Tuesday Roundup: Russell Means Dies

Progressive Farmer poll of rural voters • Ohio has gas aplenty, but prices are low • Food program cuts would affect 1.8 million

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Russell Means, the charismatic Oglala activist, died early Monday at his home in Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge reservation. He was 72 and died of esophageal cancer.

“Our dad and husband now walks among our ancestors,” a statement from the family said, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. 

Means joined the American Indian Movement in 1968. He was part of an AIM disturbance at the Custer County Courthouse in 1973 when a white man received a less than severe sentence for the stabbing death of a Native American at Buffalo Gap. Means, Dennis Banks and other AIM members led the 71-day takeover of Wounded Knee in 1973. And in 1974, Means was “in the middle of a melee that broke out in a third-floor courtroom at the Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls during a trial over the 1973 Custer disturbances,” Steve Young reports

Means served more than a year in the state prison, where he was stabbed by an inmate.

“Russell was not afraid to die,” his friend, former U.S. Sen. Jim Abourezk of Sioux Falls, said. “He was someone who decided to devote his life to calling attention to wrongs done to Indians. He did it through confrontation with authorities. I think he believed that was the only way to get anybody’s attention to these issues.”

Means eventually appeared in more than 30 films and television shows, including “Last of the Mohicans,” “Natural Born Killers” and “Pathfinder.”

Here is the obituary in the New York Times

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Ohio’s Energy Boom…or Bust — The Utica shale formation was supposed to be “the biggest thing to hit Ohio since the plow,” according to one oil and gas driller. The shale formation was supposed to hold hydrocarbons worth $500 billion. 

The concern now is that the Utica holds more gas than oil. And gas prices have slumped now to near break-even rates for drillers.

Nobody really knows now, however, because Ohio doesn’t require drillers to release much information.

Romney Rural AdHere’s a video showing in Colorado by the Romney campaign. It shows farmer Bob Sakata. 

Food Program Cuts — The Congressional Budget Office estimates that cuts in food programs proposed by House Republicans would affect 1.8 million Americans now receiving food aid. 

More than 46 million people nationwide now receive food stamps.

“It’s a nutrition issue, farm income issue and a jobs issue,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture, who added that the food program helps stabilize commodity prices for farmers. “If more food has to be sold, processed, trucked, that creates jobs in the supply chain.”

Rural Voters — The Progressive Farmer ran a poll of rural voters in July, finding that 54 percent intended to vote for Mitt Romney compared to 31 percent who said they intended to vote for President Obama. 

 

 

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