• A hoy of sailors and other fun collective nouns

    Naming collective nouns is a time-honored alliteration of bards dating back to medieval days. Their linguistic talents have bequeathed to the English language some intriguing terms, especially for groups of animals. While many are well-known and rather bland (pack of dogs, herd of elephants, swarm …

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  • Denmark can keep its philosophy

    Recently I read an article by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in which he praised the social and economic system in Denmark and talked about how the United States could learn a huge lesson from them. You’re all familiar with Denmark, right? That little country southwest …

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  • Sometimes, answers to life can come from a tool bag

    With my nose pressed against the window, I anxiously watched for the arrival of my father from work. With him he would often carry a large, black leather tool bag which, for a little boy like me, held a world of adventure. After dinner, Dad …

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  • Hey, big spenders, how about sending your own money to Treasury?

    Editor Note: This is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” available at amazon.com.   I don’t know who they are, but I’ve got to hand it to them. I’m too cynical to do …

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  • ‘Daddy, would you pour?’ Toddler mistakes identity

    I love working in the nursery at the church I attend. The children, all between 1 and 4 years old, are always so much fun. They are filled with love and excitement about life. But I noticed that they are also quick to pick up …

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  • Bachmann is dead; long live Ted Cruz

    Rep. Michele Bachmann’s retirement is a blow to the late-night comedians who laughed at her confusing actor John Wayne with serial killer John Wayne Gacy or her insisting that HPV vaccine caused mental retardation. Her absence also leaves a leadership void among the radical Tea …

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  • State provided wagons; Mill provided cornmeal

    State provided wagons When the nation celebrated its 200th birthday back in 1976, every state appointed Bicentennial Commissions to plan special events throughout the year. The idea for a wagon train came from the Pennsylvania commission. They wanted to purchase exact replicas of wagons that …

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  • Beware the infrastructure (clichés), my son

    A stitch in time saves nine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can lead a horse to water, but if an outdated bridge collapses on it, the meat will wind up marketed by IKEA. These are truisms I hope to …

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  • Go ahead, steal this video

    Back in 1971 when the hippie revolution’s Pied Piper, Abbie Hoffman, authored “Steal This Book” he got the very outrage he sought. Thirty publishing houses rejected it and, when the book finally came out, more than a dozen newspapers refused to print ads to promote …

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  • How to combat summer boredom

    The summer months are almost upon us and everyone knows what that means. We are in the final few days of school and soon parents across the state will be scrambling to find solutions to the ever-popular kid phrase “I’m bored.” I don’t know about …

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  • Attitudes are a matter of relative differences

    My wife has a relative we call “Aunt Trudy,” who is perhaps the most pessimistic person I have ever met. There is nothing she can’t find a problem with. To her, the weather is always too hot or too cold, life always has too many …

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  • Tangled tango

    As part of the brash rash of wire-brush scouring on the Teflon coating that routinely seals the Obama presidency, a large heavy-duty cast-iron deal has been made of the IRS conducting audits on Tea Party-affiliated organizations. But scratch the surface and it makes a sort …

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