420 warning eastbound South Dakota I-90!

Alert! Aggressive law enforcement using dogs as weapons! If traverse of this oppressive police state is unavoidable rent vehicles without West Coast or BC license plates, inspect vehicles for faulty equipment, obey all traffic laws, and remove batteries from your phones. Consider an outright boycott of South Dakota and its products.

Copy then paste the above warning to Craigslist in the Pacific Northwest, your favorite online forum, or bulletin board.

From the Bozeman Chronicle:

Gov. Brian Schweitzer will allow a major overhaul of Montana’s medical marijuana act to become law, the governor told the Chronicle editorial board Friday afternoon. He said he will not sign the bill. However, under state law, bills passed by the Legislature become law if the governor does not act within 10 days of receiving the legislation.
Kevin Woster is hosting a discussion on Mount Blogmore.

ip, Weekly Standard: It's Pawlenty/Rubio

Jerk yourself out of red state collapse and mail a check to your favorite public radio network today. NPR posts this reprint from Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard:

A "fringe" nominee is unlikely. Daniels, Pawlenty, and Romney have all demonstrated crossover appeal — with Pawlenty and Romney winning in historically Democratic states, and Daniels winning reelection in 2008 in Indiana even as Obama carried the state. This is why, since the party reforms of the 1970s, most Republican nominees have been downright "boring." George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain have been the selections in the last 20 years — and even Ronald Reagan was not really an insurgent in 1980. By that point, he had served for two terms as governor of the largest state in the union, and had stood for the GOP nomination twice already. On top of that, there are enough very serious figures out there who make the base swoon — perfect for the vice presidential nomination. Marco Rubio is the first that comes to mind.
Yawn...Daniels is too closely tied to the Bush43 regime and Romney takes orders from Zion leaving Pawlenty to quote lines from his favorite movie at every town hall.

And leave the TEAballers to hang their heads:

Or, are we just pawns?

Voices of the Heartland film society has scheduled its May selection at the Elk's Theatre for Memorial Day:

Fresh Air was the source for this NPR story back on September 11, 2009. Here are 42 lessons, complete with helpful links, that we can learn from urbanites about how not to make trash posted at Life as a Human:

Together with his family, Colin Beavan—aka No Impact Man—spent a year trying to live in the middle of New York City without having a negative impact on the environment. One of his first challenges: getting through everyday life without producing trash.


Some priests are not sexual predators

Mary Garrigan tells us from the Journal that nine Rapid City area predator priests were exposed in a recent United States Conference of Catholic Bishops report:
The majority of the Rapid City diocese’s allegations were made in connection with the litigation involving a Catholic boarding school for Native American students at St. Francis, a Jesuit-run mission on the Rosebud Reservation that was staffed by the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, according to the Rev. Steve Biegler, diocese administrator. The Diocese of Sioux Falls did not respond as of Wednesday to a request to release its 2010 audit or survey results. Last year, 55 dioceses, including Rapid City, received letters expressing concerns about record-keeping and reporting procedures that could result in non-compliance.
From the Great Falls Tribune via indianz.com:

Richard King, a member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana, suffered abuse at a Jesuit-run school on the reservation but kept quiet for almost 50 years. King is part of a $166.1 million settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Attorneys estimate more than 500 Native Americans in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington were victimized by members of the clergy.

Beatification for a dead pope is on the fast track. From US Catholic:

Sadly, the most significant but disappointing legacy of Pope John Paul II was his decision to play down the clergy sex abuse of minors. He initially "blamed American culture" and didn’t treat it as a big deal. But particularly bad is that he thought to “rescue” Boston's Cardinal Law from hostile critics by letting Law skulk over to Vatican City. By doing so, John Paul II rewarded or at least shrugged off Law’s disgusting pattern of transferring sexually abusive priests to other parishes, where of course they simply corralled more children and adolescent boys to engage in sexually deviant practices, ruining hundreds of lives.

Greg Smith's blog post From Eternity to Here:

I do know one thing: Last week, at my mother’s Catholic funeral, I introduced my partner to everyone I knew and grew up with in that little church and we were received with nothing but warmth. Nothing but. If only the leadership would get it- and all those gay clergy (and bishops!) would share their experience- we might have a shot at addressing reality….

Here's the birther dealio in a paragraph from a lawyer close to the White House as quoted by James Fallows in The Atlantic:
I think that he and his campaign are genuinely worried about having to deal with the various state legislative efforts to require some specific documentation in order to appear on the ballot in 2012. The Arizona bill nearly became law and may yet overcome the Governor's veto. Bills like this will force the campaign to spend significant sums of money in legal challenges and ultimately may result in partisan state officials keeping Obama off the ballot. The hope is that disclosing the "long-form" birth certificate deflates this issue, truly marginalizes it, and allows the saner members of the Republican Party in the various state legislatures to move away from these pending bills.

Join the bag ban now!

From Ecotrope:


Who is Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum?

I remember reading The Fountainhead in 1977 while attending the School of Mines about a month after seeing the first Star Wars in Boise; it really appealed to the headstrong, narcissistic man-island i was becoming. I had read Atlas Shrugged while at SDSU three or four years earlier about the time i was reading The Gulag Archipelago. Likely i've passed the anarchy gene to my daughters, too, though their mother thinks of it as mental illness.

Diane Rehm hosted scholars of Jane Eyre (no i haven't read it. you?) this morning. Listen for the contrasts of Ayn Rand to the Brontë sisters especially Charlotte and for the comparisons of Dagny with Jane.

