New Mexico revisiting capital punishment moral hazard

Despite the astronomical legal costs of prosecuting capital offenses, the grisly death of an Albuquerque girl and shooting death of a Hatch cop has prompted calls from small-government Republicans in New Mexico to resurrect the death penalty for certain crimes.

Earth hater Governor Susana Martinez has called a special legislative session to address budget shortfalls and lobby for reinstatement of state-sponsored killing.
Legislators and then-Gov. Bill Richardson repealed the death penalty in 2009. Though Martinez called to reinstate capital punishment when she took office in 2011, subsequent bills to bring back the death penalty languished early in her first term. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
A Nebraska study showed that that state spends about $14.6 million per year on the death penalty: a price New Mexico simply cannot afford to pay.

Senators in the single-chamber Nebraska Legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of GOP Governor Pete Ricketts who supports the death penalty. Ricketts has retaliated by vowing to execute people on death row anyway after ordering drugs illegally from outside the United States.

Montana is grappling with capital punishment.
The ACLU says Attorney General Tim Fox has some explaining to do. Confronted with a challenge to the state's lethal injection cocktail, the Department of Justice leaned on a controversial medical expert last year to argue the sedative it planned to use to kill two death row inmates would work as quickly as Montana law requires. But Auburn School of Pharmacy Dean Lee Evans didn't say what state attorneys needed him to—at least not initially. [Missoula Independent]
South Dakota enjoys killing and has built an economy around death but Nebraska's move has stirred hopes in South Dakota that its legislature could follow suit. When he was in the legislature Republican Representative Steve Hickey said 46% of the state oppose the death penalty.
Conservatives who voted for the repeal cited their own personal principles, such bureaucratic overreach and fiscal recklessness involved in the process. So, in some ways, this has become a philosophical alignment, in which both conservative and liberal philosophies have melded together. ["]Do we want a government so big, so powerful, they can decide life and death?” stated District 18 Sen. Bernie Hunhoff (D) of Yankton in an Associated Press report. [editorial, Yankton Press & Dakotan]
Justice delayed is justice denied. No family should have to wait years, if not decades, to learn the fate of someone convicted of a capital crime.

Suicide by cop is commonplace. This November Colorado will vote for an end of life option.

The litigation costs of trying a capital crime persuaded Nebraska to abandon state-sponsored killing: how are the prices and the human costs of putting people to death against their will either conservative or sustainable?

Personally? This blog believes persons convicted of capital crimes should have the right to decide his or her punishment whether it be death or living a life of Hell in a prison cell.

The state-ordered death penalty looks far more like vengeance than justice: it's not self-reliance; it's moral hazard.


South Dakota sucks so badly meth looks like a gift from god

All of a sudden we know why Governor Denny Daugaard wants to tap federal money for Medicaid expansion: he has a gun to his head.

Thanks to meth South Dakota's law enforcement industry enjoyed a 22 percent increase in drug arrests last year, the Republicans are out of cash to house inmates and civil forfeiture just isn't paying the bills.
While the Public Safety Improvement Act was not designed to address drug trafficking, we need to consider whether our practices need to adapt to address the growing number of drug-related incarcerations. Just as we all tend to overlook our own shortcomings, some politicians tend to defend their programs at all costs. I have tried to do the opposite. [Daugaard staffer writing in the Rapid City Journal]
Under Denny Daugaard and the SDGOP American College Testing scores in Rapid City are in free fall. Rapid City schools suffer the worst attendance rates in the United States, 2016's ACT scores are below the state average, and the lowest the district has seen in 10 years. All the while the Republican school to prison pipeline is thriving.

A Feeding America survey shows 105,880 people in South Dakota are food insecure. Homelessness in the state is rampant; drunk driving, meth use and teen binge drinking are off the charts.

The state is second in addiction to gambling and teachers' salaries are 51st in the nation. Wage slavery is the state's biggest claim to fame and South Dakota dairies are wreaking habitat havoc. Infrastructure is crumbling and the state's bureaucracy is overbearing and unwieldy. Ag groups want federally subsidized crop insurance and the right to pollute. Corruption and graft are commonplace.

Pollution from industrial agriculture has made waterways poisonous, the state has no modern statute addressing financial assurances for pipeline leaks. Trophy fishing for threatened species is a tourist activity. East River, South Dakota is a dead zone and likely a new repository for nuclear waste.

