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Columns

  • Believing what we want to believe

    A recent New Zealand health study claims a woman there died from drinking too much Coca-Cola.

    You don't need to reread that. Medical experts claim she in fact died from taking the soft drink slogan of “Always Coca-Cola” far too literally.

    Apparently, the 30-year-old-stay-at-home-mother-of-eight would drink a soda upon waking up, one before going to bed and about two gallons worth in between.

  • What about that deficit and the national debt?

    I’ve heard a lot about the deficit and our national debt the last five years.  And I’m tired of people trotting out the canard about how irresponsible we’d be if we “ran our household budget like the government budget.” Even President Obama has made this terrible comparison. It’s apples to oranges, to use another cliché.

    First and foremost, do we get to print money and set interest rates?  I think not.  Yet our government can do these things to respond to economic conditions.  

  • Madden Diary: Crops, roads and militias

    We rejoin George Madden in the spring of 1861.  Farmers had the option of paying property taxes by maintaining roads, and Madden has oversight as a district supervisor.  He’s busy with this, with planting crops, and with duties as a member of the volunteer militia.  

    Thursday, May 30, 1861.  A great many hands in this district are out this day to work the roads. This district is 4 miles by 6, which makes the job very tedious.  I have appointed several persons to lead each work company.

  • A school district that doesn’t get it

    How do you measure how good a school system is?

    There are certain quantifiable numbers you can use such as ACT scores, dropout rates and college graduation figures to try and determine a school’s competency and ability.

    But then there are characteristics that simply can’t be measured by a number.

    I’m calling one the “do they get it” category.

    Aurora School District in Nebraska doesn’t “get it.”

  • When the news and mail go to the dog

    Dogs have been much in the political news of late. Top Obama advisors and countless supporters want voters to know that Romney, back in 1983, put his dog in a pet carrier, strapped it to the top of his car, and set off on a family vacation. The implication is that this was an act of animal cruelty and renders Romney unfit for office. Romney supporters responded by pointing out a passage in Obama’s book in which he writes of eating dog.  

    The implication is that Romney’s pooch fared better than Obama’s.      

  • When forgiveness isn’t a simple act

    A few weeks ago, Kolbe Klindt’s typical Saturday afternoon became very atypical.

    While spending the afternoon with his father, the 4-year-old Henderson boy’s life took a near tragic turn when he was struck by an ATV. The little boy was thrown into the air, landing into a building, before the ATV landed on top of him.

    Every bone in his face was broken, his lungs were bruised and he suffered multiple interior bleeding on his brain.

  • What exactly has changed since the 2008 elections

    As a 2008 volunteer, I get mailings from Obama for America.  

    Last week, the mailing envelope was a 12x18-inch poster headlined:  CHANGE IS.  
    Beneath that was a black and white portrait of President Obama.  And under the photo was a list of eleven accomplishments.  They included:

    Equal Pay for Equal Work

    Saving the U.S. auto industry

    Credit card reform

    Hate Crimes Prevention Act

    Affordable Care Act

    Student loan reform

    Wall Street reform

  • The legacy of “Jack” Boyle

    Curt Ladnier, who lives in Montevallo, Alabama, has never been to Iowa. This will soon change, as he’s planning a trip to Montgomery County. His purpose is to do some research into the activities here of John A. “Jack” Boyle.

    Boyle, for those who’ve not heard of him, was addicted to opium, whiskey, and bad behavior.  

    His pastimes included extortion, forgery, blackmail, burglary, bigamy, various scams, horrific benders, and an occasional armed robbery.  

  • Catching ‘that guy;’ fun with couponing

    I met “that guy” a couple days ago, except “that guy” was a girl.

    Confused? You shouldn’t be. I guarantee you’ve met “that guy” too.

    Who is “that guy?” Well, on this sunny, warm spring day, “that guy” was a woman driving a suburban-type-vehicle in a residential neighborhood.

    Like most motorists that day, she had her windows down on the vehicle, enjoying the sunny skies and balmy temperatures.

  • Guest Editorial | Iowa Farm Bureau

    Much has happened in consumer, business, political and media circles since the stories about Lean Finely-Textured Beef first made news as ‘pink slime’ that make it difficult to know what to do for your family.  

    To help you make the most informed choices you can, we’ve collected some information and links from credible sources.

    What you need to know:

    The product has been in stores for decades and deemed safe by the United States Department of Agriculture.