3/31/19

Tweaker of Red Rock Road still behind bars

I tried to run him off the mesa at least four times after numerous run-ins while he squatted in the double wide on Red Rock Road but to no avail...until now. Thanks to neighbors Lori and Riendo who called the deputy after they saw that white pickup. During the big snow storm he had taken another blue Toyota off the road and afterwards went down a steep two-track, stuck it in the arroyo and broke in to another neighbor's place on Baja Waldo Road.
For years, it seems, Edward Laird roamed around the country — from the Southwest to New England, Oregon to Florida — brazenly breaking into homes and stealing valuables. He made headlines nationwide a decade ago, when he was accused of nabbing what was purported to be a valuable van Gogh sketch from a Santa Fe home. Until, that is, Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies caught up with him earlier this month at what they say was a vacant home on rural Red Rock Road. Laird still refused to get up and show his hands, the statement said, so a deputy stunned him with a Taser and placed him in handcuffs. [Menace of Madrid finally caught?]
Meth head, nutcase, tweaker - it was all too obvious. One day he came up to the casita and a cat jumped out of the piece of shit pickup he was driving and ran into the desert never to be seen again.

3/29/19

Black Hills legislator wants full investigation of Children's Home Society


The split in the South Dakota Republican Party is being widened by a missing nine year old girl.

State Senator Lynne DiSanto has been raising awareness of the abuses committed by the Children's Home Society leading up to the disappearance of Serenity Dennard. The Children's Home Society has been under the regulatory microscope before for violations of trust. One former executive director is none other than Republican former South Dakota Governor Denny Daugaard. Mass incarceration fuels the white foster home industry: a pet project of Daugaard's wife.

The United States foster care industry supplies at least 88% of sex-trafficked children some of whom are raped for money at the annual Sturgis Rally. Billionaire Republican Denny Sanford has given millions to the Children's Home Society, just for instance.
Among other things, the October 2011 series — “Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families” — said Native American children in South Dakota too often are placed with white families, contrary to the intent of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. It also said the state has a financial incentive to take Native American children into state custody, that Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s work at Children’s Home Society while he was lieutenant governor was a conflict of interest, and that South Dakota’s foster care system in general has a cultural bias against Native Americans. The Coalition of Sioux Tribes for Children and Families and the Lakota People’s Law Project cited this number in a report to Congress in January. “We believe it is likely that the state consciously treats Native American foster children as an attractor of federal money,” the coalition’s report said. --Cody Winchester, Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Links added.

Sexual predators in Pierre have been a feature of South Dakota during the legislative session for its entire history but to Sioux Falls-area legislator, Deb Peters it's no big deal.

The Aberdeen American's editorial board is pointing fingers at other South Dakota media for lousy coverage of the Republican rape culture in Pierre. "Unsafe. Unacceptable. Hyper-masculine. Sexualized. Dirty." That's how the board and how women have described earth haters in Pierre. The South Dakota Newspaper Association, teevee stations and local media have known about Pierre's rape culture and culture of corruption for decades but simply concede to the twenty earth hater donors who run the state.

Hells Angels, Bandidos and other gangs own property in the Black Hills area to serve as bases of operation for sex and meth trafficking much of it through what appear to be legitimate businesses. Those motorcycle clubs and the South Dakota law enforcement industry use the Sturgis Rally as a sort of pyramid scheme clearinghouse. During pre-Rally meetings they exchange the names of individuals who will ultimately be targeted for arrest to place moles into the state's jails and prisons and to provide cops with an appearance of relevance. The Sturgis bacchanal is really all about male white privilege at any cost. Thanks to selective enforcement white thugs have carte blanche to commit flagrant criminal acts during the Rally. A long history of lawlessness can make the event highly virulent attracting common parasites who breed in the cesspools of human existence. Gangs of armed men with mental illnesses and addictions to meth power their way into western South Dakota every year; and, an accepted outlaw biker culture routinely traffics illicit behaviors that would otherwise be subject to legal interdiction.

Polygamy and pedophilia are apparently protected religious freedoms in South Dakota as far as Republicans are concerned. Recall the mother of earth hater state legislator and former candidate for South Dakota Attorney General, Lance Russell sold property to the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Church where minor girls are trafficked and raped. That they offered escape to Serenity is not impossible.
For about three months of the year, from September to November, the bar and restaurant transform into a completely different establishment. But increasingly it is a commercial enterprise, one that comes with a dark side: sex trafficking and pop-up strip clubs that cater to hunters here for a good time. Asked about a rumored prostitution sting at Frank Day’s last year, a representative for the state Department of Criminal Investigation issued this statement: “The DCI does a number of operations, but we do not confirm any details. The only time operation details are released is if there are arrests.” For trafficking survivor advocates like Heth, of the Pathfinder Center, pheasant season isn’t the tradition-tinged seasonal activity that harms only birds. Trafficking ensnares South Dakota women as well. Native American women are heavily targeted. Nothing to see here. [Hunting season’s underbelly: Stripping, sex trafficking and small towns looking the other way]
But, a red moocher state like South Dakota is powered by sin: video lootery, a loan shark industry that preys on the least fortunate and a too-big-to-jail banking racket fill in the gaps created by lobbyists who enjoy the protection of single-party tyranny. Desperate to pay off those who benefit the entrenched Republican establishment criminals always have a champion sitting as attorney general. Now, the chemical toilet and permanent disaster area that is South Dakota has elected a governor who not only slept her way to the top she has never supported the Violence Against Women Act.

