"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Friday, November 21st, 2014
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The summer of our discontent


By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Lee H. Hamilton

Despite these last few months of hot and lazy days, it’s been hard not to notice a cold political wind blowing through the country. The magazine Foreign Affairs captured it with its latest cover, a mockup of a travel poster featuring a crumbling U.S. Capitol with the tagline, “See America: Land of Decay and Dysfunction.”

Americans are clearly uneasy. I know it anecdotally, because at virtually every public gathering I’ve addressed over the last few months someone has spoken up with his or her worry that our nation is in decline. And the polls bear it out. In June, a Washington Post article, “Is the American Dream Dead?” noted a string of polls showing majorities of Americans believe their children will be worse off than they were.

By early August, an NBC-Wall St. Journal poll was reporting that a full three-quarters of those surveyed lacked confidence that the next generation would be better off — the most pessimistic results in the history of the poll. Regardless of income, ethnicity, religion, or gender, Americans don’t think much of our future.

This is a ground-shaking turnabout. Since well before I began my political career in the early 1960s, the keystone of our politics was an unflagging optimism that as Americans we could face head-on the task of improving our own and others’ lives and deliver on our responsibility to future generations. As Chris Cilizza wrote recently in The Washington Post, “So much of every politician’s patter — Democrat or Republican — is built on the idea that America has always overcome hard challenges, always made things better for our kids than for us, always had achieving the American dream as a real possibility.” Now, he notes, “A large bloc of the electorate no longer believes any of that.”

Why not? Partly, it’s the economy: growth has been sluggish, we’re not generating enough good jobs, and the benefits of the recovery have flowed more to some than to the many. The growing awareness of a lopsided society — one in which a rising tide fails to lift all boats — has put many people in a surly mood. That problem of income inequality is joined to a host of others — from climate change to crumbling infrastructure to a world in which the forces of chaos and turmoil appear to be expanding.

Yet I think Foreign Affairs has nailed the biggest factor: the perceived dysfunction of our politi .....
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Keeping Houston County citizens informed and involved

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Justin Zmyewski, Commissioner District #2 SAND = JOBS ??? FACT: Wisconsin has been blindsided by the frac sand industry. They now have more mines than any other state in the country. The mines have led to a 0.001 percent job growth for the en ..... 
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AmeriCorps LEAP Celebration

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Tim Penny President/CEO Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation As students everywhere gear up to go back to school, so are 20 AmeriCorps LEAP members. These members work one-on-one in pre-school classrooms with children who are at-risk of fal ..... 
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A deterioration of trust and respect in America

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

An environment of mutual trust and respect makes for good relationships of all kinds. Growing distrust of American institutions fuels dysfunction and disorder in society. Trust and respect are the glue that holds us together. They make our country ..... 
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WWII: Who really won, or lost?

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

I have a question whose answer runs against the grain a little. It is prompted by a very interesting book written by Diana West. Titled “American Betrayal” it turns, to some extent, the conventional view of WWII on its head. The question is ..... 
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Concerning women’s healthcare

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Yvonne Nyenhuis We send representatives to the government to serve us. It is not our job to serve them. Over 90 percent of American women have used some kind of birth control in their lifetimes, yet it is harder every day for women to obtain a ..... 
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Guest commentary regarding Rushford-Peterson Schools

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Linda Hovland Thank You to Brett Kues and Stan Gudmundon for writing a letter to the editor. I am glad that there are people willing to talk about the new school. Whether you are for or against, I really think that there should be a lot of di ..... 
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Why government openness matters

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies ..... 
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The Good Lie

Fri, Aug 15th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

There’s no getting around it: although the recession is technically over in America (although some European countries are sliding back in), things are still not going well for a lot of Americans. Add to our troubles at home the current hot stories ..... 
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