Dorso Column: Great Philosophers And Rejected Legislative Studies


Monday the 3rd we leave for England where I get to remove some more from the old bucket list. We will go to Normandy to be reminded of the tremendous price patriots have paid for our individual freedoms. I also intend to see most of the sights in London but I am most interested in visiting Dunstan’s Church in Canterbury. That is where the head of Sir Thomas More (saint to us Catholics) lies. His body after being beheaded ended up in a common grave for people accused of treason and executed at the Tower of London.

You may ask what my fascination with this man is. To me he was a brilliant thinker who dared to defy a king.

Forgetting he was deeply religious I think you need to know he was against outlandish government appropriations. His father was imprisoned by Henry Vll for Thomas More speaking against a large appropriation for the king when More was a member of the House of Commons.

If you haven’t read Utopia it is worth your time. It has been argued for centuries whether it is a communist writing or a tongue in cheek satire. What I think it shows is what a great mind the writer had for his time in history.

Starting with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Cicero thru Thomas More until you read the works of Thomas Jefferson there are a number of political themes we should all be aware of. All of these men gave of themselves in the interest of a better society. Sadly today there are few of the political leaders of today who are selfless enough to do what is right for the citizens who elected them.

The lust for power or financial gain is so strong that our leaders think they can hold on to both if they buy us off with our own resources. I don’t think I have ever seen a more malignant sense of evil then what I am witnessing in DC. That evil is being spread to the states by the federalization of so many of our laws and usurpation of the prerogatives of the fifty states. Once Washington controls the states they aren’t far from taking our individual freedoms.

Which brings me to this particular column. I thought the voting down by the Legislative Council of studies showing the effect federal programs have on North Dakota are a sign of what you have to deal with in some of your elected leaders.

As I said in my last column the test of the legislature should be where are they taking the state over the next 7 or 8 years? The rejected studies would have made legislators think about where they are headed and how much freedom they are willing to give up for the largess dispensed by the Washington establishment. Given the tenets of the aforementioned philosophers I wonder if any of those who voted those studies down have any idea where they want North Dakota to be in the next decade.

Most of the time paying heed to the workings of the Legislative Council is pretty boring stuff. This time I would suggest that with the makeup of the Council we should all be paying attention. As Rob Port said in his column, some of the studies will still be significant. Some legislators will propose major legislation because of the information the studies generate. I for one will be keeping track of proposed legislation to see what the consequences of those bills will be. Some of that legislation will end up as recommended by the Legislative Council at which time we will get to judge who has the best interests of North Dakota in mind.