Sunday, November 18, 2018

South Dakota makes bank on sex trafficking


Sexual predators in Pierre have been a feature of South Dakota during the legislative session for its entire history but to Sioux Falls-area legislator, Deb Peters it's no big deal.

The Aberdeen American's editorial board is pointing fingers at other South Dakota media for lousy coverage of the Republican rape culture in Pierre. "Unsafe. Unacceptable. Hyper-masculine. Sexualized. Dirty." That's how the board and how women have described earth haters in Pierre. The South Dakota Newspaper Association, teevee stations and local media have known about Pierre's rape culture and culture of corruption for decades and simply demurred to the twenty earth hater donors who run the state.

Hells Angels, Bandidos and other gangs own property in the Black Hills area to serve as bases of operation for sex and meth trafficking much of it through what appear to be legitimate businesses.

Those motorcycle clubs and the South Dakota law enforcement industry use the Sturgis Rally as a sort of pyramid scheme clearinghouse. During pre-Rally meetings they exchange the names of individuals who will ultimately be targeted for arrest to place moles into the state's jails and prisons and to provide cops with an appearance of relevance. The Sturgis bacchanal is really all about male white privilege at any cost. Thanks to selective enforcement white thugs have carte blanche to commit flagrant criminal acts during the Rally. A long history of lawlessness can make the event highly virulent attracting common parasites who breed in the cesspools of human existence.

Gangs of armed men with mental illnesses and addictions to meth power their way into western South Dakota every year; and, an accepted outlaw biker culture routinely traffics illicit behaviors that would otherwise be subject to legal interdiction.

Polygamy and pedophilia are apparently protected religious freedoms in South Dakota as far as Republicans are concerned. Recall the mother of earth hater state legislator and former candidate for South Dakota Attorney General, Lance Russell sold property to the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Church where minor girls are trafficked and raped.
For about three months of the year, from September to November, the bar and restaurant transform into a completely different establishment. But increasingly it is a commercial enterprise, one that comes with a dark side: sex trafficking and pop-up strip clubs that cater to hunters here for a good time. Asked about a rumored prostitution sting at Frank Day’s last year, a representative for the state Department of Criminal Investigation issued this statement: “The DCI does a number of operations, but we do not confirm any details. The only time operation details are released is if there are arrests.” For trafficking survivor advocates like Heth, of the Pathfinder Center, pheasant season isn’t the tradition-tinged seasonal activity that harms only birds. Trafficking ensnares South Dakota women as well. Native American women are heavily targeted. Nothing to see here. [Hunting season’s underbelly: Stripping, sex trafficking and small towns looking the other way]
But, a red moocher state like South Dakota is powered by sin: video lootery, a loan shark industry that preys on the least fortunate and a too-big-to-jail banking racket fill in the gaps created by lobbyists who enjoy the protection of single-party tyranny. Desperate to pay off those who benefit the entrenched Republican establishment criminals always have a champion sitting as attorney general. Now, the red moocher state has elected a governor who not only slept her way to the top she has never supported the Violence Against Women Act.

Despite lies from the South Dakota Republican Party video lootery, payday loan sharks, domestic violence and homelessness are inextricably linked putting children at risk to more catastrophic consequences far more often than has happened in states that have legalized or lessened penalties for casual use of cannabis. Fact is: South Dakota is far closer to legalizing prostitution that it is to cannabis reform.

The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money policing for profit, sex trafficking, hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party destroying lives, depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Study fingers industrial agriculture and conifers for roles in warming climate.


Is Earth fucked?

Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. Evidence that we humans have eaten or burned ourselves out of habitats creating catastrophes behind us is strewn throughout the North American continent. European settlement and the Industrial Revolution in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl has turned much of the United States into scorched earth.

The Anthropocene is now.

Have we reached Peak Human? Should Liberals and Progressives just say: "to Hell with biodiversity" and join the earth haters in a final orgy of death, consumption and/or prayer? Coexist or kill them all and let Gaia sort 'em out?

Actually, some humans know how to slow planet warming, flatten the Keeling Curve and erase the carbon equivalent of every motor vehicle running in America today.
A new study published on Wednesday, however, found that better management of forests, grasslands and soils in the United States could offset as much as 21 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. The paper, published in the journal Science Advances, identified a number of promising strategies, like replanting trees on degraded lands, changing logging practices to better protect existing forests and sequestering more carbon in farmland soils through new agricultural techniques. “So much of this is tied to the way we grow food.” [Part of the Answer to Climate Change May Be America’s Trees and Dirt, Scientists Say]
The leaves of aspen and other native hardwoods reflect sunlight during spring and summer and after losing them in the fall hold winter snow packs while pine needles continue to absorb heat and accelerate snow melt warming the planet. Ponderosa pine and other conifers suck billions of gallons from aquifer recharges and are rich in volatile organic compounds that are explosive during wildfires while aspen slows crown fires. New Mexico and the Rocky Mountain West have been home to much larger aspen communities in the fairly recent past.

