Legislative Remapping

Some Illinois Democrats suggest that the legislative remapping initiative would have a negative impact upon minorities, as well as elect Republicans and reduce the middle class.

Others have criticized the current approach for reducing the number of competitive elections. For example, the elections last November had only one option for almost 6 in 10 (58%) races for the Illinois House and almost half had no opponent in both the primary and general election. This remapping initiative, they maintain, will reassign responsibility for these maps from politicians to people, which will allow them to form coalitions to elect representatives not from party affiliation but from particular interests.  Continue reading “Legislative Remapping”

Privacy Today

Both Hillary Clinton and former University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise have been criticized for using personal email accounts for public business, which raises some intriguing issues about twenty-first century privacy.

Although Clinton’s intentions are perhaps less explicit, Wise’s seem to have included a desire to maintain confidentiality even though the official university position had been that personal accounts, when used for university business, are still subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. These regulations in Illinois have nothing explicit about personal email accounts, but a 2012 state appellate ruling upheld an attorney general opinion that FOIA does apply to personal devices and machines in instances of official business.  Continue reading “Privacy Today”

Run Donald Run

After listening to arguments about gender equity and economic elitism at the university, I returned late to find my teens watching a recorded version of the first Republican debate. As I unpacked my bag, I overheard these aspiring leaders advocate closing our borders, for instance, sanctioning certain marriages, and defunding Planned Parenthood. Although I nodded in the background when some criticized the amount of personal data collected by the government, I wonder, despite a desire to understand other perspectives and find common ground, how to imagine unity across such diversity.

Mission Impossible

Succumbing to the hype, I saw Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, the new action movie based upon the 1966-1973 American television series created by Bruce Geller.

In this fifth installment of the franchise, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must reassemble the Impossible Mission Force, which consists of William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), to dismantle the Syndicate, a mysterious organization of presumably deceased agents. Their efforts are aided by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who might or might not be part of this rogue organization.  Continue reading “Mission Impossible”

Anger and Other Emotions

Rubin (2009)Gretchen Rubin (2009), in her silly book The Happiness Project, urges people to reject the adage that people shouldn’t go to bed angry.

Researchers have discovered, she reports, no evidence that airing grievances is useful but, rather, evidence that refraining from expressing anger often allows it to “disappear” (64). She elsewhere argues that one of the happiness myths is the belief that venting anger can relieve itContinue reading “Anger and Other Emotions”