Despite lies from the South Dakota Republican Party video lootery, payday loan sharks, domestic violence and homelessness are inextricably linked putting children at risk to more catastrophic consequences far more often than has happened in states that have legalized or lessened penalties for casual use of cannabis. Fact is: South Dakota is far closer to legalizing prostitution than it is to cannabis reform.

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

Serenity’s adopted grandmother Barb Dennard has been a player in Sturgis real estate for decades. Anyone who believes this is all just coincidence is delusional.

Since South Dakota routinely falsifies lab records that means the state will pin Serenity's death on a mountain lion so Game, Fish and Plunder will just go out and kill one then close the case!

ACLU pushes back on Republican plan to silence dissent

TransCanada has spent at least $100,000 getting its Keystone XL ecocide into the veins of South Dakota's teevee users.
John Harter, a rancher and a member of Dakota Rural Action, which opposes Keystone XL, said the group discussed running ads but nothing came of it. As for the TransCanada advertisements, Harter said they're meant to fool the public into thinking the pipeline is both safe and needed. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
South Dakota's GOP/Koch-owned Public Utilities Cartel (SDPUC) is expected to shoo in TransCanada as they do with each utilities' requests for rate increases.

The Koch Brothers own Kansas as the state nears bankruptcy and hold millions of acres in Canadian tar sands leases but the courts and voter participation can stop their efforts to run the climate-killing Keystone XL over private land using eminent domain.

So-called 'Americans for Prosperity' a Koch-funded group with a lobbyist based in Sioux Falls signaled to legislators that they will lose campaign funding from the Kochs unless they act to reverse the progress the US Environmental Protection Agency has made in South Dakota.

South Dakota's GOP legislators and candidates enjoy millions in lobbyist benefits from the Kochs' contribution arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council; the state's junior senator was elected with cash from ALEC-backed National Federation of Independent Business.


Had the Quinn Dam failed one of its first casualties could have been the Keystone XL pipeline where it's proposed to cross the Bad River. As ice floes bash moorings and flooding causes scouring of fill from river bottoms the disasters befalling the Missouri basin should be a stern warning to erstwhile pipeline operators: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature. Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska says support for TransCanada's day in court is facing its final argument and that the Keystone XL pipeline will never be built.

Republican Governor Kristi Noem's anti-civil rights actions are no accident. She's is a graduate of the Koch Brothers' American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, an anti-think tank think tank that teaches how wedge issues raise campaign dollars for the extreme white wing of the Republican Party but her whims have no power in the tribal nations trapped in South Dakota.

Of course, American Civil Liberties Union is suing. That's the point: deplete the meager resources of grassroots civil liberties activists while building giant war chests for the 1%.

Minnesota company enters New Mexico therapeutic cannabis market


Lawmakers in New Mexico's Democrat-dominated legislature rejected a Republican plan that would have established state-run cannabis retail operations but did decriminalize possession of up to one half ounce. The state's therapeutic cannabis program is nearing 71,000 patients.

Republicans in Minnesota's legislature also blocked legal cannabis for all adults denying the state needed revenue and leaving a thriving black market in place to enrich the law enforcement industry so Minnesota-based Vireo Health is seeking greener pastures.
America's leading science-focused, multi-state cannabis company, today announced the acquisition of an entity which manages the vertically-integrated operations of Red Barn, a holder of one New Mexico's medical cannabis licenses. Red Barn currently operates two medical cannabis dispensaries, located in Santa Fe and Gallup, and a cultivation and processing facility, located in Gallup. "Vireo Health is excited to expand our operations into New Mexico's well-established medical cannabis market," said Chief Executive Officer, Kyle Kingsley, M.D. "Red Barn is a well-respected operator in New Mexico's medical cannabis program, which has earned the trust of consumers. We look forward to welcoming Red Barn into the Vireo Family. Together, we will create best-in-class products and continue to provide patients with compassionate care." [PR Newswire]
Democratic then-Representative from New Mexico's First District, now-Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham worked with Republican-now-Libertarian former Gov. Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.

Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's therapeutic cannabis leader, Ultra Health. Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Big Dope Ultra is building facilities in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly has been contentious.

New Mexico's Cannabis Board is meeting today in Santa Fe to determine whether to recommend adding opioid addiction to the list of qualifying conditions for therapeutic cannabis. Last month two University of New Mexico researchers published a study on how cannabis helps treat certain medical conditions. Their results showed that smoking the herb is most effective method for people who ingest cannabis.

The entry of a major out of state cannabis player brings significant competition to Big Dope Ultra Health who entered a compact with Zionist Panaxia.


3/25/19

Fire suppression enabling western insect outbreaks

Bake a man a pie and he'll learn to divide by seven. Teach a man piety and he'll crucify the apples then say they died for his sins.



