John Andrist: The Importance of Bonding, and Other Points to Ponder


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the field before their NFL pre-season football game against the Denver Broncos in San Francisco, California, U.S. August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

Crosby and it’s people will always be close to my heart.

In a large sense you could say the same about my legislative district, which spreads from Crosby to Trenton to Stanley and to Bowbells.

Matter of fact, all of western North Dakota is somewhat the same, particularly Medora, and Bismarck. I have that sense that this is where I belong.

To some degree I relish now being a Fargoan, and the people in the sub-community where I live. I grieve when we lose one.

Add to that my family and a host of legislative and newspaper friends. They are a part of me.

They call it bonding. Most of us have that instinct, but it is interesting how variable that is.

Generally speaking we bond with our country, our families, and our communities — which incorporates neighbors, schools, church groups, etc.

It was a revelation for me to learn  on a visit to Taiwan a number of years ago that the Chinese culture includes just the first two, not community.

Is it important? Is it significant to think that most crimes involving other people — or pets or spouses — can be partially attributed to failure to bond?

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]We most certainly are far short of perfection, but no place on earth has a stronger, more diverse culture than our own. And we continue to get better in that regard.[/mks_pullquote]

It always fascinated me during my working life how often I would get a note from a far away subscriber that would say something like, “I haven’t lived there for 50 years and don’t know a soul, but I still have to get the paper.”

And yet a significant number of friends would leave Crosby for a new home, never return, and never even leave a forwarding address for their newspaper.

How much do you bond? I know there are a huge number of readers of this newspaper who never read my column, even though a number of them reassure me that they have a bonding with it.

It’s apparent that Colin Kaepernick doesn’t fully bond with his country. It’s been a big deal in the news since the San Francisco quarterback declared he would no longer stand for the Star Spangled Banner.

That’s enraged a lot of folks. My reaction is simply one of sadness that his social disappointment overrides the bonding most of us feel for our country.

We most certainly are far short of perfection, but no place on earth has a stronger, more diverse culture than our own. And we continue to get better in that regard.

Even our disgusting, misguided attempts at political correctness are motivated by a desire for inclusiveness.

Is it important to think about? Or is it just another one of those things that “is”?

Points to ponder

  • U.S. gasoline consumption in August reached a record high average daily rate of 450 million gallons in the U.S.

That set me to thinking, since we have doubled the gasoline mileage rate in the cars we drive, we certainly have not lost our love for mobility.

The reality is the better our cars get, the more efficient we get at burning gas, and the lower gasoline prices get must certainly nullify our efforts to lessen our carbon output.

So the market does trump politics.

  • The best investigative reporter in North Dakota doesn’t work for the media. He’s a blogger named Rob Port, lives in Minot, and admittedly has a strong conservative bent. [I do work for Forum Communications Company as a blogger and columnist — Rob]

But he keeps digging up information you rarely hear on the tube or read in our newspapers.

This week he revealed for the first time since the Native American protest began in Sioux County that the intake for the reservation water supply is about to switch to a South Dakota location 45 miles downstream from the proposed pipeline.

The present intake is outdated, according to the Corps of Engineers, and not worth the cost of replacement.

The present intake near Mobridge is much deeper (remember oil floats on the surface) and the corps already has the connecting pipeline half built.

  • Are you a Trump or a Clinton supporter who is angry about all the factory jobs that have been moved offshore?

You might be interested in a Wall Street Journal story that reports the number of existing, unfilled factory jobs in the U.S. is the highest it has been since 2009.