In this month’s “In it for the Money” column David Erik Nelson shares a Terrible Revelation he had recently about being Jewish in America that began with an observation about Ann Arbor’s Jewish Community Center’s armed guard: “This is as good as it gets: A daycare with an armed guard and blast-proof windows. According to a recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute 12% of Americans think it’s basically OK to refuse to do business with a Jew (and let us not forget the breadth of services that might ultimately fall under the auspices of “doing business in America”).”
David Erik Nelson’s monthly column recalls that back in March, for just shy of 24 hours, Michigan was willing to license, solemnize, and recognize the marriage of any two people without getting all particular about their genitals. … But without the work of county clerks, no one could have gotten married on Saturday, March 22, 2014. No offices would have been open, no staff would have been on hand, and the appropriate forms would not have existed. So Nelson’s column celebrates the quiet heroism of county clerks.
For this month’s “In in It for the Money” column David Erik Nelson obtained press credentials for U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Ann Arbor on April 2, 2014. He showed up and wrote about what he saw there. “You can see it in the video, a hint of it, but there in the room, you could feel the antic energy gathering. Even from 65 feet away, standing behind the crowd, I could feel a dad joke coming. It was like the portentous pressure front that proceeds a tornado; my ears popped, wasps went nuts, squirrels fled, dogs barked at locked doors.”
In this month’s “In it for the Money” column, David Erik Nelson writes a love note to the local library. The column lays out how the taxes he pays to support the Ann Arbor District Library work out to give him a ten-fold return on that investment. He interviewed associate director Eli Neiburger for the column, who’s quoted as follows: “The library is very unique among taxing entities, in that you pay a flat fee up front, and then the value you receive from it is in direct proportion to how much you choose to use it, with no additional cost required.”
Columnist David Erik Nelson interviews Ari Kohen, director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Nebraska, about a question highlighted in Dylan Farrow’s allegations against Woody Allen: In everyday commerce, how do we decide how deeply we want to engage with people who we are fairly confident have done terrible things?
In this month’s “In it for the Money” column David Erik Nelson writes about bed bugs – from his own experience. He also critiques the “press release reporting” of the bed bug issue, and lays out some actual facts about bed bugs and incidence of infestation closer to home, in Washtenaw County.
In this month’s “In it for the Money” column, David Erik Nelson writes about his inability to plan far enough ahead to find Xanukah candles this year. And he shares how he, a Jewish man in a “mixed marriage” with a woman who is not a Jew, explains Christmas to his son: “Gentiles – even otherwise secular Gentiles – make great sacrifices at this time of year in the pursuit of these rituals, and in assuring that even the least among them are able to participate in ritual gift exchange.”