West River, Black Hills habitats are controlled from out of state; Republicans refuse local control

Jim Neiman of Hulett, Wyoming controls the Black Hills National Forest, decisions for the Sioux Ranger District on the Custer Gallatin National Forest are made in Bozeman, Montana, most of national grasslands in South Dakota are operated from Nebraska and Republican congressional delegations cut fat hogs bringing home the bacon for the timber and livestock industries.

John Thune (earth hater-SD) says the solution is "project level decisions through litigation relief.” That's code for ending lawsuits that protect habitat and letting Republican Party donors like Jim Neiman run roughshod over public lands.

That's not local control: it's ramrodding bills through Congress that end public comment.

More timber is logged off the BHNF than on any other national forest and Republicans want more.

The collapse of the Black Hills ponderosa pine monoculture was forecast as early as 2002 but now bug counters at the Black Hills National Forest are saying its bark beetle outbreak has peaked although dry grasses still plague the region.

In New Mexico local public collaboration drives fuel treatments on ponderosa pine and piñón-juniper forests.

The Santa Fe National Forest gets it.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority. [Los Alamos Daily Post]
Ponderosa pine evolved in the American Southwest and only reached the Black Hills about four thousand years ago and central Montana during the last millenia.

Lodgepole pine and Douglas Fir have been extirpated from the Black Hills for nearly a century: the oldest aspen was virtually logged out during European settlement; yet, tiny stands of old-growth ponderosa pine can still be found in the Hills.

Ponderosa pine contain much higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than many other cone-bearing trees and tends to be more explosive in wildfire conditions especially when under drought stress. Beetle-affected trees are pockmarked with 'pitchouts' that burst into flames during wildfires and torch more readily.

The mountain pine beetle is hard at work clearing centuries of overgrowth throughout the Rocky Mountain Complex, so is the western spruce budworm and the spruce beetle. But leaving dead or dying conifers on the forest produces methane, an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.

Voters can expect South Dakota's earth hater congressional delegation to do the bidding of their donors and put lots of pork in the next farm bill.

Water supplies are critical this year as human-caused climate disruptions reduced snowpack in the Black Hills. Insects and fire are critical to reversing the ravages of conifer overgrowth on the Rocky Mountain West.

Restoration means all the above: fire, bark beetle, reintroduction of bison and the thinning critical for water supplies that ultimately help conifers defend themselves against anthropogenic climate disruptions while stimulating the growth of hardwoods like aspen. It can all be done with aerial techniques without building new roads.

The above map is not of grassland fire danger or red flag warnings: it's of North America's historic bison range.

Black Hills area economic development stakeholders are apoplectic trying to keep young people in the area.

Too bad they're clueless about how to do it.

Want to reduce the effects of wildfire on the greater Missouri River basin?

Rewild the West.


In Spearditch pork tastes like fish

The DC Booth hatchery was recently fingered for allowing non-native Snake River cutthroat trout to escape into Spearditch Creek and other tributaries of the Belle Fourche/Cheyenne River ecosystem.

If these were releases by a private hatchery the penalty for stocking fish in South Dakota waterways without a permit is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

For at least two decades South Dakota's Republican congressional delegation have been obstructing attempts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to streamline the agency as it weans support from a hatchery notorious for introducing invasive species to Black Hills watersheds and into the waters of the United States. They just sent some stuff to the US Secretary of the Interior and the USFWS requesting additional pork to buy an administrative officer, a park ranger, and an archivist historian.

These clowns won't support combating bulging jails and prisons but will wholeheartedly jump on the bandwagon to save a Spearditch tourist trap in a town where a Democrat could win a legislative seat.

Finescale dace was the only fish identified in Black Hills streams by the Custer Expedition in 1874 but the creek chub and white sucker are also native.

There is no evidence of native trout in the Little Missouri flowing north out of the Wyoming sage steppe, either. As the Black Hills have never been glaciated the continual use of fire by human inhabitants to maintain bison habitat for the last ten thousand years may have rendered ancient fisheries unable to sustain salmonids.

It's hard to imagine the Service continuing to support the release of hybrid and non-native trout by South Dakota's Department of Game, Fish & Plunder when native species are being threatened in the Missouri River basin.

Rainbow trout have recently been released into Lake Sharpe.

Kristi Noem and her other white meat supporters purport to be small-government conservatives but they're really just helping themselves instead of finding a way for communities to finance rearing for private ponds without begging the feds for more moral hazard money while pretending to be self-reliant.

The USFWS should block releases of these fish into any part of the system.

How a GOP-owned agency like SDGF&P is enabled instead of being sued by the Service remains a mystery.

What's next, federal subsidies for Wall Drug?

Oh, wait.


