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Phil Jensen Opposes Civil Rights Laws, Laughs About Drug-Test Hypocrisy

That Rapid City paper gives its readers reason to start looking for a new state Senator. In this morning's edition, reporter Daniel Simmons-Ritchie gets State Senator Phil Jensen to reveal the threat he poses to civil liberties, admitting that he'd be fine with government taking no action against racial or religious discrimination:

Jensen goes so far as to say that businesses should have the right to deny service based on a customer's race or religion – whether that's right or wrong, he says, can be fairly addressed by the free market, not the government.

"If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them," he said [Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, "Phil Jensen: South Dakota's Most Conservative Lawmaker?" Rapid City Journal, 2014.03.16].

Jensen speaks from the privileged smugness of a man who's never been in the minority. This is the same privileged white male who thinks neither women nor Muslims are to be trusted.

Simmons-Ritchie also gets Sen. Jensen to laughingly admit his welfare-drug-test hypocrisy:

Jensen supported another bill this session, killed last month, that would have required drug testing for welfare recipients. He said he believes that taxpayers have a right to know that their money is being spent appropriately.

But asked whether he thinks recipients of other forms of government assistance should be drug tested, like farmers who receive subsidies, Jensen wasn't so sure.

"You got me there," he said with a laugh [Simmons-Ritchie, 2014.03.16].

Yes, Phil. Ho ho ho, I'm a racist. Ha ha ha, I don't think my policies through for political consistency. Hee hee hee, my rich white friends in suits would never do bad things with corporate welfare dollars.

With attitudes so smug, thoughtless, and racist that even the Republican spin machine can't stand Jensen, please tell me District 33 Democrats will find a candidate to spotlight Jensen's vileness and evict him from office. Jensen should be easy pickings for an ambitious, on-message Democrat. You go get Josie Weiland, Elle Fettig, and her friends, mobilize them to canvas District 33, and you take Jensen down with his own words. Get to work!


  1. Jerry 2014.03.16

    I'm in for $50.00 for the canvasing. Phil is like Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog. The thing that makes Phil Stevens different from Punxsutawney Phil is that the groundhog can sometimes see his shadow, this vile blood sucking vampire cannot.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.03.16

    I'm guessing any number of Southern whites,white supremacists from Idaho and Montana,South Dakota and for sure a goodly number of wingnut rethugs would patronize a KKK bakery. There are probably some Dems that would approve of the bakery as well. Imagine all the so called christians that would flock there. Oh,people will come,Ray. People will most definitely come.

  3. owen reitzel 2014.03.16

    Sadly there are more like him in the legislature. But they're not dumb enough to say what he said in the open.

  4. owen reitzel 2014.03.16

    good link David. Thanks
    very true

  5. Winston 2014.03.16

    I love the way Republicans on the DWC site are currently trying to disown Jensen and his comments, but for some reason I never heard any of them disown Rand Paul in 2010 when he claimed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was unconstitutional and a misapplication of the 14th Amendment.

    Apparently, the GOP has finally realized that the barn door has been open (or open to much for any continued coded electoral advantage) a little to long in their attempt to use the Tea Party wing of their Party to win elections….The GOP needs to understand that the seeds you sow or allow to be sowed can bare bitter fruit….

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.16

    David offers fair caution. It's not like Jensen has all of a sudden turned into something different from what he campaigned as to first get elected. A lot of folks marking Jensen's name on the ballot know exactly what they are voting for. We need to bring a lot more folks to the polls. RC Dems, what have you got?

  7. Larry 2014.03.16

    I agree with David and Cory. This district has a lot
    of Tea Partiers and down right extremists, who live up in the hills to get away from all those city people. However, it also includes much of North Rapid, which is the poor part of town. If they can be brought out to vote, it could be competitive. Stay tuned, he will be challenged.

  8. grudznick 2014.03.16

    Mr. Larry, the signs say "North Rapid, a nice place to live." Maybe with Mr. Gant's pollbook voting those people will muster up a few more votes and oust this fellow Jensen from the legislatures.

  9. Jerry 2014.03.16

    Always remember something about Phil and the band he plays in, they have been embedded here since it was Hay Camp with their funny little costumes. The KKK was very big here and from the sounds of nutty Phil, they are still going strong after all these years. There is quite a write up about how they flourished here and even paraded openly with not a care in the world. History does repeat itself.

  10. mikeyc, that's me! 2014.03.16

    I'm embarassed to say that I live in District 33. But I can
    say that I voted against him. This district has been
    electing nuts for too long. I gave up years ago.
    If they get too many Democrats from north Rapid in the
    district, the gerrymandering begins.

  11. WR Old Guy 2014.03.16

    I am not surprised. He came here from Sedgewick County Kansas which includes Wichita. I lived there for several years in the sixties. There was a sheriff by the name of Vern Miller (not the same one from South Dakota) who would send his deputies out to bookstores to look for books that might be considered pornographic in his mind. He would have them take the books back to the office to be studied to see if charges should be filed. He went on to become State's Attorney and one term of State Attorney General.

    Wichita had a large gang problem at that time and still does but it is home to some mega churches whose members will defend any action that they perceive as enforcing "God's" laws. Dr Tiller, who ran an abortion clinic for years in Wichita was killed in a church. His murderer tried to claim justifible homicide to save lives of the unborn. He had quite a few supporters including a number of lawyers. He is serving a life term.

    Kansas is also the home of former Attorney General Phil Kline who was finally booted from office when the voters could not take anymore of his ignoring the law and courts when he was trying to convict Dr Tiller and anyone associated with Dr Tiller of variious trumped up charges. He was elected States Attorney of Johnson County (Kansas City Area) and was booted from office for illegally taking records from the Attorney General's Office when he left office. He surrendered his law license but I believe there are still a number of investigations ongoing on his conduct.

    I too live in District 33 and would love to see Jensen defeated. Remember this from 2011?

  12. Donald Pay 2014.03.16

    Yeah, District 33 is hopeless. That's why I support term limits. Periodically you can clear away the crap and, maybe, get a high class of feces elected there.

  13. grudznick 2014.03.16

    Mr. Pay, how do you feel about district 30?

  14. Robin Page 2014.03.16

    Vote Robin Page for SD Senate, District 33
    "The Voice of the People"

    Campaign contributions can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank under the account of "Robin Page for SD Senate", or you can mail you contribution to: Robin Page for SD Senate, 835 LeBlanc Dr., Rapid City, SD 57701.
    Help me put an end to the hatred, racism and discrimination that Phil Jensen encourages through his outrageous pieces of legislation. He does not speak for the majority of South Dakotans, especially the people of District 33. Thank you for your support!

  15. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.16

    Oh my god. It's like there is a little chunk of backwoods Appalachia or extreme Taliban lurking in the dank and dark shadows of SD. Except that is an insult to everyone in Appalachia. On the other hand, the Taliban would be proud.

    What's creepy to me is that people like him are not ashamed. It's scary because I believe there must be some serious mental health issues. Sociopathology*, for one.

    (*I am not a mental health professional, but I like to play one on the Times.)

  16. Troy 2014.03.16


    This is too easy. The guy is obviously as loony as Congressman McKinney. Us Republicans cull our nuts. You keep yours around.

  17. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.16

    Then why is Jensen still there? Isn't he one of your "nuts?"

  18. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.03.16

    Not surprised to see moderate Troy Jones going after another conservative. Senator Jensen is a nice guy, not a very good public speaker though.

    Tired of people like Jones though throwing such people under the bus all the while promoting corrupt politicians like Rounds and claiming those turds are good for SD.

    Mr Jones, you are a hypocrite with your incessant attacks on conservatives all the while protesting they should not point out the differences between them, and your moderate pragmatic departures from Republicanism.

    Senator Jensen, you are a nice fellow.. but you suck at public speaking and conveying your thoughts.

  19. Larry 2014.03.16

    There will be a Democratic primary for the chance to run against this man. I also hear he may have a Republican primary too.

  20. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.16

    Phil Jensen is not a nice fellow, he is a dangerous fellow.

    On the comment section in the Rapid City Journal online edition that features Jensen, there was a ringing endorsement from one calling himself freedom1865. In his comment, freedoma1865 attempts to justify the "New" Klan as a charity group and not a hate group while at the same time promoting segregation.
    freedom1865 also said he likes Jensen and endorses his work. That endorsement pretty much says it all about Jensen. What more could you ask for than the support of the True Invisible Empire or the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK.
    Now I understand his reference to a KKK bakery, what Jensen doesn't acknowledge is that the bakery in Colorado that refused to make a cake for a gay couple, flourished after that incident. Chic-a-Fil anti-gay customers responded in-kind when they too had a gay issue.

    In a related/unrelated note, it is being reported that the Rev. Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church, also in Kansas, is near death. I think I know who is waiting for him.

