Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Foreign miners continue to probe public lands

Comexico, an American subsidiary of Australian company New World Cobalt, wants to drill test holes into the Sangre de Cristo mountain range on the Santa Fe National Forest in the Jones Hill area north of Pecos, New Mexico.
Federal mining regulations and laws, including the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, require the Forest Service to allow mineral exploration and development on National Forest System lands. The surface-disturbing drilling activities proposed in Comexico’s plan of operations require analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Forest Service can add mitigation measures and modifications to Comexico’s plan of operations to minimize potential environmental impacts. The project area is within designated critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and the endangered Holy Ghost ipomopsis as well as habitat for the goshawk, peregrine falcon and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. [press release, Santa Fe National Forest]
The US Forest Service is often powerless to stop the extractive industry from permanently altering sensitive watersheds because of the 1872 law. Repeal or even reform of the 1872 statute has been thwarted repeatedly by the earth hating Republican Party.

In September we motored to Oracle, Patagonia, Bisbee and Morenci from Santa Fe and were shocked by the ravages of surface mining in SE Arizona where operations owned by Morenci and Miami are ravaging water supplies and reducing entire mountain ranges to piles of waste rock.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Midwesterners emerge as the adults in the room

Last night Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg emerged as the candidates who look like the most sensible Democrats to beat the Republican Party nominee but Cory Booker won the night especially after he forced Joe Biden to flip on cannabis legalization.

My first choice for 2020 was Al Franken but Senator Amy Klobuchar supports the therapeutic cannabis laws in Minnesota and opposes federal interference with the state's authority to regulate the industry. Mayor Buttigieg would make a tremendous Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense.

Klobuchar/Castro is still my dream ticket because Trump won’t be their nominee and Warren can’t win Super Tuesday. Liz comes off as a screechy old lady and our nominee needs be a sensible litigator with experience as a mom. As her veep choice Julián Castro can deliver Texas for the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders' wife kept him from being Hillary Clinton's veep choice and if Clinton had really wanted to win she'd have chosen Al Franken or Amy Klobuchar as her running mate instead of Tim Kaine.

Tim Walz will appoint Klobuchar’s replacement and winning Texas is within our reach. We need Liz Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie and Booker in the Senate, Steve Bullock needs to run in the Democratic US Senate primary in Montana, Beto needs to run for Cornyn’s seat in Texas and Joe should go home and write a book.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Missoula Democrat wants to restore passenger rail through southern Montana

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and this blog follow each other on Twitter. As rail coal traffic dies Tester wants to restore the North Coast Hiawatha line after Amtrak ended service in 1979 or about the time an interested party moved to Missoula from Deadwood.
But Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier is continuing his decade-long pursuit of bringing rail service back to the southern portion of the state, this time by forging a coalition of counties interested in seeing the locomotives pass through their areas of the state once again. The rail line Strohmaier is focused on would connect Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, Livingston and Billings to other lines leading to major hubs like Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and Chicago. [The Missoulian]
Two congressional neighbors now newly elected Democratic governors in Colorado and New Mexico have been pledging to develop passenger rail along the Front Range and southern Rockies.
The poll found 85 percent of people supported the use of passenger rail on the Front Range, with 88 percent of northern Front Range respondents supporting the idea. Some members of the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission would like to see it put on the ballot next year, an accelerated timeline for the plan. CDOT just hired a contractor to look into key questions about the project's feasibility, including which preexisting rail lines the train would use and who would oversee it. [Colorado Public Radio]
Amtrak struggled with service on the Empire Builder through Montana during the Bakken boom and still suffers congestion through North Dakota. Douglas and Gillette, Wyoming continue to kill people and strangle traffic so passenger rail would bring some order to that chaos. Meanwhile the Trump Organization and the Koch Brothers are pledging to kill passenger rail service while vehicle traffic between the Black Hills, Cheyenne and Denver continues to increase just like it is between Denver, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Many 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, Cheyenne and Gillette, too. It would intersect with the North Coast Hiawatha line at Laurel, Montana.

