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We're authentic, buy our stuff. Sociologist David Grazian in his new book, Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs: "Like many of the city's blues bars, B.L.U.E.S. offers the strange atmospherics of a dingy, down-home tavern colonized by an airport gift shop."

"Labor markets in New York and Los Angeles recovered from 9/11 by late Spring of 2002, while Chicago has yet to recover," according to a March 26 press release describing a new report by urbanologist Pierre deVise. "Chicago lost 29,300 jobs in the 4th quarter of 2002, compared to a job gain of 64,000 for New York and 35,300 jobs for Los Angeles." Chicago and Atlanta have fared the worst of the nation's ten largest metro areas, probably because of "their greater dependence on travel and tourist-sensitive industries."

Careful where you scratch. According to an April 8 Reuters story on yahoo.com news, "Downtown Chicago boasts an average of three surveillance cameras per block."

Safety is where you find it--outside of Cook County. Convicted murderer Paul Eichwedel, writing for the Illinois Leader (March 31) from the Dixon Correctional Center: "When I was scheduled for a retrial, I asked the judge to leave me at Stateville, because I was safer there than at Cook County Jail. He readily granted my request--a tacit acknowledgment that even he thought so."

Florida in June? Clearly not an elite group. Jobs With Justice is holding its annual meeting in Miami June 19-22.

"Mayor Daley has been criticized for his 'greening of Chicago,'" writes Joseph Caprile in the April issue of Focus, the magazine of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects, "because of the high costs of the installation and maintenance of plant material. Actually, the Mayor should be complimented and supported for this policy, because the return on that investment is not today or in the next five years. It is the next generation who will benefit....The old rule of thumb used in the United States for energy efficient systems--'the payback for the cost of this must be within five years'--will not support a healthy environment for the next generation."

Fly NOX Air. "Research and development efforts by the federal government and the aircraft industry have improved fuel efficiency and reduced many emissions from aircraft, including hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide," reports the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO-03-252, February 28), "but have increased emissions of nitrogen oxides, which are a precursor to ozone formation. As a result, many new aircraft are emitting more nitrogen oxides than the older aircraft they are replacing." And a rebound in air travel will also mean a rebound in ozone pollution.

Tolerance of a sort. "Many Americans feel some tension between their desire to be fair to those who are different from themselves and a lingering unease with homosexuality itself," reports Public Agenda, a nonpartisan public-opinion group (publicagenda.org). "On some questions of personal conduct, such as abortion and adultery, surveys show that significant numbers of Americans want these actions to be 'illegal,' but most don't actually want people to be officially punished for engaging in them. These Americans may be willing to tolerate these activities as unfortunate facts of life, but they also fear that making something 'legal' sends a message that it is also acceptable....Roughly a third of Americans say homosexuality should be illegal, but most of these people change their minds when asked whether consenting adults engaging in homosexual activities in private should be prosecuted for a crime."

In a sentence. Christopher Hitchens in the Wall Street Journal (January 13), picked up in Martin Marty's "Context" (April 1): "The main objection to the slogan 'No king but Jesus'--popularized by Attorney General John Ashcroft--is that it is at least two words too long."

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