Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tribes seek to ground Ellsworth bomber range

There are several editing errors in today's Rapid City Journal coverage of the proposed expansion of the Powder River Training Complex over parts of the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and the tribal nations trapped within those states' borders:
The Air Force could fly its planes as low as 500 feet above sea level, or as high as 1,200 feet above sea level, [Lt. Col. Allen Barksdale, commander for the 28th operations support squadron] said. He said the expansion proposal has been modified to address concerns that arose out of Montana. "The initial proposal was 500 to 1,200 feet above sea level, but we've taken those concerns and we've cut out the air space in Montana to modify it based on the feedback from the FAA and rancher aviation," he said. [Emily Niebrugge, Big decision looms for Ellsworth: Officials say expansion of air space key to base's future]
That should read, "above ground level," of course. To a sage grouse, a pronghorn or even a stupid cow that's really fucking close. Rapid City sits at about 3200 feet above sea level, the North Dakota portion only a little lower, and most of the South Carolina-sized bomber range is much higher in elevation.

The Air Force base in South Dakota has been droned in an attack of bad news: an E. coli. scare prompted a boil water advisory and now tribal nations want to drive its plans to expand a bombing range over the cliff.
In response to the proposal to expand the Powder River Training Complex connected to the Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, which would include airspace over four Great Plains Indian reservations and additional ancestral lands in four states, the meeting resulted in a joint resolution on the 22nd of July. The Joint Resolution in part requests that Ellsworth AFB consider a No-Action Alternative that eliminates the expansion of airspace. They would not fly over reservation lands nor sites considered sacred and culturally significant to the tribes, such as Bear Butte and Devil’s Tower. [Karin Eagle, Native Sun News, posted at indianz]
In a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force and to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Montana Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh have voiced their opposition to the proposed expansion of the Powder River Training Complex in southeastern Montana. Citing the potential loss of 95 Montana jobs, concerns over the safety of Montana citizens from aircraft based at South Dakota's Ellsworth AFB and outcry from residents in the area, the Senators wrote that they are unwilling to include the Little Bighorn National Battlefield within PRTC.

It costs about $42,000 an hour to fly an Ellsworth Air Force Base B1-B bomber.

Even the earth hater At-large US Representative from Montana running for US Senate opposes the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex where an increased nuisance from the aircraft based near Rapid City, South Dakota would further threaten sage grouse habitat.
But the prospect of bombers roaring over rural communities 240 days a year has drawn resistance, with one Montana official referring to the proposal as a federal government “airspace grab.” Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division Administrator Debbie Alke said she’s been told by Air Force officials that a final environmental study of the proposal will be released next month. [Matthew Brown, Billings Gazette]
Flights have been added to serve the ecocide taking place in the Bakken oil fields in the news for killing a record number of non-union workers. Small airports are concerned that a proposed increase in military traffic could be even deadlier.

Sure is curious how South Dakota's junior US senator favors federal land grabs at his donors' behest and for his TransCanada sponsors while raising money protecting them from environmental protection.

The Base is home to the 432d Attack Squadron: engaged with droning the children of militants for the Islamic State, no doubt.

The Ellsworth military/tourism complex just wrapped up a schmooz-fest to marshal support from the hospitality industry: more like a swan song from this post.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Minnesota-based foundation funding Lakota culture studies in RC schools



Here is yet another reason Democrats and American Indians need to vote in midterm elections:
The Rapid City Public School Foundation has received a $178,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to help teachers foster Native cultural understanding in the classroom. The money will fund field trips for the next two summers for 18 teachers and 18 other community members to travel to cultural sites like Devil's Tower and sites on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This June, a group of 40 teachers spent a week traveling around Pine Ridge and to Devil's Tower on a "classroom on wheels" program to learn about Lakota culture. [AP, Rapid City Journal]
It has just recently struck me why the Right is resisting parts of the Common Core standards: they stress human influence in climate change, genocide of indigenous by colonizers, gender equality and social justice.

The Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2014 reauthorizes a preservation grant program through fiscal year 2019. Joining Senators Tester, Tim Johnson and Democratic co-sponsors including New Mexico's delegation, is Senator Lisa Murkowski, fox of Alaska.
"Since first being signed into law, the Native Americans Languages Act has helped to preserve and revitalize Native languages and encourages both young children and adults to develop a fluency in their Native language,” Johnson said. “Across South Dakota, this vital grant funding gives the opportunity for our cherished Lakota elders to sit down with the younger generation to revive the Lakota language. The continuity of these languages strengthens Native American culture and history, and I will continue to push until this reauthorization is signed into law.” According to the National Indian Education Association, by the year 2050, there may only be 20 Native American languages remaining. The Native American Languages Act was first signed into law in 1992 and established a grant program within the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to ensure the survival of Native languages. [press release, Senator Tim Johnson ]

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ash fall from Yellowstone supervolcano mass extinction event

Based on a recent study by members of the U.S. Geological Survey using a model called Ash3D, a Yellowstone eruption could dump from 40 to 70 inches of ash on Billings — more than 3 to 5 feet. Casper, Wyo., would fair better, since it is farther away from Yellowstone. Casper would only see ash pile up 13 to 33 inches deep — not unlike snowfall in a bad winter blizzard. [Brett French, Billings Gazette]


Experts say a supervolcanic event in Yellowstone would be at least 50 times as powerful as the Krakatoa blast and 2,000 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helen’s eruption. In short, surrounding communities like West Yellowstone, Moran, and Cody would be Pompeii – buried in more than 240 cubic miles of pumice and ash. They would be the lucky ones. [Jake Nichols, Planet Jackson Hole]
Scientists are learning that the Yellowstone supervolcano is about two and half times as large as once believed and its eruption would "end life as we know it."
Not only was there a sudden rise in the elevation of the ground, and development of new cracks, but a gas called Helium-4, a very rare type of Helium, has begun coming out of the surface. It is the presence of this gas that has scientists quite concerned. If the Yellowstone Super Volcano were to erupt, it would be 2,000 times bigger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the 1980′s. Everything within 500 miles would be dead or destroyed within minutes, 2/3rds of the entire United States would be covered in volcanic ash and the climate of the entire planet would cool within a month. On top of that, just this past week, the largest earthquake in the US took place just a few miles from Yellowstone proving hot magma is on the move. Helium isotope ratios (³He/4He) in Lassen Park and Yellowstone Park volcanic gases show large ³He enrichments relative to atmospheric and crustal helium indicating the presence of a dominant mantle-helium component. Naysayers beware, the evidence is stacking up. if you’re waiting for an mass-media announcement….it has now happened and wont get any more direct. [Preppers World USA]



I recall this from the hang glider launch on Mt. Sentinel:

The wind was dead all day and we passed the time kicking the hacky sack.

Late in the afternoon a massive cloud filled the western horizon so everybody but me, the driver that day, ran their gliders into a scant breeze to beat the weather.

By the time I got off the mountain and back to the LZ, the golf course, the sky was so dark the street lights were coming on.

Not having thought to turn on a radio, I was totally freaked when ash began falling from the sky. Only after running back to the pickup and turning on the news did I learn.

The next week in Missoula was spent inside with the windows duct-taped shut and not being able to see the sun or even across the street, for that matter. An emergency executive diktat from the governor shut the town down.

Stores ran low on essentials and going outside meant stinging eyes and sand gritting in your teeth.

After a week of cabin fever, I took the top off my '65 Land Cruiser, drove into the Rattlesnake, and saw my first black bear in Montana.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Schweber: rarest native species share tribal lands




Glacier National Park is the water tower of the continent.
More than 70 percent of tribal land in the Northern Plains is unplowed, compared with around 60 percent of private land, the World Wildlife Fund said. Around 90 million acres of unplowed grasses remain on the Northern Plains. Tribes on 14 reservations here saved about 10 percent of that 90 million — an area bigger than New Jersey and Massachusetts combined. Wildlife stewardship on the Northern Plains’ prairies, bluffs and badlands is spread fairly evenly among private, public and tribal lands, conservationists say.
But for a few of the rarest native animals, tribal land has been more welcoming. Emily Boyd-Valandra, 29, a wildlife biologist at the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, is emblematic of new tribal wildlife managers working around the Northern Plains. Since 2002, the Fish and Wildlife Service has given $60 million to 170 tribes for 300 projects that aided unique Western species, including gray wolves, bighorn sheep, Lahontan cutthroat trout and bison. “Tribal land in the U.S. is about equal to all our national wildlife refuges,” said D. J. Monette of the wildlife agency. [Nate Schweber, New York Times]



Several congressional races feature districts with majority American Indian voters: Alaska, Montana, the Dakotas, New Mexico and Arizona all enjoy high numbers of engaged Natives.

