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Rounds Touts Rationing Panels While Making His Living Rationing Health Care

Last Friday Kevin Woster wrote a pretty good column about Republican Senate candidate Mike Rounds's ambiguous conservatism. Woster mentions Rapid City Councilor Bonny Petersen's challenge to Rounds's specious reframing of "death panels" and "rationing panels":

Rounds says he frets about what many in his party call “death panels” and he refers to as rationing panels — or government committees that could withhold authorization for certain procedures in certain situations, possibly with life-and-death results.... Petersen says treatment panels are in play already, with insurance companies that decide what they will and won’t cover and how much they’ll pay.

“The insurance companies have those committees themselves,” Petersen said today, in a follow-up conversation about her discussion with Rounds. “Why shouldn’t the government have them?”

Petersen argues that the key life-and-death issues are really focused on the last weeks of someone’s life, typically an old someone with profound ailments who has played out all reasonable medical options and is terminal. It’s just a question of whether the end will come without invasive procedures that can be painful and de-humanizing and — well, yes, expensive — and do nothing to extend life [Kevin Woster, "Hey Honey, Does Obamacare Cover Treatment for Existential Dread?" Politics in KELOLand, 2014.08.08].

Kevin had better be careful: if the KELO notices he's using words like existential on their website, they'll give Kevin a stern talking-to.

Also giving Rounds a stern talking-to is leading Democratic thinker Nick Nemec, who unloads in Woster's comment section:

Mike Rounds is deliberately obtuse in regards to the Affordable Care Act. Don Rounds is not going to be denied care, nor is any other senior citizen on Medicare. To claim that is possible is demagoguery of the rankest sort aimed at scaring senior citizens and their families.

The people who are really being denied care are those who will not be covered by Medicaid because leaders of the Republican Party, like Rounds, refuse to accept the Federal money to expand Medicaid. That is the real, and only, government death panel in existence, and Mike knows it. But, those people are low income so they don’t matter [Nick Nemec, comment to Woster, 2014.08.10].

Expanding state medical coverage has saved lives. States fully playing ball with the Affordable Care Act are seeing more people getting health care coverage so they don't have to worry quite as much about dying from untreated maladies.

And dang it, Mike, there are no death panels. There isn't even a rationing panel. The Independent Advisory Board, the one panel created by the ACA that political liars from Sarah Palin to Mike Rounds have inflated into scare tactics, is explicitly forbidden by the ACA from rationing... unlike insurers like Mike Rounds, who has bought his airplanes and riverside house with money made by rationing health care.

Woster heard Rounds repeat his tired story about losing sleep over the fake fear that the ACA would take Medicare away from his dad. And Mike Rounds wants to boost his political fortune by backing policies that would take health coverage away from even more Americans. If you're not rich (and that's most of you), you should be losing sleep over the prospect of Mike Rounds turning the Senate into a death panel, or a rationing panel, just like his business.


  1. jerry 2014.08.12

    Bonny Peterson and Nick Nemec are absolutely correct in that denying Medicaid Expansion is the "death panel". We know that there will be a few dozen South Dakotans that Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard will kill literally with their stance on the Medicaid Expansion. The fact is that South Dakota stands to gain some 3 BILLION dollars with a pittance of a cost of investment to help keep nursing homes open and functioning properly with the main focus on providing life giving healthcare for our working poor. The influx of this money could also help to allow our teachers a wage increase and to make small city and county governments function again without the nonsense of an "opt out" program.

    Doing or saying anything otherwise is bullshit and these assassins know this, they just do not want the proletariat to catch on.

  2. lesliengland 2014.08.12

    repubs win the senate and the ACA is the 1st target

  3. jerry 2014.08.12

    You are correct on that. But think of the fact that Vermont will have already had their universal healthcare in place by that time. The rest of the intelligent states will also be ready to do the same. So in the end, time will mark the difference between fiscal responsibility and sucking the hind teat of indifference. The red states will continue to operate in the red, appropriate name for those states like us, with the only money made coming from gifts of the central federal government. As long as we allow the ridiculous republican governing tactics to continue, the longer we can sit on the sidelines and watch the economic world slip by us while we bitch and moan about it. Corruption is so much easier than work.

  4. barry freed 2014.08.12

    Susan Wismer should put a Medicaid Expansion op-ed in the RCJ. In it, she should say: "I will expand Medicaid to the minimum wage working people of South Dakota and I will end it the day the Feds don't keep their end of the deal, as I, the Governor, have the power to do."

  5. Nick Nemec 2014.08.12

    Judging by the lack of discussion on this thread, a topic of actual importance to South Dakotans, it's come to me that we need to figure out some way to tie it into the debate on who is a true Christian, the nature of marriage, abortion, and guns.

  6. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    "The people who are really being denied care are those who will not be covered by Medicaid"

    Nick, you are using false fear tactics to promote coveting. Even the 21 illegal communists from Central America will not be denied care.

    There that should liven up this thread. All it takes is a heavy dose of truth.

  7. Craig 2014.08.12

    Since when is caring about your fellow man considered "coveting"? This isn't a desire to take for ourselves that which is not ours, and I for one receive no direct benefit from Medicaid expansion. It is merely a benefit to those who are in need, and my private insurance coverage won't change merely because I suppose Medicaid expantion to those who are in desperate need of healthcare.

    If wanting others to remain healthy and prosper is wrong, then I suspect even your Jesus himself would be guilty of coveting in your eyes Steve.

    As to being denied care, I think you're confused about what can be denied. Although it is true if someone enters an ER after an automobile accident or while suffering from appendicitis they will be treated rather than turned away, it is also true that those without health insurance are routinely denied preventative care. This means in many cases they aren't able to receive a relatively low cost treatment for a condition until that condition worsens and they end up in the ER. This can be anything from diabetes to a thyroid condition to an infection all the way down to influenza or a cut that just doesn't seem to heal.

    Our nation's hospitals and clinics turn people away each and every day due to their inability to pay and/or lack of insurance. To pretend this does not happen is dishonest at best. Nobody seems to care about those who lack preventative medicine provided they aren't included in that group, but the sad reality is it costs us (as a society) much more to treat these individuals in the ER than it would to treat them in a clinic setting.

    The insurance companies have already figured this out... which is why so many of them cover preventative annual checkups 100% with no co-pay and why the copayment for an ER visit is often $100-$300 while the co-pay for a clinic visit is $20-$35. They also often offer discounts or other incentives to engage in a health management program for those who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, or other managable conditions.

    The insurance companies incentivize preventative medicine - not because they care, but because it helps their bottom line. When our state suggests it is too costly to expand Medicaid, what they are really saying (beyond the fact they are unable to properly calculate societal impact) is that they value their budget dollars more than they value the healthcare of their citizens.

    Not only are these people denied care, but it seems they are also denied representation in our state government. To think this happens in a state where so many self-identify as Christian is irony at work, but serves as yet another example of how the actions of the religious don't match what they preach on Sunday mornings.

  8. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    Craig, I said "promote coveting". Nick should then say denied "preventative treatments" instead of denying "care". As you said, those who need emergency care get it. Those should be cheap enough to afford without coveting from your neighbors.

    " To think this happens in a state where so many self-identify as Christian is irony at work"

    It is a violation of Biblical Christian principles to promote coveting, there is no irony. What we have here is fear mongering used for political gain. But I do agree that Rounds is doing the same thing. Here is just another example of dysfunction and deceptions in politics.

  9. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    "but serves as yet another example of how the actions of the religious don't match what they preach on Sunday mornings."

    How do you know Biblical Christians are not donating to those who have health issues in their church? That is what we are called to do, not tell the poor person to vote Democrat so their rich atheist neighbors can pay for it. That is promotion of coveting. And do you think those rich atheists will make it to heaven Craig because the Republicans expand Medicaid?

  10. lesliengland 2014.08.12

    sib, the estimated 30-70 deaths occurring in sd right now are from your party's withholding Medicaid expansion, just like you shut down the government. cite your truth or stfu

  11. lesliengland 2014.08.12

    hahaha-denied preventative treatment vs. denied care. repub spin.

  12. lesliengland 2014.08.12

    sibs party would torture the 21 communists. christ!!

  13. Craig 2014.08.12

    "Craig, I said "promote coveting"."

    Semantics. You are suggesting we shouldn't support the expansion of Medicaid because it is equivalent to promoting coveting. That seems to suggest anyone who supports the idea of the expansion is promoting coveting, however I believe the Jesus written about in your Bible would do the exact same thing. I somehow doubt Jesus would say people should suffer merely because they aren't in a position to receive adequate healthcare (and adequate healthcare IS preventative medicine).

    "How do you know Biblical Christians are not donating to those who have health issues in their church?"

    Because if they were, we wouldn't have the issues with inadequate and underfunded healthcare. The majority of our state identifies as Christian, the majority of our state votes Republican, the majority of Republicans do not support the expansion of Medicaid - clearly there is a disconnect.

    "And do you think those rich atheists will make it to heaven Craig because the Republicans expand Medicaid?"

    I'm not concerned with your idea of the afterlife - I'm focused upon the here and now, and what I know is that people are suffering because they lack adequate healthcare. We can do something about this - it merely takes courage and the desire to put our fellow human beings ahead of the almighty dollar.

    The next time you see a payout to a sexual abuse victim or a marble floor installed in the foyer of a church ask yourself what they truly value. Is it really people?

  14. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    "I believe the Jesus written about in your Bible would do the exact same thing"

    No Jesus of the Bible does not promote coveting.

