"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Monday, April 27th, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
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Small towns vs. big boxes


Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

I went to high school in Mabel: Cougar Class of 2003. Back then, you could go downtown and get a burger at two or three places, or maybe grab a soda at the former IGA. I distinctly remember my friends and I grabbing marked-down-for-quick-sale quarts of egg nog in January and nearly making ourselves sick chugging it down. Now, a little more than ten years later, all those places are gone, and with them go the memories of the next generation. Just last week, while subbing in Caledonia, I was shocked to hear from a teacher that their enrollment was down, too. All of this is pointing to a very disturbing trend that leads to a dark finale: the death of the small town.

Can they be saved? Well, I don’t claim to have all the answers (although my wife may say I do sometimes) but I’d say one of the first things is that business and money needs to come back to these small towns. We need to stop giving breaks to the richest in the country while the rest of us lose our hometown stores and restaurants. Sure, you can go down to a gas station and grab a sandwich, but that’s a poor franchisee getting the screws put to them by someone like Chevron, or ExxonMobil, or BP, and we all know how great of a job BP does for helping out the little guy. But why does it seem like our only options are companies like Walmart (which sells 57% of all US groceries) or BP that just keep getting bigger and bigger? Well, part of the reason is that no one is holding them back from forming monopolies.

Go ahead and do a Google search for “Who Owns What” and the images might surprise you.

Even as we speak, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are trying to merge, leading to a near-monopoly in who provides cable television and internet in this country. I only say “near” monopoly because the big businesses have their bean-counters and eggheads working day and night to make sure it’s not technically illegal, just illegal enough to squeeze every last red cent out of poor schmucks like you and me. Think of it as a Transformers meets Power Rangers meets Dante’s Inferno sort of situation. If this goes through, Comcast will be the number one provider to 65% of the US population, covering two-thirds of the country and making it the ONLY broadband internet provider for four out of every ten American homes. Did I mention that Comcast also owns NBC? Yes, the company that sells you TV also owns your TV news. How does that work, again?

It’s .....
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STANDING GUARD: Tax reform, funding for school maintenance, and mandatory buffer strips

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Feb 16th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

These issues may appear unrelated, but in reality they are inextricably linked here in Minn. and affect us all in ways some of us seldom think about. Paying for education in Minn. amounts to about half of the annual State General Fund spending, ..... 
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One Moment, Please... A higher education

Mon, Feb 16th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

The greatest investment in America is human capital. It’s not our products. It’s not our services. It’s what’s between our ears. But it is only as effective as ambition. President Barack Obama thinks that giving graduating high schoo ..... 
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Can we have a regular Congress?

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Feb 9th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

You probably didn’t notice, but the Senate passed a milestone a couple of weeks back. Before 2015 was a month old, senators had already had a chance to vote up-or-down on more amendments than they did in all of 2014. This is a promising sign tha ..... 
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We fight

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Mon, Feb 9th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

What should we call them? What is permissible in mixing the words extremist, radical, fanatic, barbaric, and terrorist with Muslim, Islam, Jihadist or some other term? Can we or can we not use language that includes the possibility of saying Musli ..... 
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Correction-“Divided government returns to Minnesota”

Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Minnesota Republican legislators are against raising new revenue for transportation, but have suggested that $750 million could be raised over four years to fix state roads and bridges through efficiencies. The number was misstated in the article ..... 
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Correction- 2015 Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days

Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

For the Fillmore County Journal 2015 Calendar, there was an error in the month of September 2015. We sincerely apologize for printing the incorrect date in the calendar for the 2015 Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days. The correct dates for Steam Engin ..... 
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Why are people in power so afraid?

By Dr. Bryan Van Gorp

Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Research shows that on average, rich people are less empathetic than poor people. There are two possible explanations. First, part of climbing the ladder in many cases is a willingness to step on others, this selects for lack of empathy. Second, onc ..... 
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Easing sanctions on Cuba? It’s about time!

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

It was 1958. I was 25 and living in Vero Beach, Fla. when I decided the time was right to accept an invitation I had received to go to Cuba. I met Gordon David when he was dock master of a boat-line in Hyannis Port. He was very excited about purcha ..... 
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