"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Time to take a break from the political reality show


Fri, Jul 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Now that the presidential primary contests have ended, enthusiasm for the real Presidential race seems to have dissipated. At least it has for me.

Initially, both Democratic and Republicans primary races were filled with a special drama that was not seen in some time. There were many candidates in each party vying for delegates. Each candidate worked very hard at presenting their ideas to us the public, hoping we would vote for them.

The television news programs, especially the cable networks (MSNBC, CNN, Fox) attempted, in sometimes creative ways, to cover the stories of the candidates and the programs and issues they espoused. It was presidential primaries, all day, every day, 24/7. TV screens were filled with pundits, experts, analysts, demographers, cartographers, social scientists, reporters, and pollsters and Sunday mornings on ABC, CBS, or NBC took on the aura of either post-game (what happened last week) or pre-game (what must they do this week) analysis.

We were given the opportunity to e-mail questions to candidates, call them, or write to them. And, during some debates we were treated to "questions from viewers just like you" via YouTube. All of this became a new version of reality television. Each week or so there would be a new episode.

We were given an opportunity to watch the candidates as they tried to find their way out of the jungle or convince us and the other judges that they could really dance from their performances in town hall meetings, quasi-debates, and face to face interviews. We (or the people of the states in which the primaries were being held) would then be given a chance to vote them off the island. The winners and those in 2nd or 3rd place would move on to the next episode and the losers would disappear.

What we found out later of course, that as with the "real" reality TV, where things are manipulated for their entertainment value, the questions on YouTube or the ones being thrown at the candidates in the town hall meetings were not as spontaneous as the presenters would have us believe. The shows became more and more about TV ratings and less about substance.

Being voted off the island must have been a great disappointment for the losers. But losers they were. For some candidates it wasn't that their ideas were not good, it was lack of votes and lack of money. For some reason these people could not generate the energy in their campaigns necessary to garner a following .....
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FairTax Bill offers positive change

Fri, Jul 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Upon telling folks about the FairTax bill, they frequently say, "It'll never happen." This has been the common reaction to every big idea ever proposed in the history of man. If the FairTax plan is such a great idea, if it is much needed, then why w ..... 
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Let them eat cake

Fri, Jul 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In the late 50's when I went on leave from an active duty post in Virginia I brought home a young man who had never been more than about 50 miles inside tidewater on the east coast He was born, I think, in Massachusetts and grew up in New York State ..... 
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Strawberry Fields Forever

Thu, Jul 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The classes of 1968 will be meeting for 40 year reunions this summer. It would be a good time to be a caterer or a DJ with a great collection of classic rock, because there were a lot of us and we still eat and dance. We may well be seeing football ..... 
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Blame is not the solution to the oil problem

Fri, Jun 27th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It is human nature to assign blame when confronted with painful realities. That is the case with four dollar per gallon gasoline. President Bush blamed environmentalists and, of course, the Democrats. In a transparent pander to the oil companies he ..... 
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Gifts that really give

Fri, Jun 20th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Look around your house. Is yours, like mine, full of things you really don't need, or never use? How many of these things were gifts - gifts of love, perhaps - but things you could get rid of and not miss? It is high time that I weeded out. How abou ..... 
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Americans want things to be different

Fri, Jun 20th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The Presidential contest has begun. Not that there are "official" candidates, but we all know who they will be. Yet undecided of course, are both the Democratic and Republican nominees for Vice-President. Even though Election Day is months away, I s ..... 
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Shop 'til it feels better

Fri, Jun 6th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Archeologists and anthropologists have unearthed ancient civilizations and been able to determine the core values of their cultures from the stones and rubble left behind.  The Egyptians built pyramids and monuments to bury their kings and prin ..... 
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What do they really mean?

Fri, May 30th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Several days ago I had a conversation with a friend and professional colleague. We've known each other about 5 years and have enjoyed many interesting exchanges. Our topics this day ranged a bit and finally settled on the economy, specifically, the ..... 
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