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Friendship is fading


Fri, Jun 30th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A “friend,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “a person whom one knows, likes and trusts; a favored companion; one with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade; one who supports, sympathizes with or patronizes.”

I felt compelled to look up the meaning of friend after reading a recent article that appeared on the front pages of several area daily newspapers.

“Friendship is fading – Study finds more Americans feel isolated” the headline read. “Americans, who shocked pollsters in 1985 when they said they had only three close friends, today say they have just two,” the article began. “And the number who say they’ve no one to discuss important matters with has doubled to 1 in 4, according to a nation-wide survey.”

The study found that men and women of every race, age and education level reported fewer intimate friends than the same survey turned up 21 years ago. Their remaining confidants were more likely to be members of their nuclear family than in 1985, according to the study, but intimacy within families was also down. The findings were reported in the June issue of the American Sociological Review.

Weakening bonds of friendship, which other studies affirm, have far-reaching effects. Among them: fewer people to turn to for help in crises, as was quite evident during last summer’s devastation of the Gulf Coast by hurricanes Katrina and Rita; fewer “neighbors” looking after each others’ properties to help deter neighborhood crime; fewer visitors to hospitals and nursing homes; and fewer volunteers for community service projects.

After I finished reading the article, I sat there scratching my head. (Evidently, I must spend a lot of time scratching my head – otherwise I’d have something left on the top, right?) Aren’t we living in the so-called communications age where every household has at least one computer hooked up to the Internet and nearly every person over the age of 10 has a cell phone? If this is the communications age, why aren’t we communicating?

Years ago, you didn’t want to spend more than 10 or 15 minutes on a long distance phone call or it would cost you an arm and a leg. Cell phone packages now offer 1,000 minutes per month and buddy specials that are free calls. And if 1,000 minutes per month isn’t enough, other packages offer unlimited minutes. So now we can talk on the phone all day without breaking the bank.

And with the Internet, one can crank out a le .....
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The World Cup is the real Super Bowl of fútbol

Fri, Jun 23rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Every four years the countries of the world get together to see which nation has the best soccer team. They call it the World Cup. Brazil won in 1994 and again in 2002. France won it in 1998. This year, Brazil is picked to lead the pack, but I have m ..... 
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“Necessity” is the argument of tyrants

Fri, Jun 16th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King: and there ought to be no other.  Thomas Paine     This Congress has been missing ..... 
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We all need to pay our fair share for services

Fri, Jun 16th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

I am writing in response to Rushford Village Clerk, Judy Graham’s letter in the Tri-County Record last week and to articles in the Fillmore County Journal regarding the tri-city (City and Village of Rushford and Peterson) meetings.    ..... 
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The War on Queers

Fri, Jun 9th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

It is the War on Queers clear and simple. Sounds ugly doesn’t it, in a white supremacist kind of way, with all of its shaved-head, boot-stomping racism. And if I have made you angry by using the pejorative, queer, then good. You and everyone in this ..... 
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In search of the historical Jesus

Fri, Jun 2nd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

In his commentary, “‘The Da Vinci Code’ and the Deity of Christ,” Mike Hopper attempts to prove that Jesus was divine, contrary to what Dan Brown implies in his book. However, Mr. Hopper fails to make his case.  First of all, ..... 
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“Da Vinci Code” and the Deity of Christ

Fri, May 26th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

The Da Vinci Code–fact or fiction? Since 2003, The Da Vinci Code has sold over 40 million copies, and a motion picture recently debuted. Let’s consider what the Da Vinci Code book presents in light of historical facts.

According ..... 
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Revenge: a cost benefit analysis

Fri, May 19th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Last Saturday I watched the movie Munich, Steven Spielberg’s beautifully crafted drama about the massacre of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. On Sunday, I kept the DVD an extra day and watched the movie again with my son, a history buf ..... 
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The elephant in the room

Fri, May 12th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

I graduated from New Ulm Public High School way back sometime in the last century. New Ulm is a town of about 15,000 in south central Minnesota, surrounded by many small towns, most of them without their own schools by the time I graduated.
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