Columnists

Keeping Guns Away From the Most Dangerous

Hooray! America has just set a new record. Want to guess what it is? Record-breaking high school math scores, you say? Nope. Maybe a record number of workers pulling themselves out of poverty, or a banner year for a decline in infectious diseases? No and no. Here’s the news: On just one day ...

Election Odds

President Trump is up 3 percent! I refer to the betting odds. Gamblers (mostly in Europe because political bets are legal there) now give the president a 53 percent chance of finishing his first term. That’s it — they barely think he’ll complete four years. This must seem wrong to ...

The thief in the lunchroom

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about stealing people’s lunches from the employee refrigerator: “Dear Heloise: I work in a large office where we bring our own lunch. We either write a name on the lunch or we tag it so it’s identifiable. Someone has been taking food that doesn’t ...

Focus on mental health care now

There are a number of issues that legislators in Iowa are facing this year — budget concerns, taxes, school funding, the ongoing concerns over the privatization of Medicaid, water quality — the list goes on. But a recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll notes that mental health, and ...

America’s Left in the Grip of Insanity

President Trump is unpopular. He’s unpopular because he’s boorish, crude and silly; he’s unpopular because he has a unique capacity to turn winning news cycles into referenda on his use of Twitter. But the United States under President Trump hasn’t seen any serious anti-liberty ...

Husband Isn’t Pulling His Weight With Childcare Duties

Q: My husband is more than willing to play with the kids. But when it comes to the practical side of parenting — dinner, diapers, bath times — I don’t think he pulls his weight. What’s a woman to do? Jim: I’ve heard this complaint from many wives. Men and women often have ...

Remembering Gertrud Tammen

My friend Gertrud Schakat Tammen, 86, passed away on Dec. 30, 2017 at the Iowa River Hospice Home in Marshalltown. Although I only got to know her about a year ago, she is someone in my lifetime I shall never forget. On Jan. 8, 2017, I penned an article about her life growing up in ...

Character counts, but so do results

I do not make it a practice to comment on the work of fellow columnists, though occasionally some care to comment on mine, which is fine. I’m happy to help them make a living. An exception will be made here because of New York Times “conservative” columnist, Bret Stephens. In an ...

Behind the scenes at the Barnum & Bailey Circus in Marshalltown

How did Barnum & Bailey Circus performers prepare for a show when they came to Marshalltown in 1913? A fishing trip to Stanley Mill, an automobile trip to Albion for dinner and a Mulligan down by the Iowa River, according to the local paper. The big tent show was scheduled for Sunday, ...

Inside Education

Which skills are critical to prepare students to enter the workforce or college? Strong skills in academics and technology typically top the list. Undoubtedly, critical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and the ability to collaborate are equally important. What about ...

Word Out

I am not going to pretend I know a lot about country music because I do not. However, what I do know is I like a number of songs by late Country artists Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. Much of my appreciation was developed after seeing them in concert ‚ albeit 41 years apart. I saw ...

‘Up the Resolution’

I learned I won't make any New Year's resolutions. It wouldn't do any good anyway. I'm just not that resolute. Fact is, I don't need to make any resolutions. Not because I'm already perfect … but because Her Royal Highness Princess Wife is … she makes all my resolutions for me. She has a ...

The greatest gift of all

In an effort to get out of work sometimes I’ll rent out this space to a beloved, hated or befuddling figure with whom we are familiar. In this case, our guest columnist is someone we’ve all heard about but never thought truly existed. Well here I am. You always wondered when seeing those ...

Dave Says

Dear Dave, My father-in-law started a business as an LLC few years ago. He named all his daughters owners, with him owning the majority share. The business failed, and now he is being sued by creditors. He told the family these creditors can’t come after us and the other siblings, because ...

Tackling the to-do list

Dear Readers: We are only four days into a new year, and there are MANY THINGS to think about: your financial situation, work projects, home updates and more. Then there are tasks to do, such as fixing things around the house, working on the auto and cleaning out a closet or garage. Many ...

Time to Defund the United Nations

Last week, Democrats and many in the mainstream media became highly perturbed by the Trump administration’s suggestion that the United States might tie continued foreign aid to support for its agenda abroad. Foreign dictators agreed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spent the last ...

A political system in crisis

As the first year of the Trump presidency approaches its end, American democracy finds itself in peril, not only at the White House but at Capitol Hill as well, with both major political parties in chaos. Donald Trump is at the core of both circumstances. At the Oval Office, presidential ...

Future Files

Palladium takes gold medal Of all commodities markets in 2017, palladium led the way higher, gaining over 50 percent. The metal is one of the rarest on earth (30 times rarer than gold) and is used primarily in catalytic convertors to clean up automobile exhaust. Demand for palladium has been ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

Haven’t 19th and 20th century theologians like Adolf von Harnack and Harry Emerson Fosdick put to rest the myth that Jesus was born of a virgin? Anyway, does it really matter if Jesus was virgin born? I find it appalling that in the 21st century this questioner and many ordained ministers ...

Be Strategic About Staying Committed to New Year’s Resolutions

Q: The past three years I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to work out and lose weight. And every year I lost momentum within a few weeks. I feel guilty about breaking my promise to my family — and myself. What can I do differently this year? Jim: Many of us make some sort of ...