Opioids now killing more Americans than guns and car crashes

New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Board is scheduled to meet March 29 in Santa Fe to decide whether to recommend adding opioid addiction to the list of qualifying conditions for the state’s therapeutic cannabis program.
Opioids now kill more Americans than car accidents or guns. Along with alcoholism and suicide (which may itself be partly driven by opioid addiction), opioids are part of the so-called deaths of despair phenomenon that has helped increase white American mortality rates since the turn of the century. Legalizing marijuana at the federal level would help, too — legalization has been found to lower opioid use. [How the Opioid Crisis Makes Everyone Poorer]
Last month two University of New Mexico researchers published a study on how cannabis helps treat certain medical conditions.

States with the most alcohol-impaired driving deaths are Montana, South Carolina, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Republican-glutted states are the drunkest, kill the most kids, are the most obese and most addicted to opioids.

Obesity and mental illness are closely linked, especially in northern tier states. Rich people can save themselves since they merely flee South and complain that immigrants are taking over the workforce; but, poverty chains those who live in despair year 'round.

3/23/19

Shad Olson responds to DWC fake news



At his blog, Dakota War College obese Brookings blogger Pat Powers routinely smears principled conservatives who don't bend the knee to the South Dakota Republican Party establishment. Pernicious Pug Powers, who makes a stopped clock look like a well-greased machine, salts his blog comment section with a seemingly infinite variety of aliases that threaten or jeer his political enemies.

That SDGOP condones, encourages and even pays Pat Powers to threaten, malign, bully and libel women while their party standard-bearers preach the protection of women is a measure of hypocrisy that strains human gauges. He has long been banned from this and other South Dakota related sites because of a constant stream of bigotry, misogyny and other hate speech.

Potential primary or third party candidate, Shad Olson has had enough.
So, it’s long overdue, but inevitable nonetheless. I’ve treated responding to this pile of sniveling dog snot in much the same way that I dread wading into spring pasture for debris cleanup and field sweep. But it is what is. Pat Powers manure spreader only aims at his betters. Jealousy is the ultimate Green New Deal renewable fuel. Endless supplies reserved for the eternally out of reach. Vroom vroom.

Leave it to Pat, and to all the rest of the double digit intelligentsia of South Dakota establismentarians to sort through 20 years of news-that-doesn’t-make-the-news regarding endemic corruption, embedded and overlooked scandal and intrigue, sex trade, drug traffic, personal shenanigans and general social detritus….and produce a bona fide bull excrement headline fixating on the amount of female attention received via social media by one television news personality over a 25 year career.

It’s a multidimensional revelation about Pat’s frame of mind…and of course, his own personal deprivations. Maybe ask Don Jorgensen for some useful comparative context. Not that you ever would. It’s rudimentary sense that people speaking nightly to 100,000 viewers in their bedrooms probably get treated in ways that a no name blogger undertaking the denuded behest of the South Dakota GOP machinery wouldn’t ever experience. My condolences, PP.

As context clearly shows, it was mentioned out of bemused jest and contempt, not out of even a shred of braggadocio. It’s nothing to be envied.

A few things, not that we’d ever expect actual investigative analysis or initiative from hallowed confines of the SDGOP cube mole blogosphere, but you might ask DCI or the FBI how many methamphetamine arrests and overall disruption of the western South Dakota Mexican drug trade were inflicted as a result of the investigative piece published by me and only hinted at in this particular post. At last count it’s 50 and rising. Maybe Dan and Matt will talk to you. I could put in a good word. Wink.

It’d be a real shame if Pat’s stock-in-trade ever rose to actually covering anything other than the decade late press releases of South Dakota’s location of the GOP-KFC political fast food franchise. But that too, might require retrieving his testicles and cerebral convex from the Clorox cup on John Thune’s DC nightstand. (The one at his apartment, not his “friend’s,” in Sioux Falls.)

During Neal Tapio’s congressional campaign, he drove me to continual distraction, walking around on hand wrung eggshells, quiveringly verklempt at the notion of getting on the wrong side of “Pat Powers,” or Dan Lederman or Dave Roetman, eternally concerned about provocative portrayal of the same pedestrian partisan slantery reserved for the likes of Stace Nelson and Lora Hubbel. It was tragic hilarity to watch. I didn’t then and never could empathize.

I told him repeatedly that for all but the few Lindsey Grahamified doofuses inhabiting the pale pink hallows of the RINO reserve of the worthlessly compromised political mainstream, Pat’s good wishes and positive spin would be something to rightfully shun, scorn and potentially, officially disavow with all the avoidance of a millstone life preserver at Oahe or a David Duke endorsement.

So…ten unsolicited, unanswered girly snaps a year might seem a great embellishment to you, Pat, and for that, you certainly have my pity, along with my ever present admiration for steadfast continence of virtue, piety and professional esteem. You missed about 240 more interesting points with the intentionally obtuse density of Alexandria Occasionally Dressed.

The aforementioned list of lists, complete with names has been appropriately secreted to several close friends to ensure safe keeping. Smart guys with more acumen than exhibited in toto by the lost tribe of moronic scriveners that inhabit here.

Feel free to continue bashing away though, governor. It’s smart Alexa baseball given that my clout score and Google penetration dwarf yours in similar fashion to my inbox full of drunk text affection. Still so very glad I didn’t take your job.

Regards,

Shad Olson

3/22/19

Glass remains a municipal waste stream challenge

One material in the waste stream remains a challenge: glass. It takes enormous amounts of energy to melt and millions of yards of earth to disturb every year to mine the silica used in its manufacture.

