OPINION

Congress votes itself a pension for life

Ed Rood

Even during World War II a ground hog topped the news during the long, hard winter of 1941-42. On the front page of the Feb. 5, 1942, Slater News, a short story gave folks a glimmer of hope for an early spring.

Is spring near?

“Mr. Ground Hog, when he ventured out from his winter home Monday, had no chance whatsoever to see his shadow and if his weather prediction is correct, spring should be just around the corner.

“However, the coal man seems to think otherwise and has his patrons convinced that we'll have a lot of blustery weather yet and keeps making coal deliveries. Nothing like being on the safe side – plenty in the bin.”

Ed Rood

An advertisement appearing inside that week's newspaper listed the following prices: Dallas Lump Coal, $6.05; Dallas Egg Coal, $5.80; and Dallas Nut Coal, $5.55 (All in lots of two tons or more). To be completely truthful, I have no idea what lump, egg and nut coal means. Maybe they were like the octane ratings of today’s gasoline?

The Norwegian heritage of many area residents was evident in the following article also appearing in that week’s newspaper.

Traitor to his country ...

“Vidkun Quisling, who turned traitor to his country and is the most despised Norwegian in all Europe, was installed as "prime minister" of Norway by the Nazi regime last Sunday in a sort of a farce ceremony.

“Quisling is having his day, but wait till the war is over and he'll have an army of mad Norwegians on his trail and it will be a sad day for him if they ever lay their hands on him.”

Naturally, our nation's politicians were in the news back then as they are now. Seems they will never cease making friends with their constituents.

A big 'grab' in Congress

“Nothing of late has been so disgusting to the average citizen as the action of Congress in voting for themselves a pension for life.

“Getting the large salaries they do (Senators $10,000 a year plus expenses) the whole thing looks like a big ‘grab’. Coming at a time when the people are asked to sacrifice, save, pinch, and pinch some more, their action looks unpatriotic to say the least.

“How any self-respecting Senator or Representative, Republican or Democrat, could vote for such a bill to feather their nests is beyond us.” 

Things sure haven't changed much have they? Another story deals with the war but with a mid-Iowa touch.

Make it big in 'Life' . . .

“Two Roland boys, twins, Harry and Harold Martinson, who joined the navy last fall, are now getting national recognition. 

“The two brothers took their physical examinations and patiently waited for the day they were 17 years old that they might get their wishes filled.

“They are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Hjelmar Bernhard Martinson. The twins, so very much alike, are featured in six pages of pictures in the Feb. 2 issue of Life magazine.” 

Prayer was also in the news ... 

Although the Chicago Board of Trade held a daily prayer session, there were still some skeptics.

“It is said that the Chicago Board of Trade has a prayer session every day at 11 a.m. People look upon the practice with mixed feelings. One voiced his sentiments: ‘I bet you those prayers never get any further than the ceiling.’” 

Ed Rood is the former publisher of the Tri-County Times.