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Beware of monsters


Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

German philosopher Frederick Nietsche said, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he doesn't become a monster."

Which made me think immediately of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield and all the neo-cons surrounding this administration and their effort to oust Saddam Hussein, the so-called monster of Baghdad.

We looked for weapons of mass destruction. We looked for a link between Saddam and Al Quaida. We invaded and now, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell said, we own it.

Like Tito strong-arming the Serbs and Croats in Yugoslavia into submission, Hussein used an iron fist to rule Iraq holding the various tribal and religious groups together.

Now we are filling this void militarily, playing cop to keep the Sunnis and Shiites from killing themselves. The Kurds want to separate themselves from the whole tired mess and form an autonomous state.

We also can't allow Iran to influence the balance of power in the region. And there are oil reserves to think about.

My what a monster we have created.

Now, nearly five years into this quagmire, General David Petraeus says there is limited military progress, but almost no movement politically. In his mind, the greatest fear is what would happen if we pulled our troops out.

Would Shiites slaughter Sunnis?"

Would Iraq become a surrogate of Syria and Iran?

Would some of the largest oil reserves in the world be monopolized and lead to global economic chaos?

The notion that the Iraqi Army will ever be able to provide security to all of its diverse people is laughable. The idea that Sunnis and Shiites can create a government that will govern for all of the people is equally questionable.

The real question for General Petraeus and his Commander in Chief and, ultimately, Congress is this: is there an end to any of this in our immediate future?

Another five years? How long will we continue to own this monster called Iraq? And is the sacrifice worth it?

It will take years to undo what this administration has done

Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

One question I get about my commentaries is: "How do you pick your subject?"

Most of the time I choose medically related subjects. It's not that I don't have strong opinions on other subjects. I suspect people will take me more seriously if ..... 
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A coming together

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worker. I wasn't looking forward to it but it turned out to be an interesting chat. He was a young man no older than 40 and relatively senior in the inspector r ..... 
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Pawlenty, get'r done!

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

It was a genuine good feeling in the immediate wake of the horrific flooding to see a stream of politicians visiting southeast Minnesota - assessing the damage personally, visiting with officials, and giving assurances to people who had lost everyth ..... 
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Flush Day and other signs of progress

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



The porta-potty is gone from our front yard, leaving only a three foot square patch of dead grass and a strange memory. Last week we celebrated "Flush Day"-the day Rushford residents were told it was okay to flush toilets again. This week af ..... 
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The church ladies and the loaves and fishes

Fri, Aug 31st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

RUSHFORD - Shakespeare said "Some are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them." Betty Culhane belongs to the second group. The recent flood in Rushford resulted in displaced people, who were also, sooner than later, hungry. As the ..... 
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The perfect storm

Fri, Aug 31st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Not many of us would consider the recent rains that brought such devastating flooding to our region, the perfect storm. Most would consider the perfect storm as one that would have brought its 10+ inches of rain, with us making note of only how the ..... 
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Loans to Rushford businesses may not be enough

Fri, Aug 24th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

When asked early last week whether the recent rainfall was a 50 year or 100 year event, Fillmore County Engineer John Grindeland shrugged his shoulders.

"Who can conceive of 17 inches of rain?" Grindeland asked rhetorically.

Call i ..... 
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We all must do our small part to rebuild Rushford

Fri, Aug 24th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Friday, August 18, was a pretty typical day in Rushford. At least for me. I dragged myself out of bed to go walk the high school track. The R-P football team was practicing next door on the practice field by 7:30 a.m. I like watching their practices ..... 
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