Sunday, May 31, 2009

My home town newspaper

Like newspapers all across the country, my home town newspaper, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, has been restructuring in the effort to survive in this economy as well as in the digital age. People have been laid off. Much content has been moved to the web. The actual paper itself has become more compact both in size and content. I was a bit apprehensive about all this as the changes rolled out, but I have to say that in some ways the Gazette has become a better paper. While coverage of national and international news is worse, local and regional stories have become more in depth. That is a good thing. The Gazette is fundamentally a local and regional newspaper with a readership around 200,000, and I think grabbing readers with stories that affect them is a good strategy.

Now the question becomes whether that strategy will work. I surely hope so. There is nothing like waking up in the morning, putting the coffee on, scanning the headlines while the coffee brews, and then settling in to read the paper from front to back with a fresh brewed cup of coffee at hand. That, folks is my morning ritual. If I had to sit down in front of the computer to get my morning news fix it just wouldn't be the same.

For now good night.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Originally known as Remembrance Day it started as a way to honor veterans of the Civil War, both north and south. In cities, towns, and villages across the nation there were parades and solemn processions to decorate the graves of veterans of not only the Civil War but also the Mexican American War and the Revolutionary War. It became a tradition that was observed on May 30th of every year. It wasn't until after WWII that Congress created it as a three day weekend on the fourth Monday in May, and it became the unofficial beginning of summer. It morphed into an occasion for back yard barbecues, camping trips, and family get togethers. No problem with that here. Fun and family are both important.

But folks, it's time to put "memory" back into Memorial Day. Tomorrow May 25 at 3:00 PM is the national moment of silence in remembrance of all our veterans who gave their lives or were injured in the service of their country. I ask you to observe that moment of silence and perhaps offer up a silent prayer for those who made this three day weekend possible as well as the deeper blessings of liberty that we all enjoy. I would include those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. To paraphrase Colin Powell, they are our next Greatest Generation.

For now good night.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I am a Christiam

I am a Christian. There, I've said something somewhat politically incorrect in polite society. I can talk about going to church on Sunday and try to behave as my faith tells me I should. But to say it out loud causes most folks to either look away or change the subject. I venture to say that's because the fundamentalist branch of Christianity has hijacked the discussion. Sorry folks, the Bible is not the literal word of God. For the most part it is allegory and parable.

So if the Bible is mostly allegory and parable you have every right to ask how I can believe in Christ's resurrection? My response is that of the original 12 disciples ten are believed to have died as martyrs. Many people, including our current vets in Iraq and Afghanistan, are willing to die for a truth they believe in. How many people do you know who would be willing to die for a lie?

The foundation of the Christian faith is the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I admit to having a problem with that. Being very much inner directed I'm comfortable with the Holy Spirit, but the Father and the Son have always seemed somewhat distant. That's why I'm recommending the book The Shack by Wm Paul Young. The book is fiction, but it brought me closer to the realization that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, now and forever. So here's the link at

Not all Christians, including me, have our beliefs written in stone. I am a seeker. My faith is strong, but that does not mean that you may not challenge my faith. I welcome it.

For now, good night.

About Me

I work in health care, love books, love music, enjoy the internet, my friends, and my routine. 8-)