Et Cetera …

School rates high again

If you live in one place long enough, you may forget how good you have it. We hope local residents are reminded about the quality of the local school system as it continues to earn accolades.

US?News and World Report has again named Fairmont High School among the top 10 percent of schools in the nation. The school is touted as serving all its students well, not just those headed for college.

Local voters (taxpayers) have been generous to the school in the past decade. They can rest assured that they are supporting something worthwhile.

Taking on bullying

Schools across the country are trying to do more to take on bullying. They want students and parents to be aware and help fight bullying when they see it.

The entire community of Blue Earth, along with corporate sponsorship from Green Giant, is involved in an anti-bullying campaign this month. We think that’s great.

We understand skeptics who say all of these feel-good measures don’t stop bullying. But those who say kids will be kids also agree that what it takes to stop a bully is standing up to him or her. That is a essential lesson everyone can agree on.

Leadership lacking

Our national government remains deadlocked in a standoff/debate over several major issues, including Obamacare, the nation’s debt limit, the annual budget deficits and the long-term unfunded liabilities related to Social Security and Medicare.

We believe that if the president of the United States would decide to lead on these issues, they could start to be resolved. This is not what he has chosen to do. And that amounts to a tragic waste of time.

The nation needs statesman from both parties who can publicly acknowledge these dire problems. We hope elections in 2014 and 2016 provide more of them.

Give freely, disclose

The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to free donors to give more money to political candidates. The argument for existing regulations on such donations is that they limit corruption, with the laws dating back to the Watergate-era and its slush funds and abuses.

While corruption is a concern, the question is whether it should be allowed to override free speech, which is what campaign contributions amount to. The balance may lie in disclosure, with donors able to give more – or give freely – but campaigns required to report all donations.