IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts Sun, 22 Jan 17 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Manierre Dawson in town Manierre Dawson in town
The Illinois State Museum has announced the dates of showing of 16 original oil paintings in its collection by Manierre Dawson. “A Journey to Abstraction.” Dawson, sayeth the curators, was a lit...]]>
Trump explains Lincoln Trump explains Lincoln
Next month Springfield will mark the 208th anniversary of te birth of Abraham Lincoln. The city is familiar by now with the tributes that national and international Somebodies pay to our best citizen....]]>
Our second city Our second city
Way back in 2014, when the sun still shone on America, I did a column titled New York, New York in which  I ventured an opinion or two about why New York City draws to it the best and...]]>
History books for Christmas History books for Christmas
Here is a short shelf of books that explore in some way the history of mid-Illinois, as I promised in "Understanding our brave new world through the old one." All are still in print or, if no...]]>
Closing time Closing time
 "Sears revolutionized American retail not once but twice, and made a lot of Americans immeasurably better off," Megan McArdle writes in Bloomberg. "But Sears built a great business for an ...]]>
A little knowledge . . . . No. 10 in a series A little knowledge . . . . No. 10 in a series
Public Policy Polling has been peeking under the low brow of the American public again, and found that a great many Trump supporters live in a different United States than do their countrymen. ...]]>
Still counting . . . Still counting . . .
An update on the issue I raised here and here: The U.S. presidential vote is still being counted. As of December 6, Hillary Clinton leads by 2.6 million votes, which is 2 percent of the tota...]]>
Fair and just Fair and just
Readers who share my dismay at the ways that the structure of our national political system frustrates the will of the majority have a sympathetic ear in blogger Jason Kottke, who offers links to usef...]]>
Not the pick of the litter Not the pick of the litter
Among the original items in Mr. Rauner's Turnaround Agenda (he counts 44, I get a little more than a dozen) are several sensible reforms that the saner Democrats ought to at least be talking about.&n...]]>
Fitzgerald and Maxwell, from the archives Fitzgerald and Maxwell, from the archives
Alert readers will know that two mid-Illinois writers, translator and poet Robert S. Fitzgerald and Lincoln novelists and editor William Maxwell, have been much talked about in these pages over the ...]]>
Krohe khronicles Krohe khronicles
In "As the crow is bent" (perhaps my worst title ever), I explored the ramifications of my unusual surname.Unusual, that is, outside Cass County and environs. My father, on his travels around ...]]>
"People, not Pontiacs," uncut "People, not Pontiacs," uncut
For readers with a taste for the archival. Here is the full version of my column abut the Y block in downtown Springfield, an abridged version of which we ran on Nov. 10, The original that follows app...]]>
Rural clout Rural clout
Rural America, even as it laments its economic weakness, retains vastly disproportionate electoral strength. Rural voters were able to nudge Donald J. Trump to power despite Hillary Clinton’s large ...]]>
Boomer bust Boomer bust
 Note to baby boomers: Now's your chance to relive the '60s for real -- only now Bull Connor is in the White House....]]>
Rigged Rigged
 Turns out the election was rigged, after all. Voters were asked to chose from among four candidates, and the one who was awarded the most votes was – Illinoisan Hillary Clinton. She lost, h...]]>
Of the women, for the women and by the women Of the women, for the women and by the women
 I just voted a few minutes ago, with pleasure and relief. Just visible n spite of the  smoke and mirrors was the fact that this was an election of the women, for the women and by the wome...]]>
Lucky charm Lucky charm
In 2002 I moved to the Chicago area and became a White Sox fan; they won the World Series in 2005. In 2010 I moved to the Bay Area and started following the Giants; they won baseball’s top prize t...]]>
Women's place Women's place
 Some further observation on, and from, Women, Work, and Worship in Lincoln’s Country: The Dumville Family Letters from the University of Illinois Press, which I review this week in “Old le...]]>
A little knowledge . . . . No. 9 in a series A little knowledge . . . . No. 9 in a series
The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute down Carbondale way continues to bravely explore the treacherous pathways of public opinion in Illinois. Among the 1,000 Illinois registered voters surveyed i...]]>
The youth vote The youth vote
In this week's Dyspepsiana, I take up the question of election-rigging. Which got me to thinking . . . .The principle—that those subject to the state’s laws ought to be able to shape those laws...]]>
Springfield High's one-hundredth Springfield High's one-hundredth
 I graduated from Springfield High School in 1966. My classmates organized a 50th reunion for the same weekend that the Springfield High School building  turned 100. District 186 staged a...]]>
Centennial Building continued Centennial Building continued
In "Refined, delicate and urban," I talked about the Centennial Building on the statehouse grounds, which was built to honor the first centenary of the founding of the State of Illinois. I, argued, ...]]>
Fool me once . . . . Fool me once . . . .
There’s a sucker born every minute, they say, which might explain why state legislatures and city councils count so many of them among their members. As I noted here and here, spending the publi...]]>
Finally, a use for the Armory Finally, a use for the Armory
In next week's installment of Dyspepsiana, I argue that a nice way to mark the State of Illinois' 200th anniversary in 2018 would be to restore the memorial it built to celebrate the commonweal...]]>
Religious freedom in Montgomery County Religious freedom in Montgomery County
 In “Get right or get out” I recalled episodes from Illinois’ recent past in which fearful Illinoisans confronted the Other. I mentioned an incident in Litchfield involving Jehovah’s ...]]>
Fair to middling Fair to middling
 The more things change, the more they stay the same. Thirty-six years ago, Springfield's mayor was Mike Houston, and the Illinois State Fair was, well, what the fair has always been. I wrote ab...]]>
Parade unrest Parade unrest
I'm not sure that everyone loves a parade but I do--as a subject. I wrote two columns about the parade that kicks off the Illinois State Fair each year.  This one appeared in our paper of A...]]>
Nature's cheats Nature's cheats
Appropriate for the Olympics season is this very interesting piece from Scientific American, "Magic Blood and Carbon-Fiber Legs at the Brave New Olympics," in which Daid Epstein addresses ...]]>
Ill spent Ill spent
In “Wasted,” I lamented the fact that the Illinois public has so little basis on which to judge the merit in that perennial complaint that our tax money is being wasted by grasping public emplo...]]>
Stout fellows, continued Stout fellows, continued
 In “The burdens of office” I recalled my inglorious tenure as president of Springfield High School’s Interact (a combination of  “international” and “action”) Club in the 19...]]>