Sunday, December 31, 2017

With federal aid South Dakota set to clean up some watersheds

South Dakota's history of ecocide and non-point source pollution are under the 319 federal program microscope.

The Big Sioux River is most at risk from animal feeding operations and overland sediment transport. $1.1 million in federal funds will focus on Moody County where total remediation costs could soar to $12.2 million.

South Central sponsors sought $1.3 million in federal and state funds to clean up Lewis and Clark Lake, Lake Andes, Geddes, Academy, Platte Lake watersheds, impaired parts of the Lower James River tributaries, and impaired stretches in the Vermillion River watershed.

As Wyoming threatens the upper Belle Fourche watershed the South Dakota portion will be part of an effort to expunge livestock waste. Sponsors asked for $250,000 from the feds and got it. It should be noted one of the most polluted reaches of the Belle Fourche goes right through Marty Jackley's boyhood ranch.
Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution. Through Section 319, the EPA provides states, territories, and tribes with guidance and grant funding to implement their nonpoint source programs and to support local watershed projects to improve water quality.
Most of the cleanup activity comes as South Dakota's earth hater congressional delegation await the repeal of the Clean Water Act.

Read more about the US Environmental Protection Agency's 319 Grant Program for States, Territories and Tribes here.

Klobuchar recognizes military sacrifices

Bullock: public education critical to success

Ellison: witness for peace

Earth haters want to lock up more teens

From a newspaper in a town named for a war criminal South Dakota's District 30 earth hater lawgivers said they want to lock up more young people in a stigmatized property where Brady Folkens was misdiagnosed then later died in state custody.
All three District 30 legislators, Reps. Tim Goodwin, Julie Frye-Mueller and Sen. Lance Russell, along with Sen. Neal Tapio of Watertown, are in agreement about drug courts and the former STAR Academy near Custer. ["]A state institution is not allowed to talk about God and the ultimate purpose in life, and state employees are not allowed to touch another human being,” Tapio said. “We must build programs for troubled children and families on the model espoused by an organization called Teen Challenge. Its God-centered approach teaches purpose to life,” he said. Russell said the reasons more lengthy drug treatment is not available is because “the governor has not prioritized treatment in the state corrections system.
Read more about red state failure here.

Fact is: South Dakota is being sued for Folkens' wrongful death and the state has little choice but to liquidate the former boot camp and Custer State Hospital where residents were brutalized and worse.

Russell and Tapio are grandstanding as they pursue political careers. Russell's mother even sold property to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) where minor girls are trafficked and raped.

After the Division of Criminal Investigation was caught covering up at least one crime committed by its staff the state has been exposed to further litigation.

Why are South Dakota winters so brutal and unforgiving?

Because South Dakotans deserve them.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Daugaard appoints South Dakota's Callista Gingrich to District 34 post


Wait. What?

Yes, when in doubt Denny Daugaard chose another lawyer to replace the now-dead Craig Tieszen.

I know Mike and Connie Diedrich from contracting the drywall finish and paint at their ski cabin on Terry Peak. Mike is a serial philanderer just like Callista Gingrich is. His reputation for boinking staff at Sodak Gaming was an open secret.

Connie suffers from the same malady as public radio personality, Diane Rehm. Spasmodic dysphonia is a neurological condition that affects her voice. Mike always rolled his eyes when trying to describe it.

The good news? Mike isn't a radical earth hater or climate science denier like Daugaard is.

So-called 'Citizens for Liberty' gave Tieszen a 'D' on their Second Amendment scorecard. No doubt they'll do the same for Diedrich.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Hot Springs pastor rejects GOP tax scam

Letters to the editor of the Rapid City Journal tend to be racist screeds or more complaints about barking dogs and dust from the cement plant Bill Janklow sold to Mexico but this one is a doozy!

Here is an excerpt.
At this moment in our country we should not be cutting taxes, but dramatically increasing taxes - only on the upper 20% - who have reaped all the benefits of this rising economy over the last nine years. In addition, we should be dramatically decreasing wasteful spending (without touching Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security). There are hundreds of billions of dollars of stupid and wasteful spending in our budget which should be eliminated. (Subsidies to companies such as Exxon who are making record profits is just one example.) Our national debt is currently the second greatest threat to our country (after nuclear war) and it is a problem that has been created over decades of Democrats and Republicans (Congress and presidents alike) making deals with each other to reduce income (in the form of taxes) while increasing wasteful spending that does nothing to help people. Tragically; this tax deal is now a deal with the devil. [Pastor Mark Johnsen, Tax reform economically and morally reprehensible]

Wow, huh?

Krebs approves IM22 replacement for 2018 ballot

South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says a replacement for a government ethics constitutional amendment that corrupt Republicans repealed last legislative session will be on the 2018 general election ballot.
The initiative would tighten campaign finance and lobbying restrictions, create an independent ethics commission and prevent the Legislature from altering or rejecting laws approved by voters without returning to the ballot, among other provisions.
Read the rest here.

