Vote for us–we can’t remember our own history! From a recent mailing by the Democratic National Committee: “Dear Registered Voter: The Democratic Party is preparing for what may be the most important election in decades. For the first time in more than 40 years, control of both the White House and Congress are within reach.” In fact, Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress during 14 of the last 40 years, during the administrations of Kennedy and Johnson (1961-1969), Carter (1977-1981), and the first half of Clinton’s first term (1993-1995).

Desperately seeking significance. “LaPorte County is the second largest county in Indiana by area–608 square miles,” according to recent publicity put out by its Convention & Visitors Bureau. If that doesn’t get you out of your chair, “The LaPorte County Historical Society Museum features what is considered to be the third best gun collection in the world.”

Student activism 2000. “At University of Illinois at Chicago, grad students with disabilities have been organizing to force the university to end discrimination against disabled students and make the campus accessible to them. They note that it is ironic the university has one of the country’s only graduate programs in disabilities, yet it fails miserably to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act” (“Chicago Media Watch Report,” Summer).

“The class had just finished discussing the definitions, postulates, common notions, and the first 32 propositions of Euclid’s Elements,” writes Don Moon of Shimer College in the school’s newsletter “Symposium” (Spring). “A student suddenly asks why geometry was not taught in a similar fashion in high school. She goes on to tell us that she had never been able to grasp high school geometry, but she understands and appreciates Euclid. As the class discusses the difference between the two approaches, it becomes clear that her high school geometry had been taught in an abstract, rule oriented way that provided no understanding of the origin of the rules or how the rules fit into an historical and philosophical context.”

Diversity is fine, but not that kind. Martin Marty in the Chicago-based Christian Century (June 21-28): “I’ve lived in Chicago 48 years, many of them one long block from the owner of two race tracks, and I once served a church only six miles from another. But I don’t know anyone who admits to playing the horses. If you are a member of an ordinary congregation, not a mega-church, you probably cannot name a member of any such giant place.

If you are in one, you probably can name few who are not. Do you know anyone who has read any of the ‘Left Behind’ books coauthored by Tim LaHaye which have sold millions of copies? Can you name anyone who is a Jehovah’s Witness? Can you name a Pentecostal–I don’t mean a fashionable charismatic, but a down-home Pentecostal? How about an NRA member?”

As others see us. Consultant and Daley friend Chuck Campion, quoted in the Washington Post National Weekly (July 3) on William Daley’s move from secretary of commerce to Gore campaign chairman: “He got his doctorate in politics in Chicago. Most politics is Cub Scouts. They’re Hell’s Angels.”