- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
"The board's chairman, state Sen. Randy Christmann, R-Hazen, said he's reluctant to put much of the (state oil tax trust fund) revenue into the stock market, even though similar funds in other energy-producing states have significant investments in stocks. "'I think stocks would be pretty limited,' Christmann said. 'Preserving that principal is the priority.'" --The Associated Press, Sept. 13 Christmann and the other members of the trust-fund advisory board might want to visit the little town of Grinnell, Iowa.
Some truths are worth coming back to again and again. One of them is the observation by economists that there is fundamental trade-off between equality and efficiency. So in politics and government, efforts to increase equality usually come at the expense of efficiency, and vice versa. The Republican debate Monday night was shot through and through with this truth.
The term "crowdsourcing" dates back only to 2006. In its modern use, it refers to putting a problem "out there" in public for experts and laypeople alike to solve. But the U.S. has been crowdsourcing for 224 years. We've just never have called it that. Well, maybe we should start, because understanding crowdsourcing is central to any study of U.S. history, including the 10 years since Sept. 11, 2001. Crowdsourcing is why those years have turned out as well as they have, on balance, with Osama bin Laden dead, al-Qaeda unpopular and on the defensive and no second attack on U.S.
If a pro-Fighting Sioux strategy existed that stood a strong chance of getting the NCAA to back off, a supermajority of North Dakotans likely would support it. That includes Grand Forks' state legislators, most of whom voted against the state law that now mandates the Sioux name. It includes large numbers of people on both Sioux reservations. It includes the Herald's editorial board. And it surely includes state Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, the North Dakota Senate's newly elected majority leader. But as Wardner pointed out this week, such a strategy doesn't exist.
First Bismarck. Then Minot. Then much of America's east coast, including such far-away-from-the-ocean places as upstate New York and southern Vermont. In city after city and region after region, residents have learned the hard way one of the central truths about flooding: Being at "low risk" is not the same as being at "no risk." In fact, almost a quarter of flood insurance claims come from areas of minimal risk. In other words, you may not think your house is at risk for flooding -- but it almost certainly is.
Grand Forks was lucky. When the 1997 flood hit, the federal government had a budget surplus, the North Dakota congressional delegation had power and seniority, and the flood had America's attention (in part because there were few other disasters that year). As a result, the federal aid flowed right away. The dike work quickly followed. And the city's solid flood-protection system was completed in less than 10 years. Other cities haven't been so fortunate in the timing of their events.
Irene hammered so many homes in Vermont that the governor can't yet estimate the damages. Authorities still are trying to restore power to towns affected by the state's worst-ever flooding, making any kind of damage estimates "like going to Las Vegas," he told Vermont Public Radio. But here's one statistic you already can take to the bank: According to the Los Angeles Times, the state had only about 3,600 federal flood-insurance policies in effect. The National Flood Insurance Program expires at the end of the month.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future." If the dialogue above makes you smile, you're obviously a fan of "Plan 9 from Outer Space," the 1959 cult classic that's on everyone's short list of the worst movie ever made. But don't let that stop you from heading over to the Fire Hall Theater in Grand Forks tonight, where "Plan 9" will be shown at 9:30 p.m. In fact, you should make a point of going.
At many universities, coaches of marquee teams get paid more than the university president. So what? After all, a coach's highly visible job depends on his or her won/lost performance. And people who can satisfy that merciless metric to fans' (and everyone else's) satisfaction are few and far between. So, they get paid more than presidents, whose managerial and executive talents are somewhat more common. And that's true even though a president sits higher on the university's chain of command and can fire the more highly paid coach. This fact is a commonplace throughout higher ed.
On July 17, 1787, America's founders considered whether the Constitution should provide for the direct election of presidents. Their conclusion: No, it shouldn't. Representatives from nine states rejected the idea, while those from only one state, Pennsylvania, voted for it. Today, are we so confident in our wisdom and institutions that we can dismiss the founders' view? For that's what would happen if the National Popular Vote Initiative keeps gaining support.