7/31/20

Trump Organization opposes CSKT compact


Despite most of the buffalo at the National Bison Range near Moiese, Montana being descendants of those crossed with European cattle breeds, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have long sought more active participation there rather than just through an annual funding agreement. But approaching a compact on a strict environmental tack enhanced tribal involvement could be tied to a future where genetic purity in NBR animals becomes such that they could join in broader rewilding efforts especially as the transfer of Yellowstone bison to reservations is restricted at the behest of entitled Republican welfare ranchers.

Since the Trump Organization would wipe out all of Native America if it could its Fish and Wildlife Service opposes more cooperation with tribal nations but restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal.
In a unanimous, bipartisan vote on July 29, a congressional committee approved a $1.9 billion measure to settle water rights negotiations between the state and federal governments and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), marking a milestone in the long-disputed compact and clearing the way to a full U.S. Senate vote. In exchange, the bill would restore the National Bison Range to federal trust status for the Tribes, which was the status of the land under the 1855 Hellgate Treaty. [Flathead Beacon]
 ip photo: Slippery Ann Creek at the CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge. 

7/27/20

NM delegation celebrates moratorium on drilling near Chaco


When the people of the Chaco Wash were building in what is now northwestern New Mexico the ancestors of the Lakota were living in post-archaic North Carolina.

After Santa Fe-based Wild Earth Guardians joined other interested parties in suing the Bureau of Land Management to stop oil and gas encroachment on Chaco Culture National Historic Park New Mexico's congressional delegation is celebrating the US House passage of Representative Ben Ray Lujan's amendment to halt drilling on public lands near the monument.
“Chaco Canyon is one of the places of greatest historical and cultural significance in our state, and New Mexicans understand the importance of protecting it for generations to come. I am proud to have secured this one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling on federal lands at this sacred site, and I will continue laying the groundwork for permanent protection of Chaco,” Luján said. The members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have been stalwart advocates for protecting Chaco Canyon. Last year, they introduced the Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act, which would withdraw 316,076 acres of minerals owned by the federal government from future leasing and development located within the Proposed Chaco Protection Zone, an approximately 10-mile protected radius around Chaco. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support last October. [Los Alamos Daily Post]
ip photo.

7/25/20

Taxpayers continue to pour money down mass destruction rat hole


Thanks to men like my father the B-52 could fly for 100 years or longer.
Then there is the fact that the B-52, which entered service in the mid-1950s and is known to crews as the Big Ugly Fat Fellow, keeps finding ways to stay relevant. It is equipped to drop or launch the widest array of weapons in the entire Air Force inventory. The plane is so valuable that the Air Force twice in recent years has brought a B-52 back from the grave — taking long-retired planes from a desert “boneyard” in Arizona and restoring them to active service. [In a future bomber force, old and ugly beats new and snazzy]
The Trump Organization plans to spend at least half a billion taxpayer dollars on each new B-21 bomber and some $1.4 TRILLION on a proposed Defense Department budget instead of really making America great again. Republicans are whining about the poor condition of the obsolete B-2 and most B-1B Lancers some of which are stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in occupied South Dakota. Why? Because the Republican government shutdown and the 2013 sequester to embarrass President Barack Obama ripped into military readiness. EAFB was an alternative emergency landing site for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Space Transportation System or Space Shuttle.

Trump wants to put the B-21 in red states to avoid confrontations with Democratic governors and if the system for weapons of mass destruction survives the Powder River Training Complex over parts of four states will continue to threaten habitat and wildlife, not to mention skeptical Republicans in ranch country. Meanwhile, deteriorating B-1B Lancers are eating up the resources needed to fight a virus outbreak in the homeland and the seventy year old B-52 continues to rain death on civilians in war torn countries on stages in the usual theaters of war. Instead of rattling impossibly expensive sabers Trump should be accelerating the cleanup of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminating nearly every military base in the United States and in the other countries subjected to American imperialism.

