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We're off the air now, so we can tell the truth. The two faces of the media that Catherine Wallace, a Skokie-based author, saw while on tour promoting her 1998 book For Fidelity: How Intimacy and Commitment Enrich Our Lives (U.S. Catholic, May): "She [the radio interviewer] watched the door close, turned back to me, and buried her face in her hands, her breathing ragged. I stopped breathing altogether. 'If only we could tell them,' she said after a minute. 'If only we could tell them how used we felt, how terrible the pain, how nothing is worth that kind of pain. I'd do anything to spare them that, anything.' We had spent almost the whole hour [on the air] talking about my arguments about why casual sex is both self-destructive and exploitative, and about how we can explain and defend such ideas to our teenage children. She had skillfully probed my arguments about competing Western ideals of sexual morality. We had talked about theories of embodiment and about theories of moral development in children. We had talked about Freud and Augustine. . . . But now that the microphones were off, she set aside her intellectual poise to agree with my stand on an issue we had never discussed: Sometimes what's morally wrong is also devastatingly painful and destructive, even many years later."

You're next. The local nonprofit Animal Welfare League encourages pet owners to "microchip" their pets in a recent news release: "Microchips are tiny chips that are painlessly injected under an animal's skin, just above the shoulder blades. A microchip contains a special identification number that is linked to the pet owner's information in the system."

Do term limits make for "good government"? Maybe so, according to the new book Term Limits in State Legislatures, by political scientists John Cary, Richard Niemi, and Lynda Powell. Their survey of nearly 3,000 legislators and 22 legislative leaders shows that "there are no systematic differences between term limit and non-term limit states in the composition of the legislature (e.g., professional backgrounds, demographics, ideology)." However, "term limits decrease the time legislators devote to securing pork and heighten the priority they place on the needs of the state and on the demands of conscience relative to district interests" (


Lest we forget. Cost of one year--tuition, fees, room, board, books--at the University of Illinois: $11,604 ("Illinois Tax Facts," February-March). Cost of one year in juvenile prison: $36,031 (from a 1999 report by the state comptroller, "The Executive Summary").

"For more than 40 years, feminists have been demanding that domestic labor be viewed as part of the economy," writes Judith Shulevitz in Slate (March 29). "Now it is, and [Barbara] Ehrenreich [in the April cover story for Harper's] worries about our souls. The American economy, she says, is being 'Brazilianized'--stratified into 'a tiny overclass and a huge underclass.' The evidence for this? The fact that, 'among my middle-class, professional women friends and acquaintances, including some who made important contributions to the early feminist analysis of housework, the employment of a maid is now nearly universal.' But if the ability to hire a maid is trickling down to the lower ranks of the middle class (which is where feminist theorists have traditionally resided) then the American economy is becoming more democratic and fair, not less."

Eleven years and still unheard of? "I think it really hurt that there wasn't a lot of public information and PSAs [public-service announcements] about the campaign" for local school councils, Susan Adler-Yanun of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association tells Dan Weissmann in Catalyst (April). "When [LSNA recruiters] went doorknocking and talked to people on the street, people did not know what LSCs were."


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