New Mexico domestic terrorist headed to court

Disgraced former Otero County Commissioner and Trump disciple, Couy Griffin broke into the US Capitol, plotted the violent overthrow of the federal government, alleged voter fraud when there was none, arbitrarily defied the Lincoln National Forest's plan revision and threatened Democrats with murder.
A jury will consider this week whether the support group Cowboys for Trump and cofounder Couy Griffin violated state election law by failing to register as a political organization without filing related public financial disclosures. A two-day trial was scheduled to start Tuesday at state District Court in Alamogordo. Separately, Griffin last year was removed from office as an Otero County commissioner and barred from elected office for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. [Jury weighs whether Cowboys for Trump flouted campaign law]
In a video posted at his Faceberg account Griffin invoked now dead and fellow domestic terrorist Lavoy Finicum who helped vandalize the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016. White militants accuse the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State of Oregon for Finicum’s death and for a subsequent coverup. Civil suits for wrongful death were rejected by the courts and the shooting declared justified but white christianic jingoists revere him as a martyr and want to impeach the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Domestic terrorism-related cases increased 357% from 2013 to 2021, according to the Government Accountability Office, which urged the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to do more to combat the issue. [ABC News]
The extreme white wing of the Republican Party wants a not so civil war in part because oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch fear accountability for America’s systemic racism and will be compelled to pay reparations to Indigenous and to the descendants of enslaved people. Southeastern New Mexico is home to many descendants of the Confederacy.


Ganje: pipeline regulator in the pockets of industry

Summit Carbon Solutions wants to dig a trench for a $4.5 billion pipeline that would rip up over 700 miles of unceded tribal lands where thousands of Indigenous Americans are buried and traverse scores of waterways where many ecosystems impacted by pipelines never recover from the disturbance. 

Industrial agriculture is ecocide and for those of us who love the Earth shucks like Summit’s are subsidized corporate greenwashing but ironically many Republicans actually benefitting from reduced greenhouse emissions decry the sequestration of carbon as caving to the Green New Deal. 

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is a US Department of Transportation regulator and David Ganje is an attorney based in Rapid City, South Dakota where he practices environmental law.
CO2 pipelines transport at pressures above 1,900 psi. Natural gas is transported at pressures between 800-1,160 psi. Critics say that the PHMSA has missed congressional deadlines on safety rules because of technical issues, industry pushback and limited staffing, with some rules finished more than a decade behind schedule. One former federal official who is now a pipeline consultant stated in an article that the federal regulatory body, the PHMSA, chose to use an industry-commissioned formula in order to avoid opposition from pipeline companies. What is the current status or readiness and training of local first responders to correctly assist parties or victims in the event of a rupture been addressed? [David Ganje: In consideration of pipelines]
That last question stems from a result of the Trump Organization's rollback of protections that allowed Norfolk Southern to hide what chemicals its train was carrying when it derailed in Ohio creating an environmental catastrophe, putting first responders at risk and poisoning an entire population.

Ethanol has only two thirds the energy density of gasoline or diesel and less than half of what natural gas contains but has an immensely larger carbon footprint. Few farm with gasoline powered equipment and ethanol is being grown with diesel fuel so how is that either conservative or sustainable?


The American Redoubt has Black Hills connection

James Wesley Rawles coined the phrase American Redoubt in 2011. From his SurvivalBlog.com he supposes Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, eastern Oregon and Washington are survivalist havens for the christian nationalist movement. 

As recently as 2017 he used a post office box in Newcastle, Wyoming as his mailing address and credits the late Susan Callaway as his Black Hills connection. She authored the blog, The Price of Liberty until her passing in 2018. That weblog is maintained by Nathan Barton, a Rapid City Libertarian who ran for governor in 1994 and again in 2002.

Just a few miles from Newcastle and boasting remote off-grid survivable spaces with two deep wells, California-based Vivos xPoint is leasing hardened shelters to doomsday preppers.

Recall that in 2016 a group of armed thugs, including a retired Air Force master sergeant from South Dakota allied with mormon Ammon Bundy, occupied a national wildlife refuge in Harney County, Oregon.
Rawles made an exception for Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews, saying they would also be welcome in the Redoubt because they “share the same moral framework” as conservative Christians. But the post, which has been updated multiple times since, concludes with a list of “prepper-friendly” congregations in the Reformed Church tradition (Rawles is a Reformed Baptist). The influx has given birth to a phalanx of “Redoubt Realtors” who specialize in resettling transplants. Chris Walsh works for Revolutionary Realty, whose webpage features images of bald eagles, American flags and a banner that welcomes visitors to the “heart of the Great American Redoubt, North Idaho!” A Spokane, Washington-based pastor long associated with the Redoubt is Matt Shea, a former Washington state legislator who has advocated for a “Holy Army.” Shea was expelled from his state’s GOP caucus in 2019 after an investigation concluded he had engaged in domestic terrorism in connection with the 2016 armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. [How big Christian nationalism has come courting in North Idaho]
Rawles’ son, Jonathan operates Survival Realty that features off-grid properties including some with bunkers and greenhouses. 

