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Thursday, July 7, 2011 10:14 am

Why aren’t there more songs about government?

The life of an opinion-monger is filled with idle moments that more diligent commentators spend in study and reflection. I prefer to wonder rather than ponder. And one of the things I wonder about is,...
Thursday, June 30, 2011 01:41 am

Why political reform never seems to work in Illinois

Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich returns home after being found guilty on 17 of 20 counts in his corruption trial.PHOTO BY E. JASON WAMBSGANS/MCT At last, we have a verdict on the governor. Within hours of its announcement, deliberations began in the press to decide the guilt or innocence of the people who elected him twice as Illinois’s chief executive officer. The verdict? The vote...
Thursday, June 23, 2011 04:58 pm

Should the law be on trial as well as Blago?

As I write, the jury is still out on Rod Blagojevich. The coming verdict in his second trial for behaving like an Illinois governor will settle for now the question of his criminal culpability. Other ...
Thursday, June 16, 2011 04:51 am

Reforming medicine care to tend to the not yet sick

On a recent pleasure trip to San Francisco, I took a ride on one of the many historic streetcars that ply that city’s waterfront. Car 1058 is one of the kinds of cars that made up the fleets of ...
Thursday, June 9, 2011 11:05 am

Will fixing Dirksen Parkway fix traffic problems?

Road crews, I see, will be spending the summer making the intersection of Dirksen Parkway and Clear Lake Avenue safe for the out of sorts. It’s been years since I’ve driven through it on a...
Thursday, June 2, 2011 10:07 am

Seeing the universe in the sand burr

I will not be able to take Western religions seriously until they explain the sand burr. The plant’s very existence suggests that the universe is a creation of malevolent design. Even devout Chr...
Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:32 am
A people’s willingness to walk determines the shape of their towns – and their towns have a lot to do in determining the shape of the people who live in them. University of Tennessee resea...
Thursday, May 19, 2011 09:10 am

Adding up the cost of non-wage benefits

Our lives and our politics are dominated by money, yet our thinking about the most basic number of them all – how much we earn – doesn’t add up. You’d think that people would a...
Thursday, May 12, 2011 09:44 am

Why a place’s past comes to matter

The Sangamon County Historical Society turns 50 years old this year. Judged by such new initiatives as a Web-based encyclopedia of area history, the Society is – it pains me to say this – ...
Thursday, May 5, 2011 03:56 pm

Is Illinois farmland the next real estate bubble?

Central Illinois farmland doesn’t usually return a fat harvest until the fall. These days it’s doing so all year long. Sales prices for prime farm acreage around Springfield rose roughly o...

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