Driven by governor an attack on BLM in SD opens new front for domestic terrorism

Ginned up by the likes of Kristi Noem, Ammon Bundy and Margaret Byfield tension is high in the Mountain West so local US Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service offices and employees are on alert for militant zealots bent on violent disruptions or worse. 

Even Earth haters in my home state of South Dakota, including the MAGA governor, are having (halving?) a cow over the BLM's proposed Conservation and Landscape Health rule. There is a straight line from Mrs. Noem's American Legislative Exchange Council brainwashing to the American Lands Council: both are Koch-driven special interest groups seeking to open federal lands to private development bypassing environmental protections. 
WANTED: The BLM South Dakota Field Office would like your help in identifying the person(s) responsible for damage at the Fort Meade Recreation Area on 1/26/2024 around 11:30 pm. A vehicle drove through four different closure gates, demolished an informational kiosk, drove through three sections of post and rail fence, and tore down the picnic shelter at the Alkali Creek Horse Camp. This senseless act will cost thousands of dollars in repairs and will take funding away from future improvements to the area. Please, if you have any information on this incident please contact the BLM at (605) 892-7000. [Faceberg post, Bureau of Land Management, Montana/Dakotas]
The Government Accountability Office documented more than 350 incidents of threats and assaults against federal land management employees during the Obama years but spurred by Donald Trump there have been many more culminating in an attack on the US Capitol. Not just the BLM and Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and at least 15 other federal agencies also suffered hits to morale while in the clutches of the Trump Organization. 

In 2019 Democratic then-New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland led a House subcommittee hearing on anti-government extremism emphasizing that the violent ideologies expressed by the Bundy Klan were spurred by white elected Republicans in the Mountain West. Now, at the direction of Secretary Haaland the BLM has even hired a security specialist to outline strategies to defend federal employees and public property against welfare ranchers and white supremacists

Advocates are piling on the BLM after a disastrous horse gather in 2023 that killed thirty one mustangs in Cliven Bundy's back yard. Another died Monday during operations in Wyoming. 

Most of the vegetation on the 274,000 surface acres of BLM in the South Dakota Field Office is prairie grassland or juniper woodlands but the trees at the Fort Meade Recreation Area are ponderosa pine and bur oak. Around Lead and Deadwood pine and oak are mixed with spruce, birch, and quaking aspen. Much of it is leased for pennies a head to welfare ranchers for grazing including some four thousand acres at the Bismarck Trail Ranch but the BLM leases land to bentonite miners around Belle Fourche, too.

There's no telling how bad the chaos will get in western states but BLM Montana/Dakotas has been seeking a replacement for South Dakota Field Manager Chip Kimball.

ip image: Mato Paha as seen from Fort Meade.


Blue states continue to lead on end of life care

Neither nitrogen hypoxia nor death by firing squad will ever be medically sanctioned procedures for ending a human life in the good ol’ US of A.

But in 2021, despite objections from a Roman Church that preys on children and props up dictators, New Mexico's Democratic governor and unpaid legislators passed laws making a death with dignity legal for people with terminal illnesses. Some 120 people made the choice in 2022 including a nurse familiar to Our Lady of the Arroyo. 

Since suicide by violent means is epidemic in red states, blue states Vermont and Oregon erased residency requirements for end of life medications. Now, after Colorado passed legislation in 2016 and over a thousand souls have taken advantage of the statute, that state's legislature could allow advanced practice nurses to prescribe and out-of-state patients to administer the medicine in end of life decisions.
New Mexico, whose law went into effect in 2021, also has a 48-hour waiting period between when an aid-in-dying prescription is written and when it is filled. Under Senate Bill 68, Colorado’s 48-hour waiting period could also be waived if a patient is unlikely to live that long. (New Mexico’s law has a similar provision.)Senate Bill 68 is scheduled to get its first hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in late February. [Colorado may become the 3rd state to drop its medical aid-in-dying residency requirement]
Minnesota's legislature is also considering a death with dignity statute.
The proposed legislation in Minnesota requires two providers to confirm a patient is facing a terminal illness with six months or less to live; the patient must be mentally competent; and the patient must be able to administer the lethal medication themselves. Under the bill, doctors can opt out of prescribing the medication, but must refer their patient to another provider. The bill does not require patients to be Minnesota residents. [Advocates: End-of-life bill gives patients 'personal liberty and autonomy' in the face of terminal illness]
Despite urging from the primate of the Church of of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers to get inoculated during a pandemic a Sioux Falls, South Dakota school district with ties to the sect joined a 2021 lawsuit against the Biden administration's vaccine or testing/masking mandate. Representing the Diocese of Sioux Falls pro bono is the Alliance Defending Freedom, identified as a hate group in 2016 by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

White guy, Fred Deutsch has been raising campaign cash gallivanting around South Dakota with a crusade calling Death with Dignity "Don't Eat Grandma" or something but won't spend a dime for mental health. Fred is a sectarian who attends anti-civil rights conferences featuring the Duck Dynasty philosophers.

