Planet Jackson Hole: Yellowstone supervolcano eruption would ELAWKI

Experts say a supervolcanic event in Yellowstone would be at least 50 times as powerful as the Krakatoa blast and 2,000 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helen’s eruption. In short, surrounding communities like West Yellowstone, Moran, and Cody would be Pompeii – buried in more than 240 cubic miles of pumice and ash. They would be the lucky ones. [Jake Nichols, Planet Jackson Hole]
Scientists are learning that the Yellowstone supervolcano is about two and half times as large as once believed and its eruption would "end life as we know it."
Not only was there a sudden rise in the elevation of the ground, and development of new cracks, but a gas called Helium-4, a very rare type of Helium, has begun coming out of the surface. It is the presence of this gas that has scientists quite concerned. If the Yellowstone Super Volcano were to erupt, it would be 2,000 times bigger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the 1980′s. Everything within 500 miles would be dead or destroyed within minutes, 2/3rds of the entire United States would be covered in volcanic ash and the climate of the entire planet would cool within a month. On top of that, just this past week, the largest earthquake in the US took place just a few miles from Yellowstone proving hot magma is on the move. Helium isotope ratios (³He/4He) in Lassen Park and Yellowstone Park volcanic gases show large ³He enrichments relative to atmospheric and crustal helium indicating the presence of a dominant mantle-helium component. Naysayers beware, the evidence is stacking up. if you’re waiting for an mass-media announcement….it has now happened and wont get any more direct. [Preppers World USA]

Rob Kailey's post in Montana's A Chicken Is Not Pillage elicited a flashback.

I recall this from the hang glider launch on Mt. Sentinel:

The wind was dead all day and we passed the time kicking the hacky sack.

Late in the afternoon a massive cloud filled the western horizon so everybody but me, the driver that day, ran their gliders into a scant breeze to beat the weather.

By the time I got off the mountain and back to the LZ, the golf course, the sky was so dark the street lights were coming on.

Not having thought to turn on a radio, I was totally freaked when ash began falling from the sky. Only after running back to the pickup and turning on the news did I learn.

The next week in Missoula was spent inside with the windows duct-taped shut and not being able to see the sun or even across the street, for that matter. An emergency executive diktat from the governor shut the town down.

Stores ran low on essentials and going outside meant stinging eyes and sand gritting in your teeth.

After a week of cabin fever, I took the top off my '65 Land Cruiser, drove into the Rattlesnake, and saw my first black bear in Montana.

Thanks, Rob.


Thune, Noem donors lying: “cut-and-chunk” misapplication of forest science

Alan Aker is a long time campaign supporter of earth haters like John Thune, Kristi Noem and Larry Rhoden. He is a vocal critic of equal rights for women and American Indians. The GOP former lawmaker now Meade County Commissioner has billed that county $31,000 for logging on federal ground under an unwritten agreement with the Forest Service.
Sometimes, things are just stranger than anything you could make up. Turns out, those charged with putting sound forest management into practice perhaps didn’t actually know what a MPB-infested tree looks like, or at least couldn’t agree on it. In that knowledge vacuum, most any tree was fair game, apparently including many with no MPB presence but with one or two turpentine beetle pitch tubes (close enough?) Of course, the side story is that Meade County commissioner Alan Aker, who has been “involved in overseeing the work of the county”, just happens to also own a logging company, Aker Woods, which has been “responsible for determining which trees to cut.” Commissioner Aker has also been a leader in the “The Bug Stops Here” campaign (their slogan: “Enough talk. It’s time for action. Donate Dollars. Kill Beetles)” [Guy Knudsen, New Century of Forest Planning]
The collapse of the Black Hills hydrologic region was forecast in 2002 even as the mountain pine beetle fights to save Paha Sapa water supplies.
In a 2013 survey, two million federal workers were asked about the quality of leadership, the level of morale, and other management conditions in their agencies. The responses ranked the Forest Service as worse than 260 out of 300 similar federal agencies. [Robert H. Nelson, Taking an ax to traditional forest management, The Western News]
There aren't enough litigators to sue the Forest Service allowing Republicans to infiltrate management of the Black Hills National Forest.
Insect mapping was a cooperative effort between Neiman Timber Company, South Dakota Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry, State of Wyoming Forestry Division, Weston Natural Resource Conservation District, Weston County Weed & Pest, USDI-Bureau of Land Management, and the USDA-Forest Service. [press release, Black Hills National Forest]
There is no evidence to support the claim that logging is effective insect control so the logical conclusion is that BHNF chief Craig Bobzien is on the take.

