Columnists

Tackling the to-do list

Dear Readers: We are only four days into a new year, and there are MANY THINGS to think about: your financial situation, work projects, home updates and more. Then there are tasks to do, such as fixing things around the house, working on the auto and cleaning out a closet or garage. Many ...

Time to Defund the United Nations

Last week, Democrats and many in the mainstream media became highly perturbed by the Trump administration’s suggestion that the United States might tie continued foreign aid to support for its agenda abroad. Foreign dictators agreed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spent the last ...

A political system in crisis

As the first year of the Trump presidency approaches its end, American democracy finds itself in peril, not only at the White House but at Capitol Hill as well, with both major political parties in chaos. Donald Trump is at the core of both circumstances. At the Oval Office, presidential ...

Future Files

Palladium takes gold medal Of all commodities markets in 2017, palladium led the way higher, gaining over 50 percent. The metal is one of the rarest on earth (30 times rarer than gold) and is used primarily in catalytic convertors to clean up automobile exhaust. Demand for palladium has been ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

Haven’t 19th and 20th century theologians like Adolf von Harnack and Harry Emerson Fosdick put to rest the myth that Jesus was born of a virgin? Anyway, does it really matter if Jesus was virgin born? I find it appalling that in the 21st century this questioner and many ordained ministers ...

Be Strategic About Staying Committed to New Year’s Resolutions

Q: The past three years I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to work out and lose weight. And every year I lost momentum within a few weeks. I feel guilty about breaking my promise to my family — and myself. What can I do differently this year? Jim: Many of us make some sort of ...

The UK’s consequential embrace of secularism

The UK Daily Mail has again published a story about a subject that has become a recurring theme this time of year. No, not Christmas, but rather drunkenness, though the holiday is used as its primary excuse. Pictures accompanying the story show young people collapsing in gutters and vomiting on ...

The Year of Media Freakouts

The year 2017 unfolded into a massive surprise to liberals, who fully expected that before Christmas we would (a) all die in a nuclear war over President Donald Trump’s tweets or (b) be swearing in President Mike Pence after Trump was impeached or petulantly quit because the news media were ...

The role of a school social worker

When I am asked what it is like to work as a social worker at Marshalltown High School, in one word I would answer “rewarding.” I am fortunate to get to work with students and families with a great diversity in needs; and because of this, every day gets to feel like a new adventure. This ...

Republicans Have Reformed Taxes; Will They Fix Budget Rules Next?

The Republicans have passed their tax bill, without a single Democratic vote, despite low to dismal poll ratings. It’s reminiscent of the passage by Democrats, without a single Republican vote, of Obamacare in March 2010. Democrats lost 63 seats and their House majority that fall. ...

A Timely Rescue

The Republicans have passed their tax bill, without a single Democratic vote, despite low to dismal poll ratings. It’s reminiscent of the passage by Democrats, without a single Republican vote, of Obamacare in March 2010. Democrats lost 63 seats and their House majority that fall. ...

The prevalence of indifference

I learned that the notion of having “goodwill towards men” is a very extraordinary, high and noble sort of thing. Perhaps so extraordinary, so noble, mere humans shouldn't even strive for it. Maybe we should settle for 'indifference towards men'. This just seems more doable. Imagine this ...

An interview with a holiday icon

Every year a few weeks before Christmas I have the opportunity to sit down with one of the holiday’s most iconic figures. This year I was fortunate to interview the legendary prospector Yukon Cornelius: Kelly Van De Walle: “Thanks for agreeing to the interview. I’m sure you’re a busy ...

Outdated Tradition?

Dear Annie: I am a baby boomer and appreciate the 20th-century tradition of “rising to the occasion” and taking in meals if a family member is ill or if there has been a death in the family. It is a kind and thoughtful gesture. I am in a club, and one member’s husband was diagnosed with ...

Thoughts on a new year

Dear Readers: Today is the first day of 2018, and my wish for you is to have a nice day, think about the coming new year and let’s all HOPE FOR THE BEST! This space usually is reserved for a reader “SOUND OFF” about stores not posting operating hours large enough to read, ...

Does Yes Ever Mean Yes?

Over the weekend, Jessica Bennett, gender editor of The New York Times — yes, that’s a real title — wrote a piece titled “When Saying ‘Yes’ Is Easier Than Saying ‘No’.” She argued that in many cases, women say yes to sex but actually don’t want to do so: “Sometimes ...

‘The Post’ reveals how Katharine Graham stood tall for journalism

There’s a new film out about The Washington Post and the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the Department of Defense’s classified history of the lead-up to the Vietnam War. Before I saw the film, I was mystified by the title, “The Post,” because the Pentagon Papers were first leaked ...

Be strategic about staying committed to New Year’s resolutions

Q: The past three years I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to work out and lose weight. And every year I lost momentum within a few weeks. I feel guilty about breaking my promise to my family — and myself. What can I do differently this year? Jim: Many of us make some sort of ...

Drawing a Line on Sexual Harassment

After a wave of stunning announcements and admissions about the serious alleged sexual misbehavior of Harvey Weinstein and others, observers might wonder whether any of the accusations pouring forward are exaggerated, or even false. Most denials have been strangely and unpersuasively worded, as ...

The ultimate Christmas gift

Unless you are spending this time of year at a spiritual retreat cut off from TV, newspapers or internet service you cannot escape the blaring music and the marketers attempting to sell you something they promise will bring you happiness and peace. The many definitions of peace seem ...