4and20 Blackbirds turned me on to this Montana PBS piece:

The Tibetan government in exile has elected a Harvard PhD as its prime minister. The BBC World Service tells us:
"The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has declared Dr Lobsang Sangay as the third kalon tripa," Election Commissioner Jampal Thosang announced, using the Tibetan term for prime minister. An official told Reuters news agency that the Dalai Lama was "very happy" that people had taken "a very active part in the election process". The 76-year-old monk announced in March that he wanted an elected official to assume some of his responsibilities, saying that such a move was in the best interests of the Tibetan people.
Sareck Designs photo
I almost peed my pants when the Rapid City Journal editorial board said:
The 1872 Mining Act was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant at a time when the government was trying to encourage people to settle and develop the West. Updating it to shift cleanup costs and extract royalties would generate millions in federal revenue. Nearly 1,000 recent mining claims have been filed in the watershed of Montana's Blackfoot River. Congress should undertake a long overdue revision of this antiquated law.
Kitty-wampus from Bernice's Bakery where Bitterroot Music used to be is the Montagne Building, the former home of Philip J. Burgess where he lived across the hall from a refugee from South Dakota's Black Hills from '79 to '81. He's got a gig linked here at MTPR.


Rehberg, Noem, Lummis: cheap sex ok

Never mind that Teapublicans want to protect BP, shield their own livestock operations from compliance with the Peoples' rules, extirpate wolves from the Mountain West, and allow shooters to spray lead on wetlands. Now, a sharp-eyed contributor catches Montana's Dennyrection Rehberg, Wyoming's Cynthia Lummox and South Dakota's Krusti Noem in an inappropriate embrace:

kw photo

Democrats=safe; Republicans=cheap.

Looks like Cory and ip woke up thinking the same stuff. Be very afraid, CAH.
Rehberg received $7,971 directly from USDA in 1995-2002. Rehburg’s wife, Jan Rehberg, received $51 directly from USDA in 2008. Jan Rehberg also has ownership in two entities that received payments. She has a 33 percent stake in Lenhardt Property LP, which received $517 in 2006-2009. She also has a 5.6 percent stake in Teigen Land and Livestock Company, which received $31,890 in 2002-2003. Rehberg’s financial disclosure forms for 2009 show ownership in Lenhardt Farm LLC, Rehberg Ranch and Rehberg Ranch Land and Livestock. None appears in the EWG Farm Subsidy Database. EWG’s estimate of farm subsidies to Rehberg and his wife, using the percentage share information provided to USDA, is $9,980 in 1995-2009.

Noem was a partner in Racota Valley Ranch until 2008. Racota Valley Ranch received $3,058,152 in farm subsides in 1995-2008. Her ownership percentage was 13.5 percent in 2000-2001 and 16.9 percent in 2002-2008. Her 2009 financial disclosure form lists her as a partner in Racota Valley Ranch. EWG’s estimate of federal farm subsidies paid to Noem is $443,748.

Lummis is a 31.33 percent owner of Lummis Livestock, which received $47,093 in farm subsidies in 1996-2002. She lists her ownership of Lummis Livestock in her 2009 financial disclosure form. EWG’s estimate of farm subsidies paid to Lummis is $14,289 between 1996 and 2002.
What would happen if the Guantanamo detainees were tried in Cuban courts? From NPR's Fresh Air:

Male bat bugs don't look for an access point to inject their sperm. Instead, they stab the female's abdomen repeatedly, trying to deposit their sperm directly into her bloodstream. To protect themselves, the female bat bugs developed a spongy, immune cell-filled structure — Stewart calls it a "false organ" — on their abdomen to accept the sperm without being repeatedly stabbed.

The Missoulian article on the neighbors' lawsuit has drawn 106 comments. Most recently this:

Please show us all where "anyone" has a "right" to get married. ANYONE???

Thank you, Herb my brother, for helping to make Deadwood a better National Historic Landmark. From the RCJ:

Work began Monday on the rebuilding of the Pineview Building on Lee Street in Deadwood. Storefronts along Main Street that have been affected by the collapsing building were opened up to begin airing rotting timbers. Next week, workers will begin removing the rotted timbers.


Blogger visits with Jesus while cutting firewood

What a beautiful day! Yeah, so this blogger didn't put up enough firewood for a six month winter. Got the saw overhauled in February and it's running like a champ. The goddess usually goes along lest blogger, ex-logger, drops one on the truck or himself. She loves walking back to town accompanied by her intrepid, but sometimes gimpy French mountain dog.

Up Sunnyside we go, enough ice-melt running to stay out of the tracks and driving on the stubborn ice so as not to tear up the Forest Service road. The branches and tops of trees felled by lazier locals litter the sides of the two-track. Saw chips packed into the hardpan will produce Shaggy Manes in less than a month.

About half-way up we stop at the spring to fill the water jugs; the smell of earth wafts from the hillside where the splashes of liquid life have carved out a small pool.

The terrain begins to flatten into a favorite meadow that will be awash in wildflowers about the time the mushrooms pop.

That's when you see the stands of dead trees. Acres and acres. If you go all the way to the top of the ridge it reveals square mile after square mile, mountaintop to mountain top. Lodgepole mostly, killed by the pine bark beetle some of it interspersed with Douglas fir many killed by the spruce bud worm.

We back the truck, my trusty '92 S-10 (Saloon No. 10 edition adorned with a magnet i won with four of a kind probably playing against Newland a million years ago) up an ice-packed skidder trail where a good sawyer can damned near put the tree right in the bed (i've done it; it's not pretty). Two will fill the old fart so i wow the goddess with my woodsmanship by adroitly dropping a couple beside the road.

She watches for a few minutes so her aging companion doesn't slip and cut his groin open with the chainsaw; then after a hug and a water bottle she and the little four-legged head down the trail.

