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Friday, Nov. 21, 2014
The Legislature becomes more Republican (11/19/14)
Republicans will outnumber Democrats almost three to one when the Unicameral convenes in January. There will be 18 new faces, 17 of them elected and one appointed by Republican Governor -- Elect Pete Ricketts. The 104th Legislature, officially a non-partisan body, will have 35 Republicans, 13 Democrats and one Independent. ...
Our eyesore (11/18/14)
Allow me to share a phone call from a concerned lady. She was somewhat upset at the sale, in progress, of city property both the price tendered and the possible future use of the partial residential lot. I share her concern in part. The small piece of presently unused and bare property is located between the new concrete parking lot of the public library and the residence just to the north. ...
The right to die (11/14/14)
I suppose most of America has now heard of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman who was suffering from incurable brain cancer which promised to make her life a living hell. Hearing that doomsday diagnosis and that she had only six months to live, she opted to move to Oregon. Oregon is a state that legally allows doctors to prescribe lethal medication for those who don't want to fight a battle they can't win and cause undue pain and suffering to themselves, family and friends in the process...
Gorgeous visuals, charming characters fill Disney's 'Big Hero 6' (11/13/14)
Disney is name-checking a couple of its recent successes in the TV ads for their new animated adventure "BigHero 6" -- "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Frozen."While it isn't as good as those movies (and doesn't even come close to the best animated superhero film ever, Pixar's "The Incredibles"), it's still...
1100-11-11 (11/11/14)
First a personal note. I loved the results of last week's election. Evidently my sister, the one of liberal persuasion, not so much. She seems to be blaming marital strife, over-(house) work, all sorts of things that are a temporary crisis in her life on anything except admitting to the sound trouncing of her beloved Democrat Party. Tickles me and I still love the lady. Even my fellow columnist, Mike Hendricks, seems to be leaning toward a more conservative outlook on life. Savor the moment...
Election results not surprising (11/07/14)
I should have put Meg's name in the title of this week's column because I'm sure SHE was certainly surprised. Meg (last name unknown) was some kind of operative for the Chuck Hassebrook gubernatorial campaign and wrote a letter of protest to this newspaper's editor, Bruce Crosby, after a column I wrote appeared. In that column, I said that a poll taken by CBS/New York Times showed Hassebrook losing the election by 20 percentage points. Meg wrote a pretty pithy letter in response...
'Fury' covers the same ground as other war movies (11/06/14)
Military-themed movies have almost always fallen into one of two camps: loud action-packed romps with quips aplenty, and bloodletting kept to a minimum (ensuring that the young audience will be able to spend their allowance at the box office hassle-free), or dark treatises on the price of war, the loss of innocence,...
King Air (11/04/14)
Sadly this week, for a few short moments between speculation of the upcoming mid-term elections on TV, we saw pictures of an airplane crash in Wichita. The pilot of the King Air airplane and three others on the ground were reported killed. The TV pictured a great column of black smoke coming from what appeared to be a large warehouse looking building not far from the runway. Back to speculation on the election...
Murray finds his career-best role in 'St. Vincent' (10/31/14)
"St. Vincent," is the kind of movie that makes you appreciate what an underappreciated actor can do when he (or she, for that matter) is given the right role. In this case, it's one Bill Murray. Murray is infamous -- and rightfully so -- for playing wiseacres. He seems naturally good at it, like it's a skill that he was gifted with at birth, not one that he has to constantly sharpen...
Are voter ID laws partisan? (10/31/14)
I thought it was a good time to address this talking point with our off-year elections only a few days away. Voter ID laws ARE partisan but not for the reason many people suspect. Since 2011, 13 mostly Republican-controlled states, including Texas and Wisconsin, have introduced laws demanding voters provide a photo ID, such as a driver's license or a passport. ...
We should be careful of machines (10/24/14)
I think I've lived during some of the best times in human history. I grew up in the '50s in a small town in Arkansas where things were leisurely and relaxed. Those were the days of flat-top haircuts, wheat jeans and penny loafers and every day during the summer was fun. ...
Daydreaming of pillows and punching bags (10/24/14)
I  was folding clothes one afternoon earlier this week, daydreaming about the upcoming Rams game, when Declan said he wanted a pillow with my face printed on it for Christmas. I was flattered and continued to fold clothes as the comment shifted my imagination away from sports and towards a more serene setting...
My 'Odd' goodbye to working on the McCook stage (10/24/14)
This week, instead of my usual fiddle-dee-dee, I've decided to cover some personal territory. If you indulge me by reading it, I'm thankful. Of course, you may feel free to ignore this one -- not that you need my permission to do that. Sunday afternoon, I stepped onto (and then, about three hours later, off of) a McCook stage for the final time. And it was all I had hoped it would be...