This time the KXL pipeline is the asteroid

Last year a 12 by 40-foot likeness 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 upended local control in 1992 and seized a thunder lizard named Sue from Larson and the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City. Larson has just co-authored and published findings from a study of the effects 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.

Humans are driving Earth's six mass extinction and are only on historian Christopher Lloyd's list of important species that evolved because of anthropogenic climate change.

Attorneys for the Trump Organization will stop at nothing to erase Barack Obama's legacy including accelerating the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, warming Earth's climate and forcing an eventual American Indian rebellion to protect treaty lands.
The Tanis site is found in the Hell Creek Formation, one of the richest deposits of fossils in the world. It's in this same formation, southeast of Tanis, that the T. Rex named Sue was found. It's also where the Keystone XL pipeline is partially routed. But preservation of fossils was rarely addressed. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]


Bundys continue to avoid justice while America burns

Protests continue after a white cop in Minneapolis assaulted a black man who later died from his injuries.

Over eight hundred people were arrested outside Standing Rock during the Dakota Excess demonstrations, 155 were arrested in Ferguson, Missouri after police killed an African-American and only four white people were arrested in Charlottesville after an armed confrontation with cops there. As most Americans know, if you're Black and/or Brown in the United Snakes you're more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession.

My home state of South Dakota is infamous for racism where a state trooper routinely spent his time systematically profiling cars with license plates from states with legal cannabis until a Washington man stood his ground. In Racist City, South Dakota Daniel Tiger chose to take out two enemy police personnel with him rather than be gunned down in cold blood like Christopher Capps was.

The sovereigns are overwhelmingly white christians using a maladapted interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to rationalize its commitment to a pending race war using links to the federal storming of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and culminating in the Oklahoma City bombing. Bombs, wildfires, and mass shootings are just some of the tools of terror. It's likely that the FBI is stretched too thin to get ahead of the curve and it is hiding the scope of its findings to mask the extent of the hatred. In 2014 among 382 law enforcement agencies 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdictions. 

Late in President Barack Obama’s second term a group of armed thugs, including a retired Air Force master sergeant from South Dakota allied with Cliven Bundy looted and occupied not a courthouse but a national wildlife refuge for forty days in none other than Harney County, Oregon. The extreme white wing of the Republican Party brands Black Lives Matter protesters as unemployed slackers but a horde of Huns that takes over a federal facility to hasten the End Days are called patriots.
Photos and social media posts showed militia training their rifles on armed [Bureau of Land Management] officers who had come to round up Bundy's cattle. Cliven Bundy has refused to recognize the federal government's ownership of millions of acres of public land — including in Nevada. The rancher has consequently not paid federal fees owed for grazing his cows on land near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area since the 1990s. A rebellious fight against tyranny, or justice against a family that has flaunted the law for decades, that's a question now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The court takes up the appeal for a retrial in USA vs. Bundy in a virtual session on Friday. [NPR]


New Mexico could eliminate some private insurers in single-payer medical option

Military personnel love TRICARE, veterans mostly like the VA and most Native Americans won’t support a copay because We the People are responsible for their medical care by treaty.

New Mexico has a high number of people with insurance through Medicaid and like South Dakota many are American Indians. Of the 342,000 patients who visited the emergency departments of the three biggest New Mexico medical providers in 2015 forty percent were Medicaid patients.

I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the VA together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. Reproductive freedoms should be included just like the military does under TRICARE.
Under a state-administered plan some segments of the private insurance industry would disappear and significant additional funding sources would likely be needed to fully cover the cost of the plan — through some combination of additional contributions by employers, reduced payment rates to medical providers or higher costs for patients. New Mexico cut the uninsured rate roughly in half since expanding Medicaid in 2014 to more people on the cusp of poverty. Enrollment leveled off in recent years with about 10% of the population still uninsured. It’s still unclear what impact the COVID-19 pandemic and a stalled economy will have on the number of people who go without insurance. [New Mexico studies single-payer care amid pandemic]


East River bear at risk to Republicans, white gun nuts

If history is any guide, locals will just kill the offending bear like they do with moose, elk, cougars and their kittens.

During one season a white christian trophy hunter illegally slew a three-month old, fourteen pound cougar kitten in the Black Hills. The idiot was cited for a class one misdemeanor improper tagging, which carries a penalty of fines to $1,000, one year in jail and loss of hunting privileges for a year. The incident is par for the course in Lawrence County where firearms and alcohol with meth chasers are as common as sibling marriages.
State wildlife officers are investigating the poaching last Friday of a young bull moose believed to be the same animal that was seen and photographed during recent weeks in Custer State Park and at Pactola Reservoir. [Rapid City Journal]
The endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, 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, are just a few species at risk to the GOP. Threatened by the increased conversion of native prairie to cropland the most endangered plant in the chemical toilet that is South Dakota is the white-fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) found mainly in tallgrass prairies west of the Mississippi River.

Game, Fish and Plunder 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. The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and public lands grazing funnel into a region smothering under single-party rule. How would the presence of moose, wolves and bears in South Dakota not automatically make them candidates for endangered species protection?