Democratic Montana House candidate John Lewis might have gotten some advice from Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) who beat a contender by just 524 votes in 2002:
Though Native American and Alaska Native communities are often overlooked in electoral politics, their votes could decide the outcome of three close congressional contests this November. In a cycle when Republicans took control of the Senate and increased their House majority, Johnson won with the help of unusually high Native American voter turnout. The National Congress of Native Indians, which leads Native Vote, a national effort to mobilize Native voters, sees 2014 as an opportunity to engage in voter registration and voter protection, build databases to track voter patterns and encourage more Natives to run for office. [Samantha Lachman, Huffington Post]
Climate Hawk is hosting a poll on some congressional races linked here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Brookings: movement to legalize cannabis could keep US Senate blue

The enactment of medicinal marijuana laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates, according to data published online today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. [Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director]
In an interview with this blog, Democratic US Senate candidate from South Dakota, Rick Weiland, said that although he supports a medical marijuana program similar to Minnesota's he does not support legal casual cannabis for his state.

Montana Senator John Walsh, having withdrawn from the 2014 race, has exactly zero to lose by advancing legislation that would legalize cannabis.
In many ways, Democrats have missed a real opportunity to make electoral gains—or limit losses—by pushing legalization initiatives. Some credit President Bush’s reelection in 2004 to the push for same sex marriage initiatives on statewide ballots by spurring social conservative turnout. Democrats could have received a similar boost by pushing legalization initiatives that would alter the electorate in a year when Democrats need it for structural and political reasons. [John Hudak, Brookings Institution]
Warnings from interested party have led to fewer arrests for cannabis in South Dakota.
Major Svendsen says arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia in the state are also down from this time last year. He reminds residents that buying, selling, and/or possessing marijuana is still illegal in South Dakota and those that do get caught with it can face penalties of up to fifteen years in prison and a thirty-thousand dollar fine. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]

Surprise!
As it turns out, there is big money in marijuana prohibition: Alcohol and Beer Companies. Police Unions. Private Prison Corporations. Prison Guard Unions. Pharmaceutical Corporations. [Open Secrets]
Colorado is being sued: one complaint states that buyers incriminate themselves under federal law. Senator Mark Udall is seeking clarification of his state's cannabis law from the White House: he is in a hotly contested race for reelection.

Want to energize young voters, Dems? Evolve.




Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wismer, Blake deserve our help

Bendagate is as ugly a scandal as any in South Dakota history.

From my inbox with some blog-added hyperlinks:
Larry --
After I unrelentingly pursued answers about the EB-5 program, Republican Sen. Larry Tidemann stated that he will finally request Joop Bollen to testify at the September 24 Government Operations and Audit Committee meeting.
If you remember, Sen. Tidemann tried to silence me at the last GOAC meeting when I made a motion to subpoena Joop Bollen to get answers for the people of South Dakota.
While I am glad Sen. Tidemann and the Committee are finally doing what is right for South Dakotans, it's frustrating that the Republicans in Pierre won't acknowledge the need for both parties to work together to seek answers answers about the EB-5 program.
Republicans in Pierre are sending a message that their party is more important than the people of South Dakota. You and I both know that we need a governor with a balanced perspective who can work with both parties. It's time to stop the one-party rule in Pierre! Together, we can do better!
Susan Wismer
Please join this interested party and send the most you can afford.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Lakota artist to join Neil Young, Willie Nelson at #nokxl benefit


Two music legends — Neil Young and Willie Nelson — will perform a benefit concert on Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska that is on the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and also crosses the historic Ponca Tribe “Trail of Tears.” Also performing will be Lakota hip-hop artist Frank Waln, and the “Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars,” some of the local Nebraska artists who recorded the benefit album in the solar-powered barn built inside the path of the Keystone XL pipeline last summer. “Harvest the Hope” Concert tickets will go on sale the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 20. For more information, visit BoldNebraska.org. [Indian Country Today]
Waln appeared on a July Native America Calling broadcast on University of New Mexico-based KUNM: he is a thoughtful and exciting role model for young American Indians. KILI in Porcupine also airs the live call-in program and sends many who comment.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Trahant: ACA gives states too much power over tribal health care

Happy 58th Birthday to Montana Senator Jon Tester!

