View from the Hill
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 25 May 2010 19:16On the lighter side of finger pointing.... While making my weekly appointment at a meeting of the Lehigh Double Circle Day Care, a charter member expressed concern over Cooperative Grain & Supply’s policy of closing on Saturdays.
“It’s costing me extra to go to Hillsboro to get my coffee one day a week,” he says, grinning. “I’m thinking of sending CG&S a bill for the extra cost. It’s up to about 63¢ for the coffee, not counting mileage. If only Lehigh stayed open, I could get it for free.”
Amid the ensuing laughter, a new round of lighthearted finger pointing began. Another member of the group told a story that involved a Kansas Department of Transportation vehicle safety inspector, a semi hauling heifers and a...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 27 April 2010 18:31Of all the nations in the world, what do the United States and the Russian Federation have in common? Other than both countries being major nuclear powers and ethnic groups in both countries sharing ancestral ties, they have little in common.
One similarity, however, is their average test scores for math and science literacy among 15-year-olds.
According to the latest available data from the National Center for Education Statistics taken from a study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks 25th out of 30 countries in math literacy and 21st in science literacy.
Students in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, South Korea, Netherlands and the Czech Republic are top...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 23 March 2010 18:41We live in a world of stark contradictions. In politics, conservatives rally around a pro-life agenda. They are dedicated to protecting the unborn, the weakest of the human species and unable to defend themselves from the destructive behavior of their own mothers.
The pro-life position is a noble, outspoken cause against the law of the land that gives the mother the right to choose an abortion for any reason. More than 40 million lives have been snuffed out since the “Roe vs. Wade” ruling by the Supreme Court.
Yet, because conservatives focus on this fundamental issue and not the sanctity of all human life, they oppose any health-care reform that includes language to protect the lives of millions of Americans, already born.
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19:52In the classic musical, “Music Man,” con man Harold Hill tells naive townsfolk: “There’s trouble in River city!” Today, experienced observers, tea party supporters and even well respected, veteran politicians are saying, “There’s trouble in Washington, D.C..”
The level of trust in our federal government continues to decline. Democrats discover they have squandered their momentum following President Barak Obama’s election only 16 months ago.
A Democratic super majority no longer exists in the Senate, thanks to the anger of independent voters over the painfully slow economic recovery from a deep recession, and increasing distrust over Congress’ handling of the financial bailout of Wall Street investment bankers that...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 26 January 2010 19:47The tiny nation of Haiti and its people are suffering unimaginable hardships resulting from the earthquake and numerous aftershocks. In the most literal sense, Haiti has been brought to its knees.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to have experienced the destruction firsthand. Nearly all of the buildings have been severely damaged or destroyed. The infrastructure that provides vital services such as electricity, water and sewage disposal are gone. Access to food and shelter, even now, at best is in short supply. Local hospitals cannot respond to any medical emergency. Their buildings are in ruins and the staff are either wounded, dying or trapped in flattened structures.
Law and order is nonexistent in the earthquake’s aftermath...
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