Racism is endemic and white immigrants have been accepted while displacing and disgracing American Indians. South Dakota wrongly puts thousands in nursing homes. Mass incarceration fuels the white foster home industry: a pet project of the governor's wife.

In South Dakota 302 children are confined per 100,000 kids; that's the highest number in the United States according to Pew.

Habitat destruction, lapses in ethics, crime spikes, increased incarceration rates, more people infected with sexually transmitted diseases, the failure of prisons, human trafficking: all mark the terms of Republican governors in South Dakota.

South Dakota is a sanctuary state for white collar crime, too.

South Dakota has the worst access to healthy food in the United States.

The crony capitalism that keeps South Dakota the 8th worst state for the working class is destroying lands promised to native peoples by treaty and my home town of Elkton is struggling to find enough housing for migrant workers often living in squalor.

South Dakota isn't about growth; it's about keeping Social Security recipients alive long enough to pay the property taxes that sustain red state failure.

Meanwhile, climate change denier Republican Governor Denny Daugaard is presiding over an exodus of educators fleeing the failed red state. He has virtually hand-picked a compliant extremist legislature.

Little wonder South Dakota's junior senator wants to abolish the US Department of Education: it is condemning the state's failure to produce.

Make South Dakota great again. Flush the SDGOP.


Forest Service to State of South Dakota: fuck you

As Governor Denny Daugaard sues to prevent Pe'Sla from becoming federal trust land the Sicangu Oyate has filed an opposition to transfer of land in Spearditch Canyon to the racist State of South Dakota.

Herded by Senator don Juan Thune (earth hater-SD) the failed red state's extremist delegation is trying to force the land grab through Congress.
The U.S. Forest Service stated its opposition Thursday to a bill that would trigger a federal-state land swap and facilitate the creation of a state park in Spearfish Canyon. The bill, known formally as the Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake Land Exchange Act, would transfer two chunks of the federally owned Black Hills National Forest to state ownership: 1,468 acres in the Spearfish Canyon area of the northern Black Hills and 524 acres adjacent to Custer State Park in the central Black Hills, including Bismarck Lake and also Camp Bob Marshall. [Rapid City Journal]
The Canadian miner Barrick Gold gave the land in question to the state instead of remanding it to its rightful tribal owners. Barrick returned some Wyoming holdings to the tribes; and, after it takes responsibility for its complicity in the destruction of the Missouri River Basin it should divest of its remaining holdings in the sacred Black Hills remanding them to the owners by treaty.

Thune wants more bureaupublicanism to slow Forest Service efforts in reducing problem fuels on public lands.

The Service has seen the wisdom of my plan to restore portions of the Black Hills National Forest to pre-European settlement conditions.

It's only a matter of time before the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of Interior, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency come to South Dakota and tell Gov. Daugaard he has better shit to do than tell sovereign tribes how to run their worlds.

South Dakota-owned lands are already fucked. Gaia may not even be enough to fix those.

Of course, the South Dakota Democratic Party should urge President Obama to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest, move management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior; and, in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management, rename it Okawita Paha or He Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.

Last year this interested party told Daugaard that the blog would support his land grab if he backed the kurtz cannabis template. So far that has yet to happen.


Told you so: SDGFP responsible for bighorn/biker collision

Thirty years ago Sheryl Hicks was a knockout: tall, thin, sparkling blue eyes. Today, not so much.

