7/30/21

Minnesota, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa even North Dakota fill voids in medical care for South Dakota women


1. A pregnant woman is the patient. 

2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women. 

3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Texas, Wyoming and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that. 

4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they're discriminatory anti-choice extremism. 

5. "Pro-life" is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos. 

6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis. 

7. Ending reproductive rights in red states is Balkanizing women's medical care.

8. An acorn is not an oak tree so a foetus is no more an unborn child than it is an unborn grandparent. 

In New Mexico Medicaid covers abortions and even transportation in rural areas to get to clinics in Albuquerque.

But according to SD News Watch 132 South Dakota women traveled to Nebraska for their procedures last year, 152 women scheduled in Minnesota, ten women went to North Dakota, 123 South Dakota women found care in Colorado and Iowa saw a jump of at least 200 out of state women who sought medical care that South Dakota refuses to provide. 
Abortion rights advocates say women in South Dakota have for years traveled long distances to out-of-state clinics because of the restrictive laws in their home state. An increasing number of patients from out-of-state have traveled to Colorado for the procedure in the last five years, including women from South Dakota and hundreds from Texas and Wyoming. Abortion rights advocates said they suggest the majority of women in western South Dakota go to Fort Collins, Colo., where they can complete the procedure in one visit. [Danielle Ferguson, SD News Watch]

7/28/21

Grasshoppers level crops as colonizers destroy native species that eat them


The introduction of the Chinese ring-necked pheasant to South Dakota and other northern plains states is one of most destructive examples of ecoterrorism in US history. Pheasants don't eat grasshoppers but native grouse, woodpeckers, wild geese and turkeys sure do. 

While the pesticide industry that greases Republican politicos don't give a shit about anything but profit native species are being driven from historic habitat by European colonizers. Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth. 

Add the absence of cultural fire, the extirpation of apex predators, the resulting rise of mesopredators, increasing numbers of domestic dogs and cats then stir in a melange of industrial chemicals with climate change and voila: red state collapse on parade!

7/24/21

Water, carbon footprint both problematic for cannabis industry



Rainwater and snowmelt harvested from photovoltaic arrays and rooftop catchment are putting millions of mineral free water into storage for irrigation. But groundwater is notoriously corrosive in much of New Mexico while prolonged drought bleeds supplies to critical and coveted acequia rights can literally be to die for.

Here in the Land of Enchantment supporters are lauding cannabis legalization as a way to diversify New Mexico’s economy, bring in tax income and address inequities left by the war on drugs while balancing the state's water crisis with growers. But the industry's carbon footprint should be at least as worrying as tight water supplies are according to a new study from researchers at Colorado State University. 

California's industry is the least carbon intensive in the western US as that state's power generation is virtually coal-free even as water supplies from the Colorado River dry up. 
Since it’s against federal law to transport marijuana across state lines, it’s impossible to move all cultivation to California. But there are other pathways to greener ganja-growing, including upgrading to more efficient heating and cooling systems and switching out the typical high-pressure sodium lights for LEDs. Moving away from the standard windowless warehouses to greenhouses or even outdoor cultivation would also significantly cut emissions, though it raises security issues and could result in smaller yields and inconsistent potency. Of course, there is another way to reduce cannabis’ carbon footprint: Decarbonize the grid by phasing out all fossil-fueled power generation. [High Country News]
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 my home state of South Dakota and because the state ended environmental oversight. 

BHE raised much of its construction cash on Colorado cannabis by burning coal and natural gas to power growers.

Learn more about New Mexican grower stress and acequia rights linked here.

7/22/21

McFeely blasts white welfare farmers

Republicanism isn't self-reliance; it's moral hazard

No wonder the Big Sioux River is a sewer of biblical proportions, the Prairie Pothole Region is one big eutrophic shit hole and nearly every waterway in the northern Plains states is impaired. Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them. 

Kristi Noem and Mike Rounds have taken federal ag handouts amounting to nearly $5 million, just for instance.

In April the US Department of Agriculture announced a program that includes some $4 billion in loan assistance for Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian American farmers so white Republicans sued.
When the former White House occupant was handing out farmer funny money by the billions there was nary a peep from the Heartland. But when Congress tries to dole out a pittance in the form of loan forgiveness to minorities who were discriminated against when seeking their piece of the federal farm program, that's a bridge too far. Socialism for me but not for thee, it appears. [Mike McFeely, White farmers are being discriminated against? Billions in subsidies say otherwise]
ip photo: tumbleweeds imported from Eurasia litter a prairie landscape.

