No Thanks, We're Brits

Week of October 23, 2002

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No Thanks, We're Brits
They call 'em "sheaths" over there: I have just read your article about pizza delivery and condoms [Mike Seely, "Rubbers Meet the Road," October 16]. Whilst I think they have a good idea, it is not new. In the town where I come from in England, we have a pizza parlor next door to a late-night pharmacy. For an extra pound [about $1.54] on the delivery charge, plus the cost of the item, they would deliver anything from the pharmacy with your order -- diapers, pain relief, and, of course, condoms. Why not? It is a service to the customer, and the customer will keep coming back as well as sing their praises to all around.
Sylvia Ivory
via the Internet

Do the Math
Doesn't add up: D.J.'s article about Tom Bauer's "student bill of rights" [D.J. Wilson, "School Daze," October 9] omitted mention of the worst aspect of this misguided referendum. The bill gives the school district the right to transport children to relieve overcrowding, but it denies the district the ability to transport children who have elected to attend the schools closest to their homes. This will ensure overcrowding in many schools. We're talking more than 40 and, in some cases, more than 50 children in a classroom. Now, some voters, especially those who attended parochial schools in their youth, may wax nostalgic about the good old days of 50 children in a classroom. But if you think the schools are bad now, if you think achievement is low now, if you think classrooms are chaotic at best now, just wait for this baby to pass. You can kiss the magnet schools goodbye. I am not a fan of the district. I am one of its more outspoken critics. But my concern has always been for the children in our schools. If this thing passes, the kids will suffer. Current conditions in the schools will seem like a golden age. I'm not fear-mongering. I've done the math. I live in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city as far as children are concerned. Bauer's bill of rights is a bill of wrongs.
Susan Gwen Turk
St. Louis

Off Base
No neglect: In his analysis of the 2002 senatorial campaign, ["Base Motives," October 9], Jim Nesbitt seems to fall victim to conflicting assertions. According to Nesbitt, Jim Talent and Jean Carnahan face only "negligible" third-party opposition in their race. Yet he also quotes a local African-American politician -- in terms that indicate agreement -- to the effect that Carnahan's prospects may hinge on as few as 30,000 votes. In 1998, Libertarian candidate Tamara Millay received about 32,000 votes in her race against Kit Bond and Jay Nixon. If voter turnout trends from 1998 hold true, and if all other things remain equal, Millay can expect to surpass 60,000 votes on November 5 -- and those "other things" aren't equal. Millay's campaign this year has been much more aggressive than her 1998 effort. If 30,000 votes are key to the election, exactly how do 60,000 or more votes become "negligible?" Millay's candidacy may very well be the decisive factor in this election.
Thomas L. Knapp
Campaign manager
Millay for U.S. Senate

Widow gets her gun: I take issue with some rather dismissive and cynical comments regarding the race for U.S. Senate by one of your columnists -- Jim Nesbitt wrote that "Carnahan and Talent ... face negligible opposition from Libertarian Party candidate Tamara Millay and Green Party candidate Daniel Romano...." I'm sure this is wishful thinking on Nesbitt's part, as he is clearly frustrated by Jean Carnahan's inability to run away with this election based on the critical issue of prescription drugs for seniors. He whines that the race is so close the widow Carnahan must even resort to skeet shooting just to trick those nasty white males into voting for her. Yet how can this be? If the Carnahan-Talent race is so close, then how could the third party "up yours" vote be negligible? Sounds to me like Nesbitt's thinking cap was not on straight. Sounds to me like the third-party vote is not so negligible in a close election year -- sounds to me like it may even be decisive. And yet something tells me Nesbitt will find a way to ignore these votes all the same -- lest we forget, the leak in the Titanic was less than 2 percent of the ship's surface area -- "negligible, my friends, negligible." As one who plans to vote against the war in Iraq this November, I shall not be voting for either Talent or Carnahan under any circumstances. I shall be among those "negligible" voters deciding this close election and spoiling it for the pro-empire, pro-war Carnahan while Mr. Nesbitt focuses on more important things, like skeet shooting and fishing licenses.
Lloyd Sloan

Unmask that clown: Poor baby, Jim Talent! While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, he did just about everything Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey told him to do. Now he's trying to rewrite history and disassociate himself from what was at the time a "deregulatory Congress" whose legislative actions have resulted in that for which we are now paying, for as exemplified by an imprudent Securities and Exchange Commission. Thanks for nothing, Jim. Your masquerade won't work.
Fred Boeneker

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