Magaska: Rapid City Journal driving racism

James Swan is the founder of the United Urban Warrior Society: his protest of a Lee newspaper spotlights Rapid City's rank legacy of hatred. In June, 2011, Swan led a successful campaign to stop oil drilling near Bear Butte (Mato Paha).

Evelyn Red Lodge of Native Sun News reports at indianz:
Swan was spurred to action while participating in a recent protest of Rapid City Journal policies considered anti-Native American. The protest took place in front of the Journal’s downtown building. Swan is confident he will gain support from area organizations and community members. He also asks that anyone who feels they have been discriminated against by the Rapid City Journal and those who want to offer support contact him at (605) 381-8612 or unitedurbanwarriorsociety@yahoo.com.
This action comes on the heels of the announcement that a former RCJ publisher and Spearditch businessman has received an award from industry rag, Editor and Publisher®.

The Billings Gazette has recently been conferred with three awards from Lee Enterprises for outstanding displays of earth hatred under the guise of journalism.

Photo: Talli Nauman, Native Sun News


Verdict pending in Wyoming pipeline eminent domain case

Update, yes: the Wyoming Black Hills are fucked.

The Wyoming Black Hills are under assault from Canadian mining firms and out of state earth scorching interests.

Despite landowner objections construction continues on portions of the Bakken Pipeline originating near Sidney, Montana; and, if completed, it would transport raw natural gas liquids (NGLs) south through easternmost Montana and Wyoming into northern Colorado then connect to the existing Overland Pass Pipeline.

A court ruling will determine whether the further destruction of sage grouse habitat will continue. Expert testimony was heard from a well-known South Dakota School of Mines hydrologist according to Sarah Pridgeon of the Sundance Times:
A decision is awaited from Judge John R. Perry as to whether Oneok Partners will be able to claim its right of eminent domain on the two final pieces of private land needed to complete the Bakken Pipeline. Judge Perry is currently considering the written closing arguments submitted by Oneok and the defendants, Bush Ranches and Watson Land LLC. 
The right to invoke eminent domain rests on Oneok proving three things: that the public interest and necessity require the project or use of eminent domain to be authorized by the Wyoming Constitution; that the project has been planned and located in the manner most compatible with the greatest public good and least public injury; and that the property in question is necessary for the project. Oneok did not contest the evidence of the four geologists who testified during the case – Dr. Arden Davis, Dr. Perry Rahn, Seth Wittke and Brian Reck – that gypsum beds exist in the Spearfish Formation under the defendants’ properties.
The proposed pipeline would pass through Crook County intersecting with the Belle Fourche River just west of Belle and would cross the Redwater River between Aladdin and Beulah. It would cross the Cheyenne River near Mule Creek Junction west of Edgemont, and the North Platte near Fort Laramie terminating at the divide with the South Platte River not far from the tiny Colorado hamlet of Last Chance that was reduced to a pile of rubble by a recent wildfire.

Pridgeon also reports that a Canadian company ripping up part of Bull Mountain in its search for rare earth minerals just south and east of Devils Tower is suspending operations for the winter.

Yellowstone Public Radio is reporting that a segment of newly-built high pressure TransCanada gas pipeline has exploded 20 miles west of Gillette, Wyoming. The Casper Star Trib has a story:
A natural gas pipeline west of Gillette exploded Wednesday night. It shook nearby homes and echoed at least 30 miles away but didn’t cause any injuries or property damage, officials and a resident said. The blast ripped open a 60-foot section of the Bison Pipeline and shot several pieces of 30-inch-diameter pipe around the bluffs on land about 20 miles west of Gillette at about 7:30PM.
The Gillette News Record has photos.

