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Friday, February 27, 2015
Elected officials can't have it both ways
Posted Wednesday, February 25, at 8:13 AM
Mountain Home Air Force Base was honored last week as it hosted the Air Force's top civilian leader. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James arrived here to honor the base's top performers during its yearly awards banquet. It's extremely rare to have a person of this prominence visit your base, but to time it during such an auspicious occasion happens maybe once in a lifetime. ...

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We can't afford to lose battle against terrorism
Posted Wednesday, February 18, at 8:33 AM

In his book Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler wrote that the means that win the easiest battle over reason are both terror and force. Ninety years after that book was published, these words have become the standard strategy by terrorist groups around the world, which have enslaved entire nations in recent years...

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Education proposal deserves merit
Posted Thursday, February 12, at 8:15 AM

The education dialog between Mountain Home Air Force Base and the Mountain Home School District is a great start in what I hope is a step in a positive direction, not just for our students but our community as well. Too often, we allow ourselves to get so overwhelmed with the pressures of everyday life that we forget to step back, take a deep breath and gain a fresh perspective. And that's what this dialog is all about -- a way to look at our schools to find ways of making them better...

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All lawmakers had to do was approve four words
Posted Wednesday, February 11, at 5:11 PM

After three days of testimony, all the state legislature had to do was approve a recommendation dealing with just four words. And they failed miserably. In another example of what can only be classified as partisan politics at work, a house committee at the state capitol rejected a measure that would've provided better protections for state residents when it comes to discrimination. It's an argument I thought we had settled 51 years ago when the Civil Rights Act was signed into law...

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Thoughts on the president's education proposal
Posted Wednesday, January 28, at 8:09 AM

Having watched last week's State of the Union address, I walked away with far more questions than I had answers. To be fair, I watched the speech with an open mind, taking notes of the president's initiatives and the path he wanted to chart in the final two years of his term. But as I reviewed my notes afterward, I couldn't help but wonder why a lot of these ideas came up now versus a few years back when they could've been really useful...

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Greetings from the 'new kid on the block'
Posted Wednesday, January 21, at 8:36 AM

This is going to be a lot harder than I thought. As I sat down this week to introduce myself as the editor of the Mountain Home News, I expected to suddenly have an epiphany or moment of revelation where I could then "wax the poetic" or write something truly memorable...

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Last call
Posted Wednesday, January 14, at 8:29 AM

This could very well be the last story I will ever write as a professional journalist. It's so weird to think of it that way. After 26 years as managing editor of the Mountain Home News, I have resigned, effective this Friday. I'll be moving on to new challenges where, I believe, I'll continue to have the ability to try and make the world a slightly better place than I found it...

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No straight answers on gas
Posted Wednesday, January 7, at 8:21 AM

Right now, it's almost reached a point where it's worth it to drive to Boise to fill up your car and drive back. Almost. Nobody complained last spring when we were a few cents cheaper than Boise. But there's been a 35-80 cent per gallon difference right now, and we're not on the right side of that equation. ...

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Music festival *not* in crisis
Posted Wednesday, December 31, at 8:04 AM

When people get their news from social media, which is becoming increasingly common these days, they're making the assumption that gossip is usually accurate. I don't know why, because often what's floating around out there is a long ways from being true...

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Hacks should be act of war
Posted Wednesday, December 24, at 8:30 AM

We're going to assume that the FBI is right and North Korea launched a cyberattack on Sony Pictures. For a lot of reasons, that conclusion makes sense, not just on the technical side, which the FBI relied on, but also because it tends to match the weird, paranoid, "other world" thinking of the hermit kingdom (a term meaning any nation that has walled itself off from the outside world)...

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We are better than that
Posted Tuesday, December 23, at 1:49 PM

Lately, a number of errors have come home to roost in the United States. From the torture report, to the widespread perception among minorities that they are not being treated fairly by the justice system, we're getting bashed pretty good, both at home and overseas...

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Time to start on baby steps
Posted Tuesday, December 23, at 1:44 PM

Now is the time for a lame-duck Congress to actually get something done. There's a lot of work to do before the next Congress is seated in January. Some of it, the "big issue" items, which were part of the November election campaigns, should be held until the winners of that election are seated...

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A night of bad choices
Posted Tuesday, December 23, at 1:44 PM

Among the many bad decisions made by almost everyone involved since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown to death last August, two of the worst occurred Monday night. One involved waiting until after dark to release the results of the grand jury investigation, knowing it was going to anger Brown's supporters. ...

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Give local stores a chance
Posted Monday, December 15, at 8:32 AM

We're in the heart of the Christmas season and the next few weeks will be critical to local businesses who rely on the seasonal trade traffic for their annual profit margins. Remember that the people who run these small "Main Street" businesses, and the employees they hire, are your friends and neighbors...

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No peace or good will?
Posted Wednesday, December 3, at 8:05 AM

"Peace on earth, good will toward all men." That's what the season is supposed to be all about. In truth, these are troubling times. We've been trying to honorably get out of a couple of wars, only to see our nation being dragged back into the Mideast conflicts by the barbaric ISIS threat. For all the lives and treasure we've spent there we haven't come close to solving that troubled region's problems...

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It's a dangerous job
Posted Wednesday, November 12, at 8:09 AM

Yesterday, we celebrated Veteran's day. Last week, we were reminded of the cost paid by far too many veterans. Both Jon Hartway and Stien Gearhart were combat veterans. But they didn't die on the field of battle. They died training for the next battle, while flying their Apache attack helicopter just south of their Gowen Field base...

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Election is an opportunity
Posted Wednesday, November 5, at 8:04 AM

The polls were just opening as of this writing, but absent a "Dewey Beats Truman" result, the odds are heavily in favor of both houses of Congress being controlled by Republicans when the next Congress convenes in January. If the voters confound the polling groups, it will still mean a very, very narrow margin for the Democrats in the Senate and a House that will remain controlled by Republicans. A slimmer status quo but still a status quo...

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Many not representated
Posted Wednesday, October 29, at 8:24 AM

Idaho is known as the most "red" state in the nation. It's conservative, but we don't believe it's as conservative crazy as some people may think. We believe that the vast majority of Idahoans are either moderately conservative Republicans or middle-of-the road independents...

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Candidate thoughts
Posted Wednesday, October 22, at 8:18 AM

The election is two weeks away and yet we'd bet money that most of the people out there don't even know who's running for the top state offices. This being Idaho, the assumption is that anyone with an R behind their name will get elected. That's probably true but not necessarily a good thing. ...

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The momentum of history...
Posted Wednesday, October 15, at 8:15 AM

The state's fight against gay marriage puts Idaho on the wrong side of history. The momentum is simply too strong to stop. Ten years ago, two thirds of Americans opposed gay marriage. Today, two thirds approve of it. They've come to realize that gay people are human beings like everyone else and deserve the same protections under law and the same right to the "pursuit of happiness" as anyone else...

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Meanderings of the editor
Brian S. Orban
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