Today's Opinions

  • What's Going On: Trying hard to be thankful in a time of grief

    I’m ready for 2015 to end.
    This has been a … well … crappy year, especially the last six months.
    My sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer, several key employees have left the newspaper, and as if to prove life can always get worse, my wife was diagnosed with
    cancer about six weeks ago.
    What a pile of … well … crap. Actually, I’d rather use a different word, but if I did, my mother would not approve, nor would the person who signs my check.

  • The Time Capsule: A cat in the night and other wildlife tales

    A “Far Side” cartoon from a few years ago has a pack of coyotes lounging on a hillside. Two are off to themselves. One says to the other, “Ten to one if I howl, they’ll all howl.”  

  • How do gun laws prevent mass shootings?

    Dear Editor:
    “Eight people were killed and at least 45 people were wounded in shootings” was the headline Sept. 21, 2015, yet the President didn’t rush to his bully pulpit to decry, “we need more gun laws” on that day. Why I wonder? Could it be it happened in another country? No, it happened in the United States.

  • The Time Capsule: The orphan heroes of Montgomery County

    Veterans Day is tomorrow. I’ll spend part of it at a program in a school gymnasium, thinking of other veterans, other times and sacrifices unknown or long forgotten.
    I expect few people know the story of four boys—Oscar, Eric, Paul and Evald—who grew up on the same Montgomery County farm and attended school in a building not far from where tomorrow’s program takes place.       
    All four enlisted during wartime.  
    All four were killed in action.   

  • What’s Going On: Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions

    Brian was my friend.
    I taught him how to fish. He taught me how to play bridge. I introduced him to jazz. He introduced me to “They Might Be Giants.” We shared an apartment, drove to New Orleans together and used to sneak into the college dorm cafeteria in the middle of the night to swipe Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch. I was the best man at his wedding and he encouraged me to take my first job at a newspaper.
    Brian was my friend, and I found out he died on Facebook.

  • The Time Capsule: Bank-robbing killer visits Villisca

    We’ve done columns on outlaws who allegedly passed through this county, from the late -night rides of Bonnie and Clyde to Jesse James and gang sleeping in Grandpa’s barn. This week we’ll try Raymond Hamilton. Hamilton, along with the notorious Mary O’Dare, was said by authorities to have eluded lawmen by hiding in a wooded area near Villisca on an August afternoon in 1934.  He’s thought to have then gone through Red Oak on his way to Omaha.

  • Miner Queries: Do we consider the children? or not?

    Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders accepted the invitation of Liberty University, a right-wing conservative Christian college, to address the student body during a convocation students are required to attend.
    I first caught wind of the event listening to National Public Radio on my way home Monday afternoon. NPR shared clips from the speech and interviews with students attending. Most of these students respected the courage it took to for Sanders to speak to a group with opposing views.

  • What’s Going On: Can you live with the consequences of truly being pro-life?

    How pro-life are you?
    Considering the voting demographics of Southwest Iowa in general and Montgomery County specifically, I’m going to assume most people who read this will be Republican.
    And one of the Republican tenants is opposing abortion. In fact, the GOP is threatening to shut down the government, again, unless all federal funding for Planned Parenthood is withdrawn.
    For most, the anti-abortion stance is rooted largely in Christian beliefs, in which God alone creates life and as such, it should be protected by us, only to be taken by God alone.