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Of Mammoths and Mandates

Posted on Feb 12, 2011 in Commentary

On the way home from work recently, I heard a news report about scientists from Japan, the United States and Russia working on a mammoth experiment. Literally. Within six years, these scientists plan to take DNA from the carcass of a 10,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth found frozen in Siberian permafrost, slip it into the egg… Continue reading.

The Cooperative Dream

Posted on Jan 12, 2011 in Commentary

(Note to readers: This is an edited version of the speech Nick Hebert presented after being selected to represent Indiana on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Leadership Council during last June’s Youth Tour. Nick was runner-up in the YLC speech competition.) As a naive second grader, moving from my childhood home in Dallas,… Continue reading.

Keeping the Arts Alive

Posted on May 12, 2010 in Commentary

This month, Electric Consumer presents the winning works of our annual student art contest. It’s part of our commitment to the community, one of the co-op principles. In the 13 years we’ve held this contest, I’ve had a chance to meet many of our winning artists. Besides being talented artistically, most of these students have been… Continue reading.

Washington Threatens FDR’s REA Legacy

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 in Commentary

Early in the classic film “Gone with the Wind,” before the Civil War blows their world away, Scarlett O’Hara’s father says to her: “Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, … that land doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for,… Continue reading.

Lincoln, The Great Man and Leader, Was a Hoosier

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 in Commentary

(This commentary originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Electric Consumer.) My wife and I came across a nifty booklet called “Lincoln the Hoosier” at an antique shop a few years ago. Its subtitle: “A restatement of some facts that too many folks seem to have forgotten.”  At only  4-by-6-inches and 44 pages, the… Continue reading.

Running With Our Strengths

Posted on Nov 16, 2008 in Commentary

Every autumn, memories of my glory days as a high school cross country runner come jogging back. But with them always comes a dull nagging pain right about now. Early November is when the state cross country meet is held. My two appearances in the state meet in 1978 and 1979 left me disappointed and… Continue reading.

For the Ages; But Not for Now?

Posted on Feb 10, 2008 in Commentary

(This commentary originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Electric Consumer.) Abraham Lincoln was many things to many people … the greatest president, the Great Emancipator, savior of the Union, Honest Abe, a martyr to freedom. Poet Walt Whitman pined, “O Captain, My Captain” upon his death. Some go as far as to see… Continue reading.

Tilting at windmills?

Posted on May 12, 2007 in Commentary

Don Quixote is a popular figure from literature, art, stage and screen. The fictional knight-errant personifies chivalry and idealism. The stories go that Quixote, an eccentric country gentleman, set aside sanity to sally forth on a quest to make the world a better place. From Broadway’s adaptation of the Cervantes character came the inspirational tune,… Continue reading.

Building a sense of ‘place’

Posted on Jan 12, 2007 in Commentary

My 8-year-old daughter came across the word “nowhere” recently in her reading. She knew the word but wondered if maybe it should have been two words. In print, she reasoned, it looks as if it also could be pronounced “now-here.” I told her that was a creative way to look at it, but nope: it… Continue reading.