Dessert? Well, since we're moving to Detroit next week, I'll have the triple hot fudge sundae. Attorney Sharlene McEvoy, in the Chicago-based Human Rights (Summer), laments the lack of laws against fat bias: "Congress could amend the ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act] to specifically include obesity as a disability. This would set an example for states to follow. Currently, only Michigan has a law affording civil rights protection to people of size."
"Bosnia has been among the most covered foreign news stories even though its meaning has somehow eluded the public and many in the press," writes Danny Schechter in the Chicago-based Video (July/August, reprinted from Neiman Reports). "It's almost as if the more we watch the less we know. The news frame remains a confusing ethnic and/or religious war, a land dispute between Serbs, Croats and Muslims. The fact that a multicultural society is under assault by racist rightwing nationalist forces is rarely explained....'I used to think that if we had television during the Second World War, the world would never have permitted the extermination camps,' a Bosnian filmmaker told me. 'Now I no longer believe that.'"
Help! Mommy, there's a heterosexual out there! According to Pediatrics (July), published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village, a total of 2 of 269 randomly selected cases of child abuse involved gay or lesbian abusers. "In this sample, a child's risk of being molested by the heterosexual partner of a relative is over 100 times greater than by someone who might be identifiable as being homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual."
Good news: The president extended the U.S. nuclear testing moratorium through September 1995.
Not so good news, from New Priorities Voice (Summer), published by the Coalition for New Priorities on South State: "The Clinton administration requested $180 million for nuclear testing next year. The House Armed Services Committee cut $30 million from that request, leaving $150 million for us to spend on nuclear testing in a year when we won't be doing any tests."
What a brief tenure can do for you. Juan Andrade of the Midwest/Northeast Voter Registration Education Project, on David Orr's eight days as mayor in 1987 following the death of Harold Washington: "Taxes didn't go up and there were no scandals. David Orr would have made an excellent mayor" (Illinois Issues, July).
Right sex, wrong class. "[Anita] Hill was just like her supporters, the upwardly mobile women in political organizations and the press who transformed her into a minor feminist deity," writes Etelka Lehoczky in In These Times (July 11). She suspects that Paula Jones lacks feminist support not because her case is weak and not because it was President Clinton she accused of sexual harassment. "Feminist rhetoric masks the fact that we, like everyone else, judge a woman's case first on the basis of whether or not we empathize with her....We understand sexual harassment principally as an assault on one's dignity; Jones, a silly little girl with a Southern twang, in our eyes has precious little dignity to assault."
With any luck, we can spin this out for a couple more administrations. Thanks to Chicago Enterprise (July/August) for spotting this important news brief from the state Department of Commerce and Community Affairs: The Illinois Job Training Coordinating Council has "initiated planning activities which support the preparation of and focus on establishing parameters and methods for determining a long-term agenda."
"Bill and Robin were molested by a cult that's into mathematics," a counselor calling herself Debbie Rudolph, of the Human Resource Center in downstate Paris, told the Mewes family in 1990, according to Matt Keenan's account of alleged satanic abuse in Illinois Times (June 30-July 6). "'Look at Bill's birthday--May 5, 1974. May is the fifth month, and the fifth day gives us another five, and then there's a seven next. You can break seven down into a three and a four. Subtract three from four and you get one, and then add one to the four and you get five. 5-5-5. 555 is the sign of the devil,' she explained. 'Hey, wait a minute,' Bill said. 'I've heard this stuff before--isn't the sign of the devil supposed to be 666?' 'Not in this case,' Debbie replied briskly."
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.