Opinions

Fri
02
Dec
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Time For Action On Rural Policies

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Since the Nov. 8 presidential election a lot of stories, columns and editorials have been written about how starkly the lines of support for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump were drawn throughout America. But the lines they all focus on aren’t the ones between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, but between rural Americans and big city Americans.

Rural America is less educated, more down and out, losing the promise of the American dream, more white, older, less diverse, less tolerant, more prejudiced, and less accepting of change. The list goes on.

Wed
23
Nov
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Fake News A Problem For An Informed Citizenry

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

“People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.”

Malcolm Muggeridge, British Journalist & Author

Stories about how fake news pervades the internet and how it even helped Donald Trump win the presidency have been wide spread in the news media over the past couple weeks.

First, we don’t think the Republican candidate won because of fake news. He won because a majority of those who voted in states that count in the electoral college did so because of his conservative social stands, because he was a Republican, because many undecided voters detested Democrat Hillary Clinton, because many Democrats wished they had another choice, and because people wanted change in Washington.

Fri
11
Nov
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‘Government We Deserve’

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

“Every nation gets the government it deserves.”  -- Joseph de Maistre – 1811, French Philosopher

In today’s world, Joseph de Maistre ‘s observation is an indictment of our entire political system. It starts with citizens who tune out of the political process and are easily manipulated by slogans, inflammatory rhetoric, and impossible promises. Most of us don’t participate in the early stages of the campaigns when candidates for office are selected. As a result, the far right and far left set the foundation for what comes later as they choose our candidates and their platforms.

Thu
03
Nov
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We Endorse Falk, Koenen, Peterson

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Republicans Endorse Clinton

We don’t expect that our Republican readers would give much weight to our words if we wrote about why Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was not qualified to be president of the United States. We know they expect us to give an endorsement of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, listing all the qualifications that make her best for the job despite obvious flaws.

But rather than make that case, we will let your fellow Republicans tell you why they are either voting for Clinton, writing in some other name, or simply not voting for a presidential candidate Nov. 8:
 

Former Minnesota two-term Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Wed
26
Oct
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Pardoning Edward Snowden

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
-- Benjamin Franklin

New attention is being paid to American exile Edward Snowden these days with the release of a movie by filmmaker and screenwriter Oliver Stone. Titled “Snowden,” it looks into what drove the National Security Agency (NSA) contract worker to take top secret documents from his workplace.

More attention to Snowden is also being generated with the calls by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union for President Barack Obama to pardon him.

Wed
05
Oct
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All Digital World Means No Community Newspaper

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Last week we received an email through the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editor’s listserv from a journalism student at a university researching when community newspapers would go all digital. She was talking about the day there would be no more printed newspapers.

When this question has been asked by other young people it is asked with the assumption that when print goes away there will be plenty of sources from which to get the news you need to be an informed citizen. You’ll get all the news that connects you to your community’s life from your schools, to your clubs, to the births and deaths, marriages and anniversaries, to the farm community, to business news, letters and opinions from fellow citizens, and much more. You’ll also get all the information that keeps you up-to-date with what your city, school district, county and hospital are doing.

Fri
30
Sep
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‘Gone Country’ in Franklin, Tennessee

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Being part of the National Newspaper Association (NNA) has provided us with opportunities to travel across the country and experience events that we would have never encountered but for our membership. We had one of the most memorable experiences last week when we traveled to the NNA annual convention in Franklin, Tennessee.

Franklin is about the same distance from Nashville, the heart of country western music in America, as Bloomington is from downtown Minneapolis.

Last Thursday night at The Factory in Franklin four top country singer-songwriters sat across the small stage with their acoustic guitars. Though they entertained us for more than an hour, the four never played as a group. Rather each one took a turn at describing one of the songs he had written, the country artist who had picked it up, and how it became a hit.

Wed
21
Sep
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Future of Wildlife Programs Depend on Youth

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

After years of seeing t-shirts with sayings things like “I’d rather be...” with an illustration of a fish, pheasant, duck or deer, implying the person wearing it was an avid outdoor sportsman, we saw one this past weekend that gave insight into where too many young people’s passions are today. It said, “I’d rather be…” and was illustrated with video games.

Minnesota’s waterfowl season starts this Saturday. The archery deer season is already underway and the pheasant season starts in just a couple weeks. It’s a time of year those who love the outdoors and the challenge of hunting anxiously anticipate.

Thu
08
Sep
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Colin Kaepernick’s Patriotism

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

The peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: “Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.” -- Carl Schurz, Civil War General

 “With liberty and justice for all,” are the last words of the Pledge of Allegiance. But what when happens when liberty and justice are unequal? What happens when you are a member of a minority that is persistently, systematically discriminated against?

What happens when you are parents who have to fear for the lives of your children when they leave the home, not because of what a criminal might do, but because of what law enforcement might do?

Fri
02
Sep
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Becoming A Diverse, Accepting Community

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

"If my child had prejudice in his head, I’d be ashamed. I would see it as my failure as a parent."  -- Salman Rushdie, Author

When our grandfather came to rural Benson as a young boy of five-years-old, he couldn’t speak English. Norwegian was his native tongue. But he quickly learned English attending country school in Six Mile Grove Township. He only attended school through the eighth grade but was one of most well read people we knew growing up.

He grew up working on the farm, then as many did, worked a variety of jobs before becoming a plumber who also dug and built basements. Ole Anfinson worked hard to make a better life for his three children. His oldest child, Ronald Anfinson, graduated from Benson High School and went on to be a bombardier on a B-24 bomber in World War II. After the war he went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

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