Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) http://posttrib.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/posttrib.gif Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Niedner: Same-sex marriage issue must end ]]> Lead story image

Welcome to Indiana, where some days you’re married, and other days you’re not. It all depends on which religious or political group (if that distinction still means anything) has most recently persuaded a judge to issue a ruling that upholds, overturns or stays another judge’s decision concerning marriage rights and whether everyone, or only the heterosexual majority, should enjoy them. A wave of recent rulings around the nation suggests that the tide of public opinion and our communal sense of morality have changed significantly in recent decades on the subject of same-sex marriage. Our forebears once deemed human trafficking and … ]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 06:38:27 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/28463981-460/niedner-same-sex-marriage-issue-must-end.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/28463981-460/niedner-same-sex-marriage-issue-must-end.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: The power of stories on human behavior ]]> Lead story image

Few things rival the power that stories wield among human beings. Stories create the world in which we live. While we all reside on the same planet, the sense of meaning and purpose that gives life coherence and makes the world around us trustworthy differs markedly from person to person. All depends on whatever stories have shaped us, from the meta-narratives shared among groups to the personal stories we construct and tell ourselves in secret. Little wonder that we spend so many waking hours tweaking our personal narratives. Laboratories for examining the dynamics of story power spring up most anywhere … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:14:34 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27895757-460/niedner-the-power-of-stories-on-human-behavior.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27895757-460/niedner-the-power-of-stories-on-human-behavior.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Insurer can’t sue God, seeks scapegoat ]]> Lead story image

For obvious reasons, few folks watch the weather more closely than farmers. The rest of us get annoyed when a storm forces flight cancellations or an all-day soaker that we would scarcely notice on a Tuesday ruins our weekend festivities. For farmers, however, dry spells, an unseasonal freeze or even a 5-minute hail storm can mean the difference between having a good crop and tightening the proverbial belt while waiting to try again next year. These days, more than ever perhaps, everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Urban and rural residents alike ponder the intense … ]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:26:33 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27619540-452/niedner-insurer-cant-sue-god-seeks-scapegoat.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27619540-452/niedner-insurer-cant-sue-god-seeks-scapegoat.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: A mom’s heart not her own ]]> Lead story image

This weekend, we wish happiness on all our mothers, those who birthed us into the world as well as the ones who made us dads or grandparents. The accompanying blizzard of advertising for Mother’s Day tells us how to guarantee Mom’s happiness. At the very least, we must send cards, flowers and chocolate. But a new flat-screen television, an iSomething or a Caribbean cruise would make her happy beyond measure. The truth that every mother knows about happiness, however, finds expression in the wise old maxim that a mother is only as happy as her most miserable child. Once you … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:38:21 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27326239-537/niedner-a-moms-heart-not-her-own.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27326239-537/niedner-a-moms-heart-not-her-own.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Missing plane only unusual in high-tech age ]]> Lead story image

Fifty days have passed since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, with 239 people on board, veered off course and disappeared while en route to Beijing. Nations around the world have spent more than $1 million a day in a relentless search for some sign of the missing aircraft. For now, it seems the hunt will continue indefinitely. We’re no longer accustomed to losing vessels filled with human beings, but in earlier times such tragedies were commonplace. Earth’s ocean floors are a vast graveyard for countless ships that perished through the millennia in which people sailed the seas without radios and SOS … ]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 06:25:52 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27035677-460/niedner-missing-plane-only-unusual-in-high-tech-age.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/27035677-460/niedner-missing-plane-only-unusual-in-high-tech-age.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Film fans certain to flood theaters to see ‘Noah’ ]]> Lead story image

At long last, we see signs that winter’s grip may soon release us. Major league baseball opened its season last weekend, albeit on another continent, as the Diamondbacks and Dodgers played games that counted in Sydney, Australia. Back home, March Madness has cast its annual springtime spell. For the second of three weekends, in board rooms, classrooms and dining rooms everywhere, hoops junkies steal frequent, furtive looks at screens of all sizes, not so much to watch basketball as to check on brackets, busted or otherwise. Theoretically, we’ll soon see greening grass, brave crocuses, and buds on trees, but before … ]]> Thu, 01 May 2014 06:56:30 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/26498641-452/niedner-film-fans-certain-to-flood-theaters-to-see-noah.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/26498641-452/niedner-film-fans-certain-to-flood-theaters-to-see-noah.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Want to invoke God in gay marriage debate? Try ‘love your neighbor’ ]]> Lead story image

