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Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Reason to Read SD Blogosphere: Northern Profs Discuss Incarceration

Professors David Newquist and Ken Blanchard remind us of the usefulness of the South Dakota blogosphere for sharing intelligent civil discourse. Dr. Newquist's thoughtful Thursday observations on incarceration inspire Dr. Blanchard to respond with a three-part (so far) series on the topic. I recommend reading both authors' works.

We build knowledge in conversation and interaction. The for-profit mainstream media don't (and don't want to?) give us that. When's the last time you saw KELO and KSFY or the Press and Dakotan and Daily Republic develop a story together? In the blogosphere, as Northern Valley Beacon and South Dakota Politics contend and critique, they also collaborate, building knowledge together not as a finished consumer product or platform for advertising, but as an evolving understanding that all South Dakotans can share and contribute to.

Among the key points the good professors bring out:
  • NVB notes that South Dakota incarcerates twice as many people as North Dakota. 6.3% of our state workforce and 7% of the state budget go toward prisons.
  • SDP points to Census figures that between South and North Dakota, South Dakota has a much higher rate of violent crime while North Dakota has a much higher rate of property crime. "[I]t would appear," observes Dr. Blanchard, "that North Dakotans are both less violent on average and less respectful of their neighbor's property." In his intelligence and restraint, Dr. Blanchard misses the chance to say, "That's what you'd expect from those income-taxing North Dakota socialists."


  1. "That's what you'd expect from those income-taxing North Dakota socialists."

    If we institute an income tax in South Dakota, will we become less violent?

  2. ... and less respectful of our neighbor's property?


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