Byron McNutt - Vilas County News-Review
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  • 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
  • ARE YOU ONE of the 43 million Americans saddled with student-loan debt? Maybe you owe $40,000 and your financial situation is such that you struggle just to pay the interest on the loan. In fact, you have other loans to pay and the burden is overwhelming.
    Now, let’s say the Joe Biden administration is
  • THE USE OF absentee ballots exploded during the pandemic. Does this foretell how we’re going to see state and national elections play out in the future? Should we expect this phenomenon to happen again in 2022 and ’24?
    More than
  • IT’S THAT TIME of year again to make your New Year’s resolutions. For those seeking a challenge, here are a few goals to set for yourself. Start 2021 by promising yourself:
    • To be strong, so that
  • IT WAS CHRISTMAS Eve day and poor Della Young counted her money. She had just $1.87 to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. Much of the money consisted of pennies she had scrimped and saved for months by skillfully dickering with the grocer, butcher and vegetable man. But it would clearly not be enough. Della was
  • ADOLESCENCE IS A mental illness when it happens to anybody but a teenager. In a 30-year-old, for instance, a state of adolescence is called a nervous breakdown. This was an observation made in 1982, by Bob Myers, the eccentric owner of The County Press in Lapeer, Mich. Myers wrote a column under the pen name of
  • IT HAS NOW been five weeks since the presidential election. Time to reflect and put things into perspective. Whether your candidates won or not, we should all want the new Joe Biden administration and our country in general to succeed. We need to believe the sun will shine again in America.
    President-elect Biden has
  • THERE COMES A time in everyone’s life when you know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions. I pulled off my 70th birthday Dec. 1. The crossing of that milestone was almost effortless and went amazingly fast. And as many birthdays prior to this one, it was basically uneventful.
    What do you consider milestone birthdays in your life? Was it 16, 21, 30, 50 or 65? Maybe it
  • SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE this Thanksgiving. Researchers say it is good for your health. Expressing gratitude improves cardiovascular strength, sleep quality and more, according to Robert Emmons, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis.
    “Gratitude enhances performance in
  • INCOME INEQUALITY CONTINUES to grow in many countries including 20 out of 29 advanced economies. Wealth is significantly more unevenly distributed than income worldwide. This has many people very concerned for the future of America.
    Recent events have reminded us that
  • THIS VETERANS DAY, we reflect on the sacrifices made by those who volunteered to defend the United States. But let’s also find time to consider that these sacrifices were undertaken to defend values that our “ruling class in waiting” seeks to undermine.
    Many students at elite colleges don’t
  • MORE THAN 90 MILLION Americans improve the quality of life for loved ones who have chronic conditions, disabilities, disease or the frailties of old age. They are our country’s unsung heroes. November is National Family Caregivers Month. Of family caregivers, 60% work full or part time.
    Caregivers can be
  • WHO WON’T BE relieved when this general election cycle is over? The year 2020 has been one for the history books. We all need some closure as our bitterly divided country braces for the Nov. 3 election. It’s critical for the survival of democracy that we trust the results.
    If 2020 has taught us anything, it is