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Columnists

Opening up America

The choice before us seems to be no choice at all: stay inside and have no human contact with another soul, keep businesses closed, denying a livelihood to millions, or step outside and risk death. Though I believe the risk is small when comparing the number of people who have been diagnosed ...

After three years, who are we now?

A week after Donald Trump was elected president, writer and scholar Sarah Kendzior, who had predicted in 2015 that he would win, wrote a public letter to the American public. “My fellow Americans,” it began. “I have a favor to ask you. ... I want you to write about who you are, what you ...

Law professors for ‘speech control’

“In the great debate of the past two decades over freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.” So write Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods, law professors at Harvard and the University of Arizona, respectively, in The Atlantic. ...

Black people are dying to know

That video broke my heart. If you’ve seen it, you need no further explanation. You know exactly what video I’m talking about and why it shattered me. If you haven’t, be advised that the clip in question depicts the last seconds in the life of Ahmaud Arbery. He was just 25, a young man out ...

Trump administration plays dumb

The future is particularly murky these days. It’s anybody’s guess how the pandemic, the presidential election and the economy are going to play out. Just about the only thing that’s assured is that U.S. relations with China will never be the same. Businesses are radically rethinking ...

Meat Prices Move Higher

Livestock prices had been in a sharp decline for most of the year due to knock-on effects from the coronavirus outbreak. Initially, Chinese economic woes sapped demand for meat exports and then U.S. turmoil added to concerns about consumers’ willingness to pay for expensive cuts of ...

At 95, Bob Norman is still not dull

Outside his apartment in Keosauqua sits his 1961 Chrysler Imperial, waiting. The Chrysler is in showroom condition (maybe better). Its jet airplane tail fins tell you all you need to know about 95 year old Bob Norman — flamboyant and in no danger of showing his age. Soft classical music ...

What are we trying to accomplish with Coronavirus Policy?

As Americans debate how to reopen our society in the wake of COVID-19, we seem to be breaking down into three groups: first, those who believe the virus isn’t particularly serious and desperately want to reopen everything as soon as possible (a small minority of Americans, by polling data); ...

Trump hits campaign trail despite national stay-home edict

President Trump on Tuesday flew to Phoenix on Air Force One to visit a face mask manufacturing facility. It was a thinly veiled political junket that contributed more to his reelection hopes than to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The costly round trip followed a staged interview for ...

COVID-19 not the only threat from China

The destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent demise of the Soviet Union two years later lulled the West into a false sense of security. Many appeared to believe that an age of unending peace and prosperity had been ushered in. While terrorism would become a stateless threat, ...

Sure, let’s talk about the Vietnam War

As many news organizations have noted, in just three months the American death toll from the coronavirus has exceeded the number of Americans who were killed in the Vietnam War. This may feel like just another statistic to younger generations, but many who lived through that war hear it and ...

Time for reopening

Time for reopening? Let’s reframe the question. Time for what to reopen? With what precautions? In which states and counties and communities? Mandatory reopening or voluntary? And who really decides? Governors, mayors, the president? Business owners or consumers? Does anyone really expect ...

Community’s help needed to stop spread

Hello friends, as you know, we’re in unprecedented times. In all my years of practicing medicine and caring for the community, I’ve never encountered a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic. It has hit hard in certain Iowa counties hard and, unfortunately, Marshall County is one of ...

Hope is what tomorrow is for

“Tomorrow, robins will sing.” Stevie Wonder “Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine, and all this darkness past.” Bruce Springsteen “Hurry, tomorrow. Tomorrow, I need you now.” The Temptations In other words, tomorrow is the place where things will get better. Tomorrow is where ...

It’s time to rethink Iowa’s business incentives

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the financial vulnerabilities of countless Iowa businesses. Whether we like it or not, it will be touch-and-go to see how many come through this intact, how many will end up as shadows of their former selves, and how many will disappear. It’s implausible ...

After COVID, will we want what we wanted?

When Germany let smaller stores reopen, the expected didn’t happen. Officials thought that shoppers would burst out of their five-week lockdown and spend, spend, spend. They were wrong. As the manager of an espresso machine store in Berlin told the Financial Times, “No one really wants ...

The Biden double standard

This week, new evidence emerged in the sexual assault allegation by former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade against the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. According to Business Insider, four people have stated that Reade told them contemporaneously about her accusation that Biden ...

What was good for Kavanaugh should be good for Biden

Sometimes, the world of crime and justice collides with the body politic. This is one of those times, although with all the news about the COVID-19 pandemic, this item may have escaped widespread notice. A police report, filed in Washington, D.C., in early April, accuses former Sen. and Vice ...

The youth will become the storytellers of this pandemic

At the beginning of each semester at Kent State, where I teach in the journalism school, I make a point of opening my arms wide and saying to students, “Welcome to your adulthood.” The frequency of alarmed faces affirms both my suspicions and my intentions. I teach mostly juniors and ...

I will not die of stupid

Someday, I’m going to die. This, I grudgingly accept. I have no idea how it’s going to happen. Maybe I will die of having a tree fall on me, of eating tainted shellfish, or of being struck by lightning. But this much I guarantee. I will not die of having wagered my life that TV carnival ...