Mark Trahant believes as this blog does that tribes are already the 51st State. He writes at indianz and at Indian Country Today:
In Montana $194 million returns $2.1 billion in Medicaid and $1.1 billion in hospital reimbursements. Oklahoma could invest $689 million and see a return of $8.6 billion in Medicaid and $4.1 billion in hospital reimbursements. And, in South Dakota, $157 million buys $2.1 billion in Medicaid funding and $.8 billion in hospital reimbursements. In all three of those states much of that extra cash would show up and benefit the Indian health system. The Affordable Care Act gives states too much power over the Indian health system. If a facility is located in a Medicaid expansion state, then opportunity unfolds. But if not, well, the disparity in funding for Indian health will get worse. [Trahant, The Nuts, Bolts and Billions in Medicaid That Could Improve Healthcare]
The Republican candidate for US Senate in South Dakota has blown off an opportunity to address tribal nations trapped in the state while Rick Weiland is actively campaigning in Indian Country. So is Amanda Curtis, the Democratic Senate hopeful in Montana.

A quote or some version of it is making the twitter rounds: "Not voting is not rebellion; it's surrender."




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Amanda Curtis tapped for US Senate from Montana

Is it just me or is Steve Daines one of the ugliest men in Montana.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis won't be able to jump-start her campaign using money left in Sen. John Walsh's bank account from his defunct campaign. Walsh, who dropped out of the race earlier this month, can only give the legal limit of $2,000 to his replacement candidate's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission rules. Walsh's campaign already has donated a combined $150,000 to the state Democratic Party and its committee to elect state lawmakers, and plans to donate the maximum allowed to federal and state Democratic candidates. [Montana Standard]
Here is Rep. Curtis' first US Senate campaign video:







Monday, August 18, 2014

National Review: Ferguson, 'War on Drugs' linked

It was difficult to sleep last night after watching live coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
Much of what creates the poisonous, vicious-cycle relationship between young black men and the police is that the War on Drugs brings cops into black neighborhoods to patrol for drug possession and sale. Without that policy—which would include that no one could make a living selling drugs—the entire structure supporting the notion of young black men as criminals would fall apart. White men with guns would encounter young black men much less often, and meanwhile society would offer young black men less opportunity to drift into embodying the stereotype in the first place. [John McWhorter, National Review]
But, Americans already know this, right?

Listen to part of the basis for what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow at WYNC's On the Media:
Lee Atwater became one of the most complicated and successful Republican political operatives in history by employing a triple threat: spin when you can, change the subject when you can’t, and if all else fails, appeal to the voters’ resentment and fear, usually of African-Americans. In this conversation from 2008, Brooke talks to Stefan Forbes, director of "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", about the dark legacy of Atwater’s Southern strategy.
Just wow.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Images of Rickstock feature Madvillians

Gorgeous day for a splendid event in a verdant canyon north of Rapid City! Just click on any image to make it bigger.



Democratic US Senate candidate, Rick Weiland front man for the Take It Back Band



Cory Allen Heidelberger, author of Madville Times



Bret Clanton, Harding County rancher, KXL opponent and frequent Madville Times commenter



Brendan, cameraman for KEVN teevee



Michael Reardon and band



Greg McDonald



Legendary fiddle player, Kenny Putnam joins the band







Madvillians holding court




Kenny Putnam and Michael Johnson



Bill Fleming sitting among other silverbacks in middle with granddaughter





Peak attendance was about 250 but many more came through to gather even if just for a few minutes.



Other notables in the throng included Bill Walsh, Sam Hurst, several tribal members and many, many young people.

Huge thanks to Dr. Kevin Weiland and his patient family for hosting the event!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grizzly Gulch tailings impoundment breach would be catastrophic



Logging out the basin for the Grizzly Gulch Tailings Disposal Project above Pluma and Deadwood in 1977 helped to launch this blogger's love of the Black Hills.

