Unheralded

RON SCHALOW: Bastiat Caucus Reps Are ‘Conscientious Objectors’ In COVID War

The B.C Boys are still acting mulish — forever steamed over the face masks of the devil — on unsocial media since the beginning of the pandemic. “Hell no, we won’t go — to Target or any other stow*, unless to buy a mask and buy some matches, and burn the veil all to ashes.” Visions of lit draft cards and flaming bras …


Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: John Adams’ Words Ring Hollow

John Adams wrote, “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” Adams was speaking of the White House, where his words are enshrined in a plaque. The current president cannot be called honest by any honest human being, and wise eludes him, too. If “wisdom is calling things by the right name,” President Trump fails the …


JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Gateway Natural Area

Photographer Jeff Olson has to travel only 15 miles from his home in Fort Collins, Colo., to enjoy the beauty of Gateway Natural Area (formerly Gateway Mountain Park), where the North Fork of the Poudre River joins the main Poudre River. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, a designated launch area for kayaks and canoes, fishing, picnic tables with grills, informational kiosks …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — When Alexander Hamilton Tried To Steal The Election Of 1800

Some Trump supporters and advisers have suggested that if the certification of the 2020 election can be delayed beyond Dec. 8, Republican-controlled state legislatures could step in to name their own set of presidential electors who would cast their Electoral College votes for Donald Trump, not the individual who appears to have won the election in those swing states. Others …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Wanted: Responsible Leaders

Joe Biden won the popular vote for president by nearly 6 million votes and his electoral college total of 306 is identical to President Trump’s in 2016, though his winning margins in close states is significantly higher. The election was considered the most secure in history, as stated by Trump appointee Chris Krebs, who was fired for doing his job …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Orgiastic Politics: The Strange Case Of District 8

Dang it, the Bismarck Tribune stole my headline this morning, pointing out on the front page there’s going to be a “3-way” over in the North Dakota Supreme Court on Friday morning, in the case involving the District legislative seat. If it turns out to be a good “3-way,” somebody’s going to get screwed. In fact, more than one somebody …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — God Is Always With Us

I decided to fast from all media this past weekend. It was a good choice. My spirit needed it. But when I listened to NPR’s “Up First” on Monday morning, I was overwhelmed all over again with the heavy weight of the world falling down all around me. The simple truth is, just like the reduction in light we receive …

RON SCHALOW: What Rigged North Dakota Election?

Rudolph Giuliani is a flamboyant liar and wanted for first-degree hassling in Ukraine. That’s what Igor told Lev after they leaned on President Zelensky on behalf of the usually straight-laced Donald Trump. That checks out. Giuliani made his dubious proclamation in front of the A&W in Mitchell, S.D., after skulking around Sisseton for several days looking for a guy named …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — The Electoral College Explained: Its History And The Tensions of Democracy

The Electoral College is back at the center of our national political conversation. The fact that Hillary Clinton received 2.7 million more popular votes in 2016 than Donald Trump and still lost the presidential election, and that it was possible that Donald Trump might win the 2020 election while losing by more than 5 million popular votes, has led to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Summer’s Gone, And Still No Refinery; Yay!

November. Another construction season has come and gone in North Dakota. It’s about the fourth construction season that Meridian Energy Group has promised (threatened?) to build an oil refinery three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. So far, we’ve dodged a bullet. The company has been plagued by financial problems. The company has a $2 million lien placed against it …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — My Brother, Thomas: A Veterans Day Tribute

My younger brother (by 23 months), Thomas Crook, Senior Chief, Retired, United States Navy, my best friend all these many decades, is the very model of humility and dignity. Because of the deep trust between us, Thomas has allowed me to share the photographs taken at our father’s burial this past summer, for my Veterans Day tribute to him, although …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Building Bridges, Not Walls

Over the past week, I have learned far more about the names of counties in Arizona, Georgia , Nevada and Pennsylvania than I ever possibly imagined. As election returns poured, or more like dripped in, I found myself transfixed, looking at returns, percentages and vote totals with what I’m afraid  became an obsession, until the race was called Saturday morning. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Vacancy? What Vacancy?

