As a reminder for occasional readers, I quit my job, with my last day of work on June 1st.  So I thought I’d give readers an update on how it’s working out, and do a little bit of processing-by-writing as well. In a way, it seems strange that I spent 20 years at my job before walking away — that is, the corporate world now seems very far removed. (Complaint:  the workgroup I was in when I started made a… Read more

If nothing else, the entire debate around “kids in cages” has made clear some attitudes on immigration held by, if not the majority, then a vocal minority. To recap where things are in administrative practice and public debate:  President Trump has shifted from a policy prosecuting illegal border-crossing parents, which results in children without caretakers, and means foster/institutional care, to a policy detaining parents and children together until their asylum claims can be processed.  The Left rejects this, saying that… Read more

Longtime readers will know that we are a sailing family.  We have a 25′ Catalina mariana-ed in Kenosha, the kids have all participated in sailing camp in the summers and my youngest is headed there next week, and my middle son will be doing some small-boat sailing instruction at Boy Scout camp where he’s a counselor this summer. Longtime readers will also know that I grew up sailing.  Other families went “up north” on summer weekends; we went to the… Read more

No, I am not a proponent of unnecessarily separating children from their parents. At the same time, those who claim this is just as bad as what the Nazis did, because they “took children for baths,” are showing either profound ignorance or indifference to the truth in the way in which they trivialize the Holocaust — there is a difference between separating children and parents, and murdering one or the other. And I am further not happy with the additional… Read more

This is another in that category of posts in which I gripe about a thing which has the appearance of being a strawman because by the time my dander is well and truly up I can no longer dig up the articles or tweets that irked me in the first place. Yesterday was, of course, Father’s Day.  In the Actuary household, it was also my oldest son’s birthday, so we combined the two, sort of — my husband and son went… Read more

Here are a smattering of thoughts which I had had good intentions of blogging about in a coherent, sourced manner, but, well, Time is Not My Friend. No, kids are not in cages.  The report floating around the internet yesterday, from MSNBC, described boys aged 10 – 14 in care centers that are probably not massively different than what a group home for American boys would be like, if they needed to scale up the system rapidly and had to… Read more

“Ask a North Korean” refers to two things:  first, a feature at, and second, and more relevant for our purposes, a recent book I’ve been reading, in which, in a question and answer format, defectors share their experiences of life in North Korea with readers. This is not the first book that I’ve read about life in North Korea.  One of these I wrote about a couple years ago; others were from my pre-blogging days or I simply hadn’t… Read more

Readers of a certain age may remember the splash Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners made when it was published in 1996, with its thesis that Germans were uniquely “eliminationist-antisemitic” and that the Holocaust was the natural, inevitable result of centuries of German culture, not a peculiar stain of Naziism that arose out of nowhere, and that Germans were uniquely predisposed to genocide rather than happening to have the misfortune of being that particular group that experienced the circumstances which produced… Read more

Every now and again, I revisit the issue of suicide.  I am hardly an expert on the topic but I was struck some time ago at the statistics:  that we think of suicide as a “teenager problem” but it’s not really, and that the magnitude of suicide is such that more men die prematurely (that is, before age 75) from suicide than women do of breast cancer. Just this week, there have been more appearances of suicide in the news,… Read more

Omaha Beach.  It’s almost become our national origin story, the heroism of American soldiers marching onwards, at great cost, to liberate Europe from the Nazis. A couple years ago, I wrote about the event from a different perspective, that, having read Stephen Ambrose’s D-Day, I was struck by the fact that those soldiers tasked with taking Omaha Beach indeed suffered horrendous casualties, but that the remaining beaches — Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword — were taken in a much more “textbook” fashion. … Read more

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