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As we enter a new year, I thought readers might appreciate some of the "mail" I received over the past year, with my response. Some came as an email or Facebook post and, on occasion, I got a real letter.

I don't understand why you don't support Ron Paul. He's the only True Conservative, and he will take on the establishment. You should support Ron Paul for President.

- K.D., Sioux City

Like the other Republican candidates (and myself), I see good and bad in Ron Paul. He's a staunch fiscal conservative and the candidate most likely to make the deep, necessary cuts in spending. He advocates constitutional, small government principles that are music to my ears. But his foreign policy rhetoric and libertarian philosophy are troubling. Also, I think he lacks the demeanor, professionalism and leadership ability to serve as president. In addition, I think he's nuts.

Aren't you supposed to write about politics? The other columnists write about politics, but your columns are about cancer, religion and raccoons. What gives?

- G.A., Alexandria, Va.

Believe it or not, I'm empowered to write about anything I'd like, within reason. Sometimes I write about politics, but my favorite topics are life, love and relationships. Some of my columns are sarcastic or funny and some are pointed or profound. Some of them are good and some of them suck. That's just my opinion.

I'm curious as to why you're a lifelong Nebraska Cornhusker fan, given that you've never lived in Nebraska. Shouldn't you support the Iowa Hawkeyes?

- D.M., Sioux City

As a Sioux Cityan, Lincoln, Neb., is a lot closer than Iowa City, Iowa, so it makes perfect sense to be a Cornhusker fan. I've always loved the tradition, pride and professionalism of the Big Red. I also follow the USD Coyotes, given that it's my alma mater. If it's any comfort, I generally root for the Hawkeyes against anyone other than the Cornhuskers. You should, too.

I am amazed that the Journal lets the likes of Brent Hoffman write a column periodically on the editorial page. The only thing "ridiculous" and "ludicrous" is Brent Hoffman. But as Brent put it, "that is only an opinion" - my opinion.

- C.H., Sioux City

Please refer to the following letter.

Thank you sincerely, Brent Hoffman, for the touching, insightful column in the Nov. 13 Opinion section of the Journal. Hoffman's clipping will be placed away with other columns he has written that I have saved to reread again as the situation deems.

- M.G.M., Early, Iowa

Please refer to the previous letter.

What's the deal with the Hyperion Energy Center, will it ever be built?

- L.S., Dakota Dunes

Even though I founded Citizens for Hyperion, I really don't know anything. That probably doesn't surprise you. If anyone tells you they do know, they are either lying or clueless. I certainly hope Hyperion comes to fruition and intend to write a column about it soon.

Were you surprised by Mitt Romney's narrow win over Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucus?

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- C.S., Monterey, Calif.

Yes, kind of. I felt the top three would be Santorum, Romney and Paul. Mitt Romney is smart, strategic and professional. While he's not as conservative as I'd prefer, he and his wife are kind, lovely people, and he's well-qualified to serve as president. Rick Santorum is also a great guy, and he clearly outworked every other candidate. He would be a great asset to Mitt Romney in his administration. I'd take either man over Barack Obama, seven days a week. Twice on Sunday.

My resolution for 2012 is to show kindness and compassion for others, and to live my life for God. Do you have any resolutions for this year?

- R.T., Sergeant Bluff

Well, I did, but I like yours a lot better.

Keep those cards and letters coming. I appreciate the privilege of writing a column, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. Even when it sucks. I hope 2012 is your best year ever.

Next week: Steve Warnstadt

Brent Hoffman is a former military officer and Pentagon 9/11 survivor. He served on the Sioux City Council and is the owner of Hoffman & Associates. Brent is a widower and the father of two children, Silas and Lydia.


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