    "The majority of our state identifies as Christian"

    I said "Biblical Christian". That does not include the CINOs, with their fancy churches. Nick, how much healthcare could be provided if the Vatican had an auction and donated the proceeds to the poor?

  15. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    From 1 Corinthians 6:

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

    So Craig, how many of the poor not receiving Medicaid are abusing their body with illegal drugs, sugar and processed food, and not taking care the temple of the Holy Spirit with exercise? And you think the Christian thing to do is to promote the idea that these people should covet from their rich neighbors in order to obtain preventative care?

  16. Tim 2014.08.12

    Sibson, if you feel the need to preach, please do it in church, not here.

  17. mike from iowa 2014.08.12

    Face the "truth" Sibby. You'll never dazzle any of us with brilliance. Go to Plan B-baffle 'em with bullshit.

  18. Nick Nemec 2014.08.12

    There are South Dakotans with diabetes who are going without needed drug treatments, but will someday end up in the emergency room with a septic foot needing emergency amputation. Some would rather pay for the emergency amputation and a lifetime on disability rather than the cheaper option of drugs and regular checkups for a working, tax paying citizen. I support the latter, the SD Republican Party and their leaders prefer the former.

  19. larry kurtz 2014.08.12

    Curious whether Kathy Sibson would agree with you, Mr. Nemec.

  20. jerry 2014.08.12

    There goes Sibson again with his bullshit meter on full bore. I do not believe that I have ever heard another human being so ignorant in my life. Sibson, you and your kind have made religion the laughing stock it now is. Now find yourself a boyfriend and consider yourself lucky you have health insurance.

  21. JeniW 2014.08.12

    Steve, I am sure that there are probably people who think you live in a "fancy" house, and over-indulge in luxuries such as having non-essentials like having a computer, being hooked up to the internet, having a telephone and/or cell phone, maybe a TV with more than four channels, and etc.

    Would you be willing to give up all of those things so that you can donate the proceeds to the "Biblical Christians" who are struggling?

    If you are not willing to do so, or have not, why should the Vatican do so?

  22. grudznick 2014.08.12

    I always imagine Mr. Sibby the way I first saw him, brushed pony tail sitting in his spartan room with a quill in his hand, a paper cut on his nose, and a smile on his face. He was happier then.

  23. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    "Would you be willing to give up all of those things so that you can donate the proceeds to the "Biblical Christians" who are struggling?'

    There are Christian healthcare plans that cost 150 for annul administrative costs and the you send $150 a month to a fellow Christian to pay for medical costs. To get into the plan a pastor has to confirm that you are a Christian. See how much less medical costs are for those who live a Biblical Christian lifestyle? Obamacare does not subsidize those costs, but will Obamacare make them illegal?

  24. Steve Sibson 2014.08.12

    JeniW, sad that those of you who promote coveting, including Pope Francis, do so as they exempt themselves.

    Nick, how many doses of insulin could the Vatican wealth buy?

  25. Jenny 2014.08.12

    Sibby, you're kind of like the old, crazed uncle at the family reunions that nobody wants to talk to.

  26. Jenny 2014.08.12

    The one that goes off on religion 24/7.

  27. Nick Nemec 2014.08.12

    If I remember correctly Steve's "Christian healthcare plan" was outed a few years back as an illegal, unregulated insurance scam. Naive people thought they had "insurance" and it turned out they had nothing.

    Why should the Vatican wealth pay for insurance for US citizens? Shouldn't that be the responsibility of US citizens?

  28. JeniW 2014.08.12

    There are Christian healthcare plans that cost 150 for annul administrative costs and the you send $150 a month to a fellow Christian to pay for medical costs. To get into the plan a pastor has to confirm that you are a Christian. See how much less medical costs are for those who live a Biblical Christian lifestyle?

    That is awesome!! $1,950.00 per year. Does that cover every condition, and every treatment and devices, such as hearing aids, eye glasses, treatment for cancer and other chronic conditions? Does it cover all the expenses of a newborn to be in NICU for three months?

  29. JeniW 2014.08.12

    "JeniW, sad that those of you who promote coveting, including Pope Francis, do so as they exempt themselves."

    My point is that when people criticize churches for having "fancy" buildings, they are really condemning the people who knowingly and freely make donations with their own money to make that happen.

    Just as there are people who condemn people for donating to their churches, those donors could just as easily condemn non-donors for how non-donors spend their money on non-essentials.

  30. Craig 2014.08.12

    Steve: "So Craig, how many of the poor not receiving Medicaid are abusing their body with illegal drugs, sugar and processed food, and not taking care the temple of the Holy Spirit with exercise? And you think the Christian thing to do is to promote the idea that these people should covet from their rich neighbors in order to obtain preventative care?"

    I understand you can use accusations that others are substance abusers, chronic over eaters, or simply lazy as a way to ignore them, but that tells us a lot more about your lack of compassion than it does about the thousands of citizens who fall below the poverty line.

    You like sweeping generalizations because it affords you the opportunity to ignore the single mother working full time who gets no health insurance for herself or her children. You can ignore the family struggling to pay the rent after the father lost his job and the family medical plan due to outsourcing.

    You can pretend the retail worker at Walmart who is never allowed to work more than 30 hours a week so they don't have to offer her insurance is lazy even though she picks up two or three shifts a week at a local bar in order to afford daycare for her son. Even though her combined income from both jobs still means she is making less than a living wage and even though the state offers insurance coverage for her son, she doesn't qualify because she makes too much money.

    That is reality Steve. You just feel the need to put everyone in a bucket because you are incapable of seeing them for who they really are and since you don't find yourself in that position you feel everyone should be able to take care of themselves. All you offer is labels and stereotypes... Not the compassion and caring your religion seems to cherish.

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person Steve... your behavior does. As you are clearly biased, ask those around you if your behavior is in line with the teachings of Christ.

  31. JeniW 2014.08.12

    A Christian based healthcare plan that is considered a charity by the Better Business Bureau and has a favorable rating from the BBB.

    Interesting organization. It is not an insurance, and members, from what I understand, submit bills to the organization, and they decide what will be paid and in what amount. It does not cover all the expenses, so there is still out-of-pocket payments to be made.

    Could work for some people, but is not available for all.

    I did not see if it covers nursing home/rehab centers or not.

  32. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "If I remember correctly Steve's "Christian healthcare plan" was outed a few years back as an illegal, unregulated insurance scam."

    Yes it was made illegal because it was hurting Big Insurance, not because it was a scam. They made adjustments to comply with the crony capitalists anti-competition rules and here is what it is today:

  33. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "but that tells us a lot more about your lack of compassion"

    It tells us a lot more of your lack of personal accountability.

    And Craig, you can't work your way into heaven. It is a gift, for those who accept it along with that personal accountability.

  34. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13


    Whomever is chosen by the College of Cardinals next month to succeed Pope Benedict will essentially have control over one of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful organizations on earth.


    The Vatican has estimated revenues of $170 billion dollars annually [cite]; over 1 million employees; and billions of dollars in investments and bank accounts.

    To put that revenue number in perspective, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has yearly revenues of about $165 billion dollars and General Motors (NYSE:GM) has revenues of about $152 billion dollars.

  35. JeniW 2014.08.13

    I have no doubt about their holdings, they have invested well.

    But people continue to knowingly and freely donate their money to the organization. Since it is their own money that is being donated, why condemn them?

    If donors to the Catholic church do not like how their donations are being used, they have the option of not donating to the church.

    Apple, GM and etc. earn a profit by people choosing to do business with them. It is their money to spend.

    It is not like you, me, or anyone else are being forced to donate to the Catholic church, or other organizations that we support.

  36. Nick Nemec 2014.08.13

    Good grief Sibson have you entered some sort of time warp? Pope Benedict's successor was selected a year and a half ago not next month.

  37. Craig 2014.08.13

    Sorry no sale Steve. You can't weasel out of your desire to place everyone in the same bucket and call them fat, lazy, substance abusers merely because you need an excuse to withhold health insurance from them.

    As far as my personal responsibility, I'll remind you that I receive no direct benefit from the expansion of Medicaid. This isn't about me Steve as I have great private insurance that I'm more than willing to continue paying for. Instead this is about helping those in need. The older citizens who have never made enough to buy private insurance but are a few years away from Medicare. The family who works full time but receives no benefits and doesn't make enough income to pay for a private health insurance plan. The single mothers who are trying their best to raise their kids but have to make decisions whether health insurance is more important than transportation to get to work or the rent that prevents them from being homeless. These are the people that matter Steve. Not you. Not me. Real people who are suffering and struggling through no fault of their own.

    Obviously in your twisted universe you don't feel Christ would condone offering health insurance to those in need because you feel he would place the fear of coveting ahead of actual people. I'm never going to convince you otherwise even though you twist and manipulate the concept of coveting to suit your immediate needs, but let's just say from what I've read of Christ, if he is even remotely close to what was written about him, there is no way he would condone withholding medical coverage from those in need through no fault of their own.

    I'm starting to understand why you don't attend services at a real church, because apparently you have your own personal version of Christianity... and from where I'm standing it appears you value money above people, and that is perhaps the saddest part of this entire situation, because it is people who place money and wealth and their personal beliefs ahead of their fellow human beings that are the reason so much suffering exists in the first place.

    In short - you're part of the problem Steve.

  38. larry kurtz 2014.08.13

    "The "God of Abraham" is a colonial god. His mandate to Abraham is to leave home and invade another people's land—Canaan. The three religions that hark back to the Biblical story of the Family of Abraham—Jews, Muslims, and Christians—have become a large dysfunctional family. Each branch wars with the others; each claims for itself the divine mandate and covenant. The world is caught in their crossfire."


