Wednesday, July 18, 2018

And now I'm 64....



Happy Birthday: Harriet Nelson, Nelson Mandela, John Glenn, Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Branson, Ricky Skaggs, Vin Diesel, Saloon #10's Lori Keehn and this interested party.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Stuefen leaves governor's economic post


Randy Stuefen is also a St. Mary's alumnus and was a senior when I was a freshman at Elkton High School.

As many young Elkton men did he went into the US Air Force after graduation during the Vietnam era then returned home to enroll at South Dakota State University on the GI Bill. In those days returning service members brought Sansui and Pioneer stereo equipment back to the States. He turned me on to Mason Proffit, Commander Cody, Dr. Hook, Thai stick, Panama Red and Michoacán.

Around 1972 he and his brother, my boyhood friend Roger, left their folks' house and rented a space in the Hawrysh Apartments in Brookings and I moved to Minneapolis for a year. Roger dropped out during his first semester at SDSU right after their mother died and moved to Mitchell for technical school. In '73 Randy introduced me to Mark (Spiro) Speirs, Paul Anderson and Gary (Hairy) Ellingson when they lived in the Sugar Shack near downtown Brookings after I enrolled at SDSU.

When Paul got married in the mid-80s Spiro, Art Young and i enlisted Spearditch pilot Mark Farrier to fly us to Madison for the wedding and during our return flight a tornadic thunderstorm forced us to land at the Pierre Airport. By sheer coincidence as we were walking out to get something to eat Randy and his wife, Betty just happened to be driving by, took us to dinner then put us up for the night.

After graduate school Randy moved to Vermillion, joined the University of South Dakota faculty then developed a theory of South Dakota’s dual rural and urban economies. Last we met was at the Bay Leaf Cafe in Spearditch somewhere around 1997.

Stuefen joined SD Governor Denny Daugaard's Council of Economic Advisers in 2012 and was just succeeded by former SDSU president David Chicoine.

Randy must be exceedingly disappointed he's leaving while South Dakota’s economy is in the shitter.

Previously posted at The Dakota Progressive.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Industrial cannabis is 'lateral violence' in Indian County

Recall officials of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation advanced their cannabis initiative after an Iowa casino on the border cut into the tribe's gaming business.

Washington's Suquamish Tribe was a pioneer in the cannabis industry signing the first cannabis compact with any state. Governed by tribal law and by conditions in the compact they operate a retail cannabis shop just across Puget Sound from Seattle on the Port Madison Indian Reservation.
A response to May 9th's feature "Native American Talks Hemp Regulation and Genocide" is in order. In the article, reporter Harmony Birch quotes visiting Lakota Alex White Plume stating ""On the East Coast here there's no more natural Indians. They were wiped out because they have 511 years [of colonization] we've only had 200 years of contact so we're still real," he said of the Lakota. "Our language is real, our ceremonies are real. We're still alive; we still remember." White Plume was in town as an invited speaker, along with scholar Norman Finkelstein, at an event organized by Brattleboro Common Sense, a local organization. The event was an exploration "about the similarities between the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and Native Americans." In the case of White Plume, this is known as lateral violence. [Brattleboro (Vermont) Reformer]
American Indians are subject to at least four overlapping jurisdictions making tribes the most regulated people in the US without representatives serving in Congress. Every federal department and agency already recognize Native America as the 51st State. While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members as there are an estimated 2.5 million indigenous living on reservations.
"It’s time to reform American’s outdated marijuana policies," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). The STATES Act, she added, would "let states, territories and tribes decide for themselves how best to regulate marijuana – without federal interference." The STATES Act doesn't just address marijuana. It removes federal restrictions on industrial hemp, ones that have kept tribes like the Menominee Nation and people like Alex White Plume, a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe from using their lands to grow a plant that does not carry the same drug characteristics as cannabis. After a decade-long fight, White Plume secured a major victory two years ago when a federal judge lifted an injunction against his hemp farm on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. [Indianz]
For the record, this blog can't support widespread growing of industrial cannabis (hemp), especially on tribal lands: it is an invasive species capable of overgrowing native grasses. Why anyone would want to buy genetically engineered seed from Bayer Crop Science/Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery.