Rhines will finally be allowed to die

How is the price of putting people to death either conservative or sustainable? The litigation costs of trying capital crimes persuaded Nebraska to rethink state-sponsored killing.
The state of South Dakota on May 14 filed a motion for a warrant of execution of Charles Russell Rhines, who was convicted of first-degree murder and third-degree burglary in the 1992 stabbing death of a doughnut shop employee in Rapid City during a botched robbery. The hearing on the motion is scheduled for June 25 at 10:15 a.m. in the Pennington County Courthouse before Judge Robert A. Mandel, according to the Attorney General's office. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Pope Frank, the head of the Roman church just released a diktat stating that sect's revulsion of capital punishment putting Attorney General, former altar boy and suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg's soul at risk to eternal damnation but $20 says Jason would just love to dispatch a handcuffed Charles Rhines with a shotgun blast to the abdomen just like someone did for Rich Benda.

A state-ordered lethal injection isn't criminal justice; it's suicide by cop and it’s the view of The Dakota Progressive that anyone convicted of any felony requiring incarceration should be able to ask for a death with dignity rather than living a life of Hell in the South Dakota State Penitentiary or in a Colorado Supermax.

Charles Rhines will finally be allowed to die.


RCP&E washout proves vulnerability of proposed pipeline

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.

Genesee & Wyoming, the parent company of the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad, conducts the business on the west end of the state-owned track and operates on the right of way that intersects the proposed Keystone XL pipeline at Philip. Had the Quinn Dam just upstream of that RCPE washout failed one of its first casualties could have been the Keystone XL pipeline where it's proposed to cross the Bad River.

Republican Governor Kristi Noem's anti-civil rights actions to stop protests to the KXL pipeline 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. 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%.

Running a bomb train through white towns won't fly when you can build a leaky pipeline through stolen treaty ground so it's hard to imagine these projects going through cemeteries where people of European descent are buried. Rail cars carrying diluted bitumen could be loaded in Philip then be transported through Pierre, Huron and maybe Brookings then south through Sioux Falls to the depot at Cushing, Oklahoma; but, the same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City and I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.

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.


Tribal nations growing industrial cannabis in South Dakota are violating state law

The Dakota Progressive believes the road to legal cannabis for all adults in South Dakota is paved with hemp and that tribal nations trapped in my home state should be the primary beneficiaries of industry growth there. South Dakota's pot queen has even claimed Attorney General and suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg supports cannabis reform.
The tribes are already growing in SD and have contracts with huge hemp companies & grocery stores. Ravnsborg supports legalization. [Melissa Mentele]
But yesterday the US Department of Agriculture released a memo containing some bad news for tribes in South Dakota.
Under the 2014 Farm Bill, an Indian tribe can enter into a partnership or contract with an institution of higher education or a State department of agriculture both within or in a different State than the one in which the Indian tribe is located to produce industrial hemp on the tribe’s land. For an Indian tribe to be eligible to do so, the State in which the Indian tribe is located and the State in which the institution of higher education or State department of agriculture is located both must allow the production of industrial hemp. The law remains unchanged in that Indian tribes, individuals, and entities located in States that do not permit hemp production are ineligible to participate in the growing or cultivation of hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill program. [USDA Clarifies Industrial Hemp Production for Indian Tribes]
Observers are about to see whether Governor Krusti Krispi Kristi Noem will actually try to crush the industry when AG Ravnsborg sues US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Ron Parsons if grow/ops on the reservation are allowed to survive.


Area properties are waiting for new owners

Are you looking for a remote 420-friendly New Mexico property where you can grow a garden? Our neighborhood might be where you want to put down roots!


Wika takes command of the 175th Fighter Squadron

So, my ex-stepson Lt. Colonel Josh Wika took command of the 175th Fighter Squadron at Joe Foss Field, March 2, 2019. He's the short guy holding South Dakota's flag in the photo.

In the late 80s when he was a sophomore at Spearditch High School he watched Top Gun over and over on a VCR then during the Sturgis Rally that year a guy was giving rides in an ultralight so I bought him a flight. The pilot normally just did a little oval over the Redwater River but he let Josh have the stick and the kid fell in love with flying.

