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Cranberry sauce demands order

With Thanksgiving now in the rearview, guests gone and belts re-buckled, I have realized a few things about my family’s annual observance. Of course there are the memories, both saccharine and sad. There are the traditions and stories to be told.

Rookie’s bill would shine light on campaigns

Rep. Janna Della Rosa, R-Rogers, is a rookie, and she admits she made some rookie mistakes. During this past legislative session, her self-described rookie-ness got in her way as she tried to pass a bill that would have required legislative and statewide candidates to file campaign finance reports online in a searchable database. It failed in the House, 48-33, with 19 not voting, and never made it to the Senate.

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!

Emergency room staffer suspects PTSD

Q. I am a 35-year-old man, not a doctor but working in emergency rooms for 20 years. From the things I have seen and dealt with in the emergency room, I think I have PTSD. I am still working but every day gets harder, and I don’t want to go to work. I have heard that disability benefits are available for PTSD, and I am wondering if it might be possible for me to receive them.

‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ will keep you on the edge of your seat

In addition to going Clear, Tom Cruise has also gone clean — as in clean out of his mind. His oft-repeated death-defying stunts in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” are clearly the actions of a crazy person. Has he no sense of self-preservation? Apparently not, because the world’s most famous Scientologist (and rare achiever of the religion’s goal of getting “Clear”) is willing to do just about anything to entertain the pants off of you. And he succeeds at every turn, whether it’s clinging to the fuselage of an ascending airplane in Minsk or racing motorcycles at 100 mph along a narrow, snaking road in Morocco. He even holds his breath for more than three minutes under water — in a whirlpool! Which is only right since we have to hold ours for two whole hours, as “Rogue Nation” delivers thrill after thrill to the point where your nerves can’t take it anymore.

Sequel intriguing, but no ‘Mockingbird’

Some published novels should never see the light of day. Ernest Hemingway’s reputation has suffered from the posthumous release of such wretched drafts as “True at First Light.” Papa Hemingway didn’t release them in his lifetime, and we can tell there was a good reason.

Love not condemn

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18.

McKellen is at the top of his game in ‘Mr. Holmes’

Sherlock Holmes without his sharp mind and elephantine capacity for deduction would be a lot like Popeye without his spinach, or Thor without his hammer. He’d be useless, much like he is in director Bill Condon’s poignant “Mr. Holmes.” It’s Sherlock like you’ve never seen him, full of guilt, regret and self doubt, as aging proves to be the one case he cannot crack. And he couldn’t be more compelling, especially when the portrayal of the beloved sleuth has been entrusted to an actor as sainted as Ian McKellen.