I believe the newspaper columnist's job is to take a step to the side, to take a look at things from an angle, to maybe even sneak around behind an issue and get a look at it from the back.
In that spirit, what if the election of Pres. Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to America?
Think about it.
Our nation moved steadily ...Read more
I start the column and I date it "2018," here in the small spare bedroom of a second-floor apartment in a 125-year-old house.
There's a snowstorm trembling in the air tonight. It hasn't started yet, and isn't supposed to start until about 4 a.m. It's 8 p.m. now, but you can taste the snow in the air. You smell rain coming, but you taste snow, ...Read more
I get some of my best ideas drinking coffee. I get good ideas drinking whiskey, too, but I forget them before I can write them down.
I was drinking coffee in the office yesterday morning, instant coffee in a cup with a Christmas tree and the "Peanuts" character Snoopy on the side, when I came up with the best idea I've had since I decided to ...Read more
People think of newspaper reporters as forever unraveling the twisted threads of political corruption or, depending on your political orientation, they think of us as concealing political corruption in return for pats on the head from America-hating Muslim-coddling socialists.
As a reporter on a midsized daily newspaper that prints arrests and ...Read more
Rather than rehash the numbers, let's just say that the black voters of Alabama are the reason Roy Moore isn't bringing his cowboy-hatted slime to the Senate.
Pickett's Charge failed again, toiling up the hill in slavery's cause, but faltering under the guns, and failing to take the heights.
Pickett's Charge always fails, and slavery always ...Read more
I'm getting a little sick of Jesus.
When I was a kid in Catholic school, back in the early 1960s, Jesus was in the prayer books, surrounded by lambs, lambs whose bellies must have been warm and soft, and wonderful to touch.
I guess it was those pictures that taught me Jesus liked the soft, the weak and the defenseless. Even if Jesus ran into...Read more
When I was a kid, if I belted one of my cousins in the mouth while arguing over a sled, and knocked him face first into a snow bank, my mother used to apply one piece of wisdom.
"How would you like it if somebody did that to you?" she'd say, shortly before clipping me sharply over the left ear. She was right-handed, so her shots always landed ...Read more
Coffee is what the cigarette used to be.
In 1963, if you asked a guy, "You want a cigarette?" he said, "Yes."
Now, if you ask a fellow co-worker, "You want some coffee?" she says, "Yes."
In fact, because it is a stimulant and comes from South America, coffee is pretty close to being what cocaine used to be.
If coffee is anything like what ...Read more
The Windsor Diaries Book One: Victorian ScoundrelStephanie Burkhart
It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her cousin, Prince Edmund of Wales back to the past and 1851 for Britain's Great Exhibition. Alice soon discovers ...
Recently, police in the city where I live shot a 19-year-old Hispanic man in circumstances that remain under investigation, as they say while waiting for the public to lose interest.
Of course, as soon as the guy died, people whose agendas have eaten their souls found the young man's Facebook page and before you could say, "The little spic ...Read more
I live in a city with 88,000 residents and 17 dollar stores. I also work for the local newspaper, and my desk is next to the police scanner. I hear everything first.
On a Tuesday, the day before the first really cold day of the year, the scanner's screechy garble told me a man had overdosed outdoors, on the bit of grass surrounding a local ...Read more
I'm a saver, a working guy who puts money in the bank. If you do that, and you stay continuously employed for 46 years, and you work way up to a middle-class wage, you end up with a solid rock of money in the bank.
And it's not that I'm a financial genius, either. I just lived on 85 percent of my salary for nearly half a century. At first, ...Read more
It wasn't just a good newspaper story; it was a great newspaper story.
On a Sunday night, the owner of a small off-brand convenience store was working behind the counter of his store, which has a big sign in the window reading "EBT CARDS WELCOME." The store is in a poor neighborhood, seven blocks from a housing project, three blocks from the ...Read more
I was sitting on the edge of the bed this morning, on my wife's flowered bedspread, happily pulling on a new pair of socks.
It's fall in New England, and the temperature's been kind of snappy in the mornings. I'd been waiting for this day.
A few months ago, I bought a pair of brown socks online, brown with red and gold leaves printed on the ...Read more