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Miscellaneous thoughts on politics, people, math, science and other cool (if sometimes frustrating) stuff from somewhere near my favorite coffee shop.
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Dean Kirkland

Blogs In Carlton OR

RSS Feed for Carlton

July 15th, 2019

One of the professional pleasures I’ve enjoyed in broadcasting and writing opinion journalism has been the freedom to occasionally chew on the nut cases of the far right. That enjoyment has been especially heightened when one or more ”targets” gets all outraged and feels personally persecuted. That was especially true

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July 13th, 2019

Sometimes, what appears to be a minor change in political direction turns out to be a historic turning point. Did most Americans in 1933 realize that the slew of legislation that flew through Congress in the first 100 days of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency would shape the American political environment for decades? The N

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July 12th, 2019

Bill Roden’s obituary told a story about him I can’t recall ever having heard, certainly not from him, and it may explain a lot about who he was and why he had the effect on people he did. During World War II, internment camps were set up around the American west to hold large numbers of Japanese-Americans. Roden’s pa

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July 11th, 2019

It’s summer, so it’s time for wilderness hikes, river floats, stream fishing and reading Medicaid waiver applications. Many don’t believe it, but the Federal government is our partner in Medicaid. It is a Federal law, but states have a say. Heck, if Idaho wanted to we could withdraw from the whole program. We could th

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July 10th, 2019

Why can’t you tell me why you feel entitled to take someone else’s money, their property, their accumulated assets?1 Why does another working American taxpayer have to pay for your existence? ► meme in The Federalist Papers As a concept, entitlements cut in two directions, one of them much less acknowledged than the o

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July 9th, 2019

The President’s trip to the G-20 meeting in Japan produced some foreign policy blunders that will prove harmful to America’s national security. The problem is that he just wings it without bothering to develop an understanding of complex international issues. Trump started off by suggesting that the U.S. defense treaty

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July 8th, 2019

Well, summer is officially here in our cactus-littered neighborhood. It’s easy to tell. Temperatures this week have been 102, 108, 109, 110 and 111. The 115’s and 120’s are yet to come. Overnight lows recently have been around 80 but we expect 90’s in a few weeks. Sometimes, I don’t think humans were m

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July 7th, 2019

For years the debate on family values has focused more on ideology than on what actually keeps families together. ► Hara Estroff Marano, in Psychology Today “Family values” has become an aging term, fallen into disrepair and in some quarters, disrepute, but it continues to pop up in both ironic and non-ironic contexts

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July 6th, 2019

Idaho Republican elected officials, with a couple of notable exceptions, seem unable to control, let alone influence their party. In political terms, the inmates have taken over, once and apparently forever, the GOP asylum. The GOP state central committee elected a new party chairman last week and the rank and file chose as

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July 5th, 2019

Last week a national political reporter asked me what how I thought Idaho’s new governor, Brad Little, was doing. Was he he thriving? Was he managing okay? Was his struggling? It seemed like a good time to pause and consider the new governor, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a six-month mark, and time enough has pas

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July 4th, 2019

Twelve score and three years ago our fore fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal. I ask you to reflect today on the past work done, the work at hand and the work before us, that we may continue to reap the blessings of liberty. F

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July 3rd, 2019

It is best to define the welfare state not through its noble goals but through its instruments. ► Cato Institute, 2018 “Welfare” is enshrined as a core purpose of the U.S. constitution: to “promote the general Welfare.” Its top dictionary definition (per Merriam Webster) very much reflects that: “the state of do

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July 2nd, 2019

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a remarkable Declaration, proclaiming the thirteen American colonies to be free from British control. The delegates famously stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalien

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July 1st, 2019

For several years, I’ve predicted the eventuality of a single-payer health care system in this country and submitted myself to verbal stoning from those who disagreed. And there were some who did, in fact, hurl some verbal rocks. Problem is, aside from criticism – warranted or not- the “throwers” offered no alte

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June 30th, 2019

Conservatives should have sympathy for millennial borrowers, who did everything their parents and culture told them to do to be successful, only to become the most debt-laden generation in history. Countering a culture of credentialism mania with apprenticeships and trade alternatives is a positive step, but the first rule

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