Pork–the possibly cloned white meat. “Jon Fisher, owner of Prairie State Semen Inc. of Champaign, Ill., paid a then-record $43,000 in 1997 for a beautiful Hampshire boar at an auction in Texas,” writes Justin Gillis in the Washington Post (September 16). “The new animal, much in demand, greatly elevated Fisher’s reputation in the world of pig breeders. He named the boar 401-K, after the retirement account.” In 2001 the boar suddenly died, and it was several hours before Fisher could “salvage ear cells and ship them off to Infigen Inc. of DeForest, Wis., one of a handful of American companies offering cloning services to breeders.” The company came through, and “Fisher now has six clones of 401-K and one of The Man, another champion boar….Some offspring of Fisher’s clones are likely to wind up in the food supply.”

Jerry Falwell and Osama bin Laden are on the same side. “The real divide is not between ‘the West and the rest,'” writes Seth Sanders in the January 23 University of Chicago Chronicle, describing professor Bruce Lincoln’s new book, Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September 11. The divide is rather “between two visions of religion–the minimalist view and the maximalist view. Prominent in Europe since the Enlightenment, the minimalist view sees religion as a personal choice about what to believe and how to act privately on those beliefs, while the maximalist view, one shared by certain Christians, Jews and Muslims today, regards religion as the best way to order virtually all aspects of life, morality and society.”

“Eight of 30 [suburban Cook County] townships voted Democratic for every statewide office, compared to one township, Barrington, for the Republicans,” reports County Clerk David Orr in “Nov. 5, 2002 Post-Election Report: Suburban Cook County.” The strong Democratic townships were Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Evanston, Oak Park, Proviso, Rich, and Thornton. Four more–Berwyn, Cicero, Niles, and Stickney–voted for all but one statewide Democrat, crossing over for Republican state treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

From another city’s file. British participants in a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy debate last July reported on how urban growth boundaries have failed to control sprawl there (“Land Lines,” January): “Britain’s containment policy has generated higher densities within urbanized areas, but cities leapfrog out across their Greenbelts (or growth boundaries) to smaller satellite settlements; the consequence is that development becomes less contiguous and travel times increase. Villages become high-density suburbs surrounded by a sea of wheat: London in functional terms extends to cover most of southeastern England.”

Oh yeah, he’s a mistake. Leon Kass, a social-thought professor at the University of Chicago, writes in the November/December American Spectator: “Not long ago, at my own university, a physician making rounds with medical students stood over the bed of an intelligent, otherwise normal ten-year-old boy with spina bifida. ‘Were he to have been conceived today,’ the physician casually informed his entourage, ‘he would have been aborted.’ Determining who shall live and who shall die–on the basis of genetic merit–is a godlike power already wielded by genetic medicine.”