Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Liver disease ravaging South Dakota but cops point to cannabis squirrel

South Dakota and New Mexico both suffer the worst liver disease rates in the US because of poor lifestyle choices.
Data gathered by the South Dakota Department of Health shows the poorest of the state’s citizens actually drink less often than the more well off: About 47 percent of those whose household income is less than $35,000 a year reported being regular drinkers, which means they consumed alcohol within 30 days of being surveyed. The number climbs to 74 percent for people whose yearly household income is $75,000 or more. Many South Dakotans live far from a hospital with a full slate of specialty care. Pierre, the state’s capital city, for example, didn’t have a cancer treatment center until 2018. Many rural hospitals offer primary care, an emergency room and not much else. [SD has high rate of death due to liver disease]
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. Homelessness in the state is rampant; drunk driving, meth use and teen binge drinking are off the charts. And because the prison, liquor and beer distribution industries give so much money to Republican lawgivers in South Dakota cops want to crack down on cannabis.
Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, pointed out that the role of government is to "never exercise a vice upon the citizens" and questioned how state officials can stop the "steamroller" of legalized marijuana. Manitoba differs from Colorado and South Dakota in that marijuana was legalized at the federal level and then the province was responsible for setting some of the parameters for legal marijuana. Nearly two-thirds of Manitoba residents indicated on a survey that they wouldn't use marijuana when it was legalized last year and the province hasn't seen a "mad rush" to use it, said Kadri Irwin, director of licensing at the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba. [Colorado, South Dakota officials debate merits of legalized marijuana]
Rick Holm is the Prairie Doc. His program airs on KBRK radio in Brookings, on Bill Janklow's idea of public teevee and his column appears in my hometown paper the Elkton Record, in the Brookings Register and about sixty other rural South Dakota newspapers.
During the Obama administration, the Department of Justice was directed to relax prosecution of cannabis rule-breakers while allowing state rules to supersede the U.S. law. Consider the tragedy of 70,000 deaths per year (and rising) from the overdose of legal and illegal opioids while there are almost no reported deaths from cannabis use, despite quite extensive consumption in the U.S. Most opioid abuse seems to stem initially from efforts to reduce chronic pain syndrome, and this condition seems to be potentially helped with medicinal doses of cannabis. It is time to allow medicinal use of cannabis. It might help us reduce the deaths from opioids. [Dr. Richard Holm]
Even the Republican-heavy South Dakota State Medical Association admits that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the pharmaceutical industry produces opioids that are legal albeit highly addictive, easily abused and often deadly. South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose. And while many states, including some close to South Dakota, have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, writing a prescription for marijuana, even to a patient living in a state where its use and possession is legal, could result in a disciplinary proceeding brought by the SDBMOE. Accordingly, it is recommended that the practitioner not prescribe (either using a traditional prescription or a certification) marijuana unless and until changes in the law make it clear that doing so is legal, and then only when it is medically-necessary and appropriate. [Marijuana as Medicine]
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association opiate-related deaths have decreased some 33 percent in 13 states after therapeutic and casual cannabis were legalized.
So, legalization initiatives have a clear Democratic benefit. Democratic-leaning voters, who otherwise might have stayed home, could turn out to vote on marijuana reform. Some may leave other parts of the ballot blank, but Democrats could see a meaningful benefit overall. In a race that is close, a few thousand votes here or there could force an incumbent Republican Senator to pack up his office or shift a state’s electoral votes from red to blue. [Brookings Institution]
South Dakota has the most draconian cannabis laws in the US and the law enforcement industry can even force catheters into urethras and penises to test possession by ingestion.

