convert about 14.6 miles of US 385 between Chadron and Alliance from an existing two-lane into a four-lane divided highway.

The speed limit on Nebraska 71 is 60 miles per hour on the 75 miles of bone-dry high prairie grassland south of Hot Springs between Crawford and Scottsbluff. It's potentially deadly during a blizzard. US18/US85 between Maverick Junction, South Dakota and Lusk, Wyoming is no better; besides, I-25, especially through the Denver metro, sucks at biblical proportions so does flying through DIA with its likelihood of a strip or body cavity search.

In 1921 my maternal grandparents honeymooned in Hot Springs riding the train from Humphrey, Nebraska and my grandfather was a career conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad. I have at least one vague memory from my toddlerhood going over the Continental Divide in Colorado while riding the California Zephyr between Omaha and Emeryville, California near Castle AFB where my dad was stationed and the place of my birth.

Now, growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there have been many ideas to connect Cheyenne all the way down to Albuquerque, New Mexico with a commuter rail line. But getting the public, local and state governments all on the same page with the details has proved difficult. In December, the commission also requested nearly $9 million dollars from the state to conduct a 2-year public engagement campaign on the premise of a Front Range passenger rail along I-25. It was granted that money in this year’s Senate Bill 1, a large transportation funding measure. [KUNC]
Meanwhile the Trump Organization is pledging to kill passenger rail service while traffic between the Black Hills and Denver continues to increase as does the volume between Denver and Santa Fe.
The group, the local chapter for Americans for Prosperity, which is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes, fanned out and began strategically knocking on doors. Their targets: voters most likely to oppose a local plan to build light-rail trains, a traffic-easing tunnel and new bus routes. [How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country]
Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control. Equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico and to El Paso. Put the Rail Runner into downtown Denver to connect with the California Zephyr, maybe even into Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I get the idea of a future I-25E but now is the time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trump is blackmailing America



It’s impossible the Obama Administration didn’t know Donald Trump was being installed by a hostile government.

The tarmac meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton was about Vlad the Impaler having dox on Barack Obama or Michelle Obama. When Obama ridiculed Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner that was the last straw so Trump got even by blackmailing the Obama Administration, the CIA and the FBI who were laundering money through the Trump Organization.

Hillary Clinton was muzzled by the Obama White House so was Jim Comey. Now Trump and the Mob have their eyes on dox about every single American.

The Deep State put Trump in the White House because they're the Mob, too and he’s leveling the other guys’ poppy fields and heroin distribution with bombers from South Dakota while leaving the friendly opiate trade to flourish. The US is still in Afghanistan because of its heroin trade that finances the Deep State. The Trump Organization is an equal opportunity money launderer doing it for CIA and other Deep State actors for decades.

North Korea doles out meth like it was candy. Trump is simply seeking a direct route to Kim’s North Korean narcotics manufacturing and distribution networks. Ending some military exercises frees Kim to distribute over a wider market and launder the proceeds through the Trump Organization.

Trump hasn’t released his financials because they show the paper trail leading to every White House since probably Eisenhower. Fred Trump is a JFK assassination conspirator hence those dox are being held up, too.

Frankly, America can’t handle the truth.

No higher being will ever be anything but predatory. After painting Barack Obama as the antichrist we're watching evangelicals fawn over Trump as their Righter of Wrongs. It's horrifying in its duplicity. The End Times fulfill a prophesy and welcome a supernatural extraterrestrial to create a one-world government. It's dystopian fantasy run amok.

Putin and Mossad have dox on every GOPer in Congress. Trump has ordered a plan to declare martial law and suspend elections. Expect another October Surprise.









Monday, June 4, 2018

USAF mercenaries making country less safe



Just say it: radical christianic terrorism.

In 2013 Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, an important figure in national security and commander of the 20th Air Force based at FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming was fired.