Here’s the thing about North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s move Wednesday to jump in the middle of the bizarre District 8 legislative mess and appoint a coal company executive to fill the vacancy left by the death and subsequent election of Dave Andahl: Right now, there’s no vacancy to be filled. By now, all the newspapers are telling the story …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Requiescant In Pace, North Dakota Democrats

Here’s my short analysis of Tuesday’s election results in North Dakota. There were 69 legislative seats on the ballot across the state in 23 legislative districts. One Senate seat and two House seats in each district. Republicans won 65 of those seats. Democrats won four. The absolute worst performance by a political party (excluding fringe parties) in state history. RIP, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I Think The Rodeo’s Over

Four years ago, a couple of days after the 2016 presidential election, when the results had sunk in and America realized what it had just done, I wrote: “Here’s what I think of the election. We got all dressed up to go to the ball, and we ended up at a rodeo.” Boy, was I right. I’ve been to a …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Buttercup Vegetable Soup

Squash has been around quite a while, dating back 10,000 years to Mexico and Central America. Along with beans and corn — collectively known as the “Three Sisters” — squash has long been the center of Native American agriculture and culinary traditions. (The name squash comes from the Native American word askutasquash, which means uncooked or eaten raw.) It didn’t take …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — The Presidency: From Rocky Transitions To Electoral Delays

At the time I write this, the day before the 2020 presidential election, we don’t know whether Donald Trump will be a one-term president or whether he will be elected to a second term. Trump has repeatedly declared that he may not accept the election results if he is defeated. If he loses, it is hard to imagine a smooth …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Up Sims Creek Without A Paddle — So Long Rodney Nelson

I’ve known a lot of funny people in my life. Rodney Nelson was probably the funniest. A cowboy rancher from down in the Heart River Valley west of Mandan, N.D., Rodney succumbed to cancer Wednesday. He was just 71 years old. Now 24 hour later, wherever he is, he’s making an audience laugh. You might remember Rodney as a cowboy …

RON SCHALOW: NDGOP Trumpedemiologist Champs Were Born This Way

Bear with Me. I’ve been pounding my head on Trump’s health care plan. The second line of Section 2 under Article I of the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution of the state of North Dakota reads: “Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people…” “Does the ‘protection, security and benefit of the people‘ have anything …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Who Did You Kill Today?

You’re killing me. I’m not saying it’s intentional, but in the end, dead is dead. Many of you just don’t get it. After seven months and 220,000 dead Americans, nearly four times as many as we lost in Vietnam, I still hear people say they won’t wear a mask because they don’t care if they die. Well, I don’t care …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids —Speaking To The Lord

I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I suspect I am not alone. In fact, in conversations with parishioners and friends, I’ve been hearing a lot of people are struggling to sleep at night. Whether it is falling asleep, or like me, waking up in the middle of the night and then struggling to get back to sleep, many of us are restless. …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Amy Coney Barrett Is In An Impossible Position; So Are We

In 1958, President Dwight David Eisenhower is reported to have said, “I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court.” The story may be apocryphal, but it continues to be widely quoted because it so perfectly expresses presidential exasperation with the behavior of U.S. Supreme Court appointees once they are confirmed by the U.S. Senate. …

ED MAIXNER: A Path Back To Less Partisan Supreme Court Confirmations?

With President Trump’s election eve choice of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court, another partisan fracas has ensued in the U.S. Senate. Regrettably, Trump has succeeded in casting most anything he can as partisan combat, generally with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell riding shotgun. And it’s become clear Trump will get his strictly partisan win with the Barrett confirmation …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — My Restorative Retreat To The Badlands: A Solo In Three Acts

My spirit has been battered in this past year, like so many. I am blessed with a house and a garden and a loving family, yet life has kept me close to home and hearth with innumerable chores and obligations. My father died at the end of May and we buried him at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in July. …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Is it Time For Texas And California To Leave the Union?

