Lalley sacked for not deleting blogger's comments

It's been confirmed by an Argus Leader insider that Patrick Lalley was sacked as news director for not deleting my incendiary comments about John Thune under several articles. According to my source somebody named Daron Petit led the campaign for Lalley's removal.

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.

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.

Argus Leader webcast 100 Eyes on Politics hasn't aired for several weeks after this interested party was targeted and after my blocking of the panel on Twitter.

Being a pariah is hard but holy fucking jesus the rewards are so transcendentally satisfying!

Thune sycophant Cory Myers is handling day-to-day operations in the newsroom.


Johnson, NM Dems fill blogger's ballot

As promised New Mexico favorite son, Gary Johnson, got my vote for president during early voting at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds. Democratic candidates got the rest of my ballot.

Six presidential tickets from other than the two major parties made it onto the state's ballot this year. American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks, famous for his participation in the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, is the veep candidate for the Socialism and Liberation Party.

Johnson, who suffered through several Aberdeen winters as a youth and his running mate former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, campaigned in South Dakota. Both are former earth haters. An interview with Johnson aired on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio. Weld talked in Spearditch as part of his whirlwind tour.

At the geezers' breakfast yesterday the guys reminded me that although Governor Johnson left office with a budget surplus he was a shitty executive even appointing Heather Wilson, earth hater former NM US Representative from the First District now President of South Dakota School of Mines, to his cabinet as the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department Administrator in 1996. Wilson recently hosted a Halliburton ecoterrorist during at an event at SDSMT. She sits on the boards of Sioux Falls-based Raven Industries and bankrupt Peabody but has yet to endorse publicly anyone for America's Commander-in-Chief.

Johnson has been enjoying pretty good support in New Mexico garnering around twenty five percent in some polls. Nate Silver, however, plots Johnson's chances of winning the state at two or three percent and is polling about six percent nationwide.

Bob Newland, South Dakota cannabis activist and principal in that state's Libertarian Party, registered this scribe in that party in 1995. Recognizing that maintaining 900+ known US military installations is obscene I self-identify as a progressive with libertarian leanings.

Sick of losing South Dakota Democrats are taking my advice and registering in the earth hater party in record numbers.

NM Democrats are voting early at nearly twice the rate that earth haters are.

Public radio's Living on Earth aired more about the Johnson/Weld ticket, its role in environmental protection and a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

Johnson has told supporters he will not run again in 2020.


Prescribed burns in Tony Dean Wilderness could have prevented spread of the Cottonwood Fire

Update, 26 October, 0750 MDT: this photo looks like the Cottonwood Fire zone: synchronicity or something else?

Update, 1740 MDT: it looks like the blaze began just north of I-90 on the Pennington/Jackson County border near the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site recently the setting in a political advert for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and staging ground for the suppression of the Cottonwood Fire. If intentionally set during red flag conditions it would be the first known case of weaponized wildfire in South Dakota. Recall that the Jasper Fire was intentional but was never proved to be politically motivated.

The State of South Dakota is the fourth most dependent on federal dollars and as expected disaster funding has been requested.

Mop-up operations on the human-caused 31,000 acre Cottonwood Fire east of Wall are continuing today. Some federal lands in Pennington and Jackson County, South Dakota managed by Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands were involved.

The above map was generated by Pennington County IMT: note the federal lands in green. Two state-owned parcels in the image (shaded purple) are proposed in the troubled land swap between the State of South Dakota and the feds in Spearditch Canyon. So, the State approached an agency based in Nebraska for the exchange likely bypassing the Black Hills National Forest.

Back in 2010 then-Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) tried to make some of that portion of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland part of the Tony Dean Wilderness Area.

Kevin Woster reported on its lack of progress in 2011. Former Deadwood businessman Dave Miller supported the Act, too:
Designating eight percent of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands as wilderness is no land-grab conspiracy to curtail cattle grazing, nor will it threaten private lands or terminate management. Instead, it will secure a prairie grassland heritage that has few equals on this planet. [Grasslands bill isn’t a land grab]
Author George Wuerthner mentioned S. 3310 as a part of the doomed Omnibus Wilderness Bill.
America has very little of its native prairie in any protected status. Most of the plains have been carved up by till farming, and the rest is grazed by livestock. Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act would correct this by designating 48,000 acres as wilderness in the Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills areas of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland on the borders of Badlands NP. Walking these vast open breathing spaces reminds me of being on the vastness of tundra in Alaska. It’s a sense of freedom that is more difficult to experience in more forested terrain. As with any designated wilderness, livestock grazing will continue. This is particularly ironic since Tony Dean, who was an outdoor writer in South Dakota, railed against welfare ranchers and their impact on the state for decades. [Wuerthner]
 The Black Hill National Forest just cancelled a critical prescribed burn under favorable conditions because of threats from Thune.

