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A day of thanks

It would have been easy on Oct. 3, 1863, for President Lincoln — or anyone else — not to be thankful. The nation (or nations, depending on one’s perspective) was still mired in a terrible Civil War, and while the Union had enjoyed victories that summer in Gettysburg and Vicksburg, much bloody fighting remained. Earlier that year, Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, had been injured in a carriage “accident” caused by an assailant sabotaging the driver’s seat. Their beloved son, Willie, had died the previous year at age 11.

Realism in fighting the Islamic State

After a bloody series of terrorist attacks, the natural impulse is to respond with overwhelming force to make sure they never happen again. The 9/11 carnage prompted a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to smash al-Qaida, which carried out the attacks, and remove the Taliban, which furnished the plotters a safe refuge.

Woman’s pain pill addiction could be deadly, needs treatment

Q. We are going to visit my parents for a week over Thanksgiving. The only problem is that my wife is addicted to pain medication. Her behavior is so strange that I’m certain my parents will notice and be horrified. I’ve tried to talk to her about addiction, but she says I’m over-reacting. Could you please explain the dangers of pain medication? She won’t listen to me.

Your Best Life - Upper body training in women

In doing research for this week’s article, I came across some disturbing statistics. In a Framingham Disability Study, researchers found that 40 percent of women between 55-64 years old, 45 percent of women between 65-74 and 65 percent of women between 75-84 were unable to lift 10 pounds. I repeat — 10 pounds!

Don’t fight in the flesh

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Your Best Life - Tips for avoiding injury

I believe everyone should strength train. Maintaining strong, active muscle mass throughout our lives is a critical step toward good health and longevity. And while anyone can learn the skills necessary to strength train effectively, it is always important to remember that safety is the top priority. Today we will discuss five strategies to help you remain as injury free as possible during the lifelong pursuit of maintaining a strong, fit body.

Breath of life

Ever feel deflated? Not like Tom Brady’s football, but simply worn out? Recently while I was on a hill operating a backhoe and turning with a full load the front right tire deflated.

Stopping smoking starts with a plan

Q. I have been smoking for almost 30 years, and I’d like to quit. Every time I try, I get upset, cry and am so irritable that no one wants to be around me. Now, my daughter says that she doesn’t want to leave my grandson with me anymore because I smoke in the house and his clothes smell like smoke when she picks him up. I want to quit, but now I feel like I’m being held hostage. What can I do short term to solve this problem?

Ben Carson and the Politics of Fantasy

If only Ben Carson had been in that classroom at Umpqua Community College, the outcome might have been different. The gunman reportedly asked several people their religion, only to be shot regardless of the answer. Carson said he would have been braver than they were.

Cuba: carrots and sticks

There are two ways in politics to change behavior: power and influence. Power is the stick — using your greater strength to make someone do what you want them to do. Influence is the carrot — encouraging them to want to do it themselves. Sometimes you use both.

Herbie: No love just bugs

As many readers are doubtless aware, the automaker, Volkswagen, has come under fire for allegedly including a software switch that allowed heavily polluting vehicles to circumvent emissions inspections. Not only was this an outright fraud, it also meant that buyers were getting neither the promised fuel economy, environmental protection nor performance they were promised. I wished this surprised me. It doesn’t.

Your Best Life - Exercise during pregnancy

Many women and physicians were once concerned that regular physical activity during pregnancy might cause miscarriage, premature delivery, poor fetal growth or musculoskeletal injury. However, in recent years, the stigma against exercise has not only disappeared, but working out has become a recommendation for many women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Participation in regular weight-bearing exercise has been shown to improve fitness in the mother, restrict weight gain without compromising the growth of the child and decrease recovery time after the birth. It is also suggested that exercise helps prevent gestational diabetes.