  21. Wayne Pauli 2014.03.17

    The sad thing is that the mindset of Phil Jensen is shared by more South Dakotans than you would think possible here in the year 2014. Just look at us, we are not a forward thinking, bring on the change, give us your tired, your poor State. We are a you are cool as long as you are like me State. Otherwise, stay in your shadows, your reservations, or better yet...leave. How many times have we seen that comment from folks that think of themselves as Soith Dakotans.

  22. Troy 2014.03.17


    I don't think he is racist. But, I do think he is either insensitive to the insidious below the radar social discrimination inherent in being a minority or he is naive to think it doesn't occur.

    No matter how nice he may be, once he got elected he gained an obligation to measure his words lest they be misinterpreted or become justification for bad behaviour.

    Obama's rhetoric feeds people are victims and thus they the poor have no say in their destiny and success. Jensen's rhetoric feeds the idea it is ok to be cruel to minorities.

  23. larry kurtz 2014.03.17

    I don't think Troy is racist. But, I do think he is either insensitive to the insidious below the radar social discrimination inherent in being a minority or he is naive to think it doesn't occur.

    No matter how nice he may be, once he got elected he gained an obligation to measure his words lest they be misinterpreted or become justification for bad behaviour.

    Cruz's rhetoric feeds people are victims and thus they the poor have no say in their destiny and success. Jensen's rhetoric feeds the idea it is ok to be cruel to minorities.

  24. mike from iowa 2014.03.17

    ...Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men? The Shadow knows. He's everywhere,he's everywhere.
    You want the true measure of a wingnut's thoughts? Watch one when they go on mainstream news programs and then watch when they go to Fake Noise and say something altogether different. Fake Noize is home to these....uh.....people and they are uninhibited about letting their true feelings show. In fact,if you could see them on Fake News and then head over to reality you'd have no idea the two subjects were related. Not saying Fake Noise is slanted-its just their motto is far right and biased.Or was it we decide,you swallow hook,line and sinker.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.17

    Troy: there is no equivalency between Obama's rhetoric and Jensen's. Obama talks about taking responsibility as a community and trying to help our neighbors. Jensen's is about ignoring rank prejudice, discrimination, and violation of civil rights and hoping that the Invisible Hand will magically wipe away such sins.

    Disgusted: your defense of Jensen presumes that he has coherent thoughts to defend. White Christian privilege is not a thought; it is a narrow, insensitive mindset.

    Robin Page! Rock on! Fight the power!

  26. Jerry 2014.03.17

    Larry, you are correct. Phil is not a nice man, period. He is as fake at that part as he is on not being a racist bigot. The problem that voters usually have is that a candidate speaks of some tolerance on the campaign trail and then once elected, their true patterns come out. In Stevens case, his district is basically home to the rabid underbelly of ignorance and intolerance with the exception of the North Rapid native populace. Phil is the gerrymandered face of his district, it will be nice to see this clown go.

  27. Jerry 2014.03.17

    I meant Jensen but I said Stevens. That is how dog whistling works. This is a part of a book that was written in 1984 that fits Phil Jensen to a T.

    In his 1984 book “The Two Party South,” political scientist Alexander Lamis quoted a conservative operative later revealed to be Ronald Reagan confidant Lee Atwater, who traced the evolution.

    ”You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N—-r, n—-r, n—-r,’” Atwater explained. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n—-r’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘N—-r, n—-r.”’

    The entire article speaks of the same speak as what Phil prattles to his district and the rest of us here in South Dakota. It ain't pretty and it is time that we citizens own up to the fact of what we have unleashed here. By having clowns like Phil Jensen in our legislature, we are saying that we support racism and bigotry at the highest levels of government. It is little wonder then that we have the absolute corruption of politics present and in the recent past. Lets hope that we do not send one of the most corrupted governors we have ever had to Washington.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.17

    Donald, even in this situation, I can't support term limits. Even when we have to get rid of a really bad legislator like Senator Jensen, I want the people to take responsibility and do it.

  29. Troy 2014.03.17


    You are right. There is no equivalency. Jensen is a member of the SD legislature. Obama is the President of the United States.

  30. Robin Page 2014.03.17

    Thanks Cory!

  31. Anne 2014.03.17

    The poor don't need Obama to tell them who they are and who made them that way and wants to keep them that way. Nor do they need anyone to tell them who is systemically silencing their voice in the marketplace and erecting barriers to their voting rights. They do need to listen and identify the defenders of the most corrupt state government and business community in the nation and those who defend and advocate further oppression and corruption.

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.17

    Troy, my equivalency-refutation is bigger than yours. ;-)

  33. owen reitzel 2014.03.17

    thanks for link Larry. What a guy Jensen is.

  34. larry kurtz 2014.03.17

    Owen, guys like Jensen make me want to buy some property in Rapid just to run against him.

  35. Brother Beaker 2014.03.17


    Be careful! Guessing where people are heading when they die is kind of what made Rev. Phelps what he was. Not sure you want to go in that direction. Just sayin'.

  36. Jerry 2014.03.17

    Who gives a care where ole Fred goes as long as he goes. What a waste of oxygen he has been.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.17

    On where we go when we go: I wonder if Senator Jensen believes there are drug tests at the pearly gates.

  38. Douglas Wiken 2014.03.17

    Jensen is not even a real conservative. He is a retrograde regressive inconsistent ideologue who is neither a conservative nor a liberal. He is for powerful government when it represses his idea of enemies and he is against government when it represses his perceived friends.

  39. David Newquist 2014.03.17

    What we thought St. Peter was holding was a chalice, but it turns out to be a urinal.

  40. Troy 2014.03.17

    St. John is usually represented in sacred art to be holding a chalice. St. Peter holds keys.

  41. larry kurtz 2014.03.17

    Jensen is getting flayed in the twitterverse.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.17

    Douglas, good distinction! I can live with genuine, classical conservatives. It's Jensen-style oppression that gets my goat.

  43. John Tsitrian 2014.03.17

    Jerry, a fitting sendoff from Macbeth: "Nothing in his life

    Became him like the leaving it."

  44. WR Old Guy 2014.03.17

    This is a supposed old tombstone inscription;

    "Pause stranger as you pass me by
    As you are now so once was I
    As I am now so you will be
    So prepare for death and follow me"

    Someone added a neatly lettered sign that read;

    "To follow you I'm not content
    Until I know which way you went"

  45. Douglas Wiken 2014.03.17

    The Earl cartoon today had he and wife walking through a cemetery. On one side of the lane was a sign among tombstones, "Exercisers". On the other side "Non-exercisers".

    I think I may need more exercise anyway.

    Apparently new evidence for the "big bang theory"...not to be confused with the "big-bong theory" in Colorado.

  46. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.18

    Yeah, yeah, the reporters pay attention long enough to make us look like yokels with the easy quotes. But will readers in that national audience pay enough attention to help candidates who could oust Jensen and redeem us?

  47. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.18

    The national coverage of Phil Jensen and his idiocy is amazing, we need to keep this story in play.

    Heck, even Powers over on the press release blog has been skewering Jensen since story broke. Pat got one right. Yeah!

  48. Jenny 2014.03.18

    The SD GOP's Steve Hickey - infamous gay-hater- is defending Phil Jensen's statements on SDWC. Keep talking Hickey!

  49. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.18


    I just read Hickey's comments on the press release blog and responded to him. Look for comments by Coyote.

    It is incomprehensible to me how Jensen supporters over there are twisting, turning, explaining, justifying this "good" or "nice" guy.

    In explaining Jensen, someone posted that is discrimination that a restaurant require shoes and shirts, or that an attorney that doesn't take a case, discriminates against someone seeking damages.

    From the ridiculous to the sublime, South Dakota Republicans keep putting the dirt back in hole they are digging.

  50. Steve Hickey 2014.03.18

    I saw your comment over on DWC, Roger, and pointed you to Jenson's crystal clear comment in the RCJ article: "the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks."

    That comment tells us racism is detestable to South Dakota Senator Phil Jenson. Apparently his crime is believing that the freemarket would put a racist shop owner out of business. Phil is not alone in thinking sexual orientation is not a new skin color or on par with a civil rights issue.

    I'm defending Phil here and on DWC because I know how it feels to try and communicate one thing and all people hear is what they want to hear. He and I share the view that religious liberty will soon be a casualty of the gay takeover of America. Why can't the tolerance crowd tolerate those not like them? Those are the issues here, demonizing Phil Jenson on racism charges is dirty pool and sloppy journalism.

  51. Jenny 2014.03.18

    Isn't your praying away the gays working, Hickey?

  52. Steve Hickey 2014.03.18

    No, it works fine.

    Why are you so mean spirited and nasty? If you want to have a conversation about cultural issues don't smear people falsely with charges of racism or attack their religion. I promise not to do it to you. That stuff totally shuts down the dialog.

  53. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.18

    Rev. Hickey,
    Indeed it is detestable to refuse service to black or anyone else for that matter, so why would it be necessary to be in opposition to this country's Civil Rights Laws?

