How would you feel if, while being forcibly drowned, the people doing it kept telling you they are using only "enhanced interrogation techniques?" That phrase is the innocuous "substitute" for torture, as used by members of the Bush Administration. For years, they kept telling us that prisoners were not being tortured. When documentation of incidents of "torture" was released, Bush functionaries claimed they never lied about it, including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. But, in a way, they weren't lying.
The following is a collection of stories and other items that were included in Alexandria newspapers over the years. 100 YEARS AGO April 1909 The Alexandria Fire Department ordered 65 uniforms of blue wool pants with double-breasted, square-cut coat and nickel buttons at a cost of $10 to $15 each. Partial payment will be withdrawn from department funds, the remainder from its members... The Minnesota State Legislature approved $2,250,000 for the construction of a state prison.
It took a Scottish woman to teach the world never to judge a book - or a singer - by its cover. Most of us will probably forget that timely lesson, but Susan Boyle's magnificent performance on the TV show Britain's Got Talent rightfully brought the entire world to its feet. Last week, the CNN channel was on while I was reading a book. All of a sudden I heard the name "Simon Cowell" and stopped reading to hear an update about "American Idol." Looking up, I saw this frumpy-looking woman who looked like she was about to sing. I winced.
The following is a collection of stories and other items that were included in Alexandria newspapers over the years. 100 YEARS AGO April 1909 The city council has agreed to the following fixed rates set forth by the Board of Public Works: $75 for each lamp, $18 per street light, $44 for water hydrant, $100 for street sprinkling and $50 for trough service... So great was the demand for a liquor license in Parkers Prairie, that it was sold to the highest bidder, Nels P. Nelson of Henning. He will pay an annual fee of approximately $8.75 for each day his saloon is open...
Right-wing extremism is on the rise, according to the Department of Homeland Security. About 200 of such extremists, we're told, are soldiers back from Iraq or Afghanistan. How do the folks at Homeland Security know that? And why would service overseas cause anyone to turn into a right-wing extremist? Still, it's a spooky thought. After all, it was right-wing extremist Timothy McVeigh, back from the war in Kuwait, who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing scores of innocent people. We shouldn't criticize only right-wing extremists.
The following is a collection of stories and other items that were included in Alexandria newspapers over the years. 100 YEARS AGO April 1909 A gentleman who was at the Rose Creamery when the cream came in said the creamery will "make" that town. He was surprised by the number of new barns in Spruce Hill Township and the amount of cream that was coming in... Mr. Sessions has purchased several lots on Lake Darling from L.J. Brown and offers the use of them for a public park providing he get some assistance in clearing up the grounds...
Don't ever watch a movie with a stickler. Sticklers are as bad as the know-it-alls - the ones who sit behind you in a movie theater and blurt out everything that's about to happen because they'd seen the picture before. Sticklers are people who watch movies only for "wrong" details, scenes that don't quite jibe or plot turns that make no sense. Sticklers are very observant people. But they can be very obnoxious. Years ago, I was watching a movie on TV. A friend popped over and started watching. I could tell he was watching it in stickler fashion because he was kind of glaring at the TV.
Editor's note: In Marge Van Gorp's column last Wednesday, April 1, the last section of items listed under 1999 was actually a continuation from 1984. The following is a collection of stories and other items that were included in Alexandria newspapers over the years. 100 YEARS AGO April 1909 A. P. Hanson purchased the Aiton property next to the new post office and plans to construct a two-story building for his furniture and undertaking goods.
Who would ever think a little tiny seedling could cause a big nervous breakdown? By "little tiny" I mean almost microscopic - a seedling that resulted from several garlic-chive seeds I planted in early February. In the spring of 2008 I spent - at commercial greenhouses - more than $300 for my garden plots. This year, I decided to plant seeds, on the advice of a sister who, last year, saved beaucoup bucks by starting, early, with the seed thing. In late January I began ordering, via e-mail, seeds and seed-planter domes from a greenhouse in South Carolina.
Many people these days who have been laid off or who cannot find a job must feel as if they've been kicked off the edge of the earth. As bad as things may be (and they are indeed bad), people should never succumb to hopelessness or despair. That's because negative feelings and "wallowing" robs much-needed energy. Many years ago, in the summer of 1981, I was homeless and living in my tent in a park along the Mississippi River in St. Cloud. There were other homeless people there, including a single mother with young children. The year before, I had studied in London and spent all my money.