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Common Sense

German and British soldiers together during one of the several Christmas Truces in 1914.

Snell: Merry Christmas…Und Fröliche Weihnachten?

By Barry B. Snell John Thompson, the Iowa Statesman’s new managing editor, asked me to write something for Christmas, since due to this publication’s very recent revival most columnists are either not up to speed yet, or are too busy or traveling for the holiday to turn content in.  All […]

by · December 25, 2016 · Comments are Disabled · Common Sense, Editorial, State, Uncategorized
ICYMI: Our founders planned for times like these

ICYMI: Our founders planned for times like these

  By Bob Eschliman Editor   Note: The following was published Nov. 24, 2014, but remains just as relevant today.   The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly […]

by · October 13, 2015 · Comments are Disabled · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics
ICYMI: The settled science of Personhood

ICYMI: The settled science of Personhood

Editor’s Note: The following was published than three years ago, but still remains true today. On this the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, we encourage all our readers to share this with your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone else who needs to understand what is […]

Is your local media outlet engaging its community?

Is your local media outlet engaging its community?

Editor’s note: this was originally written three and a half years ago for a different blog operated by TIS editor Bob Eschliman. It has been amended slightly to fit this website.   How engaged is your local media outlet (i.e. newspaper, or radio or television station)? It’s not as easy […]

by · January 7, 2015 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial
Coexisting at Christmas

Coexisting at Christmas

Last weekend, my wife and I determined it was time to get a new tree topper for our Christmas tree. For years, we had an angel tree topper, but we wanted to change things up with a star this year. So, we braved the post-Black Friday rush to check out […]

by · December 3, 2014 · Comments are Disabled · Common Sense, Editorial
Texas BoE approves ‘controversial’ history textbooks

Texas BoE approves ‘controversial’ history textbooks

The message this week: Don’t mess with Texas’ education. The 15-member Texas Board of Education has been one of the harshest critics of “education reform” via the Common Core State Standards since their inception. Texas was one a very small minority of states that never approved the standards that have […]

by · November 23, 2014 · Comments are Disabled · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics
Forgiveness and justice can coexist

Forgiveness and justice can coexist

Over the course of a 15-year journalism career, I’ve seen than my fair share of tragedy, particularly during the 10 years that I covered criminal courts. And nothing adds to that tragedy when it seems the justice meted out by our legal system is woefully inappropriate, given the facts […]

by · October 22, 2014 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial
Priorities shine a light on one’s principles

Priorities shine a light on one’s principles

“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” – Edmund Burke The father of modern conservatism is absolutely right, in so many ways. Far too often, we lo for politicians who talk a good game, and who appear to […]

Sometimes, you have to take the sack

Sometimes, you have to take the sack

Politics frequently conjures up analogies to the sport of American football. But there’s one important aspect of the game of football you almost never hear talked about in those analogies. I’m talking about taking a sack. I was once a back-up quarterback, and I can tell you every quarterback’s second-greatest […]

by · September 25, 2014 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics
When are YOU going to do something?

When are YOU going to do something?

“Obama’s decimating our military. Surely the top brass can see it. When are they going to do something about it?” It’s not an exact quote, but it’s pretty close, mainly because I’ve seen about four or five variations of it on my newsfeed the last couple of weeks. First […]

Icing the puck … just a little

Icing the puck … just a little

Here’s a little-known secret about me … I hockey. And, a recent novelty on social media – timed perfectly with the start of preseason training in the NHL – has me thinking about big buckets of ice. And hockey pucks – that’s how they make round chunks of solid […]

by · August 26, 2014 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Can we boycott them all?

The discount retailer Target made waves last week by announcing it would be joining an amicus brief in federal cases disputing the constitutionality of state marriage laws in Wisconsin and Indiana. To be clear, Target is taking the seemingly extraordinary step of not only “affirming” gay marriage, but to advocate […]

by · August 12, 2014 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

GOP needs to confront Obama … NOW

“President Obama is begging to be impeached,” Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) told World Net Daily this past weekend. But like many Republicans in Congress, Stockman doesn’t think impeachment now is the best option politically for his party. I heartily disagree. On both points. I don’t think President Obama is begging […]

Obama’s Middle East mess is reaching critical mass

For decades, our nation – seeking cheap oil – meddled in the affairs of the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. But in slightly than five years, Barack Obama has seemingly done everything he can to make that bad situation worse. He owns this mess, entirely, and […]

VA scandal finally reveals the truth about government-run healthcare

The only real outrage to be had from the current VA healthcare scandal is that it’s taken Americans this long to begin to realize what veterans and members of the military have known all along. Government-run healthcare aspirates greatly. Here are a few of my personal experiences, most of which […]