In 2023 ADF represented a few religionist doctors and sued the State of New Mexico in federal court over language in the End-of-Life Options Act that they say compelled providers with christianic beliefs to prescribe life-ending medications for terminally ill patients.

After learning he had advanced liver, kidney and colon cancer and making the decision to decline treatment, Stanley Crawford, a Dixon, New Mexico author and garlic farmer, ended his life on 25 January by medically-assisted suicide at 86. His wife, RoseMary passed in 2021.


New Mexico Earth haters want to block 30x30 state land purchases

Barely-relevant Republicans in New Mexico's legislature are paid just under $200 a day during its thirty or sixty day even/odd year sessions but little stops them from taking money from the Koch and DeVos cabals through Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund.

In 2021, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her administration would align with President Joe Biden's America the Beautiful plan in part to reduce the impacts of pollution from the extractive industry.
Two Republican ranchers in the New Mexico Senate are fighting back from perceived threats of government land grabs, as the state works to conserve land from industrial development. Two bills introduced in the Senate this week would strip the state’s power, if passed, to buy land for conservation. ['Fundamental disagreement' puts GOP and 'bureaucrats' in Santa Fe at odds for conservation]
Interior has just released its update on the 30x30 initiative for 2024.


Arizona Republican misses the part where communist Vietnam is flourishing

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.
Arizona's speaker of the House wants to make sure high schoolers get at least a crash course on the history of communist regimes. It would mandate that the instruction include "the prevalence of poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence and suppression of speech'' under those regimes. [Arizona lawmaker: High schoolers must be taught communism is bad]
Although the term “socialist” wasn’t widely used until the nineteenth century it's of little consequence as it has existed in its purest form for nearly all of human history.
Vietnam has emerged as one of the rare winners during recent years of de-globalization thanks to its thoughtful policy of “bamboo diplomacy”. The policy has enabled it to upgrade relations with the West while maintaining positive ties with its largest trading partner, China. Bamboo diplomacy is enshrined in Vietnam’s “Four No’s”: no military alliances, no picking sides in conflicts, no foreign military bases, and no use of force in international relations. Officials are open to doing business with anyone as long as they aren’t dragged into quarrels. [Amid U.S.-China Tensions, Vietnam’s Economy Is Rising]
Indigenous cultures lived in collectivist economies long before migrating to this hemisphere and capitalism has destroyed hope in Indian Country where throughout herstory family and community have been more important than money and consumerism for countless generations

"The prevalence of poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence and suppression of speech" reads a lot like Texas, innit?


Cobell judge slams MAGA lies

Initially brought in 1996 and settled in 2009, Cobell v. Salazar, previously Cobell v. Kempthorne and Cobell v. Norton and Cobell v. Babbitt, was finally decided in Cobell v. Jewell.  

After hearing the many years of testimony in Cobell, Reagan appointee Judge Royce C. Lamberth called the US Department of Interior, "a dinosaur -- the morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government that should have been buried a century ago, the pathetic outpost of the indifference and anglocentrism we thought we had left behind." Judge Lamberth was removed from the case in 2006 after years of stonewalling by the Bush II administration.

In 2010 Eloise Cobell wrote that the $3.4 billion settlement was only a fraction of what is truly owed to tribes. 

Lamberth is the longest serving US District Court Judge serving on the federal bench in DC.
Though he did not mention Trump by name, Lamberth specifically called out language used by Trump and, more recently, Trump allies like Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), describing Jan. 6 defendants as “hostages.” Lamberth issued his comments in connection with sentencing proceedings for James Little, a Jan. 6 misdemeanor defendant who has decried his case as a political prosecution and said the government is trying to suppress his free speech rights. Lamberth has handled a disproportionate share of high-profile Jan. 6 cases. Among them: Jacob Chansley, known as the QAnon Shaman; Alan Hostetter, a former police chief whom he recently sentenced to 11 years in prison; and Christopher Worrell, a Proud Boy who launched chemical spray at police officers. Chansley’s case became the subject of distortions on Fox News that have fueled further conspiracy theories about the attack on the Capitol. [‘Preposterous’: Federal judge decries efforts to downplay Jan. 6 violence, label perpetrators ‘hostages’]
Eloise Cobell walked on in 2011.

Learn more at Indianz.


USACE ignoring "first in time, first in right" tribal sovereignty

How is it that South Dakota Republicans are militantly divided over the utility of eminent domain for private enterprise for pipelines to move carbon dioxide but are just fine with employing it for the entrepreneurial transport of oil and gas?

Industrial agriculture is ecocide and for those of us who love the Earth CO2 pipelines 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. 