  39. Nick Nemec 2014.08.13

    Rounds, by refusing to support Medicaid expansion, proves he would rather be an ideologue than a pragmatic problem solver. In making that choice he has become part of the problem.

  40. Craig 2014.08.13

    Nick, Steve was quoting... but failed to use quotes. However the irony is he has only shown that even when afforded great wealth, the largest Christian organizations aren't about to spend that wealth by offering people health insurance, so clearly we cannot rely upon the churches alone.

  41. Nick Nemec 2014.08.13

    Cut and paste, Mike Rounds and Sibson are hacks. Unable to identify good ideas unless the Koch Brothers tell them it's a good idea.

  42. Jenny 2014.08.13

    Any reasonably sane person knows The Catholic Church of His Holy Corporation is corrupt to the core, and with lord knows how many more sick evil secrets that are still to come out.
    Especially after these last two years how the CC fought and spent millions to stop gay marriage in MN, makes me all the more despise them. A private Catholic school even fired a teacher for openly supporting gay marriage here.
    One has to question why a religious organization should have that much money, and why anyone would continue to support a Church with that much power.

  43. Nick Nemec 2014.08.13

    And here I thought this thread was about healthcare reform and Mike Rounds' opposition to doing anything positive to help.

  44. Nick Nemec 2014.08.13

    Maybe it's already here and I skipped over it, but a reference to Nazis would now complete the hijacking.

  45. Jenny 2014.08.13

    Sibby is a recovering Catholic! Well, I'll be darned! Welcome to the Club Sibster!

  46. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "But people continue to knowingly and freely donate their money to the organization. Since it is their own money that is being donated, why condemn them?"

    Because when those same Catholics join Pope Francis in promoting coveting, they exempt themselves and only blame conservative Republicans, including the Catholic ones like Rounds.

    "Cut and paste, Mike Rounds and Sibson are hacks. Unable to identify good ideas unless the Koch Brothers tell them it's a good idea."

    I now count 3 false accusation that you have made on this thread, and then you make the fourth one by arguing those who stand up to your deceptions are hijacking. Very sad Nick. I know you can do better.

  47. Jenny 2014.08.13

    And the altar boy told the priest "you touch me one more time, I'll f#%##ing kill you!"

  48. JeniW 2014.08.13

    Steve, that is still their choice.

    Anyone can just as easily condemn you for any donation that you might make to any organization, and accuse you of doing exactly the same thing as you are accusing them of.

  49. larry kurtz 2014.08.13

    Sibby makes a good point about a corrupt state like South Dakota setting up a health care exchange: it would be discriminatory by design, refuse to respect reproductive freedom, and have too much power over coverage of tribal members.

  50. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    JeniW, sorry but I am not following you logic.

  51. Troy 2014.08.13

    What a place and thread to run into Catholic bigotry. Oh well.

  52. JeniW 2014.08.13

    Steve, your comment: "Because when those same Catholics join Pope Francis in promoting coveting, they exempt themselves and only blame conservative Republicans, including the Catholic ones like Rounds."

    Is that a fact, or is that your opinion?

    People from different countries donate to the Catholic church, not just those who are living in the U.S., so how does your comment apply to the people in Italy, Mexico, and other countries who donate to the Catholic church?

  53. Jenny 2014.08.13

    Well maybe Catholics should stop be being so naïve and start managing their churches better so horrific sexual abuse cases aren't hidden, Troy. Catholics need to take a good hard look at who their priests, bishops and archbishops really are. I work in the medical field and am astonished when priests come in with AIDS diagnoses and STDs. A priest in my town was found propositioning a prostitute in Minneapolis a few years ago. I mean really, people. Wake UP!!

  54. larry kurtz 2014.08.13

    Troy is right: catholics should quit being so bigoted.

  55. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    Troy, it is not Catholic bigotry, it is Catholic hypocrisy.

    And Jeni W, do you think Catholics should continue to send their money to the Vatican after knowing this:

    “The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.

    The Vatican’s treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest.

    So we have the Pope arguing that the poor should covet from crony capitalists, but don't think about taking a dime from us. And yes, it is a fact that Rounds is a Catholic. So Troy and Nick, you two should get together with Mike Rounds and find out how many people's healthcare the Vatican can afford to pay for and promote Catholic charity instead of promoting coveting.

  56. JeniW 2014.08.13

    Jenny, how would you convince people who are Catholic to stop making donations, and be less naive?

    It is not the Madville readers and participants that need to be convinced, it is all the Catholics all over the world that need to be convinced.

    It takes someone who would be willing to step up to the plate to get the desired changes in the Catholic system happen. Who is going to do that?

  57. JeniW 2014.08.13

    Steve, it is not my money that is being donated to the Catholic church.

    I have no more, and no less power than you do to force people to stop donating to the Catholic church.

    Yes, I know that Rounds is Catholic, but I do not think very many people beyond SD, or the U.S. knows about Rounds, or even cares about him.

    It is not me that you have to convince, it is the people who donate their own money to the church that you need to convince. You certainly can try, but I doubt that you would be able to convince everyone in the world who are Catholic to stop donating their money where they choose to do so.

    My point is, that people are free to donate their money however they choose to. We are forced to pay taxes, but we choose how we spend the rest of our money.

  58. Bill Fleming 2014.08.13

    This whole "Catholic" discussion seems way out in the twinkles. Can we bring the focus back to something we as voters can act upon in our current political system?

    Because, despite what Mr. Sibson thinks, we are not a theocracy. So any discussion on getting the Catholic Church (or any other church for that matter) to fulfill the mandate given in the US Constitution "to promote the general welfare" and "provide for the national defense" is simply beyond the scope of our Government, as stipulated by the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

    (In short, ...just another sand-pounding party around another Steve Sibson rathole.)

  59. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "to promote the general welfare"

    Bill, if you been paying attention the general welfare is being funded by federal debt. Irresponsible people are bringing financial ruin to this country by expecting others to pay for their irresponsible, immoral, and expensive lifestyle. We have to stop promoting their coveting and instead expect personal accountability for the sake of the "general welfare" of this country.

  60. Troy 2014.08.13

    Let's assume the Catholic Church has investable assets of $10 billion dollars. That is $10 for every Catholic in the world (It probably should be more but I hope it is) Let's assume the world-wide Church does have $170 Billion in annual revenue. That is $170 per Catholic. Neither is significant on a per Catholic basis.

    Here is what happens to the revenue of my parish (which is included in the world-wide "revenue" of the Church)*:

    45% goes to parish operations
    45% goes to the Sioux Falls Catholic School system (which relieves property tax payers the cost of educating 2,000 children)
    10% goes to the Diocese (which pays for things like the new Dudley Center for the poor, seminary education, adult and youth faith formation, Catholic Family Services which provides discounted and free counseling to Catholics and non-Catholics), a retreat center, the Newman Centers on college campuses (basically a parish on campus), supports the roughly 20 "Red Sisters" (whose only job is to pray), and running of the Office of the Bishop)
    1% goes to the Vatican via Peter's Pence.

    Regarding invested funds, my parish's rainy day fund for things like new roofs on our school/church has roughly $100,000 (had more until we just recently re-did our parking lot) "invested" with the Diocese which has such aggregated funds invested in the stock market or on deposit at First National Bank of Sioux Falls. This is just good stewardship vs. either having no money for emergencies or putting it in a mattress. If some of it isn't invested in large cap companies as listed by Steve, I'd be shocked and consider it dereliction of their fiduciary obligations.

    The Church also has funds invested at the Catholic Community Foundation on my behalf. Every year, I make a significant portion of my tithe there and then make donations to charities to where I choose (most recently Special Olympics and St Francis House). I do this because my income is volatile and I want my donations to be regular. Yes, I've been building a "balance" over the years but I don't intend to work for ever but want to support charities my entire life.


    Who educates the most children in the world: The Catholic Church
    Who cares for more people in hospitals in the world? The Catholic Church
    Who feeds more hungry people in the world? The Catholic Church
    Who runs the largest disaster relief organization in the world? The Catholic Church.
    What is the annual budget of the entire Vatican (which is a country and a city)? $455 million
    What is the annual budget of the City of Sioux Falls? $406 million

    * Over 100% because of rounding.

    The innuendo of Steve's entire post is calumny and frankly an Offense against the Truth, a violation of the 8th Commandment and a fundamental infidelity to God.

  61. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "Who is going to do that?"

    Doesn't look like Bill Fleming is willing to jump in with Mike Rounds, Nick and Troy. I already have a theme for their agenda, " Charity not Coveting".

  62. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    Troy, I am not talking about your parish, I am talking about the Vatican, the Washington DC of the Catholic church.

  63. larry kurtz 2014.08.13

    ...and, the Church has covered up crimes against children, enslaved a billion indigenous people, has retained an army of lawyers, and corrupted at least one state legislature, Troy's.

  64. Jenny 2014.08.13

    Well duh, the Catholics have one of the highest percentages of members in the world so they would have the most monetary contributions for charity. They probably have had to pay out the most for sexual abuse settlements also.

  65. Troy 2014.08.13


    Yet you used numbers that is a rollup of the Church and not just the Vatican. Intentional or not, you misrepresented.

  66. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "Who educates the most children in the world: The Catholic Church"

    Troy, you have a point there. No only do you pay the education taxes that support public education (same as the Church of England tax in the colonial days), but also have to support your education system (same as the Baptist had to do in the colonial days). Much of the argument supporting the First Amendment was the unfairness of the Baptist paying the Church of England a tax to support that church, but then having to use their own money to support the church they attend. It is not the 8th Commandment being violated, it is the 1st Amendment.