The Black Hills region is a de facto part of the American Redoubt so Spearditch resident and Republican legislator, Scott Odenbach is tapped into the survivalist real estate boom, too.
Jim Elliott, a long-time Democratic former state legislator from Trout Creek, located in Sanders County just outside of the Idaho “island of refuge”, says the remote corners of northwestern Montana and the Inland Northwest have long been a haven for conservative politics, but that the arrival of new residents armed with acute distrust of the government concerns him. [For sale: God, guns and separatism in the American Redoubt]
So-called sovereign citizens are overwhelmingly white christians using a maladapted interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to rationalize their commitment to a pending race war using links to the federal storming of Ruby Ridge, Idaho and the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas then culminating in the Oklahoma City bombing. Many are either convicted felons no longer able to vote or have been recruited by those who believe that the democratic process is ineffective and cities especially in blue states will collapse.

In 2022 one of Rawles' brethren was tossed from a Sidney, Montana congregation after committing multitudinous sins of debauchery.

Montana is bracing for civil unrest, christian/anarchist militias armed for the End Days are rattling online newspaper fora and blogs with vitriol for people of color. But, how these bozos expect to take on ATF, FBI, and Homeland Security is the height of ignorance. Think Katrina: if civil order is temporarily suspended these idiots will kill only those innocents by whom they feel threatened. Unarmed people would be preyed upon by these monsters unrelentingly.
In March, Shad Olson of “The Shad Olson Show” (which seeks the defeat of the “long-standing antihuman plot to control mankind covertly through every means necessary”) described “what amounts to an ad hoc state by state version of medical martial law.” Shad Olson’s website referred to it a few days later as “the designed collapse and chaos of the intentional destruction of the globalist totalitarian vision.” [Extremists and Conspiracy Theorists Urge Resistance to ‘Medical Martial Law’]
I read The Fountainhead in 1977 while attending the School of Mines about a month after seeing the first Star Wars in Boise, Idaho — it really appealed to the headstrong, narcissistic man-island i was becoming. I had read Atlas Shrugged while at SDSU three or four years earlier about the time i was reading The Gulag Archipelago. Likely i've passed the anarchy gene to my daughters, too, though their mother thinks of it as mental illness.
In conclusion, many folks are now ready to vote with their feet. Atlas is starting to shrug. [Rawles, The American Redoubt — Move to the Mountain States]


Meth: Rapid City's on it!

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

Since former police commandant, now Mayor Steve Allender, decided to chuck his chair for the private sector the town has admitted it's on meth.
“So we’ve had police officers in the parking lot when shootings have occurred. They’ve heard the shots. And a SWAT team was assembling and preparing to go serve warrants in that area when shots were heard. It’s just a very troubled neighborhood. We’ve literally, at this point, tried everything we know of. And so, obviously we need to try a different route,” Allender said. Allender says that seeing more deaths in the Surfwood and Maple area can be demoralizing for city residents and officers. It also damages the city’s reputation. “The problem is if you force people to live in an environment, unsuitable for animals, pretty soon you’re going to get behavior that will match that environment. Environment is really everything. That’s where we need the property management mangers and the owners to step up and invest into this thing and take this seriously.” [“We’ve exhausted essentially every tool we have at our disposal:” How Rapid City officials are trying to reverse the trend of crime in the Surfwood and Maple area]
That Serenity Dennard was lured away by Bandidos or some other motorcycle club with help from the Children’s Home Society crossed my mind very early in her disappearance.
Just Sage Place apartments alone, over the last three years, had 157 violent instances. Most other apartment complexes of similar size average about 43. But police say it’s not the people who live in these apartment buildings who are causing the violent issues. The Sage Place apartments, formerly known as Knollwood Heights, recently got new owners and management — now there are signs on the building promising that change is coming. [Rapid City neighborhood plagued with violence]
In one of his last efforts before he left as US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Ron Parsons announced the indictment of 37 people including three Mexican nationals then US District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken sentenced four people in connection with that large-scale meth trafficking network bust called “Operation Say Uncle.”
City Councilman Jason Salamun announced today his bid to be Rapid City’s next mayor. Since the announcement Mayor Steve Allender will not seek reelection, Ron Weifenback and Laura Armstrong have each announced their campaigns. Salamun says He plans to focus his campaign on public safety and crime prevention. “We need more accountability, We need to do a better job at recruiting and retaining great police officers in our community cause of all the plans. We have to make this as great a place as possible, doesn’t mean anything if we aren’t safe.” In addition to safety, Salamun says He wants to take a quote “commonsense approach” to any issues He will face, as well as to work with the Native American community. [Jason Salamun announces mayoral campaign]
Before he retired Corrections Department Secretary Denny Kaemingk lamented that South Dakota's jails and prisons are full, the numbers continue to rise, the population "hit a new benchmark" and are especially evident in the women’s prison. Sixty percent of women there are for drug offenses and there are about 3,600 meth arrests every year in the chemical toilet that is South Dakota.


