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7/22/2009 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

I have little hope that any meaningful overhaul of the nation’s health care industry will happen this year. I know you’ve read those words in this column before, but the insurance industry continues airing its lying television ads in an effort to scare the gullible into fearing any reform. They use buzz words like "government takeover of health care" and "government bureaucrats between you and your doctor" and "socialized medicine."

In the first place, the Obama plan is just going to tinker around the edges of the system, when in fact what we need is fundamental change.

But even tinkering brings out the conservatives in full battle dress.

They want all reforms to fail. They like things just as they are with the insurance industry continuing its death grip on the nation’s health care. They want the insurance companies to call the shots with insurance company bureaucrats making the life and death decisions as to who will get certain procedures and who will not. They want the insurance companies to make the decisions as to who will be refused coverage because the policyholder is too sick for the company to make any profit.

The fundamental change we need is to take the insurance companies out of the health care system. Insurance company profits, million-dollar CEO salaries and insurance company bureaucracy is a major reason why medical care in the US is so expensive. The Obama plan leaves the insurance companies in charge. That is why costs will continue to escalate and there will be no real reform this time around.

Obama proposes a government plan that everyone can join and the insurance companies are going ballistic because this will cut into their monopoly and actually provide some competition in health care insurance. Conservatives will fight this tooth and nail.

They might win this time, but eventually they will fail. When only a minority of the US population can afford health insurance, we will finally get a fair system that will work something like the Canadian system. That day is not too far in the future.


I looked at my calendar and saw that the State Fair began Friday, July 17. Because there’s so much going on in the summer, I quickly determined that Saturday was the only day I’d be able to get to the fair. After putting in about four hours Saturday and getting pretty well caught up, I took off for the fair at about 10 a.m. It’s been five years since I’ve been able to get to the fair.

On the drive there I daydreamed about visiting the Ye Olde Sausage stand and having a Polish or Italian sausage with mustard, grilled green peppers and sauerkraut, followed by a paper basket of Cajun curly fried potatoes, topped off with a double dip chocolate ice cream. And maybe a deep-fried onion or a Greek Gyros sandwich. Oh boy, did I get myself ready to attack the midway with a stomach prepared for battle.

I had to be careful coming into Minot at about noon because the parade would be ending and the traffic would be fierce. I decided to turn north off US 2 at the Muus Lumber building and take the road that paralells the railroad tracks north of the fairgrounds to avoid all the traffic on Burdick Expressway.

As I got close to Muus Lumber I thought it was strange that I couldn’t see any ferris wheels. Gee, I thought, the tough economy must have caused the carnival operators to cut back and close the ferris wheels. There didn’t seem to be much traffic. The fairgrounds seemed deserted. As I drove past the west gate of the fairgrounds, I saw the sign on the entrance said the fair was July 24-August 1. I suddenly realized I was a week early!

At the end of December in 2008, I got my new 2009 desk calendar and I went through 2009 with my 2008 calendar as a guide, writing down things that would be happening in 2009, such as city council meetings, county commission meetings, etc. and the State Fair.

Somehow I got the fair dates wrong on my 2009 calendar.

I should have known better. The fair ran an ad in the Farmers Press and the dates were obvious in the ad. Our calendar of events has been carrying the dates for the fair for almost a year.

You’ve heard that saying "Can’t see the forest for the trees?" I guess I was too close to the Press to read it. Let that be a lesson to you and me. See what happens when you don’t read the Farmers Press?


I had worked my appetite into such a state of want I was almost starving, although I had eaten a substantial breakfast of hamburger steak, beans, kim chee, bread, cherries and a banana at 7 a.m.

I stopped at a seafood restaurant on Highway 83 south. I don’t remember the name of the place, but there was an anchor-type sign advertising the restaurant. I had the two-piece fish and chips at $6.99. It was very good, but the French fries were among the best I’ve ever eaten. They had a light coating that made them very crunchy and exceedingly delicious.

They reminded me of the French fries I had many years ago at a saloon in Minneapolis, Minn. near the bridge on Hennepin Ave. I think the name of the place was Glueck’s, the same name as a brand of beer.

I’ve remembered those French fries for 35 years or more. So the trip wasn’t in vain. Those French fries alone made the trip to Minot worth it. Maybe I can make it to the fair next year.

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