Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Holm: expanding Medicaid might save South Dakota nursing home industry

Last year the Rapid City Journal blamed the South Dakota Republican Party for spikes in suicides and depression then a Sanford Health executive did the same this year. South Dakota is ranked 6th highest in the nation for suicides reporting more than 22 self-administered terminations per 100,000 people or an increase of 59% since 1999 and the 11th highest increase in any state. By not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare South Dakota Republicans are decimating rural health care.

Rick Holm is the Prairie Doc. His program airs on KBRK radio in Brookings, on Bill Janklow's idea of public teevee and his column appears in my hometown paper the Elkton Record, in the Brookings Register and about sixty other rural South Dakota newspapers.
Mr. A belongs to the working-poor segment of our society, just above official levels of poverty and yet he cannot afford health insurance and primary care, let alone the private cost of an assisted living center or nursing home. If Medicaid was expanded in South Dakota, more than two billion dollars of federal health care funding would come into the state, helping healthcare coverage to 55,000 South Dakotans, in turn, helping to prevent rural nursing homes from closing. This would help Mr. A, and people like him, get comfort care during their dying days. [column, Dr. Rick Holm]
Not only has the South Dakota Republican Party failed American Indians by not expanding Medicaid it has failed veterans and the elderly: its historically loyal voter base. But its more progressive neighbor to the north has seen the light.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Therapeutic cannabis blazing in North Dakota

In 2016 North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 then the legislature drafted rules and a Republican governor signed it into law. Gov. Doug Burgum supports cannabis law reform and in May the red state quietly decriminalized possession of small amounts.

Today, nearly 2,000 patients have enrolled in North Dakota's therapeutic cannabis program and have eight dispensaries from which to choose but high prices continue to drive a black market.
That number could be much higher, but inflated costs resulting from high fees for dispensaries and growers and other restrictions have suppressed enrollment in the program, said Ray Morgan, a Fargo businessman who spearheaded the petition drive for a ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana approved by voters in 2016. The eight authorized dispensaries must pay two-year licensing fees to the state of $90,000, and the two authorized medical marijuana manufacturing centers must pay two-year licensing fees of $110,000. Patients pay an annual registration fee of $50. The list of 26 eligible medical conditions includes AIDS, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorder, autism spectrum disorder, brain injury, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, glaucoma and interstitial cystitis, a form of severe bladder pain. [Nearly 2,000 are registered for medical marijuana in North Dakota, but advocate calls costs 'out of this world' ]
There is concern among activists that Republican operatives will provide names of patients to the Trump Organization preventing them from purchasing firearms. North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.
Legalize ND Chairman David Owen said the group has until July 6 to collect the 13,452 signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot after Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the format of the petition on Monday, Dec. 16. To be on the primary ballot, the 26,904 signatures for an amendment must be into Jaeger's office for verification by Feb. 10. [Vape shops, other businesses to help gather signatures for marijuana petition]
Contaminated dietary supplements, vapes, ointments and edibles are unacceptable in a country with a long history of snake oil salesmen. Cannabis is a safe, effective palliative but black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes Americans less safe. Legalization and state inspections of a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that would align with our life safety goals.

The group South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws has submitted to a Republican secretary of state over 50,000 signatures in support of a ballot measure that would allow adults 21 and older to possess and distribute up to one ounce and cultivate up to three plants for personal use. If accepted and passed the measure would also direct the South Dakota's extremist legislature to establish therapeutic and industrial cannabis (hemp) programs.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Birthday, Wounded Knee Remembered

On this date in 1919 Lawrence Eldridge Kurtz was born fifth of eight on a rock-strewn, hilltop farm in Richland Township, Brookings County, South Dakota.

Milking cows, burning corn cobs for heat, sleeping three to a bed, taking turns at the outhouse with diarrhea, trudging behind a horse-drawn plow for what must have seemed like years, walking (or, if Gus didn't need it that day, two to a horse) a mile and a half uphill both ways to Richland School #48 maybe through blowing and drifting snow at -20, day followed humble day. For sixteen years his greatest joys were the Christmases when each child was presented with an orange. A favorite story recounted a day in 1935, when, in the worst of the Dirty Thirties, he and brother Kenneth walked across a completely dry basin that had formerly held Lake Benton.

For two boys growing up in South Dakota, one attending a single-room schoolhouse and one a Catholic grade school, this day on the calendar had no other significance. It was not until college that this student learned it represented the most heinous event in South Dakota history.
At daybreak on December 29, 1890, Col. Forsyth ordered the surrender of weapons and the immediate removal and transportation of the Indians from the "zone of military operations" to awaiting trains. Specific details of what triggered the fight are debated. According to some accounts, a medicine man named Yellow Bird began to perform the Ghost Dance, reiterating his assertion to the Lakota that the ghost shirts were bulletproof. As tension mounted, Black Coyote refused to give up his rifle; he was deaf and had not understood the order.
The narrative that follows that passage is too horrifying to appear here.

One of the first jobs we kids learned after moving to the farm in the Spring of '64 was picking rock. I was almost ten, sister Lynn was eight. We learned to drive taking turns at the wheel of that old tractor and wagon moving at a half a mile an hour while Dad did most of the real work. Finding stone hammers was our reward for clearing glacial till from those fields not knowing that they had been left there by the ancestors of those killed at Wounded Knee. Blood from our oft-smashed fingers is still on some of those rocks.

In about 1970 or so, my very furious retired Air Force, Republican father wrote the Sioux Falls Argus Leader after it ran a photo during the Vietnam War. Dad cited Senator George McGovern with what he believed was the unforgivable offense of a civilian wearing a USAF flight suit. The letters in the paper that followed afterwards accused Dad of nitpicking while he got volumes of support in the mail from the likes of the John Birch Society. Dad never forgot it: clearly I haven't either.

