Articles By: Paul Penner

Do research before the election

Mid-term elections are fast approaching. By now, all eligible citizens should have thoroughly vetted the candidates vying for their respective positions in our representative government, having a clear understanding of the issues facing local, state and federal governments. Sadly, that is likely not the case. In much the same way young students try to get out of doing their homework […]

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Giving up on rural road improvement

That’s it. I’m done with waiting for our rural roads in Marion to get better without some form of radical change at the county government level. Roads are an important part of the infrastructure, the lifeblood, as it were, which determines the level of success within these borders. This “patient” is seriously ill and on life support, and nothing is […]

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Society lacks a certain seasoning in speech

Salt is a mineral we cannot live without. We benefit from its chemical properties as an essential nutrient for human health through its role as an electrolyte and osmotic solute. And yet, if we consume too much, it can make us ill and even be deadly. We use salt as seasoning in food, as well as a preservative to increase […]

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Making America great isn’t so easy

Making America great again isn’t so great. Contrary to popular opinion floating around the White House, it may actually be slipping further into decline. Paul Krugman, opinion columnist for the New York Times, writes a summary of events that are unflattering, given the well-known fact that the United States, for decades following the end of World War II, has been […]

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Pick your media bias of choice

Media bias is an issue that rarely escapes our attention these days. It matters little whether one picks up a local publication or a larger city newspaper. Even in personal conversations in which a topic comes up, a likely reaction on the subject may arise. “Consider the source.” “I don’t give much credit to that rag.” “All news media are […]

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Shooting ‘outrage’ seems futile

This Facebook post, written by Art Acevedo, chief of police at the Houston Police Department, copied in its entirety without editing, reflects the emotions of a growing number of adults and youth, following another mass shooting in a school that resulted in the needless deaths of 10 more victims in Santa Fe, Texas. * * * “To all my Facebook friends. Today, […]

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Trump tariffs will hurt farmers

“The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.” — Steve Wright Who said catching up was easy? Perhaps it is true only when snow skiing downhill on a steep mountainside. In all other circumstances, it is very hard work, if it is even possible. On the final leg of a 600-meter race, Heather Dorni­den tripped […]

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Issues around gun violence

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke This quote, written long before we Americans took to the sidelines during the advent of mass school shootings, shines an uncomfortable light upon us all. In the interest of full disclosure, it is noteworthy that I have numerous friends and acquaintances who […]

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No secret: Ag profits declining

No secret: Ag profits declining

What do international trade and agriculture have in common? It is an easy answer: They are intricately intertwined with the other. Today, it is crucial that no harm is done to either one. I begin with agriculture. It is no secret in a farming community such as Hills­boro and surrounding communities, agriculture is in a financial slump. Prices have been […]

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What is your Christmas like?

Remembering Christmases past, my childhood comes to mind. I received my first baseball glove, ball and bat on a snowy evening. One year, a wind-up train set arrived under the tree. But perhaps the most notable gift Deborah and I received was the birth of our granddaughter, Eva, three days later. This week, we celebrate that birthday, along with the […]

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