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At the mercy of the sea and public opinion

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net    Most parents are reluctant to hand over the car keys to their 16-year-old children. A few parents, however, are somehow able to hand over a…

The president’s lament

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net    In August, 2009, the headlines weren’t particularly comforting to those of us working as congressional staff members. Every single day, it seemed, there was…

Salted smiles and tears

    A magical sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Will it ever be the same?Mitch Traphagen Photo By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net I ambled through the powdery white sand to…

The poetry of ghosts

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net I enjoy watching television shows like Ghost Hunters — on the rare occasions I find time to watch them. I don’t necessarily believe them, however.…

Instant Karma

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Thirty-two thousand feet above Middle America, I saw my wife smile. What made that amazing was that I was in seat 2D on AirTran flight 409…

Learning how to die

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Paul Singer is dying. If you have read this newspaper for any length of time, say the last decade or so, then you know him.…

Winning in a losing game

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Within a span of months, Americans went from being awash in cash to being misers searching out stray pennies. The villains were cast with the…

The perfect day

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net I am a hopeless optimist.  Every single day I hold out hope for the perfect day; but for reasons I can’t quite explain, the reality…

The cell phone cell

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Let’s see a show of hands. Who here has a cell phone? Yeah, that’s right, raise your hand if you have a cell phone. Hmmm…everyone? No,…

The grass is greener on the beach

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net In Iowa there are approximately two people and 15 cows and pigs per square mile and the threat of being shot while behind the wheel…