Viewpoints

Wed
14
Jun

Wexford Wanderings

by Hugh E. Conway

Games Three
Circle games with song and verse were some of the favorite for the children and teachers at the rural Wexford Schools. Two games that were normally played by the younger children are London Bridge and a Hunting We will go. Often, the youngest children will be afraid when starting to play the game and may not want to go under the bridge.

There are two versions of London Bridge game. In the first version of London Bridge, two children who are to be the bridge each choose a word for the caught children to make a choice. For example, one chooses apple and the other pear. The two children then form a bridge by facing each other, joining their outstretched hands, and locking their fingers. The rest of the players go round and round under the bridge one by one stooping low as the children sing:

Wed
14
Jun

Letter to the Editor: What are the 47%ers?

To the Editor:

I guess I really don’t know where to start. Our country, the USA, is so divided and so many problems that need attention and fixing.

Remember when Mitt Romney said, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.”? That group is being led by the devil and they want to ruin America. They want the Bible and the Ten Commandments out of everything, especially our schools. They want the people to depend on the government.

The government is taking over 16% of our economy by taking over healthcare. Did you ever think it could come to this? Pay and join the government healthcare or be fined. The worst thing that ever happened to our country is Obamacare. Our Congress is having one hell of a time figuring out how to replace the 2,700-page Obamacare.

Wed
07
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that on this Memorial Day, I’d like to write a little bit about baseball.

There was a time when every little community had a “town” team and they often played on the holiday. As rural populations shrunk, so did baseball at that level. But I was a fan in those days, from mid-1940s into the 1950s in particular.

As a baseball fan, I altered my usual Sunday mid-day routine so I could watch the University of Iowa play Northwestern in the Big (whatever) tournament that noon. It was with some difficulty that I found out Iowa was in the finals. The Sunday papers did not have much info (one none at all) because Iowa had to play its way in via a night game Saturday night. I watched ten innings of that game then went to bed. Good thing, because it turned out to be the longest game in tournament history, lasting just three minutes short of five hours! But Iowa did win.

Wed
07
Jun

Word for Word 6/7/17


Rev. Lynn Groe

John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches.

This is an “oldie,” but one of my favorites!

Did you know that the old phrase “cool as a cucumber’’ is actually true! It has been proven that the interior temperature of a cucumber is usually 10 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Even if the cucumber is in direct sunlight on a hot, dry day in the middle of summer - the interior still remains much cooler than the exterior temperature. But the cucumber remains cool and moist only as long as that cucumber remains attached to the vine. If you dis-attach the cucumber it will become as hot as the outside temperature and soon begin to spoil and rot.

The meaning to this parable is two fold:

Wed
07
Jun

Letter to the Editor: State Treasurer concerned about paying bills on time

To the Editor:

In May I expressed concern about the state paying bills on time next spring. Today, I reiterate that concern. With the news that May revenue has come in significantly less than expected, it is time to consider a cash-flow borrowing in 2018. This would ensure we make payments on time, including school aid and tax refunds. Iowans should not be concerned about the need to issue a cash-flow borrowing. It is the right thing to do when you have unpredictable cash-flows.

People should be concerned about the fact that the State has consistently been unable to project revenue in a time when Iowa unemployment is at a low of 3.1%, the stock market is at record highs and we are not facing a national economic crisis. Nobody can give a clear explanation of why we are short, but tax cuts with unpredictable results appear to be catching up with the budget.

Wed
31
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that there were two more proofs in the dailies recently that large print media no longer are content to cover the news, but rather would make the news.

One daily ran a story about a march favoring socialized medicine which took place in Cedar Rapids. Under a “top stories” headline. The paper devoted about 25 inches of copy, one large four-column picture and a three column picture to the story.

The story?

A dozen, 12, people participated. A dozen. Out of what, a quarter of a million “corridor” citizens?

There was rain. The fair weather protesters probably didn’t want to risk getting wet.

Conversely, a story about a nationwide rally of Trump supporters was relegated to an inside farther back page, with no “top story” head.

Wed
31
May

Wexford Wanderings

by Hugh E. Conway

School Games II

The school children in the Wexford area also enjoyed a number of circle games involving forming a circle to play the game. One of the favorites was Farmer in the dell which started with children joining hands and dancing around the farmer, who stands in the center of the circle as they sing. Each verse is sung twice.
 
The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

The farmer takes a wife
The farmer takes a wife
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer takes a wife
At the end of the this verse, the farmer chooses his wife, who joins him inside the circle as the circle dance continues.

Wed
31
May

Letter to the Editor: Memorial Day is not just a three-day weekend

To the Editor:

I thank Lowell L. Engle of Harpers Ferry for his letter to the editor May 10, 2017. The Lincoln Gettysburg Address was part of the founding Memorial Day services. The Address does not parse well in English, rather to be heard with the heart.

Memorial Day is not a “three-day weekend celebration” as so many know now. Do you know when Memorial Day really is?

Memorial Day is a single day for the task “... that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” as is stated in the Gettysburg Address. It is a time to honor those, wherever they are buried, who fought for our nation in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korean War and all others since.

In my hometown in Kansas, May 30 (yes, the real Memorial Day) we did such not for the convenience of the day. Was it convenient for those brave men the day they fell in battle?

Wed
31
May

Letter to the Editor: The new normal?

To the Editor:

Several years ago I wrote a paper titled “Angst and Apathy in Adolescence” based on a two-year study. Now I wonder about the angst and apathy in adults, only I don’t want to study it. I have had enough.

How many times can anyone stand to hear the phrases “at the end of the day,” “fake news” and “alternative facts?” Of course, there is also the other question of where the line is between adolescence and being an adult?

Not to sound like Anne Murray’s song “A Little Good News,” but wouldn’t it be wonderful not to wake up in the morning, or even in the middle of the night, feeling compelled to check the TV or internet to find out what’s been going on (or tweeted) while we have been trying to sleep?

Wed
24
May

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I read with considerable interest the series of articles in The Des Moines Register about the education efforts regarding the ever-increasing number of foreign born students in Iowa schools.

My interest stems in part from the fact that Postville is essentially tied for third among all school districts in the state in numbers of such students. And partly because of a chance encounter with what was then a Japanese foreign exchange student in Waukon whom I interviewed many years ago for the newspaper. She was back visiting the hostess of her exchange, and has been back several times since her school days. She speaks essentially unaccented English these days.

I am certain English has to be among the more difficult languages to learn. Cattily I might observe that lots of citizens born here do not manage it well.

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