But during his junior year Josh sustained a knee injury during a game of American football that required orthopedic surgery and disqualified him from flying for the Air Force. After a couple of semesters at the University of Wyoming and my divorce from his mother he transferred to the University of North Dakota's Department of Aviation, graduated and joined the South Dakota Air National Guard at the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls where he flew F-16s during the second Gulf War.

In 2015 I ran into his dad at my youngest daughter's track meet at Black Hills State University in Spearditch also where my older daughter was enrolled. He said Josh will retire after he makes full Colonel.

South Dakota law enforcement industry out of control

I've been accused of hating America and the facts show people are exactly 1/50th correct. South Dakota is a shit hole state. Some white Republican asshole complained to the cops that Staple and Spice Market was selling a product with .03% THC - .03%! South Dakota is lost, people. There’s no one to save you. Unless your Social Security pays your property taxes you’re just another poor grudznick eking out a living in a chemical toilet bleeding out every penny you can scrabble.


South Dakota Political Memes Skewers Plump Porker

It's impossible not to notice that the white people who influence the South Dakota Republican Party continue to brainwash their own kids to sell tyranny and exclusivity to the voting populace. Who else is old enough to remember when petty pug Pat Powers accused Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of pimping her young son in a campaign advert?

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. Portly Powers not only salts his blog comment section with a seemingly infinite variety of aliases that threaten or jeer his political enemies he routinely pimps his own afflicted spouse, kids and daughter to raise sympathy and operating capital.

That SDGOP condones, encourages and even pays Powers to threaten, malign, bully and libel women while their party standard-bearers preach the protection of women is a measure of hypocrisy that entirely defies the human capacity to comprehend it. 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.

In 2012 then-US House Representative Kristi Noem (NAZI-SD), got richer by pimping her children and relatives in her campaign videos then raised four times more moola than her Democratic opponent, Matt Varilek. Republican Second Amendment activist Kaitlin Bennett sums it up succinctly.


Daschle catches the buzz

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 universal 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.
"As the conversation around cannabis has evolved, so should the policies. We already know many people in this country benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis, yet the potential of this plant is still mostly unknown. I believe it is imperative to loosen the restrictions on cannabis so we can research its properties and fully understand how patients can benefit from its medicinal use,” said Senator Tom Daschle. [press release, Northern Swan Holdings Appoints Former Majority Leader Tom Daschle to Advisory Board, Global Cannabis Firm Welcomes Senator Daschle’s Expertise in Health & Wellness]
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. Baucus has publicly reversed course and now supports a single payer system.

Holm joins legalization chorus

Rick Holm is the Prairie Doc. His program airs on KBRK radio in Brookings, on Bill Janklow's idea of public teevee and his column appears in my hometown paper the Elkton Record, in the Brookings Register and about sixty other rural South Dakota newspapers.
During the Obama administration, the Department of Justice was directed to relax prosecution of cannabis rule-breakers while allowing state rules to supersede the U.S. law. Consider the tragedy of 70,000 deaths per year (and rising) from the overdose of legal and illegal opioids while there are almost no reported deaths from cannabis use, despite quite extensive consumption in the U.S. Most opioid abuse seems to stem initially from efforts to reduce chronic pain syndrome, and this condition seems to be potentially helped with medicinal doses of cannabis. It is time to allow medicinal use of cannabis. It might help us reduce the deaths from opioids. [Dr. Richard Holm]
Even the Republican-heavy South Dakota State Medical Association admits that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the pharmaceutical industry produces opioids that are legal albeit highly addictive, easily abused and often deadly. South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose. And while many states, including some close to South Dakota, have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, writing a prescription for marijuana, even to a patient living in a state where its use and possession is legal, could result in a disciplinary proceeding brought by the SDBMOE. Accordingly, it is recommended that the practitioner not prescribe (either using a traditional prescription or a certification) marijuana unless and until changes in the law make it clear that doing so is legal, and then only when it is medically-necessary and appropriate. [Marijuana as Medicine]
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association opiate-related deaths have decreased some 33 percent in 13 states after therapeutic and casual cannabis were legalized.
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]
South Dakota has the most draconian cannabis laws in the US and the law enforcement industry can even force catheters into urethras and penises to test possession by ingestion.