Lorna Thackeray of the Billings Gazette covered the Bison Pipeline's troubled construction:
It doesn’t take an engineer to see that TransCanada’s recently installed Bison natural gas pipeline has big problems along parts of its 97-mile route through southeastern Montana. Wide fissures, some 3 feet deep, have opened directly above the 30-inch, high-pressure pipeline that began delivering natural gas from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to the Northern Border Pipeline in North Dakota on Jan. 14. When construction was in progress on the 50-foot right of way, the company had the temporary right to use an additional 70 feet for equipment and work space. Which leads to another question — if Bison doesn’t have temporary easements, do they have to renegotiate terms when they return to fix the damaged right of way?
From a July 5th piece in the Edmonton Journal:
TransCanada spokesman James Millar noted Keystone XL, which would add 830,000 barrels per day of oil supply to refiners in the Gulf, has yet to be constructed. As part of a recent U.S. push to increase pipeline integrity, TransCanada agreed to comply with 57 recommendations by the national regulator, including installing automatic shut-off valves closer than industry norms, as well as bumping up the number of visual inspections and burying pipe crossing waterways deeper than standard regulations. Similar technologies were used in TransCanada's 400-million-cubic-foot Bison natural gas pipeline which was launched in January. "We're building the most advanced infrastructure. We did that with Bison, we'll do that with Keystone XL," said Millar.
Switches connected to servers can be told to engage and disengage often enough as to cause equipment failure.


Pine Ridge legislator wants to repeal SD law limiting sex abuse lawsuits

Kevin Killer is seeking a third term in the South Dakota Legislature, the law-giving arm of a brutally repressive occupying force that incarcerates American Indians at alarming levels.

The Pine Ridge representative hopes to repeal a statute passed in 2011 that limits the amount of time victims of horrific crimes committed at the hands of clergy, especially those of The Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers who routinely buys influence in that South Dakota body lobbied by longtime legislator and Catholic kingpin, Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown: Secretary of State Jason Gant, is their latest accused criminal.

Brandon Ecoffey of Native Sun News reported from indianz:
To many South Dakota constituents, the bill seemed to directly target Native Americans, who were victims of abuse during their time in church- and state-run boarding schools. Killer — who voted against the bill — told Native Sun News: “I am definitely in favor of repealing the bill. Here is a bill that doesn’t really explore the history of the abuse that was going on. If you are going to think about any type of bill that pertains to any type of tragedy you would think that there would be a conversation with the aggrieved party — and that conversation never happened at all with this.”
Tim Giago wrote from indianz in February of this year:
The U. S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, is monitoring the actions of the South Dakota legislative body and if violations of the civil rights of Native Americans are perceived, the state may be open to injunctory relief and monetary damages.
The Great Falls Tribune ran a piece from AP reporter, Mary Esch, on the recent canonization of a Mohawk saint:
Orenda Boucher, a Mohawk humanities professor at Kiana Institution, a Native American college near Montreal, said there are “mixed feelings” and no easy answer to the question of what Kateri represents to Mohawks or the rest of the world. “A lot of my friends who are traditionalists see Kateri as tied into the story of colonization that has deeply affected Kahnawake, and to the atrocities of the church,” she said.
This year on Columbus Day, Dennis Banks described the horrors perpetrated by Catholic clergy in state-sanctioned boarding schools on Democracy Now!:


Kristi Noem's pimping of grandma, child paying dividends

South Dakota's large-bottomed US House Representative, Kristi Noem, is getting rich pimping her children and relatives in her campaign videos. She has raised four times more moola than her opponent, Matt Varilek, according to the newspaper hiding her past from voters:
Tony Post, executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party, said he doesn’t see Noem’s gift as very unusual. Republican congressional candidates usually give to support the party, he said, citing $95,000 in donations Sen. John Thune gave to the party in 2010.
But her skills at prostitution are hardly new.

Google searches point at a principal in the FSA group. An email sent to a USDA server was returned as undeliverable. Persons within the Republican campaign circle have allegedly observed intimate contact between Kristi and Jim that is ordinarily reserved for couples.

From the Argus Leader:
Noem's dive into the family operation led to posts agricultural boards - her first steps into politics. She served on the South Dakota Soybean Association board. In 1997, then-Sen. Tom Daschle nominated her to serve on the state board of the Farm Service Agency. That led to an appointment to the board from President Clinton. Noem also attended one of Daschle's leadership camps, which were intended to groom up-and-coming Democrats to compete for local and state offices. 
Noem said she attended when the camps were open to Republicans because she wanted to learn more about campaigning. Noem isn't sure how her name got to Daschle for the FSA appointment. It came when the board was being expanded from three members to five. Regardless, Noem was a Republican serving among Democrats. "I don't know why or how she got on that board," said Mike O'Connor, a former Democratic lawmaker who served as the executive director of the state FSA.
Noem nearly lost in 2010 following revelations of a 20-year driving record fraught with recklessness resulting in numerous arrest warrants for failure to appear.

