This is a time to get together and eat and talk , just time for our friends. There is no format, dues, agenda etc., We can meet anytime or place we decide, picnic pot luck, local food, anything we want to, even invite speakers. But for now please show up, eat and talk to like minded friends. No need to RSVP just stop by and eat. email Trana if you like.
I posted this on Facebook immediately after getting the press release this morning, but I wanted to post it here on the main NorthDecoder.com website, because it's important and because I want those of you who aren't on the Facebook to see it and comment, if you want.
HEITKAMP STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Friday, April 5, 2013
FARGO, ND- Today, Senator Heidi Heitkamp released the following statement regarding her position on marriage equality:
“In speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships. I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief. The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring.”
If you contacted the senator's office and asked her to support marriage equality, this is yours.
If you didn't, call your senator and thank her for doing the right thing.
At a time when Williston North Dakota is fighting for the dubious title of “rape capital” of North America, the state’s Republican dominated legislature and Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple have teamed up to pass the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country, which would ban abortions even in the case of rape or incest after just six weeks of pregnancy (a standard that is set so early that many women are not yet aware they are pregnant). Both the state house and state senate have also passed a resolution calling for a fetal personhood amendment that if approved by voters, would ban all abortions and possibly even most forms of contraception in the state altogether in 2014. Again, no exceptions are allowed for cases involving rape, incest or if the life of the woman is endangered by carrying the pregnancy to term. In a state where rape is on the rise, lawmakers have essentially decided that rape victims must be compelled to carry their pregnancy to term and to give birth to the rapist's baby.
Speaking of rapists and the pregnancies they cause, I picked up a copy of the latest issue of the Great Plains Examiner yesterday, just to see if it's still got its radical right-wing slant. (Spoiler: It does.) The former ND Republican Party chairman who owns and operates that paper now has obviously decided he doesn't care whether his right-wing rag has any women readers, and might even want women to boycott all of the paper's advertisers, has clearly thrown in with the women-oppressing radicals. His anti-choice editorial wouldn't be quite so offensive if there weren't also -- in the same issue -- a column by a Bismarck church leader who takes the position that -- and this is the title of the column -- "Life Begins Before Conception." Swear to God. And no time like a discussion about Choice in the context of rape and incest to bring in a car analogy:
Consider an example. My grandfather owned a 1978 Chevy Malibu. If I was to ask him when his car was made he might say in the summer of 1977 when production began at the Oshawa Car Assembly. Or, if he really thought about it, he might say that his car was made in 1976 at the GM Tech Center in the minds of the engineers who designed it.
See... for the folks at the Great Plains Examiner life starts in the "design" phase. As is true with the manufacturing of a car, human life begins as soon as the rapist starts thinking about raping someone. That's a great car analogy. Makes perfect sense, right?
It's no wonder North Dakota's radical Republicans don't even believe in having exceptions to their anti-choice Personhood laws, even for victims of rape and incest. According to them, apparently, if you become pregnant as a result of a rape or incest, the rape or incest was all just a part of God's big plan.
I just don't know what to think about a God whose grand plan includes rape.
A small-town newspaper story was making the rounds on the internet over the weekend about a presentation in Dunn Center -- a/k/a "God's Country" -- about dangerous, poisoned tap water in the Minot area. The story is about a presentation by Lance Loken, an environmental and natural resources consultant, to a group of farmers and landowners in Dunn County. Loken had tested startlingly high levels of sulfates and chlorides in water ponds near an area in Billings County where nine dead cows had been found. It is "probable," according to the story, that the poisonous pond water resulted when truck drivers were illegally dumping fracking byproducts -- "salt water" (which is more than just salt and water) -- in "inappropriate locations" in the area. Here's a snippet from the story:
“ND has unique geology. This isn’t West Texas. This is a unique ecosystem,” [Loken] said.
In Minot, Loken made another surprising discovery – one that left him concerned.
Loken conducted an environmental test at an abandoned salvage yard located at an undisclosed location in Minot. The adjacent property was known to take waste from the Minot Air Force Base. As Loken investigated the area, he found a letter from the North Dakota Department of Health that basically recommended the tap water should not be consumed.
His tests discovered the water was radioactive.
North Dakota and Iowa are the top two states for radioactive materials. Radiation results in about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, but there are different radioactive isotopes that result in different contamination.
Highland seniors Ben Fisher and Bryton Nield directed and filmed the sprawling dance number that took about a month to put together.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Fischer said he came up with idea after his sister-in-law shared a clip of her entire school dancing in a similar music video. From there, it was just a matter of logistics -- determining the camera's path through the school hallways and assigning specific parts to students.
The Fargo Forum has a story out today about all the contacts the Governor's Office has received. Apparently some people on both sides of the issue have been passionate, but none have been criminally inappropriate.
The governor’s office had not received death threats, Zent said Wednesday afternoon.
We've written about the radical right-wing echo chamber. This is another example of how it works. Tell a lie and then repeat it over and over in as many places as you can. Eventually, stupid people will start to believe it.
I also want to mention the pending criminal charge against a woman from Lidgerwood, North Dakota. Here's a snippet about that:
BISMARCK, N.D. - A Lidgerwood woman who authorities say was upset about the potential ramifications of abortion-related legislation was arrested Wednesday after being charged with threatening to kill a state lawmaker.
Richland County State’s Attorney Ron McBeth on Friday charged Nicolette Jean Knudson with threatening a public servant, a Class C felony punishable upon conviction with up to five years in jail, a fine of $5,000 or both.
