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Tom Purcell can be reached via e-mail

Overreaching in plain English

By Tom Purcell
Get this: The federal government is trying to explain things to citizens in plain English. In 2010, you see, President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act into law. It requires that all federal agencies use “clear government communication that the public ...

D.C. snow’s silver lining

By Tom Purcell
I admit it: I love the snow and the cold. I love to be outside, gazing up at the stars on cold, crisp evenings. I love how the snow blankets my hillsides. And most of all, I love how snow disrupts ...

Awaiting our next George Washington

By Tom Purcell
“Boy, here’s something we could use more of today: unity among the American people. Americans are so divided.” “Maybe so, but we’ve been divided worse before.” “We were?” “Watch the History Channel series ‘Sons of Liberty.’ It dramatizes the heated arguments that took ...

Valentine’s Day advice for wary women

By Tom Purcell
With Valentine’s Day upon us, female readers are again pummeling me with questions on how to woo the modern male. Dear Tom: I am as particular about the body washes, vitamin-enriched lotions and shower gels as any lady, but my boyfriend ...

Sorry, ladies, we’re just not wired for housework

By Tom Purcell
Women have long been annoyed that they do more housework than men, as demonstrated by many studies, but now they are really steamed. Last December, The New York Times reported on a regrettable trend. The number of men between the ages ...

Millennials, buy into homeownership

By Tom Purcell
Young Americans continue to put off homeownership, and that isn’t good for anyone. According to USA Today, homeownership for Americans age 35 and under declined to 36.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 36.8 percent in 2013. The ...

Needed: A better sense of humor

By Tom Purcell
Boy, does the world need a better sense of humor right about now. Humor, says Merriam-Webster, is “the ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny.” Humans are at their best when they are amused. Few things ...

Slippery slope indeed

By Tom Purcell
Ah, winter has arrived in all its glory, which means one thing: more sledding bans! According to The Associated Press, Dubuque, Iowa, has banned sledding at 48 of its 50 municipal parks. The reason: costly lawsuits. In one case, a 5-year-old girl ...

In praise of big families

By Tribune-Review
Pope Francis recently praised the benefits of big families — that a big family teaches children selflessness and sharing, which benefits the whole of society — and I couldn’t agree more. I was raised as an only boy with five sisters, ...

Thanks, North Korea

By Tom Purcell
Thank you, North Korea. Your alleged cyber attack on Sony has, I hope, awakened the American people. America is not doing so well, you see. Sure, we are No. 1 in self-esteem — we are No. 1 at being indignant about a ...

Healthy performance review

By Tom Purcell
“You’ve worked for us for 10 years, Johnson, but I’m not sure how to grade you during this year’s performance review.” “What are you talking about, boss? I doubled sales over the year before.” “Impressive, Johnson. But how often do you go ...

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