Montana Artists Refuge reopens after Basin shooting incident

Basin, Montana is a basin, indeed — pretty much smack dab in the middle of the Boulder Batholith, the richest hydrothermal ore-body on Planet Earth, now it's a smoldering hotbed of art. 

The Montana Artists Refuge, built by a community of intellect and talent so expansive that its sheer gravity compelled it to well there, Nancy and MJ are two of its Founding Mothers. Elegance is available for trekkers seeking respite just thirteen miles from the Continental Divide Trail; the Stone House is MJ and Nancy's way of bringing Jefferson County's mill history to visitors while Basin Creek laughs its way to the Boulder River just yards farther downstream. The Refuge closed in 2011 but reopened last year in defiance of a shooting, an arrest and a conviction for a hate crime. 

Montana's chorus of anti-education legislators included Basin's own Alan Hale, until he died. Today, the state's legislature is no longer recognizable as a democratic body but rages on as a Trumpian horde.

Behind a paywall at the Boulder Monitor is a feature on the Refuge.
Bryher ran for the Montana House of Representatives for District 75 in 2020 but lost to an Earth hater 68 - 32 percent. She operated the High Note Café when this scribe lived in Basin.
A federal jury convicted a Montana man of hate and firearms crimes for firing an AK-style assault rifle at the residence of a woman, who identified as lesbian, and was home at the time. After a four-day trial that began on Feb. 14, the jury found John Russell Howald, 46, of Basin, Montana, guilty of hate crime acts and discharge of firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence as charged in a superseding indictment. According to court documents and statements in court, on March 22, 2020, Howald went on a self-described mission to rid the town of Basin of its lesbian and gay community. Armed with three rifles and two pistols, and knowing that the victim identified as a lesbian, Howald approached her residence on foot and fired an AK-style assault rifle at her property. Several rounds went through the victim’s fence and rounds hit her yard and porch. One round traveled through a wall of the home, bounced off the kitchen ceiling and lodged in a wall in the room. The victim was at home at the time but was not struck. [Montana Man Convicted of Federal Hate Crimes and Firearms Charges for Shooting Intended to Rid Community of the Lesbian and Gay Members]
ip photo: a contingent from Basin listens to testimony during the 2011 legislative session.


Fossil water would be tapped for Black Hills drilling project

Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the USDA Forest Service announced a proposal to protect cultural and natural resources in the Pactola Reservoir – Rapid Creek Watershed, including drinking water for Rapid City and Ellsworth Air Force Base, from the adverse impacts of mineral exploration and development. This process will invite participation by the public, Tribes, state, and local government, as well as other stakeholders interested in the stewardship of these lands and waters. The Secretary of the Interior has the authority to withdraw these lands for a maximum of 20 years, subject to renewal; only Congress can legislate a permanent withdrawal. [press release]

South Dakota is no stranger to ecocide because it's a way of life in the chemical toilet. Under the General Mining Law of 1872 even foreign miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are

Land seized from the Great Sioux Nation had been remanded to the tribes under treaty but Congress broke the agreement to pay down Civil War debt then exploited the Custer Expedition's discovery of gold in the Black Hills. 

Often powerless to resist the extractive industry the Black Hills National Forest took comments on a 2021 proposal from F3 Gold to drill on 2,500 sites near Silver City and explore above the Rapid Creek inlet to Pactola Reservoir on claims that actually extend into the lake. Now F3 wants to drill west of a town named for a war criminal.

But this is another post is about water. 

Exploratory holes normally take millions of gallons of water but the drillers usually sell their data to bigger miners like Barrick, a Canadian earth raper. And speaking of pooping in your own water supplies then begging for money for pipeline boondoggles: watering lawns, golf courses, feedlots, a ramen factory in Belle Fourche, the Bismarck Trail Ranch and Rally campgrounds with tax dollars is a boondoggle—taxpayer money spent on carving through Native America for white privilege? Now an out of state miner wants to tap fossil water for mineral exploration on public lands?
Project plans indicate no surface water source would be used for the estimated 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water per day needed for each drill rig. "All water will be sourced from an approved municipal or industrial source," wrote F3 Gold in their plan of operations, submitted Aug. 15, 2022. [Forest Service says Black Hills gold exploration project will continue, regardless of public outcry]
Learn more at the Black Hills National Forest website.