In '71, after I used Mom's Singer to sew an American flag upside-down on the back of a fatigue jacket from Korea that Dad had given me, he threw it into the burn barrel, poured gas on it and set it afire. That he didn't throw me in there too is testimony of his love for my mother.

1972 was my first time to vote. I was a stupid punk, had a very high draft number, ignored a Presidential appointment to the United States Air Force Academy (an entitlement for a dependent of CMSgt Lawrence E. Kurtz, USAF (Ret)) because Richard Fucking Nixon was Commander-in-Chief; and, my glasses prevented me from being a pilot. Filling in the oval for Gus Hall, the Communist Party candidate, was a protest to somebody else's failed democratic adolescence. In the late 60s and through the 70s Dad won conservation awards for terracing the farm, planting trees and avoiding atrazine.

In the 80s when he visited us in Spearditch Dad was able to see how most of the fertile land in Lawrence County was incrementally being covered with concrete and housing for white people. In the 90s and 2000s he wept as shelter belts were being cleared for center-pivot irrigation and fossil water was being pumped from fragile aquifers for the industrial agriculture now killing his once-beloved Brookings County. Lawrence the Elder, whose often-close proximity to B-24s saw history's remembrance of George McGovern's military service as fabrication supported fellow Strategic Air Command alumnus Tom Daschle through his entire career but gave up on voting after his home state turned Senator Daschle out for earth hater, John Thune. Dad died in 2010.

Today, the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act that would rescind Medals of Honor for twenty war criminals responsible for the slaughter of children, women and men in 1890 at Wounded Knee in occupied South Dakota is at risk to career criminal Donald Trump who just pardoned three American mercenaries convicted of butchering civilians.

So, despite your mysterious belief Bill Janklow was the Second Coming of Christ, Happy 100th Birthday Dad!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Overwhelmed Black Hills schools want to lock up kids again


Mixed in with the copious narratives about the horrific Republican culture of corruption, lack of student preparedness, rampant teacher flight and soul-killing Trumpist insurgencies there is more bad news coming from the central and southern Black Hills.

On December 17 in a town named for a war criminal South Dakota’s NAZI District 30 legislators, Reps. Tim Goodwin, Julie Frye-Mueller and Sen. Lance Russell held court with administrators and board staff from three counties. Nearly everybody in the room said they felt helpless as they lose local control to Pierre.
Much of the problem centered around former Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s juvenile justice reform package, which sounded a death knell for the former State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy, and returned children who would likely be in the juvenile justice system to their hometowns for the schools and law enforcement there to deal with. Legislation is also being crafted that would strip Gov. Kristi Noem of the ability to sell the former STAR Academy in hopes it could return to its former use as a juvenile detention facility.

Custer School District Board of Education member Jeff Prior said parents have called him, angry that the statutory requirement for education funding increases are being ignored. Goodwin said the budget “is the legislators,” not (Noem’s), while adding that the last minute passage of the budget is intentional so people will cave “because they want to go home.” All three District 30 representatives voted against the budget a year ago, and pledged to those in attendance they would do so again if it did not include the required education increase. Hill City School District Board of Education member Dennis Krull said he believes the cap takes away local control, and said Hill City stands to lose $269,000 because of the cap.

Russell said he is open to the idea of charter schools, especially in places such as Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Russell said if a school perpetually fails in academics, is rife with violence, suicide and “structurally inept,” he would not want to see children in the school put in a situation where they have no option but stay in that school. Russell said it’s frustrating to him when someone who says they are leading shows their word cannot be trusted, referencing again Noem’s failure to propose an increase in education funds. Russell said the education funding overhaul has benefitted only large school districts. [War Criminal County Chronicle]
Brady Folkens died in state custody after a botched diagnosis at the former STAR Academy on December 21, 2013 then the State of South Dakota's Office of Risk Management helped to bury the evidence of negligent homicide. After a public outcry the death camp was shuttered and the sprawling property south of town sold at auction for the minimum bid of $2.34 million. The buyers were a group of investors represented at the sale by real estate agent and former mayor Jared Carson but have since defaulted on their commitment. STAR Academy's predecessors, South Dakota Tuberculosis Sanatorium and Custer State Hospital at Sanator have macabre histories of their own.

Recall that in 2018 during his mansplaining to Girls State Denny Daugaard was too ashamed and embarrassed to talk about South Dakota being the only state without at least one gold or silver medal school. He left out the state's federal dependence and a flat line economy, too. But in a feat of product placement he pimped for his former boy toy, Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson. More evidence of Denny Daugaard's failures: a third of qualified teaching grads leave South Dakota while the remainder struggle with certification. There are no checks on executive power and the governor's cronies routinely raid the state's general fund. The state is second in addiction to gambling and teachers' salaries surf the bottom of the US.

To honor Hulett, Wyoming-based Devils Tower Forest Products the town named for a war criminal plans its seventh ritualized bark beetle burning January 17-18.

