IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts Sun, 07 Feb 16 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Bluffstone builds Bluffstone builds
 At the Downtown Springfield Inc. annual awards dinner in January at the Wyndham City Centre, the Springfield Mayre Jim Langfelder talked about the most recent developments in the Bluffstone LL...]]>
I call this progress I call this progress
 Reader Jay Kitterman CHA, director of the Culinary Institute at Lincoln Land Community College, writes to remind me that the death of Indian restaurants in Springfield in 1981 I d...]]>
Farmer Jim Farmer Jim
Last week I remarked on a pretty good new book about corn and the Midwest from the U of I Press. (See “Where corn is god.”) I didn’t know it then, but when I became a magazine journalist ...]]>
The 1.4 percent solution The 1.4 percent solution
 Back in June of 2015, in “The Razor blade in the apple,” I speculated about the likely effects if passed of Mr. Rauner’s ballyhooed property tax freeze. Among its provisions, the Rauner ...]]>
Free-market games Free-market games
 In my 2013 column, "Throwing in the towel," I talked about the several proposals then on the table to treat elite college athletes like the semi-pros they really are. New York's Jonathan...]]>
Adieu to the Abe, again Adieu to the Abe, again
 In a recent column I described the razing in 1978 of the Hotel Abraham Lincoln. Readers interested to learn more about this consummate act of stupidity might enjoy this piece I wrote a few weeks...]]>
To our credit To our credit
 A few further thoughts triggered by my recent column about the hoped-for restoration to health of the Ferguson Building at 6th and Monroe in downtown Springfield: The federal taxpayer signi...]]>
Giving back Giving back
I touched on only only a fraction of the issues regarding recycling in my recent column on that topic. The market for recycled materials is down, which is putting private recyclers under financia...]]>
Going, going . . . Going, going . . .
 For years, sagacious observers have warned that the real treat to prosperity in Illinois is not high taxes or low politics but stagnant population growth. I addressed the issue in a 2014 colum...]]>
The death of the Abe, in pictures The death of the Abe, in pictures
 This is week in my print column I dusted off a column from my old Prejudices series that recalls the demolition in 1978 of the Hotel Abraham Lincoln. I was pleased therefore  to learn that ...]]>
The yuletide flood The yuletide flood
 I've put this off until the last minute, as so many of us do when it comes to Christmas errands. There's still time, however, to share one of my favorite treats -- Christopher Hitchens on the ...]]>
Bird menace, 1977 Bird menace, 1977
This week in my actual column, Dyspepsiana, I recall my time as a tenant in the Ferguson Building at Sixth and Monroe in downtown Springfield. The building is now undergoing redevelopment by new ow...]]>
Saying thanks Saying thanks
 At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, I pass along this suggestion for your next Thanksgiving dinner  from the late Christopher Hitchens, which appeared in a 2005 piece in the Wall Stre...]]>
Rauners writes, gets it wrong Rauners writes, gets it wrong
Last week, Bruce Rauner signed a letter sent jointly by Republican governors to President Obama asking him "respectfully" to suspend all plans to resettle additional Syrian refugees in the U.S."Res...]]>
Rauner's cowardice Rauner's cowardice
Sadly, two weeks after writing a column extolling a senior Illinois Republican for his brave stand on admitting refugees from the horrors of World War II Europe into the U.S., our state is shamed b...]]>
Huang speaks Huang speaks
In my column of May 6, 2010, “Making room for the Huangs,” I described Wenguang Huang, the Chinese translator and journalist who emigrated to the United States in 1990, specifically to Springfie...]]>
Baseball by moonlight Baseball by moonlight
 As much as I enjoy watching them, I dreaded the Cubs’ entry into the playoffs, because that would mean I would be compelled to watch them in every game. I am offended by any team that decor...]]>
Outta here Outta here
 In “Going for the fences” (Oct. 2, 2014) I noted that the moguls who rule the game were in a sweat. Both home runs-per-game and runs-per-game were 20 percent lower than the record-setting...]]>
Questions that need asking Questions that need asking
 Horseshoe sandwiches have been in the news lately, which reminded me -- would a kiddy shoe with fish be half-soled? ...]]>
As Portland goes, so goeth Illinois? As Portland goes, so goeth Illinois?
 Back in April I remarked on the decision by Mr. Rauner to take the necessary administrative steps toward seeling the old State of Illinois Center (now known as the Thompson Center) in Chicago...]]>
Lincoln and the immigrants Lincoln and the immigrants
 In “Wrong in principle” I recalled how, beginning in the 1830s and ’40s the arrival in Illinois of Germans, who spoke an incomprehensible language, and Irish, who obeyed an incomprehens...]]>
Anniversary gifts Anniversary gifts
Attentive readers will recall that I have an unaccountable fascination with naming things – in particular the naming of public parks and schools and the like. I took up the topic here and here a...]]>
Calhoun County revisited Calhoun County revisited
Speaking of things Calhoun: In “Naming rights and wrongs” I remarked on a suggestion from Rich Miller to rename Calhoun County. That bucolic corner of the state, you might know, was named to ho...]]>
CEO supports the arts CEO supports the arts
The other day I admitted that I was not quote convinced of the wisdom of the State of Illinois offering tax credits so that Con-Agra, a billion-bucks makers of processed foods, could move their cor...]]>
The American way The American way
 More afterthoughts inspired by my Sept. 24 column on immigration, “Trumped-up charges:” One way to get rid of foreigners in our midst is to help them become Americans. Broadly speaking...]]>
Give me your energetic, your trained . . . . Give me your energetic, your trained . . . .
 A new report from the Pew Research Center provides confirmation that immigration in the U.S. is not quite as simple as some political candidates would have voters believe. Among their find...]]>
The history of the history The history of the history
 The State Journal-Register today offers a useful retrospective on the evolution of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site by Tara McClellan McAndrew. ("Protecting Lincoln's legacy in his n...]]>
Down on the border Down on the border
Illinois’ newest Congressman, Darin LaHood, has argued that the U.S. must put more resources into securing the borders to stop the flow of immigrants coming in illegally. Really? More? Between 200...]]>
We have a Houston problem We have a Houston problem
Reuters confirms what began to look inevitable some years go: According to official data from both states, Houston's growing population is expected to exceed that of Chicago within 8 to 10 years, mak...]]>
A little knowledge . . . No, 8 in a series A little knowledge . . . No, 8 in a series
I am obliged to Steve Benen for pointing out the results of the newest Washington Post/ABC News poll. While Hillary Clinton has only a  modest advantage over Donald Trump -- 46% to 43% --&nb...]]>