David French begins his book about the disintegration of America along what is by now a well-worn path: “We increasingly loathe our political opponents.” “A person belongs to their political party not so much because they like their own party but because they hate and fear the other side.” “The number of Americans who live in so-called landslide counties— counties …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Sweet Revenge

I promise, I’m not making this up because even someone with a mind as twisted as mine could not come up with a story this absurd. It’s the story of the race for the Legislature in North Dakota’s Legislative District 8. Yes, North Dakota’s attorney general says to the voters of District 8, you just go right ahead and vote …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Mister Roger’s Neighborhood Would Be Such A Welcome Place Right Now

“Well @JoeBiden @ABCPolitics town hall feels like I am watching an episode of “Mister Rodgers Neighborhood” Tweet by Mercedes Schlapp, Senior adviser to the Trump/Pence Campaign. I like Fred Rogers. His show debuted when I was in kindergarten, and I grew up adoring his slow-paced, intentional focus on accepting who we are, being kind to others and showing empathy. As a …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — A Conversation With Nicole Kassell, Director Of ‘Watchmen’

A few weeks ago, when Damon Lindelof accepted an Emmy Award for the HBO series “Watchmen,” he wore a dark blazer over a black T-shirt that bore the words, “Remember Tulsa ’21.” “We dedicate this award to the victims and survivors of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921,” Lindelof, the show’s creator, said as the cast and crew stood behind him. …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Attitude Of Gratitude

Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving. One of the joys of being a dual citizen is that I get two days set aside to focus on Thanksgiving. This weekend, I had a chance to celebrate it with my sons and their girlfriends, which was a source of thanksgiving in and of itself, and in November, we will do the same. However, I …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Now Just Hold On A Minute Here, Al …

The five most dangerous words in the English language are “I’m not a lawyer, but …” More about that in a minute. On Wednesday, I wrote that Secretary of State Al Jaeger said it’s OK to vote for a dead Republican legislative candidate, and if that dead candidate gets more votes than two other Democratic-NPL candidates, he’ll be declared elected, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Dear District 8 Republicans: Please Vote For The Dead Guy

As if this election year isn’t crazy enough already, in one of the most maudlin election tactics I’ve ever seen, North Dakota Republicans are urging voters to cast their ballots for a dead man. This bizarre recommendation comes from North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Rick Berg (not to be confused with Rick Becker, a real bizarre Republican) in the case …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Let The Lord Be Your Rock

We live in uncertain times, times where there seems to be no strong foothold, where we are trying to balance on shifting sands. With all the unpredictability created by COVID-19 and exacerbated by what is unfolding in our national affairs, it is easy to feel unsteady, unsure and exhausted. Many of us wake up in the middle of the night …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — What Happens When A Sitting President Is Stricken?

We all woke up Friday to the news that the president and first lady had tested positive for COVID-19. In a year of wild and enormously disruptive events, things just got crazier. Just what the president’s health crisis will mean for the election, and for a nation fighting its way through several profound challenges, is unclear. It is too early …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Critters Are Benefiting From The Oil Patch Slowdown

Let me tell you who really appreciated it when the Bakken Boom went bust — at least temporarily — in 2020. The critters. Whether it’s sharptails nesting, bighorn sheep lambing, mule deer fawning, elk calving or foxes denning, they all appreciate being left alone at critical times of the year. The clanging of pipe on the drilling rigs, the screaming …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Looking Back At Presidential Transitions And Sore Losers

We don’t know how the election of 2020 is going to play out or what the post-election interim will be like, between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021. President Trump has announced several times that he may not accept the results of the election. Whole batteries of lawyers are lining up on both sides to contest or confirm the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — What Are Angels?

Angels aren’t what you think they are. At least if you accept the way that they have been co-opted by humans to provide fodder for Hallmark figurines and provide solace during times of grief. They aren’t, at least according to the Scripture, quaint and cute winged cherubs playing stringed instruments and flying around shooting arrows of love into people’s souls. …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Poultry And Pepper Stir-Fry

Stir-fry dishes can be some of the easiest to prepare yet the tastiest. And you can often make a good stir-fry with just the ingredients that you have on hand. There is no better time than summer or early fall for stir-fry, when vegetables are readily available in your own garden or at  farmers markets. Among my favorite ingredients in …