Wednesday, February 21, 2018

SD wildfire boss: Legion Lake Fire a bargain

South Dakota is a perpetual welfare state and a permanent disaster area.
The state of South Dakota will pay about 35 percent of the $2.5 million cost to fight the Legion Lake Fire, thanks to a cost-sharing agreement with the National Park Service and a reimbursement declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FEMA declaration granted soon after allows for reimbursement of 75 percent of the state’s firefighting costs for the period from the first day that structures were threatened to the day they were no longer in jeopardy, according to South Dakota Wildland Fire Division Director Jay Esperance. He noted that the on a cost-per-acre basis, performing a prescribed burn can top $2,000 per acre, while the fire accomplished the same goal for only $46 an acre.
Read the rest here.

Wildland fire expert Joe Lowe has called South Dakota's current GOP governor, Dennis Daugaard, incompetent and uninterested in governing. Lowe obviously believes that South Dakota's governor is not taking the ecological collapse taking place on the Black Hills seriously enough. Daugaard is a climate science denier.

Cost to We the People for managing the Pautre Fire was about $1 million. No livestock was lost and there was minimal damage to fences. 3,519 acres of federal and 7,160 acres of private property were cleared of invasive grasses yet welfare ranchers in that area screamed for restitution from the US Forest Service after the fire escaped prescribed boundaries.

The human-caused Legion Lake Fire represents strategic failures by Black Hills Energy, the State of South Dakota, South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder and the South Dakota Republican Party. The absence of prescribed burns and the persistence of invasive cheatgrass in the park are just two more examples of poor planning by Game, Fish and Plunder. Instead of allowing native aspen to be restored stands of doghair ponderosa pine that grew after the Galena Fire fed the blaze.

Wildland fire conditions are already returning to South Dakota, most notably in southern Pennington County and at the mouth of the Big Sioux River. Harding County is shaping up to lead off the wildfire season in South Dakota any day now.

Just as the State of South Dakota sued Black Hills Power and Light after the Grizzly Gulch Fire Black Hills Energy should sue the shit out of South Dakota for the Legion Lake Fire.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lack of leadership dooming South Dakota Democrats

I have no regrets exposing Cory Heidelberger and the South Dakota Democratic Party as the flaccid political novices they are.

Without any leadership the entire group is doomed to ignominy. After allowing unaffiliated voters to influence their elections the South Dakota Democratic Party should abandon the primary process and nominate candidates at their state conventions.
In addition to Butte, Meade, Lawrence, Pennington, Custer and Fall River in the southwestern corner of the state, Union and Lincoln counties in the southeastern corner all show more no-party voters than Democrats, based on February numbers from the Secretary of State's office. And a handful of other counties show nearly a dead heat, like Brookings County, which tallied 5,112 Democrats to 5,105 who registered with no party affiliation. About the general downward trend in Democratic registrations Amanda Thronson, chairperson of the Hughes County Democrats, said it's a matter of "identity politics." She said Republicans went after pro-gun, pro-life and anti-LGBTQ issues that appealed to the evangelical Christian base.
Read the rest here.

Lawrence and Brookings Counties used to be Democratic strongholds but now the party can't field candidates in either locale.

Democrats are losing even more credibility with young people and American Indians. That South Dakota Republicans prop up illegal drug use and project an ethics black hole while ignoring a potential revenue source is just more evidence of red state collapse.

But, a red moocher state like South Dakota is powered by sin: video lootery, a loan shark industry that preys on the least fortunate, a massive gambling addiction and a too-big-to-jail banking racket fill in the gaps created by lobbyists who enjoy the protection of single-party tyranny. Fact is: the best way to a strong two party system in South Dakota is for arch-conservatives to launch a third party. South Dakota's most ardent earth haters are still looking for principled conservatives to run in statewide elections. Shad Olson, Stace Nelson, Neal Tapio and Lora Hubbel could be those candidates.

SDDP has exactly nothing to lose by being revolutionary. The North Dakota Dem-NPL "supports the decriminalization and regulation of cannabis."

The only prayer atheist Heidelberger has of influencing thought leaders in South Dakota is the one his pastor wife says to get him the hell out of the house and out of her hair.