President Obama: it's time to wrest control of these sacred mountains from earth haters and put the original owners back in charge.

Marijuana Policy Project: live in South Dakota? You're screwed

Hey guess what the ninth most important cash crop in South Dakota is.
Seventeen states have removed the threat of jail time for the possession of modest amounts of marijuana. Many of these states, including Minnesota, made these changes as far back as the 1970’s. In fact, just yesterday, Richard Bonnie – former director of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse and policy advisor to the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations – submitted testimony in support of a similar proposal in Maryland. [Robert Capecchi, MPP blog]

420 Alert! Beware if traveling eastbound I-90 in South Dakota!

Aggressive polizei interdiction deploying weaponized dogs. If traverse of this police state is unavoidable, ensure that the driver of your vehicle is Caucasian and rent cars without California, Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia license plates. Inspect your vehicle for faulty equipment, obey all traffic laws, and remove the batteries from your cell phones.

Join interested party in going to Craigslist or your favorite online forum, then copy and paste the above warning. Thank you.

In her push to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota, Rep. Carly Melin expected there would be tough negotiations and, inevitably, some compromise on the fine points of the proposal. “The public has long questioned law enforcement’s motivation behind its staunch opposition to medicinal marijuana, and suspected that a threat to the law enforcement’s revenue stream through forfeiture laws creates an inherit conflict. The fact that the VCCC opposed both medical marijuana and a restructuring of forfeiture laws at the same meeting raises a red flag that needs further exploration.” [Mike Mosedale, Melin challenges cops on pot opposition]

The sativa-dominant Blue Dream sparks energy and wild ideas — like baking a pie from scratch, for the first time. Strain Theory: Blue Dream: By the numbers: $8/gram, $150/ounce (medical patients) at Good Chemistry, 330 E. Colfax in Denver.
A cannabis windfall being labeled a “tax bonanza” for Colorado has more states investigating legalization, potentially leading to large-scale market growth for support-industry companies including Neutra Corp. By providing new technologies designed to ensure safer, more reliable access to cannabis in approved markets, Neutra Corp. plans to enjoy unprecedented growth in 2014 alongside Cannabis Science, Inc. [press release, Business Wire]
Disclosure: I'm long CBIS.


Ranchers, livestock, wildlife freaked by Ellsworth, bombing range

Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City has lost at least two aircraft in southeastern Montana, tells people that 'malfunctions' plague the aircraft yet acknowledge that bird strikes are all too common.
Ranchers north of Belle Fourche are getting angry because of a proposed expansion of an Air Force training area that would have bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base flying at low levels over their ranches. Tom Davis says his sheep and cattle may run through fences if they're spooked by the big aircraft flying just a few hundred feet above the terrain. A statement from Ellsworth Air Force Base says the expanded air space is necessary to allow multiple aircraft, or formations of aircraft, to use the individual training areas simultaneously. It also says the close proximity of what is called the Powder River Training area to Ellsworth will decrease costs for taxpayers. [Al Van Zee, KEVN teevee]
In a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force and to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Montana Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh have voiced their opposition to the proposed expansion of the Powder River Training Complex in southeastern Montana. Citing the potential loss of 95 Montana jobs, concerns over the safety of Montana citizens from aircraft based at South Dakota's Ellsworth AFB and outcry from residents in the area, the Senators wrote that they are unwilling to include the Little Bighorn National Battlefield within PRTC.
"I would never wish on anybody the noise impact that comes from a B-1 bomber flying over at mach one," says Marvin Kammerer, whose ranch is adjacent to the base. "Thirty-six people have died in plane crashes on this ranch over the years," he adds. Residents worry that the airspace would become too dangerous for civilian planes, turbulence would disrupt wind farms, flares would start wildfires, chaff would sicken livestock, and sonic booms would interrupt the peace and quiet. [Emilene Ostlind, Who's terrorizing who?, High Country News]

