Category: Chicago

The 4th of July War on Contraception

So much for freedom, a popular topic in America on July 4th. I hate to be a rainy day washout at your outdoor July 4th picnic, but before you party on or light the illegal fireworks, can we talk? When the Trump GOP Party, the party in power, continues their war on contraception to eliminate women’s reproductive... Read more »

Grating Expectations

“Why the hell don’t they learn English?” asked a monolingual American character in the 1971 film $ (Dollars). Sounding like a 2018 Fox News pundit, the American character was livid about those Germans living in Germany who didn’t speak English. Just like now in Charlotte NC where my multi-lingual friend lives. Despite an almost lifetime in the USA, her... Read more »

Hate Mail; Why the First Amendment is First

The first time I exercised the First Amendment with a published letter to the editor in The Houston Post, a man called me at home. I didn’t answer since I was a freshman in high school. But from what my mother told me, she him off and to never call again. Over the years, I’ve... Read more »
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The Journey to Somewhere, Travel in Peru 1970s

In the Peru of 1972 long distance bus travel was an exercise in persistence, patience, luck and having a very large bladder. The day before traveling, my fluent-Spanish-speaking husband Gary, our 16-year-old niece and I walked down to the Hidalgo Bus Company to inquire about tickets, times and the cost of a trip to the... Read more »

Before Donald J. Trump, Ecuador's Flirtation with a Clown President

Before there was America’s clown president, Donald J. Trump, there was Ecuador’s almost clown president, Abdala Bucaram Ortiz. Brothers from different mothers, these boys? Both shamelessly aspired to fame via infamy, for bad press was far worse than no press; Both admired, emulated and cozied up to authoritarians; Both trawled the bottom of humanity for support; Both... Read more »

Living the expatriate; A is for attitude

Is the glass half empty, or half full? The question hung in the air between the Peace Corps applicant and the interviewer. The interviewer knew the ‘right’ answer. Would the applicant, a wanna-be expatriate? Optimists–and potential Peace Corps volunteers–see the glass as half full, pessimists as half empty. For this reason alone, optimists adjust better... Read more »
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St. Patrick's Day; a reminder of bigotry toward the immigrant

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone identifies as Irish as we hoist green beer–or in Chicago, whoo-hoo the green river–celebrating all things Irish. And yet we forget. It’s happened all too often before. It is happening again. In these days when those in charge of the Federal Government want to stigmatize a person by their place of... Read more »

Get the hell out of Chicago, before you're a gunshot statistic (that is, if counted)

Finally pulling up big girl knickers to read Elie Wiesel’s legendary autobiographical book “Night”, one portion stabbed my memory like an icicle to my heart. The remembrance of his father who would not or could not move from the darkening violence that was coming. Violence that came to be called, The Holocaust. Memory is slippery,... Read more »

The Gun Shots Heard Round the World; Death the American Way

The 50 dead (so far) in Orlando from the latest and greatest number of dead from a USA mass shooting shows in dying red that America is Number One in something! Mass murders. We’ve made America Great Again, at something. Aren’t we proud? Where are the cheers of the Trump-inistas, “We’re Number ONE, We’re number ONE”? Pay... Read more »
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What's the matter with the USA? (Psst. It's become 3rd rate, 3rd World)

As we enter Memorial Day weekend and American brains shift into SUMMER mode (especially in Western Massachusetts where the weather has an unusual fever of 90F as of today), can we discuss what’s not working in the USA besides US Congress starring Speaker Paul Ryan’s GOP? How about the news reports of the TSA lines... Read more »
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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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