Rauner’s Roundabout

I attended a presentation about the impact of Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget upon Illinois public universities this week — I am, in addition being an Illinois resident, an Illinois public university professor — and I was alarmed by the anxiety throughout the auditorium, which university administrators indicated was appropriate, even before the final details have been determined. Continue reading “Rauner’s Roundabout”

Cheating, Integrity, and Adults

Local reactions to the loss of the Little League national title by the Jackie Robinson West team have ranged from the reasonable to the regrettable or worse, but local leaders have made the situation worse.

A Little League investigation, as has been widely reported, determined that the team had falsified its boundaries to add players, used this map for the 2014 tournament, and conspired with surrounding leagues in support of this effort. As a result, it suspended the team manager, removed league officials, and gave the title to a Las Vegas team.

Some have suggested that racism motivated the investigation of this team, which was the first all African American team to win the national championship.

Saint Sabina pastor Michael Pfleger called it a “witch hunt,” and he and others, such as Rainbow Push Coalition Founder and President Jesse Jackson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, and Illinois State Representative Monique Davis have called for the return of the title and even threatened lawsuits. Continue reading “Cheating, Integrity, and Adults”

Milking Markets

Marketplace from American Public Media and Kate Wells from Michigan Public Radio recently reported the efforts of Medolac Laboratories, a Delaware corporation with Oregon headquarters that sells breast milk to critically ill newborns and infants around the world. Some object that Medolac doesn’t disclose where it sends the milk while others suggest that it could encourage mothers to sell all their milk and, in so doing, neglect their own children. Continue reading “Milking Markets”

Local Global

I needed new running shoes for one of my kids, so we went to a nearly big box athletic store. On a whim, I decided to check Amazon with my phone, which offered the same shoes, once taxes were included, for half the price. However, I’ve been wondering, since ordering them online, whether I’m contributing to the demise of local retail.

I apparently am not the only one who is using these online options. Ten million people, according to Amazon, tried its Prime subscription service for the first time this holiday season, and Amazon customers placed ten times the orders with same day shipping this year over last year. At the same time, Amazon shipped to 185 countries this holiday season, and its total US holiday sales with its smartphone app doubled this year. Continue reading “Local Global”


Cruising is an increasingly popular vacation option. The number of those who took a cruise, according to a Cruise Lines International Association study, increased from 13.44 million passengers on 167 ships in 2009 to 16.95 million on 185 ships in 2012. Of these, more than 10 million embarked from U.S. ports, and passengers and crews added $42 billion to the U.S. economy. Continue reading “Cruising”