Viewpoints

Thu
05
Jul

Letter to the Editor: Warning lights on our democracy are flashing

To the Editor:

Even though democracies around the world, including our own, are experiencing growing pressures from globalization, immigration, racial/ethnic discord, economic inequality, and political gridlock, until recently, I had little doubt that our political systems could withstand these forces. After reading a new book How Democracies Die by two Harvard political scientists, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, I am not so certain. The authors examine the demise of democratic societies around the world and raise frightening questions about our own society in the time of Trump. Since the end of the Cold War, most democracies that have become authoritarian have done so not through military coups, but through the actions of elected government officials subverting the democratic processes.

Wed
27
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that radio commentator Paul Harvey had a successful program he called “the rest of the story.” There are many times when I hear or read a story that I am left to wonder what has not been said.

An example was a weekend story about how someone earning minimum wage could not afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment in a large Iowa city.

My first question was, was this a single person? If so, why does she or he need two bedrooms? A one bedroom would be considerably cheaper.

I also wondered about the age and educational background of this person.

Because a minimum wage was never intended to be a “living” wage. It started as a way to introduce someone with no higher qualifications to a position in which he or she could grow to earn a living wage. Or to introduce young people to the world of work.

Wed
27
Jun

Letter to the Editor: What is going on in the USA?

To the Editor:

The library in Waukon has a book by Nicholas Stargardt titled The German War - A Nation Under Arms 1939-1945. It explores what was going on inside of Germany in the years prior to the onset of and during World War II from the viewpoint of the German citizens.

I have often wondered what the average German citizen could have been thinking during the “Hitler” years. How could the German citizens have been ignorant of the circumstances and events around them? This book was a good beginning in trying to answer that question.

What is going on in the USA? What is happening today is beyond disturbing. Our country should be - is supposed to be - better than this.

The frustration, anger and disillusionment at home and abroad will have a long lasting effect. It will have an impact on relationships both personal and global.

Wed
20
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that as I write this, President Trump and the dictator of North Korea are just a few hours away from their scheduled “first” meeting, in Singapore. The United States hopes to convince North Korea’s leader that if he gives up his nuclear ambitions his nation can prosper, much as his peninsula-sharing South Korea has.

It pains me to think that I doubt much will be accomplished. I hope I am wrong. If nothing comes of it, could that be considered a failure? Actually, not trying would have been the failure.

What the meeting has brought to mind is the fact that it might not have been necessary had different actions been taken near the end of the Korean War, in 1952.

Wed
13
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that June 6 is sometimes referred to as “The Longest Day” in recognition of the D-Day landings in WWII. The longest day of the year is really around June 20-21 each year.

But I thought about that as a robin was singing when I awoke around 4 a.m. this morning. I often can still hear them as late as 10 p.m., so they might put in a 16 hour day some days. Really a long day. Do they take a siesta in the afternoon?

Speaking of birds, I heard a succession of various songs coming from the same tree area one morning. I could not place the usual familiar blue jay, oriole or cardinal pattern with which I am familiar. Then a catbird flew away and took all the tunes with it. They are sometimes called a mocking bird because of the ability to mimic or create many bird calls. It’s as if God made up for their drab dark grey color by giving them this other talent.

Wed
13
Jun

Word for Word 6/13/18

Rev. Ron Pederson
Rev. Ron Pederson

Pray with Confidence

The writer to the Hebrews says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet without sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrew 4:15-16).

I remember when I was about five or six years old and wanted to be sure that I confessed my sins the right way. I prayed to God confessing my sins but I didn’t feel like I was doing it the way God wanted me to. I especially didn’t feel like I was sincere enough or felt sorry enough for my sins. Finally I decided that the next time I got hurt and started to cry, then I would confess my sins to God; then I would be truly sorry for my sins in the way God wanted me to be. And so that is what I did. But I was disappointed. It didn’t seem to help much.

Wed
06
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... on this day on which Memorial Day is observed, even though it isn’t the “real” Memorial Day (that’s May 30) I am thinking about weather.

If forecasts came true, the first few days of June were about 20 degrees cooler than the last few days of May.

This morning, May 28, as Iowa forecasts predicted another high in the upper 90 degree range, I was watching reporters for the weather channel along Florida’s gulf cost wearing North Face parkas in middle 70s temperatures!

And I was thinking about weather yesterday (May 27) afternoon when my home was involved in a power outage, which lasted a couple hours.

When the utility, in response to my contact, said it could take that long to have power restored, I figured I was in serious trouble.

Two hours on one of the warmest days on record with no air conditioner. Not even juice for fans. No electric range. No television.

Goodbye, cruel world.

Wed
06
Jun

Letter to the Editor: Memorial Day appreciation

To the Editor:

During Memorial Day weekend I visit many cemeteries and there is always a flag on our veteran’s grave. Someone had to place the flag there. Appreciation goes out to all of the unseen volunteers.

On Memorial Day I went to the Oakland Cemetery for the program where we heard Sean Liddiard give his “Voice of Democracy” essay. Good job, Sean! Also, appreciation goes out to the ladies that presented their “Quilts of Valor” to some area veterans.

I then went to the Vets Hall for chicken dinner where I found many Boy Scouts volunteering. Many of the volunteers are the next generation and will do a great job.

It takes a lot of volunteers on Memorial Day to put up a beautiful Avenue of Flags, and the Boy Scouts helped with that also. Thanks to all who turned out to help, Veterans and all.

A senior citizen,

Ada Marie Kerndt
Waukon

 

Wed
06
Jun

Grief Support Group to meet at VMH

The local Grief Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at Veterans Memorial Hospital Tuesday, June 12 at 5 p.m. in the Education Conference Room. This informal meeting is open to anyone suffering from any type of loss whether it be death, divorce, illness or some other grief. Feel free to attend and bring a friend. This grief support group now meets the second Tuesday of each month at Veterans Memorial Hospital.
 

Wed
30
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I have been doing my best to keep up with the baseball team at the University of Iowa this spring, and was happy to see they qualified for the Big (whatever) tournament.

Part of what made it difficult is that baseball does not get the coverage that sports such as football, basketball and wrestling do. Crowds are smaller and fan interest isn’t high.

I think I am right in saying Iowa is the only one of the major universities in the state to still offer the sport. Conversely, all have softball for coeds. In fact, that is part of the reason why others dropped baseball, the need to keep up with Title 9 rules that both sexes have the same number of varsity sports in which to compete.

Iowa high schools still field teams and Iowa gets some, but not all by any means, of the better high school players.

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