Travel with Rick Steves airs on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio on Sunday mornings. Steves lives in Edmonds, Washington.
After four years of legalization, I look out my window here and marijuana's legal and it looks just like it did before it was legal. It just means we arrest 8,000 people fewer a year, it means money is being taken away from organized crime and our government is enjoying tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue that they wouldn't have had otherwise. And mature adults have the civil liberty of going home and smoking a little pot if they want to. I mean, I've got my bong right out on my shelf at home, and it's just great to have it there right next to the wine glasses. [PBS Host Rick Steves Discusses His First Trip, Breaking Marijuana Stereotypes And Being An Advocate]
Cannabis is a safe, effective palliative but black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that would align with our life safety concerns.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Commitment to reproductive rights helping to drive New Mexico's film industry

After a Republican governor signed a bill into law that discriminates against some couples who want to adopt a boycott of South Dakota is still having effects on tourism where some Black Hills business owners have seen decreases of some 30-40 percent this year.

But in New Mexico a billion dollar boost from the film industry has area economies enthusiastic about the future.
A recent spike in film productions and industry inquiries comes as New Mexico is set to more than double its annual state spending cap on film incentives, and as Hollywood targets both Georgia and Louisiana over recently passed restrictive abortion laws. “It’s an exciting time for film and television in Albuquerque, and we have been seeing an increase in interest from productions as a result of the political topics in Georgia and Louisiana,” said Amber Dodson, city of Albuquerque film liaison. “Our doors are open; we are an inclusive city who welcomes everyone.” [Abortion politics help fuel NM film boom]
1. A pregnant woman is the patient.
2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women.
3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Alabama, Georgia and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.
4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they're discriminatory anti-choice extremism.
5. "Pro-life" is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.
6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

SD Game and Fish is robbing bighorn Peter to pay Kristi's pheasant Paul

After the 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire opened nearly 13,000 acres of overgrown and beetle-killed ponderosa pine invasive weeds and cheatgrass moved in because collisions with cars and hunters have killed off most of the native bighorn sheep, elk, white-tailed and mule deer. Now, a herd of disease-prone bighorn sheep, likely seeking relative protection from cougars orphaned by one of Game, Fish and Plunder's other failed policies, has moved right in and made themselves at home within the City of Deadwood causing traffic snarls and wreaking havoc on gardens and lawns.

As a result, GF&P wants to auction opportunities to "harvest" bighorn sheep to prop up Republican Governor Kristi Noem's pheasant killing initiative.
The GFP Department is planning to create a marketing strategy for the auction that may include hiring a national firm to get the word out about the auction. Wild Sheep Foundation representatives were supportive of the changes, including limiting the bighorn sheep funds to $85,000. [State pushes spendy bighorn sheep tags to raise money for pheasant habitat fund]
The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Hometown judge slows Flandreau tribe's industrial cannabis buzz

Despite the "threat of irreparable harm" Federal Judge and Flandreau native Karen Schreier has denied a motion by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe to begin growing industrial cannabis (hemp).

Recall President Tony Reider and officials of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation advanced an adults-only cannabis initiative after an Iowa casino on the border cut into the tribe's gaming business but even Iowa's Republican governor signed a therapeutic cannabis bill into law. South Dakota's Republican governor believes the state is too stupid to grow cannabis - industrial or otherwise.

Flandreau has long suffered a history of racism and a crooked law enforcement industry.

The Dakota Progressive believes the road to legal cannabis for all adults in South Dakota is paved with hemp and that tribal nations trapped in my home state should be the primary beneficiaries of industry growth in my home state.

Observers are about to see whether Governor Noem will actually try to crush the industry when South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg sues US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Ron Parsons if grow/ops on the reservation are allowed to survive.
The tribe must now wait until the case concludes or until the [US Department of Agriculture] approves the tribe's proposed hemp production plan. [KSFY teevee]
Read the court ruling here.

