6/26/20

Minnesota AG sues energy industry for climate change; whither the Big Stone Power Plant?


South Dakota suffers the highest breast cancer rates in America due in large part to emissions from coal-fired electricity generating plants in Montana and Wyoming.

The Big Stone Power Plant in northeastern South Dakota spewed tons of mercury and other pollutants into the headwaters of the Minnesota River until an upgrade in 2016. Owned by Otter Tail Power, Montana-Dakota Utilities and NorthWestern Energy this monster burns 3,500 tons of subbituminous coal every hour so those companies spend millions every year greasing politicians and poisoning waterways.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sued ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday, alleging they deceived and defrauded Minnesotans about climate change. A number of local and national climate change groups applauded Ellison’s lawsuit, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Center for Climate Integrity, Fresh Energy, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. [Pioneer Press]
The average cost of a household photovoltaic system is about $3/watt or around $12,810 before tax credits are factored in and 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.

AG Ellison should pull no punches then sue the shit out of the owners of the Big Stone Power Plant and South Dakota's dairies, too while the iron is hot.

6/24/20

CRST v. Trump

Donald Trump is committing crimes against humanity in Indian Country and unless the whole Trump crime fam-damily abdicates to a Black Sea resort America's next Attorney General is going to make their lives Hell on Earth.

6/23/20

West River bear at risk to Republicans, white gun nuts


If history is any guide, locals will just kill this bear spotted north of Hermosa, South Dakota 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

6/20/20

Trump keeps Roswell UFO myth alive - for now

After Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds Adolf Hitler cited the ensuing panic as "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy" then modeled his final solution on the Native American Genocide. General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin actually used the radio play to his advantage.

In 2011 Fresh Air's Terry Gross interviewed Annie Jacobsen who described the events leading up to the creation of Area 51. Jacobsen had done numerous interviews of her own including one with an eyewitness to the extraction of the deceased preteen pilots who had been surgically altered by Stalin hire, Josef Mengele to look like extraterrestrials after a vectored thrust aircraft crashed near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
The Horten brothers were involved in the flying disc crash in New Mexico. And that is from a single source. ... There was an unusual moment where that source became very upset and told me things that were stunning that's almost impossible to believe at first read. And that is that a flying disc really did crash in New Mexico and it was transported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and then in 1951 it was transferred to Area 51, which is why the base is called Area 51. [excerpt, Fresh Air]
Today, Roswell is a Republican stronghold where a tourist industry has arisen from the UFO myth.
Trump made the comments Thursday in a Father’s Day-themed interview with his son Don Trump Jr., hosted by the president’s reelection campaign. Don Jr. wound down his interview by jokingly asking his dad if he would ever divulge more information about Roswell, the New Mexico city known for its proximity to arguably most famous UFO event — “and let us know what’s really going on.” Trump responded, “I won’t talk to you about what I know about it, but it’s very interesting.” [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Photo: Star Trek, Memory Alpha.

6/19/20

AG Klobuchar will prosecute Trump crime family


There is little doubt in my mind that damning evidence linking the Trump Organization to the Port Authority and Russia was destroyed on 9/11 and it’s impossible the Obama Administration didn’t know Donald Trump was being installed through a vast white wing conspiracy with at least one hostile government. The Deep State put Trump in the White House because they're the Mob, too and he’s leveling the other guys’ poppy fields and heroin distribution with bombers from South Dakota while leaving the friendly opiate trade to flourish. The Trump Organization is an equal opportunity money launderer doing it for CIA and other Deep State actors for decades.

Unless the whole Trump crime fam-damily abdicates to a Black Sea resort America's next Attorney General is going to make their lives Hell on Earth.

Although my first choice for 2020 was Al Franken Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) had this columnist's early primary endorsement to be our party's nominee for President of the United States. And, if it's any consolation Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will appoint Franken to finish Klobuchar's term after she is named US Attorney General by President Joe Biden. Sen. Klobuchar and this interested party follow each other on twitter.
What these four districts had in common was that their jurisdictions covered important business interests of the Trump family and that of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Trump appears to recognize no line between his political career and the government’s administration of criminal justice. Congressional Republicans did not hold a hearing on his decision not to divest his financial interests, unlike every president elected after the enactment of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. They did not investigate Trump’s violation of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution. Rather than investigating Trump’s conflicts of interest, congressional Republicans have seemed to revel in them. President Trump’s conflicts of interest are foreign as well as domestic. In the meantime, Trump and his allies in Congress, in the service of his kleptocratic ambitions, are weakening much of the architecture that stands between us and boundless executive power. [Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Ransacking the Republic]
Other predictions: Sen. Kamala Harris for Veep and Ambassador Susan Rice for Secretary of State.


