Opinions

Fri
05
Jan
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Following Through On Commitments

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

We’ve become quite cynical over the years about conducting studies. That cynicism is based on repetitive experience. A need is identified, there is considerable sincere discussion about the challenges and opportunities, a study is commissioned, citizens are invited to give input, the findings of the study are presented and, finally, a set of goals and objectives identified.

What we have repeatedly seen is that the study is shelved. Its demise doesn’t happen overnight but is inevitable. There may be a price tag to implement the recommendations; so elected leaders are hesitant to act. Those charged with implementing it are too distracted by their daily responsibilities resulting in no dedicated follow through. What were once weekly discussions become monthly discussions and then periodic discussions until the study is one more binder on a shelf gathering dust.

Fri
22
Dec
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Living In An Age Of ‘Unreason’

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Sapere Aude
‘Dare to know’

It was called the Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment. Lasting 130 years from 1685 to 1815, it was an era when “reason was the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state.”

The thirst for knowledge was spurred on by scientific methodology and experimentation. German 18th Century philosopher Immanuel Kant captured the movement in the Latin phrase – Sapere Aude – “Dare to know.”

We know the path to knowledge is paved with the sacrifices of those who have been called heretics and blasphemers. They have been poisoned, hung, shot, drown, and tarred and feathered for their pursuit of knowledge. Books have been banned and speakers arrested and imprisoned.

Fri
24
Nov
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School Board Must Respond To Citizen Concerns

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

There are times when a thoughtful, frank discussion about sensitive issues that have a broad impact on the quality of life in a community are necessary. The conversation is going to hurt feelings, offend people in positions of influence and authority, and demand leadership from those responsible for solving the challenges.

We are having one of those discussions now about the persistent losing records of many of our athletic programs at Benson High School. The impact reaches far beyond the athletic fields, rinks, and courts of BHS.

How the discussion evolves will depend on the seriousness with which it is carried out and the character of those taking part.

Fri
17
Nov
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Remembering Simpler Times

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Last month we were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the annual National Newspaper Association convention. With our duties taken care of for the day, we went on a tour of downtown Tulsa with an official guide.

Tulsa is known for its striking art deco architecture with many of its buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings and art deco designs were the result of tenacious competition between the oil barons who were making fortunes in the city that was known as the “Oil Capitol of the World.” Each wanted to have the tallest and most impressive building. It was the 1920s and 1930s, and Tulsa’s population was exploding.

Wed
25
Oct
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Vote "Yes" On School Operating Levy

If You Support Education, Business, And A Vibrant Community...
Vote ‘Yes” On School Operating Levy

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

When families consider moving to a new community one of their top is checking out the school system.

Are the facilities up-to-date or old? Are the teachers good or indifferent? Is the school board forward thinking or complacent? Are the sports teams successful with coaches working from the bottom up to build excellence or are they fragmented with uninspired youth? Do the people in the community support their schools or are they tight with their tax dollars?

These are all questions they ask. The answers reveal a lot about the character of the school, its leadership, and the community.

Wed
18
Oct
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Aquifers - A Precious Resource Being Abused

Aquifers - A Precious Resource Being Abused

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

 “Once you have abundance in your head you kind of feel that you can consume it endlessly.”

DNR Region 4 Groundwater
 Planner Tim Gieseke
 

It’s hard to believe in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” that we don’t have enough water. That we could forever turn on the tap and clean, abundant water would always come gushing out was a given. No longer.

“We are in a situation where we know we have a limited resource on a downward trend,” Area Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Hydrologist Ethan Jenzen told the Swift County Board of Commissioners last month. He was speaking of the aquifers below central Swift County.

Thu
12
Oct
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Rampant Voter Fraud - A Myth That Persists

Rampant Voter Fraud - A Myth That Persists

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

One of the most common popular myths we hear at this time of year is that if the first frost hasn’t come yet in late September or early October, it will come with the approaching full moon. It hasn’t in the 65 years that local records have been kept. It comes when cold Arctic air settles over Minnesota on a clear night.

Still the myth persists because it has been repeated so often that it has become a truth in many people’s minds. It is reinforced because we remember cold, clear nights with full moons and a frost in the morning. Proximity is enough to create truth.

Wed
20
Sep
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Manipulating Facebook To Manipulate Voters

Manipulating Facebook To Manipulate Voters

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

The art of pleasing is the art of deception.     

Luc De Clapiers

We all hate being duped. Conned into believing one thing only to find out later it was false. That we had built arguments and made decisions based upon false information we had every reason to believe is aggravating and embarrassing.

It is our own fault to some degree that we get suckered. We are geared to believe that which strokes our egos, our prejudices, and reinforces what we are already inclined to hold to be the truth. There is a word for those tendencies – motivated cognition.

Wed
13
Sep
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Make Minnesota A Dreamer Destination

Make Minnesota A Dreamer Destination

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

The clock is ticking on the six-month deadline President Donald Trump set last week for Congress to pass an immigration law to protect the status of the nearly 800,000 children and young adults known as Dreamers.

Dreamers are the children of illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents. Many have known no other home. They attend our elementary schools, high schools and colleges. They serve in the military. They are engineers, designers, electricians, medical personnel, teachers, welders and fill many other jobs in our economy. They are neighbors and friends.

Wed
06
Sep
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Dreamers Are Essential To America’s Future

Dreamers Are Essential To America’s Future

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

With Congress unable to pass immigration legislation that ensured children who have been brought here as infants or very young children would not be deported after growing up in America, President Obama acted on his own in 2012. He issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, executive order that protects them from deportation.

Conservative Republicans called Obama’s DACA executive order extreme presidential overreach and unconstitutional.

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