Japan recycles nearly 100% of her glass but the US has thousands of mountains of glass cullet from the municipal waste stream waiting to be repurposed.
The Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency Joint Powers Board is considering a contract amendment that could cost in excess of $200,000 a year for an EspaƱola trucking company to haul most of the glass collected here to the Momentum Recycling plant in Broomfield, Colo., between Denver and Boulder. The Momentum company, however, is less strict in accepting glass, accepting loads that have up to 25 percent nonglass material, such as plastic and paper that make it into the glass deposit bins. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
According to NPR reports and other sources the Earth isn't producing sand fast enough to keep up with the humans. We sell millions of tons of salvage material to India and Asia to be recycled while tearing up our own ground mining for virgin minerals while steel and plastics, that could be petroleum, are buried in landfills.

If hydraulic fracturing has to occur why not divert and mine waste glass from landfills for frac sand instead of ripping up the Earth for new sources of quartz?


Wyoming Black Hills considering industrial cannabis


Inyan Kara Mountain in NE Wyoming from near Carlile in Crook County overlooking the Belle Fourche River under a nearly full moon

Wells in Crook County in the Wyoming Black Hills have been depleted or compromised from over a century of irrigating alfalfa, grazing livestock, mining coal and quarrying bentonite. So some landowners are considering industrial cannabis (hemp) because more than 55 area wells are producing water that is not even fit for cattle to drink.
“There are a lot of things that need to happen before people can start growing hemp, but it is exciting and encouraging that, maybe in the future, it could be a viable cash crop in Wyoming,” says Blake Hauptman, UW Extension. The highest value part of the crop is the flower, primarily grown for CBD, followed by the seed and fiber. “Growers must obtain a permit from either the USDA or their respective Department of Agriculture in order to grow the crop. This is to ensure that the cannabis sativa is verified to remain under the definition of hemp." [Sundance Times]
Gambling on an expensive crop with little access to markets is a game for rich people. It costs at least $50,000 to plant 20 acres of genetically engineered CBD-rich hemp.
PJ Treide, an entrepreneur well known for his leadership of Sheridan-based Bighorn Design Studio, sees the passage of the legislation as an opportunity for economic development and diversity in the state. Treide now holds the role of business development lead for Able Holdings, which he described as a full-service, vertically designed Sheridan business aimed at bringing hemp production and value-add products to the global market. [Newspaper in Wyoming town named for a war criminal]
The road to legal cannabis for all adults is paved with hemp and giving CBD products as gifts is one thing but selling them without being tested by the Food and Drug Administration especially through interstate commerce is completely different.

The reality is: Wyoming is smoking out sugar beets.
After years of ballyhoo and rumor, it’s finally going to happen — for the first time since 1923, sugar beets will no longer be processed in Goshen County. According to Western Sugar Cooperative President and CEO Rodney Perry, the current processing campaign will be the last for the Torrington facility, which has been in operation for 95 years. Most recently, Western Sugar announced 92 employees would be permanently laid off in a letter to Torrington Mayor Mike Varney, the Wyoming Workforce Center and the Wyoming Department of Labor. [Casper Star-Tribune]
Genetically engineered sugar beets contribute to the autism spectrum in kids, the consumption of sugary drinks results in some 25,000 deaths in the United Snakes and beet sugar causes more than 184,000 deaths worldwide each year. Forty percent of cancers are caused by obesity. Breast cancer rates in South Dakota are the highest in the US and 31.4 percent of South Dakotans are obese. CBD products being sold in South Dakota and other states are little different from raw milk, preserves, pies or juices that are often tainted with hormones, pesticides and worse but sold at farmers markets anyway.
Matt Rankin is the co-owner of the Wyoming Hemp Seed Company and he has a vested interest in House Bill 171. The bill would regulate hemp in the state. Rankin said, "I'm planning on relocating my electrician business from Colorado and hopefully my mom and pop enterprise can come along if all of the laws are passed." [KGWN teevee]
Crook County hosts thousands of bikers during the Sturgis Rally so it's not difficult to imagine the South Dakota Highway Patrol setting up checkpoints at the border to confiscate all those jars of CBD and hemp hats purchased in Sundance, at the Devils Tower Trading Post or in Hulett.


3/18/19

Hubbel: future of Constitution Party SD in judge's hands

Last October US District Judge Lawrence Piersol ordered the State of South Dakota to pay some $625,000 in costs and fees after nearly three years of litigating Libertarian Party v. Krebs ending in a two-day trial.
A total of four attorneys, including two Sioux Falls lawyers and two out-of-state, ACLU lawyers with extensive voting rights experience, were hired by the plaintiffs — the Libertarian Party of South Dakota, the Constitution Party of South Dakota and various party officials. [Rapid City Journal]
In an exclusive interview last year outgoing CP Chair Lori Stacey told her side of that story.
The Dakota Progessive: How is the lawsuit against the Constitution Party going and will it be settled before May?

Lora Hubbel: I have a legal, documented chain of CP chairs from 2012 till today...I have documented it for the judge until Im blue in the face. Im trying to stay off social media about it but maybe I should set the record straight because Im so tired of being lied about. Having a continuous Chair is important because [SDGOP Chair Dan Lederman] meddled in our party affairs and said he did not agree with me calling a convention. That was OUR call..not his. But having a continuous chair is important because the state circuit judge decided SHE could determine that there was no chair when we did. Also we were told NOT to go to the hearing (state). We got served a subpoena AFTER the hearing was over saying we could come and give our side of the story.(Improper service). That is why I took it to Federal court for violating our 1st and 14th Amendment.

