Thursday, December 31, 2015

Notorious Custer boot camp slashing staff

Conceding South Dakota's bleak history of incarcerating adolescents and young adults Marty Jackley's School to Prison Pipeline is getting the shaft.
The State Treatment Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy south of Custer is set to lay off 44 percent of its full-time positions beginning the state’s next fiscal year July 1. Jeff Haier, STAR Academy superintendent, said STAR’s budget request for fiscal year 2017 will see the elimination of 47.7 Full Time Employees (FTE), from the 108 FTEs that are currently available at the academy. For fiscal year 2016, STAR Academy’s total budget was $10,311,179, including $6.7 million for personal services and $3.5 million for operating expenses. In the fiscal year 2017 budget, the recommended budget is $7.1 million with $4.3 million for personal expenses and $2.8 million for operating expenses.
Read the rest here.

A Brookings teen, Brady Folkens died under suspicious circumstances at the brutal camp. Criminal neglect has been alleged.

Another state camp was closed in November.

Thune supports DoD boondoggle

As if it isn't bad enough that Senator John Thune is a tool of the military/industrial complex where Ellsworth Air Force Base aids and abets pilots who kill children and practice-bombs parts of four states he wants to bring a doomed fighter to Sioux Falls.
The F-35 “is a dog …overweight and underpowered,” said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight in Washington. According to a 2008 Rand Corporation analysis, the F-35, “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run.” Defense analyst Richard Aboulafia told the publication Intelligent Aerospace, “The F-35 is coming to eat us all alive, there’s no way to sugar-coat it.” Despite all these early reviews, the F-35 refuses to die, and is on track to become the military’s standard warplane. The Pentagon expects to order nearly 2,500 of them in the coming decades at a cost of over $400 million. Lockheed-Martin has been accused of conspiring with the Defense Department to jack up the cost of the plane, leading Sen. John McCain to observe, “It is the kind of cronyism that should make us all vigilant against… the military-industrial complex." [AlterNet]
Oh, look: Lockheed Martin gave Thune nearly $40,000 just last cycle.

My ex-stepson currently flies F-16s for the South Dakota's 114th Fighter Wing but he'll retire as a full colonel before the F-35 is deployed.

How should I feel?

President Rubio? LOL

Marco Rubio isn't just a lousy money manager he's a serial con man.
When Marco Rubio was majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives, he used his official position to urge state regulators to grant a real estate license to his brother-in-law, a convicted cocaine trafficker who had been released from prison 20 months earlier, according to records obtained by The Washington Post. The governor, at that time, was Rubio’s political mentor, Jeb Bush — who is now running against the Florida senator for the Republican presidential nomination.
Read the rest here.

Rubio has misused Republican credit cards on spending sprees rocking his campaign and putting him deeply into debt.

Under fire for missing key Senate votes Rubio is currently joy-riding through Iowa cherry-picking decisions made by the Supreme Court of the United States and parroting the Benghazi trope.

The Republicans can't afford to lose Rubio in the Senate so he won't be Donald Trump's Veep pick either.

South Dakota's At-large Representative Kristi Noem is supporting Rubio for the Republican presidential nomination.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ecocide erasing pheasant numbers

Today's oxymoron: wildlife management.

As another Republican insider is inserted into the commission pulling strings at the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Plunder (SDGFP) biomes are being erased.
Staggering habitat losses have put at risk the state’s reputation as a ringneck Mecca. South Dakota lost 1.8 million grassland acres between 2006 and 2012, a sizable portion of which came from the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which pays producers to idle marginal cropland. As a result, pheasant numbers tumbled 30 percent from the 10-year average. Hunter participation and hunter harvest also have nose-dived. [Star-Tribune]
A decade ago CRP acres were about 1.5 million acres but that acreage number is only about a million today.

The bird is not wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered cornfield.

Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants don't eat grasshoppers but wild geese and turkeys sure do while the pesticide industry that greases Republican politicos don't give a shit about anything but profits.

South Dakota's legislature is dominated by Republicans who ignore the effects of the Anthropocene and lobbyists are lining up to stuff their pockets with cash.

Add the extirpation of apex predators, the resulting rise of mesopredators, increasing numbers of domestic dogs and cats then stir in a melange of industrial chemicals and climate change: voila!

Red state collapse on parade.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Carroll: Plunkett cannabis case "curious"

Frank Carroll is a Black Hills timber industry consultant with some really bad ideas but he is evolving.
The curious case of Heather and Ryan Plunkett has raised eyebrows in the law enforcement community and many cops are shaking their heads. Turns out marijuana doesn’t make you kill people, doesn’t drive you insane, doesn’t blow away your inhibitions or otherwise make you critically dangerous to society, like, say, drinking too much alcohol. And, unlike alcohol, it’s no more a “gateway drug” than vodka, and much less deadly. Seriously, Butte County, haven’t you people got some real work to do? [op-ed, Frank Carroll]
Exactly, Frank.

Here are some comments left at another blog:

Lon Carrier, Butte County GOP Chair
December 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Heather is quite aware of where she stands and what the future holds regarding both her position as SA and that as vice chair for the county GOP. I can’t speak for her duties as an officer of the court however I recently sent a message to the entire county central committee as well as my executive board concerning Heather and where she stands regarding her position as an officer of the party. I simply stated that I was not going to supersede the rule of law and before any action was taken we would wait for both the Christmas season to pass as well as the trial or sentencing. I still stand behind my deliberate pace and any mob-like demand to seek a resignation seems to have “simmered down” a bit, realizing a season for honoring Judeo-Christian dedication to good will is hardly a time for “shedding blood” even if it is proverbially done so through termination of position. The only clumsy, heartless demands still being poured into my mailbox are generally those of a nature unconnected to Butte County and being attached a reckless, loud vocal minority that seems to exist for the sole purpose of showcasing every Republican action as some form of weak justification of validity for their own paranoid musings. More importantly for Heather though is the patience that not just the GOP in Butte County has afforded her but the residents as a whole. This has been difficult for her and her family. I have been in constant contact with my vice chair and in addition to her remorse concerning her actions, I can attest to her concern for the residents of Butte County regardless of any attachment to any one political party. She knows what actions I will take and she understands her responsibility in those decisions. However again, Christmas time is hardly the time to knot up a noose and though this is far from my intent anyway, I will grant her and her family a chance to relax and appreciate the season before a new year means dealing with any necessary county party business.