WildEarth Guardians is based just up I-25 from the ranch yet they have had far-reaching influence on sage grouse and wolf protection in the Northern Rockies.
A review by WildEarth Guardians found considerable overlap between coal fields in the western U.S. and sage grouse priority habitat, particularly in the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. While mining activities have large remained out of priority habitats, in some cases expanded mine operations threaten priority habitats. In southeastern Montana, plans to expand the Spring Creek mine, a massive coal strip mine in the northern Powder River Basin would destroy an extensive swath of priority habitat. [press release, Coal Mining Threatens Imperiled Sage Grouse With Extinction in Western U.S.]

I made mention of this on a previous post, but has anyone questioned Rich Sattgast on why these reimbursement requests were approved by the State Auditor's office with such sloppy documentation? The State Auditor is independently elected to serve as a watchdog for taxpayer money. They are supposed to be the checks and balances part of state government that insures claims paid by the state are appropriate. [comment, AnnieTee, Madville Times]

Buy 'em books and buy 'em books then they wad 'em up and use 'em for toilet paper.
On Monday Spearfish resident Pete McNamee called the Spearfish Police Department to report a wolf sighting near Windmill Drive shortly after 11 a.m. [Mark Watson, Black Hills Pioneer]
From the RCJ:
The gray wolf found dead Monday morning near Pine Ridge made a 400-mile journey from Yellowstone National Park to southwest South Dakota in less than two months, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf specialist said Tuesday. Mike Jimenez of Jackson, Wyo., said information received from the radio-transmitter collar on the wolf identified it as a 3- to 4-year-old male that was part of a wolf pack in the southeast part of Yellowstone. --Kevin Woster, Rapid City Journal
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Plunder has been systematically exterminating the cougar population that had been discouraging wolves from migrating into the state.


Dump the Leadership: Thune targeted by conservatives

South Dakota's vulnerable junior senator commiserated with donors over Ellsworth Air Force Base's likely loss of B-1B bombers and believes that expanding the Powder River Training Complex would help secure the future of the base. As their party collapses around them, Thune (earth hater-SD) and his fellatos are becoming quite shrill. He voted to expedite confirmation of Chuck Hagel for DoD.
REPUBLICAN VOTERS fall into four rough camps. They are: moderate or liberal voters; somewhat conservative voters; very conservative, evangelical voters; and very conservative, secular voters. Each of these groups supports extremely different types of candidates. In sum, a Tea Party candidate either needs to clearly deny any breathing space to a more evangelical candidate or he must emulate George W. Bush in 2000 in having enough appeal to other factions to gain enough strength to survive the early states. The likelier outcome will be a repeat of the traditional GOP three-way war between its somewhat conservative center and the two large ideological wings: the moderate secularists and conservative evangelicals. [Henry Olson, The Four Faces of the Republican Party]