State law says a "Party Chair" has to call the convention....which I did after I was determined (by the national CP parliamentarian) to be the "pro tem" chair" when we were trying to figure out the mess Lori Stacey left the party in. There were no records, no minutes of meetings, no bank records etc. She also had no record of HER being the chair....she actually just took the position from Joel Bergan after I resigned in 2017...and I resigned as chair back then because she was such a bully and refused to give me any records. I had no bank access and no website access as Chair in 2016, so I quit in 2017. Dan Lederman sued because we did not have a "Chair" to call the nominating convention....we did...but we were not allowed to give the facts to the judge.
As Partner Attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP, Brendan Johnson, former US Attorney for the District of South Dakota and son of retired Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, helped the South Dakota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union win the Constitution and Libertarian Parties' lawsuit against Republican former Secretary of State Shantel Krebs. Johnson is representing tribes in their suit against opioid manufacturers.

Catherine Piersol, wife of Clinton-appointee Judge Lawrence Piersol who heard Libertarian Party v. Krebs, is a longtime friend of the South Dakota Democratic Party and of the Johnson family. Now that he's softened up the field it's widely believed Johnson is developing the resources necessary to mount a run for public office.

How frustrating it must be for principled conservatives to have establishment Republicans in the South Dakota legislature encouraging intellectual diversity on campus while ridiculing and stifling it in the statehouse. Little of their agenda was passed during the 2019 legislative session so principled conservatives in South Dakota really have nothing to lose by leaving the SDGOP for a viable third party. West River could become an ideological battleground and Shad Olson could be a factor in 2020.

Constitution Party of South Dakota Chair Mike Dunn has scheduled a meeting for May.


Neighborhood hosts production of Perpetual Grace, LTD



The production company for an upcoming series that airs beginning in June and stars Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley has been shooting in our neighborhood on the Santo Domingo Pueblo's portion of the Galisteo Dam Road, the Cochiti Pueblo's portion of the Tetilla Peak Road and at the Bonanza Creek Ranch. The soundtrack includes work from The Deep South scheduled to appear and perform at the Santa Fe Brewing Company in July. Sam Peckinpah shot a bunch of scenes for the 1978 film Convoy out here, too.
Since 2016, productions shot in New Mexico include six feature films, eight television series and another five TV pilots from Red River to Albuquerque to Las Cruces – employing more than 10,000 cast and crew, and 30,000 part-time extras. The film and television business has, since 2003, accounted for $3.44 billion in local spending – on wages and payments to New Mexico businesses that sell goods and services to productions. [Four stars for expanded NM film tax incentives]


Somebody tagged the mailboxes on the Galisteo Dam Road!

3/17/19

Bullock sold out Montana's cannabis pioneers


In 2012 when Steve Bullock was Montana's attorney general running for governor he failed to show up for the rights of same-sex couples to marry and for an initiated therapeutic cannabis law.

His silence on one high-profile case was so deafening that his collusion with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other Justice officials could barely be heard whispering it in courtroom hallways. The jury in the case didn't hear all the facts because the judge sent them home after instructing them to ignore the medical value of cannabis.

Chris Williams was the only person in the case not to plea bargain but his former partners took deals and testified against him. Williams faced forty five years in prison, was found guilty on eight charges and was led away in handcuffs. He ended up spending some five years in federal prison.
Federal attorneys danced around the elephant in the middle of the U.S. District courtroom in Helena for the third day in the trial of Christopher Williams, finally mentioning Montana’s Medical Marijuana Act only after the jury was dismissed for the day on Wednesday. Williams readily agreed that he had formed a partnership with Thomas Daubert, Chris Lindsey and Richard Flor in the spring of 2009. But it was only after the jurors had left the room that Daubert, Lindsey, Williams and his attorney, Michael Donahoe, outlined before Judge Dana Christensen the full story of why they created the business and wanted high standards.

“This case is being prosecuted in federal court. As such, the case is governed exclusively by federal law,” Christensen said. “Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Federal law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, simple possession and use of marijuana for any purpose. State laws related to the legality of marijuana in certain circumstances have no bearing on the issues before you and provide no defense to any charge against the defendant as set forth in the superseding indictment. [Medical cannabis defendant tells full story after jury leaves]
Eve Byron revisted her 2012 stories in the aftermath of the case.
Fifteen years ago, three men tried to create the “gold standard” for growing and dispensing medical marijuana in Montana. Instead, the lawyer, the lobbyist and the farmer wound up as convicted felons. The number of registered patients dropped over the years as various reforms were enacted. But that’s changing, too; as of Jan. 1, 2019, Montana reported 31,186 patients were enrolled in the state medical marijuana program. Although Lindsey is still active in the legalization movement, he, Daubert and Williams all paid dearly for their involvement in Montana's medical marijuana industry. Daubert said the fourth Montana Cannabis partner, Flor, perhaps met the worst fate. Flor died from medical problems in a Las Vegas jail during a layover in a prison transfer in August 2012, while serving his five-year sentence. [The lawyer, the lobbyist and the farmer: Montana marijuana advocates' rise and fall]
Medical insurance has been a hot topic during Montana's 2019 legislative session and in 2017 the body voted to tax therapeutic cannabis. Democratic Governor Steve Bullock vetoed an earth hater bill that would have restricted women's access to reproductive health care.

