On a the contradictions of a [slave-owning] nation conceived in liberty

We are in the midst of a dedicated push on the part of some politicians to remove "critical race theory" (CRT) from our schools. My question to those politicians: where is CRT being taught in K-12 schools?  I was an American Studies major in college and CRT was never a part of the curriculum. It is not part of the curriculum my children have learned in their school. I am not sure why Republicans have decided that CRT is the bane of our existence and the reason for white people to feel bad about themselves, but that's where we are today and they are working hard to ban CRT from schools.  In my own state of North Carolina, the NCGOP is working to pass legislation that would ban affirmative action and prevent teachers from "'' indoctrinating' students with Critical Race Theory concepts." Just  who  is teaching children that " people solely due to their race or sex should feel guilt, anguish or discomfort" ? I don't know the answer to that

On the religious values of Hobby Lobby

Sometimes I feel like the nation has moved into some weird alternative universe. Hard as it may seem, SCOTUS has me thinking about the IUD. Yes, the IUD, the intra-uterine device. There are two types, one made of copper and one that uses hormones in someway to prevent pregnancy. Until the Hobby Lobby decision, I had no idea that the IUD was viewed by some in America as a murder weapon. I thought it was birth control, plain and simple. Here's what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has to say about how the IUD works : Both types of IUDs work mainly by preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm. The hormonal IUD also thickens cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize the egg, and keeps the lining of the uterus thin, which makes it less likely that a fertilized egg will attach to it. ACOG also views the IUD, along with the birth control implant, as "the most effective forms of reversible birth control availa

On the mythology of the "student-athlete"

Do universities provide "student-athletes" with a proper education in exchange for their athletic performance on the field? I suppose it depends on the sport. But for the high-profile, high-profit sports, it is not clear that athletes are getting what they deserve from the university. Football and basketball athletes who participate on high-profile teams, the ones we watch on TV, are engaged in a highly profitable activity ( Final Four rakes in more advertising dollars than the NFL playoffs ) - but due to NCAA rules, the profits do not trickle down to the athletes - they require college profit centers student-athletes to remain "amateurs." Scholarships are provided to these student athletes, of course - many of these highly skilled athletes are provided full-ride scholarships to excellent universities. But are student-athletes getting a good deal?

The unbearable insanity of being in the state of North Carolina

So three years ago, I moved away from a state that half of the residents want to leave. We left Illinois to settle (for now) in the Tar Heel state. And I have to say - coming from a state everyone wants to leave, a state that has nothing in the coffers but a lot of IOUs to state employees looking for their pensions, a state with political corruption famous throughout the nation - nothing I witnessed in the Land of Lincoln has prepared me for politics in the Tea Party Tar Heel state. Nothing in Illinois - not a series of governors on the path to jail, not Blago and his big mouth (and fondness for Kipling), not RM Daley and his crony capitalism that helped the Loop grow pretty flower boxes and a very expensive Bean as the neighborhoods withered, not the epic failures of privatization set into play by Daley before he retired - none of this prepared me for politics in North Carolina. That's how crazy it is in this state today. When we moved to North Carolina from up north, it w

Geithner gets an F on his stress test.

I have not read Tim Geithner's memoir of the crash, Stress Test. [I did read Hank Paulson's memoir of the crash - and discovered that we shared three things in common - birding, residence in Barrington IL (I lived there once, a long time ago) and a love of the boundary waters near Ely MN. Otherwise, Paulson and I do not see eye-to-eye on much, particularly on his handling of the bailout.] I don't know if I will read Geithner's book. It is well-written, says Michael Lewis (author of Liar's Poker) in a NY Times review. But as I read Lewis's review, I wanted to throw the book at a wall - and I don't even own the book. Lewis quotes Geithner as saying: "We did save the economy, but we lost the country doing it..."  (My God! Is the economy "saved"? Not in my neck of the woods! But the country was indeed lost as a result of the crash.) Lewis goes on to say: " Geithner seems genuinely to believe that the details of the behavior in

Yes, Jill Abramson's firing had everything to do with gender

Earlier this year, Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times, was not happy with the reception given to h is wife's story in the Guardian about a cancer patient. Emma Keller's story looked at the "ethics of tweeting a terminal illness" and focused attention on Lisa Bonchek Adams, a woman tweeting and blogging about living with Stage IV breast cancer. Emma's post was so polarizing that the Guardian took it down (here's a cached version .) A couple days after Emma Keller published her story about Lisa Bonchek Adams, Bill Keller wrote a piece about Adams as well. It was called " Heroic Measures " and it essentially called on Lisa Adams to shut up and die already. Here's how he opened the essay: LISA BONCHEK ADAMS has spent the last seven years in a fierce and very public cage fight with death. Since a mammogram detected the first toxic seeds of cancer in her left breast when she was 37, she has blogged and tweeted copiously abo

Reposting an oldie, in honor of the day...

The advantages of size and might, as revealed by the Easter Egg Hunt A large crowd clusters near the glass doors. All are gathered together on this morning via the annual ritual known as the Easter brunch, celebrating the epic Christian holiday that commemorates resurrection and rebirth. Outside, it is a sunny but chilly spring morning. Inside, the room is full of people preparing for the Easter egg hunt. Little girls dressed in pretty dresses. Boys wearing button down shirts and khaki pants. Adults happy with the knowledge that spring has (hopefully) arrived. All of the children are eager for the impending hunt. They cluster near the door for easy access to the patio outside. They see bright plastic eggs splash vibrant color on the beautiful green lawn. The excitement builds. You can hear the murmur of children wondering when it will start. And finally, the moment all the children have been waiting for arrives. The doors open - and the crowd spills out past the pati