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Columns

  • Wondering about death and living well

    Watching a TV show tonight, one character has a terminal illness and is speaking with a friend, who doesn’t yet know whether or not she herself is equally ill.

    She asks her friend, “What is it like?”

    The reply: “No one has ever asked me that before.”

  • Collecting ideas along the parade route

    It’s a compulsion.

    When a light is on in an empty room, I feel compelled to step inside and flip the switch.

    It can be annoying to others. Folks here at work think so and sometimes actually say as much.

    I know it’s annoying because it was annoying when my father did it. When I reach for the switch, I sometimes hear the echo of his forcible voice asking once again, “When you pay the light bill, maybe you’ll learn to flip this switch?”

    So you see, it’s one of those family-imposed compulsions.

  • Who decides what is fair?

    “Fairness” is a term getting thrown around during the current campaign season more than a football at a Cards vs. Cats game. 

    President Obama has even made it the centerpiece of his reelection campaign, using rhetoric filled with talk of “fairness” but nothing about “freedom.”

    One of his standard lines pines for “an economy where everyone gets a fair shot” and “everyone does their fair share.”

    But the question I have is: Just what is it that makes a government edict fair or unfair?

  • Teaching the tormented to trust

    We go through life being touched daily by our church, our family, our co-workers and we try to support and encourage others. We live by the Golden Rule and work hard in doing the right things.

    Then out of the blue there comes an experience that humbles us. It makes us stop and refocus. It makes us think about our impact and influence on our community. It makes us question our efforts. We wonder if we could and should do more.

    Such an experience has touched my life during the past few months.

  • Is God invited to the party?

    Does God have a place in the platform of a political party? It depends upon whom you ask.

  • Mary Ellen’s story and the history of child protection

    My 10-year-old cat, Hobbes, has a great life. His bowl is always filled with dry food that, according to package copy, is especially blended for a cat his age. Between 5 and 6 p.m. each day, he gets a touch of gourmet canned food. He gets well-kitty vet care and immediate medical attention if he’s not feeling well. He has cat beds near my workstation and my husband’s, yet prefers lounging in our laps or on our paper stacks.

  • We have a choice of two futures

    Our great nation is facing some tough challenges. My friend and colleague Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) often says we have a choice of two futures. I could not agree more. We can continue the disastrous policies the current Administration is pursuing, such as a one-size fits all health care law that is raising costs, or we can move toward a path of sound policies that will lead to economic growth.

  • Remembering Jim Collier

    “A man of eclectic pursuits, Dr. Collier would ask me about my work, my students, and our college’s growth every time I saw him, both on and off campus. Dr. Collier enjoyed sharing his good humor, wit and whimsy; the man always had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. I grew to appreciate his candor and his counsel on many occasions. Dr. Collier’s vision and support have proven invaluable to the core strength of our college, the success of our students and the quality of life in our commonwealth. I miss him.”

  • Government health exchanges: What’s the rush?

    Despite Kentuckians’ great consternation over the current administration’s determined efforts to push states down the treacherous path of an all-out paternalistic nightmare, Gov. Steve Beshear already has accepted $67 million – more than any other state except New York – to establish a government-run healthcare exchange.
    The rotten fruit of this bureaucratic disaster soon will be in full bloom on a website where people without health insurance can shop for coverage.

  • Routine questions, poor listening doom conversations

     

    On day three of her new kindergarten experience, our granddaughter came home and her dad had a question. It’s a common question to ask a school-age kid and apparently a bit too common.

    She responded, “UGH! ARE YOU PEOPLE GOING TO ASK ME THAT EVERY DAY? It was great, OK! Great!

    Impatience apparently runs in the family.

    A lot of us struggle to tolerate the common question. Social pressures require us to smile and politely respond with an inane answer to the ordinary daily questions.