Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Today's intersection: socialization and socialism

Collectivism is arguably the most important feature binding every surviving human culture on the Earth today yet modern purely socialistic societies have struggled with longevity. Why? Probably because US capitalists have warred against any and all efforts at pure socialism around the globe since it was defined in the modern sense even as those wars are bankrupting America today.

It's estimated christians have slaughtered some 100 million Indigenous since landing in the New World. Capitalism has destroyed hope in Indian Country where throughout herstory family and community have been more important than money and consumerism for countless generations.

Former pastor and South Dakota legislator, Steve Hickey has asked me not to publish it but I have a rough draft of an abstract written by his daughter, Katherine, that seeks reconciliation with tribal nations whose lands were seized through colonization with land repatriation as reparation. But it's missing an important aspect of reconciliation: that most indigenous peoples are socialists even in post-colonial times and it's my view no discussion of reparations can be conducted without that acknowledgement.
From my end of the state I’ll continue to push the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation commission like the one that helped S. Africa get past the atrocities and racial tensions after apartheid. There have been 40 such commissions worldwide since the first and most famous one in S. Africa. They have gone by a variety of names. The one in Peru was called a historical clarification commission. They have worked to move societies out of a painful past and contentious present into a good future together. You can continue to be stuck and stubborn your present attitude and mindset but we are all worse off for it. My view is we need leaders who also lead the conversation and are willing to engage the public on blogs and in the press. If you want someone who sits there and goes along and does and saying nothing noteworthy please help that someone beat me this upcoming election. [comment, Rep. Steve Hickey]

Although the term “socialist” wasn’t widely used until the nineteenth century it's of little consequence as it has existed in its purest form for nearly all of human history. Indigenous cultures lived in collectivist economies long before migrating to this hemisphere. No doubt Steve believes any and all reparations and land repatriation should go to individuals and not to the tribes.
A series of questions could be asked: Who manages the resources? Do you, as a worker, have control over your worksite and schools? Do you decide if your leaders are developing business relationships with Israel or other corporations? What are Native-owned corporations doing in your community? The majority of Natives work off of reservations for a boss at a corporation, so this has to be a major factor in understanding the position of Native people as workers. [Socialism, solidarity and the Indigenous struggle]
In 2010 now-deceased Republic of Lakotah activist, Russell Means, accused Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) of a breach in his fiduciary duty as sworn in his oath of office. Mr. Means believed the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), part of the US Department of the Interior, has been violating Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes within Mr. Thune's full view. The accusation came on the heels of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit seeking evidence of Indian Health Services (IHS) coercion in Pitocin-induced births on the Cheyenne River reservation because doctors were on a schedule and couldn't be bothered waiting for a natural childbirth yet IHS is notoriously slow in providing reproductive health services.

The responsibility of the United States to the needs of tribes was established in 1787, is based on Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and has been given form and substance by numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Orders.
To conclude, most health care related services that exist today are “natural monopolies” which should be both controlled AND managed by Congress, which means Congress must have power over how much the employees of these monopolies are paid, to assure that their wages and salaries are truly competitive, just as it does now with the salaries of postal workers, military personnel, and other government employees. [Control and Management of Monopolies: Why It Matters]
In 2011 Cara Hetland interviewed Avera Health Services representatives on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio in a discussion of access to rural health care. Red states insist that private enterprise provides the best health care yet Planned Parenthood is discriminated against in favor of mega-hospitals like Avera. Avera is a federally-subsidized catholic hospital operating as an oligopoly, funneling money to parishes paying settlements or hush money for the sins of predatory priests paid for by insurers and patients.

While it's not so much the case in New Mexico, in my home state of South Dakota Sanford, Avera and Rapid City Regional have virtual medical industry monopolies in their markets. Socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail and now a socialized nursing home industry are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

There is a growing movement among Democrats and others to fund Medicare for all but I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the IHS and the Veterans Affairs together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. New Mexico has a high number of people with insurance through Medicaid and like South Dakota many are American Indians.

Steve Hickey, his daughter and the South Dakota Democratic Party should advocate for paying the tribes and settling the Black Hills Claim, dissolving the Black Hills National Forest, moving management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

Rewild it and rename it Okawita Paha National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge in Montana along the Missouri River to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Canadian River through Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Today's intersection: selective outrage and ecocide

Several people tagged PETA in their reply in an effort to get a response from the animal rights organization, and one person asked whether it was a parody account. [Noem takes flak over 'we need to kill more coyotes' tweet]

Sinkebell shot what he thought was the biggest coyote he had ever seen near an old farmstead 5 miles east and 3 miles south of Parkston. Though wolves are protected in South Dakota, no charges were made as it was a reasonable case of mistaken identity. [Wiltz: A large wolf surprises Parkston area hunters]

Monday, January 21, 2019

Trump shutdown increasing risk of weaponized wildfire

A segment earlier today on NPR's Morning Edition featured a wildland firefighter couple frustrated with Donald Trump’s war on America and its resulting lapses in training and the prescribed fires critical to getting ahead of human-caused blazes. Il Trumpo has blamed California wildfires on the lack of logging with statements typically lacking in facts but the real culprits are downed power lines and a warming climate.

