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Both Oars In
October 07, 2011
Not out with a bang, but in with a groan
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

How things have changed. In 20 short years, we have gone from shopping until we drop to having to work until we drop. It is evident that changes in demographics, the economy and our mutual lack of individual and governmental fiscal discipline are likely to change retirement significantly for all of us. Soon, we will wish Pfizer had invented a pill to prolong productive life rather than active life.

Already, roughly one out of six retirement-age people is in the workforce. Some of these older...

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September 30, 2011
That exact human moment
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I read a lot on planes. Even though I usually have work to do on most flights, the mandate at takeoff and landing to turn off “everything with an on-off switch” ensures at least one hour each flight of guilt-free leisure reading. I cherish that time. I always have a magazine or newspaper ready.

On a recent flight, while flipping through The Economist, I ran into an article on the growing attention being given to the Australopithecus sediba fossils discovered in 2008. The article...

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September 23, 2011
What’s a dollar worth?
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

If there were a billion originals of the “Mona Lisa,” having one would not be very special, would it? So, how much can a dollar be worth if there are trillions upon trillions of them? OK, money is not the same thing as fine art. Still, the value of a currency does change when there is a lot of it. And, there are a lot of dollars out there.

Hedge fund trader John Paulson knew that. Predicting that the U.S. government would keep putting money into the market, he bet against the value of...

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September 16, 2011
Atchoo!
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I should have turned around and gone home when I saw that the tickets cost $10. But, I am addicted to movies, especially on the big screen with fresh popcorn. Besides, most of my trips to the States these days are scheduled so tightly that there is rarely time for a movie. Carpe Diem: I threw down my credit card and bought a ticket to Steven Soderbergh’s newest film, “Contagion.”

Big mistake.

Who would have thought that the director that brought us a heavy dose of reality on the...

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September 09, 2011
The stories we want to hear
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I read everything I come across by Jon Krakauer. He is a brilliant investigative journalist, adventure writer and biographer. Krakauer’s genius is the ability to reduce actual mountains to mole hills as he did in “Into Thin Air,” and to raise seemingly insignificant lives to extraordinary importance as he did in “Into The Wild,” his best book.

Krakauer’s most recent work is “Three Cups of Deceit.” It is a short, but strong polemic against Greg Mortenson, the co-author and...

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September 02, 2011
Deconstructing the path forward
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

The stink created by this summer’s political debacle over the budget and the national debt has dissipated for the most part. Yet, I still find myself wondering how Washington could have devolved into such a Tower of Babel over something as fundamental as paying the bills. In the past, even the most ideologically opposed politicians have proved willing to cooperate in order to move the country forward in a pinch, e.g. Clinton and Gingrich. What has changed?

Could it be the social connection...

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August 26, 2011
Enough to stop a beating heart
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I believe that abortion as a direct, willful action is wrong in every case. That said: this column is not about that incontrovertible moral truth. It is about how society’s attitude toward abortion changes most often in strong, reactionary shifts to events rather than in slow methodical turns. Rarely does public opinion on abortion move slowly or philosophically on its own.  

The legalization of abortion in 1973 was itself an abrupt departure from prevailing social norms. The court’s...

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August 19, 2011
95: The Drive
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I was not surprised about the general reaction to my announcement that my daughter and I would first head north from West Point, NY to Portland, Maine before heading south to Miami to garage my son's new Mustang. Clearly, it was a crazy idea to drive north to go south. But, being a purist when it comes to experiences, I argued, “How can we call the trip 95: THE DRIVE if we don’t motor through all of the 15 states it connects?”

On the other hand, I was surprised to find out that I-95 is...

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August 12, 2011
Time for a good shock to the System
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

Given the severity of our immediate economic situation, it may be difficult to look beyond tomorrow, let alone 2012. Even our ever optimistic, the sun-will-come-out-tomorrow President may be contemplating his future in shorter increments. However, there may be one bright, long-term play Mr. Obama can make that will lighten the national mood and swing support back his way: expedite the national electrical grid project.

When the economy needs more than just a jolt, the most effective type of...

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August 05, 2011
2012: A year without complaint
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

The Mayan calendar predicts that 2012 will be the end of the world. Since I am firmly of the ‘hour-and-day-is-not-known’ club, I do not believe it. But, I would like to see 2011 be the end of complaining as a national pastime.

As is true with most good ideas, the idea of putting the kibosh on complaining is not an original one. Motivational authors Will Bowen and Jon Gibson are the most recent writers to publish books on the topic. They both provide convincing reasons for eradicating...

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