David Satterlee - Chum for Thought

Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters

David Satterlee

David Satterlee
Dayton, Iowa, United States
January 06
Retired minister, industrial technologist, herbalist, and questing hero. Lifetime reader, autodidact, philosopher. Um, I'm disabled now and I write.

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My personal experience is that masculinity and femininity complement each other very nicely. I become exceptionally moody and morose without the company of women. In a mixed gathering, I prefer to be in the kitchen, behaving myself like a mouse in the corner, than with the man watching sports in/… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2012 8:47PM

Checklist for the 1%

 The following list of 20 characteristics was developed by psychologist Robert Hare and have been noted as defining criteria to identify a “certain 1% of the U.S. population.”

One can use this list as a quick and informal identification guide if desired. Ideally,Read full post »

I’m in a particularly grumpy mood this morning as I think about the almost-completed water tower maintenance in our small town and the inconvenience that came with it. No, it’s not what you think. We should be grateful for the wisdom and courage of our Mayor and City Council to undertake… Read full post »

The other day, one of our neighbors dropped off a clipping about Harry Truman. We had been discussing presidents after my column mentioning FDR. The piece was complimentary and praised President Truman especially for his modesty and humility after retiring back to his home in Independence, Missouri.… Read full post »

Most of us have known someone who committed suicide.  It is a terrible thing to feel such profound despair and hopelessness, or perhaps anger and helplessness, that permanently removing yourself from this world seems to be the best option.

With very, very rare exceptions, there is always hope. I… Read full post »

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently published research that has been taken to indicate that conservatives hold six key values while liberals hold only three. Naturally, some commentators have had a great time with this one. Haidt followed this up with a new book: “The Righteous Mind.”

Th… Read full post »

Last week, I discussed the research of James W. Fowler, a Methodist minister, into the developmental stages of faith. Dr. Fowler built his ideas on the pattern of Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. This is also worth considering.

Dr. Kohlberg found that moral development was revea… Read full post »

JULY 11, 2012 5:48PM

How Faith Grows in Stages

It should not be surprising, in our scientific, technological world, that faith has been subjected to empirical studies and analysis. Hold onto your hat: it turns out that both people and communities of faith develop through a predictable series of stages… or find a comfortable level and stay… Read full post »

For a little change of pace: With fond memories of Andrew Aitken “Andy” Rooney, who left us more thoughtful in spirit and left us in body at age 92, just this last November.

You just don’t hear the words “Presto Change-o” very much anymore. I kind of miss that. It w… Read full post »

Letter to the Editor
Fort Dodge Messenger
(Published May 16, 2012)

In 1936, FDR (that would be President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the young whippersnappers) gave a speech in Madison Square Garden, New York, just days before his re-election. It was powerful; defiant; inspiring.

I was startlRead full post »

MAY 31, 2012 6:16PM

Real Christianity is Liberal

  Christianity started out as a very liberal way of life. Take a look at the things Jesus personally did and said. A red-letter version of the New Testament will help. I won’t cite chapter and verse, but if you’re up for this discussion, you will already feel right at home.Read full post »

Men of the fields, like all men of faith, are optimists. As defined at Acts 17:11, faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Optimists are able to contemplate the future with eyes of hope. They can imagine the substance of a reality that doesRead full post »

Our Democracy requires the participation of informed citizens. How do citizens become competent to become active in government, working to create a better country for their neighbors? Education at home and at school is a key factor.

 A successful democracy assumes that people are basically good… Read full post »

Most of us have heard the phrase “sustainable development” and perhaps a little about United Nations and other initiatives related to sustainable development such as Agenda 21 and the Earth Charter.  Some of our communities are exploring these principals in the hopes of heading off,… Read full post »

The 2011 debt limit crisis demonstrated beyond any doubt that our Republican-controlled Congress is willing to do damage to America and its people. They behaved like a kidnapper cutting off a finger and sending it back to distraught and fearful parents to get them to pay a ransom. We understand thatRead full post »

As my wife and I drove down a rural Iowa highway last week, we began speculating about the next revolution in field management. Currently, tractors blindly and mechanically groom rows of crops spaced wide enough to accommodate their massive tires.  Large quantities of herbicides and insecticides… Read full post »

My sweet wife and I were sitting on the front porch swing, reading the Sunday paper and enjoying the cool breeze of the early morning. It still amazes me how many things we don’t know about each other, even after all these years. She was reading the obituaries. I knew something… Read full post »

Joe rolled his eyes after watching yet another cranky TV talking head take yet another pot shot at the other party’s candidate. “I just don’t get it,” Joe moaned, “They’re all crooks. If I even bother to vote this year, I’m tempted to just write in, ‘SoRead full post »

Among the many opinions about the differences between Conservatives and Liberals, some point to the difference of blaming internal or external causes. “If you were to ask people about the cause of someone’s problems and sufferings (such as homelessness), you will hear two very different eRead full post »

MAY 2, 2012 9:36PM

Is America a Christian nation?

Is America a Christian nation? What if one of our Presidents had been a Primitive Baptist from Tennessee? Should he have felt right about insisting that no citizen play musical instruments in church or hand out temperance society tracts?

Would Americans have approved of anyone who had… Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2012 4:51PM

Why I sound "too preachy"

It has been suggested that I sound “too preachy.” Yeah, that should have been expected. Let me introduce myself a little more to those of my neighbors who, so far, have only smiled and waved.

As you probably have noticed, there’s nothing like a conservative preacher, any teacher, oRead full post »


American Girl Scouts raise United States flag

I would like to say a few nice things about the Girl Scouts.

In recent news, Bob Morris, A conservative State Representative from Indiana, made headlines by writing in a letter that the Girl Scouts were “quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood” and were bein… Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2012 5:01PM

Hate speech translated into action

It has been a week for contemplating Matthew 12:34, where Jesus pointed out that, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” We continue to be witness to speech and actions of intense hate, cruelty, and outright evil.

I like to think that I am optimistic and frequently take… Read full post »

“No man is an island.” Communities are the foundation of civilization. It is almost impossible to be entirely self-sufficient. We need each other for our variety of abilities, interests, and ideas. Our individual differences make us stronger as a group.

Farmers understand that monoculture… Read full post »

“Chum” is the word for chopped fish that is thrown overboard to attract other fish – and especially sharks. Ideas are like chum for thought.

I believe that comparing ideas can be a force for good that attracts us to each other. Strangers often become friends as they talk and work… Read full post »