News releases you won’t see from Com Ed anytime soon. From Wisconsin Electric in Milwaukee: “Two large wind turbines specially designed for the Midwest’s lower wind speeds are scheduled to be installed on the bluffs near De Pere in southern Brown County, Wis., this fall.”

Headlines we swear we didn’t write: “American Liver Foundation–Illinois Chapter–Holds Dinner” (from a recent American Liver Foundation press release).

“State politicians sit on funding that could eliminate household lead hazards in at least one community,” reports Carl Vogel in The Neighborhood Works (April/May). “Since September, the State of Illinois has had $1.2 million in a bank account, the first installment of $6 million for a three-year, community-based lead abatement program, courtesy of a federal Centers for Disease Control grant.” The money would go to the Community Lead Poisoning Initiative to test every child in a six-square-block area on the west side, and then to identify and eliminate the sources of any significant level of lead in their bodies. Unfortunately, “until the Illinois General Assembly appropriates the money, the project administrators–community groups from the Near West Side–can only make preliminary plans.”

Not just doughnuts. North Riverside Park Mall now offers discounts of up to 40 percent to police officers, because “customers are becoming more and more sensitive to their perception of safety in public places,” according to a press release quoting the mall’s astonishingly well named general manager Mace Hirt.

PC test: who’s talking here? The following statement is politically correct if it’s the Midwest Center for Labor Research (MCLR) decrying corporate subsidies. It’s politically incorrect if it’s U.S. representative Henry Hyde decrying environmental regulations. You make the call: “Despite their huge investments, most states and municipalities are not performing comprehensive cost-benefit analyses nor requiring detailed performance reports. They cannot say, with any certainty, that the deals are paying off or will pay off in the future.” Answer: MCLR Newsletter (spring). Unfortunately, the statement is true in both cases.

Antiracism is where you find it. “A white evangelical mistake in the sixties was to leave civil rights at the margins,” writes Harold Myra in Christianity Today (March 6), a conservative Protestant magazine based in suburban Carol Stream, after a recent Chicago meeting between the National Association of Evangelicals and the National Black Evangelical Association. “We failed to see the connection between reconciling with our brothers and sisters and reconciling with God. On other issues of the sixties we were largely right–opposing drugs and free sex, for example–but we lost golden opportunities for racial reconciliation. Now we must not only make up for lost opportunities, we must learn to give sustained effort.”

OK–who’s been proofreading with a spell checker?

U.S. Catholic (May): “Mention [U.S. representative Jim] Talent’s name to a Washington lefty lobbyist and you will illicit a spontaneous groan of despair and derision.”

WRCX: “Mancow Muller is hear weekday mornings.”

Up, Up, and Away Parasail, Inc.: “The parasailor departs from the deck of the boat, is carried into the air as a wench is released slowly and then lands back on the deck–safe and dry.”

Gee, I dunno–sounds like it could lead to overpopulation. One verse of eco-lyrics composed by UIC’s Betsy Vandercook, entitled “Change Every Lightbulb,” and to be sung, if possible, to the tune of “Climb Every Mountain”: “Remove a few lights / And the rest retrofit / Or just sit in the dark / And we all benefit” (UIC News, April 19).

Department of public ignorance. Progressive Review (March) quotes from Left Business Observer, “What Americans think the average AFDC welfare benefit is: $685 a month. What it actually is: $366.”

“Has any single American of this century done more harm than Robert McNamara?” asks TRB in the New Republic (May 1). “Before he helped ruin the American polity, he helped ruin the American economy, pioneering at Ford the bloodless, numbers-oriented management methods that helped bring so many corporations to their knees. After Vietnam, as head of the World Bank, he helped ruin the entire world’s economy, shoveling out billions of dollars to fund failed ‘development’ projects. It’s a tough record to match.”

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