The Bureau of Land Management estimates there are close to 5,200 abandoned coal mining sites yet to be fully reclaimed nationwide. “We’re already actively reclaiming a lot of these abandoned mine sites,” said Virginia McLemore, the senior economic geologist for New Mexico’s Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. “If it should be that rare earths are in those wastes, then it becomes attractive.” [The plan to turn coal country into a rare earth powerhouse]
Critical race theory is not something that was thought up by far-left academia. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that people of color were not allowed to vote. Prior to passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, South Dakota allowed Native Americans a limited right to vote, but only if they severed ties with their tribe, and as determined on a case-by-case basis. In 2001 a federal court ruled that South Dakota violated the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act when it approved a statewide redistricting plan that diluted the voting power of Native Americans. Isn’t politics dictating what our children are allowed to learn counter-productive to their developing opinions and ideals? Why is it dangerous to allow our young people to think for themselves? Are we afraid that our children will learn there is more than one manner in which to view the world? Isn’t banning critical race theory a form of censorship and indoctrination? These are the questions that we should be asking. [excerpt, Katie Zerr, Mobridge Tribune]Learn more about the rise of Republican thought police at NPR.
How are 65 county seats and their bureaucracies either conservative or sustainable? They're not; but, it's 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.I remember having a conversation back in the 90s with none other than Bill Janklow on SDPB when Dakota Midday was still called South Dakota Forum about consolidating counties and making two regental universities community colleges. He said he carried a "bloody shirt" for bringing a similar suggestion to the legislature and regents.
On June 8 voters in Clay County will either approve or reject spending $41 million to move services out of the courthouse built in 1912. Money has already been set aside to stabilize the historic structure that needs a new roof and tuck pointing.
The board of directors of the Vermillion Chamber and Development Company is encouraging voters to pay for the construction of a new jail, a new law enforcement center, new court space and new government services offices then sell the courthouse to a developer for adaptive reuse without another site yet determined.
Former judge and current Clay County legislator, Art Rusch, one of the few Republicans in South Dakota with any brains whatsoever opposes the bond issue. According to a source, Senator Rusch believes the facility can be renovated for about $15 million that might not bring the building up to code and staff would have to be relocated for three years during the retrofit. As presiding judge there for thirty years he’s probably thinking about his own place in county history.
It's the view of this interested party the consolidation of Vermillion and Clay County services is an idea whose time has come. Butte and Silver Bow County, Montana did it in 1977 where it has saved taxpayers millions in overlapping services. The City of Los Alamos, New Mexico and county of the same name merged in 1969. Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, New Mexico have considered consolidation at least twice so have Omaha and Douglas County, Nebraska. Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County, South Dakota thought hard about it in 2005.
The sale of the Clay County Courthouse to a dedicated and conscientious developer who would restore it for office space and more is one third way. Last year the Deadwood historic preservation fund awarded some $50,000 in outside grants, maybe even enough for more inclusive access.
It's true that South Dakota is no longer a safe place for Democrats but sanctuary cities or counties may help to keep the flight of talent to a bare minimum.
For a 30-year general obligation bond, the annual tax levy would be $157 per $100,000 of house value. If the bond fails to pass at the election, the current jail facility will be closed, and a tax increase will result regardless. Over the lifetime of the 30-year bond, $40 million would be spent covering the costs of transporting and housing inmates in neighboring counties. [VCDC Board Encourages A ‘Yes’ Vote On County’s $41 Million Bond Issue]
But, even the president of the Sioux Falls school board who is married to the son of a former Republican governor is resisting moves by Governor Kristi Noem to whitewash the attempted eradication of Indigenous Americans from South Dakota. One reason Republicans don't like Common Core history standards is that the curriculum long-ignored by textbooks includes genocide and near-extermination of American Indians by European colonialism.
In South Dakota white people steal money slated for American Indian education and murder their families when the jig is up then place a complicit attorney general at the head of the investigation. Native journalist, Tim Giago has even called for a boycott of South Dakota.
