Pine forest wildfires major mercury source; Johnson endorses Paul

Montana's Don Pogreba is a Helena debate teacher who hosts one of the best political discussions in the state at his blog, Intelligent Discontent. He routinely roasts Representative Rehberg, rounding recently on the roles of the petrochemical and extractive industries on the Senate race.

I took my perspective on mercury emissions from the Colstrip generating plant and those effects on South Dakota lakes.

An anonymous commenter directed my attention to the volume of mercury released by wildfires in Canadian (and US) boreal forests where years of fire suppression have contributed to unhealthy pine overburden. Science Daily has several pieces on the wildfire/mercury connection. Here is a snip from one:
In pursuit of riches and energy over the last 5,000 years, humans have released into the environment 385,000 tons of mercury, the source of numerous health concerns, according to a new study that challenges the idea that releases of the metal are on the decline. The report appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Former Vice President Al Gore tweeted his dismay with skeptics of climate change directing our attention to a report in Media Matters that identifies the root of the GOP's culture of denial.

Helena National Forest, recently identified as collapsed, is releasing massive amounts of methane as that biomass breaks down.

If human activity has released all those tons of mercury, would it not follow that we have also released proportional amounts of carbon?

A trip through the Trib revealed a series by environmental reporter, Jeremy Fugleberg, on Wyoming's groundwater pollution from fracking.

The Hill reports that Libertarian Gary Johnson has endorsed Rep. Ron Paul for the GOP presidential nomination.


Deadwood Mountain Grand not dead

Overheard at a drunken music video shoot:
This is the last goddamned check I'm going to write to you assholes!
--Big Kenny Alphin, handing a check for $5M to Mike Gustafson.

Construction is reportedly obscenely over budget.

Jaci Conrad Pearson writes in the Black Hills Pioneer:
For the second month in a row, Deadwood gaming numbers are up over prior year, with November seeing a nearly 7 percent increase in gross revenues and nearly a 10 percent increase in the handle. This year's total year to date handle is $1,011,187,788 as compared to $1,057,862,061 for the same period in 2010. Sen. Tom Nelson, president of the Deadwood Gaming Association is cautiously optimistic about the “up.”
Hey, Tom: how many hen houses have you been hired to guard anyway?

Everybody smokes in Hell.


Cannabis use decreases violence, traffic deaths, beer sales

This should be a no-brainer: states where cannabis is easily available can expect fewer instances of violent crimes.

Chelsi Moy tells readers of the Missoulian:
A report authored by a D. Mark Anderson, a Montana State University economics professor, and Daniel Rees, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver, discovered a 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities in states that passed laws legalizing medical marijuana. The study points to marijuana as a substitute drug for alcohol. Researchers also aren't saying that smoking marijuana impairs drivers less than alcohol, but "it could be that," Anderson said. "We're saying our results would be consistent with that."
New York is a state that has seen dramatic decreases in crime where cannabis arrests are draining resources according to NPR:
We've reported that crime continues to fall in the United States. The FBI said it was down for the first six months of the year and the Justice Department said violent crime was down 12 percent in 2010. It's a 20-year trend. One that has continued, despite a recession when people expect crime to pick up.


Deadwood: everybody smokes in Hell*

Traffic is down in Deadwood.

The puny snow cover means the numbers of skiers skiing and Canucks driving crewcab duallies pulling trailers laden with motor sleds are depressingly depressed making the glittering gilded gambling gulch grumpily glum.

The smoking ban has apparently slowed downtown so significantly that State Senator/Mayor/Casino Investor/earth hater Tom Nelson wants to exempt the casino properties from the voter-initiated state law.

From the RCJ:
The exemption would affect the gambling floor only; the ban would remain at restaurants and bars, he said.
Hey, consenting adults, right?

Ron Paul is ahead in the polls among the murder of earth hating crows in South Dakota...Deadwood leans 'way into the Libertarian. So, let's debate exempting Deadwood and the gaming tribes from State cannabis law while we're at it.

*Everybody Smokes in Hell


Consumerism depleting Earth's resources

Even the Pope decried it from arguably the most decadent religious palace on Earth:
In his homily, Benedict lamented that Christmas has become an increasingly commercial celebration that obscures the simplicity of the message of Christ’s birth.
-AP, Washington Post

Truthout may have said it even more succinctly, h/t Lynn:
But what if all roads to prosperity don't lead to the shopping mall, as most economists would have us believe? What if, in fact, all that shopping -- and the imperative to grow corporate profits quarter after quarter and continuously expand the economy -- was actually the root of many of the problems we face today? That's the view of a renegade but increasingly influential band of economists, who say the myth of perpetual economic growth and "the iron cage of consumerism" are the chief causes of world economic dysfunction and environmental crisis -- and the biggest obstacle to our very happiness.
Royal Hassrick in his 1964 groundbreaking work on the Plains Indians said, "the Sioux practiced Communism with extreme prejudice." -The Sioux: Life and Customs of a Warrior Society.

Rewild the West.


Invest in an environmental lawyer now

There is copious evidence that coal-fired power plants and oil refineries have laced western watersheds with heavy metals like mercury.

Multinational chemical manufacturers like Koch Industries, Monsanto and Syngenta are enriching the lobbyists that buy off Congress and state legislatures from seeing nonpoint source pollution.

Mining companies contribute by spewing heavy metal laden cyanide salt spray from leach pads and distribute hazardous dusts downwind and downstream.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs and non-organic dairies are pumping antibiotics into watersheds at exceedingly higher ratios disrupting essential fungal communities and poisoning wetlands.

