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Apologies that aren’t

October 25, 2016 You probably have an idea what’s coming. more »»

I’m just sayin’

October 11, 2016 Donald Trump is on the mark regarding immigration of Muslims. more »»

Hard-working Americans

September 27, 2016 In this campaign season we hear a lot about “hard-working Americans.” I’ve been doing business with one. His name is Glenn Burdo. He owns Rand Hill Lawns Inc. more »»

An immodest proposal for a better Saranac Lake

September 6, 2016 Not just Saranac Lake, either. The entire planet. It would cost little or nothing, and it’s easy. It’s this: undertake a concerted effort to reduce emission of greenhouse gases to zero. more »»

Humans may be on the verge of extinction?

August 23, 2016 The problems we face are unlimited in their destructive capacity. They are unprecedented. We are not confronting them with the urgency and resourcefulness that could possibly save us. more »»

Miracle on Lake Flower Avenue

August 9, 2016 My friend John recently got into a shouting match in the parking lot of a physical rehab facility. He had taken his wheelchair-bound wife there for therapy. more »»

Dressing up and dressing down

July 12, 2016 A couple of weeks ago I made my way to New York City for a dose of high culture — chamber music composed by musical saints such as Brahms and Beethoven, and performed in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln... more »»

Paying my debt

June 28, 2016 Thirty-nine years ago I incurred a debt to some Muslims. I was an English professor at the University of Baghdad at the start of the Six-Day War between an alliance of Arab countries and Israel. more »»

Are you retired?

June 14, 2016 On its face, that’s an innocuous question that should elicit a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer. But it brings out the curmudgeon in me. more »»

A commencement address you’ll never hear

May 31, 2016 I just can’t figure it out. I’ve never been asked to give a commencement address. I’m an award-winning columnist. more »»

Fear as a political virtue

May 17, 2016 When it was not yet certain that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for President, I heard a commentator say that the Clinton campaign was already working on tactics to defeat hi. more »»

Dickens for president

May 3, 2016 During World War II, posters reminded us to be careful not to reveal information that would help the enemy. They warned that “LOOSE LIPS MIGHT SINK SHIPS. more »»

Grocery shopping

April 19, 2016 A couple of weeks ago, I drove to Lake Placid to buy some groceries at Hannaford. more »»

On cats, dogs and a word

April 5, 2016 I recently read in the New York Times that rumination can cause all kinds of problems: anxiety, depression, probably diarrhea, certainly athlete’s foot. That’s bad. I ruminate a lot. more »»

Holding back the river

March 22, 2016 In my last column, “New York values,” I wrote that trying to stop change is a fool’s errand. It can’t be done. more »»

New York values

March 8, 2016 In some ways, it’s clear what Ted Cruz means when he dismisses Donald Trump for having “New York values.” In other ways, it’s not clear at all. more »»

Tax prep on a rainy day in February

February 23, 2016 While I was preparing this year’s 1040, I — like most Americans, I suppose —?spent a good deal of time looking out the window and thinking about other things. more »»

Can’t complain ... and that’s a problem

February 9, 2016 There is a niche in the panoply of human suffering that is little recognized. And even when it is, it’s misunderstood —?actually thought to be a blessing. I know. more »»

A reluctant goodbye

January 26, 2016 My 2001 Chevrolet Suburban has 206,000 miles on it. The fenders are rusted out. The gas gauge is broken. more »»

New, improved smoke alarm — it’s a start

January 12, 2016 A new law is going to require that all smoke alarms put in service in New York after 2016 be tamper proof and have 10-year batteries. more »»

Fighting words

December 29, 2015 I’ve forgotten what Al Gore’s 2000 campaign slogan was. But I know what it should have been. It should have been, “I’ll fight.” “Fight” was far and away his favorite verb. more »»



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