Trump lawyer and likely Epstein client has phone seized in Santa Fe

Trump lawyer, John Eastman owns a property at 180 Valley Drive on the north side of Santa Fe not far from the Governor's mansion. As he left an undisclosed restaurant Wednesday he was frisked by federal agents who seized his iPhone Pro 12 presumed to contain incriminating evidence of Donald Trump's attempted coup d'état. Eastman has filed a motion in federal court for the return of his phone just as Jeffrey Epstein's madam Ghislane Maxwell was sentenced to a reduced twenty years in jail on the conviction that she recruited and groomed girls as young as fourteen to engage in sex acts some at Epstein's New Mexico ranch. 

Eastman knew Epstein through impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor and through Alan Dershowitz, also believed to be a pedophile.

In a 2016 deposition Virginia Giuffre told a court that when she was sixteen Maxwell aided and abetted her rapes by Democratic former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and others. Richardson has denied the charges although he's admitted having "limited" contact with Epstein who later died in police custody under suspicious circumstances. But before his death Epstein said he had longstanding ties with Richardson, reportedly a guest of honor at the isolated Zorro Ranch outside of Stanley, New Mexico that Epstein purchased in 1993. 

The former governor reportedly appears in Epstein’s “little black book” of contacts as do other powerful men like former President Bill Clinton, Britain's Prince Andrew, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and probably South Dakota’s richest man, Denny Sanford, who is being probed for possession of child pornography.

Giuffre went on to work for Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

A Florida church has claimed the deed to Epstein’s ranch now tied up in a court battle in Santa Fe and languishing on the market for $27.5 million. Eastman’s phone could contain documents that could compel the feds to seize that property, too.


Kansas kills thousands of cattle as Republicans feed plastic to livestock

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

In May this scribe did a 2000 mile loop to Vermillion, South Dakota and back again where the number of cattle feedlots in Kansas, Nebraska and eastern Colorado draining the Ogallala Aquifer is staggering. The Arkansas River was dry at Dodge City, Kansas and thousands of confined feeder cattle valued at some $2000 per head died in June.
A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Agriculture confirmed to NPR on Thursday that "several weather factors combined which led to heat stress for cattle that impacted cattle producers." But the representative also noted that cattle ranches aren't required to report those losses, "so we don't have any data about the extent of the impact." [Days of intense heat have killed thousands of cattle in Kansas]
But it's not enough to blame the creator or climate change for the deaths of helpless bovines.
When the pathologist opened up the cow’s rumen, he found a volleyball-sized wad of plastic strands lying within. Closer examination revealed the wad consisted of net wrap the cow had eaten. When asked, the producer noted he’d been feeding his cows hay ground from round bales still wrapped with net wrap. It had blocked the outflow of feed from the rumen to cause severe digestive problems. SDSU Extension beef experts found when they surveyed producers using net wrap, about 15% of dead cows examined had net wrap in their systems. Most producers (as shown by the SDSU survey) do not remove net wrap when they grind hay, relying on the screens to grind it up along with the hay. The problem here is that even small, ground-up strands of net wrap ball up in the animal’s rumen: it’s indigestible with very little coming out of the back end of the cow. Secondly, while more producers (about half) remove net wrap from bales being fed whole, if it’s left out on the feeding ground, many cows pick it up and chew on it when the hay is gone. [Animal Health Matters: Preventive medicine for beef cows includes removing net wrap]
Yes, Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them. 

Recall Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling or MCOOL was repealed during the second Obama term to shield American commodities from scrutiny because every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in the United States is contaminated with atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, PFAS, E. coli, Imazalil plus other toxins and pathogens. 

Tampons, menstrual pads and even some sunscreens contain gender bending endocrine disruptors. Phthalate-laden bottled water alone makes up 1.5 million tons of plastic each year. 

So now, plastic is killing cattle, contaminating beef, milk and cheese then peddled to consumers!

ip photo: tumbleweeds imported from Eurasia litter a prairie landscape.


Tribes at crossroads meet for Black Hills Land Claim Conference

The United States' longest war wasn't in Afghanistan; it was against Indigenous Americans and ran from about 1785 to at least 1973. Leonard Peltier is a prisoner of that war. 

