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Rules Part II

Rules Part II by Bill Droel Chris Matthews supplies several rules for public life in Hardball: How Politics Is Played (Free Press, 1988). One chapter explains why “it’s better to receive than give.” Such surprising rules make Matthews’ book a classic. “Contrary to what many people assume,” he writes, “the most effective way to gain […]

No Rules

No Rules William Droel  Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) could not tell less experienced organizers more loudly or more frequently: There are no rules. Creative life is for fluid people. Alinsky’s insistence caused cognitive dissonance in many of his novice disciples. They read his Rules for Radicals (Random House, 1971) and concluded there really are rules for […]

Free Choice?

Free Choice? by Bill Droel Rebecca Friedrichs doesn’t want to pay her union dues. And indeed, because our culture is premised on individualism some workers can now legally opt out of their dues. Friedrichs, whose workplace is represented by California Teachers Association, wants something more. She wants no payroll deduction for what is called agency […]

Action First

Action First by Bill Droel Young adults do not so much need a meaning in life as an experience of living. Despite or because of our cosmopolitan culture and global economy, too many young adults get caught up in a small circle of co-workers and friends while communicating mostly about small comings and goings. Meanwhile, […]

Hometown Brag

Hometown Brag by Bill Droel Political commentators derisively call it The Chicago Way. They refer to our machine-style politics. Its motto, of course, is Ubi est mea? (Where’s mine?) It is accompanied by corruption and then jail time for some, including in recent years a Congressman and two Governors. By contrast, two commentators point to […]


Stockyards by Bill Droel Your Working Catholic blogger frequently drives through Chicago’s abandoned stockyards on the way to the ballpark, but the area doesn’t visually tell much of a story. Back in the day, 50,000 people worked on the killing floors, where each hour 600 animals were slaughtered and packaged. That history is the subject […]

Food Processing

Food Processing by Bill Droel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) is a standard on high school summer reading lists; that is, for those high schools that still expect education to occur beyond the classroom. It was first published in serial form in 1905 for a Kansas City weekly newspaper, Appeal To Reason. The author’s […]

Young Adults and Social Change

Young Adults and Social Change by Bill Droel There is resurgence among U.S. Catholic young adults in the social mission of their faith. They are admittedly small in number. It is encouraging nonetheless. They are motivated through college volunteer programs, concern about the environment, the Pope Francis effect, economic realities in their jobs and careers, […]

A Race Man

A Race Man by Bill Droel It was cold in the parking lot after the funeral, but I lingered long enough to chat with an elderly priest. “We were about to get our first assignments out of seminary,” he began. “A teacher gave me some advice: Stay away from Falls; he’s a race man. Well, […]

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual Disability Bill Droel It all started here in Chicago. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke was once upon a time only 24-years old when, as a gym instructor for the Chicago Park District, she was selected to organize an event for intellectually disabled people. Burke had no expertise with the special needs population. But […]