Travel with Rick Steves airs on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio on Sunday mornings. Steves lives in Edmonds, Washington.
After four years of legalization, I look out my window here and marijuana's legal and it looks just like it did before it was legal. It just means we arrest 8,000 people fewer a year, it means money is being taken away from organized crime and our government is enjoying tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue that they wouldn't have had otherwise. And mature adults have the civil liberty of going home and smoking a little pot if they want to. I mean, I've got my bong right out on my shelf at home, and it's just great to have it there right next to the wine glasses. [PBS Host Rick Steves Discusses His First Trip, Breaking Marijuana Stereotypes And Being An Advocate]
Cannabis is a safe, effective palliative but black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that would align with our life safety concerns.


Dr. Larry Teuber: Blake Curd to blame for employee insurance debacle

If South Dakota's policy makers had any balls whatsoever they’d bring legislation that would compel the medical industry to post the costs for all procedures. So if these hospitals are monopolies like utilities are, or even oligopolies in their markets, why isn't there a voter-elected public commission to regulate pricing? In the Argus Leader article Tara quotes Republican State Senator/Dr. Blake Curd accuses Avera of being a monopoly.

Curd brought this problem on himself. Avera is doing what they need to do.

Core orthopedics left Avera and joined [Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital] and [Orthopedic Institute] taking millions in orthopedic surgery away from Avera. As a result Avera had no choice to start their own ortho program, hire employed orthopedic surgeons and build the new hospital. Once Avera has opened their new ortho hospital they would be insane to pay Sfsh or OI when they can do everything themselves. Avera orthopedic surgeons are just as good as OI. Sanford excluded OI and Sfsh years ago. Markets shift , conditions change. If Avera employees demand to see OI surgeons and have surgery at Sfsh they have 2 options: 1. Pay for it themselves 2. Find another employer who will pay for it.

Sfsh distributes over $24,000,000 / year to its surgeon owners - tax free. Curd makes money on his distributions, his role as Sfsh ceo (over $400k) as an owner of [Surgical Management Professionals] (who manages Sfsh revenue cycle) as an owner in the service line management company that contracts with Sfsh. It’s no surprise he is leaving. [Dr. Larry Teuber]

Birds are migrating north on Red Rock Road

Western tanager

Three Black-headed grosbeaks


SDGOP chair buys off West River conservative

Remember this?
In South Dakota, the Constitution Party is going to be the Tea Party on steroids. It is the worst nightmare of the Party bosses who have had a strangle-hold on their respective parties. [Gordon Howie]
Well, that's all over now.
Instead of creating Third Parties, effort should be given to creating a powerful caucus that supports the platform principles… WITHIN the Republican Party. [also Gordon Howie]
$20 says SDGOP mob boss Dan Lederman is on the phone every day offering money and bribes to every potential principled conservative candidate in South Dakota but it's become abundantly clear Gordon Howie has no principles.
Former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Gordon Howie plans to auction 2,500 acres, or about half of his Pennington County ranch, on May 17 to pay off his mortgage debt and back property taxes on several dozen area properties. In the spring of 2010, when he ran for governor, it was estimated Howie owed the county $60,000 in property taxes on more than 40 properties. “The negative press I’ve gotten from the Journal has people thinking I’m some sort of tax-evading derelict. [Rapid City Journal]
Yep, he's up to his tits.

The BigHorn Canyon Ministries? That's the shell group masquerading as a religious organization Howie founded to dodge taxes. And the family ranch? Stolen from tribes.


American dipper in Black Hills joins a million other species at risk to Republicans

A green-dyed weed killer sprayed willy-nilly bespoils the landscape along a Forest Service road in Pennington County.

Here are cattle shitting in a sensitive watershed in Lawrence County.

Recall that during a field hearing in Rapid City back in 2016 South Dakota's Republican junior US Senator Mike Rounds said, "I agree with the goals of the Endangered Species Act but I am concerned with the low success rate" so he wants to end the ESA. Fact is: according to the Center for Biological Diversity the ESA has been resoundingly successful until the Trump Organization, the Republican Party, Kristi Noem and South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder (GF&P) declared war on the Earth.