KSA is exporting Colorado River water at tribal expense and the Missouri is probably next

ip photo: the Colorado River canyon just below Lake Mead

Twenty nine Native American tribes hold 20 percent of Colorado River rights and there is conscious action to remove the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona since Lake Mead could now hold the contents of Lake Powell. But, draining fragile aquifers and lobbying for more water from the Gila River, a tributary of the Colorado is the House of Saud who owns land in Arizona where it raises alfalfa to ship to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

About 3 million acres of irrigated ag land in Western states are planted to alfalfa and it takes 3 to 6 acre-feet every year to water an acre of it — more in hotter, drier climates. An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons. 
Arizona lawmakers are moving to block the sale and lease of state lands to foreign governments and certain foreign corporations -- but not the one that has caused the concern in the first place. But Rep. Mariana Sandoval, D-Goodyear, pointed out that list does not include Saudi Arabia. And it is Fondomonte, a company controlled by Saudi interests, that is leasing 3,500 acres of state land in La Paz County and pumping huge quantities of groundwater to grow hay to feed cattle in Saudi Arabia, something that occurred after that water-starved country banned the growing of such crops there. [Arizona bill to block land sale to foreign governments doesn't include Saudi-leased land in La Paz County]
The KSA gave $2 billion to the Trump Organization for stolen classified documents and to cover up the butchering of a journalist but China is the villain?
Rather than fears over an expansionist Chinese Communist Party, the discussion at that time centered around fears that nations flush with oil cash were planning to buy up land in the Midwest and drive up prices for local farmers. “There was talk that Saudi Arabia had a lot of extra money and they were going to start to buy up land in rural states,” Kent Frerichs, a sponsor on the 1979 law dealing with foreign ownership of agriculture land, recalled. “And that was what spurred my thought at the time.” [South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's new ag land proposal rehashes old debate]
In the image on the right, taken by AP/Wide World Photo in 1948, "George Gillette, the tribal chairman of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota (aka Three Affiliated Tribes), weeping at Garrison Dam Agreement signing as he was forced to sell 153,000 acres of their Native American land to the federal government." Standing directly behind Gillette is Ben Reifel, who was then the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Superintendent of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Born into the Sicangu Oyate, Republican Reifel went on to win election to the US House of Reprsentatives in South Dakota's First Congressional District when there were two congressional districts in my home state.

In 2014 more than a dozen Ihanktonwan survivors of the Missouri River dam flooding in the 1950s banded together to seek compensation from the Yankton Sioux Tribal Business and Claims Committee. Today, the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System exists because farmers have poisoned their own wells and the Big Sioux River but South Dakota will flout Waters of the United States rulings until the cows come home unless or until downstream states cry foul.
There’s nothing preventing an out-of-state person or entity from seeking a Missouri River water right in South Dakota. Applications go to a state board that generally approves them if water is available and the application is for a “beneficial” use; however, requests for more than 10,000 acre-feet per year require legislative approval. [Will South Dakota be ready when other states come for our water?]
How will the Lewis and Clark water system boondoggle embolden the proponents of a pipeline to Rapid City? Will the military push Republicans to get on the socialist bandwagon? But a water pipeline from the Missouri River to Rapid City would cost almost $2 billion and rip up a few hundred miles of stolen treaty ground

Urban planners are so desperate there is even talk of pumping Mississippi River water to the Southwest. 


Political retribution guides invasive horse and cattle removal from public lands

Update: nineteen cattle put down so far this round.


Update: "After listening to arguments that stretched throughout the day, Judge James Browning denied the request, saying the ranchers failed to make their case. He also said the U.S. Forest Service is charged with managing the wilderness for the benefit of the public, and the operation would further that aim." [Albuquerque Journal]


Update: the Gila National Forest will proceed with aerial shooting of feral cattle beginning 23 February. The animals aren’t estray because nobody has claimed ownership — yet. 

Todd Schulke is the Center for Biological Diversity's co-founder.
While legislators referred to the cattle in the Gila as “estray,” Schulke pointed to a 1994 opinion by then-New Mexico Attorney General Tom Udall that suggests the cattle at issue would not meet that definition. That opinion regarded wild horses on the White Sands Missile Range, and noted that state’s livestock code defines “estray” as livestock found running at large on public or private lands whose owner is not known, and “livestock” as domesticated animals used or raised on a farm or ranch. “It is clear that the statutory term ‘estray’ is limited to animals that come within the code’s definition of ‘livestock,’” Udall wrote. If the cattle were to be designated as estray rather than feral, that would put them under the ownership of the New Mexico Livestock Board. [Forest Service to resume aerial cattle shooting in wilderness]
The Colorado Legislature dropped a bill that would have made it a crime to slaughter horses and burros for human consumption for one that would tighten restrictions on the transportation of those animals. The New Mexico Senate Conservation Committee sent SB 301 to the Judiciary Committee on a 7-0 vote on Thursday. "SB 301 builds upon existing law that allows fertility control measures or roundups followed by adoption of the wild horses or relocation."


Cattle grazing on some 155 million acres leased on 21,000 allotments of the 245 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management in thirteen western states now outnumber horses thirty to one. Over 54 million of those acres have failed the BLM's Land Health Assessment according to data released through the Freedom of Information Act to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility or PEER.

