DougCounty (Ken Lassman)

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Opinion: Democrats need to move left

Joining the Republicans at the bottom of the sea? Thank God, indeed. Maybe such a money-beholden system is beyond saving, though it is unfortunately up to the average citizen to decide that there is a better way, stop snorkeling and find some solid ground to get to.

October 15, 2017 at 9:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Democrats need to move left

Maybe it's just because I'm getting older, but it just seems that both the political right and political left have been marketing themselves harder and harder as a lifestyle choice, an all-encompassing way that you buy the things you buy, from cars to groceries, from houses to clothes, from what movies you go to to what community organizations you support.

The politicization of lifestyles has already gone further than it should have in my opinion. It should not be any more difficult for a Republican living in the country to buy a Prius to park beside their F450 Truck so that they can save on gas going back and forth to town than the Democrat college professor buying a Prius to park next to their bicycle. Similarly, it should not be any more difficult for that professor to raise the flag on Flag Day in front of her or his house and for both the professor and farmer to support good public schools that enable their children to be able to both go to and live in the communities they grew up in if they choose to with jobs that enable them to afford to be able to buy if they want.

The question Pitts poses is of course a reaction to the extremism that is driving the national political scene these days, with threats of political extortion pushing hard on politicians to toe the extremist agenda lest those extremist elements put up big money to run a primary candidate against them. Without serious campaign finance reform, a call to the middle where the real values of most Americans lie will require a kind of bravery that results in a Purple Heart on the battlefield. But a call for clearer battle lines like Pitts is calling for pretty much makes even more pitched battles inevitable, doesn't it?

October 15, 2017 at 8:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Air needs protection

Contact your House of Representative and Senator, tell them how important this issue is for you and your family and friends, saying that such rollbacks are wrongheaded and unless they work hard to get them back into place, you'll remember that when the next election comes around. Then forward copies of your emails/letters/phone conversations to all of your friends and family in both states. It's time that our Congresspeople begin to listen to their constituents, not just their campaign contributors. But that's a separate letter you should write to them about....

By the way, the National Geographic has been keeping a pretty good running tab on the changes going on at the EPA here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/20...

And the NRDC does a good job of showing not only all the fronts the EPA is under attack, but what advocates for clean air, water and the environment are doing about it: https://www.nrdc.org/fighting-trump-a...

October 15, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Local Boy Scout leaders react to news that girls will soon be allowed to join

My sentiments exactly, Brock. Jakmouj described the wonderful experience his daughter had in the local Girl Scouts system, which does indeed include a vibrant camping and outdoor education curriculum through Hidden Valley Camp that I think the local Boy Scouts program would do well to emulate. The system ain't broke on the Girl Scouts side of things, so why is the BS trying to recruit from that side of the equation?

Judging from their embarrassment with Trump, their policies against gays, atheists and even agnostics, and troubling history with sexual predators ( which they've worked to clean up, to their credit), I see no reason for a family to consider having their girl go anywhere else other than a local Girl Scout troop. There they will find a well organized group of individuals and a system that has a multigenerational history of helping young girls grow into confident individuals with a strong sense of diversity, community, team playing and healthy experience with the outdoors.

October 15, 2017 at 7:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Auto industry has glorious past, opaque future

The curmudgeon is back. George no doubt complained at the foisting of the catalytic converter and tightened emission standards on car buyers back in the 70s but he is not complaining about the resulting clearing of the air over major metropolitan areas that resulted. George has fallen silent on the overwhelming evidence that human activity originated carbon emissions is leading to climate change, but he still makes sideways pot shots about "consumer choice" as the reason to complain about countries choosing low carbon futures.

So complain away, George; you won't have to be living in a world that is making the choice to mitigate climate change anyway. Those who will inherit that world will continue to move ahead in creating a sustainable future, however, and they are perfectly capable of ignoring your howls against the changes they make to ensure that future.

October 13, 2017 at 8:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Financial errors could leave city short on funds for Farmland remediation

Too bad they didn't just turn the park into a crop field for a decade or so, irrigating the field with the nitrogen-rich groundwater. That way they wouldn't have had to haul the water anywhere else, sell the crops to cover the cost of the well and remove the contaminated groundwater all in one move.

October 13, 2017 at 7:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Better pay needed

Wow, Bob; that last sentence of yours is the most pure form of projection that I've seen in quite a while.

October 13, 2017 at 6:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: The mainstreaming of right-wing extremism

Extremism is characterized by broad brushstroke "answers" where everything that is counter to one's preferences can be explained by a few "secrets" that the extremists are privy to. And genetic determinism is right up there with conspiracy theory as far as leading folks down a rat's hole. The fact that folks use newly resolved genetic differences as a kind of behavioral determinant is not only incorrect as exhaustively explained by the behavioral genetics scientific community; it is politically dangerous and provides a slippery slope to historically deadly genocidal eugenics programs.

October 9, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: The mainstreaming of right-wing extremism

Extremist left and right groups are not on the opposite ends of the spectrum of political thinking. That spectrum is more like a circle, with the extreme ends bent around to join together--they are side-by-side in their world views. I remember in Tony Gauthier's American Government class in the early 70s at LHS I analyzed the John Birch Society publications and compared them to the SDS Manual (left wing extremist group) and found that substantial portions of their political analysis were the same. They had way more in common with each other than the moderate middle. In fact it is not unusual for extreme leftists to become extreme rightists later on and vice versa. Both extremes are dependent on a set of conspiracies that would make most folks scratch their heads and walk away. This is true today as much as it was back in the early 70s toward the end of the Vietnam War.

October 9, 2017 at 6:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: No compassion?

So we've established that insensitivity and objectification exists at both extremes of the political spectrum. Dare I say that this is not a revelation? The writer hearkens back to Sherman's reprehensible attitude 150 years ago, and history is full of such atrocious statements back as far as we can look. The LTE writer challenges us to reach for a moral compass as a corrective action and I could not agree more.

So how does this end? I don't think that we can legislate away such behavior which seems to be as old as humanity, therefore don't expect this to be the last mass shooting in the US or anywhere else. But there are many, many ways to curb its impact and influence. I personally intend to spend more time with folks who look at the world differently from myself, not with the intention of changing their minds so much as listening to their lives and understanding where they are coming from. If they are able to do the same, and I have every confidence that they can, then perhaps we can find common ground from which to not only respect each other but also build/strengthen a community based on shared values, not opposing camps of gated communities.

That's the kind of community that I think that most Americans want to live in, and it's really in our power to move toward that goal in each of our lives.

October 7, 2017 at 7:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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