6/18/20

Natural gas pipeline along I-25 not immune to flooding



In 2014 county residents stuffed themselves into the Santa Fe Convention Center to witness a hearing by commissioners on a proposal to create a new mining zone on La Bajada Mesa. Although the State of New Mexico does not recognize gravel operations as mining, proponents argued that the area already has a history of mining.

Today, dust is blowing off the mesa as New Mexico Gas Company rips up ground and crosses the Rio Galisteo with a $60 million, 35-mile, 20 inch natural gas pipeline. A 12-inch line "built by the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1940s, is reaching the end of its useful life and is difficult to replace because it cuts through national forest area, including the Valles Caldera National Preserve."

The Galisteo Dam was constructed in 1970 by the Army Corps of Engineers and built solely for flood control and sediment impoundment on the Rio Galisteo because of its long history of violent floods including one that wiped out the Kewa or Santo Domingo Pueblo. The pueblo and main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad were relocated to accommodate the dam project which now serves Amtrak's Southwest Chief and the New Mexico Rail Runner.

Cloudbursts in the upper Galisteo are not uncommon and flooding in 2012 caused serious erosion to an overpass on I-25. Recall the epic flooding in 2011 caused a rupture in the Sivertip Pipeline on the Yellowstone River in Montana because of river bottom scouring.

6/14/20

Costner dumps Dunbar property


Homestake Mining Company dumped cyanide and other hazardous substances into Whitewood Creek for a hundred years so the waterway was named a Superfund site in 1981 but before selling to Canadian miner Barrick, Homestake restored some of it in 1994 and the stream was taken off the Superfund list in 1996. With help from former Homestake land manager now Sturgis real estate broker, Denny McKay, former US Senator Tom Daschle sold out the people of South Dakota and the tribal nations trapped within its borders by drafting legislation holding Barrick harmless in Whitewood Canyon. How Whitewood's water supply is safe for human consumption remains a mystery.

Actor Kevin Costner bought this parcel after the success of Dances With Wolves but was ostracized afterwards by the tribal nations signatory to the Fort Laramie Treaty. It has been known as the Un-Dunbar property ever since. This reporter has been in Deadwood Texas hold 'em games where now-deceased South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller and Costner were also playing.
In 1994, Costner purchased a 240-acre parcel of land, located in Spearfish Canyon, from Homestake Mining Company and traded it to the U.S. Forest Service for the 900 acres lying east of the Preacher Smith Monument, which became the Dunbar property. The trade was finalized in 1996. The 687 acres purchased by Preacher Smith LLC is part of the original traded property. [Black Hills Pioneer]
ip photo: window rock in Whitewood Canyon on the Dunbar property border with Herb's former parcel.

6/13/20

Statue of war criminal whose name appears on South Dakota town, county, park could be removed in Michigan


This blogger has been arguing for Lakota names on South Dakota's geological features for over thirty years so now that the mountain renamed for Nicholas Black Elk, a holy man who rejected the Roman Church, should be in the Lakota language loosely translated as Paha Heȟáka Sápa.

After successes by tribal nations renaming places in Alaska and South Dakota Yellowstone National Park could see at least two name changes. Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

A state park, a peak, a county and a town in the Black Hills, a county and national forest in Montana are named after a murderer. George Custer, Phil Sheridan, George Crook and William Harney all committed crimes against humanity yet their names still besmirch numerous government and geographical features. Crook City near Whitewood and Crook's Tower, one of the 7000 footers in the Black Hills, were named after a war criminal. Revisionist history turned the Wounded Knee Massacre into a battle now Senator Mike Rounds (NAZI-SD) said he won't vote for the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act that would rescind Medals of Honor for twenty war criminals responsible for the slaughter of children, women and men in 1890 at Wounded Knee in occupied South Dakota. But he and the South Dakota Republican Party are hardly the only racists in the colonized American West.