7/20/21

Klobuchar, others move to end cruel embargo of Cuba


Collectivism is arguably the most important feature binding every surviving human culture on the Earth today yet modern purely socialistic societies have struggled with longevity. Why? Probably because US capitalists have warred against any and all efforts at pure socialism around the globe since it was defined in the modern sense even as those wars are bankrupting America today. 

Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was a criminal propped up by the Dulles brothers to rule Cuba until Fidel Castro led a socialist revolution there in 1959. When Castro took the reins he dissolved the previous constitution with all its treaties, wrote a new manual and ruled by decree. Yes, those same Dulles brothers conspired to murder President John F. Kennedy. 

Cuba is among the Earth's most literate countries while the United States surfs the middle. President Jimmy Carter tried to save the world by embracing Cuba but nobody cared. 

Recall that in 2015 Republican South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch ranted about the challenges facing agriculture at a conference in Deadwood and talked about getting genetically engineered food-like substances into Cuba.

Although my first choice in 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. Sen. Klobuchar and this interested party follow each other on twitter. But after it was revealed Klobuchar had wrongfully prosecuted Myon Burrell when she was Hennepin County's top prosecutor her aspirations to hold higher office evaporated. Last year Minnesota commuted Burrell’s sentence.
Last month, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the 29th time in a row to call on the US government to lift its 60-year embargo on Cuba, a severe economic blockade that the country says constitutes an act of genocide. Senator Moran, who previously introduced legislation with Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Patrick Leahy to lift the trade embargo, reiterated his support for ending the blockade. “Cubans deserve fundamental political and human rights, and I support their ongoing calls for freedom,” he said in a statement. [The Nation]
Learn more about the corrupt Dulles brothers and their crimes in Cuba linked here.

7/19/21

Haaland to tackle genocide


In 1948 Congress gave the land belonging to the Indian Boarding School in west Rapid City to the City, the School District, the South Dakota National Guard, various churches and the Native Community — except the Native Community never got theirs. 

My mom practice-taught at the Flandreau Indian School in the mid 1960s where she learned firsthand how Indigenous Americans were abused. Now, South Dakota's long history of racism is again under the media microscope

Native Americans overwhelmingly turned out to vote for Joe Biden now Laguna Pueblo citizen and former New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland is Secretary of the Interior with oversight of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and land repatriation as part of her wheelhouse.

Haaland, Diindiisi McCleave and New Mexico Indian Affairs Secretary Lynn Trujillo have all recounted stories about their grandparents being sent away to boarding schools. They talk about the intergenerational trauma that was triggered by the experience and the effects that have manifested themselves on younger generations seeking to maintain their language and cultural practices, which were banned in boarding schools. For some families, the boarding school experience was a forbidden topic, never to be talked about. In New Mexico, the Ramona Industrial School for Indian Girls opened in the mid-1880s and housed mostly Apache students, many of whom had parents who were being held prisoner by the U.S. Army at Fort Union, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. [Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press]

The State of South Dakota still seizes about 750 American Indian kids every year reaping over a billion federal dollars since the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed. In 2011 NPR took on the Daugaard administration in a three part exposé. I even have direct personal knowledge of those horrors.

7/18/21

Nuclear waste dump would make SE New Mexico a “sacrifice zone” that amounts to “nuclear colonialism”

Spurred by Heather Wilson, formerly the 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 had been floating the idea of a deep borehole where radioactive materials could be dumped. Wilson is a Republican former US Representative from New Mexico's 1st US congressional district, Air Force officer and lobbyist linked to double dealing at laboratories with ties to the military/industrial complex.
During a Wednesday meeting of the New Mexico Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Interim Committee at New Mexico State University Carlsbad, Chief Counsel at the Attorney General’s Office Matt Baca echoed concerns voiced by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state’s [Democratic] congresspeople. Leona Morgan, a Dine woman and organizer with the Nuclear Issues Study Group said the open-ended risk of the Holtec project could make southeast New Mexico a “sacrifice zone” and amounted to “nuclear colonialism.” [New Mexico lawmakers warned of dangers of nuclear waste facility proposed near Carlsbad]
Stephen Schwartz is the editor and co-author of Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940.
In 1979 at Church Rock, New Mexico a 50-foot earthen dam containing the radioactive and toxic waste of a United Nuclear Corporation uranium mine failed resulting in the largest single accidental release of radioactive materials in the United States. The breach released 1,100 tons of uranium waste and 94 million gallons of radioactive and highly acidic water into the Rio Puerco and across Navajo lands as far as 50 miles downstream. Radioactivity levels near the breach were 7,000 times the allowable US drinking water standard. Although the spill contaminated the groundwater and rendered the Rio Puerco unusable for drinking, irrigation, and watering livestock, Governor Bruce King refused requests by the Navajo Nation to declare the site a federal disaster area, sharply limiting help for those affected. [twitter thread, Schwartz]
South Dakota is no stranger to ecocide because it's a way of life in the chemical toilet. Under the General Mining Act of 1872 even foreign miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are.  

