BEFORE IT dies, I want to come out in favor of the hyperloop project in Minnesota to create underground tubes in which people would travel in capsules propelled by electromagnetic force at speeds up to 700 mph. No seat belts, no use of carbon fuel, no roaring engines or jarring bumps. They’re proposing a link between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Rochester, 85 miles, which by my calculation will take about 7 and ½ minutes, or one cup of coffee, whereas now it takes 90 some minutes, or about the length of the opera “Hansel and Gretel” if you include the search for a parking spot and the hike to where your appointment is.

Minnesota’s, of course, would only be an experiment, which, if successful, could be extended and thereby make the country smaller — three hours from Chicago to L.A. but without the pollution — and eventually you might eliminate the vast underpopulated middle, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, the Dakotas, Nevada, Wyoming, and Montana, which would become one huge federal agricultural reserve, run by the Department of Agriculture, tended by migrant workers, no need for towns and cities. Kansas has 105 counties, a pointless bureaucracy ruling over wheat and soybean fields. Farming is heavily subsidized by the feds anyway and in the name of efficiency, why not let them run it, allocating acreage based on nutrition, convert wasteful grazing lands to vegetable crops. Eliminating those states would reduce the U.S. Senate by 20 seats, which could only improve it, and likely send the Republican Party careening into history, which it has been seeking for some time now. And who can name the last great senator from Kansas or South Dakota?

© Garrison Keillor is the author of many books, his latest, “Cheerfulness,” reflects on a simple virtue to cope in a stressful era.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Friday, February 16, 2024

IN EARLY 2021 our New Hampshire House Education Committee held a hearing on a transgender sports measure. I had serious concerns about biological (XY chromosome) boys playing contact sports against biological (XX chromosome) girls, but naturally wanted to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

IN ANY industry, failing to meet the expectations of consumers — especially a significant number of them — spells disaster for a business. If I ran a restaurant and 75% of the people who ate my food left with food poisoning, I wouldn’t just go out of business — the state would shut me down a…

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

LAST YEAR was a record-breaking year for organ donation and transplant here in New Hampshire and across the nation. In fact, it was the 13th consecutive record-breaking year for life-saving organ transplants in the country, with more than 46,000 organ transplants performed in 2023 — includin…

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

AS A PARENT, I am concerned with the rising use of recreational marijuana in society, especially in our youth and young adults. As a physician I see firsthand the effects of marijuana on health, and it is clear the marijuana on our streets in 2024 is not the same marijuana we or our parents …

ALL EYES were on New Hampshire’s pivotal role in the Republican presidential primary last month. Outside of the political arena, everyday organizations can change their leadership model well before November to have an immediate positive impact on their workforce.

Monday, February 12, 2024

IN THE spring of 1945, I was playing in an alley near our house when church bells started ringing all over town. I was only 5 years old, but I knew it wasn’t Sunday, so I thought it was unusual. I went inside and asked my mother, “Mom, why are the bells ringing?” She replied, “The war is over.”

AS A retired priest of the diocese of Manchester, in January, I received notice of clergy pastoral assignments. Eleven were listed. I recognized only two. Nine are not even listed as clergy on the diocesan website, though here for some time. One unlisted was named pastor; it seemed immediate…