When this writer was in the food service industry Sheryl and her husband Larry operated Madre's Pizza in Wall; but, after the Husteads began offering pizza at Wall Drug the Hickses relocated to LawCo then became involved in the gambling industry.
The 60-year-old Hicks, who lives in Deadwood and has been riding motorcycles nearly all her life, wrestled her bike to a stop. She and her 16-year-old niece, who was on the seat behind her, were safe. There are about 35 bighorn sheep in the Deadwood-area herd, according to John Kanta, Rapid City-based supervisor for the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks. Bighorn sheep are native to the Black Hills, but because of uncontrolled hunting, they were gone from the Hills by the early 1900s. Reintroduction efforts intended to provide public hunting and viewing opportunities have since rebuilt Black Hills bighorn sheep numbers to around 400, split among various herds in the region. [Bad cycle crash highlights concerns about bighorn sheep in Deadwood area]
Back in May of 2015 I said:
During the Sturgis Rally riders loop through Aladdin to Hulett and Devils Tower then back through Sundance. Highways are often crowded to capacity and drunken bikers can be seen weaving over every roadway in the Black Hills. Deer are unpredictable and now join bighorn sheep, recently released by the South Dakota's GOP wildlife 'management' arm, as obstacles to avoid. [The Dakota Progressive]
The Grizzly Gulch Fire opened nearly 13,000 acres of overgrown and beetle-killed ponderosa pine but invasive weeds and cheatgrass moved in because cars and hunters have killed off the elk, white-tailed and mule deer. Now, the US Forest Service has allowed a state agency known for ecocide to introduce a species prone to disease.
GF&P released 26 head of bighorns trapped and transferred from the Hinton, Alberta, Canada area, somewhere east of Jasper National Park, then hauled them down for release at a high-country place near Deadwood left open by the burn in 2002. Sheep like open country more than dense forest. The project was helped along by the $82,000 raised last year by the auction of one of three bighorn hunting tags authorized by the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission. To say nothing of mountain lions, which of course they would have known up in Canada. They’ll know them here, too. And depending on who you talk to, lions could be a major or relatively minor threat to the well being and growth of the new herd. [Kevin Woster, KELO]
So, Game, Fish and Plunder has learned nothing from Arizona?
In 2013, Arizona Game and Fish began its on-going program to reintroduce bighorn sheep to the Santa Catalina Mountains. At the time, 31 of them were relocated to the area from Yuma. More than half of that herd were killed by mountain lions a few months later - causing the department to eliminate three of them for preying on the sheep. They've been largely criticized for that move, and for the reintroduction as a whole by groups like Friends of Wild Animals. The release gives some background, saying lion killings in the Catalinas were up to a couple of dozen by 2012, then when the bighorns were introduced, this leveled off, and last year the deaths dropped to 12 by hunters, 1 by bighorn program and 1 by a rancher as of December 2014. [Tucson Weekly]
Hunting cougars with dogs has been blessed by South Dakota but not within the Black Hills district.
In 2005 the harvest quota was 25 lions or five breeding-age females. The sub quota was reached in 24 days, faster than anyone anticipated. Today there is a 75-lion quota and a sub quota of 50 female lions. So far this season, 17 lions have been killed including nine female lions. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Stupid state. Red state failure on parade.


Small government Thune wants another layer of bureaupublicanism for fuel treatments

After a century of destructive ranching practices invasive grasses infest most of western South Dakota.

Cost to We the People for managing the Pautre Fire was about $1 million. No livestock was lost and there was minimal damage to fences. 3,519 acres of federal and 7,160 acres of private property were cleared of cheatgrass and other invasive species. There were no injuries and the only structure lost was a derelict rural schoolhouse.

The US Forest Service knew an advancing cold front would aid the clearing of the foot-high grasses and mowed a fire break instead of using a disk to make a fire line. Snow showers ended the burn.

Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) is touting S.1100: the Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2015 as a solution to a problem that doesn't even exist.
[The bill] Bars any federal agency from authorizing a prescribed burn on federal land if, for the county or contiguous county in which the federal land is located, the grassland fire danger index indicates a high, very high, or extreme danger of grassland fire or the Forest Service has declared a very high or extreme fire danger, unless the agency obtains prior approval from the applicable state government and local fire officials. Makes a federal agency that authorizes a prescribed burn liable for any damage to private property, notwithstanding the Federal Tort Claims Act or any state law. [ProPublica]
"Ready. Fire. Aim." Custer-based Wildfire Today lowered the boom on South Dakota's GOP senior US Senator.
Our position is that it is very appropriate for the legislative Branch to provide oversight of actions taken by the Executive Branch of government. However, that oversight should NOT be a knee-jerk reaction based on the quick assumptions and guesses of a Senator about what caused a particular outcome. Wait until the facts are in, THEN provide reasoned advice based on science. Politicians should take a breath, and resist the overwhelming temptation to criticize the administration of the other party before the facts are known. [excerpt, Wildfire Today]
Federal agencies always coordinate prescribed burns with local and state officials while using weather models to optimize fuel treatment effectiveness.
Neither the [US] Forest Service [nor] the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are commenting on criticism from South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune over the handling of prescribed burns in the area. But both stand by the use of controlled burns as a solid management tool – even when they get out control as was the case recently at Wind Cave National Park. While U.S. Sen. John Thune has introduced a bill that would require collaboration between federal and local officials before a prescribed burn on federal lands when fire danger is high, that concept is already in place – leaving some to wonder if the congress [member] is simply grand standing ahead of an election year. KBHB Radio
On the same day the Cold Brook Fire was lit ahead of forecast snow and rain land managers should have put the drip torch to every parcel of public ground in a triangle with points at Wright, Wyoming; Bismarck, North Dakota and Brush, Colorado.