    What is equally detestable was the attempt by you Stace,and Jensen to legalize discrimination with the attempted passage of SB128.

    Nearly everybody in the media, local and national, have arrived at the same conclusion to Jensen's comments. By advocating a free market system that you and Jensen envision, you are allowing the return of Jim Crow laws, thus abolishing Civil Rights Laws. Jensen did not say he was a racist, but his opinions and advocacy of anti-gay and anti-black laws make him one.
    Discrimination against the LGBT community does rise to the same level as skin color. There are laws that state just that. Discrimination against anybody because of color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. is against the law. I'll check with God to see if it is a sin.

    Why is it Rev. Hickey, that when politicians say dumb and irresponsible things like Jensen recently did, and you did with MMA, your immediate response is the media twisted it, that is not what I meant, or you didn't read the whole article.

    I read the whole article on Jensen, in fact I read it a couple times, to make sure I read it correctly, and I did. Jensen's comments are "crystal clear", to steal a phrase from you.

    Religious liberty is not being threatened by the LGBT community, gays are not trying to take over America, those are paranoid opinions based on ignorance. If you were to do some research, you'd find that demographics of this country is not threatened by gay marriage or gay rights. What you will find is that on near daily basis gays and lesbians are finding long lost freedom by coming out of the closet. That in itself must be a real measure of freedom for them. Why would you want them to be denied that freedom and the benefits that go along with it.

    Would you please share with us here on Madville examples of intolerances by gay rights advocates, I hear that over and over but there are no specifics. From what I know, gays and lesbians are some of the most tolerant people there are, they have to be, there fight has been long and turbulent but they press on.
    My new motto is this Rev. Hickey:
    Keep Religion and Christianity 500 Yards Away From My Constitution!!!

  54. Steve Hickey 2014.03.18

    I had nothing to do with SB128 and I'm dialoging here with people who aren't listening. My religion gets quarantined but anything you all advocate has to be adopted by all. Everyone comes at public policy with a worldview. Yours is okay, mine is not. The thing is, the progressive worldview is untested and mine is the traditional view that time has tested.

  55. Mike Quinlivan 2014.03.18

    The gay takeover of America? Is there some sort of Gay Army I haven't heard about rolling through the land, burning churches, making everyone listen to Pet Shop Boys CD's, and watch reruns of "Popular"?

  56. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.18

    Dang it, Larry! What do I have to do to get national press like that? :-P

  57. larry kurtz 2014.03.18

    getting yer name spelt write cud bee tuff, Mr. Hindenberg :/

  58. Jerry 2014.03.18

    LOL, the gay army has taken over. Too funny. I hope that when that happens they capture ole Steve Hickey and that other wimpy prune, Phil Jensen and make them eat cake while holding hands.

  59. Winston 2014.03.18

    Mr. Hickey,

    Your position on the death penalty and payday lending began to give me some hope for you, but your comments on this particular post have erased any hope I had developed for you.

    Let's evaluate some of the things you said here:

    "Phil is not alone in thinking sexual orientation is not a new skin color or on par with a civil rights issue."

    Wow, anyone has the right to their own opinion about the definition of civil rights, but how can you define a definition of civil rights when you define civil as evolving around the reality of a mere skin color. The word "civil" means the relationship between citizens and not merely the relationship of citizens of different races. Therefore, the political idea or definition of civil rights does not only encompass race, but goes beyond the civil relationship concerning sexual orientation as well, encompassing also creed and age as examples.

    Your suggestion that sexual orientation is not on par with race as a bonafide issue of civil rights is akin to the argument that many who were opposed to the Civil Rights Act in 1964 made, which was that some how States rights trumped civil rights and that Alabama as a political entity was more important than the black kid living down the street. Sexual orientation as a civil right is on par with race and both trump the concerns of the state, when the state's laws deny or allow through the absence of law the discrimination of any of ones civil rights.

    Now at this point, I know you are going to say, "But the shopkeepers religious rights are being violated. If we force (homophobic) bakers to make cakes for gay couples." No, they are not. No one is forcing you to own a bakery, but if you intend to own a bakery you had better be civil, and if such actions violate your religious beliefs then don't partake in those activities. The Second Amendment doesn't force a non-gun owner to own a gun shop. The First Amendment doesn't force a Jehovah Witness to participate in politics and Roe v. Wade certainly doesn't force a devoted Catholic to have an abortion.

    You then go on to say:

    "He and I share the view that religious liberty will soon be a casualty of the gay takeover of America."

    Must first thought was, "Oh, No! Are they under your bed (Not your bed, you know what that means)?" But seriously, haven't you just contradicted yourself? What happens if one religion really doesn't like another religion but both are protected under the umbrella of religious freedom? Haven't you effectively destroyed your own religious existence? It seems to me that if gays can destroy religion, then what keeps one religion from trying to destroy another? - and we all know there are some that would love to do that, but we tolerate their existence under the benefit of a doubt as a free and civil society.

    I am also reminded of Jesus's concerns for the moneychangers and how usury as a legal finance practice was not approved by the Church until the 13th century, yet capitalism has not destroyed religion, religious liberties, or for that matter Christianity as a relevant and true religion.

    It seems to me what threatens religion today, and especially Christianity, is the inability to understand that Jesus's underlining message is one of tolerance. When he said, "Forgive them for they know not what they have done." I would say that is tolerance - and when you grasp the concept of tolerance in terms of a genuine religious context then you begin to embrace the true comprehension of what civil rights truly are and can be ….and you no longer fear them nor qualify them…..

  60. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.18

    Roger, I'm cynical about Pat's coverage. Pat didn't holler this much on the topic when Jensen was trying to pass SB 128 and write full-tilt discrimination into the lawbooks. Why does he start hollering now? I suspect he has some other motive, some other District 33 candidate for whom he plans to advocate. I suspec t he's also trying to ride some Google juice by linking to those national stories.

  61. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.18

    Thank you Winston, that was very well stated.

    Since the Jensen news broke a couple of days ago, I have heard the right ask why the LGBT community is so intolerant of Christians. When asked for examples of gay intolerance, gay intimidation, or being threatened in any manner, I get no answer. Just where does this supposed threat come from?
    In the 1950's and 60's Republicans had this same type fear, there were Communists behind every tree and "under every bed" It never came close to a Communist take over and yet the Jensen's and Hickey's still have that phobia as well.
    I don't know what percentage of Americans are gay, but I'm pretty certain is not enough for a "gay take over".

    Apparently the Jensen's and Hickey's like living in fear and enjoy scaring their constituents and congregations with baseless claims.

    What their behaviors and attitudes tell me is that they do not believe or understand our Constitution nor do they have faith in our system of governance.

  62. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.18

    Winston, don't erase all that hope. I'll still work with Steve on issues like payday lending and the death penalty, just as I would still work with Phil Jensen on raw milk (that issue also came up in the RCJ article but gets no national play).

    And Steve correctly points out that Jensen at least says he is among those who finds discrimination against blacks "detestable"... just not detestable enough to legislate against it. (Good grief! Why can't he take that position on abortion?) Jensen seems able to at least speak against racism individually.

    But Steve, I'm still going to throw the racism card at Jensen. He speaks from a position of white privilege, never having experienced the oppression being looked at with suspicion in a store almost every day of his life because his skin is a different color. He spent this Legislative session screaming in sheer terror for legislative protection of his rights against a (hyped, manufactured, mostly bogus) perceived threat to his liberty, but he can't step out of his white Christian skin, empathize with blacks, Indians, and other victims of real discrimination, and understand why they deserve legislative protection via civil rights laws.

  63. John Tsitrian 2014.03.18

    Winston, the bakery owner's business depends for its existence on government infrastructure and services that are paid for by all citizens. I'm not Elizabeth Warren-esque enough to devalue the baker's ambitions and entrepeneurial energy, but the fact is that without the efforts of the community in general, that bakery couldn't exist. If there is indeed a "social contract" underlying the relationship between a business and its customers, this is the symbiosis that holds them together. A business owner that won't serve a segment of the public for reasons of personal belief is violating that implicit contract. If I were a taxpaying homosexual and I were denied private sector services, I'd try to seek relief by denying the business its access to the public sector services I pay for.

  64. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.18

    Mr. Tristan,
    That is a very keen observation that gives legitimacy to Civil Rights Act and why it is still needed. As you may know, I am a Native American and as such I have often wished that businesses did post signs saying I was not allowed. At least that way I could boycott them, wave money in their faces, or maybe throw a rock through their window.
    If the South Dakota legislature ever seriously considers or passes Jensen legalized discrimination bills, it is guaranteed there will be civil discourse.
    Cory, you are probably correct in that Pat likely has more sinister motives for jumping on Jensen, but if it helps District 33 remove him from office, well thanks Pat. Here's hoping that there is not another Jensen in sheep's clothing.

