Opinion / Editorials

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 By William Benson    Opinion    May 5, 2016

Housing costs

In 1890, a young Danish immigrant named Jacob Riis published his book, How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York. He began his introduction, “Long ago it was said that ‘One half of the world does not know how the other...

 By Anthony Ruiz    Opinion    May 3, 2016

Chasing windmills

All last week, I heard from coworkers and people around the community about the possible snow that was coming. Not being from this area, snow in late April or early May just sounds ridiculous to my so...

 By William Benson    Opinion    April 21, 2016

Jane Goodall

The adventure writer Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote some eighty novels based upon two characters: Tarzan and John Carter. Tarzan lived among the apes in Africa, and John Carter transported himself from...

 By Anthony Ruiz    Opinion    April 19, 2016

Balancing my life (part 2)

In my last column, I wrote about how I used to weigh north of 250 lbs. and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes by the time I turned 30 years old. During a rough period in my life, I decided to take cha...

 By Anthony Ruiz    Opinion    April 15, 2016

Balancing my life (part 1)

One of my favorite pastimes, at least in recent years, is walking. I'm sure some of you have seen me walking up and down the streets of Sidney as I make my way to the county courthouse, city hall, pub...

 By Keith Hansen    Opinion    April 15, 2016

New publisher, new look to Sun-Telegraph

After 15 days on the job as publisher of the Sidney Sun-Telegraph it’s time to say hello. I was named publisher of the Sun-Telegraph on April 1. No foolin’. While it’s not monumental news, I wanted to take some time before introducing myself to...

 By William Benson    Opinion    April 7, 2016

Genocide and ethnic cleansing

On August 22, 1939, Nazi Germany's troops, tanks, and aircraft stood poised and prepared to attack Poland, its neighbor to the east, and on that day the Nazi's dictator, Adolf Hitler, spoke. "Our...

 By Anthony Ruiz    Opinion    March 25, 2016

There's a reason 'Winter Texan' is a thing

Coming from South Texas, this week's snowstorm is definitely not something that I have experienced many times in my life. Sure, as a military brat, I've seen my share of snowfall when my father was...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    March 24, 2016

March Madness

The NCAA basketball games are upon us, and March Madness has arrived. The team to watch in recent years has been the University of Connecticut, where basketball is king. The men won their last national championship, their fourth, in 2014, but the...

 By Anthony Ruiz    Opinion    March 18, 2016

Northern flavor for a southern palate

Even just three months in, 2016 has been a year of new experiences for this South Texan. When I made the move to Nebraska, I made a decision that I would throw myself into any experiences that came...

 By Anthony Ruiz    Opinion    March 14, 2016

From a tiny Texas town to the streets of Sidney

If somebody had asked me at the beginning of this year if I saw myself leaving my hometown of more than 20 years and move 1,000-plus miles north to the Nebraska panhandle, I would have thought they...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    March 10, 2016

Thoughts on Campaign 2016

The United States has had two father-son presidencies. The first was John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, and the second was George Bush and his son, George W. Bush. Because Jeb Bush withdrew from the current race three weeks ago, we will not...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    February 26, 2016

Feelings in history

Scientists want to quantify. First, they observe a phenomenon, record their observations, arrive at a set of numbers, and then build a hypothesis. This procedure — the scientific method — works well in the sciences, such as in chemistry, biology... Full story

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    February 11, 2016

Presidents Day

In September of 1796, President George Washington published a remarkable document, his farewell address “to the People of the United States on his declining of the Presidency.” After two terms as president, he was exhausted, tired of public... Full story

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    January 28, 2016

"We Are the World" and Benghazi

Late in 1984, the calypso singer Harry Belafonte decided to raise funds for the famine-starved Ethiopians in Africa. First, he approached Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and asked them to write a song. Then, he asked several dozen of the biggest...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    December 31, 2015

Story and myth

An article appeared in the New York Times two weeks ago, “Jane Austen’s Guide to Alzheimer’s.” In it, Carol J. Adams described her difficult days caring for her mother, who had lost the battle to Alzheimer’s. For solace, Carol listened to... Full story

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    December 17, 2015

Love Story

“What can you say about a 25 old girl who died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me.” So begins Oliver Barrett IV in Erich Segal’s novel, Love Story. Oliver is a rich, white, Anglo-Saxo...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    December 3, 2015

Lebanon's Civil War

In the book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, the book’s author Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes the people in Lebanon, his native country. It was, he writes, “an example of coexistence,” “a mosaic of cultures and...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    November 19, 2015

Patricia Hearst

The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped 19-year-old Patty Hearst, a sophomore at the University of California, Berkley, on Feb. 4, 1974. For the next 57 days, this small-time urban guerrilla organization detained Patty in a studio apartment’s... Full story

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    November 5, 2015

China's one-child policy

The Chinese people felt an immediate sense of relief last Thursday when their government stated that it will permit married couples now to have two children. The government’s one-child policy has created “a demographic nightmare,” and its... Full story

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    October 22, 2015

Bobby Fischer and Steve Jobs

Hollywood just released two biographical movies. The first was on Bobby Fischer entitled Pawn Sacrifice, and the other was on Steve Jobs, entitled Steve Jobs. Fischer’s passion was chess, but Jobs’ was computers and marketing. Chess experts now...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    October 8, 2015

Mel Blanc: Comedy and tragedy

Mel Blanc was known as “the man with a thousand voices” because he created voices for numerous cartoon characters. For Warner Brothers, Mel was the voice of Wile Coyote, Speedy Gonzales, Pepe LePew, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester the...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    September 24, 2015

A fork in the road

Yogi Berra played catcher for the New York Yankees for 19 years, from 1946 until 1965. Noted for his funny expressions, such as, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over,” and “I didn’t say everything I said,” his most quoted malapropism is...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    September 10, 2015

Brandywine versus Sept. 11

Two historic events occurred on Sept. 11. The first was at Brandywine Creek, west of Philadelphia, in 1777, and the second was Sept. 11, 2001. In the first, General George Washington’s ragtag army tried to stop General William Howe’s superior...

 By William H. Benson    Opinion    August 28, 2015

Riff and parade

“Life is a lot like jazz,” said George Gershwin. “It is best when you improvise.” During the 2004 political debates, the radio host Don Imus described the two vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards as “Dr. Doom and the...


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