• Are we sick with solidarity deficiency?

    Our Sisters of Mercy community has us (often, if feels like!) deliberating on various issues flowing from our mission statement and more current community action plans. Most recent among these: the meaning and consequences of being in solidarity with those who are poor.

    Solidarity is a 5-syllable word meaning “unity or communion of interest and responsibilities,” according to the yellowing pages of New Expanded Webster’s Dictionary (1989).

  • Innovation is the thing for future growth

    This is the miracle of the modern world: In advanced economies, real income per capita is at least 16 times what it was about 200 years ago.

    We take this for granted. It is as natural as a grande latte macchiato, or Dish TV. But it’s one of the most astonishing and consequential facts ever.

  • Tax cut fight highlights missing conviction

    Why did Republicans go to the trouble and expense of winning the midterm elections? It looks like they’re about to prove, once again, that you can get your way in Washington without a congressional majority — if you have a firm sense of purpose. Maybe the Democratic Party will find one someday.

    Or maybe not. Sigh.

  • Anticipating Christmas celebrations

    Let the celebration begin! I am anticipating the Bardstown Christmas parade, which usually gets me in the Christmas spirit despite my frozen body, and which will have already happened by the time this column prints.

    The parade is usually my first acknowledgment that the Christmas season is here, but this year, its importance in my merry roundup has been replaced. That’s because I have a new boyfriend this year. He’s not really new anymore, but this is our first Christmas, and I’m learning just how much his family loves it.

  • Wikileaks may create less transparency

    A journalist loves a leak.

    I’ll admit it. We like to unearth secrets, and the deeper they’re buried, the more we like to dig them up.

  • Holiday hassles worth the effort

    My family put out quite the spread this Thanksgiving, but I’m not talking about the food.

    I traveled more than 1,100 miles during the holiday, going from Bardstown to St. Louis to Kansas City in an attempt to see the various members of my disparate clan.

    Now usually, all of us unite for the Thanksgiving holiday, but this time around there were some special considerations caused by the presence and impending arrival of our family’s two newest members.

  • Someone’s always watching you

    There are times when my wife wants to stop off at Wal-Mart on the way home and if I don’t need anything I will just wait in the car until I see her come out. Other than listening to the radio, thumbing through a sales ad in the back seat or taking a nap, there’s not much to do while waiting in the parking lot. So with a bored mind and active imagination, I have devised a game that keeps me occupied.

  • Office artwork brought a smile

    When I walked into my office Monday morning, I had to smile.

    Taped to the walls were pictures of an ice cream cone and the ocean. My 7-year-old niece, Elizabeth, had been there the Saturday before. The artwork was hers. She and her mother had spent the night at my house Friday and Saturday. But Saturday day was just Elizabeth and me. My sister and my mom had to help my other sister in Lexington, and since I had to work Saturday it was determined Elizabeth would hang out with me in my office.

  • Who are the ‘Hollow men’ now?

    In his great poem, “The Hollow Men,” T.S. Eliot wrote:

    We are the hollow men

    We are the stuffed men

    Leaning together

    Headpiece filled with straw.

    Alas! Our dried voices, when

    We whisper together

    Are quiet and meaningless

    As wind in dry grass

    Or rats’ feet over broken glass

    In our dry cellar


    Shape without form,

    shade without colour,

    Paralysed force,

    gesture without motion;


  • ‘Where do we get these people?’

    In this season of gratitude, Bill Krissoff has a different notion of thankfulness than most of us.

    He feels “very lucky” to have been able to drop his orthopedic practice in Truckee, Calif. (a ski town in the Sierra Nevada), enlist in the Navy, and deploy to a war zone to repair the broken bodies of Marines — all at an age when most other people are making retirement plans.