Viewpoints

Tue
29
Sep

Word for Word 9/23/20


Rev. Grant VanderVelden

COVID-19, political division, and civil unrest are among the current events making it feel like the world as we know it is unraveling.

So, for the past several months of Sunday worship, my congregation and I have been exploring Bible stories from the Old and New testaments that speak to the unraveling of life.

These stories and their leading characters experience the unraveling of their identities, their dreams, and their expectations. Unsettling circumstances back in the day are speaking to unsettling circumstances in the here and now.

So far, in the Scripture and sermon series, “Unraveled: Seeking God When Our Plans Falls Apart” –

We’ve met Sarah, who carries the pain of infertility into old age. But God surprises her by sending her a child. Sometimes, God turns your unraveled plans into unexpected joy – if you’re willing to receive God’s gift. (Genesis 21:1-7)

Tue
29
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Peace of mind when enjoying healthy dairy products

To the Editor:

As a parent and consumer, safe food practices are important to me. We have a family of five that eats and drinks dairy products at every meal of the day, and sometimes we drink a whole gallon of milk during one sitting. I’m proud to say I grew up on an Iowa dairy farm, and because of those experiences, I want to give others a view of how a dairy farmer ensures they produce a safe product.

Taking care of dairy cattle has its ups and downs. When cattle get sick, it’s no different if you or I get sick. I take my children to the doctor and follow a doctor’s recommendations for the course of treatment to get them healthy. Likewise, when we had sick cattle, we had a veterinarian visit the farm and follow their suggestion for treatment.

Also, as humans there are times when we are sick and need antibiotics to help us get healthy. The same goes for our favorite pet and yes, livestock.

Tue
29
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Hour of Thanksgiving

To the Editor:

Years ago, I heard a story of a little girl about five years old - an only child of wealthy parents. Before Christmas they asked her what she wanted and over time there was a list of 10 items.

Christmas morning, she came down the stairs and all of those gifts were wrapped and under the tree. Her parents sat on the couch watching her open them one by one. She’d unwrap it, look at it, and then set it aside. When she had unwrapped them all, she started to cry. Her father asked, “What’s wrong honey?” Through the sobbing she replied, “You forgot one”.

I’ve never forgotten that story. It really hit home because I find that I can be exactly like that with God. I seem to have no trouble bringing Him the list of things I want, but I’m not so good at thanking Him for everything He gives and has given to me and my family.

Tue
29
Sep

Letter to the Editor: No chance to say good-bye

To the Editor:

My mother-in-law was one of the nearly 200,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 so far this year. Olly lived in a nursing home.

I always imagined that my husband and I would be able to sit with her and hold her hand when she neared her death, so she wouldn’t be alone. But when she began to have trouble breathing one morning in late June and began rapidly declining, she was isolated in her room and given a COVID-19 test.

Only one nurse could enter. She checked on Olly once an hour until, a day later, she went in and Olly had died, alone. Because the virus had spread so virulently and you couldn’t know who might bring it into the nursing home, we had not been allowed to see Olly for several months.

Tue
29
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Seeking to destroy health care protections

To the Editor:

This Administration has joined with Republican Attorneys General from 17 states to bring a case before the Supreme Court that seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act. If successful, this would bring a permanent end to the health insurance program wiping out coverage for 23 million people and ripping away protections  for people with preexisting conditions.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, which was passed 10 years ago by the Obama Administration and the Democrats, insurers were allowed to discriminate against people who had preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, COPD and asthma (just to name a few). Insurance companies denied coverage, charged higher premiums and denied any claims associated with a preexisting condition. Health insurance was unaffordable resulting in millions of uninsured Americans and bankruptcies caused by huge medical bills.

Wed
16
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Unprecedented

To the Editor:

The Lincoln Project, RVAT, Right Side Pac, the Bravery Project, and a 43 Alumni group - what do these organizations all have in common? They are all political PACs started by Republicans for the sole purpose of defeating their own party’s incumbent candidates, while throwing their full support to the Democratic candidates in the 2020 election.

According to their web site, the Lincoln Project is holding accountable those who would violate their oath to the Constitution and who would put individual political operatives before Americans. RVAT is an organization of Republicans, former Republicans, conservatives and those who previously voted for Republican incumbents. Right Side Pac is focusing on targeting voters in battleground states such as Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Bravery Project members identify themselves as conservatives and independents.

Wed
09
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Government leadership has let farmers down

To the Editor:

Our government leadership has mixed reviews among American farmers. The big promises of 2016 have yet to come true. The disastrous trade deal with China caused the farmers to lose market value on corn, soybeans and livestock. A “go it alone attitude”, without engaging our allies, cost us our markets to those same allies, as well as other commodity suppliers. Our markets have still not recovered.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue tossed out, on his first day, a bipartisan reform on ag market contracts that had taken years to complete. When speaking at a town hall at The World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, Perdue showed his callous disregard for small farms. He was quoted as saying there was no guarantee that small farms will survive, saying, “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.” He said farmers should stop whining.

Wed
09
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Further delay will cost more sickness and death

To the Editor:

Iowa has the highest infection rate in the U.S. with COVID-19. We are all retired Decorah, Iowa family physicians. We have read extensively about this pandemic since it began. We trust the websites www.cidrap.umn.edu and www.globalepidemics.org.

The globalepidemics.org website has real-time, color-coded infection levels for each county of the U.S. The color codes are linked to treatments. Iowa is designated red, the highest infection rate.

You will see at this site that Iowa needs a stay at home order to be given by our governor in order to knock this virus down far enough to control. Otherwise, with our schools and colleges open, and Labor Day weekend coming, the infection will further spread. It is critical that we do not overwhelm our hospitals.

Wed
09
Sep

Letter to the Editor: Colorful fall?

To the Editor:

Catfish here saying, “Howdy!” Or, should I say, “So long?”

You know, after a terminal diagnosis, I realized I was becoming more afraid of living than dying, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the physical pain.  Shocker, huh?  Well, not really.

What you could very appropriately say is that I am “nearly scared to death”.  My pain is watching our precious Earth crumble and burn.

Maybe there is a global mob? Maybe the deity or demon responsible for all this chaos is finally going to reveal themselves and take us all to a better place? That is, regardless of skin color.

Now, close your eyes and imagine “a better place”.  It’s green, isn’t it? Please, “plant” your voice with your vote this November 3.

Annie Gallagher
a.k.a. Catfish Annie
Waukon

Wed
02
Sep

Word for Word 9/2/20

Rev. Kim Gates
Rev. Kim Gates

I guess “summer” is over because schools have started! But some nasty summer weather is still probably on tap for the next several weeks – heat-n-humidity plus tornado season will be with us, not to mention the threat of derechos! As if this year hasn’t held enough discomfort and disaster!

I’ve seen numerous posts on Facebook about how we’ve had enough of “2020” and wanting to fast-forward to 2021. Poor ‘”2020,” it didn’t ask for bad things to happen. And for some people it hasn’t been as bad a year as some others have been – for my family 2013 was a pretty rotten and depressing year. So our perspective as to what makes the year ‘bad’ can vary greatly as well as affect our emotional and spiritual health!

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