South Dakota Top Blogs

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Monday, March 26, 2007

Venting in the wind and other hopeless acts

North Dakota blows and Nebraska sucks. That's why South Dakota ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy. The U.S. Dept. of Energy map, above, shows the windiest places and the grid lines in the state that can transmit electricity produced through wind turbine generators. You might try clicking on the map to enlarge it, but sometimes there is a sticker in the clicker or a louse in the mouse, and it doesn't work. In that case click this.

Doug Wiken comments on the previous post that getting hung up on tying wind generators to grid lines limits the ways we can develop energy independence and obtain an economical, dependable, and clean energy supply. He cites using wind energy (and possibly solar energy) to produce hydrogen through electrolysis. The energy from wind power is converted to hydrogen which can be stored and used on demand to fuel automobiles, farm machinery, and electrical generators. The only by-product from burning hydrogen is water. No green house gases or pollutants.

Some work needs to be done on the technology for handling hydrogen because it can make a big boomy if it gets ignited in the wrong situation. Story. My high school chemistry lab partner, Dan, and I were the most cautious experimenters in the class. When we got to the experiment where we had to make hydrogen and burn it, we worked carefully. We formed our glass pipette where the hydrogen flame would burn with precision (Dan's dad was a jeweler and watch maker) and we waited longer than anyone else to insure that all the oxygen was out of the flask and it was producing pure hydrogen before trying to light it. The chemistry lab was on the top floor of the high school and had sky lights. We blew the whole damned experiment through the sky light. Luckily, it went straight up. So did the chemistry teacher. And the principal. But some other guys kept asking, "How did you do that?" We had no idea.

The point is that hydrogen can drive things. Wind energy can be used to make hydrogen. And as Doug points out, letting huge corporations come in and take over our energy supplies not only takes the resources and control out of South Dakota and moves them to foreign countries, but it contributes to the corporate consolidation of agriculture. It makes people serfs on their own land. They end up giving away their resources and working for foreign corporations. As farmers used to say about the huge collective farms in the old Soviet Union, which did not work well at all, it doesn't make any difference to the serf on the land whether his boss is the Kremlin or a big corporation. The worker has no prospects for himself and his family but drudging at someone else's behest.

The huge wind turbines being built on wind farms by the energy corporations cost about $1 million each. They are built to be hooked up to grid lines and the electricity is redistributed. At this time, no energy companies are looking into using wind energy to make hydrogen. However, BP, among others, is working on producing hydrogen from existing carbon fuels, coal and oil. This process is expensive because it still requires a method of disposal for carbon by-products, such as greenhouse gases. The reason the big corporations are going this route for hydrogen is because they have control over the coal and petroleum deposits and would be left holding the mines and the wells if we rapidly converted to generating hydrogen by electrolysis.

Many smaller wind turbines are available that can supply the electricity for a large farm or a small town.

This generator sells for about $25,000.

This one is in the $50,000 range and can be used to tie into a grid or stand alone with the energy it produces stored in batteries.
Other units costing in the $100,000 range can be hooked together to power large regions.
The big problem in converting to renewable, clean energy is the way farmers are tied into to the corporate structure. They fear losing their markets if they declare energy independence. But farmers hold the land on which wind turbines can be placed.
The Indian reservations are other places where wind turbine systems can be established, but the corporations who are behind the wind farms do not want to deal with tribal autonomy anymore than they want to contract with individual farmers.
So far, no one but a few people in the Department of Energy are talking about using wind power to make hydrogen. The last thing global corporations want is energy independence. Cooperatives should be leading the way in developing clean, inexpensive, and reliable sources of energy, but they, too, are involved with the huge corporations and live in fear of creating corporate displeasure.
Like it or not, we are forming a new global feudalism and corporate headquartes are the 21st century manor houses. Whether it's the war on Iraq, global warming, or American agriculture, the wealth and the power go to the corporations. People are regarded as serfs again. A majority seems to like it that way.

South Dakota landscape being sold off to foreign energy firms

Brown and Babcock, the Australian firm that has purchased Northwestern Energy has announced plans to build a 3,000-acre 34-turbine wind farm near Wessington Springs. The announcement was made by former PUC Commisioner Jim Burg, mayor of Wessington Springs, and Mike McDowell, CEO of Heartland Consumers Power District, which has contracted to purchase the power output. Heartland is headquartered in Madison, S.D., and serves parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. (See the blue areas on the map to the left.)