Despite a University of South Dakota study that shows the state's electorate is far less nuts than the legislature is the extreme white wing of the Republican Party still wants to rewrite history.
During the height of the pandemic Earth hating Republicans wanted to ditch masks and get kids back into schools. But most now even admit they want to end social studies and turn students into mindless wage slaves.
The events of the last decade have increased public awareness about things like housing segregation, the impacts of criminal justice policy in the 1990s, and the legacy of enslavement on Black Americans. But there is much less consensus on what the government’s role should be in righting these past wrongs. Add children and schooling into the mix and the debate becomes especially volatile. The conservative American Legion, beginning in the 1930s, sought to rid schools of progressive-minded textbooks that encouraged students to consider economic inequality; two decades later the John Birch Society raised similar criticisms about school materials. As with CRT criticisms, the fear was that students would be somehow harmed by exposure to these ideas. [What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack?]Yes, in red states police unions get the cash and teachers' unions get the shaft.
A third of qualified teaching grads leave South Dakota while the remainder struggle with certification.
Some school boards, teachers’ unions, and history education groups have already voiced opposition to these new laws. In Oklahoma City, the school board voted to formally disavow the state’s law. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, set up to commemorate the hundred-year anniversary of the event this year, removed Oklahoma’s Gov. Kevin Stitt from the group last week, after he signed the bill into law. [Four States Have Placed Legal Limits on How Teachers Can Discuss Race. More May Follow]
The Lower Brule Nation has joined the fight against the desecration of the sacred Black Hills. pic.twitter.com/N1DyntaUBc— interested party (@larry_kurtz) May 25, 2021
On a brisk fall day in 2016, Bozeman resident Rob Gregoire received a trespassing ticket while hunting on a trail that’s appeared on maps of the Crazy Mountains for at least 80 years. Gregoire is now a member of the Crazy Mountain Access Project (formerly the Crazy Mountain Working Group), which includes about a dozen Montanans representing various interests — landowners, conservationists, hunters — who are developing a land swap proposal to resolve disputes over public access along the mountain range’s eastern flank. Crazy Peak is an important part of the spiritual landscape for Crow Indians, and access to it would allow them to fast and pray there in the tradition of Chief Plenty Coups. Switchback Ranch owner and Yellowstone Club member David Leuschen has agreed to give Crow tribal members access to Crazy Peak if the swap goes through. Finally, MWA would like the Crow Tribe or the Forest Service to have first right of refusal on any private lands that come up for sale within the forest boundary. [Checkerboard chess in the Crazy Mountains]Crow Peak or Paha Karitukateyapi just outside Spearditch 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.
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]When he was a US Senator, Harry Reid saw human built aircraft at Area 51 that would impress even little green men.
Focusing on little green men or conspiracy theories won’t get us far. Of course, whatever the science tells us, some portion of the public will continue to believe in the reality of otherworldly U.F.O.s as a matter of faith. Ultimately, the U.F.O. debate can be broken down into a sincere belief in science versus a sincere belief in extraterrestrials. I side with science. [Harry Reid: What We Believe About U.F.O.s]Today, Roswell is a Republican stronghold where a tourist industry has arisen from the UFO myth.
UFOs + DC+ Top Secret-cleared people:— Annie Jacobsen (@AnnieJacobsen) May 21, 2021
"PHENOMENA: The Secret History of The U.S. Government's Investigation into ESP & Psychokinesis."
So much more interesting when you remove the need to make fun of people.
How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers https://t.co/IYhav7SxGg
1. American racism is a principal component of modern fascism. 2. Cops are the most organized and effective force of fascist reaction. 3. Balkanization is a war of racism. 4. Power in the streets. [Four Theses on American Fascism]
In South Dakota local control is Republican control.
A poll conducted by South Dakota News Watch and the Chiesman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota has revealed that Republicans in the failed red state revel in authoritarianism when Republicans are in power and loathe democracy and progress when Democrats govern.