A Washington DC based conservative group, “For America” has begun a campaign called “Dump the Leadership” aimed at the republican leaders in the House and Senate. The group says [R]epublicans have not lived up to the promises made in the “Pledge to America”. South Dakota Senator John Thune, one of those targeted, says it’s kind of a rift in the family… [WNAX]
Uhhh: and Mike Rounds wasn't there either.
I was generally aware of the EB-5 program as lieutenant governor, to the same degree that any interested observer might have been. I don’t remember ever talking with Gov. Rounds or any of the Rounds-era Tourism and State Development secretaries about EB-5 while I was lieutenant governor. I have not discussed the program with Gov. Rounds or any of those Tourism and State Development secretaries since I took office in 2011. [Governor Denny]
Tim Giago at HuffPost:
Native American journalist Jodi Lee Rave of Lee Enterprise Newspapers was recently lambasted in a letter to the editor to our local daily for having the temerity to laud the donation of funds for heating fuel for the very poor Indian nations of the Northern Plains. 
The criticism was initiated by the fact that the donor was the Citgo Petroleum Corporation based in Houston, Texas and headed by the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, the man reviled by many Americans for referring to President George W. Bush on the floor of the United Nations as the "Devil."
There is a lot of respect for President Chavez among the Indian nations of this country. He didn't make promises that he couldn't or wouldn't keep, but instead put his money where his mouth is. American Indians appreciate that form of directness.
A caller into Diane Rehm's discussion stated with some authority that Hugo Chavez practiced Liberation Theology, hated the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers, but aligned with Cardinal Romeo.
A program designed to support Lakota families and individuals received $75,000 on Tuesday. First Interstate Bank presented the Lakota Tiwahe Family Asset Building Project the check in Kyle. The program works when low income participants open a matched savings account to be used specifically for building assets which help individuals and families move toward home ownership, business development, or post–secondary education. [KOTA teevee]

During South Dakota’s 2014 legislative session, HCR 1017 — a resolution urging the federal government to reconsider hemp’s status as a controlled substance and recognize its viability in agriculture — was introduced. District 19 Rep. Stace Nelson (R) co-authored the resolution along with primary sponsor Elizabeth May (R-27) and told the Press & Dakotan hemp is deeply rooted in American history. Despite the setback, Nelson said he believes the Farm Bill provision, plus time and increased education on the subject, could make it easier to enact legislation aimed at easing hemp restrictions in the coming years. “Next year, we’ll probably see another bill come forward,” he said. “As people get educated on it and understand more, I see it not being a problem in the future.” [Rob Nielsen, Yankton Press and Dakotan]
Of course, Deadwood's traffic is down.
Data from the state Gaming Commission show that gambling revenues in the city in January were down 3.8 percent over the year, to about $7.5 million. When Deadwood casino revenue drops, so does the state's take in taxes. The state netted about $665,000 in January, a drop of about 3 percent. [AP, KDLT teevee]
Rich women have full reproductive freedom while women at middle and lower income levels experience chilling effects on their rights. South Dakota's repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care is not only mean-spirited, it's discriminatory anti-choice extremism.
South Dakota already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. But last week, Republican legislators there moved to make it even harder for women to have abortions—with a law they argue is necessary to stop an influx of Asian immigrants from aborting their female children. On Wednesday, by a vote of 60 to 10, the South Dakota House passed a bill that would ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus, or "sex-selective" abortions. Peggy Gibson, a Democratic state representative who voted against the South Dakota bill, said the right-to-lifers are pushing a phony issue. "I did not hear the sponsor of the bill give one iota of evidence that a [sex-selective] abortion has taken place in South Dakota. This bill…is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist." [Molly Redden, GOP Lawmaker: We Need to Ban Sex-Based Abortions Because of Asian Immigrants, Mother Jones]
Obama can and should ask for conditions in return for his approval of the pipeline. The EPA has already proposed seeking a commitment from Canada to do more to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Increased pollution from the tar sands has already caused Canada to miss its own climate change targets. Another idea offered by environmentalists is that Obama could approve the pipeline on the condition that oil companies agree to sell the refined products that result in the United States instead of exporting them. That could have the effect of reducing the amount of oil shipped via Keystone — and also of calling the oil industry’s bluff: TransCanada, the pipeline’s builder, has said that its customers intend to sell their products in the United States, but environmentalists, noting that exported fuel is more profitable, are skeptical. Most important, Obama can take other actions to offset the additional Keystone emissions. Indeed, he already intends to. By June 1, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose a federal regulation to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s 1,500 existing power plants, the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gases. If the rules are tough enough, they could eventually result in the shuttering of all the 600 remaining coal-fired power plants in the country. Doing so would reduce emissions by an amount many times greater than what the Keystone pipeline would add. [Doyle McManus, Obama may put conditions on Keystone XL]
Joe Romm of Climate Progress says that Secretary of State John Kerry sounds like he will recommend to President Barack Obama that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline be rejected.
"We share nothing so completely as our planet." That was a key message in John Kerry's first major address as secretary of state in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Peoples Republic of Brookings is not just home to South Dakota's most obese GOP blogger.
Political scientist Gary Aguiar will discuss political polling at the Brookings County Democrats’ meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Brookings Public Library. Aguiar, professor of political science at South Dakota State University, will give an overview of polling techniques, talk about their effectiveness, and explain how political organizations use the results. [Brookings Register]
South Dakota's tourism industry is bracing for the crush of bad press being generated by the state's red state legislature and the effects of climate change on its DC-dependent tax structure.