Combat Raider exercises over the Powder River Training Complex are suspended because of the poor condition of B-1 bombers stationed at Ellsworth. The B-21 'Raider' isn't expected to be delivered until maybe 2030.
An environmental impact study looking toward the roll out of the B-21 bomber is putting aspects of Dyess Air Force Base here and Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota under the microscope, despite coronavirus-related setbacks. A series of scoping meetings required by the National Environmental Policy Act to help define the main operating base of the new B-21 bomber were scuttled because of concerns about public gatherings. [Environmental study of Dyess, Ellsworth Air Force Bases looks toward B-21 arrival]
With red state politicians salivating over the bones being tossed to them the Air Force is mulling the "elements of B-21 Main Operating Base 1 (MOB 1) 'bed down.'" Read that here.

7/24/20

APD morale "in the dumps" as Trump targets Democratic cities


Donald Trump is a spiteful, vindictive racist so since 1993 the Trump Organization has used the federal courts to punish tribal nations who built casinos he said were competition; but today the White House is slow-walking resources to reservations effectively deploying a novel coronavirus as a biological weapon in Indian Country.

We all know cops' lives suck because they reliably abuse the rule of law, their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives; but police unions are showered with cash while teachers' unions get the shaft. During the Breaking Bad series the Albuquerque Police Department was usually portrayed as corrupt and ineffectual.
“I think the biggest takeaway is that – for this community – your police officers that are out there right now, every single day, trying to keep you safe, they’re down in the dumps. Their morale is as low as I’ve seen it and they need support,” police union president Shaun Willoughby told the Journal. [Survey: APD officers are ‘down in the dumps’]
I’m not blaming Herr Trump for a global pandemic; I’m blaming him for committing crimes against humanity in America. That Republicans continue to prop up his looting of the federal treasury, his assault on the courts and stoke his criminal race hatred is the most telling aspect of this march toward the abyss.
As hints about Operation Legend in Albuquerque began to circulate earlier this week, city and state leaders expressed fears that agents would carry out tactics against protesters that they have been using in Portland, Oregon. They referenced Trump’s “secret police” and “storm troopers” and officers “snatching protesters off the street.” Mayor Tim Keller sent a statement saying the president is ready to incite violence in Democratic cities and is forming a reelection strategy “built on gaslighting immigrants and people of color.” APD was awarded $9.7 million to hire 40 officers, but it has not received anything. [President: Operation Legend will target violent crime]
NM Attorney General Hector Balderas has vowed to monitor Trump's Stasi for civil rights violations.

Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered schools not to resume face-to-face classes until at least Labor Day; but Trumpettes want classrooms to open sooner so kids will transmit more Covid-19 infections to Native Americans and other people of color.

What’s next for Trump's Republican Party: a manufactured crisis beyond the ones we’re already facing then martial law and suspended elections?

Republicans should just defy face covering orders then pack themselves into their churches and pray for Trump to protect them from the silly liberal snowflakes trying to take their money for stupid stuff like affordable medical care, safe schools and curbing greenhouse gases.


Barry Blitt cartoon lifted from The New Yorker.

7/17/20

Montana inches closer to legalization

In June the Montana Democratic Party endorsed legal cannabis for all adults and now New Approach Montana has announced they have more than enough signatures to put their initiative legalizing cannabis on the state's November ballot.
Besides Montana, Arizona, South Dakota, and Nebraska have also successfully submitted their signatures for the November ballot. Meanwhile, Idaho is working with a federal court and hopes to resume its signature collection.
Read it all here.

In my home state of South Dakota prostitution will be legal before non-tribal cannabis is because the South Dakota Democratic Party believes the state is too fragile.

7/13/20

UNM research: cannabis is an effective therapy for depression

University of New Mexico researchers have learned cannabis flower is at least as effective as pharmaceuticals for the relief of depression.

Last year UNM found smoking the herb is most effective method for people who ingest cannabis.
“One of the more interesting findings from this study is that cannabis flower with relatively high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is particularly associated with immediate reductions in the intensity of depressive feelings,” said Jacob Miguel Vigil.
Read it all here.

7/10/20

Neighbor Rick takes second in Santa Fe art show


Before Covid the Baja Waldo/Red Rock Road geezers met for breakfast every other Tuesday or so. We're a pretty diverse group for a gaggle of sometimes seven or eight old white guys.

Several are local celebrities.