South Dakota tribes: there is plenty of evidence that mercury released by power plants and refineries in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota into reservation watersheds has caused devastation to your populations.

If these environmental hazards cross state lines and the offending state does nothing but collect a paycheck, it is incumbent on We the People to regulate them, cite and fine the shit out of the perpetrators, then shut them down if they are serial offenders.

Read the evidence provided by the USGS, EPA, and from our other Defenses Against the Dark Arts who protect the United States from the earth haters that perennially lobby to gut oversight.

If you believe that We the People are too slow at bringing the earth haters to justice, seek out an NGO with ties to the environmental movement, read their accomplishments, and support them with the resources they need to protect our resources.

There is a tiny list in the sidebar of this blog under Manifesto.

Help them to help US. Let's go sue somebody Monday.

Earth First! We'll bring democracy to the other planets later.

Occupy the Courts.

photo courtesy: AnonOps Communications


PRI: conservative christians support EPA mercury rules


Public Radio International has begun airing the report of a stunning alliance:
Research suggests one in six U.S. babies are born with dangerously high levels of the neurotoxin and the Christian groups are linking that with their staunch support of the unborn to encourage elected officials to back the EPA's effort. "Coal burning power plants in our region have helped raise mercury levels in our waters, threatening the unborn with permanent brain damage. That’s why I am counting on Senator Alexander to defend the EPA’s ability to protect the unborn from mercury pollution," said a woman identifying herself as 'Pastor Tracey' in an ad that aired in Tennessee.
Hosted by Bruce Gellerman, "Living on Earth" is an award-winning environmental news program that delves into the leading issues affecting the world we inhabit and airs Fridays on Yellowstone Public Radio.

Update, 24 December: Don Pogreba at Intelligent Discontent follows up with Montana's version of red state failure.


Guggenheimer fleeing SDPB

Paul Guggenheimer, five year host of Dakota Midday, the flagship program at Bill Janklow's idea of public radio, posts his last show today at noon, Eastern; 11:00, Mountain. He will be moving to Pittsburg to host a similar program.

This is sad news for South Dakota: Paul has done an outstanding job.

It's easy to speculate that his exit is the result of red state collapse.


Polls akin to astragalomancy? Amanita muscaria and flying reindeer

Pollsters are wizards, shamans, diviners. They toss numbers around the way astragalomancers once tossed bones to foretell events to come.

Shape some policy: vote on an ip poll now.

Life is a wacky deal, innit?:
Caution should also be exercised when relating flying reindeer to the effects of the hallucinogenic (actually a deliriant) fly agaric mushroom, or Amanita Muscaria, which was, and presumably still is, consumed during shamanic rituals by the Lapps and some Siberian peoples. The mushroom is the quintessential toadstool, usually bright red with small white spots and has long been depicted in stories and paintings.
Caution, schmaution.

Amanita muscaria is widely distributed in the Black Hills around the 4th of July...watch yer eyes.


Panel: corps not to blame for 2011 flooding

Matt Gouras, from his AP report:
The corps has said that the floods caused $630 million in damage to the levees, dams and channels built to control the river. The corps manages the 2,341-mile-long river, which flows from Montana through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.
More shovel-ready jobs for returning Iraq War vets?

Mr. Obama: tear down these dams and rewild the West.


ip polling data in sync with PPP; Sibson: Romney=Satan

We know, right? It's crazy: the damnedest thing ever.

Public Policy Polling announces a new leader has surged to the front in Iowa:
Newt Gingrich's campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. He's at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.

That 'Other earth hater' vote likely a split between Bachmann and Perry
Paul 8 (42%) 
Newt 4 (21%) 
Romney 5 (26%) 
Santorum 0 (0%) 
Huntsman 1 (5%) 
Other earth hater 1 (5%)
Give yerselves a round of clap, ip readers, you rock! h/t @BoiledOwl

Gifted South Dakota political pundit, Steve Sibson, reminds readers of Madville Times that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney answers to Santa Satan before country.


South Dakotans living in chemical toilet, RCJ spins EPA results

The computer boots up...it finds the internet...and opens to the Rapid City Journal obituaries. Lots of deaths from cancer, I'm not there...now the Sioux Falls Argus Leader obituaries, lots of deaths from cancer...I'm not there, either. ip blog stats...not bad.

Twitter, first line: RT @DonEWG. Sioux Falls Argus Leader cubs Cody Winchester and Megan Luther announce:
For the past five years in South Dakota, ethanol plants have been the leading emitters of carcinogens — toxins thought or known to cause cancer — having surpassed plastics manufacturers. Last year, the state’s ethanol industry accounted for 40 percent of all reported carcinogens, down slightly from 44 percent in 2009, according to an Argus Leader analysis of 11 years of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory data.
No shit.

More Ron Paul news.

Minnesota reporting river sediment woes, too.

Is President Obama an academiacrat?

President Obama: move the Black Hills National Forest, the Custer National Forest, and the Nebraska National Forest into the Bureau of Indian Affairs Forestry Division where they will be restored to historic habitats.

Stop the earth haters. Rewild the West.

4:01 PM MDT: The Rapid City Journal catches up to the story and spins it like Miracle Whip. RR, you pimpin' me?


Medical cannabis card? Turn in your guns

Second Amendment an absolute? Think again.