Thune made Congress look the other way as Russia infiltrated Facebook

9 May, 2016: former Facebook workers allegedly told Gizmodo they routinely suppressed news from conservative sources.

10 May, 2016: Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) or somebody hoisted upon his staff wrote a letter to Facebook then he, other earth haters and Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus teamed up to threaten Facebook. "Senator Thune (R) once opposed the FCC's Fairness Doctrine now wants Q&A with Facebook about its trending topics."

11 May, 2016: John Thune accused Facebook of bias. Jim Comey admitted to combing Hillary Clinton's correspondence.

13 May, 2016: Thune asked Facebook to make space for all viewpoints.

18 May, 2016: Thune met with Mark Zuckerberg and a bank of lawyers. "Just about nobody, Sen. Thune included, wants the feds to police how Facebook displays news."

19 May, 2016: "The first step forward is for Facebook, and anyone who uses algorithms in subjective decision making, to drop the pretense that they are neutral. If I am reading their letter to Thune right, Facebook's response is to gut a perfectly defensible part of the process. Why? PR concerns atm (at the moment)."

23 May, 2016, in the name of "net neutrality" Thune and the Senate GOP said they won't regulate Facebook.

24 May, 2016: Facebook's 12 page response to Thune.

31 May, 2016: Thune backs Trump.

3 June, 2016: Trump twitter bots began urging then-Senator Jeff Sessions to investigate censorship.

5 July, 2016: Jim Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

27 July, 2016: dezinformatsiya, "Russian internet trolls were being hired to pose as pro-Trump Americans."

August and September: Clinton's correspondence on a private server became a Trump bot meme and somebody goaded the husband of Clinton's closest advisor to share inappropriate correspondence with an alleged minor.

8 October, 2016: Thune condemns Trump.

12 October, 2016: Thune flips again and backs Trump.

25 October, 2016: Rudy Giuliani on Fox News said that the campaign had an upcoming "surprise."

28 October, 2016: Jim Comey said he's going to reopen the FBI investigation into Sec. Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. In an interview Clinton blamed Guiliani "and others" of leaning on Comey.

7 November, 2016: despite accusing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing Comey said hours before the election there actually was none.

8 November, 2016: the end of the world as we know it.
Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call. [Washington Post]
18 November, 2016: Thune: "Russia is constantly looking for ways to undermine and disrupt our democratic systems." Thune knows this because he plays basketball with James Comey. Comey and Obama didn't play basketball together nor did Obama and Thune.

Thune's rejection of Trump was a ruse. He already knew Donald Trump was a sleaze from his basketball buddy Jim Comey.

That's right: the vast wrong-wing conspiracy was going to beat Hillary Clinton at any cost even if it meant colluding with a sworn enemy of the United States, destroying the presidency and taking down the republic.

Thune can't ever seek any higher office than he has now and unless he's indicted his term doesn't end until 2023. There are no media in his home state that aren't beholden to the Republican Party and although he went to DC without much money he's got at least $12 million now.

Facebook is malware. 3,000 ads with Russian links may be “the tip of the iceberg,” supported Sanders, Stein and Trump

The paper trail is clear: John Thune made Congress look the other way as Russia infiltrated Facebook.

He's the perfect stooge to pull this off.

There are several tells in the above Thune photo: can you name them?


Betty Olson fingers neighbor for violations of Clean Water Act

This blog trolls earth hater former South Dakota legislator Betty Olson and her Facebook page pretty relentlessly. Nearly all of her FB friends are off the wall sovereign citizen rancher types and she normally posts her Grand River Roundup column there before it goes to the Rapid City Journal.

She's actually a pretty good recorder chronicling the extreme wrong wing of the Republican Party in the state's flyover frontier.

But, this week marks a time when she actually comes out as a whistle-blower.
Daryl Thompson called me from over by Mobridge to tell me that the site of another town of Moreau is under Lake Oahe. Daryl runs cows right next to where the Moreau River runs into the Missouri River on the Cheyenne River Reservation and during one of the dry years he rescued a highway sign that had been submerged along a road under Lake Oahe. [Betty Olson]
Most grazing land in South Dakota is privately owned or managed by the US Forest Service. Water quality within the Moreau basin is already marginal to poor due largely to livestock-caused E. coli contamination but development and prioritization for the watershed are affected by unique jurisdictional issues.

It turns out the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has a letter (pdf) sitting before US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt pursuant to their appeal of a denied injunction the tribe believes violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The letter reminds EPA that the Waters of the United States rule cites upstream polluters with violations of the Clean Water Act and even casual reading suggests Daryl Thompson is breaking the law thumbing his nose at indigenous religious freedoms grazing livestock depositing hormone-laden manure upstream of a sovereign tribal nation.

US Bureau of Land Management officials announced Friday they are loosening grazing restrictions originally put in place to protect land from possible over-grazing and to conserve the quality of native grasses.


