IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts Fri, 06 Mar 15 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 And the winner is . . . And the winner is . . .
 Wise heads at the statehouse have been scratched as observers try to make sense of the antagonistic stances taken by Illinois' new governor. One explanation is that he is uninterested in actu...]]>
Rereading the past Rereading the past
 In my recent column titled “An overdue policy on the library,” I quoted from a very interesting article about the history of Illinois’ history library, Roger D. Bridges’ “The Origins...]]>
Higher mission Higher mission
While researching my recent column on the State of Illinois’ historical library (see “An overdue policy on the library”) I made (or rather renewed) my acquaintance with John Francis Snyder. As...]]>
Different roads Different roads
I mentioned in my recent remembrance of John Garvey that I had known him for nearly 50 years. I met him when I was 18 years old. The folly of Vietnam had become alarmingly plain, I was facing the d...]]>
Lincoln's low tricks Lincoln's low tricks
 In “Insult with wit,” my paean to the lost art of invective, I noted that while the mature Lincoln did not stoop to invective. This was partly fastidiousness, partly because (as Joseph Med...]]>
Dollar a year, my foot Dollar a year, my foot
 In response to no public demand whatsoever, I took up as my column topic this week (“Masters of the new machine,” out February 5) our new governor’s interesting remarks on public sector...]]>
More on Lee Sandlin More on Lee Sandlin
 I have more to say about the late Lee Sandlin, whose work I extolled in “A poet of fact.” For decades Lee seemed doomed to be another of those writers who is famous for not being known...]]>
Listen to the President -- he's your leader Listen to the President -- he's your leader
Reporter Claire Cain Miller recalled Pres. Obama’s wish, expressed during the State of the Union Address, that Internet service that is fast enough to be useful and affordable enough to be used be extended to every American city. Right now, lack of competition among the big providers means that most Americans have both slower and more expensive Internet service than people in many other countrie...]]>
On the roads again? On the roads again?
 In “Topping off the tank” in 2012, I noted about the federal gas tax that it had not been adjusted for inflation since 1993, Merely raising the federal gas tax enough to restor...]]>
New Beijings New Beijings
 In my 2012 column “New Beijings,” I speculated more than half seriously on a possible cure for the depopulation of the Illinois countryside. I proposed to add a few New Beijings to our Ne...]]>
Other views of Lee Sandlin Other views of Lee Sandlin
 On January 9. Bob Goldsborough of the Chcago Tribune published a fine obituary of Lee Sandlin, the man I described in "A poet of Fact" as "arguably . . . Illinois’ best writer." In on...]]>
A town by any other name . . . A town by any other name . . .
 You might recall that in a February 2014 column I argued with myself about whether “Springfieldian” or “Springfielder” is the more appropriate term for residents of the state capital.&...]]>
Waiting for wisdom Waiting for wisdom
 Faithful readers of this paper will recall that Jackson Street between 2nd  and 8th streets has been talked about in recent months as a pedestrianized link between the statehouse complex...]]>
Naming right Naming right
Further thoughts on the naming, renaming and misnaming of public buildings that I addressed in "Official graffiti": The original wing of what is now regrettably known to most Illinoisans as the Mi...]]>
Learning to share Learning to share
 In “Why did the pedestrian not cross the road?” I noted that downtown promoters and merchants have become concerned about the risks to workers, shoppers and tourists downtown posed by car...]]>
Listening about torture Listening about torture
Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo fetched a bit of tape from the memory hole. Holding copies of FBI emails about torture that the ACLU obtained through FOIA requests last fall, Sen. Dick Durbin said, ...]]>
A little knowledge . . . No. 5 in a series A little knowledge . . . No. 5 in a series
The invaluable Diane Coyle at The Enlightened Economist recently brought to our attention The Diminishing Returns of the Information Age by Mark Roeder, an essay gathered in a collection about&...]]>
Losing our mind 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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...]]>