Category: View from the Hill

There’s no place like home, Stanley

?The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.? (Psalm 34:18)   Stanley G. Funk, son of Orison and Agnes Funk, brother to Patricia Funk Esau, was laid to rest this week. In honor of his life and passing, I write this column in letter form. * * * Dear Stanley, I cannot imagine the immense […]

Read more ›

Politics aside, Obama’s election good

Finally, the election is over. Hurray! Barak Obama is the 44th president of the United States of America. Dare we say, ?Hurray!? too loudly?

No, I?m not ?jumping up and down, acting crazy? and unapologetically elated to see Mr. Bush leave the White House. To be fair, he had his moments in the sun, like giving millions for AIDS relief work in Africa and elsewhere. Neither am I elated to see Mr. Obama take his place. I?m still waiting to see how his fiscal and social agenda impacts agriculture and America.

However, as evidenced by the vote, more seem to be happy with the new president than the former.

Let?s say the honeymoon is not over. The only mistakes, so far that we know of, is Obama not hearing and correctly repeating the oath of office. The Chief Justice shares the blame for that.

Read more ›

Nativity involved courageous couple

??Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.? Luke 2:10 NIV

I never tire of hearing the story of the Nativity. The drama, as described by Luke and Matthew in the New Testament, offers the hope of new life, even while Mary and Joseph began their difficult journey together as husband and wife.

Read more ›

Its difficult to focus on distractions

Every day, I face distractions that try to keep me from what I want to accomplish. Can you relate to that?

Imagine rushing through morning chores to make an important meeting in another city, and receiving an unexpected phone call informing you that the shipment you ordered will be arriving within the hour and must be unloaded immediately. I would classify that as a major distraction.

According to the meaning provided by Wikipedia, a distraction is ?the diversion of attention of an individual or group from the chosen object of attention onto the source of distraction.

?Distraction is caused by one of the following: lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; greater interest in something other than the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention.

Read more ›

Blame for financial fall lies with two

Citizens, it?s time to think about preserving and protecting assets and resources. That?s what agricultural economist Daryl Ray recommends. Considering the current worldwide financial crisis, who?s to argue against that logic?

According to last Sunday?s CBS primetime show, ?60 Minutes,? the origins of this meltdown and much of the blame sits squarely upon two primary institutions.

The U.S. Congress bears the responsibility for passing laws legalizing the creation and use of CDS derivatives, or Credit Default Swaps. Second, the investment banking system, which took advantage of the new laws and created these complex financial instruments and collected enormous profits through their sale to investors.

Read more ›

Opinions change in political winds

?If I recall correctly, as a school boy living in western Texas, history books said the Midwest was ?the great American desert.? You people knew the risks going out there. Don?t expect Congress to bail you out for making a bad business decision when a drought comes around. Trust me, a disaster aid bill is not gonna get passed.? ?Recent quote by a Congressional aide

Isn?t it ironic how quickly opinions change and political leaders make an about-face when it becomes politically expedient to do so?

Political will changes quickly, depending on who?s doing the talking. First came the news of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, with thousands of homeowners defaulting on their loans and heading toward foreclosure.

Read more ›

When friends turn into pitchmen

What do you get when you take an old high school friend, throw in a chance meeting at Tabor College?s homecoming weekend and an invitation to stay for a weekend, plus $10, a tiny water filter and a chance of a lifetime?

Answer: Absolutely nothing.

It was one of those times when you anticipate a reunion of former high school chums, where one can reminisce about old times and enjoy the day. One doesn?t always correctly anticipate the outcome, however.

The chance meeting and visit during the football game went quite well. From there, it was nothing I neither expected nor wanted.

Between the beginning of the game and the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, our conversation followed the normal course of events, along with updates on each other?s family and career.

Read more ›

Why good ones go is a tough issue

Family and friends recently bid farewell to Jonah Kliewer, professor emeritus of Tabor College. His passing, though anticipated by those closest to him, came too quickly for his family, numerous friends and acquaintances.

The memorial service, wonderfully prepared by family members, was a loving reflection of a life lived in service to God and others.

Sometime after the service ended, someone made an interesting comment. ?Why must all the good ones go??

The question remains appropriately unanswered, and yet, whenever I think about it, my response varies. At first, I quickly agree, ?Yes. Why??

Read more ›

Murphy’s Law on the farm, too

Technology exists for man?s benefit. Then again, I?m convinced there are days when man exists for technology?s entertainment, especially when Murphy?s Law comes into play.

For example, as the television broadcast industry gears up for the transition from analog television signals to digital, this Murphy fellow is busily writing new laws with the gleeful ferocity of a gremlin on a mission.

Read more ›

Picks for prez not bright for farmers

?The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don?t have it.?

? George Bernard Shaw

When it comes to selecting the next president of the United States, trying to find common sense approaches to good government by any of the three contenders is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. It?s even worse when one looks at agricultural policy.

Read more ›