War Over Walmart To Be Settled In Minot On Monday

walmart_supercenter

The 2011 flooding of the Souris river in Minot, which bisects the city from east to west, made it clear to the community that far too much of the city’s commerce is focused on the south end of town. During flooding, those living in the north part of town had few choices for stores selling groceries and other necessities.

So it’s not surprising that in the wake of the flood several retailers have made the effort to move to the northern part of the city. Marketplace Foods, which owns pretty much every grocery store in town, was one of the first. Walmart is now trying to follow, but their bid to develop a piece of land along the Highway 83 bypass has met flames of resistance fanned, as I noted in a previous post, by the folks from Marketplace Foods.

The motivations of the folks at Marketplace are obvious. The new Walmart location would be located just a few blocks to the west of their new location in North Minot, and they don’t want the nation’s largest retailer that close. Walmart always attracts droves of eager shoppers, but the company usually inspires lots of bellyaching from vocal minorities in the community as well.

Marketplace Foods and other Walmart opponents have tapped into that angst, and a minority of Minot City Council members almost large enough to stop the development have come out in opposition.

The final vote will happen at the council meeting on Monday at 6:30pm. One council member tells me the vote right now stands at 5-8. If they fall short of 8 votes, approval for the development fails.

I don’t usually write about such hyper-local issues, but the debate in the community over the Walmart development has been fascinating to watch. It’s been littered with noisy demands that “we” build schools or roads or some other priority instead of a new Walmart, as if Walmart stores were built by the government and not a private company (examples here). It’s also seen city leaders talk about being “picky” about which businesses they allow into the community, as if it were their job to make aesthetic choices about what companies do businesses in the city instead of simply applying laws to a given bid for development.

It has really exposed an ugly side of local politics, one littered with public ignorance and political arrogance, and I truly hope the outcome is to let the development move forward.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • awfulorv

    We must stop these money saving big box stores with their unsmiling, yet efficient employees. Give me a Mom and Pop store, with their $7.87 flat headed screwdrivers, delivered with an insincere smile, and banter, any day…

    • kevindf

      Heaven forbid anyone benefiting from economies of scale in this state!

  • WOOF

    WalMart hardly ever loses one of these fights.

    • sbark

      I do have a problem with Walmart bowing to the Left on the issue of Paula Deens products……..over a comment 30 yrs ago after having a gun to her head during a mugging………….
      heck you lefists had a KKK member, Robert Byrd in the Senate for 20 of those 30 yrs since Deen made the comment………..maybe there should be mass Hari Kari by all dem’cat voters over that time span huh

      • SusanBeehler

        Was it 30 years ago, 20 years ago, or in 2007 or in a recent disposition? She was a little naive on the magnitude of the impact it would have. Walmart did not bow to the left on the issue just as they do not bow to the right on the wages they pay, IT IS A BUSINESS DECISION. What if there was no LEFT, than who could you blame for a decision made by a business? People are interdependent and wanting to label something, everyone, every action, and every event is not being a good “neighbor”. The “left” did not put words in her mouth, she did it all on her own. Did the “right” make you write your post?

  • Dakotacyr

    Ha! Not built by the government? Why not check and see how much is being given in economic development fund,messer and water development, roads etc. theybare not building it on their own.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If you knew what yuppy were talking about, and you usually don’t, you’d know that no such special favors exist in this instance.

      Not that you liberals are against that sorry of thing. Just not when it’s a company that resists unions.

      • David Allan Cole

        Are you realy that dense?

    • sbark

      so……make room for a Solyndra’esque solar panel company huh………seems as if “you folks” got no problem with laundering dem’cat campaign money thru those channels using direct hundreds of millions of taxpayer money….now lets talk about unions and public unions……….

    • David Allan Cole

      Not to mention the 70% of their workers on Welfare????

      • sbark

        ….its the Dem’cat party that works hard to keep them on Welfare isn’t it. …..in the full expectation of one or more votes at election time …………..and now you exhibit complete disdain and contempt for them……….
        A persons Love for big Govt…is reflective of their contempt and disdain for their fellow citizens………..

  • SusanBeehler

    If you are attending the meeting you might want to ask if the city is giving any special incentives? Is the land they want developed owned by the county, the city or privately? Is Walmart paying for the infrastructure needed for the store,such as street improvements, sewer, lighting etc? Are they paying a wage so the employees do not have to have their wages subsidized with food stamps and other government assistance? In Mandan the taxpayers are paying for property tax exemptions, and the infrastructure improvements needed, even the cemetary has been assessed for the street improvements needed for the roads leading to Wal-mart.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      No special deals. No tax incentives. Not that Walmart hang been guilty of that elsewhere, but in this instance those things aren’t a factor.

