Columns/Opinions

Thu
16
Sep

"Ellen Ripley was the best part of ‘Alien’ franchise" by: Jessica Shepard

   In the Reddell household, we binge watch a lot of shows and movies in the evenings when we don’t have to cover major events. 
    Sadly, that also means we burn through entire season of TV shows over the weekend or movie series. 
    We sort of count it as recharging for the work week and take family time pretty seriously. 
    Plus, it just means lounging around in the afternoons in our comfortable clothes or pajamas early. 
    With the sun and heat being pretty unbearable, there’s really no reason not to indulge. 
    Or, at least that’s what I argue in favor of doing. 
    Last weekend, we watched the “Alien” and “Predator” franchise collections easily. 
    After all, they’re old favorites spanning over 40 years and remain as keystones for modern science fiction media – as movies, comics, videogames and more. 
    I mean these stories were being told before I was even born. 

Thu
16
Sep

"So much to consider before the end of the year" by: John Sample

   The last five days of trading saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop to the lowest point in two months. 
    We had a drop of 2.2% in the Dow. 
    That is no correction, but it does get some attention. 
    It appears that the Chinese government is not through regulating and reigning in big corporations and the fear of such is sending stocks such as Alibaba into further retreat. 
    If that wasn’t enough, the most recent news out of Washington DC is that tax increases are coming to cover some of the increase in spending. 
    There is talk of raising the corporate tax rate to over 26% and moving the capital gains rate up to 25%. 
    Moreover, the real target is going to be on taxing those making more than $400,000 each year. 
    This is all expected as one cannot pay for all these trillions of dollars of spending. 
    If that wasn’t enough, you have the need to increase the debt ceiling or our nation could be in default. 

Thu
16
Sep

PSA: Plan ahead before joining the ‘Great Resignation’

   It’s been called the “Great Resignation” – the large number of Americans voluntarily leaving their jobs because they think they’ve got better opportunities. 
   If you’re part of this movement, you’ll want to take the needed steps to keep making progress toward your financial goals. 
   First of all, it might be to your advantage to have another job lined up before you quit your current one. 
   But if you don’t have new employment in place, you might be able to rely on, for a while at least, on income from your spouse or a life partner. 
   If possible, try to avoid tapping into your 401(k) from your previous employer. 
   If you’ve already established an emergency fund, you could dip into it. 
   However, try to replenish it when you’re earning money again. 
   Here’s another suggestion: If you’re going to work for yourself, don’t wait too long before setting up a retirement plan, such as an “owner-only” 401(k) or a SEP or SIMPLE IRA. 

Thu
16
Sep

"Jesus shows us true humility, he gave his life to be a blessing for us" by: Caleb Gibson

   Does God want us to have good finances, to be healthy, to have good relationships? 
   Absolutely, in fact the Bible encourages it. 
   Yet it does not always happen, but this is God’s overall will. 
   Also, these are great goals to have, but we should not love the goal, we should love God. We should love God and want to gain money to help the kingdom of God and to help those in need, to be a hand to the fallen one. 
   Proverbs 22:4 tells us, “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life” (NLT). 
   Does God want us to be humble? 
   Absolutely! And does He want us to worship (fear) the Lord? He really does. So we can conclude that overall in our life, God wants us to have good finances, good relationships, and a healthy life. 

Thu
16
Sep

"Reel Reviews: ‘Malignant’ takes new spin on Victorian urban legend" by: Jessica Shepard

   While I didn’t find “Malignant” as scary or terrifying as some, it certainly wins points for its gruesome deaths and unique special effects. 
    Outside of that it’s just a female-centric version of the Victorian urban legend of “Edward Mordake.” 
    Now, I know that not everyone is a fan of Victorian urban legends and stories like I am, so, allow me to explain. 
    According to the legend, Mordake was born in the 19th century with a face at the back of his head. 
    It was said that the face could whisper, grab objects, laugh or cry. 
    Mordake begged doctors to remove it, repeatedly, claiming it whispered bad things to him at night, before committing suicide at the age of 23. 
    So, take that story but with a female lead, add a touch of supernatural electrical phenomena, amnesia and you’ve got Malignant. 

Thu
09
Sep

"Debuting my fauxhawk leads to learning history of said hairstyle" by: Jessica Shepard

   Sometimes I run into folks that read my columns and they ask me how I pick my topic for the week and I honestly have to admit that I have no idea.
   I seem to always circle back to the things I know more about rather than searching high and low for the newest thing.
   Granted, with everything hanging over our heads with the world today, I’m going to lean towards something a bit more entertaining.
   I’d rather have people read these little opinion pieces and get a chuckle or smile versus something emotionally charged and serious in tone.
   Now, there will be something that strikes me on a personal level and I’ll get the desire to share it with our dear readers in the easiest terms possible while trying to convey how I feel about it.
   After that, it’s always interesting to see who has something to add or another viewpoint to share with me.
   I’ve heard my fair share of complaints, too!

Thu
09
Sep

"Labor Day this year encounters a changing society" by: John Sample

   Labor Day got me to thinking about the fact that the pandemic has changed things over the last year and a half. 
   I have several friends in the restaurant business and I am concerned about what will happen with their business. 
   We had two restaurants close for the week here due to lack of staff. Even higher wages apparently is not enough to bring some back to the service sector. 
   What, in reality, is happening is that many decided logically that they can’t really earn a living wage these days. 
   I have seen many I know in my home town transfer to other occupations. 
   It appears that the pandemic and the assistance from the government pushed them. 
   Some argue they are staying home collecting a check, which is larger than their pay check.
   But I see this more as a reality check about what it takes to support a family these days. 

Thu
09
Sep

PSA: Help grandkids prepare for the future

   Grandparents Day is almost here.
   If you’re a grandparent, you may want to use this day as an opportunity to think about how you can help provide for your grandchildren’s future.
   For example, you could establish a 529 education savings plan, which can be used to pay for qualified expenses at colleges and at some trade and vocational schools.
   You could also open a savings account for your young grandchildren.
   And you can encourage them to add to it by offering to match their contributions.
   You might also want to establish a custodial account, known as UTMA or UGMA, which can be funded with most types of investments.
   And when your grandchildren become young adults, starting out in the working world, you could offer to help them with a down payment for a house.
   They might also benefit from some financial advice and guidance, so you might want to introduce them to a financial professional.

Thu
09
Sep

"Use the Sabbath for resting your mind and doing better in your life" by: Caleb Gibson

   Labor Day was this past Monday. I think it is a great time to study the topic of the Sabbath. 
   What is the Sabbath Day according to the Bible? 
   The Sabbath was the “seventh day of the week,” the Israelites were to take time to rest from any work to remember their Lord. 
   This was a holy day to the Lord. In the Jewish calendar, Saturday was the seventh day of the week.
   This day really began on Friday night at sunset and ended on Saturday Night at sunset. 
   They began their day with rest. 
   In the same way when man was created, his first day was day number seven where God rested on the final day of Creation. 
   In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 
   “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” 

Thu
09
Sep

"Reel Reviews: New ‘Candyman’ almost direct sequel from 1st movie, ignores other 2 films" by: Jessica Shepard

   While September is still squarely in the summer season, there’s been an uptick in horror, suspense and thriller films as of late and I’m totally here for it!
   I’m also hoping for more horror flicks as we head into autumn and spooky season, but, we’ll have to wait and see.
   I think my favorite part about this film is the use of shadow puppets rather than regularly filmed flashbacks or possible archived footage from the other films.
   Candyman is a supernatural slasher film directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and DaCosta.
   The film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name and the fourth film in the Candyman film series, based on the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker – which I didn’t know!

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