Scotland the next ethnic nation?

WASHINGTON — Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep's pluck — the heart, lungs and liver — cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep's stomach, then served, sometimes drenched with Scotch. People who pour whisky on oatmeal are not shrinking violets.

The rising power of NFL's female fan base

CHICAGO — What do pedicures and sparkly flip-flops have to do with Ray Rice's unceremonious ouster from football?


Most observers credit the latest leaked video of Rice punching out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer for his new punishment. But this theory misses the rising power of the NFL's increasingly female — and super hard-core — fan base.

Jim Dey: Mystery man was homeless when he was murdered near a railroad track

Lonnie D. Scheel lived in the shadows and was killed by the railroad tracks.

Few people noticed, and even fewer cared.

That's the way it is with street people. Almost invisible, they stagger through life — panhandling, drinking and hanging out in soup kitchens and public parks. If they don't make a scene, they don't make an impression.

Dan Corkery: Dyslexia discussion on tap; paving the way in Urbana

Dyslexia — the difficulty that many people have decoding the written word — is often misunderstood.

Last month, I recommended a few resources for those who are trying to understand what's interfering with the education of their children, their grandchildren or even themselves.

Extremism in defense of re-election

WASHINGTON — Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans' 1964 presidential nomination, said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Democrats have been decrying Republican "extremism." Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism — measures or movements that menace the Constitution's architecture of ordered liberty — is r

Jim Dey: Professor receives show of solidarity versus 'oppression'

Outside, the weather was gray and grim, few students exposing themselves to the rain and wind.

Jim Dey: Day of silence just a bit late


It's Sept. 9, 2014, a national day of silence called by supporters of a would-be professor who should have observed his own days of silence until landing safely on the University of Illinois payroll.

His crude speech then mandates the country's silence now. So saith (before today, of course) the supporters of former Virginia Tech English professor Steven Salaita.

Jim Dey: Court victory comes with a high cost

Dennis Tactikos had a bone to pick with a public official. When he got no satisfaction, Tactikos took his case to the court of public opinion in a March 2011 letter to the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Thus began what he describes as a "couple of years of hell" that wiped out his bank account and left him even more aggrieved than before.

Brick streets stand test of time

I'm a sucker for brick streets. The warm, terra cotta color combined with big trees spreading overhead make for inviting residential environment.

Can you tell I've been living on a brick street for 27 years?

Fooled once again on immigration

CHICAGO — No one likes political expediency when it doesn't go their way.

When President Obama announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in June 2012 — which allowed young illegal immigrants to obtain temporary legal status, driver's licenses and work permits — his supporters weren't complaining about it being a political ploy to secure re-election.