      • SusanBeehler

        So why does it have to go before the council? Is the building permit not being approved? Is there a zoning change being requested? Do all commercial enterprises have to get approval by the city commission? I don’t understand why they have to come before the city council? When ever I have seen an entity have to come before the full commission in our city is because of a city regulation such as zoning. Do all stores have to go before the city council? Surely their must be some kind of ordinance or policy which is allowing the city council to vote on otherwise how could another store just not wanting a competitor being near them cause it to be heard in front of the council. There must be a legal question under scrutiny or a policy or ordinance.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I don’t understand

          Those words could sum up your entire existence.

          But to the point, because the city has to approve the development. You could do a bit of google searching of your own to find that stuff out instead of railing against me like there’s some grand conspiracy.

          • SusanBeehler

            You mean “find the stuff out” that you leave out of the story? Excuse me I have mistaken you for having “journalistic integrity” in your writing. Why should anyone have to verify what you write with a Google search? There was more than just Marketplace to this story and you failed to reveal it for whatever reason, maybe you are just a big fan of Walmart or maybe you want to live up to the “journalistic integrity” of the Forum.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I guess when I write about things, i assume that people have a basic understanding of civics.

            Every time I write about Congress or the legislature I don’t spell out the process for passing bills or holding committee hearings. I assume that the readers have a basic level of knowledge, or that if they don’t, they’ll look it up.

            You, being an entitled dunce, apparently want everything spoon fed.

          • SusanBeehler

            Go back to your “story” You state “The motivations of the folks at Marketplace are obvious. The new Walmart location would be located just a few blocks to the west of their new location in North Minot, and they don’t want the nation’s largest retailer that close.” nothing in there about the Walmart meeting a zoning or platting or annexation issue. It does not matter what motivation any company has if there is a legal measure which must be passed. “dunce”

          • sbark

            You should love Walmart at this point………..they stopped doing any business with Paula Deen…………you know her, she used a supposed racial slur 30 yrs ago and that was after having a gun at her head by a mugger………….
            Heck you guys on the left still had a KKK member in the Senate (Robert Byrd) for some 20 plus years after Deens remark……….you have no cred to make a remark on anything except a brownie recipie on some remote cooking blog.

          • Thresherman

            If it was a simple matter of zoning or platting, there would be none of the hue and cry that is going on as that would be matters that would be pretty clear. Compliance would be defined and variances would be asked for or denied. But that is not is what is happening and your attempt to hide behind that is pretty pathetic.

          • sbark

            oh you mean like the Joel Heitkamp spin by omission method of propaganda?

          • Tim Hines

            “Those words could sum up your entire existence”…And you have the audacity to raise concerns over what you perceive as a “view down the nose” when I state what I see as a legitimate point? (Much like Susan). You would think you and yours could be just a tad more respectful, if for no other reason, from what I’ve observed over the last couple of days, we’re the only ones other than you not wrapping ourselves in a cloak of Internet anonymity, which, in my opinion, leads to a false sense of bravado and entitlement to “say anything”

        • awfulorv

          I once nearly purchased, at a garage sale, an official WWII German Gestapo handbook/primer on interrogation. I thought it had historical value, but thought they’d priced it way too high, and had to pass on it’s purchase. Judging from the above, rapid fire questioning, it would seem that you, Susan, were successful in acquiring that very book, and have, after apparently studying the contents within, put the methods to good use.

          • $8194357

            Marxist critical theory and the why, why, why, corrective action methods?

        • sbark

          Kinda of a another sign of too much govt even at local levels in N.Dak doesn’t it?…………….you leftists should be as worried about IRS and NSA, Benghazi and Fast and Furious at the Fed Level as you leftists are worried about a Walmart Store in Minot N.Dak

          • David Allan Cole

            Are you realy that stupid or is it an act?

          • sbark

            ……that’s all you got?

          • SusanBeehler

            You leftists?

        • Lianne

          Susan, this is NONE of your business. You do not live in Minot. AND, you know not of what you write. Stick to blingy things and such.

          • SusanBeehler

            This none of your business? I do business in Minot.

            YOU know not of what you write.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Right, Susan. You bought some beef jerky from a gas station here one time, so obviously you’re well-qualified to lecture us all about development issues.

          • SusanBeehler

            I have never bought beef jerky at a gas station in Minot. I do drop more than a grand for the privilege to do business in Minot.
            I thought this was a blog and the only qualification to comment was to sign in and write. Are you also Lianne? Don’t worry Rob I will not be coming to your city council meeting but keep in mind most cities in North Dakota belong to the League of Cities and they meet up and they talk about things like development, property tax incentives and things which go on in one city in North Dakota could very well happen or be duplicated in another city. As a citizen of North Dakota it can be my business of what is happening. Why would anyone be so rude and say it is none of your business when it is on a public blog?

          • Lianne

            Because your comments are without warrant. You do not know what is going on with the building here in Minot and it is not going to affect you in any way, shape or form.

          • SusanBeehler

            Lianne do you just live in Minot or do you also live in North Dakota?