Millions in farm subsidies apparently negotiated through FSA: evidence of entitlement, solipsism.

Here's one way Noem's surplus changes the game: Minnesota Public Radio aired a report on how her fellow TEA Party whore, Michele Bachmann, used her campaign war chest to bully Republican legislators in her state by threatening to run opponents to them in primaries if they voted against a bill that bans marriage equality.

Democrats=safe sex. Republicans=cheap sex.


Indian Health Service slow to stock Plan B

Sunny Clifford of Kyle in the Oglala Lakota Nation initiated a petition to urge the director of Indian Health Service to stop blocking access to care.

This morning, KUNM, New Mexico's Community Powered Public Radio, reminded listeners that health care resources entitled to American Indian women are inadequate.

Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, Native Times:
A September survey of 63 IHS pharmacies in the Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Aberdeen, S.D., and Bemidiji, Minn., service areas by the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center showed that almost half carried Plan B, but did not have it available over-the-counter, despite the Food and Drug Administration eliminating the prescription requirement in 2006 for women younger than 18. 
Citing the rates of sexual assault, teen pregnancy and health insurance coverage in Indian Country, the National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution at its mid-year conference in June, calling on IHS to provide over-the-counter access to Plan B for women who are 17 years old or older at all of its service units.
The responsibility of the United States to the needs of tribes was established in 1787, is based on Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and has been given form and substance by numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Orders.

The canonization of an American Indian saint by the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers is intended to assuage litigants seeking recompense for centuries of rape, sexual and psychological abuse.

Bill McKibben just tweeted the following video describing a response to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). Greenpeace is very concerned about the negative impacts on efforts to reverse climate change, too:


Mitt rolls over; ip endorses Varilek

Nate Silver reports from his FiveThiryEight blog that Willard Romney has reached the apex of a momentum curve defining his chances of winning 2012.

The world is watching as Romney flits across the US endorsing President Obama's agenda for the future. Today, the State of Virginia is no longer a battleground falling in line solidly behind the President.

Public Policy Polling:
Obama leads 57/41 with women, 88/8 with African Americans, and 53/42 with young voters. Romney has a 50/45 advantage with men, a 57/41 one with whites, and a 57/41 edge with seniors. Obama’s moved from being slightly behind with independents last week at 45/44 to now slightly ahead at 47/45.
That smell is Romney/Ryan toast.
The sad answer is there is no way to know what Mr. Romney really believes.--From the Washington Post endorsement of President Obama.
It's official: interested party endorses Matt Varilek for South Dakota's lone US House seat. South Dakota and Montana: elect Democrats to the House and Senate to save the US from red state collapse.

Massive global turnouts are expected for two funerals of larger-than-life South Dakota leaders: speeches praising their bold initiatives from all quarters are expected to energize the Democratic base going forward.

David Montgomery at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:
Congressional candidate Matt Varilek today accused Rep. Kristi Noem’s campaign of “selling access” to her for campaign donations.



Israel slated for erasure

The last 2012 Presidential debate could not have made it more clear: Israel's days are numbered.

Former Nixon henchman, Henry Kissinger, said as much in a New York Post piece according to Franklin Lamb at the Foreign Policy Journal:
It’s a paper entitled “Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East”, an 82-page analysis that concludes that the American national interest in fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel. The authors conclude that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.
President Harry Truman failed the United States by recognizing the illegal creation of Israel.


On not voting for Sen. McGovern in '72

In about 1970 or so, my very furious retired Air Force, Republican father wrote the Sioux Falls Argus Leader after it ran a photo during the Vietnam War. Dad cited Senator George McGovern with what he believed was the unforgivable offense of a civilian wearing a USAF flight suit.

The letters in the paper that followed afterwards accused Dad of nitpicking while he got volumes of support in the mail from the likes of the John Birch Society. Dad never forgot it: clearly I haven't either.

The episode eventually led Lawrence the Elder, whose often-close proximity to B-24s saw history's remembrance of George McGovern's military service as fabrication, to support fellow Strategic Air Command alum, Tom Daschle, through his entire career but gave up on voting after his home state turned Senator Daschle out for earth hater, John Thune. I should add that my father thought Bill Janklow was the Second Coming, so there's that....

