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Everyone loves a loser


Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Our collective mean streak sure does show itself on television. I know you think we're nice people. I think I'm nice, my friends are nice and some of my relatives are nice but somebody is enjoying the blood sport of televisions "You are a Loser!" frenzy.

My granddaughter introduced me to American Idol recently. There, lovely young men and women dress up, make up and compete for the privilege to sing and dance before three professional performers and risk being insulted and eliminated before the entire nation.

I haven't watched Survivor because the ads alone confuse me. Why would anyone want to go to those places with a group of hostile people? I wouldn't go to those places with folks who might actually want me to survive. I expect they'll feature a loser being cannibalized for ratings week.

Programs like The Bachelor or Elimidate take romantic fantasy to the dark side. Wondering if the outfit you chose to wear makes you look fat is pressure enough for most of us. To dress up and be courted then dumped on television is a special sort of masochism.

Competition is about striving to win something but one wonders if watching someone lose is appealing to our Inner Bad Sport. One might also wonder if this perversion of competition is finding its way into our current political scene. In this protracted contest to choose a Democratic nominee for president it would appear that the focus is entirely on popularity, who will stumble, who got fired today for a bad word choice and the minutiae of the old He Said/She Said game. We need to remember that the prize in this contest is very real; it is the role of Commander in Chief. Since television insists on showing us poll numbers and presenting an endless cast of experts to explain why and when He or She will lose, it is up to us to shift our focus. We need to be reading real information about our candidates, pick up a journal or a book, read the candidates web pages and start to prepare ourselves to make an intelligent choice in November. We don't watch Olympic figure skaters hoping that one will fall; waiting for the Loser to be announced in a presidential campaign makes no more sense.

I might consider hosting a family reunion though, to see if we could vote some kin off the Christmas card list.

I guess if we are to assume this approach, we can do high fives when, in November, we get to vote Dubya off of our island.

Beadrin Youngdahl lives in Peterson.

The Three Trillion Dollar War

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

A new book, by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Blimes, a public policy professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, called The Three Trillion Dollar War - the true cost of the Iraq conflict challenges the Bush administration's ..... 
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Looking back five years later

Fri, Mar 28th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Now that we've come to the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, it's time to look back and see what we have obtained by prematurely abandoning the search for Osama bin Laden to invade Iraq. At least we should see how the predictions of great minds that ..... 
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Water, water, everywhere?

Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Recent newspaper and television stories have reported scientific concerns with the appearance of medications, both human and animal in our water supplies. These are only a tiny drop in the enormous bucket of the problem. I believe that in the future, ..... 
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And We Prayed

Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Many of us, of certain age and blessed or handicapped as long time Minnesotans, know religious diversity as Lutheran vs: Catholic. What the Lutherans had in numbers the Catholics battled with fully uniformed nuns and movies starring Bing Crosby. Eve ..... 
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Them that serve

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It must be difficult to be an elected government official. They must be responsive and accountable to various constituencies including themselves. These include the people whom they represent, which also includes people from their state or district ..... 
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Death by a thousand catastrophes

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

One day in the not so distant future, the Discovery Channel will air a documentary detailing the life and death of the Conservative Movement, that all-white tribe of bible-thumping, war-mongering, rich folk, who, for a brief period in American histo ..... 
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My forbidden fruits (and vegetables)

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Rushford, Minn. - If you've stood in line at a farmers' market recently, you know that the local food movement is thriving, to the point that small farmers are having a tough time keeping up with the demand.

But consumers who would like to b ..... 
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Speaking out: The Muni is a win for all of us

Fri, Feb 29th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It is a fact that a resolution to rebuild the Rushford Municipal Liquor Store (the Muni) with both on and off sale has been brought up for vote before and after change of council members and passed both times. There remains a small group (mostly bus ..... 
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