Pass a corporate income tax, end video lootery, reduce the number of South Dakota counties to 25, turn Dakota State University into a community college, and adopt my cannabis template: the kurtz solution painted on a thumbnail.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pheasant phorecast: phowl phucked

Do you see those dead fuels at the mouth of the Big Sioux River and the lack of snow in northeastern South Dakota?
In fact, Roberts, Grant, and Codington counties have received less than half normal amounts of moisture this winter. And this lack of moisture has caused the moderate drought category to cover all of northeast South Dakota. Parts of western South Dakota is still under the severe drought. And these dry conditions are really causing problems. The latest Crop Progress and Condition report rated 21 percent of winter wheat at poor or very poor. Rivers and streams were at or below normal levels. And if the dry conditions continue, the fire danger season may creep up soon than usual.
Read the rest here.

Kristi Noem and Marty Jackley have both panicked outlining radical steps to preserve habitat for the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant, an invasive species that crowds out native wild turkeys.
“Get the youth involved, that’s a big part of it. This is the year my daughter shot her first pheasant at age 11; we should do everything we can to get our youth involved in this tradition,” Jackley said. [KSFY teevee]
They're just employing magical thinking. That dead zone at the mouth of the Big Sioux River is an indication that the basin is beyond fixing.
Last year, South Dakota landowners applied to enroll more than 42,000 acres during the regular sign-up for CRP, but only two landowners and 101 acres were accepted. That’s right, only two landowners.
Read the rest here.

Which part of ecocide don't you understand?
“Even the good habitat is lacking in birds,” said Eric Rasmussen, a soil conservationist for the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Ipswich. “It’s one of the first years when guys like Tony Julik are seeing it.” Signs of distress are everywhere: dried-out swamps, a sickly corn crop, cattle grazing on the thinnest of stubble and baby pheasant hens so small they look like doves.
Read the rest here.

As this species is wiped out by industrial agriculture revenues in South Dakota continue to slide.
So far this year, about 4,600 fewer people have purchased South Dakota non-resident, small- game hunting licenses, which allow people to hunt ring-necked pheasants in the state. That represents a roughly 9 percent decline in non-resident license sales in the state. It also means a $556,000 revenue shortfall for the state’s Game, Fish and Parks Department. That’s a big deal because the department largely is funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
Read more about red state collapse here.

Robert Schneiders is the author of two books on the environmental history of the Missouri River.
As for pheasants, they don’t stand a chance. Although the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department claims pheasant numbers rebounded somewhat in 2014 and 2015, because of two back-to-back warm winters, the overall trend looks bleak. Why? Because urbanization and industrialization of rural Dakota isn’t slowing, it’s accelerating. Consequently, habitat is going to continue to fall under the plow, bulldozer and backhoe. And there is nothing, and no one, who is going to stop it, especially not Gov. Dennis Daugaard and his lame pheasant recovery task-force. [op-ed, Robert Schneiders]
During the flooding of 2011 Schneiders appeared on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio where he forecast the death of the Missouri River as a living ecosystem.
According to Pheasants Forever Biologist Brian Teeter, this lack of fire has resulted in negative consequences in the health and diversity of our prairies and forests which are critical to our wildlife and agricultural economy. “You don’t have to travel very far to see that the eastern red cedar is rapidly expanding and is negatively affecting our grazing lands but there is also less obvious benefits that range from improving wildlife habitat to increasing forage quality.” Teeter noted.
Read the rest here.
Imagine a dumpster full of pheasant carcasses with just the breasts cut out. That’s what my friend found after the governor’s hunt back in October, behind the processing place in Fort Pierre that handles the birds. [Kevin Woster, Outdoors in Keloland]
The bird is not wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered coal mine.

Your thoughts?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hickey goes off on military, Nelson

Former Republican legislator and pastor emeritus, Steve Hickey let his feelings known about the world as he sees it and about current South Dakota legislator, Senator Stace Nelson of Fulton.

Ph.D candidate Hickey has advocated for the shuttering of Ellsworth Air Force Base outside Rapid City, for a truth/reconciliation commission to study the extirpation of American Indians from their homelands and for ending video lootery. His draft for reconciliation has been sent to this blog but permission has yet to be given for its publication.

