Hospital wars

In a fight to the finish, the marketplace rules.

The only thing most people know about health care is that it costs too much.

A padded payroll

Our political leaders can plunder the public treasury in more ways than one.

While the public is contemplating the wholesale violations of merit hiring rules at the Illinois Department of Transportation, they ought to give some thought as well to the abuse of taxpayer dollars by individuals who helped perpetrate the fraudulent hiring.

Bad schedule is by design

Mayoral candidates in Champaign are at the starting line way too early.

Get this — 10 weeks before the November general election, mayoral candidates in Champaign received the legal go-ahead to start collecting petition signatures for the April 7 municipal election.

The petitions — requiring a minimum of just 85 signatures — must be on file in November.

Hoop schemes

Your mission, Coach Groce, should you decide to accept it, is to hold a joint basketball practice with the Dayton Flyers under such circumstances that no one, not even you, learns anything from or about it.

Ardor lacking on fracking

For a state that is in desperate need of high-paying jobs and the tax revenues they generate, Illinois is remarkably indifferent when it comes to creating an atmosphere that encourages them.

What others are saying about ... the Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've probably witnessed the Ice Bucket Challenge, a strong movement on the Internet to raise money for ALS research. From basketball star LeBron James to country singer Miranda Lambert to former President George W. Bush, participants have helped raise nearly $90 million so far.

So debate already

As the Nov. 4 election draws near, Illinois' U.S. Senate candidates ought to quit their sparring and start debating.

The official traditional starting date for general election campaign is Labor Day, a holiday in which voters have a chance to rest up in preparation for the nonsense to come.

Three cheers

Profiles in courage are not as rare as some people think.

There are few things people like more than an inspirational tale about an individual who won't let a bad break keep him down.

Unless, of course, it's two of them.

Need straight talk on ISIS

There's no sugar-coating the words of warning about a new military threat in the Middle East.

While President Barack Obama has been circumspect in his comments about the danger posed by a new terror army, his military advisers are sounding an alarm that looks frightfully close to a call to war.

Swift injustice

Hooded killers shooting hooded prisoners is a shocking scene even in a war zone.

It was Civil War Gen. William Sherman who said, "War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over."

Even in that context, it was sobering to see news reports last week about the summary executions by Hamas of 18 suspected spies.