    In regard to the healthcare issue Troy, why are the costs charged by Avera so large then if the Catholic church is providing so much funding? And how can Avera afford to buy prime commercial real estate in Mitchell to build a 70,000 square foot building? Avera already has a nice large hospital in Mitchell. Should they not instead lower their healthcare charges?

  67. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "The Vatican has estimated revenues of $170 billion dollars annually"

    That is from the link I provided. I have watched 60 Minutes programs reporting on the enormous wealth that has been accumulated at the Vatican. My question then, is how can the Pope expect others to fork over their possessions while he has so much under his control within the Vatican? That point came up via a comment that regarding church's with fancy floors.

    The problem that I see is finger pointing from all sides, expecting someone else to pay for somebody else's irresponsible, immoral, and expensive lifestyle. The source of the problem is the violation of the cost benefit rule. Expanding Medicaid only makes that violation worse.

  68. Bill Fleming 2014.08.13

    "We have to stop promoting their coveting and instead expect personal accountability for the sake of the "general welfare" of this country." Yes, good idea, Steve. Have you booked your appointment with a psychiatrist yet?

  69. Troy 2014.08.13


    First, I don't see the $170B in annual revenue sited in that article. The annual revenue of the Vatican is under $500 million (can have big fluctuations as a few years ago they got under $300 million. Any source that says it is $170Billion is either intentionally or unintentionally misleading and should be disregarded wholly on anything else they say.

    Second, every dollar they get is from people like me who give it to them to support their ministry around the world.

    Third, they are a world-wide organization. The world is big and it includes over 1 billion Catholics. The calumny against the Church because of its big numbers is a dishonest attempt to slander the Church. If you are a serious Christian, you'd be more hesitant to do what you are doing.

  70. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    "If you are a serious Christian, you'd be more hesitant to do what you are doing."

    I am a serious Christian because I do not hesitant to compare the man-made institutions policies to Biblical standards. That is what started the Reformation.

  71. Jenny 2014.08.13

    I'm sure no one (except a few of the most powerful cardinals) really knows how much hidden wealth the Vatican has. It's probably hidden all over the world under different entities. As a Catholic haven't you ever really wondered how much wealth your church has, Troy? Don't you, as a Catholic, want to know where that money is going? I truly believe the Mafia plays a part in various affairs of the Vatican.
    After all the sex scandals of the past decade and a half, it still amazes me how detached and aloof and defensive practicing Catholics are to the corruption that is still very much a part of their church.

  72. Steve Sibson 2014.08.13

    Our best window into the overall financial picture of American Catholicism comes from a 2012 investigation by the Economist, which offered a rough-and-ready estimate of $170 billion in annual spending, of which almost $150 billion is associated with church-affiliated hospitals and institutions of higher education. The operating budget for ordinary parishes, at around $11 billion a year, is a relatively small share, and Catholic Charities is a smaller share still.

    Troy, I thing the above excerpt supports my $170 billion point and your analysis as to most of the monies going to education and hospitals. Note Catholic Charities is very small.

    I will repeat again, the Vatican has huge resources available. The Pope has no business promoting coveting. That is no based on Biblical Christian principles, and are in fact violations. It is called Liberation Theology which is based on Neo-Marxism:

    The conservative power of the Papal Curia is being broken. All of a sudden the Vatican is the spearhead of radical economic thinking. The best-known of the Pope's newly-minted Council of Cardinals is none other than Archbishop Reinhard Marx, the firebrand "Rote Kardinal" of Munich and author of Das Kapital: A Plea for Man.

  73. Craig 2014.08.13

    Anyone who calls themselves a Christian probably believes he or she is a "serious Christian"... I suspect some bias is involved. I also like how so many times those who believe they are "true Christians" are the very same people who claim others aren't.

    I honestly don't care either way, because I have no idea how you determine what a proper Christian is when you have 500 different versions of the Bible floating around which have been transcribed from various humans who passed down the messages verbally for centuries before someone finally wrote it down into Aramaic where it was then translated into Hebrew into Latin into Spanish into English etc. etc. and tens of thousands of different interpretations before being manipulated and modified by religious leaders, Kings, and self-proclaimed prophets before finally landing in the bedside table of the local Motel 6.

    Billions of Christians can't even agree on what date Christ was born or what he looked like... I'm pretty sure there is no hope for agreement elsewhere if you can't even find common ground on the basics.

    But hey... at least Mormons have magic underwear. Checkmate Joseph Smith.

  74. Bill Fleming 2014.08.13

    Let's get back to Nick's point:

    "The people who are really being denied care are those who will not be covered by Medicaid because leaders of the Republican Party, like Rounds, refuse to accept the Federal money to expand Medicaid. That is the real, and only, government death panel in existence, and Mike knows it. But, those people are low income so they don’t matter."

    How many South Dakotans are dead who wouldn't have to be, had our state accepted the free Medicaid money? How many more will die? We don't have to be religious to ask ourselves about the morality in that, do we?

  75. larry kurtz 2014.08.13

    South Dakota would far prefer to bankrupt individual patients than lose the support of hospital and insurance company lobbies: it's just that simple.

  76. larry kurtz 2014.08.13

    South Dakota relies on revenue from video loottery the most addictive of repressive tax sources robbing the working poor while denying cannabis rights to a cross-section of willing taxpayers.

    Where the hell have the Sioux Falls and Rapid City Dioceses been on video loottery anyway?

  77. Bill Fleming 2014.08.13

    "bankrupt" individual patients ...AKA: "kill."

  78. JeniW 2014.08.13

    I find it hilarious that Rounds and Gov. Daugaard do not trust the feds in regards to Medicaid, but both trust the feds enough to cash the check from the feds for education, highway/interstate monies, stimulus monies, FEMA, and in support of Mt. Rushmore and etc.

    Yes, indeed people can file for bankruptcy, and have the bankruptcy approved due to outstanding medical bills.

  79. bearcreekbat 2014.08.13

    The position of South Dakota Republican leaders on the Medicaid expansion is frustrating and confusing. I get the fact that they really have no interest in helping poor people access health care. But refusing the Medicaid expansion also detrimentally affects South Dakota's economic growth and that seems to be something conservative Republicans would object to.

    Those who don't care about sick folks surely want to make more money. It seems counterproductive to refuse federal dollars when that refusal results in: (1) increases in [or at least continuing to spend] local property taxes to pay for medical indigents under the County Poor Relief program when federal Medicaid dollars would provide a different source of dollars for those expenditures; and (2) a failure to push for the financial benefits for rich South Dakotans (and others) caused by the multiplier effect when large amounts of money are actually spent (rather than hoarded) in our state.

    In any event, when reading earlier comments I had a good laugh as Sibby repeatedly "coveted" the funds of the Catholic Church.

  80. mike from iowa 2014.08.13

    Don't it seem wingnuts are and have always been willing to sacrifice other people's lives to prove political points? Part of their campaign of personal responsibility for thee,but not me.

  81. bearcreekbat 2014.08.13

    mike, you make a great point. What seems strange to me is that they are willing to sacrifice their own selfish economic interests to prove political points.

  82. mike from iowa 2014.08.13

    Yup,they love money as no other. Maybe they derive some perverse pleasure seeing the downtrodden crushed even more than making money.

  83. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.14

    Yes, Nick and Bill, the point here should be that we have a candidate for Senate who is (a) lying about policy and (b) resisting a policy that would save lives and enormously stimulate the South Dakota economy. Given those facts, why would any vote for Mike Rounds?

  84. Steve Sibson 2014.08.14

    "The people who are really being denied care "

    Bill & Cory, that is not true. I already debated that issue with Craig. This is fear mongering. If you get into a car accident, you have to have a Medicaid card or proof of insurance before they haul you off to the hospital? Get real.

  85. Steve Sibson 2014.08.14

    "I had a good laugh as Sibby repeatedly "coveted" the funds of the Catholic Church."

    Another false accusation. That makes at least 5 on this thread. Pointing out the hypocrisy of Neo-Marxists is not coveting. The Neo-Marxists are promoting coveting.

    You guys are playing politics with the poor with fear mongering. Second BCB, you admit that people are not denied care, you just want the feds to pay for it instead of the counties. Will who has massive pile of debt? The feds. Medicaid expansion is irresponsible and is being promoted with fear mongering that promotes coveting and is therefore based on greed.

  86. Bill Fleming 2014.08.14

    You debated that with Craig and lost, Sibby. Healthcare is about much more than going to an emergency room or being in accidents.

  87. larry kurtz 2014.08.14

    Sibby is coveting the hospitals that pass the expense of non-paying uninsured to other patients.

  88. Troy 2014.08.14


    First you asserted the Vatican has revenue of $170billion in an attempt to denigrate the Church. Now we find out this is revenue related to caring for the sick and educating college students. Shows a lot of recklessness in the facts.

  89. Bill Fleming 2014.08.14

    The "emergency room" form of National Health Care is the least intentional and most expensive system possible.

  90. Steve Sibson 2014.08.14

    Troy, yes part of the $170 Billion is proceeds Catholic hospitals, such as Avera, receive in health care payments, which have skyrocketed. As I have already reported, Avera in Mitchell has purchased prime commercial real estate from the Mitchell economic development corporation in order to build a 70,000 medical building. This is to house doctors that the hospital will "control" as part of the Obamacare agenda. Avera is also involved with a proposed partnership with Dakota Wesleyan University and the City of Mitchell to build a $6 million indoor swimming pool. It is clear that Avera is not taking care of the sick out of the goodness of their hearts, but instead are enjoying wealth accumulation as part of the Medical Establishment's crony capitalism. They are milking us via the New-Fascist system of public/private partnerships justified by a Neo-Marxist argument that we need to take care of the poor via government subsidies that have now produced trillions in federal debt.

