Friday, May 22, 2015

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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Posted August 06, 2014in Guest Commentary

Huge week for Des Moines hotels and restaurants

The National Junior Olympics came to town last week. Unless you were in a hotel lobby or somewhere around Drake Stadium, you might not have known. It didn’t register with the city’s daily newspaper. The reporters and editors didn’t even mention it in their “Area Events” listings. That’s a pity,

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Posted July 09, 2014in Guest Commentary

Nixon knew the public wants to be lied to; Branstad follows suit

Predictably, if Richard Nixon were around today he would endorse Gov. Terry Branstad’s bid for — yawn — yet another term in office. No news there. The reason for the endorsement might cause a stir, however. Nixon’s support would not be based on party loyalty. Rather Nixon would be impressed

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Posted July 02, 2014in Guest Commentary

A great day for America

Editor’s note: Last Friday, 64 men and women were sworn in as citizens at Jordan House in West Des Moines. Michael Gartner was asked to give some remarks. Here they are. Hello. I am honored to be here with Judge Pratt to welcome you as citizens of the United States.

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