Byron McNutt - Vilas County News-Review
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  • TODAY, EVERYONE WANTS to talk about their rights and privileges. Thirty years ago, people talked about their obligations and responsibilities; former football coach and motivational speaker Lou Holtz said that.

    Today, because of
  • AMERICA IS AT a crossroads, politically speaking, said Congressman Adam Kinzinger. The country has chosen anger over hope and division over problem-solving. We have lost our way. Voters need to elect candidates who will be “servant-leaders” to their constituents.

    Kinzinger, 44, has
  • ONE WAY TO damage the reputation of the U.S. Supreme Court would be to bend to the politics and passions of the day in the way progressives are suggesting. We need to determine what makes the court legitimate in our constitutional system.

    Vocal critics like
  • FOUR MONTHS AGO, third-year Florida Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican, peeled layers of skin off the onion about what he sees as the reality of the Washington Beltway. Scott dared to say out loud what most Americans think privately.

    Scott said
  • AMERICA’S SUCCESS, DOMINANCE and arrogance have resulted in complacency, a neglect of fellow citizens and a failure to preserve our civilizational values. We’ve had years of denial, delay and neglect in confronting many unsustainable situations and this threatens our fiscal security.

    Our national debt recently hit
  • THIS WEEK’S COLUMN is a message to graduates at all levels.

    You can be whatever you want to be. You have no limitations. The whole world is open to you. The future is ahead of you and you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. It’s
  • IF THE JOE Biden administration and the progressives in Congress are so eager to forgive a major portion of the college student loan debt, then it should be the policy of the next Republican administration to eliminate most federal sources of college financing. This suggestion was made by 
  • EVERYONE KNOWS YOU should never lie to your mother and the story below is timely because Sunday is Mother’s Day. It has been a holiday in the United States since 1914.

    Mother’s Day is
  • AS SUPREME COURT Jurist Stephen Breyer nears the end of a stellar career of public service, he has a message of optimism to share about the American experiment outlined by the Constitution.

    Speaking at the White House Jan. 27, Breyer said
  • WE ARE A nation that believes in the Rule of Law. That premise means that we are subject to clearly defined laws and legal principles rather than the personal whims of powerful people, and that those laws apply equally to all people. No one can be above the law.

    We have
  • THE FACT IS the goal of gerrymandering isn’t justice or fairness, it’s to win and stay in power. Many contend it’s an assault on voting rights. It’s a political game played by both parties. The current advantage goes to Republicans because they control the most states.

    Democrats accuse Republican states of
  • Venture capitalist Marc Andreesen, founder of Netscape, is pitched investment ideas almost every day that amount to billions of dollars. He says his team is faced with tough decisions: the pitches they get offer endless possibilities.

    In a recent interview, Andreesen talked about
  • PUTTING A POLITICIAN of a different party into office usually affects the government about as much as switching to a different forecaster alters the weather report.

    Over the last 51 years in the newspaper business, I’ve
  • I KNOW YOU’RE from the Midwest because you know how to polka, but probably never tried it while sober.

    You know what “knee high by the Fourth of July” means; you know it’s traditional for the bride and groom to go bar hopping between the wedding and dance; you know the difference between
  • A SCHOOL TEACHER was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y., as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, protractor, compass, an ancient wooden device called a slide rule as well as, a code device called an abacus that he told TSA officials was a calculator.

    As you might suspect, this week, I’m
  • THE CONSTITUTION OF the United States is the supreme law of the U.S. of America. A former chief justice of the Supreme Court once wrote “Every generation of Americans must preserve its own freedoms.”

    This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. It
  • IN MANY WAYS, the Washington political scene seems to be a lost cause. We keep thinking our national political parties will end the rancor and become patriots, and start doing what’s best for all Americans. I’m starting to lose confidence.

    What will it take to
  • HISTORY HAS THROWN disruptions at us many times, but there has never been anything like what we’re experiencing today.

    Now, we’re told there could be more disruptions in the next 10 years than the previous 50 years combined. Disruptions also can mean incredible opportunities. The rules of life and business are
  • A GOOD AIRPORT is a valuable asset for any growing community. In these competitive times, a well-maintained airport is vital to an area’s future economic development. An airport with a lot of hangars is a good sign.

    The following
  • HERE’S A DEPRESSING thought. Chances are you are not doing the basic things in your life the ideal way. Everything you have learned can be done in a better way.