Joyce Scott is furious at South Dakota Republicans for overturning ethics reforms.

She and others worked their tails off persuading South Dakota voters to approve anti-corruption Initiated Measure 22.
Republican lawmakers quickly torched the new rules this year and instead are seeking changes that would make it far tougher for residents to bypass the statehouse at all. Scott and others angry about the swift repeal of the voter-backed anti-corruption initiative have turned to the 2018 ballot, hoping to enact a new constitutional amendment that even the Legislature can't touch. Supporters gathered more than 50,000 signatures — using volunteers and paid petitioners — for the 2018 constitutional amendment. "Who would have ever thought that something that the voters passed, that the Legislature would just do away with it totally," she said.
Read the rest here.
On Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office received petitions for eight potential ballot measures for the 2018 election, which comes after 10 ballot measures — including Initiated Measure 22 that voters approved — were on the 2016 ballot. Now, the Legislature’s brazen act of overturning IM22 to start the 2017 legislative session and — as lawmakers claimed — protect the electorate from alleged unconstitutionality has led to three proposed constitutional amendments that zero in on election reform. In the end, however, it is South Dakotans who will vote on Election Day and many feel disenfranchised by an increasingly insular Legislature dominated by a handful of Republican leaders.
Read that here.

Pretty scathing indictment from a conservative newspaper like the Rapid City Journal.

Your thoughts?

Daugaard's lack of leadership leaves VFDs hurting for resources

After a century of fire suppression, a decades-long moratorium on prescribed burns, a lack of environmental litigators and GOP retrenchment the Black Hills National Forest and surrounding grasslands remain at risk to more blazes like the Legion Lake Fire.
Rural fire departments are seeking a few good volunteers. “Many of us are getting older and can’t bunker up,” said Fred Wells of the Nisland department. Bunker is a term for the heavy fireproof clothing required to fight any fire. “We can maybe drive a truck, but some are not in physical condition to do that.” Wells also said that many have experienced burn out when they have constantly been the ones responding to calls. Right now fire departments that potentially could, or would, respond to events are in need, both in personnel and equipment, as well as other financial support. Most of the chiefs and other firefighters really don’t talk much about their needs.
Read more 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.

A trustworthy or competent US Representative would call out the failures of the Daugaard regime but making South Dakota a perpetual federal disaster area is the only way Republicans know how to pay the bills.

But look on the bright side, people: your lives could be much worse; you could be living in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Nodaks question Keystone Pipeline ecocide

Representatives from TransCanada met with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to talk about the breach that dumped some 210,000 gallons of crude oil into a South Dakota ecosystem.
North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said PSC members wanted to know why it happened, and to be updated on the clean-up efforts. But Fedorchak said there are still questions about why the spill happened. "It's a new line," Fedorchak said. "New lines like this shouldn't be having those kinds of issues."
Get the story at Prairie Public Radio.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has created a website to raise funding and awareness for the dispossession of treaty land, natural resources and to provide information about the nation's battles against the Dakota Excess and Keystone XL Pipelines.
CRST gained national attention in 2014 when it challenged the federal government and the state of South Dakota over a permit that was granted for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In protest of the pipeline, outraged tribal members established the Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp in Bridger. There are numerous photos of the direct-action events at the Oceti Sakowin camp on the website. The website features maps of treaty lands and current reservation boundaries. The history of the flooding of the Old Agency by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also presented on the website.
Get the story here.

China purchases most of America's exported oil.
Another reason western South Dakota is desirable to big oil is the contracts to obtain mineral rights on reservation land is less complicated for oil companies because they have only one agency, the BIA, to deal with for tribal owned lands. Standing Rock tribal government has already made moves to consolidate land under its control with the buy-back programs. With that control, the tribe can sign leases with oil companies and the tribal members have little say. There is a difference between the percentage of mineral royalties paid to Native Americans and those paid to non-native land owners, according to documents obtained from an individual working in the oil industry.
Read that here.

While East River, South Dakota has been destroyed by industrial agriculture West River remains mostly intact.

Franken vows to fight on



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Black Hills hunting season begins despite decline in cougar population

This killing round is set at 60 cougars total or 40 females, whichever comes first.

Last year’s donnybrook ended after killing 32 total 17 of which were girl cats. More snow usually means more carnage. The derby is scheduled to end March 31st provided there isn't adequate killing before then.

During one season a white christian trophy hunter illegally slew a three-month old, fourteen pound cougar kitten in the Black Hills. The idiot was cited for a class one misdemeanor improper tagging, which carries a penalty of fines to $1,000, one year in jail and loss of hunting privileges for a year.

The incident is par for the course in Lawrence County where firearms and alcohol with meth chasers are as common as sibling marriages.

