"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



It's not often that we'll have two editorial cartoons on these fashionably sequenced pages, but today is a special treat.

OK, let's not get carried away. Just relax and keep the excitement to yourself.

The reason for two toons relates to the timeliness of the subject matter.

First, I'll dig on the United States Postal Service.

With the May 11 postage hike, roughly 4.67%, should we be concerned? Yes.

Why? Several reasons.

1) In 2006, I interviewed the Post Master of the Platteville, Wis. U.S. Post Office location, and she indicated a law was passed to enable the U.S.P.S. to increase rates once per year, every year -- but not more than the rate of inflation. What about decreasing the prices based on the rate of deflation? I'm being facetious, of course.

2) This Post Master also shared with me that the small boxy trucks that most larger cities utilize for delivering mail to homes and businesses get six miles-per-gallon. Yes, those little buggers are gas hogs. Would a private business owner make that same decision?

3) The U.S. Postal Service is a monopoly. Contrary to their opinion, they are. Think about it. FedEx and UPS can delivery packages, but they can't compete in daily bulk mail delivery or other arenas controlled by the U.S. Postal Service. I'm not saying there would be any efficiencies with all delivery companies competing at the same level as the U.S.P.S..

However, my general concern is complacency. When you've been the 'King of the Hill' for so long, such as the U.S.P.S., what is the motivation to improve their efficiency and customer service?

Based on my calculations including an anticipated annual average increase of 4.67%, you can count on postage increasing to $1.00 by 2027. I also figured the same rate of inflation for wages, so a person making $30,000 per year now should be making a little over $68,000 per year in 2027 -- so you can buy more stamps!

Don't get me wrong, stamps are still cheaper than driving to each business to personally deliver your monthly bill payments.

It would need to be a full-time job for me.

However, I think they can create efficiencies that save consumers some money.

OK, on to my second, much shorter, dig.

What is going on with Brett Favre -- again?

Seriously, I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, and will be forever. I have had respect for Favre over the years, but recent rumblings of Favr .....
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Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Remember SARS or the West Nile Virus? Ah, those were the good old days.

Back when viruses left food sources alone.

Throughout my 15 years in the media business, it will never cease to amaze me how the national media feasts on ..... 
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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 thoug ..... 
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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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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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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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