After a couple of the skimpiest Morrison County Record editions I’ve ever seen, am I mistaken or did they raise the price of the paper from .75 to 1.00?

If it means the paper will stop puckering up to its advertisers, I’ll pay they extra quarter.

Where is a fish to begin?

Brooke Trout


Her personal life took her away from the common daily routines she was accustom to, moving is always a big undertaking she thought as she wrapped stemware in the Wreckord. But just as she began crumpling sections of news print to pad her Spode Christmas China she noticed Tom West’s column, headlining himself in third person…again.

The headline read, False alarm makes him face up to his mortality. “Oh, for heaven sakes,” she said wiping her hands on her apron. As she skimmed the page she felt sorry to learn of Tom’s recent health scare and relieved to know that Tom’s heart was alright. All the same she wondered, is headlining ones self in 3rd person really necessary?  Did his headline have to include the proverbial he?  Wasn’t a headline that said, Facing up to Mortality, less schmaltzy?

As she placed the page under the dog food dish she wondered if other columnists headline themselves in third person and she set off to investigate. 

Lounging in Slippers on Friday,

Brooke Trout

Part 1: Tom West’s 3rd person reference

Part 2: Tom West in 3rd person, The Sequel

This week the Record reported on a few impacts the newly implemented Fresh Air Act was having on Little Falls bars. In short, folks are going outside to smoke then littering the sidewalks with butts. Here’s what the acting co-administrator reported to the Little Falls city council when they asked about an ash urn:

 “Our code doesn’t allow anything on sidewalks. If a business wants something on the sidewalk out front, like a sandwich sign or an ash urn, they need a permit and a $1 million liability insurance policy.” Kasella further pointed out that a permitted ash urn would have to securely abut the building.

Maybe its just me, but sometimes it seems like common sense died.

Just a bone to pick,

Brooke Trout

Shortly after Senator Amy Klobuchar was elected to office some friends of mine commented on the Morrison County Records placement of the story following Klobuchar’s election to office. The reason they thought it was so odd was because Klobuchar’s election to the United States Senate was historic in that she was the first woman the state of Minnesota has ever sent to fill a seat in the U.S. Senate. My friends complained that the Record buried the story behind a litany of news stories that were less noteworthy. 

After reviewing this weeks edition of the Morrison County Record, it seems the paper is making a practice of playing “Where’s Amy?” This week Klobuchar was buried behind the classifieds…second to the last news story of the C section. Senator Klobuchar was presented with the National Farmer’s Union’s Golden Triangle Award, the organizations highest award for leadership on behalf of farmers and rural communities. Specifically, Klobuchar was honored for her contributions to renewable energy having introduced a number of bills that promote its use. The recognition Klobuchar’s earned from the paper was placed behind the Records coverage of the 4-H’ers who entertained children at Camp Ripley’s open house and the 4-H dog show.

In contrast, Senator Norm Coleman was headlined  for making an announcement about economic development funds. Coleman’s headline landed on page 7 of the A section directly under the “Government” banner. While the economic development funds coming to Morrison County is good news, based on the article it appears that Coleman had nothing to do with why the funds were earmarked for our area, only that he happened to be the guy who made the announcement.

Recap: Klobuchar wins a national award for work on renewable energy that will benefit the entire country and Coleman brings glad tidings. Breakdown: Coleman burps the Record coo’s, Klobuchar sings an aria and the Record says… I don’t think it had the same resonance as Coleman’s belch, you’ll have to try harder if you want your work to be deemed worthy of our Government section.

Swimming is slippers on Sunday,

Brooke Trout

Link to Part One: Tom West’s 3rd Person Reference

Tom West in 3rd Person, The Sequel:

By morning it was sufficiently clear to her that she was making little progress towards house breaking her new companion. She frowned at the mess, then began collecting the soiled papers from the floor of the puppy’s kennel.  As she began covering the kennel floor with a fresh layer of newspaper, her solemn expression dissolved to a look of shock and bewilderment. She gasped, standing erect as she clutched a single page from the Wreckard.