A study funded by the Forest Service shows litigation can affect local businesses and economies but the Black Hills National Forest is largely devoid of logging lawsuits because too few people care about that threatened ecosystem.

Thune is a flip flopper, most recently after overwhelming data confirms human-induced climate change.

A better idea would be to make the Forest Service look more like the Bureau of Reclamation, move it out of USDA and put it into the Department of Interior.
An inspector general’s report finds the U.S. Forest Service lacks a consistent way to pick high-priority wildfire fuels reduction projects, doesn’t use scientifically based risk assessments to choose them and has been over-counting the number of acres it has treated to reduce wildfire risk. [Rob Chaney, The Missoulian]
Hey, John: how is heaping another layer of bureaupublicanism on a federal agency, whose budget is pinched already by your political party's anal retentiveness, conservative or sustainable?

In related stories, the conservative Heritage Foundation has decried payments to welfare ranchers and Representative Krisi Noem (earth hater-SD) wants more welfare for her farmer/donors.


South Dakota vying to become asshole of US

Just as Gillette is leading in the contest to become the asshole of Wyoming, South Dakota is leading the United States in a similar race.
Politics alone isn’t a deciding factor when it comes to determining how many refugees South Dakota welcomes. A committee of stakeholders, including lawmakers, police and hospitals set goals for the program, and file an annual report to the federal government. [SD won't help feds place more refugees]
Of course in South Dakota all those stakeholders and special interests are Republican-owned.

Hunter/killers housed at Ellsworth Air Force Base and the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls are contributing to the refugee crisis yet South Dakota refuses to house the huddled masses? What a shocker! The crony capitalism that keeps South Dakota the 8th worst state for the working class living under the scourge of apartheid my home town of Elkton is struggling to find enough housing for migrant workers often living in squalor.

A Karen community was allowed to emigrate to Huron to do shit work white people won't do but the sect to which it belongs is christianic.

Refugees are far more at risk to white religionist South Dakotans than the refugees are to Rapid City or Sioux Falls. But you know what scares me? Someone from Yemen, Afghanistan or somewhere rolling a truck bomb into Rapid City Central or Sioux Falls Roosevelt after an Ellsworth-based drone operator or a pilot from the 114th Fighter Wing targets a wedding party or religious service in some Middle East hellhole.

The United States is a rogue nation and longtime sponsor of global terrorism. It does make one wonder how many civilians the American Empire is allowed to assassinate before bombings in New York City and stabbings in Minnesota look like rebel retaliation.
So the possibility there may be a militant on a life raft floating in the Mediterranean should not preclude us from extending a compassionate hand to a family of Syrians or Kurds or Iraqis. As it turns out, we need them. [Patrick Lalley, news director, Argus Leader Media]
The Argus invited this interested party to join its Facebook discussion group but like Dakota War College and Dakota 'Free Press' it is too sensitive to advertisers to allow dissent so it sent me into social media exile creating another political refugee.

In a related story Gillette is seeing massive housing foreclosure rates as the rats flee the fossil fuel sinking ship.

With the Argus Leader in the tank for the South Dakota Republican Party Patrick Lalley's job might indeed be better held by someone from Iraq but unfortunately Tariq Aziz is no longer available.