Mike Messmer
December 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Heather did an awfully lot for the Citizens of Butte County over the 5+ years as their “Officer in Chief” and Protector of her Citizens she represented! Sent accused and convicted felons of Rape, spousal abuse,, child abuse to Prison where they belonged! Animal abuse and other crimes of man were prosecuted and she educated her City Police force on various issues and was part of a task force for Child Issues and other things that benefited Butte County! She wanted to establish and implement NEW IDEAS that would Improve the Court System that was ill recieved my her so called “HIGHER UPS” who just adhered to the “OLD WAYS” of doing things their old and reactionary ways! Low behold you challenge those Old ways!! Change never comes easy and it challenges the very Fabric of the OLD and USELESS guard!! Shame on those that hold back new thinking to produce new and better results to save BUTTE COUNTY money and make the judicial system fairer for her citizens!! Heather was wrong, she taking ACCOUNTABILITY and will pay the price for her mis-judgement! BUT never think she is a useless and non-caring Law Professional and great caring woman,wife and mother! She’ll be back! She will “STEP UP TO THE PLATE” again! This story is far from over folks!

Lon Carrier, Butte County GOP Chair
December 24, 2015 at 3:59 am

No! She was elected by the central committee of Butte County GOP per the bylaws. The state GOP had nothing to do with it. Many of us in the county party worked hard to insure that the party election was a Butte County endeavor only. To be honest too, the state offered very little help even when advice was sought on my part. Individuals serving in offices of the state party were basically involved only for certifying an election. The reality of what you posted is just a fairy tale. My predecessor did activate a pledge but it had nothing to do with Larry Rhoden nor did that somehow bring about Heather Plunkett’s election into her position as vice chair. In fact, I learned recently that many in the party across our state were surprised to learned she has served as a party officer in Butte County. Your statement is rather ironic too given the nature of Miss Plunkett’s very “independent” approach to party politics. Nothing I need to explain here. However, I have no comment regarding the pledge you speak of as I have nothing but admiration for my predecessor and respect for any actions of his prior to my term. To make this as elementary as it possibly can be, Miss Plunkett sought the position of vice chair and ran for it, thereby being elected into it. It’s that simple. I am sorry it’s not more exciting than that! No conspiracy worthy of the movie of the week. About as interesting as a slab of uncooked meat on a cold plate! However, if anyone ever wishes to discuss this more, my phone does receive calls. Anyone is welcome to visit with me anytime for a more in-depth explanation.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Colorado judge concerned cannabis in a more dangerous category than cocaine

At this hour U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson is hearing arguments in a Colorado cannabis banking case but has no deadline for making a decision.

Colorado Public Radio's Ben Markus and Kristen Wyatt of the Associated Press are covering the hearing.

The federal government has asked the Supreme Court of the United States not to hear a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma and Nebraska Republican attorneys general.
Not all employers are taking the just-say-no approach. Some are rethinking their policies and considering ditching their marijuana bans altogether. [ABA Journal]
Read more on the story here.

Tribal casinos are miniature banks. Colorado could enter a cannabis compact with the Ute Nation in the state and let the tribe be the bank.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Betty Olson: feds owe welfare ranchers $50 million

After a century of destructive ranching practices invasive grasses infest northwestern South Dakota.
Several Perkins County ranchers filed lawsuits against the federal government for damages caused by the 2013 Pautre Fire in Perkins County. The prescribed burn was set by the Forest Service on the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands on a windy day during a drought that had lasted for eight months before the burn. I don’t know about you, but something is really messed up when private citizens have to pay huge fines and serve time in jail for accidently [sic] burning an area of federal land big enough to feed about three cow-calf pairs for a year in that neck of the woods and no one from the federal government is held responsible for setting a fire that caused 50 million dollars of damage to private ranchers. This is absolutely shameful! [Betty Olson (RWNJ-28), Grand River Roundup]
The US Forest Service knew an advancing cold front would aid the clearing of foot-high grasses and mowed a fire break instead of using a disk to make a fire line. Disturbing soils can allow the growth of weeds that had been introduced by European settlers in the 19th Century. Snow showers ended the fire.

There were no injuries and the only structure lost was a derelict rural schoolhouse. 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.

Olson, whose operation grazes on federal land for nearly nothing, is a welfare rancher as are most ag producers in South Dakota. Livestock producers in Perkins County alone have received over $14 million in subsidies since 1995.

Anthropocene denier Olson helped compile names for federal direct payments to livestock producers after a blizzard in 2013: an event she would call an Act of God. She has called federal ownership of land in South Dakota without the state's permission unconstitutional.

Olson has received campaign contributions from Stan Adelstein who advocates for raising taxes on Betty's ag land.

Olson has assailed Muslims even though Hani Shafai gives thousands to the South Dakota Republican Party.

South Dakota is a moocher state yet its governor says he hates dependency.

The lawsuit claiming $50 million in recompense for the Pautre Fire is not only frivolous, it's reckless in its hypocrisy.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Wyoming's Muslims learn to fear catholics

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.
Bret Colvin says [he] founded the “Stop Islam in Gillette” Facebook group for one reason. “I don’t want Jihadis in my neighborhood.” Colvin is a Catholic, and an ex-Marine. Aftab Khan is one of Gillette’s few Muslims. “I was born in Sheridan,” says Aftab Khan. “I lived in Worland for a while. I attended the University of Wyoming. And now I’ve been in Gillette for sixteen years. You can’t ask for more of a Wyomingite than me—I’ve lived my whole life here. And the same is true for much of family.”
Read it all here.
Among the refugees who many are urging we shut the door on include Yazidis, Muslims and Christians who are being attacked and killed because they do not share terrorist ideology or support violent extremism. It is unfortunate politicians seek to exploit this tragic situation for political advantage. To turn our backs on men, women and children fleeing persecution from any part of the world would be a repudiation of all that America has stood for. [LTE, Brian A. Liesinger, Executive Director, Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation]
"Why Donald Trump should visit Heart Mountain, Wyoming:" Billings Gazette.