Nearly all of the 300 mile long Cheyenne River flows through Indian Country. Powertech USA, part of Canadian firm Azarga Uranium, wants to mine near a tributary of the river even though tailings from uranium mining near Edgemont have been detected for years in Angostura Reservoir on the Cheyenne River in the southern Black Hills. 

South of Edgemont at Crow Butte near the headwaters of the White River above Crawford, Nebraska Canada-based Cameco, Inc. obtained rights to use 9,000 gallons of water per minute to extract raw uranium ore through 8,000 holes bored into the Ogallala and Arikaree Aquifers. The foreign miners have already pumped over half a billion gallons of radioactive waste water into disposal wells and have rights to bury more. 

In 2014 Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, paid a million dollar fine for environmental damage in Wyoming. The White River also flows through much of Indian Country in South Dakota. In northwestern South Dakota radioactive waste in the Cave Hills area went for decades without remediation because the Board of Minerals and Environment is an arm of the SDGOP. Recall that the South Dakota Republican Party ceded regulatory authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium mining after the legislature realized there is no competent oversight from state agencies. 

It's widely expected the Biden Administration will overturn most of the damaging policies wrought by the Trump Organization including this ridiculous ploy to mine uranium in the sacred Black Hills.

ip photo: Nebraska Pine Ridge near Crawford.

7/17/21

Rainbow Gathering's prayers for peace outside Taos answered as war criminal Rumsfeld dies there

In 2011 a former Bush henchman enjoyed political asylum in Montana where he also owned property. 

But, in late June of this year an advance contingent of the Rainbow Family of Living Light who scoped out Forest Road 76 for their gathering on the Carson National Forest in Taos County knelt and prayed for world peace so on June 29 war criminal Donald Rumsfeld died of multiple myeloma at his home in Taos at the age of 88.
Taos County Commissioner Candyce O'Donnell, who represents Taos' fifth district in which the gathering took place, said she also felt the land was properly being taken care of after taking a visit to the gathering site on Monday (July 12). "They clean up an area better than any local campers or out of state campers," she said after her post-gathering visit. [Taos News]

In 2015 the Family gathered on the Black Hills National Forest in my home state of South Dakota just before the destructive annual Sturgis Rally got underway. 

The Sturgis Rally is a gun-toting, alcohol-frenzied, meth-induced, sex trafficking white supremacist's wet dream that endures with the blessings of South Dakota's law enforcement industry. 

Image of Canada goose family captured just south of Taos in the Rio Grande Gorge.

7/11/21

NREPA one more step to rewilding parts of the Mountain West, adding to 30x30


President Thomas Jefferson used an executive order to defy the US Constitution, begin the Native American Genocide and purchase the Louisiana Territory from a country that didn't even own it. 

In 1991 after the Soviet Union fell Republicans began their war on the environment substituting a new Green Scare for the old Red Scare. This blog was established in 2010 as a vehicle for rewilding the American West. 

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. 

WildEarth Guardians are based in Santa Fe; the Rewilding Institute is based in Albuquerque. Both organizations are driving the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act or NREPA. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies based in Helena, Montana has been kicking the legislation around Congress since 1993. President Biden's nominee for Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning lectured on NREPA in 2002 at the University of Montana.

George Wuerthner is a member of the Leadership Council at the Rewilding Institute.

The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA), H.R.1755, was introduced into 117th Congress by Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York. A companion bill sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island was placed in the Senate. NREPA signals a humility toward the land and acknowledges that we must put some of the planet off-limits from human exploitation. NREPA is a way to preserve our nation’s natural heritage and demonstrate a new commitment to life outside of human societies. With the Biden Administration’s more enlightened attitude toward our public lands, there is reason to hope that NREPA legislation will get a fair hearing in Congress and be passed into law. [Wuerthner, Rewilding Earth]

John Horning is executive director for WildEarth Guardians.

