Ralph Kingsbury: Shorts Again
Not so long ago I did a column that was about a series of subjects not necessarily related to one another. They were subjects I thought worthy of comment, but I also thought none of them were worthy of individual columns. It seemed to be well received, so, too this week.
I think it was two years ago this past winter that four young girls who were freshman at NDSU were returning to school from their homes in various cities in the Minneapolis area after a break. Near Alexandria, Minnesota they tragically slid on ice across the median and were hit by an oncoming vehicle. All four girls died.
At the time there were newspaper articles about how those wire fences developed for just such a situation would have prevented the accident. The Minnesota Highway Department said that might be true, but it was just too expensive and they would never be able to afford it.
Today I think the fences have been installed for about half the distance where they make a difference. By this coming winter the installation could be complete.
Do any of the people in government realize how pathetic, and more importantly, how sad this is. Those young girls would be preparing to graduate. Their families would be happy and proud. Instead, there is a total and complete emptiness because someone couldn’t do such a simple but lifesaving important part of their job.
There is a possibility that some GM employees may go to jail because of the ignition failures and their hiding of the problem to save GM a few bucks. Is this situation any different? Well, yes. This is the government and they can do no wrong.
Again in Minnesota, both the state and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have put millions and millions of dollars into a new football stadium. That is after just putting millions and millions of dollars into a baseball stadium, a basketball stadium, and across the river a hockey stadium.
Just this spring the city of Edina asked for a few million dollars for a new hospital. Nope. Na-na. Not a penny. Find it somewhere else. Do we have our priorities mixed up? Do we?
The Catholic church it appears deservedly so in many cases is being accused of hiding pedophile priest from the law. I say deservedly so, but I just want to ask if the harder they go after the church on pedophilia the more they are preventing the church from speaking out on abortion, contraception, premarital sex and even same sex marriage?
Regardless of how you think about these issues the church has a right to say what they believe. Of course if we can shut them up because of their wrongs we can also prevent them from expressing their theology on issues that deserve discussions.
Today the Bismarck School Board has a policy on public speaking. It requires “civility”. As one who has criticized some who comment on my columns for their lack of civility I write this with caution and experience.
There is a fine line between telling someone to be civil, or to “Be Nice” and not being controlling. People should be allowed to speak, but they should act civilly.
Today we have a U.S. Congress that passes legislation that allows the administration to write “rules” which essentially is the legislation. Then when the administration does so Congress complains.
What do they think would have happened had they passed the legislation as they should have after open complete hearings with President Obama’s new carbon rules. Who is really wrong here?
The same thing applies to the IRS. Whether you agree with it or not, Congress passed legislation on tax credits for wind mill farms but told the IRS to write the rules. Today construction on a SD wind mill farm is being held up while waiting on the IRS. If there aren’t enough problems concerning real construction issues, now the Congress creates more by failing to pass simple taxation legislation.
It is my opinion that North Dakota boards and even businesses need to know that natives of this state are just as qualified to run many of our businesses as people we find after a so-called nationwide search. Often times the results of those searches lead to real failure.
A couple of examples: One is Blue Cross/Blue Shields $72 million loss. Another, in my opinion, is the board of the North Dakota Farm Bureau and of its’ insurance company Nodak Mutual. Both boards bring in outside “experts” and both have moved from Midwestern common sense into the big time.
The net result? Well, we have to wait and see, but I think for one thing they have given the Democrats an important North Dakota post (the Agricultural Commissioner), and concerning insurance have, for the first time in our lives, caused some of us to consider insuring with other companies.