Sixteen states have legalized cannabis for those who qualify. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATFE) will make sure you lose your Second Amendment rights if you admit to it. From Brian Doherty's piece at ReasondotCom:
Merely having a state medical marijuana card, BATFE insists, means that you fall afoul of Sect. 922(g) of the federal criminal code (from the 1968 federal Gun Control Act), which says that anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is basically barred from possessing or receiving guns or ammo (with the bogus assertion that such possession implicates interstate commerce, which courts will pretty much always claim it does). While the BATFE has not yet announced any concerted program to go after people who may have had legally purchased weapons before getting a marijuana card, Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says that it’s common practice in medical marijuana-related busts that “if weapons are present, there will be gun charges added on as well.”
The federal laws that restrict gun ownership were passed to deny people of color access to firearms just as the federal law that makes cannabis illegal does. Possession of crack cocaine has been recently leveled to mirror racial equality.

President Obama: end the drug war and legalize cannabis now!

Update, 18 December: Barney Frank holds George Will's feet to the fire on cannabis and the rights of consenting adults.


Christ performing miracle in Montana cannabis case as skiers declare war on Jesus

Lee Newspapers of Montana's Charles Johnson has covered that state's citizen-initiated cannabis law since it passed in 2004. Here is the latest gospel according to Johnson as he reports the progress of J. Christ's lawsuit against a 2011 law passed by that state's legislature:
Christ, who owns the Montana Caregivers Network, sued the state last week in state District Court in Missoula. Acting as his own attorney, Christ asked District Judge Ed McLean to strike the law as unconstitutional on several grounds and prevent the state from enforcing it. Earlier this year, the Montana Cannabis Industry Association and others challenged the same law in District Court in Helena. In June, District Judge Jim Reynolds temporarily blocked some provisions of the new law from taking effect. Christ was not part of that lawsuit. Christ has been the perhaps most controversial figure statewide in the lengthy medical marijuana controversy — whether it was for his traveling clinics or his lighting up a two-foot water pipe to smoke his medical pot on the Capitol lawn.
Calling methadone 'junk' Or Ritalin® 'speed' in a newspaper report about medicine would be reprehensible, Chuck.
In the lawsuit filed Dec. 6, Christ said the law violates his constitutional rights to equal protection, due process, dignity and his right to pursue life’s basic necessities, including personal health and to freedom of speech. Restricting access to medical marijuana for those under the Corrections Department’s supervision “is unconstitutional because it intrudes into the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship and results in a profound chilling effect upon the ability of those in medical need to seek professional care when it comes to access to medical marijuana,” Christ said.
The often-civil disobedient Christ has been barred from the University of Montana law library further chilling his ability to act as his own attorney.

Jesus F. Christ.


PPP: Gary Johnson Libertarian run could shape 2012

Public Policy Polling has several pieces on Gary Johnson. From one article that gives the former governor a 49% favorable rating in his home state:
Despite popularity with the general electorate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has never been particularly well-liked with his home-state Republicans. He certainly outperforms his minuscule standing in the presidential primaries in other states, but still can muster no more than third here.
Here's a snip from other PPP findings among which cite Johnson's uninspiring Senate chances:
Newt Gingrich is up big in New Mexico, leading the way there with 39% to 14% for Mitt Romney, 11% for Gary Johnson, 8% for Ron Paul and Rick Perry, 6% for Michele Bachmann, 3% for Rick Santorum, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.
PPP just tweeted that Gary Johnson would take 23% of the general election vote in New Mexico running as a Libertarian. Presumably, their results depend on Romney winning the GOP nomination and Ron Paul not running as an Independent.

If the US is really divided among acceptors, deniers, and skeptics, Gary Johnson seems like the perfect none-of-the-above candidate if Ron Paul chooses not to make a third-party run, innit?

From my inbox, courtesy Ella:
David Axelrod, Obama's advisor, commented in a press briefing the other day on Newt Gingrich's rise in the poles [sic] by quoting an old saying from Chicago politics -- the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his asshole.


Gingrich authored earth haters' handbook

And it's still the official little red book of the Republican Party. NPR's Andrea Seabrook says:
New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat, was also in Congress with Gingrich. And what she remembers is a memo his staff circulated. It was called "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control." "They had a lexicon of words that they could use when they talked about Democrats," she recalls. The memo listed positive words Republicans should use to describe their ideas — like "opportunity," "common sense" and "reform." It also listed negative words the GOP should use to describe Democrats' ideas — like "welfare," "pathetic" and "criminal rights."
Dems, take a lesson from Ron Paul: be consistent and use language wisely... and stand up to the goddamned earth hating bullies!

Guy Raz has become one of my favorite NPR hosts. Here he is talking with Sidney Milkis, a political scientist at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, courtesy WBUR:
One late January night in 1966, President Johnson went to the Capitol to deliver the annual State of the Union address. Johnson was at the peak of his power that night, and during the hourlong speech, he talked about his agenda for the year: Vietnam, social programs and expanding the war on poverty. But right in the middle, he offered up an idea that seemed to come out of nowhere when he proposed to change the term for a congressman from two years to four, concurrent with presidential terms.

Milkis goes on to say that Congress spends too much time campaigning and not enough time negotiating.

Another reason to amend the Constitution?

MPR hosting author of The Constitution Cafe. Christopher Phillips says Americans could have a representative for every 60,000 in population and congressional staff should be nearly eliminated.

Would you really want Newt's finger anywhere near The Button?


PPP: Ron Paul closing on Gingrich in Iowa

Public Policy Polling releases findings. Click here for whole piece.

