Monthly Archives: December 2016

Out Among the Stars (Johnny Cash)

Ninety-two years ago yesterday, Edwin Hubble announced the discovery of V1, the first star anyone had ever seen in a galaxy beyond the Milky Way. Called “the most important star in the history of cosmology,” it turned our world upside down. Piers Sellers died on Dec. 23rd at the age of 61. Vera Rubin died […]

What Would Jesus Say?

This is the time of year when I always used to say, “Merry Christmas.” I never thought of those as fighting words, but as part of my heritage, even though I am a lapsed Christian. It is my family’s way of greeting the season that celebrates the renewal of life and, yes, peace on earth – […]

“We Have No Words”

Tom Northrop’s family has lived in Washington County, Pennsylvania, for more than 200 years, and it has owned and published the local newspaper, The Washington Observer-Reporter, since his great-grandfather, Jack Stewart, bought it in 1902. The paper itself was founded in 1808. So they – the family and the newspaper – have been around for a while. […]

Hometown News

And he said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal thyself! The [miracles] we heard were happening in Capernaum, do here in your home town.’” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his home town.” (Luke 4:23-4) Whatever the reasons for its current condition, any institution […]

The Fourth Estate

In 1976 the Gallup Poll reported that 72% of Americans trusted the press. It hasn’t come close to that level since, and its approval ratings now stand at 32%, and 14% among Republicans, the lowest ever. It’s worth noting that its highest ratings came in the wake of tough reporting on Vietnam and Watergate, which […]

Failure to Communicate

“What we’ve got here,” said the Captain as he looked down at a bloodied and manacled Cool Hand Luke, whom he’d just beaten to the ground, “is failure to communicate.” While it’s one of the great lines in movie history, there was no failure to communicate – both the warden and the prisoner got the message, loud […]

“Tired of Giving In”

Sixty-one years ago last evening Rosa Parks boarded Cleveland Avenue bus 2857 in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, paid her fare, and took a seat in the bus’s colored section. When the whites-only section filled up, the driver ordered Parks to give her seat to a white man and move to the rear. She refused. Although she had worked […]