South Dakota's Republican-owned wildlife killing arm reports the cougar population peaked sometime in 2011 at about 400 but declined to maybe 300 now after sanctioned hunting began.

Under pressure from the Humane Society of the United States Game, Fish and Plunder has reversed itself on hunting with weaponized dogs.
“We are very pleased to see the Commission vote in favor of protecting South Dakota’s rare and iconic mountain lions. Only a handful of these cats exist in South Dakota and very few ever make it out of the Black Hills and onto the Prairie. Allowing hound hunting on public lands in the Prairie would harm the species’ ability to survive in our state."
Read that here.

Cougars in the Black Hills had enjoyed and thrived in a habitat free of wolves for a little over a hundred years; but that's all over now.

Robust aspen habitats on the Black Hills and a healthy cougar population are relative and critical to ruffed grouse survival. Humans tampering with the ecosystem has resulted in a trophic cascade where the slaughter of cougars allowed mesopredators like coyotes and bobcats to flourish only to depress grouse numbers.

As the eradication of cougars in the Black Hills continues some of the big cats are defending their territory against domestic invaders.

GF&P may have been interested in science at some point in its past but like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and as revenues collapse the eventual extirpation of mountain lions from the Black Hills looks like a given.

The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and public lands grazing funnel into a region smothering under single-party rule.


Under GOP rule South Dakota's 3Q personal income worst in US

After South Dakota's governor signed a bill into law that discriminates against some couples who want to adopt a California-led boycott is queering Denny Daugaard's pitch.

Personal income growth in South Dakota was the slowest in the United States in the third quarter.
South Dakota’s disappointing performance was driven primarily by a 0.1% decline in earnings (wages and salaries, and proprietor’s income). Investment income rose 0.1%, and transfer receipts—payments under programs like Social Security—rose 0.4%. The state also experienced marginal declines in forestry, fishing and related activities (-0.54%), construction (-0.43%), retail trade (-0.23%), and arts, entertainment and recreation (-1.61%).
Read more about red state failure here.


Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe still fighting pipelines

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has created a website to raise funding and awareness for the dispossession of treaty land, natural resources and to provide information about the nation's battles against the Dakota Excess and Keystone XL Pipelines.
CRST gained national attention in 2014 when it challenged the federal government and the state of South Dakota over a permit that was granted for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In protest of the pipeline, outraged tribal members established the Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp in Bridger. There are numerous photos of the direct-action events at the Oceti Sakowin camp on the website. The website features maps of treaty lands and current reservation boundaries. The history of the flooding of the Old Agency by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also presented on the website.
Get the story here.

While East River, South Dakota has been destroyed by industrial agriculture West River remains mostly intact.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hickey will preach in Sioux Falls again

Former Republican legislator and pastor, Steve Hickey will again carry his voice to the Church at the Gate in Sioux Falls.

Hickey is a PhD. candidate who has been studying at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Recall that Hickey has said enough civilian death is enough.
A politician in South Dakota who wants to close Ellsworth commits political suicide by saying so. When I was in elected office my private commitment to myself was to be willing to commit political suicide once a year to support the right thing. Many of my Republican colleagues in the legislature were “fiscal conservatives” and would get loud and vocal about Washington DC’s inability to balance the budget. Yet we seemed so oblivious to the depths of cuts it would take to balance the national budget and what that would mean to a little dependant [sic] state like South Dakota, and of course an income tax would never be considered. Never was there talk of cutting Defence spending in DC, ever. And never would anyone support closing a base in our state that brought MONEY and JOBS and PEOPLE into our state. Say goodbye to Ellsworth if you are truly a fiscal conservative and figure out how to wean South Dakota off Federal Dollars. [Steve Hickey]
Hickey and this blog don't agree on everything but we both loathe video lootery, reject racism, want to end capital punishment and support truth and reconciliation for catholic clergy crimes. He has cast away many of the tenets and most of the objectives of the South Dakota Republican Party.

South Dakota's US senators trumpet success after prostituting stolen Lakota ground by bringing the current heavens-based smart-executor of civilian death, the Predator drone, to Ellsworth Air Force Base, cementing the continued commitment of South Dakotans to rain white phosphorus and dismemberment on children, women, and men of color for decades to come.

But how safe are soft targets in Rapid City from a retaliatory strike?

One could easily guess Pastor Hickey believes not very.


Drinking Liberally Sioux Falls: Noem is a liar

But of course South Dakota already knows South Dakota's lone US Representative would do or say anything to advance her career.
It turns out our own Kristi Noem was (and most likely still is) one of the best liars and told one of the biggest lies. She told a sad story about the burden the Federal Estate Tax caused her family's farm operation when her father died unexpectedly. The press finally investigated Kristi's tale and it turns out her father's early and unfortunate death was one of the few facts true in Kristi's story. (Sad as her father's death was, the financial burden it caused was more than covered by proceeds from a $2 million life insurance policy he had.) It turns out Kristi used her personal tragedy to dishonor her father's memory by telling a fib to promote herself among her Republican colleagues and create sympathy for their tax cuts for wealthy people like herself.
Read the rest here.