In '71, after using Mom's Singer to sew an American flag upside-down on the back of a fatigue jacket from Korea that Dad had given me, he threw it into the burn barrel, poured gas on it and set it afire: that he didn't throw me in there too is testimony of his love for my mother. When she goes the rest of you will know why.

1972 was my first time to vote.

I was a stupid punk, had a very high draft number, ignored a Presidential appointment to the United States Air Force Academy (an entitlement for a dependent of CMSgt Lawrence E. Kurtz, USAF (Ret)) because Richard Fucking Nixon was the Commander-in-Chief; and, my glasses prevented me from being a pilot. Filling in the oval for Gus Hall, the Communist Party candidate, was a protest to somebody else's failed democratic adolescence.

In other news: Fidel Castro and Russell Means not dead.

Update, 0800 MDT, 22 October: Tom Lawrence's piece at the Mitchell Daily Republic's blog and a post duly amended. AP story here.


SDPB debate: it's The Kristi and Matt Show!

If South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem had an "interesting new position" last night: it doesn't hurt to practice a little muscle memory this morning.

Stephanie Rissler served as host for Bill Janklow's idea of public teevee as Rep. Kristi Noem defended her House seat against challenger, Matt Varilek.

The debate opened with Noem in a rhetorical battle with the Veterans Administration over funding decisions affecting its facility in Hot Springs creating an illusion that she gives a shit about veterans while voting to cut care because government is bad unless she says so.

She touted her imaginary impact on the insect trying to reverse ponderosa pine infestation in the Black Hills but appeared to mellow on ObamaCare and voiced her support for coal because it benefits a Canadian-owned railroad while ignoring the mercury being dumped on South Dakota by upwind plants.

While he is clearly too rational for the likely codependent, myopic, red state, blue-haired South Dakota voter, Matt Varilek responded effectively (his voice sometimes dripping with incredulity) to Noem's obfuscations albeit it in often lengthy, wonkish rebuttals with his dais-mate as he controlled the tempo of the slugfest over an often-errant, shrill incumbent.

Noem said she believes in the sovereignty of tribes although she votes against supporting the needs of Native women. Varilek recently appeared on KILI, the Voice of the Lakota. He even used the word, "habitat" in a discussion of gun rights where Kristi stressed the importance of her God-given right to ritual wildlife slaughter with her family.

@StephanieSDPB had at least one awkward moment as she posed a follow up on the Affordable Care Act that seemed to reflect a personal bias, if not an outright poke at a hornet's nest. It is the view of this interested party that a journalist using first names to address learned guests is rude and off-putting: imagine Candy Crowley glad-handing Barry and Mitt, for example.

Reading back through Argus Leader reporter David Montgomery's tweets during the debate revealed one journalist's lean, finely ground reporting as a middle-class roving writer with little stake in the outcome of a campaign as he mused about most tweets coming from the party faithful (we party faithful used #SDPBdebate that DM somewhat begrudgingly used at the end to move traffic to his own site).

Someone tweeted something like, "i wish this one be done so we can start reporting on the next one."

If the last two debates were about Noem's handlers to get her to "first, do no harm," she hasn't learned that at all well, either.

Hell: Bill Janklow is dead and still giving part of nearly a million dollars of his hoarded campaign trove to people just like Rep. Noem. Kristi's place-holding days could be numbered but why should she care? She's making over three grand a day, learning the lobbyist gig, and taking her negative net worth into the black at South Dakota's expense...all orchestrated by the afore-menschened Horsemen mostly-ably assisted by DWC.

South Dakotans: wake the fuck up! We are choosing between an overpaid actress reciting her party's lines and an analyst committed to making a difference.

Another two years of a GOP House looks like the proverbial definition of insanity: fool me twice, shame on me.


