Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Articles written by Lloyd Omdahl


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  • N.D. short of common good

    Lloyd Omdahl|Mar 25, 2024

    Common good are those things that emphasize community, as compared to individual good which emphasizes self. Every level of civic society – national, state and local – needs common good to negotiate and provide the services to everyone in its jurisdiction. The national government must provide security, goods and services; state government supplements the national good with another level of security, goods and services; the county government adds administration while also providing local assistan...

  • Poll clarifies opinion on Legacy Fund

    Lloyd Omdahl|Feb 26, 2024

    A new scientific poll underwritten by the North Dakota News Cooperative has finally cast some light on citizen opinions about this $10 billion Legacy Fund filled primarily by oil and gas money. The money did not come from the backs of those “hard-working citizens” often used in political rhetoric but it is money owned by everyone in North Dakota. Therefore, everyone has a stake in the use of the Fund. Having taught polling at the University of North Dakota, I offer some cautionary advice. The...

  • Lamenting for North Dakota children

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jan 29, 2024

    The issue of homeless students in North Dakota has come to the fore in the last couple of weeks. Homeless in North Dakota? Even though a variety of public and private entities offer services, kids are still falling in the cracks. We shouldn’t be surprised because a global look at our neglect of children in this state reflects our “bootstraps” orientation to life is one of private sector capitalism and not compassion for the needy. Right now, the state is reaping millions of dollars more than...

  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' translated

    Lloyd Omdahl|Dec 18, 2023

    'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house It vas da nacht before Santa Clausen und all through the husens Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; No noise makin’schweinhunt unmousen all qviet; The stockins were hung by the chimney with care Oof-da schmnellley foot wearin up the fireplace hanging In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; Expecten gud old Nicholas would quick be fillin’; The children were nestled all snug in their beds The kinderfolk vas restin qvi...

  • Cutting taxes starves public services

    LLoyd Omdahl|Jan 23, 2023

    Looking at the tax cut proposals now being debated in the legislature, maybe it’s time to revert back to a territory. Apparently, we don’t want the state to accept the responsibilities of providing minimum support for public services. States are supposed to be communities with common interests. In North Dakota, it seems like frontier thinking of starving the public to benefit individuals prevails in the legislature. The tax cuts being proposed will do nothing to raise the quality of roads, edu...

  • Should the CCC be revived?

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jun 27, 2022

    Walsh County Record (Grafton) Editor W. Todd Morgan reminded us last week that June observed the 80th anniversary of the closing of the Civilian Conservation Corps, an organization of young men 18-20 that did scores of public projects in North Dakota. And what the CCC didn't do, the Works Progress Administration did. While the CCC consisted of young men in a semi-military setting, commanded in barracks by regular military officers, the Works Progress Administration used older men that worked...

  • Stopping the slaughter in schools

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jun 13, 2022

    We had free access to guns when I was growing up. Common gun sense ruled the country. There was seldom the kind of mass shootings of kids as we see occurring today. Ironically, the strongest defenders of our killing gun culture are also the same people who allegedly stand for sanctity of life on the abortion question. When guns are involved, sanctity of life goes down the drain. Most gun owners, from single shot pistols to AR-15s, argue that these are necessary for self-defense. But if you know...

  • Student debt: Fairness is the issue

    Lloyd Omdahl|May 30, 2022

    The drumbeat for abolishing student debt is growing as students and former students feel the financial crunch of poor employment and increasing inflation. Forty five million (45,000,000) Americans owe $1.6 trillion ($1,600,000,000) for federal student loans. But there is a lot of hidden debt acquired from private sources that is impossible to calculate. We know it is big. Twenty four percent have student debt, leaving 76% without student debt. The political facts tell us that 24% will be eager...

  • Is there a children's mental health crisis?