So, to better protect wilderness contractors with the US Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service or APHIS shot 65 unvaccinated invasive cattle in 2022 from helicopters on the Gila National Forest. Managers with the GNF believe there are still some 150 of the critters infesting the Gila so officials took comments on another round of lethal removals. 

But, it's hardly an easy alliance between preservationists and an agency like APHIS that killed 1.75 million creatures in 2021 including 400,000 native species like wolves, cougars, bears and bobcats. 

In retaliation, livestock special interests in the Republican super-majority Wyoming Legislature want the federal government to amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 and allow horses wrangled from public lands to be diverted to meat processing domestically for shipment abroad.

That cattle have been allowed onto national forests and other public ground for pennies a head is a crime that needs to end. But, in Montana, Republican welfare ranchers find great joy in slaughtering wolves from aircraft and the feds are killing feral goats in the Wyoming Tetons. 

Now, because of the 2022 Black Fire 325,000 acres of the forage base for elk have been erased so removing rampaging cattle is an imperative.
The U.S. Forest Service has issued a Notice of Intent to Impound Unauthorized Livestock in portions of the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. The notice said unauthorized livestock may be impounded by the USFS on or after Feb. 15, which could indicate the USFS will reach a final decision to shoot estray cattle in the area. New Mexico is a fence out state, meaning the removal of the cattle falls to the landowner, in this case, the USFS. However, the New Mexico Livestock Board ultimately owns estray cattle by statute. According to statute, once the NMLB takes possession and is unable to determine ownership, they may sell the cattle and use the proceeds to cover the expenses associated with gathering the cattle. [USFS issues an intent to impound unauthorized livestock in the Gila]
As of October, 2022 the US Bureau of Land Management has removed over 19,000 horses and burros from public land and holds over 64,000 in confinement although the data clearly show domestic and feral cattle or hogs are far more destructive. 

In Colorado, BLM officials are spending some $625,000 and planning to engage its wildland firefighters and volunteers to bait then dart horses with fertility vaccine in the Sand Wash area because the population of mustangs has exceeded its desired range again. The BLM has four horse herd management areas in the state and uses helicopters during "drive-trap" gathers of a hundred or more. Meanwhile, the Wild Animal Sanctuary has acquired 22,450 acres near Craig in northwest Colorado for one of the largest private wild horse reserves in the nation.

Naturalist George Wuerthner has penned an op-ed that urges the removal of feral horses from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota even as that state's Republican governor lobbies the Park Service to maintain them.

ip photo: Our Lady of the Arroyo and her man are considering the adoption of at least four BLM horses then releasing them with those already roaming here and reducing fine, flashy fuels on our unfenced property.


If John Thune doesn't want Gigi Sohn at FCC that means she should be there

South Dakota's senior US Senator conspired with Mark Zuckerberg and Robert Mercer to hijack the 2016 election for Donald Trump

Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) went to DC as one of America's least wealthy politicians but after nearly two decades in the swamp and helping to pack the Federal Communications Commission with Trump stooges he's rich.
In return, the gatekeepers of the internet that have spent freely to lobby lawmakers like Sen. John Thune — whose PAC and campaign have received $366,000 in telecom contributions since 2013 — promise consumers transparency when they roll out new plans that offer various levels of service at different price points. The end of net neutrality will affect every American and should not be neutralized without a public debate.  [Rapid City Journal]
That's right: the vast white-wing conspiracy was going to beat Hillary Clinton at any cost even if it meant colluding with a sworn enemy of the United States, destroying the presidency and taking down the republic.
Donald Trump's first year in office was a big boon for the predatory companies that bring the internet into our homes and onto our cell phones, commonly referred to as Internet Service Providers or ISPs. Trump and the GOP saw to that in December 2017, with help from former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai, who Trump elevated to chairman of the FCC. Now the grim age of Trump and Pai are behind us, and President Biden has appointed Gigi Sohn to the FCC to clean up Trump's mess. She's an open advocate for "net neutrality," the law before Trump came into office, that requires ISPs to treat all internet traffic the same. [America Needs Gigi Sohn at the FCC Now--Democrats Must Get It Done]
The paper trail is clear — John Thune made Congress look the other way as Russia infiltrated Facebook.

America needs Gigi Sohn at the FCC.


Today's intersection: gender dysphoria and informed consent

When a legislature endures members trained in chiropractic who haven’t earned prescriptive authority and deny the efficacy of western medicine voters and residents remain at risk. The most obvious cognitive dissonance set up by legislation like South Dakota's HB 1080 is removing parents’ ability to provide informed consent in states where Republicans preach parental rights. 