Nothing says federal pork like maintaining the nation's horde of 'wild' horses

An appeal could complicate the Bureau of Land Management's plan to pay Powerball winner Neal Wanless to house feral horses in Butte County.
Chip Kimball, South Dakota field manager for the bureau, said Friday that the appeal came in the 30-day time period following her signing of the environmental assessment for the project. [Rapid City Journal]
The cost of keeping feral horses in holding pens off wild lands costs taxpayers $49 million annually. “You don’t have wild horses anymore. You have their bodies, but they are … domesticated,” says one researcher.
The heritage of wild horse herds is tied to the romanticism and legacy of the U.S. West. Under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which declares the herds “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit,” they are entitled to federal protections from capture, branding, harassment and slaughter. Herds double in size every four years, and adoption rates have dropped by more than 73 percent since 1995, according to BLM data. Population growth swelled to an estimated 47,329 wild horses and burros nationwide last year alone, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
The modern horse was introduced to North America by the Spanish late in the 15th Century.
The government captures some free-roaming horses and burros when range managers determine their herds have grown well beyond what the land can support. Across 10 Western states the BLM manages for a goal of 26,000 but at last count had nearly 70,000 in the wild. Meanwhile, horse managers estimate that the population in the wild grows by up to a fifth every year. The Humane Society of the United States issued a statement supporting the agency's response but said it's time to retool the program. "The Wild Horse and Burro Program is a sinking ship," the animal-rights group said. [USA Today]
In Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and seven other states the Bureau of Land Management adopts out, seeks private pastures for, and feeds wild horses.
The 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act didn’t delineate the administration of an adaptable, fecund species that was dumped onto the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM’s adoption program for wild horses, which initially functioned as a way to reduce herds, was soon outpaced by reproduction. Over a horse’s life, the tab will run $49,000 per head. Already, BLM faces an annual bill for the wild horse program at more than $75 million. [The Cody Enterprise]
From WNAX:
Legislation has been introduced in the House to ban all horse slaughter in the United States. The Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2015 would make it illegal to sell or transport horses or part of horses in interstate or foreign commerce for human consumption. The South Dakota Stock Growers Association opposes the measure. Executive Director Silvia Christen says there needs to be a way to deal humanely with unwanted or older horses. Christen says without slaughter available the population of horses would rise and create a financial burden and a hardship for finding ways of disposing of them. The sale of horsemeat for human consumption in the U.S. is currently banned but is subject to review every year. There is no federal law that prohibits transport of horses for slaughter from the U.S .to Canada or Mexico. [WNAX]
The Oglala Lakota Nation had been pursuing an abattoir as an economic development opportunity according to Tim Huether writing in the Bennett County Booster:
Tribal council member Craig Dillon from the LaCreek District confirmed that they are indeed looking at it but said they have a long way to go, but have also come a long way on the project. The location they are considering for the plant is just under two miles north and west of the U.S. Hwy 18 and U.S. Hwy 73 junction which is 12 miles east of Martin. The tribe owns approx. 220 acres there that Dillon said would be a good location. Slaughtering horses ended in the U.S. in 2007 after Congress began prohibiting the use of federal funds to inspect horses destined to become food during 2006.
In a state where horses are exported to Mexico the New Mexico legislature euthanized the latest attempts to ban that harvested meat for human consumption. The US Department of Agriculture reports the United States has sent more than 12,000 horses across the southern border for slaughter so far this year.
The Bureau of Land Management estimates that 49,209 wild horses and burros (about 40,815 horses and 8,394 burros) are roaming on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states, based on the latest data available, compiled as of March 1, 2014. (This compares to the 2013 estimate of 40,605 animals.) Wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years. As a result, the agency must remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control herd sizes. The ecosystems of public rangelands are not able to withstand the impacts from overpopulated herds, which include soil erosion, sedimentation of streams, and damage to wildlife habitat. [BLM Quick Facts]
This isn't really a South Dakota issue as much as it is a Bureau of Land Management, tribal and habitat tragedy.

In an era when western states are scrambling to preserve habitat for the threatened Greater sage grouse how is running nurseries for introduced species like wild horses and burros either conservative or sustainable?


Lalley: waterways more at risk from ag, livestock than from pipelines

Virtually every waterway in South Dakota is at risk to livestock and industrial agriculture; most are irreparably impaired.

Last year, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether held his annual Big Sioux River Water Summit in my home county of Brookings. Brookings is not just the sty of SDGOP's most pernicious porker; it's host to some of the most polluted watersheds in South Dakota. A cheese factory made possible by Republican cronyism sustains the stench of thousands of dairy cattle making eastern South Dakota a wasteland.
In the Sioux Falls metro there is discussion about how we keep the byproduct of manure and fertilizer out of the Big Sioux. Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently suggested new incentives to create buffer strips and Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether has been moving ahead with buffers in the city and beyond. Up in North Dakota, a national debate has hovered over a protest by South Dakota’s Indian tribes – and now a lot of other sympathizers – over the path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. This is where the dichotomy comes in. By any objective measure, the flow of animal waste, fertilizer and pesticides from agricultural run-off is a greater threat to water quality than an oil pipeline. [Patrick Lalley, news director for Argus Leader Media]
At some point during the Argus' 100 Eyes webcast the question, "What color is the Big Sioux River today, doods?" is submitted to the panel. "Brown and stinky" is always the answer.

South Dakota's climate denier governor, Denny Daugaard and his nutball GOP-owned legislature passed a statute that funded armed guards in schools but won't ensure that archaeology cops will assess impacts of oil pipelines in lands sacred to the first Americans.