Catholicism is hope like syphilis is charity.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Daugaard, South Dakota failing veterans

By not expanding Medicaid homelessness in South Dakota has become epidemic.

Under ethics-free Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard the state has the worst record in America in the housing of homeless veterans having over a sixty two percent increase in vet homelessness.

Back in 2013, NPR's Planet Money reported on an experiment in Kenya.
The results from the study are encouraging, says Johannes Haushofer, an economist at MIT's Poverty Action Lab who was one of the study's co-authors. "We don't see people spending money on alcohol and tobacco," he says. "Instead we see them investing in their kids' education, we see them investing in health care. They buy more and better food." Getting money made people happier, less stressed out. [What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?]
After the 1972 Flood that wiped out Teepee Town and killed some 238 people, mostly poor American Indians, the feds gave Rapid City rent supports to house those displaced by the disaster.

Veterans are refugees.

Extremist Mayor Steve Allender, the former police chief who led a "bunch of racists," is at a loss to house the 100 or so homeless people in Rapid City. He's even asked the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, a front for the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, to help.

President Thomas Jefferson believed cities were dens of crime and debauchery. Rapid City seems destined to perpetuate the failures of urban living when much simpler solutions to homelessness sit at the tip of Mayor Allender’s pen.

How is creating a ghetto, tiny houses or otherwise, good for anyone? How are some 200 people with mental illnesses and diminished capacity living in close proximity going to generate incomes to feed themselves?

An assisted living center for veterans in Hot Springs has been a boondoggle going wildly over budget and a Dallas, South Dakota man has been arrested after being suspected of plotting attacks on veterans' facilities.

Refugees have a human right to make their own choices about where they want to live.

Expand Medicaid for these people then offer a $3000 stipend to those who qualify, more for families and veterans.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Plunketts plead; prosecutor proceeds prevail

A politically motivated cannabis arrest of a Butte County prosecutor has led to a plea agreement that will go to sentencing in February.
On Dec. 8, Gov. Dennis Daugaard suspended Heather Plunkett with pay in accordance to South Dakota Codified Law 3-17-13, which reads: “A state’s attorney or sheriff who is suspended from employment in accordance with the provisions of § 3-17-12 shall assume leave of absence status and shall receive the same salary and employment benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled to be paid by the county he represents. ...” It is rare for state’s attorneys and deputy state’s attorneys to be arrested; however, it does occur. Loss of state-granted authority isn’t always the outcome for criminal charges or convictions for state officials. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Using a conservative estimate the number of problem drinkers in the legal profession is more than double that of the general population.

Stay tuned.

Huckabee: 'Republicans folded'

South Dakota’s GOP congressional delegation just voted for a “1,603 page federal spending measure that effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.”
The Republican Party is at risk of losing its members if lawmakers continue to make decisions that ignore their values, Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said Wednesday. “The Republicans folded,” he added. "That’s why people in the Republican Party are just bolting for the door.” [The Hill]
Huckabee's campaign is on life support having fired staff and has cut back on travel after being banished to the kids' debate table.

South Dakota's extremist right wing junior US Senator has been supporting Huckabee.

Where will Mike Rounds' dubious endorsement fall next.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

66 counties begging for money from Pierre...again

Hmmmm: where have I heard this before?
While South Dakota lawmakers will be asked to fund teachers, schools and Medicaid expansion, there could be another big gap they will be asked to cover. Counties have been falling further behind in road and law enforcement funding. Senator Arthur Rusch of Vermillion says county finances have been studied. Rusch says counties may be after more sales tax. Rusch says the option of an alcohol tax has been brought up in the past.
Listen to the story at WNAX.
The population of several South Dakota counties is evaporating. Forty-two of the state’s 66 counties are losing residents, most at a rapid rate. In 2010, 11 South Dakota counties met the traditional U.S. Census Bureau designation of “unsettled” or frontier territory, having two or fewer persons per square mile. Five more have fewer than three and the population in each is declining. A consolidated form of city/county government works in many metropolitan areas. There are 40 in the United States, including Butte, Mont.; Denver; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Philadelphia and San Francisco. [excerpt, LTE, Joe Kirby]
66 county seats are neither sustainable nor conservative.

For a third time Wyoming's legislature will vote to ease cannabis penalties to reduce corrections costs as coal revenues dwindle.

Wyoming only has twenty three counties.
The legislation would allow people who have medical marijuana cards issued in other states to travel through Wyoming without getting in trouble for possession. If people with a medical marijuana card legitimately obtained in another state stay in Wyoming for a long period of time, they would be violating existing state statute that declares people become Wyoming residents after 30 days. [Laura Hancock]
It's easier being green than South Dakotans think.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gannett inching toward Lee acquisition

Historically in the bag for ethics-free right wing extremists like Mike Rounds Lee newspapers are media cripples.
Based in Davenport, Iowa, the publicly-traded Lee has 46 daily papers, most of them mid-sized and concentrated in the West and Midwest. It acquired Pulitzer Inc with the larger Post-Dispatch and Arizona Daily Star in Tucson for roughly $1.5 billion in 2005. Like McClatchy’s Knight-Ridder acquisition around the same time, the deal has left Lee burdened with debt and high interest payments in the years since as advertising revenues and profits have declined. Its shares, which traded as high as $35 in 2007, have been down to roughly $1.50 this fall. With several companies — including Gannett and New Media Investment Group — actively scouting acquisitions, Lee could be a target. [Poynter]
At the risk of leading a dead horse to water and making it drink click on this op-ed from a Missoula-based gadfly. A snip from Dan Brooks' piece should help you get the gist:
I wish Chuck Johnson well in his retirement, and I wish Mike Dennison luck in his continued career. Since I've got one left, I also wish that Mary Junck would awake to find that spiders come out of her mouth instead of words when she tries to talk.
Democracy is under attack, fellow Democrats.

