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"The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are preparing to leap from the pages of their extremely popular comics and enter the video game arena with a tongue-in-cheek vengeance never seen before," warns Ultra Software Corporation, which is based in Wood Dale. "Their impact on the video game market will have the force of [a] high flying kick." Unh!

If every farm in the country dried up and blew away, would Chicago's financial exchanges notice? Not like they would have ten years ago. According to the Civic Committee's recent report on the exchanges, "In 1977, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did 88.6% of its volume in futures contracts for physical commodities (livestock, lumber and gold); by 1986, financial products [such as stock-index futures] accounted for more than 86% of the CME's business."

Chicago public school graduates "are living in a fantasy land," writes Douglas Hartmann in a working paper prepared for the Metropolitan Opportunity Project at the University of Chicago. He found that seniors from the worst schools in the city tend to give their schools the best ratings! (Evidently magnet-school grads know enough to be less satisfied with their education.) Hartmann's conclusion: not only are Chicago schools cheating students of a good education, they're depriving them even of the knowledge that they're being cheated. "The system as it now stands is not self-curative," adds project director Gary Orfield. "It is self-perpetuating and its victims. . . . [often] believe that they are being well prepared and will succeed. . . . Simply providing decentralized community involvement or more choice through vouchers or other methods will not make any significant difference so long as students and parents are so isolated."

New horizons in fetal rights. According to the Chicago Tribune (June 27), "[Jesse] Jackson, 46, said that leaders need not be born or hold elective office to be effective."

Escape to--whoops! "Wisconsin--You're Among Friends" was set to be that state's new tourism motto, at least until officials there discovered that "Among Friends" is the name of a statewide gay and lesbian organization with more than 1,000 members, reports Windy City Times (June 2). Now some state legislators want a "more wholesome" slogan. Don't they want to be reminded that Wisconsin has the only state law protecting lesbian and gay rights?

About 1,000 miles downstream from Chicago, the endangered beluga whales of the Saint Lawrence River now number just 400. Great Lakes United (Spring 1988) reports that several beached whales on the river's north shore have been found to contain more than 50 parts per million of PCBs--"which would qualify them under the U.S. EPA regulatory guidelines to be designated as hazardous waste sites!"

Sears, Ripoff & Co. According to the Wall Street Journal (June 28), the world's tallest retailer is now suing New York City for the right to continue "advertising clothing discounts without explaining where prices started; promoting a tire sale without saying how much its more expensive tires sell for; and saying that a carpet-cleaning bargain is about to end when, actually, the promotion is going to go on and on for months." So dedicated has Sears become to these advertising practices (which it claims are not deceptive) that it has threatened to "virtually discontinue advertising in New York City" if it can't beat the Big Apple's tough consumer-protection law.

"When did the people give the media the right to hide the identity of 'senior public officials' and thus make them unaccountable to the people?" asks Bill Nigut Sr. in the Chicago Media Critic (April/May 1988). "Did the 241 U.S. Marines slaughtered in their barracks in Lebanon give their lives so George Bush can tell reporters he will speak to them only if he is not identified in their stories? Did the 37 members of the U.S.S. Stark sacrifice their lives so George Shultz can speak to the press anonymously? Did the 17 members of the U.S. armed forces killed in the invasion of Grenada die for their country so Howard Baker can speak to the press off-the-record?" One official who asked not to be named said, "Yup."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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