Montana gub debate debunked

The Flathead Beacon hosted the stream feed for last night's gubernatorial debate in Kalispell between Attorney General Steve Bullock and his opponent, earth hater Rick Hill.

ip's condensed version of Molly Priddy's very good recap for the Beacon:
Both candidates took the debate opportunity to aim barbs at one another, and Bullock wasted no time bringing up the news of the day that Hill’s campaign received $500,000 from the Montana Republican Party in the six days that the law constraining campaign donations was suspended by a judge and then reinstated by an appeals court. Bullock called the donation a crime.
Great Falls Tribune reporter, John S. Adams tweeted:
@TribLowdown: MT law caps contributions by individuals and committees @ $630 for gov, $310 for other statewide offices, $160 for all other offices. #mtpol
In an alternate universe Ms. Priddy's diligent digital digits and my tweets engage in a quantum interface as we co-describe the anomaly. RT @ larry_kurtz:
Hill on ethical slippery slope #mtpol Retweeted by one.
Bullock clearly smarter but Hill's lock on his ankle must be uncomforable. #mtpol #mtgov
Quoting South Dakota as a success? Hill wanders into the weeds. #mtpol 
Montana's in great shape all things considered: why succumb to red state myopia? #mtgov #mtpol
Hill adept at pushing earth hater buttons #mtgov #mtpol
Seems like a good time to endorse enlarging CM Russell Wildlife Refuge #mtgov #mtpol
Hill, the statist supports a federal judge #mtgov #mtpol 
rephrase: Hill the state's rights advocate invokes a federal judge to justify an unethical campaign contribution. #mtgov #mtpol
Despite his rhetoric, Bullock did not fight the federal government crackdown on medical cannabis #mtgov #mtpol
Bullock's enthusiasm for his state's future clearly eclipses Hill's #mtgov #mtpol Retweeted by two.
Hill is a slug suffering from short guy's disease.

Bullock is smarmy, conservative, and a poor choice to be our party's nominee: he won the debate in a mudslide.

This latter-day update comes on the heels of an announcement that another federal court of appeals ruled the Bush-era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional; and, if the epidemic of judges overturning cases in Montana is any guide, the state's initiated law affirming DOMA is doomed to part of another appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Mountain West's future will be safer under:
Democrats 3 (21%)
Republicans 4 (28%)

The West is screwed regardless 7 (50%)



Blogger watching rail stocks

This interested party has shouted frustration with the train as it continues to complicate traffic in The Gap and sustains the risk of spills in downtown Rapid City.

There is an abandoned right of way that used to connect Sioux Falls and Rapid City with passenger service: it mostly parallels I-90, one of the largest carbon-based fuel black holes in the cosmos.

Minnesota Public Radio has been following fast-tracking development of light rail. Amtrak is reporting 300% ridership increases in some markets.

CSX is an underwriter of NPR: it's a railroad making money.

Richard Piersol at the Lincoln JournalStar:
Berkshire Hathaway's recent discovery that it owned a couple of short-line railroads in Iowa and Oregon has led to questions about the legality of its acquisition of BNSF Railway. Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV, a West Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, wrote a letter to the federal Surface Transportation Board essentially backing an organization of captive shippers, Citizens United for Rail Equity, which says Berkshire's ownership of the short-line railroads in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Oregon meant it needed STB approval before it bought BNSF.
Yes, there is railroad real estate connecting Santa Fe with Rapid City: a set of rusty, maybe-active tracks in the historic rail bed now owned by Canadian Pacific terminates on BNSF's holdings at Dakota Junction, Nebraska.

The speed limit on Nebraska 71 is 60 miles per hour on the 75 miles of bone-dry high prairie grassland between Crawford and Scottsbluff: it's potentially deadly during a blizzard.

US18/US85 between Hot Springs and Lusk, Wyoming is no better; besides, I-25, especially through the Denver metro, sucks at biblical proportions: so does flying through DIA with its likelihood of a strip search.

Construction on the estimated half-billion dollar Heartland Expressway connecting Rapid City with I-80 in Nebraska or Wyoming (nobody knows) is glacial if not completely stalled while traffic between the Black Hills and Denver continues to increase as does the volume between Denver and Santa Fe. Amtrak goes over (sometimes under) Raton Pass. The New Mexico RailRunner connects Santa Fe with ABQ and the Southwest Chief.

Moving coal is hardly sustainable: why not move more humans by making more commutes and seasonal migrations ground-based?

