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Forgetfulness and counting ballots


Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

If you're like me the mind plays little tricks on you from time to time. Chalk it up to age, too many things to think about; in your mind one second, gone the next.

Is there a difference between forgetfulness and not remembering what you were thinking about a few seconds ago?

Many of us, especially those now calling themselves senior citizens, know what I mean. You think, "as soon as I'm done with this (whatever you are doing) I must take out the garbage, or the truck will come before I can get the stuff out and we'll be stuck with stinky stuff for a week."

The next thing you know, the truck has come and gone and you're still doing whatever is was you were doing, totally oblivious to the needs of hauling garbage. After a while you do remember the garbage and of course it's too late.

Remembering or not and forgetting or not brings me to the saga of the lost, misplaced, and forgotten ballots of our on-going US Senate race. As of this writing the Canvassing Board is still hard at work trying to figure out who won. We've heard of the ballots forgotten in the trunk of someone's car, the ballots lost behind a file cabinet, the ballots jammed in a scanning machine, taken out and then counted twice, or maybe not counted at all. Now there are ballots missing someplace in the bowels of a building in Minneapolis. Then there are the thousands of ballots being disputed by the surrogates for Mr. Coleman and Mr. Franken.

Until the hanging chad party in Florida in the 2000 Presidential election, I always assumed that ballots were counted, that the tallies reported were for the most part accurate, and the winner was the winner. Sure, some dead people in Chicago may have voted for John Kennedy in 1960, but even without their help he would have won. Now I find that people with very good intentions can't count, or can't keep the ballots straight, or can't properly feed them through the voting machines. I don't mean to pick on the folks who serve as election judges. But why are ballots mishandled? Why are ballots misplaced or lost? Isn't there a protocol to be followed that assures voters that our sacred right is being handled properly? One would think so.

And, how about those folks who can't follow instructions on how to fill out a ballot so that their vote will be properly and accurately recorded; or the folks who don't follow instructions. Should their ballots count if they didn't fill in the little oval, but instead put .....
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An Invitation to Democracy

Fri, Dec 5th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It's practically an American sport to criticize our elected officials. I probably did my share of thoughtless criticism, too, until I took a job "moonlighting" as a reporter and started regularly attending my local school board and city council meet ..... 
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Corporate Welfare in the Medicare Program

Fri, Dec 5th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

How would you like to have a health care insurance plan that allows you to help pay for your neighbors' healthcare insurance plans? That includes neighbors who have six figure incomes. Welcome to the world of Congressmen who succumb to the blandishm ..... 
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A Time to be Thrifty

Fri, Nov 28th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Because I was born in southwest Iowa in the very middle of the Great Depression, and have never been even moderately wealthy, some of my favorite places to shop are the Salvation Army stores, Saver's, Saint Vincent DePaul, and the Depot. Having grow ..... 
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Meet me in the poetry section

Fri, Nov 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

I must confess, I was a nerdy little kid. I didn't much like other kids; they always wanted to play outside, go to the park, and organize teams and clubs. My family forced me to answer the door when kids came to play, and made me go outside at least ..... 
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Political ruminations on Southeast Minnesota agriculture

Fri, Nov 14th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As American families sit down at the supper table these next few weeks and chew over the collective political decisions we made in the voting booth this year, can we also take a moment to ruminate on agriculture?

It's a good time to realize ..... 
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Change is more than a word

Fri, Nov 14th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It's over. The long, long, long campaign for the Presidency is behind us. The run for the top spot seemed to be a lifetime in length. Now we can relax. Or, can we?

The lightness of spirit many felt immediately after the election has been te ..... 
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A view from the other side

Fri, Nov 14th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Over most of my adult life, I have been a faithful follower of politics with my own strong held opinions. I've grumbled at times in disgust with some policy decisions and/or personal actions of people serving in public office at various levels.
< ..... 
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McCain can show how bipartisanship works

Fri, Nov 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The election is now one for the history books. The pundits and party faithful of both sides are busy analyzing and rationalizing the results.

McCain was correct during the campaign - he is not George W. Bush. No matter who was elected chang ..... 
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