Caryn Sullivan: Friday Food for Thought

Friday Food for Thought will offer readers news to chew on over Happy Hour or on the drive to the cabin. Share it with your friends. Share it with your family.

Friday Food for Thought
Caryn Sullivan

With traditional values under siege, it often feels like we’re living in an inside out, upside down world, where right is wrong, and left is right, and those who speak up are shut down.

Friday Food for Thought will offer readers news to chew on over Happy Hour or on the drive to the cabin. Share it with your friends. Share it with your family. If you‘re concerned about our country, summon your courage. Speak out. And vote to uphold traditional values in November.

C’mon, Man! President Biden says the economy is on the path to recovery. But what we hear and what we experience don’t jive. If you go to the grocery store or own a restaurant, you understand that the consumer price index, which compares the cost of goods today to a year ago, is up substantially.

When Biden says inflation was zero for July, that’s compared to June, in which the CPI was the highest in 40 years. Unless you’re earning at least 9 percent more than last year, I doubt you’re dancing through the aisles at Costco (though they are offering free samples again).

Gas prices are down! Or … viewed another way, they’re still way up, as in $2 higher than when Biden was elected. How much is that drive to the cabin costing you this summer? Are you driving the boat and the ATVs or are you paddling around the lake in the kayak or on the paddle board?

Show me the money! With inflation at nearly 9 percent, the Social Security Administration will consider an increase in Social Security payments to retirees, widows, survivors, and individuals with disabilities next year to keep pace with the cost of living. The good news is if you’re a recipient, you’ll likely get a big bump next year, though your net gain will be minimal.

The bad news is an increase raises concerns about whether the fund will run out of money before the projected date of 2034. Of course, Minnesota is one of the few states that tax Social Security benefits. So, there’s that extra bit of joy.

Hold your fire Last week, officials shuttered the Mall of America after a shooting at the Nike store. Back-to-school shoppers spent hours hiding among racks of apparel while police searched for the shooter and his partner, who were arrested Thursday in Chicago. Their accomplices, Best Western employees who facilitated their getaway, have been charged.

The shooter isn’t an amateur. Shamar Alon Ramon Lark epitomizes the “catch and release” epidemic plaguing Minnesota. He was free as a bird, though he’s faced multiple gun charges. Anyone want to run against a sitting judge?

As to taking guns to the nation’s largest mall, it’s hard to imagine how the shooters missed the “Guns Not Allowed on these Premises” signage on mall doors. There again, 40% of kids don’t read at grade level ….

Extortion Last month, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Minneapolis is back and better than ever (though crime is up). Fortunately, Crime Watch continues to give us a reality check. On Monday evening, roughly 100 people surrounded the entrance to Bolero Flats, a Minneapolis apartment building near Orchestra Hall, demanding money from residents trying to enter the building.

Traumatized residents might be asking, “Isn’t rent high enough?”

Hound Dogs and MAPS Sixty years ago, society had much different sensibilities than we have today. Boomers certainly recall the shock when Elvis Presley, dressed in rhinestone-studded jumpsuits, “gyrated his hips” as women screamed and fainted. But that handsome hound dog’s entertainment would be G-rated in 2022.

Consider the remarks of a licensed counselor (seen in this Libs of TikTok video) who reportedly works for a Pennsylvania state agency. In another “let’s change the language” effort, the sex therapist explains that adults who are attracted to children prefer to be called Minor Attracted Persons (or MAPS) because it’s hurtful and insulting to be called pedophiles. Being a good citizen in an inclusive society requires us to be sensitive about pedophiles’ feelings, she says.

Given she’s a licensed counselor, what might she say about young children being taken to drag queen performances where partially-dressed men gyrate in front of them? Or how about a Minnetonka school principal promoting transgender literature as suitable summer reading for elementary students? You just can’t make it up.

Have a chill weekend. Only 87 days until the midterm election.


Caryn Sullivan

A retired attorney and author of the award-winning memoir, "Bitter or Better: Grappling With Life on the Op-Ed Page," Caryn Sullivan has inspired readers with her thoughtful commentary for the past two decades. To learn more about Caryn’s work or to connect, visit