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Sometimes you get sunflowers

One raw, late-winter day many years ago, arborists took down a grand, ancient pine in our yard. I don’t remember all of our reasons for this but, once it was cut, signs of internal rot made it clear that the tree would have come down anyway, probably tumbling huge limbs onto somebody’s house. The decision to cut it down had been a good one.

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Congressional two-step: Cut taxes, then entitlements

Elder rights groups are warning that the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) will be financed by gutting entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

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My cloak of invisibility

One chilly, blustery day, I was browsing in a bookshop when a willowy young woman breezed in. I immediately noticed that she wasn’t dressed appropriately for the weather. More than that, in my opinion, she wasn’t dressed appropriately for any public viewing: flimsy, slippery beige T-shirt clinging too revealingly to her torso, her tiny black skirt like two napkins stitched together, long bare legs, model-perfect make-up, every hair in her puffy dark bob in its assigned position.

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Treating poor people as “passive” health care consumers

By Al Norman In 2009, a state legislator who chaired the House Financial Services Committee on Beacon Hill introduced a bill that would “automatically enroll all eligible seniors” into a managed care program for seniors. The chair explained: “The biggest obstacle facing the [managed care] program is reaching the population, which has proven to be […]

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Daydreamers, Inc.

One day, as I sat at a window, gazing toward the back yard – in other words, daydreaming – I suddenly saw: A great business opportunity!

We often hear that “thoughts have energy.” We know about the power of positive thinking. We send happy thoughts to friends and family far away. Whenever we have a thought, it’s released into the atmosphere and goes about its work, we don’t understand exactly how.

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Brains and potatoes

One day in a bookshop, I overheard a six-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother discussing which is better, movies or books. He said movies. She said books. “Movies,” she explained, “turned your brain into a potato.”

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