Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 13 February 2007 18:00On the way back from Atlanta in mid-January we met a civilian from this area who was returning from Iraq. He is in the oil business and said he was over there trying to help the Kurds develop their oil fields, which have been decimated through all of the turmoil of recent years.
I asked him what is really going on over there. He said much of what we are told is untrue. We listened to him tell of his experiences for a while and then he produced a report that his company puts out regarding the levels of danger around the country and which faction is controlling what.
How does one know what to believe anymore, especially someone you have just happened to run into?
He said two things that have stuck with me. One was, "The more you know (about Iraq), the less you know." The other thing was, "The Iraqis said to him that he may be in their country now, but they would be there forever."
He also said Iran is behind most of the unrest and that Maliki is a puppet for Iran. Now we read in the newspaper this week that Iranian munitions are being used by the insurgents.
This gentleman told us he was interviewed twice by BBC in December, appearing on BBC television and also on its Web site. I checked out the Web site and what he told me checked out.
I had a phone conversation later with him while he was in the United States. He has since gone back to Iraq. He offered to come to Hillsboro to discuss the situation in fuller detail, but our schedules didn't line up.
If we were in the national news business I would love to keep pursuing this contact for the insight we could gain from this connection.
When I asked him how he provided for his safety he replied he has a group of Kurdish military folks that accompany him.
Notice to drug companies: I now know of at least two women who are afraid to open a sleeve of biscuits. I'll bet there are hundreds more who haven't told anyone about it. Here is your opportunity to develop a drug to combat this terrible condition.
Increasing the sales tax in Marion County doesn't just hurt one segment of our business community, such as car dealers. It affects everyone and every business in ways we wouldn't be able to overcome. In a declining population county, it isn't possible to tax our way to prosperity. We can't be known as the county with the highest taxes around.
An increase of 1 percent in sales tax isn't really a 1 percent increase. It is nearly a 13 percent increase (8.3 divided by 7.3 equals 1.137). A half percent is still more than a 6 percent increase.
Let's travel back to the 1960s this week. It was a time when Pizza Hut and Shakey's Pizza were just getting rolling. And Hillsboro had its own pizza joint, too.
Do you remember CC's Pizza located where the Guest House Restaurant and later Iron Kettle was located on East D?
The two men who started it were Carl Calam and Al Clark, hence CC's. The place became a hangout for high school kids, including my brother Mark.
He and friends had a band called the Poets whose members were Doug Janzen, Kenny Winter and sometimes Bob Dalke. They would play there after ball games.
Some community leaders in those days didn't think that type of thing should be going on in a place like that.