After both trees are bucked to length it's customary for a smoke break. Two times at bat always makes my back feel way better. Then, like a vision from Powwow Highway, a figure appeared.

He wasn't young or old, he was kind of timeless.

"Hey, how's it goin'?" i asked as he walked up.

"What planet is this?" he asked.

"Well, Earth, actually. Montana, USA," i said.

He tilted his head and looked at the pine trees then said, "Weird. This was all aspen last time I was here."

i laughed. "That had to have been two hundred years ago, anyway."

He looked at me quizzically then said, "Well, two thousand, more like it. It's coming back to me now. Partied my ass off and passed out in a crystal cavern heated by hot springs on the other side of that mountain."

i had another bat.

"i'm Larry," i said, then held out my hand. "You?"

"Jesus," He replied. He pronounced it, "Hey Zeus." His handshake felt like a mug full of hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.

"i thought it was three days, not two thousand years," i mused.

"Well, when yer ageless, it all kinda runs together," He said matter-of-factly. "What's in the pipa?"

"Meds," i said. "Need one?"

"I'm good," He replied. "What happened here and why the little truck?" He asked gesturing to the dead trees then to my pony.

"Jeez," i said, "oops, no offense. Well, two white guys named Lewis and Clark surveyed all this after the United States bought it from France who stole it from the Indians. Then about a hundred and twenty years ago white guys from Ireland, England, and Germany killed all the buffalo, put the Indians they didn't kill into internment camps, then came in here and clear cut all the virgin timber for mine supports and buildings, and let cattle come in here to eat all the aspen shoots. Want me to go on? And never tell a man he has a little truck."

He fumbled with his beard. "Yeah sure, I'm not really due back here yet, got a meeting on one of the moons of Uranus in a little bit; but go on."

i continued, "anyway, so the Forest Service was created to manage all this as a big farm. They suppressed fire and sprayed DDT into the waterways until a book came out in 1962 describing a world where humanity is poisoning the planet. Your planet right?"

i coulda sworn he looked at His watch: "My dad's, well, Mom's really, Dad's the builder, Mom's the owner."

i ploughed on. "Well, war broke out in southeast Asia and people began wondering whether the world was going to Helena in a hand basket then realized something had to be done about preserving the finite resources. Lawsuits got filed stopping logging operations, the housing bubble popped so all this maladapted forest grew like weeds killing the historic habitat."

He shook his head. "Hey, gotta go. Look, you assholes better do something about getting all this shit fixed. I'll be back in 2063 with the Vulcans over by Bozeman to witness Zefram Cochrane breaking the warp barrier. Don't fuck with the time line by killing yourselves before I get back or there'll be Hell to pay. Get it?"

i nodded and then He was gone. i loaded the truck, got back to town, put the wood in the shed, then wrote this story just in case anybody reads this blog.

Let's see: what is Zefram gonna need?


Professor Wilmer announces for US House; Newland considering run for SD District 30

Franke Wilmer is passionate about Montana's commitment to social justice. In her remarks to the assembled Democrats at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds she described the responsibilities of the United States to uphold tribal sovereignty, vowed to work closely with Montana's seven landed tribes and with the Little Shell band now seeking federal recognition. From her website:

She is serving a third term as a citizen-legislator in the Montana House of Representatives where she has served on the Education; State Administration and Veterans Affairs; and Fish, Wildlife, and Parks committees. Franke worked for 16 years as a carpenter, waitress, legal secretary, sales clerk, and substitute teacher to provide for her family and eventually, to complete college and earn a PhD. She has written three books, many articles and book chapters, received the prestigious Wiley Award for Meritorious Research and Creativity, and won numerous teaching awards including the national Pi Sigma Alpha Excellence in Teaching Award in Political Science.
Mail her a check.

The current At-large representative for Montana, GOP earth hater, Dennyuppyfied Rehberg, is expected to be crushed in his bid to unseat Senator Jon Tester.

Fellow cannabis researcher, Bob Newland, the brilliant though sometimes quixotic Libertarian from Hermosa, is mulling a run for the seat currently held by disgraced Republican earth hater Lance Russell. Join ip in supporting a non-Democrat by sending him a check, too.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The goddess recently attended a pharmacology conference where she learned of this story from Mexico City:

Rodolfo Villarreal, Juan Palacios, Keith Parker and Lilian Calderon carried out the study, "Gene inflammatory expression profiling in right versus left ventricles in young urbanites: What is the long-term impact of myocardial inflammation in the setting of air pollution?" The researchers are from the University of Montana (Palacios, Parker, Calderon), the Instituto Nacional de Pediatria in Mexico City (Calderon) and the Big Sky High School in Missoula, Montana (Villarreal).
Missoula has a long history of wood-burning stoves and air stagnation alerts. Here is the really creepy part: these toxins are affecting the blood/brain barrier allowing bacteria from mice and dog feces to infect the hearts and brains of children in Mexico City. Higher dog concentrations led to increased rates of infection. The researchers concluded that:
•polluted air can create inflammation, even in the hearts of young individuals
•the right ventricle responds differently than the left
•endotoxins play a role in the inflammation
Must read: thank you, Michael; you rock!


Shad Olson: the Anwar al-Awlaki of South Dakota; bison to ESA?

"Standing for our sovereignty?"

