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Truth as we know it to be


Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Truth might be defined as an accepted fact or reality. And yet, as we have seen all too often there are varying interpretations of the truth. Truth comes in different forms. There is my truth, your truth and the "real" truth. Some examples of acceptable truths are principles of physics and mathematics, such as Archimedes principle, the formula defining a right triangle, or the concept of force equals mass times acceleration. There is the acceptable truth that if one places their hand in a flame for a defined period of time they will get burned. It would probably be difficult to find anyone who would disagree that these are real truths.

Then there are what one might call modifications of the real truth. This modification then becomes my truth or your truth, but maybe not the real truth. An example would be the statement that the former leader of Iraq was harboring weapons of mass destruction, and, these weapons posed a grave threat to our country and the world. This statement, presented as fact, and therefore as someone's truth, was as we know, ultimately proved to be not a truth. Now, this supposed truth was said by the truth sayers to be based on hard fact. This was, however, contrary to other information available at the time that questioned the veracity of the weapons of mass destruction statement. So, who was telling the real truth?

Another example of truth modification and an example of my truth becoming your truth was presented by Vice President Cheney when he repeatedly claimed that the attacks of 9/11 were directly linked to Iraq. However, even as the Vice President was making this claim of truth there were hard, solid data to show that this was not the real truth. His statement, presented as fact was repeated so often and with such force that at one point 60% of those Americans who were asked if they believed there was a link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks said there was. So, one person's truth becomes the truth of another, even in the face of contrary facts.

At times it is difficult to know what the real truth is. Many of us have come to accept that often we are not being told the truth, or all of the truth, or even some of the truth. We have come to accept that people hedge when presenting information they wish to be taken as true. We do this ourselves. We don't like to share bad news; we don't like to make others feel uncomfortable when presenting information they might not like. We keep hidden facts that might caus .....
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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 surrou ..... 
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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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