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Friday, July 09, 2010


I got a really good email the other day. Many of you may have seen it. It talked about the punishments for crossing the borders of various countries around the world. North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela, and Cuba were mentioned, and 12 years hard labor, detained indefinitely, shot, jailed, never heard from again, and branded a spy were their penalties or punishments. Pres. Calderon of Mexico recently admitted that if a Guatemalan crosses over into Mexico illegally, they are asked for their papers, detained, and sent back. It is against the law to cross into this country without the proper papers, also. I support Arizona. 

Our ongoing look at the US Constitution takes us to the 19th Amendment – women’s suffrage, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” Some say this is where all the trouble began, but I don’t think so. You never see anybody out there calling for the repeal of the 19th amendment, like they did for the 18th (the repeal became the  21st amendment.)

The women’s suffrage movement has a long and glorious history and many women spent nights in jail and lost their fortunes trying to get it passed. It happened quickly, as it was proposed in June of 1919 and ratified by the 36 states in August of 1920, which just happened to be a Presidential year. We have not, as yet, had a woman president, nor, a majority of women in either house in Congress, but that can change. We do however, have many laws about gender, race and sexuality that I am not completely convinced are constitutional because they wouldn’t pass the test of the equal protection clause. 

The 20th amendment which is a long one and deals with: the commencement of the Presidents term of office, sessions of Congress; and the death or disqualification of a president elect. It is composed of 6 sections and I will sum up what they say and you can go to Wikipedia.com and read it for yourself. First, the President will take office at noon on the 20th of January, Congress at noon on the 3rd of January.

Second, the Vice President now officially succeeds the President if she/he dies or is disqualified. Congress will decide who takes office if neither qualify. But this is moot as the 25th amendment will further spell out the order of “who becomes President” if everyone gets killed. The 20th amendment is called the “Lame Duck amendment” because it shortens the time between election day to taking office day, which had been March 4th.

Patti, my wife, had left me and gone to Washington, DC, with kids from school for a Close Up trip. This leaves me batching it and cooking for myself which can be a dangerous thing. I have been known to produce some interesting delicacies such as spam (the caviar of canned meats) sandwiches, tomato rarebit, egg in the hole, and Schatz Stewey. One of my first culinary adventures was the making of beer cheese soup. I had this at a restaurant in Minot and it was really, really, really good. So, when we first got married, I figured I would like to duplicate this dish. I took a can of Campbell’s cheese soup and put a beer in it. It didn’t taste anything like the Minot beer cheese soup. I get my cooking prowess from my Dad. One time, Mom can home from a trip and there were noodles on the ceiling. Don’t ask.  Have a good one!





Yours in the Spirit of the Republic,






Mike is a New England businessman who is currently a legislator serving in the North Dakota House of Representatives (District 36). He has served in that capacity between 1988-90, and was reelected in 2008 to his current term. He was a National Finalist for the High School Coach of the Year in 2000, leading the New England Tigers to four North Dakota State Class B championships in 1988, 1995, 1996, and 1997. He ended his coaching career with a 47-game winning streak.

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