The sovereign movement is zombie politics. It resurrects a dead issue to rouse the marginalized rabble to violent overthrow. In his rants to the red state right, Shad Olson incites his readers and listeners to kill medical providers with this Turner Diaries-like piece of prose:
Just like an underwater tea party...he noticed a newly arrived figure emerging from the milky stillness...She had her mother’s golden locks and the same set of dramatically arching cheekbones and pearly-perfect teeth...see the figure that had approached from out of the milky stillness, beyond. It was a young boy of maybe 7 or 8. He had sandy blond hair, cut pageboy style, framing a face that was to Grandy, both angelic and oddly familiar. His eyes, though blue and clear, seemed impossibly ancient and wise...his tow-headed companion, who was still leading him forward, deeper into the milky stillness of a dream...floating like dandelion seeds...like the gauzy tail of a comet...by children dressed in white...The creamy-cool goodness of a vanilla ice cream cone...his wife’s sugar-sweet kiss...the snowy-white wisps of a dandelion dream, brought to life inside the mind of God.
Holy Shit Ona Shingle! This is an ode to a White God that commands Predator drones to rain bombs on children of color and demands that sovereigns strap on explosive vests then walk into daycare centers full of Muslim kids.

Happy Earth Day, hipneck:

The readers of interested party who are not familiar with Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know should seek out the four disclaimers, especially the last sentence of the first disclaimer.

Copied from the comment section of a story in the Montana Standard:

Eadreon said on: April 22, 2011, 12:58 am
Estimated number of wolves in Idaho last year: 705
In Montana: 566
Wyoming: 343
Wolves documented in eastern Oregon today: 23
In eastern Washington: 16
Confirmed cattle killed by wolves throughout the Northern Rockies last year: 199
Confirmed sheep kills: 249
Dogs: 2
Number of wolves killed by wildlife officials or private citizens last year: 260
Number of cows/calves killed by wolves in Montana last year: 84
Total number of cattle in Montana last year: 2.5 million
Number of confirmed Montana sheep killed by wolves: 67
Number sheep producers reported lost from other causes (i.e. disease, weather): 49,000
Number they reported lost to all predators: 17,800
Number of sheep deaths blamed on coyotes: 12,100
On eagles: 800

The neighbors are headed for appeal:

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock noted in a decision dated Tuesday that the state government grants its gay employees the same employment-related benefits for their same-sex partners. And he pointed out that the Montana Supreme Court has previously decided that that the state university system’s past policy of barring such benefits to gay employees violated the equal protection provisions of the Montana Constitution. The judge said, despite sympathy for the plaintiffs, that it would be an inappropriate breach of separation of powers for him to order the Legislature to enact “a domestic partnership or civil union arrangement” as sought by the gay couples. He said forcing the lawmakers to draw up new laws goes much farther than asking him to declare one of their statutes unconstitutional. “This court finds plaintiffs’ proposal, although appealing, to be unprecedented and uncharted in Montana law,” Sherlock wrote.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed an intent to sue to place the Plains Bison under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. These are the genetically pure survivors, not the mass-produced hybrids in feedlots.

A blue state sees the light:

Reason and justice prevailed this week in Massachusetts, where the Commonwealth’s highest court ruled by a 5-1 margin in Commonwealth v. Cruz that police can no longer search or seize someone they suspect of possessing a small amount of marijuana. The basis for this ACLU victory was the Massachusetts ballot measure known as Question 2, which made possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction instead of a crime. Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved Question 2 with 65 percent of the vote in November 2008.


Malkin, Coulter, Beck stoking hatred, sovereign movement

Bombs, wildfires, and mass shootings are just some of the tools of terror. It's likely that the FBI is stretched too thin to get ahead of the curve and it is hiding the scope of its findings to mask the extent of the hatred.

After a bomb attached to propane tanks was found in a Littleton, Colorado mall the same spokesman mentioned by Tom Morton at the Casper Trib now tells us from the Rapid City Journal:
FBI spokesman Dave Joly said authorities have identified a person of interest seen on surveillance video entering a stairwell he said isn't typically used by the public.
The sovereigns are overwhelmingly white christians using a maladapted interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to rationalize its commitment to a pending race war using links to the federal storming of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and culminating in the Oklahoma City bombing. Many are either convicted felons no longer able to vote or have been marginalized by those who believe that the democratic process is ineffective especially since a person of color is President of the United States.

Basin and Jefferson County are rife with this failed red state attitude. A bomb found along a parade route in Spokane on the Martin Luther King holiday sent an alert to those of us in the Northwest.

western diamondback by kw

From a piece by Cara Hoffman at NPR's You Must Read This:

The Absolute at Large illustrates perfectly how important social critique can be slipped into genre fiction and is able to have a broader impact as a result. The novel is as accurate as any work of nonfiction, as slyly weighty and refreshingly un-mannered as some of the best literary work out there. It lifts the veil on the dystopic slapstick of politics and religion, and, through wit and surrealist speculation, delivers the reader to understanding like administering a pill to a dog in a spoonful of peanut butter — or, should I say, the Eucharist to the supplicant in the form of a waxy white wafer.
Pretty much nails it.

Hey Wyoming! Could someone help me get this fucking collar off?


Open billboard thread at ip; Willie Nelson cancels red state dates

Why the hell is interested party doing this? Here are a few pertinent links:





Prohibition doesn't work. Is taxing billboards a way to bridge free speech without creating a chilling effect? Mix it up live, South Dakota. And how is billboard speech different from the offensive but protected language recently upheld in Snyder v. Phelps?

Willie Nelson has cancelled tour dates in states where his medicine is illegal. Smart man, that Red-Headed Stranger.