Like the former Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail bed from Edgemont, South Dakota to Deadwood has become the Mickelson Trail the former southern Montana right of way is home to the Route of the Hiawatha Trail.

Imagine a time when portions or all track is elevated for wildlife egress through a future corridor between El Paso, Texas, the Canadian River in New Mexico and the Amtrak station in Shelby then on to the Yukon River in Alaska intersecting with a tunnel under the Bering Strait connecting South and North America to Russia and the rest of Eurasia.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Trump, GOP headed for dustbin of history

This country's founders never expected the US Constitution as written to last more than ten years and most predicted it would be rewritten every generation. Thomas Jefferson wrote that a standing army would lead to military adventurism, would ultimately turn on its own citizens and that has happened. Now, we've become the Hamiltonian Empire Thomas Jefferson warned us about.

It is impossible the Obama Administration didn’t know Donald Trump was being installed by a hostile government. The Deep State wanted 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 Trump Organization is an equal opportunity money launderer doing it for CIA and other Deep State actors for decades. 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.

John Thune's rejection of Trump was a ruse. He already knew Donald Trump was a sleaze from his basketball buddy Jim Comey. That's right: the vast white wing of the Republican Party was going to beat Hillary Clinton at any cost even if it meant colluding with a sworn enemy of the United States, destroying the presidency and taking down the republic. So Thune made Congress look the other way as Russia and Cambridge Analytica conspired with Facebook to hack the election.

And, had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016 Paul Ryan would be president today. Her campaign knew that if Hillary won the rabid Republican House would have impeached her, the Senate would have removed her before midterms and Trump would be on the sidelines egging them on. Somebody (Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica) promised Paul Ryan the presidency had Clinton been removed and Tim Kaine met an unfortunate end but that all crashed when Trump was installed. There’s no way in Hell the GOP would have given a President Kaine the time to choose a Veep.

Clinton sat in with the most sophisticated intelligence community on the planet, ferfucksake! She and her campaign knew the Russians, the Trump campaign, Mike Pence and the Republican Party were hacking the election and the battle over her private emails proves it. The tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch was to deliver a thumb drive containing the Steele Dossier to the Justice Department. It was likely an open secret Trump was already under the microscope. Hillary's campaign was phoned in at best so they gave Trump and the GOP all the rope they're using right now to hang themselves.

Thomas Jefferson was quirky, mired in the Enlightenment and sided with Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison establishing the principle of judicial review in the United States. Marbury affirmed that courts have the power to strike down laws, statutes, and some government actions that contravene the U.S. Constitution. Jefferson would be horrified to learn that the US is operating with a 230 year old manual and would say we are long overdue for a Constitutional Convention.

So, watching the entire GOP circling the drain while they drown their comrades trying to flounder from the maelstrom is the schadenfreude we Democrats need right now. Trump's installation and downfall is the biggest political sting in the history of the United States. Trump and the GOP were set up by superior forces then were given enough rope to hang the entire cabal. He knows he’s caught and will do anything to save his ass. In poker they say, “you can keep the cheese if you just let me out of the trap.”

Simply brilliant gambit conducted by the Obama White House and Clinton campaign to throw the election and let Trump and the GOP commit political suicide!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Neighbor Kosta Passes

Yesterday our neighbor and friend Kosta Becker died as a result of a motorcycle/cow collision on the Galisteo Dam Road. It's believed he perished upon contact with the ground or very soon afterward. About an hour and forty five minutes later I was first to arrive at the scene and alerted law enforcement.

Chef, world traveler, polyglot, retired surgeon, lifelong student and bon vivant he was preceded in death by his son Mario. He is survived by his wife Katharina, son Tullio, daughters Nicole and Sophia and his grandchildren. He was loved by our entire community and is already missed.