Essay: Shots Shrug

Jul 12, 2019
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We get used to things. It could be a squeaky hinge on a door we don’t hear any more, or the way we automatically dodge the edge of a counter that sticks out just a little too far. As Lake Effect essayist Mel Miskimen works on her house, she wonders if she’s become too laid back:

I was in the upstairs front bedroom stripping the 1880s walls of 1980s wallpaper. It was a Saturday morning. The neighborhood was in the process of waking itself up, figuring out the plan for the rest of the day, and then ...

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Essay: The Perils Of Public Music

Jul 1, 2019
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Lake Effect essayist JF Riordan travels a lot for work. And as she explains in her essay, The Perils of Public Music, she’d just like a little peace and quiet on the road:

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We’re just about to the weekend, a time when a lot of people enjoy the chance to pop open a bag of chips and a beer or a soda, and watch their favorite team or their favorite sport, or whatever game happens to be on TV.

But as all diehard sports fans know, rooting for a team can be a double-edged sword. It was a game a few weeks ago that drove that point home to essayist and Lake Effect sports contributor Shaun Ranft:

Essay: The Island By Night

Jun 12, 2019
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Wisconsin writer J.F. Riordan set her series of novels on remote Washington Island, just off the tip of Door County. It's a place that locals refer to as "North of the tension line," a phrase that gave her series its name. However, while Riordan loves that place, she does much of her writing in the Milwaukee area.

It's that disconnect that informs the series of essays that fill her latest book, called Reflections on a Life in Exile:

When I am on the Island, every night, before bed, the dogs and I go out for a long walk in the dark.

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Today marks the 75th anniversary in a watershed moment, from a watershed global conflict. It’s a day that Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr thinks we should all look to as we consider our own perilous times:

From ancient times, military professionals rightly regard amphibious invasions as especially challenging. We recognize and honor the seventy-fifth anniversary of the greatest such operation, the Allies’ invasion of France in World War II, on June 6, 1944 – D-Day.

Some are watching the daily news with bated breathe - waiting for new information about international relations, investigations, and other salacious details packed with political intrigue. But Lake Effect essayist Mel Miskimen is not among these throngs of political junkies. Instead, Miskimen has her sights set on 18th century Scotland.

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President Trump this week rolled out his revised approach to immigration policy, one which he says is focused on "merit." His recommendations were met with skepticism by many in Congress, and the debate over immigration will likely continue into the campaign season.

Lake Effect contributor and essayist Art Cyr says there is some history to consider as you follow the immigration debate.

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At a summit in Brussels this past week, European Union leaders have agreed to put off the day of Brexit - the date when Britain officially leaves the EU. The extra time will allow the British parliament to either approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement or ‘indicate a way forward’.

This turns of events has Lake Effect’s Foreign Policy contributor and essayist Art Cyr thinking about the relationship between US and British intelligence services and how Brexit might affect it:

Essay: War And Peace

Jan 15, 2019
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Seventy-four years ago today, one of the most significant conflicts of the Second World War was heading toward its last week. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr believes it’s important to think back on the Battle of the Bulge:

On Dec. 16, 1944, Nazi Germany launched an enormous offensive through the quiet, thinly defended Ardennes Forest in Belgium. Adolf Hitler and planners in Berlin achieved total surprise; initially German forces rapidly gained ground.

Essay: The Good Wife

Dec 8, 2018
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Lake Effect essayist Joanne Wientraub used to work as a TV critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but there was one show that debuted after she left her job as a critic that she was determined to avoid at all costs.

However, it turns out that her relationship with that show would change after it got her through a time of need:  

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has been on a campaign trail of sorts in recent days.  She's trying to convince members of Parliament to approve her plan to go forward with Brexit - Britain's departure from the European Union.

Lake Effect foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says the plan's future is unclear, and May has her work cut out for her:

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The economy is humming along. Pick any measure — GDP, employment, wages, even stock prices, recent hiccups in the popular averages notwithstanding — and things look rosy. President Trump has a great story to tell, even if questionable policies like his deficit-exploding tax cut are a reason for the good news.

Essay: The Funny Thing About Bill Cosby

Oct 31, 2018
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The creative work of men like Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, and Bill Cosby is forever tainted by the sexual crimes they are accused of, and in the case of Bill Cosby, convicted of and serving time for. Lake Effect Essayist Tom Matthews says he’s torn, and shares his essay, "The Funny Thing About Bill Cosby."

My father died a Bill Cosby fan.

It was March 1971, and I was 10. My dad, a doctor in a small Wisconsin town, left home after breakfast one school day and was gone by lunch. A heart attack at 40 years old. No warning, no lingering. Just gone.

Essay & Poem: Mummies

Oct 26, 2018

95 years ago, the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh King Tutankhamun was unearthed. It had been closed since 1352 BCE and its discovery kicked off a world wide interest in mummies that continues to today. Lake Effect essayist Richard Hedderman says there are good reasons we’re fascinated with them.

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Tensions remain high between Russia and the UK in the wake of a case that involves double-agents, poisoning, and collateral damage.

The case may have sounded like a relic of the Cold War, but Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says there is a contemporary context for it:

Prime Minister Theresa May and colleagues in Britain’s government reconfirm the quality and effectiveness of her nation’s police and intelligence work.