          • Lianne

            Today on the before after is the orange of the bread.

          • Lianne

            My message from early this morning did not show up. I commended you for a great response. I thank you.

          • $8194357

            Snarky…
            Good score….

      • David Allan Cole

        Are you sure?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Yes, but feel free to ask yourself.

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            It’s nice to see that your replies are developing an edge. I was beginning to think you were a saint.

          • $8194357

            10X on the beef jerky…

  • Name

    i’ve kinda been following the walmart discussion. there aren’t any tax incentives, no public land being donated, no special deals to make roads specific for walmart. however, all cities and counties have the right to to approve zoning certainly for the protection of the citizens in the area. the plat, the zoning, and annexation of the land that a developer wants to sell to walmart are under consideration and need to be approved by the city. and would have to be approved by any city or county that has zoning rules. of course we all understand without zoning you got willy nilly. the local folks in that area don’t want the store right there. nobody would care if walmart built on the other side of the bypass for instance. its that specific spot that is the topic of contention. I suspect the elected folks get a black eye no matter how they vote. Why they want the job i’ll never know. nobody harder to please then the american citizen. we want everything and generally we want it for free.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well, it’s the location and the fact that MarketPlace doesn’t want competition.

      Which is an ironic thing for a company with that name.

      • SusanBeehler

        MarketPlace and the homeowners in the area have every right to protest a zoning or annexation change for whatever reason. So what if they do not want the Walmart next to them, It is how the “market” works. Other businesses are supposed to just roll out the red carpet for a competitor? All businesses have to comply with laws. Zoning issues are valid issues for development,your blog makes it sound like MarketPlace is doing something they shouldn’t be doing when the law provides the means to protest zoning etc. Big companies like Walmart can come in and force competition out than when the competitors are gone they can charge what they want and dominate the market, I would think you would get the building of a “kingdom”. If a company controls the market than you can control the consumer. Choice than becomes obsolete.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Well, yeah, anyone can protest anything for any reason they want.

          That doesn’t mean their protests are just.

          You protest things all the time for all sorts of stupid reasons, and you’re usually wrong.

          • SusanBeehler

            Just, by your standards or legal standards, they could be a world apart.

  • Dallas

    Recent story in a major publication analyzed the cost to taxpayers who have a Wal-Mart. It’s millions because of Medicaid, food stamps and other programs you have to providie for employees.

    Amazingly, Mandan recently gave Wal-Mart a property tax exemption if they would build and open there. Mandan’s idea of class shopping?

    The recent legislative session also provided income tax cuts for corps like Wal-Mart? For what? So we can pay out more in food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid for employees who are underpaid, lack benefits?

    Having a Wal-mart is kind of like having Sarah Palin as a friend. looks good but would you want to tell the folks you were involved?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The problem with your argument, which I’m sure you picked up off some union blog or left-wing website, is that we keep expanding those welfare programs. We expand the eligibility of Medicaid and food stamps and TANF, and then we gripe when people who work at Walmart collect them.

      Here’s a thought: Maybe those welfare programs are distorting the labor markets. Maybe, if we downsized those programs to people who truly have need of them instead of the expansive swath of the population they cover now, Walmart would pay higher prices.

      But I’m sure you haven’t thought of it that way. Everyone’s a victim. Blame the capitalists.

      • SusanBeehler

        “I’m sure you picked up off some union blog or left-wing website” Are you sure about that? Where are these union blogs and left wing websites you speak of? oh man who does not understand TANF is reimbursed by non-custodial parents with child support if they have a child on TANF? I am a capitalist: I buy, sell, produce, and distribute products. I know my bottom line can be affected by what others do in the market place. Walmart will only pay as high a wage they have to get people to do there work.

        • two_amber_lamps

          “I am a CRONY capitalist.”

          Fixed that for ya! Never let it be said I never did anything for you….

        • sbark

          quote…… Walmart will only pay as high a wage they have to get people to do there work………

          oohhh…..you mean like Nancy Pelosi’s family tuna factory
          ****
          Pelosi owns a $17 million investment in H. J. Heinz’s company, which in turn owns ~75% of Del Monte Corp’s stock. Del Monte is the parent company of StarKist. StarKist Tuna owns one of the two packing plants on American Samoa. Combined both plants employ over 60% of the population paying less than $3.75 a hour in wages
          …….Walmart does more for the American poor and lower middle class than any generational welfare program supplied by the American Left………they at least can have the pride of working for a living…..vrs begging on their knees for pitnance from a dem’cat in exchange for ACORN having them vote several times.

        • JoeMN

          Walmart will only pay as high a wage they have to get people to do there work….
          _______
          Those “others” in the marketplace include your suppliers.

          I must assume you are paying your produce suppliers no more than you have to.
          After all, Susan. You do expect to turn a profit

          Don’t you care about their families, Susan ?
          Why do you exempt yourself from those same standards you set for Walmart ?