Get the rest of the story at the War Criminal County Chronicle.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Today's intersection: bankruptcies, suicides and carbon emissions


This post started with a correlation between the Trump Organization’s War on America and farmer suicides but the tweets just kept coming.
The American Farm Bureau says South Dakota reported 13 farm bankruptcies in a 12-month period ending in September, compared with two in the previous 12-month period. The Farm Bureau says overall, there were 24-percent more farm bankruptcies this year than last. [Rising Bankruptcies, Possible 2020 Weather Woes Worry SD Farmers]
Last year the Rapid City Journal blamed the South Dakota Republican Party for spikes in suicides and depression then a Sanford Health executive did the same this year. South Dakota is ranked 6th highest in the nation for suicides reporting more than 22 self-administered terminations per 100,000 people or an increase of 59% since 1999 and the 11th highest increase in any state.
Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has taken a heavy-handed approach, while North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem are vocal critics of big government. According to a February 2019 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the energy-related carbon emissions total of all 50 states decreased 12.4 percent between 2005 and 2016. In South Dakota, emissions rose 12.8 percent. South Dakota came in 10th for the country’s largest per-capita emissions. [As Minnesota works toward climate policy reform, Dakotas see emissions increase]
So, what’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature, living in a chemical toilet, sacrifice zone, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Montana blogger shames Billings for racist tourism campaign


A settler's little broken house on the prairie near US 212 just east of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana

Senator Mike Rounds (NAZI-SD) said he won't vote for the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act that would rescind Medals of Honor for twenty war criminals responsible for the slaughter of children, women and men in 1890 at Wounded Knee in occupied South Dakota. But he and the South Dakota Republican Party are hardly the only racists in the colonized American West.
A Billings ad campaign that was scrubbed a day after a blogger called it racist illustrates a larger systemic issue of excluding Native voices in marketing campaigns for tribal nations, several spokespeople and tribal members around the state said. [Billings Gazette]
Alexis Bonogofsky has been writing East of Billings for many years. She covers the environment, ranching and culture.
Let’s take a step back into history and talk about Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny is a term used to describe the 19th century doctrine or belief that it was the country’s divine destiny and right to expand westward to fill the American continent. The philosophy drove U.S. territorial expansion and was used to justify the forced removal of Native Americans from their land and genocide that followed. My family benefited from it. Both sides of my family homesteaded in North Dakota and Montana. The language being used by Visit Billings is the same language that was used to justify the genocide of Native Americans: onward pioneer, conquer, take, it’s ours. The Billings Chamber of Commerce should officially apologize to all of Montana’s tribal nations, especially to the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Tribes. I have an idea for a new slogan though. Instead of "Today is ours for the taking - tomorrow too" we should just go with "Billings - we have a lot of work to do." [Onward Pioneers: Visit Billings’s Manifest Destiny Tourism Campaign]
During the Battle of Greasy Grass near the Little Bighorn River in Montana George Custer attacked the encampment where the elderly, women and children were hidden and during the Washita Massacre he held a similar contingent as hostages and human shields.

Read more at the Billings Gazette.


Monday, December 23, 2019

Brookings area young adults hoping to stem Republican stinginess

More evidence of a dying rural culture

After a former Republican South Dakota governor signed a bill into law that discriminates against some couples seeking to adopt the evidence is clear that a California-led boycott is having effects. As more young people fall through the cracks created by the Republican Party South Dakota State University is doing community outreach.
Kas Williams, the Chief Diversity Officer at South Dakota State University entered an Honors Colloquium classroom, with what she calls her “normal spiel” for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. According to Williams, the program has expanded beyond the reaches of the SDSU campus and into the Brookings community. “When you do good stuff and it becomes a community service effort, everybody gets behind it,” Williams said. “I don’t even think the students even realized that they tapped into something that everyone wants to be a part of.” [SDSU Collegian]
The cult of Trump is leaving young people in Brookings County without a voice in local affairs.
Youth can give a unique perspective to issues, Jaixai Reineke explained to the Brookings City Council during a study session on Dec. 10. The council is considering organizing a Brookings Youth Council to get input from young people.Some adults might bring up a youth’s perspective, but they tend to do it by looking back at their own youth and the times in which they lived then, Reineke said, but today’s children are growing up in a new generation. “My childhood is probably a lot different than any of your childhood,” she told the council. Reineke wants a council comprised of five to seven youth from middle school and/or high school. [Brookings Register]
South Dakota is struggling to keep white workers, infrastructure is crumbling, industrial agriculture is failing, South Dakota churches are girding for gun violence, meth is replacing alcohol as the state's drug of choice, Pierre's culture of corruption and rape violence threaten open government, socialism is quietly replacing free enterprise, pheasant numbers are dwindling, environmental degradation is increasing, wildlife are being exterminated to make way for disease-ridden domestic livestock and exotic fowl, jails far outnumber colleges, ag bankers continue to enslave landowners and the state's medical industry triopoly operates without scrutiny.

South Dakota's extremist congressional delegation, governor and legislature won't support combating bulging jails and prisons but will wholeheartedly jump on the bandwagon to save a town where a Democrat could win a legislative seat unless Republicans practice a little more socialism.

Pastor: Thune part of 'Trump cult'


Republicans are not just domestic terrorists, Nazis and earth haters. According to Reverend Dan Brandt of Avon they're false prophets, too.
Billy Graham was a hero of mine. His son, Franklin, fell far from the tree. He has said those who oppose Mr. Trump are demonic. I am a disciple of Jesus who defeated sin, death and the devil. I oppose Franklin’s false god and I trust the Spirit to keep me focused on Jesus. John Thune and other “Trump Cult” were in Russia for a Fourth of July — and other Russia stories. When the Constitution is tossed and cult lawlessness is the rule, we’ve got trouble. For faith, beware of false prophets. For the country, go for certain truth to keep our democracy, freedom and Constitution.
Read it here.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Lederman working for Saudis

The House of Saud is buying up land all over the United States — looks like they have a Jewish broker. Now we know how Dan Lederman gets the cash to buy off flakes like Gordon Howie.

In a related story monopolist Denny Sanford just wrote a $20,000+ check to Lederman and the South Dakota Republican Party.

