Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Life Tenure On The Supreme Court: Appointments and Disappointments

This is the third in a Governing series on a historical look at the Supreme Court to coincide with nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process, which continued this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. With hearings under way to fill an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, it may be useful to look back on the history of court appointments. “Appointments,” Thomas Jefferson said, “and disappointments.” Since 1789, 115 …


CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Dangerous Trends On The U.S. Supreme Court

This is second in a series in a historical look at the U.S. Supreme Court to coincide with nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process, which continues this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Three dangerous trends appear to be jeopardizing the independence and credibility of the third branch of the federal government. Court decisions are increasingly falling out along what appear to be purely partisan lines. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Vernal Equinox Road Trip To Western North Dakota Counties: A Visual Essay

A Spring road trip to southwestern North Dakota counties and the Little Missouri National Grasslands: a Visual Essay, in no particular order. My very first in-person shopping at Roxie’s Smoke Shack. Jim is a celebrity there. We had some laughs and bought some stuff. Then I walked across state Highway 12 to mail a Marmarth postcard to my brother with …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Myths Of The U.S. Supreme Court

This is the first in an occasional Governing series on the Supreme Court in preparation for nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process, which enters its next phase on March 21 when she appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee to publicly make her case for why she should win approval to sit on the nation’s highest court. The Supreme Court has been more than usually visible in …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Honey Chicken

Among the favorite entrees at many Chinese buffets are the chicken dishes. Some of them combine chicken with vegetables such as broccoli, snow peas and water chestnuts. Still others are cooked a variety of ways and are mostly chicken, with names such as Coconut Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Sesame Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken. I’m kind …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — A Grief Journey: Part 4

Sitting with my mom this past winter and showing her via Google Streetview the paved streets in the small southwest North Dakota towns she had not been to in many years. Paved streets and sidewalks. Right there on my smartphone screen. We did confirm that some of the landmarks (like the Waterhole Bar) are still there. I navigated to show …

ED MAIXNER: Fuel Prices Spike Is Painful But No Surprise

What most surprises me about the steady run up in gasoline and diesel fuel prices since late 2020 is that any American adults are surprised by the increases. Huge changes in the U.S. economy always affect demand for fuels, thus their prices. U.S. fuel prices plunged when the recession of 2008-09 hit, slamming the economy, and the same thing happened …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Contribution

We all have people who contribute to us one way or another. I’ve been fortunate to have many, many people in my life who I could tag the contribution label to for impacting my life, mostly in very positive ways. Heather Carri was one of those people. I met her in the autumn of 1974 shortly after I moved to …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — A Brief History Of Violence In The Capitol: The Foreshadowing Of Disunion

The Jan. 6, 2021, mob attack on the U.S. Capitol stands as a prevailing symbol of the country’s present-day polarization. But while the brutality of that day sits in the minds of many Americans as unprecedented, historian Joanne Freeman reminds us that violence within the Capitol has a long history. In “The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War,” Joanne …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Ukranian Borscht

There has been a lot going on in world news these days, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing as the result of global warming. But one of the most noticeable and talked-about events is the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. I live in East Grand Forks, in Minnesota, on the border with North Dakota, the …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — A Centuries-Old Travel Guide Unlocks Clues To Our Future

When Thomas Jefferson left the United States in 1784 to serve as his fledgling country’s ambassador to France, he was still reeling from the death of his wife, Martha, and the remnants of political scandal in Virginia. Looking for a new beginning, Jefferson traveled in and beyond France whenever his job allowed, collecting items and ideas he would bring home …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Reuben Casserole

Sauerkraut is one of those foods that you either like or don’t like. Honestly, I don’t know how a person couldn’t like sauerkraut. But that’s coming from someone who is mostly German. Some Norwegian friends of mine say the same thing about lutefisk, a delicacy in their minds, so who am I to argue. We have several quarts of home-canned …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — The Dammed Rivers That Shaped America’s West

The evolution of the sprawling cities of the American West is inextricably bound to America’s 20th-century fascination with dam-building. But that decades-long story, rife with dammed and diverted rivers as well as political intrigue, is being reshaped by climate change, drought and overuse into a tale of ecologic and economic misadventure. Despite the problematic history of the big dam projects, …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Rules

My Mom had a long life, raised by suffragettes of many generations, several of whom lived to be well more than 100, and we all place a high value on the right to vote. And a right to privacy. And a right to make your own decisions and mistakes. And discussed and debated world affairs from the time my little …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — My Mom, The Very Beginning Of A Biography

If there was a geography bee my Mom might have won. It’s not that she just read a lot, which she did (starting with but not limited to National Geographic). And having chased a career military husband around the world added to her advantage. But a big addition to what she knew about the world is jigsaw puzzles. You see, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Best Ukrainian Story Ever (Well, At Least My Favorite)

Ukrainians are much on our minds right now, with the Last World War apparently beginning in their country. North Dakota has a smattering of them. I’m going to tell you the best Ukrainian story ever, but first a little background. Where I grew up in Hettinger, in extreme southwest North Dakota, there were no Ukrainians. We were Germans and Norwegians, …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Tomato Chicken Rice Soup

Another day, another blizzard and below-zero wind chills. That’s the way it’s been this winter. So, there’s no better place to be than in the warmth of the kitchen, where you can create something that will make you forget about the weather, albeit for the time being. And nothing says warm and fuzzy better than a pot of soup. This …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — A Dose of Liberty After Death For Patrick Henry

We lose a lot in our understanding of the Founding Fathers, says John Ragosta, a historian at the Robert H. Smith Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, when we see them only as marble statues. They were real people who made mistakes and who got mad at one another. Patrick Henry so angered fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson in 1781, Ragosta maintains, that …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — DD 214

