National articles

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and state Sen. Rich Wardner. Josiah C. Cuellar / Forum News Service

Sore Loser Bastiats Have Forgotten About the First Amendment

Sore Loser Bastiats Have Forgotten About the First Amendment

MINOT, N.D. — One of the defining characteristics of Trumpism — and make no doubt about it, the secretive members of the North Dakota Legislature’s Bastiat Caucus of Republicans are true-blue Trumpists — is that they care very little about the principles and ideals America was founded upon. The things the nation’s founders sought to protect with

A monitor displays President Donald Trump as he delivers remarks at a campaign-style rally at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D., June 27, 2018. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times) A monitor displays President Donald Trump as he delivers remarks at a campaign-style rally at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D. TOM BRENNER

If Problematic Speech Is Banned Online, at Least Be Consistent

MINOT, N.D. — President Donald Trump has been banned from Twitter, as you might have heard. In their official justification for the ban, the social media giant claimed that Trump violated their policies against violence’s glorification. Taken at face value, I think Twitter makes a defensible argument, even if it’s not one I agree with. The problem is

North Dakota Land Commissioner Jodi Smith listens during a Land Board meeting in March 2019. (Forum News Service file photo)

Legislature Seeks to Fix Unjust Treatment of North Dakota’s Oil Industry

MINOT, N.D. — A bill introduced in Bismarck seeks to slash the interest rates the Land Board can charge oil and gas companies for overdue royalty payments. The rates — as much as 18% interest with as much as 12% in penalties on top — are downright usurious. They would make a credit card executive blush.

The Right Takes up the Left’s Violent Protest Tactics

MINOT, N.D. — Over the last four years of the Trump presidency, how many violent protests have we seen from left-wing demonstrators? How many private businesses vandalized? Bystanders beaten? Buildings “occupied” and pipelines tampered with? This summer, as many Black Lives Matter protesters undermined their own cause against police violence by behaving violently themselves, many

Rep. Kelly Armstrong speaks to community members in Dickinson State University's Beck Auditorium in Nov. 2019. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

Politicians Owe Us Reason, Not Obedience

MINOT, N.D. — As the holiday season ended on Sunday, Congressman Kelly Armstrong announced that he would not be supporting efforts, backed by some of the most ardent Trump followers in his party, to meddle in the Electoral College vote. Let’s hope Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer follow his lead. I posted a column about the news on

State Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, set up a table and asked citizens to challenge his argument against North Dakota mask mandate (Photo by Jeremy Turley via Twitter)

Bastiat Founder Uses Bogus ‘Change My Mind’ Stunt to Promote New TV Show

MINOT, N.D. — State Rep. Rick Becker is a lawmaker from the Bismarck area who caucuses with Republicans but is also the founder of the controversial Bastiat Caucus in the Legislature. Becker has claimed there are as many as 30 members of the Bastiat Caucus, but the group also won’t release the names of its

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., announces his campaign for reelection on Monday, Feb. 17, in Fargo. Submitted photo

Rep. Armstrong Announces Opposition to Congressional Effort to Overturn Election Results

MINOT, N.D. — North Dakota’s two senators are so far non-committal on the efforts in Congress to overturn the results of the presidential election, but our state’s at-large member of the House of Representatives has just taken a decisive stand. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, joining several other House members in the release, argues that Congress has no authority

In 2021, Let’s Stop Being Offended So Much

MINOT, N.D. — “People like to be offended. It’s one of the ignoble pleasures.” Those are the words of Henry Miller. Or, at least, a fictionalized iteration of Miller as portrayed on the series “The Durrells in Corfu,” which I took to watching during my recent coronavirus-caused convalescence (it’s a wonderful show for lovers of campy British

Protesters Kieran Cuddy, Ned Flowers and Maddie Harrison locked themselves to the main entrance of Enbridge’s Bemidji, Minn., office on Monday morning, Aug. 19, in protest of Line 3. Laura Botero holds up a megaphone mic as Cuddy sings and plays a song on his banjo that he wrote about the pipeline. (Annalise Braught / Forum News Service)

If Oil Is a Crime, Then We’re All Criminals

MINOT, N.D. — I’ve just finished reading Minnesota author (and North Dakota expatriate) Louise Erdrich’s jeremiad against the Enbridge’s Line 3 project in The New York Times, and I’m feeling a little confused. It’s not clear that Erdrich knows the Line 3 pipeline already exists. This is not new construction. Enbridge is replacing an existing pipeline that

Forum News Service columnist Rob Port pictured here in Trinity Hospital in Minot while being treated for COVID-19.

The Mask Mandate Saved My Life

MINOT, N.D. — On the night of Dec. 10, I found myself struggling to walk across the emergency room parking lot at Trinity Hospital in Minot, gasping for breath. The COVID-19 virus, which I tested positive for on the 5th, came on me slowly. So slowly, it almost killed me. After testing positive I had

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