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December 14th, 2018

The Christmas season is based in religious practice but has other meanings as well. President Calvin Coolidge called it “a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” Clergyman Thomas Monson suggested, “Christmas is the spirit of giving without a th

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December 13th, 2018

A man I knew well and considered a friend killed himself this last week. The feelings that wash over us survivors might mirror the feelings of the victim: anger, sadness, despair, failure. I will admit to all those. I imagine someone close to you has killed themselves. I am sorry. It sounds so inadequate, doesn’t it? What

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December 11th, 2018

In 1907, Congress enacted legislation to deny entry into the U.S. of “persons likely to become a public charge.” The idea was to prevent immigration of people who would be drawing upon public assistance. The “public charge” legislation is still the law of the land and has worked fairly well to conserve public resour

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December 10th, 2018

As a Republic, we’re living in dangerous times. Unlike the past, when wars defined the danger, we’re at war with ourselves. And, it seems at moments, much of the rest of the world. Divisions, tribalism, racism, anti-Semitism, far right and far left hate mongers, sexism, laws based on lies, ignorance and political self-s

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December 9th, 2018

Mother Nature was very kind to us in 2018. Rain and cool weather are things you expect during harvest in Oregon, but not this year! All during harvest we were given warm, dry weather under beautiful blue skies. This perfect weather meant we could harvest each variety at the ideal moment. There was no pressure from the we

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This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for December 10. Would you like to know more? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com. The Idaho Legislature’s organizational session last week ended with little change in floor leadership but lots of shifts in committee chairs, even among the legislators

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December 8th, 2018

In 2017, nearly 335,000 Idahoans owned a hunting and/or fishing license. The Idaho sportsman’s “caucus,” while hardly ever speaking with one voice on anything, arguably represents the largest special interest group in the state. All those hunters and fisher people should be increasingly up in arms about a trend that p

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December 7th, 2018

You can’t read thoughts, but you do have to wonder if someone at Alta Mesa is thinking this: We didn’t think they’d respond this way, because on the front end they gave us no reason to think they would. Cast your memory back to early in this millennium and the enthusiastic response from many people in Idaho, and so ma

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December 6th, 2018

It was front page news in my town that a family practice clinic was being purchased by the local hospital. Before I reflect on this, you need to know I was once a partner in the clinic but left over 10 years ago. Similarly, I was on staff, on the board and chief of medical staff at the hospital that is purchasing my ex-clin

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December 5th, 2018

Every so often, I have need to travel across Oregon, and that’s a long way. The Portland to Ontario stretch of Interstate 84, alone, is about 375 miles. At 65 miles an hour, that’s a drive of five and three-quarter hours (at speed limit, non-stop). At 70 miles an hour, you can shave a half-hour off that. Not mas

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December 4th, 2018

The United States is showing a new face to the world and it isn’t a pretty one. No more Mr. Nice Guy trying to show the manifest benefits of democracy. No more of this nonsense about a free and unfettered press: Vladie Putin has demonstrated how to deal with them. And, selling death-dealing equipment to autocrats takes a

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December 3rd, 2018

Here are a couple of questions for you. Name the capitol of Afghanistan. Got it? What’s the answer? Here’s the second. Name two other cities. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Most people can’t name the capitol. Kabul. No one I know can name two other cities. And I’ve asked a few. Herat and Kandahar are a couple. There are man

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December 2nd, 2018

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for December 3. Would you like to know more? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com. Winter hit much of Idaho last week as the state moved into holiday mode, and governmental activity settled. The Idaho Supreme Court of Court of Appeals did get new jurists. An

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December 1st, 2018

In his famous Harper’s magazine essay about American politics, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Hofstadter wrote: “One of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen.” Hofstadter wrote about what he called “the paranoid style of American politics&

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November 30th, 2018

What’s a red state, or county, or city for that matter? What qualifies as blue? What’s purple? The lines are not as perfectly clear as we sometimes like to think. The point came back to me with an email from a Democrat in Valley County, who took issue with a characterization I made of his county. Noting that Valley vote

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