Viewpoints

Wed
30
May

Letter to the Editor: Cost of not caring: Stigma set in stone

To the Editor:

The failure to provide treatment and supportive community services to people with mental illness - both in the community and in hospitals - has overburdened emergency rooms, crowded state and local jails, and left untreated patients to fend for themselves on city streets.

The USA routinely fails to provide the most basic services for people with mental illness - something the country would never tolerate for patients with cancer or other physical disorders.

Mental health is a separate but unequal system. We have a wasteland of people who have died or been disabled because of inadequate care.

Although most people with mental illnesses are not violent, the USA’s dysfunctional, long-neglected mental health system is under a microscope because of mass shootings in which the perpetrators had serious psychiatric problems.

Wed
23
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that television news shows over the weekend and into Monday were heavily covering the official move of the embassy of the United States to the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem.

This is something which a succession of American presidents have promised since the majority of the civilized world 70 years ago established Israel as the homeland for the Jews. All have reneged under pressure from Muslims, Palestinians and Arabs in general.

So I found it ironic to listen once again, as I have for those 70 years, the words of a Gospel writer read at mass Sunday which held the promise of a Jewish homeland with its “holy city” of Jerusalem.

Those who opposed the fulfillment of that often promised move by the U.S. said they feared the Palestinians would not accept it and would riot, and would be joined by Muslims and Arabs around the world.

Wed
23
May

Word for Word 5/23/18

O​n Friday May 11th, an ecumenical gathering took place to mark the 10th anniversary of the Immigration raid at Postville.  Over 300 people attended THE SUMMONS, as it was entitled, at St. Bridget Church. An interfaith prayer service took place, including inspiring talks by many who were present during that very troubling time.  During May of 2008,  there were 389 arrests, numerous imprisonments, and the threat of mass deportation of many employees of Agriprocessors.   Many families were split up, and those left behind had feelings of abandonment and the worry of facing an uncertain future.

Attorneys and activists who helped counsel those affected by the raid were present to speak at the anniversary gathering. Ministers and clergy members of several faiths who united their congregations ten years ago to give sanctuary and aid to family members in need shared their memories.  Most memorable were the stories and testimonies of the people directly affected by the raid.

Wed
23
May

Letter to the Editor: ‘Smart’ is Destroying America

To the Editor:

I am hearing more people talk about a variety of health problems. They mention they are tired of the doctors appeasing the problem with medication and not why they are now having these problems. Smart meters are being installed and can cause a host of health problems.

In 2014, a smart meter bill was introduced in the Iowa Legislature. The bill stated that utility companies could not install a smart meter without consent; they had to remove smart meters free of charge and could not charge customers for not wanting one. This bill protected the people of Iowa. Why didn’t our legislators move this bill along?

Many other states are taking steps toward protecting their people.

Vermont legislation eliminated smart meter opt-out fees. Currently, there are bills in Montana, Missouri, New York, Maryland, South Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma, Maine, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Massachusetts to require utility companies to offer free opt-out.

Wed
16
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I have become sort of addicted to watching the presidential press briefings, and have come to the conclusion that Sarah Huckabee Sanders not only earns her government check as spokesperson, but should also get hazardous duty pay.

She faces a press corps that is almost unanimously hostile toward the president and his administration, but lately toward Sarah herself. And she is frequently confronted with things on which the president has ricocheted two or three times while forming a position.

Today’s conference was a short one, because Sarah wanted to clear time for the First Lady, who was going to talk about cyber bullying. I watched a few minutes of her talk, and then went to set out the two trash carts for next morning’s pickup.

Wed
09
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that say what you will about President Trump’s strengths or weaknesses, it is hard to deny that his name has the power to promote some previously little known females to national fame ... or infamy, perhaps.

First we were treated to the appearance of a porn movie performer who, through lawsuits, has become nationally known, and whose performance fees have skyrocketed as a result.

Now comes a third grade comedienne who maybe was known only to late night TV viewers. She was hired by the national press for their annual gathering and reportedly unleashed an obscenity laced and racist attack against a couple of Trump’s associates who were present. Next morning, the entire sentient world learned her name.

Next?

Wed
09
May

Word for Word 5/9/18

Pastor Duane Smith
Pastor Duane Smith

God’s Will

Graduation is just around the corner. It is an exciting time for all who are graduating as they contemplate what their future holds. Many will wonder, “what is God’s will for my life?”

The concept of God’s will is often shrouded in mystery but it doesn’t need to be. There are some key concepts that we need to understand when it comes to knowing God’s specific will for us.

First, God wants to be known. He has revealed himself to us primarily through the Bible. Jeremiah 9:24 says: “but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” In this passage God says that He can be known and that there are specific things we are to know about Him.

Wed
09
May

Letter to the Editor: Track meets reflect the greatness of this area

To the Editor:

I have had the great pleasure to work several track meets in grades 7-12 the last few years. These events showcase the most respectful youth, coaches, parents, and supporters of the community. To see some of the very best humans in the area, attend a track meet. These meets reiterate the spectacular vigor of our northeast Iowa population.

Ben Lange
Waukon Middle and High School English Teacher

Wed
09
May

Letter to the Editor: New Albin Elementary art classes

To the Editor:

I would like to publicly acknowledge all the service and religious organizations who funded the art classes at New Albin Elementary School this past year. My husband, Jon, was the sole fundraiser for this program. He researched the importance of art in the development of children and gathered donations from the following organizations: Lansing VFW, Lansing American Legion, Lansing Women’s Auxiliary, Lansing Knights of Columbus and New Albin VFW. The New Albin Improvement League (NAIL) provided our first batch of art paper.

Mrs. McCormack, a grandmother of one our students, supplied the children with reams of high quality painting paper which kept us in paper for the year. Jennifer Davis, in all her creativity, planned a bake sale which raised enough money to fund the program next year, and those planning efforts would not have been as fruitful without the staff who baked and baked and baked.

Wed
02
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I watched most of the funeral for the late Barbara Bush, not because I was a fan, but because of her position as wife of one president and mother of another.

She was unique in that respect, even though the same was true of Abigail Adams. But it is my understanding that Barbara was alone in being alive for both, because Abigail died before her son took office.

There were several reasons why I stayed with the program.

For one, I was captivated by the huge, highly ornate Episcopalian church where the funeral was held.

I am not familiar with the Episcopal religion. So I was unprepared for how “at home” this life-long Roman Catholic seemed to feel while “attending” the funeral. Many of the prayers were the same and came at the same time of the ceremony familiar to me.

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