New York Post… Look to your own house before throwing stones at us.

Concerning the NY post article:

The Great Wide Open – How rural America has become a vanishing way of life.
Read it here:

Hey New York, clean up your own cesspool before you look at our Prairie!  Last time I looked you have more murders in a week than we do out here in year, and out here carrying a gun is legal.

As to the population loss, I truly believe you have seen the last of it in Rural America.  The 2010 census shows the change in population over ten years.  In 2000 we didn’t have high speed internet, a cell phone in every pocket and I-pads.

The census looks at a population shift but not the dynamic.  The true paradigm shift has been outbound from the troubled, crime ridden, overtaxed and under serviced cities to smaller cities like Sioux Falls, Fargo or Cedar Rapids.  Now the shift is happening again.  From those towns to even smaller towns.  

People not from here are starting to find out that they can send their kids to public school with class sizes of about twelve.  They are finding out, through the new media, that South Dakota has no income tax.  In fact, per capita, the taxes here in South Dakota are lower than any other state in the nation.  

Businesses owners in tune with the information age find that they can conduct business in this state which encourages entrepreneurship rather than the one they are in which is trying to tax and regulate them into oblivion.

The next census will tell a different tale.  It will be a tale of two cities (or rather one city crumbling under the weight of it’s own bureaucracy and a small town with few government constraints).  Those cities could be New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Huston or even Los Angeles.  The other Doland, Eureka, Harried, in South Dakota or perhaps Brandon, Iowa or Bloomfield Nebraska.  One shrinking and one growing.

People who work from home are starting to realize that “home” can be anywhere.  They are choosing to leave the high cost and congested areas and moving where the kids can go out and play without the fear of being molested.

Watch the 2020 census…. South Dakota may just have TWO Congressmen.

By the way New York, just how many congressional seats did you loose this year?

Oh…. and one more thing…..  It’s pronounced “Harry-id”, not “Harried”.

Rick Skorupski

A proud transplant in South Dakota.


Its not Burgers, Beer, Boating or even B-Ball.

I want to say something about this Memorial day. I want to perhaps compose some prose that will express the respect and admiration I have for those who gave “all they were” to keep this land free.

I want to talk about farmers and shop keepers who became a militia in 1775 and fought the most powerful nation in the world to victory. About the Battle of Bunker Hill and the “Shot Heard Round The World. About a four ship ragtag Navy they took on the British fleet.

I want to talk about those who fought that same super power again one generation later. Those who fell in the battle of New Orleans or those who gave all they had near our new Capital in a futile attempt to keep it from enemy hands.

I want to talk about Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Antietam, Bull Run and the rivers and streams that flowed red with the blood of father against son.

Remember the Maine! Was the battle cry as Teddy Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill.

There is no one left to remember the first time “Over There” was sung. We went to Europe to fight the “War to End War”. Men, dug in in trenches in places like Verdun and Belleau Wood, forfeiting their lives more from bad food, dysentery and other ills than from bullets in battle. Hero’s none the less.

Then came December 7th, 1941. A day that saw more than 3000 men die while preventing Japan from taking a strategic position within striking distance of our western shore. Other names come to mind, Midway and Coral Sea on the water along with Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal on the land. On the other side of the world there was The Battle of the Atlantic, Kasserine Pass and the Battle of the Bulge. If you tour Europe today you will find countless places where the Sons of this great land are laid to rest. They gave all they were to defeat the Social Democratic government of Adolph Hitler and the fascist Emperor of Japan.

But we are not done yet. There was Inchon, Chosin Reservior, Heartbreak Ridge.

Twenty years later we heard words like An Loc, The Easter Offensive, Hamburger Hill and Tet.

Even today we remember those who are in western Asia fighting against a cowardly enemy who will plant a bomb in a square and run away.

There is no generation in our history that has not given a portion of its sons (and now daughters) to defend us against tyrants, dictators and communist rule. There is no higher price to pay and therefore no higher honor given to a man or woman than one fallen in battle.

This day I will pray for my country, I will pray for the families of the fallen. I will honor those who gave all so I could live free.

Our President, on the other hand, has chosen to go the Chicago to play b-ball with his buddies rather than attend the ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown in Arlington Cemetery. A tradition unbroken in decades.

The English language does not contain words to express my contempt.

On immigration reform:

On immigration reform: 

Let me say first and foremost that I have no problem with LEGAL immigration.  My mother’s, mother’s parents came from Ireland and Germany, my father’s father from Poland.  Had not these families LEGALLY immigrated, my parents would have never met and I would not exist. 

Having said that, I am strongly opposed to ILLEGAL immigration.  People who have such little regard for our law that their very FIRST act in this country is to break it. 

