North Dakota is soooo Pro-Life that….

Hey all! Remember when our legislators tried to pass a bill that basically outlawed all abortion? That was defeated quite heartily? 

Well, now North Dakota is so very pro-life that our legislators–people you elected–sorry, even if you didn’t vote, you still elected them. They want to pass legislation that’s so pro-life, it would make it totes ok for you to:

A. Run down anyone that’s in the way of traffic (this was designed for protestors, but it really says in the way of traffic). So, all those school kids getting hit on their way to school? Eh….ok. I mean, they stood in front of your F-150 so….

And 

B. Use deadly force if anyone is engaged in (what you perceive to be) criminal mischief. Or if they are on your property, or trying to steal or break your property–as long as it’s worth 100 bucks. 

So, here’s my question: 

North Dakota is pro-life right? 

Is my body worth 100 bucks….or no? 

I’m just a chick.  

Do North Dakotans understand the first amendment? 

“Those protestors should get jobs.” 

“I want to protest the protest.”

“Protesting won’t change anything. Go home.”

These are actual quotes from regular, everyday North Dakotans regarding two protests: 

The Standing Rock protest of the Dakota Access pipeline and the nationwide protests over president-elect, Donald Trump. 

These regular, every day North Dakotans are exercising their first amendment right of freedom of speech. What they don’t seem to understand, is that protestors have that same right. 

Some protestors believe so strongly in something that yes, they’re willing to quit their jobs, camp in sub-freezing temperatures, and get arrested or physically hurt. 

It seems North Dakotans don’t remember how African Americans and women got the right to vote. It would seem they don’t remember the protests around every war and how those protests led to actual change in this country. 

As Americans, we have a constitution that gives all citizens the right to free speech and the right to assemble. If you want to silence protestors, just know that your right to free speech can also be silenced. 

Be thankful for the protestors that came before you and those that continue to fight for your rights–that’s called activism.

 Sitting home in your comfy chair not understanding why people are protesting?  Well, you have the right to talk about that, but you may want to spend some time learning a little history first. 

Hey, Bernie fans of NoDak

It was so amazing to see you all show up for the caucuses! It was also really wonderful to see you all in Bismarck. It was wonderful to see you ask questions of the Dem party chair and see you give a damn about politics. 

I know many of you walked out on the national convention when your guy conceded the primary to Hillary. That tells me you’ve got guts. I understand your heart was broken when he conceded, but here’s a bit of reality for those of us in North Dakota: 

Prez is decided by the “electoral votes.” I know it  sucks. It all sucks. North Dakota has 3 measley electoral votes. That means, who we think should be president matters very little when it takes 270 to win.  

What we can influence is people that believed in Bernie’s stance getting elected in our home state. There are a few running. And while you may not be interested anymore in politics, I can tell you Bernie would be let down if you didn’t show up to vote for these people in your home state. Write in whatever you like for president, but please, show up to vote. 

Eliot Glasheim is a Bernie supporter that is running for senate against John Hoeven.  He was inspired (just like you were) to make a difference. Show up and vote for him. 

Chase Iron Eyes is also a Bernie supporter that has always wanted to run, but it was Bernie’s message that made him do it.  Chase is running for congress against Kevin Cramer.  

Running against an incumbent in our tiny state takes a great deal of courage, money, and inspiration. Be inspired. 

Write in Mickey Mouse, vote third party or leave the top blank (yes, you can do that). But, show up, vote and make Bernie proud.  We can do it this year. We can thank Bernie for that. Don’t let his message fade.  

Something about Food Stamps

I’ve never had them myself. I saw what my grandma went through when she needed them to live.  I’ve seen and heard people say very nasty things when someone pays with food stamps. My only experience with them was when I was a young girl staying with my grandma for a while. 

My grandma was widowed at 52. Prior to that, she’d been married to my grandpa who died at 56. They built a life together. They were married very young. In fact, I still have her wedding ring she gave me that my grandpa bought for her in 1930-something. She raised two boys. They worked their entire lives together and then he died. And she had nothing. 

My grandma worked. I never went to stay at grandma’s house. I stayed at wherever grandma was a live-in caretaker or housekeeper. My mom and dad would send me to stay with her for a week or two– anything I could. We went grocery shopping quite a bit. She mostly lived off of homemade soup and bread. She didn’t buy canned soup or bagged bread. She bought the ingredients with food stamps, cooked it all and froze whatever she could to keep eating. When we got to the checkout, she’d pull out her food stamps as her face turned red and she told me, “it’s terrible to have to rely on food stamps. I’m glad to have them but people aren’t very nice to you.” This was 30+ years ago. 

