12/16/2009 – Editorials


By Richard Peterson

The editorial on this page contains some good advice. The lying ads are not only soiling the television airwaves, they’re stinking up the radio waves, too.

We’ve been bombarded by radio ads proclaiming a train is running over us. The ad says the train is the "so-called health care reform rushing on top of you." The next words are "huge deficits, Medicare cuts for seniors, taxes on small businesses, limits on patient care"

and big tax increases in North Dakota state taxes and rural hospitals may be forced to close.

The health care reform train is being "rushed through Washington."

The ad blames Sen. Byron Dorgan for not stopping the "train."

The radio ad is mostly lies.

As the editorial points out, health care is nowhere near done. The House passed its version of the bill and the Senate is working on its version. Proclaiming that deficits and tax increases are part of the plan is a lie, plain and simple. The details of the reform have not yet been determined.

It is not being rushed. Reform of health care has been talked about since Harry Truman was president in 1947, and some say Teddy Roosevelt was in favor of it in the early 1900’s.

Once the Senate passes its bill a House-Senate Conference Committee will attempt to meld the two bills into one and then that bill will have to pass both houses again. I say again, nothing has yet been decided.

I’m glad Dorgan didn’t stop the "train" because we need to keep health care reform on the tracks until a decent bill is passed.

The ad is the handiwork of the American Future Fund. It claims to be an organization which promotes conservative, free market ideas.

Maybe. More likely it’s a mouthpiece funded by the health insurance industry, which has a train of its own — the gravy train the industry has been riding on at our expense for many years. All these lying ads show that the health insurance industry is fearful it may be thrown off the gravy train.

So don’t believe the attack ads on radio or television. They’re always, without exception, distortions or outright lies.

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We have another 50 years ago story in the paper this week. I’m sure some people yawn and turn the page. But we old people who lived through those years find it interesting.

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This should boggle your mind. How big is Wal-Mart?

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart every hour.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St.Patrick’s Day (March

17) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + Kmart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years.

8. During this same period, 31 supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie).

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approximately 3,900 stores in the US, of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Wal-Mart store. Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 billion.

12. Ninety percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.

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Some random thoughts that came by e-mail:

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.

I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text on my phone.

Was learning to write in cursive really necessary?

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

Bad decisions make good stories.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.

I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my 10-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?

Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time . . .

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.


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