Overall, Carey was responsible for three wings of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles: 9,600 people and 450 missiles. FE Warren AFB is a participant in the Combat Raider exercise just concluding in the Powder River Training Complex.
Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman deserted to Mexico. The service members accused of involvement in the LSD ring were from the 90th Missile Wing, which operates one-third of the 400 Minuteman 3 missiles that stand “on alert” 24/7 in underground silos scattered across the northern Great Plains. [Security troops at Wyoming's F.E. Warren nuclear missile base used LSD]
i drove by this incident on CO71 caused by the 320th Missile Squadron of the 90th Missile Wing based at FE Warren.
The accident happened May 17, 2014, but the Air Force only explained the consequences on Friday after repeated inquiries by the AP starting in January 2015. The Air Force said the accident caused no injuries and did not risk public safety. The damaged missile was removed from its silo. The launch site is operated by the 320th Missile Squadron of the 90th Missile Wing in a remote area of northeastern Colorado. [Air Force: Human Error Damaged Nuclear-Armed Missile in Silo]
Thomas Jefferson wrote that a standing army would lead to military adventurism and ultimately turn on its own citizens; now, America has become the Hamiltonian empire Jefferson warned us about. Anyone who believes America is safer because ending the draft leading to a service filled with mercenaries is delusional.
The Office of the Inspector General found that Sandia had illegally used taxpayer money to hire former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and two other consultants as part of its efforts to lobby the Obama administration and key members of Congress for an extension of its management contract. Sandia in August 2015 agreed to repay the federal government $4.79 million to settle the allegations. In May 2017, President Donald Trump appointed Wilson as secretary of the Air Force. [Public Integrity]
On Trump Organization orders bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota are targeting alleged Taliban drug facilities to prevent harm to "innocent Afghan civilians" all the while escalating its war on civilians. Anyone seeking retaliation could roll a truck bomb into any soft target after a drone or B-1 or some jock stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico targets a wedding party or religious service.

Service members are no longer serving their country: they're serving a despot, a death industry and themselves.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

New Mexico wildfire season begins in earnest


After a string of hot, dry days a change to cooler temperatures, higher humidities, maybe even thunderstorms through this weekend could slow two major wildfires burning in New Mexico.

The grass and ponderosa pine-driven Ute Park Fire burning near Cimarron is nearing 30,000 acres, has forced evacuations, is expected to grow even more then burn back into its footprint and lay down.

The Buzzard Fire in the Gila National Forest has cleared some 24,000 acres.

Ponderosa pine sucks millions of gallons from aquifer recharges, needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt. Fact is: it’s far, far cheaper to bill the feds after a wildfire than it is to conduct fuel treatments. That’s because it's less litigious to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Every incident like the Ute Park Fire is a teaching moment: episodes where humans are humbled by climate disruptions created by our own failures. People who build in the wildland-urban interface do so at their own risk and not because they expect the feds to bail them out because insurance costs too much.

There are no mysteries here. Not talking about fuel treatments during a wildfire is akin to not talking about background checks during a mass shooting. The solutions are simple. We must talk more about how stakeholders and policy makers interact with voters instead of reacting to an industry-driven executive branch being forged by a Zinke-powered bellows. We'll adapt or die.

Want to slow planet warming and flatten the Keeling Curve?

New Mexico has been home to a much larger aspen community in the fairly recent past. Clear the second growth ponderosa pine, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids.




Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Minnesota DFLer calls for legalization

Democrats in blue states already understand the added value of talking legal cannabis during their campaigns and some red state Democrats get it, too; but so far this election cycle South Dakota Democrats believe that state is just too fragile for cannabis rights.

DFLer Jon Applebaum is the House Deputy Minority Leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
As the chief author of Minnesota’s first ever bill to legalize recreational marijuana, I think the best path ahead for health, personal liberty and economic opportunity is clearly right in front of us. Through full legalization of marijuana – for both medicinal and recreational use – we have an opportunity to create a true billion-dollar made-in-Minnesota marijuana economy. The next governor and legislature must courageously work to eliminate our failed criminal prohibition in order for Minnesota to realize the significant benefits that full legalization has brought to a growing number of states. Full legalization will not only improve availability for those who count this product for their health, but will create phenomenal economic benefits for our entire state, of which both the public and private sectors are currently missing out. [LeafLine struggles highlights need for marijuana legalization in Minnesota]
Black market cannabis not tested or subject to inspection makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life/safety concerns.

Unless Democrats weave cannabis into their platform at their state convention and arch-conservatives run for offices outside the Greedy Old Party it's curtains for the South Dakota Democratic Party in November.