          Or is it only “greed” when the business in question files as a corporation with the IRS

          • David Allan Cole
          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I’m not sure the head of the AFL-CIO is a credible source for news about Walmart.

            Just saying.

          • SusanBeehler

            And you are?

          • devilschild

            I will agree with that comment. IMO the head of the AFL-CIO was too stubborn to admit defeat in the ACSC lockout debacle and caused workers to be out of jobs longer than they needed to. He is not to be trusted. Google him and I’m sure you will know why.

          • JoeMN

            Actually David.

            Richard Trumka himself is no stranger to corruption and violence.

            http://www.nrtw.org/files/nrtw/Trumka%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

          • $8194357

            10X

          • SusanBeehler

            I am the producer, I supply my family.
            I am not exempt Walmart from any standards I would like them to be included in some of the same hoops small business owners have to jump through. Filing as a corporation is a business decision. Greed and profit are not the same.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            What’s ironic is that big-government liberals like you support policies that help the giants like Walmart a great deal.

            You gripe about Walmart not paying a “living wage,” but do you know who one of the biggest proponents of the minimum wage is? Walmart. Because Walmart, for all the griping from people like you, actually pays well above the minimum wage. And even if they don’t in some places where it’s already sky-high, they’re so huge they can absorb the additional expense.

            Who can’t easily absorb that expense are the smaller, regional stores Walmart competes with.

            You claim to be against big corporations, and yet you’re their best friend.

          • SusanBeehler

            Why do you feel the need to label someone? I am not a big-government liberal nor a no law libertarian. I actually do not identify with a party. I am like many North Dakotans voting independent. I am not against big corporations, I am not against capitalism. I also work for a very large international corporation and I own my own business. I believe in paying a “living” wage because I believe it is a moral and good thing to do.

          • sbark

            Is it up to business to just pay a living wage………or is it up to the Individual to better himself, hone his skills, gain education to command a “living wage” or better?
            ………which is better for society? One takes the actions of govt force or re-distribution of wealth by force……..the other promotes for a better citizen not dependent on govt…….which is better for society long term?
            Wouldn’t it be better for a parent to be teaching his children to have to raise himself up, take risks………than generations being trained to see Govt as an all-powerful entity—ie replacing religion as a society barometer.

          • devilschild

            For many people Walmart is just a temporary position. It is not a career choice for them. It is a place to work while going to school, or when the kids are in school, or to supplement retirement income. I worked at Home of Economy for five years when my kids were little for the same reason. Its a store and stores don’t pay high wages to anyone but their management team. If you want to boycott someone I would suggest Sears. Their starting wage is $7.25 an hour. Walmart pays more than that….around $9 to $10.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            What people like Susan don’t understand is that their supposed compassion will result in inflating the cost of employing low-skill workers to the point where fewer of them get employed.

            She’ll be smug over her support for bad policy, blissfully ignorant of the fact that she’s hurting the ones she thinks she’s helping.

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            Exactly. Sue Bleater reminds me of the woman driver who—many years ago—cut across two lanes of traffic on an L.A. freeway to make an exit, thereby causing one of the most disastrous and deadly pile-ups in California history. She never saw the results of her obliviousness.

          • SusanBeehler

            When I think of Wal-mart, I do not think of the low-skill workers getting employed, I think of my friends, neighbors and relatives who have worked their for years and have little to show for the dedication, the wear and tear on their bodies. I think of the friend sitting by her husband not having enough insurance to cover a majority of the cost of an injury, but paid into insurance for over 20 years. I think of the manager who promoted the young “hot” girl and threatened the older woman to not say a word of being passed over despite being better qualified. I think of the applicant not being hired because she did not answer the questions on the “Walmart culture” quiz, yet was qualified to do the work. My compassion is based on real life incidents affecting real people not something I read about. I think about my newly widowed neighbor being special assessed $15,000 for road improvements while Wal-mart has to pay ZERO for.

          • LenYol

            ” I think of my friends, neighbors and relatives who have worked their for years and have little to show for the dedication”

            So, you don’t see the roof over their head, the clothes on their back, the car in the driveway or the food on their table?
            Just asking.

          • SusanBeehler

            Maybe based on your experience but retail is a career choice for some. If you want to boycott Sears or Walmart go ahead. I was just making comments.

          • awfulorv

            Oh puhleeeze Susan it’s a job, not a crusade…

          • JoeMN

            I see
            So not all profit is equal.

            Your profits are considered just.
            Walmart’s, profit is greed.

          • SusanBeehler

            I did not say that. I believe employers and owners need to give back to their employees, The Waltons are some of the richest in the world. For those who have so much, they have a greater responsibility to give and are in the position to do so. Profit is profit and larger profits are opportunities to invest in those who helped you get those larger profits.

          • JoeMN

            Walmart has given back more than your empty liberal mind could imagine.

            Every new store opening means new jobs.

