Good News Blog


Friday, Nov. 11, 2005

Breaking News! GNB “edits” stories

Good News Blog is a truth in advertisement kind of thing. Common everyday news is good.

And we report it as it is. Straight from the horse’s mouth. No editing. We don’t see the world through pink sun glasses and hey, sometimes some bad news comes with the good, right?

But honesty forces me to for the first time ever reveal here that, yes, Good News Blog does edit the stories it publishes.



See, we have to remove double quotes. A lot of them.

“Say what?”

Double quotes. Those thingies you make in the air with the fingers of both hands when you say that Johnny is a “brilliant” student, paying taxes is “wonderful”, or that politics is an “honest” job.

Double quotes are what keep you away from a butcher selling “fresh” meat or from a service offering “free” consultation.

Why? Well, double quotes have a “nasty” habbit of disclaiming what just has been said. One doesn’t really believe it and so, rather than saying it yourself, you attribute it to someone else. Because you wouldn’t want to be “caught” lying….

You’re “losing” me here

What in the world has this got to do with good news, you wonder.

It has to do with all those stories that talk about a “miracle”. Or a “hero”. (Washington Times; Parks remembered as a ‘hero’ … you mean we actually remember her as something else?)

Headlines that read “miracle” escape as woman survives 3 floor fall or “miracle” baby survives operation.

It is as if it isn’t so. No harm done there – but for two things.

First, these stories usually are what we call miraculous. We don’t have to think divine intervention, angel choirs and flashes of white light; more often than not we think of a miracle as an “an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment” (Merriam-Webster).

When a man stops breathing for 10 minutes, comes back to life and has no brain damage whatsoever – that’s a miracle!

A two year old kid who falls in front of a speeding train and he survives unharmed? You guessed it: miracle.

Go ahead, browse through the miracle stories, pick an example and see if it is a “miracle” or a miracle

Equal treatment

The double quote statement of unbelief doesn’t befall bad news. What would you think of headlines like “devestating” war, “horrific” murder, “terrible” accident, or “Hurrinca” Katrina.

See, that’s what I’m talking about; it’s not a truth in advertisement kind of thing. It’s a “miracle” but never a “disaster”. Someone is a criminal, a thief, but at best a “hero”.

So what we do at Good News Blog is we get real. We remove those double quotes. We edit them out. Delete them. And by doing so we’re telling it like it is; miracle, hero, amazing, fantastic, breakthrough.

Recommended: Gallery of “Misused” Quotation Marks

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005

[Ed.] What a lovely day

Most of the geese have left. They arrive in large, honking groups when Spring starts and they leave, almost reluctantly, in smaller groups when Summer ends.

This afternoon, sitting on our roof patio, we saw the last of them leave. Two medium groups, one well on course, the other circling over our house waiting for the other group. They merged into one large, honkingly happy group.

My wife and I reflected on the coming seasons. The early darkness, the protected feel of being wrapped up inside a warm house, the seasonal Holidays. Our youngest daughter had already returned to her handiwork; creating a bracelet.

Maybe half an hour later one single lonely goose flew over. It barked and honked just as intensely as any other member of that group had done – but it flew alone.

Normally it’s honk would let the geese in front of him know that everything is fine and to keep going. If it wouldn’t his mates would know there is something wrong. If that means he’s sick or shot, two of them will fly to ground with him – and stick with him until he can come back.

Taking his place up front, in the middle, and in back, flying together in formation his range would be extended by 71%. Without them he would feel the drag, the resistance, of going it alone – and he would quickly join them again.

Canadian Geese and the change of SeasonsToday I fly in tight formation … I love the uplift, enjoy the extended range, appreciate the support.

How can the urgency of updating a Good News site compete with playing with Barbies with my daughter? Can you put a value on lazily cuddling together in bed with a good book (The Last Juror by John Grisham) on a fine October Sunday?

And that’s why today you didn’t read any good news on Good News Blog … or did you?

