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Now that's what I call patience. From the Trust for Public Land's January 5 issue of the "Chicago News Bulletin" ( "Nearly 40 years after Chinatown's only public park was demolished to make way for the Dan Ryan Expressway, the South Side neighborhood is celebrating the creation of a six-acre jewel--Ping Tom Memorial Park."

With unemployment and underemployment rates around 50 percent, "Indonesians would line up outside a slave plantation if they could be sure they got regular food and a roof over their heads," Jeffrey Winters, professor of political economy at Northwestern University, tells Liza Featherstone and Doug Henwood (Lingua Franca, March). Winters suggests that multinational sweatshops such as Nike ask themselves, "'Can the workers actually live on the wages they earn?' not, 'Is this job better than prostitution, slavery, or starvation?'"

Accountability = caring. "I started teaching in the Chicago Public Schools when I was 19, and I'm 73 now," says Barbara Sizemore, dean emeritus of the DePaul University School of Education (Catalyst, February). "Nobody gave a damn whether African-American children learned anything. For me, this [accountability] is wonderful. I can hardly believe that I'm living in this time, where people care whether African-American kids can read."

You want the voters to come out? Bring back da Machine. According to the "Post Election Report" released by County Clerk David Orr, the two wards with the best voter turnout last November belong to two bosses: Richard Mell, committeeman of the 33rd Ward, where the turnout of registered voters was 82 percent; and Michael Madigan, committeeman of the 13th, where the turnout was 81 percent.

A third way. Martin Marty quotes Bryan Magee's new book Confessions of a Philosopher in "Context" (March 1): "It seems to me that most people tend either to believe that all reality is in principle knowable or to believe that there is a religious dimension to things. A third alternative--that we can know very little but have equally little ground for religious belief--receives scant consideration, and yet seems to me to be where the truth lies."

"In this time of great prosperity, we should have been asked to think beyond our self-interests," writes John Donahue of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless in its newsletter, "Homeward Bound" (Winter), reflecting on the political homelessness many would-be voters experienced last fall. "Instead, the candidates simply offered a menu of goodies catered to a select few in an effort to get our votes. We knew that whoever ended up in the White House would continue the costly, destructive, failed war on drugs. Both supported funding for a missile defense system. Both favored capital punishment. They both would continue to support a system of governance that is influenced by the growing power of multinational corporations and the wealthy. This is a far cry from democracy."

The anatomy lesson. From a recent press release: "Although The Vagina Monologues showcases a specific body part, the Chicago production proves, just in time for Valentine's Day, that it's got a heart too..."

In Chicago we call it diversity. Pete Sherman writes in the Illinois Times (February 22-28): "While the city [Springfield] seems to be on the path to betterment, it's also dragging along the chains of the past. The Lincoln Presidential Library could cause a ripple effect of enhancements to downtown Springfield. Yet, when it opens, it will still likely be within short walking distance to a couple adult book stores and dilapidated buildings."

"The United States notably lacks an adequate structural mechanism for analyzing controversial new medical technologies," writes Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, in her newest book, Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions About Genetics. By contrast, "in Canada, a royal commission was chartered to recommend policies governing genetic and reproductive technologies as a whole.... The commission determined that Canadian social values stressed non-commodification and non-objectification, as well as protection of the vulnerable. This led to the recommendation of

bans on human cloning, paid surrogate motherhood, genetic enhancement, and sex selection for nonmedical purposes. In the United States, however, the dominant social value can be described as 'show me the money.'"

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