Howdy Doody Dusty 'laser focused'

Calling him a globalist at her Faceberg Facebook page Republican former South Dakota legislator Liz May is excoriating Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson for folding on Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling or MCOOL to help salvage the Trump Organization's trade bill.

Country of Origin Labeling was repealed in 2015 to shield American commodities from scrutiny because every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in the United States and South Dakota is contaminated with atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, cadmium, PFAS, E. coli, Shigella, Legionella plus other toxins and pathogens.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Montana judge rejects Trump KXL lawsuit


Disgraced erstwhile monarch Donald Trump has suffered another defeat after a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama ruled Native Americans and the environmental community can proceed with lawsuits challenging the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris expressed skepticism over government arguments that Trump has unilateral authority to approve the $8 billion pipeline. In a separate ruling, the judge said the Rosebud Sioux and Fort Belknap Indian tribes had valid claims that approval of the line violated their treaty rights. [Associated Press]
The same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City and I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.
In 2015, John Kerry, secretary of state under President Barack Obama, concluded the controversial project was not in the country's national interest, citing the impact the project would have on climate change as a major factor in the decision. The environmental impact statement used by the Trump administration in approving the project, attorneys for the environmental groups argued, is “unacceptably stale” and contains outdated information about oil prices, crude by rail, oil spills and modeling for greenhouse gas emissions. [Army of attorneys spar over Keystone pipeline in Great Falls court]
Last year citing spills in South Dakota Judge Morris ordered the US State Department to conduct a more thorough environmental review of the proposed pipeline route. Nearly twice as much as originally believed or some 407,000 gallons of oil leaked last year from a faulty Keystone pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota just days before Nebraska officials announced their decision on an alternative for an additional TransCanada route.

Attorneys for the Trump Organization will stop at nothing to erase Barack Obama's legacy including accelerating the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a warming climate and an eventual American Indian rebellion to protect treaty lands.
"We are pleased that Judge Morris has rejected all of the excuses raised by the Trump administration and TransCanada in attempting to justify the federal government's failure to address TransCanada's new route through Nebraska," said Stephan Volker, an attorney for the environmental and Native American groups that filed the Montana lawsuit. [Great Falls judge orders new federal review of Keystone XL pipeline]
Montana and North Dakota have both suffered the effects of man camps that prey on women and girls where rapes and murders committed by white walkers have become commonplace.

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


Johnsons will host Klobuchar event in Sioux Falls

Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) Klobuchar gets loads of legislation passed because she can work with Republicans but has voted to reject a third of Trump's judicial noms.

My first choice for 2020 was Al Franken but Klobuchar/Castro is my dream ticket today because Trump won’t be their nominee. As her veep choice Juli├ín Castro can deliver Texas and Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will appoint Senator Klobuchar’s replacement. We need Liz Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie and Booker in the Senate, Steve Bullock needs to run in the Democratic US Senate primary in Montana, Beto needs to run for Cornyn’s seat in Texas and Mayor Buttigieg would make a tremendous Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. Former Vice President Joe Biden should go home and write a book.

Biden has a reputation as a masher and Bernie Sanders’ wife has been credibly accused of fraud. There is exactly zero confidence that Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker would appoint a Democrat to the seat Liz Warren now holds.

When John Thune defects to the Romney camp he’ll take Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Roy Blunt, John Hoeven, Ben Sasse and Mike Enzi with him. Maybe not enough to convict but certainly 53 votes to take impeachment to trial.

As Partner Attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP, Brendan Johnson, former US Attorney for the District of South Dakota and son of retired Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, helped the South Dakota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union win the Constitution and Libertarian Parties' lawsuit against Republican former Secretary of State Shantel Krebs.

It's widely believed Johnson will enter the 2020 Democratic US Senate primary in South Dakota.

The home of Brendan and Jana Johnson
6909 S Westfield Trail
Sioux Falls, SD 57108


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Intervenors challenge KXL water permits


In efforts to block water permits sought by a Texas-based pipeline operator testimony from stakeholders in tribal nations and the environmental community will continue until Friday before the South Dakota Water Management Board.
But Jung-Hoe Hopwood acknowledged he hadn’t considered tribal water rights, didn’t know how many tribes were in South Dakota and didn’t know if any tribes were farther downstream. Hopwood, who works for EXP Consulting of Tallahassee, Florida, said he has been involved since 2009 on projects for what previously was TransCanada and now is TC Energy. [KELO teevee]
Had the Quinn Dam failed during high water last Spring one of its first casualties could have been the Keystone XL pipeline where it's proposed to cross the Bad River. Contaminated with mercury for decades, Newell Lake in Butte County, South Dakota has just been closed to the public because of unstable dam conditions.

Every moving stream, intermittent or not in South Dakota, has supported a pre-settlement Amerindian or European explorer pulling and propelling a canoe over it. Nearly all the waterways in the state are impaired today.

Intervenors are frustrated with Republican Governor Kristi Noem after she blew off a meeting with tribal members. She's reeling from a loss of her "riot-boosting" law after a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. South Dakota has no contingency money for cleaning up pipeline disasters and because it is an international project ecoterrorist TC Energy doesn’t pay into a reclamation fund.
The State-Tribal Relations Committee of the South Dakota legislature approved a bill that would make pipeline companies more accountable for any problems caused by a leak. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier says natives don’t have any protections. Committee Member, Senator Troy Heinert of Mission says current state law is very weak. [WNAX]
As ice floes bash moorings and flooding causes scouring of fill from river bottoms the disasters befalling the Missouri basin should be a stern warning to erstwhile pipeline operators: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Roadkill deer: feast or affliction?