Sorry, not sorry: Plame Wilson dinged for sharing piece on Israel's war culture

It's no secret this interested party would like to see Israel rolled back to 1917 borders and its Jewish inhabitants moved to Utah or Nevada.

Recall former South Dakota state senator Dan Lederman, now chairman of the earth hater party in the state, along with fellow Jewish-American Joel Arends teamed up with Islamophobe and whackjob of the nth order, Frank Gaffney, for an event in Sioux Falls.

No Middle East leader is more unstable than Bibi Netanyahu.

President Harry Truman failed the United States by recognizing the illegal creation of Israel. Even Donald Trump believes Israel is guilty of war crimes and would use nuclear weapons in the Middle East with Israel as collateral damage.

Santa Fe resident and former Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame Wilson is taking some heat for sharing a piece written by fellow CIA officer but conservative commentator, Philip Giraldi.
Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it. [America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars]
It's not like Giraldi is wrong.

In July, Plame Wilson launched a gofundme campaign to raise $1 billion to buy a major stake in Twitter and kick Trump off the platform.

Wilson deleted below tweets after this post was published.

PS: her biggest mistake so far was apologizing.


DiSanto steps in dog shit, could smear SDGOP with it

Earth hater Lynne DiSanto has just shown her true colors to her Rapid City constituents.

Her employer has dropped her, so has Working Against Violence.

Recall DiSanto supported the actions of the sleeper cell of armed christianic militants who held a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. While she is representative of Republicans throughout West River the South Dakota Republican Party won't tolerate losing the seat to a Democrat.

She's a ticking time bomb. Expect her to vacate the District 35 state house seat she holds so Denny Daugaard can appoint a replacement for the upcoming 2018 legislative session who is at least as offensive and to appeal to the lowest Republican common denominator during the 2018 election cycle.

Bo Sistak has announced his intention to run for the seat.

A Democrat is nearly ready to announce a run for the District 31 senate seat now held by Bob Ewing.

Watch this space.

Update, 1607 MDT: SDGOP says she won't be reprimanded for advocating vehicular homicide. If she leaves the legislature it will be her own choice (wink, wink). Story here.


Air Force schedules another round of albedo modification over PRTC

The photo above features a C-130H sprayer based at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

As South Dakota's senior US Senator chortles over the Trump Organization's plan to spend at least $500,000,000 on each new B-21 bomber and nearly three quarters of a $TRILLION on a proposed Defense Department budget instead of really making America great again, US Air Force officials have scheduled another round of aerial exercises over the Powder River Training Complex.

Included in the war games are sprayers that disperse chemicals formulated to reduce the effects of climate warming.

In the name of geoengineering or albedo modification the Air Force routinely sprays an aerosol cocktail of silver iodide, lead iodide, aluminum oxide, barium, frozen carbon dioxide, common salt, water and soot from burning hazardous waste in pits at US Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota into the atmosphere over the ocean and above parts of at least four states.

Chemtrails have been observed by the public and by general aviation pilots in the expanded practice bombing range.

General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the exercises could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses are causing extreme fire danger.

Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participate during the so-called "Combat Raider" deployments.

C-130H aerial sprayers have recently been deployed to spread chemicals over low-income areas of Houston after Hurricane Harvey.


Democrats in New Mexico and elsewhere blazing toward legalization

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque, the leading fund raiser in the New Mexico gubernatorial Democratic primary, sees a green future for the state.
“I am committed to working with the Legislature to move towards legalizing recreational cannabis in a way that improves public safety, boosts state revenues, and allows for New Mexico businesses to grow into this new market.” Lujan Grisham, a former state health secretary, said, “I am proud to have presided over and supported the successful roll out of New Mexico’s medical cannabis program.” [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Democrats are saying as much as $400 million raised in the first year could be going for education and transportation fixes.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson lives in Taos and has said he buys cannabis in Trinidad, Colorado.

Under term-limited Governor Susana Martinez New Mexico unemployment rates are the worst in the United States while enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program has soared above the 40,000 member threshold.

New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program is covered by the state's workers' compensation statutes.
So, legalization initiatives have a clear Democratic benefit. Democratic-leaning voters, who otherwise might have stayed home, could turn out to vote on marijuana reform. Some may leave other parts of the ballot blank, but Democrats could see a meaningful benefit overall. In a race that is close, a few thousand votes here or there could force an incumbent Republican Senator to pack up his office or shift a state’s electoral votes from red to blue. [Brookings Institution]
Democrats Lujan Grisham, Jeff Apodaca, Peter DeBenedittis, Joseph Cervantes are expected to run in next year's primary to replace Martinez. They all laud the state's cannabis initiative.
Apodaca’s father, former governor Jerry Apodaca, was governor when New Mexico became the first state to legislate the medical use of cannabis in 1978 through Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act. But Apodaca says cannabis could be more than a driver of jobs: It could also be an area where New Mexico’s universities lead other states in research and development. “If they can create 34 different strains of green chiles, are you telling me we can’t lead the world, the country, in [cannabis] research from our university?” [Santa Fe Reporter]
Revenues from therapeutic cannabis in New Mexico during the first quarter of 2017 reached $19 million, an 86 percent increase over the first quarter of 2016. Total receipts for 2017 are projected to exceed $83.5 million.

