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Madville Makes Merry with Poem on Policy

Who says I can't celebrate Christmas? I observe the holiday with a poem for South Dakota Magazine. Here's the first stanza of my meditation on the Build Dakota Scholarship:

Cory Allen Heidelberger, Christmas Eve poem on Build Dakota Scholarship, first stanza, 2014.12.24Check out the full poem at South Dakota Magazine. Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, God Jul, and С Рождествoм!


  1. bearcreekbat 2014.12.24

    Nice poem Cory. And a very merry Christmas to you and your family from one atheist to another!

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.24

    Meter, rhythm and rhyme. Good one Cory. I like it.

    Merry Whatever to you and your loved ones!

  3. Moses 2014.12.24

    So do to low wages we all know its true, we will soon lose our welders and our teachers to. So if I get a wage increase so I can buy hopefully, new teachers before I die.

  4. Joan Brown 2014.12.24

    I think certain employers who keep crying they need skilled workers should be able to do the training themselves. That way the workers would be trained the way they wanted. You know something like the good old fashioned apprenticeships. Girls right out of high school used to get hired as secretaries and be trained by the employer, basically the same applies to mechanics, welders, etc.

  5. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.12.24

    I agree completely Joan Brown. I don't disagree with T Denny for giving the 25 large, but I think that the State is very misguided in thinking that teachers can come out of college with a large debt at higher interest rate than what folks are paying for a car or a home and pay them the horsecrap pay they get in South Dakota. Thanks for your poem Cory.

  6. Stace Nelson 2014.12.24

    Merry Christmas and God's blessings to you and yours. Peace on earth and good will to all.

  7. leslie 2014.12.24

    well done cory. it looks like the economy is dependent on middle class (almost everyone except the 1%) consumerism. TRICKLE UP! Welders and lawyers, doctors and wrenchers....let 'em all in. take the fences down.

    Pay the people. Provide preventative health care for all. They will live better and spend more. quit protecting business to the exclusion of individual welfare.

    Cut corporate entitlements. Make corporations pay real tax rates. Let corporations make good on their threats. Let republicans know democrats stand for the middle class, not wall street raiders.

    Stop the redskins, reconcile and reparate, and end discrimination. Get religion out of governing and get the military out of policing, control guns; and protect, not kill, jail or warehouse citizens with less than 100% functioning.

    spend public money on science not beholden to greed, protect voting rights as sacrosanct, fix the supreme court, congress and the senate, enable states to repair from corruption, and elect democratic female presidents for awhile.

    no more war. no more might makes right and big money control. one vote. more torture, idiots!

    only one party can do this, democrats.

    idealistically yours,

  8. leslie 2014.12.24

    well i guess that depends on how you define "torture". have you ever experienced 45 degree water for 18 minutes? no more of this b.s.

  9. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.24

    Leslie, you have my support for your agenda.

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.24

    Stace, your good wishes remind me of a song I learned in 1st or 2nd grade when I attended Sunbeam School, one room rural. It no longer exists. The song is "Let There Be Peace on Earth." Ring a bell for anyone?

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.24

    Moses! You're inspired! Thanks for the coda. :-)

  12. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.12.24

    Thanks for your thoughts Stace and for inspiring Deb to post her post. It will be twelve years ago on March the 19th that we in the peace movement sang this beautiful song at our peace demonstration at the beginning of the Iraq war. That first demonstration had about three hundred people including 25 veterans, all the way from WWII to the first gulf war who spoke out against it. Ten days later I went to visit my newborn grandaughter for the first time. As I held her sitting next to my nearly 4 year old grandson, I told him of that song and that we had sung it at our peace demonstration. He asked me to sing it. I did and he asked me to sing it again. When he asked me after I had sung it a fourth time, to sing it again, my daughter in law, his mother said, Grandpa will get hoarse Isaac. But he and later his sister asked me to sing that song for them.

    When I got back to SF and went to the peace demonstration the following week, I told my compatriots of this experience with my grandson. From then on we sang that song at the end of each weeks demonstration for peace. That series of demonstrations ended only this past Spring.

    I don't mean to be disagreeable leslie, but we will never find peace through any political party. They have a different agenda. Doings the past 14 years should certainly teach us that. As the second verse of the song says, "Let peace begin with me
    Let this be the moment now.
    With every step I take
    Let this be my solemn vow.
    To take each moment
    And live each moment
    With peace eternally.
    Let there be peace on earth,
    And let it begin with me."

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.24

    Joan, right on! On the one hand, I don't want to deter the Governor from directing Future Fund money into education. Remember, the Future Fund is his corporate welfare slush fund. His redirecting $25 million away from direct handouts to corporations and instead putting that money in students' pockets for education is a step in the right direction. It actually hearkens to Madville Times Bill 104, which we cooked up last winter, a proposal to require the Governor's Office of Economic Development to match every dollar spent on corporate handouts with a dollar spent on education. I thus have to give the Build Dakota Scholarship at least half a cheer.

    But the scholarship doesn't address the core issue of wages. The scholarship actually props up the low-wage system. Whether we're talking welders or teacher, we have to pay people what they are worth and pay competitively with what they can earn elsewhere. Nobody can make that happen but the bosses.

    And hey: the state is already giving these corporations a huge break with all of our low-tax/no-tax policies. Why aren't those policies translating into more money available for higher wages for workers?

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.24

    I'm with Deb and Leslie. Lanny, you do wisely point out that change starts with ourselves. And this Salon article that you shared with me earlier (and that I may well be blogging later!) makes clear that the Democratic has failed to carry our ideals into battle and may not be equipped to do so.

    That said, no one of us will change the system single-handedly. To effect real change, we fellow believers will have to work in some organizational context, as a team, in something that will look like a political party.

  15. Bill Fleming 2014.12.24

    Just rewatched Mandela the other night and was especially touched this time by the conflict between him and his wife Winnie who was advocating for violence and retribution instead of reconciliation after the ANC took over South Africa. Nelson knew what we all need to learn, even when you're absolutely right, non-violence is the only way we actually advance.

  16. leslie 2014.12.24

    yeah, thx lanny, i had read that article too, late last night, and welcome the critique. don't know the solution and it aint gonna be easy, but it also aint gonna be republicans fo' sho'. time to be big boys and girls and ditch the naivete, be broad-minded, knowledgable, and in SD, don't move further right. perhaps it will be harder than we are capable of achieving.

    rcj tupper's interview w/ SDP's David Hubbard shows what we are up agaist from this heavily right-leaning majority state. the key seems to be the disparate groups of young people aligning oddly right, and lower and middle class repub voters that are misguided.

  17. Wayne Pauli 2014.12.24

    I too went to a 1 room country school. yes, we sang let there be peace on earth...and let it begin with me...apparently my GOP neighbors were absent during those times or thought the words were for someone else.

    Merry Christmas to all...

  18. Wayne Pauli 2014.12.24

    oh, I forgot to mention that welders are fine but unless you pay them, they will not be on the job. Regardless of career track the longer we continue to pay people "South Dakota Poor". we will not have the labor pool. I knew in 1969 (in the 8th grade) that I would be getting a 4 year college degree. the question was not "if", but whether, "where".

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