7 mins

Malaise

 Barring a miracle, we’ll still be battling the Covid-19 pandemic as 2021 rolls into 2022 — after two years, 4.6 million-plus deaths worldwide and untold societal and economic upheaval.    The continuing scourge is enough reason for the anxiety that I and many other people feel, but not the only reason. There are other causes, ...

8 mins

In Memoriam

In Memoriam   As some of you already know, my mother, Anne Springs Close, died on Aug.  20 after nearly 96 years of a very active life. She was in full possession of her mental acuity. However, her body was unable to withstand the violence of a fallen tree limb that trapped her and my ...

7 mins

Hotel Dystopia

When I think of the working poor, the image that comes to mind is the housekeeper in a hotel chain who I pass in the hallway on the way to or from my room. Housekeepers are usually female and women of color. Their work is hard physically and can be demeaning because guests often treat ...

6 mins

Marathon Men

                                                         First, let me compliment Marathon Oil Corp. for doing something nearly unheard of in corporate America: The company cut the pay of its directors and top managers ...

6 mins

Trying to Be Nice

Last Monday, I flew to New Orleans for the ordination of a friend at St. Anna’s. I had time on the round trip to read The New York Times front-to-back on Monday and Thursday and discovered two pieces I want to tell you about. I’ll start with the second one, Frank Bruni’s final column for ...

5 mins

Big Oil vs Earth

News of the past few days has whipsawed anyone who pays the slightest attention to the fight against climate change. In rapid fire, we saw headlines about three big victories for environmentalists: 1) An insurrection at  ExxonMobil’s annual meeting resulting in the election of two new board members who want the oil giant to be ...

8 mins

Plastics and Other Bad Stuff

You haven’t heard from me since Easter, partly because I’ve kept my head down after a few readers chided me for being mired in negativity. OK — I’m not often effervescent. But it’s hard to fake cheer when contemplating things that seem emblematic of our times. So, despairing of finding a feel-good story, here’s a ...

5 mins

Post Paschal Prattle

    During the end of Lent, Holy Week and Easter, I have been shirking my Quixotic duties in order to concentrate on ecclesiastical matters as well as on my own spiritual health. But now that we are fully engaged in the 50 days of Eastertide, it’s time for me to pull out my keyboard ...

5 mins

Capitalist Dystopia or Living Wages?

  According to the most powerful man in the Senate, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, $11 per hour is as high a minimum wage as his state needs. Therefore, he says, he’s willing to kill the $15 minimum wage proposal included in the Covid Stimulus bill now before the Senate. Manchin, a Democrat, can make ...

3 mins

Lent 2021

    As usual, I am overthinking the soon-to-arrive season of Lent. I have had a love/hate relationship with these 40 days for decades. On one hand, I subject myself to hours and hours of introspection prior to Ash Wednesday trying to figure out what my Lenten disciplines should be. On the other hand, I ...

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