Hickey's essay spoke to the military brat in me, to my revulsion of the Vietnam War and of all war since.

The following comment appeared at a Brookings, South Dakota-based website.

I’ll get to Stace in a moment. Some context.

I’m a military brat. The Vietnam War ruined my dad. There is a book called Vietnam Wives which describes what it was like to grow up in our home. I loved my dad, he was faithful to my mom, good to my brother and I, and he grew to hate the military and the government. I never saw him so mad as when he heard me talk about enlisting during the first Gulf War because the government offered me a $25000 sign-on bonus because they needed chaplains so bad. My dad was mad because he lost all faith in any military operation of the US Government. He refused to lose a son to someone else’s ill-conceived war – he had come to believe all wars were bankers wars (that phrase coming from a book by that title written by a highly decorated war vet). Enough on all that, now to Stace.

My dad would ask the Bull Marine if he has ever had in income that wasn’t a government check. He would tell the Bull Marine he’s not impressed with his incessant military boasting and bravado, having only a career cop job in the military no doubt being a bully, walking secure bases, and doing less in harms way than any Sioux Falls cop does every night. Mostly as a fiscal conservative he would question retirement for anyone, in any career, at year 20. He would challenge, as others are – see link, this unsustainable spending program that has become career military retirement.

My dad fought for VA benefits for decades. I support vet benefits. But, this retirement thing Stace is cashing in on, it does need to be revisited.

I view the Bull Marine as a career government employee who now has a cash stream for life. Meanwhile, people like my dad grovelled to stay employed, war having so messed them up they are quite unemployable.

And Stace vilifies me for my views, he’s heard me voice these before. I wonder if I’m the only military brat he belittles. Certainly he has no regard for the price a military brat like myself paid growing up in war. Unless we honour the Bull Marine with Kim Jong-un-like salutes as we parade by his ruddy rotund greatness every morning we are to be crushed beneath him, investigated, and threatened with a bodily confrontation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

John Thune fingered in Facebook/Russia conspiracy

9 May, 2016: former Facebook workers allegedly told Gizmodo they routinely suppressed news from conservative sources.

10 May, 2016: Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) or somebody hoisted upon his staff wrote a letter to Facebook then he, other earth haters and Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus teamed up to threaten Facebook. "Senator Thune (R) once opposed the FCC's Fairness Doctrine now wants Q&A with Facebook about its trending topics."
But the bad press wasn’t what really rattled Facebook—it was the letter from John Thune, a Republican US senator from South Dakota, that followed the story’s publication. Thune chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, which in turn oversees the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that has been especially active in investigating Facebook. The senator wanted Facebook’s answers to the allegations of bias, and he wanted them promptly. The Thune letter put Facebook on high alert. The company promptly dispatched senior Washington staffers to meet with Thune’s team. Then it sent him a 12-page single-spaced letter explaining that it had conducted a thorough review of Trending Topics and determined that the allegations in the Gizmodo story were largely false. [WIRED]
11 May, 2016: John Thune accused Facebook of bias. Jim Comey admitted to combing Hillary Clinton's correspondence.

13 May, 2016: Thune asked Facebook to make space for all viewpoints.

18 May, 2016: Thune met with Mark Zuckerberg and a bank of lawyers. "Just about nobody, Sen. Thune included, wants the feds to police how Facebook displays news."

19 May, 2016: "The first step forward is for Facebook, and anyone who uses algorithms in subjective decision making, to drop the pretense that they are neutral. If I am reading their letter to Thune right, Facebook's response is to gut a perfectly defensible part of the process. Why? PR concerns atm (at the moment)."

23 May, 2016, in the name of "net neutrality" Thune and the Senate GOP said they won't regulate Facebook.

24 May, 2016: Facebook's 12 page response to Thune.

31 May, 2016: Thune backs Trump.

3 June, 2016: Trump twitter bots began urging then-Senator Jeff Sessions to investigate censorship.

5 July, 2016: Jim Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

27 July, 2016: dezinformatsiya, "Russian internet trolls were being hired to pose as pro-Trump Americans."

August and September: Clinton's correspondence on a private server became a Trump bot meme and somebody goaded the husband of Clinton's closest advisor to share inappropriate correspondence with an alleged minor.

