Let’s pay to pee!

Yes, really.According to Steven Chapman's column in today's Tribune, Alderman David Moore has sponsored a measure in response to a "toilet emergency" at a Subway, in which a constituent needed to go so urgently that she couldn't wait the time it would take to make a purchase first. His measure would compel any licensed business that provides "public toilet facilities to its customers" to open them to all "individuals who have an emergency" without demanding a purchase or charging a fee. Of … [Read more...]

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Girl Boy Scouts, again

NPR has decided that the Sydney Ireland story needs revisiting/re-promoting, so they've written another article on her cause to get the Boy Scouts to go co-ed.  There's not much new in the NPR article -- she wants to be a Boy Scout and get the Eagle award like her brother -- so my first inclination is to just point readers to what I wrote about this back in the fall:  very briefly, despite what the above image implies, Boy Scouts (as opposed to Cub Scouts) is primarily a middle-school activity ( … [Read more...]

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The Handmaid’s cautionary tale . . .

is, apparently, that we are at risk of becoming a slightly weird version of fundamentalist Islam.OK, that's not really what this post is about, but I had to at least say it:  all the hand-wringing that The Handmaid's Tale is "eerily timely" (a quote from a review that appears repeatedly as an ad in my, and probably your, twitter feed) themselves seem eerily out of place in that they ignore the fact that the components of Atwood's dystopia are found in the present-day Islamic world, from the … [Read more...]

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Did Rauner flip-flop on Medicaid abortions?

 On the Democrats' party platform this summer:  the elimination of the Hyde Amendment and the full funding of abortion by the federal government under any circumstance when it would otherwise fund healthcare/pregnancy-related medical treatments.In Illinois:  the Democrats, who control the House and Senate, have passed a bill which removes existing restrictions on coverage of elective abortion by Medicaid and state employees' health insurance plans.  Pro-choice-ish Republican Gov … [Read more...]

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The power of LGBT

The other day, in the e-mailed news, my employer boasted of being named a "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality," so, naturally, I followed the link, to the 2017 edition of the Corporate Equality Index, which reports that 517 American companies earned this distinction by meeting all of the Human Rights Campaign's requirements for a 100% rating.It's actually very clever the way the HRC operates:  they use a "frog in boiling water" principle, by each year ratcheting up the requirements to … [Read more...]

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From the Library: The Campus Rape Frenzy, by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr.

Imagine that you could, by ritually sacrificing a few people selected at random, ensure the peace and prosperity of your community.Sure, sucks to be those people, but, eh, it's for the greater good, so we can't really worry too much about notions of "individual rights" which are all sort of made up anyway.  What matters is the well-being of the collective.  After all, you need to break a few eggs to make an omlet.That is, according to KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr., what's happening at … [Read more...]

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Is the conventional wisdom on bilingualism wrong?

So says an article in The American Conservative, as linked to by the National Review, "California’s Bilingual Gamble," by Jason Richwine.Specifically, the conventional wisdom is the claim that being bilingual makes one smarter.  Specifically, For decades, many psychologists did believe that speaking two languages improves “executive function,” meaning cognitive skills associated with focus, memory, and reasoning. The theory was that since bilinguals must mentally inhibit one language while s … [Read more...]

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Gender-theorying school uniforms?

The above picture is from our trip to London last summer, where it seemed like, at every tourist venue we visited, there were gaggles of schoolchildren on field trips.  This group in particular was near Buckingham Palace.What surprised me about all these groups was not that they had uniforms, but that the uniforms were not, well, uniform -- the boys wore mini-suits, and the girls wore light cotton dresses, which seemed, well, hardly appropriate for the chilly weather, though, to be sure, at l … [Read more...]

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Income inequality, juice edition

How much would you pay for a glass of juice, to be consumed in your own home?You might think I'm asking about the difference in socio-economic class between those who drink OJ from concentrate, bought from the freezer aisle and mixed at home, vs. ready-made in the refrigerator section, or non-from-concentrate, or maybe organic OJ, which I presume specialty grocers sell.  Or maybe it's a question of whether you scrutinize your apple juice to see if the apples come from China or not.But … [Read more...]

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Census update: racial (bean-)counting

From the National Review Corner, citing the Heritage Foundation, on proposed changes to the census which are now in a comment period: Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation has done yeoman’s work on this matter. I quoted his issue brief last fall: “The two most significant proposals [are] creating a new ethno/racial group for people who originate from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and taking from those who identify as Hispanic the option to identify their race.”  In the introductory … [Read more...]

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