Senator Carol Moseley-Braun and the Cubbies have “more than a few things in common,” argues James Ylisela Jr. in Illinois Issues (May). “For starters, they’re both attractive and historic, which appeals to the idealism in all of us. They also spend a lot of money, raise our expectations and have little to show for it in the end.”

Come stand by my bedside. University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein on health care, as quoted in the University of Chicago Chronicle (May 15): “Philosophical questions of health care do not begin and end with the passionate observation ‘that you can’t just let anyone die.’ The short answer is that you can, and indeed in some cases, you should.”

City employees who were white, 1989: 59 percent. 1995: 55 percent. Black city employees, 1989: 33 percent. 1995: 33 percent. The headline over the story containing this statistic (Illinois Politics, April): “Daley Lowers African American Hiring.”

“If all federal assistance to business were purged from the [federal] budget, the budget deficit could be cut roughly in half,” reports the Cato Institute in a recent publication on federal aid to dependent corporations. “Most of this $65 billion in aid benefits businesses in four industries: agriculture, exports, high technology, and energy. These subsidies tend to have a Robin-Hood-in-reverse impact: redistributing income from generally middle-income taxpayers to the relatively higher-income owners and shareholders in the companies.”

People whose judicious rhetoric commands universal respect. National Taxpayers United of Illinois president Jim Tobin on Governor Jim Edgar, in a May 19 press release: “Edgar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the teacher unions….He is being deceitful calling himself a Republican. He should show his true colors and in the next election run as candidate for the Communist Party of Illinois.”

When you don’t know the costs or the benefits, punt–systematically. That’s roughly the advice University of Illinois climatologist Michael Schlesinger and coauthors present in a recent article in Climactic Change. “Currently, the political debate over climate-change policy focuses on the targets and timetables for optimum level of near-term reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.” But the range of uncertainty is so great, Schlesinger says, that instead of committing ourselves to a fixed prediction about global warming and then adopting either a do-a-little policy or an emissions-stabilization policy based on that prediction, it may be better to follow “a simple adaptive strategy, with moderate near-term abatement . . . because it can make midcourse corrections and avoid significant errors [and therefore] performs better on average than the best-estimate policies.”

Now thank we all Bill Gates. From Chicago Computer Currents (May): “The operating system of the ’90s [Windows 95] is like a Bosnian field of daisies–studded with land mines.”

“I’ve been to meetings that are pretty much run by the neighborhood relations officer,” says organizer Lionel Walker, discussing community-policing beat meetings in “Neighborhoods” (Spring), newsletter of the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety. “Whenever the community would bring something up, he would give reasons or excuses for the police’s actions. He acted as a buffer between the police and the community. Beat meetings work better if there is shared control of the meeting. . . . If people are just listening and not challenging, things are not going to improve.”

Things sprawl fighters don’t want to know. According to Northwestern University economist Edwin Mills, cities in Korea and India surroun-ded by no-growth zones have housing prices ten times annual income, compared to 1.8 times in the U.S. “Any legality that enforces compactness is simply not in the interest of low-income people” (from a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy report titled “Risks and Re-wards of Brownfield Redevelop-ment”).

Busman’s holiday. The Midwest Bike Messenger Conference, held in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, included “a semilegal ‘Alley Cat’ messenger race. This will test courier skills by simulating work in the Loop. The bikers will have to sign in at various checkpoints around town, plotting as efficient a route as possible.”

“Tenant defenses are routinely ignored or improperly disposed of by the [Cook County Eviction] Court,” reports Lisa Parsons-Chadha in “Homeward Bound” (Spring), newsletter of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, following a Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing study of more than 2,100 eviction cases from July to December 1995. “While landlords legally bear the burden of proof, rarely were landlords required to prove their case. If any proof was required, the Court routinely assisted the landlord to prove his case, while rarely–if ever–assisting the tenant in a similar fashion. The Court would routinely grant a landlord a continuance so the landlord could bring in necessary evidence, while rarely continuing a case for a similarly situated tenant.”