Legal cannabis has become a favorite in Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gubernatorial primary, too. Even so-called 'moderate Democrats' are on board.

Democrats in Montana's legislature want better testing for contaminants in cannabis to better serve that state's 18,953 registered therapeutic cannabis patients and 616 providers.

In Nevada, Tribal Cannabis Consulting has established cannabis compacts with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office and the Yerington Paiute, Ely Shoshone and Pyramid Lake Paiute tribes.

And in California tribal nations want compacts with the state.
“Just like gaming, it’s our sovereign right to get into this industry without compromising our rights,” said Blue Quisquis, President of Emerald Enterprise and Sapphire MJ Solutions, who has an extensive background in gaming operations and is now helping tribes enter into the cannabis market. “We organized C-NACA to build tribal support and to educate our fellow tribes about all aspects of the industry." [Indian Country Today]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults even if it means enduring some feces-throwing from the earth hater Big Food, Big Booze, Big Pharma, NFL set.


Mercer suffering lapses in judgement

For some reason Bob Mercer felt compelled to tell readers in an op/ed he's an objective journalist but in a bizarre reference he completely contradicts himself.
I purposely don’t register to vote, because I don’t want to be tempted to vote, at least not while I’m still a newspaper reporter. The affair Bill Clinton later had, as president, in the White House, sealed that question. I never trusted [Hillary Clinton] again. [Bob Mercer]
Mercer is the only reporter covering South Dakota state government full time; and, he's a member of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers.

The history of the Roman Church in the New World is fraught with crimes committed by clergy from Columbus in 1492 and Spanish colonialism to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2017.
The standards of Jesus Christ, to treat others with respect and dignity and to care for one another as Christ has loved us. I'm not exactly sure what you want me to say, other than we expect appropriate behavior by all priests, all employees of the church, all lay people who act in the name of the church. [Sioux Falls cleric, Paul Swain, How The Diocese Handled Sexual Harassment Allegations]
Jesus of Nazareth cavorted with prostitutes and had multiple dalliances with other men. Jesus Christ is a myth created in Roman Judaea as a means to weaken the grip of an empire in the eastern Mediterranean and to counter the rise of middle Eastern traditions.
In a step toward accountability long demanded by survivors of sexual abuse at the of hands Roman Catholic clergy, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on Tuesday released a list of 74 priests, deacons and brothers who it says have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct over the last several decades. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
The sale of Blue Cloud Abbey near Watertown sought to pay for years of sex abuse at the hands of catholic clergy covered up by South Dakota's legislature while it was taking millions in federal dollars, violating the Indian Child Welfare Act and flouting the Bad Man Clause.

A Google search found exactly zero articles where Bob Mercer covered clergy crimes or the Church's lobbying power in Pierre and the legislature. In fact, in one story he praised a lawmaker who covered up clergy crimes and sponsored legislation for earth haters who were his benefactors. Bob can't come right out and say the town is awash in corruption because he's been told he and his family are in danger if he does. If he implicates a player he knows he will lose his access.

Mercer is in his late fifties and like Brock Greenfield he's immune from the facts and suffering from multiple health issues that have not only curtailed his coverage of the news but have apparently clouded his judgement.

Maybe it's time he admits he's part of the vast wrong-wing conspiracy, leaves the news business, prays the Rosary and simply forgets the truth about his church.


Urban bighorn sheep climbing to nuisance peak in Deadwood

Yep, South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder have forced wildlife management on someone else again after losing control of another self-created crisis.

After the 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire opened nearly 13,000 acres of overgrown and beetle-killed ponderosa pine invasive weeds and cheatgrass moved in because cars and hunters have killed off most of the native elk, white-tailed and mule deer.
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. [Kevin Woster, KELO]
Now, a herd of disease-prone bighorn sheep have moved right in and made themselves at home within the City of Deadwood causing traffic snarls and wreaking havoc on gardens and lawns.

The below video has been lifted from Bob Reiling.

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. Collisions with deer and bighorn sheep regularly injure and kill motorcyclists.

The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

The stills below have been lifted from Sandy Smith Bittner.

Events like these are hardly unexpected in a Republican-choked state that stages an annual mock bison roundup appropriated from indigenous cultures and keeps a drove of allegorical mooching donkeys in a park as a slap in the face to a feckless South Dakota Democratic Party.