    Troy, it is very sad that you help hide deceptions by personally attacking those of us who have taken the time to critically analyze what is going on today and bring the research and analysis to the public. And the biggest deception is calling Neo-Marxist coveting an act of Christianity.

  91. Troy 2014.08.14

    No matter the fact you can find a way to criticize the Church. When the facts weren't right the first time, you adjusted. Very slippery of you.

  92. Steve Sibson 2014.08.14

    " When the facts weren't right the first time, you adjusted."

    That facts didn't change. It is $170 billion per year based on The Economist. And I did not criticize the church, I criticized the Pope.

  93. Troy 2014.08.14


    You said the revenue was the Vaticans. But, in truth it is that of the hospitals and colleges. You then turned the attack away from the Vatican to Avera. You might think the bait and switch was clever but it just exposes your lack of honesty.

    One thing you are is persuasive. Once again, I'm re-affirmed that the Church is a force for the Lord and there is no limit to the lies the Enemy and the Enemy's minions will use in an attempt to denigrate Her.

  94. JeniW 2014.08.14

    Nice to know that people can now go to the Emergency Room to be treated for otosclerosis, or scoliosis. Back in the days, those could not treated in the Emergency Room, and insurance was needed to pay for the treatment. Medical advancement is wonderful!

  95. Tara Volesky 2014.08.14

    Steve is right when it comes to health care in SD. Sanford and Avera are becoming your insurance companies and will dictate what Drs. you will see. They are buying up land, optometry, psychology, physical therapy, and independent Dr. clinics, which are then taken off the tax rolls. They spend millions in advertising. They pay their CEOs , Vice Presidents millions and our only accountable to their country club board members. Mike Myers will not get a dime from the Hospital/Insurance industry because he tells the truth, like, they don't behave like non-profits. But, what does Myers know, he was the CEO of Mayo/St. Mary's in Rochester, and taught health care law for 26 years. He has over 40 years of health care experience. He even wrote a book and wrote many published articles along with have a radio show.

  96. Lynn 2014.08.14

    Tara did you have a discussion with Mike about dropping out of the race and joining up and supporting Wismer against the current establishment in Pierre?

    Otherwise what chances do you think Mike will have in being elected in November?

  97. Steve Sibson 2014.08.14

    Troy, OK I see your point now. You are right, I did not know that Avera was under the thumb of the Vatican. You probably will also disagree with Cal Thomas:

    Time magazine reports that, according to the best guess of bankers, Vatican wealth is between $10 and $15 billion. If Pope Francis is serious about redistribution, he should lead by example and sell all Vatican property, including its valuable artwork, empty its bank and give the money to the Italian government, or to the United Nations.

    That is the same point that I have been trying to make on this thread. It is obvious that the Pope is a hypocrite as he promotes coveting. How about the rest of you?

  98. Tara Volesky 2014.08.14

    Good idea Lynn, I talked to a top Democrat official last winter when Susan Wismer announced she wasn't running. The Democrats didn't have a candidate and Mike had already announced he was running last Aug. It looked like there was a possibility it could happen then everybody wins, but then Joe Lowe who's a wonderful guy came out of nowhere and announced. Should have happened because you can't beat the machine going it alone. Just look at the great Democrat candidates that have run for Governor in the past.

  99. Steve Sibson 2014.08.14

    "Tara did you have a discussion with Mike about dropping out of the race and joining up and supporting Wismer against the current establishment in Pierre?"

    Lynn, Mike will be pulling votes away from Daugaard as us limited government conservatives also oppose the big government marriage to the crony capitalist RINOs. We will not support Susan because she does not have the solution. Instead her big government agenda is part of the problem.

  100. JeniW 2014.08.14

    Once upon a time, and not all that long ago, Mr. Myers and Ms. Hubbel will remember well, most general practice doctors, AKA "family doctors" had a private practice, with maybe another doctor who shared the practice, and they had "hospital privileges." Each practice was like owning a small business.

    They were not part of any health care system such as Avera or Sanford. For a variety of reasons they merged into a health care system, mostly due to the cost of running a business, and because malpractice insurance became cost prohibitive.

    There are doctors that have private practices. They are primarily specialists.

    Will Mr. Myers and Ms. Hubbel work toward getting doctors who are in general practice to split from Avera and Sanford, and set up private practices? If so, will Mr. Myers and Ms. Hubbel guarantee that there will be funding to start private practices, guarantee that the doctors will be able to afford malpractice insurance, pay staff, purchases supplies, and still make a profit?

    If general practice doctors split from the healthcare systems, will Mr. Myers be able to guarantee that the fee that the private practice doctors charge will be less expensive than those who stay in a healthcare system?

  101. Lynn 2014.08.14

    Tara given what we are up against it will most likely turn out to be an exercise in futility unless Mike Meyers drops out of the race. Mike is rightfully challenging the SoS/Gant in a lawsuit but look at how it is a distraction for him while the clock is ticking towards November. Meanwhile an incredible amount of money will need to be raised or mobilization of grassroots volunteers to make up for the lack of funds to get Mike's message out to voters. I like Mike but I just don't see it happening.

    With the two opposition candidates Susan Wismer has a better chance at success and if Mike Meyers drops out of the race and supports Wismer our chances increase even more for change in Pierre.

    Mike has a great deal to offer in ideas and his run as an Independent not beholden to either party has great value but I hope you and he will look at the big picture and how things will most likely play out on election day in November if he continues his campaign. A Dennis Daugaard victory will be the same old same old carrying on the policies and corruption we despise so much.

  102. JeniW 2014.08.14

    I thought that I had read in the Argus that although Sanford and Avera do not pay property tax for which the hospital sit, they do pay property tax for where their clinics are. I could not find that article, but found an article in the Aberdeen American News that confines that the land on which hospitals sits is not taxed, where they have clinics and other property, they do pay taxes.

  103. Lynn 2014.08.14

    Larry good links and interesting to see the update who is donating to Rounds like Hubbard Broadcasting a well known and active Republican family from Minnesota. KSTP is a staunch Fox news station in St. Paul known for sensational ambulance chasing news reporting topped of with award winning meteorologist broadcasting from the KSTP Storm Bunker.

  104. Tara Volesky 2014.08.14

    Sorry Lynn, Mike Myers is the only candidate with the knowledge, experience and expertise to reform and lower health care costs in SD. Health care affects everybody and he explained that the ACA is like kicking the can down the road. He is ethical, honest and not for sale. He is beholden to nobody but the citizens of SD. Even Lora Hubble, who has a hard time trusting, because of her experience in Pierre with the Republican machine, trusts Professor Myers. This state is in a crisis. He is challenging the legislature and media to call Daugaard and Rounds to answer questions, under oath about the EB-5 scandals and death of Richard Benda. After all the, the buck stops with the 2 Governors. He will have a hard time getting elected because people don't want to face the truth.

  105. Lynn 2014.08.14

    Tara what percentage of the electorate do you realistically expect Meyers/Hubble to get in the election? If they know the odds are greatly against them with virtually no campaign funds or a vast network of volunteers are they running to simply raise awareness to what is happening in South Dakota?

  106. Tara Volesky 2014.08.14

    Lynn, it all depends if the voters take time and study each candidate and their platforms. The information is out there and there will be 4 debates along with campaign stops. We will get about 5 op-eds to the newspapers in the next few weeks so you can see where he stands on the important issues in SD. Unfortunately many people determine their selection of a candidate by party affiliation instead of issues. People also vote on TV and newspapers adds. Myers doesn't have the money, but he does have the message. He doesn't want to buy your vote, he want's to earn it. It's up to the people to decide. My bet is they want status quo.

  107. Craig 2014.08.14

    "Lynn, it all depends if the voters take time and study each candidate and their platforms."

    So you are admitting there is no chance then?

    Let's be real for a second - a lot of people couldn't match positions to a specific candidate if you paid them and they vote based upon name recognition and political party. The only thing that would prevent a popular Republican Governor from earning a second term in South Dakota is if he was caught burning a Bible while performing an abortion on an underage girl as he was listening to Rachel Maddow on the radio as someone other than his wife giving him a topless massage.

    Even then the race would probably be within 5%.

  108. Bill Fleming 2014.08.14

    "The only thing that would prevent a popular Republican Governor from earning a second term in South Dakota is if he was caught burning a Bible while performing an abortion on an underage girl as he was listening to Rachel Maddow on the radio as someone other than his wife giving him a topless massage."

    Don't look now, but Sibby just broke out in a cold sweat. ;-)

  109. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.14

    "You criticize George Carlin with his potty mouth. Well Ryan has similarities. SD has got to quit being so politically correct and not worry about what people think."

    Tara, please dont even try to compare Ryan to George Carlin. Ryan has set legalization back five years because of his antics. Let's face it, if you look and act like what the anti crowd expect a marijuana user to look like, you are in the way of real progress.

    Ryan wouldnt even be equal to a boil on Carlins ass. Not funny, has unrealistic expectations of what he's accomplishing, and thinks he can force change by being loud and obnoxious at a news conference. No wonder no reputable news agency wants anything to do with him. That's bullshit!

    Every sane person that sees Ryan is thinking the same thing. "Is that what pot makes you act like?

    I'm sorry, but if you want to be respected, you first have to learn to respect. Right now I don't respect Ryan or you for sticking up for him.

