IllinoisTimes - Second Thoughts Sun, 01 May 16 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 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...]]>
To our credit To our credit
 A few further thoughts triggered by my recent column about the hoped-for restoration to health of the Ferguson Building at 6th and Monroe in downtown Springfield: The federal taxpayer signi...]]>
Giving back Giving back
I touched on only only a fraction of the issues regarding recycling in my recent column on that topic. The market for recycled materials is down, which is putting private recyclers under financia...]]>
Going, going . . . Going, going . . .
 For years, sagacious observers have warned that the real treat to prosperity in Illinois is not high taxes or low politics but stagnant population growth. I addressed the issue in a 2014 colum...]]>
The death of the Abe, in pictures The death of the Abe, in pictures
 This is week in my print column I dusted off a column from my old Prejudices series that recalls the demolition in 1978 of the Hotel Abraham Lincoln. I was pleased therefore  to learn that ...]]>
The yuletide flood The yuletide flood
 I've put this off until the last minute, as so many of us do when it comes to Christmas errands. There's still time, however, to share one of my favorite treats -- Christopher Hitchens on the ...]]>
Bird menace, 1977 Bird menace, 1977
This week in my actual column, Dyspepsiana, I recall my time as a tenant in the Ferguson Building at Sixth and Monroe in downtown Springfield. The building is now undergoing redevelopment by new ow...]]>
Saying thanks Saying thanks
 At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, I pass along this suggestion for your next Thanksgiving dinner  from the late Christopher Hitchens, which appeared in a 2005 piece in the Wall Stre...]]>