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Columns

  • What's Going On: When business is more than just business

    It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.

    Ever hear that phrase?

    Usually, it’s offered as a justification for something that could be viewed as immoral, unethical, or at least, unpleasant.

    Nobody ever says it after giving you a pay raise; or promoting you; or doing something to help improve your work.

  • Miner Queries: Second chance: Will you vote for change Feb. 10?

    I may have mentioned previously that I like ads. It’s the only reason I watch the Super Bowl.

    But it’s not always a Super Bowl ad that gets my attention. For the last couple of years, Nissan of Omaha has been running a series of ads featuring two stereotypical car salesmen. Between the music, writing, and acting, these ads always make me stop. And lately, one snippet from the ad in which the salesmen compare techniques keeps replaying in my head.

  • The Time Capsule: Going out in style - real style

    There was a time when people went out in style—real style.  The guest of honor rode in a luxurious, gleaming, black, high-wheeled carriage drawn by matched, often gaited, horses. The person for whom festivities were being held was comfortably in place behind an immaculately dressed coachman. Horses were freshly bathed and groomed and stepping high in shining leather and polished hooves.

    Pall bearers followed in an open coach with red-velvet bench seats, two men in each, sitting somberly behind a top-hatted driver. 

  • What's Going On: Why Costello needs to get a little mean

    Mark Costello is a nice guy.

    Remember the Andy Griffith show? The good sheriff of Mayberry had a son named Opie. Mark Costello reminds me of Opie.

    He smiles a lot, goes to church, respects his elders, probably even says the occasional “aw shucks.”

    Those admirable traits coupled with some good old fashioned Republican values got him elected first to the Iowa House and most recently to the Iowa Senate.

  • The Time Capsule: How About a Black Walnut Pie?
  • Miner Queries: Do you want Social Security cuts?

     It’s a new year with a new Republican-led Congress, so I’ve been tracking their work.

    And what was first on the agenda? Cutting Social Security disability benefits to force a crisis that promotes dismantling the program.

  • The Time Capsule: Voter ID? All in favor say “Aye”

     I’m mystified at times that reasonably intelligent people having grown up in similar surroundings can reach such diverse views on the same issue. I struggle, for example, to understand those who lament the prospect of recently-elected Republicans favoring some form of voter identification.  

  • What's Going On: ‘The Greatest’ shows how history can turn a villain into a hero

    There may never have been a more polarizing, hated athlete. 

    He’s been called a racist, a showboat, an athlete who’s more talk than walk. 

    As a black man and outspoken, devout Muslim, he’s the arch nemesis of white America and he knows it. 

    In fact, as someone who referred to whites as the devil and as an opponent to integration and bi-racial marriage, he could fairly be called a racist. 

  • The Time Capsule: Made with real lard and fine burgundy

     Cooking six or seven thousand pounds of venison over a period of 40 years or so gives a person a wealth of experience.  

    Max Marsh (1918-1984) of Elliott learned to convert raccoon and beaver into tasty dishes.  His venison, a specialty that took time to perfect, was the best I’ve had. I once asked how he did it. He laughed and said I had to be there.  

  • Hate the Keystone? Love Obama

     Like most Nebraska farmers, there are two things my father-in-law doesn’t like: the Keystone Pipeline and President Barack Obama. 

    As such, I couldn’t help but smile when over the holidays I reminded him (on more than one occasion) the only thing between him and the Pipeline was his old buddy President Obama.