            Every new store opening means lower prices in another community for lower income folks.

            In fact, ALL of America’s poor are better off thanks to Walmart.

            That the Waltons personally got fabulously wealthy while doing it is a FEATURE, not a bug.

            They don’t owe society a thing.

            Susan, your class envy makes me sick.

            Envy in my book is far worse of a vice than greed.

            It’s unfortunate that the left has declared it a virtue.

          • SusanBeehler

            I am glad to see the Wal-mart ads have been assimilated in your mind, justifying the way they conduct business.
            Feeling sick, I am sure Wal-mart has a low cost remedy for that.
            I believe, it is a moral obligation when conducting business to treat your workers fairly, provide a decent wage, a wage which does not have to be subsidized with taxpayers programs. The company has changed since Sam has died, employees were rewarded generously for choosing Wal-mart as a career. Pointing out something I see as a bad “moral” business policy does not make it envy.

          • JoeMN

            Invoking the Walton family in an emotional plea using their personal wealth as the lever reeks of class envy.
            the Waltons personal wealth cannot sustain employee raises.

            Those costs would be reflected by higher prices, or less capital to build new stores.

            How is any of this “good moral business policy” ?

          • SusanBeehler

            The Waltons gained their wealth from their company, a company is built the employees and the consumers. They could not have achieved their wealth in their company without them. Slave owners, pimps and thugs all believed they are justified in how they get their money too.
            Costs and capital are a part of doing business. They are the king of the retail world, all kingdoms can collapse when they do not treat their serfs fairly.

          • Lianne

            supplier for product is different than “supplying” your family, which is more correctly known as ‘providing for your family’. The suppliers Joe was referring to are the companies from whom you purchase your blingy stuff to decorate your shoes, purses, etc.

          • SusanBeehler

            I do not think it is much different, because all sales of product or service is going to “supplying” some family to meet their needs. I pay the price they ask and the price I know I can turn a profit at. I then turn around and people pay me the price I ask for. This is how business works. I base my price on the investment of time, cost of product, cost of overhead and what the market will pay for. If the market would not support the price I need to meet those costs, than the product is pulled or my business model is changed.

          • JoeMN

            Walmart’s business model is low prices for their customers.
            Their business model has been very successful.
            They employ over 2.2 million people.
            Perhaps Walmart would be wise to wait and see how the Susan Beehler model pans out before implementing it.

          • Lianne

            “I do not think it is much different, because all sales of product or service is going to “supplying” some family to meet their needs.”
            Just like a liberal. The meanings and definitions of words mean nothing. That is why your comments make no sense.

          • JoeMN

            Greed and profit are not the same.
            _________
            Yes

            Profit is the results of one’s labor.

            Greed is demanding another person labors for your benefit.

          • SusanBeehler

            Your opinion not mine. Paying someone for their labor is employment, a trade, money for time. Labor does not necessarily result in a profit, sometimes it can be a loss, sometimes it is just break even. Sometimes we give of our labor and only have spent our time.

          • JoeMN

            A business model that employs for break even or loss requires government green energy subsidies.

          • SusanBeehler

            No it doesn’t, it is a business model which would have to change but it does not mean it has to subsidies. Wal-mart wages are subsidized with food stamps, medicaid, TANF because of people who think the giant needs protection and government should not impose rules to protect workers.

          • JoeMN

            Walmart LESSENS the load on those programs by creating jobs, Susan.
            The effect of your “rules” would cause Walmart to reduce it’s labor force, thereby creating a higher demand on those programs.
            BTW the list of subsidized green energy companies that failed to realize a return on hired labor is quite extensive

            http://greencorruption.blogspot.com/2012/10/green-alert-tracking-president-obamas.html#.UdDF5pxES3X
            If only they had “changed” their business model

          • SusanBeehler

            Maybe or maybe not. I would think Wal-mart could not caught back any further on their employees their is no one manning their checkouts as it is. The checkout appears to be “decorations” in many locations. I have not even stated “rules” except I believe if you have full time employees they should be paid enough so they do not have to have government assistance. In some areas maybe Wal-mart does pay enough. In North Dakota some of our own government policies such as our property tax for the elderly on Social Security actually would allow some people’s income to be subsidized by government programs, I don’t think that is good either. It would have been better if their retirement income based on their wages would have kept up with how fast we like to grow our government here in North Dakota. It is a balance on what is enough and how fast inflation and government grows. They feed into each other.

      • Tim Hines

        So, for what it’s worth, The problem I see in your argument Rob? Is that much maligned concept of “moral relativism”. I understand your outlook on all your expressed principals. I really do. The blog is doing well, (I believe you described it as THE blog in ND), and all the pride and prestige you feel is very much understood and deserved. You made and got yours, and it feels so much better than humping the succession of previous jobs. It’s just my opinion, and we’ve differed on this before, that your current “business model” is not prioritized to do much of anything on a higher level other than proliferate “clicks”. We’ve been down the debate on “if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”, and I’m aware of what you had to say as you defended yourself publicly. My only thoughts when I come around here these days are: Are you ever going to tire of just “saying anything” and ever going to attempt to “do something”?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I think saying something is doing something. SAB makes a difference, daily, whether you want to believe it or not.

          Though I’m not sure what this criticism of me has to do with the topic at hand.

          • Tim Hines

            I believe it was mainly aimed this time at an above response that ended with “But I’m sure you haven’t thought of it that way. Everyone’s a victim. Blame the capitalists.”

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            So, everyone who makes their living from writing is just a leech on society?

            I’ll be sure to inform Stephen King, etc.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Not that I consider myself on King’s level, of course, but you’re being more than a little absurd.

          • Bubba

            Most everyone over the age of three is on King’s literary level, so don’t sell yourself short.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            You’ve got to love the sort of confidence it takes for an internet troll to look down his nose at a man who has become fabulously wealthy by writing.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            But then, it’s easy to be an asshole anonymously on the internet where nobody can judge your body of work. ;-)

          • Bubba

            And easy to be a public asshole on the internet where everybody can judge your body of work. You’ve beat King, you ass! Nice web design, btw. It’s well done, looks good. Nice improvement.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Actually, no, it’s not easy at all to write about controversial things on the internet under your own name.

            The hate mail from Bison fans alone would probably make most people want to quit.

          • Bubba

            You and the “Bison fans”. Rationally, that stuff is harmless, It makes you money, so you keep poking the hive. Nobody is going to get you bro, they only make you money.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I keep writing about NDSU because cruddy things keep happening there.

            It’s really as simple as that.

          • Tim Hines

            I’m glad you have that all squared away in your mind, but from my perspective at least, some of the larger principals you tout appear to be a dichotomous mess…..

          • $8194357

            Ya do have some good fantasy stories tho.
            :-)

          • Tim Hines

            Also, I do not doubt for one second how much SAB has a difference in your world daily. Congrats. I can only tell you, from my perspective, I think you are “part of the problem” because I see no tangible contributions to the betterment of our state. But….You are truly under no obligation to do so….

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I think bringing a bit of ideological diversity to the state’s media, and the state’s political debate, is of great benefit. SAB has changed the nature of the debate in a lot of ways, for the better.

            You may not want to believe it, probably because you don’t like my perspective, but that’s a healthy thing for society.

            Economically, I live here and shop here and do all the same things with my income that everyone else does. I even do a fair amount of charitable stuff, not that it’s any of your business.

            But tell us, Tim. What great feats are you doing for the betterment of our state? What gives you the moral authority to look down your nose at me?

          • Tim Hines

            Not looking down my nose, just sharing my perspective on a blog that literally invites me to “say anything”…I am QUITE comfortable in my contributions to my “own little corner of the world”. I can, and will continue to take quiet satisfaction in them.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            your current “business model” is not prioritized to do much of anything on a higher level other than proliferate “clicks”.

            Sounds like a view down the nose to me.

            But whatever.

          • Tim Hines

            So, final thought before I get on with my day…. If that “sounds like a view down the nose” to you…….If you gauge your emotional reaction to what I posted……How can you write some of the headlines and articles you do, and truly feel like your actually being part of the solution? (But I DO understand their value to generate revenue)

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Because I believe what I write is true.

            Your subjective opinion may be that what I write doesn’t matter, and I’m sure you’re not alone in that opinion, but what writer or commentator who has taken on controversial subjects has ever been free of that sort of criticism.

            If you don’t like what I write, feel free not to read. That’s the beauty of free speech. I can say what I want, and you’re free to read or ignore me.

            Have a good rest of your day.

          • Tim Hines

            Absolutely true! (See, we’ve already agreed once today, and it’s still early!) And to tie it all together from a previous comment above, I’ll always admit that I enjoy reading your opinion. I’m always quite comfortable “agreeing to disagree” with ANYONE. But I’ll be honest……so far, I DO question your intent.

            You have a good day as well!

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            My intent is to tell the truth as I see it.

            I’m not sure why you would question that.

          • Tim Hines

            See? There’s the second place we can agree today. My sentiments exactly!

          • Bubba

            dude, why the deference to Tim Hines?

          • Tim Hines

            Well, I can’t speak for Rob, but I have a suspicion that his now continued silence is NOT rooted in “deference”….

          • Tim Hines

            Also, for what it’s worth… My subjective opinion is that what you write matters ALOT, arguably perhaps more than what you think it does at times…. Just thought I’d share….

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Thanks. I honestly try not to think about that. I’m just trying to tell the truth as I see it in a forum where anyone who agrees or disagrees can respond.

          • Tim Hines

            And I honestly do respect that aspect of your “intent”…BUT….I gotta ask: IF that is 100 percent true, WHY is this particular thread “hidden” from the rest of the archives, and can only be brought up under a specific search? Inquiring minds wanna know???