Tribal nations and pueblos in New Mexico are mulling changes to events and geographical places that glorify Spanish colonizers like Don Juan de Oñate who ordered his troops to cut off the right feet of at least 24 Indigenous men.

During the Battle of Greasy Grass on the banks of the Little Bighorn River in Montana George Custer attacked the encampment where the elderly, women and children were hidden and during the Washita Massacre he held a similar contingent as hostages and human shields. Crow Peak just outside Spearditch or Paha Karitukateyapi is translated as "the hill where the Crows were killed" stemming from a battle between the Lakota and Crow Nations. The Crow allied with Custer and the United States Army believing they would reclaim the Black Hills. Custer’s name is on a peak in the Black Hills National Forest and should be removed. It's time to strike his name from the Custer National Forest, too.
Posted by Katybeth Davis, a resident of Monroe, the petition reads: “I am requesting the removal of the General Custer statue that is centered in downtown Monroe, MI. This statue represents a man who was glorified by using mass genocide of Native Americans. It does not represent what our town stands for in 2020.” [Levi Rickert, Native News Online]

6/12/20

Trump counties among nation's worse off


So, what’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, extremist legislatures, living in chemical toilets, sacrifice zones, perpetual welfare states and permanent disaster areas?
Many of these worse-off counties are in two regions: a northern cluster in Nebraska, the Dakotas and Montana; and along the Lower Mississippi River in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. But nearly all states have at least one worse-off county. Worse-off counties have a higher-than-average share of agricultural and manufacturing jobs — despite the manufacturing boom of 2018 — and relatively few tech, arts and media jobs. Worse-off counties share something else, in addition to being rural and weighted toward agricultural and manufacturing jobs: They lean Republican.
Read it all here.

South Dakota's law enforcement industry gears up to defeat cannabis reform

Pastures in Brookings and Moody Counties and the ditches along the I-29 of my youth were adorned with feral cannabis from Sioux Falls to Omaha, descendants of an agribusiness destroyed by a racist and xenophobic law enforcement industry now dealing with bulging prisons.

Frustrated with the inability of activists and advocates to herd the booze-soaked, ecocidal South Dakota Legislature and the Republican Party apparatchiks in Pierre into the corral of cannabis common sense an interested party reached out to Matt Kinney, a Spearditch-based attorney who specializes in the defense of clients caught up in the morass of cannabis law in my home state. Kinney, a member of the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told ip during a phone interview that the bills based on the kurtz template seeking the reversal of South Dakota's draconian statutes would be voluminous, would require changing the red moocher state's constitution and are beyond his expertise to draft. He represented former Butte County State's Attorney Heather Plunkett after she was railroaded into dismissal by then-Attorney General Marty Jackley.

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.

The State of South Dakota has no jurisdiction in tribal nations and a 1986 amendment to federal law allows tribes to acquire off-reservation land to serve the needs of its people so in 2018 the Oglala Lakota Oyate bought property on I-90 just outside Badlands National Park. 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. The Isanti Dakota Oyate or Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation has also taken steps to resume their cannabis initiative. A former chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is a tribal liaison for a cannabis development firm and South Dakota Secretary of Tribal Relations Dave Flute is also a former chairman of the SWO.

Earlier this year the group South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws submitted to a Republican secretary of state over 50,000 signatures in support of a ballot measure that if passed would allow adults 21 and older to possess and distribute up to one ounce and cultivate up to three plants for personal use. If passed, the measure would also direct South Dakota's extremist legislature to establish therapeutic and industrial cannabis (hemp) programs.

Legalization, inspections and regulation of a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that align with our life safety goals. Republicans in Minnesota's legislature have blocked legal cannabis for all adults denying that 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.