Humanity has wiped out half the world's wildlife population just since 1970. South Dakota ranks 6th in car/deer collisions.
Sturgis Police Department made a deal with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks last year to alleviate the deer population in the city. From tearing up the brush and gardens of residents' homes, to seeing an increase in deer vs car accidents throughout the city, police started the deer harvest program. [KOTA teevee]
But wait. Mule deer with chronic wasting disease have been discovered not only in Meade County but in eight other counties in the chemical toilet.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. Animals in the later stages of infection with CWD may show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, loss of muscle control and eventual death. Chronic wasting disease is always fatal for the afflicted animal. CWD poses serious problems for wildlife managers, and the implications of long-term management for free-ranging deer and elk is unknown. [also KOTA teevee]
It takes at least 1,000 degrees to kill those prions to prevent spreading them to humans. White-tailed deer throughout the Black Hills are also known to be infected with epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
Unfortunately, resources directed at studying CWD have seen no increase despite the disease’s continued spread. Congress has been lobbied for funding but has yet to direct any money to further research, or even to help states pay for their costs related to monitoring. [Brett French, Lee Newspapers of Montana]
Bighorn sheep have joined deer as obstacles to avoid on South Dakota roadways so to bolster deer and bighorn populations in the Black Hills SDGF&P has boosted the number of cougars to be killed during the 2019-2020 hunting season despite residents' protestations.

Yes, kill off apex predators like wolves and cougars; spray neonicotinoids, glyphosate and atrazine on everything then wonder why deer and other cervids contract a contagion like CWD.

Image courtesy of the Missoulian.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Foreign miners betting on collapse of US dollar

Part of a massive toxic slag pile below Deadwood sloughs into Whitewood Creek

The United States is in debt to the tune of $22 TRILLION and US consumer debt is north of $74 TRILLION so the US is encouraging mining companies from outside the country to drill more holes in the Earth looking for gold and silver.

South Dakota is no stranger to ecocide because it's a way of life in the chemical toilet. Under the General Mining Law of 1872 even foreign miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are. At least five transients want to poke the Black Hills but it's happening on the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico and throughout the Intermountain West.

While exploratory holes normally take millions of gallons of water they tend to have minimal impact on the Forest itself but the drillers usually sell their data to bigger miners like Barrick, a Canadian earth raper.
Representatives from several of those companies and other industry experts say the price of gold is a primary factor driving the renewed interest in exploratory drilling. After being below $1,400 per ounce for several years, the price of gold has been above that level for several months. [Rapid City Journal]
Brohm was an Australian company recruited by a now-dead Republican governor who gutted environmental protection in South Dakota. In the pre-cellphone days Brohm and this former Twin City Fruit marketing associate shared a radio telephone party line where managers plotting an environmental disaster at the Gilt Edge site unwittingly leaked the news to anyone listening. Photo is of acid mine drainage on Minnesota Ridge in the northern Black Hills.

Rochford area residents say Vancouver-based Mineral Mountain Resources destroyed Black Hills National Forest Service Road 184A during their drilling of some 7,500 acres in the Homestake Gold Belt on public lands and at a private site known as the Standby Mine Target. Wharf Resources has filed a Notice of Intent to do exploratory drilling in a new area close to its current strip mine and cyanide leach pads in the Northern Hills and Valentine Mining Company, LLC is resurrecting the zombie Deadwood Standard Project on the rim of Spearditch Canyon.
Without the discipline of the gold standard, governments print too much money for political purposes. When people do lose faith in the U.S Dollar, its value will plunge, the stock market will crash, and the U.S economy will collapse. [The Coming Collapse of the U.S. Economic System — Blame the U.S. Dollar]
Acknowledging there will always be acid mine drainage in the Black Hills the Republican-owned South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment is dealing with still another devil who wants to strip the Gilt Edge Superfund site as the US Environmental Protection Agency becomes a tool of the extraction industry and the Trump Organization plots moving the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Oglala Oyate considering uranium litigation

Pants Butte south of Edgemont, South Dakota

Nearly all of the 300 mile long Cheyenne River flows through Indian Country. Powertech USA, part of Canadian firm Azarga Uranium, wants to mine near a tributary of the river even though tailings from uranium mining near Edgemont have been detected for years in Angostura Reservoir on the Cheyenne River in the southern Black Hills.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe is considering whether to appeal a decision by a panel of judges that a proposed uranium mine site in southwest South Dakota doesn’t have to be surveyed for Native American burials or artifacts. The tribe has until Jan. 6 to file an appeal. [KDLT teevee]
South of Edgemont at Crow Butte near the headwaters of the White River above Crawford, Nebraska Canada-based Cameco, Inc. has obtained rights to use 9,000 gallons of water per minute to extract raw uranium ore through 8,000 holes bored into the Ogallala and Arikaree Aquifers. The foreign miners have already pumped over half a billion gallons of radioactive waste water into disposal wells and have rights to bury more. In 2014 Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, paid a million dollar fine for environmental damage in Wyoming. The White River also flows through much of Indian Country in South Dakota. Earlier this year workers at Cameco's Key Lake uranium mill in Canada reported 50,000 litres of radon-contaminated water had leaked through the concrete floor into the ground. It has yet to be remediated.

At least 23 prehistoric sites near Devils Tower National Monument in the Wyoming Black Hills, some of which are archaeological treasures eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, are also at risk to an 8000-acre expansion of Australia’s largest US aquifer uranium mining operation.

In northwestern South Dakota radioactive waste in the Cave Hills area went for decades without remediation because the Board of Minerals and Environment is an arm of the Republican Party that ceded regulatory authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium mining after the legislature realized there is no competent oversight from state agencies.


