THUMBS UP: The closing of Kmart in New Ulm is hitting some loyal customers hard.?One of them, Marge Hames, is not taking it lying down.
Hames has taken up a protest against the closing of the store. She plans to be out in front of the store every day until it closes, carrying signs calling for the store to remain open and supporting the Kmart employees who will be losing their jobs.
Local Kmart employees must have been doing something right to inspire this kind of loyalty.
THUMBS UP: Friday was another day of protest in New Ulm. A small, peaceful crowd of people marched from the Cathederal of the Holy Trinity to the Brown County Courthouse following a Stations of the Cross service to protest threats to freedom in American, especially the Health and Human Services mandate that would force religious organization to provide free contraceptive services to employees.
It's good to exercise one's rights. Exercise, after all, is supposed to help keep one strong. If it works on muscles, why not civic rights?
Toying with voters?
THUMBS UP: We are enjoying the Etch a Sketch brouhaha that has developed in the Republican presidential race. This past week a Mitt Romney aid, Eric Fehrnstrom compared the pre-nomination campaign and post-nomination campaign to the iconic Etch A Sketch toy - "You can kind of shake it up and start over," he said.
It is a colorful explanation of the kind of gear-shifting that happens when a candidate starts working to win over a different audience. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will have to win over more than the conservative base of the party. But the image of Romney wiping his slate clean and drawing up a new plan of attack has laid him open to charges of flip-flopping.
Meanwhile, reports say Etch A Sketch maker Ohio Arts is enjoying the free publicity. The company points out that it is politically neutral - "We have a left knob and a right knob, so we neutrally speak to both parties," said company marketing director Martin Killgallon.
In fact, with an Etch A Sketch the left and right knobs have to work together to make a nice picture. If that isn't an object lesson for partisan purists in this country, we don't know what is.