Saturday, Sep. 3, 2005

The Office Move

In the coming 24-72 hours Good News Blog won’t post new good news items as we’re moving office. … Well, okay, we’re actually replacing the teen desk and moving the kitchen table – but that doesn’t sound so official, does it?

We’ll resume posting as soon as possible. That is; as soon as we find a way to get some wires from point A to B while at the same time making sure the ends are attached to point A and B as well. We also have to find a way to make the wireless keyboard wired. It is a wired keyboard to begin with but as things are looking now, there’s no way to plug the wire into the computer. Sort of defeats the whole keyboard concept, so to say.

I’m sure that afterwards I’ll have some pretty good news to share about this move – but for the moment it is astounding how much things you find during a move which you a) thought were forever gone, b) serve no purpose at all yet c) can detract you from the task at hand for literally hours.

OK … I’m goin back in… wish me luck!

Saturday, May. 7, 2005

[Ed.] Thank you for Freedom

What’s it to you?

The end of World War II is 60 years behind us. I was born 23 years after the fact. Consequently, when I talk about it with deep emotion people in my new home land, Canada, tend to ask me; “What is it to you anyway? You didn’t live any of it…”.

It’s everywhere

The Occupation. That’s how you grew up as a child of parents who had lived through World War II. It wasn’t The War but The Occupation. Everything is bundled up in that reference: the theft of Freedom, the rape of Dignity, the horror of Injustice unchecked. The reversal of everything that had become natural and right.

I grew up with The Occupation; as did my sister, as did my brother. As did anyone born of parents who had made it through The Occupation.

The Occupation was never far away – is never far away. It’s why my mother has a stockpile of clothes and linnen for all seasons. She’s not an unreasonable person, my mother, but why risk again having to walk on shoes which toe is cut off to make place for your growing child feet?

It is my father’s recollection of The Liberation of Enschede, his city of birth, when The Traitors were rounded up. “But I didn’t do anything!!”, panicked one of them. To which my grandfather replied; “That’s precisely it – you never did anything.”

It’s me playing outside, hearing a propeller plane and checking if it would try to have the sun in its back: that’s how they used to attack.

It’s learning how during the Hunger Winter you would walk hundreds of miles to trade something, anything, for a piece of bread, a piece of meat – only to have it confiscated and thrown in the water or trampled by The Soldiers upon return into the city.

It’s your mother being a little girl wanting to wave her father goodbye to work and a soldier pointing a gun at you to move away from the window.

… a child thinking she should sleep on her back; your belly is so soft if a grenade shard would rip through it…

… a mother’s warning to look left and right for the tanks and army trucks before crossing the street ….

… three simple wooden crosses, always with flowers, marking the place where three were shot for their resistance, only days before The Liberation …

… it’s all the Yiddish words specific to Amsterdam and the almost-absence of their originators…

… it’s always having oil, candles, clothes, food in the house – and buying more with every rumor of War: Bosnia, The Gulf….

… it’s your uncle with live grenades under his bed as a boy ….

… it’s your aunt and her husband in The Resistance …

It’s so many things. And it’s all persuasive. Everywhere. In one way or another.


Maybe it’s less these days? Maybe its modern to “move along folks, nothing to see here”? In my childhood days it wasn’t, that’s for sure. History lessons taught you a lot about The Occupation. About how 5 years of intolerance interupted the history of a tolerant nation. You were always Aware or Made Aware of the sharp contrast between The Occupation and the modern free press. The Occupation and politcial freedom. The Occupation and religious freedom.

Freedom. Sweet freedom.

I understand it is thanks to my parents. I have it thanks to Our Liberators.

So when I cannot be there to see The Veterans make an honor parade in Amsterdam I salute them from afar, inexplicable tears behind my eyes.

Thank you for Freedom.

Thank you for understanding.

To read

· Survival and Resistance: The Netherlands Under Nazi Occupation

Inside Good News Blog