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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Basic Biittner: No opinion

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Recently, I was asked by someone what I thought about some topic in the news, and, after thinking about it for a few seconds, came up with the profound answer, "I don't know."

Having had a little time to reflect on that answer, I've come to realize that that's pretty much my answer for just about everything.

Let me tell you a little about myself. My given name is Dan, not Daniel, and its meaning is "Arbiter." I was born under the Astrological sign of Libra, also known as "The Scales" or "Balance"; I was a State of Iowa employee for 35 years, and, as such, I felt it was my duty to be non-political and non-judgmental. My late father was also a long-time State employee and didn't belong to a political party. we in his family all rather surprised when, following his retirement, he joined the Democratic Party, because we figured, from living with him all those years, that he was certainly a Republican.

For the last three years, of course, I have written for a newspaper which doesn't have an official political point of view - we are neither liberal nor conservative, neither Republican nor Democrat, and don't officially endorse any candidates for public office. What can I say? It's a perfect fit for me.

I don't know what part - if any - these various factors played in my development, but the bottom line is, I have always been able to see "both sides" of issues. Personally, I've always thought that was an admirable trait, but, it has unfortunately led to my having "no opinion" on just about all subjects. Or, worse, it's not that I have no opinion, it's just that I can see the points of both pro and con arguments, and can't decide which are more valid.

This column is officially called an "opinion" column, but, really, calling this column that is just as much an oxymoron as "jumbo shrimp" or "cold as Hell."

Don't get me wrong - I love writing this column, and appreciate it when people tell me they enjoy reading it. Just as long as readers are aware that they are reading my (sometimes random) thoughts, not my opinions. I don't want to throw my opinions about something out there for you to agree - or disagree - with. What I'm pitching, rather are some things for you to think about, mull over, and maybe have a chuckle or two. If you want to develop an opinion about them, fine.

As for me, I have no opinion.

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner