Columnists

Future Files

Cattle drive lower Beef prices ground to a new low this week as investors bailed out of the cattle market. Last month, buyers had been making bets on rising prices on hopes of rising demand, but they have largely been disappointed by large supplies and falling prices, which have lost almost ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

Next Wednesday on Dec. 13 my Scandinavian neighbors, as is their annual custom, will celebrate Santa Lucia Day. Was Santa Lucia a real person? Ever since the mid 18th century the Feast of Santa Lucia has been celebrated all over Sweden and Norway on Dec. 13. Yet, no one knows for sure why this ...

Taste of Central Iowa

If you’re having overnight guests during the holidays, the Blueberry Cheese Rolls will be a nice treat. And can you really have too many cookies and candies during the holidays? Blueberry Cheese Rolls 1 pkg. (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened 2 ...

Be cautious with a pet gift

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about gifting an animal for Christmas. — Heloise “Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers to think twice about giving an animal, such as a dog or cat, as a Christmas gift. A pet should be given ONLY if the recipient has requested a ...

Fiscal Responsibility or Lower Taxes?

This week, Republicans in the Senate finally passed their long-awaited tax reform plan. It lowers individual income tax rates across the board, although it does claw back some government revenue in the form of elimination of state and local tax deductions. It drops corporate tax rates as well. ...

The Republicans’ tax wager is worth the gamble

The Republicans’ tax legislation is built on economic projections that are as confidently as they are cheerfully made concerning the legislation’s shaping effect on the economy over the next 10 years. This claim to prescience must amaze alumni of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, which were ...

Nasty divorce invites ugly feelings at Christmastime

Q: I went through an ugly divorce earlier this year. It’s been very painful for both of my children as well. They’re angry and have been dreading the possibility that their dad might ask them at the last minute to spend some of their Christmas break with him. What can I do? Jim: Coming ...

Memo to Jared Kushner

President Trump’s son-in-law and designated Middle East peace envoy, Jared Kushner, told the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum last weekend that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is key to solving larger goals, such as stopping Iranian aggression and Islamic ...

Brian Ross Should Be Fired

When you’re the source for “breaking news” but it turns out to be “faking news,” you’re in trouble. ABC News “chief investigative correspondent” Brian Ross reported on retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller by claiming that Flynn is ...

Technology and PBL at Miller Middle School

The use of Chromebooks at Miller began during the spring of 2014 with the science classes. They were the pilot group of teachers and students who used the devices to dive into their learning. The following fall all students and teachers had the use of these devices in every class. Teachers ...

Our Caribbean Families Are Your Fellow Americans

About a month after Hurricane Maria, I stopped at a UPS store to ask if it was still offering a discounted rate to ship supplies to St. Croix. The young manager shook her head even as she answered yes. “We are, through the month. But I don’t understand why we’re helping them when we ...

‘Hurtling’ Republican Tax Bill Actually Serious

“The Republican tax bill hurtling through Congress is increasingly tilting the United States tax code to benefit wealthy Americans.” That’s the beginning of a 37-word first sentence in a stage-setting front-page story in The New York Times on the tax bill under consideration in the Senate ...

Trump’s an empty vessel with nothing to say

“The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.’ ...

George Washington’s Solution for Sexual Harassment

The avalanche of sexual harassment claims, with new ones pouring forth daily, leads me to the wisdom of George Washington’s observation in his farewell address in 1796: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable ...

Budgeting for holiday happiness

Dear Dave, My wife and I are trying to improve our finances by living on a budget and following your plan. We’re in the middle of Baby Step 2, so we’re working to pay off everything but our house using the debt snowball. We only bring home about $40,000 a year combined right now, so how ...

Little Rocket Man’s Risky Game

In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan. North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D.C. Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that ...

Understanding Republicans

It’s important for us to remember that even though President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, successfully lobbied the nation and eventually signed into law the historic civil rights laws a half-century ago, a higher percentage of congressional Republicans than congressional Democrats voted for ...

Black Self-Sabotage

The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful. Let’s look at a recent example of an educational outcome all too common. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored ...

‘And a little child shall lead them’

Editor’s note: At the request of our readers, we are pleased to reprint this column originally published on Dec. 7, 2014. Like many of us, I sometimes am overwhelmed with the holidays — the commercialism, the holiday parties, gifts, wrapping paper, ornaments, Christmas cards, light ...

… To that deluxe apartment in the brain

I learned the truth … and the truth is … deep inside of me …exist a racist. The racist has always been there. The racist will always be there. Everyone I know and love, associate with or admire, has a racist inside them. I was born with this racist inside of me and will die with this ...