David Ganje is an attorney based in Rapid City where he practices environmental law. He contends that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) within US Department of Transportation is in the pocket of industry.
The first applicant to use water (a so-called a senior appropriator) in the state may be granted authority to draw from the water source as against later applicants and users (so-called junior appropriators). This is the important doctrine commonly known as "first in time, first in right." [David Ganje: When it comes to 'public waters,' who should have access?]
In 2017 a US District Court ordered the US Army Corps of Engineers to finish a review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Dakota Excess pipeline, its impact on tribal interests and how a spill under the Oahe Reservoir would impact groundwater and surface water rights for the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Yankton and Oglala Lakota nations.
The Corps’ climate analysis in the DEIS systematically underestimates the climate impacts of DAPL. The DEIS relies on outdated climate projections, fails to report impacts beyond 2050, uses flawed greenhouse gas (GHG) and social cost of carbon calculations, and limits relevance to such a narrow scope to make the assessment meaningless. Tribal consultation is paramount in recognizing Tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Per the White House’s Uniform Standards for Tribal Consultation, this process is ‘a two-way, Nation-to-Nation exchange of information and dialogue between official representatives of the United States and of Tribal Nations regarding Federal policies that have Tribal implications.’ Located in the Pentagon, it is difficult to determine how much impact Congress [and/or] the White House have on Corps’ bureaucracy. As Commander-in-Chief, the president does have an influence on Pentagon departments and policies, and appointed those in leadership capacities. [Congress moves to assist tribes in DAPL Battle]
Nearly every moving stream, intermittent or not in South Dakota, has supported a pre-settlement Amerindian or European explorer pulling and propelling a dugout or canoe over it so how is that not "first in time, first in right?"


Wyoming again leading US in paranoia, suicide

Neocolonialism is being lost on white people who have now become the martyrs of their own violence.

So, like South Dakota and because of unrestrained race hatred Wyoming is another red state that would prefer to die of cancers and suicides rather than expand Medicaid. Although South Dakota led the US in 2021 for the rate of increase in suicides with 48% the apparent failures of Republican agitprop reflects Wyoming's suicide rate as it climbs to over twice the national average and the highest in the United States.
In conservative Wyoming, it was long seen as taboo to draw a link between guns and suicide. There are a lot of theories behind why Wyoming, alongside several of its neighbors in the Mountain West, has had perennially high suicide rates. It's the least populated state in the nation, and there are huge gaps in care. People have to drive long distances on roads that often close for blizzards or wind. There has also long been a stigma around getting help: that "cowboy up" mentality of getting through the tough times. ['We don't want to be first place.' Wyoming tries to address high gun suicide rates]
Hey, if Tony Venhuizen wants to feed from the Qochtopus gravy train he has to prove he’s numbed to the misery, hopelessness and despair his father-in-law and political party have heaped on South Dakotans. 

Sociopathy is not the absence of God: it is the manifestation of creating miscreants in a species mutating as response to the evil being perpetrated by Republicans on the Earth. Chaos has clearly triumphed over the perceived capitalistic order perpetuated by consumerism and as humanity awaits a new normal definition of mentally ill, global warming is driving higher numbers of people to historically inhospitable climates. White retirees are sucking up land in The West and Montana has reached a million in population. 

It’s long past time to muster the political will to mandate a three year enrollment in military or police service at the age of eighteen and the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms be limited to people 21 and older. Levy 100% excise taxes on the domestic sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

Learn more at Wyofile.


Trump's demise is simply a matter of time

After its dismissal by a US District Court judge Laramie, Wyoming lawyer Tim Newcomb has appealed his lawsuit to the state's highest court against Secretary of State Chuck Gray to bar Donald Trump and US Senator Cynthia Lummis from the general election ballot under the Disqualification Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Colorado ruling, based on “clear and convincing evidence” that Trump engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, does, in fact, limit voters’ choices, but that is true of other constitutional provisions that disqualify various citizens from holding the Office of the Presidency. But other provisions that seem undemocratic — Article II criteria for presidential eligibility, the Impeachment Clause, the Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment and the 22nd Amendment — because they impose limits on the choices of voters, have retained their vitality and relevance in an age marked by grave constitutional challenges. These voter-limiting provisions serve the greater interest of the nation — the necessity of preserving our constitutional democracy. [Wyoming Humanities, Section Three And Constitutional Democracy?]
Newcomb claims Trump refused to protect Congress from terrorists. 

Joan Donovan is Assistant Professor of Journalism and Emerging Media Studies at Boston University.
Networked incitement involves insurgents communicating across multiple platforms to command and coordinate mobilized social movements in the moment of action. The insurrectionists behaved akin to a networked social movement, with online platforms forming the infrastructure to organize action, but its leaders were politicians and political operatives as opposed to charismatic community leaders. No sitting president before Trump had exploited the capacity of social media to directly reach citizens to command specific actions. The use of social media for networked incitement foreshadows a dark future for democracies. Rulers could well come to power by manipulating mass social movements via social media, directing a movement’s members to serve as the leaders’ shock troops, online and off. [Jan. 6 was an example of networked incitement − a media and disinformation expert explains the danger of political violence orchestrated over social media]
Is Trump even well enough to weather the toll his crimes are taking on his health? His lawyers are arguing that a unitary executive could launch the extraordinary rendition or worse of anyone anywhere anytime without due process because he can. But the Supreme Court of the United States is in a box: if it rules the unitary executive is immune to prosecution President Joe Biden could call for the removal of every Republican who incited insurrection. And while Trump is a clear and present danger to national security and his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay is an intriguing goal house arrest, a gag order and loss of passport is probably adequate if POTUS Biden orders it. 

