City File 

Who's really on drugs here? According to a household survey detailed in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority's "Research Bulletin" (August), the percentage of Illinois adults who said they used an illegal drug in Illinois in 1990: 4.9. In 1998: 7.6. The number of prison sentences handed out for drug offenses in Illinois in 1990: about 8,000. In 1998: about 14,000. The number of words on whether the drug war is succeeding, even on its own terms, in the report: 0.

At this rate of growth, by 2035 it should have several zip codes. According to Alan Altshuler and David Luberoff's Mega-Projects: The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment, the square footage of exhibition space at McCormick Place in 1960: 320,000. By the late 1990s: 2,200,000.

"George W. Bush embodies the modern GOP's attitude toward science," writes Nicholas Thompson in the Washington Monthly (July/August). "He hails from a segment of the energy industry that, when it comes to global warming, considers science an obstacle to growth. He is strongly partisan, deeply religious, and also tied to evangelical supporters. And, like Reagan, he has refused to endorse the scientific principle of evolution....Bush and Rove have tried to woo portions of other groups that traditionally trend Democratic--steel tariffs for unions, faith-based grants for African-American ministers--but scientists are different. They aren't a big voting bloc. They are generally affluent, but not enough so to be major donors."

In a sentence. From the late industrial designer Brooks Stevens (MIT Press catalog, fall), who created, among many other items, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile: "There's nothing more aerodynamic than a wiener."

From the country file: visitors and regulars. University of Illinois anthropologist Sonya Salamon writes in Newcomers to Old Towns: Suburbanization of the Heartland on her studies of the state's rural culture: "I became fascinated, when interviewing farmers all over Illinois, by the fact that the act of having lunch together involved extensive impression management by my companion, according to his local status. If the farmer wishes, for example, to polish his reputation as a rogue, he introduces no one to the strange woman with him. If he would like to burnish his family prestige, he might play up my professional interest in him and his family. The farmer to whom I dedicated my previous book always introduced me as an Illinois professor and commented, 'She's writing a book about me.' I could imagine the event of my visit as material for banter in the months ahead. These farmers' deliberately chosen actions toward a person new to the community's textured, colorful, and distinctive world are based on their history and experiences in that world. For me to cross from newcomer status to incorporation into the community culture would require my regular interactions over a long period to prove loyalty by dealing locally. Gradually, through positive, routine interactions, I would build a reputation and gain a history, and so would my family. Through such repetitive interactions, community is maintained and reproduced. Local culture is what newcomers must learn about a place and its people and act upon unthinkingly before finding acceptance."

"It is deeply ironic that the USA is violating fundamental rights on Cuban soil [by detaining uncharged individuals incommunicado indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay], and relying on the fact that it is on Cuban soil to keep the US courts from examining its conduct," writes Amnesty International in an August 19 report, "The Threat of a Bad Example: Undermining International Standards as 'War on Terror' Detentions Continue." "In its most recent criticism of the human rights situation in Cuba, the US State Department commented that the Cuban Constitution 'states that all legally recognized civil liberties can be denied to anyone who actively opposes the decision of the Cuban people to build socialism. The authorities routinely invoked this sweeping authority to deny due process to those detained on purported state security grounds.'"

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