But today, South Dakota's law enforcement industry is worried cannabis reform will lead to less revenue for police departments. Policing for Profit has allowed the Division of Criminal Investigation to provide military armaments for the industry throughout South Dakota. Prostitution will be legal before cannabis laws are reformed.
Captain Tony Harrison is with the Pennington County Sheriff’s office. “I’m talking doctors, other kinds of folks who recognize the dangers and pitfalls of medical marijuana—legal marijuana in any form,” Harrison says. "That’s what we’re going to work on so we can educate the public on those issues.” The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce is also organizing against the constitutional amendment. David Owen is the president of the chamber. Owen says language legalizing marijuana doesn’t belong in the constitution. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]

6/11/20

Marty Two Bulls: American football is still a tool of fascism


American football is a tool of fascism. NFL players protesting law enforcement industry violence against people of color during the Star-Speckled Banana before contests is America's just deserts.

The NFL, the Fox group and the Trump Organization are among the country's most hated companies. Dissolving the NFL then ending college and high school ball can't happen soon enough.

6/10/20

ACAB: Floyd death prompts Gannett to post fewer mugshot galleries


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

Lee Newspapers are infamous for publishing arrest mugshot galleries and the Billings Gazette is among the worst offenders.

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. Mugshots of the accused are chilling effects on the protections of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments because unflattering images published in the media automatically convict the accused by tampering with the witness pool. Mugshots of suspects should be unavailable to media because those portraits give prosecutors prejudice during plea negotiations.

Gannett, the largest newspaper company in the United States, stopped publishing arrest mugshots on the websites of former GateHouse papers on Tuesday, several months after the two companies merged. The move comes as George Floyd’s killing by a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25 has galvanized a movement demanding not only an end to systemic racism but sweeping changes to America’s criminal justice system. Critics have long viewed the practice as unfair to those arrested because of the presumption of innocence. Many also say it disproportionately targets minorities. [Orlando Sentinel]



6/9/20

After 1972 flood Rapid City still a hole


On this day in 1972, 10-15 inches of rain or an estimated 800,000 acre feet of water roughly the equivalent of 14.5 Pactola Reservoirs fell in six hours causing the Canyon Lake dam on the west end of Rapid City to fill with debris and fail. The resulting flood was the deadliest natural disaster in state history destroying Teepee Town and killing 238 people mostly poor American Indians. The flood injured some 3,000 and caused some $165 million in property damage.

In its aftermath the feds gave Rapid City rent supports to house those displaced by the disaster but today the town is a hole filled with the stench of genocide and hopelessness. The Rapid City Police Department is staffed by white supremacists and bigots. A former police chief now Mayor Steve Allender has been accused of managing "a bunch of racists." American Indians in the RCPD are ridiculed, reviled and rejected by their relatives because cops' lives suck. Little wonder cops abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.

One reason Republicans don't like Common Core history standards is that the curriculum includes the near-extermination of Native Americans by European colonialism long-ignored by textbooks. Rapid City's population is about 11% Native but South Dakota's jails and prisons are overwhelmingly warehousing American Indians.

Hey, Rapid City: expand Medicaid for these people then offer a $3000 stipend to those who qualify, more for families and veterans then encourage people to flee South Dakota's unforgiving winters.
Governor Noem gave clear, well thought-out comments today regarding her attitude toward policing, protesting, and her willingness to work with everyone in South Dakota to solve problems. She is clearly proud of her commitment to be down to earth, hardworking and honest. Knowingly or unknowingly, she gave a master class in institutional racism. Noem’s comments today rest on racist assumptions. [Racism is not Politics]

6/8/20

Natives still face voting, representation distress


In 2011 this blog noted the absence of Native Americans on the federal bench then in 2013 President Barack Obama nominated Judge Diane Humetewa, Hopi, to the US District Court of Arizona and she was confirmed by the Senate in 2014. She remains the lone active American Indian on the federal bench today.

In 2017 South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and New Mexico were at the bottom of a list of Kids Count results published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. If 1000 is perfect South Dakota came in dead last with a score of 220. The average score for the United States is a dismal 413 although African American kids fare even worse. In the US, where sovereignty rights, culture and language resurgence and growing capital resources from burgeoning black markets are building alternatives to hopelessness, suicide, and repression in Indian Country, deaths from firearm violence are higher than in any ethnic group. Even as the Trump White House threatens funding for programs on public radio, especially those designed for Native audiences, producers bring the war on tribes to the air waves every day and people are frustrated, angry and increasingly militant.