Imagine a time when portions or all track is elevated for wildlife egress through a future corridor between the Canadian River in New Mexico and an Amtrak station near the Missouri River in North Dakota then on to the Yukon River in Alaska intersecting with a tunnel under the Bering Strait connecting South and North America to Russia.

Follow Progressive Railroading or visit their site.

Here are the percentages of return on investment for several railroads.

Update, Amtrak ridership is funding subject of legislature: Indiana Public Media.


Lee Atwater guiding GOP from the grave

Listen to part of the basis for what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow at WYNC's On the Media:
Lee Atwater became one of the most complicated and successful Republican political operatives in history by employing a triple threat: spin when you can, change the subject when you can’t, and if all else fails, appeal to the voters’ resentment and fear, usually of African-Americans. In this conversation from 2008, Brooke talks to Stefan Forbes, director of "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", about the dark legacy of Atwater’s Southern strategy.
Just wow.


Feds to hear medical cannabis case

NPR's Talk of the Nation will host a discussion beginning at 12:00 MDT of a case pending in federal court:
Next week, interest group Americans for Safe Access will present the scientific case for marijuana's therapeutic effects to a federal appeals court, in hopes of relaxing federal restrictions. Oncologist Donald Abrams reviews the evidence on cannabis.
Spliced from Karen McVeigh's piece in the Guardian:
Oral arguments in the case are scheduled to be heard at the US court of appeal for the DC circuit on October 16. It marks the first time in 20 years the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic value of marijuana will be reviewed by the courts. Previous efforts have not been successful. Four states have filed petitions to reschedule the drug, including Washington, Rhode Island, Vermont and Colorado.

Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and South Dakota home to older doctors: RT @StateImpactID.


USFWS/landowner partnership preserving South Platte

Colorado 71 crosses the South Platte a few miles southwest of Willard and just north of Brush: a Borg tendril intersecting a threatened ribbon of green.
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) program was officially established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987. A group of Service biologists and numerous conservation partners had the vision to look beyond the boundaries of government fee-title holdings and see the need to work cooperatively with private landowners. They recognized that nearly 73 percent of U.S. lands are in private ownership and a vast majority of federal trust species used these areas during their life cycle. Intense stakeholder outreach concluded that the most effective way to achieve conservation success was to provide direct financial and technical assistance. --Matthew Filsinger and Joe Milmoe, USFWS
Lifted this morning from a release of the USFWS Office of External Affairs:
Although the science behind groundwater recharge is complex, the concept is relatively simple. Place water in wetlands at a predetermined distance from the river and when the water seeps into the ground, it will follow underground geological paths, providing base flows back to the river system. On the South Platte, this water supports a number of human users, as well as a variety of threatened and endangered species, including: whooping crane, interior least tern, piping plover, and pallid sturgeon.

PFW has been able to assist in designing the wetlands, resulting in numerous gains for wildlife along the South Platte. The program has accomplished this by developing a technique to distribute the water in a functional manner, resulting in a wetland with a large surface area and shallow depth. By keeping the depth at two feet or less, it has become a great draw for a suite of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. 
Species richness and diversity numbers are relatively high and attest to the productivity of the design techniques implemented by PFW. Together with numerous landowners and irrigation companies like the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP), the PFW program is leading the way for species recovery.
Whether it likes it or not, South Dakota and its wildlife killing game management arm is in this partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, too. Yes, the state is bound to help support critical habitat.

Even some private landowners believe cooperation beats the hell out of litigation.

Scott Faver of the Environmental Working Group writes in The Hill:
While the middle class incomes are falling, net farm income has exploded – from $85 billion in 2008 to $122 billion in 2012. Median farm household income increased by 5.4 percent in 2011 and is expected to increase again this year. The income of the largest farms increased by nearly 8 percent in 2011 and is expected to soar again by year’s end.
Hmmm. Subsidies tied to environmental protection and habitat preservation: what a concept.


Tester smokes Rehberg; Seabrook: the news is broken...too

Update: Tester Torches Rehberg.

Montana Public Media aired the debate last night in Billings between Senator Jon Tester and his opponent: it wasn't even close.

Denny Rehberg remained incoherent: his mumbling at the podium was often inaudible and his sentences incomprehensible. As was the case in the US House debate, the Libertarian candidate was not invited. Montana Public Radio streaming on iTunes was my medium of choice for the broadcast.

