Solving goverment’s problems

January 13, 2012 Dear editor:After consideration and much thought I think I may have come up with a plan to help the government save money and make it better all the way around. I didn’t give much thought to political correctness.

Equal treatment Pagans, atheists, Christians do battle

January 13, 2012 Religious freedom is hugely popular in America — until, of course, it’s applied to unpopular groups.Consider North Windy Ridge Intermediate School in Buncombe County, N.C. In December, school officials arranged for students to come by the office during break to pick up Bibles donated by the Gideons.In the view of many people in the community (especially those of the majority faith), outside groups like the Gideons should have a religious-liberty right to distribute Bibles in public schools.

Renting vs. owning

January 13, 2012 My house finally sold! After six long months someone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse — payoff. I consider myself lucky because there are plenty of people who aren’t selling and worse yet, losing their homes. I have been told by many people to count my blessings for not having to pay to get out of it.

USDA cuts: Gentlemen, start your salmonella?

January 13, 2012 Maybe the news left you yawning over your nutritious breakfast, but it shouldn’t. Every American has a stake in the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the closing of nearly 260 offices, labs and other facilities.The coming months will see a testing of our uneasy love-hate relationship with the USDA. We hate bureaucracies, waste and overregulation, but we love our benefits and food safety programs.

Christian Health Center seeks volunteers

January 12, 2012 Dear editor:Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions was to be more altruistic, give back to the community in which you live, or just find a way to “pay it forward.” Well, have I got a deal for you!

Suicide by Tea?

January 12, 2012 You’ve heard of “suicide by cop”? America is now seemingly witnessing political suicide by tea.

Marching behind Europe toward the cliff’s edge

January 12, 2012 Freedom is a two-edged sword in that it grants us the opportunity to destroy our own destiny should we make wrong choices. But it doesn’t have to be that way, should we choose to learn from others’ mistakes.The voice of reason beckons those who are willing to listen: Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus sounded the warning bell regarding our economy last summer while in Berlin. “With the way your American government has been going,” Klaus said, “you might be able to catch up with us — in terms of our problems — very soon.”

Confusion vs. my nest egg

January 11, 2012 After a volatile 2011, the stock market is off to a relatively good start in 2012 — at least as I’m writing this — though I’m still plenty confused about my retirement savings.My confusion kicked into high gear in 1987 when the market plunged 508 points in one day, losing 22 percent of its value and killing my IRA.The experts had lots of explanations after the collapse, but most failed to see it coming.I vaguely remember the Asian financial crisis of 1997, too. It caused another Wall Street collapse that the experts didn’t see coming.

How to make people like you

January 11, 2012 Do you want to know the one thing that will make every single one of your relationships significantly better?It’s easy. If you think a kind thought, say it. Out loud.How many times have you thought, “Wow, my co-worker is really great with customers” or “Gee, I love to hear my kids laugh,” yet kept the thought to yourself?Here’s the big secret. We’re all constantly trying to figure out what other people think about us.In the absence of someone telling us directly, we draw our clues from their facial expressions and body language.