Minnesotans suffering from autism and obstructive sleep apnea will be able to seek relief with therapeutic cannabis starting in July.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Majority of New Mexicans want to legalize

Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and New Mexico less safe.
Sixty-three percent of 420 New Mexicans who responded to a poll in March said they would support a bill in the Legislature to legalize, tax and regulate sales of marijuana to adults age 21 and over. Those who “strongly support” legalization, 46 percent, had grown by 6 percentage points since the last survey in 2016. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Michelle Lujan Grisham worked with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.
Lujan Grisham said if she is elected governor she would sign a recreational cannabis bill into law if it included certain conditions. One of the conditions she would require is that the bill provides protection for medical cannabis, which often has lower levels of THC than recreational cannabis. She said the bill would need to include regulation of edibles. [Farmington Daily Times]
It is the view of this blog that edibles should only be available to patients suffering from debilitating diseases, disorders or conditions and be dispensed by pharmacists and taxed like other prescriptions.

Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life/safety concerns.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Daughter #2 signs with Morningside


Just the thought of a daughter living in Sioux City Fucking Iowa is nightmare-inducing.

She's the tall one on the left in the photo.
On why she chose Morningside College: "It was really just about the coach (Beth Donnelly). I met with her and she was so phenomenal," Kurtz said. "I've always loved volleyball, and I felt a connection. I'm really excited about next year."

On playing volleyball at the college level: "It's going to be a challenge. I got my summer workout sheet and went 'ahhh,' she said with a laugh. "But it will be okay. I have always been competitive, and it will be so much fun."
She has already been busy at Central and joined her Cobbler compatriots in walkouts in memory of seventeen people murdered at a Florida school.
Central High School Senior Rose Lamoureaux says, "The idea originated with the Majory Stoneman Douglas students in Florida after the massacre happened. It was theater students actually who started this. They decided they wanted to be heard. Their voices were going to be heard. It spread really quickly because we feel that our safety is the most important thing because it's a learning environment. This is where we should go to feel safe." [KEVN teevee]
Some members of Rapid City's law enforcement industry believe more guns in schools is no solution to violence and may exacerbate tensions.


The Pine Needle talked with Principal Michael Talley about students’ participation in the National School Walkout as well as how the school is keeping students safe.

By Claire Kurtz

In lieu of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida leading a National School Walkout on March 14th to protest current gun laws, I sat down to talk with our principal, Michael Talley, about students at Central participating.

He told me he’s working with various students to organize a safe experience: “I don’t want students walking out in traffic so I’m working with different students to have a sit-in type of event. We could meet in the auditorium or the gym and students could get up and talk about the gun violence and voice their opinion.” He’s completely supportive and wants kids to get involved, though he does want it to be the students’ movement.

We also talked about the the A.L.I.C.E. training that schools are implementing in their classes. Teachers are training their students to prepare for a shooter: leave the class if the shooter is in the opposite side of the building, barricade the door if he/she is close, and if the shooter manages to break in, grab backpacks, grab chairs, books, computers and hurl them his/her way. The number one rule is don’t do nothing. Your lives are in your hands.

I told Talley that no matter how much we prepare, no one knows how they would react until they’re in that moment. The sheriff deputy during the Florida shooting stayed outside, did not go into the school. If cops with the most training can’t take down an active shooter, how can you ask kids to do that? He reassured me, “Even if you’re not comfortable, I’m sure the majority of the male students in your class will take action and make sure the job gets done.” I also asked him how he felt about arming teachers and he told me that he “could think of more cons than pros. Teachers are here to teach and it’s not their job. We have two armed liaison officers who can report to the scene in seconds.”

The surviving students Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are leading a second National School Walkout on April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.

Her older sister is leaving South Dakota for blue state Minnesota at the end of July.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Obama statue at risk to Rapid City's racists


As James Van Nuys puts the finishing touches on his statue of Barack Obama Democrats are privately discussing its safety in racist Rapid City.

43 presidential statues already sit or stand in bronze on corners downtown and the City of Presidents Foundation leaders want to focus on the message it will send to visitors without invoking the town's long history of bigotry. Obama would join Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter as US presidents who have won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

In the early twentieth century after President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House white supremacists began erecting statuary commemorating and celebrating treason in the United States. Mount Rushmore is the state's premier example of white supremacist ideology. Its sculptor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Fact is: most of the downtown statues depict slave owners, at least one child rapist, war criminals and figures in history that ordered the murders of American Indians. Confederate flags routinely fly in Rapid City showing support for racism in like-minded states, South Carolina and Mississippi. Many more come out during the Sturgis Rally. Calling him a rapist some earth haters are calling for the removal of Rapid City's statue of Bill Clinton.

