My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I’m sorry to bother you so late in the holiday season. I realize that you’re finishing off that huge payload that you’re going to deliver all over the world later tonight. Please hear me out, though, as I have some ideas that I think you’re going to love. It’s been quite the tumultuous year, so it’s only fitting that we treat a few people in a matter they so richly deserve.
Let’s start with the jackass (or jackasses, really) with the giant, but not brand new, truck who took up three parking places at Barnes and Noble yesterday. His 1991 Ford Pickup certainly deserves plenty of room, so can you possibly come up with some kind of expandable wings so he can take up even more room? It would be fantastic if more of us fatties would have to walk from a block away to see if my favorite British rags have shown up.
While we’re discussing yesterday’s misadventures, how about you send some personalized traffic signals to those cretins who decided they needed to be in the far left lane on 41st Street even though they were in the far right lane. I think they’d appreciate the extra ease in getting backed up traffic to stop to allow them to turn onto the street that heads to Target.
Let’s move on to our friends at City Domination Headquarters, aka Sanford Health. They’re already able to do whatever they want, as evidenced by the city’s approval earlier this month to take away 30 or so homes without notice. Let’s just carve up a good portion of the city, like everything north of Russell Avenue and give it to them. Move the zoo into that area, since apparently they now own that, and force everybody to rename their business Sanford. They can even have their own empty, unused 18,000 seat Events Center.
Speaking of arenas, this is an old request, Santa, but you have yet to deliver on this one. The Mayor, City Council, and everybody on the Event Center Task Force deserve their own copies of the Sims video game. They can then plot all they want about how to turn our frozen tundra into a destination that will rival Vegas, Disneyworld, and the Colorado ski slopes for that convention center cash. Throw in a copy of Madden, NBA Fast Break, and Guitar Hero and they can perform for the couple of thousand attendees who will somehow fill the 18,000 seats.
Now it’s time to help out the city police, highway patrol, fire department, and other civil servants who are constantly called upon to give quotes to our local media. Send them a TV script writer who is currently out of work thanks to stupid reality television to add some spice to their daily clichés. Look, we all know that when there is snow on the streets we should slow down and give the plows enough room to do their job. There has to be new ways to tell us the same tips.
As for the local television stations, I would really love to see the weather department receive some new toys for the winter season. In the summer, I love the “lite brites” that show us where lightning has already struck. Why they show us this meaningless statistic, I don’t know, but it sure looks cool. There has to be some gizmo that can light up our giant hi-def televisions in the winter. I have complete faith in the abilities in your tiny staff.
Let’s end this list with probably the most important request on this list. You see, Santa, there’s a television station in this town that is going the extra step to protect our city. KSFY has publicly stated that they are now TOUGH ON CRIME, as if somehow they’ve discovered that our police department lacks the skills to do the job alone. They’ve already taken credit for putting a lottery ticket thief in jail, and they so scared a convenience store robber that he turned himself in a full day before they aired his profile.
In the process of spending a bunch of cash on graphics and sound effects to prove just how tough they are, they’ve had to fire a bunch of veteran reporters and production staff. Their replacements may know nothing about our city, but they sure know how to dramatize the words “Breaking News”. What they need, Santa, are the important tools to fight crime – badges, uniforms, firearms, wiretap tools, armored cars, explosive devises. As hard as they work, they really can’t fight crime with just a microphone and a camera (although short skirts for Melissa Stee could stop me from doing anything). Let them have the necessary equipment to make our fine city safe from the deadbeat dads and bad check writers who populate their Wheel of Justice.
Obviously, Santa, this is an incomplete list. I trust that you have plenty of treats for everybody else in Sanfordland…I mean Sioux Falls. As for me, I just wish for health and happiness for all of my friends and family (emphasis on health). Ok, maybe a porn star or two under my tree would make for a great Christmas. Can I suggest Teagan Presley or this new girl named Soya?
Merry Christmas, my friend.


Anonymous said…
Dear Santa,

I just want some good hard rock bands to play in Sioux Falls this year, and for everyone to actually attend concerts so we can have more of them.
I'm even willing to give Scott Hudson my parking space at Barnes and Noble in the spirit of Christmas.

Bob said…
Note from Newland: This message went out to supporters of South Dakotans for Safe Access and the Safe Access Act of 2009 the day after Christmas. I am sending it simultaneously to several South Dakota blog moderators. The principle topic I thought might interest you was the exchange between Kevin Woster and the Attorney General.

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had good holiday celebrations. And even better day-after sale-shopping.

The immediately-following deals with medical cannabis only peripherally. It would not have happened without the current SDSA campaign to get the issue of medical cannabis into the legislative session beginning in January. It also shows that no matter what we do, our opponents will say that what we really want is to give heroin to babies, or some such.

For a couple of years now, Kevin Woster, a writer for the Rapid City (SD) Journal, and one of the moderators for the Mt Blogmore political blog (a Journal property), has periodically, if rather timidly, questioned the efficacy of the War on (Some) Drugs, and has written columns for the Journal in which he has told of people he knows who have used cannabis to fight the effects of illnesses and their treatments.

