Sunday, January 25, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted January 21, 2015in Guest Commentary

Straw Poll kept alive by money, press and religious right

Brace yourself: The Iowa Straw Poll, endorsed by the State GOP, will return this summer in its role as a quadrennial horror story. Given how the maligned Poll was brought back to life, perhaps Zombie Burgers will be catered in. The Iowa Straw Poll, which, even Republicans admit, gouges presidential

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Posted January 14, 2015in Guest Commentary

It’s the fear — not the proof — that’s in the pudding!

In time we’ll likely enjoy the orange pudding, a Christmas gift from one of our daughters. Or maybe, we can have it bronzed as a reminder of the terror-filled age we’ve inflicted upon ourselves — and keeping such pudding or fruitcake around for a long time can be a tradition.

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Posted December 10, 2014in Guest Commentary

Hawkeyes and Cyclones: Good losers, and should stick to it!

A time-honored maxim in business in particular and life in general is “Stick to what you do best” or “Stick to what you know best.” Both are variations on the need to stay focused, as in “Stick to your knitting.” That advice comes to mind as one surveys the Iowa

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Posted November 26, 2014in Guest Commentary

Des Moines: 37 years of change

It was just a place my car broke down on my way to Colorado. All the city had been to me was a name, the place where the paper I used to deliver came from. Close by my Quad-Cities home, but not as close as Iowa City. Bigger, more distant.

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Posted November 19, 2014in Guest Commentary

Tales of two atrocities: political ads and language

Tale I: Next to the biblical “In the beginning…,” the best-recalled opening line in literature likely is, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” from Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.” Given today’s “times,” if you believe the recent campaign ads, we might shorten

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Posted October 29, 2014in Guest Commentary

‘Safety’ trumps sanity in Ames-East fiasco

By now, just about everyone agrees that the Ames-Des Moines East high school football game should have been played Oct. 17 and not cancelled by Ames and the Iowa High School Athletic Association because some jerk was said to have threatened to maybe harm those who attended the game. The

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Posted October 08, 2014in Guest Commentary

The Branstad regime: most scandalous ever?

Given Iowa’s reputation for clean government, it once was of no particular notoriety for an office holder to rank among Iowa’s “most scandalous ever.” Some Illinois politicians would kill for a record that good! Time was when a scandal at the capitol meant a public employee overstayed a lunch break.

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Posted September 24, 2014in Guest Commentary

An in-kind response to campaign ads

Taking the low road, but with thesaurus in hand, here are some thoughts about political advertising these days, with the venting tempered by a thoughtful ending. Still, how many more campaign ads can we take without worrying about the end of civic and civil life? Enough already with political ads!

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Posted September 10, 2014in Guest Commentary

Real life in Iowa more scary than campaign ads

If you are distressed by political ads and the horror stories and lies about what candidates have done or threaten to do, maybe you should welcome such dismay as a diversion from what’s going on in real life. Here are five real horror stories — not the nonsense of political

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Posted August 20, 2014in Guest Commentary

Robin Williams, nonsensical news and supposed ‘Wake Up’ calls

Much of the TV coverage of the death of Robin Williams called to mind how awful the news can be when clueless reporters babble in their efforts to sound profound or knowledgeable. The stuff I suffered through reminded me of when the local folks mispronounce Nevada, Madrid or Louisa as

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Barmuda