In 2012, after another GOP governor gutted environmental protection in South Dakota, the Big Sioux River was named the thirteenth most polluted river in the US. The state's GOP congressional delegation is scrambling to cover up their roles in creating the circumstances for the Big Sioux River's impairment and protecting their campaign donors from scrutiny: Republican hubris writ large.

Recognizing the Sioux Falls mayor as a 2018 gubernatorial threat Daugaard has flip-flopped on buffer strips and is now embracing Huether's initiative to clean up waterways.

Energy Transfer Partners expects to complete horizontal directional drilling under the Big Sioux River this week but pollution will continue to be South Dakota's environmental undoing.

The Yankton Sioux Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers, which issued permits for the Dakota Access pipeline. The tribe has had some success in retrieving damages from other projects where the feds signed off on ecocide like damming the Missouri River.


9/11 still a lie

The Supreme Court of the United States caused 9/11 but it took Mossad to pull it off.

As we circle back to the events of 11 September, 2001 it's important to remember that had SCOTUS actually heard Bush v. Gore and ruled for Al Gore rather than upholding Jeb’s secretary of state the entire head-lopping W performed on the chain of command would have been avoided. Gore would have retained Bill Clinton’s security agency as the intelligence apparatus was connecting the dots Mossad and IDF were leaving ahead of the event. Angel would not have been in the air that day if the plot had been uncovered.

That the buildings were dropped into their footprints with explosives during what some describe as a coup is entirely plausible.

Yes, I believe that 1, 2, and 7 were "pulled." And, when you're appointed POTUS by your brother(s) or your father, you lop all the heads of those with whom you do not agree when you come to office because you're focused on deposing Saddam, the winner of the first Gulf War.

CIA analysts threatened to resign ahead of the attack because they knew they'd be blamed for the failures of the Bush White House.
In The Unknown Known, Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris (The Fog of War) turns his infamous interrotron on former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He was one of the key architects of the U.S. response to the attacks of September 11th under President George W. Bush, which included wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Marlow Stern, WATCH: Donald Rumsfeld caught lying about conflating Saddam Hussein and 9/11 attacks]
Two Supreme Court Justices expressed regrets in the ruling that put a war criminal in the White House:
Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday night that he’s come to the realization that the rationale behind the court’s Bush v. Gore decision that effectively decided the 2000 presidential election “was really quite unacceptable” because it differentiated between so-called “hanging chads” and “dimpled chads.” That distinction, he told a gala event for the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen in Washington, “violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.” All votes should have been considered the same way, he explained. Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently expressed regret that the court had taken up the case at all, and Stevens said he was “pleased to hear” about O’Connor’s shift. [Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon]
Esquire posted a debunker linked here.

Quick reminder: American industrialists like Prescott Bush ushered the Third Reich into power.

It's no secret that this reporter would like to see Israel rolled back to 1917 borders and its inhabitants moved to Utah. Even Donald Trump believes Israel is guilty of war crimes and would use nuclear weapons in the Middle East with Israel as collateral damage.
But the divorce between the candidates’ fervour on Israel and the growing doubts of many of their supporters is particularly stark. It should be dawning on US politicians that a real debate about the nation’s relationship with Israel cannot be deferred much longer. [Counter Punch]
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.

George Weasel Bush created the Islamic State and ordered troops out of Iraq at the end of his failed tenure. No Middle East leader is more unstable than Bibi Netanyahu.
They’re convinced because they interpret foreign affairs through the prism of Bronze Age biblical prophesy. Without getting bogged down in the colorful details of Christian eschatology, the story runs something like this: In order for Jesus to return and establish his Kingdom, the state of Israel must first be conquered by an invading army (preferably Persian or Arab) – because God says so. The unfortunate part (if you’re Jewish, at least) is that before Christ descends from the clouds, a holocaust of sorts must occur, resulting in the deaths of 2/3 of Israel’s people. For certain Christians, then, Israel must exist as a state (which is why they defend it so passionately), but it must also suffer immensely so that Christians can escape physical death in the form of the Rapture. [Salon]
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are struggling to remain relevant. Both John McCain and John Thune are being marginalized by the descent of the Republican Party.

Donald Trump is America's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump has laid the bill for Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya at the GOP's door; but, putting him in the White House would precipitate another mass exodus from the intelligence community. His assassination on a tarmac or in a hangar somewhere would likely foment a constitutional crisis. Recall that CIA, LBJ and George HW Bush conspired to murder JFK.

