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Do your job and see what happens. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services suffered a 4 percent cut in funding in the new state budget, reports "Fiscal Focus" (July). "The decline...can be attributed to a significant decrease in caseload. The number of children moving to permanent and more appropriate placement through adoption and subsidized guardianship has directly decreased caseloads and reduced the growth of foster care spending."

How dare those little countries go on building bombs--have they no decency? This from the Center for Defense Information's "Weekly Defense Monitor" (June 18): "Of the $58 billion spent for military research and development in 1997, $37 billion was spent by the United States."

"Fifteen years ago, a woman might have been told that she couldn't 'handle' a job in academia," says John Marshall Law School professor Diane Kaplan (John Marshall Comment, Summer). "After proving that she could indeed handle a classroom, she might be told that a woman who is a mother 'cannot appropriately be committed to the rigors of the job.' If people are resistant, they'll keep coming up with barriers."

Time and place. Former University of Chicago professor and current Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia on sexual harassment, quoted in the Illinois Bar Journal (June): "A professional football player's working environment is not severely or pervasively abusive...if the coach smacks him on the buttocks as he heads onto the field--even if the same behavior would reasonably be experienced as abusive by the coach's secretary (male or female) back at the office....Common sense, and an appropriate sensitivity to social context, will enable courts and juries to distinguish between simple teasing or roughhousing among members of the same sex, and conduct which a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position would find severely hostile or abusive."

"The Congressional Hispanic Caucus uses tobacco money to print a slick directory to Hispanic organizations and Hispanic members of Congress," writes James Garcia in "Politico" (June 22). "The National Association of Hispanic Publications--whose members include more than 100 Spanish-language and bilingual weekly newspapers across the country--let Philip Morris Company pay for its main awards banquet and other projects. And the NALEO [National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials] hosted a panel on the future of Hispanic children sponsored by tobacco money."

Um, well, he's at Oak Street Beach getting some perspective on the law. In the Chicago-based "Young Lawyer" (April), Pamela Cairns advises her readers to get over the fear of working fewer than 65 hours a week. "Unless you really love the law for the sake of the law, you need time away from the office." She suggests hiring an assistant who's good at "letting you know which partner was looking for you and when and giving a reasonable explanation for your absence."

"Large banks tend to make relatively few small business loans in low-income and minority neighborhoods," reports the Woodstock Institute in a recent report on Chicago-area banks. "The five banks making the highest proportion [more than 30 percent] of their loans in lower-income areas were all under $1 billion in assets as of 1996." The Chicago average is 15 percent of loans. Four of the five bank holding companies with more than $10 billion in assets are at 12 percent or less. The LaSalle banks stand out among the biggies, with 22 percent of the holding company's loans in such areas.

In other words, use something they really care about. Illinois can now enforce child-support orders by threatening to revoke a deadbeat parent's driver's and professional licenses, writes Jessica Winski in Illinois Issues (June). She quotes Nancy Ebb of the Children's Defense Fund: "The idea is to get people's attention."

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