  65. Winston 2014.03.18

    Cory, Jensen can say that discrimination is "detestable," but his spoken words in opposition to the Civil Rights Act speak volumes of code to the racists amongst us, and that I would allege was his intent, and if not, then it shows a political naivety undeserving of public office holding.

    JT, I enjoyed your social contract hypothesis, but why should a gay person have to go to such extremes to acquire their civil rights? These rights should be innate and backed-up by subsequent laws in a free and constitutional society. Many of your aforementioned words and thoughts belong in a established court opinion and should not merely be the impetus of a person whose civil rights have been violated.

  66. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.18

    "Stood the test of time," is not a valid defense for a favorite tradition. Think about this: Who was doing the testing? Straight old white guys.

    Now that women and people of races other than white are testing, those straight old white guy traditions aren't holding up well at all. That especially applies to Christianity.

    The evolving traditions of all the rest of the human race are differing from those straight old white guys in many ways.

    Those panicking over these new things aren't really experiencing a "take over." It's a loss of hegemony that's got them all defensive.

    Straight old white guys, and other people who've bought into them, need to face the fact that they will probably never be kings of the world again.

    That means you, Steve and Phil. And your buddies.

  67. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.18

    Denying certain people services gets so complicated. I think John and I agree that the social contract makes things easy: We all get equal access to schools and roads. We all get equal opportunity to work and shop and love and pray (or not, as we see fit). We agree to uphold everyone else's equal access, not just access for the majority we happen to belong to at the moment.

    I wouldn't pass a Klan entrance exam, but those burning crosses seem to indicate some religious angle to their hankering to hang black folk. Is the Klan's religious liberty a casualty of the black takeover of America? Or have we simply identified some boundaries beyond which religious beliefs cannot trump common civil liberties?

  68. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.19

    The Klan are cowards, not just because they hide behind sheets with eye holes, but because the "New Klan" hides behind new terminology, they aren't KKK anymore, they are white separatists.
    It is sort of like Phil Jensen's finding discrimination detestable and at the same time advocating legalized discrimination.
    The Klan attempts to make themselves a Christian organization by invoking a phrase like "it's God law", meaning that blacks are inferior to whites. They feel that by using such language they are doing God's work.
    Years ago, when the Klan burned a cross, it was a symbol that a lynching would soon follow.
    The real irony of cross burning is that they would burn a Christian symbol. Christians believe Christ died on a cross, don't they?

  69. Winston 2014.03.19

    But burning crosses are most likely an act of arson and they usually involve the trespassing upon someone else's land. The First Amendment freedom of religion does not exempt one from prosecution or litigation from an act in violation of justified and constitutional criminal and/or civil statutes.

  70. John Tsitrian 2014.03.19

    An incredibly complex network of reciprocating relationships, engaged in freely and openly by its participants, is probably the goal of a free market and a free society. Impulses that set up blockages at any points of contact in that network are destructive, as we've seen in this "no cake for you, I'm a Christian" discussion. I find it ironic and self-contradictory that those, all Republicans, who want to codify the right of businesses to pick and choose who they'd serve among their clientele are effectively disabling the free markets that Pubs themselves hold up as the ideal to which our party aspires. And they call me a RINO? Amazing.

  71. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.19

    Wow. Deb identifies the fear rising not from a takeover but from a loss of hegemony; John identifies the flaw in Jensen's thinking in setting up blockages to smoothly functioning reciprocating relationships. Such deep thoughts would likely sail right over Phil Jensen's head, as he would just laugh, make some smug dismissal like, "Got me there!" and go on advocating the same old rot.

    And Deb, I really like your rebuttal to Steve's strange assertion that his worldview is tested and that ours is not. He's really just dressing up the notion of doing things the way we've always done them just because it's tradition.

  72. Troy 2014.03.19

    1). To discriminate against a person because of their race is immoral. Jensen agrees.

    2) To make a law against everything immoral is unrealistic. Jensen agrees.

    3) Not supporting a bill that makes an immoral act illegal, does not mean the person endorses the immoral act (in this case racial discrimination).

    4). If a person finds racial discrimination immoral, the person is by definition not a racist.

    As much as I disagree with Jensen on these issues, the accusations against him are immoral (if the accusation is based on his view on legislation and public policy on these matters). Like Jensen opposes criminalizing all immorality, I do not support legislation to criminalize the clear immoral hate speech on this site.

  73. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.19

    We cannot and should not legislate against every immoral thing. We should save our legislation for the more drastic and harmful immoral things. Racial discrimination is pretty drastic and harmful to individuals and to the social contract (as John points out). Saying discrimination is bad but not bad enough to legislate suggests a weak grasp of the seriousness of racism and shows Jensen isn't willing to put his money where his mouth is. (Lip service?)

  74. Jerry 2014.03.19

    Geesh Troy, don't boggart that of which you partake. You seriously must be high with that kind of logic.

  75. Troy 2014.03.19


    While I agree racial discrimination deserves legal sanction in some form or another, the fact another disagrees doesn't mean that person approves of racial discrimination and thus a racist.

    Because the people who disagree with Jensen have turned this into a personal attack against Jensen and his character, we have missed a chance to discuss whether the social contract requires we re-affirm legal sanction against racial discrimination or it is no longer serves the purpose it once did.

    MLK's dream is that we someday don't need it. Whether or not we are there yet is a discussion. But, the rash characterization of one who thinks it is time to end it as a racist precludes any discussion.

  76. Nick Nemec 2014.03.19

    I'll leave the debate to what lurks in the heart of Phil Jensen to others but rather judge him on his actions. His anti-gay legislation would have, if passed, codified all sorts of discrimination under the false flag of religious freedom. If I didn't like your looks all I had to do is claim I think you are a homosexual and I don't have to do business with you. It doesn't matter if you aren't LGBT all that matters is I think you are and because of my religion I don't have to sell to you.

    The civil rights laws should remain on the books forever, even if we become a completely color blind society they will be needed to insure we stay that way.

  77. mike from iowa 2014.03.19

    As with Stand Your Ground laws,one only has to feel threatened to use deadly force. Dumbing down of America.

  78. John Tsitrian 2014.03.19

    Any suggestion that laws against discrimination be abandoned in favor of letting free markets make decisions about moral behavior is ludicrous. Professed Christians suggesting it should go back and read Leviticus with its clearly laid out set of instructions on how to conduct business in the marketplace. Though many, including Deb G., understand that the specifics of scripture can be subject to a variety of interpretations, the fact remains that from the earliest of time, Christians have accepted that a code of behavior should be imposed on the marketplace. That some modern day Christians are willing to abandon laws on business management rejects one of their foundational beliefs.

  79. Winston 2014.03.19

    Jensen is speaking in code and anyone who defends his comments is merely a Jensen apologist….. Honestly, it is that simple.

  80. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.19

    Why can't the tolerance crowd tolerate those not like them? Those are the issues here, demonizing Phil Jenson on racism charges is dirty pool and sloppy journalism.

    Let's put that another way Steve. Why wont the fundamentalist Christian crowd tolerate those not like them? Those are very much the issues here. Demonizing those of us that aren't bigots, racist, gay haters, is not just dirty pool, or sloppy journalism.

    You are backing laws, and by extention the taking of rights from one group of people while trying to guaranteed the continued dominance of another, the fundamentalist right.

    I might be blind, but I can see a self righteous bigoted racist a mile away. And I dont have to walk in Bullshit to smell it. People like you, Jensen, and Little Bobby Ellis all want to hide behind a curtin what you are really doing from prying eyes while all the time swinging your religious bat to try to keep control of others you dont like.

    You sir are a hypocritical fake.

    The Blindman

  81. Troy 2014.03.19


    Why do we have to judge Jensen or even discuss the personal? Why not just discuss his idea (which are not actions) on its merits and make judgment on the idea? If someone observed him being racially discriminatory, then we could discuss and judge his actions.

    Don't anyone get me wrong, as of today, I don't think we should not have laws which penalize racial discrimination. But, John's point notwithstanding, I do hope we someday can abolish most of them and allow non-legal remedies be the sanction. While we might not have had them 100 years ago, we probably needed laws that sanctioned discrimination against the Irish. Who would even think of such a law today as being needed? Think of all the archaic laws that still exist on the books that occasionally get highlighted and then repealed because they are no longer necessary.

    Because racial issues are in my mind wholly irrational, I do envision them disappearing (if for no other reason, in a few generations everyone will be as mixed as the Italians and Irish are now.) I challenge anyone in Sioux Falls to keep track of how many teen couples that are solely Indian, Black, or Hispanic against those that are mixed. I wouldn't be surprised if the mix is at least half.

    To that last point: A few years ago, I read an article/paper on race demographics and how inaccurate they are. A White-Hispanic couple's children are usually demographically demographically reported/measured as Hispanic children. A Black-White couple only black children. A White-Indian couple only Indian children. If we allocated according to reality and created mixed races, every historical racial group is falling as a percentage of the population (even Hispanic) and we will be majority mixed by the end of the century (a short time in history).