    Lloyd Omdahl|May 23, 2022

    May being Mental Health Awareness month, it seems appropriate for us to confront an issue that eludes our attention until it strikes home. It is odd that mental health has become a major problem in a country flowing with money and professionalism, both essential for attacking the problem. Nevertheless, Judith Warner writes a lengthy analysis in the Washington Post Magazine about young people: “Over the last several decades, we’ve been seeing an increase in mental health conditions in chi...

  • The tombstone market becomes personal

    Lloyd Omdahl|Mar 21, 2022

    Just when I was planning to get one, the tombstone market turned to dust and everyone has to wait for memorial stones because the supply line died before we did. All we can say to bereaved friends, if any, is "be patient". I am not sure if the Scriptural suggestion to "be content" applies or not. How can one rest in peace when the supply of tombstones won't be ready for 20 years? Will there be any real closure until that stone is put in place? If family is dispersed, who will take charge? All...

  • The $8 billion temptation in legacy fund

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jan 3, 2022

    Having served on the State Investment Board on behalf of Governor George Sinner, I have had a continuing interest in the $8 billion pot of gold accumulated in the state treasury from oil revenue. The Fargo Forum and KX Television have been looking for a smoking gun in the State Investment Board, wondering if North Dakota is being well served by consultants that have worked for the state for two decades. Because the financial agreements between the Investment Board and the consultants are exempt...

  • Virginia warns dems of off-year sweep

    Lloyd Omdahl|Nov 15, 2021

    The defeat of incumbent Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe in Virginia is a precursor of the 2022 election, when Democrats better expect that normal off-year shift against an incumbent president. While Democrats have gloried in winning the House, Senate and Presidency, they may have thought that Democrats would continue to ride high when President Biden rewarded all of the minorities with programs they have wanted for years. Huge 2020 Turnout But it took the largest turnout of the present...

  • Many citizens should be impeached

    Lloyd Omdahl|Oct 11, 2021

    Citizenship is a public office in which electors are blessed with certain rights and charged with civic responsibilities. Unfortunately, more people demand their rights than their responsibilities so the state suffers from a chronic deficiency in participation and judgment. Government has hit bottom in public trust, now standing at one-third the level that prevailed in the Eisenhower-Kennedy years. Citizens spend more time bad-mouthing the government than appreciating it. This attitude is...

  • Labor Day forgotten in North Dakota

    Lloyd Omdahl|Sep 13, 2021

    We just celebrated Labor Day. No, we didn't. Labor was forgotten while most of us only noticed that we had a holiday and spent it lounging, fishing, swimming, sunning, camping, playing – everything but recognizing the reason for the holiday. One thing is for sure, we took no time to honor labor. Modern unions first appeared in the 1870s when working people had to fight, starve and die to organize. The idea of unions was repulsive to the growing corporate community where no fringe benefits w...

  • The common good needs full support

    Lloyd Omdahl|Sep 6, 2021

    To avoid the partisan recrimination that now permeates discussions, perhaps we need to go to a paradigm that gives us neutrality while stripping away the unreasonable passions of the day. In our policymaking system, our nonpartisan dialogue can consider the endless debate between the common good and the private good. The common good is policy that accrues well-being to society; the private good is the reservation of everything in the Bill of Rights (first Ten Amendments), plus the economic...

  • Term limits challenge citizen competence

    Lloyd Omdahl|Aug 2, 2021

    A committee of petitioners is proposing a constitutional amendment that would limit future North Dakota legislators to eight years of service. The proposal would “grandfather” in all legislators now serving, meaning that all of the alleged evils of the present body could be preserved over the next 30 years. Because the Republicans have overwhelming majorities in both houses, they would eventually suffer the greatest impact of term limits. Since one-party states are always on the verge of fra...

  • Abortion issue muddier than ever

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jul 12, 2021

    Most of the state legislatures have terminated their business for the year, leaving the abortion issue unsolved, most likely because it is an unsolvable issue that straddles the secular and spiritual worlds, making it a political, as well as a theological enigma. Since the protection of life has been a responsibility of society through government action, politicians are bound to get involved. Unfortunately, no issue can be considered objectively these days because perspectives are jaundiced by...