Homestake Mining Company that also operated the sawmill near Spearfish, hired a local contractor who gave a farm boy and School of Mines dropout a skidder job. Future neighbor, Jim Whitlock wrote the proposal for an upgrade to the project.
Last Monday, a dam holding waste from the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in the remote Cariboo region of British Columbia broke, spilling 2.6 billion gallons of potentially toxic liquid and 1.3 billion gallons of definitely toxic sludge out into pristine lakes and streams. That’s about 6,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water and waste containing things like arsenic, mercury, and sulphur. Those substances are now mixed into the water that 300 people rely on for tap, hundreds from First Nations tribes rely on for hunting and fishing, and many others rely on for the tourism business. And thanks to lax government regulation in the US, an estimated 39 percent of tailings-pond dam failures happen in the states — a rate higher than anywhere in the world. Just six months ago, a pipe at a coal slurry pond in North Carolina opened, leaching 1.1 billion gallons of sludge into a river. [Tailings Ponds are the Biggest Environmental Disaster You've Never Heard Of]
Former Rapid City Journal reporter, Bill Harlan, became public relations representative for the underground lab built into the former Homestake/Barrick property. He writes:
Our water treatment plant removes iron from water pumped from underground. Under an agreement with Homestake Mining Co., we also treat water from the company’s Grizzly Gulch tailings impoundment, which contains trace amounts of ammonia. [press release]
Harlan wrote in March, 2004:
Erosion and flooding after big fires pose threats to people, property and the environment. The Galena Fire did cause flooding and erosion in Custer State Park. For example, in 2002, mud ran down the streets of Deadwood after the Grizzly Gulch Fire. [Fire boosts creek flow]
The issue is a perpetual threat:
The problem in Canada, the US, and elsewhere is that no one knows exactly what to do with these ponds. Much of the sludge they contain is too toxic to remediate and let back into the environment. As of now, the plan is to just let them sit there and hope they don’t fail.
Cook Lake Recreation Area in the Wyoming Black Hills has been closed due to landslide activity.

The GOP-owned South Dakota Department of Ecocide and Nepotism Resources says the Grizzly Gulch impoundment, a bird killer for most of its history, is good to go until 2035.

Unless it's not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mother Jones: the GOP became earth haters in 1991



Bob Beck is Wyoming Public Media's News Director. Not long ago he began an interview with Senator John Bare Asso (earth hater-WY) asking the question: "Senator, why do you hate the environment?"

A Mother Jones piece tells readers when the GOP began hating the Earth:
According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991—when the Soviet Union fell. "The conservative movement replaced the 'Red Scare' with a new 'Green Scare' and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time," argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues. [Chris Mooney, When Did Republicans Start Hating the Environment?]
It took watching ravens walking into the henhouse and stealing eggs to erect a mesh-covered chicken yard.
Raven populations have increased precipitously in the past four decades in sagebrush ecosystems, largely as a result of fragmentation and development of anthropogenic structures. Our study shows that in addition to habitat fragmentation, the addition of human-made structures benefit ravens, whereas some species of raptors like the Ferruginous Hawk have been impacted and limited in nesting areas," said study lead author Peter Coates, an ecologist with the [United States Geologic Survey] Western Ecological Research Center. While this is good news for ravens, it could be bad news for sensitive prey species, including the Greater Sage-Grouse. Increases in Common Raven distribution and abundance in the American west mirror declines in distribution and abundance of Greater Sage-Grouse, where energy transmission corridors and other land use changes have altered sagebrush steppe habitat," said David Delehanty of [Idaho State University]. [Ravens rule Idaho's artificial roost, posted at Science Daily]

Monday, August 11, 2014

Basin refugee redefining Native art




The Montana Artists Refuge has ceased to exist but its legacy lives on.
When Bently Spang pulls on the gold jumpsuit and white platform shoes to become “Indian of the Future,” it’s hard to understand his ancestors’ influence on the Northern Cheyenne artist. In 2012, when the Ash Creek Fire near Ashland burned his parents’ home and 20 other homes, Spang felt compelled to record the experience from the perspective of the trees, still standing but charred. He took rubbings from the charred bark by using large sheets of white paper and rubbing them into the tree. “I was interacting with the burned tree,” Spang said. “They were telling the story of the fire. When I looked at the first few, I said, ‘Oh my God, that looks like the fire.’ He titled the series ‘On Fire.’ ” [Jaci Webb, Billings Gazette]





Saturday, August 9, 2014

Big Lebowski actor could get Montana Democratic Senate nod

Actor Jeff Bridges is a Park County, Montana resident: a petition is being circulated to enter his name into nomination to replace Senator John Walsh who left the 2014 campaign following allegations of plagiarism. Walsh says he'll finish the term Governor Steve Bullock appointed him to after long-time Senator Max Baucus resigned to be named Ambassador to China by President Obama.