Despite the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862 that distributed unceded lands in the public domain to raise funds for colleges. The Morrill Land-Grant Acts are directly linked to the Native American Genocide so after the defeat of the 7th Cavalry at Greasy Grass in 1876 and the Great Sioux War Congress abrogated that treaty in 1877 then the Utes, Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne and others who migrated, lived and hunted all along the Front Range were driven into concentration camps. 
Conservatism did not always mean authoritarianism and intolerance, and was not generally expressed through bigotry and xenophobia. American conservatism has gone so far right it is dangerously close to becoming unapologetic totalitarianism. [Tribes must chart an independent course]
In 1980 attorney Mario Gonzalez filed the federal court case stopping payment of the Black Hills Claim award to the Oglala Lakota Nation. Gonzalez contends that the commission charged to make peace with tribes inserted language into the Fort Laramie Treaty signed in 1868 that Red Cloud had neither seen nor agreed to in negotiations.
On June 29-30, there will be a two-day conference at Prairie Winds Casino, and according to OST President Kevin Killer, the purpose of this conference is to educate the next generation of Lakota leaders about the history of the Black Hills claim, a history shared by the men who lived and made that history, at least those who are still with us. It will do no good to protest this meeting as trying to sell the Black Hills. Ironically, the meeting is to educate misinformed people so they won’t believe and act on anything so foolish. [Important conference about Black Hills could educate the misinformed]
Every tribal council is different. A cannabis dispensary selling to all adults just opened on the Pine Ridge so stand-alone clinics on tribal land where pregnancy ending medications would be administered are just a matter of time.


BLM land purchase rankles Wyoming Republicans as wild horse population grows

Wild or feral horses and burros on public lands and Indian reservations number well over 100,000 — four times what the landscape can sustain without damaging habitat. In Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and six other states the Bureau of Land Management adopts out, seeks private pastures for, and feeds some 58,000 horses at an annual cost to taxpayers of at least $49 million.

BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning has called nearly every Trump era ruling "illegal" including its failure to manage mustangs safely while blows to morale and an exodus of employees have contributed to horse mortalities during gathers. The BLM wants to remove almost 20,000 broncos permanently and chemically neuter 2,300 more this year.
The Bureau of Land Management is kicking off Great Outdoors Month by finalizing two land acquisitions in Colorado and Wyoming that will unlock over 40,000 acres of previously inaccessible public land. The BLM Wyoming acquisition is the largest land purchase that the BLM has undertaken in Wyoming, creating a 118-square-mile contiguous block of public land and improving public access to the North Platte River. These projects support the America the Beautiful initiative, a decade-long challenge to pursue locally led and voluntary efforts nationwide to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030. [press release, BLM]
Ironic that in a country that exports more weapons of mass destruction than all others combined and relentlessly hunts nearly anything that moves, in parts of the Mountain West and even in bright red Wyoming Equus ferus is still seen as a pet. Wyoming has the second-highest feral horse population in the country with at least 7,144 of these critters plus another 5000 on the Wind River Reservation in conflict with livestock grazing permit holders.
Gov. Mark Gordon will challenge the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s recent purchase of the Marton Ranch spanning 35,670 acres in Natrona and Carbon counties, claiming the agency showed a “cavalier disregard” for soliciting input from the state, local governments and the public. The BLM’s acquisition of the Marton Ranch followed years of negotiations spearheaded by The Conservation Fund and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, according to the BLM. The Marton family’s voluntary sale — for $21 million paid for by the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund — was announced June 2 and touted as a critical gain for land and wildlife conservation and public access for hunting and fishing. [Wyofile]
Wyoming Republicans have apparently forgotten that the ground they live on was seized from aboriginal cultures by President Thomas Jefferson through an executive order that even he believed was unconstitutional.

In an era when western states are scrambling to preserve habitat for bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, deer, the threatened greater sage grouse and all the other wildlife at risk to the Republican Party how is running nurseries for introduced species like horses and burros either conservative or sustainable?

ip photo: descendants of Spanish Equus graze the Kewa Pueblo.