Missouri River lawsuit to expose folly of main stem dams

Every year we read something like, "Army Corps Mulling Spring Pulse." One year in the Rapid City Journal it went:
The Army Corps of Engineers said it might cancel the March surge of extra water meant to help an endangered fish in the Missouri River. The so-called spring pulse below Gavins Point Dam is meant to replicate a natural spring rise that prompts the pallid sturgeon to spawn. The corps said the two-day March pulse could be canceled if the river level is already high from spring runoff. The corps said implementing a second pulse planned for May also will depend on the river level.
Todd Epp apparently has heard it before, too.

From a superlative trove of events on the Missouri River called the Big Muddy News is this:
Corps of Engineers discuss ‘liquid highway’ by Marshall White originally published in St. Joseph News-Press - February 9, 2011 original link: http://www.newspressnow.com/localnews/26814051/detail.html
KANSAS CITY — The liquid highway is at St. Joseph’s western doorstep and will be about as good as it can get in 2011. That was the word from Army Corps of Engineers officials, in Kansas City on Wednesday to meet with navigators, shippers and boaters. “For Missouri River users, this is as good as it’s going to get,” said John LaRandeau, the corps’ navigation program specialist. In fact, this may be the best the river has been in about the last 40 years, he said.
The path leads to Roy Blunt's door.

The withdrawal of Jim DeMint elevated water warrior Senator Roy Blunt (earth hater-MO) to lead his assault from the lower Missouri River basin.

Now, Roy Blunt's war with South Dakota's power over the river is escalating.
A multi-state move is under way to sue the federal government for damages that occurred during the 2011 flood, and more than a few people from the local area are interested in the possibility of taking part. Seth Wright, a lawyer for the Kansas City, Mo.-based Polsinelli Law Firm, spent an hour Friday evening laying out potential legal action to a crowd of roughly 80 individuals from Pierre and Fort Pierre at the AmericInn Convention Center. State Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes, helped arrange the meeting and put out notices on his Facebook page. Another meeting occurred at Dakota Valley High School in North Sioux City on Saturday. [David Rookhuyzen, Pierre Capital Journal]
Tony Mangan of KCCR Radio covered the next salvo in the Missouri River war.

President Obama: decertify the dinosaurs that are the main stem dams, tear the earth fuckers down and rewild the West.


Today's intersection: Huron and Genesee/Wyoming

We the People owe the Peoples' Republic of China some money. They sell us useless plastic items that kill us.