Wyoming sliding

Just when you thought the Bighorn Basin didn't house enough crazy people:


 The Casper Star-Trib is always a trip into weirdness. Check this out:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation may be investigating the sovereign citizen movement in Wyoming, an agency spokesman said. "I can neither confirm nor deny that an investigation exists; this is a very sensitive subject," Dave Joly, spokesman for the FBI's regional office in Denver, said in March. Sovereigns who have embraced violence or the overt potential for it include: •Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols in 1995. •The Montana Freemen in 1996. •Scott Roeder, who killed abortion doctor Joe Tiller in Wichita, Kan., in May 2009. •Jerry Kane and his son Joseph Kane, who gunned down two policemen during a traffic stop in West Memphis, Ark., in May 2010.
Tom Morton of the Trib is doing a series on Wyoming's slide into red state failure. He goes on to say:
Jared Loughner, who in January killed six people and wounded more than a dozen others, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, had used the language and cited causes popular among some sovereigns, according to his writings and video statements, said movement-watcher J.J. MacNab. Some sovereigns locally and nationally have said Loughner's primary target was Arizona Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll because he had recently ruled against a program of President Obama.
What a surprise!


Trahant on SDPB

Guggenheimer is struggling to redeem his adopted state and Bill Janklow's idea of public radio. He interviewed Shoshone-Bannock writer Mark Trahant and producer Tom Curran today on Dakota Midday about the Catholic Church cover-up of the clergy abuses of Native children in Alaska. The second segment brings one story of South Dakota's own complicity.

Trahant, who was at Crazy Horse where he was interviewed by phone, writes about priest predators in Buffalo Post and describes the Frontline documentary:

One aspect of that story is the pedophile partnership between Father George Endal and Joseph Lundowski that began in the early 1960s. Endal, acting without the church’s authorization, named Lundowski as a “brother” and placed him in charge of a dormitory. The story shold [sic] have ended there when a student caught Lundowski in a criminal sexual act. But police weren’t told and the crimes continued for many years. “The Silence” was produced by Tom Curran, who grew up Catholic and is from Alaska. He has been working on the story for nearly four years. The veteran documentary filmmaker had shot several Iditarod races and said he felt a deep connection with Native communities. “I saw this as an egregious example of [what] the church did … and it was a story that had to be told.”
Natives are natural journalists; but, the need for committed litigating criminal and environmental lawyers that speak Lakota, Crow, and O'odham is critical. A class action against the Vatican is an idea whose time has come.

Cold and squally today with numerous graupel showers.


Gordon Howie to auction areolae

Yep, he's up to his tits.

Sometimes it's difficult to watch ranchers lose the family ranch; sometimes it's a freakin' blast. This auction notice appeared in the RCJ:
Former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Gordon Howie plans to auction 2,500 acres, or about half of his Pennington County ranch, on May 17 to pay off his mortgage debt and back property taxes on several dozen area properties. In the spring of 2010, when he ran for governor, it was estimated Howie owed the county $60,000 in property taxes on more than 40 properties. “The negative press I’ve gotten from the Journal has people thinking I’m some sort of tax-evading derelict. This is an opportunity to paint a different picture,” he said.

From his boyfriend's website:

Patriots from in and around Rapid City, South Dakota spent last weekend brushing up on their American history and knowledge of the Constitution, thanks to several events sponsored by the Family Heritage Alliance, BigHorn Canyon Ministries, the Life & Liberty Group, and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance.
The BigHorn Canyon Ministries? That's the shell group masquerading as a religious organization Howie founded to dodge taxes. Or as perennial War Toilet commenter grudznick calls it, "overgodded."

And the family ranch? Stolen from tribes. If only the proceeds of the sale would go to pay some tiny fraction of the Cobell settlement instead of going to equally complicit Pennington County.

Moon rising over Boulder Batholith

photo courtesy kw


Maestro Martin Busch passes

Martin Busch is gone.

The Rapid City Journal tells us:

Busch served as executive director for SDPB from 1960 to 1984. He was first appointed director of KUSD-AM in 1960 and in 1961 oversaw the establishment of KUSD-TV, the first educational television station in the state and flagship station of SDPB. During his tenure, he participated in the early development of organizations that eventually became Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio. He served on the PBS Board of Directors from 1973-1979 and retired from SDPB in 1984.
In 2001, after it had already become Bill Janklow's idea of public radio, Busch was in the middle of reading Kristin Lavransdatter when a brash jazz aficionado named Jim Clark burst in and started a new show.

Dominus vobiscum, Maestro.


Tester at JeffCo Dems

Sixty five Democrats welcomed Senator Jon Tester to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds as he sized up his 2012 showdown with unfortunate Republican Dennybriated Rehberg.

Crappy photo by ip.


After some lasagna, Tester arose to introduce Sharla his wife, Ted Dick, the chairman of the Montana Democrats, and his reelection staff. He talked about wolf de-listing, too. ip remains unconvinced.

Several prominent Democrats were in attendance: ip had the opportunity to speak at length with Missoula legislator, Dave Wanzenried, who has held off the Republican assault on the Montana Statehouse and is an announced candidate for governor.

Boulder's proximity to Helena makes a relatively small number of Democrats accessible to politicos at the grassroots even though we are thoroughly outnumbered by the Republican earth haters of Jefferson County.

Interestingly enough, ip attended a baby shower earlier that day in Basin because the goddess was at a conference. The wife and daughter of TEAballing legislator Alan Hale avoided ip like the plague. Several christians who were also there blatantly ignored my attempt to sell tickets to our Demo dinner where the group also revealed copious apathy to the democratic process.


Here is the summary from our most excellent information director:

The Jefferson-Jackson Annual Fundraiser Dinner held last evening was a huge success and a lot of fun! I would like to thank Leslie, Shirley, Mike, and all the other wonderful volunteers who helped organize this event, and to those who baked such delectable dishes, and to those who donated the terrific variety of goodies for the live auction (and, wasn't that fun!)...Kudos to all!!! If you were not able to attend, you can still send your donation to the Jefferson County Democrats!
Karole Lee
457 Lump Gulch Road
Clancy, Montana 59634

Is this a sweet prom picture or what?

