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Columnists

Legislature discusses charter schools, transgender issues

This week in the legislature was marked by considerable debate. On Wednesday the House debate House File 813, Parental Choice through Public Charter Schools. Debate was contentious and continued due to the Democrats attempts to impose a filibuster-style maneuver of filing over 30 amendments. ...

Winners in court can still be losers and the cost may be free expression

Many years ago, during a conversation with an old lawyer, he made a comment I still remember: “You can sue the bishop of Boston for bastardy, but that doesn’t mean you are going to collect.” It was Frank Karpan’s way of reminding a young editor that merely filing a lawsuit is not the ...

Biden, not Trump, driving border crisis

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas summed up our border crisis in a statement he released March 16: “We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Border Patrol agents made ...

COVID-19 vaccine: Part I

There were many times, I’m sure, when my mother was disappointed in me, but one memory is seared into my brain like rice scorched into the bottom of a forgotten pot on the stove. Imagine it’s your mom’s favorite pot. The one she inherited from the good grandmother. I was 16, and for ...

Taking a phased in approach to local events

Yes, we all have pandemic fatigue and are itching to get back together again for events. Event planners in Marshalltown are ready and waiting to put on special events again. So when will the bulk of the events come back? The answer remains up in the air, but rest assured local event ...

Controversy fills week in House

Controversy fills week in House This week was packed with debate on a handful of key bills that were controversial. In past weeks we’ve debated as many as 25 or more bills in a few hours, whereas in some cases these bills have taken all evening to debate bills. Early in the week we ...

Republicans considers ballots more dangerous than bullets

On the issue of guns, John Kavanagh has a record unblemished by sanity. Indeed, a scroll through Vote Smart, the nonpartisan, nonprofit voter information clearinghouse, suggests the Arizona state lawmaker has never met a pro-gun measure he didn’t like. That includes bills authorizing ...

Locomotive gets wheel change

Aday in the life of a writer: I was going to meet another writer for lunch in Stronghurst, Illinois. We both publish columns in various newspapers and thought it would be nice if we could meet and chit-chat about writing, life and the price of soybeans. It’s called “networking.” Of ...

Wokeifying America’s military

This week, President Biden’s military declared its first war ... on Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Carlson had committed the great sin of pointing out the oddity of the fact that the Biden White House had been promoting brand-new uniforms for pregnant soldiers, rather than America’s military ...

Rural hospitals are vital care providers and economic engines

The nearly one in five Americans who live in rural areas rely on local hospitals and health systems as a critical — and often the only — source of care in their communities. But rural hospitals are more than just sites of care. They serve a vital role for regional economies; jobs generated ...

Biden moves forward with open-doors immigration policy — why?

“BIDEN,” say the young demonstrators’ T-shirts, imitating his campaign logo, “PLEASE LET US IN!” The picture ran in The New York Times, but one wonders whether whoever paid for the tees got his money’s worth, for President Joe Biden’s administration seems determined to let in as ...

Praise Jesus, but not really

After I first started writing a column, in the fall of 2002, it wasn’t long before I heard regularly from those who brandished God as a weapon in opposing LGBTQ rights. This was not surprising. Back then, I was on staff at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, and I was long familiar with the ...

Grassley’s 1980 election was a harbinger of the modern Republican Party

Iowa’s longest-serving U.S. senator, and the 10th longest-serving senator in American history, Chuck Grassley, recently filed the paperwork to seek an eighth term. While the senator said he has not absolutely made up his mind about another campaign, in public comments he seems to be ...

City has plenty of construction projects

Spring is here and with it comes a new construction season and new year of exciting projects for the community. While many of these projects have been discussed and planned for years, others are more recent. As you drive around town, here are some projects you will see happening this ...

We need respect for differing viewpoints

Thank you to the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce for providing the legislators a “piece of Marshalltown” this week. The Chamber sent Tor-tush candies from Lillie Mae’s candy shop to all the legislators this week. Because of COVID restrictions, the Chamber did not set up an in-person day ...

Stopping climate change is the ultimate moon Shot

As a pandemic hijacked the nation’s attention, we pushed aside other, even bigger problems. But now that COVID-19 is being cornered, the crisis of climate change is returning to page one. The threat of a rapidly warming planet is actually harder to deal with. It can’t be fixed with a ...

Copper cure

I’ve espoused the benefits of copper before. I completely cured the pain in my left elbow by wearing a copper bracelet. I don’t even wear it anymore, nor do it need it. The pain is gone. When my left hip and lower back acted up, and I was diagnosed with degenerative hip disease and ...

Math education is important

Math is one of our most basic skills — we use math to calculate our paychecks, develop a budget, read a recipe when cooking dinner. We use math skills while grocery shopping and while working on the shop floor. Every business relies on math to calculate profits and losses, and to track ...

Why Dr. Seuss had to go

Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would stop the sale and distribution of six classic volumes from the great children’s author. Those volumes, said the company, violate its commitment to “messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.” The books include portrayals of people ...

My brother, still

When my brother was a boy, he loved to leave pennies on the railroad tracks up the street from our house and wait for the freight train to flatten them as it zoomed by. This scared my mother to death. I don’t know that she ever found a flattened penny in the pocket of his jeans or heard it ...