• Books of the Bible: I Samuel

    Books Bible: Samuel

    The first half of the first book of Samuel describes the creation of Israel's monarchy under its first king, Saul.  Our imaginary "general... Read more

    Posted on 25 April 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Watching Amy Schumer

    Watching Schumer

    I've got to start making time for the Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer.  Her stand-up special called Mostly Sex Stuff is smart and hilarious, and... Read more

    Posted on 23 April 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Power out

    I like to check in at the Power Line blog every once in a while, just to find out what's going on in right field.  To date, none of the philosophers has... Read more

    Posted on 12 April 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • RFRA, Riff Raff

    "Religious Freedom Restoration Act": the title alone, with the intimation that religious freedom has been rescinded and therefore has to be "restored," arouses... Read more

    Posted on 03 April 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • April Not the Cruellest Month

    April Cruellest Month

    I know the entire blogosphere is eagerly awaiting the latest report on my wife Amanda's standing in the Scott County employee NCAA basketball bracket... Read more

    Posted on 29 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Bibi Netanyahu: Not My Bestie

    Bibi Netanyahu: Bestie

    I've seen enough of the congressional Republicans in action to admit that, if one of those nuts were for some reason to declare the Pythagorean Theorem... Read more

    Posted on 26 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Bracketology 2015

    Bracketology 2015

    Amanda and I each have an entry in the NCAA basketball contests of our respective offices.  Knowing nothing of basketball, she copied my picks, and we... Read more

    Posted on 21 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • The ACA a Couple Years Later

    Couple Years Later

    Though the Affordable Care Act, usually called Obamacare, has been law now for long enough for the Republicans to have failed at repealing it about a jillion... Read more

    Posted on 18 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • The Albigensian Heresy

    Writing to a friend, Flannery O'Connor said, of the short fiction of J.F. Powers: [His] stories can be divided into two kinds--those that deal with the... Read more

    Posted on 16 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Mental Health Tip

    Mental Health

    My wife reports feeling distressed upon learning that someone she thought must be on top of the world has been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Read more

    Posted on 09 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Books of the Bible: Ruth

    Books Bible: Ruth

    The bedraggled reader of the Old Testament, arriving at the book of Ruth and paging forward with trepidation, will experience relief upon discovering it's barel... Read more

    Posted on 06 March 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • A Few Notes on the Novels of J.F. Powers

    Notes Novels J.F. Powers

    Having enjoyed Morte D'Urban, I've moved on to Wheat the Springeth Green, J.F. Powers's second and last novel.  It was published in 1988, the year he... Read more

    Posted on 22 February 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Morte d'Urban

    Morte d'Urban

    Long ago someone, observing a man with his nose in a book laughing uproariously, said that the fellow was either crazy or reading Don Quixote. By that... Read more

    Posted on 13 February 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Dean Smith

    Dean Smith

    According to legend, LBJ, as he signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, muttered: "There goes the South."  If he said it, he was right,... Read more

    Posted on 10 February 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Scientists Versus the Rest of Us

    Scientists Versus Rest

    A Pew research study shows wide gaps between what American scientists and the American public think about a range of issues, including many with weighty policy... Read more

    Posted on 02 February 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • The Nienstedt Investigation

    Last September, in this editorial, National Catholic Reporter called on the Archdiocese of the Twin Cities to disclose the results of a local law firm's... Read more

    Posted on 29 January 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Sotu

    Though I don't think much of him, I had to feel sorry for John Boehner last night, sitting there behind Obama and therefore always on camera, looking all... Read more

    Posted on 22 January 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • The Lay of the Land


    I'm coming toward the conclusion to The Lay of the Land, the third installment in Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe chronicle.  In his New York Times review,... Read more

    Posted on 18 January 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • The Paranoid Style

    On Sunday, I caught some of the morning political TV talk while the girls were upstairs playing "Kids."  Nothing but big statements and... Read more

    Posted on 14 January 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Marcia Angell on "Being Mortal"

    Marcia Angell "Being Mortal"

    In a mostly favorable review of Atul Gawande's Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Marcia Angell criticizes the author for not taking a stand... Read more

    Posted on 07 January 2015 POLITICS, SOCIETY