Because of Trump's tyranny nearly every Forest Service twitter account has been silent since mid-December. The Santa Fe National Forest was forced to cancel a prescribed burn near Pecos but the local Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition that includes the Santa Fe Fire Department and Forest Stewards Guild still plan pile burns in the Aztec Springs area. If counties and states just burned off their road and highway rights of way every year that creates substantial fire breaks. Ruidoso’s new emergency plan lists wildfire as its number one hazard so Chloeta, a Native American international emergency management and environmental consulting firm, is still advertising for wildfire educators.

Early season wildfires are not unusual in New Mexico. Last year's fire season began in March. Christmas Day, our area in Santa Fe County was under a red flag warning the day before the first round of recent back to back winter storms so if it's not snow it's a wildland fire. New Mexico has been home to a much larger aspen community in the fairly recent past and ponderosa pine sucks millions of gallons from aquifer recharges, needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt.

In recent years Spring wildfire seasons have begun in eastern Colorado, western Kansas, the panhandles of Oklahoma, Texas and other Republican-held areas where moral hazard and poor ranching practices have decimated the high plains: a region where bison would have been clearing fine, flashy fuels just 150 years ago.

Prescriptive fires should have been set weeks ago on public lands in my home state of South Dakota but it's still suffering from repeated leadership lapses, a century of fire suppression, a decades-long moratorium on prescribed burns, a lack of environmental litigators, GOP retrenchment and the potential for weaponized wildfire blowback from the drone war being conducted by Ellsworth Air Force Base. Because of earth hater John Thune the cost of prescribed fire has soared to over $2000 an acre putting the Black Hills National Forest and Wind Cave National Park in harm's way.

Over a half million wildfires are started by arsonists every year in the US and if you live in the wildland-urban interface government can't always protect you from your own stupidity. Volunteer fire departments are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency Democrats should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural fire departments.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bill would protect therapeutic cannabis patients from Trump Organization

North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 in 2016 and last year the legislature drafted rules then a Republican governor signed it into law. Now the state's Department of Health has issued cards to over 70 therapeutic cannabis patients still awaiting the opening of dispensaries for their medication but the Trump shutdown is delaying protections for their medical secrecy.

There is concern among activists that Republican operatives will provide names of patients to the Trump Organization that would prevent them from purchasing firearms.
A provision to extend protections shielding state medical marijuana laws from federal interference is part of a 1,070-page bill the incoming House Democratic majority intends to pass this week as part of a plan to end an ongoing government shutdown. The fight over which marijuana-related and other riders will be included in FY2020 appropriations bills should heat up this spring. [Tom Angell writing in Forbes]
A new Senate bill sponsored by ranking member Jon Tester (D-MT) compels the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase research on the medical benefits of cannabis for military veterans. Read the rest of the story and text of the bill here.

North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive, nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.

Every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in South Dakota are contaminated with glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, cadmium, PFOs, E. coli, Shigella and Legionella. Cannabis grown in the state by industrial agriculture would be no different. Why anyone would want to buy hybrid genetically engineered cannabis seed from Bayer CropScience/Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery. Seeds with decent CBD-producing genetics are a buck apiece costing about $50,000 to sow 20 acres. Pretty spendy investment for any farmer.

All cannabis industry growth in my home state should occur in the tribal nations trapped in South Dakota. If whiners want shit to change they should help elect Democrats.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Peace Is Our Profession:" the aftermath

In the above tweet the smoke is actually from a pit fire several miles behind the building in the image.

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 from burning hazardous waste in pits concocted at US Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota. In the documents that give Ellsworth guidance in flaring off toxic materials are the words, 'Waters of the United States' or WOTUS.
Surface water resources generally consist of wetlands, lakes, rivers, and streams. Surface water is important for its contribution to the economic, ecological, recreational, and human health of a community or locale. Waters of the United States are defined within the CWA, as amended, and jurisdiction is addressed by the USEPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In 2006, the Supreme Court addressed the jurisdictional scope of Section 404 of the CWA, specifically the term “the waters of the U.S.,” in Rapanos v. U.S. and in Carabell v. U.S. (referred to as Rapanos). [Final ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: Addressing the Privatization of Military Family Housing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota]
Now, officials at Ellsworth say nine private drinking water wells in Box Elder tested above the US Environmental Protection Agency health advisory level for two chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, compounds in a foam used to fight petroleum-based fires at a site where pit fires are common.

