Anniversary of Wounded Knee, birthday remembered

December 29 has always been an easy date to note: my dad would have been 91 today.

For two boys growing up in South Dakota, one attending a single-room schoolhouse and one a Catholic grade school, this day on the calendar had no other significance (Do you remember it being taught?). It was not until college that this student learned it represented the most heinous event in South Dakota history.
At daybreak on December 29, 1890, Col. Forsyth ordered the surrender of weapons and the immediate removal and transportation of the Indians from the "zone of military operations" to awaiting trains. Specific details of what triggered the fight are debated. According to some accounts, a medicine man named Yellow Bird began to perform the Ghost Dance, reiterating his assertion to the Lakota that the ghost shirts were bulletproof. As tension mounted, Black Coyote refused to give up his rifle; he was deaf and had not understood the order.
The narrative that follows that passage is too horrifying to appear here.

One of the first jobs we kids learned after moving to the farm in the Spring of '64 was picking rock. I was almost ten, sister Lynn was eight. We learned to drive taking turns at the wheel of that old tractor and wagon moving at a half a mile an hour while Dad did most of the real work.

Finding stone hammers was our reward for clearing glacial till from those fields not knowing that they had been left there by the ancestors of those killed at Wounded Knee. Blood from our oft-smashed fingers is still on some of those rocks.

Happy Birthday, Papa.


South Dakota bomber crews notch share of 2010 Afghan civilian deaths

Bomber crews based at Ellsworth Air Force Base have likely killed Afghan civilians again this year.

Democracy Now! reports the deaths and injuries of 742 civilians in Afghanistan perpetrated by US-led forces in 2010 including 162 innocents killed and 120 wounded in air strikes.

In June, South Dakota's junior senator, Republican John Thune, announced success in prostituting stolen Lakota ground by bringing the current heavens-based smart-executor of civilian death, the Predator drone, to Ellsworth cementing the continued commitment of South Dakotans to rain white phosphorus and dismemberment on children, women, and men of color for decades to come.

Seems laudatory in a Republican campaign wheelhouse, innit?

Senator, you're no John McCain.


Zeitgeist: Addendum hooked me

ip believes it is time for crippling nationwide general strikes until the Bush/Cheney regime is brought to trial. 

Warning! This movie is only 99.44% true.  The Venus Project.


ip poll nixes Biden in 2012

ip poll results can be iffy at best.

Fascinating findings emerged from the most recent one that didn't exactly go the way it was twisted to go. It was expected that Secretary Clinton would get more votes leaving the editor to suspect that a number of pixies participated in the wildly popular plebiscite at ip.

Be that as it may: A landslide number of respondents, 70%, in fact, believe that Joe Biden will be booted from the Democratic presidential ticket in 2012 fueling speculation about a short list doubtless being divined in the minds of Democrats.

NPR is giving John Thune far too much press and it's pissing me off.

The new year begins today following a brilliant solstice. The Gregorian calendar will bring a slew of Republicans to DC. Let the wild rumpus start.


Spearfish boy saddened by hometown

It's no secret that ip loathes Spearditch.  Hammering on the failures of that community, including the potential razing of the 1924 structure built as Spearfish High School, has been favorite fodder in the comment section of the Rapid City Journal, where ip's rants heaping scorn on the demolition of historic buildings are often redacted.

 A plea for the preservation of that building currently housing East Elementary through adaptive reuse recently appeared as a Forum piece:

Picture this: A gorgeous brick 1920s era high school with all of its large, multi-paned windows and doors replaced. Spacious rooms are transformed into condos and apartments. The quaint auditorium is restored and useable for lectures, small concerts and seminars.
Those words are of Kevin Miller, an alumnus. Two children from one of ip's former lives also attended grades there.

So, ip contracted the drywall and plaster finishes in Lead where the Bates Brothers built condos in the former grade school, in the Homestake Opera House, and in numerous other historic properties in Lawrence County since '92. French Bryan and Taffy Tucker did a beautiful job at the Queen City Hotel; yes, ip did the drywall there, too.  In 2004, the last project in the ditch was the second floor location of Bella Luce in the Lown Mercantile. Ed and Kathy Dykstra did magnificent work at the building that houses Good Earth Natural Foods.

My flight from LawCo and the chemical toilet that is now South Dakota has left saving Spearfish to you, Kevin.  ip is done.

