Editorials

Keep disability trust fund just like it is

After several years in which it appeared instances of coal miners’ pneumoconiosis — black lung — were decreasing, the disease seems to be making a comeback in coal country. Now is not the time to phase out a federal program intended to help victims. Long-term exposure to coal dust was ...

Make Christmas brighter for all

Time is short for those of us who have fallen behind on our Christmas shopping. As we cope with the struggles of everyday life while trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone on our lists, let us not neglect to take care of the one task that ought not to require any thought: ensuring Santa ...

Thumbs Up/Down

THE Christmas story Thumbs Up: Every year around Christmas time people look forward to the 24-hour marathon showing of “A Christmas Story,” in which Ralphie pines for a Red Ryder Air Rifle. Well, the Springfield Area Nativity Theater Association (SANTA) has a better tradition. This time ...

Budget and tax fix on state’s priority list

The state of Minnesota and the Tim Walz administration is heading into the new legislative session with some good fiscal news. The Minnesota Management and Budget’s November Budget Forecast indicates the state will have a surplus of $1.5 billion over the next biennium. That should help ease ...

Time to pass farm bill is now

A lobbyist for the Minnesota Farmers Union, Thom Peterson, says “the clock is ticking” for farmers. He was quoted in a recent Associated Press article on the status of the farm bill. He also said that newspapers have been full of stories lately about farmers facing bankruptcy. Peterson is ...

Bush’s legacy

When former President George H.W. Bush is eulogized at his Washington, D.C. fundral today, people will remark on his legacy of a kinder, gentler nation fully capable of using an iron fist. Bush, our 41st president, was 94 when he died last Friday, joining his beloved wife, Barbara, who died ...

Listening vs. muting

Mute buttons are handy when watching TV and another annoying commercial comes on, usually at twice the volume of the regular programming. They proved invaluable during the past political campaign season to silence the onslaught of negative ads. But as much as mute buttons have a place in the ...

China is the cheater, and needs to change

President Trump goes over the top in his criticism of the media, in part because he generalizes, suggesting“the media” is a monolithic entity out to get him. We believe he would be better served using a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer to highlight media bias and errors. And it would not ...

George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday at the age of 94, was a man born into a life of affluence, but who chose to live a life of service to his country. He joined the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday over the objection of his wealthy father, flew 58 missions in World War II as a ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Ready to listen THUMBS UP: It is one of the sadder stereotypes about politicians that they are vitally interested in the issues that matter to you — right up to the time they get your vote. Then it’s “See you in two years (or four years, or however long their term is).” That’s why ...

Farm bill agreement can’t come too soon

Word is coming out of Washington that House and Senate conferees have reached an agreement in principle that will break the impasse on a new farm bill. While the conferees are still awaiting cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and have to finalize the language in the proposal, ...

Legislature should act on genital mutilation bill

People have a right to their beliefs. What they do not have is a right to torture and maim little girls. Minnesota State Rep. Mary Franson is vehemently opposed to the practice of female genital mutilation, which occurs in parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It is a cultural or ...

We can’t afford to ignore climate change report

Mother Nature was not kind to farmers this past growing season. Snow in April and too much rain in July made for a rough start in the fields. On Friday, a scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies set off dire climate alarms. The report warned that if significant steps are not taken to ...

Hard times on the farm

According to an analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the number of farms filing for bankruptcy has been growing this past year. According to statistics, 84 farms filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Wisonsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana in the 12 months ...

If Hinckley wants to act, ‘rules’ won’t stop him

There was news out of Virginia last week that John Hinckley Jr., who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, will be allowed to move out of his mother’s house and live on his own. Not only is it absurd that Hinckley is being granted this freedom, it is absurd that he is mixing with ...

Single-payer would be costly, damaging

Of all the solutions that might be implemented to help more Americans obtain and afford health care, we cannot understand the drive by some on the left for a single-payer system. Columnist John Stossel, on this page, offers a rundown of the issues surrounding single-payer and its flaws. There ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Support small businesses today THUMBS UP: There are so many good reasons to support small busineses — they exist right here in your community, they employ you and your neighbors, the money they make stays right here, they pay taxes to support education, public safety and other services. So ...

Smoke detectors really save lives

This is the time of the year when home safety experts warn us the danger of fire goes up. Colder weather means heating equipment shut off for months is put back in service. The Christmas season means some of us go all-out in decorating, sometimes overloading circuits and wires with hundreds, ...

Immigrants realize we have something to be thankful for

Most of us have good reason to pause and give thanks on this Thanksgiving season. Our families top the list of blessings bestowed upon us, of course. We may also be thankful for our jobs, our health, our good fortune. Do we ever just give thanks to be living as citizens of America? Or is that ...

Please stop for school buses

It may be the most dangerous time of a school child’s day, the few seconds he or she is crossing the street to get on a school bus, or crossing to get home after getting off the bus. It shouldn’t be dangerous at all. State laws all across the country require motorists to come to a ...