Should the rule of God overrule the rule of law?

From the New York Times, comes another rehashing of the gal who would rather go to jail, than issue a marriage license to a same sex couple:

A county clerk who, through her defiance of a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, became a national symbol of religious opposition to same-sex marriage was jailed Thursday after a federal judge here declared her in contempt of court.

The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, Ky., was ordered detained and later rejected a proposal to allow her deputies to process same-sex marriage licenses that could have prompted her release.

Instead, on a day when Ms. Davis’s lawyer said she would not retreat from or modify her stand despite a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Judge David L. Bunning of United States District Court secured commitments from five of Ms. Davis’s deputies to begin providing the licenses.

Read it here.

Here in South Dakota, our Attorney General has weighed in on the issue himself:

Marty JackleyAttorney General Marty Jackley says if a county employee in South Dakota has religious objections to gay marriage they can have another employee issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

Jackley said Thursday that the constitutional right to marry that’s now guaranteed to same-sex couples must coexist with the constitutional right of freedom of religion for county employees.

Read it here.

So, here’s the conundrum. Like the gal who found god amidst her multiple divorces, if someone has a religious objection, should they be able to say “nah” to a same sex couple?

The phrase from the bible that comes to mind is “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” – which gives rise to a wide disparity of opinion as to how we should submit to earthly authority versus that of the good book.

Should the rule of God’s law supersede the laws of men?

Release of Additional Findings on Death Investigation of Sarah Circle Bear at the Brown County Jail

jackleyheader2 Marty JackleyRelease of Additional Findings on Death Investigation of Sarah Circle Bear at the Brown County Jail

PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the Division of Criminal Investigation has concluded their investigation into the death of Sarah Circle Bear at the Brown County Jail.

On August 13, 2015, final autopsy results were released and confirmed that Circle Bear had died as a result of acute methamphetamine/amphetamine toxicity. Toxicology analysis of blood obtained at autopsy was positive for a toxic and lethal concentration of methamphetamine. The autopsy further showed no further evidence of injury which would have caused or contributed to her death.

Circle Bear was booked in the Brown County Jail on July 3, 2015 at approximately 11:00 p.m. She spent time in both a holding cell and a jail cell throughout the early morning hours of July 4th, which included a mental health evaluation from a mental health professional and was cleared to remain in the custody of the jail. After the evaluation, Circle Bear was taken to the cell block where she remained until approximately 8:18 a.m. on July 5, when a cellmate called for medical attention for Circle Bear. She was removed from cell block and taken to a holding cell where she was more closely monitored by jail staff for the next two hours, including checking her vital signs and consulted medical staff via telephone. At 10:37 a.m. Circle Bear was then found unresponsive and EMT services were called immediately. Jail staff began to administer CPR until EMT services arrived at 10:41 a.m. Circle Bear was then transported to local hospital where she later died.

On three separate occasions Circle Bear was asked if she had taken or was under the influence of any illegal drugs, including the time of her arrest, booking into Brown County Jail and during the mental health evaluation and each time she denied.

After the review of jail surveillance video and numerous interviews, investigators found no evidence to indicate Circle Bear obtained methamphetamine while in custody at the Brown County Jail and the totality of evidence demonstrates she brought the controlled substance into the Brown County Jail in a way that was not detectable from regular and acceptable jail procedures. The investigation results were found to be consistent with the forensic autopsy findings. The source of the methamphetamine is part of the criminal investigation associated with the initial traffic stop in Roberts County and may be further disclosed through normal course of those proceedings.


What’s with all the talk where the press is cultivating and recruiting Thune opponents?

Towards the end of today’s edition of the “Political Junkies” show on South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the people on the show mention how it seems KELO reporter Kevin Woster is trying to stir up recruiting a candidate against US Senator John Thune.

At the same time, KSOO reporter Todd Epp has been floating KSFY Republican hater weather man Phil Schrek as a candidate against our state’s senior US Senator.

