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Voting is both a privilege and an obligation - be informed


Fri, Sep 5th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Thomas Jefferson said, "Information is the currency of democracy."

And in an E-mail essay on Winston Churchill's 1947 comment that "Democracy is not perfect, but it's better than any of the other methods that have been tried so far," the commentator reminds us that democracy is government by the people, and that "democracy cannot function without the people, especially if the people are ill-informed or only care about their own interests."

Speaking to many people in our communities and beyond in our country, receiving E-mail, reading news magazines, it is of great concern to me that many folks seem to accept political ads, sound bites and bumpers stickers, and comments from talk show hosts as literally true. In order for our country to succeed into the future, we need to examine multiple sources and educate ourselves carefully so we are able to make good decisions at election time. We need to move beyond personal attacks and hate, and look into the actual performance of the candidates.

There are many ways to do this; all of us should take an honest look at both sides of an issue, both candidates for an office. We can do this by going to a public library or on-line to look at the Congressional Record, which can't be skewed. This will allow us to see what bills a candidate has authored or sponsored. We can check out their actual voting record on the issues of our concern. Then we can read two or three different general news magazines which lean toward each side, not just the one we agree with.

Also, we can listen to the news on several stations and networks, not just our favorite left or right commentators or news persons.

One excellent source is Public Television News (McNeil-Lehrer, Washington Week). I've had people call PBS "liberal trash." No so; they make a real effort to have commentators who have views that cover all sides. If your library subscribes to it, the newspaper Christian Science Monitor is rated by the library association as the least-biased in its approach to and inclusion of national and international news. (There is no attempt to evangelize.) These sources may sound different from the network(s) you watch, but they are likely to be trustworthy and accurate and fair.

If the candidates for an office have authored books and/or articles, read some from both.

Voting is both a privilege and an obligation for good citizens. Even if these suggestions sound like actual work, and may perhap .....
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Shame on Edwards, shame on us

Fri, Aug 29th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

John Edwards got busted by the National Enquirer. It's rather a sad thing that news sources are getting their leads from such an empty publication but I've suspected as much when watching the network news and seen headlines in papers as large as the ..... 
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Our civic duty requires informed decisions

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In the August 11, 2008, edition of this newspaper there were three commentary pieces that had me thinking for quite some time after I had read them.

In the first, former Congressman Lee Hamilton asks us to pay attention to what politicians ..... 
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Independents will elect the next president

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest poli ..... 
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When it comes to oil, are they stupid or just lying to you?

Fri, Aug 15th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The economy is in the basement and, to top it off, energy prices are at all time highs causing increases across the board for all goods and services. This is the worst of all worlds; high prices, stagnant job creation, and low wages.

High en ..... 
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A Christian looks at war

Fri, Aug 8th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I begin my examination of war by looking at Jesus' words from the Bible. A sampling from the gospels provides these quotes (from The New Revised Standard Version):

"Love your enemies; pray for (them)... ." Matt ..... 
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Musings from the lawn chair

Fri, Aug 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

I don't like my federal government - the Administration, Congress, the whole shooting match - they just don't seem to share my values. The larger the resources available to them to play with, the less I trust them with how they'll use them. Three tr ..... 
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Word Play

Fri, Aug 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Words are fun. Words are powerful. I love them. I wish I could roll around in a field of them and chew the sweetest and stomp on the ugly ones. I'm no linguist, plain old Midwest English is the best I can handle and I have been accused of sounding l ..... 
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Let's make next year's Fillmore County Fair even better

Fri, Jul 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The Fillmore County Fair has now concluded for 2008. Though some may feel that there are many aspects to criticize, I think we should take a few moments to think about all the positives of our local county celebration.

Most agree the Fillmor ..... 
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