The liberated woman: Why is she so unhappy?

According to a recent Time magazine story by Nancy Gibbs, it's expected that by the end of the year the majority of workers in the United States will be women. Today, Gibbs says, more and more women are the primary breadwinner in their household (almost 40 percent) or are contributing significant income to meet the family's bottom line.

The survey Gibbs cited said that 84 percent of families negotiate the rules, relationships and responsibilities more than did earlier generations.

Has women's liberation made for happier women?

Ah ... no.

OMG! Texting makes you smarter

Erick Rommel

Are you a typical teenager? There is one simple question that will provide the answer: How many text messages have you sent in the past month?

You'd better set aside some time before trying to answer that question. According to Nielsen, the media and marketing information company, the typical American between the ages of 13 and 17 sends 2,900 text messages a month.

There are physicians and psychiatrists worried about that statistic. They say it affects teen sleep patterns and reduces the ability to think for yourself.

Abortion issue proves moderation can be a vice

American culture has made a fetish out of moderation. Our civic leaders tell us that we must favor the middle of the road on virtually all political and even moral issues.

Their middle-of-the-road moderation reminds me of a familiar biblical figure, the notorious Pontius Pilate, who gave historic meaning to his personal hygiene.

Caught between the vice of his Jewish subjects and the fear of his Roman superiors, he adapted a moderate stance with regard to Jesus Christ.

Though Pilate could find no fault in Jesus, whose teachings offered no threat to his rule, he had him scourged within an inch of his human life to appease both sides.

Hunting: God’s gift is good for the body, soul — and the table

Father Joe Classen left his Franklin County hunting ground Oct. 26 after a morning of reflection, prayer and pursuit of deer and turkey.

In the green days of political correctness, environmental activism and animal rights, the American legacy of hunting is coming under more scrutiny than ever. There are many concerns in our culture for animal welfare, and a more “humane” way of living. The idea of armed, camouflage-clad individuals taking to the woods in search of their quarry is abhorred by those whose fantasy view of the natural world is based on the subjective, feel-good nonsense of Disney movies and the like.

Indeed, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about hunting these days, about its purpose and value as well as the laughable stereotypes of those who hunt and fish. There is the incredibly mistaken notion that we hunters are crazed murderers who have a sick fascination with destroying life. Unfortunately, there are people who fit that description: They are called poachers and they are criminals.

But for those of us who passionately love hunting and all things outdoors, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. Hunters are the first and truest environmentalists. We are the greenest of the green.

Hunters are not mere spectators of creation, as other nature lovers are. Rather, we are active participants as we immerse ourselves completely into God’s creation and take a hands-on role in managing our natural, renewable resources, of which animals are a big part.

Pondering the meaning of hospitality

Often, hospitality involves having a generous heart.

In the narrow sense of welcoming people into my home, hospitality has sometimes been challenging. Oh, I love to entertain, have a friend drop by for coffee or spend the night.

But I also jealously guard my privacy and my quiet time. I’ve never been tempted, for instance, to host a foreign student for the year. I like my boundaries.

In the first days of my marriage, my tiny newlywed home in Anchorage seemed to be a central gathering place as friends journeyed in and out of Alaska.

We were all young and poor, adventuresome and fairly itinerant. Initially, it was great fun with dear friends. Yet the stream of visitors became overwhelming, and I chafed at the sleeping bags piled on the floor and the late-night calls from the airport.

Finding black and white in a multitude of gray

Several years ago, scientists conducted a study where they asked children whether it would be right or wrong for a parent to steal food to feed their hungry child. Young children saw everything as black or white. They said stealing was wrong, therefore a parent taking food was also wrong.

The decision wasn’t as clear for older children. They knew stealing was wrong, but they also knew it was wrong to let a child starve when you could do something about it.

The scientists couldn’t pinpoint exactly when black and white turn to shades of gray, but once the color palette is mixed, it’s almost impossible to separate the colors again.

One of the deepest shades of gray can be used to paint the picture of Tyrone Werts and William Fultz. The two counsel at-risk teenagers. Their actions have reduced the rate of repeat offences. Werts once prevented a rape; Fultz risked his life to deliver medicine to someone needing assistance.

The color you would paint their lives seems pretty clear, until you hear the rest of their story. The two of them are serving life sentences in Pennsylvania, both guilty of murder.

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