In case you hadn’t noticed, the rich are coming. Upper-income people (those who make 120 percent or more above the median) made up 29 percent of Chicago home buyers in 1993-’94, but 35.1 percent in 1999-2000, according to the Woodstock Institute’s “Home Buying by Income, 1993-2000,” written by Dan Immergluck and Geoff Smith.
“The best and only sane answer to the threat of terrorism is to leave the Middle East alone,” argues J.L. Babbitt in the “ITEF Review,” newsletter of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (November). “A withdrawal of American government aid and military forces would force Middle Eastern ‘oppressors’ and ‘freedom fighters,’ ‘free governments’ and ‘terrorists’ to solve their own problems. It would save thousands of American lives by removing the U.S. from a conflict in which we shouldn’t be involved anyway. Pulling out could also return the $90 billion we waste on foreign and military aid in the Middle East every year to the American taxpayers, as a permanent $90 billion federal tax cut.”
Hey, we’ll tolerate fundamentalists as long as they keep quiet. Paul Numrich writes in Second Opinion (October): “Physicians…who believe that certain patients are going to hell need to acknowledge that perspective and value it personally, yet bracket it out in their provision of health care.”
What’s happening to welfare? It may be bunching up, says Bruce Weber of Oregon State University, writing in the November-December issue of “Poverty Research News,” published by the Joint Center for Poverty Research of Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. “Caseloads are becoming concentrated in the 89 urban counties containing the nation’s 100 largest cities, and in nonmetro counties in selected states. This limited evidence suggests that caseload declines have occurred disproportionately in the suburbs, with cases becoming concentrated in central urban places and rural counties.”
New horizons in political correctness. A new handout from the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention encourages journalists to keep the word “suicide” out of headlines, as part of a program to avoid creating copycat suicides. “In the body of the story, it is preferable to describe the deceased as ‘having died by suicide,’ rather than as ‘a suicide,’ or having ‘committed suicide.’ The latter two expressions reduce the person to the mode of death, or connote criminal or sinful behavior.”
“Within the next couple of months, Chicago will lose a perfectly good high school building because the Chicago Board of Education is doing its best to keep segregation going,” claims Substance (November). “Neither the school board nor the people who own the building want lots of black and Puerto Rican kids going to school at Belmont and Pulaski. That’s the only way to read what’s happening right now at Madonna High School for Girls (4055 W. Belmont), which will be torn down soon. Madonna High School for Girls is closing because it can’t get enough kids to go. Madonna is surrounded by overcrowded public high schools (Foreman, Schurz, Kelvyn Park). But all of the clout in Madonna’s mostly white neighborhood is silently working to make sure that the building doesn’t become a public high school.”
Can Hamlet beat the point spread? Writing in Performink (November 23), Ben Winters quotes sports commentator Frank Deford: “If you want more coverage of theatre, figure out a way to gamble on it.”
“In some ways the nativists were right to be suspicious of Catholics,” University of Notre Dame theologian Father Michael Baxter tells U.S. Catholic (December). “When the bishops’ pastoral on war and peace was being written, the military took a good look at whether Catholic officers were trustworthy to do certain things like carrying out orders to fire nuclear weapons. Maybe they realized that, if Catholics were well formed, they could not be trusted to do evil things. Ultimately, we are citizens of a heavenly city and therefore only provisionally citizens of any earthly city.”