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At this time of the year around the Fourth of July, we Americans rally around the flag and appropriately take pride in our country and patriotism. The United States is a great country. Every time I return home from my frequent travels, I marvel at just how lucky we are to live where we do.

These are challenging times. Our southern border is being overrun by thousands of undocumented, illegal immigrants. Iran and North Korea continue to pose potential nuclear threats. Our nation is adrift, floating toward socialism, abandoning the foundation upon which America was built. These …

Climate change didn’t begin with the smoke and soot of industrialization. It’s been a constant component of our planetary history. It was here before we evolved and will be here long after we move elsewhere in space and time — assuming we don’t destroy the planet and ourselves before we vaca…

I saw them pull it down that summer of 1962. I’d just finished high school and had a job downtown earning extra money for college in the fall. I took the bus from Bloomington, and every day, morning and evening, I’d go by the corner of Second Avenue and Third Street in Minneapolis and watch …

The term climate change is an impersonal, ambiguous one with negative impacts to “humanity” around the world. But on a recent trip to Tanzania in Africa, I met some of the innocents who will be most affected by the increased droughts caused by the changes in climate resulting from increased …

Today, water and the water supply are uppermost on the minds of metro planners, the Metropolitan Council and state officials. Check out the Met Council’s 2015 Water Supply Plan or search “Minnesota Water Supply” online for articles and reports. I’ve read them, and there’s reason for concern.…

Arguably the most challenging job in the world is president of the United States. If there were a job description, it would spell out the experience necessary to serve as CEO of the federal government’s 4 million employees and $4 trillion annual budget. The job requires administration of law…

Political party stereotypes stayed consistent through the 1950s. Republicans were the party of business and the Chamber of Commerce. Democrats were the party of labor and the little guy. Then came Vietnam and the civil rights movement, and the political parties were pushed apart by the ideol…

Immigration continues to be front and center in the political arena. Our country has found itself stuck in a deadlock over policy and border security, and this impasse has highlighted how divided — yet determined — both sides are, to the point of shutting down the government over this disagr…

On Dec. 3, City Manager Frank Boyles announced Police Chief Mark Elliott had resigned effective immediately and that an outsider had already been appointed as interim chief. The announcement raised some eyebrows. Since Boyles is in a lame-duck period of management with retirement scheduled t…

Drive between Savage and Lakeville and you might glimpse a weed-covered railroad right-of-way that hasn’t seen a train since 1980. It’s a remnant of the Dan Patch Line, also known as the Minneapolis, St Paul, Rochester and Dubuque Electric Traction Company, a railroad that achieved distincti…

My wife, Marcia, has been reminding me for many years to sort through and thin out my library and associated books, files, photos, magazines and papers. They go back decades, and I keep adding to them. She says I’m a stacker, not a filer — and to that charge, I’ll plead guilty. Organizing pa…

In March of 2005, while walking into Prior Lake High School at day’s end to tutor math students, I was met by three oversize guys taunting a much smaller boy. They were enjoying themselves, calling him names I can’t print. The smaller boy was crouched over cowering as I walked into the school.

I’m writing this on Nov. 5, election eve. It will appear in print sometime after the election. Out of good sense, and cowardice, I have no predictions or prognostications for the outcome, even though I’ve spent the day and a good part of the last several weeks watching all the news programs,…

My wife says I’m an “old white man,” and I’ll plead guilty as charged. She’s a 1960s person and keeps reminding me that some of the ideas that tumble out of my aged brain are right out of the ‘50s. As a septuagenarian, I liked the ‘50s, and if I had a time machine I’d go right back and hang …

Our free market economy is a game of musical chairs with winners and losers when the music stops. Ask the bankers holding mortgage paper in 2008 or the Wall Street tycoons of 1929. Consider the railroad barons of 1873 and 1893, who had overbuilt thousands of miles of track but not traffic an…

My most vivid childhood memory occurred in 1986, when I was 8 years old. I grew up in rural Iowa in the “good old days,” when we as kids spent our summers outside from dawn until dusk. There was an elementary school about a half-mile down the road from our home. One summer day, while riding …

Go to the website of the P rior Lake-Savage Area School District, and you’ll find this statement: “Our mission is to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever- changing global community.” Then go to the 2017-2018 budget on the same …

I go to Alaska every year for a variety of reasons. I go for the wide variety of wildlife. I go for the amazing adventures. I go to connect with the mountains. This year is no different from any other year, but on the other hand, everything is different.

In October of 1990 I was in Tel Aviv to meet with officials of an Israeli defense contractor. When business was concluded, I decided to make a tourist-type visit to the Old City in Jerusalem. It was a week after the Al Aqsa massacre and tensions were high in Israel, but my visit ended with a…

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