Lee Newspapers of Montana could survive as part of a Bismarck Tribune, Rapid City Journal, Casper Star-Trib marriage and not become part of a Gannett takeover.

But who has the huevos to pull that together?

With fewer journalists covering legislatures no voting public can perform the duties of citizenship with any accuracy whatsoever.

$LEE
is trading at $1.55.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

GOP, Noem hypocrisy ruining health care in Indian Country

With scandals plaguing the Republican Party in Pierre even former supporters are speaking out against the Ridiculous Right.

Native Sun News editor emeritus, Tim Giago supported Kristi Noem in 2010 but now he's seen the handwriting in Wall.
Noem has done little or nothing to promote legislation favorable to South Dakota’s large Indian population. Instead she has done just the opposite by opposing women’s rights, she voted to make drastic cuts in the food stamp program and has been a strong supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, a pipeline that is diametrically opposed by the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation. Kristi Noem laid out a bunch of things she would do for Native Americans while campaigning, but forgot to follow up on any of them once she was elected. Well, we’ve had a couple of years of Noem or as one columnist calls her, Kristi No, and we have discovered that she walks lock step with the Republican Party without considering the basic needs of her own citizens in South Dakota, and she has made it a particular point to absolutely ignore and even damage the interests of the Native Americans of this state. It is time for a change and it is early enough for all Indians to register to vote and when the time comes, get out and make that vote count. [Giago, It is high time to show Kristi Noem the door]
Noem missed 17 out of 22 meetings of the House subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.
The Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, and other federal programs that deal with Indian housing, health, education, transportation, energy, economic development and so forth face over a billion dollars in Noem supported cuts. IHS alone will face $637 million in cuts. These cuts are from the Paul Ryan budget plan that that Congresswoman Noem fully supports, voted for and is campaigning on as a badge of courage. In my view there is nothing courageous about trying to balance the federal budget of the United States on the backs of Lakota children, Lakota elders and Indian country in general. [Wilson, Indian Country can't afford Kristi Noem anymore]
Now Noem feigns care for Indian Health Service while voting repeatedly to defund services for American Indians.
Despite the claims by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., of flagrant violations of health standards that put patients "in serious danger" at the IHS hospital on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, the federal agency that administers Medicaid and Medicare tentatively has determined that the hospital is clearing up its most serious problems. [Rapid City Journal]
But South Dakota doesn't care about needs in tribal nations so Noem's apocrypha rattles on.

Kristi Noem clearly has no idea how many patients in South Dakota are already on medications for the various mental illnesses plaguing the state but she did receive $3000 from the National Rifle Association in 2014.
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said lawmakers need to re-evaluate mental health care programs, which can be the "root of the violence," in response to a shooting that left three dead at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic Friday. A mass shooting also occurred Wednesday in California. "Mental health issues seem to be the thread that ties so many of these crises together, but our system remains broken," Noem said in a statement.
Read it here.

Pick a lane, Kristi.
Sanford scored in the bottom 10 percent of hospitals nationally in a composite ranking of several patient-safety indicators, including accidental punctures or lacerations, post-surgical wound ruptures, medically induced lung damage and post-surgical hip fractures. The Brookings Health System ranked in the bottom 10 percent of hospitals nationally in a score that assessed site infections on patients who underwent colon surgery or hysterectomies. Two other South Dakota hospitals – Rapid City Regional and Avera St. Mary's – narrowly escaped being penalized. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
So, Rep. Noem wants to violate the civil rights of people with mental illnesses and restrict their access to firearms?

Noem has voted repeatedly to defund the mechanism to expand mental health care to those most at risk of acting out violently.

Noem's party may have lost a skirmish in its War on Women but, wait: Kristi wants to guarantee that guys like Scott Westerhuis have the right to assassinate their own families with a shotgun, torch the house then turn the gun on themselves.

Marty Jackley’s selective forensics in the Westerhuis murders is just another example of red state collapse and a link between despair and easy access to firearms. Marty releasing his results at breakneck speed but dragging his feet on Richard Benda's death is suspicious as hell and easy access to guns accelerates the wildfire of mass murder in the US yet Republicans justifying the murder of a family as a personal choice with assaults on our collective concern is simply horrifying.

Putting the best face on the dilation and curettage performed on her caucus by House Democrats, Kristi Noem is vowing to fight the good fight.

The Rapid City Journal, Sioux City Journal and Lee Enterprises live in the bag for the Republican Party.

Lee Newspapers of Montana could survive as part of a Bismarck Tribune, Rapid City Journal, Casper Star-Trib marriage and not become part of a Gannett takeover.

The hypocrisy of the Republican Party is without bound.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Oregon tribe entering cannabis agreement with state; South Dakota falling down

Republican former South Dakota legislator Stan Adelstein has come up with a novel alternative to raising taxes on himself.

Fellow GOPer South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard's Blue Ribbon Task Force found need of $75 million to implement its findings. The GOP-heavy task force is leaning toward a regressive sales tax increase to nudge teachers' salaries out of 51st place.
Members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs said yes to growing, processing and selling marijuana on the recreational market in a historic vote Thursday that drew record turnout, tribal officials said. The referendum passed with 86 percent approval, said Don Sampson, CEO of Warm Springs Ventures, the tribes' economic development corporation, the group behind the proposal. Thursday's vote is the first step in the process of entering the market. The tribe will meet with officials in Gov. Kate Brown's office to hash out the conditions under which the enterprise will operate. Two tribes in Washington recently brokered historic agreements with the state to sell marijuana on the state's recreational market.
Read it here.

