Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6

The Capitol dome in Washington D.C is a place that every American needs to see for themselves. And as one who has seen it, the scenes of mayhem from inside the building are all the more unsettling. The entire scope of American history–the whole of this nation’s collective experience, really–are found within those walls. It’sContinue reading “Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6″

What a mobocracy means for this nation

Abraham Lincoln served a single, two-year term in Congress, as a representative who opposed the war with Mexico. He was in the minority who realized that the addition of vast new amounts of land would lead to problems over what to do with slavery in that territory. By the time he returned to the nation’sContinue reading “What a mobocracy means for this nation”

Tails and Legs and “Fraudulent” Presidential Elections

There’s no single subject I’ve written about more often on this blog, in the nine years I’ve been doing this, than Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps that’s because time and again, examples from Lincoln’s life and times bear a striking relevance to our own. The disputed (by some) presidential election of 2020 reminds me of a storyContinue reading “Tails and Legs and “Fraudulent” Presidential Elections”

Dancin’ in the street

At my age, any new experience is something to savor. And when the term “dancing in the street” actually comes to life, it’s damn year impossible to resist. Such was my experience on Saturday, November 7, 2020. When the AP called Pennsylvania, and thus the presidential election, for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, a waveContinue reading “Dancin’ in the street”

What Trump’s really offering is thirty pieces of silver

As I’ve stated here on many occasions, I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school through the end of high school. The teachings of the Church didn’t match my worldview, and it’s been decades since I attended a church service that wasn’t a wedding, a baptism, or a funeral. But some of the stories fromContinue reading “What Trump’s really offering is thirty pieces of silver”

Down goes Columbus!

I grew up in a world where Christopher Columbus was seen as a brave man who took great risks. But that world doesn’t exist anymore. And I’m glad that it doesn’t. The first time I ever really had an idea that Columbus wasn’t universally loved was at a parade in New York City in theContinue reading “Down goes Columbus!”

Dear Mr. President

I fully expect you are unaware of the origin of the title of this post, or that you will ever actually read it. You don’t read much of anything, and we are all poorer as a result. Reading is for eggheads, or to use your language, for “elites.” So I’m writing for myself, more thanContinue reading “Dear Mr. President”

The cynical political calculations of President Donny Reb

I’ll be the first to admit that the quest to find a good nickname for Donald Trump has been a long one. Ones like “Cheetolini” and the “Orange Menace” and even “whiny little bitch” have all felt good at various moments, like how a cold drink cools you off on a summer day. But aContinue reading “The cynical political calculations of President Donny Reb”

Sharing my concerns about a Confederate statue in Chicago (Updated x 4)

Image source: TheGlitteringEye.com Dignity Memorial operates more than 2,000 burial sites, including one not far from where I live. But a site that they operate on the South side of Chicago, Oak Woods Cemetery, is notable for being the final resting place of more than 4,000 Confederate troops who were captured on the battlefield andContinue reading “Sharing my concerns about a Confederate statue in Chicago (Updated x 4)”

What we need in these difficult times

As 2020 has evolved into the most chaotic and divisive year I’ve ever seen, I have often seen it compared to 1968, the year I was born. In fact, I was born just over a week after Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles. Only two months before, he had delivered theContinue reading “What we need in these difficult times”

Trump will never be another Lincoln

The photo op at the White House yesterday was perhaps the most absurd and unsettling moment I can imagine. Peaceful citizens standing in front of the White House, doing nothing more than peacefully assembling as the First Amendment allows, were tear gassed and shot at with projectiles, so that the national disgrace that is DonaldContinue reading “Trump will never be another Lincoln”

America’s troubled days

I took this picture on a beach in Evanston, Illinois a number of years ago. It was a cold and windy day, with the wind whipping in off of Lake Michigan and not another soul around me. The red sign on the empty lifeguard’s chair reminded me that I was on my own. But thatContinue reading “America’s troubled days”

The root as a metaphor

With all of the troubled times that are happening in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it helps to have a point of reference to draw on. Similes are good because they can take an everyday idea and make it relevant to a particular circumstance. “Cold as ice” works because, well, everyone knowsContinue reading “The root as a metaphor”

This says it all

We are at war with a virus that can’t be bombed, bullied, or threatened in any way. And the head of the resistence to this virus has never taken his role seriously. He is profoundly unqualified for the position he holds. May this be the last Memorial Day that he holds the title of Commander-in-Chief.

