“If you want the Catholic faith to tame your kids, don’t let them read stories of the saints,” warns Cathy O’Connell-Cahill in the Chicago-based newsletter “Bringing Religion Home” (November). “They might end up doing outrageous things that will turn your hair white–like my friend whose son, brought upon the best of Catholic tradition, chose to stay in the middle of the Rwandan bloodbath to help refugees.”

Them that has, gets. The Woodstock Institute, on South Dearborn, has analyzed where banks make small-business loans in the six-county Chicago area: in low-income areas there are 13.3 loans per 100 businesses; in upper-income areas 23.1 (“Reinvestment Alert,” November).

“A friend and I were playing a ‘What if?’ game recently, and she asked me if I would ever consider dating a man,” writes Jennifer Vanasco in Windy City Times (November 6). “I looked at her in horror. Not because I find men repugnant (far from it), but because I would feel excluded from my found family. In that way, the gay and lesbian community is somewhat like an orthodox religion. You may be shunned if you marry outside it. You need to know the dress code and the language….A man may be a homosexual if he hasn’t heard of The Wizard of Oz, but he sure isn’t gay.”

Buyers of vegetarian pet food beware! According to University of Illinois animal scientists, “Dogs are not true carnivores….Dogs can get sufficient nutrition from plant-based feed, but some plants such as soybeans can result in greater stool production and flatulence, neither of which is a desirable trait in indoor dogs.”

Gosh, a knee in the right place would do that. Coming up at the School of the Art Institute December 1: “Cynthia Plaster Caster is a sculptor who, since the 1960s, has cast in plaster the male genitalia of her musical idols such as Jimi Hendrix, members of the Lovin’ Spoonful, Savoy Brown, Led Zeppelin and the Mekons. In these sculptures, Caster seeks to demystify the legacy of musical genius and explores the weaknesses of these icons.”

What it costs to be a Friend of Bill. “The silence . . . of liberal organizations and media concerning the White House seconding of 900 FBI personnel files for its own purposes makes these groups co-conspirators in a growing ethic that permits anything as long as those engaged in it are on one’s own side. This is what Nixon believed and why we thought him a scoundrel. How can these liberal groups and media claim any moral superiority after accepting the same values?” So writes Sam Smith in the on-line edition of the Progressive Review (November 6). “Those who would like to break this unfortunate trend might consider the case of the conservative Western Journalism Center. We are not political fans of this outfit nor of its rightwing funders, but we are absolutely convinced that our own freedom can not be assured as long as someone in power feels that they can with impunity burglarize the offices of the WJC’s director, tap his home and office phone lines and subject the group to a punitive tax audit. After being cleared of wrong-doing and filing a Freedom of Information request to the IRS, the group received, amongst heavily censored matter, a cryptic letter, according to WJC director Joseph Farah, ‘explaining that other documents were being withheld because they involved “inter-agency” memos and “government privilege.”‘ In other words, the IRS all but admitted that they had discussed the WJC case with government officials outside the agency. . . .When such things happened to people in the 1960s and 1970s, liberals and leftists were loud in their denunciation, persistent in their court suits, and strong in their support of decency and democracy. Now that the victims are no longer–at least momentarily–on the left, they have fallen into a cowardly silence.”