Babcock and Brown, which has 27 offices throughout the world, lists its business activities as:
*Real Estate
*Infrastructure and Project Finance
*Operating Leasing
*Structured Finance
*Corporate Finance

Babcock and Brown operates windfarms in Australia and its subsidiaries are whole owners and part owners of wind farms throughout the U.S. with such partners as GE and BP.

At week's end, the North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the construction of a 10-mile transmission line which will connect 120 wind turbines in McPherson County, South Dakota, and Dickey County, North Dakota, to the North Dakota electrical grid. The project is being done by Tatanka Wind Power LLC. Tatanka is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acciona Wind Energy USA which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acciona SA, which is headquartered in Madrid, Spain.

Are you beginning to get the picture who is taking over the ownership and will reap the profits fr0m the sale of energy in our region?

Two years ago, Deere & Co. announced the creation of a financing program for individual farmers to construct one or two wind turbines on their land and "harvest" the wind along with other crops. This would have helped stabilize farm profits and softened the effects of the up-and-down price cycles of livestock and grain. The Tacoma Park Association, which owns a belt of prime wind land on the eastern bluffs of the James River, looked into the possibility of erecting some wind turbines and joining with other landowners to create a windfarm. However, inquiries and plans got bogged down by the questions of who to sell the power to and the the construction of transmission lines to get the power to the buyers.

Wind farms in northern South Dakota and southern North Dakota have had a fitful history. Large corporations do not want to deal with individual producers united into a production cooperative, and have backed out of deals for leasing land from individual land owners. So, the corporations buy or lease the land and assume total ownership and control over the energy production and distribution.

The takeover of American utilities and energy companies (BP, for example, is a British-based company and Shell is Dutch) is happening at a very rapid rate.

Globalists say this is the new age we live in. A few people worry about what happens as Americans lose control of their own infrastructure and are squeezed out of participation in it by huge foreign corporations.

Those who control the infrastructure control the country. And so it goes. Australian and Spanish wind turbines in the South Dakota sunset.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The metaphysics of Bush-hating*

I do not like George W. Bush. I have not liked him since the election of 2000 was in the recounting stage and he and his minions mounted an Orewellian brain-washing campaign against Al Gore. and the Democrats, accusing them of trying to "steal" the election and other nefarioius plots. People who engage in that kind of propaganda warfare are not nice and do not intend well for anybody but themselves and their suck-buddies. But I was a lonely voice in chiding Democrats for calling him stupid in the early stages of his presidency. I have a violent aversion to the personal attack. A person should not call another "stupid" unless the person has proved that attribute beyond a reasonable doubt.
I think George has proved it.

That leads to the matter of hatred. There are two kinds of hatred. One kind is that of prejudice and predisposition in the hater that grows from an inherent quality of malice toward certain things. The other is earned hatred, in which the object of hate becomes hated the old-fashioned way: by earning it. The first kind of hatred is the kind that some people feel toward other races. The second kind is the kind of moral revulsion and indignation we feel for the Hitlers, the Stalins, the bin Ladens, the Saddam Husseins because of what they have said and done.

George W. Bush has earned the contempt and distrust of the people through his clandestine operations, his deceit, and his oppressive actions and policies.

The instances of his perfidy are many:

  • Despite the fact that weapons inspectors, foreign governments, and many people with official positions in U.S. government said there was no producable evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and connections to Al Qaeda, he pushed us into a war in a classic wagging-the-dog manipulation of public sentiments.
  • He used his executive manipulations of the propaganda forces to discredit and wreak revenge on any who expressed doubt about his verity. This includes the Valerie Plame business and high-level officers who noted his obsessive need for the war--which he used to throw a fearful public into blind trust and obedience.
  • While giving our loyal troops what is tantamount to verbal, nice-job- buddy pats on the ass, he did not pay attention to what kind of rehabilitation efforts were provided them in their transitional, outpatient stages. Meanwhile, the war was a great source of fortune for the Halliburton subsidiaries.
  • He initiated policies and actions that destroyed any basic rights to privacy and due process for those he and his minions chose to attack.
  • He instituted prison policies regarding detainees that equal the worst conditions of the Soviet gulags and other totalitarian violations of human rights.
  • He fired U.S. attorneys who apparently did not meet the standards of his political vindictiveness.
  • I save the worst for last. In his vain and self-serving war, he has made good soldiers expendable in the name of a war that cannot be justified by any moral standards.

