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Columns

  • Miner Queries: Does what you don’t know hurt you?

    I was watching TV last week when a CIGNA ad caught my eye. The ad highlighted CIGNA’s preventive health insurance coverage, which provides for one well-check each year at no cost to patients.
    Except that’s not unique to CIGNA. It’s the law.
    Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, annual physicals must be provided to all insured people at no cost. Unfortunately, too many Americans still don’t know that. I wonder how many have paid co-payments when they didn’t need to?

  • What's Going On: Donald Trump: so wrong he might actually be right

    Be nice.
    Like many of my college courses, I don’t remember a lot about my speech class taught by tenured professor Chandler Monroe.
    Mr. Monroe fit the stereotype of both a person named Chandler and someone who has taught at a university since the 19th century. Dressed in a 3-piece suit with a matching hat, Mr. Monroe sported a well-groomed full, grey beard, and absolutely looked the part of the stately academic.
    As old-fashioned as he was, Mr. Monroe was equally demanding.

  • The Time Capsule: Red Oak man foils holiday crime spree

    There are a lot of Petersons in our phone book, and I suspect some of them are related to Vernon. I wonder if they know he once teamed with Miss Gladys Oman to thwart a crime wave — or at least to send it elsewhere.  

  • The Time Capsule: Jesse James slept here (maybe)

    Florence Martin wrote from her home in St. Joseph, Mo. She wanted me to know that in the 1870s her grandfather, who farmed near Villisca, was visited by the Jesse James gang.  There were four of them, she said, traveling light and riding hard. They wanted food and water and offered to pay.  
    There are other similar accounts. I was once told that Jesse and cohorts put up for the night in my great-grandfather’s barn near Elliott. Chances are, if you had ancestors in the area during Jesse’s robbing years a

  • Miner Queries: Can we take the GOP field seriously?

    I spent last Thursday sick to my stomach. From the time I woke to the morning news to each time I checked in with major media, I felt nauseous. While pundits were salivating about the first Republican debate, I merely felt dread.
    Would I watch? As a political columnist, I felt I had to. But the run-up to what I viewed as an impending circus made me want to bury my head in a book.
    When did politics become entertainment? And if it’s merely entertainment, how can we expect these candidates to govern seriously?

  • The Time Capsule: The Hilton sisters you’ve never heard of
  • What's Going On: Why we shouldn’t hate Walter Palmer

     There’s a lot of people in this country who don’t like President Barack Obama.

    That’s not news. What would be news is if after his presidency ended, he spent the next 11 months on a safari in Africa. And if he’s disliked now, could you imagine the uproar if he started tweeting photos of himself holding a high-powered rifle while standing over a slain rhinoceros. Or an elephant. Or a lion.

  • Miner Queries: Question . . . Were you too bored to vote?

     Last week another Facebook meme caught my eye. It was a photo of one of my heroes, the late political columnist Molly Ivins, paired with a quote:

  • The Time Capsule: Stanton - “Little White City” no more

     On March 8, 1956, the article and photo were front-page center in Stanton’s newspaper.  A milestone had been achieved. The last hold-out was no more.  

  • What's Going On: Why we really don’t care about the national debt

     Fiscal responsibility. 

    With another presidential election cycle upon us, fiscal responsibility will be one of the buzzwords the talking heads will babble about. We will hear other fun words like national debt, deficit spending and a balanced budget amendment. 

    Typically, Republicans chirp louder about this issue and our accompanying $18 trillion debt, blaming Democrats and their free-spending liberal programs.