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Articles written by Mike Sunderland


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  • Debate vs. Argument

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Jan 25, 2024

    My last full* year of school in Fairbanks, Alaska was at Monroe High School. Although it was called a "high school" the majority of the classes were designed to prepare the graduates for college. The classes we attended averaged anywhere from 1 year to 4 years ahead of what was taught in the public school system. From the middle of my Sophomore year through my Senior year at Monroe High School I participated in the Debate Club. Before that I was a member of the school choir. Partway though the... Full story

  • Humor in Uniform

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Jan 11, 2024

    Just to flip the coin a bit... here is a bit of the other side of military service. Most of us have read or heard war stories, and at one time or another watched movies by the dozen that hammered home the bleak and bloody side of warfare. There are few TV shows and movies that show another side of life in the military. Lest you get the idea that time in the military is dull and dreary, or just a series of unpleasant experiences, allow me to recount a few of the more humorous events that took... Full story

  • Collecting Info

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Dec 28, 2023

    Collecting information upon some thing or some one can be beneficial, such as a doctor obtaining as much medical history that is available on a patient. On the other hand, collecting personal information can be harmful, especially if it is on individual citizens, or communal groups of citizens that will be used to "monitor" their activities, even if those activities are peaceful and legal. That is something done in socialist, fascist and communist countries. (In reality there is so little... Full story

  • Merry Christmas!

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Dec 21, 2023

    This article will be short and sweet. Well, sweet to some and not so sweet to others. December 25 is the day that has been chosen for the majority of the world's citizens to celebrate a holiday we call Christmas. For many, especially in Western cultures (America and Western Europe) Christmas is that time of year we take a break from our workaday world. During this break time various cultures celebrate it in various ways and for various reasons. Many days prior to December 25 most of us spend an... Full story

  • Paid to Commit Suicide

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Dec 14, 2023

    Some are addicted to alcohol. Some are addicted to various narcotics, while others are addicted to various perversions. Our nation and world has increasingly become addicted to these and other things to the extent that we have all but passed the national fatality level. Most of us are aware of the various drug addictions that plague our fellow Americans. In every part of the nation there are young and old who are addicted to the junk that is pouring over our so called sovereign borders. The... Full story

  • Why?

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Nov 30, 2023

    Probably the most frequently asked question is "Why?" As children we bombarded our parents with such questions as... "Why do I have to do this?" "Why do I have to do that?" among others, and probably the most frequently asked was: "Why me?" Today many are bewildered at the current state of the world in general, and the state of America in particular. Why are things so confused and chaotic? Why does it seem that things are getting worse? The simple answer is: human nature. From early in our... Full story

  • Inheritance?

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Nov 23, 2023

    Thanks to my dad I became a student of history. It seems like a lot of today's parents are so busy making a living, they don't have time to share their personal and family history with their kids. Yes, I know it's rather difficult these days for us average (non-millionaire) parents. Dorothy and I experienced that even to the point of total bankruptcy and losing everything, yet we still raised 5 kids and adopted a 6th. Nonetheless, thanks to my dad I learned to share my personal history with my... Full story

  • Doomed to Repeat?

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Nov 16, 2023

    I became a student of history way back... well, never mind how far back. One of the things I learned was that humans seem to be very, very slow learners when it comes to assimilating the lessons of history (also known as "life"). Century after century the same pitiful mistakes are made by governments and societies around the world. This tendency has been summed up by historical philosophers throughout the centuries. Kurt Vonnegut phrased it like this: "We're doomed to repeat the past no matter... Full story

  • Finally, I Got Mail!

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Nov 9, 2023

    Went to the Sidney Post Office Saturday morning, Nov. 4, and I got a letter! Usually the only mail I get is junk mail and bills. I am so thrilled to get this letter that I'm reporting it in its entirety in the following paragraphs. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And I quote with expletives somewhat deleted, but spelling unchanged: "10-30-2023, I hope this F--k the right man. To Mike Sunderland in response to your article in the Sun Telegraph August 22, 2022! How are you feeling now Mr.... Full story

  • Why Not?

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Nov 2, 2023

    There is a troubling trend in various schools around the nation that has become an open sore in the past few years. More and more schools are minimizing the teaching of history and American government in order to focus on things that will make our youth “more prepared to join the nation’s work force.” At least that is the excuse. Granted, that preparation is important, but it should not be to the exclusion of other areas of a general education. A vital part of our nation’s education... Full story

  • What Is It About?

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Oct 19, 2023

    Every day we are inundated with bad news. Turn on your TV or radio to any station that carries national and world news – its there. The internet is full to over flowing with "news" – some real, some fake. Regardless of the source the script is the same... "Things are bad and getting worse. So you need to tighten your budget and your belt and learn to live with less." If fact, according to the end-of-the-world cultists things are so bad that you need to lose your future and your children's... Full story

  • Right Versus Wrong

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Oct 5, 2023

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Please enjoy this week's Sutherland piece which is a reprint from 10/13/2021. It is just as relevant now as it was then. Sorry folks, I wish I could write numerous articles full of laughter and fun, but I can't. After watching the evening news and comparing the way various news channels handle reporting the same event I usually end up shaking my head in sorrow. One gives a positive spin on everything that is wrong while another spins the good as something bad. The national news... Full story

  • Fighting Fire

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Sep 21, 2023

    My Navy boot company spent 2 days sweating in Southern California heat learning to handle fire hoses and how to put out shipboard fires with nothing but water. In 1967 the Western U.S. Navy Boot Camp was located at San Diego. It was hot and miserable but necessary training. Most of our training was on the use of the 3-position nozzle and the handling of fire hoses. We used a nozzle that could put out different streams: solid stream, coarse spray and fog. The high pressure solid stream was used... Full story

  • I love Latin!

