City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

City File

by

comment

I'd love the sauteed shrimp, but God won't let me. The fundamentalists who go on about Leviticus 18:22 ("You shall not lie with a man as with a woman: that is an abomination") don't seem to have read Leviticus 11:9, which says, "Of creatures that live in water...all that have neither fins nor scales, whether in salt or fresh water...you shall regard as vermin....You shall not eat their flesh."

"Whites hide their privilege from themselves and, accordingly, feel no guilt for the hidden costs they impose on African Americans," writes sociologist Michael Hout, reviewing Thomas Shapiro's new book, The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, in the Washington Post's national weekly (March 1-7). "People who inherited tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars nonetheless told Shapiro that they were self-made and self-reliant. They proudly told him how the assets they inherited grew under their stewardship."

Can this be legal? Bike enthusiast Andrea Murphy is quoted in the 2003 report "Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors" saying, "Every so often while on my bicycle, I get a feeling that translates into something like 'Wow! I'm not wearing a seatbelt!' It is always surprising, this feeling, and I'm euphoric as I relish the consciousness of being absolutely free."

Repeat after me: Journalism is not a profession. Journalism is not a profession. "The press and television coverage of this year's nominating process has been more superficial and unbalanced than ever," reflects Elizabeth Drew in the New York Review of Books (March 11). "Elementary journalistic standards have been largely ignored. Far too much of the coverage has taken the form of prediction rather than observation, along with a great deal of speculation backed by constantly changing polls about who is the most 'electable' candidate, even though this is impossible to discern so far in advance."

Why the CHA had to tear all those buildings down. From a March 1 press release from the Woodstock Institute: "Some 63 percent of all federal housing subsidies go to families in the top fifth of the income distribution mainly via homeowner deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes, while only 18 percent goes to families in the bottom fifth of incomes."

"Officer Olson...was engaged in narcotics surveillance at 2 a.m. in a Chicago neighborhood when he observed a male riding a bicycle in the vicinity of the defendant, continuously circling her," writes Michele Jochner in the Illinois Bar Journal (December), recounting the facts in the recent state supreme court case People v. Love. "A pedestrian approached the bicyclist and handed him a sum of currency. The bicyclist then directed the pedestrian to the defendant. When the pedestrian approached the defendant, the defendant removed an item from her mouth and handed it to him." Officer Olson then approached the defendant and asked her name. In its ruling, the court agreed that the officer had reason to be suspicious: "Common sense dictates that the man probably did not go out at 1:50 a.m. in late January to pay for prechewed gum."

What were they thinking? "When it comes to political capital, too, this is an Administration with a weakness for deficit spending," writes Joshua Micah Marshall in the New Yorker (February 2). "As Fareed Zakaria observed last year, after speaking to government officials in dozens of countries around the world, almost every country that has had dealings with the Bush Administration has felt humiliated by it. America isn't powerful because people like us: our power is a product of dollars and guns. But when people think that America's unique role in the world is basically legitimate, that power becomes less costly to exert and to sustain."

The living-wage movement, by the numbers. According to Jared Bernstein and Jeff Chapman writing in "Poverty & Race" (January/February), the number of American workers covered by living-wage ordinances is between 50,000 and 100,000. The number of low-wage workers is about 30 million.

Add a comment