The stock market dropped 1,000 points this morning, after two young women dressed entirely in black were spotted on LaSalle Street pigging out on a Whitman’s Sampler. From Loyola University fine-arts professor Justine Mantor: “The general health of our economy is usually reflected in the popular colors of the time and if all we’re seeing are dark colors…well, you get the idea.” And from Kilwin’s Chocolates: “It’s almost 100 percent predictable. When the economy looks grim, our business picks up….In the October 1987 crash, business soared almost immediately.”

High-tech press releases that sounded like something else: “Network Peripherals Joins Alliance to Encourage FDDI on Twisted Pair.”

“Contrary to the hysterical pronouncements heard from business groups two years ago when Congress enacted WARN, the law has not hurt the economy or placed an undue burden on business,” reports Greg LeRoy of the Midwest Center for Labor Research on West Diversey, in the Federation for Industrial Retention & Renewal News (Summer 1990). WARN is the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies with more than 99 employees to give 60 days’ notice of closing. “Even Mark de Bernardo, point man against WARN for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, admitted to the Los Angeles Times in December that companies ‘have adjusted’ to WARN, and that the law ‘is not very restrictive.'”

Memo to the next governor: Indiana has passed a law reducing the minimum required prison terms for (nonviolent) Class C and D felonies. According to the Justice Report (Summer 1990), “Almost 70 percent of Hoosiers sent to prison are C and D felons. By reducing the minimum required sentences for C and D felonies, the legislature and the governor have guaranteed that additional prison space will be available for more serious offenders.” Will Edgar/Hartigan have more common sense than Governor James “Just Build More” Thompson?

Oil-free Sunday? That’s what Synapses, located on West Cullerton, is calling for. The one-day “oil fast” on October 21 is supposed to “deepen our spiritual commitment to work to restrain war-making now in the Persian Gulf and to ready ourselves for long term witness against war preparations.” One result, if it comes off: a lot of socially concerned people worshiping in strange–but geographically close–churches that day.

Most appealing mail promotion: “We have to give away a certain amount of major gifts and the machinery that inserts the letters in the envelopes picked you!”

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. Perennial Republican Ninth District congressional candidate Herb Sohn: “A home should never be equated between a right and a privilege.”

“When a friend came down with AIDS, the initial problem we discovered was that when you’re trying to get Social Security benefits, they all give you this attitude of ‘we’ll hold off as long as we can. Maybe you’ll die before we have to pay you anything,'” says Chicago House resident Earl Smith in the Judges Journal (reprinted in the Chicago House newsletter, Summer 1990). “That was the major impression we got from a majority of government agencies….Discrimination, however, can work to your benefit. For example, when I went to the Welfare Department to get medical help, they said, ‘Well, what’s wrong with you?’ And I said, ‘I have AIDS.’ ‘Ah oh,’ they replied. They responded by getting me out of that office as fast as they could and made sure that I would not need to come back. Now that’s one discrimination I like.”

If you’re going to copy Wright, make sure you do it poorly. “Ironically, for architecture,” writes Michael Jackson in Inland Architect (September/October 1990), “the belief that reproductions [of historic buildings] are undesirable has led some to feel that bad reproductions are better than good ones because they are more readily discerned as reproductions and, therefore, products of architectural evolution.”

Gee, that must be why they keep electing him. From Taxnews (Summer 1990): “While gathering signatures [for Robert Marshall’s third-party congressional bid], it became quickly evident that most voters in this eighth Congressional district hate Rostenkowski.”

Dept. of downstate geography. From a September 18 press release: “Governor James R. Thompson on Tuesday announced that President Bush has placed the 1544th Transportation Company of the Illinois Army National Guard in Paris on mobilization alert…. Earlier Tuesday, President Bush placed the Cairo-based 1244th Transportation Company on federal active duty…” Both Paris and Cairo, in this case, are located in Illinois.

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