Your thoughts?

Billion: answers needed on GEAR UP scandal

Deb Peters claims she's oblivious to Pierre's culture of sexual predation but apparently she's part of it and its culture of corruption.
Between $1.4 and $5 million just disappeared under the leadership and management of Secretary Schopp and Senator Peters. We might note that there are no Democrats involved in this matter. However, S.D. is a “one party state,” with very little transparency and multiple family members were involved in Gear Up. Perhaps Senator Peters was not so much going to “set the record straight,” as she was going to “set the record aside.”
Read Jack Billion's column here.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the Schopp/Westerhuis outrage is important because wrongdoing and stolen taxpayer dollars are attracting too much national attention.

Jackley alleges Scott and Nicole Westerhuis stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, an organization that ran the GEAR UP program designed to empower American Indian high school students.

Like the narratives explaining the deaths of Brady Folkens and Rich Benda are sketchy Jackley's story is that Scott Westerhuis was tipped off then killed his family, set fire to their house then shot himself and the safe likely holding evidence is missing.

Marty is personally trying three people thrown under his gubernatorial bus for the scandal.

Best guess? Jackley and South Dakota's autocratic governor are diverting attention from the intimate relationship Governor Daugaard and the Secretary of Education whose wheelhouse overlooked the oversight oversight.

And now, Republicans in the legislature are threatening to give themselves raises presumably as hush money to divert attention from their own GOAC oversight oversights.

Pierre is a sewer. Follow the stink.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Obese Brookings blogger throws Krebs under the bus

South Dakota's pernicious pig takes excruciating glee in punishing those who won't have anything to do with him.

Pat Powers is a fake news queen who has groused about everything from the lack of transparency in Moody County to being blamed for deleting files on the EB5 Bendagate scandal.

According to Secretary of State Shantel Krebs at least half a million documents were deleted from her office's servers during Powers' brief stint as a paid hacker for Jason Gant and the South Dakota Republican Party.
"I want to clarify that the corporations system or website was on an outside server. And it was not on the state's information and technology--state sanctioned and state secured--server," Krebs said. "We're sitting at about 90,000 of those documents reviewed so far; we started at the current year and are working our way backwards. We started at 2015 and we're done with 2014 and 2013 and we're working on 2012," Krebs said.
Read more about the crimes committed by Jason Gant and Pat Powers here.

The entire state system underwent a complete failure as files on the events leading up to the Westerhuis murders were being purged.

Krebs, a darling of the anti-Muslim set, exposed Kristi Noem's extramarital love life. Krebs blocks fellow earth hater Powers from all her social media including from the state twitter and Facebook feeds.

Powers supports Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson for the earth hater nomination for South Dakota's lone US House seat. If the Republican-leaning South Dakota Newspaper Association had attacked Johnson, Powers would have sniveled SDNA has a liberal bias.

On a personal note: this blog hopes Krebs wins the earth hater primary so Powers has to eat a murder of Shantelian crow.

Peters pooh-poohs Pierre's predator problem


Sexual predators in Pierre have been a feature of South Dakota for its entire history but to Sioux Falls-area legislator, Deb Peters it's no big deal.
“It’s not acceptable behavior and never should be acceptable behavior,” said Peters, a Republican from Hartford. “But I also I don’t put myself into situations where that becomes a problem,” she said.
Read the rest here.

The Aberdeen American's editorial board is pointing fingers at other South Dakota media for lousy coverage of the Republican rape culture in Pierre. "Unsafe. Unacceptable. Hyper-masculine. Sexualized. Dirty." That's how the board and how women have described earth haters in Pierre.

The South Dakota Newspaper Association, teevee stations and local media have known about Pierre's rape culture and culture of corruption for decades and simply demurred to the twenty earth hater donors who run the state.

Looks like Lt. Governor Matt Michels is out of the loop, too.
Michels says it is inaccurate to describe a “culture of harassment” around the legislative sessions. Michels says beyond laws, the legislature has ethics rules for their members. Many of the allegations came from lobbyists, who are outside the rules of the legislature. [WNAX]
Kinda makes you wanna puke, init?

So, if it isn't happening to Deb, it simply isn't happening.

Rapes in the Governor's Mansion, jokers to the right, there she is: stuck in the middle with Wild Bill Janklow.

Anyone who says South Dakota media are in the bag for liberals is simply lying.

Thoughts? Prayers?


Dangerous, deadly cold air mass grips pathetic red state

An Arctic air mass associated with La NiƱa has descended on the Republicans who helped put Donald Trump in the White House.
A brutally cold start to the morning across eastern South Dakota today, with wind chill values well below zero. The National Weather Service has issued Wind Chill Warnings and Wind Chill Advisories for the northeastern and north central parts of the state.
Get the story at KWAT Radio.

