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Ron Kirk's paper trail. DNC acts according to Prowler script. Wise Henry. Plus: A pre-SUV Volvo.

9.24.02

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KIRK'S STAR TURN
Re: The Washington Prowler's Ron Kirk Confounded:

Ron Kirk was a disaster as mayor of Dallas. During his two terms as mayor, basic city services involving crime, education and streets were neglected. Kirk's record on crime is devastating. Check out www.dallascrime.com to learn that Dallas has had the highest total crime rate per capita in the nation among cities with population over one million for the last four years. Every year but one during Kirk's term as mayor, the total crime rate per capita increased. Burglary and robbery per capita have also been the highest in the nation for the last four years. In 2001 Dallas was #2 in murder, rape, larceny/theft and auto theft per capita. All stats quoted are from the FBI website www.fbi.gov.

During the 1990s, most major cities saw a decrease in crime while Dallas' crime steadily increased. Mayor Giuliani reduced crime in New York City by almost 70%. Now a person is twice as likely to be murdered in Dallas than in New York City.

Dallas built new stadiums and funded projects that favored the wealthy and the business establishment while the quality of life for the average Dallas citizen deteriorated. Heaven help Texas and the nation if Kirk becomes Senator.
-- Calie Stephens
Editor, dallascrime.com

Don't be so quick to discount Kirk! He has the Belo Corp. behind him. Belo owns the Dallas Morning News and many other Texas assets and the paper, in my view, is much less than candid about which of these assets are helping Kirk and by how much. The DMN will take half a page to tell readers about some menial with 30 years of service but wouldn't think of disclosing some conflict of interest between Kirk (or a relative of Kirk's or Kirk's law firm) and some Belo interest.
-- unsigned

CITRIC ACID
Re: The Washington Prowler's Sour Grapefruits:

Your Sept. 19 piece titled "Sour Grapefruits" was so right. You said that the DNC was planning to put out a fake poll showing Bill McBride within 5% points of Jeb Bush, but not to believe it because all reliable polls have them at double-digits apart. The very next day, Sept. 20, the Tallahassee Democrat ran an AP article titled "Democrats in Search of Money," and -- what do you know! -- -- it contained this very quote: "Poe said the donors were shown an internal party poll that has McBride within 5 percentage points of Bush. "

Today, Sept. 23, David Von Drehle in the Washington Post runs a story titled "Suddenly, Jeb Bush in Close Race" and, surprise, they make the same claim again: "A poll by Democratic operatives released last week showed Bush leading by five points over McBride, 48 percent to 43 percent." Gee, 5% points apart, imagine that.

So the AP and Washington Post are eager to carry the DNC lies, no questions asked, all evidence to the contrary ignored. Please, Prowler, do a follow-up to this piece. I suspect you already know of many other mainstream newsmedia outlets who put this out. Florida Republicans have taken enough crap from the DNC-media. Thanks for providing us with the truth. I forwarded "Sour Grapefruits" to the Florida GOP, county and state -- as well as Gov. Bush and most Florida papers (now, they know). It was a pleasure.
-- H. Leigh

HENRY HILARITY
Re: Christopher Orlet's Mencken's Axe:

I believe it has been remarked by biographers of Mencken that during his book review day's he read nearly 2,000 books and wrote several million words! Let's extend this feting of Mencken. Just recently I've completed both his Smart Set criticism and Minority Report. The lucubrations to be found in Minority Report are not only apposite to our political scene today, scathing in language and sprinkled with hilarity, to wit: "reforms ... involve an effort to change human nature by forcing men and women to do things they don't want to do. It is a vain enterprise. A sea lion remains indubitably a sea lion, even after it has been clubbed and cajoled into balancing a ball on its nose and blowing a cornet."
--Edward Del Colle

ROAD ROOM
Re: Dave Shiflett's HUV Heaven and Al Martin's letter in Reader Mail's The Art of Observation:

I too enjoyed Dave Shiflett's scolding of anti-SUV scolds. SUVs infest my old but recently yuppiefied neighborhood too. But they are only a minor nuisance. Some are large enough to be seen with the naked eye from the closer planets. And when they are parked on both sides of the street they sometimes block traffic -- especially if the traffic being blocked is another SUV. But usually this only results in kids being late to soccer practice (they should be playing baseball anyway), or two stockbroker's wives being late for a double latte chat date at one of the local Starbucks. So there is no reason for the police, local committees of improvement, or the cosmos to take any notice. If a 110 pound housewife wants to drive a vehicle larger than Luxembourg, heavier (and less fuel efficient) than a hum-vee, and less maneuverable than the destroyer I served on in the Navy, then who am I to object? Doubtless she and her husband do sillier things (about which we need not inquire further here).

But Portland's Al Martin doesn't have to resort to an SUV to find a vehicle to suit his frame. If he likes SUVs, that's fine. But if he ever decides to try to find the comfort without the heft, he should take a look at the Volvo 240 series. I'm 6-4 and about 220 pounds (depending on the barometric pressure and how many pancakes I had for breakfast), and the 240 has plenty of head and leg room for me. No contortions getting in or out. (A real benefit for a guy who is -- as Falstaff put it -- "inclining to three score.") Vision is fine too. Absolutely nothing has been sacrificed in the 240 for style (it's as aerodynamic as a brick -- which it sort of resembles). Which leads to another winning feature -- the boxy 240 is a form of auto theft insurance. No self-respecting 16-year-old punk in stolen $125 sneakers would be caught dead standing near one, let alone driving one. So you can leave the keys in it and the windows open on hot summer days if you want to. The last Volvo 240 was built in 1992, so the newest of them are, like the B-52 and the A-6, getting a little long in the tooth. But this is no problem -- they are indestructible. They are the Cal Ripken Jr. of automobiles. Thanks to their age and durability, you can buy many miles of comfortable driving for a reasonable price.

The only slight downside I can find to driving is a Volvo is that many liberals like and own them (people who went to Bergman movies and actually claim to have enjoyed them). But you can avoid ambiguity in social situations by affixing such bumper strips as: "Nuke The Whales," and "Visualize Ann -Margret." (OK, I'm showing my age. But she's still a hot ticket.)

Just a thought. Best to Dave and Al,
-- Larry Thornberry
Tampa, FL

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