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.

Every federal department and agency already recognizes Native America as the 51st State. While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members as there are an estimated 2.5 million indigenous living on reservations.
The title of an expansive new report on Native American voting rights, "Obstacles at Every Turn," is no exaggeration in light of the document's contents. The report, written after nine public hearings over two years featuring 120 witnesses, presents a stark look at the barriers faced by the nearly 5 million American Indians of voting age. It also makes clear that many of them will be effectively disenfranchised if the country embraces voting by mail at the expense of in-person polling places. But even in these reduced numbers, the report notes that Native American votes are often critical in elections across the Southwest and in Alaska and the Dakotas. [Electoral inequality for Native Americans detailed in expansive study]

6/6/20

Busted: Thune ready to flip on Trump - again


I’m often called a liberal by Trumpettes on Faceberg but liberals want to convert GOPers or convince them to be kinder and gentler. Me? As a progressive I’m actually working to destroy the Republican Party and erase it from the collective cultural memory.

This time Trump is the asteroid. That Republicans continue to prop up his assault on the courts and stoke his criminal race baiting is the most telling aspect of this march toward the abyss. Unless Republican Earth haters recognize the clear and present danger this president represents doom is imminent and there is nothing, nothing honorable men like General Mattis can do about it.

A marauding president has empowered the law enforcement industry to usurp civil rights while vilifying education and pimping for governors like Kristi Noem who was elected with a bare majority. Noem has simply become a pinup for the Kochs and boycotting South Dakota is apparently the only language the Republican Party seems to understand. Joining Natives in revolution may indeed be the only recourse.

9 May, 2016: former Facebook workers allegedly told Gizmodo they routinely suppressed news from conservative sources.
10 May, 2016: staff for Senator John Thune wrote a letter to Facebook then he and Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus teamed up to threaten Facebook. "Senator Thune (R) once opposed the FCC's Fairness Doctrine now wants Q&A with Facebook about its trending topics."
11 May, 2016: John Thune accused Facebook of bias. Jim Comey admitted to combing Hillary Clinton's correspondence.
13 May, 2016: Thune asked Facebook to make space for all viewpoints.
18 May, 2016: Thune met with Mark Zuckerberg and a bank of lawyers. "Just about nobody, Sen. Thune included, wants the feds to police how Facebook displays news."
19 May, 2016: "The first step forward is for Facebook, and anyone who uses algorithms in subjective decision making, to drop the pretense that they are neutral. If I am reading their letter to Thune right, Facebook's response is to gut a perfectly defensible part of the process. Why? PR concerns atm (at the moment)."
23 May, 2016, in the name of "net neutrality" Thune and the Senate GOP said they won't regulate Facebook.
24 May, 2016: Facebook's 12 page response to Thune.
26 May, 2016: Trump cinches GOP primary.
31 May, 2016: Thune backs Trump.
3 June, 2016: Trump twitter bots began urging then-Senator Jeff Sessions to investigate censorship.
9 June, 2016: Trump, Jr. and Russian intermediaries met at Trump Tower to trade for dirt on Sec. Clinton.
5 July, 2016: Jim Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.
27 July, 2016: dezinformatsiya, "Russian internet trolls were being hired to pose as pro-Trump Americans."
August and September: Clinton's correspondence on a private server became a Trump bot meme and somebody goaded the husband of Clinton's closest advisor to share inappropriate correspondence with an alleged minor.
8 October, 2016: Thune condemns Trump.
12 October, 2016: Thune flips again and backs Trump.
25 October, 2016: Rudy Giuliani on Fox News said that the campaign had an upcoming "surprise."
28 October, 2016: Jim Comey said he's going to reopen the FBI investigation into Sec. Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. In an interview Clinton blamed Guiliani "and others" of leaning on Comey.
7 November, 2016: despite accusing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing Comey said hours before the election there actually was none.
8 November, 2016: the end of the world as we know it.
"Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as ‘crazy’ the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call." [Washington Post]
18 November, 2016: Thune: "Russia is constantly looking for ways to undermine and disrupt our democratic systems." Thune knows this because he plays basketball with James Comey. Comey and Obama didn't play basketball together nor did Obama and Thune. Thune's rejection of Trump was a ruse. He already knew Donald Trump was a sleaze from his basketball buddy.