Why is South Dakota so miserable? Because South Dakotans deserve it.

Monday, December 25, 2017

BHNF: despite GOP we're still standing

Klobuchar sends greetings from frozen tundra


Bille Sutton offers hope for new year





Senator Tester extends year-end salutations

Montana Senator Jon Tester sent this greeting from Big Sandy.

Merry Christmas!

Thousands of folks from across the state spent the last year working to bring a piece of Montana to Washington D.C.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, which traveled more than 3,500 miles from Yaak, Montana to our Nation’s Capital, was grown, harvested, and transported by Montanans.

I then had the honor of helping Bozeman sixth-grader Ridley Brandmayr light the beautiful 79-foot Engelmann Spruce on the Capitol Lawn.

Lit up – it made for a breathtaking view. Adorned with thousands of ornaments, flanked by a huge quilted skirt, and topped with a bright copper star—all made in Montana.

Every time I saw that tree I thought about being back in Big Sky Country for Christmas. It’s good to finally be here.

From the bottom of my heart, Sharla and I wish you a very happy holiday and a healthy New Year!

###

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hubbel adopts Trump's racist tone

Lora Hubbel is a candidate for South Dakota's 2018 earth hater gubernatorial primary.

She has taken a page from the Trump playbook and said exactly what Republicans in the state believe: anyone who has American Indian heritage should not be serving in a legislature reserved for white people. Instead of calling Gene Abdallah, Mohammad or Stan Adelstein, Hymie she called State Senator Troy Heinert South Dakota's Pocahontas parroting the derision 45 has for US Senator Elizabeth Warren.

And obese Brookings blog bully, Pat Powers responded by putting up a number of posts decrying Hubbel as unfit to serve. He's been adding anonymous comments at his blog to gin up hated of Jews, Muslims and American Indians for its entire history. Former State Senator Stan Adelstein has threatened to sue Powers who resigned in disgrace from the South Dakota Secretary of State's office.

The fact is Lora is simply representative of every Republican in my home state: Trump has given permission to the extreme wrong wing of the Republican Party to hate on anyone and everyone.

Brian Kirby, the creator of the Caucasians marketing brand, and this blog follow each other on Twitter; interested party put up a post about him in 2014. But, I had to laugh like hell reading the flap about a potential Sioux Falls boycott of some fat comedian named Ralphie May.
May’s performance in Bemidji, Minn., was canceled Thursday following an uproar over anti-Native American jokes he made that were posted earlier this week to YouTube. Sioux Falls city leaders should follow Bemidji’s example given South Dakota’s push to improve tribal relations and heal racial tension, said Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, D-Mission. Representatives from South Dakota’s tribal groups have wondered why the Orpheum hadn’t canceled the show. Julie Garreau, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, shared the audio on her Facebook page and encouraged her friends to reach out to city leaders. “That’s their out,” Garreau said. “In a state where you have such a strong indigenous population, where you have nine tribes? Really?” [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Watertown High School hosted a racist pageant every year.

Channeling the Bundy domestic terrorists who laid siege on Harney County, Oregon Rep. Lee Schoenbeck (RWNJ-Watertown) embraces white privilege every day.

Rosebud rapper, Frank Waln, is a survivor of genocide visited against tribal nations.

Moody County struggles
with racism on a local level.

Confederate flags are flying in Rapid City showing support for white supremacists in neighboring states, South Carolina and Mississippi and Gettysburg, South Dakota is a white supremacist stronghold.

The State of South Dakota is spending half a million bucks to say welcome to the Black Hills, white people, the state's highest geographical point was named after a genocidal war criminal and a state park, a county a peak in the Black Hills National Forest and a town are named for the killer of women and children.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services is committing genocide.

So, although Ralphie May is dead let some obese white guy from somewhere else perform in Sioux Falls: he's no different than every other Republican in South Dakota.


Volesky: fixing Lake Mitchell not worth it

Tara Volesky has been riding her husband's coattails for years.
Taxpayers of Mitchell, please do some researching before buying into the propaganda the mayor, media, Fyra and special interest groups are trying to sell us concerning Lake Mitchell. It's time to drain the swamp, and I am not talking about the one north of town.
Read the rest here.

Actually, draining Lake Mitchell then dredging the contaminated soils is the best course for every eutrophic lake in eastern South Dakota.

Tara should get away from the computer, stay home baking cookies and leave the environment to professionals.

Tester: 2017 a landmark year for women

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ellison optimistic about Democrats' 2018 chances

Tribune editorial: North Dakota stalling on therapeutic cannabis

Fascinating the Rapid City Journal reprinted this editorial from the Bismarck, North Dakota Tribune.
We believe the medical marijuana program will address a major need and should be implemented as quickly as possible. The frustration of those who feel they need marijuana to deal with their illnesses is understandable. State officials should strive to begin the medical marijuana program before November.
Get the rest here.