Stan Adelstein is the second wealthiest white man in South Dakota. Of course he would expect other people to pay the taxes. He's is the poster boy for South Dakota crony capitalism.

In 2003 i met with Adelstein to persuade him to sell me the Roundhouse in Lead. He told me he would never sell it then promptly sold it to someone from out of state. Adelstein routinely buys Mike Rounds’ support for Israel while unearthing minerals that used to belong to people who lived in the Black Hills for millennia and then has the temerity to make somebody else give him property tax relief. It makes me puke up in my mouth.

I’d rather see implement taxes earmarked for highway infrastructure upgrades. As long as oil prices stay low ethanol is going out of style very quickly. I really don’t care what happens East River because it’s already destroyed but West River can still be rewilded and preserved. I want to see money for West River land owners who would put their ground back into native grasses be exempt from taxes and leased as wildlife corridors. I want to see domestic livestock confined to internment camps East River where Hutterites will ultimately control all the ag ground there.

Stan’s generosity is genuine. Nobody can take that from him. He’s been pounded on by way bigger bullies than i am.

Adelstein’s plan is DOA, people. Anyone who believes anything he says is delusional.

Republican Rapid City lawyer, Doyle Estes wants to raise taxes on those least able to pay to fund task force recommendations.

South Dakota is one state where the perception of harm from cannabis is declining.

A law that decriminalizes cannabis in Delaware went into effect today.
A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Jack Markell said legalization will free up resources to be used elsewhere and limit the number of people incarcerated by the state. With the changing attitudes toward pot nationwide, full legalization may be just around the corner, particularly if the federal government chooses to change marijuana laws. Even if that is the case, however, the time line is very much in doubt.
Read the rest here.

South Dakota: urge legislators to 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.

Nanny state blogger: teen skin cancer okay!

Scott Munsterman is a statesman like Pat Powers is a triathlete.
Representative Scott Munsterman of Brookings says he is bringing a bill to Pierre in January that would add South Dakota to the list of states that ban tanning to anyone under the age of 18. [Today's KCCR]
Former lawmaker, Steve Hickey believes Rep. Munsterman is one of the only sane Republican legislators left in Pierre.
The American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization have placed tanning booths in the same category as tobacco and asbestos: Carcinogenic to humans.
Read that here.

SDGOP blog bully Powers embraces usury but cannabis prohibition is not nanny-statism. He has kids suffering from autism yet he decries an effective therapy for the afflicted.

Video lootery, payday loan sharks, domestic violence and homelessness are inextricably linked putting children at risk to more catastrophic consequences far more often than has happened in states that have legalized or lessened penalties for casual use of cannabis.

If Munsterman was a real statesman he'd offer legislation that would create excise taxes on firearms and ammunition.

Little wonder cops abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and even occasionally murder their wives.

I'd add the link to Powers' comments but his blog loads so glacially you'd find something else to do before you could read them anyway. Here's a quote from him about Munsterman's initiative:
It is so overly intrusive in a free society that we have to be offended by it. If we're not, then we need t examine what we believe our definition of freedom is. [Dakota War College]
The hypocrisy of that statement is so over the top in light of his resistance to legal cannabis it reads like satire.

The US Department of Justice is siding with Colorado and asking the Supreme Court of the United States to dismiss a case brought by Republican attorneys general in Oklahoma and Nebraska.

The US Federal Drug Administration hosts a Frequently Asked Questions cannabis page and has announced a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of tanning booths to youthful skin.

Powers has long been banned from this and other South Dakota related sites because of a constant stream of bigotry, misogyny and other hate speech.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ponderosa pine not native to Black Hills

Okay, i have put off this post long enough.
A new analysis of the fossil record by scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has revealed that the structure of plant and animal communities changed significantly about 6,000 years ago, around the time agriculture began to spread across North America. Obviously, something had changed the way plants and animals interacted with each other and with their environments — the question that remained was what might have been the cause. The researchers had two main theories: the first was that changes in the climate were responsible, and the second was that some kind of other biological pressure, likely human activities — which were on the rise during this period in history — was to blame.
Read that here.

And, from the US Geological Survey:
Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), the most widely distributed pine in North America, experienced one of the most rapid and extensive of these post-glacial plant migrations. The eastern race of ponderosa pine (variety scopulorum) spread northward along the Rocky Mountains, starting at its northernmost known distribution in southern New Mexico and Arizona around 13,000 years ago, and reached central Montana only within the last millennium. The western race (variety ponderosa) experienced a parallel but less well-known migration along the Sierra Nevada, eventually mingling with the northernmost populations of the eastern race in the northern Rockies. [Climate Past as Prologue for Ponderosa Pines]
Talk about shutting the barn door after the horses were incinerated by arsonists.
Any fire study that only looks back as far as 1979 ignores huge fires that resulted from major droughts in earlier decades. The 1970s were one of the wettest decades on record, with an average of just 3 million acres a year burned. By comparison, there were 9 million acres of annual fires in the 1950s; 23 million in the 1940s; and 39 million in the 1930s. While there are some problems with data from those early decades, they are valid enough to show that recent changes in droughts and fires are due to cyclical variations in climate, not to human-caused warming. [The Antiplanner]
How firing off those forests didn't contribute to a warming planet remains a mystery.

Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. The Industrial Revolution and European settlement in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests.

According to the US Department of Interior forests, grasslands, shrublands and other ecosystems in the West sequester nearly 100 million tons (90.9 million metric tons) of carbon each year.

The US Forest Service responded to 52 new wildland fire starts totaling 23,425 acres during just one day in August. 15,089 of those acres are in the Northwest. The US Army mobilized to assist with structure protection. A record 35 Incident Meteorologists were deployed to support firefighters and to provide vital weather info to responders.