    The Census Bureau says 2.1% of South Dakotans (nation 2.4%) are of mixed race. I don't know the real number but because the Census Bureau depends on self-identification (not criticizing but anyone think Obama checked the mixed race category?), I can guarantee you 2.1% is way low from what I know from the kids I grew up with in Pierre and Gettysburg.

    Of the five guys that come to my mind from my high school class who called themselves Indian, I know for sure three of them were part White. And, I can think of at least one I found out was 1/4 Indian a few years ago who I just assumed was white. And, then factor in all the slaves which bore slave children who were impregnated by the slave owner or the "overseer."

    On a lighter note: If God didn't like inter-racial "relations," why is it that people of mixed race are almost always more physically attractive than either of the parents or those of "pure" racial genes? :)

  82. Winston 2014.03.19

    But Troy, we are not there yet, but for some reason Jensen is, that's because he is talking in code. I am not demonizing him, but if he walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then he is a duck….

  83. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.19

    "Why do we have to judge Jensen or even discuss the personal? Why not just discuss his idea (which are not actions."

    This is like playing slow pitch softball. Simple answer, becaue they are elected legislators, not just private citizens.!

    If they were just private citizens, we might just laugh em off as inconsequential. However, they gave up that protection when they went to Pierre to represent the rest of the people in the state of South Dakota.

    "I don't think we should not have laws which penalize racial discrimination. "

    You know what they say about double nagitives?

    The Blindman

  84. Jerry 2014.03.19

    You are spot on about codes Winston. Troy knows them as well and has the ear for the dog whistle. Troy plays the game of innocence when in fact he is clear about what all of this means. Troy, we are onto you, you little spinmeister.

  85. mike from iowa 2014.03.19

    At this point in history,why do we have the need to have conversations like this? Is it because the white ruling class has finally seen the writing on the wall and knows they will soon be minority status in their own country and want to hang on as long as possible? If that is the case,better be sure to stack the judiciary and gerrymander like hell.

  86. Troy 2014.03.19


    I agree. Racial discrimination should still be sanctioned. We aren't there yet but someday I expect we will. And I oppose SB128. I'd love the discussion on both to be about reasons and not demonizing or defending a person.


    Condemn his ideas. Unless you know him, the charge of a racist is most serious and should at least be to some degree based on what one has seen first hand as it goes to the core of one's inner values.

    Regarding the double negative, fair point as it does have a nuanced meaning. I don't think we SHOULD have laws which penalize racial discrimination. I want them to go away and support them until I don't think they are needed.


    Illuminate what inner views I hold on race and make your case I'm a racist or secretly condone/support racism. Otherwise, stuff that crap you are implying in your mouth and swallow it.

  87. Steve Hickey 2014.03.19

    Blindman to me: "You sir are a hypocritical fake."

    Me to Blindman Bill Dithmer: You sir, have no idea who I am or what makes me tick. Your judgments are so far from reality as it relates to me it's not worth stopping by here for dialog any longer. People who disagree with you all get eaten alive on this blog. I'm not one tenth as caustic and expect more from you here.

    Attacking a persons religion, as Roger and others love to do here, is unacceptable and should disqualify any of you from public service in the future. It's like none of you see what you do. It's ugly and a bigotry all it's own. It'd be like me going all broad stroke and condemning Roger for being a witchcraft practicing tribal headhunter. Just because some tribal peoples may or may not fit that bill doesn't mean that's who Roger or his native relatives are. And yet I'm lumped in with ones worst concept of Christianity. It's stupid. No one here is listening and therefore none of you are contributing.

  88. Winston 2014.03.19

    MFI, exactly! Why do you think there is a movement in California by a billionaire to turn California into six states. Well let's see, right now California produces to two liberal Democratic Senators, but if we turn Cali into six states the outcome will probably be 8 Republican Senators and 4 Democratic Senators, plus imagine the impact to the Electoral college as well.

    Do you remember in 2012, when Gov. Perry suggested that the compact between the former Republic of Texas and the United States allowed Texas to turn itself into five individual states if it wanted too. Gee, once again, imagine the eventual outcome of the US Senate races (and even the US House races) and the Electoral college in terms of the five new "Little Texases."

    Jensen's comments are not only code, but they also express the emotional intelligence of one who suffers from "white flight" or should we say "fright."

  89. Jerry 2014.03.19

    Troy, your support of Jensen speaks louder than I could ever illuminate. You are the company you keep, so live with the dog and catch his fleas.

  90. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    It would be very odd if politics were free from the personal. But the laws legislatures write are, of course, very personal.

    For the couple who want to get married, but are denied a license, it's nothing but personal. For the family of the boy who was murdered in Florida, Stand Your Ground is horribly personal. For the SD girl who was impregnated by her father, the lack of abortion options in the state is monstrously personal.

    Of course it's all personal! How can it not be?! The people being personally attacked by Jensen are responding in kind. Of course.

  91. Troy 2014.03.19

    And what support is that?

    That I oppose his view? That I thought his voicing his view belied either a lack of sensitivity to racial realities in our state or naivety that we were in a position to relax these laws? That suggesting we are ready now will send a signal to the real racists this is acceptable behavior? That I think what he said harmed the GOP and doesn't reflect the views of the preponderance of Republicans? That I think it appropriate for other Republican candidates to be asked if they agree with what he said? That I think the grief he brought upon himself is deserved?

    Or the fact that I don't know him, people who know him well (including his Democrat colleagues) aren't calling him a racist, and I think those who say he is a racist directly or imply it are making a rash judgment upon which they don't have enough evidence to make this most serious charge against another person's character?

  92. Jerry 2014.03.19

    Words dude, your words support his words. You go together like peas and carrots.

  93. Troy 2014.03.19


    What words in particular? Make your case.

  94. Nick Nemec 2014.03.19

    Civil Rights laws will always be needed because there will always be bigots. You can't always just go to another gas station nor should you have to. The bigots who would refuse service to someone because of some trait are jerks and will always be with us. To argue otherwise is naive or perhaps pollyannaish.

  95. Nick Nemec 2014.03.19

    And the fact that Jensen and others brought bills to this legislative session to enshrine the right to discriminate in state law is proof the Civil Rights laws are needed and that bigots will always walk among us.

  96. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.19

    Phil Jensen has earned every attack on him, including personal, character and political and it is my hope that more will come. Obviously Jensen's comments and actions are deeply "personal" to me.
    Mr. Hickey, I have never attacked your religion, I don't even know your religion. What I have attacked are Christians that don't behave like Christians when they judge women, gays, and minorities and justify their positions with the use of the Bible or some mythical "worldview".
    Troy and Hickey are in full Republican damage control attempting to lessen Jensen's words and suggesting we don't know him or understand him.
    True, I don't know Jensen personally, but I know his political thinking, Jensen types are a dime a dozen in South Dakota.
    Another symptom of racism and prejudice perpetuated on minorities, women, and the LGBT are the stereotypes. The Rapid City Journal on a near daily basis chooses stories about Indians committing various crimes, and if you read the comment section on the story there are "coded" hate messages.
    If the federal government announces a grant for a tribe or there is an editorial about an Indian issue, you can count on the rats coming out of the gutter.
    Many gays are Christian, not all Indians drink or shoplift, not all blacks like rap music, Indians do pay taxes and not every Indian gets a "government check".
    These perverse stereotypes and others like them lead to the "code" talk Jensen uses and Hickey endorses.
    I understand completely Jensen's comments, what I don't understand are Troy's and Hickey's explanations and justifications.
    It is like the guy that said "yeah, I killed the guy, but I only killed him a little bit".

  97. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.19


    "You sir, have no idea who I am or what makes me tick. Your judgments are so far from reality as it relates to me it's not worth stopping by here for dialog any longer."

    Steve, at least I'm straight up about it. You on the other hand wont admit who, or what you really stand for.

    I stand for complete equality for every living breathing person.I stand for the equality of all races, all sexual orientations, and believe it or not the freedom to bekieve in any religion that a person wants to believe in. I stand for women having 100% control over their bodies without interference from anyone.
    Here's your chance to change my mind Steve. Why not say exactly what you stad for here and now?

    "Attacking a persons religion, as Roger and others love to do here, is unacceptable and should disqualify any of you from public service in the future. It's like none of you see what you do."

    Well let's get somthing straight right now. I'm an equal opportunity religion basher if people try to use those religions for power. That's right I don't care if yiu are a Christian, Jewish, a Muslim, or pray to the goat god, you have no right to push your religion on others.

    The Blindman

  98. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.19

    "People who disagree with you all get eaten alive on this blog. I'm not one tenth as caustic and expect more from you here."

    Steve as long as you continue to palpitize from your Senate seat and sermonnize through legislation you can expect the same. Stop this poor me crap, you are a South Dakota state senator for crying out loud. Pull up those big boy panties and do the work you were elected to do.