DDT, other ag chemicals and BPA in baby food have already altered the genes in at least three generations not to mention what toxoplasma gondii has been doing to human genetics since time immemorial. But, allowing minors without parental consent access to powerful drugs that alter body and mind is not good governing. If legislatures really want to help kids they should fund research and lawsuits to push back against the Earth haters who manufacture poisons, for mental health professionals to treat adolescents with gender dysphoria and codify age of consent rather than issue blanket denials to all minors. 

In South Dakota minors can apply for therapeutic cannabis permits with parental or guardian consent, ffs.

A pregnant female not yet at the age of consent is the victim of a crime so if a minor is suffering from gender dysphoria criminalize the cause and identify the perpetrators. 

About 1 in a 1000 babies is born with ambiguous genitalia or intersex characteristics and with parents’ blessings pediatric surgeons routinely assign a single gender to newborns—with informed consent. 

But South Dakota Republicans don’t want schools to even talk about the causes of gender dysphoria. Why? Because their campaign dollars come from white christianists like the Family Heritage Alliance and the LGBT-bashing Family Research Council and culture war lawsuits raise money for Earth haters like Mrs. Noem and Mr. Deutsch by design.

What about cochlear implants? Informed consent is the prerogative of parent(s) or legal guardian(s). It varies per state but in most minors cannot give medical consent until 18. Bariatric surgery isn't even approved for patients under 18, just for instance so 'gender affirming' surgery that includes genital mutilation for anyone under the age of consent seems barbaric.

Puberty blocking medications are neither cheap nor without contraindications. 
According to Mayo, to begin using pubertal blockers, a child must: 
•Show a long-lasting and intense pattern of gender nonconformity or gender dysphoria 
•Have gender dysphoria that began or worsened at the start of puberty 
•Address any psychological, medical or social problems that could interfere with treatment 
•Have entered the early stage of puberty 
•Provide informed consent 
Social contagion like the gender reveal sensation Americans are witnessing currently is a passing fad. 

I submit that a parent who observes chronic gender identity issues early in an offspring and doesn’t seek out a psychologist is doing that child harm and South Dakota’s wretched governor and legislature are hurting parents and children by not funding universal health care.


Brookings is living the nightmare

Maybe it's in the water.
Miss South Dakota USA, Shania Knutson, has been suspended from her role as she faces petty theft charges in Brookings County. [Miss South Dakota USA facing petty theft charges in Brookings County]
Okay, it's the home of far too many old, fat, white people already; so, why would any business locate in The Peoples' Republic of Brookings anyway? Because South Dakota's lack of environmental oversight has everything to do with offshore and out of state investors in economic development initiatives.
Riggin Lynn Scheer, from Brookings, South Dakota, has been operating in the midwest under the name “Gordon Kahl,” in homage to the original Kahl who was a neo Nazi and anti-government protester from North Dakota who ultimately was shot and killed by law enforcement during a shootout in northern Arkansas in 1983. [Meet the Neo-Nazi Podcaster Who Helped Promote Ohio’s Nazi Homeschoolers]
Let's see: the city owns a research park, the hospital, the liquor store, the water, the phone company, the power company, an entertainment venue, the golf course, it's home to South Dakota's largest public university and a federally subsidized cheese and dairy industry.
The class action against Daktronics includes allegations that the Company made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the Company was experiencing challenges that increased costs, including supply chain disruptions, that impacted Daktronics' ability to fund inventory levels and operations; (2) as a result, it was probable that some portion of the Company's deferred tax assets would not be realized; (3) as a result, Daktronics was reasonably likely to record a material valuation allowance to its deferred tax assets; (4) there were material weaknesses in the Company's internal controls over financial reporting related to income taxes; (5) the foregoing presented liquidity concerns and there was substantial doubt as to the Company's ability to continue as a going concern; and (6) as a result of the foregoing, defendant's positive statements about the Company's business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis. [CLASS ACTION ALERT: The Law Offices of Vincent Wong Remind Daktronics Investors of a Lead Plaintiff Deadline of February 21, 2023]
Little wonder the Big Sioux River is a sewer of biblical proportions. Even Mrs. Noem’s secretary of the Department of Ag and No Rules (DANR) is sounding the alarm on the Big Sioux River as more sh!t from subsidized CAFOs despoils the watershed.
Actually, there are hundreds, not dozens of such facilities polluting the state’s rivers and streams. DANR, sometimes referred to as the Department of Ag and No Rules, has internal reports gathering dust that have identified scores of medium and small feedlots that need cleanup. [Ag pollution efforts get annual lip service]
South Dakota will flout WOTUS until the cows come home unless or until downstream states cry foul.
One COVID-19 death reported Wednesday in the Department of Health weekly update – the statewide total is now 3153. In Brookings County, there have been 52 new cases reported in the last week, raising the total to 3,536. There are 19 reported deaths in the county. Currently, one person is reported hospitalized in Brookings County for COVID-19. [One COVID-19 death reported this week in South Dakota as weekly cases grow]
Too little, too late?
Avera Behavioral Health of Brookings received $100,000 from the South Dakota Community Foundation to improve and support behavioral and mental health services in the area. [Avera receives $100,000 grant for Brookings mental health services]
Brookings County is not just where I grew up it's home to South Dakota's most pestilent porker.