    Folks SD is having trouble climbing out of the 1950s. The state is acting a lot like a 4-H calf that isn't broke to lead. Sometimes you have to push a little, sometimes you have to pull a little, and there are times that you have to just plain sweet talk it into moving.

    To think I almost changed to libratarion. SDs libratarion party is a bad joke, no platform, no common sense, and no real libratarion candidates, just party pirates looking to score.

    The Blindman

  110. Tara Volesky 2014.08.14

    So Bill, you're trying to blame Ryan Gaddy for keeping SD in the 50's. I like Ryan, but I don't think he has that much power over people. The science has proven that marijuana cures symptoms and diseases. All you have to do is talk to people it has helped. I don't think people should be boxed into a certain personality. Let Ryan be Ryan. And Bill, be who you are. As long as Ryan speaks from his heart and his motives are right, how can you not respect that.

  111. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.14

    " So Bill, you're trying to blame Ryan Gaddy for keeping SD in the 50's."

    Mayby some remedial reading classes are in order, you know very well what I said.

    Tara, please dont preach to me about what marijuana can do. I highly doubt that there are ten people in this state that have more knowledge on this subject then I do.

    I'm throwing the bullshit flag, you cant tell me that Ryan wouldn't have hitched his wagon to the first party that would allow him to do just what he's done.

    The Blindman

  112. Tara Volesky 2014.08.14

    Bill, I am sorry if I come across that way. I did not mean to preach to you. Please forgive me. I just hope everybody can get the message out. Ryan is not a politician, so he comes off a little different. Bill, I think it would be great if you could publically speak out on how it has helped you. Is there one of your candidates that supports it? I am sure they would love to have you as a spokesman.

  113. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.15

    "not a politician"—if you engage in politics, if you run for public office, if you organize an activist group or otherwise in trying to shape public discourse and civic action, you are by definition a politician. Being a politician is something one should strive ot be good at if one wants to make a difference in public policy, just as being a craftsman is something one should strive to be good at if one strives to make durable furniture.

    Mike Rounds is a good showman, a good salesman.

  114. Tara Volesky 2014.08.15

    You've described the definition of politician. The connotation of politician would be....dishonest, phony, crony, self-serving, arrogant, etc. I guess all you have to is look at Congress. If you aren't any on these, a statesman or public servant are better terms to use than politician.

  115. JeniW 2014.08.15

    I am curious as to what diseases marijuana cures?

    I have read that it reduces symptoms of diseases, for example reduces the number of, or severity of seizure, so it might appear to be a cure. If the individual stops using marijuana and the seizures resume, that to me, is not a cure.

    If someone uses marijuana for a period of time, then stops consuming it, and the symptoms of the disease do not resume, and/or other symptoms do not develop, that would be a cure.

    I do not particularly care if marijuana is made legal. My concern is possibility of marijuana becoming glorified like alcohol is, and there not being much effort to discourage recreational drug use (like the commercial used to discourage tobacco use,) or little or no funding for treatment for individuals who want to stop using the drug.

  116. Steve Sibson 2014.08.15

    "Being a politician is something one should strive ot be good at if one wants to make a difference in public policy"

    Cory, I do not plan on getting good at deception.

  117. Tara Volesky 2014.08.15

    JenniW. cannabis oil can cure certain forms of cancer. It shrinks tumors. There is much more money to be made in chemo than cannabis. The oil is good for skin cancer too. San Jay Gupta now supports medical marijuana.

  118. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.15

    Tara, I resist that connotation and seek to reclaim that word in its honest and respectable sense, to help people realize politics matters and is a noble calling. Ditto to Steve. Rounds represents the abuse of politics for crass personal gain at the expense of truth and the general welfare.

  119. Steve Sibson 2014.08.15

    Cory, I truly appreciate your effort. I am trying to do the same with "conservative". It is not crony capitalism.

  120. JeniW 2014.08.15

    Thank you Tara.

    Does the oil come through by smoking/inhaling marijuana, or is it in pill or liquid form to consume orally?

    For the skin, I am assuming that the oil is extracted from the plant, and spread on the skin.

    If I recall correctly, there already is a pill form of THC that has been used for a number of years. Is that what you are referring to?

  121. Tara Volesky 2014.08.15

    JeniW, There is a Dr. in Canada that applies the oil right on the skin that is cancerous. It's amazing how it disappears after a few applications. With cancerous tumors, the oil is injected with a needle right into the tumor. A women with stage 4 cancer interviewed by Sanjay Gupta, smoked it and was cured. There are all kinds of case studies that I was unaware of. I think it's a great option because it is non-toxic and an herb right from mother earth which cannot be patented.

  122. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    so sen. Bernie sanders is deceptive? but 1st of all, sib, you have heard of "calling the kettle black"?

  123. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    jeni w-prolly that "glorified" cow is out of the gate, since norml has been so successful in wa. & colo. and since manipulation of "higher" thc levels is the "new" pot. whether this social experiment endangers us at a macro-level is apparently unknown. seems irresponsible of good governance, however regulation seems smart. all we know is that youngsters get flattened I.Q. and more car crashes involve blood-THC. NIDA

  124. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    sib-if u stop reading b.s. opinions like cal Thomas and all the other sites u post which have no grounding in fact, maybe you wouldn't have so swim up stream so hard. quixotic, init? thx to cory and larry for my new word for the day. at least you read and appear educated in something other than cheerleading, unlike your heros reagan, bush, rove who don't dirty their hands.

  125. Steve Sibson 2014.08.15

    "unlike your heros reagan, bush, rove who don't dirty their hands."

    That takes the false allegations on this thread up to at least six. And you are suppose to be the judge on what is and isn't fact?

  126. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    you don't love Reagan, bush and rove? back down to three.

  127. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    back down to two. when not bashing gays in the name of our lord, however cal said in effect yesterday - "its sad when some one (robin Williams) has depression and dies." wonder how many of those lazy addict covetors have depression, a seemingly lifetime/untreatable disease? dems on the whole care about these things. repubs don't.

  128. Steve Sibson 2014.08.15

    Now you agree with Cal. Hypocrite?

    How many lazy addict covetors don't have depression but a high self esteem?

  129. Lynn 2014.08.15

    Sorry I may be a little slower than usual today but can you explain lazy addict covetors to me please?

  130. Steve Sibson 2014.08.15

    Lynn, I am assuming it is referring to those who are too lazy to work, so they spend their time partying and expecting others to pay for it.

  131. Lynn 2014.08.15

    "I think it's a great option because it is non-toxic and an herb right from mother earth which cannot be patented."

    Tara that sounds like that spin came from Ryan Gaddy and the posters over at SDAP or 605 Holistic Health. If that's the case let's let kids smoke it along with taking their daily Flintstone's vitamins. Let's make the candy and cookies available in mainline stores.

    I used to be in the Natural Foods Industry and have a little background in Macrobiotics also where their belief going back to our ancestors where food was used as medicine and for example Maitake or Shitake mushrooms were used to fight cancer but I'm very skeptical to the claims from what some say just so they use it so they can legally get high anytime they want.

  132. Bill Fleming 2014.08.15

    Joke for Sibby and Larry:

    Q: How many lazy addict coveters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Lazy addict coveters don't screw in lightbulbs. They screw in hot tubs.

  133. Tara Volesky 2014.08.15

    Lynn, I talk to a lot of people about marijuana, because I had no clue there are so many strains. I am for medical use only. I guess we'll see what happens to Colorado.

  134. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.15

    Tara, even two years ago what you are asking would have been possible but now not so much. I know longer travel long distances well because of three back surgeries. Like the surgeon asked me right after surgery, "who the hells been useing your body besides you."

    Talking in front of people has never been a problem for me. In 1980 I gave the key-note at the national association for blind business owners. Eralier that year I spoke at the Pet Producers of America meeting in Manhattan Kansas. Years of 4-H demonstrations didn't hurt.

    We now live in Mo. After 61 years in SD. The move was partly because we could build what we wanted to down here,"a green mini resort" and partly because Mo. will probably legalize medical marijuana in the next two years.

    I waited on SD for as long as I could to start the legalization process but I could tell that the time just never seemed right to actively campaign for it. SD is a lot like a drunk, it is liable to go whichever way it happens to be leaning when it gets pushed. My problem was that it was like a drunk leaning against a wall that was holding it up.

    Sure we tried twice but it just wouldn't go. Sd wont do anything until you can prove that it can make as much, if not more then thay can make from THE WAR ON DRUGS. And yes, Marty Jackley and Larry Long were both complicit in keeping pot illegal for that very reason.

    You will know when the time is right for that push. Here in Mo it will happen because there have been several big cities that have said enough, and decriminalized possession of 33 grams or less. 28 grams equal an ounce so you can see they are already fairly progressive. But, medical will be first to be legalized by a couple of years.

    Marijuana as a cancer cure is still a ways off. Some of the studies are very incouraging but human studies are needed and that kind of funding can only be found if the US changes the classification from schedule 1.

    Fortunately there are other countries that are doing that research. About the best that the researchers can say right now is that it wont hurt you if you do use it. Even that can be disputed by those with a DEA axe to grind.

    lesliengland, " all we know is that youngsters get flattened I.Q. and more car crashes involve blood-THC. NIDA"

    That thing I said about testing goes for that statement to. Of course kids shouldnt use pot but you have to look at who sponsored those studies, the US government and its DEA. And that more car crashes thing, lets just say that "involves" means just exactly what it did when either their was an open or closed container of booze in a car when there was a wreck. Statistics are funny that way.