Because Republicans are evil.
Jacquie Ermer with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks said she couldn’t say for sure, but most likely the young bear is a male from Minnesota. The agency doesn’t have to take the bear into custody or take other action, she said. It hasn’t hurt anybody or livestock, she said. There’s no reason for people to be alarmed and no way to know how long the bear might be in the area, she said. [Aberdeen American News]


Republicans still expect Sturgis Rally to attract white plague

I operated in the Black Hills hospitality market for twenty five years. At Twin City Fruit and Sysco the Sturgis Rally was the peak of the tourist season and made or broke profits for the year. In my construction business I saw first-hand how methamphetamine served the needs of the locals.

A close personal friend still living in the Black Hills was a teenager and just one woman who was victimized and passed around. In the late 1980s she became pregnant by a stranger just for her Bandido boyfriend who later blew his brains out in front of her and her newborn because of his meth habit.

Most, if not all, meth in South Dakota is trafficked by white Trump-worshiping motorcycle gangs. These hordes are essentially domestic terrorists operating with the blessings of the prison/industrial complex. The Sons of Silence, Bandidos and Hells Angels control organized crime in the Black Hills area where members have infiltrated nearly every community even operating Rapid City's Cornerstone Rescue Mission for a time as a front for their activities. Former Cornerstone director, Dan Island, build a Lawrence County mansion and together with his brother Frank built a cocaine and meth empire before their deaths. The Bandidos have had a fortified compound in Rapid Valley and the Hells Angels who own many properties in the area also built the the Cottonwood Lodge in Spearditch.

The “Big Four” biker clubs in the United States are Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Bandidos and The Outlaws or the American Outlaw Association. Hells Angels, Bandidos and other crime syndicates 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. 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.

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. 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.
Mayor Mark Carstensen said regardless of the coronavirus pandemic motorcyclists will come to the Black Hills in August for the 80th Sturgis rally whether the city hosts it or not. He said even if the council doesn’t approve the rally dates, it will be difficult to keep people out of Sturgis, short of putting up physical barriers, which he doesn’t see happening. [Rapid City Journal]


Santa Fe Reporter picks Leger Fernandez to win District 3 Democratic primary

With New Mexico’s senior US Senator Tom Udall retiring and District 3 US Representative Ben Ray Lujan a shoo-in to replace him seven Democrats are vying for our party's nomination to crush whichever Earth hater survives the NMGOP primary.
Indeed, whomever wins this nomination needs to make a compelling argument for understanding the district's needs across intersectional spectrums of race, poverty and gender. Teresa Leger Fernandez makes that case. A staunch defender of reproductive freedom, Leger Fernandez won endorsements in this race from Emily's List, NARAL and Planned Parenthood's Action Fund. She supports a single-payer health care system with reasonable caveats. As an acequia commissioner, she understands and will protect New Mexico's resources. As a Homewise board member, she has hands-on knowledge of the local housing crisis. And as a lawyer who has represented tribal interests for decades, she has earned relationships and expertise that will be crucial in representing Gallup and portions of McKinley County—part of District 3—so devastatingly hit by the pandemic. Former New Mexico Deputy Secretary of State John Blair's government experience, emphasis on transparency and service to LGBTQ youth made him our close second choice and hopefully this is not his last run for public office. Former CIA Agent Valerie Plame clearly has government experience and connections—we have no doubt she can find another route back to Washington, DC if she wishes. [Santa Fe Reporter]
In 2017 Santa Fe resident and former Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame divorced Joseph Wilson then took tremendous heat after sharing a piece written by fellow CIA officer but conservative commentator, Philip Giraldi. Plame deleted her tweets and left twitter for three years but her biggest mistake was apologizing. Recall she tried to raise enough money to buy a majority of twitter stock to throw Donald Trump off the platform. Plame's paternal grandfather was Jewish. Wilson died in 2019.
Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it. [America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars]
It's not like Giraldi is wrong. Israel is a rogue state with a criminal as her prime minister. Zionism is catholicism but with actual net worth and AIPAC is a terrorist organization just like the Roman church is an international crime syndicate. Israel should be a county in Utah or Nevada but the Israeli model of compelling military service and universal gun tolerance should be the future for the United States, too. Compulsory service might even reduce military adventurism and cowboy diplomacy.

Democrats in my home state weren't even able to field a challenger to US Representative Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson so Earth hating Nazis in South Dakota and Alabama are chortling that Democratic Party organizations in those states are struggling but in blue New Mexico where GOP former Governor Susana Martinez is being investigated for corruption the opposite is true. The New Mexico Republican Party is hurting so badly they brought in the Cheeto-dusted Führer last year to rouse their rabble.

The Trump Organization cancelled an auction of oil and gas leases in New Mexico Wednesday after a protest by Santa Fe-based Wild Earth Guardians.


Number of patients enrolled in NM therapeutic cannabis program blazes to near 90,000

According to Duke Rodriquez, CEO of Ultra Health, New Mexico has more patients in its therapeutic cannabis program than Colorado does. Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's cannabis volume leader, Ultra Health.

A failure to reach a consensus on legal cannabis for all adults in New Mexico during the last legislative huddle was due in part to Rodriguez' objection to home growing but with oil and gas revenues in the shitter legislators will convene a special session. Many political observers believe the state will turn her gaze back to cannabis despite the water shortages that constrain growers in drought-stressed New Mexico.