Last Friday North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved a petition that would let voters decide if cannabis should be legal for all adults.
Jaeger says backers of the ballot measure must gather about 13,500 qualified signatures to put it to a statewide vote next year.
Read the rest here.

South Dakota's more forward-looking neighbor to the north is already growing interest in cannabis as therapy.

North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 in 2016 and this year the legislature drafted rules then a Republican governor signed it into law.
The North Dakota Department of Health has filed proposed rules to be adopted for the Medical Marijuana Program with the state’s Legislative Council. The NDDoH expects to file all required information no later than February 1, 2018 in an attempt to have the rules presented in March to the legislative Administrative Rules Committee.
Read more here.

God might not be enough for northern tier religious states: they lead the nation in anti-depressant use.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Cops enjoy double standard in South Dakota


"SDSU spokesman Mike Lockrem says the university doesn’t comment on personnel matters and couldn’t disclose if officer Jason Baker had been reprimanded." [KBRK]

"According to Brookings County State's Attorney Abigail Howard, the allegations did not rise to the level of a crime." [KSFY teevee]

"A reader reached out recently via email to ask what happened to the officers. The short answer? Not much." [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]

According to several Facebook posts Melissa Mentele is alleging her daughter, a senior at Emery High School, suffered multiple scrapes, bruises and dislocated bones in her hand after a campus cop accosted her and her sister on the South Dakota State University campus.
People are strange. If you want to see some under the rock dwellers take a look at some of the comments on the news stories. We stopped after we remembered you can't cure stupid. The Brookings paper has some interesting comments from members of the community... scary stuff. [Mentele, Facebook post]
Citing violation of a campus curfew the baby cop allegedly told the group to sit and forced the younger daughter to the ground because she couldn’t sit due to a recent knee injury. The older daughter could face an obstruction charge for trying to intervene.

A Google search finds no evidence of a curfew on campus. Nothing posted at University Police links to a curfew.

The alleged abuser, Jason Baker, is the subject of an investigation being conducted both internally and with an outside agency now confirmed as the state Division of Criminal Investigation. Officials refuse to say why the girls were stopped or questioned or where the incident took place. Comments on Mentele's Facebook post cite other instances where Baker acted with excessive force.

Mentele, whose original Facebook post about the incident has over 2,100 shares, said her family plans to pursue civil and criminal charges. She has been a candidate for a seat in the earth hater-glutted state legislature and circulated petitions to reform South Dakota's draconian cannabis laws.

Violence perpetrated by South Dakota cops is commonplace. State troopers hired by Energy Transfer Partners brutalized peaceful demonstrators during the construction of the Dakota Excess Pipeline and routinely profile travelers from cannabis-friendly states. The Rapid City Police Department is infamous for arresting and shooting American Indians.

South Dakota has become an increasingly violent place under single-party rule as residents are drained by the state's regressive tax structure. So-called law enforcement officers in South Dakota are being tried and convicted of embezzlement and violent crimes motivated by nefarious behavior by state Republican higher-ups gone unchecked.

Recall Brady Folkens died in state custody after the Brookings Police Department coerced his mother into committing him to a Black Hills boot camp.

Cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.

Some South Dakota voters are still waiting for principled conservatives

How do we know the South Dakota Republican Party is squishing under the weight of its own kleptocracy?

Because obese Brookings blog bully Pat Powers is denying it.

The Facebook pages and twitter feeds of many South Dakota conservatives suggest they believe most Republican candidates for statewide office are lacking.

One of the most vocal earth hater candidates is Lora Hubbel of Sioux Falls. She's struggling to grasp the reality of her pathetic showing in the gubernatorial primary race even as perverted porker Powers and the voices in his head eviscerate her chances.

Powers has been castigating members of his own party for even trying to get to the bottom of the graft and crony capitalism in Pierre. He's even accused Hubbel and State Senator Stace Nelson of being too Republican.

Unless South Dakota arch-conservatives mount third party or indie runs for US House, governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and the Public Utilities Commission their lamentations for being marginalized by the establishment is just sauce for the turds they keep eating every day for breakfast.

Ellison calls out telecom oligopoly



Mitchell mayor sounds warning on poisoned lake

Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey is prepared to do nothing about a poisoned lake on the outskirts of his town.
"Doing nothing is an option, but we must consider the consequences and the economic impact this would have for our city," Toomey said in an email to The Daily Republic last week. "To mention just two, our lake is a huge quality of life issue for our local residents and visitors, and doing nothing will have a serious impact on lake property values." Toomey said phosphorus content in the lake is estimated to rise by 43 percent by 2030 if nothing is done to limit nutrient loading into the lake.
Read the rest here.

Draining the lake and dredging contaminated soils is really the only realistic choice.

