Opinions

Wed
26
Aug
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Our Cooperation Is Rooted In A Common Story

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” They are the concluding words of the Pledge of Allegiance. They are a myth.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty reads. There are those who would scratch out those words and replace them with “stay out.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” the Declaration of Independence reads - it is an unfulfilled promise.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” We are still struggling to form that “more perfect union.”

Wed
19
Aug
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We Must Ensure All Ballots Are Counted

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A record 77 percent of Americans could vote by mail in this year’s general election as they try to stay healthy during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 80 million ballots could be mailed in this fall, twice as many as in the 2016 presidential election year.

The expected surge in mail-in voting is causing election officials to warn of major problems in getting ballots delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and counted by election officials. Democrats see this logistics problem being compounded by the Trump Administration’s unsubstantiated claims that mail-in voting will lead to massive voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

Wed
05
Aug
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Keeping Economy, Schools Open Requires Masks

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

We are seeing a lesson unfold with the attempt to complete a 60-game Major League Baseball season during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its success depends on players’ discipline when outside the ballpark, respect for teammates, and thought about how important their continued shortened season is to Americans looking for escape from the oppressing consequences of a deadly pandemic.

Two teams have already failed this test. The Miami Marlins season was interrupted when 18 players and two coaches tested positive. Now the St. Louis Cardinals have been idled due to four players testing positive for the coronavirus.

Wed
29
Jul
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Good Government Demands Citizen Participation

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Among the essential characteristics that define a healthy community is active citizen participation in local government. That characteristic is complimented by local elected officials who seek out and respect citizen input to ensure their decisions are representative of the community’s will.

Not all decisions are easy to make. Some, in fact, are divisive and acrimonious. It is during these times that the quality of the elected officials are tested. Too often, those elected officials fail the test. Rather than taking the heat from citizens  and then explaining why their decision moves the community where it needs to go,  they hide behind closed doors.

Wed
22
Jul
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Twitter And Social Media’s Unreliability

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Twitter was hacked July 15.
It’s old news already in our society with its limited attention span and lack of any real concern for what happens on the internet. It’s an intangible thing that can’t be felt physically so it lacks a degree of reality. But this attack on the security and sanctity of Twitter’s trust worthiness could come back to haunt us in the days before the Nov. 3 general election.

President Barack Obama’s Twitter account was taken over. So was that of former Vice President and now presidential candidate Joe Biden.  Billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had their Twitter accounts hijacked. Each of these accounts has millions of followers.

It was considered one of the most severe attacks on the security of an internet social media company in years.

Wed
15
Jul
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What If Newspapers Had Prevented Printing?

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When the 2019 planting season was getting underway the rains wouldn’t stop. Falling on already saturated ground, the incessant rains flooded fields. Farmers couldn’t till the land much less plant seed.

Not growing a crop didn’t mean they weren’t going to get paid. Through the USDA’s Prevented Planting program, farmers received compensation for those unplanted acres.

Community newspapers are in a devastating drought, one so severe it is forcing publishers off the nation’s landscape leaving rural communities a barren information wasteland. We believe there is a solution to help America’s community newspapers based on this USDA program that could be administered through the department’s rural development division. We’d call it a “Prevented Printing” program. First let’s look why such a program is crucial today.

A King of the Hill world

Wed
08
Jul
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Masks Will Help Keep Minnesota Open

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While  states through the South, along with California, are having to shut down parts of their economies, societies, and potentially schools, Minnesota has a proven way it can significantly enhance its chances of staying open – wearing masks. We would bet there are a few states where they wish they would have been more respectful of that advice.

In a statewide order July 2, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is requiring those living in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases to wear a mask while in business or public places, with several exceptions. He also said he might be rethinking the opening of schools if the number of cases continues to rise.

Wed
01
Jul
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Be Thoughtful In Cleansing America’s Past

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Few issues we’ve asked our readers about over our long career in journalism have brought out such deep and passionate responses as the tearing down of statues of historic figures from America’s past. It seems there is little room for compromise or understanding on either side.  Perhaps, there is greater impatience in each of us with the stress of how our worlds have been upset by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are a little more frayed at the edges.

The killing of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police officers May 25 was a lightning strike in a tinder dry forest. Marches with large crowds of outraged citizens exploded across the nation and world. A few used the legitimate protests as cover for vandalism, theft and arson.

Wed
24
Jun
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Dreamers Get A Temporary Reprieve

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In a split 5-4 decision last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Trump Administration’s attempt to undo the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection for America’s Dreamers.

For many, this is the only country they’ve known. Dreamers had to have arrived in the U.S. by 2007 and before they turned 16 years old. Nearly 40 percent arrived in America before they were 5 with the average age of children who eventually became Dreamers just 7.

DACA was created by a 2012 executive order issued by then President Barack Obama to protect Dreamers from potential deportation as the U.S. Congress repeatedly failed to pass an immigration law. Claiming the order illegal, then presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he would overturn it on “day one” if elected president. He has been working toward that goal since his election in November 2016.

Wed
17
Jun
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Newspapers Renewable Energy For Democracy

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Print is dead. We’ve heard it too often.

We’ve heard dinosaurs mentioned in the same sentence as print. Buggy whips, too. Print is obsolete having outlived its usefulness in the face of the digital revolution, it is said. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram – are now the primary source of “news” for many youth. A fair number of older adults also turn to the internet for their “news.”

A friend of ours recently asked a group of young people if they read the local newspaper. The looks on the faces communicated a single message: “You are kidding, aren’t you?” Facebook. That’s where their news came from.

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