Live free or die?

Protesters are testing the patience of the Butchers of Beijing.

The world has watched with grim, fascinated interest for the past two weeks as pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have challenged the ruling Chinese government.

It's quite a standoff: People of all ages, but mostly young, demanding what the government cannot abide to offer — political freedom.

Let's get going

Watching professionals play baseball is fun; watching them do nothing isn't.

As the Major League Baseball season goes into postseason play, most fans, particularly those whose teams are in the playoffs, are focused on what's right with the game, not what's wrong with it.

A danger to democracy

Is it a surprise that trouble ensues when foxes are put in charge of the political henhouse?

A recent 70-page report on the danger of allowing state legislators to draw their own district boundary lines admirably sums up the threat that practice poses to state government.

High stakes

Too much gambling is a bad bet for Illinois.

If video gambling actually contributed anything substantive to this state's economy, the Land of Lincoln would be booming.

Finally, a real issue

Suburban Republicans and a downstate Democrat are tangled up in a debate over school funding.

With the election barely a month away, many of the candidates — most notably the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor and the local U.S. House race — are engaged in an unfortunate round of character assassination.

Follow the money

Partisan gamesmanship over a political scandal in an election year will soon resume.

Federal prosecutors who in July pulled the plug on a state legislative hearing into the disappearance of $55 million in grant funds have given the go-ahead for the inquiry to proceed.

Secure quarters?

One apparently disturbed person has revealed just how vulnerable the White House is to attack.

The head of the Secret Service was appropriately sheepish and apologetic Tuesday when she discussed a recent security breach at the White House and promised it wouldn't happen again. But it was not enough.

Move on fracking

Bureaucratic inertia on an important energy option is dragging Illinois down.

Supporters of "fracking" greeted recent news that the state had completed the rule-making process for this new means of energy exploration, with a combination of dismay and relief.

It's not just grass that's green

There is something both disquieting and revealing about the effort by so many legal drug dealers to jump on the state's medical marijuana bandwagon.

More than 350 groups have applied for the 81 state licences to participate in the production and sale of medical marijuana.

Holder exits

The number of President Obama's original Cabinet members is dwindling down to a precious few.

President Barack Obama will have his hands full filling the post being vacated by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.