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WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
April 18, 2018

MN08 gets even more interesting.

Leah Phifer, top vote-getter at the District 8 convention this past weekend but who couldn't get enough for an endorsement, just announced she won't take it to a primary. Good riddance.

April 4, 2018

Native American Lacrosse Teams Reported Racial Abuse. Then Their League Expelled Them.


Lacrosse was played by Native American nations across North America long before it was colonized by Europeans. But despite Native people’s historical and cultural connection to the game, they were periodically banned from playing before the 1973 American Indian Religious Freedom Act restored Native peoples’ right to practice religious and cultural ceremonies. Native Americans who play and coach lacrosse today have recent ancestors who were forced to play in secret.

Jeremiah Moreno, who coaches the 7 Flames youth lacrosse team in the Dakota Premier Lacrosse League (DPLL), says he views instilling a reverence for lacrosse and its history as a part of his job. “The game is a ceremony to us. I tell the kids, this game our ancestors played was a ceremony, so you have to respect it,” he said. “The Creator is the one looking down on you watching you play, with a good happy heart. So no matter what happens, no matter who says what to you, you always remember that.”

Until a few weeks ago, Moreno’s team was one of a few majority-Native lacrosse teams playing in the DPLL, the only lacrosse league in the Dakotas, which includes players from age 11 through high school. 7 Flames draws most of its players from two Lakota reservations, while two other Native-majority teams in the league, Susbeca (which means dragonfly in the Dakota language) and Lightning Stick Society, field mostly players from Dakota reservations.

Last month, these three Native American teams were suddenly expelled from the DPLL by league administrator Corey Mitchell, for reasons players and coaches say they still do not understand. Members of all three teams say they have experienced severe racial abuse from other DPLL players, parents, and referees, and they allege they were kicked out of the league because Mitchell was uninterested in addressing their allegations of racial abuse.
April 4, 2018

Inside a Private Prison: Blood, Suicide and Poorly Paid Guards


JACKSON, Miss. — On the witness stand and under pressure, Frank Shaw, the warden of the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, could not guarantee that the prison was capable of performing its most basic function.

Asked if the guards were supposed to keep inmates in their cells, he said, wearily, “They do their best.”

According to evidence and testimony at a federal civil rights trial, far worse things were happening at the prison than inmates strolling around during a lockdown: A mentally ill man on suicide watch hanged himself, gang members were allowed to beat other prisoners, and those whose cries for medical attention were ignored resorted to setting fires in their cells.


The case, which has received little attention beyond the local news media, provides a rare glimpse into the cloistered world of privately operated prisons, at a time when the number of state inmates in private facilities is increasing and the Trump administration has indicated that it will expand their use.

A heartbreaking, harrowing read.

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