We all know that the system is broken.  It rewards those who break the law while hindering those who try to do things right.  Simply stated, the system is upside down.  LEGAL work visas are nearly impossible to obtain while comparatively it is a relatively easy thing to simply walk across an unfenced and unguarded border.  In a world that is run by common sense rather than politicians seeking to get reelected, the reverse would be true.  Work visa’s would be easy to obtain by honest folks and ILLEGAL workers would have a hard time finding work. 

But….how to get there?  This will take a new and fresh approach on immigration.  We must make it easy for honest law abiding persons who want be here and work here while making it difficult for those who use our soft borders to break the law.  That is true immigration reform. 

A man smarter than me laid out a simple idea that seems to work in my mind.  Here it is in a nutshell….. With my personal modifications, I will spell it out in a simple four step process. 

1. CLOSE THE BORDER!!!!!  If you come home from vacation and find that a hose burst on the washing machine and water has flooded the basement, what do you do first?  TURN OFF THE WATER!!!  We need to build a fence, patrol the fence and stem the tide of illegal traffic of people, drugs and who knows what else is coming across into this country. 

2. Enforce the laws concerning hiring illegal workers.  Put the full force of the legal system behind it.  A company violates the law once they pay an outrageously hefty fine, second time – someone goes to jail.  No one will be willing to risk jail time to save a few bucks on labor.  Illegal hiring will dry up. 

3. Establish at legal points of entry as a means for LEGAL workers to come in.  Each person wishing to enter will have fingerprints taken, perhaps other biometric scans as well.  Each will be compared to a data base of prior offenders and, when cleared, (this can and should take less than a minute) will be issued a green card.  One thing, each individual will be asked to sign a card stating that should they violate ANY law they will be subject to immediate revocation of their visa and deported.  Each person holding a work visa will be required to renew that visa at regular intervals (perhaps semi annually). 

4. Open the outbound gates and let the stream of those who are here illegally get out so they can get in line to come back in legally.  Those 12 to 20 millions that the government says they can’t deport will gladly deport themselves so they can get in line to get the legal visa. 

This is immigration reform that works. Where did I get the original concept? From a book written by man that understands the world that works and the world that fails. 

As things go…

This is not mine and probably not new, but I did think it was worth posting.

Thanks to my friend Joe.

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel “Pick up your shovel, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land.”

Nearly 75 years ago, Roosevelt said, “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a camel, this is the Promised Land.”

Now Obama has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of camels, and mortgaged the promised land!

Couldn’t even miss one meal out……

I heard it last night and was not convinced of the story.  Now this morning I read it in my local paper….. 

It seems that “Hard as they tried“, the South Dakota Legislators could not find a way to cut 32 million dollars from the state budget.  Let’s see $32,000,000 from a budget that is about $1,500,000,000 (state spending). 

If I do my math right that’s 2% percent!!!  The State Legislators could not find 2 percent in savings??  Who’s kidding who? 

Let’s put this in money I can understand.  Lets use a family that has an income of $3000 each month.  If this family had a reduction in income of 2% that would be about sixty dollars.  So instead of making $3000 each month they would have $2940 each month.  That might not be the best news but it would not be devastating.  There are ways for a family to not spend 2% of what they were used to.  One less night in a restaurant.  Perhaps skip the dirt track races for a while.  Cancel the premium channels on cable.  What I am trying to say is for you and me, though it may be a bit uncomfortable, cutting 2% in spending would be an easy goal. 

Now… Are you legislators in Pierre telling me that you can’t find even enough savings equivalent to a dinner out for the family? 

BUT – That is only the beginning…. 

I find out this morning that they postponed any decision on that budget until the last possible moment.  Why?  To see if they can get a bailout from their Uncle Sam.  Like whiney children they are saying,  “We don’t want to stop our movie channels, we and our rich uncle to buy them for us!”  Their excuse?  “He’s going to give it out anyway.  If we don’t take it someone else will.” 

What happened to Pride and Self Sufficiency?  What happened to “I can stand on my own.”?  My grandfather suffered the great depression (as did all of yours).  He lost his business, and had to struggle to make ends meet.  He worked hard to get out of poverty and back to prosperity. 

What is the message that our Legislature wants to send to the nation?  We are so poor that we can not make ends meet and we need help from the citizens of New York and California?  Are we saying we are so feeble-minded that we can’t control a budget smaller than the budget of St. Paul, Minnesota? 

Well I say NO.  I say we manage our own business in Pierre, spend when the money is there and cut when it isn’t.  I say NO to the federal bailouts with all the strings, rules and regulations attached.  We CAN stand on our own feet in South Dakota and we know it. 