Latest reports place western wildfire damage at a record-breaking 6.9 million acres so far this season, 45% higher than in an average year. Half of the Forest Service budget is ear-marked for wildland fire costs and this year's allotment is up in flames.

Dense Douglas fir, spruce, lodgepole, ponderosa pine stands prevent aspen restoration and hardwood release while opposition to mechanical harvest rages on in the environmental community. No longer natural after a century of fire suppression Montana's forests are building fuel loads in habitats where indigenous cultures cleared for millennia.

Last year the western spruce budworm defoliated 25,000 acres of Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce and lodgepole pine in northwestern Wyoming: more evidence of anthropogenic climate change.

Trees growing on public land are not agriculture any more than wild salmon are aquaculture. One part of a solution to forest management woes is to move the US Forest Service from the US Department of Agriculture into Interior where American Indian nations could more easily assume additional responsibilities for stewardship on public land.

People building in or near these hazards should be denied homeowners insurance but blaming federal land managers for running out of money to protect private property while denying climate disruptions are influenced by human activity is just delusional.

Pre-emptive burns and managed lightning-struck fires are essential to restoring balance in western ecosystems just like letting bison crop invasive grasses is to the Greater Missouri Basin.

There are no naturally-occurring white spruce in the Wyoming Bear Lodge Mountains likely due to the massive aspen community there.
The area near the headwaters of Middle Redwater Creek is hardly extraordinary. Located in the Black Hills National Forest 10 miles north of Sundance, scraggly trees and brush surround shallow ponds and slow-moving streams. Because the beavers left, the ponds started to deteriorate. This not only affected finescale dace, which were no longer in the immediate area, but also surrounding vegetation and deer, waterfowl and other wildlife. But people eventually moved in, killing beavers, blowing up dams and redirecting water for human consumption and use. This transformed the environment of the region. Aside from that, the finescale dace still hold an important place on the landscape if nothing else than the fact they are a “glacial relic.” [Sheridan region biologists work to preserve finescale dace]
Recall that dace was the only fish identified in Black Hills streams by the Custer Expedition in 1874 and trout are not native to the region. Creek chub and white sucker are also native fish.

Box Elder Creek is still running in December because of the mountain pine beetle's feast of pine while a town named for a war criminal is preparing another celebration of ecocide.

South Dakota Governor Denny Daugaard is a climate and Anthropocene denier yet state climatologist Dennis Todey is ringing the climate alarm.

So, the question remains: should rewilding efforts seek to restore sustainable wild lands to Pleistocene Era conditions or let the Anthropocene lay waste desertifying precious resources changing the landscape forever leaving survivors to cleave out habitable zones forsaking native species?

“Clearcuts are the prescription for lodgepole pines,” according to Kelly Norris, the Wyoming State Forestry district forester in Buffalo.

Get cattle off the Black Hills National Forest and make it part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

If enviros succeed in driving from office the only Democrats who can preserve public lands and leave Republicans to their devices we are truly fucked.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trump lays $4 trillion Iraq bill at GOP's door

The Republican Party is between Iraq and hothead.

Saddam was hardly a saint but Iraq was a whole nation in 2003 and not a flaming bag of dog poo like it is today.

GOP front runner, Donald Trump has called for the legalization of all controlled substances.

Rand Paul is still on the main stage at the Republican debate in Las Vega: he is leading the GOP field as their cannabis advocate. Nevada is moving forward with cultivation and distribution.

Chris Christie is a sideshow for the criminally obese.

Ted Cruz is just plain creepy
and likely leaked classified information during last night's debate.

Marco Rubio is an infidelitous crook.

Jeb Bush is complicit in the September 11, 2001 attacks while Lindsey Graham wishes war criminal, George W Bush was still in office.

Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are in death spirals.

John Kasich looks like the walking dead.

With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton zooming away from the Republican clown car in fundraising the GOPers are panicking.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus fears the worst for his party in the event of a loss in 2016. During an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner Thursday, Priebus said that the GOP will be "cooked" as a national party if they fail to take back the White House next November.
Read the exciting news here.

David Brooks calls the Republican caucus bumbling, incompetent and dysfunctional.

After John Thune and the Republican establishment blew the Middle East country apart they began wrecking the American economy.

Even though he says otherwise, if Donald Trump doesn't get the nomination he'll run an unaffiliated campaign and drag his supporters with him.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Barrick blocking another Lead economic development initiative

Not long after Homestake Mining Company announced its intent to close operations in Lead, we were listening to this NPR story about an ice climbing park in Ouray, Colorado, a former mining town that has remade itself by farming ice. My daughters' mother turned to me and said: "Wow, they should do that in the Open Cut."

It was if she had spoken with the Voice of God.
Two brothers want to build what they say will be one of the world's tallest zip lines over an old gold mine pit in western South Dakota, but Lead city officials and the pit's owner have put the brakes on the project for now. Todd Duex, spokesman for Open Cut owner Barrick Mining, said the company has no desire to open itself up to potential liability. "Our attorneys feel we'd eventually be sued for an accident and with the litigious nature of our society, once they saw a gold company was involved, we'd certainly get sued," he said.
Read it here.

Note Lead Mayor Jerry Apa saying an eminent domain condemnation of the Open Cut is "morally and ethically wrong" even though the City of Missoula, Montana just successfully litigated the right to acquire Mountain Water beating the multinational Carlyle Group.
The city won the right to purchase Mountain Water through the process of eminent domain in June when Missoula County District Judge Karen Townsend ruled that public ownership was more necessary than private, for-profit ownership. [The Missoulian]
Meanwhile, Bozeman just hosted a world class ice climbing event drawing thousands of spectators.

