Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Patient belongings: suicide still ravaging South Dakota's Trumpers

 In 2018 the Rapid City Journal blamed the South Dakota Republican Party for spikes in suicides and depression then a Sanford Health executive did the same in 2019. South Dakota is ranked 6th highest in the nation for suicides reporting more than 22 self-administered terminations per 100,000 people or an increase of 59% since 1999 and the 11th highest increase in any state. 

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? 

Veterans are killing themselves because of America's imperialist endless wars but farmers in South Dakota and in greater Trumpistan are ending their lives because of Herr Trump's failure to lead.

Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry, a socialized internet and now socialized gas well remediation are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

Not only has the South Dakota Republican Party failed American Indians by not expanding Medicaid it has failed veterans and the elderly: its historically loyal voter base. And what are the Trump Organization and his earth hater party doing about it? Accelerating the end of all life on Earth, of course. 
The number of suicides in South Dakota is up significantly over the past decade, increasing by 40%. At the same time, hospitalizations and emergency room visits for self-inflicted wounds nearly doubled. Falling commodity prices, bad weather, trade wars and isolation are just a few of the problems that farmers are facing today. Net farm income is down significantly over the last several years. Crops are planted, not knowing if they will be harvested at a profit. In the meantime, bills come due and loans must be repaid. The Dykshorn children attend the nearby Christian school. [A growing concern: stress, suicide on the family farm

Monday, October 26, 2020

Senator Wismer often the only adult in the South Dakota Legislature

When this blog asked Susan Wismer to run for governor in 2014 she told me Cory Heidelberger and Madville Times were just too radical for her, hence Heidelberger supported Joe Lowe in the primary so that weblog never really got behind Wismer as a gubernatorial candidate. Even today dry drunk atheist Heidelberger's newest blog just hasn't delivered for Democratic voters. 

Former Argus Leader reporter, David Montgomery believed Wismer was a fantastic candidate with the skills to govern but she had no chance because she didn't have the cash resources to fight the gubernatorial battle on teevee. Ultimately it was Wismer's choice of running mate that sank her campaign. State Senator Wismer has acknowledged the risk of earth haters holding supermajorities in the legislature and has also warned the state is living in the "dark ages." But today the South Dakota Democratic Party has never been less powerful. 
Here’s the number one reason I’m best candidate. I’m an authentic, respected, experienced rural voice for our rural district. District 1 legislators have historically been counted on to be a voice of reason. Sometimes, as the only Democrat in the committee room, I am the only one who can speak truth to power without fear of a backlash from far-right elements of the Republicans or the governor. In what has become dangerously close to a one-party system, it’s important that District 1 continues to provide that balance. You don’t see me wasting precious legislative time with bills telling school boards which bathrooms their students may use or telling doctors how to treat women or LGBTQ patients. We know a democracy is best served by good listeners with open minds, and that’s who I have strived to be. [Sen. Susan Wismer, Aberdeen American News]
Photo: gubernatorial candidate and then Representative Susan Wismer with running mate Susy Blake enjoying a close moment at the 2014 Democratic Convention in Yankton.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Trump's Forest Service expected to pick Neimans over Norbeck

Photo shot of 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire from '59 burn: spot fire on Pillar Peak, at least a mile downwind of main fire

Dendroctonus ponderosae or mountain pine beetle predates by millions of years Pinus ponderosa in the Black Hills which only reached that region less than four thousand years ago. Native Douglas fir, limber and lodgepole pine have been mostly extirpated from He Sapa, The Heart of Everything That Is and after a century of destructive agricultural practices invasive grasses infest most of western South Dakota. The Island in the Plains has been broken for decades but the collapse of select Black Hills ecosystems has been evident since at least 2002

The absence of prescribed burns, the persistence of cheatgrass on the Black Hills National Forest and on other federal and state ground are just more examples of the intense lobbying efforts of Neiman Enterprises and from welfare ranchers addicted to cheap grazing fees. Instead of allowing native aspen to be restored, stands of doghair ponderosa pine (ladder fuels that feed wildfires) cover much of the BHNF.

Spurred by the Neimans the Forest Service is still planting pine in the Jasper Fire area. Much of the 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire outside Deadwood occurred on ground owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Deadwood Hill Fire was just recently commemorated but because of Senator John Thune (NAZI-SD) costs of conducting prescribed burns are now thousands of dollars per acre instead of hundreds.

