Graphic warning labels
THUMBS UP: They are indeed gruesome images: Rotten teeth and a diseased mouth, tarred-over lungs, a corpse (which we're told is that of a smoker), a man with a hole in his throat. These are some of the new very graphic warning labels that will begin appearing on cigarette packs in 2012, a new requirement by the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to curb tobacco use. The ultimate goals are to get smokers to stop and prevent kids from starting. Will it work? Hard to say. That depends on how put off one is from seeing these images. Some will be. Others will think nothing of them. Still others will look at them and think, "That won't happen to me, I don't smoke that much." Whatever the case, it's a good move by our government. At least it's trying. Smoking is responsible for more than 440,000 deaths in the U.S. every year and it drives up the cost of health care. There are still some 46 million smokers in the U.S., and it's our hope that figure will continue to fall. Perhaps these new disturbing warning images will help trim that number at a faster pace. Of course, it also wouldn't hurt if our president set a better example to our youth and publically kicked the habit.
'Compromise' has lost its meaning
THUMBS DOWN: Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature have been abusing the word "compromise" for weeks now, to the point where the word means little, if nothing, anymore. It's almost as if it's turned into a clich. Dayton said he has compromised on his budget proposal; the GOP-controlled Legislature has said the same. But if all this compromise really has taken place, we really shouldn't be worried about a state government shutdown now should we? The word "compromise" used to mean something; hopefully, in the real world, it still does. But it's become clear that in St. Paul, the word has been relegated to nothing more than simple political rhetoric. In their own world, both sides have their own definition of the word and both firmly believe they are compromising, but with a shutdown just a week away, we have yet to see real proof.
C/Main street intersection
SIDEWAYS?THUMBS: The intersection of Main and C streets in Marshall continues to be an ugly one, as construction on C Street lingers on. The weather surely hasn't cooperated much with the development of the street, and we feel for the residents who live there for having to put up with a torn-up road for this long. Construction means progress and progress is good, and hopefully a good stretch of weather will open the door for some quicker progress at what is a very busy intersection.