    From your cannabalistic blogger on Pass Creek, The Blindman

  99. Douglas Wiken 2014.03.19

    "He and I share the view that religious liberty will soon be a casualty of the gay takeover of America. "

    This level of paranoia or ideological blindness so separates this man from reality, he should seek psychiatric help. Of course, I am not a psychiatrist and don't even play one on TV.

  100. Lynn G. 2014.03.19

    I'm just trying to understand where these legislators are coming from that introduce bills like SB 128 and other bills like it. Phil Jenson may be the focus now but he certainly isn't the only one in the legislature. Where is this fear coming from? The Gay takeover of America or bullying? I get the impression they feel some GLBT bunch of opportunists with chips on their shoulders will go into these businesses like those the scammers that squirt water on the floor of a grocery store, stage a fall and injure themselves to sue the business to make money. It's like they are lurking and waiting for an opportunity.

    Anyone that I've known from the GLBT community from work or wherever seem pretty normal and low key to me. They just want to blend in without drama, feel safe without persecution or discrimination. They would like the same opportunities as anyone else.

    It really saddens me to see this happening. Ironically the party that values smaller government and less interference is trying to pass these laws.

  101. Jerry 2014.03.19

    Troy, All of your words that you use to defend Phil Jensen, so all of your posts on this blog site defending Phil Jensen's position. On this blog site, we all know now what a racist bigot this dude is. His words have confirmed that nationally. He is your boy, and a big part of your club. Accept it like your party does in quiet corners or dark rooms and stop whining. Ya ain't changing minds here on this bozohead, we know what he is and what he stands for.

  102. Troy 2014.03.19


    What words in particular? The manner in which you throw around the word racism with absolutely no support for it trivializes real racism and gives me absolutely no confidence people who like you have the intellectual capacity to understand public policy questions, much less be considered someone who should be taken serious as anything more than an imbecile.

  103. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    This is interesting. Steve, Troy and others are decrying personal attacks and complaining about a lack of respect. Yet they are supporting highly personal and highly public attacks on LBGT folks and people other white guys.

    Make no mistake, attacking the rights of others as free and equal people is indeed an attack. Laughing at the burdens being imposed by them on those not like them, is completely disrespectful and cruel. Paternalistic decision making for capable, fully functional adults is belittling and shaming.

    Absolutely every bit of this topic is personal from the first word of the post. Every word is offensive and personal.

    It is naive and silly to complain about personal attacks. What is happening is well-earned reciprocation.

  104. Steve Hickey 2014.03.19

    This morning I read this comment string and tweeted this: @stevehickey: It's really hard to talk to people who are only able to hear what they want to hear and react irrationally against things you never said.

    Deb is case in point. I'm accused of discriminating against gays. All I've said is respect my deeply held religious beliefs. I've said go be gay, don't expect me to help you be gay. I can't.

  105. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    You know, this is simply the hegemony of old white guys writ large.

    Limit a female's control of her body? Check.

    Use children as political play things? Check.

    Allow public discrimination against LBTG and any not-old-white-guys? Check.

    Obstruct voting for American Indians? Check.

    Limit white guys' reproduction and sexual behavior? Let them endure abusive behavior? Reduce their political participation? Let stores discriminate against white guys?

    H E L L N O ! ! !

    My question is, why in the world would you think the people you are discriminating against should be at all inclined to treat you old white guys with any level of decorum?

    *Old White Guys is used as an intentional pejorative. There are countless numbers of pale gentlemen I know and love.

  106. Jerry 2014.03.19

    Apparently, English is not your first language and you do not understand what "all of your words" actually mean. I want to make this clear, so I will write slowly. You have made a choice to defend your brother in arms for his racist and bigoted remarks, so that makes you a willing accomplice. You can deny all you want Troy, but it is plain to see, you feel the same way. Oh and I will just say this about the imbecile remark, I'm rubber and your glue.

  107. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    Of course you are discriminating against LBTG folks Steve. What you are approving of is the very definition of discrimination, regardless of whatever "reason" you may come up with. Your response can be summed up simply:

    "It's not because I say it's not."

    Not good enough.

  108. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    Jerry, that's funny!

  109. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.19

    This is for Steve Hickey,

    "It's almost as if The Bible was written by racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, sexually frustrated men, instead of a loving God. Weird". Ricky Gervais

  110. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    Roger, hahahaha!

  111. grudznick 2014.03.19

    Ms. Geelsdottir/, you are much younger than I and I appreciate your affections from afar. Sometimes I think you understand where I am coming from like a train, but sometimes I think I just don't get clear enough to you like not a train, but I love your love anyway.

  112. Rick 2014.03.19

    Rev Hickey wrote: 'I'm defending Phil here and on DWC because I know how it feels to try and communicate one thing and all people hear is what they want to hear. He and I share the view that religious liberty will soon be a casualty of the gay takeover of America. Why can't the tolerance crowd tolerate those not like them?'

    Why can't the 'tolerance crowd' tolerate those not like them? Because you're part of the crowd that wants to marginalize those not like YOU.

  113. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.19

    Thanks Grudz, I think.

    I do listen and pay attention, and try to understand. I think you are often a smart ass, but I don't mind that.

  114. Jenny 2014.03.20

    Oh, all you old white guys, I think you all need to lighten up and realize the world is changing, and try not to fear these changing times so negatively. Your party will only continue to lose young people if ya'll don't ease up on individual rights and equality. Here's a song for Hickey, Troy Jones and Ol' Phil Jensen to lighten things up. We all know men are more lenient and understanding on lesbian relationships, and you know what I mean guys. Personally I think all love between consenting adults is a very beautiful peaceful side of humanity and should not be oppressed Enjoy the fun song, guys!

  115. Jenny 2014.03.20

    At middle school dances in my MN town, girls are dancing with girls and boys are dancing slow songs with boys, and I think it's beautiful, what's the big deal? And no one is bullying them! Really it's no big deal here. Times are progressing here, and it's exciting! Why hide who you really are, and I proudly tell my daughter she can love whoever she wants to. I only hope and I know you all have kids, Troy Jones, Hickey and Jensen that you would still love your child if they ever happen to be gay and that you would not be ashamed and support them as only truly loving parents would.

  116. mike from iowa 2014.03.20

    Mr Hickey,you need to read Article VI of the Constitution-something about the Constitution being the supreme Law of the Land, the laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. Then there is the part about no religious Test being required as a qualification to any officer or public Trust under the United States. As an American citizen I am not bound by your religious beliefs which to me are no more than non-sense. You are honor bound/duly sworn to uphold the Constitution-not your religious beliefs. You cannot serve two masters,which is an excellent reason for separation of church and state. If your religious convictions interfere with your abilities to uphold the Constitution,I guess we both know the right and honorable road for you to take. This goes for all pols that place their god(s) above their elected duties. And by god I also mean Grover Norquist-for those who pledged no new taxes ever.

  117. Steve Hickey 2014.03.20

    Roger the Headhunter (see above comment) while saying he never attacks my religion goes after the Bible again and Mike calls it nonsense. Rev Deb laughs. All while scolding me for marginalizing others when what I actually said was go be gay and leave me out if it . This is a waste of my time.

  118. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.20

    Watch "All We Need Is Love" on YouTube
    All We Need Is Love:

    What the hell I'm feeling the love this morning. This is for all my earth hater friends, Phil, Steve, Little Bobby Ellis, and Gordo, enjoy.

    The Blindman

  119. Troy 2014.03.20


    I never defended his remarks or his view. I disagree vehemently with both. All I have said is that his remarks doesn't make him a racist as he also said he minds racial discrimination a wrong.

  120. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.20

    Watch "We Can't Make It Here Anymore - by James Mcmurtry" on YouTube
    We Can't Make It Here Anymore - by James Mcmurtry:

    This is what your party left behind. Here's a clue, it's about jobs, and it's about war.

    Well I was doing so good, then BAAM the Rev started blaming others for the fleecing of his flock.

    Mood swings
    Tea Baggers
    Bad Karma

    The Blindman

  121. Jerry 2014.03.20

    Of course you have Troy, you defend those comments of your boy Phil Jensen with your heart and whatever soul you have. Nice try though to duck and dive, but we understand your position. We understand that in order for you to play nice with others in that cesspool of a sandbox you call your party now, you must defend and protect. The good news for South Dakotans that have an honest heart, is that Phil Jensen and the rest of you knuckle draggers have been called out nationally in print and air. I imagine those that are in the tourism industry are thinking fond thoughts of you and yours whenever they see your kind of politics presented to the masses. Keep up your defense of Phil Jensen Troy, we all enjoy seeing you expose your behind.

  122. Nick Nemec 2014.03.20

    Bigots always say "I'm not a racist/homophobe/sexist, but...."