          • Tim Hines

            “Sounds like a view down the nose to me”….My opinion, from what I’ve read around here the past 8 or so years, would be that your comment is disingenuous to say the least….Pretty freakin hypocritical to say the most…..Again, just my opinion, but if you are seriously stepping up to the plate? You gotta lead by example….

          • kjuu

            Saying IS doing something here in ND. The culture of “nice” keeps people’s mouths shut when they should really speak up.

          • $8194357

            Rob says that is tolerance in action and is a good thing when he applies it to “his pet ideologies”, but clams up and refuses to respond when you challenge his limited personal radicalized causes…Huh Rob….

          • Tim Hines

            Absolutely! I truly, honestly agree that “North Dakota nice” sometimes impairs conversation. BUT…. Shouldn’t productive conversation strive for a reasonable resolution? What I’ve mainly witnessed around here over the years ISN’T that… In my mind, the difference between “Saying Anything” and trying to “Do something”…And there’s nothing wrong with venting, just “getting it all out there” and saying whatever is on your mind. I just know for me, personally, I wouldn’t want to make facilitating a bunch of political noise my life’s work without trying to make a clearer positive contribution….But to each their own…

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            I’m flat-out unable to make any sense whatsoever out of Hines comment. I can only guess that he delights in verbosity.

          • Tim Hines

            You are absolutely correct, not a very concise comment. I tried fixing it up as best I could! I really like a lot of the new features around here!

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            I’ve been kicking around in a few of the other conservative blogs & find that SAB has a real niche. Other blogs—Newsbusters is an example—have much higher ratings, but this is largely due to the fact that they have many blog contributors of good quality and, probably, better national connections. They have sniffy criteria about “Saying Anything,” which sometimes results in pretty staid, flat-footed comments. Also, the bloggers tend to write what are good comprehensive articles, not really well designed to stimulate comment. You might want to try the WSJ articles and their “Journal Community” blog for consistently intelligent comment focused on a particular topic—there are, of course, trolls, but they have become sort of like yappy pet dogs over time, annoying, predictable, and good for occasional laughs.

          • Tim Hines

            Plus, whether intentional or not….The occasional career upgrade option….

          • Tim Hines

            Huh…..How’s the integrity of these other blogs infrastructure? Because I knew I left a comment to your post that I can’t seem to find now…..

          • Tim Hines

            Ya know??? Maybe my IPad is messing up, can’t handle the new format of this site, because I SWEAR I have now left two replies to this comment, and I’m just not seeing them after I hit refresh…. I’m so glad I took screen shots so I’ll at least have those memories…..

          • Tim Hines

            OK, my apologies now…. Everything now appears to be right where I left it… Nevermind… ;-)

          • Tim Hines

            Yes you do……And, sometimes? Yes he does…

      • WOOF

        Downsizing medicaid and SNAP, would make make more people even more desperate for work.
        WalMart would lower wages.
        That’s how the “free market” operates.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Downsizing medicaid and SNAP, would make make more people even more desperate for work.

          Gosh, you almost make it sound like a jobs program.

          Really, it’s a bad thing to provide impetus to send more people back to work?

          Sounds like stimulus to me. Lower spending burdens by downsizing the programs, and get people back in the work force.

          Win-win-win, by your own admission.

          • WOOF

            Less wages, less spending, less GDP, less work, less workers.
            Economic death spiral.
            The great recession.
            Then came stimulus from the Feds.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Less wages, less spending, less GDP, less work, less workers.Economic death spiral.

            That only makes sense if you ignore the cost to society of the social programs in question. They aren’t free. They aren’t paid with by magical money that appears in a pot of gold under the US capitol.

          • WOOF

            Sick and hungry people are not good for
            society or business. Ask the Czar.
            People not working has a much higher cost.

            Money is magic, produced by invisible money factories
            all over the world. It magically appears and disappears.

          • JoeMN

            Money is magic, produced by invisible money factories
            all over the world

            _________

            Money ?

            Yes

            Wealth and economic prosperity are another matter altogether

          • JoeMN

            Neither is stimulus

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Exactly. You can’t fill a pool by taking water out of one end and pouring it in the other.

          • WOOF

            There is no static pool of money .
            Wealth is constantly being created and money grows with it.

            North Dakota is now pumping money out of the ground.
            If money did not keep increasing trade would grind to a halt.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            You’re absolutely correct, but if you actually believe that, then why do you support so many policies that are based on the notion that wealth is zero-sum?

          • WOOF

            I support policies that make wealth and the river of money flow.
            Accumulated wealth can become a dam where the people downstream
            have nothing to drink.

          • JoeMN

            Except this “accumulated wealth” is where capital investment comes from.

            What happens to your bank deposits ?

            Does it just sit in a vault ?