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones just tweeted that Ron Paul is being talked about as a serious contender.

Who should nominee Ron Paul select for Veep?

Update, 14 December:

hipneck sent the results of a Pew study and Ron Paul's Twitter following. It's a fascinating read.


Nat Geo: The American Prairie Reserve

Montana's Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has approved wild bison preservation as reported by Matt Golz in the Billings Gazette:
"These majestic animals have played a very significant part in the history, religion and culture of our native people on the Fort Peck reservation," said Fort Peck tribal chairman Floyd Azure. "These bison have sustained our ancestors for thousands of years and they are in need of us of returning the favor. We are here to make sure they will always be here for our children."

Update, 13 Dec:

The Army Corps of Engineers announced that releases from the mainstem dams will continue, not because of pressure from red state politicians, but they want the storage if they are surprised (again) and because there are no resources to rebuild levees to protect the idiots that build in floodways.

President Obama: buy out the idiots, drain the dams, remove them from the face of the earth, and restore the Missouri River Basin to its historic role in healing the water cycle by rewilding the corridor.

Replace the dams with small hydro. Build overflow impoundments for floodwater to fix estuaries, to pump into geothermal generators, provide water for pulp mills that make packaging from beetle-killed trees, and irrigate truck crops.


Will: independent Paul run could re-elect Obama

I cannot imagine Ron Paul running as an independent candidate if he loses the GOP nomination.

George Will is not so sure Paul won't mount a third party effort based on his massive zealot following who could care less which party he runs in. Will's column in the Rapid City Journal divines a strategy:
So, assume three things:
That Obama is weaker in 2012 than he was when winning just 53 percent of the vote in 2008. That Paul could win between 5 percent and 7 percent of the vote nationally (much less than the 18 percent that a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed prepared to vote for Paul as an independent). And that at least 80 percent of Paul’s votes would come at the expense of the Republican nominee. Based on states’ results in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and on states’ previous votes for third-party candidates, and on current polling about the strength of potential Republican nominees in particular states, it is plausible to conclude that a Paul candidacy would have these consequences:
-- It would enable Obama to carry two states he lost in 2008: Missouri (10 electoral votes), which he lost by 0.13 points, and Arizona (11), which he lost by 8.52 points to native son John McCain.

-- It would enable Obama to again win four states he captured in 2008 and that the Republican nominee probably must win in 2012: Florida (29), Indiana (11), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13).

-- It would secure Obama’s hold on the following states he won in 2008 but that Republicans hope to take back next year: New Mexico (5), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Michigan (16), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20) and New Hampshire (4).
No candidate runs as an 'Independent' unless s/he runs in the Independence Party that claims to be the third largest political party...where your candidacy loses its independence, right?


Rapid City YMCA perpetuating racism

Rapid City is considered by many demographers the most racist city in the United States.

Jesse Abernathy of Native Sun News pulls few punches in a journalistic indictment of the YMCA in Raped City (the preferred spelling and pronunciation of that pathetic and sad western South Dakota town) and examines an eight year old policy coming under fire after a fight between a white and a non-white.

Here are a few snips from the article:
Paradoxically, Rapid City’s YMCA franchise has come under fire recently by some area Native American residents for its membership policies and practices, which are alleged to be geared toward excluding Natives from the premises of the downtown center, located at 815 Kansas City Street. Membership, however, is strictly available on a for-fee basis only.
Ron Gallimore, the YMCA director, is quoted saying:
“On rare occasion, there can be an altercation in the YMCA gym. As to the race involved, I haven’t a clue. I can’t pinpoint a time where this was to white people or to Native people.”
Carl White is a Native community organizer. He reminds readers that this ‘members-only’ policy is not a national YMCA criterion and says in the Abernathy piece:
“They need to change their membership-only policy to allow more Natives to go in and enjoy a quick game of ball without having to feel discriminated against,” he said. “I know I’m not the only Native who feels like this.”
Food not Bombs shares food with the community down by the creek at East Boulevard on Wednesdays. Coats, gloves, and hats are always needed this time of year.

Ron Paul: "if you refuse, I'll haunt your prostate"

Ron Paul for President of the other party!

hipneck made me do it


Hyalite ice climbing gala to attract thousands

Lead, South Dakota has pissed away another year of potential recovery and success by entombing itself in Republican stupidity.

From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
This week, ice climbers from around the country will head to Hyalite Canyon for the annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival. Once there, they’ll experience what Joe Josephson, the event’s organizer, calls “the most reliable and accessible ice in the country.” Josephson said he’s expecting to see 500 to 700 people per night.
South Dakota sucks.


US Ambassador to Colombia: drug legalization on the table

Breaking from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation via America's Mexico Blog:
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais on Monday (as reported in Colombia reports), US Ambassador for Colombia, Peter Michael McKinley, when the question of Colmbian [sic] president Santos' recent remarks on drug legalisation came up, said that the issue 'had to be addressed.' This is of course a long way from endorsing a reform position, indeed he makes the US opposition all too clear. However, the statement is effectively an endorsement of the Santos position - that there needs to be a debate of the options, and legalisation (or as [Mexican President] Calderon puts it 'market alternatives') needs to be amongst them.

Reagan Moscow speech: how we the people screwed the Indians, part 6; LA City Council blasts corporate personhood

Earth hater icon, Ronald Reagan, roundly inserts foot in mouth during a 1988 speech before a Moscow State University audience. Film maker Steven Lewis Simpson has been marketing Rez Bomb at a blog of the same name and revisits the Reagan gaffe:

Gingrich on dying wife bedside divorce:

Move to Amend clears Los Angeles City Council.