Republican court diverts attention from attempted coup d'etat

A Republican Supreme Court of the United States has succeeded in distracting Americans from an attempted takeover of the United States. 

Cult member Ginni Thomas, the Council for National Policy and others in the extreme white wing of the Republican Party have successfully engineered a scheme to use the packed Court to undo constitutional rights
In 2009, Thomas founded a grassroots organization called Liberty Central, which she proclaimed would “be bigger than the tea party.” The group raised $1.5 million from anonymous donors and paid Thomas a $120,000 salary, but only lasted a few years before disbanding. In 2011, Clarence Thomas acknowledged that he had failed to disclose in his judicial ethics forms his wife’s additional income, relating to her work for the Heritage Foundation and Hillsdale College. [The Intercept]
More recently she urged 29 Arizona lawmakers to use their plenary powers to overturn the will of voters in that state.
Queen Creek Republican Jake Hoffman, who sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking him on January 5 to not accept the election results and was one of Arizona’s fake Trump electors, now seems to operate a website built on FreeRoots and has connections to the old platform’s owner. The company is owned by Eric Berger, who has previously worked at the Heritage Foundation and is an operative of the secretive and powerful political Christian group, Council for National Policy. [AZ Mirror]
It’s important to remember Donald Trump is not a conservative as much as he's is an opportunist. 

Dominion theology proposes that [C]hristians must control the seven “mountains:” government, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, family, and business in order to establish a global [C]hristian theocracy and prepare the world for Jesus’ return. 

Republican former Vice President Mike Pence is a member of the CNP as is Ohio Representative Jim Jordan (NAZI-OH) so was the late Foster Friess who gave $500,000 to a gaggle of religionist organizations in South Dakota just before he croaked. Robert Mercer, the blow-it-all-up Cambridge Analytica guy with billions stashed in South Dakota and ties to Faceberg and Maria Butina is a major donor to CNP. 
History will weigh whether the origins of Jan. 6 and the culpability of the former president could have been as thoroughly and persuasively mounted in haste. Past hearings that seized on a moment of outrage or heightened public interest have suffered from a rush to judgment atmosphere and ultimately misjudged the public mood. [NPR]
After they removed Hillary Clinton before the 2018 midterms there is no way in Hell the GOP would have given a President Tim Kaine the time to choose a Veep so here's a nightmare scenario for those who slept through civics. The Speaker of the House doesn't need to be an incumbent member of Congress so if the Republicans regain the House of Representatives they could elect Trump as Speaker then assassinate POTUS Biden and VPOTUS Harris and Trump would become Chief Executive.


Federal appeals court rejects Trump era glyphosate ruling; WOTUS protects life

Roundup® is a threat to human life and is known to cause birth defects and spontaneous abortions despite assurances from the Trump Organization's Environmental Protection Agency to the contrary.
Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Michelle Friedland said EPA’s finding of no risk to human health “was not supported by substantial evidence.” She also ruled that EPA fell short of its obligations under the Endangered Species Act by inadequately examining glyphosate’s impact on animal species and vegetation. Last year, Bayer set aside $4.5 billion to deal with the claims that glyphosate causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. The company had previously taken a charge of nearly $10 billion for earlier rounds of litigation. [Court rejects Trump-era EPA finding that Roundup weed killer is safe]
High levels of glyphosate, a known endocrine disruptor, are also found in oats, chickpeas and corn sugars.

Recall Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling or MCOOL was repealed during the second Obama term to shield American commodities from scrutiny because every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in the United States is contaminated with atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, PFAS, E. coli, Imazalil plus other toxins and pathogens. 