The American giant, and a pathetic little man

The “town hall” meeting that Donald Trump filmed for Fox News (because who else would think this up?) yielded a hilariously bad image for a president who cares about little else besides that. He claimed the setting was Fox News’ idea, but a smarter and less vainglorious man than Trump would have nixed the idea.Continue reading “The American giant, and a pathetic little man”

FU Coronavirus (Part 2)

I’ve been thinking about the Michael Jordan Era in Chicago a lot lately. It technically started when the Bulls drafted him out of college in 1984, but for many years it didn’t happen because, well, the team just wasn’t any good. But the team slowly got better over time, and the hated Bad Boys ofContinue reading “FU Coronavirus (Part 2)”

The political lesson of Super Bowl 47

Seven years feels like a long time ago, in some ways. For example, my newly 21 year-old daughter was still in elementary school early in 2013. So much has come and gone in her life (and in all our lives) that it’s sometimes hard to remember what happened, much less learn any lessons from thoseContinue reading “The political lesson of Super Bowl 47”

What the pundits missed in Trump’s Oval Office speech

I’m not at all a fan of Donald Trump. Spend five minutes on my blog reading some of the other posts I’ve wriiten, and that much becomes clear. I’ve essentially shut down this blog, which I once really enjoyed writing, because responding to Trump’s actions can be an all-consuming task, especially when it’s done onContinue reading “What the pundits missed in Trump’s Oval Office speech”

Republicans are no longer the Party of Lincoln

The nomination of Corey Stewart for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, and the president’s embrace of him, means that the Republicans can no longer call themselves the Party of Lincoln. It’s just that simple. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and the entirety of his time in office was dedicated to settling theContinue reading “Republicans are no longer the Party of Lincoln”

A letter to the president concerning Confederate “heritage”

“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.” –Donald Trump, August 17, 2017 Mr. President, Your sentiment about history and our collective ability to learn from it could be the truest thing you’ve ever said. Since you’ve opened the door to history’s teachable qualities, this former U.S. History teacher from Chicago is deliveringContinue reading “A letter to the president concerning Confederate “heritage””

Broken eggs and the end of my blog

  Today’s the first time I’ve put anything into this space since June 11, which represents a span of dormancy that never would have happened in the first six years I wrote this blog. At one point I was averaging ten posts a week, and sometimes five or six posts would erupt from my mindContinue reading “Broken eggs and the end of my blog”

Time to give a history lesson to Donald Trump

The man seems to be unaware of what the reason for the Civil War was, so here goes: In 1860, there was a presidential election held. In that election, there were four main candidates: Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John Bell, and John C. Breckinridge. Here’s a primer on Breckinridge, in case anyone hasn’t heard theContinue reading “Time to give a history lesson to Donald Trump”

It’s gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna dance with me

I’ve been writing this blog for almost six years now, and have put more than 1,500 posts up for the world to consider. I do it because I know that we’re all mortal, and when we leave this world there will be few traces of us left behind. Whether anyone alive today reads these thingsContinue reading “It’s gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna dance with me”

Failing Hamilton, Failing us all

These crazy and terrifying political times have caused me to dust off my old copy–or more accurately, my father’s old copy–of The Federalist Papers. The paperback edition I have was published several years before I was born, but the issues described within its covers are timeless. Tonight I pondered, as I have on many occasionsContinue reading “Failing Hamilton, Failing us all”