OK, so ip should admit to a wrong-headed conclusion: Judge Malloy didn't sustain the wolf so much as he sustained Congress. A recent ip poll revealed six of ten respondents disagreed with his ruling.

If Senator Tester represents the wishes of a majority of Montanans (and I think he does) by adding a rider that removes the wolf from the protection of ESA to a budget resolution, then he deserves my respect for that even though he is fucking wrong.

Fayrohs famed

Hank Harris and Ricky Jacobsen likely know my lives better than I do perched up on those stages watching South Dakota get old. It's only fitting that one of their own lives is being inducted into the state's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today. Eric Lochbridge, the Rapid City Journal's much younger music reporter said it this way:

DD and the Fayrohs will be only the second West River band recognized by the South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association, which curates the hall of fame in the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls. In addition to singer Drew Lerdal and guitarist Lerdal – who also plays with Beatles tribute group the Abbey Road Band — DD and the Fayrohs’ current members include Hank Harris on bass and Tom Sitzler on drums. Local musician Ricky Jacobsen sometimes plays with the group as well. Former bassists Rod Schroeder and Vicki Hurd also will be inducted. Harris, who performs frequently as a solo singer-songwriter, joined DD and the Fayrohs in 1989. He believes the band’s success stems not only from its passion for music but also from other less apparent skills. “We used to play pretty much every weekend, and then people started getting lives,” Harris said.

Slideshow of foraged foods at Ecotrope, a blog hosted by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Wait, wait..."not intended to be a factual statement:"

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BP spill on Wyoming's N. Platte River

From the Casper Star-Tribune reported on Wyoming Public Radio:

A series of oil sheens on the North Platte River near the former Casper Amoco Refinery that were first sighted last year have returned. The sheens, which are confounding those who monitor the former refinery site, began appearing along a 300-yard stretch of the river in the vicinity of the Poplar Street Bridge, according to Keith Guille, public information officer for the state DEQ. Guille said that BP — Amoco’s successor company — and the DEQ are working together to find the source of the sheens. Over the course of 80 years, about 30 million gallons of crude oil and refined hydrocarbons — or three times what the Exxon Valdez spilled off the Alaskan coast in 1989 — spilled onto the refinery’s grounds, according to a previous Star-Tribune report.
Pinedale residents angry with ozone levels in Sublette County have been bombarding Republican Governor Matt Mead with phone calls and emails.


Wyoming, tribes suffering ozone exposure, fracking pollution

Air pollution levels in Sublette County, Wyoming are breaking new records and causing illnesses never before seen in a state previously known for pristine air quality:

Ozone levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limit on 13 days in February and March. Preliminary data show ozone levels topped the worst readings in many large U.S. cities all last year. The Upper Green River Basin is one of the nation's top gas-producing areas. Gas producers say they've taken steps to reduce the air pollution that causes wintertime ozone under conditions that include bright sunshine and snow on the ground.
From American Public Media's Marketplace:

A study out this week says the carbon footprint of clean-burning natural gas is bigger than coal's because extracting gas releases methane.

NPR reports:

A study released this week by professors at Cornell University found that significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, may be escaping into the atmosphere as a result of shale gas extraction. The natural gas industry calls the study flawed — and says the timing is intended to influence the debate in Albany over how and when new gas drilling in New York State can begin.
From Indian Country Today:

Fracking fluids have been found in wells and groundwater elsewhere in the U.S., as in the 2010 case on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, when the Environmental Protection Agency investigated after detecting benzene, metals, naphthalene, methane and other contaminants.


Montana's governor wields the big one

h/t Duffer. Governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, upheld the will of the People and vetoed a repeal of Montana's medical marijuana law:

Schweitzer vetoed the bill Wednesday along with several others he called "frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana."
Emilie Ritter in Helena is a Montana Public Radio producer:
In a shift from the Bush administration’s position on the subject, the administration of President Barack Obama said in October 2009 it would no longer prosecute patients who use medical marijuana, or dispensaries that distribute it, in states where marijuana has been approved for such purposes.
Schweitzer for US House!


Noem: Mailer Information Legislative Franking?

From the Sewer Falls Argus Leader h/t South Dakota War Toilet as it defends Bimbo At-large Krusti Noem:
During her House campaign last year, Noem attacked then-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's use of mailers as inappropriate. Congressional offices enjoy "franking" privileges that allow them to send mass mailings to constituents at taxpayer expense. The longstanding practice has been criticized for giving incumbents an advantage.

Care to comment without fear of censorship?

The United Snakes Department of Agriculture budget looks gluttonous what with all the subsidies for industrial agriculture and Malathion. hipneck spotlights Frankenfood and worse in school cafeterias as food becomes a weapon in corporatocracy's arsenal against local producers. Commenter Nathan sounds off at the open section of the USDA's site:

The resources are already here. They don't have to be discovered. We have acres of ground in this country that we are paying people NOT to farm, and we have people who are very interested in farming/ranching but know they cannot make a decent living at it and/or don't have any ties to land with which to get started. It is the right direction to go if it is something that can be produced in this nation with our people and lessens our dependence on other nations, and increases the bottom line for every American, financially and psychologically.
It's time to stand up to industrial agriculture.

And why is the Forest Service in there?


Could Deadwood become a cannabis-friendly zone?

Hey Deadwood, pass a resolution then see if you can get the constitution changed. James P. Gray in the LA Times reprinted in Cannabis News:

After Holland decriminalized marijuana back in the 1970s, its minister of health stated that they had only half the marijuana usage per capita in their country as we do in ours – for both adults and for teenagers! And he went on to explain why by saying that “we have succeeded in making pot boring.” A system in which marijuana is no longer sold illegally and also is not advertised commercially will achieve the same results.

