Byron McNutt - Vilas County News-Review
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  • 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
  • WITH MOTHER’S DAY this Sunday, I’d like to share with you an essay titled, “A Parable of Motherhood,” written in 1933 by the late Temple Bailey, an American author and short story writer. This parable first appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine.
    “The young mother set her foot on the path of life. ‘Is this the long way?’ she
  • GUMPERSON’S LAW ACCOUNTS for the fact that you can throw a burnt match out the window of your speeding car and start a forest fire, while you can use two boxes of matches and an entire edition of this newspaper without being able to start a fire under the dry logs in your fireplace.
    Gumperson served as a consultant to the armed services during World War II and evolved the procedure whereby the more a recruit knew about a certain subject, the better chance he had of receiving an assignment involving some other vital skill.
    The law, stated simply, is that the contradiction
  • THE WORLD’S AUTOMOTIVE industry is pivoting to electric vehicles at breakneck speed to meet new emissions requirements and rushing to establish the vast infrastructure from battery factories to charging networks, needed to sustain the growing market.
    There is a fervor for
  • ELECTIONS ARE THE essence of democracy. They allow people to select their political leaders and then, to hold them accountable. Standards must be set to define what is ideal. Most countries meet those standards imperfectly. Thus, the devil is in the details.
    A free election is
  • AS WE GET older, it’s remarkable how many crises we have lived through that we were too innocent to recognize at the time. Anxiety begins with the power to grasp and comprehend what is obscure.
    Want to be obsolete without anxiety? Just
  • DO YOU UNDERSTAND the fascination and legitimacy given to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? I would be very suspicious about something most people don’t understand because cryptos are volatile and speculative.
    Bitcoins are
  • HAS THE PAST year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related civil unease got you frustrated? Have events caused mood changes, irritation, resentment, depression or feelings of exasperation?
    You’re not alone. The past year has disrupted the lives and
  • THE LATE ROBERT Gallagher once said “A true leader is a student of people. Each individual has his own different temperament. Handling this requires study, tact and knowledge. No one size fits all in handling people.”
    Gallagher’s distinguished career earned him many honors by
  • WHAT WOULD OUR lives be like without challenges? A person’s greatest strength develops at the point where they overcome their greatest weakness.
    What we do when confronted with these challenges has a lot to do with how we perceive our place in the world. We can face the challenges or we can
  • IT’S NO SURPRISE the world is changing in this era of social media. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and Apple. There is a striking disconnect from generation to generation. Here’s an example of “The Green Thing.”
    In the grocery store checkout line, before the pandemic, the
  • AS THE WORLD has grown smaller, more volatile and unstable, how the United States is perceived by the rest of the world has taken on new importance.
    With about 330 million people, the United States represents
  • THEODORE ROOSEVELT SAID “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”
    Presidents Day, which we celebrated Feb. 15, officially honors the birthday of George Washington, which is Feb. 22. But the holiday also commemorates all past presidents of the United States including
  • I’M AT THAT age where my mind still thinks I’m 29, my humor suggests I’m 45, while my body mostly keeps asking if I’m not dead yet. Old friend Arnie DeLuca said “There is no limit to aging humor.” He sent me this list of interesting and perhaps true thoughts on our now older age.
    For example, you don’t realize how old you are until
  • ARE YOU THE type of person who sees a sign that says “Don’t touch this bench, the paint is wet,” and you go ahead and touch it to make sure the paint is really wet?
    Maybe you are inclined to
  • DID YOU KNOW that the average 65-year-old American will live an additional 19.3 years? One in four will reach age 92, according to the National Center for Health. That can be good news for some people and bad news for others. Are you financially prepared to live to age 85?
    Six years ago, Jonathan Clements, a financial columnist for the Wall Street Journal, thought back over his career and
  • AS THE COUNTRY prepares for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration to take over the leadership of our government this week, it’s interesting to note what Mark Penn had to say about the disposition of the American people. We need to support the new government and be open to new ideas if we are to unite for