Tribes want name changes in Yellowstone

After successes by tribal nations renaming geographical features in Alaska and South Dakota Yellowstone National Park could see at least two name changes.

Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

According to US Geological Survey officials the Board on Geographic Names has received no official proposal to change the names to Buffalo Nations Valley and First People's Mountain.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the US Park Service are doing what Alaskans are asking of Congress urging the body to approve a name change for North America's highest peak to Denali, an Athabascan name meaning “the high one.”

This blogger has been arguing for Lakota names on South Dakota's geological features for at least twenty years. It is the opinion of this blog now that the mountain is named for Black Elk, named for a holy man who rejected the Roman Church, it should be in the Lakota language: loosely translated as Paha Heȟáka Sápa.

Tribal nations and pueblos in New Mexico are also mulling changes to events and geographical places that glorify Spanish colonizers.

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.


SDGOP: it's all good!

How do we know the South Dakota Republican Party is squishing under the weight of its own kleptocracy? Because Pat Powers is denying it.

South Dakota's chief executive is for all intents and purposes an autocrat. If he doesn't know something it's because he doesn't want to know it.

South Dakota depends on federal cash just to operate: how so-called conservatives distribute that money is hypocrisy writ large.

Earth hater former Governor Mike Rounds awarded $75 million in Future Funds without a public paper trail. He's now the state's junior US Senator. The party is ripping itself apart over who got that cash with the ultra-conservatives pointing fingers at the SDGOP establishment.

Future fund recipients, Kathryn Johnson, a member of the Board of Regents implicated in the EB-5/Bendagate scandal, and her husband, prominent Rapid City attorney, Doyle Estes, each gave South Dakota's current governor $4000 in 2014.

Board of Regents and US Department of Education funding drove corruption in the GEAR UP scandal and Westerhuis murders. Recall Mike Rounds ran for Senate calling for the abolition of the US Department of Education knowing it is a source of corrupting influence in South Dakota.

If it's tagged for American Indian education in South Dakota you can bet white Republicans will get rich paying to play.

Jim and Mary Scull are Future Fund recipients; also, they have given at least $3000 to help reelect South Dakota's current GOP governor. J. Scull Construction Services has enjoyed years of tribal contracts mostly funded by, you guessed it: the US Department of Education.

Over 54% percent of respondents at a Yankton Press & Dakotan reader poll disapprove of the current governor's job performance. Republican Denny Daugaard is saying investigators are looking in the wrong places for corruption in his party.

South Dakota has one reporter covering state government in Pierre full time. One. And Bob Mercer can't come right out and say the town is awash in corruption because he's been told he and his family are in danger if he does. If he implicates a player he knows he will lose his access. His ill health even restricts better coverage.

Sure, Jason Gant and Pat Powers were a bumbling pair of plumbers. And yes, Pierre is a sewer of biblical proportions.

Powers has been castigating members of his own party for even trying to get to the bottom of the graft and crony capitalism in Pierre. He's even accused State Senator Stace Nelson and gubernatorial candidate Lora Hubbel of being too Republican.


Because he's been implicated in helping to erase evidence, he hacked or allowed hackers into the state's IT grid and Secretary of State Shantel Krebs knows it. After he threatened her with political retribution she blocked Powers from her social media pages.

Powers has even exhibited some paranoia about his personal safety after EB-5 player, Rich Benda was found dead in a shelter belt with a shotgun tied to a nearby tree.

Pat's wish give up the ghost is my devotional psalm. No doubt he opposes Right to Die measures because if it passes he'd be among to first in line to end it all.

Unless South Dakota arch-conservatives mount third party or indie runs for US House, governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and the Public Utilities Commission their lamentations for being marginalized by the establishment is just sauce for the turds they keep eating every day for breakfast.

Whatever it takes to bring democracy back to my home state.


Horse harvest could bring opportunity to tribal communities

Back in May the Trump Organization proposed slashing $10 million and 29 positions from the Interior Department’s wild horse and burro program.

Funding for birth control would be cut and the Bureau of Land Management would be allowed to sell horses protected under a 1971 law to be harvested and the meat sold mostly abroad.

Because they have no natural predators feral horse herds double in size every four to five years. “You don’t have wild horses anymore. You have their bodies, but they are … domesticated,” said one researcher. The modern horse was introduced to North America by the Spanish late in the 15th Century and then by other European colonizers.

Acquiring the horse in the 1740s enabled the Lakota to win the Black Hills.

In Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and seven other states the BLM adopts out, seeks private pastures for, and feeds the horses. The cost of keeping feral horses in holding pens off wild lands costs taxpayers at least $49 million annually.

Wyoming has the second-highest feral horse population in the country with 7,144 of these horses. The BLM’s target is 3,725.

