As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday I, like most of you, have spent some time reflecting on what I'm thankful for. It's the usual things, of course. My health, and the health of my loved ones. Our shared happiness and prosperity. The work our first responders and military do to keep us safe and healthy. I'm also thankful for something that might seem a little odd at first blush. Specifically, your insults.
Over the weekend the New York Post ran an unfortunate profile of #NoDAPL activist Sophia Wilanksy. You’ll remember her as the woman who got her arm maimed during a violent conflict the anti-pipeline protesters instigated with law enforcement at the Backwater Bridge.
MINOT, N.D. — For years now I've often earned no small amount of criticism and derision for suggesting that victims of sexual harassment and assault should speak up contemporaneous to the events victimizing them. My argument is that it can be extremely difficult to ascertain the truthfulness of those sort of accusations years and even decades later. What's more, silence allows the perpetrators of sexual misconduct to carry on with their lives free of consequences.
If you needed more evidence for the idea that some factions of the environmental movement are convinced that tactics like violence and vandalism are justified by their cause, consider this press release from the Lakota People’s Law Project. It’s announcing the impending delivery of what they allege are more than 50,000 petition signatures asking a North Dakota prosecutor to drop all criminal charges against so-called “water protectors” arrested during the violent #NoDAPL protests.
UPDATE: Just got this from Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki: I saw your post on the Main Street Initiative website. The problem isn’t that the domain wasn’t registered, it’s that the wrong domain was included in the tweet. It’s MainStreetND.com, not MainStreetND.org. The tweet has been deleted and will be reposted with the correct address.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol announced this week that the’d be transitioning their fleet of patrol vehicles from being predominantly white to predominantly black. Not particularly noteworthy news, except when you consider their justification for doing so. “Black vehicles will enhance the safety of the motoring public as well our officers, because they are easier to see during white-out conditions,” NDHP Colonel Mike Gerhart said in a press release announcing the change. That doesn’t make any sense.
"Buy local" is a term you probably hear a lot in these days of digital commerce and a global economy. Business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce promote the slogan, especially during the holiday shopping season. Donald Trump made a reinvigorated sort of trade protectionism a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign. Local politicians also buy into the concept.
The State of North Dakota asks a lot from its statewide elected officials. In addition to the duties of their specific elected office, these folks are also asked to sit on a myriad of governing boards. For instance, the powerful Industrial Commission which overseas oil and gas development in the state (among other things) has the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Agriculture Commissioner as its membership.
For some reason Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office is, on behalf of the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands, still fighting to claim mineral rights under Lake Sakajawea .
Late last month I published a print column headlined, “The GOP tent shouldn’t be big enough for a cretin like Roy Moore.” The basis for that conclusion was Moore’s long history of bigotry toward Muslims and hatred toward homosexuals. Not to mention his contempt for the equal application of religious liberties.