So, what’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature, living in a chemical toilet, sacrifice zone, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area

In South Dakota freedom is just another word for nothing left to choose.


NM Legislature, DoE clashing over nuclear waste and weapons of mass destruction

Volcanic clays like bentonite and ancient deposits like salt formations make the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico possible.
For years, there’s been debate over where to put the waste. And one way or another, the waste has to go somewhere. Now, New Mexico’s legislators are considering a bill that might help keep waste out of the state. Senate Bill 53, sponsored by a handful of Democratic legislators, aims to give New Mexico a stronger voice in negotiations with the federal government. In theory, the bill would increase New Mexico’s ability to decide if radioactive waste is stored in the state. The U.S. Constitution contains the “Supremacy Clause,” which generally says that federal laws take precedence over state laws. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on an 8 – 1 bipartisan vote with some amendments. [Should nuclear waste be stored in New Mexico?]
But Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is at odds with the US Department of Energy and Bechtel National who seem to believe transporting diluted nuclear waste like plutonium over and over America's railroads and highways is completely harmless.
New Mexico lost its challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant a license to store nuclear waste in the state, after the Tenth Circuit dismissed the state’s petition for review on Friday. A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit agreed with the federal government that the petition should be dismissed, finding that New Mexico lacked jurisdiction to bring the action under the Hobbs Act and Atomic Energy Act. New Mexico didn’t participate in the licensing proceeding or qualify as an aggrieved party, Judge Robert E. Bacharach wrote for the three-judge panel. [10th Cir. Tosses New Mexico’s Challenge to Nuclear Waste License]
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. 

Energy has set a goal of producing 80 new plutonium pits a year by 2035, enough to fully replace the triggers in every existing thermonuclear warhead by 2105.

If humanity doesn't destroy the planet there will come a time when it will be routine to launch waste too hot for humans to handle into the sun maybe from Spaceport America in New Mexico. 


Thinning is not logging; burns critical to forest health

Fuel treatments and burns on the Santa Fe National Forest helped contain the Rio en Medio Fire in 2020 and the Cerro Pelado Fire last year. Now, those of us who live in Santa Fe County are seeing the aspen bowl above The City Different holding snow and the pine accelerating the sublimation of critical water supplies.
Rowan Braybrook is with the nonprofit Northwest Natural Resource Group. Her group is studying ways to increase and prolong snowpack. “In really dense forests where the canopy is almost continuous, the snow can’t get at the ground very readily,” she says. “And it melts on those darker tree leaves or pine needles.” So in part of a Washington forest, the team thinned trees that were growing very close together and created small clearings — called gap cuts — where more snow could accumulate. [Tree thinning in dense forests could bolster Western snowpack, researchers suggest]
Tribes, well-funded local and volunteer fire departments could conduct prescribed fires and burn road ditches to create buffers where contract fire specialists don’t exist.
Primeval forests, by contrast, were a patchwork of varying densities, often sparsely populated by leviathan trees lording over a healthy, diverse and fruitful understory. Wildfire ecologists almost universally support fuels reduction — especially in forests that used to flourish under frequent ground fires, such as the ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest. Thinning followed by frequent ground fire is generally beneficial; it promotes nutrient cycling and maintains an open forest structure that won’t get dense enough to invite a crown fire. [Does thinning work for wildfire prevention?]
After amendments and a substitute the New Mexico Senate has unanimously passed a bill that prohibits prescribed burns on days when the National Weather Service issues a red flag warning.


Koch, American Crystal Sugar among top sedition funders

Moorhead, Minnesota-based American Crystal Sugar has announced it will shutter its crumbling factory in Sidney, Montana where it processes genetically engineered sugar beets.
Companies and trade associations that pledged to suspend donations have given more than $12 million to the campaign and leadership PACs of the Sedition Caucus. Koch Industries ($626,500), American Crystal Sugar ($530,000), Home Depot ($525,000), Boeing ($488,000), and UPS ($479,500) have contributed the most money to members of the Sedition Caucus through their corporate PACs. [Corporations have given $40 million to the Sedition Caucus]
Earlier this month US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the "Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative  to reward schools that go above and beyond in the health of their meals, as well as provide grants to small and rural schools to improve the nutrition in their lunchrooms." USDA wants to restrict sugar, sodium and non-whole grains in school meals and make other changes to the program.

American Crystal Sugar is a major donor to South Dakota's current Republican governor.

Learn more at the Sidney Herald.


Tanka Fund moving, restoring bison

In 2006, co-founders of Native American Natural Foods, Mark Tilsen and Karlene Hunter, started making the Tanka Bar, the first commercial meat and fruit bison bar, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Hunter and Tilsen went on to create Tanka Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to "return buffalo to the lands, lives and economies of Native American people."

