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Wind farms in Fillmore County are a plus


Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the past several decades we have developed an insatiable appetite for all that is electronic. This trend is not likely to be abated. Things that we now take for granted like central air conditioning, cordless phones, garage door openers, computers, and video games all contribute. Everything that has a remote control device or a digital clock is consuming electricity 24-7. Granted, these devices draw small amounts of power when the units are off. However, multiply these numerous power draws in every home by hundreds of millions of households and we have a significant idle waste of electric power.

We could go back to opening our garage door by hand or getting up off the couch to change the channel on the TV or give up video games, but I don't look for that to happen. It is a safe assumption that electrical use per capita will only increase in the future.

What To Do?

Most of you have probably seen Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens in ads promoting wind energy in an overall plan to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. I think we all could agree that a reduction in the usage of foreign oil would be a positive. The conflict comes in how to get there. The introduction of large wind farms into Fillmore County will be seen by some as an unwelcome intrusion into their chosen life style.

We all want electricity to be readily available and affordable. Currently, we get most of our electrical power through coal, natural gas, nuclear or hydroelectric powered plants. The dominant source of power for us is coal.

Coal is a reliable, steady source, very abundant in the United States and affordable. However, the positives generally end there. Even if the state of Minnesota manages to meet its goal set in 2005 of 25% renewable sources for electricity by 2025, we still need coal fired plants to fill in when mother nature fails to cooperate and turns off the wind.

That said, look at the massive negatives of coal. Unless a truly clean technology is developed, coal will remain a highly polluting form of energy production. Energy is consumed to mine and transport coal. The EPA recognizes that coal powered plants can release hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonia, and hydrogen fluoride, lead, nickel and mercury compounds and other chemicals which can cause cancer. It notes that coal plants can be operated to somewhat "reduce" these emissions.

Setting aside the argument whether or not there are human induced causes .....
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Barack Obama is the right person for the job

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Before the election last fall, I had a conversation with a Republican friend about the qualifications of the major candidates. The topic of concern in the media at the time was whether Sarah Palin, a small town mayor and first term Alaska governor, ..... 
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It's time to show the world what the U.S is capable of

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I might get a new outfit for the inauguration. I fear the mail lost my personal invitation to the ball but I sure plan to celebrate in my own living room and the whole country should do the same.

Alright, the economy is tanked, the weather i ..... 
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Will they just tinker around the edges?

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The editor has asked me to focus my commentaries on healthcare reform efforts and similar subjects. The subject should allow me to be as curmudgeonly as I want to be. I don't agree with any of the politicians and very few of the people I have discuss ..... 
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Capitalism with American characteristics

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

When Deng Xiao Peng emerged from exile after the Cultural Revolution in 1978 and started espousing economic reforms for communist China, he talked about "capitalism with Chinese characteristics."

Over the last 20 years, China's economy has ..... 
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How many zeros?

Fri, Dec 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Know why they always print 70b or 700b? Because only mathematicians know how many zeros are in a number so large. The reason our math teachers taught us up to the thousands and then used those "to the power of" and algebraic letters was, they had no ..... 
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What will happen when wind turbines arrive in Fillmore County?

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Earlier this year EcoEnergy, a French-owned corporation with a regional office in Harmony, erected several wind measurement towers between Greenleafton and Harmony. More than 30,000 acres of Fillmore County farmland has been signed up to allow 400' ..... 
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Forgetfulness and counting ballots

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

If you're like me the mind plays little tricks on you from time to time. Chalk it up to age, too many things to think about; in your mind one second, gone the next.

Is there a difference between forgetfulness and not remembering what you we ..... 
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An Invitation to Democracy

Fri, Dec 5th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It's practically an American sport to criticize our elected officials. I probably did my share of thoughtless criticism, too, until I took a job "moonlighting" as a reporter and started regularly attending my local school board and city council meet ..... 
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