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”

Try a little kindness

In the winding road that my life has taken, I’ve held a variety of jobs. The old story about someone who worked for the same company for forty years and then retired with a watch died a long time ago, and the result is that all of us are career nomads, moving from one placeContinue reading “Try a little kindness”

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”

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)”

Here’s what I want for my birthday this year

One of the best things about joining Facebook is that once a year, on your birthday, you hear from dozens of people, from just about every stage in your life. And all of them want to celebrate the day you were born, in one way or another. Facebook makes it easy, too. Not only doContinue reading “Here’s what I want for my birthday this year”

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”

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”

Farewell, my sweet boy

In these COVID-19 days, there’s so much loss and disruption going on that it feels overwhelming. Much of this comes from the virus, of course, but the things that happened before the virus took hold continue happening, too. Such was the case today when I said goodbye to my beloved schnoodle, Dooney. My family broughtContinue reading “Farewell, my sweet boy”

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)”

Some People Ain’t Kind

RIP to John Prine. I’m only now discovering his music, and that’s certainly my loss for waiting so long. But those who were in the know about these things are mourning his loss today. It’s such a tragedy that a virus that was officially written off long ago was what finally did him in. HisContinue reading “Some People Ain’t Kind”

Baseball is Life (and Happy Birthday Dina)

The Coronavirus has taken the game of baseball from us in 2020, perhaps for as long as the entire season. And, truth be told, the game had been dwindling in interest to me, at least since November 3, 2016. When you spend practically your whole life waiting for something, and then it happens, well, whereContinue reading “Baseball is Life (and Happy Birthday Dina)”

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””

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 her moment now

Photo credit: TheAtlantic.com As Hillary Clinton gets ready to accept her party’s nomination for the presidency tonight, I think back to the Spring of 1987 and a moment that opened my eyes to gender matters like nothing else ever has. Freshmen students at Northwestern–I don’t remember now whether it was only the Arts and SciencesContinue reading “It’s her moment now”

Unleashing my inner History teacher

I was a history teacher in a previous life, as I like to think of it. It was all during the same life I have now, of course, but it feels like I’m not that person anymore. Will I ever teach again? Who knows? But yesterday I presented something of a lesson to a smallContinue reading “Unleashing my inner History teacher”

A Freudian Slip

It’s fitting, in some way, that the trial I served as a juror for ended on Tax Day. I realize that taxes aren’t due until the 18th of April this year, but everyone knows April 15 is the day that we’re supposed to settle up with the IRS by filing our tax returns. Money changesContinue reading “A Freudian Slip”

Everybody wants to rule the World

A song by Tears for Fears encapsulates the 80s for me like few others do. And the irony now, all these years laters, is that it was probably in the air when a high school teacher and coach named Hastert was doing some terrible things to trusting young kids. He went from Yorkville High toContinue reading “Everybody wants to rule the World”

Remembering the fallen

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the heaviest fighting at the battle of Spotsylvania in the Civil War. A century and a half ago, the Civil War was grinding on and on, with no end in sight. A presidential election was coming up in the fall, and the staggering losses were dimming Lincoln’s reelection chances.Continue reading “Remembering the fallen”

Changing college sports as we know them

Today–March 26, 2014– is the 35th anniversary of the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird title game in the NCAA tournament. I remember watching that game as a ten year-old kid in Springfield, Illinois. It was broadcast on NBC, instead of on CBS. There was no three point stripe, no shot clock, and no possession arrow. The NCAAContinue reading “Changing college sports as we know them”