East River flooding is again going to produce millions of acre feet of heavily polluted water. South Dakota's designation as chemical toilet could be reassigned to "recovering" if Huron, at the junction of rail and James River, could produce fuel for locomotives from waste plastics with technology that is otherwise water-intensive.
Early this month, the Canadian Pacific Railway announced an agreement to sell portions of its railways in the United States to the Genesee and Wyoming Inc., which operates short line and regional freight railroads. That would include all 600 miles of Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern lines in South Dakota, according to the announcement. But the so-called Britton line is not a part of the sale, as it is publicly owned. [Scott Waltman, Farm Forum]

Metal shredding in Japan.
Mayor Paul Aylward says the city will also make progress in sewer main and manhole lining projects, and is setting aside money so that a year from now it can hopefully afford construction of a new public works building. In an address to the Beadle County Democratic Forum on Thursday, he also outlined the need to do something about the former municipal pool, closed two years ago, and the old water treatment plant, shuttered a decade ago. Another bright spot, and one that is also getting better, is the city’s new recycling program. As of January, there has been a 16 percent reduction in the volume of garbage being trucked to the Pierre landfill. The goal is 25 percent, at which time the city may be able to feasibly have a sorting center here rather than trucking recyclables to Sioux Falls. There are 1,730 recycling containers out in the community, with a goal of 3,000. [Roger Larsen, Huron Plainsman]


Pix of Rio Grande Gorge, birds posted

Robins spent all winter here last year; but this is the first one this season: it showed up about two weeks ago.

Above three shots captured just south of Taos in the Rio Grande Gorge.

Part of a raven pair lurking above the arroyo


Johnson to discuss Bendagate, crime surge under Rounds, Daugaard

United States Attorney Brendan Johnson will discuss the Justice Department’s recent efforts to fight crime on American Indian tribal lands during a presentation in the University Center-Rapid City lecture hall Thursday, Feb. 27 at 5:15 p.m. Johnson, son of longtime U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), will also speak about human trafficking and crime trends in South Dakota. Johnson has invested a significant amount of time and energy attempting to establish relationships with people living on the reservation and attempting to gain a better understanding of Native American culture. [BHSU News]

Will the hypocritheocrisy never cease? Rep. Kristi Noem voted nay on the Violence Against Women Act and now she is out soliciting donations from conservative white breeders?
By law, those who shop online are required to pay a sales tax to their respective states, but few, if any, do because there is no mechanism now to track these online sales. Federal legislation, rather than state-by-state, seems to be the only solution to this situation. Earlier this year the U.S. Senate did pass the Marketplace Fairness Act which has gone nowhere in the U.S. House. Then there are some House members who say they simply cannot support the bill because they see it as a tax increase. South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem wouldn’t say how she would vote if the issue does reach the House floor. [Custer County Chronicle]
Former South Dakota Democratic candidate for US House, now the Small Business Administrator for Region VIII, Matt Varilek, appeared with Brian Kahn on Yellowstone Public Radio's Home Ground. Listen to the broadcast here.
The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), the women’s business center at Black Hills State University, will host the monthly Women in Networking (WIN) lunch at the Spearfish Holiday Inn Swarm Room Tuesday, March 11 from noon to 1 p.m. The SD CEO is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. [BHSU News]

South Dakota's embattled GOP governor appears to be pleading the Fifth:
Bob Mercer: While lieutenant governor or as governor, were you aware that the Hanul law firm based in California and South Korea was active in South Dakota's EB-5 operations, via the South Dakota International Business Institute and later via SDRC Inc. in Aberdeen?
Dennis Daugaard: I became aware of the Hanul law firm in a briefing after I became governor. By that point, Hanul law firm was no longer working with the state. I believe the firm may have still been working with SDRC, but of course our contract with SDRC has now been terminated.
The Rushmore PAC blog is an earth hater's wet dream. One of its authors is a Zionist state senator known for his close association with South Dakota's Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers. Dan Lederman panders to his white readers recently assailing President Obama by quoting Robert L. Bradley, Jr., a shill for Koch Industries. The earth haters believe that drilling willy-nilly is the answer to high fuel costs.
State Senator Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes says the Polsinelli Law Firm has been holding meetings in other Missouri River states to discuss the possible legal action with other property owners impacted by the flood. He says today’s meeting is designed to provide information about what such legal action would entail. [KCCR Radio News]
Recall Lederman's role in the Missouri River flooding of the swamp at Dakota Dunes where he built a temple for self-worship.