From a piece penned by Chuck Johnson at Lee Newspapers of Montana:
“It was rock 'em, sock 'em,” said David Parker, a Montana State University political scientist who is writing a book on the race. “It was tough. They both stayed on their message.”
Parker was tapped for this morning's NPR story on the volume of money in the race in light of a recent Montana court decision striking down the state's limits on campaign contributions.


Black Hills cougars victims of red state morass

That the US Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing a state agency, especially one that believes all wildlife is game, to dictate management on any federal property is absurd on its face.

Anyone wishing to help fund lawsuits against the USFWS, the Forest Service and/or the Bureau of Land Management for condoning this unprecedented assault by SDGFP on a single species let me know: email at bottom of blog page. Kickstarter?

Kevin Woster covers the cougar slaughter for the Rapid City Journal. He talked to Dr. John Laundre, volunteer biologist for the Cougar Rewilding Foundation:
Laundre contends that the actual lion population is likely closer to 150. He said there is more politics than science in the commission's season proposal, shaped to respond to complaints from hunters about too many lions killing too many elk and deer. "Hunters are greedy," Laundre said. "They want it all for themselves. And what that leads to is a single-species management where they push game agencies to manage for game they want to hunt."
Woster attended the recent public hearing in Deadwood where the Republican-owned South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks held kangaroo court. KW writes:
A majority of those who spoke supported the proposed increase in the kill quota, although a strong minority opposed the plan. Dr. Sharon Seneczko, a Custer veterinarian who heads the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation, said the substantial increases in lion quotas during the past few years are not based on sound science. "We believe it is unacceptable to drastically decrease cougars to provide more deer and elk for hunters," she said.
California has changed the name of a state agency sez the Marin Independent Journal:
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation sponsored by Marin Assemblyman Jared Huffman replacing "Game" with "Wildlife," in a nod to environmentalists and animal-rights activists. Sporting groups fear the legislation signals a change in the department's traditional focus. Once the name change takes effect Jan. 1, only 12 other states will use the word "game" in the names of their wildlife agencies.
Coyotes have emerged to fill the void left by the wars on cougars and wolves, now birth control techniques are being developed that could affect ungulate and grouse populations.

From the Billings Gazette:
The technique uses deslorelin, a hormone that renders coyotes sterile. According to MacGregor’s paper, “Chemical Castration of the Coyote,” studies conducted in Utah and Colorado confirm that lamb and pronghorn fawn survival rates are higher in sterile versus intact coyote territories.
Technologies to administer hormones to cougars effectively using dogs exist: orphaned kittens are the trouble-makers.

Fascinating that the same people who would deregulate predator capitalism would eliminate another species threatened by the Anthropocene.

The first black president, ca. 1983. Prophetic.


Blogger survives debate

Update, 11:37 MDT: PBS has released a statement on the debate:
For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.

Okay, so it wasn't a bloodbath. Here are a few impressions of last night's nearly presidential debate from my twitter feed [stuff in here from this morning]:
Debate coup update: Turkey v. Syria [this was swirling around in the President's head: bet me]
President Obama can have a beer to loosen up while Willard has to rely on pharmaceuticals. [he must have had several and mitt did speed] 
RT @jaredpolis Taking our seats for #DenverDebate very excited that Colorado is hosting! Retweeted by larry kurtz
Mitt wishes O happy anniversary: bet me. [that happened] 
tempo mitt 
RT @jbendery "I like Big Bird." - Mitt Romney, who then declared he wants to kill Big Bird. #debates Retweeted by larry kurtz
RT @Heffeln Romney's PBS remark drew gasps, boos from audience at #HistoryColorado #debatedenver watch party (hosted by Rocky Mountain PBS) Retweeted by larry kurtz
Mitt using lots of oxygen
RT @KPLU Come on Jim Lehrer – put the foot down. Bring in the Pro-NFL refs - #debates #obama #romney #2012election Retweeted by larry kurtz
Mitt's eyeballs are bulging
cue mel gibson
Reagan bribed Iran: Romney drugs Lehrer
RT @markos Jim Lehrer is tonight's Clint Eastwood.  Retweeted by larry kurtz
hand me the bong, honey


YPR airs Montana House race debate

Some media consolidations are underway in Montana. Lee newspapers and the Great Falls Tribune are under fire for merging editorial boards, restricting access to online content, biased coverage, and sacking employees.