Former governor, Brian Schweitzer, long-considered to be a shoo-in for the post, blew it off to joist with windmills.

David Letterman is also a Montana resident.

Montana Dems are holding a nominating convention in Helena on Sat., Aug. 16 at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, starting at 9 AM.





Friday, August 8, 2014

South Dakota's descent no accident

Professor David Newquist has been flaying the GOP establishment in the failed state of South Dakota.

The current governor, with help from his predecessors, has made the state a perpetual federal disaster area that relies on eternal assistance for the wealthy while forcing the less fortunate to flee the state or live in poverty.

Sanford Health and Rapid City Regional System of Carelessness can't make any money on young people except as wage slaves and the Democratic Party in the state has set a low bar in its initiated measure to raise the minimum wage.

Divining the alternate universe where Randy Scott still cruises the Moody County backroads while a Hellbent Bill serially lurks at every intersection in South Dakota's ideological landscape is one of the most flagrant examples of putting the best possible face on the decriminalization of Citibank's prospectus that has ever been perpetrated by an entrenched Republican spin machine.

It's becoming apparent that this phenomenon is no accident: it has been manufactured to make the state a corporatist tax haven for an exclusive set of Republicans while $2.5 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks.




Thursday, August 7, 2014

ip warnings lead to fewer cannabis arrests

Warnings from interested party have led to fewer arrests for cannabis in South Dakota.
Major Svendsen says arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia in the state are also down from this time last year. He reminds residents that buying, selling, and/or possessing marijuana is still illegal in South Dakota and those that do get caught with it can face penalties of up to fifteen years in prison and a thirty-thousand dollar fine. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
New Mexico was the first state to develop a therapeutic cannabis cultivation and distribution network.
Donna Smith is the latest medical marijuana patient to go to court to seek protections for workers who have been fired due to their participation in the state’s medical marijuana program. She filed her lawsuit against Presbyterian Healthcare Services in state District Court in June, and her attorney is now seeking a hearing date. A military veteran, Smith was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. [Santa Fe New Mexican]



Surprise!
As it turns out, there is big money in marijuana prohibition: Alcohol and Beer Companies. Police Unions. Private Prison Corporations. Prison Guard Unions. Pharmaceutical Corporations. [Open Secrets]



Monday, August 4, 2014

Poll: slavery bigger ethical misjudgment than treatment of American Indians


Vanity Fair magazine presented a poll to readers asking: “Which is the biggest ethical misjudgment in U.S. history?” Whatever people’s beliefs politically, it seems most agree that slavery and the treatment of Native Americans were this country’s greatest ethical missteps. [Indian Country Today]






Saturday, August 2, 2014

Prison, law enforcement, real estate industries licking their chops over Sturgis Rally

Come on vacation; go home on probation!

Photo: courtesy, Bob Newland.

The real estate signs line every roadway in the Black Hills. A couple days of cruising had ip confirming a buyers market at nearly every locality. As the choicest camping in the Black Hills National Forest, the Camp 5 and Vanocker/Elk Creek areas, begin seeing early birds pitching tents and circling their RVs, thousands of property owners are pimping their listings to every passing biker.


Cannabis advocate, Emmett Reistroffer weighed in on Amicus lector, the blog of Argus Leader crime and justice reporter, John Hult:
Policing for Profit also grades the states on how well they protect property owners—only three states receive a B or better. And in most states, public accountability is limited as there is little oversight or reporting about how police and prosecutors use civil forfeiture or spend the proceeds. Federal laws encourage even more civil forfeiture abuse through a loophole called “equitable sharing” that allows law enforcement to circumvent even the limited protections of state laws. With equitable sharing, law enforcement agencies can and do profit from forfeitures they wouldn’t be able to under state law.
Hult made this chart showing where the loot from drug busts goes:



The large awards to Corson County stand out:
The racial makeup of the county was 60.80% Native American, 37.19% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 0.05% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. 2.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.3% were of German ancestry.
Proceeds from seizures are netting less cash for South Dakota's police state after interested party began alerting West Coast and Colorado patriots.