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Opinion

Spring tidings

Today’s poems in celebration of National Poetry Month come to the Herald Democrat from Linda Rolen of Bells who wrote that she is retired and started writing poetry in 2011.

How do readers consume news online? Quickly.

Earlier this month, I wrote a story for The Washington Post about how scanning and skimming our way through the Internet is messing with our ability to read deeper and longer works. The article immediately went viral, generating an enormous online conversation, including Twitter and Facebook debates — and even starring in Craig Ferguson’s monologue on CBS’s “Late Late Show.”

LANE FILLER: A new post-tax filing hobby

My post-tax filing ritual has been the same for a decade: tears, surfing real estate websites for tidy three-bedroom, two-gun turret homes in lightly taxed Third World nations and telling my daughter the only way she’s going to be able to afford college in even the school of hard knocks is if she administers her own knocks. Eventually, I pass out in a puddle of tears, Snickers wrappers and crumpled pages of “Felony Tax Evasion For Dummies.”

ANDRES OPPENHEIMER: Costa Rica’s new leader says he’s a ‘moderate’ leftist

Seeking to calm anxiety in business circles about his election as his country’s first left-of-center president in recent history, Costa Rica’s President-elect Luis Guillermo Solis says he won’t join the Venezuelan-led ALBA bloc of radical leftist countries, and that he sees himself as a “moderate” who is “not unlike many recent European and U.S. leaders.”

Love remains

Today’s submission for the Herald Democrat’s celebration of National Poetry Month comes from Roshelle Brown by way of her mother Calleen McBuenett of Howe. The mother wrote to say that her daughter penned the poem after losing her father. He had been in the Air Force for 21 years and died at 62 from a sudden heart attack.

Thoughts on the life to come

Today the Herald Democrat continues its salute to National Poetry Month by publishing a local poet. This celebration continues through the month of April. To submit an original poem, please mail it to the Herald Democrat at 603 South Sam Rayburn Fwy., Sherman, Texas, 75090. Poems may also be submitted by emailing them to news@heralddemocrat.com .

Media spreading misinformation about e-cigarettes

I had read the article that the Herald Democrat re-printed entitled “Complaints of e-cig poisonings on the rise, report says.” It is a shame that the New York Times picked up on this Center for Disease Control and Prevention fear-mongering media report and other papers jumped right on the band wagon including the Herald Democrat. This is just one more example of the government, big pharma and many associations attempting to sway the general public into believing that electronic cigarettes are “BAD.” Please read the article from the American Council on Science and Health: http://bit.ly/1ncPEqI .

Smoke, mirrors, and taxes

The Internal Revenue Service sent me a bill late last year saying I owed them $800 for not paying enough taxes in 2011. They were, unfortunately, correct in their calculations, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that one really starts to analyze federal tax policy on a different level when staring down the barrel of an audit.

Unemployment numbers explained

Musing over April 4’s financial headlines, particularly that economists are mystified by the job market and its relationship to the unemployment rate. I can understand why financial wizards don’t see what is happening, but it is distressing to see that people who have spent eight or more years studying economics are at a loss.

Moments with the minister — Dealing with Illness

My 30-something sister-in-law sat on the examination table after hearing the doctor tell her, “You have cancer.” Her response: “Well, that sucks!” While that may be a word you consider to be vulgar, it was an accurate assessment of her situation. Illness is a problem we all have to face, and we are almost never prepared for it. It might be something chronic or it may be a diagnosis of something terminal. Either way, it can knock you down to the depths of despair.

Raised in a tractor

Poet Heath Pell spent his formative years riding around in a tractor with his mother while she worked in her father’s custom hay bailing business. “Her father attached a car seat to the inside of the enclosed cab of two tractors. Pallets of blankets were at the back of the cab when he needed to take a nap,” the submission said.

Readers’ poetry submissions index

The Herald Democrat will be celebrating local poets of all ages and experience during the month of April. In honor of those wordsmiths, our own writers will forgo their Good Morning duties for the month and allow readers to drink in the light of unfamiliar voices.