So if Donald Trump is disqualified and Ron DeSantis just dropped out Nikki Haley needs a running mate from a swing state: who is it? Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona are in play. 


Wyoming primed to become uranium sacrifice zone

Armed with the enriched uranium mined in New Mexico four Los Alamos scientists blessed the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed over 200,000 children, women and men. 

Beginning in 1958 Homestake Mining Company gouged uranium from New Mexico leaving piles of waste rock laden with selenium causing cancers and thyroid disease in its wake. 

Warren Peak in the Wyoming Black Hills was home to PM-1, the first micro reactor built in the United States. When the Sundance Air Force Station went nuclear in 1962 it was powered by Uranium 235 with an enrichment of 93% and provided 1.25 megawatts to feed radar data to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and enough steam to heat the facility until it was shuttered in 1968.

In 1979 an earthen dam collapsed releasing 1,100 tons of uranium waste and 94 million gallons of radioactive and highly acidic water onto Navajo tribal lands.

In July, 2023 Canada-based Anfield Energy bought enCore Energy’s Marquez-Juan Tafoya uranium project in New Mexico. Texas-based enCore has uranium claims or operations in Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and South Dakota
Wyoming leads the country in uranium mining and has the largest economic uranium ore reserves in the U.S. which are located across the Powder River Basin, Great Divide Basin, Shirley Basin and Gas Hills. In Wyoming, there are 24 uranium projects currently in the exploration or planning stages, including three in Crook County and four in southwestern Campbell County. BWX Technologies is a Virginia-based company that is looking to build up a supply chain in Wyoming for nuclear micro reactors. It recently held a workshop with vendors in northeast Wyoming and will be going around the rest of the state this year. [State report: Wyoming uranium industry primed for success]
Rare earth deposits in the upper Belle Fourche River threaten that watershed, too. The soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle.

Wyoming is the testbed for an advanced micro reactor through BWXT’s partnerships with the US Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

ip image: Terry Peak as seen from Carlile, Wyoming looking across the Belle Fourche River and behind Cement Ridge.


More birds!

Up to twenty scaled or cotton-top quail have been joining the other birds in the yard!


BLM plan for industrial solar looks like a public land taking for private enterprise

Here in Santa Fe County residents are balking at a solar farm on private property in Rancho Viejo that could provide power for some 30,000 homes arguing that lithium ion batteries are prone to thermal runaway fires, that construction would disturb habitat for burrowing owls and require nearly 50 million gallons of water.

In my home state of South Dakota, Walworth County residents are voicing similar concerns but McCook County officials have approved a permit for a large array on 735 acres capable of producing some 99 megawatts despite opponents' claims for life safety concerns, damage to property and land value reductions but according to an industry watchdog South Dakota ranks last in solar capacity.

In the Northwest the US Bureau of Land Management is seeking comment on the construction of utility-scale photovoltaic generation on public lands in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
In addition to a status quo (“no-action”) option, the plan outlines five frameworks for permitting the kind of large-scale solar energy development that’s been in play across southwestern states including New Mexico and Nevada for more than a decade. The agency’s preferred alternative, Alternative 3, prioritizes proximity to transmission infrastructure, an acknowledgment that even expanded permitting of new energy projects can’t meet market demand without power lines to move electricity to where it’s needed. If the BLM selects Alternative 3 as drafted, approximately 210,000 acres of the more than 8 million acres of BLM-managed land in Montana could become available for solar developments. [BLM unveils plan for utility-scale solar development in western states]
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy screws customers in Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and New Mexico but the company gives twice as much campaign dough to Earth haters than to Democrats. Boulder, Colorado voted to keep Xcel in 2020 but in light of findings in the causes of the Marshall Fire in Boulder County seven lawsuits have been combined as a class action and filed against Earth hater Xcel in Colorado courts. 

Now, Colorado residents have had it with the monopoly that furnishes the city's power and burns fossil fuels to generate 58% of the state's electricity. In Colorado regulators are sending a clear signal to Xcel and Black Hills Energy to help subscribers transition to rooftop solar especially when microgrids are far more acceptable to rural communities.

Plans for a 771 mW photovoltaic farm that could electrify every domicile in Wyoming are being hardened for a site near the state’s border with Colorado.

Developers are nearing completion of a 400 megawatt solar system with battery storage in Sandoval County, New Mexico and capable of powering up to 150,000 PNM subscribers is scheduled to come online in June. Glare from the modules is quite visible from La Bajada Hill on I-25 nearly fifty miles distant.

Subsidized corporate greenwashing for a CO2 pipeline through private property is ripping the South Dakota Republican Party apart but the BLM taking public lands to enrich the shareholders of private utilities is every bit as offensive.


