Viewpoints

Wed
26
Feb

Word for Word 2/26/20

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg
Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

For your meditation: Matthew 5:17-37

This reading comes from “The Sermon on the Mount.” In today’s section, Jesus begins by saying that He has not come to change the law that Moses gave to them on Mt. Sinai. He has not come to do away with it or even to change it. His purpose, He says, is to bring it to its fulfillment. He also points out that the Scribes and Pharisees who are tough, strict, law and order types of people are wrong.

After this introduction, Jesus goes on to give four examples of what he is talking about. They are murder, adultery, divorce and false witness. In each of the four examples, Jesus pushes us back behind the deeds themselves to their motives, and the attitudes that make the external sins become realities.

Behind the murder is hate and anger gone out of control. Behind the adultery is lust without any control. Behind the false witness is distrust and suspicion gone out of control.

Wed
26
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Setting the record straight

To the Editor:

In her letter to the editor in the February 19 edition of The Standard, Ann L. Hart once again resorts to distortion and misrepresentation of the facts in an effort to discredit the current administration and our Republican senators.

She implies that the tax cuts passed by the Republican Party are responsible for the ballooning deficit and debt. She seems to have little understanding of economics and how Capitalism really works.

There has actually been an increase in revenue due to the tax cuts. That is because more private money was pumped into the economy.  Trillions of dollars that had been in offshore accounts came back into the country and much of it ended up in 401Ks and other retirement accounts held by millions of Americans.

Wed
19
Feb

Word for Word 2/19/20

Pastor Steve Oden
Pastor Steve Oden

A True Fairy Tale

This time of year seems to be a time when “love is in the air,” and lots of people intentionally acknowledge and express their love and affection for those they love and care about the most, often with cards, expressive words, chocolates, flowers and going out to eat!  But there is a love affair so intense, even beyond our wildest imagination, that is probably, for most people, overlooked.

It’s the greatest love story of all time - far surpassing any love story between a man and woman. It’s a story about a Son of Man who loved his future bride so much that he willingly suffered an excruciating death to rescue her from a fiery abyss of torment to which there’d be no end.  He was her knight in shining armor. In fact, one day the heaven will rip open and he will come back riding on a white horse to get his beloved bride and take her home.  And they shall live happily ever after… forever.

Wed
19
Feb

Letter to the Editor: The health of IPERS

To the Editor:

With the start of a new legislative session, public workers are keeping an eye on their IPERS. In the past, Republicans have offered little reassurance that our public employees retirement system wouldn’t be harmed. You may remember the “tweak” made to collective bargaining a few years back.

Everyone in our state benefits from the influx of money from this retirement system. It is an economic boon to our local economies.

So, what is the health of IPERS? Some lawmakers will tell you that IPERS is not fully vested at only 80% and that it’s seven trillion dollars behind. This is not a realistic portrayal of the current health of IPERS. In order for that scenario to play out, all participants would have to leave the system at the same time and there would be no new participants coming in.

Wed
19
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Impact of proposed budget

To the Editor:

Our country’s current administrative leadership just released a proposed budget for 2021. According to Fox News, in addition to significant cuts to discretionary spending including education and environmental protection, the budget reflects changes to reduce eligibility for Social Security disability, $465 billion in cuts to Medicare providers such as hospitals, as well as cuts to Medicaid including reductions in the Children’s Health Insurance programs.

Again, this is no surprise. As you know, our Iowa senators support such changes. The deficit has exploded since the tax cut for the rich, yet this administration with the help of our own Iowa Senators continues to claim that the driver of debt is Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid and cuts will need to be made. Once again, they insist upon going after working families and vulnerable Americans.

Remember  Maya Angelo: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Wed
12
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Celebrating a better home, community and world

To the Editor:

We are celebrating what we did to start the new year. It turns out that it saves us money, keeps more money here to spend in our community, and actually contributes to the health of our climate.  We now get to have our young grandchildren spend the night, which we could not do last winter because it was too cold.

Thanks to the Allamakee Energy District, Winneshiek Energy District and the young people from Green Iowa AmeriCorp who came to evaluate our home environment and install energy saving devices as well as insulation that helps seal air leaks in our house, our house is much more comfortable and we feel much better.

If you would like to save energy dollars, I encourage you to call 563-382-4207, ext. 2. You can also learn more at energydistrict.org/services and by checking out Allamakee Energy District and Winneshiek Energy District on their social media sites.

Wishing all of us a better home, community and world.

Wed
05
Feb

Word for Word 2/5/20

Rev. Ron Pederson
Rev. Ron Pederson

Epiphany

Christmas is over and the church is now in the Epiphany season. Epiphany begins on January 6 and ends the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.

But what is Epiphany? The dictionary defines epiphany as “an experience of a sudden and striking realization or insight.

To truly understand Christmas and the baby Jesus, an Epiphany, a realization, an insight is necessary. Jesus is both God and man in one person; and at Christmas His human nature was very apparent, but His divine nature is not so apparent. Who would have ever believed that night, that there lying in the manger is God, the One who created the universe.

When the baby Jesus opened His eyes for the first time and saw the stars above, it was He who created them. No, we need more insight, an epiphany in order to know that Jesus is also “Very God of very God, begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By Whom all thing were made”.

Wed
05
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Step Up Reach Out for suicide education, prevention

To the Editor:

The Step Up Reach Out committee would like to express its appreciation to its many sponsors and supporters of our annual suicide awareness walk. Funds raised this year are being used for suicide education and prevention with a special focus on the agricultural community, but any group is able to access this free training.

Groups or organizations that would like suicide prevention training at no cost may contact Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health at 563-382-3649 to schedule a training. The training is approximately one hour and is appropriate for ages 13 years and up.

Suicide continues to impact residents of northeast Iowa in a very personal way.  Training community members to recognize warning signs and how to intervene saves lives.

Wed
05
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Guess who else wants to gut Social Security?

To the Editor:

At the annual World Economic Forum in January it was stated that our country’s current administrative leadership may be looking at cutting entitlements (Medicare and Social Security) toward the end of the year. This is no surprise.

As you know, we’ve had a senator from our very own state who has proclaimed discussing this in secret. And even though the deficit has exploded since the tax cut for the rich, Senate leadership has claimed that the driver of debt is Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid and cuts will need to be made.

I live by the words of Maya Angelo: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

I don’t believe we want leaders of our nation with this line of thinking on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

Very sincerely,

Ann L. Hart
Waukon

 

Wed
29
Jan

Word for Word 1/29/20

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

This week at St. Patrick Parish and across the country, we celebrate Catholic Schools Week. There is a long history of Catholic education in our area. Here in Waukon, construction began in 1883 on a building which served as both school and convent with Dubuque Presentation Sisters as teachers. In 1939, a new elementary and high school building opened. My grandfather, Al Osterhaus, was the contractor and architect. The current primary grade building was opened in 1961. Today, we have 196 students in junior kindergarten through 6th grade.

Recently, our principal, Katie Fahey, formed a strategic planning committee. An acronym was formulated by  the group which lists four priorities: Relationships, Opportunities, Achievement and Responsibility.

Since our St. Patrick School mascot is the wildcat, the acronym spells:  R.O.A.R!

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