Van Nuys is saying the Obama casting will be completed by the end of summer.

Right to life? Not if you're non-white in South Dakota. Read the comments under KEVN teevee's Facebook post and witness the racial prejudice and hatred for yourselves.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Lujan Grisham talking legal cannabis

Imagine a Democrat in South Dakota leading with legal cannabis during a gubernatorial campaign.

Michelle Lujan Grisham worked with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.
Lujan Grisham said if she is elected governor she would sign a recreational cannabis bill into law if it included certain conditions. One of the conditions she would require is that the bill provides protection for medical cannabis, which often has lower levels of THC than recreational cannabis. She said the bill would need to include regulation of edibles. [Farmington Daily Times]
It is the view of this blog that edibles should only be available to patients suffering from debilitating diseases, disorders or conditions and be dispensed by pharmacists and taxed like other prescriptions.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Loss of New Mexico passenger rail is a failure of conscience


Our Lady of the Arroyo and this interested party were in Lamy yesterday and took the opportunity to have a long talk with Bob Sarr before picking up a couple who got on Amtrak's Southwest Chief at Chicago.
Amtrak said Friday it plans to close the sales window at the century-old Mission Revival-style station, a casualty of changing ticket-purchasing habits. The station itself, which functions as the Santa Fe stop on the Southwest Chief route between Chicago and Los Angeles, will remain on the line, despite some concerns to the contrary voiced recently by Santa Fe County officials. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built the Lamy station in 1909. The ticket window is the second train-related loss to strike the small community southeast of Santa Fe in quick succession. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
The State of New Mexico bought the track bed from just north of Lamy to Behlen from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway when the Rail Runner was built. BNSF owns virtually all the rail rights of way in New Mexico.
When it took on debt to build the Rail Runner, the state opted to shift major payments on the train until the last years of those bonds, with the money primarily coming out of the state road fund. Now linking Santa Fe to Albuquerque and points south, the Rail Runner’s declining ridership has led fiscal hawks in particular to argue the commuter rail system amounts to a boondoggle. That means the state would pay off the Rail Runner over a longer period of time — for three more years, through 2030. It also means the state would start paying off a bigger share of the debt sooner, smoothing out the big spikes in payments. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
My maternal grandfather was a career conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad. I have at least one vague memory from my toddlerhood going over the Continental Divide in Colorado while riding the California Zephyr between Omaha and Emeryville, California near Castle AFB where my dad was stationed and the place of my birth. Now, growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
The federal Department of Transportation approved a grant request from Colfax County under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, better known as TIGER. The $16 million award, combined with millions of dollars in state and corporate investments, will “fund critical repair work in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado,” said a news release issued Wednesday from New Mexico’s congressional delegation. “The Southwest Chief is an engine of economic growth in New Mexico that connects rural communities from Raton to Gallup,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in the release. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham also praised the grant. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
The absence of a solution to the rail crisis in New Mexico represents a massive failure of conscience.

Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control and it's time to equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico then on to El Paso and put the Rail Runner into downtown Denver to connect with the California Zephyr, maybe into Cheyenne, Wyoming. It's time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Who's with me?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kleeb: Keystone XL will never be built


Say shit and it comes sliding in on a shovel.

Nearly twice as much as originally believed or some 407,000 gallons of oil leaked last year from a faulty Keystone pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota just days before Nebraska officials announced its decision on an alternative for an additional TransCanada route.

Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska says support for TransCanada's day in court is facing its final argument.
"The Keystone XL pipeline will never be built," said Kleeb. "TransCanada clearly does not have the support necessary for this project, since the company could secure just 500,000 bpd of commitments from shippers on its 830,000 bpd-capacity pipeline — and that's only with a giant subsidy gift directly from the Canadian government. What's more, the landowners' lawsuit challenging the Nebraska Public Service Commission's approval of an *illegal* pipeline route is still set to be heard."
Read it all here.

Further construction of KXL through Nebraska won't happen for at least another year.
Landowners on Monday submitted a 36-page brief to the Nebraska Supreme Court, asking the court to nullify the Public Service Commission’s approval in November of a route for the pipeline across the state.
Get the rest here.

Besides, adding pipelines makes Vladimir Putin grumpy.

The same geology that forces engineers to rebuild I-90 through West River South Dakota every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.