Some 400 bases mostly in the Air Force suffer from contamination including Kirtland in New Mexico where these chemicals have migrated into Albuquerque's municipal water supplies.
Whether the chemicals — which don’t degrade in groundwater — move quickly or slowly depends on what type of water system they’re in, said William Battaglin, a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. [Albuquerque Journal]
Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participated in the deployments over the PRTC. General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the elevated atmospheric hijinx could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses increase fire danger even now in January.

The Deadwood oldtimers used to say that when the Ellsworth wells were drilled many wells in southern Lawrence County went dry. Nearly a century of residue from the Black Hills Mining District affects millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico even after the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962. The soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury. Box Elder Creek near Ellsworth is a tributary.

Last year The Dakota Progressive pressed teevee meteorologist Andrew Shipotofsky to investigate Ellsworth's involvement in geoengineering so the Air Force responded by suspending indefinitely the 'Combat Raider' war games over the Powder River Training Complex blaming a near-miss with a general aviation aircraft in 2016. There have been several incidents in the PRTC and at least one took a life.

Monday, January 7, 2019

New Mexico legislators offer bill to legalize cannabis, protect industry from Big Dope

The conservative leaning Albuquerque Journal is producing a series on the complexity of cannabis legalization in New Mexico and the creation of the mechanism to regulate the new industry while expunging the records of past offenders.
After all, supporters predict that legalization of marijuana would create up to 11,000 jobs and generate more than $100 million in tax revenue – claims that opponents say are inflated and don’t take into account the social costs that could come with pot dispensaries on every corner. The bill that was introduced would allow growers to operate in any part of the state and would charge an excise tax per plant. The bill would keep medical marijuana patient registration with the state Department of Health, but all licensing would be moved to the Department of Regulation and Licensing – the agency that oversees liquor licenses. Under the legislation, the state would set aside 2 percent of the net taxes on legal marijuana to create a fund that would give grants to organizations working on drug education programs and workforce training and placement in those communities. [Building and regulating a new industry from scratch]
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. Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Big Dope Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly is expected to be contentious.

Alaska law allows up to twelve plants for each household to grow for personal enjoyment.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. The revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts with the state and acknowledgement the future of value-added cannabis is grown outdoors, organic, geothermally heated indoors and powered by off-grid sources of electricity.

New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Snowbound community makes the paper

We were under a red flag warning the day before the first round of back to back winter storms so if it's not snow it's a wildland fire. Note the Sangre de Cristo Mountains above Santa Fe in the background of this image. There is an aspen community below the ski basin holding the snowpack even as the conifers are absorbing heat sending snowmelt into the Rio Grande.

Thankful that we have been able to reach our snowbound neighbors, the Red Rock Road/Baja Waldo community is still digging out on its own. Thanks to Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf for getting help to those most in need. Precipitation in any form is always welcome here.
Matthew Smith latched on a pair of snowshoes Thursday and headed west from his home on rural Baja Waldo Road to his neighbor’s home up a steep hill across some cross-country terrain. “We’re trying to be self-reliant; we just got drilled,” said resident Larry Kurtz, who hired the plow driver. “This was a completely unexpected event.” [Snow strands residents for week in area west of Madrid]
Neighbor Luca walked three miles to NM 14 for his heart meds.

We had the casita booked for the entire week but asked our guests to cancel and rebook at later dates not just because of the snow and shitty road but because the water system is at risk of freezing.

Emergencies like ours happen all the time on the pueblos and reservations without reportage but when it happens to white people the shit really hits the fan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Herb walks on

"If your eyes are on the front of your head you eat meat. If your eyes are on the side of your head you are meat." -- Herb Haist
Herbert Paul Haist, 69, of Rochester, Indiana and formerly of Mentone passed at 9:10 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 at Lutheran Hospital of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. [Hartzler Funeral Services]

Photo was taken at Herb's folks' place in Indiana in 2015.

I met Herb in the alley behind Spies SuperValu in Brookings in 1976 and we have been close friends since. He was driving a '67 Buick Wildcat convertible, just one of the hundred or so rigs he owned during his life. Randy Stuefen was in the passenger seat.

I stayed with Herb on Terry Peak for awhile in 1981 after moving back to South Dakota from Missoula. He married Christine Grindberg in 1979 and in the mid-80s he was the General Commissioner for the city of Sundance, Wyoming and as Deadwood's first full-time city planner he oversaw the town's utilities upgrade after gambling came to the Gulch. Back in 2010 Herb and ip were pondering the future of the Democratic Party after the TEA movement blew itself up taking the GOP with it.

Moments afterwards, this image appeared for just long enough to get a photo as the cackling echoes died in the canyon. His ranch was about nine miles south as the raven flies from Devil's Tower. The house on the sandstone rimrock overlooking the Belle Fourche River with the deck view of the Bear Lodge Mountains looms in my memory as this is being typed.

Herb was a public radio devotee, had an extensive collection of vintage radios and actually coined the phrase, "Bill Janklow's idea of public radio."

We built, renovated and restored numerous properties together. He was my youngest daughter's godfather and will be missed.