You know you need ‘entitlement’ reform when …

To paraphrase the old Chinese curse, we definitely live in interesting times. It’s a day and age when the police will come knocking on a 5-year-old’s front door in search of overdue library bos and the Department of Education will use a SWAT team to bust down your door to […]

by · May 1, 2014 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Legislator makes bold move to protect life

This weekend, Iowa Rep. Tom Shaw announced he intends to ask for a suspension of the rules to allow House File 138 to come out of committee to the floor for a vote. The bill would drastically alter the landscape in Iowa with regard to abortion by first legislatively defining […]

My graven image is better than yours

And just like that, the Republican Establishment/Mainstream Media frontrunner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination is relegated to also-ran status.  If not, he soon will be. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, now fully embroiled in a potentially career-ending crisis involving abuse of power and political cronyism, will no doubt try […]

Let’s not stoop to their level

“You’re not going to believe what Rush just said,” a friend told me the other day. “No, really, you’re not going to believe it.” There are a lot of things I can believe Rush Limbaugh would say. But, for once, my friend was right. So, I went to the website […]

by · February 26, 2013 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Breaking up his hard to do … but it’s time

You’ve really got to hand it to Fox News. For many years, they been able to dupe an overwhelming majority of the American conservative movement into believing they were on their side with the cover of “fair and balanced.” In reality, they have been willing accomplices in the political elite’s […]

by · February 5, 2013 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Tragic, not heroic

Don’t get me wrong. I sports. In fact, early in my career, I thought I wanted to be a sportswriter the rest of my life. But I’m not the kind of guy who creates idols. And, frankly, that’s what much of sports writing is: making heroes out of people […]

by · December 3, 2012 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

The key to American Exceptionalism

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for.” Andrew Carnegie refined the quote recently when he said, “Anything worth having is worth working for.” The really cool part about both of those quotes isn’t the deeply rooted truth in both of them, but the fact that […]

by · November 28, 2012 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial
If you’re voting the lesser of two evils, Obama appreciates the support

If you’re voting the lesser of two evils, Obama appreciates the support

It was one of the highlights of the Republican presidential nominating process. Mitt Romney’s chief opponent, Rick Santorum, went off on “Etcha-Sketch Romney,” billing him “the worst Republican to put up against Obama.” That Santorum to the financially and politically expedient course and later endorsed Romney doesn’t make what he […]

Somebody’s watching me … and you

Somebody’s watching me … and you

Rarely, it seems, agencies of the federal government can work together in a coordinated effort, unless of course, they are planning to trample on the rights of ordinary citizens. And, especially when it can be done in the name of “security.” Hot on the heels of Congress re-authorizing the Unpatriotic […]

The case against either-or politics

I was walking through the grocery store the other day — through the soda aisle on my way to the dairy coolers, to be precise — when it struck me. I have options to choose from when I’m thirsty than I do for President of the United States. Or […]

The President’s hypocrisy knows no bounds

The President’s hypocrisy knows no bounds

So, like all of the rest of you, I watched the live coverage of the Nebraska primary election with baited breath. What?! You didn’t watch? Well, then, I suppose you don’t know about the latest move by the U.S. Travesty of Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder has sent “observers” […]

Judging the book by its cover

Judging the book by its cover

Can you discriminate on the basis of the color of one’s skin in an effort to promote diversity in the workplace? That’s the question U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn is currently trying to find an answer to after hearing arguments in a case involving a wannabe stock car driver […]

by · April 30, 2012 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Presidential Bracketology

I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney. Likewise, it’s probably not a national secret that I have zero interest in voting for Willard, either. So, who am I going to vote for? Barack Obama? While he’s slightly less liberal than the former governor […]

Equal Protection Clause vs. Scientific Fact

My nickname in college was “Curve Crusher.” I’ll admit it. I was “that guy” — the nerd in the back of the room the instructor always called upon to answer the question (even though his hand wasn’t up) when no one else in the room could — the guy who […]

by · January 5, 2012 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

I still believe

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I know it with every fiber of my being. My growing-up years weren’t exactly the best. The Farm Crisis of the 1980s eventually became the Eschliman Family Crisis of the Mid-80s. My grandfather’s engineering firm, for which my father worked, was all but […]

by · December 24, 2011 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Chittlins for Christmas

My first Christmas away from home was certainly one for the memory bos. I was 18 years old and nearing the end of my Navy boot camp experience. So, those of us in my company — Company C017 — had earned the privilege of being “Adopt-a-Sailor” participants through the Naval […]

by · December 23, 2011 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Ron Paul seals his fate with GOP voters

Ron Paul pretty well sealed his fate with a majority of Republican voters with his performance Friday night on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” But most Republicans may be focusing on the wrong when they make that assessment of the congressman’s presidential aspirations. During the brief interview with […]

by · December 19, 2011 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics

Grow government to make it better?