8 October, 2016: Thune condemns Trump.

12 October, 2016: Thune flips again and backs Trump.

25 October, 2016: Rudy Giuliani on Fox News said that the campaign had an upcoming "surprise."

28 October, 2016: Jim Comey said he's going to reopen the FBI investigation into Sec. Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. In an interview Clinton blamed Guiliani "and others" of leaning on Comey.

7 November, 2016: despite accusing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing Comey said hours before the election there actually was none.

8 November, 2016: the end of the world as we know it.
Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call. [Washington Post]
18 November, 2016: Thune: "Russia is constantly looking for ways to undermine and disrupt our democratic systems." Thune knows this because he plays basketball with James Comey. Comey and Obama didn't play basketball together nor did Obama and Thune.

Thune's rejection of Trump was a ruse. He already knew Donald Trump was a sleaze from his basketball buddy Jim Comey.

That's right: the vast wrong-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.

Thune can't ever seek any higher office than he has now and unless he's indicted his term doesn't end until 2023. There are no media in his home state that aren't beholden to the Republican Party and although he went to DC without much money he's got at least $12 million now.

Facebook is malware. 3,000 ads with Russian links may be “the tip of the iceberg,” supported Sanders, Stein and Trump.

The paper trail is clear: John Thune made Congress look the other way as Russia infiltrated Facebook.

He's the perfect stooge to pull this off.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Santa Claus, Sani Flush, Drāno

Today in relativism:

Ellsworth Air Force Base will be the home of the next generation of world killers thanks to Heather Wilson, a former South Dakota School of Mines president: KELO teevee.

A Canadian company is drilling exploration holes after receiving a permit to mine stolen treaty lands in the Black Hills: Rapid City Journal.

50 percent of American Indian students in the Rapid City school district drop out yet a South Dakota legislative panel rejected teaching their history: Rapid City Journal.

Thoughts? Prayers?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Missouri basin snowpack on 2011 track

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

The upper Missouri River basin snow pack water equivalent is at 114%. Looks bleak for parts of northeastern South Dakota, eastern Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle but the rest looks pretty good. 2011 was a La Niña year (El Nino Southern Oscillation), too.
If indeed this research is being confirmed, it suggests that on average — allowing for yearly variations due to ENSO — the West is going to become hotter and drier faster than people had expected.
Read that here.

Recall that after having built a house in a swamp that flooded a Republican former governor of South Dakota received a generous self-reimbursement from insurance coverage underwritten by his own company knowing Lake Sharpe is filling with silt.

The US Army Corps of Engineers have planned a sandbar project for the Missouri River above the Garrison Dam despite studies that disprove their effectiveness for the piping plover.
A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications takes advantage of a natural experiment created by the region's 2011 floods, demonstrating that the engineered habitat doesn't provide the benefits of sandbars created by nature.
Read that here.

The main stem dams have all but killed the Missouri River.

Click on any image for a better look.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Pressure mounts on South Dakota Legislature to proscribe predator priests

The South Dakota Legislature is considering the Catholic Church as a sinister force.

Senate Bill 196 would remove the statute of limitations for bringing a civil action for certain cases of child sexual abuse. It's scheduled for a hearing Tuesday.

In 2013 the Order of Saint Benedict sold the Blue Cloud Abbey near Watertown to settle lawsuits for years of sex abuse at the hands of catholic clergy.
Two Abbey of the Hills leaders are wondering if people think the former Blue Cloud Abbey is still associated with the Catholic Church. The Dakota monks, led by Bishop Martin Marty, settled into Native American reservations in Dakota Territory. Their purpose was to teach the gospel and to educate the natives. Mount Marty College of Yankton, which also has a satellite campus in Watertown, is named for Bishop Marty.
Get the story here.

Bernie v. Blue Cloud Abbey was one of several cases that ended up before the South Dakota Supreme Court alleging church officials at the time covered up serial sexual abuse taking place at the compound.

After helping to broker the sale of the abbey Watertown member of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers, Lee Schoenbeck forced the South Dakota Legislature to pass laws covering up countless crimes committed by his sect.