IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts http://illinoistimes.com/blogs.sec-138-1-second-thoughts.html Thu, 24 Apr 14 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Reporting the report http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13783-reporting-the-report.html Reporting the report
I have been writing about Springfield local government since the Great Satan in the White House was a Republican. During that time, able and earnest citizens sat down to recommend improvements to e...]]>
Reforming the reform http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13784-reforming-the-reform.html Reforming the reform
 In my recent piece about the challenges facing the Sangamon County Citizens Efficiency Commission, I noted that the adoption of township government in the 1850s, which has been intended to enh...]]>
Inheritances http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13782-inheritances.html Inheritances
Thanks to Jared Bernstein for alerting me – us – to a speech delivered by Larry Summers, President Emeritus of Harvard University, Chief Economist at the World Bank, Clinton-era Secretary of the...]]>
Cougar, cougar, shining bright http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13716-cougar-cougar-shining-bright.html Cougar, cougar, shining bright
 In the fall of 2012, I remarked (“They’re b-a-a-a-c-k”) on video evidence that confirmed the presence in a Morgan County woods of an adult cougar. The animal was then only the fourth know...]]>
Wrong-headedness about schools http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13715-wrong-headedness-about-schools.html Wrong-headedness about schools
This morning Rich Miller over at Capital Fax.com responded to a recent report comparing Chicago charter schools outcomes to those at the city's neighborhood schools. [The] over-emphasis on takin...]]>
Wait control http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13711-wait-control.html Wait control
Thinking about epistolary romancing for last week's column (Please mister postman), I wondered, Do romantic emails excite the same kind of response as the old-fashioned love letter? I used to t...]]>
More on the Little Giant http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13682-more-on-the-little-giant.html More on the Little Giant
 Whatever one thinks of him – and I made clear in Price of Demagogues that I think that his ambition consistently outran his judgment – Stephen A. Douglas was a singular character. John Mas...]]>
Option play http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13681-option-play.html Option play
Good news. The Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board recently decided  that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the university and thus can unionize if they c...]]>
Barrett Deems http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13623-barrett-deems.html Barrett Deems
 My column about drummer jokes in December made significant mention of Springfield native son and drummer, Barrett Deems.   I am informed by UIS Auditorium Director Bob Vaughn that...]]>
Miscontrusion http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13621-miscontrusion.html Miscontrusion
About a year ago, in a column titled, "What was that again?" I noted that people who learn words solely from books are prey to pronouncing them the way they look -- which, unfortunately, is not al...]]>
Votes by the barrel http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13579-votes-by-the-barrel.html Votes by the barrel
In the 19th century, votes were bought not by money but by whiskey. A keg would be set up outside each polling place on election day, and the more generous a candidates was with the ladle the bette...]]>
A tax plan with interest http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13550-a-tax-plan-with-interest.html A tax plan with interest
The tax-reform proposal recently unveiled by Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has been praised by even Democratic-leaning commentators such as Jonathan Chait as “maybe th...]]>
Saving for an un-rainy day http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13549-saving-for-an-un-rainy-day.html Saving for an un-rainy day
More on the politics of water rate increases. (See also "Demanding answers.") I addressed the issue in this paper back in 1988, when Springfield also was suffering through a protracted dry spell....]]>
Er, I don't know http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13494-er-i-dont-know.html Er, I don't know
 In my recent babbling about which collective noun best describes residents of Springfield, I explored which of the word endings "-ian" or "-er" was most appropriate to attach to the word Spr...]]>
The French don't know just how to live http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13495-the-french-dont-know-just-how-to-live.html The French don't know just how to live
 In a 2013 piece that was harder to write than it is to read, I remembered my good friend and long-time I contributor Rich Shereikis, who died of advanced pancreatic cancer at the age of 75....]]>
Public utility, private monopoly http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13491-public-utility-private-monopoly.html Public utility, private monopoly
 Since David Atkins asked the right questions about the wisdom of the recent purchase of Time Warner Cable by Comcast, I won’t have to.  . . . the taxpayers funded much if not most o...]]>
Job killers http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13492-job-killers.html Job killers
A couple of week ago Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced his intention to introduce legislation to cut the corporate state income tax rate – that is, the rate applied to business prof...]]>
Not truly educative http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13440-not-truly-educative.html Not truly educative
 A reformer talks education:  “With the advent of democracy and modern industrial conditions, it is impossible  to foretell definitely just what civilization will be twenty year...]]>
More on exterior decoration http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13409-more-on-exterior-decoration.html More on exterior decoration
There is much to say about statues, and public art in general, and I am surprised, looking back over nearly 40 years of writing about things Illinoisan, that I have said so much of it. There is, ...]]>
John M. Palmer http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13411-john-m-palmer.html John M. Palmer
 In “A new Dawn at the statehouse?” I suggested that most of the statues and memorial that litter the statehouse grounds ought to be landfilled, they being either mediocre art or memoriali...]]>
He's got a van http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13384-hes-got-a-van.html He's got a van
More on the lowly status of the drummer in the band, this time from Sting. In Broken Music: A Memoir, published by Dial Press in 2003, he recalled his days as a struggling up-and-coming bass player ...]]>
A good deed unpunished http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13353-a-good-deed-unpunished.html A good deed unpunished
When we left Hemant Mehta, he was still trying to get someone in Morton Grove — anyone — to accept his money. the $3,000 in donations. As I noted in my column last week, Mehta had asked readers...]]>
Call the police http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13330-call-the-police.html Call the police
My recent column decrying the rise of the all-purpose preposition moved faithful reader John Garvey to share. “I've been noticing, especially on radio, that the word ‘an’ is nearing extincti...]]>
Like Buddy Rich having a seizure http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13331-like-buddy-rich-having-a-seizure.html Like Buddy Rich having a seizure
 On the subject of drummers: No singer/songwriter/producer has made more creative use of unconventional percussion over a 44-year career than Tom Waits — probably because (as he put it in a ...]]>
Delayed payments http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13325-delayed-payments.html Delayed payments
My recent column complaining about the pension “reform” plan cobbled together by the General Assembly annoyed some readers. One reader asked whether, when I was young and did not get a toy I wante...]]>
Heroes of 1812 http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13324-heroes-of-1812.html Heroes of 1812
One of the things to admire about Gillum Ferguson’s new book, Illinois in the War of 1812, which I wrote about recently, is his depiction of the native peoples caught up in that conflict. He portray...]]>
Birthday bash http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13323-birthday-bash.html Birthday bash
 Bob Vaughn, who runs the Sangamon Auditorium at UIS, tells me that the upcoming performance by the San Francisco Jazz Collective will be dedicated to Springfield drum great Barrett Deems, whom I mentioned in my recent column about drummers. The date of the 7 p.m. performance, Sunday March 30, 20...]]>
Do Not Go to Jail http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13322-do-not-go-to-jail.html Do Not Go to Jail
 Last year, noting that not a single high-level executive had been successfully prosecuted in connection with collapse of the national economy in 2008, I asked why more real crooks don’t go to ...]]>
“There is no short cut” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13321-%25E2%2580%259Cthere-is-no-short-cut%25E2%2580%259D.html “There is no short cut”
 Every Illinoisan wants, or ought to want to curb unneeded increases in Medicaid spending. Purging the rolls will help a little, but the real problem is something else.According to Harold Pollack...]]>
Target-ing customers http://illinoistimes.com/blog-13320-target-ing-customers.html Target-ing customers
Writing two days before Christmas about the theft from Target’s data system of as many as 40 million customer names, card numbers, expiration dates and card security codes, the Chicago Tribune edito...]]>