I often wonder just what in the world is going on in the world, and most vividly what is going on in my homeland, the good old USA. It has been reported that the United States has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. I would assume that is true and I would also assume that many business would find that onerous taxes must eventually be passed on to consumers or be absorbed in part by smaller dividends to investors. The federal and state tax structures and rules have evolved into a morass of documents that favor or penalize many diverse groups.
From 1958 to 1967, my family lived directly across the street from the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. My friends and I roamed freely throughout the fairgrounds almost year-round and spent countless hours there when the fair was there. My best friend and I had a booth one year selling custom car-themed shirts that he airbrushed on the spot. He was an accomplished artist and I was the counter guy. He drew the girls and I tried - unsuccessfully - to catch the castoffs. Once I left for the Air Force in 1967, I never made it back to St. Paul during fair time and I sorely missed the whole thing.
As I reflect on the most recent events in the world it has become clear to me that too many people think we can show the world how strong and sensitive we are while trying to maintain our balance on a tightrope. Instead of defining and defending our national interests and behavior on the basis of the solid foundation of right and wrong, we think we can have it all while risking nothing by feigning sensitivity.
Motivation is an often-powerful force that leads most of us to some level of accomplishment or improvement in our lives. Sometimes the motivation comes from an external source like our parents, siblings or peer group. It's usually far better when it comes from our internal desire to achieve and excel. Some of the more common motivators are fame, prestige, the adulation of others, power and money.
There is a regular writer of letters to the editor in the Brainerd Dispatch who occasionally asks the question when questioning actions of the Brainerd City Council, "Why won't they listen to us?" He then goes on to lament how the council is wasting money and doesn't seem to care whether or not the citizens support all its actions and so on. I can provide a few perspectives in answering that question. The first is to go back to the Constitution and to point out that we have a representative form of government.
The spoken word was likely the first means of communication after gestures or crude drawings, but we don't really know. While it's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words; words — whether spoken or written — are still our primary means of communication. And the way we use words can be positive or devastating. Using the right word at the right time can bolster the ego, provide comfort and solace, win someone's heart, or give a person the encouragement to achieve far more than he or she believed possible.
I’m certain many of you have seen the commercial where a man opens a small note that reads something like, “Your heart attack will happen in one hour.” I can’t...
Next Monday we will observe another Memorial Day. I’m old enough to remember when it actually meant something important and special to most of the nation. And as a retired Air Force pilot I feel a special kinship with all the men and women who have served our country in peace and in conflict.
There are many important people in our society — presidents, chief executive officers, lawmakers, law enforcement personnel, clergy, doctors, nurses, public safety officers and so on. The list is certainly much longer than these few categories.
We all have fond memories from our youth. One thing I remember clearly and dearly from many years ago is bread baking. Both grandmothers, my mom and a few of my aunts baked it, too. After my father retired he took it up and even shared his prized recipe and method for bread making in writing with my wife. Those stained yellow pages are one of our true treasures.