It was sometime in the 80's, I think, that a well-meaning friend recommended the book Tough Love to me, thinking it would help in guiding my somewhat headstrong young daughter through the "difficult years."

I glanced over the basic principles of the thing and saw that it entailed writing up a business plan for parenting, a contract between parent and child, outlining each of their responsibilities, and prescribing rewards and punishments. Read more about Bizniz


Economics 10?????

I was raised in the heartland. Central Illinois. Where it was both the heat and the humidity. When my daughter visited my old stomping grounds with me for the first time a few years back, we climbed out of our air-conditioned car at a gas station a few miles below Peoria and she gave me a look across the top of the car that can best be described as horrified.

"You lived here?" she asked.

"We didn't know any better," I told her. Read more about Economics 10?????


Fight for Peace?

I don't remember when the oxymoronic nature of that phrase struck me, but it did, independently and quite some time ago.

The politics on both sides of the aisle are peppered with fight metaphors. Folks in or vying for public office promise to "fight" for this, that, or the other thing. I know they mean well. But I want them to stop fighting.

"I'm a worker, not a fighter." That's what I want to hear. Read more about Fight for Peace?


Yes or No

While temporarily confined to my bed for a couple of days, I happened upon a discussion of "job creation" and "regulations." Without going into a lot of detail (my memory of detail from that time is a little hazy), I remember a question by a Republican directed to a Secretary of - Commerce? EPA? Something. Read more about Yes or No


The Way We Were

"Sad to say, the uplift in the general education has awakened misdirected ambitions among the poorer classes..."

That's a quote from the June 1910 issue of National Geographic in an article showcasing the virtues of Costa Rica.

If this sounds anachronistic, listen to the recent diatribes aimed at the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Education also has consequences. And isn't the Education Department one of the two out of three that Rick Perry remembered he wanted to abolish? Read more about The Way We Were



"I coulda been a contender." One of the most iconic lines in filmdom. And maybe he coulda been. Maybe he coulda had class. But he got sold out, taking dives for the short-end money.

And that's how I think of the Republican line-up right now. They're taking dives for the short-end money. Except they are selling themselves out. They haven't done the training. They don't have the skill-set. They are faux contenders. Read more about Contenders



I had a conversation with a friend yesterday in which she related a vision she had about the future. When I say vision - it was a term she used herself - she didn't mean to imply something mystical. We can conjure any number of futures in imagination, utopias and dystopias and anything else in between. But there is a difference between imagining possibilities - projections of hopes or fears - and suddenly seeing the thing itself. Read more about Vision


Silver Linings

It's Thursday. Politics Day in the Bookhouse. And I really don't have anything pithy on the plate. I did my homage to OWS last week. I can't watch the Republican debates. A few seconds of them and I am so out of there. I've heard more coherence from a table full of drunks in the Blue Moon Tavern. Except these guys sound like a bunch of drunken 3rd graders. Did so! Did not! Did so! And there's nothing good about that. I hear this morning that Quaddafi is dead. Read more about Silver Linings


Heady Times

It was 1968 and I was living on the South Side of Chicago with a black woman friend of mine who was also one of the up and coming movers and shakers in the local Civil Rights Movement. Those were heady times. Jesse Jackson's Operation Breadbasket met weekly someplace near Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. I remember that part, because the first time I went, I got lost and found the Robie House instead. Read more about Heady Times