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Columnists

Where to eat in southeast Iowa

With the eating season upon us — Thanksgiving through Easter — here is where Ginnie and I like to eat in southeast Iowa (and beyond): The Filling Station in Yarmouth will fill you up with excellent food and the decor is quite interesting. The drive there is relaxing also, with flat fields ...

The trickle-down of bad social politics

This week, Paul Krugman of The New York Times posited a theory: Red states cause depression and suicide. In a column titled “America’s Red State Death Trip,” Krugman wrote: “In 1990, today’s red and blue states had almost the same life expectancy. Since then, however, life expectancy ...

Chickening out

It is a truism that a blackmailer is rarely satisfied. Once the payoffs start, there often is no end to them. The Chick-fil-A fast-food chain is about to learn this hard lesson, far too late, as many victims of blackmail and extortion generally do. For conservatives and evangelical ...

Who stole Donald Trump’s body?

Watching President Trump in conversations Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caused a moment of cognitive dissonance. Could this be our Donald Trump speaking? Setting aside whether one agreed with his remarks, the president was ...

I suspect my child has a disability – now what?

Often times, parents are the first to notice their child is struggling in school or at home, but are unsure what to do. Central Rivers AEA in conjunction with your local school district can help. If you suspect your child has a disability, and is attending a school, contacting the school is ...

Give thanks for America’s increasing fairness

Last week was Thanksgiving in a country whose warring political tribes are not much inclined to giving thanks. But any American with a reasonable historic perspective can easily find reasons to do so. For one thing, it’s clear that we are a much fairer nation than we were in the past. ...

Ben Franklin’s favorite bird — stuffed with high crimes and misdemeanors

The turkey, Benjamin Franklin felt, should be America’s national bird. Philadelphia’s dear old sage is making a comeback this holiday for other reasons as we baste the bird for Thanksgiving — or impeachment. You can’t turn a corner in the Capitol without hearing someone speak ...

5-minute motel

“You have five minutes after checking in to ask for a refund. Requests after five minutes will not be granted.” Blinking, I read the sign again as the motel cashier charged my credit card. Well, this doesn’t bode well. How many people had demanded a refund within the first 10 minutes of ...

What would it cost to buy the 2020 election?

Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York’s mayors since 1942, hosted billionaire Michael Bloomberg for three terms. The first of these terms began after Bloomberg, then the Republican candidate for mayor, spent an incredible $74 million to get himself elected in 2001. He spent, in ...

Giving thanks for a system that creates prosperity — and leftovers

Pope Francis has made a number of public statements decrying the waste of food around the globe. Most recently, he voiced his support for the objectives of the World Food Programme. He echoed the words of his predecessor, St. John Paul II, who called food waste “a paradox of abundance.” ...

Advice on IBS

Dear Dietitian, I was recently hospitalized overnight for irritable bowel syndrome. The abdominal pain was treated, then I was released the next morning. I was not given any information on what diet I should follow. Can you help? — Julie Dear Julie, A flare-up of irritable bowel syndrome ...

Time past for Democrats to get real on health care

In listening to the Democratic presidential debates, we might conclude that “Medicare for All” is a legislative possibility. It is not, and any presidential candidate with a scintilla of self-respect must admit that fact. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that just 30% of ...

Is Macron right? Is NATO, 70, brain dead?

A week from now, the 29 member states of “the most successful alliance in history” will meet to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Yet all is not well within NATO. Instead of a “summit,” the gathering, on the outskirts of London, has been cut to two days. Why the shortened ...

‘This is America. … And here, right matters’

In her diary entry for July 15, 1944, Anne Frank wrote words that would harrow and challenge generations not yet born: “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Less than a month later, “people” would discover Anne and seven other Jews hiding in a ...

Opponents of ‘unfettered capitalism’ are fighting a phantom

Enemies of unfettered capitalism, unite! For as long as I can remember, people on the left have complained about “unfettered capitalism.” Moderate liberals do it, and of course flat-out Marxists do it. In his new book, “A Bit of Everything: Power, People, Profits and Progressive ...

Hong Kong Support Sends Grains Tumbling

On Wednesday, President Trump signed legislation in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protestors, a move that is angering mainland China. The Chinese government is accusing the United States of meddling in its domestic affairs. While the legislation doesn’t make any firm commitments, ...

Democrats want to save the planet, not our babies

Students stormed the football field at halftime at the Harvard-Yale game and held things up for about an hour, demanding that the schools divest holdings in fossil fuels investments. The disruptors were cheered on by presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren while actress Alyssa Milano decried ...

‘Semi-Retired’

They, the omniscient “they,” say that when you retire the majority of your time is taken up with doctor visits and funerals. I’d like to slap a gag order on whomever said that. Back in my working-and-family-rearing days, when I heard that statement, I thought, “Nope, that won’t be ...

Is the Trump impeachment an exercise in futility?

Now that Democrats have built a very strong factual case to impeach President Trump on abuse of Congress and of presidential power, it seems certain the House of Representatives will vote to impeach him. But then, just as certainly, the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit him in a vote a ...

Buttigieg’s big mistake: Telling the truth

This week, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has risen to the top of the heap in early Democratic presidential primary polling in Iowa and New Hampshire, came under serious sustained attack for the first time in his candidacy. Buttigieg’s early candidacy gained credibility thanks ...