The Best of 2013

Happy New Year! Thanks to you, 2013 was a great year here at The Western Word (TWW) world headquarters in Great Falls, Montana.

TWW has been an active blog since January 2005. By the way, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

A special thanks to the 124 subscribers to TWW. By the way, you can be notified of new columns by subscribing. You can do that by clicking on the +Follow tab in the bottom right corner and entering your e-mail address, or by going to the subscribe box on the right side of the page (under the Twitter feed box) and entering your e-mail address there.

It is always fun to see which columns are viewed the most and from where the columns are viewed. This past year people from 95 countries visited TWW. A special “shout-out” to one person in China who was able to stop by!

In 2013, there were 317 new posts, growing the total archive of TWW to 2,097 posts.

Listed below are the top five columns that received the most views in 2012 on TWW:

Continue reading

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Memorial Day & Veterans Day: There’s a Difference

Memorial Day is now past and today (Tuesday) feels like a Monday. Some schools are out for the summer and others are winding down. Personally, I believe public schools should start after Labor Day and end on the Friday before Memorial Day. Maybe that’s a column for another day.

It has always been pretty interesting to me to watch and read what people say and do on Memorial Day, and I’m not talking about what the folks do or say after they have been drinking beer and eating barbecue all day on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day and it was held on May 30 of each year. It was a time set aside for the nation “to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.” Notice they said, “war dead.” According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website, “In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May” (Congress loves three-day weekends).

You can read more about the history of Memorial Day HERE.

When I was a child, my parents would load me and a bunch of flowers (some real flowers and some plastic flowers) in the car and head off for a day of decorating graves across northern Missouri and southern Iowa. Some of the graves were for veterans and others were not. My parents and my grandmother decorated the graves and told story after story about the uncle, aunt, grandparent, or cousin’s life whose grave we were visiting. Looking back, I am amazed that my parents remembered where everyone was buried. It was an all-day trip. Continue reading

Thursday Numbers – Honoring Veterans

Almost every Thursday I present “Thursday Numbers” where I take a look at some of the numbers behind the news.

Since Friday (November 11) is Veterans Day, today’s “Thursday Numbers” will talk about numbers as they pertain to veterans.  Today, and every day, you should thank a veteran…

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs website devoted to Veterans Day:

Veterans Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living Veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.

Enjoy Thursday Numbers – Honoring Veterans… Continue reading

Monday Morning Politics

Here’s a look at some of the political news that caught my attention recently. Of course, I offer my commentary…

Public Service Commission:

Last week I wrote about the feud on the Public Service Commission (PSC).  Some more commentary has popped up, this time from former PSC commissioner and Chairman Greg Jergeson (a Democrat).  It is pretty good and you can read it HERE.

Jergeson writes the following about current commissioners Brad Molnar and Bill Gallagher (Republicans):

Brad Molnar has long had a reputation for a shoot-from-the-hip style when it comes to the PSC. He doesn’t do his reading, ignores advice of the PSC’s professional staff, and disregards evidence presented at hearings before the commission. It’s a shame that Bill Gallagher appears to be have allied himself with Molnar’s political antics.

In regards to Republican Commissioner Travis Kavulla, Jergeson writes:

I am more and more impressed with Kavulla’s work ethic and determination to ferret out the facts. He has rapidly established a reputation for decisiveness, integrity and thoughtfulness. Continue reading