I can spot a Brad Ford headline a mile away.
"Is Rapid City's Art Alley Just Another Form of Ghettoizing?" writes Gordon Howie's resident racist non-sequiturist. In Brad Ford's world, Art Alley is really just a trick used by progressives to "bottle up peasants and minorities in urban slums." In Brad Ford's world, Rapid City's elites use Art Alley to beat down the aspirations of young artists who, by being given a public space to express themselves, apparently are tricked into wallowing in curse words, Ebonics, and gansta rap.
Hmm... Derek Smith doesn't sound ghettoized:
Artist Derek Smith says, "Art Alley is essentially the best place to come for unbridled creativity." Derek Smith has been testing his creativity in Art Alley for more than seven years. While many spend their Saturday mornings sleeping in Derek is up early, looking to leave his mark in this downtown creative space. Smith says, "I love the art and I love the energy and vibe I get from coming down here."
Derek is one of several "regulars" who takes advantage of Art Alley's culture. He's not looking to paint profanity; he's not looking to destroy other's work or property. He comes armed with a paper outline and an idea of how he can positively contribute to the Alley. Smith says, "Art Alley is just like a world in and of itself. Everybody has a voice and it's their own voice that's given, and I believe these walls speak volumes to that testament" [Zach Nugent, "Artist Offers Perspective on Art Alley Issues," KEVN-TV, 2013.04.08].
Art Alley is about as far from a racist fascist plot as one can get. Complementing Rapid City's numerous art galleries, Art Alley offers a creative and democratic space that all Rapid Citians can enjoy. It has even inspired citizen cooperation to address the alley's problems and keep it a public good.
I read and publicize Ford's absurdity at some peril to my sanity and the decency of public discourse. But I tell myself there is some public service in dissecting this most grotesque, tumescent case of rhetorical cancer in hopes of helping others find a cure. Ford exhibits most clearly the dangerous tendency of ideologues to stretch every civic issue into an affirmation of their prejudices. 6 comments
Governor Dennis Daugaard, Attorney General Marty Jackley, and other members of state government could not make it to Rapid City for this week's three-day summit of South Dakota's nine tribes to discuss South Dakota's non-compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
But now that those pesky Indians are done complaining and heading back to the rez, it's all clear for the Governor, AG, and friends to come to Rapid City to raise money and rub elbows with national GOP chair Reince Priebus:
Pennington County Lincoln Day Dinner
May 18, 2013 @ 5:00pm
- 5:00--Social; 6:00--Dinner $50 per plate for steak dinner; $15 for kids up to age 12 (chicken strips)
- Ramkota Convention Center (Off-I-90), Rapid City, SD
- Featured Speaker: National RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
- Also scheduled to speak are Craig Lawrence, John Thune, Kristi Noem, Dennis Daugaard, and Marty Jackley.
- For more information, contact Pat Johnson, Pennington County Republican Chairman 605-348-8396 (PO Box 1306, Rapid City, SD 57709)
Public policy discussion with aggrieved constituents, or $50 steak. Ah, priorities. 12 comments
The good news from Rapid City city councilman Ron Sasso: he's pushing repeal of Rapid City's bike registration laws. Rapid City Municipal Code Chapter 10.64 currently requires residents to pay a $1 fee to register every bicycle. Anyone selling a bicycle must report the name and address of the bicycle buyer to the city. Sasso wisely advocates repeal of this nefarious bicycle registry, lest the government use that registry to punish patriots who would pedal to the revolution.
Oops—sorry. I'm still suffering Tea Party withdrawal. Sasso just thinks the unenforced bike regulations serve no good and discourage bicycle riding.
The bad news from Ron Sasso: he's running for theocrat-in-chief with a Web video that opens with the word Faith and defends the government establishment of religion through official council prayers. Sasso contends that he has a First Amendment right to use the public dais to promote his religion.
Sasso fails to understand that the First Amendment grants him the freedom of speech and religion as an individual, not as an agent of the government elected by the people. He fails to recognize that the First Amendment, like all of the Bill of Rights, protects individuals from exactly the sort of government encroachment on their freedom of religion that Sasso wants to commit from the dais. And he fails to explain how his faith will fill any potholes or pay any police.
Bradley Estes is challenging Sasso for his Ward 5 council seat. His billboards tell me that Estes creates jobs. Estes tells RCJ that he's not a politician... even though by running for office and seeking to affect how we live together in the polis, he is a politician. No word (and apparently, no website) from Estes yet on where he stands on bikes or theocracy. 2 comments
I don't go to Tea Party rallies to make mischief. I save the mischief for afterwards.
Here are some photos from today's Tea Party "Constitution Rally" at Memorial Park in Rapid City.
Conservative Rep. Stace Nelson and liberal blogger Cory Allen Heidelberger consider forming a fusion ticket to challenge Dennis Daugaard in 2014. We'll arm-wrestle to decide who gets Governor and who gets Lieutenant.
Rep. Stace Nelson comes this close to singing "A Boy Named Sue" to the Tea Party rally.