Before he passed Kosta was a retired orthopedic surgeon. Arlen is a Korean War vet, retired music teacher jazz musician and New Mexico State Treasure. Phil is a Vietnam vet and silversmith whose work goes all over the globe. Steve is an author, photographer and retired college professor. Bob is a photographer and retired teacher who taught English as a second language in Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. Riendo is a retired builder erecting a yurt with wife, Lori. Lyric, who with his wife, Penny operate a lavender farm. And another is a political blogger with his remaining hair on fire. All of us generate our electricity with photovoltaic arrays and minimize the solid waste generated by each household.

And Rick is a retired builder and artist who just won second place in the Santa Fe Reporter's Illustrator’s Cup portrait/caricature category!

7/9/20

Black Hills tornado accelerates hardwood release


I've logged a number of timber salvage operations after fires and blow downs in the Black Hills, Bighorn Mountains and in Idaho. It's dirty, dusty and destructive.

Tornadoes and strong thunderstorm microbursts have gone through this area of the Black Hills before so despite being a literal windfall for the Neimans the overgrowth of ponderosa pine on the limestone plateau portion of the Black Hills has become unhealthy especially for aspen and hazelnut.

Pinus ponderosa is not native to the Black Hills having 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.

European settlement in the New World and the Industrial Revolution took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. After Case #1, the first Forest Service timber sale in US history near Nemo, the Black Hills National Forest ceased being a wild thing. While ponderosa pine is relatively new to the Black Hills native limber and lodgepole pine have been mostly extirpated from He Sapa, The Heart of Everything That Is.

Today in the Mountain West aspen and other hardwoods have been choked out by fire suppression and the timber industry exacerbating climate change. Aspen leaves reflect sunlight in the summer and aspen communities hold snow pack into the Spring while pine needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt warming the planet.

Restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal so with some coaxing from the public land managers within the Black Hills National Forest might come to their senses and just leave it to Wakan Tanka and Mother Earth to heal.

7/8/20

Trump is committing crimes against humanity in Indian Country

Attorneys are gathering evidence that Trump is committing crimes against humanity not just in New Mexico but in all of Indian Country.

The Obama Administration cut funding to the lab in Wuhan after teams from Australia, the US and China discovered this novel coronavirus strain in 2015 but it took Donald Trump to weaponize it. In past years the Trump Organization has used the federal courts to punish tribal nations who built casinos Trump said were competition but today the White House is slow-walking resources to reservations effectively deploying COVID-19 as a biological weapon in Indian Country.

That "Pocahontas" thing Trump does to Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn't just betray his hatred for women; it's a tell that he loathes American Indians no matter how much or how little Native blood a person has. 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.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump is targeting Indian Country for annihilation. His Tulsa trip and his campaign rally in occupied South Dakota are spreading the virus all over Native America. It’s called ethnic cleansing even genocide elsewhere but in Trump’s America it’s called patriotism. 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 and smart women like Mary Trump can do about it.
The institute was the brainchild of Trump’s longtime lobbyist and consultant, Roger Stone, and Trump himself was hands-on — not just paying the bills, but signing off on ad copy or radio scripts depicting the tribe as violent criminals and drug dealers. When Stone hired private investigators to dig up dirt on the Mohawks, Trump secretly paid the bills. [LA Times]

Big Sky Rail Authority now at seven Montana counties


Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and this blog follow each other on Twitter. As rail coal traffic dies Tester wants to restore the North Coast Hiawatha line after Amtrak ended service in 1979 or about the time an interested party moved to Missoula from Deadwood. Amtrak struggled with service on the Empire Builder through Montana during the Bakken boom and still suffers congestion through North Dakota.

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. Douglas and Gillette, Wyoming continue to kill people and strangle traffic so passenger rail would bring some order to that chaos. Many get the idea of a future I-25E but now is the time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, Cheyenne and Gillette, too. It would intersect with the North Coast Hiawatha line at Laurel, Montana.