The respondents were 45.3% Republican Earth haters, 21.3% were Democrats, 27.6% identified as "independent" and 5.8% were undeclared. 83% were white. Most believe democratic institutions and media are suspect but support police and military.
The results are easily verified by simply perusing the Dakota War Toilet and the Faceberg accounts of all the South Dakota Republicans who post about politics.
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 some $4 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks.
Chiesman has known about voter disgust in South Dakota for some time.
Read the results at South Dakota News Watch.
My latest in @Salon about the baseless narrative that UI is causing a huge "labor shortage." The right pounced on the jobs numbers to hammer home something they've been quietly pushing for since the start of the pandemichttps://t.co/fG6f47v9UH— Jon Skolnik (@skolnik_jon) May 19, 2021
Chief Judge Roberto Lange of the federal district court of South Dakota hasn't ruled on whether the tribe can join the suit. He indicated that he'll decide by June 2 whether to issue a preliminary injunction to force the Park Service to allow the fireworks this summer. The governor's daughter, who worked as a federal liaison for her mother for last July's event, said in a court filing that the governor's office had invited tribal leaders to provide their perspective on it. [Associated Press]
To change the Law and Order Code on the Reservation, both tribes must be in agreement. Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Jordan Dresser told a Wind River Radio Network Audience Thursday that the vote is the first step in a long process that he said could take some time. “It really made me feel good that we reached a quorum of 150 members on a cold and windy Saturday,” he said. [Wind River Radio]Learn more at Wyoming Public Radio and at the Casper Star-Tribune.
My home state of South Dakota will suffer brain drain for years to come and New Mexico has it’s own set of challenges but living where the Republican Party is virtually powerless and Democrats rule is well worth it.
Despite Noem's denial of anthropogenic climate disruptions citing astrological influences instead, political watchers believe she will enter the Earth haters' 2024 presidential primary. Firebrand Wyoming US Representative Liz Cheney is also being pressed to enter that race.
The other day during the WBUR program On Point analyst Jack Beatty called the GOP the party of blocking because it doesn't know how to govern. It's clear there isn't a single member who isn't reactionary or ridiculous.
The New Mexico Republican Party’s convention, which runs through Sunday and features keynote addresses from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, both outspoken Trump supporters, comes on the heels of GOP lawmakers stripping Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney of her House leadership post after she criticized Trump for his unproven claims of election fraud and then voted to impeach him in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. As the GOP wrestles over whether it’s the party of Trump, some Republicans have discussed the possibility of leaving the party altogether, though it’s a small faction. [Daniel J. Chacón, Santa Fe New Mexican]Learn more about the widening chasm in the Earth hater party linked here. More about Kristi Noem's attack on American history linked here.
The faster Earth hating Republicans die the better off America is.
Editorial cartoon lifted from Native Sun News Today.
Environmental activists and tribal leaders say some of the damage is permanent, from the blasted mountains to the millions of gallons of water that can’t be put back in the ground. But they believe other effects of the wall can be reversed and they want the Biden administration to go further than stopping construction. [Arizona Republic]Even North Dakota-based Fisher Sand and Gravel conspired with Trump and his henchman, Steve Bannon to defraud the United States. Fisher Industries is a major campaign contributor to Earth hating Republicans and is being investigated for substandard work on the US/Mexico border.
While not under federal control or part of any repair, a privately funded border wall built separately directly on the Rio Grande riverbank by federal border wall contractor Fisher Sand and Gravel is the subject of ongoing litigation between the U.S. government and the company, with a hearing held on May 5 in U.S. District Court in the southern district of Texas related to its construction. [Engineering News Record]Just north of the border long-time environmental activist, Ted Turner has teamed up with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of New Mexico to foster a pair of endangered Mexican gray wolves and their pups on his 243 square mile ranch near the Gila National Forest.