P&D reader poll: should South Dakota legalize?

South Dakota's economy is tanking and cannabis could help reverse the trend.

The Yankton Press & Dakotan is hosting a poll. Given South Dakota’s tight budget, should lawmakers consider a plan that would legalize recreational marijuana? Check it out.

It's been thirty years since the Syndicate Fire changed Deadwood and brought economic development to the gulch. Gaming revenues are sliding and that Black Hills community is showing little interest in the kurtz template so it might be time to make changes to it and let Deadwood go back to pre-Syndicate Fire days.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Solstice means new year for us pagans



Winter solstice brings another new year for us pagans, it begins at 09:48 local time but even christianists will suffer through another ten days of 2017.

The christianist extreme wrong wing of the Republican Party needs Islam as its boogeyman.
This is the argument that Julia Ebner, a research fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, makes in her new book The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far Right Extremism. Islamist extremists like ISIS and al-Qaeda claim that the West is at war with Islam, and far-right groups like the English Defence League and Generation Identity claim that Muslims are at war with the West. This makes Islamist extremists and the far right rhetorical allies, Ebner argues, as they desperately need each other in order to push their narratives.
Read the rest here.

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?


Smith ready to serve



McCollum: GOP tax scam 'astounding'




Franken: right to privacy includes net neutrality

Ellison: GOP tax scam 'moral atrocity'


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

South Dakota voters vow to defend ballot measures

Joyce Scott is furious.

She and others worked their tails off persuading South Dakota voters to approve anti-corruption Initiated Measure 22.
Republican lawmakers quickly torched the new rules this year and instead are seeking changes that would make it far tougher for residents to bypass the statehouse at all. Scott and others angry about the swift repeal of the voter-backed anti-corruption initiative have turned to the 2018 ballot, hoping to enact a new constitutional amendment that even the Legislature can't touch. Supporters gathered more than 50,000 signatures — using volunteers and paid petitioners — for the 2018 constitutional amendment. "Who would have ever thought that something that the voters passed, that the Legislature would just do away with it totally," she said.
Read the rest here.
On Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office received petitions for eight potential ballot measures for the 2018 election, which comes after 10 ballot measures — including Initiated Measure 22 that voters approved — were on the 2016 ballot. Now, the Legislature’s brazen act of overturning IM22 to start the 2017 legislative session and — as lawmakers claimed — protect the electorate from alleged unconstitutionality has led to three proposed constitutional amendments that zero in on election reform. In the end, however, it is South Dakotans who will vote on Election Day and many feel disenfranchised by an increasingly insular Legislature dominated by a handful of Republican leaders.
Read that here.

Pretty scathing indictment from a conservative newspaper like the Rapid City Journal.

Your thoughts?

GOP tax scam threatens Indian Country

Republicans hate American Indians even more than they hate Muslims.
“Congress has a responsibility to ensure that tribes are able to be self-sustaining and have access to economic opportunities, and that’s why the tax bill that just passed the House is so deeply disappointing,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) during a conference call following passage of H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In a December 13 letter, 38 House members called for changes to the tax bill that would benefit tribes. The representatives said the current tax code fails to recognize tribal sovereignty and fails to treat tribes on the same level as states and local governments. Kildee said he plans to continue proposing changes to federal tax law that would benefit tribes. “We’re going to continue to fight,” he said.
Read more from Kevin Abourezk here.

Thoughts? Prayers?


Klobuchar slams GOP tax scam

Heitkamp: GOP tax scam 'full of broken promises'

Tester speaks out against devastating GOP tax scam


Chemical toilet approves controversial herbicide

Despite damage to more than 57,000 acres of South Dakota crops and more than 220 farmers reporting damage to dicamba-intolerant soybeans, gardens, fruit trees and vineyards the state's Republican-owned Department of Agriculture has approved three related herbicides for use.
Officials at the Department of Agriculture said additional protocols would be put in place in 2018 to prevent the movement of the product from one crop to another. "The way we all handle application on every field, every time, will impact the future of these products and agriculture in South Dakota," Agriculture Secretary Mike Jaspers said in a statement.
Read the rest here.

The decision cements South Dakota's designation a chemical toilet.

In a related story only 30 ag operators have signed up for buffer strip protections for South Dakota streams and rivers.
The governor’s program permits farmers who put runoff-absorbing grass or wildflowers between crops and certain water bodies to have their land taxed at 60 percent of its value.
Read that here.

Your thoughts?

Nebraska forces TransCanada to rethink Keystone XL pipeline

The Nebraska State Public Service Commission has denied a motion for the reconsideration of an alternative route for TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.
Landowner’s Attorney Brian Jorde of the Domina Law Group in Omaha says Tuesday’s ruling means TransCanada has no avenue to request alternative relief from the PSC. He says TransCanada has the option of appealing Tuesday’s PSC decision to the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Jorde says the PSC ruling is a landmark one that is a huge win for landowners opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline project. Jorde says with TransCanada having their motion denied by the State PSC means they won’t likely be successful with any appeal.
Get the story at WNAX.