Canadian miners Barrick just laid off 135 people in Montana. Barrick has raped much of the western United States leaving only piles of waste rock and acid mine drainage in their wake.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Plunkett cannabis arrest tied to child abuse prosecution

"Marty Jackley in my humble opinion as one of his victims is, this guys as crooked as they come." [comment, Wendel Hiland]

Suspended Butte County prosecutor Heather Plunkett had taken on Wendel Hiland and Jessica Hiland in 2013 for child abuse.
The Hilands each are charged with 30 counts of abuse of a minor over the age of seven. The statute charges that each "did abuse, expose, torture, torment or cruelly punish a minor, over the age of seven years, in a manner which does not constitute aggravated assault." It is a Class 4 felony. [Milo Daily, Butte County Post]
Wendel Hiland appears to be running for governor. He writes in Facebook:
During all this, including me writing the Judge personally, there was no "checks and balances" in place to contain this out of control prosecutor from abusing our rights. She was given the unchecked authority to do whatever she wished. This has to change if WE THE PEOPLE truly want fair and equal Justice. Prosecutorial immunity foster corruption while leaving Government officials accountable to no one. [Facebook post]
Jessica Hiland, who is twenty years younger than Wendel and only possesses an eighth grade education, left a comment in February, 2015 under another Milo Daily 2013 story:
For your info we were and are innocent and are the victims of a prosecutor who abuses her powers and od [sic] little minions whispering lies in her ears. Also of money hungry social services'. All charges were dropped 3 months after being charged! [MommaHilandOf6 - February 12, 2015 7:49 pm.]
According to a comment left at Dakota War College there is much more to the Hiland story.

The Hiland/Plunkett saga was highlighted by a Rapid City Journal special series.
Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere lives two doors from the Hilands in Newell. “Did a crime occur? Absolutely I believe a crime occurred,” said Lamphere, the sheriff for more than a dozen years. “From a law enforcement standpoint, this case needed to be investigated.” [story]
Coinciding with this case is the US Justice Department lawsuit against the South Dakota Department of Social Services.

Details of how cannabis was found and Plunkett's arrest were not immediately released. She was appointed to the post in 2010 by outgoing Governor Mike Rounds.

Wendel Hiland is clearly only semi-literate and presents with dissociative identity disorder comorbid to persecutory delusions typical of so-called "sovereign citizens." That he or the Division of Criminal Investigation planted cannabis and paraphernalia on the Plunketts is not impossible.

DCI would have had to acquire consent from a judge to tap the Plunketts' phone lines. 'Independent' counsel Paul Bachand is a Future Fund recipient who gave a thousand simoleons to Denny Daugaard's reelection campaign.

There are seventy nine comments under the most recent article by Milo Daily starting with one from Jessica Hiland just fifty minutes after the Rapid City Journal ran the piece. Curious, ain't it?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Moody County racism symptomatic of red state failure

Moody County is not just an agricultural sacrifice zone.
But a common theme in Flandreau, one that is perhaps talked about more often behind closed doors than ever in public, is the thread of racism many feel runs deeply throughout the community. Particularly between the Native, non-Native populations. A steering committee for Bridge Flandreau has been meeting over the past couple of months to lay the groundwork for the Racism Study Circles that are scheduled to begin early next year in Flandreau.
Read it all here.

Kevin Washburn is stepping down from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He is warning of a TEA party Republican influence in Native American affairs.

South Dakota is already witnessing the destructive forces at work since Mike Rounds bought a US Senate seat.

After numerous racism-related incidents the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe dissolved its agreement with the City of Flandreau.

White people threatened the FSST with federal action after an economic development initiative brought hope to the tiny reservation.



Friday, December 11, 2015

Napoli: Daugaard task force a joke


Today in ecocide: South Dakota is an agriculture sacrifice zone

Even as a dead chicken factory in Parker could be drawn and quartered South Dakota is doomed to industrial agriculture.
While numerous large barns were built throughout Moody County in 2015, only three required mandatory hearings for their expansion permits, two were Class B and one was a Class C. In those meetings, few seats were available. Neighbors showed up with a lot of questions. [Moody County Enterprise]
Milk from cows exposed to pesticides is creating the specter of Parkinson's disease and autism in children.
Proving once and for all that environmental factors are and will continue to be an important, if not crucial, factor in your health, a study has found that a pesticide widely used in the early 80s—and which found its way into our nation’s supply of cow’s milk—may be the cause of Parkinson’s disease emerging in people today.
Read that here.

Remember: South Dakota is a moocher state dependent on the feds to exist.

Think Denny Daugaard isn't worried about GOP's national demise as that party continues its assault on an African-American president instead of working to advance the success of the nation?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Zebra mussels in Missouri River dams dooming native fish

Since at least 2004 zebra mussels have been plaguing the main stem dams in the Missouri River. The invasive mussels compete with paddlefish and other native species like the pallid sturgeon.
Mike Smith, a specialist in aquatic invasive species for the state Game, Fish and Parks Department, presented an overview on AIS to the board. Eleven species of fish, seven species of plants and four species of invertebrates such as zebra mussels have been confirmed in South Dakota as invasive, Smith said. There also have been indications of quagga mussels now in South Dakota. With 700,000 zebra mussels possible per square meter, and each filtering a liter of water per day, they can have an enormous effect on water quality and on water intakes, such as for irrigation systems and water treatment, as well as docks and boat facilities in the water, he said. “Eradication is basically unfeasible,” Smith said. The impact on the fishery is difficult to link to zebra mussels, Smith said. The water clarity will increase and the plankton community will be diminished, but there hasn’t been proof linking zebra mussels to a decline in the fishery. “That effect is unknown,” Smith said. Do they have natural predators? “Not in the U.S.,” Smith said. [Bob Mercer]
Lake sturgeon prey on some species of mussels.