While East River, South Dakota has been destroyed by industrial agriculture West River remains mostly intact but that is changing.
After years of frenetic drilling, the environmental footprint on the reservation is visible in all corners. Flaring, the practice of burning off excess natural gas that’s too expensive to get to market, is evident throughout the reservation. Environmental disasters like the pipeline leak in 2014 that spilled 1 million gallons of salt water that contaminated Lake Sakakawea are not uncommon. The contaminated water, a waste byproduct of oil production, flowed through a ravine and into Bear Den Bay of Lake Sakakawea. These same problems could occur along the shores of Lake Oahe. Is the State of South Dakota prepared to handled the higher traffic rates, the environmental concerns, and the increase in crime that follow these booms?
Read the rest here.
Meade County highway superintendent Lincoln Shuck said the six-year-old road haul agreement, signed by another county road superintendent and a largely different county commission, needs to be re-examined before any use of roads by TransCanada vehicles begins. “It should be revisited whenever there is a new commission so everyone’s on board,” Shuck said.
Read more here.

After Manape LaMere renounced his citizenship, disenrolled from the Yankton Sioux Tribe, and gave up his Social Security number he joined the resistance to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline at the Wiconi Un Tipi Camp near Lower Brule.
He describes the current state of American-tribal relations as that of an apartheid government toward an oppressed minority. To break free from that dysfunctional relationship, tribes must break free from America completely in order to be treated as equals, LaMere said.
Read the Kevin Abourezk story at indianz.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has created a website to raise funding and awareness for the dispossession of treaty land, natural resources and to provide information about the nation's battles against the Dakota Excess and Keystone XL Pipelines.

Photos are of Caffeine Dreams taken in 2013 before they moved from their downtown Omaha location.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cash settlement with New Mexico hospital group likely powering Tatewin Means' AG run

According to the journalist who covered the case for the Santa Fe New Mexican, court records in a lawsuit brought by Russell Means' widow state it was dismissed some time ago with mutual agreement from all the parties likely signaling a settlement.
The defendants named in the suit are the Endoscopy Center of Santa Fe, Dr. Fenimore Sartorius, Rodeo Family Medicine, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, Northern New Mexico Gastroenterology Associates, Dr. Cornelius Dooley and physician assistant Bonnie Giachetti.
Read the rest here.

interested party wrote about it in 2014.

Pearl Means' ties to her stepkids were not known at post time.

The author of interested party attended South Dakota State University with Peggy Phelps: third wife of the late American Indian activist Russell Means and Tatewin Means' mother.

Means has challenged Randy Seiler for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. She is currently the attorney general for the Oglala Lakota Oyate and lives in Rapid City.




Sunday, April 15, 2018

Another round of geoengineering in PRTC scheduled for May



In the name of geoengineering or albedo modification the Air Force routinely sprays into the atmosphere over the ocean and above parts of at least four states an aerosol cocktail of silver iodide, lead iodide, aluminum oxide, barium, frozen carbon dioxide, common salt, water and soot burning hazardous waste in pits concocted at US Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota.
Combat Raider, a large force exercise involving various military aircraft, is scheduled to begin May 15 in the Powder River Training Complex, and will conclude May 17, 2018. All B-1 supersonic activities will occur above 20,000 feet Mean Sea Level and all transient fighter supersonic activity will occur above 10,000 feet Above Ground Level. Residents living under the following PRTC military operations areas may be affected by these activities.
Read the rest here.

Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participate during the so-called "Combat Raider" deployments in the Powder River Training Complex.

General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the exercises could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses are causing early Spring fire danger.

In a related story, the Air Force is seeking to expand a training area in drought-stricken New Mexico. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson is a former US New Mexico US Representative and President of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program nearing 51,000 patients

Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and severe chronic pain have sent New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program to nearly 51,000 enrollees.

The report comes on news that states where cannabis is available legally patients are using fewer opioids and after the Albuquerque city council voted to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce.
New Mexico Democrats adopted a party platform during last weekend’s pre-primary convention that, for the first time, supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use statewide. Specifically, the platform adopted last weekend by the Democratic Party of New Mexico – with more than 90 percent of delegates voting in favor – includes a provision that Democrats will support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in the state. [Albuquerque Journal]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

The release from the New Mexico Department of Health is linked here.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Commercial teevee drives American gun violence

Commercial teevee truly is the most dangerous gateway drug.

