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Community Columnists

Please, conservatives, don’t abandon local media

I wrote a column recently about local journalists getting blowback for the bias of the national news media. I almost always get a lot of feedback from my writing, which I’m deeply thankful for, but this particular column garnered more responses than I expected. Mostly from two categories ...

Honoring a North Dakota hero

This Friday marks the 56th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in American history: The assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The anniversary allows us to reflect on the heroism of Washburn, N.D., native and Concordia College graduate Clint Hill. Hill, 87, was a Secret Service ...

Tale of two oil tax meetings

there were two meetings in North Dakota this week of significant public interest. At one meeting, state leaders heard ideas on how to utilize billions of dollars of accumulated oil tax revenues. At the other, opponents of oil development made their case against a vital piece of ...

Our community must tell the real story

In the past few years, the City of Minot has made a concerted effort to improve and expand its communications both within the organization and with the members of our community. This column is part of that ongoing process, and we thank the Minot Daily News for their partnership in allowing us ...

Ben Franklin had misgivings about U.S.A.

Ben Franklin was one delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention who was happy when the four months of secret meetings ended and he was free to walk the streets of Philadelphia. Only two-thirds of the delegates signed the founding document while a good many went home unhappy. So when an ...

GOP defends Trump against Constitution

Witch hunting season has opened in America, but it remains to be seen whether Americans, with the attention span of gnats, will pull themselves away from binge-watching “The Man in the High Castle” long enough to watch the impeachment hearings and consider the mounting evidence against the ...

Working to help farmers, ranchers during these challenging times

Traveling across North Dakota makes it clear that our producers are facing tough times. There are deep ruts left by heavy equipment as farmers struggled to harvest crops through the rain and the mud, and the many crops still standing in fields because the weather has made it impossible for ...

A December, 2004 reprint: Honoring a Guardsman’s request

In February 2004 I wrote a column upbraiding the national planners for exploiting the National Guard in conducting the war in Iraq. I argued that continuous life-threatening duty was not in the deal made by all of the Guard men and women, but that many of them joined up as a means of financing ...

PORT: ‘Progressive’ energy policy hampers progress

It’s remarkable how many self-described progressives are against progress. Is it progress for hundreds of thousands of Californians to go without electricity in blackouts power company officials say may be necessary for at least the next decade? Our modern society, with all of its speed ...

BENDER: The best way for the left to win is to lose

The election is a year away, and no clear front-runner has emerged, so some progressives are wringing their hands and checking the time like White Rabbits muttering, “Oh dear, we’re late!” A concern is that an ongoing war of attrition weakens everyone but Donald Trump. Perhaps, but a ...

How many times did North Dakota cops violate the Fourth Amendment?

By all appearances, cops in North Dakota are routinely violating the Fourth Amendment and its protections against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Let me give you some examples. Last year, in a case originating in Stutsman County, North Dakota District Court Judge Jay Schmitz ...

Intentional misinformation harms our community

We’ve just enjoyed another friendly and safe Halloween in Minot, and thankfully, the ghouls, ghosts, and goblins are gone until next year. Unfortunately, one all-too-real type of unwelcome character likes to hang around all year. The troll. Not the one under the bridge; the one on social ...

Hold on, Trump; Democrats are bringing help

In an ordinary election we could say that the whole thing is over with President Trump as of today, losing in landslide. The mood of the country is set; the people cannot stand four more years of Barnum & Bailey in the White House. After all, the President has managed to alienate the ...

Oley’s alien abduction

Remember in the movie “Phenomenon” when John Travolta sees a flash of light in the sky and is given extraordinary mental abilities? Well, last week, Republican state Sen. Oley Larsen was apparently abducted by aliens, because when he came back, he was an English major. Somehow, Oley, who ...

Some ND Republicans need to find their moral compass

Call me old fashioned, but I believe if you call someone a terrorist and that person isn’t a terrorist, you should apologize to that person. North Dakota state Sen. Oley Larsen, a Republican from Minot who a week ago claimed on Facebook that Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was an al Qaeda-trained ...

Left winger wants a better Ethics Commission

Some of the legislative leaders have taken offense at my “left wing” clarification of what the legislature did to the new citizen-initiated ethics commission. First of all, I want to deny that I am some kind of “left wing” radical, even though I was born prematurely and have been in a ...

The arms race in America

I guess I’ll feel safer in Fargo now that the police have purchased another armored vehicle to go with their $257,000 armored personnel carrier with the rotating turret. Apparently, an insurrection could break out at any moment. Who knows, Jane Fonda might show up, and if Fargo has an ...

Sen. Oley Larsen and our race to the bottom

On Sunday night, I was in my kitchen cooking my kids some tacos when I saw that state Sen. Oley Larsen, a Republican from Minot, had posted a picture on Facebook. The caption of the picture claimed it shows Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, in an al Qaeda training camp. The ...

Not a terrorist, Omar is sympathetic to them

Last weekend, I shared an erroneous image purportedly showing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar training as an Al-Qaeda fighter. Like most people, I’m not immune to confirmation bias and I have made the mistake of sharing something in poor taste on the internet. I’m sorry for spreading fake news. ...