He was on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio in Spring, 2011 defending his decision to build in a floodway. Lederman was recently fingered for bringing anti-government speakers to his infamous red state.

A new app measures how long people last in bed, along with other sex indicators to determine who is having the most and longest sex around the nation. New Mexico is the place to be for marathon sessions between the sheets.
This Fresh Air driveway moment will pop your bubble if it doesn't completely scare the shit out of you:
The Horten brothers were involved in the flying disc crash in New Mexico. And that is from a single source. ... There was an unusual moment where that source became very upset and told me things that were stunning that's almost impossible to believe at first read. And that is that a flying disc really did crash in New Mexico and it was transported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and then in 1951 it was transferred to Area 51, which is why the base is called Area 51.
Wait til you hear the REALLY freaky part:


SD legislators pass chilling effect on civil rights

US Representative Krusti Noem (earth hater-SD) is asking young white people to join her campaign to help defend, at taxpayer expense, the seat she holds.
Interns will have the opportunity to work on a number of legislative, constituent service and communications projects that give them a window into the legislative process and the countless functions of a congressional office. Candidates applying for either full-time or part-time internship positions should be motivated, detail-oriented and possess strong oral and written communication skills. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
France now controls each end of South Dakota.
A bentonite mining firm that operates near Belle Fourche has signed a merger agreement with the French company Imerys. Estimates are that more than 60 percent of cat litter used in the North American marketplace come from the Colony plant. The company is one of two in the area that are major customers of rail transportation on the former DM&E line. That line is under consideration for purchase from the Canadian Pacific by the Genesee and Wyoming short line operating firm. [Milo Dailey, Rapid City Journal]
South Dakota's tourism industry is bracing for the crush of bad press being generated by the state's red state legislature and the effects of climate change on its DC-dependent tax structure.

Rich women have full reproductive freedom while women at middle and lower income levels experience chilling effects on their rights. South Dakota's repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care is not only mean-spirited, it's discriminatory anti-choice extremism.

From the Missoulian:

Update #1. Update #2.
For the past three years, Victor resident Marty Essen has made his living by sharing his insights on global warming as a touring speaker on college campuses. Along the way, Essen has grown increasingly frustrated over what he sees as another major source of hot air in America: Fox News.
The result of Essen's musings went live last week, when he launched TurnOffFoxNews.com, a website aimed at encouraging others to join him in a campaign to convince business owners to choose another channel on their televisions.

"They're the ones who need to know that, in a country that recently voted a Democrat into the White House and made Democrats the majority party in the House and Senate, it's a pretty good bet that at least 50 percent of their customers don't agree with Fox News' far-right hate-mongering and don't want it forced into their faces when they're stuck in the airport or trying to enjoy breakfast," said Essen.
No shit, right?