At the same time, you don’t see Democrats putting that kind of emphasis on candidate recruitment against Thune. So, Democrats don’t care, or they’re unable to recruit, oddly leaving members of the mainstream media who are sending people and names up the flagpole to see if something catches the wind.

That seems to leave the question – “What gives?”

It is almost as if there are those in the media who are nervous there’s not going to be the kind of advertising dollars that get thrown around as they would in a competitive year.

Or more likely, it’s as if they’re trying to gin up someone to run, because without a Thune opponent, they’re left with an already hopelessly lopsided Congressional race (where Hawks is a sure loser), and a Public Utilities Commission contest that’s also a non-starter for the other side.  It’s as if they desperately want something else besides the Republican margin of victory in the legislative races to report on.

I’ve heard of press bias before, but when it seems they’re out recruiting for the Democrats – that takes the cake.

Not many Statewide elected officials can rock a speedo… Except for one.

I’m 30 years (and at least 30 beers) past my days wearing a speedo as part of the Pierre Swim Team. But if my eyes don’t deceive me, there’s someone on the SD Prairie Masters Swim Team who looks an awful lot like someone who just stood for election on a statewide basis.


Yes, I do believe that’s State Auditor Steve Barnett in the back row. Good for you buddy!  He shares the sport with former Governor Frank Farrar, who is dominating the 85-89 age group. I also think I saw a picture of Pam (Janklow) Derheim who I used to swim with on the PST on the website.

It’s great exercise, and if you’re a former swimmer, a great opportunity to take it up again, if but just to see Steve compete in a skimpy swimsuit. (I kid, I kid).  Maybe I’ll start a Brookings group myself, so I can dust off my flip-turn, and be the “B” swimmer I always strove to be.

Here’s the link for SD Masters swimming.

(Update…. okay, now he’s just showing off. I think I need to start a new blog – the incredible State Auditor!)

RCJ: Accused beer spiller acquitted in racially tinged incident in Rapid City.

From the Rapid City Journal:

Trace O’Connell, the Philip man accused of spilling bear on Native American children at a local hockey game in January, has been acquitted of the disorderly conduct charge against him.

The verdict, issued in the racially charged trial, was filed Tuesday morning by Magistrate Judge Eric Strawn.

Read it here.

How do you think that one is going to go over?

And do you think something really happened, or was it a social medial lynch mob ginning things up until it tool on a life of it’s own?

College out of reach? Rein in the 4th branch of government.

From the Argus Leader, the Board of Regents is telling the legislative planning commission that College is becoming out of reach because of it’s expense:

While the Board has worked to make college more affordable and more accessible for lower income students, there is still work to be done, Michael Rush, executive director of the South Dakota Board of Regents said.

Rush said there is a perception among South Dakota students that college carries too high a price tag. He said though the number of students enrolling in post-secondary institutions has increased over several years, the numbers aren’t as high as he’d like.


Partly to blame for that shying away from postsecondary education is the price tag. South Dakota public colleges have the second highest tuition rates in the region for residents. Of South Dakota’s neighboring states, the only state with a higher tuition price tag is Minnesota.

Read that her.

College is getting expensive? Well, it’s not cheap to build a fiefdom. Maybe it’s just me, but personally, I’m of the opinion that the BOR has done much of this to themselves.

I recall several years ago, instead of having everything processed in Pierre like the rest of state government, they formed their own accounting & payment system to the tune of several million dollars. We have how many universities in how many locations at this point?

The Board of Regents has long been considered the 4th Branch of government, and has managed to get by with little oversight in comparison to the rest of state government. If their mission is to provide a college education to those who qualify academically, coming back and saying they need more money for scholarships so people can afford it is putting the cart before the horse.

Before they come to the taxpayer’s well, what they need to do is to look how they can internally cut costs, and make decisions as to what are needs and what are wants.

I hold out the example in looking at colleges over the past few years with my kids. SDSU built a rock wall for student use. Next thing you know, USD built one, and boasted how theirs was a foot higher than SDSU’s. Yes, really.