Friday, December 13, 2019

SMRI loses Sturgis trademark crusade


The Chair of the South Dakota Republican Party is Jewish but as a bail bondsman he always cuts a fat hog on crimes committed in Sturgis anyway.
Judge Jeffrey Viken has ruled the Sturgis mark is invalid. The court ruling is consistent with an 8th Circuit Court ruling earlier this year. Since 1996, words associated with the rally, specifically "Sturgis", have been trademarked. The phrases "Sturgis Rally and Races" and "Sturgis Motorcycle Rally" were not trademarked but Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc., claimed ownership of them. SMRI still has the trademark for several words, such as “Sturgis Bike Week,” “The Legend Lives On,” and “Take the Ride to Sturgis.” [KBHB Radio]
The City of Sturgis was not a party in the case.

Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 Jeff Viken is the chief judge for the District of South Dakota.

A South Dakota school board voted unanimously to cancel homecoming activities that would have featured a football game between the Sturgis Scoopers and the Pine Ridge Thorpes after a car bearing hate speech and a symbol painted on it that some said resembled a swastika was smashed by Sturgis students. Sturgis routinely ranks as one of the worst towns in South Dakota but the reasoning is hardly mysterious. It's all about the money prostitution, the Sturgis Rally, policing for profit and sex trafficking bring to the SDGOP destroying lives, depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Oglala Lakota Nation hopes to drive South Dakota into the 21st Century


In 2019, the average cost of a household photovoltaic system is about $3/watt or around $12,810 when tax credits are factored in. Using those numbers a $100,000,000 investment would electrify about 7,700 homes. South Dakota is dead last in electrical power generated from the sun and only .02% of the state's electricity comes from solar sources.
The solar park would be within the Pine Ridge Reservation on the western edge of Oglala Lakota County, about 20 miles east of Buffalo Gap. Eleven miles of proposed underground transmission line would carry electricity from the park to a proposed substation in Custer County. [$100 million solar project slated for reservation moves ahead]
No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator, a dearth of environmental protection and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and eyesores like wind farms. But according to Republican Public Utilities Cartel Commissioner Chris Nelson the amount of wind power generation may have reached its plateau. In an interview with WNAX Radio Nelson said he believes there will be rapid development of solar power production facilities.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is investing in a $750,000 solar power project to provide energy for partial needs at several buildings. [Moody County Enterprise]
Utilities are not your friends. Ice storms routinely knock out electric power on American Indian reservations often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem. Microgrid technologies are destined to enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.

Leaving the grid has never been easier so anyone who can afford to it should do it now and with Trump still in the White House destroying solar power it's never been more urgent.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

LawCo admits area is ripe for weaponized wildfire


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

Much of the 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire outside Deadwood occurred on ground owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Deadwood Hill Fire was just recently commemorated but because of Senator John Thune (NAZI-SD) costs of conducting prescribed burns are now thousands of dollars per acre instead of hundreds.
It’s been nearly a decade since the county updated its Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)/Firewise in 2012 and much has changed since that time, prompting county officials to make redevelopment of the document a priority for 2020. Rob Mattox, wildland interface specialist, and Paul Thomson Lawrence County emergency management director, spoke about the proposed update with the county commission, beginning with a funding update on the BLM-funded Community Assistance Program (CAP). As part of the CWPP, roads are also buffered. For example, there are areas, such as Galena, that are simply too steep to reach for fuels treatments. Municipalities, Terry Valley and Deer Mountain subdivisions were high on the list. “The areas with more density was higher on the list for prioritization,” Mattox said, adding that the structure layer would be used to update the CPWW for the different buffers and reprioritization, taking new developments into account. [County to update wildfire protection plan]
Keystone, Hot Springs, Custer, Pringle, Argyle, Hill City, Hisega, Rochford, Nemo, Galena, Silver City, Hanna, Cheyenne Crossing, Savoy, Deadwood, Lead, Whitewood, Newcastle, Alva, Aladdin, Hulett even parts of Sundance, Rapid City, Piedmont, Sturgis and Spearditch are at extreme risk from the tactical use of wildfire. Just six strategically-placed improvised fuel air explosives (FAEs) deployed during red-flag conditions have the potential to create a firestorm that would be virtually unstoppable.

Recall the 2016 Crow Peak Fire affected mostly Republican landowners who built in the wildland-urban interface and begged the feds to protect their properties.

Most of the vegetation on some 274,000 surface acres in the South Dakota BLM Field Office is prairie grassland or juniper woodlands but the trees at the Fort Meade Recreation Area are mostly ponderosa pine and bur oak. Around Lead and Deadwood pine and oak are mixed with spruce, birch, and quaking aspen.
A group of retired top officials from the Bureau of Land Management is in Washington, D.C., this week criticizing the agency’s planned relocation out West. In a statement, the BLM says they are moving ahead with the relocation and have cooperated with Congress at all points. [Wyoming Public Radio]
When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills in 1874 bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires and periodic wildfires. The bug is hard at work clearing centuries of overgrowth throughout the Rocky Mountain Complex, so is the western spruce budworm. But leaving dead and dying conifers on the forest produces methane, an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.