Amnesty International calls for US to end sales of tear gas to Egypt.


Archbishop of Canterbury: Jesus would side with OWS

From WaPo:
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says Jesus would have joined protesters from the anti-corporate Occupy movement who have been camped outside London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral for more than seven weeks. The archbishop said that when Jesus said “give Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” he was asking “what’s the exact point at which involvement in the empire of capitalist economy involves you fatally.”
Eight year old tells Michele Bachmann that his mom doesn't need fixing:


Illuminati for Romney

Is Sibby right?

Are the other earth haters just pawns in the game to defend the would-be King against scrutiny?

Romney is even in the polls while Ron Paul is ignored by the mainstream press but the other batshit insane candidates plow the road in unison or tag the next whack-a-mole.

The game goes ever on.


ProPublica: white people receive far more presidential pardons

Only one Native American was pardoned under the Bush regime. ProPublica's Dafna Linzer and Jennifer LaFleur reveal mostly unsurprising results (to me) of a study co-published in the Washington Post. Here is an excerpt from the first of two articles:
Blacks have had the poorest chance of receiving the president's ultimate act of mercy, according to an analysis of previously unreleased records and related data. Current and former officials at the White House and Justice Department said they were surprised and dismayed by the racial disparities, which persist even when factors such as the type of crime and sentence are considered. Obama officials believed changes in the pardon system could be made by executive order.
Leonard Peltier should be pardoned this year, Mr. President.

President Obama nominated Native American judge Arvo Mikkanen to Oklahoma federal circuit. Expect the white earth haters in the Senate threaten to filibuster.


Trump to host earth haters? Cain screws his way into the dustbin

Bwahahaha! The Hairball is scheduled to moderate another GOP 'debate.' From Greg Sargent in the WaPo. RT @washingtonpost:
What better way to build confidence in the GOP primary process, and to reinforce the gravtias [sic] of candidates who are aspiring to be seen as prepared for the presidency, then to submit them to questioning from a reality-TV star whose appeal to conservatives is rooted in the fact that he spent his own short-lived freak-show presidential campaign questioning Obama’s citizenship, right up until the killing of Bin Laden wiped the smug, megalomaniacal grin off his face?
The Donald v. The Newt: I can hardly contain my enthusiasm.

Herman Cain screws the pooch.

h/t hipneck:

The Santa Fe New Mexican's Pasatiempo tells readers that Norman Finkelstein and Chris Hedges will appear together 6 December at 6:30 in the James A. Little Theatre.


Occupy the Courts

Revolution too slow? Move to Amend. From my inbox:
Inspired by our friends at Occupy Wall Street, and Dr. Cornel West, Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark the second anniversary of the infamous Citizens United v. FEC decision! Occupy the Courts will be a one day occupation of Federal courthouses across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday January 20, 2012.

Giago on 2012 elections.

Native American population is expected to grow to 8.6M by 2050. That represents at least eight congressional districts, tribes.

GOP scared shitless of OWS according to ThinkProgress.

Ron Paul dissects Newt:

Romney credibility gap widens.

Rick Perry's Texas: part n.

Gary Johnson mulling Libertarian run.

Fund your party now!


Resurrected Utah company to build geothermal plant in New Mexico

As red states slowly kill their residents and neighbors with fallout from flammable fossil fuels, a blue state moves forward. KUNM reported that an energy company that built a geothermal electric generator with the blessings of former earth hating Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is building a plant in New Mexico. It is slated to be operational in early 2013. The Albuquerque Journal Online tells readers:
Cyrq Energy Inc. subsidiary Lightning Dock Geothermal has signed a $65 million engineering, procurement and construction contract with Ormat Nevada Inc. to build the binary plant near Animas. Cyrq Energy emerged as a restructured company following the bankruptcy of Raser Technologies. Cyrq has one operating geothermal power plant in southern Utah in addition to geothermal interests in other states and Indonesia.


Barney Frank to step down; Gingrich on cannabis

Massachusetts lawmaker Rep. Barney Frank is expected to announce that he will not run for another term. From the Advocate:
The Democratic lawmaker, who has represented the state’s 4th congressional district for more than 30 years, will announce his retirement at a 1 p.m. EST press conference today at Newton City Hall in Newton, Mass. C-SPAN will live broadcast the afternoon news conference. Founder of the Stonewall Democrats, Rep. Frank "blazed a trail for the LGBT community in many ways — most especially for the openly gay Representatives who followed him into the halls of Congress," said Jerame Davis, the organization's new executive director.
Gingrich flip-flops on Paul/Frank cannabis legislation, too. Newt has brain damage.

Specialist in pyroterrorism selected for wildfire post...go figure.


Homeland slated to become "battlefield;" Helena National Forest announces collapse

In a recent debate, Ron Paul raised awareness of legislation pending in the US Senate. The ACLU's Blog of Rights brings the story via hipneck:
The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself. The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing. And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.”
The US Department of Agriculture concedes the failure of Helena National Forest. From the Missoulian:
A Forest Service report (pdf guide) identifies the Helena National Forest as having the worst watershed conditions of all national forests and grasslands in a region that includes Montana and parts of Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota. The report found the Helena National Forest had 28 watersheds in need of serious help. Most other forests had zero to six.
A California blogger sees a pattern west of the Divide. More on Forests to Faucets.


