EMPLOYMENT BUREAU: Rumors in the Missouri Capitol spread like airborne contagions. Keepers of the gossip now say that state Sen. Joe Maxwell (D-Mexico) may run against Attorney General Jeremiah "Jay" Nixon for Missouri's top cop but that Nixon is himself considering applying for Gov. Mel Carnahan's job when he runs against U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft for his seat. But that means Nixon would possibly compete with former state Sen. Mike Lybyer (D-Huggins) and/or Treasurer Bob Holden, whose own position is being considered by Assistant Treasurer Nancy Farmer, Rep. Brian May (D-St. Louis) and, yes, Maxwell -- the same senator possibly eyeing the AG's spot. (MR)
ISN'T HE PAYING ATTENTION? The day after Stanford researchers publicly announced the discovery that a brain scan can show a "biological signature" of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Moritz Farbstein of Creve Coeur wrote to warn us it was "another hoax perpetrated by the psychiatric industry." He called ADHD "simply a commodity for a profit-making industry" (tell the kids who have it) and insisted "there is no known scientific evidence supporting any such disease." Farbstein then linked Ritalin to brain damage and withdrawal from Ritalin to suicide -- now there's an assertion without evidence -- and suggested calling the psychiatric-abuse hotline of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, known for its ties to the Church of Scientology. (JB)
BOMB SQUAD: It may seem like old news in the blinding spin of the news cycle, but it was only two weeks ago that the United States was preparing to unilaterally bomb Iraq for continuing noncompliance with United Nations sanctions. St. Louis peace activist Mira Tanna was one of a group of activists calling themselves Voices in the Wilderness who traveled to Iraq right before the planned bombings, as their report put it, "to stand witness in case of a U.S. attack on Iraq." Reached on Tuesday, after her safe return, Tanna says, "I thought there would be some level of fear about bombing, but it really didn't seem to faze people." Bombs may not have dropped this time, but Tanna observes that Iraqis "see the sanctions as an ongoing war against them that's taking more lives than the Gulf War." A veteran of previous trips to Iraq (including a visit last year), Tanna noted that in the queer economics of U.N. sanctions, "there seemed to be a little more medicine in hospitals and a little more food in the ration packages, but a lot less hope than a year ago." (RB)
PETIT MORT, BIG PRIZE: Who said the British are stuffy about sex? Recently, the Guardian declared Sebastian Faulks the recipient of the 1998 Literary Review Bad Sex Prize -- bestowed for the "most redundant or embarrassing description of the sexual act" -- for his novel Charlotte Gray. In the clinching passage, the heroine "did feel a risk of feeling in herself as he groaned out her presumed name for the final time; but ... her mind was full of the picture of Julien being annihilated, as he slumped down gasping on top of her, breaking into tiny dying fragments." (JB)
Contributors: Jeannette Batz, Richard Byrne, Melinda Roth
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.