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Posts Tagged ‘commentary’

  1. Along the Borderlands

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    June 25, 2011 by Steven Worden

    Rural America ain’t what it used to be. For example, sociologists from the University of Missouri have uncovered two interesting findings about living in the country: (1) that over the past 30 years people have been moving from urban areas to rural communities (“the Turnaround”) and (2) over the past same 30 years the number of working family farms has fallen drastically.

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  2. Editorial: Vacation Time Is Here, Get to Work

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    June 11, 2011 by wcobserver

    Finally, here it is … June, the beginning of summer and the season when workers all over the industrialized world begin to celebrate the weeks-long reprieve from their labors and enjoy what we all know as “paid vacation time.”

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  3. On Exactitude

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    June 9, 2011 by Steven Worden

    Cynicism has moved from being the preferred stance of angst-ridden teenagers to the default setting in society at large. How did we get so fragile?

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  4. Equal Under the Law

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    May 26, 2011 by wcobserver

    There was no flag-waving, no chest-thumping patriotic speeches, hardly even an announcement as West Fork city government entered a new era. After decades of neglect, the basic and enduring principles of constitutional democracy emerged at the May regular council meeting. Every member of the city council was issued a current and complete tabbed, ring binder copy of the “City of West Fork Ordinances and Community Development Plan.” As a candidate, Frances Hime had promised to replace the old style of local politics with a city government dedicated to open, responsible and accountable leadership. She promised a town run by the rule of law and a vision of the future that would benefit all its citizens. She offered intelligent, reasoned and just leadership … and the voters put her in office. This great country was founded as a constitutional democracy where the Rule of Law grounded the political life of its citizens. And unless that principal is held dear by every citizen, particularly in everyday life, it will fade from the national consciousness. If Democracy falters and fails at the local, grassroots, neighborhood level this free nation is doomed. Don’t be befuddled or distracted; the most important political decisions are made in Greenland, West …

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  5. The Visit

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    May 26, 2011 by Steven Worden

    On the face of it, it was like something out of a short story by Mark Twain or Kurt Vonnegut. Or, as when the Jersey Lily visited the West Texas town of Langtry, home of her her biggest fan, Judge Roy Bean (“Law West of the Pecos.”) Last week, to cap off a festive Tibet Week, His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (“Oceanic Teacher”), the incarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, and Nobel Laureate, Tenzin Gyatso, graced Bud Walton arena. But only the most churlish could find something to complain about the Dalai Lama. It would be like “hating on” Santa Claus. An affable, athletic, and pleasant-looking man appearing much younger than his 76 years and clad in maroon robes, His Holiness peppered his talk with short bursts of laughter, scratched his closely-cropped head, and rubbed his nose – all to the enormous delight of some 13,000 rapt attendees – His Holiness, “riding the clear light of bliss.” Sociologist Emile Durkheim, an expert on “the Sacred,” would have been fascinated. Durkheim argued that religion has a universal tendency to urge awe, respect, and reverence in regard to certain beings to distinguish them from the …

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  6. Editorial: Big and Small vs Good and Bad

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    May 19, 2011 by wcobserver

    If you are looking for a debate topic that allows you to switch sides with relative ease, try the quantity vs. quality question. Does size, amount, volume really matter or is it some distinguishing attribute, some essential element of excellence of an item that really matters? It depends. And even then, the debate still rages. One hamburger joint brags “over 10 billion sold…” but are they “good” burgers? Some people prefer two or three good friends their entire life, others count scores of best friends.  Mass produced, great!…every piece perfect and cheap. Hand made, great!…every piece unique and valuable. Throughout nature the relationship between quantity and quality is more empirical – increase the amount of heat to water and it will become steam. Often, changes in quantity result in changes in quality. But in the complex social world of government it isn’t so clear cut. Much of the current chatter about national politics flows from the quantity/quality debate regarding the size of the government – small government is good, big is bad. Local politics, which has been called the essence of all politics, has its own version of the big government- good government debate. Sometimes, in our neck of the woods, …

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  7. Another Fine Mess

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    April 27, 2011 by wcobserver

    We’re not sure if Ollie Hardy ever really laid the blame for the mess on Laurel or if he ever took responsibility. After all, we all make mistakes so why seek to blame ourselves or others? Because, to blame means to point to what or who was responsible for something that went sideways.

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