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Editorial

Decisions about Iraq must be made

It turns out that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's assessment that many Iraqis lack the "will to fight" against?Islamic State terrorists may be accurate. What to do about that remains a question.After Iraqi troops fled Ramadi in droves rather than fight IS forces, Carter pointed out what may ...

Government transparency is vital

President Barack Obama's administration, which he promised in 2009 would be the most transparent in history, instead is on track to set new records for concealing information.Both through a general slowdown in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests and by simply refusing to release ...

Still out of touch in Washington, D.C.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart has provided new validation for Americans who think many in government have lost touch with reality.Accident avoidance systems that brake vehicles automatically or warn drivers about impending collisions should be standard equipment ...

Ag trade continues to boom

America's economy would be more robust if this nation were able to sell in the international marketplace more of the products that are made or grown here. Unfortunately, achieving a positive trade balance overall has been an illusive goal.The nation's agricultural sector, however, continues to ...

Ah, the stories I’ve gotten to tell

A major frustration for any newsroom is when local civic or business leaders make an announcement to their group or their employees, but won't confirm it for the newspaper because they don't want it to be public.It's hard - and sometimes impossible - to convince them that in this day and age, ...

The super PAC minuet

WASHINGTON - Campaign finance "reformers" think America would be better governed if the government could thoroughly regulate campaign speech, which is speech about the composition and comportment of the government. Reformers scold the Supreme Court for construing the First Amendment as though ...

Relay for Life of Webster County is Friday

From close family members to close friends, we all know someone whose life has been touched by cancer at some point. We don't face cancer alone and neither should you. On Friday at 6 p.m. at Dodger Stadium, The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Webster County will kick off with a ...

US taxpayers deserve better than this

Seventeen billion dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the long-term fiscal challenges facing the Social Security program. Still, it is serious money, and Congress should demand answers about how the system managed to pay it out improperly.More to the point, lawmakers should insist on ...

Market on Central resumes Saturday

Downtown Fort Dodge is on the rebound. During the last several years, storefronts up and down Central Avenue and on nearby streets that have too long been vacant are once again coming to life commercially. The city's historic business district is becoming the home to an impressive array of new ...

Hacker threat must be curtailed

Lock your front door and a determined burglar will merely climb through a window. Lock it and he may just break the glass to enter. As homeowners know, it can be very difficult to keep thieves out.Now imagine a "house" with hundreds, perhaps thousands of doors and windows - some of which even ...

The Iraq blame game is underway

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's attitude in demanding more help in the fight against an Islamic State terrorist army should worry U.S. officials and their counterparts in the 24 other countries that have been aiding Iraq.During a visit to an international conference in Paris recently, ...

FBI aircraft use requires scrutiny

Claims of "black helicopters" spying on us for the government are not just wild conspiracy theories, it turns out. Although the truth may involve blue Cessnas rather than dark-colored helicopters, the federal "eye in the sky" is very real.An Associated Press investigation revealed the FBI ...

TSA’s failings are unacceptable

Most people who have traveled by air over the past 13 years have experienced the inconvenience of dealing with Transportation Security Administration screenings, random searches and regulations. And, most people dutifully packed their toiletries in tiny containers, inside separate clear plastic ...

USDA’s new portal makes life easier

Late last month the U.S. Department of Agriculture added an online enhancement to its services that promises to make life easier for farmers and ranchers. They can now seek conservation assistance and handle related matters online via a new portal - Conservation Client Gateway - that was ...

It’s time to rethink Iraq strategy

American officials should rethink how military assets are being used in the fight against Islamic State terrorists, President Barack Obama said recently. A first step in being more effective that way will be giving Iraq more powerful anti-tank weapons, the White House revealed.Really? Iraqi ...

Frontier Days kicks off summer

Warm weather returned to our area somewhat later this year than most of us would have preferred. Starting today, however, there is a sure sign that the summer season is truly at hand - Frontier Days 2015 kicks off. The gates open at the Fort Museum at noon today and an exciting and diverse ...

Why is no one held accountable?

Why are top leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs not firing bureaucrats by the dozens?That may be the question some veterans were asking during Memorial Day weekend, as one more VA scandal made headlines.Just before leaving Washington for the holiday, leaders in Congress got the VA off ...

LifeFlight service is a huge asset

Trinity Regional Medical Center is a remarkable health care facility. Its state-of-the art treatment options and many dedicated professionals guarantee that area residents have access to some of the best health care available anywhere.Sometimes, however, a patient needs specialized care that ...

IRS security failings must be fixed

Thieves stole about $5.8 billion from the Internal Revenue Service in 2013, by taking tax refunds due to people whose personal information they used to make the claims. The haul for this year (the IRS has not released 2014 numbers yet) will be substantial, too - because IRS officials did not ...

Family farms are still thriving

Family farms have been at the heart of American agriculture since early in the nation's history. While the demographics of rural life are changing, the centrality of the owner-operated farms has remained a key aspect of the agricultural sector.In March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ...