Grand Forks Herald
Why do people obey the law? For two big reasons, human experience shows: First, to "do right"—to be a good person, in other words. Religion, civic duty and a desire to be a good example for one's children are among the motivators for this response. Second, to avoid punishment. Which brings us to the wildfires along Interstate 29 last week. If society wants people to be careful with fire and other potentially dangerous tools, it has to punish people who are extremely careless with them.
"This intuitive understanding of the benefits of early childhood education is supported by a wealth of social and medical research," writes North Dakota's state superintendent of public instruction on this page. Counters the president of the North Dakota Family Alliance, "but countless studies confirm the 'fade-out' effect of preschool programs by the end of the third grade." Who's right? Well, that's not clear.
If civics teachers in North Dakota high schools need a new case study for "How a bill becomes law," they could do worse than House Bill 1328. The bill, recently passed by the North Dakota Legislature, puts some limits on police officers' use of drones. But that's just a shorthand summary. In full, the bill represents a classic scenario of competing interests, passionate arguments and hard-fought compromise. The negotiating proved so difficult that it took two legislative sessions to complete.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Ulysses S. Grant accepted Robert E. Lee's surrender in the village of Appomattox Court House. And while the action marked the end of the divisive Civil War, it marked the start of a unifying tradition: the tradition of generosity in victory. Now, a century-and-a-half later, that's a tradition supporters of gay rights should consider returning to.
Ah, the Good Old Days. Some elements of them weren't really so good. But some were righteous, like the luxury of being able to travel to and from Canada while flashing only your driver's license at the border. The act not only reflected a trust between the two countries that was unique in the history of the world.
Conservatives in North Dakota often point to South Dakota as a place with friendlier tax policies, and as a result — until the oil boom, at least — a stronger...
It always helps to get a fresh pair of eyes on a situation. And when a series of knowledgeable outsiders — after evaluating that situation — reach strikingly similar conclusions, then it's time for insiders to take note. That's now the case with the North Dakota Board of Higher Education, which is evaluating its short list of candidates for chancellor. The chancellor hire will be the board's most important action of 2015.
When North Dakotans go to the polls, they vote for Senate and House members to represent their district. The candidates campaign on their ability to represent the district. Incumbents point to local improvements to show their skill at representing the district. Implicit in all that — so much so that voters take it for granted — is the notion that the House and Senate members will live in the district. But will they? North Dakota law is weak on that question.
Now and then, North Dakota has something to say that the president of the United States should hear. This is one of those times: North Dakota's senators are sending President Barack Obama a message about the nuclear negotiations with Iran. The message is that Congress wants to be involved in those negotiations, the American people want Congress to be involved — and Obama should make sure Congress is involved. Doing so would give the president a stronger hand at the bargaining table, by letting him remind the Iranians that any agreement will have to pass Congress.
The North Dakota Legislature doesn't act often to hobble law enforcement.