Not talking about fuel treatments during wildfires is akin to not talking about background checks during a mass shooting. Fact is: it’s far, far cheaper to bill the feds after a wildfire than it is to conduct prescribed burns. That’s because it's less litigious to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. 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.

Clear the second growth conifers, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids. We'll adapt or die.

It's that or legalize automatic weapons, end restrictions on the sale and possession of rocket propelled grenade launchers, let the carnage begin and get it over with.




Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Mexico legislature poised to legalize, grow Big Dope

Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's therapeutic cannabis leader, Ultra Health.
Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), the Senate's majority floor leader, says his chamber is more likely to vote in favor now because Democrats picked up two seats in the 2016 election. Like Egolf, he is also a personal supporter of recreational cannabis. Current purchasers of cannabis in New Mexico's medical program pay just gross receipts tax. Whether and how the state levies additional excise tax could get complicated in a hurry. [Here Comes the Nug]
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said he will lobby the New Mexico Legislature to propel legalization and with Michelle Lujan Grisham elected as governor it’s looking likelier.
In an interview, Webber said there are numerous reasons for New Mexico to join the other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. “It is broadly supported, it is a new source of revenue and by making it legal, we will stop wasting our law enforcement resources on something that is really a victimless crime,” he said, adding that the state should still be concerned about youth using marijuana, as well as people who “overindulge.” “I think it’s an intelligent step, and the state, I think, would be well served to get in line for legalizing and regulating cannabis,” the mayor added. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and New Mexico less safe.

Governor-elect 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]
Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life safety concerns but giving a monopoly to Ultra Health only feeds Big Dope.

Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Big Dope Ultra has nine dispensaries in New Mexico and plans to at least double that next year.

Last year Israel-based Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Ultra Health opened a facility in Bernalillo to manufacture cannabis oil, oral tablets, suppositories, pastilles, transdermal patches and topical creams. The collaboration came on the heels of a University of New Mexico resolution demanding the school divest from corporations that profit from human rights violations both in Palestine and at the US-Mexico border. It was later rescinded.

New Mexico is struggling with its own colonial past.
When it comes to Native American history, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is out to squash every superstition, lie, and rumor. Remember, it was a papal bull that gave permission for the Portuguese to colonize Africa, for the Spanish to colonize the Americas. It was taken up by British Protestants, too — it essentially became international law — the right to colonize non-Christian peoples. Thomas Jefferson supported this doctrine, and under Andrew Jackson, it was codified into law as the U.S. sought the subjugation of Indians west of the Mississippi River. That follows us to this day,” Dunbar-Ortiz said. [Pasatiempo]
Arizona-based Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez has praised the state for blooming sales and showered Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Lujan Grisham with campaign dollars.

How condoning the loss of local control and colonial brutality both in Palestine and in New Mexico looks good to Democratic voters remains a mystery.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. Revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Noem lifts blogger's concept, would socialize Hot Springs



In 2014 an interested party passed a Black Hills State University article on community organizing to a Hot Springs official.
Governor-elect Kristi Noem wants to make Hot Springs a vacation destination for veterans from across the United States, she said during a post-election rally Monday at the Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza. Noem said she has already spoken to the mayor and city council members in Hot Springs about the idea, and she said it will require cooperation from the state’s tourism and economic development officials to put the city on the map as a vacation spot geared toward veterans. [Rapid City Journal]
Hot Springs could be something someday if it wanted to be. The town has recently expanded its social media platform and the Mammoth Site is at the focus of scientific research on a 9300-year-old mummified bison uncovered there.

Nearby Wind Cave National Park is a perennial favorite destination for ecotourists and is within biking distance of the Mickelson Trail. There is a movement to bring a mountain bike race to the area that would rival the Black Hills Fat Tire Festival. Real estate is affordable and historic properties abound.

Fall River County Commissioners took advantage of an Obama-era initiative and approved a 700-acre parcel in the Minnekahta Valley between Hot Springs and Edgemont paving the way for a new utility scale solar energy project.

