"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Are you talking to me?


Mon, Apr 11th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

One wonders, who are the major politicians, in both parties, speaking to? Perhaps I am dense but I can usually follow a conversation that isn't on the topic of quantum physics or marine biology with at least an appropriate nod here and there. I don't think it's that I don't follow what they say, I fear it's that they don't say much.

So, being a lover of words, I just catalog the big ones. Not big in the sense of polysyllabic words or those "gotta run to the dictionary" words. I like to entertain myself by cataloging the buzz words that they all use. It's hard to tell which team they are on, they all wear the same vocabulary. At least in sports, they have to wear red or blue or something so they can tell who to throw the ball to.

Have some fun. Get a pad and pencil and watch any political speech or interview and jot down how many times they use emotion packed words that, in the end, say very little.

Here's a partial list: Freedom; Democratic form of government; free enterprise (you'll hear that more from the red team, but, it's still a buzz word), The People (I love that one! what people, exactly, are those?), middle class and working families, (clue, most working families are not middle class, they are working class but nobody speaks of this anymore- sounds too blue collar) Human dignity (plenty of that among the poor and working poor) Marketplace (where They sell and We buy) and ever and ever and endlessly, Families. What families are they speaking to? The Bush family? The Kennedy family? The Rockafellars? Because I don't know if they care about families that are not composed of two adult voters (a man and a woman, of course) and two adorable children applying to Ivy League colleges; and of late, Taxes (the Holy War of the USA.)

Know what we haven't heard a thing about since LBJ? Poverty. I'm sure that means the problem has been fixed and the only thing Americans struggle with is being overburdened with taxes on their hard-earned money. Really? I guess one can go through life avoiding all evidence of poverty, or, take expensive vacations to nations south of the border and cluck over the poverty there.

Here is a game everyone can enjoy- make up a Bingo card with those words and others that I have missed, hand them out to the family and watch any speech from any politician on any team and mark the spot when they spit one of those emotional but undefined terms out. The winner gets to declare him or herself middle cl .....
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The roots of congress' unpopularity

Mon, Apr 11th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

I suppose it's possible that Congress could enjoy even less popularity than it does at the moment, but it's difficult to imagine. Recent public opinion polls show it plumbing depths that have rarely been seen before.

Certainly that's true of ..... 
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Jottings from Japan

Mon, Apr 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Some of you may remember that I wrote a weekly column called "Jottings from Japan" for approximately 15 years. My first entries were hand written and sent in an aerogram. It seemed the best way to keep in touch with my Harmony friends and Grand Mead ..... 
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Congress needs to build a culture of fairness - 3/28/11

Fri, Apr 1st, 2011
Posted in Commentary

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Senate voted down a Republican attempt to repeal last year's health-care reform law. You may remember this, even though it rated only a mention on the evening news. What I'm virtually certain you don't remember is how the R ..... 
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The new new deal

Fri, Mar 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

In President Obama, conservatives face the most formidable liberal politician since FDR. In 2008, Obama won the presidency with a majority of the popular vote, something a Democrat has not done since Jimmy Carter won a squeaker in 1976. With Preside ..... 
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Why politicians overreach

Fri, Mar 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Having dodged a government shutdown for the moment, Congress is now embroiled in a burning debate over cutting the federal budget. The House has passed a bill imposing far-reaching cuts of $61 billion - dramatically slashing everything from educatio ..... 
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Don't squander a buildable foundation

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Just about a year ago on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) after months and months of political wrangling. It is not perfect, may not be complete and it certainly is complicated, b ..... 
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One moment, please... What was I thinking?

Mon, Mar 7th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Last week's newspaper contained a letter to the editor from Bob Boyum of Peterson, Minn., which has been a point of contention for a few of our readers.

What's interesting to me is the wide range of perspectives on Mr. Boyum's letter and que ..... 
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How is wealth created?

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary



There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth:

The first by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors -- this robbery;

The second by commerce, which is generally cheating;

The thi ..... 
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