In 2016 even earth hater South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson said the Keystone XL won’t happen without State Department approval.
Launching a $30,000 fundraising drive for a kitchen at Wiconi Un Tipi Camp, the No KXL Dakota Alliance announced a November 21 signing ceremony for the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred Against Tar Sands and the KXL Pipeline. The camp in Lower Brule is strategically located to block the path of a proposed power line that TransCanada Corp. has slated to carry electricity to a pumping station on the Keystone XL tar-sands crude pipeline route through unceded 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory.
Read that here.

In November poor construction on TransCanada's Keystone I caused a spill of some 210,000 gallons of crude oil into a Marshall County, South Dakota ecosystem.

Despite the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Excess Pipelines fuel costs in the region are soaring.

Ag sediment filling Lewis and Clark Lake

Sediment from decades of industrial agriculture would make up half of Lewis and Clark Lake's capacity by 2045 according the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Sandy Stockholm. Executive Director of the Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition, spoke to the Yankton County Commission Tuesday. She says they want to study placing sediment collectors in the Niobrara River in northeast Nebraska.
Get the story at WNAX.

According to NPR reports and other sources the Earth isn't producing sand fast enough to keep up with the humans.

The Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition is blaming the sand hills of Nebraska for the silt in Lewis and Clark Lake and is saying they might sell recovered sediment as fracking sand to the oilfields of North Dakota. Lewis and Clark Lake is thirty percent full of toxic sediment.

As silt fills irrigation diversion dams lower quality water with higher salinity enters the system ultimately rendering soils incapable of supporting life. Snow and rainwater capture provide much higher quality water for irrigation likely making the beleaguered Lewis and Clark boondoggle obsolete before it's finished or even fully funded.

Rivers often disperse the extra sediment from behind a dam within weeks or months of dam removal. Removal of the Fort Edward Dam on New York’s Hudson River released so much contaminated sediment that the river was later named a Superfund site. A similar fate would befall the Missouri River if dams were not dredged before being decertified; but, migratory fish would recolonize newly accessible habitat within a matter of days.

The Army Corps of Engineers have cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the silt is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it's trying to preserve.

Recall South Dakota's quisling earth hater former governor built a house in a swamp that flooded and received a generous self-reimbursement from insurance coverage underwritten by his own company knowing Lake Sharpe is filling with silt.

The US has thousands of mountains of glass cullet from the municipal waste stream just waiting to be repurposed: Japan recycles nearly 100% of her glass.

We sell millions of tons of salvage material to India and Asia to be recycled while tearing up our own ground mining for virgin minerals while steel and plastics, that could be petroleum, are buried in landfills.

South Dakota already has open pit frac sand mines competing to tear into yet another thousand acres. It takes enormous amounts of energy to melt and millions of yards of earth to disturb every year to mine the silica used in glass manufacture.

Mining waste glass from landfills or sediment for fracking makes some sense but let's call it remediation of surplus water instead of greenwashing a century of abuses perpetrated by the extractive and agriculture industries.

Trial begins for WA man who stood his ground against SD trooper


A South Dakota state trooper spent his time systematically profiling cars with license plates from states with legal cannabis until a Washington man stood his ground.

Cannabis is legal in Washington but South Dakota charged Donald Willingham with multiple counts in Pennington County after Trooper Zach Bader illegally profiled the vehicle in which he was riding on Interstate 90.
Willingham’s lead attorney, Dennis Doherty, told jurors during his opening statement to keep an open mind and to wait till they’ve heard all testimonies before forming an opinion on the case. Some serious matters “are in great dispute,” he said, adding that lawyers' assertions are not evidence.
Read the rest here.

Willingham is being held on an outrageous $5 million bail but his associates are out on bond. Jonathan Melendez, Chase Sukert and Desiree Sukert pleaded as part of a deal with prosecutors in which they agreed to testify against Willingham.
22-18-4. Justifiable use of force to protect property--Use of deadly force--Duty to retreat. Any person is justified in the use of force or violence against another person when the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's trespass on or other criminal interference with real property or personal property lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal right to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only as provided in §§ 22-16-34 and 22-16-35. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be. Source: SDC 1939, § 13.2402 (3); SL 2005, ch 120, § 8; SL 2006, ch 116, § 2. [South Dakota Codified Law]
A mental health evaluation revealed Willingham is fit to appear for trial.

Recall that in 2012 short guy power hungry Bader accosted a Montana family instead of policing Sturgis Rally traffic. In 2004 Montana voters legalized cannabis for some patients.

Cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.

South Dakota voters are expected to overturn some of the state's repressive cannabis laws in 2018.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

GOP bobbles tax scam vote




Ellison pounds GOP handouts