Columns

Columns

Is more technology making us ignorant?

CHICAGO — A decade ago, when I was a graduate student in teacher training, a frightening thing came from an accomplished and generally excellent professor.

Election Day, straight up

WASHINGTON — Mix a pitcher of martinis Tuesday evening to fortify yourself against the torrent of election returns painting a pointillist portrait of the nation's mind. Before you become too mellow to care, consider some indexes of our civic tendencies.

Jim Dey: Centennial senior keeps eye on master goal

CHAMPAIGN — Sonnet Henderson is, in many ways, a typical teenage girl. She likes playing and listening to music, riding horses and being a member of her lacrosse team.

At the same time, not many high school seniors can claim to have "been reading (French philosopher Jean-Paul) Sartre since I was a freshman" or aspire to be a chess grand master.

In Georgia, prelude to runoff?

McDONOUGH, Ga. — In a sun-dappled square decorated with scores of entrants in the community's Halloween scarecrow contest, a balky sound system enables, if barely, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate to exhort a few hundred people, mostly supporters, to urge neighbors to vote to reduce Sen. Harry Reid to minority leader.

Bears and wolves find a voice in the wilderness

WASHINGTON — If politicians preying upon your attentions this season fail to inspire, you might seek common cause with the beasts — the four-legged variety rather than those running for office.

Ballot initiatives aimed at protecting bears and wolves from hounding, trapping and other inhumane hunting practices are up for a vote in two states — Maine and Michigan.

Dividing by social and economic class

CHICAGO — Class, not race, may be the defining discrimination issue of my children's lifetime.

Dan Corkery: Being a dad with a daughter, by the numbers

Recently, my daughter sent me a link: "15 Things All Dads of Daughters Should Know."

Jim Dey: UI professor takes on BDS movement in new book

University of Illinois Professor Cary Nelson doesn't shy away from a fight. Some suggest he looks for them.

If so, there he goes again.

The 68-year-old professor emeritus, whose specialty is modern American poetry, has a new book that takes on the anti-Israel Boycott/Divest/Sanction movement.

Wisconsin done in by 'John Doe'

WASHINGTON — The early morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens' homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas.

In Kentucky, a constitutional moment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Barack Obama lost Kentucky in 2012 by 23 points, yet the state remains closely divided about re-electing the man whose parliamentary skills uniquely qualify him to restrain Obama's executive overreach.