But you know what scares me? Someone from Yemen, Afghanistan or somewhere rolling a truck bomb into Rapid City Central High School or the School of Mines after an Ellsworth-based drone pilot targets a wedding party or religious service.

Peace is priceless. Can America and the Earth really afford endless war?


Casita nearly ready for roof

Click on any image for a better look. The 6-inch 18-foot vigas aren't very heavy, a little over two hundred pounds. After screwing two sets of 8-foot 2 x 4s together and strapping them to the tractor bucket they went onto the lintels with little fanfare. Putting the vigas on 19 3/16" centers saved one without sacrificing structural integrity.

After spending a day overthinking the fire box on the kiva a simple plan emerged. The adobes on the opening were shaped with an angle grinder equipped with a diamond blade. A 24-inch damper will sit on the combustion chamber then extend between two vigas with four 2-foot clay flue liners. The back of the chimney will house a smoke shelf. Adobes will wrap around them then roofing material will be applied. We are going to ABQ to pick up another 168 adobes for the parapet walls in a few minutes. 52 rough-sawn 1 x 10 x 12 boards have been ordered. More images here.

The excess mortar is easy to wash off with a scrub brush. The inside is slated for a slurry then paint but the outside finish will be an elastomeric stucco and the roof will be sprayed with four inches of insulating polyurethane foam. It's my intention to perform all the work. So far, the only help has been to pour the concrete pad after this builder poured the footings.

Tiny houses (casitas) are taking the US by storm.


Rosebud Lakota retaliate against racist State of South Dakota

As Governor Denny Daugaard sues to prevent Pe'Sla from becoming federal trust land the Sicangu Oyate has filed an opposition to transfer of land in Spearditch Canyon to the racist State of South Dakota.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has gone on record in RST Resolution no. 2016-230 stating, “the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council hereby opposes the State of South Dakota Governor and Congressional Delegation efforts and any and all legislation for the federal-state land exchange because those lands are part of the 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty, and belong to the Oceti Sakowin Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes and are in violation of the 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties. [Indian Country Today]
Herded by Senator don Juan Thune (earth hater-SD) the failed red state's extremist delegation is driving the land grab through Congress.
Perhaps Thune should spend less time tanning and more time advocating for people he was elected to represent. [Ruth Hopkins]
South Dakota isn't about growth; it's about keeping Social Security recipients alive long enough to pay the property taxes that sustain red state failure.

But, earth hater and climate change denier Daugaard had the temerity to travel to the Sicangu Oyate to tell tribal leaders they have better shit to do than restore Pe 'Sla to federal trust status taking it off the tax rolls.
The governor began his presentation by noting how little he knew about tribal politics, history and land issues when he first came into office in 2011, but explained that he had learned about these topics over the past five years from South Dakota Tribal Relations Secretaries. [Daugaard] didn’t mention either of the reasons for appeal noted in the September 2015 document from the S.D. Attorney General’s office while discussing the land transfer before the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. [Jim Kent]
Meanwhile, climate change denier Republican Governor Denny Daugaard is presiding over an exodus of educators fleeing the failed red state as his cronies plot to prevent medical insurance for South Dakota's least fortunate even as his office touts a budget surplus. He is virtually hand-picking a compliant extremist legislature.

Ya know: this blog does not support the state land grab in Spearditch Canyon but a smart South Dakotan would counsel the state's climate change denier governor to ask the US Fish and Wildlife Service to divest from the Booth Hatchery and make it part of the proposed state park.

Barrick returned some Wyoming holdings to the tribes; and, after it takes responsibility for its complicity in the destruction of the Missouri River Basin it should divest of its remaining holdings in the sacred Black Hills remanding them to the owners by treaty.

It's only a matter of time before the US Department of Interior, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency come to South Dakota and tell Gov. Daugaard he has better shit to do than tell sovereign tribes how to run their worlds.


Billings Gazette ending reader comments; racist RC Journal should just go away

Historically in the bag for ethics-free right wing extremists like Steve Daines, John Thune and Mike Rounds Lee newspapers are media cripples.

The Rapid City Journal perpetuates it by allowing outrageous racist comments in their feedback section under articles published there and censors journalists like Jim Kent.