Waters of the United States or WOTUS legislation seeks to give authority to the EPA to use some teeth to enforce the rights of people downstream to have clean water even from some sources that the US Geological Survey has already identified as impaired. But Republicans and their toadies cry government overreach while WOTUS architects regroup for another round in Congress. Sackett v. EPA is in the Supreme Court spotlight in a test of the authority of the agency to regulate wetland protection.
The Sackett case has drawn the attention of the regulated community because an eventual court ruling could determine the way water is regulated for generations to come. EPA's 2015 connectivity report asserted that lakes and reservoirs may contribute to groundwater, which eventually contributes to other surface water flows. [Western Ag Asks EPA for WOTUS Clarity]
Particularly concerning is Imazalil, a carcinogenic fungicide that can alter hormone levels especially in children and adolescents. It was detected last year on 90% of citrus not grown organically in the United Snakes. DCPA, sold under the brand name Dacthal, was banned in Europe in 2009 but is still widely used in the US on kale and other greens as are neonicotinoids, pyrethroids and some 20 other pesticides. Also banned by the European Union are the organophosphate insecticides acephate and chlorpyrifos that can harm developing brains but the Trump Organization refused to block chlorpyrifos from being used on US produce.

Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.


Tatewin Means most logical SDDP pick for SDAG

Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish in South Dakota schools? Sure, that's cool; but learning where students are steeped in American Indian languages is giving the next generation of Natives opportunities to preserve their heritage.

On July 8 and 9 the South Dakota Democratic Party will hold its 2022 State Convention in Fort Pierre where delegates will review and adopt the SDDP platform and resolutions. Delegates will vote to nominate candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, School & Public Lands Commissioner, and Public Utilities Commissioner. 

Tatewin Means is a citizen of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota, Oglala Lakota, and Inhanktonwan Nations. She is the daughter of the late Lakota activist, Russell Means, is the former attorney general of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and is currently Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Means graduated from Stanford University with a degree in environmental engineering, has a law degree from the University of Minnesota and has a masters of Arts in Lakota Leadership and Management from Oglala Lakota College.
Thunder Valley CDC started on the Pine Ridge Reservation as a way to connect youth with the Lakota way of life. It continues its efforts to enhance the Oglala Lakota Oyate by offering a variety of initiatives such as food sovereignty, Lakota language education, housing and home ownership, a regenerative community development and more. “Reclaiming our identity as Lakota people, that's a part of liberation, right? That's a part of freedom,” said Means. “And so eliminating those messages of colonialism that have bound us for so many generations, and so how do you do that? How do you begin that process of decolonizing?” [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
I attended a few classes at South Dakota State University in the mid-1970s with Peggy Phelps, Tatewin Means' mother. In 2018 Means challenged Randy Seiler for the Democratic nomination for attorney general and it is the view of this interested party she is the most logical choice to be the 2022 attorney general nominee for the South Dakota Democratic Party.


Trump-led ethnic cleansing continues toll on Indigenous Americans

Attorneys are gathering even more evidence that the Trump Organization committed crimes against humanity throughout Indian Country not only by slow-walking resources to reservations during a pandemic but by undercounting Indigenous populations during the 2020 Census. Trump even killed the White House Tribal Nations Summit because he loathes Native Americans. 

That "Pocahontas" thing Trump does to Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn't just betray his hatred for women; it's a tell that he detests 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 are the most telling aspects of this march toward the abyss. Trump’s erasure of protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments was cruel retribution targeting Indigenous peoples. 

Make no mistake. Starting in New York Donald Trump targeted Indian Country for annihilation. His Tulsa trip and his campaign rally in occupied South Dakota spread disease throughout Native America. It’s called ethnic cleansing even genocide elsewhere but in Trump’s America it’s called MAGA. 

Why? In past years the Trump Organization has used the federal courts to punish tribal nations who built casinos Trump said were competition then deployed COVID-19 as a biological weapon in Indian Country.
“2020 was just a horrific year in terms of excess mortality, and it was disproportionately concentrated among marginalized, racialized, populations,” said Ryan Masters, an associate professor of sociology at University of Colorado, Boulder. For Native American men, he estimated they lost about 4.75 years of life expectancy, “which are numbers you just don't hear of in modern day society.” [Life expectancy drops more in the U.S. than other wealthy nations, especially among Native Americans]
There is a growing movement among Democrats and others to fund Medicare for all but I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the Veterans Health Administration together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. 

Learn more at NPR

Artwork: Angela Babby.