On Dec. 2, he made the following post to Mt. Blogmore...

Please, somebody explain how we’re winning the war on drugs

By Kevin Woster

I come to this discussion as one who does not smoke pot.

I don’t want to smoke pot. I don’t intend to smoke pot.

Whether it’s legal or not.

I’ve smoked it, three or four times, way back when. Got no desire to smoke it again. (Yes, Newland, I might change my mind if I had a medical condition it made better.)

Mostly, I think pot does more harm than good. But mostly, I also think alcohol does more harm than good. All told, I think we’d be better off if more people smoked pot and fewer people drank alcohol. But I think we’d be a lot better off if more people didn’t do much of either.

I have no desire to “feel better,” as Newland puts it. I like feeling the way I feel.

But that’s just me. I don’t care if somebody else smokes it, as long as they don’t do something while feeling its effects - such as driving a car, most likely well under the speed limit, and threatening my safety.

But I think your average stoned motorist would probably be less of a threat than your average distracted - by cell-phone chatter and even, amazingly enough, texting - motorist.

Or your average fixing-her-lipstick motorist. Or your average reading-his-newspaper motorist. Or your average yelling-at-the-kids-in-the-backseat motorist.

Or the average charged-up-on-caffeine-and-nicotine motorist.

And as one who has spent a good share of time - sober, or straight - with friends and acquaintances who were either drunk or stoned, I’ll tell you I’ll take stoned every time. No contest.

Beyond all that, how does it benefit anyone in South Dakota to bust those goofy “mules” from the West Coast driving across South Dakota to deliver a load of pot someplace else? Most appear to be poor, and desperate for dollars.

Why should we celebrate throwing them in prison for many years, especially when state taxpayers pay for their keep?

Isn’t it counterproductive to clog our courts and criminal system for pot offenses?

Isn’t it a waste of resources? Does it have any real effect on how many people smoke pot?

Are we winning “the war on drugs”? If so, please tell me how?

(See the comments on this blog post)

After the posting above, Woster was speaking with the Attorney General of So. Dak. The result of that conversation was the Woster column below.

If there's not a graphic file of a newspaper column directly below, you can read the column at the following website...


One might read into Larry Long's words an element of attempted intimidation. I certainly read into Woster's words an element of "How stupid can an attorney general be and still make it to work nearly daily?" It could be be I'm just projecting.

We can see that the AG can at least read the Drug Czar's primer. Or has had someone read it to him. "We're keeping lots of people off drugs because they're illegal," he said. Who, for instance? Name one. You, Mr. AG? Or your predecessor? Or his predecessor? I don't think so. (Understand, I am 60 years old, and I used to hang out in crowds these folks hung out in.)

I think you should send Kevin Woster an "Attaboy!"
Let him know his words are appreciated. Be sure you let him know what you're praising him for.

Incidentally, I've been invited to talk about the proposed South Dakota Safe Access Act of 2009 on So. Dak. Public Radio on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 11 am Mountain Time. Also on the air and online that day, opposing me, I assume, will be Larry Long, So. Dak.'s Attorney General, or, at least, someone from his office. You can listen live on So. Dak. Public Radio almost anywhere in So. Dak. on the FM dial, or online at

You might recall that SDSA asked for the Attorney General's assistance in drafting legislation that would protect patients from arrest for trying to alleviate their own suffering. We sent that letter on Dec. 9. We're still waiting for his reply.

There might be archived shows at, as well, in case you can't listen live.

Less than three weeks until the legislative session begins. If you have not called your legislators, DO IT THIS WEEK!!! Review the procedure and how to find who your legislators are at

That page also contains a lot more info, if you're just starting to get these messages.

Check out our 4x5 inch handout cards. If you want some, let me know, and I'll mail them to you.

Please. If you know someone who needs medical cannabis, ask him or her to contact me. Our list of horror stories and government cruelty to extremely sick people is growing.

Always put SDSA in the subject line, so I can find it in my spam filter. My Spam filter will send back a challenge message to addresses it doesn't recognize, too, and you can write in some numbers from an image, and get yourself cleared thru the filter. The most effective way to move a legislator in our direction is to arrange an interview between a legislator and a medical cannabis criminal from his community. Most legislators will agree to confidentiality. I think they can be trusted to keep their word.

I'll have more news and views for you in a day or two.

Best regards,
Bob Newland

P.S. If you see anything SDSA might be able to do -- to raise the general level of consciousness on this issue -- on a real low budget, let us know. If it's a DYNAMITE idea that costs some money, we might be able to raise some money to do it.
Anonymous said…
2008 was the year the self-congratulating "community" newspaper The Argus Leader began laying off production staff and outsourcing its ads to India.

If a publication is so dedicated to its city and state, why would it be screwing over its employees, the residents that help it most?

What about the advertisers? Do they know they're not paying for work not done in great US of A? In this xenophobic, quasi-racist state, it might be a death blow to an already dwindling revenue.

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