A little sliver of pork for a highway that doesn't exist anymore. The Illinois Bureau of Tourism will dispense $2,257.80 to the Route 66 Association of Illinois to help reprint 75,000 brochures promoting "the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum and recreational travel along the historic route."
Other people's problems. "Not long ago, the opening of a new facility brought lines of people that wrapped around the block," H. Allan Stark of the employment law firm Wessels & Pautsch fondly recalls in the firm's February newsletter, "all of them eager for a job with the new boss in town. That is not the case any more. The hiring situation is even more acute outside the metropolitan areas, where unemployment often averages 3 percent or less. In these settings, finding qualified entry-level workers becomes a near impossibility."
Losing steam? Voter turnout for local school council elections in 1989: 294,213. In 1991: 161,089. In 1993: 131,798 (Catalyst, February).
Is the law male? Don't ask foolish questions. "The absence of hypotheticals involving strong, competent women is another problem students at five of the six law schools [U. of C., DePaul, Kent, John Marshall, and Northwestern] raise," according to a recent Chicago Bar Association report. "At Loyola, many professors do use women as judges and lawyers in their hypotheticals in class. At the other five area schools, however, according to the women interviewed, with only isolated exceptions professors rarely use women in examples or discuss women's experiences, unless they are discussing rape victims. At the same five law schools, students report that professors typically use male generic pronouns as a matter of course. When one student asked about this practice, one professor explained that 'she' as a generic pronoun 'sounds so weird and unnatural.'"
"The real mysteries of the [Catholic] faith are easier to believe than the supposedly rational condemnation of contraceptives based on 'natural law,'" writes Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books, reprinted in Martin Marty's Context (February 15). "According to the Pope, the sex act must always be ordinated toward procreation, and never to pleasure alone. By that logic, eating and drinking must always be ordinated toward self-preservation, never to pleasure. The toast of fellowship among well-fed people is ruled out, all the symbolic and extraordinary uses of feasting and drink that find their highest expression in the agape feast and the Eucharist. The body does not physically need the eucharistic bread or cup, so they are unnatural."
Now they tell us. Richard Barnet in the Nation (December 19), prefacing his denunciation of multinational corporations' increasing political and economic power: "From 1950 to the mid-1970s, the interests of large, U.S.-based corporations coincided in important ways with the interests of large numbers of Americans."
"Chess, for example, is not practiced as widely as was once the case. Many parents are perfectly content to let the video game-systems become Virtual Babysitters," worries Robert B. Diver, whose firm is selling a beginner's guide to the royal game. "When children learn to play [a game like] Chess, they are engaging an opponent that is as human as they are. Valuable interaction is lost when a child can lose to a video game and just turn it off. This is not so with a human being. There are lessons in life that simply are not being learned by children today because of the technology available."
"The numbers indicate that the gay community is killing and hurting itself at a far greater rate than the gay bashers and serial killers we rally against," writes Jane Lowers in Outlines (January). "Yet experts say that few gays and lesbians are even aware of the problem, and fewer still are willing to acknowledge it and do something about it. 'The biggest problem is that people working in domestic violence were aware of it as a male-centered, gender power problem,' Horizons Anti-Violence Project Director Jerri Lynn Fields said. 'People think that women don't hurt other women, and that men are equals, so one can't have power over the other.'"
Help! Percentage of all students who entered the state's ten largest public universities between 1983 and 1988 who had graduated by spring 1993: 55. Of Latino students: 37. Of black students: 25 (Chicago Reporter, January).
And the libertarian shall lie down with the environmentalist, neither shall they make war anymore--huh? "The core philosophy of [turn-of-the-century] progressivism was the scientific management of society," writes Dr. Robert Nelson in FREE Perspectives (Winter). "If science was transforming the physical conditions of human existence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many people believed it could similarly transform the social conditions.... The common ground between libertarians and environmentalists begins with a hostility to and a rejection of the basic tenets of progressivism. Leading spokesmen for both environmental and libertarian thought propose a sharp decentralization in the organizational arrangements for American society."
Don't push your luck. Available for kids from the Vegetarian Resource Group: the I Love Animals and Broccoli Coloring Book.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Illustration/Carl Kock.