I saw a tweet from a woman in Texas who wanted to get out of there but was afraid to drive on the snow and ice. I get that because it happens a lot in Chicago, and no, I never got used to it. My message back to her was “If I can do it, so can you.”

Outside my window during a particularly bad storm in 2011

I have no credentials for teaching driver’s ed other than my own experience, my fear that helps me understand their fear, and a day at Northwestern Driving School to beat a speeding ticket 15 years ago, a great experience really. The teacher…


I am no artist but I painted this from a photo I took in Alaska. Forget-me-nots are the state flower.

I graduated high school in 1977 and it was time to think about careers. I thought my choices were limited. I had no special talents. Not musical: I was challenged down to third chair flute ever year in band. Not literary: My best friend wrote her science paper in iambic pentameter. I was happy to just write the paper. Not artistic or athletic: I was one of those kids whose grade point average was brought down by art and gym classes. Not good at public speaking: I avoided raising my hand in class. Not good at languages: In Junior High…


If you want to be in the “room where it happens,” don’t bother getting yourself elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. I mention this now because over 700 of the current delegates have signed a petition to reject the platform that now rejects Medicare for all. In 2004, I don’t remember anyone asking me about the platform so while I commend their effort, I doubt a petition to a virtual convention will move a party determined to stick with the corporate agenda. Now, all the DNC has to do is keep the elected delegates out of the…


Trust is the union of intelligence and integrity.~~Yogi Tea Bag Tab, Lemon Ginger

I took this picture on the lake one evening when the tall ships were in town.

I have a short story. I’m not in first hand knowledge of all the information about how this actually went down. My knowledge of this matter is from news reports and Twitter, but I have had several years of experience with many of the players. This is a true story but I didn’t eye witness it in person so you can categorize this as historical fiction if you wish.

A guy I know got himself into hot water with a local politician and his political group. To…


I’m not a Black person so I cannot speak to the Black experience in the United States. However, I can speak a little about my own experience as a Jewish-American.

I’m not religious, so I don’t have a lot of experience about what goes on in the religious communities. However, being not religious but Jewish by ancestry, and having an English last name, I can relate what I’ve seen and experienced as an outsider on the inside.

When I was young in the ‘60s and ’70s, I didn’t think about race or religion much. I wasn’t confronted with much, our…


I’d have my basket in front of me if I could actually get a basket but here goes.

My ingredients are as follows:

2 pounds of stew mean (that I didn’t order but thank god I received in my delivery, and by god I mean Jewel Food Stores.)

Eight hot dog buns

16 oz honey

One 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

Dried garlic flakes

Two carrots

Canned fruit cocktail

What dinner am I going to make out of that? I’m not a Food Network Iron chef so have no idea but I imagine things could be worse. …


It starts at the local level.

It’s the incumbent local official who comes into the polling place with his name identification swag in full view, shaking hands, and it’s the election judge from his party who smiles and does nothing about it. All illegal electioneering. That former incumbent is now considered a highly respected elder statesman of his district. The judge is a pillar of her community.

It’s the high school senior’s mom working as an election judge who kicks all her 18-year old kid’s friends out of the polling place, denying them their rightful vote, when she knows exactly…


I received a concerned note from a former political acquaintance. He said he wanted to know how I was. I thought he was referring to COVID-19 and that he was checking up on people from his past. A lot of people are doing that and recently I’ve had some nice exchanges with people from my past, so I answered.

Turns out that wasn’t it at all. After my response, a simple (and cautious) hello, he revealed that he’s building a group to politicize on an issue and wanted me to join his group. I guess it seemed expedient to pretend…


The White House felt it sufficient to present us with the My Pillow Guy to spout some religious nonsense at us in lieu of a real federal update on its handling of the pandemic proving they don’t feel the need to pretend to care about us anymore. Airlines and mortgage bankers got their bailout. We got a ridiculously insufficient one-time payment that won’t pay a months rent for most people. Their job here is done from their point of view.

Joe Biden is still mostly in hiding and is still against affordable health care, standing on the system that requires…

Ellen Beth Gill

Lawyer, Teacher, Mediator. Worked on many political campaigns and learned nothing will help until we enforce our laws, particularly laws against corruption.

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