Sense of Decency

Listening to others, seeing things through their eyes.

By JIM McKEEVER The woman eases herself into a chair across from a man in the waiting room, sets her walker aside and goes into detail about her many surgeries.  “I’ve been cut 24 times,” she says, launching into a laundry list of diseases, including diabetes, renal failure, fibromyalgia. She says she is 57, grew …

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By MIKE DONOHUE I spend a lot of time grousing like the elderly Irish curmudgeon I am, but the truth is I’m a pretty happy guy.  There are really only a few things in life I hate — discrimination, injustice, and baking Christmas cookies. The first are givens, but the cookies need a bit of …

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By JIM McKEEVER I heard many stories during a recent “water drop” in the desert with Border Kindness, a not-for-profit humanitarian aid organization in southern California.  One in particular told by a fellow volunteer will stay with me.  The story marked the beginning of the 34-year-old man’s transformation a quarter-century ago. As a young boy …

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“Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?” — Bob Dylan By DENNIS HARROD I was behind a pickup truck the other day and it had a sticker on the back window that said “Freedom” and what looked like it might be an American flag. It was hard to tell. It had vertical stripes. …

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By JIM McKEEVER Mexicans can be heroes again.  A U.S. District Court judge last week overturned a 2021 U.S. Customs and Border Protection policy that had stopped Mexicans from crossing the border to donate plasma. In May 2021, I noticed long lines outside the three plasma donation centers within a few hundred yards of the …

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By JIM McKEEVER We need a better word, something stronger. When we talk about divisions in the country and the ways we reinforce and protect our beliefs, we fall back on words like “echo chamber” and “bubble.”  This is where we prefer to stay — our “safe space,” to use another popular term bordering on …

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By JIM McKEEVER If life seems more than a little unsettled these days, here’s one thing you can control.  We’re running out of time, so here’s the plan:  Put something in writing that epitomizes your life, your world view, your beliefs — a mantra, of sorts — for your family, friends, loved ones, even people …

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By MIKE DONOHUE In the days since the Uvalde massacre, there have been more questions than ever as to why America has more gun violence than anywhere else.   Having worked for 35 years as a professional treating alcoholics/drug addicts, I see some parallels between the rise in mass shootings and the opioid epidemic. Per …

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By JIM McKEEVER For the past few months — has it been longer? — I’ve half-jokingly said that we should change the name of this website to “Sense of Despair.” It pretty much sums up where many of us have been lately, whether it’s the pandemic that won’t go away, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, lies …

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By JIM McKEEVER We are heartbroken. News reports, photos and video of the suffering in Ukraine, images of innocent families dead on the ground, have infuriated us, sparked us to act. We send money, food, supplies, weapons. We attend rallies to show solidarity with Ukraine and speak out against Vladimir Putin’s cruel war. America’s empathy …

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