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Columnists

Shared pandemic experience will change us in countless ways

“Where were you when ...?” We’ve all asked this sort of question. Where were you when the planes hit the Twin Towers? Where were you when you heard JFK was shot? Where were you when you heard Kobe Bryant died? The unstated thing about such questions is the assumption that you were a ...

The power of grump

Has your job put you in a bad mood? That’s good. That’s right! When it comes to success in business, and maybe in life, bad is good. Ask Hugh Grant. The “loveable, floppy-haired prince charming” on screen is so crabby and gloomy off screen that ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley ...

Support what is good in life, in Iowa

Iowans all across this state are going through a similar range of emotions together. COVID-19 haunts our communities like a dangerous ghost. The uncertainty of how we get through can feel daunting at times. But personally, every time I think how badly I want to sit down with friends for a ...

Every crisis an opportunity

This week, the price of oil futures collapsed catastrophically. In fact, the prices collapsed into negative territory in the near term. This bizarre situation, prompted by lack of consumer demand and lack of storage facility, led the irrepressible Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to ...

PELÉ diet

Instead of gaining pounds while sheltering in place, use this home-bound time to achieve that elusive weight you’ve been wishing for. I call it the PELÉ diet, after Edson Arantes do Nascimento, in my opinion one of the greatest athletes of all time (professional footballer), right up there ...

Government goes too far

I’m “social distancing.” I stay away from people. I do it voluntarily. There’s a big difference between voluntary — and force. Government is force. The media want more of that. “Ten states have no stay-at-home orders!” complains Don Lemon On CNN. “Some governors are ...

We will rise again

COVID-19 is the new 9/11. This invisible virus has impacted our global life from medical to economic, spiritual to education to social. Every aspect of the human spirit has been invaded. Efforts are underway to “level off and decrease” the spread. Measures are being put into place to ...

Colleges and universities threatened by COVID-19

Some of America’s most beautiful spaces — our colleges and university campuses — are closed and empty these days. Schools have canceled their spring semesters and commencements because of the COVID-19 virus; classrooms, dormitories and athletic facilities have been closed. Students at ...

A new normal

This morning, the first email that caught my eye had this in its subject line: World Class Hater. “Miss Schultz,” it began. Oh, good. An angry man who refuses to use Ms. How I’ve missed them in this pandemic. As we enter week 72, or maybe it’s week four, of the stay-at-home ...

Federalism flip-flop shows Trump has no ideological framework

There is no Trumpism, only Trump. One of the most vexing things for both fans and foes of President Trump is that he has a gift for being neither the hero nor the villain people like to cast him as. In 2016, when Trump refused to answer a question about whether he would accept an election ...

Vote Joe Biden for president

“Say it ain’t so, Joe!” Surely, some variation of that plea rose from a million lips last week. And Joe Biden complied. His presidential campaign forcefully denied the account of a California woman who says Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked in his Senate office. As ...

Death in slow motion

During the past month, as Americans have been terrified of the coronavirus, another demon has been lurking ready to pounce. It is a demon of our own creation. It is the now amply manifested inability of elected officials to resist the temptation of totalitarianism. And it is slowly bringing ...

Mt. Pleasant manufacturer makes masks

Phones are ringing off the hook. “Can you increase that order of masks from 5,000 to 15,000?” a dealer wants to know. If the order is for a hospital, Gray Barn Industries in Mt. Pleasant gives them top priority. There are three people answering phones in this small company and they ...

What does reopening look like?

As our national lockdown drags on, Americans seem less and less inclined to move swiftly toward societal reopening. Perhaps that’s due to the consistent media focus on the risks of reopening. Perhaps that’s also due to the psychological comfort of the status quo: When we’ve been made to ...

Obama, Warren endorse Biden; others fall in line

To nobody’s surprise, former President Barack Obama has endorsed his old running mate, Joe Biden, putting an end to silly speculation that there may have been some falling-out in our politics’ most notable bromance. The simple explanation for the delay was Obama’s somewhat stiff-necked ...

Balancing act

In these days of COVID-19, families are slowly finding a new normal. If people are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, juggling time between children and work will take a balancing act. Here are some ideas to help find that balance: • With the exception of infants, children ...

Obama endorses Biden (finally)

It isn’t like Joe Biden was former President Barack Obama’s first choice for president. Obama’s video endorsement of Biden on Tuesday came after every other candidate had pulled out. He even waited for Bernie Sanders to suspend his campaign to endorse Biden. The “moderate” Obama and ...

Mastering the art of the pivot

As you know, our world changed in the blink of an eye. We went from classes, social events and family gatherings to staying home whenever possible. As a society, we learned about the importance of social distancing in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. We had to ...

Wear the face mask

In the last month, I’ve left our home in my car exactly once, to go to the drive-thru window of our local pharmacy for a necessary prescription. On the way, I had to wait behind a city bus as it dropped off passengers at a shopping center. One person after another, many of them young ...

Will America blaze new trails after coronavirus?

On my daily walk down a side street, I saw the restaurant with a diagonal cross made of adhesive tape on its sign. Gone was the notice that it would open for takeout; it looked to be closed for good. Although I’m aware that most restaurants go out of business within a few years or even ...