Celebrating consumption: Thanksgiving 2011

From KCRW's To the Point:
Overconsumption: The American Way (12:07PM) 
This is the holiday when gluttony is not just acceptable, it’s almost required if you try to taste everything on the Thanksgiving table. But ask yourself: is this the only time you eat more than you ought to? Obesity is a national epidemic, and over-consumption of another kind is on the rise. Credit card debt is up by 66 percent since last year and by 368 percent since 2009, when the Great Recession made Americans try to be frugal. Why do we want so much more than we can afford and, probably, more than we need? Is there a relationship between mindless eating and manic buying?


Santorum blasts JFK

Just after lunch on November 22nd, 1963 during Sister Crescentia's Mrs. Quinn's third grade class, our principal, Sister Clarence burst into the room in tears and told us to kneel and pray for President John F. Kennedy.

Rick Santorum was five years old then.

Recently, Senator Santorum said that as President, he would answer to a supernatural being as interpreted by the Roman Catholic Church rather than to the people of, by, and for whom the US Constitution was written. From Jeff Brady in his piece at NPR:
Santorum commented on John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech, in which Kennedy laid out his belief in the separation of church and state. "I had an opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up," Santorum told a crowd in October at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen in Warner, N.H. Santorum went on to explain: "In my opinion, it was the beginning of the secular movement of politicians to separate their faith from the public square, and he [Kennedy] threw faith under the bus in that speech."
On the day when President Kennedy's death is remembered, Americans need to be mindful that we are a nation of laws and should be suspicious of any influence by the genocidal pedophiles that have plundered untold billions of souls.


Giago on heritage, language: how we the people screwed the Indians, part 4

Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji), Unity South Dakota, worries that technology is an inadequate teacher of Native culture. From Indianz:
The most adept country at eliminating the language and customs of the indigenous people was Spain. When Spain invaded Native nations from South America to California the first thing they did was to separate the children from their parents, use the parents as slave labor even separating husbands from wives, and begin a process of total immersion in the religion and language of Spain. The US set about eliminating the customs and language of the Indian tribes by following the proven methods of the Spaniards: separate the children from their traditional teachers, their parents and grandparents, force them to speak English only, and coerce them into accepting a new religion by catechists skilled in the art of mind control.


Woster's finger hovering over the delete button

KW started a thread about felons not being able to legally carry a firearm referring to Bob Newland's cannabis arrest record and has allowed 13 comments to evolve around this one:

interested party Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
November 15th, 2011 at 3:35 pm
Thank you for making me go look, KW:
William Janklow, Brandon, SD

It can be argued that Newland's contributions to the people of South Dakota equal those of that other convicted felon who is armed as I type this and will likely take his gun with him to his eternal Hell.


Santorum all lubed up; Gary Johnson launches FEC suit

The oil and gas industry ranks as Senator Rick Santorum's #2 contributor behind insurance. How mutually masturbatory, earth haters.

As if protecting the raping of boys in showers isn't heinous enough.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via my inbox, h/t Lynn...again:
Marcellus Shale gas drilling spokesmen at an industry conference in Houston said their companies are employing former military counterinsurgency officers and recommended using military-style psychological operations strategies, or psyops, to deal with media inquiries and citizen opposition to drilling in Pennsylvania communities. Matt Pitzarella, a Range Resources spokesman speaking to other oil and gas industry spokespeople at the conference last week, said the company hires former military psyops specialists who use those skills in Pennsylvania.
Live boy is it then, Senator?

Hey, MSM: ignore Ron Paul at your own peril.

Senator don Juan Thune of South Dakota got 10,000 semolians from the Koch machine in 2010.

Yellowstone Public Radio brings news of Flathead Electric Cooperative's initiative to drill for enough hot water to generate electricity. From the Flathead Beacon:
The cooperative has proven open-minded in its pursuit of different energy sources. In June of 2009, FEC began operating a power plant at the Flathead County landfill that converts methane emanating from trash into usable energy. This summer, the plant’s production level was increased. The area surrounding the northwestern Montana town of Hot Springs on the Flathead Indian Reservation is bubbling with mineral hot springs.
Southern Fall River County gets a rude awakening measured at 3.7

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson isn't covered as a serious presidential contender either, says Brian Gage at Cannabis Culture:
Unlike his peers, Johnson certainly isn’t afraid of displaying his support for the cause publicly, says he is known known in many camps as the “marijuana guy” When asked about his recreational marijuana use from his younger days, he stated “I never exhaled.”
November - Waniyatu Wi – Moon of Starting Winter.


More poll results

The results of:
Should Indian reservations be counties in a non-contiguous 51st State? 
Yes: 6 (33%) 
No: 12 (66%)
The fact that only twice as many people think it's not the solution is remarkably reassuring and means that i just need to work harder to convince the rest of you.

Would Bill Janklow be more comfortable in his final days self-administering cannabis? 
Yes: 17 (94%) 
No: 1 (5%)
Come on, BJ; it's a no-brainer! Come out of the closet for legalization!


Two ten year-olds teach Rapid City yet another lesson at M Hill

Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider. How much more stupider can Rapid City be? Especially after a May, 2010 grass fire in Robbinsdale.

C'mon, Mike: get out there and burn!

One more time from an April post at interested party:

Yep, pure heptane.

