Is a brain drain “hollowing out” rural America?

Two sociologists say the meltdown of rural America has reached a tipping point, one which is “transforming rural communities throughout the nation into impoverished ghost towns.”

In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, husband and wife Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas say a brain drain led to a “hollowing out” of […]

South Dakota’s ‘hate groups’ quartet

What do neo-Nazis, skinheads and fundamentalist Mormons have in common? In South Dakota, they comprise the “hate groups” identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC has created an online map of organizations and groups it considers to be “hate groups,” which it defines as having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an […]

Does Dutch pot mean fewer prisoners?

“Coffee shops” are quite popular in Amsterdam and other parts of the Netherlands. That’s because although cannabis, a/k/a/ marijuana, is technically illegal, authorities take no action if it is smoked in a “coffee shop.” The shops are licensed and regulated by the government and marijuana and hashish can be consumed on site, although the shops […]

Reflecting on South Dakota’s stem cell research ban

Regardless of your position on stem cell research, there’s one thing South Dakotans don’t have to worry about as a result of President Obama ending restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research. No money for or research using embryonic stem cells will be here.

Nearly 18 months before President Bush restricted funding for stem […]

Whither arts funding in bad economic times?

It didn’t take long. Within hours of Gov. Mike Rounds announcing he was proposing cutting all funding for the South Dakota Arts Council, the e-mails started flying. One I received even contained a sample letter to cut and paste and send your legislator (or the entire Legislature) urging reinstatement of that funding. And arts organizations […]

Time to be pulling those heads out of the sand

I’ve been hearing the line for months now. The Sioux Falls economy is such that we are relatively immune from the recession or, at worst, there will be limited impact. Whether it was optimism, hope or delusion, the last 24 hours or so demonstrates that head-in-the-sand feeling should be replaced by the consternation expereicned across […]