“The claim made by a national association of black social workers that interracial adoption is cultural genocide is out of step with the vast majority of African Americans and Whites,” says Garth Taylor of the Metro Chicago Information Center in a recent press release on a center survey. That six-county poll found 81 percent of blacks and 94 percent of whites favor interracial adoption. “Most people believe that new born babies should not be held accountable to standards of cultural homogeneity.”

Another use for money in politics: bribe the voters. The state budget surplus has allowed the General Assembly to spend at least $180 million on what the state comptroller’s newsletter “Fiscal Focus” (July) delicately calls “member projects”–local expenditures used to reward loyal areas and sway swing districts. You may have trouble discerning the statewide significance of a new indoor ice rink for the Elmhurst YMCA, but Republican legislative leaders from Du Page County evidently didn’t. In addition, “the Chicago South Suburbs, considered a make-or-break battleground by both chambers, saw unprecedented member initiative spending with 150 projects totaling approximately $27 million. South Holland, Olympia Fields, South Chicago Heights, and Steger, among others, received grants for new police vehicles through the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA). The region also received a bounty of funds for libraries, park districts, and anti-drug DARE programs.”

“Today elite universities operate on the belief that there is a complete separatism between intellectual and moral purpose,” University of Chicago political scientist John Mearshimer told his Rockefeller Chapel audience earlier this year (“Calvert Times,” Summer), “and they pursue the former while largely ignoring the latter. There is no question that the University of Chicago makes hardly any effort to provide you with moral guidance. Moreover, I would bet that you will take few classes here at Chicago where you discuss ethics or morality in any detail, mainly because those kind of courses do not exist.”

No word on whether I-94 is profitable. Chicago is at the end of 8 of Amtrak’s 12 worst-performing routes, reports Reason (August/ September): the Texas Eagle to San Antonio and Los Angeles ($201 lost per passenger), the Southwest Chief to LA ($180), the California Zephyr to San Francisco ($149), the Three Rivers to New York ($138), the Cardinal to Washington, D.C. ($136), the Empire Builder to Seattle and Portland ($136), the Capitol Limited to Washington, D.C. ($133), and the City of New Orleans ($130).

Would a voucher system favor private schools over public ones? According to F. King Alexander of the University of Illinois, in an article soon to appear in the Journal of Education Finance, it probably would. Private colleges and universities educate 25 percent of students, but they get 35 percent of federal grant funds, 46 percent of state grant funds, and 62 percent of federal loan funds. “If the experience in higher education is a valid indicator,” says Alexander, “then one can expect that voucher plans at lower educational levels will produce only marginal, if any, increases in choice for lower-income students while greatly increasing inequalities between public and private schools.”