• Trying to understand health care act opposition

    Last week as we waited for the Supreme Court of the United States to hand down its ruling on the Affordable Care Act, a Reuters/Ipsos poll on the health care reform law was released.  It showed, yet again, that while a majority of Americans oppose the law, most favor the individual elements. Does that make any sense?

    It is instead a knee-jerk reaction based on ignorance and fear of change.  But I have to ask, is our current system really workin’ for you?

  • Appreciating a good national anthem

    We’ve watched as our national anthem was butchered by professionals.

    Roseanne Barr, prior to a 1990 World Series game, smirked, gargled off-key, spat and grasped her crotch. I listened as Christina Aguilera, in a single performance, managed to both overdo the tune and forget the lyrics.  Carl Lewis, on national television, hit so many sour notes he paused after one to apologize.  At least he knew the words.  

    I’ve seen police officers with good intentions embarrass themselves trying to do the anthem.

  • Drug testing should extend far beyond welfare recipients

    Why do we hate poor people?

    That may seem like an odd statement, but at the very least, we don’t treat poor people as our equals, and at worse, we hate them.

    This has never been more evident than a recent wave of state legislations that require drug testing for anyone seeking government benefits such as welfare, unemployment or public housing.

  • Guest Editorial | Alan Dean

    What prompts me to write are concerns I have regarding the President’s recent decisions. 

    Just over a month ago President Obama “came to terms” with the issue of same-gender marriage, thanks in large part to his children or their friends’ parents.  

    Since this is LGBT Pride Month, President Obama, and his wife Michelle, are hosting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender guests.  

  • Electric cars, health care and the arts

  • Villisca shouldn’t be ashamed by tragic history

    It has been more than 100 years now that the worst mass murder in Iowa’s history occurred in Villisca.

    Anyone who’s been in Montgomery County more than 20 minutes knows the story of the Villisca ax murders: an unknown assailant entered the Moore home and brutally killed all eight occupants (two adults, four Moore children and two visiting Stillinger girls) with an ax.

    A massive manhunt ensued and the case investigated for years on end, resulting in two trials of one suspect, but no convictions.

    The crime remains unsolved today.

  • What do we get with corporate-backed politicians?

    Recently, I’ve had an old Tennessee Ernie Ford song rattlin’ round in my head:

    You load 16 tons, what do you get

    Another day older and deeper in debt

    Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go

    I owe my soul to the company store.

    I think that pretty well describes working America – a country I often feel like the masters of the universe in Washington D.C. (and our state capital) have forgotten.

  • How Flag Day use to be observed

    In case you missed it, which was easily done, last Thursday was Flag Day.  

    Each year there are a few special days that commercial interests and the national media will not allow us to overlook.  

    You know what they are.  Flag Day is not one of them.  

    I observed the event by putting out our flag and reading two news items.  

  • Not first time for privacy infringing

    For once, the federal government is being criticized for being too efficient and cost-effective.
    Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting flyovers of Iowa and Nebraska livestock operations in order to make sure they are complying with the Clean Water Act.

    If they see something they suspect is in violation, an on-site inspection takes place.

    Surveillance flights have resulted in 25 administrative compliance orders, eight administrative penalty orders and six letters of warning.

  • The story of a $22,000 watermelon

    I know a fellow who once spent $3,000 for a chicken.  It was a nice chicken, Nicer than most, I’m sure, and a ribbon-winner at the Calhoun County fair.  But $3,000 is a considerable amount of money and the buyer’s wife, who had been angling for new cupboards, was not at all pleased.  

    We can only speculate on what her reaction would have been had he bid $22,000 for a watermelon.