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July 23, 2000

Bill Maxwell
Wasting time on nonsense like pimp cap
A 15-year-old African-American teenager entered a sprawling upscale shopping mall in St. Petersburg. He wore a white cap tilted sideways. The cap, part of the Pimpgear line of teen apparel, sported the word "pimp" on the front. The teen was ejected from the mall because he broke a mall rule prohibiting headgear tilted sideways.

Robyn E. Blumner
Government has no business in Redskins opinion
I concede up front that referring to Native Americans as "redskins" is deeply offensive to that community.

Diane Roberts
The Irish-American connection
Americans have a history of involvement in Irish politics from as recently as the visit between Bill Clinton and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to as far back as 1867 with a grass-roots, secret "brotherhood" that formed in response to the Nationalist cause in Ireland and anti-Irish prejudice in the United States.

Tim Nickens
Gore's attacks on Texas have limited success
AUSTIN, Texas -- Down at Capitol Saddlery, where a big black boot hangs over the door and saddles have been sold and repaired since 1930, there is no air conditioning, no waiting -- and no patience for Al Gore's attacks on Texas.

Editorial Notebook: Diane Roberts
Livin' large in a triple-wide
Hoo, doggy! You Yankees are laughin' louder'n a John Deere with a busted belt. Y'all just love it when us'ns in the South act like we's trapped in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.

Keeping USF intact
New President Judy Genshaft needs to act decisively to protect USF's interests in the midst of chaotic changes in Florida's university system.

Short-sighted on syphilis
For a fraction of the $214-million the federal government spends every year treating syphilis, Congress could have taken an important step toward eradicating the syphilis bacterium in the United States. But it has decided to pass. Now health experts are warning that the infection, currently at its lowest levels in national history, is likely to reach epidemic proportions again. Congress' short-sighted failure will cost the country many times over in the years to come.

Abortion's middle ground is untenable
Re: Ostracized when differing from party's abortion dogma, July 16.

Margo Hammond
Getting to the end
"What next, then?" wrote septuagenarian author Joseph Heller in a manuscript he sent to the publisher at the end of last year. The line referred to the trouble his character, septuagenarian author Eugene Pota, was having in coming up with a subject for his next book.

Water: An oasis of learning
This past month I've been reading two and now three books about water, a subject you would think was, well, dull as dirt. On the contrary. What water is, and more important, where it is, how much there is, and how much is available to human use, all turns out to be fascinating reading and more than a little alarming.

Pop culture and all its ugliness
Cintra Wilson isn't much concerned about stepping on toes. In A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations, she stomps on them, and doesn't even say she's sorry.

The final chapter of the old Mafia
Before he died one year ago this month, Mario Puzo had completed his final saga of the Mafia and those whose lives swirl around its passion, corruption, violence and conspiracy. Omerta, the Mafia's code of silence, lends its name to Puzo's last story. It is perfectly fitting, for the word engenders the loyalty and the fervor of those who uphold the code and the swift and merciless destruction of those who don't. Only the faithful survive this tale.

ONLINE INVESTING: Financial information and investment services have boomed along with the growth of the Internet. The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition's Guide to Online Investing (Crown Business Books, $25) by Dave Petit and Rich Jaroslovsky offers topics ranging from the best Web sites for research to differences among online brokers. It also explains how to choose a broker, how commissions work and the pros and cons of online banking and other personal finance services.

SUSAN SONTAG: The Making of an Icon, by Carl Rollyson and Lisa Paddock (Norton, $29.95)

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