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Sep 7, 2023

    Once in a while us males have to show off our intelligence, just to prove that the main stream media is not as accurate (aka smart) as they would have us believe. So, here goes my attempt... I attended Monroe High School in Fairbanks Alaska. It was, and still is run by the local Catholic Church. I graduated from the school way back in... well never mind! One of the courses we were required to take was 2 years of classic Latin (the language, not the style of music). Sister Lewis was my Latin... Full story

  • Some Gave All

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Aug 17, 2023

    Ordinarily country and western style music doesn't trip my trigger, but in 1992 Billy Ray Cyrus released the song "Some Gave All" that really struck a chord deep down in my soul. As a Navy veteran of the late 1960's and early '70's many of my high school classmates and young men in my neighborhood were drafted and served in our nation's military in Vietnam. A little over half of them did not return alive, and several of the survivors recovered from their injuries in stateside hospitals. Some hav... Full story

  • Paid to Commit Suicide

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Aug 10, 2023

    Some are addicted to alcohol. Some are addicted to various narcotics, others to various perversions. Our nation and world has increasingly become addicted to these and more to the extent that we have all but passed the national fatality level. Most of us are aware of the various drug addictions that plague our fellow Americans. Even in Sidney, Nebraska there are both young and old who are addicted to the junk that is pouring over our so called sovereign borders. The alarms have been sounding... Full story

  • What Did We Do For Fun?

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Jun 1, 2023

    There is a joke about an 85 year old widower who went around banging his head against the brick walls in town. When asked "Why are you doing that?" The widower replied, "Its the only pleasure in life I get." The inquirer responded in disbelief, so the elderly gentleman explained, "The doctors won't let me smoke or drink, and my wife died a few years ago. So I do this instead." The baffled stranger said, "I'm sorry, I really don't understand." The silver haired octogenarian said, "I do it... Full story

  • The Low Bush Moose

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|May 18, 2023

    I often regaled my family with stories of my childhood in Alaska as we sat around the table after dinner. I remember getting up early that morning long ago... "Put the cooler in the trunk" Dad said. Excited by the prospect of my first hunting trip, I played pack mule, lugging equipment to Uncle Norman's vehicle. Norman teased, "Think you'll be able to bring down a moose with your popgun?" I grinned and kept loading. On my 10th birthday I received a .22 cal. single-shot bolt-action rifle. I knew... Full story

  • Making Money

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|May 4, 2023

    My first venture into the business world was in the summer of 1957 as an 8 year old. Dad brought home an old rusty platen press from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. I can't properly describe a platen press. It was foot treadle powered and hand fed. You can find pictures of them on the web. The pressman (me) stands in front of the press, grabs a big flywheel on the left side of the press and gives it a hard pull. This puts it into motion. The next step is to take a sheet of paper, slip it into... Full story

  • Sometimes...

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Apr 20, 2023

    Plans and dreams – starting in childhood and lasting through all our lives we dream and make plans. In grade school I dreamed about being the best artist in my class. Didn't happen and I'm still a lousy artist. When I got into high school I dreamed about becoming the star basketball player and being on the honor roll, too. Made honor roll in my junior and senior years, but I couldn't dribble worth an "expletive deleted". I dreamed of going to college and being #1 on the dean's list, then... Full story

  • Chariots of Tire

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Apr 13, 2023

    In the distant future archeologists will argue about certain aspects of my generation's lifestyle. Long after our high performance muscle cars have been outlawed and turned to rust, legends and folk tales will speak of the mystical metal monsters that ruled a legendary land of highways and parking lots. What future historians and archeologists will make of these only God knows. Some tales will survive into the 50th century, long after the last drop of petroleum has been leeched from the ground,... Full story

  • Excitement & Hard Work

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Apr 6, 2023

    The first 2 years my parents and I lived in Winnemucca, Nevada were filled with excitement and hard work. I had a new bride and we were part of something rarely done – starting a newspaper from scratch and seeing it rapidly grow into one of the most influential, respected and successful newspapers in the state of Nevada: the Humboldt Sun. We built our success on our philosophy of what a hometown paper should be. A newspaper is just that: a paper filled with news of immediate impact, concern... Full story

  • Constitutional Argument 1

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Mar 23, 2023

    Picking up from the previous Historical Argument article, I'll continue in the same vein with some United States Constitutional arguments. Recently our country has seen activities by various levels of government, from states to our national government that, at the very least, could be assessed as unconstitutional. Unfortunately our educational systems around the nation have failed in many schools to teach our young for some time about the Constitution of the United States. There are few today... Full story

  • A Historical Argument

    Mike Sunderland, Columnist|Mar 9, 2023

    I believe a major failing of our national education system is the general lack of teaching the historical foundations of our Nation and its governmental system. Even though it is not close to the Fourth of July, I believe it is time to look at the Declaration of Independence that was passed by the fledgling American Congress on July 4, 1776. Let's examine just a few parts of this document and see how they apply to the state of the Union today. The second paragraph makes a concise and logical... Full story

  • Civil Discourse

    Mike Sunderland|Feb 23, 2023

    Reaching back into the not so far distant past, one of the activities I participated in during my high school years was debate. Monroe High School in Fairbanks, Alaska had a debate club that I joined shortly after leaving the high school choir. My voice had changed and I couldn't hold a note without ending up screeching in C above high C. That simple change ended up making a great change in many things in my life over the following years. Among the things we were taught in the debate club,... Full story

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