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Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015

Contraceptives and Taxation without Representation

Monday, October 29, 2012

Buy batteries for when you turn your clocks back and change batteries in your smoke alarms Sunday, Nov. 4.

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With too much time on their hands, CNN called it, "an ill-timed slip of the tongue that fires folks' political passions," and news people everywhere got their collective knickers in a bunch when Governor Mitt Romney said, "I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."

Terms like file, database, or folder, might have produced the same foolishness. Jazz up the story, the debate wasn't very lively.

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There are more than 15 definitions of the word 'binder,' but to me, a binder is, or was, the old horse drawn McCormick machine which cut and tied bundles of oats in the field. It spit out the bundles, we picked them up and stacked six or eight into shocks. It was important to stand the oat heads-up, and to leave air space. In the 1930s the tongues were shortened and the machine was pulled by tractors.

Cyrus Hall McCormick, a 22-year-old Virginian, invented the reaper-binder in 1831. Called the first major step toward farm mechanization, it just cut the standing grain, but then he added a tying feature, using wire, later replaced by twine, called binder twine to this day.

Combines (combining cutting and threshing in the field) were invented about the same time but did not reach popularity in Iowa until the 1940s. My dad, influenced by his Montana wheat rancher brother-in-law, bought a combine about 1940, but by 1944 reverted back to a 32" Minneapolis Moline threshing machine.

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Some of you may want to skip to the comic section, for this segment contains information you may find offensive, or those from Whiting won't understand. Like Nancy Pelosi (she didn't read it either) I don't understand lot of Obamacare. For instance, why are you and I supposed to pay for contraceptives for women, at places like Planned Parenthood? That seems like taxation without representation. Although I am not sure I want to be represented, I sure don't want that taxation part.

Not being conversant about such things, I visited a pharmacy to study the matter. The first thing that caught my eye was the huge display. Then there were the descriptions and names. 'Charged,' 'Pleasure,' 'Multi,' 'Speed,' 'ENZ,' 'Armor,' and my favorite, 'MAGNUM.' But the item that concerned me most is the cost. Usually, it is the high cost of goods that gets my attention, but not so here in the Goodyear aisle. You can buy a 36 pack of condoms for less than $15!

Now why should I have to fork over tax dollars so some woman in Chicago, for instance, should be so fortified? And, check the arithmetic -- 42 cents a pop, times 12, equals $5.04 - for a full year's supply! Plus tacks, of course.

Certain segments of society do not need this particular service and should not have to contribute, but if spaying or neutering is an option I'd be happy to throw in a few bucks. Maybe that, 'now you see it-now you don't,' "Death Panel" could arrange a 'tune-up' for those in need.

Another option to hold down the future costs is importation. If drugs from Canada and Mexico are so cheap, buy rubbers there, too. After all, we do send a lot of used tires south of the border. Reciprocal trade?

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Totally unrelated, three members of Russian female punk rock band Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison after they were found guilty of hooliganism for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin.

They were charged after screaming, "Mother Mary, please drive Putin away," in a protest act in February. The name of the band alone should be worth more than two years!

A month later, President Obama, caught on a 'hot' microphone, whispered to Russian President Medvedev, "This is my last election - after my election I have more flexibility." That might contribute to getting B.O. four more years -- out.

By the way, is B.O. our only president not to be tagged with a (printable) nickname?

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That