    Maybe Jensen isn't a racist, maybe he's just really, really stupid. Stupid enough to say stuff that gets picked up by the national media and reflects badly on South Dakota and has the potential to damage the local tourist economy his district depends on.

    And I'll argue he's most certainly a homophobe as evidenced by his sponsorship of certain legislation and the statements he made defending it.

  123. Troy 2014.03.20


    Please show everyone here a single word I said above in defense of his position or what he said. Just go up and cut and paste. Anything.

  124. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.20

    Bill Maher recently said that the "new racism is having to say you're not a racist".

    If Jensen, et al, aren't racist, why do they say and do (like trying to legalize discrimination) racist things?

    To the logical world, this is just mind boggling, you make a bigoted comment and expect us to think we misinterpreted it and than garner support from others saying "yeah, he said that, tried legislating it, but he is not a racist".

    Steve, one more time. I did not attack your religion, I don't even know what religion or kind of pastor you are. You could be Fred Phelps, Jr. for all I know. What I have and will consistently attack are Christians that behave in an un-Christian manner or by legalizing or attempting to legalize any form of discrimination.
    Steve, you do the difference between religion and Christianity, do you not?

  125. Jeff 2014.03.20

    So how does someone who promotes not doing business with the KKK because they are racists be considered a racist?

  126. Jerry 2014.03.20

    As you are not in command of the English language, I am forced to submit the following site to help you understand the word called word.

    Usually, testing is done on Fridays, but as you seem to need a little more time to comprehend what words actually are and how the meaning of those are interpreted by those who read them, I think I shall give you a longer period of time to study.

    Feel free to cut and paste what Merriam and Webster (not the pleasant city) describe, with great gusto. While you are getting the feel how a dictionary works, kindly take a look at the words racism and bigotry, perhaps that may help you as well. We can only hope.

  127. Troy 2014.03.20

    Hypothetical Discussion:

    Let's say a guy named Nate Nimitz supports the policies also supported by Planned Parenthood, which in its history said contraception and abortion would result in better human genetics, stop the growth of the less races, and ensure racial purity.

    Planned Parenthood provides and profits from abortion services. Abortion is the termination of the life of an unborn baby.

    Thus, Nate thinks the termination of the life of an unborn baby is a good thing, it should be encouraged as a remedy of a host of "problems. "

    Maybe this is in fact true but it certainly bad logic because maybe the above assertion is untrue because Nate thinks the legal prohibition of abortion creates Constitutional/privacy/individual rights issues which transcend the killing of the baby.

    To discern which is Nate's deeper view solely from not supporting legal prohibition of abortion would be unfair and require logic/evidence leaps.

    Most people who defend the right for women to terminate their pregnancy don't also assert that it is a good thing in and of itself but assert other tactics should be pursued (sex education & contraception being most prevalent) so abortions are less common/necessary.

    The assertion Jensen is a racist or homophobe solely based on advocating this public policy is as bad of logic and require evidence leaps as it would to accuse Nate of believing abortion is and of itself, for its own sake a good thing.

    I hear all the time from those who support access to abortion saying "I'm morally opposed to abortion but I don't support legal prohibition." Jensen too said he was opposed to racial discrimination and found it disgusting (which is stronger than "morally opposed").

    So, if we are to take these people at their word (and not call them promoters of killing babies), why shouldn't Jensen get the same consideration?

  128. Jerry 2014.03.20

    How about this? Lets say one of the contributing editors of the Bible, wrote something like this:

    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
    Gen 2:7

    or this:

    By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
    Psalms 33:6

    Or, how about this:

    9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army...
    13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

    Ezekiel 37 9-10, 13-14

    How can you Troy, or your sidekick Hickey even dare to speak of the unborn being killed, when they have not drawn a breath of air. How can you kill, when it has not drawn breath, according to the Good Book. How then, in that same Good Book does it not describe the Ordeal to perform a chemical abortion as a law in Biblical terms?

    Of course, these are words that challenge you and your ilk, but they are words.

  129. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.20

    You have omitted, maybe intentionally, a key element in your hypothetical discussion

    Regardless of the position you take on abortion, it is none of the GOP or tea party's or man's business what women do with their bodies therefore you're hypothetical discussion is just that, hypothetical.

  130. Troy 2014.03.20


    Your comment is supports to my analogy/hypothetical. Thank you. As I was saying, it is not just to impute to a person views of others or extreme views just by virtue of their position on a policy.

  131. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.20

    No it doesn't Troy, it couldn't support your analogy since it wasn't included.

  132. Winston 2014.03.20

    But pro-choice people are not shamed of their position and they know their position, and they see it as a realistic position. Where as those who defend Jensen know in reviewing and trying to justify it from a libertarian standpoint that his position is not a realistic one. So in fairness to Jensen's intelligence, he logically had to be speaking in code to the racists amongst us…. That is the difference between a pro-choice person and Jensen and his comments, and what makes Troy's analogy flawed.

  133. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.20

    Hypothetical, generally I hate to use them, reality is hypothetical enough for me, thank you.

    Between 2000 - 2010 there were an estimated 105,654 unjustified homicides using firearms, I'd expect a number of those were children and young adults.

    Just as Troy and Steve would label anybody that contributes to Planned Parenthood or advocates for a woman's right of choice a baby killer, do I now label anybody that supports the 2nd Amendment a murderer and should be held accountable for all those homicides?

  134. Troy 2014.03.20

    So, since this Nate supports women being able to terminate a pregnancy, I can assume Nate thinks terminating pregnancy is good "in and of itself, for its own sake" because it will improve the genetics of the races, decrease the growth of the "lesser" races, insure racial purity, is not of the view of "morally opposed to abortion but doesn't want its prohibition," and should be encouraged as a solution for a host of individual and societal problems?

    That Nate is a heck of a guy.

  135. larry kurtz 2014.03.20


  136. Winston 2014.03.20

    You can assume all you want. Regardless of your assumption "Nate" still has another potential realistic viewpoint which is actually (rather ironically) libertarian in nature, which he can be at peace with regardless of your assumption.

    Those who defend Jensen are either saying he has a naive "pie in the sky" attitude about race relations and libertarian views, else he is a logical person who spoke in code…. But please don't assume that "logical" warrants the coded message….unless you are at peace with racism….

  137. Nick Nemec 2014.03.20

    What I don't understand is why there are those who defend Jensen and try to rationalize his statements. Even Governor DD has backed away from them, albeit not as forcefully as he might have.

    Troy, since you seem to think the day will come when racism no longer exists in the US and the Civil Rights laws will no longer be needed would you care to venture a timeline?

  138. Troy 2014.03.20


    Yes, Nate can say his reason is "privacy" or other libertarian arguments but I know he is just talking code that he is gleeful that we are stopping all those Black babies from being born, allowing him to select the gender and eye color of his children, and even pass laws that say "if you can't afford a baby, you have to get an abortion." We all know those were the reasons why abortion was first advanced by Planned Parenthood and why states passed laws making it illegal. He is just spinning when he says it is about privacy. Who is he fooling?

    This is exactly the same logic used against Jensen, even though in his initial discussion he said he found racial discrimination disgusting and thought the market would be a more effective sanction for racial discrimination.

    Winston, I said in the beginning too many people I respect said that he isn't a racist and so far nobody has said "I've met Phil and heard him say clearly racist things in private" so I think the charge of racist is unsubstantiated, is rash judgment, and calumny.

    Yet I firmly disagreed with him for exactly what you said: If he isn't a racist, he is either naive about the discrimination still in society, is insensitive to the discrimination that is out there, or has unwarranted expectation of the market being able to provide sufficient sanction.

    If it is ok to disregard Jensen's direct statement that "racial discrimination is wrong" and project onto him KKK code, there is no room to ever have a discussion with a person you disagree with on any issue. Always just easier to say they are talking in code to the basest elements on the issue. Don't have to engage your mind and use reason.

    Personally, I'm not that cynical about the motives of those with whom I disagree and nor do I consider myself that omniscient to know they are speaking in "code." That said, this discussion has been very discouraging to me.

  139. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.20


    Jensen's words and actions have been very discouraging to me.

    Just one simple question Troy, if Jensen isn't a racist, a bigot or prejudice, why was he the prime sponsor of SB128 that clearly was an attempt legalize discrimination?

    Was he just being naive and ill informed, did he not understand someone else's world view? What made him do that?

    It seems that the public lashing and the legislative defeat he took over SB128 he would have learned something. Instead he choose to keep the issue alive and make it worse by his recent comments, of which the governor doesn't agree with.

  140. Bill Fleming 2014.03.20

    To Troy's point, I think Rand Paul and his dad got themselves into a similar pickle when they said they objected in principle to the Civil Rights act and the whole "lunch counter" thing (for libertarian, free market reasons).

    So did Joe Biden for that matter when he was running against Obama in the primary and quipped that he thought he was very "clean and articulate." (Explicit. ...implicit perhaps was "for a black guy.")