  • College enrollments continue declining

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jun 21, 2021

    According to the National Student Clearinghouse, enrollment in higher education institutions continues to decline, dropping 5% this spring. The 5% represents 725,000 fewer students. According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, the average number of students for each faculty member is 16. There isn’t an institution in North Dakota with that low of a student to faculty ratio. If the figures have any credibility, the 725,000 student drop represents a large number of faculty s...

  • Need a broader view for legacy fund

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jun 14, 2021

    While other armchair quarterbacks are surveying the work of the 2021 legislative session, the three most significant acts include $700 million in bonding for infrastructure, $70 million for “career academies” to expand instruction in technical skills, and statutory authority for using the $8 billion Legacy Fund for some investing in North Dakota. The career academies will welcome employees in dying industries, reach for students whose skills don’t fit into the four-year universities, and offer e...

  • Newspapers foster the sense of community

    Lloyd Omdahl|May 31, 2021

    Because newspapers have been at the forefront of community building, we cannot talk about the precarious condition of the published word without considering this primary function of nurturing the sense of togetherness. As we look at the decline of the newspaper industry, we also see the fragmentation of relationships in communities. While the development of community becomes more and more difficult as the size of cities becomes larger, the weekly newspapers are in a more advantageous position...

  • Investment decisions not for the legislature

    Lloyd Omdahl|May 3, 2021

    At the behest of Jamestown area legislators, a grand plan for a $60 million amusement park has been proposed to the legislature with a direct appropriation of $5 million and a $60 million loan from the oil-rich Legacy Fund, now brimming with $8 billion. Developing a huge recreation area in Jamestown should not bother us. In fact, it could be a big plus for the state. The $5 million appropriation is not big enough to be worrisome. The $60 million loan from the Legacy fund is a step out of the...

  • The bitter realities of growing old

    Lloyd Omdahl|Apr 12, 2021

    After one week in first grade, my daughter came home with a conclusion about life: “Life is hard and then you die.” Fast forward that through job losses, divorces, chronic ailments and kids for 60 years and we are on the cusp of old age. She was right. We have survived the hard life; now the bitter facts of old age are upon us. It would be best to be hit by a truck, but that is not our good fortune. Leaving must be painful. Looking on the bright side of a 20-year decline on the way out, we sho... Full story

  • Legislature casting eyes on huge Legacy Fund

    Lloyd Omdahl|Mar 29, 2021

    After 10 years of waiting for the courage to tackle spending the $8 billion Legacy Fund, the present legislature has blossomed with more ideas than dandelions in an unkempt cemetery. Legislators and committees have been dreaming about the day this fund could be touched to grow North Dakota. It seems that day has arrived. The dialogue went public in January, when Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread started talking about using the fund for investing. Not to be outdone by a member of the executive...

  • The Brick: Enrollment equation is getting worse

    Lloyd Omdahl|Jan 4, 2021

    When Professor Elwyn Robinson wrote his comprehensive history of North Dakota in the 1950s, he coined a phrase that stuck. He called it the “too much mistake” because Dakotans in the 1880s had designed a state infrastructure that was greater than we would ever need. The political creation and location of too many colleges and universities became the classic example for proving his point. It seems that most rational people in the state now agree that we have too much higher education. How...

  • Governor: Let's Talk About COVID-19

    Lloyd Omdahl|Nov 2, 2020

    At this stage of the political campaigns, the votes are all determined so we should be able to discuss the COVID-19 without all of its political rhetoric. We have nothing to lose if we are open and civil about the subject. First, Governor, I have not cultivated a political hostility toward you. I enjoyed spending an hour calmly talking with you about North Dakota's culture and resultant governmental system. Your Main Street initiative was much to my liking. We have many main streets in North Dak...

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