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Folks we don't know


Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Heroes and Villains share an important commonality; they are always outside of our personal social systems. When I was a kid, all the boys wanted to be cowboys even if they had never seen a horse up close. Girls wanted to be Princesses though Minneapolis was thousands of miles from the nearest castle. A prince on the side was optional; we were the budding generation of feminists, after all. Besides, none of those booger eating boys we saw looked up to the task.

As children our villains were Snidley Whiplash, the Joker, Eddie Haskel, Boris and Natasia, characters who taught us that evil doesn't pay. They, like the cowboys and princesses we longed to become, set the parameters for our childhood. Good on one end of the spectrum, evil on the other. We grew up in between each extreme.

We all must grow up. We realize that cowboys barely exist anymore and few ever really did and Princess never came up in the aptitude test results. We lowered the bar. We came to worship movie stars and professional athletes.

Now, we sit in front of huge televisions, watching Lives of The Rich and Decadent and hope that our daughters don't want to be Paris Hilton (they do) or that our sons didn't hear about the latest bar brawl involving four Minnesota Vikings and one mouthy drunk in a downtown alley.

So, in our adult cynicism (if an adult isn't a cynic, they aren't paying attention or are on great mood altering drugs.) Now, we choose villains.

Damn Politicians-crooks, every one of them.

Doctors just want to rip me off so they can golf on Wednesday.

The teachers pick on my kid because they don't understand his "spirit".

Those jerks that drive minivans can't make a left turn.

Every Muslim is a suicide bomber.

Jews are all rich and greedy.

Homeless people are just lazy.

Gay men and women want to molest small children.

Black men live to date blonde women.

City People are snobs.

Farmers are cheap.

Pick your group. If it's a group, it's likely someone we don't know personally.

Whatever our villainous group, we can agree it exists outside our circle, right? Doesn't that tell us something?

The oddest hybrid mix is our collective love/hate of the Uber Rich. We all envy and emulate them. We watch Desperate Housewives like we watched Dallas, knowing that if we had all that stuff, we'd have no need to murder anyone; what's wrong with those p .....
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One moment, please...

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I don't usually write book reviews, but this one is worth writing and reading.

This past winter, I read a book that I had purchased long ago with every intention of reading -- but it didn't happen until recently. It was one of those books yo ..... 
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Cyberspace, a double edged sword

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

An increasingly widespread form of child abuse and sexual exploitation is fostered by predators using the Internet. We should be aware of one of the dark sides of computer use especially the misuse by predators against unsuspecting, vulnerable child ..... 
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Ethics, morality and faith: What's in it for me?

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Matthew 16: 26 "What kind of a deal is it to get everything you want, but lose yourself?" The Message (paraphrase) "What will it profit a person to gain the whole world, but lose their soul?" NRSV Bible

So many recent news stories are about ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, Apr 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Every time we turn on the TV, we witness another floodgate of jobs lost and reports of real estate dropping in value.

The latest blow, locally, came with the announcement of TRW Automotive laying off another round of their workforce ..... 
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Can Congress cope with the communications age?

Fri, Apr 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



When I first came to Congress in the 1960s, dialogue between members of Congress and their constituents was straightforward. Every so often, a lawmaker would get interviewed on radio or television. Many sent monthly newsletters to the folks ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, Apr 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Growing up in Rochester quite a number of years ago, I didn't recall Lanesboro having the reputation for being a tourist destination the way it does now. My memory is slipping, but it seems that has evolved in the past couple decades to something qu ..... 
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Even in an economic crisis, follow the money

Sat, Apr 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Recently, Newsweek looked at Federal Election Commission records and made an intriguing discovery. The political action committees of five major recipients of federal bank bailout money, it found, made some $85,000 in campaign contributions in Janua ..... 
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History rewritten

Fri, Apr 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I'd like to pretend that nothing interesting happened in the world prior to my entrance but there is evidence to the contrary. I can argue, however, that there was no color at all- I've seen the photos.

Being born just after WWII, my public ..... 
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