C’mon down, Bill. “President Clinton is expected to pay a visit soon to the ABLA Homes, a public housing development in Chicago,” writes Doug Dobmeyer in “Poverty Issues…Dateline Illinois” (June 1). “His visit is expected to be a media event to push his budget proposals along in negotiations with Congress.” But Dobmeyer thinks it could also be a chance to ask him, “Will you support the residents on one-for-one replacement [of housing] at Cabrini-Green and any other development slated for replacement?”

Life in hell. A recent events calendar gave notice of a “performance by a renowned mime artist of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull.'”

“Educators are taught by professors whose views differ sharply from students and the public,” laments Herbert Walberg, an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Intellectual Ammunition (April/May). “A 1997 Public Agenda national survey of professors of education showed that 64 percent think schools should avoid competition. More favored giving grades for team efforts than favored grading individual accomplishments,” which was contrary to the views of high school students. “Many employers, colleges, graduate schools, and professional accrediting agencies employ standardized multiple choice examinations because they are objective and reliable. Yet, 78 percent of teacher educators wanted less reliance on them.”

Especially if She’s wearing a Packers jersey. “To suggest that God really cares about the outcome of a sporting event is preposterous,” Luke DeRoeck of Chicago wrote in a letter to Sports Illustrated (March 2), quoted in “Context” (June 1). “A God who cares about the outcome of the Super Bowl is not a God I ever want to meet.”

“By 1907, the movies had been in Chicago for eleven years,” writes Lauren Rabinovitz in For the Love of Pleasure: Women, Movies, and Culture in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago. “Between 1906 and 1909, nickel movie theaters–with their cheap prices and easy accessibility–became widely popular, especially with immigrants and the working class. The same theaters also attracted the unwelcome attention of members of the middle class and particularly of reformers, who detested and denounced them. The nickel theaters’ appeals to sexual pleasures (both in what showed onscreen and in what took place in the space of the theater itself) upset Chicago’s civic-minded reformers who saw the theaters in the same light as other urban institutions of commercialized vice–dance halls and saloons….These theaters and the class conflict that they aroused led to one of the first controversies over the limits to women’s sexual freedom in the city.”

The Dalai Lama has more influence on the market than you thought. From the “LaSalle Street Viewpoint” (Second Quarter): “The early spring is the only time of year that the government of Tibet allows assaults on Everest’s peak. There is a very narrow window in which weather conditions recede from impossible to merely harsh, allowing climbers the opportunity to reach the mountain’s pinnacle. Some succeed, some fail, and others perish. Stock prices seem to have seized a similar opportunity to reach for the clouds.”

Trends in the world of work. According to a recent press release from the Center for Human Reproduction on North Orleans, the going rate for a woman’s egg that’s to be used by an infertile woman just went up to $3,000 (it was $1,500 to $2,000).

But, Sam, our public-private partnerships are different! “Communism is dead, socialism (whether democratic or not) is on the ropes…the one coherent political philosophy closest to what is being done in the name of the ‘market’ and post-liberalism is that of the fascist,” writes Sam Smith in the on-line report of the “Progressive Review” (May 28). “In fact, one could fairly describe current American foreign policy as being in no small part aimed at turning incompetent communists into competent fascists, with China the potential jewel in the crown. ‘Fascism, after all,’ wrote George Orwell, ‘is only a development of capitalism.’ It is an extreme form, just as communism is an extreme form of socialism. Almost by definition the practice of privatization of matters formerly within the realm of democracy is a step towards fascism, for under fascism the government serves its corporations rather than the people.”