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Thursday, June 17, 2010


Well, the Board of Higher Education decided to get rid of the UND Sioux logo (odd how they had a meeting the day after the State Supreme Court ruled that they could, almost like it was planned). This is the wrong thing to do for so many reasons, I will name only a couple. First, a large majority of the Sioux Tribal members approve of the name, and yet a majority of the Board of Higher Education doesn’t recognize this. Second, the NCAA is telling us what is politically correct (next thing, we will all have to re-pronounce Sakakawea), yet they allow the Florida Seminoles to keep their name and have tournaments. I hope a petition for an initiated measure to put it to a vote of the people comes my way – I’ll sign it.

  Our ongoing look at the US Constitution takes us to the 17th amendment (direct election of senators not appointment by the legislatures): “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.”

     “When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.”

     North Dakota’s last brush with this occurred in 1992 when Senator Quentin Burdick died. His wife, Jocelyn, was appointed by Governor Sinner as his replacement until a special election was held. Resigned Senator Kent Conrad decided to run for the Burdick seat and won in December of 1992. Conrad’s Senate seat was won by Byran Dorgan. Actually both seats belong to the people of North Dakota.

     The 18th amendment was the Prohibition of Intoxicating Liquors amendment. It was repealed by the 23rd amendment. There are 27 amendments in the Constitution but since this one was repealed that would mean that there is only 26 – right? I’m not sure. This amendment took a stab at morality, and the end result was that it did more harm than good because it gave rise to organized crime which was going to supply the product, law or no law.

     Prohibition of liquors had been a hot topic for a long time. Organizations like the Temperance Union had been pressuring Congress for decades. It was proposed by Congress in December of 1917 and ratified by 38 states in January of 1919. It was almost impossible to enforce and was known as the “Great Experiment”. It is a reason that we need to vote on some things nationally.

    One of the parts of coaching that I found very interesting was that of being athletic trainer. Everybody thinks that because you know how to coach you know something about medicine. I didn’t, but I knew a few tricks about injury. I would tape an ankle or a knee if the player asked to be taped or they needed it. Once the playoff started, I made all the starters get taped. At first they didn’t like it, but once they learned how to run with tape on, they liked it. It was kind of like a magic potion that you would sprinkle on them to prevent injury.

    Back in the old days, when coaches wore shirts and ties, we had a coach who liked to talk a lot. He would talk at about 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40. One day, he was talking and taping an ankle at the same time, and when he got done, he had taped his tie to the player’s ankle. He thought about just cutting the tie, but he didn’t. 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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