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The world of wood is a great place to visit. But when a snowstorm whites out the North Dakota plains, the drifts start covering tents, and the temperatures plunge to frostbite-within-minutes levels, it sure is nice to have the world of oil to retreat to. Which sums up much of what's been happening recently at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp. Fresh from winning an encouraging U.S. Army ruling on their protest, the protesters—some thousands of them, at least—declared victory and went home.
Thirty million dollars doesn't wind up in a state budget by accident. The $30 million that Gov. Jack Dalrymple is recommending for the Grand Forks Water Treatment Plant is no exception. That's especially true given North Dakota's newly austere budget climate. State agencies are seeing parentheses around their numbers in the proposed budget, meaning that in comparison with previous budgets, their allocation is likely to take a hit.
It's 75 years ago yesterday—Dec. 7, 1941. You're a prominent member of the America First Committee, the group that demanded America stay out of the European and Pacific wars. You're scheduled to speak to an arena full of America Firsters. But an hour beforehand, you're handed a note saying the Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor. What do you do? As North Dakota history buffs know, a U.S. senator from North Dakota, Gerald Nye, was in exactly that situation. As it turned out, Nye tried to do the right thing—but, alas, hours later than he should have.
The attack on Pearl Harbor took place 75 years ago today. But if you look out your window, you'll see an even more direct connection to the America of that era. Because a quilt of new snow now blankets the prairie, telling North Dakotans and Minnesotans they're sure to have a white Christmas. And on Christmas Day 1941—only 17 days after the Japanese attack—The Kraft Music Hall radio show featured Bing Crosby, singing "White Christmas" publicly for the first time. So, this month marks the 75th anniversary of that song's premiere. Don't it take ya back?
Building consensus is Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown's thing. Getting back up right after a hard-fought smackdown and vowing to fight again? Less so. It's not that the mayor can't do it; it's that he hasn't chosen to do it. Until now: "Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown said he'd like to see a city sales tax increase on the ballot by June or earlier, launching a second discussion on the topic three weeks after an attempt to increase city tax rates failed at the polls," Herald staff writer Sam Easter reported last week. "'The sooner, the better,' Brown said."
There's a reason why Republicans soon will control not only the presidency, but also the Senate, the House, 33 governorships and both chambers in 32 states. The reason can be found in the Dakota Access Pipeline case. With its elevation of identity politics above all else, its twisting of facts to accuse others of racism, its fanatic claim of being above the law and its wild exaggerations of environmental risk, the protest helps explain why so few Americans are willing to give the Left power.
You've seen those "who's up, who's down" lists of people whose political stock has moved after various events. But who would have guessed Donald Trump's election would land North Dakota's Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on the "who's up" list? Nevertheless, that's what happened. And there was Heitkamp walking into Trump Tower on Friday, possibly for consideration by the president-elect for a Cabinet post. Kudos to Donald Trump for reaching across the aisle to invite Heitkamp, whether he meant their conversation to be a job interview or just a chat.
Many Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have tried to compare their cause with the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. But as the protest has evolved, it's the differences, not the similarities, between the two movements that have become clear. In particular, the pipeline protest lacks: ▇ Villains as nefarious as George Wallace and Bull Connor; and, ▇ A cause as obviously just as fighting Jim Crow.
The good driver is not necessarily the one who responds best in an emergency. The good driver is the one who avoids emergencies—by successfully making the 1,001 judgments any drive requires, including constant course corrections, keeping back from the car in front and carefully monitoring speed. Law enforcement in the Thief River Falls area made their own "course correction" recently. Maybe they were helped by a nudge from the press; maybe not.
There are a few things that can make a solid conservative at least toy with the idea of becoming a liberal. The emergence of a "professor watch list" is one. The new ProfessorWatchlist.org website is meant "to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom," the website reports. Nearly 200 college professors are listed, including Jack Russell Weinstein, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of philosophy at UND.