"Landlords don't want teenage girls, because teenage girls bring teenage boys," says Latricia Mosley, a former public-housing resident now living in a Section 8 house ("Near West/South Gazette," June 1). "They don't want teenage boys, because they're worried about gangs. And believe it or not, some landlords don't want married couples. So there's a lot of discrimination where there's supposed to be equal-opportunity housing."
Why the Bush twins' underage drinking is a public issue, according to Sam Smith in the "Progressive Review" (May 31): "The growing exemption of the powerful and rich from the laws of the land combined with zero tolerance towards the weak, poor and vulnerable is one of the clearest signs of America's sickness and entropy. This is not an ideological matter and to view it as such contributes to the insanity, for it creates a kind of moral vote pairing, i.e. we won't talk about Roger Clinton if you don't talk about the Bush twins. This exonerates celebrity and punishes obscurity....
Badly as one may feel, as a personal matter, for those involved, as long as the high and mighty get high whenever they mighty well feel like it, while others do hard time or suffer other consequences, this obscene privilege is among the most public of our concerns."
Dr. Pangloss was an economist. Lawrence Casalino of the University of Chicago on The Economic Evaluation of American Health Care, a new book by Northwestern University professor David Dranove (New England Journal of Medicine, May 10): "Dranove acknowledges that 'managed care has utterly failed to win the trust of American patients' and that there is a widespread dislike of managed-care organizations, yet he claims that 'managed care has clearly won the market test,' because most patients are enrolled in managed-care organizations, and 'markets provide what consumers demand....
Providers and insurers have gotten the message that consumers demand cost containment.' This claim, based on what Dranove dubs the 'survivor principle,' represents the pure form of economic functionalism, which assumes that whatever is, is right."
You'd say the same thing if your boss had Channel 9, and 720 AM, and the city's biggest daily in his back pocket. Howard Tyner, vice president of editorial for Tribune Publishing, quoted in his alumni magazine, the Carleton College Voice (Spring): "The whole business about [losing] independent [media] voices is complete nonsense. There are something like 55 radio stations in Chicago. There are 96 television stations on my TV, not to mention as many Web sites for news and information as you could count for the next 20 years. So the notion of big corporations stifling voices is absurd."
The hype, from a Substance front-page headline (May): "Growing national resistance to high-stakes tests." The facts, from a national survey by the nonpartisan Public Agenda Online (www.publicagenda. org/aboutpa/standardsbacklash. htm): "Only 2 percent of parents who know their school district is implementing higher academic standards want to go back to the way things were before the standards were put in place.... More than eight in ten (82 percent) of parents who know their school district is implementing higher standards believe their schools have, in fact, been 'careful and reasonable' in putting the new standards in place. Few say that their child gets too much homework (10 percent) or that their child's school requires them to take too many standardized tests (11 percent)." The qualifier, also from Public Agenda: "Almost 8 in ten (78 percent) agree that 'it's wrong to use the results of just one test to decide whether a student gets promoted or graduates.'" Chicago results were similar.
As others see us. Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker (June 11): "The U.I.C. campus, near downtown Chicago, was built in 1965, and its buildings--stalwart brutalist grunts, heaved into fearsome shapes, out of concrete so aggressively unrefined as to be almost titillating--retain their original mood."