Trade dispute has done ‘irreparable harm” to farmers

Aaron Putze of the Iowa Soybean Association

The U.S. and China are scheduled to resume trade talks later this week in Washington, DC, but according to Iowa soybean producers, regardless of the eventual outcome of the trade dispute with China, the damage done since the trade dispute began 16 months ago will take decades to repair.

That’s the message Aaron Putze, director of communications and external relations for the Iowa Soybean Association, gave the Rotary Club of Jefferson at its meeting Monday. Putze provided the program for the meeting. Continue reading Trade dispute has done ‘irreparable harm” to farmers

Spied upon

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

The prescience of George Orwell in his novel 1984 is eerie in 2019. Seventy years after its 1949 publication in England, we live with cameras that watch us at stoplights and in stores; cyberspace technology that checks our emails; phones that track our whereabouts from within our houses and autos into the world of roads and stores and skies we frequent. It is all too similar to the secret surveillance in Orwell’s dystopian story. Continue reading Spied upon

“You gotta give the world credit for beauty.”

Quote from Thomas McNulty, narrator in Sebastian Barry’s novel Days Without End

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

That is a truth: the world is beautiful. Sometimes the very beauty before me, alongside me, across the street – it makes my heart burst, brings tears to my eyes even as it lightens whatever my burden of the day is. And sometimes I don’t even see it, so preoccupied with other things that I walk through it like a blind person. Continue reading “You gotta give the world credit for beauty.”

Looking for a one-night stand?

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

I’m always on the lookout for a compelling book that I can devour in one night. It hardly ever happens anymore. I used to be able to pick up a murder mystery and toss it off before 4 am. Then I became tired of murders, what with cats solving them and A to Z series, all with the same plot.

So, rather than genre books, I went for non-category books – books designed for the general public, distinguished from a limited edition book, a textbook, a mass-market paperback. Continue reading Looking for a one-night stand?

Idle moments

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

In a moment of boredom, I decided to find something interesting to read on the internet. My advice to you is: Don’t go there.

A few examples:

“Stunning photos reveal what life was like 50 years ago.”
This must be for those who weren’t alive then. We who were would not find the pictures “stunning” – Woodstock, astronauts, the Brady Bunch…. Continue reading Idle moments


~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Last week as Hurricane Dorian crept west from the mid-Atlantic toward the U.S. southeast coast, gaining power by the mile to menace whatever would be in its path, my friend JD took to her bed. Continue reading PTSD

Have a newspaper day

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

This column is going to start off sounding political but read on. It will swerve to something more palatable: breakfast.

To know what‘s really going on, I listen to or read online all the news sources – MSNBC and FOX, The Beast and The Guardian, Epoch News and the NYTimes, National Review and The New Republic, NPR and Rush Limbaugh and of course GreeneCountyNewsOnline. Continue reading Have a newspaper day

Letter to the editor – Barb Brooker

Iowa – Number 1 in stink

To the editor,

The paragraph below is from the latest issue of RV Daily Tips newsletter (, a very popular publication among RVers.
“I am totally disgusted with the powers that be who have let this happen to an otherwise beautiful state. Last night my husband and I stopped at a rural home of a friend of ours and the smell was overpowering. We rushed into the house to escape the hog smell. And yet when any new hog confinement comes up for consideration it will pass no matter how big the protest! Disgusting! Continue reading Letter to the editor – Barb Brooker

Fit for all? Or All in a fit?

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

I was introduced to two informative pieces of journalism recently, both from current publications of the 161-year-old New York Times. This newspaper is the much maligned, much vaunted and must-read daily voice by those who feel a need to be in the know around the world. It claims to print “All the news that’s fit to print.” Continue reading Fit for all? Or All in a fit?

A life lesson long in arriving

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Months ago – years ago, now – I began a rapid slide into a low-grade fever that I called “This can’t be happening in my country.”

After two years and nine months after an official election on top of months of what for any other candidate would have been really bad press, I’ve finally found a way not to go mad when I hear the leader of the free world (the position was once called this) say undemocratic things; also known as tyrant rants; strongman bluster; prejudice against the other (which includes females), such as the following: Continue reading A life lesson long in arriving

Warren speaks to full house in Jefferson

Elizabeth Warren | GCNO photo by Janice Harbaugh

~by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

It was standing room only for the Elizabeth Warren town hall meeting hosted by the Greene County Democrats at History Boy Theater on Aug. 8 in Jefferson. Chris Henning, Greene County Democratic party chair, introduced Warren.

Warren, senior senator from Massachusetts, is competing for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 election. Warren spoke for more than an hour to an estimated crowd of 200 people about her ideas for change in government.

Warren spoke of a need for structural change in government to take control away from drug companies, big investors, and oil companies that she believes control decisions made by the president and Congress. She proposes “the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate.” Continue reading Warren speaks to full house in Jefferson

Delaney promotes ‘common sense stuff, not huge change’

John Delaney  |GCNO photo

Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney over the past two years has listened to hundreds of voters at comparatively small campaign events, and he has his own version of what they’re looking for. “They’re looking for a steady set of hands on the economy. They’re not looking for someone who’s going to cause upheaval in the economic policy with some of these extreme ideas, and they’re looking for someone who’s decent,” he said. “People want common sense stuff, not huge change.”

He shared some of his “common sense stuff” with about 20 voters at David and Emily Weaver’s farm northeast of Rippey Tuesday morning.

According to Delaney, America is a magnificent country that has every advantage a country could want in 2019 except for one thing: the government is broken. Continue reading Delaney promotes ‘common sense stuff, not huge change’