Most South Dakota schools could be feeding food waste to chickens and hogs maybe composting for community gardens. Hot Springs, Philip and Midland enjoy hydrothermal water to heat greenhouses.
A new way of growing food is coming to Fall River County. The Southern Hills Economic Development Corporation was recently awarded a $42,435 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to develop a hydrothermal greenhouse in the county. The project will be known as “Hydrothermal Applications for Sustainable Agriculture,” otherwise known as HASA. [Hydrothermal coming to Fall River County]
Progress has been made under current school lunch rules but as industrial agriculture lines Republican pockets South Dakota's children still suffer from elevated risks to obesity.

In 1921 my maternal grandparents rode the train from Humphrey, Nebraska and honeymooned in Hot Springs where Evans Plunge became the Black Hills' first commercial tourist attraction and if passenger rail ever happens again nearby Maverick Junction will no doubt be a stop.

I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, 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 with conditions just like the military does under Tricare.







Friday, November 9, 2018

Montana judge sends KXL to Hell


Running a bomb train through white towns won't fly when you can build a leaky pipeline through stolen treaty ground so it's hard to imagine projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Excess Pipelines going through cemeteries where people of European descent are buried.

And, attorneys for the Trump Organization will stop at nothing to erase Barack Obama's legacy including accelerating the construction of the KXL Pipeline, a warming climate and an eventual American Indian rebellion to protect treaty lands. But, citing recent spills in South Dakota Obama-appointed Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls, Montana has condemned the KXL to Hell and ordered the US State Department to conduct a new environmental review of the proposed pipeline route.
In his decision, Morris said the government's analysis fell short on:

» The effects of the current oil prices on the viability of the pipeline.

» The cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

» A survey of potential Native American resources.

» And updated modeling of potential oil spills and recommended mitigation measures.

"The Department must supplement new and relevant information regarding the risk of spills," Morris wrote.
In 2015 the US Department of Transportation swatted ExxonMobil with a million dollar penalty after the Environmental Protection Agency released an overview of cleanup efforts in the aftermath of the 2011 breach of the Silvertip pipeline that spilled 63,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River upstream of Billings, Montana.

The same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City, South Dakota and I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.



Thursday, November 8, 2018

Off-reservation OST casino would test South Dakota law

An American Indian tribe trapped in South Dakota is expected to test state law after buying fifty off-reservation acres on I-90 according to Oglala Lakota Oyate officials.
The tribe closed on the parcel at the Exit 133 entrance to the Badlands National Park. It was the first time in the tribe's history that it purchased land outside the reservation boundaries, tribal leaders said. [KEVN teevee]
The Oyate actually helped buy an off-reservation property in the Black Hills in 2012 now home to an Oglala Sioux Tribe-donated bison herd.

A 1986 amendment to federal law that allows tribes to acquire off-reservation land to serve the needs of its peoples has been affirmed by an appeals court. The Fort Peck Tribes in occupied Montana have legalized therapeutic cannabis and the Northern Cheyenne have been mulling the concept. The Northern Cheyenne own land near Mato Paha (Bear Butte) in western South Dakota considered "non-contiguous" reservation land. As co-owners of Pe'Sla the Minnesota-based Shakopee Mdewakanton Nation could bring that state's medical cannabis and reproductive rights freedoms to the Black Hills. Tribes won their case that allows Pe'Sla to go into federal trust which will doom a cannabis grow-op there until the newly-elected US House Democrats legalize for tribes.

Recall South Dakota lost its case after charging non-Natives with providing the means for a cannabis resort within the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation and its extremist legislature passed an anti-civil rights law restricting the number of abortions performed in the state by imposing a waiting period and a prior consult with a non-medical religious organization.

Even if the OST doesn't build a casino at the entrance to Badlands National Park it's time to test South Dakota's jurisdiction over nations where cannabis is legal and for tribal medical professionals to establish clinics that perform abortions on these non-contiguous parcels as islands of health care that supersede state law.

Democrats just lost big in South Dakota's mid-term elections after abandoning legal cannabis as a campaign strategy and ran an anti-reproductive rights gubernatorial candidate failing to attract American Indian and younger voters. Oglala Lakota County had the lowest voter turnout in the state with 39%.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Mexico wins!


Congratulations, New Mexico for leading America to the light!
A constitutional amendment that establishes an independent ethics commission was well on its way to passing overwhelmingly Tuesday night, with a nearly three-quarters majority. It’s a move proponents say will help rebuild trust in a state government that has experienced intermittent storms of corruption through the years. [Santa Fe New Mexican]