Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 18, 2013

ED VASICEK: 'Ed'-itorial comments concerning the news


— A pollster was gath-ering opinions outside the U.N. building in New York. He spied four men waiting at a stoplight: a Texan, a Russian, a North Korean and a New Yorker. He asked, “Excuse me, I would like to ask your opinion about the current meat shortage?” The Texan replied, “What’s a shortage?” The Russian inquired, “What’s meat?” The North Korean asked, “What’s an opinion?” The New Yorker replied, “What is ‘excuse me?’”

Those of us who hail from Chicago may not have the best manners, either, but we certainly have opinions. I have no shortage of them. Let me share my “Ed”-itorial comments on some recent news. Let’s begin with terrorism-related items, the first courtesy of UPI:

“A 33-year-old man was being held in Detroit Monday after allegedly being found with an altered Saudi passport and a pressure cooker ... Hussain al-Kwawahir was arrested at the Detroit airport Saturday after the cooking equipment was found in his luggage and his passport allegedly was found to have had a page removed, NBC News reported.”

It seems as though potential terrorists (if this really is a case on intended terrorism) like what they saw at the Boston Marathon. Will pressure cookers become the bombshell of choice among terrorists? The lesson, of course, is that we can turn something good (as common as a pressure cooker) into something evil (a bomb); the problem is not the object itself, but evil within the human heart. Evil can and does morph.

When we think of terrorism, we think of the World Trade Center. According to Today.com, “A crane lifted the last of a 408-foot tall spire on top of One World Trade Center on Friday, a capstone to an emotional 12-year effort to replace the twin towers destroyed by terrorists.

“The 18-piece silver spire will top out the tower at a symbolic 1,776 feet, a nod to the year America signed the Declaration of Independence. The new building is just north of the original towers, now the hallowed ground known as Ground Zero.”

I thought it was foolish to rebuild New Orleans on the same flood plane, and I think it is foolish to rebuild the World Trade Center. Why are we asking for repeats? Rebuilding the World Trade Center is like hanging a giant bull’s-eye for terrorists. Would you want to work there? Is it just me, folks?

Moving on to immigration, note that on this day in 1848, the Mexican-American War ended. Wikipedia records, “Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million.” Illegal immigration is often justified by claiming we confiscated Mexico’s best land for ourselves. We did. Even the most patriotic among us must acknowledge this wrong. I am not sure that this relates directly as to how we resolve the immigration issue, but we need a genuine, enforceable system.

Now it is on to environmental news. Cincinnati is tough for me to spell, but Cincinnati has a unique honor, according to nky.com:

“Greater Cincinnati is on the leading edge of the green movement ... Cincinnati is the largest city in the country to get all of its electricity from alternative energy sources, and it has the third-most homes certified under the U.S. Green Business Council’s Leadership in Engineering and Design standards. The region is also a leader in LEED-certified schools.”

And last, an item about progress benefiting the third world. Many of the world’s people wash their clothes at river banks, pounding them on rocks and ruining their wrists as they pound and wring. The information about the GiraDora from Len Rosen’s 21st Century Tech blog:

[The GiraDora] “... looks like a plastic rain barrel with a cushioned seat on top. An inner injection molded nylon basket sits within the barrel. A central drive shaft connects to a mechanism that agitates, cleans, rinses and spin-dries clothes. The operator sits on the padded seat cushion on top and operates the single pedal to turn the inner drum ... priced under $40.”

Have a great day!

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.