A young juvenile jaguar was recently spotted on video south of the new border wall – indicating its range may be expanding — and raising hopes for the species' recovery. In order for jaguars to fully thrive, the border wall must come down. https://t.co/eqb7cTjrkZ— Center for Bio Div (@CenterForBioDiv) April 20, 2021
Dawn Van Ballegooyen and I found this interesting letter in Brady Folken’s file at Gary Thimsen’s law office at Woods, Fuller, Schultz, and Smith in Sioux Falls. Thimsen was hired to defend South Dakota authorities from liability in the death of 17-year old Brady. Notice the letter was date stamped by both the Office of Risk Management (run by Craig Ambach) and by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office (run by then-AG Marty Jackley) – under the aegis of then-governor [Daugaard]. Proves to us that the South Dakota authorities made Brady’s cover-up a very high priority – so high that the law firm of Heideprim, et al., backed off. [Dr. Lars Aanning, Faceberg post]
Take Gunsmoke Farms, a vast property that covers 53 square miles just northwest of Pierre, S.D. "It scared me, because normally organic [farming] entails lots of tillage, and those soils are very fragile," he said. He collected photographs of the damage: small drifts of wind-blown soil in a roadside ditch, and a country road that disappears into a brown cloud of blowing dust. General Mills doesn't own Gunsmoke Farms or control it directly. It signed a "strategic sourcing agreement" with an investment firm called TPG, an early investor in Uber, which acquired the land to supply General Mills with organic wheat, peas and other crops. TPG then spun off another firm, Sixth Street, which currently owns Gunsmoke. [Dan Charles, NPR]
“Climate change directly affects bison by increasing thermal stress and decreasing forage and water availability, issues that also challenge range beef cattle,” Martin says. “Indirect consequences of climate change include increasing distribution and intensity of parasites and several diseases that are known to reduce reproductive success. These stresses have been estimated to collectively reduce bison body size by 50% if global temperature warms by 4°C near the end of the 21st century.” “Currently, 90% of grasslands and 85% of bison are privately owned, which justifies the need for robust private land conservation strategies to maintain this iconic species and its grassland habitats,” Martin says. [Brookings Register]Photo: bison graze Wind Cave National Park in occupied South Dakota.
Indigenous peoples set at least 47% of fires in the Interior West between 1776 and 1900 because smoke from cultural fire has been long-applied to control tree pests and just 150 years ago over 10 million bison would be clearing the grasses that drive large range fires.
After the Soviet Union fell Republicans began their war on the environment in 1991 substituting a new Green Scare for the old Red Scare.
This blog was established in 2010 as a vehicle for rewilding the American West.
In 2019 Democratic then-New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland led a House subcommittee hearing on anti-government extremism emphasizing that the violent ideologies expressed by the Bundy clan were spurred by white elected Republicans in the Mountain West. Now, under Interior Secretary Haaland the Bureau of Land Management has even hired a security specialist to outline strategies to defend federal employees and property.
If cattle grazing is the key to preventing wildfires why is Republican ranch country still suffering near daily high or even extreme grassland fire danger indices so often even during winter?
Herr Trump's first Interior secretary blamed wildfires in the West on those he called “radical environmentalists” despite most acres burned occur on private ranch land in Republican counties. On the final day of Trump’s presidency his last Interior secretary even restored a grazing permit to the Hammond Ranch whose prescriptive burn escaped onto federal land. Only a tiny fraction of public lands offered by the Trump Organization to the extractive industries were even leased yet Republicans see the Biden White House as hostile to their causes especially after the Hammonds' grazing permits were again rescinded.
Today, only 3 percent of the Earth's surface remains untouched by human development and a sixth mass extinction is underway. Putting the country on the path of protecting at least 30 percent of its land and 30 percent of its ocean areas by 2030 (30x30) is imperative to preserving public lands and moving the US Forest Service from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior would be just one step toward that goal.
That Republican welfare ranchers are angry about rewilding means it's the right thing to do.
David Treuer was born of a Holocaust survivor and Ojibwe mother. He wrote in The Atlantic that he believes that most land held in America's national parks should be remanded to Indigenous peoples but it's my view that the land held in the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service should also be part of that trust.
Editorial cartoon: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune.