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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • EDITORIAL: Cheers and Jeers

  • Cheers to the North Dakota Supreme Court decision on locked-out workers getting unemployment benfits; Jeers to the private sector taking over space exploration.
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  • Cheers...to the North Dakota Supreme
    Court making a wise, fair decision
        It’s bad enough being a union member locked out from your job at American Crystal Sugar who calls Minnesota home. But at least the financial blow to you and your family was lessened by the safety net known as unemployment benefits.
        If you worked at the Hillboro or Drayton Crystal plants in North Dakota, you weren’t quite as fortunate, since unemployment benefits in North Dakota don’t extend to locked-out workers.
        It kind of makes you wonder if the powers-that-be in North Dakota, like so many others over the past year and a half or so, consider a lockout and a strike pretty much the same thing. How many times since the lockout began have you heard someone call it a strike? If you’re like most people, that number is pretty high. Then, when you correct them and say it’s a lockout, you get an almost flabbergasted reaction like, “Well, whatever!”
        If you’re on strike, you probably shouldn’t receive unemployment compensation. But if you’re locked out, some of the tax dollars you’ve paid throughout your work career to keep the safety net strong enough to support people in their time of need should most definitely come your way, no matter what state you reside in.
        Imagine what these locked-out North Dakota workers have had to do all this time in order to put food on the table, gas in the gas tank, and a roof over their heads. Think of how many investments designed to secure a secure retirement have been cashed in. Think of how many things that have been sacrificed, all because your state doesn’t think that you, as someone who is not allowed to go to work because you belong to a union, deserve any unemployment unemployment benefits.
        After two lower courts upheld the law, the N.D. high court reversed it. Now, up to $4 million and maybe more in unemployment benefits will be paid to locked-out North Dakota workers.
        Better late than never? Absolutely. But for some, is it too late?
    – Mike Christopherson
    Jeers...to the private sector having
    to take the lead on space exploration
        Jeers to the fact that there is no more space exploration being done through NASA. Instead of people going into space through a publicly funded program, private companies are looking into sending people to space. A millionaire has decided to fund a trip to Mars in 2018 for a regular man and woman in a small craft. NASA has actually agreed to let the craft take off from one of their sites.
    Page 2 of 2 -     It's nice that this guy wants to  help, but NASA is really losing out, here. They have all of the best scientists, engineers and technologies to help and actually make these missions happen.
        People have always been fascinated with space travel, and for years NASA has been a pride and joy of America. Not anymore, it appears, especially with the President delaying a future mission to the moon and the shuttle program being shut down last year. It is such a shame to let these resources and these goals to be wasted.
    – Amanda Wagner, Times intern
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