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. 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. SFSR was featured in the Breaking Bad episode, Dead Freight.
Last week, Commissioner Dave Strohmaier announced that Dawson County had opted to join the upstart Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority. Since then, both Sanders and Park counties have signed on, pushing the authority beyond the threshold of counties needed to create it. “It’s very promising,” Strohmaier said on Monday. “I’m 99.9% confident that it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when, and I think the when will be in the month of July.” Missoula County in early June adopted a draft resolution for the passenger rail authority. It sent the draft to the nearly two dozen counties poised along the old North Coast Hiawatha route once used by Amtrak. Amtrak ran the North Coast Hiawatha across Montana’s southern tier from 1971 to 1979. The route included Miles City, Billings, Livingston, Bozeman, Helena, Missoula and Paradise, among other communities. [Missoula Current]

7/7/20

Showdown imminent between NMAG, NMCG


An eventual confrontation between second term New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and a self-styled militia group is about to come to a head.

After a 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas AG Balderas asked the NM Legislature for funding to form a "special investigative unit to guard against hate crimes and terrorism." Balderas' office has also been investigating predator priests. Empowered by spiteful, vindictive bombast from Donald Trump the hate group New Mexico Civil Guard has abandoned lawful protest and started shooting protesters.
You would never guess it by looking at them, but they’re thousands of miles from the nearest battlefield. These are members of the New Mexico Civil Guard, the group that made international headlines for its heavily armed presence at an Albuquerque protest that culminated in a shooting last month. Frank Fisher, an FBI spokesman, said the agency doesn’t designate hate groups and will “not confirm or deny” whether the agency is investigating the group. Mark Pitcavage, with the Anti-Defamation League, said the militia movement “as a whole” is about anti-government extremism, not white supremacy. But, he said, “there is a small amount of crossover” and some hold elements of racism and bigotry within their ranks. “Even if they don’t ever break the law, they might do damage in terms of conspiracy theories, in terms of spreading extreme rhetoric and ideas,” he said. “The militia movement is not a beneficial or benign movement … Even if a particular militia group doesn’t have a track record of violence, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing.” [NM Civil Guard is marching forward, despite calls to stand down]
It's as if police in blue states like New Mexico need to be militarized to counter domestic terrorism.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump is targeting Indian Country for annihilation. His Tulsa trip is spreading the virus all over Native America. It’s called ethnic cleansing even genocide elsewhere but in Trump’s America it’s called patriotism.

AP photo.



7/6/20

Judge orders shutdown of Dakota Excess Pipeline

The same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City, South Dakota, I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable. But, 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 the climate and driving an eventual American Indian rebellion to protect treaty lands.


 

7/5/20

Don't ask, don't tell: military needs mercenaries even if they enjoy cannabis

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.

In 2014 under the influence of LSD troops stationed at FE Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming dropped and broke a nuclear tipped missile in northeastern Colorado.

On Trump Organization orders bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota had been targeting alleged Taliban drug facilities to prevent harm to "innocent Afghan civilians" all the while escalating its war on civilians to protect the friendly opium trade. But, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered hits on American mercenaries in Afghanistan the air war has been suspended.

Yes, false flags, disaster capitalism, endless war: anyone who believes America is safer because of a military filled with soldiers of fortune is delusional.
The $740.5 billion defense policy bill approved by the House Armed Services Committee late Thursday contains a provision that would allow the military services to grant one-time reenlistment waivers to former troops who admit using marijuana. Currently troops who admit to using any form of cannabis are barred from reenlisting. [Military News]

7/1/20

New Mexico begins therapeutic cannabis reciprocity as enrollments near 100,000

With over 92,000 patients enrolled in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program the state is offering to extend sales to out of state participants. According to Duke Rodriquez, CEO of Ultra Health, New Mexico has more patients in its 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.
Patients with proof of authorization from a medical cannabis program outside New Mexico, also known as reciprocal participants, may begin purchasing medical cannabis from New Mexico dispensaries on July 1, 2020, without paying any additional fee. Reciprocal participants may purchase and possess up to 230 units or 8 ounces of cannabis in a 90-day period. New Mexico’s reciprocity legislation is the most patient-friendly and generous in the country, allowing medical cannabis patients with proof of authorization from any state, the District of Columbia, a territory or commonwealth of the U.S. or a New Mexico Indian nation, tribe, or pueblo to purchase medical cannabis while in New Mexico. [press release, Ultra Health]