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Columns

  • Listen before sharing your own beliefs

    We had just left the Hindu temple when I noticed the red dot on my mother’s forehead. It was the “tilaki,” the third eye or mind's eye, associated with many Hindu gods, also symbolizing the idea of meditation and spiritual enlightenment. 

    I, a recent graduate of a high school education, feeding on my scholastic possibilities, feeling strong in my evangelical superiority, upbraided my mother: “You let them mark you! And, that’s a false religion.”

    My mother was neither intimidated or perturbed by her 19-year-old son.

  • Help returning soldiers adapt

    Back in 2005-06, my younger brother, Sam, spent a year in Iraq – an infantry soldier with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He was in the Sunni Triangle going out on “missions” daily.

    Understandably, it was a stressful year for the entire family. So imagine our relief when he came home safe and sound. Everything was going to be OK. We could all go back to life as normal.

    But pretty soon we realized that wasn’t the case.

  • Integrity is admirable trait sometimes in short supply

    With state elections just hours away, the campaign process has led to an extensive exploration of each candidate’s positions, actions and even their traits.

    As we are buried in the 30-second TV assaults that pass for political messages, one trait often seems lacking. Integrity.

    When it comes to integrity, few politicians and public servants would rank above R.R. “Babe” Thomas.

  • Keep the light of optimism glowing or you may miss out

    I couldn’t take it any longer. Fatigued at the end of the work week and convinced my St. Louis Cardinals would not survive Game 6 of the World Series, I turned the light off and was fast asleep by 11:15 p.m. EDT.

    Early the next morning, Lori asked me who won.

    “Oh, the Texas Rangers did,” I mournfully informed her. “I stayed with the Cardinals until they left the bases loaded and fell behind 7-4.”

  • Introduction to cultural differences can be uncomfortable

    Our rituals and traditions seem common and make us feel comfortable.

    The rituals and traditions of others can seem odd and make us uncomfortable.

    As Flex Films celebrated its $180 million investment in a new manufacturing site that eventually will create 250 jobs in Elizabethtown, the first hour was devoted to a Hindu ritual.

  • Occupying your place in distressed economic world

    Occupy in a Culture of Discontent
    “Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
    Trying to make ends meet
    You're a slave to money then you die”
    --The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony”

    The first time I saw one of the many people in the Occupy Wall Street movement holding a sign that said, “We are the 99%,” I thought, “That has to include me. I’m certainly not in the 1 percent.”

  • Regret comes easier than courage

    Critiicized for some occasionally stiff performances and its preachy, obvious message, the movie "Courageous" does something most films never manage. It causes you to think.

    It's sad and funny. It's insightful and challenging. It's playing alongside big budget Hollywood productions although it was produced by members of a Baptist church in Georgia.

  • Local business interests frustrated by heavy hand of government

    I had the opportunity to hear from businessmen and women Oct. 10 as part of a Small Business Town Hall Meeting in Radcliff. I organized this meeting to bring local business stakeholders together with representatives at the federal and state level. Congressman Brett Guthrie and state Sen. Dennis Parrett joined me at Colvin Community Center to hear feedback and concerns from folks who run businesses here in Hardin County.

  • Lost in a GOP Game Day nightmare

    While awaiting the Republican presidential candidates’ debate, I fell asleep, sitting there on my couch. I awoke with a jolt, glanced at my watch and realized the debates already had started. Hurriedly turning the channel to CNN, I anticipated the debate, this one broadcast live from Las Vegas.

    Instead I found College Game Day. I flipped the channel back and tried again: still College Game Day. I checked my clicker and tried once more: College Game Day again. In fact, every channel on TV was College Game Day.

  • Studying the vote totals in search of insight

    Elections teach us about ourselves.

    The local option elections in three communities asked a simple question. In addition to answering yes by 3-to-2 margins in each town, other deeper insight is possible – or at least deeper speculation.

    After the vote, many folks who I encountered remarked with surprise about the margin of victory, particularly in Vine Grove.

    Because Vine Grove’s a smaller community, we often view it as quaint and perhaps parochial in its ways. Consider, however, the nature of this community.