There are an estimated 75,000 feral horses roaming the Navajo Nation, "ravaging the range and depleting water sources."

The United States sends more than 12,000 horses across the southern border for slaughter ultimately bound for markets in Europe and Asia.

Historically unserved or underserved by conventional financial institutions Native communities have been largely isolated from the food web. At least one American Indian tribe in South Dakota has shown interest in operating an abattoir as an economic development opportunity. Citi is quietly seeking a piece of tribal gaming announcing a 'major contribution' in support of Native Community Development Financial Institutions.

Ironic that in a country that exports more weapons of mass destruction than all others combined and relentlessly hunts nearly anything that moves Equus ferus is still seen as a pet.

In an era when western states are scrambling to preserve habitat for bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, deer, the threatened Greater sage grouse and all the other wildlife at risk to the Republican Party how is running nurseries for introduced species like wild horses and burros either conservative or sustainable?

Claim: SDSU campus cop brutalized daughters of cannabis advocate

According to several Facebook posts Melissa Mentele is alleging her daughter, a senior at Emery High School, suffered multiple scrapes, bruises and dislocated bones in her hand after a campus cop accosted her and her sister on the South Dakota State University campus.
People are strange. If you want to see some under the rock dwellers take a look at some of the comments on the news stories. We stopped after we remembered you can't cure stupid. The Brookings paper has some interesting comments from members of the community... scary stuff. [Mentele, Facebook post]
Citing violation of a campus curfew the baby cop allegedly told the group to sit and forced the younger daughter to the ground because she couldn’t sit due to a recent knee injury. The older daughter could face an obstruction charge for trying to intervene.

A Google search finds no evidence of a curfew on campus. Nothing posted at University Police links to a curfew.

The alleged abuser, Jason Baker, is the subject of an investigation being conducted both internally and with an outside agency now confirmed as the state Division of Criminal Investigation. Officials refuse to say why the girls were stopped or questioned or where the incident took place. Comments on Mentele's Facebook post cite other instances where Baker acted with excessive force.

Mentele, whose original Facebook post about the incident has over 2,100 shares, said her family plans to pursue civil and criminal charges. She has been a candidate for a seat in the earth hater-glutted state legislature and is currently circulating petitions to reform South Dakota's draconian cannabis laws.

Violence perpetrated by South Dakota cops is commonplace. State troopers hired by Energy Transfer Partners brutalized peaceful demonstrators during the construction of the Dakota Excess Pipeline and routinely profile travelers from cannabis-friendly states. The Rapid City Police Department is infamous for arresting and shooting American Indians.

South Dakota has become an increasingly violent place under single-party rule as residents are drained by the state's regressive tax structure. So-called law enforcement officers in South Dakota are being tried and convicted of embezzlement and violent crimes motivated by nefarious behavior by state Republican higher-ups gone unchecked.

Recall Brady Folkens died in state custody after the Brookings Police Department coerced his mother into committing him to a Black Hills boot camp.

While rates have come down after pressure from the Obama Administration South Dakota still incarcerates more kids than any other state.

Brookings, once a bulwark of progressive thought, was voted one of the worst towns in the state by readers of interested party. The town has descended into becoming the home to South Dakota's most offensive political blogger.

Brookings County has been ravaged by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and is ground zero for environmental degradation in eastern South Dakota.

Cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.


Democrats running for governor in Minnesota own cannabis legalization

Legal cannabis has become a favorite in Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gubernatorial primary.

Even so-called 'moderate Democrats' are on board.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, state Reps. Erin Murphy, Tina Liebling and Paul Thissen, and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz all support legalizing marijuana for recreational and not just medical use. “When you confront the reality of the cost of criminalization vs. the benefits of legalization, I think the benefits outweigh the costs,” said Coleman, whose campaign approached the Star Tribune to discuss the issue. The candidates’ sudden embrace of marijuana legalization underscores how quickly the issue is moving and illustrates the rapid changes underway in the DFL Party. Coleman said Minnesota should prepare for the inevitable and be ready to capture the benefits of legalization like tax revenue and new jobs, while mitigating the costs, including addiction and traffic safety. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
How ironic that Litchfield could become an adult cannabis tourism destination.

Even South Dakota's more forward-looking neighbor to the north is growing interest in cannabis as therapy.

North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 in 2016 and this year the legislature drafted rules then a Republican governor signed it into law. Her Dem-NPL Party supports the decriminalization and regulation of cannabis.

New Mexico's Democratic gubernatorial candidates all laud that state's cannabis initiative.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults even if it means enduring some feces-throwing from the earth hater Big Food, Big Booze, Big Pharma, NFL set.

If only South Dakota Democrats could find the balls (that some spend a boatload to remove) to go do it.

