Local Editorials

Ryan has served nation well through work, dignity

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has rendered extremely valuable service to his fellow Americans during his 20 years in Congress. His role has been especially valuable during the past year and a half. Ryan, R-Wis., revealed Wednesday that he will not seek re-election. ...

Given major costs, trains are here to stay

Fairmont City Councilman Tom Hawkins this week expressed surprise that he has received numerous complaints about trains blocking streets in town, as well as corresponding whistle noise. We share his surprise. While we all may feel inconvenienced by trains blocking our way now and then, it also ...

Punish Syria, but the tricky question is how

Pictures and video footage of the aftermath of another chemical weapons attack blamed on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad are hard to take. No one likes to see innocent little children suffering. Some U.S. response to the atrocity, in which about 40 people died, is necessary. Most nations have ...

Ethics concerns tainting good work done by Pruitt

Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, deserves praise for rolling back unreasonable Obama-era regulations, including some that affect the coal industry. Good for him in for pursuing President Donald Trump’s agenda energetically. Questions about Pruitt’s ethics have ...

Use Facebook? Better know what you’re doing

If you want an idea of the magnitude of the privacy scandal involving Facebook, consider this: There are about 117 million households in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. As many as 87 million people, most in this country, had personal data collected by Facebook accessed by ...

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Farmers caught in fight Free trade — actual free trade — is not complicated. Someone in one country has a product to sell. Someone in another country buys it. End of story. What complicates things is government. Which can subsidize and protect industries, usually for political ...

Americans shouldn’t be surprised by all this

Foreign spies and criminals in Washington, D.C., are using devices that can intercept cellphone calls and text messages from unaware users, it was revealed this week. The Department of Homeland Security made the admission in answer to a request by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. What should concern ...

Commerce is simple, or at least it should be

The Internet is an amazing tool that is revolutionizing commerce. Whether it can also help dismantle the unneeded burdens of the regulatory state remains to be seen. Perhaps in Fairmont. One service on the web is the ability for people to rent their homes to others, through sites like Airbnb ...

Minnesota lags behind in allowing in cameras

All over the nation, states have been allowing cameras in courtrooms to record what is going on, something that totally in the spirit of the 6th Amendment guarantee of a public trial for those accused of crimes. Courts had previously banned cameras when they were big and bulky and needed flash ...

Terrorist organizations must be destroyed

Two members of “The Beatles,” Islamic State terrorists so named by their captives because they are British citizens, have provided a reminder of why it is imperative to destroy, not “contain,” such organizations. The most notorious “Beatle,” nicknamed “Jihadi John,” was killed ...

Outsider may be just what agency needs

For years, the essential task of reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs has been entrusted to career bureaucrats, most recently David Shulkin. Now, President Donald Trump has fired Shulkin and replaced him with an outsider, and the concern among some in Washington seems to be whether the ...

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Keeping police dog safe Someone did a very nice thing recently by donating funds so that Faribault County could buy a protective vest for its police dog, Zeus. The $950 vests protect K9 dogs from gunfire and stabbings. The donor has chosen to remain anonymous, but the act has not gone ...

Minnesota should be sure to maintain parks

Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing $130 million in state bonding to fix infrastructure in Minnesota’s state parks. We can’t imagine this would cause much controversy in the current session, though the total Public Works bill is bound to stir some debate. But there shouldn’t be any argument ...

Preschool program decision can wait a year

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is pushing — hard — for the Legislature to extend funding for his signature initiative involving preschool funding. Dayton wants lawmakers to add three years worth of dollars for the voluntary preschool program. Its funding runs out in the 2019-2020 school year. ...

Evil people will utilize any means of destruction

Events in Texas during the past three weeks are — or ought to be — a reminder of what we Americans need to do to prevent mass killings. Identifying and apprehending the human beings plotting mayhem is the challenge. A reign of terror in and around Austin, Texas, came to an end last week ...

Get tough? Yes, but treat addicts as well

President Donald Trump’s suggestion that some especially evil traffickers in illegal drugs may deserve the death penalty got the headlines. But other aspects of his initiative against substance abuse, unveiled last week in New Hampshire, deserve more attention. Buried several lines deep in ...

High court will back tenets of free speech

We Americans, who demonstrate regularly that many of us do not understand the First Amendment, ought to be happy the U.S. Supreme Court does. For example, the high court has ruled more than once that freedom of speech works both ways. That is, it allows us to speak our minds — but it also ...

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City tackling nuisances The city of Fairmont made a decision last year to up its enforcement of City Code violations related to private property. Infractions include tall grass, junk storage or inoperable vehicles. The city is having an impact on the problem, with the number of cases it has ...

Reforms needed on federal food stamps

The federal Farm Bill is important to many people living in southern Minnesota, and not just farmers. This is evident in one telling statistic: 40 million Americans receive supplemental nutrition assistance (once known as food stamps). The cost to the U.S. Treasury is $70 billion per year. ...

New laws? Government already routinely failing

High school students demanding that Congress enact laws to protect them against mass murder may want to reconsider. Instead of seeking new legislation, they may want to demand that existing safeguards be used, not ignored. Since Feb. 14, when Nikolas Cruz massacred 17 people in a Parkland, ...