IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts http://illinoistimes.com/blogs.sec-138-1-second-thoughts.html Sun, 21 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Losing our mind http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14835-losing-our-mind.html Losing our mind
Janet Daley is the venerable commentator and critic for Britain's The Telegraph. Recently she took up the larger issues raised by the recent report of this country's secret post-9/11 torture program...]]>
Shocking truths http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14806-shocking-truths.html Shocking truths
 Governor-elect Bruce Rauner was in Springfield on Dec, 2, where he told the press that the State of Illinois budget deficit "is far worse than has been discussed." No, it's not. It's exactly...]]>
Fun with maps http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14804-fun-with-maps.html Fun with maps
 In my September column, “Where’s Illinois?,” I hazarded the guess that the mental maps that Americans make of the places they know resemble the actual map as much as the State of Illinoi...]]>
Thanks, Bruce http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14774-thanks-bruce.html Thanks, Bruce
 The Executive Mansion is falling apart -- the mechanical systems need to be replaced, the roof leaks and the flooring is even less well-supported than recent State of Illinois budgets. Not ...]]>
Thanks -- I guess http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14775-thanks-i-guess.html Thanks -- I guess
The Executive Mansion is falling apart -- the mechanical systems need to be replaced, the roof leaks and the flooring is even less well-supported than recent State of Illinois budgets. Govenor-el...]]>
Smart machines, dumb people http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14746-smart-machines-dumb-people.html Smart machines, dumb people
 In my upcoming column on state driver licensing requirements, I note that because driverless cars will demand even less of our brains and our bodies than manual driving does, we are likely to pr...]]>
Place-dropping http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14747-place-dropping.html Place-dropping
I only recently noticed that a reader had chided me in the comments for listing all the places I'd lived in my piece about food scrap recycling. (Waste not. Why not?)I wasn't t place-dropping, I swe...]]>
Dancing hippos http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14716-dancing-hippos.html Dancing hippos
 Each year about this time, when the first snow threatens, local police urge caution upon drivers who apparently have forgotten everything they ever learned about how to drive on snow-slicked p...]]>
A little knowledge . . . No. 4 in a series http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14715-a-little-knowledge-no-4-in-a-series.html A little knowledge . . . No. 4 in a series
Danielle Kurtzleben at Vox alerted me to this: Pollsters for Ipsos-MORI recently asked 1,001 Americans, "Out of every 100 people of working age, how many do you think are unemployed and looking ...]]>
Leading lambs to slaughter http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14714-leading-lambs-to-slaughter.html Leading lambs to slaughter
 Bruce Rauner not only must learn how to be a governor – every new governor does – but how to be a politician. He made a good start in the campaign. He promised things he cannot deliver and...]]>
Remembering well http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14655-remembering-well.html Remembering well
 In my 2012 column “Faith, hope and statuary,” I panned recent attempts to commemorate through public statuary sacrifice by public protectors like firefighters and cops. Such works leave a...]]>
Chest-thumping http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14604-chest-thumping.html Chest-thumping
 Further thoughts about the Daily Herald’s forlorn search for a gubernatorial candidate who can “change Illinois history.” The paper believes it found one in Bruce Rauner. As I noted in l...]]>
Waste not more http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14606-waste-not-more.html Waste not more
 I’ve been thinking a bit more about food waste, and the several ways it might be reduced, or at least redeemed. While it’s too wet to burn, food waste can be digested by our littl...]]>
Oh, there's Illinois http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14521-oh-theres-illinois.html Oh, there's Illinois
 In “Where’s Illinois?” I pondered the ways in which the Midwest is a state of mind – and that when it comes to geography, Americans’ minds are often in a state of confusion. Yale...]]>
Autopilots http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14492-autopilots.html Autopilots
The social impacts of the cyber revolution are beyond the brief of a columnist specializing in weedy parking lots and aldermanic antics. But, like the current Republican gubernatorial candidate, I ...]]>
Flyover country http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14459-flyover-country.html Flyover country
 In "Flyover Country" Is an Insult to Midwesterners Like Me. So Is "Heartland" Sentimentality,” journalist Matthew Wolfson offers a sober and perceptive assessment of the popular sentime...]]>
Already in the know http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14455-already-in-the-know.html Already in the know
My column next week will be about New York City, and the allure it has always had for the ambitious and the hopeful. Writing it, I was reminded of a something said in an interview by performance artis...]]>
Unbuilding your way out of a problem http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14427-unbuilding-your-way-out-of-a-problem.html Unbuilding your way out of a problem
 The State Journal-Register on Sunday published a useful report by reporter Jamie Monk about the efforts by the Springfield Metro Sanitary District to cope with flooding from "rain events" that...]]>
Back to the Town Branch http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14423-back-to-the-town-branch.html Back to the Town Branch
 The Y block in downtown Springfield lies along the now-buried course of the Town Branch of Spring Creek. That has implications for the redevelopment of that block, as I noted in Wet Dream. ...]]>
The screen, perfectly executed http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14426-the-screen-perfectly-executed.html The screen, perfectly executed
 Parking lot screening. Yes, I know it's on your mind. That's why, in my travels around this commonwealth, keep the Krohe eye peeled for edifying examples of the art that might act as inspirati...]]>
Searching for the mot juste http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14397-searching-for-the-mot-juste.html Searching for the mot juste
 In "What do you mean by that?" I ventured the opinion that "big words"  words are not, like jewelry, mere adornments to the educated, but essential tools that equip us to...]]>
Sears, No-buck http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14365-sears-no-buck.html Sears, No-buck
In a 2012 column I recalled the bad deal made by the State of Illinois in 1989 when it caved it to threats from Sears, Roebuck to move its Merchandise Group out of Illinois. The package a...]]>
Big words http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14366-big-words.html Big words
 In next week's column, “What do you mean by that?” I ask the perennial question: Big words – what are they good for? One man who has some very good answers to that question is writer...]]>
More unhappy news http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14335-more-unhappy-news.html More unhappy news
 More on happiness in, and with cities, a topic I touched on in “Land of mope and worry.” Wages and housing alone don’t predict where people want to live very well. Cities like San Fran...]]>
Peter Hall http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14330-peter-hall.html Peter Hall
A while back, I edited and wrote chapter introductions to a collection of essays on the influence of Daniel Burnham, the architect-turned-city planner whose 1909 Plan of Chicago gave Chicago its fa...]]>
When non-profit means non-professional http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14301-when-non-profit-means-non-professional.html When non-profit means non-professional
 Imagine this scene: Having recognized that they share a common need, a group of well-intended parents gather and decide to found a Montessori school. They lease classroom space, they buy the n...]]>
Flunking the test http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14247-flunking-the-test.html Flunking the test
 I have railed in print  about our national health care “system” that spends more and gets less for it than more advanced nations do because it buys not good health but “health care ...]]>
What, for? http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14243-what-for.html What, for?
 Language wonks might recall my January column about the rise in American English of the all-purpose preposition, “All for one – and “for” for all.”  I spotted another instanc...]]>
Scrap heap http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14241-scrap-heap.html Scrap heap
This week came sad confirmation of my complaint from 2010 that the State of Illinois’ stewardship of its major buildings amounts to slow-motion vandalism. Crain’s columnist Greg Hinz dropped b...]]>
Getting connected http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14209-getting-connected.html Getting connected
It’s a start. The Springfield City Council on July 1 approved extending the existing cable television franchise agreement with Comcast, in spite of the many complaints aldermen receive about ...]]>