Court records obtained by Forum Communications show authorities allege Knudson called Sen. Margaret Sitte, R-Bismarck, at 3 a.m. Feb. 27 and threatened to kill Sitte if she interfered with her attempts to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization.
Now... I want to be clear about something: I'm not a proponent of threatening anybody, ever. The debate should be about the merits of laws, not who can scare other people into doing or not doing things. But, at the same time, I think the allegation here seems a little weak. It appears that what Ms. Knudson is accused of doing might not be a real threat. According to the news story, she's being accused of saying (and I'm paraphrasing): "If you get in the way of my ability to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF), I will kill you." Now, if I remember correctly, aren't proponents of the anti-choice legislation insisting they aren't trying to inhibit anybody's ability to get pregnant through IVF? And if so (assuming they're being truthful), isn't this threat a non-threat?
Let me put this a different way for the slower folks out there (i.e. for our Republican readers): If I threaten to hurt you if the sun comes up in the west tomorrow morning, that's not really a threat, is it? The sun's not coming up in the West tomorrow, so I'm not really threatening to hurt anybody. It's a non-threat. Non-threats are different from threats. Right?
How is this case different from me saying I'll hurt you if the sun comes up in the west tomorrow?
Cramer said, “What do YOU think of the Tribal council?”
I responded to him by telling him that I have my own opinions about the Tribe’s leaders, but what I could tell him again is about the positive things that have come out of the media crisis, like the reformation of the Child Protection Team, the Multi-Disciplinary Team, the Regional Social Services Coalition, and an Interagency committee- all which I am a part of.
I said, “I can tell you I know there is change, positive change. It’s not going to happen overnight but there are people working very hard.”
Cramer then stated that he wanted to “ring the Tribal council’s neck and slam them against the wall.” This statement was made in front of a room full of people who are working to end violence. Again, he went on and on about how Tribal governments are dysfunctional, and how unconstitutional the Tribal provisions in VAWA are. At this point, the other Directors began to get up and walk out of the room. Cramer focused on how he thought a non-Native man would be treated unfairly in the Tribal Court.
He then said, “As a non-Native man, I do not feel secure stepping onto the reservation now.”
In my opinion, Kevin Cramer is the epitome of white male privilege. He did not come to the meeting with the intention to listen. He came with his own agenda. He made threats of violence towards my Tribal leaders, spoke of how dysfunctional our people are, and focused on how unfair the Tribal Court system would treat a non-Native offender. This man represents North Dakota on a national level. There are 5 reservations in North Dakota. From the way he spoke, he cares nothing of them, and in fact seems to think we are beneath him. It is 2013. One would think racism would not be as prevalent and blatant as those 30 minutes spent with Congressman Kevin Cramer proved to be. If he is comfortable speaking so openly against natives, it frightens me to think of how he speaks of us behind closed doors.
As a native woman, I am part of a group that has been most victimized; more than any other demographic group. As a survivor, throughout my life I have been victimized by men. In his arrogance, Cramer probably doesn’t realize he just did the very same, and in front of an audience.
You may have seen Harold Hamm and his wife are going through a nasty divorce.
A contentious divorce involving an Oklahoma oil baron could potentially lead to a multibillion-dollar settlement for his estranged wife that would be the biggest in U.S. history.
Harold Hamm, 67, the chief executive of Continental Resources, is in the midst of divorce proceedings with his second wife, former Continental Resources executive Sue Ann Hamm. After filing for divorce on May 19, 2012, she has claimed in court documents that her husband was unfaithful during their marriage. He has acknowledged that the couple separated back in 2005, and the two have lived separate lives ever since.
Hamm is worth an estimated $11.3 billion and was No. 35 on last year’s list of the 50 richest Americans put out by Forbes. The potential settlement his wife could receive may exceed the more than $1.7 billion paid out in 1999 to Anna Murdoch, the ex-wife of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, depending on whether or not there was a prenuptial agreement.
Well, you've probably read that Harold Hamm bought North Dakota. That being the case, there are all kinds of complicated legal issues that are going to have to be sorted out in the Hamm divorce case. Now, admittedly, I don't know Oklahoma law, but if North Dakota law applied, I know the State of North Dakota would be part of the marital estate. The Hamms would have to divide up the State of North Dakota. This could get tricky. For example, there are three members of the State Industrial Commission: Jack Dalrymple, Wayne Stehnjem and Doug Goehring. You can't really split those three in half, I think. So how will they divide up those guys? It's complicated since they are part of the property that needs to be divided, but they are also (arguably) people. So is there a hybrid Ruff-Fischer / Best Interests analysis that will happen? The courts will have to sort that out.
And how will the Hamms divide the physical assets? Will Harold take the Capitol Building and his wife Sue Ann take the WSI building, Dixie, the old Supreme Court building and the Highway Department building? That hardly seems fair. Maybe Harold will get the Senate and Sue Ann will get the House. Harold gets the Governor's office (as part of the division of the Industrial Commission) and Sue Ann gets Wayne Stenehjem, Doug Goehring and the Supreme Court. That doesn't seem fair either. Maybe Harold should ask for John Hoeven and a first round pick in the 2014 draft election, too. Let Sue Ann take Kevin Cramer. He can't pitch, can't catch and has a pathetic batting average. He's horrible.
Who gets the state highways and state parks? Who gets the state colleges and universities? Will they be dividing up the budget surplus? Who gets the Highway Patrol? Who gets the National Guard? Who gets the State Library? There are a lot of complicated family law issues that will be sorted out in the Hamm divorce.
This isn't just a big case for the Hamms; it's a huge case for the people of North Dakota.
Pay attention to this divorce, folks. It's really important.