Vaporizer cartridges from China have become a source of concern as a virus outbreak sweeps the globe.
Combined patient sales from the 34 licensed producers in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program totaled $40.1 million for the first quarter of 2020, an increase of $12 million or 43% over reported patient sales in the first quarter of 2019. Ultra Health topped all producers with $6.1 million in patient sales for the first quarter. New Mexico’s top 10 cannabis providers accounted for 71% of total patient sales. The program enrolled 85,168 patients as of March 31, 2020, an increase of 20% over March 2019 enrollment. A total of 6,128 pounds of cannabis flower was sold to patients during the first three months of the year, representing an increase of 30% over total pounds sold in the first quarter of 2019. The Medical Cannabis Program is currently supporting a record number of nearly 90,000 patients while operating on its lowest supply of available cannabis since December 31, 2018. [press release, Ultra Health]


Incumbent South Dakota Republican fears Democratic surge

In a campaign fundraising email to supporters this week Senator Reich Mike Rounds (earth hater-SD) said he believes the Democratic blue wave is building momentum even in my home state and that "South Dakota could be the sleeper race that delivers Democrats a majority in the U.S. Senate." One of the least effective members of Congress, Rounds didn't even vote Thursday on the confirmation of Rep. John Ratcliffe as the Trump Organization's director of national intelligence.

Former Governor Rounds was elected to the US Senate with cash from the Kochs’ National Federation of Independent Business. The so-called “Americans for Prosperity” is a Koch-soaked dark money group with an agent in Sioux Falls. South Dakota's GOP legislators and candidates enjoy millions in lobbyist benefits from the Kochs and their American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.

Rounds says he wants a federal investigation into allegations of antitrust violations by packers and for Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) to be passed but welfare ranchers are frustrated that the Senate resolution Rounds supports is toothless. Recall COOL was repealed during the second Obama term by Republicans to shield American commodities from scrutiny because every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in the United States and South Dakota is contaminated with atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, cadmium, PFAS, E. coli, Shigella, Legionella plus other toxins and pathogens.

Rounds just played the cancer card as he released a video pimping his stricken wife and pleading with doubtful supporters to continue funding his crusade toward a second term. Rounds, who bragged he could build a $9 million war chest in 2013 has less than $2 million in the bank today. That makes him a bald-faced liar.

In her bid to drive Rounds onto the ash heap of history upstart Republican primary contender Scyller Borglum has appeared with Governor Kristi Noem to raise awareness of youth art in South Dakota.

Rounds is being challenged in the general election by Democrat Dan Ahlers, a Dell Rapids businessman and former state legislator. Ahlers has yet to unveil his roadmap to legal cannabis.

I’m a twenty year volunteer for DSCC, DCCC and DLCC charged with South Dakota as a territory but nobody in those organizations believes a Democrat can win any statewide race in the red moocher state. The only reason 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton got any SDGOP crossover votes whatsoever is because Kristi Noem is loathed by almost half her caucus. Vote margins in the other statewide races proved that. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Brendan Johnson or Bernie Hunhoff would have done at least as well.

Photo: Rounds poses with morbidly obese Brookings-based blogger Pat Powers.


Without butts in the pews Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers rush to fill collection plates

Star-Tribune photo: current Minnesota cleric Bernie Hebda and former clergyman John Nienstedt

After being censured for sexual contact with a minor John Nienstedt was driven from the St. Paul Diocese and now lives in California. Nienstedt was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of St. Thomas where former Sioux Falls Bishop Paul Swain serves on the Institutional Advancement Committee. The Minnesota cleric with intimate ties to Swain is said to have frequented a gay bar called the Happy Tap.

Every year, the bishops of the dioceses of South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota attend a spiritual retreat together so during one of those sleepovers Swain led a prayer service reacting to the ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States upholding marriage equality. "We do not judge anyone," Swain said. "Judgment is to be left to god."

South Dakota's Ku Klux Klan "opposed Roman Catholicism because it feared Catholic involvement in politics."

Both South Dakota dioceses are up to their areolae in debt to the white christianic ruling class for covering up crimes committed by sermonizers where Catholic congregations and the state's legislature have engaged in obstruction of justice for decades. In South Dakota the Roman church has been behind the seizures of hundreds of American Indian children in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act. South Dakota's legislature is hiding clergy crimes but Minnesota has been prosecuting pederastic prelates.

Makes you want to puke, doesn't it?

The leader of the Roman Church is slowly cleaning house of predators but is taking heat from Republicans for his stance on curbing human-induced climate change and from progressives for his decision to canonize a colonizer accused of raping children. As lawsuits and the US Department of Justice swamp the Roman church the future of the religious cult isn't looking very rosy.

The international crime syndicate that is the Roman Catholic Church is funneling money from parishes and paying settlements or hush money for the sins of predatory priests.
Minnesota's Roman Catholic bishops said Wednesday that they will allow Masses to resume next week despite Gov. Tim Walz's continued prohibition on most religious gatherings. [Minnesota Public Radio]

GoT novelist, two other local notables buy SFSR

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin and two other New Mexico celebrities have purchased the Santa Fe Southern Railroad and the depot in Lamy. SFSR was featured in the Breaking Bad episode, Dead Freight.