The collapse of select Black Hills ecosystems has been evident since at least 2002 but they're still home to the threatened black footed ferret, northern long-eared bat, the black-backed woodpecker that feeds on bark beetles, and a bird that actually walks underwater - the American dipper.
A survey of Black Hills streams was conducted in 2018 by Nancy Drilling, a biologist with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. She said she surveyed Bear Butte, Elk, Box Elder, French, and Rapid creeks. “There is a pair (of dippers) at Thunderhead Falls on Rapid Creek. That is the only birds we found outside of Whitewood and Spearfish creeks,” Drilling said. “That is basically what we found in the early 2000s. They haven’t moved or expanded, which is one thing I was looking at.” The loss of breeding birds on French Creek is likely due to pollution, sedimentation, and the construction of Stockade Lake Dam, according to the GF&P species status review report. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Yes, it's horrifying but the reasons are hardly mysterious; it's all about the money hunting and public lands grazing funnel into a region smothering under single-party rule.

GF&P may have been interested in science at some point in its past but like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and as revenues collapse the eventual extirpation of mountain lions from the Black Hills looks like a given, too. Blend the slaughter of apex predators, the resulting rise of mesopredators, increasing numbers of domestic dogs and cats then stir in a melange of industrial chemicals with climate change and voila: red state collapse on parade!

Add the very high number of private inholdings within the Black Hills National Forest that make the wildland urban interface (WUI) very large to one of the highest road densities in the entire national forest system and Region 2 to lots of logging, hardrock mining and pesticides like Carbaryl then understand why over a hundred species in South Dakota alone and a million worldwide are at risk to the Republican Party.


SDDP is no better off today than it was in 2014

When this blog asked Susan Wismer to run for governor she told me Cory Heidelberger and Madville Times were just too radical for her, hence Cory supported Joe Lowe in the primary so that weblog never really got behind Rep. Wismer as a gubernatorial candidate.

Although dry drunk atheist Heidelberger has been a thorough investigator his newest blog, Dakota Free Press just hasn't delivered for Democratic voters. Even former Argus Leader reporter, David Montgomery believed Wismer was a fantastic candidate with the skills to govern she had no chance because she didn't have the cash resources to fight the gubernatorial battle on teevee but it was Wismer's choice of running mate that sank her campaign.

While the author of The Dakota Progressive is a staunch Democrat and has been 100% correct on how to run a credible political campaign in South Dakota up til now it's been far too revolutionary to represent South Dakota Democrats in the party's present deflated context. When only one Democratic South Dakota native knows what wins elections in that state, life might be easier if this scrivener just jammed a fork up his nose. Billie Sutton was a fart in a haboob who bought Susan Wismer's mailing list and bombed my inbox begging for money. The South Dakota Democratic Party has apparently learned nothing from the failure of a cowboy running for Montana's At-large congressional seat. Primaries are expensive and allow far too much mischief: since turnout is so pathetic especially during midterms the drain-circling South Dakota Democratic Party should end them and choose candidates at the state conventions.

We should look at a DFL-type strategy, gang. The Democratic Parties in Montana and New Mexico are already formulating tactics and raising money so that we can recover. Minnehaha County is going to step up and own the South Dakota Democratic Party if county chairs don't fire up their delegates to go to the goddamned convention. If candidates want support from the party they should know what the platform is and not announce a run expecting the party to back them, especially if they don't attend the convention. The platform is crafted at the convention by delegates who are frustrated that candidates like Billie Sutton, Joe Lowe and Tim Bjorkman completely ignored what the party stands for.

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. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis. Democrats should pounce on that.

As progressive activist Chaz Jewett said, "Again we are given a shiny penny by the South Dakota Democratic Party. When is enough enough? Options are wanted."

Susan Wismer will be the guest speaker at the Brown County Democratic Party forum in Aberdeen Monday.


