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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...
Thursday, April 28, 2011 03:20 pm

Politics and Americans’ ambivalence about wealth

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s modern pharaoh, and his two sons were “detained” in mid-April for questioning about corruption and abuse of power by Egyptian prosecutors. No one knows how muc...
Thursday, April 21, 2011 01:57 pm

What to do when a bridge can carry more history than traffic?

Usually, making a Top 10 list is cause for congratulation, but not when it’s Landmarks Illinois’ annual list of most endangered historic sites. In March, the preservationist group named to...

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