N.D. Dem-NPL, It’s Time to Stand Up

And, Please, No More “Republican Lite”

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Byron Dorgan once got my ass kicked.

That’s not literally true, of course. I can’t remember the name of the kid who actually trounced me in a back alley half a block from Jamestown Junior High when I was in the 7th grade, but it did start with our future senator.

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Pops References

No one has called me “Pops” to my face yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

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A young colleague recently showed me a graphic meant to accompany a client’s social media post. It dealt with clean water in underdeveloped areas. Prominently featured was a blue bus. I shook my head. “Makes me think of Jim Morrison,” I said, assuming the underlying narcotic use suggestion was obvious. “We don’t wanna go there.”

I could have been speaking Swahili. Blank look. “Who?”

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Carson Wentz – “The Dakota Kid”?

The great ones have nicknames.

Peyton Manning was and forever will be “The Sheriff.” Brett Favre is “The Gunslinger.” And despite the drubbing the Pittsburgh Steelers took at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, “Big Ben” Roethlisberger rightfully commands the respect of defenses across the National Football League.

So here’s a thought….

The Dakota Kid-2The great ones have nicknames.

Peyton Manning was and forever will be “The Sheriff.” Brett Favre is “The Gunslinger.” And despite the drubbing the Pittsburgh Steelers took at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, “Big Ben” Roethlisberger rightfully commands the respect of defenses across the National Football League.

So here’s a thought:

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Sacred Things

She died on Palm Sunday. I think that would have made her happy, as she drew her last breaths, knowing that she was going to die on a significant day on the church calendar. I held her hand all that morning. Now I hold the bean stone.

I’ve been carrying a rock around in my pocket for a couple of months.

The smooth, bean-shaped stone is about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide and five sixteenths of an inch thick. It’s smooth, like a worry stone. Not perfectly smooth, like the kind you’d find in a gift shop. But smooth in a natural way, with some imperfections and slight ridges that make you know it’s real.

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Is SAG Sagging in Its Duty?

I’m still trying to come to terms with the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the most recent victim of self-inflicted drug overdose in Hollywood. The man was an amazing talent.

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Unsociably Social

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Social is making us unsociable.

I’m not talking about the fact that so many of us now spend hours and hours on social media, looking at and reacting to status updates from friends, getting our news 140 (or now 280 if you’re among the elite) characters at a time or watching video with slack jaws.

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10 Yards More

Snow is a given in the upper Midwest. We deal with it. Winter here brings one of the most satisfying opportunities to be a good neighbor. I learned it from my dad, and now I try to pass it – Why not go just 10 yards more?

There’s nothing like opening your garage door in the morning after a snowfall and seeing that your neighbors have already removed the snow from the sidewalks between their property line and your driveway. It’s a warm, friendly feeling.

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Just Winking At You

Look at it. The front page of your daily newspaper, down at the bottom. Winking at you!

Every morning when I open my copy of the local newspaper, The Forum, I can’t help but think of Jackie O’Shea’s line from “Waking Ned Devine.” Because at the bottom right of page one, Monday-Saturday, there it is just winking at me – a print ad. It’s no winning lotto number, to be sure, but in the end Jackie and I are referring to the same thing: fortune.

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A Good Day for UND & North Dakota

The State Board of Educations’s actions on May 14, 2009, regarding the University of North Dakota nickname demonstrated a return to conviction, a restoration of the pride that will not allow North Dakota to be bullied, regardless of how much money is at stake.

State Board of Education Accelerates Tribal Approval Deadline for Fighting Sioux Nickname

“A sad day for North Dakota,” Kris Engelstad McGarry called it. With all due respect to McGarry, many North Dakotans view it as a day of redemption when some sense was restored to a state that thrives on common sense.

McGarry, daughter of the late Ralph Engelstad, referred to the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education’s May 14 decision to accelerate the deadline for tribal approval of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux nickname. If the two North Dakota Sioux tribes do not approve 30-year agreements to support continued use of the name by October, UND must begin transitioning to a new moniker and symbol.

It is a belated redemption because the current board has taken a positive step to correct the action of the board of December 2000.

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The Curse of Christmas Present

Unwanted, useless gifts. They come out of nowhere, from relatives I wouldn’t dream of asking for receipts. Toss them and forget it, I tell myself. But I can’t, I won’t. If something can be purchased, surely it can be returned….

In the wee hours of Christmas morning, after we’ve opened all the gifts and thrown out the wrapping paper, as my relatives gently slumber, I confront the curse of Christmas present.

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