Until the Vietnam War school shootings were rare and scattered but after commercial teevee brought the carnage into every American living room something changed. School shootings spiked to seventeen in the 1960s.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in 1950 only 10 percent of American homes had a television. Today, that number is an astonishing 99 percent. Nearly two-thirds of all TV programs contain violent scenes, including children’s programs. And it is well documented that children imitate behavior seen on television, including violence. Ninety-five percent of American adolescents aged 13-17 have smartphones, and 92 percent play video games. Both are commonly used without parental supervision. The Kaiser Family Foundation has performed numerous studies documenting the link between viewing violence and aggressive behavior. One study that evaluated 430 third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders found that children’s exposure to media violence predicted increased aggressive behavior.
Read the rest here.

Suffering from pounding headaches induced by post-traumatic stress disease Marine-trained sniper Charlie Whitman climbed to the observation deck of the 27-story clock tower at the University of Texas then killed thirteen people and wounded thirty others on 1 August, 1966. Until the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 it was the deadliest shooting on a US college campus.
Whitman and the Fuesses chatted generally for an hour or so, and at one point the conversation turned to Vietnam. Whitman "said he couldn't understand why boys from the United States had to go over there and die for something they didn't have anything to do with." [source]
On 13 July, inspired by Whitman and what he saw on teevee Richard Speck broke into a townhouse serving as a National Maritime Union dormitory and murdered several young student nurses.
On Friday, July 8, 1966, his brother-in-law Gene drove Speck to the NMU hiring hall to pick up his seaman's card and register for a berth on a ship. Speck lost out that day to a seaman with more seniority for a berth on the SS Flying Spray, a C1-A cargo ship bound for South Vietnam, and returned to his sister Martha's apartment for the weekend. [source]
On 12 November, 1966 18-year-old Bob Smith took seven people hostage at Rose-Mar College of Beauty and shot each in the head. Smith reportedly admired Richard Speck and Charles Whitman.

During protests of the Vietnam War on 4 May, 1970 a string of shootings at Kent State University began with the death of four and the wounding of nine by National Guard Soldiers.

While protesting the US military presence in Cambodia two students were killed and twelve others injured when police opened fire at Jackson State on 15 May, 1966.

There were thirty school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 62 in the 1990s, 64 in the 2000s and 149 so far in the 2010s.

Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear, James Holmes, Eric Rudolph, Jared Loughner, Wade Michael Page, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Frein, Stephen Paddock and Nickolas Cruz all are or were christians. All these men were victims of bullying, isolation and ostracism. All had histories of extensive teevee usage, many to video game exposure and easy access to firearms. Distrust of government was a factor in most, if not all of the episodes for which they are infamous.

Is this how Americans really want to live? Carry rifles and sidearms into every bar, church, and arena?

Stand your ground has become vigilante justice because the courts are overwhelmed with suspects in the war on drugs, our communities are becoming armed camps and we’re barricaded in our homes afraid to let our kids go to school.

How many more people will be caught in or die from as yet uncounted crossfires?

Prohibition doesn't work.

Raise the age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales and gifting of the weapons on Senator Diane Feinstein's list then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of commercial teevee on American youth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Southwest fretting wildfire season

Some watershed managers in the Southwest have been taking advantage of conditions to burn dead fuels.
From prescribed burns to clearing brush, New Mexicans are preparing — perhaps more intentionally than 20 or 30 years ago, when the realities of climate change were not so painfully obvious. Without relief this season, it “could get really ugly” in Santa Fe and east toward the San Miguel County line, warned Todd Haines, Bernalillo District Forester for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. Santa Fe National Forest officials have set nearly a dozen prescribed burns in the past six months. Lit strategically, they also improve the health of the forest, serve as access points for fighting wildfires, and protect residential areas and their water supplies from out-of-control blazes. [Santa Fe New Mexican]


Friday, March 16, 2018

New Mexico Democratic Party leading state to legal cannabis

Enrollments in New Mexico's cannabis as therapy program are nearing 50,000 patients.
New Mexico Democrats adopted a party platform during last weekend’s pre-primary convention that, for the first time, supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use statewide. Specifically, the platform adopted last weekend by the Democratic Party of New Mexico – with more than 90 percent of delegates voting in favor – includes a provision that Democrats will support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in the state. [Albuquerque Journal]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Democrats secure funding to keep Chief chugging


Growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
The federal Department of Transportation approved a grant request from Colfax County under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, better known as TIGER. The $16 million award, combined with millions of dollars in state and corporate investments, will “fund critical repair work in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado,” said a news release issued Wednesday from New Mexico’s congressional delegation. “The Southwest Chief is an engine of economic growth in New Mexico that connects rural communities from Raton to Gallup,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in the release. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham also praised the grant. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico then on to El Paso and put the Rail Runner into downtown Denver to connect with the California Zephyr, maybe into Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control.