The list goes on and on and on. If George W. Bush is reviled, it is because of his record of actions. He is not a nice man. He has earned any contempt felt for him.

*Acknowledgment to Herman Melville's "The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating."

"My Antonia" is a great break from new media banalities

The South Dakota Humanities Council's reading series this spring features My Antonia by Willa Cather. The book is a great antidote for the verbal and mental clutter that besieges us through the various media.

As a youth growing up on the Illinois prairies where both sides of my family established themselves by working the soil, I could relate closely to the book, but as I grew out of those identifications I could make with the people and the land, Willa Cather's art is what endured. I hesitate to count how many times I taught the book over the years, but I always found great pleasure in seeing students respond to it.

My greatest regret in teaching Cather was that I did not get to teach a seminar devoted to her. When it became my turn to teach a seminar during my last years as a professor, I proposed one on Cather, but the dean said we had to do Mark Twain, as he had not been covered thoroughly for some time. I love Mark Twain, too, but today's students take offense at biting wit and satire and find Twain's perceptions on racial matters something they prefer to avoid dealing with. But what really disturbed me about the teaching assignment was a remark of the dean's questioning whether Cather was a writer of the stature who deserved a seminar. Aside from displaying a patronizing attitude toward work of mine, the dean's comments reminded me of what seems to be the main purpose of educational bureaucracies: to insure that brain cells, ideas, and works of art never escape their institutional walls undamaged.

My Antonia is a lovely book, but it is firmly in that American literary trend often labeled "the revolt from the village." This trend in literature, which provides a huge body of criticism of culture of rural and small town life is still producing in our contemporary times, but its most notable flourishing was during the time of Hamlin Garland, Sinclair Lewis, and Willa Cather, to name just a few of the important writers who incorporated the theme into their work.

These works all explore the reasons why young people were so anxious and driven to leave the farms and towns built by their parents. My Antonia is unique in that the novel's protagonist, Antonia Shimerda, stays in the town and on the farm while most of her contemporaries leave for brighter and bigger prospects. Antonia is portrayed as a remnant of a culture on which American democracy laid its foundation. It is also one of the works of American literature to establish a definition of sexual equality and recognition that forms the more discerning aspect of feminism.

When people recall the novel, their minds are filled with images of the farm girls floating like breezes across the landscape, but the novel has its share of gloom and menace. Antonia's father commits suicide because of the cultural povery he finds himself in on the Nebraska frontier. When Antonia goes to work in the town, she finds herself discriminated against, along with other farm girls, in comparison to the town girls. She is molested by one of the town leaders, and she sees what Thoreau called the "quiet desperation" of the lives in that town.

While the book is lovely in its portrayals of early prairie life, it is thorough in its depiction of that life. I think it should be read by everyone at least every ten years.

You want to do something truly mind-bending. Stay off your computer for a few days and read My Antonia. If you haven't read the book before, you will never be the same.

Monday, March 12, 2007

You must apologize if you call it like it is

When Sen. John McCain announced his candidacy for the presidency on David Letterman's show, he said that lives of our military service people had been wasted in Iraq. That word "wasted" drew the raging ire of people who said it was an insult to the troops who gave their lives. The next day he apologized and said he should have used the word "sacrificed."

Just what the fuck is the difference? There isn't any. When lives are "sacrificed" in a contrived vanity war of insanity and atrocity, they are wasted. They were given for no honest and substantial purpose, other than to prosecute a war that, a la 1984, was advanced on a rhetorical premise that if one did not support the war, one was cowardly against terror and traitorous, and if one did not endorse the killing of our service people, one was betraying our troops.

The big question facing the country is how so many people became so duped that they could fall for such transparently false rhetoric and be cowed into being exactly the kind of society Orwell depicted in 1984. The answer is that George W. Bush and the Band of Big Brothers applied exactly those techniques of propaganda that Orwell used his novel to warn us about. The people re-elected George W. Bush in 2004 because the majority was so undereducated and so conditioned (read brain-washed) by the techniques of advertising propaganda and the appeal to the reptilian mentality that they supported Bush and rose up in rage against any who opposed and criticised him.

