Credit where it’s due

In my column last month, I promised to share more about the awards our writers have recently garnered in national competitions. Each year, we enter a selection of our writers’ original stories in two journalism competitions: those of the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) and the National Mature Media Awards.

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. Many arguments are made in support of this position, but one of them is that we have no means of actually taking the lives of those on death row — including the most popular, lethal injection — that doesn’t qualify as “cruel and unusual punishment,” which is forbidden by our

Discover what’s next

A recent survey of older adults in the area found that more than 40 percent expect to work full or part time after turning 65. Many want to work to stay active and engaged, but a significant percentage also say they’ll need to work because their savings and investments are insufficient (especially with the stock market as volatile as it is now).

Do we save too much?

Just a few years ago, before the Great Recession hit, economists were reporting a “negative savings rate” among Americans. That meant many of us were spending even more than we earned each year. How could that be? At the time, hard as it may be to remember now, the rising stock market and booming housing prices gave many Americans such a sense of wealth and optimism about the future that they felt comfortable spending everything they earned and borrowing to spend yet more. (Sort of like the federal government.)

Driven by technology

Your broke your glasses (or your foot)? You had surgery recently? Your car’s in the shop?Getting from here to there — to the doctor’s office, to the grocery store, to a concert, to the hospital — can become a problem for all of us at one time or another.The solution? Call a cab. Call a friend. Take the bus. We can usually work around it for awhile.

Facing an empty nest

Our two children, Jeremy and Tova, are once again off to school. For the past 15 years, my wife, Judy, and I have rather looked forward to the fall, when we could send our kids back to school for most of the day after a busy summer spent juggling their schedules and ours.

Facing facts

Perhaps because so many readers have recently told me how much they’ve enjoyed my recent columns, I’ve decided to risk spending some of that capital this month by sharing a number of statistics that I think paint a rather troubling picture and lead to some controversial conclusions.

Facing facts, part II

In last month’s column, I started to lay out some generally well-known facts in hopes they can facilitate an important discussion that I feel Americans need to be having with each other. To summarize very briefly: Thanks to modern medicine and healthier lifestyles, we are living longer. While that’s a good thing for the most part, more and more older Americans are outliving their savings.

Feeling vulnerable

Every day, more aspects of our lives become intertwined with the Internet, and things we take for granted grow more dependent on its ground and satellite infrastructure. Consider our telephone, email and text conversations, our air traffic control, our national defense (the military now guides many of our troops and even airplanes remotely), and our businesses. Many elements of these are now based in “the cloud” — and the cloud is, like its name, so evanescent, so vulnerable.

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? Do we look to the press to inform us and enlighten us? Or do we read only those outlets that confirm our preconceived notions? These questions go to the heart of our democracy, and truly should be asked by every American, of whatever political stripe or belief. And asked not only of those producing the news sources we choose to