Columnists

Pitch-Dark Democracy: Perfect for Trump

Old and new Washington met under the Capitol dome as the hours counted down to midnight Friday, when the government lights might go out. It was only Wednesday, but what a long week already. President Trump’s vulgar profanity, insulting Haiti, El Salvador and African countries in a White ...

Why Suspects May ‘All Look Alike’ to an Eyewitness

How fair are criminal trials in America? How confident should we be that prosecutors have the right perpetrator, and how much weight should be put on eyewitness identification of suspects? A growing number of states are now instructing their courts to encourage jurors to ask themselves those ...

Random Thoughts

Last weekend’s soup supper at the American Legion provided patrons with some of the best homemade soups, chilis and desserts that any Central Iowan would be glad to call his own. Among the soup selections, Mike Ball’s cheesy ham and potato soup was surely at the top of the list. So good ...

Returning to democracy

I learned I don't matter. I was born in Kansas. I have a Social Security number and pay taxes. I am a registered voter. I like fried chicken and cheeseburgers … I am an American and I … just … don't matter. More than all the other virtues of the American ideal, life, justice, equality ...

‘The Walking Dead’ Survival Guide

When I first encountered the now hit television program “The Walking Dead,” I thought it was a comedy about new parents. It wasn’t until about the fourth episode did I realize I was grossly mistaken — the tattered, brain-dead creatures on the screen looked WAY better than new parents, ...

Taste of Central Iowa

Soup, cabbage and chocolate As I mentioned before I like beans and I like cabbage and I LOVE chocolate. Lima Bean Soup 1 bag dried large or small lima beans (Soak overnight if I plan ahead, if not soak beans in the hottest tap water for 1 hour) Place drained beans in pot and fill with: ...

Popping off about online ads

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about pop-up ads and banners on computers: “Dear Heloise: I’m sick of all the ads that pop up on computers and the huge banner ads at the top of the page. I pay my internet providers to supply me with news and mail and allow me to look for ...

What the Latest Stupid Government Shutdown Means

On Monday, Democrats caved on their manufactured government shutdown. In an attempt to generate a groundswell of support for a legislative re-enshrinement of former President Obama’s executive amnesty, Democrats filibustered a continuing resolution to fund the government. That tough stance ...

The Dreamers: Right fight, wrong time

In the fierce political struggle between the Republican defenders of the troops in the field and the Democrats defending the American immigrant “Dreamers,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell clearly and deftly outfoxed Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. McConnell got the Senate to keep ...

Capitol Update

Week three of the legislature was marked with our first debate and passage of a bill this session, The “Water Quality” bill, Senate File 512. This bill was passed by the House in 2016 and by the Senate in 2017 but held over in the House last year due to considerable debate over differences ...

News from Des Moines

This week the House passed the water quality bill the Senate passed last year. We were proud to get this bill through the Senate, but we know this isn’t the final step – it is just the first. The discussion about water quality in Iowa will be ongoing, but I believe Iowans also deserve some ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

Isn’t it wrong to clap during a worship service? Don’t you think that consumer satisfaction is dictating how we worship and pray in today’s churches? How should we worship and pray? With the exception of liturgical elements that suggest wrong doctrine, no liturgy or form of worship ...

Future Files

Downward dollar makes heyday for traders The U.S. dollar crumbled on Wednesday after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested that a weaker U.S. dollar would benefit the U.S. economy. In the aftermath of the comment, the U.S. dollar reached a three-year low against its major trading ...

I suspect my child has a disability — now what?

Oftentimes parents are the first to notice their child is struggling in school or at home. Many, however, are unsure what to do. Central Rivers AEA, in conjunction with your local school district, can help. If you suspect your child has a disability, and is attending a school, contacting the ...

Quote the President, and Skip the Asterisks

This week marked the beginning of the spring semester at Kent State, where I teach journalism as a professional in residence. One of the rituals of the first day of class is to go over the syllabus, which, because of required language, reads like a last will and testament. I spruce it up ...

Empowerment Notes

Each day, in a variety of ways, we communicate with our children. Those moments that go beyond spoken language. It’s in our tone of voice, our body language (I am told I have a “mom look”), our gestures and so much more. So here is a new communication strategy to try … sign ...

On the mend

After nearly two months of being at home on the mend from knee surgery, yours truly is back in the flesh at the Times-Republican. I am temporarily working out of the advertising department on the ground floor to save my somewhat inflexible knee the challenges of climbing 26 steps to my ...

And here we are, one year later.

If you are groping for markers by which to measure how profoundly we have been changed since Inauguration Day, here’s one you might want to consider: In January of 1998, reports surfaced of a sexual affair between President Bill Clinton and a 24-year-old White House intern. It would ...

Maxine Croker, 95

Ida Maxine Croker, 95, of Marshalltown, IA, passed away on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at the Southridge Nursing Home in Marshalltown. She was surrounded by her family and under the careful watch of the devoted staff. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, ...

Twenty-First Century Slavery

It is actually remarkable that one of the things conservatism has preserved the best in the United States is a culture of life. Just as secular liberals have had to rebrand again as progressives since people stopped liking liberals, they also have to rebrand the idea of “choice” as ...