Bringing disrepute–and babies? From Franklin’s Social Ticker (December 15), by Patrick McVeigh: “Northrop is trying to shoot down a trademark for a red-white-and-blue contraceptive marketed as the Stealth Condom and sold in a black cardboard package modeled after the B-2 bomber. Northrop, manufacturers of the supposedly radar-eluding Stealth bomber, asked the patent-office to refuse the product trademark registration on the basis that the product might ‘bring…disrepute’ to Northrop. Given that the Stealth bomber failed in its first and only mission so far (it bombed a saloon and basketball court instead of intended sites during the Panama invasion) and that Northrop recently pleaded guilty to defense fraud in exchange for 11 criminal probes being dropped, we question whose reputation is at greatest risk.”

Keeps ’em humble. You don’t see a large number of Republicans panhandling in the Loop. But their county organization (at 36 W. Randolph) is, in the Cook County Republican (December 1990): “Headquarters is also looking for a copier and a fax machine. The machines that we were using at the old office are no longer available. If you have one that you would like to donate, or are aware of one that is available, please call.” And explain to them that you worked for what you got, so why should they expect charity?

Dept. of distinguished leaders we could do without. Erna I. Gans, in the Foundation Monthly (December 1990), published by the Skokie-based Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois: “We recently lost a most distinguished Jewish leader. He was shot down in cold blood. We don’t have to agree with all the ideas expressed by Rabbi Kahane, but we agree that Rabbi Kahane was a Jewish patriot. He is now a Jewish martyr. He loved Israel and gave his life for his ideals. If that had happened to a leader of another people, the world would be in an uproar.”

Dept. of distinguished leaders who deserve a better memorial. Charles Chi Halevi, in the Chicago Headline Club News (Decemberm 1990): “Just as we fiercely oppose racism against blacks, we also despise racism by blacks. The Harold Washington Party, whose candidates in November were only blacks and whose raison d’etre was to elect blacks because they are blacks, is a racist party….If blacks want more blacks in office because they feel black officials would be more sensitive to their community’s needs, they can do what they did to get Harold Washington elected; work within organized parties, vote split tickets, make alliances with other minorities and with whites and register scads of voters. If they feel a new party is needed, they should establish one with a multi-racial slate and an agenda that includes sensitivity to the needs of blacks–not one that makes that the sole criterion.”

Bureaucrats on drugs. The federal government allocates alcohol- and drug-abuse block grants by a formula that implies that urban residents are 15 times more likely to use drugs than rural residents. The actual differential is about three times (GAO Report, “Drug Treatment,” November 1990).

We’re not prejudiced or anything. We killed white people to make them Christians too. The superior general of the Jesuits, Father PeterHans Kolvenbach, interviewed in America about criticism of the church’s plan to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the New World: “I do not think any good is served by lingering over the misdeeds committed by Cortez or Pizarro. Evangelization was not conducted any differently in certain European countries. My own forefathers became Christians under the sword of Charlemagne. To say nothing of what happened later, during the Wars of Religion” (Our Sunday Visitor, November 4).

First things first. William Blomquist, head of the international section of Jenner & Block in Chicago, after he hosted a USSR attorney intern last year: “Now if I need to contact someone in the Soviet Union for a client, I have people I can call–assuming the telephones are working ” (Human Rights, Fall/Winter 1990).

Where politics begins. James Krohe Jr. in Chicago Enterprise (December 1990): “Just as the Chicago Democrat starts thinking like a Republican when he acquires a suburban lawn to mow, so the Republican in the suburbs starts thinking like a Democrat when his basement floods.”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.