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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 […]

Vocation Crisis

Vocation Culture by Bill Droel There’s a vocation crisis among physicians. First, a crisis of numbers. Not enough young adults, particularly those from the United States, are applying to medical school and not enough of those who do apply want a general practice. Second, a crisis of meaning. Many doctors, to greater or lesser degree […]

Tips in Restaurants

Tips in Restaurants Bill Droel The Wall St. Journal (3/1/15) reports that restaurant spending increased by 11.3% over the past year and that “food-service employment has surged.” The income of restaurant workers has not equaled the uptick in meals served; though employers are starting to pay more—3.1% more over the past year says the Department […]

Sentiment Part II

Sentiment Part II Bill Droel The distinction between private life and public life is eroding to the detriment of both. Private life is spilling over into the public realm on so-called reality TV shows, all over social media and in displays of personal information in inappropriate places. From the other end, public life at work, […]


Manufacturing Bill Droel It is hard to get a handle on globalization because it includes nearly instant communication, instant transfers of money, plus trade policies, including tariffs and NAFTA. It is also the IMF, currency rates, immigration policies, large-scale assembly and distribution of goods, speculative trading of complex financial instruments, outsourcing and an international drug […]

Working Catholic – Stories Are True

Stories Are True Bill Droel Mike Houlihan is a raconteur of Chicago neighborhoods and a columnist for Irish American News. One column wisely begins: “A good story never really ends. Maybe you’ve heard a few from me before, but like the story of our lives, it continues to unravel in directions we never imagined.” Another […]

Working Catholic – Community Colleges

Community Colleges Bill Droel President Barack Obama is a champion of community colleges—not only in his recent State of the Union address, but regularly since the first days of his administration. Tom Geoghegan, a labor lawyer here in Chicago, is not convinced. College, especially community college, “is not a sure route to the middle class,” he […]