Flandreau native will celebrate twenty years on federal bench

Thank you, Nino Scalia, for reminding us why Democrats need to control the federal bench.
Flandreau native Karen Schreier has the distinction of being the first female judge appointed by a president to serve in South Dakota. After nearly 20 years working in that spot as a U.S. District Judge for the District of South Dakota, she retains the distinction of being the only one. This summer will mark her 20th year on the bench after being appointed in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Schreier graduated from Flandreau High School in 1974 and earned her undergraduate degree in 1978 from Saint Louis University. Schreier, 62, initially was recommended by former Sen. Tom Daschle to be the U.S. Attorney. Schreier knows Daschle well and had been co-chair of the Clinton-Gore campaign in South Dakota. A federal judgeship appointment is a job for life, and Schreier can stay in the position as long as she chooses. She has no plans to change what she’s doing. [Moody County Enterprise]
In 2015 Schreier's ruling overturned South Dakota's 1996 ban and 2006 constitutional amendment threatening marriage equality after six couples filed a lawsuit challenge.

After a cult known for watershed decimation installed tile to drain four federally-protected wetlands the US Fish and Wildlife Service filed suit in 2014 and in 2016 Schreier issued an order requiring the Mayfield Hutterite Colony to restore that part of the Prairie Pothole Region.

Democrats have to retake all three branches of the federal government, drive the buyouts of the welfare ranchers who occupy the Mountain West and High Plains then offer tribal nations reparations through land repatriation.


Udall joins Grijalva in protecting public lands from foreign miners

Wyoming blasts through treaty lands and leaves mercury trails in its wake but the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming are not the only public lands plundered by foreign companies under cover of The General Mining Law of 1872. Arizona and New Mexico are being ravaged by mining, too.

The US Forest Service is often powerless to stop the extractive industry from permanently altering sensitive watersheds because of the 1872 law. Thunder Basin National Grassland west of Devil's Tower is at risk to the legislation, not to mention the ground impacted by another Canadian invasion in the form of a proposed strip mine for rare earth minerals north of Sundance.

In 2018 the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe passed resolutions condemning what they say are abuses of the General Mining Law of 1872 passed to pay Civil War debt leading to the Custer Expedition's discovery of gold in the Black Hills. Another earth hater wants to mine the Rochford area not far from Pe 'Sla on Forest Service ground:
[South Dakota] Department of Environment and Natural Resources engineer Eric Holm said this week that Dakota Resource submitted applications for permits for its project from the state in early August and that the applications were reviewed, site-inspected and approved, and only await deposit of a $20,000 reclamation bond before taking effect. [Tom Griffith, Hunting for the second Homestake]
The GOP-owned South Dakota Department of Ecocide and Natural Ruination (DENR) is a rubber stamp for earth scorching. I almost peed my pants when the Rapid City Journal editorial board said:
The 1872 Mining Act was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant at a time when the government was trying to encourage people to settle and develop the West. Updating it to shift cleanup costs and extract royalties would generate millions in federal revenue. Nearly 1,000 recent mining claims have been filed in the watershed of Montana's Blackfoot River (PDF). Congress should undertake a long overdue revision of this antiquated law.
Repeal or even reform of the 1872 statute has been thwarted repeatedly: only affected tribal nations who lost treaty ground and environmental lawyers can stop mining on public lands.


South Dakota's non-tribal cannabis initiatives are DOA

John Dale of Spearditch needs at least 16,961 valid signatures of registered voters to get his cannabis idea on South Dakota's 2020 ballot. Emery's Melissa Mentele has an even more detailed proposal for therapeutic cannabis even though past ballot measures have all gone down in flames.
An initiated measure that would let people age 21 and older possess, grow, sell and distribute marijuana in South Dakota has taken the first steps toward the 2020 election ballot. State Legislative Research Council Director, Jason Hancock estimated its fiscal impact as a net savings of $3.1 million annually for state and local governments, after prison and jail costs were subtracted, and regulatory and Medicaid costs were added. Mentele also has offered a full legalization measure. "The constitution does not provide for any appropriation-special or general-by initiated measure. To avoid this constitutional question, we recommend removing section 34 of the measure," Hancock wrote in his April 26 response. [Bob Mercer, KELO teevee]
Joyce Scott and others worked their tails off gathering more than 50,000 signatures persuading voters to approve anti-corruption Initiated Measure 22. But Republican lawmakers quickly torched the rules and passed changes that make it even harder for residents to bypass the statehouse through the initiative and referendum process. "Who would have ever thought that something that the voters passed, that the Legislature would just do away with it totally," Scott wondered. Even the Republican-leaning Rapid City Journal called the Legislature’s acts "brazen."

