Pahasapa (or Paha Sapa) is a Lakota name for the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.
According to a huge number of politicians and “experts” (including way too many in South Dakota and the Black Hills), the glorious fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Friday the 3rd was going to destroy the Black Hills. Hundreds of fires would be set off by fireworks over the sculpture in the “abnormally dry” Ponderosa pine forests of the National Memorial, the Peter Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, and nearby Custer State Park and the rest of Black Hills National Forest. All supposedly for the vainglory of The Donald.
As I sit here on Monday morning, the 6th, I see perfectly clear blue skies of the Pahasapa. As I sit here 11.88 miles (per Google Earth) from the four faces, there is no smoke from fires, no flights of helicopters or SEAT (single-engine aerial tanker) aircraft, no activation of emergency procedures for volunteers and hotshot teams to fight fires.
Nor were there any on Friday night. That night, Debby and I watched the fireworks at Rushmore from 13 miles away – a higher ridge than the one we live on, which lets us see Rushmore and the fireworks. Which were impressive even at that distance. If we had wished, we could have also turned and faced NNW and watched the fireworks at Sturgis, about 33 miles away. We saw lightning storms around Rushmore, too. But no wildfires, no smoke, no emergency vehicles rushing back and forth.
On Saturday morning: no fires, no smoke.
There were a LOT more fireworks on Saturday night: with a half-dozen “public” displays in and around Rapid City, and thousands of individual, private fireworks across the region, including our own neighborhood (a rural subdivision “in the pines”) and much more densely populated areas. It didn’t look like the spectacular (and illegal) display of private fireworks across the Los Angeles Basin, but it was neat.
Again, yesterday (Sunday) morning – no fires, no smoke, no herds of wild animals fleeing for their lives from fires, no caravans of evacuated residents being moved out of danger from the massive wildfires predicted because of Trump’s egotism. Or despite the claims (increasingly suspect) of various agencies that the Black Hills is in the midst of a drought. (We only got 1.2 inches of rain at our place in June, and have already gotten 3/4 inch in the first five days of July: not too far off normal: we only get 15-18 inches of precip a year around here.)
And by the way, although many counties in South Dakota have daily reports of a few more Coronavirus cases due to testing, the hospitals are not swamped, the ICUs are not out of beds – and they even let people with “non-essential” medical needs have them taken care of. (A close friend who was needing angioplasty for the last six months was finally allowed to have it done – but because of the delay, the doctor also had to put in four stints. He came close to a massive heart attack.)
In other words, the predictions of massive hospitalizations, massive Beer flu cases, and massive deaths, in South Dakota were bogus. And NOT because South Dakota locked itself down and crashed its economy. And now the recent predictions of catastrophe from Trump’s visit have also proved bogus. As proved the predictions of massive traffic jams and lost tourist revenue from Trump’s visit. The only traffic problems were because a group of “native American activists” (most of whom were NOT Lakota) rented three vans from a local car rental place and used them to try and block the highways to Mount Rushmore. And to do so, slashed the tires and took a wheel off the vans – in violation of their contract with the rental guy – and so committed an act of aggression against an innocent man.
We must all be careful NOT to make predictions of catastrophe that are based on what we WANT to happen, and not reality.
Clearly, the mainstream media, the regressivist “left” (including the AntiFa, the Black Lives Matter, the NDN Coalition, and the American Indian Movement) are not being too careful. Of their predictions, or of the truth.
So I’m going to go out now, and enjoy my nice cool mountain summer day, with no smoke, no fires, no politicians, and no idiots.