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Columns

  • Who works for whom

    You may be aware of a story in the January 11, 2019 New York Times that disclosed the FBI decided to investigate President Trump for possible treason right after he fired FBI Director James B. Comey. As America divides almost in half over whether Donald Trump is a messiah or a menace, probably half of you who read the Times story were infuriated and half of you were elated. Perhaps this column may invoke similar reactions, among a somewhat smaller audience of course.

  • To peel a potato

    As many of you, my first job for pay was mowing neighbors’ yards. My brother Phil and I would start the first week after school let out, usually about June 01, asking around for jobs. We charged $2.00 for mowing and trimming a house and yard on one or two lots. The lots were 25’ wide by 100’ long and since this was always summer in Oklahoma the trimming required was minimal; flowers were pretty much hoped for only. Still, trimming with mechanical hand trimmers was a worse job than mowing so Phil and I alternated who did which.

  • Malevolent or indifferent

    For thousands of years humans have pondered the same theological issues: Are there gods and, if so, are they benevolent, malevolent or indifferent towards humans? Of course, this debate can readily be applied to humans without reference to gods. How do we relate to one another? Are we generally good, bad or indifferent towards others?

  • Reflections

    Memorials take many forms and have many purposes. Some are large in scope covering acres of land containing statues and museums, such as Gettysburg Battlefield, or are smaller in area but allow visitors to absorb history and meaning through sober reflection, such as the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site where Custer ambushed and killed Chief Black Kettle, his wife and most of his tribe of peaceful Native Americans.

  • Finally raising the veil

    During one week in October 1878 seven Black men, three from one family, were murdered by a well-organized group of about two hundred white men in Posey County, Indiana. At that time Posey County had 20,000 residents only 200 of which were Negroes. The odds were 100 to 1 and white people held every position of power including the newspaper owners and editors, the Circuit Court Judge and the Prosecuting Attorney.

  • To those who care and dare

    As with much of our philosophy we can thank the ancient Greeks for the concept of the Phoenix, something (or someone) who rises from the ashes of defeat to be even better than before. Or as we all remember our parents attempting to convince us, we learn more from defeat than victory. This provides scant solace at the time of a loss or an embarrassment but most of us eventually see the validity of wisdom born of hardship and the shallowness of temporary acclaim.

  • Opinions
  • Some relief
  • Signs

    October is a wonderful month, cool, warm, wet, dry, crisp and colorful. I was enjoying this marvelous gift of nature while I traveled home from work last Friday. As I passed Larry Williams’ McKim’s IGA grocery store in Mt. Vernon, Indiana I was reminded of another reason October is special. All along the Main Street edge of the store were signs of candidates for public office.

  • GMO's and Glyphosate

    August in October!  I am hoping that by the time you read this, the temperatures will have moderated with crisp autumn breezes.  Since outside chores have been limited due to the heat, it has given rise to thoughtful reflection of our southwestern Indiana landscape.

    Think about this past summer with luscious rolls of bright green corn, wheat and soybeans filling the fields as far as the eye can see.  As Tom Straw pointed out, “Every stalk, every plant is the exact same height.”  Yes, sameness, the evidence of genetic modification.