Critics of culture have noted that America underwent a serious intellectual and moral decline in the Viet Nam era and it has been continuing ever since. While many people who participated in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement did so on a sound intellectual basis, many of the participants were merely programmed automatons who donned their political postures with the same spirit that they donned hoola hoops and love beads. It was a matter of youth-cult fashion, not of competently grasped issues and ideas. Fortunately, the people they followed were leading from more substantial intellectual positions.

These are essentially the same people who whimpered and cowered after 9/11 and followed George Bush and Dick Cheney into what must be the most obscene and venal episode in American history.

Now the cowering crew is lining up behind the proposition that if we leave Iraq we will leave that region of the world in a mess and the terrorists will come to America and make it the killing field.

We created that mess in Iraq. It did not happen without our billions of dollars and our policies. The rest of the world seems to understand that. Why does our debate on the war on Iraq devolve down to such sham issues?

Because we do not have enough people educated enough or shrewd enough to know that there is no significant difference between the words "sacrifice" and "wasted" in this context. And so, we will make the few who dare speak in accurate terms apologize for doing so. And our troops will continue to be blown away.

Eventually, so will our nation.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dense clouds are forecast for Sunshine Week

Observing Sunshine Week in Aberdeen is like Al Qaida reciting The Beatitudes. Or Paris Hilton getting elected queen of the Purity Ball.

As is true of the entire state, Aberdeen is fighting it out with some Third World oligarchies for the distinction of the most closed and inacessible government. South Dakota has the distinction of being ranked 50th of all the states for its openness, its accessibility, and its integrity. [Read it for yourself in the Better Government Association's Integrity Index compiled with the help of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship.]

Cl0sed government in South Dakota and Aberdeen is a bi-partisan effort. This year's legislature tried to further close government from public knowledge. One proposal would have made it easier for legislative committees and sessions to close themselves to the public. Another bill, SB 217, sponsored by a Democrat, diddled with some language, but offered absolutely nothing to open up government in South Dakota. It got tabled.

Laws governing public access to meetings and records in South Dakota give huge discretion to officials and bureaucrats about what can be declared closed or confidential. The catch-sentence is: Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, any records of a public entity is a public record, open and accessible for inspection during reasonable office hours. As used in this section, reasonable office hours includes all regular office hours of a public entity.

Well, law provides for the closing and denial of almost all meetings and records that deal with the performance of public officials and employees, transactions involving state funds collected from taxpayers, and a lot of provisions designed to keep South Dakotans in the dark.

Sometimes one must ponder whether people in South Dakota have any idea of what government by the people is all about or any notion of the rights and responsibilities it entails.

Sunshine Week this year is March 11-17. According to an item in that Aberdeen phenomenon that persists in calling itself a newspaper, an event planned as a Sunshine Week observance is at NSU on March 12 at the Student Center, as the old student union is now called. [Like good South Dakotans, the NSU administration is careful to avoid the word "union."] A 90-minute televised program begins at noon to be followed by a panel discussion by locals. With the newspaper's inimitable brand of journalistic precision, the story gives little hint as to how or where to gather, but it does encourage those attending to "bring a sack lunch." Which leaves us to wonder if the NSU food service no longer operates in the center or if it is being boycotted because some employee slipped up and referred to the place as the Student Union.

Anyway, this year's topic for Sunshine Week is "Closed Doors; Open Democracies." No one on the local panel represents a valid journalistic entity. Panelists are:

Jerome Ferson, publisher of the Aberdeen American News. The newspaper's news is undercut by editorial selections that belie a bias toward oppression and manipulation. The printing of letters-to-the-editor show blatant manipulation to cast those supporting the publication's ultra-conservative agenda in the best light, while refusing to print, delaying publication, and burying letters with opposing points of views. It might be interesting to hear Ferson explain the newspaper's editorial policy, but he does not come from an editorial background. Ferson comes from the accounting and financial side of the news business.

Mayor Mike Levsen is also listed on the panel. A former general manager of a radio station, Levsen had strong notions about what news he thought the public should hear. His news staff, for example, was forbidden to report on suicides. Levsen has carried that philosophy over into city government. He once dismissed a request for information on some matters going on in City Hall by saying that the public knows all it needs to know. Levsen became mayor during turmoil in the Police Department. A chief was fired. A number of long-time officers quit the department during that chief's tenure. Things really heated up with the new chief. More officers quit. The turmoil continued, and no elected officials in city government thought that the people who elected them and pay the bill for running the city, including their salaries, need to know what is going on. The ultimate boondoggle came from the suspicious death of Prof. Morgan Lewis on the NSU campus. The chief finally determined the death was a suicide, but no records of the investigation were produced in support of that conclusion. A number of people claim the investigation produced evidence that appears to contradict that conclusion. Mayor Levsen has been at the center of City Hall affairs. He appears to have serious reservations about letting the citizens know all that goes on in City Hall.

