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Omdahl: The 'red scare' is back

Omdahl writes, "Capitalism, based on greed, fits the natural man better but it has to be controlled because there is no limit to greed."

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A lot of people in the Grand Forks area are looking with suspicion at the proposal from a Chinese company offering to build a massive corn-milling plant on the windward side of town.

Critics have a number of legitimate concerns but the fear of communism has been pronounced. The “red scare” is back.

Being a Christian obedient to the government, I have been trying to find the opportunity to meet the state’s challenge to “be legendary.” I was wondering whether or not the Fufeng controversy would be my chance.

So I went to the internet to find out how one could be legendary. So here is what I found:

“A person whose fame or notoriety makes him or her a source of exaggerated or romanticized tales or exploits.”


“A living legend is a person who is both alive and either famous for doing something extremely well..”

Now the North Dakota image promoters are asking all North Dakotans to be legendary. With 130 years of statehood behind us, we have seen very few North Dakota legends.

Lewis & Clark were legendary but they went through North Dakota to get to Montana. They wished there was no North Dakota in the way.

General Custer was legendary but he made it by being foolish. Given the outcome, I don’t think we want to be that legendary.

We have two statues in Washington – Sakakawea and John Burke. For keeping Lewis & Clark headed west, she became a genuine legend. As for John Burke, after three terms as governor, he was appointed to the office of U.S. treasurer and was never seen again.

I don’t think we have had a legendary person since Burke. Maybe we need a legendary workshop or college to help us measure up.

But I have digressed from the communist issue that has arisen over the Chinese corn-milling plant.

According to reports in the Grand Forks Herald, different speakers on the subject have expressed fear that China will do ill if we let them build.


“You people want to bring Chinese communism to Grand Forks.”

“The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated time and again they’re willing to invest billions of dollars to expand their espionage capabilities…”

There are other legitimate arguments against the Fufeng proposal but communism is not one of them. China is nothing but a mischievous pussy cat.

Besides, for those who fear China’s economic power, the United States and China are already doing business together – business much bigger than Fufeng.

The United States goods and services trade with China totals around $600 billion annually. According to federal figures, our exports to China provide over 750,000 jobs.

While the Chinese government talks communism, it is not a communist country. All of those wealthy Chinese didn’t get their money by following the iron rule of communism calling for equal work and equal distribution.

Both China and Russia have mixed capitalism in their systems because communism doesn’t really work. It is counter-natural. Real communism is what the first disciples of Christ had – put everything in one pot and we’ll all eat together.

People won’t do that because our greed and selfishness are natural survival motivators. Capitalism, based on greed, fits the natural man better but it has to be controlled because there is no limit to greed.


Lenin and Stalin were legendary. I’m not sure I want to be one.

Omdahl is a former N.D. lieutenant governor and retired University of North Dakota political science teacher. Email

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

Omdahl writes, "Before Sen. Holmberg resigned and the scandal broke, just about every Republican in North Dakota praised his 44 years of effort on behalf of North Dakota and Grand Forks. Only time will tell whether or not they will consider his illustrious track record when rendering judgment."

Opinion by Lloyd Omdahl
Omdahl is a former N.D. lieutenant governor and retired University of North Dakota political science teacher. Email

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