As another brutal winter begins its descent on the Great Plains leaving residents on the verge of suicide this writer still sees some hope for the frozen tundra.


Woster gets religion on Black Hills aspen, cougar relationship

This blog began as a voice for wildlife habitat in the Black Hills, the Heart of Everything That Is.

Its focus has largely been trying to understand fungal relationships with ponderosa pine, quaking aspen, cougars and the effects of fire on the Black Hills and western South Dakota before and after European settlement. Covering how livestock grazing, its dependence of antibiotics, glyphosate and Carbaryl have altered the Black Hills in ways that have not been fully researched remains the mission.

So, it's gratifying when one the state's best storytellers reinforces the work.
Ruffed grouse are the most delicate, delightfully flavored of birds. Better than pheasant, even. But finding them means a real hunt in the Black Hills that starts with hunting for aspen. There just isn’t that much of it around anymore, because of the relentlessly growing, expanding ponderosa pine forest. Ponderosa pine have been assisted in their takeover of the Black Hills by generations of wildfire control and forest-management policies that have benefited the commercially valuable pines while hurting aspen and other deciduous trees and shrubs that don’t advance commerce but benefit overall forest plant diversity and the wildlife populations it serves. An aspen environment is something else entirely, populated with ferns and berries and shrubs and seeds and buds, and attracting the kind of wildlife diversity that is missing in forests crowded with one encroaching pine after the other. As aspen go in the Black Hills, so go ruffed grouse. If you’re trying to reduce a certain wildlife population, as state Game, Fish & Parks Department pros have done with the mountain lion in the Black Hills, you aim for additive mortality. [Kevin Woster]
The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

As this is being typed the GOP-owned Game, Fish and Plunder Commission is planning a hunting season on cougars in the Black Hills. During last season Republican hunters killed 30 lions in the Black Hills under rules based on data long past actionable.

South Dakota's experiment introducing an exotic species, the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant, has just not been able to keep up breeding a bird unable to adapt to the state's brutal weather and climate science-denying legislature.

Non-native species being stocked by the state in Lake Sharpe and the other dams on the Missouri are forcing a red moocher state and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to keep going through the motions pretending native paddlefish can survive the runaway zebra and quagga mussel disasters.

Unless the West embraces rewilding on portions of the Missouri River basin the clamor for logging public lands and the water wars will clog the courts leaving violent armed vigilantism to settle disputes as the wildfire cycle begins anew.

There are many things on which Woster and this blog disagree but his writing has been an inspiration and our love for the Black Hills remains a favorite intersection for a high five.

ip photo.


Tester wants to explore single-payer; Baucus flips

On Wednesday during a bipartisan hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) said Congress should take a “solid look” at a single-payer health care system.

Tester, who has been listening to various options including some intense lobbying from this blog, asked the panel of experts how to finance the health care system while controlling the costs.

Recall former Montana Sen. Max Baucus threw President Barack Obama's pick for Health and Human Services Secretary, former Senate Majority Leader and fellow Democrat Tom Daschle, under the bus during a pre-confirmation quarrel in 2009.

Daschle was widely expected to push Congress toward a Medicaid-for-all health care plan in the weeks before Big Pharma-backed Baucus soundly rejected single-payer medical insurance and guided the passing of what would become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Baucus spoke Thursday night at Montana State University and publicly reversed course on single payer.
It was a startling turnaround for Baucus, who eight years ago was chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and a key Democratic leader in the political battles that ultimately passed the Affordable Care Act. [Bozeman Daily Chronicle]
Obama later admitted he "screwed up" by pushing Timothy Geithner's confirmation as Treasury Secretary first in a effort to reverse the economic catastrophe left by the previous administration. Daschle withdrew after Obama put off his confirmation hearing and after Baucus stabbed Daschle, the American people and the new president in the back.

In 2013 Obama appointed Baucus, a Democrat who had been a royal pain in the ass, Ambassador to China.
Because of the way hospital networks and private insurers independently negotiate prices with each other in most of the country, rural hospitals are often de facto monopolies with massive leverage. As a result, only insurers that are also effectively monopolies can hope to negotiate for decent prices to drive out competition. Even increasing insurer competition in these concentrated hospital markets could actually make the cost problem worse. [The ACA is Failing Because It Didn’t Account For Hospital Monopolies in Rural Areas]
The Billings Clinic, Benefis, Sanford, Avera and Rapid City Regional enjoy virtual medical industry monopolies in their markets.

Kinda makes ya sick, init?

I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the IHS and the VA together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. Reproductive freedoms should be included with conditions just like the military does under TRICARE.

So, if these hospitals are monopolies or even oligopolies in their markets why aren’t there public commissions to regulate pricing?


RC Journal runs CS Gazette's anti-cannabis editorial despite Springs' move toward more adult access

Rapid City's daily newspaper is an earth hater rag where the obituaries are usually the only real news.

