IllinoisTimes - Guest Opinion http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-33-1-guest-opinion.html Thu, 24 Jul 14 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Are we doomed to polarization? http://illinoistimes.com/article-14226-are-we-doomed-to-polarization.html Are we doomed to polarization?
 We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don’t much like the way it’s performing.The reason for this dissatisfaction is clear. Polls in r...]]>
A baby step to improve chemical safety http://illinoistimes.com/article-14198-a-baby-step-to-improve-chemical-safety.html A baby step to improve chemical safety
In the aftermath of the explosion of a fertilizer storage facility in West, Texas, last year that killed 15 people and destroyed three schools and a nursing home, federal officials realized there are ...]]>
What’s the market doing? - Cattle are up, soybeans down. But that’s bound to change. http://illinoistimes.com/article-14169-what%25E2%2580%2599s-the-market-doing.html What’s the market doing? - Cattle are up, soybeans down. But that’s bound to change.
 If you are around people involved in agriculture, the question “What’s the market doing?” will eventually come up. While there may be variations – “How’s the market?” or “Anythin...]]>
Improving federal freedom of information http://illinoistimes.com/article-14143-improving-federal-freedom-of-information.html Improving federal freedom of information
 Earlier this year, the Veterans Affairs Administration denied the Tampa Tribune’s Freedom of Information Act request for the names of VA hospitals where veterans died because of delays in medi...]]>
Give college grads a future of freedom from debt http://illinoistimes.com/article-14116-give-college-grads-a-future-of-freedom-from-debt.html Give college grads a future of freedom from debt
 The U.S. Senate held a vote recently to bring up legislation allowing student debt holders to refinance old loans at lower current interest rates. The motion to debate the “Bank on Students Em...]]>
Lesson of the city’s NAPA contract http://illinoistimes.com/article-14090-lesson-of-the-city%25E2%2580%2599s-napa-contract.html Lesson of the city’s NAPA contract
For two years the Springfield city council worked hand in hand with Mayor Mike Houston and budget director William McCarty to consolidate four city maintenance garages – police, fire, public works a...]]>
Diverse faith groups talk about race http://illinoistimes.com/article-14063-diverse-faith-groups-talk-about-race.html Diverse faith groups talk about race
 It has long been said that 10 a.m. Sunday morning, when many worship services begin, is the most segregated hour of the week. While it is true segregation marks many a Sunday service, there is a...]]>
Give minorities a green reason to vote http://illinoistimes.com/article-14035-give-minorities-a-green-reason-to-vote.html Give minorities a green reason to vote
 This year marks the 10th anniversary of Campaign for Communities, which created a coalition of Latino, African American, low-income and environmental organizations working to educate, register a...]]>
More of the same from Congress http://illinoistimes.com/article-14004-more-of-the-same-from-congress.html More of the same from Congress
I felt a brief surge of hope about Congress a few weeks ago. It was returning from Easter recess, and Capitol Hill was filled with talk about immigration reform, a minimum-wage bill, a spending bill t...]]>
What parents need to know about schools http://illinoistimes.com/article-13955-what-parents-need-to-know-about-schools.html What parents need to know about schools
Teacher Appreciation Day, field day, spring concerts, sports competitions and awards ceremonies, plays, debates, school applications and testing, testing, testing. They are all part of that familiar e...]]>
Remembering Sen. Vince Demuzio http://illinoistimes.com/article-13938-remembering-sen-vince-demuzio.html Remembering Sen. Vince Demuzio
 Last month marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Vince Demuzio, the longtime state senator and a powerful political voice of downstate Illinois. His legacy lives on in a multitude of ways....]]>
Immigration reform is a family value http://illinoistimes.com/article-13908-immigration-reform-is-a-family-value.html Immigration reform is a family value
 Every single day hundreds of families are needlessly torn apart through a broken and inhumane deportation system badly in need of reform. Last year alone more than 368,000 people were deported a...]]>
That was a park when I was your age, kids http://illinoistimes.com/article-13825-that-was-a-park-when-i-was-your-age-kids.html That was a park when I was your age, kids
Most people in central Illinois have not heard about it, but the FutureGen Alliance is planning to build their 48,000 square foot, $25 – $30 million visitor center in the heart of Community Park in...]]>
Central Illinois needs clean and green jobs, too http://illinoistimes.com/article-13798-central-illinois-needs-clean-and-green-jobs-too.html Central Illinois needs clean and green jobs, too
 Last June, EPA announced proposed rules to minimize carbon pollution in new power plants. This June, they will announce proposed rules for existing power plants, like the Dallman power plants at...]]>
Changing how we do local government http://illinoistimes.com/article-13770-changing-how-we-do-local-government.html Changing how we do local government
 Former U.S. Senator from Illinois Alan J. Dixon, in his recent book, The Gentleman from Illinois, writes, “Frankly, I believe there are too many elective offices in most states, including an e...]]>