Column: Kari Lake checks all the Trump Veep boxes

Sorry, Kristi. 

If by some miracle Donald Trump becomes the Earth haters' nominee he needs a white, christianic, loyal, telegenic female running mate from a swing state. 
Embrace conspiracy theories about 2020 election fraud? ✔ 
Embrace conspiracy theories about 2022 election fraud? ✔ 
Attack John McCain? Anthony Fauci? Former Gov. Doug Ducey? The FBI? ✔ 
Rant about the media and a stolen election and Joe Biden’s border “invasion” and a stolen election and the “uniparty” and a stolen election and did I mention a stolen election? ✔
Read it all here.


Southwestern states reaching cannabis plateau?

Despite cannabis sales at a seven year low in Colorado retailers in Dinosaur are capitalizing on a five-minute drive to the Utah border and a couple of hours away from Wyoming. In northeastern Colorado, Sedgwick has three dispensaries and is just a few miles from the horrible red state of Nebraska.
After nearly three years, Arizona’s recreational and medical marijuana markets seem to have found an equilibrium, with adult-use cannabis consistently making up at least twice as many sales as the more heavily regulated medical industry. In November, Arizona medical cannabis consumers purchased 4,468 pounds of marijuana in various forms, down from 4,475 reported in October. The year to date total through November, was 51,543 pounds. [Cannabis sales begin to settle into pattern as 3rd anniversary for recreational pot use approaches]
With forty four dispensaries and counting, Santa Fe is nearing "cannabis retail oversaturation" so some merchants are offering $100 ounces, penny pre-rolls or even free grams with purchases.
Duke Rodriguez is the CEO of Ultrahealth, one of the state’s largest cannabis operators. He said that the sheer number of cannabis businesses is simply unsustainable. [New Mexican cannabis operators voice concern over current market conditions]
But budtenders in the border town of Sunland Park are laughing all the way to the bank as millions in sales to Texans have boosted revenues for public safety. 

Oregon is also seeing oversaturation so vendors are asking the legislature to restrict licensure

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has signed on to a letter with the attorneys general of Illinois, California, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Jersey and Rhode Island urging Drug Enforcement Administrator Anne Milgram to make a final rule dropping cannabis to a Schedule III classification.


Ute Mountain Reservation part of microgrid plan

Ice storms and other calamities driven by anthropogenic climate hijinx routinely knock out electric power often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem but the addition of virtual power plants or VPPs can change that handling some twenty percent of peak power demand by 2030. 

So, microgrid technologies are destined to enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.
Five communities — Parachute, Basalt, Granby, the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation and Silverton — each won a $100,000 Energizing Rural Communities prize from DOE to promote microgrids and clean energy projects. Silverton calls its resilience project GOLD — Goal of Less Dependency — and it has four objectives: prepare a resiliency plan for disasters, build a microgrid, find ways to move the old, inefficient infrastructure to electricity and join a regional climate action plan to transition to sustainable energy. [After “Snowpocalypse” killed their power, Silverton is turning on microgrids]
Here in New Mexico the Kewa Pueblo is expanding a broadband network built in 2015 and assembling a photovoltaic microgrid. In my home state of South Dakota the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation built a microgrid, so have the Oglala Lakota Nation and Standing Rock Sioux where wind chills and blowing snow are putting thousands at risk. Many other nations are also building microgrids.

ip image: the Sneffels Range rises above Ridgway.


Convicted in New Mexico, criminal now raising money for far white wing

Bake a man a pie and he'll learn to divide by seven but teach a man piety and he'll crucify the apples then say they died for his sins. 

Disgraced Republican 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. He is barred from ever holding office again after being prosecuted under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment when he was convicted in a case brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in 2022.

Gillette, Wyoming is a scary place. It's where ecocide is encouraged and mercury from coal burning power plants is released into South Dakota's watersheds and beyond.
Men, women and children, many dressed in cowboy hats, jeans, leather boots and clothes patterned with stripes and stars, gathered Saturday afternoon in the auditorium of the Cam-Plex Heritage Center, where an arc of red, white and blue balloons had been erected on the stage. The occasion was a pie auction fundraiser organized by the Campbell County GOP and titled “A January 6 Prisoner’s Story.” The guest speaker was Couy Griffin, a former New Mexico politician and ardent Donald Trump supporter who was convicted of trespassing on restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. On Saturday, Griffin tried to distance himself from insurrectionists who acted violently on Jan. 6, some breaking into the building and attempting to halt Congress from certifying the presidential election. [In Campbell County, the right embraces a convicted Jan. 6 figure]
New Mexico was one of seven states where fake electors were recruited to steal the 2020 presidential election for Trump. 

A Texas group calling itself American Stewards of Liberty with ties to the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion has presented anti-Earth resolutions to a receptive Otero County Commission. Southeastern New Mexico is home to many descendants of the Confederacy. 

Trump’s people are broke, broken, disaffected, debt-ridden, desperate and determined to destroy civil society to wipe their slates clean so they can string up the bankers who enslaved them. 

