Top 10 Reasons to Become a North Dakota Progressive

Being a “progressive” in North Dakota is the greatest. Just check out all these kick-ass reasons to become one….

Being a “progressive” in North Dakota can be tough. No doubt about it.

This state is so deep red that even the sky is crimson a good part of the time. Especially around suppertime. What’s up with that? To be fair, it’s blue once in a while, too, but always a very light hue.

Even so, there are some things about being a “progressive” in North Dakota that are worth considering. Here are the top 10:

10. Enter a crowded room and you’ll always know exactly where you stand. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long to get used to being alone in the corner…

9.  Few people around here really understand “progressive” – they’ve never seen one in real life – so you’ll be surrounded by an aura of mystery. The only downside is no one appreciates the sarcastic messages on your political T-shirts.

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Josh Boschee is a Fine Public Servant. Period.

It’s time for the North Dakota news media to come up with a different secondary identifier for the man who is a representative in the North Dakota House and a fine public servant. Period.

Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation is No Longer “News”

Martin C. Fredricks IV is the 4,444th openly heterosexual blogger to write about politics, government, climate change and the environment in the United States.

I provide this information because a story in the local paper this morning made clear how important my gender identity/sexual orientation is to helping my readers understand anything and everything I do.

The story was about North Dakota Rep. Josh Boschee’s intentions to run for minority leader of the N.D. House of Representatives.

In identifying the representative, the reporter wrote, “Boschee has served in the Legislature since 2013 and is the state’s first openly gay lawmaker.”

As I’ve done so many times, I mumbled to myself, “What’s the difference?”

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You Can’t Judge a Bison by His Coat

We make judgements about people all the time without knowing much, if anything, about them.

We All Have Our Colors

The guy I roomed with for most of my first two years of college is one of the best.

Brian Johnson started as an architecture major, then became a mechanical engineering student at North Dakota State University from 1986 to 1991. We shared rooms, first in Stockbridge (a.k.a., “Jockbridge”), then in University Village. 

You’d be hard pressed to meet a kinder, more laid-back or unassuming person. Highly intelligent, too. Today he’s the vice president of global engineering for a Twin Cities firm.

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Everyday Miracles

I can work standing up for two hours a day. Big whup, right? I know. But a year out from my vertebrae fusion surgery, it’s huge. Bigger still when you consider that, for about four years prior to the surgery, I had significant pain, the kind that hinders day-to-day quality of life.

I can work standing up for two hours a day.

Big whup, right? I know. But for me, a year out from my vertebrae fusion surgery, it’s huge. Bigger still when you consider that, for about four years prior to the surgery, I had significant pain, the kind that hinders day-to-day quality of life.

I put off the surgery for a long time for various reasons, not the least of which were horror stories I heard from people about other people they knew who’d had fusion surgery and it didn’t help, maybe even made them worse. So they said.

But my pain got worse and worse. By the time I went in for the procedure, I was out of options. I could barely walk 30 feet without stopping for a break because of the pain shooting down my left leg. Sitting for any longer than 15-20 minutes could be unbearable. Finally, I met with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Alexander Drofa, and his confidence made me feel confident. (That’s us together at Sanford in downtown Fargo.)

Dr. Drofa isn’t just a miracle worker. He, himself, is a miracle. The staff members at Sanford who took care of me following my surgeries (I wound up having two) during my eight-day stay, from the nurses to the aides to the techs who took my blood pressure to the food workers who brought me my meals to the environmental services workers who cleaned my room – are each and every one miracles. My family members – Cassi, Saela, Martin, Mira and Carol – who have taken care of me and have been patient and kind with me through it all, are miracles.

If you define a miracle as something that changes a life for the better, and I do, then miracles they most certainly are.

How do I know?

Because it’s been only a year since my surgery, and while I can’t run or lift more than 50 pounds at a time, I can walk as far I want to without debilitating pain. Because I can work at my standing desk for two hours or more each day. And because my back, body and life feel better every day.

Everyday miracles.

FM Community Project Highlights “Extraordinary Ordinary” People


I’m proud to announce “About Faces,” a new community project featuring images and stories of people who illustrate – we hope – the extraordinary in our ordinary, work-a-day lives.

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With Team Parents, It’s Hit or Miss

This one’s for you, Brah…

In the fall of 2016 my daughter played volleyball for Fargo South. As often happens among road warriors who follow their kids all over state to watch them play, I became friends with another parent.

Dave’s a great guy, always friendly and quick to smile. We sat next to each other for home stands, took turns driving to out-of-town matches and ate way too many Subway sandwiches together.

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