Masochism truly is a South Dakota value. Eight month winters, rampant racism, living in a chemical toilet and a Nazi legislature just don't seem to be enough deterrents for some pathologically impaired crusaders. Fact is: non-tribal South Dakotans are simply too fragile for cannabis reform especially in a state ruled by Nazis.

But, the State of South Dakota has little power over the tribal nations trapped within the borders of the red moocher state. A 1986 amendment to federal law allows tribes to acquire off-reservation land to serve the needs of its peoples. President Tony Reider and officials of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation advanced their cannabis initiative after an Iowa casino on the border cut into the tribe's gaming business but reportedly destroyed their crop after threats from federal party-poopers.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and the Arapahoe Tribe of Oklahoma teamed up and bought 1,020 acres of ranchland north and east of Mato Paha (Bear Butte) adding significantly to their holdings West River. Last year the Oglala Oyate bought off-reservation property on I-90 just outside Badlands National Park. The Fort Peck Tribes in occupied Montana have legalized therapeutic cannabis and the Northern Cheyenne have been mulling the concept. As co-owners of Pe'Sla the Minnesota-based Shakopee Mdewakanton Nation could bring that state's medical cannabis and reproductive rights freedoms to the Black Hills. Lower Brule has struggled with synthetic cannabinoids but that community has off-reservation property in Fort Pierre to test their sovereignty.

It's time to test South Dakota's jurisdiction over nations where cannabis is legal and for tribal medical professionals to establish clinics that perform abortions on non-contiguous off-reservation parcels as islands of health care that supersede state law.


Lias: GOP's open hostility to the press could destroy civil rights

It's impossible not to notice that the white people who influence the South Dakota Republican Party continue to brainwash their own kids into selling tyranny and exclusivity to the voting populace.

On April 25th sleepy Vermillion became ground zero for Donald Trump's war on America in South Dakota.
The main speaker was Charlie Kirk, a guy who apparently makes a living by going from one campus to the other to tell students that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. Midway through his talk to both grown-up Republicans from Clay, Turner and Union counties, and to members of USD’s chapter of College Republicans who organized and served the banquet meal, Kirk said he’s concluded that, with a few exceptions, the media are the enemy of the American people. I learned two things from the April 25 event: 1) Kirk is as big of a liar and grifter as our president. 2) The Republican Party has morphed into something that would be unrecognizable to past GOP leaders like Jim Abdnor and George Mickelson and Bill Janklow. And that’s really, really sad. [David Lias, The SD GOP Inspires Sadness These Days]
Right to life? Not if you're non-white or noncomforming in America or South Dakota.

The United States was founded on the backs of slaves as systematic genocide became a way of life for white christians quoting scripture as they slaughtered their fellow humans. After colonizers realized enslaved American Indians had no resistance to diseases brought from the Old World, Africans were imported to do the dirty work. US Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren drove thousands from their lands and to their deaths over the Trail of Tears yet Rapid City brazenly displays their likenesses in conspicuous locations downtown.

"Go back to the Rez!"

Sturgis is home to Fort Meade: one of the last outposts supporting the US Army's war against Native forces.

In South Dakota Meade, Moody, Potter and Pennington Counties struggle with racism on daily and local levels. Confederate flags routinely fly in Rapid City showing support for racism in like-minded states, South Carolina and Mississippi. Many more come out during the Sturgis Rally as bikers in the Black Hills flaunting their racist bents fly the flag of slavery from their machines. Gettysburg, South Dakota remains a white supremacist stronghold. South Dakota is home to numerous sculptures that idolize genocide visited upon American Indians. Mount Rushmore is the state's premier example of racist ideology. Its sculptor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. As James Van Nuys puts the finishing touches on his statue of Barack Obama Democrats are privately discussing its safety in racist Rapid City.

