Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sheridan Express -- Not Just a Paper; A Way of Life

We cover Sheridan, Grant City, Worth, Denver, Allendale, Ravenwood and Parnell along with occasional forays into Southwest Iowa. This is a cooperative newspaper. We are owned and operated by members of the community who wish to see a local area paper thrive. We have almost 30 cooperative members and 450 subscribers and newsstand customers so far. We have a highly engaged audience; our readers read every word of the paper, meaning that anything you publish will be read and talked about. Our papers are passed from person to person much more than usual, meaning that most people in our coverage area have read the paper. Our ownership consists of people of all different political persuasions. That means that we do not merely print one side of the story like more and more corporate media outlets do; we try and offer material for everyone.

We are in our fifth year of existence. Like any business, we need your support to survive. If you mention this post, we invite you to try us out for $20 per year (Good for anywhere in the US). This is good for new and lapsed (at least one month) subscribers who mention this piece. We offer 12-16 pages of local news about your friends and neighbors every week as well as state and national news that has a direct impact on the way we live. If you would like to look us over first, that is fine as well; we sell papers at Country Corners and Hy-Vee in Grant City, Sheridan Grocery and Snakebite Tavern in Sheridan, Emery’s Service and K&T Bar & Grill in Parnell, and Gage Fertilizer & Grain in Ravenwood.

Our goal is to support our way of life. Our goal is also to support our local businesses and fight for a level playing field with the large corporate interests. We stand against any government, corporate, or political policy that would threaten our way of life.

This is no longer a battle of Liberal vs. Conservative or Democrat vs. Republican. This is a battle to protect our basic freedom to live our lives the way we want with minimal government or corporate interference. Let’s use vouchers as an example – if we were to shut down all the public schools and give people vouchers to go to a private school, that sounds good on the surface (Editor -- there is another proposal regarding vouchers in which parents would get vouchers to send children to attend neighboring public schools as well as private schools; that is a whole different debate). But what certain proponents of vouchers miss is that if we were to shut down our public schools, then we would have to send our kids to St. Joseph to LeBlond or St. Joseph Christian to school. There would be all these empty buildings that would have to be cleaned up – it would be the Sheridan Schoolhouse magnified many times over. And that is on top of the fact that vouchers have been held by many courts all over the land to be an unconstitutional government infringement on religious belief. After all, I don’t want my taxpayer dollars to go to support some belief system that is against my values. And even if it were to  be made feasible somehow, as Congressman Sam Graves pointed out one time, the next logical step would be for government bureaucrats to assume control of private schools in the same way that they try to do with public schools by attaching funding to their agendas.

Ron Paul offers an attractive alternative for people fed up with the present two-party system. But the question is, is he cutting for the sake of cutting or cutting what needs to be cut? After all, what would happen if we don’t have enough money for roads and bridges? Then, all of the roads in the country would be like many of the lettered roads around here. Somehow, I don’t think that would fly.

None of us have all the answers, which is why we will, from time to time, present different points of view in the paper. We will try and present as many different perspectives as possible, not just the people that the giant corporate media says are frontrunners. Our system of government was made to function through cooperation. Therefore, we will look at things from a Constitutionalist perspective. The best way to break the grip of the two-party oligarchy on our system is to go back to the values which our country was founded on and which we sometimes take for granted. For instance, freedom of movement is taken for granted here. But in certain parts of the world, a trip from Sheridan to Grant City, 10-15 minutes drive, would take all day because of all the military checkpoints you would have to go through.

Finally, all of us who own and operate the paper come at this from many different perspectives. Therefore, as the late Mickey Floyd would have said, I cannot claim to speak for any other board member or cooperative member or agent of the Sheridan Express; the views expressed here are my own and are solely my responsibility. Thank you for your support.

Jesse Stark
Editor & Publisher

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