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Community Columnists

A better way to reform the tax code

The last time major reform of the tax code was accomplished, the discipline was established by President Ronald Reagan who was a strong supporter of tax reform, but who also warned that if it increased the deficit, he would veto the bill. That discipline is missing today. The Republicans in ...

Christianity struggles in the public square

"We must divide the children of Adam into two classes; the first belong to the kingdom of God, the second to the kingdom of the world,” Martin Luther observed in his treatise on secular authority. With this declaration, Luther was a forerunner to James Madison and Thomas Jefferson who won ...

Democrats aim rabid, slobbering demagoguery at tax reform bill

The tax reform bill, which is in the process of being reconciled from its House and Senate iterations, “is the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress” Rep. Nancy Pelosi said recently during a rant on the House floor. Pause for a moment to reflect on the stupidity of that ...

A man’s handy guide to avoid sex harassment

Some men claim to be nervous because of all the male entertainment and media titans who’ve been fired in recent weeks over sexual harassment allegations. “What can we even do anymore?” they wail. “I’m afraid to compliment a woman at the office because she might take it the wrong way ...

There’s nothing neutral about net neutrality

A lack of government intervention and regulation has generally served the internet well. Not perfectly. That the internet is used to facilitate all manner of crime from terrorism to child pornagraphy should disturb us all. But on the whole the internet has become a boon to humanity mostly ...

Homeland Committee gets ready for Christmas

"Wow! It’s almost as warm in here as outside,” noted Holger Danske as he stumbled into the community hall for a special meeting of the Homeland Security meeting. Almost all of the city’s 13 electors were already huddled around the pot-bellied stove on the north side of the cavernous dance ...

SBHE should take former Vice Chancellor’s complaints seriously

Lisa Feldner paints a picture of North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott that is unflattering in the extreme. The former Vice Chancellor, at one point Hagerott’s chief of staff, portrays him as a paranoiac prone to erratic and bizarre behavior including seemingly wild ideas ...

ND higher ed chancellor bad, but his bosses are worse

The most nervous man in all the world might be Mark Hagerott, the $372,000-a-year chancellor of the North Dakota University System who thinks the Russians are spying on him with drones and the Chinese are hacking his email. You never know, but Kim Jung Un might be out to get him, too. With ...

Reckoning has arrived for sexual assault

Aging was bad enough when we let ourselves be misled by this myth about the “golden years” which turned out to be nothing more than a scam for the travel folks. Now two new major pitfalls have appeared on the way to the Omdahl crematorium. As dangerous as it may be to bring the subject ...

It’s time to resign, Sen. Franken

Leave it up to Democrats to spend their time hand-wringing while Republicans punch them in the face. It’s one of the reasons Republicans control Congress, the White House and most of the state governments around the country. Republicans, politically, are mean. Vicious, even. They play to ...

Don’t let #MeToo turn into a witch hunt

For years now I’ve often earned no small amount of criticism and derision for suggesting that victims of sexual harassment and assault should speak up contemporaneous to the events victimizing them. My argument is that it can be extremely difficult to ascertain the truthfulness of those ...

City contracts, Google and Facebook

What does awarding a City contract have to do with Google and Facebook? At first glance, it’s hard to see a connection. But if we take a closer look, perhaps we can learn from the way the internet giants process data and make decisions about the information they show us. Consider this: ...

‘Buy local’ is baloney

"Buy local” is a term you probably hear a lot in these days of digital commerce and a global economy. Business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce promote the slogan, especially during the holiday shopping season. Donald Trump made a reinvigorated sort of trade protectionism a ...

Burgum task force tops political news

Gov. Doug Burgum announced that he’ll name a task force to study higher education. That’s the most important thing that happened in North Dakota politics since this column last appeared a fortnight ago. The task force is a precedent breaker. No other governor has taken such a direct ...

Task Force is about governance, not closing campuses

North Dakota is blessed with a robust higher education system. From students and faculty to administrators and alumni, our 11 public colleges and universities have enjoyed a broad base of support and tremendous investment appropriated by the state Legislature. The system is strong, ...

Let’s reality test

President Trump has called for a tax cut that will add 1,500 billion dollars to the national debt. In normal speak that is $1.5 trillion added to an already staggering debt. Does that make sense? We are at a time of strong economic growth and unemployment is at a 17 year low. Most economists ...

Cheer up, Donald; Donna Brazile is here

Reaching back into his political memory, the CNN moderator noted that Democrats have a way of shooting themselves in the feet when they are running ahead of the pack. It didn’t take long for his wisdom to become reality. No one could be happier with the change in the political dialogue than ...

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What do these mean to you?

Do you know someone who wore these or who wears them now? They don’t mean the same thing to everybody. To some they are merely the identification of a member of our Armed Forces, while to others they are the life and friendship of a fallen buddy, a “brother in arms” for whom they mourn. ...