The proof was now before her. Indeed, it was not an isolated incident as she had hoped; a second incident of the same pathological behavior was now before her. A second incident establishing a pattern of behavior…a history, there would be no denying it now. The headline read, “He is now officially a Morrison County resident.”

She could have forgiven Tom for one temporary lapse in judgment, but to pen consecutive stories headlining himself in 3rd person…casting the appearance of being noteworthy enough to be written about, the proverbial he. It was worse then pathological she sniffled, it was bad form.

Flapping in Slipper on Sunday,

Brooke Trout

She found it odd if not slightly unsettling when the man at the newspaper penned a headline referring to himself in 3rd person. The headline read, “He was out of his element at the Arts and Crafts Show.” How very strange she thought as she lined the kennel for her new puppy.

Flapping a Fin,

Brooke Trout

Link to: Tom West in 3rd Person, The Sequel

As a young girl I routinely attended church with my mother.  I was often frightened by the minister’s sermons because he portrayed God as a punishing and severe man.  As I grew into my early teens it occurred to me that his description of God was a mirror image of himself.  I was intrigued; from that day forward I made a point of paying careful attention to how individuals characterize God. What I have found is that, more often than not, their descriptions of God and his viewpoints often mirrored their own.  What was even more evident was that those who pushed their beliefs the hardest not only believed that God was created in their image, but that everyone should be molded in their likeness as well.

No where was this more glaring and evident than in Mary Larson’s letter to editor regarding the Franciscan Sisters participation in Humane Borders. Her letter seethes with contempt for the illegal immigrants. She assumes that God not only condones her hate but that he shares it. Likewise, she assumes that illegal immigrants are dying in the desert because God wants them to die…just like she does.

Mary Larson’s letter said that Jesus Christ is not an illegal immigrant… but let’s do the math, Jesus Christ wasn’t exactly born on American soil, and he doesn’t have a passport or a green card. Items that he may never be eligible for given his well documented status as a convicted criminal of Middle Eastern descent, who has been seen with prostitutes and has first hand experience with the death penalty.  

Or could Mary Larson be suggesting that Christ wouldn’t be subject to the ethnic borders of common men, if so, why not?  Maybe ….because borders are an institution of man that don’t really exist. Larson wrote, if God intended the illegal’s to have water he’d flood the desert. Yet the same argument could be made about borders; If God intended earth to have borders he would have drawn brightly colored lines that cordoned off countries like Mexico.

Larson went on to write, “When they get here they want rights.” Here she seems to suggest that the presence of illegal immigrants would somehow be more palatable if they would refrain from claiming entitlement to basic human rights.  But, as American’s do we not believe that basic human rights reflect the unalienable Rights of all men, Rights not granted by any one government but those bestowed upon man by God?  

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence

While our country invests vast resources into border security, these solutions all focus on single individuals and groups of people. Are these not symptoms of a greater problem rather than the problem itself?  Does the true source of the problem not lay within their government, hence the solution? We lay tremendous responsibility at the feet of the world’s hungry and oppressed. While our attention is focused on these individuals and how their needs may infringe upon our comforts, we have forgotten entirely the purpose and responsibility of all governments. Thomas Jefferson put it best when he wrote:

The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”

In his commencement address at the American University John F. Kennedy laid out his ideologies on foreign and domestic policy, while this only serves to represent one mans view, I can’t but help but find his overall strategy entirely relevant not only to today’s dilemma’s but also in this instance.  

But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete.” (John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963, American University speech)

“And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights — the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation – the right to breathe air as nature provided it — the right of future generations to a healthy existence?” (John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963, American University speech)

Has it not always been more or less true to say that throughout history man’s migration has been born out of need, while in contrast corporate and capitolistic interests migrate out of greed?

Mary Larson goes on to tell the Sisters, “you should be teaching our little ones to have faith, hope and love”. It is truly unfortunate that Mary Larson cannot see that this has already been done.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God, (Matthew 5.9)

Kindred Spirit, Brooke Trout