What's Out There: My Thoughts on What's in the News

February 16, 2016

Why We Are So Nasty

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyvanhuisen @ 5:22 pm

In the fury of the current political season, I’ve been thinking about revisiting and reviving this blog.  I’ve composed several posts in my mind over the last week, but they haven’t made it to the page.  However, having just listened to the hourly radio newscast (that sounds rather archaic, doesn’t it?), I just have to put thoughts to screen.

Why are we so nasty to one another?  I can’t remember the last news broadcast that didn’t include a report of someone calling someone else names (reminds me of teaching third grade) or of some one suing someone for something they said or did years ago or yesterday.  As a culture, why is it so important to rush to be hateful?

There are probably a variety of deep psychological factors in the current climate of incivility, but there appears to be at least one reason that is quite simple:  We are short on love.

Love has as many definitions as those doing the defining these days, but, as I teach my English students, it is always good to go to the primary source.  The Author of love–the One Who IS Love– taught us, through the words of the Apostle Paul, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.  Love is not rude, it is is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily.  Love does not remember wrongs done against it.  Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth.  Love never gives up on people.  It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.”

That explains a lot.

November 16, 2014

Better Than Facebook

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyvanhuisen @ 2:07 am

I don’t like Facebook fights.

I’ve stepped into the fray a few times and, unfortunately, a few of the fights have started in response (reaction?) to one of my posts.  My experience is that most Facebook fights start with some comment on a political or social issue.  People who care about these things tend to care deeply–and we don’t all have the same opinions.  So, into the fray we jump, making our voices heard:  sometimes with reasoned tones;  more often with impassioned ones;  and, more often than anyone should like to see, with snide and nasty comments.

Since I see Facebook as a place to have bits of conversation with my friends, I don’t want to host or attend political knock-down-drag-outs there.  I think that’s what I had in mind when I first created this blog way back when.  I probably should have spent more time coming up with some catchy title (like my friend Laurie’s blog Two Heads Are Better Than One, where she and her brother alternately reflect on current events).  But, for now, it is what it is.  And, maybe, just maybe, I’ll write here more than once in awhile, for there is much out there upon which to reflect these days.

December 7, 2009

Speaking the Truth in Copenhagen

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyvanhuisen @ 9:36 am

This is my news question of the week:  Who will be brave enough to be thoroughly scientific and speak the truth at the climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week?  The world is watching.

November 20, 2009

Words to My Members of Congress

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyvanhuisen @ 9:32 am

This is what I sent this morning…I hope someone will read it:

Every bit of news I hear about the health care reform bill sounds like taking a chain saw to the task of splinter removal.  To really address the splinter without damaging the surrounding tissue, what’s needed is a magnifying glass–careful scrutiny; a fine needle and tweezers–tools that fit the task with precision; and a steady hand.  Only you, representing Hoosier values, can provide the latter.  We need you to support the “magnifying glass” of taking time to come up with true reform (which I don’t think can happen by Saturday) and to offer the “fine needle and tweezers” of focused change (tort reform, portability, elimination of benefits for illegal aliens, to name a few).

What is being proposed does not seem like the way to deal with needed reforms in health care.  Please vote in such a way as to get the current proposal off the table to make way for true reform  that addresses real needs and preserves freedom and innovation in health care.  There is time to do it right; we cannot afford the time or money or loss of freedom that will come with a “hurry-up” bill.

Your constituents are counting on you to represent us well.  Thank you for serving Indiana.

What have you said to your Senator about this issue?

August 6, 2009

Obama Claus and His Congressional Elves

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyvanhuisen @ 12:53 pm
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Sometimes it’s the questions that aren’t asked that bother me.

There’s been a lot of discussion over the past week about the ongoing fate of the “Cash for Clunkers” program.  Popular sentiment, judging by newscast soundbites from everyone from your congressman to your local car dealer, seems to be that this has been a positive program.  From that, Congress appears to be taking the leap that 2 billion dollars more are merited to keep the program in place longer.

Yesterday, President Obama visited our fair state, bearing funds for the part of Indiana that has been hard-hit by the bottoming out of RV sales, among other economic shifts.  The applause as he announced the funding was enthusiastic and long.

It is a good thing if there is funding that will give a boost to the auto industry and will infuse cash into a geographical area where jobs are desperately needed.

But, I haven’t heard anyone ask, “Where is this money coming from?”

I haven’t heard anyone volunteer the answer, either.

Call me simple.  But I’ve been around the block enough times to know that just saying we’ll spend $XXXXXXXXX doesn’t automatically materialize those funds.

When I go to a giant Kohl’s sale (there is always one going on!), I always have to live with this tension:  If something is on sale for a great price, but I don’t really have the money for it, is it still a good deal?

We need to encourage our lawmakers–and that’s something else that bothers me:  You’d think, from all that is said and done, that it is the President who holds the pursestrings in this country–to ask the Kohl’s sales question…often and loudly and first, not last, after all the promises have been made and the checks have already been written and handed out.

What do we do next?

July 12, 2009

Someplace New

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyvanhuisen @ 7:47 pm
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This all started because I read the Wall Street Journal yesterday.  I don’t subscribe; actually no one in my house has a paid subscription.  But, my young adult son gets it as some kind of freebie perk, so from time to time, since I’m usually the one to bring it in from the front stoop and it is here several hours before he has a chance to see it, I enjoy a read through.  (I’ve never subscribed to a newspaper in my adult life, claiming no time to read one regularly, since I tend to be a cover-to-cover–er, front page to back page–reader.)

There was so much in yesterday’s edition that was simply fascinating!  And there was great deal to which my mind and heart had a response.  I blog in two other places regularly (  http://amyvanhuisen.wordpress.com/ and http://mavan.xanga.com/weblog/ ) , but I have deliberately tried to avoid making much comment in either of those places about politics or other front burner news items.

Here’s the thing, however.  A lot of what’s happening “out there” needs to be talked about.  The people who make up the “Grassroots” in this country need to be having clarifying conversations that will equip them to articulate well the things that need to be said to their elected leaders under our republican (representative) form of government.

Having been a news junkie for a large part of my adult life, my hope is that this blog will be a place to at least make some points and raise some questions in a way that will generate significant, beneficial conversation.

Here are the blog disclaimers and groundrules:

  • Inasmuch as I understand what this means, I hold a Biblical worldview.  That means that the foundation and grid for the way I think about life is Bible truth.  Everybody has a worldview.  That is mine.
  • Healthy debate is good.  Name-calling and denigration are not.  So, if you ever read something here, either in a post or a comment, that makes you inclined toward the latter set of responses, please take it somewhere else, out of respect for this space and the expressions of those who opt for healthy debate.

I think that’s it for starters.  This should be fun!

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