The SD Newspaper Association, teevee stations and local media have known about Pierre's culture of corruption for decades but simply concede to the twenty SDGOP donors like Frank Farrar and Denny Sanford who run the state or face losing advertisers. Bill Janklow's idea of public broadcasting is a media cripple.

Republican is not just another word for earth hater; it's another word for Nazi but Charlie Kirk might be right about one thing. At a time when gender fluidity is more common than foot fungus fake journalists like Cory Heidelberger and Pat Powers can even call themselves brain surgeons if they want to.


Black Hills Energy, Dusty Johnson cutting a fat hog in Colorado cannabis industry

Rapid City-based Black Hills Corp is reaping the cannabis whirlwind in Colorado selling many megawatts of electricity to grow/ops.
Black Hills Energy electric customers will see a one-time rebate in April bills because of the cut in the federal corporate tax rate from 31 to 25 percent. As required by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the utility is returning an initial $6.1 million in taxes to ratepayers in April bills. While Black Hills charged ratepayers for its federal taxes, it was allowed to “defer” paying those taxes on to the federal government. [Pueblo Chieftain]
Recall that in 2014 nerdling Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson accompanied South Dakota's Republican former governor to a taxpayer-funded Western Governors Conference soiree in Colorado Springs where the pair met with industry mucky-mucks. Guess what: it paid off. Dusty hauled in at least $14,150 from those dudes last cycle. Xcel Energy is another utility reaping the green whirlwind so they gave Dusty $2500.
Industrial Agriculture is a growing customer segment comprised primarily of cannabis-related farming activities. In contrast to the trends characterizing Black Hills’ aforementioned industrial customer class, growth in both the number and overall energy demand associated with the industrial agriculture loads has been trending upwards since early 2013. [Black Hills Energy, 2016 Electric Resource Plan]
Pee in a cup, Dusty.


Black Hills Institute T-rex in New Mexico News

A 12 by 40-foot model of Stan, the Tyrannosaurus Rex whose fossilized bones were found by amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison in the Hell Creek Formation near Buffalo, South Dakota in 1987, was moved from the lobby of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to Farmington to make room for Albuquerque's new Bisti Beast exhibit.

A team led by Pete Larson excavated and restored Stan then created models of what some call the world's second-finest T. rex fossil even after a politically motivated acting US Attorney for the District of South Dakota named Kevin Schieffer upended local control in 1992 and seized a T-Rex fossil named Sue from Pete Larson and the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City.
Unlike Fred Nuss, Larson had felt that Sotheby's estimate was overly optimistic, and he'd somehow talked an elderly South Dakota businessman named Stanford Adelstein into traveling to New York to bid on Sue and hopefully to bring the bones back to Hill City in triumph. Larson and Stan [Sacrison] had met in 1992 in Rapid City. A mutual friend and fellow fossil hunter had introduced them, and soon Stan was taking Larson out and showing him some bones that Larson immediately recognized as a T. rex. Larson named it after Stan. In 1993, Stan led Larson to another T. rex, which they named Duffy, after Larson's lawyer, Patrick Duffy, who was handling the criminal aspects of the Sue imbroglio. [excerpt, John Tayman, Boneheads: A tale of big money, prison, Disney World, and the world's foremost dinosaur-hunting twins]
Patrick Duffy v. Kevin Schieffer:
If you haven't had a chance to watch the amazing documentary Dinosaur 13 on CNN or elsewhere, you're missing out on an in-depth look at one of the most compelling but also agonizing incidents in Black Hills history. Despite the fact we benefit from a major federal military base, and are a recipient state when it comes to taking in federal money, and we benefit from several national parks, forests and monuments, many South Dakotans would rather that "the feds" keep their hands out of our business. [editorial, Rapid City Journal]
No shit, right? In 1990, Bush 41 was wimping out by not marching on Baghdad and Mike Verchio still owned the Continental Cafe in Hill City before it burned to the ground. In 2013 then-Governor Denny Daugaard appointed the disgraced Schieffer to the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Larson has just co-authored and published findings from a study of the effects that the Chicxulub impact had on the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction and on the Hell Creek Formation near Tanis, North Dakota: A seismically induced onshore surge deposit at the KPg boundary, North Dakota.