    Higher THC, could be, whats the point since it is almost impossible to overdose. Now I know there are doctors that have said their emergency rooms are loaded with that sort of thing, dieing is impossible unless you ate to much and chocked on it.

    Again kids shouldn't do it, their vulnerability to panic attacks has been the driving factor in those e-room visits where pot is concerned. I dont know of anybody that has smoked their way into oblivion without another drug in their system, booze or meth or coke. You will go to sleep way before that might happen.

    " whether this social experiment endangers us at a macro-level is apparently unknown."

    How many years of study do you want 100, we have that right here in this country. 10,000, the Chinese have records dating back that far showing the bennifits of cannabis.

    We also are fighting big pharmaceuticals. Just think what kind of bite medical marijuana would take out of their stock trading? For depression alone lets look at what currently is happening.

    Doc gives you a script, he or she tells you that you need to give it at least six weeks to see some relief, maybe. Then if that doesnt work, they try something just about the same with a slightly different chemical makeup, same thing. Soon you have invested six months of your life without relief. With pot you know within minutes if its going to work. Let me repeat myself, you know within minutes if it is going to work. Sure there are going to be a few that it cause to go the other way, but as soon as the THC starts leaving their system the person is no worse then before. If you want to see something really scary, look at the deaths caused by those same scripts that were prescribed. The warnings are right there on the sheet that comes with every purchase. As far as the toxicity of cannabis is concerned Tara is right. I dont think the feds have even tried to say that it is, but who knows I might be wrong about that.

    More problems have been caused by telling kids lies about pot then actual problems from its use. For generations people tried to make their kids believe that "Reefer Madness" was what was going to happen if you used the plant. Then when the kid got old enough to experiment, they found out that they had been lied to. WTF. Its tough to trust those people ever again when they are giving advice.

    You can expect SD to be from the 40th to the 50th to legalize for medical purposes. Sorry to burst your bubble but thats the biz.

    The Blindman

  135. Tara Volesky 2014.08.15

    Thanks for the wonderful information you have provided us with Bill. Best of luck in MO. Hope they soon legalize it for you and everyone else that suffers with medicals conditions.

  136. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.16

    Whatever medication you choose, the point here is that Mike Rounds doesn't want you to get it unless he and his pals can make money off it.

  137. mike from iowa 2014.08.16

    For non-religious argument sake,how many out there have had back surgeries?Blindman and I have had them. I know from some experience that pot is a great relaxer and pain killer and I also learned that I didn't toke enough to improve my impaired driving skills,so I quit trying to toke and drive w/o any mishaps.

  138. larry kurtz 2014.08.16

    Funny joke, Fleming. See y'all at Kevin's today?

  139. Tara Volesky 2014.08.16

    We have a better chance getting it passed state wide because Mike Myers is the only gubernatorial candidate the is for the legalization of medical marijuana. When he explains it to people they will listen because of his 40 years of working with medical researchers, Drs, and pharmaceutical corporations. He has credibility and being 78 years old he can get the senior vote. No DD and MJ will not support it, and they have no defense. Anybody on this blog could be them in a debate over medical marijuana.

  140. Tara Volesky 2014.08.16

    Exellent article Larry. Willie is alive today because of ingesting an herb instead of deadly chemicals.

  141. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.16

    Cory, your sure right about Mike Rounds. People have a short memory, if they dont remember what happened during his last term in office. He pushed for, and got the laws changed so his relatives could make whiskey.

    Yup there needs to be money made by someone important to Mike before he will go for it. It's tough to defend his reasoning on medical marijuana when his drug of choice has killed so many, and riuned so many lives.

    Its tough to justify schedule 1 classification for a plant that does so little harm when the alcohol industry in making money hand over fist selling anebriats tha have a proven track record of killing people, in so many different ways.

    The Blindman

  142. larry kurtz 2014.08.16

    Pope Frank, Mike Rounds' political leader, is in southern Korea mesmerizing the masses to ignore leadership corruption: how conservative.

  143. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.16

    Larry, how fast would things change if everyone found out the pope smoked pot?

    Could he?
    Would he?
    Should he?

    The Blindman

  144. larry kurtz 2014.08.16

    Bill: or if Thomas Jefferson smoked opium and hashish as Ambassador to France?

  145. JeniW 2014.08.16

    Larry, are you advocating for recreational drug use?

  146. Tara Volesky 2014.08.16

    Does anybody know if Pine Ridge is still considering legalizing marijuana?

  147. JeniW 2014.08.16

    If you are going to advocate for people to use drugs for recreational/entertain purposes, please also advocate for funding for those who may want treatment to stop using their drug of choice, and funding of programs to assist people (including children,) who may become victims of drug users.

    I am curious as to what drugs for recreational purposes do you advocate people to use, alcohol, pot, meth, crack, coke, ecstasy, and/or others?

  148. Bill Fleming 2014.08.16

    JeniW, for an eye-opening overview of drug use on human culture, I suggest reading Terence McKenna's "Food of the Gods." It may surprise you to learn that arguably the most harmful drug in the history of mankind is sugar. Driven by European's love for it, Africans were sold into slavery to work the cane fields in the New World. It is still killing us by the millions today.

  149. JeniW 2014.08.16

    Larry, I can believe that, but I still hope that if you are going to advocate people to use drugs (meth, alcohol, pot, crack and/or others drugs,) for recreational/entertainment purposes, that you will also advocate funding for treatment programs for those who want to stop using their drug of choice, and funding for programs to assist victims of drug users.

    Is there a reason why you would not advocate for funding treatment programs, and/or treatment programs for victims?

  150. JeniW 2014.08.16

    I meant to mention Bill too.

  151. Bill Fleming 2014.08.16

    Yes, I am with you JeniW in advocating for a complete, more enlightened reform of our society's approach to food, drugs, crime, punishment, and mental illness. So are a great many others.

    It's not going to be easy, and the first priority needs to be for us to educate ourselves and, (as per Gandhi) "be the change we wish to see in the world."

  152. Bill Fleming 2014.08.16 of the problems with advocating for funding for treatment programs is that most people don't know for sure which ones really work. We have to learn what's really going on before we can presume to be able to do anything about it. And there is a lot of bad information out there.

  153. lesliengland 2014.08.16

    sugar-the cheap addictive additive to everything! addict customers! great business plan which excludes true cost on society. a timeless way to wealth.

    bill d.-i appreciate your wisdom but detect bias throughout your response. nora volkow md, trotsky's grand daughter, heads NIDA, not DEA and whether she advises obama or the dalai lama, her credibility is significant. being shouted down with all of NORML's attack points is as pointless as ignoring higher THC and flattened I.Q. if stoned parenting is the new norm, we likely have a future mirroring liquor's dark past. should legalization/regulation occur? i have no dog in the fight.

    as previously cited, addiction to drugs, alcohol, tobacco costs us $600 billion a year, while our criminal justice system costs 200 billion. a lot of people are hurt, as jeni w. mentioned, by this nearing trillion (today's) dollar total.

    would be interesting how big sugar's impact is. silly as it seems, big gulps, or reefers, are prolly not that innocuous to society on the whole as the religion of pro-pot would have you believe.

  154. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.16

    JeniW, let me be clear on this. I dont advocate for anybody to do drugs at all. But I do find it interesting that you have put cannabis in the same category as meth and crack. It doesnt surprise me though, because that is what our government wants you to believe.

    All you have to do is google each one of those drugs to find the truth of the death and destruction they cause. Where the problem comes in is when you put pot side by side for a real comparison. Then it no longer makes sense.

    Bill Fleming, great insight into our country's sugar dependency, and how we got that way.

    You know those little packets of sugar you see at restuarants, sometime just for fun stack 17 of those one atop the other. Each packet contains 1 teaspoon of sugar.That is how much sugar is in the average 20oz bottle of pop.

    Gatorade 9 packets for 20oz,

    CaoriSun 4 pakets for 6oz

    And AriZona iced tea 17 packets for 24oz

    And thats just beverages.

    lesliengland, of course you detect bias in my responses. The way I feel, how much enjoyment I get out of life, even my ability to write thses post, all happen because of my use of marijuana. I'm not talking about studies now, just first hand knowledge from thirty years of personal use. For the answers you seek there are many sources to choose from on the net. Just remember to look for who is funding what and how much they have to gain directly from those findings.

    If you still dont understand here is some research that should drive my point home.

    Pick up any prescription bottle. Now look it up and find out how many deaths have occurred from the direct use of that drug alone without any other outside influences. Now do the same thing with marijuana. Now try to find a death certificate that has marijuana listed as the cause of death with out any mitigating circumstances. You will find none. If you do I will walk down mainstreet in Rapid City naked, and none of us wants that.

    This country can't even get a handle on prescription drugs, and they are legal. Now look at that money trail and tell me why the same people that are making big money selling those drugs are the very same people that are funding the war against the legalization of marijuana.

    I'm not shouting but I dont give a damn who is related to whom in the world of make believe that passes for expert advice where politics are concerned. I dont take anybodies word for anything but form my opinion from research papers drawn from independently funded studies. When you see statements with "It could possibly, " or " not definitive but could," or " probably does but more testing is needed," run the other way. I know, I know your going to ask why.

    Thats simple, it has been illegal for anyone in this country to do research on marijuana without the governments blessing. With their vested interest which way do you think that research will lean?

    I'm not ignoring higher THC and flattened I.Q. I am saying that unless you are willing to do the research necessary to see how cannabonoids are released and processes by the brain, just saying that pot is bad because of higher THC is meaningless. But then thats another story for another time.