Here’s a fun civics question you can use to stump your patriot friends: “How many amendments to the United States Constitution were recommended in The Bill of Rights?” The answer — on that in a moment — will surprise you. During the Constitution Convention debates, opponents — the Antifederalists […]

by · December 16, 2011 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics

Who needs Planned Parenthood?

“When I’m elected President, I will work to defund Planned Parenthood.” Fill in the blank with whichever Republican presidential candidate you want, and than likely, you have an on-the-record quote. But, according to a report Monday by The Washington Post, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is seriously considering […]

Happy Veterans Day, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Yesterday was the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps (Semper Fiis, with a Bravo Zulu and Charlie Mike in there for good measure). Today is Veterans Day. Like most veterans, I will gather with my comrades today for special events in honor of those among us who, at […]

by · November 11, 2011 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics
‘In God We Trust’

‘In God We Trust’

“In God We Trust” is the newest states’ rights issue? As a child, my grandfather gave me a very brief treatise on the Peter Principle that I’ve held onto the rest of my life: “Everyone is promoted to his highest level of incompetence.” And that premise is never displayed in […]

Why ‘Drill, Baby, Drill!’ won’t work … yet

“Drill, baby drill!” It’s been the mantra of proponents for expanding America’s use of domestic petroleum to counter the increasing volatility that comes from our dependence upon foreign oil. And, I’m strongly in that camp. I believe using our own oil resources is vital not only to our national security […]

Citizens can engage in journalism, too

Right now, many of the nation’s major newspapers have run away from enterprise journalism, citing a lack of resources. How ironic, considering we now have information at our immediate disposal than at any other time in recorded history. That is why they call it the Information Age. So, this […]

by · March 23, 2011 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

I thought there weren’t any

Since the invasion of Iraq a little than three years ago, members of the United States military have found at least 500 chemical weapons there. Were it not for the efforts of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), we likely would have never known. Late yesterday afternoon, he called a press […]

by · June 22, 2006 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

‘Milquetoast’ is just plain toast

Tom Daschle is losing his lead over Republican challenger John Thune in the South Dakota Senate race with less than a month to go before the General Election. Thune, a former congressman, either holds a 50-48 or trails by a 49-47 margin, depending upon which poll you believe in. That’s […]

If left to their own devices

If one needs to know what would happen if radical, militant Muslims had their way, all he or she needs to do is take one long, hard lo at what is happening in the Darfur Province of Sudan. There, a radically Islamic government is running am. Darfur is the western-most […]

by · September 23, 2004 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial, National, Politics

The War of Words

Members of the Kerry-Edwards campaign are reportedly frustrated by their inability to score points on the Iraq war issue with voters. This according to the New York Times, the newspaper of record, so it must be true. See? I get my points made for me. I write about our need […]

by · August 12, 2004 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

The Church of Liberalism

Liberals will be the last to tell you this, but they’re all devoutly religious—even those who claim to be atheistic or agnostic. Liberalism, which has as its central tenet of dogma “the ends justify the means,” has become a quasi-pseudo-religion. Liberalism turns a blind eye to any dilemma of conscience […]

by · August 6, 2004 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Peaceniks need to bone up on science

Abraham Lincoln once said that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. It is those people who seem to get played the fool all […]

by · June 18, 2004 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

Rest in Peace Ronnie

Since his death one week ago today, many have tried to downplay Ronald Reagan’s historic importance, saying one should “wait and see” how history plays out before passing judgment. Personally, I think that’s pretty ridiculous, especially given the monumental changes made during his eight-year term. When he came to office, […]

Saving my outrage for when it’s appropriate

Everywhere I go now, all I hear about are these photos of Iraqi prisoner abuse. “Did you see them?” “They’re disgusting!” “How could anyone do that to another human being?” “It’s outrageous!” “Yes, I’m definitely outraged.” “We should all be outraged. This is a black eye for America!” I’m sorry […]

by · May 24, 2004 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial

I’d consider a life of ‘crime’

Sometimes, something that happens miles away can have an impact closer to home. Such is the case of the Ten Commandments monument in Alabama. For those you who—no pun intended—have been living under a rock lately, the Ten Commandments monument was installed by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme […]

by · August 30, 2003 · 0 comments · Common Sense, Editorial