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Columnists

Too much risk aversion is too risky

“This is not politics,” President Joe Biden said last week. “Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.” Give him credit for consistency: When Gov. Greg Abbott ended Texas’ mask mandate last month, Biden called it “Neanderthal thinking.” But maybe the Neanderthals got it right. ...

Need help getting food? There are resources

In the months since COVID struck, we have encountered many challenges. Iowans lost precious work hours or their job altogether. Kids were home with school closures and senior citizens became even more shut in. As the state started its economic recovery, a historic storm ripped across ...

Hello from Alaska

This week, I had an email exchange with a person who had every reason to be disappointed in me. Instead, he insisted his faith in me was steadfast, and I’m not the least bit embarrassed to tell you I wept in the way I’ve always imagined people do after Superman sweeps down for the rescue. ...

Basic truths: Can you cite the rainbow of veracity?

With Americans spending on average almost 2 ½ hours a day on social media, small wonder that few of us can define the various categories of truth. Sure, we know all about falsehoods — fake news, hoaxes, half-truths, exaggerations and so-called “white lies” — and can identify each ...

Readers to politicians: You’re not listening!

Afew weeks ago, this column focused on the need for citizens who are unhappy with the state of our political and justice systems to speak up about their concerns. Your opinion can’t be counted if you stay silent, I wrote. Or as one of my readers put it, “We now have the government that ...

History tells us wealth taxes don’t work

With Democrats now in control of the House, Senate and White House, many of the most significant policy battles of the next two years will be determined by intraparty fights within the Democratic Party’s various factions. Although not a moderate in any meaningful sense, President Joe Biden ...

Biden’s bid to remake America

If Joe Biden’s American Jobs Program is enacted, the federal government will take a great leap toward irreversible control of the destiny of the Republic. To finance this leap, U.S. corporations are to be forced to turn over to the government a far larger slice of their earnings. The ...

How to gain weight while lowering cholesterol

D ear Dietitian, I have pre-diabetes and was on a low-carb diet for a year. The good news is my A1C is 5.6, but the bad news is my cholesterol went from a healthy 165 to 199! My LDL is 125! I am 5’2” and weigh 105 pounds. I was a healthy 120 pounds a year ago, but I can’t put weight on! ...

What’s going on downtown?

The most common question I get asked is, “What’s going on in the downtown?” There is an abundance of exciting things in the works. All of these individual “things” add up to be impactful to the quality of life. There are projects that started in the fall that will finish this ...

Great news from Iowa Senate

We received good news about Iowa and the economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Iowa’s economy grew faster in the last few months of 2020 than many of our neighboring states at 6.3 percent. This, along with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, is great news as Iowa ...

Farmer, doctor, glass blower

Entering Iowa from the south on Highway 81 out of Missouri, the first road sign you see is not “Welcome to Iowa,” but “Welcome to Van Buren County.” How fitting. Of the many treasures, secrets and beauties of Van Buren County, west on County Road J-40 out of Keosauqua, is the farm and ...

House talks broadband, ethanol

This week was the second funnel week for the legislature. The second funnel is a self-imposed deadline by which policy bills from the Senate must be out of committee in the House and likewise House bills must be out of committee in the Senate to continue being considered. The exceptions to this ...

COVID-19 Vaccine: Part II

Hello, it’s me again, your freshly vaccinated columnist, here to tell you about Dose No. 2. It’s been 28 hours since I got my second jab of the Moderna vaccine, and I admit I was more nervous about this one. I’d heard stories. Moderna can pack a wallop the second time. Some people, ...

Work experience: Real-life successes for students with disabilities

Iowa schools, in partnership with business and industry, are providing students with skill development to meet the 21st Century and Iowa Future Ready work readiness. One of the ways schools meet the needs of students in the area of work is through a school or community job placement or what ...

The day I became anti-war

Most of us who were alive then remember where we were on the morning of the 9/11 attacks. As we mark the 18th anniversary of the Iraq War this March, I wonder how many also remember where we were that day. On 9/11, I was a Catholic school eighth grader. I’ll never forget my teacher, Mrs. ...

Cahill helps sort out vaccine situation

Sometimes during this legislative session, I have felt very underwhelmed at my ability to make or impact changes for the people of Iowa. I campaigned on finding common sense answers and reaching across the aisle. This has been harder than I expected on the divisive issues. But this week, I ...

April is Community College Month

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that not all college experiences are created equal. The past 12 months have brought this into sharper focus than ever before. While many colleges and universities grappled with their approach to the pandemic, my colleagues at Iowa Valley did what ...

A model of policing we too seldom get to see

We need to talk about what happened last week when police confronted a mentally disturbed man at a convenience store near Washington, D.C. They helped him. Yes, that was a bait-and-switch. But it wouldn’t have worked if you weren’t primed to expect something worse. Certainly, you’d be ...

Joe and Jill Biden work together to get America back on track

Amajority of voters cast their ballots for President Joe Biden in November, but they got a bonus in the process in his wife, Jill. She already has embarked as a full partner in selling them on his American Rescue Plan to lift the country out of the economic lockdown imposed by the coronavirus ...

Curt the movie critic

Ginnie and I have seen some great movies lately right in the comfort of our own home. Why risk catching or spreading something? I may never leave home again. “News of the World” with Tom Hanks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad Hanks’ movie. We watched “News of the World” ...