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Maybe we're all making it too complicated. Maybe there's an easy way for North Dakota Democrats to gain seats in the Legislature and regain their statewide popularity: They should take their lead from the state's most popular Democrat, Heidi Heitkamp. Because it's all a matter of triangulation—and Heitkamp has the key angles down. Heitkamp's formula for political success is the same as the one used by former Democratic senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan:
In his recent commencement address at Howard University, President Barack Obama said that social change "requires listening to those with whom you disagree, and being prepared to compromise." On the challenging issue of whether transgender rights demand the opening of locker rooms, showers, bathrooms and college dorm-room assignments to members of the opposite sex, the president should have taken his own advice.
It's unanimous, as far as we can tell: Every newspaper that has editorialized on the subject has urged the Minnesota Legislature to strike deals on bonding and transportation. That's a powerful reflection of civic-minded opinion on the topic. And Republican lawmakers, take note: You're the ones whom these editorials accuse of being the hold-outs. Republican leaders in St. Paul must stop stalling—and start dealing. Here is a roundup of recent editorials on bonding and transportation. □ □ □
It's early yet. The June 14 primary election in North Dakota still is a month away. Then again, it's only a month away—actually, just under a month, as of today. In any case, it's worth pointing out a political curiosity about the very big Measure 1 on the ballot, which is that a campaign of strong and vocal support for the measure hasn't yet developed. Or if it has, we haven't seen it.
Maybe you're an eighth-grader. And maybe you'll be pondering your algebra homework sometime today and thinking, "What's the point?" Two things.
There are no guarantees. There are only odds; and when it comes to teens and drug abuse, Americans don't know how to pull the odds all the way down to zero. But we do know how to reduce those odds—that is, how to make it less likely for a given teen to start abusing drugs. One of those ways is through offering strong extracurricular activities and encouraging young people to take part. And that's a practical approach that parents throughout the valley can focus on, now that ferociously destructive opioid addictions are showing up in area schools.
"As a percentage, UND spends 36.7 percent of the entire coaching salary expenses on coaches of women's sports." Thirty-six point seven percent? As in, a little more than a third? Was that a misprint? Well, no. As Sunday's Herald story about Title IX at UND showed, the university takes pains to ensure a rough parity between male and female athletes ("Where does UND stack up with Title IX?", Page D1). So, for example, UND spends about $2.2 million on athletic scholarships for female athletes. That's half of the school's scholarship budget.
Minnesota excels at a great many things, including most elements of K-12 education. But the state falls short in a few key areas. They include abysmal graduation rates for minority students, and fewer guidance counselors per student than all but two other states. So. here's an idea: fixing the latter may very well help fix the former. And that would be a sidelight, because getting more counselors into Minnesota schools would help Minnesota students of all races in direct and meaningful ways.
In a speech to criminal justice students at Minot State University last week, Wayne Stenehjem had this to say: "We have to redo our prison system," the North Dakota attorney general said. "We need to rethink in a fundamental way how we're dealing with punishment. We've built a brand-new prison in Bismarck, and it's full. If we don't get a handle on the addiction side of this and provide effective long-term effective treatment, we're never going to succeed. We're just going to see more and more of our citizens being lost."
In a marriage, when a couple disagrees, it's never a good idea to settle the issue by force. Sure, it's possible for the stronger partner to exert his or her dominance. But it's poisonous to the relationship—and dangerous, too. Because sooner or later, the aggrieved and angry partner will pop. Far better for the duo to talk through their differences. And the starting point in all such discussions is respect for the other's humanity and a willingness to listen to his or her point of view.