Led by The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit that began buying land in that part of South Dakota in 2007, sold some of it to Badlands National Park in 2012. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Defenders of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy teamed up with the National Park Foundation, Badlands Natural History Association, Badlands National Park Conservancy and the National Park Service Centennial Challenge fund to expand the bison range at Badlands National Park by nearly 35 square miles. 

Today, restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal and with cooperation from the InterTribal Buffalo Council and Democratic former South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert more bison are coming home to the Nations. Encouraged by President Joe Biden's America the Beautiful initiative the Cheyenne River Buffalo Authority Corporation purchased West Side Meats in Mobridge—now expanding to Eagle Butte. 

Democratic Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and co-sponsor Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) have reintroduced legislation to better clarify the labeling of bison products and prevent the substitution of species like water buffalo.
Dr. Trudy Ecoffey has over 20 years of experience working on research, management, and ecology of bison. She started working with bison and bison related issues when she wrote a curriculum for tribal colleges for her MS degree in Range Ecology and Wildlife from the University of Nebraska. She then completed her PhD from South Dakota State in Biology with a dissertation that investigated tribal bison herds which focused on culture, ecology, management and financing. She later assisted on writing a management guide to help tribal bison managers. Her focus was on disease and health issues for the InterTribal Buffalo Council. Because there are only (approximately) 500,000 bison in North America, animals often need to be acquired through surplus, either from the nonprofits, like the Nature Conservancy or the National Park Service, Ecoffey explained. The Nature Conservancy is providing Tanka Fund and the InterTribal Buffalo Council, a nonprofit whose mission is in alignment with Tanka Fund’s, with approximately 800 bison for Native American producers. [Makers of Tanka Bar look to support, source bison meat from Indian-owned herds]
Mark Tilsen's son, Nick, continues the family's long line of Indigenous activism through work at NDN Collective based in Rapid City.

ip photo: Wind Cave National Park in occupied South Dakota.


Appeals Court upholds Chaco protections

When now-Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was the US Representative for New Mexico's First District she was one of the sponsors of the Chaco Culture Heritage Protection Act of 2019 that would have codified the 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Canyon. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo—just one of New Mexico's Indigenous Nations who consider the Greater Chaco Wash as sacred. Santa Fe-based Wild Earth Guardians joined other interested parties and sued the Trump Organization's Bureau of Land Management to stop oil and gas encroachment on Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

In 2021 New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich asked Sec. Haaland to end leasing within a 10-mile radius of the park because Chaco is an International Dark Sky Park at risk to oil and gas flaring. So, in partnership with the Bureau of Indian Affairs BLM completed a draft resource management plan for Chaco and a decision released.

Now, citing the scarcity and fragility of water supplies in the region a three-judge panel on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the BLM didn’t properly gauge long-term impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act so it suspended some 200 permits and blocked permits issued by the Trump Organization

A survey conducted by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) showed that during the Trump years BLM was plagued with staff shortages, high turnover and partisan rancor. 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. So, in 2022 Interior Secretary Deb Haaland released the outline for a restructured BLM promising to return its main headquarters to DC while increasing its role in the Mountain West by improving a demoralized Grand Junction, Colorado presence.

The ancient Chacoans represent a cautionary tale of environmental destruction followed by extirpation: a trophic cascade where human is the apex predator and decimates a landscape so stopping further ecological devastation by industry is the right thing to do.

Representing Wild Earth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity, Farmington, New Mexico-based Western Environmental Law Center sued to revoke Trump era leases in the Permian Basin.


Spearditch company blames Republican Montana governor for nursing home closures

Wendy Soulek is chief operating officer for and heir to Lantis Enterprises—a Spearditch, South Dakota company operating some 21 long term care centers, 6 Alzheimer's Units, 14 personal care/assisted living centers, and 5 home health agencies including facilities in Montana. 

Because of Republican cuts to Medicaid reimbursements ten long term care properties closed in Montana last year and in October Lantis shut their fifth home including the Friendship Villa in Miles City and Rocky Mountain Care Center in Helena. Lantis shuttered the Glacier Care Center in Cut Bank yesterday and closed Beartooth Manor in Columbus on January 7.
“I’m so floored that Montana has chosen this path. The governor ... (expects people) will move to more populated areas, but their families can’t. That’s the most heart-wrenching and cruel part of this whole thing,” Soulek said. “They can’t just let rural communities go down like this.” [Columbus nursing home closing, making 10 Montana facilities closed in 2022]
After Amtrak's Empire Builder derailed near Joplin, Montana in 2021 many of the injured passengers were unable to find medical care because area hospitals were overwhelmed with unvaccinated Republicans.

Wendy Soulek's father Will Lantis was a Republican politician who died drunk at the wheel in 2006 in a single vehicle crash near Spearditch.

ip photo: a 2011 rally at the Montana Capitol drew 600 people.