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You're Angry? Fine. But channel it constructively


Fri, May 14th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Everywhere you turn these days, you find someone insisting that Americans are fed up. They're angry at the White House, or at the government in general, or at politicians as a breed.

The fiery rallies and other signs of bubbling discontent splashed across the front pages do not appear to be mere show. As the Pew Research Center just reported, its latest survey found "a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government - a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials."

Anger is nothing new in American politics, but the sort of road-rage being directed at elected officials - public servants being spat upon, threatened with death, taunted with racial slurs - is deeply worrisome.

The Senate's sergeant-at-arms reported early in April that serious threats to members of Congress nearly tripled between the last three months of 2009 and the first three months of this year. Many Americans now seem to think nothing of dropping hints of violence in an effort to rally support.

We're better than this. The concerns being expressed - about the reach of the federal government, the level of public spending, the right way to fix our health-care system - are entirely legitimate, but threats of violence and ginned-up hatred suggest a polity spinning out of control. Shrill politics undermines our ability to tackle our problems. A politics that consists of debasing, demeaning, or attempting to silence the people with whom you disagree is a sure sign of democracy in decline.

We have well over 200 years of practice now in resolving issues that arouse great passion, and only once has the system failed - with the disastrous result, of course, being the Civil War. That great national trauma ought to be reminder enough that we Americans settle our differences through the political process. We channel our beliefs into the voting booth - or into demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns, organizing efforts, and other means of peacefully advancing our points of view.

We believe that reaching practicable solutions often means finding areas of common ground with our political opponents. We recognize that in a democracy, no judgment is final, but merely an invitation to the next round of debate. Whether we win or lose, we respect the outcomes of elections, of legislative battles, of the political process - and we redouble our efforts on behalf of our .....
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A moral duty

Fri, May 14th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

In John, chapter 21, Jesus directs Peter (and all his followers) to "feed his sheep/lambs." We are very good at feeding ourselves; we super-size already outsized meals and throw away tons of uneaten, perfectly good food each day. If your refrigerato ..... 
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Getting Your Priorities in Order

Fri, May 7th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

kreisner@fillmorecountyjournal.com

During this uplifting time with the eruption of spring and the vibrant new life that reliably comes with it, we can still look back and appreciate the past. Some of those structures that are in the winter of ..... 
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One Moment Please - 'Pay it forward' in Fillmore County could travel

Fri, May 7th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

The mother of a teenager walked into the Fillmore County Journal office on Monday, May 3, to place a "Thank You" line ad in recognition of a random act of kindness. The ..... 
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Senior Health reform

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

"A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is trying to put its pants on,"  Mark Twain.

Pundits and politicians are publicly decrying the vitriol and violent speech surrounding politics and especially the recently passed ..... 
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Bigger is not always better

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Unless you have been in a coma for the past 30 years, the size and scope of the federal government has gone through massive growth. This expansion in the 20th, and now the 21st, centuries goes far beyond what those who founded our government ever en ..... 
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One Moment Please - Saving Lives

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone is 507-251-5297, jsethre@fillmorecountyjournal.com

To the right, you'll see a press release issued by the Minnesota Department of Safety Commissioner, Michael Campion, to all of the media i ..... 
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Taxes and policy

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

According to the Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institute, in 2008 individual income tax accounted for 45 percent of the total revenue of the federal government; 36 percent came from payroll taxes, 12 percent from corporate income taxes, and the ..... 
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Spring in Fillmore County

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

A sound reaches my ear as of someone stepping through or wheeling a bicycle through the dry leaves from last fall. The sounds among all the birdsong along the Harmony / Preston Valley Trail is barely significant enough for me to turn and look, but I ..... 
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