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Columnists

Don’t trash the Affordable Care Act — expand it

Like everyone else with a pre-existing medical condition, I’ve been holding my breath, anxious about the latest attempt to undo the life-saving provisions of the Affordable Care Act. This time, it’s yet another Republican lawsuit that’s gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ...

Bring back the Constitution

Health care workers and first responders are the heroes of the pandemic, but right behind them are the bold business owners defying dictatorial governors such as California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo. Like the owners of Mac’s Public House on Staten Island, who refuse to be ...

It is time to be kind

November 13 was World Kindness Day, a day established in 1998 to promote kindness throughout the world. What a great idea! It is a day dedicated to being kind, promoting kindness, and reflecting on ways kindness can bind and bring people together. What if we thought about kindness more ...

I am not disappointed in Donald Trump

For there to be disappointment at childish behavior presumes an expectation of adult behavior. No such expectation exists where Trump is concerned. So his weeks of sulking and floating bizarre conspiracy theories since he lost the election, while embarrassing in the extreme, doesn’t really ...

Joe Biden’s ‘return to normalcy’ is going to be terrible

After spending two years avoiding serious questions about his policy preferences, his team and his prospective presidency, we now know what Joe Biden intends to do should the Electoral College, as expected, vote for him in December: He’ll reopen the swamp for business. The media spent four ...

Iowans must fight again for state support of mental health

Two years ago, Iowa had a breakthrough. After decades of dedicated but frustrating work by many Iowans, policymakers finally made progress on addressing urgent needs for mental health services. But they didn’t finish the job. Now, COVID-19 has heightened the need for these services while ...

Bible in 90 days

It’s just 12 pages a day for 90 days. Anyone can read 12 pages a day, can’t they? (It’s quite a commitment, but well worth it.) The Bible in 90 Days to change your life. Ginnie and I jumped at the opportunity (or challenge) through church to participate in the program where we read ...

Hands off Operation Warp Speed

Joe Biden is fearmongering that “more people may die” because the Trump administration hasn’t begun transitioning oversight over the COVID-19 vaccines to the Biden team. “There was a plan for 300 million doses to be available at the end of the year. What they’re reporting now is 20 to ...

This Thanksgiving recipe doesn’t depend on food or family

With all of the frustrations, the tragedies and the maddening political chaos that have been with us this year, I have the perfect recipe for our Thanksgiving celebrations. No, it is not a new take on green bean casserole. It’s not some newfangled way to ease the strain on our belts after a ...

It’s the temperament talking — Part 2

In the last article, we explored understanding different temperament classifications. Did parents discover a difference between the child’s temperament and theirs? Let’s continue the discussion on temperament and explore the nine differing traits. Activity Level: The level of how ...

As the students teach

It’s not my habit to write about readers’ hate mail, which is as much a part of daily life as toothbrushing, and just as boring. Hate mail comes with a columnist’s job. After 18 years of doing this, I know that nothing riles a certain percentage of readers — universally right-wing and ...

The first Thanksgiving?

Let’s talk about turkey! No, not the Butterball now pouting in the Oval Office. I’m talking about the real thing — the big bird, 46 million of which Americans will devour on Thanksgiving. It was the Aztecs who first domesticated the gallopavo, but leave it to the Spanish ...

Why forgiving student debt is a bad idea

One good rule of thumb is to judge parties and politicians by their priorities. Politicians often pretend to be for every good thing under the sun, so the best way to judge them is to look at which things they actually work to achieve or spend political capital on. This will tell you not only ...

Afghanistan and Iraq: When will we ever learn?

Missing in any debate about whether it is wise for the United States to reduce our troop numbers in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as the Trump administration has ordered, down to 2,500 Americans in each country (a number, let it be noted, that is too few to fight and too many to die), is the ...

Hope in dark times

Last week, on my syndicated radio program, I told my listeners that even though there was probably fraud in the election, it would not be enough to overcome the margin of Joe Biden’s victory. Joe Biden is President-elect. After telling my listeners Biden would be President-elect, I said ...

Do diet sodas cause weight gain?

Dear Dietitian, I am on a diet and I usually drink one or two diet sodas a day. A coworker insists that diet sodas cause weight gain instead of weight loss. Is this true? Suzanne Dear Suzanne, Artificial sweeteners, or nonnutritive sweeteners, made a debut with saccharin in 1884 in ...

How to bring back Marshalltown’s tree canopy

Between 2018 tornado and the 2020 derecho, the community has lost a number of trees in public areas, like the terrace area or parks and on private property. While there are not any programs that help with tree removal on private property, the city has FEMA Public Assistance to help with public ...

Greed is only greed

Greed is good. That, you may recall, was the mantra of corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film, “Wall Street.” It came to symbolize the rapacious gluttony of that era - and its rejection of the dewy-eyed idealism of the 1960s. Well, 1987 was a long time ago, but Gekko’s ...

We need a safety net for parents

This week my students turned in papers relating news articles to what they learned in class about parenting. Every single student’s paper is about how the pandemic is exacerbating pre-existing inequalities. I’m a teaching assistant in a family sociology course, and inequality is one of the ...

I hate those mieces to pieces!

I was welding away on the last sculpture for my art show in Fort Madison. In fact, I had just completed the last weld, when my MIG wire welder started smoking and flames shot out of the front. I stopped welding and fortunately the flames andt smoke subsided. What in tarnation?! I opened the ...