First Peoples' Mountain latest feature to lose racist's name

The Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for the extermination of Indigenous people and Mount Doane in Montana's Absaroka Range was named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Doane bragged for the rest of his life about what become known as the Marias Massacre. The attack in response to the alleged slaying of a white fur trader killed at least 173 American Indians, including many women, elders and children suffering from smallpox, Yellowstone officials said in a statement. “This name change is long overdue. We all agreed on ‘First Peoples’ Mountain’ as an appropriate name to honor the victims of such inhumane acts of genocide, and to also remind people of the 10,000-year-plus connection tribal peoples have to this sacred place now called Yellowstone,” Piikani Nation Chief Stan Grier said in a statement Wednesday. [Yellowstone mountain that honored massacre leader renamed]
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, South Dakota and Crook's Tower, one of the 7000 footers in the Black Hills, were named after a war criminal. 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. 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. 

Doane's name still fouls a peak in Wyoming's Teton Range. But Senators Cynthia Lummis and co-sponsor John Barrasso have introduced a bill to permanently cancel Indigenous culture by blocking the name Bear's Lodge or Mahto Tipila from Devils Tower National Monument in the Wyoming Black Hills. With Democrats controlling the White House, both chambers of Congress and after a tribal member has become Interior Secretary with Park Service oversight the Wyoming Republicans' bill is likely doomed.

ip photo is of the Boulder Valley in Jefferson County, Montana, Bull Mountain and the Tobacco Roots in the background.


Tribes pinched in Montana cannabis industry growth

Cannabis is legal in Montana for adults over 21 and despite objections from prohibitionists voters in Yellowstone County just moved the state's largest county from red to green.

Purchased flower of no more than 35% THC plus edibles, tinctures, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates and topicals produced only in Montana are placed in reusable "exit bags” to prevent children and potentially triggered Republicans from seeing what's inside. Patients in the state's therapeutic cannabis program are exempt from the 100mg of THC cap in edibles. All product is tested in Montana-based labs for bacteria, mold, heavy metals, potency and other foreign compounds. 

Rigs and CBD products purchased at dispensaries can be manufactured outside of Montana and expungement of past cannabis offenses is being implemented slowly. Adults may grow two mature and two seedlings at home as long as they’re where Republicans can’t see or smell them. Green counties tend to be in Democratic western Montana while red counties where sales are forbidden tend to be in the Republican east. 

But, last year Montana's Republican legislature passed regulations that restrict each tribal nation to a single permit to cultivate and market cannabis. Under state law tribes aren't even allowed to build facilities on their own reservations but in defiance, the Apsáalooke or Crow Nation maintains that as sovereign it doesn't need permission from state authorities and so far no tribe has even bothered to apply.
After the session, the Economic Affairs Interim Committee confirmed with the Department of Revenue that even though the bill defines these combined-use licenses as tier 1, the smallest grow size (a maximum of 1,000 square feet of grow space), they could scale up over time, just like any conventional cultivation license. But on June 2, Brendan Beatty, director of the Department of Revenue, sent a letter to the Economic Affairs Interim Committee insisting that tribal cultivation operations cannot expand beyond tier 1 licenses. Once the state’s moratorium on new licenses ends on July 1, 2023, Native Montanans will be able to apply for licenses just like anyone else. Those new licenses will not be bound to any such restrictions. [Montana Free Press]
Learn more at the Daily Montanan.


Forest Service to bail out South Dakota sawmill

During remarks to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore outlined a plan to ship logs from as far away as California to sawmills owned by Hulett, Wyoming's Neiman Enterprises. 

One of the mills is in Spearditch, South Dakota that Jim Neiman has threatened to close after increases in sales of timber have been deprioritized in the Black Hills National Forest's revised plan. The operation in Hulett employs a third of that community’s population. To minimize the movement of insects and diseases the logs will be peeled and some might even be shipped by rail to sidings in Gillette or Moorcroft, Wyoming then trucked to Neiman’s mills.

Chief Moore said that before widespread settlement in the West populations of ponderosa pine were about forty per acre but are as high as 600 per acre today.

Neiman also wants to log 20 million board feet of ponderosa pine per year in Colorado for the next 20 years. Neiman purchased Montrose Forest Products in Colorado in 2012 but in 2018 after the Trump Organization gutted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Neiman shipped twelve loads of timber from the San Juan National Forest to mills in South Dakota. In 2020 Neiman bought Interfor Corporation’s specialty sawmill in the Klamath County town of Gilchrist, Oregon. 