Christopher Guy, assistant unit leader with the US Geological Survey Montana Cooperative Fishery Unit and professor at Montana State University, joined Dakota Midday host Karl Gerhke on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio to talk about the importance of recent findings on the endangered pallid sturgeon in the upper Missouri River basin.
According to American Rivers, an advocacy group that tracks U.S. dam removals, 72 dams in 19 states were torn down in 2014, a record. That is roughly double the annual number from 10 years ago. Some 1,185 dams have been removed since 1912, according to the group. The fleet of U.S. dams, however, is still enormous. The Army Corps of Engineers counts at least 87,000 dams in its database. Removing dams produces its own benefits. Public safety is enhanced by reducing the risk of a dam failure, and moribund freshwater fisheries are rejuvenated when a segmented river is reconnected. [Circle of Blue]
Below the Missouri River dams pallid sturgeon are showing signs of recovery but above?

Surprise!
Pallid sturgeon come from a genetic line that has lived on this planet for tens of millions of years; yet it has been decades since anyone has documented any of the enormous fish successfully producing young that survive to adulthood in the upper Missouri River basin. Now, fisheries scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Montana State University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have shown why, detailing for the first time the biological mechanism that has caused the long decline of pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River and led to its being placed on the endangered species list 25 years ago. 
In a paper published this week in the journal Fisheries, the scientists show that oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River are directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon hatched embryos to survive to adulthood. Given what the new research shows about how no oxygen is available to hatched pallid sturgeon embryos, the authors of the paper propose that officials will need to consider innovative approaches to managing Missouri River reservoirs for pallid sturgeon conservation to have a chance. [press release, US Geological Survey]
Accumulated mercury in large fish causes spontaneous abortions yet record non-native salmon in Lake Oahe go untested.
Paddlefish feed by filtering microscopic plankton out of the water, so they really aren’t susceptible to traditional fishing practices. They have to be snagged. Because the feed almost exclusively on zooplankton, paddlefish spend a lot of their time near the plankton-rich surface waters of their home river so they can be seen and targeted. Still, snagging a paddlefish is only feasible if the fish gather in large numbers, Pierce said. Otherwise it’s like finding a needle in a haystack the size of Rhode Island. [Pierre Capital Journal]
President Obama: decertify the dinosaurs that are the main stem dams, tear them down and rewild the West.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hawks should exploit the legislature just like Kristi did

On yesterday's broadcast of 100 Eyes Jonathan Ellis said the legislature will hear arguments for a corporate income tax.
One South Dakota lawmaker says she’s crafting a resolution about debt-free college. Democratic State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to start a conversation with fellow lawmakers about the cost of higher education. Hawks says she supports a national movement that involves progressive thinking to address higher education and student debt. She says in South Dakota that begins with a legislative resolution she plans to file ahead of January’s session start. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Cannabis certainly is an issue that energizes both sides especially at a time when voter turnouts are at historic lows. But Rep. Hawks isn't offering anything new and has ignored President Obama, you know, that guy who leads the Democratic Party?

She could at least talk about what she's hearing from voters of all stripes but even her social media is flickering even though she has raised a little money.

She has nothing to lose by being revolutionary.

Pat Powers makes a stopped clock look like a well-greased machine. Powers has long been banned from this and other South Dakota related sites because of a constant stream of bigotry, misogyny and other hate speech while Jason Gant has waddled away into obscurity.

Paula Hawks should use the South Dakota legislature for a political springboard just like Kristi Noem did...but without the extramarital exploits.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Gregorian calendar: what is it good for?



The Gregorian calendar is a ridiculous anachronism. How is something called the 'the christian calendar' appropriate in secular societies?
The prayer for rain, which asks God to “bestow dew and rain for blessing upon the face of the earth,” has a number of curious characteristics. First, it is the only Jewish ritual whose start in the Diaspora is tied to the Gregorian civil calendar, rather than the Hebrew one, though its termination (back to dew) reverts to Hebrew timing. [Haaretz]
Well? What is it good for?




Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gun reform: tax the hell out them

On yesterday's Weekend Edition Saturday Scott Simon lumped the Westerhuis murders in with acts of domestic terrorism.
The names of towns — Colorado Springs last week, San Bernardino this week, Roseburg, Oregon in October, Platte, South Dakota in September, Lafayette, Louisiana in July, Omaha, in January — and of victims, heroes, and assailants sometimes seem to run together. [After Mass Shootings, People Turn To Prayer — And Prayer Shaming]
A gun is like a lawyer: you carry one around long enough and sooner or later you're going to use it.

From the Casper Trib online:
The Wyoming Department of Revenue has suspended sales tax collections from gun shows because of increasing animosity toward the state's field tax agents. Dan Noble, director of the department's excise tax division, said Friday that an incident at a gun show triggered the decision. He added, however, that resistance from gun show sponsors and participants has been a recurring problem statewide. "I have 10 field reps throughout the state, and every one of them has experienced some animosity," he said. "Folks are nervous anyway because there are guns there. I don't want to put my people at risk."
Red states are not going to fix their own problems.

Only We the People can slow these people down. Local law enforcement is only as effective as a legislature wants it to be.

Is this how Americans really want to live? Carry rifles and sidearms into every bar, church, and arena?
Milch has pointed out repeatedly in interviews that the intent of the show was to study the way that civilization comes together from chaos by organizing itself around symbols (in Deadwood the main symbol is gold). If history is written by the victors, Deadwood is all about giving the losers their due. In the first season, magnificent bastard Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) came off as a villain; this year, his inevitably doomed campaign to save the lawless town from annexation by the United States and exploitation by robber barons served as a brilliant allegory for the evolution of American capitalism.
Gun carrying people are saying they are being responsible (but won't be held liable) for our safety if the rest of us don’t, or refuse to, carry.

Thomas Jefferson believed a standing army and the right to bear arms are mutually exclusive.

Stand your ground has become vigilante justice because the courts are overwhelmed with suspects in the war on drugs, our communities are becoming armed camps and we’re barricaded in our homes afraid to let our kids go to school.

How many more people will be caught in or die from as yet uncounted crossfires?

Maybe this would be a great time for a piece of rhubarb pie.

Wyoming is most heavily armed state, South Dakota is number 22.

Prohibition doesn't work: levy transaction taxes on the sales and gifting of shotguns, rifles, handguns and extended clips then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion.