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Highlights with Henry, April 23, 2021

"No government should be without critics. If its intentions are good, then it has nothing to fear from criticism."
- Thomas Jefferson
We are about a week or so from wrapping up the legislative session, so I wanted to spend a little time discussing the budget, and the investments of the Iowa House Republicans. 

A $100 million increase in broadband infrastructure. 

Feenstra on adding D.C. as a 51st state

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) released the following statement after House Democrats passed legislation that would make Washington, D.C. a state:

Love God, love others

In a recent conversation with my almost five year old grandson, I learned that in his words “sometimes the bad guy just comes out and you have to cry and cry.” He had just been released from being grounded for an action that was dangerous for someone so young. Hopefully, he will have learned from his experience.

Packing the court part of the loser’s playbook

... It is unbecoming, in a democratic republic, to have leaders who want to change the rules because they want total control. In fact, it’s the type of thing you see from losers in various games. Some people, if they can’t win on the merits, they try to change the rules. More nefariously, it’s what you would expect from tyrannical leadership...
 
Read the full editorial in the April 22 Advance. 

Glorious May!

We are inching into my favorite month of the year – May. 
Hooray for May!
It’s the month of May baskets, violets, May poles (okay, I’ve never actually seen a May pole, but I love them anyway), and, most of all, promise.
When I was little, May meant all those things plus the last day of school, which was blissful. It wasn’t that I didn’t like school – I did, as much as any kid does, but there was such a sense of being free, free, free!
 

How AMU keeps electricity affordable

Here's an excerpt from the April 22 Our Kossuth County column, this week written by John Bilsten of AMU:

Women Would like to play golf too

Here's an excerpt from this week's Out of the Past column in the April 22 Advance:

Interlaken to Matterhorn

... Zermatt is at the end of the road and cars are not allowed on its streets, so we parked in their parking lot and walked in. Talk about a rural setting; we needed to stop and wait while a large herd of goats with bells on their necks was driven past on the street by two young boys. Mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, ice skating and curling are popular activities besides shopping and eating in restaurants with a spectacular view.

In Kossuth County, women lead the charitable charge

In Kossuth County, women are industry and community leaders and lead the way in their fields. Women are also receiving higher educational degrees at a greater rate than men at our area institutes of higher learning. Yet, inequality continues to create barriers for women and girls. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2019 in Iowa, full-time female employees earned 1.39 times less than full-time male employees, a difference of over $18,000 a year.

Faith tells me that someday we will race again

... However when we would gather as a family and sometimes reminisce about those years one of the things we talked about was that Ryan, being so much younger than me, had no real memories of me living at home because when he was three years old I left for college. Never to live at Lone Rock again on a permanent basis.
Read all of this special column in the April 15 Advance.

Commitment to Local Art

What do artists, school children and everyone living in the Midwest at the beginning of spring have in common? Their patience is being tested.
For over a year now, we’ve been waiting patiently, (and at times not so patiently), for life to resume a sense of normalcy: for concerts to begin again, for festivals to be rescheduled, for galleries to be reopened. 
 
Read all of the column in the April 15 Advance.

Christ is Risen!

... There are, however, a select few preachers and a select few sermons which continue to edify Christians of all times and places and situations. One such sermon is the Paschal (Easter) Homily of St. John Chrysostom of the 4th and 5th centuries. In this sermon, St. Chrysostom invites Christians to join the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection.

Our Kossuth County: Stinson Prairie Arts Council back at it with events

Spring is here, and as the weather warms up and the COVID vaccine offers good news on the health front, Stinson Prairie Art Council is planning its 2021 schedule for art events in the Algona area. 
 
Read all of the "Our Kossuth County" entry this week, about the Stinson Prairie Arts Council, in the April 8 Advance.

Inkspots: Of Easters long ago

When I was little, Easter meant only one thing – a visit from the Easter Bunny. The fact that it was when Jesus rose from the dead to save us all wasn’t on my horizon yet. (I hope I wasn’t the only child to get religion late!) At our house, the Easter Bunny (hereinafter referred to as EB, for brevity’s sake) left clues for my sister and me written in rhyme, hidden in various rooms, leading eventually to our Easter baskets.

On the Side: Defining time

Fascism is a term that these days is tossed around more than the lettuce at a vegetarian restaurant’s salad bar. Our last four presidents have been labeled fascists by opponents who didn’t like things they did. 
The word is malleable for whatever argument one wants to make these days. That we are redefining terms in a highly charged socio-political culture war is just the way of the day. 
So, what is fascism?
 

Hottest summer in 100 years

Leaving Zurich Switzerland, we drove a few miles south into the Alps and found a pulloff to park our VW camper for the night. Next day was another bright, sunny day but the mountains gave us some relief from the heat we had been experiencing. (We learned later that Europe’s 1983 summer temperatures were the hottest they had been in more than100 years.) 
 
Read all of Jim Sloter's travelogue entry in the April 8 Advance. 

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