Columnists

ASK AUGUSTINE

Exodus 14:21-29 tells of the parting of the Red Sea (or sea of reeds) and the “pillar of fire and cloud” as if they were miracles. I explain all this as natural events such as very high winds parting the sea, and a volcano causing the pillar of fire and cloud. So if I am correct, doesn’t ...

Future Files

On Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow Jones had its biggest crash, losing 508 points (23 percent), finishing that dreadful day near 1,739 points. 30 years later, the market has gone up more than tenfold, reaching a new record high on Friday over 23,200. For many investors, October is an ominous month, as ...

What TO Say

Last week, our son came home off the school bus completely distraught over something that was said on the bus. It took some time to him calm down. While it doesn’t matter who or what was said, the truth is he had real feelings, real worries and a few tears. As parents, we have all had those ...

The Trump-McConnell detente

That was some chaotic scene in the White House Rose Garden Monday. After lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the president assured combative reporters and the country that the two are getting along just fine, in spite of the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace ...

Liberal Billionaires Are Never Villains

Charles Pierce, the resident radical-left political pundit at Esquire magazine — that intellectual powerhouse best known for its Sexiest Woman Alive award — is lamenting the role of Steve Bannon in electing President Trump, as well as Trump financial backers “Robert and Rebekah Mercer, ...

The evolution of Iowa Valley Continuing Education

For years, Iowa Valley Continuing Education (IVCE) was the place to go for personal enrichment classes such as dance and yoga. At one point in history we were the only game in town! Now, you don’t even need to leave your home for these conveniences. In fact, you can live-stream this type of ...

This Dark Legacy of Harvey Weinstein Is Far From Over

Here we are again, America, forced to face ourselves and wincing at our reflection. We now know, through reporting by The New York Times and The New Yorker, that Harvey Weinstein — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and a big-time Democratic donor — bullied, demeaned and sexually ...

Today’s Turn-of-the-Century Problems

Is America in a new Gilded Age? That’s the contention of Republican political consultant Bruce Mehlman, and in a series of 35 slides, he makes a strong case. In many ways, problems facing America today resemble those facing what we still call “turn-of-the-century” America, the 1890s to ...

Let Them Leave

The United States was born when the Founding Fathers seceded from England. So why do so many people now see secession as a terrible thing? Recently, people in Catalonia voted to break away from Spain — not to declare war on Spain or refuse to trade with Spain, just to control their own ...

Democrats need to move left

I’ve been struggling with this question for a month. It’s been that long since a Democratic state legislator rose during the Q&A after a speech and asked me a deceptively simple thing: What should Democrats do now? What should their message be? I had no idea how to answer that, nor ...

A Cultural Cold War Gets Warmer

This past week, in an update to its style guide, the Associated Press decided to declare the transgender debate settled, despite a growing body of scientific research showing it really is a mental issue. The AP will now reject such phrases as “gender transitioning” and go with “gender ...

An Important New Step for Religious Freedom

Arguing for protection of religious freedom, the Trump administration has opened the door for employers to withdraw from the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring them to provide birth control coverage at no cost to employees. Under new rules issued by Department of Health and Human Services, ...

Vacation home for rent?

Dear Dave, What is your opinion of buying a vacation home, then renting it out when you’re not there? — J.P. Dear J.P., I see nothing wrong with it, as long as you’re buying with cash and you’re also debt-free. A vacation home is a wonderful “extra” as you start building ...

Is Trump the Heir to Reagan?

Three decades ago, as communications director in the White House, I set up an interview for Bill Rusher of National Review. Among his first questions to President Reagan was to ask him to assess the political importance of Barry Goldwater. Said Reagan, “I guess you could call him the John ...

Who Will Not Be the 2020 Presidential Nominee

In 1963, the legendary Russell Baker, writing in The New York Times, explained how we in the press, years before the nation’s next presidential campaign, are miraculously able to agree upon who qualify — and, perhaps more importantly, who do not qualify — as plausible White House ...

Our Broken Moral Compasses

As George Orwell said, ‘’some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.’’ Many stupid ideas originate with academics on college campuses. If they remained there and didn’t infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment, much in the way a circus is. ...

Taste of Central Iowa

The first two recipes are fairly easy so that will give you time to make the Pumpkin Torte. Fried Apples 1/4 c. butter 6 tart apples - sliced 1 tsp. lemon juice 1/4 c. brown sugar 1/8 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 dash nutmeg In a large skillet, melt butter. Place apples ...

Random Thoughts

The Gallery Garden is a great addition to downtown Marshalltown and highlights the revitalization of an area along East Main Street. The recent unveiling of the garden showcases a transformation of what was once “a pile of rubble after an arsonist-induced fire collapsed a three-story ...

In my unprofessional opinion

Ilearned that in 1964 an addition was made to the text of the American Psychiatric Association's Principles of Medical Ethics … section 7 … known as the Goldwater rule. This rule was instituted after “Fact” magazine asked psychiatrists to determine whether presidential candidate Barry ...

This is the one to rule them all

Welcome to the One Towel For Everything Club (OTFEC). We begin, as always, with the OTFE creed. [chanting] “You only really need one towel for everything. Why? Because everything you dry off is clean. This just makes sense.” Let’s take roll call. Judging by the faces I see, we’re ...