Understanding this process is an essential component of grassroots advocacy and civic engagement. While the process can be quite complex, when boiled down there are seven basic steps that lead to a bill becoming a law. There needs to be an idea. The idea is written down by a member of Congress, either a senator… Continue reading.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
When I was 12 or 13, back in the mid-1970s, the dog-day afternoons this time of summer would really start dragging. Figuring it was way too hot and humid to run around outside, a couple neighborhood buddies and I would first watch TV. But reruns of “Gilligan’s Island,” on the only channel not showing soap… Continue reading.
(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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.