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Can an insight from marriage counseling really help reduce the federal deficit? You bet it can, if the insight is as powerful as the one John Gottman offered with his "Four Horsemen of the (Marriage) Apocalypse." The insight's strength showed up as recently as Saturday in a setting as close to home as the deficit discussion in Grand Forks. If lawmakers in Washington -- as well as political writers, talk show hosts and other opinion leaders -- take Grand Forks' advice, we'd all be tremendously better off. Gottman says the presence of "The Four Horsemen" in a married couple's interactions can
When a fine teacher dies, students from far and wide remember that teacher's example. The recall the lessons they learned not just in history or math, but also in life -- lessons about hard work, grace under pressure and keeping a sense of humor about it all. But not all teachers do their work in a classroom, and not all lessons are taught under bright lights and with chalk dust floating in the air.
Come November, Minnesota is likely to elect another plurality governor: a governor who wins, say, 40 percent or 45 percent of the vote. The total will be enough to triumph in a three-way race but not enough to claim a mandate from the voting majority. So, come November, the new governor probably will find it impossible to command the solid support among lawmakers that he or she will need to solve the state's budget crisis. More stalemate and more half-measures await. Unless ... Unless one of the candidates reads "Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State" by William Voegeli.
The North Country can be as peaceful as a sunflower field under a blue sky, and so quiet that a person can hear a bee buzzing from blossom to blossom. Then it can be as loud and terrifying as an oncoming locomotive. Such was the case Thursday afternoon and evening, when the countryside erupted in a roar of thunder and tornadoes. A person was killed in Mentor, Minn., according to early evening news reports. The Mentor C-Store gas and convenience store was destroyed, and other structures in town were badly damaged. Likewise, Wadena, Minn., was badly damaged.
In "Truman," his masterful biography, author David McCullough offers this insight into America's 33rd president: "The loyalty of those around Truman was total and would never falter. In years to come, not one member of the Truman White House would ever speak or write scathingly of him or belittle him in any fashion. There would be no vindictive 'inside' books or articles written about this president by those who worked closest to him.
News flash: The duration of winter has nothing to do with Punxsutawney Phil. Lots of places are colder than International Falls, Minn., "Icebox of the Nation." And the geographic center of North America isn't precisely in Rugby, N.D. But so what? That's marketing. American society is full of polite fictions that are maintained for reasons of tradition or, more commonly today, marketing. A big share of the advertising industry is built on that fact: "The best" this and "the strongest" that often aren't, as Consumer Reports determines every time it tests the claims. And again, so what?
If you drive around Grand Forks or any other American town today, you'll see ... absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. You'll see joggers on the bike trails, cops on patrol, people mowing their lawns, parents and children playing catch in the front yard. What you probably won't see is a lot of evidence of Memorial Day. Some flags flying in front of people's homes, sure.
The candidates interviewed in this section and in next Sunday's Herald are earnest and intelligent citizens. To a person, they strike us as sincere North Dakotans who love the state and want to do their part to make its institutions even better. With that in mind, we urge them (and all other residents and elected officials) to turn their gaze from the goings-on about town and toward the far horizon.
Hearty congratulations to Dean Bresciani, whom the State Board of Higher Education named the new president of North Dakota State University. What an exciting time it is for higher education in the state, and what a pivotal time, too. The 2011 legislative session could be a turning point in the system's history -- and Bresciani's leadership will help determine which path lies ahead.
Dust billows behind the car as the tires spin and vehicle picks up speed. In the front seat are Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Democratic leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate; and while one passenger has stomped down on the gas, no one's got a grip on the wheel. It's a political game of chicken, and it'll play out over the next two weeks. But someone better grab that wheel and steer because the car is marked State of Minnesota and it's headed for a cliff. Here's a face-saving way for the participants to steer out of danger and slow down.