Michelle Holstein’s family had no history of cancer until 2003. At age 40, Michelle, raised in San Antonio and a longtime Bay Area resident, was diagnosed with Stage IIb breast cancer. Multiple surgeries, chemo and radiation followed. She expected a full recovery. One of her oncologists described her experience as a “bump in the road.”…

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Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard an appeal against California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. If the arguments for Prop 8 hold weight, the court’s decision—if it doesn’t dismiss the case and renders one in June—may force my wife and I to divorce. First, a disclosure. We have a gay son. A married gay…

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Something odd is going on in San Francisco. The vast majority of upwardly mobile young parents seem to have given their sons the same name. It’s spooky. With all the names available—from Adam, Bob and Charles to Xavier, Yoel and Zachary—almost every small boy answers to Buddy. I first thought parents were honoring old-time celebrities.…

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At President Obama’s public inauguration last Monday, Richard Blanco read his poem, “One Today.” Blanco’s theme of unity really resonated. “One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores.” We are a single people joined together. “My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors.” Each inauguration prompts good feelings roused by America’s…

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In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye the milkman in Anatevka declares, “It’s no shame to be poor. But it’s no great honor, either.” In America, however, poverty often is viewed as shameful. And poor or rich, so is growing older. The old—however you define them/us—are made irrelevant. Popular culture offers many examples. Of late, three…

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