But despite Schreier's ruling industrial cannabis is apparently still being cultivated on the Pine Ridge Reservation risking spread into native grasslands.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

SD News Watch proves South Dakota is a hellhole for kids

South Dakota's school to prison pipeline began in 1983 when Republican Governor Bill Janklow concocted a plan to convert the University of South Dakota at Springfield into a prison. Then the state killed Gina Score in a boot camp, ended environmental protection and accelerated the red moocher state's descent into the hellish chemical toilet it is today.
A six-month investigation by South Dakota News Watch has revealed a pattern of improper treatment of residents of the intensive youth treatment facility over the past decade that resulted in a variety of physical injuries and emotional trauma. Brittany Dozark of Sioux Falls spent two years as an employee of Aurora Plains and said major reforms are needed to improve therapeutic outcomes for residents but also to ensure their safety. “I definitely think there’s a sense of brutality there,” said Dozark, who worked to counsel and aid residents at the academy. “There’s nothing that says to these kids that, ‘Hey, everything is going to be OK.’ It’s more like they messed up and they’re in ‘kids prison’ now, not a place to get therapy, treatment or help for mental conditions.” [Residents suffer physical, mental and sexual abuse at S.D. youth home]
An activist judge with deep ties to the South Dakota Republican Party is still covering up Brady Folkens' death at the hands of the state. Folkens died in custody after a botched diagnosis at the now-shuttered STAR Academy on December 21, 2013.

State Senator Lynne DiSanto has been raising awareness of the abuses committed by the Children's Home Society leading up to the disappearance of Serenity Dennard. The Children's Home Society has been under the regulatory microscope before for violations of trust. One former executive director is none other than Republican former South Dakota Governor Denny Daugaard.

The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money policing for profit, sex trafficking, hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party destroying lives, depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Climate catastrophes are KXL teaching moments

The same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City and I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Rhines will finally be allowed to die

How is the price of putting people to death either conservative or sustainable? The litigation costs of trying a capital crimes persuaded Nebraska to rethink state-sponsored killing.
The state of South Dakota on May 14 filed a motion for a warrant of execution of Charles Russell Rhines, who was convicted of first-degree murder and third-degree burglary in the 1992 stabbing death of a doughnut shop employee in Rapid City during a botched robbery. The hearing on the motion is scheduled for June 25 at 10:15 a.m. in the Pennington County Courthouse before Judge Robert A. Mandel, according to the Attorney General's office. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Pope Frank, the head of the Roman church just released a diktat stating that sect's revulsion of capital punishment putting Attorney General, former altar boy and suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg's soul at risk to eternal damnation but $20 says Jason would just love to dispatch a handcuffed Charles Rhines with a shotgun blast to the abdomen just like someone did for Rich Benda.

A state-ordered lethal injection isn't criminal justice; it's suicide by cop and it’s the view of The Dakota Progressive that anyone convicted of any felony requiring incarceration should be able to ask for a death with dignity rather than living a life of Hell in the South Dakota State Penitentiary or in a Colorado Supermax.

Charles Rhines will finally be allowed to die.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

RCP&E washout proves vulnerability of proposed pipeline

As ice floes bash moorings and flooding causes scouring of fill from river bottoms the disasters befalling the Missouri basin should be a stern warning to erstwhile pipeline operators: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Genesee & Wyoming, the parent company of the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad, conducts the business on the west end of the state-owned track and operates on the right of way that intersects the proposed Keystone XL pipeline at Philip. Had the Quinn Dam just upstream of that RCPE washout failed one of its first casualties could have been the Keystone XL pipeline where it's proposed to cross the Bad River.

Republican Governor Kristi Noem's anti-civil rights actions to stop protests to the KXL pipeline are no accident. She's is a graduate of the Koch Brothers' American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, an anti-think tank think tank that teaches how wedge issues raise campaign dollars for the extreme white wing of the Republican Party. Of course, American Civil Liberties Union is suing. That's the point: deplete the meager resources of grassroots civil liberties activists while building giant war chests for the 1%.

Running a bomb train through white towns won't fly when you can build a leaky pipeline through stolen treaty ground so it's hard to imagine these projects going through cemeteries where people of European descent are buried. Rail cars carrying diluted bitumen could be loaded in Philip then be transported through Pierre, Huron and maybe Brookings then south through Sioux Falls to the depot at Cushing, Oklahoma; but, the same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City and I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.

Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska says support for TransCanada's day in court is facing its final argument and that the Keystone XL pipeline will never be built.