Opinions

Wed
04
Dec
admin's picture

Protecting A Community’s Health

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Last flu season in America was particularly deadly. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 61,000 people died from flu related symptoms with 810,000 hospitalized.

As we enter the heart of this flu season, the Minnesota Department of Health, Horizon Public Health, our local medical staffs, and our pharmacies will be reminding us to get vaccinated – and you should follow their advice. Doing so not only protects you but safeguards the lives of infants whose immune systems aren’t fully developed and are too young for vaccines, those who have comprised immune systems due to cancer treatments, and those who are allergic to vaccines.

Wed
27
Nov
admin's picture

Informed Communities Are Healthy Communities

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A recent University of North Carolina study found that since 2004 1,800 newspapers had disappeared in America – 1,700 of the community weekly newspapers.

In the metropolitan areas of America, there is a relatively rich media culture with commercial television stations, public radio and television stations, internet web sites devoted to covering the both the urban region and communities within it, and daily newspapers.

However, many of these dailies have seen their newsrooms gutted with the savings on reporter salaries going to pay investors of their hedge fund owners.

In many rural communities, the only source of the news is the local newspaper. The information we provide reaches deeply into the fabric of what makes a community connected, successful, inclusive and forward looking. When it disappears, the community’s health is threatened

In Healthy communities

Wed
20
Nov
admin's picture

What It Takes To Hold Power Accountable

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Good government depends on a system of checks and balances. Those who govern and those who administer the government know they are answerable to the citizenry of the community. Citizens hold government accountable through the information they are provided by the watchdogs who make up the Fourth Estate – the press.

Often in our small communities we elect good people who then hire competent and good-intentioned civil servants. Our governments run smoothly, taxes are reasonable, and services are provided cost-effectively. However, too frequently we hear the stories of trust abused and violated.  That is why we need a strong, attentive and respected press that provides a common source of trusted information to citizens.

Wed
13
Nov
admin's picture

Facebook Ad Policy Threatens Democracy

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“Democracy requires citizens see things from one another’s point of view, but instead we’re more and more enclosed in our own bubbles. Democracy requires a reliance on shared fact; instead, we’re being offered parallel but separate universes.”
 
Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble
 
We are now less than a year away from the presidential election of 2020. That it will be contentious and fraught with partisan anger is a given. That we will be inundated with misleading, demeaning, and outright false political advertising an unfortunate reality.

Candidates will have their own ads for which they take responsibility; these may be on the edge of truth and civility. A larger share of the ads will come from political action committees (PACs.) These ads will make no pretense of fairness, honesty, or civility. They will deceive and villainize.

Wed
06
Nov
admin's picture

This ‘Red’ States ‘Blue’ States Battle Will Get Worse

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A pitched battle is underway between America’s Red and Blue states. It’s a battle that in many cases is fought behind the scenes through outlandish schemes that would cost taxpayers billions of dollars. It’s a battle over climate change and the depletion of America’s precious resources.

It’s not the political and ideological battle you suspect between conservatives and liberals.

In this fight, the red states are those in the American Southwest burning up as rising temperatures and extended droughts make their unchecked growth unsustainable. The blue states are those with plentiful water reserves the red states jealously covet and desperately eye to for their sustainability and future growth.

These developing water wars are just starting with one such red states’ scouting mission exploring possibilities in Minnesota.

Fri
01
Nov
admin's picture

Remembrances Of Yesterday; Fears For Tomorrow

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Some childhood memories are etched deeply into our psyche with their vivid recall, including sight, sound, and smell. For us, leaf piles burning in the fall is one such indelible memory. Today there are no leaf piles burning. It is illegal in most cities.

 “There are sound reasons for not burning leaves,” the late Hal Borland writes in his book Twelve Moons of the Year. “Their smoke adds to the urban smog, their smoldering flames create a fire hazard, and unburned leaves make good mulch and compost.

Wed
23
Oct
admin's picture

Business Supports Dreamers For Good Reasons

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Next month the United States Supreme Court will hear a case that will have a profound impact on an estimated 2.1 million young people in America. Its decision will also have broad consequences for the health of the U.S. economy.

We are talking about a legal case that would block the Trump Administration’s efforts to deport Dreamers. The Court will decide whether or not Trump’s White House has the power to administratively kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or whether Congress and the courts have a say in its future.

Wed
16
Oct
admin's picture

Levels Of ‘Division And Animosity’ Growing In U.S.

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A North Dakota man is facing two felony terroristic threat counts because he apparently couldn’t stand the political beliefs of a woman whose car featured an Elizabeth Warren bumper sticker. Senator Warren of Massachusetts is a front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Associated Press reported that 27-year-old Joseph Schumacher, of Bismarck, North Dakota, “was charged last week with carrying weapons without a permit, the unlawful transportation of firearms and disorderly conduct.” He is alleged to have pulled up to the woman’s vehicle yelling at her about her Warren bumper sticker, pointing to his President Donald Trump sticker, then driving away while flashing a gun.

Moorhead police arrested Schumacher in a nearby restaurant wearing a Trump 2020 hat. In his vehicle, they found two loaded guns. He claims he was just “flirting” with the woman.

Wed
09
Oct
admin's picture

Our Youth Must Receive A Civic Education

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Growing Growing up with a limited number of televisions and radio programs, we relied mostly on the information provided in magazines and newspapers for our knowledge of the world, national and local affairs. While television and radio could provide headlines, it was print that gave stories depth. It was a simple, straightforward time. For the most part, we trusted the news we were getting. How times have changed!

With the internet and the unchecked fire hose of information it delivers, the expansion of TV news stations, and the satellite talk-radio programs, the news environment today is vastly more complex. It is also polluted with highly partisan shows, intentional disinformation campaigns, and conspiracy theories.

Wed
02
Oct
admin's picture

Headed Toward A World Of Information Elites

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

America is becoming more stratified. The gulf between the haves and have nots is getting wider.

We’re not talking about the growing inequity between the ultra-rich in America and the rest of us, though that matters to our country’s future. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett, the three richest men in America, have as much wealth as the bottom half of our country’s people. Three men with the wealth of the 165 million Americans.

The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 75 percent of household assets.

The inequity that concerns us will empower those who have hoarded wealth onto themselves and rigged politics to ensure they become even more obscenely wealthy. We are talking about the creation of information elites.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Opinions