Colbert on Xmas

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Ron Paul and the pencil

NPR ran two stories this morning that hipneck might like.  The news that Ron Paul will become chairman of the Federal Reserve Oversight Committee ran with Planet Money's story recalling Milton Friedman's famous pencil speech.  Rep. Paul is the author of End the Fed, a polemic on abandoning gold and silver as legal tender to favor a powerful Fed.  The gold standard is often blamed for the collapse of markets in 1929.

In an interview with John Nichols in a joint Nation/NPR collaboration Ron Paul says:

"State secrecy is anathema to a free society. Why exactly should Americans be prevented from knowing what their government is doing in their name? In a free society we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble. The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling and outright military intervention in the post–World War II era has made us less secure, not more, and we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of dollars for our trouble. Too often it's the official government lies that have given us endless and illegal wars resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and casualties."

So, here we are in a place where the Dollar is destined to become cheaper to compete with China Rep. Paul wants to shine sunlight into the bowels of the Fed.  Should be fun.


Tribes gather for White House conference

Direct from the White House blog:

Kicking Off the White House Tribal Nations Conference
Posted by Secretary Ken Salazar on December 16, 2010 at 10:41 AM EST
Ed. Note: The closing session of the White House Tribal Nations Conference will be streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov/live starting at 1:45 p.m. EST. Video of the opening session, including President Obama's remarks will be available on WhiteHouse.gov later today. Learn more about the new Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs being announced from the Department of Energy's blog.
CENSORED NEWS reports that the President announced support for the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights.

KW is hosting a thread at Mount Blogmore on Native issues.  Join us.

Pete Rouse interview at Indian Country Today.


Uptown Comet, Montana

War College redacts Adelstein link

Well, it looks like a disturbance in the Sith Order of South Dakota politics:

In response to Mount Blogmore's Kevin Woster shining sunlight on the hiring of South Dakota War College founder Pat Powers to the office of incoming Republican Secretary of State, Jason Gant, State Senator Stan Adelstein, also a Republican, blasted the War College blog as likely defamatory:
The employment of a patently dishonest person in an office requiring absolute objective fairness is outrageous. . .Just as my choice to run for office renders me unable to take action against Slander and Libel, this gentleman chose to render himself ineligible for a task requiring public trust. He chose to muckrake with deliberate viciousness and disregard for facts - thus his employment is grossly inappropriate.
He goes on to say:
Not unlike the State Department hiring a Wikileaks employee to organize their data - saying as Senator Gant states above “The press will like it very, very much.” Which press? The Kevin Wosters? I doubt it! (though few have his thoroughness and energy to seek accurate and substantial truth) More likeley those “bloggers, when they assign motives without first discussing it with the assignee and pass judgment without getting all the facts” After Powers knows well how to segregate, abbreviate and “anonymou-ate” data.

“never to be senator again” Stan Adelstein
ip posted a hyperlink at SDWC to the Blogmore discussion asking the question: "Do you think Senator Adelstein will flee the party?" with the thanks of Tyler Crissman only to have it deleted with an apology. 


UPDATE 1/6:  ip still blocked by the War Toilet.


Open Thread: What else is ip missing?

An activist judge guided by the Kochtopus?  Bill Clinton: Surrogate in Chief? Pending Omnibus Parachute? Thune's key to the Emperor's Club? Kristi's address to the nation? Rehberg's errant brainlessness? Statehood for Cuba?


South Dakota's Republican administrations piss DUSEL down legs

Let's be clear: ip unwaveringly supports the Lab at the former Homestake, warts and all.

In the years after the thunderstorm at Orman Dam, a quest for redemption overtook me.  I pursued numerous concepts nearly simultaneously. A recycling initiative that would look much like the MRF does today would have been based in Lead where the mining infrastructure vacated by Homestake's closure would be adapted. Metals, paper, plastics, glass, the whole schmear. The Janklow administration, right?

The ice climbing park concept got floated and rejected and forgotten for a few cycles. Still is.

Not long after the September 11 attacks and the anthrax hysteria, during an interview on SDPB Radio with then-governor Bill Janklow, a caller asked whether survivable space might be considered for the former Homestake Mine. After a familiar, but brief, tirade, BJ the DJ said, "I can't talk about that."