Diversity is good for business http://illinoistimes.com/article-13731-diversity-is-good-for-business.html Diversity is good for business
 When thinking of immigration reform, we must ask ourselves what we want for the country. From a business perspective, important goals to aim for are innovation and entrepreneurship. And although...]]>
No more backsliding - Eliminate discrimination against women http://illinoistimes.com/article-13697-no-more-backsliding.html No more backsliding - Eliminate discrimination against women
 We have had several thought-provoking conversations recently about a new and surprising description of women’s status in America. According to the latest Shriver Report, A Woman’s Nation Pus...]]>
Fixing Congress http://illinoistimes.com/article-13666-fixing-congress.html Fixing Congress
 These are hard times for Congress. Its approval ratings have seen a bump from their historic lows of a few months ago, but it’s a small one. Our representative democracy’s keystone political...]]>
Springfield leaders are in pension denial http://illinoistimes.com/article-13625-springfield-leaders-are-in-pension-denial.html Springfield leaders are in pension denial
 For decades Illinois politicians ignored the state’s mounting pension debt. Now, with a state crisis that’s reeling out of control, Illinoisans are experiencing what happens when politicians...]]>
Don’t dictate language - Legislating on what people speak widens cultural divides http://illinoistimes.com/article-13598-don%25E2%2580%2599t-dictate-language.html Don’t dictate language - Legislating on what people speak widens cultural divides
The Ukrainian conflict has highlighted the instability of nations in which languages and cultures compete for dominance. Despite fundamental differences, parallels have been drawn with the situation i...]]>
Balancing liberty and security http://illinoistimes.com/article-13566-balancing-liberty-and-security.html Balancing liberty and security
Every few days, we learn yet one more way in which government’s expanded surveillance powers intrude upon our privacy and civil liberties.In January it was the revelation that spy agencies in the U....]]>
Abraham Lincoln walks in the morning http://illinoistimes.com/article-13538-abraham-lincoln-walks-in-the-morning.html Abraham Lincoln walks in the morning
 meeting mr lincoln here in springfield that is to say the one in illinoisnot a massachusetts town on the eastern seaboard no the one in illinois where vachel lindsay imagined the president walke...]]>
Springfield must invest in its schools http://illinoistimes.com/article-13510-springfield-must-invest-in-its-schools.html Springfield must invest in its schools
 Raise your hand if you want to pay higher taxes.I’m guessing not many hands went up. No one wants a higher tax bill without a very good reason. I’m leading a group of Springfield citizens wh...]]>
White House Valentines - Combining President’s Day and Valentine’s Day, an essay on presidential marriages http://illinoistimes.com/article-13479-white-house-valentines.html White House Valentines - Combining President’s Day and Valentine’s Day, an essay on presidential marriages
 For more than 200 years, the White House has been a center of American politics. In some administrations, it is also a haven of romance.All but one president was a married man, and in three inst...]]>
Preserve social programs that work http://illinoistimes.com/article-13460-preserve-social-programs-that-work.html Preserve social programs that work
 I started a chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America in Springfield a few years ago. Since then our chapter has grown to include the Greater Springfield Area. At an event last fall in fro...]]>
Will there be enough wings? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13425-will-there-be-enough-wings.html Will there be enough wings?
 Recall the national attention, and concern, generated just before Thanksgiving when the country’s largest turkey producer indicated the possibility of a shortage of large, fresh turkeys? There...]]>
Please, carry with care http://illinoistimes.com/article-13388-please-carry-with-care.html Please, carry with care
Words I wrote a while back in an Illinois Times op ed letter keep coming back to mind. I said: “Most of us will never commit armed robbery or push drugs. But under the right circumstances every one ...]]>
Farm Bill is no place for poison pills http://illinoistimes.com/article-13371-farm-bill-is-no-place-for-poison-pills.html Farm Bill is no place for poison pills
 Congress must approve a farm bill. Our nation’s farmers and millions of food-stamp recipients, as well as American consumers, are depending on the leadership of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Mi...]]>
Mountain lions, wolves and black bears in Illinois? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13343-mountain-lions-wolves-and-black-bears-in-illinois.html Mountain lions, wolves and black bears in Illinois?
The recent occurrence of a mountain lion in Whiteside County has generated much public discussion about the future of this species in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources welcomes th...]]>
Senate opposes persecution of Baha’is in Iran http://illinoistimes.com/article-13318-senate-opposes-persecution-of-baha%25E2%2580%2599is-in-iran.html Senate opposes persecution of Baha’is in Iran
 The Springfield Baha’i community is celebrating the recent approval by the U.S. Senate of a resolution condemning Iran’s continued state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i citizens. Senat...]]>