Our legislative leaders can’t….. It seems they lack the spine.  

I am disappointed ….  and ashamed. 

What a profound short little paragraph that says it all!!!

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”      Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

I want to take a few minutes and talk about two cities.   Both were threatened with catastrophic flooding.  Both had adequate warning.  The results were far different.

The first city is Fargo North Dakota.

This city has a river, called the Red River, running on it’s eastern border.  In 1997 this river overflowed it’s banks and devastated the city.  This year again the Red River was predicted to crest above the recently built and fortified levies.  A call went out from the Mayor’s office team asking for help. 

Thousands answered the call.  Volunteers not only from Fargo but neighboring towns and states flooded (pardon the pun) into the city to help with the sandbagging effort.  The North Dakota National Guard was activated to help, even South Dakota loaned it’s neighbor to the north 2500 National Guardsmen/women to help in the effort.  Local radio stations discontinued their regular programming and worked closely with the Mayor’s office coordinate the location and disbursement of volunteers.

After a Herculean effort by these thousands, the dikes and levies were built up to hold back a the Red River to a level of 43 feet.  More than three feet higher the record in 1997.  The river crested at just under 42’ and the city was spared.  The city suffered only minimal damage.

Two days after the crest volunteers were still in the Fargo Dome packing sand bags.  You see, the city was in the middle of a major blizzard and folks were concerned about a second crest when the new snow starts to melt. 

There was some light coverage on the national news.

The second city is New Orleans Louisiana.

In 2005 this city was told that a major hurricane was on the way in five days.  There was a chance that the levies would not hold.  The mayor’s office told people to evacuate and some did.  Many did not.  The hurricane missed the city and there was great sigh of relief.  Then the water came.

 Since they did nothing to prepare and the people who were supposed to monitor such things were unqualified patronage appointments, the levies failed.  Tens of thousands of people were trapped in their houses, thousands climbed onto the roofs and had to be rescued by Coast Guard, Navy and (later) National Guard helicopters.

Two days after the crest of the storm surge the Super Dome was turned in to a pile of refuse and human excrement.  The Mayor’s office of Emergency management and most of the Police force was not to be found. The Governor still refused to call up the Louisiana National Guard. 

The mayor was on the TV continually telling the world that it was the fault of federal government and the President of the United States that all this misery was upon them.

The national news was ablaze with story after story on the suffering that was caused by FEMA and the President.

Now I know that hurricane can cause far more catastrophic damage than a flooding river.  But in the case of New Orleans and Fargo, it was the flooding, not the storm, that was the problem.

One city worked hard, bringing individuals together to save their town, the other sat back and waited for the government to fix it.  The city that got it right is obvious.

This is not a Democrat vs. Republican thing.  In fact, the Mayor of Fargo is not a Republican.  This is a right verses wrong thing.  

The lesson to be learned here is that individuals, volunteering their time and energy, can be far more effective than any government agency (even a massive Federal one like FEMA).

One more thought….. What would happen in the news today if the Mayor of Fargo would get on the TV and say that, now that this is over, Fargo is going to be “Vanilla” again?

The American Work Ethic Is Not Dead In Flyover Country

I had some excitement yesterday afternoon:

There was a crew across the road harvesting the wheat.  Well, yesterday afternoon two young (high school age) gentlemen drove up and said their combine was on fire.  They had tried to put it out with the water they had on hand but it was not enough.  Could they drive it over here and use the hose?  Hmmmmm….  Wanting to help but not wanting a blazing piece of multi ton equipment that is larger than a semi truck near my house, I told them to bring it up the south driveway half way (that would be about three hundred feet out) and I would meet them with the hose.  The shallow well is out that way and I have over 200 feet of hose hooked up to it.  So…..  I turned on the pump the the well and pulled the hose down the driveway.  They drove the thing in and proceeded to remove access panels and covers in order to get to the smoke.  Seems that something had overheated and had blistered the paint.  Some of the chaff from the wheat harvest was also smoldering.   No real “fire” as such, but a lot of smoke that had to be checked out.  They used a bunch of water to cool the area down, put the whole thing together, said thanks, drove back across the road and went back to work.

The OLDEST of the three of them was 18.  THAT is what I mean when I say the Midwest has not forgotten the basic work ethic.  These kids have been here (from a town 90 miles away) for the last several days, by themselves, and are doing a grown up’s job.  They have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment here which they are using and are bring in a harvest from 320 acres.  The wheat from that square half mile is worth right about $200,000.00.  All without an adult.

If you live on the East or Left coast, I’ll bet you can’t even get a high school kid in your neighborhood to properly mow and trim your lawn!!!

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 7:55 am  Comments (1)  
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