In 2003, Barrick announced the surplus of several properties.  ip led a group of investors to the Ross Compressor Plant, a magnificent architectural masterpiece that housed the three leviathan compressors that had provided most of the pneumatic needs for the mine.  They drove hundreds of miles of line lovingly and were meticulously maintained by union workers for at least seven decades. The winning proposal for the property would gain ownership of these massive machines.

Having realized that these machines could slow water filling the mine, I attempted multiple contacts with the Rounds administration. Calls and emails to Jamie Rounds went unreturned. We presented our proposal to purchase that would have moved the compressors to a mining museum, preferably local. The winning bidder sold them for scrap.

And the craziest part? The Homestake represents 8000 feet closer to the geothermal potential capable of powering much of the region.

Here is David Newquist's fine synopsis of South Dakota's race for the bottom. David Montgomery said it like this.

Stupid, stupid state.


Food and Reproduction

A legume and a grain, a grain and a tree nut or a tree nut and a legume eaten together create a complete protein suitable for human nutrition. Because of the deleterious impacts of livestock production on the environment plant-based diets are replacing animal protein in much of the world and even in the United States as eaters learn the levels of glyphosate, a known endocrine disruptor found in corn sugars and in small grains and hay fed to the creatures people eat, is incompatible with human life. Pulse crops like lentils, split peas, pintos, black beans and chickpeas or garbanzo beans are legumes that restore lost nitrogen in corn-damaged soils.

Noodling around in Everybody's Bookstore in Rapid City not long after the thunderstorm at Orman Dam, a great insight was uncovered.  The revelatory Marvin Harris compilation, Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits wired right into that copious section of a forager's brain after having been altered by a boyhood spent on a farm with a two-bottom plow  then groping for non-pharma relief from life's rigors.

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

Montana marriage amendment likely unconstitutional

With support from the American Civil Liberties Union, seven couples filed their landmark lawsuit challenging the implications of Montana's 2004 amendment to the state constitution citing a "chilling effect" on couples' rights to due process. 

In November, Montana's Democratic Attorney General, Steve Bulllock, filed a motion to dismiss.  The case is a no-win for Bullock, a likely 2012 gubernatorial primary contender with strong support in the most Liberal pockets within the party.  With California's Prop 8 likely doomed, the constitutionality of Montana's  Initiative 96 crashes into question.

The Helena Independent Record reports that an attorney for the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment in Lewis and Clark District Court on Friday:

“The state can’t distinguish or give protections and benefits to one set of couples and deny it to another,” said Betsy Griffing, ACLU of Montana’s legal director. “With this motion, what we are saying is that we are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Plaintiffs include Jan Donaldson and Mary Anne Guggenheim of Helena; Kellie Gibson and Denise Boettcher of Laurel; Gary Stallings and Rick Wagner of Butte; Nancy Owens and M.J. Williams of Basin; Mike Long and Rich Parker of Bozeman; Stacey Haugland and Mary Leslie of Bozeman; and Casey Charles and David Wilson of Missoula.  Bullock’s office is reviewing the newest motion, but declined to comment further.  A hearing on the motions before District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock is set for Jan. 25, 2011. If the case proceeds to trial, the ACLU expects that to take place in July 2011, but noted it’s likely that the case will end up before the Montana Supreme Court in the next few years.


2 million acres of wildlife corridor proposed

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is my new west hero. They are standing up to Earth-hating lobby interests pushing governors to question Endangered Species protections for keystone and apex species.

In cooperation with local chapters, the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge will become part of a proposed two million acre regional complex of wetlands and grasslands toward an ultimate goal of 12 million acres:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  is proposing to work with private landowners to accelerate the conservation of native prairie, consisting of both wetland and grassland habitats, within the Prairie Pothole Region in the eastern portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. The proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area (Dakota Grassland) is part of a landscape-scale, strategic habitat conservation effort to conserve populations of migratory birds by protecting the unique, highly diverse, and endangered ecosystem known as the Prairie Pothole Region. To do this, the Service will develop a Land Protection Plan and associated environmental analysis to describe the proposed action.
Exactly.  Public comment is encouraged at these meetings.

Here is Cory's cross-post.


Hit counts at ip mirror Noem contributions data

David Montgomery displays his awesome web savvy and data chops over at Mount Blogmore.