The State of New Mexico bought the track bed that Amtrak's Southwest Chief uses from just north of Lamy to Behlen south of Albuquerque from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway when the Rail Runner was built. BNSF owns virtually all the rail rights of way in New Mexico. Two congressional neighbors now Democratic governors in Colorado and New Mexico have been pledging to develop passenger rail along the Front Range and southern Rockies. Meanwhile the Trump Organization is pledging to kill passenger rail service while vehicle traffic between the Black Hills, Cheyenne and Denver continues to increase just like it is between Denver, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

The New Mexico Rail Runner has been idled since March 15 but is scheduled to resume service May 31 as work on the line to complete Positive Train Control continues.
Violet Crown cinema owner Bill Banowsky, novelist and screenwriter George R.R. Martin and NDI New Mexico co-founder Catherine Oppenheimer have bought the decades-old railway and trains along the 18-mile spur line from Santa Fe to Lamy. If all goes well, they hope to renew a deal with Amtrak that would keep the Southwest Chief line stopping at Lamy and perhaps restore a now-vacant position for a ticket agent at the site. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reached Lamy in 1879. Though it had originally been planned to roll into Santa Fe, railroad executives and engineers said it would be too difficult to build a main track to the capital city because of the steep grade in the mountainous environment, so they settled for a spur line. [Santa Fe New Mexican]


More Trumpers turn to suicide as the way out

When Garrison Keillor opened A Prairie Home Campanion in the Rapid City Civic Center Theatre on November 20, 1999 he cited a statistic that Pennington County has the highest per capita gun ownership in the United States. A nervous chuckle rolled through the audience.

In one thought intersection during her 2012 presentation in Santa Fe Michelle Alexander used the example of any kid in South Dakota (a state where suicide is the 9th leading cause of death) having easy access to illegal drugs but whose family can't afford or lives too far from clinical care.

In 2018 the Rapid City Journal blamed the South Dakota Republican Party for spikes in suicides and depression then a Sanford Health executive did the same last year. South Dakota is ranked 6th highest in the nation for suicides reporting more than 22 self-administered terminations per 100,000 people or an increase of 59% since 1999 and the 11th highest increase in any state.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that Republicans are suffering from mass clinical depression comorbid with suicide ideation. Gun carrying people are saying they are being responsible (but won't be held liable) for our safety if the rest of us don’t, or refuse to, carry. Stand your ground has become vigilante justice because the courts are overwhelmed with suspects in the war on drugs, our communities are becoming armed camps and we’re barricaded in our homes afraid to let our kids go to school. A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it's spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services.

Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry, a socialized internet and now socialized gas well remediation are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

The livestock industry has been subsidized for at least four decades but today in irony Republican ranchers are complaining that capitalism makes other Republicans rich. Yesterday I retweeted three nearly identical stories like this one from New Mexico, from South Dakota and Montana, too.

If I could go back in time I'd kill baby Fred Trump.
It's a worrisome trend in the rural West, the region that suffers from from the highest rates of gun suicide. People in rural places are more likely to experience loneliness, isolation and poverty, which is exacerbated by the pandemic. [Pandemic Could Exacerbate High Rates Of Gun Suicides In Rural West]
Maybe this would be a great time for a piece of rhubarb pie.


Red Lake Nation will vote on therapeutic cannabis

The Red Lake Nation in Minnesota will vote Wednesday on whether to allow therapeutic cannabis. If the referendum passes it would be the first legal application in Minnesota of cannabis flower and would expand the list of qualifying symptoms for tribal patients seeking treatment.

According to a report released last July by the Minnesota Department of Health over 70 percent of survey respondents said therapeutic cannabis was helping to ease their post-traumatic stress and most showed “clinically meaningful” reductions in the severity of their symptoms. Republicans in Minnesota's legislature have 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 expanded into New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis market.
Minnesota residents diagnosed with the following conditions can be eligible for medical cannabis: cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizures including those characteristic of epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s disease, terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of less than one year, Intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, obstructive sleep apnea and Alzheimer's disease. [Grand Forks Herald]
Hit hard by a virus outbreak the Apsáalooke Nation in southern Montana is also mulling legalization.


Mexican earth raper will share wind profits with Black Hills electric monopoly

Utilities are not your friends.

Avangrid, Inc., a US-based subsidiary of Spanish energy firm Iberdrola with a base in my home town of Elkton, South Dakota plans to spend at least $216 million on a wind farm. That amount of cash would take nearly 17,000 electric subscribers completely off the grid.

$100 million spent on subsidizing, manufacturing, transporting, erecting and maintaining the Prevailing Winds project would take some 8,000 Basin Power subscribers off the grid. That's right: primary power purchaser Bismarck, North Dakota-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative is an oligopoly paying Prevailing Winds, LLC to rip up land and disturb cultural resources sacred to numerous Indigenous peoples for a grid that has never been more vulnerable to attack and to climate disruptions.

In 2000 now-dead Republican South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow sold the state cement plant in Rapid City to Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC). Democratic legislators voted against Janklow's folly because GCC was exempted from mineral severance and was allowed to mine on ground owned by School and Public Lands. Limestone-rich state trust land near Dewey was leased for a dollar for 99 years and could be renewed twice so for three bucks GCC received the mineral rights for 297 years and school kids got screwed. During the 1980s and 90s the cement plant returned about $11 million a year but in 2013 the legislature had to kick in $4 million to the plant's retirement system and South Dakota still surfs the bottom for America's education dollars.

Today, West Rapid routinely endures blowing dust and air quality alerts from GCC's quarry operations. According to Democratic former legislator, Kathy Tyler the Mexico-based land raper has bought up most cement companies in South Dakota with operations in Huron and even in little Holabird east of Pierre. She said the previous owners had no choice; they either had to sell or GCC would put them out of business.