So, Couy? You should go to your house of worship and pray for the end of the world so some supernatural extraterrestrial who says he’s the son of dog can lord over you.


Insurance companies suing utilities for billions over human-caused climate disasters

Xcel Energy is just one utility being bankrupted by insurance companies looking for culprits in human-caused disasters now that it's been determined all-day hurricane force winds drove the 2021 Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado. Wind gusts of 128 miles per hour sent two converging wildfires into housing developments killing two people, taking out nearly 1100 homes and numerous businesses including a Target store in Superior.
In its complaint, Target also blames the wildfire on the two telecommunications companies, saying they had equipment lashed to the same pole as Xcel. CenturyLink’s wires may have come loose, striking Teleport’s wires and causing them to unravel. The Teleport lashing may have hit Xcel’s conductors, the lawsuit states. [Xcel Energy faces nearly 300 lawsuits alleging utility company started Marshall fire]
Pacific Gas and Electric, Xcel, Black Hills Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company and Public Service of New Mexico or PNM are all responsible for massive blazes causing millions or even billions in damages.
Dave Jones, who served as California’s insurance commissioner from 2011 to 2019, has some ideas that could help the situation. As commissioner, he was responsible for regulating the nation’s largest state insurance market. As we have failed to combat climate change, temperatures are rising in the West, throughout the United States and across the globe. The increase in temperatures is resulting in more severe and frequent weather-related catastrophes. That’s killing people and injuring people and destroying communities. It’s also making it challenging for insurance companies to keep writing insurance in some parts of the United States and make money. Until we stop using fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with other sectors of the economy, we’re going to continue to march steadily toward an uninsurable future. [Homeowner’s insurance is going up in smoke]
Learn more at the Colorado Sun.

This interested party uploaded three photos of the 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire to the Historic Deadwood Faceberg page where readers are recalling their memories of that blaze. Images taken ten years after that Black Hills Energy-caused wildfire are linked here.


Peters, Lindell likely headed for jail, bankruptcy

A private plane carrying Republican former Mesa, Colorado County Clerk Tina Peters and other Trump operatives took them to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to attend a rally held by Mike Lindell. 

Peters' trial on charges that she copied files of the county's election tabulations then shared them with Pillow Guy, Lindell will begin in February. Peters is probably going to jail after compromising election results and forcing polling machines to be discarded.
District Court Judge Nina Y. Wang wrote in her ruling: "To warrant federal court intervention, a plaintiff must offer sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the prosecution was substantially motivated by a bad faith motive or was brought to harass. Ms. Peters has not met her burden here." She also wrote multiple times, "Documents do not even address the factual allegations for which they are cited." [Judge dismisses Tina Peters lawsuit aimed at stopping federal charges against her]
Lindell is simply another caricature of the aging GOP.
At MyPillow headquarters in Chaska, Minnesota, religion, politics, pillows and a kinetic CEO fuel a never-ending tornado that Lindell flies around in nearly every minute of every day, selling — always selling — his latest set of sheets, pseudo-Biblical prophecy, election fraud theory, grievance. He calls an attorney interested in representing him in lawsuits with voting machine companies Smartmatic and Dominion. He later says he and MyPillow decided to part ways with the attorneys because the bills were $2 million per month. The Minneapolis and Washington law firms told federal judges they’re owed millions in legal fees. [Mike Lindell’s conspiracy-fueled pillow company fights to survive his election obsession]
Learn more at Newsweek.


Today's mood

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday denounced the debunked conspiracy theory that the FBI instigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The attack, he said, “should never have happened. As I’ve said many times before, the former president’s words that day were reckless. I believe history will judge his role in that." The former vice president said the upcoming Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary offered Republicans the chance to “give our party a fresh start and give us new leadership to lead our party forward in the election and beyond.” [Pence denounces conspiracy that FBI instigated January 6 attack]


Pope purges predatory pulpiteer

The leader of the Roman Church is cleaning house of pederastic predators but is taking heat from Republicans for his stance on curbing human-induced climate change and for allowing priests to bless non-traditional couples. 

In 2015, after being censured for sexual contact with a minor John Nienstedt was driven from the St. Paul Diocese, moved to California but is now believed to be living in Michigan. Nienstedt was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of St. Thomas where now-dead Sioux Falls Bishop Paul Swain served on the Institutional Advancement Committee. The Minnesota cleric with intimate ties to Swain is said to have frequented a gay bar called the Happy Tap. Then-interim Archbishop Bernie Hebda acknowledged the number of victims that came forward was "staggering" in the bishopric that also serves my home state of South Dakota.