    The good news is there are
  • WHAT STOPS GOLFERS from giving up the game? Some people would say the answer is a short memory, but for many others the answer is a good drive on the 18th hole of the last round of the season has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

    Yes, it’s still winter, but
  • LONGTIME FRIEND ARNIE DeLuca once attended a gathering when author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring children. Here are five of the winning entries.

    • No. 1. A 4-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman, who had recently lost his wife, was
  • WHILE AT LUNCH, someone at the table next to us said “It feels like we no longer live in a country that would come together when something grave challenges us. In the past, when we faced difficult times, you could count on people to unite and do whatever it would take to survive and persevere.”

    People don’t believe the truth anymore, even when the facts are right in front of their eyes. Today, we
  • IF YOU ARE skeptical by nature, you might say the recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is destined to be another government boondoggle riddled with out of control cost overruns, blown deadlines, fraud, mismanagement and projects that end with real and metaphorical bridges to nowhere.

    The bill approved in early November includes
  • AMERICANS ARE MORE than happy to provide assistance to the aged, disabled and others who can’t find gainful employment, but they also recognize the dignity of work and believe that those who can work, should.

    Americans want to help those who can’t help themselves or
  • EXPLAIN THIS TO me. Golf equipment manufacturers work very hard to make clubs and balls to make players better, while golf course designers make courses longer and harder to frustrate those same players. What would happen if golf courses were owned by the golf equipment companies?

    With Christmas now in the rearview mirror, might I
  • ROBERT WOODSON SR. believes the continued emphasis on race here in America is taking the country toward chaos. I’ve always respected Woodson as a voice of reason. Here are a few of his perspectives.

    “America is thirsty to reward
  • WITH THE HOLIDAYS upon us, here’s your opportunity to prove the spirit of Christmas is alive. Today, commit at least one random act of senseless kindness. Many acts don’t even have to cost you anything.

    The idea of doing an act of human kindness was started in
  • DO OUR FELLOW Americans have unrealistic expectations? Do you sense our stature, reputation, prestige and culture are in decline? Is America’s obsession with indiscriminate affirmation a sign of a healthy country?

    Some people quibble that
  • ONE YEAR AGO, when I turned 70, my column noted that milestone and it struck a chord with many readers, including Warren Hite and Del Keup, who sent me emails featuring essays titled “A Winter Friend” and “God’s Plan for the Aged.” They have been passed down and around all over the country.

    As we end the year with
  • AS WE SPEND a long Thanksgiving holiday weekend with family and friends, gathered around food, football and shopping plans, it’s a good time to give thanks for the most basic of gifts: a safe and comfortable home.

    Thanksgiving is
  • IN TODAY’S EVER-CHANGING world you wake up and you aren’t sure you recognize the world we live in. Well, get ready for what’s next. You will be flabbergasted with what’s just around the corner.

    Are you ready for the new virtual community known as Metaverse? Metaverse is a
  • THURSDAY IS VETERANS Day. I’ve heard people say they’d like to honor a veteran, but they aren’t sure if they know a veteran.

    The American Community Survey estimates that 18 million or 7% of the 260 million Americans more than the age of 18 are veterans.

    They are our
  • THE ECONOMIC DISRUPTION of the last 18 months caused by the pandemic has forced many people to find work wherever available. In this story, the young lady didn’t realize tapping the driver on the shoulder would cause such a near-tragic outcome.

    A passenger in an Uber heading for Midway Airport leaned over to ask the driver a question and