    We could all probably do well to cut each other a little slack, because it's almost 100% certain that each and every one of us will say something completely off-base and stupid every once in a while. Just thinking out loud over here.

  141. Bill Fleming 2014.03.20

    To Roger's point, taking ALL of a person's remarks and actions together in a broader context is a much better bellwether of one's overall disposition.

  142. Winston 2014.03.20

    Troy, you need to admit that your crafty analogy made Jensen either an idiot or a racist, while your "Nate" is either a baby killer or a person with a realistic libertarian view point on abortion. And as long as an individual has a realistic potential intent as an option for their view point, then they really do not need to fear nor defend their position beyond the obvious…. But unlike "Nate," poor Jensen is in a paradoxical situation further illuminated by his apologists.

    I am pro-choice, because of it people have at times called me a "baby killer" and/or pro-abortion, but I know neither is true because I am at peace with my libertarian viewpoint towards the abortion issue; and can effectively articulate and defend it. But if my libertarian views on abortion were not realistic both from a policy standpoint and its implementation, then and then only would my detractors be right in calling me the former names, unless I pled an awaken idiocy.

  143. mike from iowa 2014.03.20

    What Jensen said wasn't exactly "Tippecanoe or Tyler,too" but it probably gives you a better idea where he stands on the issues. Twould be nice if they just own up and issue some sort of apology where necessary and cut the baloney about being taken out of context or denying they said what they said to begin with. If you are a pol,your foot is going into your mouth sooner or later. You just can't help yourselves.

  144. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.20

    Mr. Fleming, I'm always glad to hear you thinking out loud. Come be louder.

  145. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.20

    Troy, you ask Jerry to show how you in any way are defending Phil Jensen's position. Permit me to intrude with this response:

    Phil Jensen has staked out a position that we should get rid of civil rights laws. (He's also got that thing about drug testing poor welfare recipients but not rich ones, which has racist overtones and which should not be forgotten in the general discussion of Jensen's fitness for office.) Lots of people are attacking that position. You are trying to deflect at least some of the fire being rained down on that position with, among other statements, your explanation that Phil has this well-thought-out ideal of a Gene Roddenberry society in which mankind has evolved so far from primitive concepts like racism that we don't need laws to protect Lt. Uhura's right to go where she wants on shore leave, whether with Lt. Sulu or Nurse Chapel. You're ascribing to him a position, and you're offering some defense for it.

    You're wrong on two levels.

    (1) I don't think Jensen has thought far enough to formulate that idealist position; I think he's just slapped together some things he's heard into a shoddy disguise for his own gay panic/non-white panic. He doesn't articulate why government restrictions against racism are more detestable than racism itself. His hypocrisy on welfare-drug-testing ("You got me there [ha ha ha]") shows he hasn't thought his positions through to their logical conclusions and he doesn't want to think them through that far. The degree of his racism is debatable; the degree of his thoughtlessness, as evidenced by the text in the RCJ interview, far less so.

    (2) Jensen was speaking in the present tense, not the future. He didn't say, "Someday when intermarriage blends us all into one happy human family, we should eliminate those obsolete civil rights laws." He told RCJ that we should eliminate government restrictions on discrimination and let the free market protect civil rights right now, when (do we agree?) racism remains a problem and when civil rights laws are far from obsolete. To advocate removing those protections indicates either a desire to facilitate and protect racist behavior from necessary punishment or a failure to understand basic facts about our society... a misunderstanding that as I suggest in the original post is based on an insular obtuseness, an inability to look past his own comfortable white majoritarian skin and see what it is like to be not-white.

    Phil has waddle.
    Phil has quack.
    It's hard not to think
    That duck don't like black.

  146. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.20

    (Post went up Sunday; you folks are still going at it on Thursday. I'm impressed. Seriously. Thank you. Carry on.)

  147. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.20

    And thank you Cory for providing for such a challenging debate regardless of where we stand on issues. The best part is not having my comments deleted as they usually are on the Rapid City Journal websites.

    It is always good to hear from Bill Fleming; he, Wayne Gilbert and I used to have keep the wingnuts on Mount Blogmore in line, a nearly impossible chore, but we tried.

  148. Troy 2014.03.21

    First, good to see you Bill. I've been thinking you have been taken over by doodling and lost all interest in politics.

    But, finally a good question that doesn't presume Jensen is evil but approaches it with an inquiring, truly liberal (in the classical sense) mind.

    There is a natural tension between conservative and libertarian thought. Conservative thought is similar to liberal (current political usage) in it allows the use of government policy to achieve certain social policy/common good objectives. Libertarian thought says social/common good goals should be achieved by the free action of societies participants.

    On its own, Jensen's suggestion on racial discrimination could be either Libertarian thought (non-conservative), a lack of compelling concern about discrimination as in "not significantly prevalent to warrant legal sanction" or bigoted thought.

    When you look at his suggestion on ending legal sanction of racial discrimination and codifying that there be no legal sanction of same-sex discrimination you begin to see a consistent movement to Libertarianism or bigotry thought. The "not compelling evidence" goes away (too long and close to libertarian to explain so I hope I can just stipulate this but also could be conservative thought).

    In the end, it is wholly reasonable to conclude Jensen is motivated by Libertarian thought on both and reaching a bigotry conclusion requires more insight into him as a person. There is a reality that people who not only know him (including his Democrat colleagues) aren't jumping on the "racist" bandwagon and in fact, while being vehement about opposition to his views are being equally vehement in defending the person. The easy thing would be to let him hang on both.

    In my mind, justice (giving another his due) is to be cautious on the character assassination unless there is some corroboration of what he holds in his heart by his action while being as firm and outraged on the policy as one sees fit. Plus, he should be given credit for what people who know him (many of who are liberals) know about his personal life in this matter which is at the heart of the defense of the person of Senator Jensen.

    But, Cory, you bring up a good point. Another piece of information to consider (proves nothing with regard to him being a racist so maybe not relevant), after the beat down he took for sponsoring SB128 would have given a wise person pause from even going here.

    I will say for myself going here was stupid., stupidity for which he is paying a very big and appropriate price.

  149. Nick Nemec 2014.03.21

    If Jensen was truly motivated by libertarian ideals he would have proposed SB128 without the qualifying fig leaf of religion. Under the proposal Cory, a professed atheist, would not have been able to bar LGBT folks from his business because he doesn't have religious beliefs. Jenson's own defense of the bill always centered on the religious beliefs of the business owner.

  150. Troy 2014.03.21


    Fair comment. Certainly belies some fuzzy, inconsistent thinking between Libertarian and Conservative thought but to harp on it :), it doesn't translate into proof of bigotry (and in my mind, even support).

    Bigotry in my mind is a problem of the heart and not the mind (capacity to reason). I know liberals and conservatives who hold "rational" positions who are bigots. And, I know liberals and conservatives who hold "irrational" positions who are not bigots. I know liberals and conservatives who are smart and informed and I know liberals and conservatives who are uninformed and stupid. The test of bigotry is not their positions or their capacity to think or curiosity to be informed but their heart which requires intimate and direct relationship to discern.

    Sidenote: "Rational" is in quotes to mean the person can articulate reasoned argument. "Irrational" is in quotes to mean the argument is convoluted. It doesn't mean I agree with them or their rationale. And, the "rational" person could be stupid, uninformed but can talk smooth while the "irrational" person can be smart and informed but struggles with articulation.

  151. Bill Dithmer 2014.03.21

    The Rev sure looks like he is trying to do damage control. For someone that is trying to make the public think that he Steve Hickey was out front leading the charge on those issues is hard to believe. Why did it take until now to start talking about it?

    A word here and there doesn't make a man a leader. When he has been so outspoken on other things, why now if this was of any importance to him all the along? His actions and his words don't match up.

    The Blindman

  152. Lynn G. 2014.03.21

    Robin Page is running for Phil Jensen's seat. Is Steve Hickey up for re-election?

  153. PrairieLady 2014.03.21

    No matter how you want to spin this, it has put our flyover state on the map. Regardless of what he meant or did not mean, look how it is perceived by people all over the US and internationally. Just put Phil Jensen SD in any search engine.
    One reply to a comment I made on a news site made me think. The reply said: I feel your pain, but you deserve what you get when you vote those people in.

  154. Nick Nemec 2014.03.21

    The entire legislature is up for re-election.

  155. Troy 2014.03.21

    Phil Jensen has said he has nothing more to say, his words speak for themselves.

    I have wasted a lot of time defending this guy. I regret I did it.

    Think of him as you want. I have no idea if he is a bigot but he definitely is arrogant, selfish, and stupid.

  156. mike from iowa 2014.03.21

    Didn't the Scotus basically say racism was ended,therefore we didn't need provisions of the VRA because more Blacks were voting than ever before? Seems to be another overly-simplistic take on reality,unless of course the number of voting age Blacks has remained constant.

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