In 2018, Black Hills Energy sold some of its 700 oil and gas wells in New Mexico and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to help finance a $70 million monolith headquarters in Rapid City. It was built there on the backs of subscribers without choices because out of state Republicans who write the tax law own South Dakota and because the state ended environmental oversight. BHE raised much of its construction cash on Colorado cannabis.

Now the two monopolies have teamed up to bilk taxpayers.
GCC’s Rapid City Plant partnered with Black Hills Energy to move to wind energy in the next year. The program will provide about 50% of the cement plant’s electricity needs for the next 15 years. Black Hills Energy will build a wind-power generating facility in 2020 to supply the energy. Located near Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Corriedale Wind Energy Project is anticipated to produce energy by the first quarter of 2021 that will be shared with subscribers in South Dakota and Wyoming. The program was designed for large commercial and industrial customers and governmental agencies in the company’s electric service territories in South Dakota and Wyoming. [KOTA teevee]
No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator, a dearth of environmental protection and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and eyesores like wind farms. But according to Republican Public Utilities Cartel Commissioner Chris Nelson the amount of wind power generation may have reached its plateau. Last year in an interview with WNAX Radio Nelson said he believes there will be rapid development of solar power production facilities.

The average cost of a household photovoltaic system is about $3/watt or around $12,810 before tax credits are factored in. Leaving the grid has never been easier so anyone who can afford to it should do it now and with Trump still in the White House it's never been more urgent.

Microgrid technologies are destined to encourage self-reliance, enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard. Ice storms routinely knock out electric power on American Indian reservations often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem.

ip photo: a phallus on the Coteau des Prairies competes for the eastern South Dakota skyline with ubiquitous wind turbines near the divide between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers over Oak Lake, part of a Brookings water supply and a source of the Big Sioux River.


Monopolist logs out BHNF, threatens Trump's Forest Service with closures

I've known Hulett, Wyoming's Jim Neiman for over forty years. He's a ruthless negotiator and committed capitalist who would log the Black Hills into the dirt since he controls the Black Hills National Forest leadership. A South Dakota town named for a war criminal just held its seventh ritualized bark beetle burning - an homage to the Neiman family.

Today, the Trump Organization and Neiman Enterprises are logging and slashing some 2,669 acres of forest on public land between Jewel Cave National Monument and the Custer Highlands residential area. Fuel treatments include clearcuts or in silviculture parlance: overstory removal. Neiman is a member of the Greedy Old Party and Neiman Enterprises is pretty much the last timber contractor standing in the Black Hills.

Prescriptive fires should have been set weeks ago on public lands in my home state of South Dakota but it's still suffering from repeated leadership lapses, a century of fire suppression, a decades-long moratorium on prescribed burns, a dearth of environmental litigators, GOP retrenchment and the potential for weaponized wildfire. Because of Republican Senator John Thune the cost of prescribed fire has soared to over $2000 an acre putting the BHNF and Wind Cave National Park in harm's way but in South Dakota local control is Republican control.

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 endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, 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, are just a few at risk to the GOP. Threatened by the increased conversion of native prairie to cropland the most endangered plant in the chemical toilet that is South Dakota is the white-fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) found mainly in tallgrass prairies west of the Mississippi River.

Add the very high number of private inholdings within the BHNF 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 grazing, 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.

Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylcarbamate) is a white crystalline solid commonly sold under the brand name Sevin®, a trademark of the Bayer Group. It kills beneficial insects like honeybees as well as crustaceans not to mention its havoc wreaked on fungal communities and amphibians. Sevin® is often produced using methyl isocyanate the chemical that Union Carbide used to kill thousands of people in Bhopal, India in 1984. Carbaryl has been used extensively on public ground around Neiman's Hill City sawmill contributing to Spring Creek’s perennial impairment.

Pinus ponderosa is not native to the Black Hills and only reached the region less than four thousand years ago. When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires, periodic wildfires, yes even mechanical treatments as long as no new roads are built and burns applied to stimulate hardwood release. Restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal.

The decisions for the Sioux Ranger District in northwest South Dakota on the Custer Gallatin National Forest are made in Bozeman, Montana, most of national grasslands in South Dakota are operated from Nebraska and Republican congressional delegations cut fat hogs bringing home the bacon for the timber and livestock industries. The collapse of select ecosystems on the BHNF was forecast in 2002 but now the entire Forest is at grave risk to the Neimans.
A draft general technical report (GTR) “Timber Growth and Yield in the Black Hills National Forest: A Changing Forest” has forest product industry leaders concerned. Jim Neiman, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Enterprises, which owns and operates several timber mills in the Black Hills, including Rushmore Forest Products located outside of Hill City, says if the draft is accepted there could be damage to both the forest itself and the local economy but remains hopeful there will be changes to the draft. “This highly anticipated report has us concerned,” Neiman said. “We are anticipating after our meeting on (May 1) that there will be some changes so that we can find an appropriate level of capacity to maintain all of the mills. I want to repeat it is of utmost importance for us to find a level of inventory in the forest that creates a resilient forest for all areas, if that is possible.”