If you live in the wildland-urban interface government can't always protect you from your own stupidity. Volunteer fire departments are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency it should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural firefighters.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Annual Yellowstone bison 'cull' furthers genocide

Slippery Ann Creek

In 2010, habitat preservation and rewilding advocate George Wuerthner backed the Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act, part of Senator Tim Johnson's proposal to add 48,000 acres as wilderness in the Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills areas of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland on the borders of Badlands National Park.
It is particularly disturbing that the tribes are participating in this annual carnage. In a sense, they are doing to bison what the American manifest destiny did to them — using bullets as a fence, they are confining bison to a wildlife “reservation.” Rather than continuously remove bison from Yellowstone by hunting, this rare genetic stock should be transplanted to other suitable habitats like the Missouri Breaks National Monument/Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the Green River/ Red Desert of Wyoming, North Park of Colorado, the INL/Craters of the Moon/Snake River Plain in Idaho, among other suitable sites. [column, George Wuerthner, Billings (Montana) Gazette]
Outside Yellowstone National Park the Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. One reason Republicans don't like Common Core history standards is that the curriculum long-ignored by textbooks includes genocide and near-extermination of American Indians by European colonialism.

In 2011 an odd goddess and an interested party counted a hundred wapiti in a CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge meadow while another hundred browsed and bugled concealed by the cottonwood and willow stands on the riverbanks. The waxing gibbous moon extended our viewing time well beyond twilight and long after the line of humans in cars and trucks on the road below us had dispersed. Then, coyotes harmonized in a chorus that continued until dawn. Spring flooding sustained stands of grass that still hid elk calves and cows while they lazed about. The name has been bastardized from Cyprian to Siparyann to Slippery Ann Creek. It has become a safe refuge where elk gather as they leave summer grazing in the upper Missouri River Basin and migrate downstream to escape the winter. Managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the area is at the extreme west beginning of the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana.

Restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal.

The Anthropocene is now and time to rewild some of the American West eventually becoming part of a Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell in Montana along the Missouri River through North Dakota to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Pecos River through eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Clear the second growth conifers and restore aspen habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, empower tribes, lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and buy out the welfare ranchers Tony Dean warned us about.



Monday, December 9, 2019

South Dakota still sells sex


Governor Kristi Noem is a former Snow Queen who convinced her own daughters to compete in beauty contests. Buxom South Dakotan Jordan Tierney was just crowned Miss Rodeo America.
A recent report gave South Dakota a “D” grade when it comes to fighting the sex trafficking of minors. It was one of only two states to grade that low. South Dakota is one of the few states that saw its grade fall, primarily because of legislation that sent any minor involved in a commercial sex act through the criminal justice system. Scores went up overall nationwide. [Hub City Radio]
Polygamy and pedophilia are apparently protected religious freedoms in South Dakota as far as Republicans are concerned. Recall the mother of Republican state legislator and former candidate for South Dakota Attorney General, Lance Russell sold property to the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Church where minor girls are trafficked and raped. That they offered escape to Serenity Dennard is not impossible.

Now, the chemical toilet and permanent disaster area that is South Dakota has elected a governor who not only slept her way to the top she has never supported the Violence Against Women Act.

The United States foster care industry supplies at least 88% of sex-trafficked children some of whom are raped for money at the annual Sturgis Rally. Billionaire Republican Denny Sanford has given millions to the Children's Home Society, just for instance. "Unsafe. Unacceptable. Hyper-masculine. Sexualized. Dirty." That's how the Aberdeen American News board and how women have described the legislative session 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 but simply concede to the twenty earth hater donors who run the state.
For about three months of the year, from September to November, the bar and restaurant transform into a completely different establishment. But increasingly it is a commercial enterprise, one that comes with a dark side: sex trafficking and pop-up strip clubs that cater to hunters here for a good time. Asked about a rumored prostitution sting at Frank Day’s last year, a representative for the state Department of Criminal Investigation issued this statement: “The DCI does a number of operations, but we do not confirm any details. The only time operation details are released is if there are arrests.” Trafficking ensnares South Dakota women as well. Native American women are heavily targeted. Nothing to see here. [Hunting season’s underbelly: Stripping, sex trafficking and small towns looking the other way]
The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money prostitution, the Sturgis Rally, policing for profit, sex trafficking, hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party destroying lives, depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Selection of Duhamel for South Dakota's legislature ends non-tribal cannabis

With the selection of law enforcement industry patsy, Helene Duhamel to replace Alan Solano in South Dakota's legislature Governor Kristi Noem has likely ended any chance of industrial cannabis (hemp) outside of the state's nine reservations so on Monday, the 21-person Oglala Sioux Tribal council voted 11-8 to again allow Gov. Noem to visit the sovereign Oglala Lakota nation.
Gov. Kristi Noem has blocked industrial hemp from being grown in the state, but that’s not stopping Native Americans who can regulate their own hemp crops under the 2018 Farm Bill. Many tribes are drawn to hemp’s potential for bringing profits to communities that badly need it. They say that Noem’s resistance is giving them an advantage to getting into the market, even as it may complicate their ability to transport and sell it. [KNBN teevee]
A 1986 amendment to federal law allows tribes to acquire off-reservation land to serve the needs of its people so last year the Oglala Lakota Oyate bought property on I-90 just outside Badlands National Park. The Isanti Dakota Oyate or Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation has also taken steps to resume their cannabis initiative. A former chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is a tribal liaison for a cannabis development firm and South Dakota Secretary of Tribal Relations Dave Flute is also a former chairman of the SWO.

Two tribes in occupied Wyoming are also pursuing futures in cannabis.

If the political will existed South Dakota's legislature could write a bill that would adopt legislation similar to Minnesota's therapeutic cannabis law but worthy of Federal Drug Administration scrutiny where real medicine could be sold by pharmacies.

