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Opinion

  • "We invite you to Live United, to reach out to your neighbors in need through the United Way, to give, advocate, and volunteer to help your community grow stronger," said Debbie Elder, United Way of Perry County's campaign chairwoman recently as she spoke to a group of employees in our community, asking them to contribute to the United Way of Perry County's annual fundraising drive.

  • The Obama administration's quest to control the health-insurance industry has dominated the headlines for months, but finally - with the news out of Iran and Afghanistan - foreign policy has again asserted itself. It was almost easy to forget that the United States maintains a worldwide empire, but the reminders came leaping off the front pages and the television screens.

  • There are several longstanding community groups that meet regularly that don't receive - or seek - a lot of attention, but go about their missions successfully year by year.

    One of those is Al-Anon, a mutual support group for people impacted by alcoholism.

  • The battle lasted only two days but all that counted was who won and who lost.

    Two mice, early migrants trying to beat the cold by venturing into my house, bit the dust last week. One had a penchant for potato chips. The second apparently needed help controlling its high blood pressure.

  • I will make this short and sweet. We can't keep going on the way we have been, even though the politicians tell us everything will be OK. Their agenda is greed and control and it has gone unchecked for too long.

    Start preparing for the way of life to which we have grown so accustomed to end some day soon. What does this mean? It means everything we now take for granted: food, clothing, shelter, heat, water, fuel, you name it, will be intermittent at best, and if you can get it, it will be at a premium.

  • I'm uncertain of what awakened me that morning. I heard voices in the living room, but that was not uncommon. My wife usually leaves the radio on low to keep the parakeet company. She's like that.

    I looked at my watch. 3:49 glowed from my wrist. July 4.

    The light was on in the living room, but that was not unusual either. She leaves lights on all over the house as a rule rather than the exception. No, it wasn't the lights that got my attention, nor the low voices. It was the smell of pipe tobacco.

  • "Surrogates," Bruce Willis' latest, is an entertaining, yet unoriginal and problematic, sci-fi film. It takes place about fifteen years in the future, where robotic surrogates handle the day to day life for 99 percent of the world's population, while their owners control them from their homes.

    Think of the world like a live action chat room, where everyone can choose what they look like.

  • Some people say anyone who has nothing to hide shouldn't be bothered by the government looking into their affairs.

    We say that attitude flies in the face of all that is American.

    In America, we don't undergo investigation unless we're suspected of wrongdoing, and evidence exists to support the suspicion. In America, our affairs are nobody's business but our own.

    That was the case, at least, in Old America.

  • National Fire Prevention Week, observed Oct. 4-10 this year, is fast approaching, making it an opportune time to salute  volunteer firefighters who protect our lives and property.

    Fire Prevention Week has been around decades and has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 7-8, 1871, that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 people homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.

  • In his Sept. 3 guest column (about Labor Day), Bil Musgrave  calls for us to commit to workers' rights, but he proposes ways that push a political agenda. 

    While people of good faith can disagree about different approaches to problems; I hope we can see a way that doesn't expand government power in our lives or require more tax money to be spent.

  • "The Informant!" the latest film from director Steven Soderbergh ("Ocean's 11"), is a strangely funny take on corporate whistleblower movies like Michael Mann's "The Insider." This isn't a spoof movie or anything, though. It's actually based on the true story of Mark Whitacre, a vice president of an agri-business company that has been involved in price fixing, who turned FBI informant on his company, ADM, in the early to mid 90s.

  • Rep. Joe Wilson's shouting, "You lie!" to President Barack Obama during Obama's Sept. 9 televised speech on health care has drawn a variety of responses.

    Many, including some of the South Carolina congressman's fellow Republicans, have expressed outrage.

    "I cringed," Rep. David Dreier, the top-ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee, told USA Today. "I think it's just unfortunate."

  • Today marks the beginning of the end for me here at The Perry County News. Friday will be my last day putting together the paper I've worked for over the past three years. I've enjoyed my time here but I've taken another job in another city and will turn over the reigns to another young journalist.

    This was my first journalism job outside of the college newsroom at Murray State University, where I earned my degree. And my time here at The Perry County News has taught me a few new skills and helped me tune others, as well.

  • I am an American citizen who has been living in Sweden for nearly 15 years now and have been following the health-care debate from the beginning. "Debate," however, may not be the best description of what I have seen and heard over the past month. As one of many democratic countries around the world that provides universal care to its citizens, Sweden has been mentioned on several occasions on both the pro and con side of the argument. I would like to share my own experiences.

  • We have a new organization in town, and as expected, there are questions. Hopefully, this message will answer them.

    Freedom Makers is a group of American citizens made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and others who are disenfranchised with the political parties which have placed themselves above the interests of our nation. We are a group much like our Founding Fathers, who came from widely diverse backgrounds to place the interests of our nation first.

  • The wheels of government seldom move as quickly as many would like but we were impressed that security improvements at Branchville Correctional Facility were made quickly after the  escapes of three men.

    Prison officials responded positively to a March 30 editorial that called for a meeting of the facility and the public, many of whom expressed concern that violent offenders serving long sentences were being housed in the medium-security center.

  • I had looked forward to no elections for local offices in 2009. For me, that means no candidate questionnaires, no public forum to moderate and, so I thought, fewer politically based letters to the editor.

    So much for that last hope. But that's OK with me. I want readers to respond to issues, but I do lament the tone some letter writers have taken, preferring to complain and caricature rather than offer suggestions. Sometimes the truth gets trampled and the very issue up for public debate is forgotten amid partisan jabs.

  • As an attorney in this community, I feel compelled to respond to the recent guest column of Dr. William Marcrum regarding the ongoing health-care debate.

    While I cannot directly address some of Dr. Marcrum's finer points regarding the value of services he provides or the rates at which he is reimbursed for care to Medicare or Medicaid patients, I can certainly address the biggest inaccuracy in his commentary - tort reform as a prong of health-care reform.

  • At Wednesday's meeting of Perry County commissioners, several residents living on or near Girl Scout Road, joined by Girl Scout representatives and those of Recovery Connection Inc. gathered in the courthouse to share concerns about a proposed recovery home for substance abusers.

    According to Randy Paris, a substance-abuse counselor at Branchville Correctional Facility and president of Recovery Connection Inc., the house on Girl Scout Road would allow men who have had drug and alcohol problems to live in a drug- and alcohol-free environment.

  • It's not often that a story moves me to near tears. But the one I ran across Wednesday of last week - about a group of volunteer student pallbearers - came close. The Ohio group's work, I think, offers local young people a chance to do something similar in carrying out one of the corporal works of mercy: that of burying the dead.