Jerry Krueger, who is the acting forest supervisor for Black Hills National Forest, said concerns about the quality of the forest date back to 2015 pertaining to the mountain pine beetle epidemic and widespread mortality of the trees within the forest due to the epidemic, wildland fire and the current rate of timber harvest. “If you lose one of the sawmills, and I’m not going to say which one, that could have a domino effect on the towns,” Neiman said. [Logging industry fears possible cut could send waves]


SDGOP split palpable

Without a Democrat in the race for South Dakota's lone US House seat Republicans have turned to battling one another for ideological purity. One has to look no further than the mouthpiece SDGOP operates from Brookings where portly pug Pat Powers points his puny pecker at the principled partisans pothering the pot within his perverting party.

Last year conservative broadcaster Shad Olson posted a blistering rejoinder at Powers' website, the South Dakota War Toilet and my home state’s most ardent purists are still hungering for principled conservatives to run in statewide elections. Olson, Stace Nelson, Neal Tapio and Lora Hubbel could be those candidates. Fact is: the best way to a strong multi-party system in South Dakota is for arch-conservatives to launch a fourth party as Libertarians compete with Democrats for third place.

Liz May is running against the incumbent Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson in the GOP primary for US House and many West River conservatives are running for seats in the State Senate and House of Representatives. But those races are not what caught my attention. Republicans who live on the tribal nations trapped in South Dakota are whining to the governor and legislators about the checkpoints keeping reservations isolated from infected white people.

Shad Olson makes Rush Limbaugh look like a socialist but Olson has turned on South Dakota's racist governor even posting the Lalo Alcaraz cartoon interested party published rankling some of the most rabid Rapid Citians.
Tribal land is sovereign land. A nation within a nation. That was the deal struck and consistently upheld by the courts. If natives want to police their borders and allow or deny entry based on perceived danger, America's native tribes have as much right to border security as America has to secure our southern border. Ironic and troubling that a Governor so keen on parroting Donald Trump's border immigration talking points would force a standoff that funnels her into terrible options on every hand. If you make a demand, you must be prepared to engage that demand with force. South Dakota history is rife with historical evidence of how and why nothing good ever comes from attempting to violate tribal sovereignty. And spare me the COVID hero mantra on Noem. Her tenure has been an unmitigated disaster on 39 different fronts. If you dispute that, you're probably on meth. Because she said so. So tired of team sport politics I could retch. [Shad Olson]
Sorry, dumbshits. They didn't launch "the flu" to kill Trump's economy and scuttle him politically. I know nine people nationally that have died of this disease. As Trump has said, I never knew anyone who died of the flu. Seriously embarrassed to know some of you. And it gets worse by the day. Stupid children. Just stop typing. You're stupid. And you're too stupid to know you're stupid. COVIDIOTS. [also Shad Olson]


Lalo Alcaraz cartoon: Noem would commit genocide in Indian Country

We all know Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is a racist but now my home state has gone from being America's laughing stock to becoming a co-conspirator in hate crimes. Noem has simply become a pinup for the Kochs and boycotting South Dakota is apparently the only language the Republican Party seems to understand.

Most of the nineteen pueblos in New Mexico have been barricaded for weeks behind roadblocks with the help and blessings from Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. The Santa Fe New Mexican runs Lalo Alcaraz' cartoon strip, La Cucaracha.

This isn't the first time a pueblo cartoonist has skewered South Dakota and it will hardly be the last.


Aanning: Republican Daugaard hired Democrat Turbak to cover up Folkens' wrongful death

South Dakota's school to prison pipeline began in 1983 when Republican Governor Bill Janklow concocted a plan to convert the University of South Dakota at Springfield into a prison. Then the state killed Gina Score in a boot camp, ended environmental protection and accelerated the red moocher state's descent into the hellish chemical toilet it is today.

On December 21, 2013 Brady Folkens of Brookings died in state custody after a botched diagnosis at the former State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy in a county named for a war criminal then the State of South Dakota's Office of Risk Management helped to bury the evidence of negligent homicide.

This case stank from the very beginning. Every Republican from former Governor Denny Daugaard's lawyer, Jim Seward to Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels, an Avera lawyer, is involved in obstruction of justice. In the absence of adequate news coverage by South Dakota media ignoring Brady's wrongful death this blog had urged his mother, Dawn Van Ballegooyen, to attach a lien to the property where he was misdiagnosed.

After a public outcry the death camp was shuttered and the sprawling property south of town sold at auction for the minimum bid of $2.34 million. The buyers were a group of investors represented at the sale by real estate agent and former mayor Jared Carson but have since defaulted on their commitment. The State of South Dakota remains committed to dumping the stigmatized property. STAR Academy's predecessors, South Dakota Tuberculosis Sanatorium and Custer State Hospital at Sanator have macabre histories of their own.

