It’s all over the news lately — or all over twitter, anyway:  the reports cheering various companies’ announcements that they are pulling out of NRA discount programs.  And there are calls to repeal the Second Amendment and proposals that the right path forward to end the scourge of gun violence is a gun confiscation program like that of Australia or Great Britain, plus “modest proposals” to succeed in the long term by, in the short-term, placing a stigma on gun ownership… Read more

Here’s the background for everyone fortunate enough to live elsewhere: Illinois’ primary election is coming up shortly.  On the Republican side, we’ve got incumbent Bruce Rauner, and his opponent Jeanne Ives.  She’s attacking him from the right, on social issues (and doing so, in internet ads, in a way that has riled people up), though you wouldn’t know it from her website, where she promises to rescind the income tax hike, and that’s about it.  Logic would dictate that she… Read more

We tend to explain “helicopter parents,” or, as I labelled them previously, “tight-leash parents,” with respect to their tendency to drive their kids everywhere, or insist on accompanying them on any venture outside the front door, as the outcome of a fear of kidnapping that set in with the “have you seen me?” milk cartons of the 1980s, convincing a generation of parents that, however safe it might have been for them to roam the neighborhood or the city by… Read more

Turns out, the Germans are actually pretty dang similar to the Dutchies, as profiled in The Happiest Kids in the World.  Or maybe it’s just a reminder that it’s Americans, with our high-achievement-demanding, helicoptering ways, that are the aberration, at least relative to the West.  In any case, I read this book with an eye to how her experiences compared to my two years there as well as the above-mentioned profile of the Netherlands. To begin with, this is the… Read more

So I have a number of posts in the queue, so to speak, whether as actual drafts or just topics or things from my twitter feed I want to talk about, but I haven’t had much time to blog recently.  And at the same time, my youngest son is going on his first Boy Scout outing this weekend, and my husband, the Scoutmaster, is chasing up the parents of the new scouts who have not replied on whether their boys… Read more

I don’t really have much to say on the issue of mass shootings. I don’t think there is a pat solution.  The sort of gun control needed to ensure that the various killers would not have had weapons accessible to them really seems to approach the level of confiscation, which is hardly realistic.  There are smaller steps, to be sure, like the proposed “gun violence restraining orders” and educational steps like, “store your arsenal offsite to avoid someone else getting… Read more

So. . . I got this book (an older one, published in 2007 and deaccessioned at my own library, because, grrr, they’re like that, so I had to borrow it through interlibrary loan) because I wanted to challenge my preconceptions about immigration, and figured that this book written by a journalist who lived and worked in Mexico for 10 years, and whose book about the opioid epidemic, Dreamland, I had previously read, would do this. Surprisingly, it didn’t, really. The… Read more

Or, rather, Black Panther thoughts, but I can’t format a post title — the point being, that is, that I want to say a few things about the movie, not the titular character.  And I should preface this with the comment that I am not a comic book reader so I cannot really fit this into any kind of overall arc, though the movie itself was fairly independent of the other films in the overall universe, except for a bit of… Read more

The title is, of course, a play on Jesus’s statement, “the poor you will always have with you,” made when a woman anoints him with costly oil and one of the disciples flips out and says, “that money could have been spent on the poor.” Jesus then follows that up with, “you will not always have me” (Matthew 26:11), and praises the woman’s deed as anticipating his coming death.  I’m reminded of that not just because of the passage itself,… Read more

CNN reported on the Obama portrait unveiling yesterday, but it’s not yet available in the public domain so the image above is from the Bush portrait unveiling. Instead, I can only offer that you look at the link above and promise that I’ll update the placeholder images below when available. My reaction to President Obama’s picture:  it’s OK, I guess.  I know that it’s the style of the artist, Kehinde Wiley, to depict “African-Americans posed in the style of Old Master paintings,… Read more

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