Dizzying thought of the day, from Paul Farago, writing in the libertarian Heartland Institute's "Intellectual Ammunition" (May/June): "Money does not corrupt politics, as the reformers claim. Rather, politics corrupts money. When something of great value can be granted by officeholders instead of earned in the competitive marketplace, all roads lead to the Capitol."
Where more jobs are. According to a Brookings Institution study based on 1990 census data and 1998-'99 interviews ("Meeting the Demand," May 2001), suburban Chicago employers are more willing to consider hiring welfare recipients than central-city employers--but less likely to have actually done so. More surprisingly, employers located near public transit were less likely to hire welfare recipients than those away from it.
"The low but continuous noise of everyday local traffic can cause stress in children," according to a May 24 Environmental News Network report on a first-of-its- kind study, conducted in Austria by a Cornell University environmental psychologist, and published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Noise at about the level of a typical urban residential neighborhood can "raise blood pressure, heart rates and levels of stress hormones."
Angelic Organics--so far northwest it's almost in Wisconsin--is the largest community-supported farm in the country, according to Juli Brussell in Conscious Choice (May). That's still not very big, but, she adds, "We do not need to wait for the slowly grinding wheels of government to bring justice to family farmers. We can take action ourselves, by asking about the sources of food available to us in grocery stores, finding food grown locally, and asking for a face and a name to go with our meal."
"Coming from a very different background, I was slightly apprehensive" about teaching at North Park University, writes Joshua Phillips, a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago in Tableau (Spring). "To my surprise, however, one of the greatest pleasures of teaching at North Park stemmed from my students' deep commitment to religion and the Bible. Not only did they recognize allusions and understand the religious conflicts inherent in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature I assigned, but they related to these texts in a profoundly personal way. They reacted to Spenser's Faerie Queene, Milton's Paradise Lost, and especially Donne's religious poetry very differently than my students at the University of Chicago had done. They did not simply respond to the intellectual content of the ideas."
Dilemmas of discipline. "You know you've gone too far, for example, if you find yourself driving your 8-year-old past the police station and telling him you'll have him arrested if he doesn't start obeying you," writes Catherine O'Connell-Cahill in "At Home With Our Faith" (March). "You've also gone too far if you tell your 5-year-old that Jesus didn't get angry or argue with anyone."
News you won't hear from the politicos. "This is a rare moment when both Republicans and Democrats are calling for more federal aid to public education," writes Kevin Kosar, a doctoral candidate at New York University, on the History News Service Web site (posted February 13). "Traditionally, at least one of the two major political parties has adhered to an anti-federal government or states' rights line with regard to education."
"Having an eight-lane superhighway on the lakefront violates [Daniel Burnham's] vision," argues Michael Burton of the Campaign for a Clear and Free Lakefront, quoted in the Community Media Workshop's "Newstips" (May). The campaign advocates removing Lake Shore Drive from Grant Park altogether--replacing it with improved mass transit and rerouting auto traffic onto the Kennedy. No word on how many additional Kennedy lanes they'll lobby for.