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When public employees forget that you and I are their employer.

I recently removed a comment on a post in which I addressed concerns that had been told to me about Governor Burgum. I removed the comment at the request of the person who had shared those concerns, a person whose name or identity I had not revealed in the comment.

As I've said before, I don't consider myself a journalist or even a reporter (though I worked as a reporter for a newspaper years ago). I'm a blogger writing about stuff that I come across that is of interest, or my opinions, and have been doing it for over 20 years. Once in a while people will come to me with information, but that's not typical as I don't position myself as a source of news. Never have.

In the past year, I have been on the increasing receiving end of different people complaining, warning, telling me of, and in other ways sharing concerns about various elected officials in various levels of office, from the city to the county to the state. Some have spearheaded grassroots movements, usin…

ND xPlains and mansPlains and also, truthfulness in advertising.

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I figured I'd borrow from the rant and rave femimob world, and use "mansplains" in a post!

Anyway.

I'd seen a post on Facebook about a new media company and I was intrigued. You can see why, if you visit the home page:



"Title is kind of arrogant," I thought, as if I needed someone to explain North Dakota to me, though I could get the play on the word "plains" because we can't be reminded enough that we're on the northern plains.

I'm interested in getting the real scoop on North Dakota politics from trusted sources--that's sources, plural, i.e. more than one--delivered right to me!

Oh, wait. The Facebook page only shows this one guy.



"Who's that dude?" I wondered. "I thought there would be multiple sources and views provided?"


Tyler Axness. You don't say.



Sure.

I fully expect a "unique perspective" on "current topics" and "breaking news" and a chance to "elevate" my…

From The Book: The New North Dakota License Plates

// This morning I woke up to my phone dinging from various designers and other North Dakotans who had read my post about the hideous new tourism logo/brand. Reading their messages, as well as a Facebook discussion in which the license plates that came out a few years ago were referenced as a similar design debacle, prompted me to share one of the short essays from my 2016 book There Are Dinosaurs In The Fields. //


North Dakota has a new license plate, and I can’t say many positive things about it.

Whoever designed it forgot the purpose of the license plate, which is to clearly indicate the state and license number of the care. Instead, they seemed to have decided that a realistic sunset and solitary bison was more important. When it comes to trying to read the word “North Dakota”, with its corny serif red font outlined in same-tone black, I cry out for better glasses.

I mourn the loss of my old license plate.

It celebrated Lewis and Clark with subdued blues and yellow-orange, a simple…

The impossibility of being legendary with sans serif fonts.

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I didn't blog about the revamped North Dakota license plates that came out a few years ago, doggy though they were, because it seemed too easy. Many other bloggers did write about them, so there was no shortage of things said. I did devote a short essay to the monstrosities in my first book, however.
I'm gonna write about this one, though.

So someone shared a link with me today announcing that the 15-year North Dakota brand of "Legendary" has been changed to "Be Legendary."

What, did a room full of drunk bros come up with that?

"Dude, you're a legend!"

A legend is a truly special, unique, and standout thing. As a state, the brand of Legendary was a great fit, particularly for those who remember the commercials from years ago, before the millennial generation and their adventure sports and Instagramming of it thereof took over the world and made it seem like if you weren't ripping it out on the trails or in the water, you didn't exist.

So Delta Airlines asked for my opinion...

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I'm not sure why Delta Airlines sends out surveys to their economy class passengers, but they do. I usually ignore them, but after a recent trip, one arrived in my inbox on a feisty night. So.

The first question was some kind of generic "tell us your thoughts" about whatever. So I did.

Traveling with linked tickets with friend who is Zone 1 and I'm Zone 3 -- why? And really, do you need to have 15 different boarding levels? As I joked with my friend, who was zone 1 and boarded and I stood out and waited 10 minutes or so to go sit by him, the levels should be renamed King, Queen, Princes, Squires, Jokers, and Serfs. I mean, come on. There was basically one Zone 4 guy left standing at one point, and it was like the scene from "Meet the Fokkers." Treat people more humanely. You show all the perks and luxuries rich or business people get to experience, as if that's the general experience, and then cram the rest of humanity knee-to-seat Zone 30 cattle car and…

Girl, Trust In God.

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For months I've been seeing friends, family, fellow churchgoers--an endless list--gushing about one book: Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be, by Rachel Hollis.


This isn't the type of book I read much anymore, but because so many people I knew were talking about it, I thought I ought to check it out so I had a better understanding of what they were reading.

Tim Challies wrote a review of the book that I thought was decent, so I'll let him do the direct blow-by-blow. Admittedly, Challies and I are on different theological pages, what with me being raised in a Pentecostal church and thinking women can have a significant role in church. Nevertheless, much of what he says is similar to my reaction. [UPDATE: Here is another specific review of the book worth reading.]

Instead of a book review, then, I want to do a kind of general approach to these kinds of books in a way that reveals the wariness I have with t…

Mad Google Skillz, and some other standard responses.

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I really ought to write a Curmudgeon Guide about what to expect when you're commenting online. More than a few blog posts I've written have been about persnickety and humorous online disagreement, and I always find it fascinating how you can predict the responses. You'll find some sort of parry-riposte involving these phases:
Grammar police/semanticsAttack the messengerDiscredit the messengerDox the messengerEtc. Yada Blah MehYou're an emotional femaleYou stupid b***h if I ever met you in person I'd ______. That's a basic summary. Anyway, a recent post of local interest created some dustups online, and I found the responses intriguing.

These are the particulars for this instance, but they tend to follow the usual patterns of response.

"What's your vested interest?"
When you get asked that question late in the conversation game after several verbal hands have been laid out on the table by a fairly certain fake Facebook account, you can rest assured …