The Biden administration is anxious to reward US Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) for her efforts to bring the Trump Organization to justice. Neiman waited until Donald Trump was forced from the White House then shuttered his sawmill in Hill City, South Dakota and blamed the Forest Service. One needs to look no further than the BHNF for how politics has completely altered a landscape but there are plenty other public lands examples that illustrate the red state, blue state divide.

The Biden administration has been slow to restore the NEPA rules Earth hating Republicans like South Dakota's John Thune and Wyoming's John Barrasso want to eliminate. So, as expected, Neiman will enjoy the fruits of socialism as the two Republican US Senators introduce a bill to inject taxpayer dollars into the Black Hills timber monopoly. They call the bill, The Save Jim Neiman's Ass Act Black Hills Forest Protection and Jobs Preservation Act of 2022.

In a related story President Joe Biden told New Mexicans the federal government will bear the costs of the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires after prescribed burns got away from the Forest Service.

View the Senate hearing agenda and webcast linked here.

It's the view of this interested party that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management should be merged in the Interior Department as the US Forest and Land Management Service.

ip photo from 2015: the Jasper Fire in 2000 created landscapes that more closely resemble the pre-settlement southern Black Hills.


Mobile clinics provide reproductive care for red state women

In 2020 132 South Dakota women traveled to Nebraska for their abortions, 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 procedures that South Dakota has erected barriers to provide.
Dr. Julie Amaon is the medical director of Just the Pill, a nonprofit, online clinic based in Minnesota that dispenses pills for medication abortion, birth control, and the treatment of sexually transmitted disease. Just the Pill, which has experimented with offering patient care in mobile clinics, is working on a big expansion. As they drove around Minnesota, Amaon says, she noticed she was seeing a lot of patients from Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa — “people who have more restrictive legislation in their states.” Just the Pill is planning to deploy mobile clinics on all sides of Minnesota, to serve patients in those surrounding states. “All of our mobile clinics are bulletproof,” she adds. [Abortion care on wheels]
1. Abortion is health care and 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. The extreme white wing of the Republican Party is driving the abolition of women’s rights because they’re wedded to the Great Replacement Hypothesis. 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 so the extreme white wing laments it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos. 

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

7. Republican politicians drive their anti-woman crusade to raise campaign dollars so ending reproductive rights in red states is Balkanizing women's health care.

8. A blastocyst is no more an unborn child than it is an unborn grandparent. Foetal development is undefined in US Constitutional law so if someone calls it a baby that's an opinion and not a legal definition.

9. There is no foetal heartbeat until at least ten weeks into a pregnancy. What an ultrasound “hears” at six weeks are cells beginning to built a cardiac system.

10. States that ban or punish women from going out of state for their procedures or medications are violating the Commerce Clause enumerated in the United States Constitution.

11. One fifth of all pregnancies end in miscarriage or as some would call God working in mysterious ways but when a person chooses to terminate a pregnancy the creator doesn’t condone that decision? How does that work?


Republican donors still poisoning South Dakota lakes

Utilities are not your friends.

Researchers at the South Dakota School of Mines already know most, if not all, the mercury in the state's lakes has precipitated from emissions released from coal fired power plants in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
The list now includes 26 lakes across 17 counties. Fish with high mercury levels include Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, and White and Black Crappie in sizes ranging from 12 inches to 30 inches and over. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
How bad does it have to get before the State of South Dakota files lawsuits against Black Hills Energy, Basin Electric, NorthWestern Energy, Otter Tail and/or the Colstrip Generating Station? 