Stabbed in the back by South Dakota's corrupt medical board, physician whistleblower Dr. Lars Aanning continues to champion Van Ballegooyen's case.
Imagine trying to obtain legal counseling for the unexpected loss of your otherwise healthy 17-year old son whose death was blamed on a common childhood virus by the South Dakota authorities – and finally a lawyer you had visited in Watertown writes you a long letter recommending her lawyer friend in South Carolina? The trusting mother of Brady Folkens took the bait…
What Dawn van Ballegooyen didn’t know was that David Berry in Hilton Head SC was married to Nancy J. Turbak, aka as Nancy J. Turbak Berry and aka as Nancy J. Culhane. And Dawn only later suspected that Turbak and Berry were in on fix to hold the state corrections authorities (and the medical contractors) at STAR Academy in Custer SD innocent and not liable. And that this ingenuous fix was engineered and orchestrated by Craig Ambach of the Office of Risk Management.
Others involved in the cover-up include Robert Vandeventer PA and Robert Preston MD, both providing contract health to STAR; Steve Polchow from Corrections; Raed Sulaiman MD and Francisco Recalde MD from Avera McKennan; Gary Thimsen, the state’s contracted defense lawyer from Woods, Fuller, Schultz, and Smith in Sioux Falls, William Golden, the State’s attorney for South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners (SDBMOE); Marty Jackley, then Attorney General for South Dakota; and more. I never saw Berry do anything of benefit to Dawn in this case…
Despite Turbak’s being a Democrat as well as a personal injury lawyer, then-Gov. [Daugaard] appointed her on May 7, 2018, to the SDBMOE as a board member for, we believe, helping make Dawn’s case go south…
Surprise!!! Only one and a half years into a three-year term and Nancy J. Turbak is out – fired? Now-Gov. Noem replaced Turbak with Suzanne Veenis last October in 2019! Interesting and unusual that we have found no news releases for this appointment. Anyway, Turbak now joins Jackley as another loser in this cover-up… [Dr. Lars Aanning, Another Cover-Upper Strikes Out!!!]


South Dakota stashes trillions for banks, legacy trust industry

South Dakota Republicans have their heads crammed so far into Frank Farrar's colon they can all kiss Wall Drug's Teddy Hustead on the lips in there.

Bankster and former South Dakota Governor Frank Farrar has sat on Citibank and Wells Fargo boards. Elitism in South Dakota is Denny Sanford and Dana Dykhouse and careers in usury get your names on an underground lab, public buildings and a football stadium.

How are 64+ county seats and their bureaucracies either conservative or sustainable? They're not; but, it is the way Republican cronyism and patronage built barricades to democracy by providing benefits of the public dole to those who say they deplore big gubmint in a state that hates poor people.

Harley owners, some of whom have ties to clubs with nefarious pasts and many of them pre-1970s graduates of Spearditch High School, cruise the streets in summer and then recuse themselves from the brutal Lawrence County winters for warmer white compounds in Scottsdale, Marana, Sedona or Mesa. Often, there are elderly parents in one of the ubiquitous long-term care facilities and cemeteries. The resultant soaring median age of the retirees seeking deliverance from the cultural diversities thriving in Colorado, California, Minnesota, even Arizona and Oregon drives the exploitation of South Dakota's regressive tax structure and reinforces the racially insulated Nazi enclave that Spearditch is today. These obese Republican slackers taking advantage of the dynasty trust industry are now returning to the frozen tundra in their RVs after another six-month winter and strings of below-zero days.

It's obvious this phenomenon is no accident: it has been manufactured to make the state a corporatist tax haven for an exclusive set of Republicans while over $3 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks. Divining an alternate universe where Randy Scott is still cruising the Moody County back roads while a Hellbent Bill Janklow is lurking at every intersection in South Dakota's ideological landscape is easier than imagining the decriminalization of Citibank's prospectus.

Current Republican Governor Kristi Noem 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. Republican former Governor now US Senator Reich Mike Rounds, one of the least effective members of Congress, was elected with cash from ALEC-backed National Federation of Independent Business. South Dakota's GOP legislators and candidates enjoy millions in lobbyist benefits from ALEC.

According to accountant and State Senator Susan Wismer (D-Britton) there are about $900 billion in 105 trusts alone.
South Dakota is fast becoming a mini-Switzerland for the world’s rich. Analysts and local politicians estimate that $250 billion to $900 billion is now stashed in South Dakota trusts by the likes of Chinese billionaires looking to keep their fortunes out of reach of the government, Europeans looking to avoid taxes and Americans looking to shield wealth from spouses. Yet South Dakota’s trust laws may be difficult to challenge. Trusts in South Dakota are perpetual, meaning a wealthy family can put assets into a trust that are held in perpetuity, rather than for a limited period of time. The state also gives trusts sweeping privacy and asset-protections against creditors, business partners, lawsuits or ex-spouses. Adding to its attraction, South Dakota has no inheritance or capital gains or income taxes. [Billionaire divorce uncovers secretive world of trusts in South Dakota]


COVID-19 is protecting the Earth from some humans

Silver City, New Mexico has become a quiet town again after most mining operations have come to a grinding halt and just like during the last Great Depression Democrats are the leaders getting financial help for workers.
Chino suspended most operations April 11, and mine owner Freeport-McMoRan announced last week it would furlough 825 workers at Chino, roughly half the labor force, and asked employees to prepare for a mass layoff. At the Thursday meeting, Bill McCamley, Cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, said that during the COVID-19 crisis, furloughed workers in any industry are able to apply and claim unemployment insurance benefits, just like workers who have been laid off. “As we get to where people are rehired, it is technically not allowed for workers to refuse [to go back to their] job,” McCamley continued, adding that there are new, COVID-19-specific guidelines being drawn up to expand “good cause” reasons for individual workers not to return. [Leaders talk help for Chino workers]
Not just in New Mexico but in my home state of South Dakota another Silver City is getting a reprieve from a foreign earth raper, too.
Mineral Mountain Resources Ltd. and Mineral Mountain Resources (SD) Inc. reports that a Phase III deep drill program has been finalized for its Standby Gold Project and is scheduled to start when the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. [Yahoo Finance]
ip photo: the New Deal mural entitled “Indian Bear Dance” was painted by Boris Deutsch in 1938 and is installed in the United States Post Office in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.