It just ran an anti-cannabis editorial from the Colorado Springs Gazette, itself a conservative tabloid.

Not surprisingly, the meme chose yet another slippery slope to vilify cannabis instead of revealing the Springs will likely see a 2018 ballot issue that would bring full adult casual sales like nearby Manitou Springs brought. The Springs have so far forbidden the sale of anything but therapeutic cannabis in the second most populous town in Colorado.

A University of Denver study revealed Colorado Springs could raise more than $25 million in a year if it legalized and Citizens for Safer Neighborhoods spokesman Mike Elliott is trying to convince voters that the city should have the revenue instead of giving it to the thriving black market. A majority of six council members could enact an ordinance allowing cannabis sales to all adults.

Meanwhile, officials with New Mexico’s medical cannabis program are placing more emphasis on community outreach and education.

A study (pdf) mandated by Initiative 502 the Washington State Institute for Public Policy concluded ingestion by youth and cannabis-abuse treatment admissions have not increased since legalization.

Rapid City is a military town like Colorado Springs and situational awareness is paramount for national security especially now that a sociopath holds the US nuclear codes.

But, under a compact between tribes and the State of South Dakota the revenue generated by cannabis sales on off-reservation properties in and around Rapid City could bring prosperity to the American Indian community, help Pennington County fix roads and the city as they cope with Republican myopia.

Maybe, North Rapid residents could even have its own grocery store within walking distance.


Jackley bitch slaps Noem in SDGOP straw poll

Woah. Who saw this coming?

The South Dakota earth hater party hosted a straw poll at the State Fair over the Labor Day weekend to test preferences of party members on their primary choices.

Attorney General Marty Jackley received 1,019 votes and bimbo Rep. Kristi Noem won 716.

Looks like Noem is moving away from the amateur cornhole circuit and going pro.

Remember when the earth haters blasted former First Lady Michelle Obama for baring her shoulders?

Noem: "hold my beer."

It's really hard not to slut-shame someone who's gone all out to be one.


David Crosby calls Steely Dan his favorite band

The passing of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker compelled a blogger to ask singer-songwriter David Crosby to comment.


Earth haters blame enviros for wildland fires but ignore poor ranching practices

Montana's Democratic governor has declared a state of emergency as fires clear a century of conifer and cheatgrass infestation.

The state's earth hater congressional delegation have gone off on the environmental community blaming groups for litigation they say blocks logging in parts of the state.
In the midst of Montana’s severe fire season, a heated debated [sic] has reignited over forest management, with a group of Montana Republican lawmakers arguing that lawsuits halting logging projects are elevating wildfire dangers, while critics counter that GOP lawmakers are at fault for not recognizing climate change and failing to properly fund federal agencies. [Flathead Beacon]
If it wasn't for the environmental community Montana would be one big housing development for Californians.

There are at least forty four incidents of wildfire burning in Montana; over half are human-caused.

During the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries European settlers cleared vast tracts of forest for charcoal, mine timbers and construction allowing fast-growing conifers to infest much of Montana.

Aspen has been choked out by fire suppression and the timber industry exacerbating climate change. It's important to remember high-VOC ponderosa pine only reached central Montana a thousand years ago. They're weeds. Aspen leaves reflect sunlight and hold snowpack while pine needles absorb heat and accelerate snowmelt warming the planet.

But, wildland fires on private ranch land in southeastern Montana dwarf those on public ground in the western part of the state. The Sartin Draw Fire near Broadus and the Battle Complex near Birney burning on at least 100,000 and 185,000 acres respectively are still growing, decades of invasive grasses and poor stewardship to blame.

Montana has the highest number in the US of residences in the wildland urban interface. Insurance companies should simply deny covfefe for those who refuse to clear properties of combustibles.

Just a hundred fifty years ago bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns and deer cleared the grasses driving eastern Montana's fire season. If grasses remained in the fall tribes burned the rest.

It's not just Montana.

South Dakota and Wyoming are also at risk to poor ranching practices and habitat destruction.

Domestic livestock have contributed to catastrophic wildfire conditions and Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.

Damned if We the People do fuel treatments, damned if the gods do them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could have saved a load of dough paying Montana to set prescribed burns before this year's fire season.

Fuel treatments remain the best way to reduce wildland fires. This blog has been advocating prescribed burns since February for the upper Missouri basin.

Restore forest habitat on public ground with aerostats without building new roads and burn after timber harvest.

Volunteer fire departments are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency it should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural fire departments.

Republicans are guilty of whitewashing the Trump White House responses to the needs in eastern Montana where Trump won overwhelmingly.

Blue states New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California are far more proactive about fuel treatments.

Republican is simply a euphemism for earth hater. Tell 'em to go fuck themselves.