My grandma could have bought more with food stamps, but every year, she’d start saving them for Christmas.  Regardless of her circumstances, she would still have her family over for Christmas. She’d save food stamps so she could cook a big enough turkey, sometimes a ham, mashed potatoes, home made dressing, vegetables, and lefse. Opal made the best lefse. 

Grandma worked her entire life but it still wasn’t enough. All of her jobs were taking care of people. She’d stockpile those food stamps for that one day a year she could cook for her family and we loved her very much.  We miss her Christmases. It wasn’t until years later that I understood the sacrifices she made for her family. 

So, when people like your North Dakota Congressman do things like cutting food stamps and justify it by saying, “he that does not work, should not eat.” I think of my grandma.  

When people share receipts from grocery stores when someone bought food (steak, lobster, whatever), I think of my grandma. She saved up what she had to give her family one amazing meal each year.  Are we really so petty as to deny people that now? 

If you think Kevin Cramer is a good representative of North Dakota values, I sincerely beg to differ. My grandmother was as close to a saint as I’ve ever seen. In Kevin Cramer’s country, she would have starved.  

Sometimes,  I wonder how my grandma would feel about me telling her stories and sharing them.  I think she may have worried, but still have been proud. 

That’s all. 

Dear John, 

John, 

We’ve been together a long time now. We’ve had our share of disagreements. I’ve overlooked a lot of things because–well, honestly, I just didn’t think I could do any better. 

You were a good governor. I voted you into the senate. Sure, you stumbled a bit. It’s difficult to take a stand when so many of your friends are clouding your vision. It was ok when you voted against closing loopholes for gun-owners. I’m sure standing up to your buddies at the NRA is tough. Then, you voted against equal pay and you voted against women’s rights to control their own bodies and their futures. I let it go because you were all I had. 

But when you decided to throw your support behind Donald Trump–a man who’s repeatedly said horrible things about war veterans, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, women, the disabled and well, who’s been denounced by several of your buddies in the senate already….

Well, John, I just don’t think we can stay together. Our beliefs are just way too different. And trust me John, it’s not me–its you. You’re a coward and I just can’t stay with a coward. Good-bye, John. You no longer deserve me. I can do better. 

Sincerely (Seriously),

North Dakota

Mr. Chase

I don’t know much about Mr. Chase, but what I do know, I like. He’s not perfect. He’s made mistakes (burglary, I believe as a juvenile), but honestly, who hasn’t messed up? A very wise person once told me, “it’s not the mistakes. It’s the willingness to take responsibility and then correct them.”

So, Mr. Chase made some mistakes. After those mistakes, he picked himself up and dusted himself off and went to law school.  He spent every day going forward advocating for people he knew needed help. He advocates now for every single person that needs help including you. 

He could have joined a law firm. He could have walked away from North Dakota but he stayed. He could have become rich and famous for simply being the epitome of the American success story, but he didn’t. He stayed here to help understanding that sometimes a life story inspires others. Sometimes, doing good work inspires others to do the same. 

Nope. I don’t know much about Chase. But I know he cares about people. He cares about all people–women, men, kids, black, white, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. He just cares for people. That’s why he stayed in North Dakota and that’s why he’s running for congress. 

He’s running against someone I know/knew well. He’s running to dethrone someone who cares about himself, his radical beliefs, his my-way-or-the-highway beliefs. He’s running against someone Trump himself has already appointed to his board of know-nothing, do-nothing, anti-farmer, anti EPA, anti climate-change, anti-North Dakotan beliefs. 

I don’t work for either. My endorsement doesn’t matter to either. But, I grew up in North Dakota and heard a young minister named Kevin Cramer tell me I’m going to hell because I believe in equal rights for all: gay, straight, black, white, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist.  

Anyone who lives here and works here and contributes to the betterment of our state and our country, has my endorsement. And that, my fellow North Dakotans, is Chase Iron Eyes. 

Happy Holidays, North Dakota

While this is a time for love and family, it’s also a time for self-reflection. As a lifelong North Dakota resident and small town girl, I’ve come to believe (regardless of what I was told), that we are all human beings and we’re only here for a short time. 

The meaning of life: the reason we’re here; is to make life better for those who come after us. Those who come after us are a melting pot (as this country was always meant to be). Those who come after us have to know the best way to be a human being. Religion, race, nationality; none of that matters. We are here to accept and learn from each other and to pass what we’ve learned on to our children. We are not the future. All we can do is guide them. 

So, as you claim your Christmas and yell that Jesus is the reason for the season, please remember that Jesus wanted peace, love, and acceptance. In other words, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” 

Peace and love to all of you.