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Community Columnists

Every North Dakota worker deserves legislator benefit of Paid Family Leave

A recent news article reported $56k was paid to legislators on days they were absent from work during the last legislative session. The vast majority of these absences were for legitimate reasons – lawmakers attending a funeral or conference, recuperating from a minor illness, recovering from ...

The dumbest thing Democrats could do is listen to Heidi Heitkamp

For some reason Heidi Heitkamp — despite just one, flukey electoral victory to her name in the last two decades — has been anointed an expert in certain Democratic circles on how to appeal to rural voters. Recently, the erstwhile senator delivered a luncheon speech to a convention of ...

Uranium, rattlesnakes and whiskey

The other day, cops nabbed a guy driving around in a stolen car with his ex-con girlfriend, a gun, a bottle of whiskey, a rattlesnake, and some uranium. Somewhere in that sentence are the makings of a great country song. It’s almost too obvious to mention that this happened in Oklahoma, ...

What the N.D. State Fair means to Minot

It’s North Dakota State Fair time in Minot. The festivities officially begin Friday, and for nine days, Minot will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors. They’ll party at the concerts. They’ll visit the exhibits and displays, and they’ll patronize the vendors. They’ll watch the ...

ROKU brings country-western music back

Whenever my son comes with a black box, I know I’m going to be pressured into a new electronic gimmick the learning of which, considering a human’s normal lifespan, can’t be amortized in my schedule. And I’ll have to learn more than I want to know about something. “What’s ROKU?” ...

When child rape becomes just another political football

Not quite as horrifying as the most recent news about Jeffrey Epstein, but still entirely nauseating, has been the rush to use the man as a political cudgel. The secretive financier who may or may not be a billionaire ⁠— his money management firm is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands and ...

…And justice for all?

People in high places sure are nervous about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do about the secret plea deal he brokered as a prosecutor in 2008 that was supposed to put the serial pedophile rapist and sex trafficker behind bars. Instead, ...

Dying on the Rio Grande

“Daddy, I’m in the water.” “I am, too, Sweetie.” “But my face is in the water and I can’t breathe.” “I’m covered with water and I can’t even move.” “Where are we, Daddy?” “We are on the shore of the big river.” “What are we doing here in the cold ...

First, you stop the bleeding

After Ronald Reagan, then 73, faltered in his 1984 debate with Walter Mondale, he got off the canvas and delivered one of the great knockout punches in history. Asked about his age in the next debate, he said, “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth, and ...

Adoption scammer out of prison after four months

Amber Schulz believes her family is at risk because her biological mother has been transferred from the state women’s prison to a halfway house in Fargo just four months into a four-year sentence for running an adoption scam. “It’s scary,” said Schulz, of Woodworth, N.D. “I have so ...

Hard work on Hub city funding pays off

Minot’s hard work on changing the hub city funding formula is expected to pay off very soon. Under a new formula approved by the 2019 N.D. Legislature, Minot is projected to collect approximately $4 million more in hub city funding over the next two years. Shane Goettle, special counsel who ...

In this patriotic season, is nationalism idolatry?

"All Nationalism Is Idolatry” blared the headline of an opinion paper in California, arguing that “the Christian scriptures contend that all allegiance to the God of love is paramount, and yet all modern (and ancient) nation-states enact a religious pageantry that demands the total ...

A test for ‘Murica’s birthday

My fellow ‘Muricans, in honor of America’s 2019th birthday, I’ve prepared a Patriotism Test. I know it’s only the Juneth of July, but if there are bombs bursting in air, it means Independence Day is essentially underway. Or else Iran got the drop on us. This test won’t be easy. I’ve ...

The socialists started a softball team

The Red River Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America have started themselves a softball team. Their goal is “raising visibility and connecting with the community.” This isn’t an uncommon tactic for social movements. Churches hold dances. Political parties hold pie ...

First, land; next, buffalo; now oil

Does the white man have no shame? Our consciences ought to be enraged by the effort the state is making in relation to oil that belongs to the Three Tribes under Lake Sakakawea. But before getting into the specifics, we need context to grasp the infamy of the proposed action. The white man ...

The last refuge of scoundrels

I wish the Fake News would do a better job of covering all the flag burnings in America. If you believed in climate change — which is even more unpatriotic than flag burning — you’d believe that flag fires are a major cause of CO2 in the atmosphere. North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer should ...

Forget governor, is Heitkamp angling for a cabinet appointment?

Recently Joel Heitkamp, brother of former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, has been begging the question about whether or not his sister will run for governor. It’s a business move. Anyone who has seen the numbers knows Heitkamp’s radio audience is so old it’s shrinking due to death. He’s ...

Strengthening the Minot-Skien connection

Minot’s sister city relationship with Skien, Norway, has been an important international cultural and business connection for both cities for nearly 40 years. City Manager Tom Barry, the City Council, and I all felt it was necessary to visit Skien to strengthen the ties that bind our two ...