  • A FRIEND ASKED me recently if I was associated with the OWLS.
    “Who?” I asked.
    “You know, the
  • IT HAS BEEN said, strive to do your best and you will be surprised by how much better your life is. You will feel good, and be respected and trusted. Strive not to be a success, but rather, to be of value.
    When we strive to be of value to a person, we
  • THE UNITED STATES could get 37% of its electricity from solar power by 2035 and 44% by 2050 if the public and private sectors are willing to spend $562 billion between 2022 and 2050, according to the Energy Department. At the present, the nation gets just 3%.
    Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said
  • NEARLY A CENTURY ago, newsboys were hailed by the newspapers they sold as model young “capitalists in training” and beatified by reformers as viciously exploited child labor. I am writing about them because National Newspaper Week is Oct. 3-9.
    In my many decades in the industry, I’ve
  • WHETHER YOU’VE BEEN married a long time or if you are a newlywed, you should know it’s usually easier to agree with something you don’t understand than to understand something you don’t agree with.
    Marriages may be made in heaven, but
  • WHAT WOULD BE wrong with bestowing statehood on Washington, D.C., and the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam? The decades-long conversation has been ramping up in Congress since January.
    As for Washington, D.C., legal scholars say
  • DEFYING THE ODDS, U.S. households managed to add $13.5 trillion in wealth last year, according to the Federal Reserve; the biggest increase in records going back three decades.
    Americans are
  • It doesn’t seem possible, but this coming Saturday, Sept. 11, is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Images of those attacks are seared into American consciousness. We all remember where we were when we heard the news.
    Who can forget the disbelief and shock of
  • THERE’S MORE TO be celebrated Labor Day weekend than the last blast of summer and the coming of another autumn.
    It’s time to celebrate working folks; not just the ones who own or manage businesses, but the ones who work for them.
    Even Labor Day is a busy workday for those who bag groceries, work in restaurant kitchens, checkout customers at retail stores, bus tables, haul garbage, patrol our streets and highways,
  • THE TRUE MIRACLE worker today is the one who can make people care. I found this observation in a publication called “Good Reading” about 35 years ago and the unidentified writer continued the thought with the following evidence.
    “No matter what field — business, industry, education, government, sociology, the arts, religion — the
  • IF YOU THINK you are safe from the gangs of extortionist hackers and don’t need to guard against ransomware crooks, think again. Dollar losses are in the tens of billions and the hackers are becoming more brazen.
    According to
  • ARE YOU SOMEONE who believes that history repeats itself? Some would argue that it does, but say this time is different. In any case, maybe we’d be wise to heed the warnings and be aware of what is happening.
    Some economists are telling us that
  • CAN’T WE ALL agree? We want voting to be easier, but made harder to cheat. Who doesn’t want “integrity of the ballot?” If we can’t put partisan issues aside for a minute, how will either party ever be satisfied that elections are fair, free and without suppression or fraud?
    Several weeks ago, President Joe Biden threw gasoline on the debate when he said
  • A SIZABLE SEGMENT of Americans are obsessed with our country’s past when they should be laser-focused on the future where we face growing, threatening challenges. Many are asking “Is pride in America a thing of the past?”
    America’s past wasn’t perfect. We can’t, and
  • I CAME ACROSS the following article titled “Believe” about 20 years ago. There are numerous essays with the same theme and most are shared without accreditation. The poem has inspired many people. It sums up many of life’s challenges. See if you agree.
    I believe that
  • WHAT PERCENTAGE OF your fellow Americans do you believe are honest and trustworthy? When you read various reports about the number of people gaming the system in one way or another, the percentage may raise doubt about our strength of character.
    Honest people are
  • AMERICANS JUST CELEBRATED Independence Day so this is a good time to wonder what tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants truly think about America’s culture, history and traditional holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial, Labor and Presidents days.
    Immigration is a divisive topic for many Americans. But
  • THE DECLARATION OF Independence has been described as the birth certificate of the American nation, the first public document ever to use the name the United States of America, and has been fundamental to American history longer than any other text.
    It enshrined what came to be seen as the most
  • Nearly every state has introduced some sort of legislation that legalizes college athletes to earn compensation from the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). In fact, many states have already passed and signed those bills into law. They are known as NIL laws.
    Profiting off name, image and likeness would allow student-athletes to
  • SONORA SMART WAS one of six children. When she was still very young, her mother died. Smart and her five brothers were raised by their father, William Smart, a veteran of the Civil War.
    In 1909, Sonora Smart got the idea for Father’s Day. She
  • DEMOCRATS ARE PLAYING a dangerous game by toying with the judiciary, said liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. It would be a bad idea to turn the Supreme Court into a super legislature. Adding justices by packing the court would undermine the court’s legitimacy with
  • ARCHAEOLOGICAL BOOKS HAVE documented the advances made during the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. Someday soon, historians will fascinate our children and grandchildren with tales and anecdotes about the age of the baby boomers.
    That generation will hardly be remembered when compared to
  • MEMORIAL DAY IS a time to honor those men and women who fought bravely and made the greatest sacrifice one can make to defend liberty: their lives. In all, more than 1.2 million Americans have died in wars since our country was founded.
    Too often we take for granted the ideals for which our ancestors fought. It
  • AMY CHUA, AN author and professor at Yale Law School, offered this advice to her graduate students: “Everything precious in my life is something I was almost too scared to do.”
    “Keep trying hard things and
  • HOW DOES THIS sound? You’re dining at a five-star restaurant that is offering you a gourmet buffet featuring prime rib of beef, roast turkey, honey-glazed ham, broasted chicken and a variety of barbecued meats. It’s a feast fit for kings.
    We know the world is changing. Would you feel any different if