There are anniversaries, and there are milestones. In the past month or so, I’ve noted a couple of them. In December, I celebrated 50 years since my return from Vietnam. In January I celebrated 20 years since I met Lillian, my “current wife,” as Dean Meyer likes to say. Today is another of those red-letter days. Fifty years ago today, I stood on …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — A North Dakota Event Near And Dear To My Heart Returns This Winter To In-Person

This is a North Dakota event near and dear to my heart. The Great American Bike Race. Photo is me biking with my daughter Rachel’s team at Bismarck Century High some years ago. Yes, I biked, too. I had some sore muscles when my turn was over. Great American Bike Race Returns

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Body And Soul

Everybody in my family joins the family of Dr. Joe Mattson on this Valentine’s Day in mourning the loss of a great North Dakotan, who left us last week, and who surely had a straight shot ticket to heaven after a life well-lived. Here’s an article I wrote about him and my mom about a dozen years ago. I’m thinking …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — The Early Republic Was Stress Tested For Times Like Ours

America’s consciousness is indelibly shaped by the competing legacies of three distinct personalities: a fast-talking New Yorker, a quintessential Yankee and a Virginia squire. In his book, “Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding,” historian Darren Staloff explores the social, intellectual and personal dynamics that shaped these men and helped define the nation. Staloff teaches courses …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Big News For The Bad Lands

(This article first appeared in the February-March issue of Dakota Country magazine, which should be on the newstands now.) I’d like you to take five minutes to read about two nonprofit organizations that are doing important work for the North Dakota Bad Lands. Hey, it’s February. It’s cold outside. Get a cup of coffee and sit down. The two organizations …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. University Of Nebraska-Omaha

A goal by Brandon McManus in overtime lifted the University of Nebraska-Omaha to a 3-2 win over the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play Saturday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena. The win gave UNO a split in the series. UND won Friday night’s contest 4-1. The Fighting Hawks (15-11-1 overall, 10-5-1 NCHC), ranked …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Unanswered Questions And Challenges Of Jan. 6, 2021, Remain

More than a year after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, there are still uncertainties and perplexities about just what happened and what might have happened. The House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, Attack on the U.S. Capitol intends to issue its report to the nation sometime later in 2022. Thanks to the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — A Tarnished Olympics

As anyone who knows me is aware, I’m a huge fan of the Olympics. But I am struggling deeply with these Games because China is an abusive nation that is committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslims. And the IOC is a corrupt tool working with them to silence any athlete who wishes to speak out about their human rights abuses. …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. South Dakota State University

The University of North Dakota men’s basketball team gave Summit League-leading South Dakota State University all it could handle Monday night in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, but it wasn’t enough as the Fighting Hawks (4-19 overall, 0-10 Summit) dropped a 70-64 decision to the Jackrabbits (20-4 overall, 11-0 Summit). Bentiu Panoam and Paul Bruns each scored 13 points to lead …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — AG Jason Miyares: A New Sheriff In Virginia

As a 6-year-old, Jason Miyares helped his mother to learn the Pledge of Allegiance for her upcoming naturalization ceremony, an event that deeply affected both of their lives. More than a half-century later, on Jan. 15 of this year, he became the first Hispanic American to hold statewide office in the commonwealth of Virginia when he was sworn in as attorney general. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — So Long, Wayne

North Dakota sits in stunned silence this morning, trying to make sense of the unthinkable loss of a 68-year-old lifetime public servant. Wayne Stenehjem was my friend for many years — I wonder how many people have said THAT this morning — although that friendship was a little rocky the last few years. The last time we visited in his …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — When Women Were Birds

Often we hear a bird, but do not ever see it, cleverly concealed in the tree leaves, or tall grass. My advice: Learn the songs of the birds in your area. Even better, learn the songs of the birds in your country. Like many birders, at one point, I reached a plateau and only added to my list by traveling to new …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘The Wings Have Come Off This Pig …’

If you’ve got any friends or relatives out in Stark or Billings Counties, around Belfield, N.D., tell them to start getting ready because Meridian Energy Group is going to build them a refinery as a neighbor. It’ll be there in just three years, 10 months and 15 days — on Friday, Dec. 12, 2025. That’s what Meridian CEO William Prentice …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Winter Notes No. 7

Gentle readers, those who know us here at Red Oak House know that I write my blog when time permits, and I feel inspired or moved in some way. In our busy lives, Jim and I joke about “the lives of the English majors.” The past two years have been a blur, “smushed together” some might say.Thursday and Friday, Jim …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Losing A Good Teacher

The Red Wing (Minn.) School District is losing a great teacher, someone I respect immensely — my brother. If you’re lucky, you get someone in your life who inspires you, teaches you to think for yourself, challenges you and helps steer you to a successful path. In Red Wing, Scott Bender is one of those guys, so respected, one graduating …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Addiction Takes No Prisoners

On Sunday my first friend, Tim Quimby, the boy across the street with whom I walked to school every day for years, often holding hands when were kindergartners, lost his beloved partner, Jerry, to cirrhosis, as he was holding his hand. Nine years ago tonight, I was holding Steve’s hand as he took his last breath, also a victim of cirrhosis. …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — A Trillion Here, A Trillion There: Omnibus Legislation In American History

President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better plan (originally pegged at $3 trillion) may be dead, but Democrats say key provisions of the bill are still likely to be approved — especially those addressing inflation, education, child care and workforce training. It is worth remembering that in November, Congress passed a $1.2 trillion precursor infrastructure bill. Between these …