Recently, a public media consortium comprised of colleges has coalesced into a community:
Montana Public Media is a collaboration between Yellowstone Public Radio, MontanaPBS, Montana Public Radio, and The University of Montana School of Journalism. Using multi-media technology, this partnership will provide daily news reporting along with in-depth documentary coverage of Montana politics. The newsroom staffs from Montana Public Radio, Yellowstone Public Radio, the documentary producers of MontanaPBS as well as student reporters from The University of Montana School of Journalism contribute reporting to the project.
Last evening, with moderators Jackie Yamanaka of YPR and Mike Dennison from Lee Newspapers of Montana, YPR carried live the debate between the US House candidates Democrat Kim Gillan and earth hater Steve Daines; the Libertarian contender was not invited.

In a nutshell: State Senator Gillan focused on her empathy for most things great and small as a woman legislator while Daines repeatedly recited his hatred for all things Obama and gubmint.

This interested party listened to the last half while attending a futbol match at Sioux Park in Rapid City (The Machine won 2-1, a Kurtz woman part of the winning club). The free version of Nobex Radio Companion loaded onto my BlackBerry provides streaming for my public radio addiction: my Verizon bill would feed a village.

Lee reporter, Chuck Johnson penned the Billings Gazette's piece: the video is archived here; and, the AP compiled the report for the Helena Independent Record.


It ain't easy building green in energy-rich Wyoming

Remember when Spearditch wanted to raze a school because nobody wanted to preserve it?

That was almost thirty years after it constructed a state-of-the-art building designed, yet under-engineered, to be heated with solar collectors. Yep, it was clearly President Carter's fault that it never worked very well (he just turned 88 and still working while W is barricaded at his ranch). Not so very long ago the rooftop array was dismantled and sold for scrap.

So, building a green school in Wyoming is socialism, right? Sustainability seems like blasphemy if you don't put the pedal to the metal when you own the fuel: and go out of state if you want find LEED certification at great cost, hippie.

Willow Belden at Wyoming Public Radio:
Specialists in green technologies aren’t always available locally. At Davey Jackson Elementary, they had to bring in someone from California to do the lighting system. And to get LEED certification, there are lots of hoops to jump through. 

Stephen Grimshaw is a developer who constructed Wyoming’s first energy-efficient apartment buildings, in Casper. He had to pay for a LEED inspector to come all the way from Boulder, Colorado multiple times during the construction process. And there was a mountain of paperwork.
Senator John Bare Asso (earth hater-WY) just sent a veiled ultimatum on Strategic Petroleum Reserves to President Obama according to Adam Voge at the Casper Star-Trib:
The letter was also signed by Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John Thune, R-S.D., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and James Inhofe, R-Okla.
The Red Line is drawn at the Oil Patch.


Rapid City Journal censors Kent...too; Square hosts Badlands Bash

Lee newspapers are making me grumpier than usual: this time it's the Rapid City Journal.

From Jim Kent's piece at lastrealindians:
Editorial Note*: The Rapid City Journal refused to publish this work, Jim's weekly column, on 9/27/12 re: Native American boarding schools - hinged on the award-winning film "The Thick Dark Fog". Its editorial board noted that the boarding school issue –though painful – took place decades ago, questioned references to genocidal federal practices prior to the 19th century as well as their use at boarding schools, questioned references to Gen. Philip Sheridan, and stated that publishing the column “would further divide Native Americans and whites without justification.”
Sam Hurst is the author of many works, including the viral post-mortem for the candidacy of former South Dakota Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: it's a sobering reminder of how Democrats have lost the word war in the state. A visit with Hurst last evening at The Badlands Bash, a fundraiser for an initiative promoted by former US House candidate, Kevin Weiland, in Rapid City's Main Street Square gave me pause.

Mr. Hurst mused about starting an online newspaper to fill the void left by the mainstream media in the chemical toilet. What's he doing? He's writing a book.

Yes, I own some Lee stock.

That's Kenny Putnam playing fiddle on the right and Mike Reardon is the guitarist just left of center in the photo (someone fill in the rest for me?)