Another panelist is City Attorney Adam Altman. We really know little about him and have no record of his decisions and comments.

Prof. Ken Blanchard, a blogger and columnist for the American News, is also on the panel. I ended my contributions to the columns of the American News after a column of his used partial quotations and manipulated paraphrases to represent a posting on my blog. As a professor who taught writing and a member of an editorial board for academic journals, I found that the column used tactics that are proscribed in reputable writing. However, the real issue is with the American News. Even after challenged, the newspaper editors failed to acknowledge the errors of representation.

In the past, the American News has had publishers, editors, and writers who have tried to bring it up to the minimal standards for a news organization, but the gross incompetence and political agenda of its current news management staff remove it from consideration as a credible news agency. I do not support incompetence and dishonest manipulation of editorial matters.

In regard to the Morgan Lewis case, Ken Blanchard and fellow columnist and professor Jim Seeber did something no one else did. They requested an interview with the chief of police about the Morgan Lewis case. They got the interview and published information about the Chief's findings and reasoning. There was some effort, at least, to take the contoversy out of the realm of speculation and gossip and get at some facts.

However, they are commentators, not journalists, and they did not get to look at the investigative records to verify the facts and look for discrepancies and contradictions in the record. Once a case is closed, the record should be open for review by the public or, at least, in its behalf.

The Morgan Lewis case is just one of the more visible instances in which the public has been shut out of the operations of its government. Investigations have to be conducted in confidence in many cases. That is understood. But there comes a time when all records must be opened for examination and review.

In South Dakota, anything that can be construed as a "personnel" matter can be declared confidential. Most of the important decisions in government are "personnel" matters and involve an assessment of how well personnel are doing their jobs.

Despite the fact that records of death, marriages, and the like are required to be open by law, the state closed them last year under the pretext of preventing identity theft. No one challenged that violation of law.

Much of the problem accrues to the legal profession in the state which is unsually feckless when it comes to civil rights and open government.

So, Sunshine Week promises to be a gloomy occasion in Aberdeen and South Dakota. Some folks just like to live in the dark.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Giving back the Black Hills

One of the inane rituals currently popular in the nation is demanding and giving apologies. A multiple-murderer is expected to face the family of his/her victims and say, "I'm sorry." Perhaps, a display of remorse will lessen the sentence from death to life in prison without parole. But what do these coerced words really accomplish?

They give a display of language at its most meaningless and pointless. Cheap language subverts moral intelligence, and that is what is accomplished.

There are now resolutions in Congress to offer apologies to African-Americans for slavery and to the American Indians for breaking treaties, taking their lands, and trying to exterminate them.

Dayamn. How dementedly stupid can human beings get? Please, don't show me. I have great faith in humanity's infinite capacity for ignorance and stupidity. I see it every time I look at blogs.

Slavery has given America a legacy that underlies the mentality that drives gangsters and the strife, hopelessness, and nihilism that pervades African-American communities, and is at the racial roots that foster bigotry and hatred in white communities. Ben Franklin laid out a program to prevent those predictable outcomes in a speech for abolition in 1789:

To instruct, to advise, to qualify those who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty; to promote in them habits of industry; to furnish them with employments suited to their age, sex, talents, and other circumstances; and to procure their children an education calculated for their future situation in life, these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted and which we conceive will essentially promote the public good, and the happiness of these our hitherto too much neglected fellow-creatures.

A plan so extensive cannot be carried into execution without considerable pecuniary resources, beyond the present ordinary funds of the Society.

He was talking reparation. Of course, the plan was never carried out, although faltering attempts have been made to address parts of it. He saw 218 years ago that apologies would accomplish nothing. Reparation by restoring the full battery of freedom, opportunity, and education was the way to keep the huge damage done to a race of people from becoming permanent.

We are still making inanely stupid verbal gestures under the fatuous hope that they will do something in the way of fooling a brutalized people into thinking they are somehow getting back their status as full-fledged human beings. Equality is not something the dominant people really want. So they offer empty words which only further degrade the language.

