Columns

what's inside

By Shane Goodman Publisher/Editor


The circle continues

When solutions are created, often times more problems arise. And the circle continues. Just a few decades ago, discussion of the technology we use today was something only in Dick Tracy comics. But as people of all ages use computers more, play video games and text as means of doing business and recreating, injuries are following. Are these pains over exaggerated? Or are these real injuries that are a result of repetitive motions? And is there a remedy? Reporter Matt Miller interviews those who are treating the pain and the players in this week’s cover story.

While we are on the subject, Matthew Scott Hunter critiques “Assassin’s Creed II” in our “Sore Thumbs” video review this week. And Laura Flaugher reviews the book “The Street of a Thousand Blossoms.”

Walt Shotwell asks if Iowa is headed back to the death penalty in our guest commentary, while Doug Burns says Marco Rubio is the Republican to watch in “Political Mercury.”

Matt Miller tells us about big man Earl Barron of the Iowa Energy in “Locker Room,” and Michael Swanger offers details of the 2009 Crossroads Entertainment & Art Experience in “Scene Scribe.”

Jim Duncan tells us why 2009 is the year of the Caribbean dance club in “Food Dude” while Jared Curtis takes us to Bondurant at The Wooden Nickel in “Belly Up.”

You will find all this and much more. Thanks for reading. CV

 

PoliticalMercury

By Douglas Burns

To hell with Tiger and Gov. Sanford, America needs more single public figures
The South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford cheating episode, full of stature-sucking and biography-diminishing details, such as the soft-porn e-mails to a purported South American lover and his ridiculous disappearance to Argentina over, of all times, Father’s Day weekend, provides great evidence of much-needed changes in the way we evaluate our politicians.

Enough with politics as Christmas-card photos.

As reports of Tiger Woods’ alleged roaring libido, err “transgressions,” consumed the tabs and snickered through tweets and e-mails across a world of people seemingly more interested in who is having sex than having it themselves, the Sanford matter emerged again as lawmakers in South Carolina voted against impeachment, and his wife, Jenny, filed for divorce.

Perhaps the GOP should rethink its position on gay marriage as the Republican presidential field, which had included U.S. Sen. John Ensign of Nevada (whom I drove to Sioux City to interview before his scandal broke) and Sanford, is quickly running out of married heterosexual men who can stay faithful.

Democrats have their bird dogs, too.

Hairdo narcissist John Edwards, who ended up being the cliche John Grisham-novel lawyer he resembled outside the paperback pulp for two campaign cycles in Iowa, is another recent high-profile casualty in a parade of family values politicians.

The parties may have better luck with monogamy from gay couples.

Either that or go with unmarried people.

Some of the more effective political figures in our history have been single.

One of the top legislators this nation has seen was the late Speaker of the U.S. House Sam Rayburn of Texas, a man who served in that position for 17 years during World War II and after.

He was a bachelor who could be found smoking tobacco, drinking moderately and reading Westerns when he wasn’t shepherding through legislation or advising presidents. But he was always on the clock. If a reporter found him in an airport, Rayburn no doubt would have been preparing a meeting with John Kennedy or a strategy to bring southern and northern Democrats together — not an explanation for why he was in Buenos Aries with a paramour instead of hiking the Appalachian Trial, as Sanford’s staff had first advanced.

Sam Rayburn’s lifestyle sure wasn’t the fluffy stuff of the family-centered television commercials Sanford aired. But Rayburn’s work, his 48-year career in Congress and his commitment to the nation made him a legend. The most prestigious House Office Building in Washington, D.C. is named after him, and in 1961 he was the only speaker in history to earn a standing ovation.

“He was 30 when first elected to Congress in 1912,” The New York Times obituary of Rayburn reads. “In 1927, Mr. Rayburn married Matze Jones of Valley View, Tex. They separated almost immediately and the marriage was dissolved a year later. Mr. Rayburn subsequently lived a bachelor’s life but, contrary to some reports, it was not a lonely one. A moderate drinker, he enjoyed parties and accepted many invitations, particularly if the event was to be a small dinner where politics would be the main conversational topic.
“It was an almost daily ritual for him to ‘visit with’ a few close friends, as he put it, in a hideaway that he maintained on the ground floor of the Capitol.”

Rayburn’s integrity was exemplary. He never took campaign money from lobbyists. He viewed the people of his district and his valued colleagues as his “family.”

And the nation is better for him.

Rayburn should surely get consideration over many of the current cast of “family men” running for offices.

 

Transgressions
Political Mercury is not pleased with the fact that Tiger Woods Golf 2010 on Playstation 3 or Xbox has not incorporated an element allowing gamers to have virtual “transgressions” with socialites or pancake waitresses after a round of golf. The video games are supposed to be routinely updated online with realistic conditions. CV

 

Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who writes for The Carroll Daily Times Herald and offers columns for Cityview

 



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