Turpentine distilled from the California pines such as Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Gray Pine (Pinus sabiniana) yield a form of turpentine that is almost pure heptane. When producing chemical wood pulp from pines or other coniferous trees with the Kraft process, turpentine is collected as a byproduct. Often it is burned at the mill for energy production. The average yield of crude turpentine is 5–10 kg/t pulp. In 1946, Soichiro Honda used turpentine as a fuel for the first Honda motorcycles as gasoline was almost totally unavailable following World War II.
The spontaneous ignition of the beetle-killed ponderosa pine in a hundred-yard radius would be measured in megatons. Now consider that there are 70 million acres of collapsed pine forest in the United States.

So, here's the part that nobody wants to talk about publicly:

For parts of the West this is as much a reduction in the threat of weaponized wildfire than an economic development opportunity. Harvesting timber is diesel fuel intensive. Just paying for pine removal after the collapse of the housing market has exacerbated the potential for catastrophic conflagrations.

Keystone, Hot Springs, Custer, Pringle, Hill City, Rochford, Nemo, Silver City, Deadwood, Lead, Newcastle, even Rapid City, Piedmont, Sturgis and Spearfish are at extreme risk from the tactical use of wildfire.

Just six strategically-placed improvised fuel air explosives (FAEs) deployed during red-flag conditions have the potential to create a firestorm that would be virtually unstoppable. Repeated discussions with the Forest Service, law enforcement, fire department officials, even the Rapid City Journal, elicit smirks and suspicion from their representatives.

Here is today's US burn index from NOAA at risk to a Republican government shutdown.


NYT: physicians ill-trained to treat LGBT patients; Lesbian elected to Missoula council

RT @nytimeshealth:

Blogging surgeon, Pauline Chen, finds that medical schools are not training doctors to address the needs of LGBT patients. She tells readers of the New York Times:
A study published recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the situation has not changed much for young doctors. Researchers from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Medical Education Research Group at Stanford University School of Medicine surveyed medical school deans in the United States and Canada and asked about the curriculum devoted to topics like gender identity, coming out as gay and disparities in health care access for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients. But while the federal government has recently announced several initiatives to address disparities in L.G.B.T. health care access, the study confirms that most medical schools are lagging behind. More than a quarter characterized what their school taught in regards to L.G.B.T. patients as “poor” or “very poor,” and almost half called their offerings only “fair.”
Montana's D. Gregory Smith brings his perspective of Hillary Clinton's initiative within the State Department to address HIV in the wake of likely illegal warmongering under the George W. Bush regime.

From Out in Wyoming.

Keila Szpaller of the Missoulian tells readers:
"One lady asked if I was 16," said Caitlin Copple, who won in Ward 4. With Copple, it will include the point of view from someone who believes she's the first out gay woman to sit on the Missoula City Council.


Fallows: Cain gripping inner Weiner

Godfather's Toast: new name for an old story.

Read James Fallows' piece in the Atlantic here.

Even less surprising is that the South Dakota anti-civil rights for women and earth hater's caucus led by Israel-backed misogynist, Dan Lederman, voted Cain their choice as standard-bearer. Madville Times has a recap posted here.

More to cum come.


Tim Giago on Janklow, Means

Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) strikes the contrast at Indianz between a former governor and the Native leader whose relationship served to define both their careers. Here's an excerpt:
Several weeks ago activist Russell Means announced that he had throat cancer and it was incurable. Last week former South Dakota Governor William Janklow announced that he had incurable brain cancer. Both of them were born in 1939. While serving as Attorney General for South Dakota in 1975 Janklow was often in the forefront of the actions against the American Indian Movement led by Means. Both of them found themselves on the brink of disaster several times in their volatile lives and in the end, their head-to-head confrontations ended in a stalemate.
David Newquist shares some of his thoughts on the Janklow era at Northern Valley Beacon.

Bob Newland is still struggling with flashbacks from going head-to-head with the former attorney general and governor, but lives to talk about it at The Decorum Forum.

Doug Wiken at Dakota Today brings another recollection.


Cannabis for Janklow: poll at interested party

Back atcha, Counselor....

If you have not yet read it, Troy Jones has an eloquent and touching remembrance of Bill Janklow at South Dakota War College. While Troy and ip disagree on many things, peace and the joy of life are not among them.

Douglas left a comment at The Decorum Forum suggesting that Bill Janklow consider cannabis to ease the pain of his final days. Vote now!

Using the 'm' word to describe cannabis is akin to using the 'n' word to describe persons of African descent.


Janklow circling the drain after ruinous career

Woohoo! There IS a God! Just heard it on Minnesota Public Radio. Party! Party!

From the Rapid City Journal:
Former South Dakota Governor and House Rep. Bill Janklow announces he's dying of brain cancer. Janklow resigned from Congress after killing a motorcyclist in a 2003 accident near Flandreau. A jury convicted him of second-degree manslaughter and he was sentenced to 100 days in jail and fined $5,000.
If Janklow (a morbidly obese white male) has any remorse for killing someone with a car he hasn't shown it. According to one chilling newspaper story he has been ticketed four times since he slaughtered Randy Scott. Read this piece that appeared in the Mitchell Daily Republic, it will scare the shit out of you. Here's a snip:
He was also cited for a minor accident when he collided with a parked vehicle, and was twice cited for failure to maintain financial responsibility. The citations for failure to maintain financial responsibility — not having proof of insurance — were dismissed, as was a parking ticket. The minor accident occurred in a Hy-Vee parking lot on Sept. 23, 2008, in Sioux Falls. Janklow was fined $53 and paid $51 in costs.
No telling how many times he has been pulled over without citations by a law enforcement agency that still quivers under his authoritarian personality(s) and powers of coercion.