Producing solar energy relies on toxic processes; judge sustains wolves

The manufacture of photovoltaic technologies creates its own toxicology. Butte is home to REC, where silane gases are produced. An activist inspired by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition produced a paper spotlighting the real and potential destructive results of these processes:

In the most common form of solar technology, solar panels are constructed primarily of silicon. The process of mining, refining and manufacturing silicon is extremely energy intensive. For example, the process of heating silica in order to make it into silicon rods uses extremely high amounts of energy and produces a lot of waste. According to the SVTC report as much as 80% of the original mined form of silicon is lost in the heating process. Energy is also used to run turbines, furnaces, generators, and pipes throughout manufacturing and assembling processes.
Silica mining is just one more excuse to rip up the Earth. There is an abandoned pit just outside of Basin likely leaching associated heavy metals into the Boulder River:

Industrial sand and gravel, often called "silica," "silica sand," and "quartz sand," includes sands and gravels with high silicon dioxide (SiO2) content. These sands are used in glassmaking; for foundry, abrasive, and hydraulic fracturing (frac) applications; and for many other industrial uses. The specifications for each use vary, but silica resources for most uses are abundant. In almost all cases, silica mining uses open pit or dredging mining methods with standard mining equipment.

Wyoming Public Radio's Open Spaces has a story on spiking ozone levels in the Wind River Range due to natural gas production and one on beetle-killed pine timber.

In Missoula, Judge Donald Molloy struck down an agreement to remove wolves from the Endangered Species list:

In the 24-page decision, Molloy cited the court's lack of authority to put part of an endangered species population under state management and expose that population to hunting, noting, "Congress has clearly determined that animals on the ESA must be protected as such," and the court couldn't "exercise its discretion to allow what Congress forbids."
This article from the Calgary Herald appeared in the Headwaters News feed:

U.S. President Barack Obama should stop sending mixed messages on oilsands and “sign the bloody order” approving the Keystone XL pipeline, Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert charged Thursday.
If the Canucks want to sell this crap, why don't they build more refineries in Alberta and distribute fuel from there instead of building a pipeline to the Gulf?


Aurora alert

From SpaceWeather h/t hipneck:

AURORA WATCH: High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic activity during the next 48 hours, when a solar wind stream is expected to buffet Earth's magnetic field. A coronal mass ejection detected by NASA's STEREO probes on April 9th could also reach Earth and contribute to the display on April 11th.
A recent ip poll said 4 out of 10 believe that leading a humanitarian effort in Libya is the right thing to do.

ACLU, Montana couples test state's constitution, GOP stupidity

The American Civil Liberties Union and six of fourteen Montana couples have been litigating Donaldson and Guggenheim v. Montana since last July in the wake of Montana's adoption of the Bush-era Defense of Marriage Act. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is a Democrat and gubernatorial hopeful:
STATUS: State filed a motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs responded with a request for summary judgment, asking the judge to rule in their favor without a trial.
A Basin couple is party to the suit:
Nancy and M.J. own their home together and have health care directives, but they still worry that the paperwork they have filled out won’t protect them in an emergency. In 2001, Nancy was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she was undergoing treatment, Nancy was concerned the hospital might not share Nancy's information with MJ, even though they had been in a stable, committed relationship for over ten years at the time. Although Nancy was able to convince the hospital to share her information with MJ, the couple worries that another hospital could easily take a different approach.
From the Helena Independent Record:
“You don’t get to deny those rights based on a policy that infringes on the Montana Constitution,” said Bozeman attorney James Goetz, who spoke for the plaintiffs Tuesday. The question appears to hinge in part on how the Montana Constitution’s marriage amendment, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, is interpreted. A similar case was decided in New Jersey in 2006 in which that state’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is not a constitutional right, he said. The Legislature legalized domestic partnerships as a result. The plaintiffs want to see a similar result in Montana.
The straight Republican mostly male dominators in the Montana Legislature have been getting neutered by the governor, the MSM, and the blogs all session long. A Missoula ordinance affirming the civil rights of non-breeders came under attack by GOP lawgivers citing Montana law. The Missoula Independent describes the homophobocism thus:
In fact, at least one lawmaker, Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings, an attorney, argues that the archaic law may still apply in certain situations. According to Peterson, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, there are at least two prosecutable offenses—felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. One is the "recruitment" of non-gays. "Homosexuals can't go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts," Peterson says. He provides an example: "'Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let's go in this bedroom, and we'll engage in some homosexual acts. You'll find you like it.'" Peterson hasn't actually seen this happen, he says, because "I don't associate with that group of people at all... I've associated with mainstream people all my life."
My guess is that Ken is six feet under and has sex with large rodents.

A rumored special legislative session could become a frothing Republican shitstorm if Judge Sherlock strikes down Montana's voter initiated law defining marriage during the interim.

The neighbors are in Paris and were not immediately available for comment.


Montana activist cripples law enforcement, foils blogger

The suicide cells have awakened in Montana.

In a maneuver that embarrasses the most devious eco-saboteur, an Earth defender disabled equipment to take out the power in downtown Helena, the Lewis and Clark County Law Enforcement Center, and some rural subscribers to the Grid. The Helena Independent Record tells readers:

About 2,600 customers were out of power for about an hour Thursday morning after a squirrel caused an outage at a substation on the south side of town. Another 242 customers in Basin were without power for about 20 minutes, according to NorthWestern Energy spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch.
At this hour the Basin area is seeing copious white shit falling from the sky. Here is the webcam on I-15 at Elk Park. Boulder Hill was closed earlier seeing a jack-knifed semi and snowplow in the ditch.

