Columnists

Yes, the press has much to answer for

Our states are anything but united. Our politics are indeed polarized — with too many of us Americans retreating into our own comfortable spaces, where we can associate only with those who agree with us. And yes, we of the press are anything but blameless for this situation. Take the simple ...

The dystopian election

Having just returned from a three-week trip to Asia, I feel as if I’ve landed in the middle of a dystopian nightmare. Some maniac is mailing pipe bombs to President Donald Trump’s enemies list: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, George Soros, John Brennan, Eric Holder and Robert De ...

My favorite time of the year: State swimming

Growing up as a swimmer in Marshalltown was quite the privilege. Not every town gets to have the best swimmers in the state come through for the biggest meet of the season. Since the Y started hosting the Iowa Girls High School State Swimming and Diving Meet in 2004, I’ve been involved with ...

Squash Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

There’s nothing like a bowl of homemade soup on a cold evening. The Squash Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup recipe freezes well if you have any leftovers. Squash Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup 2-1/2 c. (about 1-1/2 lbs.) butternut squash (I buy the pre-cut squash) 1 large sweet potato 3 ...

2018 midterms: He vs. she

Slowly but inevitably, the two major political parties have become the party of women and the party of men — guess which is which — so that the 2018 midterms are shaping up as a climactic battle in the war between the sexes. This is largely the Trump Effect — his attitude and remarks ...

A walk down memory lane … with Stevie, Aretha, Gladys…

Boy, this takes me back. That’s what I kept thinking the other night as I paged through a new coffee table book, “Soul R&B Funk: Photographs 1972-1982” by my friend and former colleague, Bruce W. Talamon. Another friend had sent it for my birthday -- thanks, Herschel -- and I opened ...

Mistakes of the past complicate the Khashoggi affair

The biggest mistake the Trump administration made in the Jamal Khashoggi case occurred while Khashoggi was still alive: letting Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, think he could get away with something so heinous -- and so heinously stupid. But the bell was rung, as it were, ...

Bucket List

“In case we die,” she said. “You’re not going to die, Mom,” I replied. “I’m sending you all our information — the will, access to the security box, directions to my secret stash of pretzels so mice don’t get them if we don’t come back — everything you will need.” Ad ...

Tips for having an amazing Halloween

Here are some helpful tips to prepare for a fun-filled Halloween. 1) Halloween can be frightening for young children. Prepare your little ghouls for the frights ahead by forcing them to watch terrifying movies and waking them up once every week with the sound of a chainsaw. 2) Wear a ...

Mother and daughter cancer free

Have you ever heard of both a mother and daughter having breast cancer at the same time in the same breast? It happened to Linda Pohren and Tammy Mumme of Mt. Pleasant. Linda’s husband, Jim, who is Tammy’s father, also died of lung cancer and complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. ...

Bubble Burst or Only a Correction?

Another massive crash in the stock market this week raised the stakes in two major debates among stock index traders. Why is the market tumbling? Will this decline later prove to be a buying opportunity or have we formed a major top? Some of the reasons posed to explain the down-turn include ...

Trump’s nuclear-treaty withdrawal sends a message to North Korea

In announcing his decision to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, President Trump cited Russia’s repeated violations and the fact that the treaty does not bind China, which is engaged in the world’s most ambitious ballistic missile development program. But ...

Five myths about the flu

Fall has arrived in Iowa, and so has the annual flu season. While flu — or influenza — is most serious for older Americans and people with certain chronic conditions, influenza can affect people of all ages and lead to hospitalizations, significant health complications and even death. As ...

How Democrats learned to stop worrying and love Federalism

In today’s polarized political environment, I’m often asked how I think America can come back together. My answer is pretty simple: we learn to leave each other alone. I didn’t like President Obama much; folks on the left don’t like President Trump. I wanted President Obama and ...

Trump flunks another foreign leadership test

Donald Trump’s tepid response to the absurd Saudi Arabian explanation that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in fistfight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul poses his toughest test yet to his claim of credible leadership on the world stage. Having rolled over for Russia’s Vladimir ...

So now it’s real explosive devices

What Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, CNN and George Soros have in common is that each looms large in the right wing’s pantheon of liberal demons. And each has been sent a pipe bomb. So much for Donald Trump’s fantasies of left-wing mobs fomenting ...

Invasion of the country snatchers

Is it more than coincidence that thousands of migrants from Central America are seeking to enter the United States illegally just two weeks before the midterm election? Who are these people? Who’s paying for their transportation, food and expenses? Why doesn’t the media find out? Is this ...

The media’s transgender ‘eradication’ panic

The New York Times located its newest, freshest outrage on the Trump administration in a Department of Health and Human Services memo that’s not new — it’s been circulating since last spring. Some insensitive bureaucrat argued that federal policy on gender should be based on “a ...

Co-teaching accommodates students with diverse needs

As our classrooms grow to accommodate students with more diverse needs, many of us have had to adapt to sharing our classrooms with another teacher. In my two years in Marshalltown, I have been fortunate to have had not just one, but four, co-teachers who have taught me so much about what it ...

Price gouging during a natural disaster

Thirteen states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia — have enacted laws to combat what is seen as price gouging in the wake of natural disasters. Price gouging is legally ...