Not talking about fuel treatments during a wildfire is the same thing as not talking about firearms management during a mass shooting.

Had Sen. Johnson been successful in passing his bill the land in question would have been placed within the stewardship of Badlands National Park and much, if not all, of the federal land scorched by the Cottonwood Fire would have been burned off prescriptively in increments instead of being managed by some careless rancher or passing motorist.

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.


Casita nearly enclosed

Front elevation, image shot from south. Underneath that tarp is about half of the roof foam and OSB; the other portion is inside the building. I buried the vigas in the parapet wall because neighbor Phil reminded this builder that as the vigas shrank and cracked there is no way to stop water from penetrating the adobe wall. Additional mortar will go into the viga bays, the adobes will be scrubbed and stucco applied.

Northeast elevation.

Northwest elevation. Some of the last adobes being laid are going between the vigas today. Progress development here, here, here and here.


Allender learning how Rapid City bilks the feds and the poor

After the 1972 Flood that wiped out Teepee Town and killed some 238 people, mostly poor American Indians, the feds gave Rapid City rent supports to house those displaced by the disaster.

Extremist nutcase Mayor Steve Allender, the former police chief who led a "bunch of racists," is at a loss to house the 100 or so homeless people in Rapid City. He's even asked the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, a front for the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, to help.
The issue at hand is certain land lords getting rich at the expense of low income people needing housing. "Landlords or slumlords are making money on the poorest people who desperately need housing." Allender said, "People renting the place won't complain because they don't want to get evicted because then they won't be able to find anywhere else. It's kind of a sick arrangement between the landlord and the tenant. I'll let you rent my place and not do a background check on you or call your references but you don't complain about anything." Allender said in a letter to the city council that Rapid City has a "slumlord" epidemic that is carried out behind the shield of "free enterprise" or some other gutless reasoning. [KOTA teevee]
Under ethics-free Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard homelessness in South Dakota has become epidemic.

Back in 2013, NPR's Planet Money reported on an experiment in Kenya.
The results from the study are encouraging, says Johannes Haushofer, an economist at MIT's Poverty Action Lab who was one of the study's co-authors. "We don't see people spending money on alcohol and tobacco," he says. "Instead we see them investing in their kids' education, we see them investing in health care. They buy more and better food." Getting money made people happier, less stressed out. [What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?]
Hey, Rapid City: give these people without places to live $1000 vouchers so they can flee South Dakota and its brutal winters or put them on Medicaid.


Fischer Rounds cutting fat hog as insurance oversight flags

Steve Rounds enjoys an unusual 30-year lease on land managed by a state agency. Rounds got the lease to the Oahe Marina from South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder while his brother was governor and when his banker, Larry Deiter was named South Dakota Director of Insurance.
“We are obviously concerned about the impact that Wellmark’s decision will have on consumers,” South Dakota Insurance Director Larry Deiter told the Public Opinion this week. “The current environment under federal health care reform is causing companies to either raise premiums, narrow networks, or cease marketing of products.” Lonnie McKittrick, who heads up the Health Department at Fisher Rounds and Associates, echoed those comments. “ACA is just not working,” he said. “People are getting hammered. Everybody on the inside knew this is what could happen. You crossed your fingers and hoped it wouldn’t, but it did. It’s a system that was set up to fail, especially in a small state like ours.” [Looking for health insurance? Good luck]
Forty-three states and the District of Columbia require insurance commissioners to file some kind of personal financial disclosure report. All but two of those jurisdictions — Hawaii and Vermont — make the documents available for public inspection. Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming have no such disclosure requirements. [Drinks, dinners, junkets and jobs: how the insurance industry courts state commissioners]
Here's Mike Rounds' career donor page at Open Secrets.

Here is how Mike Rounds took federal money then gave it to SDGOP donors.

Kinda makes ya wanna puke, init?