History suggests we step into dangerous territory when we let ourselves believe some people are so different from us that they don’t have the same dreams, loves and loyalties we do. “The Vietnamese aren’t like us,” I often heard as a young man. “They don’t mourn their dead. They don’t care if they live or die.” As if there were ever mothers anywhere who could bury their babies and not suffer a ceaseless, aching emptiness. Believing such nonsense helps, however, when you feel the need to kill a bunch of people. It would be awful to blow up human beings … ]]> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 06:13:09 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/25739095-452/niedner-want-to-invoke-god-in-gay-marriage-debate-try-love-your-neighbor.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/25739095-452/niedner-want-to-invoke-god-in-gay-marriage-debate-try-love-your-neighbor.html <![CDATA[ All you need is love ... even 50 years later ]]> Lead story image

Sunday evening will mark 50 years since Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to an American audience. Those of us in college then watched little television, but on that evening nearly everyone crowded around the few black-and-white sets scattered around campus. Our professors in their nearby homes had little interest in the Beatles, or any of “our” music for that matter. They mostly dreamed in Latin, we guessed, and couldn’t possibly parse lyrics like, “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah.” We, however, stood in rapt attention as John, Paul, George and Ringo sang “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Our female … ]]> Sun, 09 Mar 2014 06:11:38 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/25427835-452/all-you-need-is-love-even-50-years-later.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/25427835-452/all-you-need-is-love-even-50-years-later.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Society needs a pill for uncontrolled anger ]]> Lead story image

Our society needs blood pressure meds. We’re near to exploding. Consider this week’s news as the cuff on our collective arm. The nation has witnessed six school shootings this January, compared with 14 in all of 2013. Most recently, a Purdue student shot and killed a fellow engineering student at midday in a classroom building. So far, we’ve heard nothing about a motive, but chances are we’ll eventually learn of a festering resentment that finally overrode the gunman’s attempts at self-control. We’ve also had shootings on Northwest Indiana expressways this week. In both instances, drivers who considered themselves “dissed” by … ]]> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 06:09:18 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/25139693-452/niedner-society-needs-a-pill-for-uncontrolled-anger.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/25139693-452/niedner-society-needs-a-pill-for-uncontrolled-anger.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: More to education than creating workers ]]> Lead story image

We found ways to joke about the deep-freeze that descended on so much of the nation this week. One friend suggested the term “polar vortex” sounded like a winter sportswear line or a villain in a Star Wars film. Windy City residents took to calling their town Chiberia. And then there were all those Minnesotans who endured their minus-50 degree wind chills partly by laughing at the short hitters down here in the lower Midwest who whined about the cold as though it were some kind of personal affront. Mostly, however, the polar vortex was dangerous, not funny. It gave … ]]> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 06:08:58 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24860905-452/niedner-more-to-education-than-creating-workers.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24860905-452/niedner-more-to-education-than-creating-workers.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Take celebrity opinions with a grain of salt ]]> Lead story image

Having never developed a taste for reality television, I had no clue why the earth tottered on its foundations last week when the A&E network dismissed Phil Robertson for publicly comparing the attractiveness of various bodily orifices and describing how happy black folks seemed back in the days of segregation. For all I knew, Duck Dynasty was a new fast food chain. Alas, a brief, educational foray into the exotic world of cable television has only heightened the mystery inherent in this curious saga. It turns out that Duck Dynasty is little more than the life and times of Boston … ]]> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 23:00:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24614357-452/niedner-take-celebrity-opinions-with-a-grain-of-salt.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24614357-452/niedner-take-celebrity-opinions-with-a-grain-of-salt.html <![CDATA[ Mandela, Pope Francis give us hope ]]> Lead story image

They almost seem like characters drawn from story books, these two old souls who have captured much of our imagination in recent days. One of them, Nelson Mandela, surprised us by dying. Having survived war, decades in prison, and arguably the most difficult political challenges ever to face the head of a modern, democratic state, he seemed immortal. In the end, neither his enemies nor the world’s caprice could wear him down, but the calendar finally did. He simply ran out of days. Until that moment, what didn’t kill Mandela made him wiser, forged and refined in him the character … ]]> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:09:43 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24337680-452/mandela-pope-francis-give-us-hope.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24337680-452/mandela-pope-francis-give-us-hope.html <![CDATA[ Fortunes: Way the cookie crumbles ]]> Lead story image

The fortune cookies that accompany my weekly lunch with a friend usually assure me that things will soon change for the better, I can look forward to a comfortable old age, or an unexpected payment will come my way. Perhaps one should never admit to reading those little slips, or eating the cookies for that matter, but occasionally they serve as worthwhile reminders of just how quirky a world we inhabit. “A tub and a rub will change our day,” promised this week’s fortune. Never mind that I don’t own a whirlpool or have a masseuse on speed dial. The … ]]> Wed, 01 Jan 2014 06:07:03 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24035400-452/fortunes-way-the-cookie-crumbles.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/24035400-452/fortunes-way-the-cookie-crumbles.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: 50 years later, what’s to be learned from JFK assassination? ]]> Lead story image

By this time, those of us with more than a few miles on our personal odometers can recall exactly where we were and what we were doing on several historic occasions of the kind that sear an indelible print upon one’s memory. For many among us, images of the events surrounding President John Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 proved the first of those that would stay fresh for a lifetime. I have no more need or desire to see the Zapruder film again than I do the horrifying footage of the Challenger space shuttle exploding or those graceful airliners slamming … ]]> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 06:06:55 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/23770250-452/niedner-50-years-later-whats-to-be-learned-from-jfk-assassination.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/23770250-452/niedner-50-years-later-whats-to-be-learned-from-jfk-assassination.html <![CDATA[ Future generations certain to judge us ]]> Lead story image

Just as we have written the history of the Gilded Age and Great Depression, and lately presumed to have understood the Cold War, our great-grandchildren will one day look back on us and tell the story of our times. How will they name our era, this early stretch of the 21st century? If we’re lucky and our offspring prove charitable, they might dub us the Cloud People, considering our wireless ways of doing most everything. They may also mark our age as that in which the world’s many and disparate economies fully merged and left us in a World with … ]]> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 06:05:26 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/22948270-452/future-generations-certain-to-judge-us.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/22948270-452/future-generations-certain-to-judge-us.html <![CDATA[ No good options in Syria ]]> Lead story image

As every police officer knows, few situations prove more dangerous to would-be peacemakers than a scene of domestic violence. Many times, those who mean only to serve and protect become the entire household’s enemy, and whatever additional mayhem ensues inevitably becomes their responsibility. Still, they must respond. Doing nothing is not an option. The same story line plays out all too often these days in the ever more enmeshed neighborhood of nations. At the moment, Syria has become the troubled family unit that demands our attention. By all accounts, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, like his father before him, controls his … ]]> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 06:06:35 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/22378314-452/no-good-options-in-syria.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/22378314-452/no-good-options-in-syria.html <![CDATA[ You shouldn’t be surprised that Big Brother’s watching ]]> Lead story image

This week’s Supreme Court rulings momentarily absorbed much of the nation’s righteous anger quotient, but so long as Edward Snowden remains a fugitive, the furor over his revelations concerning National Security Agency surveillance programs won’t subside appreciably. Some deem Snowden as a whistleblowing hero, others a garden-variety traitor. To my mind, this story’s biggest surprise is that the information Snowden leaked surprised anyone. The government has systematically spied on citizens since the days of J. Edgar Hoover. After September 11, 2001, Congress fashioned the Patriot Act that in effect said, “Watch over us, Big Brother. We can’t afford to have … ]]> Sat, 29 Jun 2013 23:44:24 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/21025107-452/you-shouldnt-be-surprised-that-big-brothers-watching.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/21025107-452/you-shouldnt-be-surprised-that-big-brothers-watching.html <![CDATA[ Niedner: Trouble even in Paradise ]]> Lead story image

I live and work in a town named for Paradise. The word comes from the ancient Persian religion known as Zoroastrianism. It means “enclosed garden” and identified the place where certifiably good people dwell for eternity as a reward for their upright lives. I don’t know that I have earned a spot in Paradise, but I do know for certain we celebrated one of the truly good guys in our town a couple of weeks ago. Trouble was, we had to do it in the course of burying him. Worse still, he was only 49, and we believed he had … ]]> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 06:07:40 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/23458961-452/niedner-trouble-even-in-paradise.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/niedner/23458961-452/niedner-trouble-even-in-paradise.html