Last November, Francis sacked an apostate who is an open opponent of women's rights, rejects a vaccine that prevents COVID-19, is critical of the pope’s stance on LGBTQ rights and endorsed the phrase, "you cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat."
1. Archbishop Nienstedt may not exercise any public ministries in the Province of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (the Province covers all of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota).
2. He may not reside in the Province of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
3. He may not exercise ministry in any way outside of his diocese of residence without the express authorization of the attendant Ordinary and only after the Dicastery for Bishops has been informed. [Statement Regarding the Status of Archbishop John Nienstedt]
For decades, yea centuries, survivors of abuse from Roman Catholic clergy have been silenced by a sweeping conspiracy in the hierarchy

Why not build a stairway to the final frontier?

I actually emailed Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) after the 9/11 events that an Astral Trade Center built around a space elevator constructed on the property once occupied by a center of world trade in New York City might have made a fitting memorial.
Barrow-born Jordan William Hughes has designed an elevator that transports passengers into space. His futuristic concept was awarded a prize for space architecture and innovation from the Jacques Rougerie Foundation, in Paris. The use of an elevator is designed to replace rockets, which he says are inefficient, expensive and bad for the environment. The design involves dropping a cable-like structure from a space port down to earth. It would then connect with a ship that can move around the ocean to keep pace with the space port. [Space elevator concept wins €10,000 design prize]
Learn more at Freethink.


Today's intersection: autism and SSB taxes

Because of the deleterious impacts of livestock production on the environment plant-based diets are replacing animal protein in much of the world and even in the United States as eaters learn the levels of glyphosate, a known endocrine disruptor found in corn sugars, small grains and hay fed to the creatures people eat, is incompatible with human life

As far back as 2013 this scribe learned autism is caused by faulty gut/brain connections, genetically engineered sugar beet seed contributes to the spectrum disorder in kids and studies recommended taxing sugar-sweetened beverages or SSBs. Infant formula and high-fructose corn syrup contribute to the spectrum in kids and phthalate-laden plastic bottles drive gender dysphoria.
It's clear there's a physiological connection between brain and gut, says Dr. Glenn Treisman, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. "Gut microbes make chemicals that affect your brain," he says. "They can be carried by blood directly to your brain, or they can be carried through nerves that connect to your brain. And your brain can speed up your gut and change what your microbes are." [Studying the link between the gut and mental health is personal for this scientist]
All the nurses I have been married to say the endocrinologist is the smartest doc on the floor. Maybe it’s because we humans manipulate our own environments and microbiomes faster than our hormone chemistry can adapt or evolve past what inoculations and toxins have done to the gene pool. There are plenty of other organisms on the planet with longer histories than Homo sapiens. 

Koch Industries, Home Depot and American Crystal Sugar among top sedition funders

On the Navajo Nation a third of the people don't have access to clean drinking water so sugared drinks purchased from dollar stores and obesity are an epidemic comorbidity.
In this cross-sectional study, SSB taxes in Boulder, Colorado; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington, were associated with a 33.1% composite increase in SSB prices (92% pass-through of taxes to consumers) and a 33% reduction in purchase volume, without increasing cross-border purchases. The results suggest substantial, consistent declines in SSB purchases across several US cities; insofar as reducing SSB consumption can improve population health, scaling SSB taxes more broadly should be considered. Scaling SSB excise taxes across the US would likely generate significant population health benefits and medical cost savings. [Evaluation of Changes in Prices and Purchases Following Implementation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Across the US]
Learn more at NPR.


Opinion: Ellsworth has failed the USAF so B-21 should be based elsewhere

It's remarkably rare when the news compels this writer to put up three posts on one day but here goes. 

After the 1997 crash of a B-1 in Carter County, Montana a responding volunteer firefighter from Alzada told this reporter the multi-million dollar aircraft was brought down by a rancher with a .30-30 Winchester. In 2005 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) Republicans like Bruce Rampelberg helped to make Ellsworth Air Force Base an even bigger target for retaliatory attacks but today exercises over the Powder River Training Complex are suspended in part because of the poor condition of B-1 bombers stationed at Ellsworth. 

This interested party was in Rapid City went the last B-1 bomber based at Ellsworth augered in then it was revealed that on average it costs over $14,000 per hour in fuel alone to fly a B1 Bomber and averages over $43,000 dollars/hour to fly. In 2016 Republican former legislator Steve Hickey called for Ellsworth to be shuttered

The Trump Organization had planned to spend at least half a billion taxpayer dollars on each new B-21 bomber and some $1.4 TRILLION on a proposed Defense Department budget instead of really making America great again. Trump wanted to put the B-21 in red states to avoid confrontations with Democratic governors but Republicans are whining about the poor condition of the obsolete B-2 and the B-1B Lancers some of which are stationed at EAFB in occupied South Dakota. Why? Because the Republican government shutdown and the 2013 sequester to embarrass President Barack Obama ripped into military readiness. 

Meanwhile, deteriorating B-1B Lancers are eating up resources and the seventy year old B-52 continues to rain death on civilians in war torn countries on stages in the usual theaters of war. Instead of rattling impossibly expensive sabers Trump should have been accelerating the cleanup of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminating nearly every military base in the United States and in the other countries subjected to American imperialism.