Yes, I’m sure much of that is paid by student fees, as coming from my kids and my wife as she finishes up her doctorate. But, that example is a general pervasive attitude. There is no thought on “how can we college more affordable by reducing expenses?” It’s a question of “how much can we get away with raising student fees?”

Why is it inconceivable to go to a single university system? Or perhaps a study on how can we can consolidate some of the smaller ones into the larger ones? Or perhaps shift the accounting system back under State Government.

If they want to make college more affordable, that’s where the Board of Regents needs to start. Long before they work on ways where they can continue to charge students more.

Bill Maher promo noting how he’s “not that dissimilar from Donald Trump.” Not that you’ll get to meet him at the Dem’s reception.

On a Dakota Midday promo on SDPB, noting an upcoming interview today with comedian Bill Maher, who is being used to raise funds for the South Dakota Democrat Party, via his trip to Sioux Falls is apparently noted in the promo as how “he and Donald Trump are not that dissimilar.”

So, how does that work with the people attending the upcoming Democrat fundraiser?  Does that mean they’re endorsing that assessment?

That might be a good question for those shelling out $125 a pop to go see him with the Democrats.

maherBTW, about that fundraiser….

Regarding that fundraiser with premier seating and “Pre-Show Reception”…. It looks as if Democrats were forced to put a bit of a disclaimer on their web site about who is showing up when for that exclusive reception they keep hawking:

On Sunday, September 13th, comedian Bill Maher will be performing at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD at 7:00 pm! The South Dakota Democratic Party has a limited amount of tickets available for this one night only event, and is hosting an exclusive pre-show reception to Bill Maher’s performance.


There will not be a meet and greet with Bill Maher. The pre-show reception is an event hosted by the South Dakota Democratic Party in anticipation of Bill Maher’s first time to South Dakota.

Read that here.

Sooo…. The “Pre-Show Reception” actually gives you party officials like Ann Tornberg and Nick Nemec giving talks about how awesome Democrats are, despite a continuing string of losses and being at historic low numbers. And bonus – you’re not going to meet anyone famous, but you get to sit together for the privilege of paying $125 to the Democrats for tickets you could have gotten for $25 to $75 by yourself.

Good luck with that one.

Hawks claims she can beat Noem. Alien abduction, and unicorns are real as well.

Today’s headline at is blaring “Hawks says she can beat Noem.”

Yes, please try not to laugh. We probably can place that notion right along other flights of fancy such as bigfoot, unicorns, and alien abduction. Yes, there are people who believe in those too. But any proof remains to be seen.

Her bid is one seen by many as a long shot in a state where all 13 statewide offices are held by Republicans. But Hawks said despite South Dakota’s overwhelming Republican majority and her current lack of campaign dollars, she believes she can beat incumbent U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota, next November.

“I won my legislative race the last two sessions, I won my legislative race in 2012 in a Republican district. I won my second race in a Republican district with an extremely low Democratic turn out,” Hawks said. “I was elected by Republicans in my district.”

Read it here.

Yes, she did win her legislative race in the last 2 elections (not sessions). In 2012, she won by 82 votes. In 2014, she won by 8 votes.  Not exactly trending as a strong contender. She’s trending by the skin of her teeth.  And let’s not forget this little minor factoid:

But Noem, now in her third term will be challenging to beat at the ballot box. The Republican won in 61 of 66 counties in 2014. And her campaign spokesman, Justin Brasell, said Noem currently has $1.2 million on hand. Noem hasn’t started worrying about next November just yet, Brasell said.

Read that here.

At best, Hawks is down by $1.195 million in fundraising, assuming she’s put 5k of her own cash into it.

Considering she’s one of the state’s only 2 or three Democrats who will admit they’re in favor of a state income tax, AND she’s openly supporting Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that it looks like they’re chopping up and selling aborted fetuses… … I’d just reiterate that any hope of her winning resides in the realm of imagination with bigfoot and unicorns.

Where any such ridiculous notions of her winning statewide election against Congresswoman Kristi Noem belong.