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Columns

  • What breastfeeding and blonde hair have in common

    When you think of a salacious, controversial, possibly pornographic magazine cover, you don’t typically think of Time Magazine.

    Until now.

    In their edition released Friday, Time stole the national spotlight from Mitt Romney shaving a classmate and President Barack Obama supporting gay marriage with a cover depicting a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.

    I didn’t fully realize how much this captured the nation’s attention until I heard it being debated on an ESPN sports radio talk show.

  • Wrongdoing on the Taxpayers’ dime

    The taxpaying public’s confidence in the federal government suffered more setbacks recently with two scandals:  excessive spending by the General Services Administration and allegations of misconduct within the Secret Service.  The actions by employees in these agencies have led to internal and congressional investigations that call into question the culture of the bureaucratic hierarchy.

  • Hauling the chickens to Texas

    Just over a year ago Orscheln’s had a big day, selling me three barred rock chicks. Manager Tom Pratt assured us they were quality and by late summer we were getting eggs. With the approach of winter, wife made plans for Texas —plans that included the hens. I said no.  Hauling chickens that far was absurd. We were not going to do it.    

  • 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