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Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Remember SARS or the West Nile Virus? Ah, those were the good old days.

Back when viruses left food sources alone.

Throughout my 15 years in the media business, it will never cease to amaze me how the national media feasts on situations from such a face-value perspective.

They are the masters of sensationalism, often stimulating wide-spread panic based on a small number of incidences.

I'm not asserting that things should be brushed under the rug, but certainly due diligence should always prevail when announcing something as detrimental as the H1N1 influenza.

Watching the national morning TV shows is like watching Chicken Little run around telling you the sky is falling.

You'll notice, on Page 4, I placed an editorial cartoon referencing the 'Swine Flu.' Honestly, I looked for one with an H1N1 fluenza representation -- no luck.

My point with running that editorial cartoon is that once the damage has been done, it's hard to change public perception.

If you read the Page 1 article that Karen Reisner wrote about the trickle-down affect this situation has had on our local pork producers, it's profound.

For most people, they have 'Swine' Flu ingrained in their brains. It's easier to say, and people can't paint a mental image of what an H1N1 looks like. I envision a super-sport nuclear missile, with spinners and a spoiler, aimed at the sun (just in case we need to turn out the lights).

See, now you have that ingrained in your brain, too. It kind of sucks. Once somebody tells you something, it's hard to get it out of your head.

So, about the only thing we can do to change the focus on H1N1 is stimulate the perception of a virus outbreak threatening a completely different industry.

Here it goes: I heard a local person was recently affected by the 'road kill' virus. Not sure which kind. Could have been possum. Could have been raccoon. Reports indicate you shouldn't eat any road kill unless it's been fully cooked. Don't let your kids play with any road kill, unless it was a domestic pet.

Spread the word.

Folks we don't know

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Heroes and Villains share an important commonality; they are always outside of our personal social systems. When I was a kid, all the boys wanted to be cowboys even if they had never seen a horse up close. Girls wanted to be Princesses thoug ..... 
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Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I don't usually write book reviews, but this one is worth writing and reading.

This past winter, I read a book that I had purchased long ago with every intention of reading -- but it didn't happen until recently. It was one of those books yo ..... 
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Cyberspace, a double edged sword

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

An increasingly widespread form of child abuse and sexual exploitation is fostered by predators using the Internet. We should be aware of one of the dark sides of computer use especially the misuse by predators against unsuspecting, vulnerable child ..... 
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Ethics, morality and faith: What's in it for me?

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Matthew 16: 26 "What kind of a deal is it to get everything you want, but lose yourself?" The Message (paraphrase) "What will it profit a person to gain the whole world, but lose their soul?" NRSV Bible

So many recent news stories are about ..... 
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Fri, Apr 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Every time we turn on the TV, we witness another floodgate of jobs lost and reports of real estate dropping in value.

The latest blow, locally, came with the announcement of TRW Automotive laying off another round of their workforce ..... 
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Can Congress cope with the communications age?

Fri, Apr 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



When I first came to Congress in the 1960s, dialogue between members of Congress and their constituents was straightforward. Every so often, a lawmaker would get interviewed on radio or television. Many sent monthly newsletters to the folks ..... 
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Fri, Apr 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Growing up in Rochester quite a number of years ago, I didn't recall Lanesboro having the reputation for being a tourist destination the way it does now. My memory is slipping, but it seems that has evolved in the past couple decades to something qu ..... 
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Even in an economic crisis, follow the money

Sat, Apr 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Recently, Newsweek looked at Federal Election Commission records and made an intriguing discovery. The political action committees of five major recipients of federal bank bailout money, it found, made some $85,000 in campaign contributions in Janua ..... 
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