It's very brave, even progressive of Noem to give tribes a head start in America's budding cannabis industry but giving the South Dakota Republican Party an opportunity to shape cannabis law in my home state is further evidence Democrats could even lose reservation support.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Aberdeen could ease flooding concerns by loading stormwater into rail tankers


A contributor at the Aberdeen American News Facebook Faceberg page wants to melt snow, put the water in a pipeline and pump it to the Southwest.
We could be cashing in on all the snow we get here. Let's build snow melting plants and get water pipelines to California or Nevada where the drought is severe. We have oil pipeline from Alaska to Texas. We could do the same with snow: WATER THE NEW OIL..But Kristi Noem will think I am on Meth to suggest that idea. [Baka Bagoubadi]
Good idea but it’s not really new. In 2011 an interested party wondered whether compressing snow into ice and loading it onto flat rail cars might work. The capacity of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River is 27,000,000 acre-feet.
If East River would either carve ice out of the James and Big Sioux Rivers, load it onto side-dump railcars or pump flood water into tank cars, or both, then dump it into the Colorado's closest tributary, the Green River in Wyoming, South Dakota could sell that water to Las Vegas and Phoenix. [interested party]
Instead of empowering communities to harvest snow melt and rain water rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need.
Diesel fired portable snowmelters are the most popular models since you can move them from site to site as self-contained units. Current portable snowmelters come with a debris catch area with baskets for manual removal of debris - even during operation! The SND5400 is designed for the airport market and other large-scale users. It economically melts 180 tons of snow per hour (based on latent heat of ice). [Snow Dragon Snowmelters]
That’s about 5421 gallons per hour and a rail tanker holds about 30,000 gallons. An acre-foot of water is almost 326,000 gallons. A water pipeline from the Missouri River to Rapid City would cost almost $2 billion and rip up a few hundred miles of stolen treaty ground but there already is one railway connecting the Big Sioux and James Rivers to Rapid City.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the sediment is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it's trying to preserve. Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River even as flooding in the Midwest is killing the Gulf of Mexico.
The idea of a storm water utility fee that would be assessed against property owners was one possibility of generating additional revenue while securing the dollars, as outlined in the draft ordinance, for the administration, planning, analysis, installation, operation and maintenance of a public drainage system in the City of Watertown. [Watertown City Council Discusses Storm Water Utility Ordinance]
Lake Kampeska, Lake Poinsett, Lake Mitchell, Lake Thompson and other non-meandered bodies of water will continue to suffer the effects of human-caused climate distortions but disaster declarations are how Republicans who preach small gubmint fund crumbling infrastructure in red states. Recall Rep. Kristi Noem repeatedly voted against disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy and other climate related catastrophes but she doesn’t respect self-reliance because she’s wedded to moral hazard.

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

Monday, December 2, 2019

Wind-driven electricity generation has likely peaked in South Dakota


A phallus on the Coteau des Prairies competes for the eastern South Dakota skyline with ubiquitous wind turbines near the divide between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers over Oak Lake, part of a Brookings water supply and a source of the Big Sioux River.

No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator, a dearth of environmental protection and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and eyesores like wind farms. But according to Republican Public Utilities Cartel Commissioner Chris Nelson the amount of wind power generation may have reached its plateau. In an interview with WNAX Radio Nelson said he believes there will be rapid development of solar power production facilities.

Avangrid, Inc., a US-based subsidiary of Spanish energy firm Iberdrola with a base in my home town of Elkton, plans to spend at least $216 million on a wind farm. That amount of cash would take some 43,000 electric subscribers completely off the grid.
A settlement agreement presented by Tatanka Ridge and PUC staff was previously accepted by the commission in October. Issues not addressed in the settlement – funding for decommissioning, risk associated with ice throw, cumulative sound impacts, and the potential impacts to whooping cranes – were presented at an evidentiary hearing in Pierre on Nov. 4. The commission’s action this week was to rule on those issues and determine if a permit should be granted. [PUC gives Tatanka Ridge Wind Project permit to construct in Deuel County]
Marty Jackley got campaign cash from NorthWestern Energy last cycle; so did a bunch of other South Dakota Republicans. In 2014, Xcel gave $10,000 to Mike Rounds, $2,500 to John Thune and $4,250 to Kristi Noem. In 2016 Black Hills Corp. gave Thune and Noem wads of cash, too. Basin Electric doled out $270,000 in 2016 alone. Oil and gas found Mike Rounds' zerk, too. Noem knocked down at least $5,500 from electric utilities in the 2018 election cycle.

Recall that in 2014 nerdling Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson accompanied South Dakota's Republican former governor to a taxpayer-funded Western Governors Conference soiree in Colorado Springs where the pair met with industry mucky-mucks. Guess what: it paid off. Dusty hauled in at least $14,150 from those dudes last cycle. Xcel Energy is another utility reaping the Colorado cannabis whirlwind so they gave Dusty $2500.

$100 million spent on subsidizing, manufacturing, transporting, erecting and maintaining the Prevailing Winds project would take at least 20,000 Basin Power subscribers off the grid. That's right: primary power purchaser Bismarck, North Dakota-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative is an oligopoly paying Prevailing Winds, LLC to rip up land and disturb cultural resources sacred to numerous Indigenous peoples for a grid that has never been more vulnerable to attack and to climate disruptions.

2017's Legion Lake Fire in the state park named for a war criminal was caused by Black Hills Energy and Cal Fire has pinned the blame for dozens of the deadly blazes in Northern California on Pacific Gas and Electric.

Utilities are not your friends. Ice storms routinely knock out electric power on American Indian reservations often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem. Microgrid technologies are destined to enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.

Leaving the grid has never been easier so anyone who can afford to it should do it now and with Trump still in the White House destroying solar power it's never been more urgent.

Listen to Nelson's interview with WNAX here.