TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — ‘Shut Up’? Stand Up and Voice Your Opinion

One who writes for the Fargo newspaper (not to be confused with Moorhead’s No. 1 publication, The Extra) had some sharp advice to citizens who have issues with laws being proposed in North Dakota. Apparently, he believes those who oppose some legislation coming before the North Dakota Legislature as a “waste of time” are typical groaners and usually “lightly informed.” His advice: “Shut up!”

The same columnist slams Marvin Nelson, a Democrat, for daring to propose a minimum wage increase in North Dakota. He further talks about the limited time the Legislature is in session — true —  and then addresses the open legislative process in this state. If you don’t like legislation, he claims, you are a “whiner.”

I say you are a citizen exercising your constitutional right to support or oppose legislation. Until the appearance of Donald Trump on the political scene, open discussion has always been and should be the rule of the times.

North Dakota votes Republican to the complete exclusion of any other political party. It’s virtually unopposed one-party rule. The Forum blogger knows it. You don’t have to be a mental giant to know that Big Oil talks and controls the North Dakota Legislature; if you want to run for higher office now, you’d better be wealthy or have a sugar daddy (like Big Oil). Otherwise, you won’t have the funds to run a campaign comparable to the Republicans.

Former State Sen. George Sinner didn’t lose to a more qualified candidate here in Fargo. He was defeated by an especially cash-strong opponent. If you somehow still believe money doesn’t talk, I have some more backyard oxygen for sale cheap.

I think any state, just like our federal government, cannot serve all of the people when it is governed by a super majority.

Speaking of super majorities … I, for one, am sick and tired of lying, conniving politicians who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in their donkey. Guess what? I’m not talking about President-Elect Trump this time.

At the federal level, the Republicans having been wanting to eliminate the Affordable Care Act for the past seven years. The House of Representatives has voted to kill it so many times that it didn’t get anything else done. But then again, in fairness to the Republicans, they did vow — through crazy Mitch McConnell, their Senate leader — that no Obama legislation would be passed. McConnell, too, and his followers forgot that they are supposed to represent all of the people, not just those with the highest income.

Forget the fact that they’re now well on their way to repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement and that 20 million Americans — those with nominal incomes, the elderly, students and those with preexisting conditions — may lose their health insurance coverage. Ignore the fact that people will die if the act is repealed without replacement. With all of their votes to repeal, the dummies in all that time did not have any replacement plan to provide coverage to those who need it so badly.

Of course, the millionaire and billionaire members of Congress don’t lose much sleep one way or the other. Eliminating health coverage under the ACA won’t affect them or their families.

Paul Ryan and President-elect Trump have both said that there would be no repeal without replacement, but so far, few in their party seem to be listening. Here’s hoping that common sense will prevail, and that if they succeed in repealing the act, they will have a replacement ready to go. So far, they’ve only had almost eight years to get one ready.

Trump has said there will be affordable insurance for all. Let hope that’s his first truth.

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The City of Fargo and its Liquor Control Board ought to weigh in and help the Fargo Police Department. Violent crime in the downtown area has increased dramatically. The police say it’s mostly alcohol-related and does not involve the use of weapons so much (if you exclude knives and pistols).

I’m still waiting for the talk to stop and the action to start. Some of the downtown liquor establishments are serving people after they become intoxicated. Then they start the trouble. (Yes, some get hammered at home as well or carry their own; then they do their damage, too.)

Asking our police to babysit a bunch of drunks being sent out onto the streets is just not right, absent some positive moves to cut down on the incidence of crime. The city could start pulling some liquor licenses of violators as a start. Many folks in the booming liquor industry are responsible. Some are not. No one should have to be concerned about their safety when walking in downtown at any time of day. Arresting the troublemakers is not the only answer. Stomping on some liquor licenses could go far to help.

I’m assuming some establishments still have the “do not serve” lists of known troublemakers, but I don’t know that for a fact. Law enforcement can’t do this alone. Help them by investigating to determine where the unlawful sales are taking place. That does take time and expense, and that means giving the Police Department additional tools to do the job.


We have honored Martin Luther King and will inaugurate a new president in the same week. Mr. King was an activist who was murdered because he wanted to improve the lives of all of us through the system of law that should be — but has not always been — equally applied.

Congressman John Lewis was deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He was and still is, to put it mildly, an icon in that movement. He reminds people to speak up to right wrongs — to make their voices heard.

Lewis questions the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. That is his right as an American citizen. What is not right, and what ought to concern all Americans, is Trump’s tweet denigrating and attacking Lewis and the city he represents, Atlanta, which by all accounts has a great economy and great education facilities and is successful from any standpoint.

Using falsity and innuendo, the tweeting president-elect of the United States of America reacted like an uneducated child.

Think for a moment about what this man-child could do once after his inauguration Friday if North Korea or China or even his friends in Russia verbally insulted him.

To be clear, I’d certainly prefer him having access to Twitter than to the nuclear launch codes that only he can use. Perhaps Congress should immediately take steps to make it impossible for any president to be solely responsible for those codes — some type of human fail-safe procedure. That’s something that should have been done long before Trump.

If shadows were the measure of greatness, Trump would have none … and that of Lewis would go on forever.


Kudos to Moorhead as it becomes the largest Minnesota city helmed by a majority of women. More cities must follow Moorhead’s lead. We need more women to assume leadership positions at all levels throughout the nation. With all due respect to my male counterparts, women are generally more analytical and thoughtful than men. If ever there was a time when we need governmental self-control and sober thought, it will commence with the inauguration this Friday. Amen.

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