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

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

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

The paper trail is clear. John Thune made Congress look the other way as Russia infiltrated Facebook and in Thune the Obama White House and Clinton campaign found the perfect stooge to pull off the sting that will dissolve the Republican Party.

When John Thune defects to the Romney camp he’ll take Cory Gardner, Lisa Murkowski, Roy Blunt, John Hoeven, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins and Mike Enzi with him.

Photo: NPR.

6/5/20

Gila River diversion project likely to starve to death

Hayduke lives!

Twenty nine Native American tribes hold 20 percent of Colorado River rights and today there is conscious action to remove the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona since Lake Mead could now hold the contents of Lake Powell.

In September we motored to Oracle, Patagonia, Bisbee and Morenci, Arizona from Santa Fe and were shocked by the ravages of surface mining at Silver City and in SE Arizona. Operations owned by Morenci and Miami are ravaging water supplies and reducing entire mountain ranges to piles of waste rock. These are Republican enclaves where the rules of law are simply suggestions.

In January the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump Organization's Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and its local representatives saying the agencies are allowing cattle in restricted areas along the Gila River and its tributaries in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Investigators from the Center discovered cattle on the Gila National Forest in excluded riparian zones in violation of a 1998 legal settlement. Because of pollution from cattle grazing American Rivers named the Gila the nation’s most endangered river in 2019. Today in the Gila the Mexican gray wolf population in New Mexico and Arizona has increased by at least 24 percent according to the Center's Michael Robinson.

Draining fragile aquifers and quietly lobbying for more water from the Gila River is the House of Saud who owns land in Arizona where it raises alfalfa to ship to Saudi Arabia.
The New Mexico Entity of the Central Arizona Project trained its focus on submitting comments to the draft environmental impact statement related to its proposed series of diversions on the Gila and San Francisco rivers during its regular meeting Monday, held via Zoom, but veered off into speculation about “collusion” and “corruption” by parties — including “multimillion-dollar radical environmentalist” groups and Arizona interests — who allegedly want to sink the controversial project. Because of significant delays during the National Environmental Policy Act study process, the Entity missed a deadline at the end of last year, one which cost it approximately $66 million in additional Arizona Water Settlements Act money that was solely to be used for constructing a diversion project. Allyson Siwik, executive director of the Gila Conservation Coalition, tuned in to Monday’s meeting and responded to Bays’ accusations by calling the draft EIS a reality check. “The facts stand for themselves,” Siwik said. “It’s been apparent from the beginning that the Gila River diversion proposal doesn’t make sense. The draft EIS shows that the costs of the project are much greater than the benefits, and irrigators can’t afford this very expensive water.” [Gila diversion group: Feds’ study ‘prejudges’ project]

6/3/20

Religion: it's all in your head

Paul of Tarsus was hung over and had been smoking opium when he was overcome with it. Jesus of Nazareth was tempted by it in the desert after fasting. The Prophet Muhammad is believed to have enjoyed hashish. Joseph Smith was 18, drunkenly praying that God would forgive him for sins of debauchery when he got it. Wovoka witnessed a solar eclipse on peyote that compelled a generation of Ghost Dancers. As a result of ingesting psychoactive fungi Heȟáka Sápa or Nicholas Black Elk rejected catholicism and returned to Lakota ways after he realized the Roman Church was committing crimes against his people.

Metanoia, visions, angels, the Holy Spirit--God's work on Earth, right?

Maybe it's all in your head.

Ten years ago former NPR religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, went looking for the "God Spot," that place in the human brain that receives the Holy Spirit then compiled her results in a book she called The Fingerprints of God where she describes Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with a scientist's fascination in exquisite detail.
Israeli archaeologists say they’ve found cannabis residue on artefacts from an ancient temple in southern Israel providing the first evidence of the use of hallucinogenics in the ancient Jewish religion. Eran Arie, curator of Iron Age archaeology at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and lead author of the study, said the discovery was revolutionary, as it was the earliest evidence of cannabis use in the ancient region and the first time we have seen psychoactive substances in Judahite religion. [The Guardian]