Incidents have plagued the aircraft now the squadron based near Rapid City has shown to be an exceedingly poor location for the B-1 tying the number of crashes with Dyess AFB at five. 

Contractors say the B-21 Raider isn't expected to be delivered until maybe 2030 so which will it be: a bomber base in South Dakota with an exceedingly poor flying record or will President Joe Biden pick New Mexico which has the bases for the aircraft and the space for women’s rights, too?

Just sayin'

Two days before Donald Trump's attempted takeover of the United States in 2021 John Eastman was summoned to the Oval Office to share some exotic extralegal scenarios. 

As he left a Santa Fe restaurant in 2022 he was frisked by federal agents who seized his iPhone Pro 12 presumed to contain incriminating evidence of Trump's attempted autogolpe. Eastman owns a property at 180 Valley Drive on the north side of Santa Fe not far from the Governor's mansion. Eastman knew Jeffrey Epstein through impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor and through Alan Dershowitz, also believed to be a pedophile. A Florida church had claimed the deed to the isolated Zorro Ranch outside of Stanley, New Mexico that Epstein purchased in 1993.
In a complaint filed in Santa Fe County District Court just before Christmas, the new owners of the roughly 8,000-acre ranch in Stanley, New Mexico are asking for a refund in taxes paid on the property. Court documents show the new owners are now arguing the property is worth much less than that, at $9 million. “We like to see any information they have,” explained Isaiah Romero, Santa Fe County Assessor. [New owners of Epstein’s New Mexico ranch protest property value]
Learn more at NPR.

Today's intersection: cross-state pollution and taxing fertilizer

The Mississippi is the third most polluted waterway in the United States and five of the tributaries of the Minnesota and Mississippi River system rise in South Dakota where Big Stone Lake is filling with silt. 

Waters of the United States or WOTUS legislation seeks to give authority to the US Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency 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, the Trump-packed Supreme Court of the United States reversed environmental protection for a majority of American citizens and enabled the corporatocracy to pollute at will. 
The agencies will continue to provide trainings to Tribes, states, and the public as appropriate to promote clarity and consistency and will continue to post materials and outreach opportunities to EPA’s website. [Amendments to the 2023 Rule]
South Dakota's dairies are wreaking habitat havoc all along the state's border with Minnesota and like most of the state, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa are Republican strongholds where dairies, swine units and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have devastated water supplies by contaminating wells with nitrates.
Long before he was a state lawmaker, Rick Hansen worked for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, helping develop best practices for managing nitrogen fertilizer. Hansen, chair of the House environment committee, thinks the state should raise its fees on fertilizer, the source of the majority of nitrate in southeast Minnesota waters. In November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told state agencies to take additional steps to address nitrate contamination in southeast Minnesota, including providing safe drinking water immediately to residents with contaminated wells. [Lawmaker: Raise fertilizer fees to help pay cost of nitrate pollution]
Yes, Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them so Earth haters and their toadies cry government overreach while WOTUS architects in the EPA regroup for another round.


Thune, other GOP US Senators signal lack of confidence in Trump's chances

17 Republican senators need to defect to convict Trump and bar him from every state's ballot.

In 1980 Mitch McConnell ditched his feminist first wife vowing to marry a rich woman; now he is one of the wealthiest white men in Congress and he loathes Donald Trump. Mitt Romney won't back Trump either and neither will Lisa Murkowski. Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds are among the republic’s most popular so how are attacks on them from South Dakota's Republican governor not a disconnect? Both Thune and Rounds backed Tim Scott but are now leaning toward Nikki Haley as is Susan Collins (flip-flop-ME). Even Pete Ricketts (Earth hater-NE) has signaled little confidence in Trump. 


USACE finds cattle most significant impact in Galisteo Dam Master Plan

The Galisteo Dam was completed in 1970 by the US Army Corps of Engineers and built solely for flood control and sediment impoundment on the Rio Galisteo because of its long history of violent floods including one that wiped out the Kewa or Santo Domingo Pueblo. 

To accommodate the dam project the Pueblo and main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad were relocated; now the rail bed serves Amtrak's Southwest Chief and the New Mexico Rail Runner. Sam Peckinpah shot a bunch of scenes for the 1978 film Convoy out here, too. The Corps has long abandoned responsibility for the dam road's maintenance and the US Bureau of Reclamation blocked access to a recreation area at the dam in 2018. 
Read the entire revised Master Plan linked here.

In 2019 an interested party met with state police, law enforcement from two counties, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal police who all believe the dam road is a state highway through tribal lands but it's been under contention for decades. The state maintains the frontage road portion of NM16 because it has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US Postal Service and if there were any children who attend public school farther up the state would maintain it to where a school bus could turn around. 

Because we rent our casita to Airbnb guests I've repeatedly offered to patch potholes but have always been rebuffed by NMDOT and the Kewa Tribal Council.

Thanks to neighbor Bob for passing the information to the blog!

ip image: two more free-roaming horses are grazing on the decimated Kewa Pueblo pasture just below the dam but they haven’t hooked up with Alph’s herd yet.