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As the worm turns. According to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Stephen L. Adams, writing in Annals of Internal Medicine (September 1988), “The leech as a therapeutic agent began to loosen its grip at the end of the 19th century.”

“Police Superintendent Leroy Martin. . . . has shown throughout the month a snarling dislike of CTA passengers,” writes an angry William Leahy in Leahy’s Corner (October 1988). “His first offensive remark was that his men do not like transit duties. . . . Never at any point did he ensure the public that he was seeing to it that the present CPD transit unit was going to be required to work. . . . But why single out Martin? . . . The Mayor doesn’t care. The Guv picked up the laughter when he told everyone that the system was safer than the streets. (He sees buses only through the windows of antique shops.) Daley? He’s busy running for two offices. The Cardinal? Black ministers? Bankers? Come on, the old people and the poor who ride buses are not even counted as commodities. The true depth of the cynicism behind this all can be seen if we remember that every policeman in Chicago can ride the CTA free. They used to do just that. It seems that not one of them now takes advantage of what could be a substantial savings every year. We now live in a city with perhaps one-half million untouchables.”

The bland leading the bland. Baskin-Robbins says that Illinoisans eat enough ice cream in a year to fill 1,257 Olympic-size swimming pools, and the favorite flavor is . . . vanilla (402 pools), followed by various mixes that include chocolate (289 pools).

“It has all the ethical integrity of selling life preservers on the Titanic for $3 billion a shot”–that’s how Dave Kraft of the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service describes the nuclear power industry’s attempt to portray itself as a solution to the greenhouse effect. According to a newly released report from the Critical Mass Energy Project and the Safe Energy Communications Council, “Even if every fossil fuel plant in operation in the U.S. today were to be replaced with nuclear reactors, that would still reduce by only 14% the amount of harmful emissions that the U.S. creates that contribute to the greenhouse effect. . . . The construction costs alone for the number of plants needed to achieve this reduction would be between $1.2 to $2.0 trillion or roughly 10 times the annual federal budget deficit.”

“Today I find it hard to know just what Chicago is for,” writes Jan Morris in Chicago Times (November/December 1988). “I cannot offhand think of any Chicago product that makes its way to my corner of Europe, except Playboy and the Encyclopaedia Britannica.”

Remind you of anybody? “As a regional organizer for Walter Mondale’s campaign in 1984,” recalls Miles Harvey in Utne Reader (November/December 1988), “I found we spent more time trying to discover what people thought about the campaign than in actually campaigning. Instead of talking about issues, the campaign focused on asking the people about what they wanted to hear. We found they wanted to hear the things the media was telling them they wanted to hear.”

What I learned at the University of Chicago, from U. of C. law student and I.F. Stone biographer Andrew Patner: “When you’re talking about twenty-five-year-old kids coming out of law school and getting $70,000 salaries, that’s a sickness in our society,” he tells Student Lawyer’s MaryAnn Dadisman (November 1988). “They deserve $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 max. I say that for myself as well. When there’s tremendous poverty, tremendous unemployment–it’s a joke.” According to the same magazine, a starting lawyer in a Chicago law firm averaged $43,000 a year in 1988. Only Cleveland ($47,000) and New York City ($49,000) were higher.

Fly Amtrak. Why has O’Hare had 30 near misses this year while next-busiest Hartsfield (Atlanta) has had only six? According to U.S. Senator Paul Simon (Congressional Record, October 13): “The number of fully qualified controllers at O’Hare has not come close to the agency’s own standard for O’Hare since 1981,” when President Reagan proved his manhood by breaking the controllers’ union. “Today, there are 32 fully qualified controllers, matched against FAA’s authorized standard for O’Hare of 72.”

Caught in the residential ghetto. That’s the plight of most women selling real estate, according to University of Illinois sociologist Barbara Reskin. “Residential sales, in which women are concentrated, yields the lowest average income of all real estate specialties,” she says. “Commercial sales has a reputation as a tough, risky business where deals are made in smoke-filled rooms. Some industry insiders still see it as ‘no place for women.'”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Harold Henderson.