One of the job apps I'm filling out asks how I would deal with diversity in the classroom. I don't think sending a picture of me in this t-shirt would get me an interview.
I'm Representative Lance Russell, and I give you... The Bird!
This guy thought his gun would keep his Sonic pop safe. He didn't anticipate a sneaky liberal getting the drop on him from behind. Slurp slurp bang bang!
Video and commentary coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned! 21 comments
Hey, Rapid City neighbors! Would you like to remove a racist birther from local office? Mr. Price reports that a movement to subject embarrassing Rapid City councilman Bill Clayton to a recall continues:
Gary Brown will be at Black Hills Bagel at 913 Mount Rushmore Rd this Saturday, May 4 from 9 to 12 to collect signatures on the petition to recall Alderman Bill Clayton. Anyone that can vote in Rapid City elections can sign the recall petition.
You can also call the Petition Hotline to find other locations to sign the petition! CALL: (605) 388-2749.
Brown launched this petition drive in March; he has a couple more weeks to get 6,200 signatures to call a public vote.
Wow: petitions in the morning, Tea Party in the afternoon... Rapid City is a regular hotbed of civic activism! 1 comment
That's encouraging: after a lot of chest-thumping and genuflecting (if you're doing both at once, you're probably doing something wrong), the Rapid City city council has backed away from establishing an official policy on prayer at its meetings. Rapid City city attorney Joel Landeen appears to have waved them off by pointing out the Constitutional hoops through which they might have to jump to make such an official prayer policy withstand legal scrutiny.
Landeen offered for the council's consideration a prayer policy from Miami-Dade County that protects a tradition of solemnifying but non-proselytizing invocations with the following stipulations:
- The invocation happens before the roll call; i.e., before the council is officially doing public business.
- Policy makes clear nobody is required to participate.
- Nobody gets paid to do the prayer.
- Invitations to lead a council invocation specify that no one can use the prayer "to convert others to any particular faith, to advance any particular faith, or to disparage any other faith or belief" (that includes atheism, you majoritarian theocrats!).
- No one on the council gets to review or work on the content of the prayer.
Landeen presented other options to the board to minimize potential Establishment Clause violations:
- State that the prayer should not be sectarian
- Formalize the process of selecting people to do the invocation and make the process as inclusive as possible
- Place a time limit for those delivering the invocation [John Lee McLaughlin, "Council Votes to Reject Prayer Policy," Rapid City Journal, 2013.04.16]
The council decided all those rules make theocracy all too complicated:
“We’re not going to have a policy,” said Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Wright, who made the first motion to deny creating a policy. “We are simply going to follow tradition” [McLaughlin, 2013.04.16].
Yeah! Forget rules; we're just going to do what we want, and to heck with you and your First Amendment.
Despite calls to stay out of Rapid City business and quit turning people into cattle, the Freedom from Religion Foundation continues to press the Rapid City city council to stop pretending it's a church. 17 comments
Speaking of water quality (and after 26 inches of snow in Lead, there will be lots of water running downhill this weekend), my friends at Dakota Rural Action are hosting an Earth Day Benefit Concert and Celebration at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City next Thursday. (Huh? Earth Day? That's not until spring... oh, wait....) On the program:
- Music from James Van Nuys and Family, Hank Harris, Marty Meyer, Steve Thorpe, and the Mike Reardon Band
- Clips from "Crying Earth Rise Up," a documentary about the water contamination from uranium mining in Crawford, Nebraska
- Snacks from Breadroot Natural Foods Co-Op
Call the Dahl for tickets at 605-394-4101. Admission is $10 for Dahl Members, $12 Advance, and $15 day of event. Then come to the Dahl for the show on Thursday, April 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. comment!
Sioux Falls and Rapid City continue to chug along in population growth. New Census estimates show the Sioux Falls metro area (Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner, and McCook counties) at 237,251 residents. As of 2012, the Rapid City metro area (Pennington and Meade counties) has 138,738 residents. That's 28.5% and 16.6%, respectively, of South Dakota's estimated 833,354 population... or 9 out of 20 South Dakotans living in those two metro hubs. Reach just a little further to include counties closely linked to those metros (Lake and Moody to Sioux Falls; Lawrence to Rapid City), and you likely get an even 50% of South Dakotans whose lives revolve quite significantly around those two major hubs.
The Governing analysis finds 135 metros out of 381 surveyed seeing more population growth from international immigrants than from domestic migration and births outpacing deaths. But Sioux Falls and Rapid City are still growing their own, and lots of them. Over just the last two years, the Census estimates that Sioux Falls saw 7,889 more residents come from in-country migration and births outpacing deaths and 1,067 immigrants from overseas. Rapid City saw 3,866 in domestic and natural growth and 294 in overseas immigrants.
On both counts, Sioux Falls is drawing immigrants foreign and domestic at a slightly higher rate than Rapid City, suggesting that diverse job opportunities trump Black Hills recreation in economic development. 5 comments