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Columns

  • Surrounded by darkness in early winter

    It gets dark very early these days. It’s one of the things I hate about winter.

    The thought bounced around in my head while driving Interstate 65 on a 180-mile round trip. Leaving immediately after work and on the highway within 15 minutes, yet that’s already dusk. Darkness would arrive before I crossed the county line.

  • Vietnam vet suggests ways to help returning soldiers

    No matter how well-adjusted returning or returned veterans appear, they likely are carrying wounds that cut deep and that pain sticks with them for the rest of their lives.

    When I came back from the war, I filed all that pain away as ‘personal,’ but it invariably came out in my creative writing and I think that kept me much more sane.

  • As Congress approaches 'cliff,' its public standing is shaky

    As we move deeper into December, the question for Congress is this: Can members of the House and Senate do something to make the public feel more positive about Congress’s competence or will 2012 end on the familiar note of Americans taking an unrelievedly dim view of Congress’s job performance?

  • Community's laws should reflect its belief in fairness

    I‘ve always thought of Elizabethtown as “fair” city — at least for my partner, Sue, and me. We’ve never been turned away from a restaurant or had a problem finding a place to live just because of who we are.

  • Tell me another story, Mr. Lincoln

    I wonder what Abe Lincoln would think about all the fuss with Steven Spielberg’s epic movie, “Lincoln.”

    I can hear a reporter asking the ghost of Mr. Lincoln, “Did you ever think your popularity would soar even beyond its already lofty heights? And how does this development affect your assessment of your own place in history?”

  • Thankfulness, contentment buried beneath lottery dreams

    Less than a week after counting our blessings across the table from loved ones during a Thanksgiving feast, the $550 million Powerball jackpot created days filled with daydreams. It provided an interesting contrast.

    Instead of focusing on what we have and hold, many conversations last week were punctuated with speculative spending plans for the multi-million promise that seemed just $2 away from reach.

  • ‘Cliff’ not steep enough to sway some conservatives

    Former Lexington radio talk-show host Leland Conway once asked his listeners to send pork rinds to Washington after some liberals in Congress claimed the American people didn’t care about wasteful spending amendments.

  • Living in the rut of holiday expectations

    I’m not the easiest person to be around at the holidays. There’s a bit of Scrooge in me.

    Perhaps I’m just too comfortable in my well-defined, predictable schedule that some might consider a rut.

    It hasn’t always been that way. Childhood holidays were times of wonderment and anticipation coupled with the carefree schedule of school holiday vacations.

  • A bipartisan goal: Quality constituent service

    The rigors of the campaign are still fresh, but for newly elected House members and senators, the hard part is just beginning. Already, they’re inundated with advice on the issues they’ll be facing: the fiscal cliff, crises overseas, how to behave in a highly partisan Congress.

    All of this will take time to sort out. But there’s one task I’d advise them to tackle right away, whatever their party: Learning how to do constituent services right.

  • Make giving a planned family activity

    The end of the year is a special time to gather with family, reunite with friends and remember the many blessings of the prior months. It also is a time for the more than 400 nonprofits in Hardin County to request your help in volunteering and fundraising.