Last year Lee Newspapers of Montana eviscerated their Capital bureau.
What began as a noble experiment in conversation has been mired in name-calling, epithet and trolling. There have been at least four iterations of commenting on The Billings Gazette's website since it began. Each had a limitation on how much control it could exert. Few commenting strings stayed civil. That's why beginning Tuesday, we're turning off comments. The Gazette is not the first to do it. National Public Radio decided it was time to pull the plug on comments last month. We're not even the first in our company to do it — the Quad Cities Times is about two weeks ahead of us. [Billings Gazette]
Mike Dennison went to a Montana teevee station. Former Lee reporter, Martin Kidston recently launched the Missoula Current.

Gifted journalist, Emily Saunders, who covered Idaho politics left Boise Public Radio to work for Montana's Office of Public Instruction as communications liaison.

Tony Mangan left radio journalism in Pierre to work for South Dakota's Department of 'Public Safety' as its general voice.

Ben Dunsmoor covered Pierre during the legislative session: he left KELO teevee for public relations.

That pretty much leaves Bob Mercer to write the gloomy news from South Dakota's capital city.

The Gannett Company should buy Lee Enterprises which owns the Rapid City Journal and 45 other daily newspapers; but, Lee Newspapers of Montana could survive as part of a Bismarck Tribune, Rapid City Journal, Casper Star-Trib marriage and not become part of a Gannett takeover.

Whatever happens the Rapid City Journal should close reader comments, too.

In a related story former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is outraising alleged billionaire Donny Trump in red states South Dakota, Montana, Georgia and Arizona.


Casita de las Tres Hermanas taking shape

Update, 4 September, 1152 MDT: got ten vigas up. Here are two more photos, click on any for a better look.


The portal roof is on for easier setting of the fifteen vigas on the main structure using lumber from Wholesale Timber and Vigas in Bernalillo. Above it that's a transom window designed to bring winter sunlight into the building while shading summer sun. That upper lintel will be integrated into two parallel parapet walls. Yes, it's level but a lousy camera angle queers the pitch.

The only stud wall inside will allow light into the bathroom and water supplies for the toilet and kitchen plus the electric cable will go above the door frame. Notching the portal supports with a chainsaw proved to be demanding but the rafter bays were perfect for the timbers we had milled. The east side post is sitting on a stub wall of adobes: it looks like it's hovering there in the photo. Adobes are 5% semi-stablized with asphalt emulsion from New Mexico Earth in Albuquerque who delivered two loads for a total of some fifteen hundred thirty-pound bricks.

Yes, this builder looks pretty goddamned good for a geezer.

In the right side of the image is a window bay for a trapezoid Our Lady found at the Santa Fe ReStore: it looks pretty funky from the road and stumps the observer who might have mistaken the structure for an old ruin.

Convincing Our Lady of the Arroyo to move the solar modified sine wave inverter from headquarters to the casita is ongoing. A pure sine wave will add life to the electronics in the main houses. Already modern washing machines and the Bose Wave radio struggle with the square wave inverter. A wind generator is just too noisy but being off the grid is a truly the only way.

More images here and here.

Turn Deadwood High into a grow-op, cannabis, gaming, tourism technical institute

So, opium use is as historic in Deadwood as gambling. The Gulch makes the logical location for a cannabis-friendly zone.
The first step in the upcoming Lead-Deadwood School District’s facilities study confirms what district officials have known for some time. A look into student enrollment projections by consulting firm Foster Jacobs & Johnson, Inc. recently revealed that projected student enrollment is expected to continue to decline to around 513 in 2025-2026, from the 682 tally taken during the 2015-16 school year, nearly a 170-student dip. [Black Hills Pioneer]
The building that has been home to the Deadwood High School Bears now Lead-Deadwood Elementary came to mind at my conclusion to make Deadwood an adult destination.
The four options presented were: one, continue with status quo. Option two would entail committing to a significant overhaul of the building. Option three would be to abandon the building and look for a new spot in Deadwood to build a new building. Or option four, to enhance the footprint of the Lead campus and move the elementary school to Lead. [Black Hills Pioneer]
This building is perfect for Deadwood's cannabis experiment. Under a compact with tribal nations and Black Hills State University with oversight from the South Dakota Gaming Commission create a campus with degrees in cannabusiness and tourism. Train casino workers and poker dealers.

James P. Gray in the LA Times reprinted in Cannabis News:
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.
Meth and opioids are overrunning South Dakota just like in the rest of the US. Heroin, too. Direct law enforcement efforts to stem that scourge and leave cannabis to the professionals.

Hey Deadwood, get Representative Timothy Johns to author and sponsor a bill to get the constitution changed.

Who's with me?