When is an animal not an animal? When the U.S. Department of Agriculture is supposed to protect it from mistreatment during use in experiments. According to the newsletter of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (September-October 1987), “USDA simplified its task [of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act] by excluding most animals from coverage. Monkeys are considered to be animals by the USDA for purposes of the act; birds are not. Guinea pigs are animals, according to the USDA; rats and mice are not.”

A lesson for the Japanese. “Last fall, one of our associate editors at Substance had a student teacher in a program sponsored by a consortium of small colleges in the midwestern United States,” reports Substance (September 1987). “As part of the program, the student teacher visited the headquarters of the Chicago Board of Education here with two visitors from Japan. The Japanese guests asked their Chicago hosts whether 1819 W. Pershing Road was the site of the U.S. Department of Education! According to the student teacher, our Japanese guests said that the Japanese national Ministry of Education isn’t as large as the headquarters of the Chicago Public Schools.”

How can the state stop abuse of mental patients when it’s the abuser? That’s what the Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago wants to know: “Illinois spends $80 million LESS EACH YEAR on mental health than it spent in 1975, accounting for inflation. Last year, Illinois failed to invest one penny in new services in the community. This year, Illinois plans to cut community services by $13 million. When the State cuts funding to community mental health services, it commits abuse and neglect toward the 120,000 people who depend on these programs. It forces people to choose between returning to the increasingly overcrowded, understaffed, inhumane hospitals or joining the vast army of abused and neglected mentally ill people who walk the streets, often homeless and afraid.”

“Illinois’ competitive position can be improved by a decrease in average wages, relative to other states,” writes Anne E. Winkler in Illinois Business Review (August 1987). “Another means to enhance Illinois’ comparative advantage is by having an increasingly educated population, relative to the U.S. average.” Winkler claims that if Illinois’ average manufacturing wages in 1980 had been cut from $8.02 to $7.92 per hour, then 13,282 new jobs would have appeared in the following five years. She does not explain how Illinoisans would pay for more education out of smaller paychecks, however, nor what would induce them to continue their schooling for a diminishing reward.

Give now, before it costs more, suggests the Illinois CPA Society/Foundation: “If a person in the 35-percent tax bracket chooses to donate $500 to his or her church or synagogue in 1987, a tax savings of $175 will be generated. If this person makes the same donation in 1988 while in the 28-percent tax bracket, his or her taxes will be reduced by only $140.”

Where will the next generation of black leaders come from? The current generation–or at least the nearly 100 black leaders interviewed by the Chicago Reporter (September 1987)–doesn’t know. “When asked to name five blacks under the age of 40 who would likely emerge in leadership roles, more than 90 percent of the respondents could not name five individuals. Many could not name even one.” Those most often named were John Rogers of Ariel Capital Management, and Linda Johnson Rice, president of Johnson Products.

Places rated. “About 40 percent will move to find a new job,” says James E. Challenger, Chicago outplacement consultant, of the fired workers his firm tries to help. “But very, very few who come from Columbus, Minneapolis, and Houston are willing to move for a new job. They tell us up front that they want our help but they want to stay put.”

“How many times have you visited a Christian bookstore in the past 3 months?” Cornerstone magazine (published by Jesus People USA in Uptown) asks its readers in its 1988 survey: “(a) one time (b) two times (c) three times (d) four times (e) five or more times (f) none. . . . How many Bibles have you purchased within the past 3 months? (a) 1-4 (b) 5-7 (c) 8-10 (d) 10 or more (e) none.”

“The ‘miracle’ of our democracy is not the work of Founding Fathers,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower reminded a Columbia College audience this summer. “Rather it is the work of ordinary people who joined in common cause to pass the Bill of Rights, to abolish slavery, to fight unbridled monopoly power, to push for women’s suffrage and direct election of senators, to protect the rights of labor and to fight for civil rights. . . . In 1787, ‘We the people’ included less than half the population . . . Ours is a living constitution, and the battle goes on.”

But no mosquitoes, please. According to a promotional letter for Country Home magazine, “A 1986 Better Homes and Gardens Consumer Panel showed that 53 percent of the respondents chose country as the preferred indoor decorating style.”

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