12122017Tue
Last updateFri, 08 Dec 2017 11am

Is the US flag merely a ‘designated’ emblem or does it symbolize the honor of a precious social and political concept?

(A version of this column was first published in the July 1, 1989 edition of this newspaper)

The United States Supreme Court decision concerning the case of Gregory Johnson, arrested for burning the U.S. flag during a protest demonstration at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, came just as that nation entered its most patriotic season, celebrating its independence from England. Perhaps that’s what stirred up so much opposition to the Court’s ruling, which stated that flag burning is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a form of political protest.

Trying for a clean bill of health: The surprising results of seeking and following good advice

(This column was first published June 13, 1987.)

Despite a long list of bad, reckless and downright dumb habits — including a general reluctance to go see a doctor — I’ve just had the happy experience of returning from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, with a clean bill of health. Of course, there were a few exotic parasites making a home in my stomach — the result of eating at the kind of puestos I invariably tell gringo friends to pass by, on the street and in many market places. But the sawbones that inspected most of the functioning parts declared “I feel that your general health is excellent.”

Dry season’s final days: As progress topples nature, bits of mountain wilderness come down to visit us in the night

(This is a rerun of a column first published June 10, 1989.)

The swan song of nature’s once-awesome predominance in our lives seems to grow fainter each day. Life drains from Lake Chapala before our eyes as condominiums push up the slopes above our heads, stripping all that’s living from the mountainsides.