News of the week and Commentary from a Libertarian Point of View
This week is starting out with a definite downside for South Dakota, having lost two of her best-known sons in a matter of a few hours.
George S. McGovern, Democratic nominee who lost to Nixon in ’72, dies at 90
(Washington Post) George S. McGovern, the three-term senator from South Dakota who carried the Democratic Party’s liberal banner in the Vietnam War era, launched a star-crossed bid for the presidency in 1972, and energized many of the leading Democrats of the past generation, died Sunday at a hospice in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90.
His death was not unexpected. Like much of South Dakota politics, his were badly messed up. An article posted today hailed his late-life libertarian or conservative views, caused by trying to run a bed-and-breakfast back east after getting out of politics and learning at first hand how bad government is for business and people, but I don’t buy it. I never met or knew him, but I know a lot of his protégées, several of whom WERE also small businessmen (or women) but who have never given up their statist, liberal, and now Tranzi views of life and politics. His legacy is NOT a good one, not from the point of view of the liberty of South Dakota and the other forty-nine States.
But he is not the only loss to South Dakota this week.
Russell Means dies at 72; American Indian rights activist, actor
(Los Angeles Times) One of the leaders of the famed 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, Russell Means helped thrust the plight of Native …
Nathan: I heard of Russell’s death early this morning, and our esteemed publisher also sent me this link to share:
Russell Means is Dead
Russell C. Means, the charismatic Oglala Sioux who helped revive the
warrior image of the American Indian in the 1970s with guerrilla-tactic
protests that called attention to the nation’s history of injustices
against its indigenous peoples, died on Monday at his ranch in
Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72.
Nathan: As I said, I learned about this on the 0800 news. He had claimed (last month) to have overcome throat cancer, but that apparently did for him. According to friends in Pine Ridge, he died about 0500 West River Time (Mountain Daylight Savings Time). Porcupine is in eastern Shannon County, the major part of Pine Ridge. His body will be cremated and ashes spread over the Black Hills (quite contrary to Lakota tradition). He looked really bad in pictures and a video last month, and despite his protestations, this is again not that much a surprise.
It is ironic that I was delayed in finishing the fourth part of my commentary on Steven Lendman’s article about Russell’s Republic of Lakotah. As a result, I did revise my Part 4 somewhat, but his death doesn’t change my opinion of his politics and his personal attributes.
Russell Means’ politics (like almost all South Dakota politics) was very confused. He ran for the LP nomination for President in 1987 (and lost to Ron Paul) and he endorsed Ron Paul this year for President, but I cannot consider him to be even a Minarchist based on his conversations and writings and his actions over his entire life. But he was a very intelligent man and enormously informed about the world and willing to take action in many ways. And I can say that he and his views (wrong though they often were) will be missed. Pine Ridge is a poorer place now. My prayers are with his tiospaye.
The cause of death was esophageal cancer that had spread recently to his tongue,
lymph nodes and lungs, said Glenn Morris, Mr. Means’s legal
representative. Told in the summer of 2011 that the cancer was
inoperable, Mr. Means had already resolved to shun mainstream medical
treatments in favor of herbal and other native remedies.
Mama’s Note: I met both Ron Paul and Russell Means 25 years ago during my time with the Calif. LP. Means impressed me as a forceful, typical politician and showman, while Ron Paul was simply a truly humble man with a passion for liberty – however much I disagree with some of his ideas that include the “constitution” as a path to freedom.