Last Word

2018 Election Notes

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 14th, 2018

With Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s loss in last week’s election, Republicans now hold every statewide elected office. Democrats have none. I don’t know if there’s ever been a time when one party held every state office. I doubt it. So what happened to Heidi?

Well, as the Beatles sang in their 1964 hit, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” Heidi’s millions of dollars collected in the wake of her vote against Trump Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh weren’t enough to sway North…

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Senator Heitkamp? Congressman Schneider? Maybe . . .

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 31st, 2018


Fuglie - lastword - Heidi Heitkamp Tax Commissioner,1986

Okay, against my better judgment, again, I'm going to weigh in on the 2018 election, just a week hence. Here goes.

I told Democratic-NPL Congressional candidate Mac Schneider last week that if Heidi Heitkamp wins re-election to the U.S. Senate on November 6, he can expect to head to Washington with her, as our next U.S. Congressman.

I think that might just happen. History and instinct tell me that Heitkamp will eke out a win over Kevin Cramer. And if she does, her coattails could carry…

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An Open Letter to North Dakota Students

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 24th, 2018

Dear Students,

I’ll get right to the point. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp supports your voice, your expression. Regardless if you support her. Regardless if you vote for her. Heidi has stood up for you and your right to express your views.

In 2015, a group of North Dakota students, educators like myself, professionals, concerned citizens, and supportive legislators championed the John Wall New Voices Act of North Dakota. The bill protected your ability to write and talk about the issues that were…

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Which Way will The PSC Go On The Refinery?

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 3rd, 2018


Photo caption: They’re moving dirt at the proposed refinery site just east of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Can we stop them? It’s going to take leadership and guts in state government.

There are two ways to look at the recommendation of Administrative Law Judge Patrick Ward that the North Dakota Public Service Commission dismiss the complaint against that (expletive deleted) Meridian Energy for failing to get a site review from the PSC for its proposed refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

First, If you believe that two or maybe all three of the PSC members would really like to conduct a site review because they are nervous that this might be a bad place for…

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​The Cultural Cringe has come to North Dakota

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 5th, 2018

UND - photograph provide by UND

by Andrew Alexis Varvel
mr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.com

“If a piece of equipment purchased in the 1920s is kept up and can guarantee, at present, an operable rate close to 100 percent and if it can bear the production burden placed on it, the machine's value has not declined a bit. On the other hand, if a machine purchased last year has been poorly maintained and produces at only half its operable rate, we should regard its value as having declined 50 percent."

"A machine's value is not…

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​Scenic River Commission Turns Out to Be A Rubber Stamp For Industry

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 29th, 2018

Little Missouri River Bridge and Other Unauthorized Developments - United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Montana-Dakotas

In the halcyon days of the 1970s in North Dakota, when the state was a quieter, kinder, friendlier, more thoughtful place, the Legislature passed a bill, and the Governor signed it, designating the Little Missouri as our state’s only official State Scenic River, and creating a commission to look out for it.

The Little Missouri Scenic River Commission did its job through the administrations of four governors who cared about the Bad Lands and its river—Art Link, Allen Olson, George…

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Farewell statement from Senator John McCain

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 28th, 2018

Senator John McCain - from Facebook page

by Senator John McCain - from Facebook page

“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

“Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

“I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on…

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​What To Do About A Bridge That Shouldn’t Be There

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 22nd, 2018

Here’s a piece of the Dunn County Atlas that Wylie Bice submitted to the Corps of Engineers, showing the location of the bridge he planned to build on federal land

The Bismarck Tribune’s Amy Dalrymple’s wrote a good story recently about a marathon Little Missouri Scenic River Commission meeting. I’m going to write more about that later. I’ll just say, for now, be careful what you wish for.

What I’m writing about now is one of the things the Commission discussed—the illegal bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River on the Wylie Bice Ranch in Dunn County.

I’ve written about this a few times, but there are new developments and…

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A bridge to nowhere

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 15th, 2018

Photograph provided by Jim Fuglie

Well, after nearly a dozen years of delay, it looks like Billings County is finally going to build a bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora. The county posted a notice in the Federal Register on October 12, 2006, that it was beginning an Environmental Impact Statement process “for a proposed roadway project and river crossing over the Little Missouri River.”

In late July of 2018, almost 12 years later, the county presented its Draft EIS to the public and…

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Putin’s Plutocratic Puppet and the Specter of an American Gulag

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 15th, 2018

Comic courtesy of Daily Trump Cartoon

“Liberty is a strong food, but a difficult one to digest; it needs a healthy stomach. I laugh at those degraded people who, letting conspirators incite them to rise in arms, dare to speak of liberty, without having even a notion of what it is; who, with hearts a prey to all the vices of slaves, imagine that to be free they need only be rebels.”
– Jean Jacques Rousseau

“If…If…We didn’t love freedom enough.”
– Alexsandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“He would never…

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Last Word

Meritocracy is a lie

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By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.eduIn 2017, Sociology Professor Rachel Sherman wrote “Uneasy Street: The Anxiety of Affluence,” a book which drew from 50 in-depth interviews with uber-wealthy New Yorkers in order to obtain a…