Despite Republican entrenchment Democrats in Montana's legislature worked to bring better testing for contaminants to better serve that state's therapeutic cannabis patients and providers. Montana and the legislature are being flooded with cash from Koch-backed 'Americans For Prosperity' in a state where the far white wing is pushing the legislature to seize federal lands to mine, log, graze, whatever to pay back their benefactors.

It's been said countless times that The Last Best Place is not Oregon (even though the states show commonality in the white nationalist bloc) and elects Democrats with Blue Dog credentials: both Senator Jon Tester and Bullock believe that with vigilant environmental oversight they would support TransCanada's tarsands enema beginning in Montana. Montana's Left has a hard-on for what it perceives as Democrats being GOP-lite who have deserted progressive ideals just to woo centrist voters.

Practical choices beat Democrats in 2016 because our candidates ran away from President Obama, marriage equality and cannabis rights but now 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. Unless money is raised the earth haters and Nazis of the GOP will keep defining our priorities and buying elections.

Hey, Governor Bullock, instead of gallivanting off to Iowa don't make the same mistake Brian Schweitzer made by allowing a US Senate seat fall to Steve Daines; retake it.

3/13/19

Mountaintop-removal mine resurrected in Wyoming Black Hills


The divide between the Little Missouri and the Belle Fourche drainages is not very wide at the Missouri Buttes in northeastern Wyoming. At that location it's not difficult to visualize how the Clovis People migrating into the region some 12,000 years ago seeking shelter and food sources found their way into lands free of glaciation. There are at least 23 prehistoric sites near Devils Tower National Monument (Mahto Tipila) some of which are archaeological treasures eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

But today more Canadians are taking advantage of Wyoming's continued assault on that portion of the Black Hills. A mine intended to remove Bull Hill from the headwaters of the Beaver Creek drainage in the Bearlodge Ranger District then replace it with a pile of waste rock could pollute the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers even worse than they are now.

In January of 2016, the US Forest Service suspended the Draft Environmental Impact Study for a Wyoming Black Hills mountaintop-removal mine that would take minerals containing elements like neodymium and praseodymium extracted from the Belle Fourche watershed. In 2017 Rare Element Resources said its project to strip mine a part of the Bearlodge Mountains just upstream of the South Dakota border had a new investor and applied for enough water for the mineral separation process despite widespread contamination in Crook County wells.
Rare Element Resources (RER) has announced it will spend the first nine months of 2019 completing a pilot plant campaign to verify all the steps in its proprietary process of separating rare earth elements. Whether the Bear Lodge Project is revived after that study will depend on an evaluation of the results. The Forest Service confirms that it has not yet been asked to resume the permitting process, according to Scott Jacobson, Public Information Officer. As to what it would take to relaunch the process, he says: “For us to get things going would really depend on what the company would propose to do. The company suspended operations three years ago so we would need to assemble a team of various specialists…review the company’s proposal and get the NEPA process started again. If the company decides to start up again, our timing would depend on if they would like to proceed with their plan of operations from three years ago, or if there are changes.” [Sundance Times]
Acid mine drainage can kill or cause birth defects in the birds and mammals that happen into contaminated standing water on these sites. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and the other Earth raping Republicans are working overtime to defund environmental protection, especially on public lands.
In pursuit of riches and energy over the last 5,000 years, humans have released into the environment 385,000 tons of mercury, the source of numerous health concerns, according to a new study that challenges the idea that releases of the metal are on the decline. [Science Daily]
If human activity has released all those tons of mercury, would it not follow that we have also released proportional amounts of carbon?

The US is beginning to get religion on existing rare earth stocks; we have more buried in landfills than all other developed countries combined. Japan recovers most of her needs from the waste stream.

ip photo: Missouri Buttes and Devils Tower at sunset.

3/4/19

Cannabis reform in South Dakota snuffed out again

Frustrated with the inability of activists and advocates to herd the booze-soaked, ecocidal South Dakota Legislature and the Republican Party apparatchiks in Pierre into the corral of cannabis common sense an interested party reached out to Matt Kinney, a Spearditch-based attorney who specializes in the defense of clients caught up in the morass of cannabis law in my home state.

Kinney, a member of the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told ip during a phone interview that the bills based on the kurtz template seeking the reversal of South Dakota's draconian statutes would be voluminous, would require changing the red moocher state's constitution and are beyond his expertise to draft. He represented former Butte County State's Attorney Heather Plunkett after she was railroaded into dismissal by then-Attorney General Marty Jackley, the compromised Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Wendel and Jessica Hiland and one of Plunkett's co-workers, Cassie Wendt. Wendt was later rewarded and appointed to the State's Attorney post by South Dakota's outgoing governor, Denny Daugaard.