Recall that in 2009 Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based NorthWestern Energy was responsible for a gas explosion in Bozeman, Montana that destroyed several businesses and killed one person. In 2020 NWE attempted to buy an additional 25% share of Colstrip Unit 4 in eastern Montana for a dollar. South Dakota, of course, has no corporate taxes and banks there hoard trillions for an exclusive set of Republicans.
Majority owners Puget Sound Energy, Avista Corp., PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric have all announced plans to exit Colstrip by the end of 2025. That’s made them uninterested in investing in Colstrip’s future. The power plants have extensive problems. Damage to the Unit 4 boiler was estimated to cost $20 million in repairs in 2019. And a recent survey found Units 3 and 4 malfunctioned 77 days in 2018. Both units were off-line again for extensive maintenance in spring 2021. [Missoulian]
In 2018, Black Hills Energy sold some of its 700 oil and gas wells in New Mexico and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to help finance a $70 million monolith headquarters in Rapid City. It was built there on the backs of subscribers without choices because out of state Republicans who write the tax law own South Dakota and because the state ended environmental oversight. BHE raised much of its construction cash on Colorado cannabis. But the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is staffed by Republicans so they're pushovers for rate increases by companies who bankroll their elections to the posts they hold.

If South Dakota had a Democratic attorney general she'd sue Montana and Wyoming for the toxic legacy created by Colstrip, Basin Electric and Black Hills Energy. In 2020 Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sued ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute for lying to residents of that state.

The Big Stone Power Plant in northeastern South Dakota is 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 Republican politicians and poisoning waterways.


Water woes pit pueblos against land grant communities

The evidence of human history on the La Bajada Mesa has been dated to at least 8000 years before the present where volcanic rock provided the tools needed to harvest the abundant prey that migrated up and down the Rio Grande.

Fast forward to the 1300s and after consuming nearly every living thing atop Chapin and Wetherill Mesas in southwest Colorado, the Mesa Verdean ancients sojourned east over the continental divide into the Chama and Rio Grande valleys then settled the Caja del Rio Plateau and Santa Fe. The Santa Fe River canyon was the easiest route to traverse the 600 foot La Bajada escarpment but frequent flooding often made the gap impassible for the ox and horse-drawn wagons used by Spanish invaders along the Royal Road or El Camino Real.
In 1695, “La Majada Land Grant” was awarded to Field Captain Don Jacinto de Palaez for his efforts in reconquering New Mexico. La Bajada Village was subsequently established at the base of the escarpment and first documented by the Franciscan Church in 1737. [US Forest Service]
In the 1800s engineers from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway diverted its main line from the craggy promontory building it alongside the Rio Galisteo instead.

In the Twentieth Century, dynamite, Cochiti Pueblo workers and convicts carved what would become US 85 and Route 66 replete with 23 hairpin turns then I-25 was blasted through the basalt east of La Bajada Village.

Today, nearby Cochiti Reservoir at the confluence of the Rio Grande and Santa Fe River is a radioactive sewer impounding millions of cubic yards of contaminated silt from decades of bomb making at Los Alamos and the effluent from thousands of upstream septic systems.
Before reaching La Bajada, the water flows west from the Santa Fe River through a pipeline traversing the Pueblo of Cochiti, Pueblo of Santa Domingo and US National Forest Service land. Below the diversion, the natural stream bed is dry. Cochiti leaders say the amount of water flowing into the pipeline exceeds the amount allocated to La Bajada’s 52 acres of farmland as a result of modifications made to the diversion structure. In short, the pueblo accuses the acequia community of taking too much water from the river. The situation offers a window onto one of New Mexico’s most pressing problems: Less and less water is flowing through the state as climate change and persistent drought tighten their grip. [Santa Fe Reporter]
ip photo from atop La Bajada Mesa, a life-sustaining thunderstorm dwarfs the Sandia Mountains.


Jack Welch destroyed American democracy: author

Is a human trophic level just the larder for a pack of predatory oligarchs who feed on miserable and quarrelsome superconsumers? 

Author David Gelles is making the case that Jack Welch destroyed American democracy with predatory capitalism and through unprecedented fraud. According to Gelles, rabid Republican Welch even ordered GE-owned NBC to call the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush despite Vice President Al Gore clearly winning the popular vote and an electoral college in crisis.
From being the most valuable company on Earth, GE fell to the point of essential irrelevance in the American economy. In 2018, with all of Welch's bad decisions catching up with the company, GE was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the bluest of blue chip indexes and a real bellwether of the American economy. [Fresh Air]