Told you so: South Dakota voters least anchored to reality

South Dakota Republicans have succeeded in making voting in the state a fool's errand.

interested party has suspected this for a long time but seeing it in graphic detail is somewhat gratifying.

Diana Popa from WalletHub has this blog on her media list. She sent me some of her latest findings:
Hi Larry,

With WalletHub’s National Voter Representation Index being at 87 percent and very different demographic groups leaning toward Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report examining the States with the Best & Worst Representation on Election Day.

Worst Overall Representation: 50 South Dakota (73.10%)
Worst Racial Representation: 50 South Dakota (41.84%)
Chelsea Clinton just spoke to an enthusiastic audience at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
"When you're more informed you're more likely to vote." said Government Assistant Professor at Augustana University, Emily Wanless. Wanless also says being unfamiliar with what's at stake in elections and a lack of interest have a negative affect to turnout. "Younger voters are less educated and so again it all ties back to that informational level and if you feel comfortable discussing issues and make a choice you are more likely to vote," added Wanless. [South Dakota last in "represented voters," KOTA teevee]
Bob Mercer is reporting that South Dakota Democrats are taking my advice and registering in the earth hater party. Even longtime Democrats are seeing the futility of open primaries.

Primaries are expensive and allow far too much mischief: since turnout is so pathetic especially during midterms the drain-circling South Dakota Democratic Party should end them and choose candidates at the state conventions.

Stupid state. Flee now before Republicans put up a wall and make you pay for it.


Montana toxins case has ramifications for South Dakota

The Montana Standard based in Butte is trying to sort out responsibility for toxins deposited in Silver Bow Creek by Atlantic Richfield Co. How the State of Montana and the US Environmental Protection Agency should pursue the cleanup remains a mystery.
In the Butte Superfund cleanup, the longest-running Kabuki production this side of the Pacific, what appears to be rational is routinely dismissed as fantasy, and what appears to be real is frequently revealed to be chimera. The state would not wait for EPA and ARCO to hem and haw and trade favors in secret negotiations even as they held their masks and recited their tired lines onstage. As The Montana Standard has surveyed this landscape over the past year and a half, we have repeatedly raised the issue of transparency. We all know this is the largest Superfund site in the nation. We all know this Superfund litigation spans nearly two decades. Let’s try bringing the citizens into the room, and holding both those responsible for the pollution and our public agencies accountable in real time. [It's time to unmask the Superfund talks once and for all]
Downstream in Missoula concern over toxins runs deep.

Nearly a century of residue from Black Hills Mining District affects millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Although the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962 sequestering most of the silt the soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River. Tailings from uranium mining have been detected in Angostura Reservoir in the southern Black Hills and in northwestern South Dakota cleanup in the Cave Hills area went for decades without remediation.

Ellsworth Air Force Base is already a Superfund site leaching contaminants into Box Elder Creek, a tributary of the Cheyenne River. The former Gilt Edge Mine south of Deadwood is a Superfund site leaching contaminants into Elk Creek also a tributary of the Cheyenne and Missouri Rivers.

Canadian miner Barrick Gold bought off the State of South Dakota for Homestake Mining Company's role in polluting Whitewood Creek by trading land in Spearfish Canyon for a proposed state park.

South Dakota's earth hater US senators and attorney general are leading a crusade to block the US Environmental Protection Agency from identifying non-point sources of pollution deposited into watersheds by their GOP donors.

Barrick Mining Company is on the hook for most of the worst shit: it's armed to the teeth with a bank of lawyers and lobbyists. The State enjoyed royalties and severance taxes. In another government land grab Barrick is engaged in negotiations that would trade property in Spearfish Canyon to the State of South Dakota belonging to tribal signatories of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Former Deadwood businessman Dave Miller just wrote a letter to the Rapid City Journal opposing the state land grab in Spearfish Canyon.

With help from former Homestake land manager now Sturgis real estate broker, Denny McKay, former US Senator Tom Daschle sold out the people of South Dakota and the tribal nations trapped within its borders by drafting legislation holding Barrick harmless.

On the east side of the Continental Divide Barrick also operates the Golden Sunlight Mine near Whitehall, Montana. Effluent from that mine goes into the Jefferson River also a tributary of the Missouri and much of it lies in repose within Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

It's time for South Dakota's press to investigate the collusion between the state and polluters instead of pandering to the South Dakota Republican Party.