A tip from hipneck led ip to video of a recent fireball at SpaceWeather.com:

Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office reports: "On April 6th at 8:21:57 CDT, NASA all-sky meteor cameras detected a very bright fireball moving north across the state of Tennessee. The NASA Meteoroid Environment Office has reasonable confidence that some fraction of this meteor survived to the ground as one or more meteorites."
NOAA is just one more way that We the People fund planetary defense.

May goddess have mercy on us all.

Democrats=safe water, safe food, safe shelter, safe sex.

Republicans=cheap water, cheap food, cheap shelter, cheap sex.


Red Alert! Dan Wildcat to ignite SDSMT

Talli Nauman and Native Sun News alert readers of indianz.com to a climate conference including presentations by Yuchi member of the Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma, Dan Wildcat:

in Rapid City on April 15, at the Surbeck Center Ballroom of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Campus. A founding co-director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center, in Lawrence, Kan., Wildcat will address the second annual Green Energy and Sustainability Conference, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society 2011 AISES Region V Conference from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Also scheduled to appear are Tom Bull Bennett, the first American Indian to earn a Ph.D. at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Otakuye Conroy, a Rapid City Central graduate and the first Lakota to receive a doctorate in environmental engineering.

Decorah, Iowa eagle cam; you have to watch an advert:

Wind River Mountains glacier study photos archived at the Casper Star-Tribune:

Early September 2003, in the middle of the night, water filled the lake at the toe of Grasshopper Glacier to its tipping point. Pressure grew against the natural dam of rock and ice, and around midnight, water burst through the barrier.
From a Colorado College poll posted at Headwaters News:

Agree that the EPA should closely regulate carbon emissions:
Colorado - 70 percent
Montana - 62 percent
New Mexico - 65 percent
Utah - 63 percent
Wyoming - 56 percent


Non-contiguous reservation land proposed for clinics that provide abortion services

A 1986 amendment to federal law allows tribes to acquire off-reservation land to serve the needs of its peoples. A recent court case upheld these tribal rights. The Arizona Republic explains:

Luis Plascencia, an assistant professor at Arizona State University, questioned the states-rights argument. "When states joined the union, they agreed to be a state, political entities authorized by the federal government," Plascencia said. "States are given power but it doesn't make them independent of the United States of America the same way cities are not independent.
South Dakota recently passed an anti-civil rights law that seeks to restrict the number of abortions performed in the state by imposing a waiting period and a prior consult from a non-medical religious organization.

It is time for tribal medical professionals to establish clinics that perform abortions on these non-contiguous parcels as islands of health care that supercede state law. The Northern Cheyenne, a Montana tribe, owns land near Bear Butte in western South Dakota considered "non-contiguous" reservation land.

If this doesn't move you, you're dead:

From an AP story at indianz.com:

Puerto Rico has seen a big jump in the number of residents identifying themselves as "American Indian" on the U.S. Census. Nearly 20,000 island residents claimed Indian heritage on the 2010 Census. That's up 48.8 percent from the 2000 count.

Black Hills communities, Flagstaff, Helena at risk to weaponized wildfire

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.


Willie weed tested in court

The New York Times seems to think Willie Nelson is the most famous cannabis activist in the US. From Cannabis News:

He is co-chairman of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has been a High Times cover boy and famously smoked a joint on the roof of the White House when Jimmy Carter was president. Take his most recent bust. On Nov. 26, Border Patrol agents at the eastbound Interstate 10 immigration checkpoint just west of the far West Texas town of Sierra Blanca arrested Mr. Nelson inside his touring bus, Honeysuckle Rose, after drug-sniffing dogs and the agents’ own olfactory acumen gave them reason to search. Six and one-quarter ounces of high-grade, domestically grown marijuana were discovered. Mr. Nelson was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge, posted a $2,500 bond and went on his way. Last week, C. R. ( Kit ) Bramblett, the Hudspeth County attorney, announced that Mr. Nelson was going to have his day in court, telling The Big Bend Sentinel, “I’m gonna let him plead, pay a small fine and he’s gotta sing ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ with his guitar in the courtroom.” Mr. Bramblett added, “I ain’t gonna be mean to Willie Nelson.” By making a joke of possession and enforcement laws, Mr. Nelson has done more to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of marijuana prohibition than a hundred lobbyists or a thousand politicians could ever do. Every grower worth his product wants the stamp of approval from Mr. Nelson, since “Willie weed” is considered the gold standard by which all marijuana is judged.


Effects of the Anthropocene on the Earth's largest mammals

Let's get one thing straight: I don't have a spiritual bone in my body. The existence of the human mind is a product of the biochemistry of phosphates altered forever by the transition from hunter-gatherer to agrarian accompanied by the deleterious effects of sedentarianism. Human migration should be embraced, not outlawed.

Krista Tippet examines two worlds being disrupted by human earth hatred:


Nature orgasm

If you haven't ever had a vision this is what it's like:

April - Wihakakta cepapi Wi – Moon of Fattening
This moon was named for the female animals. During this time, those carrying babies were at their largest before giving birth.
Twelve months/twelve apostles version of thirteen womens' moons. No wonder the world is fucked up.


Montana legislature upholds virginity tests

The Montana Legislature is commanding center ring in the media circus. From a source not necessarily known for edgy reportage comes this scintillating and fascinating piece from The Northwest's Prairie Star:

These rules include testing all non-virgin bulls that mix with other herds, and testing requirements for non-virgin bulls imported, sold, loaned or leased in Montana.
• Use only virgin bulls or bulls less than 4 years old that have been tested annually.
• Allow only virgin heifers or pairs onto common grazing pastures, or cows that have been away from the bull more than 120 days.