Earlier in this week's news cycle Jonathan Ellis of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that Janklow pocketed $850,000 from a campaign fund:
Janklow, who had been maintaining the account and filing regular disclosure statements since leaving office in 2003, filed notification that he was terminating the account with the Secretary of State’s Office. The statement required Janklow to report the expenditures from the account. However, the handwriting on the filing was difficult to read. South Dakota law allows political candidates to convert any surplus campaign donations for personal use. In this respect, South Dakota is an anomaly, say campaign finance experts.
It should be noted here that beginning with Janklow, South Dakota now routinely scores at the bottom of US ethics practices rankings.

Ellis goes on to say that South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant (also a morbidly obese white male) declared that it happens as a matter of course in the collapsed red state but that the amounts had never exceeded $10,000; and:
Federal candidates also have restrictions on surplus donations, said Edwin Bender, the executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics. They can donate the money to other political committees, charity or return it to donors.
That recalled a 2009 piece written by Kevin Woster in the Rapid City Journal about a Republican slush fund that is impossible to trace:
The Governor's Club has been a discrete part of political fundraising in South Dakota for more than 30 years. For a $1,000 donation, contributors buy a place at the table - and a position of potential influence - with South Dakota's governor at club events that are not open to the general public. Gov. Mike Rounds refused a Journal interview request for this story. Former Gov. Bill Janklow split the club proceeds with the party.
Janklow even had a hand in the banking crisis by ramming legislation through the South Dakota Statehouse in 1981 that paved the way for Citibank to locate in an already desperately poor state.

Referring to then-Governor Janklow as "The Intimidator," Minnesota Public Radio covered the 1999 Gina Score tragedy at the now-closed Plankinton 'reform school' where teenage girls were stripped naked then four-pointed to concrete floors. From the Cara Hetland piece:
Gina Score collapsed after being forced to run two miles on a hot and humid July morning. Boot camp counselors refused her help. They said she was faking. "The doctor flushed her with cold fluids, and her temperature was still over 108 degrees. And that was one and a half hours later. So basically, she cooked to death," says her father David. Former legislator Pat Haley says Janklow's reaction to Gina Score's death was typical. He went on the attack. He tried to discredit kids and parents who spoke out on camp abuse.
More recently, convicted felon Bill Janklow sounded scared shitless on his idea of public radio as he condescendingly pontificated to host Paul Guggenheimer. Lifted from Doug Wiken's Dakota Today:
What Janklow is not saying is that he sued the US Corps of Engineers in order to make them maintain HIGHER water levels on Oahe Reservoir. The Republican failure to plan for Mainstem dam water releases in determining safe building areas is the problem...and that includes the Janklow administration.
In the above-mentioned SDPB interview Janklow seemed to call for the removal of the mainstem dams.
Marion’s Pastures is situated in a large meadow, west to the Missouri River, within the City limits of historic Fort Pierre, South Dakota. This development was established in 2000 and is nearly completed at this time.
This is single-party patronage coming home to roost in a town with a history of flooding.

In 1974 ('75?), if a smoky memory serves, then-Attorney General Janklow gave a speech to a standing room-only crowd in the Volstorff Ballroom at SDSU. He was heckled throughout the address hosted by the Vet's Club.

A brash, wild-eyed sophomore (yes, ip) piped up and questioned how the State of South Dakota could persecute marijuana smokers while turning a blind eye to service clubs like the VFW, Knights of Columbus, and American Legion that were running illegal games of chance with impunity. My query received rapturous applause from those in attendance. Mr. Janklow shouted over the din, "mail me their names," and then was booed off the stage.

I hope Randy Scott kicks you right in the nuts when he sees you, Billy Boy!

Douglas brings a fascinating idea posted at The Decorum Forum.


Lead downtown: too little, too late

I like Dave Snyder, even though he's a Republican.

Not only did he help advance the Mickelson Trail concept, he has been a tireless promoter of the Lead area having sold his hog operation to build a mansion from a pole shed in the Dumont/Nahant area south of town for a woman who broke his heart immediately thereafter. My guess is that she realized South Dakota was collapsing long before I did and ran screaming into the night searching for bluer pastures.

I contracted the drywall finish there some ten years ago and lobbied him on the ice climbing park.

Mark VanGerpen wrote a nice, albeit futile piece in the Black Hills Pioneer about the latest Lead (re)revitalization plan based on a pending SDDoT highway project:
Snyder said the main objective of the three options is to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, where people can easily access the downtown area's businesses and events. Doing so would hopefully increase tax revenue for the city and both economically and aesthetically revitalize the downtown area.
Note the word 'hopefully' in Mr. VanGerpen's story.

Unfortunately (or not), Lead doesn't have a pot to piss in because the bulk of its taxpayers are lining up with their walkers or lying on gurneys awaiting their turns for the various cemeteries splattered throughout town.

Except for Stan, the rest are obese, white retirees from somewhere else who fled cultural diversity in their own States taking advantage of South Dakota's regressive tax structure and are now packing their RVs preparing to flee the advancing strings of 40 below-zero days.

Too many Lead residents are local high school dropouts who married their sisters, are strung out on meth somewhere and are only paying taxes through video loottery, Mickey's malt liquor, cigarettes and fuel.

So: sorry, Dave. I'm holding out for the Yellowstone supervolcano to fix Lead...maybe you should, too.