It's time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Investigations of Russian trolls confirm blogger's Dakota Access, Sanders concerns



This interested party tried to expose Senator Bernie Sanders as a planted spoiler as soon as he entered the presidential race as a Democrat.
A new report from the Republican majority staff on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology claims trolls from Russia exploited the #NoDAPL movement in order to undermine America's energy sector. According to the report, one of the Russian trolls attempted to capitalize on the wide reach of @People4Bernie, an independent group that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the run-up to the presidential election in 2016. On its website, People for Bernie said "#NoDAPL" was one of its main causes and Sanders himself was an outspoken opponent of the pipeline. "@People4Bernie: If we can halt the pipeline at @SacredStoneCamp, we can halt it in Iowa too!" one of of the "Russian Tweets" read, according to the committee. The Sacred Stone Camp was the original #NoDAPL encampment -- others also cropped up as thousands flocked to North Dakota in 2016 to oppose the project.
Read the rest here.

And from Vermont Public Radio:
The defendants "engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
Read or listen here.










Saturday, March 3, 2018

Albuquerque could decriminalize casual cannabis

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.
City councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are planning an event on Monday with Emily Kaltenbach of the Drug Policy Alliance to announce the reintroduction of legislation that will decriminalize the herb. If the legislation passes, marijuana would still be illegal in the city. But officers would be instructed to either do nothing about it or write someone a $25 ticket, similar to a parking ticket, if they catch someone with an ounce or less. “I think New Mexico will be a state to legalize when we have a change in leadership next year in Santa Fe,” Davis said. [Albuquerque Journal]
State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sick of winter? Cannabis is an effective therapy for SAD


Meth use is a symptom of South Dakota's statewide hopelessness as the state's residents stare down another punishing, relentless, and unforgiving winter.
Dr. Steve Manlove, a former Custer resident and practicing psychiatrist for 31 years, agrees that depression plays a big role in suicide, saying suicide attempts are almost always connected to depression and feelings of hopelessness.
Read more here.

A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it's spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services.

Cannabis is an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Still another study just concluded cannabis is an effective antidepressant therapy for some patients while keeping it illegal creates paranoia, anxiety and stigmatization.

Even the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose.
Read that here.

South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse but even red states like Alaska are learning that cannabis works to treat that disease, too.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Montana's cannabis opportunities are still evolving

Democrats in Montana's legislature worked to bring better testing for contaminants to better serve that state's therapeutic cannabis patients and providers.
There are rumblings of getting a measure on the 2020 Montana ballot, but marijuana advocates want to see new rules implemented on the existing medical marijuana law before focusing on recreational use. Stillwater Labs tests marijuana for contaminants, mold byproducts, potency and more. New rules include implementing mandatory licensing and inspections and allowing post-traumatic stress disorder as an eligible ailment. To see a full list of the new medical marijuana rules click here. [NBC Montana]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Mexico destined to legalize cannabis for all adults

Here in New Mexico Republicans are watching their 2018 chances going up in smoke as the state's governor drags her feet.
The number of Taos County residents who have a medical marijuana card grew in the last five years from 195 cardholders to 1,305, according to New Mexico Department of Health statistics. The growth mirrors what is happening elsewhere in the state, which now has nearly 48,000 people with medical marijuana cards. Santa Fe County saw a 43 percent jump in medical marijuana cardholders from January 2017 to January 2018; the number now tops 5,245 people. Medical marijuana patients and advocates think the burgeoning dispensary business puts New Mexico one step closer to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. People polled in the state consistently have strongly supported legalizing marijuana. [Taos News]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Republicans scrambling to catch Democrats on legal cannabis

So, I’m a cannabis advocate for five western states and don’t know anybody who actually has to buy it.

