IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts Sun, 26 Jun 16 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Lies, damn lies and governors Lies, damn lies and governors
 A useful reminder from Charles Wheeler, writing at Illinois Issues. “Speaker Madigan’s Democrats have controlled our General Assembly for more than 30 years. Speaker Madigan’s Democra...]]>
Re-treeing Re-treeing
 My recent column calling for the re-treeing Springfield – “Something there is that doesn't love a tree,” which of course should have been titled “Someone there is who doesn’t love ...]]>
Tree Cities Illinois Tree Cities Illinois
 Bits and pieces about trees pile up on my desk like autumn leaves in the yard. Last week I mentioned Barrington, Illinois, as a Tree City USA. It is not alone. In addition to the U.S. flag th...]]>
The virtues of thrift The virtues of thrift
Back in January I repeated one of my time-worn rants about the environmental damage being done by factory-style cultivation of corn. I stated,   A good field in mid-illinois these days i...]]>
Guelzo on Blumenthal on Lincoln Guelzo on Blumenthal on Lincoln
 I am grateful to the Washington Monthly -- not for the first time -- for alerting me to the release of a new biography of Lincoln that focuses on his Springfield years. Allen Guelzo, t...]]>
Thank you, Governor Thank you, Governor
I appreciate the governor of Illinois confirming a point that I made in my drafts of “Graduation exercise” but which I couldn’t squeeze into the finished piece. From Doug Finke:  &nbsp...]]>
Modern spirit Modern spirit
 In "More jet-age wonders" I praised the  jet-age barn on the state fairgrounds known as the Illinois Building, which was completed in 1950 to plans drawn up by the Chicago firm of Lo...]]>
Job-killers Job-killers
Samuel Scott III, the retired chairman and CEO of Corn Products International, which now calls itself  Ingredion. He gave a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in which he examin...]]>
Motorola revisited Motorola revisited
 A drearily familiar story came briefly back to mind in today's Trib. The campus in Harvard in northern Illinois that Motorola opened in 1997 to make cellphones. and which had been closed since ...]]>
From the Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept. From the Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept.
 The article on Illinois Indian language by Michael McCafferty that I referred to in "Mis-say it loud, mis-say it proud" appears in Protohistory at the Grand Village of the Kaskaskia: The Illin...]]>
Booby-trapping the tax system Booby-trapping the tax system
 This week I take up, and just as quickly put down, the question of a graduated income tax for Illinois. Not many states have a flat rate tax on incomes. Illinois does so for reasons that ha...]]>
Most depressing news of the week-- so far Most depressing news of the week-- so far
 The Chicago Tribune, summarizing the day's events in the General Assembly:...]]>
Ghost houses Ghost houses
When the National Park Service in 1971 took over the blocks of Eighth and Jackson streets around the Lincoln home, it ruthlessly cleared them of any structures that had not been standing w...]]>
More jet-age wonders More jet-age wonders
Space limitations kept me from discussing all of Springfield's International Style buildings in my recent column on jet-age architecture. You’d think that the basic building model for the state fa...]]>
Men in uniform Men in uniform
In "Off the rack" I chided the governor for his too-casual choices of attire while on the job. I concede that my standards in such matters were shaped by my first tow governors, William Stratton and...]]>
Unfit Unfit
 Usually when the subject is Illinois governors and someone brings up cuffs, you know what they mean. But this week I’m talking about attire, not arrests. We’ve had chief executives who pre...]]>
Eggheads, again Eggheads, again
This week I take up the governor’s choices in clothes, but I can find no fault with his grooming. I haven’t always been able to say that about Illinois’s senior politicians. In a 1990 column t...]]>
Faster., faster! Faster., faster!
 In “Unplugged” I wondered why Illinois’ internet service is so backward. I probably should have specified Downstate Illinois. These days Comcast customers in suburbs can get se...]]>
Belew Belew
A faithful reader was kind enough to share her own recollections of Adrian Belew in Springfield. She writes: ...]]>
Tell me, Adrian . . . Tell me, Adrian . . .
 This week in the print edition of IT we reran an old Prejudices column of mine about the brief sojourn of rock guitarist Adrian Belew in mid-Illinois. That version of the column had to be edited...]]>
Midwest revisited Midwest revisited
 In 2014, in "Where is Illinois?" I stuck my big nose into the issue of regional identity. You would think that the one inarguable fact about Illinois is that it is a Midwestern place. Wal...]]>
All aboard All aboard
 In "Back on the roads again," I noted that Mr Rauner's proposed budget  would cut funding for public transit in the Chicago area (in spite of increased demand). I asked, is it wise ...]]>
"With 772 you get eggroll," the writer's cut "With 772 you get eggroll," the writer's cut
 In “With 772 you get eggroll,” we re-ran excerpts from a 1981 column that examined the immigration issue as it appeared in the Springfield of that day. I promised to post the original, m...]]>
Words matter Words matter
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R.-Paranoia) is a sponsor of  the SAFE Act, recently passed in the House by representatives fretting that members of ISIS might gain entry into the U.S. disguise...]]>
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...]]>