His numbers on Kristi Noem's campaign contributions seem to show some synchronicity with the server-crashing volume of the hits on blog posts where Pat Powers' now-redacted assault brought withering virtual fire on Stephanie Herseth Sandlin coincidental to this October 24 post at ip.


Montana's Republican legislators moving to abridge womens' civil rights

You knew it was coming:

Swept into into office lathered-up over government control of individual rights, Montana's tea-buggering Republican anti-civil rights caucus wasted no time announcing their proposals for the intrusion of government into doctor/patient relationships.

As Charles Johnson at the IR reports this morning:
The state Republican Party platform says, "We affirm our belief in traditional family values and support the preservation of innocent human life at every stage of life, beginning with conception."  Gregg Trude, executive director of Montana Right to Life, is hopeful that some bills restricting abortion will pass this session.  "Every Republican in the House is pro-life." Trude said. "Every Republican in the Senate is pro-life."
Get a grip, Gregg.  Right to Life is code for the vivisection of the body of law that brung ya. These people aren't patriots, they're peasants wielding pitchforks and torches as they campaign for the complete submission of half of Montana's population to the other half.

This chorus of anti-education legislators includes Basin's own Alan Hale, whose campaign serially slimed the infinitely more qualified Sheila Hogan.  His poaching conviction past is replete with a history of domestic violence, brutalizing his family during drunken rages.

The good news? Governor Brian Schweitzer will veto anything smacking of the application of religious dogma to constitutional law standing for those Democrats phoning in their games rather than voting.

Second trimester: it's not just a good idea; it's the law.


US withstands witch hunt intended to exterminate wolves

The US Fish and Wildlife Service resisted the efforts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming governors to force the removal of wolves from endangered species protection.  Montana's governor Brian Schweitzer tells Matthew Brown of the Associated Press that it's "unlikely" the lame-duck congress will pander to the frothing anti-Earth set waving pitchforks, torches, and automatic weapons.

The Billings Gazette:

The Fish and Wildlife Service has previously approved plans to hunt the predators in Idaho and Montana — but not Wyoming. That's because Wyoming law classifies wolves as predators that can be shot on sight across most of the state.  Schweitzer said the administration was ready to back legislation to take wolves off the list in Montana and Idaho, while giving Wyoming three years to craft an acceptable management plan for the predators.  "I was ready to go forward with a hunt in January of 170-something wolves," he said. "But the governors, we couldn't come to a consensus with the secretary of Interior about a possible legislative fix."  U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled in August that it was illegal to declare the animal recovered from near-extinction across a part of its range while it remained at risk in Wyoming.

The technology exists to administer drugs without capture that neuter or spay not just the predators, but the ungulates decimating deciduous tree populations essential to forest restoration efforts in western states.

--------------------------------------------------------Update:  Check out this editorial in The Arizona Republic:

The Endangered Species Act is a popular, scientifically sound law that has had spectacular success recovering species like eagles, condors and wolves [that] Congress should not undermine.


Montana lot for sale: manifesto not included

The real estate remnants of one domestic insurgent is on the market as the Billings Gazette reports:
A 1.4-acre parcel of land in western Montana that was once owned by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski is on the market for $69,500.  The property is listed by John Pistelak Realty of Lincoln. The listing offers potential buyers a chance to own a piece of "infamous U.S. history" and says the forested land "is obviously very secluded."  The Lincoln-area property, which had been listed at $154,500, does not have electricity or running water. Kaczynski was critical of technology.  The property does not include Kaczynski's cabin. It is on display in the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Kaczynski is serving a life sentence for a series of mail bombings over 17 years that killed three and injured 23.
Here is the link to Ted's essay later described as the Unabomber Manifesto. It looks to me like an early forecast (and evidence) of the anthropogenic trophic cascade that's currently underway.

So, reading through Ted's psych eval revealed some similarities with ip's, whose parents and nuns conspired to leapfrog fifth grade:
As the result of testing conducted in the fifth grade, it was determined that he could skip the sixth grade and enroll with the seventh grade class.


Cannabis science influencing Montana law

As Montana's legislature prepares its agenda for the upcoming session, the state's medical cannabis law settles into the crosshairs. Initiated law and its inherent clumsiness makes legislators wring their hands at the power wielded by an electorate angry with gridlock.