And then, there is the matter of offering apologies to the American Indians. As if they have not learned from the breaking of multiple treaties that words in the mouths of white men have the same value as flatulence in church. They make empty noises but pollute the environment. How can anyone take any words of conciliation from the white race as more than patronizing foolery and an expression of total denigration?

No place is the insulting fatuity of apologies more evident than in South Dakota. We are still struggling over the treaty of 1868 which promised that most of the state would remain as the sovereign territory of the Lakota people. Before the signatures on the treaty were dry, white America set about to break it, take the land, and kill the American Indian people. As a community, Aberdeen is a monument to the great American tradition of perfidy and genocide. It is where L. Frank Baum, the author of childrens books, including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, wrote two newspaper editorials calling for the extermination of the Sioux.

Although a man of imaginative talents, the sombitch was a malevolent racist who advocated genocide. Efforts at apologetics for him and to deny the racist, genocidal import of what he wrote has perpetuated the dismissal and distrust of the language and profound insult to a people who believed in the sanctity of the word above all else.

The Lakota people have challenged the violations of the treaty of 1868 and have won some points in American courts. The white solution is to offer them money for the Black Hills lost through the many dishonorings of that treaty. They have refused it. They want the Hills, a fact which intensifies the racist rage over in Honkeyville.

There is a popular argument in Honkeyville that the Sioux took the land from other nations, so who really owns the Black Hills? Of course, the American Indian nations did not have the same concept of land ownership that whites do. While the Lakota occupied the land, they also maintained its sacred sites for those other nations for which they have special significance in historical and spiritual terms. (To get a quick reading on this, read Larry McMurtry's biography Crazy Horse.) The succession of nations that occupied the land is specious and irrelevant to the fact of dishonor, deceit, and genocide that put the land into the possession of perfidious whites.

Saying you're sorry just isn't going to accomplish anything. African and Native Americans are not so stupid as to trust or take seriously anything that white America says to them.

The only thing that has a chance of counting is honest reparation. Those reparations mean giving African Americans educations and opportunities that restore them to full status of equality, freedom, opportunity, and justice for all. And it may mean returning stolen lands to American Indian nations.

The essential act required is to restore the integrity of the language so that it can be trusted again and used to conciliate human differences. That means we have to take actions that restore the meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of 1868 and that demonstrate some sincerity and integrity.

The folks in Honkeyville cannot tolerate that to happen. And so they will lose their nation to the corrosive malignancy of a meaningless language. We have reached a state where we cannot trust our own words. The war on Iraq is a case study in that.

We have even made saying you are sorry a demented ritual that has no purpose and no effect. And we are paying the price.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Getting up in space

Scooter Libby was convicted, but a jury member said he and a number of other jurors wondered what they were doing deciding on Libby's guilt or innocence when Carl Rove and the Vice President seemed more likely candidates for examination on leaking Valerie Plame's name and orchestrating the piss-revenge against Joe Wilson.

Ann Coulter has produced a number of denials from the people who buy her books, pay her speaking fees, and giggle and snicker in the background at her witless defamations.

We surely live in the New Age of Enlightment. But one news item saved the day. It turns out that outer space has little effect on horny.

I've wondered about this. I've wondered about men and women sharing a space capsule. I received a letter from a former student who was serving in the Army shortly after the training programs were made co-educational. He found the physical training sessions particularly stressful because he could not help but notice that during sweat-producing exercise in t-shirts that women's bodies were women's bodies. It was very hard for him to think of them as gun platforms, which is what every recruit is told that is basically what his or her body is.

My former student said he could not sleep at night. The day's images gave him such erections that he didn't have enough skin left over to close his eyes.

So, today's revelation of sexy-messages zipping back and forth in outer space made me ponder the matter of space suits, floating around in more-comfortable wear, and the effects of a weightless environment on....well, you know.

Hey, baby, there's a gorgeous earth out tonight. Want to go for a walk?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Y'all come

The South Dakota Democratic Party
and the Brown County Democrats
invite you to an evening with

Senator Tom Daschle

Saturday, March 10, 2007

At the
Eagle’s Club
316 2nd Street
Aberdeen, South Dakota

$25 Suggested Contribution

RSVP to Ellie Highstreet at 605-271-5405 or

Paid for by the South Dakota Democratic Party
PO Box 1485, Sioux Falls

Ellie Highstreet
South Dakota Democratic Party
PO Box 1485
Sioux Falls, SD 57101


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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States