Heather Plunkett had been a Republican who once served as county vice-chair elected by the central committee of Butte County GOP per the bylaws. She is the daughter of Mike Messmer, a principal in Meade County Republican politics and was appointed State's Attorney in 2010 by scandal-ridden Governor Mike Rounds. After DCI went through her garbage and said they found an empty Colorado cannabis container she pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cannabis less than 2 ounces, possession of paraphernalia and ingesting a substance other than alcohol. She received a suspended jail sentence, underwent periodic substance evaluations, was on probation for a year and was ordered to pay $861 in fees and fines for exercising her cannabis rights in defiance of South Dakota law. Her husband Ryan pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and received a suspended jail sentence.

Wendel Hiland is a Newell-area handyman and musician who faced 300 years in prison after he was arrested and charged in 2013 by Plunkett with 30 counts of abuse of a minor over the age of seven. He raped a minor then forced Jessica Hiland, who is twenty years younger than Wendel and only possesses an eighth grade education, into a child marriage. Wendel Hiland is only semiliterate himself and presents with dissociative identity disorder comorbid to persecutory delusions typical of so-called "sovereign citizens." That the Hilands or the Division of Criminal Investigation planted cannabis and paraphernalia on the Plunketts is not impossible.

During an interview last year Plunkett told ip cannabis helped to curb her alcohol use after learning the number of problem drinkers in the legal profession is more than double that of the general population. She has not renewed her law license but now she and her family live in Colorado.

Butte County is a hotbed of anti-government foment where a pipe bomb was found on a highway east of Belle Fourche in 2012. Attorney General Marty Jackley owns property near Vale, just down SD79 from Newell.

After posting news of the Kinney interview to the Facebook page of New Approach South Dakota, Executive Director Melissa Mentele responded.
Melissa Mentele: You obviously missed the news. The tribes are already growing in SD and have contracts with huge hemp companies & grocery stores. I'm sorry we don't post everything that is happening in SD on FB. We are doing just fine. 3 legislative bills & a ballot initiative. I'm not sure why you keep trying to stir the pot and say there isn't any advocacy being done here. SD Hemp is being sold all over the US.

interested party: That was under Randy Seiler. After Ravnsborg assumes office he will sue US Attorney Ron Parsons if the Feds don’t raid it. My guy told me that today.

MM: Sorry you are wrong. Ravnsborg supports legalization.

ip: Big, if true.

MM: It's huge. I 100% expect Hemp farming to be legal along with a CBD fix & a small cannabis access bill coming out of session. We already have farmers doing the USDA paperwork & providing the state with plans/surveys. Sorry I don't live on FB I am actually working with numerous state and national groups on SD law. I also took a seat on a national Hemp board & have been traveling speaking & networking for state help.

ip: Unless you adopt my template you’d be farther ahead buying some land in Minnesota and giving up on southern Dakota.

MM: We have 10,000 acres in SD so no thanks. I'm pretty confident it's covered.

ip: Hope you’re raking in the dough, girl. All the best to you and yours this solstice season.

MM: Ha I wish I was making enough to cover a tank of gas. I haven't made a dime. I have a rule until everyone has access I refuse to make money off of any of this.
Mentele's claim that Attorney General and suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg has a road map to legal cannabis has not been corroborated.

Why anyone would want to buy hybrid genetically engineered cannabis seed from Bayer CropScience/Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery. It costs about $50,000 to plant 20 acres of CBD-rich GMO hemp so let your non-tribal corn ground laden with glyphosate go fallow for five years and see if you can get organic certification for your value-added crop.

Every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in South Dakota are contaminated with glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, cadmium, PFOs, E. coli, Shigella and Legionella. Industrial cannabis (hemp) grown in the state would be no different. CBD products being sold in South Dakota and other states are little different from raw milk, preserves, pies or juices that are often tainted with hormones, pesticides and worse but sold at farmers markets anyway. Giving the products as gifts is one thing but selling untested product especially through interstate commerce is completely different.

The ditches along the I-29 of my youth were adorned with feral cannabis from Sioux Falls to Omaha: descendants of an agribusiness destroyed by a racist and xenophobic law enforcement industry now dealing with bulging prisons. Nebraska will put therapeutic cannabis on their 2020 ballot. Minnesota towns like Pipestone and Lake Benton near the South Dakota border could reap the coming cannabis whirlwind as the St. Paul City Council urges legalization. In 2016 North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 then the legislature drafted rules and a Republican governor signed it into law now the Botanist in Fargo is the first of eight planned therapeutic cannabis dispensaries in North Dakota for 130 patients or caregivers and the state is processing another 120 applications.

Sully County, South Dakota is one of the richest and most Republican counties in the US but received nearly $12 million in ag subsidies just in 2017 alone. The Hutterites take millions in subsidies, too but that’s who can afford to take the risk and plant industrial cannabis. How is that conservative?

If you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis in the repressive police state that is South Dakota members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets. 64% of women incarcerated in South Dakota jails are drug offenders. The SDGOP's solution? Build more prisons.

The tribal nations trapped in South Dakota should be the primary beneficiaries of cannabis industry growth in my home state and if i was a cannabis lobbyist in South Dakota I would draft a resolution acknowledging there is a segment of the population who believes some medical procedures are offensive to some voters as a compromise to principled conservatives. My elected officials here in New Mexico are conducting a session that is the virtual inverse of the extremist and xenophobic dreck being concocted by the earth haters in Pierre. My advice? Everybody with business in Hughes and Stanley Counties should wear a body cam.