The 30×30 Initiative, as it’s commonly called, is sorely needed as America – and the world – confronts the dual threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. One of the boldest ways to help reach 30×30 goals would be passage of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA). This visionary act, which was developed by leading conservation biologists, would designate 23 million acres of Wilderness for some of the wildest public lands remaining in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon. The crises of our time require bold solutions. We must protect at least 30% of our nation’s lands and waters and the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act is a solution we must grasp to help preserve life on Earth. [Horning, Flathead Beacon]

7/9/21

After defeat of KXL Turner Ranches, SDSU partner for Sandhills initiative

Only 3 percent of the Earth's land surface remains untouched by human development and a sixth mass extinction is underway. Urban sprawl, accelerated global warming and drought are reducing productivity on the remaining grasslands of the Great Plains, writes Dr. Jeff Martin. He's the Director of Research at the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies at South Dakota State University.

Just north of the US border with Mexico 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. Nearby, jaguars are being reintroduced. 

Turner’s one million acres in New Mexico makes him the state’s largest private landowner and his 141,357 acre Bad River Ranches earns him the top private landowner spot in my home state of South Dakota, too.

Earlier this month Turner Enterprises, Inc. and Turner Ranches announced the launch of the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, Inc. a 501(c)(3) public charity and agricultural research organization that will share a formal agreement, facilities and staff with the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies. 
The Institute’s mission is to research, develop, practice, and disseminate sustainable strategies and techniques for conserving ecosystems, agriculture, and rural communities. “Our company’s passion for the environment, conservation and sustainable practices continues to drive our mission of innovatively managing our lands to unite economic viability with ecological sustainability,” said Ted Turner. Five Turner ranches are in the Sandhills region of western Nebraska, encompassing approximately 445,000 acres of North American Great Plains mixed grass prairie. Turner is contributing the McGinley Ranch, located in the northern Sandhills region, and all its operations to the Institute. McGinley Ranch straddles the border between Nebraska and South Dakota and is comprised of 79,292 contiguous acres of native rangeland. It is contemplated that the remaining four ranches in the Sandhills area (collectively, the “Sandhills Ranches”) may be transferred to the Institute in the future. [Tri-State Livestock News]
Photo: Turner Foundation

Learn more at the Omaha World-Herald.

7/8/21

Black Hills expected to be matchwood for Sturgis Rally

Most of today's wildfire potential is clustered in Republican counties. And, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center that trend will continue through July and into August or just in time for the Sturgis Rally. 

Yes, that means the Black Hills are tinder dry as an insect called the Ips engraver beetle is culling trees that are highly stressed by drought conditions. According to Kurt Allen, an entomologist for the US Forest Service in Region 2 impacts from the Ips beetle typically only last for two or three years but pine trees that are completely brown or red are dead and the beetle has moved on. The Forest Service generally allows the beetle to run its course and doesn't treat affected stands. Bark beetles shape water supplies throughout the Mountain West. 

Recall that last year the Sturgis Rally in occupied South Dakota spread the Trump Virus all over Republican counties in the upper Midwest. It's also where meth is distributed by Trump loving motorcycle clubs.

7/4/21

War games, albedo modification resume over parts of four states.

Exhaust gases from aircraft are indeed mostly water vapor that become visible as a function of the dew point then often form cirrus clouds at higher altitudes and alter microclimates. 

But in the name of geoengineering or albedo modification the US Air Force routinely sprays into the atmosphere over the ocean an aerosol cocktail of silver iodide, lead iodide, aluminum oxide, barium, frozen carbon dioxide, common salt, water and soot from burning hazardous waste in pits concocted at Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Later this month the USAF is scheduled to resume albedo modification maneuvers over parts of four red states. In the documents that give Ellsworth guidance in flaring off toxic materials are the words, 'Waters of the United States' or WOTUS. 

Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participate in the deployments over the Powder River Training Complex. General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the elevated atmospheric hijinx could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses increase fire danger even in January. 

In 2018 an interested party pressed teevee meteorologist Andrew Shipotofsky to investigate Ellsworth's involvement in geoengineering so the Air Force responded by suspending the 'Combat Raider' war games over the PRTC blaming a near-miss with a general aviation aircraft in 2016. There have been several incidents in the Complex and at least one took a life. Shipotofsky left the Rapid City market for blue state Oregon.


Photo of war games over eastern Montana lifted from Faceberg.