The Kindness Of Strangers

Somewhere in Montana this morning there's a young woman on a bus with a half-eaten sandwich and an unfinished quart of chocolate milk, heading west toward an uncertain future. She's there because of a friend of mine, and I want to tell you a short story of true compassion and an unspoken reaffirmation of a … Continue reading The Kindness Of Strangers

The Case For The Critters: An Overview Of The Oil Industry’s Threats To The Land

The impact of the oil boom has left North Dakota—and many North Dakotans—in the most amazing financial position we have ever experienced, or could ever have imagined. That’s good. I was State Tourism Director back in the 1980’s when a pair of Rutgers University professors suggested we turn western North Dakota into something called the … Continue reading The Case For The Critters: An Overview Of The Oil Industry’s Threats To The Land

30 Pieces Of Silver

Mike Jacobs, in his 1975 book One Time Harvest, wrote “The coal industry has come west in search of four basic resources: cheap clean air, cheap coal, cheap water and cheap politicians. They’ve found each of these in North Dakota.” If he were to write another book in 2012 (and I wish he would), he … Continue reading 30 Pieces Of Silver

Just Trust Us

Earlier this year, the Center for Public Integrity gave the state of North Dakota an “F” grade on its Corruption Risk Report Card, which rated all 50 states on the risk for election and government corruption. Most of us viewed that report with a skeptical eye, but then when things happen to reinforce the notion, … Continue reading Just Trust Us