Add the very high number of private inholdings within the Black Hills National Forest that make the wildland urban interface (WUI) very large to one of the highest road densities in the entire national forest system and Region 2 to lots of logging, hardrock mining and pesticides like Carbaryl then understand why over a hundred species in South Dakota alone and a million worldwide are at risk to Dusty Johnson, Jim Neiman and the former Republican Party now the American Nazi Party. 
A divided advisory board on Wednesday rejected Forest Service research calling for less logging in the Black Hills National Forest and instead recommended more logging. On Wednesday during a virtual meeting, the group presented its recommendation to the advisory board: Instead of being reduced, logging should be increased to 181,000 CCF [hundred cubic feet] annually. Paul Pierson delivered the working group’s presentation. He works for Neiman Timber, the main sawmill company in the region. South Dakota State Forester Greg Josten chairs the working group. He agreed with Pierson. Working-group member Bob Burns was the other dissenting member of the group. As a member of the Meade School Board, he was appointed to represent local governments. He’s also a member of the South Dakota Family Forests Association and a conservation group called the Norbeck Society. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
The good news? After Herr Trump is ejected from the White House President Joe Biden's Secretary of Agriculture will take action to clear the second growth ponderosa pine, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Parsley: Daugaard education task force hasn't followed through

Republican former Governor Denny Daugaard describes Melody Schopp's breast implants

K-12 Achievement: D (65.2), Status: D- (62.5), Change: F (57.6), School Finance: D (66.3), Spending: F (48.6) and a third of qualified teaching grads left South Dakota while the remainder struggled with certification: that's what education looked like during the Daugaard years.

Ashamed of being the only state without at least one gold or silver medal school under Daugaard South Dakota education officials were too embarrassed to even provide permission to US News to publish the state's Advanced Placement results in their rankings.

'Common Core' is just a poor choice of words to describe education standards chosen every seven years, according to Republican former SD Secretary of Education Melody Schopp. Many called for her resignation after Scott Westerhuis killed his family and himself after yet another scandal rocked education funding
Val Parsley Age: 68. Town: Madison. Political Party: Democrat. Occupation: Retired from 34 years in secondary public education. Education: BA from South Dakota State University in English and German secondary education and MA from the University of South Dakota in secondary administration. Family: Husband, Scott. Three adult children: son Nick, daughters Caitie and Chrissy, and grandson Archer.
 The Blue Ribbon Task Force in 2016 worked to increase funding for education. A half-cent sales tax increase had been approved to go to education with the majority earmarked for teacher pay plus a 3 percent annual raise in state support to education or the cost of living, whichever was less. Since 2017, the state hasn’t followed through with the law. If the legislature had followed through, education would be sufficiently funded by now. It is unsettling that we have so many people suffering from mental health issues that are not being recognized or addressed, and suicide rates continue to climb. According to sdsuicideprevention.org, suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in our state, but is second among 15 to 34-year-olds. In 2019 alone, there were 185 suicides in South Dakota. Mental health practitioners need more support from state government.
Read the rest at the Moody County Enterprise.

Editor's note: Scott Parsley and The Dakota Progressive have cousins in common.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Western South Dakota, Rapid City to endure more military aircraft noise

As suicides in the US military continue to spike Combat Raider exercises over the Powder River Training Complex are suspended because of the poor condition of bombers stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota. Ellsworth is also a Superfund site where airmen rape local women.

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. Republicans are whining about the poor condition of the obsolete B-2 and most B-1B Lancers some of which are stationed at the base in occupied South Dakota. Why? Because the Republican government shutdown and the 2013 sequester to embarrass President Barack Obama ripped into military readiness. 

Even if it's ever completely funded the B-21 'Raider' isn't expected to be delivered until maybe 2030. Trump wants to put the B-21 in red states to avoid confrontations with Democratic governors and if the system for weapons of mass destruction survives, the PRTC over parts of four states will continue to threaten habitat and wildlife, not to mention skeptical Republicans in ranch country. Meanwhile, deteriorating B-1B Lancers are eating up the resources needed to fight a virus outbreak in the homeland 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 be 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.

So, as part of war games scheduled from October 19-27 the 28th Bomb Wing will extend its operating hours and the ear-shattering pandemonium will include early morning sorties over many Black Hills communities.