            The rich don’t make the poor poorer.

            Everybody benefits from wealth creation.
            Even your beloved government.

            Clear the class envy from your eyes, WOOF

          • WOOF

            You have a serfs mentality.
            “the Walton family of Walmart own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America.”
            That should make Arkansas Eden.
            Trickle, trickle.
            Lend me your Cadillac.

          • JoeMN

            Excuse me WOOF

            I have a “serfs mentality ?

            I can choose whether to patronize Walmart.
            Or not.
            YOU, on the other hand support a government that would confiscate all (or at least a large portion) of their wealth to satisfy your envy, then wait for those few meager crumbs that drop to the floor.

          • WOOF

            You’re convinced that what is good for your leige lord benefits the serfs.

            Concentrationa of wealth is what leads to the deAth of empires.

            WalMart will run the numbers and figure what lobbyists to hire and purchase

            zoning they want.

          • JoeMN

            You are a slave to your envy, WOOF
            So much so, that you are willing to sacrifice the jobs and economic prosperity of others.

          • David Allan Cole
          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            So, what you’re saying by spamming us with random links you’ve found on Google, is that you don’t know how to articulate your own arguments?

          • David Allan Cole
      • David Allan Cole
      • David Allan Cole
        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          The “Walmart puts people on Medicaid” thing is a good talking point pushed by left-wing groups and unions that hate Walmart for not unionizing, but it has little basis in reality.

          Because it’s a phony premise.

          Walmart’s wages – which are typically above what more regional and non-chain stores pay – don’t push people onto Medicaid, etc. Medicaid and food stamps roles keep increasing because we keep expanding the programs.

          Should we be shocked that people who have jobs are on welfare when we expand those programs to 100% or 200% of the poverty level?

          Not that what Walmart pays has anyting to do with whether or not their development should be approved.

          • SusanBeehler

            Walmart has some of the worst insurance around and if you don’t have good insurance and you have a catastrophic event such as cancer, the worker will look to medicaid to help out because they more than likely would qualify because of the low wages. How many people do you know who work at Wal-mart? Wal-mart screens for employees who will fit in with their low wage, poor benefits culture.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Walmart has some of the worst insurance around

            Actually, that’s not true at all. For the low-skill, entry level sort of positions that make up the bulk of Walmart’s jobs they have excellent benefits.

            And I say that as a former retail store manager who used to compete with them for workers.

            You simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • JoeMN

      So entitlement programs are the fault of Walmart ?
      Here’s a thought
      If taxes were lowered, demand for labor would rise, forcing Walmart to offer higher wages as well.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        exactly

    • kjuu

      I’m pretty sure the same could be said for Menard’s, who last I checked was flying in employees from Wisconsin because they couldn’t fill jobs paying double the minimum wage. WalMart won’t compete in Minot at the level you expect when fast food is paying more.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Plus there’s the fact that nobody is forced to work at Walmart. Every single person there accepts the wages Walmart offers. Because in North Dakota right now, it’s not like there aren’t a lot of alternatives even for low-skill workers.

      • devilschild

        The owner of Menard’s is an odd duck. He has got to be the most paranoid person on the planet. I don’t know if this is still the case but he wouldn’t allow his store managers to build new houses out of fear that they would rip him off. They had to buy a home that was already built and if they did any remodeling they had to get permission first. It was often disapproved.

        • ec99

          Sounds like the guy who started out prohibiting his employees to smoke, then followed up with mandates concerning their weight.

  • fredlave

    I think some people of Minot have too much money to spend right now. When the oil boom cools and salaries adjust Walmart’s pricing may become more attractive but will Walmart be interested in opening a north side Minot store? Or, will they open just outside the city limits?

  • Bubba

    Sounds like this Walmart makes sense in many ways for the area and it should be approved. I guess Walmart needs to have an ag property changed to commercial (that’s a zoning variance which isn’t just approved because of some misunderstanding of the function of “capitalism, free markets”), and will be reimbursed 50% of the cost of certain improvements on a highway 83 interchange. So sounds like a deal to me, Rob.

  • awfulorv

    One wonders why Obama, and his cohorts, don’t quit the whining and simply kidnap members of rich families like the Waltons’, the Koch’s, and the Donald, actually anyone with more than $27,8000.00 in their various accounts, and hold them for ransom? These methods of money raising have been a staple of the Chicago outfit for years, has some merit, and could be a cornerstone of their incessant money grubbing. But, I suppose, the assimilation of outright gangsters onto the White House staff and, learning the intricacies of the game does take some time and a first class mentor like the Godfather, has chosen to become Mayor of the Third Shore, and is busy with his own forms of enrichment. It does explain somewhat, that and their narcissism, why the #1 family is blowing $100 mil. of your money in Africa. Those folks are expert in the basics of kidnapping, and do not be surprised if he brings a hundred or so of those experts back with him…More on this later

  • David Allan Cole
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