Beacon Blogs

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How the world works

When I was six years old, my father took our family to New York City (where he had a business trip) for a vacation. Among many other firsts for me on that eye-opening trip were my first visit to a World’s Fair and my first musical on Broadway: Oliver!

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Tags: Opinion

stuartrosenthal's picture

Kudos to our writers

Each year, we enter a selection of our writers’ original stories in the journalism competitions of the National Mature Media Awards and the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA). We do this for two reasons: One, as a way to be sure we are keeping up the quality of our writing compared with other publications throughout the country.

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Finding a new passion

Long-time readers will note something odd about this issue. Well, maybe several things. But what I have in mind is that our cover story was written by me. I don’t do that very often, you may have noticed. So what moved me to do so this month? My personal story, in brief: I played piano throughout my school years, but pretty much put it aside once I got to college, and certainly after I started working for a living.

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Tags: Features

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Free press survival

I think it’s fair to say that America’s bedrock commitment to a free press has never been under heavier assault than it is today. Do we have a sound, independent, even fierce press corps that digs out the truth at any cost and spares no one? Or are we surrounded by faux news outlets, “bot” reporters, and marketing pieces masquerading as legitimate reviews?

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Can you relate?

You have probably seen some of the immense publicity devoted worldwide to the terminally ill British infant, Charlie Gard. Charlie was born with a rare genetic condition that has, in his 11 months of life so far, made him blind, deaf, subject to seizures, and caused irreversible brain damage. He cannot breathe without the aid of a ventilator.

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When you can’t budge it

The Trump administration issued a preliminary “skinny” budget proposal a few months ago, followed more recently by its official 2018 budget request to Congress. Of the many draconian cuts the budget would impose, I want to talk about two that would particularly affect older Americans were they to go into effect. 

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A look back, and forward

I don’t know what possessed me, but the other day, as I was contemplating what to write about this month, I got the idea of looking back to see what I wrote in my column exactly 10 years ago — in our June 2007 issue. I was struck by how timely that 10-year-old column seems to be for us today. So I am repeating it below, with this bit of introduction.

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Growing like weed

Last month, I addressed the subject of pain management in the context of opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin and Percocet. Use of these painkillers — both by patients with legitimate prescriptions and by those obtaining them illegally — has exploded in recent years, leading many experts to speak of an “epidemic” of addiction and overdose that is claiming many lives each year.

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The pendulum swings

Recently, there has been an explosion of studies, lawsuits and newspaper articles highlighting what many are calling America’s opioid crisis or epidemic. While the term opioid includes illegal drugs like heroin, it also encompasses a variety of prescription painkillers, including OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.

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Dignity vs. quality of life

I was struck by a thought the other day (happens now and then). I still haven’t decided exactly how I feel about it, but I’d like to explore it with you. More Americans appear to be moving to the view that capital punishment is not acceptable. Nearly half of all states have abolished it or had their courts overturn it, and the number continues to grow.

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Tags: Opinion