Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Brokeback Hypocrisy

Last weekend, I went with my group of friends to see Brokeback Mountain at Sioux Falls' West Mall theatres. This was the first time I'd seen the movie. It certainly wasn't the "gay cowboy" movie I'd heard so many people claim it was.

After the movie, my friends and I got to discussing it and the controversy that surrounds it. A couple of us wondered if it would've been as hated by some conservatives if it was about a love affair between two women?

So, let's say, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson had the main roles in a movie about two women having a secret love affair. Would there have been as much of a negative backlash against it? I can think of tons of guys I know who would want to be first in line to see it. I wonder if some of the loudest opponents of Brokeback Mountain might have sang a different tune about this movie?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sex Ed and Abstinence

A lot of us were surprised at the Sioux Falls School Board's decision about the Sex Ed curriculum.

I believe they made the right decision. Separating the boys from the girls is a good idea. I can't remember if my sex ed class was co-ed, but I imagine it would be really embarrassing at that age.

Abstinence was, apparently, the big debate with this issue. I agree with the school board in teach abstinence along with info about disease control and contraception. Plus, their reasons for leaving out "until marriage" were smart. They said it "would have excluded gay and lesbian students or people who decide to postpone marriage until later in life." Now that's smart, inclusive thinking.

And if parents think teaching abstinence until marriage is a value, then they should be teaching that to their kids at home. I'm personally an abstinence until marriage person, but just because that's how I choose to live my life doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

So, hurray for the Sioux Falls School Board!

Also, check out this topic at the Coat Hangers at Dawn blog.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Jack Billion for Governor

The more I hear about Jack Billion, the more I like him.

I really liked what he said in this Argus Leader article. I agree with him that education was sorely neglected in this legislative session (and, no, the one-time-only sum of $6 million wasn't good enough). I like the goals he lists in the article, especially the desire to involve the Native American tribes more in the state government.
"Any governor who doesn't sit down and discuss with the tribes where they want to be and how they see their role in the development and growth and economy of South Dakota is making a huge mistake."
He has some good ideas about being governor. I'm very interested to hear more from him as the election process goes forward.

And Steve Hemmingsen makes him sound like a really fun guy. I wish I would've seen those First Monday shows Billion was on.

Right now, I'm hoping Billion wins the Democratic primary and goes up against Rounds for governor. I think Billion will be good for South Dakota.

Poll: Name for my Hero Feature

I'm looking for help to decide what I should call my Hero of the Week articles. I really wanted to call them Haggard Hero of the Week, because I love the word "haggard." But I forget that one of the definitions for it is "dirty and worn." And, even if I'm using the term in a positive light, some people might not like to be "haggard."

So, I've set up a poll so you guys can help me out. Thanks in advance!

Take my poll!

Apparently, I have no idea how to put a poll in a blogger post, so I'll have to settle for a link to the poll. Sorry about that.

Hero of the Week: Petition Volunteers

I'm starting a new feature called the Hero of the Week (well, that's the title for now). I wanted to spotlight a person or persons who I think is doing good for South Dakota.

My first Hero of the Week is a general shout-out to all the volunteers around South Dakota who are out getting signatures on the petition to put the abortion ban on the ballot. There are a bunch of people doing a tough job and I salute them.

Specifically, I want to salute Jessi Perkins. KELOland news followed her as she went door-to-door asking people the sign the petition. The people they showed were generally nice to Jessi, even if they didn't want to sign.

So thank you, Jessi and all of the volunteers, for the good work you're doing for South Dakota!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

SDPB Money is Back

KELO News just reported that the South Dakota state legislature returned the $500,000 to SD Public Broadcasting's budget. Good news!

More info will be on the six o'clock news. More to come...

Profiles on Mayor Candidates. has set up website with profiles of each of the Sioux Falls mayor candidates. (Note: Janoct Ajda hasn't submitted his profile yet)

So far it's just a little history info plus each candidate wrote down their top three concerns for Sioux Falls. I'm hoping they continue to update those profiles as the race goes on.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Educational Blog!

South Dakota Education Beat has just joined the SD Blogosphere.

I'm happy to see someone focused on the issue of education. I feel that education is very important. Partially because my sister is a South Dakota teacher and also because I think education gets ignored in all the focus on abortion and whatever.

SDEB is a welcome addition!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sioux Falls Mayor Candidates

I thought I'd take a look at the candidates for mayor of Sioux Falls and list my initial impressions for each one. You can find brief bios on all 11 candidates here. (EDIT: From some reason the article cuts off the last three candidates: Richter, Smith and Viereck.)

Janoct Ajda - I like him. I like his goals. I'm not sure about trying for a "word of mouth" campaign. That's something that happens on its own and you can't really do it yourself. My biggest worry is that he might not have enough experience for the job, but I like him.

Vernon Brown - He has a lot of appeal as a candidate with his 12 years as a reporter. A lot of voters probably remember him. I like that he's thinking about economic development. And talking about trust in government is a good idea as President Bush's popularity heads toward single digits.

Dan Christopherson - His insistence that he doesn't want people to vote for him makes me want to vote for him.

Bruce Halverson - Bruce is cool. My favorite of the bunch. I'll post more about him later.

Lora Hubbel - Open government is a good goal, especially with recent closed legislature idiocy. I'm not sure how strong a candidate she is yet. I think she's one to keep an eye on.

Bob Jamison - The biggest plus in his column is his almost two decades of work as a city commissioner/councilor. The goals he listed in the Argus were kind of vague, so I hope to see more clear statements from him in the future.

Dave Munson - Current mayor. Kind of weird that he changed his mind about running again. Can he overcome his scandal and get re-elected? We'll see.

Casey Murschel - She seems pretty good, but I'd like to hear more from her. And I question her implication that she has more experience than Jamison.

Mitch Richter - What's the first thing he does as an official mayoral candidate? He goes negative. It's hard for me not to think of him as a dick right now. I agree with him that the city budget needs a good once-over, but that idea is being over shadowed by his dickness.

Darrin Smith - He seems okay, but doesn't terribly excite me. Another candidate talking about trust in government. He brings youth where most of the other candidates bring experience.

Darrel Viereck - Another one talking about economic development, which is good. I'm not sure if he has enough political experience for the job, though.

Those are my initial impressions. I'll update when we learn more about them.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Our Spineless Governor

Governor Rounds continues to confuse me. He signed the abortion ban bill on Monday, and since then he has continually put distance between himself and the bill. He keeps saying how it's "not my bill" and he doesn't agree with it. Yet he signed it. He doesn't agree with the bill or what it is trying to do... so why did he sign it?

He could've easily ignored it for the entire fifteen day period and it would've become law anyway. He had already come out saying he disagreed with the frontal assault aspect of the bill, so he could've just not put his name on it But, no, he decided to sign it.

This is a bill that:

1.) He personally disagrees with.

2.) In violation of a Unite State Supreme Court ruling.

3.) The leader of his party, President Bush, doesn't even support.

I see no good reason that he would've signed the bill. Maybe, just maybe, he thought putting his name on it would help him in November... but that's still debatable.

So what the heck is Rounds doing as a governor? If he's just going to screw around, then he doesn't deserve the job. We need someone who will be interested in the greater good of South Dakota and not sign any law that comes his way.