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Dean Kirkland

Ridenbaugh Press/publishing

http://www.ridenbaugh.com/

Located in Carlton

Last update: November 12th, 2019 at 04:33 am

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from our writers

All my life I’ve been told “change is constant.” And, all my life – 80+ years – it has been. In nearly all ways. But, just because it’s a “constant” doesn’t mean it may always be good change. I recently got some medical news that’s made me reflect a bit and take note of some of that “change.”

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My Mom, Eunice Martens Jones, was born just as World War 1 was ending. She grew up in a German-American community south of Eden. Her father was an immigrant from Hamburg, Germany, and her maternal grandmother had immigrated from Bremen. Grandma Martens told me in the 1960s that the community of German-Americans had been vie

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The Trump-defending Idaho congressional delegation was reminded yet again this week of the dangers involved in shielding a president who can’t tell the truth and won’t let most of his subordinates even try. Spoiler alert: Defending the president is only going to get more difficult; more difficult by the minute. An unlik

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Stay in elective office long enough, the sages say, and for the voters the time will come when it’s too long. That can be true even if the voters aren’t really interested in a major change of direction. Consider the different stories told by the Meridian and Boise mayoral elections on Tuesday. In Meridian, four-term may

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This last week I ran into a guy in clinic that made me thankful for Idaho voters. We were able to help him out. You should know about this. It’s not about politics or policy, just about how we were able to help out a hard-working guy. He was in his work insulated coveralls since he had gotten in a couple hours on a chilly

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One of the lines of thought in the last couple of weeks, in some of the many sources of political punditry, is that the election results of 2017 and 2018 should be considered something of an outlier, a bit of a normal reaction to a change in election results in 2016. Put another way, Democrats in the last couple of years di

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The United States rightfully celebrated the death of the Islamic State (ISIS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on October 27. The killing of this despicable cutthroat was a clear setback for ISIS, but the group will continue to threaten the U.S. and its allies. Just as the death of Osama bin Laden did not eliminate al-Qaeda, B

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This impeachment business has become an overwhelming saga. It’s taken all the air out of the room. Not that it isn’t warranted. It is. And will continue so for several months. Trying to keep up with daily disclosures and the changing cast of characters is quite a job for political junkies. As the old movie posters used

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For decades the national Republican Party literally owned the political debate over national security issues. Polls repeatedly indicated that American voters trusted Republicans more to properly handle military and foreign policy. Republicans ruthlessly — and occasionally shamelessly — exploited this advantage. In his 1

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The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare must have been surprised when social media giant Facebook rejected 14 of their ads, having to do with health care. Such a denial sounds ridiculous on its face. But – and to be clear, this is in no way the fault of the department – the case is more complicated than that,

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Sometimes when you listen to people you hear the way they think. When we have a problem to solve, how we think about it, how we frame it can determine our ability to find a solution. Many people see government as a vending machine. It’s a mysterious thing that takes our money and gives us back something we expect to be of

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Clean it up or sweep it out. The word corporatism seems, in a day when massive corporations occupy so large a part in society, like a natural: It’s short, simple and seems to relate to something specific. It’s not that simple. It has been used on the right to attack the left (notably during the Obama Administration) as

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I have to admit that I was not particularly impressed with Mitt Romney when he was running for president in 2012. He’d done a great job on the Salt Lake Winter Olympics in 2002 and run a credible campaign for president in 2008, but his core values seemed elusive. Many of the positions he took in the 2012 election were sub

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I’ve come to think our nation is running on auto-pilot; that there’s no responsible adult at the controls which makes us very, very vulnerable. With last week’s childish display of Republican arrogance and ignorance by those gate-crashers in the U.S. House, I hope we’ve seen the last of such rule-breaking in an atta

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At a recent town hall, Idaho’s First District Congressman Russ Fulcher bashed federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, claiming they are acting like an unaccountable fourth branch of government. He went on to say that the agencies hate each other, don’t work well together, and seem to be acting outside the law

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The ultimate danger of the Trump presidency, even beyond the potentially catastrophic consequences of the recent abandonment of northern Syria to the Turks, Russians and ISSI, has always been that Trump will completely and permanently warp the simple notion of facts and destroy the idea of acceptable political behavior. The

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It was the call-out for pizza and Chick-fil-A that nailed it. One question that might be asked of Idaho First District Representative Russ Fulcher is, did he consume his share? Another is, what else did he and his compatriots get out of the early morning adventure? When the group of Republican U.S. House members including F

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In the middle of my career I was given a gift. The nurse I had worked with for a long time told me she would need to be leaving the office at 4PM each day to deal with family issues. She said she could arrange for someone to cover for the last couple hours of the day. I thought about it long and hard and said, OK, I will se

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“Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” ► Chico Marx (Usually attributed to Groucho Marx as, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” The Groucho-attributed version scans better, but he may not actually have said it.) When President Trump’s Counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet the Pres

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It broke my heart when South Vietnam fell to Communist forces on April 30, 1975. It was sickening to see the television footage of terrified Vietnamese trying to grab onto evacuation helicopters from the top of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. The debacle was a giant stain on the honor of this wonderful country. I did not object

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Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen many Republican politicians arrested, charged, found guilty and hauled off to jail. So many, in fact, it makes one wonder why. Oh, there’s an occasional Democrat here and there. But, the majority of the felonious miscreants come from the GOP. So, again, why? Here in our Arizona

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With a possible few exceptions, Republicans in the House and Senate have known from the get-go that Trump is a walking time bomb, a well-lit fuse that could explode at any time on any given day. But the ubiquitous polls told them Trump had an iron grip on his base. So they pretended otherwise. They may have pretended so wel

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On April 6, 2017 President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on airfields in Syria in response to Syrian dictator Basher al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Idaho Senator Jim Risch immediately praised Trump’s action as “a game changer” that signaled a new American approach to the entire Middle East and wo

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We may see soon where excellent intentions and well-crafted proposals run up against the wall of Idaho politics. Or will those intentions this time blast through it? The story leading up to this began in mid-April, when the on-line East Idaho News published a series of articles on collection of medical debt in the area, und

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“You ready?” Blanche called back to Dennis. “C’mon, I want to get to Walmart. Bring your homework, you can do it there.” Dennis came out in his sweatshirt and ball cap. He grabbed his school backpack as he passed the kitchen table. On the way into town Blanche asked him, “You know what you’re supposed to do?

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Just a joke? Sounds like gaslighting to me. ► internet meme A Google search results for blame-shifting also brings up the phrase “blame-shifting and gaslighting,” which suggested that an opening word about gaslighting also is in order. It entered our common vocabulary in 1944 with the movie Gaslight, a thriller in whi

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Senator Jim Risch has come around to thinking that climate change is a “very, very troubling problem.” Risch told a BSU audience on September 13 he “thinks” climate change is “a very valid theory, that it’s caused by human emissions,” and “the world’s in a very precarious situation, if that’s the case.

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With the possible exception of the Civil War, our nation now seems more divided, more acrimonious, more splintered and filled with outright hate than at anytime in our history. The causes are many. Solutions seem few. Each day, it seems another dose of division is sewn into our nature and those divisions appear wider than e

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A century ago, “anti-trust” was a serious political subject, a crusade even, around which political careers – Theodore Roosevelt’s to name but one – were partly or wholly built. Today, when the concept could use serious activation more than in generations, it has become a sad joke. Here’s a semi-clear Google def

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In his masterful biography of Richard Nixon the journalist John A. Farrell recounts the last days – it was the summer of 1974 – of Nixon’s presidency with a variety of anecdotes that are chilling in their relevance to the drama currently unfolding in Washington, D.C. Most who remember their history will recall that it

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