If anyone has additional information about the Plunkett case and wishes to remain anonymous please contact lawrence dot kurtz at yahoo dot com.

UNM study: all cannabis ingestion is medical

Back in 2011 Bob Newland got me thinking again about how humans developed a technology to ingest the smoke of native plants.

The concept is simple enough; imagine seeing a horn or an antler smoking in a lightning-caused fire looking like a novel way to move burning material from place to place. Protohumans mastered fire about 790,000 years ago, after all. Smoking mixtures came with humans as they passed through Beringia. White Buffalo Calf Woman brought the pipe to the Plains cultures.

Last month two University of New Mexico researchers published a study on how cannabis helps treat certain medical conditions. Their results showed that smoking the herb is most effective method for people who ingest cannabis.
The findings mark a contrast to conventional wisdom that cannabidiol, or CBD, is the part of the marijuana that contains medical benefits while tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, “merely makes one high,” said Jacob Miguel Vigil, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. “If you are taking it because you are stressed out after work … well in theory those are medicinal purposes,” Vigil said. [Albuquerque Journal]
God might not be enough for religious states. They lead the nation in anti-depressant use and as another brutal winter smothers the Great Plains leaving residents on the verge of suicide one writer sees hope.
If there is one observation I feel compelled to share after five years in the cannabis industry, it is that I do believe that all cannabis use is medical. When the modern medical cannabis movement began a little over a decade ago, very little was remembered about the benefits that the cannabis plant has to offer. The phytocannabinoids produced by the plant are in essence exactly what the body needs to maintain a healthy, balanced endocannabinoid system. So if you think you are a recreational user of cannabis, you might want to think again. [Erica Freeman]
The comparison between the absence of power in the New Mexico Republican Party and the flaccidity of the South Dakota Democratic Party in my home state is dizzying in its similarity.
Steve Pearce, the losing candidate for governor last year and now chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, wants to blame Democrats for the snowballing effort to legalize recreational marijuana. Senate Bill 577, the Republican initiative, calls for marijuana to be sold in state-owned stores. Pearce and the Republicans lost every statewide election last year. They also were routed in the competition for control of the state House of Representatives. Democrats now control the House 46-24, their widest margin since 1996. Worse for the Republicans, they have a thin bench. Not a single member of their ranks looks capable of mounting a serious challenge next year to Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. [GOP chairman can’t make hay out of cannabis]
Alaska suffers as do other states in the frozen tundra red states where access to affordable health care is virtually non-existent but legal cannabis there helps to ease the doldrums.
Alaskans have to wait until December 21 to see the light slowly increasing daily, and for most that day can’t come soon enough. “It looks like seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) is related to low light levels,” said psychologist and depression specialist Suzanne Strisik. “[That] is when we are around the holidays and we are trying to adjust to those low light levels.” [Megan Edge]
Obesity and mental illness are closely linked, especially in northern tier states like South Dakota. Rich people can save themselves since they merely flee South and complain that immigrants are taking over the workforce; but, poverty chains those who live in despair year 'round.

Migration must be celebrated, not outlawed. Statehood for Mexico would mean more people could save themselves from brutal winters in the North.

3/2/19

Today's intersection: ecocide and selective outrage

Sinkebell shot what he thought was the biggest coyote he had ever seen near an old farmstead 5 miles east and 3 miles south of Parkston. Though wolves are protected in South Dakota, no charges were made as it was a reasonable case of mistaken identity. [Wiltz: A large wolf surprises Parkston area hunters]


Several people tagged PETA in their reply in an effort to get a response from the animal rights organization, and one person asked whether it was a parody account. [Noem takes flak over 'we need to kill more coyotes' tweet]

Therapeutic cannabis finally arrives in North Dakota

In 2016 North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 then the legislature drafted rules and a Republican governor signed it into law.

The Botanist in Fargo is the first of eight planned therapeutic cannabis dispensaries in North Dakota for 130 patients or caregivers and the state is processing another 120 applications.
The dispensary has a large waiting room after a person enters with workers behind a large glass window where patients can check in. Some discounts will be offered, including 25 percent for veterans and 10 percent for senior citizens over age 65, low-income residents and caregivers who are providing product for minors. Paperwork will be required for low-income residents to gain a discount. [Barry Amundson, Inforum]
There is concern among activists that Republican operatives will provide names of patients to the Trump Organization that would prevent them from purchasing firearms.

North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive, nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.
In a new study titled, "The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief," published in the journal Scientific Reports, UNM researchers Sarah See Stith, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, and Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, found that THC and CBD contents were the most important factor for optimizing symptom relief for a wide variety of health conditions. [THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought]
Why anyone would want to buy hybrid genetically engineered cannabis seed from Bayer CropScience/Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery. It costs about $50,000 to plant 20 acres of GMO hemp so let your non-tribal corn ground laden with glyphosate go fallow for five years and see if you can get organic certification for your value-added crop.

CBD products being sold in South Dakota and other states are little different from raw milk, preserves, pies or juices that are often tainted with hormones, pesticides and worse but sold at farmers markets anyway. Giving the products as gifts is one thing but selling untested product especially through interstate commerce is completely different. The only reason farmer grow crops like corn and soybeans is because they're subsidized sending commodity prices into the shitter.