Columnists

Broadening your perspective

I was blessed to grow up in rural Iowa as a youth. Unfortunately, I did not fully appreciate how lucky I was. I remember reading about far off exotic places and wanted to travel and live in different countries and experience different cultures. After all, in my view, not much was happening in ...

‘America First’ is not a threat but a promise

“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first,” Donald Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. As has been his habit, he added to the prepared text the word “only” and employed the rhetorical device of repetition by repeating “America first.” The ...

Executing the mission statement

Provide Strategic Leadership and Facilitate Collaboration: the Mission Statement of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership (MRP). Those two services are assets MRP provides the entire community and region while working to help and be a connector for area businesses, organizations, and ...

What Jim has learned today

If one who is new to rural Iowa attends a potluck and brings a salmon fillet baked in a honey, walnut and apple glazing and a side dish of a chick pea and chicken biriyani, one will hear it whispered, “I don’t think this is pork.” I have learned we do not love a thing because it is ...

The lonely death of Naika Venant

A few thoughts on the lonely death of Naika Venant. As you may have heard, Naika, a Miami teenager, hanged herself in the dark hours of a Sunday morning. She did this live on Facebook. We’ll likely never know why she chose to do it that way. Perhaps she felt invisible. Perhaps she wanted to ...

Twenty-First Century Slavery

“It is my property.” “It is not human.” “It is not even three-fifths of a person.” “It is not a person.” “I can do with my property whatever I want.” “You have no legal right to control my property.” “Science says it is not an intelligent being.” “It cannot survive ...

Reduce fear and hate

Franklin Graham has said that Jesus’ teaching about welcoming strangers had nothing to do with refugees. President Trump obviously agrees with him. I know better. In 1974, I worked with my church to host a family of Thai Dam refugees.The family had originally escaped Communist rebels in ...

Run from that guy

Dear Dave, My husband was recently laid off, and he has $229,000 in a 401(k). He has been told that he should roll it into a hybrid annuity. Is this a good idea? — Durnae Dear Durnae, Absolutely not! It sounds to me like he’s been talking to an insurance agent instead of an ...

What Trump’s Wall Says to the World

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote poet Robert Frost in the opening line of “Mending Walls.” And on the American left there is something like revulsion at the idea of the “beautiful wall” President Trump intends to build along the 1,900-mile border between the ...

It’s the White House Calling

In this era of tweets and texts, the White House of President Donald Trump, ever respectful of tradition, is bringing back the personal phone call. For example, Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, by telephone told The New York Times’ Michael Grynbaum that his paper and ...

Easy and oh so tasty

Sometimes easy is best and today I have three easy and tasty recipes. Corn Salad 2 cans corn, drained 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 1 purple onion, chopped 1 cucumber, chopped Sauce: 1/2 c. sour cream 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise 2 Tbsp. wine vinegar 1/2 tsp. ...

Undeniably inspirational

It’s hard to believe that we are at the halfway point of our year-long series saluting veterans, “In service to our country ...” Every Thursday, we feature a new profile of someone from the area whose service we are indebted to. The stories are just a small glimpse into the lives of ...

A roiling Trump lifts all dolts, and dots

Has your celebrity career stalled as of the last 20 years? Do you feel a need to reinject yourself into the American cultural consciousness without bothering to create something new or original? Do you want all the benefits of relevance without any of the effort? Well, have we got a president ...

Hey, do you remember that time … ?

Most humans’ brains are Swiss army knives — filled with diverse, useful tools to help with everyday life. Conversely, mine is an Etch A Sketch — able to do a single thing poorly and any information imprinted on it is easily erasable. It’s cruel irony that I can’t recall when my ...

Border war escalates with Mexico

This week, President Trump reaffirmed his plan to construct a physical wall along the Mexican border and proposed using a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports to pay for it. These statements caused Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel an upcoming visit to the United States, where the ...

Are Democrats right about Trump?

Is it possible — perhaps even likely — that terrified liberals and Democrats are right about President Donald Trump? Yes. I want to be fair here. It’s quite possible they are right. Trump’s politics and policies frighten them, but also his personality, even his facial ...

Hitting our heads against a border wall

Illegal immigration from Mexico is yesterday’s problem. Last year, more Mexicans left the United States than entered, according to the Pew Research Center. But if Donald Trump were to follow through on threats to ditch or decimate the North American Free Trade Agreement, illegal immigration ...

The Left’s anatomical politics demeans women

Last Saturday, in an attempt to demonstrate outrage at ... at ... well, at something, some three million people across the country, mostly women, participated in women’s marches. The scattershot platform for the march included public funding for contraception and abortion, equal pay, ...

Keeping tabs on power cords

Dear Heloise: Each new electronic comes with its own POWER/CHARGING CORD. I generally have them plugged into a power strip under my desk. To keep them separate and labeled, I take the plastic tabs from bagel and bread packages, label them and place them on the cords. The tabs rest on top of ...

The real cost of protectionism

WASHINGTON — When the president speaks of closed factories scattered like “tombstones” across America, has he noticed the shuttered stores in shopping centers, and entire malls reduced to rubble? He promises “protection” to prevent foreigners from “destroying” manufacturing jobs ...