Matthew Frank at the Missoula Independent brings a science-based report from a researcher's perspective. This excerpt from his lengthy study begins with Dr. Noel Palmer:

"It's the dosing," says Palmer, co-founder of Montana Botanical Analysis, located in the Bozeman Medical Arts Center. "That's one area where I feel like our work has really impacted physicians and the general public. Those are concerns that seem to be fairly common. How do you dose this stuff? But you can. We're here and we're doing it right now...We can talk numbers. It's not just some dude who makes cookies in a kitchen."

Palmer does indeed talk numbers. He thumbs through a stack of files and pulls out a printout of a recent analysis. The liquid chromatographer detected a handful of cannabinoids—the active constituents of cannabis—with the biggest blip on the chart corresponding to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive and analgesic substance in cannabis.

Sen. Jim Shockley, R-Victor, who drafted a bill for the 2011 legislative session that would repeal Montana's voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act, says the cannabis labs' work makes him more likely to embrace the burgeoning industry.
Palmer becomes giddy when his explanation of cannabis' biosynthetic pathway reaches CBD, a cannabinoid with no psychoactive effects that, therapeutically, may be more promising than THC. He refers to it as "the silver bullet of the modern cannabis movement."

"It's not about THC anymore. It's about everything, the blend. It's all of these in there," Palmer says, pointing to the cannabinoids written on his whiteboard. "We think of them working symbiotically."

"Law enforcement needs a clear protocol," Palmer says.

More to the point, law enforcement needs a medical marijuana law that better reflects how medical marijuana is being used. Mark Long, chief of the Montana Narcotics Bureau, points out that cannabinoid quantification matters little to his colleagues because the law defines usable marijuana only as its dried weight.

Credit the cannabis labs then for at least providing a service it appears most Montanans, no matter their position on medical marijuana, can support. As the Legislature will surely prove when it tackles the topic in January, consensus ends there.

The South Dakota legislature will be seeing some lobbying by advocates of medical cannabis. Who will listen?

Photo: Chad Harder.


Rehberg votes against Native water rights, Herseth Sandlin upholds them

Funding intended to settle the lawsuit citing endemic mismanagement of Native American land trusts at the US Department of Interior is headed for President Obama's signature.

From the Billings Gazette:

In a 256-152 vote, the House approved the Claims Settlement Act of 2010 that resolves a class action lawsuit brought by American Indians who alleged that the Department of Interior mismanaged trust accounts for more than 300,000 Indians — 33,600 of them in Montana.  The act included $3.4 billion to settle the lawsuit initiated 14 years ago by Elouise Cobell, a member of Montana's Blackfeet Tribe.  The Claims Act also approved $1 billion to resolve Indian water rights cases across the nation. Of that, $461 million will go to the Crow Tribe to implement a water rights compact with the state of Montana and fund water projects throughout the southeast Montana reservation.  Montana's lone representative in the U.S. House, Republican Denny Rehberg, voted against the act, explaining that, while the cause may commendable, he could not support spending for the multibillion-dollar bill.  Cobell, in a statement from Browning, said passage of the act was a “landmark milestone to justice for native people.  This is truly an historic day in Indian Country as well as in American history,” she said. “By Congress placing a seal of approval on this settlement, a monumental step has been taken to remove a stain on our national honor, and create a better future for Indians as our government begins to make some amends for grave past injustices.”
Mary Garrigan at the Rapid City Journal quotes Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes:

The Cobell settlement contains "no forced requirements for folks with fractionated interests to sell their land," but it does contain incentives for them to do so, Hayes said.  One of those incentives is $60 million for a scholarship fund for low-income Native American college students. In addition to being paid for the land, the Interior Department will make a donation to that fund whenever a landowner participates in the consolidation program.  "We believe this combination will make this a very attractive program," Hayes said. But even $1.9 billion will buy only a percentage of those fractionated interests, so the Interior Department plans to focus on specific tracts. Decisions about which trust land to consolidate first will be made in consultation with tribal governments, he said.

South Dakota's turned-out Democratic Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has been a strong voice for the bill. She recently spoke to the Mitchell Republic.

Maybe it's a good time to consider Statehood for reservations. Montana's Crow and South Dakota's Cheyenne River Sioux, whose tribal Chairman Joseph Brings Plenty opposed the settlement, are historic enemies. Looks like a job for democracy.