Democrats in blue states already understand the added value to their campaigns but a red state Indianan gets it, too.
“We don’t need to give him another ounce of our brain-space,” Dan Canon told the crowd of 40 people, hitting the TV mute as President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech began. Students seem drawn to Canon in part because he was one of the plaintiff attorneys in the lawsuit that became Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. They like his stances on raising the federal minimum wage and providing Medicare for all. But it’s his full-throated support for legalizing medical marijuana at the federal level that has distinguished him in the eyes of many young voters, who consider it a threshold for taking any politician seriously.
Read that here.

West Virginia is another red state where Democrats favor legal cannabis, so is Tennessee.
Voters would have another chance to weigh in on legalizing marijuana in Arizona under a proposal in the state House. The proposal from Republican Rep. Todd Clodfelter of Tucson and Democratic Rep. Mark Cardenas of Phoenix was announced Thursday. If approved by the House and Senate, it would be on November's ballot. [KNAU]
Legal cannabis has become a favorite in Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gubernatorial primary, too. Even so-called 'moderate Democrats' are on board.

Democrats in Montana's legislature want better testing for contaminants in cannabis to better serve that state's 18,953 registered therapeutic cannabis patients and 616 providers.

In Nevada, Tribal Cannabis Consulting has established cannabis compacts with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office and the Yerington Paiute, Ely Shoshone and Pyramid Lake Paiute tribes.

And in California tribal nations want compacts with the state.

Red state Alaska has a thriving cannabis industry.

North Dakota has adopted therapeutic cannabis.

A Kansas gubernatorial candidate's leading plank is legal cannabis.
Calling himself an anti-establishment candidate, 17-year-old Bergeson is pursuing the Democratic nomination, advocating for a $12 minimum wage, legalization of medical marijuana, and high-speed rail for major cities in the region. [NPR]
Here in New Mexico Republicans are watching their 2018 chances going up in smoke as the state's governor drags her feet.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Indian casinos are small banks. It's time for states to enter cannabis compacts with tribal nations.








Sunday, February 4, 2018

Legal cannabis, death penalty circling drain in New Mexico Roundhouse

Despite soaring enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program and outrage over the grisly deaths of children Democratic legislators have abandoned a deal with the state's governor who recently scored at the bottom of the US' most popular.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee voted 4-3 Friday to advance HB0312 a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for all adults.
That decision keeps the measure alive, but it has little chance of making the November ballot. Even the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, has said his proposal lacks enough support to clear the full 112-member Legislature to qualify for a vote of the people. [Legislative Roundup]
The bill "includes a provision barring state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in cases where the conduct is state-legal."
House Bill 155 was just the latest proposal by Republican legislators in recent years to reinstate capital punishment for certain murders. They argued the measure would have made the death penalty an option again for only the worst of the worst criminals. [Swift end for House bill to reinstate death penalty]
These are indicators of the power of the law enforcement and prison industries in a state suffering for a decade under a Republican governor.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to the preservation of civil liberties.

But why not throw Susana a bone by letting her craft a legacy based on bipartisanship instead of on a history of lawsuits?

Democrats should put a sunset clause on capital punishment applied after Victoria Martens' killers' trials, their appeals and are put to death or imprisoned for life, draft legislation that accelerates legal cannabis then offer it to the governor.

In a related story the Libertarian Party has officially reached major party status in New Mexico.

Friday, February 2, 2018

South Dakota Libertarians will spoil Dems' 2018 chances

Straight out of the Dick Wadhams playbook: Libertarian Party candidate George Hendrickson has filed with the Federal Election Commission for South Dakota's lone US House seat running to the left of Democrat Tim Bjorkman on cannabis and civil liberties giving an easy win to whichever earth hater is nominated in June.

Libertarian candidate for South Dakota governor CJ Abernathey has announced his intention to run to the left of Democrat Billie Sutton on cannabis and civil liberties giving an easy win to whichever earth hater is nominated for that race in June.

In 2014 flip-flopping Larry Pressler was enlisted by earth hater operative Wadhams to run to the left in South Dakota's US Senate race as an unaffiliated candidate and successfully eroded Democrat Rick Weiland's base of support.

Fact is: the best way to a strong two party system in South Dakota is for arch-conservatives to launch a third party. South Dakota's most ardent earth haters are still looking for principled conservatives to run in statewide elections. Shad Olson, Stace Nelson, Neal Tapio and Lora Hubbel could be those candidates.