With oil and gas in free fall New Mexico could accept more nuclear waste

"Dilution is the solution to pollution."

Spurred by Heather Wilson formerly President of the South Dakota School of Mines, Secretary in Donald Trump's Department of the Air Force and now President of the University of Texas El Paso, a Rapid City firm specializing in toxic waste has been floating the idea of a deep borehole where radioactive materials could be dumped. Wilson is a Republican former New Mexico politician, Air Force officer and lobbyist linked to double dealing at laboratories with ties to the military/industrial complex.

A deep borehole at the edge of the Ogallala Aquifer in southeastern New Mexico is also being explored as Kirtland AFB outside of Albuquerque and Cannon AFB near Clovis are also remediating contaminated soils.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant could be U.S.’ best option for disposing of surplus plutonium through a program the Department of Energy is developing that would see the waste diluted at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina before permanent emplacement at the WIPP facility in southeast New Mexico. The diluted plutonium, mostly coming from the Pantex facility in Texas, would be turned into an oxide at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico before being sent to Savannah River to be diluted. [Carlsbad Current Argus]
It's as if transporting diluted nuclear waste over and over America's highways is completely harmless.

Volcanic clays like bentonite mined near Belle Fourche, South Dakota make radioactive waste repositories like the WIPP near Carlsbad possible. South Dakota will always be a sacrifice zone, chemical toilet, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area so until New Mexico’s Spaceport USA figures out how to launch hot waste into the Sun just dig that borehole in my home state and let New Mexico heal.


We the people, environmentalists, Sicangu team up to build bison herd

Back in 2010 then-Democratic Senator Tim Johnson tried to make a portion of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland adjacent to Badlands National Park part of the Tony Dean Wilderness Area. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) tried to revive it in 2011. Had Sen. Johnson been successful in passing S. 3310 as a part of the doomed Omnibus Wilderness Bill the land would have been placed within the stewardship of Badlands National Park.

In 2019, the World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy teamed up with the National Park Foundation, Badlands Natural History Association, Badlands National Park Conservancy and the National Park Service Centennial Challenge fund to expand the bison range at Badlands National Park by nearly 35 square miles. Led by The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit that began buying land there in 2007, sold some land in 2012 to Badlands National Park. Conata Basin is on the top ten ecotourism sites chosen by the University of Nebraska's Great Plains Center.

A South Dakota state park named for a war criminal keeps a drove of allegorical mooching donkeys as a slap in the face to the South Dakota Democratic Party and stages an annual mock bison roundup appropriated from the hunting practices of some indigenous peoples.

Sure, the Lakota acquired horses around 1742 then used them as weapons of mass destruction conquering most of the northern plains and the Black Hills region. But, likely with help from dogs for some ten thousand years before that the ancestors of the Crow, Arikara and others drove bison over cliffs and into sinkholes like the Vore site near Beulah, Wyoming.

The Anthropocene is now and time to rewild some of the American West eventually becoming part of a Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell in Montana along the Missouri River through North Dakota to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Pecos River through eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Clear the second growth conifers, restore habitat for aspen and other native hardwoods, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, empower tribes, lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and buy out the welfare ranchers Tony Dean warned us about.
Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), the economic arm of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has secured nearly 28,000 acres of native grassland for the creation of a new plains bison herd with the support of the Rosebud's Tribal Land Enterprise. With a capacity to support 1,500 animals, the Wolakota Buffalo Range will become North America's largest Native American owned and managed bison herd. The Wolakota Buffalo Range combines Lakota-based regenerative agriculture and social impact investment to generate socioeconomic opportunity. "We are doing something that has never been done. It shows what is possible when we create multiple bottom line initiatives supporting the environment, people, fiscal responsibility, and Native nation building," REDCO's CEO, Wizipan Little Elk said. [Rosebud Sioux Tribe to Create North America's Largest Native Owned and Managed Bison Herd]
ip photo: bison clear invasive grasses at Wind Cave National Park.


Minnesota blazing toward legal cannabis

According to a report released last July by the Minnesota Department of Health over 70 percent of survey respondents said therapeutic cannabis was helping to ease their post-traumatic stress and most showed “clinically meaningful” reductions in the severity of their symptoms. Republicans in Minnesota's legislature have 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 expanded into New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis market.

Minnesota-based Xcel Energy has already tapped into Colorado's burgeoning industry selling many megawatts to grow operations but the future of value-added cannabis is grown outdoors organically, heated indoors with geothermal systems, irrigated with rainwater harvest and powered by off-grid sources of electricity.

Corey Day, a former executive director of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party formed Cannabis for Economic Growth and has made the dollars and cents case for legalizing for all adults in Minnesota so towns like Pipestone, Luverne, Worthington, Lake Benton, Ortonville and Hendricks near the South Dakota border could reap the coming cannabis whirlwind as Governor Tim Walz urges legalization.
Tuesday, Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, introduced legislation that would legalize the adult-use of cannabis. The bill includes the following items: 
Creates a regulatory structure focused on developing micro-businesses and a craft market 
Provides for expungement of most cannabis convictions 
Provides for a limited allowance of home grow 
Requires testing and labeling of products 
Restricts packaging based on dosage size 
Provides funding for public health awareness, youth access prevention, and substance abuse addiction and treatment 
Provides grants, loans, technical assistance and training for small business 
Uses best practices from other states to account for negative externalities.
Read the rest here.