The Art of Conversation

I am typing at top speed with a deadline looming, and I'm sure to be late (sorry, Pete). The workday ran long. My day job's current assignment has me watching state legislative action, and today kicked off the 2018 season. The State House hallways were full of citizens sporting buttons and scarves emblazoned with symbols … Continue reading The Art of Conversation

On Political Engagement: “Give It Your Best”

Merry Christmas, I say, since I stubbornly hold that the Christmas season begins on December 25. Happy New Year as well, keeping in mind that each day begins a new year. I'm grateful to readers, fellow writers, and DTG himself for this spot on the blog. To all, I commend these words from Pope Francis, spoken … Continue reading On Political Engagement: “Give It Your Best”

A Gutsy Person Takes on “Gender Identity” Policies

I met Rene Jax last week, and I'm lucky I did. Not many people could be full of good humor after a 24-hour cross-country plane/train/bus trip, but Rene was. That's all the more remarkable considering that she was in town to talk about "gender identity." Not from any academic viewpoint, either: Rene is a transsexual, … Continue reading A Gutsy Person Takes on “Gender Identity” Policies

Bicoastal Challenges to Pro-life Pregnancy Centers

Related stories come to us from Connecticut and California, where "anti-abortion" centers (in the parlance of the Hartford Courant) are getting some pushback. From the Courant, 11/10/17: The city is looking to crack down on faith-driven crisis pregnancy centers, which critics say sometimes pose as clinics to lure women and hand out misleading information about … Continue reading Bicoastal Challenges to Pro-life Pregnancy Centers

Happy Pick-Your-Insurance Day!

Subject line: "Tomorrow is a big deal but President Trump doesn't want you to know about it." Well, that's one way to stand out in my email inbox. The sender is my state's senior U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, and the message is from her Senate account, not a campaign address. "...November 1st, through December 15th, … Continue reading Happy Pick-Your-Insurance Day!

Rough “Justice”

A 17-year old with no visible means of financial support got an abortion this morning. Not news, you say? Look again. “Jane Doe” is an immigrant, an unaccompanied 17-year-old, living in the U.S. without benefit of documentation. When Jane Doe learned she was pregnant, she sought an abortion in Texas, where she is living. Disputes … Continue reading Rough “Justice”

Congressman Steve Scalise at Values Voters: a Happy Warrior

The just-concluded Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. was punctuated by standing ovations. Among them: a few for the President, who spoke decisively but without pugnacity; for Bannon and Gorka, the red-meat guys; for Alveda King, bringing the crowd to its feet to join her in song. And then there was the one for Steve … Continue reading Congressman Steve Scalise at Values Voters: a Happy Warrior

Pure Relief

The grind-it-out side of public policy occupied me this morning, as I went to the State House to listen to a subcommittee patiently work out the language of a bill. That done, I walked outside to see what was up on the State House plaza. And my day was made. A collection was underway for … Continue reading Pure Relief

Banned Books Week? Bah, Humbug!

It's "Banned Books Week." Pardon my groan. I rant about this every year. No end in sight, alas. The folks behind Banned Books Week - a coalition of the American Library Association and allied groups - lost all credibility with me years ago when they conflated "banned" and "challenged," especially when the challenge is to … Continue reading Banned Books Week? Bah, Humbug!

Waiting on the Storm

Y'know what's worse than being in the path of a hurricane? Having loved ones in the path, when you're far away and can't do a whole lot to help. I'm with Fausta, in that my mind is elsewhere right now. Of course, it's altogether possible that Irma will come up the coast and visit my … Continue reading Waiting on the Storm

Thoughts on a Torn Poster

I heard anecdotes about a man with a pro-life sign being assailed during the recent Boston demonstration/counterdemonstration, and then found that an Esquire writer tweeted a short video of the incident.    (Language alert.) The guy was carrying a poster with photos of preborn human beings on the upper half of the poster, visible in the … Continue reading Thoughts on a Torn Poster

Nothing New Under the Sun, and Avoiding “Game Over”

I'm rambling a bit here, but all these disjointed thoughts about some life issues seem to be drifting together. There's nothing new under the sun, says the book of Ecclesiastes. What's strange to me is old news to someone in a different place or situation. I'm thinking in particular of two women from Canada whom … Continue reading Nothing New Under the Sun, and Avoiding “Game Over”

Consistency Matters

When does independence in a politician become inconsistency? Does it matter? An election held near my town this week says it does - and that inconsistency sometimes just doesn't pay. The race was for a state senate seat. The candidates were two experienced politicians - one an alderman in the state's largest city, the other … Continue reading Consistency Matters

Room for Improvement

In the wake of the U.S. Senate's non-vote on repealing Obamacare, one of the better memes now circulating features a gallery of chattering Senators, adorned with the legend (I'm paraphrasing) "Stuff like this is why Trump won." Yup. That, and the fact that he's not Hillary Clinton. Was his election a one-term holding action, or … Continue reading Room for Improvement

Take Time for Something Beautiful

I'm inspired by the Independence Day posts from Juliette & Christopher of DTG's Magnificent crew. Each celebrated a beauty not to be found in the political world I often choose to inhabit. In the same vein, I offer an unapologetic plug for a friend's project, inviting all New Hampshire-area DTG readers to attend something special. … Continue reading Take Time for Something Beautiful

Notes from Pro-Life Women’s Conference

“It’s important to build community in a culture that wants to silence pro-life women and their beliefs.” — Melissa Ohden. Challenge accepted. In a time of handmaids who don’t want to see Planned Parenthood privatized and states that want to gag pro-life documentarians, there’s more pro-life work going on than will ever be documented by … Continue reading Notes from Pro-Life Women’s Conference

Handmaids for Choice (But Not All Choices)

Hulu got some free publicity last week when several costumed "handmaids" showed up in the New Hampshire House gallery to protest a fetal homicide bill, which would allow prosecution for acts of violence causing the death of a preborn child. The bonneted "handmaids" were inspired by the Hulu original series The Handmaid's Tale, based on … Continue reading Handmaids for Choice (But Not All Choices)

Health Insurance: Big Spikes and Little Things

My local Sunday paper had an above-the-fold headline the other day: "Obamacare rate could see big spike in NH next year." This refers only to my state, where an unidentified government official leaked to the press a document projecting an average Obamacare-exchange premium rate increase of 44%. The headline could easily have said "another spike." … Continue reading Health Insurance: Big Spikes and Little Things

What will it take to get abortion providers out of the budget?

Four years ago today, a jury was deliberating the fate of Kermit Gosnell. That trial ended with Gosnell serving life in prison for murder and manslaughter. Today, a GOP-majority Congress, with a GOP president looking on, can't agree on when or how to prevent taxpayer funds from going to abortion providers. What does the spine-snipping … Continue reading What will it take to get abortion providers out of the budget?

Prosperity by the Numbers: the Family Prosperity Index

For the most part, I endorse Thomas Carlyle's description of economics as the dismal science. I have to add the "most part" qualifier after meeting and working with an economist who with her husband - also an economist - has developed the Family Prosperity Index. Measures like gross domestic product have value, but fail in … Continue reading Prosperity by the Numbers: the Family Prosperity Index