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Columnists

Are mask mandates working?

Joe Biden has been tweeting about his plan to implement a 100-day national mask mandate. A largely symbolic statement given the vast majority of Americans are already wearing masks and have been doing so for many months now, if not the duration of the pandemic. Today, 38 states plus D.C. and ...

Coronavirus for Dummies

We are now almost one year from the dark days when the coronavirus first hit these shores. Why are the politicians’ making the same policy mistakes today that they made nine months ago? The 300,000+ deaths are an act of nature, but the virus’s death and despair have been compounded by acts ...

The movie you want versus the movie you have

It is the job of the film critic to sniff at new movies. And so, it was expected that reviewers would drag “Wonder Woman 1984” onto the operating table. With other movies at other times, I might welcome their take on cinematography, character development and narrative drive. But with the ...

Another Stimulus — better late than never

According to a recent study by the Aspen Institute, up to 40 million Americans faced eviction towards the end of this year, no doubt due to the financial impact of COVID-19. As federal resources for unemployment and additional stimulus came to a complete halt, millions of Americans and small ...

Little nuggets from Empty Nest

Last winter we had to go to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl because the Fox Network and the satellite provider were in a contract dispute. Grr. As it turned out, we enjoyed the little Super Bowl party at the friend’s house, and the Chiefs won, Mahomes performing his magic, so no ...

Five things that didn’t totally suck in 2020

During a New Year’s Eve gathering last year, my friends and I merrily shredded a 2019 calendar and said good riddance. We had every reason to expect that 2020 would be a time of renewal for ourselves and our country. This year, if we get together for New Year’s, it will likely be via a ...

2020: The year ‘expert’ credibility died

If there were ever a time to “question authority,” as the old counterculture slogan of the 1960s urged, the authoritarian age of COVID-19 is that time. 2020 will go down in American history as the year that public health “experts” got everything wrong. It’s not just that their ...

The U.S. should not hold back half of its vaccine doses — distribute them now

The Trump administration could deliver a coronavirus vaccine to all at-risk health-care workers in the United States and everyone over 75 in December. But the Health and Human Services Department is only shipping out 45 percent of the available vaccine — a decision that will leave about 22 ...

Entrepreneurship is America’s key to prosperity

“What opportunities will the fresh winds of tomorrow bring?” wonders the entrepreneur — contemplating, day-in and day-out what the future has in store. Not much credit typically goes to the business owner, the inventor, the innovator. Our lives wouldn’t be the same without the valiant ...

Serving the under served with education and training

It can be easy to forget the struggles of people who need a hand up to achieve their next success. Life is exponentially more difficult when you struggle to learn the language, or need to achieve a degree. Doors are closed and opportunities are limited. That’s where the Iowa Valley Education ...

Ringing in the new year safely

We all want to put 2020 behind us. For many of us, we look forward to what 2021 has in store. Let us remain vigilant against COVID. Recommendations continue in regards to social distancing, wearing masks, sanitization and limiting person-to-person contact with others. While it may not be ...

Biden: Identity politics and no apologies

I dentity politics seems to be sticking around. Important election results seemed to refute the notion that Americans vote for their ethnic or racial identity. Hispanic voters trended significantly toward the supposedly anti-Hispanic Donald Trump, and Californians, while voting 63 percent for ...

A Christmas like no other

So, this is Christmas. No travel, and no family or friends outside our secure little bubbles. If we are to take care of one another, this is what we must do, one household at a time. Many packages are arriving later than hoped, and social media is filling with laments from parents worrying ...

Trump’s lies about immigrants should end with his presidency

As Donald Trump leaves office, it’s worth remembering how he first launched his campaign: by calling immigrants “murderers” and “rapists.” This was outrageous then. And there’s more evidence now that it was, of course, false. A new study finds that “undocumented immigrants ...

Will Joe Biden have a ‘Catholic problem’?

Four years ago, just prior to the November election, I wrote an article titled “Hillary Should Have a ‘Catholic Problem.’” I started by citing numerous articles in the national press that proclaimed Donald Trump was having difficulty winning over Catholics — a key voting bloc in any ...

There is no debate to be had on vaccination

I’m not a scientist. I’m not an infectious disease expert, let alone one of those who led the fight against AIDS. So I have to depend on experts. And luckily for me, there is no debate among experts on the subject of vaccinations. I know I will get furious emails, but they won’t be from ...

Cold War approach won’t work with China

It’s easy to miss, given how polarized our politics are, but there is a growing consensus around a very big issue: China. Foreign policy experts, military leaders and politicians across the ideological spectrum all tend to agree that a new era of confrontation with China has begun. Many on ...

Continuing education during COVID-19

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted childhood education. In many countries, kids have physically returned to school. In others, schools were never closed. Yet in the United States, many public schools have been closed since March, yielding disastrous results for millions ...

Book by L. Kephart Nash is a smash

At 83, L. Kephart Nash (Linda Nash), of Ft. Madison, has written her first book and it’s a smash! Every once-in-a-while a writer comes along who stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is maybe one out of 10,000 writers or wannabe writers. Such is 83-year-old L. Kephart-Nash, better ...

Electoral College vote should silence Trump, but it won’t

President-elect Joe Biden coupled his clear Electoral College victory Monday with a firm rebuke of the defeated Donald Trump’s petulant resistance to the transfer of power. It was Biden’s first overt chastisement of the lame-duck president since the election. Up until his address ...