Columnists

Contain that garbage!

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about people who don’t bag their garbage: “Dear Heloise: My pet peeve is people who dump loose garbage into their cans instead of placing it in a tied bag. When the garbage gets dumped by the garbage trucks, all the loose papers fly out as the ...

Future Files

Florida freeze threatens OJ As bitterly cold temperatures descended across the United States this week, even the Sunshine State felt the chill. Temperatures dropped below freezing across much of Central Florida on Wednesday and Thursday night, threatening the state’s crops. Growers ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

Isn’t it true that the church has never been able too define when life begins? I recall Nancy Pelosi once saying that even though St. Augustine set it at three months, it’s only been over the past 50+ years that the church has said life begins at conception. Your question is most timely ...

Grandparent worries that son is too busy for his kids

Q: I love my adult son and am very proud of him. But I think he works too much and seems too busy for his own children (my grandkids). What can I do to help this situation? Jim: This scenario places you in a delicate position as a grandparent. On the one hand, you may feel your child’s ...

Al Capone lives!

“You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.” This quote has often been attributed to the late Chicago mobster Al Capone, who with his fellow organized crime buddies used extortion as one of their tactics to get what they wanted. Today’s modern ...

The Media’s Year of Trump Hating

As we approach the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, it is painfully obvious that our “news” providers are a highly agitated brigade of the “Resistance.” A new Media Research Center study finds that from Jan. 20, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017, the evening news shows on ...

Buildings and grounds department looks to future

In the Marshalltown Community School District, we have nearly 1 million square feet of buildings that we maintain. The current buildings and grounds staff of 52 includes custodians, maintenance and grounds employees. We have two full-time grounds employees who mow, fertilize, trim trees and ...

A Few Divorce Tips for Steve Bannon

It occurred to me this week that many of us who’ve gone through a divorce could be mighty helpful right now to Steve Bannon. We know what it feels like to experience that personal earthquake that leaves you wondering, “Did I ever mean anything to this guy? Was it all a lie?” Barely a ...

Is ‘Fire and Fury’ Fizzling?

The most disappointed people in America this past week must be those Trump execrators who opened their Amazon package only to find that the copy of “Fire and Fury” they had ordered was subtitled “The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945.” It’s a well-regarded 2009 volume by University ...

‘Fire and Fury’ is the book we got, not the one we needed

America desperately wanted this book. America desperately needed it, too. That’s why “Fire and Fury,” by journalist Michael Wolff, which purported to be a fly-on-the-wall, inside view of life in the Trump White House, shot to Number One on Amazon.com last week after Donald Trump’s ...

Consensus and Complication

Prior to President Obama implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, he said he had no constitutional authority to act. He did it anyway and also a similar program for the parents of those children. DACA children, often called Dreamers, are illegal aliens. Their parents ...

Renting to family?

Dear Dave, I have cousins who are thinking about moving back to Connecticut from Virginia. They’ll be renting for a while, and I have an unoccupied rental house. Do you think renting to family is a bad idea? — Katherine Dear Katherine, Renting to family can work out just fine, as ...

Little Rocket Man Wins the Round

After a year in which he tested a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM, threatened to destroy the United States, and called President Trump “a dotard,” Kim Jong Un, at the gracious invitation of the president of South Korea, will be sending a skating team to the “Peace Olympics.” An impressive ...

A Prophet Who Deserves a Little Honor

Anyone who cannot resist the temptation to offer public predictions about public events invites and can expect public ridicule. Even pre-eminent 20th-century American columnist and public intellectual Walter Lippmann, who was courted by presidents and prime ministers, is regularly remembered ...

Jim Wares: We have a dream

I learned that when I was a boy my heroes were cowboys in white hats on white horses, six-guns slapped to their hips. They were superior to the town drunk staggering down the street, more noble than the train robbers, more cunning than the bad guy sneaking up behind them, they knew how to treat ...

Death by pillow

By the time you read this, I will be gone. Smothered by my wife’s pillows. This is not a metaphor. When I met her, she had the normal amount of pillows a human should own — three: two that are mostly bad and one that has the orthopedic neck support of two slices of deli ham. You never ...

Taste of Central Iowa

Soup’s on! ‘Tis the time for soup. The first two recipes use black beans, one of my favorite ingredients. Black Bean Soup 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained 2 c. chicken broth 1 c. salsa Heat all ingredients in large pot on stove until heated through. Transfer to a blender ...

Donate your anniversary

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND ON is about a nice couple who had a great idea for celebrating their 50th anniversary: “Dear Heloise: A few years ago, my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. On our invitations to a great and large party, we stated ‘PLEASE NO GIFTS.’ We ...

The Virtue-Signaling Anti-Virtue Crowd

Imagine it’s late 2011. The world just found out about Jerry Sandusky, former assistant Penn State football coach who would be convicted of repeatedly raping children in 2012. Penn State higher-ups, in an attempt to turn the focus of the scandal away from the school, decide to turn an annual ...

Doubts about Trump’s fitness and mental state won’t go away

The most notable thing about the allegations in “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s new tell-all book about President Trump inside the White House, is that they read more like confirmations of his unfitness for the office rather than as revelations. Many, if not most, of the comments of ...