INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana likes having the nation's highest portion of workers -- 20 percent -- in manufacturing, so five days before Delphi, the Michigan-based automobile parts manufacturer, entered bankruptcy, Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican who believes that "conservatism can be active," called Delphi. He praised Indiana as a paradise for even more Delphi operations than are already there. Michigan's Democratic governor, Jennifer Granholm, responded to Delphi's travails differently, denouncing Delphi's executives, Washington and globalization.
WASHINGTON -- Decades ago, Walter Reuther, the storied head of the United Auto Workers union, was taken on a tour of an automated factory by a Ford Motor Company executive. Somewhat gleefully, the Ford honcho told the legendary union leader: "You know, not one of these machines pays dues to the UAW." To which Reuther snapped: "And not one of them buys new Ford cars, either." The historian William L.
Hats off from Donna Rime to all involved in the Willmar Senior High School musical, "South Pacific." It was a spectacular performance.
A letter by Patricia Carter Harding published Nov. 18 was inadvertantly edited. The final sentence of the letter should have read "The constant support of the New Testament is great because it keeps telling you that with your choice of Jesus Christ comes the best fire insurance you will ever have."
What a funny world. Where once it was scandalous to be unmarried and pregnant, now it is scandalous to disapprove of another's being unmarried and pregnant. The latest episode in these morally confused times occurred in New York recently when a Roman Catholic school fired a teacher because she is single and pregnant. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn claims that teacher Michelle McCusker violated "the tenets of Catholic morality" and thus could not be employed by the school.
WASHINGTON -- A decade ago, just after Thanksgiving, my son James was diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome, an unusual immune disorder that affects the heart and the heart arteries. My wife and I had never heard of this strange disease, and we were scared. We took James to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington where we encountered Dr. Gerard Martin, a lanky pediatric heart specialist who combines a matter-of-fact honesty with a playful attitude toward kids. It didn't surprise me to learn that he and his wife have five of them.
I have to comment on columnist Cal Thomas' recent visit to Willmar. He is a strong conservative and I question his comments on education and religion. Thomas noted that the judicial and intellectual elite (whoever that is) have removed God and morals from public education. He also added that education without a biblical base is inadequate. When I hear this, I wonder what is taught or not taught in their churches that they need the public schools to teach religion? Their churches must be lacking in religious education.
Sen. Dean Johnson has called the marriage amendment "the great divider of the state." Where does he get his information? A Mason Dixon poll shows that 65 percent of Minnesotans oppose same-sex marriage and 63 percent want to vote on the amendment. The same poll shows that 76 percent of Senate District 13 -- Johnson's home district -- want the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. If he truly believes his own headline that "the people are always right," then what group is he listening to?
Minnesota faces a growing concern of politics creeping into special election dates selected by the governor. Certainly, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's announcement Tuesday of a special election Dec. 27 in Senate District 15 and House District 15B raised concerns. The election date is just two days after Christmas. This date selection right after Christmas will find the majority of voters more focused on family visits and gift returns. This date selection is even more suspect when one considers that both districts are home to St. Cloud State University, which will be on winter break.
After the Spicer City Council heard the disappointment voiced by Faith Lutheran and others at the Nov. 9 assessment hearing, the proposed assessment for the frontage road located between Faith Lutheran Church and State Highway 23 was reduced from $84,000 to $56,000 (from $108 per foot to $70 per foot). Normally that sort of reduction would be grounds for a big celebration -- you know, cook up a little lutefisk and roll out a batch of lefse -- until you realize that just down the road, United Prairie Bank paid a pittance in comparison -- $9.50 per foot! Why the huge difference?