Excerpt, 'Red Families V. Blue Families' by Naomi Cahn and June Carbone:
"The demographic data suggest that life patterns do differ regionally, that some of the differences — higher teen birthrates, for example — may be a source of concern, and that the differences are great enough to suggest that family policy and family law are likely to differ regionally. Moreover, the differences in the age at marriage and the incidence of teen births are relatively recent in origin. The entire country experienced a decline in age at marriage and an increase in the teen birthrate in the 1950s; the subsequent decline in fertility and increase in the age at marriage, in contrast, has been far more regionally concentrated, with the changes occurring more thoroughly and dramatically in the Northeast and more slowly in the South, the Mountain West, and the Plains.
The differences in family structure, of course, do not occur in a vacuum. We recognize, for example, that they strongly reflect wealth and that wealth plays a major role in reinforcing both the political and family patterns we describe. Moreover, we realize that family formation varies within the states. White Californians, for example, may experience patterns more like that of Massachusetts, while the large Latino population in California marries and bears children at younger ages, producing state totals distinctly different from those of the South or Northeast. We also make no statement about causation; we cannot say, for example, that a pregnant 19-year-old is choosing to conceive and bear a child because she lives in Mississippi rather than Massachusetts, or even that the Mississippi teen has become pregnant because of a lack of access to contraception, less optimism about her economic future, racial patterns that make early sexuality more common for blacks than whites, or religious patterns that discourage use of birth control or abortion, though we note that others have looked at these issues.
Finally, we acknowledge that our red and blue family paradigms intersect with other cultural constructs. Mormon life in middle-class Utah, for example, may differ significantly from rural life in Baptist portions of Arkansas even as they both embrace portions of the social conservative family frame. Indeed, we suspect that while there may be one dominant blue pattern for the well-educated, there are at least two comparable red patterns. The poorer red areas, such as Arkansas and Oklahoma, combine high rates of early marriage with high teen birthrates. The somewhat better-off families in states such as Utah and Nebraska have high rates of marriage at younger ages with relatively lower levels of teen pregnancy.
Despite the differences within and between states, however, we believe that the cultural differences between regions of the country frame the world views voters bring to the ballot box and the milieus in which legal issues are decided. Issues related to marriage, contraception, abortion, and divorce take on different symbolic and practical meanings if young adults characteristically marry at 22 rather than at 29, and if teen pregnancy is a routine pathway to marriage rather than an inopportune event to be managed. Moreover, we suspect that political attitudes might well vary between states where over half the population lives in married-couple households versus those where household patterns are more diverse.
Causation, however, runs in multiple directions. Bill Bishop's book The Big Sort argues that the regions have become more distinct — and different from each other — as the like-minded have become more likely to move closer to each other. He maintains that the most dramatic movements have occurred in the country's technological centers (e.g., Silicon Valley in California or the high-tech corridor near Boston), which attract well-educated, ambitious — and overwhelmingly blue — professionals. Steve Sailer, a columnist at the American Conservative, notes further that states where the costs are lower (cheaper housing and family-related expenses) are more likely to be Republican, suggesting that family-oriented Americans may be voting with their feet as they also seek out more family-friendly communities. Moreover, even if diversity exists within each region, and even if regional differences reflect an amalgam of income, class, race, and the ethnic origins of the original European immigrants who settled there, they frame family law decision making. Other scholars are examining the correlations among these factors and finding statistically significant connections between family styles and voting patterns. Michigan political scientists Ron Lesthaeghe and Lisa Neidert, for example, have demonstrated that family characteristics showed a significant correlation with voting preferences in the last three presidential elections.
They measured family factors in terms of a host of variables that include postponing marriage and childbearing, overall fertility, marriage, abortion, and cohabitation rates, which they describe as indicators of the second demographic transformation (SDT) and which we link to the blue family paradigm. The political scientists found that the weaker the state's score on the composite SDT measure, the more likely it is to vote Republican, which "is to our knowledge one of the highest spatial correlations between demographic and voting behavior on record."
What we are doing in our analysis is both simpler and more complex than that of the political scientists. It is simpler in that we are not performing the type of statistical analysis they perform. Although we accept their more-sophisticated calculation of the strength of the correlation between family characteristics and voting patterns, we do not attempt to say whether each of the variables we discuss independently correlates with political preferences. Instead, we break down the components of their term, "second demographic transition," to examine the role of factors such as teen births or abortion rates in the construction of family understandings.
In the process, we have begun to unlock the factors that help determine the acceptability of legal innovations. Family life has changed in the United States, it has changed unevenly across the country, and it is a major factor determining the life chances of the next generation — and aggravating the increased inequality that characterizes our society. The critical question for us is understanding the legal frameworks that create and reinforce different pathways to family life, such as the variations between support for abstinence-only education or contraception, the restrictions on or broader availability of abortion, the creation of family-friendly workplaces, and the meaning of marriage or cohabiting relationships. Having observed substantial demographic variation between regions, this brief exercise convinced us to probe further. We wondered what accounts for these regional differences and whether they are reflected in the law. Finding some answers requires returning to the broader literature on the family to which both of us have contributed."