    "if stoned parenting is the new norm"

    You talk like this just happened in the last couple of years. It goes back generations and years, it slides across the whole spectrum of people from rich to poor, from cops to Dr.s, from priests to judges, and from black to white and every color inbetween. And it is used at the same rate by all of those I just mentioned. Just think about that for a minute.

    I dont have much faith in treatment programs. Success depends on people completely changing their lives and there aren't many people that are willing to do it. But that doesnt mean we shouldnt try.

    I haven't looked at the states where pot has been legalized, but I did see the first draft of the referendum that the Pine Ridge Sioux Tribe wrote and most of that money made from the sale would have gone for treatment of chemical addiction. Good for them.

    I might ask how many addictions everybody reading this has? Not just chemical but anything that interferes with day to day life. We all have em, if we're honest.

    Cell phs
    The news
    And the list goes on.

    The Blindman

  155. bearcreekbat 2014.08.16

    Great post as usual Blindman!

  156. Lynn 2014.08.16


    I'm not a fan of big pharma and what influence they have in public policy and one example is how they have influenced studies and regulations against the natural foods industry since they cannot patent certain items that have been used by our ancestors for centuries to help with various ailments. I'm always skeptical

    The war on drugs is a failure. Doesn't the US have the highest incarceration rate in the world?

    I remember working a number of jobs in the past where one of my co-workers would get high during my shift and be useless for the rest of the shift and I'd be the responsible one and have to cover for that person. It happened numerous times.

    Coping skills are another concern just like any addiction. Is legalization of recreational use just going to be an easy out in dealing with everyday normal life thus bypassing other more healthy ways in dealing with stress. Life is hard and filled with challenges. It's something that is learned from experience and age.

    Is it just an easy way to self medicate?

    I agree we all deal with stress, demons and our own addictions such as food, sugar, alcohol and others.

    There are experiences I've seen from both sides here but definitely have concerns and some of those I see promoting legalization remind me of the bad co-workers and other knuckleheads I dealt with in the past.

  157. JeniW 2014.08.16

    Bill, a drug, is a drug, is a drug.... I lump all drugs used for recreational or entertainment purposes together. I lump marijuana with alcohol, caffeine, crack, meth, and etc altogether as drugs.

    Every drug, has side-effects, some of those side effects are desired, some are not.

    I believe in what I believe not because of what the "government" has told us/me, but because I have been a victim of drug (alcohol) users, and have seen some pretty ugly stuff that have occurred with drug users.

    Some people do not have success with treatment, some do not. It is just like anything else, what works for one, will not work for someone else.

    I will repeat, my biggest concern about legalizing all recreational drugs is that they will be glorified like alcohol is, and will be just as promoted as alcohol is, and be at every fair, festival, events, concerts and etc.

    Indeed, we all have things we are addicted to, even me. Caffeine is my drug of choice. I hate coffee, so I get my caffeine via soft drinks. Even though I use caffeine, I never try to encourage, or advocate for others to do so.

    If the majority of the people want all drugs legalize, that is fine with me, all I am asking is that there be something in place to assist people who want to stop using their drug of choice, and please, please have something in place for the victims of drug users, especially children who do not have any choices and are powerless to do anything.

  158. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.16

    Lynn when you see something like that in the workplace, you arent helping by covering for them. And it doesnt matter what that addiction is. If they are letting their addiction interfere with their work they arent doing the job they were hired for.

    Wasn't that simple?

  159. Lynn 2014.08.16


    I had no choice but to cover for that person during that shift and was running my tail off helping customers but promptly reported that person on Monday to our supervisor which was then reported to the owner and nothing happened to that employee. I then mentioned to my supervisor that if that's the case I should of been able to have a cooler with a few ice cold beers next to my desk which I'd never do but since they viewed pot as being very minor nothing ever happened to that employee and it would periodically continue to happen.

    I saw similar situations happen other places of employment to in which those were part-time.

  160. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.16

    "I will repeat, my biggest concern about legalizing all recreational drugs is that they will be glorified like alcohol is, and will be just as promoted as alcohol is, and be at every fair, festival, events, concerts and etc."

    Lets take first things first. " "I will repeat, my biggest concern about legalizing all recreational drugs is that they will be glorified like alcohol is"

    Hold on there, Im not trying to get meth and crack legalized. Those two drugs are way past recreational and are on my "if you do it once you could die" list. That cant be said about marijuana. If it can I'd sure like to see that study.

    "and be at every fair, festival, events, concerts and etc."

    You have to be very nieve to believe that it isnt already there now!

    The Office of National Drug Control Policy says that 7.3% of americans use marijuana on a regular basis. And they freely admit that because of their sampling methods, they know they could be off by a third.

    That is about one in every 13 people, and it doesnt matter what demographic you come from. So that church funtion you are going to, ya theres some cannabis there. The waiting room at Mayo clinic, well what do you know the stuffs there to. County fairs, your kids baseball game oh oh. How about at the rest home? People over the retirement age are one of the fastest growing demographics to start marijuana use.

    Why not try talking to your kids about the real dangers of drug use. And again, it does t matter what that drug is. Kids are smart, as lomg as you dont lie to them you have done all you can as a parent. Unless your willing to limit their contact with the outside world, they will find the truth with or without your input.

    Sometimes we talk about drug problems when we should be having actual conversations with our kids. Present the facts, dont over sensationalize, and dont get mad.

    I've set at this keyboard for to long today, one of my personal addictions, music is the other, pot isnt one of them. It's time to cook supper, damn I missed another one, food.

    The Blindman

  161. JeniW 2014.08.16

    Oh, I believe that there are drugs at the fairs, festivals, and etc., but as far as I know there are not a "pot garden" like there are "beer garden" at the fairs.

    I do not have kids, so thankfully, I do not have to deal with that.

    Legalize marijuana, fine, if that is what the majority of the population want.

    What I do not understand is why not advocate for programs to be available for victims of drug users,?

  162. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.16

    JeniW, that would be just fine with me. Can you tell me where to draw the line of who gets help and who doesnt?

    Would you just advocate for victim's of drug use?

    Who should determine who gets that help?

    There are other victims out there, sexual abuse victims, bullied victims, financial fraud, those traumatized by any number of things. Or are you just advocating for those victims of drug users?

    Believe me I'm not arguing with you I just want to know how you would handle the obvious situation that would come up once you started the process. Who would make the decision of how much time and money to spend on each person? Would that be the same people that are responsible for doing it with legal drugs now? No that wont work because there are none.

    Give me something to work with here, maybe you can make a difference.

    The Blindman

  163. mike from iowa 2014.08.16

    Has there been an attempt to legalize pot where there wasn't some consideration for providing drug treatment? There are crime victims compensation funds. I don't know how well funded any of them are but in states with wingnut majorities,I can about imagine they would be a shortage of funds.

  164. JeniW 2014.08.17

    Bill you asked some reasonable questions, so i will try to address them the best way I can. The topic was about the legalization of pot, so I addressed the topic of victims of drug users, not the victims of other concerns.

    My primary concern are the children. While those who are 18 years old and older can be victims of drug users, they have more choices and control than what children have. Someone who is at least 18 years old, can leave the situation (not always easily so but still,) they have potential resources, and choices. Children do not have that freedom.

    To share a bit of my experience. When I was around 11 years old. My father was drunk and was being verbally abusive to my mother. He was also holding his shoe in his hand threatening to hit my mother with it. I said to my father "Don't you hit my mama!" He replied with "Okay, I'll hit you instead!" and he made the gesture. I was a chicken and backed out. I had an enormous amount of guilt for being such a damn weakling for for not standing up to him.

    I spent that night, and the days, and years ahead wondering what my mother and I had done to cause him to hate us so much that he wanted to hurt us. I had already learned that when people are drunk they say and do exactly what they mean. He wanted to hurt my mother, and wanted to, and did hurt me (though not physically.)

    I had no one I could trust to talk to, no one to take me seriously, or to understand my fears and concerns. I could not just leave because there was no place else for me to go, there were no resources that I knew of. I had no choice. I was stuck.

    What I think should be in place is a system something like calling 211 designed for those under the age of 18 so that they can have someone to talk to without fear of punishment, to be taken seriously, and to acknowledge that children's fears and concerns about parental drug use are very real.

    This could also be used for children who are being physically, verbally, and/or sexually abused or being neglected. It could also be a resource for children so that children have a better understanding of adult behaviors, and places that children can trust to go to.

    If warranted, intervention could be implemented. Parents/Guardians/Care providers, can be investigated, and required to take parenting classes, to gain a better understanding of how their children perceive parents' use of drugs, how it impacts the children, reassure children that it is not their fault of how parents behave.

    From the time I was in grade school until I was finally able to leave the community, I was ridiculed mercilessly. Telling adults about it meant getting useless advice such as "just ignore them," or "they do that so that they feel better about themselves." I needed help, not useless cliches. Thankfully, now the topic of bullying is up front middle, and there is useful information and resources to try to deal with it, but look how long it took to get to this point.

    Having a system like 211 for children would be a start.

    All children deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and understanding of their fears and concerns. Whether it is one child with fears and concerns about parental drug use, or thousands of children with fears and concerns, they should all be addressed.

  165. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.17

    JeniW I can feel your pain from here, I'm so sorry.

    We have that support system in place here in Mo. They take the treatment of their children seriously down here and aren't afraid to give jail time.

    I just have to say here that I have never seen that happen when a parent is useing only pot. I'm sue if you looked long enough you could find someone but they would be few and far between.

    Marijuana doesnt have that affect on people.

    Again I'm sorry for your experience.

    The Blindman

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