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Ben Franklin and the opinions of men


Fri, Mar 3rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Sometimes we print things people don’t like to read. I guess that’s the nature of a newspaper.

Sometimes people don’t like what I write; at other times, they don’t like what others write that we print.

And as the point man for the Journal, I am the one who hears about it. That is as it should be.

One reader took umbrage with an ad we published last week that advocated impeaching Bush.

He couldn’t believe we would print such a thing.

I couldn’t figure out why we wouldn’t.

Obviously the ad represented an opinion, perhaps a narrow one, that a person or group of persons wanted to express. I could see nothing about the content of the ad that did not have a basis in fact.

Many conservatives and liberals alike are uneasy about the administration’s wiretapping activity as well as the president’s support for a Dubai company’s takeover of six U.S. ports. Whether this constitutes high treason or is an impeachable offense is up for debate. The advertisers in this case would like you to believe so.

Whenever I call my attorney to ask him to preview an ad or to look up statutes governing disclosure, it usually means that I have been presented with a dilemma: an advertisement that I know will be controversial, one that I know I will probably print, and one that I will hear about, most likely not in a favorable way. Most often, people that agree with an opinion don’t let you know about it.

We do get feedback on the articles and opinions that appear in the Journal, both favorable and unfavorable. Most of them make it into print as letters to the editor; personal attacks do not.

Perhaps we can all learn something about the opinions of men from one of our great patriots, Benjamin Franklin.

In 1731, Franklin wrote an Apology for Printers which appeared in an issue of his Pennsylvania Gazette in response to criticism that he was disrespectful toward religion and the clergy when he published a poster about a shipping meeting that said that no “Sea-Hens” and “Black Gowns” [clergy] would be permitted. Franklin, who was paid five shillings for the job, wrote:

Being frequently censur’d and condemn’d by different Persons for printing Things which they say ought not be printed, I have sometimes thought it might be necessa .....
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Legislative survey doesn’t inspire confidence

Fri, Feb 24th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

In today’s mail I received a 2006 Legislative Survey from Representative Greg Davids who says he appreciates my opinion. Let’s hope he appreciates this.

1.Would you support an effort to use a portion of Minnesota’s budget surplu ..... 
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A sustainable environment is not optional

Fri, Feb 17th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A sustainable environmental policy is not optional. By definition if it is not sustainable, the earth as we have known it and the human race cannot live with it long term. To assure the survival of our children it is imperative that we realize our pl ..... 
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On second thought...

Fri, Feb 17th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

That was Minnesota’s own Senator Norm Coleman watching the Administration’s back in Senate hearings two weeks ago when he went after former FEMA head Michael Brown of “you’re doing a heck of a job Brownie” fame.

Brown testified ..... 
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Desperately seeking new leaders

Fri, Feb 3rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Soft spoken, sometimes shy Sagittarius, a compassionate Midwestern middle-aged white male with brown hair and blue eyes, reasonably tall 6’ 1”, 180 pounds (okay 190) country boy with city sophistication, a professional family man who likes travel and ..... 
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Eminent domain reform attracts wide range of legislative support

Fri, Jan 27th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Eminent domain has risen to the top of hot political issues being discussed since the Kelo vs. New London decision in 2005. There is much confusion surrounding this issue, and I would like to try to clear the air.

The Kelo vs. N ..... 
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Wandering alone in the communication desert

Fri, Jan 27th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

I have a personal beef with my telephone company, one I presume others in Preston Township might share.

For the past couple of years I have been asking CenturyTel when they will be providing high speed internet services to my r ..... 
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The Wrath of God

Fri, Jan 20th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

“I don’t care what people are saying uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day,” New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin said in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech on Tuesday. “This city will be a majority African-American c ..... 
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The oldest profession

Fri, Jan 6th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

If we were in Washington, D.C. right now, we could probably hear the swoosh sounds of emails being deleted and the brrrr of faxes and other correspondence being shredded.

Those fat cats we elected are running for cover with the ..... 
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